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Tuesday, April 18, 2017

| April 18, 2017

Glenn Beck and TheBlaze Countersue Tomi Lahren. TALKERS magazine recently reported that conservative media figure Tomi Lahren filed suit against Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze in which she stated that she’d been fired for espousing a pro-choice opinion during an appearance on television’s “The View,” that she’d been told to “go dark” on social media and had been shut off from her Facebook account.  Yesterday (4/17), Beck and TheBlaze filed a counterclaim in District Court in Dallas that paints a very different picture of the problems between the two sides.  TheBlaze states that Lahren has not been fired and is still an employee (is being paid) and therefore is bound by her employment contract to certain things that includes not making public statements or appearances that relate to her employment by TheBlaze or about its officers or staffers.  It also says that, contrary to her claim, she has control over her Blaze-owned Facebook page.  Further, TheBlaze claims that Lahren “quickly made herself into one of the most divisive people in media both to the general public and within TheBlaze organization.”  It goes on to claim Lahren was difficult with fellow employees, had to be corrected for her choices of words that “repeatedly bordered on the profane,” “turned down a number of advertisers on TheBlaze for unexplained reasons, limiting any chance for TheBlaze to recoup its investment into her and her show,” and more.  TheBlaze states that the employee agreement also requires Lahren’s public appearances be cleared by TheBlaze and Lahren is not complying with that.  TheBlaze does admit that the appearance on “The View” was problematic but claims it had decided before the appearance not to renew her contract – it expires in September of this year – for the reasons listed above, among others.  It went before a judge late yesterday afternoon seeking a temporary restraining order to force Lahren to comply with the contract.  Additionally, TheBlaze is seeking unspecified damages, attorney’s fees and more.

TALKERS News Notes.  A new esports show is being put into syndication by Westwood One.  The show, “Checkpoint Radio,” is touted as “the first, nationally syndicated radio show dedicated to the world of esports.”  A press release states that hosts Nate Bender, Robbie Landis, Norris Howard, and Joe Sloan are lifelong, passionate gamers that connect with this loyal, younger-skewing fanbase.  Westwood One president Suzanne Grimes comments, “Westwood One is synonymous with best-in-class sports audio programming with over 62 million weekly listeners tuning in for live sports game coverage and expert commentary, and these passionate sports fans are also front-and-center with the emerging esports movement.”…..Cumulus Media’s WABC, New York adds the “House Smarts with Lou Manfredini” program to its Saturday morning lineup.  Manfredini also serves as an “NBC Today Show” home improvement contributor…..TALKERS magazine sends condolences to the family and friends of Dick Penn, who died on April 15 at age 75.  Penn was a former NBC Radio, Shadow Traffic and Navteq executive.

Julian Lennon Visits Cumulus’ Stage 17.  Last Friday (4/14), Julian Lennon sat down with WABC, New York’s Rita Cosby for an interview before a live audience at Cumulus Media’s Stage 17 performance space.  Lennon discussed the music of his father’s band The Beatles, his own music, and his new kid’s book, Touch the Earth (Sky Pony Press 2017).  Pictured above are (from l-r): WABC program director Craig Schwalb, Lennon, and Rita Cosby.

Hunt for Facebook Killer, Arkansas Executions Controversy, North Korea Nuke Threats, Georgia House Race, French Presidential Race, Prince Opioids Stashes, and NBA & NHL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/17). The search for Steve Stephens, the Cleveland man suspected of killing a 74-year-old man and posting the video to Facebook; the SCOTUS’ denial of permission to Arkansas to begin a schedule of eight executions; the North Korea’s continuing tests of missiles and the U.S.’s concerns about Kim Jong Un’s developing nuclear program; the intense scrutiny of the Georgia U.S. House race for Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price’s seat as money and support from Democrats outside the district support Jon Ossoff; the build-up to France’s June presidential elections and far-right candidate Marine Le Pen’s notoriety; reports of numerous stashes of various opioids found at late pop star Prince’s home; and the NBA and NHL playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Sterling Chats with ‘Hizonner.’  Pictured above is WPHT, Philadelphia talk host Walter Sterling (right) and Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney (left) during their 50-minute, exclusive conversation for Sterling’s program.  Kenney is holding and reading aloud a Midnight Misfit Membership card offered to Sterling listeners.  During the conversation, Mayor Kenney gave considerable background on the controversial soda tax, plus answered tough questions such as: What is the best pizza?  Are there really ancient artifacts in Philadelphia like in the movie National Treasure?  And what station did you listen to growing up – WIFI, WFIL or WIBG?

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Portland triple A KINK announces Corey Foley and Mitch Elliott are the new hosts of the morning drive show on the Alpha Media station, effective May 2.  Foley was most recently with CBS RADIO’s country KILT-FM, Houston “100.3 The Bull.”  Mitch Elliott was most recently with Entercom’s crosstown hot AC KRSK “105.1 The Buzz.”  Alpha Media EVP of programming Scott Mahalick comments, “We are elated to have found our soulmates to pair with Portland’s iconic KINK brand for mornings.  Corey and Mitch are two uniquely talented, entertaining hosts with huge passion for the music, Northwest lifestyle and a love for the arts.”…..At Entercom’s Rochester classic rock WCMF, Michael “Mud” Gross joins as the new program director, effective May 15.  He replaces Chris Crowley, who is moving to Entercom’s classic rock KGON, Portland.  Gross was most recently with iHeartMedia at classic rockers WBGG, Miami “BIG 105.9” and WNRQ, Nashville “105.9 The Rock.”…..Matty Staudt is appointed to the new digital program director position at iHeartMedia’s San Francisco operations.  In this role, Staudt will oversee digital strategy for iHeartMedia’s six San Francisco radio station brands, “working closely with the programming and sales departments to deliver key messages on digital platforms, including station and on-air personality websites, mobile and social media.”…..The syndicated country morning duo “Wilhite and Wall” add another station to their roster of affiliates – KMTB, Nashville, Arkansas “B99.5.”  Tim Wall states, “We still have room to grow, but want to keep our station roster low so we can maintain the local content we give each market.”…..United Stations Radio Networks names Danny Ocean affiliate relations rep in which he’ll take over the management of affiliate acquisition and maintenance in the Northeast Region of the U.S.  He’ll also specialize in guiding the affiliate marketing efforts for the company’s CHR and hot AC programs…..Entravision reports that the “El Show de Erazno y La Chokolata” adds two Texas affiliates: LBI Media’s Regional Mexican “La Raza” simulcast on KTJM and KJOJ in Houston and KNOR, Dallas “La Raza.”…..Cumulus Media debuts the new hot AC format (and new call letters) on WQPD, Florence, South Carolina.  “Q100.5” features the “Bob & Sheri” show in morning drive.  The station flipped from Cumulus’ country “NASH FM” format.

Monday, April 10, 2017

| April 10, 2017

Mike Hartel Promoted to VP Mid-Atlantic Region for Alpha Media.  Company exec Mike Hartel will continue to serve as Alpha Media’s senior vice president and market manager position for its Columbia, South Carolina station group.  But, he’s adding supervision of its clusters in Savannah-Hilton Head, Myrtle Beach, Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville, Fredericksburg, and Bluefield as he rises to vice president of the Mid-Atlantic region.  Alpha president and CEO Bob Proffitt comments, “Mike Hartel has shown an incredible leadership style in form, function and results since he joined Alpha three years ago.  We are excited for Mike to share his considerable talent beyond Columbia to some of our other Southern markets.  Alpha loves to promote from within and this is not only deserved, but will be incredibly well received by our markets.”

Andy Gresh to Host Evening Sports Talk Show at WPRO-AM, Providence. Radio pro Andy Gresh exits his co-host gig at CBS RADIO’s WTIC-AM, Hartford to return to Providence to host his own evening sports talk show on Cumulus Media’s WPRO-AM & 99.7 FM.  Gresh started his on-air career at WPRO-AM’s sister station WPRV (then sports talker “790 The Score”).  Gresh went on to work at WFAN, New York; ESPN Radio; SiriusXM, WBZ-FM, Boston; and the New England Patriots Radio Network.  Gresh is a journalism grad from the University of Rhode Island where he was a starting offensive lineman on the URI football team.  About his new gig Gresh states, “I’m excited to come back to where it all started for me 20 years ago.  It’s time to turn nights at WPRO on its ear and let Rhode Island take back its sports talk.”  WPRO program director Tony Mascaro adds, “This market has waited almost 10 years to bring back local sports to the airwaves.  I am so thrilled to welcome Andy home.  The combination of our heritage talk team and ‘The Gresh Show’ with sports at night and his unique style will give Rhode Islanders that perfect mix of local talk and local sports.”

Conservative Media Figure Tomi Lahren Sues Glenn Beck and TheBlaze; Seeks TRO to Regain Administrative Control of Social Media.  Conservative commentator Tomi Lahren is taking her battle against TheBlaze founder Glenn Beck to court in Texas.  In a suit filed last Friday in District Court in Dallas County, Lahren is challenging the legality of the actions of former employer TheBlaze after she was ousted from the Glenn Beck-founded media firm, according to the complaint, because she espoused a pro-choice opinion on the television show “The View.”  In addition to seeking rescission of her employment contract, and recovery of attorneys’ fees and other costs, Lahren is asking for a temporary restraining order and temporary and injunctive relief regarding her access to administrative control of her social media.  In the complaint, Lahren says that after being fired by TheBlaze, “Plaintiff was told that she was to remain silent, she was directed to stay away from her Facebook page and other social media, and she was prohibited from making any public comments.  Distilled to its essence, Defendants wrongly insisted, with no legal support, that Plaintiff ‘go dark’ on social media.  Notably, none of these admonitions are grounded in any legal basis that can be supported by the Employment Contract.  Meanwhile, as Plaintiff heeded the unlawful admonitions, Beck and others within TBI embarked on a public smear campaign attacking Plaintiff and chastising her political views and opinions in a clear attempt to embarrass, humiliate, and undermine Plaintiff’s reach to her audience on social media and elsewhere.  Beck and others associated with TBI have continued to knowingly, intentionally, and/or consciously attack Plaintiff in wrongful retaliation for Plaintiff having expressed her personal viewpoint on a public television show.”

Black Organizations Putting Pressure on iHeartMedia Over Michael Berry Bit.  A story in the Chicago Tribune by Kim Janssen indicates that a number of black advocacy organizations, led by the Chicago Urban League, are promising not to give up on seeking satisfaction from iHeartMedia regarding concerns about talk show host Michael Berry’s radio bits they say mock the victims of violence in Chicago.  The story notes that a recent conference call with iHeartMedia executive Greg Ashlock resulted in Ashlock saying that Berry is a “good man” and that “they are working on some guidelines that their on-air hosts would follow.”  The protests arose after Berry was named the company’s “talk personality of the year.”  Urban activists say their protests over the “repeated jokes about Chicago murder victims” have been largely ignored.  Now, the Urban League and other organizations are threatening to start calling iHeartMedia advertisers if CEO Bob Pittman doesn’t meet with them, the company rescind Berry’s award, and the company publicly address the controversy and “take ownership of it.”  See Janssen’s Tribune piece here.

Report: ESPN Radio’s Mike Golic Signs Extension.  According to a report in Philly.com by Rob Tornoe, ESPN Radio morning personality Mike Golic recently inked a new deal with the sports entertainment giant.  It’s been widely reported for some time that ESPN is breaking up the Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic-hosted “Mike & Mike” show.  Greenberg has reportedly signed a new deal that pays him $6.5 million per year to move to the television side of the company.  Tornoe cites a Men’s Journal interview in which Golic says he’ll continue hosting the morning radio show but under what format or with whom remains unsettled.  See the Philly.com piece here.

PodcastOne’s ‘Geffen Playhouse Unscripted’ Debuts.  The new podcast from PodcastOne featuring “today’s most interesting creative voices” debuts with inaugural guest actor Rainn Wilson (pictured).  PodcastOne partners with GeffenPlayhouse.org to present “Geffen Playhouse Unscripted” – a series presents new episodes every Wednesday, hosted by veteran arts reporter John Horn.  Future guests will include: actor Jeffrey Tambor, actress and musician Rita Wilson, playwright Neil LaBute, and actress Beth Behrs.

James Andrew Miller and DGital Media Team for Podcast Series.  Award-winning journalist and best-selling author James Andrew MillerThose Guys Have All the Fun: Inside the World of ESPN (Back Bay Books 2011), Live From New York: The Complete, Uncensored History of Saturday Night Live (Little, Brown & Company, 2014) – and content creator DGital Media are partnering on an original audio series called “Origins.”  DGital says the “podcast will explore beginnings – whether from the worlds of television, movies, sports, music, business, or even human relationships – to explain how greatness starts and how critical happenings come to be.”  DGital Media chief content officer Chris Corcoran says, “I’ve read every book Jim has written, in addition to his work for The New York Times and Vanity Fair, and I am a fan first, both of his incredible journalism and of his dedication to premium level storytelling and access.  Considering the credentials, reputation, access, trust of his peers and the storytelling ability that come with the name James Andrew Miller, a podcast is an unbelievably perfect medium with which to share a new phase of his reporting.”

Syrian Chemical Weapons Use-Russian Influence, Russian Nicaragua Outpost, Egypt Church Bombings, Stockholm Terror Attack, North Korea Nuclear Threats, Bannon-Kushner Power Struggle, FOX News and O’Reilly Accusations, Gorsuch Joins Supreme Court, and Sergio Garcia Wins the Masters Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The debate over responsibility for the deadly gas attack against Syrian civilians and questions about Russia’s alliance with Bashar al-Assad; report of a Russian outpost in Nicaragua of which U.S. intelligence is suspicious; the deadly Palm Sunday bombings at Christian churches in Egypt; the aftermath of last week’s terror attack in Stockholm; North Korea’s growing nuclear capabilities and its threats against the U.S.; reports of the power struggle between presidential adviser Stephen K. Bannon and President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner; the allegations of sexual harassment against FOX News Channel personality Bill O’Reilly; Neil Gorsuch is named to the Supreme Court after Mitch McConnell changes Senate rules; and Sergio Garcia wins the Masters golf tournament were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

New Jersey Lt. Governor Guadagno Helps Harry Hurley Raise Money for Charities.  Pictured above are WPGG, Atlantic City morning personality Harry Hurley (right) and New Jersey Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno at Hurley’s 9th Annual Dinner at Congress Hall (America’s oldest seaside resort).  The event helped raise more than $9,000 on Friday (4/7).  Lt Governor Guadagno is running for Governor of New Jersey and faces her first test in the June 6 Republican primary election.  Hurley’s major fundraiser for the Hurley in the Morning Charity is Friday, June 16 when his 10th Annual Charity Golf Tournament at Harbor Pines Golf Club takes place.  The Hurley in the Morning Charity has raised more than $700,000 over the past 10 years.  Hurley has awarded grants to more than 150 not-for-profit organizations, including establishing along with TALKERS magazine founder and publisher Michael Harrison, an annual $1,000 grant for the Broadcasters Foundation of America.

Stephanie Miller Guests on This Week’s Harrison Podcast. Multi-platform, independently syndicated (WYM Media Management), progressive talk show host Stephanie Miller is the guest on this week’s installment of the award-winning PodcastOne series “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.” Miller, a 30-year radio veteran, who stands as one of the leading anti-Donald Trump voices in talk media, has achieved top-tier radio success as a talker by early on expanding her daily morning show’s platforms of delivery beyond terrestrial radio to include online digital (streaming and podcasts), SiriusXM Satellite Radio, and cable TV modes of distribution, such as Free Speech TV. She has also broken exciting new ground during the past several years with her comedy touring road show, “The Sexy Liberal Comedy Tour,” – an organic, troupe-style production that sold out legitimate theaters in market after market. The election of Trump has given the show yet another chapter of life as it is being prepared to play a dozen dates across America in 2017 as “The Sexy Liberal Resistance Tour.” Michael Harrison says, “Stephanie Miller stands as an inspiration for any talk show host, left or right, who wants to maximize both their exposure and revenue streams in the digital era. Her stunning success in the theatrical touring arena alone is worthy of every radio broadcaster’s attention.” Harrison and Miller discuss the nuts and bolts of her media empire and the general impact the Trump presidency is having on the renewed potential of progressive talk broadcasting in America. Not to be missed! To listen to the entire podcast, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Los Angeles radio personality Rita Wilde renews her contract with Entercom Los Angeles to remain host of the 7:00 pm to 12:00 midnight show on classic rock KSWD “100.3 The Sound.” Entercom Los Angeles VP/general manager Peter Burton comments, “Classic rock fans and artists have been listening to Rita since this music was new.  We’re proud to have her at ‘The Sound.’”…..Tampa adult contemporary WWRM “Magic 94-9” names Danielle McBroom the new morning drive host.  Cox Media Group Tampa director of branding and programming for WWRM, WXGL, and WDUV, John Larson, says, “We are so excited to have Danielle join our ‘Magic’ team.  Her experience, creativity, social media expertise and infectious attitude bring a fresh, new sound to a huge brand like ‘Magic.’”  McBroom moves to the “Magic Mornings” program from sister alternative WSUN where she’s been on air for the past 10 years…..In the Pacific Northwest, iHeartMedia adds program director duties at alternative rock K272EL, Portland “Radio 102.3” to the responsibilities of KFOO, Centralia, Washington “ALT 102.9” (Olympia and Seattle/Tacoma markets) PD Ben Marcotte…..Also in the Seattle market, hot AC KBKS “106.1 Kiss FM” afternoon personality, music director and APD Hunter Quinn accepts the additional role of assistant program director for iHeartMedia’s sister CHR KPWK “Power 93.3.”

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

| December 7, 2016

MMTC Calls for ‘Long-Term, Humane Decommissioning’ of the AM Band as Part of ‘12 Imperatives.’  The Multicultural Media, Telecom and Internet Council is presenting what it calls 12 imperatives to the Trump Administration that “address the persistent challenges in closing the digital divide, and advancing multicultural commercial ownership opportunities to create voices and participation in the telecommunications mmtc-logoindustry.”  Of those 12 imperatives, #12 is “Create a ‘Glide Path’ for the Short-Term Survival and Long-Term Humane Decommissioning of the AM Band in a Manner that Preserves Minority Ownership.”  It states, in part, that the FCC’s future policies “should facilitate the preservation of AM radio’s program services when the AM band disappears.  It should seek to ensure that AM broadcasters receive fair compensation for the loss of their assets as well as assistance in transitioning their programming to other platforms.  For that purpose, MMTC has formed the MMTC AM Glide Path Taskforce.”  It goes on to suggest “we encourage the Commission to work with the MMTC AM Glide Path Taskforce to identify potential uses of the low-band spectrum now assigned to AM, such as maritime mobile, aeronautical fixed, and aeronautical mobile, as well as exploring new potential classes of users such as drones, driverless vehicles, rural irrigation, and the Internet of Things (IOT).  Ultimately, these new users can be cobbled together into a market for AM spectrum that can enable AM owners to find buyers and leapfrog into newer platforms that can support their programming.”  Read the entire “12 imperatives” from the MMTC here.

Mike North Launches Daily Podcast. Chicago-based radio personality Mike North is debuting a new, dailynorthmikesticksstones16 podcast titled, “Sticks and Stones,” that is being produced from North’s home studio.  The longtime Windy City talent was most recently heard on the radio on the FOX Sports Radio network co-hosting “FOX Sports Daybreak” with Andy Furman.  “Sticks and Stones” will be a 30-minute show available daily around 9:30 am and will consist of North riffing on sports, pop culture, news or whatever’s on North’s mind.  Occasional special guests will join North.  Chicagoland Radio and Media reports this new podcast is a collaboration between North and Gow Media’s PodcastArena.com.  Read the Chicagoland Radio and Media piece here.

The Trump Transition/Secretary of State Candidates, Deadly Oakland Warehouse Fire, Trump’s Boeing-Air Force One Comments, Pentagon Waste Study Scandal, ‘Fake News’/Comet Ping Pong Incident, Pearl Harbor Anniversary, Merkel: Ban Full-Face Veils, Dakota Access Pipeline Case, Grammy Nominations, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/6).  The Trump Administration transition and the potential Secretary of State nominee, the aftermath of the deadly Oakland warehouse fire; President-Elect Donald Trump’s statement about cancelling Boeing’s Air Force One contract due to expense; the controversy over the Pentagon’s burying of a study revealing some $125 billion in waste; chatter about “fake news” and the related gun incident at the Comet Ping Pong eatery in DC; today’s 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor; German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s proposal to ban full-face veils in public; the re-routing of the Dakota Access Pipeline by the Army Corps of Engineers; the list of 2017 Grammy nominees; and NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Media Matters Names New President; Broadens Scope of ‘Bad Actors.’  In a report published by Politico’s Hadas Gold, anti-conservative media “police” Media Matters for America is naming current EVP Angelomediamatters Carusone to the president post, taking over for Bradley Beychok, who will remain with the organization as a senior advisor.  Gold’s story quotes Carusone saying, “There was a period of time which we were, rightfully so, described as the ‘Fox antagonists.’  Now, our mission is to be principally focused on the value of journalism…It used to be simple, Fox News was the gate keeper, but now there are so many potential bad actors.  Now there are places like Facebook who aren’t bad actors but can be enablers of misinformation.”  Read the whole Politico piece here.

NAB Creates Podcast Addressing Photo Copyright Laws.  A new podcast from National Association of Broadcasters is available that is designed to help content creators avoid legal troubles when using photos.  The nab-logopodcast is titled, “Navigating Photo Copyright Law: Protecting Your Station from a Lawsuit,” and is available here.  NAB says, “The podcast explores strategies on how stations can avoid alleged and real copyright infringement claims.  A recent series of copyright infringement lawsuits filed against radio and television stations highlight the importance of broadcasters fully understanding how to legally use photographs and other content on social media and websites. Securing proper permission ahead of time is necessary to protect against potential legal ramifications.  Podcast presenters include Bart Stringham, senior vice president and corporate counsel, NAB, and David Ervin, partner, Crowell and Moring.”

Odds & Sods.  In the category of year-end programming, Westwood One News is producing two long-formwestwood-one-news-logo “Year in Review” programs: “The Year in Review – The Big Stories,” anchored by “First Light” host Evan Haning, and “The Year in Review – People, Sports and Entertainment,” anchored by “America in the Morning” host John Trout.  Also, the news organization is offering a series of “Year in Review” reports – a total of 20 vignettes – for unlimited use by affiliates from December 22, 2016 through January 2, 2017…..WIBW, Topeka farm director lenzkellyKelly Lenz was recently inducted into the Kansas Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame.  The Alpha Media news/talk station notes that “Lenz has been a leader and innovator in the farm broadcast industry for the past 38 years.  In 1978, he was hired as assistant farm director for WIBW, and rose to farm director one year later.  In 1983, he started the “Ag Issues” program on WIBW, one of the first agricultural talk shows in the nation.  Lenz also began an annual agricultural conference for farmers and ranchers.  The conference is now held in four different locations and has more than 725 producers in attendance.”

bfoa-logo16BFoA’s Holiday Giving Campaign Underway.  The 2016 Holiday Giving Campaign has been launched by The Broadcasters Foundation of America – the charity that provides aid to broadcasters in acute need.  As part of the campaign, an appeal letter was mailed to thousands of broadcasters across the country, encouraging individual donations to the Broadcasters Foundation’s Guardian Fund.  BFoA chairman Dan Mason states, “Our grant recipients had robust careers as producers, managers, on-air talent, engineers, account executives, and more. Now, through disease, accident, or advanced age, they and their families are in need of our assistance.  It is up to us to come together and help them through the Broadcasters Foundation of America.”  Over the past year, the Broadcasters Foundation has distributed more than $800,000 in aid, including nearly $100,000 in one-time emergency grants to broadcasters who were affected by the Louisiana floods.  In addition to individual donations to the Guardian Fund, corporate contributions are accepted through the Broadcasters Foundation’s Angel Initiative and bequests can be made through its Legacy Society.  For more information, please visit broadcastersfoundation.org, email info@thebfoa.org, or call 212-373-8250.

Radio’s Social and Digital Dilemma

| November 16, 2016

By Bryan Crabtree
WAFS/WGKA
Talk Show Host

 

crabtreebryanwriterATLANTA — Radio was the original social media. We owned the dialogue. Now we own just some of it. Let’s stop complaining about the challenges and dominate the conversation again on both mediums.

There is a plethora of competing distractions to our audience and they are lost in a sea of confusing noise.

Our audience has changed, but have we?

Listeners will follow and respond to who or what they ‘believe’ is real. I was shocked to see so many lifelong broadcast conservatives double-down on their ‘#nevertrump’ hysteria.  I’m convinced that, for many, it wasn’t their personal conviction. It was the vanity of needing to be accurate on their predictions of Trump’s demise. The result was the destruction of years of earned credibility with their followers.

