Tag: "dead"

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

| December 14, 2016

Cumulus Renews Rush Limbaugh Through 2019.  The news/talk icon is heard on 33 of Cumulus Media’s news/talk outlets across the country and today’s announcement insures he’ll be heard there through 2019.limbaughrush15  Premiere Networks and Cumulus Media are extending the affiliation agreement for the Rush Limbaugh show and the deal is what the latter calls a “multi-million dollar” one that “represents Limbaugh’s increased power and audience appeal as the most-listened-to national radio talk show host in America.”  Cumulus throws some ratings data into the presser as well, noting that the Limbaugh show cumulus-logo“experienced combined audience growth of +49 % with Persons 12+ and +23% with Adults 25- 54 on Cumulus-owned stations in Chicago (WLS-AM), Detroit (WJR-AM), Washington, DC (WMAL-FM), Dallas (WBAP-AM) and San Francisco (KSFO-AM).  Nationwide, the program has experienced significant year-over-year audience growth in 2016 with Persons 12+ (+21%), Adults 25-54 (+13%), Adults 18-34 (+12%) and Women 25-54 (+17%).”  All data is credited to Nielsen Audio.   Cumulus Media SVP of operations and co-head office of programming Bob Walker comments, “Rush is a unique and true broadcaster, and we’ve had a successful partnership for many years.  We’re pleased to continue offering the Rush Limbaugh show on our market-leading brands, which connect with millions of consumers and drive positive results for our partners.”

KABC, Los Angeles and Doug McIntyre Ink Two-Year Extension.  Los Angeles radio personality Doug McIntyre and Cumulus Media sign a deal that will keep him hosting the “McIntyre in the Morning” show on KABC-AM for at least two more years.  KABC operations director Drew Hayes comments, “We’re thrilled Doug will mcintyreinamlogo17be with us for at least another two years given the dramatic growth he has achieved for us over the past year.”  In the press release, Hayes says McIntyre has achieved “an impressive 61% increase in weekly listeners in the third quarter of 2016 over 2015 and 70.6% growth year-to-year in the key 25-54 demographic.  Doug has also been a hit with women listeners.”  McIntyre says, “I think we’ve found success by evolving talk radio awaymcintyredoug from stridency; by striking the right balance between today’s headlines and laughs without beating people over the head with ginned-up outrage and demoralizing partisanship.”  McIntyre also writes a popular weekly column for the Los Angeles Daily News and is a regular contributor to The Daily Beast and numerous other publications.  He is also a much-in-demand emcee, helming the annual “L.A. Political Roast,” “The Cinema Audio Society Awards,” and the annual “Timothy Coughlin Dinner” in New York, a 9-11 related charity.  Next month, McIntyre will host four evenings with comedy legend Steve Martin as part of the Southern California Distinguished Speakers Series.  In past years he has performed with Monty Python icon John Cleese, Betty White, Ron Howard and Robert Redford among others.

Joe Bell Returns to Beasley to Lead Philly Cluster.  Radio sales and management pro Joe Bell worked for Beasley Media Group for 16 years leading its Fort Myers and Miami operations. Now, almost three years afterbelljoe leaving the company, he returns to serve as market manager of the Philadelphia station group.  Beasley president Bruce Beasley states, “Joe made us proud as he served at the helm of our Miami cluster in charge of an iconic heritage sports station WQAM, in addition to his experience with major personalities at WPOW ‘Power 96,’ and Miami’s ‘Kiss Country.’  As our company has grown, we have benefitted tremendously from Joe’s successful team management skills.  Joe will hit the ground running in Philly!”  In Philadelphia, Beasley operates sports talker WPEN-FM and WTEL-AM, rock WMMR, adult hits WBEN-FM, classic rock WMGK, and talk WWDB-AM.

Cumulus Suing JP Morgan Chase for Hindering Refinancing.  In this suit, filed in U.S. District Court in the Southern District of New York, Cumulus Media is asking the court to take action forcing creditor JP Morgan Chase to follow through on steps that will allow Cumulus’ debt-for-equity refinancing to happen before the January 27 deadline.  Cumulus recently announced that it has reached an agreement with bondholders that would allow it to deleverage by as much as $305 million.  But the refinance of those senior notes requires borrowing from Cumulus’ $200 million revolving line of credit and JP Morgan has not allowed the transfer of the revolving line of credit to the new lenders and extended a loan amendment giving the company access to the credit line.  In the suit, Cumulus says it is being affected by an industry-wide decline in business and its heavy debt load is affecting its prescription for improving ratings and revenue.  This refinancing would help ease that burden.  There’s been no public comment by JP Morgan Chase on the suit.

