Tag: "ESPN Audio"

Friday, January 17, 2014

| January 17, 2014

wbbmlogoChicago Radio Revenue Dips.  Yesterday RadioInfo reported the increases in radio revenue in the New York City market and the Los Angeles/Southern California market.  The news wasn’t as good for the country’s third largest market (as reported by Chicago media writer Robert Feder) as Chicago saw radio revenue for the year 2013 sink 2.5%.  Feder reports market radio revenue dipped to just under $420 million from the almost $431 million billed in 2012.  The Chicago report is based on Miller Kaplan Arase numbers and in a rundown of the top billers in the market for 2013, Feder notes CBS RADIO’s all news WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM simulcast landed in first place billing almost $42 million.  At #2 was Hubbard Radio’s hot AC WTMX with $37.5 million and following at #3 was Tribune news/talk WGN with $29.2 million.  Check out the entire list here.

loeschdanaLoesch to Launch Nationally Later This Month. Conservative talk host Dana Loesch goes national one week from Monday (1/27) via Radio America with “The Dana Show” airing daily from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm ET.  “She isradioamerica feisty and fearless without being abrasive and shrill,” comments Radio America chief operating officer Mike Paradiso.  “She connects with younger listeners, while still appealing to the core talk demo.  We think Dana is everything talk programmers have been looking for, but have not been able to find.  We are excited to be partnering with Emmis on her syndication.”  Loesch is heard on Emmis talk outlet KFTK, St. Louis and co-owned Indianapolis talker WIBC.  KFTK program director Jeff Allen states, “Dana’s unique take on issues, along with her ability to make them entertaining, has made her successful here in a very short time.  She has made a huge impact for us in ratings and revenue.  No other syndicated radio program sounds like ‘The Dana Show.’”  A former newspaper columnist, Loesch is the 2012 winner of Accuracy in Media‘s Grassroots Journalism award and the Breitbart Spirit Award.

szokesandraGreater Media Brings Sandra Szoke Back to Charlotte Duo.  At the Charlotte duo of news/talk WBT-AM/FM and hot AC WLNK, Greater Media announces sales pro Sandra Szoke returns to take on the director of sales role.  Most recently, Szoke served as local sales manager at Time Warner Cable in Charlotte.  Prior to Greater Media’s purchase of the stations from Lincoln Financial Media in 2008, Szoke had worked with them as senior account executive, assistant director of business development /marketing and public affairs director.   Senior vice president and market manager Rick Feinblatt says, “We are thrilled to welcome Sandra back in the role of director of sales to the Greater Media Charlotte family.  Her leadership, knowledge of the market and familiarity of WBT and WLNK made her the perfect choice for the position.”  Szoke comments, “I’m humbled and grateful for the opportunity to lead such an accomplished team of professionals.  I’m equally excited to represent Greater Media, WBT and WLNK in the community.  Charlotte is filled with businesses that have grown and thrived by telling their stories on WBT and WLNK over the years.  It’s an honor to represent these legendary stations alongside this talented staff.”

mancowMancow Issues Statement Announcing Separation from TRN-FM.  Talk show host Erich “Mancow” Muller officially announces his separation from former syndicator Mark Masters-run TRN-FM.  A press statement indicating Mancow is focusing on new projects including TV and the continued syndication of his Chicago-based morning radio program was released.  In it, Mancow says, “I have enjoyed my time with Mark, TRN-FM and the TRN-FM team immensely.  I now move on to exciting projects on TV and radio.  I deeply appreciate everyone that has helped me to get to where I am today.”

rathertbrandonBranden Rathert Re-Ups with WNRP, Pensacola.  Award-winning afternoon host Branden Rathert signs a new contract to remain with ADX Communications-owned news/talk station WNRP, Pensacola “NewsRadio 1620” for another three years.   Rathert – who joined the station in 2009 – has garnered two awards from the Florida Associated Press for his documentaries. The first investigated the plight of the homeless in Escambia County and the second shed light on the Escambia County Sheriff’s Department Tactical Unit.  He has also won two Edward R. Murrow news awards, one for his local coverage of the 2012 Sandy Hook elementary school shooting.  Rathert hosts “Pensacola Right Now” from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm.