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Tuesday, October 11, 2016

| October 11, 2016

cookehollandCooke: The Value of Social Media to Broadcasters.  Media consultant Holland Cooke writes today about how broadcasters are applying their use of social media to their on-air work.  Several radio pros Cooke spoke with say that listeners like the ability to connect “personally” with them via social media. He notes that at the recent NAB/RAB Radio Show in Nashville, Cumulus/Westwood One’s Lori Lewis said it reminds people “that they matter.”  Most of the broadcasters say they learn from their P1s about what kind of show content might interest those P1s that they themselves would never have thought of.  And still others use social media to continue “the show” even after it goes off the radio.  Read Cooke’s entire report here.

brownejoyVideo of Recent Industry Memorial Tribute to Dr. Joy Browne Posted to TalkersTV.  A group of industry figures recently gathered in New York City to present “A Celebration of Joy” memorial tribute to talk radio legend Dr. Joy Browne, who died unexpectedly on August 27.  It took place Tuesday, October 4 at the Helen Mills Theater in the Chelsea district of Manhattan and featured a roster of speakers who eulogized and shared stories about their memories of the famed radio psychologist.  The program was co-hosted by TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison and Salem Radio Network syndicated star Mike Gallagher.  Speakers included (in alphabetical order): Ted Anderson of Genesis Communications NetworkDavid Bernstein of TalkersRadioPierre Bouvard of Cumulus Media/Westwood One;  Tracy Cramer of the Alzheimer’s Association of America;  Bernadette Duncan of Talkers BooksJoan Hamburg of WABC, New York; and Doug Stephan of Stephan Multimedia. To view the video please click here or on the TalkersTV box at the top of the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

harrisonupclosefaroutsmallWFTL, Ft. Lauderdale/Miami Dynamo Joyce Kaufman Joins Michael Harrison on this Week’s ‘Up Close and Far Out.’   She is one of the most politically provocative news/talkers in the industry and a longtime mainstay of South Florida local radio.  Joyce Kaufman – who hosts 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm daily show on Alpha Media’s WFTL, Ft. Lauderdale – has been outspoken for decades about the full spectrum of conservative issues – from Second Amendment rights to abortion to illegal immigration and much more.  She is a true regional mover and shaker – and no stranger to controversy.  In a candid conversation on this week’s installment of the PodcastOne international hit series, “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison,” Kaufman discusseskaufmanjoyce dealing with the intense negative blowback that accompanies her broadcasting career path and the impact it has had on her life raising children as a single mother.  Harrison and Kaufman further delve into the impact social media has on radio hosts as well as society in general.  They also discuss the shocking changes we are witnessing in the style of public political discourse marking the current presidential election.  Kaufman says, “The genie is out of the bottle, there’s no going back.”  To listen to this fascinating conversation that even includes a look at the role local radio plays in providing vital service to the public during hurricanes, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com and RadioInfo.com.

CLARIFICATION.  For our readers who saw Monday’s story regarding the Facebook post by E.W. Scripps Milwaukee VP/GM Tom Langmyer, TALKERS magazine would like to clarify.  Our story gave the impression that Langmyer wrote that talk show hosts should not offer opinions about political candidates via social media.  Whatlangmyertom Langmyer did say (and Tom’s Facebook friends who read the piece are aware) was that reporters and anchors, i.e. journalists, should read their company’s policy on social media use because he’s seeing so many of his reporter colleagues opining about candidates – something they are, in many cases, not allowed to do on their day jobs or via other avenues.  As for talk show hosts, Langmyer says of course they can have opinions about candidates – that’s part of their job.  His problem with some talk hosts is their use of “F-bomb laden posts about how much they hate a candidate.”  He goes on to say that he believes the policy should be, if you wouldn’t say it on the air, don’t write it on social media.  Langmyer says his disappointment stems from having worked with and trained some of the people who are doing these things and he feels frustration that his training didn’t get through to some of them.

Odds & Sods.  Des Moines-based talk host Simon Conway is doing triple duty today.  This morning he filled injonesstevertdna16 on iHeartMedia’s WFLF, Orlando.  That’s in addition to his regular morning show on the company’s WMT, Cedar Rapids and his afternoon drive show on WHO, Des Moines…..ABC Radio vice president Steve Jones is pictured here accepting the Edward R. Murrow Award for Overall Excellence in Radio from the RTDNA.  During his acceptance speech he stated, “It’s an honor for ABC News Radio to be recognized by our peers for the excellence of our work.  We are deeply appreciative of the support we receive every day under James Goldston’s leadership and from all of our ABC colleagues, particularly those here tonight.”…..“Free Talk Live” with hosts Ian Freeman and Mark Edge is added to new affiliate stations KWAM, Memphis; WXME, Monticello, Maine; and WMXF, Waynesville, North Carolina…..Westwood One enters into a partnership with Jerry Springer, whose “Tales, Tunes & Tomfoolery” weekly podcast joins Westwood One’s Podcast & On-Demand platform via audioBoom.  Westwood One is providing exclusive ad sales representation for the show.  The show is streamed live every Tuesday night and emanates from Ludlow, Kentucky’s Folk School Coffee Parlor and promoted as “an easygoing and intimate conversation between three friends — Springer, Jene Galvin, and Megan Hils – who provide a mix of comedy, liberal political talk, and contemporary roots music.”

Presidential Race/Sunday’s Debate, Syria Civil War/Russian Military Involvement, Hurricane Matthew Aftermath, Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 Woes, MLB Playoffs, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/10).  The presidential campaign, the Trump hot-mic tape, and Sunday evening’s debate; the ongoing Syrian civil conflict and growing criticism of Russia’s military involvement in the war; the effects of Hurricane Matthew plaguing the Carolinas; Samsung’s decision to stop producing the Galaxy Note 7 in the wake of continuing safety issues; the Major League Baseball playoffs; and the weekend’s NFL games were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Monday, October 10, 2016

| October 10, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, May 27, 2016

| May 27, 2016

dimick, johnCumulus Media Appoints Dimick Vice President/Programming Operations. Former Lincoln Financial Media senior vice president of programming and operations John Dimick joins Cumulus Media as vice president of programming operations. Cumulus Media senior vice president of content and programming Mike McVay remarks,Cumulus “John Dimick brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to this position. He joins Doug Hamand and Greg Frey as a [vice president of programming operations]. Those three, along with our format specialists and analysts, will provide even more tools to our managers and program directors to employ when programming their stations.” Dimick – who begins his new assignment next Wednesday (6/1) – jokes, “I am very happy that Mike McVay would not buy my ‘retirement from the industry’ thinking. The new senior management team at Cumulus is building [something that] is extraordinary and compelling. I am flattered [corporate believes] I can help advance the growth and success of the stations and the remarkable Cumulus platform. Joining the corporate programming team with people like Greg Frey, Doug Hamand and the other pros at Cumulus is very exciting.” For the past 11 months, Dimick was franchise owner of the Dimick Automotive Group. In addition to Lincoln Financial stations in San Diego, Dimick has programmed Emmis rhythmic CHR WQHT “Hot 97,” New York; KPLZ, Seattle; KISN, Salt Lake City; and WNCI, Columbus.

Harry HurleyWPGG, Atlantic City Morning Host Harry Hurley Donates $1,000 to the Broadcasters Foundation of America.  This year’s recipient of the Sharon L. Harrison Memorial Award for Outstanding Community Service by a Radio Talk Show Host (“Humanitarian of the Year”), Harry Hurley of WPGG, Atlantic City, capped off his acceptance speech last Friday (5/20) at TALKERS 2016: Bridging the Generations by making a donation of $1,000 to the Broadcasters Foundation of America (BFOA).  For almost a decade, Harry Hurley has used his successful morning show in Atlantic City, New Jersey as a platform for the numerous fundraising activities of his Hurley Morning Show Foundation that have raised more than a half million dollars in support of more than 100 New Jersey charities and service organizations.  And he has an outstanding track record of philanthropic activities going back years prior to that.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison describes Hurley as, “The quintessential local radio talk show host – entertaining, community-involved, well-connected and philanthropic – a veritable charity machine!”  Harrison recently email blasted a powerful video plea on behalf of the BFOA to thousands of industry professionals that has drawn strong reaction and donation pledges of thousands of dollars.  According to Harrison, “Radio is one of the only forms of mass media and entertainment in which charity and community involvement are part of its fundamental fabric.  How many other forms of media are so quick to raise money for victims of disaster as radio?  A significant percentage of the stories we cover in the trade press are about radio broadcasters rising to the occasion to help people in need – sick children, homeless veterans, single moms, victims of natural disasters, catastrophic illnesses.  Helping people is a key part of all our formats.  It’s what we do. But who’s out there to help individual broadcasters when WE are stricken by tragedy and have the rug pulled out from under us?  That’s when the Broadcasters Foundation of America steps up to the plate.  I know this for a fact, not just by reading press releases, or going to golden mic dinners and golf tournament fund-raisers – but by the personal experience of seeing, on more than one occasion, the Broadcasters Foundation of America step in and rescue sick, destitute and almost-completely broken people – who were, at one time, important players in this game – from literally being thrown out into the street.”  To view a video recording of Harry Hurley’s acceptance speech and donation to the BFOA, please click here.  To view Michael Harrison’s personal message on behalf of the BFOA, please click here.

Holland Cookeedison-logo-300x137Edison Research Webinar on Podcasting:  Podcasting Now “Mainstream Media.”  The firm Edison Research presented a webinar yesterday (5/26) on the state of podcasting conducted by its VP Tom Webster and covered for TALKERS by media consultant Holland Cooke.  During the webinar, Webster stated, “It’s safe at this point to call podcasting ‘mainstream media.’”  Cooke comments, It’s always puzzled me how talk radio demonizes that term, while sales reps have been telling prospects that their stations ARE mainstream.  What advertiser wants to utilize FRINGE media?” Admitting he’s wary of making predictions, Webster did venture that “Podcasting has been a medium of slow, steady growth.  This year, we saw a spike we haven’t seen before.  If we’re looking for that ‘hockey stick pattern,’ I’m willing to give you a confident ‘maybe’.”  For full details of the information-packed webinar, see Holland Cooke’s coverage by clicking here.

kinosianmikeMLB Logo2MLB Flagships: Part Two. In the second of a multi-part series, TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian recaps the performance of Major League Baseball‘s radio flagships. In a ratings overview based on data from Nielsen Audio’s April 2016 PPM survey period, Mike highlights each key station’s 6+ share; 6+ market rank; month-to-month and year-to-year fluctuations; and a special breakout chart featuring the flagships by league/division. Whereas all five NL Central key stations can be found in the April 2016 top ten (6+), no AL West flagship finishes higher than #20. Three AL East flagships reach the top ten in April 2016 (6+), as do three key stations of AL Central teams. See the second edition of this exclusive special feature piece about MLB flagships here.

marshall, robin“The Diary of a Sugar Mom- Don’t Tell the Kids”“Sugar Mom” Marshall’s Meaningful Marking. While “voiceover artist,” “audio producer,” and “author” are apt summations of Robin Marshall, the most important depiction of the Dallas-based talent is that she is a one-year cancer survivor. Marshall will release recordings of “Lemons to Lemonade” blogs, which she wrote while undergoing aggressive ovarian cancer treatment. Those episodes will be part of the “Sugar Mom” podcast, leading up to National Cancer Survivors Day next Sunday (6/5). Starting next month, Marshall will distribute her audio book “The Diary of a Sugar Mom: Don’t Tell the Kids” free via her “Sugar Mom” podcast on various podcast directories. Marshall comments, “I want women and men who subscribe to my podcast and/or visit my Facebook page to understand what the concept of a ‘Sugar Mom’ really is, and more importantly, what it is not. If you can try one new thing a day, you are headed towards becoming who you used to be and now want to be again.” The “Sugar Mom” podcast releases new episodes Tuesdays and Thursdays. Marshall spent 20 years as a New York City on-air talent and she is the imaging voice for several radio stations. Since being diagnosed with stage three ovarian cancer, she underwent weekly chemotherapy treatments in Dallas; she is in full remission.

Nielsen May 2016Millennials Account For 66.5 Million Radio Users. This is not a homogeneous group with a common set of beliefs, interests, and behaviors; ungrouping millennials can help advertisers, agencies, and radio stations understand each group more closely. Nielsen‘s Q4 2015 “Total Audience Report” separated 18-34s into three groups: “Dependent Adults” (those living in someone else’s home); “On Their Own” millennials (those living in their own home without children); and “Starting a Family” millennials” (those living in their own home with children). The data shows 97% of 18-year-olds live in someone else’s home. By their mid-30s, 90% of millennials live in their own home, and more than half have children. Radio is an important part of a millennial’s life and they listen to it in many ways. In the average week, radio reaches about 92% of “Starting a Family” millennials; 90% of “Dependent Adult” millennials”; and 89% of “On Their Own” millennials. CHR is the number one format for all three groups, but “Dependent Adult” millennials, who tend to live at home with their parents or another adult, listen to more classic rock, classic hits-oldies, and urban AC than the overall millennial group. “Dependent Adult” millennials listen to these formats because they are exposed to them by older adults in the home. “On Their Own” millennials are the least ethnically diverse group and they show a preference for non-ethnic formats like hot AC and alternative. They also listen to sports stations more than the other two millennial groups. Radio reaches 90% of all 18-34 African-Americans each week with urban AC the top format among this group. “Starting A Family” millennials include the highest percent of Hispanic and Spanish-speaking listeners. In this group, regional Mexican has the third-highest share of listening time. Overall, 16% of this group’s listening is spent with a Spanish language format. That is more than three times the amount of “On Their Own” millennials.

WYRD-FMAll Roads Lead to the “Pothole Derby.” A constant critic of the legislature’s “lack of action” regarding South Carolina road conditions – which station executives classify as being a “wreck” – Entercom Greenville-Spartanburg talker WYRD-FM “Word” announces a contest focusing on the Upstate’s pothole crisis. Operations manager Mark Hendrix remarks that his station’sPothole Derby listeners are “fed up with our terrible roads, huge potholes, and auto damage, so we are paying them to document how bad our roads really are. We are grateful to have the support of First Class Halt to help us with the ‘Pothole Derby.'” Listeners who submit photos of the biggest, deepest, potholes could win $500 in repair services from the station and their promotion sponsor. Approved pothole pictures will be posted on the WYRD-FM “Word” website. In addition, listeners are encouraged to contact the South Carolina Department of Transportation to file complaints about potholes. Only eight stations (four owned by SummitMedia and four iHeartMedia properties) are listed in Nielsen Audio‘s winter 2016 book for Greenville-Spartanburg (market #59). SummitMedia urban AC WJMZ “107.3 Jamz Today’s R&B” ranks first with an 11.0 (12+).

smaldone and jamesGetting Together with Smaldone. For almost 24 years, Valerie Smaldone was the mid-day talent at market dominant adult contemporary WLTW “Lite-FM,” New York. More recently, she has been hosting/producing a variety of projects. The latest for the imaging voice of CBS Radio New York all-newser WINS is “Hit Makers: Music Icons in Performance and Conversation”; Tommy James (“Tommy James & The Shondells“) was her first guest and he sang several of his hits. In addition, Smaldone interviewed him about his book “Me, The Mob, and the Music,” as well as his days with Roulette Records. For the past two years, Smaldone’s weekly, three-hour Envision Networks’ talk show “America Weekend with Valerie Smaldone & Friends” is heard in 15 markets.

KCMO-AMKCMO-AM Slots Mysterious Saturday Morning Show. The unusual and the unexplained will be explored on the weekly, one-hour (6:00 am – 7:00 am) Wendy Garrett-hosted “Wendy’s Coffeehouse” that debuts next week (Saturday, 6/4) on Cumulus Media Kansas City talker KCMO-AM. Garrett “guarantees” the program will, “cover information and material you will not hear in the normal run of the news. It will address the unusual, under-reported, unexplained, and the mysterious.” Topics to be covered include UFO sightings, near-death experiences, innovative living strategies, and government disclosure issues. Among those already booked are “Children of Roswell” authors Thomas J. Carey & Donald R. Schmitt, who will discuss the aftermath and lifetime impact Roswell has had. Robbie Holz (“Secrets of Aboriginal Healing”) will explain beliefs and principles of the 60,000-year-old healing practices of the Australian Aborigines, who claim their techniques can help cure arthritis and cancer. Nick Redfern (“Weapons of the Gods”) will provide “evidence” that ancient civilizations developed and thrived until they “moved to self-destruction, using weapons with terrifying power.” Prior to working for KCMO-AM, Garrett – who claims to live in a haunted house – has been a reporter, host, and anchor on Kansas City outlets KCKC, KFKF, and KRVK. Among persons 6+ in Nielsen Audio‘s April 2016 PPM ratings period, KCMO-AM is in a three-way tie at #20 and is down or flat for the fifth straight time (1.9 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.2); Entercom hot AC KZPT is at #1 (6.9, 6+).

talkersten logoPresidential Race/Trump Protests Top Talkers TenTM for Week of May 23-27.  The activities of the candidates for president and the violent anti-Trump protests in New Mexico and California were the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio during the week.  At #2, the Hillary Clinton email investigation and the FBI’s investigation of Virginia Governor and longtime Clinton ally Terry McAuliffe for alleged campaign finance improprieties were tied.  And following at #3 was President Obama’s trip to Vietnam and the related increase in Chinese naval activity.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Beasley Media GroupBeasley Broadcast Group Board Declares Quarterly Cash Dividend. It is for $0.045 per share of its “Class A” and “Class B” common stock. The dividend is payable on July 8 to shareholders of record on June 30. While Beasley Broadcast Group intends to pay regular quarterly cash dividends for the foreseeable future, all subsequent dividends will be reviewed quarterly and declared by the board at its discretion.

conwaysimonOdds & Sods: WHO, Des Moines afternoon driver Simon Conway pulls off a triple play today. In addition to doing his 9:00 am – 11:00 am show on WMT-AM, Cedar Rapids (Iowa) and hosting his 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm program on WHO, Des Moines, he will fill in on Joe Pagliarulo‘s syndicated “Joe Pags Show.”

Monday, May 16, 2016

| May 16, 2016

cookehollandCooke: Think Radio Is Challenged? Try TV.  Radio consultant Holland Cooke writes today about the challenges facing not just radio but TV, as well.  For those who thought that digital technology and consolidation is only affecting radio and newspapers, new statistics show TV is now reeling.  Cord-cutting is the bane of the TV biz.  Cooke reports that 60% of American homes have Internet-connected TVs and more than half of US households subscribe to an on-demand video service.  And radio’s ability to be local remains its saving grace.  At this Friday’s TALKERS 2016: Bridging the Generations conference at Hofstra University on Long Island, Cooke will present, “Talk Media: The Next Generation,” during which Cooke will present advice for news/talk operators.  Read more here.

grahammichaelMichael Graham Named MediaDC Creative Director.  Joining MediaDC – parent company of Washington Examiner, The Weekly Standard, and Red Alert Politics – is WYAY, Atlanta “NewsRadio 106.7” late morning personality Michael Graham.  He is named to the newly created position ofmediaDC creative director.  The company calls it “part of an expansion of multi-media and social media projects.”  MediaDC says Graham also helped create the award-winning Boston Herald Radio online platform, has guest-hosted for Glenn Beck and Laura Ingraham, and also hosts the popular Weekly Standard podcasts.  MediaDC president and COO Stephen Sparks says, “We’re creating terrific content that should be made more available, and Michael will help us make that happen.”

wrcn-amJVC Media’s ‘LI News Radio’ to Address Political Corruption.  In an effort to give voice to Long Island residents in the wake of recent convictions of New York politicians on various corruption charges, JVC Media’s news/talk WRCN, Riverhead, New York “LI News Radio” is presenting the “Citizens State of Suffolk County” this Thursday (5/19).  From 12:00 noon to 6:00 pm, “LI News Radio” will turn over its airwaves to the residents of Suffolk County.  They will have the opportunity to “sound off on issues, politics and the recent and constant corruption from our elected officials.”  JVC Broadcasting VP of news operations Matt Goldapper says, “103.9 LI News Radio’s phones and email have been inundated by residents who are disgusted and need to vent, they are tired of not having their voice heard and politicians not listening to their concerns.  This is why we created LI News Radio.”  Station morning host Jay Oliver adds, “Suffolk County residents are done with all the corruption and abuse of power by their elected officials and they want them to know it.”  The six-hour open phones program will allow “local leaders, community residents and concerned citizens” to be heard.

Talkers2016 logoLivestream Set to Video Stream TALKERS 2016: Bridging the Generations Live on Talkers.com.  The 19th annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest running and most important national convention is an early sellout but don’t despair – the entire event will be video streamed live on Talkers.com.  The streaming will be provided by Livestream, the leader in providing video streaming services to the broadcasting industry.  Livestream, a sponsor of the event, will also be exhibiting their services in the technology display area of the conference.  Livestream helps broadcasters monetize their content and reach their audience wherever they are. Whether they are syndicating their primary content, looking to broadcast live on their website/apps, or producing ancillary content for their online viewers, Livestream has the tools to make it as easy as possible. Viewers can watch on any device, including desktops, tablets, mobile devices, and Roku-connected TVs.  TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey states, “This is the first time we have chosen to actually broadcast video of this event live on the internet.  We are delighted to be associated with the pros at Livestream on this project.  Now thousands of people around the world will be able to watch the TALKERS convention while it’s happening.  For more information about Livestream, please click on www.Livestream.com.  For the full convention agenda, please click here.

iheartmedia logo smalliHeartMedia and Debt Holders Still Negotiating.  Today (5/16) is the day the temporary restraining order against certain of the company’s debt holders’ notices of default expires, but given the recent SEC filings by iHeartMedia and said creditors, both sides are still working to find a compromise.  Should they not come to terms, the two sides will be back in court arguing over whether iHeartMedia’s transfer of Clear Channel Outdoor stock to its own Broader Media Inc. violated the existing debt covenants.  If the court were to find iHeartMedia violated those terms, as much as $6 billion in debt could come due within 60 days, likely triggering bankruptcy.  Clearly, both sides want to avoid that scenario.  This story is very fluid as more action on the part of the company and its creditors is expected today.

wowo15WOWO, Fort Wayne Releases 90th Anniversary Station History in Podcast Format.  The venerable Fort Wayne news/talk station celebrated its 90th anniversary in 2015, a milestone for which it created a two-and-a-half hour audio history of its operation.  Now, the station is making the documentary available for download.  Program director Ryan Wrecker says, “We look back at the past 90 years of WOWO Radio history, along with some never-before-heard pieces of audio and memorable moments that made the station legendary.”

Odds & Sods.  At ABC News Radio, Scott Goldberg is named midday anchor on the Information Network.goldbergscott  Goldberg assumes the position formerly held by Cheri Preston, who left the midday daypart to become morning drive anchor on the Information Network…..In San Antonio, Geoff Sheen exits iHeartMedia’s KTKR-AM “Ticket 760” where he was afternoon drive personality.  In another case of iHeartMedia’s Austin and San Antonio stations sharing staff and programming, KTKR will air sister sports talker KVET-AM, Austin’s afternoon show, “The Sports Buffet” with hosts Craig Way and Rod Babers.

The Presidential Race, Iran Nuclear Ambitions, April Global Temp Record-Global Warming, Woody Allen Allegations, Venezuela Unrest, Facebook Anti-Conservative Allegations, NBA and NHL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The activities of the candidates for president; concerns over Iran’s nuclear ambitions and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s public allegations on Sunday that Iran intends to attack Israel; global temperature data indicating April was the warmest April on record; renewed Woody Allen child molestation allegations as his new film debuts at the Cannes Film Festival; political and economic unrest in Venezuela; Facebook responds to charges it has tweaked its trending stories to avoid pro-conservative issues; and the NBA and NHL playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

harrisonVideostill16Michael Harrison Issues Plea to Help the ‘Working People’ of the Radio Industry When Personal Tragedy Strikes.  TALKERS/RadioInfo publisher Michael Harrison sent out a massive email blast to all of his trade publications’ thousands of subscribers this past Friday afternoon (5/13) containing a personal video message calling for the “working people” of the radio industry to support the Broadcasters Foundation of America (BFOA).  The BFOA is a non-profit 501(c) (3) in operation now for more than six decades. The mission of the Broadcasters Foundation of America is to improve the quality of life and maintain the personal dignity of men and women in the radio and television broadcast profession who find themselves in acute need.  The Foundation reaches out across the country to identify and provide an anonymous safety net in cases of critical illness, advanced age, death of a spouse, accident and other serious misfortune. According to Harrison, “Radio is a tough business – especially for its ‘working people’ – the people in the trenches doing the shows, selling the spots, managing the stations, engineering the equipment and making the day-to-day wheels go around.” He continues, “Since the crash of ’08 and consolidation stretching the limits of economic integrity – life has been downright brutal for the working people of the radio industry. However, we persevere – because radio people are driven and resilient.  We always find a way to make a living…even if we have to turn to the dreaded last resort of seeking employment in another business to put food on the table and a roof over our heads.  After all, we are talented, creative, resourceful and in tune with people, the street and the times.  All handy assets if you have to go into PR, real estate sales or teaching – unless personal tragedy strikes.  And unfortunately, sometimes it does.  When radio professionals are stricken by horrible accidents or catastrophic illnesses that make it impossible to work, hold a job or make a living in ANY business, the results can be disastrous.  Especially, if they don’t have a nest egg to fall back on… which unfortunately is the case for so many folks in this business struggling to make ends meet when the rent is due or from mortgage to mortgage payment.  Radio is one of the only forms of mass media and entertainment in which charity and community involvements are part of its fundamental fabric.  How many other forms of media are so quick to raise money for victims of disaster as radio?  A significant percentage of the stories we cover in the trade press are about radio broadcasters rising to the occasion to help people in need – sick children, homeless veterans, single moms, victims of natural disasters, and catastrophic illnesses.  Helping people is a key part of all our formats.  It’s what we do. But who’s out there to help individual broadcasters when WE are stricken by tragedy and have the rug pulled out from under us?  That’s when the Broadcasters Foundation of America steps up to the plate.”  To see and hear Michael Harrison’s dramatic presentation in its entirety, please click here.

2016 Moms & Media

| May 6, 2016

By Holland Cooke
Radio Consultant

 

cookewriterBLOCK ISLAND, RI — A mother employed full time is a heavier media user than the population overall.  And as Secretary of The [family] Treasury, she means a lot to stations and advertisers.

  • She’s making purchasing decisions for herself and the entire household.
  • Her lifestyle is mobile, allowing for engagement at any time or anywhere.
  • She is very active on social media, using multiple sites.
  • As a multi-tasker, Mom will find time for new media in her day.

So, just in time for Mother’s Day, Melissa DeCesare — VP of the Edison Research unit “The Research Moms” – anddecesaremelissa herself “a mom of two daughters” – walked webinar attendees through her firm’s 6th annual “Moms & Media” study, sponsored by Triton Media.  It’s a national telephone survey, conducted in January; and “Mom” is defined as a woman having a child under 18 living in her household.

