Tag: "Entercom"

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

| May 19, 2015

limbaughrushLimbaugh to Leave WRKO, Boston – Again.  This is not the first time that Premiere NetworksRush Limbaugh might not be heard on the Entercom news/talk outlet.  His show was heard on iHeartMedia-owned crosstown WXKS-AM for a little more than two years before returning to WRKO in 2012.  Now, Premiere says in a statement that it and Entercom management were unable to come to terms on a renewal deal.  “We were unable to reach agreeable terms for the Rush Limbaugh show to continue on WRKO.  A final broadcast date will be announced in the near future.  Rush Limbaugh airs daily in every measured media market in America, and we look forward to announcing exciting news for our Boston listeners soon.”wrkologo  iHeartMedia flipped WXKS-AM to business news using Bloomberg after its time as a news/talker with Limbaugh and such local personalities as Jeff Katz.  It will be interesting to see where the Limbaugh show pops up in Boston.  Unless there’s a format flip to talk in the future for an iHeartMedia FM – and we doubt that’s likely – the list of potential quality AM signals that might be a home to the show are few.  Still, it’s possible that this is just a stage of the process that will see the two sides come to terms eventually.  It would be a shame to see Limbaugh’s show languish on an inferior AM signal – seems like a lose-lose situation for both sides.

amfaminsuranceNielsen: Radio Gives ‘Brand Lift’ to American Family Insurance.  From a study with the help of Katz Radio Group looking to prove the effectiveness of radio advertising, Nielsen Audio engaged in a study to measure the brand impact of a radio campaign on insurance decision makers (ages 25-64).  The analysis included insurance decision-makers who tuned in to one or more stations airing American Family Insurance commercials and compared their engagement with the company to that of decision-makers who did not listen to those stations.  Nielsen says, “The results of the study showed that radio increased brand health metrics, particularly among decision-makers seeking new insurance, in the areas of favorability, recommendation and intent to request a quote from American Family Insurance.  The study found that insurance decision-makers who heard the campaign were 25% more likely to request a quote from American Family Insurance than those who didn’t hear it. And brand-switchers who were exposed to the campaign were nearly twice as likely to request a quote, highlighting radio’s ability to influence the insurance company’s best prospects.”  Read more here.

harrisonUpCloseFarOutsmallHoward B. Price:  For AM/FM Radio, Doing Good is Good for Business.  TALKERS magazine publisher Michael Harrison speaks with the ABC Television Networks director of business continuity, Howard B. Price on this week’s installment of the international hit podcast, “Up Close and Far Out,” about the responsibility licensed AM, FM and television stations have to serve the public with timely and accurate information during both natural and man-made disasters.  According to Price, “This is why we hold the license.”  Aside from all the entertainment elements that radio provides and that Price says he “enjoys as much as anyone else,” he points out, “That is not, however, why radio stations are licensed – they are licensed to serve the public interest, convenience and necessity.”  Price continues, “And while that definition can certainly include quality entertainment andprice howard programming that stimulates and enlightens – at the end of the day, what it is all about is being there in times of crisis… making sure that our communities stay informed, that decision-makers have the information that they need in real time, and to be able to apply the necessary time and resources to be able to deal with emergent events.  This is the role that radio was born to play.”  Price explains what he describes as the essential element of this truth.  “If you want to keep people focused on the idea that terrestrial radio is still relevant, that electrons flying out of tall sticks on a single channel is still a very important thing for us to preserve and enhance, then you not only have to talk the talk – you have to walk the walk.  And ‘walking the walk’ means that when your community is in crisis, you’ve got to be there to inform them.  You’ve got to be able to put people on the street, you’ve got to be able to go to the scene of wherever news is breaking, and make sure that people have the information that they need both to calm them and comfort them as well as provide them with the essential information that allows them to make the right decisions for themselves and their families and businesses.”  Price adds, “The old line for radio still exists… you go to any old-time sales manager and he’ll tell you radio is a street business, it’s a retail business and nothing is truer about that than when it comes to reporting the news in local communities.”  According to Price, nothing can be more important to the survival of terrestrial radio than remaining visible and relevant to their local communities.  He also explains how this philosophy applies to music radio as well as talk and all-news formats, citing examples including how, in the wake of 9/11, Scott Shannon and Todd Pettengill flipped their WPLJ, New York morning music show around “on a dime” from being an entertainment show into serious news mode without the benefit of having a news department.  They became “comforters in chief” and did an extraordinary job of rising to the occasion.  Price points out that music stations that cede listeners to talk and all-news stations during a serious crisis are foolish to give their listeners reasons to punch out because they might not come back.  Harrison and Price also discuss ways in which any radio station – regardless of budgetary and resource limitations – can be fully prepared to serve its listeners in this fashion during a severe emergency explaining that in this day and age of convenient digital communications and citizen journalism, there is no excuse not to be ready to go into action.  Michael Harrison states, “Although many people still believe that the idea of radio rising to the occasion and super-serving its audience in times of crisis might seem idealistic, quaint, naïve, and unrealistic  – even ‘boy scout’ – that it ironically might be THE answer to AMs and FMs maintaining their importance and relevance going forward.”  Harrison concludes this fascinating podcast by suggesting that terrestrial radio should always treat its audience with compassion, empathy, and a deep-seated desire to be helpful and give anyone who might be listening the support they need just getting through the pain, rigors and hardship of day-to-day life as a human being in a highly pressured, dangerous world.  To listen to the entire podcast please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box in the right hand column of every page of Talkers.com. “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison” is a presentation of Podcast One.  Howard B. Price will be receiving the Gene Burns Memorial Award for Freedom of Speech at Talkers New York 2015 on Friday, June 12.

fccnewBobby Bones EAS SNAFU to Cost iHeartMedia $1 Million.  The Federal Communications Commission has laid down a $1 million fine for country WSIX-Nashville and Premiere Networks parent company iHeartMedia for the misuse of the EAS tones.  The company admits to misuse of the tones and will pay the penalty.  The agency writes in its ruling that the “FCC has long prohibited the transmission of actual or simulated EAS tones in circumstances other than a real alert or an authorized test.”  WSIX-FM, Nashville – Bobby Bones’ flagship station – aired a false emergency alert during the broadcast of the nationally syndicated show and, as the FCC writes, “broadcast or transmission of bonesbobbyemergency tones outside an emergency or authorized test violates FCC regulations designed to protect the integrity of the EAS system.  False broadcast of an emergency signal can cause unnecessary public concern and undermine the urgency of real alerts.  While commenting on an EAS test that aired during the 2014 World Series, Bobby Bones, the show’s host, broadcast an EAS tone from a recording of an earlier nationwide EAS test.  This false emergency alert was sent to more than 70 affiliated stations airing [the show] and resulted in some of these stations retransmitting the tones, setting off a multi-state cascade of false EAS alerts on radios and televisions in multiple states.”  In the last six months, the Commission has taken five enforcement actions totaling nearly $2.5 million for misuse of EAS tones by broadcasters and cable networks.

rtdna logoRTDNA: Technology in Newsrooms.  The fourth part of a series from the Radio, Television, Digital News Association and Hofstra University professor emeritus Bob Papper focuses on newsroom technology and the plans news directors have to upgrade or add to current equipment.  Though the bulk of the article deals with television news, radio is addressed.  Papper reports that, according to his questionnaires returned by news directors, plans to acquire new technology have nosedived over the years.  “Three years ago, 38% of radio news directors and general managers said they’d be making no technology purchases in the next year.  Two years ago, the number rose to 44%.  Last year, 69.3% said nothing.  This year, the abstention crowd is up to an astonishing 78.6%.”  Read more from the study here.

Odds & Sods.  Jim Fronk exits Great Eastern Radio’s Concord, New Hampshire where he wore two hats as co-host of the “New Hampshire Wake-Up Show” on news/talk WTPL and as midday jock on sister classic rock WLKZ “104.9 The Hawk.”

kalteralanCBS Sports RadioVoice of ‘Letterman’ Visits CBS Sports Radio.  “Late Show With David Letterman” voice Alan Kalter visited CBS Sports Radio’s “Gio and Jones” program to talk about the final three shows hosted by David Letterman.  Kalter chatted about his favorite sports guests on the show and his first day on the job at Letterman.  He also teased the surprises to come on the final show that airs Wednesday (5/20) on CBS TV.  Pictured here are (from l-r): Gregg Giannotti, Kalter, and Brian Jones.

2016 Presidential Prospects/Iraq Policy Questions, Stephanopoulos Clinton Donations Scandal, Hillary Clinton Emails Case, Deadly Texas Biker Brawl, and Iran Nukes-Gulf Military Actions Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/18).  The potential candidates for president in 2016 and the issue of the U.S.’s Iraq policy being put before the Republican candidates; the scandal at ABC News over George Stephanopoulos’ donations to the Clinton Foundation; the continuing investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email matter; the deadly biker brawl in Waco, Texas over the weekend that took the lives of nine bikers; and the Iran nuclear program questions and the Gulf nation’s current naval operations in the region were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

| May 5, 2015

berrymichaelMichael Berry Renews with iHeartMedia.  Houston-based talk show host Michael Berry inks a new long-term deal with iHeartMedia that runs through 2020.  Berry’s program is based at news/talk KTRH, Houston and is heard on iHeartMedia stations in 13 additional markets.  The former Houston city councilor started his talk radio career with the company in 2005.  Berry states, “While I’m loyal to the company I’ve worked with for so long, this agreement is about the future, not the past. From Bob Pittman, our chairman and CEO, and Rich Bressler, our president, COO and CFO, to Kelly Kibler, my EVPO; Eddie Martiny, my market manager; and Marc Sherman and Bryan Erickson, our programming directors in Houston — every single one of them is committed to our show, our team, and the way we do things.  They’ve provided a platform for me to serve my sponsors, entertain our listeners, and raise money for Veterans, and I’m incredibly excited about our future.”  Bob Pittman comments, “Michael is a great talent, and his audience loves and relies on him – both for the news and important information he provides every day, and for his strong commitment to his community of listeners and the causes important to them.  We are very pleased that Michael will continue his strong work for us, and delighted that he’ll continue to be such a key part of our team.”

lewisloriCumulus Brings Digital and Social Media Pro Lori Lewis Aboard.  This new relationship brings industry-respected digital and social media maven Lori Lewis together with Cumulus Media as she becomes the company’s new vice president of social media.  A press release says in her new position, she’ll work with Cumulus’ programming and sales teams to develop integrated social media strategies for the company’s radio stations and the Westwood One network.  She will also provide social media solutions to Westwood One’s affiliate partners as part of the company’s Enterprise Solutions Group.  Lewis will report directly to president and CEO Lew Dickey.  Lewis was most recently with consulting firm Jacobs Media.  Lew Dickeycumulus logo comments, “Lori is our industry’s foremost authority on social media.  She has architected successful social strategies for many of the biggest brands in radio.  We are excited for Lori to bring her unique experience and expertise to our station group as well as to our affiliate partners at Westwood One.”  On joining Cumulus, Lewis says, “I am honored to take this newly created role within Cumulus, and to create real value and impact socially for our audiences, advertisers and affiliate partners.  Many mistake social for volume, when in fact it’s about differentiating.  This move, on behalf of Lew Dickey and [Cumulus SVP] Gary Pizzati, speaks volumes of their leadership and foresight in moving Cumulus forward, and I thank them for that.”

entercomEntercom Promotes Kramer to COO, Names Levy to Board of Directors.  Station group president Louise Kramer is promoted to chief operating officer for Entercom Communications Corp.  In a press statement, the company says, “Kramer is a media veteran who has been withkramerweezie Entercom since 2000, most recently serving as station group president.  In this role, she spearheaded the company’s reinvention efforts, focusing on enhancing the company’s future growth and directly overseeing several of the company’s markets.  Ms. Kramer is a member of Entercom’s operating committee and, since 2013, has served as chairperson.  Entercom president and CEO David Field comments, “Weezie is an enormously talented and effective leader who has made a huge impact on our organization since she joined Entercom in 2000.  Like so many great leaders, she is totally and selflessly committed to her team’s success, bringing levydavidher vast energy, intelligence, creativity, and high standards to our entire organization.  I am thrilled to see her continue to rise to the highest levels of our company.”  Also, the company reports that David Levy is named to the board of directors.  Levy has served as president of Turner Broadcasting System since 2013.   In this role he oversees all creative and business activities of the Turner signature entertainment networks —TBS, TNT, Turner Classic Movies, truTV, Cartoon Network, Boomerang and Adult Swim — and their digital brand extensions, as well as Turner Sports.

wmal logoCumulus Has a Buyer for WMAL, Washington Transmitter Site.  According to Bethesda Magazine, Cumulus Media has a deal with two prominent area home builders who will turn the Bethesda, Maryland site of WMAL-AM, Washington’s transmitter into a 76-acre housing development.  Winchester Homes and Toll Brothers are reported as the buyer but no sale price has been announced yet.  According to real estate firm CBRE, the land could hold up to 300 homes on quarter-acre lots in accordance with current zoning regulations.  Cumulus will relocate the WMAL-AM transmitter.

younglarry and cohostsRadio One Revamps WOLB, Baltimore’s Larry Young Show.  The urban morning drive talk show lead by radio personality Larry Young is now being simulcast on Radio One’s translator W291BA at 106.1 FM.  That signal airs Christian music and is branded “PRAISE 106.1.”  Joining Young (center) and co-host Coach (left) is former WWIN, Baltimore “Magic 95.9” midday personality Tim Watts (right).  The station says, “We’re combining the best of the Praise format with the information, entertainment and ‘ground level’ interaction that our listeners already expect from Larry’s show.  For additional color, we’ve welcomed Tim Watts back to be part of this daily roundtable of all things Baltimore and our community.”

gordonmaryGordon Named Sales Manager for iHeartMedia Tampa. The appointment of Mary Gordon as sales manager for iHeartMedia‘s Tampa cluster takes effect in four weeks (6/1). Senior vice president of sales Fernando Bauermeister comments that, “Mary’s experience of leading successful teams made her a natural choice for the position. We are excited to have Mary join our staff and we look forward to her helping our clients grow their business.” Gordon states, “I am extremely excited to be given the opportunity to join the team of talented professionals at iHeartMedia Tampa. I look forward to utilizing the amazing assets that iHeartMedia has in its arsenal to find solutions to the key marketing objectives in the west Florida region.” Gordon’s background includes a stint in sports marketing for IMG (International Management Group), as well as being general sales manager – and later director of sales – for Cumulus Media Atlanta’s country WKHX “Kicks 101.5″ and WYAY. The eight-station iHM Tampa cluster includes: urban contemporary WBTP “The Beat”; WDAE “Tampa Bay’s Sports Radio”; talk WFLA; CHR WFLZ “The Hit Music Channel”; country WFUS “US-103.5″; talk WHNZ “Impact Radio”; hot AC WMTX “Mix 100.7″; and WXTB “98 Rock.”

hoyttomHoyt Heads to Louisville as Salem Media Group GM. Founder-president of Missouri-based AdAbilities Tom Hoyt – is named general manager of Salem Media Group Louisville talk outlet WGTK “The Answer” and WFIA “The Spirit – Christian Talk & Praise.” Salem vice president of operations Mike Moran notes, “We were looking for a general manager with a combination of strong leadership skills, management experience, and a proven sales orientation. I believe with Tom we found a man who delivers on all those fronts and brings the additional benefit of knowing and loving the city of Louisville.” Hoyt comments, “I cannot imagine a more ideal opportunity than this position with Salem Media Group in Louisville. The stations are heritage properties with a veteran staff. I am thankful that Mike has selected me and I am looking forward to building on the success the team has established.” Hoyt – who succeeds Tim Hartlage at the Louisville talk combo – previously worked in the market for Cox Media Group; was vice president and chief sales officer for CommunityLink Publications; general sales manager of Emmis St. Louis; and director of sales for Barnstable Broadcasting‘s stations in Greenville, South Carolina. Hartlage continues working for Salem, focusing on local ministry.

sagaSaga Communications Q1 Revenue Down 1.2%; Radio Division Dips 2.6%.  For the first quarter of 2015, Saga Communications is reporting net revenue decreased 1.2% on income of $29.1 million.  Revenue for the radio segment was $24, 276,000 – a decline of 2.6% compared to the same period a year ago (the TV segment was up).  Other data reported included free cash flow up 5.2% to $3.6 million for the quarter ended March 31, compared to $3.4 million for the same period last year.  Station operating expense decreased 0.8% to $22.8 million (station operating expense includes depreciation and amortization attributable to the stations) compared to $23.0 million for the same period last year.  Operating income was $3.8 million.  Net income for the period was $2.1 million ($0.36 per fully diluted share).

Odds & Sods.  Philadelphia news/talker WPHT will play a role in the local appearance of Kentucky Senator and presidential candidate Rand Paul.  After his press conference at the People’s Plaza on Independence Mall onwpht logo Monday, May 18, the senator will make a special appearance at the Independence Seaport Concert Hall for a discussion focused on his book, Taking a Stand: Moving Beyond Partisan Politics to Unite America.  WPHT host Dom Giordano will moderate…..Longtime WGN, rosenbergmiltChicago radio host and current WCGO, Chicago personality Milt Rosenberg was recently honored by the City of Chicago for among other things, “bringing the world of ideas to millions of listeners, combining a scholar’s understanding of the humanities broadened our citizens’ engagement with the humanities, or helped preserve and expand Americans’ access to important resources in the humanities.”

2016 Presidential Prospects, ‘Prophet Drawing Contest’ Shooting, Clinton Family Foundation Scrutiny, Baltimore Aftermath, and California Drought Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/4).  The influx of new candidates for president in 2016 including independent Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, and Republicans Carly Fiorina, Ben Carson and Mike Huckabee; the aftermath of the weekend’s shooting of two purported ISIS followers at a “prophet drawing contest” in Garland, Texas; Bill Clinton’s dismissal of criticism of the Clinton Family Foundation finances; the civil and political situation in Baltimore and questions about how Freddie Gray died; and the worsening drought in California and the battle over water policy were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Monday, April 20, 2015

| April 20, 2015

garganoanthonyAnthony Gargano Officially Named WPEN-FM, Philly Morning Host.  Last week Philly.com called it the “worst-kept secret in Philadelphia sports talk radio” – and it turns out that was true.  As reported almost everywhere, former longtime WIP-FM, Philadelphia personality Anthony Gargano is the new lead morning drive talent on Greater Media’s sports talker WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic.”  Gargano – who left CBS RADIO’s WIP-FM recently after failing to come to terms with the company on a contract renewal – will be joined on “Anthony Gargano in the Morning” by co-host Jon Marks, sports update anchormarksjon Maureen Williams and producer Jamie Lynch.  The station had been airing ESPN Radio’s “Mike & Mike in the Morning” which can now be heard in the market on Beasley Media Group’s WTEL-AM.  Greater Media Philly SVP/market manager John Fullam comments, “We are thrilled to have Anthony join ‘97.5 The Fanatic.’  He is the perfect lead-off man for Philly sports talk every weekday morning.  It is great to provide Philly sports fans an all-star lineup for their drive times with Anthony in the morning and Mike Missanelli in the afternoon.  We are also proud to continue our long-standing affiliation with ESPN and our outstanding contributors including Sal Paolantonio, Ron Jaworski and Jayson Stark.”

mcculloughLateNightposterNew Kevin McCullough-Hosted Show Debuts on WNYM, New York Tonight.  Syndicated talk host and XtreMEDIA principal Kevin McCullough adds another talk program to his busy schedule as he debuts “Late Night with Kevin McCullough” airing on Salem Media Group’s WNYM, New York “AM 970 The Answer” from 10:00 pm to 12:00 midnight.  McCullough says the show will be him “rounding out the talk radio day with an irreverent look at the news, the talk radio industry, and everything else in life,” and says it’s a joint endeavor between his company and Salem New York.  McCullough says the show will “in some ways be a throwback to the greatest era of radio where the steaks always sizzled and the beverages are always cold!  Newsmakers, icons, and listeners will drive the conversation.  ‘The Ladies Lounge’ will feature some of the most important but not-yet-amplified voices of ladies in talk media – plus a ‘house band’ called The Hot Sardines.”  The program debuts tonight (4/20).

metaxasposterSalem Rolls Out Metaxas Show.  The radio syndication of popular author and TV personality Eric Metaxas by Salem Radio Network was announced back in late February but today the show celebrates its national debut.  Although Metaxas is well known in the Christian community, Salem says it believes his program will crossover into the news/talk format as well.  The show will launch in 26 of the top 30 markets, mostly on Salem O&Os.  Salem SVP Phil Boyce says, “This is the biggest rollout for Salem Radio Network in 10 years.  Eric’s show will be different, and a little bit about everything.  His personality and sense of humor will shine through.”  The show airs live from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm ET.

hopeckscottScott Hopeck Named President of iHeartMedia New York.  This is a move from the market president position at iHeartMedia’s Phoenix station group for Scott Hopeck.  Prior to his work in Phoenix, Hopeck was SVP/sales for the company in Atlanta where he was also general manager of the Braves Radio Network.  Hopeck will report to EVP of operations Hartley Adkins, who says, “Scott’s unique skills and experience in digital and technology are perfect for the evolution of this market from traditional media to world-class, multiplatform media with a tremendous impact on advertisers.  Additionally, his sports and MLB experience are ideal for the important and unique opportunities we have in New York.”

richardlanceEntercom Sacramento Raises Richard to VP/Market Manager. The vacancy in that position in California’s capital city was created this past week when Sean Shannon was named to replace the retiring Jon Pinch at Cumulus Media Atlanta (RadioInfo, 4/17). Entercom Sacramento immediately promotes vice president of sales Lance Richard to be Shannon’s successor. According to Entercom station group president Weezie Kramer, “Lance has helped to improve our sales organizations, our coaching ability, and our ability to deliver multi-platform programs that work for advertisers. Nothing gives me greater pleasure than to reward that success with a promotion to vice president and market manager in Sacramento.” Richard comments, “We have the best brands in the market, great local talent and content, strong ratings, and an excellent team in-place. I look forward to continuing our momentum and leading Entercom Sacramento’s market leading portfolio of brands.” The Auburn University graduate has beenEntercom with Entercom since 2009, previously as its corporate vice president of integrated sales. His resume also includes two years as regional sales director for Monster MediaWorks; four years as director of sales for Emmis Chicago; and two years as executive vice president of sales and strategic marketing at IP2M. Entercom Sacramento consists of KCTC “ESPN 1320″; CHR KDND “The End”; alternative KKDO “Radio 94-7″; KRXQ “98 Rock”; classic rock KSEG “The Eagle”; and hot AC KUDL “Star 106.5.”

andersoncarlIndustry Programmers to Take Part in ‘Programming Talk Radio in 2015’ at Talkers New York Conference.  On Friday, June 12 at the India House in Manhattan’s Financial District, the talkbendixenmike media industry will gather for the 20th annual edition of the TALKERS magazine-presented conference.  One of the nine panel discussions and presentations will be titled, “Programming Talk Radio in 2015” and will feature panelists: Carl Anderson, EVP, Programming, iHeartMedia; gellervalerieMike Bendixen, Program Director, Newstalk 1010, Toronto; Valerie Geller, CEO Geller Media International; Scott Masteller, Program Director, WBAL, Baltimore; Mike McVay, SVP,mastellerscott Content & Programming, Cumulus Media; and Paul Vandenburgh, owner and GM, WGDJ, Albany.  It will be moderated by TALKERS magazine VP and executive editor Kevin Casey.  Issues addressed will include: integrating digital into news/talk programming; dealing with resistance to advertising; the challenge of keeping the format fresh; mcvaymikefinding the next generation of talent; allocating resources to the actual program and to social media; seeking alternative ways to monetize the format; balancing the levels of local and syndicated talk content; and more.  Casey says, “I’m really looking forward to talking about the state – andvandenburghpaul the future – of the format with this outstanding panel of industry heavyweights.  These questions are on the minds of industry programmers and it will be enlightening to hear what our panelists have to say.”  Registrations for Talkers New York 2015 are moving fast.  To reserve your place, call 413-565-5413.  For more information about the event, click here.

Odds & Sods. At the Salem Media Group’s New York news/talk outlet WNYM “AM 970 the Answer,” the new walshjoeEric Metaxas show being syndicated nationally by the company’s Salem Radio Network (see story above) bumps Chicago-based Joe Walsh from the 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm slot on the station.  Walsh had been heard there since January of 2014.  Walsh remains on WIND, Chicago…..In Boston, market news pro Henry Santoro leaves his gig with streaming station RadioBDC (operated by the Boston Globe and Boston.com) to join pubcaster WGBH as midday anchor.  Prior to joining RadioBDC, Santoro had spent almost 30 years with the old alternative outlet WFNX.

masonscottLongtime CBS RADIO Engineer Scott Mason Dead.  Details are few but a statement from CBS RADIO Los Angeles SVP/market manager Dan Kearny was made public earlier this morning.  Kearny writes: “The entire CBS RADIO family is grieving today over the passing of Scott Mason, who has been part of CBS since 1979.  With his spirited passion for radio and unwavering dedication to his work, Scott’s accomplishments were numerous, from being an on-air personality at KROQ to hosting diverse programs like the popular “Loveline” and “OpenLine,”a long-running public affairs show, to overseeing the design and construction of CBS RADIO LA’s state-of-the art facilities on the Miracle Mile.  Our thoughts today are with his family and all those who knew and worked alongside Scott during his amazing life and career.  Due to Scott’s wishes, no funeral services will be held. A memorial will be planned in the weeks to come.”

Friday, April 17, 2015

| April 17, 2015

shannonseanShannon Succeeds Pinch at Cumulus Atlanta. Former vice president and market manager for Entercom Sacramento – Sean Shannon – is tapped to replace Jon Pinch in a similar position at Cumulus Atlanta. Cumulus senior vice president Jeff Brown comments, “Sean has a track record of innovation and topnotch results. He is a passionate marketer and a strong, determined coach. We are excited to be adding Sean to our talented team in Atlanta.” Shannon remarks, “I could not be more excited about the opportunity to lead these world-class brands in this world-class city. I love this medium and am honored topinchjon have a chance to lead this team.” Prior to his Sacramento duties, Shannon, who holds an MBA from the Foster School at the University of Washington, was director of sales for Entercom Seattle. He begins his new assignment in Atlanta next Monday (4/20).  Pinch announced his retirement on April 16.  He retired from his previous corporate role at Cumulus five months ago but was coaxed into leading the company’s Atlanta station group.

dennisjohnWEEI-FM, Boston Morning Host John Dennis to Enter Alcohol Rehab.  In a public statement released to the media, morning personality John Dennis announces he will take time away from the “Dennis & Callahan” show on Entercom’s WEEI-FM, Boston in order to enter a treatment facility for alcohol addiction.  Here’s the text of his statement: “After some long and thoughtful soul searching, I’ve decided to deal with a personal issue once and for all.  The role of alcohol in my life is something I’ve weei logowrestled with on and off for more than a few years.  I’ve made the decision to take serious steps to eliminate the role alcohol plays in my life before it impacts my health.  I’m told it’s an arduous undertaking, but it’s one I’m willing to embrace.  I know it can be a lifelong battle, but it’s one I want to fight.  To that end, I’ve decided to take some time away from WEEI, tackle this head-on, and set a smart and informed course for a long and healthy life.  I want to thank the management at WEEI for their understanding and assistance in this matter, Gerry (Callahan) and Kirk (Minihane) for their unwavering support, and of course Kathy, for her love, patience and compassion.  This is the last I will speak on this matter, as I have much work to do, and that’s where my concentration and focus will be. Talk to you all down the road.”

ppmunit altNielsen Audio Releases Fourth Round of Mach 2015 PPM Data.  The fourth and final round of March 2015 PPM ratings 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 March 2015 survey period covered February 26 through March 25.  You can find the complete 6+ ratings from subscribing stations here.  Additionally, TALKERS/RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Ten Takeaways” from this group on the main page of our sister publication here.

Odds & Sods.  Longtime Chicago television news anchor Robin Robinson has been hired by CBS RADIO’s all-news WBBM, Chicago.  Robinson spent more than 30 working in television news in the Chicago market.  She exitedrobinsonrobin WFLD-TV “Fox 32” in November of 2013…..There’s a new news presence at Cape Cod Broadcasting Media the company hires regional news pro Matt Pitta to serve as news director for the station group.  In this role, Pitta will be in charge of news content for all the radio stations and its CapeCod.com website.  Pitta previously worked for Cape Cod Broadcasting, exiting back in 2002.  He takes over for Laura Reckford who moves up to news editor at CapeCod.com…..A programming change at Cumulus Media’s nbcsportsradio logoKSCR-AM, Eugene, Oregon will eliminate the business talk format and begin airing a regional Mexican format…..NBC Sports Radio now has a place on SirusXM.  A deal between the sports talk network and the satcaster gives the former its own channel.  NBC Sports Radio program director Jack Silver says, “We are thrilled to have SiriusXM join our roster.  They bring a whole new audience and a wealth of avid sports fans who can now access our content and interact with our hosts no matter where they are around the country.”

TALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  “The Costa Report” with host Rebecca Costa adds six new affiliatecostarebeccaposed stations including: WZGM, Asheville, North Carolina; WBCF, Florence, Alabama; WHFS, Tampa; WTHU, Thurmont, Maryland; and KKGM, Dallas-Fort Worth…..Both the Stephanie Miller show and Doug Stephan’s “Good Day” are added to the program schedule at KJOZ, Houston.  WYM Media Management’s, Debbie Greenbaum comments, “It’s terrific that Houstonians will now be able to listen and interact daily with both Doug Stephan and Stephanie Miller.  The combo of ‘Good Day’ leading into the Stephanie Miller show is the perfect way to kick off mornings in Houston.”

talkersten logo2016 Presidential Prospects Top News/Talk Story During Week of April 13-17.  With the news of both Hillary Clinton and Marco Rubio announcing their intent to run for president next year, the chatter about the 2016 presidential prospects landed atop the Talkers TenTM this week.  At #2 were the Iran nuclear negotiations.  Coming in at #3 was ISIS military action in Iraq and following at #4 was Obama’s Cuba policy.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on the 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.

Monday, March 2, 2015

| March 2, 2015

mcintyredougDoug McIntyre Returns to WABC, New York.  A change to the afternoon drive programming is made at Cumulus Media’s WABC, New York as KABC, Los Angeles morning drive personality Doug McIntyre begins hosting “Right Now with Doug McIntyre” on the station Wednesday, March 4.  Cumulus says the new, hour-long talk show will be “focused on the most important stories and personalities in New York.  As a native New Yorker, McIntyre brings with him a deep understanding of the Tri-State area’s most pressing issues and how they relate to the national headlines of the day.”  McIntyre has appeared on WABC in the past.  Hewabc logo created the “Red Eye Radio” show in 2000, first as a one-time post-election recap and then as a local overnight show in Los Angeles, expanding to become a nationally syndicated program in early 2010 with WABC as one of its flagship stations.  McIntyre also previously hosted “Talking the News” on WABC in 2009, a weekday morning show that aired before “Imus in the Morning.” McIntyre will continue as host of “McIntyre in the Morning” on KABC “TalkRadio 790.”  McIntyre says, “This is a real homecoming for me and I am genuinely thrilled to be returning to 77 WABC.  There is no more dynamic and insane city on the planet than New cosbyritaYork.  The Tri-State area is like a nation unto itself, with its own politics, its own culture and its own sense of humor and I look forward to highlighting the city’s unique stories again.”  Prompting this programming change at WABC is Rita Cosby’s decision to end her work hosting “The Ride Home with Rita Cosby.”  Citing her “various TV commitments and international speaking engagements” that require her to spend more time away from her daily show, Cosby is stepping down from the daily show but will continue to be heard on WABC hosting her new weekend talk show that will debut on March 8.  WABC program director Craig Schwalb says she will “continue to secure exclusive interviews with some of the biggest names making headlines in current events, politics and entertainment.”

kinosianmikePPM Analysis: All-News.  TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents an analysis of the performances of all-news-formatted radio stations based on data from the January 2015 Nielsen Audio PPM survey.  Kinosian writes, “Historically horrible winter weather conditions and the cessation of all-Christmas music are most likely contributing factors to the truly stunning January 2015 performance of all-news outlets…Although not coming anywhere close to possessing the massive volume of talk outlets, the feat all-news stations accomplished in the most recent sweep is nonetheless exceptionally impressive: Not one news station on the panel of properties we tracked regressed (6+) from Holiday 2014 to January 2015.  Read the entire report here.

madisonjoeMarathon-Man Madison. While understandably “exhausted,” SiriusXM‘s Joe Madison achieved his goal of a 52-hour broadcast during which he raised more than $150,000 for the construction of the Smithsonian‘s National Museum of African-American History and Culture. “When you do something for the right reasons – and you have the support of others – you really can do anything,” Madison states. “I hope our SiriusXM broadcast helps cast a spotlight on the need to raise funds for the much needed [museum to be built on the National Mall in Washington, DC].” The Guinness World Record Organization is reviewing the broadcast as a new record. Madison began the marathon this past Wednesday (2/25) at 6:00 am (ET) and continued un-interrupted until Friday (2/27) at 10:00 am (ET).

espnLAKSPN, Los Angeles Debuts Live and Local Show with Kelvin Washington and Travis Rodgers.  The new program featuring radio and TV pro Kelvin Washington and sports talk radio’s Travis Rodgers will air live on ESPN O&O KSPN, Los Angeles “ESPNLA 710” from 5:00 am to 7:00 am.  The show will continue until 9:00 am via ESPNLA.com and the ESPN Radio app.  KSPN begins airing ESPN Radio’s “The Herd with Colin Cowherd at 7:00 am.  Rodgers also hosts “Travis Rodgers Now” on Yahoo! Sports Radio and will continue in that role.

ipsosiHeartMedia: Study Shows Consumers Want AM/FM Radio in Cars in Traditional Format.  From a press release by iHeartMedia comes news that, according to a research study conducted by Ipsos (a leading global independent market research company) AM/FM radio remains the overwhelmingly preferred audio entertainment option in the car.  Further, “while consumers use new streaming services, virtually all consumers – 99% — are comfortable with the current AM/FM in-car radio operation.  And 91% of consumers say they prefer physical AM/FM radio buttons and controls built into the car dashboard, rather than AM/FM being an app that appears in the car’s electronic interface (with only 9% saying they would want it changed into a dashboard app).”  Other news from the study includes the finding that “while AM/FM radio remains paramount in the car, consumers use their in-car CD player three-and-a-half times as much as they use any digital music service.”  Additionally, the report indicates that “AM/FM radio still dominates in-car listening as the top platform used, with 84% of consumers using it in the car, followed by CD players at 64% — but radio still maintains a huge leadership position over the next closest service choice, SiriusXM – which had 22%.  Pandora was 18%; iHeartRadio was 8%; HD radio 7%; and Spotify was 7%.”  The study, conducted by Ipsos for iHeartMedia in January 2015, surveyed a nationally representative sample of 1036 adults 18-plus.

KGMZKGMZ, Oakland A’s Extend Partnership. The deal between KGMZ “The Game” and MLB‘s Oakland Athletics keeps the AL West team’s broadcasts on the Entercom-owned flagship at least through the 2018 season. Market manager Steve DiNardo comments that “The Game” has, “grown as a brand – experiencing consistent ratings and revenue growth during our partnership with the A’s. We are delighted to continue serving as the destination for Oakland A’s radio broadcasts for the next four seasons.” Oakland A’s vice president of broadcasting & communications Ken Pries remarks, “It has been an amazing partnership so far. We look forward to many more seasons of A’s baseball on 95.7 FM and all of the affiliates across the A’s Radio Network.” The A’s primary broadcast team will again consist of Ken Korach and Vince Cotroneo, who are in theirOakland A's 20th year and 10th year, respectively, calling the team’s games. Joining them occasionally will be former MLB catcher Ray Fosse, entering his 30th consecutive season on A’s radio. KGMZ will broadcast all 162 regular-season A’s games and some spring training contests. The A’s and “The Game” first partnered in 2011.

WKIMCumulus Sends The Vibe to Memphis. Score yet another transition to classic hip-hop as Cumulus Media Memphis jettisons talk on WKIM in favor of “98.9 – The Vibe.” Cumulus senior vice president of programming Mike McVay comments “The Vibe” is “designed to capture the spirit and complexity of Memphis. This city has birthed many music types of which this format is one more. ‘The Vibe’ is classic hip hop.” In addition to hosting mid-days on co-owned rocker WXMX “The Max,” Danni Bruns is programming “The Vibe” and she remarks, “Memphis has always been at the forefront of music. Now we have a new ‘Vibe’ – this is our party station.” Late last year, Flinn Broadcasting flipped Memphis alternative outlet WIVG to “throwback hip-hop” as “Bumpin’ 96.” The logo for Memphis’ “Vibe” mirrors that of Indianapolis sibling WRWM, although the latter is using “The Beat” rather than “The Vibe” as its handle. Naughty By Nature‘s “Hip-Hop Hooray” kicked off Friday’s (2/27) noontime launch of Memphis’ “Vibe.” Among persons 6+ in the latest (January 2015) Nielsen Audio PPM ratings report for Memphis, WKIM registers a 1.4, ironically tying it at #19 with WIVG. The 1.4 for WKIM is the station’s best (6+) performance in more than two years – it hit 1.8 in November 2012.

Odds & Sods.  Nationally syndicated talk host Laura Ingraham is being tapped to serve as the national chairman for the PAC Citizens for the Republic.  The political action committee was originally founded by Ronaldingrahamlaura Reagan in 1977.  A press statement says the PAC’s goal is to lead a “revitalized effort to advocate conservative principles and shine a light on government corruption.”…..Former WKRC, Cincinnati radio host Blake Seylhouwer was found guilty of two counts of negligent assault after an altercation outside his home during which he fired a rifle into the driveway and caused debris to spray up, injuring his wife.  Seylhouwer is an area businessman who brokered time from the station for a weekend show…..A grand jury in Hackensack, New Jersey has indicted Alan “Dr. Al” Lupinacci on charges of practicing medicine and conducting surgery without a license.  Lupinacci has brokered time from WMCA, New York for his “Learn to Be Healthy” program.  His medical license had been suspended in 1995 after he pleaded guilty to 10 counts of criminal sexual conduct with female patients.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

| February 12, 2015

mcmahonbillBill McMahon: Curiosity Enhanced by Awareness, Experience, Imagination and Courage.  According to talk radio consultant Bill McMahon, the trait of high-level curiosity is the driving force of his well-known “14 Traits Inherent in the Best Radio Personalities.”  In an advice piece posted today (2/12) he writes, “The constant urge to ask questions, fueled by an insatiable desire to know, generates the raw material necessary to produce truly life-enriching content.  Really good questions prompt answers loaded with learning and discovery that can be shared with listeners.”  McMahon, continues, “It’s also important to note that great questions are often the product of the traits of awareness, imagination, experience, and courage.  The more a personality hears not only the words in an answer but the thoughts and feelings behind the words (awareness), recognizes how thoughts and feelings, experiences and ideas connect to new and more interesting subjects and ideas (imagination), has ‘been there and done that’ (experience), and has the courage to ask any question at any time, the better the questions.”  The valuable article is enhanced with audio clips extracted from an interview of Bill Murray conducted by Howard Stern highlighting these traits in action.  To read the entire piece, please click here.

mastellerscottMasteller To Program WBAL. One week from today (Thursday, 2/19) is when ESPN Radio‘s former senior director of affiliate & syndicated content Scott Masteller will join Hearst Corporation talker WBAL, Baltimore as program director. President and general manager Cary Pahigian declares, “Scott iswbal among the most accomplished news, talk, and sports radio executives. His ESPN experience will be key to WBAL’s role as the radio home of the [NFL‘s] Ravens and unmatched breaking news coverage 24/7. He holds a strong appreciation for the role of this iconic radio station as part of Baltimore’s heritage, and our relationship with listeners and the community.” Prior to his most recent ESPN role, he was the sports radio network’s senior director of radio/audio content. His past programming assignments include sports outlets KESN, Dallas and KFXX, Portland.

kauffmanstaceyKauffman Named Entercom Sacramento GSM. Inbound from Chicago where she was local sales manager for Hubbard Broadcasting classic rocker WDRV “The Drive,” Stacey Kauffman is appointed general sales manager for Entercom Sacramento. Vice president and market manager Sean Shannon states, “We are proud to welcome Stacey to our market-leading portfolio of brands. Entercom’s commitment to compelling live and local content continues to pay dividends as we enjoy a dominant position in delivering ratings and results to our advertisers.” Vice president of sales Lance Richard comments, “Stacey was a trailblazer in Chicago media on the integration of radio and digital media. We look forward to putting her expertise immediately to use in the growing Sacramento market.” Kauffman remarks that she is “excited” about the chance to join Entercom’s Sacramento team. “Entercom is a forward-thinking company with outstanding leadership at both the corporate and local market levels. [The company] has a reputation for providing high-quality content to audiences and results-driven solutions to advertisers.” Kauffman started her radio career with Emmis; she previously was a Merck pharmaceutical sales representative. Entercom’s six-station Sacramento cluster consists of KCTC “ESPN 1320,” CHR KDND “The End,” alternative KKDO “Radio 94.7,” KRXQ “98 Rock,” classic rock KSEG “The Eagle,” and hot AC KUDL “Star 106.5.”

radioonelogoRadio One Reports 2014 Q4 Net Revenue Dips 1.7%.  The final quarter of 2014 saw net revenue at $109.7 million for Radio One – a decrease of 1.7% from the same period in 2013.  Station operating income was approximately $42.5 million, an increase of 8.6% from the same period a year ago.  Net revenue for the entire year of 2014 was $441,387,000 – a decrease of 1.6% ligginsalfredover all of 2013.  Radio One president and CEO Alfred Liggins III comments, “Our radio business showed sequential improvement from the third quarter, with revenues -2.8%.  During the quarter we changed format from news to classic hip hop in our Houston market; excluding Houston our radio revenues for the fourth quarter were +1.1%.   Adjusting for a timing difference of our Women’s Empowerment event in Raleigh, Q1 2015 core radio revenues are currently pacing 1.8%, having weakened throughout January.   Our Washington, DC cluster continues to underperform the market, and we recently announced a new general manager of the Washington, DC market cluster by expanding the responsibilities of our own Jeff Wilson, senior regional vice president.  Excluding our Washington, DC cluster, our core radio revenues are currently pacing up about 1% compared to the same time last year.”

valentinephilTalk Host Phil Valentine a Finalist in Atlanta Film Festival.  Nationally syndicated talk show host Phil Valentine has been delving into other media lately – most notably with production of his documentary challenging the man-made global warming theory titled, An Inconsistent Truth – but now he’s entering the world of screenplays and has submitted one at the Atlanta Film Festival that’s been chosen as a finalist in the competition.  The screenplay is for a film titled, Derek Dickens & The Dream, about a man going through a mid-life crisis whose fantasy rock band – much to his surprise – hits it big.  He ultimately has to choose between the comfortable life he knows and the fantasy he’s harbored since childhood.  Valentine says, “This is my first shot at writing a screenplay.  It’s a challenging format but my forte is dialogue.  That’s what I do every day on the radio, so it’s really a natural extension of what I do.”  The winners will be announced later this month and they will be invited to Atlanta in March for a workshop and awards ceremony.

Odds & Sods.  Los Angeles all-news outlet KNX examines the Brian Williams case tomorrow (2/13) as part of its KNX Spotlight series.  “The Brian Williams Scandal” will air from 10:00 am to 11:00 am and will “take a comprehensive look at truth in media coverage in the wake of the unfolding controversy facing NBC news anchor Brian Williams.”  It will feature special guest experts and will be hosted by KNX anchor Tom Haule and chief investigative reporter Charles Feldman…..The United Stations Radio Networks-syndicated NASCAR show “Racing Rocks!” hosted by Riki Rachtman, will emanate this season from the radio studio at The NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte.   The program airs on more than 100 affiliate stations and is preparing for the kick-off of the 2015 season in Daytona on February 22…..KDKA, Pittsburgh morning host Larry Richert announces that CBS News chief White House correspondent Major Garrett will serve as the keynote speaker at Larry Richert Honors our Hometown Heroes on Thursday, March 5, 2015.  Larry’s Heroes honors five ordinary individuals in the community who have done extraordinary things.   This year, a Lifetime Hero Award has been added to the awards roster and will be given to Dr. Stanley Marks, medical graduate from the University of Pittsburgh who is focused on finding a cure for cancer.

bfoa logoBFoA Announces Ward L. Quaal Leadership Awards Recipients.  The recipients of the 2015 Ward L. Quaal Leadership Awards from the Broadcasters Foundation of America have been announced.  The awards ceremony will take place on Wednesday, April 15 at the Foundation’s annual breakfast at the NAB Show in Las Vegas.  Recipients this year include: David Barrett, director, Hearst Corporation; Don Curtis, chairman & CEO, Curtis Media Group; Herb McCord, president & owner, Granum Communications Corp.; Jane Mago, former EVP & general counsel, National Association of Broadcasters; Al Primo, creator, Eyewitness News, Education Television Fund, Inc.; and Jeff Warshaw, CEO, Connoisseur Media.  The Leadership Awards are given annually by the Broadcasters Foundation in recognition of career contributions to the broadcast industry and the community at large, and are named in honor of iconic broadcaster Ward L. Quaal.

siriusDermaMedThe Business of Health.  As part of their programming on the 24/7 Business Talk from Wharton channel, SiriusXM and the renowned business college recently presented a half-hour discussion on the Knowledge@Wharton program with DermaMed SolutionsMark Pinsley (left) and Ginger Hodulik (center) as they discussed the “Business of Beauty” and their holistic approach to wellness and skincare with host Dan Loney (right).  The program was conducted live in the Wharton Business Radio on SiriusXM studios on The Wharton School campus in Philadelphia.

2016 Presidential Prospects, Brian Williams Case, Ukraine Violence/Ceasefire, Jon Stewart to Resign from ‘Daily Show,’ NC Muslim Students Murders, ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ Film, and Bruce Jenner Transformation Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/11).  The potential candidates for president in 2016; the aftermath of the Brian Williams suspension; the violence in Ukraine and the scheduled cease-fire; Jon Stewart’s announcement he’ll resign from ‘The Daily Show’ later this year; the murder of three North Carolina Muslim grad students by a neighbor; the release of the film adaptation of Fifty Shades of Grey; and Bruce Jenner’s gender transformation were some of the most-talked-stories on news/talk radio this week according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

| February 11, 2015

barrettjasonJason Barrett to Leave KGMZ, San Francisco for Family Reasons.  In an emotional-yet-reasoned blog post, sports talk programmer Jason Barrett explains the reason for his imminent departure from the PD position at Entercom’s KGMZ “95.7 The Game.”  Barrett has been travelling from California to Upstate New York every two or three weeks to visit his son who is living with Barrett’s parents.  He says the physical and psychological toll on the arrangement is too much and, as much as he loves his gig in San Francisco, he’s moving to New York to be with his son.  Read the entire blog post here.

cavagnaroedKCBS-AM, San Francisco’s Cavagnaro Sets His Retirement.  After spending 37 years at KCBS-AM, San Francisco, Ed Cavagnaro will retire in early-April as the station’s director of news & programming. Senior vice president and market manager Doug Harvill states, “Ed Cavagnaro built and led KCBS-AM into its status as the Bay Area’s number one radio station. He did this by hiring and managing an intelligent and capable news staff and empowering them to do their very best. Personally, I will greatly miss working with Ed. He’s truly an inspirational leader and one of the best news people on the planet.” The 63-year-old Cavagnaro comments, “There is a lot more to do and see – I didn’t want to wait too long to try new things. I have been lucky to work at [KCBS-AM] for so long. It has been an honor to be the news and program director at such a great radio station working with so many talented people.” The San Francisco native has a Masters degree from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. He previously worked for the Medill News Service and he was an aide to a member of the San Francisco board of supervisors before joining KCBS-AM in 1977 as a promotion assistant. Cavagnaro subsequently held a variety of jobs at the station – including managing editor and assistant director of news & programming before being promoted to his present role in 1988.

czabansteveSports Talker Steve Czaban Celebrates 25th Anniversary.  Sports talk personality Steve Czaban is celebrating his 25th year in the sports talk biz this year.  Czaban co-hosts the afternoon drive show on Red Zebra-owned WTEM, Washington (with Chris Cooley) and also hosts the morning drive show on the Yahoo! Sports Radio network.  Czaban comments, “Twenty five years presiding over some of the dumbest arguments in sports has flown by in a blink.  I guess that’s what happens when you are just trying to have fun with listeners every day on the radio.  I am thankful to Yahoo! Sports Radio and WTEM for letting me do the kind of radio that is fun and engaging, and doesn’t take itself or the sports we cover, too seriously.”

Odds & Sods. Former KOTV-TV, Tulsa anchor/investigative reporter Tami Marler joins Journal Broadcast Group‘s KFAQ “Tulsa’s Talk Radio” as executive producer/news director. Elsewhere at the station, part-time technicalmarlertami producer David Prock is boosted to full-time and will handle afternoon news updates…..After a year off terrestrial radio in the wake of the changes at Talk Radio Network, Rusty Humphries announces, via a humphriesrustyvideo at The Washington Times, that he’s beginning a weekly podcast called  “The Rusty Humphries Rebellion.”…..According to a story in The Oregonian, iHeartMedia’s sports talk KPOJ will add a local morning drive show to the lineup beginning in March.  The paper reports that current KIRO-AM, Seattle evening personalities Justin Myers and Andy Bunker will host the program.  Myers tells the paper, “It’s a huge opportunity because Portland doesn’t have a morning show. giffordamanda That’s the biggest thing – having a local morning show that people can listen to on their way to work is huge.”  An official announcement is expected in the next week…..Amanda Gifford is promoted to senior director, daytime programming, ESPN Audio.  The sports giant says that Gifford will continue to oversee all aspects of “Mike & Mike,” in addition to “The Herd with Colin Cowherd,” “SVP & Russillo,” and the Dan Le Batard show.

brownejoyThe Continuing Evolution of Dr. Joy Browne. The outstanding talk radio career of psychologist Dr. Joy Browne has spanned more than 35 years but the GCN-syndicated, nationally-known personality says her show is not the same as it was at the beginning. “The show has evolved so much in the last 30 years and I would argue that it even evolves on a day-to-day basis. It is never the same.” Having survived a variety of movements and trends within the news/talk genre, including the present one marked by the domination of partisan politics, the Dr. Joy Browne show has remained a mainstay of talk radio programming in New York City as well as across America. “That,” in the words of TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison, “is a remarkable accomplishment, considering how timid programmers can be about stretching the boundaries of their stationality and a stunning tribute to the universality of this remarkable talent’s appeal.” Now, Dr. Browne is again expanding her horizons with the enormous undertaking of entrepreneurship by assuming ownership of her show and all the responsibilities that such a commitment involves. In the words of TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey, “In an era when so many ‘talent’ are now facing the viable option of being in business for themselves, Dr. Joy Browne is setting an inspirational example of how it can be done.” In a profile piece by TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian, Browne says that taking on the task of owning her show (as opposed to being an employee of a station or network) in today’s business climate is challenging, but something she’s set out to do because she loves what she does and successfully helping people is not only what makes the show work, but gives her satisfaction. “The only behavior I can help change is yours, but that isn’t what a caller wants to hear. They want me to tell them that the other person is to blame. I have to change their mind but I don’t have a lot of time to do it. We talk about the guts of a person’s life – their job, income, relationship, sex life, kids, or a next-door neighbor. My job is to get through and when I do, there is nothing else like it in the world.” Read the entire piece here.

patrickmattFisherHouseawardsMatt Patrick Helps Raise $$ for Fisher House Houston.  Texas talk show host Matt Patrick (left) accepts a couple of awards from Fisher House manager Frank Kelley (right) on behalf of his listeners who pledged close to $40,000 to Fisher House in Houston last Veteran’s Day weekend during the annual radiothon Patrick spearheads.  Patrick is heard on iHeartMedia’s KTRH, Houston; sister talk station KPRC, Houston and the company’s talk KFXR, Dallas.  The funds raised go to the two Fisher Houses in Houston’s Medical Center.

Former Chicago Attorney, Talk Host, Sentenced on Fraud Conviction.  Former attorney Kathleen Niew was sentenced to five years and 10 months in prison after defrauding a Chicago-area couple of $2.3 million.  At one time Niew hosted a brokered, weekend call-in show on Salem Communications-owned WIND.  According to a report in the Chicago Tribune, Niew led the couple to believe their money was being held for closings on commercial real estate deals.  Instead, Niew was using their cash for wildly speculative gold mining operation investments around the world.  Niew, who lost all of the couple’s money, pleaded guilty last June to the fraud charges.

Brian Williams Suspended, ISIS Violence/Death of Kayla Mueller, 2016 Presidential Prospects, Net Neutrality Proposal, Bobbi Kristina Fate, and Jon Stewart to Leave ‘Daily Show’ Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/10).  The controversy surrounding NBC’s Brian Williams and his suspension from the network’s news department; the violence being waged by ISIS and the death of American missionary Kayla Mueller; the potential candidates for president in 2016; the FCC’s proposal to regulate the internet; the fate of Whitney Houston’s daughter Bobbi Kristina; and Jon Stewart’s announcement he’ll leave the “Daily Show” this year were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, January 19, 2015

| January 19, 2015

mlkTalk Radio Observes Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.  Although an official federal holiday, most talk radio personnel are working today and many are honoring or simply acknowledging the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his work leading the civil rights movement of the 1960s.  For example, the first hour of iHeartMedia superstar Sean Hannity’s national radio show is devoted to talking about the historic civil rights leader’s legacy and relevance to today’s headlines.  Given the racial tensions brought about by recent high-profile cases involving fatal confrontations between police and African American men, this year’s observance of Dr. King’s birthday is even more relevant than in recent years.  Sirius XM Satellite Radio “Urban View” host Karen Hunter says, “Every day I honor the legacy of Dr. King on my show.  So every day we do something special to honor him.  Today I will be playing snippets from a speech he gave at UCLA in 1965.  I will also be talking about Selma.  And I have already spoken to someone who marched today in New York to the UN.”  African American news/talk hosts have a variety of perspectives on Dr. King.  Charles Butler who hosts a daily syndicated show on Genesis Communications Network writes on his daily blog, “Today is the celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday and since 2008 I have conducted a show called ‘The Other Side of MLK,’ and on this eighth show I added several new perspectives.  Dr. King evolved over the period he was actively involved in the civil rights movement…I have a very difficult time listening to people that use the sanitized and domesticated version of Dr. King, ‘my children would be judged by the content of their character…,’ while ignoring his call on America to end racism.  Today, the prevalence of black high unemployment, income and health disparity, poor schools and environments, criminalization of black Americans, institutional racism, and systematic undermining of the attainment of the American Dream.”  At Salem Communications’ secular news/talk stations, many hosts are devoting a segment or two to Martin Luther King.  Salem SVP/spoken word format and Salem Radio Network Phil Boyce tells TALKERS magazine, “‘The Morning Answer’ in Los Angeles [KRLA] presented a great segment discussing the difference in the language and rhetoric of MLK vs the race baiters of today.  I think conservative hosts are generally more appreciative of Dr. King now, as we have seen what others have said and done who are attempting to take his place.”  Much of the commentary planned by hosts has been designed to specifically address their criticism of “so-called” civil rights leaders who have come after the late Dr. King – described to TALKERS by Cumulus heavyweight host Mark Levin as “people who exploit race by putting forth their own attitudes and wrongly use Dr. King’s good name to back up their own take and self-interests.”   WFTL, Fort Lauderdale/Miami afternoon star Joyce Kaufman tells TALKERS, “I will be spending today’s show listening to excerpts of his speeches…asking listeners to weigh in on when and why the relations between the black community and the white community fell apart.  Jews, for instance, natural allies, now arch enemies.  Black pastors who have stopped preaching the gospel to preserve the first black President’s relationship.  Would Dr. King have embraced Kwanzaa?  I think not. He was a Baptist preacher.”  Westwood One/WYD Media syndicated progressive opinion leader Thom Hartmann reports, “We did three hours on it today.  The movie ‘Selma’ was perfectly timed, and clearly demonstrates the importance of citizens’ movements.  From the Tea Party pushing Republicans to Occupy pushing Democrats; from John Quincy Adams leading the anti-slavery movement in the House to the Suffrage movement nationwide; from the labor movement (with the Ludlow massacre and the Flint Sit Down Strikes) to the gay rights movement – every time America has moved, it’s moved because of an informed, motivated, and activated populace.  And the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was one of the greatest teachers of that in modern times.”  Fox News Radio syndicated liberal icon Alan Colmes tells TALKERS, “Today’s news cycle proves how prescient Martin Luther King, Jr. was.  King, in his most controversial speech, ‘Beyond Vietnam,’ delivered at the Riverside Church in New York City on April 4, 1967, spoke these words:

‘This call for a worldwide fellowship that lifts neighborly concern beyond one’s tribe, race, class, and nation is in reality a call for an all-embracing and unconditional love for all mankind… I am speaking of that force which all of the great religions have seen as the supreme unifying principle of life. Love is somehow the key that unlocks the door which leads to ultimate reality. This Hindu-Muslim-Christian-Jewish-Buddhist belief about ultimate reality is beautifully summed up in the first epistle of Saint John: “Let us love one another (Yes), for love is God. (Yes) And every one that loveth is born of God and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God, for God is love. . . . If we love one another, God dwelleth in us and his love is perfected in us.” Let us hope that this spirit will become the order of the day.’”

Colmes concludes, “On our show, we’re are talking about the relationship between the Bible and the Koran, to show that no one religion is superior to another, that there are more similarities than differences, and that tolerance is a key tenet of our republic.  That is how we are honoring the legacy of this revolutionary.”  Joe Madison of Sirius XM Satellite Radio – consistently one of the most influential thought-leaders in talk radio on the subject of race relations and civil rights — shares, “We aired the results of an essay contest that asked young high school students to assess the political climate in the world today, analyzing the racial challenges that exist and to compare to Dr. King’s life and deeds.”  Madison adds, “I actually spoke this morning in Tampa, Florida at the 35 annual Tampa Organization of Black Affairs Breakfast (I was their first speaker 35 years ago).  I addressed the three-year gap between the Selma to Montgomery March in 1965 and his assassination in 1968.  I asked the question: ‘How would talk radio portray Dr. King?’  His last three years on earth, he alienated many of his allies and antagonized his enemies further. He was portrayed as an extremist and an arsonist as he waged war on poverty, racism and militarism.  I suspect most talk radio would not be very supportive of Martin Luther King, Jr.” TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison responds to Madison’s last statement by telling him that “a number of conservative hosts interviewed for this story say they have been increasingly appreciating and respecting Dr. King as the years go by – especially when compared to some of his high-profile successors in the civil rights movement.” Madison fires back, “I wonder which King they respect?  Certainly not the MLK that encouraged the redistribution of wealth, affirmative action and voting rights, especially Sections 4 and 5 which were recently struck down by the SCOTUS.”

hendrixmarkEntercom Greenville-Spartanburg Sets New Roles for Hendrix, Stone, McLain. Several noteworthy personnel moves take place at Entercom-owned stations in Greenville-Spartanburg, a South Carolina cluster the company refers to as “Entercom Upstate.” For openers, rock WTPT “93.3 The Planet” and WROQ “Classic Rock 101.1″ operations manager/program director Mark Hendrix takes on additional duties as operations manager for talk WYRD-FM “Word 106.3,” as well as the sports simulcast of WORD-AM and WYRD-AM. He will continue to program WORD-AM and WYRD-AM, both branded as “ESPN Upstate.” He succeeds Bob McLain as OM for “Word 106.3″; however, McLain carries on as the station’s 3:00 pm – 7:00 pm talent and is named operations manager emeritus. Meanwhile, “Classic Rock 101.1″ assistant program director Jay D. Stone is boosted to program director. Stone continues as APD of “The Planet” and maintains his “Classic Rock 101.1″ 12:00 noon – 6:00 pm “The Stoneman” on-air shift. According to Entercom Greenville vice president and market entercommanager Steve Sinicropi, “Mark Hendrix has done an outstanding job programming ‘Classic Rock 101.1′ and ‘93.3 The Planet/WTPT-FM.’ He has coached ‘The Rise Guys’ on ‘The Planet’ to the top of many key morning demos. Hendrix will build on Bob McLain’s excellent work on ‘Word 106.3,’ developing stimulating local talk. I am also pleased that Bob will continue his very popular show. I am happy Jay D. Stone has been elevated to the well-deserved position of program director at ‘Classic Rock 101.1.’ He is the heart and soul of that station.” Hendrix comments, “I am thankful for the great opportunities that Entercom has afforded me over the years. I look forward to working with our talented staffs to deliver exceptional, locally focused programs to our upstate audiences.” McLain remarks, “Entercom Upstate has given me great opportunities to engage with listeners, discuss controversial and important issues, and establish a thought provoking radio brand.” Stone declares that, “Having the opportunity to head up the legendary call letters of WROQ is a big deal. All I can say is that, after working with the top-shelf staff at Entercom Upstate for the past 12 years, the winning tradition will continue at ‘Classic Rock 101.'” Hendrix has been with the company since August 2001, when he became program director of WTPT. McLain began his career at Winston-Salem’s WTOB. Stone was named music director of “Classic Rock 101.1″ in 2003, after holding similar duties at Des Moines classic rocker KGGO.

wmkt logoMarshall’s Multiple Roles with MacDonald Garber. Simultaneous with being named operations director for all MacDonald Garber Broadcasting AM stations, Greg Marshall is appointed general manager for the company’s Cadillac, Michigan cluster. President and chief executive officer Trish MacDonald Garber comments, “Greg’s vast experience with broadcasting and his great passion for it can only contribute to our continued success. As the current acting general manager in Cadillac, I am leaving Greg in capable hands with an upward trajectory that I know he and the team will capitalize on.” Marshall states, “I am delighted to have the opportunity to work with the great staff at the Cadillac stations and the AM radio stations in the company. I am looking forward to this amazing opportunity.” Among the stations in the Cadillac group are hot AC WLXV “Mix 96,” sports WKAD “93.7 FM The Ticket,” and talk WATT “Rush Radio 1240.” Over and above these two new duties, Marshall will continue doing his daily 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm talk show on the company’s WMKT “The Talk Station,” Traverse City-Petoskey, Michigan; the program will soon be simulcast on WATT as well.

wmca newSalem Re-Brands Christian Talk WMCA.  As had been predicted based upon some recent domain name acquisitions by Salem Communications, Christian talk WMCA, New York – for the past 25 years called “New York’s Christian Talk” – takes on the new slogan “AM 570 The Mission.”  The company put together a short video to highlight the charitable work done by the station and its listeners that underscores the reason for taking on the “Mission” moniker.  You can view the video here.

