Glenn Ordway Returns to WEEI-FM, Boston for Middays. The longtime king of afternoon drive sports talk at WEEI, Boston is going back on the air there, more than two years after he exited his “Big Show with the Big O” program in the spring of 2013. Since he left, Glenn Ordway has been producing and hosting his own online sports talk show. Now, he’ll co-host the midday show on WEEI-FM with current midday personalities former Red Sox outfielder Lou Merloni and former Patriots tight end Christian Fauria. Entercom Boston VP/market manager Phil Zachary states, “There is no one in Boston media who better understands the passion, pride and peculiarities of New England sports fans than Glenn Ordway. In an era where copycats are far too often the norm, Glenn is a true and timeless original with legions of followers eager to hear his views every day.” Ordway comments, “Who says you can never go back home? I’m elated to return to WEEI and look forward to reconnecting with the most passionate fans in the greatest sports city in America.” Ordway joins the midday show on Tuesday, September 8.
Hardin, Zellner, Maynard Receive iHeartMedia Promotions. The “National Programming Platforms” group of iHeartMedia appoints Brad Hardin executive vice president/general manager; Jon Zellner executive vice president of programming operations; and Maynard executive vice president of programming strategy. All three will be New York City-based and report to National Programming Platforms president Tom Poleman, who states, “iHeartMedia’s strength is built on our great programmers working together to develop great content and experiences for our listeners utilizing our unmatched scale. Brad, Jon, and Maynard each have a remarkable amount of hands-on experience programming some of the best local radio stations in the world, making them uniquely qualified to lead our company-wide programming initiatives.” Hardin comments, “I am looking forward to working more closely with the amazing people on our National Programming Platforms team as well as programmers throughout our markets. They are the very best in content creation and live event marketing. I am excited to have the opportunity to further contribute to our future growth, and continuing to demonstrate the power of iHeartMedia’s local and national brands.” Zellner remarks, “iHeartMedia continues to set the industry standard for innovation and one-of-a-kind content. I am honored and very excited to have the opportunity to work with Tom and the programming team on implementing new ideas and strategies for our incredible brands.” Maynard notes that he has “had an incredible experience since joining iHeartMedia. It is extremely motivating to work with a company that is committed to exceeding expectations both internally and with our millions of listeners. The people in this company are what make it great, and I am truly grateful for this opportunity and even more excited for what lies ahead.” Most recently the executive vice president of programming and company-wide active rock/alternative brand manager, Hardin has been with iHeartMedia (and the former Clear Channel) for over 15 years. He was senior vice president of programming for west major markets and has programmed in Tampa, Cincinnati, Dayton, and Louisville. Zellner joined iHeartMedia in 2009 as senior vice president of programming and he is being promoted from executive vice president of programming. His resume includes senior management positions at SiriusXM and CBS Radio. Maynard will work with iHeartMedia’s programmers and oversee the company’s on-air creative directors; he joined iHeartMedia in late-July 2014.
Radio Advertising Bureau: 2015 Radio Revenue Down 1% Over 2014. To be clear, the data released by the RAB on Friday compares the first half of 2015 with the same period a year ago. As you may remember, the RAB is no longer releasing quarterly revenue reports and will continue with two reports per year going forward. The 1% figure above reflects total revenue (from data provided by Miller Kaplan Arase LLP) for radio stations. The breakdown looks like this: spot revenue was down 3%; network revenue dipped 1%; digital revenue was up 2%; and off-air was up 11%. What isn’t surprising is the 11% rise in off-air. Live events and other off-air projects have been widely reported to be the one consistent bright spot for multi-platform media companies. However, the meager rise in digital revenue – just 2% — has to bother corporation execs and market managers. The full report presents more data about the top five advertiser categories. See that here.
