Tag: "Donald Trump"

Thursday, December 7, 2017

| December 7, 2017

WNYC Suspends Lopate and Schwartz During Investigation into Sexual Impropriety.  Two of New York Public Radio’s most storied voices are currently on leave from its WNYC, New York while the company investigates allegations of sexual impropriety, reports The New York Times.   Leonard Lopate – host of the WNYC 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm interview program – and American standards expert Jonathan Schwartz are both being investigated by NYPR.  Though the details of allegations against both are not public knowledge at this point, New York Public Radio chief Laura Walker says the company “takes these kinds of allegations very seriously and is reviewing these matters promptly.”  WNYC host Mary Harris hosted the 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm show yesterday (12/6) and NYPR has not announced who might be handling Schwartz’s duties in the interim.

Stephen K. Bannon Returns to Breitbart’s SiriusXM Show.  Before he was part of the Donald Trump campaign and then White House chief strategist, Stephen K. Bannon was hosting the morning drive “Breitbart News Daily” radio program on the SiriusXM Patriot channel.  Now, the Breitbart executive chairman is getting back behind the microphone alongside Breitbart editor-in-chief Alex Marlow to again host the program.  In a statement, Bannon says, “As I have said all along, everything I brought to the Trump campaign came directly from the listeners I spoke with every morning on ‘Breitbart News Daily’ on SiriusXM’s Patriot channel.  From the moment I left the White House, getting back behind the microphone was very important to me. To get on the road outside the Beltway and to spend time with the great men and women of America is an honor.”

New Talk Station Debuts on Guam.  As Choice Broadcasting managing partner Ray Gibson says, “Guam is where America’s talk radio day begins!”  Choice Broadcasting announces the re-launch of KUSG, Tamuning, Guam as “ThePOINT” with new programs joining the lineup.  Those new shows include Premiere NetworksRush Limbaugh and “Coast to Coast AM.”  Gibson says, “We’ve also signed up Sean Hannity, ‘The Tech Guy with Leo Laporte,’ and we’re really excited about putting ‘Coast to Coast AM’ with George Noory back on the island’s airwaves.”  The new shows add to the lineup that already consisted of hourly FOX News Radio news updates, “Brian Kilmeade & Friends,” John Gibson, and Tom Shillue.  Gibson notes that since acquiring the license for KUSG, Choice Broadcasting has made a number of improvements to the signal, including the addition of dynamic RDS, which allows most radios to display what show is on the air, weather, promotional announcements and breaking news.

TALKERS News Notes.  San Antonio news/talk WOAI “News Radio 1200” raised more than $200,000 during its annual radiothon and silent auction last Friday and Saturday (12/1-2).  The effort benefits the “The Elf Louise Christmas Project,” a local non-profit organization that purchases and delivers toys during the holiday season for Bexar County’s less fortunate children. To date, iHeartMedia’s WOAI has helped raise more than $4.2 million to benefit “The Elf Louise Christmas Project.”  Program founder Louise Locker states, “I can’t begin to thank ‘News Radio 1200 WOAI’ and their listeners enough.  The spirit was amazing and kept everyone going.  So many children will have a happier Christmas this year, thanks to this radiothon.”…..Earlier today (12/7), Salem Radio Network host Larry Elder was honored with the annual “Beacon Of Light” award from the Thousand Oaks, California Republican Women Federated.  The gala took place at the Thousand Oaks Country Club…..SiriusXM announces the launch of “Stanford Legal,” a bi-weekly show that “will get to the core of some of the legal issues making headlines today.”  “Stanford Legal,” part of SiriusXM’s programming arrangement with Stanford University, will premiere on SiriusXM Insight starting Saturday, December 9.  It’s co-hosted by Stanford Law professors Pam Karlan and Joe Bankman.  The series will feature conversations with attorneys, legal scholars, and leading experts on the news-making topics of the day, including the commercialization of marijuana, the power of prosecutors, President Trump’s travel ban, and more…..ABC Radio is offering a slate of end-of-year programming in both long- and short-form formats.  The long-form shows include: “Playback 2017,” a one-hour special looking at the biggest stories of the year and the newsmakers behind those stories; “2017: As It Happened,” a three-hour retrospective of some of 2017’s top stories, as told through highlights of ABC News Radio’s breaking news coverage; “Powerhouse Politics 2017 in Review” features interviews with the top political newsmakers of the year; “Perspective,” a special year-end edition of ABC News Radio’s award-winning weekly news magazine; and “World News This Year,” taking a look back at the major news events of the past year in 2017’s final edition of the weekly show.

Franken Pressured to Resign/Conyers Resignation, Trump Recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital, Roy Moore Campaign, Trump-Russia Investigation, California Wildfires, Looming Government Shutdown, North Korea Bangs War Drums, NFL Suspensions, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/6).  The pressuring of Senator Al Franken to resign his seat in the wake of sexual impropriety allegations and the resignation of Congressman John Conyers; President Trump recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel; the U.S. Senate campaign of former Alabama judge Roy Moore and allegations of sexual predation against him; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the devastating wildfires in Southern California; the possibility of a shutdown of the federal government; North Korea’s statement that war on the Korean peninsula is inevitable; the various suspensions levied against NFL players; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Four programming pros are promoted at the Detroit cluster of Cumulus Media.  In no particular order, Matt Laurenic rises from producer to executive producer of the “Blaine Fowler Morning Show” on hot AC WDVD.  Mike Gagliano is named FM production director and programming coordinator.  He moves up from his production director position.  Adam Ficorelli moves from the cluster’s “Street Team” to promotions manager/swing air talent for country WDRQ “NASH FM 93.1.”  Finally, Kendall Taylor is appointed the permanent midday personality and APD at WDVD.  She’s been interim midday jock and a weekend personality.  Taylor will also serve as a host on Westwood One’s 24-hour hot AC format…..Russ Parr re-ups with Reach Media to continue hosting the nationally syndicated “Russ Parr Morning Show.”  Urban One’s CEO of Radio One’s stations and Reach Media David Kantor says, “Reach Media is excited that Russ has extended his run as one of our premier syndicated talents and as a vital building block for our stations and Radio One’s position as the country’s ‘urban radio specialist.’”  Parr leads the show that includes cast members Alfredas, Supaken, Priya, Vic Jagger, and Albert…..Entercom Communications names former CBS RADIO VP and director of sales Claudia Menegus SVP and market manager for the Orlando cluster that includes alternative WQMP, classic hits WOCL “1059 Sunny FM,” and hot AC WOMX “mix 105.1.”  Entercom regional president Doug Abernethy states, “Claudia is an experienced radio executive who continues to impress us with her business acumen, client relationships and leadership.  We’re confident that she’ll lead Orlando stations to new heights.”…..In the Chattanooga market, Entercom names Nichole Hartman SVP and market manager, overseeing the cluster that includes: CHR WKXJ “103.7 Kiss FM,” adult hits WLND “98.1 The Lake,” rock WRXR “Rock 105,” country WUSY “US 101.”  Hartman comes to Entercom from her previous position as general sales manager for Cox Media Group’s Jacksonville cluster.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

| November 29, 2017

Connoisseur Names Cameron Maxwell Regional Vice President.  Twelve-year Connoisseur Media staffer Cameron Maxwell is promoted to regional vice president for the company.  Connoisseur CEO Jeffrey Warshaw says, “Cam has been a key part of our success in Billings, handling the day-to-day operations.  We are thrilled to promote him into this new role.  As regional vice president, he will have the opportunity to pursue regional synergies that will enrich our current operation and benefit our company throughout the region.”  Maxwell will continue to head up the company’s Billings, Montana station group.  Connoisseur Media owns and/or operates 38 radio stations in 11 markets with stations in Montana, Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey.

ESPN Announces 150 Job Cuts; Effect on Radio Division Unclear.  The sports media giant officially announces what’s been rumored for several months now – that it will eliminate some 150 positions.  In a memo to employees, ESPN president John Skipper says the cuts will affect those in “studio production, technology and digital content” positions.  This move comes seven months after it laid off about 100 people back in April.  The company recently announced its new ESPN Radio Network lineup for 2018, so those on-air workers are safe.  It remains unclear if any off-air radio staffers will be affected by this latest round of cuts.

Sean Hannity Subject of Huge New York Times Profile Piece. Talk media superstar Sean Hannity is the subject of a lengthy profile piece in The New York Times by Matthew Shaer.  The piece delves into Hannity’s early support of Donald Trump, his childhood growing up on Long Island, and of course, the politics of his radio and television shows.  But, for industry insiders, it also offers some tactical glimpses of how Hannity’s Premiere Networks and FOX News Channel programs are produced.  Reacting to the NYT article, TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison stated at this week’s editorial meeting, “Putting politics aside, from a purely broadcasting industry perspective, Sean Hannity’s accomplishments as a talk media host both on and off the air are nothing short of phenomenal.  After decades of consistent performance, he has done something few talents are capable of pulling off.  He’s made it to the top in both radio and television.  He is the highest-rated cable news/talk television show host in America and one of the driving engines that has gotten the FOX News Channel through its most vulnerable period of crisis.”  Harrison continued, “And on the radio side, although specifically ranked #2 on both the TALKERS listenership survey that reflects metrics and the Heavy Hundred chart that reflects influence, he has been locked in a statistical-tie at the top with the great Rush Limbaugh year after year for the past decade-and-a-half.  Whether he admits it or not, the enormous influence he has on and relationship with the sitting President of the United States, coupled with the aforementioned facts, clearly establishes Sean Hannity as one of the most important on-air broadcasting figures of the modern era.”

Second NPR Exec Ousted After Allegations of Sexual Impropriety.  As reported by NPR’s David Folkenflik, NPR chief news editor David Sweeney has exited the public media company after the corporation heard allegations of sexual harassment from at least three female journalists.  Sweeney’s exit comes not long after NPR SVP of news and editorial Michael Oreskes was forced to resign his position earlier this month over similar allegations.

North Korea ICBM Test, GOP Tax Reform Plan, Roy Moore Case/DC Sexual Impropriety Allegations, CFPB Ruling, Trump Pushes Clinton Email Matter, Giants Bench Eli/Down NFL Ratings, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/28).  North Korea tests a new ICBM that is deemed capable of reaching the U.S. mainland; the ongoing push by Republicans to pass their tax reform bill; the U.S. Senate campaign of embattled former Alabama judge Roy Moore and the related accusations of sexual misconduct by Senator Al Franken and Congressman John Conyers; a judge rules in favor of President Trump on his Consumer Financial Protection Bureau appointment; President Trump wants investigation into the Hillary Clinton emails matter after former Intelligence Community Inspector General Charles McCullough III claims Democrats harassed him for investigating the matter; the New York Giants bench Eli Manning and the latest NFL ratings; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS News Notes. Museum of Broadcast Communications founder Bruce DuMont announces he’s leaving his position as president of the Chicago museum when his term expires at the end of this year.  Robert Feder reports that the 73-year-old DuMont “notified the museum board Tuesday that he will relinquish the leadership position he has held since he founded the non-profit institution in 1983.”…..The nationally syndicated radio show “Free Talk Live” – hosted by Ian Freeman and Mark Edge – announces new affiliates.  Now airing the program are: KKGX-AM/K256CU, Palm Springs; KVBR, Brainerd, Minnesota; WOKR-AM, Canandaigua, New York; WTNW-AM, Jasper, Tennessee; and KABQ-AM, Albuquerque.

WZFG, Fargo’s Scott Hennen Brings Listener Group to FOX & Friends. WZFG, Fargo “AM 1100 The Flag” morning host Scott Hennen (left) stands with the “FOX & Friends” morning show (l-r) Steve Doocy, Ainsley Earhardt, and Brian Kilmeade surrounded by a group of more than 60 WZFG listeners who made the trek to New York to watch a broadcast of the show.

WFAN, New York Sports Talk Host Richard Neer’s Alternate Career as a Murder Mystery Novelist Continues to Grow.  Those who follow WFAN, New York sports talker Richard Neer’s illustrious career recognize that he is somewhat of a pop cultural renaissance man.  For more than a half century he has been a familiar figure to Big Apple radio fans as one of the legendary hosts on the old album rock giant WNEW-FM where he developed a widespread reputation as a popular music guru, and in later decades as one of the mainstays of WFAN as a highly respected sports commentator.  His non-fiction best-seller FM: The Rise and Fall of Rock Radio (Villard, 2001) remains one of the definitive works on the album era and in recent years he began a new career as a prolific murder mystery novelist, penning a series of books about the adventures of detective Riley King.  Now, Neer has returned to the book charts with a special Christmas short story about this character titled, King’s Christmas, which at press time ranks #4 on Amazon’s list of short stories in the mystery/thriller category.  For a short time, it will be available for free download on several platforms at RichardNeer.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Washington adult contemporary WASH-FM names Jill Kempton to the program director position.  Kempton moves from iHeartMedia’s AC WLTW, New York where she was APD, music director, and imaging director.  iHeartMedia Washington SVP of programming Jeff Kapugi comments, “There’s been a lot of momentum on WASH-FM this year and Jill has been a part of that remotely.  Now she gets to build on that here in Washington to dominate the very competitive AC format.”…..Service Broadcasting extends the contract of hip hop KKDA, Dallas “K104” morning personality DeDe McGuire for another four years.  McGuire was the co-host of the syndicated Doug Banks afternoon program before she exited in October of 2014 to join KKDA.  Her “K104” co-hosts include Lady Jade and Michael Shawn.  As part of the new deal, the company is exploring a syndication effort for McGuire’s program…..Radio pro Scott Miller returns to the business after most recently serving as a regional brand manager for Harley Davidson to program iHeartMedia’s adult contemporary WRVF, Toledo “101.5 The River” and serve as afternoon drive personality at sister rock WIOT.  During his time with Harley Davidson, Miller had been doing fill-in work on the company’s news/talk WTAM, Cleveland.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

| October 10, 2017

New Kilmeade Book Released This Month.  Later this month (10/24), FOX News Channel and FOX News Radio personality Brian Kilmeade releases his fifth book, this one titled, Andrew Jackson And The Miracle Of New Orleans: The Battle That Shaped America’s Destiny (Sentinel 2017).  The book addresses the role of Andrew Jackson in the War of 1812 and the crucial Battle of New Orleans.  A press release says the book “makes history come alive and gives readers a new understanding of one of America’s greatest generals – who later became one of our most controversial presidents.”  Kilmeade is available for interviews.  Contact Victoria@guestbooker.com.

TALKERS News Notes.  Pictured at right, Westwood One News vice president Kevin Delany accepts a 2017 RTDNA Edward R Murrow Award for the news organization for hard news reporting.  The gala awards presentation took place at New York City’s Gotham Hall last night (10/9)…..WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta talk show host Erick Erickson (who is also editor of The Resurgent) has published a new book titled, Before You Wake: Life Lessons from a Father to His Children (Hachette Books 2017).  Already dealing with his wife’s rare, genetic lung cancer, Erickson learned in 2016 he had blood clots in his lungs for which he’s been treated.  The brushes with mortality caused him to write a letter to his children titled, “If I Should Die Before You Wake,” that went viral.  Because of the popularity of the piece, Erickson decided to expand the idea and wrote a total of 10 letters that comprise the book that is described on Amazon.com as “featuring a wonderful mix of the practical, inspirational, and spiritual.”…..Former Premiere Networks talk show host and FOX News Channel personality Meghan McCain is joining the cast of ABC-TV’s “The View.”  Program senior executive producer Hilary Estey McLoughlin states, “Meghan is smart and well-informed, with passionate opinions that will create a new and exciting dynamic at the table.  She has a unique perspective and life experience that will bring a fresh, multi-generational voice to the show.  We know she’ll be a great addition to ‘The View.’”…..WPEN-FM, Philadelphia afternoon personality Mike Missanelli told his listeners that he’s been let go from his appearance on WPVI-TV, Philadelphia’s “Sports Sunday” program after questioning the use of women as play-by-play announcers for sports.  Missanelli said he was trying to stimulate conversation relative to ESPN’s use of Beth Mowins as a play-by-play caller during an ESPN NFL broadcast.   The Philly sports site Crossing Broad reports the story here.

Capitol Broadcasting’s WCMC-FM, Raleigh Celebrates 10th Anniversary.  Triangle market sports talker WCMC-FM, Raleigh “99.9 The Fan” is celebrating 10 years on air today (10/10).  When the station signed on back in 2007, it was the market’s first sports talk station.  A press release from WCMC reports that according to the latest Nielsen PPM ratings, the station ranks number one Men 25-54 6:00 am to 7:00 pm with a 9.5 share.  It also boasts “the number one shows in morning and afternoon drive.”  Capitol Broadcasting sports radio operations manager/program director Dennis Glasgow comments, “While I’ve only been here four years at CBC, I can say this is one of the most dynamic and forward-thinking sports radio stations I have ever been associated with over my 25 years in sports broadcasting.  While this isn’t one of the first sports stations in the country, we’ve proved it is definitely one of the best, thanks to a great lineup, but mostly in part to our loyal listeners in the Triangle.”

KKOB Balloon Flies Over New Mexico.  Yesterday (10/9) was the 46th annual Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta and pictured above is the KKOB balloon.  The festival attracts more than a million people from all over the world to Albuquerque each year.  The festival began in 1972 as a promotional celebration of KKOB’s 50th anniversary on air.  Now, it is the largest ballooning event in the  world.

Iran Nukes Deal, Corker vs Trump, Harvey Weinstein Scandal, NFL Protests/Jemele Hill Suspended, California Wildfires, Columbus Day/Indigenous Persons Day, MLB Playoffs, College Football, and NFL Action Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The likelihood that President Trump will not certify Iran’s compliance with the 2015 nuclear pact and his expected declaration of the Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist organization; the inter-GOP feud between President Trump and Senator Bob Corker; the sexual predator allegations against entertainment mogul Harvey Weinstein; the national anthem protests at Sunday’s NFL games and ESPN’s suspension of Jemele Hill for Tweeting about them; the wildfires in California that have claimed at least 10 lives; the Columbus Day holiday and the Indigenous Persons holiday celebrated in several states; the Major League Baseball playoffs, Saturday’s college football games, and Sunday’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the holiday weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Worcester, Massachusetts hot AC WXLO has a new program director as Cumulus Media names Laura St. James to the position.  St. James was most recently program director at the company’s WLEV, Allentown and is currently heard on weekends on the company’s country WNSH, New York “NASH FM 94.7.”…..iHeartMedia’s Allentown-Harrisburg Region makes several announcements regarding programming positions that consist of the expansion of programming roles for Newman, Dave Hovel, Derrick ‘DC’ Cole, Kathryn Alt and Jeff Hurley.  Newman is named program director for country WRBT, Harrisburg “BOB 94.9.”  Hovel adds duties as SVP of programming for iHeartMedia Wilmington, Delaware.  He’ll continue his role as SVP of programming for iHeartMedia Salisbury, Maryland.  In Allentown, Cole is named program director for CHR WAEB “B104” and rock WZZO.  Alt adds program director duties for country WDSD, Dover, Delaware in addition to her PD duties at adult hits WRDX “92.9 Tom FM.”  And finally, Hurley adds PD duties for CHR WLAN, Lancaster, Pennsylvania.  He continues as Regional SVP of programming and program director for “93.3 KISS FM” in Harrisburg…..Programmer Greg Mozingo exits E.W. Scripps’ country KVOO and classic country KXBL in Tulsa to be closer to family in Memphis.

Monday, October 9, 2017

| October 9, 2017

Moskowitz, Siegel Named VP/Sales for iHM New York. The appointment of Todd Moskowitz as vice president of sales of iHeartMedia New York City news/talk WOR “The Voice of New York” and the promotion of Marc Siegel from sales manager to VP/Sales of co-owned WAXQ “Q-104.3 New York’s Classic Rock Station” are effective immediately. Both will report to senior vice president of sales for iHeartMedia New York Bernie Weiss who states, “Marc and Todd are proven sales leaders with a long track record of delivering results for clients, teams and stations. They have the talent and experience to coach their teams in coming up with the most effective marketing solutions to maximize the ROI for their clients.” Moskowitz remarks, “I am excited to lead sales for one the most legendary radio stations in New York City and work with some of the best and brightest people in our business.” Siegel comments, “Classic rock is a format that transcends time and is as popular as it has ever been. I am very excited for this opportunity and I look forward to the next step in the journey with my iHeartMedia colleagues.” Moskowitz most recently was market president for Townsquare Media’s Danbury, Connecticut cluster. He began his career with CBS Radio Hartford, before joining Cumulus Media Bridgeport, Connecticut and eventually CBS Radio New York City all-news WINS. Before arriving at iHeartMedia New York at the end of 2016, Siegel was head of global audio sales at Bloomberg Media, and was local sales manager for New York public outlet WNYC, where he managed radio, podcasting, digital, and events sales.

TALKERS Founder Michael Harrison Guests on Debut Holland Cooke Show on RT America.  Says Donald Trump Has Been A Boon to Talk Media Business.  As reported last week in TALKERS, noted media consultant and TALKERS correspondent Holland Cooke was named to fill the big shoes of Thom Hartmann as host of television network RT America’s long-running “The Big Picture” program.  His debut installment of the half hour weekend show aired this past Friday (10/6) and is being met with positive reviews.  Cooke divides the opening show into two segments.  In the first, he welcomes panelists Brian Keane and Harvey Wasserman to discuss renewable energy… which could be the silver lining as Puerto Rico recovers from Hurricane Maria. And in the second segment, he asks TALKERS magazine publisher Michael Harrison and talk media pundit Steve Malzberg, “Are we really THAT angry?” referring to the tone of today’s conversation in talk media.  Asked if Donald Trump is the best thing that could happen to talk radio and television, Harrison replies, “From a purely business standpoint – getting ratings, giving us material to use, creating interest, keeping people tuned to their radios and TVs – he’s the best thing that’s happened in years. I don’t remember anything like it.”  To view the entire program, please click here

Sirott Selected to Call Bruins Action. Inbound from Tribune Chicago news/talk WGN-AM, where he was studio host for the NHL’s Chicago Blackhawks, Judd Sirott becomes the game caller for the Boston Bruins, whose NHL games are carried on CBS Radio Boston sports talk WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub.” CBS Radio Boston vice president of programming/CBS Radio vice president of sports programming Mike Thomas comments, “We are very excited to have someone with the exceptional reputation and experience that Judd has join our team at ‘The Sports Hub.’” Sirott adds, “I am incredibly fortunate, privileged, and humbled to be the radio voice of the Boston Bruins on ‘98.5 The Sports Hub.’ I didn’t just hit the lottery – I hit the Powerball. [The Bruins are] an ‘Original Six’ [NHL] team in a spectacular hockey market and one of the world’s greatest cities.” He succeeds Dave Goucher, who left last summer to become the television play-by-play voice for the Vegas Golden Knights, and joins analyst Bob Beers. An interesting note about Bruins’ radio play-by-play announcers: The only ones serving in that capacity going back to 1924 are Frank Ryan (28 years); Bob Wilson (25.5 years); Goucher (16 years); Fred Cusick (13 years); Bob Neumeier (five years); Bill Harrington (three years); Jim Laing (one year); and Dale Arnold (one-half year).

Cumulus DC Combo Arranges Blood Drive for Vegas Shooting Victims. Coordinated by Cumulus Media Washington D.C. news/talk and hot AC cluster-mates WMAL “Where Washington Comes to Talk” and WRQX “Mix 107.3,” the “Vegas Victims’ Blood Drive” will be held this Wednesday (10/11) from 2:00 pm – 8:00 pm at the Hilton McLean Tysons Corner in suburban Washington D.C. (McLean, Virginia). WMAL program director Bill Hess states, “The injured – including some from our area – face a lengthy recovery. This is one thing we can come together and do to help in our own individual way. We invite our friends and listeners to roll up their sleeves and join us in this effort.” WRQX program director Rob Roberts notes, “Distance doesn’t lessen the impact of what happened in Las Vegas. This is our chance to help someone and it costs nothing but a little time. We’re proud to do our part.” On a side note, “Mix” assistant program director/music director/mid-day talent Ashley Nickels is a Las Vegas native. Excluding the shooter, 58 people were killed last Sunday night (10/1) in Las Vegas. The dead included 36 women and 22 men; the oldest was 67, the youngest 20. Six of the dead were from Nevada, 35 from California, 13 from other states, and 4 from Canada. An additional 489 people were injured. The attack became the deadliest mass shooting committed by an individual in the United States, having surpassed the death toll of the 2016 Orlando nightclub shooting, where 50 died, including the gunman.

Broadcast Station Mergers, Acquisitions Hit $4.47 billion in Q2. The top radio deal was the $82.8 million sale of Emmis Communications’ Los Angeles rhythmic CHR KPWR “Power 106” to Meruelo Media. According to estimates from Kagan, a media research group within S&P Global Market Intelligence, the transaction was the largest single radio station sale since 2012 and represents nearly 34% of the quarter’s $245 million radio deal total. The second-largest radio transaction was the radio portion of Sinclair’s acquisition of Tribune Media with an estimated value of $58.4 million for news/talk WGN-AM, Chicago and the programming of one additional FM station. That was followed by Educational Media Foundation‘s purchase of three FMs from Entercom for $57.5 million – classic rock KSWD “100.3 The Sound,” Los Angeles; KSOQ-FM, which simulcasts KSON-FM “New Country,” San Diego; and WGGI, which simulcasts WGGY “Today’s Best Country – Froggy,” Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. Next was the sale of four Alpha Media AM stations, 14 FM outlets, and two FM translators to Dick Broadcasting Company for $19.5 million. Saga Communications sold its six-remaining owned-and-operated television stations and three LMAs to Morgan Murphy Media for $66.6 million, while at the same time, expanded its radio business with the third-largest radio deal of the quarter, paying $23 million to Apex Media for seven FM stations, one AM, and four translators.

Levy Exits KJR-AM. Related to his August 26 arrest for soliciting a prostitute, KJR-AM morning show host Mitch Levy departs the iHeartMedia Seattle sports talk outlet after a 23-year tenure there. According to a report in The Seattle Times, Levy entered which is known as an “Alford plea,” an acknowledgment of enough evidence for conviction without a formal guilty plea. He was sentenced to two years of probation plus a deferred sentence that will be dismissed if he completes probation without being charged with another crime. Levy was one of 110 men arrested in an undercover operation called “Operation on Demand.” The 50-year-old Levy reportedly placed $160 in cash on a bedside table in anticipation of a half-hour of sex. On Twitter, he wrote, “As most of you realize by now, my 23-year tenure at KJR is over. I am fully aware that I have disappointed so many from the loved ones closest to me to all of you who have given me the opportunity to entertain you on weekday mornings. I’m deeply sorry. I’d like to thank KJR and iHeartMedia for the golden opportunity that was never taken for granted. Now, I must continue tending to me, my emotional demons and my family. Some day I hope you’ll allow me the opportunity to earn back your trust and respect.”

CPR’s Wycisk Sets Retirement Plans. It won’t become effective for another eight months, but 40-year Colorado Public Radio (CPR) president Max Wycisk is announcing he will retire on June 30 (2018). Board chair Dean Salter remarks, “On behalf of the CPR board of directors, we thank Max for his service and for the many notable accomplishments achieved during his tenure. Max is recognized as a pioneer in public broadcasting and his vision set CPR on the path to its current success. He leaves one of the strongest public radio organizations in the country with a sound financial base, a talented and committed staff, and loyal listeners. We look forward to an orderly transition to ensure the continued success of CPR.” According to Wycisk, “While the world has undoubtedly changed over the past 40 years, CPR’s mission has remained steadfast and our importance has grown. The organization is stronger than it has ever been – a testament to our dedicated staff, the donors who support us, and the hundreds of thousands of people who rely on us each and every day. It has been an honor to lead the development of a vital community resource that’s uniquely positioned to have an even greater future ahead.” Prior to becoming CPR’s president, Wycisk was a program director and an on-air announcer there. Among other things, he is responsible for transforming CPR from a single-signal station to a statewide network, which includes CPR News, CPR Classical, and CPR’s triple A Open Air, which are broadcast on 34 statewide signals and online.

WGN Slots Chicago Inno Tech Briefs. Starting today (10/9), Tribune Chicago news/talk WGN-AM adds “The Inno Minute,” a 60-second breakdown of Chicago’s top tech news. Airing weekdays in the 5:00 am hour on “The Opening Bell with Steve Grzanich,” the segment is a snapshot of topics covered at ChicagoInno.com. WGN-AM vice president of programming & content Todd Manley notes, “The stories that the team at Chicago Inno chases and shares are so powerful we wanted them on WGN every day.” Reporter Katherine Davis and Chicago Inno associate editor Jim Dallke will serve as producers. “Chicago Inno is incredibly excited to be working with WGN radio on ‘The Inno Minute,’” Dallke comments. “Chicago’s entrepreneurship scene is thriving, and we are thrilled to be able to work with WGN to inform Chicagoans on the innovation that is driving the city forward.” Elsewhere on the station, former Chicago Bears head coach Mike Ditka will appear for football commentary each Monday in morning drive with Steve Cochran and every Friday with afternoon driver Roe Conn. Ditka formerly had a similar radio arrangement in the market on WMVP “ESPN 1000.”

Salem Talk Hosts Headed Back to the White House. Approximately two and a half months ago (7/25), Salem Radio Network talk hosts Mike Gallagher and Hugh Hewitt conducted day-long broadcasts from the White House. The two will return to the Nation’s Capital next Tuesday (10/17) for live “Tax Reform Day” broadcasts from the White House. Hewitt (right) and Salem Radio Network vice president of news & talk programming Tom Tradup are planning for invited guests including treasury secretary Steve Mnuchin and commerce secretary Wilbur Ross, as well as other senior White House and administration staff.

Cavaliers, Monsters, iHM Cleveland Sign Multi-Year Extensions. As part of the new pact, all 82 regular-season contests, as well as five preseason and all playoff games of the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers will air on iHeartMedia Cleveland news/talk WTAM and co-owned rocker WMMS. In addition to these two flagships, the Cavs are on a 30-station radio network. John Michael returns for his seventh season as the franchise’s play-by-play announcer, while Jim Chones is back for his eighth year as analyst. The Cavs have reached an extended agreement with Murray Hill Broadcasting to continue broadcasting all of its games in Spanish. Meanwhile, for the second consecutive year, all 76 regular-season games of the AHL Cleveland Monsters will be broadcast on iHeartMedia Cleveland alternative WMMS-HD2. Tony Brown returns for his third season as the radio and television play-by-play voice of the Monsters. Brown spent two years in the NAHL as the voice of the Odessa Jackalopes; one season in the USHL with the Omaha Lancers; became the radio voice of the Indy Fuel in the ECHL; and then came to the Monsters in their Calder Cup-winning season of 2015-2016.

Osgood As It Gets. The longtime host of Westwood One’s “The Osgood File” – Charles Osgood – was presented with the “Lifetime Achievement Award” last night (Sunday, 10/8) from the News and Documentary Emmys. Celebrating with Osgood (in the center with his trademark bowtie) backstage were his family and colleagues, including Westwood One executive vice president of news and talk Bart Tessler, and senior vice president of Affiliate Sales Dennis Green.

 

TALKERS News Notes. Fill-in host Rob Carson – who will be on iHeartMedia Phoenix news/talk KFYI and CBS Radio Las Vegas’ similarly-formatted KNXT next week – recently joined the conservative-leaning LibertyOne TV/video podcasting network and he explains, “My experience as an audio/video podcaster and live Facebook/YouTube podcaster is propelling my career forward in many ways. I hope to consult talk hosts about the new digital platforms. I’ve only been on for two weeks and my LibertyOneTV.com show attracted 18,000 viewers last Friday [10/6]. After two months, my daily podcast on PodcastRadioNetwork.com is their second-biggest podcast. This journey beyond terrestrial radio is incredible.” ….. The appointment of Karen Wishart as an Urban One executive vice president becomes official on January 1, 2018, when she replaces Linda Vilardo as chief administrative officer. In the meantime, those two will work together to transition Vilardo’s duties. According to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing, Wishart will be paid a base salary of $425,000 with an opportunity to make up to $150,000 in bonuses ….. The official charity of iHeartMedia Des Moines news/talk WHO afternoon drive talent Simon Conway is The Puppy Jake Foundation, which acquires, raises, and trains service dogs for physically and mentally wounded veterans. Last Friday (10/6), the fourth annual, two-hour free sandwich giveaway to benefit The Puppy Jake Foundation raised more than $28,500. The event brought in $4,000 in year one; $6,000 the second year; and $23,000 last year. Conway remarks, “People drove long distances and handed over huge sums of money. My show’s sponsors stepped up too, one of them called in and doubled his initial $1,000 donation.” Over 200 pounds of meat, buns, and sauce were all donated. So far, 22 service dogs have been provided to veterans; five more dogs will graduate the program in March ….. As of next Monday (10/16), Genesee Media Brockport-Rochester, New York sports talk WRSB “97.5 The Team” will transition to Spanish variety as “Mi 97.5.”

 

 

Delilah Taking Leave of Absence Following Her Son’s Suicide. On Saturday (10/7), the 7:00 pm – 12:00 midnight host posted on Facebook about the suicide, which occurred early Tuesday morning (October 3). “I will be absent from the radio and on social media for a time as I grieve and try to process this loss with my family,” Delilah (Rene) wrote as she grieves the loss of her teenage son Zachariah, who battled a long bout against depression. In what reportedly will be the only statement at this time by the Premiere Networks’ personality, Delilah states, “My dear friends, I need to share some devastating news with you. My son, Zachariah, took his life. He was being treated, counseled, and embraced fiercely by family and friends while battling depression. My heart is broken beyond repair and I cannot fathom how to go on, but I have to believe he is at peace with the Lord and that God will get us through. We will be playing some of my favorite shows from the recent past. I’ll look forward to my return, as you all lift me up so very much. Please pray for my beloved Zacky, and I will pray for all suffering from this debilitating disease called depression.” In a Facebook post earlier this year, Delilah revealed that Zack was autistic. The mother of 13 children, including ten she adopted, Delilah previously lost a son, Sammy, who died in 2012 from complications of sickle-cell anemia. According to The New York Daily News, Sammy’s death came two years after he was adopted from a Ghanaian refugee camp in West Africa. Delilah’s nightly show is heard on 180 (mainly adult contemporary) stations and on the American Forces Network. She was inducted into the National Association of Broadcasters Broadcasting Hall of Fame in April, following her November 2016 induction into the National Radio Hall of Fame. Delilah has updated her Facebook home page to include the number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255), which offers free, 24-hour emotional support for people in distress, as well as resources that provide aid.

iHeartMedia Philadelphia Taking Bids to Beat Breast Cancer. The cluster is doing so in its annual “Bid for Breast Cancer” fundraiser to benefit the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR). It begins today (10/9) and will include an auction through next Monday (10/16). According to iHeartMedia Philadelphia vice president of programming Brian Check, “We have again pulled together all the resources of our six stations to collect one-of-a-kind autographed items to benefit a cause that affects many women in our community. AACR is known for bringing together the greatest minds in cancer research and helping patients worldwide, as well as right here in the Philadelphia area.” AACR Foundation executive director Mitch Stoller explains that this year, “More than 300,000 women will hear the words, ‘You have breast cancer.’ The AACR’s mission is to prevent and cure all cancers, including breast cancer which is the second-most common cause of cancer-related death among women in the United States. We are grateful to iHeartMedia Philadelphia and the community for their support in this ‘Bid for Breast Cancer.’ Proceeds will enable the AACR to fund groundbreaking cancer research that will lead to more cancer discoveries, saving more lives.” Auction items include an Ed Sheeran-autographed guitar; a guitar autographed by Brad Paisley; a Green Day-autographed guitar; jacket autographed by Bruno Mars; Rolling Stone Magazine autographed by Harry Styles; and a Red Hot Chili Peppers-autographed guitar. In a similar “Bid for Breast Cancer” event last year, iHeartMedia Philadelphia raised over $15,000.

Chicago’s “B-96” Reveals “Jingle Bash” Lineup. The 18th annual Pepsi “Jingle Bash” from CBS Radio Chicago CHR WBBM-FM “B-96” is roughly two months away (12/7) and will be headlined by Taylor Swift, along with Backstreet Boys, Fifth Harmony, Khalid, Logic, and Sabrina Carpenter. Vice president of programming for CBS Radio Chicago/WBBM-FM program director Todd Cavanah states that the “B-96” “Jingle Bash” has been a “must-see holiday event in Chicago for almost two decades. This year, we are thrilled to have the world’s biggest superstar – Taylor Swift – as our headliner. In the holiday season, the ‘Jingle Bash’ is a wonderful way for our community to come together and celebrate an exceptional night of pop music.” Breaking the news on-air was “B-96” afternoon air talent “Tyler.” The station’s December 7 “Jingle Bash” will be held in Rosemont (Illinois) at the Allstate Arena. In other station concert news, Emmis New York rhythmic CHR WQHT “Hot 97” will present “Hot for the Holidays” on December 14 at the Prudential Center. Scheduled to appear are Chris Brown, 21 Savage, Meek Mill, Cardi B, and Dave East & Tee Grizzley. Meanwhile, CBS Radio San Francisco CHR KMVQ “99.7 Now” will have Taylor Swift headline its December 2 “Poptopia” concert at San Jose’s Sap Center. Slated to perform as well are Ed Sheeran, The Chainsmokers, Fifth Harmony, Niall Horan, Khalid, Logic, and Dua Lipa.

