Tag: "Fargo"

Thursday, December 10, 2020

| December 10, 2020

Longtime KFGO, Fargo Personality Bob Harris in Coma Battling COVID-19. According to a story posted on KFGO, Fargo’s website, station personality Bob Harris is in a coma suffering from the effects of COVID-19 at a Fargo hospital where he’s been since Thanksgiving. The piece notes that Harris – who hosts the “Nighttime Live” show and the “Harris Happenings” podcast – went to the hospital after experiencing shortness of breath. Harris’ sister Jeanie Smith says Harris has suffered two cardiac arrest events, but doctors say the pneumonia he’d been suffering has improved and there’s no indication that he’s suffered a stroke or brain damage. She says if he does not regain consciousness soon, he will undergo an MRI.

Christmas Special Available from ‘Our American Stories.’ For news/talk stations seeking quality holiday programming, Lee Habeeb’s American Private Radio is offering a multiple-hour “Our American Stories Christmas Holiday Radio Special,” featuring “behind-the-stories of our most cherished traditions, plus some extra special stories designed to warm the hearts and spirits of listeners everywhere.” APR says that in addition to the Friday, December 25 two-hour special edition of “Our American Stories,” several extra hours will also be made available to stations looking to expand their holiday programming (via FTP download). No contracts required. If you’d like more information, email Affiliates@Oanetwork.org
or call 855-276-8020.

Salem Names David Cruz VP of New Latino-Targeted Salem Si. Broadcasting pro David Cruz is joining Salem Media Group as vice president of Salem Si – a new digital streaming platform scheduled to launch in January that’s focused on the nation’s Latino market. Cruz began his career with Spanish International Network, the predecessor to Univision. He worked in various news capacities with ABCCBS, and NBC television network stations and became anchor of the nation’s first syndicated, bilingual news talk program for CNN Spanish Radio and Radio Centro in Latin America. Most recently, Cruz served with iHeartMedia in Los Angeles hosting a talk show on news/talk KFI and KEIB and as director of corporate and community partnerships in emerging markets. Salem broadcast media president David Santrella says, “We are very excited that David and Salem have entered into this collaboration that promises to reach and serve the youngest and fastest growing audience demographic in the United States. The challenges presented by COVID-19 have only accelerated the shift in listening patterns by Latinos who are seeking timely, relevant, and accurate information live and on-demand. David’s extensive background as one of the country’s established and well-known Latino broadcast network journalists makes him the ideal person to lead this new digital initiative with Salem Media Group.”

Heritage Foundation Honors Rush Limbaugh with Award; Names Studio After Him. Conservative Washington, DC think tank The Heritage Foundation presented Premiere Networks nationally syndicated talk radio superstar Rush Limbaugh with its inaugural “Titan of Conservatism Award” during the organization’s annual President’s Club Meeting. In addition, the Heritage Foundation will honor Limbaugh by naming its new, state-of-the-art studios the Rush Limbaugh Radio Studios “to ensure his legacy continues to shape future generations.” Heritage Foundation president Kay C. James states, “If there was a ‘Conservative Hall of Fame,’ Rush would no doubt be a first-ballot entry. From behind the golden EIB microphone, he inspired millions of Americans to cherish our God-given rights and freedoms and the country and Constitution that serve to protect them. Rush helped bring the conservative movement together three hours a day for a family meeting, he helped everyday Americans realize they were conservative, and he brought millions of new people into the conservative movement. The extraordinary reach of his #1-rated radio talk show has allowed him to attract listeners with his common sense, everyday-language explanations of why conservatism works and how every American benefits because of it. The conservative movement simply wouldn’t be where it is today without the venerable Rush Limbaugh.

Armstrong & Getty Add Affiliates in Alaska and Nebraska. The KSTE-AM, Sacramento-based talk radio show “Armstrong & Getty” – co-hosted by Jack Armstrong and Joe Getty – adds two new affiliate stations as Alpha Media’s news/talk KFOR, Lincoln, Nebraska and KFQD, Anchorage, Alaska agree to add the program to their lineups. KFQD content director Joe Campbell says, “Too much of the dial is dedicated to hardline opinion and ‘picking a side.’ We’re chopping the audience up into too many camps. It shouldn’t be about left or right, but rather entertaining the listener. Joe and Jack are a couple of guys you just want to hang out and have a drink with. They’re capable of serious political discussion, but it’s always entertaining and genuine. Armstrong & Getty just get it. I’m excited to have them on-board at KFQD.” Armstrong & Getty comment, “We’re really grateful that Alpha has invited us to join the team. We’re not beltway pundits. We’re Middle-American guys with families who are just trying to bring a little perspective, honesty, and humor to the day’s events. We’re patriots more than we’re partisans.”

Cherry Creek Media and CreativeReady Announce Deal. The audio creative firm CreativeReady and Cherry Creek Media announce a new partnership that will allow all 50 Cherry Creek radio stations to use CreativeReady’s on-demand creative assets. Cherry Creek CEO Jonathan Brewster says, “CCM is always working to provide our markets with the tools needed to help clients thrive. The CreativeReady platform will really help us deliver outstanding creative strategies for clients and improve efficiencies within our stations.” CreativeReady founder and CEO Jamie Alpin comments, “We believe the key to a successful seller/client relationship is in developing longterm creative ad strategies. It’s about giving the client our very best and the Cherry Creek culture aligns with that mindset perfectly. They have an outstanding reputation for going above and beyond for their clients and we couldn’t be happier with this partnership.”

COVID-19 Stats/Vaccines, Holiday Travel/Family Get-Togethers, Trump’s Fraud Claims, Feds & States Sue Facebook, Biden Transition, Georgia Runoff Elections, and Hunter Biden Investigation Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/9). The sharply rising number of positive COVID-19 cases in the U.S, the death toll, and the timetable for distributing vaccines; the warning from the CDC about traveling during the holidays and having large family get-togethers; Donald Trump’s continuing insistence on election fraud; the federal government and 48 states file anti-trust charges against Facebook; Joe Biden’s transition process; the January runoff elections for Georgia’s two U.S. Senate seats; and the federal investigation into Hunter Biden’s tax reporting from his overseas business endeavors were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Grace Curley Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  Rising millennial talk radio star, Grace Curley is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” At 28, this multi-media conservative commentator is already known to thousands of New England radio listeners, newspaper readers, and podcast fans for her solid presence and longtime media accomplishments in the six-state region. She has successfully served as executive producer and on-air co-host for the regionally syndicated “Howie Carr Show” since 2014. She is a weekly columnist for the Boston Herald writing about media, politics, and popular culture. She is also the producer for “Dirty Rats” – a highly successful true crime podcast hosted by Howie Carr. And now she’s ready to become a major news/talk radio host in her own right as the Howie Carr Radio Network will be launching her into regional and potentially national syndication beginning January 4, 2021 and they’ve already gained an important clearance on the legendary WRKO, Boston in the daily 12:15 pm to 3:00 pm timeslot which serves as lead-in to the mega-popular Howie Carr show. Having followed her growth as an evolving media figure over the years, Michael Harrison states, “This outstanding young woman dazzles with millennial energy and across-the-board charm!” Harrison and Curley discuss the strong and productive relationship that has developed between her and her mentor, Howie Carr. They also talk about what it’s like being a young, female conservative commentator in liberal Massachusetts as well as Curley’s observations about the nature of today’s rapidly maturing millennial demographic. Check it out and be prepared to meet a fresh, exciting new talk radio voice. To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. For classic rock stations seeking Christmas programming, Compass Media Networks is presenting the 25th annual “Uncle Joe’s Rockin’ Christmas Show.” The program is a four-hour show full of classic rock Christmas songs, exclusive artist interviews and stories. Contact Doug Ingold 310-242-8746 or at dingold@compassmedianetworks.com…..iHeartRadio Canada announces the first live international launch of “The Bobby Bones Show” on CIMX-FM, Windsor, Ontario “PURE COUNTRY 89” that also serves the Detroit market, effective December 14.

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

| November 10, 2020

iHeartMedia Third Quarter Revenue Down 22%. The earnings report from iHeartMedia for the third quarter of 2020 shows the media company in a slightly better situation than some of its similar-sized competitors as revenue was $744 million, a decrease of 22% over the same period in 2019. (Cumulus Media and Entercom were both down 30% and Beasley was down 25%.) iHeartMedia says that its third quarter revenue was up “53% sequentially, moving from down 47% [year-over-year] in Q2 to down 22% [year-over-year] in Q3. The company adds that October revenue increased 2%, benefitting from significant political advertising and digital revenue increased 17% [year-over-year]. Breaking the report down by segment, broadcast revenue declined 29% from $573 million in Q3 2019 to $404 million this year but increased 66% quarter-over-quarter. Networks revenue declined 26% from $160 million to $119 million but increased 24% quarter-over-quarter. Digital revenue increased 17%, from $97 million to $113 million, led by a 74% increase in podcasting revenue. iHeartMedia posted a loss of $32 million in the third quarter of 2020 compared to the net income of $12 million in Q3 of 2019.

iHM’s Pittman: Podcasting Already Profitable for Us. During yesterday’s investors conference call, iHeartMedia CEO Bob Pittman explained the success of its podcasting segment. He said, “Podcasting continues to be our strongest performing business line, reflecting the fact that we built iHeart into the number one commercial podcast publisher in America, with 252 million downloads a month as of September, which is up 71% year-over-year. In Q3, as measured by Podtrac, we were number one in downloads each month. Our audience continues to be more than twice the size of the next largest commercial podcaster. And we extend that our lead over all other ranked podcasters. Let me share with you our model. We partner with the best content creators in the world – some of whom are our very own radio talent – distribute their content to the largest audience possible without a paywall, and use the unparalleled scale of our broadcast radio business as a built-in marketing machine to drive engagement with our podcast shows. We feel this is an important part of our secret sauce. It’s how we continue to build hit podcast after hit podcast, and how we continue to grow our leadership position. According to Podtrac’s latest data, not only are we number one overall, but we currently have the most shows featured across all categories, and we have ranked shows featured in all 19 possible categories, the most among all publishers. Let me be clear, podcasting is already a profitable business for us, and has an EBITDA margin that is higher than the overall company margin. Our podcast business is advertiser supported, it’s not subscription based, and it’s not behind a paywall, which enables our creators to share their passion with the widest audience possible, as we distribute their podcast not only on the iHeartRadio app, but across as many other distribution platforms as possible.”