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Friday, April 29, 2016

| April 29, 2016

WEEI-FMRed Sox-WEEI Streak Continues. While financial terms of the highly expected deal were not disclosed, Entercom Boston sports outlet WEEI will carry on its role as the radio flagship of the Boston Red Sox through (at minimum) the 2023 MLB season. WEEI and the Red Sox have been partners since 1995. Entercom chief operating officer David Field states, “WEEI and Entercom are delighted to be extending our outstanding relationship with the Boston Red Sox well into the future. It is a true privilege to be partnered with this extraordinary, iconic organization and their world-class team of professionals, both on and off Boston-Red-Soxthe field. Red Sox fans across the country will continue to hear outstanding Sox play-by-play broadcasts and 24/7 team coverage on WEEI and WEEI.com, the home of Red Sox baseball.” Red Sox president Sam Kennedy comments, “We are pleased to extend our partnership with WEEI for another seven seasons. We look forward to this new phase of our partnership and sharing more winning baseball through the airwaves with our fans across New England.” The WEEI play-by-play crew consists of Red Sox Hall of Fame announcer Joe Castiglione and Tim Neverett, who this year succeeded Dave O’Brien (now doing Red Sox telecasts on NESN); Hamden, Connecticut native Castiglione is in his 34th year in the Red Sox radio booth. In addition to WEEI, the Red Sox Radio Network consists of 55 affiliates throughout the six New England states. To see how WEEI-FM and 28 other MLB radio flagships performed in Nielsen Audio‘s March 2016 PPM sweep, please read today’s exclusive TALKERS special features piece which appears below.

kinosianmikePPM Analysis: MLB Flagships. TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian introduces Major League Baseball‘s 2016 radio flagships with a ratings overview based on data from Nielsen Audio’s March 2016 PPM survey period. Highlighted are each key station’s 6+ share; 6+ market rank; month-to-month and year-to-year fluctuations; and a special breakout chart featuring the flagships by league/division. See the first of Mike’s exclusive special feature pieces about MLB flagships here.

Talkers2016 logo lgTALKERS 2016: Bridging the Generations Is Nearing a Sellout!  If you haven’t made your reservations to attend the forthcoming 19th annual edition of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important national convention, now is the time to do so.  It is nearing an early sellout and there will be no registrations sold at the door. TALKERS 2016: Bridging the Generations will take place three weeks from now on Friday, May 20 on the fabulous campus of Hofstra University in Hempstead, NY (on Long Island, just outside of NYC).  Featuring a powerful lineup of more than 60 luminous speakers, panel discussions, presentations, breakfast, lunch, closing reception, techno exhibits, live broadcasts and more – this is shaping up to be the most exciting and productive industry networking events of its kind in years.  Registration cost is $299 per person and can only be arranged with credit card over the phone. The event is only open to media professionals and communications students.  Please call 413-565-5413 for registration, sponsorship, and hotel information.  Complete up to date agenda info can be found by clicking here.

Knapp, GregKnapp, KCMO-AM Cut Ties. After more than five years as KCMO-AM, Kansas City’s afternoon drive host, Greg Knapp departs the Cumulus Media talk outlet. Regarding his dismissal, Knapp writes on his Facebook page, “I was told repeatedly it was not about my performance. My general manager was very kind in telling me how much she appreciated my show and my work [but] corporate decided it was cheaper to run syndicated programming than it was to pay me a salary. I have consistently had the highest ratings on the station; everyone at Cumulus Kansas City has been very good to me. The good news is I learned a long time ago to always have more than one source of income. I am now ramping up my personal development business [but] I am also looking for new opportunities in radio.” Knapp previously did afternoon drive on KLIF, Dallas; was a syndicated Radio America talk talent; and owned a guest-hosting service. Down or flat for the fourth successive sweep (1.9 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.5 – 1.5, 6+), KCMO-AM ranks #21 in Nielsen Audio‘s March 2016 PPM report for Kansas City; Entercom hot AC KZPT “The Point” is the market leader (6.5, 6+).

Talkers Ten LogoPresidential Race Tops “Talkers Ten” for Week of April 25 – 29. Activities of the presidential candidates and the battle for delegates were the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 were the European terrorism investigations and the arrest of Salah Abdeslam, tied with the United States’ Syria military policy.  Coming in at #3 was the controversy over state laws affecting public restroom use and gender identification, followed by North Korea’s recent missile tests at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

KXLRobbins & Markley” Becomes “Markley & van Camp.” Owing to health concerns that have sidelined Scott Robbins since late-August (2015), there is a title change for the weekday program on Alpha Media Portland’s KXL “FM News 101” and co-owned WMBD, PeoriaWMBD (Illinois). David van Camp will permanently join Jamie Markley for the “Markley and van Camp Show,” which airs 9:00 am – 12:00 noon on KXL and from 2:00 pm – 6:00 pm on WMBD. Alpha Media executive vice president of programming Scott Mahalick comments that, “David van Camp brings a unique perspective to the show and a great balance to Jamie Markley; together, they are magical.” The first official day of the newly-named “Markley and van Camp Show” will be next Monday (5/2).

Sirius-XM-Logo (2)SiriusXM Q1 Revenue Rises 11%. The increase is to a record $1.2 billion, with SiriusXM net income up 62% to $171 million; adjusted EBITDA improves 11% to $441 million. The satcaster adds nearly one-half million new subscribers, ending with almost 30.1 million. First quarter results exceeded expectations of chief executive officer Jim Meyer who comments, “I am especially pleased we were able to add 465,000 net new subscribers, leading to an 8% increase in subscribers over the prior year. With excellent subscriber growth so early in the year, we are raising our guidance for full year net subscriber additions to 1.6 million. We set first quarter records for revenue, adjusted EBITDA, and free cash flow, and we are on track to achieve all of our financial goals this year. With a new full-time music channel from Kenny Chesney, live broadcasts from major music festivals, special popup channels for David Bowie, and Billy Joel, as well as new talk shows, and unmatched coverage of the presidential primaries, SiriusXM continues to be the leader in audio entertainment. We are always looking to deliver new, compelling content to our subscribers.” Chief financial officer David Frear notes that during the first quarter, “We reduced our outstanding share count by about 3%, spending $588 million to repurchase 159 million shares of our common stock. Our debt to adjusted EBITDA remained low at just 3.4 times, leaving plenty of flexibility to continue capital returns to our stockholders or make acquisitions while also making investments in our technology, content, and new satellite infrastructure.”

NYMRADState of the New York Market Report Released. Among the findings from a New York Market Radio Association (NYMRAD) overview is that several industries expanded their footprint in the New York area contributing to a strong first-quarter start. NYMRAD executive director Debbie Beagan remarks, “With luxury retailers and department stores opening locations across the Tri-State area, radio offers high-end businesses an engaging environment for reaching consumers with household incomes of $250,000 and higher. New York market radio reaches 91% of high-income households, $250,000+, [as well as] over 90% of those who own a second home; those planning on buying a luxury car; dined in upscale restaurants; purchased fine jewelry in excess of $500; and vacations in excess of $10,000.” The report addresses latest information about New York’s economy, commuting information, radio and politics, and national radio advertising/usage. Analysis of the New York marketplace is designed to help advertisers understand radio’s impact on consumers and its role in the local advertising landscape. NYMRAD’s “State of the Market Report” provides business trends as well as local information from a variety of sources including Nielsen Audio, Media Monitors, and The New York Times.”

The BlazeExecs Named to Build Digital Content Network for TheBlaze. Three digital media industry veterans have been added to TheBlaze‘s leadership team. Former Core Media Group chief marketing officer Chris Gannett joins as senior vice president of marketing; previously with CNN and the weekend edition of ABC-TV‘s “Good Morning America,” Matt Frucci is appointed senior vice president of content & programming; and Lisa Fowler – from BET Networks – joins as vice president of talent and culture. TheBlaze president Stewart Padveen notes, “TheBlaze is investing heavily in our mission to redefine the way digital media is delivered and consumed. Chris, Matt, and Lisa are a significant part of a new high-performing culture and a diverse lineup of superstar talent.” Ironically, the additions at Glenn Beck‘s TheBlaze come after cuts across offices in New York, Los Angeles, Washington (D.C.), and Columbus, where a documentary group had been based. Sources tell TVNewser, between 35-45 staffers have been pinkslipped. These layoffs follow what a source calls a “brain drain” of talent over the last year. Chief executive officer Betsy Morgan left the company last summer and her interim replacement, former Premiere Networks chief operating officer, Kraig Kitchen, exited earlier this year. According to The Daily Beast, the latest cuts are meant to “satisfy the requirements of a multi-million dollar bank loan taken out recently to keep Beck’s revenue-challenged enterprise running.” TheBlaze is consolidating the company’s operations to its Irving, Texas headquarters.

Friday, February 26, 2016

| February 26, 2016

AlphaAlpha Media Closes on Digity Purchase. This is no ordinary acquisition as Alpha Media balloons to approximately 250 stations in 50+ markets by closing on in excess of 110 Digity properties. Over and above that, Alpha Media becomes the country’s third-largest broadcast company in terms of number of markets and fourth-largest regarding station count. Alpha Media chair Larry Wilson comments, “We are very pleased to get this remarkable transaction done. In our fold is now an exceptional stable of diversified stations and markets, serving not only their towns but surrounding areas and communities. It has been a tremendous pleasure to work with respected broadcaster [Digity chief executive officer] Dean Goodman and his management team. We look forward to joining forces with the phenomenal people at Digity doing radio the right way.” Goodman remarks, “I have been honored to work with the great broadcasters of Digity. They know their roots are in live and local and their future is dynamic. They will excel with Alpha as individual and collective entrepreneurs. We hand off a thriving company, up this year at the top of the industry. I wish Larry [Wilson] and his team all the best; they have assembled a great platform.” Only two of the 28 Digity markets are PPM-metros – San Jose and West Palm Beach. The other facilities are in Missouri: (Bethany-Cameron, Clinton, Farmington-Festus, Moberly-Macon, and Waynesville-Lebanon); Iowa (Fairfield, Fort Dodge, Grinnell-Newton, and Mason City); Minnesota (Albert Lea-Austin, Luverne, Mankato, and Redwood Falls); South Dakota (Brookings, Madison, and Watertown); Illinois (Aurora and Joliet); Nebraska (Columbus and Lincoln); Michigan (Saginaw-Bay City-Midland); North Carolina (Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville); Ohio (Canton); South Carolina (Myrtle Beach); Texas: (North Dallas-McKinney); and Wisconsin (Kenosha-Waukegan). When this deal was first announced in August 2015, the purchase price was reported to be $264 million.

CBS Radio LogoWFAN and Brooklyn Nets Extend Broadcast Rights Agreement. The multi-year deal between CBS Radio New York sports outlet WFAN “The Fan” and the NBA‘s Brooklyn Nets goes beyond NBA basketball to cover other parts of the business at Barclays Center, including select college basketball games, concerts, and live events. As it has since the 2004 – 2005 season, WFAN will continue as the team’s radioBrooklyn Nets Logo flagship. According to CBS Radio president Andre Fernandez, “CBS Radio is proud to continue our association with the Brooklyn Nets and Barclays Center. We have defined our position in sports broadcasting by delivering the most extensive coverage of local programming and events. We continue to make aggressive investments in exclusive content our audiences can’t find anywhere else.” Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment chief executive officer Brett Yormark comments, “Our relationship with CBS Radio continues to give us a major voice in the nation’s largest market. This new agreement comes on the heels of our recent extension with YES Network, providing the team with premium exposure on two of the country’s most popular sports outlets.” WFAN news sibling WCBS-AM will be the Nets’ secondary radio outlet. Prior to relocating to Brooklyn, the team was called the New Jersey Nets. Among persons 6+ in Nielsen Audio’s January 2016 PPM report for New York City, WFAN ranks ninth (3.8, 6+); iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW “Lite FM” leads the field with a 6.7 (6+).

hyde, coreyHyde Heads to Entercom Sacramento as GSM. Fourteen-month Pandora account executive Corey Hyde joins Entercom Sacramento as general sales manager. Vice president and market manager Lance Richard comments, “It is exciting to add Corey to our team. He has an impressive track record of success and Entercom_Communications_logohe brings experience in developing dynamic, integrated campaigns and long term partnerships for local clients. His leadership skills and experience in this market make him the perfect fit for Entercom Sacramento.” Hyde remarks, “I am thrilled to be joining Lance Richard and the team at Entercom Sacramento. Radio is stronger than ever, and we have the best local stations in the market. I look forward to using our wide array of marketing assets to drive real results for our clients.” In his 13-year radio career, Hyde spent nearly 10 years with CBS Radio Sacramento as a senior account executive and three years with iHeartMedia Sacramento as an AE. 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.”

baldwin, stephenBaldwin Exits Weekend “Baldwin/McCullough LIVE.”  Effective immediately, actor Stephen Baldwin departs “Baldwin/McCullough LIVE.” The two-hour syndicated weekend program carried by approximately 250 affiliates on Kevin McCullough‘s eight-year-old XtreMEDIA and simulcast on BizTV is rebranded “Radio Night LIVE.” As Baldwin’s work schedule increased the past few months, McCullough explains, “The more difficult it has become for him to make the show. For the past eight years, we have enjoyed the liveliest and – on most nights – the funniest weekend radio broadcast in America. Our listeners will mccullough, kevinimmediately feel the impact of Stephen’s absence from the talk radio airwaves. To be realistic, however, because of his filming schedule in 2015, his workload severely prevented him from being with us even one out of two weeks. This is great for him because his passion is acting. Our staff, our sponsors, and listeners will miss Stephen’s unique humor and spunk. His personality is one-of-a-kind and Stephen will always be welcome to a microphone we have named in his honor; we are thrilled though at this chance to take our broadcast to another level. ‘Radio Night LIVE’ will take the signature humor we have developed over the years, add cutting edge ‘next generation’ guests, experts, and entertainers and explode Saturday night in ways previously unseen.” Baldwin comments, “God has been so good to me and all I want to do is to follow where He is leading me. My time doing the show is something I will always remember. Our listeners brought much laughter and insight into my life.” It is possible that McCullough will utilize a series of rotating guest hosts such as KRLA, Los Angeles’ Elisha Krauss; Karol Markowicz of The New York Post; YouToo America‘s Gina Loudon; as well as Ashley Papa and Kayleigh McEnany. McCullough continues hosting his weekday 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm “After Hours” show on Salem Media Group New York’s WNYM “AM 970 The Answer”; the “Kevin McCullough Show” for Salem Media Group; and “News That Makes You Think.”

WGN LogoFour More Years: WGN, Northwestern Extend Rights Agreement. The union between 50,000-watt WGN, Chicago and Northwestern University will keep Wildcats football and men’s basketball on the Tribune talker through the conclusion of the 2019 – 2020 season. In addition, the voice of Wildcats football since 1990 and men’s basketball since 1996 – Dave Eanet – signs a four-year contract. WGN Radio presidentNorthwestern Wildcats and general manager Jimmy de Castro comments, “We are proud to present Northwestern basketball and football anchored by Dave ‘Mr. Cat’ Eanet. We look forward to bringing our listeners the excitement of Chicago’s Big Ten team in the years to come.” According to Northwestern vice president for athletics and recreation Jim Phillips, “The Northwestern Wildcats and WGN Radio have forged a special relationship over the last two decades. WGN not only is a broadcasting force, but a true Chicago institution. We have shared many thrilling moments through the years, and we look forward to many more memories with WGN Radio as the home of Chicago’s Big Ten team.” Eanet was inducted into the WGN Radio Walk of Fame last year. Former Chicago Bear Ted Albrecht is WGN’s football analyst on Wildcat broadcasts, while former college and pro head coach Joey Meyer provides analysis on basketball broadcasts. WGN has been the radio home of the Wildcats since 1996. Among persons 6+ in Nielsen Audio’s January 2016 PPM report for Chicago, WGN ranks fifth with a 4.2 – its best showing since last June’s 4.3; CBS Radio‘s all-news WBBM-AM is on top with a 6.8 (6+).

walter, maryLouisville Lineup Changes at WHAS, WKRD. Starting next Monday (2/29), former WKXW “New Jersey 101.5,” Trenton personality Mary Walter will oversee a weeknight 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm program on iHeartMedia Louisville talker WHAS. Of Walter, director of iHeartMedia Louisville’s AM programming Kelly Carls comments, “She is always prepared; keeps her finger on the pulse of the news; and she does a great job connecting with listeners. We are delighted she will be offering her unique perspectives every day.” A WHAS fill-in beginning in 2009, Walter remarks, “I am so excited to be with the WHAS audience on aWKRD regular basis. I have grown to love the local listeners over the years. They are so engaged and informed that it makes the job fun.” She previously worked at radio stations in Washington, DC; Phoenix; Denver; and Omaha. Meanwhile, at co-owned all-sports WKRD “790 KRD,” Howie Lindsey is named 7:00 am – 10:00 am host; contributors Matt Willinger and Katie George will join him. Another change there will find TheCardinalConnect.Com founder Nick Coffey taking on 12:00 noon – 3:00 pm duty. “We are very excited to expand our local sports coverage on WKRD,” notes Kelly Carls. “Mornings, mid-days and afternoons, we now have local sports fans covered with updates, insights, and compelling conversation about the teams and games that really matter.” Lindsey and Coffey will debut one week from Monday (3/7). Among persons 12+ in Nielsen Audio‘s winter 2016 book, WHAS ranks #1 (7.4) and WKRD is #12 (1.2).

Cumulus Media Dallas Sets Fourth Spring Job Fair. Jobseekers and hiring companies will come together in less than Cumulus Media Dallastwo weeks (3/9) as Cumulus Media Dallas presents its fourth annual Putting Texans Back to Work Spring Job Fair at the Plano Centre. In attendance will be representatives from over 100 companies in search of quality candidates from the Dallas, Collin, and Denton County areas of North Texas. No registration is required for job seekers; however, registration deadline for companies looking for qualified individuals is one week from Monday (3/7). The Cumulus Dallas cluster includes sports KESN “ESPN Radio 103.3”; talk KLIF-AM; CHR KLIF-FM “Hot 93.3”; country KPLX “The Wolf”; KSCS “New Country 96.3”; sports KTCK “The Ticket; and talk WBAP.

BTC LogoBTC Begins HD Radio Data Services in Canada. A partnership between the Broadcaster Traffic Consortium (BTC) and exclusive mapping and technology data partner HERE leads to Canada’s first in-vehicle HD Radio Traffic service. Honda is the first brand to offer the service to its customers on certain 2015 and 2016 models. Broadcaster Traffic Consortium president Paul Brenner comments, “The BTC and all of our member stations are excited to be the first to market for HD Radio data services in Canada. Honda and HERE are valued partners that expect constant innovation and quality services regardless of our borders or radio station ownership. Unified broadcasters, collaborating to deliver a common service, bringing innovation solutions to automakers is better for the strategic and long-term viability of the broadcast radio industry. BTC is proud to be a leader in this space.” HD Radio Traffic enables drivers and passengers to view detailed information on local traffic conditions in real time on their vehicle’s audio display screen. The BTC has stations providing coverage in most areas within greater Toronto, Vancouver, and Calgary; the service is expected to expand to additional Canadian markets. Originally founded in 2007 with eight broadcast groups – Beasley Broadcast Group; Bonneville International Corporation; Cox Radio; Emmis Communications; Entercom Communications; Greater Media; NPR; and Radio One – BTC has grown to include 23 broadcast groups in the United States and Canada. It builds a nationwide terrestrial broadcasting network to distribute local traffic and other map-related data via FM and HD Radio technology.

talkersten logoPresidential Race Tops Talkers TenTM for Week of February 22-26.  Primary races and activities of presidential candidates were the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio during the week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  Coming in at #2 was Apple’s refusal to hack the phone of one of the San Bernardino terrorists.  At #3 was the battle over the timeline for replacing Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, followed by Islamic State’s reported threats against Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week; it is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  View this week’s entire chart here.

fritts, eddieBFA to Fete Fritts with “Excellence in Broadcasting” Award. Former 23-year National Association of Broadcasters president and chief executive officer Eddie Fritts is named this year’s Broadcasters Foundation of America‘s recipient of the Lowry Mays “Excellence in Broadcasting” award. Underwritten by The Mays Family Foundation, the award is given each year to a broadcaster, “whose work exemplifies innovation, community service, advocacy, and entrepreneurship.” Fritts’ past recognitionBroadcasters Foundation of America includes “Broadcaster of the Year” awards at both the New York State Broadcasters Association and the Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters. In addition, he is the past recipient of the Broadcasters Foundation’s “Golden Mike” and “Chairman’s” awards. Inducted into the Giants of Broadcasting’s Hall of Fame in 2010, he received the NAB’s “Distinguished Service” award one year later. Fritts – who launched The Fritts Group in March 2006 – will be honored with this particular acknowledgement in approximately two months (4/20) during the NAB Show in Las Vegas. The Broadcasters Foundation has distributed millions of dollars to thousands of broadcasters and their families. Individual donations can be made to the Guardian Fund. Corporate contributions are accepted through the Angel Initiative; bequests can be arranged through the Legacy Society.

Cumulus 2Cumulus Media Florida Outlets Aid in Tornado Recovery. Personal and household items, as well as monetary donations, are being collected by 14 Cumulus Media stations in Fort Walton Beach-Destin, Mobile, and Pensacola (Florida) for those affected by this week’s tornadoes in Century and Pensacola. Radio station staffers will be at various locations for six hours today (Friday, 2/26), nine hours tomorrow (Saturday, 2/27), and four hours on Sunday. Listeners are being asked to help tornado victims with water, personal hygiene items, household cleaning items, tarps, laundry detergent, diapers, wipes, book bags, crayons, pens, pencils, paper, clothing, and non-perishable food items. Cash donations should be directed to the Gulf Coast recovery effort through the American Red Cross and the United Way.

cbsradio-logoCool Job Opportunities at CBS, Los Angeles.  TALKERS has learned that CBS Radio Los Angeles is now looking to fill the following positions as soon as possible at all-news KNX 1070:  news reporter, writer, and news production assistant. For more details and to apply, please click here: WWW.CBSRADIO.COM/CAREERS.

union edgeOdds & Sods. Pittsburgh-based “The Union Edge” adds suburban Minneapolis talker KTNF “AM 950 The Progressive Voice of Minnesota” as its 27th affiliate. KTNF president Chad Larson comments, “KTNF has been a longtime union advocate, covering labor issues since 2004 in the Twin Cities. We look forward to carrying another program focused on the many accomplishments labor has made for our nation as well as the modern threats facing working families and our ability to collectively bargain in the workplace.”

Social Media: You’re Doing it Wrong

| January 27, 2016

By Mark Kaye
Cox Media Group
Talk Show Host

 

kayemarkwriterJACKSONVILLE, Fla. — I chuckle when I help somebody log on to Snapchat or Periscope for the first time.  They always ask me the same question, “Okay, how does this work?”

It’s an understandable question.  It’s also the absolute wrong question.  What we should always ask when experimenting with new technology is, “Okay, how does this work for me?”

Each social media platform that gains popularity has its own unique characteristics that we, as broadcasters, can and SHOULD take advantage of.  But, most of us don’t.  We only see one part of the huge impact that social media has on our lives and careers.  And, unfortunately, it’s the part of social media that impacts our lives and careers the least.

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Friday, January 8, 2016

| January 8, 2016

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

talkersten logoObama ‘Guns’ Town Hall Top News/Talk Story of the Week.  Thursday night’s “town hall” on gun control presented by CNN and the White House along with President Obama’s announced plans to use executive power to alter some gun laws were the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio during the week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the presidential race.  Coming in at #3 was the battle against Islamic State, followed by the Saudi Arabian and Iranian diplomatic break and the growing rift between Shiite and Sunni-majority Middle Eastern states at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, August 29, 2014

| August 29, 2014

whptlogoCox Revamps ‘102.5 The Bone’ in Tampa – without Bubba the Love Sponge.  Saying that it is “taking the station in a different direction,” Cox Media Group Tampa announces the redesign of talk outlet WHPT, Tampa “102.5 The Bone” and moves afternoon personality Mikecaltamike Calta to AM drive.  The rest of the day looks like this: Billy Madison from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon; Shannon Burke from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm; “In Your Face with Drew Garabo” from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm followed by “The Bone Daily Rewind Show” from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm.  CMG Tampa VP and market bubbamanager Keith Lawless states, “CMG periodically changes direction, talent and format of its various media programs in order to provide our audiences with fresh perspectives and compelling content.  ‘The Bone’ has proven to be one of America’s most outspoken radio stations.  Tampa Bay can expect ‘The Bone’ to continue to deliver ‘Real, Raw, Radio’ every day.”  The station says that although it is discontinuing the Bubba the Love Sponge show, it will continue to be the technical head end to the Bubba Radio Network through the end of 2014.  The Bubba the Love Sponge Show is heard on KRZQ, Reno; WTRS, Ocala; WRXK, Ft. Myers; WZLB, Ft. Walton Beach; WYBB, Charleston, South Carolina; and WRSO, Orlando.

facebooklogoSocial Media Dominator? Facebook. According to NuVoodoo‘s latest “Ratings Prospects Study,” Facebook remains the prevailing social media outlet of choice among those who are 14 – 54 years old.  Moreover, as NuVoodoo vice president of research Leigh Jacobs states, “Despite all the hype surrounding them, both Snapchat and Vine are comparatively small players overall. While other players get more coverage, Instagram has the deepest penetration among teens [14 – 17] after YouTube and Facebook; it is getting traction among [those] 18 – 34.  We found continuing positive momentum for Facebook, even among 14-17-year-olds.  Other platforms have stronger momentum, but given its tremendous reach, Facebook remains a powerful tool for connecting with listeners.”  NuVoodoo executive vice president of marketing Mike O’Connor comments that, “Radio marketing is about influencing the most likely ratings respondents at the lowest cost possible.  It is clear from our findings that heavy users of both broadcast and Pandora can be reached in numbers on Facebook and YouTube that rival the home phone of a decade ago.  Imagine knowing the exact music taste of everyone and then only calling the most likely listeners.  It is that precise targeting and cost-efficiency that makes social media the great equalizer.”  NuVoodoo interviewed nearly 1100 respondents, ages 14-54, in all PPM markets for this study.

krantzwhitmireBrad and Britt Join WJZY-TV, Charlotte for Commentary Duties.  Radio talk show hosts-turned-podcasters Brad Krantz and Britt Whitmire – formerly of WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte – are now part of the weekend staff at Fox TV O&O WJZY-TV, Charlotte as they begin handling commentary duties on the new show, “Good Morning Carolinas.”  They report they will be offering takes on politics and happenings of local and national importance.  They’ll also be on the station’s “Ten O’Clock News” on Wednesday (9/3) to offer analysis of the first debate between Senator Kay Hagan (D) and challenger Thom Tillis (R).  Of course, they will continue their daily podcast, which is available on iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, SoundCloud, and BradandBritt.com.