WDVE Radio-thon Raises $814,000. Easily surpassing last year’s total of $605,000, iHeartMedia Pittsburgh’s WDVE “102.5 Rocks” raised just over $814,000 during the tenth annual “DVE Rocks for Children’s Radio-thon.” The beneficiary is Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh Foundation, which is the fundraising arm of Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. WDVE morning show personalities Randy Baumann, Bill Crawford, Val Porter, and Mike Prisuta, as well as Michele Michaels and Sean McDowell, shared stories from patients, families, and staff from Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh during the two-day radio-thon. Market president for iHeartMedia Pittsburgh – West Virginia Tim McAleer comments, “The ‘DVE Rocks for Children’s Radio-thon’ continues to exceed our expectations. WDVE has terrific listeners who rally for the kids. I am in awe of the dedication and efforts of our on-air talents to raise funds for the children in our Pittsburgh community.” Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh Foundation president Greg Barrett adds, “It is truly unbelievable to witness the generosity of WDVE, their loyal listeners, the corporate sponsors and partners, and this amazing Pittsburgh community who have supported the radio-thon over the past ten years. Without this remarkable support each and every year, providing this level of expert, compassionate care to our patients and their families simply would not be possible.” Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, comedian Billy Gardell (“Mike & Molly”), and WWE chief brand officer Stephanie McMahon made donations by phone. The “DVE Rocks for Children’s Radio-thon” has raised nearly $5 million to benefit Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, leading provider of pediatric care in the Pittsburgh community.

Duran Supports Third Annual “Carney Awards.” A joint production between The Elvis Duran Group and Radcliffe Road Pictures, the third annual “Carney Awards” will be held in approximately three weeks (10/29) at Santa Monica’s Broad Stage. Named in honor of the Oscar and six-time Emmy winning actor Art Carney, the Carney Awards were created by Elvis Duran Group CEO David Katz, his brother – Emmy-winning producer Jim Katz, and Carney’s son – actor voice-over artist, Brian Carney. Duran is morning personality on iHeartMedia New York CHR WHTZ “Z-100” and syndicated by Premiere Networks. “I never understood why the hardest-working actors in Hollywood were almost always excluded from receiving awards and recognition for the great work that they do,” Duran comments. “We created the Carney Awards to rectify that injustice. Character actors are the backbone of almost every movie and television show ever made. It’s time for them to get the recognition they so deserve. I don’t want people pointing anymore saying ‘Hey, it’s that guy.’” David Katz notes, “Elvis is the first to admit that his co-hosts are the backbone of his radio show. Our desire to celebrate those in supporting roles has picked up great momentum and has caught the attention of Hollywood, which is always good for radio.” This year’s honorees are Xander Berkeley, William Fichtner, Richard Kind, William H. Macy, and Wendie Malick. Past honorees include Bob Balaban, Steve Buscemi, Gary Cole, Conchata Ferrell, Dan Hedaya, and David Paymer. Tom Bergeron of ABC-TV’s “Dancing with the Stars” will host the awards program. Tickets are complimentary to radio industry members.

More Music Radio News and Career Moves. The guest emcee at the 73rd annual Congressional Correspondents Dinner in just over two weeks (10/25) at the National Building Museum will be Bobby Bones, whose eponymous weekday morning show originating from iHeartMedia Nashville’s country WSIX-FM is heard on more than 100 affiliates. In addition to his Monday through Friday Premiere Networks’ syndicated morning program, Bones hosts a weekend “Country Top 30” countdown and authored “Bare Bones: I’m Not Lonely If You’re Reading This Book.” The event’s headline entertainer will be “Daily Show with Trevor Noah” correspondent Roy Wood, Jr.; house speaker Paul Ryan will deliver keynote remarks ….. General sales manager of iHeartMedia Pittsburgh classic rock WDVE and country WPGB “Big 104.7” Bobbie Loesch is promoted to regional senior vice president of sales for the Pittsburgh-West Virginia region. The company’s region president Tim McAleer remarks, “Bobbie’s extensive experience in our region makes her the perfect fit to oversee sales for our robust media and entertainment assets. We are lucky to have her; she is an expert at multiplatform sales and consistently helps our partners reach their goals.” Loesch – who begins her new duties next Monday (10/16) – adds, “I have worked with the iHeartMedia Pittsburgh team for over a decade, so I am excited to lead such a talented group. It is great that we are such a tight-knit team and that we are all passionate about helping our partners succeed.” ….. Starting next Monday (10/16), Cameron Moore takes over 10:00 am – 3:00 pm duties on Beasley Media Group Charlotte CHR WNKS “Kiss 95.1.” Operations manager/program director John Reynolds comments, “We are absolutely delighted to welcome Cameron to Beasley’s Charlotte team. [Her] expanded experience in every aspect of radio programming will help ‘Kiss’ continue the solid growth we have been having all year. Cameron is a great example of our goal to mentor and groom excellent talent within our company.” Moore adds, “It is an honor to be part of the ‘Kiss’ team. I look forward to playing all of the hottest hit music and getting out on the streets to meet all of [our] loyal listeners.” Winston-Salem native Moore most recently worked at Midwest Family Broadcasting’s Springfield, Missouri cluster ….. The yearly signature event for CBS Radio Chicago triple A WXRT “93-XRT” is its Goose Island Holiday Jam. The ninth such event will feature performances by Spoon with special guest Real Estate and takes place in two months (12/10) at the Chicago Theatre. WXRT program director and operations manager Greg Solk explains, “The WXRT Goose Island Holiday Jam was created to showcase some of the most dynamic talents around, and to offer a memorable annual holiday event for Chicago music fans. This year’s fabulous double bill of Spoon and Real Estate will certainly accomplish that goal.” ….. As of today (10/9), 2016 Texas Radio Hall of Fame inductee Gary Lee Love joins John Walton classic country KXXF “105.3 Free,” Beaumont (Texas) for afternoon drive duties. Station owner John Walton states, “It is quite a coup for [us] to acquire a partnership with the Gary Lee Love Show. Gary is a bigger-than-life personality who is a household name in Southeast Texas and a great entertainer. Love most recently did a similar shift on cross-town Cumulus Media-owned KAYD “Nash-FM.”

Hundreds Attend “The House FM” and “My Praise FM” Kid DJ Day. The sixth annual “Kid DJ Day” was held over a week ago (9/30) at the 89.7 “The House FM Where Christian Hits Live” and 88.7 “My Praise FM” studios. More than 550 Kid DJs and 888 total family members attended the free event. “The House FM” and “My Praise FM” founder and chief executive officer Doyle Brewer remarks, “We had such a great day hosting 888 guests. The families were making such great memories with the petting zoo and so many other activities. Our ministry has always been focused on supporting families on the air with our programming and any other way we can.” Kids were invited to be DJs for a day, receiving a tour of the radio station and having a turn on-air. They were asked to discuss a variety of different topics, prompted by the DJ; parents received an email recording of their child’s on-air time. Listener-supported Christian radio network “The House FM” broadcasts from Oklahoma City to Wichita; sister network “My Praise FM” broadcasts in northern Oklahoma and southern Kansas.

Austin’s September 2017 Report to be Re-Released. Owing to audience estimates being inadvertently omitted for Austin subscribing HD-multicast KKMJ-HD3, Nielsen Audio will issue a revised September 2017 PPM ratings report for that Texas market this Wednesday (10/11) at 12:00 noon. Reporting for Entercom urban AC KKMJ-HD3 apparently had not been entered into one of Nielsen Audio’s internal systems. Audience estimates for other Austin stations will reportedly not be affected. Prior to August’s +.1 to 1.6 (#19, 6+), KKMJ-HD3 hadn’t had an increase in five consecutive sweeps for a net loss of nine-tenths (2.4 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 1.7 – 1.5, 6+) but disappeared from print in the September sweep that was released last week.

Jemele Hill and the First Amendment

| September 15, 2017

By Steven J.J. Weisman
TALKERS
Legal Editor

 

BOSTON — As talk hosts whether you are a political talker or a sports talker, such as Jemele Hill of ESPN, you are constantly exercising your rights under the First Amendment which we all support.  If so, why has there been so much controversy about Hill’s tweets where in a matter of five minutes on Monday she tweeted:

“Donald Trump is a white supremacist who has largely surrounded himself w/other white supremacists.”

“Trump is the most ignorant, offensive president of my lifetime.  His rise is a direct result of white supremacy. Period.”

Read More

Wading Across the Widening Mainstream

| June 23, 2017

By Michael Harrison
TALKERS
Publisher

 

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — Despite the massive free publicity generated by Megyn Kelly’s recent Sunday night interview with Alex Jones on NBC, network heads were disappointed – even stunned – by the show’s lousy ratings.  It was soundly beaten by a rerun of “60 Minutes,” which was, in turn, trounced by a rerun of “America’s Funniest Home Videos.”

No surprises here.  And don’t pin the blame on Kelly.  She’s the total package – brains, beauty and… balls!   But she isn’t operating on the same playing field that made Barbara Walters a household name in her day.

Read More

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

| May 16, 2017

Cumulus Media 2017 First Quarter Report ‘A Clear Inflection Point.’ Compared to some of the other radio companies, Cumulus Media’s 2017 Q1 financial report was downright sunny.  The 1.7% dip in net revenue – from $268 million in 2016 to $264 million this year – reflected better than many other radio companies’ recent Q1 numbers and was far better than most analysts had predicted.  Better still, Cumulus’ net loss dropped dramatically – from $14.4 million in 2016 to $7.4 million this year – a decrease of 48.7%.  Cumulus president and CEO Mary Berner states, “Our first quarter represents a clear inflection point in our turnaround, as the downward trajectory of recent years has been reversed.  With clear evidence that our strategy is working, we remain committed to the rigorous execution of the initiatives that are critical to keeping the Company on a sustained growth path.”  In breaking apart the company’s radio station group and syndication division Westwood One, the negatives were again diminished.  Westwood One was down just 1.9% on net revenue of $89.8 million.  The radio station group’s net revenue was $173.6 million, a decrease of 1.6% from the same period in 2016.

ESPN Radio Taps Trey Wingo to Partner with Mike Golic for New AM Show.  It was public knowledge that Mike Greenberg, one half of the “Mike & Mike” morning show on ESPN Radio, would be exiting the show to focus on his new TV duties for ESPN.  Now, ESPN announces that the revamped morning show will feature Mike Golic, Trey Wingo, and Mike Golic Jr. when it re-launches later this year.  ESPN says the exact date in the fall and the name of the new show will be made public at a later date.  ESPN does say the program will initially be simulcast on cable’s ESPN2 before moving to its permanent simulcast home on ESPNU.  Both Golic and Wingo sign new, multi-year extensions in advance of the change.  Wingo will continue to host the NFL Draft and appear on ESPN’s NFL television programming.  Golic, Jr., who also signs a new, multi-year agreement, will join the show every day from 6:00 am to 7:00 am.  He will continue to host ESPN Radio’s “First & Last” from 4:00 am to 6:00 am daily.

Important Opening Session at TALKERS Convention!  Consultant Holland Cooke will open TALKERS 2017: A New Era with a not-to-be-missed presentation offering sound insights into what employees of CBS RADIO and Entercom Communications can expect in the face of the pending merger between these two corporate radio giants.  Entercom is a client of Cooke’s.  For a provocative preview of Holland Cooke’s TALKERS presentation, please click here.  If you plan to attend the convention, register quickly.  It is on a fast track to being sold out by the end of this week, if not sooner!  For complete information, please click here.

Salem Promotes Reisman.  Radio management pro Jeff Reisman is promoted to operational VP for Salem Media Group’s radio division.  Reisman has been with the company since 2004, and general manager of the Chicago stations – news/talk WIND-AM and Christian WYLL-AM – since 2010.  In this new position, Reisman will also oversee the company’s Boston and Philadelphia radio properties.

Phil Valentine Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  What are the challenges facing conservative radio hosts in the age of Donald Trump?  How difficult is it “calling balls and strikes” on this president’s non-stop barrage of issues, crises and controversies without stepping on the toes of your listeners – many of whom are in an unbending state of unconditional love with the chief executive?  Longtime conservative radio talk show host Phil Valentine of WWTN, Nashville (and syndicated nationally by Westwood One) addresses this issue and much more as TALKERS founder Michael Harrison’s guest on this week’s installment of the award-winning PodcastOne series “Up Close and Far Out.”  Valentine also discusses his foray into the world of independent filmmaking, describing the process and experience of producing and hosting the theatrically released, “An Inconsistent Truth” – a documentary rebuttal of Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth.”  To listen to this fascinating, in-depth conversation in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Former KSCJ, Sioux City Talk Show Host In Line for USDA Post; Critics Decry Lack of Scientific Qualifications.  Former Iowa talk show host Sam Clovis, a campaign staffer for President Donald Trump, is potentially the next chief scientist at the USDA.  But critics of the move say that the 2008 Farm Bill requires the person serving in the position have “specialized or significant experience in agricultural research, education, and economics.”  According to a piece in ProPublica.org, Clovis has a B.S. in political science from the U.S. Air Force Academy, an MBA from Golden State University and a doctorate in public administration from the University of Alabama, but no apparent formal education in science.   Read the ProPublica piece here.

Westwood One Hops on the Expressway from Katz. Senior vice president for sales for Cumulus and Westwood One, Rafe D’Amico, says, “America’s prominent agencies and advertisers have clearly stated they want AM/FM radio to join the evolution towards programmatic.”  Because of that, Westwood One Spot Sales – the national spot platform for Cumulus Media – announces it is participating in Expressway from Katz – the programmatic ad buying exchange for broadcast radio.  Cumulus says its stations are offering full inventory access through Katz’s programmatic exchange, providing automation, speed, and transparency to its advertising clients and brand partners.  Eleven Cumulus markets are live, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, St. Louis, Minneapolis, San Francisco, Detroit, and Washington.  All Cumulus markets are expected to be online by July.

Beasley Media Group Names Heidi Raphael VP of Corporate Communications. Corporate communications pro Heidi Raphael is back working with some of the stations she’d worked with previously when she held a similar position with Greater Media, whose radio stations were acquired by Beasley Media Group last fall.  With Beasley, Raphael will be vice president of corporate communications, replacing Soni Dimond, who left Beasley to pursue opportunities outside the radio business.  Beasley Media CEO Caroline Beasley comments, “We are thrilled to have Heidi join the Beasley Media family.  Her vast experience and knowledge of the radio industry, combined with Heidi’s outstanding reputation, make her the perfect fit for our company as we continue to expand our footprint across many platforms within the organization and the industry.”

TALKERS News Notes.  There’s a new talk station in Southern California’s Inland Empire as iHeartMedia flips KKDD, Riverside from regional Mexican to news/talk as “1290 NewsTalk I.E.”  KSTE, Sacramento-based Armstrong & Getty will anchor the station in morning drive.  The rest of the day’s programming includes Premiere NetworksGlenn Beck and Sean Hannity shows, Westwood One’s Mark Levin, the local “Lou Desmond & Company,” “Ground Zero with Clyde Lewis,” and “Coast to Coast AM.”…..NRG Media says goodbye to KLIN, Lincoln, Nebraska morning show personality Cody “Kevin” Thomas, who exits the station to take the public information coordinator position with the Nebraska State Patrol…..The sale of KMVP-AM, Phoenix from Bonneville International to the Farmworker Educational Radio Network closes…..Also closing is the sale of KZIO-FM, Two Harbors, Minnesota, from Red Rock Radio Corp. to Minnesota Public Media.  Kalil & Co. was the exclusive broker…..Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder is further liquidating his radio holdings.  It’s been widely reported that Snyder desires to sell all of his Red Zebra stations except Redskins radio flagship WTEM, Washington.  He recently sold WBZS, Prince Frederick, Maryland and WXGI, Richmond to Radio One.  Now, he’s struck a deal to let go of WWXX-FM, Buckland, Virginia to Education Media Foundation for $250,000…..A new podcast exploring the ways marketing and advertising both reflect and shape our culture is being launched by Y&R. “Madison & Culture,” hosted by Y&R’s global CEO David Sable, will premiere new episodes twice a month and launches today (5/16).  It is produced by DGital Media.

Bernie and Sid Celebrate ‘Sopranos’ Reunion. Pictured above (from l-r) are: actor Tony Sirico, WABC’s Sid Rosenberg, actress Lorraine Bracco, and WABC’s Bernard McGuirk.  Bernie and Sid hosted the actors at Cumulus Media’s Stage 17 before a live studio audience yesterday (5/15) to promote the “Sopranos” reunion taking place at Molloy College on Long Island on June 7.

Trump Allegedly Shares Classified Information with Russians, North Korea Nuclear Ambitions-U.S. Threats, Global Malware Attack, Report of Ford’s Plans for Job Cuts, Miss America Controversy, MLB, NBA an NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/15).  The controversy over the Washington Post report that President Donald Trump shared classified information with the Russian foreign minister and ambassador; North Korea’s most recent missile test and its threats against the U.S.; the WannaCry global malware attack and the possibility it came from North Korea; Monday’s report that Ford plans to cut 10% of its global workforce; newly crowned Miss America creates controversy by stating that health care is a privilege, not a right; and MLB, NBA and NHL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  A Memorial Day weekend special is available from ABC Radio titled, “Kelsea Ballerini’s Summer Road Trip.”  The program gives listeners the scoop on all of 2017’s hottest summer country tours, from Florida Georgia Line and Miranda Lambert to Dierks Bentley, Luke Bryan, Sam Hunt and more.  Also, Ballerini – who is touring with Lady Antebellum this summer – will share what it is really like on the road both on and offstage…..CBS RADIO’s CHR WBBM-FM “B96” is welcoming Capitol Records singer-songwriter Niall Horan to its BlueCross BlueShield Performance Stage tomorrow (5/18).  The station is giving fans a chance to win tickets to the show today and will allow fans to watch the live stream on its website…..Pictured here are Jason Bailey, Southside Steve and Digi-Dude Nate from rock WNNX, Atlanta standing on the newly finished section of I-85 that was destroyed by a fire on March 30.  Last Saturday (5/13), the Bailey and Southside morning show was able to gain exclusive access to be the first “civilians” to drive over and set foot on the road.

 

 

Round One of April PPM Ratings Released. The first of four rounds of information from the April 2017 PPM survey from Nielsen Audio 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 (New Jersey). Nielsen’s April 2017 survey period covered March 30 – April 26. View all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Takeaways” from these 12 PPM markets.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

1) New York – The return of the baseball season signals particularly good news for the flagships of the city’s two MLB franchises. In the American League East, Yankees’ key station – CBS Radio’s WFAN “The Fan” – improves by nine-tenths (2.9 – 3.8, 6+) to return to the top ten (#11 to #9), while in the National League East, Mets flagship – iHeartMedia’s news/talk WOR – picks up one-half share (1.7 – 2.2, 6+) and is steady at #20. It is the strongest 6+-showing for “The Fan” since last May (3.8, as well) and WOR’s best 6+-stat since October’s 2.2. In 2.2 – 2.7 range (6+) the past ten survey periods, Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish contemporary WPAT “Amor 93.1” busts out a +.6 to 3.1 (6+), elevating from #15 to #12. In tandem with a loss of two-tenths by iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW “106.7 Lite FM” (6.2 – 6.0, 6+) and a gain of two-tenths by CBS Radio classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM “101.1 New York’s Greatest Hits” (5.9 -6.1, 6+), the two outlets swap places with “Lite” dropping to second. It’s the fourth straight decline for WLTW, which had been on top the past nine sweeps, but is now a collective -7.3 since “Holiday” 2016 (13.3 – 7.2 – 7.1 – 6.2 – 6.0, 6+). This marks the first time “New York’s Greatest Hits” has been at #1 since last July (when it scored a 6.2, 6+). A combined +1.3 since “Holiday” 2016 (4.6 – 5.1 – 5.5 – 5.9, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WHTZ “Z-100” forfeits approximately one-half of that gain with a -.6 to 5.3 (6+) and slips from a second-place tie to fourth. Meanwhile, its format rival, CBS Radio’s WBMP “92.3 Amp,” picks up one-tenth to 2.3 (6+, #19 to a three-way tie at #17), thus curtailing seven successive sweeps without an increase that resulted in a cumulative -.9 (3.1 – 2.8 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.2, 6+). After three straight gains for a collective +1.4 (4.4 – 5.2 – 5.4 – 5.8, 6+), co-owned all-news WINS (unchanged at #4, where it is tied with “Z-100”) regresses by one-half share to 5.5 (6+). Similarly-formatted sibling, WCBS-AM, which had been up or flat the past three ratings periods for a +.4 (2.4 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 2.8, 6+), hands back the four-tenths (2.4, 6+) to slide from #14 to #15. Locked on 3.6 (6+) in January, February, and March, iHeartMedia urban contemporary WWPR “Power 105.1” gains one-tenth to 3.7 (6+), but actually moves from ninth to tenth.

2) Los Angeles – One-half share (6+) separates the top three finishers, which includes KBIG “My-FM” at #1 for the third consecutive time. The iHeartMedia hot AC though dips by one-tenth to 5.6 (6+), ending three straight uptrends (4.7 – 5.1 – 5.2 – 5.7, 6+), which garnered a combined full-share gain. February’s +.1 (5.1 – 5.2, 6+) was enough for “My-FM” to depart the runner-up slot it held the previous three sweeps and take over at #1, unseating its adult contemporary sibling KOST “Coast 103.5,” which had been on top in each of the last 16 ratings periods. Although flat at #5, “Coast” improves by two-tenths to 4.6 (6+), applying the brakes to three straight declines (10.7 – 5.2 – 4.6 – 4.4, 6+) after three straight increases accounting for a combined +5.3 (5.4 – 5.5 – 6.4 – 10.7, 6+). One-tenth behind “My-FM” and repeating at #2 is CBS Radio smooth AC KTWV “The Wave,” which crosses the five-share threshold for the third time in the last four sweeps (5.0 – 4.8 – 5.5 – 5.5, 6+). Steady at #3, co-owned classic hits-oldies KRTH “K-Earth 101” is +.9 in four straight sweeps without a loss (4.1 – 4.3 – 4.9 – 4.9 – 5.0, 6+). “K-Earth” last reached the five-share level in December 2015 (5.1, 6+). In a three-way tie at #19, alternative cluster-mate KROQ is up or flat for the fourth consecutive monthly for a +.4 in that period (1.8 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.2, 6+). Trending 3.0 – 3.2 – 3.1 – 3.0 (6+), its rival, iHeartMedia’s KYSR “ALT 98.7 – LA’s New Alternative” remains in tenth-place. Rising from #17 to #15, Entercom classic rock KSWD “The Sound” is up seven-tenths in four straight sweeps without a decrease (1.9 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.6, 6+). A combined +.4 in four straight up or flat trends (1.5 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.9, 6+), Liberman Broadcasting regional Mexican KBUE “Que Buena” finishes at #23. Over the last ten ratings periods, Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KRCD had been the model of consistency (3.2 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.0, 6+), but “Recuerdo 103.9” (unchanged at #11) slips two-tenths and falls below the three-share level to 2.8 (6+). Off by one-tenth (4.9 – 4.8, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR KIIS “Kiss FM” moves from third to fourth, while CBS Radio’s similarly-programmed KAMP “Amp” is unchanged at 2.6, but falls from #14 to #15 (6+). A gain of two-tenths by “Amp” in March halted six successive down or flat trends that accounted for a -1.1 (3.5 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 2.9 – 2.6 – 2.4, 6+). For the eighth time in the last nine sweeps and fourth time in a row, Salem Media Group contemporary Christian KFSH “95.9 The Fish – Safe for the Whole Family” logs a .6 (#37, 6+). There is a seven-station logjam between ranker #11 and #17 (2.8 – 2.6, 6+).

3) Chicago – Given that on November 2 (2016), the Cubs ended their 108-year World Series drought, it probably isn’t surprising that the team’s flagship – CBS Radio-owned WSCR “670 The Score” – boasts the largest (6+) March 2017 – April 2017 improvement by any station in the 12 PPM-markets whose data was released Monday. Not only does “The Score” register a hefty +1.5 (2.2 – 3.7, 6+), it rockets from #21 all the way to #6. There is a mixed bag though for its cluster-mates with the WBBM calls: On the plus side, WBBM-FM “B-96” improves by one-half share (3.2 – 3.7, eighth to sixth, 6+), logging its best 6+-stat in exactly two years (3.7, May 2015), while all-news WBBM-AM falters by that same margin although it carries on in the runner-up slot. When “B-96” was off by three-tenths in March, it stopped a streak of four successive up or flat trends that netted one-half share (3.0 – 3.0 – 3.1 – 3.5 – 3.5, 6+). It is the third straight sweep without an increase for WBBM-AM (6.3 – 5.4 – 5.4 – 4.9, 6+) for a collective -1.4. Declining by one-half share as well in the spoken-word arena is Chicago Public Media’s WBEZ (2.0, 6+), which had notched a 2.5 (6+) in each of the three previous sweeps. Over and above being without a decrease for the eighth consecutive time (1.2 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.5 – 1.6 – 1.8 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 2.3, 6+) and nearly doubling its 6+-stat, Spanish Broadcasting System regional Mexican WLEY-FM “La Ley 107.9” cracks the top 20 (#20). On the strength of a +.3, Merlin Media-owned/Cumulus Media-operated alternative WKQX is up or flat for the sixth straight ratings period (2.1 – 2.2 – 2.3 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.8, 6+), zooming from #19 to #12. Conversely though, co-owned WLUP “97.9 The Loop – Chicago’s Classic Rock” – which had been without a decrease the past four sweeps for a collective +.4 (2.3 – 2.3 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.7, 6+) is off by two-tenths to 2.5 (6+), plummeting from #12 to #18. Flat at 5.6, its lowest 6+-share since last July (also 5.6), iHeartMedia urban AC WVAZ “V-103 Today’s R&B and Throwbacks” is nonetheless #1 for the third successive month. In addition to having its string of progressive trends that yielded a combined +.8 stymied at three (2.4 – 2.8 – 3.1 – 3.2, 6+), Hubbard adult contemporary WSHE (3.0, -.2, 6+) departs the top ten (#8 to #11). A +.3 to 3.1 (6+) by WSHE in February pulled the plug on 34 straight monthlies of the station being within 2.0 – 2.9 range (6+). Similarly, Tribune Media Company heritage news/talk WGN (flat at #4) slips by three-tenths to 3.9 (6+), ending three consecutive ratings periods without a loss for a collective gain of one-half share (3.7 – 4.0 – 4.2 – 4.2, 6+). In its first year as the Chicago White Sox key station, Cumulus Media news/talk WLS-AM picks up two-tenths (1.6 – 1.8, 6+) and finishes at #24. Part of a three-way tie at #14 are co-owned WLS-FM “94.7 Chicago’s Classic Hits” (2.9 – 2.7, -.2, 6+) and CBS Radio’s similarly-formatted WJMK “K-Hits 104.3” (flat at 2.7, 6+); they were #10 and #12, respectively, in March. With an identical (4.2 – 3.9, -.3, 6+) March 2017 – April 2017 profile and story is iHeartMedia CHR WKSC “103.5 Kiss FM – Chicago’s #1 Hit Music Station,” which had gained seven-tenths (3.5 – 3.7 – 3.9 – 4.2, 6+) in three consecutive increases. After three straight months of being unlisted, Window to the World Communications’ WFMT “Chicago’s Classical Experience” returns with a 1.4, (6+) and ranks #26.

4) San Francisco – Responsible for the second-highest (6+) March 2017 – April 2017 increase by any station in the 12 PPM-markets whose data was released Monday is another MLB flagship – Cumulus Media’s KNBR (Giants), registering a +1.2 (3.0 – 4.2, 6+). Moreover, “The Sports Leader” jumps from ninth to fifth with its best 6+-stat since November’s 5.0. A 6+-share of 3.0 in March ended its 3.5 – 3.2 – 3.5 – 3.2 pattern. Trending 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 1.7 (6+), Entercom’s KGMZ “95.7 The Game” (flagship of the Oakland A’s) drops from a three-way tie at #19 to #22. By posting its fourth consecutive gain netting a +.6 (2.1 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.7, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KOSF “103.7 – 80s Music for San Francisco” climbs from #14 to #12. Even though the net loss was just three-tenths, Cumulus Media classic rocker KSAN was without a gain the past five sweeps (2.4 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.1, 6+), but “107.7 The Bone Rocks” adds two-tenths to 2.3 (6+), inching up from #18 to #17. Remaining at third and fourth, respectively, are adult contemporary rivals – Entercom’s KOIT-FM “96.5 Better Music for a Better Workday” up three-tenths in back-to-back sweeps (4.9 – 5.2 – 5.5, 6+) and iHeartMedia-owned KISQ “98.1 The Breeze,” which is down one-tenth for the second straight time (4.5 – 4.4 – 4.3, 6+). There is minimal movement in the market’s hot AC contest, as iHeartMedia’s KIOI “Star 101.3” is off one-tenth (fifth to sixth, 6+) and CBS Radio-owned KLLC “Alice @ 97.3” drops two-tenths (sixth to seventh, 6+). As a result, two mini-streaks are ended: “Star” was +.9 in three straight gains (3.2 – 3.6 – 3.7 – 4.1, 6+), whereas “Alice” was +.7 in three consecutive up or flat trends (3.1 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.9, 6+). Despite being a combined -.7 in back-to-back sweeps (7.7 – 7.3 – 7.0, 6+), Northern California Public Broadcasting’s news/talk KQED-FM is #1 as it has been every month this calendar year. It has a seven-tenths advantage over CBS Radio all-news KCBS-AM, which rebounds from March’s -.6 with a +.1 (6.8 – 6.2 – 6.2, 6+) and is in the runner-up slot for the fourth successive time. Locked on 3.8 (6+) in February and March, co-owned KMVQ “99.7 New Hit Music Now” surrenders six-tenths to 3.2 (6+) to slide from seventh to eighth. Prior to a +.2 in February, KMVQ was without an increase the previous four sweeps for a combined -.6 (4.2 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 3.7 – 3.6). One-tenth behind is iHeartMedia’s KYLD “Wild 94.9 – The Bay’s #1 Hit Music Station” (3.4 – 3.1, -.3, eighth to ninth, 6+). After three straight increases for a cumulative +.7 (1.8 – 2.1 – 2.4 – 2.5, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk KGO (#14 to #15) is off by one-tenth to 2.4 (6+). Unlisted in April is Entercom-owned KUFX “98.5 K-Fox – The South Bay’s Classic Rock,” which had a 1.5 (6+) in March.

5) Dallas – Bouncing back from a loss of over two full-shares in three straight downward moves (6.8 – 5.2 – 4.8 – 4.7, 6+), CBS Radio classic hits-oldies KLUV “98.7 K-LUV” collects eight-tenths to 5.5 (6+) and moves from fourth to third. An improvement of six-tenths (2.9 – 3.5, 6+) not only enables Salem Media Group contemporary Christian KLTY to have its best 6+-showing since last September’s 3.6, “94.9 Your Life … Inspired” vaults back into the top ten (#13 to #8). Growing by one-half share each are Univision Radio regional Mexican KLNO “Que Buena 94.1” (4.4, sixth to fifth, 6+) and CBS Radio sports outlet KRLD-FM “The Fan” (1.5 – 2.0, #27 to #22, 6+). “Que Buena” had been -1.4 over five successive sweeps without an increase (5.3 – 4.7 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.2 – 3.9, 6+). With a +.1 in March, “The Fan” concluded five consecutive down or flat trends that produced a cumulative -2.3 (3.7 – 3.2 – 2.9 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 1.4, 6+). This marks the fourth time in a row that its rival – Cumulus Media’s KTCK “The Ticket – is stuck on 2.9 (four-way tie at #13 to #14, 6+). For the sixth successive ratings period, Service Broadcasting urban contemporary KKDA-FM is either up or flat for a full-share gain (2.4 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 2.8 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.4, 6+); “K-104” climbs from #11 into the top ten (#10). The deadlock at the top spot is broken, as Cumulus Media-owned country KPLX “The Wolf” regains the two-tenths it lost in March (6.2 – 6.0 – 6.2, 6+), while iHeartMedia CHR KHKS “106.1 Kiss-FM” drops one-tenth (6.0 – 5.9, 6+) and takes over the runner-up slot. Unchanged at #10, adult contemporary sibling KDGE “Star 102.1” is up or flat for the third successive sweep (2.8 – 2.8 – 3.3 – 3.4, 6+) for a +.6. It jettisoned its alternative format and “Edge” identity in mid-November (2016) in favor of all-Christmas music (and eventually its current adult contemporary format). Back in “Holiday” 2016, “Star 102.1” more than doubled December’s 3.3 to 7.7, rocketing from tenth to first. Without a decrease the past four sweeps for a collective +1.1 (3.2 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 4.3 – 4.3, 6+), KPLX sibling, similarly-formatted KSCS “New Country 96.3,” falters by one-half share to 3.8 (6+) to slide from fifth to sixth. Down by one-half share as well and falling from the top ten (#9 to #13) is iHeartMedia’s KEGL “97.1 The Eagle Rocks,” off for the third straight survey period for a -.9 (3.9 – 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.0, 6+). Forfeiting two-tenths to 2.7 (6+), Radio One rhythmic CHR KBFB “97.9 The Beat” (#13 to #15) wraps up four straight sweeps without a loss that yielded one-half share (2.4 – 2.5 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 2.9, 6+). In its second straight downward move (2.9 – 2.3 – 2.1, 6+), CBS Radio’s KVIL “Amp 103.7” falls out of the top twenty (#18 to #21).

6) Houston – Four successive up or flat trends by KQQK “El Norte 107.9” have netted a +1.1 (1.6 – 1.7 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 2.7, 6+), as the Liberman regional Mexican advances from #20 to #18. This is the finest 6+-showing for “El Norte” since last August (2.7, as well). Progressing by seven-tenths each are Univision Radio’s similarly-formatted KLTN (5.6 – 6.3, fifth to second, 6+) and noncommercial contemporary Christian KSBJ “God Listens” (5.6, sixth to fourth, 6+). Following three straight negative trends that yielded a combined -1.5 (8.0 – 7.4 – 6.7 – 6.5, 6+), KLTN brought back 60% of that deficit in January (+.9), jumping from third to first. It was a very quick stay there though as KLTN surrendered -1.3 in February (7.4 – 6.1, 6+) and fell to third. In March, KLTN dropped one-half share to 5.6, its lowest 6+-showing since last April’s 5.4. Meanwhile, KSBJ improved by one full-share in January to 5.9, its highest 6+-share in more than four years (6.0, November 2012); forfeited half of it in February (-.5, 6+); and lost another

half-share in March (5.9 – 5.4 – 4.9, 6+). At the end of spring training, a number of baseball “experts” predicted great things for the American League West’s Houston Astros. The team’s flagship – iHeartMedia’s KBME “SportsTalk 790”- more than doubles its March stat (.5 – 1.1, +.6, 6+) and finishes at #23. In four straight gains, CBS Radio hot AC KHMX “Mix 96.5” (#16 to #13) is a cumulative +1.3 (2.3 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 3.1 – 3.6, 6+). Up a combined full-share in back-to-back monthlies (6.9 – 7.2 – 7.9, January-February-March, 6+), Radio One-owned urban AC KMJQ “Majic 102.1 The People’s Station” returns all of it in April (6.9, 6+) but stays at #1. Going back to November, “Majic 102.1” was trending 7.1 – 6.9 – 7.0 – 6.9 (6+). Following a massive +1.6 in March, Cox Media Group-owned country KKBQ “The New 93-Q” forfeits just over half of it in April (4.2 – 5.8 – 4.9, -.9, 6+) as it drifts from second to sixth; 5.8 was the strongest 6+-showing for KKBQ since last July’s 5.9 (6+). Although flat at #7, CBS Radio adult hits “95.7 The Spot” sputters by four-tenths to 4.4 (6+), thus halting six straight up or flat trends that netted a +2.2 (2.6 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 3.1 – 3.5 – 4.6 – 4.8, 6+); KKHH transitioned from CHR on 12/30/2016.

7) Atlanta – In seven successive sweeps going back to October, the trending for WWPW “Power 96.1 – Atlanta’s #1 Hit Music Station” has been within 3.5 – 3.9 range (3.9 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.7 – 3.6, 6+), but the iHeartMedia CHR breaks out a gain of six-tenths to 4.2 and cracks the top ten (#13 to #9). This is the best 6+-performance for “Power” since last September’s 4.3. A combined +1.0 via four consecutive up or flat trends (1.7 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.2 – 2.7, 6+), Cumulus Media’s WNNX “100.5 – Atlanta’s Rock Station” climbs from #17 to #16. Even though it hasn’t had an increase in each of the last three sweeps for a combined -1.2 (10.7 – 9.9 – 9.5 – 9.5, 6+), Cox Media Group news/talk WSB-AM is #1 for the 16th straight ratings period. Prior to March, its most recent fluctuations were -2.3 (“Holiday” 2016); +2.8 (January); and -.8 (February). January’s 10.7 represents the station’s best-ever (6+) performance, eclipsing the 10.2 in December 2016. Tied in the runner-up slot with identical 5.9 – 6.2 (+.3, 6+) March 2017 – April 2017 profiles are WSB-AM cluster-mates, WSRV “Classic Hits 97.1 The River” and urban AC WALR “Kiss 104.1 – Atlanta’s R&B.” This represents the fourth consecutive gain for “The River” yielding a +1.8 (4.4 – 4.6 – 5.1 – 5.9 – 6.2, 6+). Unlisted in January, Atlanta Public Schools’ WABE “90.1 Where ATL Meets NPR” (2.9, #15, “Holiday” 2016, 6+) returned in February at #15 (3.0, 6+). The news/talk outlet registered a +.8 in March, but surrenders all of it plus one-tenth more (3.8 – 2.9, -.9, 6+), skidding from #12 to #15. Following nine consecutive monthlies without a decrease for a combined +1.9 (2.9 – 3.2 – 3.7 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 4.1 – 4.3 – 4.5 – 4.7 – 4.8, 6+), Radio One urban AC WAMJ “Majic The Real Sound of Atlanta” returns about one-third of that gain (4.2 -.6, 6+), as it falls from sixth to ninth. In the market’s country contest, Cumulus Media’s WKHX falters by one-half share to 3.6 (6+), thus curtailing three straight upward moves that produced four-tenths (3.7 – 3.8 – 4.0 – 4.1, 6+), with “Kicks 101.5” exiting the top ten (#10 to #12). Its format challenger, iHeartMedia’s WUBL “94.9 The Bull” (#14 in March, 6+), is up for the fourth consecutive time for a collective gain of one full-share (2.6 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 3.4 – 3.6, 6+) and catches “Kicks” at #12.

