Tag: "Dan Snyder"

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

| May 22, 2018

Urban One New Owner of WTEM-AM, Washington.  Silver Spring, Maryland-based Urban One adds another Red Zebra property (the last station in Redskins owner Dan Snyder’s radio portfolio) to its radio station holdings as it acquires the NFL club’s flagship station, WTEM-AM, Washington “The Team 980” for an undisclosed sum.  The Washington Post quotes Red Zebra chairman Terry Bateman saying WTEM will continue to air Redskins football play-by-play (plus pre- and post-game shows).  Urban One kept ‘Skins games on Richmond, Virginia sports talker WXGI-AM that it bought from Red Zebra in 2017.  Bateman adds that Urban One has “done very well with sports talk in Richmond.” Comments in the Post piece point toward Urban One sticking with the sports format, although Urban One SVP Jeffrey Wilson says the company isn’t prepared to discuss specific programming issues.  Urban One paid $2 million for WXGI-AM and DC signal WDCJ-FM, Prince Frederick, Maryland (then WWXT-FM).  We’ll know the price for WTEM when the FCC filing is available.

Envision Networks to Syndicate ‘Retire with Integrity’ Program. The new weekend financial advice program from Envision Networks is called “Retire with Integrity” and is hosted by financial pro Brian Bowen and co-host Tug Cowart.  Bowen is an investment advisor representative and the president of Integrity Financial Planning, Inc.  He is also the president of CPA tax firm Impact Tax Group, LLC.  He is a contributor to CNNMoney.com, Money.com and Fortune.com.  Envision president and CEO Danno Wolkoff says, “When we investigate new shows to offer affiliates, we look for compelling content that listeners want to hear.  The value of ‘Retire with Integrity’ is the fun nature of the program and the appeal it holds financially for stations to sell to local advertisers.”

Glynn Rises to SVP of Sales for iHeartMedia Seattle. Sales pro Mark Glynn is the new senior vice president at iHeartMedia’s Seattle station group that includes sports talk KJR-AM and talk KHHO, Tacoma “Hot Talk 880.”  Glynn has been serving as vice president of sales for the cluster’s KBKS, KUBE, and the TTWN.  About his new gig, Glynn says, “I’m honored to be given the opportunity to lead the sales organization for iHeartMedia Seattle.  Audio is booming, and iHeartMedia Seattle is in a fantastic position to help advertisers get their messages heard by leveraging their eight iconic radio stations and lineup of superstar influencer talent.”

Nick Cattles Returns to ‘ESPN Radio 94.1’ in Norfolk.  After being away from Max Media’s WVSP, Norfolk, Virginia “ESPN Radio 94.1” for 16 months for a stint at Entercom’s WBZ-FM, Boston “98.5 The Sports Hub,” Nick Cattles is back hosting the 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm show.  Cattles’ program replaces the canceled “Pants Party” with Jeff Pantridge.  Cattles says, “I’m ecstatic to be returning to ‘ESPN Radio 94.1.’  During my previous run, I feel like I developed a deep and important connection with the sports fans of the 757, and I look forward to re-establishing and growing it even stronger.  A special thanks to the ownership and management team of Max Media for allowing me this opportunity. I can’t wait to get started on Monday, June 4.”

Jeff Hill Named VP of Sales at Cumulus Chicago. Windy City radio sales pro Jeff Hill is named to the newly created position of vice president, sales, for the Chicago cluster that includes news/talk WLS-AM, alternative WKQX, and classic hits WLS-FM.  Hill was most recently director of sales for Tribune’s WGN Radio.  In the past he’s served with ABC Radio – including as local sales manager for WLS-AM – as LSM for then-CBS RADIO’s WCKG-FM.  Cumulus Media Chicago VP/market manager Marv Nyren states, “Cumulus Chicago is thrilled to be adding a market veteran like Jeff Hill as our vice president of sales.  Jeff’s success in Chicago will allow our cluster to continue to build relationships with the ad community and compete at the highest levels of performance.”

TALKERS News Notes. There’s no official comment from Entercom on the decision to cancel the Sue Henry show on WILK-AM, Wilkes Barre/Scranton, but Henry confirmed via social media that yesterday (5/21) was her last day hosting the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon program. The Times-Tribune notes that Henry had hosted the show for the past 16 years.  She also serves as a faculty member at King’s College in Wilkes-Barre and a moderator of the school’s radio station…..TALKERS magazine hears that general manager Dave Coskey is out at Longport Media’s Atlantic City operations that includes news/talk WOND-AM, Longport, New Jersey.  Our source says former CBS RADIO executive Marc Rayfield is assisting with the transition…..SiriusXM is presenting a special Town Hall Q&A event in which NBA legend Jerry West will sit down before a live studio audience and talk with fellow Lakers great James Worthy and take questions from the audience.  The program is being timed to coincide with West’s 80thbirthday.  The show is being taped at The Forum on Thursday (5/24) and will start airing on Friday.

Trump-Russia Investigation, Investigation into FBI-CIA Infiltration of Trump Campaign, Texas School Shooting Aftermath, U.S.-North Korea Summit, Pope Francis Homosexuality Statement, Iran Nuclear Deal, Major League Baseball, and NBA Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/21). The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; President Trump’s ordering the inspector general to investigation the possible infiltration of his campaign by FBI or CIA agents; the aftermath of the deadly shooting at a Houston-area high school; speculation over whether the U.S.-North Korea summit will actually happen; Pope Francis’ comments to gay man that ‘God made him that way’; the U.S.’s pressure on Iran for a stronger nuclear deal; MLB action; and NBA playoffs 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. A number of moves take place at iHeartMedia’s Tucson station group.  First, Nick Wize is the new assistant program director for CHR KRQQ-FM hip hop KOHT “HOT 98.3,” and hot AC KMIY “My 92.9.”  Wize will also take over afternoon drive hosting duties on KRQQ on June 11.  At the same time, KRQQ and KOHT program director D-Wayne Chavez moves to afternoon drive on KOHT, and Suzette Rodriguez shifts to the midday program.  iHeartMedia Tucson SVP of programming David Adams comments, “Adding someone of Nick’s caliber to the already strong KRQ lineup is like winning the lottery! Nick will be an extremely valuable addition to the team, both on and off the air.”…..Max Media Denver announces the return of Mile High personalities Larry Ulibarri and Kathie J, who are back to host both the morning show on hip hop KFCO “FLO 107-1” and afternoons on sister station rhythmic oldies KJHM “Jammin’ 101-5.” Cluster president and GM Jeff Norman states, “We couldn’t be more excited to welcome Larry and Kathie J to the Max Media Denver family.  With over 16 years in the Denver market, they have an incredible track record of driving station ratings and growing businesses to the next level.  Research proves the Denver community craves more of Larry and Kathie.”  Current KFCO morning host Nina Blanco moves to the afternoon drive program, “SLiM’s Playhouse.”…..WIHT, Washington-based “The Kane Show” is featured in the June issue of Baltimore magazine as part of the “Newcomer’s Guide to Baltimore” feature. The program is heard in Baltimore on CHR WZFT “Z104.3.”

Monday, May 22, 2017

| May 22, 2017

Brian Wilson Exits WMAL, Washington’s ‘Mornings on the Mall.’  Announcing via Twitter on Friday, DC talk radio personality Brian Wilson says he’s exited Cumulus Media news/talk outlet WMAL-AM/FM, Washington.  Wilson wrote, “Today is the last day of a wonderful 6 year ride @WMALDC.  Thanks everyone!  I stand ready for the next great adventure.  I’ll miss the awesome folks @WMALDC: B Hess, Larry, Chris, Mary, Heather H & M McKay.  But won’t miss the 2:30 AM alarm!!!!  More soon!”  In the meantime, WMAL program director – and Cumulus news/talk VP – Bill Hess tells TALKERS magazine that Daily Caller editor-in-chief Vince Coglianese is sitting in as interim co-host while the station seeks a permanent partner for Mary Walter on the program.

TALKERS News Notes. WPGG, Atlantic City adds Fox News Radio’s “Kilmeade & Friends” starring Brian Kilmeade in the late morning daypart, replacing Premiere NetworksGlenn Beck…..In Chicago, Matt Abbatacola leaves CBS RADIO’s sports talker WSCR where he’s been serving for the past 16 years as a producer, personality and sports update anchor.  He was a longtime producer of the Boers & Bernstein show with the now-retired Terry Boers and Dan Bernstein (who’s now partnered with Jason Goff).  Robert Feder reports that “The Score” program director Mitch Rosen says, “I wish him nothing but the best.”  Read Feder’s column here…..More changes are taking place at Fox News Channel.  According to report by CNN, Fox News Channel has let “The Five” personality Bob Beckel go “for making an insensitive remark to an African-American employee.”  This move is apparently connected to what is being termed a “growing racial discrimination” lawsuit filed by a number of current and former Fox News Channel staffers.  The story says Beckel allegedly told a black IT department employee that he would leave the room while the staffer worked on his computer because the employee is black.  It further says that when the person filed a complaint, Beckel tried to intimidate the worker to withdraw it.  The suit is being handled by attorneys Douglas Wigdor and Jeanne Christensen…..If you missed it, former Fox News Channel star Bill O’Reilly wrote an op-ed piece published by USA Today on the passing of his former boss Roger Ailes.  In the piece, O’Reilly says, “We are living in a rough age, with technological advances changing behavior and perspective.  The downside of that is turning us into a nation where hatred is almost celebrated in some quarters.  Roger Ailes experienced that hatred and it killed him.  That is the truth.”  Read the piece here…..Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder, via his Red Zebra Broadcasting, is agreeing to sell sports talk WSPZ, Bethesda, Maryland to the new corporation AM 570 LLC – co-owned by Salem Media Group founders Ed Atsinger and Stu Epperson.  The $2.1 million deal includes 58 acres of land.  The towers also carry the diplexed signal of WMAL-AM on a lease.