Odds & Sods.  A report in the Boston Globe by Chad Finn indicates current WBZ-FM, Boston “98.5 The Sports Hub” midday personality Andy Gresh will exit the station soon.  He co-hosts the program on the sports talk outlet with former Patriots quarterback Scott Zolak and hosts the pre- and post-game shows for Patriots football, for which WBZ-wbz-fm logoFM serves as flagship.  Finn reports that Marc Bertrand of the PM drive “Felger and Massarotti” show will join Zolak on the midday show…..CBS RADIO’s Los Angeles all-newser KNX is presenting special programming this week surrounding the State of the Union Address.  In addition to airing the address live at 6:00 pm PT, the station will present a special program on Wednesday (1/21) titled, “Healthcare Uncovered,” from 10:00 am to 11:00 am.  The show will examine “the state of Obamacare as the Affordable Care Act enters its second year,” hosted by KNX anchor Tom Haule and chief investigative reporter Charles Feldman.

Bob WilsonBob Wilson: Former Bruins’ Radio Voice Passes. Rabid New England sports fans are known for embracing their professional sports franchises, as well as developing a fondness for those who call the games on radio. For well over two decades – including a 1971 – 1972 Stanley Cup-winning campaign – Bob Wilson was behind the radio microphone for the Boston Bruins. The Arlington, Massachusetts native, who retired in 1995, has passed away. Boston Bruins president – and former Bruins’ star player – Cam Neely comments, “For a generation of New England hockey fans, Bob’s legendary voice was synonymous with the Bruins. He will always be a part of our club’s history. Our thoughts are with [Wilson’s widow] Nancy and their children during this difficult time.” Jack Edwards is the club’s play-by-play announcer on cable television’s NESN and he remarks that Wilson was “my greatest inspiration.” Entercom sports WEEI-FM, Boston personality/NESN Bruins host Dale Arnold states that Wilson was “one of the iconic sports voices of our time. He was a kind and classy gentleman – my hero.”Dave Goucher has been the team’s radio voice the past 15 seasons, but Goucher insists that Wilson “is the radio voice of the Bruins.” In 1987, Wilson received the Foster Hewitt memorial award, earning him a place in the broadcasters’ wing of the Hockey Hall of Fame. He was inducted into the Massachusetts Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 2007. Wilson was at the TD Garden (home of the Bruins and the NBA‘s Boston Celtics) nearly four years ago (March 26, 2011) when the Bruins officially named the home radio facility “The Bob Wilson Radio Booth.” Bob Castellon (his real name) was 85.

vuoloartYour Note to “Radio’s Best Friend” Couldn’t Hurt. One of the genuinely great people in the industry isn’t doing well. Just like giving a bowl of chicken soup to someone with a cold or the flu, sending a get-well wish to Art Vuolo certainly couldn’t hurt, and based on a message he posted today (Sunday, 1/18) on his Facebook page, it might go a long way in boosting the spirits of the man widely-regarded as “Radio’s Best Friend.” Coming off organizing yet another wildly successful Los Angeles radio get together, Vuolo underwent knee replacement surgery this past Tuesday (1/13), but he admits, “I hurt a lot. It is difficult for me to sit up in bed to type these words. Hoping I will feel better soon, but right now, my pain level is elevated. All prayers are welcomed.” One of radio’s greatest ambassadors and a countless times videographer of record, Vuolo is in room #154 of the Maple Manor Rehabilitation Center,31215 Novi Road, Novi, Michigan 48377.

Friday, January 16, 2015

| January 16, 2015

monahanheatherBeasley Broadcast Group Bumps Up Monahan to CRO. Seven-year executive vice president of sales Heather Monahan is elevated to chief revenue officer – a newly created Beasley Broadcast Group position, where she will oversee all sales of BBG’s core radio, digital, and non-traditional revenue opportunities. President and chief operating officer Bruce Beasley remarks, “As the radio broadcasting industry continues to offer a wider variety of ways in which we service advertisers, it became evident that having one person at corporate oversee and coordinate these various facets would be beneficial. Heather has proven her loyalty to Beasley over the years and has further shown us her ability to manage the sales process.” According to Miami resident Monahan, “What most excites me is the opportunity to define a holistic strategy that optimizes and unites our entertainment brands, engaged consumers, and marketing partners. At Beasley, our local market teams strive to create a dynamic local presence through our on-air and digital brands. Our continued evolution enables us to further maximize the collective power of our radio brands and connect consumers with marketing partners in an enhanced and more significant way. I am looking forward to delivering improved results for our partners through this new role.” Before joining Beasley Broadcast Group in 2003 as director of sales for the company’s Fort Myers-Naples cluster, Monahan held general manager and sales manager positions for a number of Michigan and Massachusetts stations. The Worcester native is a graduate of Clark University in that Massachusetts city.

deroxtraronDeRoxtra Joins SRN News.  Dallas-Ft Worth news pro Ron DeRoxtra joins the Salem Radio Network as an anchor/reporter in the SRN News Dallas bureau.  DeRoxtra has served as a news anchor, editor and producer at a number of broadcast operations including at KVIL, Dallas; KLIV, San Jose and KLIF, Dallas.  The move to SRN News reunites DeRoxtra with Salem Radio Network VP/news & talk programming Tom Tradup, who was DeRoxtra’s boss when both worked at KRLD, Dallas in the 1980s.  Tradup comments, “Ron is a stellar on-air talent and a solid, award-winning journalist.  We are pumped to have him as part of our Dallas bureau and having Ron cover Southwestern stories for SRN News in Washington, as well.”

entercomDelay Arises in Entercom’s Deal to Acquire Lincoln Financial Media Stations.  The acquisition of Lincoln Financial Media’s 15 radio stations operating in four markets for $105 million will be delayed as Entercom notes in an 8-K filing with the SEC.  The company “voluntarily withdrew its notification and report forms filed with the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice under the Hart-Scott Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, as amended…Entercomlfm logo notified the DOJ that it intends to resubmit the HSR Filing within two days after the date of withdrawal.  Entercom’s resubmission of the HSR Filing will have the effect of providing the FTC and the DOJ an additional 30 days from the date of resubmission to review the transactions contemplated by the Stock Purchase Agreement.”  After the deal is consummated, Entercom will take ownership of Atlanta outlets hot AC WSTR and sports talk WQXI; Denver stations country KYGO, rhythmic CHR KQKS, oldies KRWZ, sports talk KEPN and KKFN, and comedy-formatted translator K276FK; San Diego signals alternative KZBT, country KSON and KSOQ, and adult contemporary KIFM; and Miami outlets AC WLYF, classic hits WMXJ, and sports talk WAXY-AM/FM.

podcastone logoAdam Carolla and Dennis Miller Team up for PodcastOne Program.  Veteran comics and radio personalities Adam Carolla and Dennis Miller – both of whom already produce podcasts distributed by PodcastOne – are now collaborating on a new podcast for thecarollaadam platform titled, “PO’d with Dennis Miller and Adam Carolla.”  The new show will be a one-hour, weekly show that will feature the pair as they “entertain with comedic rants on current events, pop culture and life in general, and invite celebrity friends to join the conversation.”  millerdennisPodcastOne chairman and CEO Norm Pattiz states, “I’ve worked with both of these guys for years and it’s just great to put the two of them together to do something that’s totally different as a podcast… Excuse me a PO’d cast.  They’re both incredibly talented, extremely well-known, each with a huge fan following, and yes, as the title of the show would imply, they’re often po’d about one thing or another.  We think this is gonna be the latest big hit coming from PodcastOne and there’s a lot of smiles around the office.”

TALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  “Free Talk Live” with hosts Ian Freeman and Mark Edge is again being heard on WGMD, Rehoboth Beach, Delaware on Sunday mornings.  Also, current affiliate KIVA, Albuquerque expands its carriage of the program to weeknights…..The Bubba the Love Sponge show is added to the program schedule at JVC Media’s recently acquired country WOTW,  Orlando “103.2 The Wolf.”  This is the second JVC country station to add the show – it also airs on WTRS, Gainesville “102.3 MyCountry.”…..Talk personality Kevin McCullough reports that his feature, “News That Makes You Think,” has surpassed the 200 affiliate mark and that his eponymous long-form talk show is now heard on WBRG, Lynchburg, Virginia.

Charlie Hebdo Aftermath Top News/Talk Story This Week.  Talk about the massacre at Parisian newspaper Charlie Hebdo and the political and social ramifications of the assault were the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 were the related topics of Islamic extremism and the ISIS and Boko Haram violence in Syria and Africa.  Coming in at #3 was the ISIS hack of the Pentagon and Centcom social media followed by President Obama’s immigration policy at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a 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.

Donny DeutschDeutsch to Portray Daytime Talk Show Host. Premiering later this year, USA Network‘s “soft-scripted” comedy “Donny!” takes a satirical view at the media, wealth, and romance through the life of its lead star – advertising mogul/former host of CNBC‘s “The Big Idea” (2004 – 2008) – Donny Deutsch. Some radio talkers might relate to the character Deutsch portrays, described as a fictionalized version of himself “as a daytime talk show host with all the answers.” Elaborating on the cable television program “Donny!,” USA Network president Chris McCumber comments it is a, “‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’-style series, centered on the hyper-imagined real-life of Donny Deutsch. The juxtaposition of how Donny portrays his public and personal life in this series is hilarious. Storylines are a real wink for the viewers, showing that despite anyone’s profile or success, we all deal with the same issues.” Deutsch is chairman of advertising agency Deutsch Inc., and he is a regular on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” USA Network has ordered six episodes of the half-hour show.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

| January 15, 2015

wgn logo newWGN Makes it Official: Roe Conn to PM Drive.  Thanks to Chicago media writer Robert Feder, the arrival of longtime, former WLS-AM personality Roe Conn to the afternoon drive daypart at Tribune Media’s news/talk WGN is not a surprise – Feder broke the news last week.  But now, the company officially announces Conn will move into PM drive and bump Bill Leff and Wendy Snyder to late mornings with John Williams leaving that daypart and connroebeing featured as part of WGN’s Saturday programming.  Williams also hosts a daily show at CBS RADIO’s WCCO, Minneapolis and had been doing double duty.  The changes take effect on January 26.  WGN Radio VP of content and programming Todd Manley says, “Roe craves what’s behind the curtain of breaking news.  He’s a master of investigative conversation, so you’ll learn and you’ll laugh.”  WGN-TV meteorologist Tom Skilling and news anchor Mark Supplesa will be regulars on Conn’s program.  Manley adds, “We’re building an even stronger bridge between our radio journalists at the Tribune Tower and the incomparable newsroom at WGN-TV.”   Regarding the new Saturday programming, Manley says a Saturday edition of “The Business Lunch” with host Steve Bertrand will follow the Kathy & Judy show from 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm.  “The World of John Williams” will air from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm and will integrate with mobile app urVibe, a news-polling social platform that he developed.  Sports talk show “The Beat,” with hosts Jarrett Payton, Connor McKnight and Adam Hoge, will air from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm.

messinajoeUSA Radio Networks Adds Late Night Show.  Soon to air in the 12:00 midnight to 3:00 am ET slot on USA Radio Networks is “The Real Side Radio Show with Joe Messina.”  USA Radio Networks says, “Research reveals a growing number of workers are clocking in for the graveyard shift.  Once reserved for blue-color workers, there are now a significantly increasing number of white-collar employees working evenings or nights.”  Tim Maranville is chief content officer at USA Radio Networks’ parent company Cross Platform Media Group.  He says, “Now second and third shifters can continue a live engaging conversation about America with Joe Messina’s ‘The Real Side.’  They deserve a straight shooter like Joe.”  Cross Platform CEO Sam Hassell adds, “Joe is a tremendous asset to our expanding platform of programs.  Overnights is a significantly under served time period for live national content.  Another win for our affiliate and sponsorship partners.”

beasleymediagroupBeasley Modifies Corporate Name for Radio Group.  In a move that the company says reflects “the broad and expansive reach of on-air, digital and collateral radio products that are available to Beasley’s listeners and advertisers,” Beasley Broadcast Group, Inc. reports that the various entities that previously held the company’s portfolio of 53 radio stations in 12 markets now become Beasley Media Group.  The publicly traded parent company, headquartered in Naples, Florida, remains Beasley Broadcast Group, Inc. and continues to trade as “BBGI” on NASDAQ.

arnolddaleWEEI, Boston Rewards Dale Arnold with New Contract.  Longtime Boston sports media figure Dale Arnold – sometimes criticized for being stodgy and “old school” – assumed the afternoon drive co-host slot alongside Michael Holley last spring and was told if he helped bring the ratings up in the daypart, he’d get a new deal.  Today, Entercom announces that after 10 months on WEEI in afternoons, “ratings are up 59% with WEEI’s target audience of Men 25-to-54, and their program routinely ranks in the top three, up from sixth place last winter.”  So the company is signing Arnold to a new contract.  WEEI brand manager Kevin Graham says, “Dale Arnold has one of the most complete and diverse sports resumes in Boston broadcast history.  He is the only person to have done play-by-play for the Patriots, Red Sox, Bruins, Celtics and Revolution in addition to having called college football, basketball and hockey.  Most importantly, Dale’s name is synonymous with class and character, and the impact he’s made since returning full time is undeniable.”

sabowalterSabo: The Lessons of Lowell Bud Paxson.  Media consultant Walter Sabo worked with Lowell Bud Paxson – the founder of the Home Shopping Network – who died earlier this week.  In a column published recently, Sabo relates some of the media lessons he learned from working with Paxson and observing his operation.  While Paxson was better known for his creation of the Home Shopping Network and Pax TV, Paxson owned radio stations during his career.  Flying in the face of convention and trusting one’s instincts are two of the character traits Paxson had.  Read more from Walter Sabo about what radio operators can take away from the life and legacy of Lowell Bud Paxson here.

Odds & Sods.  Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is in the hot seat today as he appears on all-news KNX, Los Angeles’ “Ask the Mayor” program airing at 10:00 am PT.  KNX anchor Tom Haule and chief investigative reporter Charles Feldman will co-host the program and listeners are invited to call or Tweet questions.  Topics to be discussed include: the city’s crime rate, the mayor’s agenda for the New Year, safety at LAX, Barbara Boxer’s U.S. Senate seat and theknx city’s preparedness for a terrorist attack…..Glimmerglass Radio – which bills itself as “the only green living talk radio station in America” – marks its one-year anniversary in business and says it has completed its programming lineup of 54 radio programs dedicated to news and information related to all things green.  John Kosmer founded the Upstate New York-based digital station “to meet the rising interest in energy, the environment and healthy lifestyles.”…..Basketball legend Oscar Robertson will host a special Martin Luther King Jr. Day program on SiriusXM’s NBA Radio channel on Monday.  The hour-long program will be co-hosted by SiriusXM’s Jason Jackson during which Robertson will share his experiences in the civil rights struggle and discuss what Dr. King’s legacy has meant to players of his era as well as those in today’s NBA…..Yahoo! Sports Radio will be part of the media mayhem that leads up to the NFL’s Super Bowl this year.  The network will broadcast 17 hours daily from Glendale, Arizona including the Steve Czaban, Travis Rodgers, “Prime Cut with Sean Salisbury and John Granato,” “Sports X Radio” shows plus a special weekday series of “Talk of Fame.”…..Westwood One Sports continues its broadcast coverage of the NFL postseason with broadcasts of this weekend’s NFC and AFC Conference Championship games.

bennettOtterSRN’s Bill Bennett Addresses Idaho Legislature.  Pictured here with Idaho Governor Butch Otter (left) is Salem Radio Network personality and former U.S. Secretary of Education Bill Bennett (right).  Bennett, who hosts the “Morning in America” program, spoke before the Idaho legislature on the topic of education, commending the station on its education program and encouraging lawmakers to “provide more and better STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) curriculum in the state’s schools.”

Charlie Hebdo Aftermath/Islamic Extremists, ISIS Syria Strikes/Boko Haram Violence in Africa, Obama Immigration Policy, Boehner Floor Speech Rips Obama, 2016 Presidential Prospects, Plummeting Oil Prices/World Financial Markets Activity, and NFL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/14). The aftermath of the deadly assault on Parisian magazine Charlie Hebdo and the greater topic of violent Islamic extremists; the ISIS strikes in Syria and the deadly assaults in Africa at the hands of Boko Haram; the immigration reform policy of the Obama Administration; House Speaker John Boehner’s floor speech criticizing President Obama’s policies; potential GOP candidates for president in 2016 including Mitt Romney, Rand Paul, Scott Walker, Chris Christie, and Rick Santorum; falling oil prices and the effects on the world’s financial markets; and this weekend’s NFL conference championships were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, December 29, 2014

| December 29, 2014

kmbz logoKMBZ-AM/FM, Kansas City to End Simulcast.  Rather than airing the same programming on 980 and 98.1 as it has been since spring 2011, Entercom Kansas City will break off into separate entities, while maintaining the talk format on both dial positions. KMBZ-FM programming will mostly be locally originated; syndicated personalities will comprise the majority of what will be heard on KMBZ-AM. KMBZ-FM’s modified lineup will feature “Kansas City’s Morning News” with E.J. Becker & Ellen Schenk,” (5:00 am – 10:00 am); “Trend KC” with Burns & Monacelli (10: 00 am – 2:00 pm); Dana Wright & Scott Parks (2:00 pm – 6:00 pm); Jonathan Weir (6:00 pm – 9:00 pm – Weir previously did mid-days); and Premiere Networks’ “Ground Zero with Clyde Lewis” (9:00 pm – 12:00 midnight). KMBZ-AM “Talk 980″ will include Darla Jaye (5:00 am – 9:00 am – Jaye previously did evenings); Glenn Beck (9:00 am – 11:00 am); Rush Limbaugh (11:00 am – 2:00 pm); Sean Hannity (2:00 pm – 5:00 pm); “America Now” (5:00 pm – 8:00 pm); Westwood One’Herman Cain (8:00 pm – 10:00 pm); and Laura Ingraham (10:00 pm – 12:00 midnight). Both stations will carry Premiere’s “Coast-To-Coast AM with George Noory” (12:00 midnight – 5:00 am). The transition will take place on Monday, January 5.  Among persons 6+ in Nielsen Audio‘s December 2014 PPM report, KMBZ’s AM & FM simulcast ranks eighth, after notching back-to-back gains of three-tenths (4.2 – 4.5 – 4.8). Public KCUR is #16 (2.6) and Cumulus-owned KCMO-AM finishes #19 (1.4).

nielsen logoRound Three of December PPMs Released.  The third of four rounds of December 2014 PPM 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 survey period was November 6 through December 3.  TALKERS magazine’s sister publication RadioInfo has all of the numbers from subscribing stations here. In addition, managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his “Ten Takeaways” from this batch of ratings on the main page at RadioInfo.

Monday, December 8, 2014

| December 8, 2014

wcnn logoMorning Show Changes at ‘680 The Fan’ in Atlanta.  Some cast member changes are taking place at Dickey Broadcasting-owned sports talker WCNN “680 The Fan” with Perry Laurentino exiting his co-host gig on “The Rude Awakening,” along with producer Josh Vexler.  The Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Rodney Ho reports the changes noting that Brandon Leak will move to the on-air producer role on the show led by Christopher Rude.  Ho also reports that there’s come speculation that the remaining third of the former morning show at crosstown WQXI “790 The Zone” – Nick Cellini – may join the station as part of the morning show.  Cellini, Chris Dimino (already part of the “Rude Awakening”) and Steak Shapiro (currently heard on WCNN’s 9:00 am to 12:00 noon show) were notoriously fired from WQXI after a bit on their “Mayhem in the AM” show that mocked former NFL player and ALS-sufferer Steve Gleason.

braleypeteWBSM, New Bedford Makes Morning Show Changes.  Gone after 25 years with the Townsquare Media-owned news/talk station is morning host and brand manager Pete Braley and in is longtime local broadcaster Phil Paleologos.  Braley was let go from the morning show on Friday (12/5) and told the SouthCoastToday.com he was shocked by the move.  “I’m quite devastated.  I never even had the chance to say goodbye to our wonderful audience.”  Townsquare management issued the usual statement saying Braley is no longer with the company and they wish him well.

rowlandjohnDefense Hopes for Leniency in Sentencing Phase of Former Connecticut Governor and WTIC Host John Rowland.  After being convicted in September of violating federal campaign laws, the prosecution is presenting arguments in the sentencing phase of former Connecticut Governor (and former WTIC personality) John Rowland.  Via his political consulting company, Rowland worked for Republican congressional candidate Lisa Wilson-Foley, and his crime was hiding that fact from the public.  According to a piece in the Hartford Courant, prosecutors are making note of his use of his radio show to criticize his client’s opponent in the Republican primary.  The prosecution could have made more out of the use of his radio show and pointed that out in court filings when it wrote, “Although Mr. Rowland’s use of his radio show was an egregious aspect of his conduct and certainly constituted an abuse of the public airwaves and a fraud on his audience, the Government is electing not to seek the two-level enhancement.”  Rowland was convicted of bribery in 2004 and was released from prison in 2006.  Prosecutors are saying Rowland should be sentenced to 37 to 46 months for his crime but his defense argues a more lenient 18 to 24 months should be sought.  Read the Courant piece here.

wmalwilsconoconnorplanteWMAL, Washington Fisher House RadioThon Nets $350,000.  This past weekend, Cumulus Media news/talk outlet WMAL, Washington held a two-day radiothon to benefit the Fisher House Foundation that netted some $350,000 – a record, according to program director Bill Hess.  He also tells TALKERS magazine that over the past 11 years, WMAL listeners have donated more than $4.5 million to the charity that supports wounded warriors and their families.   Pictured here on remote are (from left to right): WMAL morning personalities Brian Wilson and Larry O’Connor, and midday host Chris Plante.

beasleyvegasxmasBeasley Talkers Celebrate Holidays.  The Las Vegas cluster of Beasley Broadcast Group held its annual holiday party over the weekend and some of the talk radio staffers posed for this shot alongside management.  Pictured here are (from left to right): Beasley Las Vegas general manager Tom Humm, talk host Dr. Daliah Wachs, KDWN news director and program director John Shaffer, talk host Alan Stock, local sales manager Craig Davis and general sales manager Cory Cuddeback.

joybrowneMoviephoneDr. Joy Ought to Be in Pictures!  Although she is famous nationwide as radio’s leading relationships doc, GCN nationally syndicated talk host, Dr. Joy Browne has long been considered a mover and shaker by New York City’s showbiz establishment for her stage and screen reviews that work their way into her daily radio show or appear on other media platforms.  Listeners to her program know that she has an amazing knowledge and insight into the latest Broadway productions and films of the world.  Here she is “pictured” at a recent advance screening of the new “Annie” movie fooling around for the TALKERS camera with Kevin Thompson – a former warm-up man for the “Wendy Williams Show” and current host of BET’s “Claim to Fame” game show.  Thompson was recently named Mr. Moviefone, the new face and voice of the iconic Moviefone brand.

Cool Job Opportunity.  Public radio KJZZ, Phoenix is seeking a broadcast producer manager for a midday news magazine.  The job description states qualified candidate must be able to host and produce radio programs by delivering on-air content and technical continuity among all segments of programming.  Deliver on-air news; write conversational copy for newscasts, anchor live on-air reporting; assist in coordinating live interviews, audio elements and other program content; and perform all aspects of live or automated daily board shift operation, announcing and newscasting.  Qualifications include a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism, English, Broadcasting, Communication or a related field AND four (4) years of on-air experience in journalism, news, multimedia, and audio board operations in recorded and live situations; including two (2) years of supervisory experience.  Read more about the job description here.  For more information, contact Craig Curtis at: ccurtisradio@gmail.com or call 651-226-7814.

Friday, December 5, 2014

| December 5, 2014

word logoEntercom Names Tara Servatius and Vince Coakley to Morning Radio Posts on ‘WORD 106.3’ in Greenville.  At Entercom’s WYRD, Greenville, South Carolina “WORD 106.3,” new morning programming is announced that includes Tara Servatius servatiustarahosting “The Tara Show” from 6:00 am to 10:00 am followed by Vince Coakley taking over the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon show.  The new programming begins on Monday, December 8.  Entercom Greenville VP and market manager Steve Sinicropi says, “We are energizing morning radio with the launch of these vibrant, coakleyvincelive, and local talk shows.  Both Tara and Vince will deliver fresh, and thought-provoking commentary on the issues and news our community cares about most.  We are excited about fans joining in the on-air conversation on the only Upstate local news/talk station.”  Servatius was most recently with Cumulus Media’s WTMA, Charleston, South Carolina.  She also worked at Greater Media’s WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte.  Coakley – also a WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte alum – had been hosting a Sunday afternoon program on “WORD 106.3.”  Longtime WYRD personality Russ Cassell – host of the 8:00 am to 12:00 noon program – passed away in October, prompting changes in the morning lineup.

beckatomTom Becka Exits NRG Media’s KOIL, Omaha.  Two and a half years after joining NRG Media’s KOIL, Omaha, Tom Becka announces his contract with the station has not been renewed.  Becka posted a podcast on his TomBecka.com site explaining his exit from the station.  He tells TALKERS it wasn’t too shocking as he’d suspected his deal was not going to be renewed.  As for KOIL, the station’s GM, Andy Ruback, tells the Omaha World-Herald they’ll announce permanent plans for the afternoon drive daypart in the near future.  In the interim, the station is airing TRN’s Sam Sorbo program.  Tom Becka can be reached at tbecka@hotmail.com.

talksmerconishMichael Smerconish Options Novel Talk to Warner Bros.  The novel published by SiriusXM personality Michael Smerconish about a talk radio host acting out a stereotypical neo-conservative philosophy on the air despite his own convictions in order to be successful,has been optioned to Warner Brothers to become a TV show.  Smerconish, who exited AM/FM radio for satellite after a career that included local radio on WPHT, Philadelphia and national syndication via Compass Media Networks, tells Politico that he’s excited about the opportunity.  “Like anyone who’s ever written a novel, as I wrote it I envisioned it on the screen.  Of course in most cases that doesn’t come to pass and now this looks like it will, and I couldn’t be more excited.  I think the story lends itself to TV beautifully.  In the world of ‘House of Cards’ and ‘Alpha House,’ I can definitely see ‘Talk’ on a television screen.”  Many talk radio practitioners bristle at the implication that conservative talk hosts don’t really believe what they portray on the radio, but just do it because they think that’s what the industry wants.  A number of talk professionals also took umbrage with Smerconish’s parting shots at the industry as he left AM/FM for satellite, specifically with his public statements accusing the business of requiring hosts to adhere to an ideologically driven style of talk radio instead of one that addresses issues from multiple perspectives.

cookehollandYour New PD Gig: D.I.Y. with O.P.M.  In a column published today (12/5) in TALKERS, consultant Holland Cooke explains an opportunity that might be perfect for some sales-minded programmers looking to work independently on other people’s radio signals.  He’s talking about programming weekend content on a brokered basis.  He says, “Parlay your assets into Do It Yourself radio.  I’m not talking about podcasting-instead.  I’m talking about renting transmitter time.  All that many news/talk stations ask of weekend talent is pay-for-play, so consider pay-and-program.”  Read more from Holland Cooke here.

whfs logoBeasley Drops Sports on FM in Tampa.  The FM sports talker that CBS RADIO brought to Tampa is gone – playing Christmas music until a new format debuts on January 5.  Among Those out with the change at WHFS-FM “98.7 The Fan” are sports talk personalities Anthony “Booger” McFarland, Marc Ryan, Kirk McEwen, Jesse Kage, and Justin Pawlowski.  Beasley is still operating WHFS-AM as a sports talker using CBS Sports Radio Network programming.

Odds & Sods.  A new podcast from Sports USA featuring former super agent Tom Reich will launch.  According to Sports USA president Bob Moore, “Tom and brother Sam Reich bring integrity, respect, experience and a fresh perspective to the podcast and will talk about past stories and current events in their lives and the world of sports.”…..The PAC 5 final game – the prep championship between St. John Bosco and Corona Centennial – will air on LAA 1 LLC-owned KLAA, Anaheim tomorrow (12/6) at 8:00 pm PT.  The Emmy-award winning broadcast team of Kevin Turner and Bill Cunerty will call the live play-by-play.  The game is being broadcast on the radio for the sixth year in a row on KLAA – home of the Los Angeles Angels and Anaheim Ducks.  Fox SportsFred Salas will join the team for the broadcast handling sideline reports and postgame interviews.

Ferguson Aftermath Tops Talkers TenTM for Week of December 1-5.  The events that have followed the Ferguson grand jury’s decision not to indict officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown – including Charles Barkley’s comments and whether to charge Brown’s stepfather Louis Head for inciting a riot – were the top stories on news/talk radio during the week.  Following at #2 was the NYC choke hold case tied with the police shooting death of 12-year-old Cleveland youth Tamir Rice.  At #3 was the amnesty issue followed by the 2016 presidential candidates at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

<

Friday, November 21, 2014

| November 21, 2014

harrisonherald2smallerMichael Harrison: Political News/Talk Radio Needs Fewer Lapdogs and More Watchdogs.  In a new opinion piece posted today (11/21), TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison (pictured here) suggests that the main element missing from today’s political news/talk radio mix is the old-fashioned “muckraker” who kept politicians of all political stripes – left and right – nervous and on their toes.  Harrison says that the crop of tried-and-true political ideologues who’ve been on the air all these decades since the repeal of the Fairness Doctrine and are still going strong should be preserved – but not imitated.  He writes, “There is nothing wrong with the current crop of long-standing, iconic figures of opinionated left vs right political discussion who have made talk radio and its stars household names.  They should be protected and supported for what they do… because they are valuable and, more importantly, cannot easily be replaced.  In fact, they shouldn’t be replaced.  The last thing we need are more ‘B’ and ‘C’ level imitators and talking point ideologues in this format.  We do not need lapdogs and mindless partisans clogging up the airwaves and bringing this format down! What we do need are more WATCHDOGS to round out what this format truly has to offer.  I guess you can call them populists or independents – but it goes much deeper than just superficial labels.  This industry needs talk show hosts – especially local ones – who don’t give a damn about political science ideology or carrying partisan water for their favorite ‘team,’ but rather keep a watchful eye and wag a fearless tongue on the biggest problem facing the American political system today.”  If you want to find out what Harrison thinks is the biggest problem facing the American political system today, read the entire column by clicking here.

renojayssonCumulus Names Reno to Lead KGO and KSFO, San Francisco Sales.  At the Bay Area cluster, Cumulus Media appoints sales pro Jaysson Reno to vice president, sales for heritage market news/talkers KGO and KSFO.  Reno has worked in the San Francisco market for 10 years in the radio, digital and event space, and has led sales for the company’s rock KSAN and triple A KFOG since 2012.  Cumulus San Francisco VP/market manager Justin Wittmayer says, “Jaysson brings strong leadership, a keen business sense and the market equity needed to drive advertiser performance and grow revenues.  KGO and KSFO are legacy brands in which we will continue to invest to benefit our community, to enhance the user experience and to deliver superior advertiser results.”

wgwg logoBen Finfer and Alex Quigley Also Casualties at Tribune Media.  With the reported looming end of Tribune Media’s nine-month-old sports talk experiment on WGWG-LP comes news two staffers – Ben Finfer and Alex Quigley – learned about their imminent dismissal via Twitter while on the air.  According to the Chicago Sun-Times, the “Quigs and Finfer” personalities spoke on air about their disappointment, with Finfer saying, “We’re doing a live show here and to be told this way, it’s really a letdown.  We’re getting screwed on this one…We just found out on Twitter a half hour ago that the station is being taken off the air.  We were not told about this ahead of time.”  The story broke via a Tweet and blog post by Chicago media writer Robert Feder (and TALKERS passed along the story to you) who learned about the changes from inside sources.  It appears WGN and WGWG-LP management didn’t anticipate the news leaking out and although the station has not been performing in the ratings against competitors WSCR and WMVP, this is a bit of a PR black eye for Tribune Media.

ramseyAustin14Dave Ramsey Rocks Austin’s Bass Concert Hall.  No, nationally syndicated financial talk superstar and best-selling author Dave Ramsey didn’t sing (as far as we know), but he did pack the house at the Bass Concert Hall in Austin, Texas last night (11/20) nonetheless.  Ramsey presented his “Legacy Journey LIVE!” event in which he discusses how to win with money, strengthen marriages and lead your children with confidence.  His daughter, Rachel Cruze, joined Ramsey on stage.  Ramsey worked with local affiliate KJCE “Talk Radio 1370 AM” to promote this event.  Entercom VP/market manager Alan Kirshbom comments, “Austin loves Dave!  We are proud to welcome him back for what promises to be another exciting and uplifting event.”  Pictured here are (from left to right): KJCE promotions director Aaron Hurd, KJCE director of sales Heather Baumli, Ramsey, KJCE program director Stephen Kerr, Kirshbom, and KJCE general sales manager Bob Woche.

rabRAB: Radio’s Q3 Revenue Dips 2%; Off-Air and Digital Jump.  The 2014 third quarter radio revenue report from the Radio Advertising Bureau concludes radio’s total revenue dipped 2% — a bit better than Q2’s 3% drop (all comparisons are versus the same period in 2013).  Breaking it down, spot revenue and network revenue fell back 3% and 4% respectively in Q3 this year compared to last, but digital and off-air revenue were up by 11% and 14% respectively.  RAB president and CEO Erica Farber comments, “The increasing strength of radio’s digital platforms becomes more evident every quarter as advertisers recognize the unparalleled benefits of reaching radio’s dedicated audiences on every device and platform they are using.  In addition, the growth in off-air opportunities for advertisers is a clear indication that radio is focused on continuing to deliver more innovative solutions to help them reach their consumers.”  See the RAB’s report here.

Odds & Sods. Longtime Arkansas talk show host and programmer Dave Elswick begins duties as program director and afternoon drive host at Crain Media Group-owned KHTE, Little Rock.  His program will also air on the company’selswickdave KSMD, Searcy, Arkansas (about 50 miles northeast of Little Rock) as Elswick begins building out the Dave Elswick Network.  He worked for years at Cumulus Media’s KARN-FM, Little rock as PD and personality…..SiriusXM adds former NBA head coach George Karl to its roster of hoops experts on its NBA Radio channel.  He debuts today (11/21) from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm ET and will host regularly throughout the season…..CBS RADIO‘s all-news KNX, Los Angeles will present a special program titled, “Immigration: The President Acts,” on Monday (11/24) from 10:00 am to 11:00 am.  The show will include expert guests and listener call-ins.  KNX anchor Tom Haule and chief investigative reporter Charles Feldman will host the show.

bellmediaBell Media to Lay Off 80 Employees.  Canadian broadcast giant Bell Media is announcing personnel cuts across its radio division that will affect some 80 people.  As reported by the Windsor Star, the Windsor market (which operates four stations that also serve Detroit listeners) will lose seven staffers, but those people haven’t been identified yet.  The stations in Windsor include: triple A CKLW-FM “The River 93.9,” alternative CIMX “89X,” oldies CKWW and news/talk CKLW-AM.  The paper notes that Bell Media cut about 120 positions in the radio division back in June.

miw logoMIW Announces 2015 Mentoring Program.  The details of the 2015 Mildred Carter Mentoring Program from the Mentoring & Inspiring Women in Radio Group are available.  The 14-year-old program matches up-and-coming women in the radio industry with female professionals recognized as leaders in all aspects of radio.  2015 Mentoring Committee chair Lindsay Cerajewski (who also serves as sales manager at CBS RADIO’s WUSN, Chicago) says, “This is a wonderful opportunity for mentees to gain valuable insight, knowledge and access to some of the most influential women in radio.  We look forward to another outstanding program in 2015.”  A total of four candidates from the radio broadcasting industry – within the sales, marketing, programming and digital disciplines – will be selected for the 2015 program.  Of those, at least one spot will be designated for a programming candidate, and one spot designated for a digital candidate.   For mentee criteria and instructions on how to apply, please visit http://tinyurl.com/miwmentee. The deadline to apply is Friday, December 12, 2014.

TALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  The Genesis Communications Network-syndicated Dr. Joy Browne program is added to the program schedule at WGNC, Gastonia, North Carolina.

Obama Amnesty Executive Action Top News/Talk Story for Week of November 17-21.  The plan by President Obama to use executive action to give amnesty to some 5 million undocumented aliens was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  Coming in at #2 was the videotaped speeches of Affordable Care Act architect Jonathan Gruber.  At #3 was the tension over the grand jury’s anticipated decision whether to indict police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri and at #4 was the record snowfall in Buffalo and the early cold snap.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Monday, November 3, 2014

| November 3, 2014

ramseySmartconf14Ramsey Packs ‘Smart Conference’ in Los Angeles.  The photo you see here shows nationally syndicated talk radio superstar and best-selling author Dave Ramsey on the stage at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles at the sold-out “Smart Conference” that took place on Saturday (11/1).  During the day-long conference, Ramsey, along with his daughter Rachel Cruze, Andy Andrews, Dr. Henry Cloud, Dr. Emmerson Eggerichs, Joy Eggerichs, and Dr. Meg Meeker, provided attendees with “essential information on how to win with money, strengthen their marriages, build parenting skills and excel in their careers.”  To help promote the event, Ramsey partnered with local affiliate KEIB “The Patriot.”  Program director Robin Bertolucci comments, “Dave Ramsey’s listeners are engaged and passionate.  They connect with Dave at a very personal and emotional level.  The Dave Ramsey show is clearly impacting people’s lives and building powerful bonds with the Patriot audience and our clients.”

steinhauercharlesSteinhauer Inks Multi-Year Renewal with Westwood One.  Syndication giant Westwood One agrees to terms for a multi-year contract renewal with chief operating officer Charles Steinhauer.  He’ll continue to oversee the management of the company’s day-to-day operations, including programming, technology, distribution, sports, marketing, affiliate services, research, compliance and strategy, and will report directly to Lew Dickey, chief executive officer for Cumulus Media.  In addition to his role at Westwood One, Steinhauer serves as a director on the board of the Media Ratings Council and was chair of the Network Radio Research Council (NRRC).  He is also an ARF Ambassador, a member of the RAB Council, and serves on the Nielsen Advisory Board.  Lew Dickey says, “Charles is an exceptional talent and a key member of our executive leadership team.  We’re excited to extend his contract and look forward to his important contribution as we build Westwood One into the world’s leading audio content company.”

eisenrichThe Rich Eisen Show Debuts Today.  The new Rich Eisen program debuts across the Fox Sports Radio Network – clearing some 120 stations that carry the network’s programming.  The addition of the DirecTV-produced program in the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm ET slot affected the network’s lineup, most notably bumping “Jay Mohr Sports” into the afternoon drive slot, Eastern Time.

Odds & Sods.  More election coverage to announce from TheBlaze Radio NetworkDoc Thompson and Skip Lacombe are set to host the Glenn Beck-founded network’s election night coverage from Mercury Studios in Dallas from 7:00 pm until key races are decided.  Jay Severin and TheBlaze TV’s Laurie Dhue and Amy Holmes will be contributing to coverage.  TheBlaze notes that this coverage is multi-platform with TheBlaze TV and TheBlaze.com theblaze radio networkproviding complementary coverage and analysis…..United Stations Radio Networks names Willis Damalt the newest rep in the company’s affiliate relations department.  In his new role, Damalt will specialize in the affiliate marketing efforts of the company’s offerings for news/talk and sports formats…..This Thursday, CBS RADIO’s KNX, Los Angeles presents a special program called “Ebola Uncovered” from 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm.  The program is being co-hosted by KNX news anchor Tom Haule and investigative reporter Charles Feldman, who is co-producing the special with Laraine Herman.  Reporter Margaret Carrero will contribute to the program which will also stream live on cbsLA.com.  Listeners will have the piscopojoeopportunity to ask questions on the radio by calling 866-569-1070 or through Twitter using #knxebola.  The guests will include a doctor who is an infectious disease specialist from UCLA, a sociologist from UC Irvine and a local doctor who recently treated Ebola patients in Liberia…..Filling in for morning personality Joe Piscopo on Salem Communications’ WNYM, New York “AM 970 The Answer” are: PBS anchor, syndicated columnist and former New Jersey state legislator Steve Adubato; WNYM Sunday morning host (and former New York mayoral candidate John Catsimatidis; WNYM midday host John Gambling; and Brian Whitman and Elisha Krauss, co-hosts of “The Morning Answer” on the company’s KRLA, Los Angeles.

entercomEntercom Announces Q3 Net Revenue Up 1%.  On revenue of $99.8 million during the third quarter of 2014 Entercom is reporting the figure amounts to a 1% increase compared to the same period a year ago.  The quarter also saw station expenses increasing 3% and stationfielddavid operating income dipping 3%.  Entercom president and CEO David Field states, “Entercom’s performance accelerated during the third quarter, highlighted by a robust September during which revenues increased 7%, up 5% excluding political.  Overall, third quarter revenues were up 1.4%, overcoming a weak August.  We continue to focus on working to enhance our value to listeners and customers and to increase our growth potential for the future.  To that end, we believe our competitive position, execution, and capabilities have all significantly improved over the past year and should enable enhanced performance in the year ahead.”  Entercom is presenting an investor’s conference call today.

leykisLaughFactoryTom Leykis Sells Out LA’s Laugh Factory with Show titled “Be Funny Live.”  Internet radio maverick Tom Leykis brought a live version of one of his online program’s most popular features, “Be Funny,” to the stage of LA’s famous comedy club, the Laugh Factory this past Thursday evening (10/30) and RadioInfo’s West Coast correspondents report the sold-out event was a hilarious success.  The program consists of a parade of characters culled from regular listeners and callers to his daily (3:00 pm – 6:00 pm PT) New Normal show performing parody songs and bits inspired by the news events of the day.  Leykis is quoted in an article in the Orange County Register stating, “Every time there is a national tragedy such as the Boston bombing, the Malaysian airliner, Ray Rice, Ebola…every time something happens, these people go to the drawing board and figure out how to make a parody song about all of this horrible stuff. It’s hysterically funny and you wouldn’t want to be caught laughing at it but, people laugh at it because it is off-the-charts funny.  A lot of them are full-on productions.  We picked a bunch of people that the audience knows to go in and play their hits and then we balanced it out with people who maybe have never called or are relatively new to the show.  We picked some people who are great and then some who are unbelievably bad and don’t know it but, they’ll find out the night of the show! [Laughs.]” Leykis’ show can be heard at www.BlowMeUpTom.com.

bernierlebouthillierBuild-Up to the Mid-Term Elections.  At Embry-Riddle University in Daytona Beach, Florida, WNDB, Daytona Beach talk show host Marc Bernier (left) hosted Fox News political analyst and host of “Political Insiders,” John LeBoutillier (right) at the college’s President’s Speakers Series.  The live event on October 31 was broadcast live on WNDB.  During the program, LeBoutillier “handicapped” the tight election battles going on around the country.

CORRECTION: TALKERS magazine’s just-released 2014 Heavy Hundred of Sports Talk is updated after a technical glitch led an incomplete version to be initially published.  The list now includes Mike Missanelli, WIP-FM, Philadelphia tied at #14; Adam Gold & Joe Ovies, WCMC, Raleigh tied at #55 and Orlando Alzugary, WQAM, Miami at #97.  We regret any inconvenience this error might have caused.  See the 2014 list here.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

| September 25, 2014

wgn logo newWGN, Chicago to Challenge WBBM’s News Dominance.  From a story by Robert Channick published in the Chicago Tribune comes word of some of WGN, Chicago’s programming tweaks that are designed to capture more of the news-hungry radio users in the market and, presumably take some ears away from market radio news leader WBBM.davlantesanna  Among the additions are the first hour of the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm Bob Sirott and Marianne Murciano show becoming “The Business Lunch,” and focusing on Chicago business stories.  CBS RADIO’s WBBM airs “The Noon Business Hour” with Sherman Kaplan and Kris Kridel at the same time.  Additionally, former WMAQ-TV and WFLD-TV news anchor and reporter Anna Davlantes joins the station to host “The Big Story” – a 90-second news segments that will air during the Steve Cochran morning show and be a jumping-off point for show.  The same segment will air in the afternoon with WGN managing editor of radio news Judy Pielach hosting.  WGN Radio president Jimmy de Castro also tells the paper the station plans to add staff to the news department  in the future.

americaweekendlogoSmaldone and Gold Named Hosts of ‘America Weekend.’  Radio pros Valerie Smaldone and Leslie Gold are named new hosts for the Envision Networks-syndicated weekend talk radio program “America Weekend.”  Envision’s show airs on both Saturdays andsmaldonevalerie Sundays and the network says it’s “designed to be a break from the usual brokered programming and political fare of most news/talk stations,” covering “the lighter side of news and lifestyle issues facing today’s on-the-go talk listeners.”  Smaldone and Gold join current “America Weekend” talent goldleslieMike Bennett, Ed Kalegi, Smith and Sabatino, and Dave Graveline.  Envision VP of programming Michael Lichtstein says, “We couldn’t be more excited to have Valerie and Leslie join the team of hosts on ‘America Weekend.’  Each brings a breadth of radio experience to the show and together they set a new bar when it comes to delivering compelling and thought-provoking conversation.”  Smaldone adds, “I am delighted to be working with the fabulous Leslie Gold as we host a weekly show together focusing on fascinating personalities and celebrities, trends and curiosities.”  Gold says, “‘America Weekend’ presents an opportunity to talk about the stuff that intrigues, amuses and vexes all of us.  Hosting the show with my real-life friend Valerie Smaldone makes it an immense pleasure for me.  We pledge captivating talk by two veteran broadcasters who are also true friends.  It should be much fun.”

adweek14Radio to Be on Hand at Advertising Week Conference in NYC Next Week.  When Advertising Week kicks off in New York City next week, radio will be a segment of the media industry presenting during the four-day conference.  One of the panel highlights will be titled, “Voices of the Original Social Media,” hosted by the RAB and moderated by RAB president and CEO Erica Farber, on Tuesday, September 30 at 11:30 am ET.  This session will feature both nationally syndicated airfarbererica talent and local stars relating their experiences with listeners and brand partners and how that’s being leveraged over the airwaves and on digital platforms.  The panel will include: NBC Sports Radio toomeramaniNetwork’s Amani Toomer, Premiere NetworksBobby Bones, WQHT, New York “Hot 97” morning personality Ebro Darden, and WMIB, Miami “103.5 The Beat” midday personality Angie MartineziHeartMedia chairman and CEO Bob Pittman will take part in a panel titled, “Loss of Serendipity” on Wednesday, October 1 alongside MediaLink chairman and CEO, Michael Kassan and Google SVP global marketing Lorraine Twohill during which they will “explore the flip side of data-tailored content creation and distribution by considering the importance of serendipity.”  Entercom president and CEO David Field will moderate a panel titled “Evolution or Revolution Part II” on Thursday, October 2.  His panelists will include: Enterprise Group president Jim Doyle, The New York Times EVP of advertising Meredith Kopit Levien, TBWA president and CEO Troy Ruhanen, Centaur Media CEO Andria Vidler, and Shelly Palmer of Shelly Palmer Digital Living.  They will talk about “disruption, real-time reinvention, retaining and growing share, and balancing today with tomorrow.”

limbaughrushLimbaugh Goes on the Offensive.  Brandishing a new tactic to fight the StopRush campaign being waged against his Premiere Networks-syndicated radio program, Rush Limbaugh and official show spokesman Brian Glicklich issued a press release yesterday (9/23) with the purpose of “outing” the forces behind what Limbaugh calls a “conspiracy.”  TALKERS readers are well aware of the campaign – led by Media Matters for America – to hit Limbaugh (and others) where it hurts most: in their advertising revenue.  That organizations aligned with Media Matters are conducting digital campaigns to harass mediamattersadvertisers on Limbaugh’s program is not disputed, but yesterday’s release attempts to flesh out the tactics and the people involved in the campaign.  The release says, in part, “The StopRush group claims to be made up of ordinary consumers unhappy with Rush Limbaugh’s comments.  The group claims to be ‘grassroots,’ just concerned consumers who won’t shop at businesses that advertise with Rush Limbaugh.  In truth, however, there are no potential customers here, just a small number of hardcore political activists founded by Angelo Carusone, EVP of Media Matters for America.  It’s remarkably tiny. Only 10 Twitter users account for almost 70% of all StopRush tweets to advertisers, amplified by illicit software.  In addition, almost every communication from a StopRush activist originates from outside the state of the advertiser.  Thus, these activists are not and never would have been customers… their only role is to harass small businesses in an attempt to interfere with their operations, as long as they are advertising with Rush.  ‘A small number of politically motivated out-of-state activists are distributing target lists indiscriminately, and annoying small businesses until they give up the advertising deals that help them grow, or risk being unable to conduct business at all.  It’s not even activism… it’s blackmail,’ according to Brian Glicklich. Meanwhile, Carusone issues the following statement in response to Limbaugh’s press release, which you can read in its entirety here.  “Rush Limbaugh’s show has reportedly lost millions of dollars in revenue for radio companies, thousands of advertisers big and small refuse to run ads on the program and radio stations are dropping the show.  After initially insisting there were no troubles with advertisers, two years later Limbaugh’s crisis team comes out with a report attributing this massive exodus to just 10 people? The numbers just don’t add up.  This is a grassroots effort that grows every day.  Instead of attacking people on the internet, Limbaugh’s team would better fill their role by advising their client not to excuse rape in some situations (as he did just last week).  Rush Limbaugh is bad for business — and the only thing Limbaugh has to blame for that is his own repeated conduct.”  In addition to the press statement, Limbaugh published on his website the names of nine people he says are leaders in the campaign, complete with Twitter IDs and, in some cases, emails.

margeryelizabethMargery Punnett to Leave ‘myTalk 107.1’ in Minneapolis.  Announcing via the Hubbard Radio female-targeted talk outlet’s website, Margery Punnett (left) says she’ll leave her midday talk show position at KTMY, Minneapolis “myTalk 107.1” in November to join her husband (and former KTMY co-host) Ian Punnett in Phoenix.  Margery Punnett – who currently co-hosts the midday show with Elizabeth Ries (right) – says she’ll move to Phoenix to join Ian who’s there studying at the graduate level at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications.

ketelaarsteveKetelaar Exits WOC-AM, Quad Cities.  According to a story in the Quad Cities Times, WOC-AM Quad Cities morning drive host Steve Ketelaar has left the station.  It’s not clear if Ketelaar was let go or if he left of his own accord.  In the story, Jim O’Hara, operations manager for the iHeartMedia Quad Cities cluster, tells the paper, “He is going to pursue his voice-work career full time, which is…pretty successful already.  He’s looking forward to doing it 100% of the time.”  Ketelaar co-hosted the morning show with Dan Deibert who remains co-host of the morning show on WOC-AM. He’s being joined by the company’s Dan Kennedy as co-host.

cecilbobHearst Baltimore’s Cecil to Exit.  Director of sales Bob Cecil has shared his decision to leave Hearst Baltimore’s two-station combo.  President and general manager Cary Pahigian comments that Cecil has “contributed immeasurably” to the Baltimore tandem “for several decades,” but “after careful consideration” he will “step away and enjoy time with his family.  We thank Bob for his extraordinary efforts and wish him only the best.”  In a staff memo, Cecil writes, “It has been a great privilege teaming with the Ravens, Orioles, Naval Academy, and so many other terrific business partners throughout my career.  I am appreciative of the support of Cary Pahigian and look forward to his – and your – great success in the years ahead.”  Hearst Baltimore consists of WIYY “98 Rock” and talker WBAL.  Cecil joined the stations 14 years ago; his last day there will be one week from Friday (10/3).

freelancestarSalierno Named Interim GM of Star Radio Group.  Longtime radio sales executive Ralph Salierno is promoted to interim general manager of the Star Radio Group based in Fredericksburg, Virginia.  For the past two years, Salierno has served as director of sales for the station group.  He’s also worked in the industry in Orlando, Virginia Beach, Oklahoma City and Memphis.  Star Radio Group is part of The Free Lance-Star Publishing Company which was purchased at a bankruptcy auction in May of this year by Sandton Capital Partners for $30.2 million.  The radio stations are: country WFLS, hip hop WVBX, classic rock WWUZ, and news/talk WNTX-AM and translator W243BS at 96.5 FM.  Free Lance-Star and Star Radio Group publisher and CEO Gene Carr states, “Ralph has been a key member of the Star Radio group and has earned this internal promotion.  In his new duties as interim GM, he will continue to serve as the director of sales as well.  Ralph has done a great job in driving revenue growth.”  At the same time, the station announces Jeff Beck is promoted to program director for WFLS and WWUZ.  He’ll also have a supervisory role over WVBX and WNTX.  Carr adds, “Jeff brings years of service and industry knowledge to the team.  This new management team will help to position the company for further growth.”

SOCO Radio Adds LMA of Pueblo Stations.  Announcing the local management agreement between his SOCO Radio and United States CPP LLC, SOCO principal Mike Knar takes control of news/talk KWRP, Pueblo, translators K230BB, Fowler, Colorado (93.9), K262BB, Boone, Colorado (100.3) and oldies KFVR-FM, Beulah, Colorado.  Knar states, “These are assets I’ve coveted since I left Cumulus in 2011.  We plan on driving a very hard local message in Southern Colorado.  SOCO also controls AC KFEZ, Walsenburg, Colorado and hip hop KJQY, Colorado City.  Knar announces his firm is seeking talent for his stations, especially broadcasters who can work on air and sell.  Contact him at: mike@socoradio.com.

hornsStanleyCupKissing the Cup!  It’s almost hockey season and CRN Digital Talk Radio CEO Mike Horn (left) and VP of affiliate sales and marketing Jennifer Horn (right) are getting into the spirit as they kiss the Stanley Cup, currently being held by the 2014 champion Los Angeles Kings.  The Horns had the opportunity to check out the NHL championship trophy at Hall of Fame broadcaster Bob Miller’s Stanley Cup celebration.