8) Philadelphia – By a cumulative one full-share, each of the top three stations here is down from March 2017, including CBS Radio classic hits-oldies WOGL (7.3 – 6.9, -.4, 6+), which nevertheless repeats at #1. It registered a +1.3 in January; +.5 in February; and unseated Jerry Lee Radio adult contemporary WBEB “Today’s 101 More FM” at #1 in March. Off four-tenths (7.0 – 6.6, 6+), “More FM” slips from second to third. Following three straight (modest) gains for a collective +.5 (2.5 – 2.6 – 2.7 – 3.0, 6+), WBEB’s new format rival – CBS Radio’s WTDY “Today’s 96.5” – slips by one-tenth to 2.9 (6+), yet improves from #16 to #15 (6+); WTDY flipped to AC from CHR (WZMP “Amp”) the day after the “Holiday” 2016 ratings period ended (1/5). Simultaneous with CBS Radio sports property WIP gaining seven-tenths (4.1 – 4.8, eighth to sixth, 6+), Beasley Media Group’s similarly-programmed WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic” returns in full the one-half share it picked up in March (1.9 – 2.4 – 1.9, #18 to #19, 6+). When Philadelphia Phillies’ flagship WIP improved by two-tenths in March, it ended at five a consecutive string of downward or flat trends that yielded a cumulative -1.1 (5.0 – 4.9 – 4.3 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 3.9, 6+). “The Fanatic” was -.6 in February after a +.5 in January that stopped three straight negative trends (2.5 – 2.4 – 2.2 – 2.0, 6+). Although unchanged at #8, iHeartMedia-owned WRFF “Radio 104.5 – Philadelphia’s Alternative Rock” adds six-tenths (4.1 – 4.7, 6+) for its strongest 6+-showing since a 4.9 last October. After trending 5.6 – 5.3 – 5.6 (6+), CBS Radio all-news KYW erodes by eight-tenths to 4.8 (6+) but remains in sixth-place. Co-owned news/talk WPHT, which was a combined +1.1 “Holiday” 2016 – January – February (2.9 – 3.9 – 4.0, 6+) is now -1.1 in February – March – April (4.0 – 3.5 – 2.9, 6+), drifting from #12 to #15. Albeit that it drops from eighth to tenth, iHeartMedia urban contemporary WUSL “Power 99” has been the definition of steadiness over the course of the last eight ratings periods, (4.1 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 4.1 – 4.2 – 4.1 – 4.3, 6+).

9) Long Island – A full-share loss in March (5.2 – 4.2, 6+) resulted in WALK-FM tumbling from fourth to seventh, but the Connoisseur Media hot AC not only recoups 90% of that loss (5.1, +.9, 6+), “Real Variety 97.5” rockets all the way to #1. It is there that WALK holds a slim one-tenth margin over two CHRs: iHeartMedia New York City’s WHTZ “Z-100” (6.1 – 5.0, -1.1, 6+) and Cox Media Group-owned WBLI “Long Island’s #1 For All the Hits” (up from #3, 6+). Having registered 11 successive sweeps at #1 in the Long Island report, “Z-100” spiraled by -1.5 in “Holiday” 2016 (6.6 – 5.1, 6+), sliding to third. It then gained eight-tenths in January 2017 to reappear at #1 and repeated at the top in February and March. In four straight up or flat trends, WBLI has gained one full-share (4.0 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 4.8 – 5.0, 6+). A one-half share increase (2.8 – 3.3, 6+) enables Connoisseur Media adult contemporary WKJY “K-98.3 – Music That Makes You Feel Good” to progress from a tie at #13 to a three-way logjam at #10. At the same time that iHeartMedia-owned news/talk  WOR improves by seven-tenths and cracks the top ten (2.8 – 3.5, #13 to #9, 6+), Cumulus Media’s similarly-formatted WABC sputters by one-half share (3.0 – 2.5, #12 to #15, 6+). New York Mets flagship WOR was off by one-half share in February, returning January’s +.5 (3.1 – 3.6 – 3.1, 6+). Tied in fifth-place are CBS Radio classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM “101.1 New York’s Greatest Hits” (4.9 – 4.7, -.2, #2 in March, 6+) and Connoisseur Media’s WBZO “103.1 Max FM” (4.4 – 4.7, +.3, #5 in March, 6+). Included in a four-way tie at #17 with identical 2.2 – 2.3 (+.1, 6+) profiles are hot AC rivals (CBS Radio’s) WNEW-FM “Fresh 102.7” and Cumulus Media’s WPLJ. This marks the 29th straight sweep that Emmis rhythmic CHR WQHT “Hot 97” (#16 to that four-way logjam at #17) is in 2.0 – 2.9 range (2.5 – 2.3, -.3, 6+).

10) Riverside – More than doubling its 6+-share by way of three straight increases (.9 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 2.1, 6+), All-Pro Broadcasting’s KHTI “Hot 103.9 – Move to the Music” enters the top ten (#11 to #9). Advancing from #13 to #12, adult contemporary sibling KATY “Mix 101.3” adds one-half share to the two-tenths it picked up this time last month (1.0 – 1.5, 6+); the 1.0 in March represented the first time “Mix 101.3” crossed the one-share level (6+) since December 2015’s 1.1. Notching gains of six-tenths each are Univision Radio’s Spanish contemporary KLVE “K-Love 107.5” (4.0 – 4.6, sixth to fourth, 6+) and Liberman Broadcasting regional Mexican KRQB “Que Buena” (2.6 – 3.2, eighth to seventh, 6+). This is the best 6+-showing for “Que Buena” since its 3.6 in September. Notwithstanding that this is its third consecutive decrease for a -1.1 (9.4 – 9.2 – 8.6 – 8.3, 6+), Entravision Spanish adult hits KLYY “Jose” is #1 for the 18th consecutive ratings period. Following five consecutive sweeps without a decrease which produced a +2.2 (7.2 – 7.5 – 7.5 – 8.3 – 8.7 – 9.4, 6+), “Jose” lost two-tenths in February. In the runner-up slot for the fourth successive sweep is Anaheim Broadcasting classic hits-oldies outlet KOLA, which regains the four-tenths it squandered in March (5.6 – 5.2 – 5.6, 6+). The -.4 one month ago ended at five KOLA’s string of consecutive fluctuations by one-half share (7.1 – 6.6 – 6.1 – 5.6 – 6.1 – 5.6, 6+) for a collective -1.5; KOLA was at #2 six straight times before dropping to third in “Holiday” 2016. Prior to November, it was up or flat the previous six times for a net gain of +2.2 (4.9 – 4.9 – 5.6 – 6.5 – 6.8 – 6.9 – 7.1, 6+).

11) San Jose – With the distinction of having both the second- and third-largest (6+) March 2017 – April 2017 increase by any station in the 12 PPM-markets whose data was released Monday (see San Francisco above), Cumulus Media’s KNBR “The Sports Leader” is +1.1 in San Jose (3.1 – 4.2, 6+), as the San Francisco Giants’ flagship cruises from #14 to #7. Unchanged at #3, Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KBRG “100.3 Mas Variedad” dials up a gain of nine-tenths to 5.4 (6+), erasing the -.9 it accrued in three straight drops (5.4 – 5.3 – 5.1 – 4.5, 6+); the 4.5 in March marked the first time “Mas Variedad” was under a five-share since December 2014 (4.6, 6+). After notching a +.8 in February (2.4 – 3.2, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned adult contemporary KISQ has piled on nine-tenths in March and another one-half share in April (4.1- 4.6, 6+) as “98.1 The Breeze” vaults from eighth to fifth. Gaining one-half share as well is Alpha Media hot AC KEZR “Mix 106 – Today’s Best Music” (4.5 – 5.0, fourth, 6+). Despite being off a combined four-tenths in back-to-back sweeps (7.6 – 7.5 – 7.2, 6+), Northern California Public Broadcasting’s KQED remains on top. Unlisted in San Jose since posting a 5.1 (6+) in the “Holiday” 2015 report, KQED returned in January 2017 by recording a 6.9 (6+) to finish at #1 and has been there ever since. Down or flat the past eight survey periods (2.8 – 2.6 – 2.4 – 2.1 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 1.9 – 1.7 – 1.6, 6+), Entercom rhythmic hot AC KRBQ “The Beat of the Bay” (#25) is off by a combined -1.2 since September. Having notched a 3.1 (6+) in February and March, Cumulus Media news/talk KGO erodes by six-tenths to 2.5 (#14 to #17, 6+). Stuck on 3.8 (6+) in January, February, and March, Univision Radio regional Mexican KSOL “Que Buena” surrenders one-half share to 3.3, as it drifts from the top ten (#9 to #13).

12) Middlesex – Trending 3.2 – 3.1 – 3.2 (January – February – March, 6+), Beasley Media Group adult contemporary WMGQ “Magic 98.3” racks up a +.9 to 4.1 (6+), progressing from #15 into the top ten (#7). With gains of one-half share – and each improving by three rankers – are iHeartMedia New York City urban contemporary WWPR “Power 105.1” (2.9 – 3.4, #16 to #13, 6+) and CBS Radio New York City sports outlet WFAN “The Fan” (2.6 – 3.1, #18 to #15, 6+). Despite a combined loss of -1.4 in back-to-back sweeps (7.9 – 7.4 – 6.5, 6+), Townsquare Media news/talk WKXW is #1 for the fourth consecutive ratings period. As a result of hanging out a “Holiday” 2016 – January 2017 increase of one-full-share (6.8 – 7.8, 6+), “New Jersey 101.5” returned to #1 following one turn in the runner-up slot. Prior to “Holiday” 2016, when it was -.7, (6+), “New Jersey 101.5” spent 12 consecutive ratings periods on top. A loss of eight-tenths (5.7 – 4.9, 6+) takes iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW “Lite-FM” from third to fourth. Without a decrease in four straight sweeps (2.4 – 2.7 – 3.6 – 3.9 – 3.9, 6+), Emmis rhythmic CHR WQHT “Hot 97” is a collective +1.5 but backslides from seventh to eighth. Its format rival – iHeartMedia’s WKTU (#17 – #19) – is up or flat for the fifth consecutive ratings period netting a +.6 (2.2 – 2.2 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.8, 6+). Spiraling from #10 to #14, CBS Radio CHR WBMP “Amp” is without an increase for the eighth straight time and has lost more than one full-share since September (4.5 – 4.3 – 4.0 – 3.9 – 3.8 – 3.7 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.3, 6+).

Echo Chamber: Mad About Maddow

| March 22, 2017

By Holland Cooke
Media Consultant

 

BLOCK ISLAND, RI — Seen the flames?  Seen the numbers?

MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow scored the biggest ratings in the history of her show as she displayed a copy of Donald Trump’s 2005 tax return, anonymously mailed to a reporter.  Although many radio talkers – and some radio gurus – were quick to shrug it off as unsustainable, new news since is that Maddow has now beat rival Fox News Channel for a second straight week 25-54.

Admittedly, radio folk tend to do cartwheels when WE spike, and to diss other guys when THEY do.  Still, the social media backlash – from media people — was discouraging.  The unison damned Maddow for sustaining viewers’ attention for two whole quarter hours…as though that’s not how we too get paid.  “Big hype!  Big letdown!  Only two pages!”

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Are We Really THAT Angry?

| March 6, 2017

By Holland Cooke
Media Consultant

 

BLOCK ISLAND, RI — If so, why?  If not, why do we seem so?

Status quo: The Noise

Because the Trump story is SUCH great copy, the media soundtrack has become noisier than ever.

  • Yes, The Noise was already blaring before The Donald ran, often fueled by contempt for President Obama. Because the opinion industry has commercial inventory to fill, attention is currency.  “Believe us, not them!”  Even on the rare slow news day, shows begin with a Fox News Alert.  Even between situations, Wolf is in The Situation Room.  Clicks, baby.
  • I’m complicit! From a memo to hosts I coach: “Donald Trump is the best thing that ever happened to talk radio.  There are spontaneous statements at Executive Order photo ops, Alternative Facts, SNL, botched calls with friendly foreign leaders, Ivanka Inc., the Russia flap.  Twitter!  Wiretapping?  Expect a-story-a-day, and assume NO topic burnout at this time.  As ‘the Trump channel,’ we can enjoy tune-in from giddy supporters AND appalled or scoffing resisters.”

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Wednesday, March 1, 2017

| March 1, 2017

Nielsen: News/Talk Grabs Highest Millennial Ratings in Five Years.  Radio ratings giant Nielsen Audio presents some data from the January 2017 PPM survey that indicate the news/talk format (more on that to follow) registered its best numbers in the 18-39 demographic since November of 2012.  Nielsen reports that AQH share in the demo was 4.9% in the January survey.  That beats January 2016’s 4.1%, and as you can see in the accompanying graphic, it’s easily the best in the last seven January surveys.  Nielsen writes, “Much has been said about resetting norms in the political sphere, but Nielsen’s unique insight into total audience behavior across a variety of platforms allows for more macro trends to emerge.  When it comes to media consumption, and in this particular case, radio listening, 2017 could turn out to be a year where traditional patterns and results don’t repeat in the ways we’ve seen in the past.”  One caveat to consider here is that, for Nielsen, the news/talk format in the PPM markets also includes some 50 public radio NPR affiliates, a factor that likely heightens the number of Millennial listeners who may identify themselves as progressive or liberal.  Read the whole report here.

PPM Analysis: All-News.  TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian takes a look at the performances of all-news stations based on data from the January 2017 PPM survey from Nielsen Audio.  As Kinosian notes, the end of the holiday season (and the accompanying all-Christmas music bonanza for some music formats) and the anticipation of a new presidential administration – and a highly controversial one at that – made for positive ratings results for most of America’s all-news radio stations.  According to Nielsen’s data, three stations ranked #1 in their respective markets (6+) – WBBM-AM, Chicago; WWJ, Detroit; and KFBK, Sacramento.  Additionally, four stations ranked #2 in their markets.  See which stations they were, plus all the rest of the comparative data here.

Talk Radio Can Learn from Trump.  Nationally syndicated talk show host Phil Valentine says, in a piece written for TALKERS magazine, that talk radio can learn some valuable lessons from President Donald Trump.  No, it’s not a lesson in politics, but a lesson in entertainment value.  Valentine writes, “I will admit that I was never a big fan of Donald Trump dating back to the ‘80s.  Like many, I found him cocky and obnoxious.  After he announced his candidacy, I quickly realized he had mastered the art of entertainment.  And, let’s face it, as much as we’d like to elevate our format to something more noble, we’re in the entertainment business.  That doesn’t mean we can’t produce meaningful, insightful, and provocative shows, but if it’s not entertaining we’re simply talking to ourselves.”  Read Valentine’s entire piece here.

Drew Olson to Host Midday Show on WOKY, Milwaukee.  Brew City sports media figure Drew Olson is taking over the midday show at iHeartMedia’s sports talk WOKY “The Big 920,” effective today (3/1).  Olson – a former Milwaukee Journal Sentinel sports reporter and former president of the Baseball Writers Association of America – has been with WOKY since August of last year, serving as co-host of the afternoon drive Mike Heller show.  Olson takes over the 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm show from Mitch Nelles (who transitions to a sales role for the iHM cluster) and will continue to co-host with Heller.  The station says Olson’s show will feature regular guest appearances from OnMilwaukee.com writers and Olson’s longtime friends, including Milwaukee Journal Sentinel baseball writer Tom Haudricourt and Fox Sports Wisconsin commentator Bill Schroeder.  Prior to joining WOKY, Olson spent 12 years with Good Karma’s crosstown sports talker WAUK “ESPN Milwaukee.”

Beasley Media Group Names Kalinowski EVP of Digital.  Named to this new, corporate position for Beasley Media Group is Brian Kalinowski.  The company says that he’ll be based at its Charlotte offices.  Prior to joining Beasley as executive vice president of digital, Kalinowski was leading the digital strategy firm XMark Consulting that he founded in 2015.  Beasley CEO Caroline Beasley states, “Brian’s track record for growing and developing profitable businesses within the digital landscape make him the ideal person for this new role.  As we expand Beasley’s national reach, a progressive digital strategy will be imperative for our company.  We are confident Brian will lead that charge.”

Fisher to Remain with Entercom – At Least for a While.  Last fall, Entercom announced that company chief financial officer Steve Fisher would be leaving the company when his contract expired on February 28, 2017.  Now, given the amount of work that’s popped up due to the merger with CBS RADIO, Fisher will remain with the company for a while, maybe as long as the end of this year.  The company announces that Fisher will remain CFO through April at a salary of $55,344 per month.  After that he’ll assist CEO David Field with transitional services and be paid $36,111 per month.  He’ll also be eligible for a bonus of up to $650,000 for services rendered this year.

New Cannabis Show Airing on Biz Talk Radio.  Radio pro and health and consumer advocate Frankie Boyer is now hosting “Cannabis Talk A to Z” Fridays at 11:00 am ET on Biz Talk Radio.  Boyer says the program “pioneers the science-driven landscape of the emerging cannabis industry featuring medical, legal and educational professionals, along with practical and published expert research on the health benefits of dietary phytocannabinoids.  In addition, the show includes CEOs, cannabis investors, growers, and more.”  Boyer is also host of her eponymous talk show on Biz Talk Radio Network and host of the “Frankie Boyer Health Show” on WCRN, Worcester, Massachusetts.  She says, “I created this show to address the dramatic growth in the cannabis industry since some form of legalization has taken place in over 40 US states.  As awareness grows, the old stigmas associated with cannabis are fading.  My objective is to completely lift the veil and to inform, entertain and educate.  I see myself as a responsible advocate for both the industry and its new consumers.”

TALKERS News Notes.  Joining CBS Radio News is Bill Rehkopf, who’ll serve as a correspondent based in Washington, DC.  His duties will include anchoring CBS Radio newscasts and special reports, as well as reporting on Washington newsmakers.  Rehkopf was most recently with The Hill.  Prior to that he was a news anchor and political reporter at WNEW-FM in Baltimore/DC and an anchor and talk host at KDKA, Pittsburgh…..Former Chicago Blackhawks player Brent Sopel is joining Tribune’s WGN, Chicago as a hockey analyst and show host.  The station says he’ll appear on the weekend sports show “The Beat,” with hosts Mark Carman, Adam Hoge and Jarrett Payton.  He’ll also contribute to the station’s weekday shows.  WGN VP of programming and content Todd Manley says, “With Brent Sopel joining our sports conversation, we can ramp up for more expanded Blackhawks coverage.  As a mentor to some of today’s biggest stars, Brent brings a depth of knowledge in the past, present, and future of this great game.”…..It appears that Cumulus Media may have taken sports talk KFNZ-AM, Salt Lake City dark.  The station ceased broadcasting yesterday (2/28) and as yet there has been no filing for Special Temporary Authority with the FCC, however the company has 10 days to file such a request.

Trump Congress Address, Future of the Affordable Care Act, Trump Blames Obama for Leaks, Rise in Colorectal Cancers in Young Americans, Uber PR Troubles, Kellyanne Conway WH Photo Flap, Obamas Ink Book Deal, and NBA/NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/28).  The anticipation of and coverage of Tuesday evening’s address to Congress by President Donald Trump; debate over the fate of the Affordable Care Act; Trump blames former President Barack Obama for leaks from government agencies to the press; the report of the stunning rise in colorectal cancers among Americans in their 20s and 30s; Uber’s public relations troubles stemming from allegations of systemic sexual harassment within the company and video of CEO Travis Kalanick arguing with one of his drivers; the flap over an Oval Office photo of Kellyanne Conway sitting with her feet on the couch; the Obama’s sign book deals with Penguin Random House; and NBA and NHL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

A Podcast Tribute to Alan Colmes. TALKERS founder Michael Harrison produces and hosts a special installment of his weekly PodcastOne hit series “Up Close and Far Out,” paying tribute to FOX News radio and TV personality Alan Colmes. Colmes, a multi-talented broadcaster whose half-century career intersected popular culture and impacted broadcast media at several historical junctures, died last week at the age of 66 after battling a brief illness. Harrison opens the 50-minute podcast with a deeply personal eulogy to his friend and colleague whom he met when they were students at Hofstra University and weekend DJs on WGSM, Huntington, Long Island. It is followed by a 2015 segment from the first installment of an experimental show about human consciousness titled “Healed Planet” that Colmes hosted and on which Michael Harrison guested on TalkersRadio – a workshop/lab for professional broadcasters to develop new programming concepts outside the box of traditional talk radio. Although Colmes is famous for his work on Fox as a progressive political media voice, his personal background and interests stretched way beyond that playing field to include comedy, music, philosophy and the farthest boundaries of science. His interest in human consciousness and metaphysics are amply on display (as are Harrison’s) in this fascinatingly candid conversation between two old friends throwing programming restrictions to the wind. That is followed by a dialogue between Harrison and TALKERS managing editor and noted radio historian Mike Kinosian analyzing the unique role Colmes played while at Fox as one of talk media’s rare progressives – a position that put him in the cross-hairs of critics in both the conservative and liberal camps. To listen to this podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Broadcasters Foundation Raises $280,000 at Golden Mike 2017.  At Monday evening’s 2017 Golden Mike Award ceremony at the Plaza Hotel in New York City, $280,000 was raised to help the Broadcasters Foundation of America assist broadcasters in need.  At the event, Meredith Broadcasting Group president and CEO Paul Karpowicz was presented with the Golden Mike Award.  More than 250 radio and television executives attended the black-tie gala.  Pictured above are (from l-r): retired president of Cox Media Group Bill Hoffman (who received the 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award), singer-songwriter Andy Grammer (who performed at the event), and Karpowicz.  Photo: Wendy Moger-Bross

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  It was an apparently very close call for the crew of Cumulus Media’s syndicated “America’s Morning Show” as you can see by the remains of the car in which they were traveling at right.  On Monday, personalities Ty Bentli, Kelly Ford, Chuck Wicks and producer Glenn Johnson were driving from an appearance at an affiliate station in Columbus, Mississippi to New Orleans where they were to serve as grand marshals for a Mardi Gras parade when their vehicle hit water during heavy rains, hydroplaned and flipped twice.  Fortunately, it appears all will be well. Bentli, Ford and Johnson were treated and released and Wicks was kept overnight for “additional observation” at the hospital in Hattiesburg, Mississippi…..The on-air lineup at iHeartMedia’s hip hop WJMN, Boston “JAM’N 94.5” sees some changes.  With the departure of longtime night jock Geespin, DJ Pup Dawg takes over the evening show.  Premiere Networks’ “The Breakfast Club” is the morning show, Maverick moves from afternoon drive to middays, and Ashlee jumps from mornings to afternoon drive…..Phil Rossi joins Equity Communications-owned CHR WAYV, Atlantic City to host the 2:00 pm to 7:00 pm show.

Talk Radio Can Learn from Trump

| March 1, 2017

By Phil Valentine
Westwood One
Talk Show Host

 

NASHVILLE — Love him or hate him, we in talk radio can learn a great deal from Donald Trump. Since he blasted onto the political scene, he’s been a ratings juggernaut. Even the news media have to admit this guy is ratings gold. The assumption in talk radio is that being rah-rah Trump equals big ratings. That would be completely missing the point. The Trump factor is not whether you support him or oppose him. It’s what you learn from him.

I will admit that I was never a big fan of Donald Trump dating back to the ‘80s. Like many, I found him cocky and obnoxious. After he announced his candidacy, I quickly realized he had mastered the art of entertainment. And, let’s face it, as much as we’d like to elevate our format to something more noble, we’re in the entertainment business. That doesn’t mean we can’t produce meaningful, insightful, and provocative shows, but if it’s not entertaining we’re simply talking to ourselves.

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Wednesday, February 15, 2017

| February 15, 2017

McMahon: Lessons Learned from Rebuilding a Struggling Radio News Station.  Consultant Bill McMahon details the myriad reasons he believes people tune in to – and stay with – a radio news station.  He explains it in the context of rebuilding a major market news station that had lost its course and dove from being a leader to an also-ran in the ratings.  McMahon says that delivering news is the mechanics of what a station does but “news stations are actually in the life enrichment business.  News merely provides the vehicle and fuel for helping to make listeners’ lives more interesting, meaningful and fun.”  With that, McMahon presents his beliefs about what constitutes meaningful content for listeners in order to attract and keep them.  Read it all here.

SiriusXM’s Howard Stern Show Being Sued for Airing of Taxpayer’s IRS Call.  This complaint is filed in US. District Court in Massachusetts as the result of an incident that happened on May 19, 2015.  The crux of the suit against the IRS and the Howard Stern Production Company is as follows: IRS agent Jimmy Forsythe had called in to the Howard Stern show from his office and was placed on hold.  During that time, plaintiff Judith Barrigas called the IRS with a question about “the potential misapplication of her tax refund” for the previous year.  At some point, Stern staffers put her discussion with Forsythe on the air, during which Barrigas’ personal information, tax matters, etc. were aired.  Barrigas says she learned of what was happening after receiving texts and calls alerting her that her conversation was being broadcast.  She complained to the IRS which, she alleges, did nothing until she contacted WCVB-TV, Boston’s consumer helpline.  After the TV station contacted the IRS, Forsythe was put on administrative leave.  Barrigas claims she’s suffered monetary damages as a result of the incident in addition to various health issues.  She is seeking compensatory and punitive damages, plus a recoup of legal fees.

Seattle Times Piece Highlights Medved’s Independent Prespective.  Nationally syndicated talk radio host Michael Medved – whose show is based at Bonneville’s KTTH, Seattle and is distributed by Salem Radio Network – is featured in a story by Seattle Times staff reporter Nina Shapiro.  Central to the piece is that Medved is one of a very few conservative talk show hosts who never got on board supporting President Donald Trump’s campaign.  Now that Trump is in office, Medved continues to walk his own path – criticizing the administration for what he thinks is bad and praising it for what he thinks is good.  Read the Times piece here.

Fresno’s “Power Talk 96.7” Jumps into Sanctuary City Issue.  Pictured above is a still from KFSN-TV, Fresno’s coverage of a petition drive spearheaded by news/talk outlet KALZ, Fresno “Power Talk 96.7” requesting that the city’s mayor not allow Fresno to become a sanctuary city.  Last night (2/14), the iHeartMedia-owned station held a remote broadcast as part of the signature drive.  KALZ host Trevor Carey tells the TV station that he and other citizens are concerned that the mayor’s recent language on the matter was ambiguous, spurring the petition campaign.

West Palm Beach Host Joyce Kaufman Does WH Skype Session.  WFTL, West Palm Beach talk show host Joyce Kaufman took part in the latest Skype Session portion of yesterday’s White House press briefing (pictured above).  During the session, Kaufman asked Press Secretary Sean Spicer about the security issues relative to President Trump’s receiving word of North Korea’s missile launch while at dinner at Mar-a-Lago with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.  News outlets have been questioning whether sensitive issues were discussed in the vicinity of other diners, wait-staff, etc., as photos taken by other diners seemed to indicate.  Kaufman asked if there is a SCIF (Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility) at Mar-a Lago.  Spicer answered that there is and it was used by Trump and Abe.  She also asked if Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would discuss moving the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.  Spicer replied he would not “get ahead of” the president on that one.

TALKERS News Notes. The weekend talk program “Café Mocha” – co-hosted by comedienne and actress Loni Love, hip hop legend YoYo and broadcast veteran Angelique Perrin, and heard on numerous urban-formatted stations across the country – is celebrating its sixth anniversary.  At the same time, the program announces that Compass Media Networks is working with the show to handle ad sales…..Mentoring and Inspiring Women in Radio Group announces the results of its 2016 Gender Analysis Study.  The study was done by PrecisionTrak and concludes that, as of December 31, 2016, out of 11,229 AM and FM radio stations, 1,944 or 17.8% have women holding the general manager position – a 0.5% increase from 2015.  In 2016, 31.5% of all stations had a women sales manager – up one full percentage point from the prior year.  And in the top 100 markets, 31.4% of the stations have female sales managers.  MIW says that the greatest challenge for women in radio management continues to be found in the programming department.  Women currently program only 10.7% of all stations in the country, which compares to the same number 10 years ago.  The news is better in the top 100 markets where women programmers now represent 12.2%, which is basically flat from last year.

Trump Campaign-Russia Connection/Flynn Resignation, Russian Spy Ship and Missiles Deployed, ICE Raids, Oroville Dam Scare-State of Infrastructure, Kim Jong Un’s Half-Brother Assassinated, Paid Protests Allegations, and NBA-NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/14).  New allegations the Trump campaign was in contact with Russian officials prior to the election and before the inauguration, plus the related resignation of National Security Advisor Michael Flynn; reports of a Russian spy ship near the U.S. coast and the country’s deploying of a missile that reportedly violates current arms treaties; the raids being conducted by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement bureau; the concerns about the stability of a spillway at the Oroville Dam in Northern California and White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer’s statement that the incident is emblematic of the country’s infrastructure issues; allegations that North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un’s half-brother was assassinated with poisoned needles in Malaysia; speculation that the protests at GOP town halls are populated with people paid by Democratic Party operatives; and NBA and NHL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Rock radio pro Jeff Zito returns to Beasley Media Group’s rock WRXK, Fort Myers to host the midday show – 10:00 am to 2:00 pm – and serve as program director.  Zito left the station last spring to head north to Tampa to program the company’s then-rock WBRN, Tampa.  However, with the exit of Bubba the Love Sponge’s morning show in the fall, the station flipped to adult contemporary at the end of 2016…..The demise of Eric “Shmonty” Ashmont as host of the morning show on Lotus’ alternative KFMA, Tucson “Rock 102.1” has been greatly exaggerated.  Yes, it’s true that Shmonty left the Tucson area to return to Rockville, Maryland for family reasons.  But, now the station is keeping him on as morning host via remote.  On-air producer Beef Vegan produces the show from the studios in Tucson…..In Erie, Pennsylvania, Kwame Dankwa joins Connoisseur Media as program director for CHR WRTS “Star 104.”  Dankwa was most recently with iHeartMedia as afternoon personality and APD at CHR KPWK “Power 933.”

Friday, February 3, 2017

| February 3, 2017

Profile: FOX Sports’ Colin Cowherd.  Seventeen months into his deal with FOX Sports – one that puts him on television, in national radio syndication and makes him part-owner of his own content – Colin Cowherd speaks with TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian in  a profile published today (2/3).  Cowherd tells Kinosian that the change from ESPN to FOX Sports was moving from “one great company to another.” But he’s happier with the vibe at FOX.  “The reality is that radio should be more dangerous.  It is unedited, ad-libbed, and free-form. There’s a little stand-up, a little ranting, a little painting and you are going to spill a little on the canvas.  I think my personality fits the FOX ecosystem a little better than the current ESPN ecosystem, which has gotten much more politically correct in the last several years.”  Read the whole piece here.

Beasley to Unload Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville, North Carolina Cluster for $11 Million.  The buyer is CMG Coastal Carolina and Beasley Media Group says it will use the cash to pay down debt.  The stations affected are: blues WNCT-AM, Greenville; classic hits WNCT-FM, Greenville; classic rock WSFL-FM, New Bern; hip hop WIKS-FM, New Bern; adult contemporary WMGV-FM, Newport; and rock WXNR-FM, Grifton.  CMG Coastal Carolina, which is affiliated with Curtis Media Group, intends to spin off WNCT-FM to Inner Banks Media, LLC.  Beasley CEO Caroline Beasley comments, “Since the Company’s founding in 1961, Beasley has established a long-term record of successfully optimizing its station portfolio through both strategic acquisitions and divestitures to drive returns for our shareholders.  Last November we completed the accretive acquisition of Greater Media, adding 17 stations (net of divestitures) and four attractive new markets to our operating footprint.  We are making continued progress with the integration of the new stations as we apply our proven strategies that focus on strong core programming and targeted localism to support ratings and market leadership.  We are confident that the stations being divested will continue to offer listeners in Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville great local programming.”

2016 Banner Year for SiriusXM.  The financial figures from the fourth quarter of 2016 and the entire year are being reported and SiriusXM says it beat its guidance “on all metrics.”  The satcaster’s net income for the fourth quarter of 2016 was $205 million – up 52% from the same period in 2015.  For the year, net income was $746 million – up 46% from 2015.  As for its subscriber numbers, SiriusXM reports a net subscriber growth of 1.75 million for the year.  It now reports more than 31 million subscribers with nearly 26 million self-paying subscribers. CEO Jim Meyer comments, “Last year was a phenomenal year for SiriusXM’s business, and we expect continued success in 2017.  We finished ahead of our guidance across the board, with record revenue, adjusted EBITDA and free cash flow.  With more than 31 million subscribers, SiriusXM has never had more paying customers. We’ve issued guidance for continued growth in 2017, and we expect a record adjusted EBITDA of more than $2 billion.”

Michael Harrison Says a New Golden Age of News/Talk Radio is at Hand – IF Broadcasters Rise to the Challenge.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison addressed this month’s meeting of the magazine’s editorial board with optimistic observations about the news/talk format’s future as the world enters the Donald Trump era.  But he also pointed out that the format’s inherent multi-genre potential can only be reached if broadcasters have the vision and courage to significantly alter the current paradigm and “take advantage of the political passions that have engulfed a wide swath of the American population, way beyond the traditional conservative core audience.”  Harrison was clear that he thinks traditional conservative news/talk radio is here to stay although “enthusiasm for Trump has bent some of the tried-and-true guidelines that provided a dependable ideological template for hosts connecting with their audiences way beyond what were once considered to be their breaking points.”  Harrison explains, “Conservative listeners will remain extremely loyal to their brand of talk radio because they fear opposition to Trump will water down the changes he promised to bring America in ‘making it great again,’ adding, “There is indeed room within conservative talk radio for hosts to be critical of Trump on occasions that warrant nuanced alternative perspectives… but then again, that has always been the case.  Conservative news/talk has never been as monolithic as its political critics have implied.”  However, it is the new potential of progressive talk radio or as Harrison puts it, “resistance talk” that is truly exciting in expanding the boundaries of spoken word strategies on the commercial radio dial.  “Intense, passionate and obsessive opposition to Trump has galvanized and ignited a hitherto non-focused target audience for news/talk hosts, programs and stations,” states Harrison.  “The door is open for performers such as Thom Hartmann, Stephanie Miller, Joe Madison, Alan Colmes and countless others of the progressive perspective to tap into a potentially vast audience of listeners who, since the election of Trump, deeply care about their message – as long as these messengers are talented by radio standards.  The Trump era offers the talk radio industry the opportunity to double its reach by providing a platform for both the ‘revolution’ (Trump) and the ‘resistance’ (anti-Trump) passions that are clearly exploding in the American marketplace of ideas.  Both sides feel embattled.”  Harrison adds, “If radio misses this opportunity, it would be the equivalent of missing the British Invasion of the sixties, the disco craze of the late seventies, and the rise of conservatism in the nineties.”

Trump Travel Order/Protests Top Talk Story for Week of Jan. 30-Feb. 3.  The travel order banning people coming into the U.S. from seven predominantly Muslim nations and the protests over the presidential order was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 was the nomination of Neil Gorsuch for the vacant seat on the Supreme Court.  Coming in at #3 was the violent protests at UC-Berkeley over the planned speech by Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos, followed by the U.S. putting Iran “on notice” over its test of a missile 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.

Rick Thomas to Oversee Operations at CMG Tampa.  Most recently with CBS Radio’s CHR WBMP, New York “92.3 AMP Radio” as program director, Rick Thomas heads south to Tampa to serve as operations manager for Cox Media Group’s six-station cluster there and to program CHR WPOI “HOT 101.5.”   Thomas will oversee operations for adult contemporary WWRM “Magic 94.9,” alternative WSUN-FM “97X,” hot talk WPHT “102.5 The Bone,” adult contemporary WDUV “105.5 The Dove,” and classic hits “107.3 The Eagle,” plus all digital content.    CMG Tampa VP and market manager Keith Lawless says, “CMG is very fortunate to have Rick join our Tampa team.  Rick is a successful and innovative leader in our business with an exceptional track record.  I’m proud to partner with Rick and I have no doubt that his contributions will help Tampa compete and win, even more.”

TALKERS News Notes.  Nationally syndicated talk show host Mike Gallagher (pictured here) poses for a photo with a young Guatemalan girl during his trip to the Central American Nation.  The Salem Radio Network personality is there this week with fellow SRN hosts Larry Elder and Mark Davis in the company of international relief agency Food For The Poor…..New Yorkers won’t have to miss the sound of Mike Francesa’s voice when the WFAN afternoon personality finishes his contract with the CBS Radio sports talk station at the end of this year.  The “Pope” told former partner Chris “Mad Dog” Russo, on the latter’s SiriusXM program, that he’ll be doing something on January 3, 2018.  “I’m not promising it’ll be conventional.  It’s something new,” he said.  Read the New York Post’s take on it here.

Longtime ABC News Radio Staffer Bob Benson Passes.  News radio pro Bob Benson passed away on Sunday (1/29) after a four-decade career in radio.  Benson started in radio while still in high school.  In 1966 he joined ABC as news director at WLS, Chicago, then moved to the company’s KGO, San Francisco.  In 1974, Benson launched AP Radio in Washington.  He returned to ABC as vice president of ABC News, managing the news and sports for the radio networks.