wtoplogoWTOP, Washington Adjusts Anchor Lineup.  The anchor lineup at Hubbard Radio all-news WTOP, Washington changes on Monday, January 20 as Joan Jones joins Mike Moss to co-anchor morning drive from 5:00 am to 10:00 am.  WTOP anchor Bruce Alan, formerly co-anchor of morning drive, moves to middays, 10:00 am to 2:00 pm, where he joins current anchors Mark Lewis and Debra Feinstein.  Alan and Lewis will share anchor duties across the entire week, with Lewis picking up Saturdays and Alan adding Sunday anchor duties.  Rounding out the midday team is sports reporter George Wallace and traffic reporter Reada Kessler on weekdays, with traffic reporter Dave Dildine on weekends.  Shawn Anderson and Hillary Howard will continue to co-anchor afternoon drive with Bob Marbourg in the WTOP traffic center and Dave Preston with sports.  Veronica Robinson’s role expands to five nights a week, joining Dimitri Sotis at the anchor desk from 7:00 pm to 12:00 midnight with Bob Immler reporting on traffic and Jonathan Warner on sports.  Anchor Dean Lane will continue to host overnights from 12:00 midnight to 5:00 am.  WTOP program director Laurie Cantillo says, “These moves further WTOP’s commitment to inform and engage our listeners with quality information 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  You won’t find a stronger lineup of dedicated broadcast journalists anywhere in America.”

westcottpaulOdds & Sods. Sports journalist and broadcaster Jason Whitlock debuts his new podcast series via ESPN Audio.  “Real Talk with Jason Whitlock” premiered this week with two podcasts – the first featuring ESPN’s Dan Le Batard and the second a discussion with Isiah Thomas about college athletes, how some are not prepared academically for college and who is responsible.  The podcasts are available via the ESPN app and iTunes…..WTAG, Worcester morning show host Paul Westcott sits in for Andy Dean on Premiere Networks’ nationally syndicated “America Now” show tonight (1/17).

regional reps logoMiller Fink Joins Regional Reps.  Cleveland-based Regional Reps Corp. announces Kathleen Miller Fink will become a member of its account management team on February 10.  Regional Reps Corp. calls itself “the country’s oldest and one of the largest independent sales representatives specializing in small and medium market radio stations.”  Miller Fink has worked at Interep as well as having served selling time locally in the Atlanta market.  She says of her new position, “I am very excited to be joining the Regional Reps team.  Their passion to provide the highest quality of service speaks volumes to the commitment they have for their station clients and advertising partners.  I look forward to playing an essential part of the company’s growth.”

sullivanboWHYN, Springfield Morning Personality Bo Sullivan Battling Cancer.  Longtime morning personality at Clear Channel’s news/talk WHYN, Bo Sullivan, has gone public with his battle against testicular cancer.  Reported in the Springfield Republican, Sullivan tells the paper he was ultimately diagnosed in mid-December and that the cancer had begun to spread to his lungs.  After seeking treatment at Boston’s Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Sullivan is currently undergoing chemotherapy and is half way through that part of the treatment.  He says the doctors tell him they are happy with how the treatment is progressing.  Sullivan co-hosts the “Brad & Bo Show” with Brad Shepard.  He’s been a part of WHYN’s on-air staff for more than 16 years.

KRLD-FM eggJustin Bieber Egg Roulette.  In honor of pop star Justin Bieber being investigated for egging his neighbor’s house, the cast of “G-Bag Nation” at CBS RADIO’s KRLD-FM, Dallas “105.3 The Fan” played a game of egg roulette on the air.  The concept is simple: the cast members each took turns crushing an egg against his forehead; four of the eggs were hard-boiled, one was not.  Here you see cast member Alex Alexander “losing” on his second try.  Also playing the game were Gavin Dawson, Chris Arnold and Mike Bacsik.

stockgallagherLive from Las Vegas.  Talk radio hosts Mike Gallagher (left) and Alan Stock (right) pose for a photo from the KDWN, Las Vegas broadcast booth at the SHOT show in Las Vegas this week.  SHOT stands for Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Travel and the huge confab is hosting a number of talk personalities as they broadcast live from the event.  Mike Gallagher is heard nationally via the Salem Radio Network and Stock hosts morning drive at Beasley’s KDWN.