U.S. ISIS Policy/Syria Strikes, NFL Domestic Violence Cases/ESPN Suspends Bill Simmons, Emma Watson UN Speech/Nude Pix Threat, UN Climate Change Conference, Hillary Clinton Presidential Prospects, Mid-Term Elections, Iran Nukes Negotiations, and Hannah Graham Case Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/24).  The Obama Administration’s ISIS policy and the recent air strikes in Syria; the ongoing discussion about the various domestic violence cases involving NFL players and ESPN’s decision to suspend Bill Simmons for his rant against NFL commissioner Roger Goodell; actress Emma Watson’s speech before the UN about feminism and women’s rights and the subsequent threat by hacktivists to reveal nude pictures of her; the UN Climate Change conference and President Obama’s speech; the prospects for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential run; the looming mid-term elections and speculation about majority changes in Congress; the negotiations with Iran over fighting ISIS and the country’s nuclear program; the case of missing Virginia college Hannah Graham were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, September 22, 2014

| September 22, 2014

rowlandjohnFormer Connecticut Governor and WTIC, Hartford Talk Host Found Guilty of Campaign Law Violations.  He’d already served 10 months in prison for a 2004 conviction on corruption charges when CBS RADIO’s news/talk WTIC, Hartford hired John Rowland to host a daily afternoon drive radio talk show.  Now, after Friday’s conviction on seven counts of campaign finance law violations, it appears that Rowland is likely headed back to prison.  Sentencing is scheduled for December 12 but his attorneys plan to appeal.  According to the Hartford Courant’s account, Rowland, who resigned from WTIC in April just before being indicted on the charges, chose not to take a plea deal for 18 months jail time and tested his luck with the jury.  It didn’t work as the jury found him guilty of all charges related to his scheme to consult a Republican political candidate in 2012 and hide the fact that he was accepting the cash for those purposes.  Read Edmund Mahony’s Courant story here.

cookehollandLocal On-Air Talent CAN Become Indispensable.  Media consultant Holland Cooke revisits (and expands upon!) the point he made the “pages” of TALKERS four years ago that “if you’re in RADIO, you’re in SALES” in a column published today (9/22).  It’s easy to pick apart the effectiveness of another medium’s advertising components but radio must look in the mirror for, as Cooke writes, criticism of a lot of radio’s not-so-great spots is justified because “at many stations, including some in major markets, there’s no creative department.  Reps write their own copy, a task that’s not sellers’ core competency.”  Effectiveness is directly related to quality, so how to up the quality?  Cooke offers some suggestions and you can check them out here.

jacobsfredConsultant Fred Jacobs Encourages Radio Talent to Learn and Exploit Expanded Array of Available Media Tools.  Reaction and commentary continues to buzz throughout the industry on the topic of the role of the aural media arts (non-visual radio and music) in the increasingly multi-media/visual environment of the digital era – instigated largely last week by comments made by TALKERS and RadioInfo publisher Michael Harrison in the aftermath of the Clear Channel name/branding change to iHEARTMEDIA.  According to Harrison, “I am delighted by the enormous number of responses – mostly overwhelmingly positive – that my comments sparked.  Of course, there were those who immediately jumped to theiheartmedia logo conclusion that I am against the word ‘media’ or that I do not believe radio should be involved in internet, satellite or visual media at all.  This is, of course, preposterous!  The name of our company that owns TALKERS is Talk Media, Inc.; the name of our convention was the New Media Seminar way back in 1998; TALKERS magazine’s slogan is The Bible of Talk Radio and the New Talk Media; I have championed a concept known as “The Media Station” for more than a decade and the list goes on.  All I am saying is we should remain sensitive and respectful to the idea that there is a very important place in this emerging mix for pure audio-only radio and music in terms of the fundamentals of these processes – and that by doing so, we will be serving the best interests of our industry, the people who work in it and the consumers who love radio and music on their basic terms.”  Harrison continues, “My friend, noted radio consultant/researcher Fred Jacobs, CEO of Jacobs Media, — also an industry voice who is outspoken on this most compelling issue — has written and posted a blog today (9/22) that I believe adds an important dimension to the subject that warrants attention.  Jacobs makes a case, somewhat counterpoint (but not contradictory) to mine, that I find inspirational.”  In the blog, Jacobs writes, “I started thinking about this notion that the proliferation of screens will narrow the field for talkers, DJs, and hosts who are great with words, but not so wonderful visually.  As he [Michael Harrison] notes, screens of all sizes are becoming dominant parts of how people consume media. Thankfully, radio has been able to participate on most of those screens, whether on smartphones or tablets.  Over time as autonomous driving becomes more common, those who ride in these cars will gravitate to entertainment that is visual in origin – at least at a higher percentage than they are able to consume now while dangerously texting and driving.  So is this the beginning of the end for radio, or is it simply the beginning of the beginning?  Because as we have explored in this blog during the past few years, disruption forces old stars to adapt while bringing new ones to the center stage. Notably, two of the “Best Motion Picture” Oscars in just the past few years have focused on this topic. The King’s Speech starring Colin Firth was a story about changing technology, as the King of England was forced to learn how to communicate on the radio.  Of course, he struggled, but in the end he was able to adapt.  And in The Artist, the film’s silent film star refused to adapt to ‘talkies’ and is eventually displaced by a new brand of movie icons.  Change is uncomfortable and it can be bitter, as depicted in this amazing film.  The ending eventually become a happy one, but the road was arduous and difficult because of the tech disruption caused by the advent of movie sound.  Change is hard, especially for those who have enjoyed the status quo.  It tests everyone in all strata of the organization and the industry. Accepting, adapting, and adjusting is hard work.  It can be quite uncomfortable in workplaces that were once always fun and even kind of easy.  But these are the necessary skills that radio people need to exude in order to make the transition.  We see signs of this every day in broadcast radio.  Those who have the ability to connect with audiences – in person and in social spaces – have a unique edge.  The old paradigm of the DJ hermit, locked down the hall in the air studio, is breaking apart.  Today’s air talent need to be able to mix it up with listeners, clients, and community leaders.  Not every film star is handsome.  The public appreciates an interesting face, whether it’s Peter Dinklage on Game of Thrones or Linda Hunt on NCIS.  They may be exceptions, but they stand out because they’re different, captivating, and worthy of our attention.  They’re also immensely talented actors.  And the same will be the case on the radios of the future.  While good-looking DJs like Ryan Seacrest or Bobby Bones may have inherent advantages, Howard Stern proves that must-hear content trumps a pretty face.  And he’s not alone.  Words matter, and they will continue to in a media ecosphere that is now dominated by visuals. Screens or not, it’s the thought that counts.  These are changes that radio need to roll with.  Let’s open up new visual doors, new avenues, and new paths for our content.  And let’s embrace them because it’s truly a media world.”  To read Fred Jacobs’ entire blog, please click here.

warrenallisonRadio Management Pro Warren Named VP/MM for Cumulus Nashville.  Jumping from the Austin cluster of Entercom where she was director of sales and taking on the vice president and marketwwtn logo manager role at Cumulus Media Nashville is Allison Warren.  Cumulus SVP Jeff Brown comments, “Allison was a key part of my team in Denver some years back.  She did great work there and has since built a portfolio of successes in vibrant radio markets including Austin, Madison and Milwaukee.  Her results-driven, collaborative leadership style will infuse our Nashville operations with the energy and focus needed at this pivotal point in the cluster’s growth.  Allison will be an incredible asset to Cumulus’ leadership team.”  Warren also served with Entercom at its Madison and Milwaukee clusters as well as with CBS RADIO in Denver.  Cumulus operates six stations in the market including news/talk WWTN-FM “SuperTalk 99.7,” sports talker WGFX “104.5 The Zone,” as well as the Tennessee Titans Radio Network.

irn usa logoCross Platform Media Acquires IRN/USA Radio Network.  The president and CEO of Cross Platform Media, Sam Hassell, says the acquisition of IRN/USA Radio Network “rounds out the services of Cross Platform that is already deeply embedded in the national media space.”  Hassell continues, “We are very excited to make this announcement.  We look forward to fulfilling the original vision of USA Radio Network by providing audience-engaging news and content to the independent and group station owners around the country.”  Christian and conservative broadcast pioneer Marlin Maddoux launched the USA Radio Network in 1985 and Hassell adds, “We are very respectful of the Maddoux legacy and proud to continue syndicating ‘Point of View,’ ‘Daybreak USA,’ IRN/USA News and so many other significant programs.”  IRN/USA Radio Network currently produces and/or distributes more than 20 nationally syndicated radio programs with audience-targeted formatting primarily for news/talk and Christian radio (both commercial and non-commercial).

biakelseyBIA/Kelsey Forecast for 2015 Local Media Revenue: Up 1.6%.  But, of course, the increase comes as beneficial for those in the online/digital media realm (+13.1%) and, not surprisingly, traditional media is expected to see another dip (-1.7%).  BIA/Kelsey is presenting these results and more at its Leading in Local: SMB Digital Marketing conference in New Orleans this week.  The company predicts that in 2015, online/digital will account for more than one-quarter (25.2%) of total local media revenues in 2015.  Revenues for online/digital are expected to grow from $31 billion in 2014 to $35 billion in 2015, representing a 13.1% growth rate.  Other forecasts include: Mobile local ad revenues will grow from $4.3 billion in 2014 to $6.6 billion in 2015; Local social media revenues will grow from $2.5 billion in 2014 to $3.6 billion in 2015; Local search revenues will grow from $7.1 billion in 2014 to $7.2 billion in 2015; Local display revenues will grow from $4.3 billion in 2014 to $4.9 billion in 2015; and Local online video revenues will grow from $2.3 billion in 2014 to $3.0 billion in 2015.

dolansexpo9-14Dolans and Seaview Radio Hit Home Run with Live Event in South Florida.  Proving there is life after WOR, New York, the legendary husband/wife money media team of Ken & Daria Dolan (pictured here, Daria at left, Ken at right) joined forces with WSVU (960 AM/95.9 FM/ 106.9 FM), North Palm Beach “Seaview Radio” this past Saturday (9/20) presenting a successful, day-long listener/sponsor event titled, “South Florida Wealth & Health Expo 2014,” at the prestigious Jupiter Maltz Theatre in Jupiter, Florida.  The event brought local businesses and services from the fields of health, finance and better living together highlighted with on-stage financial advice presentations by the Dolans.  Seaview Radio general manager Chet Tart tells TALKERS, “The event gave us a wonderful opportunity to establish new and heightened relationships with sponsors from one of the most dynamic business sectors in the market.  We immediately received positive response with attendees and vendors already asking about next year’s event.  I think we might have to find a larger venue, next time around.”  The Dolans, now based in Jupiter, are best remembered for their stunning run of success at WOR, New York and the WOR Radio Network in the 90s and early-2000s – supplemented by their hosting hot shows on CNN, MSNBC anddolans poster other cable news/talk networks as well as penning best-selling books on the topic of personal finance.  Known for their entertaining banter and solid advice both on air and on stage, the Dolans went into semi-retirement several years ago – but have had difficulty steering clear of offers that keep coming their way for live appearances and their broadcast sales consulting services.  The result has been the birth of the increasingly active firm Dolan Media.  CEO Ken Dolan tells TALKERS, “There are huge revenue and promotional opportunities for local radio stations in live events – especially in the areas that strike home to most people – health and money.  The two go together beautifully as we have just proven at this event in Florida.  Daria and I are strongly considering taking this show on the road and helping stations around the country create a very exciting form of financial and PR synergy so dearly needed by small and middle-sized operators at this time.”  Perennial members of the TALKERS Heavy Hundred during their run at WOR, the Dolans have been ranked #75 on the prestigious Heaviest Hundred list of the “100 Most important Radio Talk Show Hosts of All Time.”  WSVU, North Palm Beach was recently sold by North Palm Beach Broadcasters to JVC Media.  GM Chet Tart – one of the most connected broadcast executives in the market – will stay on as GM of the new expanded operation planned by the acquiring owners, telling TALKERS, “With this transition to JVC, I find myself even more focused than ever… offering leadership, encouragement and inspiration to the staff.  That’s my focus!”   Chet Tart can be reached by email at chet@jvcbroadcasting.com.  Ken Dolan can be contacted at dolanmedia1@aol.com.

schafferdennyOdds & Sods.  At the iHeartMedia Des Moines cluster, alternative KXDA PD Mike Killabrew takes on the programming responsibilities for sister sports talker KXNO, leaving WHO programmer Van Harden to focus on his duties with the heritage news/talker…..Radio personality Denny Schaffer – most recently with iHeartMedia news/talker WRNO, New Orleans and former host at the company’s WSPD, Toledo – is back in Toledo as morning jock on Cumulus Media’s hot AC WWWM “Star 105.”…..Dallas news pro Jim Ryan joins ABC News Radio full time.  Ryan — a current staffer at WBAP, Dallas and part-time contributor to ABC News Radio, makes the switch starting November 1.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

| September 2, 2014

armstrongcarrigan small‘The Financial Exchange’ Adds Five New England Affiliates.  The WRKO, Boston-based program “The Financial Exchange” with Barry Armstrong (right) and Kim Carrigan (left) announces it is adding five New England affiliate stations so far this month.  This build-out of the Barry Armstrong brand in the region is the next step in creating a larger radio platform.  The program – which airs live from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon ET – starts today on WELI, New Haven; WGIR, Manchester and WHYN, Springfield.  Later this month, the show will also air on WTAG, Worcester and WQSO, Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

dennis&callahan showWEEI-FM, Boston Morning Show Remains Intact as John Dennis Inks New Deal.  According to a report in the Boston Globe by Chad Finn, morning personality John Dennis has signed a new contract with Entercom to remain in part of sports talk WEEI-FM’s morning show.  Co-host Gerry Callahan reportedly signed an extension in August.  Though the terms of the deal are not being released, Finn reports that sources say the new contract will not pay Dennis or Callahan the same kind of money they had been receiving from their last contract signed in 2007.  Sports media personality Kirk Minihane joined the program 18 months ago and his arrival has breathed new life into the show that has been challenged by CBS RADIO’s crosstown WBZ-FM and its Toucher and Rich morning program in the ratings.  As Finn reports, the Dennis & Callahan show beat Toucher and Rich in the Nielsen Audio PPM ratings in July.  August PPM data is being released this week.

la canforajasonBaltimore’s “Fan” Adds La Canfora to Afternoons. Starting today (9/2), the afternoon drive (2:00 pm – 6:00 pm) Scott Garceau Show with Jeremy Conn on CBS RADIO Baltimore all-sports WJZ-FM “The Fan” expands to include CBS Sports “NFL Insider” and analyst Jason La Canfora.  Vice president of programming Dave Labrozzi believes, “It is only natural that one of the country’s premier sports analysts would join Baltimore’s premier sports talk station.  Jason will bring an even greater depth to our coverage of sports in general, and football in particular.  It is great to have someone of Jason’s caliber and national notoriety joining our team.”  La Canfora reflects, “As a kid who fell asleep every night listening to Baltimore sports talk radio with a radio under my pillow, and who grew up taking the number 22 bus to Memorial Stadium, this is truly a dream come true.  I am always listening to Scott and Jeremy when I’m in the carpool line at my kid’s school or taking them to practices, so I couldn’t be more excited about the opportunity to join the team at ‘The Fan’ and talk about all of local sports.”  Baltimore native La Canfora joined CBS Sports as the NFL Insider for “The NFL Today” on the CBS Sports Network and CBSSports.com in 2012.

fennellbrettFennell Named SVP and CFO for Cox Media Group.  Taking over for Charles Odom, who was promoted recently to vice president and treasurer for Cox Enterprises, is Brett Fennell who assumes the SVP and chief financial officer role for Cox Media Group.  Fennell comes to CMG from Manheim where he was VP of financial planning and analysis.  CMG president Bill Hoffman states, “Brett is a proven Cox leader and a perfect addition to CMG’s executive team.  Additionally, his appointment is a great example of how Cox professionals can grow their careers across all Cox companies.”  In this role, Fennell will be responsible for all financial accounting and reporting, financial planning and analysis, financial systems and finance process improvement for CMG’s broadcasting, publishing and digital companies, as well as for Cox Reps and Cox Target Media.

sterlingkentMore TALKERS Career Moves.  Sports talk personality and programmer Kent Sterling moves across town from Emmis-owned sports outlet WFNI, Indianapolis to Entercom’s WXNT “CBS Sports 1430” where he’s now hosting the afternoon drive show, bumping the network’s Doug Gottlieb…..Weekend talk show host Lisa Ann Walter exits Clear Channel’s KFI, Los Angeles.  Walter had been hosting the 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm show on Saturdays and Sundays for the past three years…..Mark Willard leaves ESPN O&O KSPN, Los Angeles where he’d been hosting the daily “ESPNLA Now” program from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon.  He’d been with the station since 2008.

fantownhall’99.9 The Fan’ in Raleigh Holds Hurricanes Town Hall.  Sports talk outlet WCMC-FM, Raleigh “99.9 The Fan” is holding its second “Fan Town Hall,” this time featuring the Carolina Hurricanes and with three of the most influential people in the team’s organization.  The event takes place tomorrow (9/3) at WRAL-TV.  The 90-minute, commercial-free program will be moderated by “The Buzz” morning drive host and Hurricanes pre/post-game host, Mike Maniscalco.  Hurricanes panelists will include: president Don Waddell, executive VP/GM Ron Francis and head coach Bill Peters.  “99.9 The Fan” OM and program director Dennis Glasgow states, “Capitol Broadcasting is the first media outlet to have this unprecedented access with the newly formed Canes management team of Waddell, Francis and Peters, so we look forward to hearing their vision for the first time ever in a very unique setting.  We know how passionate Caniacs are in North Carolina.  It’s important to us for the fan base to have social media access so that they can ask questions about their team directly to the decision makers.”

roseIRSinterviewTalking IRS on WFED, Washington.  Afternoon drive personality Francis Rose (left) sits down for an exclusive interview with IRS Commissioner John Koskinen (right) on his “In Depth” program heard on Hubbard Radio’s WFED, Washington “Federal News Radio.”  Rose tells TALKERS Koskinen discussed the IRS side of the Lois Lerner email controversy; the six different investigations focused on the agency; his experience testifying about the agency’s operations; the antiquated state of the agency’s information technology; how the pressure from Congress on Lerner, and other issues, is hurting taxpayers; and his trips to the 25 largest IRS locations outside DC.

Odds & Sods.  After a summer stint hosting a radio show for SiriusXM, actress, author and comic Jenny McCarthy is signing with the satcaster to host a daily show on the service called, “Dirty, Sexy, Funny with Jenny McCarthy.”  The program will debut this fall and air from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon ET…..Northwestern University football play-by-play voice Dave Eanet (and WGN, Chicago sports anchor) was honored at Saturday’s home opener as the radio booth at Ryan Field was officially named the Dave Eanet Broadcast Booth.  Eanet has been the voice of Northwestern football (heard on WGN) since 1990…..Public radio outlet WUSF, Tampa wins five distinct journalism awards at the 2014 Society of Professional Journalists’ recent Sunshine State Awards.  The station received recognition for best newscast, general coverage, feature reporting and public affairs.  Celebrating its 50th anniversary, WUSF Public Media received a total of 26 state, regional and national journalism awards in 2014.

bennettryanBill Bennett Hosts Paul Ryan at Reagan Presidential Library.  Nationally syndicated talk show host Bill Bennett (left) sits down with former protégé Paul Ryan for a Q&A at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California over the weekend.  Wisconsin Republican Congressman Paul Ryan serves as chairman of the House Budget Committee and was touring to promote his book The Way Forward (Twelve 2014).  Ryan worked for Bennett at the latter’s Washington think tank Empower America.  Salem Radio Network says that Bennett and the late Jack Kemp inspired Ryan to run for a seat in Congress.

majchrowitzmikeFox News Radio’s Mike Majchrowitz Dies at 51.  Condolences to the family, friends and co-workers of Fox News Radio White House correspondent Mike Majchrowitz, who died at age 51 after a long battle with cancer.  Fox News Radio VP Mitch Davis comments, “Mike was an original — a solidly tenacious reporter, a thoughtful anchor and a good man.  He earned the respect of his colleagues for many things, not the least of which was his kindness.  From our earliest days he helped Fox News Radio grow into what we are now.  His voice was unique, as was his courage.  Throughout his struggle, he remained positive and was an inspiration to us all. We will miss him.”

Mid-Term Elections/2016 Presidential Race, ISIS Violence/Obama ‘No Strategy’ Comment, U.S. Strikes al-Shabaab in Somalia, Al Qaeda Jihad Threat, Russia’s Ukraine Aggression, and Michael Sam Cut/NFL Season to Open Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/1).  The coming mid-term elections and the prospects for the 2016 presidential race, including talk of Mitt Romney running; the ongoing ISIS campaign in Iraq and President Obama’s statement the U.S. has “no strategy” regarding ISIS; U.S. drones strike al-Shabaab in Somalia; the threat by Al Qaeda of a jihad against America; Russia’s continuing aggression in Ukraine; and openly gay football player Michael Sam is cut by St. Louis as the NFL season opener to take place Thursday were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

| August 27, 2014

bauerhankClear Channel Suspends Hank Bauer for One Broadcast.  After making an anti-Semitic joke during the San Diego Chargers-San Francisco 49ers pre-season game, Clear Channel is suspending radio color man and former Charger Hank Bauer for the final pre-season game tomorrow evening.  Chargers play-by-play airs on CC’s rock KIOZ and sports KLSD.  During the broadcast, noting that fans in the expensive seats were leaving the game early, Bauer’s partner Josh Lewin said he would stay for the entire game if he had those seats.  Bauer then quipped, “But then again you know how copper wire was invented?  Somebody dropped a penny between Josh and his family member.”  Bauer later posted an apology on Twitter, stating, “I made a hurtful insinuation that I regret and I would like to express how sorry I am.  My poor choice of words were unfortunately open for negative interpretation, please know it was never my intention to offend any of my listeners.  I hope you accept my apology.”

hannityPaul Ryan to Guest Host Sean Hannity Show August 28.  In a rare example of a sitting member of Congress occupying the host chair for Sean Hannity on his Premiere Networks nationally syndicated radio show, Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI) – and former vice presidential candidate – will serve as guest host Thursday, August 28.  Premiere Networks says in a statement that Ryan will “weigh in on ISIS, the Ferguson tragedy, slain American journalist James Foley, and why Burger King should move to Canada.”

doingchadChad Doing Joins KGMZ, San Francisco.  After years at Alpha Media’s KXTG-AM, Portland, sports talk personality Chad Doing is lined up to become part of the air staff at Entercom’s KGMZ, San Francisco “95.7 The Game.”  The station isn’t announcing a specific role for Doing yet, but station PD Jason Barrett comments, “I couldn’t be more thrilled to bring Chad on to our team.  When you listen to Chad host a talk show, you can’t help but notice his passion, honesty and high energy.  He comes across as a genuine guy who truly loves sports but more importantly, you sense that he loves to connect with his audience.  I’m looking forward to getting Chad settled in and utilizing his abilities to help grow our radio station in the future.”

travisclayClay Travis to Exit WGFX-FM, Nashville.  After failing to come to terms on a contract renewal, Clay Travis will exit the “3HL” show on Cumulus Media’s sports talk WGFX-FM, Nashville after tomorrow’s program.  The show will continue with Blaine Bishop and Brent Dougherty.  Travis writes on his Fox Sports Outkick the Coverage blog that he wanted to remain with the station but that corporate would only approve a $5,000 raise.  He’ll continue to write for Outkick the Coverage and appear on Fox Sports TV.

Deal for Statesboro, Georgia Stations Closes.  According to the Statesboro Herald, the $600,000 deal that has six stations in the market changing hands has closed.  Neal Ardman is operating Radio Statesboro, Inc. and will acquire the stations from Georgia Eagle Media.  That company will retain ownership of the towers which will be leased to Radio Statesboro.  The stations include: adult contemporary WPMX-FM “Eagle 102.9,” country WHKN, news/talk WMCD-FM, classic rock WZBX, news/talk WWNS and sports talk WPTB.  According to the story, the formats on WWNS and WPTB will flip in the near future and Radio Statesboro plans to drop classic rock on WZBX and go CHR.

radioshow14Radio Show Sets “Magic of Radio” Session. Renowned programmer/WCBS-FM, New York wakeup talent Scott Shannon, Cumulus Media syndicated morning drivers Bob (Kevoian) & Tom (Griswold), and Westwood One consumer expert Clark Howard will discuss ways that their fellow on-air personalities can effectively impact listeners in a positive manner.  The four noted talents will share their opinions at next month’s (9/10 – 12) Radio Show in Indianapolis in a Gary Berkowitz-moderated session, “The Magic – Radio’s Storytellers.”  Also on the agenda is the (Friday) 9/12 “Programming Masters Series,” which addresses the effect of the multi-platform media environment on radio programmers.  Panelists will include Marilu Henner; ABC News Radio vice president and general manager Steve Jones; Howard Cogan (the voice of Jack-FM); Kane; and HOCO Productions and The Blaze Radio Network vice president of programming Dom Theodore.  The Radio Show is produced by the Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB)and National Association of Broadcasters (NAB).

Michael Brown Death Aftermath, American ISIS Fighter Killed, U.S. Military Policy in Iraq and Syria, Mid-Term Elections, Obama Climate Change Deal, Lois Lerner Emails Controversy, and IMF’s Lagarde Under Investigation Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/26).  The aftermath of the shooting death of Michael Brown; the death of American Douglas MacArthur McCain killed in Syria while fighting for ISIS; the Obama Administration’s military policy in Iraq and Syria; the looming mid-term elections; President Obama’s reported plan to skirt the U.S. Senate for a global climate change treaty; new information about the status of Lois Lerner’s IRS emails; and investigation of IMF chief Christine Lagarde on fraud charges were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

| August 21, 2014

Ferguson Provides News/Talk Radio with Red Meat on Controversial Issues for Both Left and Right.  The tragic events that have unfolded in Ferguson, MO have provided talk radio opinion leaders from the left, right and in-between with more than enough fresh material on mainstay topics around which to build their cases.  Some see it as another horrific indication of unjust racial inequality in America and the troubling expansion of a militarized police state.  Others see it as further infuriating evidence of the rise of crime, unwarranted traduptomplaying of the race card and growing disrespect and lack of support for law enforcement.  Almost all are concerned about its reflection of the declining state of journalism and increasing suppression of the press and First Amendment rights.  Asked by Salem Radio Network VP news & talk programming, Tom Tradup (for a forthcoming article in September’s Townhall Magazine) his take on talk radio’s role in the matter and whether he sees it as negative or positive, TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “Ferguson contains a tempest of pressing and controversial American issues. There’s red meat for both the left and right in this tragedy.  Talk radio – collectively – has played a positive role in responding to and covering it by airing all the different ideologies, including those that are politically incorrect, and moving the vital discussion forward.  Some hosts have gone directly to the scene putting local people on the air to present  real life perspectives, thus bringing the public closer to the disturbingly obscured truth.”  The article will contain comments from Sean Hannity, Mike Gallagher, and SiriusXM personality David Webb who went to Ferguson where he interviewed a wide variety of residents including African American businesspeople.  Tradup tells TALKERS, “I’m proud of our industry leading the national conversation on this issue, and look forward to highlighting the great work many shows did inviting audience members to experience the story-behind-the-headlines.”

gallagher mikeMike Gallagher: “I Can – and Will – Do Better.”  On his Salem-syndicated talk program yesterday (Wednesday, 8/20), Mike Gallagher became embroiled with one of his callers (“James”). The two discussed James’ opinion that releasing surveillance video of 18-year-old Michael Brown robbing a convenience store prior to the shooting that took Brown’s life was, in and of itself, a “violent act.” There was considerable shouting between host Gallagher and caller “James” with the latter hanging up. Gallagher maintains the on-air exchange bothered him the rest of the day and it prompted him to write on Facebook Wednesday night, “Today on my radio show, my emotions got the best of me. I have been bothered by that exchange all day and I wanted to formally apologize. While I steadfastly disagree with [caller James’] contention that the surveillance video of Michael Brown robbing a convenience store was not a ‘violent act,’ I should not have interrupted James as I did. I will give a more detailed and specific apology on the air tomorrow, but I wanted to put it in writing tonight. I should not have reacted the way I did, and I certainly should not invite people to call my show and then disagree so passionately that I don’t give them much of a chance to talk. I am sorry. I can – and will – do better.”

mason danDan Mason To Cox Media Group Tampa As OM. To clarify, the Dan Mason appointed operations manager for three Cox Media Group Tampa facilities is the former WODS, Boston program director – not the CBS Radio president and chief executive officer with the same name. CMG vice president and market manager Keith Lawless comments, “Dan’s approach to programming is firmly in line with ours and he is a welcome addition to our team. I am confident his contributions will help us continue to compete and win.” Cox Media Group vice president of programming Steve Smith explains, “We took our time searching for the right fit, and Dan is that guy. He will add his expertise in management and talent development to some of our other super-brands in Tampa. We welcome Dan to the CMG family.” Mason – who begins his new assignment in about two weeks (9/8) – states that he is “thrilled” to join the “fantastic team” in Tampa on “three of the most exciting and unique brands not just within Cox Media Group, but the country. I am grateful to Keith Lawless and Steve Smith for the opportunity to lead the team.” Mason’s Tampa OM duties involve alternative WSUN “97-X,” CHR WPOI “Hot 101.5,” and talk WHPT “102.5 The Bone.” He will also be director of branding & programming for “Hot 101.5.” Mason’s previous programming background includes Clear Channel Miami CHR WHYI “Y-100″; Entercom Sacramento outlets CHR KDND-FM “107.9 The End” and hot AC KBZC “Star 106.5″; and Clear Channel Cleveland CHR WAKS, “96.5 Kiss-FM.”

loesch danaCMG Talkers Clear “The Dana Show.” The agreement for Radio America‘s “The Dana Show” includes Cox Media Group talk outlets in Atlanta (WSB-AM); Orlando (WDBO-FM); Jacksonville (WOKV-AM/FM); Dayton (WHIO-AM/FM); Tulsa (KRMG-AM/FM); and Athens, Georgia (WGAU). Cox Media Group vice president of marketing/news-talk-sports format leader Nick Roberts comments that, “Cox Media Group strongly believes in growing new talk talent — people who can be the next superstars. We believe Dana has the ability to reach the next generation of listeners.” Radio America chief operating officer Mike Paradiso states, “The growth of ‘The Dana Show’ has been outstanding. Dana and all of us at Radio America are excited about her success across the country. It is a privilege to be working with a great company like Cox and their heritage stations.” Host Dana Loesch originates her daily program from Emmis St. Louis’ KFTK.

sabowalterWhen Broadened Aspirations Deserve a Thank-You. For well over one-half century (1926 – 1983), New York City’s female-targeted WOR was America’s #1 rated radio station and the country’s top-biller. Similarly-programmed talkers KABC, Los Angeles and WGN, Chicago were typically second and third. Partnership pioneer Tom O’Neil understood that his business was show business and grew the crown jewel of the RKO Radio Network – WOR – by hiring major stars from other media. Nowadays though, when topflight radio personalities seek to broaden their horizons in other media, most radio managers try to quash such plans. Tipping his cap to the O’Neil model, Sabo Media chief executive officer Walter Sabo strongly suggests that when on-air personalities possess the ambition to do more than radio, management should reward them with a hearty “Thank-You.” Click here to read Sabo’s exclusive TALKERS article.

donahue harryDonahue to Retire from KYW. After a five-decade Philadelphia broadcasting career, Harry Donahue is retiring. Tomorrow (8/22) is the last day on the job for the morning drive co-anchor at CBS Radio-owned all-news KYW. CBS Radio Philadelphia senior vice president and market manager Marc Rayfield states, “Harry’s voice is one of Philadelphia’s most familiar. His contributions to KYW are immeasurable. He is a consummate professional and will be sorely missed by those who have worked with him all these years, as well as our many listeners who set their alarms to 1060 each morning.” Donahue reflects that when he was hired at KYW, “I couldn’t believe it. It was, and remains, the preeminent radio station in Philadelphia. I have done what I always wanted to do. To work in my hometown and having been part of this iconic radio station – it just doesn’t get any better.” Donahue joined KYW in 1973. He began his career as an announcer for Philadelphia’s former WPBS (now WUSL) and as a manager of media relations for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. Donahue is the longtime play-by-play voice for Temple University athletics – men’s football and basketball. The latter is heard on KYW’s talk sibling WPHT; he will continue those responsibilities.

hartmann thomTree Media Releases Climate Crisis Film “CARBON.” Production company Tree Media is supported by the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation (DiCaprio is the film’s narrator). Made in collaboration with nationally syndicated, WYD Media progressive talk host (and recipient of the 2014 TALKERS Freedom of Speech Award) Thom Hartmann, CARBON explores crucial issues related to the climate crisis. Hartmann stresses, “We need serious action to address the most pressing issue of our time. Communities across the world have taken action in the most direct and effective ways possible by taxing and trading carbon. For us to beat this crisis, many more need to join.” According to DiCaprio, “97% of climate scientists agree: Climate change is happening now and humans are responsible. We cannot sit idly by and watch the fossil fuel industry make billions at our collective expense.  We must put a price on carbon — now.” This is the first film in the “Green World Rising” series that will include three additional ones covering solutions to the climate crisis. Director Leila Connors explains, “This film is meant to be an asset for the climate movement and to generate momentum for the global reduction of carbon emissions. We must move toward renewable energy and to create a real solution.” CARBON was produced by George DiCaprio, Mathew Schmid, Roee Sharon and Earl Katz, and presented by Thom Hartmann.

Mark Hochman 250Return of the Hochman Burger. For the second year, Beasley Broadcast Group Miami’s WQAM “Sports Radio 560″ afternoon (3:00 pm – 7:00 pm) driver Marc Hochman can go into a certain Boca Raton establishment – Red’s Backwoods BBQ – and order a burger that is named after him. “As a guy, I don’t think there is a bigger honor than [that],” he contends. “In my radio career, I have interviewed everyone from Hulk Hogan and Mike Tyson to Pat Sajak and Al Roker. As a program director, I have been nominated twice for ‘Sports Radio Station of the Year’ for the Marconi Awards, but I have never been more proud of anything than [this]. For the record, the “Hochman Burger” is accompanied with cheddar cheese, barbeque sauce, and is topped with Funyuns.

NFL LogoTrojans Live 125Los Angeles’ KFWB to Air NFL and NCAA Slate. Set to launch the station’s all-sports format early next month, KFWB, Los Angeles newly-named program director Owen Murphy reveals KFWB will carry a complete schedule of NFL and NCAA play-by-play. In addition, the hour-long USC sports spotlight “Trojans Live” will return for its second season. The Tuesday evening (6:00 pm – 7:00 pm) program devoted to USC sports features men’s head football coach Steve Sarkisian. This is KFWB’s fifth year as flagship of the NBA‘s Los Angeles Clippers and it becomes the exclusive Los Angeles home for Westwood One‘s coverage of all NFL Sunday night, Monday night and Thursday night games. That schedule begins in two weeks (9/4) when Green Bay takes on reigning champion Seattle. Murphy states, “With rumors swirling about the NFL draft coming to Los Angeles in 2015, and maybe an NFL team as well, we could not be more excited to deliver great Westwood One football programming to a football hungry town so deserving of its own team. There is no better product than Westwood One’s March Madness play-by-play and we are proud to have the opportunity to present it to the most passionate and knowledgeable hoops fans in America.” The station’s broadcast schedule will include the NFC and AFC Championship games, Pro Bowl, and next February’s Super Bowl.

ragozino mike“Ragz” To Program Portland’s “Game.” Alpha Media Portland sports outlet KXTG “750 The Game” names Mike “Ragz” Ragozino program director and afternoon drive (3:00 pm – 7:00 pm) host. Executive vice president of programming Scott Mahalick comments, “‘Ragz’ is uniquely qualified to lead the staff of ‘The Game’ and practice what he preaches everyday on the air. He ‘gets’ the entertainment factor in sports radio like no one else in this business.” Ragozino reflects that ever since he got into the radio business, “It was always about taking a new challenge head on, without fear of failure, having fun and most importantly, entertaining the audience. Joining Alpha Media – and more specifically ‘750 The Game’ – offers me a chance to do what I love for an incredible company in a beautiful city that has the same passion for sports as I do.” The Queens, New York native has 12 years of classic rock programming/on-air experience at WNNJ, Sussex, New Jersey and WAOR, South Bend, Indiana. When WAOR flipped to sports in May 2012, it enabled “Ragz” to accomplish his dream of programming an all-sports station. In addition to programming it, he co-hosted a weekly one-hour show with Heisman Trophy winner Tim Brown. Ragozino begins his Portland assignment in just over two weeks (Monday, 9/8).

BOB Logo 125BOB-FM to the Romantic Rescue. “You’ll hear all sorts of stuff” is the way BOB-FM positions itself and a recent audio clip from the station underscores that positioning statement. This particular BOB-FM though is not an adult hits outlet here in the United States, but a radio station broadcasting at 106.7 and 106.9 in Knebworth, Hertford, Ware, Hatfield, Stevenage, Hitchin, Letchworth Garden City, Welwyn Garden City and Watton-at-Stone. Knebworth most likely gave away the location as the United Kingdom. Reminiscent of something syndicated personality “Delilah” or Karen Sharp on her nightly “Love Songs” show on Los Angeles adult contemporary KOST “Coast 103″ might do, BOB-FM morning talents (or “breakfast presenters,” as they are more elegantly called) Graham Mack and Amy Stevenson came to the aid of a young woman (“Sarah”) yearning to reconnect with her dream man (“Sam”). The back-story is that Sarah met Sam at a music festival that featured Justin Timberlake and it was love at first sight. The snafu was that Sarah didn’t get Sam’s number, so she did what was only logical – call BOB-FM to track him down. Her email to Mack and Stevenson recapped that part of the story and stated her desire to meet the 25-year-old, 6′ 5″ Hertfordshire dog trainer. It took Mack and Stevenson all of two days to locate him. Especially if you are a hopeless romantic, click here to listen to the complete interchange.

marshall robin“Proactive” Patient Will Overcome Ovarian Cancer. That is what Robin Marshall optimistically writes on her Facebook page. Cumulus Media‘s “Sound Solutions” production manager states that, “Short and sweet,” she has stage two or slight stage three Ovarian cancer but “all was removed.” Doctors “did snippets” from her other organs for biopsy purposes and regardless of the results,” Marshall will be treated with “a very strong regiment of chemo.” As she laments, “It is nothing that anyone looks forward to.” Realizing she has a difficult road ahead, Marshall will remain in the hospital until this Saturday (8/23), but she declares, “I have hope.” At the “end of the day,” however, Marshall stresses, she will survive Ovarian cancer because, “I was proactive. There are no options – I want to live.”   

ISIS Beheading, Ferguson Turmoil, Rick Perry Indictment, Gaza Crisis and ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Among Top Talk Stories Yesterday (8/20).  The stories listed in this headline were some of the most talked about on news/talk radio yesterday  However the breaking story of ISIS beheading American journalist James Wright Foley was by far the most-dominating conversation on American talk radio according to the ongoing research from TALKERS.  Check here tomorrow for the complete top stories and most-talked-about people listings for the entire week.

Le3007_texas_a&m_aggies-alternate-2012arfield Launches Spanish Network for Texas A&M Football. Beginning with next week’s (8/28) season opener against South Carolina, fans of the Texas A&M Aggies will hear complete Texas A&M pigskin game coverage in Spanish on Univision Radio Houston’s KLAT; Salem Espanol San Antonio’s KRDY; KAMA, El Paso; and MBM Radio McAllen’s KVJY. Aggies games will also be on SiriusXM Deportes en Vivo Channel 551. Chancellor John Sharp of The Texas A&M University System explains, “It is important we share the Texas A&M brand across the state, To do so, we need a Spanish language option for our fans. We believe this is a real step forward for Aggie sports as we begin our third season in the SEC.” The Texas A&M Spanish Network will feature Pedro Vela Almaguer on play-by-play and Alberto Rodriguez doing color commentary. There are 55 English-language radio affiliates on the Texas A&M Sports Network. All 12 Aggies’ regular season and any postseason games will be carried on the Texas A&M Spanish Network.

TALKERS Affiliate Roundup. Rich Beem & Sandy McIlree-hosted “Beemer & the Bald Guy” welcome Cumulus Myrtle Beach, South Carolina’s WSEA “100.3 The Team” as an affiliate to its Nineball Radio Networks-distributed Sunday morning golf show.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

| August 20, 2014

Bicentennial SSB Cover 175Views “Rising” on Rock Band’s “Spangled” Song Interpretation. Several months ago, TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison — a showman at heart — pondered the advantages of — and reaction to — opening the publication’s annual New York City seminar in June with a rousing, dramatic version of — all things — the National Anthem. The more he deliberated on it, the more he reasoned, why not. It has famously preceded every major sporting event and, truth be told, a multitude of minor ones as well. When done correctly and under optimum circumstances though, a spirited rendition of this country’s anthem can elicit powerfully positive emotions. Such was the case two months ago (6/20) at that very TALKERS confab when patriotic rock band Madison Rising gripped everyone’s attention and brought several to a misty-eye state with their “Star Spangled Banner” performance. The group now boasts sales of over 100,000 of “The Star Spangled Banner,” which celebrates its 200th birthday in about four weeks. Francis Scott Key wrote it on the morning of September 14, 1814, as he watched the American flag rise over Ft. McHenry. Madison Rising has updated and re-energized the anthem just in time for this momentous occasion. Thus far, there have been nearly six million unique YouTube video views of Madison Rising’s “Star Spangled Banner” performance. The band, a creation of New York City entrepreneur Richard Mgrdechian, hopes to reach 10 million views by the September 14 anniversary.  To view it, please click here.

price howardFerguson Wake Up Call: Is your Emergency Planning Proactive or Reactive?  The turmoil in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, MO illustrates the need for radio stations – particularly those in the news/talk/information genre – to be prepared in the event that something like what is happening in Ferguson strikes close to home.  Howard B. Price, director, business continuity, ABC Television Network expert (and one of the huge stars of the recent Talkers New York 2014 seminar) shares his expertise on this subject in a new piece posted today (8/20) writing: “We don’t yet know the full story behind the shooting of an unarmed African-American man by a white police officer in Ferguson…but what has emerged in the days of protest, rioting and looting that have followed is both a cautionary tale and a teachable moment for broadcasters. They – and digital newsgatherers, too – are being tested on their ability to ramp up meaningful coverage of contentious social issues simmering in communities large and small. Also being tested is their preparedness to both report the story while protecting their people and property.  To read Price’s entire priceless piece, please click here.

gallagher mikeGallagher Encourages Listeners to Support Local Police. The call-to-action by Salem talk show host Mike Gallagher comes after last weekend’s fatal shooting by a Ferguson, Missouri police officer of 18-year-old Michael Brown and the aftermath there and elsewhere. Some protesters are calling for retribution for the officer involved in Brown’s death but Gallagher hopes his audience can “turn a negative into a positive” by donating to his 501c3 non-profit “Gallagher’sArmy Fallen Officer Fund,” which provides money to families of officers killed in the line of duty. According to Gallagher, the mission of that endeavor is simple: “We want to get a check into the hands of the surviving family members of a police officer who has been killed in the line of duty as quickly as possible,” he states. “This show of financial support to be used in any way the family sees fit will in no way compensate for their loss; rather, it is a sign of appreciation, respect and support from a grateful nation.” Violence and confrontations in Ferguson are generating headlines, but Gallagher maintains that incidents there are “detracting from the solid work” local police departments do in cities and towns throughout America.

brady billBrady: What Do We Do About AM Radio?  The somber financial and technological state of AM radio as a viable commercial medium going forward is the subject of almost-daily articles both in the consumer media and the media trades. The recent Walt Disney Company  announcement of its intention to sell off 23 of its 24 AM stations only added fuel to these fires of worry and pessimism.  It’s not unusual to read the opinion that AM radio has an “image problem” or is virtually “non-existent” to younger demos — but as Futures & Options, Inc. president and CEO Bill Brady writes in a new TALKERS piece published today (8/20), news/talk radio can step up to the plate and again save AM radio (and itself) in the process.  But in order to do so, there is going to have to be new thinking, creativity and commitment on the part of all involved.  Brady writes:  “News/talk isn’t just a different format, it’s a different business.  News/talk stations used to be stand-alone operations managed by broadcasters who nurtured and cared for them.  They were sold by dedicated sales teams who knew well the format’s ability to bring customers through their client’s doors.  With the dawn of consolidation, news/talk stations suddenly found themselves in big station clusters with managers who were preoccupied with their other stations.  Often, these were music station GMs without news/talk backgrounds — and they weren’t at all prepared for the cranky, petulant, expense-laden news/talk AMs they were suddenly forced to deal with. News/talk stations can be a handful.  Their audiences are vocal, and they complain.  A lot.  Then, there are the hosts.  They are often high-maintenance.  There are pressure groups and PR crises which can’t be ignored.  Then, there’s the expense.  News/talk hosts make a lot of money.  A lot more than FM jocks do.  With news and support staffs, news/talk stations can cost a lot to operate.  To consolidation era GMs, news/talk stations were a pain and the expense reductions were irresistible.  GMs cut the guts out of their news/talk stations.  Gone, too, is the “time suck” of local hosts and their shenanigans.  GMs no longer have to spend their days talking to complaining listeners, or newspaper reporters seeking comment on controversial local hosts. All is now quiet on the western front.  Too quiet.”  To read media management pro Brady’s entire article, please click here.

wckgChicago’s WCKG Relocates. Elmhurst, Illinois-licensed/DuPage Radio-owned talker WCKG “The Voice of DuPage County” is moving to state-of-the-art studios and offices in suburban Chicago. Their facilities will be in Carr Workplaces’ Oak Brook Terrace Tower. With the exception of those in Chicago, it is the tallest building (31 stories) in Illinois. Station manager Matt Dubiel explains, “I wanted to move WCKG to the tallest building in the Chicago suburbs. Carr Workplaces make it possible for small businesses like ours to afford a world-class office environment – smack dab in the middle of Chicago-land, which is exactly what we need to serve the community and our local advertising partners. WCKG program director Leslie Harris remarks, “It is the best place to be in the suburbs. Like [TV’s George & Louise Jefferson said], “We’re moving on up to the east side … of DuPage.” WCKG does not appear in print in Nielsen Audio‘s July 2014 PPM report for Chicago.

WPEN-FM LogoMidday Changes Coming to Philadelphia’s “Fanatic.” WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic” will institute football season midday lineup modifications on the Greater Media-owned Philadelphia sports outlet. One constant is that Harry Mayes will be on every day 10:00 am – 12:00 noon. Each Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday — he will be paired with Brian Baldinger. Every Monday and Friday, Mayes’ on-air teammate will be another “Brian,” Brian Westbrook, who has been a regular “Fanatic” contributor in recent years. While a member of the Philadelphia Eagles, he hosted his own show on the station during the 2008 – 2009 NFL season. The Eagles drafted Westbrook in 2002 out of Villanova University. He spent eight seasons with the Eagles; made two NFL Pro Bowl squads; played in four NFC Championship Games; and in one Super Bowl. A “Fanatic” contributor since 2010, Baldinger — or “Baldy” — joined the Eagles in 1992. After his playing career ended in 1993, Baldinger developed a second career in broadcasting. This new “Fanatic” midday roster takes shape in about two weeks (9/2).

Return of Boston’s “Jimmy Fund” Radio-Telethon. Considerably more often than not in recent memory, the Boston Red Sox are serious contenders for post-season play, although the defending (2013) World Series champions have been in a protracted slump this year. That issue notwithstanding, its radio flagship – Entercom‘s WEEI – and the cable network that broadcasts all their games – the New England Sports Network (NESN) – have commenced the 36-year, 13th annual Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon. Dating back to the days of the “Splendid Splinter,” Ted Williams, and when Hall of Famer Curt Gowdy called the games, the Jimmy Fund has been the Red Sox charity of choice. Regardless of a player’s tenure with the club, he becomes immersed in the exemplary effort to support pediatric and adult cancer care/research at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. As usual, this year’s broadcast is featuring David Ross croppedheart-tugging, compelling stories from Dana-Farber patients, doctors, researchers and nurses. Interspersed are celebrity guests and athletes, including a huge dose of those with a past or present Red Sox connection. The mission, of course, is to inspire people to contribute to Dana-Farber’s lifesaving mission and, since 2002, more than $34 million has been raised. Every charity nowadays needs corporate sponsorship and the WEEI – NESN Radio-Telethon is no exception. It is being aided by the Arbella Insurance Foundation, which contributes $50 for every strikeout by a Red Sox pitcher (up to $100,000).In addition, whenever a Red Sox player smacks a “Wall Ball” off Fenway Park‘s fabled “Green Monster,” Walgreens will give the Radio-Telethon $100. Perhaps the most touching part of this deeply moving event is seeing wide smiles on faces of young cancer patients when they see their favorite Red Sox stars face-to-face. Case in point is this adorable child with her new best friend, Red Sox catcher David Ross.

CBS Sports RRadio 2CBS Sports Radio Sets Weekend NFL Programming Roster. Beginning next Saturday (8/30), CBS Sports Radio anchor Rich Ackerman will host “Eye on College Football” (2:00 noon – 8:00 pm, ET), which will include reports from all top college games, as well as interviews. Co-hosted on a rotating basis by CBSSports.com senior fantasy football writers Adam Aizer, Dave Richard and Jamey Eisenberg, “Eye on Fantasy Football” will air Saturdays (10:00 pm – 12:00 midnight, ET) and will be broadcast from CBSSports.com’s Fort Lauderdale studios. CBS Radio all-sports WFAN, New York afternoon drive personality Mike Francesca will host “Mike Francesa’s Football Sunday” (9:00 am – 11:00 am). While that show starts on the network September 7, it has been on WFAN the past 25 years. Another show kicking off September 7 – and following Francesca – is a one-hour simulcast of CBSSports.com’s Adam Aizer-hosted “Fantasy Football Today.” Rich Ackerman’s “Eye on Football” (12:00 noon – 8:00 pm) will offer a national perspective on all of that day’s NFL games; it also starts September 7. Beginning with Saturday, here is a complete look at the network’s weekend lineup, with all times listed ET. Marc “Moose” Malusis and Maggie Gray (6:00 am – 10:00 am); “Eye on Baseball” with Adam Gerstenhaber and CJ Nitkowski (10:00 am – 12:00 noon); “Eye on College Football” (12:00 noon – 8:00 pm); Jody McDonald (8:00 pm – 10:00 pm); and “Eye on Fantasy Football” (10:00 pm – 12:00 midnight). The Sunday schedule is: Bill Simonson (12:00 midnight – 2:00 am); Amy Lawrence (2:00 am – 6:00 am); John Kincade (6:00 am – 9:00 am); “Mike Francesa’s Football Sunday” (9:00 am – 11:00 am); “Fantasy Football Today” (11:00 am -12:00 noon); “Eye on Football” (12:00 noon – 8:00 pm); and Jody McDonald (8:00 pm – 10:00 pm).

stephan dougMilking The Ice Bucket Challenge. Ever since going viral via social media, the “Ice Bucket Challenge” to raise awareness and donations for ALS has become nothing short of a legitimate phenomenon. Logistics are simple: After accepting someone’s dare to do so, a person fills a bucket with ice and (presumably) ice water and douses it over their head. They then extend the challenge to others and post the video on their social media site. “Good Day” host Doug Stephan participated, but presented a different twist. Not only is he one of the industry’s most tireless workers, Stephan is also a Massachusetts dairy farmer. So, let’s just say water was not in the bucket. Click  here to see what Stephan dumped on his head instead.

llbws-logo100Tonight’s Taney Dragons Game To Air on Philly’s “Fanatic.” The Philadelphia Taney Dragons Little League World Series game versus the team from Las Vegas will be broadcast tonight (8/20) on Greater Media‘s all-sports outlet WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic.” What makes this so noteworthy is that the Taney Dragons are led by starting pitcher Mo’ne Davis, who owing to her pitching prowess and personality, has become a national media star. In fact, she is the first Little Leaguer ever to appear on the cover of Sports Illustrated. WPEN-FM midday personality Jon Marks will host a viewing party at Paganos on Market Street. Tonight’s game begins at 7:30 pm.

SBG LogoSun Broadcast Group Basks in Glow of Inc. Magazine Honor. Specifically, Sun Broadcast Group is proclaimed by Inc. Magazine as being one of America’s fastest growing companies. In rankings released today (8/20), the publication grades America’s quickest- rising private companies, based on percentage of revenue increase over three years. Sun Broadcast Group chief executive officer Jason Bailey proudly enthuses, “I have had the pleasure to announce many great things over these six years, but today I am ecstatic to share this news – what an accomplishment. For the many who never understood our strategy, and for those [who] still do not, receiving this award only affirms to the great people who work at Sun and the amazing agency partners who support us, that we truly are leading the way to a new era of network radio. It is caring about your partners, providing an honest, transparent sales process and always thinking big that will completely change our industry for the better. We are proof that it can be done and we are just getting started.” During the period measured that led to this year’s Inc. Magazine honor, SBG’s revenue jumped more 520%. In that time, the company added 15 fulltime positions between its New York City and Boca Raton (Florida) offices. Bailey and his SBG team will be recognized later this year in Phoenix at the “Inc. 5000 Conference & Awards Ceremony.” Sun’s programming roster includes, among others, “The Marilu Henner Show,” “The Little League World Series,” “Nashville Music Minute,” “Six-Second Reviews with Mr. Movieman,” Accuweather en Español, horse racing’s triple crown, and The Breeders Cup.

 

MVS RadioSD_Logo_Horz_2lines_April2014 lgCross-Border Partnership Involves Stardome and MVS Radio. The result will be an expansion of their respective syndicated branded programming and services in the United States and Mexico. Mexico-based MVS Radio will spearhead ad sales and affiliate relations for Stardome in Mexico; Stardome will do the same for MVS Radio-produced programming/services in the United States. Stardome managing director and chief executive officer Anthony Michael Hernandez states that, “Of all the Mexico-based companies I have worked with throughout the years, none has demonstrated the highest regard for professionalism, strong business ethics, and an undeviating work focus like my friends at MVS Radio. This is truly a partnership and a team effort in the making.” MVS Radio president and chief executive officer Alejandro Vargas remarks, “We are enthusiastic about this alliance with Stardome. We recognize them as ideal strategic partners to expand the coverage of our content in the USA and to represent its brands in Latin America. We are sure this is the beginning of new and prosperous businesses for both companies.” Stardome will service current MVS Radio owned-and-operated stations and affiliates across the southwest border of the United States, while distributing MVS Radio’s branded 24/7 formats, syndicated talk shows and morning shows in the USA Hispanic media marketplace. It adds the entire roster of over 160 MVS Radio affiliates, and owned-and-operated stations in Mexico and Central and South America as part of its duties for Pan Regional Network Radio. MVS Radio will act as Stardome’s in-country Mexico sales office and develop affiliations, network radio, and digital ad sales for Stardome’s soon-to-launch Noti-America radio news network.

Napa lgSite Vows To Keep Pace with Napa. Mention “Napa” to anyone in California and “wine country” will undoubtedly be the instant word-association response. With a 2010 census population of 76,915, Napa is California’s 100th largest city. Maintaining that their site “will not be anything like your father’s radio station or your grandfather’s newspaper, executives at NAPAbroadcasting.com declare, “You won’t hear Katy Perry or Pink ten times a day and you won’t hear sports programs from out of town.” Instead,  local conversations and local voices, “talking, in depth, about local issues” will be emphasized. They will be leaving the “daily police blotter to others” but promise “plenty of controversy” since, “no one here will be afraid to say what is on their minds.” According to a NAPAbroadcasting.com communication, “For years, television was about programs and radio was about formats. Those days are over. Today it’s all about programs and personalities – and it can’t be on someone else’s schedule. Appointment television or radio, is so over. NAPAbroadcasting.com is all about being on demand.” The site is partnering with Napa Valley College. Students, faculty, and staff there will contribute community-focused programming. “On the music side, we will be about music discovery and new kinds of music programs. We will not be another streaming music service, an online jukebox, or a place for mindless patter. Our music programs might be about anything under the musical sun, from jazz to oldies to rock. We will also be interactive, with lots of reviews, samplers and information about the business of contemporary music.” Admitting the site will always be a work in progress, a NAPAbroadcasting.com spokesperson writes, “If you stay with us, you will learn a lot about the wine, food, the hospitality business, and many of the larger-than-life, but often lesser known personalities, who live in this Valley. We think that what is good for the visitors is also good for those of us who live here.”

Ferguson Turmoil, ISIS/US Strife, Rick Perry Indictment, Robin Williams, and Gaza Crisis Among Top Talk Stories Yesterday (8/19).  The stories listed in this headline were some of the most talked about on news/talk radio yesterday  However the breaking story of ISIS beheading American journalist James Wright Foley is dominating conversation on American talk radio today (8/20) according to the ongoing research from TALKERS.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

| July 31, 2014

journalbroadcastgroupJournal Communications Announces Merger of Broadcast Operations with E.W. Scripps.  In a surprise move – at least as far as the public is concerned – Journal Communications announced late Wednesday (7/30) that it has struck a deal with Cincinnati-based E.W. Scripps to merge the two companies’ broadcast operations into one company and to spin off their respective print businesses and merge them into a separate company that will also be publicly traded.  The Journal Broadcast Group will go away and the broadcast operations will continue under the Scripps banner.  The newspaper and print businesses will operate under the Journal Media Group banner.  This means an exit for Scripps from the print business.  In a video message, Journalsmithsteve Communications chairman and CEO Steve Smith states, “These two independent companies will build upon the strong local brands Journal and Scripps have built over the years.”  The newspaper company – with 14 dailies and affiliated digital media – will be headquartered in Milwaukee.  Scripps owns only TV stations and, after the merger is complete, the new group will be the fifth largest television group in the country – with 34 TV stations in 24 markets – with Journal’s radio assets also in that group.  Journal operates 35 radio stations in eight markets.  WXYZ-TV, Detroit reports that Scripps CEO Richard Boehne states the companies will gain about $35 million in “combined transaction synergies” but he said it would be months before it would be known if there would be staff reductions or requests for employees to relocate.  The deal, pending regulatory approval, is expected to close in 2015.  Since Scripps owns no radio assets, there are no duplicative positions there but the question to be asked is how dedicated to the radio business will E.W. Scripps be?  Will it ultimately put them up for sale?  Only time will tell.

cnn newsource logoCumulus Strikes Deal with CNN for Radio News Product.  The product will not be branded CNN but will allow stations to make the content that comes from CNN Newsource their own.  A statement from Cumulus Media today about the news service to be made available via Westwood One, says, this new service will offer radio stations nationwide access to broadcast, breaking news, wire service and digital content provided by CNN for use on the air and on their websites.  Westwood One owns the patented STORQ technology that Cumulus says provides a local feel to syndicated content.  “The addition of this new service will for the first timewestwood one NEW enable local radio stations to broadcast the latest national and international news acquired by CNN but branded with their own call letters and station slogans.”  Cumulus CEO Lew Dickey says, “Our affiliates and advertising partners know they can count on us for news and information products that reflect how people today consume content through various platforms, and this exclusive access to CNN’s newsgathering will ensure we can provide stations nationwide an unmatched array of news formats.”  Dickey described the service to the New York Post calling it a “differentiated product.  For some who want hard news, this isn’t the service, but there are fewer of those types of stations across the country.  The emphasis is more on shorter stories, less hard news and ‘give it to me when I want it.’”  Cumulus Media’s Westwood One reps other news services – including ABC, NBC, CBS and CNBC Business Radio.  CNN shut down the CNN Radio division two years ago.

weei logoFox TV and Entercom Mend Fences – and Restore $$ — After Minihane Comments.  Some industry insiders were critical of Fox TV’s dropping advertising on Entercom-owned stations after WEEI-FM, Boston’s Kirk Minihane made controversial comments about Fox TV reporter Erin Andrews – charging Fox with pulling the boycott strategy.  However it appears the move by Entercom CEO David Field to apologize and to suspend Minihane for a week placated Fox and, according to a story by Chad Finn in the Boston Globe, the company will resume its advertising of its TV shows and movies on Entercom stations which is reportedly in the neighborhood of $1 million per year.  Fox Sports SVP of media relations Lou D’Ermilio stated, “We appreciate Entercom’s recognition and response to the inappropriate comments made by the WEEI host.  It is our sincere hope both organizations can now move forward.”  Finn reports Entercom Boston VP and market manager Phil Zachary commented, “On our end, we consider the matter 100 percent resolved.”  Read the whole story here.

2014 NYC logo 150Talkers New York 2014 Videos Being Posted.  Up Today: “The Talk Rumble.” Today (7/31) marks the 13th consecutive business day of TALKERS magazine’s video posting of speeches, sessions and presentations made during last month’s 17th annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important national convention – Talkers New York 2014.  The presentation of these informative and historic recordings is sponsored by WYD Media Sales, LLC., the rep firm recently launched by Ron Hartenbaum and headed by John Murphy, that specializes in the advertising sales of spoken-word media on all popular platforms.  The worldwide showing of these very special videos continues today with a Talkers Conference tradition – “The Talk Rumble.”  Moderated by the dynamic multi-media talk star Lionel of LionelMedia.com with a special introduction by syndicated icon, Dr. Joy Browne of Radio America, the freewheeling debate of today’s hottest talk radio issues features: Bubba the Love Sponge, Bubba Radio Network; Alan Colmes, Fox News Radio/FNC; Mike Gallagher, Salem Radio Network; Thom Hartmann, WYD Media; Joyce Kaufman, WFTL, Ft. Lauderdale; Kevin McCullough, XtreMEDIA; and David Webb, Sirius/XM Satellite Radio. To view this spoken word extravaganza, please click here. The Talkers New York 2014 conference videos were recorded by Art Vuolo.

neerrichardQuestions About Political Correctness.  WFAN, New York sports talk host Richard Neer writes in an opinion piece published today at Talkers.com, that although he believes we should all avoid words or phrases that are likely to offend, he fears that “a ‘gotcha’ mentality is running amok, looking to punish anyone who has the temerity to take an unpopular stand.”  Neer points to two recent cases – one involving Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, the other Stephen A. Smith’s current suspension from ESPN – in which both men went to great lengths to clarify statements that many people would, upon hearing the clarification, not find offensive.  Still, the controversy continued and in Smith’s case, he was suspended.  Read Neer’s insightful piece here.

kinglarryLarry King Says Piers Morgan Failed Because He Was ‘Pompous.’  Appearing on Cumulus Media’s classic rock WGRF, Buffalo on the “Norton in the Morning” show via Envision Networks’ Guest Services booking service, radio and TV legend Larry King – promoting his “Larry King Now” daily interview show that appears on Ora.tv and Hulu.com – told the show’s listeners that Piers Morgan had a toughmorganpiers transition to replace him as host of the CNN interview show.  “Any person who has been on for 25 years in one place and you have an audience who is used to you…it’s very hard to step into those shoes no matter who it is.” Speaking about Morgan, King said, “Personally, I like him fine, but it was all about him.  It was the opposite of the way I interview. He was the opposite.  So now they not only had someone who was British, different, but then he would use the word ‘I’ every other word…He became, I thought a bit, in my opinion, pompous, but that’s the way I looked at it.  So I had trouble watching Piers Morgan’s show, and I guess a lot of other people did too.”

lebronadDan Le Batard Denied LeBron James Ad by Cleveland Plain Dealer.  It’s hard to say how far along ESPN and WAXY, Miami sports talk host Dan Le Batard was in actually trying to place an ad in the Cleveland Plain Dealer to get a dig in at LeBron James, but the paper forestalled any such plan by saying it would not accept the ad, according to a report in the Washington Post.   The paper reports Le Batard was discussing the Miami Heat fans’ reaction to James’ departure for Cleveland and he suggested taking out an ad similar to the mock-up you see here that would razz James for not thanking Miami fans after his four-year stint with the Heat.  Le Batard jokingly suggested a Kickstarter campaign to raise the money for the ad.  Still, for Le Batard’s part, he got a fair amount of national press over the bit.

Odds & Sods.  The nationally syndicated Leslie Marshall show – produced by WYM Media – permanently shifts its live broadcast time to 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm ET…..Red Rock Radio Corp. is flipping two stations – standards WXCE, Amery, Wisconsin and standards WHSM-AM, Hayward, Wisconsin – to sports talk using NBC Sports Radio effective August 4.