iHeartMedia Announces Strategy in Not Repaying 2016 Legacy Notes.  Saying that as part of its “ongoing efforts to proactively address its capital structure,” iHeartMedia reports that a Special Committee of independent directors has decided not to repay the $57.1 million of the 5.50% Senior Notes due tomorrow (12/15) held by affiliate iheartmedia-logo-smallestClear Channel Holdings, Inc.  It says it will pay the $192.9 million of 2016 Legacy Notes held by other holders.  With this, iHeartMedia will continue to have at least $500 million of legacy notes outstanding on December 15 and will therefore not be obligated to grant certain additional security interests in favor of certain of its debtholders under a so-called “springing lien” set forth in relevant debt agreements.  The company announces that it also filed lawsuits in the State District Court in Bexar County, Texas, seeking a declaration that the $57.1 million of 2016 Legacy Notes remains outstanding and that the Company is not currently obligated to grant any of its debtholders the “springing lien” on any of its assets.

Baltimore Talk Personality Allan Prell Dead at 79.  Longtime WBAL, Baltimore radio personality Allan Prell passed away on Saturday (12/10) at the age of 79.  Prell worked at several stations in Baltimore but made his prellallanmark in the talk radio business hosting a show in middays on WBAL from 1982 through the early 2000s, according to Prell’s obit on WBAL.com.  Prior to his talk host career, Prell was a newsman who won two Edward R. Murrow awards for investigative journalism.  As a talk show host, Prell was named to the TALKERS magazine Heavy Hundred (The 100 Most Important Radio Talk Show Hosts in America) for three years straight (1999, 2000, and 2001).  He also co-hosted a specialty weekend program called “The Movie Show on Radio” for several years in the early 2000s.  Check out David Zurawik’s memories of Prell in the Baltimore Sun here.

David Field Sells $1.2 Million of Entercom Stock.  In a legal filing disclosed to the SEC, Entercomfielddavid Communications Corp. reports that company president and CEO David J. Field sold 79,607 shares of Entercom stock in a December 12 transaction valued at $1,268,935.58.  Field sold the shares at an average price of $15.94.  After the transaction, Field’s stock ownership stands at 2,053,161 shares valued at $32,727,386.

Odds & Sods.  Last month, programmer Bob Shomper quietly exited CBS RADIO’s Twin Cities news/talk WCCO-AM.  The company is presently searching for WCCO’s new program director…..Westwood One is now serving as the exclusive ad sales rep for the weekly podcast “The Pollsters,” featuring Democratic pollster/political consultant Margie Omero and Republican pollster/political consultant Kristen Soltis Anderson.  The program is available via audioBoom, iTunes, Google, Spotify, and others…..College basketball legend John Calipari is the host of a new, weekly podcast on the Midroll platform, owned by E.W. Scripps.  The “Cal Cast” gives Calipari “a new way for me to connect with people and to talk honestly with high profile guests who all have very interesting stories and bold opinions.”

Trump Transition/Kanye West Visits Trump Tower, Trump Cabinet Nominees, the Syrian Civil War/Allegations of Atrocities in Aleppo, New Abortion Legislation, Election Recount/Russian Influence Allegations, New Star Wars Flick, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/13).  The transitioning of the Trump Administration and rapper Kanye West’s visit to the Trump Tower in NYC; President-Elect Donald Trump’s choices of ExxonMobil chief Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State, former Texas Governor Rick Perry as Energy Secretary, and U.S. Rep. Ryan Zinke for Secretary of the Interior; the Syrian civil war and allegations that Bashar al Assad’s forces are randomly killing civilians; the 20-week abortion limit passed in Ohio and an attempt to put restrictions on abortions in Oklahoma; the failed election recount started by Green Party candidate Jill Stein and questions about the extent of Russian influence in the recent elections; chatter about the new Rogue One installment in the Star Wars film franchise; and the week’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

| August 30, 2016

Dr. Joy Browne Dead at 71.  This report – confirmed by a Facebook post by her sister Alannah Sinclaire and a conversation today between TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison and her brother David Oppenheim – indicates that talk radio star Dr. Joy Browne died on Saturday, August 27 at age 71.  The exact cause is unknown at brownejoythis time, but Sinclaire writes that she was on the phone speaking with Dr. Joy “chatting about movies reviews, recipes, and favorite memories from a recent birthday party for our 95-year-old mom when the phone suddenly disconnected; her heart had stopped as well.”  At the time of her death, Browne’s long-running talk show had been syndicated to stations across the country by Genesis Communications Network.  Browne received her M.A. and a Ph.D. from Northeastern University in Boston.  It was in Boston that she got her start in talk radio but she launched into national syndication from New York’s heritage WOR in the early 1990s and built a strong roster of affiliate stations all across the country.  After the demise of the WOR Radio Network, Browne continued to host her syndicated program via various independent distributors, finally working with GCN.  Browne was also the author of numerous self-help books and well known for her love of theater and movies.  Dr. Joy Browne was ranked at #25 on the TALKERS magazine 2016 Heavy Hundred – The Most Important Radio Talk Show Hosts in America.  Memorial services are pending.  Friends and admirers of Dr. Joy Browne will likely be encouraged to make donations in her memory to her international charitable foundation, the Joy to the World Foundation. In a statement, released moments ago Michael Harrison says, “I am personally devastated, Joy was one of the greatest talents in the history of radio, a humanitarian and wonderful human being. All of us in radio and her vast listening audience have suffered a terrible loss.”