wexlerscienceshowWFAS, Westchester, New York Host Lisa Wexler Spearheads Awards Program for Science-Minded High School Students.  In addition to her daily afternoon program (4:00 pm to 6:00 pm) that addresses general and local issues, talk show host Lisa Wexler created the “Acorda Scientific Excellence Award Program” that airs on the station on Sundays.  Wexler tells TALKERS the goal of the show is to spotlight students excelling in the STEM subjects – science, technology, engineering and mathematics – and the research they are doing in related fields.  Acorda Therapeutics is a Westchester-based biotech firm that sponsors the program and Wexler serves as host.  On Thursday, January 16, a special ceremony and live broadcast was done from the Westchester County offices during which students received plaques recognizing them for the impressive research of which they are a part.  The program and event is a collaboration of WFAS, Acorda Therapeutics and the Westchester County Youth Bureau and Office of Economic Development.  Pictured here with six of the participating students are: WFAS senior marketing executive Andrew Castellano (far left), County Executive Robert P. Astorino (fourth from left), Wexler (center), and Tierney Saccavino, senior vice president, Corporate Communications at Acorda (third from right).

mcculloughkevinTALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  Cumulus Media Network’s “Savage Nation” with Michael Savage is added to the program lineup at KBHS, Hot Springs, Arkansas…..The daily Kevin McCullough show from XtreMedia is added to the schedule at KOOW, Ft. Collins, Colorado; KSIK/KMKZ, Greeley, Colorado; WMFJ, Daytona Beach; and KNLB, Lake Havasu City, Arizona…..“Free Talk Live” with Ian Freeman and Mark Edge is part of the programming at KVNA, Flagstaff, Arizona; WELW, Willoughby, Ohio; KSET, Beaumont, Texas; and WLOH, Lancaster, Ohio…..WYM Media Management’s Leslie Marshall show is added to the lineup at KPHX, Phoenix…..The “Car Care for the Clueless” feature hosted by Pam Oakes is now heard on CBS RADIO stations including WINS, New York; WBZ-AM, Boston; KRLD-AM, Dallas; and KNX Los Angeles.

Chris Christie Scandal Top News/Talk Story for Second Week.  The lane closure scandal that’s rocking New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s administration was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio for the second week in a row.  Coming in at #2 on the Talkers TenTM was the controversy over former Defense Secretary Robert Gates’ memoir in which he is critical of President Obama’s administration.  Following at #3 was Hillary Clinton’s possible run for president in 2016 and at #4 was criticism of the rollout of the Affordable Care Act.  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.  To view this week’s entire chart, click here.

Monday, November 11, 2013

| November 11, 2013

gamblingjohnrWOR, New York’s John R. Gambling Announces Retirement.  New York City radio legend John Gambling – who followed in the footsteps of both his father and grandfather in entertaining Big Apple radio listeners – told his audience this morning (11/11) that he will retire at the end of the year.  Gambling has worked in radio for the past 40 years, 35 of that in New York City.  He told listeners his last show will be December 20.  John R. Gambling is the grandson of John B. Gambling who was the morning host on WOR, New York from 1925 to 1959 when his son, John A. Gambling assumed the morning host role at the station.  John R. co-hosted the “Rambling with Gambling” show with his father John A. on WOR from 1985 to 1991.  Gambling states, “I have done and accomplished so much.  My radio career has given me the privilege to entertain and inform millions of New Yorkers.  Each day, to watch the greatest city on earth from behind the microphone has been a thrill and I’ve been blessed with an audience that has been loyal and engaging.  To say it has been exciting doesn’t come close to the joy I have had.”  Clear Channel is beginning a search for a replacement morning show.

wpht logoWPHT, Philadelphia Airs Veterans Day Broadcasts.  CBS Radio news/talker WPHT, Philadelphia is airing a day of remote broadcasts in honor of Veterans Day.  Today, Rich Zeoli broadcast from the Delaware County Veterans Memorial from 6:00 am to 9:00 am.  Midday host Dom Giordano is doing his show live from the 54th Media, Pennsylvania “Annual Veterans Day Parade.”  During afternoon drive, “Talk Radio 1210” personalities Dick Morris, Gary R’nel and Rich Zeoli are broadcasting live from The Green Parrot Restaurant in Newtown.

