Tag: "Donald Trump"

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 a week (9:00 am – 12:00 pm ET) throughout the college football season. In addition, former PGA tour professional/television analyst Mark Lye will join radio personality Bruce Murray on the satcaster’s weekly “Let It Fly with Murray & Lye.” The one-hour (8:00 pm – 9:00 pm) program will air every Tuesday night, starting next week. Lye has previously been an analyst on SiriusXM’s pre- and post-round coverage.

Donald Trump Surpasses POTUS as Most Talked About Person on News/Talk Radio Yesterday (8/12).  Top topics include the Presidential Race, the Iran Nukes Deal, Immigration Reform and the Chinese Devaluation of the Yuan.  According to TALKERS research, fallout from last week’s audience record-breaking GOP debate on Fox News Channel continues to dominate conversation on news/talk radio across America this week and people (and the media) remain fixated on Donald Trump.  Very rarely does anyone top the President of the United States as the most-talked-about person for a day, let alone a week.  We will know how Trump fares versus Barack Obama by tomorrow morning (8/14) in terms of this week’s survey.  Other hot topics include the presidential election in general, Hillary Clinton’s email controversy and the global economic impact of China’s devaluation of its currency.

The Importance of Talk Radio

| July 30, 2015

By Chris Stigall
WPHT, Philadelphia
Talk Show Host


stigallchris writerPHILADELPHIA — A listener called the show today to define talk radio as he saw it.  He called it a place where average Americans of all means, politics and professions can discuss and explore important issues.  It’s not a matter of being famous, or being a member of an editorial board or Congress.   It’s not a nightly news anchor reading the teleprompter, delivering their version of the news.  Talk radio is of the people, by the people, and for the people, he said.

Simply, it’s the purest form of honest dialogue available in all of media.

Earlier this week at a live event, a listener explained the importance of talk radio in her life.  Not only does it help her through her days as her parents’ full-time caretaker, but she honestly believes there would be no publicly available opposing view to most media coverage today.

Read More

Monday, February 18, 2013

| February 18, 2013

blazergraceGrace Blazer Lands at Clear Channel Miami.  Former WTKK, Boston program director Grace Blazer is the new PD at Clear Channel Media and Entertainment’s news/talk WIOD and sports WINZ, Miami.  She exited the Greater Media talk station when it flipped to rhythmic AC at the end of 2012.  Prior to WTKK, Blazer programmed WPHT, Philadelphia.  In a statement, Blazer says, “The depth of Clear Channel’s resources is phenomenal.  Working for our industry’s leading media company and programming WIOD and WINZ is a superb opportunity.  I’m excited to partner with Alex Tear, Lonny Anger and the talented staffs of ‘News Radio 610/100.3FM’ and 940’s ‘Sports Animal’ to grow these stations.”  The programming position at WIOD and WINZ opened up when Ken Charles moved up to the VP of programming position at Clear Channel’s Sacramento cluster.

cainhermanHermain Cain Joins Fox News Channel as Contributor.  Nationally syndicated talk show host Herman Cain becomes part of the Fox News Channel stable of contributors.  Cain, who took over the late morning slot long held by talk radio pioneer Neal Boortz at Cox Media’s WSB, Atlanta and his national syndication distributed by Dial Global, will make regular appearances on FNC where EVP of programming Bill Shine says in a statement, “Cain’s impressive resume makes him a valuable addition to the Fox News and Fox Business lineup.  As a political expert with business savvy, he brings an important voice to the nation’s debates.”  In addition to his recent run for president, Cain also was CEO of the Godfather’s Pizza chain and held the CEO position at the National Restaurant Association.

wfan logoNY Post Reports CBS Radio New York Weighing WFAN-AM/FM Options.  The New York Post’s Phil Mushnick writes that the brass at CBS Radio in New York City is weighing its programming options for the sports talk tandem of WFAN-AM and FM as the company must be eager to get the fledgling CBS Sports Radio Network programming on in the largest market in the country.  Currently, the full schedule of WFAN programming is heard on both signals but the need to get the new national network some Big Apple exposure is pressing.  A statement from the company to the Post goes, “We have a number of great options and are closely examining each one.”  At issue is the fact that WFAN-AM’s 660 signal is huge and the 101.9 FM signal is decent but nowhere near as far-reaching as 660 AM.  Will the local sports talk remain on 660 AM and the national network appear on 101.9 FM?  Will it be the other way around or a mixture of the two?  As Mushnick hints, you can bet some of the WFAN stalwarts – including PM driver Mike Francesa and AM drive duo Boomer Esiason and Craig Carton – would like to stay on the huge 660 AM signal.  CBS Radio is expected to make a decision within the next few months.