Trump Visits Saudi Arabia, Russia Investigation/Comey Firing, China Kills U.S. Spies, Weiner Guilty Plea/Abedin Files for Divorce, More North Korean Missile Tests, Iranian Elections, O’Reilly’s USA Today Column, and MLB, NBA and NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. President Donald Trump makes his first stop in Saudi Arabia on an international tour, receiving a gold medal from the nation and signing a $110 billion arms deal; ongoing talk of the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign figures and Russia and the related firing of FBI Director James Comey; the report that an intelligence breakdown led to China killing and imprisoning numerous U.S. spies; Anthony Weiner pleads guilty in the case of his sexting with a minor and the news former Hillary Clinton aid Huma Abedin will divorce him; North Korea conducts more missile tests; Iran holds elections, re-electing President Hassan Rouhani; former Fox News Channel star Bill O’Reilly pens a USA Today op-ed stating Roger Ailes died from the “hatred” cast at him by critics; 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.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Taking over the afternoon drive show on iHeartMedia’s Dallas hot AC KDMX “102.9 Now” is Kannon.  He was most recently working in the Dallas market at CBS RADIO’s crosstown CHR KVIL as part of the morning show.  KDMX program director Jay Shannon says, “Kannon is a familiar name that has been on the radio in Dallas/Ft. Worth for several years and he understands how to connect with listeners, as well as what it takes to be successful in this market.”  He also previously served in the market as morning show host at Cumulus Media’s CHR KLIF-FM…..From Blaine Thompson’s Indiana Radio Watch comes the reports that Federated Media active rock WBYR, Fort Wayne “98.9 The Bear” parts ways with evening personality Barry Thickk.  The station replaces him with the United Stations Radio Networks-syndicated “Lou Brutus Hard Drive XL” at night…..SiriusXM announces that David Letterman and his former TV band leader Paul Shaffer will be guests on Elizabeth Cook’s “Apron Strings” show on the Outlaw Country on Wednesday (5/24).  Letterman, a big fan of American roots music, will bring along a playlist of his own hand-picked performances that aired on his network television show over the years.

Adam Bomb and DNCE at the Billboard Music Awards. Yesterday (5/21) in Las Vegas, Westwood One Backstage at the BBMAs took place at the Lucky Live Lounge at T-Mobile Arena.  The backstage radio row included more than 20 stations interviewing artists and celebrities.  Republic Records recording artists DNCE performed at the event.  Pictured here is Westwood One syndicated host Adam Bomb (left) with members of DNCE.

Friday, January 20, 2017

| January 20, 2017

Shocker: Dan Snyder’s WTEM, Washington Parts Ways with Andy Pollin.  Respected Washington, DC sports talk radio personality Andy Pollin was notified by management that his contract with WTEM, Washington “ESPN 980” – coming to an end next month – would not be renewed and that his Thursday afternoon edition ofpollinczaban “The Sports Reporters” with co-host Steve Czaban was his last.  Pollin had been on the air talking sports in DC for the past 25 years.  Czaban will go forward as solo host of the afternoon drive show.  The Washington Post’s Dan Steinberg covers the story and Pollin tells him, “I’m not in any way bitter about this.  I’m disappointed that it wouldn’t continue.  I thought Czabe and I were humming along there in our second run, but it didn’t happen. That’s life.”  Czaban tweeted that he is “gutted” by management’s decision.  He says, “Andy started this station 25 years ago, and he has done more and seen more than you can imagine in this business.  He hired me off a driving range in 1994, and I owe my entire career in sports radio to him from the opportunities that followed.”  Read Steinberg’s Post column here.

Mark Mason Returns to KEX, Portland for New Midday Talk Show.  Portland radio personality Mark Mason is returning after a three-year hiatus to iHeartMedia’s “News Radio 1190” KEX to host a new midday talk show, beginning Monday (1/23).  Mason co-hosted the “Mark & Dave” show with Dave Anderson on the stationmasonmark for 18 years.  Anderson lost his battle with pancreatic cancer last year.  Mason says, “After I lost my good friend and co-host Dave Anderson, my perspective on life changed and I wanted to return to the Portland kexcommunity that embraced me.  I’m excited to return to the KEX family and bring my 100% hate-free brand of talk radio back to Portland.”  KEX says the new 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm program will offer Mason’s “uplifting perspective on pop culture, national news, politics and currents events, as well as reports on local news, traffic and weather.”  KEX program director Cort Webber comments, “We are thrilled to have Mark back home at KEX where he belongs.  The place just hasn’t been the same without him.  We’re excited to kick off a new year and a new administration with a new show from an old friend.”  Mason continues to serve as the public address announcer for the Portland Trailblazers, a role he has held for the past 21 years.

Emmis Promotes Conner to Lead Network Indiana.  Longtime Emmis Terre Haute general manager James Conner is taking over the general manager role for the company’s Network Indiana, effective January 30.  Network Indiana is a statewide service providing news, sports and business programming to affiliated radioconnerjames stations.  Emmis Indianapolis senior vice president and general manager Chuck Williams states, “James will lead Network Indiana with a mission to continue our history of building meaningful value with our Network Indiana team and for our affiliates.  Network Indiana is a strong brand and an important ingredient in the success of our Emmis Indianapolis Radio Division. James will be focused on helping our team grow Network Indiana relationships, operations and of course, growing value for this historic Emmis Brand.”  The company says Conner has successfully managed the radio stations in Terre Haute the last 22 years, noting that the cluster has consistently accounted for more than 40% of the market revenue.

talkersten logoTrump Inauguration Top News/Talk Story for Week of January 16-20, 2017.  The Inauguration of the 45th President of the United States and the protests against Donald Trump tied for the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the last days of the Barack Obama presidency.  Coming in at #3 was the several cabinet confirmation hearings, followed by the Chelsea Manning commutation at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

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Covering the Trump Inauguration.  Pictured above are staffers from two of the radio networks covering the Inauguration of the 45th President of the United States in Washington DC today (1/20).  At left are (from left to right) Jeff Matzka, Salem Radio News chief engineer; Linda Kenyon, SRN U.S. Senate correspondent, and Greg Clugston, SRN News White House correspondent.  At right is Westwood One News correspondent Bob Costantini in position at Westwood One’s broadcast post overlooking the Inauguration at the West front of the Capitol.

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RadioInfo Web bannerBeasley Names Randy Bliss to Programming Role and Promotes Tap Money in Fayetteville.  At the Fayetteville, North Carolina cluster of Beasley Media Group, a new programmer comes aboard and another adds new PD duties.  First, Randy Bliss joins theblissrandy company as operations manager of the Fayetteville cluster, he takes on the program director role at adult contemporary WAZZ-AM/W232CI “Sunny 94.3,” and he’ll host the afternoon drive show on country WKML.  Market manager Erika Beasley comments, “Randy moneytapbrings his hands-on experience and success in a number of formats, which we welcome in Fayetteville.  From his extensive research skills to his ability to incorporate both sales and programming to ensure success, Randy has proven he is a tried-and-true radio pro!”  At the same time, hip hop WZFX “FOXY 99” program director Tap Money adds programming duties for sister rhythmic oldies WUKS “Old School 107.7 JAMZ” to his responsibilities.  Beasley EVP of programming Justin Chase states, “Beasley is an organization that enjoys promoting good people from within and it is especially exciting when it’s a rock star like Tap Money!  Tap is a radio hero who has lifted WZFX to an entirely new level in ratings and revenue.  We have no doubt he will improve our urban footprint in Fayetteville as he begins working with WUKS.”

Cassiday Proctor Joins 106.5 The Arch’s ‘Spencer’s Neighborhood’ Morning Show.  In St. Louis, radioproctorcassiday personality Cassiday Proctor becomes a cast member on the “Spencer’s Neighborhood” show at Hubbard Radio’s adult hits WARH “106.5 The Arch,” effective January 30.  Proctor was most recently with Entercom in Atlanta appearing on the WSTR “Star 94” morning program.  During her career she’s served with CBS RADIO in Charlotte where she also did television, hosting “The Edge” on WCCB-TV.  WARH program director Scott Roddy says, “Hubbard is known to be the platinum standard for live, local talent.  Cassiday is not only pure class, but hilariously fun and genuine – the perfect complement to Spencer’s and Brando’s humor.”

More Music Radio News and Career Moves.  The WMMS, Cleveland-based “Rover’s Morning Glory” show isroversmorningglory logo airing on iHeartMedia’s rock WBFX, Grand Rapids “101.3 The Brew,” effective Monday (1/23).  Shane “Rover” French comments, “We’re excited to be on ‘101.3 The Brew’ in Grand Rapids, a city that has more craft beer breweries than anywhere else on the planet.  It’s a perfect match since my staff has consumed more craft beer than any other radio show on the planet.”…..In Jacksonville, iHeartMedia debuts the new “Rumba, #1 Para Éxitos y Música Variada” simulcasting on translator W295AZ at 106.9 FM and the HD2 channel of country WQIK.  Rumba’s broadcasting a variety of Spanish tropical music…..Talk about dedication to the cause, in Peoria, WSWT PD and morning host Randy Rundle and WXCL afternoon personality Joe Greenwood spent 12 hours overnight in cardboard boxes in 25-degree weather to call attention to the homelessness problem in Peoria.  The “Gimme Shelter – A Night to End Homelessness” event took place last Friday and together the two jocks raised $2,675.  The event, as a whole, exceeded its goal of $50,000 – hitting the $63,000 mark.  Proceeds benefit the South Side Office of Concern and its efforts to provide permanent, supportive housing and to end homelessness in the community…..CBS RADIO Houston and BBVA Compass are teaming up to host “Live Bright Bash,” a free stadium party tomorrow (1/21) for city ambassadors and volunteers during Super Bowl week.  The event – intended to inspire the community to welcome visitors and encourage local volunteerism – will feature live music and speeches from city leaders and radio hosts.  wxrt logoRadio personalities from KILT-FM, KHMX-FM, KLOL-FM, and KILT-AM will be on hand to reinforce the “Live Bright” message…..CBS RADIO triple A WXRT, Chicago “93XRT” is presenting two nights with Los Lobos at the Tivoli Theatre on February 15 and 16.  XRT music director Kelly Ransford says, “Long-time XRT favorite Los Lobos is the ideal band for two nights of high-energy fun at the historic Tivoli Theatre in Aurora. Emerging from East LA in the early ‘80s, Los Lobos has become one of America’s greatest live rock ‘n’ roll bands and we couldn’t be more thrilled to host them for two special shows.”