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wfan logoWFAN, New York Names Argaman GSM.  Promotions in the sales department at CBS RADIO’s sports talk WFAN, New York include WFAN/Yankees Radio Network sales chief Sean Argaman being named general sales manager for WFAN effective immediately.  At the same time, CBS RADIO EVP of operations Scott Herman announces Brian Rooney has been promoted to sales manager and will assume additional responsibility working alongside Argaman.  Steve Kalman takes over the role of head of Yankees sales.

berryPTSDcheckMichael Berry Helps Raise More than $200k for PTSD Foundation of America.  Houston-based talk show host Michael Berry – the “Czar of Talk Radio” – helped raise a total of $207,598 for the PTSD Foundation of America, an organization for which he is the national spokesman.  Partnering with Gringo’s and Jimmy Changas, popular Tex-Mex restaurants in the Houston area, and calling upon his listeners to join him at four concerts the restaurants underwrote, Berry and his cohorts donated all ticket revenue to the cause.  Berry says, “Live radio has the ability to bring together listeners, show sponsors, and people in need, in real time, and make magic.  When the roll is taken up yonder of the effect of radio in communities in America, we should tally all the work being done by local hosts across the country who are doing this in their cities every single day.  Every year, I listen to Rush speak from his heart about leukemia and lymphoma during his Cure-a-Thon.  And it makes me think that we all need to do more, and use our powerful microphone for good.  THIS is what makes radio fun.”  Pictured here at the presentation ceremony are (from l-r): Berry, Camp Hope executive director David Maulsby (Camp Hope is run by the PTSD Foundation of America); two unidentified veterans who received peer counseling at Camp Hope; and local restaurateur Russell Ybarra who donated $125,000 and hired the bands to help raise the rest of the money.

beasleyawards14Beasley Broadcast Group Announces Corporate Award Winners.  At its annual management meeting held at the corporate offices in Naples, Florida this week, Beasley Broadcast Group, Inc. gathered corporate management and station leadership from the eleven markets in which it operates to celebrate achievements and contributions from individual employees and radio stations over the preceding twelve months. The 2014 honorees include: WXKB-FM, Fort Myers-Naples – Radio Station of the Year; Brad Beasley – General Manager of the Year/Fort Myers-Naples; Donna Williams – Business Manager of the Year/Augusta, Georgia; AJ Lurie – Sales Manager of the Year/Fort Myers-Naples; Tee Gentry – Program Director of the Year/Augusta; Lamar Smith – Engineer of the Year/Las Vegas; Natalie Conner – CEO Award of Excellence/Executive Vice President.  Founder, chairman and CEO George Beasley states, “It is a sincere privilege each year to honor our company’s highest achievers.  The level of professionalism within Beasley Broadcast is tremendous.  The ladies and gentlemen we recognize for 2014 worked very hard to earn this recognition, and for that they have also earned my respect.  I am very proud of each of them.”  Pictured here at the corporate meetings are (from left to right): VP of programming Justin Chase; EVP of operations Brian Beasley; VP market manager Kent Dunn (Augusta); chairman and CEO George G. Beasley; president and COO Bruce Beasley; EVP and CFO Caroline Beasley; VP of engineering and CTO Mike Cooney; VP market manager Brad Beasley (SW Florida); retiring VP market manager Natalie Conner (Philadelphia); VP of sales Heather Monahan; director of sales AJ Lurie (SW Florida).

WXKS-AM, Boston Augments UMass Sports Coverage. In Beantown, Clear Channel-owned WXKS-AM “Bloomberg Radio 1200″ signs a three-year deal with the University of Massachusetts department of athletics and multimedia rights holder UMass Sports Properties and Learfield Sports.  The pact begins with the 2014 – 2015 athletic season and allows 50,000-watt WXKS-AM to air all UMass football games and men’s basketball contests that do not conflict with Bloomberg programming.  Learfield Sports regional general manager Pam Batalis comments that WXKS-AM is “the perfect complement to an already thriving UMass sports network.  When you combine the positive momentum building around UMass football with the national attention achieved by our men’s basketball program, the timing was right to deliver these two teams to our significant fan base in the metro-Boston area.”  UMass director of athletics John McCutcheon states, “We are very excited to bring [WXKS-AM] on-board as one of our radio partners for football and basketball.  The partnership gives us a great home in the Boston media market and really gives those programs fantastic exposure in eastern Massachusetts.  When looking at the package and a multi-year agreement, we feel very strongly that this relationship will help us reach our fans and alumni in the eastern-half of the Commonwealth.” Josh Maurer returns for his seventh season handling play-by-play duties for both “Minuteman” football and men’s basketball.  Three UMass graduates will join him on football broadcasts: analyst Matt Goldstein, sideline reporter Cody Chrusciel, and program host Adam Frenier.  In addition to WXKS-AM, the UMass sports network includes Entercom Boston flagship (sports) WEEI-FM, Entercom sports WVEI, Worcester, and Marshfield Broadcasting adult contemporary WATD-FM, Marshfield.  The affiliation begins with tomorrow’s (Saturday, 8/29) football opener against Boston College.

cosbyritaOdds & Sods.  With election season kicking into high gear, Cumulus Media’s WABC, New York is presenting the second in a series of exclusive “Election Central” roundtables on Saturday (8/30) at 3:00 pm ET.  The program is being hosted by Rita Cosby and features a preview of the November mid-term elections with a discussion featuring some of New York’s most influential political reporters: WNBC’s Andrew Siff, NY1’s Errol Louis, and WPIX 11’s Marvin Scott.  The roundtables can also be heard on the “Election Central” page at wabcradio.com…..As in seasons past, CBS RADIO’s WIP, Philadelphia “SportsRadio 94WIP” will produce the “Howie Roseman Show” each Monday during the NFL season.  WIP afternoon host Anthony Gargano and Eagles play-by-play announcer Merrill Reese will co-host the program with the Eagles GM live from Chickie’s and Pete’s in South Philadelphia from 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm…..Yahoo! Sports Radio announces the debut of its weekend football programming that begins with “Rivals Saturday” and wraps up Sunday night with “Postgame” with Peter Brown.

ISIS Campaign/U.S. Military Policy in Iraq and Syria Top News/Talk Story for Week of August 25-29.  Landing atop the Talkers TenTM this week is the ISIS campaign in Iraq and Syria and the Obama Administration’s military policy there.  At #2 this week is the mid-term elections and the prospects for the 2016 presidential race.  Coming in at #3 is the plans by President Obama to bypass the Congress to sign a global climate change treaty and to use executive orders to pass immigration legislation followed by the Michael Brown death aftermath at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a 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.

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.

Meet Ken Rutkowski

| May 12, 2014

Second of two-part special on “Business Rockstars”

Quintessential connected host not stuck in a rut

By Mike Kinosian
TALKERS
Managing Editor/West Coast Bureau Chief

 

LOS ANGELES — Connoisseurs of the fine art of the interview — and it truly is an art form — relish the opportunity to study Charlie Rose as he masterfully plies his craft nightly on PBS.

Roundtable one-on-one settings featuring the amiable Rose are clinics that more often than not uncover fascinating layers to his intriguing guests.


Amazing Stories

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Biz Biggies Rock On

| May 8, 2014

The colorful history and present-day innovation of industry entrepreneur Steve Lehman

By Mike Kinosian
TALKERS
Managing Editor/West Coast Bureau Chief

 

LOS ANGELESSeveral enterprising Los Angeles radio station employees in the mid-1980s ingeniously laid the foundation for what would become one of the most renowned, esteemed radio syndication companies this medium has witnessed.

Generally corroborated is that the initial investment for Premiere Radio Networks was a modest $30,000, which in turn helped to trigger first-year advertising billing for the novice venture in the neighborhood of $2 million.

By any standard, that qualifies as an ultra-impressive, if not eye-popping, startup. More than a quarter of a century later, that figure has ballooned by 200 times.

As a result, it is perhaps not one bit surprising that one of the chief architects of that empire again has his creative juices flowing with a project involving the fates and fortunes of fellow industrialists.

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Short Ideas for a Short Week

| January 21, 2014

By Chris Miller
Chris Miller Digital
Owner

SHAKER HEIGHTS – “Sorry, I quit paying attention!” 

What attention span can we ask for these days to sell something?  One of my clients created a 40-second video for an email project, and I was momentarily concerned it was too lengthy to keep people watching.  Another client buys two :60 spots back-to-back on TV to show mini-documentaries.

And yet … we’re still offering to sell :60 spots, loaded up back-to-back, as if it’s 1990.

Good luck selling a lengthy ad online.  When YouTube lets us skip the rest of an ad a few seconds in, and Facebook measures your ad in characters instead of columns or inches, don’t six-minute sets of :60s make you at least a little nervous?  Roy Williams, the “Wizard of Ads,” says “Clarity is the new creativity.” Or, if I lost you during that last sentence, “Less is more.”

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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

| January 21, 2014

millerchrisShort Ideas for a Short Week.  As the industry returns from a holiday weekend, digital media consultant Chris Miller offers some quick thoughts regarding your digital efforts.  If you’re still wondering about the changes Facebook made that affect the way content lines up on your news feed, Miller has three items to consider.  Also check out his thoughts on the type of content you put on your station website and whether that content lines up with your brand’s “message.”  Plus, Chris has a final word about attitude.  Check it all out here.

wiplogoPromotions Conflict at Philly Eatery Brings Abrupt End to Live Broadcast.  The Philadelphia Daily News is reporting that the quick shutdown of a WIP, Philadelphia remote broadcast with afternoon hosts Anthony Gargano and Rob Ellis at Chickie’s & Pete’s may not have been the result of an ISDNwpenamfm breakdown but the fact that rival Greater Media sports talker WPEN personality Jon Marks was also at the establishment for a personal appearance.  The paper reports that about 30 minutes into Gargano’s and Ellis’ broadcast, WPEN’s Marks arrived along with rock WMMR jock Matt Cord for a $1,000 MetroPCS giveaway in another part of the pub.  The Daily News goes on to write that Chickie’s & Pete’s management tried to move Marks and Cord to a different part of the restaurant but Greater Media refused.  CBS tells the paper the ISDN problem was the issue and while no one else is commenting, it appears it could have been nothing more than a scheduling snafu that ruffled the feathers of the stations involved.

wmen logoLinder Joins WMEN, West Palm Beach for Afternoons.  The JCE Licenses-owned sports talk station names Jon Linder host of the 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm show, replacing Andy Slater who left for Clear Channel’s sports talk WINZ, Miami “The Sports Animal” in December.  Linder joined WMEN as a fill-in host last year.  He’s worked at Beasley’s WQAM, Miami serving as a sports reporter and studio host during Miami Hurricanes football broadcasts from 2010 through 2012.

rizzotonyCleveland Host Faces Jury Trial in Domestic Violence Charge.  WKNR, Cleveland sports talk host Tony Rizzo will appear in Medina Municipal Court on February 27 for a jury trial after being accused of domestic assault by his wife Catherine Rizzo in December.  Rizzo remains on the air at Good Karma-owned WKNR.  The company issued a statement after the incident leading to the charge calling Rizzo “an exemplary teammate and member of the community and his status with us is unaffected.”  Police were called to Rizzo’s home after his wife called them saying she had locked herself in the bathroom after Rizzo choked her and hit her in the face.  Rizzo pleaded not guilty on December 9.

kcaa logoKCAA, Lorma Linda, California First to Accept Bitcoins for Airtime.  The Fred Lundgren-owned news/talk station that serves the Riverside/San Bernardino market is claiming it’s the first radio station in North America to Bitcoins as payment for advertising and airtime.  The station says it signed its first programming agreement purchased with Bitcoin on January 17.  KCAA utilized a service called “Coinbase” to process the payment.  Lundgren comments, “Our first transaction paid us 9.4 Bitcoins, which Coinbase displayed as approximately $7,200.00 USD. These funds will appear in our bank account in two to three business days.”  Lundgren adds, “The value of Bitcoin as a digital currency will grow as more businesses accept it.  I predict it will become a viable alternative to ever increasing bank charges.”

berrymichael2Houston Talk Host Michael Berry Emcees Senate Campaign Fundraiser.  KTRH, Houston-based talk show host Michael Berry is headlining a fundraiser for U.S. Senate candidate Col. Rob Maness (USAF, Ret.) on Friday, January 24, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  Berry’s program is heard on stations across the U.S. including on WJBO, Baton Rouge from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm.  Maness is running for the Senate seat currently held by Democrat Mary Landrieu.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Sochi Olympics Terror Threats, Syria Torture Allegations, ObamaCare Criticism, Wendy Davis Bio Questioned and Chris Christie Sandy Aid Charge Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/20).  The Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday; concerns over security at the Sochi Winter Games; new allegations of the Assad regime’s use of torture in Syria’s civil conflict; criticism of the rollout of the Affordable Care Act; Texas gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis’ life story disputed by critics; and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie faces charges of misappropriating Hurricane Sandy aid were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

New Year, New Content

| January 6, 2014

By Chris Miller
Chris Miller Digital
Owner

SHAKER HEIGHTS — Facebook has made some important changes, and I’ve got some tips for you to take advantage of those changes.

BuzzFeed_Logo 200The news and entertainment site Buzzfeed first picked up on it before Facebook made it official.  The folks at Buzzfeed noticed that, all of a sudden, online content publishers were getting a huge increase in hits.  That group of publishers includes a wide variety of content providers, but the way to think about it is “sites that find and write about stuff that others should find interesting.”

All social platforms are getting more sophisticated about how they determine what their users will see.  Facebook has adjusted their formula that determines what content we all get shown, emphasizing the interesting over the merely silly and self-serving.  Here’s how to help insure that more of your posts get shown to your fan base.

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Monday, January 6, 2014

| January 6, 2014

longbrianLong Set To Program Clear Channel, San Diego Combo.  Former senior director of programming for Bonneville Seattle’s KIRO-AM “710 ESPN,Brian Long, has been tapped to program Clear Channel, San Diego’s news/talk KOGO-AM and KLSD “Xtra Sports 1360.” Vice president of programming John Peake comments, “Brian will bring a diverse perspective from multiple markets and stations to our spoken-word brands.  We are excited to add Brian’s management and broadcasting experience to the San Diego programming team.  We are confident that KOGO-AM and ‘Xtra Sports’ will prosper under his tutelage.”  Long previously was assistant program director and “In the Zone” host on Los Angeles’ KSPN “710 ESPN.”  Prior to that, the Kansas City native programmed in Palm Springs, California for KXPS “The Team 1010,” KFUT “Fox Sports 1270,” and KNWZ “K-News.”  Long begins his San Diego assignment in two weeks (1/21).

caplisdanCaplis to Host Late Morning Show on KNUS, Denver.  Salem Communications-owned news/talk KNUS, Denver adds local TV and radio personality Dan Caplis to the program lineup in the 9:00 am to 11:00 am slot.  Caplis – an attorney – most recently worked in radio at Clear Channel’s crosstown news/talk KHOW with co-host Craig Silverman.  KNUS general manager Brian Taylor says, “With the upcoming election cycle, plus the compelling local issues that have put Colorado in the forefront recently, it is significant for us to offer another powerful local voice like market veteran Dan Caplis.  Combined with Peter Boyles and Steve Kelley, 710 KNUS will now offer more daily, live local conservative talk programming than any other station in the Denver market.”

millerchrisNew Year Changes at Facebook That Affect You.  Digital media consultant Chris Miller informs us that Facebook recently made some important changes that affect how users get to show the content they do.  Miller writes, “The news and entertainment site Buzzfeed first picked up on it before Facebook made it official.  The folks at Buzzfeed noticed that, all of a sudden, online content publishers were getting a huge increase in hits.  That group of publishers includes a wide variety of content providers, but the way to think about it is ‘sites that find and write about stuff that others should find interesting.’”  Miller says that all social platforms are getting more sophisticated about how they determine what their users will see.  Facebook has adjusted their formula that determines what content we all get shown, emphasizing the interesting over the merely silly and self-serving.  Here’s how to help insure that more of your posts get shown to your fan base.  Read Miller’s column here.

cookehollandAnalysis: 2014 NMX Podcasters Conference.  Media consultant Holland Cooke is in Las Vegas this week covering the New Media Expo and the enormous 2014 International Consumer Electronics Show.  First up, Cooke reports from the weekend’s happenings at 2014 NMX.  Cooke says the standing-room-only crowd was replete with people focused on talking targeted, passionate interests with its audience.  “And they’re not just talking to your geographical area.  And they are not merely, as clichéd station imaging assures, ‘talking-about what-you’re-talking-about,’” says Cooke.  “Instead of belaboring Benghazi, they’re bonding with ‘ovewhelmed adoptive moms, by telling the truth about the post-adoption journey, so they feel validated and encouraged for the road ahead.’  If more station websites offered narrowcast content that’s specifically appealing, and used transmitters to invite those moms to engage, new digital revenue would follow.”  Read Cooke’s entire report from 2014 NMX in Las Vegas here.

rantzjasonJason Rantz Promoted to Daily Evening Show at KIRO-FM, Seattle.  Bonneville Seattle news/talk KIRO-FM ups Jason Rantz from his year-old weekend show on the station to the daily 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm program effective this evening.  KIRO-FM program director Pete Gammell says, “Jason is an extremely knowledgeable and thoughtful host who always seeks opposing views to further listeners’ understanding.  We always strive to connect entertainment to value and discussion to understanding.  This is Jason’s strength and I’m sure listeners will agree.”   Speaking about his new gig, Rantz states, “I’m excited by the opportunity to talk with Western Washington as a part of KIRO’s weekday team.  I’ve enjoyed interacting and engaging the KIRO Radio listeners during my previous weekend show and now I’m thrilled to bring this same dynamic to weeknights.  There are so many important issues affecting our community and the nation, and it is vital that we come together to have a civil but challenging and vigorous discussion.  I hope my evening show will become that forum.”

ktar-am logoBonneville Gives Sports Talk KTAR-AM, Phoenix FM Simulcast.  Shuttering adult hits KPKX “98.7 The Peak,” Bonneville Phoenix gives sports talker KTAR-AM an FM signal on which to simulcast.  The company has been building multi-platform sports content destination “Arizona Sports” using the AM radio station and a local sports content-heavy website and now adds an FM signal to the mix.  Vice president and market manager Scott Sutherland states, “Putting ‘Arizona Sports’ on FM is an opportunity too big to ignore.  Our live, local and exclusive sports content has never been better.  We have world-class local talk personalities who deliver powerful opinions and insights that engage, entertain and positively impact the communities we serve.  We also have amazing team partners.  And all of this attracts a passionate and loyal audience, which in turn, attracts a lot of marketing interest from small and medium business owners, major brands and C-Suite decision makers.”  The stations serve as flagship broadcaster for the Phoenix Suns, Arizona Cardinals, Arizona Diamondbacks, Phoenix Coyotes, Arizona State University and broadcasts Arizona Interscholastic Association prep sporting events from around the state.

czabansteveRed Zebra Re-Ups with Steve Czaban at ‘ESPN 980’ in Washington.  Red Zebra Broadcasting and sports talk host Steve Czaban have agreed to terms on a new three-year deal that will keep the afternoon drive co-host with WTEM, Washington, DC “ESPN 980” through 2016.  Czaban has been co-hosting the afternoon drive time slot for WTEM for the last 13 years.  Vice president of programming Chuck Sapienza comments, “Czabe is integral to the success of our station.  We look forward to three additional years of Czabe, Cooley and Galdi.”  Steve Czaban co-hosts “The Drive with Cooley & Czabe” from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm and also hosts the golf program “Sunday Tee Time,” at 8:00 am on Sunday mornings during golf season.

theblaze logoGlenn Beck’s ‘TheBlaze Radio News’ Launces Today.    “TheBlaze Radio News” – the latest AM/FM program offering from Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze – hits stations on the AM/FM dial today after debuting on SiriusXM’s Patriot channel several months ago.  The service offers hourly newscasts from anchors and reporters around the nation providing news and information specifically targeted to talk radio listeners.  The casts draw on the reporting from TheBlaze television network and its website TheBlaze.com which it says “generates over 20 million unique visitors per month and is one of the 100 most trafficked websites in America.”  The service is airing today in markets including Chicago, Houston, Phoenix, Denver, Las Vegas and Birmingham, Alabama.

ingolddougCompass Names Ingold Sales Exec.  Compass Media Networks brings Doug Ingold aboard as senior director of affiliate sales for entertainment & music programming beginning January 20.  The company says Ingold “will be based in Los Angeles and assume a vital role in the expansion of Compass’ long-form entertainment and music shows including Big D & Bubba, “Free Beer & Hot Wings,” “Off The Record,” “Out of Order,” Rick Dees and “Skratch N Sniff.”  Compass VP of affiliate sales Adam Wilbur comments, “Our entertainment portfolio is growing rapidly and the time is right for us to add someone of Doug’s caliber to spearhead day-to-day affiliate marketing.”

mcmurraypeteMcMurray Show Expands at WGN.  According to Chicago media writer Robert Feder, late night talk show host Pete McMurray’s show will expand with a new earlier start time at 10:00 pm (and end at 2:00 am), shaving an hour off David Kaplan’s evening sports talk program.  Feder quotes WGN vice president of creative content Todd Manley saying, “Pete has become our all-purpose star in a variety of fill-in roles.  I think he gets what we’re trying to do very well, especially in providing lots of video content.  Between Pete and [producer] Scott Miller, they do an amazing job of booking great guests and being about the city.”  Read the story here.

hotchkisskeithHotchkiss Transfers to Charlotte as Director of Sales.  As of today (1/6), Keith Hotchkiss is Clear Channel Charlotte’s director of sales.  He joins that operation from Cleveland where he was general sales manager of Clear Channel-owned CHR WAKS “Kiss-FM,” news/talk WTAM, rock WMMS, and WMMS-HD2 “99X.”  Regional Market Manager Charlie Wilkinson remarks that, “Keith’s proven sales leadership will have an immediate impact in Charlotte.  I’m confident he will be an integral part of our success now and well into the future.”  Clear Channel’s five-station Charlotte cluster consists of alternative WEND “The End,” CHR WHQC “Channel 96-1,” country WKKT “The Kat,” adult hits WLKO “The Lake,” and classic rock WRFX “The Fox.”

smithlauraOdds & Sods.  WABC, New York radio personality Laura Smith is sitting in for the first few shows with new 5:00 pm program host Pat Kiernan starting today.  Smith currently hosts two weekend programs on WABC – “Living Better with Laura Smith” and “The Saturday Café.”  Kiernan is an anchor on cable’s NY1 and his show is part of the newly revised program lineup at the station…..Tribune’s WGN, Chicago resumes its “Blackhawks Live” live broadcast promotion on Thursday, January 13 featuring defenseman Duncan Keith at the Old Town Pour House in Chicago.  “Blackhawks Live” is a series of one-hour radio broadcasts hosted over dinner throughout the year featuring current Blackhawks players, legends and management. Blackhawks radio broadcasters John Wiedeman and Troy Murray host the event that includes a question-and-answer format between the hosts and the featured Blackhawks guests.

iheartradioFour New Integrations for iHeartRadio.  Clear Channel announces its iHeartRadio digital entertainment platform is headed to dashboards in three auto makes, including Jaguar Land Rover, Volvo and Kia.  In addition to these OEMs, iHeartRadio will also be available via platform solution provider Bosch.  The company states that in 2014, Jaguar Land Rover vehicles equipped with Bosch SoftTec’s innovative InControl Apps platform, Volvo vehicles equipped with the Sensus Connect infotainment solution and Kia vehicles with UVO will have access to iHeartRadio.

colemanjerry“Oh Doctor!” – Jerry Coleman Passes Away.  That was one of the favorite on-air expressions uttered by the 89-year-old Jerry Coleman, whose death was confirmed Sunday night (1/5) by the San Diego Padres, the MLB team for whom he called games since 1972.  A portion of the team’s prepared statement read, “On behalf of Padres’ fans everywhere, we mourn the loss of a Marine who was truly an American hero as well as a great man, a great friend and a great Padre.”  He played parts of nine seasons with the New York Yankees (1949 – 1957).  After retiring, he began a broadcasting career with CBS-TV (1960 – 1962), where he conducted pregame interviews on the network’s “Game of the Week” broadcasts.  He did play-by-play for the Yankees on WCBS-AM and WPIX-TV (1963 – 1969), Angels (1970 – 1971), and Padres (1972 to this past season).  He also called regular-season and postseason broadcasts for CBS Radio from the mid-1970s to the 1990s.  For three years of Coleman’s tenure with the Padres, his on-air partner was sitcom writer par excellence-music radio on-air talent Ken Levine, who writes on KenLevine.blogspot.com, “I loved Jerry.  He was your favorite uncle – always cheerful, always there for you.  His passion for the game of baseball was infectious and his zest for life was inspiring.  Other than having to broadcast meaningless spring training games, I cannot think of anything Jerry Coleman didn’t view in a positive light.  He was also incredibly humble.  When we were on the road, I picked his brain for hours, and he graciously and patiently answered all of my questions.  Jerry Coleman worked Padres games up until his death.  He led a rich full life and he would often point out how lucky he was.  So many of his friends had died young in a war – he lived to be 89 in relatively good health.”  In 2005, Coleman received the Ford C. Frick Award for broadcasting excellence; two years later, he was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame.  As of the 2010 season, he reduced his broadcast schedule to approximately 25 home day games.