DG-logoHorizontalDial Global to Cease SEC Reporting.  The company cites, among other things, “the relatively limited historical volume of trading in the Company’s common stock and the applicable federal securities laws” as one of the reasons it will suspend its reporting obligations under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.  Dial Global’s board of directors determined that such action would be in the best interests of the company.  It says, “In reaching this conclusion, the Company’s Board of Directors considered numerous factors including the compliance costs associated with filing periodic reports with the SEC and the diversion of management attention from other matters that result from being a reporting company.”  Dial Global left the NASDAQ and its stock is traded on OTC Pink.  It states, “There can be no assurance, however, that a trading market in the Company’s common stock through the over-the-counter market or any other market will be maintained.”

landaudavidDavid Landau Gets Nice Severance from Dial Global.  Technically it’s not a severance but regardless, former co-CEO of Dial Global David Landau will receive $600, 000 per annum for the next two years plus other unspecified benefits after the company decided to re-align its corporate management structure and make Spencer Brown sole CEO and former co-CEO Ken Williams president.

stpierreronWPRO, Providence Lets Ron St. Pierre Go.  In a move that appears to be about saving money, Ron St. Pierre exits his role as PM drive host Buddy Cianci’s sidekick/executive producer.  GoLocalProv.com reports that this is the latest in a series of moves at the Cumulus Media station that began with the ouster of Andrew Gobiel from the WPRO morning show and the re-assignment of Tara Granahan from the AM show to other news duties.  The station brought WJAR-TV anchor Gene Valicenti in to host the morning program.  St. Pierre has served at WPRO as program director – the first time in 1988 – as general manager, and as host of the station’s morning show.  Ron can be reached at ron.stpierre@cox.net.

millerchrisGood Writing Is at the Core of Digital Success.  Writing for the internet is a very different art form than writing for the radio.  Noted radio digital consultant and TALKERS columnist Chris Miller says, “Good writing is at the heart of what we do online, and how we communicate with our fans.  Don’t just do it for the art of it; do it because it can help stretch your few thousand Facebook fans into tens of millions of annual impressions.  Do it because it will help get your tweets re-tweeted.  We’re talking about building your numbers here!”  Miller advises TALKERS readers to avoid three common mistakes in writing for the web: 1) over-selling; 2) being boring; and 3) social desperation.  Read his entire piece here.

raytomWINTER ADVICE:  Be Sure to Install Deicers on your Antenna.  It is not too late to do it or to be concerned.  The failure to properly install deicers on your antenna to save a few bucks in the short term can not only interfere with the quality of your signal, it can put you off the air entirely, not to mention cause severe costly damage to your components and even create a major fire hazard.  TALKERS technical editor and noted engineering consultant Tom Ray says, “While money is tight all over, the last thing you need is your transmitter and/or building to be a smoking hulk.  Consult with someone qualified to guide you.  Think of it like buying an insurance policy.  You may not want to spend the cash, but it could save you a bundle in the long run.  Read Tom Ray’s entire article here.

trumpdonaldTrump-Maher Suit “Stretches Credulity.”  TALKERS magazine legal editor Steven J.J. Weisman writes that the $5 million suit Donald Trump is filing against Bill Maher has no chance of success, little chance of getting a day in court and could incur sanctions against Trump and his attorney for filing a frivolous lawsuit.  In case you missed it, Maher went on “The Tonight Show” in January and – based on the color of Trump’s hair – joked that he would donate $5 million to a charity of Trump’s choice if he would produce his birth certificate to show he is not the son of an orangutan.  Read more of Weisman’s account about why this spat is still going on and upon what legal ground the complaint stands (or doesn’t as the case may be).  It’s here.

johnsondanistudioXtreMEDIA Syndicated Host Dani Johnson Profiled in Forbes.  The host of the weekly XtreMEDIA-syndicated Dani Johnson program was profiled on Forbes.com on Thursday and, according to XtreMEDIA CEO Kevin McCullough, the story went viral “with 15,700 shares on Facebook in a little more than a day.  Heading into the weekend it was still the ‘Most Popular’ and ‘Most Read’ piece on Forbes.com.”  McCullough tells TALKERS, “Her story as a broke homeless woman to becoming a multiple millionaire to even now helping others get out of debt, restore relationships, and expand their influence is a story that rocketed her from one affiliate station in January of 2012 to 95 stations and counting in January of 2013.  Dani is the most important voice in all of American media – not just talk radio – that most of the nation still hasn’t heard from.  Hundreds of thousands of lives changed for the better, only proves the point that she has something that real audiences are looking for… connection!”  Read the Forbes story here.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

| December 7, 2011

Merlin Media Enters the Philly Market.  The Randy Michaels-led Merlin Media is not deterred by slow starts in New York and Chicago and will bring what many suspect is an all-news FM outlet to Philadelphia after agreeing to buy Family Stations Inc.’s class B WKDN-FM, Camden, New Jersey.  Merlin announces in a release that it is searching for radio pros with the line – “Merlin Media is now actively looking for staff that can pronounce Schuylkill, Wissahickon, Manayunk, Tredyffrin, Gwynedd, Pennsauken and Bryn Mawr.”  If Merlin does go with a news format, CBS Radio’s KYW is currently news leader in Philly topping the recent Arbitron PPM for November with a cume of more than 1 million and a 7.4 AQH (persons 6+).  The sale price has not been announced.  Harold Camping’s Family Stations Inc. recently agreed to sell WBGR-FM, Annapolis, Maryland to CBS Radio which will debut an FM news station there in the New Year.  The price for that station was $8.5 million and although there’s no official word on the price Merlin is paying for WKDN, reports are circulating it’s in the $22 million neighborhood.