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Laura Alaina Visits ‘NASH Nights Live.’ Stopping by the NASH Campus in Nashville on Thursday evening (1/19) was Mercury Nashville/19/Interscope Records artist Lauren Alaina (center) pictured here with “NASH Nights Live” co-hosts Shawn Parr (right) and Elaina Smith (left).  Alaina chatted about her new album, Road Less Traveled.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

| January 20, 2016

ramseydaveTime Magazine Recognizes Dave Ramsey Podcast.  Dubbing it one of the top 10 podcasts on iTunes in 2015, Time magazine gives the Dave Ramsey podcast recognition for its popularity.  The Ramsey podcast averages more than 2 million downloads per week.  Numerous publications, including iTunes Charts, Digital Trends and Stitcher, list the Dave Ramsey show among the most frequently downloaded and streamed podcasts.  Ramsey Media vice president Brian Mayfield comments on the news.  “We are excited to see the development of a completely new audience in the digital space.  Our roots are embedded in radio where we began, and our audience continues to grow.  This recent success on the digital side allows us to introduce our show to the next generation of listeners.  Our goal is simple: we want to be there for our listener when, where, and how they want to listen.  Digital distribution allows those constantly on the go the ability to listen to their favorite programs on their time schedule.  We offer a variety of solutions including podcast, a dedicated channel on iHeartRadio, online audio streaming, and an online video channel.”  Mayfield says that these efforts combined with the existing radio audience reaches a total audience of 11 million listeners every week.

francesamikeMike Francesa to Leave WFAN, New York When Contract Expires.  New York sports talk radio icon Mike Francesa tells Fox 1’s Katie Nolan that he will exit CBS RADIO’s sports talk WFAN, New York when his contract ends in December of 2017.  On Nolan’s “Garbage Time” podcast, Francesa also tells Nolan that he has spoken with CBS brass about exiting early but the two sides haven’t found terms for an exit that are mutually agreeable.  He also says it won’t be the end of his sports talk career, just the end to his time with WFAN.  Fox Sports reports the news from the taping of Nolan’s video podcast that will be published tomorrow (1/21).

mccannjakeCumulus Promotes McCann to Market Manager and Cohen to VP of Sales in Washington.  Two are promoted in the executive ranks at Cumulus Media’s Washington station group.  Jakecohenbeth McCann moves up to vice president/market manager from his VP of sales post and Beth Cohen is upped from director of sales to VP of sales for the cluster.  Cumulus SVP Gary Pizzati states, “Jake McCann and Beth Cohen are the leadership team needed to achieve our goals in D.C.  In the past year, they’ve accomplished that and more.  Both promotions are well deserved.  We look forward to their continued contributions as they advance the growth trajectory of Cumulus DC.”  Cumulus owns hot AC WRQX “Mix 107.3” and news/talk WMAL-AM/FM in the market.

mediamonitors logoPresidential Candidates Radio Ads Tracked by Media Monitors; Hillary Clinton Top Spender.  Two of the nation’s earliest primary elections – the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary – are just weeks away and Media Monitors reports it is tracking the radio ads for candidates heard in markets within or near those states during the first 15 days of January.  Media Monitors reports the following: Hillary Clinton numbers from Des Moines and the Quad Cities show a total of 482 spots run with none run in the adjacent Omaha market.  Radio spots for Ted Cruz, whose numbers from Des Moines, the Quad Cities and Omaha totaled 218 that were part of the Cruz For President buy, however, his Super PAC – Keep The Promise ran a total of 26 spots in the three Iowa markets.  Donald Trump radio spots that ran in Des Moines, the Quad Cities and Omaha totaled 187 ads.  Bernie Sanders did not buy Omaha, but ran spots in Des Moines and the Quad Cities totaling 123 spots.  Marco Rubio’s Super PAC – Conservative Solutions – also ran in Des Moines, Omaha and the Quad Cities to the tune of 74 units counted.  And finally, Mike Huckabee’s Super PAC – Pursuing America’s Greatness – aired 50 times in Des Moines, the Quad Cities and Omaha.  Targeting New Hampshire voters, Hillary Clinton ran 1,110 spots in both Boston and Portsmouth-Dover.  Bernie Sanders was next with 899 spots in the two markets.  Marco Rubio’s Super PAC aired 358 ads. Next was Ted Cruz with 109 spots appearing in Boston and Portsmouth-Dover.  Donald Trump played 76 times in the Portsmouth-Dover and 10 times in Boston.  Chris Christie aired 24 spots in Portsmouth-Dover, while his Super PAC – American Leads – ran 21 spots in Portsmouth-Dover and Boston.  Mike Huckabee did not run any spots in Portsmouth-Dover or Boston.

Presidential Race, Hillary Clinton Emails Investigation, Oscars Boycott, Flint Water Scandal, 13 Hours Film,  Sinking Oil Prices/Tumultuous Financial Markets, and Battle Against Islamic State Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/19).  The activities of the candidates for president; the FBI’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of her private email server for sensitive State Department business; the Spike Lee and Jada Pinkett Smith-led boycott of the Academy Awards for the lack of black nominees; the lead water contamination scandal in Flint, Michigan; controversy surrounding the Benghazi film, 13 Hours; the continuing drop in oil prices and the activity in the world’s financial markets; and the battle against Islamic State were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

zampillodanDan Zampillo Exiting WTEM, Washington.  There are more changes coming to the Dan Snyder-owned sports talker WTEM, Washington “ESPN 980.”  Program director Dan Zampillo – on the job since April of 2015 – is leaving the company, according to numerous reports, including one from the Washington Post’s Dan Steinberg.  Citing an internal memo, the Post reports Zampillo will stay on as a search for his replacement commences.  Recently, station manager Rick Carmean exited and the company has eliminated that position.  Zampillo came aboard from SiriusXM’s sports programming division after Chuck Sapienza resigned the PD post during the bizarre “Man Cave” episode.  To refresh your memory, “The Man Cave” show – co-hosted by Chris Paul and Jason Reid – got off to an inauspicious start in March.  The launch of the show was delayed by two weeks during which there were reports Dan Snyder didn’t like the idea because Reid was critical of the Redskins while writing for the Post.  Sapienza quit during this time.  The show was eventually cancelled in October.  Read Steinberg’s Post piece here.

nielsen logoRound One of Holiday PPM Data Released.  The first of four rounds of Holiday 2015 PPM data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey).  The survey period was December 3 – December 30.  TALKERS magazine’s sister publication RadioInfo has all of the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  In addition, managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his “Twelve Takeaways” from this batch of ratings on the main page at RadioInfo.com here.

harrisonUpCloseFarOutsmallMichael Harrison and ‘America’s Digital Goddess’ Discuss the Culture of Technology.  Nationally syndicated radio star and newspaper columnist Kim Komando of WestStar TalkRadio Network joins TALKERS magazine publisher Michael Harrison as a special guest on this week’s installment of PodcastOne’s international hit, “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison” (1/19).  The two conduct an in-depth discussion about the state of the digital era as we are experiencing its unfolding in the early decades of the 21st century fromkomandokim both technological and cultural perspectives.  Highlights include a prognostication of where the technology is headed going forward.  Will humans increasingly merge (physically, mentally, spiritually) with silicon technology as chips are increasingly embedded not only in our clothing and all around us in the “Internet of Things” – but in our bodies as well?  How can parents, who are natives of the 20th century, exercise control and guidance over their digitally precocious children, who are natives of the 21st century?  What is the present state and future of privacy?  Komando, whom Harrison describes as a “remarkable woman,” discusses her early days as a teenage prodigy in New Jersey who graduated high school at 15, headed west on her own, and went on to build a multi-million dollar empire blazing new trails in radio and contributing greatly to the advancement of this amazing new era.  To listen to the entire conversation, click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column of every page on Talkers.com.

jacksonkevinTalk Host Kevin Jackson Named Fox News Contributor.  Independently syndicated talk personality Kevin Jackson joins the Fox News organization as a contributor.  The news was announced to Fox News Channel viewers on last night’s edition of “The Kelly File” with host Megyn Kelly.  Jackson has made numerous appearances on FNC shows over the years, including “Hannity” and “Fox & Friends.”  Jackson comments, “I am grateful and proud that Roger (Ailes) appreciates my talent enough to have added me to the Fox News family.  What a great honor to have Fox News as part of my distribution platform.  My message has been leaking through for some time and this should help me to extend that message a lot further.”