Conservative Talk Hosts Debate Their Role in the Rise of Donald Trump.  Several weeks ago, TALKERS magazine published a story about a coming piece in Business Insider by Oliver Darcy in which WTMJ, Milwaukee conservative talk host Charlie Sykes wondered if decades of mainstream media bashing by he and his colleagueshannity has created a “monster” – an ultra-conservative constituency that won’t believe anything that doesn’t beckglenncome from Fox News, Breitbart, or Drudge.  The full piece was recently published and you can read it here.  Quoted in the story are talk hosts Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, and John Zeigler, as well as a few political operatives, and, of course, Sykes.  TALKERS editors are not prepared to conclude that conservative media alone created Trump’s presidential campaign success.  After all, it likely took more than just conservative media junkies to get Trump the nomination.  But the piece is an interesting read and certain to be the subject of debate among talk radio people and media theorists.

nielsen logoNielsen Audio Releases First Round of August 2016 PPM Data.  The first of four rounds of August 2016 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey).  The August 2016 survey period covered July 14 through August 10.  You can find the complete 6+ ratings numbers from subscribing stations here.  Additionally, TALKERS/RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Twelve Takeaways” from this group on the main page of our sister publication here.

KFTK-FM, St. Louis Weekend Host to Appear in NRA Documentary.  From a story in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch is the news that KFTK-FM weekend personality Stacy Washington will be part of a recently filmedwashingtonstacy National Rifle Association documentary.  Washington is host of the Sunday evening “Stacy on the Right” program and makes appearances on the station’s morning drive program hosted by Jamie Allman.  Washington tells the Post-Dispatch that the filming consisted of her answering questions about guns and gun rights.  She is an Air Force veteran who also appears on the “NRA News” show that airs on SiriusXM.

TTWN Looks to Bolster Services with Baron Partnership.  This cooperative effort between iHeartMedia’s Total Traffic & Weather Network and “weather intelligence” firm Baron is a multi-year, data-collaboration partnership.  The technological agreement will combine TTWN’s real-time traffic incident and flow data, with totaltraffic logoBaron’s expertise in location-specific weather products, including the patented Baron Telematics Weather safety solution.  In a press release, the companies say that this partnership will “create the next generation of integrated traffic and weather solutions offering enhanced road and weather safety capabilities to automotive manufacturers, tier-one suppliers, insurance companies, media and public safety markets.  The first integration is designed to enhance the connected car driving experience providing better road guidance, smoother commutes and increased safety, and will be immediately available for all TTWN automotive traffic and weather partners.”

Odds & Sods.  As reported by Blaine Thompson’s Indiana Radio Watch, today (8/30) Kayla Blakeslee rejoins Federated Media’s news/talk WOWO, Fort Wayne as news director.  She’s been serving with the Ohio Department of Transportation…..A new golf show launches on Emmis’ news/talk KLBJ-AM, Austin with hosts Ed Clements and Scotty Sayers.  Titled, “The Fifteenth Club,” the program airs Saturdays from 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm and will involve the hosts taking calls and interviewing golf pros and celebrities…..SiriusXM is airing live coverage of the 2016 US Open Tennis Championships from the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, New York.  Coverage began yesterday and runs through the Women’s and Men’s Finals on September 10 and 11…..Just because broadcasting legend Charles Osgood is retiring from his Sunday morning television program after 22 years doesn’t mean he’s leaving his radio gig.  Westwood One assures stations Charles will still “see you on the radio” with his daily “Osgood File” programs delivered four times a day, five days a week.