Entercom Closes on $32 Million Acquisition of QL Gaming Group. According to a press release, Entercom Communications’ acquisition of sports data and iGaming affiliate platform QL Gaming Group will give Entercom “unrivaled data, analytics, and insight-driven content to Entercom’s best-in-class sports broadcast stations, influential podcasts, and RADIO.COM.” The QLGG technology portfolio includes sports betting data and analytical capabilities (BetQL), daily fantasy sports (RotoQL), simulation-based sports outcome predictions and game forecasting (AccuScore), and comprehensive analytical coverage of the ATP and WTA Tours (TennisInsight.com), each with respective subscriber base and licensing opportunities. Entercom president and CEO David Field says, “As the sports betting marketplace continues to grow exponentially, the acquisition of QL Gaming Group is a perfect fit for our unrivaled sports audio platform. Integrating QL’s analytics and content with our sports brands enables us to deliver unparalleled experiences for sports fans. The acquisition builds on our track record of digital growth and further enhances our direct-to-consumer technology portfolio with data and analytics capabilities, while also adding an innovative new subscription offering to our platform.” Justin Park, QLGG co-founder and CEO, will continue to lead the business reporting to Entercom president of sports Mike Dee and Entercom chief digital officer J.D. Crowley. Entercom adds that in 2021, under the company’s first full year of ownership, QL Gaming Group is expected to generate approximately $12 million in revenue with an EBITDA margin in the high 20s.

Flag Family Media Partners with Forum Communications to Operate WDAY-AM, Fargo. A deal between Flag Family Media and Forum Communications will give the former “an extensive role in WDAY-AM’s day-to-day operations and provides an eventual path to ownership.” Flag Family Media owns news/talk outlets WZFG, Fargo “AM 1100 The Flag” KTGO, Tioga, North Dakota “AM 1090 The Flag.” Both of Flag Family Media’s principals – Steve Hallstrom and Scott Hennen – have worked at WDAY-AM in the past. Forum president and CEO Bill Marcil, Jr says, “This partnership allows us to focus our attention on our in-depth TV, digital, and print news operations while still sustaining a strong local radio presence in the region. We know Flag Family Media will honor the legacy of WDAY-AM and are looking forward to seeing how they transform our region’s radio experience.” Scott Hennen adds, “This is an extremely significant day for our company, and we look forward to learning from, and working with, some great professionals at WDAY Radio. Steve and I can’t wait to roll up our sleeves and bring some energy and creativity to this legendary radio station.”

WOR, New York’s Michael Riedel Publishes New Broadway Book. WOR, New York morning drive co-host Michael Riedel has released his second book, Singular Sensation: The Triumph of Broadway (Avid Reader Press/Simon & Schuster, 2020), that chronicles “a transformative decade on Broadway, featuring gripping behind-the-scenes accounts of shows such as Rent, Angels in America, Chicago, The Lion King, and The Producers. In this book, Riedel presents the drama behind every mega-hit or shocking flop, bringing readers into high-stakes premieres, fraught rehearsals, tough contract negotiations, intense Tony Award battles, and more. From the bitter feuds to the surprising collaborations, all the intrigue of a revolutionary era in the Theater District is packed into Singular Sensation. Broadway has triumphs and disasters, but the show always goes on. Riedel, who co-hosts the WOR morning show with Len Berman, says, “I’m a newspaper guy who’s become a radio guy. It’s been my great pleasure to host the morning show with Len Berman on WOR for nearly three years. Len spent his life in sports. I spent mine on Broadway. We certainly talk a lot about politics and current events, but variety is the spice of life, so sports and Broadway are always in the mix. Broadway’s going through a tough time right now, but my book, recounts a better time – the 1990s. I have no doubt that Broadway will be back one day, and Len and I will be there to cheer it on.”

TALKERS News Notes. As eyes and ears shift to Georgia for the January 5 runoff elections to decide that state’s two U.S. Senate races, Salem Radio Network talk host Mike Gallagher’s syndicated late morning talk show will “parachute into Georgia in December” as he launches a “Save The Senate” initiative. Gallagher will use Salem’s WGKA-AM, Atlanta “AM920 The ANSWER” as his December base to follow what promises to be the most expensive runoff election in U.S. history. Gallagher says, “This pair of runoff elections in Georgia will be enormously consequential for America. I’m eager to originate my show from the studios of ‘AM 920 The ANSWER’ in Atlanta for a number of days in December, highlighting the dramatic differences between the Republicans and the Democrats in the race. It is all-hands-on-deck for Georgia!”…..The Cincinnati Enquirer reports that Cincinnati Public Radio’s WVXU-FM had to shut down its operations after a staffer tested positive for COVID-19. As a result, the station is without much local content until further notice. It posted to its website: “Our programming is being provided through a national feed with limited local information. We apologize for this inconvenience and are doing everything possible to maintain the service you expect. We will return to normal operations as quickly as it is safe to do so.”…..Cumulus Media’s Westwood One is presenting the 2020 Masters Tournament with exclusive hole-by-hole coverage beginning Thursday (11/12) through Sunday (11/15). The 84th Masters Tournament from Augusta National Golf Club is being played in November for the first time…..San Francisco public news/talk personality Michael Krasny is retiring from his position with KQED-FM where he’s been host of the late morning “Forum” program for almost 30 years. His last program will be on February 15, 2021. He says, “I want to thank all of the listeners, guests and exceptional colleagues I’ve had the great fortune to encounter over the years as host of Forum. I’ve been unusually fortunate to sustain such a long career serving the Bay Area in a role that allows me to participate in such rich and thoughtful conversations about the topics of our times.”

Biden Transition Process/Trump Refuses to Concede, Barr Orders ‘Irregularities’ Investigations, COVID-19 Stats & Projections, Pfizer Vaccine, SCOTUS Obamacare Case, Trump Fires Esper, and Georgia Runoff Elections Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/9). President-Elect Joe Biden proceeds with the transition process while President Trump refuses to concede the election; Attorney General Bill Barr orders Justice Department election crimes office to investigate voter “irregularities”; the fast-rising number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and in Europe and projections for fall and winter cases; Pfizer announces its COVID vaccine is 90% effective; the Supreme Court begins hearing arguments on the Affordable Care Act; President Trump fires Defense Secretary Mark Esper and appoints Christopher Miller acting secretary; and the January runoff elections for Georgia’s two U.S. Senate seats were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Country radio on-air pro Brooke Taylor is named midday host at iHeartMedia’s WSIX-FM, Nashville “The BIG 98.” Taylor was most recently with the company’s Chicago country station “BIG 95.5” until that station’s recent flip to a rock format. Taylor will continue to host the night show for iHeartMedia Denver’s “107.7 The Bull” and broadcast on several iHeartCountry stations across the country. She says, “When I set out to work in country music, one of the first things I prayed for was to be in Nashville one day, and the fact that this is becoming a reality is honestly a dream come true. I can’t wait to join an already incredible team at ‘The BIG 98’ and to represent the iHeartCountry brand.”…..Alpha Media Lincoln names Joe Dobbins, a.k.a. JDub, content director for CHR KFRX. JDub comes to Lincoln from Alpha’s CHR WDJX, Louisville where he was content director and afternoon show host. Alpha Media Lincoln operations manager Rob Kelley comments, “Joe is an outstanding programmer with outstanding vision. He is the perfect leader for our staff and for the brand of a great heritage CHR like KFRX.”…..iHeartMedia’s nationally syndicated “The Breakfast Club” announces that its fourth annual #Change4Change broadcast will feature a day of giving to help listeners in need. Traditionally a radiothon, this year’s event will grant wishes to listeners experiencing hardship. #Change4Change will broadcast on Thursday, November 19, 2020 on hip hop WWPR, New York “Power 105.1” and across more than 77 affiliates of “The Breakfast Club.”…..WXKB, Fort Myers “B103.9FM” morning personality and Army veteran Jason “Big Mama” Jones, in conjunction with ABC 7, raising awareness and support for Home Base Southwest Florida Veteran and Family Care on Veterans Day (11/11). Jones also hosts Beasley Media Group’s “Bravery Network,” a weekend program dedicated to shining a light on important issues and services available for veterans and their families. He says, “I am very excited about this partnership. Being able to use the power of radio and television to help raise awareness and money for the veterans of Southwest Florida. I am planning some ‘star’-studded guest for the day that will not only make show informative but very entertaining as well.”…..The CHR evening show “Party LiveLine!” partners with Sun Broadcast Group effective immediately. The program was created by John Garabedian and his hosted by Mason Kelter. SBG chief development officer Rich O’Brien says, “Broadcasters are worried about the loss of TSL among 18-34-year-olds, who spend extraordinary amounts of time with streaming services on their mobile devices. Add to this the negative effects which RIFs and voicetracking have had on the ratings of Top 40 stations, and until now there were no good alternatives. That’s why we are so excited to be offering this breakthrough Top 40 night show which is 100% live and interactive.”

Friday, October 16, 2020

| October 16, 2020

NOW POSTED:  This Weekend’s Installment of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.” The latest installment of the vibrant, one-hour weekend special, “The Michael Harrison Wrap,” that looks back each week at the hottest topics discussed in American talk media per the research of TALKERS magazine, is now posted. This new episode titled, “Hugging and Slugging!” looks back at this past week of October 12 – October 16, 2020.  The program features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS; Alan Stock, talk show host/commentator, KXNT, Las Vegas; Thom Hartmann, talk show host, WYD Media; Steve Weisman, professor of law, Bentley University, Boston/founder, Scamicide.com; Frank Morano, talk show host, WABC, New York; Richard Neer, talk show host, WFAN, New York. This acclaimed news/talk radio show airs each week on its flagship, WONK-FM, Washington, DC, Friday evenings at 6:00 pm ET. It also airs throughout the weekend on WTIC, Hartford; KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA; KDFD, Denver “Freedom 93.7”; KFNX, Phoenix; WVLY, Wheeling, WV; WTRW-FM, Scranton/Wilkes Barre, PA; WVOX, Westchester, NY; KBDT, Dallas; KQSP, Minneapolis; KBKW, Aberdeen, WA; WGDJ, Albany, NY;  WJFN-FM, Richmond, VA; WZFG, Fargo; KTGO, Tioga, ND; KWAM, Memphis; K-NEWS, San Luis Obispo; WCHM, Clarkesville, GA;  WPHM, Port Huron, MI; KSYL, Alexandria, LA; KTOE, Mankato, MN; WCED, DuBois, PA “Connect FM”; K-NEWS 101.3, Owensboro, KY; WWTK, Sebring, FL; the Virginia Talk Radio NetworkCRN Digital Talk Radio Network; Pioneer Valley Radio, Springfield, MA; Podcast Radio, UK and many more.  To listen to this week ’s episode, please click here. To view the latest TALKERS magazine topic research, please click here.  “The Michael Harrison Wrap” is now available in syndication via Talk Media Network to stations across America on a market exclusive basis. For affiliation information, please click here or call 616-884-8616.

Jack Heath Exits WGIR-AM, Manchester, NH. A brief story in the New Hampshire Union Leader indicates that radio talk show host Jack Heath has exited iHeartMedia’s WGIR-AM, Manchester, New Hampshire and his daily “NH Today” morning program. Heath said goodbye to his listeners at the end of his show and posted the following message to his Facebook page: “I have been honored and humbled to host the show for nearly 7 plus years there. I am especially grateful to the listeners for being there and proud of the work I was able to do to help NH’s great nonprofits and advocate for our veterans — a mission I will continue. This is not a goodbye but a thank you for now. Until we talk again, thanks…Stay tuned. JH.”