Odds & Sods.  As reported by Blaine Thompson’s Indiana Radio Watch, Emmis Communications’ Indianapolis news/talker WIBC-FM names Chris Davis news director.  Davis, who most recently was news director for the News Mississippi Network, takes over for Mike Wilson who left the radio biz…..Westwood One is providing radio play-by-play for this weekend’s NFL conference championship games on Sunday.  WW1’s doubleheader coverage begins at 2:00 pm ET.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

| October 28, 2015

westwood one news logoWW1 Partners with CNBC for Tonight’s Republican Primary Debate.  The third Republican primary debate takes place this evening (10/28) live from the Coors Events Center at the University of Colorado Boulder and carries a money theme: “Your Money, Your Vote.”  The debate is being produced for television by CNBC and the radio partner is Westwood One which reports that more than 160 affiliate stations are signed up to air the debate.  WW1 presents some data from its simulcast of the October 13th Democratic candidates’ debate, noting “one out of 10 adults (10.8%), 18+, report listening to the Westwood One News’ Democratic debate coverage, representing over 26 million people ages 18+,” and “one out of 10 Millennials, 18-34 (9.8%) report that they were reached; one of 10 Generation Xer’s, 35-54 (11.5%) report that they were reached.”  WW1 EVP of news & talk programming Bart Tessler comments, “We are thrilled to partner with CNBC and to provide voters access to this debate so they can hear the candidates’ positions on their money and other issues.  We are also filling a void for those Americans who don’t subscribe to a pay TV service or who live in broadcast-only households.  Our radio coverage offers tremendous reach.”

sottolanojeffJeff Sottolano Named VP of Programming for CBS RADIO.  This is a promotion from his current director, programming position he assumed in January of this year.  Prior to that promotion, Jeff Sottolano had been program director of sports talk WIP-FM, Philadelphia.  He was also program director at rock WYSP, Philadelphia from 2008 through 2011 when he moved to WIP.  About his new role as VP of programming, CBS RADIO EVP of programming Chris Oliviero comments, “Jeff has made significant contributions to our content platform, not just over the air, but also to our strong digital and live event assets.  With today’s announcement, he will now be better positioned to take a leadership role as we continue to craft our growth strategy, one which is squarely founded on CBS RADIO’s best in class brands.”

kaufmannjustinWGN, Chicago’s Justin Kaufmann Explains Absence from Evening Show.  The host of WGN, Chicago’s 7:00 pm to 11:00 pm program “The Download” pens an explanation/apology for his now-three-week absence from the show. Chicago media writer Robert Feder tips us to Justin Kaufmann’s letter that reads, in part, “I made a mistake.  As a husband, I let my wife and my family down.  And I will also tell you that this issue is between me and my wife.  Also please know that my lapse in judgement was not the reason I have been off the air. The fact that an individual tried to take advantage of my private situation, and make it public, was.  That’s the consequence of a bad decision in the first place.  And for that I apologize.”  Part-time staffers have been filling in hosting the show since October 6.  It’s not clear when Kaufmann will return to the air.  Read Feder’s report here.

paulreidWTEM, Washington Cancels ‘The Man Cave.’  The Red Zebra-operated Washington, DC sports talker WTEM “ESPN 908” will return ESPN’s Mike & Mike in the Morning to the AM drive and has cut ties with Chris Paul and Jason Reid, co-hosts of the seven-month-old “The Man Cave” show.  The program had an inauspicious debut.  Back in late February it was announced the duo would be joining the station’s programming schedule but then the show’s launch was killed and program director Chuck Sapienza exited the station.  Jason Reid is a former Washington Post columnist who’s been critical of the Washington Redskins operation and Dan Snyder owns both the team and WTEM.  There was chatter Snyder was not happy with Sapienza’s decision.  Then in late March the show debuted, two weeks after it had first been planned.  Now, seven months later, the program is cancelled with director of programming Dan Zampillo saying, “Unfortunately we were not able to obtain the consistent level of ratings success needed in morning drive over the last 7 months, and therefore felt the need to make this change.”

ppmunitRound Two of October PPM Ratings Released – Minus Tampa, Again.  The second of four rounds of October 2015 PPM data from Nielsen Audio is released for 11 markets including: Washington, Boston, Detroit, Miami, Seattle, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis.  As was the case in September, Tampa numbers are being delayed.  The September delay (ratings came a week later minus WBRN-FM) was due to a ratings tampering charge against WBRN-FM-based Bubba the Love Sponge.  This time Nielsen only tells clients the reason is for “completion of additional quality assurance steps.”  You can find all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Additionally, TALKERS and RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his Twelve Takeaways from this round of data at our sister publication’s site here.  The October 2015 PPM survey covered September 10 through October 7.

wvnjWVNJ 1160 ‘The Voice’ Gets Serious About Competing with Tuned-Up News/Talk Format in Big Apple.  WVNJ 1160 AM – licensed to Oakland, NJ but covering a wide swath of the New York Metropolitan Area — has begun making moves that indicate it is getting serious about becoming more competitive in the nation’s number one market.  The family-owned-and-operated, (Universal Broadcasting of NY) strategically located (in Teaneck), independent outlet pumps out a formidable 20k signal that can be heard throughout much of the Tri-State area including heavily populated portions of New Jersey, New York City, Hudson Valley, Western Connecticut, and Long Island.  Recent additions to the station’s daily lineup, catching the eyes and ears of industry observers, include live clearances of syndicated major league stars Premiere NetworksGlenn Beck (11:00 am – 1:00 pm) and GCN’s Dr. Joyfelixluis Browne (1:00 pm – 3:00 pm).  Both have strong followings in the New York area. Other significant players now on-air include Doug Stephan, Alex Jones, Ian Freeman and Mark Edge of “Free Talk Live,” and Dr. Daliah Wachs, marking a partial departure from the station’s former reliance on brokered programming to constitute most of its schedule.  Many of these changes are being initiated by the hiring of radio veteran and consultant Luis Felix as the station’s director of operations under a management/consultant agreement in which Felix is responsible for the day-to-day operations.  Felix tells TALKERS, “There is still tremendous value in AM radio stations with large market reach.” He explains, “My plan is to appeal more to local listeners while offering the best national talent.  The priority will be to target our local communities and offer opportunities for brokered broadcasts during certain times of the day.  It’s a balancing act that can work.  Just imagine brokered hosts on the same station with the industry’s leading talkers.  Take Jerry Hickey from Invite Health Radio — he’s a pharmacist and nutritionist, but he loves radio.  His radio show is produced utilizing professional broadcast ethics.  This practice helps us maintain consistency in our quest to offer quality broadcast standards.”  Felix adds, “I will also develop and expand our digital offerings so that our advertisers can achieve a better ROI.  Combining top radio personalities with brokered programming, I believe, is talk radio’s winning combination.  By finding efficiencies in our broadcast operations and enhancing our offerings, I may be able to turn things around.  I’ve spent 34 years in this industry and have learned quite a few things.  It’s in my blood.”  Known on-air as Albert Lewis, the gregarious Felix’s career started back in 1981 as an intern at urban powerhouse WBLS, New York working for the legendary Frankie Crocker and includes subsequent positions at WWRL, WNYG and WGBB – all in the New York/Long Island Metropolitan area.  He was also involved in designing the online local news site, DNAinfo.com, for Chicago Cubs owner Joe Ricketts.

herskovitzalHerskovitz: Somebody’s Listening.  Radio sales pro Al Herskovitz writes in a column for TALKERS that he believes a lot of talk radio’s “wounds” are self-inflicted.  Not that new technology isn’t disrupting radio (not to mention the TV, newspaper, etc. industries), but proving that digital is an effective advertising vehicle is hardly a slam dunk.  He provides an example from his work of a client so happy with the return on investment in a national talk radio campaign that he’s currently working on a renewal package for 2016 for that client.  Read Herskovitz’s piece here.

carrhowie show logoCool Job Opportunities – Howie Carr Radio Network Expanding Personnel Roster.  TALKERS has learned that the Boston-based Howie Carr Radio Network – producer and distributor of the mega-successful, regionally syndicated Howie Carr Show — is adding to its staff with openings in the following positions: event planners and facilitators, full-time and part-time sales positions, part-time associate producers, and part-time marketing promotions.  Interested parties should email their resumes to Kathy Carr at: Kathy@Howiecarrshow.com.

wgrTalent Search!  WGR SPORTS RADIO 550 is looking for the next great personality to add to Western New York’s sports leader.  Are you talented, creative, driven and focused?  Can you create compelling sports content and do you have a passion for connecting with sports fans?  The ideal candidate will have 3 to 5 years sports talk experience, a deep knowledge of sports teams and the business of sports, plus a strong list of sports contacts.  Must have excellent written and social media skills, work well in a team setting, and be reliable and disciplined.  Are you that next great talent?  Tell us your story and submit your materials including resume, aircheck and written samples to program director Allan Davis at: adavis@entercom.com.

2016 Presidential Candidates/GOP Debate, U.S.-China Military Tensions, South Carolina School Cop Case, Russia-Syria Relationship, Congressional Budget Deal, European Migrant Problems, and World Series Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/27).  The activities of the candidates for president in 2016 and tonight’s GOP primary debate; the military tensions between the U.S. and China over a U.S. Navy patrol near disputed islands in the South China Sea; the case of a school cop’s use of force on a disobedient high school student in South Carolina; Russia’s military involvement in the Syrian civil conflict; the proposed two-year budget deal agreed to in Congress; the flood of immigrants into Europe and the strain being put on resources in the affected countries; and the World Series between the New York Mets and the Kansas City Royals were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, December 22, 2014

| December 22, 2014

weismanstevenLegal Analysis: The FCC Properly Rules In Favor of Redskins.  The Federal Communications Commission’s decision last week to grant license renewal to radio station WWXX-FM, Buckland, Virginia, despite objections filed with the commission centering around the team’s Redskins name, was greeted with approval from TALKERS legal editor Steven J.J. Weisman.  In a column posted today (12/22), Weisman writes that – whether one agrees that the team name is offensive or not – the FCC’s decision was the correct one.  “The objection to the renewal tried to twist legal terms totally beyond their meaning.  The objectors argued that the term ‘Redskins’ was obscene.  Obscenity is not permitted on the public airwaves and continuing use of obscenity on a radio station would legitimately be a ground for denying a renewal of license.  Obscenity may be in the eye of the beholder to some people, but not in the eyes of the established law, and the FCC rules and regulations which limit obscenity to the depiction or description of sexual conduct.”  Read Weisman’s entire explanation of the decision here.

alphamedia logoAlpha Media Enters Shreveport and Tyler-Longview with Access 1 Acquisition.  The nine radio stations owned by Access 1 Communications in the Shreveport, Louisiana and Tyler-Longview, Texas markets are being purchased by Alpha Media for an undisclosed sum.  The stations – which Alpha will begin to operate under an LMA effective January 1, are: hip hop KBTT, gospel KOKA, urban contemporary KDKS, oldies KLKL, and classic rock KTAL in Shreveport; and country KKUS, adult contemporary KOOI, regional Mexican KOYE, and country KYKX in Tyler-Longview.  Alpha notes that when all pending deals are complete, it will own and operate 83 stations.  Alpha chairman Larry Wilson states, “I’ve known [Access 1 president and CEO] Chesley Maddox-Dorsey for a long time.  She’s a great person with superb integrity and it’s a tremendous honor for us to be buying stations from Access 1.  I’ve been continually impressed with the quality of people I’ve met and their passion for the industry; it fits right in our sweet spot for live and local radio and we are very much looking forward to the acquisition.”