Is It Possible to Teach Media and Politics in Today’s Environment without Expressing (or Being Accused of) Expressing a Significant Degree of Bias?  This is just one of several key questions that are explored in an extremely candid conversation between TALKERS founder Michael Harrison and veteran talk radio programmer David Bernstein posted today (1/31) on this week’s installment of the award-winning PodcastOne series “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.” Bernstein’s stellar career in radio includes stints as program director of such politically diverse powerhouses as WTIC in Hartford, WPRO in Providence, WRKO and WBZ in Boston, and a 10 year run at WOR in New York.  He even served for a brief period as VP/programming at Air America.  Today, he is the general manager of the experimental “workshop” platform TalkersRadio and going into his second full year as an adjunct professor of media studies at Caldwell University in New Jersey.  Harrison and Bernstein explore the characteristics, habits and challenges facing Millennials with a focus on those considering careers in the media. The discussion includes an analysis of the public’s across the board obsession with politics inspired by the rise of Donald Trump permeating all aspects of daily American life.  Don’t miss this one!  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click the “Up Close and Far Out” player box  located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

 

 

Zannie K. Named PM Drive Host at ‘105 The Vibe’ in Twin Cities.  In the Minneapolis market, Cumulus Media announces that on-air pro Zannie K. is the new afternoon personality and assistant program director at classic hip hop outlet WGVX “105 The Vibe.”  He also hosts the weekend “Zannie K’s Throwback Theory” Saturday nights at 10:00 pm.  Additionally, he’s going to host the Sunday midday show for Westwood One’s 24/7 AC, hot AC and CHR affiliates.  Cumulus Media Minneapolis OM (and corporate VP of classic rock) Scott Jameson comments, “We’ve seen consistent growth with ‘The Vibe,’ and adding Zannie to afternoon drive will no doubt sustain the positive momentum for our listeners and advertisers.”

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  On Monday (2/6), married morning show personalities “Chadd & Kristi” (at right) debut their program on Beasley Media Group’s newly launched adult contemporary WBRN “B98.7.”  The station was formerly a rock outlet and the Tampa affiliate of the Bubba the Love Sponge show, but Beasley flipped it to AC on January 5…..Country superstar Luke Bryan chatted with Westwood One Sports NFL host Scott Graham on Thursday (2/2).  Bryan appeared as part of Westwood One’s nightly “The Road to Super Bowl LI” broadcast that aired live.  On Sunday, Bryan will sing the national anthem before the Super Bowl LI broadcast…..Townsquare Media launches the new KAMM, Missoula, Montana as an alternative rock outlet branded “ALT 101.5.”  The brand manager for the new station is Angel Hughes, who will also serve as the station’s morning personality…..Rock radio jock Spam joins Sun Broadcasting’s alternative WXNX, Fort Myers “93X” as host of the morning show.  Spam comes to Sun from his most recent gig at Entercom’s cross-state alternative rocker WSFS, Miami “104.3 The Shark.”  Spam was a longtime personality at CBS Radio’s WHFS, Baltimore/Washington…..In Reading, Pennsylvania, Jimmy Steele exits iHeartMedia’s hot AC WRFY and Spanish AC WRAW after a restructuring of the cluster’s staff.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

| January 19, 2017

RTDNA and Journalism Coalition Seek Pow-Wow with Trump and Pence on Transparency.  In an effort to discuss journalistic access to the Trump Administration and the U.S. Government, the RTDNA and 60 other journalism organizations are requesting a meeting with President-elect Donald Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence.  The RTDNA is announcing the coalition sent a letter on Wednesday (1/18) to Trump and Pence, rtdna logoasking for a meeting or conference call.  Among the issues the coalition wished to discuss are: the ability of reporters to directly interact with government employees who are subject matter experts, rather than interacting with Public Information Officers (or having all conversations monitored by Public Information Officers); access to the activities of the president; and ensuring that the Federal Freedom of Information Act remains as strong as possible.  RTDNA executive director Mike Cavender states, “This is an unprecedented time for the American media and, as a consequence, for the American public.  It is imperative that the incoming administration understand the importance of transparency in government and thecavendermike cooperative spirit needed in working with the journalists who cover it.  Only then will Americans be fully and fairly informed about the important decisions being made on their behalf.”  Interestingly, this issue isn’t just about the incoming Trump Administration.  Several similar letters were sent to the Obama Administration, beginning in 2013, regarding concerns about White House restrictions on photographers, transparency and public information officer restrictions.  Three such letters were sent in 2013 and 2014.  The Obama Administration’s reply in August of 2014 was deemed unsatisfactory by the journalism organizations.  RTDNA provides a white paper and other articles on the matter for further background.  Wednesday’s letter also issues the following requests: “We urge you to publicly affirm your commitment to transparency, to issue an executive order prohibiting the restrictive public information policies that have been the status quo, and to engage in a public discussion with us about the Trump Administration’s commitment to the free flow of information from the White House and all federal government, to the American people.”

Mayfield Promoted at Ramsey Media.  Talk radio superstar Dave Ramsey announces some news from hismayfieldbrian organization.  Eight-year staffer Brian Mayfield – most recently vice president of Ramsey Media – is promoted to senior vice president for the company.  Ramsey Media states that Mayfield will “continue to lead the media department while taking on additional company-wide responsibilities as part of the Ramsey Solutions Senior Leadership Team.  He will continue to report to Suzanne Simms, EVP of the business to consumer division.  Ramsey Media includes all aspects of the Dave Ramsey show – currently heard on more than 575 radio stations and a variety of digital outlets – and other broadcast initiatives of Ramsey Solutions.

Trump Inauguration, Last Days of Obama Presidency, Cabinet Nominees Confirmation Hearings, Obama’s Chelsea Manning Commutation, Report of Earth’s Hottest Year, GOP ObamaCare Plans, NFL-Lady Gaga Flap/NFL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/18). Friday’s inauguration of President-Elect Donald Trump, the Democrats planning to skip the event, and the planned protests; President Obama’s final press conference; the confirmation hearings of Trump cabinet nominees Betsy DeVos and Tom Price; controversy over Obama’s commutation of Chelsea Manning for leaking classified documents to Wikileaks; the report that the planet’s mean temperature was the highest it’s been for the third year in a row; the status of the Affordable Care Act as the GOP plans to revamp the health care law; and the flap over whether the NFL is muzzling Lady Gaga’s Super Bowl halftime performance, tied with the NFL playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Odds & Sods.  On this weekend’s edition of “Legends of Success with John Resnick,” one of the topresnickjohn entertainment lawyers in America appears on the program.  John Branca – who’s represented some of the most successful musical acts in history, including: Michael Jackson, The Rolling Stones, The Beach Boys, Carlos Santana, Aerosmith, ZZ Top, John Fogerty, and The Doors – talks about his rocky road to success and the many crazy situations he encountered.  He relates that his success has been, in part, because he has been an authority figure to his clients, choosing not to socialize or party with them.  The interview airs this weekend (1/22-23) and will be posted online on Monday…..Tomorrow’s presidential inauguration will be covered for its radio affiliates by FOX News RadioJared Halpern and Laura Ingle will co-anchor the main event, with correspondents reporting live from multiple locations in Washington DC…..Salem Radio Network News is also covering the inauguration tomorrow, beginning with a stand-alone, two-hour special titled, “SRN Inauguration Day 2017.”  The special will be anchoredelswickdaveARCapitol17 live from the steps of the U.S. Capitol by SRN News White House correspondent Greg Clugston and SRN U.S. Senate correspondent Linda Kenyon.  SRN News U.S. House correspondent Wally Hindes and SRN News Washington bureau chief Ken Lormand will also participate from inside the Capitol building…..AdLarge Media has entered into an exclusive ad sales agreement to represent the podcast “Little Known Facts with Ilana Levine,” a weekly celebrity interview podcast hosted by the stage and screen actress…..KHTE-FM, Little Rock “96.5 FM The Answer” afternoon drive host Dave Elswick (left) is pictured here interviewing Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchison (right) during Elswick’s recent three-day broadcast from the state Capitol.

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Radio Row at SHOT Show in Las Vegas.  This week in Las Vegas, hunters and shooting enthusiasts are converging on the Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trades Show, a.k.a. the SHOT Show, presented by the National Shooting Sports Foundation.  The radio row at the event is hosting such talk radio personalities as Mike Gallagher, Lars Larson, Ben Ferguson and others.  Pictured above is Tim Kennedy (right), host of the History Channel hit “Hunting Hitler” speaking with “The Dana Show” host Dana Loesch.

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RadioInfo Web banner‘Q100’ Atlanta Moves Adam Bomb to Afternoons.  On-air pro Adam Bomb has been holding down the evening show at Cumulus Media’s CHR WWWQ, Atlanta “Q100” in addition to his Westwood One syndicated, eponymous program.  Now, he moves to the livebombadam afternoon drive slot on “Q100,” and that leaves an opening for a hot talent to take over the evening daypart.  Reach out to program director Louie Diaz if you’re interested.  Meanwhile, Diaz says, “Adam’s local involvement with Atlanta schools and his popularity with ‘Q100’ listeners at night made him the perfect choice to drive Atlanta home every afternoon… We have a lot of great stuff in mind for afternoons on ‘Q100,’ so get ready to be entertained!”  He’ll continue to host the syndicated program.

Kramer to Host Mornings on ‘BIG 94.9’ Little Rock.  Little Rock native Doug Kramer comes home to joinkramer iHeartMedia’s classic hits KHKN “BIG 94.9” to host the morning show.  The station says ‘The BIG Fun Morning Show With Kramer’ launches on Monday, January 23.  Kramer says, “It is a dream come true to move home to Little Rock to be a morning personality on ‘BIG 94.9’ and raise my family.  I can’t wait to start working with the iHeartMedia Little Rock team and get involved in my home town’s community efforts.”  Previously, Kramer worked down the road at U.S. Stations-owned CHR KLAZ, Hot Springs.

More Music Radio News and Career Moves.  At Cox Media Group’s classic hits WSRV, Atlanta “97.1 Thegreendebra River,” Debra Green rises from weekend talent to host of the 7:00 pm to 12:00 midnight show.  WSRV director of branding and programming Chris Eagan says, “Deb is a great addition to our weekday lineup.  Her fresh sound and great content make her the perfect fit for ‘The River’ at night.  I’m proud of how hard she worked to get here!”…..In Anchorage, Alaska, Alexx Dupri moves from the afternoon show to AM drive alongside Mike LaJoie to co-host the “Alexx & Mike AM Takeover” at Ohana Media Group’s rhythmic CHR KFAT.

Legendary Sales Consultant Irwin Pollack Passes.  After a battle with cancer, renowned radio sales consultant Irwin Pollack died yesterday (1/18).  His widow posted the following message on Pollack’s Facebook pollackirwinpage.  “Irwin, my amazing husband, incredible father and so much more to so many more has moved on to whatever challenge awaits him after this life.  Thank you all for your kind words and love.  A true gift from God to our family even if just for a short time. Thank you for sharing your stories, memories and feelings.”  Salem Radio Network VP of News & Talk Programming Tom Tradup recalls, “Over the years, I engaged Irwin to bolster our news/talk salespeople at KRLD, Dallas and at WLS, Chicago (his trademark self-confidence was his guarantee that if he didn’t enthusiastically brainstorm at least 24 revenue-generating ideas for our AEs we didn’t have to pay him for his training…we always paid. LOL!) and his 100% confidence in radio as the best-targeted and most efficient advertising medium in America was both hypnotic and contagious.”

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

| November 23, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving from the Staff of TALKERS magazine.  The staff of TALKERS magazine wishes you and yours a wonderful Thanksgiving Weekend.  The offices of TALKERS will be closed from 3:00 pm ET Wednesday (11/23) until Monday morning (11/28).  During this time, TALKERS will report any urgent news bulletins, should they be necessary.  In the meantime, we hope you enjoy the holiday with family and friends.

Derrick Cole Named SVP of Programming for iHM Wilmington.  Promoted from iHeartMedia’s Lancaster, Pennsylvania station group to the SVP of programming role for its Wilmington, Delaware cluster iscolederrick Derrick “DC” Cole.  He will oversee programming at country WDSD, Dover; adult hits WRDX, Smyrna “92.9 TOM-FM”; news/talk WILM, Wilmington; news/talk WDOV, Dover; and sports talk WWTX “Fox Sports 1290.”  Cole will continue to program CHR WLAN, Lancaster and Spanish WLAN-AM “Rumba 1390.”  iHeartMedia SVP of programming for the Allentown-Harrisburg region, Jeff Hurley, states, “Derrick’s one of our best up-and-coming programmers.  We’ve seen record-setting numbers since he began programming WLAN four years ago.  We’re excited for this opportunity to expand his role within our region.”

The Trump Phenomenon and Sports Talk Radio.  A piece by The Ringer editor-at-large Bryan Curtis examines the similarities between President-Elect Donald Trump’s campaign rhetoric and the tactics used by sports talk radio hosts.  Curtis suggests that Trump is like a sports talk host for three reasons: First, he reduces “complex issues to simple sound bites”; second, he’s an elite who “remembers to talk like a plebe”; and third, he overwhelms “the audience with opinions.”  In this piece, Curtis compares Trump to Colin Cowherd and others.  Read it all here.

ppmunitNielsen Audio Releases Round Two of November 2016 PPM Data.  The second of four rounds of November 2016 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Washington, Boston, Detroit, Miami, Seattle, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis.  The November 2016 survey period covered October 6 to November 2.  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.

Odds & Sods.  Nationally syndicated sports talk personality Jim Rome has his Irvine, California home on theromejim market.  The Los Angeles Times reports that the nine-year-old Spanish-style mansion is listed for $13.995 million.  Rome’s radio program is syndicated by CBS Sports Radio Network…..The GCN-syndicated Dr. Daliah Wachs show adds new affiliate KZWY-FM, Sheridan, Wyoming.

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Hurley in the Morning Charity Makes Educational Exhibit Possible.  WPGG, Atlantic City morning personality Harry Hurley’s charitable organization – the Harry Hurley in the Morning Charity – recently donated $5,000 to the Atlantic City Aquarium in Historic Gardner’s Basin.  The funds helped 5th grade gifted and talented students at the Dr. Joyanne D. Miller School in Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey create the new Mysteries of the Ocean educational exhibit.  The exhibit was conceived and designed by teacher Kelly Hunt’s students.  The adults pictured here with the class are (from l-r): Hurley, Atlantic City Historical Waterfront Foundation president Chris Seher, Hunt, Atlantic City Mayor Donald A. Guardian, and Lisa Schall, assistant executive director/CFO and interim director of operations at the Atlantic City Aquarium.

talkersten-logoTrump Transition/Haley to Be UN Ambassador, Trump News Meetings/Pence-‘Hamilton’ Incident, U.S.-Russia Relations, Future of ObamaCare, Thanksgiving Holiday, the State of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, Attacks on Police Officers, U.S. Immigration Policy, Facebook’s Chinese Censorship Tool, Kanye West Hospitalized, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories This Week.  The Trump Administration transition and South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley chosen as Ambassador to the UN; President-Elect Donald Trump’s meeting with the editors of The New York Times and TV news execs; VP-Elect Mike Pence’s encounter with the cast of “Hamilton”; questions about the relations between the U.S. and Russia; how Trump will deal with the Affordable Care Act; this week’s Thanksgiving holiday; concerns over the future of the Trans-Pacific Partnership; the spate of attacks on police officers; the future of immigration policy in America; Facebook creates censorship tool for Chinese use of the social app; hip hop star Kanye West is hospitalized after bizarre political rants at concerts and cancellation of tour; and NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio during the week, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

| November 22, 2016

WMAL-AM/FM, Washington Moves Larry O’Connor to Afternoon Drive.  Air personality Larry O’Connor has been heard during the 5:00 pm hour on Cumulus Media’s WMAL-AM/FM, Washington since 2014, while also serving as co-host of the morning drive show “Mornings on the Mall” alongside Brian Wilson.  Now, O’Connor will give up the morning co-host gig and host the 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm daypart solo, effective January 2.  WMAL program director and Cumulus VP, news/talk Bill Hess comments, “Larry’s success, both on ouroconnorlarry morning and 5:00 pm shows, has positioned him perfectly to re-open the local afternoon daypart on wmal-logoWMAL.  He’s smart, entertaining, and an engaging storyteller who will anchor a program built on the stories of the day, with expanded service elements for our busy DC commuters.”  O’Connor adds, “During this time of unprecedented change and interest in Washington DC, it’s an exciting and humbling opportunity to help facilitate an entertaining and provocative conversation on a station as important and influential as WMAL.  During the four years I’ve been here in the Nation’s Capital, I’ve been so impressed with this community’s engagement in not only our government, but with issues that hit our kitchen tables every day – like pop culture, faith, and parenting.”  WMAL is not renewing “Savage Nation” with Michael Savage which is currently airing from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm.  Meanwhile, the station is seeking a new co-host for the AM show.  Interested personalities should send resumes to Bill Hess at: Bill.Hess@Cumulus.com.

iHeartMedia Flips Alternative WXZX, Columbus to Sports Talk.  Using the brand “Sports Radio 105.7 The Zone,” WXZX, Columbus leaves alternative rock behind for sports talk.  iHeartMedia is using FOX Sports Radio wxzxprogramming plus a local morning drive program hosted by Bruce Hooley and featuring Maddie Spielman (daughter of Chris Spielman, former Buckeye All American, NFL All Pro linebacker and Fox Sports announcer).  The show will announce another co-host at a later date.  Former WTVN, Columbus sports anchor Matt McCoy will provide special reports.  The station will air play-by-play for the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Cincinnati Bengals.  iHeartMedia Columbus VP of programming Michael McCoy comments, “Columbus has one of the best sports fan bases in the country and they finally a have a new destination for Columbus-based sports and entertainment radio in the morning, plus the best national lineup available the rest of the day.

Newsmax CEO Chris Ruddy Takes Call from President-Elect Trump.  Conservative news pioneer Chris Ruddy – CEO of Florida-based Newsmax – tells TALKERS magazine he received a phone call from President-newsmax-logoElect Donald Trump, who praised Newsmax’s coverage of the presidential race.  Ruddy says he’s known Trump for about 20 years and, while the content of his conversation with the president-elect is private, says their talk revealed a man who is “remarkably relaxed and focused.”  Ruddy gives his readers a preview of how Trump and his administration might operate, saying, “Trump has the best retail political skills of any politician I have seen.  Only Bill Clinton comes close.  This will serve him well in the sausage-making process of getting his policies through Congress.”  Read Ruddy’s entire piece here.

Cubs Baseball Was Very Good to WSCR, Chicago.  WSCR, Chicago program director Mitch Rosen checks in with TALKERS magazine to report that the historic Chicago Cubs season – culminating in the club’s first World Series crown since 1908 – was a boon to the CBS RADIO station in its first year as the team’s flagship station.wscr-logo  Rosen reports that on November 2, more than 1 million people listened to WSCR throughout the day, including the extra-inning game seven.  “There were times in game seven that half of all Chicago radio listeners were tuned into ‘The Score’ to hear the hometown call of Pat Hughes and Ron Coomer.  What an amazing first year it’s been for WSCR as the radio home of Chicago Cubs games.  To experience the World Series on this station as we approach our 25th anniversary makes this even more momentous.  When ‘The Score’ first launched, the station was a day-time only frequency, now the same brand is the home of The World Champion Chicago Cubs.”

nielsen-logoNielsen Audio Releases Round One of November 2016 PPM Data.  The first of four rounds of November 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 November 2016 survey period covered October 6 to November 2.  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.

Odds & Sods.  This Thursday and Friday, morning talk personality Doug Stephan and his crew will be live on thestephandoug nationally syndicated “On Air with Doug, Jen & Victoria” program.  Stephan is no stranger to working holidays, giving local morning hosts all over the country time off.  On Thanksgiving, Doug, Jen Horn and Victoria Keelan will again broadcast live and, while others are out spending their money on Black Friday, Doug and his team will be giving away an HP Laptop with a special Black Friday contest…..Genesis Communications takes back the operation of WIXC, Titusville, Florida and is airing the news/talk format also heard on its WWBA, Tampa on WIXC.  Meanwhile, John Harper’s “WMEL” talk format – which had been heard in WIXC – moves to Astro Enterprises-owned WWBC, Cocoa Beach-Melbourne.

Former WOAI, San Antonio PD Pat Rodgers Dead at 67.  The programmer who is credited with creating the modern version of WOAI, San Antonio died on Monday (11/21) at age 67 after complications from a massive heart attack.  The station published a bio of Pat Rodgers on its website.  It notes that Rodgers came to WOAI after a number of years at then-MOR/full service WTMJ, Milwaukee with the charge of turning WOAI into a contemporary news and talk powerhouse.  “Rodgers built a powerful news operation and a stable of talk show hosts which included Carl Wiglesworth, and well as Eliza Sonneland, who was his co-host on the chatty ‘Morning Magazine’ program, as well as news legends Bob Guthire and George Jennings, and sports talk host Jay Howard.  In fact, Pat created the Ticket Sportsradio 760.”  Rodgers left the station in 1998 to pursue his dream of becoming a Roman Catholic deacon.  He edited the Archdiocesan newspaper, managed Catholic Television, and was the press secretary to three Archbishops.

harrisonupclosefaroutsmall96-Year-Old PR Pioneer Leo Pearlstein Guests on Special Thanksgiving Harrison Podcast.  If you are looking for a simple, great approach to preparing a Thanksgiving meal with turkey and all the trimmings, check out this week’s fun installment of the award-winning PodcastOne hit series “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.”  96-year-old Leo Pearlstein, founder and CEO of the groundbreaking LA public relations firm Lee &pearlsteinleo Associates was a pioneer in the promotion and marketing of food during the second half of the 20th century.  Pearlstein specialized in representing specific food industries (such as the egg farmers, salmon raisers and prune growers) and tying in celebrity endorsements to his remarkably creative PR campaigns.  He was especially influential in elevating turkey meals from being primarily a Thanksgiving custom to becoming a mainstay of people’s diets all year round.  He launched that campaign with celebrated sexy 1950s movie icon Jayne Mansfield.  He even played a role in inventing the heat-resistant plastic turkey thermometer that pops up when the meat reaches a safe 180 degrees in the oven.  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com and RadioInfo.com.

Trump Transition, Pence-‘Hamilton’ Incident, Trump Meets with Television News Figures, Weekend Police Shootings, Kanye West Incident, Russian Military Build-Up, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/21).  The process of the transition of the Trump Administration; the hullabaloo over VP-Elect Mike Pence’s encounter with the cast of “Hamilton”; President-Elect Donald Trump chews out television news figures at meeting at Trump Tower; the spate of deadly attacks on police officers that took place over the weekend; Russian military maneuvers and tensions over Vladimir Putin’s build-up of the nation’s forces; hip hop star Kanye West’s political rants and the sudden cancellation of his current tour; and the weekend’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Monday, November 14, 2016

| November 14, 2016

Harvey Nagler to Retire from CBS Radio News Post.  The news radio legend announced to his staff today (11/14) that, after 50 years in radio and 18 years at CBS Radio News, he will be retiring from his vice president role naglerharveywith the company as of January 6.  Harvey Nagler, who was honored with the Talkers Lifetime Achievement Award in 2015, said in a memo to his staff, “I feel very confident that I am leaving our network in the most capable of hands.  I am pleased that we have renewed our relationship with Westwood, thus securing our future.  I am not stopping work completely, but going to slow down by doing some consulting work.” He noted the more than 50 Edward R. Murrow Awards the news organization has been awarded over the past 10 years for covering some of the biggest stories in recent American and world history, stating, “You and I have truly been a witness to – and have reported – the first drafts of history…As the industry continues to evolve I am proud that we have been able to change with it while maintaining the finest traditions of CBS News and the highest standards of journalism.”

Trump Appointments Begin; Talk Radio Figures Poised for Role in New Administration.  A piece by Brian Stelter and the CNNMoney media team, published yesterday, outlines the nascent formation of the administration of the Donald Trump presidency.  The first cabinet post has been awarded to RNC Chairmanbannonstephenk Reince Priebus, who will serve as White House Chief of Staff.  But joining Priebus in the White House is Breitbart’s Stephen K. Bannon, who will serve as White House Chief Strategist and Senior Counselor.  Until taking leave of his Breitbart duties to work with the Trump campaign, Bannon – among other executive duties at the news and opinion organization – was hosting the morning news/talk program “Breitbart News Daily” on ingrahamlauraSiriusXM.  It’s being reported by Jonathan Swan in The Hill that nationally syndicated talk personality Laura Ingraham is being considered for Press Secretary.  Swan writes, “Trump appreciated Ingraham’s loyalty through the campaign… Ingraham helped Trump with debate preparation.  She also campaigned on his behalf and offered occasional strategic advice.”  Of course, Trump’s Vice President-elect is a former longtime talk radio host from Indianapolis.  Mike Pence’s experience in the news/talk radio biz precedes his career in politics.  TALKERS magazine editor and publisher Michael Harrison states, “The election of Donald Trump marks an unmistakable bellwether for the accumulating influence of news/talk radio since Ronald Reagan began his commentaries.  Not only have former radio hosts Mike Pence and Stephen K. Bannonharrisonmichael16 been thrust into positions of enormous power, but the even higher-profiled Laura Ingraham is now in the conversation for Press Secretary.  And let us not forget about the looming potential of Sean Hannity down the road.  He risked it all on the dark horse and won.  I do not say this from a partisan perspective.  Let us not forget that Al Franken would never have been elected to the United States Senate as a prominent progressive had it not been for the magic of radio facilitating his transition from outspoken comedian to serious political player.  As for Trump himself, he employed disruptive, radio-style techniques in vanquishing his Republican rivals during the primaries and then took it all the way, thus becoming the first effective ‘shock politician.’  In today’s amplified media environment, the ability to articulate complex populist concepts via the combination of traditional talk media and the internet can fuel the rise of unexpected influencers and leaders.  It is both refreshingly invigorating and dreadfully dangerous.  We must remain alert.  Welcome to the new digital era!”

Westwood One Realigns Operations; Seymour Named SVP.  Stating that its goal is to create “quicker response times to client requests, an enhanced ability to focus on advertiser needs and accountability, the ability toseymourtim better support its partner and producer clients’ business goals, and a renewed focus on its affiliate sales process by providing actionable information to its station partners,” Westwood One is integrating the business operations and research teams.  As part of the restructure, the company is promoting Tim Seymour to SVP, operations.   He’ll report to COO Charles Steinhauer and oversee the consolidated business operations and research teams under VP Jennifer Baez, the traffic under SVP Jim Maurer and senior director Julie Kim, the affiliate services under VP Fiona Brennan, and the newly created partner relations under director Becky Bennett.

Odds & Sods.  KIRO, Seattle “710 ESPN” is working with the local Kent School District to present a free town hallkiro forum on “Concussions in Youth Sports” on Tuesday, November 15 at the Kentwood High School Performing Arts Center.  “710 ESPN Seattle” host and former Seahawks linebacker Dave Wyman will appear on the panel with world-renowned UW Medicine clinical professor Dr. Stan Herring, and Kent School District athletic director Dave Lutes on the panel.  Danny O’Neil, co-host of the station’s “Danny, Dave & Moore” show will serve as moderator.  KIRO program director Mike Salk says, “Safety in youth sports is a huge conversation right now.  We are excited to roll up our sleeves and engage with those on the front lines of this issue.”…..At the corporate level at Sinclair Broadcast Group, 32-year employee David Amy rises from EVP/COO to vice chairman.  Sinclair owns one radio cluster, having acquired the Seattle stations of the former Fisher Communications.  Those signals are hot AC KPLZ “Star wrko15101.5,” all-news KOMO-AM/FM, and news/talk KVI…..Entercom’s news/talk WRKO, Boston hosted its third annual radiothon raising money for the Disabled American Veterans.  Friday’s nine-hour effort brought in more than $71,000.  WRKO program director Michael Czarnecki says, “The WRKO audience proves once again how passionate they are about helping our veterans.  I am so proud of our listeners, the DAV staff, and the WRKO team.”  Personalities taking part included: Kim Carrigan and Doug “VB” Goudie from “The Boston.com Morning Show,” Barry Armstrong from “The Financial Exchange” show, and Jeff Kuhner from “The Kuhner Report” show.

Trump Transition, Clinton-Democrats Post-Mortem, Immigration Policy, ISIS Atrocities in Mosul, Marijuana Legalization Movement, Clinton Pardon Chatter, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The work of the Donald Trump transition team and the appointing of Reince Priebus to Chief of Staff and Stephen K. Bannon to Chief Strategist; analysis of the failure of Hillary Clinton and the Democrats in the House and Senate in the ’16 campaign; speculation about the future of America’s immigration policy; the battle for Mosul and Islamic State’s abuse of civilians; the success of the marijuana legalization movement in the wake of the elections; talk about President Obama or Trump pardoning Hillary Clinton and avoiding any future investigations into the emails matter; and the weekend’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend.

kirkwoodjimUtah Talk Host Jim Kirkwood Dies at 74.  Just days shy of his 75th birthday, longtime Salt Lake City talk radio personality Jim Kirkwood passed away on November 6.  According to the Salt Lake Tribune, Kirkwood worked in radio for more than 40 years.  At the time of his death, Kirkwood was hosting the 8:00 pm to 10:00 pm show on United Broadcasting Company’s KTKK “K-TALK.”

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

| November 9, 2016

cookehollandCooke: Talk Radio’s Dream Come True?  Media consultant Holland Cooke writes today, “After nearly two years of campaign noise, many Americans were eager ‘for it to end.’  But November 8 was a beginning.  And with the manners our parents preached now scorned as political correctness, the noise will only get louder.  In the social media era, broadcasters’ challenge is to cut through that clutter.  Donald Trump will be President of The United States, and the implications for radio’s top format are profound.”  Read more here.

iHeartMedia Shows 1.2% Rise in Third Quarter Revenue.  Reporting third quarter financial numbers, iHeartMedia’s revenue was $857 million – up 1.2% from the same period in 2015.  For the first nine months of the iheartmedia-logo-tinyyear, iHM revenue was $2.46 billion – an increase of 3.3% over 2015.  In a statement, chairman and CEO Bob Pittman touts some of the company’s initiatives and events.  “We continue to grow our audiences across our broadcast radio, outdoor, digital, social, mobile and events platforms, whilepittmanbob advancing our transformation as a digital-facing, data-rich company built on the power of broadcast radio and out-of-home.  “This quarter, we were excited to announce the reimagining of live radio with our two new subscription services, iHeartRadio Plus and iHeartRadio All Access, set to debut in January 2017.  In addition, at both iHeartMedia and outdoor, we continue to invest in programmatic buying platforms and research analytics tools to leverage our assets for the benefit of our marketing and advertising partners, and at Americas outdoor and International outdoor, we continue to realign our resources to expand our digital out-of-home networks.”

Cumulus Media Dips 1.1% in Third Quarter.  That figure is for the company as a whole and is a percentage change based on net revenue of $286.1 million for the third quarter of 2016.  For the first nine months of this year, revenue is $841.9 million, down 2.1% from the nine month-period in 2015.  Cumulus breaks the company into two cumulus-logosegments – the Radio Station Group, and Westwood One.  The latter has been the most troublesome for Cumulus.  Westwood One net revenue was down 5.5% over the same period in 2015 while the Radio Station Group was basically flat – up just 0.7% on revenue of $206 million.  President and CEO Mary Berner says, “A year into our turnaround effort, we have made considerable progress against our operational priorities while leading the industry in ratings growth.  Though our performance in the quarter was negatively impacted by headwinds which have challenged us all year, we see evidence that our work is paying off financially as we gained share this quarter for the first time in at least four years.  As we seek to maintain the momentum of our initial strategies, we have now also launched a focused effort to improve sales execution as the next logical step in our turnaround plan.”

Cox Media Group’s WDBO-FM, Orlando First to Declare Trump Winner in Florida and Nationally.  Orlando news/talk “News 96.5 WDBO” is saying it made two “unprecedented moves” in covering the election on Tuesday night.  Director of programming Drew Anderssen says his station called Trump’s Florida victory wdbo-logominutes before the Associated Press.  “Our in-house statistician watched returns county-by-county from the State of Florida, rather than relying on other national media outlets, which led to my decision to call Florida a victory for Trump.”  Later in the evening, Anderssen says the station projected Trump to be the next president more than two-hours before “the Associated Press or any other national news outlet.”  He adds, “We were looking at all scenarios and talking with our Washington DC bureau’s Jaime Dupree, who has 30 years of experience monitoring elections from Capitol Hill.  Along with our ‘News 96.5 WDBO’ in-house team, it was a clear to us that it was statistically not possible for Hillary to win.  I trusted my team and stood by their experience when we went on the air at midnight projecting Trump the winner.”  WDBO morning host Joe Kelley scored a rare, morning-after interview today.  Kelley says, “We wrote his number down from the caller ID during yesterday’s interview.  We called the number today thinking ‘there’s no way he’ll answer,’ but he did.”

The Trump vs Clinton  Race; the U.S. House and Senate Races; Hillary Clinton’s Email Problem; Marijuana Legalization; and the NFL’s Sinking Ratings Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/8).  The presidential election; the U.S. House and Senate races the battle for control over Congress; the lingering issues relative to Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server for State Department business; the several states with marijuana legalization on the ballots and shifting attitude across the country; the weekend’s NFL action and the league’s sinking ratings were among the top news/talk stories yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Beasley’s SEC Filing Details Q3 Results.  The company announced last week that its net revenue of $27.7 million in the third quarter of this year represents a 5.6% increase over the same period a year ago.  The Form 10-beasley-logoQ filed with the Securities Exchange Commission includes information about what constituted the $1.5 million year-over-year increase.  Beasley Broadcast Group notes, “Significant factors affecting net revenue included a $1 million increase in advertising revenue from our Tampa-Saint Petersburg market cluster, a $0.4 million increase in advertising revenue from our Charlotte market cluster, and a $0.3 million increase in advertising revenue from our Fayetteville market cluster – partially offset by a $0.2 million decrease in advertising revenue from our Wilmington market cluster.  Net revenue for the [quarter]…also included $0.5 million of political advertising from the 2016 elections.”

Rob Graham Retires from WINA, Charlottesville.  News director Rob Graham is retiring from Saga Communications’ news/talk WINA, Charlottesville after 32 years with the station.  He’d also worked in his home state of Iowa at KWPC and KFMH in Muscatine and KLNT and KLNQ in Clinton during his career.  He left radio for two years in 2000 to work in the public relations business.

Talk Radio’s Dream Come True?

| November 9, 2016

By Holland Cooke
Media Consultant

 

cookewriterNEW YORK — After nearly two years of campaign noise, many Americans were eager “for it to end.”  But November 8 was a beginning.  And with the manners our parents preached now scorned as political correctness, the noise will only get louder.  In the social media era, broadcasters’ challenge is to cut through that clutter.

Donald Trump will be President of The United States, and the implications for radio’s top format are profound.