Eastlan Expands by Eight. Washington State-based media-research firm Eastlan is picking up eight new markets: Baton Rouge; Fort Morgan-Sterling, Colorado; Fredericksburg, Virginia; Marshall, Missouri; Santa Rosa, California; Sedalia, Missouri; Winchester, Virginia; and West Plains, Missouri. Eastlan president and chief executive officer Mike Gould comments that, “As radio continues to evolve in the increasingly competitive audio entertainment environment, the old expense models don’t make much sense anymore. Broadcasters need a responsibly-priced ratings tool to prove the unmatched reach of radio.” Centennial Broadcasting president and chief executive officer Allen Shaw explains, “After considerable deliberation among our corporate staff, market managers, and sales teams in Fredericksburg and Winchester, we concluded Eastlan’s radio audience measurement services will provide us with credible data at a very efficient cost.” Guaranty Corporation president and chief executive officer Flynn Foster remarks, “Guaranty Media is excited to work with Eastlan in Baton Rouge. We have felt for some time that Eastlan’s process of gathering ratings is superior. The sample size will be at least double what we have seen in the past, and a much better measure of who is listening to our five radio stations. We look forward to many years together.” Measurement for those eight markets will begin this fall.
ESPN Radio Names Russillo & Kanell Early Afternoon Team. Longtime ESPN personality Ryen Russillo stays with the ESPN Radio network – he was formerly partnered up with Scott Van Pelt on the “SVP & Russillo” program – and joins Danny Kanell for the 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm show appropriately titled, “Russillo & Kanell.” This show is also being simulcast on the sports giant’s ESPNEWS cable channel. Both Russillo and Kanell – who serves as a college football analyst for the company – recently signed new, multi-year contracts.
Odds & Sods. Legendary Los Angeles Dodgers announcer Vin Scully announces he plans to return for the 2016 baseball season but says it will probably be his last in front of the camera and behind the mic. Scully – who’s been calling Dodgers games for an improbable 67 years – will turn 88 in November…..Norm Hitzges gets a partner for his KCTK-AM/FM, Dallas late morning sports talk show. Moving from the early afternoon BaD Radio show with hosts Bob Strum and Dan McDowell to the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon show with Hitzges is Donovan Lewis. Hitzges and Lewis have been working together on the Cowboys postgame show for the past seven years…..Recently retired Houston Texans center Chris Myers is going straight to radio in his post-football career at CBS RADIO’s KILT-AM, Houston “Sportsradio 610.” Myers will serve as a football analyst appearing on the morning drive show with Nick Wright and John Lopez on Tuesday and Friday mornings and will become part of the Texans postgame show with Sean Pendergast and Teddy Johnson.
Judge Recommends Former Bubba Lawyers Be Disbarred for DUI Setup. Regular readers of TALKERS are probably aware of the bizarre twist in Todd Schnitt’s 2013 defamation suit against Bubba the Love Sponge in which three of Bubba’s then-lawyers, theoretically in order to gain an edge in the contentious lawsuit, were accused of using a young, female paralegal to entice Schnitt attorney C. Philip Campbell into driving her car after both had been drinking at a local restaurant and then alerting police that a drunk driver was behind the wheel. On Thursday (8/27), Pinellas Senior Judge W. Douglas Baird recommended that the three lawyers – Stephen Diaco, Robert Adams, and Adam Filthaut – be permanently barred from practicing in Florida. This recommendation goes to Florida’s Supreme Court for approval. It’s not known how the Court will rule on the matter.
Three Northeast Broadcasters Merge to Form Coastal Media Partners. Three companies are merging to form a six-station radio group called Coastal Media Partners that the new firm says will allow advertisers to target local listeners “from the North Shore of Massachusetts up the coast to Portland, Maine by working with one regional broadcaster that offers reasonable rates.” The three companies are: Port Broadcasting, LLC owner of WNBP, Newburyport, Massachusetts and WWSF, Sanford, Maine; Aruba Capital Holdings, LLC, owner of WXEX-AM/FM of Exeter, New Hampshire; Garrison City Broadcasting of Dover, New Hampshire, owner of WTSN and WBYY in Dover, New Hampshire. The agreement includes the radio stations and digital assets — such as live streaming and websites — of all six stations that cover formats including oldies, classic hits, adult contemporary, and news/talk/sports. Port Broadcasting’s Carl Strube and Pete Falconi will run the day-to-day operations of the new company. Falconi states, “There is a great deal of synergy in this merger. All of the stations are very community focused but offer different brands to attract different demographics. The overall radio signal footprint spans geographies to reach a population of just over 2 million people.” Garrison City SVP Susan Demers Weigold states, “After 30 years of being independent radio station owners, our family is delighted to form a partnership with three radio veterans who understand the importance of providing our listeners with local programming, news and sports. Our niche is to keep our stations community based. We can expand on community service and provide businesses with creative advertising opportunities that reach across three states on six stations.”