Odds & Sods.  The digital broadcast of “The Anthony Cumia Show” is being repped by AdLarge Media.  Cumia – longtime partner of SiriusXM’s Gregg “Opie” Hughes – left the satcaster in August and recently debuted his digital video show…..WOAI, San Antonio-based Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo agrees to a new contract with iHeartMedia.  He’s also heard on other iHeartMedia stations…..Oldies WVLZ-AM, Nashville will flip to sports talk on January 5 using programming from Yahoo! Sports Radio.

burtonbillRemembering Bill Burton. Holiday festivities were dampened over the weekend by the news that the industry lost a genuine cheerleader.  Particularly to those in Michigan radio sales circles, the name Bill Burton is legendary, as was his insistence that salespeople always “be fabulous.” Cause of death for the 85-year-old Burton was head injuries resulting from a fall at his home this past Tuesday (12/16); he passed away on Saturday (12/20). As president and chief operating officer of the Detroit Radio Advertising Group, Burton’s primary responsibility was to sell radio at the decision-making level.  In fact, he preferred to be called a “radio cheerleader,” “professional product mover,” or “people builder,” rather than the aforementioned impressive title he held the past quarter of a century.  “Why Radio” was the underlying theme to the countless presentations the Detroit native would make around the country.  Credited with originating the line, “An automobile is a radio with four wheels,” Burton would stress 91% of drivers listen in their cars, making them a “captive audience” for advertisers.  Radio is the “frequency medium,” he would insist and “frequency is paramount in selling.”  Burton started his radio career as an AE at Eastman Radio, where he would eventually become president and chairman.  A 2002 Michigan Broadcast Hall of Fame inductee, Burton entered the Adcraft Hall of Fame in 2005.  He held a degree in business and economics from Michigan State University (MSU 10 years ago presented him the Lifetime Achievement Award from its Broad College of Business), and Burton attended law school at the University of Michigan, before joining the Army.  Among Burton’s many non-industry accomplishments was successfully completing the Boston Marathon.

Nashville Broadcaster Teddy Bart Dies at 78.  Nashville radio and TV legend Teddy Bart died on December 21 at age 78.  According to his obit in The Tennessean, Bart’s shows were known for defining “the discussion of Nashville’s political and business heavyweights.”  In addition to work on local television stations, Bart was part of the long-running “Waking Crew” on WSM-AM.  He also hosted “Teddy Bart’s Round Table” with co-host Karlen Evins several stations in the market.

wbtwlnk duo logoCool Job Opportunity.  Greater Media Charlotte is currently looking for a passionate and innovative individual to join our team in the role of Web Developer.  This is a big year for Greater Media technology where you can be part of rolling out all-new, state-of-the-art brand experiences for some of the best radio stations in Charlotte: News/Talk 1110 WBT, 107.9 The Link, and The Bob & Sheri Network.  You must have a solid grasp of and demonstrated experience with modern web technologies and standards such as HTML5, CSS3 and jQuery. You must also be a proficient developer in PHP and MySQL. Experience with WordPress and WordPress plugin development along with a minimum of 2 years’ experience is required.  The daily activities of this position include: Designing and developing new digital experiences, features and functionality for our programming and promotions departments across our radio stations’ web and mobile app properties; Collaborating with our sales department to create and traffic engaging advertising opportunities for our clients; Talking to people.  Seriously, you’ll interact in some form or fashion with just about everyone in the company so you’ll need to have “people skills.”  So, if you’ve got a great eye for digital design and terms like responsive design, Node.js, git, Bootstrap and API integration get you excited, please reach out to us!  Please send your cover letter and resume to: Greater Media Charlotte, WBT/WLNK Human Resources, One Julian Price Place, Charlotte, NC  28208. hired@gmclt.com  704-338-3079 (fax) No phone calls please. EOE.

Legal Analysis: FCC Properly Rules in Favor of Redskins

| December 22, 2014

By Steven J.J. Weisman
TALKERS 
Legal Editor

 

weismanwriterBOSTON — There has been much discussion in recent years about the use of the name “Redskins” for the NFL’s Washington franchise and I believe that such discussion is a healthy exercise of free speech.  The propriety of the name “Redskins” was even determined last June to be inappropriate for continued trademark protection because the name disparages a group.   That decision is presently under appeal.

However, one place that the discussion of the propriety of the name had absolutely no business being discussed was at the FCC during the course of an objection to the radio station license renewal application of Washington, DC radio station WWXX-FM.  This radio station is owned by Dan Snyder, the owner of the NFL’s Redskins, and is part of the team’s radio network.  An objection was filed by a law professor and others to the license renewal, as was his or anyone else’s right.  However his reasoning was totally spurious as recognized by the FCC which showed a little political testosterone and rightfully rejected all of the professor’s objections and renewed the application of WWXX-FM.

Read More

Friday, December 19, 2014

| December 19, 2014

redskins logoSnyder Scores FCC Victory. Ruling that the name of the NFL‘s Washington, DC franchise does not fall under its definition of profanity and it is not equivalent to obscenity, the FCC on Thursday (12/18) refused to order radio and television stations to cease using the team’s Redskins moniker. George Washington University Law School professor of public interest law John Banzhaf is behind the challenge and he comments, “Virtually everyone seems to assume that no radio or television station which repeatedly and unnecessarily used racial slurs on the air would be allowed to continue broadcasting, much less have its valuable broadcasting license renewed.  All we seek is that Native Americans be given the same protection as African Americans, Asians, and other racial and ethnic groups.”  An appeal of Thursday’s decision within the agency and subsequently to the U.S. Court of Appeals is likely. Dan Snyder – who owns the Washington team as well as Red Zebra flagship WTEM – insists he will not change the franchise’s nickname.

pinskydrew

Cumulus Media Expands Relationship with Dr. Drew.  As part of a new, expanded relationship with Dr. Drew Pinsky and radio co-host Mike Catherwood, the “Dr. Drew Midday Live with Mike Catherwood” show will air on Cumulus Media’s KABC, Los Angeles beginning in early January.  At the same time, the company’s Westwood One syndication division also will begin syndicating “Loveline” starting January 1.  “Loveline” will now be airing on a total of 35 Cumulus-owned stations.  According to Cumulus, thekabclogo new KABC midday show will “offer LA listeners unique access to Dr. Drew’s comprehensive advice on a broad range of topics.  Listeners will be encouraged to call in Monday through Friday and enter the discussion with one of the country’s most trusted physicians and media personalities.”  Westwood One currently handles ad sales for “Loveline” and beginning January 1 will also be responsible for syndicating the nightly show to local radio stations nationwide.  “Loveline” will continue to be available digitally via PodcastOne.  Drew Pinsky comments, “I’m really looking forward to becoming part of the Cumulus family and proud to be on the air at the legendary KABC in Los Angeles.  It will be a great platform to connect with listeners during the daytime.  And while ‘Loveline’ continues to be anchored at KROQ, I am thrilled that the show is expanding into new markets at night.  This is a tremendous opportunity and I am grateful.”

businessrockstars radioBusiness Rockstars Welcomes Andy Schuon as Investor, New Board Member.  The multi-platform network Business Rockstars LLC announces media heavyweight Andy Schuon has made an equity investment in the company and has joined the board of directors.  Schuon rejoins longtime collaborator Steve Lehman, chairman of the Business Rockstars, along with co-founder and president Ken Rutkowski, who hosts “Business Rockstars,” the company’s flagship daily radio and television program.  The company says Schuon brings decades of experience to Business Rockstars.  He is co-founder of REVOLT Media & TV with Sean “Diddy” Combs.  Schuon previously programmed KROQ, Los Angeles and served as EVP, programming and production at MTV, MTV2 and VH1.  He also was CEO of pioneering Sony/Universal online music subscription service Pressplay (now Napster).  He worked with the world’s top artists as executive vice president/general manager of Warner Bros. Records, was the head of digital and president, Artist Services at Live Nation/Ticketmaster, president of Infinity Broadcasting and has served on the boards of Premiere Networks, Hot Topic Stores, iLike.com, and Coinstar/Redbox’s new ventures.  Lehman says, “Andy and I have a long history of success together, so his joining our board is a homecoming of sorts.  With Andy on our board of directors, our already rapidly growing entrepreneurial media, mobile and social platform will be kicked into overdrive.  Andy is a world class visionary when it comes to building networks, so we look forward to his contributions as we amplify the culture around entrepreneurial content and programming.”