The Presidential Race, Weiner-Abedin Separate, Hacking of Election Systems, Shooting Death of Dwayne Wade’s Cousin, Colin Kaepernick National Anthem Protest, ObamaCare Troubles, Gene Wilder Dies, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/29).  The activities of presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton; Clinton aid Huma Abedin and Anthony Weiner separate after Weiner’s latest sexting incident; elections systems in Arizona and Illinois are breached by hackers; the aftermath of the Chicago shooting death of NBA star Dwayne Wade’s cousin, Nykea Aldridge; the response to Colin Kaepernick’s statements about not standing for the National Anthem; the troubles facing ObamaCare exchanges; the death of actor Gene Wilder; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to research from TALKERS magazine.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

| January 28, 2016

ciancibuddyWPRO-AM, Providence Talk Host Buddy Cianci Dead at 74.  The colorful former Providence mayor who turned his political experience into a talk radio career in the city has died, according to WPRI-TV, Providence.  Buddy Cianci – diagnosed with colon cancer in 2014 – died at Providence’s Miriam Hospital early today (1/28).  Cianci hosted the 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm program on Cumulus Media’s WPRO-AM.  He was with the station for most of the past 10 years, taking a required break from his radio gig to again run for mayor in 2014 and returning after his defeat in the election.  His first foray into talk radio took place between his two stints as mayor at iHeartMedia’s crosstown news/talker WHJJ.  WRKO, Boston-based, independently syndicated talk radio star Howie Carr issued the following statement regarding Cianci’s death: “Buddy Cianci was the antithesis of political correctness, which is why his passing is such a great loss for Providence, the state of Rhode Island, and talk radio.  They’re not making them like Buddy anymore.  He was one of a kind, sui generis.”

landrethjackTalk Programmer Jack Landreth Exits KMBZ, Kansas City PD Post.  Talk radio pro Jack Landreth leaves the program director position at Entercom’s Kansas City talk duo KMBZ-FM and KMBZ-AM “Talk980.”  Landreth arrived in KC in January of 2012 after programming such news/talk outlets as KXNT, Las Vegas and KTSA, San Antonio.  He writes in a memo to his staff, “I am extremely proud of what we have accomplished over the last four years as a team.  Record ratings in our target demos have shattered all we thought we could do.”  He can be emailed at: Jack.Landreth@me.com.

Odds & Sods.  Cumulus Media’s news/talk WABC, New York adds “The Frommer Travel Show” to its Saturday programming schedule.  The show, featuring Frommer Media co-president and editorial director Pauline Frommer and Frommers.com editor-in-chief Jason Cochran, will be locally produced and air from 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm…..The weekly “Motley Fool Money” radio program with host Chris Hill adds new affiliate KVBR, Brainerd, Minnesota “Brainerd Business Radio” beginning this weekend…..CBS RADIO’s Pittsburgh station group is presenting its eat.drink.WESTMORELAND event this Saturday (1/30).  Attendees get to enjoy samples from more than a dozen of Westmoreland County’s finest restaurants plus new products, wines, beers and more.  News/talk KDKA-AM afternoon drive co-host Robert Mangino is serving as emcee.

Presidential Race/Trump to Skip GOP Debate, Low Oil Prices/Financial Markets Volatility, European Immigrant Issues, Joseph Fiennes-Michael Jackson Flap, Oregon Militia Standoff, and Run-Up to Super Bowl 50 Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/27).  The activities of the candidates for president, highlighted by Donald Trump’s refusal to participate in tonight’s Fox News Channel debate; low oil prices and the tumultuous world financial markets; the immigrant problems facing some European nations; the controversy over white actor Joseph Fiennes being cast in a film about Michael Jackson; the deadly turn of events in the Oregon Wildlife Preserve militia standoff; and the run-up to Super Bowl 50 were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

wgnBhawksCochran16WGN, Chicago Extends Blackhawks Broadcast Deal for Five More Years.  Chicago news/talker WGN and the NHL’s Chicago Blackhawks announce the signing of a five-year contract extension to keep Blackhawks play-by-play on the Tribune station through the 2023-24 season. The Blackhawks have been heard on WGN since the 2008-09 campaign.  WGN president and general manager Jimmy de Castro states, “Many, myself included, believe that WGN Radio and the Chicago Blackhawks have the best partnership in sports.  This renewal is testament to that.  It’s an honor to formally extend this relationship and we look forward to celebrating many more Blackhawks wins with our WGN Radio listeners.”  Pictured here are (from l-r): sports director Dave Eanet, producer Ross Cochran, news anchor Andrea Darlas, director of sales Jeff Hill, director of marketing Jackie Paulus, programming director Todd Manley, morning show host Steve Cochran, and de Castro.