duanedoobie graphicVeterans Day Offers Radio Broadcasters the Opportunity to be Heroes. RadioInfo (TALKERS magazine’s sister publication on the music side) music editor/director Duane Doobie says that although most of the radio industry is open for business as usual today (including the trades), “In the communications business – particularly radio — you can probably do more to honor the true meaning of a holiday as significant as Veterans Day by going to work and raising consciousness about the meaning of the holiday. It sure beats taking a day off and paying tribute to the purpose of the observation by having a backyard barbeque or going to the beach or a sporting event and drinking a lot of beer, watching endless hours of a Twilight Zone marathon… or buying a car, or worse, planning to camp out on the sidewalk in front of a box store fully prepared to stampede your neighbors in order to save money on a new flat screen television or smart phone with the latest bells and whistles.” In a special commentary posted today (11/11) Doobie continues, “Our publisher Michael Harrison has been speaking at major industry events calling upon radio broadcasters to ‘never miss any opportunity to be a hero.’  He says it is a principle of radio broadcasting that strikes a chord into the very heart of what we are all about – a practice that is good for BOTH business and the soul. Thus, I ask you to look around and ask yourself, is your radio station – are you on your show – doing something special today to be a hero?  Are you doing anything special today to be a hero by honoring the true heroes in every single market in America… our veterans?”  To read Duane Doobie’s entire column, please click here.

espnaudiologoESPN Audio Reorganization Puts Jim Pastor in Charge of ESPN Local.  ESPN confirms the changes in the structure of its O&O radio stations and their websites.  Former WMVP, Chicago “ESPN 1000” general manager Jim Pastor is named SVP of ESPN Local.  This puts him in charge of the company’s three O&O stations (WMVP, Chicago; WEPN-FM, New York and KSPN, Los Angeles) as well as their websites and ESPNDallas.com.  Current WMVP VP/GM John Cravens will take the new title vice president of local revenue and KSPN VP/GM Scott McCarthy will become vice president of local content and will report to Pastor.  The move separates the national and local sectors with SVP Mo Davenport overseeing ESPN Network Audio.  ESPN senior vice president, production business divisions Traug Keller says, “We have identified two key areas – network and local business – to align leaders with division priorities to provide better services and products for our fans.  The successful partnership of our ESPN local websites and owned radio stations has helped our local business thrive.  Organizing by function will allow us to leverage individual and team strengths across the entire business.”

pintekmikeKDKA-AM, Pittsburgh’s ‘High School Tour’ Brings Teen Issues to the Fore.  CBS Radio news/talk station KDKA-AM, Pittsburgh continues its “High School Tour” on Thursday, November 14 as midday talk host Mike Pintek broadcasts live from Woodland Hills High School in Churchill, Pennsylvania.  The station states that the “’The High School Tour’ is a chance for KDKA to talk with students in different areas of our region about current events and the issues that affect them.  Some of the topics Pintek has focused on are social media concerns, bullying, texting while driving as well as events in the current news cycle.  The schools select students that participate in the broadcast.”  During the broadcasts, Pintek elicits the perspective of the school’s superintendent, principal or other faculty.

sexyliberalTwo More Stops Added to Stephanie Miller’s ‘Sexy Liberal Comedy Tour.’  WYD Media Management nationally syndicated talk show host Stephanie Miller (center) is taking her “Sexy Liberal Comedy Tour” out on the road again in 2014 and has added two more cities to the itinerary.  Miller – along with fellow comedians and radio show contributors Hal Sparks (right) and John Fugelsang (left) – will be visiting the Barrymore Theatre in Madison, Wisconsin on March 29 as well as the Orpheum Theatre in Phoenix on February 14.  The tour begins in Seattle on December 14 of this year at the Paramount Theatre.

