Tag: "David Yadgaroff"

Friday, August 10, 2018

| August 10, 2018

WEEI-FM’s Minihane Set to Discuss Depression. The genuine intimacy between a radio talent and the audience will most likely again be strongly in evidence when Entercom Boston sports talk WEEI-FM’s Kirk Minihane returns to the air today (Friday, 8/10) on the 5:30 am – 10:00 am “Kirk & (Gerry) Callahan Show.” In a tweet yesterday (8/9) at 2:47 pm, Minihane wrote, “I’ve talked a lot about my issues with depression, and I’ve battled it the last three months or so. Last Thursday night, I checked into the ER at Winchester Hospital with suicidal thoughts. I was then moved to McLean, where I was treated and released earlier this week.” One minute later (2:48 pm), he followed with, “I’ll be back at work tomorrow, and I’m a little nervous about it – but I’m not ashamed or embarrassed. We’ll do what we do – we’ll talk about it.” McLean Hospital in Belmont (suburban Boston) is regarded as one of the country’s best psychiatric facilities. Highly-controversial and opinionated Minihane joined what was then the “(John) Dennis and Callahan” show in 2013. He was suspended for “unsavory” language toward Fox Sports reporter Erin Andrews. He later made headlines when he said the New England Patriots should “hire someone to murder” Roger Goodell over the NFL commissioner’s handling of “deflategate.” Earlier this year, Minihane claimed he would be taking a year off from sports talk radio, insisting he is “tired of being treated like a child” by station management. In Nielsen Audio’s just-released July 2018 Boston PPM results, WEEI-FM is up one-tenth to 4.2 (#8, 6+), while cross-town rival – Beasley Media Group-owned WBZ-FM “The Sports Hub” regresses by one-half share (3.8, #10, 6+).

Stunner: Lanigan Logs Off WTAM. It’s one of those management nightmares when an on-air talent literally quits on the air. It happened in Cleveland two days ago (8/8) when John Lanigan announced Wednesday’s show on WTAM would be his last. For the past four years, Lanigan had done a one-hour (9:00 am – 10:00 am) program called “The Spew” on the iHeartMedia news/talk property. After a segment on the worst presidents in history, however, Lanigan according to a report on WEWS-TV “News 5,” Cleveland “diverted significantly from the show’s scheduled topics” approximately halfway through “The Spew.” Apparently out-of-the-blue, Lanigan ad-libbed to co-host Mike Trivisonno, “Can I talk to you for a second, quickly? I want to tell you what a privilege it has been working with you these last few years. You are the class act in radio. I’ve enjoyed every minute of it [but] I won’t be doing ‘The Spew’ ever again – I’m quitting today. I’m done – I won’t be back. I won’t be on ‘The Spew.’” The 75-year-old Lanigan went on to say (in a clip posted by WKYC-TV, Cleveland) that he’s no longer interested in what the NFL’s Cleveland Browns do and he doesn’t think he’s smart enough to discuss politics. “There’s too divisive an attitude in the country right now; I don’t think I’m qualified to tell listeners what they should be thinking,” Lanigan remarked. WTAM program director Ray Davis finished the rest of that day’s “Spew.” In 1971, Lanigan rather famously replaced Don Imus on Cleveland’s WGAR. For 29 years (1985 – 2014), Nebraska-born Lanigan – a 2013 National Radio Hall of Fame inductee – did morning drive with John Webster and Jimmy Malone on Cleveland classic hits-oldies outlet WMJI.

Entercom Now In TBA With WBEB. Prior to officially closing on its $57.5 million purchase of Jerry Lee Radio Philadelphia’s WBEB “101.1 More FM,” Entercom took over operation of the adult contemporary property yesterday (Thursday, 9/9) under a Time Brokerage Agreement (TBA). It marks the end of an era as WBEB was perhaps the lone genuine standalone property in a PPM-market – no sister station anywhere else. Entercom Philadelphia senior vice president/market manager David Yadgaroff remarks, “I am excited to welcome WBEB, one of the country’s most recognized and awarded stations, to our portfolio of Philadelphia radio stations. The addition of WBEB will be a great complement to our lineup that already includes KYW ‘News Radio 1060’; WIP ‘94 Sports Radio’; WPHT ‘Talk Radio 1210’; [adult contemporary] WTDY; and [classic hits-oldies] WOGL.” Elsewhere in the market, Beasley Media Group approximately three weeks ago (7/23) similarly assumed operations of Entercom’s WXTU “92.5 Philadelphia’s Country Station” under a TBA in advance of finalizing that station’s $38 million purchase. Among persons 6+ in Nielsen Audio’s July 2018 Philadelphia PPM report, WBEB regresses by seven-tenths (8.5 – 7.8) to slip from first to second, while WXTU (5.8, sixth to fifth, 6+) is without a loss for the seventh successive sweep for a cumulative gain of +2.2.

Univision Q2: Net Income Up, Radio Ad Revenue Down. For second-quarter 2018, Univision Communications’ net income rose from $106.1 million to $114.3 million; however, radio ad revenue dropped 3.6% to $61.7 million. Overall radio revenue fell 3.1% to $64.7 million, with total radio core revenue off 5.5% to $60.5 million. In addition, Univision’s aggregate revenue declined 2% year-to-year to $749.8 million with total core revenue (excluding political and content licensing revenue) down 3.1% to $730.3 million. Chief executive officer Vince Sadusky observes, “This is a company I have long admired as one of the great franchises in U.S. media and for its important mission to serve the Hispanic community. Despite a rapidly evolving media landscape, the company has a lot to be optimistic about and an incredibly strong foundation to build from. We provide unparalleled access to a coveted and fast growing consumer group with increasing buying power. While our foundation is strong, Univision has gone through a significant amount of change over the last few months. We are starting an exciting new chapter with a singular focus on our core business and mission – to inform, entertain and empower Hispanic America.” Sadusky succeeded Randy Falco as CEO in late-May (2018).

Final Round of July 2018 PPM Data Released. The fourth and final round of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s July 2018 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets: Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen Audio’s July 2018 survey period covered June 21 – July 18. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.

Sir Charles In Charge. Once each year, Charles Barkley co-hosts all fours hours of Mike Missanelli’s afternoon drive show (2:00 pm – 6:00 pm) on Beasley Media Group Philadelphia sports talk outlet WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic.” The former NBA star did so yesterday (Thursday, 8/9) and discussed topics like the Eagles first preseason game; the expectations for the Sixers this season; and if the Phillies can keep up their great play. “The Round Mound of Rebound” spent the first eight years of his 16-year NBA career with the Sixers. He also played for the Phoenix Suns and Houston Rockets. For the past 18 years, Barkley has been a studio analyst for Turner Network Television (TNT), appearing on the network’s NBA coverage during pre-game and halftime shows. Pictured in the photo at the right (from left to right) are Missanelli, Natalie Egenolf, Barkley, and Tyrone Johnson.

TALKERS News Notes. Adding radio duties as co-host (with program director Justin Acri) of “The Zone” (10:00 am – 1:00 pm) on Signal Media Little Rock sports talker KABZ “103.7 The Buzz” is Wess Moore, sports director of Little Rock’s KLRT-TV “Fox 16.” He succeeds Pat Bradley, who exits after 11 years to relocate to his native Boston; Bradley played college basketball for the University of Arkansas Razorbacks. Acri comments, “We are going to really miss Pat in ‘The Zone,’ but certainly understand the draw of family. He has been a huge part of ‘The Buzz’ team and our success for more than a decade. He will continue to be a great featured contributor to the station going forward.  I know he will always consider Little Rock and Arkansas a second home – regardless of where he’s living.” Moore adds, “I am excited to be joining such a successful sports talk radio station with a rich history in Arkansas. ‘The Buzz’ has some of the best personalities in the business – I’m honored to get the opportunity to work alongside them. I look forward to being a part of ‘The Zone’ with Justin Acri, who has created an entertaining, smart show engaging sports fans on all levels.” Moore previously hosted “Game On with Wess Moore” for High Plains Radio Network’s Benton, Arkansas-licensed sports talk KAFN “Fox Sports Arkansas”; he begins his KABZ assignment next Monday (8/13) ….. In partnership with SiriusXM, the Charlotte-based Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) is establishing a permanent “Billy Graham Channel.” Headlined by messages of the late Christian evangelist, “The Billy Graham Channel” debuts one week from Monday (8/20), on SiriusXM Channel 460, becoming the satcaster’s fifth spoken-word “Religion” channel and the first featuring a continuous delivery of evangelistic content. BGEA chief executive officer Franklin Graham comments, “We are excited that SiriusXM will have a permanent Billy Graham channel. Many people have told us how much it has meant to them to hear my father’s timeless messages of truth.” Since last November, “The Billy Graham Channel” has appeared as a limited-run offering on four occasions, including a tribute channel in conjunction with Dr. Graham’s passing in February.

Week’s Top Topics.  The Trump-Russia investigation; Paul Manafort trial;  Ohio special election; various state primaries; midterm elections;  trade wars;  China tariffs;  Russia sanctions;  Rep. Chris Collins indictment;  Alex Jones and social media; LeBron James education initiative; California wildfires and their causes; New Mexico compound child abuse;  TribuneSinclair non-deal;  MLB action; and NFL training camps-pre-season games were the most-talked-about-topics on American news/talk radio this past week of August 6-10, 2018 according to the ongoing research of TALKERS magazine. To see the complete list of top topics and most-talked-about people of the week, please click here.