Friday, September 18, 2015

| September 18, 2015

ramseyBatonRouge15Dave Ramsey’s Smart Money Event a Hit in Baton Rouge.  Nationally syndicated talk radio superstar Dave Ramsey brought his “Smart Money” event to Baton Rouge, Louisiana on Thursday evening and packed the large Healing Place Church with fans eager to hear his presentation about how to win with money, get out of debt and invest for the future.  Ramsey Solutions personality and speaker Chris Hogan joined Ramsey on stage.  Ramsey partnered with local affiliate WBRP-FM “Talk 107.3” to promote the program.  Gordy Rush is VP/market manager for the Guaranty Media-owned station.  He comments, “We at ‘Talk 107.3 FM’ are absolutely thrilled that Dave has chosen Baton Rouge to host one of his ‘Smart Money’ events.  It’s no surprise that Dave will have a sellout crowd on hand as, like the rest of America, he has a tremendous following here.”

wvonlogoWVON, Chicago Names Permanent Hosts to Evening Daypart.  At the Chicago urban talk outlet, the 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm slot has been filled recently by a revolving group of hosts.simsart  Now, the station announces the new, permanent evening lineup.  Effective Monday (9/21), “Real Talk, Real People,” hosted by Art “Chat Daddy” Sims, will be heard in early evenings Monday through ivankovichsThursday and “Life and Love,” with Dr. Karla K. Ivankovich and Dr. Dan Ivankovich, will air on Friday nights.  The station says Sims’ program is “a lifestyle magazine show that will offer listeners local and national lifestyle stories, relationship advice, celebrity interviews and more.”  On “Life and Love,” Drs. Karla and Dan Ivankovich “will address building solid relationships, improving and enhancing communication and instilling and infusing love back into interpersonal relationships.”

tayloralanRadio Host Alan Taylor Threatens Suit Against Time Inc.  According to a story by Keith Kelly in the New York Post, radio host Alan Taylor plans to sue Time Inc. for the latter’s use of “The Drive” for its new digital venture.  “The Drive with Alan Taylor” has been the name of Taylor’s radio program for two years.  His car show goes back to 1992 but it had different names when it was affiliated with Motor Trend and then Car & Driver.  Taylor tells Kelly he has worked with Time Inc., even to the extent he helped bring business from both Jaguar and Maserati to Time Inc.  “They are literally stealing my name.  They took something that I helped them build, and then they kicked me out of bed.”  Taylor offered to change his show’s name for $500,000 but the company countered with $12,000.  Alan Taylor is the brother of Talk Radio Network CEO Mark Masters and the son of TRN founder Roy Masters. Read the entire Post story here.

schnittMetstix15WOR’s Todd Schnitt Surprises Mets Fans.  A trio of Mets fans was very pleasantly surprised when WOR, New York morning drive co-host Todd Schnitt appeared on the subway platform with a cardboard sign announcing he was giving away free tickets to the playoff-bound team’s Tuesday night game versus the Miami Marlins.  Schnitt co-hosts the morning show with Len Berman and the iHeartMedia station is the flagship for New York Mets baseball.  Schnitt is pictured here with one of the lucky recipients.

Odds & Sods.  Suffice it to say, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett is no fan of that markets conservative talk radio hosts on E.W. Scripps’ WTMJ or iHeartMedia’swisn logo WISN.  Addressing the attendees at the Milwaukee Business Journal’s Downtown wtmj logoMilwaukee Renaissance luncheon on Tuesday regarding perceptions of safety in the downtown area, Barrett referenced critical talk hosts when saying, “In 2009 I made a conscious decision to turn off talk radio.  “I thought, ‘For my mental health, I’m going to turn it down.’  There are people who love to hate the city.  I’m ignoring them because there are more good things going on in this city than in any city in this state!”  But, according to the Milwaukee Business Journal, Barrett cited WISN’s Mark Belling saying he agrees with Belling’s statement that your chances of being harmed are greatly reduced if you’re not involved in illegal activities…..iHeartMedia’s news/talk WRNO, New Orleans is the new flagship station for the NBA’s New Orleans Pelicans.  The team’s play-by-play broadcasts move over from Entercom’s WWL-AM/FM.on display.

Baseball Broadcasting Legend Milo Hamilton Dead at 88.  Ford Frick Award-winning baseball play-by-play announcer Milo Hamilton died yesterday (9/17).  Hamilton spent his 67 seasons calling baseball games on the radio with seven different teams – most notably with the Houston Astros where he worked from 1985 through 2012.  Hamilton was in the booth for the Atlanta Braves in 1974 when he called Hank Aaron’s record-setting 715th home run.

TALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  “The Dana Show,” featuring host Dana Loesch is now heard onloeschdana Emmis-owned news/talk KLBJ-AM, Austin from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm CT…..The Radio America-syndicated Chad Benson show becomes part of the program lineup at Cox Media Group’s news/talk WDBO-FM, Orlando “News 96.5.”…..“Free Talk Live” featuring Ian Freeman and Mark Edge is added to the programming schedule on WZXI, Lancaster, Kentucky.

talkersten logoTrump Candidacy/GOP Primary Debate Tops Talkers TenTM for Week of September 14-18.  The unexpectedly high-polling presidential candidacy of Donald Trump and the Wednesday evening GOP primary debate tied for the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio during the week.  At #2 were the activities of the rest of the 2016 presidential candidates.  Coming in at #3 was the immigration policy of the U.S. tied with the related migrant problems European nations are dealing with, followed by the Iran nuclear deal 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.