wheelerkevinWXOS, St. Louis Adds Thompson and Wheeler to Air Staff.  Hubbard Radio’s sports talk WXOS “101ESPN” brings former MLB player Brad Thompson and sports talk pro Kevin Wheeler aboard the air staff.  Wheeler begins hosting an eponymous show on November 25 to air in a yet-to-be-announced daypart.  Thompson will join the afternoon drive “Fastlane” show alongside D’Marco Farr and Randy Karraker beginning in January.  Thompson has been serving as a fill-in host for the station on its daily programs and most notably subbed for former St. Louis Cardinals star Chris Duncan during his recent recovery from brain surgery.  Wheeler is coming to WXOS from his most recent position at crosstown news/talk KMOX where he hosted the “Sports Open Line” show as well as a pre- and post-game shows for both the St. Louis Cardinals and the St. Louis Blues.  Program director Chris “Hoss” Neupert says, “Both Brad Thompson and Kevin Wheeler bring unique perspectives and experience to the ‘101ESPN’ team, and I am looking forward to getting them both on the air to enlighten and entertain our listeners.”

capalbogeorgejBroadcast Engineer Legend George J. Capalbo Passes at 86.  Pioneering broadcast engineer George J. Capalbo passed away on Friday, November 8.  He is remembered for his contributions to the radio broadcasting industry.  Capalbo’s many accomplishments include serving as chief engineer for WRKO, Boston when the station launched as top 40 outlet “Big 68” in 1967.  He also built the FM station WAAF, Worcester, now owned by Entercom, that serves both the Boston and Worcester metros.  Capalbo is credited by WRKO’s then-general manager Mel Phillips with putting together a state-of-the-art broadcast facility for television and radio “from scratch” at 7 Bulfinch Place in Boston, and with developing WRKO’s radio automation system.  Capalbo served as president of engineering for the RKO Radio division and supervised seven AM stations and seven FM stations in markets including New York, Chicago and Los Angeles.  He is also credited with building the RKO Satellite Network, the first radio satellite delivery network.  For the RKO Satellite Network, Capalbo designed the distribution network in New York City as well as the news bureau in Washington, DC.  Capalbo enlisted in the Armed forces in 1944 at the age of 17 right out of high school and served for two years until the end of World War II.  He left the service with a rank of Radioman Second Class.

wsrq logoWSRQ, Sarasota Partners with Gannett’s WTSP-TV for Content.  Florida Talk Radio-owned news/talk WSRQ, Sarasota (also heard on translator W295BH, Sarasota) enters into a deal with Gannett’s WTSP-TV “10 News” to locate two staffers from the television station in the former’s Sarasota studios.  Sarasota reporter Isabel Mascareñas, along with “10 News” photojournalist Tim Burquest will be based in the newsroom, allowing “10 News” to quickly cover breaking news and events in the Sarasota area.  Additionally, WTSP will provide video, weather radar and custom Sarasota weather forecasts for WSRQ.  WSRQ general manager Susan Nilon states, “Our goal is to focus specifically on Sarasota issues.  This partnership with ‘10 News’ allows for even better coverage of the wonderful place we call home.”

cfrbEmbattled Toronto Mayor’s Radio Show Ends.  Toronto Mayor Rob Ford’s weekly radio program that aired on Bell Media’s CFRB, Toronto “Newstalk 1010” has been eliminated from the station’s program schedule by a mutual decision, according to station management.  Rob Ford and his brother, Toronto city councilor Doug Ford, hosted “The City with Mayor Rob Ford” that aired Sunday afternoons from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm.  Rob Ford has been at the center of a drug use scandal that has been a major news story not only in Toronto and Canada but across the United States as well.

townsquaremediaFCC Tightens Divestiture Trust Policy with Townsquare’s Cedar Rapids Application.  The long period of time during which radio stations have sat in divestiture trusts while still putting money into the pockets of the “previous” owners has been a sore spot for some broadcasters, but that is changing as the FCC signals it’s not going to approve long-termed trusts.  The commission is approving the transfer of two of Townsquare Media’s Cedar Rapids stations – KKHQ-FM, Oelwein and KOEL-FM, Cedar Falls – to the Cedar Rapids Divestiture Trust on the condition that the term of the trust is two years and the trustee file reports every six months describing the efforts to sell them.  In discussing the matter, the commission notes that the economy, and therefore the climate for buying and selling radio stations, is in much better shape than it was in 2008 when Clear Channel created the Aloha Trust.  It notes that five years later, 37 of the 57 stations put in the trust have been sold with the sale of two more pending.  The commission concludes that “a reasonable limitation on the duration of a divestiture trust will best serve the public interest by requiring the parties to a trust agreement to meet a deadline to place the stations with a new operator to ensure long-term compliance with the requirements of the Local Radio Ownership Rule.”