Harrison Podcast Resurrects 36-Year-Old Interview with Apple I and Apple II Inventor Steve Wozniak. In commemoration of Apple, Inc. reaching the historic milestone of a one trillion dollar valuation, TALKERS founder Michael Harrison dug up a 36-year-old interview that he conducted with Apple, Inc. co-founder Steve Wozniak, the designer and inventor of the original Apple I and II personal computers. It is the centerpiece of this week’s installment of the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Originally aired in 1982 on the pioneering national cable TV talk show “Harrison’s Mic,” the 24-minute conversation explores the beginnings of Apple Computer, Inc. (as it was then called) from what was a relatively recent perspective (it was only six years old). More importantly, it reveals the prescient thinking and perspective of one of the most important electronic designers and computer scientists of the digital era (and eventual philanthropist) when he was only 32 years old and society had merely scratched the surface of the revolution about to change the way people live and think. This fascinating interview is a must-listen for pop culture enthusiasts and media freaks. Michael Harrison states, “I am only first understanding the level of historical and intellectual gold that exists in the thousands of interviews, specials and broadcasts collecting dust in my archives that go back a half-century. We never realized when this content was being created in those early days that it would be of such historical interest and value. It just seemed like disposable pop content of the moment. This gem of a conversation with the great Steve Wozniak, which I hadn’t heard in more than three decades, is a prime example. I am so happy to share it in 2018 upon the milestone of Apple setting such astonishing records.” To listen to the interview in its entirety, please click here.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Dubbed “The most-listened-to woman on radio,” Premiere Networks’ nighttime adult contemporary personality Delilah returned to New York City last Thursday (8/2) to host the annual summer performance, “Broadway in Bryant Park.” Presented by Delilah’s NYC affiliate, iHeartMedia AC WLTW “106.7 Lite FM,” the six-week event takes place at noon every Thursday (July 12 – August 16) and features performances of the biggest hits from the most popular shows on and off Broadway. Highlighted last week, for example, were “Aladdin,” “Frozen,” and “The Lion King.” An inductee of both the National Radio Hall of Fame and NAB Broadcasting Hall of Fame, Delilah will be back next Thursday (8/16) to close out the series and welcome performances from “Be More Chill,” “Gettin’ The Band Back Together, “Once On This Island” and “School of Rock.” Pictured here from left to right are “Aladdin” cast members Major Attaway (“Genie”); Arielle Jacobs (“Jasmine”); Delilah, and Telly Young (“Aladdin”) …. Specifically targeting mainstream CHRs, rhythmic CHRs, and hip-hop stations, the five-hour “Dana Cortez Show” is the first result of a joint syndication and sales initiative that was announced four months ago between ABC Radio and Skyview Networks. An ensemble cast is led by one of the first Latinas to host a nationally syndicated show. ABC Radio vice president and general manager Steve Jones comments, “Dana is a transformational talent whose voice connects with a very broad audience and women in particular. We are extremely proud to syndicate ‘The Dana Cortez Show’ and help Dana, [her executive producer and husband] ‘DJ Automatic’ and ‘Anthony A’ [comedian Anthony Almanzar] entertain more listeners and drive affiliate revenue.” Skyview Networks president Ken Thiele remarks, “When we started this collaboration with ABC Radio, ‘The Dana Cortez Show’ is exactly the type of gold we were hoping to find – programs and personality with momentum on the rise. We welcome them to the family.” Cortez adds that, “Partnering with ABC Radio and Skyview Networks is the realization of a lifelong dream. From day one, Steve Jones and his team have championed having a female host as the lead for their morning syndication. It sends a very powerful message and I’m excited to help pave the way. Today’s audience expects authenticity, there are no secrets between us – nothing is off limits. Every morning is brimming with culture and content. Originality is at the core of everything we do. We believe our show is radio reimagined. It’s not what we do, it’s how we do it.” Cortez joined Univision Radio San Antonio rhythmic CHR KBBT “98.5 The Beat” three years ago from similarly-formatted KKSS “Kiss 97.3,” Albuquerque ….. Catapulting from his role of program director of iHeartMedia Myrtle Beach (South Carolina) CHR WWXM “Mix 97.7,” Ron Roberts takes on similar duties at Entercom Atlanta hot AC WSTR “Star 94.” He succeeds Tony Lorin, who exited earlier this year; a successor to Roberts at “Mix” is yet to be named … In iHeartMedia’s San Diego cluster, KGB-FM “San Diego’s Classic Rock” and KIOZ “Rock 105.3” program director Shauna Moran is promoted to director of rock programming for both stations. Meanwhile, KGB afternoon co-host Bob Buchmann becomes KGB’s operations manager/music director. According to Moran, “It has been an amazing week for KGB with the triumphant return home of DSC in mornings and the assembling of a powerhouse line up: Clint August in middays; Bob and Coe [Lewis] in afternoons; and Marc Coppola in nights. It also is a privilege to name Bob operations manager and music director for KGB.” Prior to joining KGB-FM and KIOZ in 1996, Moran spent five years in Denver as promotion director for KAZY, KRFX, and KBPI. Buchmann, who did mornings on KGB-FM before shifting to afternoons, has programmed WAXQ, New York; KLOS, Los Angeles; and was vice president of programming for WBAB, Long Island ….. Starting next month (9/4), changes at Bonneville Denver adult contemporary KOSI “Real-Music-Variety” will find three-year afternoon host Jackie Selby shifting to mid-days, replacing Denise Plante, who departed last month. The afternoon slot vacated by Selby will be taken over by Melissa Moore, who will cross the hallway from country sibling KYGO, where she handles mid-days. Selby’s previous Denver background includes alternative KXPK “96.5 The Peak,” hot AC KALC “Alice 106,” classic hits-oldies KXKL “Kool 105,” and adult standards KTNI “101.5 Martini on the Rockies.” Moore returns to KOSI, where she was morning co-host in the late-1990’s. Her resume includes Orlando’s WWKA “Country “K-92,” Minneapolis hot AC KSTP-FM “KS 95,” and afternoons on the contemporary Christian “WAY-FM” network …..Five-year Radio One Indianapolis CHR WNOW “100.9 Radio Now” integrated media specialist Tony Severino will join crosstown Sarkes Tarzian triple A WTTS “92.3 World Class Rock – Experience The Music” next Tuesday (8/14) as director of sales. “His enthusiasm for our industry and what we can do for clients is outstanding,” states WTTS president and general manager Geoff Vargo, while station manager Brad Holtz notes, “The passion he has for the opportunities that lie ahead for our unique brand of local radio was evident upon our first conversation.” Severino succeeds Daryl McIntire, who has left the station ….. To promote the addition of Premiere Networks morning talent Bobby Bones to its on-air lineup (5:00 am – 10:00 am), iHeartMedia Louisville’s WAMZ “97.5 Kentuckiana’s #1 for Country” partnered with “Field of Screams” to showcase a guitar-playing skeleton and “The Bobby Bones Show” logo. Including a six-acre corn maze, the annual haunted house event is open from September 16 through October 27 in Brandenburg, Kentucky ….. Alpha Media Canton, Ohio hot AC WHBC-FM “Mix 94.1” is the latest affiliate of Envision NetworksEnvisionVirtualServices. According to “Mix” program director John Stewart, [meteorologist] John Wetherbee is mindful of Ohio’s ever-changing weather pattern. If our weather changes, he updates his forecasts.”

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

| August 7, 2018

Field Answers USTN Lawsuit: “Ridiculous allegations.” As we reported last Monday (Talkers.com, 7/30), in a complaint filed in Harris County, Texas District Court, United States Traffic Network is suing Entercom for material and punitive damages “in excess of $5 million.” USTN alleges that Entercom entered into negotiations to buy the company and walked away from the deal at the last minute with the intent of developing a directly competitive business. Yesterday (Monday, 8/6), Entercom president/CEO David Field addressed the lawsuit in an internal memo. He writes, “The truth is we have acted in good faith and made every reasonable effort and then some to assist USTN in fixing their challenging issues.” Entercom released a statement including the following quote on the situation: “We are relieved to no longer be mired by the difficult USTN situation that was inherited as part of the CBS Radio merger. We will move quickly to augment our strong internal sales organization to ensure that we realize the full value of this inventory. With leading news brands like WINS, New York; KNX, Los Angeles; and WBBM, Chicago, Entercom has the industry’s most valuable traffic inventory. We are pleased to be in control of our own destiny as we pursue opportunities in this attractive market segment.” In response to the lawsuit, Field states, “Entercom believes it is entirely baseless, frivolous and frankly insulting. Entercom has worked tirelessly and constructively with USTN over the past six months to help USTN work through its significant financial issues. Entercom is owed substantial amounts of money by USTN, and the company intends to defend itself vigorously and assert all of its rights.” In yesterday’s memo, Field states, “To say the least, it is disappointing to read the ridiculous allegations that USTN has made when the truth is that we have acted in good faith and made every reasonable effort and then some to assist USTN in fixing their challenging issues. In order to set the record straight and ensure that you have all the facts regarding our relationship with USTN, I have included a summary of the events over the past 8 ½ months.” Click here to read the rest of Field’s memo.

Bortnick Joins iHeartMedia D.C. as Senior VP/Sales. Six-year vice president of sales for Entercom Washington (D.C.), Danny Bortnick crosses the street to become senior vice president of sales for iHeartMedia’s five stations in the Nation’s Capital. Region president Michael Preacher remarks, “We couldn’t be more pleased to welcome Danny to iHeartMedia. Danny has earned a great reputation building client-centric sales organizations while creating a positive work culture. He is the perfect fit for us.” Bortnick adds, “I am thrilled to be joining some of the most iconic brands in [the market], as well as one of the most recognizable media brands in the country.” Bortnick, who has a marketing and management degree from the University of Miami – School of Business, began his radio career 13 years ago as an account executive at Katz Radio in New York City and Atlanta. After a year at Katz, he became an account executive – and later, digital sales manager – at New York City all-news outlet WINS and then, director of sales for Salem Media Group New York City.

Saga Reports 6.5% Q2 Net Revenue Increase. For the quarter ending June 30, Saga Communications net revenue increased to $32.2 million. Meanwhile, operating income increased 2.7% to $6 million and station operating expense increased 8% to $23.1 million. Free cash flow from continuing operations was $6 million for the quarter, compared to $4.8 million for the same period last year. On a same station basis, net revenue decreased .6% to $30.1 million; operating income increased 1.5% to $6 million; and station operating expense decreased 1% to $21.2 million. The company had $52.9 million in cash on hand as of June 30, and $53.3 million as of yesterday (8/6). The company’s total long-term debt was $25 million as of June 30. Results for the quarter and six-month period were affected by the sale of the company’s television stations and purchase of radio stations in Charleston and Hilton Head (South Carolina) on September 1, 2017. Saga’s 2018 Q2 conference call will be at 11:00 am (ET) today (Tuesday, 8/7). Saga owns or operates 75 FM and 33 AM radio stations.

Gregg Receives Salute to Excellence Award. For the second consecutive year, Entercom Philadelphia’s KYW “News Radio 1060” community affairs reporter Cherri Gregg is recognized by the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ). This time, she will receive a “Salute to Excellence Award” at the NABJ’s gala in Detroit. Entercom Philadelphia senior vice president and market manager David Yadgaroff states, “It comes as no surprise that Cherri has been recognized once again for the exemplary work she contributes to KYW. The hard work she has committed in less than a year demonstrates why she is deserving of this honor.” Gregg remarks, “I am honored and humbled by this great recognition. This acknowledgment validates the importance of creating conversation around social issues.” Gregg was recognized in the “Public Affairs” category in “Top 15 Markets, Radio.” The specific segment – “Police Transparency – When Should Names of Officers Who Kill Be Released?” – was from her weekly program “Flashpoint,” which airs Saturdays (9:30 pm) and Sundays (8:30 am). Launched in 2017, “Flashpoint” discusses community affairs, political news, civil rights and social issues. Last year, NABJ honored Gregg with a “Salute to Excellence Award” in “TV Investigative – Top 15 Markets” for her piece “Driving While Black,” a collaboration between Entercom and KYW-TV, Philadelphia (Channel 3). Gregg, who joined Entercom in 2010, was president of the Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists (2015 – 2016) and vice president of broadcast in 2013. A member of the Pennsylvania and Georgia Bars, she has an undergraduate degree (B.S.) from Boston University; a J.D. from Howard University School of Law; and an M.J. from Temple University’s College of Communications and Theater. Gregg was named one of the Philadelphia NAACP’s Most Influential Black Women and PABJ’s Journalist of the Year in 2013.