KFGO, Fargo’s Joel Heitkamp Positive for COVID-19. A report from the Associated Press indicates that KFGO-AM, Fargo “The Mighty 790” talk show host Joel Heitkamp has tested positive for COVID-19. The story notes that Heitkamp says he began experiencing symptoms last weekend and says he’s “lost his sense of taste and smell and is experiencing body aches.” He’s self-quarantining and still doing his radio program remotely. He told listeners, “I am in a part of the process where it’s certainly after talking with people in the medical field, it certainly looks as though I’m going to be one of the lucky ones in terms of how this has infected me, in terms of how I’m going to feel throughout this process, not going to feel good, not going to feel great.”

SRN’s Sebastian Gorka Has Twitter Account Locked After Biden Post. According to a story published at Breitbart, Salem Radio Network talk show host Sebastian Gorka has been locked out of his Twitter account after posting a photo of Hunter Biden in the bathtub smoking a cigarette and the text, “Why did @FBI take the Biden laptop and do nothing?” Gorka received a message from Twitter saying he’d been locked out for violating the rules and said he must delete the tweets that violate the rules. It’s not clear what rules were broken in the tweet. While appearing on SiriusXM with Breitbart’s Alex Marlow, Gorka said to listeners, “This is America in 2020. The FBI did nothing when they had evidence of crimes, and when I want to talk about it as an American citizen to you and the Breitbart listeners, my account was locked. We are here. We have arrived. 1984 wasn’t fiction, and they want to steal an election again, and I just don’t mean social media, I mean authorities that can burst through your front door at 4:00 am with a warrant like they did to Roger Stone.”

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai Promises to ‘Clarify Ambiguity’ in Section 230. Saying that he’s moving in response to concerns from members of all three branches of the federal government, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai says he’ll proceed with a rulemaking to clarify Section 230 of the Communications Act that explains the immunity from legal responsibility that digital platforms enjoy with regard to their content. Pai says, “The U.S. Department of Commerce has petitioned the Commission to ‘clarify ambiguities in section 230.’  And earlier this week, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas pointed out that courts have relied upon ‘policy and purpose arguments to grant sweeping protections to Internet platforms’ that appear to go far beyond the actual text of the provision. As elected officials consider whether to change the law, the question remains: What does Section 230 currently mean? Many advance an overly broad interpretation that in some cases shields social media companies from consumer protection laws in a way that has no basis in the text of Section 230.  The Commission’s General Counsel has informed me that the FCC has the legal authority to interpret Section 230. Consistent with this advice, I intend to move forward with a rulemaking to clarify its meaning. Throughout my tenure at the Federal Communications Commission, I have favored regulatory parity, transparency, and free expression.  Social media companies have a First Amendment right to free speech. But they do not have a First Amendment right to a special immunity denied to other media outlets, such as newspapers and broadcasters.”

Amy Coney Barrett Confirmation Hearings Top News/Talk Story for Week of October 12-16. The confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett were the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was a four-way tie between the presidential race, Thursday night’s dueling town halls, balloting issues, and scandals & accusations. Coming in at #3 was COVID-19 statistics and projections plus high-profile COVID patients, followed by health care, meds, and protective measures 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. See this week’s complete chart here.

ASU Student Rae’Lee Klein Sues School on Free Speech Grounds. In September, Rae’Lee Klein was removed from her position as manager of Arizona State University’s student radio station Blaze Radio. This came in the aftermath of Klein’s tweet related to the shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin. In the tweet, Klein said, “Always more to the story, folks. Please read this article to get the background of Jacob Blake’s warrant. You’ll be quite disgusted.” Her attorney, Jack Wilenchik, tells Downtown Devil, “We’re suing because she’s not the station manager. She’s been constructively terminated (and) they’re not letting her do her job. They are discriminating against her based on her exercise of free speech by taking that away.” Klein has been effectively removed from her position but she’s still being paid by the school. According to media and constitutional law specialist David J. Bodney, whom Downtown Devil communicated with for the story, “There was no First Amendment violation here, and Ms. Klein’s claims are meritless. ASU and the Cronkite School have deep and abiding commitments to free speech and excellence in journalism, and this lawsuit disregards an array of facts that show just how baseless these claims really are.” Bodney added that Klein’s conduct post-Tweet is evidence she’s is no longer able to lead Blaze Radio and that the university did not terminate her employment. Bodney also says that Klein was offered other opportunities, such as starting her own radio station with support from the university, all of which she rejected.

TALKERS News Notes. The most recent Westwood One Blog post reveals data from Nielsen Audio’s national consumer study of 1,000 respondents (conducted October 1-5) that tracks the pandemic’s impact on consumer movement, spending, attitudes, and media usage. Some of the conclusions drawn include: 1) There is a 56% increase in the number of Americans working outside the home. Nielsen reports 61% of U.S. workers are now commuting to their workplace, up from 39% in early May; 2) Half of American schoolchildren are driven to school with AM/FM radio playing in the car. 50% say their children are driven to school (3% carpool, 47% parent/family member). 44% of American schoolchildren are taking the bus. 62% indicate that AM/FM radio is always on, and 35% say AM/FM radio is sometimes on in the car; and 3) The economy will affect holiday shopping, but AM/FM radio listeners will spend more than the average. A greater proportion of heavy AM/FM radio listeners say they will spend more this holiday (14%) versus heavy TV viewers (10%) and the overall market (10%). Read the full post  here…..Podcast producer Lipstick & Vinyl announces the third season of “The Double Shift,” that explores the challenges working moms face every day. The new season focuses on the disruptive impact of the coronavirus on families, how that disproportionally disrupts moms’ careers, and how to navigate that. Creator and host Katherine Goldstein says, “We’re in an acute crisis at this moment. 865,000 women have left or been forced to leave the workforce between August and September. Many of those women are moms. The lack of structured family and childcare programs that we’ve talked about on ‘The Double Shift’ are more glaringly missing than ever before.”…..Syndicated Solutions, Inc announces that its national travel radio show “RMWorldTravel with Robert & Mary Carey and Rudy Maxa” has successfully surpassed another affiliation milestone and is now heard on more than 440 radio stations across the USA and Canada.  The Careys say, “Since the pandemic has disrupted our nation and the world back in March, ‘RMWorldTravel’ has added about 30 new affiliates and additional new sponsors, underscoring the importance of all aspects of the travel world in our daily lives.”

Outstanding Sales Opportunities. New York’s next media star is wanted at two power-packed stations. Salem Media New York, part of a nationwide media conglomerate, wants to hire two fabulous sellers who can rise to the top! Opportunity is limitless. We are looking for quality, regardless of current time in selling. Respond by dropping a note to Jerry.Crowley@Salem.cc.

Friday, May 1, 2020

| May 1, 2020

NOW POSTED:  New Installment of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.”   The vibrant, one-hour weekend special, “The Michael Harrison Wrap,” that looks back each week at the hottest topics discussed in American talk media per the research of TALKERS magazine, is now posted.  The new episode titled “Living in a Ghost Town” looks back at this past week of April 27-May 1, 2020 and features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS;  Scott Hennen, talk show host, WZFG, Fargo, ND / WTGO, Tioga, ND / KFYR, Bismarck, ND / KTLC, Dickenson, ND; Graham Mack, talk show host, Podcast Radio, UK; Michael Zwerling, talk show host / station owner, KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA; Glenn Beck, talk show host, Premiere Networks; and Victoria Jones, executive director, DC Radio Company. This acclaimed news/talk radio show airs each week on its flagship, WONK-FM, Washington, DC, Friday evenings at 6:00 pm ET. It also airs throughout the weekend on WRKO, Boston; KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA; KDFD (“Freedom 93.7”), Denver; KFNX, Phoenix; WVLY, Wheeling, WV; WVOX, Westchester, NY; KBDT, Dallas; KQSP, Minneapolis; KBKW, Aberdeen, WA; WGDJ, Albany, NY;  WJFN-FM, Richmond, VA; WZFG, Fargo; KTGO, Tioga, ND; WPHM, Port Huron, MI; KSYL, Alexandria, LA; the Virginia Talk Radio Network and Pioneer Valley Radio in Springfield, MA.  To listen to this week’s episode (and the program’s complete archives), please click here.  To view the latest TALKERS magazine topic research, please click here.  “The Michael Harrison Wrap” is now available in syndication via Talk Media Network to stations across America on a market exclusive basis. For affiliation information, please click here or call 616-884-8616.

Smart Audio Report: Half of 18-34s Consuming More News and Information. Among the results of The Smart Audio Report Spring 2020 from Edison Research and NPR (based upon a national telephone survey of 1,002 U.S. adults age 18 and older, conducted December 31, 2019 through January 5, 2020, and a national online survey of 1,660 U.S. adults age 18 and older, conducted March 31, 2020 through April 1, 2020) is that “77% of those in the U.S. age 18+ are experiencing a change in their typical routine due to the outbreak of COVID-19 as of April 1, and voice-assistant usage has expanded during these disruptions.”  Smart Speaker ownership has reached 24% of the 18+ U.S. population. The study concluded: 1) 36% of U.S. adult smart speaker owners say they are using their device more to listen to music and entertainment since the outbreak, and 2) 52% of 18-34-year-olds say the same; 3) 35% of U.S. adult smart speaker owners are listening to more news and information since the COVID-19 outbreak, and 4) 50% of those ages 18-34 say the same. See more about the study here.

iHeartMedia Creates ‘Small Business Crisis Resource.’ This new initiative from iHeartMedia is designed to help local, small business owners across the country easily find available benefits and resources during the COVID-19 pandemic. “Small Business Crisis Resource” serves as a centralized source for small business owners and includes a weekly iHeart Small Business newsletter and a website providing critical information on the Federal stimulus package, up-to-date small business news, state by state resources, links to top business-focused podcasts and more at iHeartRadio.com/SmallBusiness and SmallBusinessCrisisResource.com. Small business owners can also sign up for special webinars, kicking off this Monday, May 4 featuring iHeartRadio’s Elvis Duran joining senior officials from the U.S. Small Business Administration to discuss ways small businesses can find assistance and vital information. iHeartMedia Markets Group COO Hartley Adkins says, “At iHeart, our focus continues to be about serving our local communities, including the small businesses that support many residents. We also know that studies show business owners look to radio as their trusted news source more than any other medium, so we want to do everything we can to ensure that these businesses have the important information they need to survive and get through this pandemic as best they can.”

Stephan Multimedia Off to Rocking Start on Four-Day ‘Feeding America Emergency Radiothon.’ Beginning yesterday (4/30) and running through the weekend, Doug Stephan’s Stephan Multimedia national radio programs began a four-day “Feeding America Emergency Radiothon,” to help fight hunger resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. Doug Stephan says, “With more than 37 million of our neighbors struggling with hunger right now, we answered the call to join forces with RadioCares.org on this project. Within the first several hours, more than $176,000 was raised.” The Radiothon continues on the daily “Doug, Jenn and Victoria Show,” and weekend shows “The Talk Radio Countdown,” “Good Day Health” and “The American Family Farmer.” The combined programs are heard on more than 400 radio stations.