Obama Impeachment Chatter/House Obama Suit Vote, Ebola Outbreak Scare, Gaza Strip Violence, Flight 17 Probe/Russia’s Ukraine Aggression, Lerner’s Anti-GOP Emails, and Stephen A. Smith Suspension Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/30).  The controversy over possible impeachment of President Obama and the Dem’s purported use of the threat in fundraisers combined with the U.S. House’s vote to sue the president for unconstitutional actions; the Ebola outbreak scare; Israel’s continuing attack on Hamas in the Gaza Strip; the investigation into the downing of Flight 17 and the complications due to Ukrainian instability and Russia’s involvement; the flap over IRS staffer Lois Lerner’s anti-GOP emails; and ESPN personality Stephen A. Smith’s suspension for his comments on the Ray Rice suspension were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, July 28, 2014

| July 28, 2014

minihanekirkEmphatic Fox To Entercom: Apology Denied.  After returning from a planned vacation last week, WEEI-FM, Boston morning personality Kirk Minihane reignited the controversy he started with criticism of Fox Sports reporter Erin Andrews’ All-Star Game work by reiterating his disdain for her work.  But even his bosses at Entercom, who had been supportive, had to backtrack and he’s now been suspended for this week – without pay.  To recap, the unbilled member of the Dennis & Callahan morning show on WEEI had some disparaging things to say the day after the broadcast about an in-game interview conducted by theweei logo network’s Erin Andrews. Perhaps only St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright will be the only person to know for certain if he made it a bit easier for Derek Jeter – appearing in his final All-Star contest – to smack a first-inning double, which was the catalyst for three quick AL runs in that frame.  Social media was buzzing that Wainwright had indicated he might have grooved the pitch Jeter hit.  Andrews questioned Wainwright about it and the pitcher backtracked from that notion, and he said Jeter’s hit was on the up-and-up.  Apparently though, the televised exchange between this year’s co-host of (ABC-TV‘s) “Dancing with the Stars” and Wainwright did not sit well with Minihane, who declared of Andrews, “What a bitch – I hate her.  What a gutless bitch. Seriously, go away.  Drop dead.  I mean, seriously, what the hell is wrong with her?  First of all, follow-up.  Second of all, the guy admitted he did it – he admitted it.  He told reporters he threw a couple of ‘pipe-bombs.’  How is that social media’s fault?  I hate her – I seriously hate her so much.”  A Minihane-issued statement was posted Wednesday night (7/16) on the WEEI website that read: “I used a series of words to describe Erin Andrews’ work at the All-Star Game.  My choice of words was wrong.  I was wrong to have used them.  To all whom I offended – particularly Ms. Andrews – I apologize.  There is no place for what was said.  It was immature and completely uncalled for.  I am often critical of media members and their work and recognize here that I’ve made the kind of mistake I would call out if it was done by another sportscaster or writer.  Again, to all involved, I’m very sorry.”  But upon returning last week, he commented on the issue and lashed out at Andrews again, saying, “I think she stinks at her job.  I don’t think she’s very smart.  I don’t think she comes across as very smart.  I think Fox only hired her because she is good-looking.  I think if she weighed 15 pounds shanksericmore, she would be a waitress at Perkins.  That is what I believe, I do believe that.”  It was probably that last comment that prompted Fox Sports president Eric Shanks to inform Entercom the company was pulling its entertainment and sports-related adds off of all Entercom stations and it was that move that brought Entercom CEO David Field into the mix.   In the letter to Field, Shanks wrote that Minihane’s comments were “boorish and sexist.”  Shanks further maintains that Minihane’s apology was “juvenile and insincere.” Furthermore, the Fox executive writes, “I had hoped by this time we might hear a sincere apology from WEEI, or perhaps someone from your office might have reached out to Fox. None of that has been forthcoming, and needless tofielddavid say, we are disappointed.”  According to Shanks, through film and television businesses, Fox is “a significant advertiser on Entercom stations. I have discussed this issue with our senior management and our various senior marketing executives. At their recommendation, going forward, Fox’s entertainment and sports businesses will not be advertising on your stations for the foreseeable future.”  Field reacted by commenting, “Kirk Minihane’s statements regarding Erin Andrews were offensive and deplorable.  It is clear by the response from our listeners, advertisers, and employees that Kirk’s efforts to apologize and make this right have been insufficient and ambiguous.  We want to make it unequivocally clear that his comments were unacceptable and do not reflect Entercom’s values and standards.” As far as Shanks is concerned, the situation was made “worse,” owing to the fact that the “apology was posted under a banner hailing ‘The Triumphant Return of Kirk Minihane.'”  Seemingly lost in the wake of pulled advertising dollars corporate-wide and having to suspend an on-air personality is the fact that in the latest (6+) trends (June 2014), WEEI-FM (3.3) beat cross-town CBS Radio format rival WBZ-FM “The Sports Hub” (2.9) for the first time (total week, 6+) in nearly two years. The last time it happened was August 2012, when WEEI-FM had the advantage over WBZ-FM by a 4.3 – 3.7 count (6+). WBZ-FM won each battle the rest of the year by 4.5 – 4.1 (September); 4.6 – 2.8 (October); 4.1 – 2.5 (November) 4.4 – 3.0 (December); and 4.6 – 2.7 (“Holiday”). The closest WEEI-FM came to WBZ-FM in 2013 was one-tenth in August (3.9 – 3.8); WBZ-FM’s largest (6+) lead in 2013 was in May (5.7 – 2.9). Thus far in 2014, “The Sports Hub” has emerged victorious over WEEI-FM (6+) in January (5.6 – 3.4); February (4.5 – 2.8); March (4.7 – 2.7); April (4.3 – 3.3); and May (5.1 – 3.4). As noted, WEEI-FM beat WBZ-FM in June (3.3 – 2.9, 6+).  It will be interesting to see how Entercom handles this situation because the ratings for the Dennis & Callahan show have improved since Minihane joined the show and numerous Boston media watchers agree that his addition has breathed new life into the program.

smithstephenaStephen A. Smith to Exit WEPN-FM for SiriusXM’s Mad Dog Radio Channel.  That’s according to a report by The New York Daily NewsBob Raissman who writes that Stephen A. Smith will soon exit ESPN O&O WEPN-FM where he co-hosts the 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm daily show with Ryan Ruocco to host his own program on the satellite service – reportedly in the same time slot that would lead into Chris “Mad Dog” Russo’s afternoon drive show.  Raissman also suggests that a move to SiriusXM could be interesting for the controversial Stephen A. Smith, who caused a stir by his comments in reaction to the two-game suspension the NFL star Ray Rice received for punching out his wife in an elevator.  Read Raissman’s column here.

kfwbKFWB, Los Angeles to Flip from News/Talk to Sports.  Officials at the KFWB Trust are being tightlipped about the reports but LARadio.com’s Don Barrett is reporting that KFWBromejim staffers were called to a meeting on Friday, July 25 and informed their jobs would go away in five weeks when the format changes.  Barrett reports that staffers told him the station would go to sports talk using CBS Sports Radio Network which would bring Jim Rome back to the Los Angeles market.  He’s been gone from his home market since jumping from Premiere Networks to CBS Sports 18 months ago.  Some are questioning whether LA needs another sports talk outlet but it’s probably less about what the market “needs” and more about getting CBS Sports Radio and Jim Rome back into the Los Angeles market.  It’d also be a heck of a lot less expensive to program network sports than a mix of network and local news/talk.

2014 NYC logo 150Talkers New York 2014 Videos Being Posted.  Up Today: Jerry Del Colliano Delivers Special Presentation, “Radio in the Digital Age.”  Today (7/28) marks the 10th consecutive business day of TALKERS magazine’s video posting of speeches, sessions and presentations made during last month’s 17th annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important national convention – Talkers New York 2014.  The presentation of these informative and historic recordings is sponsored by WYD Media Sales, LLC., the rep firm recently launched by Ron Hartenbaum and headed by John Murphy, that specializes in the advertising sales of spoken-word media on all popular platforms.  The worldwide showing of these very special videos continues today with a special presentationdelcollianoNYC14 titled “Radio in the Digital Age” delivered by Inside Music Media publisher Jerry Del Colliano.  The longtime industry observer, analyst, and maverick draws upon his experience as both a professional radio broadcaster and former professor of music industry at USC to explain how the traits of the large, coming-of-age millennial generation do not quite mesh with the approach taken by most of the boomers running radio stations today.  He implored the full house of broadcasters in attendance to heed the warning, “We must change!  We must disrupt!  Because the audience is changing.”  To view this entire presentation, please click here.  Coming tomorrow:  A panel discussion moderated by TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey titled “The State of Talk Programming.”  Featured speakers include: Andy Bloom, OM, WPHT/WIP, Philadelphia; Phil Boyce, VP/spoken word programming, Salem Communications; Bill Hess, PD, WMAL, Washington, DC; Gabe Hobbs, CEO, Gabe Hobbs Media; and Craig Schwalb, PD, WABC, New York. The Talkers New York 2014 conference videos were recorded by Art Vuolo.

richardsstoneyOdds & Sods.  Although Stoney Richards is leaving his role at CBS RADIO Pittsburgh’s country WDSY where he’s been APD, music director and afternoon drive personality in order to pursue his acting career, he will maintain his weekend talk show on the company’s news/talk KDKA-AM where he hosts the “Live From The Centre” program…..Speaking of KDKA-AM, Pittsburgh, the station is partnering with local The Education Partnership to help provide new school and classroom supplies to local schools in financial need.  This Wednesday (7/30), it will host a call-center in the 84 Lumber Theatre at CBS RADIO Pittsburgh from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm to answer listener questions, collect monetary donations and serve as an outlet for those looking for volunteer opportunities.  Also, an onsite collection will take place at KDKA’s studios for the project dubbed “Crayons for Kids.”  KDKA-AM morning news host Larry Richert comments, “When I first learned of the great need in our richertlarryhometown I was shocked!  The Education Partnership is such a lean and vital organization.  With our help we can deliver on the basic needs of 30,000-plus school students who count on having the basics to learn and grow, starting with crayons!”…..In response to the comments by TALKERS magazine publisher Michael Harrison published by the Boston Herald about the current state of news/talk radio in Boston relative to its colorful past, general manager Phil Redo – now with public broadcaster WGBH, Boston – checks in with his eagenbraudewgbhtake.  He tells TALKERS that (former WTKK-FM, Boston personalities) “Jim Braude and Margery Eagan (pictured here) are doing a fabulous show for us here on WGBH Radio.  They have been on the air for nearly 18 months and made a smooth transition from commercial to public.  Each day they explore a wide range of topics, from the top local news stories to connecting the dots on major national and international events.  They provide an important access point for this community – and to the decision makers who will impact each of us by those decisions.  In addition, the governor and AG show up every month to host an hour – as does Boston’s new mayor.  Their show Boston Public Radio has grown from below a 1.0 share to above a 4.0 share and in June, ranks in the top 10 both 6+ and 25-54 during their 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm slot…They have done so well that we’re expanding the program to three hours this fall.”

kscoUnusual General Manager/Sales Manager Opportunity at Talk Station Owned by an “Eccentric.”  The self-described “eccentric” (we agree) owner of one of the nation’s leading independent local talk radio stations, KSCO AM 1080, Santa Cruz/Monterey/Salinas/Silicon Valley, Michael Zwerling, is looking for a general manager/sales manager to bring his station’s monthly ad billing up from “a laughable $30,000 per month” (his words not ours) to a “more respectable and completely do-able $300,000 per month.”  Asked how a station billing only $30,000 in monthly ad revenue could be considered anything even REMOTELY deserving of being described as “one of the nation’s leading independent local talk radio stations,” Zwerling retorts, “Easy — ad sales have never been our focus in the past; we have done and continue to do very well, thank you, with our ‘royalties from radio’ revenue model we have employed for nearly 18 years.  Yet we continue to serve our communities FAR better than most corporate-owned stations, and far better than most other independent stations that can’t AFFORD to serve their communities.”  Zwerling continues, “But I started to feel like a fool recently when I realized that just because we don’t NEED to sell advertising — doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t TRY to sell as much advertising as possible — just like any other station being run by anyone with even HALF a brain!”  According to Zwerling, the sky is the limit in terms of unique opportunity for the right person with “fire in his/her belly” to bring an additional $270,000 PER MONTH ad revenue into KSCO.   But there is a catch.  To read the entire story penned by TALKERS staff writer Mona Lipschitz, please click here.

levinmarkWABC, New York’s Mark Levin to Host Cumulus Media’s “Bark in the Park” Event.  The 4th Annual “Bark in the Park” event presented by Cumulus Media’s New York stations WABC, WPLJ, WNSH “NASH FM 94.7,” and WNBM “Radio 103.9” is being hosted by WABC personality Mark Levin Saturday, August 2 from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm at Overpeck Park in Ridgefield Park, New Jersey.   The stations are teaming up with the North Shore Animal League America and Bergen County Animal Shelter/Adoption Center which will be on site with many dogs up for adoption.  The mission is to find a home for as many puppies as possible.  Additionally, the day will feature a wide array of vendors, services, food, demonstrations, and activities for families and dog lovers alike.

swell logoApple to Acquire Spoken-Word Aggregator Swell.  According to a report in re/code, Apple is paying approximately $30 million to acquire the company Swell, whose current app creates a stream of spoken-word content delivered to iPhones and iPads based on the user’s likes.  Liz Gannes writes in her piece that with the acquisition, the Swell app will go away and some analysts believe Apple will integrate the service into existing services such as iTunes Radio.  Read Gannes’ re/code story here.

yahoo group LVYahoo! Sports Radio Invades Las Vegas!  The crew pictured here is Yahoo! Sports Radio network talent in Las Vegas as the network “took over” Lagasse’s Stadium at The Palazzo Hotel and Casino during the week of July 21-25 broadcasting live for what it dubbed, “Yahoo! Sports Radio Super Week.”   From left to right are: Air personalities Steve Czaban, Scott Linn, Geoff Ketchum, Sean Salisbury, Yahoo! Sports Radio CEO David Gow, personalities John Granato and Peter Brown.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

| July 23, 2014

mendtelarryWABC, New York Adds Larry Mendte to Weekend Programming Lineup.  Joining the WABC, New York Sunday evening lineup is Larry Mendte, who will host a weekly 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm program beginning July 27.  The station notes that Mendte is “a familiar voice to the New York metro area, having most recentlywabc been a contributor to WPIX-TV’s nightly newscast producing commentaries…Returning to New York on 77 WABC allows Mendte to expand upon these commentaries, talk about New York’s biggest stories, and speak to Tri-State listeners with warmth, wit, and honesty that New York listeners have come to expect from Mendte and 77 WABC.”  Mendte co-hosted the morning program on WWIQ, Philadelphia during its time as a news/talk outlet operated by Merlin Media.  Mendte also hosts a television news and public affairs show for Me TV in Philadelphia.  The show will soon air in New York on Me TV.

2014 NYC logo 150Talkers New York 2014 Videos Being Posted.  Up Today: Julie Talbott of Premiere Networks Receives the TALKERS “Woman of the Year” Award.  Today (7/23) marks the seventh business day of TALKERS magazine’s video posting of speeches, sessions and presentations made during last month’s 17th annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important national convention – Talkers New York 2014.  The presentation of these informative and historic recordings is sponsored by WYD Media Sales, LLC., the rep firm recently launched by Ron Hartenbaum and headed by John Murphy, that specializes in the advertising sales of spoken-word media on all popular platforms.   The worldwide showing of these very special videos continues today with part 2 of the event’s traditional “Talkers Awards Ceremony” emceed by legendary Westwood One talk show host Jim Bohannon and featuring the presentation of the Judy Jarvis Memorial Award for Outstanding Contributions to Radio by a Woman (also known as the “Woman of the Year” award) by last year’s recipient Heather Cohen, EVP, the Weiss Agency to Julie Talbott, president, Premiere Networks.   Talbott delivers an uplifting acceptance address in whichtalbottNYC14 she states, “This is really a fun business.  But it’s a business…and it’s a tough business and we all have to continue to work together.   I know we’re competitors – but we have to work together to really make something great happen.”  Continuing on the theme of keeping radio work enjoyable, Talbott discusses her early days as a “pretty naive University of Kentucky small-town girl graduate” looking in New York City for a career area to enter and originally being attracted to the media field because the interviewers – unlike those in other areas of business she explored – seemed to be having fun in their work and were just as successful as the people she met in banking and other fields of business she encountered.  She quickly realized, “That’s the creative business I want to be in!”  She suggests, “We can’t forget the fun.  We have to continually try to find some fun environment for the folks working for us.”  To see this entire presentation, please click here.  Coming tomorrow:  part 3 of the Talkers Awards Ceremony in which Westwood One founder and Courtside Entertainment Group/Podcast One CEO Norm Pattiz receives the TALKERS Lifetime Achievement Award. The TALKERS conference videos were recorded by Art Vuolo.

fielddavidEntercom Chief David Field Asks Employees to Embrace Change, Lists Accomplishments in Mid-Year Memo.  In his twice-annual memo to staffers, Entercom president and CEO David Field writes that everyone in the radio business must embrace change and innovate and challenges employees to do so within the guidelines of what Entercom believes in.  He goes on to list those beliefs which start with its dedication to “building the best local radio stations with the best local personalities.”  Also, Field speaks about the company’s accomplishments and points to the launch of new radio stations, the debut of its SmartReach Digital local marketing arm, and the “two-minute” promise at Seattle’s alternative “The End” which limits spots to six minutes per hour on the station with never more than 2 minutes of commercials at one time.  Read his entire memo here.

wtmj logoWTMJ, Milwaukee to Debut Non-Sports Show Featuring Packers.  The show is called “Tauscher and Kuhn” and will feature former Green Bay Packers lineman Mark Tauscher and current Packers fullback John Kuhn.  It will air from 12:00 noon to 1:00 pm on eight select Tuesdays beginning in September.  The Journal Broadcast Group news/talk station has the show sponsored by Associated Bank.  The program is not a sports talk show and will instead revolve around the two discussing current events, pop culture and more.  Journal Milwaukee VP/GM of radio operations Tom Langmyer says, “WTMJ is committed to developing original, live, local programming and talent for our listeners.  Mark and John have great chemistry.  This is a chance to hear them unplugged discussing all areas of life, beyond the Xs and Os of sports.  We look forward to have Mark and John on our team!”  Tauscher says, “One of my favorite things while playing in the NFL was debating and arguing a wide range of topics in the locker room.  John was and is always ready for a lively discussion, so I am looking forward to bringing our unique perspectives to the airwaves and having lots of fun along the way.”

sabowalterSabo: Five Steps to Managing a Problem.  Media consultant Walter Sabo writes that because talk radio’s very purpose is to nurture controversy and opinion, there are ways to handle what might be perceived as a too-controversial event that help avoid “bad” PR and, worse, loss of advertising revenue or the decision to fire employees.  Sabo notes that talk radio practitioners should be prepared to combat advertiser boycotts by arming themselves with examples of “controversial programming” on television on which they advertise because, most “family oriented” advertisers do air spots on TV shows that could be considered just as controversial – perhaps more so – than talk radio programming.  For examples of this and more of Sabo’s five-step prescription, click here.

giordanodomOdds & Sods.  WPHT, Philadelphia mid-morning personality Dom Giordano is being inducted into the Philadelphia Area Broadcast Pioneers Hall of Fame in a ceremony that will take place on November 21 at the Hilton Philadelphia.  See a complete list of inductees and honorees here…..Former San Francisco Giants pitcher and current team broadcaster Mike Krukow is suffering from a degenerative muscle disease called inclusion-body myositis.  Krukow is part of the broadcast team for Comcast Sports Bay Area and for Cumulus Media’s KNBR, San Francisco.  The disease is not life-threatening but there is no cure or mccannjaketreatment and it’s forced Krukow to use a cane for balance and to ride in a motorized cart at times…..Jake McCann is named vice president of sales for Cumulus Washington which puts him in charge of the sales effort for news/talk WMAL-AM/FM…..Digital Syndicate Network-owned sports talker WDKT, Beulah, North Dakota re-brands as “KDKT SportsRadio 1410” with the change in network affiliation from Fox Sports Radio to CBS Sports Radio.  The station keeps Fox Sports Radio/DirecTV’s Dan Patrick and brings CBS’ Jim Rome back to the market after a year’s absence…..John Harper is named host of Relevant Radio’s “Morning Air” program.  Harper joins the Catholic broadcaster after a career that includes time spent with ESPN building the sports giant’s “SportsCenter” into the iconic sports news programming that it’s become.

ABCkaterskyambassBringing the Flight 17 Story Home to Listeners.  Reporting from Kiev, Ukraine, ABC News Radio correspondent Aaron Katersky (left) speaks with US Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt (right) in Kiev about the downing of Flight 17 and the political ramifications of Russia’s involvement in arming the Ukraine rebels.

ObamaCare Court Rulings, Flight 17 Investigation-Russian Responsibility, Gaza Strip Violence, Tony Dungy-Michael Sam Comments Controversy, Primary Races, Western Drought-California Water Shortage, Bill Clinton’s ‘Energizer’ Flap, and Illegal Child Immigration Crisis Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/22).  Two separate and different Appeals Courts rulings on tax credits for citizens signing up for the Affordable Care Act; the ongoing investigation into the downing of Flight 17 and Russian President Vladimir Putin’s battle with the West over blame; the escalating violence in the Gaza Strip and Western airlines’ cessation of flights into Tel Aviv; the controversy over Tony Dungy’s comments about not drafting openly gay footballer Michael Sam because of the “distraction” it would cause; the mid-term primary races held on Tuesday; concern over the ongoing Western drought and Southern California’s low water supply; the latest published allegations about Bill Clinton’s paramour dubbed “Energizer”; and the influx of child illegals into the Southwest were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

| July 17, 2014

2014 NYC logo 150Talkers New York 2014 Videos Being Posted. Up Today: Erica Farber Moderates “The State of Radio Advertising and Sales” Panel. Today (7/17) marks the third day of TALKERS magazine’s video posting of speeches, sessions and presentations made during last month’s 17th annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important national convention – Talkers New York 2014. The presentation of these informative and historic recordings is sponsored by WYD Media Sales, LLC., the rep firm recently launched by Ron Hartenbaum and headed by John Murphy, that specializes in the advertising sales of spoken-word media on all popular platforms. The worldwide showing of these very special videos continues today with the event’s powerful “State of Radio Advertising and Sales” panel moderated by Erica Farber, president/CEO of the Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB). The panel features an array of heavyweight radio executives including Ron Furman, CRO, Westwood One; Kraig Kitchin, CEO, Sound Mind, LLC; Joe Puglise, president/market manager, Clear Channel, New York; and Julie Talbott, president, Premiere Networks. According to TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey, “The scope of important radio sales issues clearly covered and illuminated during this session is nothing short of extraordinary. We are delighted to be able to make such solid and useful content available to the entire industry.” Among the topics covered: Dealing with spoken word radio’s loss of advertisers due to the much-publicized backlash against controversy; selling against andfarberNYC14 still effectively utilizing digital; what’s being done about the need for accurate ratings in the digital era; the role of the on-air personality in driving sales; and the state of small/medium market station revenue, among others. Erica Farber begins the panel by referring to earlier remarks made by Sean Hannity, Phil Boyce and Greg Moceri critical of the present-day Nielsen Audio system that doesn’t include tallies of digital platform listenership. She states, “I don’t want anyone to walk away thinking that this is not being addressed. It is very complicated and we [the RAB, major radio industry leaders and Nielsen] are trying to figure it out.” Regarding advertiser boycotts, Ron Furman admits, “We have hard work to do. [Once you have lost advertisers due to their discomfort with controversy] it is hard to get them back.” On that same topic, Julie Talbott advises, “The key is to find businesses that want to grow.” Kraig Kitchin notes, “Hosts who have the ability and interest in selling products and services will go the longest way.” Joe Puglise points out, “WOR is pacing up [revenues] double digits.” He credits the significant income increase at the heritage talker acquired by Clear Channel in 2012 to its relatively recent addition of Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity to its roster – both having been long-time staples of cross-town rival WABC. If any singular statement sums up the basic sentiment expressed by the panel it is Julie Talbott’s observation: “It is a different kind of sale today. It is a more sophisticated sale.” To see “The State of Radio Advertising and Sales” panel, please click here. Coming tomorrow: “Radio: The Big Picture” moderated by TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison featuring panelists Steve Goldstein, EVP, Saga Communications; Sam Kimball, CRO, Livestream; Tom Langmyer, VP/news/talk programming, Journal Broadcast Group; Tom Leykis, CEO, The New Normal; Mike McVay, SVP, Cumulus Media; and Walter Sabo, CEO, Sabo Media. The TALKERS conference videos were recorded by Art Vuolo.

minihanekirkBoston Sports Host Apologizes for Calling Erin Andrews a “Gutless Bitch” and Telling Her to “Drop Dead.”  This past Tuesday’s MLB All-Star Game was, in essence, a Derek Jeter tribute.  Retiring at the end of the year, the Yankees shortstop participated in his final mid-year classic.  Fox was elaborate in its coverage; Jeter had success at the plate; and American League/Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell stretched the substitution process for Jeter, enabling the popular infielder to enjoy an isolated, extended standing ovation.  It had all the components of a great story, particularly since the AL won 5-3.  Perhaps only St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright will be the only person to know for certain if he made it a bit easier for Jeter to smack a first-inning double, which was the catalyst for three quick AL runs in that frame.  Social media was buzzing that Wainwright had indicated he might have grooved the pitch Jeter hit.  Fox reporter Erin Andrewsweei logo questioned Wainwright about it and the pitcher backtracked from that notion, and he said Jeter’s hit was on the up-and-up.  Apparently though, the televised exchange between Andrews and Wainwright did not sit well with Entercom-owned sports WEEI-FM, Boston personality Kirk Minihane. On (yesterday) Wednesday morning’s “(John) Dennis & (Gerry) Callahan” program, Minihane declared of Andrews, “What a bitch – I hate her.  What a gutless bitch.  Seriously, go away.  Drop dead.  I mean, seriously, what the hell is wrong with her?  First of all, follow-up.  Second of all, the guy admitted he did it -he admitted it.  He told reporters he threw a couple of ‘pipe-bombs.’  How is that social media’s fault?  I hate her – I seriously hate her so much.”  A Minihane-issued statement was posted last (Wednesday) night on the WEEI website that read: “I used a series of words to describe Erin Andrews’ work at the All-Star Game.  My choice of words was wrong.  I was wrong to have used them.  To all whom I offended – particularly Ms. Andrews – I apologize.  There is no place for what was said.  It was immature and completely uncalled for.  I am often critical of media members and their work and recognize here that I’ve made the kind of mistake I would call out if it was done by another sportscaster or writer.  Again, to all involved, I’m very sorry.”  The Boston Globe is reporting that Entercom VP/market manager Phil Zachary says Minihane was contrite, chose to issue the apology and will not be suspended or fired.  This is not surprising since many media watchers in Boston have credited Minihane’s role on the Dennis & Callahan show as very positive for the show and the station.

garciatonySyndication: Behind-the-Scenes Preparation.  In this next installment of a multi-part series on syndicating radio programs, Global Media Services founder Tony Garcia writes about handling an important – but not so sexy – aspect of syndicating a radio program: being prepared when it comes to the business end of the project.  Those parts of the business include the finances, production, distribution and marketing of the program.  It may seem obvious, but the financial aspect is crucial and making sure all facets of the business are accounted for from a money standpoint is mandatory.  Garcia writes, “Once you have established a budget, you’ll know the entire cost of syndicating your show.  Be prepared to float the show financially for at least two years in order to give the show enough time to find affiliates and audience.”  Read Garcia’s entire piece here.

talkmediaTV logoTalk Media TV Expands Video Platform; WMYT, Wilmington-based Talker Curtis Wright to Be Featured.  North Carolina-based talk media personality Curtis Wright (pictured below) – co-owner and executive producer of Talk Media TV and a personality on WMYT, Wilmington – is continuing his efforts to expand the company’s video production capabilities and web online presence through the establishment of new production ventures with both InNova TV Networks and Nationalwrightcurtis show logo Productions.  Wright announces that to support this effort to expand the creation and distribution of new broadcast and video content, Talk Media TV and WMYT 106.7 FM will be moving to newly constructed broadcast and office facilities which will be shared by all three companies.  He says this allows WMYT to commence ‘live web video streaming’ of its many original, local, live broadcast shows.  Wright says, “We formed Talk Media TV and WMYT 106.7 FM just over a year ago to create a truly multi-media, multi-broadcast company that can create and distribute original broadcast content using all of the emerging communications technologies and platforms.  This new association with both InNova TV Networks, which will be supplying us our web and internet ‘virtual channel’ for live video streaming, and National Productions, which will be supporting our expanding original video productions, takes us closer and closer to reaching our original ‘vision’ for our company and services to our clients.”  Talk Media TV will be taking two recently created segments that appear on Wright’s WMYT show and produce them for the Talk Media TV “virtual channel.”  Those segments are “Constitutional Path to Liberty” with Dr. Greg Brannon and “Cape Fear Capital Connections” with Thomas E. Vass.

sunbroadcastgrouplogoRivlin Joins Sun Broadcast Group.  Former Westwood One vice president of affiliate sales Ron Rivlin is tapped to become Sun Broadcast Group’s senior vice president of programming and affiliate relations.  Rivlin will oversee the affiliate sales department’s focus on “The Marilu Henner Show,” “Nashville Music Minute,” and “AccuWeather en Espanol.”  SBG chief executive officer Jason Bailey comments, “Lately, I have had the honor of welcoming some of the greatest men and women in radio to our team.  Today, I get that pleasure yet again.  As we begin to finalize our 2015 lineup, we needed the best of the best to lead the charge.  Anyone who knows Ron can tell you he is exactly that.  I am honored that he chose to join our family.”  Rivlin states that he is, “over-the-moon excited to be joining [all] the radio pros at Sun Broadcast Group, which represents a new generation of media companies.  [It is] laser-focused on the needs of affiliates, advertisers and, of course, listeners.  I cannot wait to share what is coming next.” Before his Westwood One tenure, Rivlin was Triton Digital Media’s vice president of interactive solutions, and ABC Radio Networks’ senior director.

herskovitzalHeaving Bricks at Radio.  Radio sales maven Al Herskovitz writes today (7/17) about his frustration with radio’s current image crisis that, he says, is largely radio’s own fault.  Herskovitz cites examples from his hometown market in which he hears long-outdated spots on the air as well as old, pre-recorded weather forecasts still on the air and almost no community profile for stations that purport to serve the local market.  The fixes for these problems are not hard to imagine, as Herskovitz illustrates.  Read his piece here.

gamblingjohnrJohn Gambling Laments Loss of Mayoral Sit-Downs.  Stating that he’s been talking with New York City’s mayors for the past 15 years, WOR personality John Gambling Tweeted about his frustrations trying to book Mayor Bill de Blasio, a story picked up by the New York Daily News.  Gambling began his regular chats with the City’s mayors, first with Republican Rudy Giuliani and then with Republican Michael Bloomberg.  But de Blasio, a Democrat, has not responded to repeated requests to join the program.  Gambling tells the paper, “My views of his policies are what they are, and they’re obviously 180 degrees from where he is.  I’ve been sitting with mayors for 15 years… I’m always willing to let somebody speak their mind.  I’d like to have a conversation with the mayor.”  Read the Daily News piece here.

ingrahamlauraIngraham Endorses Tennessee Senate Candidate. Next Tuesday (7/22), Laura Ingraham will be in Nashville where she will attend the “Restore America” rally. The Courtside Entertainment Group host is backing Tennessee Senate candidate Joe Carr, who is trying to unseat incumbent Lamar Alexander in next month’s (8/7) primary.  “Anti-amnesty” conservative talk host Ingraham supported Dave Brat, who – last month – defeated Representative Eric Cantor in Virginia’s seventh Congressional District.  Brat and Carr oppose reform that would grant amnesty to immigrants.  In addition to criticizing Alexander for supporting the comprehensive immigration bill that passed the Senate last year, Ingraham called Carr, who opposes the bill, “terrific” on immigration.  Carr, Alexander, Brat, and Cantor are all Republicans.  Ingraham, and in some instances talk radio in general, has been credited with Brat’s victory by such publications as Politico, and these stories received a lot of attention, especially among political wonks and the cable news/talk channels.  TALKERS believes that the reality is not quite so clear and the conclusion that any talk show host’s support of a candidate that leads to victory in an election – regardless of the party affiliation – is a very difficult thing to prove.

Child Immigration Crisis, Israel-Hamas Violence, ISIS Campaign in Iraq and Syria, Eric Holder Racism Controversy, Clinton and Warren Potential Presidential Bids, Obama Lawsuit Move, and Summer Polar Vortex Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/16).  The ongoing influx of child illegal immigrants and the Obama Administration’s policy dealing with the crisis; the heightened violence in the Gaza strip; the continuing campaign by ISIS to bring about a caliphate in Iraq and Syria; chatter about Eric Holder’s comments that criticism of the Obama Administration is based in racism; the potential 2016 presidential bids by Hillary Clinton and Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren; the move in the U.S. House to sue President Obama over his unilateral actions regarding the Affordable Care Act; and the summer polar vortex affecting much of the Midwest were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

| July 9, 2014

lakampbrianClear Channel Makes Corporate Structural Changes; Moves iHeartRadio into Clear Channel Networks Group Division.  Along with this change – putting the iHeartRadio platform under the Clear Channel Networks Group banner headed by president Darren DavisBrian Lakamp remains with the company and is promoted to the new position — president of technology and digital ventures.  The company calls Lakamp’s promotion part of its “taking another important step in its continuing transformation to a consumer-driven, technology-fueled company.”  Chairman and CEO Bob Pittman says, “Our corporate focus on digital, increasingly leveraging technology to maximize our business, reflects the natural evolution of Clear Channel into a 21st century media company.  Creativity is also enabled by technology, and as advertisers’ interest in new and emerging technology options continues to grow, we intend to remain at the forefront of both innovation anddavisdarren creativity.  Brian is perfectly positioned to help us – and our consumers, advertisers and content partners – as we continue to build Clear Channel’s digital roadmap for the future.”  The new role puts Lakamp in charge of the overall technology platform and capabilities for all of Clear Channel – including its broadcast, digital radio, events and promotions and out-of-home businesses.  The company says he will also be responsible for developing the company’s overall place in the worlds of big data and programmatic buying. Putting iHeartRadio under Darren Davis’ purview means he’ll be responsible for the entire business of iHeartRadio as well as Premiere Networks, Total Traffic and Weather Network; and the 24/7 News Network.  Davis comments, “I look forward to working with the immensely talented iHeartRadio team to build on the tremendous success of iHeartRadio by utilizing the full promotional and creative power of Clear Channel for iHeartRadio Networks.  I’m excited to continue my collaboration with Brian in his new role to leverage new opportunities and maximize emerging technologies across Clear Channel’s national platforms and services.”

riseguysRise Guys Return to Sacramento Radio.  Sports talk morning drive personalities Whitey Gleason and Mark Kreidler – known as The Rise Guys – are returning to the Sacramento market on Entercom’s KCTC “ESPN 1320” after leaving the market for San Francisco three years ago.  In 2011 they took the gig at Entercom’s KGMZ, San Francisco “95.7 The Game” after years at the company’s KHTK, Sacramento.  But earlier this year they exited that station after talent changes were made.  Now, they return to the Sacramento market on KHTK’s sister station.

kiroBrock and Salk Show to Air in Mornings on KIRO-AM, Seattle.  The recent return of Mike Salk to Bonneville’s Seattle sports talker KIRO-AM “710 ESPN Seattle” as program director after a year-long stint at WEEI, Boston is now bringing about changes to the station’s talent lineup as he and Brock Huard are getting back together on the radio for a morning show from 7:00 am to 10:00 am.  The “Brock & Salk” show debuted in 2009 but ended when Salk took the afternoon co-host gig at Entercom’s WEEI, Boston in the spring of 2013.  The change means Michael Grey is moving from afternoons to the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon slot followed by “Bob & Groz” from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm.  Danny O’Neil, Dave Wyman and Jim Moore will host afternoon drive from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm.  Salk comments, “These changes make an already strong lineup even stronger and this is just the beginning.  I’m thrilled with where the station is going and couldn’t be more excited to get behind the mic.”

frantzbobFrantz Exits WTAM, Cleveland.  Talk personality Bob Frantz is let go from his position with Clear Channel’s news/talk WTAM, Cleveland where he appeared alongside Mike Trivisonno on the 9:00 am to 10:00 am show “The Spew” as well as hosting the 7:00 pm to 11:00 pm program.  Frantz was doing his second tour of duty with the station – he worked there in the late 1990s before returning in 2006.  Replacing him in the evening slot is “The Sports Feed” co-host and Indians reporter Nick Camino.

nielsen logoRound One of June PPM Data Released.  The first of four rounds of June 2014 PPM 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 survey period was May 22 through June 18.  TALKERS magazine’s sister publican RadioInfo has all of the numbers from subscribing stations here.  In addition, managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his “Ten Takeaways” from this batch of ratings at RadioInfo.com here.

emmisEmmis Q1 Report: Radio Revenue Essentially Flat.  The results for the first fiscal quarter for Emmis Communications (ending May 31) show the company’s net radio revenue up 22% — but that includes the addition of revenue from WBLS and WLIB, New York which it has been operating under an LMA since March 1.  Assuming those stations had been in the fold at the same time a year ago, revenue would have been flat.  Atsmulyanjeff the station level, the company reports its stations were up 1.6% compared to local radio market revenue down 5.5% during the fiscal quarter.  Emmis president and CEO Jeff Smulyan says, “While our markets continue to be tested, our stations and employees have risen to the challenge and continue to outperform our markets.  We continue to believe NextRadio, the Emmis-led industry initiative to make FM broadcast radio available on smartphones and tablets, is a game-changer for the radio industry and will reignite growth.  We have spent the last year building out the NextRadio ecosystem, and now we are entering a critical phase to build consumer awareness.  I’m proud of our team for its continuing focus on innovation and operational excellence.”

pagliarulojoeOdds & Sods.  WOAI, San Antonio-based talk show host Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo’s program is being added to another Clear Channel-owned news/talk station as KEX, Portland picks up the program to air from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm.  The show is also heard on KPRC, Houston and KHOW, Denver…..Former Dallas Cowboys defensive star Dat Nguyen inks a contract renewal with Alpha Media sports talker KZDC, San Antonio “1250 ESPN.”  Nguyen hosts the afternoon drive show where he’s been since joining the station in August of 2012…..ESPN Radio’s “10th Annual ESPY Day Auction” to benefit The V Foundation for Cancer Research is officially underway on eBay and will continue through Wednesday, July 16.  This year’s auction of more than 250 items includes tickets to prime sporting events, autographed memorabilia, unique experiences with athletes, celebrities and ESPN and ABC personalities and behind-the-scenes experiences with numerous ESPN programs.

Child Immigration Crisis, Obama Approval Ratings, GOP Picks Cleveland for 2016 Convention, Israeli-Hamas Violence, Costco Pulls D’Souza Book, Palin Joins Impeachment Plea, and Klein’s Blood Feud Criticism Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/8).  The influx of minor illegal immigrants in the Southwest and the political battle over immigration enforcement; the lower approval ratings for President Obama; the RNC chooses Cleveland for site of 2016 convention and the importance of Ohio in the next presidential election; escalating violence between the Israelis and Palestinians; the flap over Costco’s decision to stop selling Dinesh D’Souza’s America: Imagine the World Without Her; Sarah Palin returns to the media spotlight calling for the president’s impeachment; and controversy over Ed Klein’s book about the relationship between the Clintons and the Obamas were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, June 30, 2014

| June 30, 2014

borrell logoBorrell Associates Releases Political Advertising Outlook; Radio’s Share to Shrink.  But that’s not entirely unexpected by those who’ve been involved in political ad buys over the past few years.  Even though Borrell estimates the total ad spend this year alone to be $8.3 billion, the media that will see an increase are cable and online.  TV will lose market share at the expense of cable – due, Borrell concludes, to the more highly targetable nature of cable’s niche programming.  While online is expected to see a big increase, it’s still a small part (3.3%) of the total political ad spend for 2014.  Radio’s share is shrinking – from 6.5% of the total ad spend in 2010 to an estimated 5.8% this year.  But that money — $485 million – is money the industry is banking on.  Another item of note from Borrell is that 54% of the total ad spend comes in September and October.  The ability to narrowly define a medium’s audience helps a political ad buy and if radio executives can show campaigns that they have a desired audience, the likelihood of getting the buy increases.  For more information, see the Borrell Associates site here.

clarkleonClark Takes Helm of Journal’s Tucson Radio Stations.  Assuming the VP/GM position at Journal Broadcast Group’s Tucson operations is Leon Clark, who comes to the company from his most recent post as sales manager for the digital audio aggregator TuneIn.  Journal operates four stations in the market: adult contemporary KMXZ “94.9 Mix FM,” news/talk KQTH-FM, rhythmic oldies KTGV “106.3 The Groove,” and sports talk KFFN “ESPN Tucson.”  Journal EVP – Radio Steve Wexler comments, “Leon’s broadcast and digital experience, as well as his strong leadership track record, makes him a great fit with Journal and our Tucson team.  He embodies our core values of integrity, excellence, determination and innovation and I’m thrilled to welcome him to our company.”  Clark comments, “I am honored to lead the Tucson team forward and to become part of a broadcast group that shares the same core values that I do.  We have some incredible opportunities ahead of us and I look forward to much success for our Tucson team.”

wgn logo newWGN, Chicago Returns the Bird to Service.  As Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports, Tribune Company news/talker WGN, Chicago is bringing the iconic marketing mascot the Bird – appropriately named Chicago – back into service to be the face of some of its marketing efforts.  Instead of being a TV and print icon, the Bird will be a social media avatar for the station.  Vice president of content and programming Todd Manley tells Feder, “The idea is to give the Bird a new life in a new space and really have it be the voice of Chicago through listening to WGN Radio.”  Read Feder’s story here.

bearmanquakes2KSFO, San Francisco’s Bearman Talks Soccer and More During Weekend Remote.  Rising talk radio star Ethan Bearman (pictured here at right) speaks with San Jose Earthquakes president Dave Kaval (left) outside Stanford Stadium during a Saturday evening broadcast on Cumulus Media’s KSFO, San Francisco.  Bearman broadcast his program from the stadium on the occasion of the MLS match between San Jose and the Los Angeles Galaxy dubbed the California Classico.  Bearman says the excitement of the World Cup and the biggest fireworks show in the Bay Area brought some 50,000 people out for the event.  He says that although KSFO is not a sport talk-oriented station, the interview with Kaval, two-time MLS goalkeeper of the year and former Earthquake Joe Cannon plus the local non-sports topics make for a show that was a bit hit with the listeners and fans in attendance.

entercomGeary Exiting Entercom Communications Post.  Citing his desire to return to the political communications end of the business, Entercom director of strategic communications Kevin Geary announces he’s leaving his position with the company to focus full time on his political communications firm, Independence Strategy.  Geary’s been with Entercom for the past three years and, during that time, he’s kept his own company in business.  But he says he misses the political communications biz and wants to return.  “The closer we got to the 2014 elections it was clear just how much I missed it.  With 3 ½ years in corporate and media communications, I know I can offer clients a unique combination of political, business perspectives.”

wpen-fm logoGreater Media Sports Talkers to Air USA World Cup Game.  As the USA soccer teamwmgc sportslogo continues its bid for the World Cup, Greater Media-owned WPEN-FM, Philadelphia “97.5 The Fanatic” and WMGC, Detroit “Detroit Sports 105.1” will air the USA vs Belgium match live on Tuesday, July 1 at 4:00 pm ET.  In addition WPEN-FM Mike Missanelli is broadcasting live from Pagano’s leading up to the match.  Fans who join Missanelli in Center City will be able to watch the match on a 20-foot-by-17-foot screen, as well as on the televisions inside Pagano’s.  WPEN-FM program director Matt Nahigian says, “We had an overwhelming amount of listeners asking us to air the US vs Germany game and it continued for Tuesday’s matchup.  We’re excited to be able to provide the radio call of the game to our listeners.”

Thursday, June 26, 2014

| June 26, 2014

carrhowieWRKO, Boston’s Howie Carr Signs with Global Media Services for Syndication.  Boston-based talk show host Howie Carr – hosting afternoon drive at Entercom’s WRKO – contracts with Global Media Services to market his syndicated radio show.  Carr is currently carried on 15 radio stations globalmediaservices logothroughout New England.  Carr comments, “I’ve been looking forward to this day for a long time.  It’s exciting to be branching out on my own and expanding the network.  I have a great relationship with my affiliates and advertisers and I think they’ll tell you I’ve been a real asset to their businesses.”  Global Media Services founder Tony Garcia says, “Howie Carr is an icon and legend in New England and I look forward to partnering with him to bring his unique views on politics, pop culture and society to the entire nation.  The possibilities are endless.”  Garcia has been writing columns for TALKERS about the syndication business.  He founded his new company in 2014.

niewkathleenAttorney and Former Talk Host Pleads Guilty to Fraud.  In what seems like a never-ending chain of financial advisors hosting brokered weekend talk shows who go on to defraud investors, comes the latest from Chicago where Kathleen Niew pleaded guilty in federal court to 10 counts of fraud.  Niew brokered her show from Salem Communications-owned WIND, Chicago.  She lost the life savings of a local couple — $2.3 million – investing in foreign mining projects that failed.  She faces up to 11 years in prison when she is sentenced.  She was disbarred in Illinois several months after the issues surrounding her arrest came to light.

ciancibuddyWPRO, Providence Host Buddy Cianci Takes Leave to Run for Mayor.  As many predicted he would when he first began to bat around the idea of running for a third stint as mayor of Providence, Buddy Cianci announced his candidacy on Wednesday (6/25) and stepped away from his afternoon drive programgranahantara in order to devote his full attention to the race.  Cianci is on leave from the station and Tara Granahan is subbing for him.  Granahan says, “I’m thrilled for Buddy as he delves into his latest adventure in politics.  I’m really looking forward to spending more time with our listeners.  Then, we’ll see what happens in November!”  Cianci resigned from the mayor’s post in 1984 after pleading no contest to assault.  He served for 12 years from 1990 to 2002, again resigning after a racketeering conviction forced him to relocate to federal prison for four years.  Cianci also was serving as a political commentator for WLNE-TV, a gig from which he is also on leave.

brunotonyTony Bruno Resigns from WPEN-FM, Philadelphia.  There is not much information about the sudden departure of sports talk host Tony Bruno from Greater Media’s WPEN-FM, Philadelphia “97.5 The Fanatic,” but the station issues the following statement: “Tony Bruno has chosen to resign his position at ‘97.5 The Fanatic.’  We thank him for his contributions and wish him well.”  Bruno had been off the air this week during what has been reported to have been contract negotiations.  Obviously, from Bruno’s perspective, the negotiations did not go well and he has left the station.

martinjohnOdds & Sods.  At Entercom’s sports talker WMFS-FM/AM, Memphis, John Martin adds columnist duties for the station’s website.  Martin is executive producer for the Geoff Calkins show.  His column is titled “The 92.9 Line.”…..NPR and American Public Media strike a deal for NPR’s “Morning Edition” to include APM’s “Marketplace Morning Report” feature to the program beginning this fall…..Greater Media sports talker WPEN-FM, Philadelphia is breaking away from regular programming today to broadcast the U.S. vs. Germany World Cup match.  Personalities Harry Mayes, Jon Marks and Sean Brace will broadcast live from Pagano’s in Philly where the match will be shown on a 20’ x 17’ screen.

oshaughnessywilliamNYC Move-In Prompts Missive on ‘Community Radio.’ The format flip to urban contemporary and move of Cumulus Media’s WFAS-FM, Bronxville, New York (Westchester County) to the New York City metro is not a story TALKERS would usually cover since it is a music station. But the move caused Whitney Radio president William O’Shaughnessy to promote the community-mindedness of his stations – WVIP-FM and WVOX-AM – to his advertisers, the listeners and WFAS-FM’s listeners. Read O’Shaughnessy’s memo here.

bfoa logoFour Named to Broadcasters Foundation of America Board of Directors.  Four distinguished broadcast industry leaders are named to the Broadcasters Foundation of America board of directors.  They are: Peter Dunn, president, CBS Television Stations; David T. Lougee, president, Gannett Broadcasting; Elizabeth (Beth) Neuhoff, president & chief executive officer, Neuhoff Communications; Michael (Mike) O’Neill, president & chief executive officer, BMI.  BFoA chairman Phil Lombardo says, “The addition of these four prominent broadcasters to our board will further enhance awareness of the work that we do and increase our ability to help more broadcasters in need.  Their dedication to helping those in our industry who need it most is an inspiration that I hope will motivate everyone in our profession to make a donation and become involved with our cause.”

tangeralexMarlin Broadcasting Chairman Alex Tanger Dies at 94.  The broadcasting career of Alexander Tanger started after his return from World War II service when he became vice president of WHDH-TV and WHDH-AM in Boston.  He bought WLKW, Providence and operated it for many years.  Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, he convinced General Cinema Corporation to buy FM radio stations – among them WIFI-FM, Philadelphia; KRBE-FM, Houston; WGZC-FM, Atlanta; WHUE-FM Boston; WGCI-FM, Cleveland; and WEFM-FM, Chicago, where he won a landmark case in the U.S. Court of Appeals that freed broadcasters from government oversight of programming.  In the 1980s and 1990s, Tanger built the WBACH Classical Music network of FM stations in Maine and served as the chairman of the board of Marlin Broadcasting, Inc. and Marlin Broadcasting, LLC from 1979 until his passing.

U.S. GDP Shrinks, Primary Races-Mid Term Elections, Lerner’s IRS Emails Scandal, Hillary Clinton Memoir/2016 Presidential Race, Influx of Illegal Immigrants; SCOTUS Cell Phone Search Ruling; Global Warming Debate; and World Cup Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/25).  Analysis of the economy as the gross domestic product in the U.S. shrinks 2.9%; the Thad Cochran primary race and the looming mid-term elections; the Lois Lerner IRS emails and GOP audits scandal; sales of Hillary Clinton’s memoir and the possibility she’ll run for president in 2016; continuing concern over the influx of illegal immigrants and public health issues associated with the problem; the SCOTUS ruling on warrantless police searches of cell phones; the debate over man-made climate change; and World Cup action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, June 2, 2014

| June 2, 2014

hamburgjoanJoan Hamburg Show Cancelled at WOR, New York.  When Clear Channel shuffled the daily lineup at news/talk WOR, New York to make room for Premiere NetworksRush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity the long-running Joan Hamburg show moved to the weekend.  Now, the company cancels the Saturday and Sunday version of the Joan Hamburg show.  Hamburg had been a fixture on WOR since she joined the station in 1979.

elswickdaveDave Elswick Lands at ‘96.5 The Voice’ in Little Rock.  Today, longtime Little Rock talk radio personality and programmer Dave Elswick begins hosting the 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm show atkhte logo Crain Media Group news/talk KHTE, England, Arkansas “96.5 The Voice.”  (England is about 20 miles southeast of Little Rock).  Elswick was most recently program director and afternoon drive host at Cumulus Media’s crosstown KARN-FM before exiting the station in early April.

beckglennGlenn Beck’s Lawyers Argue in Boston Libel Suit.  In his case against Premiere Networks syndicated talk show host Glenn Beck, Abdulrahman Alharbi claims that Beck’s insistence that Alharbi financed the bombing attacks at the Boston Marathon in 2013 during on-air discussion of the incident reaches the level of libel.  Alharbi claims that Beck’s continued assertion that he was part of the attacks after police questioned him and cleared him as a suspect caused him pain and suffering.  Beck’s lawyers are not arguing Alharbi was part of the plot but they say the threshold for libel is very high and Beck’s actions do not rise to that level.  The Boston Business Journal’s Eric Convey reports that Beck’s attorneys also argue that Beck’s speech is protected by the First Amendment.  In the initial court filing, Alharbi claimed he was the target of harassment via the internet after Beck accused him of being a “bad, bad” person who financed the attacks even after police cleared him.

abacastEntercom Names Abacast Digital Streaming Partner.  The result of this partnership between Entercom and Abacast is that beginning in August of this year, Entercom stations will move to Abacast’s Clarity digital audio streaming and monetization platform.  Entercom will use Clarity for ad insertion, campaign management and reporting, audience metrics, streaming, royalty reporting, and AbaPlay, The Everywhere Player.   Entercom VP digital strategy & enterprise platforms Timentercom Murphy comments, “With the ultimate goal of offering the best listener and advertiser experience, Abacast was the clear choice.  Abacast offers us the most innovative technology in the digital radio industry, and this partnership will allow us to continuously improve the end experience for listeners and advertisers as habits change and move toward mobile and targeted impressions.”  In a statement, the companies say that Abacast Clarity provides Entercom with a cloud-based digital audio monetization service, enabling revenue from in-stream audio ads, synchronized banners for call‐to‐action campaigns, pre-roll video ads, and third‐party ad sales integration.  Later this year, Entercom stations will be equipped with Abacast’s Skip Technology for Live Streams and MusicStart, offering features currently found only in playlist service to live radio streams.  Abacast CEO Rob Green says, “We built our platform with unique targeting and streaming features to serve enterprise customers like Entercom and look forward to a strong partnership.  With Entercom’s wide range of stations and reach combined with Abacast’s industry leading technology we look forward to serving Entercom and providing their entire listener base with a fantastic experience.”

espnupstateEntercom Adds to FM Signals to ‘ESPN Upstate’ in Greenville-Spartanburg.  Growing its “ESPN Upstate” sports talk brand, Entercom announces the addition of two FM signals to the multicast based at WORD-AM, Spartanburg and WYRD-AM, Greenville.  The two signals are translators W290WB, Greenville at 105.9 and W246BU at 97.1 Spartanburg.  The company says that “using optimized antennas and the most advanced broadcasting equipment available, ‘ESPN Upstate’ is now the most powerful and far-reaching sports station in the Greenville/Spartanburg market with two AM signals, 960 AM and 1330 AM; two FM signals, 97.1 FM and 105.9 FM; HD radio at WFBC-HD3; and 24/7 on-line streaming at www.espnupstate.com.”  Entercom’s vice president and market manager Steve Sinicropi comments, “In three short months, ‘ESPN Upstate’ has become the fastest-growing and most powerful sports station in The Upstate.  Adding the powerful ESPN brand to not only one, but two FM signals makes our already-powerful cluster of stations an even better advertiser choice to serve the important male audience.  With 24-hour sports on ESPN Upstate, Clemson Football play-by-play on ‘93.3 The Planet’ and Carolina Panthers play-by-play on ‘Classic Rock 101.1,’ we deliver to an enormous audience.”  In addition to ESPN programming, the stations air local sports talk shows “In the Huddle with Greg McKinney” and “Straight Up with Sturg.”

stephandougDoug Stephan and Dream Big America Celebrate One Year Programming Relationship.  Over the course of the past year, Doug Stephan and Dream Big America have featured more than 100 startups on Stephan’s nationally syndicated “Good Day” every Tuesday during a special segment where entrepreneurs compete to win.  Upon the recent partnership between Stephan’s Good Day and “My Cool Inventions,” the Dream Big America feature moves to Fridays from 9:00 am to 10:00 am ET joining Stephan and “My Cool Inventions” hosts Akos Jankura and John Cremeans.  On June 6, three competing finalists from Monday-Thursday pitch their startup or product live on air.  Listeners vote on their favorite, which is announced the following Friday.  At the end of each month, those Friday finalists compete for the monthly grand prize of $20,000 worth of support and resources.  Stephan says, “I’m very proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish this past year with Dream Big America.  Helping others has always been a priority of mine and this is an ideal way to do that.  These entrepreneurs have a voice on our show and a chance to achieve their dreams.”

conwaysimonOdds & Sods.  It’s Monday morning of no sleeping in for WHO, Des Moines afternoon drive talk personality Simon Conway who tells TALKERS he’s proving once again that “sleep is overrated” as he fills in on Clear Channel’s sister news/talk WFLF, Orlando “Newsradio 102.5 WFLA” on the morning show today (6/2)…..Compass Media Networks announces its 2014 college football play-by-play schedule.  The company notes it has a deal with Learfield Sports, which owns the local rights to more than 70 universities, and thus Compass can choose the games it wishes to make available.  Some of the games Compass is offering this season include: Florida at Alabama on 9/20; Ohio State at Penn State on 10/25; and the Big Ten Championship game on 12/6…..“The Tailgate Tour” commences a new relationship with Yahoo! Sports Radio, after concluding a 14-year association with Fox Sports Radio.  NFuse 360 Marketing managing partner Jay Freedman comments, “We are very excited to be working with Yahoo! Sports Radio.  Many radio stations on ‘game day Saturday’ try to own the position that they are the ‘go-to home’ for sports, and that they are there with the fans but they are not.  The Tailgate Tour will put Yahoo! Sports Radio into the heartbeat of the largest games in the country.”  Gow Broadcasting chief executive officer David Gow states, “This is a great step for us.  Jay and his team are the best in the field.  We are delighted to be onsite with them at some of the biggest games of the season.” Gow Broadcasting – in partnership with Yahoo! Sports – owns and operates Yahoo! Sports Radio. The Tailgate Tour will kick off at the start of college football season and be on the road for 14 straight weeks reaching a schedule and fans in the SEC, Big 10, ACC and Big 12. As The Tailgate Tour’s official radio network, Yahoo! Sports Radio will have complete access to tours assets, as well as a joint promotional platform and sales channel…..Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is signed up to once again make regular weekly appearances on CBS RADIO‘s KDKA-FM, Pittsburgh “Sportsradio 93.7 The Fan” for the upcoming NFL season.  Roethlisberger’s show airs Tuesdays at 11:00 am during The Fan’s Cook & Poni Show beginning September 9.  Program director Ryan Maguire comments, “We’re thrilled that Ben has agreed to join us once again every week during the football season.  The Fan has become a destination station for Steeler fans during the week with insight on the team they can’t get anywhere else.”

conclaveTen Added to Conclave’s 2014 – 2015 Board of Directors.  Joining the board are Pittsburgh voiceover talent/producer Drake Donovan; Jacobs Media digital/social media strategist Lori Lewis; Lakeland Broadcasting president Steve Linder; Corus, Vancouver brand manager Ronnie Stanton; KEEZ, Mankato, Minnesota program director Brad Steele; sales broker Phil Strider; Nicolet Broadcasting Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin’s Roger Utnehmer; and RadioGeorge.com founder/CEO George Woods.  Veteran smooth jazz programmer Michael Fisher and WCWI-FM, Adams, Wisconsin operations manager Bob Goff rejoin the board. Conclave board chair/RCS sales manager Mark Bolke remarks, “This newly reformed board is a direct result of the industry outreach the Conclave began over the winter, soliciting the help of interested individuals in helping the organization rise to new challenges.  We are thrilled that so many extremely talented and respected individuals have chosen to come on board for the next year.  The new members, including professionals who are actively engaged in ownership, management, programming, sales, production, research, and new media, add a wealth of experience and perspective to the Conclave.”  Incumbent board members include Bolke; Jane Dyson; Vallie-Richards-Donovan consultant Harv Blain; Conclave executive director emeritus Tom Kay, and BMI vice president of industry relations Dan Spears.

marshallleslieLeslie Marshall Scores Role in Indie Sci-Fi Flick.  Talk media personality Leslie Marshall has a part in a new indie sci-fi film called The App.  The movie stars Sean Faris, Sarah Roemer, Frank Deal, James Saito and Marshall.  According to Variety, production starts today in New York City.  The story centers on “a brilliant mind’s descent into madness.”  Variety writes that “the story was inspired by the massive use of new technologies which intersect with psychopharmacology for therapeutic purposes.”

medvedYaleYalies Reunite in New Haven!  An unlikely gathering of public figures is seen here as Salem Radio Network talk host Michael Medved (center) was in New Haven, Connecticut on Friday, May 30 for his Yale University class reunion.  He was joined by several prominent fellow Yale alums including: longtime Connecticut Senator and 2000 Democratic V.P. nominee Joe Lieberman (second from left) and former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft (right).  All joined Medved on his nationally syndicated radio show.  Also pictured here are: Hadassah Lieberman (left), Dr. Diane Medved (third from left), and Janet Ashcroft (second from right).

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

| May 14, 2014

naglerharveyCBS’ Harvey Nagler Named RTDNA’s John F. Hogan Award Winner.  Longtime CBS Radio News vice president Harvey Nagler is being honored by the Radio Television Digital News Association with its 2014 John F. Hogan Distinguished Service Award, which recognizes an individual’s contributions to the journalism profession and freedom of the press.  RTDNA executive director Mike Cavender says, “We’re proud to honor one of the driving forces behind radio news in America.  Harvey Nagler is a champion of quality broadcast journalism.”  RTDNA chairman Chris Carl adds, “The format and sound of today’s radio newscasts owe a lot to Harvey Nagler.  The many awards and accolades earned by CBS Radio News are proof that he stands for innovation and integrity.”  The award will be presented on Friday, September 5 at the Excellence in Journalism 2014 national convention, at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center in Nashville.

mutnanskymikeWEEI-FM, Boston Finds Sox, Evening Role for Mike Mutnansky.  When the talent changes take place later this month at Entercom’s WEEI-FM, Boston, current “Mut and Merloni” co-host Mike Mutnansky will exit that show but remain with the station as host of the station’s Boston Red Sox pre- and post-game shows.  He’ll have a role on the nightly “Planet Mikey” program hosted by Mike Adams as well as hosting his own 10:00 pm to 12:00 midnight show.  As TALKERS reported earlier this week, Entercom is creating a new midday show called “Middays with MFB” co-hosted by Lou Merloni, former NFL tight end Christian Fauria and New England native and current “970 ESPN Pittsburgh” sports personality and Clear Channel Pittsburgh sports director Tim Benz.  Mutnansky replaces John Ryder in the Red Sox broadcast role effective later this month.  Mutnansky joined WEEI in 2005 as a sports anchor and weekend host.  He became a regular fill-in host for the station’s prime time shows and in 2011 was teamed with former Boston Red Sox infielder Lou Merloni in the midday slot.

compasslogoCompass Media Networks to Serve as Ad Rep for AirKast.  This move puts Compass Media Networks further into the digital sales realm as it will become the national advertising representative and marketer for AirKast’s mobile services and applications to publishers, AirKast logoincluding radio and television stations.  AirKast is a mobile services and platform provider that supports more than 3,000 mobile apps the company reports are launched more than 20 million times per month.  More than 1,100 radio and television stations use AirKast’s mobile platform and technology to publish their streaming audio, and on-demand audio and video content.  AirKast COO Simon Moy comments, “Mobile is the next frontier for radio and television, and it is paramount that stations have a powerful mobile platform that can effectively monetize their programming.  We are thrilled to partner with Compass Media Networks, who will now drive our national sales and deliver additional revenue for our affiliate partners.”

nielsen logoSecond Round of April PPM Data Released.  PPM data from the second of four groups of 12 markets for the April 2014 period (March 27 – April 23) has been released by Nielsen Audio.  Those markets include: Washington, Boston, Detroit, Miami, Seattle, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis.  TALKERS magazine’s sister publication, RadioInfo, has all the (subscriber) numbers here.  Managing editor and West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian offers his “Ten Takeaways” from the report at RadioInfo.com here.

cowherd studio shotCowherd Hits the Road to Celebrate 10 Years.  Today, ESPN Radio personality Colin Cowherd broadcasts live from Legends Bar in New York City from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm in what is being described as part of the fifth annual ESPN Audio Baseball Tour and in celebration of Cowherd’s 10-year anniversary at ESPN.  Cowherd comments, “It’s The Herd’s 10-year anniversary and spending a day in New York is a great way to celebrate.  And with Ivan Nova going down for the Yankees, I may as well audition to be the Yankees fifth starter while I’m at it.”  Cowherd’s broadcast comes prior to game two of the Subway Series between the New York Mets and Yankees.  He’ll welcome several guests to his show, including veteran Major League Baseball managers Bobby Valentine and Willie Randolph.

wkzologoCool Job Opportunity.  Are you that person at a party?  The one who everybody stops to listen to when you start telling a story?  The most informed person in the room?  If you are, heritage talker WKZO, Kalamazoo wants to provide you the tools to use those talents to get West Michigan’s day started with the information it needs.  Our next morning host will be surrounded by an outstanding news team, a company dedicated to live and local and the freedom to create compelling content every day.  And you’ll do it in a vibrant college town in one of the booming economic regions of the country.  And if you have a young family you need to know about the Kalamazoo Promise.  If you’re passionate about making great radio every day, we want to talk with you.  Send aircheck and resume to Jeremy Lawrence, Brand Manager at jeremy.lawrence@mwcradio.com or snail mail to: WKZO Morning Host Search, 4200 West Main Street, Kalamazoo, MI  49006.  Please, no phone calls.  Midwest Communications is an Equal Opportunity Employer by choice.