Odds & Sods.  Sports talker KXTG-AM, Portland “750 The Game” is now being heard on the FM dial on translator K274AR at 102.9.  Alpha Media EVP of programming Scott Mahalick says, “Adding the FM frequency to our sports station will not only help increase revenue and ratings but will play a key role in opening up new live and local kxtg logoopportunities.”…..Play-by-play for Houston Astros games will continue to air on iHeartMedia’s KBME, Houston for the next four years as the two sides agree on a contract renewal.  KBME is also the flagship for the NBA’s Houston Rockets…..ESPN Radio continues its coverage of college football with a 30-game postseason bowl schedule that will include all matchups from the inaugural College Football Playoff and the College Football Playoff National Championship Presented to take place on January 12.  Veteran play-by-play voice Mike Tirico will call the final alongside analyst Todd Blackledge, with reporters Holly Rowe and Joe Schad…..SiriusXM is also on board for college football as the satcaster will offer broadcasts of 35 bowl games including all three games of the College Football Playoff.

pavlinahannityPavlina Returns ‘Most Interviews’ Crown to U.S.  Teen talk host Pavlina Osta (pictured here with Sean Hannity at Talkers New York 2014) has returned the “most interviews” world record to the United States interviewing 347 people in 24 hours to claim the Guinness World Records title.  The record was set at the Walmart in Port Orange, Florida.  Each interview consisted of a minimum of five questions and every question was unique.  The entire 24-hour period (on 11/22-23) was broadcast live on Ustream.tv and via Live365.  For each interview conducted, Pavlina donated one can of pet food to Sophie’s Circle. The previous record holder, Claudio Siepi of Italy had 256 interviews and had held the record since 2012.

sonyradioWalking the Walk.  Media consultant Walter Sabo posted a timely sentiment on his Facebook page for holiday season shoppers.  Sabo’s message shows a picture of a portable Sony radio and the caption reads: “To those of you who love radio and talk about radio all the time I hope you are in fact giving something like this to every single person you know.”

stockMenorahAlan Stock Emcees Menorah Lighting.  KDWN, Las Vegas morning personality Alan Stock is pictured here in downtown Summerlin, Nevada at the community’s Menorah lighting ceremony on December 16.  Stock says almost 300 people turned out for the ceremony braving chilly temperatures.

North Korea-Sony Pictures Hack Case Tops Talkers TenTM This Week.  The hacking of Sony Pictures Entertainment’s computer system – possibly by North Korean operatives – and the threats against the release of the new film The Interview, was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week of December 15-19.  Coming in at #2 was the renewed Cuba relations issue.  At #3 was the Taliban school massacre in Pakistan tied with ISIS violence followed by the Sydney café siege at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

| December 18, 2014

podcastone logoPodcastOne, Associated Press Enter Into Collaboration. The arrangement will deliver real-time news reports in on-demand podcasts. PodcastOne chairman and chief executive officer Norm Pattiz comments that, “The podcast industry is moving faster than ever [and] this is another example of PodcastOne investing heavily in the future of the platform. This has never been done before, because there has never been a podcast platform with the technology, excellent content, and sheer number of shows with enough audience to cover all time-periods every day of every week. The Associated Press recognizes the opportunity, and it will be a great to work with. This cutting-edge movement is another step in the digital evolution of spoken-word audio.” Director of broadcast markets for The Associated Press Michael Fabiano remarks, “We are very pleased to provide AP news and information for PodcastOne and industry pioneer Norm Pattiz. The Associated Press has multiple forms of content, including text, images, video, audio and assignment services for a variety of emerging digital platforms.” Starting next month (January 2015), PodcastOne will be able to make the most current 60-second AP news feature available to listeners at the exact time the podcast is downloaded.

parkerdonParker Picks Up Sacramento Duties. In addition to overseeing programming for iHeartMedia‘s six San Francisco stations, vice president of programming Don Parker expands his role to include the company’s six-station Sacramento cluster.  iHeartMedia executive vice president of programming Brad Hardin comments, “Don’s programming leadership in San Francisco has resulted in significant increased listenership and engagement for our brands.  The additional responsibility for our Sacramento stations is well deserved and I look forward to partnering with Don to grow our reach in Northern California.”  According to Parker, “Our Sacramento stations have evolved greatly.  With market veteran John Geary at the helm, our leadership team and talent in the Sacramento market is shaping up to be among the best in the business.  I am grateful to iHeartMedia for the amazing opportunity.”  The six Sacramento stations involved include country KBEB “B-92.5”; news/talk hybrid KFBK-AM/FM; rhythmic hot AC KHYL “The Beat of Sacramento”; adult hits KQJK “Jack-FM”; and talk KSTE “Talk 650.”  Parker joined iHeartMedia San Francisco in 2009 as operations manager.  He previously was NextMedia‘s vice president of programming and has been a PD in Los Angeles, Houston, Phoenix, Las Vegas and Fresno.

toscanoNewscastWestwood One News Debuts.  Pictured here doing the very first newscast for the new Westwood One News is correspondent Michael Toscano.  The new news service was announced by Cumulus Media earlier this fall and is “powered” by CNN.  The company says Westwood One News was “the only network bureau and staff reporting out of Cuba Wednesday on the major breaking story of a change in relations and the release of Alan Gross – held hostage for five years.”  WW1 also says correspondent Steve Kastenbaum was in Philadelphia, reporting live on the unfolding story of six people shot dead and the killer’s subsequent suicide.

foxnewsradioWYD Media Ad Sales to Rep Fox News Radio Shows.  Beginning on December 29, the national advertising sales for Fox News Radio’s long-form talk shows – John Gibson, Alan Colmes, Tom Sullivan, Kilmeade & Friends and “Fox News Sunday” – will be handled by WYD Media Ad Sales.   WYD will provide customizable opportunities for the ad community while also developing alternative programming options.  WYD Media Ad Sales president John Murphy says, “This is a great way to kick off the New Year.  Fox News Radio is a powerful brand, particularly within the spoken-word format.  Their on-air personalities are proven brand influencers who provide a loyal audience to the advertising marketplace.”  Fox News Radio is currently repped by Westwood One.

deckerjonTwo Join Fox News Radio.  Joining the Fox News Radio operations are Jon Decker and Gurnal Scott.  Decker comes aboard as a White House correspondent based in Washington.  Scott will serve as a national correspondent.  At the same time, Fox News Radio’s Jessica Golloher transitions from her role as a national reporter based in New York to Middle East correspondent based in Jerusalem.

Odds & Sods. WBAL, Baltimore welcomes Clinton Box as general sales manager.  He arrives at the Hearst Radio talk station from similar duties at iHeartMedia San Francisco…..As tipped by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, Chicago journalist Dan Miller is taking over the hosting duties of the television version of the syndicated “Beyond the Beltway” program as Bruce DuMont steps down from that role.  DuMont will still host the radio edition of the show.

yahoosportssmallFour New Air Personalities Join Yahoo! Sports Radio.  With the New Year, Yahoo! Sports Radio welcomes four new talents to the lineup: longtime sports talk host Anthony Pepe daily from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon; Matt Perrault for weekends 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm; Tim Murray for Sundays 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm; and Jason McIntyre for Sundays 11:00 am to 2:00 pm (all times ET).  Perrault will put the spotlight on the week in sports and Murray will focus on professional and college football and college hoops.  McIntyre is founder and publisher of The Big Lead and will provide a roundup of the week’s sports headlines and entertainment.

Sony Pictures Hack Case, 2016 Presidential Prospects, Cuba Relations Issue, Russian Economy/Sinking Oil Prices, Taliban School Massacre, and Battle Against ISIS Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/17).  Sony Pictures’ decision to halt the Christmas Day release of “The Interview” after the company’s computers were hacked and theaters threatened with violence; the potential candidates for president in 2016; a call by President Obama to renew relations with Cuba; the troubled Russian economy and the sinking price of oil; the massacre of more than 150 school children in Pakistan by the Taliban; and the battle against ISIS were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, October 20, 2014

| October 20, 2014

redskins logoWWXX License Renewal Objection Draws Response. The FCC is considering whether it should rule if the team name of the NFL‘s Washington franchise (“Redskins”) is indecent.  One of that team’s three radio flagships – Red Zebra Broadcasting-owned WWXX – has filed its answer to objections regarding the renewal of its broadcast license.  WWXT (92.7) and WWXX (94.3) repeat the signal of primary flagship WTEM “ESPN 980.”  Red Zebra states that its response “makes clear that under the Communications Act and the First Amendment, the FCC should not be in the business of censoring the content of radio stations.  Any debate about the team’s name and its meaning should be held in the free marketplace of ideas, not in the halls of the FCC or any other governmental agency.”  Red Zebra counsel Andrew McBride of Wiley Rein LLP comments, redzebra“We hope the FCC will swiftly reject this transparent attempt to use the license renewal process to intimidate broadcasters across the country with the baseless threat that accurately reporting on the Washington football franchise by using the team’s full name violates any law or FCC regulation.”  Many consider the name of the DC franchise a slur to Native Americans and they have called on team owner – and Red Zebra primary investor – Dan Snyder to change it.  President Barack Obama is among those fccasking the NFL to endorse a name alteration, as are at least one-half the members of the U.S. Senate.  In a preliminary 18-page formal petition to deny renewal of a station’s FCC broadcast license, petitioner John F. Banzhaf III, “a listener to station WWXX, respectfully requests on behalf of himself and others similarly situated, and who are like himself adversely affected or aggrieved, that the agency deny the renewal of this station’s license and any other requests.  It deliberately, repeatedly, and unnecessarily broadcasts the word ‘R*dskins’ during most of its broadcasting day, and especially in prime time where its well documented adverse impact on impressionable young Indian as well as non-Indian children is greatest.  Through its licensee and controlling owner Dan Snyder, also actively encourages or indeed forces many other broadcasters to likewise broadcast a derogatory racial and ethnic slur contrary to the public interest.”  Banzhaf is an American legal activist and a law professor at George Washington University Law School.  The Washington Post editorial board has stopped using the team’s name, and a panel of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office canceled the team’s trademark registration four months ago.  Even so, Snyder vows to keep the name.  TALKERS legal editor Steve J.J. Weisman recently wrote a column about this matter addressing the FCC’s jurisdiction to rule on the issue.  Read that piece here.

cookehollandCooke: Two Weekend Problems, Two Solutions.  In a piece written exclusively for TALKERS, radio consultant Holland Cooke addresses two weekend problems that face talk radio stations and offers a couple of solutions.  He says ask-the-expert shows – i.e. brokered programming from local attorneys, real estate agents, veterinarians, etc. – don’t have to sound bad!  Coach them so their broadcasts are well-executed and informative.  Plus, let these clients use your listen-on-demand capabilities to reach more potential customers and they will be more satisfied with the money they are spending on your station.  Read Cooke’s entire piece here.