beckkalinerGlenn Beck Visits Asheville.  Premiere Networks nationally syndicated star Glenn Beck is pictured here with WWNC, Asheville, North Carolina afternoon drive talk show host Pete Kaliner at the WWNC studios.  Beck did his radio program from the station on November 8 while in town for the celebration of Reverend Billy Graham’s 95th birthday.  The event was attended by some 900 well-wishers including Donald Trump and Sarah Palin.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

| November 20, 2012

Holiday Season Provides Opportunities for Seasoned Talk Pros.  The holidays hold ample opportunities for pro talkers looking to get that on-air “audition,” to hone their skills and keep their name out there.  A great example of this is talk show host and former Republican Congressman from Arizona J.D. Hayworth who has a busy holiday week schedule on the fill-in circuit.  On Wednesday he’s in for Sirius XM’s Mike Church from 6:00 am to 9:00 am and for Pete Kaliner at WWNC, Asheville, North Carolina from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm.  On Thanksgiving Day he’ll sub for WPHT, Philadelphia’s Buzz Bissinger from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm.  Friday J.D. is in  for WPHT, Philadelphia’s Chris Stigall in AM drive, for Cumulus Media NetworksMike Huckabee from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm and in for Sirius XM’s David Webb from 9:00 pm to 12:00 midnight.  On Saturday, he’ll do the evening shift from 8:00 pm to 11:00 pm at WPHT.  Hayworth – who hosted a popular program at KFYI, Phoenix in his home town – can be contacted at 602-615-6956.

ESPN Audio and Lincoln Financial Media’s WQXI, Atlanta Bring Colin Cowherd Back to the Market.  LFM’s sports talk outlet WQXI “790 The Zone” creates some relief for its local talent in the middle of the day by adding ESPN Audio’s “The Herd with Colin Cowherd” from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon beginning December 3.  The station’s “Mayhem in the AM” morning show has been airing until 11:00 am with the “Red Zone” midday program airing from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm.  The station also will be carrying select weekend programming from ESPN beginning on Saturday, December 1.  WQXI program director and Atlanta Falcons Radio Network executive producer Bob Richards says, “‘790 The Zone’ is proud to become the new home for ESPN Audio and Colin Cowherd in Atlanta.  Combining ESPN and Colin with being the flagship station of the Atlanta Falcons Radio Network, the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, the Chik-Fil-A Bowl and our top-rated local drive-time shows creates an unbeatable combination of local and national talent and content.”

Social Media Rant Earns WNWS, Jackson, Tennessee Host Suspension.  Mid-morning talk host Bill Way – host of the “It’s Your Turn” program on The Wireless Group’s WNWS, Jackson, Tennessee – is suspended for “a few days” after writing a derogatory Facebook post about President Obama.  The Jackson Sun reports that Way wrote, “A short message to Obama voters. To vote for him with a 9.2 unemployment rate, a (expletive) of Benghazi lies, $16,000,000,000 in debt and an israeli war, (a derogatory reference to the sex scandal involving David Petraeus), a pimp walking prez married to cheetahs daughter…expect what you will most certainly get. bye bye medicare. hello homeless.. I love America except for the idiots.”  Way did not finish his program on Monday morning.  He apologized on the air before another host finished the program.  Station general manager Larry Wood stated, “WNWS-FM learned about the comments Bill Way made on his personal Facebook page.  In no way do they reflect the positions or thoughts of any of us at WNWS-FM.  We certainly don’t condone the comments from Bill and appreciate his public apology.  We’re discussing his comments and apology. Considering the gravity of the situation, for now, by mutual agreement, Bill is taking a few days off.”