Millennials, Music and Radio

| December 17, 2013

By Jerry Del Colliano
Inside Music Media
Publisher

EXCLUSIVE TO RADIOINFO AND TALKERS

delcollianoSCOTTSDALE — There are over 80 million “Millennials” coming of age the oldest of whom are already 30-years-old – 12 years older than the youngest 18-49 money demo cherished by advertisers.

Millennials have their own technology just as baby boomers had records, radio and TV.

Except technology has very little to do with the impact that “Generation Y” is making on media and just about everything else.

Sure there is Facebook that they went to college with, and Napster that helped disrupt the record business, iPads, apps, smartphones, Instagram and their latest devilish work – to unbundle cable and make Netflix the new standard for the on-demand content they, well – demand.

Radio consolidated about the time the first Millennials were in grade school and the industry just assumed that young listeners would always be there to like radio.

The music industry that consisted of old white men who were lawyers thought Napster needed to be sued out of existence – and they succeeded.

But the damage was already done.

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Dare to be Crap-Free

| December 16, 2013

By Chris Miller
Chris Miller Digital
Owner

SHAKER HEIGHTS — “In this multi-tasking radio world, who in the station should be responsible for online content?”  That’s a question I got from a smart guy I used to work with.  It’s a great question.

You need only two particularly strong people with this plan I’m going to give you.  You may be surprised about who they are.

Set it Up

Who should handle your online content?  Here are the staffing requirements for this focused plan:

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Life After Arbitron: Day One

| December 12, 2013

Holland Cooke
Talkers/RadioInfo Contributor
Media Consultant

cookenielsenconference 200BALTIMORE — When you hear Kenny G Christmas music wafting through a Maryland hotel lobby, you must be at the annual Arbitron Client Conference.  But this year, a new “Nielsen Audio” logo welcomed curious attendees.  And in just the first few hours, the logic behind this change became apparent.

The recent TALKERS Los Angeles conference (10/10/13) began with Sean Hannity voicing a concern echoed by other on-air talent: “Radio” content we’re creating is no longer just transmitter-based.  Yet talent is evaluated, and advertising is priced, based upon consumption of transmitter-delivered work.

“You have to have a multi-platform strategy, and you need to tailor your content for each device.”

Nielsen Audio SVP of radio station services Gary Meo was among presenters detailing how consumers and technology and demographics are re-defining our medium, and how his company’s beyond-radio scope is aggregating consumption data beyond Arbitron’s AM/FM focus.  “The smartphone is clearly the device of choice for Millennials.” Another speaker told us that, the night before, in Washington, NPR had sold – yep, sold – 300 tickets to the taping of a podcast.

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What You Look Like to Us

| November 18, 2013

By Chris Miller
Chris Miller Digital
Owner

SHAKER HEIGHTS — Those of us in digital media know that our world will continue to change drastically, over and over again.  We also know that we will be bigger and better three years … five years … 10 years from now.  Plus, we hear how radio compares itself to online listening choices, and we see how you use your digital platforms.

And here’s what we think.

We Have Transmitter Envy

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Monday, November 18, 2013

| November 18, 2013

milhaventornadocoverageTornado Damage Reported Via Multi-Media on McGraw Milhaven Show.  The series of tornadoes that swept across the Midwest on Sunday left serious damage in New Minden, Illinois – about an hour East of St. Louis.  The photo you see here is from the video component of KTRS, St. Louis morning host McGraw Milhaven’s online platform.  Since the spring, Milhaven has been partnering with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s StlToday.com site to present his program in a video format.  Today, he used that medium to his advantage as reporter Michael Golde was able to report back to the studio via Skype and show viewers scenes from the storm-damaged town and converse with Milhaven and news anchor Kelly Jackson.  In posting the video on YouTube, Milhaven comments, “KTRS Radio in St Louis is the only radio station in the country to show live video of storm-damaged areas of Ill. to listeners on laptops, desktops and smartphones as well as the radio.”

wrcnlogoJVC Media to Flip Rock WRCN, Long Island to News/Talk After Christmas.  Longtime rocker WRCN, Riverhead, New York has stopped playing “everything that rocks” and has gone Christmas music through the holidays.  But after Christmas, the station will emerge as a news/talk outlet dubbed “LI News Radio 103.9.”  JVC Media president and CEO John Caracciolo explains the company’s thinking in a statement: “WRCN has a long history and heritage on Long Island – many of us have grown up with the station and it has become an intricate part of our lives.  But as our lives change so does our soundtrack.  What we listened to growing up is not necessarily what we listen to now and what was important to us as teenagers maybe doesn’t seem so important anymore.  That’s why we made the decision to change WRCN and develop and program a radio station that fits the needs of Long Island…Long Islanders are starving for local news and information.  Why should we have to wait 22 minutes to hear about the world when all we really want is Islip to Southampton?  What’s the traffic like on the 347 merge or Sunrise Highway in Oakdale?  This station will not only serve as your information source but it will be your sounding board for issues that influence your life, your community and your business.”  Talent that has been announced to be part of the new format includes Premiere Networks nationally syndicated star Sean Hannity and Cumulus Media Networks personality Mark Levin as well as local hosts Ernie Fasio, Vic Fusco, John Gomez, Kevin Law, Steve Levy, Frank McKay, and Jay Oliver.

thomaslindaLinda Thomas to Exit KIRO-FM, Seattle.  Morning news anchor and reporter Linda Thomas announces she will be leaving Bonneville’s news/talk KIRO-FM, Seattle at the end of the year for a new opportunity that, as she says, “doesn’t involve being at work by 2:00 am.”  In a blog post at the company’s Mynorthwest.com, she writes, “My Bonneville Seattle bosses understand and support my decision too, even though they don’t want me to leave.  That’s what family members do.  I’ll always be grateful for them, and for you.”  Thomas first worked at KIRO in 1988 as an overnight editor and became morning drive anchor in 1993.  She left the station to work as a freelancer but returned to KIRO-FM as morning anchor in 2010.  She adds, “KIRO’s news, talk and online teams are the best in the business.  It’s been an honor to work alongside amazing talent.  I’ve learned a lot from all my co-workers.  They encourage me, challenge me, and make me laugh on a daily basis. I really do love them.”

wrightmichelleMichelle Wright Let Go from All-News WYAY, Atlanta.  The Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Rodney Ho tips us that morning drive co-anchor Michelle Wright has been let go from Cumulus Media’s all-news WYAY, Atlanta “All-News 106.7.”  Andy Rose remains in AM drive solo.  The speculation is that the recent hiring of Kim “The Kimmer” Peterson to host a talk show in middays and the acquisition of Atlanta Braves baseball required some cuts in other areas of the station and Wright was the unfortunate victim.  She was one of the original staffers when Cumulus decided to turn WYAY into an all-news station in May of 2012.  She had previously worked at Atlanta-based CNN Radio before joining Cumulus.

pittmanbobCEOs Make the Grade.  Clear Channel’s Bob Pittman and EmmisJeff Smulyan were both the subjects of feature stories in newspapers over the weekend – Pittman in The New York Times and Smulyan in thesmulyanjeff Indianapolis Star.  In a Q&A titled, the Value of Dissent, Pittman says he encouraged dissenters in his organization because they serve a valuable purpose.  “I want us to listen to these dissenters because they may intend to tell you why we can’t do something, but if you listen hard, what they’re really telling you is what you must do to get something done.  It gets you out of your framework of the conventions of what you can and can’t do.”  Read that piece here.  Jeff Smulyan tells the Star in his Q&A that the best piece of advice he’s received has to do with employer-employee relationships, “Attract the best people, treat them well, and let them do their job.  If you want people to go through walls for you, you have to go through more walls for them.”  Read that story here.

millerchrisThe View of Radio from the Digital World’s Perspective.  Noted radio digital consultant and TALKERS columnist Chris Miller writes, “Those of us in digital media know that our world will continue to change drastically, over and over again.  We also know that we will be bigger and better three years…five years…10 years from now.  Plus, we hear how radio compares itself to online listening choices, and we see how you use your digital platforms.  And here’s what we think.”  In a new column posted today (11/18) Miller goes on to state that digital-only people still have “transmitter envy” and that even though more and more people and media are moving online, the stick is still a formidable asset.  Regardless, he points out that many digital-only professionals think that over-the-air radio companies are “crazy” for cutting talent, still selling 60-second commercials, and not being cognizant of just how much entertainment is changing.  He clearly explains what digital pros see as radio’s “dangerous assumption.”  He observes, “I look at a lot of different radio social media, websites, database emails and texting programs, and it’s clear you’re making some dangerous assumptions.  Digital content doesn’t work like you think it should.  It doesn’t work like you wish it did.  It works like it works.  We see you on Facebook and Twitter talking about almost anything…except what people really love about you.  Your websites are a mish-mosh of broad-based content, but if you look at your web stats, there are fewer than half-a-dozen features at your site that, combined, get the lion’s share of your page views.  There is nothing special or exclusive about the emails you send your listeners, and your open rates prove it.  Radio people know a lot about how people use radio.  Meanwhile, you are using all these other media as if knowing how they work doesn’t matter.  One key thing we’re doing to drive our online success is to track everything we can to see what really makes a difference.  We don’t have the luxury of having opinions about what should work.  Either the clicks are there, or they aren’t.  What we do either works, or it doesn’t.  If it doesn’t, you dig in, diagnose the problem, and adjust.”  To read Chris Miller’s entire column, please click here.

rhodesrandiPremiere Reverses Course; Keeps Randi Rhodes on Syndication Menu. There are no reports indicating just what happened between Randi Rhodes and syndicator Premiere Networks but the latter is confirming the widely reported news that Rhodes will continue to be syndicated by Premiere, at least through 2014.  Premiere SVP of affiliate relationspremierenetworks logo Peter Tripi emailed affiliates, “In a happy turn of events, we are pleased to announce that Premiere Networks will continue to produce and distribute the Randi Rhodes show.  In an industry of constant change, it’s a pleasure to provide good news about a talk talent we think so highly of.  We apologize for any inconvenience the previous announcement caused, but look forward to a very successful 2014 with the Randi Rhodes show.”  Several weeks ago, Rhodes began telling her audience she was foreseeing the end of her program and later Premiere notified affiliates the relationship would be ending.

herskovitzalIt’s Pop-Up Time.  No, not the kind of pop-up we associate with websites – pop-up ads – but those retail stores that “pop up” in vacant storefronts during the holiday shopping season.  Sales maven and H&H Communications president Al Herskovitz writes about getting these seasonal businesses advertising on your station this year.  He notes that many of these retailers are big name brands that choose to expand their physical space during this time of year and they include Vera Bradley, Louis Vuitton and the National Football League.  Read Al Herskovitz’s entire column here.

abcnewskennedyABC News Radio Offers Kennedy Assassination Programming.  As the nation marks the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, ABC News Radio is offering a two-hour special broadcast, “Three Shots Rang Out: An ABC News Special – The JFK Assassination 50 Years Later,” anchored by ABC News’ Diane Sawyer.  It’s an audio-only program that will be heard by ABC News Radio affiliates.  In addition, a special expanded show will be available via download at Audible.com as part of a new digital audio relationship between ABC News Radio and Audible.  The Audible.com version of this program will include an additional 40 minutes of historical audio available exclusively to Audible listeners.

ruthronRon Ruth Passes.  Former 19-year Radio Advertising Bureau executive vice president of stations Ron Ruth died early Saturday (11/16) in Florida of a heart attack.  The 75-year-old Ruth had been struggling with health issues the past two months.  CBS Radio president and chief executive officer Dan Mason was among those quickly noting their sympathies regarding Ruth’s passing. “I just spoke with him at the Radio Show this past September in Orlando,” Mason writes on Facebook. “He was so up and happy – I am sad tonight.”  Also on that social media platform, Tom Birch notes, “Ron lived life to its fullest and was a joy and inspiration to everyone who had the opportunity to know him.  Ron was the midwife to Birch Research.  He opened doors for me, encouraged me and guided me.  I am deeply honored to have worked for Ron at WQAM, Miami in the 1970s, and to have remained friends with him for the next three decades.” According to former RKO General eastern vice president Perry Ury, “Ron Ruth was a friend and our house skeptic at RKO.”  Former Tele Media Broadcasting vice president and chief operating officer Ira Rosenblatt adds, “We’ve lost a friend and true broadcaster.”  Doing afternoon drive in Boston early in his radio career, Ruth roomed with two other on-air talents who went on to stardom – George Carlin and Jack Burns of Burns & (Avery) Schreiber.  He held sales manager positions for Unistar Radio Networks, as well as at the local level in markets such as New York (WOR-FM), Chicago (WNUS), Washington, DC (WGMS), and Buffalo (WYSL).  Ruth left Unistar to join the RAB in 1992.  Most recently, he was consulting the Radio Advertising Bureau.

wmalbonginoA Man of His Word.  The man having his head shaved live on the air on Cumulus Media’s WMAL, Washington, DC is former Secret Service agent Dan Bongino.  Not too long ago, Bongino said on the WMAL airwaves that he would shave his head if President Obama apologized for the gaffes in the rollout of the Affordable Care Act.  And since the president did offer an apology of sorts, Bongino agreed to honor his statement live on the air and did so on Friday, November 15.

Proven Ways to Evaluate your Facebook Page Today

| October 21, 2013

By Chris Miller
Chris Miller Digital
Owner

facebooklogoSHAKER HEIGHTS  – When it comes to social media, you’re either building your brand, or spinning your wheels.  Here are a few tools you can use to evaluate the job your station is doing on Facebook, even if you hardly ever go on social media yourself!

Who’s on, First?

You work to talk with your target, whether it’s on the air, on site at an event, or online.  Who is your target?  Are you getting those people to hang around with you on Facebook?  Here’s how to tell.  Click thusly: Your station page > View Insights > People.  You’ll need to be an administrator for your page, or doing this with someone who is.

Here, you’ll see a graph that fits surprisingly well with your ratings info!  Among your fans, it shows your balance of women to men, and then breaks that down into the age cells we know and love … 18-24, 25-34, 35-44, and so forth.

Read More

Monday, October 21, 2013

| October 21, 2013

ap logoLeading Radio Newsman Questions Whether Monopoly-Like AP’s Advertising Plan Steps on Broadcasters’ Toes.  Saying that he understands that news is an expensive product to produce, WTOP, Washington vice president of news and programming Jim Farley admits to taking umbrage at hearing about the Associated Press’ plans to begin selling ads on stories found on its mobile apps and hosted websites by reading about it in thefarleyjim trades.  “They used to communicate with stations and treat us as partners.  Now they seem to take broadcasters for granted.  CNN is developing a website that could be a future competitor, but for now, AP is a monopoly just like Nielsen.”  Farley’s comments come after learning about AP’s plans to market its content via a story in AdAge.  The piece reports that a move to sponsored content evolves as just “2% of total revenue comes from advertising, including mobile banner ads and units across a handful of websites populated with AP content.  Another 13% comes from services the AP offers media outlets.  And 85% comes from licensing content to subscribers such as TV stations, newspapers and websites, where the AP is not hopeful about expanding income.”  In the AdAge story, AP SVP of digital strategy and products Jim Kennedy states, “Licensing our content is a flat-to-declining business around the world.  It will only grow about 1% a year, so it’s incumbent upon us to find new revenue sources.”  Read the entire AdAge piece here.

spenglertimClear Channel Brings Tim Spengler Aboard As President of Content Marketing and Revenue Strategy.   Clear Channel Media and Entertainment adds to the ranks of its executives working on marketing the company’s products across multiple platforms as former Magna Global CEO Tim Spengler joins the company in the newly created position of president of content marketing and revenue strategy.  The company says in a statement, “In this new role, Spengler will use CCM+E’s array of multiplatform assets to develop new and innovative media and advertising opportunities in unison with CCM+E national programming platforms, national sales, marketing and partnership platform and local sales.  He will build additional value for CCM+E marketing partners by creatively utilizing all of the company’s media and entertainment assets – delivering enhanced ROI’s with unique solutions.  In addition, Spengler will focus on advertiser and industry trends to drive new ad products and deployment of CCM+E revenue resources.”  Spengler comes to Clear Channel with almost two decades of experience in marketing at the corporate level having served as a senior executive for the Interpublic Group and most recently as chief executive officer of Magna Global.

wor710Mets to Air on WOR, New York in 2014.  Major League Baseball’s World Series begins this week and while neither the New York Mets nor the New York Yankees have been involved in post-season play, they are making off-the-field news. According to a report in Newsday, beginning in 2014, Clear Channel-ownedmets logo talk outlet WOR, New York will become the Mets’ new flagship. For the past 26 years, games of the National League East team have been heard on CBS Radio‘s WFAN, but that will not be an option next year, as the Yankees will segue to WFAN from sibling news facility WCBS-AM. Market speculation is that at least one other NYC station – ESPN Radio‘s WEPN – was involved in obtaining radio rights to Mets games. Regarding talent in the Mets broadcast booth, Howie Rose seems to be secure, although it is uncertain if Josh Lewin will continue in his on-air role with the team next season.

wjfkfm‘Redskins’ Ads Won’t Air on CBS Radio’s WJFK, Washington.  If you’re a football fan you’re aware the Oneida Nation has been running an advertising and PR campaign designed to garner public support for a name change for the NFL’s Washington Redskins – a name the native American nation calls a “racial slur.”  But after apparently signing a deal to have spots air on both sports talk WJFK-FM and hip hop WPGC, CBS Radio is telling the tribe that ads won’t air.  An email from CBS Washington SVP Steve Swenson to the Oneida Nation explained the change.  “The issue has been heavily debated on WJFK where we can provide a good balance of discussion, opinions and context to the issue through our programming.  Our audience has reacted positively to that presentation, and we will continue to approach the situation keeping in-line with our audiences’ expectations.”  NBC Washington reports a representative of the Oneida Nation calls the cancellation “unfortunate and un-American.”  Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder has said publicly that the team’s name will never change.

millerchrisProven Ways to Evaluate Your Facebook Page Today.  When it comes to social media, you’re either building your brand, or spinning your wheels.  Noted digital radio consultant and TALKERS columnist Chris Miller offers a few valuable tools you can use to evaluate the job your station is doing on Facebook, even if you hardly ever go on social media yourself!  In a new column posted today (10/21), Miller offers guidance as to determining whether the people you are attracting to your Facebook page are the same people in your target radio audience. (Often times, they are not!)  He also helps you evaluate what sort of posts are the most effective, in addition to determining the most advantageous times to post, plus more.  To read Chris Miller’s entire piece, please click here.

KIDDtryoutKIDD, Monterey Hold Open Auditions for Sport Talk Show.  Buckley Broadcasting sports talker KIDD, Monterey, California recently held public auditions for a daily afternoon sports talk show on the station.  According to a report in the Monterey Herald, program manager Bernie Moody says, “What we’re looking for today is somebody who is really into sports — a person who not only is very knowledgeable about sports, but also a person with the ability to convey that on the air.  A lot of us can sit and talk sports all day long, but you have to be able to do it on the air, in the studio, when nobody else is there, and talk to people as if they are there.”  The paper says six men participated in the audition which took place at the Northridge Mall in Salinas.  (Pictured here is candidate Eric Pangillnan at the mic with KIDD operations director Kevin Kahl looking on).  The winning candidate gets to host the 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm show.  Interested parties may apply to Kevin Kahl at kkahl@espn630.com.  Photo: Monterey Herald.

medvedgould‘Trapper John’ and the Critic.  Actor Elliott Gould (left) is pictured here with Salem Radio Network talk show host Michael Medved (right) as the two appeared at a series of fundraisers over the weekend for the Olympia Film Society in Olympia, Washington.  The proceeds from the event are destined for digital conversion of the society’s projectors.  Gould is famous for –among many roles – his portrayal of “Trapper John” in the 1970 Robert Altman classic M*A*S*H.  Medved, as many are aware, has spent a major portion of his career as a film reviewer in addition to his work as a news/talk radio personality.

stierendaveOdds & Sods.  Morris Communications’ KFQD, Anchorage wins six Alaska Broadcasters Association Awards including: Best Radio Show for afternoon talk personality Dave Stieren; Best News Program for morning drive “Newsday AM”; Best News Coverage for reporter Kathy Phillips’ live updates on a local 4-plex fire; Best Station Imaging for producer Toben Shelby; Best Sports Play-by-Play for Alaska Aces Hockey voice Josh Bogorod; and Most Uniquely Alaskan Program for “The Big Alaska Show” with Steve Stripling and Mike Ford…..Tom Elliott, the producer of the Peter Schiff show and former Laura Ingraham producer, has launched a company called Grabien.com that provides edited news clips to news outlets and producers…..Radio One announces that Pennsylvania State Senator Vincent Hughes succeeds the late E. Steven Collins as host of WRNB, Philadelphia’s “Philly Speaks” public affairs program.  The show airs Sundays from 8:00 am to 9:00 am on WRNB, “Old School 100.3.”

fisherhouselogoFisher House Provides Veterans Day Kits for Stations.  The Fisher House is offering a powerful resource for stations to help recognize Veterans Day on Monday, November 11.  The Fisher House Veterans Day programming tool kit includes Veterans Day-themed PSAs in 15-, 30- and 60-second lengths plus a 30-minute public affairs show and a list of guests who are available to discuss their military experience and how they were helped by Fisher House.   Fisher House chairman Ken Fisher says, “Veterans Day is among the most sacred of American holidays.  It takes on added meaning in a time when we are defended by an all-volunteer military that is engaged in hostilities overseas.  More than two million Americans have served in combat zones since 2001.  It’s only right that we take a day to acknowledge their service along with all of our military veterans.”  Programmers can download materials at: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/aol15lkltu42boz/qGKkveBTQz

katzraismanJeff Katz and Gold Medalist Aly Raisman.  Boston-based media personality Jeff Katz – who is a columnist for the Boston Herald and a commentator for Boston Herald Radio – poses for a photo with Olympic gold medal winner Aly Raisman.  The two met at a recent special event hosted by Christians and Jews United for Israel.  Katz tells TALKERS he advised Raisman that she should consider using elements of his floor exercise which he said “involve two pillows, a blanket, remote control, ‘The Walking Dead’ on Netflix and a bowl of something crunchy at the next Olympiad.  She politely declined.  Oh and apparently Olympic gold medals are NOT filled with chocolate.”

GAhof1013Georgia Radio Hall of Fame Inducts 11.  The Georgia Radio Hall of Fame held its 7th Annual Induction Awards Ceremony on Saturday, October 19 during which the Class of 2013 was honored.  This year’s group included (clockwise from top left): The Tiger Twins: Tom & Paul Collins (Krimsier), WQXI, Atlanta; Steve Goss, WABE, Atlanta; Charlie Hill, WVMG, Cochran; Kaedy Kiley, WRVR, Atlanta; Mark Summers, WSLT, Augusta; Mike Roberts, WQMJ, Macon; Bill Rice, WLET, Toccoa; Nelle Reagan, WRGA, Rome; and Kelly McCoy, WSB-FM, Atanta.  The previously announced inductees into the Legacy category included: Palmira Braswell (WBML-Macon), George Crumbley (WSB-Atlanta), Jimmy Dunaway (WSB-Atlanta), Al Evans, Jr. (WVLD-Valdosta), John Holliman (WSB-Atlanta), Don Kordecki (WKRW-Cartersville), Royal Marshall (WCNN-Atlanta), Leonard Postero (WRFC-Athens), and Annie Lee Small (WYTH-Madison).  Legendary WERD DJ James “Alley Pat” Patrick was honored as the recipient of the 2013 Founders and Directors Award.  The Elmo Ellis Spirit Award recognized James Woodruff, Jr. of WRBL in Columbus.

Mad Social Networking Skills

| September 9, 2013

By Chris Miller
Chris Miller Digital
Owner

SHAKER HEIGHTS — There’s more to being a good jock than listening to yourself talk.  There’s more to being a good sales manager than just knowing a lot of clients.  And, there’s more to having mad social networking skills than being passionate about posting a ton of stuff!

Alan Peterson asked me a good question.  This is the Radio World Alan Peterson in Washington, DC, not the news-talk guy in California.  He was getting ready to speak to a college radio conference, and asked me about social media skills.  “So what is it that differentiates ‘mad’ skills from ‘casual’ skills, or just plain competency?”  He suggested it might involve video shooting and editing, coding, HTML, or actual IT knowledge.

Those are all useful skills, but there’s more to it than that.  If you want to be at the top of your social media game, here are the different levels you have to go through.

Read More

The Social Media Trick You Don’t Know
You Know

| July 29, 2013

By Chris Miller
Chris Miller Digital
Owner

SHAKER HEIGHTS — One of the hot phrases in social media and content management right now is “call to action.”  It’s a phrase I remember hearing not long after I first got into radio.  However, now it’s a major buzz word in the digital media world, where it’s a new and rapidly evolving concept.

As I learned it in radio, it was a phrase that basically asked for the sale for whatever was being promoted at the time.  “So join us at noon and phone in your request.”  “Make sure you come early for this special sale.”  “We’re offering free trials of this special new weight loss product, but only if you call before midnight.”

A call to action is the tool that turns a flat spot, promo or jock liner into one that directs the listener to take some action.  Thus, it takes something ineffective and makes it effective.