barnesgabeHow Mobile Can Save Your Talk Radio Brand.  Digital media pro Gabe Barnes says, in a column exclusive to TALKERS, that he’s surprised by the number of radio execs who are put off by the reported amount of radio app usage that takes place outside of the station’s broadcast range.  They see primarily the streaming fees for a listener who’s outside the “market.”  The Mersoft Media director, business development says that’s not necessarily bad.  “Many of those listening out of the broadcast range are actually local residents or have some ties to that local community.  A local advertisement would be just as effective, provided the advertisement is compelling and targeted.”  But there are more advantages for getting fans of your programming to go “mobile” with it.  Read Barnes’ entire column here.

wtic logoWTIC, Hartford License Renewal on Enforcement Hold.  With the conviction of former Connecticut Governor John Rowland – until April of 2014 the afternoon drive personality on WTIC, Hartford – on campaign fraud charges in the rear view, CBS RADIO’srowlandjohn news/talk WTIC, Hartford is now waiting out an enforcement hold on his license renewal with the FCC.  In a story in the Hartford Courant, Edmund Mahony writes that the hold on the process is due to a “payola” complaint to the FCC related to Rowland’s actions promoting a Republican candidate in a primary race without disclosing – either to the radio audience or the FEC – that he was on that candidate’s payroll.  The FCC doesn’t comment on the specifics of these matters and CBS RADIO is simply confirming that the process is on hold but the company does not know why.  Rowland is set to be sentenced in January.  The station certainly took its share of criticism for hiring Rowland after his first conviction in 2004 on corruption charges related to activities while in the governor’s office.  Now, the station may be liable for a fine or reprimand, according to experts Mahony cites in his story.  Most experts agree a denial of the license renewal for WTIC is unlikely, to say the least.

espnradioESPN Radio to Air World Series. This marks the seventeenth straight year that ESPN Radio has exclusive radio rights to MLB‘s World Series.  ESPN “Sunday Night Baseball” lead play-by-play announcer Dan Shulman and analyst Aaron Boone will function in those capacities on the radio broadcasts for the best-of-seven series that commences tomorrow night (10/21) between the Kansas City Royals and San Francisco Giants.  Pre-game and post-game coverage will be handled by Jon Sciambi, analyst Chris Singleton, ESPN MLB insider Peter Pascarelli, and Marc Kestecher.  Meanwhile, for the tenth successive year, ESPN Deportes Radio will broadcast every game for a Spanish-speaking audience.  San Diego Padres Spanish-language announcer Eduardo Ortega will be joined by Renato Bermudez, Armando Talavera, and Jose Francisco Rivera.

kmbz logoCool Job Opportunity.  One of the top newsrooms in the country, KMBZ in Kansas City, has an immediate opening for a Morning Show Executive News Producer.  This is a unique opportunity for someone with great writing skills, an appetite for everything news, and a desire to create exclusive content each and every day.  Candidates need to have a news background, and a good understanding of news-wheel operations.  Reporting experience would be very good as well.  “Kansas City’s Morning News” and KMBZ are committed to finding the right person to fill this position.  If you have what it takes, send a resume, along with anything else that will make you shine to KMBZJobs@gmail.com.  KMBZ and Entercom Kansas City are an Equal Opportunity Employer.

salemIsraelSalem Personalities in Israel.  Four Salem Communications Christian teaching talk personalities are accompanying more than 350 listeners on a trip through the Holy Land.  Pictured here from left to right are: Mark Daniels, WFIL, Philadelphia; Frank Sontag, KKLA, Los Angeles; Georgene Rice, KPDQ, Portland; and Kevin McCullough, nationally syndicated and WMCA, New York after a lunch on Mt. Carmel in Haifa, Israel.  Also joining the listeners and personalities on this trip is Salem Communications radio division president David Santrella.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

| August 28, 2014

nilonsusanSarasota Talk Station Owner Says, “AM Radio Is the Future of Radio!”  Time and time again, the question is asked, “What does the future hold for AM radio?”  Articles are written with predictions of AM’s demise due to the lack of interest of the “Millennials,” or how internet and satellite radio will make it almost impossible for AM to compete in such a fickle industry.  While these predictions seem to make sense to the untrained ear, WSRQ, Sarasota owner/GM Susan Nilon writes, “It reminds me of a time several decades earlier when experts attributed the demise of movie theaters due to the advent of the video cassette recorder.  Or the slow death of vinyl records, due to the portability and popularity of the compact disc.  Well, here we are 30 years later, and the US and Canada box office revenue in 2013 was $10.9 billion with 68% of the population in attendance and ‘vinyl sales hit their highest level since at least 1991, with six million units sold’ according to industry data.  While it’s fun and sometimes smart to try to predict the future, if these ‘predictions’ impact the decision makers of this industry by encouraging them to enter into a self-fulfilling prophecy of AM radio, then they are not only short-sighted, but are foolish as well.”  Nilon goes on to provide a solution to avoid the danger of this negative syndrome in a new article posted today (8/28) in TALKERS.  To read it, please click here.

redskins logoNew Challenge for Dan Snyder’s “Redskins” Problem.  As you know, the critics of the NFL’s Washington Redskins team name are getting more persistent but now a George Washington University professor is vowing to challenge the FCC-granted licenses of radio outlets that carry Redskins football play-by-play.  In a piece in Broadcasting & Cable by John Eggerton, professor John Banzhaf lays out a laundry list of tactics – starting with challenging the licenses of stations owned by Dan Snyder’s Red Zebra Broadcasting that carry Washington football – to force the name change.  Banzhaf tells B&C/Multichannel News, “One could argue by analogy to obscenities (including even fleeting ones), to hate speech, to profanity (‘including language so grossly offensive to members of the public who actually hear it as to amount to a nuisance’), to the Drug Lyrics Policy, or more generally that using racist derogatory words on the air when it isn’t necessary isn’t consistent with the legal requirement to operate in the ‘public interest, convenience, and necessity.’”  It’s not difficult to imagine the arguments that could be made in court surrounding many of Banzhaf’s potential tactics and most raise the issue of the FCC getting involved in regulating content beyond obscenity.  Read the entire piece here.

mannellypatrickWSCR, Chicago Fills Dan McNeil’s Shoes with Former Bear Patrick Mannelly.  The CBS RADIO sports talk station didn’t take long to find a partner for midday personality Matt Spiegel after contract talks finally ended with longtime WSCR personality Dan McNeil.  Recently retired Chicago Bears long snapper Patrick Mannelly will join Spiegel for “The Spiegel and Mannelly Show, effective September 2.  In a press release, “The Score” program director Mitch Rosen says, “For Mannelly to join our team just a couple months removed from playing for the Bears and the NFL is what makes this work so well.  His insight, opinions and energy will make this a terrific Chicago sports radio show.  Spiegel and Mannelly bring a great mix of intelligent sports content and insider knowledge to our team.”

zitojeffJeff Zito Named Afternoon Personality at Fort Myers Sports Talker.  Market pro Jeff Zito – who is well known for his work with former partner Bob Garrett on the “Zito and Garrett” show that aired on crosstown talk WXRK and rock WJBX – is joining Sun Broadcasting’s sports talk duo WFWN, Fort Myers/WNOG, Naples “1240/1270 The Fan” to host the afternoon drive show.  Other changes at the station include the addition of DirecTV/Fox Sports Radio’s Dan Patrick in late mornings and CBS Sports Radio Network programming in the evenings.  Program director Joseph Lopez says, “I am very excited for the new additions to ‘The Fan!’  I honestly feel with [morning host] Thom Abraham and Jeff giving the community their local takes plus national voices as well respected as Dan Patrick and Jim Rome, this makes for the best sports lineup Southwest Florida has ever seen.”

wfed logoLineup Changes at Hubbard’s WFED, Washington.  A new role is created for current morning drive co-host Emily Kopp at Hubbard Radio’s WFED, Washington “Federal News Radio.”  Kopp will leave her role alongside morning host Tom Temin to begin serving as a full-time reporter for the station’s digital and radio operations, effective September 2.  As such she will contribute to the morning program and will be featured on the Francis Rose-hosted “In-Depth” program.  At the same time, current morning digital writer/editor Shefali Kapadia becomes producer of the morning show and the station will hire a new digital writer to fill her current position.  WFED program director Lisa Wolfe states, “Emily has quite a bit of expertise that we can now take full advantage of.  She will become our special correspondent at the intersection of radio and digital news.  Her reporting, writing and video skills will help enhance the efforts of the entire organization.”

klonkKlonk Chosen as Connoisseur Connecticut Promotions Chief. Former classic rock WCCC, Hartford promotion director and on-air talent Klonk is appointed promotion director for Connoisseur Media Connecticut.  Regional operations manager Keith Dakin observes that, “Klonk not only has strong name recognition in the market, but has the experience and knowledge of this area that these stations truly need.  She will be an immediate asset as we continue to redefine our stations.”  Klonk states, “I am very excited to start the next chapter of my radio career at such a great station and company.  I’m very grateful for this great opportunity that Connoisseur Connecticut has given me; it is an honor to be a part of this fantastic team.” Klonk – who begins her new assignment next Tuesday (9/2) – spent over 10 years at WCCC. When Educational Media Foundation acquired WCCC from Marlin Broadcasting the first of this month (8/1), it transitioned the station to its contemporary Christian K-LOVE format. Connoisseur Media Connecticut consists of WDRC-AM “The Talk of Connecticut,” Hartford; classic hits WDRC-FM, Hartford; talk WMMW, Meriden; talk WSNG, Torrington; and talk WWCO, Waterbury.

hartmannthomPortland Media Deal to Give Thom Hartmann and Carl Wolfson Better Market Coverage.  After the demise two years ago of progressive talker KPOJ, Portland, fans of personalities such as local hostwolfsoncarl Carl Wolfson and national figure Thom Hartmann were relegated to hearing them online via XRAY.fm or on 7-watt low power FM KXRY.  Now, Willamette Week reports a deal with MetroEast Community Media will give the two personalities more coverage as they will also be heard on translator K296FT at 107.1 which covers more of the metro – especially the southwestern suburbs.  The deal will be fully consummated this fall and will create a non-commercial trifecta that will include talk, news and music.