Read More

Monday, October 10, 2016

| October 10, 2016

smart-conferenceRamsey Hosts Smart Conference in Atlanta. Syndicated talk show host Dave Ramsey hosted a daylong “Smart Conference” in Atlanta this past Saturday (10/8) at North Point Community Church. Promoting the event was Ramsey’s Atlanta affiliate, iHeartMedia talker WGST. “These events certainly increase tune-in and listenership as we lean into them,” comments iHeartMedia Atlanta region president Justin Schaflander. “Far more importantly, they truly impact the lives of our listeners as it helps them find inspiration and answers on everything from finances to parenting and just life in general. The events create a deeper relationship between our listeners and Dave’s team, which in turn, create a far more beneficial connection between our sponsors and clients as they interact with Dave’s audience. It is a win on all fronts.” Along with Ramsey were Chris Brown, Rachel Cruze, Chris Hogan, Inky Johnson, Dr. Meg Meeker, Anthony O’Neal, and Dr. Les Parrott. Attendees were provided information on how to win with money; strengthen their marriages; build parenting skills; and excel in their careers.

kinosianmikemlb-logo2PPM Analysis: MLB Flagships. Based on data from Nielsen Audio’s September 2016 PPM survey period, TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of Major League Baseball flagships. In this special feature report, you will find charts listing stations by format and (6+) AHQ share; ratings fluctuations from August 2016 to September 2016; ratings comparisons from September 2015 to September 2016; how MLB key stations ranked in their respective markets; and how they did by league/division. See it all here.

hughes-cathyhoward-logoHughes’ Howard University Honor. In a ceremony that will take place one week from this Sunday (10/23), Howard University‘s School of Communications will be renamed the Cathy Hughes School of Communications, as a tribute to Radio One‘s founder and chairperson. The announcement comes after a multi-million dollar gift to the Washington, DC school from Hughes’ son, Radio One president and chief executive officer Alfred C. Liggins III. Howard University president Dr. Wayne A. I. Frederick comments, “The Howard community is thrilled that Mr. Liggins has chosen to honor his mother in this manner for her pioneering work in the field of communications. The gift will have a transformational impact on the school’s commitment to serve the communications industry and as a high-level producer of diverse media specialists.”

caldwell-meghanCox Media Group Tampa Boosts Caldwell to Digital Sales Manager. Two-year Cox Media Group Tampa digital media strategist Megan Caldwell is promoted to digital sales manager for the company’s six-station cluster. Vice president and market manager Keith Lawless remarks, “Megan knows the digital cox-media-group-tampaspace, knows our marketing partners, and knows what it takes to compete and win in this competitive, fast moving space.” Director of sales Jason Meder comments, “We are so excited to have Megan lead our digital sales efforts in Tampa. With a background in digital content, Megan brings unique experience to this role. Her knowledge – combined with her ability to create solutions for advertisers – is an amazing resource for Cox Media Group Tampa.” Caldwell adds, “I am beyond excited to be leading our team in digital. As the digital sales manager, I will be focused on driving initiatives that help us continue to build long-term relationships with our clients.” The 2012 University of Central Florida graduate previously spent two years as Cox Media Group Tampa’s digital producer and was social media manager for New Age Skincare. With their September 2016 Nielsen Audio PPM 6+ AQH share and market rank in parentheses, CMG Tampa consists of adult contemporary WDUV “Lite Favorites” (9.3, #1); WXGL “Classic Hits 107.3 The Eagle” (6.0, #3); adult contemporary WWRM “Magic 94-9” (5.3, #6); CHR WPOI “Hot 101.5” (4.7, #7); talk WHPT “102.5 The Bone” (2.3, #18); and alternative WSUN “97-X” (2.3, #18).

simon-conwayWHO’s “Puppy Jake Foundation” Raises $22,000. Last Friday’s (10/7) third annual “Puppy Jake Foundation” fundraiser brings in more than twice as much as the combined total of year one ($4,000) and year two ($6,000). WHO, Des Moines afternoon drive talent Simon Conway staged a free sandwich giveaway in the parking lot of the iHeartMedia talker and – in two hours – collected more than $22,000 to benefit the charity, which acquires, raises and professionally trains service dogs for physically and mentally wounded veterans. Conway states he was “speechless for about two seconds. People drove long distances; handed over huge sums of money; and donated enough to acquire, train for two years and ultimately hand over for free a service dog for a wounded veteran.” Thus far this year, the charity has given 11 dogs to veterans; nine more canines will graduate the program next March.

bush-billyNBC-TV Suspends Bush. By now, you know it was a rough weekend for former radio talent Billy Bush, who was believed to be groomed as a possible replacement for Matt Lauer on NBC-TV‘s “Today Show.” The network has suspended the ex-“Access Hollywood” host for his role in a 2005 video with Donald access-hollywoodTrump that surfaced on Friday (10/7). Bush is heard laughing and encouraging the now Republican presidential nominee as they engaged in a vulgar conversation about women. The Washington Post published the tape of Trump, who is heard on a hot microphone boasting to Bush about kissing, groping, and having sex with women, saying that, “When you’re a star, they let you do anything – I don’t even wait.” At first, it seemed Bush was going to appear on “The Today Show” this morning (10/10) to apologize, but by last night, NBC decided he would not go on the show; instead, executive Noah Oppenheim issued the suspension. There is no immediate information about how long it will last. “Let me be clear,” Oppenheim writes in a staff memo, “There is simply no excuse for Billy’s language and behavior on that tape. NBC has decided to suspend Billy, pending further review of this matter.” In a statement he released on Friday, Bush notes he is “embarrassed and ashamed” of his role in the 2005 video. “This happened 11 years ago. I was younger, less mature, and acted foolishly in playing along.” His weeknight (7:00 pm – 11:00 pm) “Billy Bush Show” debuted on April 14, 2008; Westwood One ended production of it in late-December 2014. Prior to that radio project, a mix of music and celebrity banter targeted to CHR and hot AC stations, Bush did wakeup duty on WWZZ “Z-104,” Washington, DC (now Radio One‘s WPRS “Praise 104.1”). In advance of starting his senior year at Maine’s Colby College, Bush scored a summer internship at Bill O’Shaughnessy’s WVOX in Westchester, New York.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

| August 16, 2016

WTMJ, Milwaukee’s Charlie Sykes Questions Talk Radio’s Role in Creating Fact-Challenged Constituency.  In a Twitter post promoting his upcoming piece on conservative media that contains comments from WTMJ, Milwaukee talk show host Charlie Sykes, Business Insider writer Oliver Darcy reveals some frank thoughts from the air personality about talk radio’s role in growing a listener base that doesn’t believe anysykescharlie mainstream media outlet can be trusted to check the facts.  With regard to the presidential campaign of Donald Trump (whom Sykes famously challenged on air during the primary race), Sykes says Trump can say anything without fear of being investigated by a source talk listeners will trust.  Sykes says that although he believes there is bias against conservatives in the mainstream media, he wonders if the business insiderconstant drumbeat of conservative media people railing against liberal bias hasn’t had an unintended consequence.  For example, Sykes expresses his frustration dealing with his listeners to Darcy, “…it is impossible for me to say that, ‘By the way, you know it’s false.’ And they’ll say, ‘Why? I saw it on Allen B. West.’ Or they’ll say, ‘I saw it on a Facebook page.’ And I’ll say, ‘The New York Times did a fact check.’  And they’ll say, ‘Oh, that’s The New York Times.  That’s bullsh*t.’  There’s nobody – you can’t go to anybody and say, ‘Look here are the facts.’ And I have to say that’s one of the disorienting realities of this political year.”  Sykes is quoted saying he has to ask himself, “To what extent did I contribute?”  It’s not clear when Business Insider will publish Darcy’s entire story.

ruizlizHoF16KTSA, San Antonio’s Elizabeth Ruiz Inducted into SA Radio HoF.  KTSA, San Antonio news personality Elizabeth Ruiz was inducted into the San Antonio Radio Hall of Fame on Sunday (8/14).  Ruiz (pictured here at Sunday’s induction) is a member of the Texas Radio Hall of Fame, San Antonio Women’s Hall of Fame, Edgewood Hall of Fame, and Fiesta San Antonio’s Order of the Cascaron.  Alpha Media operations director Greg Martin says, “Liz has been a credible voice in San Antonio for more than 30 years.  Beyond her news credibility, Liz is also known for her charitable work around San Antonio having emceed hundreds of community events throughout the years.”

The Presidential Race, Milwaukee Protests, NYC Imam Murder, PA AG Case, Russia-Iran Military Relationship, Rio Olympics-Gabby Douglas Controversy, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/15).  The activities of presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, including House Republicans’ perjury allegations against Clinton; the ongoing violence and protests in Milwaukee after the shooting death of a black suspect by police; the murder of an NYC imam and his assistant; the guilty verdict against Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane; the military relationship between Russia and Iran as the former uses Iranian air bases to strike Syrian rebel targets; the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro and the social media attacks on U.S. gymnast Gabby Douglas; 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.

espnradiologoESPN Radio Announces NBA Broadcasts.  Over the course of the 2016-17 NBA season, ESPN Radio will broadcast 28 regular season games, starting with the defending NBA Champion Cleveland Cavaliers hosting the New York Knicks on Opening Night (10/25).  ESPN Radio will also broadcast All-Star Game events plus playoffs and the NBA Finals.  This season, games are also being made available via the ESPN app.  Marc Kestecher makes his debut as the primary play-by-play voice, alongside analyst Jon Barry, with P.J. Carlesimo and Kara Lawson returning for select games.

cheadlePSAEntercom to Launch Don Cheadle-Voiced $1 Million PSA Campaign.  This campaign is part of Entercom Communications’ 1Thing initiative.  The company is launching a nationwide PSA campaign on behalf of the Environmental Defense Fund equal to $1 million worth of free airtime.  The company says the PSA features Academy Award-nominated actor Don Cheadle discussing the importance of stabilizing the global climate for our children and grandchildren.  The PSAs will run across 124 of Entercom’s stations in 27 markets in the country beginning this month.   Cheadle says, “I’m happy to help introduce more people to the great work of EDF.  We’re in the fight of our lives against climate change and EDF has been a real leader in that struggle.  So I hope this helps.”

wbtwlnk duo logoCool Job Opportunity.  Greater Media Charlotte is seeking account executives to work in the market representing news/talk WBT and hot AC WLNK “The Link.”  The company says it is seeking applicants who have: quantifiable success in radio/media sales or another industry; the drive, hunger, and ability to see the sales process through from prospecting to the final close; courage to ask for and deliver remarkable programs; a love and passion for winning; integrity and pride in being a full service rep; new business expertise and a creative mind; a desire to exceed expectations and move up quickly; independent and entrepreneurial performers; excellent verbal and written communication.  “At Greater Media Charlotte, you will be surrounded by people who love to have fun and work extremely hard.  We offer great benefits and lots of incentives for self-starters, while enjoying the stability of a privately owned media company with two of Charlotte’s best radio stations.”  To apply, send your resume and a cover letter to: hired@gmclt.com.

Friday, July 15, 2016

| July 15, 2016

WISN, Milwaukee’s Mark Belling Reverses Course on Trump.  Usually, who a talk show host says he or she is going to vote for in a presidential election is not news, but WISN, Milwaukee personality Mark Belling is one ofbellingmark six Wisconsin talk show hosts who gained national attention for vigorously opposing Donald Trump during the contentious Wisconsin GOP primary race.  Recently, Belling wrote a piece for the Waukesha Freeman in which he explained that his decision to now support Trump is because he believes Hillary Clinton is a worse candidate.  At WISN’s crosstown rival WTMJ, host Charlie Sykes – one of the six aforementioned personalities – tells the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that he’s still against both Trump and Clinton.  “So I’ll probably be spending a lot of time this fall talking about the Packers.”

wjox logoWJOX-FM, Birmingham Drops Evening ‘Matt and Scot’ Show.  The Cumulus Media sports talker cuts ties with evening duo Matt McClearin and Scot Harrison.  The two worked for Cumulus at KTCK, Dallas before moving to Birmingham to host at WJOX-FM.  According to AL.com, the station is airing repeats of the syndicated Paul Finebuam show during the 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm slot for now.  McClearin tweeted the following to listeners, “JOX is a phenomenal station with a lot of talent, very thankful we were able to be a part of it for 3½ years, love my time here in BHam.”

talkersten logoPolice Violence Against Blacks Top News/Talk Story of the Week.  Deadly police violence against blacks was the most-talked-about story in the wake of the deaths of men in Baton Rouge and Minneapolis, landing at #1 on the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the Dallas cop slayings.  Coming in at #3 was the presidential race followed by the Hillary Clinton email case 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.

Bill Kristol Show to Launch on PodcastOne.  Leading conservative media voice Bill Kristol — editor of The Weekly Standard and an ABC News contributor – is launching a new podcast titled, “The Kristol Clear Podcast,” on podcastone bPodcastOne.  Kristol will be joined by Media DC creative director Michael Graham in the weekly conversation about politics.  PodcastOne founder and executive chairman Norm Pattiz says, “Bill is a tremendous voice in the world of politics, which makes bringing an additional program to his fans each week all the more important this election season.  Michael and Bill have built great content across The Weekly Standard brand and we’re excited to launch this next MediaDC show with Bill’s well-known personality.”  Earlier this year, MediaDC and PodcastOne announced a partnership, kicking off with the launch of podcasts “Weekly Standard Confab” and “Washington Examiner’s Examining Politics.”

Odds & Sods.  Portland and nationally syndicated talk show host Lars Larson is hosting a fundraiser today (7/15)larsonlars to benefit the Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.  The event at Paradise Harley-Davidson in Tigard, Oregon is in partnership with Leader Capital and prominent Portland businessman Harry Merlo.  Leader Capital is pledging to match total donations up to $15,000, while Harry and Flo Merlo have pledged to match total donations up to $5,000 for a combined pledge to match total donations up to $20,000.  Larson will broadcast both his regionally syndicated Pacific Northwest show – based at KXL, Portland – and his nationally syndicated program from 12:00 noon to 6:00 pm PT…..Alpha Media Amarillo’s three stations – including news/talk KGNC-AM – set a record with 332 units of blood collected during the June 24 “Boots vs Badges Blood Drive.”  This is an annual blood drive and this year local law enforcement and first wbalresponders cooked for the community and set up emergency vehicles for display and tours during the drive…..The NFL’s Baltimore Ravens and Hearst-owned stations news/talk WBAL and rock WIYY are extending their deal to have the two stations serve as the flagship for the team’s radio broadcasts for another six years.  This season, every Ravens game will continue to be called by the radio team of play-by-play voice Gerry Sandusky and analystsfoxnewsradio Stan White and Qadry Ismail.  The team will also handle pre-season television broadcasts…..FOX News Radio will be in Cleveland broadcasting live from the Republican National Convention.  Jared Halpern and analyst Tony Sayegh will anchor primetime coverage throughout the week.  Live hourly updates, interviews and special feature reports will air on Fox News Headlines 24/7 on SiriusXM…..Midway Broadcasting Corporation’s WVON, Chicago is presenting its “Sixth Annual Taste of WVON” neighborhood festival tomorrow (7/16) from 10:00 am to 8:00 pm at Lorraine Dixon Park.  The event will feature more than 100 food and craft vendors, live entertainment, a children’s pavilion and much more!…..The folks who run the charity Kars4Kids kars4kidsvideo16are launching a cool promotion based on the notoriety of their ubiquitous radio and TV jingle.  They write, “After receiving death threats to our jingle writer and being bombarded with cries for help from the torture our listeners are enduring, we decided to create a platform that would give our listeners an outlet to vent out all that anger and frustration…We just launched the official Kars4Kids Jingle Fever Game at karsforkidsjingle.com.  Listeners can now actually get a chance to kill the jingle once and for all and truly bring back peace of mind to mankind.  Our jingle plays in all major markets across the US with a reach of an estimated 80 million listeners/viewers.”  Check out the creative video that promotes the game – and the charity – here

Thursday, June 9, 2016

| June 9, 2016

wscr logoCBS RADIO’s WSCR, Chicago Latest to Be Charged with Violating Texting Laws; Class Action Suit Seeks $1,500 Per Violation.  About a week after iHeartMedia settled a similar suit for allegedly violating a tenet of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991, CBS RADIO’s Chicago sports talker WSCR is being sued in U.S. District Court in Wisconsin in a class action by a woman alleging the station sent, using an auto-dialer, numerous texts to her TracFone without her permission.  Her TracFone contract required she be charged for every call or text sent or received.  It’s unknown if others will join the class action and it’s likely the case will ultimately be settled out of court.  Lead plaintiff Elaine Bonin is asking for treble damages for each violation — $1,500 per – and attorney’s fees.

ppmunitNielsen Audio Releases Second Round of May 2016 PPM Data.  The second of four rounds of May 2016 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Washington, Boston, Detroit, Miami, Seattle, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis.  The May 2016 survey period covered April 21 to May 18.  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.

hewitthughTrump Adviser Wants Hugh Hewitt Banned from RNC.  In a tweet responding to comments made by Salem Radio Network syndicate talk host Hugh Hewitt, Trump campaign adviser Dan Scavino suggests that if Hewitt continues his opposition to Donald Trump as the GOP nominee for president, the Republican National Committee should ban him from the convention.  Hewitt said on his radio show he believes the RNC should take steps to change the rules at the convention so that delegates will be free to vote for whomever they like.  At the same time, former SRN morning drive personality Bill Bennett told Fox News Channel’s Megyn Kelly that he disagrees with his former colleague and doesn’t believe there’s a chance the RNC will change the convention rules.

The Presidential Race, Trump University Case, Battle Against Islamic State, Retail Job Cuts, Stanford Rape Case Aftermath, and NBA-NHL Finals Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/8).  The activities of the candidates for president, including Hillary Clinton’s California primary victory and Bernie Sanders’ scheduled meeting with President Obama and Harry Reid; the court case against the defunct Trump University and the controversy over Donald Trump’s statements about the judge in the case; the battle against Islamic State for control of Fallujah and reports the organization is purging alleged spies; the recent report of widespread job cuts in the retail sector; the aftermath of the sentencing phase of the Stanford rape case; and the NBA and NHL Finals were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

wralsportsfanCapitol Broadcasting’s Raleigh Sports Talkers to Video Stream Local Shows.  There are now 10 hours of local sports talk programming available to Raleigh fans via video now that Capitol Broadcasting is offering the service via WRALsportsfan.com and the WRALsportsfan app.  The company’s two sports talkers – WCMC-FM “99.9 The Fan” and WDNC-AM “Buzz Sports Radio” – are the homes of local shows “The Morning Show w/Mike, Lauren & Demetri,” “The Sports Shop w/Reese & Kmac,” and “Adam & Joe.”  Operations manager and program director Dennis Glasgow says, “This is just another fantastic opportunity for our listeners and users to consume sports radio in Raleigh.  People have been able to listen via the web to our local shows for years, but there are only a handful of stations that can offer the ability to watch their local programming, and we’re proud to bring that as another option to our loyal audience.”

Odds & Sods.  There’s a new five-year deal that will put Texas A&M play-by-play on Gow Media’s KFNC-FM “97.5 ESPN Houston” and KGOW “Yahoo! Sports Radio” in Houston.  The deal begins with this fall’s football games and includes men’s basketball and the associated coaches’ shows…..Chicago news/talk radio producer Bryan Biggs is joining Cumulus Media’s WLS-AM to produce the Big John Howell morning show.  Biggs produced Howell’s program when the two worked together at Salem Media’s crosstown news/talk WIND…..Fort Wayne’s legendary WOWO announces it has all seven of the audio segments documenting its illustrious history available via the station’s website.  Federated Media’s WOWO celebrated 90 years of service last year and now the entire audio history – a full two-and-a-half hours of content – is available for download…..FOX Sports Radio will be on-site at the U.S. Open in Oakmont, Pennsylvania next week with coverage of the championship by radio personalities Jay Mohr, Steve Gorman and JT the Brick.  Over the weekend, national anchor Dan Beyer will provide updates to affiliates.

Monday, May 23, 2016

| May 23, 2016

harrisonHannity16TALKERS 2016 Conference Wraps; Coverage of Annual Talk Media Event Forthcoming.  The 19th annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important national convention took place at Hofstra University on Long Island on Friday (5/20), drawing a sell-out crowd of several hundred talk media professionals.  TALKERS 2016: Bridging the GenerationslevinFOS16 was presented by TALKERS magazine in association with Hofstra University’s Lawrence Herbert School of Communication and WRHU Radio.  The full day of panel discussions and speaker presentations was video streamed live by Livestream.  Detailed coverage of the event, including archived video from the Livestream morrisginnyWOTY16content, will be presented here on Talkers.com in the coming weeks.  Reflecting on the event, TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey states, “This was one of the smoothest and productive content-laden installments of this historic convention in its storied 19 years of service to the radio industry.  We are grateful to all the speakers, panelists, displayers and sponsors for making it so.  We are especially grateful tofrancesaSpeech16 Dean Evan Cornog of Hofstra’s Lawrence Herbert School of Communication and WRHU (Radio Hofstra University) station manager Bruce Avery and operations director John Mullen for their phenomenal support as partners in the successful event.” Pictured here are: (top, left) TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison and Premiere Networks/FOX News Channel star Sean Hannity engaging in a “fireside chat”; (top, right) Westwood One star Mark Levin accepting the annual Freedom of Speech award; (above, left) Hubbard Radio CEO Ginny Morris accepting the 2016 TALKERS Woman of the Year Award; and (bottom, right) WFAN, New York sports talk legend Mike Francesa addressing the attendees.

sykesTrumppaper16Donald Trump Seeks to Build Support from WTMJ, Milwaukee’s Charlie Sykes.  Milwaukee talk show host Charlie Sykes and several other Wisconsin talk radio personalities were publicly chastised by GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump during that state’s primary election for their opposition to his candidacy.  Now, Trump is seeking to bring the influential WTMJ host around.  The image you see here is a copy of The New York Times with a hand-written note from Trump to Sykes.  It references an article in the paper about groups that’ve previously been against Trump reversing their course.  The note to Sykes reads: “Charlie, I hope you change your mind. Looking forward to coming back on your show. I WILL WIN!”  WTMJ posted the photo and an accompanying story in its website.  Sykes comments, “He’s reaching out.  I’m surprised that he would reach out to somebody who has been as critical.  Obviously, he understands the need to unify the Republican party and reach out to some conservatives.  I figured maybe there would be some conservatives who would be beyond the pale, including #NeverTrump guys like me, but apparently he’s doing that.  I will give him credit for reaching out to people that I did not think he was going to reach out to.”  Read the WTMJ piece here.

The Presidential Race, EgyptAir Crash Investigation, TSA Efficiency Issues, Facebook Anti-Conservative Bias Allegations, Islamic State Calls for Civilian Attacks, and NBA and NHL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The activities of the candidates for president; the investigation into the downing of EgyptAir flight 804; efficiency issues plaguing the TSA in screening airline passengers and statements from the agency that lines will get worse this summer; the controversy over allegations that Facebook manipulates its trending stories to downplay conservative issues; a high-ranking Islamic State official’s call for renewed attacks on European and American civilians; and the NBA and NHL playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend.

Odds & Sods.  KBET, Las Vegas-based talk show host Wayne Allyn Root will appear on this Friday’s edition of HBO’s “Real Time” with Bill Maher.  Also on the show will be Democratic presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders.  Root tells TALKERS his role will be to defend Donald Trump…..Two Fox News Radio programs are being made available on the CRN Digital Talk Radio platform.  “Kilmeade & Friends” with Brian Kilmeade and the Alan Colmes show are both the CRN 2 “Bulls and Bears” channel…..The GCN-distributed “Freedom Feens” show with host Michael W. Dean adds new affiliate KZLS, Enid, Oklahoma.

herskovitzalHerskovitz: Hall Talk 2016.  Radio sales maven Al Herskovitz writes today in the aftermath of last Friday’s TALKERS 2016: Bridging the Generations conference.  He says the sales pros attending the conference with whom he spoke all agreed that political advertising and digital sales were the hot topics this year.  He says, “The unusual circumstances surrounding the current national candidates are posing unique sales problems. Yes, just about all with whom I spoke, acknowledged that they benefited from the ad wars affecting the primary season.  But now local and regional battles are upon us.  And numerous aspiring candidates are not allying themselves with the traditional wings of their political parties.  Some candidates with no clearly defined affiliations are emerging.”  Read Herskovitz’s column here.

neerMBbook16WFAN, New York Personality Richard Neer Publishes Second Mystery Novel.  Did you know that The Martian began as a self-published book?  As did Still Alice and Legally Blonde. Do you think you’ve written a great book but the publishing industry won’t give it the attention it deserves?  Richard Neer of WFAN, New York has just released the second of his Riley King series of mysteries through Amazon and CreateSpace — cutting out the middleman.  Both are selling briskly without a traditional publisher.  “Publishers are skeptical that radio, other than a few syndicated giants, can sell books.  I’m happy to be proving themneerrichard wrong,” Neer says. His traditionally published book, FM, the Rise and Fall of Rock Radio was released in 2001 by Villard, and Neer believes that it wouldn’t stand a chance with a major publisher today.  “I’ve had radio friends with great stories to tell inform me that their manuscripts have been rejected because there aren’t enough sordid tales of sex and drugs.  They’re not interested in great writing —  just sensationalism and what seems trendy today.”  The Master Builders is the title of Neer’s latest effort.  As a result of promoting it on his WFAN sports talk radio show, his first novel, Something of the Night, is also selling well.  Both are murder mysteries featuring private investigator Riley King and his radio sidekick Rick Stone as they battle crime and corruption up and down the Eastern Seaboard.  “Just like with the music and film industry, there’s a revolution in publishing where traditional gatekeepers are less important.  People can be introduced to fine work that otherwise might be ignored.  It’s a lot more democratic.  Sometimes those books can be as important or entertaining as the big blockbusters,” Neer says.  “As much as I lament the demise of many great bookstores, most readers are buying online these days.”  Richard is available for interviews about the business of publishing your own work and can be contacted at Rneer@wfan.com.  All his books can be purchased at Amazon.com here.

nationalradiohalloffameNational Radio Hall of Fame 2016 Nominees Announced.  Today, industry voting begins for the 2016 National Radio Hall of Fame inductees.  The 24 nominations in six categories were determined by the organization’s nominating committee.  Four of those categories will be voted on by a voting participant panel comprised of 400 industry professionals, while the other two will be voted on by the public.  Public voting commences June 20 for eight nominations for Music Format On-Air Personality and Spoken Word On-Air Personality.  National Radio Hall of Fame chairman Kraig Kitchin says, “The sheer depth of talent in our industry never ceases to amaze me.  After much discussion and deliberation, our nominating committee is very proud of this year’s class of nominees.  We’re all looking forward to seeing the voter outcome from our industry peers and listeners nationwide.”  Inductees will be announced July 11.  The induction ceremony will be held Thursday, November 17 at the Museum of Broadcast and Communications in downtown Chicago.   Nominees are: Longstanding Local/Regional (20 years or more): Jeff & Jer (Jeff Detrow & Jerry Cesak), San Diego; Charles Laquidara, Boston; Bobby O’Jay, Memphis; and Garland Robinette, New Orleans.  Active Local/Regional (10 years or more): Tom Barnard, Minneapolis; BJ & Migs (BJ Shea & Steve Migs), Seattle; Eric & Kathy (Eric Ferguson & Kathy Hart), Chicago; and Preston and Steve (Preston Elliot & Steve Morrison), Philadelphia.  Networks/Syndication (10 years or more): American Top 40 & On-Air With Ryan Seacrest, Ryan Seacrest; The Fabulous Sports Babe, Nanci Donnellan; The Steve Harvey Morning Show, Steve Harvey; and Wait, Wait…Don’t Tell Me!, Peter SagalLongstanding Network/Syndication (20 years or more): Delilah, Delilah; Gospel Traxx with Walt “Baby” Love, Walt “Baby” Love; The Jim Rome Show, Jim Rome; and The Kim Komando Show, Kim Komando.  The following are to be voted on by listeners. Music Format On-Air Personality: Sean “Hollywood” Hamilton; Tom Kent; The Kevin & Bean Show (Kevin Ryder & Gene Baxter); and Bob KingsleySpoken Word On-Air Personality: Diane Rehm; Mike Francesa and Chris Russo; Michael Savage; and Sean Hannity.

gracies logoGracies Awards Ceremony Take Place Tomorrow in Beverly Hills.  The 41st annual Gracie Awards are taking place tomorrow (5/24) in Beverly Hills and actress Marika Domińczyk will serve as host.  Also, Grammy Award-nominee Andra Day will perform her hit, “Rise Up.”  The Gracie Awards honor outstanding individual achievement and programming by, for and about women.  Alliance for Women in Media Foundation chair and SVP, Global Content Operations at Discovery Communications, Kristen Welch, says, “The talent that Marika holds, along with her contagious energy and sense of humor, makes her an ideal host for the Gracie Awards Gala.  In the spirit of The Gracies, our host, presenters and performances will be unapologetically diverse, loud, personal, funny, emotional and bold.”  The Gracie Awards Gala will be live streamed in partnership with Cumulus on websites nationwide.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

| May 12, 2016

Talkers2016 logo lgGOING, GOING… TALKERS Convention Registrations Close Today.  The 19th annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important convention is on the verge of being an early sellout.  Registrations will not be taken after 5:00 pm ET today.  The event – TALKERS 2016: Bridging the Generations – will take place one week from tomorrow on Friday, May 20 on the campus of Hofstra University in Hempstead, NY.  TALKERS EVP Kevin Casey states, “This installment of the historical and colorful conference will be extremely contemporary in its focus in terms of talk media’s need to open the tent to younger demos, expand its menu options, become indispensable to the public and strategically integrate both its old and new media platforms into an effective, symbiotic system.”  Casey will personally moderate the panel, “The Millennials and the Media.”  The conference will feature a power-packed day of non-stop panels, presentations, addresses, live broadcasts, technology exhibits and tremendous networking opportunities at the “Breakfast with Hannity,”  “Salem Luncheon” and “Radio Hofstra University Closing Reception.”  More than 65 industry leaders from programming, sales, technology, research, management and ownership will be participating in speaking roles.  Registrations ($299 per person and open only to media industry professionals) can only be taken over the phone with credit card by calling 413-565-5413 before 5:00 pm ET today.  For complete agenda, hotel, sponsorship and travel information, please click here.

latzerjonAlpha Media Appoints Latzer Regional Interactive Sales Manager.  Media sales pro Jon Latzer is named to the regional interactive sales director position with Alpha Media.  The company’s VP of business development, Lindi Glasgow, says, “We are excited about this new position to better serve our Alpha markets and clients.  Digital and mobile are key to our 360 approach to drive ROI for our customers.  Jon’s radio, digital and start-up experience make him the perfect fit for the job and Alpha culture.”  Latzer has served in sales and management capacities at media firms including CBS, iHeartMedia, Katz Radio Group, TuneIn and Rovi.

The Presidential Race, Iran Nukes Deal, MIT Islamophobia-Global Warming Lecture, Facebook Anti-Conservative Allegations, Brazil President Impeachment/Looming Summer Olympics,  and NBA-NHL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/11).  The activities of the candidates for president and Donald Trump’s scheduled meeting with House Speaker Paul Ryan; the fallout over former Obama Administration staffer Ben Rhodes’ comments that it purposely mislead the media in order to secure a nuclear deal with Iran; controversy over Australian professor’s MIT lecture suggesting a connection between Islamophobia and global warming; the charge that Facebook’s trending topics are manipulated by people averse to conservative topics; the impeachment of Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and the related concerns over public safety at the this summer’s Olympic Games; and the NBA and NHL playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

nielsen logoNielsen Audio Releases Third Round of April 2016 PPM Data.  The third of four rounds of April 2016 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Portland, Charlotte, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, San Antonio, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Kansas City, Orlando, and Columbus.  The April 2016 survey period covered March 24 to April 20.  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.

drasaProfile: America’s Health Coach, Dr. Asa.  TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian profiles talk show host and “America’s Health Coach” Dr. Asa in a piece published today (5/12).  Ten years ago, Dr. Asa Andrews hosted a one-hour, late Sunday evening show in Nashville.  Now, Dr. Asa is preparing to celebrate the decade mark and his show is heard nightly from 9:00 pm – 12:00 midnight.  In addition, he hosts a daily 10:30 am – 11:00 am syndicated television program that is seen in 300 markets.  Dr. Asa comments, “I have always been a big believer that, if you serve people, and give them hope and practical help, you can impact their lives.  Ratings and revenue will come if you do that with great programming.  It is through a very conscious effort that we do not ‘hawk’ products or become an info-mercial.  We have been successful because the show’s focus is our desire to help people, stations, and communities thrive.”  Read more here.

ramseySalt16Dave Ramsey’s Smart Money Tour Stops in Salt Lake City.  Nationally syndicated talk radio star Dave Ramsey brought his Smart Money event to Salt Lake City’s Abravanel Hall (home of the Utah Symphony!) on Wednesday (5/11).  The program, focusing on how to win with money, get out of debt and invest for the future, was promoted with the help of local affiliate KNRS “Talk Radio 105.9.”  KNRS general manager Joyce Wirthlin says, “Another Dave Ramsey Salt Lake event created a tremendous opportunity for us.  In addition to generating sponsorship revenue, it provided an opportunity for our current and potential endorsement clients to see firsthand the powerful influence of the Ramsey brand.  Listeners of the show are incredibly engaged and loyal and there is nothing more telling of that connection Dave has than looking around a room full of thousands of people that are a part of his tribe.”  On Tuesday (5/10), Ramsey also hosted his EntreLeadership 1 Day event along with best-selling author Chris Hogan and Ramsey personality Christy Wright.  Pictured here are (from l-r): iHeartMedia regional vice president Stu Stanek, KNRS program director and personality Rod Arquette, Rachel Cruz, Wirthlin, and Ramsey.

Odds & Sods.  Chicago radio legend Garry Meier is launching a daily podcast that will feature interviews with “ameiergarry wide range of guests from authors to Academy Award winners and everyone in between.”  Meier states, “All of the growth in broadcasting appears to be in the digital arena.  As that migration happens more and more every day, week, month and year, I’m happy to be riding that wave.”  Meier says that Howard Stern, Richard Lewis and Chicago Blackhawks president and CEO John McDonough will be among his first guests…..Radio personality and XtreMedia founder Kevin McCullough reports that his weekend talk show “Radio Night ‘Live’” – a talk radio/television simulcast – has acquired its 300th affiliate station with the addition of KOTK, Omaha “AM 1420 The Answer.”  “Radio Night ‘Live’” is a show that was launched with an adjusted format after McCullough’s eight-year run with former radio partner Stephen Baldwin.  McCullough says the show’s current success is the result of work with “amazing partners like Salem Media Group, depetroRaimondorally16GCN, and BizTV/Radio.”…..WPRO-AM, Providence talk show host John DePetro (pictured here with mic) joined Rhode Island State Representative Patricia Morgan in a recent rally at the Rhode Island State House against Governor Gina Raimondo.  Critics of the governor say her efforts to market Rhode Island by going outside the state to a New York design shop indicates she is “out of touch” with Rhode Islanders.  Interestingly, the rally drew supporters ofgravelineShanghai16 both Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders who are critical of Raimondo.  See a video news report about the rally here…..Checking in with TALKERS magazine from Shanghai is “Into Tomorrow” host Dave Graveline, pictured here with the city’s iconic skyline behind him.  Graveline has been reporting from the giant CES Asia ellerFM16show but says he’ll be back in the states in time to join fellow broadcasters at the TALKERS 2016 Bridging the Generations conference at Hofstra University on Friday, May 20…..Local, independent station owner Anne Eller announces the addition of an FM translator signal to her station, WCRS, Greenwood, South Carolina.  She says she was blown away by the response to the addition of the 98.5 FM signal.  “It is fantastic.  Of course the signal goes further and doesn’t drop off in the evening.  Businesses are calling me!”

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

| May 11, 2016

shoredaveTurnover at ‘Detroit Sports 105.1’ as PD Dave Shore Exits.  According to a report in the Detroit News, program director and air personality Dave Shore has exited Greater Media sports talk station WMGC “Detroit Sports 105.1” after 15 months on the job.  The paper reports that Shore, who joined the station in February of 2015 as PD and became part of the station’s afternoon drive show with former Detroit Piston star Lindsey Hunter two months ago, was let go.  Now, it’s reported that Hunter will remain in afternoons joined by Rob Pascoe and Jake Chapman and the station will be seeking a new programming chief.  See the Detroit News piece here.

solkgregCorporate Realignment at Hubbard Forces SVP of Programming Greg Solk Out.  Programmer Greg Solk was based at Hubbard Radio’s Chicago offices and held the title senior vice president of programming.  Now, he’s out and, according to Chicagoland Radio and Media, the company is not issuing a public statement about his departure.  The site reports that Greg Strassell, who also holds the SVP of programming title and joined the company last June, remains with Hubbard in that capacity.  It also says Hubbard president and COO Drew Horowitz confirmed Solk’s departure saying it was “a senior management decision to initiate a corporate restructure that was the driver of the change.”  Read the CRM report here.

The Presidential Race, Iran Negotiations Controversy, Facebook Anti-Conservative Content Allegations, Plight of Syrian Christians, Islamic State Baghdad Bombing, and NBA-NHL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/10).  The activities of the candidates for president and yesterday’s West Virginia primary election; the allegation of press manipulation by the White House during nuclear negotiations with Iran; charges against Facebook that its news editors altered trends against conservative-oriented stories; concerns over Syria’s attacks on Christians during the civil conflict; Islamic State takes credit for a massive bombing in Baghdad; and the NBA and NHL playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

ppmunitNielsen Audio Releases Second Round of April 2016 PPM Data.  The second of four rounds of April 2016 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Washington, Boston, Detroit, Miami, Seattle, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis.  The April 2016 survey period covered March 24 to April 20.  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.

lupicamikeCompass Media Networks and Mike Lupica to Produce Podcast.  The collaboration is between Compass Media Networks and Hiltzik Creative (the content production arm of Hiltzik Strategies) and will result in a weekly, one-hour podcast featuring New York Daily News columnistcompass logo15 Mike Lupica.  It debuts on Tuesday (5/17) with “Seinfeld” creator Larry David as the first guest.  Lupica comments, “A podcast is a perfect way for me to talk to people I want to talk to from the world of sports and entertainment and politics in a free-flowing format.  And I’m grateful to Larry David, one of the smartest and funniest people I know — and an extremely opinionated sports fan — to be my first guest.  The essence of sports is conversation.  We’re about to begin a great one.”

westwood one NEWWestwood One Releases ‘Political Radio Format Planner.’ Designed to entice political advertisers to spend money on radio, Westwood One’s Insights team releases a report based on Nielsen’s Voters Ratings research.  The slide presentation indicates where various subcategories of Democrats, Republican and Independents can be reached via radio formats.  The report presents that information in what it calls the “political radio format planner.”  See the slide show here.

trumpsalem16Gallagher Scores Trump Interview.  Presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump spent some time on the air with Salem Radio Network personality Mike Gallagher “on the eve of Thursday’s ‘summit meeting’ between Trump and U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan.  Gallagher and Trump discussed Ryan’s comments about not – so far – being ready to support Trump; Trump’s reaction to Jeb Bush breaking a signed pledge to support the party’s eventual nominee; and the coal industry and Trump’s opposition to Hillary Clinton’s energy policies.  Gallagher comments, “In the wake of his latest primary victories in West Virginia and Nebraska, Mr. Trump is understandably in great demand so I am very grateful he took time today to share his views with my listeners.”

Former WREC, Memphis Talk Host Mike Fleming Dead at 74.  Memphis talk radio personality Mike Fleming died on May 8 after a battle with Alzheimer’s Disease.  Fleming, who began his career covering sports for the Memphis publication The Commercial Appeal, eventually moved into talk radio while also working in television production at WMC-TV, Memphis.  He hosted a talk show on WREC for many years, leaving the business in 2009 after his show was cancelled.  Read his obit in the Appeal here.

harrisonUpCloseFarOutsmallMichael Harrison Talks with British Morning Host Graham Mack About UK Radio.  The PodcastOne international hit “Up Close and Far Out” focuses on British radio this week as host Michael Harrison engages in an extensive chat with Graham Mack, the personable “breakfast show” host and program director of independent music and talk station BOB-FM located in the affluent “Home Counties” adjacent to London.  The conversation covers the changing businessmackgraham model of radio in the UK, the relationship between the BBC and independent commercial outlets, government regulation of broadcast speech, the culture of soccer and the growth of the NFL in England… plus Mack’s story of his personal odyssey of going from blue color maintenance worker to award-winning broadcaster in a journey that took him from Liverpool to New Zealand to Australia and then back to Great Britain.  The conversation is sure to delight media freaks interested in the global perspective of mass communications and popular culture.  To listen to the entire podcast, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com and RadioInfo.com.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

| April 26, 2016

The Presidential Race, Gender-Bathroom Issue, Islamists Kill Canadian/Battle Against Islamic State, Obama European Trip, and Tom Brady Suspension Reinstated Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/25).  The activities of the candidates for president, the debate over the delegate process and today’s Northeast primaries; controversy over laws affecting public restroom use by transgender citizens; the death of Canadian John Ridsdel at the hands of Philippine Islamists; President Obama’s visit to European nations; and the NFL’s four-game suspension of Tom Brady is upheld by a federal appeals court were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

hannityHannity Re-Ups with KDWN, Las Vegas.  Nationally syndicated superstar Sean Hannity sews up his Las Vegas affiliate for another three years.  The Premiere Networks personality will continue to be heard on Beasley Media Group’s news/talk KDWN through 2019.  Station program director John Shaffer says, “We’re ready and eager to continue what has been a very positive partnership with one of the greats in the talk industry.”

depetrotrump16WPRO, Providence Personality John DePetro Emcees Trump Rally.  Ahead of today’s Rhode Island primary election, the Trump campaign held a rally at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Warwick.  WPRO, Providence late morning personality John DePetro served as emcee for the event.  He’s pictured here (right) with Donald Trump (center) and DePetro’s son Daniel (left).