Read More

What Am I Going to Post Today?

| July 15, 2013

By Chris Miller
Chris Miller Digital
Owner

SHAKER HEIGHTS — Content curation is a massive headache for a lot of social media experts.  It’s an endless mouth to feed, and the general impression I get is that those of us who do this spend about two hours a day just looking for interesting or fun content to post that relates to our clients.

In radio, there are a lot fewer full-time social media folks, and a lot more people who have added some social media duties on their already long job description.  That makes it tougher to be consistently interesting, funny or helpful.  That’s especially true if you’ve never used social media in a professional way.  We radio folks know radio, so we tend to write online like we’re broadcasting, or we assume our station’s followers want to be our friends.  That’s understandable… understandable but ineffective.

Read More

Your Social Media Strategy

| July 1, 2013

By Chris Miller
Chris Miller Digital

SHAKER HEIGHTS — “What’s the return on investment?”  That’s one of the questions that’s regularly asked by businesses of all types, while trying to make sense of their place in social media.  The more honest statement I hear is, “I know I need to be doing more with social media, but I don’t know what I should do.”

I see social media and content marketing make the needle move for businesses, but there’s one thing you have to do before you’ll see results with it: do it correctly.

The first step in doing it correctly is to come up with a plan. So, here are four steps to your new, effective social media strategy, especially designed for radio stations.

Read More

Questions Answered

| June 17, 2013

SHAKER HEIGHTS – There are some questions I hear pretty regularly.  They’re good questions.  Here are some of them, answered.

Q.      How many social media followers should I have?

A.      I don’t know, and I don’t care.

What matters is who they are and what you do with them!  Social media is your frequent flyer program.  This is where you take your big fans and turn them into customers for life who give you the lion’s share of their media consumption.  So, you want to attract your heavy listeners, bring them backstage with you.  More big fans is better than fewer.  A lot of casual cumers is a waste of your time. Read More

Monday, June 17, 2013

| June 17, 2013

farbernmslgThe State of Radio Advertising and Sales.  See it now on TalkersTV! It was one of the most important panels at the recent Talkers New York 2013 convention (6/6) receiving coverage in numerous newspapers and blogs across the country and sparking a major industry buzz.  Moderated by RAB CEO /president Erica Farber (pictured at left), the panel of heavy hitters includes Jana Cosgrove, president, CBS Radio Sales/Entercom Radio Sales; Jerry Crowley, VP/GM, Salem‘s WNYM, New York; Dan Metter, SVP, sales, Premiere Networks; John Murphy, EVP, sales, Dial Global; and Jeff Smulyan, CEO, Emmis Broadcasting.  The discussion tackles a variety of key issues affecting the industry including comments about the resilience of advertising on the Rush Limbaugh show in the aftermath of the campaign to influence a sponsor boycott of the program (and news/talk radio in general) resulting from the Sandra Fluke incident.  See the entire panel discussion by clicking the TalkersTV box on the top of the column on the right side of this page.

daschlenathanNathan Daschle Joins Clear Channel as EVP of Political Strategy.  Political strategist, attorney and Ruck.us founder Nathan Daschle is recruited by Clear Channel to take the newly created position executive vice president for political strategy.  The company states that Daschle “will develop and oversee a Washington, D.C.-based team that will focus on working with political and issue advertisers and advertising agencies to develop custom strategies and campaigns that leverage the unique reach and power of Clear Channel Media and Entertainment.  He will lead efforts to fully utilize Clear Channel’s unmatched national reach and local activation through its radio, digital, mobile and outdoor assets, as well as its event capabilities, to provide political and issue advertisers targeted, effective, affordable and powerful ways to deliver their messages.”  Daschle reports directly to CEO John Hogan who says, “Having Nathan Daschle on board sends a clear message that we intend to seriously invest in this arena and to continue to provide more and better options for political and issue advertisers through our multiplatform offerings.  His extensive political background makes him the perfect person to grow the Clear Channel political strategy team as well as lead our ‘class of one’ offerings to political and issue advertisers.”  About joining Clear Channel, Daschle comments, “Political and issue advertising, marketing and events is a $7-billion business, and I’m looking forward to making Clear Channel front-and-center with politically focused advertisers and agencies.  The future of effective campaign advertising lies in the smart integration of traditional and digital media, and no company does this better than Clear Channel Media and Entertainment.  Clear Channel is reinventing the way organizations – and campaigns – communicate with their audiences, and I look forward to building a strong, bipartisan team at Clear Channel that will effectively market its extraordinary assets.”

kjrlogoClear Channel Flips Sports Talk KJR’s FM Signal to Hot AC.  Clear Channel sports talk outlet KJR-AM, Seattle enjoyed an FM simulcast for the past year and half on sister signal KNBQ at 102.9 but the simulcast ended on Friday as the company made KNBQ a hot AC branded “The New 102.9 NOW.”  Sports talk remains on KJR-AM.

wjbx logoBeasley Broadcasting Goes FM Sports in Fort Myers.  Beginning Thursday, June 20, Beasley Broadcasting’s rock WJBX, Fort Myers “99X” flips to a simulcast of the company’s AM sports talk station WWCN as “99.3 ESPN.”  The company is directing rock fans to its other rock outlet WRXK “96 K-Rock.”

arbitronKansas City Website Raises Issues Regarding Radio Ratings and the Law.  By now you’ve probably heard about the reportedly independent website www.listenlonger.com operating in Kansas City that had been seeking out PPM holders in an effort to save its “favorite Kansas City radio station through education about the ratings system.”  The site reports it has been in contact with Arbitron – in fact the ratings company sent a cease and desist letter to the operators and they’ve tweaked their strategy but are not shutting down the site.  Now the site operators say they will no longer ask to be contacted by PPM holders but will continue to keep the site going and it appears the operation is not violating any laws.  For its part, Arbitron has sent a letter to Kansas City subscribers to assure them the May 2013 PPM data has not been tainted that reads, in part: “During the May report period, a third-party website encouraged Kansas City radio listeners to support an unnamed local station, posted general information about ratings methodology and ratings data, and solicited information on PPM panelists.  We want to assure subscribers that the website is not affiliated or endorsed by Arbitron and that Arbitron has taken substantial steps to ensure the integrity of the Kansas City PPM panel and all Arbitron audience estimates for the market…Arbitron monitors social media sites daily, interacts with panelists on a regular basis, and has confidential processes in place to help identify panelists who may have disclosed their participation.  We have also taken special measures in light of the Kansas City website to protect the integrity of in-tab panelists included in the recently-released May 2013 Kansas City data.”  After being contacted by Arbitron, the following (an excerpt) was posted on the site: “Arbitron has demanded we provide the name of anyone who contacted us regarding this issue, and the names of anyone to whom we passed that information along.  ListenLonger.com would like to use this update as written notice to Arbitron that no one has ever contacted us saying they had a PPM except a reporter who posed as a PPM holder in an attempt to surreptitiously gather information…In short, please whatever you do, don’t tell us if you have a PPM.  Really.  We don’t want to know.”  The site operators are fans of an Entercom station in the market as they encourage people to sign up for the “Get My Perks” program Entercom employs and although the site operators say Wilks Broadcasting had questioned the integrity of the May 2013 PPM data as a result, Arbitron ensures subscribers the data was not affected.

millerchris“How Many Social Media Followers Should I Have?”  That question is one of the more commonly asked of digital radio consultant and TALKERS columnist Chris Miller.  In a column posted today (6/17) Miller answers that question, as well as some of the most frequently asked, including: “We’re on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, YouTube, Google+ and Pinterest.  What other hot new sites should we be on?” “How often should we post?  I’m not sure we’re posting enough.” “I have many times more listeners than followers.  Why should I waste time with social media?” “I can sell ads on my own air and on my website.  There’s no way to monetize Facebook and Twitter.  I don’t want to get too involved in it for that reason.”  Check out Chris Miller’s answers to these questions and concerns by clicking here.

sabowalterSABO SEZ:  It Would be Good for Radio if Arbitron Ratings Were More Openly Available to the Industry and the Public.  In an article posted today (6/17) media consultant and TALKERS columnist Walter Sabo compares how TV ratings are an open book while radio ratings are secretive and inaccessible — a difference that he thinks significantly works to the disadvantage of radio as both a business and an institution. To read Walter Sabo’s column, click here.

hoganjohnClear Channel Moves John Hogan to New York City.  Most of the company’s high-level executives are already stationed in the Big Apple and not the company’s legal headquarters in San Antonio.  Now, Clear Channel Media and Entertainment CEO John Hogan is moving to New York as well.  In a filing with the SEC, the company notes that Hogan is also getting a pay increase to make his base salary $1,125,000 in addition to moving expenses and a housing allowance for the next year and a half.

carrhowieWRKO, Boston’s Howie Carr Schedules Weekly Remotes for Whitey Bulger Trial.  Entercom Boston talk show host Howie Carr – heard daily in PM drive on WRKO – has reported on the activities of New England mobsters for most of his career.  He’s written several books about Boston gangland characters, including James Whitey Bulger titled The Brothers Bulger: How They Terrorized and Corrupted Boston for a Quarter Century, and now as Bulger goes to trial in a South Boston courthouse, Carr will do a weekly live remote from The Barking Crab restaurant and pub next door to the courthouse.

magna global logoMagna Global Releases International Ad Revenue Forecasts for the Rest of ’13 and for 2014; United States Radio to Be Flat.  Looking at the really big picture first, Magna Global predicts global ad spending to be up 3% in 2013 and rise to 6.1% in 2014.  That said, in the United States, those figures are up just 0.4% for ’13 due to the missing Olympics and political ad spending that occurs in even-numbered years.  For 2014 the figure is expected to rise. As for radio, Magna Global predicts 2013 will be flat but for those radio companies also selling digital, there is a ton of opportunity as that category is expected to rise 11.5% and is boosted by the mobile aspect of the category, predicted to go up 61.7%.

oconnorlarryOdds & Sods.  WMAL, Washington “Mornings on the Mall” co-host Larry O’Connor (and Breitbart.tv editor-in-chief) is sitting in for Cumulus Media Networks’ nationally syndicated Geraldo Rivera this week…..Dave Graveline’s “Into Tomorrow” nationally syndicated program is taking two lucky listeners to this year’s IFA Consumer Electronics and Appliance Show in Berlin Germany in celebration of the program’s 10th anniversary covering the event.  Graveline is providing airfare, four nights lodging and other perks to the two winners…..Talk media personality Ernest Istook is filling in for KTOK, Oklahoma City’s Lee Matthews in afternoon drive four days this week.

The 10 Percent Solution

| May 28, 2013

By Chris Miller
Chris Miller Digital

SHAKER HEIGHTS — Being consistent is good.  That applies both on the air, and in your social media, too.  Your fans build up expectations of what you’re going to post.  If they choose to engage with you about what you post, that’s great.  Nice work.

There’s a dark side to consistency, however.  When you get into a rut, or your favorite ways to interact aren’t getting interacted with, it’s time to take control by losing a little control.

You never want to just change everything at once about what your station is doing in social media.  However, I’d recommend taking about 10% of your posts, and just try different ideas.  Do this whether you’re wildly successful, or not happy with your fans’ level of engagement.  If you’re always curating content, linking to sources online, try posting a great photo, or just asking an open-ended question.

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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

| May 28, 2013

burnsgenePioneering Talk Radio Host Gene Burns Dead at 72.  Longtime talk radio host and broadcasting pioneer Gene Burns has died, succumbing to a long illness marked by a series of strokes.  In the words of TALKERS magazine publisher Michael Harrison, “Gene was one of the greatest of the great and classiest of the classy – a true ‘wordsmith’ and gentleman who symbolized everything good about talk radio and served as one of the major engines that drove the ascent of its modern era.”  Until recently forced by illness into retirement from on-air performing, Burns had spent a decade and a half as a key host on KGO, San Francisco where he did a general news/talk program as well as a very popular restaurant and entertainment show.  The veteran of a number of great stations, he made his mark in the late-1980s and early-1990s as a member of the legendary lineup at WRKO, Boston that also included the late Jerry Williams. That was followed by a brief but high-profile stint at WOR, New York and national syndication on the WOR Radio Network.  Harrison adds, “Gene Burns practiced a brand of libertarian-based, intellectual populism in his approach to political news/talk that set the standard for the format’s emergence as a voice for the average person to stand up to big government, big business, big media and big anything.  Although ‘conservative’ in his orientation, he eschewed blatant partisanship, avoided banal cookie-cutter left-versus-right talking points and dealt with each issue in an academically probing and credible manner.”  Burns’ ground breaking work in the early-1990s stood as the inspiration for TALKERS magazine’s annual Freedom of Speech Award and the tradition of the annual State of the First Amendment Address delivered at the publication’s conventions. He is ranked the 23rd most important radio talk show host of all time by TALKERS in its “Heaviest Hundred” feature which is updated twice a decade.  Harrison concludes, “His rich, baritone voice coupled with the artistry of his word selection and ability to construct a logical argument was about as close to music as one could hear within a spoken word context.”  A special honoring the life and work of Gene Burns aired on Sunday, May 26 on KGO hosted by David Weintraub and a special tribute will be presented honoring his legacy at Talkers New York 2013 on Thursday, June 6.

millerchrisAdult Contemporary is a Relatively Low-Involvement Format on Facebook.  According to digital radio consultant and TALKERS columnist Chris Miller, “There are several major-market adult contemporary stations on Facebook who have a ton of followers, but very little interaction going on.  As a former AC programmer, I absolutely feel their pain; AC is a low-involvement format.  At the same time, most of these stations have fallen into a rut about what they post.  The quality of the post is in the level of engagement you get from it.  When thousands or tens of thousands follow you, and you get two or three ‘Likes’ on your posts, you gotta shake up your thinking.”  In a new column posted today (5/28) Miller suggests that although consistency is basically a good and necessary thing, there is a dark side to it and to avoid falling into a rut, radio broadcasters of all formats should make changes to approximately 10% of their posts on a regular basis.  To read the details and Miller’s entire piece, click here.

sterlingkentKent Sterling Returns to Indy on Sports Talk WFNI.  News/talk and sports radio pro Kent Sterling re-surfaces on the air at Emmis’ sports talk WFNI, Indianapolis for a weekend program with Chris Hagan called, “Ahead of the Curve with Hagan and Sterling.”  He most recently served with Bonneville at its St. Louis sports talker WXOS but exited that post to return to Indianapolis.  Prior to his work at WXOS, Sterling served as program director at Emmis’ news/talk flagship WIBC-FM, Indianapolis.  Sterling’s and Hagan’s weekend program airs from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm on Saturdays.

nba logoNBA on Radio Is a Different Breed of Sports Play-by-Play.  Major League Baseball is the sport that could be called radio’s best friend and the NFL’s astounding popularity makes its games and surrounding programming popular with listeners.  While the NBA’s regular season games are not generally thought of as “programming gold” across the country, it appears that having even a moderately successful team combined with a flagship station with a strong nighttime signal, can be a recipe for success with basketball play-by-play.  According to information from Arbitron based on PPM data from 27 NBA teams in 25 PPM markets, certain places are simply basketball towns – the Los Angeles Lakers rule Los Angeles on KSPN with average game estimates larger than the Dodgers, Angels, Kings and Ducks grabbing a 4.0 share with Men 25-54 (average of all 82 games).  And perennial contenders the San Antonio Spurs dominated on WOAI with a 9.8 share with Men 25-54.  However, less successful teams on strong flagships performed well during the regular season:  the Milwaukee Bucks just squeaked into the playoffs but on heritage WTMJ garnered a 10 share with Men 25-54; the Cleveland Cavaliers missed the playoffs yet grabbed a 9.7 share (M 25-54) on WTAM; and the Detroit Pistons also missed the playoffs but notched an 8.0 (M 25-54) share on the highly rated WXYT-FM.  Considering games in the East and Midwest air in the evenings, numbers for the stations cited above – and others not cited here – are impressive nighttime ratings.

pendlchrisFlagship Stations Should Capitalize on Cross-Promotional Opportunities within Baseball PBP.  According to Bonneville Seattle creative director Chris Pendl, “If you’ve made the investment on play-by-play sports on your station, it’s important to maximize the return on your investment by trying to recycle that audience to another daypart on your station.”  Arbitron reports that MLB drives cume increases as much as 50% to 65% during baseball season.  Pendl tells TALKERS, “This influx of audience is one of the reasons we pay rights fees, share revenue, or give up inventory to carry this programming.  In a climate with little or no external marketing dollars, I’ve often joked that our promotional time within baseball play-by-play is the closest thing we’ll get to an interstate billboard or TV campaign.”  In an exclusive article posted today (5/28) Pendl describes and shares a production/promo technique conducted by Bonneville to cross-promote the station via the baseball audience that he calls “situation baseball return liners.”  To read the entire piece and hear examples of its execution, click here.

kyzz logoBuckley to Sell KYZZ, Salinas, California to Mt. Wilson FM Broadcasters.  Buckley Communications announces it is selling sports talk KYZZ, Salinas, California to Mt. Wilson FM Broadcasters.  The price is yet to be announced.  KYZZ is the FM side of the sports talk simulcast that also airs on Buckley’s KIDD, Monterey and Buckley says it will continue with its ESPN Radio affiliation on KIDD.  Mt. Wilson has not announced its format plans for KYZZ.  Saul Levine’s Mt. Wilson also owns country KKGO, Los Angeles and classical simulcast KMZT-AM, Beverly Hills and KMZT-FM, Big Sur, California.

weismanstevenWTOP Hacking: Why You Should Worry.  TALKERS legal editor Steven J.J. Weisman writes about the recent hacking of the websites of Hubbard Broadcasting’s WTOP, Washington and its sister WFED “Federal News Radio.”  Weisman is one of the nation’s foremost experts on scams, he operates the website Scamicide that presents up-to-date information about scams, fraud and identity theft, and is the author of The Truth About Avoiding Scams (FT Press 2008).  In this column, Weisman explains the methods used by the WTOP hackers and explains the steps users can take to avoid becoming the victim of similar attacks.  Read Weisman’s entire piece here.

Odds & Sods.  Martz Communications’ WPDM, Potsdam, New York flips from a simulcast of FM sister WSNN to sports talk using CBS Sports Radio Network…..Wilks License Company’s sports talk WZOH, Columbus becomes part of the Cleveland Browns radio network based at CBS Radio’s WKRK, Cleveland…..WTOP, Washington crowns Nathan Stanford from Harrington, Delaware the 2013 winner of “Commuter Idle” – an “extreme commuter” competition for listeners experiencing the daily horrors of commuting in and around Washington.  Stanford’s commute begins with a 3:00 am alarm and a one-hour drive.  He then boards a commuter bus for a 90-minute ride from Kent Island to Foggy Bottom, rides the Metro, and hustles on foot to his office in Rosslyn.  Stanford’s travels from Delaware to Virginia average more than five hours a day, though the commute can be much longer in the summer months with Friday beach traffic.  He receives $1,000 in gas money and will enjoy a limo ride to and from work from Reston Limousine.  WTOP program director Laurie Cantillo says, “The question that we hear most often is, ‘Why do these people do it?’  It’s fascinating to hear their personal stories and accompany them on their crazy commutes.  We feel their pain, and as DC’s traffic authority we’re here to help.”

koilmulberryKOIL, Omaha’s Mulberry Lane Meets the Beach Boys and John Stamos.  Musical act Mulberry Lane opened for the Beach Boys (which includes actor and musician John Stamos) in Council Bluffs, Iowa on Saturday, May 25.  Pictured here are (from l-r): Bo Mulberry, Bruce Johnston, Rachel Mulberry, Mike Love, Allie Mulberry, and John Stamos.  The Mulberry sisters – based in Nebraska – also host a weekend talk show on NRG Media’s KOIL, Omaha called the “Mulberry Lane Radio Show.”  The station describes the ladies’ program saying the sisters “decided to bring their busy lives to live radio with a show based on sisterhood, womanhood, motherhood, and the humor and mishaps of trying to juggle it all – woven together with music, harmony and a dash of wit.”  It airs Saturdays from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon.

Longtime KNX, Los Angeles Anchor Harry Birrell Dies.  Longtime Los Angeles news personality Harry Birrell died on May 26 after a battle with lung disease at age 85 in Thousand Oaks, California.  Birrell was an anchor at all-news KNX, Los Angeles for more than three decades – beginning in 1968 when the station flipped to the all-news format and ending with his retirement in 1999.  Birrell switched from his anchor role at the station to Ventura County correspondent in 1993.

millerbeckKevin Miller Stops By TheBlaze.  KIDO, Boise morning drive talk show host Kevin Miller was visiting Dallas – home of Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze – and took some time to stop by the studios to check out the production of the Glenn Beck program.  Here’s a shot of Beck (l) and Miller (r) inside the spacious former movie/TV studios that are home to Beck’s Mercury Radio Arts production facility.

Cleaning Up for Summer: Big Moves in Small Chunks

| May 20, 2013

By Chris Miller
Chris Miller Digital

SHAKER HEIGHTS — Even though it’s still spring, Memorial Day weekend is about to roll around.  For a lot of us, that can feel like the start of summer.  So I’m giving you the summer to do a little upgrading!  Here’s a punch list of items you can work on each week between now and Labor Day to get your website and social media fixed up, and ready to totally support your on-air product this fall!

Write Down Your Goals

Your performance is being judged on some set of numbers.  How can your digital platforms contribute to those numbers?  Think about those goals, write them down, and share them with your co-workers.  Whether it’s content on your site, your social media, email, texting, whatever … bring it into focus.

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Proven Winning Ideas for
News/Talk Social Media

| May 6, 2013

By Chris Miller

Chris Miller Digital

SHAKER HEIGHTS — So here’s some good news about a huge opportunity for news/talk stations.  You can turn your social media into a “loyalty content marketing” program for those ultra-passionate fans you have.

facebooklogoUnfortunately, just about all news/talk stations with a Facebook page have the same problem.  There’s a lot of content posted about news.  However, there is almost no content about what the talk shows are doing.  I’m sure syndication is one reason for this; if the talk host is not in the building, how are you going to know what he or she is planning to talk about, and when?

Even so, this is a problem with local talk hosts, too.  I don’t see a lot of social media content about local shows.  Those local talk host posts that I do see often don’t offer a lot of specifics.  I’m not told when to listen; I’m not told why I would want to listen; I’m not invited to engage.

Let me give you a hand with a couple of basic tips about how to use Facebook and Twitter more effectively for your news/talk station.  News and talk are handled differently, so let’s start with news.

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Can the Radio Station Overcome Smothering Debt and Become
a Viable Business Again?

| May 2, 2013

Mike Kinosian, Managing Editor
RadioInfo and Talkers

LOS ANGELES — Chalk it up to misreading the economic tealeaves or perhaps to good old-fashioned avarice, but several radio groups have fallen victim to the, “(S)he who has the most toys, wins” hypothesis.

Debt #1Monopoly Board“Winners” managing to run the board in today’s all too real game of Radio Monopoly are rewarded by becoming further ensconced in deeper, darker, debt.

Administer sodium pentothal to a cross-section of radio managers and the overwhelming majority will vociferously state that, owing to its cookie-cutter nature and mounting pressure to deliver grossly unrealistic percentages to the bottom line, the business is no longer fun. Countless executives at high-billing, strong ratings performing outlets have been unduly placed in the gut-wrenching position of laying off personnel and making other vital cutbacks – forced to share the load of paying for what could be considered out-of-control acquisition sins at the corporate level.

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Turning Promotion into Content
on Facebook

| April 29, 2013

By Chris Miller
Chris Miller Digital

SHAKER HEIGHTS — There’s something that makes Facebook different from all other social media sites, and I’m going to tell you how you can use it to your advantage.

Facebook has a vested interest in showing you the best content.  They’re also clearly suspicious about what most businesses and brands are posting, because they limit us from the start, showing our posts to 10-15% of our followers.

Most brands don’t do a very good job in social media.  They’re stuck in an old model of pumping out marketing messages, and that’s what they do on Facebook.  You, as an individual, didn’t get on social media to be advertised to!  Neither did your followers.  When you cut and paste your promo liners to Facebook, or try and write to your followers like you talk to your listeners, you’re confirming Mark Zuckerberg’s view that it’s in his interest to block your fans from reading your hype.  Your promos cut down on his users’ time-spent-engaging.

So here’s the secret.  Turn your promotion into content.