COVID-19 Statistics and Projections Top News/Talk Story for Week of April 27-May 1. The latest tally of confirmed COVID-19 cases, the death toll across the U.S., and projections of future infections were the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was the state of health care system and its resources to fight the coronavirus. Coming in at #3 this week was the economy and the issue of lives vs livelihoods, followed by the presidential race, politics, and the #MeToo movement 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. See this week’s entire chart here.

Cumulus to Sell Albany, Georgia Station Group. The five-station cluster in Albany, Gerogia includes news/talk WALG-AM, country WKAK-FM, rock WJAD-FM, adult contemporary WEGC-FM, and urban AC WQVE-FM and Cumulus Media is selling it to First Media Services for $450,000.  First Media Services, owned by Rick Lambert and Charles Spencer, also owns stations in Bluefield, West Virginia.

TALKERS News Notes. Copywriter Scott Dahl is the winner of the 13th Annual Dead Radio Contest in which a radio script that was rejected by the client or not green-lighted for some other reason is produced. The contest is sponsored by boutique radio agency Oink Ink Radio. Dahl works for Periscope and the winning script was “Homemade Easy: Call” written for Schwan’s Home Service. Normally, the winner receives an all-expense paid weekend trip to a recording session in NYC with Oink Ink to witness their beloved spot being revived.  But COVID-19 prevented that so Oink Ink moved forward and produced the spot remotely. To hear “Homemade Easy: Call” and for more information about Oink Ink’s Dead Radio contest, click here…..There’s more speculation about the future of air personality Will Cain with ESPN Radio – this time from the Washington Post.  Last week, the New York Post’s Andrew Marchand wrote about possible changes at ESPN. The Washington Post’s piece also reports that Cain will leave ESPN and return to FOX News where he’ll appear on FOX News Channel and the digital platform FOX Nation…..Entercom announces that it will report its 2020 first quarter financial results before the market opens on Thursday, May 14. It will host a conference call and simultaneous webcast at 10:00 am ET that morning to review the results and recent progress against its strategic initiatives…..Longtime Milwaukee and Houston radio personality and programmer Mike Elliott died on April 20 at age 82 after contracting pneumonia. Elliott worked in a number heritage stations – WGST-AM, Atlanta; WASH, Washington; and WIOD-AM, Miami – before landing at WTMJ-AM, Milwaukee in 1974.  He would work in the market at WISN-AM, WZTR, and WLUM during his career.  He also handled Houston Astros play-by-play on KENR-AM and anchored sports on Milwaukee’s WTMJ-TV.  He retired from his last gig with WBWI, West Bend, Wisconsin in 2005.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In addition to his recent appointment as director of programming for Westwood One’s country programming, Paul Williams is also being charged with serving as program director for country WKDF-FM, Nashville. Williams was most recently vice president of marketing & artist development for Reviver Entertainment Group in Nashville. Williams says, “What a unique opportunity to lead a radio station in a community you have lived in for over 14 years in one of the craziest times in history.  We’re going to get through this with our Tennessee neighbors then rebound together with music, hope, fun, and the larger-than-life Volunteer State spirit.”…..Waterloo Media’s adult contemporary KGSR-FM, Austin “STAR 93.3” adds the nationally syndicated “Brooke & Jeffrey” show to the station’s weekday lineup for morning drive. Brooke Fox says, “We couldn’t be more excited to be part of Waterloo Media’s Austin team! [Program director] Krash Kelly’s energy, expertise and leadership at ‘STAR 93.3’ is a real dream for us. This partnership could not be better matched and we can’t wait to get on air to start killing it together.”…..Radio Power’s urban contemporary WAMO-AM/WW297BU “107.3 The Beat” announces that Premiere Networks’ “Big Boy’s Neighborhood” is taking over the morning drive daypart effective Monday (5/4).

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

| August 20, 2019

WGAU, Athens Debuts Erick Erickson Midday Show. Back in April, WSB-AM, Atlanta afternoon drive talk show host Erick Erickson announced he was planning to launch a midday talk radio show based at Cox Media Group’s WGAU-AM/W254CJ, Athens, Georgia.  That has become a reality with his new show now airing from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon, following the station’s morning drive program and leading into Premiere NetworksRush Limbaugh program.  Back in April, Erickson said he believes that local news outlets are failing to give enough attention to Georgia news and the drive time shows focus too much on the national political scene.  Erickson hopes to syndicate the new show to other talk stations in Georgia.  He is continuing to host his 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm program on WSB-AM.

Darren Smith Co-Hosts Nightly Show on KOGO, San Diego.  San Diego sports talk personality Darren Smith – who just started his new midday gig with iHeartMedia’s sports talk KLSD-AM “XTRA 1360” – is delving into news/talk with the company’s sister KOGO-AM.  Smith is co-hosting an hour-long 7:00 pm program with “KOGO Evening News” anchor Jack Cronin titled, “Not Sports.”  Smith was a longtime sports talk host on former sports talk XEPRS-AM “The Mighty 1090.”  This addition to the KOGO program schedule pushed the Chris Merrill-hosted “KOGO at Night” back to an 8:00 pm start.

KGME-AM, Phoenix Adds ‘Roc & Manuch’ to Weekday Lineup. Phoenix sports talk duo “Roc & Manuch” – Mike “Roc” Muraco (left) and Dan “Manuch” Manucci (right) – are joining iHeartMedia’s sports talk KGME-AM “Fox Sports 910” to host the 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm daypart, effective September 3.  The two have been on the air in the Phoenix market for more than 15 years, including on KQFN-AM “1580 The Fanatic” and KDUS-AM “NBC Sports Radio.”  The program is being produced by Chris Schubert.  iHeartMedia Phoenix market president Linda Little says, “We’re excited to add ‘Roc & Manuch’ to our expanding local lineup on ‘Fox Sports 910.’ With over 15 years of experience in Phoenix, Roc and Manuch bring with them a vast knowledge of local sports.”

Fargo Sports Anchor Dom Izzo Launching Talk Show.  In Fargo, WDAY-TV sports reporter and anchor Dom Izzo is leaving his 6:00 pm and 10:00 duties with the Forum Communications television station to host the 9:00 am to 11:00 am program on the company’s news/talk WDAY-AM/K226CL. Izzo, who’s been with the television station for the past 10 years, will continue to handle the Friday high school football wrap-up and the “Sports Sunday” show on the TV side.  His new radio show appears to replace the last two hours of “AM Fargo-Moorhead with Mike Kapel.”

‘Jet Stream Sports Report’ Launches.  A new, daily two-minute sports feature called “The Jet Stream Sports Report” is being distributed by USA Radio Network.  The program – available via FTP – is hosted by Jason “The Jet” Williams and “brings the fire and energy that is required for the world of sports.”  USA Radio Network says, “Jason’s passion and love for sports and his sharp wit make him a unique brand ambassador.”

2020 Presidential Race, Trump Greenland Purchase Inquiry, Immigration Policy, U.S.-China Trade War/Hong Kong Protests, Epstein Suicide Ruling, NYPD Fires Cop in Garner Death Case Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/19). The Democrats hoping to challenge President Trump in the 2020 election; President Trump’s reported interest in buying Greenland for its natural resources; the state of the U.S.-Mexico border and U.S. immigration policy; the trade war between the U.S. and China and the related Hong Kong protests; the official ruling of suicide in the death of alleged sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein; and the firing of New York City police officer Daniel Pantaleo in choke-hold death of Eric Garner were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Celebrating 50 Years in Radio.  KDXE-FM, Little Rock “101.1 The Answer” afternoon drive talk show host Dave Elswick (right) is pictured above with Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson (left) – one of many visitors to the station to help Elswick celebrate his 50th anniversary in the radio business.

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  In the Washington, DC market, Howard University-owned urban contemporary WHUR-FM names Al Payne program director.  He was most recently with Cumulus Media as PD at urban contemporary KMJK, Kansas City “Magic 107.3.”  He says, “Growing up as an I-95 ‘radio kid,’ there were a few iconic stations that you could only dream of one day having the opportunity to program and influence. 96.3 WHUR is at the pinnacle of my personal list and to say that this is a blessing is a huge understatement.  I look forward to working with the incredible GM, Sean Plater, to help this amazing team of world class broadcasters continue to entertain and serve the DMV under the umbrella of Howard University.”…..iHeartMedia’s CHR WIOQ, Philadelphia “Q102” announces that Eliott King becomes the new evening personality as host of  “Q102 Tonight with Eliott,” effective September 9. Station program director Buster Satterfield says, “Eliott’s passion and level of creativity make him the perfect candidate to lead ‘Q102’ nights.  ‘Q102’ is a heritage station in the Philly community and we’re certain that he’ll help shake things up for the iconic brand.”  King was most recently afternoon drive host at Radio One’s CHR WNOW-FM, Indianapolis…..Alpha Media names DJ Q content director for hip hop WGZB “B96” and urban contemporary WMJM “Magic 101.3,” effective September 1. He’s been serving as assistant program director for the stations for the past five years.  He states, “There is no purpose without a plan.  Success is doing what you love, focusing on your goals, and never giving up the strength and determination to succeed.  I’m excited to be a proud Alpha Media family member and I look forward to bringing a positive culture and creative ideas to the forefront.”…..At Hubbard Radio’s country WIRK-FM, West Palm Beach “New Country 101.3,” Sammy Cruise rises to APD and music director.  He also hosts the afternoon drive show.  Operations manager and brand content director Bruce Logan says, “I am thrilled to have Sammy on the team.  His brand knowledge of WIRK, his talent as an air personality, and his relationships with artists, artist managers and label friends is second to none. Sammy has been invaluable to me as we work to build ‘New Country 103-1’ into South Florida’s home for new country.”

27 Graduate from 12th RTTR Women in Radio Management & Leadership Training Program. Pictured above are the 27 women who took part in the Rising Through the Ranks Women in Radio Management & Leadership Training Program in Nashville August 13-15. The program was presented by the Radio Advertising Bureau, in conjunction with BMI and the Mentoring and Inspiring Women in Radio Group.  The graduates are (in alphabetical order): Luisa Banks, Cox Media Group; Jill Bernhardt, Cumulus MediaTaylor Brown, Neuhoff Media; Alexandra Byrnes, Entercom Communications; Yvonne Cheng, iHeartMedia, Inc.; Katy Dempsey, Bryan Broadcasting; Jaime Frankel, Beasley Media Group; Adella Fremstad-Nolden, Radio One; Pamela HallKindred Communications; Andrea Hansen, Entercom CommunicationsNichole Hansen, Saga Communications; Traci Harris-Mason, Forcht Broadcasting; Dara Kalvort, Entercom Communications; Tori Kahl, iHeartMedia, Inc.; Shannon Kenefick, Townsquare Media; Adria Lawrence, Emmis Communications; Michelle Mazzara, BMI; Kate Maguire, Summit Media; Elizabeth Nifong, Beasley Media Group; Debbie Payne, Cumulus MediaKristina Schoenbeck, Entercom Communications; Crista St. JohnBonneville International/Mariners Radio; Ava Suppelsa, BMIBrianne Thompson, Leighton Broadcasting; Denise Tolzman, Queen B Radio; Dianna Towns, Neuhoff Media; and Ashley WilliamsCox Media Group.