Odds & Sods.  Eighteen-year Las Vegas radio pro JB King is promoted to operations manager for the CBS RADIO cluster there that includes: news/talk KXNT and sports talk KXST, as well as CHR KLUC, hot AC KMXB, alternative KXTE, and urban contemporary KXQQ…..iHeartMedia fires up new translator W292EG in Eau Claire, Wisconsin to carry the signal of news/talk WMEQ, Menomonie.  The 34-watt translator at 106.3 FM lies between thelarsonkeith Menononie and Eau Claire centers…..WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte talk show host Keith Larson is organizing his 14th annual motorcycle ride to help kids battling life-threatening illnesses and their families.  It’s called Keith’s Ride and it takes place this Saturday (4/30).  The event is escorted by the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office Motor Unit and supported by several other law enforcement agencies…..The nationally syndicated “Motley Fool Money” radio show adds Shamrock Communications’ KNEZ, Reno “107.3 KNEWS” as its latest affiliate station…..CBS RADIO’s news/talk KDKA-AM, Pittsburgh is hosting “Allegheny Health Network’s Senior Life Today presented by LubriSyn HA” this Saturday (4/30).  The event will feature vendors with informational booths and break-out sessions.  KDKA personalities will be onsite throughout the day and the station will broadcast its Saturday programming live from site from 8:00 am to 1:00 pm.

Monday, March 28, 2016

| March 28, 2016

The Presidential Race-Sanders Weekend Victories, Brussels Terror Attack Aftermath, Taliban Terror Attack in Pakistan, and March Madness Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The activities of the candidates for president and Bernie Sanders’ three primary victories in Saturday elections; the aftermath of the Brussels terror attacks; the Taliban orchestrated terror attacks in Pakistan on Sunday; and the weekend’s action in the NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

savagemichaelMichael Savage to Host Trump; Threatens End of Support.  Nationally syndicated talk host Michael Savage has been a very vocal supporter of Donald Trump in the latter’s bid to win the GOP presidential nomination – more supportive than most other major talk hosts.  Savage has now made it public that he will drop his support of Trump if the campaign is responsible for a story published by the National Enquirer accusing GOP opponent Senator Ted Cruz of having had extramarital affairs.  Over the weekend, Trump said he or his campaign had not fueled the story and shot back that Cruz’s campaign “started it” – referring to an anti-Trump PAC’s use of a racy image of Melania Trump from her modeling days in an ad.  However, that Trump will be able to prove a negative – that he didn’t have anything to do with the Enquirer story – to Savage is impossible, and it’s unlikely the Enquirer will reveal its source.

wachsdaliahTalk Host Dr. Daliah Wachs to Close Practice; Takes Touro University Position.  Doctor of Family Medicine Daliah Wachs – a nationally syndicated talk host whose show is distributed by Genesis Communications Network – announces she’s closing her private practice and will join Touro University Nevada as director of community outreach and assistant professor.  In a statement, Wachs says, “After 16 years, I’ve made the very difficult decision to stop practicing medicine and to transfer my loving and wonderful patients to a medical organization who can conform and survive our new health care system…I will have the phenomenal opportunity to teach medical and physician assistant students!!  Nurturing baby doctors into full grown doctors has always been my passion as well as partnering with community leaders to make medical awesome happen!”

metaxasfreemanThe Story of God.  Pictured here are Salem Radio Network personality Eric Metaxas (left) and actor Morgan Freeman (right).  Freeman appears on Metaxas’ program in a two-part interview (part one airing today) about his new National Geographic series titled, The Story of God.  The series – which debuts on Sunday, April 3 – investigates mankind’s many different ways of worshipping and the cultural aspects of religion.  Currently, Freeman plays the vice president of the U.S. in the film London Has Fallen.

Odds & Sods.  Joining NPR in the newly created post chief digital officer is Thomas Hjelm.  He moves to NPR after a five-year stint with New York Public Radio where he headed up the digital strategy and operations.  In a press statement from NPR, it notes that Hjelm developed digital products for WNYC and WQXR, the WNYC app as well as content partnerships including the “New Yorker Radio Hour.”…..ABC News journalist Bob Woodruff is this year’s recipient of the NAB Distinguished Service Award, to be presented at this year’s NAB Show in Las Vegas.  The NAB recognizes a member of the broadcast community who’s made “significant and lasting” contributions to the industry with this annual award.  Previous honorees include: Jerry Lewis, Jorge Ramos, Bob Schieffer, Michael J. Fox, Mary Tyler Moore, Ronald Reagan, Edward R. Murrow, Bob Hope, Walter Cronkite and Oprah Winfrey, among others.

Friday, March 18, 2016

| March 18, 2016

Nielsen LogoNielsen Digital Audio Ratings (NDAR) Set to Debut. The service will formalize a two-month pre-currency preview period covering data from this year’s February and March surveys, available in mid-March and mid-April, respectively. Clients must license Nielsen Digital Audio Ratings to access data related to their own media properties and the data of other subscribers. NDAR is a component of Nielsen’s ‘Total Audience,’ an initiative that provides comparable metrics across all linear and digital platforms. Nielsen Audio managing director Brad Kelly states, “With the way people consume content in a continual state of change, it is critical to capture all of the platforms where people are listening to audio, whether on the radio, computers or Smartphones. To achieve ‘Total Audience’ for audio, we must provide a comprehensive view of listening behavior across all platforms. Nielsen Digital Audio Ratings allows broadcasters, advertisers, and marketers to better understand the dynamics of a station’s over-the-air and online audiences. Radio is a crucial format to reach audiences and must be an integral part of Nielsen’s ‘Total Audience’ initiative. With NDAR, we will be able to capture broadcast radio’s total reach and begin laying the groundwork to measure other audio platforms where people listen to music, syndicated programs, or news-talk and sports content.” Audience estimates will include Average Quarter Hour (AQH) and an Average Minute Audience (AMA) metric for digital streams. Nielsen Digital Audio Ratings is expected to expand reporting to include diary markets, as well as regional and national views. NDAR is currently collecting data on more than 2,500 station streams across all 48-PPM markets. Initially, Nielsen Digital Audio Ratings will report listening of digital streams of AM and FM stations and e-radio stations in the 48-PPM markets. Measurement for custom-curated and on-demand audio, including podcasts, is currently in development.

browne, joyDr. Joy Browne Recruited to Serve as Official Emcee of TALKERS 2016: Bridging the Generations.  The reigning queen of the psychology talk radio genre, Dr. Joy Browne, has been named Official Emcee of the 19th annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important national convention, TALKERS 2016: Bridging the Generations.  The power-packed, one-day event will take place on the campus of Hofstra University in Talkers2016 logoHempstead, NY on Friday, May 20.  In making the announcement, TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “Dr. Joy Browne is perfect for this role that she performed for us so successfully a number of years ago – opening up the show and tying all its components together as the dynamic day moves along.  Between her rapier intelligence and wit, unpredictable ad libs, numerous wardrobe and hairdo changes and vivacious personality, she is perfectly suited to take on this awesome responsibility.  We are delighted that she has consented to do this.”  The Genesis Communications Network (GCN) syndicated star says, “I have never missed an installment of this amazing conference and I am absolutely delighted and honored to have the opportunity to again play this role in it and have so much fun!”  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. 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 please call 413-565-5413.  For more up-to-the-minute agenda, registration, hotel and sponsorship information, please click here.

KLACClippers Dribble Over to KLAC. Professional sports franchises do not usually change flagships during the season, but starting tomorrow (Saturday, 3/19) and continuing for the rest of the NBA regular and post-season, Los Angeles Clippers’ games will be heard on iHeartMedia Los Angeles sports outlet KLAC as part of an exclusive multi-year broadcast rights agreement. The key stationLA Clippers Logo of the Clippers since 2009 had been cross-town KFWB, which was recently sold to Principle Broadcasting, but earlier this month, the new owners transitioned “980 The Beast” to an Asian music format (“Desi 980”). Being an NBA flagship is nothing new for KLAC: Up until the 2009-2010 season, it was the longtime home of the Los Angeles Lakers (now on ABC Radio Los Angeles’ KSPN). This will be the fifth year KLAC will be the flagship of MLB‘s Los Angeles Dodgers. When there are Dodgers-Clippers schedule conflicts, Clippers games will shift to KLAC talk cluster-mate KEIB “The Patriot.” Senior vice president of sports for iHeartMedia Los Angeles Don Martin comments, “iHeartMedia Los Angeles and the Clippers just reinforced the fact that KLAC ‘AM 570 LA Sports’ is the number one destination for sports in Los Angeles.” Clippers president of business operations Gillian Zucker remarks, “We are proud to establish an exceptional, long-term destination for Clippers basketball on a radio station that sounds like it was named for us.” Brian Sieman continues to do radio play-by-play, as does Isaac Lowenkron for pre-game, halftime, and post-game shows. Joining Sieman on nationally televised games not shown on Fox‘s Prime Ticket will be Ralph Lawler and analyst Michael Smith. Among persons 6+ in the most recent (February 2016) Nielsen Audio PPM report for Los Angeles, KLAC ranks #37 (.5), KFWB is #36 (.2), and KSPN places #31 (.8); adult contemporary cluster-mate KOST “Coast 103.5” is first with a 5.7 (6+).

ppmunitRound Four of February PPM Data.  The fourth – and final – round of February 2016 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 January 28 – February 24.  TALKERS magazine’s sister publication RadioInfo has all of the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  In addition, managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his “Top Takeaways” from this batch of ratings on the main page at RadioInfo.com here.

KCBS-AMKCBS-AM Staffers Vote to Join SAG-AFTRA. Results from ballots cast yesterday (Thursday, 3/17) by a group of employees at CBS Radio San Francisco’s all-news KCBS-AM reportedly were “nearly unanimous” in favor of aligning with SAG-AFTRA. Editor and shop steward Joe Rogers comments that the station’s writers, production assistants, and newsroom assistants “have shown a lot of courage and determination” and “the entire KCBS-AM news team stands united at a time when the company is contemplating drastic changes in how this station gathers and reports the news.” Production assistant and producer Nick St. Charles states, “Volatility in the news business and skyrocketing living costs in the Bay Area make union representation essential.” Production assistants, writers, and newsroom assistants will join the union with an existing bargaining unit of editors at the all-news operation. SAG-AFTRA also represents Bay Area units at CBS’ KPIX-TV and KCBS-AM hot AC sibling KLLC “Alice,” as well as on-air counterparts at KCBS-AM. Dislodged from San Francisco’s top spot in the “Holiday” 2015 report, KCBS-AM posted its second straight +.4 in February’s Nielsen Audio PPM (5.4 – 5.8 – 6.2, 6+) and repeats at #1; it had been in the top spot six successive sweeps before “Holiday” 2015.

baum, rayBaum Becomes NAB’s VP/Government Relations. The former senior policy advisor to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce – Ray Baum – joins the National Association of Broadcasters as vice president of government relations. NAB president and chief executive officer Gordon Smith states, “I am pleased to have Ray Baum join our talented government relations department. He brings extensive policymaking experience on the federal, state, and local levels as both a legislator and a staffer. Broadcasters will benefit greatly from having Ray advocating on our behalf in Washington.” Baum previously was chair of the Oregon Public Utility Commission and Oregon House majority leader. Beginning his new assignment in two weeks (3/31), Baum will report to NAB executive vice president of government relations Curtis Legeyt.

Khatija MohiuddinMohiuddin Appointed LSM at iHeartMedia Chicago. Formerly an account executive at Hubbard Broadcasting Chicago hot AC WTMX “The Mix,” Khatija Mohiuddin is named local sales manager of cross-town iHeartMedia. Vice president of sales of iHeartMedia Chicago Adam Kurtz comments, “Khatija is the perfect leader to augment our sales efforts on our heritage brands. Khatija’s experience in Chicago media is unsurpassed and we are so excited she is on our team.” Mohiuddin, who begins her new duties one week from Monday (3/28), remarks, “I am really looking forward to working with such amazing radio properties as well as an incredibly talented sales team.” This is actually a homecoming for Mohiuddin, as she began her sales career in 2005 with iHeartMedia Chicago hot AC WLIT “93.9 My-FM,” which was then adult contemporary “Lite-FM.”

talkersten logoThe Presidential Race Tops Talkers TenTM Again.  Likely to be an ongoing trend, activities of the candidates for president and the surrounding issues were the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was President Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland for the Supreme Court.  Coming in at #3 was the Syrian civil conflict and Russia’s involvement followed by the battle against Islamic State 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.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Beasley Media GroupBeasley’s Quarterly Cash Dividend is $0.045 Per Share. The board of directors of Beasley Broadcast Group announces a quarterly cash dividend of $0.045 per share of its Class A and Class B common stock. The dividend is payable on April 8 to shareholders of record on March 31. All subsequent dividends will be reviewed quarterly and declared by the board at its discretion.

Odds & Sods. WBEZ producer/reporter Kathy Chaney departs the Chicago Public Media-owned outlet to join Ebony Magazine as managing editor ….. Also in the “Windy City,” the Chicago Police Department and Illinois State Police have dropped all charges against CBS News campaign reporter Sopan Deb, who was cuffed and placed into a police van last Friday during his coverage of the protests outside a Donald Trump event ….. WDDV, Venice-Sarasota (Florida) transitions from adult standards to talk WFLG and is simulcasting iHeartMedia Tampa sibling WFLA.

Monday, March 14, 2016

| March 14, 2016

shapirobenTalk Personality & Breitbart Editor Ben Shapiro and Reporter Michelle Fields Resign After Alleged Assault by Trump Campaign Manager.  Two Breitbart News staffers have resigned from the conservative news organization, citing lack of support from management after reporter Michelle Fields was allegedly assaulted by Donald Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski.  Both Fields and editor-at-large Ben Shapiro have resigned.  The alleged incident happened at a Trumpfieldsmichelle campaign rally on March 9.  Fields says she was grabbed by the arm and yanked away while trying to ask a question of Trump after his speech.  She did not see her attacker but Fox News reports Washington Post reporter Ben Terris identified Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski as the assailant.  Lewandowski has denied the accusation.  Fields says the Trump camp then began a “character assassination” campaign on her and received little support from Breitbart.  Further, both Fields and Shapiro (who also is a personality on KRLA, Los Angeles’ AM drive show), say Breitbart itself wrote skeptically about Fields’ allegation and even encouraged other staffers – under threat of termination – to stop supporting Fields in the matter.  Read Shapiro’s resignation statement in the Buzzfeed story here.

RadiodaysSA16_rev_390.Michael Harrison Participating in Radiodays Europe.  TALKERS magazine publisher Michael Harrison is playing a role in the international radio convention, Radiodays Europe, taking place yesterday, today and tomorrow (3/13-15) in Paris, France.  Harrison is participating in two capacities.  Yesterday, he moderated a fast-paced roundtable discussion with approximately 25 broadcasters from all over the world focused on the subject, “Making Radio Indispensable.”  Tomorrow, he addresses the conference on the subject, “Lessons Learned by American Radio at the Dawn of the Digital Era.”  According to Harrison, “The conversation was based on the premise that in order for radio to continue its relevancy in the 21st century, it must provide programming and services that a critical mass of listeners find indispensable.”  Participating radio professionals represented such diverse countries as France, Italy, the UK, Switzerland, Germany, Russia, Argentina, South Africa, and Australia.  Harrison says, “It became very clear, very quickly, that the concerns facing the American industry are also being experienced by radio broadcasters around the world – the challenge of new exotic forms of unregulated media spawned by changing technology as well as a significant generational divide in appealing to younger listeners.”  Among the commonly cited solutions suggested by participants include: “highlight live and local programming,” “maintain pressure on the auto industry to continue prominently including AM and FM availability in cars,” “activate the radio chip in smartphones,” and “provide programming of great importance to younger listeners to stimulate interest in the medium by Millennials.”  Harrison says, “The conversation – aside from the flavorful accents and colorful array of personal styles displayed by the wonderful people I met – was not all that different than conversations you would hear at an American radio convention.”  However, Harrison points out, “The biggest, obvious difference between the radio industries in many of these countries and the American model is government ownership.  In countries where a large percentage of stations and networks are government owned and state funded, there is significantly less pressure on both management and talent to deal with budget cuts, ratings obsession and the pain imposed by consolidation-induced smothering debt.RadiodaysRuss16  A highlight of the discussion came when Harrison engaged in a conversation about Freedom of Speech with Russian broadcaster Yuri Fedutinov, co-owner of privately held radio station “Echo of Moscow.”  According to Fedutinov (pictured here, far left, speaking with Harrison, far right), the amount of leeway Russian talk radio has in terms of expressing general opinion is in ratio to how much audience loyalty it has earned by consistently being engaged in community involvement.  Due to barriers in language and cultural differences, it was difficult for Fedutinov to be specific as exactly what you can and cannot say on the air in terms of political speech at this point in Russian societal evolution – but it was clear that Fedutinov had to be “fired” from his role as an on-air commentator because of things he opined, but was allowed by the government (and his co-owners) to remain as a principal of the station.”  Harrison admits, “I found the conversation with my new Russian friend both RadiodaysGerm16fascinating and frustrating.  Frustrating – because of the language barrier that made discussion about a nuanced subject prone to misunderstanding as well as my reluctance to push him into saying something publicly that might get him into further trouble.  After all, there are no longer any ‘off the record’ conversations at events where microphones and cameras are prevalent.”  In a lighter vein, Harrison learned from young Australian radio entrepreneur Ed Hooper that one of the fastest-growing cultural trends in the ‘land down under’ is interest in the NFL and American-style football.  Hooper is a self-proclaimed fan of the New England Patriots.  He and Harrison got along very well, to say the least.  Pictured at left is Harrison (left) with German broadcaster Jorg Stelkins (right).  More from Radiodays Europe tomorrow.

weismanstevenLegal Analysis: What the Hulk Hogan Sex Tape Case Means to You.  TALKERS magazine legal editor Steven J.J. Weisman writes today about the impact the verdict in Hulk Hogan’s suit against Gawker could have on a radio station’s ability to use material recorded unknowingly or that which is highly personal.  This case involves the sex tape of Hogan and Bubba the Love Sponge’s ex-wife Heather Clem that was recorded, without his knowledge says Hogan, and of which a portion was published to the Internet by Gawker.  As Weisman writes, the ruling could affect how stories like this are covered in the news.  “It is reasonably clear that the lives of celebrities have become valid topics for discussion, but when it comes to invasive videos and photographs, a right to privacy may trump the First Amendment rights of the media.”  Read more here.

The Presidential Race, Syrian Civil War, Ivory Coast Terror Attack, Germany Migrant Issues, Obama SXSW Speech, and NCAA Tourney Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The activities of the candidates for president; al Qaeda attacks on Syrian U.S.-backed, rebel-held strongholds; the deadly shootings at an Ivory Coast resort by militant Muslims; Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union party loses to anti-immigrant parties in German elections; President Obama states case for giving police access to smartphones during speech at SXSW festival; and the NCAA Men’s basketball tournament bracket is announced were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

francesarusso16FrancesaCon3 Draws Fans to Irving Plaza; ‘Mike & the Mad Dog’ Reunite.  It was the third annual “convention” held in New York City to honor sports talk giant Mike Francesa.  What started three years ago in a bar in the Big Apple, has grown so that the event was held for the second year in a row at the Irving Plaza and Francesa’s former WFAN partner, Chris “Mad Dog” Russo, joined him for the first reunion of the two since 2009.  The event was founded by Rockville Centre, New York’s Michael Leboff and New Jersey’s Ron Haraka.  Proceeds went to the Dr. Theodore Atlas Foundation, a charity assisting children in need.  Francesa tells Newsday, “This kind of outpouring is just unbelievable.  It’s so much different than anything else.  It’s so spontaneous…It’s just wild, it really is.  I went through it last year and [Russo] saw it this year for the first time.”  Image: Newsday.

Odds & Sods.  At Hearst’s news/talk WBAL, Baltimore, afternoon news anchor Mary Beth Marsden has exitedmarsdenmarybeth her role after a five-year stint.  The Baltimore Sun reports that Marsden would only say that it was time to move on and the parting was amicable…..Sports media personality Stephen A. Smith will sit down with SirusXM host Karen Hunter for a special “SiriusXM’s Town Hall with Stephen A. Smith: The smithstephenaState of Sports, Media and Culture Today.”  The satcaster says Smith and Hunter will go into Smith’s career and the path that led him to become one of America’s more polarizing television and radio personalities.  It will premiere on March 18 at 12:00 noon ET on the Urban View channel…..Westwood One is presenting exclusive coverage of the 2016 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship beginning Tuesday, March 15 and will carry all 67 men’s basketball games includes the First Four, games from all eight first-round and second-round sites, plus the regional semifinals and finals.  In addition, Westwood One will broadcast the NCAA Men’s Final Four on Saturday, April 2, and the National Championship Game on Monday, April 4, live from NRG Stadium in Houston.

mccarthyjpDetroit Public TV to Air J.P. McCarthy Documentary.  Detroit market radio legend J.P. McCarthy is being remembered in a documentary produced by Detroit Public TV.  McCarthy hosted the morning drive show on WJR, Detroit from 1965 through 1995.  The program, titled “J.P. McCarthy – The Voice of Detroit,” is an hour-long documentary that tells McCarthy’s story, “the ultimate local-kid-done-good tale.”  DPTV says it worked “extensively with the McCarthy family and conducted more than 20 interviews with J.P.’s friends, family, co-workers and contemporaries.”

Monday, March 7, 2016

| March 7, 2016

beckglennBeck Under Investigation for Trump Threat?  According to a story published by KTVT-TV, Dallas, the Secret Service is following up on what it has construed as a possible threat by Premiere Networks syndicated talk host Glenn Beck against GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump.  During Beck’s Friday program, Beck was speaking about what he would do if here were in Trump’s competitors’ shoes.  Beck show cast member Stu Burguiere jokingly asked, “Was it gigantic shoes?” To which Beck replied, “If I was close enough and I had a knife.  Really.  I mean the stabbing just wouldn’t stop.”  Beck and Burguiere said afterward that Beck was clearly making a humorous threat against his co-host but the Secret Service is looking in to whether it was a threat against Trump.  See the KTVT-TV story here.

Super Saturday Primaries/Clinton-Sanders Debate, Nancy Reagan Dies, North Korea Nuclear Threats, and Peyton Manning Retires Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The presidential race, Saturday’s primary elections and caucuses, and the Hillary ClintonBernie Sanders debate; the passing of former First Lady Nancy Reagan at 94; North Korea’s renewed threats of nuclear force; and the announced retirement of NFL great Peyton Manning were some of the most-talked-about stories discussed on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

tompkinsmattKOIL, Omaha Unveils Programming Changes; New Brand.  Recent programming changes at NRG Media’s KOIL, Omaha include the addition of Premiere NetworksSean Hannity to the afternoon daypart leading into Westwood One’s Mark Levin, plus the arrival of Matt Tompkins hosting the 11:00 am to 2:00 pm show.  Tompkins – who replaces the recently departed Bob Bruce – hosted at KOIL in the past and is also the co-host/co-creator of “Omaha Live,” a sketch comedy TV show that airs immediately after “Saturday Night Live” on WOWT-TV, Omaha.   Additionally, the station changes its brand from “The Mighty 1290 KOIL” to “News Talk 1290.”  Station operations manager Dave Tepper states, “Matt provides his listeners with a young, entertaining and fast-paced view of local and national politics and is Omaha’s only local weekday news talk show from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm.  The addition of Sean Hannity provides Omaha with the best election and national news coverage we can and the move to ‘News Talk 1290’ is a clear description of what we are.”

mondaysusanDelmarva Re-Aligns Programming on Delaware Talk Stations.  Wilmington news/talker WDEL-AM/FM and Milford, Delaware talk outlet WXDE-FM have gone through a programming realignment.  Here’s what’s changed: Susan Monday is now 9:00 am to 12:00 noon host simulcast on both stations, replacing Al Mascitti on WDEL; the Rick Jenson show is also being simulcast from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm on both stations; Jared Morris is hosting the afternoon show on WXDE-FM and Allan Loudell anchors the afternoon news program on WDEL.

pagliarulojoePagliarulo Syndication Building at Healthy Clip.   Heavy Hundred member Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo continues his momentum since going into independent national syndication last August.  He’s up to 41 affiliates now and TALKERS has learned that a number of stations are looking to add the show this spring and summer.  He broadcasts live between 6:00 pm and 9:00 pm ET.  Stations interested in the program can learn more by contacting Susan O’Connell at Compass Media Networks at SOConnell@compassmedianetworks.com.  To read Mike Kinosian’s recent TALKERS feature about Joe Pags, please click here.

herskovitzalThe 2016 Hersky Awards.  Radio sales maven Al Herskovitz presents the winners of the 9th annual Hersky Awards for excellence in talk radio advertising.  In this annual feature, Herskovitz gives his nod to what he considers the best in several categories: national commercial of the year, best ad campaign of the year, best national live read, best local spot by a national host, best website ad, and, of course, the Nosey Award for the ad or ad campaign that “needs improvement.”  See the winners here.

grahambigdaddyWIP, Philadelphia’s Big Daddy Graham Diagnosed with Atrial Fibrillation After Marathon Hiccup Attack.  Overnight sports talk personality Big Daddy Graham was smitten with a bout of hiccups that wouldn’t go away while doing his show on WIP-FM, Philadelphia.  At first he thought it was kind of funny but when it didn’t stop, he became concerned.  According to a story from CBS Philadelphia, he went to the hospital and was subsequently diagnosed with atrial fibrillation – an abnormal heart rhythm.  The doctor that treated Graham says the hiccups are not a normal sign of atrial fibrillation but sources of stress can set the hiccups in motion and can do the same for atrial fibrillation.  Graham’s hiccups have subsided but not gone away entirely after a three-day stay in the hospital.  But he’s back on the radio and back to his standup comedy gigs as well.  Read the CBS story here.

Odds & Sods.  WGOW, Chattanooga afternoon talk host Brian Joyce recently emceed a live auction at the “HulaBowloo” – an annual event hosted by the Chattanooga Area Food Bank.  Joyce reports that the event was a smashing success; more than 700 people attended and it’s expected that $105,000 will be raised for the food bank that helps provide more than 420,000 meals for low-income kids…..CBS RADIO’s WFAN, New York “Sports RadioelswickCPAC16 66AM and 101.9FM” and the New York Yankees announce John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman will continue serving as the radio broadcast team for New York Yankees games this season.  Sterling and Waldman have called Yankees games on the radio for the past 11 years…..Pictured here is KHTE, Little Rock talk host Dave Elswick (right) speaking with Project Veritas’ James O’Keefe (left) at last week’s Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington…..WGN, Chicago announces it has signed a contract extension with personality Lou Manfredini through December 31, 2020.  Manfredini began his career at WGN in 1995 as a guest on the Bob Collins show when he was given the nickname “Mr. Fix It.”  He hosts the Saturday morning program, “The Mr. Fix-It Show.”

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

| January 27, 2016

savagemichaelWestwood One’s Michael Savage and Mark Levin Playing Roles in GOP Primary.  The primary battle between GOP frontrunner Donald Trump and Texas Senator Ted Cruz is gettinglevinmark heated and two Westwood One-syndicated talk show hosts recently played a role in the tensions.  First, Trump appeared on Tuesday’s “Savage Nation” program with Michael Savage during which Savage expressed his hope that Trump would skip Thursday’s Fox News Channel-produced debate.  Trump later announced that he would, indeed, skip the debate.  As for Cruz, he appeared on the networks’ Mark Levin program to announce he’s challenging Trump to a one-on-one debate that would not include a moderator.  Cruz included the no-moderator stipulation because of Trump’s issues with Fox News Channel’s Megyn Kelly.

bensonchadChad Benson Scores Hal Linden Interview After News of Abe Vigoda’s Death.  Tuesday’s news of the passing of beloved actor Abe Vigoda brought many talk hosts to talk of the late actor’s work in The Godfather and in the iconic TV series “Barney Miller.”  But Radio America-syndicated talk personality Chad Benson scored an interview with Hal Linden, who played the title character on the television cop comedy and was a friend of Vigoda’s.  Benson and Linden reminisced about how Vigoda was constantly refuting reports of his demise after People magazine published a mistaken report of his death in 1982.  You can hear Benson’s interview with Vigoda here.

The Presidential Race, Planned Parenthood Videos Case Twist, Oscars Boycott, Low Oil Prices/Financial Markets Activity, and Eastern Blizzard Aftermath Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/26).  Presidential candidate Donald Trump’s refusal to take part in tomorrow’s GOP debate, the aftermath of the Iowa Democratic Town Hall, and the activities of the candidates for president; the controversy over the indictment of two involved in videotaping Planned Parenthood representatives discussing human tissue sales; the ongoing debate over the boycott of the Academy Awards by some black film industry people due to a lack of black nominees; languishing oil prices and the reactions by the world’s financial markets; and the effects of the blizzard that hit much of the East Coast over the weekend were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

kayemarkKaye: Social Media – You’re Doing it Wrong.  Jacksonville-based talk show host Mark Kaye writes, in a piece published in TALKERS today, that too many talk show hosts are only getting a little benefit out of what social media has to offer.  Kaye says, “Most of us look at Facebook and Snapchat and Periscope and Instagram as new and exciting ways to tell people what we do, what we think, and what we know.  Instead, as talk show hosts, we should be using those same platforms to ask our audiences, ‘Hey, what do you do? What do you think? What do you know?’”  Kaye says today’s audiences don’t use the phone to answer these questions the way they used to.  “They use Snapchat, and Periscope, and Instagram, and Facebook Messenger.  The phone has simply become a mini-access point to their favorite social media application.  They use it for one-way, non-verbal communication.  They use it to tweet, text, record video (and audio!) and briefly promote their own thoughts and opinions.”  Read more from Mark Kaye here.

Odds & Sods.  After almost 25 years at KCSJ, Pueblo, Colorado, sports director Tony Wright exits as iHeartMedia eliminates the sports director position.  Wright tells the Pueblo Chieftain that it was a business decision and he plans to continue working in sports radio elsewhere…..ESPN Radio’s Jalen Rose and David Jacoby are getting a TV show that highlights the best segments from their daily radio program.  “Jalen & Jacoby” will debut on ESPN2 at 2:00 am ET on Thursday (1/28).  An audio version of the program launched as a podcast in 2011.  The “Jalen & Jacoby” radio show airs from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm ET…..Daytona Beach-based Digital Sound & Video announces Greg Fadick joins the company as a producer.  The company says Fadick is a seasoned imaging pro who’s worked for both radio stations and production companies.  Fadick has imaged at WAAF, Boston; WIOD/WFLC/WHQT, Miami; Brown Bag Productions (Premiere Networks), and Download HDFX, among others.

nab logoNAB Producing Podcast Series Serving Broadcasters on ‘Timely and Relevant Issues.’  The  new, bi-weekly podcast focused on public policy issues, new technologies and proven business strategies for radio broadcasters debuts from National Association of Broadcasters.  NAB says “The NAB Podcast will feature new segments released every other Tuesday.  Each episode is 15 minutes long and is available publicly for two weeks.  At the end of that time, episodes will be archived for NAB members-only access at nab.org/podcasts.  Each podcast is dedicated to covering timely and relevant issues impacting America’s radio broadcasters.  NAB chairman and CEO Gordon Smith adds, “It is our hope that ‘The NAB Podcast’ will serve as a resource for broadcast professionals to help them navigate an increasingly complicated radio landscape.  The new podcast is an innovative way to reach our members and a broader audience with vital information on important issues affecting broadcasters.”

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

| January 19, 2016

pughdaveCBS RADIO Names Dave Pugh Phoenix Market Manager.  His exact title is senior vice president/market manager and director of sales of CBS RADIO Phoenix, and Dave Pugh takes over for Tim Pohlman who recently was moved to the same post at CBS RADIO Chicago.  CBS RADIO chief operating officer Scott Herman states, “Dave has an established track record of driving revenue, developing sales strategies and cultivating client relationships, which is evident through his impressive career and outstanding reputation.  His leadership skills, along with his extensive knowledge of digital will greatly benefit our Phoenix stations.  We are thrilled to have Dave join the CBS RADIO team in this key position.”  Pugh most recently was RVP for San Francisco-based Veritone Media.  He also served with iHeartMedia in the San Francisco, Washington, DC, and Detroit markets.

obeidallahdeanFast-Approaching Primaries Bring Talk Radio Role into Spotlight.  There are differing opinions on how large of a role talk radio plays in the election process – especially during the primaries when candidates are trying to appeal to a party’s base.  Regardless, of one’s opinion on that, there’s little doubt that talk radio personalities command a lot of attention – and a lot of blame – from the mainstream press during this period.  An example of that is writer and SiriusXM talk host Deanbeckglenn Obeidallah’s opinion piece published by CNN.com, titled “Why Glenn Beck Fears Donald Trump,” in which he uses Beck’s dislike of Trump as a candidate to support his feeling that Trump is so potentially harmful that even Glenn Beck doesn’t want him to be the GOP nominee.  It’s interesting that Obeidallah writes in his piece, “This may be the first and possibly the last time that I agree with Beck.”  This is illustrative of the extreme polarity in today’s political discourse in the media in America.  Obeidallah’s comment – while probably intended to be hyperbole – implies that if a media personality is on the other side of the political fence from him, there can’t possibly be anything upon which they agree.  However, the reality is probably that the majority of American voters don’t feel this impenetrable divide.  Yet, the media dialogue suggests a very different tone – one that it may feel in Washington, DC and then project onto the electorate.  Read Obeidallah’s piece here.

wwtcSalem’s AM 1280 The Patriot to Celebrate 15 Years with Live Event.  The Twin Cities news/talker WWTC “AM 1280 The Patriot” will celebrate its 15th birthday in March and Salem Media is throwing a “Birthday Bash” open to listeners on Monday, March 21 at Orchestra Hall from 7:30 pm to 9:30 pm.  The event is being sponsored by Lifestyle Financial & Tax and the station is selling VIP dinner tickets so fans can participate in a meet-and-greet with station hosts Mike Gallagher, Dennis Prager, Michael Medved and Hugh Hewitt.   Station GM Nic Anderson comments, “We are excited to have our entire 8:00 am to 8:00 pm daily lineup in town for what will be a great evening in celebration of the station’s 15th birthday.”

Odds & Sods. The WSB-AM, Atlanta-based Herman Cain show is now being syndicated by WYM Mediacainherman Management.  Cain’s program had been syndicated in the past by Westwood One…..The Shelton, Washington news/talk simulcast KMAS and K277CZ undergoes a brand change as owner Olympic Broadcasting teams up with local broadband provider iFIBER Communications to operate the station.  The new brand is “iFiberOne NewsRadio.”