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Monday, April 29, 2013

| April 29, 2013

fccnewFCC Approves Sale of Cox Media Group Stations to SummitMedia and Connoisseur.  Late last summer Cox Media Group announced it was putting stations in six markets on the block as part of a realignment of its business strategy that has it focusing on its larger market stations and operations that dovetail with its other media properties.  Now that these two deals have received FCC approval, it shouldn’t be long before they close.  SummitMedia will pay $66.25 million for radio properties in five markets: Birmingham (WAGG-AM, WBHJ-FM, WBHK-FM, WENN-AM, WZZK-FM, WZNN-FM, WBPT-FM, and CMG’s contract rights for WALJ-FM); Greenville, South Carolina (WJMZ-FM, WHZT-FM); Hawaii (KRTR-AM/FM, KPHW-FM, KCCN-FM, KINE-FM, KKNE-AM); Louisville (WRKA-FM, WVEZ-FM, WSFR-FM, WQNU-FM); and Richmond (WHTI-FM, WKHK-FM, WKLR-FM, WURV-FM).  Connoisseur will pay $40 million for the Southern Connecticut stations that include: WPLR-FM, WEZN-FM, WFOX-FM, and contract rights for WYBC-FM.

millerchrisThe Key to Using Facebook for Marketing: Turn Promotion into Content.  There’s something that makes Facebook different from all other social media sites, and in a new article posted today (4/29) noted digital radio consultant and TALKERS columnist Chris Miller explains how you can use it to your advantage.  Facebook has a vested interest in showing its users the best content.  They’re also clearly suspicious about what most businesses and brands are posting, because they limit us from the start, showing our posts to 10-15% of our followers. According to Miller, most brands don’t do a very good job in social media.  They’re stuck in an old model of pumping out marketing messages, and that’s what they do on Facebook.  You, as an individual, didn’t get on social media to be advertised to!  Neither did your followers.  When you cut and paste your promo liners to Facebook, or try and write to your followers like you talk to your listeners, you’re confirming Mark Zuckerberg’s view that it’s in his interest to block your fans from reading your hype.  Your promos cut down on his users’ time-spent-engaging.  So here’s the secret.  Turn your promotion into content.  To read Chris Miller’s entire article, click here.

rosettiangelaTwo Promotions at Capital Broadcasting’s “Talk 1300 AM” Albany.  Capital Broadcasting president Paulfinnigankate Vandenburgh announces two promotions at the company’s WGDJ, Albany “Talk 1300 AM.”  Angela Rosetti, who has been with the station since it went on the air, becomes operations manager.  At the same time, Kate Finnigan returns to the station and takes on the role of sales manager.  Rosetti is a Siena College graduate and Delmar native.  Finnigan is also a native of the Capital Region having grown up in Glenmont.

wgnlogoOdds & Sods.  Tribune’s WGN, Chicago teams with CME Group to produce “The Markets” podcasts featuring station agribusiness director Orion Samuelson.  Utilizing Samuelson’s expertise, the online podcasts place an emphasis on the agricultural impact on the NYSE, Dow, S&P, Ag markets, commodity prices and weather.  Samuelson provides recaps on the week’s activity and special guest interviews from agricultural professionals.  A full list of “The Markets” podcasts are available at the station’s website and new segments are updated every Friday at 4:00 pm…..Entercom’s KGMZ, San Francisco works out a deal with Compass Media Networks to become the flagship station for Oakland Raiders football.  The package includes pre-game and post-game shows, locker room reaction, and listener phone calls, as well as weekly call-in shows with head coach Dennis Allen and Raiders players.

hoffmanronaldDr. Ronald Hoffman Signs with Media Management Group.  Dr. Ronald Hoffman joins the client roster at Media Management Group.  Dr. Hoffman is a clinician, author, lecturer, media spokesperson and an acknowledged leader in the field of complementary medicine.  His nationally syndicated radio program “Health Talk” is described as “a compelling balance of relatable treatments of complex medical topics and a common sense approach to health issues.”  Media Management Group CEO Jeff Schwartz says, “Dr. Hoffman is a highly respected physician and a great talent, and he has built an impressive media platform.  We’re looking forward to working with him to take everything to the next level.”

pattizstaplescenterNorm Pattiz Representing at the Staples Center.  That’s Courtside Entertainment Group CEO Norm Pattiz pictured at Friday evening’s Lakers-Spurs game at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.  Although the Lakers were swept out of the playoffs on Sunday by San Antonio, Lakers diehard Pattiz was there in his usual courtside seat to offer helpful advice.  On Friday, he was looking good in his brand-new PodcastOne.com t-shirt.  PodcastOne.com is the latest endeavor from the Westwood One founder’s Launchpad Digital Media, which gives people free, easy access to all the best podcasts anytime, anywhere.  On Friday, Launchpad celebrated the launch of the new PodcastOne.com mobile app.  The only free app for Apple and Android that lets consumers access, discover and enjoy all the best podcasts with a simple tap.  Check it out at www.podcastone.com.

obrienbarryBarry O’ Brien Kicks Off New Career in the Palm Beaches.  Many of you know longtime radio industry figure Barry O’ Brien from his two decades of service to the business as VP of sales at the late and legendary trade publication Radio & Records (R&R).  For the last several years Barry has been living happily in semi-retirement in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida where he reportedly has been enjoying the warmth, sunshine and pleasant lifestyle.  Well, it seems the itch to get back into sales has prompted him to get off the lounger back into the action of “sellin’ & buyin’ with Barry O’ Brien.”  Barry tells TALKERS he has launched yet another chapter to his long and colorful career in sales, hooking up with a leading realtor in the region, Keller Williams of the Palm Beaches, where he is now a sales rep.  Anyone in the business looking to buy a property in beautiful Palm Beach County should contact Barry who says, “I have bought and sold so many houses and condos in my life, it is time to share this experience in helping others.”  To reach Barry call 561-320-1057 or email barry@barryobrien.com.

Is Moss Growing on your Website?

| March 29, 2013

By Holland Cooke
Radio Consultant

BLOCK ISLAND, RI — The midday host at a station I work with asks: “Should I move from Facebook to Twitter?”

Wisely, stations and personalities are prioritizing Twitter, a darn opportune tool which listeners have adopted as-fervently as they did Facebook…and MySpace, in its day.

If you’re thinking that “The Next Shiny Object” is your very own iPhone app, STOP.  Save the money, for reasons I will explain on June 6 in my Talkers/New York presentation “Resourceful + Remarkable.”

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Twitter as a Broadcaster’s Tool:
Use it Wisely

| March 25, 2013

By Holland Cooke
www.HollandCooke.com
@HollandCooke

Twitter invites more voices into your on-air and digital conversation; even more so than Facebook.

When someone posts something on your Facebook Wall, all of their Friends and your Followers and Friends see it, and can easily chime-in.  When THEY do, all of THEIR Friends see it, and can Comment or Like or Share.  Thus the metaphor “going viral.”

Twitter takes Social Media to the next level, by enabling you to attract the attention of others who follow neither you NOR the-person-to-whom-you’re-Tweeting.

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POSTING: When and How Often?

| March 25, 2013

By Chris Miller
Chris Miller Digital

SHAKER HEIGHTS — There are a couple of social media questions I get asked a lot.  “When are the best times to post?”  “How often should we post?”

Now, neither of them is as important as making sure you have the right content for your fans.  That’s the big thing.  But let’s assume you’re good to go, content-wise.  When you post and how often you post will be different depending on the platform you’re talking about.  Keep in mind that getting seen only by your fans is not enough.  When they start retweeting, sharing, commenting, favorite-ing and liking what you show them, that’s when more and more people will see what you posted.

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Goodbye, Clutter

| March 11, 2013

By Chris Miller
Chris Miller Digital

SHAKER HEIGHTS — Get ready for the whining, because Facebook is about to make some changes.

FacebookOn Thursday, the social media giant announced a new format for their news feed, which Mark Zuckerberg referred to as “the best personalized newspaper in the world.”  The big change?  Pictures are going to get even bigger.  That’s a bigger change than it sounds like.  The headline Facebook puts on it is, “Goodbye, clutter.”

This is good news for radio stations and other brands that are doing a good job using social media as loyalty content marketing.  It will be easier for your fans and their friends to see what you post and enjoy it!  Let me offer 5 quick guidelines to help you make the most of your Facebook posts, especially once the new news feed kicks in for everyone.

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Monday, March 11, 2013

| March 11, 2013

nms2013logoPower-Packed Sales Panel Set for Talkers New York 2013.  The agenda for the forthcoming 16th annual installment of the talk radio industry’s largest and longest-running convention – Talkers New York 2013 – continues to grow as the speakers for afarberericanew major sales panel have been named.  Titled “The State of Radio Advertising and Sales,” the session will be moderated by RAB president and CEO Erica Farber and feature (in alphabetical order):  Spencer Brown, CEO, Dial Global; Jeff Smulyan, CEO, Emmis BroadcastingJerry Crowley, VP/general manager, WNYM (The Answer), New York; and Dan Metter, SVP/network advertising and sales, Premiere Networks.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “We always try to bring the element of sales and revenue generation into these conferences, but this year with advertising and the element of ‘monetization’ being such a crucial issue not only in talk radio – but the entire spectrum of radio – we organized a panel that we are proud to say covers all bases.  It should be enlightening and certainly productive.”  Talkers New York 2013 takes place Thursday, June 6 and is on track to being an early sellout.  Because of space limitations, registration is only open to working members of the media and can only be taken via telephone at 413-565-5413.  Among those already announced as speakers include morning keynoter, Sean Hannity; sports keynoter, Mike Francesa; special guest speaker, Norm Pattiz; “State of the First Amendment” address presenter, Michael Smerconish and Arbitron‘s Jon Miller who will deliver a special report on “The PPM and Spoken Word Radio.”  Stay tuned to Talkers.com for more agenda details about speakers, panels, presentations and award recipients coming in the immediate days ahead.

traffic jam imageTraffic Reports on Radio Attract Listeners Says Research Director.  A study of five PPM markets in Canada done by Research Director, Inc. and commissioned by the Canadian Traffic Network indicates “traffic reports on the radio attract listeners and boost ratings during the time that the reports air,” the company says.  Research Director says this is the fourth study of PPM data in the five Canadian markets and the most recent study continues to show positive results for traffic reports.  The company says some the highlights of the study include: 1) The three minutes around the traffic report have higher listening levels compared to non-traffic periods; 2) This was the case in each of the five markets examined; 3) On average for Persons 18+, Canadian Traffic Network’s reports deliver 20% greater audience than when traffic is not being broadcast; and 4) Among Adults 25-54, traffic reports deliver an even greater audience (+20%) than non-traffic times.  This data comes as the industry debates the future value of general traffic reports in an era when smartphones and other in-car services are able to deliver real-time traffic information for specific routes to commuters.

arbitronIs Radio Losing Audience or Gaining It? And What About the Kids?  If you add in the HD multicasts and AM/FM/HD streaming stations, as Arbitron did for its just-released March 2013 RADAR 116 National Radio Listening Report, “radio’s audience increased year over year, adding more than 1.6 million weekly listeners.  Radio now reaches 242.8 million listeners on an average weekly basis.”  Furthermore, Arbitron states, “Teens aged 12 to 17 shows the largest gains among the major age demographics.  Radio now reaches nearly 23 million teens in an average week.  Radio listening also remains steady among Adults aged 18 to 34, reaching 66.5 million people, or 92%, in this demographic.”  The ratings company reports that “the data shows that radio is using new platforms effectively to reach more listeners.  According to the RADAR March 2012 report, HD multicasts reach nearly 3.6 million persons aged 12 and older.  Streams of AM/FM/HD radio also reach a broad audience.  More than 5.4 million persons aged 12 and older tune into AM/FM/HD streams during an average week.  Adults aged 18 to 49 make up the majority of this audience, with more than 3.5 million people in this demographic accessing streaming AM/FM/HD stations in an average week.”

worldnewsroundup logoThe CBS Radio Product “World News Roundup” Celebrates 75 Years on the Air.  The longest-running radio newscast – CBS Radio News’ “World News Roundup” – celebrates 75 years on the air this month.  The company will honor the occasion tomorrow and Wednesday with special programs.  The network will look at that first broadcast in 1938, its significance at the time and how the “Roundup” has evolved to remain an important source of information three-quarters of a century later.  Vice president of CBS News, Radio, Harvey Nagler, states, “In an era with so many choices for the latest news, 75 years is truly a naglerharveyremarkable milestone.  We are so proud that this broadcast that started it all is still something millions of Americans depend on every day.  By combining the great traditions of CBS News with technology, our affiliates and their listeners receive relevant, accurate, immediate information they can trust, every day.  From shortwave to satellites and from the Murrow Boys to multimedia platforms, ‘The World News Roundup’ is still setting the standard for quality journalism.”  CBS says the program made broadcasting history on March 13, 1938 when it aired a riveting 38-minute program, anchored by Robert Trout, that reported the Nazi invasion of Austria.  Revolutionizing news coverage, “The World News Roundup” gave listeners access to live reports from multiple reporters on the field, including a young CBS executive making his on-air debut in Vienna that night, Edward R. Murrow.  In the following decades, the program was anchored by legendary CBS journalists, including Douglas Edwards, Dallas Townsend and Christopher Glenn.  The current program is anchored by Steve Kathan and is produced by Paul Farry.  Bill Whitney anchors the Late Edition of the “World News Roundup” which is produced by Greg Armstrong.

xeprs logoJ.D. Hayworth to Co-Host AM Drive on Sports “The Mighty 1090” in San Diego.  Former Arizona congressman and longtime issues talk host J.D. Hayworth takes an interesting turn in his radio career as hehayworthjd joins Broadcast Company of the Americas’ sports talk XEPRS, San Diego “The Mighty 1090” to co-host the morning drive show with Lee “Hacksaw” Hamilton beginning March 18.  The station says the pairing of Hayworth with Hamilton completes a three-month search that spanned “six time zones.”  Program director Mike Shepard states, “We really appreciated all the ‘players’ who gave their time to this search and in the end, hamiltonhacksawJ.D.’s extensive background in radio, and true chemistry with Hacksaw made the difference.  When the two of them were on together it was what we call ‘lean forward and listen’ radio.  San Diego’s sports fans will truly be entertained every morning.”  Hayworth, who’s been doing a lot of fill-in work in issues talk radio over the past year or so, says, “Hacksaw and I go way back.  As a TV sportscaster in Phoenix, I got to know Lee during his days at KTAR, which was his radio home before he came to San Diego years ago.  The preparation and dedication that Lee brings to his broadcasts impressed me then, and inspires me now.  What an honor to become his partner.  We will not rest until we are the best sports morning show in the country!”

robinettegarlandLoan Investigation Ends for WWL-AM-FM, New Orleans Talk Host Garland Robinette.  Federal prosecutors are ending a probe into allegations the River Birch company paid bribes to close two New Orleans landfills so that its own facilities could receive the bulk of debris from Hurricane Katrina.  WWL-AM/FM talk host Garland Robinette became involved in the probe after he received a personal loan from River Birch owner Fred Heebe.  Robinette had also used his program to criticize the re-opening of the landfills that would have taken business from Heebe’s company.  According to the New Orleans Times-Picayune, Friday’s announcement puts to an end the investigation that included scrutiny of Robinette’s $250,000 interest-free loan from Heebe.  Robinette’s attorney issued this statement: “I’m happy to announce that we’ve received notice that the Department of Justice in Washington has concluded their investigation regarding Garland as it relates to the River Birch case…and the matter is now closed.  We want to thank the Public Integrity section for reaching the right result and for considering all the information.  As Garland said from the beginning he never had done anything wrong.  Garland and his family are glad they can now put this behind him.”

grand slam sports logoSt. Louis Sports Stations KFNS and KXFN to Flip to Guy Talk and Ladies Talk in May.  The Grand Slam Sports-owned AM stations will take a different programming tack in May under the leadership of new company president Dan Marshall.  According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, KFNS will alter its programming to reduce the sports talk content to about 30% with “guy talk” comprising the other 70%.  Marshall tells the paper’s Dan Caesar the bubbaannouncement of who will be the new morning host on KFNS will be made on SiriusXM’s Howard Stern show today, leading to the conclusion that Stern pal Bubba the Love Sponge’s Tampa-based program will take over mornings.  Other show hosts will be announced between now and May 1.  Marshall is owner of a wireless communications company in the St. Louis area that’s been buying time on sports talk.  Marshall’s company made an investment in Grand Slam Sports under the condition he would take over as general manager with control over programming.  Current GM Katy Pavelonis stays on as sales manager.  As for KXFN, how the move to female-targeted talk will be realized is less clear, although Marshall says, “I’ve already interviewed a few people who seem excited.  And I believe our future advertisers will be excited to reach a women’s audience.”  The current morning show at KFNS is hosted by Tim McKernan, Jim Hayes and Doug Vaughn and is owned by insideSTL Enterprises LLC and apparently brokers the time on KFNS.  McKernan tells the paper insideSTL Enterprises is investigating the possibility of working with outside investors to put a new station on the air.  The company operates insideSTL.com.

facebooklogoStrategizing Facebook’s Plans to Decrease Clutter.  On Thursday, the social media giant announced a new format for their news feed, which Mark Zuckerberg referred to as “the best personalized newspaper in the world.”  The big millerchrischange?  Pictures are going to get even bigger.  That’s a bigger change than it sounds like.  The headline Facebook puts on it is, “Goodbye, clutter.”  According to radio digital consultant and TALKERS columnist Chris Miller, “This is good news for radio stations and other brands that are doing a good job using social media as loyalty content marketing.  It will be easier for your fans and their friends to see what you post and enjoy it!”  Today in TALKERS Miller offers five quick guidelines to help you make the most of your Facebook posts, especially once the new news feed kicks in for everyone.  To read Chris Miller’s piece, click here.

cookehollandIs Michael Smerconish’s Departure from AM/FM to Satellite the Canary in Talk Radio’s Coal Mine?  Radio consultant and TALKERS columnist Holland Cooke thinks it might very well be the case. In an extremely candid look at the meaning behind the highly profiled defection, Cooke advises industry professionals how to read the message this move conveys in addition to dissecting the impact it will likely have on Smerconish’s career.  To read this article by Holland Cooke, click here.

raytomA Not So High-Tech Solution to a High-Tech Headache. Sometimes the remedy to what seems like a complex technical disaster can be found in cleverly utilizing the services of a commonly found, everyday low-tech product.  Noted radio engineering wizard and TALKERS technical editor Tom Ray had one such situation pop up recently and he shares how he solved it using…would you believe it…cat litter!  Check out the story by clicking here.

Monday, February 25, 2013

| February 25, 2013

nms2013logoMike Francesa to Address Industry at Talkers New York 2013.  The list of major speakers continues to grow as WFAN, New York afternoon drive sports talk goliath Mike Francesa joins the roster of industry leaders who will be speaking at “TALKERS New York 2013,” the 16th annual installment of talk radio’s longest-running and most important francesamikeannual convention.  Francesa will deliver a solo keynote address titled, “The Sports Talk Radio Phenomenon.”  He will discuss how sports talk fits into the general radio industry, where it is going both locally and nationally and how it operates within the business model of the PPM world.  Francesa, who has been a major host on WFAN since the late 1980s, is also seen across the nation on the YES Network simulcast of his radio show and hosts a syndicated weekend program “The NFL Now” in addition to participating in numerous other sports broadcasting projects.  He is currently ranked number one on the TALKERS Heavy Hundred of Sports Talk Radio Hosts holding the position as the Most Important Sports Talk Radio Host in America.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “The addition of Mike Francesa as the sports talk radio keynote speaker at this year’s conference puts it over the moon.  One of the big buzzes of the business is the relentless growth of this exciting branch of the talk radio universe.  Who better than the king of the format to give insights into the genre’s place in the scheme of things?  We are delighted!”  More headliners will be named in the coming days along with the 50-plus speakers that will be participating in the conference.  The event is set for Thursday, June 6, 2013 at the Concierge Conference Center on Manhattan’s East Side.  Registration for the day including all activities and food service is $199 per person.  An advance sellout is expected due to space limitations.  Registration is limited to members of the working media and can only be taken via telephone.  For registration and sponsorship information call 413-565-5413.  Complete agenda details are being posted daily.  Stay tuned.

schnitttoddTodd Schnitt Not Giving Up on Bubba the Love Sponge Lawsuit.  The Tampa Bay Times reports talk show host Todd Schnitt has fired his legal team, hired a new lawyer and is continuing to pursue legal action against former crosstown rival Bubba the Love Sponge (Todd Clem).  The first trial ended in a victory for Bubba as the jury decided not to awardbubba Schnitt and wife Michelle damages for defamation over a series of criticisms and accusations Bubba leveled at Schnitt when he competed with Bubba in morning drive as MJ Kelli.  Now, Schnitt has fired C. Phillip Campbell and Jonathan J. Ellis and has hired Wil Florin to represent him and his wife.  Regular TALKERS readers are aware of the bizarre elements of the previous trial:  Campbell being pulled over for DUI while driving the car of a young paralegal who, unbeknownst to him, worked for Bubba’s lawyer’s firm; the tip-off to police that Campbell was driving the car was made by someone from that same firm; and Bubba’s lawyers had possession of Campbell’s briefcase for 18 hours (though they say they didn’t open it).  That missing briefcase is the basis for the new suit.  How this will end is anybody’s guess, but one thing is for sure: Both Schnitt and Clem are spending a lot of money on legal fees.  Yes, they are getting a lot of publicity for their radio programs but it is very expensive publicity.

ingrahamlauraLaura Ingraham Added to American Forces Network.  Courtside Entertainment Group announces today that the Laura Ingraham show is being added to the American Forces Network with the opportunity to be heard by more than one million U.S. service members and their families.  Ingraham states, “It is fantastic to be back on the air – and it feels even more special knowing that all of our friends listening on Armed Forces Network can hear us around the globe.  The energy and enthusiasm from listeners, affiliates and advertisers since I returned to the airwaves has been overwhelming.  From Tucson to Jacksonville, from Washington, DC to Seattle, Americans are energized and enthusiastic about our daily conversation about our country’s past, present and future.  Politics is important – but so is the culture around us.  As a single parent of young children and a cancer survivor, I have a unique perspective that connects me with listeners of all political stripes.  Our conversation is a fun-filled ride that moves beyond the Beltway to the real-life ups and downs we all face.”

constantinilynneVeteran Media Executive Lynne Constantini Joins Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze.  The former EVP of affiliate sales and marketing at Scripps Networks Interactive and SVP of programming at Time Warner Cable joins TheBlaze as president of business development.  In her new position Lynne Constantini will oversee the growing network’s content distribution efforts, as well as affiliate marketing, advocacy, business affairs and business development initiatives.  She previously negotiated TheBlaze’s successful carriage deal with DISH as an outside consultant.  Constantini says, “As a cable industry executive and consultant, I have been attracted to the rare independent network that has strong, unique content and a passionate engaged audience that drives results for operators and that is what I have found with TheBlaze.  TheBlaze is unlike other start-up networks; it has a built-in loyal audience, a full slate of live, original programming, speaks to an underserved and growing conservative audience and has extensive marketing reach through affiliated media assets including on radio and on the web.  I am excited to work with Glenn, Chris Balfe and the rest of the team on building TheBlaze and continuing the network’s success in improving the businesses of its distribution partners.”

cookehollandListeners Are Busy and Talent Is Spooked.  That’s the assessment of radio consultant and TALKERS columnist Holland Cooke who asks broadcasters the provocative question:  “RU@Speed-of-Life?’  In today’s article, Cooke says radio programmers must get up to speed (literally) with the intense pace of modern life which, when coupled with the PPM, puts tremendous pressure to manage air time in a way that is in keeping with today’s breakneck tempo.  For example he advises hosts not to begin their shows by listing all the things they’ll be doing before the show ends.  He says programming clock designers should go the extra step in designing transitions between programming elements (such as newscaster to talk show host segments) in a completely seamless manner.  Never stop the action through over-explanation.  Don’t miss this timely and informative piece.  Read it here.

baileyralphTalk Host Ralph Bailey Begins KERN, Bakersfield Program Next Monday.  After quitting his talk show at Buckley Broadcasting’s crosstown KNZR on Thursday after an eight-year stint, Ralph Bailey will take over the PM drive program on American General Media’s KERN.  Bailey wrote on his Facebook page, “It is official!!!  I signed a contract today to join American General Media.  I’ll be Scott Cox‘s guest today at three and begin my own 3-6 p.m. drive time show on Monday, March 4.  I could not be happier!  I have security in a business that is not that secure and for the first time in my life I’m making a little scratch!  I’d like to thank Rogers Brandon and Toni Snyder.  It is great to feel wanted and appreciated.”

californian logoKERN, Bakersfield’s Scott Cox to Anchor The Californian-AGM Morning Show Endeavor.  Talk radio personality Scott Cox is moving away from the PM drive slot that Ralph Bailey is taking over in order to host a new morning program that is a joint effort of American General Media and The Bakersfield Californian.  The show – “First Look with Scott Cox” – will emanate from The Californian newsroom in which a radio studio has been built.  While KERN will coxscottprovide the producers and technical expertise, the newspaper’s reporters will be regular guests during talk segments.  Californian CEO Richard Beene says of the initiative, “The Bakersfield Californian has always prided itself about being on the cutting edge of technology (our website bakersfield.com was launched back in 1995) and we are keenly aware that readers and advertisers are finding new ways to obtain content and reach their advertisers.  That’s why change is part of our company culture, and serving our readers and advertisers on multiple platforms is something we talk about every day.”  The program will also be streamed live in high-definition video on the paper’s website.  Beene writes in his editorial in the paper, “’First Look’ will add to The Californian‘s existing video programming, which includes ‘BVarsity Live,’ live local sports and breaking news.  The Californian plans to expand its live video programming later this year.  So yes, newspapers are alive and well, changing and evolving.  Join us in March for ‘First Look.’”

millerchrisNot All That Glitters is Gold.  According to radio digital consultant and TALKERS columnist Chris Miller, broadcasters should avoid falling under the spell of Facebook “likes” and the impulse to “go viral” — which he describes as “shiny, distracting objects.”  He advises, “The number of Facebook ‘likes’ you have is almost completely without meaning.  In addition, working to have something go viral is probably taking you away from what you should be doing!”  Read Chris Miller’s informative and valuable article here.

benandskinESPN O&O KESN, Dallas Parts Company with Ben & Skin.  Sports talk KESN, Dallas and midday personalities Ben Rogers and Jeff “Skin” Wade were not able to come to terms on a new contract and the duo have left the station.  They wrote on their Facebook page. “We have declined a final offer from ESPN on a new deal.  We’re parting ways with them for now.  Future is unwritten.  Thank you for your support throughout the years.  We are eager to write the next chapter of our adventure.  Stay tuned.”

sweeneyjohnJohn Sweeney Exits WGDJ, Albany.  The former Republican congressman from New York began a one-hour daily talk show at Capital Broadcasting’s “Talk 1300” two weeks ago but has left the station.  The Albany Times-Union reports John Sweeney’s exit comes after it became apparent that the 11:00 am to 12:00 noon time slot was too much for the attorney and political consultant.  Owner and GM Paul Vandenburgh told the paper too many unforeseen scheduling conflicts have made the show untenable.

raytomTECHNICAL WATCH: Radio Moves Beyond ISDN to Deliver Studio Quality Remote Audio.  Welcome to the Age of the IP Codec.  Back in the “good old days,” if you wanted to get audio from point A to point B you had basically two choices: a dedicated land line from good old Ma Bell (a.k.a, the phone company) or you sent a tape.  Then, Ma Bell decided to get rid of dedicated equalized services – at least interstate.  These days, it’s very difficult if not impossible to get a dedicated broadcast service even in the same city.  This prompted devices like the Comrex two-line and three-line frequency extender systems.  These allowed someone to utilize two or three dial-up lines to get audio from one place to another with reasonable audio quality.  The next step was ISDN – a digital dial-up service.  With the development of devices such as the Telos Zephyr, FM quality audio was easily passed, with very little audio delay, between two locations.  This has been the norm now for close to 20 years.  Enter the IP codec – essentially ISDN on steroids.  IP codecs utilize the internet as the transport medium.  Now, for just the cost of the internet service you already have installed, you can literally transport audio all around the world – in many instances with slightly more round-trip delay than with ISDN, but that is easy to work around using mix minus.  Noted radio technical consultant and TALKERS columnist Tom Ray brings us all up to speed on this new era in remote audio delivery in a must-read clear and concise article, here.

tradupguatemalaSalem Radio News Series Spotlights “The Poorest of the Poor.”  SRN vice president/news & talk programming Tom Tradup (pictured here in Guatemala) spent the last week in that Central American country as Salem Radio News prepared a news series titled, “The Poorest of the Poor.”  Speaking about his experience there, Tradup tells TALKERS, “Guatemala is only a few hours by plane from the U.S., but living conditions for youngsters are light years away.  And the statistics take on heartbreaking new meaning when you actually spend time with children there.  We embedded with the American relief agency Food for The Poor to cover both the tragedy and the hope for impoverished children in Guatemala.”  Tradup says Guatemala has the highest malnutrition rate of any country in the Western Hemisphere.  The week-long SRN News special series will profile the challenges facing government and private agencies targeting ways to reverse the grim statistics on malnutrition and infant mortality in Guatemala.

bloomlisaOdds & Sods.  Lisa Bloom – daughter of former radio and television talk show host (and high-profile attorney) Gloria Allred – is joining NBC’s “Today” show as a legal analyst says TVNewser.  Bloom hosted the CourtTV show “Lisa Bloom: Open Court” from 2001 to 2009…..Arbitron’s Carol Hanley is named to the Allliance for Women in Media board of directors.  Hanley serves as SVP, chief sales officer for Arbitron.

kdkaharlemshakeHarlem Shake Takes Over KDKA.  The YouTube phenomenon “Harlem Shake” invades the newsroom at CBS Radio’s KDKA, Pittsburgh.  This still shot is from a video posted on the KDKA-TV website and shows late morning talk host Marty Griffin (in the Santa hat) leading the rest of the crew – including morning hosts Larry Richert and John Shumway and Shelley Duffy, PM drive host Bill Rehkopf, midday host Mike Pintek, sports reporter and weekend host Rob Pratte and creative services director Kelly Pidgeon – in boogeying to the tune.