Remembering Bill Wattenburg. Cancer has claimed the life of 82-year-old Bill Wattenburg, who died last Thursday (8/2). For 39 years (1972 – 2011), “Dr. Bill” hosted a late night show on KGO, San Francisco where the former nuclear weapons designer at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory would answer questions about everything from car repairs to physics. Show promos often referred to him as “The smartest man in the world.” The three-hour program (“Open Line to the West Coast,” 10:00 pm – 1:00 am) aired Saturday and Sunday nights and originated from his home in the Sierras. An occasional caller was Clint Eastwood, who gave Wattenburg a few cameos in the “Dirty Harry” movies. Using the nom de plume Will Harvey, the inventor and former physics professor at the University of California – Berkeley authored an early-1970s best-selling book “How to Find and Fascinate a Mistress.” The success of that book led to him being booked on numerous television talk shows where he debated the merits of feminism with people such as the Gabor sisters and Gloria Steinem. As an inventor, Wattenburg had eight patents to his credit, one reportedly being the first home alarm system using electrical wiring for its communication medium. A 2011 KGO format modification from news/talk to news resulted in several hosts – including Wattenburg – exiting the station. Shortly thereafter, Wattenburg hosted a show on Zwerling Broadcasting System news/talk KSCO-AM, Santa Cruz (California), which – after his death – aired a two-hour retrospective of his radio career.

Spanish Broadcasting System Forecasts Q2 Sales, OIBDA Increases. Preliminary estimated quarter two financial results for Spanish Broadcasting System estimates that consolidated net revenue will be between $34.5 million and $34.8 million, an increase of between 1% and 2% over the same period in 2017. Adjusted OIBDA, excluding non-cash stock-based compensation, is projected at $10.8 million – $11.6 million, an increase of 34% – 44% over last year. SBS chair/chief executive officer Raul Alarcon notes, “The company has continued its positive operational momentum throughout the second quarter with strong OIBDA growth and operating margins that continue to be among the highest in the industry.  In addition, the announced $14 million sale of our surplus real estate in New York City has successfully closed, allowing for our move to newer and more suitable facilities in midtown Manhattan. A correlated and corresponding repayment of the company’s 12.5% senior secured notes from the net proceeds of the real estate sale has been undertaken, as previously envisioned. We maintain our positive view as to the continuing momentum in 2018 and will be filing our finalized second-quarter results within the next week.”

Ten Radio Groups Support NAB’s Owner Cap Modification Stance. Represented in this particular assemblage of group owners is “a cross-section of the industry” with minority-owned and family-owned entities that have stations in large and small markets. In alphabetical order by group owner, the open letter is signed by Alpha Media CEO Bob Proffitt; Connoisseur Media founder/CEO Jeff Warshaw; Emmis Communications chair/CEO Jeff Smulyan; Midwest Communications COO Michael Wright; Mid-West Family Stations president Thomas Walker; Neuhoff Communications president/CEO Beth Neuhoff; NRG Media president/CEO Mary Quass; Perry Publishing and Broadcasting chair Russell Perry; Townsquare Media co-CEOs Dhruv Prasad and Bill Wilson; and Zimmer Radio of Mid-Missouri president/owner John Zimmer. Read the entire letter here.

Round One of July 2018 PPM Data Released. The first of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s July 2018 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union. Nielsen Audio’s July 2018 survey period covered June 21 – July 18. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.

TALKERS News Notes. Following stints on New Jersey outlets WMTR and WCTC, Jonathan Friedman’s “Talking Sports” (8:00 pm – 10:00 pm) debuts this Saturday (8/11) on Salem Media Group New York City’s news/talk WNYM “AM 970, The Answer.” The 52-year-old New Jersey resident notes, “I wanted to bring the show to a bigger stage. Growing up in Atlanta and being a huge fan of the Atlanta Falcons, Hawks, and Braves, my love for sports started early in my life. No matter who I talk to, the topic always seems to go to sports; that’s how I connect with people.” A 30-year advertising executive, Friedman has been with Success Communications Group the last 15 years and created the “Gotta Go To Mo’s” campaign for Modell’s Sporting Goods ….. St. Louis-based Project 21 co-chair Stacy Washington is broadcasting “Stacy on the Right” live nationwide. The first hour of the weekday talk program is available on all 180 stations of the American Family Radio Network. The national hour is 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm (ET) and can be streamed through the AFR website, TuneInRadio, Facebook, and YouTube. Decorated Air Force veteran and Emmy-nominated TV personality Washington began her broadcasting career several years ago as a fill-in host on news/talk KFTK, St. Louis and began a two-hour program on the Urban Family Talk Network in 2016 ….. Having added ten million listeners over the last few months, iHeartRadio officially surpasses 120 million registered users. It has over 20,000 podcasts in 20 different unique categories, including 750 iHeartRadio original podcasts ….. According to a report by Richard Deitsch in The Athletic, former NFL quarterback (St. Louis Rams, New York Giants, Arizona Cardinals) Kurt Warner will succeed Boomer Esiason as analyst on Westwood One’s “Monday Night Football” broadcasts. Hall of Famer Warner – who has filled-in when Esiason wasn’t available – would work alongside play-by-play announcer Kevin Harlan. According to Deitsch, a formal announcement of the deal is forthcoming ….. In a situation that will have him relocating to the network’s Chicago headquarters, Scott Krus – station manager of religious teaching WCRF “Moody Radio,” Cleveland – is promoted to general manager of the national Moody Radio Network. Three-month vice president, and former GM, Doug Hastings states, “Scott has the background, skills, and passion to take Moody Radio into our next season. He is very well known at Moody Radio; respected by staff and industry leaders; and has proven that he will effectively lead Moody Radio as general manager.” Krus, who begins his new duties in approximately four weeks (9/1), comments, “I am grateful for the opportunity to serve our teams and [am] energized by the challenge of navigating this ever-changing landscape of media ministry. I believe that Moody is strategically-positioned to expand on its role as a leader in the industry and uniquely equipped to inspire listeners to take that next step in their walk with Jesus Christ. I am looking forward with great excitement to all that God will do in the days to come.”

Paul Manafort Trial/Gates Testimony, Kushner Deleted Stories, Midterm Races, California Wildfire, MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/6). The trial of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort highlighted by the juicy testimony of Rick Gates; claims that Jared Kushner deleted sensitive stories at his newspaper; the attempted drone assassination attempt of Venezuela President Nicolás Maduro;  this fall’s midterm elections; the deadly California wildfire; 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.

 

 

Premiere Promotes Silcock to VP/Affiliate Relations – Morning Shows. Six-year, New York City-based director of affiliate relations Casey Silcock receives vice president stripes from Premiere Networks. In the newly-created position of vice president of affiliate relations – morning shows, Silcock will oversee affiliate sales and serve as the syndicator’s brand manager for programs featuring Elvis Duran; Bobby Bones; Brooke & JubalJohnjay & Rich; and Kane. Senior vice president of affiliate relations/talk and morning shows Peter Tripi comments, “Casey has been a valuable member of our team for the past six years, and he has made significant contributions to the growth of our industry-leading morning shows. I’m confident his leadership, sound judgment, and solid relationships with affiliate stations and talent alike will drive continued success for our programming.” Silcock previously was head of promotion for Verve Music Group, a division of Universal Music Group, and held management promotion and marketing positions at Virgin Records America.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Weekend WTXF-TV “Fox 29,” Philadelphia sports anchor Sean Brace will appear each Friday at 8:20 am on iHeartMedia Philadelphia rhythmic hot AC WISX “Real 106.1” during “Chio in the AM.” In addition, Brace will contribute to the station’s website and host a Saturday night (7:00 pm – 12:00 midnight) music show. He formerly was heard on cross-town Greater Media (now Beasley Media Group) sports talk WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic” ….. It is an eventful day for San Antonio air-on talent named “Cortez.” Taking to Facebook, Tony Cortez announces he is leaving his position as assistant program director/afternoon drive talent at Alpha Media’s  CHR KTFM “Energy 94.1,” while “The Dana Cortez Show” was missing this morning at cross-town Univision Radio-owned rhythmic CHR KBBT “98.5 The Beat.” On Twitter, Dana Cortez tweets, “We have some exciting things in the works & want you to be part of.” ….. Promotions coordinator/night personality Edwin Guevara is elevated to promotions director/afternoon host at Townsquare Media Trenton, New Jersey CHR WPST “94.5 – Your New #1 Hit Music Station.” He replaces Tom Shinn, who exited last month. Guevara is approaching his third year at the station, arriving from Kemp Broadcasting Las Vegas rhythmic CHR KVEG “Hot 97.5” ….. Former Bonneville country KYGO, Denver program director Eddie Haskell is named senior vice president of programming for iHeartMedia’s Fort Collins (Colorado) stations. According to iHeartMedia Denver area president Amy Griesheimer, “I am thrilled to have someone of Eddie’s caliber and expertise partner with us to lead [our] Northern Colorado dynasty. Eddie’s passion and brand knowledge are unmatched.” Denver region senior vice president of programming Jason McCollim notes, “Eddie’s knowledge and experience in Colorado radio are second to none. His addition to the Fort Collins team will only help to increase our already strong footprint in Northern Colorado.” Haskell adds, “I am so stoked to join the team at iHeartMedia Fort Collins. We have great brands, great programmers, and a great management team.” His prior background includes being operations manager for Cumulus Media Albuquerque and he has held various programming roles in Detroit (WYCD) and Salt Lake City (KKAT-AM). The iHM cluster in Fort Collins includes country KXBG “Big 97.9”; classic hits-oldies KXBG-HD2 “B-107.3”; classic country KIIX “AM 1410 – Country’s Greatest Hits”; CHR KSME “96.1 – Kiss-FM”; classic rock KPAW “92.9 – The Bear”; alternative KPAW-HD2 “Radio 94.9”; and news/talk KCOL “Fox News Radio 600” ….. Grammy winner – and the first “American Idol” – Kelly Clarkson is filming a pilot for a daytime (TV) talk show.  Clarkson has a deal with NBC Entertainment, but the pilot is currently not attached to any network; it is potentially being shopped for a fall 2019 debut.

Monday, July 9, 2018

| July 9, 2018

Nielsen and Bubba The Love Sponge Settle $1 Million Suit.  The trial was scheduled to begin on July 23 after more than two-and-a-half years of preparation and paying lawyers, but on Friday afternoon (7/6), a settlement was announced and from what we’ve learned, Nielsen came out on top.  If you remember, Nielsen sued Bubba Clem for $1 million claiming that his attempts to manipulate the PPM survey in the Tampa market had caused damage to its reputation and the PPM methodology. Bubba countersued claiming, among other things, that Nielsen and competitor Cox Media Group conspired against him.  The terms of the settlement are confidential, but in a press release from Nielsen, the company says Bubba will make a cash payment to Nielsen (that amount will likely never be known) and a number of statements from both sides were made public.  Bubba’s statement includes the following: “I understand how important it is to the radio industry that the Nielsen ratings be free from bias and I deeply regret interfering with Nielsen’s collection of listening data.”  He promises never to do it again and, if he does, “any future infractions by Clem will be punishable by a court-ordered injunction and additional financial damages payable to Nielsen.”  One has to wonder what changed for Bubba.  He had numerous attempts to settle via mediation.  The discovery process should have indicated to him and his lawyers that Nielsen’s case had more merit than his criticism of Nielsen’s methodology and his theory of a conspiracy between Nielsen and Cox.  It seems clear the big winners here were the lawyers who notched a lot of billable hours.