Antarctic Glacial Melt Report/Global Warming, Karl Rove’s Hillary Brain Damage Comment, Boko Haram Kidnappings, Donald Sterling CNN Interview, Russian Military Aggression, and Casey Kasem Missing Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/13).  The controversy over global warming on the heels of the recent report about unstoppable Antarctic glacial ice melt; the flap over Karl Rove’s comment that Hillary Clinton may have brain damage; the global effort to return the kidnapped Nigerian school girls and questions about the United States’ classification of Boko Haram; fallout from the Donald Sterling interview on CNN; Russia’s military aggression in Ukraine and Eastern Europe; and the disappearance of radio legend Casey Kasem were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, May 12, 2014

| May 12, 2014

wyay logo newIt’s Official: Cumulus Shifts WYAY, Atlanta to News/Talk.  As you can see, the official brand still employs the word “news,” but the all-news format is gone as Cumulus Media’s WYAY, Atlanta becomes “Newsradio 106.7.”  The change comes with the debut of the Michael Graham show in the 8:30 to 12:00 noon slot today (5/12).  The other shows that are part of the station’s talk lineup include Cumulus Media’s John Batchelor show which airs from 10:00 pm to 1:00 am and “Red Eye Radio” in thegrahammichael overnight slot.  Both morning drive and afternoon drive will remain news programs.  The station is the home of Atlanta Braves baseball and partners with WAGA-TV “Fox Five” and The Atlanta Business Chronicle.  Cumulus EVP and co-COO John Dickey says, “‘Newsradio 106.7’ is Atlanta’s best resource for in-depth news and compelling, entertaining talk about the things that matter most in our lives.  Our five-star news team, in partnership with ‘Fox Five,’ tells listeners what’s happening locally, nationally and around the world.  Our fresh talk personalities, including Michael Graham and Kim Peterson, help the audience understand, respond and sometimes even laugh about those events.”

kkzn logoProgressive Talk to Disappear from KKZN, Denver.  The story from Clear Channel’s Denver station group is that the progressive talk format on KKZN is ready to be dumped, although an official announcement has yet to be made and what will take its place is not yet known.  KCNC-TV personality Gloria Neal had hosted the evening show on KKZN until last week when she was let go.  She posted on her Facebook page that the format would change and all current hosts would be gone from the station.

rutkowskikenSecond of Two-Part Special on “Business Rockstars” – Meet Quintessential “Connected” Host, Ken Rutkowski.  The second of our two-part series on “Business Rockstars” centers on the host of this daily, two-hour program who has a somewhat similar style to Charlie Rose and adroitly produces the same meaty results, although the centerpiece guests he gets to “hang out with” each day are “very cool people” who — in the business world — turn nothing into something.  “That is the angle I like,” comments “Business businessrockstars logoRockstars” host/co-founder (with Steve Lehman)/co-owner/president Ken Rutkowski.  “How many people can say that almost every one of the 1,500 people they have talked with in the last two years is ‘amazing’?  We have three or four ‘amazing’ guests on every day.”  Some have entire chapters of their life they have never shared, yet Rutkowski — named in 2009 as an intelligence analyst at the Oprah Winfrey Network — elicits nuggets from them.  “They have tips to help people,” he remarks. “By listening to the show, it is almost like getting a nice degree in business — but in a fun way.”  To read part-two of the TALKERS special feature on “Business Rockstars with Ken Rutkowski” by managing editor Mike Kinosian posted today (5/12), please click here.

limbaughrushRush Limbaugh Salutes U.S. Military with Tractor Giveaway.  With Memorial Day 2014 as the backdrop, Premiere Networks talk star Rush Limbaugh is teaming up with Mahindra USA to give away one Mahindra Max 22 tractor to an active duty or veteran of the U.S. military.  The winner will be selected in a random drawing on May 26.  Mahindra USA is an active supporter of the military and offers the “Mahindra Pride Military Appreciation Program,” recognizing the commitment of members of the armed forces.  The Military Appreciation Program offers an extra $200 rebate for active and retired U.S. military personnel with the purchase of a new Mahindra tractor and qualifying implement.  It also supports Operation Finally Home with its “Build To Rise” program, which provides custom-built, mortgage-free homes to our heroes and their families.  Limbaugh states, “I’d like to thank Mahindra, the world’s number-one-selling tractor, for their generosity.  And God bless all of you who protect our freedom.  We are pleased to join with Mahindra USA in giving away one of their spectacular tractors to a deserving active duty or veteran of our military.”

gallaghermikeCrowd-sourced Film Hits Goal on Mike Gallagher Show.  The drive to raise funds by a group of independent filmmakers to produce a film about controversial Philadelphia abortionist Dr. Kermit Gosnell hits its goal of $2.1 million – three days before their deadlineduring the Mike Gallagher show on Friday, May 9.  Gallagher says,I am so grateful and proud of our listeners who contributed literally tens of thousands of dollars today to help make this important movie a reality.”  Listeners to Gallagher’s program—as well as audiences of fellow Salem Radio Network hosts Bill Bennett, Hugh Hewitt and others—were asked to contribute start-up funds for the projectIf the $2.1 million had not been raised by midnight on May 12, all donations would have been returned to listeners and the film would not have been produced.

merlonilouWEEI-FM, Boston Tweaks Midday Talent.  A change in the midday lineup at Entercom’s sports talk WEEI-FM, Boston as Mike Mutnansky exits the “Mut & Lou” show and will stay with the company in another capacity to be announced later.  Joining Lou Merloni for the new midday show, dubbed “Middays with MFB,” is former NFL tight end Christian Fauria and New England native, 970 ESPN Pittsburgh sportsbenztim personality and Clear Channel Pittsburgh sports director Tim Benz.  The new lineup takes place later this month.  WEEI program director and brand manager Kevin Graham says, “We are thrilled with the new team we have assembled.  This show will be the only sports radio program in New England that offers listeners insight from a former major leaguer and a former NFL player.  When you add in fauriachristianthe sports radio experience of New England native Tim Benz, listeners will hear a brand new sound in the market.”  Fauria played four seasons with the Patriots earning Super Bowl rings at Super Bowl XXXVIII and XXXIX.  More recently Fauria has worked as a college football analyst for CBS, does color commentary for Patriots preseason games locally on WBZ-TV and hosts a pre-and-post-game show during the NFL regular season.  Benz was born in Boston and is a graduate of Syracuse University.  He served as a radio beat reporter for the Pittsburgh Steelers and also worked at stations in Columbus, Salt Lake City and Syracuse.

mohnjarlMohn Moving to NPR as President/CEO.  Current Southern California Public Radio (SCPR) chairman Jarl Mohn is appointed president and chief executive officer of NPR.  When Mohn begins his NPR term in July, he will be succeeding Paul Haaga Jr., who has been acting president/chief executive officer since last year.  NPR board chair/ideastream Cleveland chief operating officer Kit Jensen remarks, “We are delighted to welcome Jarl.  His background as a successful media executive and innovator makes him ideally suited to lead NPR as it continues to expand its reach and play a unique role in public service journalism and cultural programming. Jarl has a deep commitment to the public radio system, love of radio and passion for quality journalism.  He has demonstrated throughout his career a keen ability to identify media and consumer trends.  He has exhibited a strong track record on diversity and fairness.”  According to Mohn, “This is not a job for me – it is a mission.  I love public radio and NPR.  It is a national treasure and it is more important now than ever.  I want to make sure that the NPR staff, the member stations, and the others who make it happen have everything they need to do their best work.”  Mohn was the founding president and chief executive officer of Liberty Digital; president and chief executive officer of E! Entertainment Television (January 1990 – December 1998); executive vice president and general manager of MTV and VH1 (1986 – 1990); and was a WNBC-AM, New York on-air talent in the 1970s.

harrisheidiOdds & Sods.  Las Vegas talk show host Heidi Harris returns to the airwaves in the market hosting a daily, one-hour show on Silver State Broadcasting’s KBET, Las Vegas.  Harris tells TALKERS magazine the show begins this evening (5/12) at 6:00 pm…..At Kirkman Broadcasting’s news/talk WQSC, Charleston, South Carolina, the Bryan Crabtree show expands, adding the 7:00 am hour.  As of June 2, Crabtree’s program will air from 7:00 am to 10:00 am.  He says, “I have spent the past 15 years informing listeners how to solve our communities’ problems and find solutions to society’s challenges.  The response has been incredible andcrabtreebryan humbling.  We will continue to grow our audience in Charleston by focusing on the stories that matter to citizens of the Lowcountry of South Carolina.”…..Beginning July 1, Compass Media Networks becomes the exclusive advertising sales agent for the on-demand audio programming of CBS Radio News.  The programming includes audio podcasts of “60 MINUTES,” “FACE THE NATION,” “Weekend Roundup,” “CBS EVENING NEWS,” “What’s In The News,” “Tech Talk,” “Not Just Another Story” and “Reporters Notebook.”…..CBS RADIO news/talk outlet WCCO-AM, Minneapolis announces an extension in its partnership with the broomheadmikeUniversity of St. Thomas to broadcast Tommie football through the 2016 season.  WCCO-AM’s Dave Lee will continue to provide play-by-play for the Tommies, along with WCCO-AM’s Eric Nelson doing color commentary…..KFYI, Phoenix afternoon host Mike Broomhead partnered with U.S. Senator John McCain to hold a Town Hall meeting on May 9 at which they welcomed Arizona veterans and their families to discuss the Phoenix VA Health Care System and how it has recently affected them.  Case workers from McCain’s staff were on hand to answer questions and to help get veterans the services they need.

katzparadeBonAirKatz Serves as Grand Marshall.  WRVA, Richmond PM drive talk show host Jeff Katz is pictured here with his ride for the Bon Air Victorian Day Parade.  On Saturday, May 10, Katz served as the Grand Marshall for one of the oldest civic parades in Richmond.  Katz tells TALKERS magazine that although the official Grand Marshall’s hat was rather Victorian…the Grand Marshall’s ride, this cool 2014 Mustang convertible, was anything but.

Cool Job Opportunity.  Midwest Communications seeks news directorBelieve it or not there are still rewarding jobs in radio news. WHBL, Sheboygan, Wisconsin is looking for a news director who will be given the freedom to create and the tools to win.  You’ll spend as much time in the field as you do in the newsroom.  Wewhbl logo need someone who is a triple-threat: strong on-air skills, a good reporter, and a good writer.  We set the news standard in our market.  It’s on-air and on our website before it’s in the newspaper.  We do some enterprise reporting.  We do some investigative work.  If you have a passion for news, whether on the radio or online, we want to talk with you.  We offer a competitive salary and a full benefits package.  Send your resume and mp3 to WHBL brand manager Kelly Meyer at: kelly.meyer@mwcradio.com or snail mail to Kelly’s attention at: 2100 Washington Avenue, Sheboygan, WI 53081. No phone calls, please.  Midwest Communications is an Equal Opportunity Employer by choice.  Women and minorities are encouraged to apply.

scanlandanRadio News Pro Dan Scanlan Dies.  Radio news pro Dan Scanlan died over the weekend after suffering a heart attack on Saturday morning at his northern Virginia home.  He was 74.  Scanlan’s career included stops at such storied radio news franchises as WINS, New York, AP Radio, Mutual/Westwood One (as both anchor and Senate correspondent), as well as freelance work for CBS Radio and WCBS, New York.  Most recently he was weekend anchor on NBC News Radio.  Earlier in his career he worked at WHYN-AM, Springfield, Massachusetts.

conwaysimonWHO, Des Moines’ Simon Conway Grabs Charity Drive Honors.  In a contest among a number of radio talk show hosts to see who could help raise the most cash for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society sponsored by talk host Dr. Daliah Wachs, WHO, Des Moines afternoon drive personality Simon Conway came in first after raising almost $4,500.  Wachs dubbed her talk host challenge FROST (fundraising radio host).  She says hosts wishing to considered for the next round of FROST, write to her at: doctordaliah@hotmail.com.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

| May 7, 2014

callewaertcoreyCory Callewaert Named PD at CC’s Bay Area News/Talkers.  Bay Area talk radio pro Cory Callewaert is promoted from his assistant program director post at Clear Channel’s San Francisco cluster to PD of news/talk outlets KKSF “Talk 910” and KNEW “960 The Patriot.”  The latter station is largely conservative syndicated fare – Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Andy Dean – while KKSF features local and regional programming with Armstrong & Getty (based at KSTE, Sacramento), Frosty Stillwell in middays and Gil Gross hosting PM drive.  Callewaert’s experience in the market includes a stint with CBS RADIO co-hosting the Cory & Lex show at former hot talker KIFR-FM “106.9 Free FM” and two years as APD at KKSF and KNEW from 2003 to 2005.  He rejoined Clear Channel San Francisco in 2009.

rogersmikeNYT Magazine Spotlights Rogers, Huckabee and Political Talk Radio.  In a piece by Mark Liebovich in The New York Times Magazine, current Fox News Channel/former WestwoodOne talk show host Mike Huckabee and soon-to-be WW1 talk personality (and current House Intelligence huckabeemikeCommittee chair) Mike Rogers (R-MI) chat about talk radio and politics.  Rogers recounts meeting Cumulus Media CEO Lew Dickey at WJR, Detroit personality Paul W. Smith’s wedding.  The two chatted and Dickey asked if he’d ever considered getting into talk radio.  The rest, as they say, is (developing) history.  Both he and Huckabee offer comparisons between politics and media and Huckabee sums it up telling Liebovich “If you have more votes than the other guy, you win; if not, you lose.” Same with ratings. “Anybody who thinks, Oh, I’m really smart and articulate, good for me…if he doesn’t have people who watch and listen to him, he’s gone.”  Read the whole story here.

raydottieKXIC, Iowa City’s Dottie Ray to Retire.  Iowa City radio personality Dottie Ray is retiring from Clear Channel’s KXIC “Iowa City’s News & Sports Leader” after a career that has spanned 64 years in the market.  Ray hosts her daily eponymous show from 8:45 am to 9:00 am.  The station says she began broadcasting her fifteen-minute program back in 1950 and since then has informed listeners about local organizations, artists and events.  She has interviewed thousands of guests over the years, always focusing her program on the Iowa City community and non-profit organizations.  To celebrate her contributions to the community, AM-800 KXIC will be broadcasting one final interview with Dottie Ray, flipping the microphone around to ask Dottie about her career.  KXIC morning host Jay Capron will conduct the interview on Tuesday, May 13.  The entire 9:00 am hour will be dedicated to Ray, with several special surprises planned for the program.  CCM+E Iowa City OM JJ Cook says, “She is an amazing lady and a very passionate and involved broadcaster.  Dottie is a true Iowa City icon and I’m lucky to have had the pleasure of working with her for the past 11 years.”

entercomEntercom Introduces SmartReach Digital.  Headed up by Stephen Gibbons, the Entercom division is intended to help local businesses navigate digital marketing options.  Gibbons most recently was vice president of marketing and vice president of national sales at Dex One.  Entercom president and chief executive officer David Field states that, “SmartReach Digital is an exciting and important expansion of our company’s product line and a perfect complement to our core radio business.  Our goal is to be the preferred choice to meet the advertising and marketing needs of our local customers.”  The new division will focus on designing and implementing integrated digital marketing strategies for local businesses.  It will offer a number of products and services that “enable local businesses to attract, activate, and engage targeted leads.”  Field adds, “We believe our new SmartReach Digital products will bolster our ability to deliver powerful and effective solutions for our customers.”  As of April 1, SmartReach Digital has debuted in six Entercom markets; over the next 12 months, it will be rolled out in other markets where the company owns stations.

cbssportsradiologoNFL Draft Day Draws Radio Coverage.  The National Football League’s annual draft has become one of the sport’s prime events and – especially since it moved from being held exclusively on the weekend to the first two days happening on a Thursday and Friday – it’s become a major event for radio coverage as well.  CBS Sports Radio announces it will be on hand and broadcasting live from Radio City Music Hall in New York to its more than 300 affiliate stations.  The network says evening duo Chris Moore and Brian Jones of “The Mojo Show” will be live from 6:00 pm to 12:00 midnight ET for round one of the draft and from 6:00 pm to 11:00 pm on Friday for rounds two and three.  CBS Sports Radio overnight host Damon Amendolara will serve as reporter. nbcsportsradio logo Over at NBC Sports Radio and WestwoodOne, that network’s Scott Graham will westwoodone logoanchor the coverage with updates and one-on-one interviews throughout the night.  Donovan McNabb will co-host “Under Center with McNabb & Malone” from Radio City.  Later that evening, NBC Sports Radio crew of Jon Stashower, Amani Toomer, and Eytan Shander will go live with features, special reports, and expert analysis.  NBC Sports Radio is a joint venture between NBC Sports and WestwoodOne.  CBS Sports Radio is repped by WW1.

salemcommunicationsSalem Communications Reports Q1 2014 Revenue Up 12%.  But that big hike includes the recent acquisition of Eagle Publishing, as CEO Ed Atsinger noted during the investors conference call yesterday.  Atsinger says the company is very bullish on the acquisition of Eagle and what it can mean to the company’s multi-platform efforts.  More on that shortly, first the numbers.  Salem’s broadcast division was up 5.4% while its internet and e-commerce division revenue rose 32.9% and the publishing division went up 44%.  Breaking down the radio numbers a bit, Atsinger said, “Forty of our radio stations are in the foundational Christian teaching and talk format.  These stations contributed 45% of total broadcast revenue and increased 4% for the quarter.  Advertising revenue was up 9% while block programming on this format was up 3%. We have 27 stations in news/talk and they increased 16% for the quarter, due to an increase in santorumbookpolitical revenue.  Overall, these stations contributed 17% of total broadcast revenue.”  Back to the integration of publishing with broadcasting, Atsinger says the addition of Eagle and imprint Regnery dovetails nicely with its stations’ conservative philosophy as well as with its digital properties including TownHall.com, HumanEvents.com and RedState.com.  He said Regnery just published the book Blue Collar Conservative by former senator and presidential candidate Rick Santorum – its first significant title – and it used its nationally syndicated news/talk shows and digital assets to plug the book.  Regarding this, Atsinger says, “This marketing approach we think will help us boost sales, but I think it will also regularly provide additional leverage in terms of being competitive for signing up new attractive offers.”  Thanks to Seeking Alpha for the transcript.  Members can read the whole transcript here.

ordwayglennOdds & Sods.  The new radio play-by-play voice of the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars is Frank Frangie, who replaces Brian Sexton as the team switches from former flagship WOKV-AM/FM to Seven Bridges Radio-owned sports talker WJXL “1010XL.”  Sexton had called all 392 games in the franchise’s history.  He’ll move to jaguars.com where he’ll serve as senior correspondent.  Former Jaguars players Jeff Lageman and Tony Boselli will remain in the game-day booth as analysts…..Boston sports talk personality Glenn Ordway reports the app for his internet radio show is now available.  The “Big Show Unfiltered” app makes its debut just months after Ordway launches his venture Sportstalkboston.com…..Former WNTA, Rockford, Illinois talk host Doug McDuff lands across the Illinois-Wisconsin border at WTJK, Janesville “The Big AM 1380” to host the 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm show, according to mystateline.com.  WTJK is owned by Good Karma but is being operated by Big Radio under an LMA with the sale of the station to Big Radio pending.

Global Warming Debate, 2016 Presidential Race/Monica Lewinsky Interview, Obama Economic Legacy, Benghazi Aftermath, and Russian Aggression in Ukraine Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/6).  The reignited debate over climate change and the Obama Administration’s policy regarding power plant emissions; the 2016 presidential race and Monica Lewinsky’s piece in Vanity Fair in which she goes public about her affair with President Bill Clinton; the tepid U.S. economy and the Obama Administration’s fiscal legacy; continued investigation into the deadly Benghazi attack; Russia’s aggression in Ukraine and fears other former Soviet bloc nations have about Vladimir Putin’s motives were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, April 28, 2014

| April 28, 2014

wfan logoCBS RADIO Puts Kibosh on WFAN-Francesa YouTube Channel.  According to a piece in the New York Daily News, a fan channel for sports talk WFAN-AM/FM and PM drive host Mike Francesa will no longer present audio or video of the station’s programming after the operator of Twitter’s @WFANAudio agreed to cease and desist putting audio or video on his YouTube channel.  The story says CBS reached out to YouTube to protect its copyright on the content and YouTube let the operator know it would suspend his account if he didn’t cease.  The paper reports it connected with @WFANAudio who said he made no money off the venture.  He says he’s merely a big fan of the station but he understands the copyright issue and will stop putting audio on YouTube.

hitzgesnorm‘The Ticket’ in Dallas Extends Norm Hitzges for Three Years.  The Dallas Morning News has the story and it focuses on Norm Hitzges’ age – he’ll turn 70 this summer.  If Hitzges stays through the end of his new three-year deal at the Cumulus Media station, he’ll be 73 when he signs off for good…if he does.  Hitzges holds down the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon slot on the station that, the paper points out, is populated by younger hosts trying to capture that all-important men 25-54 demographic.  As for Hitzges’ response to his success after 17 years on KTCK, Dallas, he simply says, “I landed in a really good spot.”

odonnellterryO’Donnell Set to Transfer to Clear Channel Springfield as OM/PD.  In two weeks (5/12), Clear Channel Poughkeepsie program director Terry O’Donnell will relocate to Springfield, where he will become operations manager and program director of the company’s cluster in that western Massachusetts market.  Regional programming manager Rob Anthony comments, “I am thrilled to have Terry joining the team in Springfield.  His knowledge of the formats and track record of making great radio speaks for itself.”  O’Donnell states, “I can’t thank my current team in Poughkeepsie enough.  I am looking forward to this new opportunity.”  O’Donnell will oversee news/talk WHYN-AM, hot AC WHYN-FM “Mix 93.1,” and WRNX “Pioneer Valley’s Country.”

nielsen logoNielsen Presents Radio ROI Research to Group Heads in NYC.  The meeting at Clear Channel New York headquarters announced on Friday took place as planned with Nielsen and the Advertising Research Foundation (ARF) hosting an event featuring panel discussions and speakers titled “Nielsen Cracks the Code on Radio ROI.  As noted in TALKERS/RadioInfo on Friday, the event was to focus on Nielsen’s ROI measurement tool for radio.  Radio group heads attending the event were joined by key marketers and advertisers.  Clear Channel chairman and CEO Bob Pittman and CBS RADIO president and CEO Dan Mason welcomed advertiser, agency and industry attendees.  Nielsen EVP of global product leadership Steve Hasker presented the study’s findings.  Two panel discussions followed — the first, moderated by Michael Kassan, chairman and CEO of MediaLink, discussed the power of radio for marketers and how it should best be considered in the marketing mix.  Panelists from across the media landscape included: Gayle Fuguitt, president and CEO, The ARF; Matt MacDonald, BBDO; John Nitti, ZenithOptimedia; Ritu Trivedi, MediaVest and Mary Ellen Johnson Jalenek, American Express.  The second panel was moderated by Bob Pittman and featured the heads of major radio groups, including Lew Dickey, CEO, Cumulus Media; David Field, CEO, Entercom; and Dan Mason.  The group discussed Nielsen’s study and how they believe it will improve the perception of radio within the ad community.

doughertyelizabethGenesis to Syndicate Weekly Elizabeth Dougherty Show.  The weekly “Dougherty Report” program, hosted by culinary expert Elizabeth Dougherty, will air live from 9:00 pm to 12:00 midnight on Saturdays beginning May 10 and will be syndicated by Genesis Communications Network.  The company says Dougherty’s program “sends listeners on an adventure of good food, along with interviews and a unique take on the news of the day, for parents in particular.”  It also says Dougherty has an extensive background in food writing and culinary arts training.  The program is based out of flagship WAMT, Orlando.

biakelseyadchartBIA/Kelsey Delivers U.S. Local Spend Estimate for 2013-2018.  Just what will local radio’s slice of the advertising pie look like in 2018?  According to BIA/Kelsey’s “U.S. Local Media Forecast,” radio advertising accounted for 11.1% of the total $133.2 billion spent in 2013 (direct mail, newspapers, and TV led the category).  The primary sources of revenue for local radio in 2013 were automobile dealers ($1.43 billion), wireless telecommunications ($650.8 million), and full-service restaurants ($647.8 million).  Based on changes in the overall local media marketplace, BIA/Kelsey estimates that the overall local media market will grow faster than previously thought through 2018.  By 2018 the total will be $158.6 billion, of which $16.7 billion – or 10.5% – will go to local radio.  Obviously, the big growth is expected to be in digital.  BIA/Kelsey predicts, “Digital media continues to increase its share of total local media revenues, growing from $31.7 billion (23 percent) in 2014 to $52.7 billion (33.2 percent) in 2018.”  Find out more about the forecast here.

“Armed American Radio” Celebrates Fifth Anniversary.  Last night (4/27) marked the benchmark broadcast for the Salem Radio Network-distributed and Mark Walters-hosted program.  “It was no surprise to me that the time was right for a program of this type,” Walters comments.  “While the mainstream media continues to promote an anti-gun agenda, millions of law-abiding gun owners have found a new home on the radio dial that talks about their decision to carry a firearm.  We provide a hard-hitting, fact based, entertaining discussion about all things related to the pro-gun rights movement.”  The now three-hour syndicated program was launched in April 2009 as a one-hour, Atlanta only-based show.

gallaghersteveOdds & Sods.  Six-year Sun Broadcast Group exec Steve Gallagher departs.  Most recently, Gallagher was SBG’s executive vice president.  He joined the company in February 2008 as vice president of programming.  Gallagher’s prior credits include being director of operations for Citadel Communications Harrisburg (2005 – 2008); operations manager/program director of Nassau Broadcasting stations in Monmouth-Ocean, New Jersey (WOBM-AM, WOBM-FM and WADB) and in Allentown (WWYY “Lite 107″)…..Religious/Christian broadcaster Starboard Media Foundation (also known as Relevant Radio) agrees to acquire Multicultural Broadcasting‘s Spanish-formatted WNSW.  Purchase price for the New York City AM outlet is reportedly $10.1 million.  Michael J. Bergner (Bergner & Co.) was the exclusive broker for the transaction.  Starboard owns stations in Chicago, Austin, and Providence, as well as several Wisconsin outlets in Madison, Green Bay, and Eau Claire…..The Public Radio Program Directors Association announces the association’s president and CEO, Arthur Cohen, has decided to retire effective January 1, 2015 after an orderly leadership transition process of eight months.  The PRPD says Cohen, a veteran public radio programmer and manager will retire after a remarkable career of more than 35 years of service in public media.

risingthroughtheranksAugust Dates Set for Rising Through the Ranks Course.  The Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB), Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI), and the Mentoring and Inspiring Women in Radio Group (MIW) are presenting the seventh annual “Rising Through the Ranks” seminar, August 27-28, at the BMI Nashville headquarters in Tennessee.  The organizations say that, as in years past, BMI will offer 20 scholarships for this year’s program.  These scholarships cover the cost of the professional development course, which is designed to foster and educate emerging female radio sellers and managers within broadcast radio.  This year’s course will focus primarily on women in the radio workplace and sales and management techniques; including problem solving, budget reviews, managing team personalities, and personal brand building.  Scholarship winners will also have the opportunity to hear from leading radio industry executives across various station groups and industry backgrounds. Confirmed speakers include: Lynn Anderson, CEO, Integrated Media Solutions Group; Lindsay Cerajewski, general sales manager, CBS Radio; Tincy Crouse, market manager, Cromwell Radio; Erica Farber, president and CEO, RAB; Katie Gambill, president and general manager, 5-Star Radio; Kim Guthrie, executive vice president, Cox Media Group; Brandeis C. Hall, vice president, professional development, RAB; Emily Hunt, local sales manager, KSL Broadcast Group; Laurie Kahn, president and CEO, Media Staffing Networks; Sue McNamara, senior vice president, sales, CBS Radio; Kay Olin; partner, Olin & Associates; and Dan Spears, vice president, licensing, BMI.  Kay Olin says, “’Rising Through the Ranks’ is the epitome of the Mentoring and Inspiring Women in Radio Group.  With the generous help from BMI and the RAB, this two-day training workshop allows us to continue to develop, and help foster female sales managers to senior positions in the radio industry.”

jiggyjohnsonGettin’ Jiggy with Gary Johnson.  At the Kansas Libertarian Convention held over the weekend, internet radio personality Jiggy Jaguar a.k.a. James Lowe (right) sat down with the Libertarian Party’s former presidential nominee Gary Johnson (left) to discuss issues near and dear to the libertarians.  Lowe’s program is heard via his own KJAGRadio.com and the Transmedia World Wide network.

Friday, April 25, 2014

| April 25, 2014

nielsen logoNielsen to Present Radio ROI Study to Group Heads.  Using phrases such as “they’ve finally cracked the code” and “radio’s ability to deliver sales lift of more than $6, for every dollar spent,” Clear Channel president and CFO Rich Bressler spoke during yesterday’s investor conference call glowingly about the recent Catalina Solutions group study that shows excellent return on investment for consumer packaged goods (CPG) advertisers using radio.  He announced that on Monday (4/28), radio group heads will gather for a conference at CC’s New York offices to see a presentation bybresslerrichard Nielsen’s Catalina Solutions group that Bressler also called “the first-ever, single source ROI study in the radio sector…Finally, we have the definitive proof of radio’s value.”  If you remember, the study in which Nielsen worked with Clear Channel measured the sales impact for the specific media buys of 10 brands, each of which had different combinations of radio networks.  Nielsen says that this group of 10 brands, which included eight CPG and two retailer brands, provided the foundation for the first normative database for radio effectiveness.  Another key finding was that radio delivers a strong consumer sales response close to the time of purchase.  The closer the exposure is to purchase, the higher the response.  On another note, Bressler did not respond directly to the recent cuts in the sales departments at Clear Channel but made reference to them in describing the state of the company’s executive structure.  “From an organizational standpoint, we create a new major market structure under which four of our senior operating executives are reporting directly to Bob Pittman and myself.  This major markets operating group will collaborate directly with our local market management to oversee our operations in our largest and highest revenue generating markets from our core broadcast radio stations to our digital mobile and events business as well as a more expanded coordination with Clear Channel Outdoor.”

siriusxmSiriusXM Q1 Revenue Up 11%.  It was another good quarterly report for satcaster SiriusXM as CEO Jim Meyer reported that his company’s subscription total is up to 25.8 million – an increase during the quarter of 267,000.  The all-important free cash flow figure was up 56% on $223 million.  Meyer toldmeyerjim analysts on Thursday, “Our solid subscriber growth, even faster revenue growth and high contribution margins have produced dramatic growth in adjusted EBTIDA and free cash flow — exactly what you would expect from SiriusXM’s highly scalable business model.  We are the world leader in monetizing audio entertainment, and the way this monetization translates in cash flow is also unmatched.  Our radios today are only in about 20% to 26% of the cars on the road today.  So we believe the opportunity for long term growth remains significant.”

smerconishmichaelPost Piece Highlights Smerconish’s Drive to Capture Center.  In a feature piece by Manuel Roig-Franzia in the Washington Post, media personality Michael Smerconish is profiled and his quest to find a political center that is hot to talk about the issues of the day is front-and-center.  The story details Smerconish’s entrance into the media world, his syndicated radio career, his cable TV gigs and his decision to leave AM/FM radio for SiriusXM last year.  In discussing this move and critics’ assertions that there is no centrist audience to be found in talk radio, he tells the Post, “I’m the referendum, aren’t I?…I’ve put my livelihood on the line to prove that you can.”

RamseyIndyIndianapolis Welcomes Dave Ramsey.  Talk radio superstar and best-selling author Dave Ramsey visited Indianapolis yesterday (4/24) as he presented his Legacy Journey LIVE! event at Traders Point Christian Church to a packed house.  The event was promoted by Ramsey’s Indy affiliate WFDM “Freedom 95 Radio.”  Pilgrim Communications VP and general manager Randy Tipmore says, “As usual when Dave Ramsey comes to Indianapolis, excitement and enthusiasm go up in the entire area as do station sales.  Every time Dave comes to town we sell out in record time for record amounts.  The Dave Ramsey show is the number-one selling tool we have at ‘Freedom 95.’  Dave Ramsey is pictured here (second from right) with members of the “Freedom 95 Radio” team.

sturgismark‘ESPN Upstate’ Adds Local Evening Show.  Sports media personality Mark Sturgis is tapped to host a live and local evening program on the Entercom-owned multi-cast serving northern South Carolina (the signals include WORD-AM, Spartanburg; WYRD-AM, Greenville; W246BU, Spartanburg on 97.1 FM and WFNC-HD3, Fayetteville, North Carolina).  Sturgis moves from his two-hour show on Byrne Acquisition Group-owned sports talk WCCP-FM, Clemson to a 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm nightly show on “ESPN Upstate.”  He follows the new “In The Huddle” show with Greg McKinney that airs in afternoon drive.  Entercom VP and market manager Steve Sinicropi states, “Our sports coverage in terms of talent, teams and signal coverage continues to get stronger and stronger.  ‘ESPN Upstate’ has become the most dominant sports network in the market.  Mark has a great live and local show right now, he has a network of sports contacts and he brings a passion for sports, strong knowledge and tremendous energy to the fast-growing ‘EPSN Upstate’ audience.  When you have a powerful brand like ESPN and the largest portfolio of radio stations in the Upstate to cross promote, it’s no wonder listeners and talent are coming to ‘ESPN Upstate.’”

sexy liberal logoStephanie Miller’s ‘Sexy Liberal Comedy Tour’ Hits Chicago Tomorrow; Albuquerque and Minneapolis Next.  Talk show host and comic Stephanie Miller’s comedy roadshow – the Sexy Liberal Comedy Tour lands in Chicago tomorrow and there are still a limited number of VIP tickets available for the event.  The show – featuring Miller, John Fugelsang, Carlos Alazraqui, and Stephanie Miller show family members Chris Lavoie and voice deity Jim Ward – is also traveling to Albuquerque on May 10 and rolls into Minneapolis on June 7.

talbottjuliePremiere Networks President Julie Talbott Named Woman of the Year.  The editorial board of TALKERS has named Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott as the 2014 recipient of the Judy Jarvis Memorial Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Talk Radio Industry by a Woman.  The honor, also known as “Woman of the Year,” will be presented to Talbott by last year’s recipient, Heather Cohen, EVP of The Weiss Agency, at the forthcoming Talkers New York 2014 conference on Friday, June 20 as one of the highlights of an awards ceremony at which presentations will also be made for “Lifetime Achievement,” Humanitarian of the Year,” and Freedom of Speech (the recipients of which have yet to be announced).  In addition to Cohen, past recipients of this prestigious award include Robin Bertolucci, Stephanie Miller, Laurie Cantillo, Grace Blazer, Kim Komando, Laura Ingraham, Randi Rhodes, Lynn Distler, Adriane Gaines, Ellen2014 NYC logo 150 Ratner, Gloria Allred, Lisa Evers and its namesake Judy Jarvis, the late independent talk radio syndication pioneer for whom it was first presented posthumously.   Upon announcing the board’s choice of Julie Talbott, TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey states, “We all look forward to the day that a special award to a female member of the talk radio community is no longer relevant or necessary – but if you look at the breakdown of the numbers of men versus women in the business, it is clear that we have not yet reached that day.”  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison adds, “We couldn’t be more delighted having the opportunity to honor Ms. Talbott for her achievements and contributions to not just talk but the entire spectrum of popular radio over the years. She is a bright, creative, dignified and extremely inspirational role model for young women looking to build a career in the radio broadcasting industry.”  Julie Talbott started her career in advertising at BBDO, where she spent five years as supervisor of media planning and buying.  Her love of radio took her to MJI Broadcasting, where she spent 19 years.  As COO of MJI Broadcasting, Talbott was instrumental in growing the company from five people to more than 150.  In 1999, Premiere Networks acquired MJI Broadcasting.  At that time, Talbott joined Premiere as senior vice president of integrated marketing solutions, focusing on advertising sponsorships.  In 2003, she was promoted to executive vice president, affiliate relations.  In that role, she oversaw a staff that increased affiliations for programs hosted by Jim Rome, Glenn Beck, George Noory, Bob and Tom, Steve Harvey, Keith Sweat, Elvis Duran, Fox Sports Radio and others.  In 2009, Talbott was named VP, content and affiliate relations for Premiere Networks and then promoted in September 2012 to extend that title to Clear Channel Media and Entertainment’s National Media Groups.  In January of this year, she was promoted to president of Premiere Networks.  In her current role, Talbott continues to oversee the operation of Premiere Networks radio programs and services and manages business partnerships with talent, while leading and maintaining key affiliate relationships to sell and service Premiere Networks, Total Traffic & Weather Network and iHeartRadio.  A native of Kentucky, Talbott received her B.A. from the University of Kentucky and attended the Business Strategy Program at the Columbia University Graduate School of Business in 1996.  Talbott lives with her husband and three children in New York.  For information about registering for Talkers New York 2014 please call 413-565-5413.

greshamtomTALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  “Tom Gresham’s Gun Talk” is added to the program lineup at the following stations: KAOK, Lake Charles, Louisiana; KFIV, Modesto, California; KWSX, Stockton, California; WCHS, Charleston, West Virginia; and WBBA, Pittsfield, Illinois…..“Free Talk Live” with Ian Freeman and Mark Edge is picked up by new affiliates KQAM, Wichita; WBKV, West Bend, Wisconsin; WHIR, Danville, Kentucky; and WRMN, Elgin, Illinois…..“Into Tomorrow” with Dave Graveline’s weekly program is picked up by KNOX-AM/FM, Fargo.

ABCCainDean Cain Visits ABC News Radio.  Actor Dean Cain goofs with ABC News Radio entertainment correspondent Joi Marie McKenzie during a visit to ABC News Radio studios to promote the new season of his VH1 series “Hit the Floor” that returns on May 26 at 9:00 pm ET.

Russian Aggression in Ukraine/U.S. Troops in Poland Top News/Talk Stories During Week of April 21-25.  The turbulent political state in Ukraine, Russia’s aggression in the region and the arrival of U.S. troops in Poland were the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio during the week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 was the scrutiny of the rollout and effects of the Affordable Care Act.  Following at #3 was the 2016 presidential race tied with Chelsea Clinton’s pregnancy and at #4 was the deadly attack on Americans at an Afghanistan hospital tied with drone strikes on suspected al Qaeda in Yemen.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Friday, April 4, 2014

| April 4, 2014

wtic logoFormer Connecticut Governor John Rowland Resigns from WTIC, Hartford Show as New Corruption Probe Intensifies.  The former Connecticut governor resigned from office in 2004 amidst corruption charges to which he eventually pleaded guilty and served 10 months in federal prison.  He began a talk show host career on CBS RADIO’s WTIC,rowlandjohn Hartford in 2010 – for the first two years with co-host Pastor Will Marotti of the New Life Church in Meriden before going solo – but now that gig is over as Rowland stepped down yesterday without addressing the new allegations.  The Hartford Courant reports that testimony from local businessman Brian Foley and his wife, Lisa Wilson-Foley (a former congressional candidate) stated in federal court that they used a phony consulting contract with Rowland to pay him for political assistance to Wilson-Foley’s failed 2012 campaign.  Rowland faces possible indictment by a grand jury.  WTIC program director Jenneen Lee tells the paper Pastor Will Marotti will step into the afternoon drive slot beginning Monday.  Read the entire Courant piece here.

elswickdaveBig Changes at KARN-FM, Little Rock; PM Driver Dave Elswick Out along with AM Drive’s Bob Steel and ND.  Longtime afternoon drive personality and program director Dave Elswick announces via Facebook that he’s out at Cumulus Media’s KARN-FM, Little Rock.  Here’s his post: “I ask for your prayers tonight.  After nearly 14 years on KARN I was fired by Cumulus Media.  Bob Steel and news director Jack Heintz were also fired.  I have no idea what will be on the station tomorrow.  Know that I love every one of you who have supported me over these years. God Bless.”  There were rumors of change at the news/talk outlet swirling but nothing concrete had been put out.  As of now, the KARN-FM website lists the AM and PM drive dayparts generically.  It’s possible Cumulus is clearing the afternoon deck to move Michael Savage into a live slot from the current late night delayed broadcast.

esiasonboomerCriticism of Mets Infielder’s Paternity Leave Reversed as WFAN’s Boomer Esiason Apologizes.  The decision by New York Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy to miss two games to be with his wife in Florida after she delivered their son on Opening Day was a hot topic of conversation on New York sports talk radio and both WFAN afternoon host Mike Francesa and morning drive co-host Boomer Esiason opined that two games was too many to miss.  But during the initial chatter, Esiason said that he’d have asked his wife to schedule a C-section in order to be with his teammates for the games.  The MLB CBA allows for up to three days of paternity leave.  Esiason apologized on WFAN’s morning show today (4/4), calling his comments “insensitive” and expressing contrition for having put the Murphy family’s personal lives “under a spotlight.”  He also said his C-section comment was not intended to mean he was telling women what to do with their bodies.

openingday2014Nielsen Audio Quantifies the Obvious: Opening Day Is Big for Radio.  What’s well known to radio practitioners is put into numbers by Nielsen Audio from this season’s Opening Day.  While baseball – from a ratings standpoint – will be good to most MLB flagships this year, some of the Opening Day numbers are truly spectacular.  In Cincinnati, flagship WLW pulled a 46.6 share with Men 25-54 on a 12+ cume of 270,700.  Also, it’s interesting to note the difference in cume and share from the Cubs at Pirates broadcasts where the woebegone Cubs fans in Chicago didn’t appear to have the same passion (via radio, anyway) as the recharged Bucs backers in Pittsburgh.  Check out the data here.

theblaze radio networkGlenn Beck’s TheBlaze Radio Network Reports Streaming Success.  The digital side of Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze Radio Network reports that it makes its debut as one of the top 20 most-listened-to streams in America, according to Triton Digital‘s February 2014 ranker.  TheBlaze president and chief content officer Joel Cheatwood states, “When we launched TheBlaze Radio Network in January 2013 we did so with the goal of being one of the top online radio stations in America.  In our first month of accredited measurement, it is exciting to see our single stream on the same list as these established multi-stream services.”

mozdiezcarlsonEntercom Boston Boosts Mozdiez to Director of Integrated Media Strategies.  It is a position the cluster specifically crafts for Carlson Mozdiez, who is elevated from director of digital operations.  New responsibilities for the Syracuse University graduate include developing/executing customer-facing brand messaging, including live events, contesting and promotions, external advertising,entercom websites, video, and social media.  Entercom Boston vice president/market manager Phil Zachary comments, “Streamlining our ever-expanding array of digital and marketing channels, which connect the most valuable radio consumers in New England to our brands and our advertisers, makes logistical sense.  Carlson is the ideal leader to spearhead these innovative efforts.”  Mozdiez remarks that, “It is an exciting time as we continue to develop and optimize the ways people interact with our stations while creating new means for advertisers to access our audiences.”  Entercom Boston consists of rock WAAF, sports WEEI-FM, sports WEEI-AM, news/talk WRKO, the Boston Red Sox Radio Network and their respective web properties.  Mozdiez joined Entercom in 2002 as promotion coordinator for WEEI and WRKO.

millerdennisDennis Miller Celebrates Radio Anniversary.  Today marks the seventh anniversary of entertainer Dennis Miller’s nationally syndicated WestwoodOne radio program.  The “Saturday Night Live” alum is commemorating the day with special guests including: Mark Steyn, nationally syndicated columnist and author of After America: Get Ready for Armageddon; Bob Saget, comedian and author of Dirty Daddy: The Chronicles of a Family Man Turned Filthy Comedian; Senator Rand Paul, Republican of Kentucky; David Spade, comedian; Frank Sinatra Jr.; and fellow SNL alum Dana Carvey.

richertlarryKDKA-AM’s Larry Richert to Be Roasted for Charity.  Pittsburgh talk radio personality Larry Richert – co-host of the “KDKA Morning News on NewsRadio 1020 KDKA” will be the guest of honor at a Roast & Toast on Friday, April 25 to be roasted and toasted by friends and co-workers to benefit the Roxsan Betters Albanese Foundation.  This foundation helps financially challenged families with children who are terminally ill or face a life threatening situation.  Fellow KDKA-AM talk host Rob Pratte will serve as Master of Ceremonies.

westcottpaulOdds & Sods.  When Premiere Networks’ “America Now with Andy Dean” hits the air tonight, WTAG, Worcester morning drive talk show host Paul Westcott will be in the host chair.  Westcott has become a regular fill-in for Dean when he’s away…..This weekend’s NCAA Final Four is being covered by SiriusXM.  The satcaster says it’ll offer subscribers comprehensive coverage of this weekend’s action plus analysis on the College Sports Nation channel from hoops experts such as three-time ACC Coach of the Year Bobby Cremins, Hall of Fame Michigan State guard Mateen Cleaves, former Villanova and UMass coach Steve Lappas, former University of Vermont coach Tom Brennan, plus Tim Brando, Mark Packer, Chris Childers and Jason Horowitz…..Birach Broadcasting’s sports talker KXRQ, Des Moines announces it’s the newest affiliate for Kansas City Royals baseball play-by-play……Sunrise Broadcasting strikes an agreement with Sea-Comm Media to use the latter’s translator W240AS, Wilmington at 95.9 FM to augment the signal of its sports talk WMFD “ESPN Wilmington,” heard on 630 AM.

ObamaCare Criticism Remains Atop Talkers TenTM.  The major political issue of the past year – the passage of the Affordable Care Act – continues to be one of the top news/talk radio stories and was again the most-talked-about topic this week, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.  Coming in at #2 this week was the deadly Fort Hood Shooting.  At #3 was the looming mid-term elections tied with the potential candidates in the 2016 presidential election, and at #4 was this week’s Supreme Court campaign donation ruling.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

| April 2, 2014

theblaze logoGlenn Beck’s TheBlaze.com Claims Increased Unique Visitors.  The website that’s a part of Glenn Beck’s digital efforts is growing rapidly, according to the company.  TheBlaze.com reports that, according to data from Omniture, it had its best month ever in March, attracting more than 35 million unique visitors and becoming the 43rd most trafficked site in the U.S.  Further, the company claims the site generated 198.7 million page views in one month.   TheBlaze president and chief content officer Joel Cheatwood comments, “TheBlaze.com’s mix of original reporting and curation has quickly made it one of the leading sites in America.  Editor-in-chief Scott Baker and his team have done a tremendous job and we are proud of how the site continues to grow alongside our TV network.”

opieanthonyOpie & Anthony to Celebrate 20 Years Together at Carolines on Broadway.  The hot talk duo of Greg “Opie” Hughes and Anthony Cumia will celebrate 20 years together on the radio as Opie & Anthony with a special edition of its “Unmasked” comedy series broadcast live from Carolines on Broadway – New York City’s premier stand-up comedy nightclub.  The program – “O&A20: Unmasked” – will air on SiriusXM live at 4:00 pm ET.  SiriusXM president and chief content officer Scott Greenstein says, “We want to toast Opie & Anthony on reaching this milestone and for being one of the most outrageous and daring duos in all of talk radio. SiriusXM has been proud to give Opie & Anthony the freedom to give fans and listeners their intense, edgy talk and uncensored comedy.  We are thrilled to have SiriusXM listeners across the country celebrate their decades in radio with an evening that will be without a doubt an outrageous and unpredictable show.”

daleholley picWEEI, Boston to Stick with Dale Arnold and Michael Holley in PM Drive.  Well, for as long as anything is stuck with in radio these days.  Those are our words, not those of Entercom Boston vice president and market manager Phil Zachary, who tells the Boston Globe that the station is “going forward with Dale and Holley” several weeks after parting ways with Mike Salk, who returned to his adopted hometown of Seattle to serve as program director at KIRO-AM.  Salk and Holley were paired up in afternoon drive for almost a year after Glenn Ordway was ousted from the station (Ordway has subsequently begun his own digital venture SportsTalkBoston that features his “The Big Show Unfiltered” also airing live in PM drive).  Michael Holley and Dale Arnold had been partners in middays on WEEI for almost six years before their show was broken up in 2011 to bring Lou Merloni into middays.  Boston radio observers speculated that WEEI management felt the knowledgeable-but-not-very-hip Arnold is the antithesis of what CBS is doing successfully at rival WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub,” so they took him out of the daily lineup.  Arnold stuck around WEEI hosting weekend shows, sports pre-game programs and doing fill-in work.  Now, Zachary tells the paper, “We will continue to evaluate and enhance the program as we start to get some Nielsen feedback.”

sabowalterSABO: Introverts Are Taking Over the Business World.  Media consultant Walter Sabo asks what kind of workforce are you building with respect to the personality types of staffers?  Are they introverts or extroverts?  Or a mix of the two?  According to Sabo, the different personality types prefer to communicate in different ways – extroverts, verbally and introverts, with the written word.  “An interesting fact about radio stars is that they are shy as hell.  They thrive working alone in a room where they have absolute control of their environment.  They hate to meet new people.”  With emails and texting taking over the way people – yes, especially young people – communicate, it may just be that introverts are taking over the business world.  Read Sabo’s entire column here.

topicpulse logoLDR Interactive Adds Two to TopicPulse Executive Team.  The growing firm LDR Interactive announces two executives join its TopicPulse leadership team.  Hank McMonigle is named vice president, sales for TopicPulse and Dana Hall joins as TopicPulse support and client services manager.  The company says in a statement that McMonigle and Hall will lead client development and service for TopicPulse, its real-time, social media monitoring system for local newsrooms and content producers.  TopicPulse scans social media including Twitter and Facebook, blogs, comment/message boards, and news sources to track trending topics in a local market.  McMonigle comes to LDR Interactive with more than 30 years of experience in the media industry, most recently serving as vice president/general manager at NextMedia Group in Dallas.   Dana Hall is a broadcast and music industry journalist who’s covered formats ranging from urban, hip-hop, gospel, rhythmic, and top 40 for Radio & Records, Billboard, Airplay Monitor, and RadioInfo.  She also programmed urban outlet WILD, Boston.  LDR Interactive CEO, Daniel Anstandig comments, “Hank and Dana bring exceptional talent and perspective to our growing team.  They are media industry thought leaders and relationship builders.  Their enthusiasm for innovation and forward-thinking mindset is already driving TopicPulse’s growth in the days since they’ve joined our team.”

herskovitzalThe 2014 Hersky Award Winners Are Announced.  For the 7th year running, TALKERS magazine is proud to deliver news of the winners of the annual Hersky Awards for talk radio advertising excellence.  Okay, so maybe the Herskys aren’t as big as some other industry awards, but radio pro Al Herskovitz is an accomplished sales pro and a serious observer of today’s radio advertising landscape and, even though we have a little fun with it, his accolades are delivered with utmost sincerity.  Check out his story and why Fox Sports Radio’s Jay Mohr, Compass Media’s Todd Schnitt, Cumulus Media and others are being recognized this year by clicking here.

Lionel largeCatching Up with Lionel:  One of Talk Radio’s True Originals Performing at the Top of His Game in Experimental Radio Space.  One of the most unique and original performers to grace the airwaves during talk radio’s modern era is a quirky former trial lawyer, prosecutor and talk show caller from Tampa, Florida named Michael William Lebron who is known in his many media-related activities (radio, television, books, live performances) by the professional name “Lionel.”  As Lionel, he has enjoyed a stellar career as a talk show host on such great call letters was WABC and WOR in New York, WFLA, Tampa as well as in national syndication on such networks as the WOR Radio Network and Air America.  He even hosted a cool show on Court TV.  These days he is familiar to New York television viewers as a commentator and legal analyst for WPIX-TV Channel 11 and to the elite audience of industry professionals and hard core talk show fanatics glued to TalkersRadio – the “experimental talk radio space” operated by TALKERS magazine on its website (www.talkers.com) as a laboratory for new ideas and formats for the industry.  It is within this endeavor that Lionel has begun raising eyebrows and is receiving praise fortalkersradio logo having delivered some of his most remarkable spoken-word performances to date.  In the words of TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison, “When Lionel is left to his own on-air devices and not squished into an existing talk ‘format,’ ‘formula’ or cookie-cutter political ideology, he is capable of creating a level of compelling content the quality of which we haven’t heard since the days of Jean Shepherd.  All we have done at TalkersRadio is encourage him to do whatever he wants and as a result we have benefited from the brilliant results of that strategy.  What he does for us would fit any talk format out there today if the programmers didn’t ‘try to make it fit’ what they think is the only way to make talk radio work.”  In a new feature story written by TALKERS managing editor/West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian posted today (3/31), we look back at the amazing career of this most unusual talk show host, tap into his views and opinions about the state of the format, and reveal his hopes for the future.  To read the entire piece, please click here.

comrexpilotComrex to Unveil New Streaming Appliance at NAB Show.  For broadcasters involved in streaming content and who may be attending the NAB Show in Las Vegas, a visit to the Comrex Corporation booth will be informative.  There, the company will introduce the new P1L0T IP Streaming Server.  The company states that P1L0T is a dedicated streaming appliance designed with hardened Linux-based hardware and software.  There are no moving parts…not even a fan. AES3 and analog balanced inputs, special audio processing options enhanced for streaming and an intuitive web-based interface are included.  P1L0T can deliver your source stream to any SHOUTcast/lcecast-based streaming server and, given enough bandwidth, can deliver 100 streams directly to listeners.  Listeners connecting to your audio stream have a choice of formats, either HE-AAC, Opus or MP3 because P1L0T is capable of encoding in each mode simultaneously.  P1L0T is a compact unit occupying 1/2 U of rack space, at a very low cost.  The Comrex booth will be #C2221 in the Central Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center.

foxCDBOdds & Sods.  A new album featuring the songs of Bob Dylan has been released by the Charlie Daniels Band titled Off the Grid and Charlie Daniels visited the Fox News Radio studios in New York City to promote the record.  Daniels (right) is pictured here with Fox News Radio morning anchor Dave Anthony (left) who is sporting Daniels’ hat for the photo…..Last week TALKERS announced CBS News Radio was recognized with National Headliner Awards.  This week, we have two more to announce.  Hubbard Radio’s WTOP, Washington wins seven National Headliner Awards including first place in the Newscast, News Series and Website categories.  Also The Wall Street Journal Radio Network is honored with two National Headliner Awards.  “Wall Street Journal This Morning with Gordon Deal” takes 3rd place in the Breaking News Category and MarketWatch.com Radio is recognized with a 2nd place finish in the Radio Affiliated Website category…..Chicago Public Media, which operates WBEZ, Chicago, announces Goli Sheikholeslami is named the new president and CEO of the organization.  She most recently served as chief product officer at Everyday Health but also served with the Washington Post, leading the digital division.

kars4kidsSometimes It Is Fool’s Gold.  Despite how perceptive you might think you are, or the conscientious pains you take to be aware, there is still a better-than-average chance you were duped about something yesterday – even if it was for a split-second.  It is a national pastime and we are not talking about the beginning of the baseball season.  Hopefully, the intention is always harmless, yet inevitably, something a bit wonky can happen when the calendar flips to the first day of April.  Okay – more specifically – countless on-air April Fool’s Day pranks were hatched yesterday; here is a quick look at two of them – one nationally and the other on a local level. Registered 501(c)3 nonprofit car donation charity Kars4Kids changed their long-running radio jingle, although listeners of more than 50 stations in 14 markets wondered if they were hearing correctly when they heard the new “message.”  The radio spot indicated Kars4Kids is launching a new division – Kids4Kars.  The kid donation program supposedly provides free pickup of all donations of kids and offers a free lifetime vacation to donors in return.  Kars4Kids spokesperson Morris Franco alleges that, “We had been getting requests for this service on social media and from callers for years. People would call up saying they have a kid they would like to donate and wondered what they can get in return.  After we got enough of these parents calling, we realized that there was a real need for kid donation that wasn’t being filled by anyone else, so we decided to step up to the plate.”  Prospective donors were directed to the charity’s website, where they could “submit a donation” by using an online form.  The website stated the program could “accept kids up to age 12 in any condition, provided the donor is the child’s legal parent.” Anyone getting to the confirmation part would receive an “April Fool’s” statement, followed by, “Your kids are worth more than you think.”  According to a Boston Medical Center study, 73% of parents pay more attention to their mobile phones than to their children during mealtime.  The Kids4Kars campaign encourages parents to ignore their devices during times reserved for their children.  “We felt we needed to hit hard to get the gravity ofchazandaj the message across,” Franco states. “With the increasing temptations of our mobile devices, it is harder and harder to stay focused on our children.  The shock value of an April Fool’s prank allowed us to wake parents up to the damage they can do to their children by focusing on their devices instead of their kids.”  It is estimated that this particular stunt reached at least 50 million people.  Meanwhile in Connecticut, Chaz & AJ – the morning team at Connoisseur Media‘s WPLR, New Haven “Connecticut’s #1 Rock Station” and co-owned classic rock WFOX, Stamford-Norwalk “The Fox,” reported that state taxpayers could double their tax rebate check from $55 to $110 by registering with a new database program instituted by the Department of Revenue Service.  According to Chaz, it was difficult to establish the exact number of calls the stations received, especially since, “The high volume that came in ultimately caused the phone system to crash.  We did not think it would generate that many calls.”  Shortly after 9:00 am, the morning duo fielded a call from the Governor’s office and Chaz points out, “They complained that the revenue department was overwhelmed with phone calls – they were not happy.”  A voicemail message declared it was an April Fool’s Day joke, but the Department of Revenue Services received calls about the supposed “rebate” throughout the day.