Marijuana Radio Show Celebrates 5th Anniversary.  The Lanny Swerdlow-hosted “Marijuana, Compassion and Common Sense” program aired its 5th anniversary program on Broadcast Management Services’ KCAA, Loma Linda, California (Riverside/San Bernardino market) on Monday evening.  Discussion on the unusual program centers on medical marijuana issues and the reform of marijuana laws.  When station CEO Fred Lundgren was approached by Swerdlow with the show concept, he consulted his attorney who advised him the show could not promote the sale of anything illegal in California or be heard in a state where medical marijuana is illegal.  Lundgren says that even though the issue is a thorny one in the market, the First Amendment was his guide and he allowed the show to air on his station.  He reports it to be one of KCAA’s most popular programs.  Monday’s anniversary show featured Dennis Peron, “father” of the medical marijuana movement in California, and Anna Boyce, a retired nurse who was the public face of Proposition 215 back in 1996 when the issue was placed before the voters.

Journal’s WTMJ, Milwaukee Sponsors “Kids 2 Kids Christmas.”  The holiday charity promotion “Kids 2 Kids for Christmas” encourages families in Southeastern Wisconsin to take their children shopping for toys for kids in the region who are less fortunate.  Journal Broadcasting’s news/talk flagship WTMJ, Milwaukee is operating the campaign now through December 15 with locations throughout the city where toys can be dropped off.  During last year’s campaign, more than 10,000 toys were collected and the station has set the same goal for this year.

Odds & Sods.  “Grease” stars John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John will take part in Sirius Satellite Radio’s “Town Hall” program on December 12 where the two will answer fan questions about their careers, including their roles as Danny Zuko and Sandy Olsen in the movie “Grease” as well as their new holiday album “This Christmas.”  Travolta and Newton-John will donate the artist proceeds from the album equally to their respective charities – the Jett Travolta Foundation and the Olivia Newton-John Cancer and Wellness Centre in Melbourne, Australia…..Cumulus Media’s WPRO & 99.7 FM, Providence goes live with its web feature documenting Rhode Island’s top “turkeys” of 2012 – the most infamous newsmakers of the year.  The station says WPRO reporter Dee DeQuattro created “this interactive click-through that features the most infamous newsmakers of 2012 and some of their failed schemes that have earned them a place on the turkey list…From people who gobbled up your tax dollars to those who got the stuffing knocked out of them this year, 630WPRO.com will have all the juicy details.”

‘Fiscal Cliff,’ Petraeus-Broadwell Scandal, Israel-Hamas Violence, Obama Cabinet Status, and San Francisco Public Nudity Ban Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/19).  The challenge Washington faces avoiding broad tax hikes and automatic spending cuts before the New Year; the state of the David Petraeus-Paula Broadwell scandal; escalating violence between Israel and Hamas; changes in the Obama Administration Cabinet; and proposed legislation to limit public nudity in San Francisco were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

| January 18, 2012

Clear Channel Forges into Future of Entertainment; Names John Sykes President of Entertainment Enterprises.  If there comes a time in the future when radio companies are forced to address why their business plans failed as technology and media tastes were changing all around them, for Clear Channel it certainly won’t be for lack of trying to use its enormous radio station base from which to move forward.  On the heels of last week’s announcement of the name change – jettisoning the “radio” part and tacking “media” and “entertainment” onto its name – the company announces it is bringing entertainment pro John Sykes aboard to serve as president of entertainment enterprises.  In announcing the hire, CC states, “Sykes will use the unparalleled assets of Clear Channel –  including its 238 million monthly broadcast radio listeners, the 141 million people it reaches with Outdoor in the United States and the 374 million internationally, as well as the more than 75 million monthly listening hours for its digital properties – to develop new businesses for the company across a range of media, including television and live events, as well as create value for Clear Channel advertisers and key partners.”  Sykes has served as president of VH1, president of network development for MTV, CEO of the old Infinity Broadcasting, president of Champion Entertainment, president of Chrysalis Records, and an agent for Creative Artists Agency.  Most recently he was with the private equity firm Pilot Group – the connection to Clear Channel CEO Bob Pittman.  Pittman says of Sykes, “John’s experience and relationships in so many sectors of the entertainment and media business make him the perfect choice to lead this new initiative.”  Clear Channel doesn’t have a lot of time.  It has some $20 billion in debt hanging around its neck that comes due in chunks over the next four years and the pace at which media and technology is changing is faster than anyone can anticipate – including those new-tech operators who say they’re ahead of the game.  But, in so many words, Clear Channel is making the statement it is bound and determined to use its large base of radio listeners to build something that will exist – and hopefully make money – in the future.  And bringing in connected players from outside the traditional radio business could be the strategy that helps it survive.