TALKERS Continues Posting Videos Today of the Recent TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! Convention – Today’s Post:  Panel Discussion Titled Adding the Video Component to Talk Radio.  Today (7/9), TALKERS magazine continues posting individual events from the recent TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! convention held in New York City on June 8.  Each business day, another session will be posted in the order that they originally took place.  Today’s 10th installment is the panel discussion titled “Adding the Video Component to Talk Radio” moderated by Livestream head of news, Clayton Rose and featuring panelists Krantz Media Group CEO, Gary Krantz and KTRS, St Louis host, McGraw Milhaven.  Already posted: the panel discussion titled “Generating Talk Radio Revenue in 2018” moderated by TALKERS VP/executive editor, Kevin Casey; introduced by Crossover Media Group managing member, Ron Hartenbaum; and featuring panelists Asa RX host, AsaBold Gold Media Group CEO, Vince BenedettoHowie Carr Radio Network president, Kathy CarrWestwood One president, Suzanne Grimes; WBAL, Baltimore president/GM, Cary Pahigian; and KSCO/KOMY, Santa Cruz owner, Michael Zwerling.  Other videos already posted include the special presentation by Amplifi Media CEO, Steven Goldstein titled “Radio Broadcasters and Smart Speakers with an introduction by GCN personality, Dr. Daliah Wachs ;  a special presentation by PodcastOne chairman and CEO, Norm Pattiz titled “Radio Broadcasters and Podcasting” with an introduction by Voice of America and National Public Radio anchor/reporter, Lori Lundin;  a special presentation by WFAN personality, Mike Francesa titled “Sports Talk’s Role in Media and Popular Culture” with an introduction by author and former radio producer, Bernadette Duncan;  Salem SVP, Phil Boyce’s address titled “What Has Donald Trump Done to Talk Radio?”; the fireside chat between TALKERS publisher, Michael Harrison and Beasley Media Group CEO, Caroline Beasley including Harrison’s presentation of the 2018 “Woman of the Year” award to Beasley; Harrison’s fireside chat with FOX News Radio/FOX News Channel mega-star, Brian Kilmeade with an introduction by Westwood One syndicated host, Walter Sterling and special remarks by Sean Hannity; opening remarks by the convention’s co-emcees, TalkersRadio GM, David Bernstein and Good Day Networks/DJV Show CEO/host, Doug Stephan; KGO, San Francisco host, Ethan Bearman delivering the event’s welcoming remarks and Pioneer Valley Radio GM/host, Brad Shepard introduction of Bearman.  Also posted: the presentation of the Gene Burns Memorial Award for Freedom of Speech (“Freedom of Speech Award”) by TALKERS managing editor, Mike Kinosian to SiriusXM Satellite Radio host, book publisher, Hunter College professor, and former New York Daily News/Pulitzer prize-winning journalist, Karen Hunter.  To view the page, please click here.

Attorneys Counter Arguments Against Tribune Merger in FCC Filing. The proposed acquisition of Tribune Media by Sinclair Broadcast Group is almost entirely about the merger of two television companies – except for Tribune’s lone radio property: news/talk WGN-AM, Chicago.  Responding to those who’ve argued that this acquisition would put too many local television stations under the control of Sinclair, lawyers for both companies write in a petition to the FCC that “contrary to Petitioners’ rhetoric, the sky is not falling.  Sinclair’s acquisition of Tribune will not radically disrupt the media marketplace or impede viewers’ access to quality local news, nor will it violate any FCC rules or policies.”  They argue – as have many radio operators seeking de-regulation of their industry – that the modern media landscape makes concerns about this level of ownership outdated.  “Petitioners ask the Commission to make decisions based on Petitioners’ subjective disagreement with content that airs on Sinclair stations and to review this transaction as if it took place in a time when there were seven TV channels and phones were simply used to call someone to say hello, rather than to watch a full-length movie or live newscast. But today there are hundreds of TV channels, OTT video services are proliferating and being subscribed to by tens of millions of households, and the lines between telephone companies, internet providers, MVPDs, programmers and broadcasters have long since disappeared.”  Sinclair currently operates just three radio stations – in the Seattle market: all-news KOMO-AM/FM, news talk KVI, and hot AC KPLZ.

TALKERS News Notes. Longtime all-news KYW, Philadelphia director of news and programming Steve Butler is leaving the Entercom station.  In a memo to staffers, Butler assures them that he’s not being forced out. “This is really, really my decision, and a really tough one.”  Butler says he wants to enjoy doing things he’s always wanted to explore while still in good health.  Butler says he’ll stay on until Entercom Philly market manager David Yadgaroff finds his successor…..New York City sports talk personality and radio voice of the New York Yankees Michael Kay is being inducted into the New York State Broadcasters Association’s Hall of Fame.  Kay hosts the afternoon drive show on ESPN-owned WEPN, New York.  He’ll be honored on October 18 along with the rest of the class of 2018.  Kay states, “I am extremely humbled by this honor.  To stand alongside the others who have been inducted to this prestigious hall is somewhat surreal for a kid from the Bronx who started out in this business as a newspaper man.  I thank those who voted for me; it is greatly appreciated.”…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM, Chicago afternoon drive traffic reporter Veronica Carter has exited the Entercom all-newser in order to move back to California.  Carter has been with the station for the past 12 years.  She worked at crosstown WGN-AM before that.  Her Facebook message states: “My kids have grown up and now I have zero obligations, so I’m going to do what I want for the next two or three decades!  That includes spending a lot of time outdoors, visiting my mother, sisters and other family members, and of course chillaxing on the beach!”…..Comic and SiriusXM personality Dean Obeidallah has won a judgement against neo-Nazi Andrew Anglin and his website The Daily Stormer.  The judgement was declared by a federal court clerk in Columbus, Ohio, but Anglin was not present in court – he’s been avoiding the matter.  Numerous attempts to personally serve Anglin were unsuccessful. The issue is that Anglin posted a phony story on the website that stated Obeidallah admitted to being the mastermind behind the terrorist attack at the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, UK last year.

Herskovitz: Commercial Cycles.  Radio sales pro Al Herskovitz writes today about some of the trends in commercial styles and how they’ve changed and, in some case, come full circle.  The full-sing spot was at one time very common. Iconic jingles were credited with creating and enforcing brand loyalty for many products over the years.  In some current instances, creative is returning to the jingle with some very effective results.  Read Herskovitz’s column here.

Confer Radio Talent Institute Opens at Bloomsburg University.  This is the sixth annual Confer Radio Talent Institute in conjunction with the Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters and it’s taking place at Bloomsburg University in Bloomsburg Pennsylvania beginning today (7/9).  Sessions over the 10-day institute cover almost every aspect of radio – from sales to on-air in music radio, sports, news, production, promotions, digital, social media, and engineering.  Twenty-two students have been accepted from eight universities, including: Susquehanna University, Clarion University, Temple, Stockton, Alvernia University, Pace University, and California University of Pennsylvania, as well as Bloomsburg University.  Pictured here is Kirby Confer addressing some of the students.

Georgia Beasley Named RAB’s Professional Development Manager; Kim Johnson Promoted to Director of Sales.  The Radio Advertising Bureau announces that Georgia Beasley has been named professional development manager.  In this role, Beasley will work closely with SVP professional development Jeff Schmidt on the overall training curriculum offered at the RAB.  This includes the Rising Through the Ranks program – dedicated to the support and advancement of women in radio sales management positions – of which Georgia herself is a graduate.  Beasley was most recently director of TopicPulse Strategic Initiatives at Futuri Media.  She has also held various sales management positions at Beasley Media Group.  At the same time, RAB says Kim Johnson has been promoted to the director of sales position. Prior to this role, she worked with the RAB’s CRM tool as an account development manager. Johnson will be responsible for the sales of the entire suite of RAB’s professional development training courses.

Illegal Immigration Policy, Trump Supreme Court Nominee, Trump-Russia Investigation, Thailand Cave Rescues, Tariffs and Trade War Concerns, North Korea Nuclear Program, MLB and World Cup Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The treatment of families in enforcing illegal immigration laws; speculation about President Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court and questions about the fate of Roe v Wade; special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russia agents; the rescue of five of the dozen boys trapped in underwater caves in Thailand; Trump’s tariffs and concerns about the effects of a trade war; suggestions that North Korea is continuing its nuclear weapons program despite the recent Trump-Kim Jong Un summit; Major League Baseball action; and World Cup soccer were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Los Angeles-based morning drive urban contemporary star Big Boy is heading to the small screen.  iHeartMedia and Fuse Media announce they will begin televising the KRRL “Real 92.3”-based, nationally syndicated “Big Boy’s Neighborhood” program on television’s Fuse Music channel beginning July 30.  The program features Big Boy and castmates Natalia Perez, Louie G, Ayyde, and DJ VickOne.  iHeartMedia president of entertainment enterprises John Sykes says, “This new partnership with Fuse is the continuation of an exciting trend of our iconic iHeartRadio personalities extending their reach to television.  Big Boy is a legend in music and this is the next logical step as he extends his brand.”…..At Urban One’s WKYS, Washington, DC, Angie Ange is named new host of the morning drive show, effective July 16.  Ange has been hosting the evening show on the station.  In mornings, she’ll be joined by Déja Perez and DJ Money.  Ange says, “Growing up I would have fun listening to Tom Joyner, Russ Parr, and Donnie Simpson.  To reach this height in my career and be in a position to give that same energy while also inspiring and enlightening our listeners as they start their day is the opportunity of a lifetime.”…..Impact Radio Group announces the debut of the new “Joey & Lauren” (pictured at left) morning show on hot AC KZMG, Boise “MY 102.7.”  Station program director James Garner says, “After an extensive nationwide search for a quality morning show, my team and I found ourselves right back in the Treasure Valley with Joey and Lauren Jenkins…The easiest option would have been to select a cookie-cutter, ready-made program, but we decided to create a new show from the ground up, with genuine personalities that our listeners can relate to.  I am excited to present this fun and unique local morning show to our listeners in the Treasure Valley.”…..In Cincinnati, Tropikana joins Radio One’s cluster as music director for hip hop WIZF “101.1 The Wiz.”  Operations manager Bill Black says, “Tropikana is an important part of the puzzle that we are building at ‘The Wiz!’  I am very excited about what she will bring to The Wiz’s team.”

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

| April 5, 2017

Dave Ramsey Plays Philly’s Tower Theater.  Nationally syndicated talk radio superstar Dave Ramsey’s Smart Money tour stopped in Philly on Tuesday (4/4) where Ramsey presented before a sold-out crowd at the historic Tower Theater.  Joining Ramsey was Chris Brown, financial expert and host of the nationally syndicated radio show, “Chris Brown’s True Stewardship.”  Ramsey and affiliate CBS RADIO Talk Radio 1210 WPHT worked together to promote the event.   WPHT program director Jared Hart states, “We’re so excited to be a part of Dave’s first live event in Philadelphia.  His bond with listeners is unparalleled and watching his personal interactions with them is truly amazing to see.  We’re so happy to have Dave on WPHT and are looking forward to more events like this in the future.”  Pictured above (from l-r) are: WPHT morning news anchor Paige Powers, SVP and market manager David Yadgaroff, Dave Ramsey, afternoon news anchor Dawn Stensland, midday talk host Dom Giordano, and Jared Hart.