Monday, January 26, 2015

| January 26, 2015

limbaugh logoLongtime Rush Limbaugh Staffer Kit Carson Dies After Battle with Cancer.  TALKERS magazine has learned from Sound Mind LLC principal Kraig Kitchin that longtime Rush Limbaugh staffer Christopher “Kit” Carson passed away this morning (1/26), in New Jersey.   The cause was brain cancer.  Kitchin says Carson had suffered a bout of cancer four years ago but found his way to recovery two years later and was given a clean bill of health.  In the last several months, the cancer returned.  Kit Carson was the “chief of staff” of Limbaugh’s program since the early 1990s.  He became part of the program’s staff in 1989.  Kitchin says Carson wanted to be an actor, but fell in love with his work on the program.  He screened calls, opened and answered the mail, and he took every opportunity to be invaluable.  And he became invaluable.  Later, he was nicknamed “H.R.” with Limbaugh naming him after Nixon Chief of Staff H.R. Haldeman.  A clearly shaken, limbaughrushtearful Rush Limbaugh announced the news at the top of his radio program today (1/26).  He said, “We are all experiencing a huge void in all of our hearts here today.”  Limbaugh praised Carson as never having a bad word to say about anyone and was always a mediating force for good and harmony among the staff.  Limbaugh said that Carson was the longest-running employee of the show and quickly proved himself to be the new program’s number one defender, champion and evangelist.  Limbaugh also credited Carson with coming up with many ideas and angles that he used as his own on the air—and was also a tremendous force for Rush maintaining optimism and positivity in his work and attitude about life.  Clearly he was the one guy who Limbaugh never once doubted – “I had total trust in him.”  Limbaugh said, “Even at 58 he had an innocent exuberance about him.”  Carson is survived by his wife, Theresa, and two sons.

cookeTalkersTVNow Showing on TalkersTV: Writing Commercial Copy That Produces RESULTS.  Just try not to flinch when you hear The Six Most-Dreaded Words in Radio Sales: “We tried radio, it didn’t work.”  Even when the retail business and the station fit-like-a-glove — AND the client buys enough frequency — the campaign can flop, and the disappointed advertiser gives up on radio entirely.  WHY?  Consultant and TALKERS contributor Holland Cooke explains, “Too often, it’s because the commercial copy was ineffective.  Not surprisingly, this can happen because cutbacks have cost the station a creative department and reps are writing their own spots… too often banging out scripts quickly, so they can get back on the street to close new business — which they’re under pressure to do, because of churn.  Why does this often happen?  You guessed it: Because clients cancel…because they didn’t get results…because the copy didn’t work.  It’s a vicious cycle.”  Cooke adds, “Ironically, the same problem is common at stations that HAVE a creative person or department.”  And he cites three reasons:

1.  The conveyor belt is out of control.  With four, five or six stations under one roof, the writer gets overwhelmed.

2.  ESPECIALLY this time of year, when stations stage the annual first quarter “one day sale,” piling even more work on the writer; in many cases spots that will air long-term (or until the disappointed client cancels).

3.  The writer, back at the station, didn’t share the rep’s in-person contact with the prospect during the important Needs Assessment step.  Cooke figures that “account executives are, potentially, better writers than…writers, because they know clients’ stories first-hand.”

“Potentially,” Cooke stipulates, “because account executives need to speak to the listener (the advertiser’s client) the same way they approached the advertiser.  Reps are natural sellers, but don’t always apply their persuasive talent to copy writing.”  In a video now showing on TalkersTV, Cooke outlines what he calls “the dance steps of a 60-second commercial script,” based on his work helping client station reps craft copy for local retailers.  See Cooke relate what he terms “The Five Steps of Selling Anything to Anybody” (how reps got the order) to the copy-writing process.  See the TalkersTV box at the top right-hand column of this page and every page of Talkers.com.

mussonchristinaKMJ-AM/FM, Fresno Names Musson Co-Host.  The new late morning show at Cumulus Media’s Fresno news/talker KMJ-AM/FM launches today as “Broeske & Musson.”  KMJ program director Blake Taylor announces the station promotes Christina Musson from station executive producer to co-host of the program alongside John Broeske.  Taylor says, “We tried out dozens of potential co-hosts for John, but we only needed to look down the hall for the perfect answer.  ‘Broeske & Musson’ is going to be a dynamic show with tons of energy.  They’ll continue to deliver the hard-hitting and fun topics of the day that our listeners expect.”  Musson has been executive producer the past six years.  Her resume also includes production and reporting work at Fresno’s KMPH-TV KGPE-TV as well as KAPP-TV in Yakima, Washington.  She says, “I’m excited to take the next step in my career at such an amazing station and to partner with John Broeske – someone I admire and respect.  I grew up listening to KMJ, so it’s a dream come true.”