ObamaCare Criticism, Global Warming Debate, Ryan Budget Cuts, Benghazi Hearing, Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 Investigation, Russian Aggression, and MLB Season Opens Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/1).  Scrutiny of the White House’s claim that the Affordable Care Act has reached its stated goals; renewed debate over the theory of man-made climate change; Rep. Paul Ryan’s proposal to cut $5 trillion from the proposed federal budget; today’s House Intelligence Committee hearing at which former deputy CIA director Michael Morell will testify on the Benghazi case; new conflicting information about Malaysia Airlines Flight 370’s last communications and a renewed criminal investigation; Russia’s aggression in Ukraine; and the opening of the 2014 Major League Baseball season were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

| March 27, 2014

hannityseanUnusual ‘Ratings Battle’ Between Savage and Hannity Heats Up.  Prior to the rollout of his WestwoodOne-syndicated talk show on Cumulus-owned news/talk stations – many of which had previously carried Premiere NetworksSean Hannity show – Michael Savage took an aggressive stance in both industry and consumer presssavagemichael proclaiming he would beat Hannity in the ratings.  Now, two Nielsen Audio PPM rating periods later, WestwoodOne is waging a PR offensive that many industry watchers note is rarely seen in the syndication business, going so far as to use words like “trounced” and “demolished” with respect to Savage’s ratings versus Hannity’s.  Reporting Nielsen Audio PPM data in the Persons 25-54 demo for major markets New York, Chicago, San Francisco and Dallas, WestwoodOne shows Savage more than doubling Hannity’s AQH share there (NYC 1.1 vs .5, Chicago 1.2 vs .2, San Francisco 1.5 vs .5, and Dallas-Ft. Worth 1.3 vs .5).  Hannity’s camp responds with a memo from premierenetworks newPremiere Networks VP/operations and affiliate marketing for the Sean Hannity show Eric Stanger, who writes, “It’s puzzling that Michael Savage would want to brag about his listening audience.  Despite his claims, the numbers show that Savage is losing thewestwoodone logo audience that he inherited from Sean Hannity in droves, on the radio stations that Sean spent 17 years building.  In New York on WABC as well as on Dallas on WBAP, in the key demo of A25-54, Savage has lost a whopping 49% of the audience that he inherited from Sean Hannity.  Other key markets tell a similar story as you can see below.  All in all, Savage has bled away almost half of the audience on the key stations that were given to him in 2014 (In Los Angeles, where Cumulus has decided not to air the ‘Savage Nation,’ KABC-AM has dropped 27% without Hannity).  Meanwhile, Sean Hannity has more than doubled the total audiences where he has started on new stations after leaving Cumulus in New York, Los Angeles, and Dallas (AQH percentage change December ’13 to February ’14 Persons 12+:  WOR, New York, +108%; KEIB, Los Angeles +172%; and KSKY, Dallas +128%).”  EDITOR’S NOTE:  TALKERS magazine maintains a general policy of not publishing ratings results of contests between individual hosts because there are so many potential situations taking place in the industry it would become editorially unwieldy and impossible to manage accurately and fairly.  This is especially true in regards to reporting on battles between syndicated hosts in which there is often inconsistency from market to market in terms of actual times and number of hours broadcast.  Plus, this publication avoids getting involved in situations hinting of personal vendettas and vitriol between personalities and even competing companies.  In the words of publisher Michael Harrison, “This industry faces enough competitive challenges these days from external sources for us to turn our guns on each other in anything more intense than healthy, sportsmanlike competition.”

eskinspikeCBS RADIO Ups Spike Eskin to PD of WIP-FM and WIP-AM.  Interim program director Spike Eskin is officially the PD at CBS RADIO’s “SportsRadio 94 WIP” and “CBS Sportsradio 610,” the company announces.  Eskin has been filling the role on an interim basis since Jeff Sottolano was named director of programming for CBS RADIO earlier this year.  Previously, Eskin served as sports editor for CBSPhilly.com and did part-time air shifts on WIP-FM, all-news KYW and CBS 3 TV.  Senior vice president and market manager Marc Rayfield says, “Spike is his own person.  He is tenacious, strategic and a proven winner.  We interviewed an extremely talented pool of national and local candidates.  Spike was clearly our best choice.”  Eskin comments, “My career in radio has taken me in many different directions, and has ultimately led me to a job that I feel like I was born to do and I am honored and humbled to have. I’m excited to work with the best air talent in sports radio, and our incredible staff to continue building the legend that is WIP.”

schembrijoeSchembri Upped to VP of Corporate Business Development, Sports Sales and Sponsorships.  This new corporate position lifts Joe Schembri from his VP of business development post.  Now, he’ll be working directly with clients to “create local, regional, and national campaigns that reach and engage consumers by utilizing multiple platforms to drive incremental revenue that include radio, sports play-by-play, event sponsorships, digital, database, mobile and social.”  Entercom station group president Weezie Kramer states, “For years, Joe has been a leader in our company and throughout radio, and I am proud to elevate him to this new position.  Sports has always been a strength of entercomEntercom and, under Joe’s leadership, we will bring a greater platform of products and greater results to our clients.”  Entercom serves as the radio broadcast partner for the Boston Red Sox, Buffalo Bills, Buffalo Sabres, Kansas City Royals, Memphis Grizzlies, New Orleans Saints, New Orleans Pelicans, Oakland Athletics, Oakland Raiders, San Jose Sharks and several NCAA teams, including this year’s #1 NCAA basketball seeds University of Florida Gators and Wichita State Shockers.  Schembri comments, “This is an exciting time for radio, sports and event marketing.  Entercom is powerfully positioned across the country to build dynamic, multi-platform campaigns that engage our fans, connect them to our clients and generate results that make a difference.”

nymrad logoNYMRAD Registers a +3.26%.  According to the Miller Kaplan New York Market Revenue Report, New York Market Radio (NYMRAD) advertising revenue for the first two months of this year increased 3.26%, when compared to last year’s figures.  Total revenue for February – including “digital” and “network”/”NTR”/”other” were up 2.3%.  New York Market Radio Broadcasters Association executive director Deborah Beagan comments, “The New York market is up, despite the series of storms.”  The “automotive” category there is up 11%, with over $10 million of spending.  Three rapidly growing such advertisers are Land Rover, up 153% from $166,000 last year to $420,000 this year; Tri State Ford Dealers – improving by 48% from $458,000 to $680,000; and Mercedes Benz, up 72% from $265,000 to $455,000.  The “communications/cellular” category sees a 20% gain, with over $8 million of spending.  Rapid such growers included Verizon, up 69% from $1.29 million to $2.17 million; Metro PCS – improving 95% from $1.28 million to $2.50 million; and AT&T, up 67% from $917,000 to $1.53 million.

scba logoLos Angeles Radio Revenue Grows in February.  According to data from Miller Kaplan Arase as reported by the Southern California Broadcasters Association, during February, the Los Angeles radio market saw revenue climb by 3.7% for the month and, on a year-to-date basis through February, the LA total market revenue growth is 3.1%.  SCBA president Thom Callahan states, “This substantial market growth reflects the dynamic power of Southern California Radio and our member radio stations’ determination to begin 2014 on very strong footing.”  On the digital side, the report indicates revenue for the reporting stations in February up 16.8% and a YTD growth rate of 14.7%.  The subsequent “X-Ray” report YTD also reveals substantial new business growth with 336 new advertisers spending $12.7 million.  Key category drivers include: insurance – up 141.7%, cellular/communications – up 45.8%, concerts/theatre/movies – up 34.7%, casinos/lottery – up 32.5%, and education – up 32.3%.

starkjaysonStark Reality for Philly’s WPEN-FM.  ESPN.com senior baseball writer – and Philadelphia native – Jayson Stark will host a one-hour eponymous show on select Mondays throughout the baseball season for Greater Media Philadelphia’s WPEN-FM “The Fanatic.”  The two-time Pennsylvania Sportswriter of the Year will continue to be a Wednesday afternoon contributor on the station’s “Mike Missanelli Show.”  Stark acknowledges that, “I may work for ESPN now, but I’m still a Philadelphian, so the only thing cooler than joining my buddy Mike Missanelli every Wednesday is getting my own personal hour of radio.  I will get to talk to my favorite Philadelphians about the Phillies and the sport they play, mix in a little trivia, and do our best to turn this extravaganza into a show that’s even more fun than spending a summer evening hanging out in Ashburn Alley.”  Stark’s program will emanate live from Newtown, Pennsylvania’s Green Parrot; the debut show is one week from Monday (4/7) between 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm.  Stark has written/reported about MLB for ESPN since 2000.  Before that, he covered the Phillies for the Philadelphia Inquirer.  He appears as an analyst on a variety of ESPN radio and television programs.

delcollianojerryJerry Del Colliano’s “Media Solutions Conference” Draws 100-plus to Philadelphia.  More than 100 radio broadcasters from across the country gathered at the classy Rittenhouse Hotel in Philadelphia yesterday (3/26) to attend noted industry observer and analyst Jerry Del Colliano’s fifth annual “Media Solutions Conference.”  The attendees represented various levels of management, talent and ownership from a variety of radio companies — local, regional and national.  In addition to Del Colliano’s in-depth presentation of information about such topics as understanding the Millennial generation, disrupting radio before its media rivals do, separating radio’s main product into unique on-air and online categories, using video to generate additional revenue streams, reinventing the morning show, time-shifting radio, and reducing the liability of commercials while increasing their effectiveness, attendees were treated to presentations by WBEB, Philadelphia “More FM” owner Jerry Lee, Premiere Networks and Fox News Channel talk star Sean Hannity and TALKERS/RadioInfo publisher Michael Harrison.  Jerry Lee discussed a number of tactics and philosophies employed by his company to make it one of the most successful ratings and revenue-generating, leejerryindependent music-formatted, stand-alone FMs in America.  He basically told the attendees that you have to spend money to make money and espoused the benefits of heavy promotion, research and putting together a top-notch team of talent and management in order to reap the rewards radio is still capable of delivering.  He also spoke extensively about the importance of creating effective, listenable commercials and limiting the number of spots perharrisonmichael hour to no more than 12.  Sean Hannity discussed the various keys to attracting younger listeners to the talk format on both radio and television (something he has proven to do very well) and was critical of today’s ratings system that largely ignores listenership to radio on the internet and satellite platforms.  Michael Harrison joined Del Colliano at the end of the conference for a free-wheeling Q&A wrap up of the day’s subject matter.  Harrison encouraged the attendees to trust in their own common sense and intuition, pointing out that all forward evolution in the arts and communication begin with someone taking a stand based on their gut instincts.  According to Harrison, “This was one of the most interesting, informative and well-organized conferences I have ever attended.”  Jerry Del Colliano will be a major speaker at the forthcoming “Talkers New York 2014” on Friday, June 20.  For information call 413-565-5413.

borrell logoBorrell Research Projects Hike in Recruitment Advertising.  Just what radio might realize from the projected 5.8% increase in dollars spent by employers seeking workers via broadcast isn’t certain and the category doesn’t break down radio, TV, and cable.  However, as the recruitment advertising report – subtitled The Long, Gray, Line – states, employers will spend $22.9 billion in the category this year.  “Of that, 84% is spent on online media, and of that, half is being spent on so-called digital services like developing websites, search engine optimization, and managing social media.  That services portion is growing at the fastest clip – nearly 50% growth in 2014 and potentially tripling over the next five years.  By 2018, we foresee a future where employers will spend 67% of their recruitment marketing budgets on digital services, 23% on classic digital advertising, and the remaining 10% on traditional media advertising.”  See more about the report here.

RIhof logoWOR, New York PD Tom Cuddy Leads Rhode Island Radio HoF Class of 2014.  The Rhode Island Radio Hall of Fame announces the class of 2014 inductees and they include: current WOR, New York program director Tom Cuddy (who got his start in radio at WPRO-AM in 1980); air personality and programmer Rick Everett (served at WGNG, WSNE, WWLI, WWBB, WRX, and WCTK; current WRNI news anchor/reporter and host Dave Fallon; New England Tech teacher and 30-plus year radio station staffer Paul Perry; the late Carroll “Pappy” Philbrook, who began his career in Rhode Island radio in the 1940s as an engineer at WHIM, WHJJ and WHJY; easy listening pioneer Tony Rizzini; and entertainment icon Saucy Silvia who hosted an entertainment program on WADK for 26 years.  Additionally, the Shepard Award – created to recognize the founders of radio (John and Robert Shepard, owners of the Shepard Department Stores) in the Ocean State and to honor present-day contributors to the industry through leadership, dedication, achievement, innovation and spirit – goes to Janice Skelly.  Skelly began her radio career in 1978, working for WPRO-FM in the sales department, and for most of the next 36 years, she remained a fixture within the sales and business operations of WLKW-AM/FM and WSNE-FM through several ownership changes.

ObamaCare Criticism, SCOTUS Hobby Lobby Case, Mid-Term Elections/2016 Presidential Race, Obama vs Putin/Russian Aggression, Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 Fate, and NSA Data Collection Policy Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/26).  Scrutiny of the rollout and effects of the Affordable Care Act; the Supreme Court Case that will decide the scope of religious exemptions for employer-provided health care; speculation about the political ramifications of the mid-term elections and possible candidates for president in 2016; Russian aggression in Eastern Europe and criticism of President Obama’s handling of Vladimir Putin; the fate of missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370; and concern over the NSA’s bulk data collection program were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

| March 26, 2014

sportstalkboston logoInside SportsTalkBoston.com.   The surprising exit of longtime WEEI sports talk personality Glenn Ordway last year and the departure some months later of station programmer Jason Wolfe saw big changes in the Boston sports talk scene.  Those changes are becoming even more high profile with the debut of Ordway’s new multi-platform sports talk destination wolfejasonSportsTalkBoston.com.  Regular TALKERS readers are aware Wolfe is signing on with the venture to serve as chief content officer.  In this exclusive story, Wolfe goes into a bit more detail about not only what the future will bring to SportsTalkBoston.com, but he writes about Ordway’s place in the hearts and minds of Boston sports media fans and how that plays into the execution of the content.  As Wolfe says, “Personality breeds engagement.  Engagement breeds loyalty.  Loyalty breeds ratings and ratings breed revenue.  That is the formula hosts and shows need to embrace today if they want to win.”  Read this entire piece here.

wtoplogoWTOP, Washington Takes ‘Top Biller’ Crown for Fourth Year Straight.  The annual top radio billers report from BIA/Kelsey is out and although Hubbard Radio’s all-news WTOP, Washington dropped a little over $1 million in billing from 2012 to 2013, at a reported $63.5 million it still was the nation’s #1 biller, beating Clear Channel’s CHR KIIS-FM, Los Angeles by about $2 million.  KIIS-FM had a good year, adding almost $5 million to its revenue total to report in at $61.6 million.  Rounding out the top 10 for 2013 were:  Clear Channel’s CHR WHTZ, New York “Z100” at $51 million; CBS RADIO’s all-news WCBS-AM at $50 million; Clear Channel’s AC WLTW, New York “106.7 Lite FM” at $45.5 million; CBS RADIO all-news WINS at $45 million; Clear Channel’s hot AC KBIG, Los Angeles “104.3 MYfm” at $44.5 million; CBS RADIO’s sports talk WFAN, New York “The Fan” at $43 million; CBS RADIO’s alternative KROQ, Los Angeles at $42.8 million; and CBS RADIO’s all-news WBBM, Chicago wraps the top 10 at $42 million.

mckinneygregEntercom Loosens Load on ‘ESPN Upstate’ Personality Greg McKinney.  In addition to his work at Entercom Greenville’s sports talk duo WORD-AM/WYRD-AM “ESPN Upstate” where he’s host of “In The Huddle with Greg McKinney” from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm, McKinney had been doing mornings on sister AC WSPA “Magicespnupstate 98.9.”  (He also handles anchoring the “College Football Today” pregame show on rock WTPT “93.3 The Planet.”)  The company adds “Murphy, Sam and Jodi” on WSPA for morning drive and relieves McKinney of the daily double duty.  Entercom Greenville VP and market manager Steve Sinicropi comments, “Our sports coverage in terms of talent, teams and signal coverage is unmatched in this market.  We are thrilled that the person who will become the local face of ‘ESPN Upstate’ was already in our stable.  Putting Greg McKinney on ESPN with a live and local show, not only plays to his strengths and talents, but it provides our clients with an additional and valuable touch point to connect with a highly sought after consumer.”

entercomEntercom Sets Milwaukee and Madison Managers.  Former Cumulus Mobile vice president/market manager Chuck Sullivan is tapped for similar duties at Entercom Milwaukee, while Entercom Madison director of sales Ed Schulz is elevated to vice president/market manager of that Wisconsin market.  They succeed Michael Keck (see next story), who was overseeing both markets.  Regional president Michael Doyle comments, “Entercom is proud to add two of the strongest people in radio to our leadership team.  Chuck and Ed bring with them a wealth of experience, unique perspectives and a passion to make their powerful brands and their clusters not only the strongest in the state, but in all of radio.”  Meanwhile, Sullivan remarks, “Entercom Milwaukee has some of the most powerful and iconic brands from [CHR WXSS] ‘Kiss-FM’ to [hot AC WMYX] ‘Mix’ to [WSSP] ‘SportsRadio 1250.”  Schulz adds, “Madison is a special place and Entercom has distinct brands that not only connect with the community, but deliver results for our clients.  I am proud of what we have accomplished in Madison and am excited for the future.  Before joining Cumulus, Sullivan spent nine years as managing partner of Wilmington, North Carolina’s Ocean Broadcasting.  Schulz joined Entercom two years ago and will be responsible for adult alternative WMMM “Triple M,” classic hits WOLX, and hot AC WMHX “Mix 105.1.”

keckmichaelCBS RADIO Twin Cities Names Keck VP/DOS.  As referenced in the story above, sales pro Michael Keck moves northwest from Entercom Milwaukee to the Twin Cities where he’s the new vice president/director of sales at CBS RADIO Minneapolis, effective April 7.  The company says that in this role, he will be responsible for overseeing sales in the market for news/talk WCCO, adult hits KZJK “104.1 Jack FM,” and country KMNB “BUZ’N@102.9.”  Keck will work closely with Michael Weiss, CBS RADIO’s president of sales and report to Mick Anselmo, senior vice president and market manager for the Minneapolis cluster.  Keck comments, “I am thrilled to be coming back to the Twin Cities.  It’s a tremendous privilege to be associated with two powerful FM stations and one of America’s most legendary and successful AM brands in WCCO.  I can’t wait to be a part of the CBS RADIO team in this vibrant radio and media marketplace.”

envisionnetworks newSun Broadcast Group to Rep Envision Networks’ Spanish Content.  An exclusive ad sales agreement has been struck between Sun Broadcast Group, Inc. and Envision Networks for Sun to rep Envision’s Spanish-language inventory that includes: CNN en Español, Fox Deportes and AccuWeather ensunbroadcastgrouplogo Español.  Envision president and CEO Danno Wolkoff states, “Jason Bailey and his team at Sun Broadcast will increase our presence in the Spanish advertising arena.  They will represent our programming, services and online audio product lineups to Hispanic advertisers and maximize the scope of our network’s reach and frequency and the amount of impressions it delivers for clients.”

pretzellodebbieBeasley Honors Pretzello with President’s Club Award.  This in-house sales award for the calendar year 2013 goes to Beasley Broadcast Augusta senior account executive Debbie Pretzello for the third time.  The President’s Club consists of Beasley sales executives inducted annually for their abilities to meet or exceed individual and market goals, attain accreditation from the Radio Advertising Bureau as Certified Radio Marketing Consultants (CRMC), and over-deliver their clients’ expectations on a daily basis.  One account executive in each market in which Beasley operates is named to the Club monthly.  At year’s end, each market names a winner based on overall performance.  Additionally, the individual with the highest ranking from this notable pool of top-performers is named Beasley’s “President’s Club Overall Winner” for the previous calendar year.  Beasley EVP of sales Heather Monahan says, “We are thrilled that Debbie Pretzello continues to lead our Augusta sales team and is recognized for her third time as our ‘Overall President’s Club Winner.’  Retaining talent in our business is of the utmost importance to Beasley.  Debbie forges ahead year after year, raising the bar for our sales organization.  Her ability to win multiple awards signifies her vast talent for delivering results for her local clients.  Debbie Pretzello earned the title ‘Overall President’s Club Winner’ again this year by providing ROI for her customers, that’s something that makes us very proud.”

robbinsmarkleyOdds & Sods.  When the New York Yankees’ season kicks off on April 1, Spanish-speaking listeners in the New York area will be able to hear the games in Spanish on Univsion-owned WADO, New York.  CBS RADIO’s WFAN-AM/FM – the new rights holder for Yankees games, agrees to the deal that will have WFAN producing the games with Rickie Ricardo and Francisco Rivera in the booth for the Spanish-language broadcast…..WMBD, Peoria afternoon duo “Robbins & Markley” – (pictured here) Scott Robbins (l) and Jamie Markley (r) – are sitting in for the vacationing Jim Villanucci on Alpha Broadcasting’s KXL, Portland this week…..The weekly two-hour “Both Sides Now” program – hosted by Mark Green and featuring talk media personalities including: Ron Reagan, Katrina van den Heuvel, Eliot Spitzer, Bob Shrum, Jonathan Alter, Mary Matalin, Erick Erickson, David Frum, Rich Lowry and Torie Clarke – signs up with Focus 360 to handle ad sales for the program.

elswickettingerTackling Big Issues.  KARN-FM, Little Rock program director and afternoon drive host Dave Elswick (right) poses for a photo with former Israeli Ambassador Yoram Ettinger (left) after two spoke on Elswick’s program about Israel and the country’s complex relationship with the U.S., Iran and the Palestinians.  Ettinger served as Minister for Congressional Affairs at Israel’s Embassy in Washington.  Elswick will be speaking on the “Big Picture” panel at Talkers New York 2014 in New York City on Friday, June 20.

ObamaCare Criticism, Michelle Obama in China, Hague Nuke Summit, Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 Fate, Mid-Term Elections/ 2016 Presidential Race, NSA Bulk Data Collection Policy and Nick Cannon ‘Whiteface’ Controversy Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/25).  Scrutiny of the rollout and effects of the Affordable Care Act; coverage of First Lady Michelle Obama’s trip to China and her speech about America’s discriminatory past; President Obama’s comments about Russia and a possible NYC nuclear threat made at the Nuclear Security Summit at the Hague; the possible fate of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370; prognostication about the fall mid-term elections and the 2016 presidential race; the fate of the NSA’s bulk data collection policy; and musician/TV personality Nick Cannon’s “whiteface” photo controversy were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

| March 19, 2014

geronimodonDon Geronimo Goes Digital.  After exiting CBS RADIO last month and promising he’d be back with a vengeance after his contract expired, radio pro Don Geronimo announces he’s joining the digital RELM Network to produce his new show that will be available via subscription only.  The new show will be presented live, Monday through Friday, starting in early April, at www.DonGeronimoPodcast.com .  The company says the exact launch date will be announced soon.  A recorded version of the show will be available on that website, shortly after each live show ends.  The cast of the new show will be Geronimo, co-host Drew Hoffar, their sidekick, Joe Ardinger and will feature regular appearances by Geronimo’s longtime pal and newsman Buzz Burbank.  A statement from the RELM Network, says, “As changes in the radio relm networkindustry continue to disappoint listeners, Geronimo looks forward to doing the show he’s always wanted to do, without interference from corporate radio executives or the FCC rules that quashed the medium’s spontaneity and fun.  Longtime listeners especially won’t want to miss the show’s opening week, in which Geronimo will talk about the events that — and people who — led him to do this podcast.” Burbank, who will panel on the show and bring bits of his news, worked with Geronimo nearly thirty years in their days at CBS Radio.  Burbank will continue his daily newscast at www.BuzzBurbank.com.  Burbank is a partner in, and co-founder of, The RELM Network, along with Marc Ronick and Lowell Melser.  The RELM Network now features 17 shows, including “Buzz Burbank News and Comment,” “The Kirk McEwen Show,” “The Marc & Lowell Show,” plus shows focusing on gaming, the arts, interviews, sports, politics — left and right — and more.

weinerlenLen Weiner to Program Lincoln Financial Media’s WAXY, Miami.  South Florida sports talker WAXY-AM/FM, Miami “FM 104.3/AM 790 The Ticket” has a new program director as Lincoln Financial Media announces Len Weiner will join the company beginning March 24.  The company parted ways with PD Tod Castleberry lastwaxylogo November.   Weiner most recently was vice president of programming for Genesis Communications’ stations in the Tampa, Orlando and Melbourne markets.  He’s also served at WGN, Chicago; ESPN Radio Network and KMPC, Los Angeles.  LFM SVP and general manager Maureen Lesourd comments, “I am excited that Len’s joining our ‘Ticket’ team.  His depth of experience as a sports radio programmer, producer and talent developer plus his solid track record for strengthening big brands makes him the perfect choice.”  Weiner adds, “I can’t wait to get started at ‘The Ticket.’  It’s a thrill and honor to join the team and continue to build and grow this great brand.  I would also like to thank Maureen and [LFM SVP of programming and operations] John Dimick for this opportunity.”

riverageraldoGeraldo Rivera Strikes Deal with Blast Applications for Digital Projects.  It’s not clear whether his new deal with Cumulus Media allows him to control his own digital endeavors or whether Cumulus is a silent partner in this but Geraldo Rivera and Blast Applications, Inc. are partnering to bring his radio show live to listeners via mobile devices.  Under the terms of the agreement, Rivera’s 10:00 am to 12:00 noon WABC, New York show will be distributed digitally and Blast Applications is responsible for promoting Geraldo’s upcoming online store that will feature innovative and one-of-a-kind products that will be available for purchase nationwide.  Blast Applications CEO Dino Luzzi states, “It is incredibly exciting to announce our joint revenue agreement with the Geraldo Rivera team to promote their popular radio show and online store.  This agreement is another key milestone in our growth for 2014 as we continue to expand Blast Application’s opportunity to create more revenue in the near future.”  Rivera comments, “With the help of Blast Application, we expect the Geraldo Rivera radio show to experience new growth and revenue opportunities.”

sykescharlieWisconsin Governor Scott Walker Featured at WTMJ’s “Insight 2014.”  The annual live event produced by Journal Broadcast Group’s WTMJ, Milwaukee and talk host Charlie Sykes that features important figures in public policy and media takes place this evening and will be re-broadcast tomorrow (3/20) from 8:30 am to 12:00 noon on the station.  “Insight 2014 with Charlie Sykes” is an annual political state of the state event and this year includes Governor Scott Walker, U.S. Senator Ron Johnson, WTMJ talk host Jeff Wagner and numerous Wisconsin political and media figures.

ramseydaveDave Ramsey to Present Fall ‘Business Gets Personal’ Event in NYC.  Nationally syndicated talk radio superstar, best-selling author and live event producer Dave Ramsey sells out theaters and arenas across the country targeting individuals and families as well as businesspeople with his “Legacy Journey LIVE” and “EntreLeadership” events.  Now, Ramsey is presenting a new businessperson-focused program to take place in New York City on October 2 titled “Business Gets Personal.”  The new event entails Ramsey teaming with marketing experts and best-selling authors Seth Godin and Gary Vaynerchuk to give businessmen and women valuable insight they can use to take their business to the next level.  Ramsey’s Lampo Group says the one-day event will allow attendees the opportunity to learn from some of the best in the business through keynote speeches, Q&A sessions and networking opportunities.  The daylong program takes place at the Rose Theater, Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Frederick P. Rose Hall, Time Warner Center.  Godin’s latest book is titled, The Icarus Deception (Portfolio Hardcover 2012).  Vaynerchuk works in the family’s liquor sales business and launched Wine Library TV, a daily video blog about wine to much success in 2006.

huffaubreyKGMZ Adds Aubrey Huff to Morning Show.  The new morning show at Entercom’s KGMZ, San Francisco “95.7 The GAME” hosted by Ric Bucher and Chris Townsend adds retired San Francisco Giants star Aubrey Huff to the program’s cast beginning March 31.  Program director Jason Barrett says, “Last week, we announced a new lineup for ‘The GAME.’  Since then, we’ve been fortunate enough to add one of the most entertaining sports personalities in the Bay Area to our team.  It’s hard to improve on the ‘perfect team in the perfect time slot,’ but adding Aubrey Huff does just that.  Make no mistake — this morning show will be different, more informed, and more colorful than any other in the market.”  Huff adds, “I couldn’t be more excited to join ‘95.7 The GAME.’  I had an incredible experience in San Francisco, being a part of two World Championship Giants teams, and now I’m looking forward to joining my brand new team in the Bay Area.”

hurleyharryMichael Harrison Encourages Talk Radio to “Organize Communities, Not Sides.”  In a guest appearance this morning on the Harry Hurley morning show on Townsquare Media’s WPG, Atlantic City “Talk Radio 1450,” TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison – when asked by the popular, long-running AM drive star about the present state of talk radio in America – stated, “Although talk radio continues to be one of radio’s most successfulharrisonmichael formats and the platform that gives rise to the medium’s biggest stars, it might need to adjust its mission and style to perhaps a more positive mode in the days ahead for the sake of improving its image in the advertising community and maintaining influence in the arena of public policy.  I suggest that talk show hosts think more about organizing ‘communities’ that bring people together – especially on the local level where left and right ideology plays less of a defined role – than galvanize ‘sides’ that turn people and communities against each other.”  Harrison added, “There are many ways to target audiences and create critical, marketable masses.  Going forward it is important that news/talk radio explore all its options in this regard and not rely exclusively on the ‘us against them’ paradigm.”

bilstaderikOdds & Sods.  At Journal Broadcast Group’s news/talk WTMJ, Milwaukee, Erik Bilstad is promoted to the role of executive producer, news, effective immediately.  The company says that in addition to his current duties as a reporter and news anchor on “Wisconsin’s Afternoon News with John Mercure,” Bilstad’s responsibilities will now include day-to-day management of the news department and personnel, along with story assignments and directing special news and severe weather coverage…..Former Chicago Bears general manager Jerry Angelo joins Tribune’s WGWG-LP, Chicago “The Game 87.7 FM” for a weekly football insider role on the midday show hosted by David Kaplan and David Haugh, according to Chicago media writer Robert Feder…..The Florida Times-Union reports the Jacksonville Jaguars will switch from Cox Media Group‘s WOKV, Jacksonville to Seven Bridges-owned WJXL for play-by-play of the team’s games beginning with the 2014 season.  According to the report, games would also air on Renda Broadcasting‘s country WGNE-FM.  The deal has not been officially announced by the NFL club.

jablonskijackMinneapolis Sports Talker Jack Jablonski Nabs Prom Date with ESPN’s Michelle Beadle.  Twin Cities sports talk personality Jack Jablonski made headlines in 2011 when, as a high school hockey player, became paralyzed from the chest down after being checked into the boards.  Jablonski was hired the following year at Cumulus Media’s “Sports Radio 105 The Ticket” (WGVX and WGVZ, Minneapolis) to host the weekly “Hockey Night in Minnesota” program that airsbeadlemichelle Wednesdays at 5:15 pm.  During his show last Wednesday, Jablonski joined former Vikings offensive lineman Mike Morris and Pioneer Press columnist Bob Sansevere. ESPN anchor Michelle Beadle was also on the air with them, having been booked for the second time by Jablonski.  After some hockey talk, the mood changed as Barry White‘s “Can’t Get Enough of Your Love, Babe” started to play.  The 18-year-old Minneapolis celebrity asked Beadle to his high school prom — and she accepted!

nielsen logoSecond Round of February PPM Data Released.  PPM data from the second of four groups of 12 markets for the February 2014 period (January 30 – February 26) has been released by Nielsen Audio.  Those markets include: Washington, Boston, Detroit, Miami, Seattle, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis.  TALKERS magazine’s sister publication RadioInfo has all the (subscriber) numbers here.  Managing editor and West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian offers his “Ten Takeaways” from the report at RadioInfo.com here.

stockwallaceGeorge Wallace Visits KDWN, Las Vegas.  Comedian George Wallace (c) is pictured here in Beasley Broadcast Group’s Las Vegas studios with KDWN program director John Shaffer (l) and KDWN morning drive host Alan Stock (r).  Wallace spoke with Stock about the 10th anniversary of his engagement at the Flamingo Hotel and Casino on the strip.

Obama vs. Putin/Crimea-Ukraine Case, ObamaCare Criticism, Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 Mystery, and Mid-Term Elections/2016 Presidential Race Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/18).  Analysis of the motives of Russian president Vladimir Putin and his battle with President Obama over Russian interests and the Crimea-Ukraine case; scrutiny of the rollout and effects of the Affordable Care Act; the deepening mystery of the disappearance of Malaysian Airlines Flight 370; and speculation about changes in Congressional power possible after the mid-term elections and the possible candidates for president in 2016 were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

| March 18, 2014

graefejohnEntercom Ups Graefe to Chief Information Officer.  Twelve-year Entercom staffer John Graefe is promoted to a new post as the company’s first chief information officer, responsible for delivering a broad range of IT initiatives to support the company.  Graefe has been the vice president of IT and will continue to lead the team of employees overseeing the company’s IT infrastructure, as well as its strategy and partnerships.  In making the announcement, the company says Graefe is a tech leaderentercom with a unique view of IT innovation and its application in driving business objectives.  In this new role he will take over responsibilities for the company’s analytics and business intelligence initiatives.  He’ll report to EVP/CFO Steve Fisher, who comments, “John has demonstrated outstanding leadership in managing our IT organization while continuing to position IT as a strategic asset and business driver.  I am confident that, as CIO, he will continue to advance Entercom strategic platforms and strategies.”  Graefe says, “I am excited for the opportunity to continue leading the IT team at Entercom and further advancing our initiatives in analytics and business intelligence.   This will continue to enhance Entercom’s position as a leading broadcasting and marketing solutions company.”

rileyjulesRiley Returns to Journal Broadcast Group in Tulsa.  Most recently working as a consultant in the industry, Jules Riley is named operations manager for Journal Broadcast Group’s Tulsa operations, including news/talk KFAQ.  Tulsa VP/GM Bill Berry says, “We are very excited to welcome Jules back to Journal.  She has a stellar reputation in the industry and extensive experience with multiple formats.  I have no doubt that she will do a terrific job as our programming leader.”  Riley was the program director for Journal’s rock KICT “T95” and classic rock KFXJ “104.5 The Fox” in Wichita until 2001 before leaving to lead programming teams in St. Louis, Philadelphia and Phoenix.   She comments, “I am thrilled to rejoin Journal Broadcast Group and work with the phenomenal Tulsa team.  My thanks to Bill Berry, Beverlee Brannigan and Steve Wexler.”

“Trippin’ Out into the Future” with Michael Harrison.  The time has come for the rise of the MEDIA STATION.  When Jerry Del Colliano was asked what role TALKERS/RadioInfo publisher Michael Harrison will play at his forthcoming “Media Solutions Conference” in Philadelphia on Wednesday, March 26 – the noted industry observer and analyst described Harrison as a “futurist” and stated “Michael and I will trip out into the future of radio and digital content.”  Harrison’s reaction to delcollianojerrythe comment was that he was extremely flattered by the remark, stating, “Wow, to be in this business for 48 years and still be called a ‘futurist’ is a compliment, to say the least.  Those who know me personally or have heard me speak and read my articles over the decades know that I maintain a very healthy respect for the past and radio’s pop cultural heritage – HOWEVER, they also know that I do so only from the perspective that they help us navigate the wild waters of the future into which we must always be bravely sailing.”  Harrison continues, “There are several things that I am looking forward to discussing at Jerry’s seminar that span my interest in both talk and music radio…but first and foremost, I believe it’s time for the industry to come to terms with the theoretical (and increasingly real) concept of the “media station”harrisonmichael because that is, in fact, where we are heading in terms of platform.  And while many people in this business are running around uttering the half-baked phrase ‘content is king’ and counting their chickens over the seeming ease of entry to the internet — those who have an understanding of media theory and elementary art appreciation understand that without ‘platform,’ content cannot be monetized.  The ‘media station’ will be the platform of today’s radio station (as well as most newspapers and magazines) before this decade is over.  Those who prepare for this and understand exactly what it entails will not only survive — they will thrive — and continue to successfully ride the traditional time-line of our glorious industry from one century to the next.  Those who do not will drown in the vast ocean of noise that is the undeveloped, platform-less internet.”  Harrison will be one of three special guest speakers at the conference.  Along with WBEB, Philadelphia (“More FM”) owner Jerry Lee and nationally syndicated Premiere Networks and Fox News Channel talk star Sean Hannity.  The intensive day-long workshop will focus on a wide variety of digital-era issues currently facing and challenging radio.  These include coming to a better understanding of the Millennial generation, learning to disrupt radio itself before its media rivals do, separating radio’s main product into unique on-air and online categories, effectively using video to generate significant amounts of revenue, reinventing the morning show, time-shifting radio, making commercials less of a liability and much more.  Harrison adds, “I am really looking forward to participating in this conference and tackling these crucial issues with a bunch of smart people from all ends of the business.  Jerry Lee has so much to share about running an independent station in an aggressive, winning way – we could sure use more Jerry Lees in this industry – and Sean Hannity is the very definition of a classy guy who rose to the very top of the talent ladder.  One of the things Sean brings to the table is the ability to attract younger listeners to traditional news/talk – he has done quite alright in already solving questions to which most people are actively seeking answers.”  The event takes place at Philadelphia’s Rittenhouse Hotel.  For more information click here.

nielsen logoFirst Round of February PPM Data Released.  PPM data from the first of four groups of 12 markets for the February 2014 period (January 30 – February 26) has been released by Nielsen Audio.  Those markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey).  TALKERS magazine’s sister publication RadioInfo has all the (subscriber) numbers here.  Managing editor and West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian offers his “Ten Takeaways” from the report at RadioInfo.com here.

wnfl logoOdds & Sods.  The station that will benefit from Midwest Communications’ purchase of the construction permit for an FM translator licensed to Howard, Wisconsin (W221DA at 92.1) is sports talk WNFL, Green Bay.  Midwest is buying the CP from David M. Stout for $65,000.  Howard lies northwest and adjacent to the City of Green Bay…..The mystery of the disappearance of Malaysian Airlines flight 370 has been a boon to the ratings of cable news/talk channel CNN.  The ratings woes of the channel are well known to industry watchers and the recent news has boosted the channel’s ratings above those of its competitors Fox News Channel and MSNBC in recent days.

Crimea Votes to Join Russia/Obama vs. Putin, Malaysian Airline Flight 370 Mystery, Mid-Term Elections/2016 Presidential Race, ObamaCare Criticism, Los Angeles Quake, and Lingering Winter Weather/Global Warming Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/17).  The Crimea-Russia case and criticism of President Obama’s handling of Vladimir Putin; the ongoing mystery of the disappearance of Malaysian Airlines Flight 370; the forecasting of political change with the mid-term elections and speculation about the 2016 presidential race; scrutiny of the rollout and effects of the Affordable Care Act; Monday’s Los Angeles earthquake and concerns about another one; and the chilly weather still affecting the Midwest and East and the global warming controversy were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

| March 12, 2014

2014header - final for KCTALKERS Posts 2014 Heavy Hundred.  The 2014 installment of one of TALKERS magazine’s most popular and, perhaps, controversial annual features – “The 100 Most Important Radio Talk Show Hosts in America” – debuted on March 11.  Also known as “The Heavy Hundred,” the ranked listing of 100 hosts and talent teams from around the country is based on a number of both quantitative and qualitative criteria and is determined by collective analysis of the TALKERS editorial board with input from a wide variety of industry leaders.  It includes local and national hosts from an array of genres falling under the umbrella of “general” talk or “news/talk” radio covering politics, health, finance, relationships, consumer electronics, popular culture and a variety of specialties. (TALKERS launched a special and completely separate annual “Heavy Hundred of Sports Talk” two years ago.)  Hosts on the list are selected from those working at the time of its publication on platforms that include commercial and public AM/FM radio as well as satellite radio (internet-only talk hosts are ranked by TALKERS in an annual feature titled “The Frontier Fifty”).   According to TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey, “It is no secret that economic restraints facing the industry these past few years have contributed to shrinking the number of individuals working on the air across the nation.  Although the 2014 edition of the Heavy Hundred will, of course, include many familiar names, the need for new blood, fresh voices and potential up-and-comers has never been greater.  Readers will find this year’s roster will feature a number of new names and first-timers, which is quite exciting!”  To view the entire 2014 Heavy Hundred, please click here.

kgmzlogo‘Game’ Changes in San Francisco.  KGMZ “95.7 The Game” is modifying its weekday on-air lineup.  Among the adjustments at the Entercom-owned San Francisco Bay Area sports outlet are the importing of former cross-town KNBR talent Damon Bruce to afternoon drive (3:00 pm – 7:00 pm) and shifting current PM drivers Ric Bucher and Chris Townsend (below left, respectively) to mornings, replacing “The Rise Guys” — Whitey Gleason, Mark Kriedler and Dan Dibley.  Entercom San Francisco vice president and market manager Steve DiNardo states, “This is a brucedamongreat day for our station and for Bay Area sports fans.  For years, Damon Bruce has been one of the strongest, most opinionated, and passionate personalities in Bay Area sports.  He understands what it takes to compete and win in this market.  Just as exciting is moving Ric Bucher and Chris Townsend to morning drive.  In just 14 months, they have developed strong chemistry and a loyal following.  We feel like we have the perfect team in the perfect time slot to grow ‘The Game.'” According to Bruce, “The Bay Area has a one-of-a-kind sports scene, one of the hottest and most exciting buchertownsendin the country today.  Bay Area fans are some of the most passionate fans in the country. I can’t wait to start and kick off a new drive-time experience for Bay Area sports fans.”  Bruce was with KNBR from 1998 – 2000, and returned in 2005.  He gained national exposure hosting “Sports Overnight America,” before leaving to become a SportsCenter anchor on ESPN Radio. Bruce has filled in for Jim Rome and has hosted SportsCenter for ESPN International. His other credits include fill-in host on Fox Sports Radio; Sporting News Radio; CBS Sports Network; and hosting pre and post-game shows for the San Francisco Giants and San Francisco 49ers.  The revised KGMZ lineup – which begins in just over two weeks (3/31) – will include “Bucher and Towny” with Ric Bucher and Chris Townsend (6:00 am – 10:00 am); Haberman & Middlekauff (10:00 am -12:00 noon); “The Wheelhouse” with John Lund & Greg Papa (noon – 3:00 pm); and “The Damon Bruce Show” (3:00 pm – 7:00 pm).

salemcommunicationsSaga’s Ed Christian “Hoping for a Little Better” in Q4.  The 2013 fourth quarter and full year fiscal reports for Saga Communications saw the company’s net operating revenue dip 5% in Q4 of 2013, compared to the same period in 2012.  But gross revenue increased 3.8% during the quarter excluding political.  For the full year, the company’s gross revenue was up 3.3% (ex-political).  In a conference call with investment analysts, Saga CEO Ed Christian christianedstated, “I was hoping for a little better in Q4, we can always do a little more, we can always do a little better but I’m not disappointed.  We’re just pleased with the results.”  Christian said it’s hard not to put some blame on the winter weather for the economic sluggishness.  “Saga operates in a lot of mid-America markets and a lot in New England and I really don’t have to tell you what the last four months have been like.  In those markets it’s just outright miserable…I was talking with one of our managers the other day and he said people are irritable and it’s gloomy and people are lethargic.”

beasley logoBeasley Declares Cash Dividend.  The company’s board of directors is announcing the company is declaring a quarterly cash dividend of $0.045 per share of its Class A and Class B common stock.  The dividend is payable on April 10, 2014, to shareholders of record on March 31, 2014.

linnmanpaulKEX, Portland Personality Accused of Assault.  Morning show personality Paul Linnman – host at Clear Channel’s news/talk KEX, Portland – is being accused by a co-worker of assault after he allegedly groped her buttocks and licked his lips as he stared at her breasts.  Kailee Kinney is bringing the suit against Clear Channel and Linnman in Multnomah County Court.  Kinney is a producer and account executive at CC Portland.  She’s seeking $325,000 in damages.  The complaint alleges Linnman “came up behind plaintiff and groped her buttocks, a sexually intimate part of her body.  Linnman used an open palm to slap Plaintiff’s buttocks and then grabbed and squeezed plaintiff’s buttocks.”  It further alleges that “Linnman approached plaintiff for a second time, stating, ‘I should apologize but that black dress…you look great in that black dress,” during which he “licked his lips and stared at Plaintiff’s breasts as he made this comment to plaintiff.”

postbillSalem, Oregon Talk Host Suspends Show After Equal Time Complaint.  In the Salem, Oregon market, Willamette Broadcasting employee Bill Post has suspended his daily talk show on KYKN due to his campaign for state representative and a complaint from a primary opponent about violation of equal time rules.  Post announced his campaign for the seat in December.  Last month, Barbara Jensen announced her bid for the seat but Post continued to work on the air.  Jensen complains that Post and the station have been violating FCC rules and election laws but also asserts Post has violated other campaign laws but did not specify what they are.  In a story in the Statesman Journal, Post says the station was prepared for Jensen’s complaint and that he believes the station and his campaign manager have operated within the law.   Jensen’s complaint implies that once Post worked on air after opponents joined the race, the station must then provide equal time.

journalcommunicationsJournal Communications Shows Off New Brand.  The parent company of radio and TV station firm Journal Broadcast Group unveils a new company brand with three cohesive new logos representing Journal Communications and its two major business segments, the Broadcast Group and Journal Publishing.  As part of the new brand, the company also launched a fully redesigned corporate website atjournalbroadcastgroup www.journalcommunications.com.  Journal Communications chairman and CEO Steven J. Smith comments, “When we look at our company, we see quality, focus and effective teams in our local markets – all part of a business that is moving forward.  However, many people outside of Journal often have no idea that, in addition to their favorite local station or publication, we have a total of 13 television stations, 35 radio stations and a major daily newspaper with a variety of supporting local publications, all with complementary digital products.  As such, we believe our new brand better represents our company to investors, employees and the public and positions us as a national media company with diverse brands united under a common identity.”  The redesigned company website includes links to all of Journal’s digital products and Journal Broadcast Group live streaming sites, as well as a “What’s Trending Now” feature that highlights Journal’s most recent content across its Broadcast and Publishing websites.

entercomEntercom Kansas City Takes Action Against Delinquent Client.  It’s not unusual for radio stations to put a past-due account into collection but Entercom Kansas City is seeking a court’s assistance in getting more than $52,000 it claims it is owned by Vinson Mortgage Services Inc.  In a story in the St. Louis Business Journal, Vinson apparently advertised on news/talk KMBZ, alternative KRBZ and rock KQRC.  This is not the only action involving Vinson.  St. Louis television station KMOV-TV is filing a suit claiming it is owned more than $68,000.

wdrc-amOdds & Sods.  The recent FCC filing for Buckley Broadcasting’s sale of its Connecticut stations to Connoisseur Media announced last week shows the price is $7.9 million.  The stations include classic hits WDRC-FM, Hartford; talk WDRC-AM, Hartford; WWCO, Waterbury; WSNG, Torrington; and WMMW, Meriden…..Talk radio pro Mark Wainwright is sitting in on Clear Channel’s WSYR, Syracuse for Joe Galuski on the morning program next week, March 17 – 21…..Alpha Broadcasting announces Jeremy Scott and Brian Perkins will be the radio announcers for the Arena Football League’s Portland Thunder when games air on the company’s KXTG, Portland “Sports Radio 750 The Game.”  Scott serves as a reporter for sister news/talk KXL.  Perkins is a reporter and air personality on KXTG…..XtreMEDIA nationally syndicated talk host Steve Deace is talking to New Englanders today as he sits in for Boston talk icon Howie Carr on Entercom‘s WRKO.

Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 Mystery, Winter Weather/Global Warming, Republican Wins Fla. Special Election, ObamaCare Criticism, CIA Monitoring of Senate Staffers/Snowden Video Appearance, and Obama vs. Putin/Ukraine-Crimea Tensions  Among Top Stories Yesterday (3/11).  The ongoing mystery concerning the whereabouts of the missing Malaysia Airlines jet; a new round of winter weather hits the East and renewed debate over the case for man-made global warming; Republican David Jolly defeats Democrat Alex Sink in Florida Congressional special election; scrutiny of the rollout and effects of the Affordable Care Act; Senator Diane Feinstein’s allegation the CIA monitored Senate staffers and Edward Snowden’s commentary on surveillance cases; and President Obama’s faceoff with Vladimir Putin and the case of Russia’s incursion into Crimea and Ukraine were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Friday, March 7, 2014

| March 7, 2014

wheelertomFCC Will Seek Public Comment on Ownership Rules; Reversal of Cross-Ownership Bans Appear Unlikely.  Reports are circulating in the media trades that senior FCC officials say FCC chairman Tom Wheeler will propose relaxing cross-ownership bans, but in a blog post dated March 6, that tone is not expressed.  Wheeler writes about the Commission’s duty to undertake and complete the 2014 Quadrennial Review.  He discusses some of the proposals regarding maintaining current ownership rules that will be open for public comment but many industry watchers say this should not be cause to think a Wheeler-chaired Commission will ultimately relax current cross-ownership bans.  Much of Wheeler’s concern in the blog is with television joint sales agreements and he’s clearly out to change those.  You can read Wheeler’s entire post here.

newsmax logoNewsmax Chief Chris Ruddy Announces Cable TV News/Talk Project.  In a piece in Bloomberg Businessweek, Newsmax founder and CEO Chris Ruddy announces his plans for a new cable news/talk network with Fox News Channel as his target.   Ruddy is quoted asking, “How do you have something so successful in cable that nobody else wants to imitate or cut into their market share?  It defies reason.”  Ruddy tells Bloomberg Businessweek his goal is “to be a little more boomer-oriented, more information-based rather than being vituperative and polarizing.”  He says that if he can get 10% to 15% of FNC’s audience, he’s going to be “hugely profitable.”  The piece states FNC bills $1 billion a year.  He understands the cable carriers don’t want to pay new networks and believes even if he has to pay them to carry the network, he’ll make money.  Currently Newsmax TV is online featuring talk media personality Steve Malzberg.  Ruddy does not say what the programming will look like when he’s ready to launch in June.  Read the entire Bloomberg Businessweek story here.

pelosiSiriusOdds & Sods.  Nationally syndicated “America Tonight” talk host Kate Delaney keeps her sports talk chops sharp as she sits in on the NBC Sports Radio Network this weekend hosting the 11:00 am to 2:00 pm slot both Saturday and Sunday this weekend…..In honor of Women’s History Month, SiriusXM host Julie Mason (left) sat down with House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (right) before a live audience at the Newseum in Washington, DC on Tuesday, March 4.  It’s part of the “SiriusXM Leading Ladies” series of candid conversations with influential and inspiring women who have forged their own paths to leadership and success.

ramseySADave Ramsey Deep in the Heart of Texas.  Nationally syndicated talk radio star Dave Ramsey is pictured here on stage at the Lila Cockrell Theatre in San Antonio as he presented his “Legacy Journey LIVE!” on Thursday (3/6).  Ramsey talked about how to win with money, strengthen marriages and lead your children with confidence.  His daughter, Rachel Cruze, joined Ramsey on stage.  Ramsey combined forces with L&L Broadcasting’s news/talk KTSA to promote this event.  KTSA GSM Coreena Hazelett comments, “L&L Broadcasting and ‘550KTSA’ are thrilled to partner with the Dave Ramsey team in bringing life-transforming content to entrepreneurs and leaders as well as teaching families how to live now so you can leave a powerful legacy for your family.  We, along with our sponsors, sincerely believe in the importance of contributing to the growth of business and the quality of life for families here in San Antonio.”  Ramsey also hosted his “EntreLeadership 1 Day Event” on Wednesday along with Cruze and speaker Chris Hogan.  The content of that presentation was how to run a business using the same common sense principles that Ramsey practices in his own company of more than 400 team members.

lanevemarkLaNeve Named to Entercom Board of Directors.  From the sales and marketing world comes the newest member of the Entercom board of directors as Mark LaNeve joins immediately.  He has served as COO of WPP’s Global Team Ford – an agency that serves as the marketing and advertising partner to Ford and Lincoln businesses globally.  During his time as chief marketing officer at Allstate Insurance, he led the marketing for the company and developed the long-running “Mayhem” campaign.  Entercom president and CEO David Field comments, “Mark LaNeve is a tremendous addition to Entercom’s board of directors.  He has led some of America’s most iconic brands and ad campaigns.  He will bring a new and fresh perspective to the Entercom board.”

medvedCPACMichael Medved Broadcasts from CPAC.  Seattle-based Salem Radio Network nationally syndicated talk show host Michael Medved (right) is pictured here interviewing Republican Senator from Utah Mike Lee (left) at the radio row at CPAC 2014 taking place in Washington, DC.  The event is the American Conservative Union’s annual confab of conservative activists being held at the Gaylord Hotel & Convention Center.

Obama vs. Putin/Ukraine-Crimea Unrest Top News/Talk Stories This Week.  The political crisis in Ukraine and Crimea and the scrum between President Obama and Vladimir Putin were the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  Coming in at #2 was ObamaCare Criticism.  At #3 was the Israel-Palestinian talks followed by the 2016 presidential race at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week.  It is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS and is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View the entire chart here.

TALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  ABC News Radio adds WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte to its roster of affiliate stations…..Yahoo! Sports Radio announces KXFN, St. Louis flips to sports and takes its lineup of national sports talk hosts.

Monday, February 24, 2014

| February 24, 2014

espnupstateEntercom Adds Sports Talker ‘ESPN Upstate’ to Greenville Brands.  In the Greenville, South Carolina market, Entercom is taking the WORD-AM and WYRD-AM signals and pairing them with Spartanburg, South Carolina translator W246BU and the HD-3 channel of WFBC and creating the new sports talk brand “ESPN Upstate.”  The station will carry the full ESPN Radio lineup except for the afternoon drive daypart which is being hosted by local personality Greg McKinney.  According to the station, McKinney “has done play-by-play for Greenville High School and national high school powerhouses Byrnes and Dorman High Schools.  He served on the football and basketball broadcast teams for Wofford College.  McKinney was inducted into the Wofford College Hall of Fame as recognition for his contributions to their play-by-play broadcasts.  He currently anchors ‘College Football Today,’ on ‘93.3 The Planet,’ prior to each Clemson football game.  Vice president and market manager Steve Sinicropi comments, “ESPN is the biggest name in sports and adding the most powerful brand in sports makes our dominant cluster of radio stations even stronger.  This past year we have had tremendous success in the sports arena with Clemson football play-by-play, Greg McKinney anchoring our ‘College Football Today’ pregame show, and Carolina Panthers football with our ‘Carolina Kick Off’ pre-game show hosted by The Rise Guys.  Adding ESPN is another major step as Entercom Upstate becomes THE place for sports radio in the market.”

dicarojulieTribune Moves DiCaro to Radio Operations.  In a move reported by Chicagoland Radio and Media, Julie DiCaro moves from her community manager role at the Chicago Tribune’s ChicagoNow site to a new post two floors up at Tribune Tower to WGN Radio where she’s now handling social media for news/talk WGN, online project WGN.fm and new sports talker WGWG “The Game 87.7.”  She will also oversee writing sports blogs for the stations and have an on-air role at WGWG.  DiCaro is an attorney who gave up practicing criminal and family law to pursue her passion of writing about sports.  She founded the Chicago Cubs-intensive blog A League of Her Own as well as the network of female blog writers titled Aerys Sports Network.

toryjohnCFRB, Toronto Talk Host John Tory to Run for Mayor.  Add former CFRB “The Live Drive” talk host John Tory to the growing list of people challenging colorful and embattled Mayor Rob Ford for the Toronto mayoral seat.  Tory has been host of “The Live Drive” since the fall of 2009. He was president and CEO of Rogers Communications from 1995 to 1999 (he is still a member of the Rogers board of directors) and has worked in the offices of notable Canadian politicians including former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney.  Tory is resigning from his show to run for office and program director Mike Bendixen is quoted in a story on the “Newstalk 1010” website saying, “We would love John to stick around but…the station supports him in his endeavours in running for political office.”  As for the station’s treatment of him, Bendixen adds, “We’re gonna be just as hard on him as we would be on Rob Ford, as we would be with David Soknacki and Karen Stintz and Olivia Chow and whoever else decides to run.”

sokoljasenSokol to Host Late Morning Show on WAKR, Akron.  Another local program is added to the schedule at Rubber City Radio news/talker WAKR, Akron as news anchor and reporter Jasen Sokol begins hosting a two-hour show airing at 10:00 am today (2/24).  Sokol became part of the station’s news department after working at Kent State-owned WKSU, Kent while attending as a Walton D. Clarke Graduate Fellow.  Vice president of information media for Rubber City Ed Esposito comments, “We are proud to present the next generation of talent from Northeast Ohio.  Jasen is a true pro, with experience during his college career.  He’s smart, asks the questions that need to be asked but most importantly has the northeast Ohio sensibility and sensitivity WAKR listeners have come to expect.”

hunnicuttclayClear Channel Promotes Clay Hunnicutt to EVP and GM of National Programming Platforms.  This is a bump up from his most recent post as EVP of programming for the company’s largest markets.  According to a statement, in this new post, Hunnicutt will “work with [president of National Programming Platforms Tom] Poleman to oversee all aspects of the National Programming Platforms team, which develops and manages Clear Channel’s national programming ­ all on-air and digital content across the company’s radio stations and websites. He will work closely with Clear Channel’s senior and executive vice presidents of programming to emphasize the connection between Clearcclogo Channel’s 850 local radio stations and the National Programming Platforms assets, such as live events like the iHeartRadio Music Festival, iHeartRadio Ultimate Pool Party, iHeartRadio Country Festival and iHeartRadio Jingle Ball Tour, while also leveraging groups like the brand management in-house format team.  He will manage a team of programmers focused on sales integration with station programming , as well as the programming operations center and the Premium Choice network to ensure all content is executed and seamlessly integrated for Clear Channel’s national programming and advertising initiatives.  Hunnicutt will also continue as the company-wide brand manager for Clear Channel’s country stations.”  Poleman comments, “Clay has an unmatched connection with our local markets and knows how to link our national capabilities to our local assets.  He has a great understanding of the day-to-day programming of our local radio stations and what it takes to drive ratings and revenue.  His expertise will ensure our national platforms are of benefit to all of our radio stations nationwide, which gives us a huge competitive advantage.”

westbrianExecutive Changes at Nielsen.  Two executive moves at Nielsen are announced as chief financial officer Brian West is upped to chief operating officer and Jamere Jackson joins the company as CFO from his most recent post with General Electric.  The changes are effective March 10.  West takes over for Mitchell Habib who “moves to the next phase of his career, after a transition period.”  Nielsen CEO Mitch Barns says, “Our company has never been in a better place, due in large measure to Brian’s vision, leadership, and execution over the last seven years.  Brian is a trusted colleague and an exceptional business partner, with a proven track record of value creation.  As a key member of our leadership team, he has played an integral role in defining our growth strategy, allocating capital and delivering value to our shareholders.  His deep understanding of Nielsen’s people, operations, and clients well positions him to drive value in his new role as COO.”

morganpiersOdds & Sods.  The end is near for “Piers Morgan Tonight” on CNNThe New York Times columnist David Carr reports that the date of the final program is not certain but that the continued poor ratings are the reason.  Morgan tells Carr, “It’s been a painful period and lately we have taken a bath in the ratings…Look, I am a British guy debating American cultural issues, including guns, which has been very polarizing, and there is no doubt that there are many in the audience who are tired of me banging on about it.”  He says the show has “run its course and [CNN president Jeff istookernestZucker] and I have been talking for some time about different ways of using me.”…..Chisholm Trail Broadcasting’s KZLS – recently flipped to talk radio as “1640 The Eagle” – adds Ernest Istook’s syndicated talk show to the program quiversrobinschedule.  Istook represented the 5th Congressional District in Oklahoma for 14 years before leaving congress and pursuing other interests including broadcasting.  He says he intends to add more outlets for his program as it grows…..At Cumulus Media’s sports talk KFNZ, Salt Lake City, program director and air personality Tim Montemayor moves from the afternoon drive show where he was co-hosting with Kyle Gunther to the morning drive daypart…..Howard Stern show personality Robin Quivers was honored for Outstanding Literary Work by the NAACP at its “Image Awards” on Saturday, February 22.  Quivers recently published The Vegucation of Robin: How Real Food Saved My Life (Avery 2013).

SCBA colorSCBA Blog Introduces Auto Focus Report.  The latest blog from the Southern California Broadcasters Association and president Thom Callahan has been published and in this edition, Callahan introduces what it calls “an ambitious SCBA initiative to help regional auto dealer associations reach more customers more profitably by simply using more radio.”  Callahan comments, “The auto industry in Southern California and the nation, is facing a challenging year ahead with record new model introductions as well as a loomingcallahanthom factory incentive battle among most manufacturers.  This spells trouble for dealer profitability and makes the need to re-evaluate traditional radio/TV spending levels as an immediate focus.”  The SCBA Auto Focus Report will be “a detailed look at dealer association ad spending levels for radio and TV and compare those budgets to actual sales by dealership.  Using verified Polk Auto Data to document sales by dealership, the SCBA Auto Focus Report will create custom solutions and recommendations for each participating dealer association.”  Callahan adds, “Rather than just waving a ‘radio is great’ flag, we are approaching this project from a business point of view.  We have a compelling story to tell about cost of sales, profitability, and bringing substantive value to radio’s relationship with the auto industry.”

wearableiHeartRadio to Be Featured on Samsung Gear 2.  In the very near future when you’re doing your best Dick Tracy impersonation, your cool, new wrist device will allow you to hear your favorite music and talk programming as Clear Channel’s iHeartRadio is being featured on the new Samsung Gear 2 (pictured here).  The wrist-worn Gear 2 is a new device that keeps Samsung phone users connected with their phones and allows them to receive “Quick Glance notifications, such as texts, emails and phone calls, all on your wrist.”  Now, users will be able to control their iHeartRadio app operations from their wrist, as well.  The industry is calling this new device a “wearable” for obvious reasons.  CC president of digital Brian Lakamp says, “iHeartRadio is dedicated to providing even more access to the music, news and entertainment that our listeners love.  Wearables are an emerging access point for music fans, and Clear Channel continues to make iHeartRadio available everywhere our users are listening.  The sleek design and interface of the Samsung Gear 2 lends itself well to the iHeartRadio user experience and we believe it will be popular among our listeners.”

tradupuziNational Religious Broadcasters Conference Underway.  In Nashville, the National Religious Broadcasters Association conference is taking place and one of the companies with a presence is Salem Radio Networks.  Pictured here is SRN VP/news & talk programming Tom Tradup (left) presenting and SRN clock to Israeli minister of tourism Dr. Uzi Landau (right).  Tradup reports that Landau spoke about reporting truthfully on world events and warned of Iran’s atomic weapons program.  The conference is billed as an event that networks thousands of Christian communicators, from program producers to authors, pastors to engineers, directors to vendors presenting outstanding internationally known speakers and musicians and giving attendees the opportunity to attend numerous educational sessions on radio, TV, film, church media, internet and leadership, and receive helpful industry training.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison is keynoting a two-hour session today (2/24).