USA Radio Network Syndicates Wayne Allyn Root Show.  Las Vegas-based conservative media figure Wayne Allyn Root joins the USA Radio Network for national syndication of his daily radio show that airs live from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm ET.  Root – who is an author and columnist, TV host and producer, and the 2008 Libertarian Vice Presidential nominee – was an early supporter of President Donald Trump and served as opening speaker at six of candidate Trump’s Las Vegas rallies.  USA Radio CEO Floyd Brown says, “I am extremely excited to announce the addition of Wayne Allyn Root to the daily lineup of shows available on a market exclusive basis from USA Radio.  Wayne has shown by his incredible ratings and sponsorship success in Las Vegas that he will be a national star in syndicated radio.”

FOX Sports Radio: Cowherd Podcast Tops 5 Million Listens Mark. According to data as measured by ART19, the total podcast listens for the month of March for “The Herd with Colin Cowherd” hit 5.7 million.  FOX Sports Radio says it marks the first time that total podcast listens for the program have surpassed the 5 million mark.  FOX goes on to say that Cowherd’s TheHerdNow.com – the digital home for content created and curated by Colin Cowherd – attracted more than half a million page views – a new record for the site.

TALKERS News Notes.  Chicago sports talk WSCR “670 The Score” announces that Chicago Cubs players Kris Bryant and Jake Arrieta will be part of a new segment on the “Bernstein and Goff Show” with Dan Bernstein and Jason Goff.  WSCR program director Mitch Rosen comments, “It’s an extreme honor to welcome a league MVP and a recent Cy Young award winner to the Score team and it’s beyond a grand slam for the Score brand.  The content Kris and Jake will add to the Bernstein and Goff show will bring the audience into the clubhouse, on the field, and other places the average fan can’t experience.”…..Beasley Media Group’s sports talk WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic” will broadcast the 2017 All Star Day Live radiothon on May 24 from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm from the pavilion at Pagano’s Market & Bar in Center City Philadelphia.  The station’s goal is to raise funds and awareness for the Philly-based American Association for Cancer Research.  WPEN-FM personalities Anthony Gargano, Rob Ellis, Harry Mayes and Mike Missanelli will rotate in overlapping, two-hour shifts throughout the day, joined by many of The Fanatic’s popular guest players and analyst commentators.

Trump Campaign Surveillance Issue, Syrian Chemical Attack, North Korea Nuclear Missile Threat, Gorsuch Nomination, FOX News-Bill O’Reilly Scandal, DOJ to Review Police Consent Decrees, and Tony Romo Leaves Cowboys for CBS Gig Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/4). Questions about what role Obama Administration National Security Adviser Susan Rice may have played in the surveillance of Trump campaign personnel; the search for the source of the deadly chemical attack in Syria; North Korea launches another ICBM and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s response; the status of Supreme Court Justice nominee Neil Gorsuch; reports that several advertisers have pulled spots from FOX News Channel’s Bill O’Reilly show in the wake of allegations of sexual harassment of company staffers by the cable channel personality; Attorney General Jeff Sessions instructs the Justice Department to review Obama-era consent decrees with police departments; and Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo’s intent to retire from the NFL to start a broadcasting career with CBS Sports 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.  Oldies are back on the air in Youngstown, Ohio as Cumulus Media flips alternative rock WWIZ “Rock 104” to oldies as “Z104 The Valley’s Good Time Oldies.”  iHeartMedia flipped crosstown WBBG from oldies to country last April and Cumulus VP/market manager Bill Kelly states, “For almost a year, listeners and advertisers have told us how much they miss oldies on the radio.  We are very pleased to fill that void with ‘Z104,’ Youngstown’s destination oldies station.”…..In Houston, CBS RADIO unveils the new morning show set to launch on hot AC KHMX “Mix 96-5” on Monday (4/10).  Director of programming Chase Murphy says “The Morning Mix with Sarah Pepper, Geoff Sheen and Lauren Kelly” represents a “dynamic team that will give our listeners a fresh and unique way to start their day.”  Pepper comes from CBS RADIO Houston’s sister station KKHH-FM, the former “Hot 95.7.”  Sheen joins the team from San Antonio’s KTKR and Kelly moves to mornings after hosting the afternoon show…..Mid-West Family Broadcasting rock WQLZ, Springfield, Illinois adds Mo Lightning to the “3rd String Morning Show” with program director Wes Styles.  Mo takes over for the departing Kaytie.  Mo Lightning was most recently the host/moderator for the Wizard World Comic Con tour at which he moderated for the likes of William Shatner, Stan Lee (creator of Marvel Comics), the cast of “The Walking Dead,” various WWE Superstars, and countless more.  Styles comments, “We’re proud to have such an entertaining personality join our ranks.  Mo brings a lot to the table and now our plan for complete domination continues.  We’re coming for a three-peat at next year’s awards!”…..Premiere Networks nationally syndicated radio personality and award-winning musician Keith Sweat returns for an additional run of his limited engagement,“Keith Sweat: Last Forever” show in the Donny & Marie Showroom at Flamingo Las Vegas from July 5 through July 22.  This all comes in connection with the celebration of the 30th anniversary of Sweat’s triple-platinum album, Make It Last Forever (Elektra)…..Townsquare Media’s annual Mountain Jam festival in Hunter Mountain, New York announces the lineup for this year’s June 16-18 event.  Among the 39 acts playing over three days are: The String Cheese Incident, The Head & The Heart, Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers, Gary Clark Jr., St. Paul & the Broken Bones, The Strumbellas, Steve Miller Band, Peter Frampton, Michael Franti & Spearhead, and more.

AC Augments Audience in Philly, Tampa, Dallas

| January 9, 2017

By Mike Kinosian
Managing Editor
TALKERS

kinosian-2LOS ANGELES Just over two weeks after Christmas and nine days into the new year, admittedly, doesn’t provide much of a sample to gauge an industry “trend.”

At the very least though, it is worth noting three interesting top 20 market developments that contain a common thread.

The last time a major market station transitioned to adult contemporary was in April 2016, when iHeartMedia San Francisco’s urban-rhythmic oldies KISQ became “The Breeze.

Now that the all-Christmas music has come to an end, however, there are three new players under the AC banner.

Read More

Friday, March 4, 2016

| March 4, 2016

talkersten logoSuper Tuesday Aftermath/Presidential Race Tops Talkers TenTM.  The results of this week’s Super Tuesday primary elections and events surrounding the presidential race were the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  Coming in at #2 was the Hillary Clinton email server investigation.  At #3 was U.S. immigration policy followed by European migrant problems 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.

castnermichaelCandidates’ Rhetoric Spurs KEX, Portland Host Michael Castner to Come Out.  Citing some of the rhetoric coming from the GOP candidates that he believes is rekindling Americans’ “hate and fear,” especially with regard to the candidates’ vows to overturn gay marriage, KEX, Portland talk host Michael Castner came out to his audience as gay.  Admitting that he’d kept his sexual orientation secret out of fear and “perhaps even cowardice,” Castner believes he has a responsibility to speak up both for himself and for others who don’t have a voice.  Castner observed that both Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio have vowed to make overturning the recent Supreme Court ruling legalizing gay marriage a priority and that Trump has indicated he’s also in favor of overturning.

wpht logoWPHT, Philadelphia Adds Dave Ramsey Show.  Nationally syndicated talk star Dave Ramsey’s radio program is being added to the lineup at CBS RADIO’s WPHT, Philadelphia in the 9:00 pm to 12:00 midnight slot, effective March 7.  CBS RADIO Philadelphia SVP and market manager David Yadgaroff says, “We couldn’t be more pleased to bring Dave Ramsey to WPHT.  He hasramseydave been creating powerful radio broadcasts with the passion and positivity that will fit perfectly into WPHT’s lineup.  Combining Dave Ramsey with the great local talent like Chris Stigall, Dom Giordano and Rich Zeoli has everyone at the station excited to bring this new roster to our listeners.”  Ramsey Media VP Brian Mayfield adds, “We are excited to join the team at WPHT and to work with another strong CBS Radio affiliate.  Philadelphia is already a great market for our brand, and we look forward to what the future holds with this new relationship.”

podcastone bPodcastOne and WTOP, Washington Partner for ‘Target USA’ Program.  A new podcast series is being launched on the PodcastOne platform from Hubbard Radio’s WTOP, Washington and WTOP.com titled, “Target USA.”  The program will focus on the threats facing America today and is reported and produced by WTOP national security correspondent JJ Green.  WTOP andwtop logo NEW 1-15 PodcastOne say Green will investigate the risks, from terrorists to anarchists, and cyber criminals to nation states, diving into the people behind them, the agencies fighting them and their impact on Americans.”  WTOP senior regional vice president Joel Oxley states, “As an all-news station with a tight format, our content is consumed in very short form.  This partnership with PodcastOne gives us an opportunity to showcase and distribute some of our longer form, in-depth material.  Norm Pattiz and his team are pros, and we look forward to this launch and many more opportunities to come.”  In the first installment, Director of National Intelligence Jim Clapper opens up in an exclusive interview about the dark threats and dangerous enemies the U.S. faces.

cookmerrillMerrill Cook to Host Mornings on KLO, Salt Lake City.  Former U.S. Representative Merrill Cook is joining KLO Broadcasting’s KLO-AM, Salt Lake City to host the 7:00 am to 10:00 am program, beginning on March 14.  Station general manager Matt Webb says, “Our audience has been asking for more local, live radio and Merrill is a huge part of that.  Merrill Cook is part of the fabric of Utah and, in particular, Utah politics.  We’re very excited to have him as part of our radio family.”  Cook comments, “I’m thrilled to be part of such a prestigious radio lineup on a legacy station such as KLO.  To be on the same station with radio icons like Laura Ingraham, Michael Medved, and Dennis Prager is a true honor.”