Nielsen Audio’s July 2019 PPM Data. July 2019 ratings information has been released for Greensboro, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen Audio’s July 2019 survey period covered June 20 – July 17. Managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@Talkers.com) provides his “Takeaways” from these three PPM-markets.

Greensboro

Spoken-Word Formats – A collective -1.2 via four successive down or flat trends (4.4 – 3.6 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.2, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WPTI “94.5 Your News, Talk, & Sports Station” ends the slide with an increase of six-tenths to 3.8 (#11 to #10), its best 6+-stat since February’s 4.4.

Up two-tenths in three straight sweeps without a loss (.8 – .9 – .9 – 1.0, 6+), Curtis Media Group sports talk WSJS “Triad Sports” advances from #16 to #14.

Recording its third uptick in a row for a collective gain of nine-tenths (1.6 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.5, 6+), Wake Forest University news/talk WFDD “88.5 Public Radio for the Piedmont” holds down the #13 position the 15th consecutive ratings period. This is the fourth time in the last five reports that University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill news/talk WUNC logs a .8 (.8 – .5 – .8 – .8 – .8, #17 to #15, 6+).

Greensboro Music Formats – Repeating in ninth-place, iHeartMedia-owned rocker WVBZ is a collective +1.7 in four straight bumps (2.5 – 3.2 – 3.7 – 4.1 – 4.2, 6+). In June, “105.7 – Man Up” reached the four-share level (4.1, 6+) for the first time since November 2018’s 4.0. This marks the fifth occurrence in 2019’s seven monthly survey periods that Entercom urban AC WQMG “97.1 QMG The Best R&B and Old School” (9.3 – 9.5, +.2, 6+) ranks #1. An April increase of six-tenths curtailed five straight declines that resulted in a -2.3 (11.4 – 10.8 – 10.3 – 9.9 – 9.6 – 9.1, 6+). WQMG’s consecutive streak of reaching double-digits (6+) was snapped at 26 in January. It has been within 9.1 – 9.9 (6+) range ever since. The two exceptions to WQMG’s 2019 reign at #1 are March and June when co-owned adult hits WSMW held the lead. In July, however, “98.7 Simon Says We Play Everything” spirals by -1.0, erasing June’s improvement of one-half share (9.3 – 9.8 – 8.8, first to second, 6+). Its seven fluctuations this calendar year are: +.9 (January); -.6 (February); +.9 (March); -1.6 (April); +1.1 (May); +.5 (June); and -1.0 (July). Prior to its March stay at #1, WSMW last reached #1 in August 2016 when it logged a 10.5 (6+). Still within that Entercom cluster, rhythmic CHR WJMH “102 Jamz” drops six-tenths (7.2 – 6.6, 6+) but remains in fourth-place. A one-half share loss (4.0 – 3.5, 6+) forces Curtis Media Group regional Mexican WYMY “La Ley 101.1 FM” out of the top ten (#10 to #11) with its lowest 6+-stat since November 2018 (3.5, as well). June’s sixth-place tie between the market’s two country rivals is broken as iHeartMedia’s WTQR “Q-104.1 – #1 for New Country” is flat at 5.3 (sixth to seventh, 6+), while Entercom’s WPAW “93.1 The Wolf” is down or flat the third straight time for a cumulative decline of one-half share (5.7 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 5.2, sixth to eighth, 6+). In three straight sweeps without an increase, WTQR was a cumulative -1.0 (6.0 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 5.0, 6+), but erased 70% of that deficit in May with a +.7 to 5.7 (6+). Flat in March, “Q-104.1” cancelled out January’s +.7 with a February -.7 (5.3 – 6.0 – 5.3, 6+). Before dropping two-tenths in March, “The Wolf” had three consecutive shifts of one-half share: -.5 (“Holiday” 2018); +.5 (January 2019); and +.5 (February). Over the course of the last 15 sweeps (June 2018 through July 2019), WTQR has prevailed over WPAW ten times (June 2018, July, August, September, October, November, “Holiday” 2018, January 2019, May, and July); WPAW has come out on top four times (December 2018, February 2019, March, and April; and the two were tied in June 2019 (5.3, 6+).

Memphis

Spoken-Word Formats – Up four-tenths in June/July (4.1 – 4.2 – 4.5, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WREC “600 AM – Memphis’ News, Traffic, & Weather” progresses from ninth to eighth.

In six consecutive negative or neutral reports, Entercom sports talk WMFS “ESPN Sports Radio” has lost one full-share (4.0 – 4.0 – 3.9 – 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 3.0, 6+) and falls from #11 to #13. Its internet stream appeared with a .1 (6+) in December and “Holiday” 2018; disappeared from print in January and February; logged a .1 (6+) four straight times; and vanishes in July. Co-owned WMC-AM “ESPN 790” is without an increase the 13th straight time (including eleven consecutive .1 showings) for a collective loss of three-tenths (.4 – .4 – .2 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 -.1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1, 6+) and is locked at #18.

Memphis Music Formats – Over and above the fact it has nearly doubled (+1.2) its 6+ AQH share since May (1.3 – 1.7 – 2.5, unchanged at #14, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR KWNW “101.9 Kiss FM” registers its best-ever 6+-stat (2.5) in the PPM-era. In five successive setbacks (5.3 – 4.9 – 4.8 – 3.8 – 3.5 – 3.2, 6+), co-owned WDIA was -2.1 but “AM 1070 – The Heart & Soul of Memphis” ends the slide with a +.2 to 3.4 (6+) and proceeds from #13 to #11. A one-half share rise (4.7 – 5.2, seventh to sixth, 6+) takes Entercom hot AC WMC-FM “FM 100 Today’s Best Mix” to the five-share level (6+) for the first time since January (5.6). By gaining three-tenths to 10.1 (6+), iHeartMedia urban AC KJMS pulls the plug on four straight down or flat trends that accounted for a -1.8 (11.6 – 11.4 – 10.4 – 10.4 – 9.8, 6+); “V-101” is #1 the ninth time in a row. Prior to June’s loss of six-tenths to 9.8 (6+), KJMS reached double-digits (6+) in each of the previous 14 ratings periods. “Holiday” 2018’s 12.8 is the highest 6+-share since December 2012’s 13.5 for “V-101,” which was +2.3 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (10.5 – 11.5 – 12.8, 6+). Gospel cluster-mate WHAL “Hallelujah 95.7 – Memphis’ Inspiration Station,” which notched four consecutive increases for a +1.6 (5.8 – 6.4 – 7.0 – 7.1 – 7.4, 6+), forfeits nine-tenths to 6.5 (flat at #4, 6+). June’s 7.4 was its best 6+-showing since August 2015’s 7.5. The market’s (6+) adult contemporary share improved by two-tenths in June but is -1.1 (6+) in July. Absorbing the brunt of the decrease is Entercom’s WRVR “104.5 The River” (6.6 – 5.8, -.8, steady in fifth-place, 6+). Until picking up one-tenth in June, “The River” was an overall -2.4 in three straight declines (8.9 – 7.8 – 7.7 – 6.5, 6+). While “Holiday” 2018’s 11.3 is its strongest 6+-performance since “Holiday” 2017’s 12.9 (#6), this (5.8) is its lowest since May 2017’s 5.7. Eight recent WRVR fluctuations include: +2.4 (October 2018); -1.6 (December); +2.0 (“Holiday” 2018); -3.1 (January 2019); +.7 (February); -1.1 (March); -1.2 (May); and -.8 (July). After adding one-tenth in June, Cumulus Media’s similarly-formatted WKIM “98.9 The Bridge” (unchanged at #16) sputters by  three-tenths to .7, its lowest 6+-stat since transitioning from urban-rhythmic oldies to AC in late-2017. WKIM surrendered nearly half (-.7) its 6+ AQH-share in April/May (1.6 – 1.1 – .9, 6+). “The Bridge” reached the five-share level (6+) in “Holiday” 2018, but was a combined -4.0 in January/February (5.1 – 1.3 – 1.1, 6+). While it repeats in the runner-up slot, iHeartMedia urban contemporary WHRK “K-97.1” is off three-tenths to 9.2 (6+), thus curtailing five straight bumps that resulted in a +2.7 (6.8 – 7.2 – 7.5 – 7.7 – 8.5 – 9.5, 6+). In June, WHRK reached the nine-share level (9.5, 6+) for the first time since May 2018’s 9.4.

Hartford

Spoken-Word Formats – July’s -1.1 (7.4 – 6.3, 6+) sends Entercom news/talk WTIC-AM “News Talk 1080” from second to seventh with its lowest 6+-stat (6.3) since February’s 5.9. By gaining two-tenths in June, Red Wolf Broadcasting news/talk WDRC-AM suspended four consecutive sweeps without an increase that resulted in a one-half share loss (1.3 – 1.3 – 1.1 – .9 – .8, 6+); however, “AM 1360 The Talk of Connecticut” now regresses by one-half share (1.0 – .5, flat at #15). Ever steady, iHeartMedia’s WPOP “News Radio 1410” logs a .1 (#17 to #18, 6+) the 14th report in a row; it was a “no-show” in June 2018.

Frozen on 1.8 (6+) in March and April, iHeartMedia sports talk WUCS “97.9 ESPN Hartford” follows with three straight sweeps without an increase for an overall loss of three-tenths (1.8 – 1.6 – 1.5 – 1.5, flat at #12, 6+).

Up one-tenth to 4.3 (unchanged at #9, 6+), Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network news/talk WNPR “Connecticut’s Public Media Source for News & Ideas” halts three straight drops that accounted for a collective -1.1 (5.3 – 4.7 – 4.4 – 4.2, 6+). University of Massachusetts-owned WFCR “New England Public Radio” has lost six-tenths in June/July (1.6 – 1.2 – 1.0, 6+) and slips from #13 to #14.