CBS Radio Detroit Brings Bob Wojnowski and Jamie Samuelsen Back to the Airwaves on “The Ticket.”  Detroit sports media pros Bob “Wojo” Wojnowski and Jamie Samuelsen are being paired up for a 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm show on WXYT-FM “The Ticket.”  Both have worked on sports talk radio in the market previously on Clear Channel’s WDFN.  WXYT-FM program director Jimmy Powers says, “We are extremely pleased to have Jamie and Wojo join our line-up. They are a natural fit. They have been dialed into the Detroit sports scene for many years, giving fans information on their favorite teams. Jamie and Wojo will continue to entertain listeners on their way home from work or to the stadium.”  Wojnowski is also currently a columnist for the Detroit News and Samuelson is a regular blogger for the Detroit Free Press.

KMBZ, Kansas City Makes PM Drive Changes.  Mike Shanin leaves his role on the “Shanin and Parks” afternoon show at Entercom’s KMBZ, Kansas City and takes the business editor role at the station.  The station says it will continue to rely on Shanin’s “expertise and knowledge for political commentary.”  Filling his seat alongside Scott Parks is KCTV-TV investigative reporter Dana Wright.  She says of her new radio role, “This is really a dream opportunity for me.  Journalism is my passion and I look forward to this exciting new step in my career.”

When Radio Was Insanely Fun.  Beleaguered by the contemporary world of corporate radio?  Pining for the days when radio stations were inhabited by creative and (quite possibly) unstable personalities?  Talk radio host, WPIX-TV, New York commentator and LionelMedia.com “podcast titan” Lionel re-lives a bit of crazy radio history from his uniquely skewed perspective and personal experience.  Prepare to laugh your tuchus off and click here.

CBS Radio’s WNEW-FM, Washington Launch Delayed.  Various trade and consumer reports indicate the launch of CBS Radio’s new all-newser in Washington, DC will be Monday, January 23 and not tomorrow as had been planned.  The cause is being reported as engineering issues related to the new studios.

Red Zebra’s WTEM, Washington, DC Adds College Hoops Expert.  ESPN 980 (WTEM) announces former University of Maryland basketball coach Gary Williams joins the station to serve as its college basketball insider.  Williams takes the temporary post through the NCAA finals during which he’ll join the station’s “Sports Fix” with Kevin Sheehan and Thom Loverro and “The Sports Reporters” with Andy Pollin and Steve Czaban for weekly college basketball reports.  PD Chuck Sapienza says, “Adding Gary to our team solidifies our dominance in the area of college basketball coverage.  He is ‘must listen-to radio’ and adding his expertise on the entire sport of college hoops is a big win for ESPN 980’s listeners.”

ESPN Audio Re-Aligns Management.  At ESPN, Jim Roberts moves from his senior director, affiliate sales to senior director, Deportes local radio group.  He’ll continue to lead the Deportes Dallas Radio station and in addition be responsible for the on-going relationship with all Deportes Radio affiliates.  Patrick Polking, senior director audio national accounts, will transition to senior director II, distribution and business development.  Polking will oversee the development and execution of strategies to further monetize ESPN Audio’s products.  The company also says that because of the growth in usage of ESPN Audio properties, Scott Masteller, senior director II, radio content, will collaborate with Dave Austin, who was recently promoted to manager, ESPN Digital Audio Group, to ensure ESPN Audio is aligned in the production of its digital audio.

GOP Primary Race, Internet Anti-Piracy Bills, European Debt Crisis and Italian Cruise Disaster Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/17).  The battle to win the GOP presidential primary race, the internet anti-piracy bills being debated in Washington, the continuing European debt problems and the Italian cruise ship disaster were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday according to ongoing research from TALKERS.