Odds & Sods.  A new channel is debuting on SiriusXM as the satcaster and the Turner Broadcasting-owned Bleacher Report agree to program a new sports destination.  In a statement, SiriusXM says Bleacher Report is “the leading digital destination for team-specific sports content and real-time event coverage and is one of the fastest-growing digital properties in the U.S.”  SiriusXM began airing a daily Bleacher Report-branded show in 2013 and now expands to give it a full channel of its own…..Fans of Western Michigan University sports will still be able to hear play-by-play on Midwest Communications stations as the school and the company have extended their deal in the Kalamazoo market that will have alternative WZOX serve as the flagship for football, men’s basketball and hockey…..The Philadelphia Eagles and CBS RADIO‘s “SportsRadio 94WIP” are announcing the annual Eagles Radiothon hits the airwaves at 6:00 am on Tuesday, September 2 and closes on Thursday, September 4 at 6:00 pm. Fans will be able to bid on exclusive sports and entertainment prizes with many involving their favorite Eagles players and “SportsRadio 94WIP” personalities.  All proceeds benefit Eagles Youth Partnership’s vital health and education programs that serve over 50,000 low-income children in the area.

conclaveThe Conclave Announces Dates, Tuition for November Conference.  The 39th annual Conclave Learning Conference will be held November 14-15, 2014 at the Crown Plaza Hotel Airport in Minneapolis, and is presented in partnership with the Minnesota Broadcasters Association (MBA).  The Conclave announces that the deadline to save $50 on early bird registration for the event is August 31. After that, registration jumps from $249 to $299.  To register, visit theconclave.com.

Obama Climate Change Ploy, Russian Aggression in Ukraine, ISIS Campaigns/U.S. Military Policy in Iraq and Syria, Michael Brown Death Aftermath, Burger King Leaving America Controversy, Ebola Threat, Mid-Term Elections/2016 Presidential Race, and ESPN’s Michael Sam Shower Story Flap Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/27).  Reports that President Obama plans to skirt the Senate for a global climate change treaty; new indications Russia is backing Ukrainian rebels with military force; the ISIS campaigns and U.S. military policy in Iraq and Syria; talk about race relations in America and police brutality against minorities in the wake of the Michael Brown death in Ferguson, Missouri; controversy over Burger King’s plans to merge with Tim Horton’s and avoid the U.S. corporate tax rate; the ongoing threat of an Ebola pandemic; the looming mid-term elections and chatter about the frontrunners in the 2016 presidential race; and ESPN’s apology for its story about openly gay NFL player Michael Sam’s showering habits were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, August 11, 2014

| August 11, 2014

kellermanmaxESPN Suspends Kellerman. There is yet more fallout related to the ugly domestic violence incident that led to Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice‘s two-game ban for domestic violence.  As we have already reported, ESPN suspended Stephen A. Smith for a week after the commentator suggested that women should be careful not to “provoke” domestic violence incidents.  Smith labeled those comments the biggest mistake of his career and he apologized for making the inference.  The network has now reportedly handed out a suspension to ESPN Los Angeles (KSPN) and “SportsNation” host Max Kellerman, who acknowledged hitting his girlfriend quite a few years ago.  Kellerman was talking with Steve Mason & John Ireland, whose radio program precedes the one co-hosted by Kellerman and former NFL player Marcellus Wiley (“Max &kspnlogo Marcellus,” weekdays 3:00 pm – 7:00 pm).  Kellerman was recollecting a college-era incident involving his then-girlfriend.  She and Kellerman had been drinking and according to Kellerman, they slapped each other.  Kellerman stressed that the two have been happily married (for roughly 20 years).  In a statement ESPN released last Friday (8/8), the network would not confirm the suspension, but stated, “Max Kellerman will return to ESPN Los Angeles Radio and SportsNation on Thursday [8/14].”  In addition to his ESPN duties, Kellerman is an HBO Sports boxing analyst.  As you might recall, Rice and his then-fiancée, Janay Palmer, who is now his wife, were involved in a physical altercation with each other this past February.  Rice was suspended by the NFL for violating its personal-conduct policy.

wtemlogoCumulus Rumored to Be Eying Dan Snyder’s Red Zebra DC Properties.  The story is reported by Dave HughesDCRTV.com that Cumulus Media is interested in the four signals that make up the Red Zebra Washington, DC-area cluster, including  WTEM, Washington; WSPZ, Bethesda, Maryland; WWXT-FM, Prince Frederick, Maryland; and WWXX, Buckland, Virginia.  The station group has been on the block for a while and DCRTV.com speculates that Cumulus would like to get its country “NASH FM” format into the Washington metro.

pagliarulojoeJoe Pags to Be Interim ‘America Now’ Host.  The 130 affiliates of Premiere Networks’ “America Now” program will be getting San Antonio-based talk personality Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo.  Joe Pags tells TALKERS magazine that the syndicated program – which until recently featured Andy Dean as host – will carry his daily show based at WOAI and that is also heard on Clear Channel-owned stations KPRC, Houston; KEX, Portland; KHOW, Denver; and KTLK, Minneapolis,  for the foreseeable future while a new host for the show is sought.

sagaSaga Communications Reports Flat Q2.  On 2014 second quarter operating revenue of $33.8 million, Saga Communications announces it was compared to the same period a year ago.  Other figures reported include: operating income from continuing operations was $8.2 million; net income for the period was $4.8 million; and free cash flow was $5.9 million.  Station operating expense was $23.5 million (station operating expense includes depreciation and amortization attributable to the stations).  Net operating revenue for the period ended June 30, 2014 increased 0.7% to $63.3 million compared to $62.8 million for the same period last year.

wrhdWRHD, Greenville Flips to Sports Talk.  Dropping the adult contemporary format for sports talk is Inner Banks Media-owned AC WRHD, Greenville, North Carolina “Star 94.3” which begins a new life as “94.3 The Game.”  The station is using regional sports talk from Capitol Broadcasting’s Raleigh-Durham sports stations “ESPN Triangle” and Fox Sports Radio content.  Morning drive features WDNC, Durham personalities Mike & Mark (Mike Maniscalco and Mark Thomas) and WCMC, Raleigh afternoon drivers Adam Gold and Joe Ovies.  Middays include FSRN’s Andy Furman and Mike North followed by Jay Mohr.  Evenings and weekends feature FSRN programming.

komandostudioNew Production Facility to Coincide with Kim Komando TV Show Evolution.  As the Kim Komando program continues its evolution from a pure radio program to a combo radio/digital TV show, WestStar MultiMedia Entertainment announces it is procuring a new 24,000 square foot live facility in central Phoenix to be the new home of the company.  WestStar president and CEO Barry Young says, “Over the past year, we have been experimenting with a live HD video production of the Kim Komando show.  While we cannot envision any scenario whereby we would move away from our core product, radio, we also realize that the ‘core product’ is changing rapidly.  Radio producers who rely on a ‘one-camera web-shot’ video product will be caught short of the new standard.  For this reason, we believe that nothing less than a full digital HD video production, suitable to network and broadcast syndication, is appropriate for an established benchmark program such as the Kim Komando show.  That level of production, together with future projects still under wraps, is not possible with anything less than a major-league production facility, such as the one we are building here in Phoenix.”  The company says that the new facility (seen in the artist’s rendering here) will be fully operational by May of 2015 and will serve as the new home to WestStar Corporate Offices, broadcast, digital sales, entertainment, film operations, 24-hour network broadcast operations center and all online operations.  The plant will incorporate five digital radio broadcast studios, two voice-over studios, two digital radio production rooms, three digital video production edit rooms, radio master control, television master control, a 2,500 square foot television sound stage and a high-security server hosting facility.

deanmichaelwSetting Up WordPress and PodPress for a Podcast.  Syndicated talk show host Michael W. Dean began his radio program as a podcast.  He writes a brief column for TALKERS today (8/11) that introduces his philosophy of podcasting and provides a link to a step-by-step video that shows talk show producers how to navigate WordPress and the PodPress plugin to get their programs up and running.  Check it out here.

smithlogginsWABCKenny Loggins Guests on ‘The Saturday Café’ on WABC, New York.  Music icon Kenny Loggins was Laura Smith’s guest on WABC’s “Saturday Café” this past weekend.  The show aired at 7:00 pm on Saturday during which Loggins talked about writing songs as a teen, touring the world with his new shows, and his passion for music.  He also promoted his latest project – a new album with a country/rock trio called The Blue Sky Riders – that is being released through a Kickstarter campaign.  Pictured here are Loggins (left) and Smith (right).

nicholawgeorgeLos Angeles Radio Mourns George Nicholaw’s Passing. Owing to the fact that George Nicholaw was among a rare group of radio general managers who passionately and regularly delivered on-air editorials, listeners to Los Angeles all-news operation KNX were very familiar with his name and voice.  The longtime Southern California broadcaster was 85 when he passed away this past Saturday (8/9).  Nicholaw had been with CBS Radio-owned KNX for 36 years (1967-2003), including when the station adopted its all-news format in 1968.  Exiting the station at the age of 74, he filed what proved to be an unsuccessful lawsuit against KNX ownership for age discrimination.  Regarding Nicholaw, veteran KNX business anchor Frank Mottek commented, “He was a fine gentleman and a broadcast pioneer.  He took an enormous amount of pride in journalism, and in excellence in broadcasting.”  On his Facebook page, former KNX anchor Larry Van Nuys notes, “I am saddened by the passing of broadcasting giant George Nicholaw.  While I can’t claim to have known him well, I can say it is a great loss to all of us who admired him.  I, along with so many others, benefitted from his journalistic integrity, broadcasting courage and lasting legacy.  He had talent, great understanding, and class.” Nicholaw died at his home after being hospitalized with an infection.