Hartford Music Formats – An overall -1.0 in five consecutive sweeps without an increase (7.7 – 7.0 – 6.9 – 6.9 – 6.8 – 6.7, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WWYZ “Country 92.5” obliterates that deficit with a +1.2 to 7.9 (fifth to second, 6+), its highest 6+-share in nearly two years (8.3, August 2017). Level at #3, classic hits-oldies sibling WHCN “105.9 The River” is a combined +1.9 in three straight reports without a loss (5.3 – 5.7 – 7.2 – 7.2, 6+) and has its best 6+-showing (7.2) since May 2018’s 7.7. Adding six-tenths to June’s +.1 (6.0 – 6.1 – 6.7, 6+), Entercom rhythmic CHR WZMX jumps from eighth to fifth. Entering the June sweep, “Hot 93.7” was -1.9 via three drops in a row (7.9 – 6.6 – 6.5 – 6.0, 6+). The just-concluded negative streak directly tailed January/February’s +1.1 (6.8 – 7.7 – 7.9, 6+). Having followed April’s increase of nine-tenths with a combined -2.0 in May/June  (8.5 – 7.7 – 6.5, 6+), hot AC sibling WTIC-FM “96.5 TIC-FM” picks up two-tenths (6.7, sixth to fifth, 6+). Albeit a -1.4 in June/July (10.8 – 10.4 – 9.4, 6+), adult contemporary cluster-mate WRCH is #1 the 37th consecutive time. Recent “Lite 100.5” fluctuations include: -.8 (November 2018); +1.8 (December); +5.6 (“Holiday” 2018 to 18.0, the strongest 6+-showing for any Hartford station since WRCH recorded an 18.3 in “Holiday” 2017); -6.9 (January); +1.0 (February; -1.0 (March); -1.3 (April); +1.0 (May); and -1.0 (July). Prior to slipping to 9.8 in April, WRCH was in double-digits (6+) in 30 of the previous 32 sweeps. Without an increase the sixth straight time for a collective -1.5 (4.6 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 3.4 – 3.1, 6+), Red Wolf Broadcasting alternative WMRQ “Radio 104.1” continues at #10. Co-owned Spanish tropical WMRQ-HD2 is down or flat the third report in succession and is -1.0 in that stretch (2.6 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 1.6, flat at #11, 6+). The last time WMRQ-HD2 fell below a two-share (6+) was May 2018 (1.9).

Friday, July 6, 2018

| July 6, 2018

Report: PE Firm Silver Lake Partners Interested in iHeartMedia.  According to a report in the New York Post, private equity firm Silver Lake Partners is interested in buying iHeartMedia when it emerges from Chapter 11 reorganization. iHeartMedia is expected to exit Chapter 11 in October with a reduced debt load of $10 billion – down from the current $20 billion.  The report says Silver Lake is in talks about the purchase with iHM’s creditors, who will own the company upon bankruptcy protection exit.  The report adds that leading creditors believe iHeartMedia is worth between $12 billion and $15 billion.

Remembering Ed SchultzTALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the talk media career rise of Ed Schultz, who passed away on July 5 at the age of 64. The former college football quarterback spent 15 years doing sports media – mostly on television at WDAY-TV, Fargo – before launching a talk radio career.  As most regular TALKERS readers are aware, Schultz was a conservative talker in the beginning, but his politics – and his radio program – morphed in large part due to an encounter with the woman who would become his wife, Wendy Schultz.  Read the full piece about Schultz’s life and radio career here.

Dave Bourne Named Operations Manager at KYKN, Salem, Oregon.  News/talk KYKN, Salem, Oregon announces Dave Bourne joins the station to serve as operations manager.  Prior to joining KYKN, Bourne led the programming at KUIK, Portland.  KYKN general manager Mike Frith says Bourne brings his extensive experience developing a “large local footprint.”  Frith adds, “Without LOCAL we are just another station.  We’ve had a good presence locally and we are going to have a GREAT local presence.  We will begin to broadcast high school football and basketball this fall in the Salem metro with a population of 404,000.  We are now going to have 150 “live remotes” at local sponsors and events over the next 12 months.  We’re pleased that Dave will lead us in this major effort.”

TALKERS Continues Posting Videos Today of the Recent TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! Convention – Today’s Post:  Panel Discussion About Generating Talk Radio Revenue in 2018.  Today (7/6), TALKERS magazine continues posting individual events from the recent TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! convention held in New York City on June 8.  Each business day, another session will be posted in the order that they originally took place.  Today’s ninth installment features the panel discussion titled “Generating Talk Radio Revenue in 2018.”  It is moderated by TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey; introduced by Crossover Media Group managing member Ron Hartenbaum; and featuring panelists Asa RX host AsaBold Gold Media Group CEO, Vince BenedettoHowie Carr Radio Network president Kathy CarrWestwood One president Suzanne Grimes; WBAL, Baltimore president/GM Cary Pahigian; and KSCO/KOMY, Santa Cruz owner Michael Zwerling.  Videos already posted include the special presentation by Amplifi Media CEO, Steven Goldstein titled “Radio Broadcasters and Smart Speakers with an introduction by GCN personality Dr. Daliah Wachs ;  a special presentation by PodcastOne chairman and CEO, Norm Pattiz titled “Radio Broadcasters and Podcasting” with an introduction by Voice of America and National Public Radio anchor/reporter, Lori Lundin;  a special presentation by WFAN personality Mike Francesa titled “Sports Talk’s Role in Media and Popular Culture” with an introduction by author and former radio producer Bernadette Duncan;  Salem SVP Phil Boyce’s address titled “What Has Donald Trump Done to Talk Radio?”; the fireside chat between TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison and Beasley Media Group CEO Caroline Beasley including Harrison’s presentation of the 2018 “Woman of the Year” award to Beasley; Harrison’s fireside chat with FOX News Radio/FOX News Channel mega-star Brian Kilmeade with an introduction by Westwood One syndicated host Walter Sterling and special remarks by Sean Hannity; opening remarks by the convention’s co-emcees, TalkersRadio GM, David Bernstein and Good Day Networks/DJV Show CEO/host, Doug Stephan; KGO, San Francisco host, Ethan Bearman delivering the event’s welcoming remarks and Pioneer Valley Radio GM/host, Brad Shepard introduction of Bearman.  Also posted: the presentation of the Gene Burns Memorial Award for Freedom of Speech (“Freedom of Speech Award”) by TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian to SiriusXM Satellite Radio host, book publisher, Hunter College professor, and former New York Daily News/Pulitzer prize-winning journalist, Karen Hunter.  To view the page, please click here.

SB Nation Promotes Larson to COO; Announces Lineup Tweaks. Sports radio network SB Nation Radio promotes network program director Craig Larson to chief operating officer.  Larson says, “It’s just a joy to wake up and come to work every day.  As I enter my 20th year with the network, I am proud of my team and optimistic about our future.”  Also, SB Nation announces that the morning show “SB Nation AM” will feature Tony Desiere and Ronn Culver as co-hosts.  Desiere has been with the network for six years.  Culver joined back in 2014 and currently serves as executive producer.  Finally, the network adds “The Gold Standard” with host Alex Gold to the lineup, airing from 10:00 pm to 1:00 am.

Radio Talent Agent Heather Cohen Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. One of the radio industry’s leading talent agents, Heather Cohen, EVP of the Weiss Agency is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Cohen, who is also the co-chair of the Gracie Awards, discusses the state of the radio business as it applies to talent including a look at the status of women in the industry with a fascinating historical retrospective. Harrison and Cohen also discuss the methods available to young people breaking into the radio and television industries going forward. To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

TALKERS News Notes. The company that syndicated the daily, two-hour magazine-style program “Our American Stories” announces the feed time for the program is moving from 9:00 pm ET to 6:00 am ET, effective August 1.  American Private Radio CEO and program host Lee Habeeb says the change reflects the desire by many programmers to get a same-day feed for earlier placement in the day. “More than half of our affiliates now carry ‘Our American Stories’ outside of evenings, so it made sense to provide an early morning feed to accommodate stations who wish to run the timely program earlier on the day.”  Our American Stories is heard in more than 130 markets…..Benztown is announcing the launch of a new, 30-second daily featuring starring radio and television sportscaster Vic “The Brick” Jacobs titled, “This Day in Sports History.”  The show is available to stations through Benztown’s Adrenaline Sports Imaging Library.

Illegal Immigration/Abolish ICE Movement Top News/Talk Stories for Week of July 2-6.  Debate about the U.S.’s illegal immigration policies and the related movement to abolish the Immigration and Customs Enforcement bureau were the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was the open Supreme Court seat and President Trump’s likely three top candidates.  Coming in at #3 was the impending meeting between President Trump and Vladimir Putin, tied with the related Trump-Russia investigation, followed by the Scott Pruitt investigation and his subsequent resignation as head of the EPA at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk 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.

Rare Audio File from 2013:  The Late Nick Michaels Interviews Michael Harrison About Music and the Golden Age of Progressive Rock Radio.  A rare audio interview conducted by the late Nick Michaels (left) with Michael Harrison (below, on WNEW-FM circa 1972) has been located by TALKERS archivists on the website www.thedeependwithnickmichaels.com.  The legendary Michaels – the renowned radio imaging master, voice actor, and host of the classic rock syndicated show “The Deep End” – passed away on May 25 due to a sudden heart attack.  The unplanned conversation took place between recording sessions when Michaels and Harrison were collaborating on a music radio two-hour special titled, “The Classic Rock Summer of ’13 Kick-Off,” as the temporary team of Michael and Michaels.  In this 30-plus minute interview, Michaels asks Harrison about his early days as a pioneer in progressive rock radio and his opinion about various classic artists as well as the state of music radio in general.  Students of music radio history and devotees of album rock will find this conversation extremely informative and entertaining.  To listen to it in its entirety, please click here.

More Music Radio News and Career Moves. In the Tampa market, evening personality Terry Young “The Motormouth” moves to morning drive at NIA Broadcasting’s rhythmic AC WTMP-AM/W248CA, effective July 9…..Yea Networks’ syndicated “Tino Cochino Radio” program is added to the evening daypart at Mapleton Commuications’ CHR KZBD, Spokane “107.5 NOW.”…..SiriusXM’s Heart & Soul and Kirk Franklin’s Praise channels are broadcasting live interviews from the 2018 Essence Music Festival taking place in New Orleans this weekend.  SiriusXM hosts Cayman Kelly, Michel Wright and Meta Washington will be live on the Ford Stage interviewing some of the biggest singers and actors.

Remembering Ed Schultz

| July 6, 2018

By Mike Kinosian
Managing Editor
TALKERS

LOS ANGELES — When Ed Schultz “touched down” on Jones Radio Networks in January 2004, it was an honor for me (then as special features editor of Inside Radio) to profile the former All-American quarterback, who died yesterday (7/5) of natural causes at his Washington, D.C. residence; Schultz was just 64.

Even in 2004, the list of conservative talk show hosts was seemingly endless. Producing a laundry list of nationally heard personalities with an opposing viewpoint was a considerably more difficult task. “As they say in just about every reality-based show these days,” I somewhat eerily wrote (given the outcome of the 2016 presidential election), “things as you know them are about to change.” The specific reference was to Schultz’s three-hour (3:00 pm – 6:00 pm, ET) JRN show, which debuted on January 5, 2004.