Meaningless Shiny Objects

| February 25, 2013

By Chris Miller
Miller Digital

SHAKER HEIGHTS — “My station has five thousand Facebook ‘likes!’”

“We’re working on a video that we think will go viral!”

I’ll try and be gentle; both of these topics are shiny, distracting objects.  Unfortunately, the number of Facebook “likes” you have is almost completely without meaning.  In addition … working to have something go viral is probably taking you away from what you should be doing!

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Five Impact Trends to Help You Reach the Future Safely

| February 21, 2013

By Walter Sabo
Sabo Media
Chairman

NEW YORK – The challenge of working at most radio stations or broadcast companies is the staff is pre-occupied with job security. As a result, trends that should be noted and discussed are dismissed in order to prepare the weekend schedule and worry about corporate.  As the CEO of an executive-on-demand company, Sabo Media, we are presented daily with new products, talent and ideas. Here are five that are interesting and may be helpful in growing your business:

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Have You Hugged Twitter Today?

| February 19, 2013

By Holland Cooke RadioConsultant Seinfeld-backwardBLOCK ISLAND – Remember Seinfeld-in-reverse? It was a special episode that was entirely backwards. It began with closing credits and ended with the opening theme. The plot started-at-the-end…then ended at-the-very-beginning. We saw Jerry and Kramer meet for the first time. In the final scene — the earliest chronological moment, a flashback, to a time before the Internet — Jerry’s date was telling him about the advent of Email. “Email,” Jerry asked, puzzled, “Why would I want to send someone an Email?” Read More

A Tool to Delight Your Fans

| February 18, 2013

By Chris Miller
Miller Digital

SHAKER HEIGHTS — I’m having a hard time coming up with a way to make “good writing” seem sexy and interesting.  Look, this is important, okay?  Even though it’s not as fun as learning about some shiny new digital bauble.

Good writing is at the heart of what we do online, and how we communicate with our fans.  Don’t just do it for the art of it; do it because it can help stretch your few thousand Facebook fans into tens of millions of annual impressions.  Do it because it will help get your tweets retweeted.  We’re talking about building your numbers here!

You don’t have to be Faulkner to write a good Facebook post.  Here are three mistakes to avoid so what you write … gets enjoyed!

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Monday, January 7, 2013

| January 7, 2013

cosbyritaRita Cosby to Host PM Drive at WOR, New York; PD Rumors Abound.  As Clear Channel Media and Entertainment continues crafting its new New York City talk radio station – on Friday, TALKERS told you about Mark Simone’s moving from WABC to WOR to host the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon show – we now know that Rita Cosby is in place to host the 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm program.  The journalist, TV news anchor and current correspondent for CBS’ syndicated “Inside Edition” television program has been subbing on Big Apple talk radio recently.  As for programmers, the speculation is that former hot AC WPLJ, New York program director Tom Cuddy is in place to program WOR.  If that’s the case, it’s interesting that CC has gone outside the realm of talk radio programmers for this signal.  One thing’s for sure, Cuddy certainly knows the New York market.

kleinaaronWABC, New York’s Aaron Klein Gains Big December PPM Audience.  The host of WABC, New York’s Sunday evening “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio” program was the most-listened-to personality on the AM band during the 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm among Men 35-plus.  Klein’s show was #3 in the market in that demo and during that time period behind only classic rock WAXQ and AC WLTW with a 7.0 share.  Klein tells TALKERS magazine, “This clearly demonstrates that there is hunger for live weekend talk radio programming if the content is compelling, exclusive, news-oriented and entertaining.”  Klein’s program beat out sports WFAN as well as the market’s two all-newsers in the Men 35-plus demographic.

ingrahamlauraLaura Ingraham Talks About New Show.  In case you missed it, Courtside Entertainment-syndicated talk host Laura Ingraham spoke with Bloomberg BusinessWeek’s Diane Brady last week about changes in her life and work as she left Talk Radio Network for a new deal with Courtside.  She told Brady, “After 11 years at TRN, it was time to retool how I approached the business.  That meant everything from whom I partnered with and how the show is delivered to the topics I cover.  Pounding on the same people and themes doesn’t expand an audience. Conservatives limit themselves when they just look at the world through a political lens.  Politics is an important part of what I do — my core beliefs haven’t changed — but people are disillusioned with it.”  She also pointed to her personal life as a reason for massaging the direction of her program.  “I’m a single mother to three young kids; I’ve been treated for breast cancer; I’m caring for my aging father.  There’s a lot more that unites us than divides us.  I want the show to be livelier, funnier, newsier, more unpredictable.  The personal connection with listeners is more satisfying than political conversations.”

cbssportsradiologoCBS Sports Radio Network Debuts Weekend Lineup.  Three days after premiering its weekday national sports radio network, CBS Radio brings its weekend lineup to the airwaves.  Kicking off on the first weekend of the NFL playoffs, the network’s schedule was as follows (parentheses indicate talent’s home base): Saturday/Sunday 2:00 am to 6:00 am Amy Lawrence (joins CBS Sports Radio from ESPN Radio); Saturday: 6:00 am to 10:00 am Marc Malusis (WFAN-AM/FM New York); 10:00 am to 2:00 pm Brandon Tierney (CBS Sports Radio); 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm Gregg Giannotti (KDKA-FM Pittsburgh); 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm Jody McDonald (WIP-FM Philadelphia and WFAN); and Saturday/Sunday 10:00 pm to 2:00 am Adam The Bull (WKRK-FM Cleveland).  Sunday: 6:00 am to 10:00 am John Kincade (WCNN-AM Atlanta); 10:00 am to 2:00 pm Vinny Cerrato/Rob Long (WJZ-FM Baltimore); 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm Jody McDonald/Kris Jenkins (former NFL player, and sports analyst); 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm Josh Innes and Ted Johnson (KILT-AM Houston); and Sunday/Monday 10:00 pm to 2:00 am Amy Lawrence.

liebermanrichBay Area Media Blogger Rich Lieberman to Host Afternoons at KOMY, Santa Cruz.  Rich Lieberman – who’s been writing the Rich Lieberman 415 Media blog for more than 10 years – had recently been doing some holiday fill-in work at Michael Zwerling-owned KOMY, Santa Cruz over the holidays.  Now Zwerling announces Lieberman has been hired to be permanent host of the 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm program.  Zwerling states, “Rich has been blogging about media, sports, and entertainment for more than a decade and has built an amazing audience, including MANY famous people who crave mentions and acknowledgement by this new media sensation. This reminds me of how people would die to be mentioned in Herb Caen‘s column in the San Francisco Chronicle for nearly half a century.”

valentinebobbyBobby Valentine Joins NBC Sports Radio as Weekly Contributor.  Baseball’s Bobby Valentine is becoming part of the NBC Sports Radio network as a contributor to its coverage of Major League Baseball beginning this month.  The network says Valentine will call in weekly to affiliated stations and NBC Sports Radio talk hosts with his candid thoughts and observations on baseball.  In addition, Valentine will become a part-time co-host of a soon-to-be-announced daily Monday through Friday talk show that will debut in April as the network expands its programming lineup.  The NBC Sports Radio network is being distributed and supported with ad sales by Dial Global.  Valentine says, “I can’t wait to get started on NBC Sports Radio.  I’m looking forward to talking to our affiliates and network shows, and to being a major contributor to the network.  I always state my honest opinion and I can’t wait to share it with NBC Sports Radio listeners.”

millerchris“I Knew You’d Like This and That No One Else Would Show it to You.”  This is the attitude that digital consultant Chris Miller says delivers higher quality content when using social media such as Facebook.  In this piece for TALKERS, Miller explains how programmers can optimize their gains from Facebook using its EdgeRank algorithm.  Miller says EdgeRank “works to show you what they think will matter most to you.  It’s like a programmer picking songs; they want the good stuff to show up most often, and they don’t want to show you the stuff you don’t care about.”  Miller explains the three elements that make up the algorithm and offers some tips how to capitalize on it.  Read his piece here.

metalsheenaSheena Metal Celebrates Four Years at LA Talk Radio.  Los Angeles radio personality Sheena Metal is celebrating her fourth anniversary at the Sam Hasson-founded LATalkRadio.com.  Metal was a long-time evening personality at CBS Radio’s old hot talk KLSX, Los Angeles before the station underwent a format change.  Sam Hasson says, “Since she launched her daily radio show ‘The Sheena Metal Experience’ in January 2009, Sheena has grown tremendously in every way and built a respectable audience that is loyal and devoted.  We anticipate more great entertainment and intriguing guests in the coming year.  LA Talk Radio is proud to call Sheena Metal one of our own.”  In addition to “The Sheena Metal Experience,” she co-hosts two weekly talk programs: the paranormal hit “Haunted Playground” alongside psychic/medium Danielle Egnew (Tuesdays from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm) and the spicy “Two Chicks Talkin’ Politics” alongside actress Susan Olsen (of “The Brady Bunch” fame) airing Mondays 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm.  For music lovers, Sheena Metal can even be found hosting her weekly “Music Highway” show on Wednesdays from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm.

“I Knew You’d Like This, and that No One Else Would Show It to You”

| January 7, 2013

By Chris Miller
Chris Miller Digital

SHAKER HEIGHTS –People sometimes pooh-pooh the power of social media because of the relatively small number of followers we have.  However, did you know that you can turn a thousand Facebook “Likes” into a reach of a million over a year’s time?  That kind of reach can then deliver millions of impressions in a year, too.

Every good programmer has a solid knowledge of what tactics work to deliver better Arbitron numbers over time.  If you’re a PD, that’s just part of your job.  Well, Facebook has a similar set-up that you can take advantage of to create more engagement, which then drives your social media stats up … and creates more brand usage for you.  If you’re doing it right, that is.

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What Do You Do Online When the News is Bad?

| December 17, 2012

By Chris Miller
Chris Miller Digital

SHAKER HEIGHTS — Friday’s tragic events in Newtown, CT, remind us not only that life is precious… but also that our fans’ expectations can turn on a dime.  You may know what you’ll do on the air when the news explodes like that.  What will you do with all your other content platforms, like your website and your social media?

Radio has two worthy purposes on days like Friday:

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Social Media is “The New PR” for Radio

| December 10, 2012

By Chris Miller
Chris Miller Digital

SHAKER HEIGHTS — It may not cost you a dime when your radio station is Tweeting and Facebooking and YouTubing.  However, I’ll bet social media is a major ongoing project for some people at your station.  It’s probably costing you plenty of hours from your programming or promotions department.  Seems to me you’d want return on that investment.

Is there a possible return on investment from your social media efforts?  Maybe not the way you’re doing it right now.  The way to change that is to think of it as “The New PR.”

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Five Practical Digital Lessons Radio Can Learn from the Obama Campaign

| December 3, 2012

By Chris Miller
Chris Miller Digital

SHAKER HEIGHTS — Politics aside, Barack Obama’s winning presidential reelection campaign has some great lessons for us about how to use these wacky new digital tools we have.  There’s been a lot written about the campaign’s data-mining and information overlays and Facebook’s “open graph” and more.  However, we’re not going any of those places now.  Let’s stick to what you can do today.

Media All Fits Together

It’s easy to think about all the things we do as separate parts.  Our on-air broadcast, on-site promotions, website, social media, email and texts can all feel like different projects.  Meanwhile, our heaviest listeners and biggest clients want to use all those parts as interlocking pieces of a whole.

The Obama team didn’t start by thinking about what should go in a TV spot, what would be fun to do door-to-door and what might get some likes and shares on Facebook.  They thought about what they needed to do to get members of certain demographic groups to come out and vote for the president.  That goal drove what content was on each platform … and how those platforms fit together … and helped lead to their success.

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Five Trends About to Make a Buck

| November 13, 2012

By Walter Sabo
Sabo Media
Chairman

NEW YORK — Daily digital newsletters suggest that there are hundreds of hot new “platforms” and “monetizations” and “disruptors.”

There aren’t. A quick walk from the gourmet water cafes of lower Manhattan or Palo Alto to the food court at Mall of America will clarify the efficacy of many digi-theories.  Remember, fiber optics (Lucent!) were ready to go in 1962, as were Picture Phones, but AT&T waited until they depreciated all the copper wire to roll out fiber.

There are at least five new business ideas that are close to the event horizon for profits.

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Twitter Secrets Unlocked!

| November 12, 2012

By Chris Miller
Chris Miller Digital

SHAKER HEIGHTS, OH — I’m going to give Twitter some love, by telling you three ways to use that platform to help build your radio brand.

BULLETIN SERVICE

“Bulletin” may mean different things for different formats or situations.  On Twitter, you’re much less likely to get people to click on links than on Facebook.  However, Twitter is a good way to rapidly send out information of some value to your fans.  It might be a news or traffic headline, or when a new song will play, or when you’ll play a big contest next.  I’ve been increasing Twitter fans for one client by making their Twitter feed about one thing and one thing only, and promoting that on their Facebook page.

See, we often treat Twitter as the little sister to Facebook.  It’s not the same thing, and your opportunity is to make your Twitter feed clear and distinct from what you do on Facebook (or anywhere else).  That’s why one big way to increase the value of your Twitter activity is to make it about something in particular.  Many people are already using Twitter for information updates about things they’re interested in, so you’d be fitting in with their expectations.

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Monday, November 5, 2012

| November 5, 2012

KRMG-AM/FM, Tulsa Promotes Dan Potter to AM Drive Show.  There’s been a lot of movement among Cox Media Group staffers between properties lately.  It started with long-time KRMG-AM/FM, Tulsa program director Drew Anderssen moving to the company’s WDBO-AM/FM, Orlando at the end of the summer.  Then it was announced that WDBO morning host Jim Turner would retire and KRMG AM drive personality Joe Kelley would move to Orlando to take over the morning show there.  Now, KRMG announces that it is promoting “Tulsa’s Afternoon News” host Dan Potter and he will slide into the morning drive chair beginning November 19.  Potter says, “Under Joe Kelley’s leadership, the ‘KRMG Morning News’ has become the single most important morning show in Oklahoma, both in terms of content and listenership.  I hope to continue the growth Joe started and to attract new listeners to the show.  I am humbled, honored and very excited for this opportunity.  I anchored newscasts on a similar morning show in Dallas-Fort Worth for over 15 years and am constantly impressed by KRMG’s commitment to covering breaking news better than anyone.  You could take this newsroom and this product and put it in any major market in the country and be competitive.”

ESPN Audio Debuts New PM Drive Show with Jonathan Coachman.  A new sports talk show from ESPN Audio debuts this afternoon hosted by ESPN studio anchor Jonathan Coachman.  The 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm ET show will have Coachman initially joined by a rotating array of ESPN on-air personalities to present three hours of personality-driven opinion, analysis, humor and interviews covering the news of the day, as well as interaction with listeners via e-mails, texts and calls.  The program is available to terrestrial affiliates as well as being heard via the ESPN app, espnradio.com, TuneIn and SiriusXM.  During his time at ESPN, Coachman has hosted “NBA Tonight,” “College Football Live,” “NASCAR Now,” and “ESPN2 Friday Night Fights.”  Coachman says of the new venture, “To say I am excited about ‘Coach’ & Company would be an understatement, but it’s going to be about our entire team – our production team and the team of fans at home – who will all have a hand in hopefully making it a successful show.  I am very serious about sports, but people can expect above all else a show that is fun.  And, with my background in the WWE, I feel I can really bring an entertainment value to the show in a strong way.”

Clear Channel’s Columbia, South Carolina Country Jocks Pull Double Duty; Host PM on News/Talk WVOC.  Jonathon Rush and Kelly Nash – known to their country WCOS, Columbia listeners and Rush & Nash, hosts of the “Morning Rush” program – begin a new chapter in their careers hosting the “Afternoon Rush” on sister news/talk WVOC.  The station parted ways with PM drive host Keven Cohen last week.  Rush and Nash will continue to host their morning program on “My Country 97.5.”  In a statement, Kelly Nash says, “This is an opportunity I’ve dreamed of for years.  We can play the world’s greatest music for the greatest music fans in the morning and talk with the most passionate radio listeners every afternoon.”

WOWO-AM/FM, Ft. Wayne Names Ryan Reker PD.  Federated Media’s heritage WOWO-AM/FM, Ft. Wayne, Indiana announces the hiring of Ryan Reker as program director.  Reker comes to the station after a management shuffle that saw Gregg Henson (now at Clear Channel’s WPGB and WBGG, Pittsburgh) exit the post and Federated’s own Woody Zimmerman oversee the station briefly before being reassigned to oversee the company’s Warsaw, Indiana cluster.  Reker most recently served as program director and morning host at Maverick Media’s classic rock WEGE-FM and as program director of sports talk WWSR-FM, both in Lima, Ohio.  Reker also worked at Clear Channel’s news/talk WOOD-AM in Grand Rapids and Entercom’s sports WSSP, Milwaukee.  He says of his new position, “WOWO is a unique station with very unique listeners.  I love the reputation and passion they’ve built with the community.  I’m honored and excited for the opportunity to work with such a great group of broadcasters.”

How to Write a Professional Radio Facebook Post (Part 2).  Radio digital consultant Chris Miller was so amazed by the high level of interest in his previous TALKERS piece, “Start Doing THIS Right NOW on Facebook,” published here last week, that he decided to share a few more tips to help you get your radio station’s pages and posts right!  Miller writes, “A lot of us radio folks see the value in social media.  Still, many could use some help working it in a way so you’re building your brand, instead of just spinning your wheels.  Many of the mistakes businesses make on Facebook have to do with how your write what you post.  We tend to speak in marketing-ese or like we’re scripting a promo.  That’s a huge error that may have people consistently hiding your content.”  Read Miller’s entire article explaining how to write a post that works for you, here.

President Obama Friendly to African American-Targeted Radio.  President Obama is credited with being the first presidential candidate to seriously use social media to assist his election and re-election efforts but he’s also been a user of radio programs that target the urban audience.    SiriusXM talk radio star Joe Madison (whose program is also heard on terrestrial outlet WOL, Washington, DC) tells TALKERS magazine the president reached out to him early and often.  “His administration nurtured a relationship with black talk radio since he first took office.  I have had access to most members of his cabinet.  They have addressed issues related to the black community and the general population.  Contrast that with Romney’s campaign, we have not received a single news release or response to appear on my show.”  In fact, Madison will host the president on his radio show today.  Madison says he believes the get-out-the-vote effort targeted to black radio by the Obama campaign appears to be working.  “I believe the early voting we’ve seen in our community is due to black talk radio encouraging our audience to vote.  Yesterday in Dade County, Florida, voters were in line until 1:00 am.”

Report:  Actor John Cusack to Produce and Star in Film About Rush Limbaugh.  The Huffington Post reports that actor John Cusack’s company, New Crime Productions, is putting the finishing touches on the script of a movie about Rush Limbaugh tentatively titled “Rush.”  The story quotes actress/director Betty Thomas (who also directed Howard Stern’s “Private Parts”) saying she will direct and that production starts sometime next year.

NBC Sports Radio Names Stan Van Gundy NBA Senior Analyst.  The former head coach of the Orlando Magic joins the NBC Sports Radio network as senior analyst for the NBA.  Stan Van Gundy will call into network shows each week during the NBA season.  He’ll talk exclusively to NBC Sports Radio affiliates and co-host for an hour every Friday during the NBA season, on a show soon to be announced.  NBC Sports Ventures senior vice president Rob Simmelkjaer states, “We are thrilled to add one of the most respected and outspoken coaches in the NBA to the NBC Sports Radio roster.  Our listeners will get to enjoy Stan’s unique insight into events and storylines around the league on a weekly basis.”

 

KABC, Los Angeles’ Doug McIntyre Emcees Bennett Film Opening.  KABC, Los Angeles morning drive host Doug McIntyre had the opportunity to emcee the Los Angeles opening of the new Tony Bennett documentary titled, “The Zen of Bennett” before a sold-out crowd at the Landmark Theater.  McIntyre tells TALKERS, “The distributor of ‘The Zen of Bennett’ is a fan of the documentary I made with my wife, ‘Trying to Get Good: The Jazz Odyssey of Jack Sheldon.’  Since I had a background in music — specifically the Great American Songbook and jazz, and have a ton of experience doing these kind of interviews (Robert Redford, Betty White, etc.,) – he recommended me to Tony’s manager, Danny Bennett.  I had met Tony a number of times before but this was the first chance I had to really spend some time with him, a thrill for me, probably less so for Tony.”  McIntyre says the event was not a KABC promotion but the station did give away tickets to the premiere.

“Free Talk Live” Celebrates 10 Years on the Radio.  “Free Talk Live” – the evening and weekend independently syndicated talk program hosted by Ian Freeman and Mark Edge – celebrates its 10th anniversary.  Freeman writes, in a memo to affiliates and the industry, that the program began in Florida after a format change at the station at which he was working.  “In 2001, rock WYNF, Tampa flipped to hot talk and was using content from Orlando’s successful ‘Real Radio’ WTKS-FM as well as the other ‘Real Radio,’ WZZR-FM in West Palm Beach.  After a year of this, I approached management, Big Jim Davis and Ron White, and pitched the idea of a local show for the weekend.  I said we’d be willing to do it for free.  They gave us the green light and ‘Free Talk Live’ was born, at first on Sunday nights.  The response from the audience was so spectacular that it was within the first few weeks that we were asked to take over weeknights.  Clear Channel ended up flipping the format of the station back to rock in 2003, but FTL continued online, then on another station in town, then another, until I approached the Genesis Communications Network and asked them if they were looking for new programs.  We started in syndication as a weekend show and within a few weeks were offered weeknights.  Since then we have continued doing our live Saturday show (our most popular) and added a live Sunday show as well.   We’ve grown to over 110 AM/FM affiliates and are also heard all week on XM.”

Odds & Sods.  Former New Orleans Saints quarterback and current WWL, New Orleans PM drive co-host Bobby Hebert was ejected from the press box at Saturday’s LSU-Alabama game for ignoring warnings not to create a disturbance by cheering.  The Times-Picayune reports the press box was stuffed with 947 credentialed media people and police escorted Hebert out in the fourth quarter of LSU’s 21-17 loss…..Proving that she CAN hang with Democrats, on Friday night (11/2), KRLA, Los Angeles morning drive host Heidi Harris sang in the Barbra Streisand concert at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.  She was in the choir for “Make Our Garden Grow.”…..Kim Komando, host of the eponymous nationally syndicated weekend computer talk show is appointed to the Phoenix-located Musical Instrument Museum’s President’s Cabinet. The President’s Cabinet is comprised of Valley leaders who provide guidance and support to MIM’s president and director, Dr. Bill DeWalt.  Komando joins the ranks of other notable Phoenix-area business leaders and philanthropists and will assist MIM with furthering its mission.

WNIR, Akron Host Tom Erickson Mourned.  Talk show host Tom Erickson died on Saturday (11/3) after a long battle with peritonitis.  He was 58.  Erickson was the evening host on Media-Com’s WNIR, Akron.  He worked for nearly 30 years in the radio and television news end of the media business and became a talk show host at WNIR in 2001.  He was on medical leave to deal with his health issues and last appeared on the radio in early June.