Presidential Race, Sinking Oil Prices/Tumultuous Financial Markets, Flint Water Scandal, Battle Against Islamic State, Sean Penn’s ‘El Chapo’ Interview, Oscars Boycott, Martin Luther King Holiday, the NFL Playoffs, and Glenn Frey Passes Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/18).  The activities of the candidates for president; plummeting oil prices and the volatility of the world’s financial markets; the scandal involving high levels of lead in Flint, Michigan’s water supply and local officials’ awareness and denial of it; the battle against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria; the Rolling Stone-published interview of Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman by actor Sean Penn and Penn’s appearance on “60 Minutes”; the Spike Lee and Jada Pinkett Smith-led boycott of the Academy Awards for its lack of black nominees; Monday’s Martin Luther King Jr. holiday; the weekend’s NFL playoffs; and the death of Eagles founding member Glenn Frey were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Friday, January 8, 2016

| January 8, 2016

carrollbillKFI’s Carroll Announces His Departure. With approximately 90 seconds remaining in Thursday’s (1/7) broadcast, KFI, Los Angeles midday talent Bill Carroll revealed he is leaving the iHeartMedia talk property effective immediately. In addition to sharing his reason for departing KFI (#9, 3.4, 6+, December 2015 Nielsen Audio PPM), Carroll implored his listeners to grant an election-day request. “Hey, I wanted to say one thing before I wrap up the show today,” CarrollKFI began, as he sought to “explain” his “cryptic New Year’s Day tweet” which many people asked him about on Facebook. “[My wife Sylvie and I] have been considering this for a while and we came to the conclusion that it is time to get closer to home.” Carroll’s father passed away in 2010; Scotland born/Canada raised Carroll joined KFI in February of that year. “I did not get to see him much,” he lamented. “My mother is older so we are leaving. We still do not know exactly where we are going to land [but] this is my last show – maybe we will talk again in the future.” That led Carroll to rhetorically ask, “Can you just do one final favor for me? For God sakes, when I am gone, do not elect Donald Trump. You are better than that. Do not let anger sweep you away. Do not elect Donald Trump. I came to live among you because I admire you for your graciousness, your openness, and your religious freedoms. Don’t elect Donald Trump – I am begging.” It is unclear how long it will be before KFI program director Robin Bertolucci names a permanent replacement for Carroll; apparently, several guest hosts will be utilized in the station’s 10:00 am – 1:00 pm slot. Prior to his six-year KFI tenure, Carroll worked in Toronto at CILQ “Q-107,” and CFRB-AM. The 56-year-old Carroll appears at #47 on TALKERS’ 2015 “Heavy Hundred.”

talkersten logoObama ‘Guns’ Town Hall Top News/Talk Story of the Week.  Thursday night’s “town hall” on gun control presented by CNN and the White House along with President Obama’s announced plans to use executive power to alter some gun laws were the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio during the week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the presidential race.  Coming in at #3 was the battle against Islamic State, followed by the Saudi Arabian and Iranian diplomatic break and the growing rift between Shiite and Sunni-majority Middle Eastern states 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.

wtmj logoWTMJ, Milwaukee to Present Special Program ‘Beyond Making a Murderer.’  The Netflix original program “Making a Murderer” is attracting large audiences across the country but in Wisconsin, where film subject Steven Avery is currently incarcerated, the case is now the subject of a special program to be presented this weekend on E.W. Scripps-owned news/talk WTMJ, Milwaukee.  The special, “Beyond Making a Murderer,” will present update coverage of the case of convicted murderer Avery.  The station says it has covered the Avery story since the beginning.  The Netflix seriesnetflixMaking has sparked a petition demanding a presidential pardon, curious tourists are traveling to Wisconsin, and critics are claiming there’s more to the story.  WTMJ vice president and general manager Tom Langmyer says, “The story of Steven Avery is not only a big story in our backyard but also a story of national significance.  WTMJ is Wisconsin’s Radio Station and we are leading the way with exclusive interviews and expanded local coverage to advance the story.”  This weekend, “Wisconsin’s Morning News” host Gene Mueller will anchor a two-hour special “WTMJ Presents: Beyond Making a Murderer” that will air on Saturday at 7:00 pm and on Sunday at 11:00 am, immediately prior to coverage of the Packers vs Redskins playoff game.  WTMJ executive producer of news Erik Bilstad will anchor coverage live from Manitowoc, Wisconsin with one-on-one interviews, videos and exclusive digital coverage.  WTMJ program manager Eric Brooks adds, “‘Wisconsin’s Radio Station’ is working to go beyond the documentary, to talk with the people involved in the case and give our audience updated information.  We are talking with family members, justices, jurors, law enforcement, and prosecutors to learn everything new we can.  WTMJ is providing content for not only our Wisconsin audience, but for those interested worldwide.”

price howardRadio’s Hot New (Old) Format: ‘The Puddle.’  In an opinion piece published today (1/8), ABC Television director of business continuity Howard B. Price writes about the sensational amount of global interest in Periscope’s “The Puddle” – a camera shot at a puddle of water in the U.K.  Price says the people watching the puddle on their smartphones have “rediscovered the magic of radio…If you really believe all radio is local – and GREAT local radio is all about making compelling content out of the everyday events and observations in the communities it serves — then ‘the puddle’ can be seen as a metaphor for what radio’s core mission has always been, and which it used to execute better than any other medium.”  Read his entire piece here.

kiblerkellyKibler Named iHeartMedia’s EVP Multi-Cultural Marketing. Executive vice president of operations for iHeartMedia‘s Texas major markets Kelly Kibler is appointed executive vice president of multi-cultural marketing. According to iHeartMedia chair and chief executive officer Bob Pittman, “Kelly has been a constant innovator in this company. She is the perfect choice to head up our focused multi-cultural advertising efforts at the market level. Her success as executive vice president of operations, as well as in her role as a sales leader and market president and her leadership of numerous iHeartMedia initiatives, have enabled her to grow her career with us. We look forward to her using all of her experience and relationships to build this new capability for our company.” The bilingual Kibler comments, “I could not be more excited to take on this new position at iHeartMedia, using the tools and experience we’ve developed in Texas and applying them across our 150 markets in a space that continues to grow in both importance and footprint across America.” Kibler began her career in 1991 at Telemundo. Before becoming iHeartMedia’s executive vice president of operations for the company’s major markets in Texas, she was a market president in Dallas, San Diego, and Las Vegas.

emmis logoEmmis Confirms Layoffs; Executive Pay Cuts.  After a fiscal third quarter report that showed a 5.1% drop in radio net revenue, Emmis Communications is confirming that it has laid off 32 company staffers and instituted pay cuts for corporate senior executives.  During the recent conference call with investors, Emmis CEO Jeff Smulyan stated, “We’ve made some changes and they’re very painful changes.  This is always very, very hard for us.”  The moves are designed to trim some $5.3 million from the radio sector’s budget.

kidRich Broadcasting Adds Three Signals to News/Talk KID, Idaho Falls.  The announced expansion of Rich Broadcasting’s heritage news/talk KID, Idaho Falls will expand the reach of the station within the Idaho Falls market and some 90 miles east to the Jackson, Wyoming market.  The company says, beginning Monday, KID “Newsradio” will be heard on KQEZ-FM in Idaho Falls and to KSGT-AM, Jackson and translator K242BU at 96.3 in the Jackson market.  KID, Idaho Falls is also simulcast on KIDG-FM, Pocatello, Idaho.  Rich Broadcasting president Richard Mecham says, “KID has served the eastern Idaho market since 1928 and we are both pleased and excited to substantially expand its impact and coverage with the addition of three more frequencies, which not only will substantially expand its geographical reach but also, and very significantly, will enhance its nighttime coverage.  With the addition of 106.3 FM, it now will be heard regionally from Ashton to Pocatello.  Additionally, we are very pleased to expand the KID brand into the Teton County radio market, and in the process enhance the synergy between the eastern Idaho and Jackson markets. We look forward to providing to our listeners the very best in news and information for years to come.”

cookeCES16hashtagCES 2016 Wrap Up.  Radio consultant Holland Cooke files his final report from Las Vegas where this week he’s been attending the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show.  Today he writes about the ubiquitous phone camera, drones, the head-on challenges facing television, and new technologies that are doing what radio stations traditionally helped people do.  Read Holland Cooke’s entire report here.

Odds & Sods.  The digital production field and studio tool suite Control Room Pro is now being used at stations including CBS RADIO’s WFAN, New York; Bonneville’s WTOP-FM, Washington; iHeartmedia’s WIOD, Miami;rosenbergsid and news/talk WHO-AM and sports KXNO-AM in Des Moines,  The suite of tools is produced by Harris Media and is repped by AdLarge Media…..Next Thursday and Friday (1/14-15), (and for the second time in the last three weeks!) Sid Rosenberg and “Imus in the Morning” executive producer Bernard McGuirk are sitting in for “Curtis & Kuby” co-hosting the midday show at Cumulus Media’s WABC, New York.

pittmanbobPittman to Receive BFoA Golden Mike Award. Jackson, Mississippi native Bob Pittman began his radio career at the age of 15 and the iHeartMedia chair/chief executive officer is set to be honored with the Broadcasters Foundation of America‘s 2016 “Golden Mike” award. Broadcasters Foundation vice chair Dan Mason declares, “Bob is an extraordinary broadcaster. As an architect of today’s iHeartMedia, Bob’s focus on innovation – and his deep belief in broadcast radio – has expanded radio into new areas and platforms. We are proud to recognize his contributions to broadcasting.” Pittman states that, “Radio reaches more Americans than any other medium. [It is] the best friend in the seat next to them and their trusted companion and information source across multiple platforms. I feel extremely fortunate to be in broadcasting during the most exciting time in our industry’s history. I am grateful to theBroadcasters Foundation of America Broadcasters Foundation for this honor, and I thank them for their deep commitment to supporting our broadcast colleagues in their times of need.” Pittman programmed WMAQ, Chicago and famously became program director at WNBC, New York at the age of 23. Also included on his impressive, extensive resume is being co-founder/programmer of the team that created MTV; CEO of MTV Networks; AOL Networks; Six Flags Theme Parks; Quantum Media; Century 21 Real Estate; and Time Warner Enterprises. He was chief operating officer of America Online and later of AOL Time Warner. Pittman was named one of Advertising Age‘s “10 Marketers Who Changed American Culture”; received the Robert F. Kennedy “Ripple of Hope” award; and he was named one of LIFE Magazine‘s “Five Original Thinkers of the 1980s.” He will receive his “Golden Mike” award next month (2/29) at New York City’s Plaza Hotel.

poebobBroadcaster Poe Declares Congressional Candidacy. Former Florida Democratic Party chair Bob Poe made his intentions official yesterday (Thursday, 1/7) that he is seeking to represent Florida’s 10th congressional district, which is based in west Orlando. The 61-year-old Poe comments that, “Many people are aware that I’ve been blessed with a tremendous amount of success in my life – but what most people don’t know is that my success had some humble beginnings. I come from this community. I became successful because of what I learned in this community, and I think I bring a very different perspective of how we grow the economy. I didn’t graduate from college, but I built a technology business that I’m proud of and that keeps people safe, because I never quit. Too many politicians today are too busy playing the game of musical chairs – running for one office and then another – to truly stand up and fight for us.” Prior to a nine-year run as president of Emergency Communications Network, Poe spent three years as vice president and general manager of WMMO, Orlando; four years as director of broadcasting and sponsorship sales for the NBA‘s Orlando Magic; and 12 years as vice president and general manager of Orlando talk station WKIS and the Florida Radio Network.

Friday, December 18, 2015

| December 18, 2015

bloomberglogoBloomberg and CBS RADIO Partner to Make WNEW-FM, Washington into ‘Bloomberg Radio.’  A new agreement between CBS RADIO and Bloomberg results in the launch of “Bloomberg Radio” on WNEW-FM, Washington.  The transition from CBS RADIO-programmed all-news to Bloomberg’s programming means the station will deliver “business and financial newswnewlogo along with non-partisan coverage of politics, policy, power, and influence to Washington, D.C.”  The programming will also be heard on WJZ-HD2 at 105.7.  In a press statement, Bloomberg says this deal “marks the launch of Bloomberg Radio on its first FM station.  Led by Bloomberg’s Washington bureau and the company’s global news operation, Bloomberg 99.1 will draw upon the strength of reporting from 2,400 journalists in 150 news bureaus across 73 countries.  Bloomberg News, one of the world’s leading financial news organizations, produces 5,000 stories a day and has received more than 800 awards since it was founded in 1990, including the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for explanatory reporting.”  The station will also air an audio simulcast of Bloomberg TV’s “With All Due Respect” with hosts Mark Halperin and John Heilemann.  Global head of Bloomberg Television & Radio Al Mayers comments, “As we enter this critical election year, there’s no better time to introduce Bloomberg Radio to Washington.  On the heels of recent expansions in Europe and Asia-Pacific, this launch marks an important step in our mission to extend the reach of Bloomberg Radio into the most important regions of the world.  We will tap into the deep expertise of our Washington bureau to provide insights and analysis on policy and politics that listeners cannot easily find elsewhere.”

cosbyritaWABC, New York Names Rita Cosby Political Editor.  This new title comes with expanded duties for Emmy-winning journalist Rita Cosby at Cumulus Media’s WABC, New York.  As political editor, Cosby will “cover the 2016 U.S. presidential race and other major political stories, bringing the freshest angles and key newsmakers to WABC Radio, including exclusive interviews with the most important andwabc logo intriguing candidates.”  WABC says Cosby will continue to host her eponymous Sunday morning show and will debut a new weekly election round-up show, “Election Central with Rita Cosby,” on Sunday, December 20, at 7:00 pm.  Her first guests will include GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio.  She’ll oversee a weekly political column for “Election Central,” 77 WABC Radio’s weekly political e-newsletter, and contribute interviews to Westwood One News Network.  WABC program director Craig Schwalb says, “Rita’s vast political experience and unparalleled access to the major political players continue to make her a huge asset to 77 WABC in this expanded position.”

biakelseyBIA/Kelsey Releases 2016 Local Media and Advertising Predictions.  Advertising and marketing research and advisory firm BIA/Kelsey is releasing its predictions about local media advertising for 2016.  The company says that this report “contains more than 20 predictions for the year ahead, offering insights for BIA/Kelsey’s key coverage areas, including mobile, social media, online media, search, online video, programmatic advertising, software, print media, small-business marketing, local media sales, broadcast media, publishing and the on-demand economy.  As a teaser, the firm offers its Top 10 predictions (the whole report can be purchased) for 2016.  The Top 10 highlights selected nuggets on the impact on local media and advertising by millennials, mobile payments, Facebook, Google, data-driven ad sales, yellow pages, ad attribution, programmatic advertising, the on-demand economy and online video.  Some of the highlights investigated in the report include predictions that: Millennials will drive the next wave of marketing innovation; data-driven local ad sales becomes the new normal; the march of programmatic continues; and more.  See more here.

mikeandmike‘Mike & Mike’ to Be Inducted into NAB Broadcasters Hall of Fame.  At the NAB Show Radio Luncheon in Las Vegas next April 19, Mike Golic and Mike Greenberg, hosts of ESPN Radio’s daily morning show “Mike & Mike,” will be inducted into the National Association of Broadcasters Broadcasting Hall of Fame. The program celebrate its 15th anniversary in March of this year.  NAB EVP of Radio John David comments, “Golic and Greenberg, with their mix of sports savvy and humor, have been informing and entertaining fans for more than 15 years.  The two have seamlessly combined their passion for sports with radio, and we are honored to add them to our distinguished Hall of Fame.”

harrisonUpCloseFarOutsmallMichael Medved Discusses His Battle Overcoming Throat Cancer and Other Compelling Issues.  Nationally syndicated Salem Radio Networks talk star Michael Medved gets “Up Close and Far Out” with Michael Harrison on the new installment of the hit PodcastOne series posted today (12/15).  In a touching, candid conversation, Medved talksmedvedmichael about his battle against throat cancer this past year that threatened not only his voice, but his life as well – including how it opened a whole new vista of understanding and appreciation to his thought processes and philosophy.  In addition, Medved and Harrison talk about Donald Trump and his impact upon the Republican Party and the conservative movement in America.  They also get into a broader conversation about Medved’s alternate career as a movie critic including the role he played in bringing awareness of Ed Wood’s “Plan 9 from Outer Space” to historic infamy as the worst picture of all time.  To listen to this not-to-be-missed media freaks’ delight in its entirety please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player boxes located in the right-hand column of every page on Talkers.com and RadioInfo.com.

foxsportsradio logoKGMZ, San Francisco Adds FOX Sports Radio Programming.  San Francisco sports talk outlet KGMZ “95.7 The GAME” is adding FOX Sports Radio show to its program schedule.  The Entercom sports talker will add the Ben Maller show to its late-night daypart airing from 11:00 pm to 3:00 am as well as “FOX Sports Daybreak with Andy Furman & Mike North” airing from 3:00 am to 6:00 am.  Additionally, KGMZ is airing FOX Sports Radio weekend programming from personalities including: Anthony Gargano, Lincoln Kennedy, Michael Harmon, Jason McIntyre and others.

talkersten logo2016 Presidential Race/GOP Debate Tops Talkers TenTM for Week of December 14-18.  The activities of the candidates for president in 2016 and Tuesday’s GOP primary debate tied for the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio during the week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 were the terror threats school districts including New York, Los Angeles, and Houston received.  Coming in at #3 was the battle against Islamic State, followed by the U.S.’ refugee and immigration policies 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.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

| December 16, 2015

price howardPrice: Weighing Public Safety vs Risk of Assisting Threatmongers in Reporting to Your Listeners.  The recent terroristic threats against the New York City and Los Angeles public school districts – which turned out not to be true – present a bit of a potential problem for radio stations and news organizations.  ABC Television director, business continuity Howard B. Price writes today in TALKERS, “Critical to the discussion is the hard reality that those who make these threats are banking on a response from both authorities AND the media.  Thankfully, even in these troubled times, most threats are hoaxes made to seize on public fear.  The hoaxers find out about that response the same way the rest of us do – through the media.  SO what to do?  As with most professional challenges, the process begins with an internal conversation, specific to your station and market.  For example, do you have a policy document to guide your decision making in such dynamic breaking news situations?”  Read more here.

grimessuzanneCumulus Media Names Suzanne Grimes to President of the Westwood One Division and EVP of Corporate Marketing Roles.  According to Cumulus Media, this new role of president of the Westwood One Division “creates a unified structure that maximizes opportunities across the division’s national content and sales platform.”  Steve Shaw, president of Westwood One, will continue to lead ad sales, and Charles Steinhauer, COO of Westwood One, will continue to lead operations, both reporting directly to Grimes, who in turn reports to company CEO Mary Berner.  Grimes was most recently president and COO of Clear Channel Outdoor.  Berner states, “When it comes to anything in media, Suzanne’s the full package.  With 30 years of experience building content businesses into high-performing brands, she brings valuable perspectives from leadership roles in outdoor, mobile, social, digital, print and experiential sectors for both public and private companies, so she’s a natural choice for these important roles.  I look forward to her contribution as we build a stronger, more operationally focused organization.”

Newly Re-Organized Corporate Structure at Cumulus Includes Tommy Page and Mike McVay Taking on New Responsibilities.  As part of her memo to Cumulus Media staff of Suzanne Grimes’ new role, CEO Mary Berner also explained some of the other changes atop the corporate structure at the company.  Working forbouvardpierre Grimes will be the company’s chief marketing officer Pierre Bouvard and VP of social media Lori Lewis.  Berner announces Tommy Page’s new title will be SVP of brand partnerships & NASH in which he’ll continue his role as leader of platform events initiatives and brand partnerships, corporate mcvaymikemarketing function, and new duties including the development and execution of the NASH brand strategy.  Berner says the company is creating a new Office of Programming in which SVP of content & programming Mike McVay will operate to “lead our content strategy across the platform, including talent recruitment and development and label relations.”  Tom Schurr, SVP ofschurrtom operations, will work with McVay in a new role overseeing the business aspects of programming, including organization and prioritization, resource allocation, and budget responsibilities.  Berner concludes, “Our belief with regard to ratings is that more local insight and more effective corporate support will result in an improved outcome.  The new Office of Programming will be responsible for executing this strategy to drive ratings growth and will be rolling out more details in the coming weeks.”

bohannonjimJim Bohannon to Exit ‘America in the Morning’; Continues Late Night Show.  Hall of Fame broadcaster Jim Bohannon is cutting back on his duties for Westwood One and is leaving the hosting role for “America in the Morning” after the December 18 broadcast.  He is continuing his work as host of the late night Jim Bohannon show.  He signed a multi-year contract extension with Westwood One in February of this year.  Bohannon has been the sole host of “America in the Morning” since its firsttroutjohn broadcast in 1984.  The morning magazine program airs on more than 250 stations nationwide.  Taking over for Bohannon is the show’s regular guest host John Trout.  He officially begins on Monday, January 18, 2016.  Bohannon comments, “It’s time for me to cut back the daily schedule a bit and focus my attention on the research, interviews, and calls for my weeknight Jim Bohannon show.  But I’ll still be contributing my daily feature, the ‘Offbeat,’ and my newsmaker interviews to ‘America in the Morning.’  Listeners will love John Trout as host.  He’s got a stellar track record and he’s been a terrific fill-in.  The show is in great hands and I wish him much success.”

leykistomTom Leykis’ New Normal Projecting Another Profitable Year.  New Year’s Eve will be the sixth anniversary of The New Normal – the audio content company founded by radio legend Tom Leykis after exiting his CBS RADIO talk show in 2009.  Leykis has long been a vocal proponent of the digital delivery system for taking audio content into the future.  Today, he reports that as 2015 winds down, The New Normal is financially continuing on an upward trend.  Leykis tells TALKERS that revenue is up for the third straight year.  Profits will increase from $23,000 in 2014 to almost $100,000 in 2015.  He adds, “This means that, for the second year in a row, we will be more profitable than the top two radio companies combined.”

Odds & Sods.  Are there wrinkles in the future of the Bob & Tom Show post-Bob KevoianTALKERS sources arebobandtom labeled hearing that negotiations between the syndicated program’s management and staff are hitting snags.  Kevoian announced his retirement at the recent Radio Hall of Fame induction ceremony and although the show is moving forward with Tom Griswold continuing his role, rumors are that negotiations for contract renewals with longtime cast member Kristi Lee and contributor Ron Sexton are facing challenges…..Software platform provider Mediaocean announces it is integrating iHeartMedia within its Spectra platform.  As a result, within one central system, ad agencies are able to seamlessly manage, research, and buy local digital audio inventory across the iHeartMedia digital platform.  Mediaocean says users will be able to compare iHeartMedia’s audience data side-by-side with other digital audio platforms to better plan campaigns and engage the right audiences at the local level.

tradupTrump15Covering the GOP Debate.  Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is seen here gesturing as he makes a point while speaking with Salem Radio Network personalities Mike Gallagher, Dennis Prager and Michael Medved (who are out of the picture to the right) while SRN VP news & talk programming Tom Tradup holds the mic.  The exchange took place during SRN’s exclusive radio distribution of the Republican presidential debate.  SRN talk host Hugh Hewitt appeared on the CNN debate panel asking questions of the GOP hopefuls.

Run-Up to Last Night’s GOP Debate/2016 Presidential Race, Refugee and Immigration Policy, Los Angeles and New York Schools Terror Threats, Battle Against Islamic State, Freddie Gray Trial, Government Shutdown Threat, and New Star Wars Film Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/15). The build-up to last night’s GOP primary debate in Las Vegas and the activities of the candidates for president in 2016; debate over policy regarding refugees from Syria and over immigration in general; terror threats against the New York and Los Angeles public school districts and criticism over LA’s decision to cancel school; the battle against Islamic State; the wait for the verdict in the case against the first of six Baltimore police officers in the death of Freddie Gray; the move in Congress to avert a government shutdown; and the hype over the new Star Wars film were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

| December 8, 2015

williamsarmenWilliams to Program Denver’s KKFN & KEPN. Currently the program director of Townsquare Media Albany (New York) sports outlet WTMM-FM “104.5 ESPN The Team,” Armen Williams will join Bonneville Denver’s KKFN “Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan” and KEPN “1600 The Zone” in a similar capacity the middle of next month. According to Bonneville Denver vice president and market manager Bob Call, “Armen brings a perfect balance of winning sports radio programming, plus an exceptional knowledge of digital media. Armen has worked with a number of high-profile sports personalities through his career, plus he developed some solid NFL play-by-play network experience.” Williams – who co-hosts WTMM’s afternoon drive show in addition to his PD duties – states, “I am excited to be part of one of the best sports radio brands in the country. ‘The Fan’ is a first-class organization and Bonneville is a great company. I am looking forward to working with the extremely talented staff to continue giving Denver sports fans the highest quality of sports talk radio.” Before his tenure at Albany’s “Team,” Williams was a producer for CBS Radio-owned KRLD “The Fan,” Dallas, where he worked with the Dallas Cowboys Radio Network; he previously worked in the promotions department at KESN “ESPN Radio,” Dallas. According to 6+ stats from Denver’s most recent (November 2015) Nielsen Audio PPM results, KKFN ranks #16 (3.6, up one full-share from September‘s 2.6) and KEPN is #33 (.1); Entercom classic rocker KQMT “The Mountain” is #1 with a 6.3 (6+). The only stations listed in Nielsen Audio’s summer 2015 report for Albany are five iHeartMedia outlets.

gallagherCruz15Gallagher Meets Cruz on Campaign Trail; Salem Preparing for December 15 GOP Debate Coverage.  While in South Carolina on the campaign trail, GOP presidential candidate Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) stopped to speak with Salem Radio Network host Mike Gallagher in Greenville.  Gallagher (right) is pictured here conducting the one-on-one with Cruz (left).  (A Monmouth University study has Cruz polling ahead of Donald Trump in Iowa right now with 24%.)  Meanwhile, Salem Radio Network has exclusive radio distribution of the CNN/Facebook Presidential Debate at the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas.  SRN says Bill Bennett, Gallagher, Michael Medved, Dennis Prager and Hugh Hewitt will all originate their programs from the hotel on December 14 and 15.  SRN’s Hewitt will serve on the CNN debate panel as well.  SRN SVP Phil Boyce will serve as live announcer for the network’s radio coverage, and SRN VP/news & talk programming Tom Tradup will be executive producer of all on-site SRN shows and the CNN/Facebook Debate coverage.

wmal logoWMAL-AM/FM, Washington Raises $316,000 for Fisher House Foundation.  Last Friday and Saturday (12/4-5), Cumulus Media news/talk WMAL-AM/FM, Washington held its second annual “Operation Fisher House 2015 Radiothon” and raised $316,000 for the charity that builds and provides group homes for families of America’s wounded servicemen and women as they undergo treatment.   The station reports that over the past 12 years WMAL listeners have donated almost $5 million dollars to the Fisher House Foundation.  Station program director Bill Hess comments, “Our listeners step up year after year.  Their response to our talent and the stories of these heroes and their families is incredibly rewarding.”

woaiElfLouise15More Than $277,000 Raised at Annual WOAI Elf Louise Broadcast.  The Elf Louise Christmas Project charity was founded in 1969 and this year iHeartMedia news/talk WOAI, San Antonio held its 20th annual two-day radiothon on December 4 and 5 to raise funds for the charity that helps buy Christmas presents for more than 19,000 children in the area.  In addition to listeners donating money, several benefactors helped, including local attorney Thomas J. Henry whose family pledged to match 25% of every donation up to $200,000 and ended up donating $50,000.  Pictured here at the broadcast are (from l-r): WOAI personalities Cari Laque, Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo and charity founder Louise Locker.

Odds & Sods.  Programmer Jeff Beck is promoted to operations manager for the Alpha Media Fredericksburg,beckjeff Virginia cluster that includes news/talk/sports simulcast WNTX-AM/W243BS at 96.5 FM…..Bonneville’s KIRO-FM, Seattle is hosting the 27th Annual Foster Child Holiday Magic Radiothon on December 10 to benefit the Treehouse, a non-profit agency that ensures that kids in foster care have access to the essential services required to help them make it to high school graduation and beyond.  The past three rondonyears, KIRO Radio Foster Child Holiday Magic Program has raised more than $500,000 each year through listener donation and sponsor matching funds.  “Ron & Don Show” co-host Don O’Neill says, “Each year at KIRO Radio we strive to give every foster child in Washington State a gift during the holiday season.  A holiday gift is a symbol, a reminder to a young person that they are important, they are part of our village, and they have not been forgotten!  We can’t wait to spread a little Holiday Magic again this year, with the help of all our great listeners throughout the Pacific Northwest!”

Obama’s San Bernardino Address, Trump Anti-Muslim Rhetoric/2016 Presidential Race, Battle Against Islamic State, Turkey-Russian Tensions, Iran Missile Test, NFL Action, and New Star Wars Film Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/7). Reaction to President Obama’s Sunday evening national address on the San Bernardino shootings; GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump’s post-San Bernardino statements about preventing any Muslims from entering the United States and the activities of the other candidates for president in 2016; the military campaign against Islamic State in Iraq, Syria and beyond; the ongoing tensions between Turkey and Russia; allegations Iran has fired a test rocket in violation of the recently signed nuclear deal; the weekend’s NFL action; and anticipation over the new Star Wars: The Force Awakens film were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Pioneering DC Sports Talker Ken Beatrice Dies at 72.  A trailblazing radio sports talk host in Washington passed away at age 72 after a bout with pneumonia.  Ken Beatrice hosted an evening sports talk show on WMAL-AM from 1977 through 1995.  He worked another five years at crosstown WTEM, retiring in 2000.  Beatrice is credited with providing WMAL with thorough and insightful coverage of the NFL’s Washington Redskins during the team’s successful years in the 1980s through early 1990s.  Steve Repsher writes a homage to Beatrice in the Washington Post here.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

| November 3, 2015

beasleymediagroupBeasley Seeing Red Over Second Straight Month of Delisting for WBRN, Tampa.  The Tampa talk/rock hybrid that features Bubba the Love Sponge in morning drive was delisted from the September PPM survey by Nielsen Audio after independent contractor Bubba (a.k.a. Todd Clem) admitted to tampering with the PPM panel.  WBRN “Bubba 98.7” owner Beasley Media Group absorbed that blow even though Nielsen Audionielsen logo admitted that the panelist in question did not affect the ratings because he was found out in time for the September report.  Now, however, Beasley is upset with Nielsen’s decision to delist WBRN from the October PPM survey as well.  BMG president Bruce Beasley states, “Since the initial incident was reported to Beasley Media, we have had a constructive dialog with Nielsen as we were beasleybrucealso victimized by Mr. Clem’s actions.  We instituted remedial actions against Mr. Clem which had been reviewed in advance by Nielsen.  As Nielsen itself acknowledged, we cooperated fully with Nielsen to ensure the accuracy of their past and forthcoming ratings.  Therefore, we were blind-sided and disappointed to learn today (11/2) that Nielsen Audio will exclude WBRN-FM from the October 2015 ratings. Nielsen has not shared with us, its longstanding client, any specific evidence of ratings distortion which could have had any impact on the October 2015 Ratings Report, thus suggesting that this action is related solely to the ongoing litigation between Nielsen and Mr. Clem.  The fallout from this dispute may inflict collateral damage on Beasley, which, indisputably, has done nothing wrong.”  The litigation Beasley refers to is Nielsen’s $1 million dollar suit against Bubba for “damages” suffered by Nielsen as a result of Bubba’s ratings tampering actions.  With the release of the Tampa October 2015 PPM data, TALKERS and RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian’s “Takeaways” from the Tampa market are available here.

womentalkart15The State of Women on Talk Radio: Part 2.  Today (11/3), TALKERS magazine continues its multi-part story looking at the status of women on talk radio in 2015.  Written by special features correspondent Jeff McKay, it addresses one of the most-asked questions TALKERS editors hear: Why aren’t there more women on talk radio?  Today we explore the question: Is it blatant bias?  Karen Hunter, an author/journalist, Hunter College professor and SiriusXM Urban View talk personality, says culture is a large part of it.  “The men who are in charge of hiring primarily see women as only tackling topics that are women-oriented — domestic issues, relationships, child-rearing, shopping, cooking, etc.hunter, karen  When the reality is that many women are heads of households and are making the tough decisions daily that men make.  They are bosses and managers and leaders whose view of the world is as important as a man’s.”  WCRS, Greenwood, South Carolina owner and air personality Anne Eller adds more to the culture response.  Historically, “from station owners, to station managers to talk show hosts to disc jockeys, men were out eller, annefront and women were in support roles…I do believe all this is changing, but I believe our culture has been the reason.”  Eller says where she is in the South, the woman as the boss is a challenging role.  “In the South particularly, women that are leaders are not given the support they need by other women and in my role as a talk show host, quite often, I hear other women say, ‘Who does she think she is?’   It is a fine line between being ‘boss bitch’ and a female person.”  In this installment, we also hear from Greater Media Boston market manager Phil Zachary and Weiss Agency EVP Heather Cohen.  Read the entire piece here.

kdka95thKDKA-AM, Pittsburgh Celebrates 95 Years Today.  Today marks the 95th anniversary of the KDKA-AM, Pittsburgh broadcast of the 1920 presidential election results between Democrat James Cox and Republican Warren Harding.  The CBS RADIO-owned news/talk station is celebrating with a live broadcast from the Senator John Heinz History Center through 8:00 pm this evening.  Westinghouse Electric Company, KDKA’s original founder and owner, will sponsor the event.   The “KDKA Afternoon News,” hosted by Robert Mangino and Shelley Duffy will broadcast live from the Heinz History Center from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm.  Current KDKA staff, talent and past personalities will attend the celebration.  KDKA host Mike Pintek, who came to KDKA in 1982, will serve as master of ceremonies during which Westinghouse SVP of communications Cassie Hagen will showcase the Westinghouse contribution to the radio industry.  Most radio people are aware that Westinghouse launched the world’s “first broadcast” delivering the 1920 election results.  Plans were finalized with the Pittsburgh Post to acquire election returns by telephone.  The election night broadcast began at 6:00 pm from a shack on the roof of the K Building of the Westinghouse Electric Company “East Pittsburgh Works” in Turtle Creek, Pennsylvania.

hillsdaleDCstudio15Champagne Toasts, Dinner and Big Names Turned Out Last Night (11/2) for the Dedication of the Hillsdale College Boyle Radio Studio in DC.  Talk radio is alive and well and ready for future generations — thanks, in large part, to Hillsdale College.  The Michigan-based liberal arts school is rooted in educating young people about the United States Constitution and the principles that give it meaning.  And it’s betting on talk radio to be a driving force for free speech for generations to come.  The independent college charted a course last night with the dedication of its new state-of-the-art Boyle Radio Studio, just a stone’s throw from the US Capitol on Massachusetts Avenue.  The full-service facility is now officially part of the school’s extension in Washington, DC – The Allan P. Kirby, Jr. Center for Constitutional Studies and Citizenship.  The Monday night celebration included some big names turning out to show their support.  Among them, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) and US Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR), who were also guests on Salem Radio Networks host Hugh Hewitt’s show.  Hewitt inaugurated the Boyle Radio Studio with a live broadcast of his three-hour nationally syndicated program.  With a lit up Capitol viewed from the school’s balcony, guests enjoyed a front row seat to Hewitt’s live broadcast, as well as dinner and tours of the facility.  The evening activities capped off a full day of events that included two key presentations – “America’s Crisis of Constitutionalism” by Matthew Spalding, associate VP and dean of educational programs, the Kirby Center; and “The Future of Political Journalism” by John J. Miller, director, Dow Journalism Program.  These were followed by a tour of the nearby Newseum in the nation’s capital.  Speaker Ryan was very upbeat as he breezed through the crowd and shook hands before and after his radio interview with Hewitt.  Ryan told the crowd he’s a huge fan of Hillsdale College and the Kirby Center stating, “They’re doing a fantastic job of teaching young Americans about our constitution and our founding principles.”  Also in attendance was Bold Gold Media Group’s dynamic president/chief executive officer Vince Benedetto, a man described by TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison as “one of the most promising up-and-coming young radio group owners in the nation – the kind of individual who gives this industry hope for the future.”  An active supporter of Hillsdale College and its passion for promoting talk radio and the Constitution, Benedetto, whose foundation funded Hillsdale’s brand new on-campus low-power radio station, WRFH 101.7 FM, and is contributing toward the DC extension, sees talk radio as the modern day town hall.  He tells TALKERS, “I think the way to get more younglundinbenedettoHaeglin15cap people tuned into radio is to have more young people in radio.  And so that’s what this is all about.  It’s to create a ‘bench’ that we don’t have right now.”  The full-service studio in Washington, DC won’t only be a place for students to learn their skills, it will also serve as a venue for out-of-town radio hosts to broadcast their shows free of charge when they’re in Washington.  Details to come on how broadcasters can utilize this service to the industry.  TALKERS has also entered into an agreement with Hillsdale’s Kirby Center as a DC location to produce and present occasional forums for on-air personalities and political figures to discuss the hottest issues of public policy.  Harrison says, “We are thrilled to be able to look forward to re-instituting our series of Washington, DC-based forums that were so successful back in the 1990s with so distinguished a partner as Hillsdale College in 2016.”  Hewitt, a huge fan of the school’s mission and a longtime friend with the school’s passionate president Larry Arnn plans to spend a lot of time there as well, telling TALKERS, “Whenever I’m in town, this is where I’m going to be broadcasting from.  I’m very grateful to be a partner with Hillsdale College.”

DGitalMedia logoDGital Media Partners with Stand Up NY Labs to form Comedy Voices Audio Network.  The goal of this joint venture between Spencer Brown and David Landau-led DGital Media and Upper West Side comedy club Stand Up NY is to “produce, market and distribute original comedy programming.”  Stand Up NY Labs is already producing comedy podcasts with A-list comics and this deal means DGital “will now have full production facilities in New York and will be involved in the production, distribution, marketing, events and sales of the existing audio platform as well as developing new content and events with the Stand Up NY comedy club.”  Coming aboard DGital as vice president of the Comedy Voices division is John McDermott, who’s served as VP Comedy & Entertainment for SiriusXM.  DGital chief content officer Chris Corcoran states, “We intend to build the leading digital audio platform in comedy with Stand Up NY Labs, which was conceived literally on top of legendary comedy club Stand Up NY.”

mid-westfamilybroadcasting logoMid-West Family Broadcasting Buys Four in South Bend Market.  Through its affiliate WSJM, Inc., Mid-West Family Broadcasting is purchasing four radio stations and a translator in the South Bend, Indiana market from Gray Television Group for $5.5 million.  The four stations – adult contemporary WNSN-FM, news/talk WSBT-AM, classic hits WZOC-FM, country WHFB-FM and translator W241AD (96.1 FM) – are currently pending acquisition by Gray from Schurz Communications.

Odds & Sods.   Nationally syndicated radio star and founder of TheBlaze media platform Glenn Beck is askingbeckglenn the Republican National Committee to consider TheBlaze TV as host of the ninth scheduled GOP presidential debate on February 26, 2016 in Houston.  Beck says his network is “prepared to produce a new kind of debate, in both substance and distribution.”  Beck would host the debate and – instead of journalists asking questions of the candidates – he “would invite the greatest new conservative thinkers westbrianand media voices in the country to question the candidates.”…..There’s a change in corporate structure at Nielsen Holdings.  The company is eliminating the chief operating officer effective January 1, 2016 and current COO Brian West is resigning his post, effective December 31…..Salem Media Group acquires the financial website DividendYieldHunter.com.  The company issalemmediagroup logo adding that to its current portfolio of publications targeting investors under the Eagle Financial Publications banner.  Eagle currently publishes products and services written by investment experts Mark Skousen, Doug Fabian, Nicholas Vardy, serial logoBryan Perry and Chris Versace.  Eagle also has three other financial websites: EagleDailyInvestor.com, DividendInvestor.com and ETFU.com…..Internet audio service Pandora strikes a deal with American Public Media to serve as the exclusive streaming partner for the podcast “Serial.”  The relationship means not only will Pandora stream season two of “Serial,” but it will also stream APM’s “This American Life” and offer season one of “Serial” on demand.  The launch date for season two remains a secret.

lundgrenfredLundgren: A Laptop and a Mic Don’t Make You a Broadcaster.  KCAA, Loma Linda founder and owner Fred Lundgren says he’s not against digital technology — or even podcasting — but he bristles at the notion that uploading or streaming to the internet is equivalent to (or better than!) broadcasting via AM/FM radio.  Read Fred Lundgren’s opinion piece here.

stigallWS15WPHT, Philadelphia’s Chris Stigall and Co-Workers Enjoy Royals Series Win.  Even though he wakes up mostly Phillies fans each weekday morning on CBS RADIO’s WPHT, Chris Stigall is true to his hometown Kansas City Royals.  He tells TALKERS magazine that he and his WPHT co-workers enjoyed watching the clinching game five at Citi Field on Sunday night.  He says the Mets fans were gracious and they had a blast.  Pictured here (from l-r) are: Stigall, WPHT PD Jared Hart, program executive producer Michael Cerio and WPHT news anchor and Stigall sidekick Paige Powers (also a KC native).