Cumulus Media Networks Names Gary McNamara and Eric Harley New Co-Hosts for “Red Eye Radio.”  This is a consolidation of two late-night radio shows owned by Cumulus Media: the “Red Eye Radio” show founded by talk host Doug McIntyre and the WBAP, Dallas-based “Midnight Radio Network” (known to many fans over the years as the “Midnight Trucking Radio Network”) program hosted by Eric Harley and Gary McNamara.  Cumulus SVP of affiliate sales and broadcast operations Dennis Green says, “Adding Eric and Gary to our versatile lineup of talk programming is a fantastic opportunity for the network and provides two dynamic personalities to our affiliates.  This is another daypart where we can offer high-quality solutions to stations looking for relevant content that connects with local audiences.  We truly appreciate the road map Doug has created for delivering overnight listener engagement with ‘Red Eye Radio’ and we’re proud that he will continue to be part of our company.”  The company isn’t prepared to say what McIntyre’s new duties will be but reiterates he will remain with Cumulus.  He also hosts the 5:00 am to 6:00 am hour on WABC, New York.  The combined affiliate bases will put the new “Red Eye Radio” program on about 150 affiliates and airs live from 1:00 am to 6:00 am Monday through Sunday beginning January 3, 2012.

Courtside Entertainment Group/Dial Global’s “Loveline” Adds Simone Bienne to Show.  The long-running “Loveline” late-night radio show co-hosted by Dr. Drew Pinsky and Mike Catherwood adds British sex and relationship therapist Simone Bienne to the program.  Bienne works with Pinsky on the CW Network program “Life Changers.”  Courtside Entertainment Group managing partner Norm Pattiz says of the addition, “Since taking over the program six months ago, we have committed ourselves to increasing its audience and broadening its appeal while maintaining its edgy, entertaining and irreverent approach.  ‘Loveline’ is an advice show like no other and the addition of Simone will help us reach more stations, more advertisers and more audience.”  Courtside produces the program and Dial Global is the exclusive distributor and national ad sales rep.  It airs live Sunday through Thursday from 10:00 pm to 12:00 midnight ET.

NBC O&O TV Stations to Partner with Non-Profit News Organizations.  According to the Los Angeles Times, in an effort for Comcast to show federal regulators it is committed to strengthening local and public-interest programming after its acquisition of NBCUniversal, some 10 major market NBC TV O&Os will partner with non-profit news organizations for enterprise and analytical reporting.  One example is KNBC-TV, Los Angeles working with Southern California Public Radio to use stories produced by each other and, in some cases, working with each other on stories.  A similar arrangement is being started between WCAU-TV, Philadelphia and WHYY, Philadelphia.  The Times story notes the model for this is a relationship between KNSD-TV, San Diego and the internet news organization Voice of San Diego which have been sharing content for some time.  KNSD-TV pays Voice of San Diego $3,700 per month.  It’s not clear how much money will change hands – if any – in the new deals described above.

Southern California Talkers Invited to Attend Nathan Pacheco Performance.  Those who attended the recent Los Angeles Regional Talkers Forum were treated to a surprise appearance by Disney Pearl Records rising international superstar Nathan Pacheco, whose lunchtime performance of “Nessun Dorma” was received with a thunderous standing ovation.  The young opera singer has been gathering worldwide attention and acclaim with the current release of a single, “O Holy Night,” performed with British star Katherine Jenkins, a forthcoming album release produced by Leo-Z (Josh Groban, Andrea Bocelli), and numerous concert and television appearances.  TALKERS has just learned that this exciting artist will be performing a concert titled “Home for the Holidays” at the Geffen Theater in Los Angeles on the evening of  Sunday, December 18 and Disney Pearl Records would like to make tickets to this special event available to attendees of the recent LARTF.  The first five LARTF attendees who contact Larry Harris at 360-417-8138 or e-mail at talkharris@olypen.com will each receive a pair of free tickets to this wonderful concert.  This offer is only appearing this morning (12/7) on this TALKERS headlines report — so act quickly. If you did not see Nathan Pacheco at the Talkers event check out a video of “The Making of Nessun Dorma” at  http://nathanpacheco.com/videos.php.

2012 GOP Candidates, Trump-Moderated Debate, President Obama’s Kansas Address and Euro Zone Debt Crisis Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/6).  The field of Republican candidates for president, the proposed Donald Trump-moderated GOP debate, President Obama’s national address from Kansas and the ongoing Euro Zone debt crisis were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday according to ongoing research from TALKERS.