Odds & Sods.  WABC, New York political editor Rita Cosby (right) poses for a photo with writer and politicalcosbyritaCoulter16 commentator Ann Coulter (left) at last night’s “Dinner with Rita Cosby: A Night of Political Entertainment & Fun” at Delmonico’s Kitchen in Midtown Manhattan.  Cosby hosted the sold-out, intimate dinner event that featured political commentary and conversation, a phone-in interview with Dr. Ben Carson, live discussion with Coulter, and musical performances by Tom Bednarek and actor Dominic Chianese…..WGOW, Chattanooga mid-afternoon talk host Brian Joyce is pictured below with on Tuesday, March 1 taking part in “Reading Across America Week” with joyceReading16the second grade class and Dupont Elementary School.  Joyce tells TALKERS magazine that the class’ teacher is a big fan of Joyce’s radio program and invited him to take part in the event…..Tampa Bay radio and TV personality Nancy Alexander launches a podcast titled, “LOL! With Nancy Alexander” on the Radio Influence digital platform.  Alexander began her radio career at WRBQ “Q105” on the station’s “Q Morning Zoo” show in the 1980s.  She worked at WMTX during the 1990s and 2000s and was a features reporter for WTVT-TV “FOX 13.”…..CBS RADIO Pittsburgh is presenting its third annual ‘eat.drink.PITTSBURGH’ on March 19 at the city’s Wyndham Grand Hotel.  The event’s media sponsor is WHIRL Magazine and the event is being presented by Fat Head’s Brewery and Lexus of North Hills.  The food fest allows attendees to sample food from dozens of Pittsburgh’s finest restaurants and enjoy new products, wines, beers and more…..Nationally syndicated talk personality Laura Ingraham did her program from the studios of affiliateingrahamlaura WBEN, Buffalo today (3/4) prior to serving as keynote speaker at the New York State GOP Convention in the city…..CBS RADIO’s WFAN, New York “Sports Radio 66AM and 101.9FM” and New York City FC announce updates to the soccer club’s radio broadcasting in advance of the 2016 MLS season.  Glenn Crooks and Tom Kolker will once again be the English-language announcers. Back for his second year, Roberto Abramowitz will be one of the Spanish-language analysts, alongside new team member John Rojas.

levinmarkMark Levin Named Recipient of TALKERS 2016 Freedom of Speech Award. Highly rated, nationally syndicated, Cumulus/Westwood One talk radio personality Mark Levin has been selected by the TALKERS editorial board as the 2016 recipient of the trade publication’s annual Gene Burns Memorial Award for Freedom of Speech. Levin is also the prolific author of numerous New York Times best-selling books about the United States Constitution, American history and conservative ideological principles. He is a respected legal scholar who serves as president of the Landmark Legal Foundation as well as being a highly sought-after public speaker, and host/principal of the newly launched LevinTV digital platform. Levin has a stellar background in both the private and public sectors having served, among many roles, as advisor to several members of President Ronald Reagan’s cabinet and chief of staff for Attorney General Edwin Meese. In making the announcement of Levin’s selection, TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “Mark Levin is more than a superbly talented and extremely successful talk show host. He is a dedicated legal scholar who consistently displays unbending courage in standing up for the core principles of the Founding Fathers – and that means an unswerving, ongoing defense of the First Amendment – on radio, television and in print. He has been a champion of these principles since morphing from a radio guest to a host back in 2002 and is being honored for a body of work that goes back for many years.” Mark Levin will be presented the award personally by Harrison at the forthcoming TALKERS 2016: Bridging The Generations convention on the campus of Hofstra University in Hempstead, NY on Friday, May 20.

Talkers2016 logo xlgTALKERS 2016: Bridging the Generations Agenda Developing; Registration Underway. More than 60 leading industry speakers will fill a power-packed day and evening of panel discussions, special presentations, keynote addresses, exhibits, social networking functions, meals and live broadcasts at the forthcoming 19th annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important national convention. TALKERS 2016: Bridging the Generations will take place on Friday, May 20 on the campus of Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York. The event kicks off at 8:00 am with the traditional “Breakfast with Hannity” opening social. It will conclude 12 hours later with a gala, early-evening reception on the university’s magnificent television soundstage. Located just outside of New York City, Hofstra University’s Lawrence Herbert School of Communication is nationally recognized as one of the nation’s most respected and influential breeding grounds of great broadcasters. The NAB honored WRHU-FM in 2015 with a Marconi Award as the first ever “student operated” non-commercial station of the year! Radio Hofstra University WRHU-FM is also currently ranked number one – best college radio station – by the Princeton Review. WRHU-FM also earned a Pinnacle Award – station of the year – from the CMA. TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “2016 marks a great leap forward in the rich and colorful history of this legendary conference. Tapping into the theme ‘Bridging the Generations’ TALKERS 2016 will intensely focus on talk radio’s successful and as seamless-as-possible transition into the digital era concentrating on attracting younger demos, broadening the format menu, modernizing political positioning, enhancing both journalistic and entertainment impact, incorporating all aspects of pop culture, understanding Millennials and the New Authenticity, creating a viable cross-platform presence, embracing the new technology, and of course, podcasting, podcasting and more podcasting.” Harrison adds, “This conference will be inter-generational. I cannot begin to express the level of excitement and pride we have in partnering this year with Hofstra University, its wonderfully dynamic Lawrence Herbert School of Communication and its famous radio station WRHU – clearly one of the greatest, heritage campus outlets in America. Their amazing, state-of-the-art resources will provide an exhilarating backdrop and platform for this gathering. As far as we are concerned, the future of talk media begins now!” The cost of a full registration is $299 per person with a special student rate of $249. Registration is only open to professionals currently or recently (within one year) employed in media-related industries as well as students enrolled in accredited colleges or universities. Registration includes all sessions, presentations, exhibits, receptions, and tours as well as breakfast/lunch/refreshment and social networking activities. Registrations can only be taken over the phone (to verify qualifications) and paid for with a credit card. As in years past, for the sake of intimacy and productivity, total attendance will be limited to 500 and TALKERS 2016 will be an early sellout. No registrations can be sold after that point. All registrations are non-transferable and non-refundable. To register or obtain sponsorship information, please call 413-565-5413. Information about special local hotel discounts for attendees is detailed below. Agenda and speakers to be announced in the days and weeks ahead, leading up to the event. Register now!

Mariott revFantastic Group Rate Available at Long Island Marriott for TALKERS 2016. A limited number of rooms are still available for a limited amount of time for the nights of Thursday, May 19 and Friday, May 20 at the fabulous Long Island Marriott hotel located near Hofstra University – the site of TALKERS 2016. To take advantage of the $169 per night rate, book as early as possible by clickinghere or calling reservations at 1-800-228-9290 and telling the agent you are with the TALKERS event group.

Monday, December 14, 2015

| December 14, 2015

bellart15Art Bell Ends Latest Talk Show Effort Citing Attempts on His Life.  Quite suddenly on Friday evening, Art Bell posted on his ArtBell.com website that he would not be going on the air that evening – or ever again, in fact – and explained that he and his family are in danger after recent attempts on his life.  Here’s what Bell posted: “I am sorry to have to announce this but I will not be on Tonight or any other night, yes I am going to hang it up.  Whoever this crazy person is, they are not stopping and it has come to the point that we as a Family do not feel it is worth the risk.  While I think the person or persons are after me, my Wife and now my Daughter are really scared, the other night after the latest incident my Daughter was off in the corner of her bed scared to death as the Police cars came screaming up.  I will not put my Family through this. As you all know I dearly love what I do but not at the expense of never ending Terrorism.  I want to thank those of you who have shown so much support and it has been my joy, short as it has been to have cracked that Mic open for a last time.  This was a Family decision.  The girls stuck with me and still would but if one of them were harmed because of what I love doing my life would be over.”  Bell had returned to AM/FM radio with a late night program called “Midnight in the Desert” via his Dark Matter Radio Network earlier this fall after years away from broadcast radio.  To say this is controversial in the minds of his fans is an understatement.  Chatter on the website DreadCentral vacillates between those who are sympathetic to Bell’s claim and those who simply don’t believe a word of it.  Regardless, Bell is off the air, seemingly for good. The network intends to provide programming to affiliates for the next 30 days with Rowland Communications Network airing either previous Art Bell-hosted shows or Heather Wade hosting the program.

gallaghermikeThree More Years at Salem for Mike Gallagher.  Nationally syndicated talk radio personality Mike Gallagher will remain in his 9:00 am to 12:00 noon ET program on the Salem Radio Network through the end of 2018 after signing a three-year extension.  He’s currently heard on some 300 stations nationwide, including new affiliate WIND, Chicago “AM 560 The Answer.”  Gallagher states, “After 15 years with Salem, I’m still amazed at how fortunate I am to have a radio home at this amazing company.  I’m ecstatic and humbled to be continuing for at least another three years with this world-class organization.”  Salem Media Group SVP Phil Boyce comments, “Mike is one of the most talented, entertaining, and informative hosts in the country.  What a pleasure it has been to be reunited with him at Salem, and be able to have a small part in the next generation of his talk show host career.”

weismanstevenLegal Analysis: What Do Sam Goldwyn and Geraldo Rivera Have in Common?  TALKERS magazine legal editor Steven J.J. Weisman offers his take on the suit against Cumulus Media filed by ousted WABC, New York talk host Geraldo Rivera:

Sam Goldwyn was a legendary movie producer from the early days of Hollywood.  In fact, the G in MGM was for Goldwyn.  Goldwyn died in 1974.  Geraldo Rivera is a legendary and prize winning investigative reporter and media personality who is very much alive.  So what do they have in common?  Sam Goldwyn wasriverageraldo quoted as saying that “An oral contract isn’t worth the paper it’s written on.”  Once you get over trying to figure out the logic of this statement, the essential truth remains that relying on and proving an oral contract is a difficult task indeed.  Geraldo Rivera recently filed a lawsuit in state court in New York alleging that Cumulus Media, Inc., the owner of WABC – 770 AM radio in New York breached an oral, one-year contract with him pursuant to which he was to be paid $600,000 for 2016.  In addition, he alleges that Cumulus locked him out of his studio at WABC where he already was working as a talk show host.  Geraldo alleges that he had negotiated the contract with then vice president of Cumulus, John Dickey during dickeyjohna lunch meeting in July.  However, the contract was never reduced to writing and nothing was signed by the parties.  In the fall, there was a change of management at Cumulus in which its founder and CEO Lew Dickey along with John Dickey no longer were involved in active management of the company.  Although Cumulus has not, as of the writing of this, responded officially to Rivera’s complaint in court, Cumulus has responded with a statement by Davidson Goldin on behalf of the company which states, “We offered Geraldo Rivera a new contract commensurate with the value of his show and our offer was repeatedly rejected.”  As for locking Rivera out of his studio, no contract requires a radio station to give air time to someone under contract.  All the station is required to do is to pay the talent.  In this case, it would appear that Cumulus would have rather eaten the rest of Rivera’s present contract which would terminate under its own terms at the end of December rather than permit Rivera to air his grievances over the air.  As for Rivera, he has stated, “It is not about the money.  Because of their unforgivable disrespect, I will fight them and they will end up costing their battered company far more in damages than they expect to save in salary.”  What are the real facts?  That will be determined in court where Goldwyn’s comment may take on new meaning.

bubbaBubba Lawyers Again Filed Motion to Dismiss Nielsen’s $1 Million Suit.  On Friday (12/11), lawyers for Bubba the Love Sponge filed a motion to dismiss the $1 million fraud suit filed against their client by Nielsen Audio.  Bubba’s attorneys say that Nielsen can’t prove that it has been damaged by their client’s ratings tampering incident, that allegations of additional attempts to tamper with the ratings have not been proven and Bubba’s already been punished for the one case to which he’d admitted.  They also point to Nielsen’s statements after the tampering became public knowledge that the company was able to root out the panelist in question and the rest of the market’s ratings were not adversely affected as proof Nielsen can’t show damages.  This filing comes just days after Beasley Media Group re-branded Bubba’s flagship station WBRN, Tampa from “Bubba 998.7” to “98.7 No Rules Rock,” bringing into question whether the business relationship between Bubba and Beasley in Tampa will continue in the New Year.

nymrad logoNYMRAD Issues Third Quarter State of the Market Report.  The latest edition of this quarterly report from the New York Market Radio Broadcasters Association is a “comprehensive analysis of the New York marketplace designed to help advertisers understand radio’s impact on consumers and its prominent role in the local advertising landscape.”  NYMRAD executive director Deborah Beagan states, “In third quarter, retailers effectively used radio leading up to the holiday shopping season.  Radio has always done a terrific job of reaching people on the go, and is a huge benefit for influencing consumers closest to their point of purchase.”  Regarding radio advertising in the market, the report’s “research on the department store, mass merchandiser, home improvement, and fast food sectors found that exposure to radio ad campaigns increased sales, number of buyers, and dollars spent.  For department stores alone, sales increased by 10%, the number of buyers increased by 3%, and dollars spent per customer increased by 6%.”  See the report here.