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Thursday, July 5, 2018

| July 5, 2018

Talk Media Personality Ed Schultz Dead at 64.  Details are few at this time but Fargo-based InForum.com is reporting that progressive talk media personality Ed Schultz has died of natural causes at his home in Washington, DC.  Schultz began his media career working as a radio and television host in the Fargo market.  Schultz started his broadcast career working in sports on TV.  He served as the sports director at WDAY-TV, Fargo during the 1980s. He was a conservative when he launched his talk radio career but a life-changing encounter with the woman who would become his wife turned his politics around.  He originally started on radio on WDAY-AM, Fargo in 1992 and moved to KFGO, Fargo in 1996.  His radio show went into syndication via Jones Radio Network and Dial Global.  He began hosting “The Ed Show” on MSNBC in 2009.  Various forms of the show aired on the cable network until 2015.  Most recently, he had hosted a program on RT America.  In a statement, the network said, “We at RT America are sad to announce the passing of Edward Andrew Schultz.  Ed Schultz passed quietly early morning on July 5 at his home in Washington, D.C.  This announcement comes as a shock to all of us here at RT America.”  Upon learning of Schultz’s untimely death, TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison issued the following statement:  “The passing of Ed Schultz is a terrible loss to the talk media community and industry.  He was a powerful media presence known for his independent thinking and courage in the face of both ideological and corporate obstacles.  In addition, his entrepreneurship was an inspiration to literally hundreds of broadcasters who followed his example of taking one’s career into one’s own hands in the dawn of the digital era.  I am stunned and deeply saddened by this news.”

TALKERS Continues Posting Videos Today of the Recent TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! Convention – Today’s Post:  Special Presentation About Smart Speakers and Radio by Amplifi Media CEO, Steven Goldstein.  Today (7/5), TALKERS magazine continues posting individual events from the recent TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! convention held in New York City on June 8.  Each business day, another session will be posted in the order that they originally took place.  Today’s eighth installment features the special presentation by Amplifi Media CEO, Steven Goldstein titled “Radio Broadcasters and Smart Speakers with an introduction by GCN personality Dr. Daliah Wachs.   Videos already posted include a special presentation by PodcastOne Chairman and CEO, Norm Pattiz titled “Radio Broadcasters and Podcasting” with an introduction by Voice of America and National Public Radio anchor/reporter, Lori Lundin;  a special presentation by WFAN personality Mike Francesa titled “Sports Talk’s Role in Media and Popular Culture” with an introduction by author and former radio producer Bernadette Duncan;  Salem SVP Phil Boyce’s address titled “What Has Donald Trump Done to Talk Radio?”; the Fireside Chat between TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison and Beasley Media Group CEO Caroline Beasley including Harrison’s presentation of the 2018 “Woman of the Year” award to Beasley; Harrison’s Fireside Chat with FOX News Radio/FOX News Channel mega-star Brian Kilmeade with an introduction by Westwood One syndicated host Walter Sterling and special remarks by Sean Hannity; opening remarks by the convention’s co-emcees, TalkersRadio GM, David Bernstein and Good Day Networks/DJV Show CEO/host, Doug Stephan; KGO, San Francisco host, Ethan Bearman delivering the event’s welcoming remarks and Pioneer Valley Radio GM/host, Brad Shepard introduction of Bearman.  Also posted: the presentation of the Gene Burns Memorial Award for Freedom of Speech (“Freedom of Speech Award”) by TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian to SiriusXM Satellite Radio host, book publisher, Hunter College professor, and former New York Daily News/Pulitzer prize-winning journalist, Karen Hunter.  To view the page, please click here.

Hyper-Local Pioneer Valley Radio Personality Brad Shepard Emcees Huge Western Mass July 4th Parade.  For over a decade, Springfield, MA-based online media station, Pioneer Valley Radio’s morning host and GM Brad Shepard has been the master of ceremonies/announcer from the reviewing stand for the East Longmeadow Fourth of July Parade.  This parade has become the signature Fourth of July Parade for the entire region featuring the participation of most of its cities and towns.   Shepard tells TALKERS, “I’ve just realized that I’ve been doing this long enough – first as morning man on WHYN radio and now as a personality with Pioneer Valley Radio – to be able to recognize folks marching in the parade and to do first name ‘shout-outs’ from the stage!  It’s tremendously gratifying to hear them returned!”  The excessive 94-degree heat did not deter thousands of all ages from coming out and lining the parade route and cheering on many service organizations, groups and dignitaries in Western Massachusetts.  “I look forward to this every year; it’s an honor to be their choice and it is fantastic exposure and community-connection for our exciting 21st century platform.”

Illegal Immigration Policy/Abolish ICE Movement, Open Supreme Court Seat, Trump-Putin Meeting, Fourth of July Holiday, Rising Gas Prices, Summer Heatwave, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/4).  The Trump administration’s illegal immigration policy and the related movement to abolish the Immigration and Customs Enforcement bureau; the open Supreme Court seat; President Trump’s impending meeting with Russia’s Vladimir Putin; the rising cost of gas at the pump; the Fourth of July holiday; the summer heatwave affecting much of the U.S.; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programming pro Randy Fox joins American General Media to serve as program director for rhythmic CHR KKSS “Kiss 97.3” and hot AC KKRG “Mix 105.1” in Albuquerque, effective July 23.  Fox was most recently program director at hip hop KSFM, Sacramento before its transfer from CBS RADIO to Entercom.  AMG Albuquerque general manager Larry Lemanski says, “I am very happy to welcome Randy to the AGM cluster in Albuquerque.  We actually competed with each other in California.  It’s nice to now have such a pro on our team here.”…..Air personality Justin Pierce is named afternoon drive jock at Riverbend Communications’ country KTHK, Idaho Falls “105.5/105.9 The Hawk.”  He takes over for Cory Daniels, who exited the station in April…..Nationally syndicated rock radio morning show “Free Beer and Hot Wings” is pictured below in Green Bay entertaining a sold-out house as part of its “Morning Show at Night” summer tour.  The tour started in Nashville at the world-famous Wildhorse Saloon, hit home market Grand Rapids, went on to Albany and Portland, Maine before stopping in Green Bay.  The next tour stop is at the Jersey Shore on July 13.  The program is syndicated by Compass Media Networks.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

| November 29, 2017

Connoisseur Names Cameron Maxwell Regional Vice President.  Twelve-year Connoisseur Media staffer Cameron Maxwell is promoted to regional vice president for the company.  Connoisseur CEO Jeffrey Warshaw says, “Cam has been a key part of our success in Billings, handling the day-to-day operations.  We are thrilled to promote him into this new role.  As regional vice president, he will have the opportunity to pursue regional synergies that will enrich our current operation and benefit our company throughout the region.”  Maxwell will continue to head up the company’s Billings, Montana station group.  Connoisseur Media owns and/or operates 38 radio stations in 11 markets with stations in Montana, Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey.

ESPN Announces 150 Job Cuts; Effect on Radio Division Unclear.  The sports media giant officially announces what’s been rumored for several months now – that it will eliminate some 150 positions.  In a memo to employees, ESPN president John Skipper says the cuts will affect those in “studio production, technology and digital content” positions.  This move comes seven months after it laid off about 100 people back in April.  The company recently announced its new ESPN Radio Network lineup for 2018, so those on-air workers are safe.  It remains unclear if any off-air radio staffers will be affected by this latest round of cuts.

Sean Hannity Subject of Huge New York Times Profile Piece. Talk media superstar Sean Hannity is the subject of a lengthy profile piece in The New York Times by Matthew Shaer.  The piece delves into Hannity’s early support of Donald Trump, his childhood growing up on Long Island, and of course, the politics of his radio and television shows.  But, for industry insiders, it also offers some tactical glimpses of how Hannity’s Premiere Networks and FOX News Channel programs are produced.  Reacting to the NYT article, TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison stated at this week’s editorial meeting, “Putting politics aside, from a purely broadcasting industry perspective, Sean Hannity’s accomplishments as a talk media host both on and off the air are nothing short of phenomenal.  After decades of consistent performance, he has done something few talents are capable of pulling off.  He’s made it to the top in both radio and television.  He is the highest-rated cable news/talk television show host in America and one of the driving engines that has gotten the FOX News Channel through its most vulnerable period of crisis.”  Harrison continued, “And on the radio side, although specifically ranked #2 on both the TALKERS listenership survey that reflects metrics and the Heavy Hundred chart that reflects influence, he has been locked in a statistical-tie at the top with the great Rush Limbaugh year after year for the past decade-and-a-half.  Whether he admits it or not, the enormous influence he has on and relationship with the sitting President of the United States, coupled with the aforementioned facts, clearly establishes Sean Hannity as one of the most important on-air broadcasting figures of the modern era.”

Second NPR Exec Ousted After Allegations of Sexual Impropriety.  As reported by NPR’s David Folkenflik, NPR chief news editor David Sweeney has exited the public media company after the corporation heard allegations of sexual harassment from at least three female journalists.  Sweeney’s exit comes not long after NPR SVP of news and editorial Michael Oreskes was forced to resign his position earlier this month over similar allegations.

North Korea ICBM Test, GOP Tax Reform Plan, Roy Moore Case/DC Sexual Impropriety Allegations, CFPB Ruling, Trump Pushes Clinton Email Matter, Giants Bench Eli/Down NFL Ratings, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/28).  North Korea tests a new ICBM that is deemed capable of reaching the U.S. mainland; the ongoing push by Republicans to pass their tax reform bill; the U.S. Senate campaign of embattled former Alabama judge Roy Moore and the related accusations of sexual misconduct by Senator Al Franken and Congressman John Conyers; a judge rules in favor of President Trump on his Consumer Financial Protection Bureau appointment; President Trump wants investigation into the Hillary Clinton emails matter after former Intelligence Community Inspector General Charles McCullough III claims Democrats harassed him for investigating the matter; the New York Giants bench Eli Manning and the latest NFL ratings; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS News Notes. Museum of Broadcast Communications founder Bruce DuMont announces he’s leaving his position as president of the Chicago museum when his term expires at the end of this year.  Robert Feder reports that the 73-year-old DuMont “notified the museum board Tuesday that he will relinquish the leadership position he has held since he founded the non-profit institution in 1983.”…..The nationally syndicated radio show “Free Talk Live” – hosted by Ian Freeman and Mark Edge – announces new affiliates.  Now airing the program are: KKGX-AM/K256CU, Palm Springs; KVBR, Brainerd, Minnesota; WOKR-AM, Canandaigua, New York; WTNW-AM, Jasper, Tennessee; and KABQ-AM, Albuquerque.

WZFG, Fargo’s Scott Hennen Brings Listener Group to FOX & Friends. WZFG, Fargo “AM 1100 The Flag” morning host Scott Hennen (left) stands with the “FOX & Friends” morning show (l-r) Steve Doocy, Ainsley Earhardt, and Brian Kilmeade surrounded by a group of more than 60 WZFG listeners who made the trek to New York to watch a broadcast of the show.