Obama Deficit/New Budget Deal, Russian Airliner Crash, 2016 Presidential Race, European Migrant Troubles/U.S. Immigration Policy, U.S.-Russia Military Tensions, Syria-ISIS Violence, Fred Thompson Dies, NFL Action, and Royals Win World Series Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/2).  The new, two-year budget deal and the Obama Administration’s raising the debt ceiling; the controversial crash of a Russian airliner in the Sinai Desert; the activities of the candidates for president in 2016 and the aftermath of last week’s GOP primary debate on CNBC; ongoing migrant issues in Europe and debate over immigration policy in the U.S.; military tensions between the U.S. and Russia; the Syrian civil conflict and ISIS activity; actor, politician and radio host Fred Thompson dies; the weekend’s NFL action and the Kansas City Royals’ victory over the New York Mets to win the 2015 World Series were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, October 28, 2015

| October 26, 2015

fccnewFCC Issues AM Revitalization Plan.  Adopted last Wednesday but not released until late Friday is the Federal Communications Commission’s First Report and Order, Further Notice of Proposed Rule Making and Notice of Inquiry regarding revitalization of AM radio service.  Under the First Report and Order, the Commission makes six changes to current rules regarding: the use of FM translators, nighttime and daytime coverage modifications, and elimination of the AM “ratchet” rule, among others.  FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler had already nixed the open window for FM translator applications for AM owners but the Commission addresses the FM translator issue in a two-part move that will likely be well-received by AM owners:  First, the Media Bureau will administer a 2016 process allowing AM licensees or permittees to acquire and relocate one and only one authorized, non-reserved band FM translator station up to 250 miles, and specify any rule-compliant non-reserved band FM channel, as a minor modification application.  Second, there will be a new FM translator application auction window beginning in 2017 for AM stations that do not file a modification application in 2016.  Read the entire FCC order here.

ramseydenver15bDave Ramsey Takes ‘Smart Conference’ to Denver.  Talk radio superstar Dave Ramsey brought his Ramsey Solutions Smart Conference to Denver’s Bellco Theatre on Saturday (10/24).  The day-long conference featured Ramsey, along with Chris Hogan, Rachel Cruze, Christy Wright, Chris Brown, Dr. Henry Cloud, Dr. Les Parrott, Dr. Meg Meeker and Michael Jr. and provided attendees with essential information on how to win with money, strengthen their marriages, build parenting skills and excel in their careers.  Ramsey worked with iHeartMedia’s KKZN “Real Talk 760” and Optima Communication’s KRDO-FM, Colorado Springs “NewsRadio 105.5” to promote the appearance.  Pictured here is Ramsey (center) with KKZN program director Josh Everett (left) and KRDO PD Mike Lewis (right).

podcastone bLarry and Shawn King Podcast Features Guest Donald Trump.  In this week’s edition of the “Back & Forth with Shawn & Larry King podcast from PodcastOne, the couple interview real estate magnate and GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump.  According to a press release, Trump “takes listener questions and gets candid about his longtime friendship with the co-hosts.”  Other topics include border control, free tuition, his previous comments about 9/11, and “personal experiences that reveal the ‘softie’ Donald Trump that Shawn and Larry know.”

kanebrettKane Joins WBBL, Grand Rapids AM Show.  Reunited on Cumulus Media’s WBBL-FM, Grand Rapids are Michael Grey and Brett Kane.  The latter joins the Michael Grey Show on the sports talk station alongside Grey and producer O.J.  Grey and Kane worked together at KXSP, Omaha.  Grey returned to WBBL in July after a stint in Omaha followed by a two-year run at KIRO-AM, Seattle.

Odds & Sods.  WGN, Chicago, late night host Patti Vasquez is, along with television writer Emilia Serrano and ABC Studios, developing a TV show titled, “The Better Half.”  According to a story at Deadline.com, Vasquez has avasquezpatti deal to potentially star in the show but that’s not certain yet.  The show revolves around a Mexican-American working mother who “tackles the small and large injustices around her for the greater good, even though many times no one asks her to.  Her well-meaning actions create consequences that affect sileobannerher career, community and home life in the crowded Chicago brownstone she shares with her parents, husband and children.”…..Retired NFL punter Steve Weatherford – who won a Super Bowl ring with the New York Giants – was called back into the league while co-hosting his weekend radio show on WEPN, New York “ESPN NEW YORK 98.7FM” on Saturday (10/24).  Weatherford was working on the air with Dave Rothenberg when he got a call from the New York Jets to join the team to replace injured punter Ryan Quigley…..Sports XTRA, San Diego “The Mighty 1090” morning personality Dan Sileo is honored by the Little Italy Association of San Diego.  The banner with Sileo’s image that you see in the photo at left is one of many located in the Little Italy neighborhood of the city giving recognition to noteworthy Italians in the San Diego community…..SiriusXM expands its relationship with Breitbart Newsbannonstephenk Network with the addition of a new morning program for the satcaster’s conservative talk Patriot channel.  “Breitbart News Daily” will be an “exclusive, conservative news and talk show” hosted by Breitbart News executive chairman Stephen K. Bannon and co-hosted by Breitbart news editor-in-chief Alex Marlow.  It will feature interviews with major newsmakers, listener phone calls and interaction, and Breitbart reporters throughout the country and around the world breaking stories on events of the day.

siriusxmCool Job Opportunity.  SiriusXM Satellite Radio is seeking a producer for the Patriot Channel in its Talk Programming division.  The person in this producer position will be responsible for all aspects involved in producing a successful daily talk show on Sirius XM Patriot including studio/technical operations, promotion, production, guest booking, and research.  Requirements include a Bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience.  Previous production experience within radio and/or live studio environment preferred.  For more about this position and to apply, click here.

Friday, October 16, 2015

| October 16, 2015

mccoysteve‘Newsradio 106.7’ Atlanta Dismisses Steve McCoy Over ‘Trump Interview.’  WYAY, Atlanta “Newsradio 106.7” morning co-host Steve McCoy has exited the Cumulus Media news/talkers after he pieced together an old interview with Donald Trump and presented it on the station’s morning drive show as an interview with the GOP presidential candidate done while he was in Atlanta last weekend.  The storywyay logo new first broke on Buzzfeed after the Trump campaign publicly stated that McCoy did not interview Trump and actually aired what was a years-old interview, edited and presented as recent.  McCoy admitted the facts to Buzzfeed.  Cumulus Atlanta general manager Sean Shannon issued a statement saying McCoy no longer works for the station and the morning show will continue with the rest of the current staff – co-host Cheryl White with Drew Nelson and Randy Wyles.  At the same time, it’s being reported that McCoy was recently diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease and had planned to share the news with his listeners earlier this week.  That comes from the Atlanta Journal Constitution which spoke with McCoy’s former WSTR, Atlanta co-host Vikki Lock.

nielsen logoNielsen Sues Bubba the Love Sponge in Ratings Fraud Case.  The ratings company has filed suit against Bubba the Love Sponge in United States District Court in Floridabubba after the morning drive radio personality admitted to tampering with the PPM ratings in the Tampa market.  Alleging fraud and violation of the state’s Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act, Nielsen is asking for damages of not less than $1 million in a suit against both Bubba and his company Bubba Radio Network, Inc.  Nielsen says in the suit that Bubba paid people to distort the ratings.  Nielsen delayed the September Tampa PPM survey by a week.  If the case goes to trial the company would have to prove it suffered damages.

rogginfredLA’s ‘Beast’ Shifts Roggin to PM Drive. As of next Monday (10/19), current KFWB “The Beast,” Los Angeles mid-day talent Fred Roggin will take over afternoon drive (3:00 pm – 6:00 pm) on the sports outlet. According to program director Tom Lee, “The new timeslot allows Fred to reach a wider local sports audience with more people in their cars for the afternoonKFWB commute.” Roggin quips, “After eating lunch and spending the day at work with our listeners, we thought it would be fun to drive home with them. For the record, we fit into all cars.” In addition to his radio duties at “The Beast,” Roggin continues as sports anchor for KNBC-TV, Los Angeles (channel 4), where he has worked the past 30 years. In that time, he has won 30 local Emmy awards; two years ago, he received a Lifetime Achievement award from the Los Angeles Press Club. Among persons 6+ in Nielsen Audio‘s PPM report for Los Angeles, “The Beast” ranks #40 (.2). The market’s other all-sports stations are KLAC (1.1, #27); KSPN (1.0, #30); and KLAA (.4, #37); iHeartMedia CHR KIIS “Kiss-FM” and CBS Radio classic hits-oldies KRTH “K-Earth 101” are tied for first (both with 5.1, 6+).

Odds & Sods.  WHO, Des Moines afternoon drive talk host Simon Conway is pictured here with two puppies whoconwaypupsOct15 are being trained as service dogs for American military personnel wounded in action.  Two weeks ago, Conway hosted a BBQ and raised $6,000 in two hours for the Puppy Jake Foundation, which acquires and trains the dogs.  Conway says, “This incredible organization now has 34 dogs in training and it was so nice of them to bring two of the latest around for a visit – although I had to be careful because there were lots of people in the building that wanted to steal these cute and cuddly abcnewsMurrow15bundles of fur.”…..The national Edward R. Murrow Awards were presented by the Radio Television Digital News Association at a ceremony at Gotham Hall in New York City on Mondayhumphriesrusty (10/12).  Pictured here at left are staffers (led by VP/GM Steve Jones seen here holding the award) of ABC News Radio accepting the Edward R. Murrow Award for ‘Overall Excellence.’…..Talk radio personality Rusty Humphries joins Liftable – the company that recently acquired the USA Radio Networks from Cross Platform Media.  Liftable CEO Patrick Brown says Humphries will serve as SVP of programming.

browneharrisonBway15Harrison Finds Joy on Broadway. TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison (right) wraps up his tour of Big Apple media happenings this week by joining GCN nationally syndicated host Dr. Joy Browne (left) last night (10/15) at a showing of “The Gin Game” starring James Earl Jones and Cicely Tyson.  In addition to her regular fare of relationships and psychology, Browne includes discussion and reviews of Broadway theatre and the latest movie releases on her program, podcast and website.  Harrison comments, “It is amazing how well known Dr. Browne is on Broadway.  Half the people in the theater knew her and came over to say hello, as well as on the street in front of the theater where she held court prior to show time.  She is truly Big Apple media royalty.”  Both Harrison and Browne gave thumbs up to the play starring the 84-year-old Jones and 91-year-old Tyson.

talkersten logoDemocratic Primary Debate Tops Talkers TenTM for Week of October 12-16.  The Democratic primary debate on Tuesday evening was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week.  At #2 was talk about the issues and the GOP candidates for president in 2016.  Coming in at #3 was the military campaigns by Russia and the U.S. in Syria and against ISIS targets followed by the Iran nuclear deal and that country’s reported military build-up at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

| September 29, 2015

cumulus logoCumulus Board of Directors Installs Mary G. Berner as CEO; Lew Dickey to Remain as Vice Chairman and Director.  New Cumulus Media chief executive officer Mary G. Berner has been a member of the board of directors of Cumulus since May and she replaces company founder Lew Dickey as CEO – although Dickey will remain a director of the company as serve as vice chairman.  The Cumulus board of directors states Berner is a “seasoned media business operator” who previous experience includes her most recent post as president and chief executive officer of the Association of bernermaryMagazine Media.  From 2007-2011, she was chief executive officer of Reader’s Digest Association and, before that, chief executive officer of Fairchild Publications.   The press statement continues: “During the course of her highly successful career, she has led some of the world’s best known brands and content platforms, including Glamour, TV Guide, W, Women’s Wear Daily, Every Day with Rachael dickeylewRay and Allrecipes.com.”  Cumulus board chairman Jeffrey Marcus – who also serves as a partner with Crestview Partners (which manages funds that own 27% of Cumulus stock) – says, “Under Lew Dickey’s leadership, the Cumulus team has built a formidable national and local footprint, becoming the second largest operator of radio stations in the country, with more than 460 stations across 90 markets, approximately 8,500 broadcast radio affiliates and numerous digital channels serving over 225 million listeners nationwide.  However, maximizing the value of these assets requires making them work together effectively and efficiently.  At a time when the media landscape continues to undergo seismic transformation, Cumulus needs a broad-based media operator who can leverage its outstanding resources – from its core strength in radio to its growing presence in digital, experiential and other emerging platforms – and capitalize on thedickeyjohn industry’s strong fundamentals.  The board has had the benefit of seeing Mary in action and is fully confident that she is the right leader for Cumulus.”  Berner comments, “I am honored to have been asked to lead Cumulus Media and am eager to work with the board and the company’s talented teams to implement Lew’s vision of building the next generation multi-platform media company.  As the director who led the Operations Review Task Force established by the board, I have insight into the issues that Cumulus faces, but I also know the operational leverage that can be generated by first focusing on execution.  Radio is a powerful and unique medium – the number one mass reach medium in the U.S. – and Cumulus possesses all of the elements to be one of the industry’s winners.  I look forward to bringing a renewed focus on operating excellence at all levels and in all functions to help Cumulus realize its potential and generate improved financial performance and increased value for shareholders.”  The press statement makes no mention of the status of John Dickey, EVP content & programming, but the New York Post is reporting he has exited the company and a “huge reorganization” is impending.  TALKERS has not confirmed those reports.  Cumulus stock, which has been battered in recent months, closed today (9/29) at 68 cents per share.

harrisonhurley15Michael Harrison Interviews Harry Hurley About “All Things New Jersey” – Including Host’s Two-Year Tenure as Senior Exec at Trump Atlantic City Hotel.  In a riveting one-one-one discussion about the various ways the Garden State has been recently evoked in the national presidential conversation, Michael Harrison interviews WPGG, Atlantic City “morning mayor” (and TALKERS Heavy Hundred member) Harry Hurley on the latest installment (9/29) of the Podcast One international hit, “Up Close and Far Out.” Prior to launching a stellar 25-year career as a major New Jersey radio personality, Hurley worked directly for Donald Trump as the senior executive of one of his four Atlantic City Hotels (a job for which “The Donald” personally interviewed and subsequently supervised him) and candidly discusses what it was like being with the current GOP front-runner during those heady days along the Jersey Shore.  Hurley worked with Trump personally every weekend for two years and shares important first-hand insights into the billionaire’s management style, business instincts and character.  In addition, the Jersey-born talker shares his insights, based on experience, into the economic role and cultural direction of casino gambling in the nation.  He also talks about his personal on- and off-air encounters with Gov. Chris Christie (including insights to “bridgegate” and the Dallas Cowboys/Jerry Jones debacle) as well as the effect that the Miss America pageant (for which Hurley has served as a preliminary judge) has on the region.  Michael Harrison states, “New Jersey is an enigmatic, colorful home to nine million with its own unique set of extraordinary assets, daunting challenges and notably engaged local media.  I can think of no one more qualified to provide outsiders with an accurate explanation of this endlessly intriguing, largely misunderstood state and its compelling connection to current national politics than WPGG morning master Harry Hurley.”  To hear the entire podcast, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player located in the right-hand column of every page of Talkers.com and RadioInfo.com.

Odds & Sods.  Radio industry services start-up DGital Media launches a production division called DGital Media Studios.  The company says the division “will focus on developing and producing proprietary audio content” and its first project is a fantasy sports platform called Fantasy Sports Voices…..AMG/Parade announces the launch of “Athlon Sports Radio” on SiriusXM.  The Monday and Tuesday evening program will air from 7:00 to 9:00 ET on Sirius XM’s College Sports Nation.  The program grows out of the company’s 10-plus preseason magazines covering college, professional and fantasy football, college basketball, professional baseball, golf and NASCAR.  AMG/Parade was formerly Athlon Media Group which consists of the newspaper-distributed magazines Athlon Sports & Life, Parade, American Profile, Spry Living, and Relish…..British soccer legend Sir Alex Ferguson will sit down for an in-studio Q&A at the SiriusXM studios in New York as part of its “Town Hall” series.  Sir Alex will chat with SiriusXM host Charlie Stillitano before a live, studio audience on Friday, October 9. 

Trump Tax Plan, 2016 Presidential Race, Pope Francis Visit Aftermath, Boehner’s Exit from Congress, Obama-Putin Meeting, and Water on Mars Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/28).  The unveiling of the Donald Trump tax plan; the activities of the rest of the candidates for president in 2016; the aftermath of Pope Francis’ visit to the United States; the state of the GOP in the wake of House Speaker John Boehner’s announced resignation from Congress; the tensions between Russia and the United States and President Obama’s meeting with Vladimir Putin at the UN on Monday; and NASA’s revelation of the discovery of water on Mars were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio during the week, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

| September 16, 2015

kinosianmikeProfile: America Now’s Meghan McCain.  She’s new to Premiere Networks’ “America Now” program but she’s hardly new to media.  Author, TV contributor, blogger and now radio talk show host Meghan McCain is the subject of a TALKERS magazine personality profile by managing editor and West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian.  Stepping into this role is bound to being with it criticism, but as the daughter of Senator John McCain, Meghan McCain says she’s used to it by now.  “My response ismccainmeghanNoCap15 that I take it very seriously.  It is an incredible opportunity and if everyone in talk radio were doing it correctly, there would be no need for me.  There would be no need for a young, single, Republican woman [hosting this show].  If you want to listen to old, angry, white men putting down America, plenty of people out there fill that niche.  I am obviously a woman and I have a young, feminine voice – but I like the challenge of winning over people.  It is a difficult job and I have a completely new respect for the medium.”  In this profile, McCain discusses her media pedigree, what she brings to the talk radio “table,” and how she’s handling the wild, GOP primary race.  Read it here.

cbssportsroundupCBS Creates Streaming Station Featuring Content from Sports Talk O&Os and National Network.  This addition to CBS RADIO’s digital platform features live content from its 14 local sports stations plus the CBS Sports Radio Network.  It’s called “CBS Sports Radio Roundup” and the company says it “combines the best commentary and programming” and “provides fans with real-time access to breaking news, live interviews and opinionated analysis from CBS RADIO’s award-winning sports properties across the U.S.”  The product is produced by CBS Local Digital Media and anchors for the 6:00 am to 6:00 pm ET programming are: DJ Sixsmith (6:00 to 10:00 am ET), Greg Larnerd (10:00 am to 2:00 pm ) and Bryan Foti (2:00 ppm to 6:00 pm.)  Content from such outlets as WFAN, New York; WSCR, Chicago; WJFK-FM, Washington; WBZ-FM, Boston; WXYT-FM, Detroit and others is featured.

hewitthughGOP Debate Simulcast Puts Salem Radio Network, Hugh Hewitt into Spotlight.  Tonight’s GOP primary debate from Simi Valley, California is being broadcast on CNN on cable TV and simulcast on AM/FM radio via Salem Radio Network.  Additionally, SRN personality Hugh Hewitt is serving as one of the three journalists (alongside CNN’s Jake Tapper and Dana Bash) questioning the candidates.   Salem is presenting pre-and post-debate programming surrounding the actual debate.  Also, SRN personality Mike Gallagher is on site at Hillsdale College in Michigan hosting an exclusive focus group with undergraduates and graduate students who will offer their perspectives on the debate. TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “The presence of and role being played by Donald Trump in this presidential cycle has the potential to really establish talk media careers – or at least significantly elevate them – as we witnessed in the case of Megyn Kelly and now, potentially with Hugh Hewitt, who has already gotten well-deserved attention for not cowering in the face of the mega-reality star’s bullying tendencies.  The further Trump goes in this circus, the more opportunities for talk hosts to emerge as having backbones and pertinence.”

geffertkiernanKiernan Assumes GSM Role at KCBS-AM, San Francisco.  Twenty-four year KCBS, San Francisco sales staffer Kieran Geffert is promoted to general sales manager for the CBS RADIO all-newser, making her responsible for all KCBS revenue.  Geffert worked as an AE for the station for 19 years before joining the management ranks in 2012.  CBS RADIO San Francisco VP/director of sales Greg Nemitz states, “Kieran has proven herself as one of the master sellers and strategists for spoken-word radio.  Her leadership and deep knowledge of our brand will carry us into the future.”

barrettdanaDana Barrett Show Expands at ‘biz 1190’ in Atlanta.  The mid-morning Dana Barrett show on Salem Media Group’s financial talker WAFS, Atlanta “biz 1190” is expanded by and hour and will air from 9:00 am to 11:00 am, effective September 28.  The station recently announced it would add the Eric Holtzclaw program to the lineup to follow Barrett’s show at 11:00 am.  Barrett comments, “I love what I do.  Getting to help companies, big and small, get the word out about what they’re doing AND keeping my listeners up to date on the latest local and national business stories is the best job in the world.  I’m so grateful for the amazing reception of the show by the business community, and honestly, there are so many stories to tell, we really need the second hour just to fit it all in!”

mesnikdenyseDenyse Mesnik to Leave VP/ Corporate Communications Role at Beasley; Soni Dimond Takes Over.  Longtime Beasley vice president of corporate communications Denyse Mesnik isn’t leaving the company, she’s transitioning from her current role to that of consultant, according to her announcement.  The press statement says, “Denyse will remain active in Beasley’s corporate officedimondsoni through the end of September, after which time she will assist Beasley Media Group’s corporate office, portfolio of radio stations and the Beasley Family with special projects.  Mesnik’ VP post will be filled by Soni Dimond, who joined BBG in May.  Mesnik states, “Soni shares our company’s fundamental professional values and I am impressed with her commitment to ensure our continued success in this ever-evolving radio industry.  We welcome her depth of experience, her proven track record and her deep respect for the art of communication.”  Dimond operated her own Soni Dimond Media for the past 16 years.  For many years prior to that she worked on camera in television news in Pennsylvania.  Regarding Mesnik, BBG chairman and CEO George Beasley comments, “Denyse has been one of the most loyal and capable persons with whom I have had the pleasure of working during the past 25 years.  We could always depend on her competency, uplifting smile and her willingness to complete any project given, without a complaint.  Fortunately, Denyse has agreed to work with us as a consultant going forward.”

Odds & Sods.  The CEO of Galaxy Communications will be honored as part of the Newhouse School at Syracuse University’s “50Forward” gala on October 29 in NYC.  Ed Levine will be one of 50 accomplishedlevineed professional alumni honored at the event…..SiriusXM and the Pro Football Hall of Fame are teaming up to create a weekly show that will air nationwide on the SiriusXM NFL Radio channel.  “Pro Football Hall of Fame Radio” is being hosted by Pro Football Hall of Fame EVP Joe Horrigan and SiriusXM’s Howard Balzer.  Each Saturday, the two will be joined by a Hall of Famer who will co-host the show…..The 32nd annual “NewsRadio 1020 KDKA Spaghetti Breakfast” takes place on Friday, September 18 at the Heinz Hall Garden Plaza in downtown Pittsburgh.  The free event features a broadcast of the “KDKA Morning News with Larry Richert and John Shumway.”  The event benefits The Little Sisters of the Poor.

Trump Dallas Speech/GOP Debate, Hillary Sexual Assault Survivor’s Ad, 2016 Presidential Candidates, European Migrant Crisis/U.S. Immigration Policy, Russia-Syria Military Connection, and Western Wildfires Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/15).  GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump’s address to a Dallas crowd at the American Airlines Center and tonight’s GOP primary debate; criticism of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s ad reaching out to victims of sexual assault; the activities of the candidates for president in 2016; the migrant crisis affecting European nations and the related topic of the United States’ immigration policy; allegations Russia is supplying Syria with weapons; and the devastating wildfires in the Western U.S. were some of the top news/talk stories yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

bernierWillGeorge15Where There’s a Will.  Columnist and political analyst George Will (right) appears on stage at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach with WNDB afternoon drive talk host Marc Bernier (left).  Will’s timely appearance at the school – the night before the second GOP candidates’ debate – was part of the college’s President’s Speaker Series.  Bernier says Will spent 95 minutes discussing the candidates, ISIS, Iran, education, health care, the economy, baseball and public policy.  Photo: David Massey.

Friday, September 11, 2015

| September 11, 2015

levinmarkMark Levin Comments Cited in Atlantic Piece About Trump-GOP Relationship.  The story by David Frum in The Atlantic is titled, “The Republican Revolt,” and addresses the “frustration” rank-and-file GOPers are having with longtime party leaders and how that’s affected Donald Trump’s candidacy.  In the piece, WABC, New York-based and Westwood One nationally syndicated talk host Mark Levin is quoted from a segment on his radio show.  Levin is quoted, in part, saying, “Senator Mitch McConnell and Representatives John Boehner and Karl Rove and their ilk …. You’re sick of them.  You’re sick of them not doing what you elected them to do.  You’re sick of them lying to you.  You’re sick of them attacking everybody who doesn’t agree with them through their surrogates.  You’re sick of how they treat people who dare to challenge them in Republican primaries… You’re tired of so-called conservative commentators on TV and elsewhere who serve as their surrogates… You don’t feel you have a home and you don’t feel that there’s a party that stands up for you.”  This consternation within the GOP has been an underlying theme on conservative news/talk radio since before Donald Trump announced his candidacy, although talk hosts who broach this topic and reference Trump now that the nation is in campaign mode, are often labeled in the consumer media as “Trump supporters.”  Read The Atlantic piece here.

bouvardpierreWW1 Podcast Study Cited in AdAge Piece.  A story in Advertising Age by Felicia Greiff cites a study commissioned by Westwood One titled, “State of American Podcasting.”  The piece notes that WW1’s study consisted of data from an Ipsos custom study and Edison Research’s “Share of Ear” quarterly study.  Edison created “a cross tabulation of 500 podcast listeners using three recent studies  that showed the audio source, time of day, demographic profile, devices used to listen and types of content used by consumers.”  WW1’s Pierre Bouvard says the study confirmed that podcast listening is led by Millennials as it concluded the median age of podcast users is “30, versus 45 for AM/FM radio and 57 for broadcast television networks.”  Further, “personalities and talk shows are the leading content consumed by podcast listeners, taking up 66% of total podcast listening, followed by news podcasts with 22%.”  Read the whole AdAge story here.

nielsen logoNielsen Audio Announces 2015 Radio Market Survey Rankings.  Some of the changes in rank for radio markets as defined by Nielsen Audio include major markets Atlanta and Philadelphia swapping positions – Atlanta slides up to #8 and Philly drops to #9.  Las Vegas makes another leap, moving from #38 to #31.  Raleigh-Durham moves up from #42 to #40.  Milwaukee slides back to #41 and Oklahoma City dips from #48 to #50.  Another diary market – the growing Chattanooga area – jumps from #110 to #88.  See the entire Nielsen report here.

podcastone bPodcastOne Adds Six New Shows to Menu.  On-demand audio content giant PodcastOne announces six new programs that are being added to its menu of shows.  New sports programs include: “Name Dropping with Ian Fitzsimmons,” “Total Soccer Show,” and “Mohr Sports Los Angeles” with Jay Mohr.  Two new programs in the fitness category are: “Bulletproof Radio” and “Ben Greenfield Fitness.”  The final addition is a podcast called “NRP” featuring celebrity blogger Nik Richie.  All six shows will be available at PodcastOne.com, the PodcastOne app and iTunes.

harringtonjoeyJoey Harrington Assumes PM Drive Co-Host Gig at ‘750 The Game’ in Portland.  Former Oregon Ducks and Detroit Lions quarterback Joey Harrington joins Alpha Media’s KXTG-AM” 750 The Game” (also heard on K275CH at 102.9 FM) to co-host the afternoon program from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm alongside Fletcher Johnson.  Alpha Portland SVP/market manager Milt McConnell comments, “We are thrilled to add Joey’s Ducks and NFL expertise and analysis to our afternoon drive show.”  About his new gig, Harrington adds, “I’m excited for the opportunity to join the ‘750 The Game’ team and Alpha Media.  What a perfect way for me to be able to share my passion for all things football and Portland, than over the airwaves on the best station in town.”

Odds & Sods. More additions to the CBS RADIO podcast platform Play.it are announced.  New shows include “Cosmo Happy Hour” hosted by Elisa Benson of Cosmopolitan.com; a weekly one-hour show from comic Tom Green; “The Brouhaha with Ana Marie Cox” from the Wonkette founder; a weekly football podcast hosted by Jason Fitz; and “The Global Travel Conspiracy” with Gary Arndt, who has been traveling non-stop since 2007 and has visited more than 100 countries across all continents…..WGN, Chicago legend Orion Samuelson will gomikemikeJets15 in for heart valve surgery on Monday (9/14), according to Chicago media writer Robert Feder.  The 81-year-old Radio Hall-of-Famer says he hopes to be back on WGN by September 25, his 55th anniversary with the station…..ESPN Radio’s Mike & Mike kicked off their 4th annual Fall Football Tour today with a live broadcast from the New York Jets training center.  In honor of the anniversary of 9/11, New York City first responders were in attendance for the closed-door broadcast, and hosts Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic welcomed attendees at a special brunch after the show.

talkersten logoDonald Trump Candidacy Top News/Talk Story for Week of September 7-11.  The top-polling presidential candidacy of Donald Trump was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 was the Hillary Clinton emails controversy and her apology.  Coming in at #3 was the activities of the rest of the 2016 presidential candidates 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.  It is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine and is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

| August 13, 2015

Mark Levin Plunder Deceit2Levin (Again) Lands At #1. Syndicated talk host Mark Levin’s “Plunder and Deceit” will reportedly debut at #1 on The New York Times bestseller list across all three categories of hardcover nonfiction, e-book nonfiction, and the combined list. This will be his fourth consecutive #1 New York Times bestseller. One of Levin’s previous books, “Liberty and Tyranny,” spent 38 weeks on that bestseller list and sold over one million copies. In a statement to Breitbart News, however, Levin emphasizes that he doesn’t “write books for The New York Times – I write them for people who love their country, want to learn about their country, and want to save their country. ‘Plunder and Deceit’ is a particularly important book. It is intended to stir the citizenry, particularly younger people, to understand what big government is doing to them and how its policies are destroying their liberty and prosperity.” TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison asked Levin, “What is the key to your success as a best-selling author so we can share it with other talk hosts who write books.”  Levin immediately acknowledged that he is not the only accomplished author among the ranks of radio talk show hosts – then added, “It takes me a year or more to write a book.  It involves extensive research and scholarship.  You have to be willing to commit a lot of time to it — most weekends, early mornings, and late nights. I don’t have ghostwriters or co-authors, etc.  There’s a difference between being an author and having your name on a book.”     Landmark Legal Foundation president Levin is syndicated through Cumulus Media‘s Westwood One; “Plunder and Deceit” was released last Tuesday (8/4).

Cowherd, ColinHoping His Herd Heads with Him to Fox, Premiere. Speculation has become reality now that one of the worst-kept secrets in recent history is official: After a 12-year association with ESPN (the last two days there being controversial owing to his on-air comments questioning the intelligence of Dominican ballplayers), Colin Cowherd will indeed join Fox Sports and Premiere Networks in just over three weeks (Tuesday, 9/8). That is when he will begin hosting “The Herd,” a three-hour program, which will air simultaneously on Fox Sports Radio Network and Fox Sports1 (12:00 noon – 3:00 pm, Eastern). Fox Sports Radio is produced/distributed by Fox Sports and iHeartMedia subsidiary Premiere Networks. “Colin is one of the most powerful and talented personalities in sports media today,” asserts PremiereFox Sports Radio Networks president Julie Talbott. “His addition to Premiere’s lineup demonstrates our continued commitment to reaching diverse audiences with the best talent the industry has to offer. We are excited to join with Fox Sports in bringing Colin’s passionate and engaging brand of sports entertainment to millions of people across multiple platforms. By leveraging our combined reach, we’ll have the opportunity to connect with more sports fans than ever before, while delivering unmatched results for our partners.” Cowherd states that, “It is hard to put into words how much fun it is for me, as a broadcaster, to build something with really smart, talented people. I cannot wait for this next chapter in my career to start. Fox Sports is the perfect spot for me at this time in my life.” On Sunday mornings during the NFL season, Cowherd will be part of the Fox-TV “NFL Kickoff” crew. According to Fox Sports national networks president Jamie Horowitz, “Colin is the first person I hired for my first daily studio show at ESPN, so it’s fitting that he’s the first one I’m hiring at FS1. Colin is a unique voice in sports media with a loyal following of fans. We are looking forward to building our daytime programming around him.” Before joining ESPN, Cowherd did a morning drive sports show on KFXX, Portland; was sports anchor at WTVT-TV, Tampa; and sports director of Las Vegas TV station KVBC. He began his career as the play-by-play voice for the Pacific Coast League’s Las Vegas Stars.

Robbins & MarkleyAlpha Media and Robbins & Markley Ink Multi-Year Renewal. Heard weekdays on talk siblings KXL, Portland (9:00 am – 12:00 noon) and WMBD, Peoria, Illinois (2:00 pm – 6:00 pm), Scott Robbins and Jamie Markley extend their deal with parent company Alpha Media. Executive vice president of programming, Scott Mahalick states, “Robbins and Markley bring a contemporary style and entertaining flare that connects with the audience in a big way – we are proud they are on our winning team.” Alpha Media Portland senior viceAlpha president/market manager Milt McConnell notes, “Robbins and Markley have made a tremendous showing in Portland. Scott and Jamie are two of the best communicators in our business, and we are thrilled to have them for years to come.” Meanwhile, Alpha Media Peoria market manager Mike Wild remarks, “Scott and Jamie reflect real-life, day-to-day; they are [two] of the most genuine personalities anywhere. Their chemistry is unique and they both have an amazing sense for content. The show is a completely fresh approach to talk radio.”

National Radio Day Cake2Circle Next Thursday as National Radio Day. Especially when considering that some offbeat things – including specific foods – somehow garner their own special day, it is rather odd that there has not heretofore been a border-to-border celebration dedicated to the medium of radio. That will change one week from today (Thursday, 8/20) when non-commercial radio stations in more than 30 U.S. cities will participate in Seattle-based “not-just-for-profit social enterprise” Brown Paper Tickets’-formulated “National Radio Day.” This year, the FCC has awarded construction permits to nearly 2,000 low-power FMs and as National Radio Day “lead organizer” Sabrina Roach explains, “This is a great opportunity to get to know the new low-power stations by working on a common project together. A low-power FM is like community glue. These new media outlets can become powerful resources that help neighbors to organize, share, and find solutions together. I wanted to introduce an opportunity for all kinds of non-commercial stations to work together and to engage their communities by celebrating radio with listeners and independent producers.” Stations can promote National Radio Day (August 20 is also “National Lemonade Day”) on social media using the hash tag “#NationalRadioDay.” Brown Paper Tickets will provide promotional assistance and support for National Radio Day events organized by all participating U.S. stations. By the way, the significance of choosing August 20 as National Radio Day (which has actually been observed since the early-1990s) is to honor the day in 1920 that Detroit news station 8MK (now CBS Radio-owned WWJ – and still all-news) was licensed by the FCC. On August 31, 1920, 8MK aired the first news radio broadcast featuring local election results. WWJ’s Pittsburgh sibling KDKA-AM debuted on November 20, 1920 and, of course, has long claimed to be the “world’s first commercial radio station.”

Seacrest, RyanNBC Selects Seacrest to Host Late-Night Rio Coverage. With less than a year to go until the opening ceremony of the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, NBC-TV announces that its host of live late-night coverage will be KIIS “Kiss-FM,” Los Angeles morning personality/”American Idol” host Ryan Seacrest. During the 2012 London Games, Seacrest was a correspondent and he co-hosted the closing ceremony. NBC Olympics executive producer Jim Bell promises that, “The late-night atmosphere will be electric. We are thrilled to have Ryan Seacrest in the middle of it all capturing Rio’s unique flavor, talking to Olympic athletes, and telling the NBC 2016 Rio Olympics Logo 2stories of the day.” Seacrest reflects, “Joining the NBC Olympics team at the 2012 London Games was an exhilarating experience. I appreciate Jim Bell’s confidence, along with everyone at NBC Sports. I can’t wait to reunite with the team of broadcasters and producers for the 2016 Rio Olympics, and I look forward to hosting the live late night show.” Bob Costas hosted NBC’s primetime and late-night Olympic coverage at the 2014 Sochi Winter Games and he has been primetime host for every NBC-covered Olympic Games since 1992. Mary Carillo previously hosted Olympics late-night coverage. The Summer Games from Rio begin August 5, 2016.

Elswick-Cruz 2Answers From a Presidential Hopeful. During his visit to Arkansas’ GOP headquarters, Republican presidential  candidate/junior Texas senator Ted Cruz did on on-air interview with KHTE “The Answer,” Little Rock afternoon drive host Dave Elswick. The two commemorate the occasion with a selfie.

Bligh, JimReady for his Close-up. Part of the enjoyment industry people derive when watching television shows or movies is trying to identify an announcer’s voice when the radio plays in the background, or spotting radio talents used as “extras.” In the country’s #7 film this week, “Rikki and The Flash,” Meryl Streep’s rock singer character struggles and fumbles operating a cash register as a part-time checkout clerk. The camera catches fellow employee “Chris” grimacing at the next register. Portraying “Chris” is Salem Radio Network east coast affiliate relations manager Jim Bligh, who shot his scenes in Westchester County, New York. Advanced film buffs might recognize Bligh from his appearances in “A Beautiful Mind,” Cloverfield,” and “Man on a Ledge.”

Sirius-XM-Logo 2Odds & Sods. Two sports programming notes from SiriusXM that take effect next Tuesday (8/18). Former University of Michigan head football coach Brady Hoke will host – alongside Mark Packer – SiriusXM “College Sports Today” twice