Odds & Sods.  The patriotic rock band Madison Rising is beginning its preparation for its 2016 national tourmadisonrisingstill with the release of its “Soldier’s Christmas” song and video.  The presentation honors the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for this nation, along with their families who endure their loss throughout the year and during the holiday season in particular. The band (pictured at right) is on a mission to reignite authentic American culture through great rock music.  Its new album American Hero (RED) is dedicated to the men and women of our armed forces, along with the police, firefighters and other first responders. The band just completed a 70-city tour, and is preparing to launch its next stretch on January 9…..Toledo market sports talkers WLQR-FM, Delta, Ohio, flips affiliations from CBS Sports Radio Network to ESPN and begins airing much of the latter network’s sports talk shows.  The Cumulus-owned station is keeping local personalities Bob Frantz (3:00 pm to 5:00 pm) and Mike Miller (5:00 pm to 7:00 pm) on the program schedule…..There’s end-of-year programming available from ABC News Radio with programs including:  “Playback 2015” with Cheri Preston and Aaron Katersky; a year-end edition of “Perspective”; “World News This Year”; “2015 As it Happened”; “The Economy 2015 Year in Review” with ABC News’ chief business and economic correspondent Rebecca Jarvis and ABC News correspondent Richard Davies…..KEGL, Dallas “The Eagle” afternoon personality Russ Martin is thanking police for their work rescuing him after he was the victim of a home invasion.  A story in the Frisco Enterprise reports that three masked men ambushed him outside his home, bound him and stole items from his house before escaping in Martin’s 2010 Dodge Challenger.  The men have not been apprehended yet.  Martin was not harmed.

herskovitzal‘Tis the Season for Sports Talk Radio.  Radio sales maven Al Herskovitz writes in a column posted today that this time of year represents what can be a boon for sports talk radio.  With the NFL’s season zeroing in on the playoffs and basketball, hockey and college sports also in high gear, the opportunities to get creative from a sales standpoint are numerous.  He notes some of the sponsored segments he’s recently encountered during play-by-play broadcasts.  “‘The collision of the game’ sponsored by a vehicle repair shop; The ‘injury time-out’ sponsored by a medical group; ‘The gem of the game’ (the best play) sponsored by a jewelry store.  I even heard one that was called ‘The catch of the game.’  It was sponsored by a bait and tackle shop!  Laugh if you must, but this special creativity has to be acknowledged.”  Read the entire column here.

marksidSid Mark Signs Contract Extension to Continue Hosting ‘Sound of Sinatra.’  The program has been airing in one form or another in Philadelphia for the past 59 years – the last 16 on CBS RADIO’s WPHT – and radio pro Sid Mark will continue to host the nationally syndicated “Sound of Sinatra” after recently inking a contract extension.  Mark comments, “My thanks to the management of WPHT, our sponsors and, of course, my listeners for making this possible. Look forward to a big bash for the 60th.”  CBS RADIO SVP/market manager for Philadelphia David Yadgaroff adds, “What Frank Sinatra is to music, Sid Mark is to radio.  We are so happy to continue the tradition that Sid started 59 years ago.”  As legend has it, “The Sounds of Sinatra” began with a call from a listener, who suggested that Mark spin one hour of Frank Sinatra songs.  That tradition developed into “Friday with Frank,” as well as “Sunday with Sinatra,” which presently airs on WPHT on Sundays from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm.  It’s still heard on more than 100 radio stations from coast to coast and is the only radio program of its kind to have been personally authorized by Frank Sinatra.

brownejoyXmasSweater15Bringing Joy to the Ugly.  Nationally syndicated (GCN) talk star Dr. Joy Browne invited listeners to enter photos on Facebook for her annual “Ugliest Christmas Sweater” contest.  She came up with two winners – both who work as interns at the York Theatre Company’s current Broadway production of a musical titled “Plaid Tidings.”  Pictured (l-r) Daniel Lees, Dr. Joy Browne, and Lucas Camp.  York Theatre Company’s slogan is “Where musicals come to life.”

Government Shutdown Threat, Paris Climate Summit and Tomorrow’s GOP Debate Top Weekend News/Talk Stories.  The passage of a week-long spending bill and the threat of a government shutdown after this week; the ‘Paris Agreement’ climate deal inked among the U.S. and 185 other countries; and tomorrow night’s GOP primary debate in Las Vegas were some of the top news/talk stories discussed on weekend talk radio programs, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Friday, July 24, 2015

| July 24, 2015

cbsradio logoCBS RADIO Announces Market Manager Changes. Taking over for Marc Rayfield at the CBS RADIO Philadelphia cluster as SVP/market manager is current director of sales David Yadgaroff.  Rayfield was recently named market manager for the New York market.  Elsewhere in the company, current Boston SVP/market manager Mark Hannon adds the same duties for Hartford, replacing the retiring Suzanne McDonald.  CBS combines the SVP/market manager post for both Miami and Orlando and appoints Steve Carver, who replaces Joe Bell in Miami and Dave Robbins in Orlando.  They both exit the company.  Director of sales Tony Perlongo is promoted to SVP/ market manager in Las Vegas, taking over for the exiting Jerry McKenna; and Mike Valenzuela rises from VP/director of sales in the Riverside cluster to SVP/market manager, replacing Harvey Wells who’s returning to the Chicago area to be closer to family.

orban logoOrban Addresses Nielsen-Voltair Issue.  Audio processor competitor Orban has been very quiet during the industry-wide discussion about 25-Seven’s Voltair processor but breaks that silence with a press statement released on Thursday (7/23).  The statement says, in part, “Some have argued that Voltair is ‘just another form of audio processing.’  However, we believe that there is an essential and fundamental difference between audio processing (like that done by our Optimods) that increases the opportunity of the Nielsen encoder to insert audibly undetectable watermark tones and processing that directly manipulates the level of the watermark, potentially breaking Nielsen psychoacoustic masking model and allowing the tones to become audible.  Based on their testing, Nielsen concluded that Voltair can degrade perceptual quality.  In an environment where traditional radio is suffering ever-increasing competition from new media, we believe that it is unwise for radio to degrade its audio in an internecine battle whose ultimate winner could be non-broadcast providers.  Because Nielsen is a large, global business that depends on producing credible audience measurements, we expect that it will soon solve any problem (if it actually exists) by making improvements to its encoder.  Accordingly, we have decided not to add processing to Optimods that directly manipulates the Nielsen watermark signal because we expect that any such effort would degrade audio quality and would soon be rendered obsolete by Nielsen’s encoder improvements.  Moreover, we trust the Media Rating Council to thoroughly evaluate any such improvements, as they have already done for the Nielsen PPM system in its current form.  While it is true Orban’s Optimod processors are compatible with Voltair, we urge caution.”

kfi logoDoug Steckler Ends Friday Appearances with Tim Conway Jr. on KFI, Los Angeles.  For the last four years, Doug Steckler has been co-hosting the Friday evening edition of Tim Conway Jr.’s show on iHeartMedia’s KFI, Los Angeles.  But that is ending and Steckler says in a statement, “I am leaving the Tim Conway Jr. show on KFI where I enjoyed sharing Fridaystecklerdoug evenings with the funniest, nicest guy in radio.  We had more fun than should be legal.  All good things must come to their finish and it’s always better (if still difficult) to get out while you can still hear the laughter.  I want to wish everyone connected with the Tim Conway Jr. show the very best in every way.  I would like to especially express my profound gratitude to Sheron Bellio, our executive producer, whose creativity, original thinking, laser wit, and supernatural administrative abilities made every Friday a wonderfully conspiratorial caper.”  Conway and Steckler co-hosted a talk show on the old hot talk-formatted KLSX-FM, Los Angeles (now CHR KAMP) from 1996 through 2005.  Doug Steckler is represented by Jason Insalaco’s Kelton Agency.

hoffmancraigWTEM, Washington Adds Craig Hoffman for Redskins Beat Reporter Gig.  This will be a year-round gig at Red Zebra Broadcasting’s Washington Redskins flagship WTEM “ESPN 980” for Craig Hoffman as he is named the new Redskins beat reporter.  Hoffman was most recently with ESPN O&O KESN, Dallas “103.3 FM ESPN” as a host and update anchor.  Red Zebra says he has experience “covering both professional and college teams along with reporting from large national events like the NCAA Final Four.  Craig will cover the Redskins year-round and will contribute content to the station’s local shows.  He will also be part of the game-day broadcasts on the Redskins Radio Network while producing content for ESPN 980’s website and social media outlets.”

vandenburghpaulPaul Vandenburgh Takes Top Talk Show Honors in Metroland ‘Best Of.’  WGDJ, Albany owner, general manager and morning talk host Paul Vandenburgh’s daily show was named the Best Talk Radio Program in the market by Albany alternative weekly Metroland.  Here’s how the entry reads: “This is the show for local issues.  Special mention must be made of the must-listen interviews he conducted with local reporters on scene in Dannemora during the prison break.  Standard disclaimer: We’re a bunch of liberals and disagree with 75 percent of his opinions, but so what?  Who didn’t enjoy it when he went after Troy’s City Hall clown show during the frozen pipes scandal?”

Odds & Sods.  Los Angeles-based talk legend Tom Leykis is streaming his program live from the Maximum Yieldleykistom Indoor Gardening Expo at the Los Angeles Convention Center tomorrow (7/25) from 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm PT from the Aqua Camel booth.  What is Aqua Camel?  It’s a self-watering plant pot system that uses 65% less water.  The company is co-founded by Tim Sabean, former Sirius Satellite Radio and CBS RADIO programmer…..Hearst-owned WBAL, Baltimore  “NewsRadio 1090” agrees to a new multi-year partnership with the Naval Academy Athletic Association to continue serving as radio flagship for Navy football.  This will be the 11th consecutive year WBAL has broadcast Navy football.

blackstoneaudioGot Old Radio Shows? Opportunity to Monetize Content in Your Basement.  One of the largest independent audiobook companies in the world, Blackstone Audio, is looking to expand its product offerings beyond audiobooks into spoken-word, including comedy, opinion pieces, soundtracks (non-musical), old-time radio and TV shows, sports broadcast highlights, and any other forms of spoken-word or subject matter that would be interesting to the audio-listening public.  Blackstone would offer the content owners of recorded audio programs that they choose to license or distribute an arrangement under which the content owners would receive the majority of the net revenue from the sale of their content to the public by Blackstone.  If you have recorded spoken-word content and would be interested in having Blackstone Audio consider it for licensing or distribution contact Larry Harris at talkharris@olypen.com.

talkersten logo2016 Presidential Candidates and Trump Criticisms Tie for Top Spot on Talkers TenTM.  The activities of the candidates for president in 2016 and the criticism of Donald Trump’s recent statements tied for the top spot on the Talkers TenTM for the week of July 20-24.  At #2 this week was the Iran nuclear deal.  Coming in at #3 was talk about the U.S, immigration policy and the sanctuary city concept followed by threats from ISIS 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.