Friday, February 14, 2014

| February 14, 2014

fccnewFCC Appears to Back Off of Newsroom and Issues Study.  When it was announced last May, the proposed Multi-Market Study of Critical Information Needs the Federal Communications Commission would be undertaking rankled many lawmakers and broadcasters as it was perceived as an intrusion into broadcasters’ First Amendment rights in addition to being outside the bounds of the FCC’s jurisdiction.  Now, according to a piece in Ad Week, the FCC appears to be backing off, or at least re-defining, the research intended to “study entry barriers” to informationpaiajit media to determine if there are small businesses unable to break into broadcasting.  This would have been determined by quizzing news broadcasters about how they choose their stories.  Last year, some GOP lawmakers termed it an “end-around” the Fairness Doctrine and heavily criticized the study as well as the jurisdiction of the FCC to getting into content matters.  Earlier this week FCC commissioner Ajit Pai penned an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal arguing that the study is not necessary to filing its required report to Congress every three years on eliminating barriers to entry in the communications industry.  He writes, “This claim is peculiar.  How can the news judgments made by editors and station managers impede small businesses from entering the broadcast industry?  And why does the CIN (critical information needs) study include newspapers when the FCC has no authority to regulate print media?”  Whether or not the first field study slated for Columbia, South Carolina this spring gets underway as proposed or not remains to be seen.  Ad Week reports it was told by an FCC rep that the agency “has no intention of interfering in the coverage and editorial choices that journalists make.  We’re closely reviewing the proposed research design to determine if an alternative approach is merited.”

wgnlogoWGN to Program WKQX 87.7 Beginning Monday.  As tipped by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, Tribune’s WGN will begin an LMA operation of WKQX-LP at 87.7 in Chicago starting Monday, February 17.  Feder reports that under terms of the LMA with license holder Venture Technologies Group, the deal commences Monday atbrandmeierjonathon 1:02 pm on the 17th, a minute after Cumulus Media drops the alternative rock simulcast with 101.1 FM.  President and general manager Jimmy de Castro tells Feder, “We’re outgrowing WGN with great talent.  Everything we have said we wanted to do is based on the strength of WGN and our personalities.  It’s all about getting the best spoken-word talent and getting more bandwidth.”  Vice president of creative content for WGN, Todd Manley, will announce a full lineup soon but mornings will begin with Jonathon Brandmeier who’s been doing a morning program on WGN.fm since last September.  Read Feder’s full story here.

hendriephilPhil Hendrie Exits AM/FM Radio.  Talk radio host and satirist Phil Hendrie announces he’s leaving the production and syndication of his daily AM/FM radio program after March 14 in order to fully focus on his podcast and other media ventures.  He’ll continue doing “The World of Phil Hendrie Show” on TuneIn, iTunes, the Sideshow Network and www.philhendrieshow.com.  He says that “Due to the tremendous positive growth this past year owing directly to his fans,” he’s decided that is the area where he should focus all his energies.  He adds, “The digital world is where we have made our living the last seven years so as radio attempts to find itself we’ll put our energy in our digital and online product, our animation project, my one man show and of course TV and film opportunities wherever they may occur.  To our fans, we haven’t gone anywhere!  Our daily show will continue” on digital platforms.

callahangerryGerry Callahan Remark Irks Dunkin’ Donuts; Company Cancels Ads on WEEI Affiliate Stations.  The Boston Globe is reporting that Canton, Massachusetts-based Dunkin’ Donuts has cancelled ad buys on stations in the region airing WEEI, Boston programming after WEEI morning co-host Gerry Callahan made a “disparaging comment,” presumably about the company’s donuts.  In the Globe piece, Entercom Boston VP and marketdunkin logo manager Phil Zachary says Callahan admits he “screwed up badly” with the off-the-cuff remark and that Zachary understands how Dunkin’ Donuts feels.  “You just don’t call somebody’s baby ‘ugly,’ even if it’s unintentional.”  Zachary wouldn’t say what Callahan’s words were.  He says the ad buy was not a lot of money but that’s not the point.  Dunkin’ Donuts has separate ad buys for WEEI, Boston, Callahan’s endorsements and WEEI’s O&O affiliate stations in Providence, Worcester and Springfield.  The Boston deal ended in January before Callahan’s comment.  Dunkin’ Donuts has been a long-time advertiser with WEEI, especially on Red Sox broadcasts which are ready to resume in a few months.  How the incident will affect that remains to be seen.

hhnewsteaserTALKERS to Publish 2014 Heavy Hundred on Monday, March 3.  The 2014 installment of one of TALKERS magazine’s most popular and, perhaps, controversial annual features – “The 100 Most Important Radio Talk Show Hosts in America” – is being readied for publication Monday, March 3, 2014.  Also known as “The Heavy Hundred” the ranked listing of 100 hosts and talent teams from around the country is based on a number of both quantitative and qualitative criteria and is determined by collective analysis of the TALKERS editorial board.  It includes local and national hosts from a variety of genres falling under the umbrella of “general” talk or “news/talk” radio covering politics, health, finance, relationships, consumer tech, popular culture and a variety of specialties. (TALKERS launched a special and separate Heavy Hundred of Sports Talk two years ago.)  Hosts on the list are selected from those working at the time of its publication on platforms that include commercial and public AM/FM radio as well as satellite radio (internet-only talk hosts are ranked by TALKERS in an annual feature titled “The Frontier Fifty”).   According to TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey, “It is no secret that economic restraints facing the industry these past few years have contributed to shrinking the number of individuals working on the air across the nation.  Although the 2014 edition of the Heavy Hundred will, of course, include many familiar names, the need for new blood, fresh voices and potential up and comers has never been greater.  Readers will find this year’s roster will feature a number of new names and first-timers, which is quite exciting!”  Companies interested in sponsoring segments of this widely-discussed and read (by hundreds of thousands of broadcasting industry members and consumers/listeners) feature should call 413-565-5413.

radiomercuryawardsRadio Mercury Awards Final-Round Judging Panel Announced. Chief judge Matt Eastwood helped assemble the jury for the 23rd annual Radio Mercury Awards.  The panel represents radio’s top advertising categories including automotive, communications, financial services, packaged goods, over-the-counter, retail, spirits, and quick-serve restaurants.  Final-round judging panel consists of JWT New York group creative director Jill Applebaum; BBDO New York executive creative director Chris Beresford-Hill; Cog NYC founder Wayne Best; Grupo Gallegos chief creative officer Pablo Buffagni; Young & Rubicam Group New York chief creative officer Jim Elliott; DDB Chicago executive vice president/executive creative director Mark Gross; Publicis New York executive creative director Joe Johnson; and Deutsch New York chief creative officer Kerry Keenan.  “This list is a ‘who’s who’ of well-established creative executives, and perennial award-winning agencies with a long history of creating exceptional, noteworthy creative executions,” remarks Eastwood, who is chief creative officer of DDB Worldwide Communications Group New York.  “More importantly, our panel consists of brilliant thought leaders who have a true love and appreciation for the greatest writer’s medium of all time, radio.”  Radio Creative Fund chair – and Radio Advertising Bureau president/CEO Erica Farber – adds, “We feel so incredibly privileged to have gathered such a pinnacle group of creative ambassadors for this year’s competition.  The bar has been set high, but I am confident this group will help ensure that the mission of the Radio Mercury Awards lives on as we award the best creative audio commercials over the past year.”  Prizes will be handed out in a variety of categories such as “Agency Production,” “Radio Station Produced,” “Student,” “PSA,” “Spanish Language,” and “Best of Show.”  Deadline for submissions is April 1, with the awards event taking place June 4 at New York’s Le Poisson Rouge.

scba logoSouthern California Broadcasters Association to Provide Quarterly Guidance Report. Planning and research material is for California advertising agencies, clients and its members. Southern California Broadcasters Association president Thom Callahan notes that, “The SCBA Quarterly Market Guidance Report fulfills a growing need among California ad agencies and clients to look ahead to the next quarter to learn, plan, create, and execute even more effective radio advertising campaigns based on market conditions, trends, and the upcoming quarter’s business environment.  As an additional service to the advertising community, the SCBA will encourage face-to-face planning and development meetings with advertising agencies and major clients to provide full-year guidance and customization of our extensive market research.”  The QMG report will give current and predictive regional economic data, radio category growth, and commentary on advertising and business trends.  The report uses regional economic development corporation reports, member reports on market trends, Miller Kaplan Arase data, and audience measurement data.  It will be posted late next month for second quarter 2014 guidance on the SCBA’s website (www.scba.com).

hdradio logoS-Class Mercedes-Benz to Have HD Radio. Mercedes-Benz of Mexico is launching its S-Class with HD Radio.  iBiquity Digital is the developer of the digital technology and its chief operating officer Jeff Jury states, “We are very pleased to achieve the key goal of North American standardization with Mercedes-Benz.  With this expansion, Mercedes-Benz drivers across Canada, Mexico and the United States have access to HD Radio technology in their cars.  This coincides with our continuing efforts to bring HD Radio broadcasting to all markets across North America.  By offering the technology as standard, Mercedes-Benz is ensuring that all their customers can enjoy the current services and be ensured of enjoying the coming ‘all-digital’ future.”  The 2014 S-Class is now at dealerships across the United States and Mexico. More than 2,230 digital stations are on-air; over 1,480 HD2 and HD3 digital-only channels broadcast content that can only be heard with an HD Radio receiver.

brunotonyOdds & Sods.  WPEN-FM, Philadelphia “97.5 The Fanatic” sports talker Tony Bruno is scheduled to begin making weekly appearances on Keith Olbermann’s ESPN 2 program.  The first appearance will be tonight (2/14) live from ESPN’s Times Square studios in New York City…..Cumulus Media’s KOH, Reno is holding a radiothon today at the Atlantis Casino Resort Spa to benefit the Veterans Guest House which provides temporary housing for vets and their families while they are being treated at the Reno VA.  This is the 11th annual radiothon the station has produced for the cause…..CRN Digital Talk Radio announces the winners of its first annual Food & Wine Awards.  CRN Digital Talk Radio ishornmike celebrating its 30th anniversary this year and is home to several food and beverage-oriented programs.  It asked listeners to decide 2013’s Best Chef, Restaurant, Sommelier, and Winemaker.  President and CEO Mike Horn says, “Food and wine are best enjoyed with good company.  Our listeners deciding the year’s best of the best in the culinary and beverage arenas was very much akin to sitting down, honoring some great people, enjoying a fun meal.”  This year’s winners are: Best Chef of the Year – Andrew Sutton – Napa Rose, Anaheim; Best Restaurant of the Year – Gary Danko – San Francisco; Best Sommelier of the Year – Paul Coker – St. Regis, Monarch Beach; and Winemaker of the Year Jeff Stewart – Hartford Family Wines…..Broadcasts of New York Yankees baseball on new flagship sports talk WFAN-AM/FM, New York will debut with the February 27 exhibition game versus the Pittsburgh Pirates.  Yankees games moved from CBS RADIO‘s all-news WCBS after a new contract was negotiated in the fall.

floresdanielWichita Police Make Arrest in Case of Slain Radio Station Staffer.  Police in Wichita have a suspect in custody in the early Monday morning slaying of Steckline Communications employee Daniel Flores.  Authorities say that in responding to a Crime Stoppers tip, they pulled over Antwon Banks who proceeded to stab himself in the stomach.  He’s in a local hospital under police guard and will be booked on felony murder charges when he’s recovered.  He was apparently the ex-boyfriend of Steckline office manager Lisa Bryce, leading authorities to conclude that Flores was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.

cclogoClear Channel Commits to Campaign for ‘American Heart Month.’  For the purpose of educating the public about heart disease, its risks and preventative measures, Clear Channel Media and Entertainment is committing more than $1 million worth of on-air media to that end.  Today (2/14), Clear Channel is kicking off a two-week public service announcement campaign across its 840 radio stations to educate listeners on the symptoms of heart disease and stroke in honor of American Heart Month.  Certain Clear Channel stations will air a comedic yet informative public service announcement voiced by Emmy-nominated actress Elizabeth Banks that highlights the signs of heart attack in women, while all other Clear Channel radio stations will air a second PSA, created by the Ad Council and the American Heart Association, to help people recognize and respond to the sudden warning signs of a stroke.

savagemichaelTALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  New station affiliations for Cumulus Media Networks programming this week include: for Michael Savage – WTAR, Norfolk; KMPT, Missoula, Montana; WQSI, Tuskegee, Alabama; and WWBA, Tampa; Phil Valentine – WCOA, Pensacola; Mark Levin – WGKA, Atlanta; KMPT, Missoula, Montana; and WVOC-FM, Columbia, South Carolina…..The Genesis Communications Network-syndicated “Freedom Feens” with Michael W. Dean and Neema Vedadi is added to the program schedule at KNOX-AM/FM, Grand Forks.

ramseybonesDave Ramsey Counsels Bobby Bones’ Staff and Listeners.  Nationally syndicated financial talk superstar Dave Ramsey (right) sits in on the Premiere Networks-syndicated Bobby Bones show based at WSIX-FM, Nashville, right down the road from Ramsey’s home base of Brentwood.  Ramsey appeared with Bones (left) after Bones show producer Ray lost his truck in a Super Bowl bet and is some $8,000 in debt.  Ramsey talked to the crew and audience about various topics including the terrible odds of gambling, tax withholding, and even the psychology behind using the debt snowball to pay off debt.

ObamaCare Criticism Tops Talkers TenTM.  The most-talked-about story on news/talk radio for the week of February 10-14 was the scrutiny of the rollout and effects of the Affordable Care Act and the delay in the employer mandate, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.  Coming in at #2 on this week’s Talkers TenTM was the debt ceiling issue.  At #3 was speculation about Hillary Clinton running for president in 2016 and at #4 was immigration reform.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

| February 11, 2014

entercomEntercom Revenue Down 2% in Q4; Dips 3% for 2013.  The 2013 fourth quarter numbers for Entercom are in and the company reports net revenue was down 2% on $99.6 million though adjusted net income per share was basically flat.  Also free cash flow increased by 2%.  For the full year of 2013, net revenue dipped 3%.  Though station expenses decreased slightlyfielddavid during the year, station operating income decreased by 8% to $125.8 million.  Entercom will hold a conference call with investors and analysts at 12:00 noon ET today (2/11).  President and CEO David Field says in a statement, “Entercom’s fourth quarter revenues declined 2% while revenues excluding political advertising posted a 2% increase.  2014 began on a solid note with January revenues up moderately over the prior year.  We are optimistic about 2014 performance based on improving sales capabilities and execution, strong ratings and meaningful local growth opportunities.”

beasley logoBeasley Broadcast Group to Work with Propel Marketing for Online Marketing.  In an effort to expand its online marketing, Beasley Broadcast Group announces it is engaging Propel Marketing to “assist Beasley’s local clients in building and expanding their online marketing opportunities and solutions.”  In a statement, Beasley says that Propel’s products and services include website and mobile site design, search engine optimization, lists and local directories, social media services and online reputation management.  It further states that the “agreement affords Beasley’s local account executives access to a robust portfolio of online marketing services.  Beasley’s relationship with Propel Marketing enhances the on-air and online advertising opportunities already available to existing and future clients, especially small businesses that typically do not have in-house resources to create and implement successful online marketing campaigns.  Propel Marketing will not only create and deliver online marketing solutions, but also provide a dedicated team of specialists to ensure that Beasley’s clients are fully leveraging Propel Marketing products.”  Beasley EVP and CFO Caroline Beasley states, “We are extremelybeasleycaroline excited by this relationship.  It gives us the ability to respond to any request a local advertiser may have that involves exploring a digital component.  The ability to combine radio’s powerful reach with Propel Marketing’s wide assortment of online products and services will greatly enhance a local advertising campaign.”  Newly appointed vice president of digital Stacey Sedbrook adds, “By integrating online marketing with their current radio marketing efforts our clients are able to both extend their audience reach and more efficiently target their messaging.  Beasley sales professionals remain the primary contact for our advertising customers.  Our goal remains helping local businesses build their brands and grow their revenue.  We can now offer integrated marketing solutions under the Beasley Broadcast brand allowing advertisers to streamline their marketing efforts with a trusted local partner.”

mckayjeffTALKERS Posts Part-Two Today of Three-Part Special (2/10-12) Spotlighting Danno Wolkoff and Envision Networks.  Like many people who go to college with a plan for what they want to do when they graduate, Danno Wolkoff went to Syracuse University with a goal of winding up in television production.  Fate, and the prodding from senior management at MJI Broadcasting instead sent him in the direction of sales and affiliate relations.  Wolkoff discovered he had a gift for sales, and doubled his income in one year.  It was through sales and affiliate relations work that he climbed the corporate ladder at MJI, expanding and growing their sales offices nationwide.  When Clearwolkoffdanno Channel acquired MJI and merged it into Premiere Radio Networks (now simply “Premiere Networks”), he became VP of affiliate relations.  However, it wasn’t long before he began to realize that the hands-on and creative approach he had at MJI wasn’t translating to the growth concepts and business model of Premiere and Clear Channel.  Wolkoff faced a career crossroads and would make a decision that would change his life and become an important source of programming and services for radio.  His vision was Envision Radio Networks — a highly successful and forward-thinking company that envisionnetworks newcreates over four-dozen content products and services for radio stations and media outlets nationwide, customizing solutions for clients, producers and affiliates.  It is a company literally founded after another syndication and programming company decided they had a good product that despite making money, didn’t make enough money for their bottom line.  What Wolkoff has accomplished in the span of just 10 years is inspiring and a textbook example of creating a force for productivity and jobs in an industry.  He took the biggest gamble of his life, grabbing a program and three people laid off by an established firm that would become his largest competitor, and growing an independent syndication empire serving over 1,500 radio stations with everything from prep services to music shows, local news and information to weekend talk shows.  His staff has grown over 20-fold in a decade to include an array of producers, salespeople and contract staffers researching, producing, creating and selling more than four-dozen products to radio stations in both the largest and smallest markets.  Now known simply as Envision Networks (they dropped the word “Radio” this past week – more on that later) continues to not only grow, embracing new technology and catering to those needs, but in the process has become an independent force in syndication.  In today’s installment, Wolkoff discusses exactly what it takes to build a formidable syndication firm from scratch and shares his view of the changing nature of the syndication business as well as radio in general.  In the words of Michael Harrison, “The emergence of special individuals like Danno Wolkoff is the force that propels an industry such as ours forward.  I’ve seen this movie many times before.  Danno is the kind of guy who has the makings of being a true giant 10 years down the pike, taking his place among the biggest of the big.”  To read part two of TALKERS special features correspondent Jeff McKay’s extensive profile “The Vision of Envision: The Rise of Radio Syndication Entrepreneur Danno Wolkoff and an Emerging Independent Powerhouse” please click here.  And if you missed part one published yesterday, read that here.

krasnymaxMax Krasny Joins CBS RADIO as VP/Sales and Strategic Alliances.  The former WestwoodOne EVP takes on the vice president, sales and strategic partnerships position with CBS RADIO’s Altitude Group division which focuses on helping brands connect with consumers using CBS RADIO stations, along with CBS Television stations and their digital properties, as well as CBS’s outdoor assets.  Max Krasny reports to the executive leadership of the Altitude Group: Rich Lobel, executive vice president and CMO, and Sue McNamara, senior vice president, sales.  Lobel states, “Max is a seasoned pro who brings a marketing acumen to a client’s business, and knows how to deliver creative excellence that makes brands stand out and get noticed.  No one has a better portfolio of local assets under one roof than CBS including: radio, television, out-of-home, live events, websites, mobile and social apps.”

wls-am logoFCC Socks WLS-AM, Chicago with $44,000 Fine.  The Forfeiture Order comes from the station failing to identify the sponsor of programming that aired back in 2009.  The content was in the form of long-form shows – two two-hour programs, a one-hour show – plus 90-second and 15-second spots and promotional announcements paid for by Workers Independent News.  During the two-week period in question, the FCC determined that 11 announcements were aired without proper sponsor identification and issued a Notice of Apparent Liability for $44,000 – 11 violations at $4,000 per.  Cumulus argued that the commission had in the past reduced fines to a one-time violation amount and that it should just have to pay $4,000.  But the commission ruled that no such precedent had been set and that the forfeiture amounts in failure to identify sponsorships cases reflect the unique aspects of each case and thus the commission considers this case to be comprised of 11 violations, not one.

clarkjackFormer MLB Slugger and Talk Host Jack Clark Apologizes to Albert Pujols.  During a discussion on WGNU, St. Louis, sports talk host and former MLB slugger Jack Clark alleged that former Cardinals player Albert Pujols used performance enhancing drugs during his time in St. Louis.  Pujols threatened to sue and the station ended the contract between Clark’s co-host Kevin Slaten and Clark, cancelling their show.  The station also issued an apology to Pujols.  But for a time Clark maintained his assertion about Pujols and even challenged Pujols to a live debate – an invitation Pujols’ attorney refused.  Now, Clark issues the aforementioned apology and Pujols agrees to withdraw his lawsuit.

farmjournalmedia“Market Rally” Readies for March Launch.  What is said to be the first-ever, long-form agricultural commodity markets-focused national radio program will debut next month (3/10). That is when Farm Journal Media launches Chip Flory-hosted “Market Rally.”  The one-hour weekday program will air at 2:00 pm (CT), immediately following the close of major commodity markets.  Farm Journal Broadcast Division senior vice president Brian Conrady remarks that a “really solid group of stations” is already committed to air “Market Rally” and he anticipates “several more” before the program debuts.  “The show fills a programming void for many stations,” Conrady comments.  “It wraps their day’s farm coverage with a new, information-packed, entertaining program.  It is all about markets, which everyone knows farmers cannot get enough of.”  Flory notes, “We have a long list of guest analysts anxious to share their market perspective with the audience each day.  We will take listener questions/comments via phone, text, and social media.  Our goal is to remove as much confusion as possible from this increasingly volatile marketing environment.”  Flory remains editorial director of Farm Journal’s “Pro Farmer” newsletter and he will host “Market Rally” from FJB’s new studio in Cedar Falls, Iowa.

wmalbeatlesThe Beatles Played in Washington, Too!  As America remembers The Beatles’ arrival in this country 50 years ago this week, much of the attention is focused on the New York-based national broadcast on the “Ed Sullivan Show.”  But Cumulus Media’s WMAL, Washington knows that the group’s first public concert was in Washington, DC.  Pictured here in the WMAL studios are Fox News Channel chief Washington correspondent – and noted Beatles expert – James Rosen (center) and “Mornings on the Mall” co-hosts Brian Wilson (left) and Larry O’Connor (right) after being on the air for Tuesday’s celebration of The Beatles’ first concert on U.S. soil – in the Nation’s Capital.  Among other guests remembering The Beatles on the program were: The Beach BoysMike Love, Rolling Stone Magazine’s David Wild, Herman’s Hermits singer Peter Noone, and local Fox 5 anchor (and former “Good Morning America” weather anchor) Tony Perkins, who discussed his love for the Beatles as an African-American youth growing up in D.C.

wsouhunterOdds & Sods.  Baltimore Orioles broadcaster Jim Hunter recently visited his alma mater Seton Hall University and spoke with student staffers at his old college radio station – WSOU-FM – about making it in sports broadcasting today.  Hunter, pictured here (third from the right) surrounded by students, stressed to them the importance of preparation, noting that the need to do your homework doesn’t end when you graduate from college.  He also shared tips on improving on-air performance and how to tell listeners a good story…..New York City broadcasting legend John Gambling returned to the radio recently, if only briefly, to speak on WABC, New York with Frank Morano on his Sunday “Morning with Morano” program.  Morano and Gambling talked about the state of radio today, the tradition of the Gamblings and covering weather events…..For the 18th consecutive year, ESPN Radio is providing comprehensive coverage of NBA All-Star 2014, culminating with an exclusive radio broadcast of the NBA All-Star Game on Sunday, February 16.  Kevin Calabro will describe the action throughout the weekend with analyst Jon Barry.  They will be joined by studio analysts Marc Kestecher and P.J. Carlesimo and reporters Marc Stein and Shelley Smith.

brentmegSCRABrent & Meg Honored for Keeping Studio City, California Free of Dog Poop.  Although they are heard all over the world on TalkersRadio (weekdays 12:00 noon – 2:00 pm PT), the experimental talk station that lives on this website, the dynamic husband/wife radio duo of Brent & Meg (Brent Seltzer and Meg McDonald) believe in the concept of cleaning up your own backyard as well as tackling the issues of greater humanity.  This past Saturday evening (2/8) they were honored by some of LA’s top movers and shakers for their community volunteer work in regularly picking up dog poop (no kidding) found on the streets of LA’s Studio City – the neighborhood from which their daily show emanates (as well as their home).  The gala appreciation dinner took place at Carla’s Café on the CBS Studio Center lot.  Pictured here are (from l-r): State Assemblymember, 46th District, Adrin Nazarian; Los Angeles City Councilmember, 2nd District, Paul Krekorian; Meg McDonald (Brent & Meg Show on TalkersRadio); Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti; and Brent Seltzer (Brent & Meg Show on Talkers Radio).  Upon learning of Brent & Meg receiving this honor, TALKERS magazine’s sister publication RadioInfo’s music editor/director Duane Doobie issued the statement: “I seldom listen to talk radio, but when I do, I prefer Brent & Meg.  True, like most talk show hosts, they are full of sh*t… but in a helpful, solutions-oriented way.”

ObamaCare Criticism, Hillary Clinton in 2016, Immigration Reform, Winter Olympics, Winter Weather, and Shirley Temple Black Dies Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/10).  Scrutiny of the implementation and effects of the Affordable Care Act; the release of new documents about the Clintons and Hillary’s possible run for president in 2016; the move in Washington to pass immigration reform legislation; the Winter Olympics games in Sochi, Russia; a new winter storm reportedly heading for the South and East this week; and the death of former child star and U.S. Ambassador Shirley Temple Black were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

| February 4, 2014

lavenmicheleMichele Laven Promoted to Newly Created Corporate Post at Clear Channel.  Rising from her EVP of strategic partnerships position to the new president of partnerships and local activation post is Michele Laven.  She’ll report to Tim Castelli, president of national sales, marketing and partnerships at Clear Channel Media + Entertainment.  Her role is described as creating “strategic alliances and marketing programs with key distribution and content partners, while expanding the capacity of Clear Channel’s local market sales organizations to develop multi-market revenue opportunities.”  CEO Bob Pittman states, “Clear Channel is built on our strong relationships with listeners, advertisers and partners — both on the local and national level.  We have the unparalleled ability to connect artists with their fans and brands with their consumers, and in her new role Michele is going to use her expertise to help national partners build an even closer relationship with their consumers at the local level.”  Prior to joining CC eight years ago, Laven served as president and chief operating officer of New Times Media.

dinardosteveEntercom Elevates DiNardo to SF VP/Market Manager.  Vice president of sales Steve DiNardo is boosted to vice president and market manager of Entercom‘s San Francisco-San Jose cluster.  Entercom station group president Weezie Kramer comments that, “After a nationwide search, the best choice was right in front of us.  I am proud to promote from within as Steve and the entire San Francisco team achieved market-leading results in Q4.  They have set a blistering pace for 2014.  Under Steve’s leadership, I know Entercom will continue to be one of the media leaders in the market.”  The company’s Bay Area group consists of adult contemporary KOIT-FM “Lite Rock – Less Talk,” classic rock KUFX & KUZX “K-Fox,” sports talk KGMZ “The Game,” and urban AC KBLX “Yesterday and Today’s R&B.”  DiNardo remarks, “Our heritage brands and innovative staff make this opportunity a dream come true.  Entercom’s entrepreneurial spirit and corporate resources give us everything we need to grow our audience engagement as well as the revenues that follow.”  In advance of joining the Entercom stations in 2012, DiNardo spent 15 years as a CBS Radio vice president/general manager.

townsquaremediaCasey Named Operations Manager of Townsquare Hudson Valley.  Former Clear Channel, Indianapolis director of operations Buzz Casey is tapped to become operations manager for Townsquare Media Group‘s 10 stations in the Hudson Valley and Poughkeepsie, New York. Townsquare Media senior vice president of programming Kurt Johnson remarks, “Buzz has a track record of success and he brings a strong set of skills to lead Townsquare Hudson Valley to a new level on-air, online and on site.”  In addition to his OM duties, Casey will be day-to-day program director of Poughkeepsie rock outlet WPDH.  “The culture and creativity of Townsquare Media Group are top-notch,” Casey comments. “The Hudson Valley brands are poised for success.”  Hudson Valley is Nielsen Audio‘s 39th-highest market.  Casey’s past programming and operations management resume includes Atlanta’s WKLS “96 Rock” and alternative WBZY; Phoenix rocker KDKB; classic rock WFBQ “Q-95,” Indianapolis; and WNRQ, Nashville.

mancowMancow’s GCN Deal Official.  It was reported last week that Erich “Mancow” Muller was signing with Genesis Communications Network to syndicate his morning radio program after formally cutting ties with TFN-FM the week prior.  Now it’s official as GCN announces the show will be distributed live from 6:00 am to 9:00 am ET in addition be being available on demand 24 hours per day via Mancow.com and GCNLive.com.  Mancow comments, “I’m happy to be in league with GCN as we move the show forward to bigger and better things.  We’re excited to work with GCN – a team that is dedicated to providing the most cutting-edge radio in the industry and prides itself in making life for our affiliates and advertisers as easy as it can possibly be in this era of new media.”  Mancow’s program is simulcast on TV in Chicago on FoxTV-owned WPWR-TV “My50.”

negrassrootsMedical Marijuana Info Ad on Boston Stations Raises Questions About ‘Pot Ads.’  The issue in Massachusetts as reported by the Boston Herald yesterday is different than the issues stations in Colorado and Washington are facing.  The Massachusetts case is about medical marijuana, not legal pot for recreational use as is now allowed in Colorado and Washington.  Stations in those states have so far avoided ads for legal pot because of the conflict between federal and state laws on the matter – no one is willing to become the (expensive) legal test case.  But the Massachusetts ads that aired on Greater Media’s alternative WBOS and rhythmic AC WBQT in Boston were bought not by a dispensary but by the New England Grass Roots Institute which doesn’t sell marijuana; it provides information about medical marijuana.  Institute founder Mike Fitzgerald tells the Herald the rules don’t apply to him.  “We’re the first cannabis institute.  We’re really focused on people who have never seen cannabis before.  Since the American Medical Association isn’t teaching anything, we thought we need to step in.”  But the Herald story also quotes a dispensary consultant who says the laws state dispensaries are not supposed to “generate demand.”  Since Fitzgerald’s institute is not a dispensary, that could muddy the waters.  Regardless, it’s going to be just a matter of time before advertising this new industry becomes relevant to radio.  There’s just too much money to be made.  Read the Herald story here.

limbaughrushSandra Fluke Shows Intent to Run for Henry Waxman’s Congressional Seat.  Activist Sandra Fluke has filed papers with the state of California signaling her intent to run for the 33rd Congressional District seat being vacated by retiring Democrat Henry Waxman.  Fluke’s national profile skyrocketed after Rush Limbaugh called her a “slut” as part of a critique of the provision that Catholic organizations be forced to provide birth control to students and employees under the Affordable Care Act.  Fluke still has to file with the federal government to be a legitimate candidate.  So far, two other Democrats have filed to seek the party’s nomination.

wisw logoCumulus Flips WISW, Columbia to Sports Talk.  The new sports talk outlet in the Columbia, South Carolina market is airing the NBC Sports Radio Network lineup after Cumulus Media flipped the station from news/talk.  With the change, there are now four major sports talk signals in the market including Clear Channel’s WXBT, L&L Broadcasting’s WOIC, and Cumulus’ other sports talker WNKT “107.5 The Game,” a CBS Sports Radio Network affiliate.  Two news/talk stations serve the market including Clear Channel’s WVOC-FM and Glory Communications’ WQXL (and its two FM translators).

westwoodone logoWestwoodOne Reports Motel 6 Spot Most Creative Super Bowl Audio Ad.  The results of WestwoodOne’s first-ever consumer-driven index of the most creative audio spots run during its broadcast of the Super Bowl are in and this year’s winner was Motel 6.  According to WestwoodOne, the Motel 6 spot won top honors in both the Listener Choice and Media Choice categories in the Super Bowl Audio Index.  The other top vote-getters were Tilted Kilt, Subway, Exergen and Taco Bell.  During the two weeks leading up to the game, listeners were encouraged to vote for their favorite Super Bowl commercial across many of WestwoodOne properties via an array of online and on-air promotions.  Listeners were directed to www.westwoodone.com/vote, where each of the commercials was available for consumer voting from Thursday, January 30 through 12 midnight ET on February 2, 2014.  The index was comprised of all commercials aired on the 700-plus radio stations which broadcast WestwoodOne’s exclusive, national play-by-play coverage of Super Bowl XLVIII.

kaytvcrewThe Simulcast Begins!  The sports talk simulcast of WEPN-FM, New York’s Michael Kay show on the YES Network began yesterday (2/3).  The afternoon drive host (along with co-host Don La Greca) for ESPN’s New York City O&O took over the afternoon slot on the regional cable channel owned by the New York Yankees.  For years, the slot was occupied by crosstown rival Mike Francesa simulcasting on CBS RADIO’s WFAN, New York.  Pictured here on day one of their new operation is the crew (from left to right): production director Mike Brownsher, senior producer Andrew Gundling, La Greca, Kay, executive producer Ryan T. Hurley, and associate producer Ray Deenihan.

talkradiotv logoChuck Harder Plans Return to Talk Media with New Project.  Veteran talk radio program host, entrepreneur and modern-era talk syndication pioneer Chuck Harder of “For the People” fame tells TALKERS he is starting up a new project that will produce and distribute talk radio on a TV network.  In development for five years, Harder has assembled what he describes as “a million dollar facility” with FCC licensed Ku Band Video Satellite uplink that he plans to startup in 90  to 120 days on TELSTAR 14-R, a new satellite received on three-foot dishes.  Harder is looking for both talk show hosts and investors.  Interested parties can first visit www.talkradiotv.net for details and then send him a letter of interest to P.O. Box A, White Springs, FL 32096.  Harder states, “We will furnish all needed video and audio equipment for your studio and are planning on live two-way talk 24/7.  All letters of interest will be answered.  No calls please.  We will appear on unfilled new local TV channels using standard NTSC MPEG-2 with CD quality audio and provide extra income for local TV affiliates.  Our horizon to horizon C and Ku band all-sat teleport operations center sits across the street from a fiber-optic digital switch that provides us high speed internet video globally and 10 incoming talk lines. TELSTAR 14-R coverage map and fiber optics map is on the website.”  Harder says he will not do a show due to the necessities of daily sales and management of operations.

Super Bowl XLVIII, Financial Markets Activity, Philip Seymour Hoffman Death, ObamaCare Criticism, Immigration Legislation and Woody Allen Allegations Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/3).  The aftermath of the Seattle Seahawks’ victory over the Denver Broncos on Sunday; the downward-trending Dow and the activity in world financial markets; the heroin-related death of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman; scrutiny of the rollout of and possible future effects of the Affordable Care Act; the looming immigration legislation with amnesty provisions; and the renewed allegations of sexual assault against filmmaker Woody Allen were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, January 27, 2014

| January 27, 2014

holdtheirfeet2014FAIR Announces 2014 ‘Hold Their Feet to the Fire’ DC Radio Event.  The 8th annual “Hold Their Feet to the Fire” radio row from Washington, DC will take place on April 9 and 10.  The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) is organizing the broadcast event in which talk hosts from across the country will broadcast live for two days from Capitol Hill debating immigration reform while interviewing members of Congress, law enforcement officials, experts, activists and citizens who live along the border.  FAIR reports, “This electronic town hall has grown each year due to mounting public concerns about illegaldanebob immigration and because of talk radio’s expanding influence on the public policy process.  With legislation expected in spring in the House, this year’s event is expected to be the largest yet with 60 or more hosts attending.”  FAIR communications director Bob Dane adds, “We gather each year with a shared goal: To secure our borders and fight for principled immigration reform that puts American interests first.  As usual, the wants and needs of Americans will be dismissed unless talk radio once again speaks on their behalf.  Hoping that no one will notice, House Speaker John Boehner is planning to introduce the massive Senate amnesty bill in bits and pieces and massively increase foreign guest workers with no regard for unemployed Americans.  Moreover, President Obama will continue abusing his executive power to grant backdoor amnesty.  Both must be stopped.”  This year’s event is taking place at the Phoenix Park Hotel on Capitol Hill in Washington.  Reservations are required and hosts/producers should call now.  There is no cost to attend and all technical engineering and ISDN lines are provided by Silver Lake Audio of New York, the official engineering firm for “Hold Their Feet to the Fire.”  Congressional guests, activists, high-profile media personalities, and immigration experts will be in attendance and available throughout the event for wall-to-wall interviews.

podcastone logoGreenlee Named Chief Technical Officer at PodcastOne.  Joining PodcastOne in the newly created position of chief technical officer is Rob Greenlee, who most recently served with Microsoft as podcast content platform manager.  Greenlee will divide his time between Beverly Hills and Seattle and will report directly to CEO Norm Pattiz, who comments, “No one knows more about podcasts than Rob Greenlee.  Having him join our company is a huge boost to our brand, the credibility of the company and the future growth of the platform.  We’re all very excited about adding Rob to the executive team at PodcastOne.”  Greenlee adds, “I am excited to be joining PodcastOne and being offered the opportunity to help Norm and the PodcastOne team build a great online entertainment brand that gives much value to audiences and advertisers.  I see Norm Pattiz and PodcastOne’s entry into this space as a key catalyst to the recognition and respect this 10 year old medium deserves.”  Greenlee spent seven years at Microsoft overseeing the video and audio podcasts platform at Xbox Live, Windows Phone and Zune, as well as managing the business, content partner relations and strategy around the podcasts platform service for Microsoft.

foxnewsradioReinoso Joins Fox News Radio to Produce Alan Colmes Program.  Radio pro Albert Reinoso has been working with New York radio icon Alex Bennett since the latter was a part of the SiriusXM talk lineup.  After Bennett parted ways with SiriusXM, Bennett and Reinoso began producing daily internet radio shows hosted by Bennett and Reinoso under the banner of Bennett’s Great American Broadcast Network.  Now, Reinoso adds duties at Fox News Radio producing the nationally syndicated Alan Colmes program as well as some other programming.  Reinoso tells TALKERS magazine he will continue to work with Bennett’s company and host his own “I Apologize” internet radio show while working for Fox.  Reinoso’s program currently airs at 11:00 am ET, immediately following Bennett’s show which hits the internet at 10:00 am ET.

weei logoWEEI-FM, Boston Promotes Zarbano to Executive Producer.  At Entercom’s sports talk WEEI-FM, Boston, producer Joe Zarbano is upped to executive producer for the station.  Zarbano has been serving as producer for the evening show “Planet Mikey” hosted by Mike Adams and the midday “Mut and Merloni” program featuring Mike Mutnansky and Lou Merloni.  Zarbano reports to WEEI brand manager Kevin Graham who says, “Since I arrived in Boston last fall, Joe has served as a valuable resource.  He’s passionate about the product and is the ultimate team player.  I’m thrilled he will continue in an expanded role as we move the WEEI brand forward throughout New England.”

comscore logoPublic Comment Period Opens on Nielsen’s LinkMeter Sale to comScore.  When the deal for Nielsen to acquire radio ratings giant Arbitron was scrutinized by the Federal Trade Commission, one of the stipulations was that Nielsen would have to preserve the development of the LinkMeter technology being developed by Arbitron in conjunction with comScore and ESPN.  That technology seeks to measure use across multiple media such as radio, TV and internet.  With Nielsen developing its own service to accomplish the same goal, the FTC was concerned about the acquisition leaving just Nielsen developing cross-media measurement.  It was expected that Nielsen would arrange to sell the LinkMeter to comScore and that’s what’s happened.  The FTC states that the proposed order requires Nielsen to sell and license, for at least eight years, certain assets related to Arbitron’s cross-platform audience measurement services to an FTC-approved buyer.  Accordingly, in its petition Nielsen is seeking FTC approval to divest the LinkMeter assets, license certain assets and capabilities, and provide equipment and services, to comScore.  The petition details why Nielsen believes that comScore would be an appropriate party to acquire these assets.  Public comments may be submitted to the FTC through February 24.

2014 NYC logo 150Talkers New York 2014 Set for Friday, June 20.  The TALKERS magazine annual national talk media industry conference enters its 17th consecutive year as the date and site have been set for the next installment of the industry’s largest, longest-running and most important gathering.  According to TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison, “This will be the most important installment of this can’t-miss conference ever because it will deal with some of the most sensitive and existential issues facing not only the talk side of the business, but all of what we still call ‘radio.’  It should not be missed, plain and simple, by anyone or any company serious about their future in this industry.”  Registrations for the event are limited only to people who are members of the working media (meaning actively or recently employed in the industry or associated industries) and can only be booked by telephone with credit card.  Individual registrations for the entire event including all sessions, presentations, breakfast, lunch, refreshments and receptions are $249.  As usual, because of space limitations and the quality of this long-established event, an early sellout is expected.  Stand by for ongoing information about speakers, agenda and hotel suggestions in the days ahead.  For further registration and sponsorship information, please call 413-565-5413.

ramseydaveDave Ramsey Holds Down Afternoons at KSTE, Sacramento.  Nationally syndicated talk star Dave Ramsey is now heard live from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm on Clear Channel’s KSTE, Sacramento.  Clear Channel Sacramento VP of programming Ken Charles states, “I love Dave and I know our audience will too.  Anyone who can make our listeners smarter about their money is an important voice to hear in this turbulent economy.”  Ramsey show VP for broadcast Brian Mayfield adds, “Our fans in Sacramento have been asking for a place to listen and we are excited to be a part of the new lineup at KSTE.  It’s a great station with an awesome team, we could not be more thrilled.”

silversteinlouSouthwest Broadcasting Owner Lou Silverstein Dies at 87.  The longtime owner of news/talk KYCA and beautiful music KAHM in Prescott, Arizona passed away on January 18 after complications from pneumonia.  He was a lifelong radio pro who worked in sales and management prior to buying KYCA in 1970 and later putting KAHM on the air.  His obituary states he got his first radio job at KTUC, Tucson and did ad sales for KRIZ and KUPD before forming Southwest Broadcasting and buying KYCA.  He was inducted into the Arizona Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 2002.

Russ Withers Passes at 76.  The Withers Broadcasting founder passed away at his daughter’s home in Mount Vernon, Illinois on Saturday from natural causes at age 76.  Withers’ company owned 30 radio stations and six TV stations.  NAB spokesman Dennis Wharton commented about him, “Russ Withers was a true original.  He was a stalwart in defense of local broadcasting, colorful with a quote, and comfortable in the halls of Congress and at the FCC advocating on NAB’s behalf.”

nielsen logoHoliday 2013 PPM Data Released.  The ratings for the Holiday 2013 PPM survey period are being released by Nielsen Audio.  The fourth and final round of PPM data for 12 markets including Austin, Milwaukee, Indianapolis, Providence, Raleigh, Norfolk, Nashville, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford are out and that information — along with Holiday 2013 PPM ratings for all 48 PPM markets — can be found at our sister publication RadioInfo.com right here.  Additionally, TALKERS and RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian offers his “Ten Takeaways” from the fourth round of the Holiday PPM here.

radeltreyFormer WFSX-FM, Fort Myers Talk Personality Trey Radel to Resign from Congress.  After a bust for cocaine possession that came to light in November of last year, Republican Florida Representative Trey Radel will announce his resignation from Congress today.  Radel was a TV newsman who moved to radio as morning drive host at Sun Broadcasting news/talk station WFSX-FM, Fort Myers “92.5 Fox News” before running for the U.S. House in 2012.  Radel completed a 30-day rehab stint for alcohol and drug dependency after the arrest and was prepared to forge ahead with his political career but the Associated Press reports that pressure from GOP leaders and a looming House Ethics Committee investigation forced Radel’s hand.

parkernicoleariOdds & Sods.  At Saturday evening’s Radio & Television News Association of Southern California Golden Mike Awards, CBS RADIO all-news KNX picked up six awards.  The station won for Best News Broadcast Over 15 Minutes; Best Newscast Writing; Best Live Coverage of a News Story; Best Hard News Series Reporting; Best Light Feature Reporting; and Best News Special…..The nationally syndicated “Café Mocha” program announces that actress and entrepreneur Nicole Ari Parker joins the program as a special celebrity correspondent.  Parker – currently starring in NBC TV’s “Revolution” – has been a guest host on the program hosted by comedienne/TV host Loni Love, rap legend MC Lyte and radio veteran Angelique Perrin.

Friday, January 10, 2014

| January 10, 2014

nielsen logoWill Nielsen’s Dominance in Online Measurement Hurt Radio Buys?  According to some analysts – most notably J.P. Morgan’s Doug Anmuth – the answer is yes.  In a piece published at MediaPost News by Joe Mandese, Anmuth asserts that Nielsen’s Online Campaign Ratings is growing in acceptance and may become the dominant “currency” for digital ratings and that it will drive ad budgets from TV and radio to digital.  Mandese writes that though some marketers and agencies prefer comScore’s vCE ratings system used to plan, buy and validate online ad buys, Nielsen’s dominance in the ratings in other media will give it the ability to leverage that into cross-platform ratings.  With YouTube’s recent adoption of Nielsen’s ORC system, it’s being predicted by Anmuth the move could “drive material change in TV buyer behavior.”  Similarly, Nielsen’s imminent rollout of its streaming audio measurement will affect radio buys.  Anmuth writes, “Just as we are seeing a shift in digital video measurement with YouTube, we expect streaming music providers including Pandora to gravitate towards partnerships with traditional measurement providers.  Nielsen is deeply engaged in developing the technology to measure streaming radio and it is working to fully integrate Nielsen Audio.”  Check out the story here.

emmisEmmis Net Revenue Up 3.4% — on Strength of Publishing.  The loss of political advertising that all broadcasting companies are dealing with – the fall of 2012 was a good year for that sector and Emmis’ fiscal Q3 measures September, October and November – affected the company’s 2013 Q3 to 2012 Q3 comparison and the result was a 0.4% increase in revenue for Emmis’ radio division.  The publishing segment of the business carried the day with a 9.8% increase in net revenue.  Emmis CEO Jeffsmulyanjeff Smulyan says in a statement, “The government shutdown in October, coupled with non-recurring political revenues from the prior year, caused significant headwinds for us and the radio industry.  However, Emmis’ ability to grow revenues despite these challenges is a testament to the talent, ingenuity and hustle of the Emmis team.  Our radio revenues are rebounding in our fourth fiscal quarter as these challenges have abated and our publishing division continues to post impressive revenue gains.  NextRadio, the Emmis-led industry initiative to make FM broadcast radio available on mobile phones via a pre-loaded app, continues to gain momentum and recently exceeded 100,000 activations.  I’m excited about the progress we are making and the momentum we have heading into calendar 2014.”

talkersradio logoTalkersRadio Hits the Ground Running for 2014 with New Hosts, Shows and Programming Directions. TalkersRadio, the “experimental” talk radio station launched last fall by TALKERS magazine to provide the industry with a “work out space” and “showcase for new talk programming concepts” has, according to its general manager David Bernstein, “hit the ground running” in 2014 with the announcement of several new hosts and shows scheduled to join its programming roster this month. Set for launch this weekend (1/12) is “Radio Lifeboat with DG & Mickey Gooch,” described by Bernstein as “a raw, emotion-packed ‘reality’ show that sure ain’t no cruise.” The one-hour-per-week program, emanating live on Sunday evenings at 7:00 pm ET from Malibu, California, is hosted by the mother/son team of Diane “DG” Gooch and her son Mickey Gooch. The show is basically a weekly therapy and educational support session helping people and families overcome the challenges of addiction. Also debuting this month (1/25) is a new program from Lionel – one of the most iconoclastic, impossible-to-peg, and intellectually stimulating talk show hosts of the modern era. A veteran of such major outlets as WABC and WOR, New York among others, as well as being a podcast pioneer at lionelmedia.com the quirky, satirical and extremely original observer of the human condition has been enjoying tremendous success conceiving, writing, producing and performing daily commentaries on the heritage WPIX-TV, Channel 11 for the past four years in New York City where the ex-prosecutor’s also added his insight and experience as its resident legal analyst. However, he has not forgotten his roots in and love for radio and promises that his 9:00 am to 10:00 am Saturday show will provide Lionel enthusiasts around the country with a version of his work that is “like nothing they have ever heard before. This will truly be Lionel unchained!” Another program getting readied for launch on TalkersRadio in either late-January or early-February is “The Hard Question with Blanquita Cullum.” Hosted by veteran talk show host, Washington-insider, and former member of the United States Broadcasting Board of Governors, Blanquita Cullum, the one-hour-per-week show will cover the hottest and most-pressing economic, environmental and political issues facing the country from a non-partisan, non-ideological perspective. Cullum tells TALKERS, “I’ve been in this business too long to mess around playing the old right versus left game that is quickly getting us nowhere. It is time to get serious – especially having this marvelous platform upon which to perform – and dust off the old journalism skills. Just as the name implies, I will be asking big shots and policy makers from the worlds of energy, finance and government the hard questions. None of that easy, puff-piece stuff. This show is going to get down, dirty and real!” These new shows will join the already-developing programs on TalkersRadio that include “The Brent & Meg Radio Show” hosted by the dynamic husband/wife duo Brent Seltzer and Meg McDonald, “Green Connections” hosted by Washington, DC-based energy and sustainability expert, journalist Joan Michelson, “Healed Planet” hosted by well-known talk media star Alan Colmes, “The Robbie Student Show” hosted by record producer and urban philosopher Robbie Student, and “The Talkers Show” hosted by TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison. To read more about TalkersRadio, check out a full feature story posted today by TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey by clicking here.

kahnjulieRegan Communications Group Names Kahn EVP/Sports Media. Former Entercom vice president and New England market manager Julie Kahn joins public relations firm Regan Communications Group as executive vice president of sports/media.  Over and above that, she will be a special advisor to company president/founder George Regan, who comments, “Julie Kahn’s talents, skills, mind, and passion for this business are a grand slam for our company.  This is a great start to our new year.” Kahn “had the pleasure” to work with Regan Communications for the nearly 14 years that she was with Entercom.  “I am excited to become part of the management team and help Regan continue its growth and success,” she remarks.  Among Kahn’s new duties will be working with her former employer – Entercom, Boston – which is one of Regan’s clients.  In addition to being a board member of the Boston Sports Museum, Kahn is on the Boston board of directors for the National Sports Management Network.  The holder of a JD/MBA from Northwestern University, Kahn began her radio career in WGN, Chicago’s sales department; was general manager of KSAN, San Francisco; and vice president/director of sales for Susquehanna, San Francisco.

baldwinmcculloughBaldwin/McCullough Show Auditions on WNYM, New York.  With the move of talk personality Curtis Sliwa to crosstown WABC, Salem Communications news/talk WNYM “Am 970 The Answer” is putting the XtreMedia-produced Baldwin/McCullough program on this afternoon and next Friday as an audition.  Actor Stephen Baldwin and media entrepreneur and talk host Kevin McCullough have been hosting the Baldwin/McCullough program as a weekend show for the past several years.  Also, Iowa-based talk personality Steve Deace is set to audition in the afternoon drive slot on WNYM next Monday through Thursday.

kgmzlogoMidday Changes at Entercom’s ’95.7 The Game’ in San Francisco.  The late morning show featuring Sean O’Connell, Matt Steinmetz and producer Justin Kleisley is out and program director Jason Barrett announces “friends since high school” Guy Haberman and John Middlekauff are partnering up for the new 10:00 am to 12:00 noon program.  Haberman serves as host of the station’s pre- and post-game shows for Oakland As broadcasts and was host of the evening show at KGMZ during 2013.  Middlekauff was West Coast scout for the Philadelphia Eagles for the past two years and served as an NFL analyst for the station since the beginning of the 2013 NFL season.  The new pair begin hosting the “Mid-Morning Show” on January 20.  Matt Steinmetz had been working at KGMZ in the late morning daypart for the past 18 months.  He was joined by O’Connell last February.

buehlerjulieJulie Buehler and Geoff Bloom Re-Up with KXPS, Palm Springs.  The “Buehler’s Day Off” afternoon drive show at CRC Media West-owned sports talker KXPS, Palm Springs “Team 1010 KXPS” will continue with the station through this year.  Sports media pro Julie Buehler and co-host Geoff Bloom joined the station in June of 2012.  Buehler comments, “I love the Coachella Valley!  Love the vibrancy, the spectrum of sports fans and the rich culture and I’m honored to be a voice for such a passionate community.  I know with the vision from CRC Media West and our team’s ability to execute such a thorough game plan, 2014 will be even more groundbreaking, history-making fun than the past 18 months.”

lebatarddanDan Le Batard Has Baseball Hall of Fame Vote Taken Away.  In November, WAXY, Miami and ESPN Radio personality Dan Le Batard – also a member of the Baseball Writers Association of America (which votes for Hall of Fame players) – gave his vote to Deadspin.com in a protest saying his vote has become pretty worthless in the “sanctimonious” atmosphere of the process.  There’s a rule against that and the BBWAA board of directors voted to strip Le Batard of his vote this season and beyond.  He also will not be able to cover any baseball event this season as a sanctioned BBWAA member.

baumannbigjoeNew Morning Show at WRSO, Orlando.  At sports talker WRSO, Orlando “810 CBS Sports Radio,” there’s a new morning team in the 7:00 am to 9:00 am slot.  Former TV anchor Dave Baumann and local radio personality Big Joe are taking over the slot.  The station is owned by Star Over Orlando and it says the program will soon also be heard on the 93.1 frequency as well.

Odds & Sods.  All-newser KNX, Los Angeles continues its “KNX on Your Corner” series on January 31 when it takes an in-depth look at the unique aspects of the Crescenta Valley communities lying between the San Gabriel Mountains and the Verdugo Mountains: La Crescenta-Montrose, La Cañada Flintridge, Sunland and Tujunga.  The CBS RADIO station will broadcast live from the Black Cow Cafe in the heart of Old Town Montrose.  News anchors bearmanethanTom Haule and Vicky Moore will kick off the day from 5:00 am to 9:00 am, Frank Mottek will host the “KNX Business Hour” from 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm and Chris Sedens and Diane Thompson will be on hand from 2:00 pm to 7:00 pm…..KSCO, Santa Cruz talk host Ethan Bearman will host the KSFO Talk Show from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon on Cumulus Media’s KSFO on Monday and Tuesday January 13 and 14.  The slot currently has no permanent host…..Talk show host Dr. Daliah Wachs – syndicated nationally via Genesis Communications Network – celebrated her 5th wachsdaliahanniversary on the radio yesterday (1/9).  She tells TALKERS magazine that she began her radio career five years ago on KLAV…..MSNBC shuffles its daily lineup after the departure of Martin BashirAlex Wagner moves into the 4:00 pm ET slot previously held by Bashir and the network will feature a rotating cast of hosts for Wagner’s 12:00 noon slot – including Joy Reid who’s been sitting in the 4:00 pm slot lately…..For the 3rd consecutive year, Entercom’s WEEI, Boston will serve as the official radio partner for the 2014 Pan-Mass Challenge August 2 and 3.  The PMC – a 190-mile bike event starting in Sturbridge, Massachusetts and ending in Provincetown and the tip of Cape Cod – is the largest single athletic fundraising event in the country and, since 1980, has raised more than $414 million for the Jimmy Fund, which supports adult and pediatric patient care and cancer research at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston.

savagemichaelTALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  The “Savage Nation” show hosted by Michael Savage is added to the programming at the following stations: WCFO, Atlanta; WVGG, Lucedale, Mississippi; WLBY, Saline, Michigan; KBHS, Hot Springs, Arkansas; KVPI-AM, Ville Platte, Louisiana…..Business talk host Phil Grande’s “Phil’s Gang” show is added to the lineup at KDWN, Las Vegas…..Cumulus Media NetworksMark Levin is now heard on WFNC, Fayetteville, North Carolina; WVLK-FM, Lexington; WFNR, Blacksburg, Virginia; KFAY, Fayetteville, Arkansas; and WALG, Albany, Georgia…..Conservative/libertarian Genesis Communications Network-syndicated talk host Jason Lewis is added to the program schedule at KZRG, Joplin, Missouri…..From WYM Media, the Leslie Marshall show joins the programming at KABQ, Albuquerque and Phil Hendrie’s program is now heard on KNEW, San Francisco and KTNF, Chico/Redding, California…..“Freedom Feens” with Michael W. Dean and Neema Vedadi is added to the programming at WVFT-FM, Tallahassee; WYOO-FM, Panama City, Florida; and KENN-AM/FM, Farmington, New Mexico.