WFAN, New York Sports Talk Host Richard Neer’s Alternate Career as a Murder Mystery Novelist Continues to Grow.  Those who follow WFAN, New York sports talker Richard Neer’s illustrious career recognize that he is somewhat of a pop cultural renaissance man.  For more than a half century he has been a familiar figure to Big Apple radio fans as one of the legendary hosts on the old album rock giant WNEW-FM where he developed a widespread reputation as a popular music guru, and in later decades as one of the mainstays of WFAN as a highly respected sports commentator.  His non-fiction best-seller FM: The Rise and Fall of Rock Radio (Villard, 2001) remains one of the definitive works on the album era and in recent years he began a new career as a prolific murder mystery novelist, penning a series of books about the adventures of detective Riley King.  Now, Neer has returned to the book charts with a special Christmas short story about this character titled, King’s Christmas, which at press time ranks #4 on Amazon’s list of short stories in the mystery/thriller category.  For a short time, it will be available for free download on several platforms at RichardNeer.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Washington adult contemporary WASH-FM names Jill Kempton to the program director position.  Kempton moves from iHeartMedia’s AC WLTW, New York where she was APD, music director, and imaging director.  iHeartMedia Washington SVP of programming Jeff Kapugi comments, “There’s been a lot of momentum on WASH-FM this year and Jill has been a part of that remotely.  Now she gets to build on that here in Washington to dominate the very competitive AC format.”…..Service Broadcasting extends the contract of hip hop KKDA, Dallas “K104” morning personality DeDe McGuire for another four years.  McGuire was the co-host of the syndicated Doug Banks afternoon program before she exited in October of 2014 to join KKDA.  Her “K104” co-hosts include Lady Jade and Michael Shawn.  As part of the new deal, the company is exploring a syndication effort for McGuire’s program…..Radio pro Scott Miller returns to the business after most recently serving as a regional brand manager for Harley Davidson to program iHeartMedia’s adult contemporary WRVF, Toledo “101.5 The River” and serve as afternoon drive personality at sister rock WIOT.  During his time with Harley Davidson, Miller had been doing fill-in work on the company’s news/talk WTAM, Cleveland.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

| September 27, 2017

EMF Acquires Entercom Stations in Los Angeles, San Diego, and Wilkes-Barre. After much speculation about which Los Angeles property Entercom would spin in order to close its pending merger with CBS RADIO, we have learned the answer: It is Entercom’s own classic rocker KSWD “100.3 The Sound,” which will be acquired by Educational Media Foundation. In addition to Los Angeles’ “Sound,” Rocklin (California)-based contemporary Christian broadcaster EMF is also obtaining Entercom stations in San Diego (KSOQ-FM, which simulcasts KSON-FM “New Country”) and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (WGGI, which simulcasts WGGY “Today’s Best Country – Froggy”). This three-station deal marks the first required divestitures in the company’s mega union with CBS Radio. According to Entercom president and chief executive officer David Field, “We have made great progress toward the completion of our merger with CBS Radio and this agreement with EMF brings us one step closer to the finish line. We remain on-track to close the CBS Radio transaction later this year and confident in the value-creating opportunities presented by this transformational combination.” Educational Media Foundation chief executive officer Mike Novak remarks, “We are particularly excited to see what God has in store for the people of Los Angeles, through our new station, ‘Positive & Encouraging K-Love at 100.3 FM.’ The people at Entercom have been a joy making this purchase possible.” Eight months ago, Entercom agreed to combine with CBS Radio in an all-stock transaction. After the deal, Entercom will own 240 stations; non-profit EMF currently owns/operates Christian music networks “K-Love” and “Air1,” as well as approximately 770 FM stations and translators. For the third time in the last six Nielsen Audio ratings sweeps, KSWD “The Sound” registers a 2.4 (PPM, August 2017, 6+) and finishes at #18; its 2.9 (6+) in May 2017 placed it at #11. Stations that will be under Entercom’s Los Angeles banner include smooth AC KTWV “The Wave”; classic hits-oldies KRTH “K-Earth 101”; adult hits KCBS-FM “Jack-FM”; all-news KNX; CHR KAMP “97.1 Amp Radio”; and alternative KROQ. All six are presently owned by CBS Radio. Its San Diego cluster will include KSON-FM; adult contemporary KXSN “Sunny 98.1”; and KBZT “94.9 – San Diego’s Alternative”; as well as current CBS Radio-owned hot AC KYXY and CHR KEGY “Energy 103.7.” In addition to WGGY, Entercom’s remaining Wilkes-Barre/Scranton stations are spring 2017 market leader (CHR) WKRZ “98.5 Today’s Best Music” (10.0, 6+); news/talkers WILK-AM, WILK-FM, WBZU, and WKZN; classic rock WMQX “Max 102”; and WKRF (which simulcasts WKRZ).

Sandy Buttweiler Exits WDAY-AM, Fargo.  Fargo market talk radio pro Sandy Buttweiler has retired from Forum Communications’ news/talk WDAY-AM and is moving back to her hometown of Minneapolis to be closer to family.  Buttweiler worked in the Fargo market in numerous iterations: at KFGO from 1982 to 1987, 1992 to 2004, and 2006 through 2014.  She hosted programs on WDAY in 2005, and most recently from 2014 through her retirement yesterday (9/26).  During her career she co-hosted several times with well-known Fargo talk pro Jack Sunday and worked on air with WDAY program director Mike Kapel during this last gig.  InForum.com reports Buttweiler saying, “I’ve been here 35 years and it’s time for me to live five minutes from my sister and my aunts and uncles and cousins.”

Talent Shift at WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta.  The Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Rodney Ho reports that “News 95.5 and AM 750 WSB” program director Pete Spriggs is flipping the show times of Eric Von Haessler’s “Von Haessler Doctrine” and the Herman Cain show.  Beginning October 2, Cain assumes the 11:00 am to 12:00 noon hour and Von Haessler moves to the 9:00 am to 11:00 am slot.  In January of this year, Von Haessler was promoted from his weekend show to the daily, one-hour program.  See Ho’s column here.

KNSS, Wichita’s Steve and Ted Do 5,000th Broadcast.  This morning (9/27), KNSS, Wichita morning duo Steve McIntosh and Ted Woodward performed their 5,000th morning show together.  News/talk KNSS program director Tony Duesing states, “One of the reasons I’m always excited to go to work each day is that Steve and Ted are on KNSS mornings.  They have an exciting show that matters to listeners.”  During their time together on the Entercom station, Steve and Ted have won multiple awards from the Associated Press, Kansas Association of Broadcasters, RTNDA, and a Marconi from the National Association of BroadcastersJad Chambers serves as producer for the program.

Hollywood Reporter: Hannity Trumps Maddow in Head-to-Head Debut.  According to a story in The Hollywood Reporter, FOX News Channel star Sean Hannity bested MSNBC rival Rachel Maddow on Monday night (9/25), the first night the two personalities aired head-to-head at 9:00 pm ET.  Hannity moved to the timeslot as part of changes that include the imminent debut of Laura Ingraham’s new 10:00 pm ET show.  Maddow has been the cable news/talk ratings leader for much of this year.  The story notes that although FNC continues to be the Total Day and Prime Time winner of Nielsen’s cable news/talk ratings – topping CNN and MSNBC – Maddow has been the most-watched show in both Total Viewers and 25-54 during the past quarter.  But on Monday, Hannity beat Maddow by 610,000 Total Viewers and 75,000 25-54 viewers.  Read the story here.

Trump vs the NFL, Alabama Senate Primary Race, North Korea Threats/Sanctions, ObamaCare Repeal, Tax Reform, Puerto Rico Devastation, Trump-Russia Probe, MLB Playoff Push, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/26).  The controversy over President Trump’s calling for NFL players who protest during the national anthem to be fired; the Alabama U.S. Senate primary race between Republicans Luther Strange and Roy Moore; North Korea’s military threats against the U.S. and the most recent sanctions levied on the hermit kingdom; the GOP’s attempt to get enough Senate votes to repeal the Affordable Care Act and replace it with the Graham-Cassidy plan; the GOP’s plans to craft a tax reform bill; the devastation of Puerto Rico by Hurricane Maria; the investigation into former Paul Manafort’s and Michael Flynn’s Russia connections; the playoff push in Major League Baseball; and the weekend’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Broadcasters Foundation of America Establishes Gary Fries Memorial Fund. In honor of recently deceased Radio Advertising Bureau executive Gary Fries, the Broadcasters Foundation of America is establishing the Gary Fries Memorial Fund.  BFoA president Jim Thompson states, “Gary was very passionate about radio and the mission of the Broadcasters Foundation to help our colleagues in need.  He loved the radio profession, supported it, talked about it, and had many dear friends in our business.”  Fries, who died in Scottsdale, Arizona last Friday, was a longtime director of the Broadcasters Foundation.  Those wishing to donate in Fries’ honor may visit the Broadcasters Foundation’s website at www.broadcastersfoundation.org, call 212-373-8250, or email info@thebfoa.org.

 

 

JohnJay Van Es’ #LovePup Foundation Featured in People.  Pictured backstage at the T-mobile Arena in Las Vegas at last weekend’s iHeartRadio Music Festival are pop star Miley Cyrus (left) and JohnJay Van Es (right) of Premiere Networks’ syndicated “Johnjay & Rich” show.  They are surrounded by rescue puppies from Van Es’ #LovePup Foundation that he was promoting at the festival.  People magazine did a piece on the #LovePup Foundation.

More Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Cool local props for CHR WNTQ, Syracuse “93Q” and morning personalities Ted Long and Amy Robbins – both winners in the Syracuse New Times’ “Best of Syracuse” reader’s poll.  Cumulus Media’s “93Q” was named Top Radio Station, and Ted and Amy were honored with the Favorite Radio Personalities crown.  The ever-popular on-air duo has won in the category more than 20 times in the last 25 years…..CBS RADIO Pittsburgh’s WDSY “Y108” is presenting the fifth annual “Y108 Girls With Guitars” concert, this year starring RaeLynn, Carly Pearce, and Danielle Bradbery.  It takes place on October 5 at Rivers Casino.  CBS RADIO Pittsburgh VP of programming Mark Anderson says, “Y108’s ‘Girls With Guitars’ has become one of the ‘gotta-have-it’ tickets in a very busy country concert marketplace.  We are excited to present RaeLynn, Carly Pearce, and Danielle Bradbery to our listeners while also introducing the newest member of ‘Y108’ all in support of Glimmer of Hope and the great work they do.  Set against the backdrop of the Rivers Casino, this free show is a great night out for Pittsburgh residents.”  Glimmer of Hope funds breast cancer research and programs.  Glimmer of Hope will be onsite during the event conducting various fundraising activities, including a silent auction…..iHeartMedia Milwaukee is presenting the inaugural, “Let’s Brunch MKE,” a community food sampling event.  It takes place from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm on Saturday, October 28.  iHeartMedia VP of programming Kerry Wolfe says, “Brunch is huge in Milwaukee.  We’re excited to bring our listeners and the community together with both some of their local favorites and restaurants they may be experiencing for the first time.”

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