Friday, December 30, 2011

| December 30, 2011

TALKERS Top News/Talk Stories and People of 2011.  The editors of TALKERS are publishing the annual lists of the most-talked-about stories and people of 2011 as heard on America’s news/talk radio stations.  The year-end lists are compiled from data from TALKERS ongoing research that is used for the weekly charts of news/talk radio’s top stories and people during the year.  It’s important to underscore that many consumer media outlets publish annual lists of top news stories and people and those are often the results of data culled from Western news organizationsTALKERS data is unique in that it reports popular stories and people talked about on American news/talk radio stations.  See the TALKERS year-end charts here.

Penn State Scandal Tops the TALKERS 10 Most Talked About Stories on Sports Talk Radio in 2011.  Like any list, this one comes with qualifications.  What constitutes a major story in New York might get precious little attention in Chicago.  Although we talk in terms of “national pastimes,” the truth is that for the most part, sports interest is local.  With that in mind, the following is the TALKERS list of the most talked about sports stories of 2011.

1. Penn State Scandal. This story dominated sports talk radio throughout the late fall.  A legendary coach is fired and shocking testimony is unveiled — documenting unspeakable acts against minors.  The Syracuse basketball program is rocked in a similar case, but as of this writing, the alleged perpetrator has escaped legal action.   To read Richard Neer’s full list click here.

WAXY, Miami PD Marc Hochman Steps Down from Programming Role to Focus on Dan LeBatard Program.  For the past two years, Marc Hochman has been serving in the dual role as program director for Lincoln Financial Media’s WAXY, Miami and executive producer and second co-host for the station’s Dan LeBatard PM drive show.  Now Hochman says he’ll leave the PD post to concentrate on his role with the program, “It became obvious to me that I would be serving the radio station and radio show better if I were to focus only on one.  There are many opportunities presenting themselves to ‘The Dan LeBatard Show’ so I’ve decided to focus 100% of my attention on the show and its future.  Lincoln Financial Media has been super supportive of my decision.  They’re thrilled I’m going to remain part of the radio station and they’ve asked me to remain in the PD position until they are able to find a replacement.”  WAXY is beginning a search for a new programmer immediately.

Sports KILT, Houston Debuts New Local Midday Show; Premiere’s Jim Rome Exits.  CBS Radio Houston debuts a new midday show called “Mad Radio” featuring Mike Meltser and Brad Davies in the 10:00 am to 2:00 pm slot.  Meltser has served as the morning show news anchor on KILT and Brien Straw will take over that position according to the Houston Chronicle.  Brad Davies previously worked at crosstown sports talker KBME-FM.  Premiere NetworksJim Rome was one of the first major market affiliates for the program when it leaped from its Southern California base to national syndication in 1997 and has been a mainstay of KILT for those 14 years.  But program director Gavin Spittle says it’s simply a matter of ratings and Rome’s program is the only one that doesn’t beat its three sports talk radio competitors in the market.  “This is a performance-based business, and we have exhausted our options.  We like Jim and thank him for all he has done for the station.  He has been a huge fan of Sports Radio 610, and we have been huge fans of Jim Rome.  Unfortunately, for whatever reason, the ratings in Houston have slid to the point where a change is necessary.”

Former Marketing Director Sues CBS Radio Philadelphia for Sexual Harassment and Discrimination.  As reported in the Philadelphia Daily News, former KYW, Philadelphia marketing director Shelley Kanther is suing the company alleging suffering “severe and pervasive” sexual harassment and discrimination and being fired after speaking up about it.  Kanther’s attorney, Samuel First, writes in the suit that work environment at CBS Philadelphia was “toxic” with male co-workers telling Kanther “to wear skirts more often, swat at her butt and considered offering her money to make out with another worker.”  The suit singles out SVP and market manager Marc Rayfield as the “worst offender” and alleges he fired Kanther when she complained.  The suit also says VP and general sales manager David Yadgaroff failed to take action when asked to do so.  CBS Radio is not commenting on the suit.

KQV, Pittsburgh to Air Robert Dickey Retrospective Today.  Calvary senior partner and KQV, Pittsburgh president and general manager Robert Dickey passed away last week at age 84.  KQV anchor PJ Maloney has produced a 50-minute retrospective of the man who dedicated his professional life to radio.  The station says, “This special will include tributes from broadcasters, staff, friends and public officials…people who have known and worked with Bob Dickey during his 60-plus years in broadcasting.”  The special airs this morning (12/30) at 10:10 am on KQV and is being repeated at 11:10 to allow staff to attend this morning’s funeral mass.

Bart Ritner, Pioneering North Carolina Radio Talker, Dies at 76.  According to reports, the 39-year veteran of WPTF, Raleigh died on Wednesday (12/28) after a long battle with abdominal cancer.  He was a regional pioneer of the call-in style of talk radio famous for impartiality and tremendous interviewing skills.  According to the Greensboro News and Record, his interviews covered the gamut including President Lyndon Johnson, arsenic killer Velma Barfield and North Carolina Ku Klux Klan leaders.  His reputation for even-handedness led to him serving as a mediator who helped resolve a dangerous standoff at Raleigh’s maximum-security Central prison.

 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

| November 17, 2011

The D.C. All-News Battle is On.  CBS Radio will take on Hubbard Broadcasting’s stranglehold on all-news in the Nation’s Capital in January when it unveils a brand new FM news station at 99.1 on the dial.  CBS is moving its “El Zol” Spanish station from 99.1 to the recently acquired WFSI-FM, Annapolis, Maryland signal at 107.9 it purchased from Harold Camping’s Family Stations, Inc.  Hubbard’s WTOP brand (which includes its tremendous digital initiatives) has been dominant in the news game in D.C. and nowhere is that more evident than in its first-place finish in the revenue race among all American radio stations as it billed $57 million in 2010.  Now, CBS Radio brings its years of all-news experience to town.  CBS Radio CEO Dan Mason states, “CBS Radio’s history in all-news is rich in tradition and recognized nationwide for its excellence.  There is no one more regarded in this field, nor anyone with the journalistic expertise and capability to put forth a product with such instant credibility.  We have perfected this format over many decades and we’re thrilled to expand the options for the D.C. community who have a distinct passion for news.”  CBS moves WCBS, New York assistant director of news and programming Robert Sanchez to DC to program the station and brings Michelle Komes-Dolge aboard to serve as news director.  Komes-Dolge is a veteran D.C. news person who served with WTOP-FM in the past.  CBS Radio operates successful all-news operations in New York (WCBS, WINS), Los Angeles (KNX), Chicago (WBBM-AM/FM), San Francisco (KCBS), Philadelphia (KYW), Detroit (WWJ), and Boston (WBZ).  The growth of all-news and the emergence of head-to-head competitive major market battles promises to focus a new level of industry attention on the competitive elements that make a difference in determining success in the format.  Stay tuned!

WBAL, Baltimore’s Ron Smith Ends Chemotherapy. Baltimore talk radio legend Ron Smith announced today that he will continue to host his daily talk show on the Hearst news/talk station he’s worked at as a host for 27 years as long as he can, but he is ending his chemotherapy.  Smith announced on October 17 that he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer that has spread to other organs.  The 69-year-old personality said at the time his doctors believed he had a chance to beat the disease with treatment.  Smith delivered the news to his listeners earlier today (11/17).

America’s Radio News Network Adds Daily Election Feature.  “Trek to 2012: The Presidential Agenda” is the name of ARNN’s new 90-second feature that airs four times daily during all four of ARNN’s news programs.  Billed as providing “listeners with all the latest on the 2012 presidential campaign schedules, media events, policy issues, latest polling numbers and debate coverage along with other election details and information,” the feature will be heard on ARNN’s 215-plus affiliate stations.  ARNN executive vice president John McCaslin says, “We trust that the ‘Trek to 2012: The Presidential Agenda’ will keep ARNN’s listeners well informed on the latest news and the whereabouts of their favorite 2012 presidential candidates, whether it is President Obama or one in the large field of GOP White House hopefuls.  Given the dismal U.S. economy and continuing recession, plus other hot-button issues such as national security, we are already experiencing unprecedented interest in the upcoming 2012 presidential campaign.”

KYW, Philadelphia Adds Three to its Newsradio Hall of Fame.  CBS Radio’s KYW, Philadelphia announces the induction of Bob Kelly, and the late Karin Phillips and Jack O’Rourke into its KYW Newsradio Hall of Fame.  Director of news and programming Steve Butler and director of sales David Yadgaroff gave the awards to Kelly, who served as an account executive for 20 years and to relatives of Phillips and O’Rourke, who died within days of each other in September.

Former WWNC, Asheville, North Carolina Host Matt Mittan Announces Digital Effort and Terrestrial Affiliate.  Matt Mittan hosted the “Take a Stand” show on Clear Channel’s WWNC, Asheville until a few weeks ago when he left the station after personnel cuts at the cluster cost him producer/sidekick Agnes Cheek.  Now, Mittan and Cheek, who’ve been producing a podcast, will begin streaming their show and have announced WHKP, Hendersonville, North Carolina (south of Asheville) will pick up the 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm hour of the show.  Mittan says that although the program is produced in their downtown Asheville studio, they plan to take it on the road across Western North Carolina.

Clear Channel Raises More than $700,000 for Fisher House.  Capping a week-long fundraising effort November 7-11 culminating on Veterans Day, Clear Channel Radio put its 850 radio stations to work to bring in more than $700,000 for the Fisher House Foundation.  Ken Fisher is chairman of the foundation and he comments, “We’re grateful for Clear Channel’s support of our military families again this year.  Clear Channel’s remarkable reach and continued support is an amazing force for our military families that will continue to help veterans and their families across the United States.”  Fisher House provides housing close to hospitals for families of military personnel who are receiving treatment for injuries suffered in battle so they can be near their loved ones during that time without incurring huge expenses.  CC has helped raise more than $1.2 million for Fisher House in the last two years.

2012 Presidential Race, ‘OWS’ Shutdown, European Debt Threatens U.S., and Marines in Australia Plan Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/16).  The 2012 GOP presidential candidates, the shutdown of the Zurcotti Park encampment in New York City and what it means to the ‘Occupy’ movement, the continuing threat to the U.S. and world economies by the European debt crisis and President Obama’s plan to station U.S. Marines in Australia were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday according to ongoing research from TALKERS.