knxawards15Radio & Television News Association of Southern California Presents Awards.  The 65th annual Golden Mike awards were presented by the Radio & Television News Association of Southern California (RTNA) on Saturday evening (1/24) in Universal City.  The awards are presented annually for excellence in radio, TV and Internet broadcast journalism.  CBS RADIO’s all-news KNX, Los Angeles was recognized with seven Golden Mike awards in the following categories: Best New Broadcast Over 15 Minutes – “KNX Morning News”; Best Live Coverage of a News Story – “LAX Shooting”; Best News Reporting – “Nanny Nightmare” by Charles Feldman; Best Spot News Reporting – “The Great UCLA Flood of 2014” by Desmond Shaw, Ed Mertz, and Pete Demetriou; Best News Public Affairs Program – “Ask the Mayor”; Best Trafficgregorysteveawards Report – KNX Traffic at 6:15 am; and Best Sports Reporting – “Watts Bears”  by Ed Mertz.  Pictured above left are (from l-r) KNX staffers Ron Kilgore, Frank Mottek, Kathy Kiernan, James Tuck, Ric Schroeder, Wendy Thermos, and Pete Demetriou accepting the award for Best Live Coverage of a News Story.  iHeartMedia’s crosstown news/talk KFI and reporter Steve Gregory also took home seven Golden Mike awards (see photo at right) in the following categories: Best Radio News Special – “Breaking Down The Border Crisis” by Steve Gregory and Oswaldo Borraez; Best Radio Investigative Reporting – “Mold School” by Steve Gregory and Oswaldo Borraez; Best Radio Light Feature (less than a minute) – “Valentine’s Day Flower Inspection” by Steve Gregory; Best Radio Serious Feature (less than a minute) – “Operation Boo” by Steve Gregory; Best Radio Hard News Series – “Trial Of Jailed Marine In Mexico”; Best Radio Internet News Reporting – “Operation Boo” by Steve Gregory and David Perez; and Best Radio Newscast (under 15 minutes).  KFI program director Robin Bertolucci comments, “We have the best news team here at KFI, these folks rock and Steve is a prime example of the caliber of talent that makes us so proud!”

ppmunitRound Four of Holiday PPM Data Released.  The fourth of four rounds of Holiday 2014 PPM data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Austin, Milwaukee, Indianapolis, Providence, Raleigh, Norfolk, Nashville, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford.  The survey period was December 4 to December 31.  TALKERS magazine’s sister publication RadioInfo has all of the numbers from subscribing stations here.  In addition, managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his “Ten Takeaways” from this batch of ratings on the main page at RadioInfo.com here.