Chris Christie Scandal Top News/Talk Story for Week of January 6-10.  The Fort Lee lane closure scandal that’s rocking New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s administration was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week making it the #1 story on the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was former Defense Secretary Robert Gates’ book Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War (Random House 2013), which criticizes President Obama and his administration.  Following at #3 was the “polar vortex” chilling much of the nation tied with the companion topic of global warming and at #4 was Janet Yellen being confirmed chief of the Federal Reserve.  The Talkers TenTM is a chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week.  It is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS and is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

| December 5, 2013

weineranthonyRumor: Anthony Weiner to Try Talk Radio.  Here we go again! Another disgraced politician – this time it’s former congressman and former NYC mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner – is rumored to be in the running for a talk show on one of two New York City radio signals.  The New York Daily News is reporting that sources say Weiner is in talks to begin hosting a show on either Cumulus Media’s WABC (where the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm ET slot is opening in the New Year) or on Clear Channel’s WOR.  WABC operations manager Tony Mascaro tells the paper they are looking at a lot of candidates for the slot but denies Weiner is one of them.  The track record of former politicians – especially disgraced ones – succeeding in talk radio is not good.  Most managers and programmers are either aware – or find out very quickly – that the tradeoff for hiring such a person is not usually worth it.  Yes, one gets instant recognition of the person from the public, but the long hours, challenging work, glamorless working conditions and time needed to get traction in the ratings usually turns off former pols who are used to a different sort of workday.  Oh, and then there’s the fact that they almost always have no broadcasting skills whatsoever.  Stay tuned, the Weiner-watch is on!

cumulus logoCumulus Media Holdings to Refinance $2.23 Billion in Debt.  According to a Reuters report, Cumulus Media Holdings has set terms on a new $2.23 billion loan that would serve to reduce its interest payments over the course of the loan.  The company is marketing a $200 million, five-year revolver and a $2.025 billion, seven-year, first-lien term loan.  The proceeds would refinance Cumulus’ current first- and second-lien loans.  Moody’s Investor Services VP and senior credit officer Carl Salas is quoted saying, “It’s a meaningful improvement in their annual debt service.  They will save upwards of $30 million to $35 million in interest costs which adds nicely to their free cash flow generation.”

rouhierdannyCBS Radio’s WJFK, Washington Hears It from Redskins About Game Broadcast Parodies.  NFL fans are aware that the Washington Redskins – owned by the litigious and sensitive Dan Snyder – are having a tough season (3-9 right now) after making the playoffs last year.  That’s been the source of much frustration on the part of fans and the source of material for WJFK host Danny Rouhier and producer Ajay Atayee who’ve been producing bits that are mock-ups of game broadcasts.  Rouhier does the voices of Redskins radio play-by-play announcers Larry Michael and Sonny wjfkfmJurgensen and splices in actual drops of color man and former ‘Skin Chris Cooley.  The hysterically funny bits have been critical of the team’s play, the fan experience at FedEx Field and Snyder’s public image, so much so that, according to the Washington Post, WJFK Redskins beat reporter Grant Paulsen was told by team spokesman Tony Wyllie that the bits are so malicious that they could prompt legal action.  This may be water under the bridge since the Post reports Wyllie says after talking with the station and being assured it’s all in good fun, the team has no problem with the station’s content.  Since the station has no intention of stopping Rouhier from producing more similarly themed bits, we’ll see how the rest of the season plays out.

kennedyKYSR, Los Angeles Morning Personality Kennedy to Host Fox Business Net Show.  Former MTV VJ and current morning drive host at Clear Channel’s alternative KYSR, Los Angeles, Lisa Kennedy Montgomery, will begin a new nightly current events talk show on Fox Business Network titled “The Independents” that will premiere on Monday, December 9.  The Hollywood Reporter states that Kennedy will co-host with Reason magazine’s Matt Welch, America’s Future Foundation’s Kmele Foster and a rotating panel of money experts.  Kennedy herself writes on her KYSR blog that the show will be “aimed at all the mealy-mouthed, partisan faithful out there.  Has the 2 party system totally failed you?  Yeah, me too!  Tune in 4 nights a week on FBN, and just remember, music and politics go hand in hand. I will always hold hands with you.”  Kennedy has been a contributor to FBN making regular appearances on “Stossel.”

ohana logoVali Named Interim GM of Ohana Broadcast, Hawaii.  The name Austin Vali is widely-known in Hawaii radio and, as Ohana Broadcast Company‘s interim general manager, he will oversee four Oahu stations and five Kauai facilities.  Owner/president Jason Wolff comments, “Austin brings a wealth of experience, knowledge, and relationships in the Honolulu market.  He will be a tremendous asset as we strive to produce the best possible radio for our listeners and clients.”   Recently, Vali was vice president/general manager of Cox Media Group‘s three-station Long Island cluster.  During his 40-year radio career, he has worked in Pittsburgh, Norfolk, and Louisville; however, Vali is perhaps best known for his experience in Hawaii.  Since arriving there in 1978, he worked at Honolulu’s KIKI and KQMQ and he co-owned KRTR-FM and KXME in that market.

runningwithnaturePodcastOne Adds Mariel Hemingway Program to Stable.  Titled after her best-selling book  Running with Nature, actress and author Mariel Hemingway, along with her partner, stuntman, actor, health and wellness expert, Bobby Williams, are launching their new podcast via PodcastOne.  The podcast invites listeners to “join them on their adventures; from Hollywood to Holistic healing…transforming relationships to finding the most meaningful ways of living every day, Mariel and Bobby are here bringing laughter, wonder and awe with some great advice.”  The first podcast episode “features nutrition tips, a review of her just released documentary called ‘Running from Crazy,’ and exercise tips from Bobby and Mariel’s ‘Meditation Moment.’”  PodcastOne COO Greg Batusic says, “Mariel and Bobby offer a refreshing and unique take on life that their fans and new listeners will surely benefit from.  We’re happy to have them join our stellar lineup.”

madiganbobWTOP, Washington’s Bob Madigan to Retire.  Drive time news anchor Bob Madigan will retire from his position at Hubbard Radio’s WTOP, Washington, DC at the end of the year.  Outgoing vice president of news and programming Jim Farley (also retiring, see next story) says in a memo to his DC staff, “Bob has been in this crazy business of ours for 50 years, 20 of them here at WTOP and WASH when both stations were co-owned.  He and I worked for 11 years at NBC News….I have been inflicted on Bob for 27 of his 50 years in the business.  By the way, if you are wondering how he got in 50 years ago, he started working in radio during high school.”  Farley goes on to say that as WTOP’s “Man About Town,” he “was a one-person ‘good news’ department covering everything from charity galas to scholarship awards and chili cook-offs for a good cause.  Bob covered so many events, that in less than a year on the beat, he was emcee, announcer or celebrity judge at many of them.  He became a one-man marketing machine for WTOP, getting our name out there in a positive way that was priceless!  He was chosen to announce the Inaugural Parade along Pennsylvania Avenue for both Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama.  At the Bush Inaugural Parade he was paired with…Meat Loaf.  For years he announced the start of the Race for the Cure live on WTOP.  He has a long, long list of awards and honors including a (rare for a journalist) RAMMY Award, “The Duke Zeibert Capital Achievement Award.”  RAMMY’s are awarded by the Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington.

cookefarleyA Farewell to Jim Farley.  Radio consultant and TALKERS contributor Holland Cooke (right) poses for a selfie with outgoing vice president of news and programming Jim Farley at a retirement bash for the longtime WTOP, Washington programmer at the Newseum in Washington, DC.  After 17 years with the station, Farley is “slowing down but not retiring” as he’ll step down from his current post but consult WTOP for the next two years. He’s also open to consult others with their news and/or digital strategies.  Current WTOP program director Laurie Cantillo is stepping into the post at year’s end.  Cooke reports that modern-day WTOP-ers, Hubbard execs and many alumni toasted Farley at the bash.  Among other things said at the farewell party, Farley told staffers, “What a crowd!  YOU did it.  YOU GUYS do all the heavy lifting, and I got all the credit.  I’m gettin’ out before they catch me.”

kmbzGood Fences Make Good Neighbors.  Usually that’s the case but at the Entercom AM transmitter site in Westwood, Kansas, just how a good fence is defined appears to be the issue.  The towers for KMBZ and KUDL are surrounded by residential neighborhoods – that wasn’t the case in the 1930s when the towers went up.  According to the Prairie Village Post, now neighbors are challenging the renewal of Entercom’s special use permit for the site claiming they want improvements there.  After meeting with residents, a plan commission sub-committee is suggesting the current chain-link fence with barbed wire makes the property look “blighted” and recommends removal of the perimeter fence and replacement with fencing that complies with current code.  Entercom fears liability issues without a perimeter fence.  In 2008, a trespassing teenager was killed after falling from a tower on the site.  Expect some sort of compromise on this issue since moving the station towers would be very difficult yet protection of the transmitters and towers needs to continue for obvious reasons.

junkiesCredit to WJFK-FM, Washington’s “Junkies” for Nabbing Toronto Mayor Rob Ford Segment.  He’s been one of the hot talk radio topics for the past several weeks (as documented in TALKERS magazine’s weekly top topics chart The Talkers TenTM), so why not book him as a guest?  CBS Radio’s “The Junkies” did just that and got a cool 25-minute segment with Toronto Mayor Rob Ford on WJFK-FM, Washington today.  Ford, who’s obviously been in the news a bit lately and doesn’t seem to be very mic-shy, talked with the Junkies about football (he offered his NFL picks for the week), the drug use allegations against him, President Obama, and his run for re-election next fall (which he says he’ll win because he has the support of the people).

kgmzlogoOdds & Sods.  Entercom’s KGMZ, San Francisco is preparing to begin a listener giveaway of tickets and cool memorabilia for its six area pro sports teams.  “95.7 The Game” is calling the promotion “The Six Teams of Christmas” and will give listeners a chance to win game ticket packages to see the Oakland Raiders, San Francisco 49ers, San Francisco Giants, Oakland As, Golden State Warriors and San Jose Sharks…..CBS Radio’s New York stations (including sports WFAN-AM/FM and all-news WINS and WCBS) are announcing a new promotion: The Firehouse Chili Cook-Off.  After entries were submitted from all across the tri-state area, semi-finalists will compete to see whose chili recipe cbsfirehousereigns supreme.  At establishments in New Jersey and New York, the staple food of firefighters will be cooked, tasted and judged by local sports figures, and one fire company at each event will move into the final round of the competition.  The grand prize winner will receive VIP tickets to a 2014 New York Yankees game…..Entercom’s Boston Red Sox flagship WEEI, Boston is broadcasting from the MLB Winter Meetings in Orlando next week.  Live coverage of the meetings will begin with Salk & Holley from 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm Monday through Wednesday.  The Mut & Merloni show will also originate from the Swan and Dolphin Resort from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm Tuesday through Thursday.

kirofmhollidaymagicHoliday Magic at KIRO-FM, Seattle.  Pictured here is KIRO-FM, Seattle afternoon drive duo Ron & Don manning the tote board at last year’s “Holiday Magic Radiothon.”  The Bonneville news/talk station, in partnership with 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), are hosting the 25th Annual Foster Child Holiday Magic Radiothon today.  The station set a record last year raising more than $500,000.  The 12-hour “Holiday Magic Radiothon” helps local foster kids by raising money to provide each child in the program with one significant holiday gift along with support programs and services throughout the year.

humphriesdamian2Rusty Humphries on the Set in Bucharest.  That’s talk show host and actor Rusty Humphries (left) with actor Michael Damian (right) on location in Bucharest, Romania on the set of the romantic comedy Love By Design.  Humphries says he plays a reporter covering a big fashion show in New York City.  He notes that Bucharest is a popular location to shoot NYC scenes since it can be made to look like the streets of New York and the production costs are much less.  The movie also stars Jane Seymour.  Humphries was in Bucharest for seven days filming.  He tells TALKERS, “I had a blast.  I love the fact that I’m having the opportunity to really live out my dreams: radio, TV and film.  This is my third major motion picture, and it’s always an honor to be involved with a project as special as this.”

ObamaCare Criticism, NSA Cell Location Database, Obama Millennial Support Diminishing, Detroit Bankruptcy, Bashir Resignation, and Fast Food Minimum Wage Effort Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/5).  Analysis of the implementation and effects of the Affordable Care Act; the NSA policy that reportedly gathers the location of cell phone users; the loss of support from Millennials for President Obama; the Detroit bankruptcy case ruling; Martin Bashir’s resignation from MSNBC after his Sarah Palin comments; and the move by organized labor to push for a national minimum wage for fast food workers were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

| November 26, 2013

suitsbryanBryan Suits to KABC, Los Angeles.  With Cumulus Media’s move making Geraldo Rivera a New York-only program beginning in the New Year, the late morning slot at KABC, Los Angeles opened up and it appears Bryan Suits will take over the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon show at the station.  KABC program director Drew Hayes has not responded to a request for confirmation but Suits himself has posted the news on his Facebook page and his Wikipedia entry indicates he’ll start doing the show in December.  Suits had been working from Seattle at Clear Channel’s crosstown KFI, Los Angeles on weekends.  He’s also hosted shows at KVI, Seattle and KOGO, San Diego.

savagemichaelCumulus Announces Savage Sponsorship Deal.  When Cumulus Media Networks’ “Savage Nation” with host Michael Savage moves to the 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm ET live slot in January, the program will enjoy Swiss America Trading Corporation as the presenting sponsor of the show.  The company reports that the year-long deal will build upon a 12-year relationship between Savage’s show and Swiss America.  The sponsorship agreement will expand Swiss America’s current presence on the show, with the program to be referred to as “The Savage Nation, Presented by Swiss America.”  Savage comments, “I am thrilled to have Swiss America as the presenting sponsor of ‘The Savage Nation.’  This is the most significant partnership ever announced for our show and Swiss America’s interest in deepening their relationship is a testament to our increasingly growing audience.”

malmbergalAl Malmberg Returns to WCCO, Minneapolis for Late Nights.  CBS Radio’s news/talk WCCO announces the return of Al Malmberg to the station’s lineup for the 11:00 pm to 2:00 am show effective December 16.  Malmberg hosted the overnight program on WCCO for more than 10 years during his previous stint with the station from 1996 to 2008.  He was honored as “Best AM Radio Personality” by the local alt weekly City Pages in 2008.  Program director Bob Shomper states, “We are thrilled for Al’s return to late nights on WCCO.  He is one of our most popular hosts with a huge and loyal following.”  Malmberg comments, “I am so glad to be back on WCCO.  I’ve really missed talking to all of my friends across the upper Midwest on the big 50,000 watt blowtorch.”

childersnicoleNicole Childers Named Senior Producer for ‘Marketplace Morning Report.’  American Public Media announces Nicole A. Childers is the new senior producer of “Marketplace Morning Report with David Brancaccio.”  She comes to Marketplace from Fusion, a joint venture between ABC and Univision, where she was a senior launch producer for the new network.  In her new role, she’ll oversee all production aspects of “Marketplace Morning Report,” which APM says is heard by 6.5 million listeners weekly on 475 public radio stations.  She will work closely with host David Brancaccio and the production team in the New York bureau.  Childers will report directly to vice president and executive producer Deborah Clark.

jaguarxfWRKO, Boston’s Howie Carr Gives Away Chance to Win a 2013 Jaguar XF.  Boston talk show host Howie Carr and Entercom’s WRKO are giving listeners to Carr’s show a chance to “Win Howie’s Jaguar” this holiday season.  From December 2 tocarrhowie December 13, Carr will contest twice during his show – 4:30 pm and 6:30 pm – to qualify up to 20 listeners to participate in a grand prize drawing and earn the chance to drive off in a 2013 Jaguar XF, courtesy of Jaguar Exeter.  The grand prize event will take place during a live Howie Carr broadcast taking place on December 18 at The Fairways at Woburn Country Club.  Each qualifier will receive a $50 gift card to The Green’s Grill and Pub at Woburn Country Club.  One lucky finalist will win a two-night stay at The Old Harbor Inn in Chatham, Massachusetts and a shot at the car.

michaelsfargophotoCommunication Through Creativity.  Highly respected radio imaging master, consultant, VO legend and program host Nick Michaels of American Voice Corp. recently brought his two-day seminar, “Communication Through Creativity,” to the Upper Midwest’s powerhouse talk station KFGO, Fargo.  Michaels tells TALKERS that he was tremendously impressed by the passion for creativity and local involvement displayed on an ongoing level at the Midwest Communications property.  Midwest VP programming Jeff McCarthy tells TALKERS, “Nick Michaels’ seminar had a powerful and positive impact on the staff and the results are already being heard on the air on all of our stations in Fargo.”  Pictured (l-r):  Jeff McCarthy, VP programming, Midwest Communications, Inc., Nick Michaels, American Voice Corp., and Peter Tanz, VP operations, Midwest Communications, Inc.

Iran-Nukes Deal, ObamaCare Criticism, Immigration Legislation, Threatened U.S.-Afghanistan Security Pact, Thanksgiving Holiday, and Gitmo Double Agents Program Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/25).  The global reaction to the potential U.S.-brokered nukes deal with Iran; the criticism of the rollout of the Affordable Care Act; President Obama’s proposed immigration legislation; the tenuous security deal between the United States and Afghanistan; the coming Thanksgiving holiday; and the reported double agent program at Guantanamo Bay were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

| November 21, 2013

francesamikeMike Francesa’s A-Rod Interview Creates Media Blitzkrieg in NYC.  When embattled New York Yankees star Alex Rodriguez (lower right) stormed out of his grievance hearing with MLB officials and went straight to WFAN, New York’s Mike Francesa to kvetch to him, the New York City media reacted with such intense criticism of the broadcast that it only goes to cement Francesa’s standing as the most important sports broadcaster in town.  Rodriguez left his MLB meeting regardingarodwfan allegations of PED use and lashed out at the process and expressed his disdain for Commissioner Bud Selig.  Local media outlets accused Francesa of being too easy on — or actually downright chummy with – A-Rod.  But, Francesa maintains that he asked all the pertinent questions.  He told Newsday, “I felt like I asked him every hard question you could possibly ask him.  I don’t think there’s anything I could ask him about that wasn’t asked.”  Regardless, it was the interview that every media outlet in town has been aching to get and WFAN’s Mike Francesa got it.  As TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison puts it, “It seems that the rest of the Big Apple media don’t ‘get it’ regarding the influence and success of Mike Francesa as a talk show host, as indicated by the extent to which they constantly bash, parody and even mock him.  They judge him by their own often-hypocritical journalistic standards and don’t understand that by giving him so much attention – even as severe critics – they feed into the very process that makes Francesa so remarkably successful.  It is downright comical how they accuse Francesa of being ‘used’ by A-Rod as some kind of media patsy or suck up when in fact it is they — in their fits of transparent jealousy — who are being used by both Francesa and A-Rod.  Regardless of whether he does it consciously or inadvertently, Mike Francesa is a master talk show host of sports or any genre from which most others can learn a thing or two about taking ownership of your targeted turf.”

eastlanratings logoEastlan Employs E-Surveys to Enhance Methodology.  The 1999-formed Bellevue, Washington-based ratings firm will be augmenting current telephone-based methodology with “e-surveys,” which have been tested the past six months.  E-surveys will be integrated into Eastlan’s standard methodology in all markets beginning next spring.  “E-surveys will not replace our current methodology but rather enhance it,” stresses chief technology officer Bert Hambleton.  “The portion of survey respondents recruited electronically will have the choice to participate via e-survey or through a callback on their cell phone.”  Eastlan’s main reason to incorporate e-surveys was to increase participation among young radio listeners, and Hambleton states, “The process has worked very well.”  During this year’s pilot e-survey project, Eastlan noticed wider participation among 12 – 49s; the most dramatic increase was in participation among 25 – 44s.  Eastlan president/chief executive officer Mike Gould comments that, “It is incumbent upon ratings providers to reach a sample that is as representative of the local market composition as possible.  Being able to recruit and survey electronically, in addition to our telephone based methodology, will absolutely improve the long-term viability of our affordable radio ratings service.  Best of all, we can do so without raising our rates.” E-survey completion rates were slightly higher among women versus men.

fccnewThe FCC’s Media Bureau Announces Comment Period Opens for AM Revitalization Proposal.  The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in the Matter of Revitalization of the AM Radio Service was published in the Federal Register yesterday and therefore the comment period is open through January 21 and reply comments must be filed by February 18.  The Commission is seeking comment on a number of proposals designed to afford relief to AM broadcasters and to revitalize the AM radio band, and also is soliciting further proposals for revitalization of the AM radio service.

patrickmattOdds & Sods.  Salem Communications announces it will increase its quarterly dividend to shareholders by 5% making the payment $0.0550 per share to be disbursed on December 27…..There’s a whole lot of Matt Patrick hitting the airwaves next week.  The KTRH and KPRC, Houston talk personality will be heard three times per day on Monday and Tuesday November 25 and 26.  He’ll do his morning show on KTRH from 5:00 am to 8:00 am and his afternoon show on KPRC from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm.  Then he sits in for KTRH-based syndicated host Michael Berry from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm.

crninternational logoMarketing Firm CRN International Names Jim Alkon Marketing Director; Promotes Robert O’Mara.  Radio marketing firm CRN International announces it names Jim Alkon marketing director, describing his mission “to extend the profile of the company among consumer brands and advertising agencies.”  Most recently, Alkon was managing director of his own consulting firm Meetings and Media.  At the same time, CRN ups Robert O’Mara to managing director, strategy and business development, and adds two new sales managers: Amanda Alvarez and Maureen Conlin who take the title associate director of strategy and business development.  CRN International describes itself as a company, using the slogan, “We Use Radio Differently,” that extends “the boundaries of radio marketing beyond simple spot advertisements and has customized programs to meet specific business objectives.  This has kept the award-winning company on marketing’s cutting edge for close to 40 years, serving prominent clients such as Microsoft, Chrysler, Sears, Kellogg’s, Kraft, Major League Baseball, HBO and Unilever.”   President and founder Barry Berman states, “We will continue to be part of the conversation in social media, on our recently relaunched website and in tutorial and perspective pieces on how understanding a client’s very specific business objectives is the first step to developing the right customized marketing campaign.  We have been able to employ radio in non-traditional ways to achieve results typically way beyond expectations.”

entercomBuffalo Food Pantries Aided by Entercom Thanksgiving Promotion.  Entercom Buffalo and the NHL‘s Buffalo Sabres teamed up earlier today (11/21, 7:00 am to 9:00 am) for a Thanksgiving turkey drive to benefit local food pantries.  Any donor dropping off a turkey was given two tickets to an upcoming Sabres game, leading Entercom Buffalo operations manager Tim Wenger to comment, “The Sabres stepped up in a big way to help the community by donating the tickets to this cause; Entercom is honored to join the effort.”  The event took place in the parking lot at the Entercom Buffalo offices.  Tickets distributed there were for games against the Montreal Canadiens (11/27); New York Rangers (12/5); Ottawa Senators (12/10), and Winnipeg Jets (12/17).  Entercom-owned sports outlet WGR is the Sabres’ flagship.  The New York State cluster also includes news/talk WBEN; CHR WKSE “Kiss”; alternative WLKK; classic rock WLKK HD2 “The Lake”; adult contemporary WTSS “My Star”; sports WWKB; and rhythmic oldies WWWS “Solid Gold Soul.”  All proceeds directly benefitted the Buffalo City Mission and the Food Bank of Western New York.

wwtn logo‘SuperTalk 99.7’ Goes Commercial Free for Rescue Mission Radiothon.  Cumulus Media’s news/talk WWTN, Nashville “SuperTalk 99.7 WTN” will drop the spots on Monday, November 25 from 5:00 am to 7:00 pm during its annual Cumulus Nashville Radiothon to raise money for the Nashville Rescue Mission.  WTN personality Michael Delgiorno will broadcast live on-site at the Nashville Rescue Mission from 7:30 am to 8:30 am.  Cumulus VP and market manager Mike Carpenter states, “This radiothon gives the community an opportunity to give back into the community and really help change people’s lives.  There are many ways to get involved with charities, but this one is unique because it’s not just about immediate needs.  It helps restore their lives and overcome huge hardships.  WTN’s listeners are very giving people who always go above and beyond our expectations in supporting the Mission.  We look forward to exceeding our goal again this year.”

millermissionMiller’s Mission Kicks into Gear for the Holidays.  KIDO, Boise morning drive personality Kevin Miller (center, holding the Chex) is surrounded by staffers at the Boise Rescue Mission and KTVB-TV weather anchor Larry Gebert (second from right) as Miller begins another year of “Miller’s Mission.”  Miller is broadcasting from a local Walmart (and living there for an entire week) while collecting items to benefit the Boise Rescue Mission.

Tribune to Cut Roughly 700 Newspaper-Related Jobs. The tightening comes as Tribune plans to sell or spin off its publishing operations – which includes The Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, and Hartford Courant – in order to concentrate more on television stations.  In a memo yesterday (11/20), chief executive officer Peter Liguori informed staffers that the publishing operation’s business units will be organized “by function, rather than by geography.”  Specifically, according to Liguori’s memo, “We must take better advantage of Tribune’s unique size and reach.”  The goal, he wrote, is to “continue investing in the lifeblood of our business: best-in-class reporting, effective sales, and digital growth.  Ensuring the long-term strength of our mastheads will, unfortunately, result in the selective reduction of our publishing staff.”  Iconic Chicago talk outlet WGN is Tribune’s lone radio property.

ObamaCare Rollout Criticism, Obama Approval Ratings, UN Climate Talks, U.S.-Afghanistan Security Deal, and ‘Knockout’ Attacks Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/21).  The scrutiny over the rollout of the Affordable Care Act and the government’s website; President Obama’s sinking approval ratings; the walkout of member nations at the United Nations climate talks; the shaky state of the proposal for Afghanistan’s security beyond 2014; and the rise in incidents of “knockout” game attacks were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

| November 14, 2013

bolgerpeterPeter Bolger Named OM/PD at WLS-AM, Chicago.  Most recently with Clear Channel as director of AM programming in the San Antonio market, Peter Bolger joins Cumulus Media to head up programming and operations at its Chicago news/talk WLS-AM.  In a statement, Cumulus COO John Dickey says, “Chicago radio is a competitive and important market where we’re excited to add Peter’s expertise that positions up for future growth.  Bolger adds, “I think Chicago radio is the best there is.  Fortunately, we have incredible talent and deep resources at WLS.  I want to thank John Dickey, Mike McVay and Donna Baker for the opportunity to be part of the historic WLS brand.  I can’t wait to get started.”

walkerdwightWalker Announces His Retirement.  Six-year Entercom, San Francisco vice president/market manager Dwight Walker has been in radio for 30 years – the last 25 in the Bay Area.  He will be departing the company’s four-station (all are on FM) Bay Area operation, which is comprised of adult contemporary KOIT-FM, classic rock KUFX “The Fox,” sports KGMZ “The Game,” and urban AC KBLX.  “It has been a fun, rewarding, stimulating, and fantastic time,” he comments. “I have cherished my years with Entercom, a world-class company.  The vision of Entercom management and their commitment to radio is what will keep our industry and this cluster moving forward in a thriving and robust way.”  Family, travel, and Tahoe will become Walker’s top priorities, but he insists, “San Francisco will always be a part of an amazing and charmed life that I hold near and dear to my heart.”  According to Entercom station group president Weezie Kramer, “Dwight Walker is one of the best in the business.  Everyone at Entercom deeply appreciates Dwight’s years of hard work and leadership.  He will be missed in San Francisco and across the radio industry.”  Prior to joining Entercom, Walker was vice president of sales for cross-town Cumulus-owned KNBR, KFOG, and KSAN.  For nine years (1997 – 2006), he was general manager of KFOG and KSAN when Susquehanna owned those facilities.

ramseydaveDave Ramsey Changes Nashville Affiliates.  Nationally syndicated financial talk superstar Dave Ramsey moves to a new Nashville affiliate station beginning in the New Year as it joins Clear Channel Media and Entertainment’s news/talk WLAC to air in the 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm time slot.  Since January of this year, Ramsey’s show has been airing on Cromwell Radio Group’s sports talk WPRT “102.5 The Game.”  In a piece in The Tennessean, Cromwell’s Bud Walters admits the melding of Ramsey’s show and sports talk wasn’t the best fit and that the move is a mutual one.  “We have beenwlac logo friends for more than 20 years, and while we enjoyed this partnership from a personal standpoint, we both realize that from a business perspective our brands would be better served if we return to our respective formats.”  Dave Ramsey VP of broadcast Brian Mayfield states, “It’s great to be back on a news/talk station in Middle Tennessee.  WLAC has a long-standing tradition of quality radio in Nashville, and now with the addition of our show, offers the top three talk shows in America back to back.”  CC Nashville OM Michael Bryan adds, “We’re very excited to add the Dave Ramsey show to WLAC in the New Year.  Dave’s a legend in Nashville radio, and this aligns the power of his brand with the very best platform in talk radio.  It is a true home run for our listeners and advertisers.”

schultzedEd Schultz to Launch Live Theatrical Tour in 2014.  Nationally syndicated radio talk show host and MSNBC star Ed Schultz will be taking a show live to theaters in 2014.  Working in conjunction with Ron Hartenbaum‘s WYD Media, “The Ed Tour” commences on Saturday, February 8 with a booking in Fort Lauderdale and then several stops in the West including Seattle on Friday, February 21 with more locations to be announced shortly.  WYD Media has paved the way via an effective working model for talk show hosts to take theater-style shows on the road with the wildly successfully “Sexy Liberal Tour” starring Stephanie Miller which has also revved up for a number of dates in the remainder of 2013 and throughout 2014.

westwoodone logoWeather Channel and WestwoodOne Renew Ad Sales Agreement.  WestwoodOne and The Weather Channel announce that they have signed a multi-year agreement for the former to provide ad sales representation for The Weather Channel’s radio service.  The renewal runs through 2016.  The Weather Channel provides daily, customized cross-platform weather reports to individual radio stations around the country giving up-to-the-minute information on local weather or critical storm warnings.  WestwoodOne CEO Paul Caine says, “We are delighted to continue our partnership with The Weather Channel and to represent its superior brand across the radio community.  Weather is a hugely covetable component in the audio space, and serves as a critical resource for listeners.  In fact, we have found that listeners are more likely to tune or tap in for weather information than most all other content.  We are happy to know we can continue to provide our listeners access to the best weather information available.”

sbaaire logoSBS Readies AIRE Radio Networks.  Set to debut January 1, Spanish Broadcasting System‘s AIRE Radio Networks will reach listeners in nine of the top 10 markets with a weekly audience reported to be approximately 12 million listeners – roughly one-quarter of the U.S. Hispanic population.  AIRE Radio Networks will feature shows focused on current events, health and family, finances, education, sports and entertainment.  “This creation solidifies SBS’ expanding presence in Hispanic media and entertainment,” explains SBS chairman/president/chief executive officer Raul Alarcon.  “We’re excited about capitalizing on syndication growth opportunities.  AIRE Radio Networks will extend our top-ranked offerings to advertisers and listeners nationwide.”  Aire Radio Networks senior vice president of network operations & affiliate sales Elisa Torres comments, “We have put together a stupendous lineup to deliver a national platform.  With AIRE Radio Networks’ targeted choices and vehicles, we anticipate rapid growth for clients seeking to embrace nationwide Hispanic listeners.”  The Aire Networks include the “Advantage Network,” targeting Hispanic men; “Young Adult Network,” geared to Hispanics 18-49; “Millennial Network,” targeting Hispanics 18-34; “Prime Family,” aimed at families on weekends; and “The Mandril Network,” featuring Ricardo “El Mandril” Sanchez of Los Angeles’ KLAX “La Raza.”

truesteveWAUK, Milwaukee Sports Talk Personality Steve “The Homer” True Injured in Car Accident.  Sports talk host and Marquette University men’s basketball play-by-play voice Steve “The Homer” True was in critical condition yesterday at a Milwaukee hospital after his car was hit by an alleged drunk driver at 10:00 am on Wednesday morning.  The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports WAUK owner Craig Karmazin issued a statement late last night saying, “I spoke with Homer’s wife, Nancy, tonight.  She said Homer is doing pretty well and that doctors want to monitor his condition overnight.  On behalf of the True family and all of us at ESPN Wisconsin, I’d like to thank everyone for their thoughts and prayers.”  True suffered a head injury in the crash.  He has worked for Karmazin’s Good Karma Broadcasting at WAUK for the past eight years.

nasba logoNASBA Fires Off Letter to Washington Opposing Elimination of Advertising Deductions.  The National Alliance of State Broadcasters Associations submitted an official letter to House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp and Ranking Member Sander Levin detailing the opposition by the member state broadcasters associations to the possibility of altering the current deduction businesses may take for advertising expenses.  The letter reminds the legislators that any change to the deduction would harm broadcasters, notes that advertising has been part of the allowed deductions since the Tax Code was adopted 100 years ago and that radio stations generally receive 96% of their revenue from advertising (Television’s percentage is 94).

Odds & Sods.  Clear Channel’s KBME, Houston – flagship station for Houston Rockets hoops – will simulcast some of the team’s games on other CC stations in the cluster.  Some games will air on news/talk KTRH and a select number of Saturday games will simulcast on AC KODA and classic rock KKRW…..ESPN Radio’s “The Herd with Colin Cowherd” will be broadcasting live from Pardee Plaza on the campus of USC tomorrow in advance of the Stanford at USC game that ESPN Radio will air this weekend.

ObamaCare Rollout Criticism, GOP 2014 Strategies, Iran Nukes Deal, and Typhoon Haiyan Aftermath Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/13).  The debate in Washington over fixing the rollout of the Affordable Care Act or scrapping it altogether; Republican strategies for the mid-term elections in 2014; the proposed nuclear technology development deal between the United States and Iran; and the aftermath of deadly Typhoon Haiyan were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

| November 12, 2013

bloomquistrandallRandall Bloomquist Returns to Programming as Corporate News/Talk PD for Cumulus.  Cumulus Media announces the appointment of four executives to corporate programming posts and Randall Bloomquist – out of the radio station programming business since exiting WGST, Atlanta in January of 2009 – is named corporate PD for news/talk.  Current corporate programmer Jim Mahanay is named corporate PD for sports, allowing him to focus fully on thiscumulus logo growing aspect of Cumulus’ business.  In other appointments, Derek Madden of KLOS, Los Angeles and Scott Jameson (OM/PD at the Minneapolis cluster) continue their local station responsibilities but also add corporate rock programming duties.  In a statement, Cumulus COO John Dickey says, “Our success depends on executing effectively across programming at the local and national levels, which is why I’m very pleased about these new appointments that will help Cumulus continue building on our commitment to the very best content.”  Randall Bloomquist, who most recently operated Bloomquist Media executing content and promotional work for clients including Fisher House Foundation, says of returning to radio programming, “I’m thrilled to join Cumulus at this exciting time in the history of radio and audio content.  Cumulus is a true audio platform company well positioned to help shape the future of our industry.  I look forward to working with John Dickey, Mike McVay and the rest of the Cumulus news/talk team to create great radio that resonates with listeners and delivers for clients.”  In his career, Bloomquist has also programmed WMAL, Washington; WBT, Charlotte; and WRVA, Richmond.  He previously was the Washington, DC bureau chief for Radio & Records.

toucher&rich’98.5 The Sports Hub’ Renews ‘Toucher & Rich’ Morning Show.  Reporting that the morning team of Fred Toucher (left) and Rich Shertenlieb (right) has placed number one in the Men 25-54 demo for the past 14 Nielsen PPM rating periods, CBS Radio’s WBZ-FM, Boston “98.5 The Sports Hub” inks the duo to a new, multi-year contract.  CBS Radio Boston SVP and market manager Mark Hannon says, “’Toucher & Rich’ have connected with Boston sports radio listeners over the last four-plus years with their innovative, clever and funny content.  They are two great guys who have done an amazing job of anchoring ‘98.5 The Sports Hub,’ and we are thrilled that they will continue to wake up Boston for years to come.”

brucedamonKNBR, San Francisco Host Damon Bruce Status Unknown.  Sports talk host Damon Bruce has been under fire from many quarters after a rant related to the Richie IncognitoJonathan Martin case in which he stated the influence of women is causing sports to “lose its way.”  He said, in part, “There are very few – a small handful – of women who are any good at this at all.  That’s the truth.  This is guy’s stuff.  This is men’s stuff.  And I don’t expect women to understand men’s stuff anymore than they should expect me to be able to relate to labor pains.”  It’s being reported that Bruce has been suspended for two days but that his job is also still in jeopardy.  If the suspension report is accurate, he should be back on his 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm show on Wednesday (11/13).  For his part, Bruce is not apologizing and has indicated in recent Tweets that he’s not surprised by the “piling on” that’s taking place in the media over his comments.  Part of a recent Tweet states, “If me pointing out men set policy/tone/rules/ in sports makes me a sexist, bad guy, than ‘say goodnight to the bad guy!”

hollanderjoelJoel Hollander Joins Entercom’s Board of Directors.  Former CBS Radio president and Westwood One chairman and CEO Joel Hollander is named to the board of directors for Entercom Communications Corp.  Currently, Hollander is president and CEO of 264 Echo Place Partners, his own media consulting firm.  Entercom president and CEO David Field comments, “We are delighted to have Joel Hollander join Entercom’s board of directors.  Joel’s unique background, intellect and expertise make him an ideal addition to our board.”  Hollander adds, “I look forward to serving Entercom’s shareholders and helping grow their unique and powerful set of assets.  This is an exciting time for radio, and Entercom is strongly positioned to succeed going forward.”

flynnbillWEGO, Winston-Salem Talk Host Bill Flynn to Run for U.S. Senate.  Over the weekend, WEGO, Winston-Salem morning drive host Bill Flynn announced his candidacy for the U.S. Senate as a Republican.  Flynn hopes to win the Republican primary and challenge Democrat Kay Hagan who defeated Elizabeth Dole in 2008.  The Winston-Salem Journal reports that Flynn spoke to about 50 people at a “Sunday Funday” event in Kennersville, North Carolina.  Truth Broadcasting Company, owner of WEGO “AM 980 The Eagle,” has not announced the point at which Flynn will give up his daily radio program.

wgnlogoWGN, Chicago Adds Blackhawks Programming to David Kaplan Show.  Former Blackhawks player Eddie Olczyk is already a regular guest on David Kaplan’s evening sports talk show on Tribune’s WGN, Chicago.  Now, the station is adding more of Olczyk and making a live event out of the show.  The broadcast series dubbed “The Eddie O Show” — a series of six one-hour radio broadcasts hosted throughout the 2013-2014 season – will feature Olczyk during Kaplan’s show.  Each broadcast will feature in-depth hockey talk and listeners will have an opportunity to submit questions throughout the show.  The season premiere takes place on Monday, November 18 at Scout Waterhouse & Kitchen in Chicago and is open to the public.  The audience will have the opportunity to enter to win Blackhawks prizes, including merchandise and tickets.  Olczyk also serves as the color analyst for Blackhawks hockey on Comcast SportsNet Chicago and WGN-TV Channel 9.

biakelseychartBIA/Kelsey: Radio to Capture 11.5% of Local Ad Spend in 2013.  In a report detailing local ad spending, advisory firm BIA/Kelsey projects that radio will have garnered 11.5% of local ad spending for 2013 – totaling $15.2 billion – when all is said and done.  The full report is available to clients and radio stations and states that radio will grab the fourth largest share of local ad revenue behind direct mail, newspapers and TV.  The reports states, “The local radio market is growing, albeit at a more moderate pace than it once did, by expanding its offerings to off-air platforms, providing a wider range of listener experiences and advertiser opportunities.”  Chief economist and report author Mark Fratrik adds, “As we move toward 2014, it’s clear the radio industry has adapted to incredible competition from all sides, with streaming and other audio competitors taking audiences.  Yet local radio is surviving, and in some instances, thriving, and poised to compete well in the new marketplace.  Radio is also beginning to deliver other compelling digital services that help its local advertisers navigate promotional opportunities. With the right attitude towards the new reality of increased competition and strategic planning, local radio stations can prosper.”  The report offers tempered good news for radio when it states, “Another indication of the success of the radio industry’s performance is the recent increase in values of publicly traded radio companies.  Like other local media companies, values of public radio companies have increased by 68.2% through the first three quarters of 2013, easily beating the performance of the overall stock market.  But as competition for audience share continues to cut into audience share for radio stations, the industry needs to be on its toes to remain competitively viable.”

rhodesrandiRandi Rhodes Hints at Departure from Premiere in New Year.  The message board on her website is full of her fans commiserating the potential end of her Premiere Networks-syndicated talk show based on comments the progressive talk star made on her program about being unemployed in January.  There’s been no official statement from Randi Rhodes outside of the show chatter and Premiere has issued no notice to affiliate stations as of today (11/12).

Odds & Sods.  Salem Radio Network’s Bill Bennett will be away from his “Morning in America” nationally syndicated program tomorrow (11/13) and Peter Kirsanow, a former member of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, will sit in the guest host chair.  Kirsanow is a regular contributor to the National Review and is a partner with the Benesch’s Labor & Employment Practice Group and a member of the Diversity & Inclusion Committee…..Front Range Sports Network adds University of Kansas and Duke University men’s hoops to the programming at KDSP, Denver and KJAC, Fort Collins-Greeley…..Jim Blasingame’s “The Small Business Advocate” prepares to celebrate the program’s 16th anniversary on November 17.

ObamaCare Rollout Criticism, Veterans Day, Incognito-Martin Case, Philippines Typhoon Devastation, and ‘Blue Is the Warmest Color’ Controversy Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/11).  Ongoing debate and criticism of the rollout of the Affordable Care Act; the Veterans Day holiday; the case of Miami Dolphins player Jonathan Martin’s leaving the team and Richie Incognito’s television interview; the death and destruction after Typhoon Haiyan hits the Philippines; and the controversy over the new film “Blue Is the Warmest Color” were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

| November 6, 2013

entercomEntercom Reports Q3 Revenue Down 4%.  Bucking the trend of recent third quarter reports from other broadcasters showing generally moderate revenue growth, Entercom’s Q3 2013 financial statement indicated revenue down 4% on $98.4 million.  President and CEO David Field stated that station expenses increased 5% and the resulting adjusted EBITDA was down 22% to $26.2 million.  Field did tell investors during yesterday’s conference call that the company has been paying down debt, “We alsofielddavid continued to direct our substantial free cash flow towards debt reduction.  During the third quarter alone, we cut our net debt by $20 million, and have now lowered our net debt by nearly $450 million over the past six years.”  Field reported that local sales were down 5% and national revenue was basically flat.  Field admitted the company’s sales effort was the problem, stating that in the markets in which the company operates, total radio revenue was up 1%.  “Plain and simple, our sales performance in the third quarter was poor.  We failed to get the job done and that is unacceptable.  We lagged our radio peers by a significant margin, and failed to capitalize on our strong brands, ratings and marketing capabilities.”  Field reminded investors that the company anticipated a down third quarter due to recently enacted changes in the company’s sales strategies and practices and that the changes will make the company stronger in the long run.

sagaSaga Communications Inches Up 1.6% in Net Revenue.  For the third quarter of 2013, Saga Communications says the $35.8 million (ex political) resulted in a net revenue increase of 1.6%.  CEO Ed Christian told investors during yesterday’s conference call that considering how much the companychristianed is down from the loss of political from last year to this, the results are not bad though he had hoped to be up 2%.  Christian can be downright chatty during these conference calls and he took the time to reference a Barron’s article indicating America may be at the beginning of decades of slow growth and suggested radio’s prescription for adapting to such an economy is to focus on rebuilding radio’s image.  He says research shows people like radio but there needs to be more trust and respect.  “If we blend the community – and you can define community any way that you like it – if we blend the community and we blend radio into one, we’ll continue to survive and prosper, even in a 2% GDP world.”

salemcommunicationsSalem Communications’ Broadcast Division Announces Flat Q3 Numbers.  The broadcasting division of Salem Communications was up just a hair – 0.3% on $46 million dollars for the third quarter of 2013 compared to the same period a year ago.  During yesterday’s conference call, CFO Evan Masyr broke down the company’s performance by format, reporting, “Thirty-nine of our radio stations are programmed in what we call our foundational format Christian Teaching and Talk, these stations contributed 45% of total broadcast revenue and increased 1% for the quarter.  Block programming increased 2.3%, while infomercials were down 29.7% as we continue to reduce the infomercials on our radio stations to improve the overall programming on the stations.  Our 26 news/talk stations had a decrease of 6% in revenue for the quarter.  Overall, these stations contributed 14% of total broadcast revenue.  The revenue from the 12 contemporary Christian music stations contributed 24% of total broadcast revenue and had an increase of 5% for the quarter.  Again, we continue to see strong results from many of our music stations, most notably in this quarter Los Angeles and Dallas. The seven stations that we have programmed in Spanish language, Christian Teaching and Talk grew by 26%, and these stations comprised 2% of our broadcast revenue.  Finally, with respect to the formats that we focus on the 10 stations in a business talk format, and that format contributed 3% of our broadcast revenue and had a decrease of 2% in revenue.”  Thanks to Seeking Alpha for the conference call transcript.  Members can read the entire call here.

barnsmitchNielsen Promotes Mitch Barns to CEO.  The ratings giant – which recently brought radio ratings into its fold with the acquisition of Arbitron – announces that Dwight M. “Mitch” Barns will succeed David L. Calhoun as chief executive officer effective Jaunary 1, 2014.  Barns has been with Nielsen for the past 16 years, currently serving as president, global client service, which oversees $5.5 billion in revenue and leads the efforts of Nielsen’s Watch and Buy client service teams worldwide.  Upon Barns’ succession, David Calhoun will becomenielsen logo executive chairman of the board of directors, at which time Nielsen’s current Chairman of the Board, James M. Kilts, will step down as chairman, but will remain a board member.  Calhoun states, “Nielsen is successfully implementing its global strategy, and the time is right to name the next leader to take the company to its next phase of growth.  Mitch’s strong track record at the helm of a number of key Nielsen business units around the world – combined with his vision and commitment to our strategic plan – puts the company on solid footing for continued global expansion and value creation.  I will continue to remain invested in Mitch’s success in my new role.”  Barns adds, “I am honored by this opportunity to serve Nielsen as its chief executive officer, and I am thankful for the board’s vote of confidence.  Throughout my 16 years at this company, I’ve been privileged to work side-by-side with talented leaders and associates in Nielsen businesses across the world.  I look forward to continuing our work together to anticipate client needs with ongoing innovation and expand our footprint in developing markets, while consistently delivering growth and enhancing shareholder value.”

kfilogoKFI, Los Angeles Critic Files Petition to Deny License Renewal.  It’s probably not surprising to anyone at Clear Channel’s news/talk KFI, Los Angeles that Alex Nogales, representing the National Hispanic Media Coalition, has filed a Petition to Deny the station’s license renewal application.  Nogales has long been a critic of the station’s programming.  It’s hard to say whether Nogales actually believes the FCC would act on his assertions that because hosts such as John Kobylt and Ken Chiampou speak against illegal immigration that their show is “harmful and dangerous” and this could qualify as actionable or whether he just wants to get some publicity by announcing the filing of the Petition.  Regardless, as we’ve seen countless times before – and most recently with the Commission’s refusal to deny license renewal for Cumulus’ WMAL-AM/FM, Washington – disagreements with the opinions of talk show hosts are not valid reasons for non-renewal.  As it wrote in the recent WMAL case, the FCC states, “The Commission is prohibited from exercising any power of censorship over broadcast stations with respect to content-based programming decisions.  A licensee has broad discretion – based on its right to free speech – to choose the programming that it believes serves the needs and interests of the members of its audience.”

moceritonyProgrammer and Consultant Greg Moceri’s Son Tony Writes New Hannity Theme Music.  Tony Moceri is the 13-year-old son of talk radio programmer and consultant Greg Moceri and resides in Ada, Michigan.  Tony has been playing piano since he was five and currently is a percussionist in his middle school’s band.  Greg Moceri tells Mlive.com hannityseanthat, though he’s worked with Premiere Networks star Sean Hannity in the past, his connection didn’t influence the use of his son’s work.  He says Hannity’s staff was seeking new music, “They wanted a change and asked for something upbeat and lively for the show opening.  I wasn’t thrilled with what I was finding and then I remembered Tony’s piece and sent it to some people that I work with.  They all thought it was perfect and so I sent it to Sean.  I didn’t tell him where it came from; I didn’t want him to feel obligated.  But he loved it and now they are using it.”  Hannity told Mlive.com, “Isn’t this a great story?  When Greg sent me the music, I thought it was a pop song and wondered why I had never heard it.  I have a son about the same age…and I listen to a lot of kids music.  I love music and this is spectacular.”

wgnlogoOdds & Sods.  Hockey is back and so is WGN, Chicago’s broadcast series, “Chicago Blackhawks Live,” a number of one-hour radio remotes during the 2013-2014 season that take place over dinner and feature current Blackhawks players, legends, and front office executives.  It’s hosted by Blackhawks radio broadcasters John Wiedeman and Troy Murray and the season premiere will feature Blackhawks forwards Bryan Bickell and Andrew Shaw.  It takes place on November 11 at 7:00 pm at Old Town Pour House in Chicago…..Cuts at Rogers Communications are affecting some of the company’s spoken-word outlets.  The Ottawa Citizen reports that CIWW, Ottawa is losing seven staffers as the station will simulcast sister CJCL, Toronto “Sportsnet 590” for weekends and part of the weekday programming.  In all, Rogers is reportedly laying off 94 staffers…..MLB‘s Miami Marlins games will be heard on Clear Channel‘s sports talk WINZ, Miami beginning with the 2014 season.  This past season, Marlins play-by-play was heard on Lincoln Financial Media‘s WAXY, Miami.

monsondoriKIRO-FM, Seattle’s Dori Monson to Take on Governor Inslee in Hoops Challenge.  KIRO-FM, Seattle talk show host Dori Monson gets to face off with Washington Governor Jay Inslee in a charity basketball game tonight that will be broadcast live on KIRO-FM.  The “Clash on the Court” will benefit Food Lifeline and Sports in Schools.  The program consists of a five-on-five co-ed game between local youth, coached by Monson and Inslee, followed by a five-on-five game featuring show hosts from KIRO Radio and “710 ESPN Seattle” up against local politicians handpicked by Jay Inslee.  The event will conclude with a one-on-one game between Monson and Inslee.  Monson jokes, “This may be my first and only opportunity to force a local politician to go right!  This proves that, for us aging basketball players, we check our politics at the gym door.  I’m thrilled Governor Inslee and I – along with our colleagues – are able to get together to raise money for two great organizations.”

ObamaCare Criticism, Presidential Approval Polls, Election Day, Toronto Mayor Crack Case and NFL Bullying Controversy Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/5).  Criticism of the rollout of the Affordable Care Act; new lower numbers for President Obama’s approval ratings; the high-profile races in Tuesday’s elections, including gubernatorial contests in Virginia and New Jersey; the admission by Toronto Mayor Rob Ford that he’s used crack cocaine in the past; and the accusations of bullying within the Miami Dolphins organization were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

| November 5, 2013

bellartArt Bell Says Adios to SiriusXM After Six Weeks.  On his website, late night talk radio icon Art Bell writes that he’s leaving SiriusXM where his “Art Bell’s Dark Matter” program was airing after just six weeks for three reasons: SiriusXM’s web player is notoriously unreliable, causing a loss of subscribers and a degraded listening experience for those who remain listening online; for a “caller driven” show, the caller pool for Art’s show is just too small; and international listeners have no legitimate way to hear the show.  SiriusXM has not commented on Bell’s post nor any issues the two parties may be having.  TALKERS editors can’t help but wonder how these points weren’t discovered and dealt with prior to the announcement Bell would be joining the satcaster, especially in light of Bell’s additional comments.  They are: “This is not the first time that we have heard issues relating to the internet platform offered up by SiriusXM.  There have been a host of issues from the functionality to being booted off, to having longer shows reset from the beginning after an hour and a half, making it almost impossible to listen to a two hour show on demand.”  The post is written in third person and continues: “The departure of Bell, as unfortunate as it is, should be a signal to SiriusXM.  The company has a compelling product, great content, and great potential, but in some ways has lost the edge that it once had.  The frustrations of Bell can be heard on other channels as well.  Opie & Anthony, Howard Stern, Jay Thomas, and others have all at times expressed a great deal of frustration.  In some ways, the complaints of on air personalities ring back to the old FM days of terrestrial radio, a path that many consumers and on air personalities could not wait to get away from.”

millerstephanieMichael Medved and Stephanie Miller to Debate in Chicago.  WYD Media Management syndicated progressive talk host Stephanie Miller – based out of KTLK, Los Angeles – and KTTH, Seattle-based Salem Radio Networkmedvedmichael syndicated personality Michael Medved will meet in the Windy City for a debate of the hot issues of the day on Thursday at The Meadows Club in Rolling Meadows, Illinois.   The event is titled “The Great Debate 3” and will be moderated by WGN-TV political analyst Paul Lisnek.  Medved is heard in the market on Salem O&O WIND “AM 560 The Answer” and Miller’s show is carried on WCPT.  Issues debated will include: Will the Affordable Care Act be fully implemented or repealed?  Which is the bigger threat to American prosperity: big business or big government?  Is it constitutional for the NSA to spy on foreign leaders or the American people?

sileodan

Sports Talker Dan Sileo Fired from WMEN, West Palm Beach for Tweet.  Yesterday TALKERS magazine reported that Florida sports talk host Dan Sileo – who previously worked for WDAE, Tampa and WQAM, Miami prior to joining WMEN  “640 Sports” – Tweeted that he’d pay $1,000 to whichever player “took out” Florida State player Devonta Freeman because he felt Freeman was disrespecting his alma mater Miami during Florida State’s crushing win over the Hurricanes.  He then deleted the Tweet and apologized but that wasn’t enough for James Crystal Radio which let him go on Monday.  Sileo wrote on his Facebook page: “I want to first start this letter off by saying…We thank 640 AM SPORTS for having us on the station the last few months…was VERY COOL!!….With that…640 and myself are parting ways over a TWEET I made about an FSU player who I thought was DISRESPECTING the UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI…It was a moment of emotion when I said I would like to pay $1,000 for anybody to take him out…..NOW….I NEVER thought ANYBODY would take that serious but they have…a MOUNTAIN of BACKLASH has come against 640 and my family…There are NOW DEATH THREATS against me and my family and I have hired a private COP to protect US….So we UNDERSTAND that some of U took my comment serious…..AGAIN….Was just an EX Player saying a feeling that was wrong….To FSU…we APOLOGIZE…NO WAY would I ever want a kid hurt…..GOOD LUCK TO 640 AND THE CANES!”

sternhowardJimmy Kimmel to Host Howard Stern Birthday Bash on SiriusXM.  The satcaster says that for the first time on satellite radio the infamous Howard Stern Birthday Bash show will be heard on the evening of January 31, 2014 tokimmeljimmy commemorate Stern’s 60th birthday.  Jimmy Kimmel is expected to host the live broadcast from a major New York venue with an audience of VIPs and fans.  As he loves to do, Stern will reveal more about the show – including VIP guests, performers and the special location – over the next few months on his SiriusXM show.  Stern says, “With this birthday bash, we are finally one step closer to making my birthday the national holiday it deserves to be.”  Kimmel adds, “I am honored and excited to take part in a celebration of the life of my friend and hero Howard Stern.  This should be the best BaBa-birthday party ever.”

libertymedia logoLiberty Media Reports SiriusXM Q3 Financials: Revenue Up 11%.  Although Liberty Media acquired a controlling interest of SiriusXM in January of this year, Liberty is reporting the satcaster’s financial numbers separately because it “believes the presentation of financial results as reported by SiriusXM is useful to investors as the comparability of those results are best understood in the context of SiriusXM’s historical financial presentation.”  Highlights of SiriusXM’s earnings include: record revenue of $962 million, up 11% from third quarter of 2012; net income of $63 million; adjusted EBITDA grew 21% to a record $296 million; the company repurchased $1.6 billion in shares from January 1 through September 30, 2013.  Initial 2014 guidance is: revenue of over $4 billion and adjusted EBITDA of approximately $1.38 billion.

kassanmichaelMichael Kassan Media-Focused Feature to Begin on WOR, New York.  The Clear Channel news/talk outlet announces that “Medialinked — Inside Advertising and Media with Michael Kassan” debuts today.  The company says the new show offering industry reports from the highly influential business and media strategist will also be available on iHeartRadio and at wor710.com.  Kassan, who is founder, chairman and CEO of MediaLink and also serves as special advisor to CC chairman Bob Pittman, will provide a daily inside look at the advertising and media worlds featuring exclusive interviews with his personally selected list of major media and advertising figures as well as commentary on significant industry topics.  Special features will also include Kassan’s expert analysis and reports on key industry events including Ad Week, Association of National Advertisers (ANA), American Association of Advertising Agencies (AAA), Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and more.  Clear Channel New York market president Joe Puglise says, “Michael Kassan is an internationally recognized media specialist and his expert opinion will provide WOR listeners inside analysis of the media and advertising industry.  His passion and enthusiasm for the industry will resonate well with WOR listeners and provide an avenue for partners and advertisers to engage in the conversation.”

martinroland newsonenowbig‘News One Now with Roland Martin’ Debuts.  Radio One’s radio and television project featuring former CNN star Roland Martin debuted on Monday.  “News One Now with Roland Martin” is a three-hour radio show being syndicated by Radio One in which the third hour of the 10:00 am to 1:00 pm daily program is simulcast on the company’s TV One cable channel.  On the program’s premiere, Martin discussed topics including the controversial death of Kendrick Johnson; the Detroit mayoral race; Africa’s economic boom as well as spoke with Radio One and TV One CEO Alfred Liggins about minority ownership in the media.  Martin told the Houston Chronicle’s David Barron that this program, especially on the TV side, will bring important black Americans into the media to talk about today’s issues.  “This is a chance for us to show the breadth and depth of black America.  When was the last time you saw a black economist talking on television?  Other than Colin Powell, when was the last time you saw a black general talking about the military?  We can showcase that talent.”

bellaviadavidDavid Bellavia’s Stint at WBEN Buffaloed by Employer.  Last month Entercom announced that frequent fill-in and weekend talk show host David Bellavia was being given his own late night talk show – airing from 10:00 pm to 1:00 am – on news/talk WBEN.  Now, after just two weeks hosting the program, Bellavia has had to step down from the show after his full-time employer objected to his taking the position.  Not only will Bellavia not host his own daily program, he’s apparently not working for WBEN at all, including as the go-to fill-in personality for Sandy Beach and Tom Bauerle when they are away, which he had been doing in the recent past.  Reports from Buffalo indicate that Bellavia’s employer had a change of heart about his work with WBEN.  Michael Caputo is filling in for Sandy Beach and the station is running “Best of” programming in the late night slot.

ObamaCare Criticisms, 2014 and 2016 Elections, Virginia Governor Race, Dolphins Suspend Player for Misconduct, and New Jersey Mall Scare Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/4).  The ongoing scrutiny of the rollout of the Affordable Care Act; speculation about the GOP’s prospects in the 2014 mid-term elections and the 2016 presidential race; today’s Virginia governor contest, the suspension of a Miami Dolphins veteran over allegations of misconduct toward another rookie teammate; and the tensions caused by the suicide of a man at a New Jersey mall were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, October 28, 2013

| October 28, 2013

brokawtomClear Channel and Tom Brokaw Partner on Daily Features.  The three-times-daily feature is being called “An American Story” and will feature a wide range of topics — from newsworthy current events to historic figures to notable moments in history — which impact the lives of Americans today.   Tom Schurr, president of major markets for Clear Channel, says, “There are few public figures as respected as Tom Brokaw, one of the most trusted journalists in America.  We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to bring his insights and perspectives to our listeners across the country.”   Brokaw adds, “I am grateful to Clear Channel for the opportunity to offer observations on the dynamic changes in America as well as the lessons from our past.  Radio is where I began and it’s good to add it once again to my television duties.”

salespanelThe State of Radio Advertising and Sales.  Fresh from the recent Talkers Los Angeles 2013 conference in Hollywood (10/10), the video of “The State of Radio Advertising and Sales” panel moderated by RAB CEO/president Erica Farber is now posted (10/28) on TalkersTV.  The panelists participating in this comprehensive discussion about the ongoing challenges of generating revenue for radio broadcasting operations include (from l-r):  Terry Fahy, VP/GM, Salem, Los Angeles; Chris Pendl, creative director, Bonneville SeattleRon Hartenbaum, CEO, WYD/WYM Media; Bob Moore, president, Sports USA Media; and Paul Vandenburgh, president/GM/host, WGDJ, Albany.  Erica Farber (far right) is introduced by TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison.  To see this exclusive presentation in its entirety, please see the box marked TalkersTV on the upper right hand column of this page.

whptbillboardCox Media Group’s Hot Talk ‘The Bone’ Buys ‘Fire Schiano’ Billboard.  NFL fans in Tampa Bay are not happy with the Buccaneers’ 0-7 record and neither is local hot talk station WHPT “The Bone.”  The station bought a billboard in town that simply says, “Fire Schiano” – referencing the team’s coach Greg Schiano – and has the station’s logo in the bottom right corner.  Program director Michael Sharkey tells ESPN.com, “Our listeners have voiced their opinion that they are tired of a team that, on paper, should have a winning record.  This billboard isn’t a message to the Buccaneers as much as it is a message to our listeners that we are right there with them.”  Photo by Brett McMurphy.

scbagroupBest in SoCal Radio Creative Recognized.  The Southern California Broadcasters Association and its General Sales Managers Council honored the Southern California Ford Dealers, AIS Insurance, In-N-Out Burger, and Cedars-Sinai with its annual Outstanding Achievement in Radio Awards Luncheon on Thursday, October 24, at the Sheraton Universal Hotel in Universal City.  The awards – voted on by the GSM Council – represent the very best in creative radio commercials using both Southern California’s radio and digital platforms.  The event was highlighted by the special appearance of Mayor Eric Garcetti who recognized the “enormous contribution that local Radio makes to the Los Angeles region” and personally congratulated each SCBA award winner.  SCBA president Thom Callahan states, “This SCBA awards luncheon was a huge success for Southern California radio.  We had a complete sell out, recognized great Southern California advertisers, and presented a special lifetime achievement award for Cal Worthington, a southern California auto dealer icon.”  Pictured here are: (seated left to right) Nick Worthington, Worthington Ford; Dennis Shannon, FDAASC chairman, Citrus Motors; Kevin Roberts, FDAASC vice president, Lake Elsinore Ford; (standing): Miles Sexton, president, Point Broadcasting; Mark Casas, SVP/sales, AIS Insurance; Greg Ashlock, president/market manager Clear Channel Los Angeles; Michelle Guzman, director of marketing, In-N-Out Burger; Amber Perry, GSM council chair & GSM, KRTH; Jaime Jimenez, SVP/general manager, Univision Radio; Mark Ribisi, president/CEO, AIS Insurance; Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti; Dan Kearney, SVP/market manager, CBS Radio; Thom Callahan, president, SCBA; Marko Radlovic, president/general manager, Cumulus Los Angeles; Val Maki, vice president, Emmis Radio/KPWR.

hewitthughOdds & Sods.  Salem Radio Network nationally syndicated talk host Hugh Hewitt appeared at a luncheon debate event sponsored by O&O WHK, Cleveland dubbed, “Constitution Under Fire” at a local restaurant.  The program included a debate between Hewitt and noted civil rights attorney Avery Friedman.  Topics discussed included the Affordable Care Act, presidential overreach and the interpretation of the Constitution…..CBS Radio’s WIP-AM, Philadelphia “CBS Sports Radio” agrees with St. Joseph’s University to serve as the flagship station for the school’s men’s basketball play-by-play for the 2013-14 season.  In addition to airing games, the station will again serve as the host for Phil Martelli‘s “HawkTalk” radio show which will air live on Monday evenings from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm and will be held again at J.D. McGillicuddys in Havertown and consist of a call-in format with Martelli and host Joe Lunardi…..Entercom’s WEEI, Boston continues its coverage of the Boston Red Sox-St. Louis Cardinals World Series as today’s sports talk programs are emanating from St. Louis.  After the Dennis & Callahan morning show, the midday Mut & Merloni program airs followed by an extended edition of Salk & Holley beginning at 2:00 pm and leading into the pre-game show with Dave O’Brien and Joe Castiglione and the first pitch of Game 5 at 8:07 pm.

wachsfrenchmaidBusy Fundraising Weekend for Dr. Daliah Wachs.  Nationally syndicated talk show host (and practicing physician) Dr. Daliah Wachs – pictured here in her French maid Halloween costume – is very involved in fundraising for causes in which she believes and this was a busy weekend for her.  First, on Friday (10/25), Dr. Wachs appeared with Las Vegas radio personality Al B Sure at the “Dressed to Thrill” masquerade ball at Michael Jackson’s “Thriller Villa” to benefit the Shine Foundation that assists homeless veterans.  Then on Saturday, Dr. Wachs attended the Monster Mash Car Bash that benefits F.A.S.T. (Finding Autistic Solutions for Tomorrow).

robinhoodrelliefRobin Hood Sandy Relief Fund Drive Takes Place Tomorrow at CC’s New York Stations.  On Tuesday, October 29, Clear Channel’s New York City stations are urging listeners to continue assisting those recovering from last year’s devastating effects of Hurricane Sandy by texting STORM to 50555 to give $10 to the Robin Hood Sandy Relief Fund.  Clear Channel says that in addition to co-producing last year’s 12-12-12 benefit concert, it is continuing “to assist in the relief work in the coming months, or even years, until all of the impacted communities are on the road to recovery.”   The stations are also asking listeners to share their Sandy hero stories with the hashtag #SandyHero to share how those around them managed the storm, and helped others along the way.

Monday, October 14, 2013

| October 14, 2013

trn logoTalk Radio Network Sues Epic Times in U.S. District Court for Tortious Interference and Misuse of Trade Secrets.  EpicTimes.com is the website developed around talk show host Jerry Doyle – who is currently embroiled in legal issues surrounding the recent dramatic changes and financial issues at Talk Radio Networkepictimes logo At the core of this most recent action is a two-pronged complaint by TRN.  It alleges Epic – the company of which Jerry Doyle is president and CEO – is interfering with contracts TRN has with both Doyle himself and talk host Rusty Humphries by using their services for content for the EpicTimes.com site.  The interference claim is based on TRN’s assertion that it has exclusive content creation deals still in effect with Doyle and Humphries.  The complaint also alleges that Epic is misusing trade secrets through Epic’s conversion to its own use of the “confidential and proprietary business information of plaintiffs provided to Doyle in confidence and subject to nondisclosure agreements.”  TRN is seeking an inju