franklinjoeNew York Talk Legend Joe Franklin Dies at 88.  The New York talk television and talk radio icon who was famously parodied by Billy Crystal on “Saturday Night Live,” died after a long battle with cancer on Saturday (1/24).  Joe Franklin hosted a television program interviewing celebrities and offbeat characters beginning in the early 1950s.  He worked in radio later in his career at such stations as WOR, New York and most recently on the Bloomberg Radio Network.  Franklin ranked 71st in the 2010 TALKERS magazine 20th Anniversary Heaviest Hundred list (which ranks “the 100 most important radio talk show hosts of all time”) and appeared a number of times as a special guest speaker at the annual TALKERS Convention in New York City.  Publisher Michael Harrison would introduce him to the attendees from out of town as a famous New York City “tourist attraction as legendary as the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building and Central Park.”  Franklin juggled so many careers in the media that it’s a good thing he stopped to write a book every few years – in fact, 23 in all — to capture his amazingly colorful life.  His autobiography Up Late With Joe Franklin (Scribner, 1995) is jam-packed with celebrity-rich-anecdotes — from Eddie Cantor and Rudy Vallee to Howard Stern, for example.  According to the Library Journal, “He actually knew those early entertainers and knew many of those currently entertaining.”  What originally made him a household name — even before the highly touted “Saturday Night Live” parodies by Billy Crystal — was Franklin’s late night variety program “The Joe Franklin Show,” which ran from 1950 through 1993.  The Guinness Book of World Records lists it as the longest running TV talk show in history manned by one host.   And what a show it was!  Much like visiting your favorite neighborhood hardware store, you never knew what unexpected gems would pop up among the variety and clutter.  A sample show would feature a sculptor, belly dancer, an up-and-coming comic, a podiatrist and then maybe a famous actor or singer.  According to Publisher’s Weekly (1994), his program’s “total guest list ran between 200,000 and 300,000.”  and included such names as Frank Sinatra Jr., Bing Crosby, Marilyn Monroe, John Wayne, Vincent Price, Howard Stern, Buddy Hackett, — as well as first TV exposure for eventual stars like Sammy Davis Jr., Bill Cosby, Woody Allen, Barbra Streisand and Julia Roberts.  “It would be easier to list the few who did not appear than to catalogue those who did,” PW says. Franklin started and ended his long show business career in radio.  His first job, at 16, was working behind the scenes at WNEW, New York where he became “the record librarian,” (or really “the record picker”) for Martin Block’s popular “Make Believe Ballroom” radio program.   Once station management recognized his unique expertise in vaudeville and entertainment trivia, they offered him a 15-minute program dedicated to nostalgia.  Eventually that became his calling card and part of the schtick he’d weave into shows, whether radio or television.  The self- proclaimed “King of Entertainment” had an encyclopedic knowledge of “all things entertainment” from the first half of the 20th Century:  silent films, Broadway stage shows, musicians and singers.  With that, he also earned the title the “king of nostalgia.”  After his television show ended, Franklin focused on his long-running “Memory Lane” radio program, which ran on WOR on weekend overnights.  He’d tell stories about many of the entertainers whose records he would play.  In recent years, up until the time of his death, he hosted a weekends-only series of six-minute segments on Bloomberg Radio Network called ‘The Business of Show Business.’  Audio podcasts are still available at Bloomberg.com.  Throughout his career, the round-faced, jovial Franklin was commonly called back to television to do guest spots on the big late night and daytime talk shows such as those hosted by Regis Philbin and David Letterman.   Considered a good luck charm for the start of a new talk show due to the length of his show’s run, Franklin often kicked off day one of a show – and did so on the first broadcasts of “Late Night with Conan O’Brien” and “This American Life.”  Though Franklin may never have wanted to act in movies – like his childhood friend Tony Curtis – he did appear as himself in “Ghostbusters” and “Broadway Danny Rose,” just to name two of the 34 titles that IMDb lists.   Franklin was born in 1926 in the Bronx, New York.  He met his model/actress wife when she was a secretary and he was “a kid of 24 just doing radio… and we were married on the TV show called ‘Bride and Groom,’” where real-life couples tied the knot after being quizzed about their relationship on national television.  Perhaps what sums Joe Franklin up best is his favorite personal quote: “It’s nice to be important, but it’s even more important to be nice.”

Odds & Sods.  Former “Regular Guys” personality Eric Von Haessler begins hosting his “The Von Haessler Doctrine” show on Cox Media Group’s news/talk WSB, Atlanta airing Sundays at 1:00 pm.  Since exiting his “Regular Guys” co-host position at Cumulus Media’s crosstown rock WNNX “96 Rock” in June of 2014, Von Haessler has been doing fill-vonhaesslerericin work at WSB and podcasting…..Boston sports talk personality Danny Picard launches his new eponymous podcast at the same time he debuts his new website and celebrates the opening of his new studio inside Beantown Athletics in Dorchester, Massachusetts.  Picard is a weekend personality on Entercom’s WEEI-FM, Boston and is part of the “Patriots Pre-game and Post-Game Live” shows on Comcast SportsNet New England…..Westwood One is picarddannyannouncing some of the details of its Super Bowl programming as the official network radio partner for the National Football League.  It will feature a full schedule of game day programming leading up to kickoff.  Westwood One’s live game coverage features Kevin Harlan, handling the play-by-play duties for the Super Bowl for the fifth straight year, and Boomer Esiason, serving as the color analyst.  Hall of Famer James Lofton and Mark Malone will once again report from the sidelines.  Emmy Award-winning host Jim Gray will anchor the pregame and halftime coverage…..FOX Sports Radio is also on the scene in Glendale, Arizona this week leading up to the Super Bowl.  FSRN announces that as part of its continuous coverage “Jay Mohr Sports” news anchor Dan Beyer and J.T. The Brick will broadcast live from radio row while the Dan Patrick show and the Rich Eisen show will broadcast from the DIRECTV Super Fan Festival at the Pendergrast Family Farm in Glendale’s Sports and Entertainment District across from Phoenix Stadium.  Also, former NFL player Lincoln Kennedy will broadcast a special edition of the network’s Saturday morning program Gargano & Kennedy…..CBS Sports Radio’s plans for coverage of the big game include live-from-Glendale broadcasts all week by the network’s Jim Rome, Doug Gottlieb and the Tiki Barber and Brandon Tierney program.