Tag: "Fisher House"

Monday, December 9, 2013

| December 9, 2013

segalelliotClear Channel Goes with DC-Based Elliot Segal for WOR, New York Morning Show.  In announcing its new program schedule for news/talk WOR, New York (which includes the Arrival of Premiere’s Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity), Clear Channel Media + Entertainment throws a curveball to industry watchers and names “DC101”limbaughrush morning drive host Elliot Segal the new morning drive show, replacing the retiring John Gambling.  The “Elliot in the Morning” show will continue to air on Clear Channel’s rock WWDC as well as rock WRXL, Richmond “XL 102.”  Segal says, “I’m excited to be coming back to New York, to a station with such a legendary history.  We have built something very special in Washington, DC and Richmond and I’m beyond thrilled that the show will continue airing on DC/101 and XL-102. Now, WOR will be home to ‘Elliot In The Morning’ and I couldn’t be more anxious to get hannityseangoing.”  This move is particularly significant because it is the first time in recent memory that a major market heritage AM news/talk station will be carrying the same show that is running on a major market heritage FM music station.  Although there is nothing new about major FM music stations running talk (or talk-oriented) programs in their lineups (usually in morning drive), this move marks a significant breakthrough in mixing the cultures within a single outlet’s stationality. The implications of this, should it be successful, will be huge.  Clear Channel notes Mark Simone follows Segal from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon.  After that it’s Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Andy Dean and Dave RamseyJoan Hamburg – a longtime WOR personality – moves to weekends with programs airing on both Saturdays and Sundays from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon.  President and market manager Joe Puglise states, “This is an incredibly exciting time for WOR.  Bringing America’s top two talk show hosts to our lineup, the entertaining Elliot Segal and his team to the mornings and becoming the flagship station for the Mets will allow us to create unprecedented marketing opportunities for our partners and unbeatable programming for our listeners.”

deptrojohnJohn DePetro Apologizes for ‘Whores’ Comment.  WPRO, Providence late morning talk show host John DePetro has issued an apology for calling union protestors “whores.”  This latest development comes less than a week after TALKERS reported that DePetro had filed a police complaint stating two men had threatened him outside the WPRO studios because of the comment.  Back in September, DePetro railed against the union-supported protest taking place outside a fundraiser for State General Treasurer Gina Raimondo.  During that broadcast he reportedly directed his words toward a female union leader, saying, “What a disgrace.  You are an embarrassment…You are parasites.  You are cockroaches.  You lie.  You are union hags. There’s another word I’d like to use…it begins with a W. and an H. and an O. and an R. and an E. and an S.  See if they can spell that.”  DePetro was off his program last week and the Associate Press reports it’s unclear if his absence had anything to do with the remarks.  Still, he called into his own program and told listeners, “The language I used was not in keeping with the family friendly atmosphere that I try to maintain for the thousands of people who listen to me.  Going forward I intend to approach debates on the current topics that we talk about in a more sensitive style.”

saunderssusanSaunders Begins Daily Talk Show.  WBNQ, Bloomington, Illinois morning drive host Susan Saunders is adding a daily talk show on sister station news/talk WJBC-AM/FM.  Saunders leads the CHR morning show alongside Ray Wagner.  Now, she’s adding a two-hour 9:00 am to 11:00 am talk program to her duties at the Cumulus Media cluster.  She says, “It’s official, and I couldn’t be more excited about joining the legendary, Marconi- and Crystal Award-winning staff of WJBC-AM/FM.  After 15 years (on the morning show), it was time to expand my horizons into pure form talk radio.  Over the last four months I have been auditioning my non-musical style with WJBC’s audience, and it works!”

beasley logo longBeasley Declares Cash Dividend for Share Holders.  The dividend will be paid on January 10 to shareholders of record on December 27 and will pay $0.045 per share.  Chairman and CEO Geroge Beasley states, “The re-initiation of a regular cash dividend reflects the free cash flow generated by our operations as well as our commitment to deliver value to our shareholders, and follows the one-time special dividend of $0.085 paid to shareholders in December 2012. Importantly, taking into consideration the proposed annual capital allocated to dividend payments, based on current conditions we believe Beasley Broadcast Group‘s total free cash flow should provide us with the liquidity needed to further reduce leverage, consider potential station acquisitions and to enhance long-term shareholder value.”

cclogoFlora and DeLucca Join Clear Channel, Phoenix as GSMs.  Coming onboard effective immediately as general sales managers are George Flora and Libia DeLucca.  Flora will oversee sales operations for Clear Channel, Phoenix outlets KFYI “Newstalk 550,” KOY “Business 1230,” and KGME “Fox Sports Radio 910.”  In addition to her GSM duties, DeLucca will assist with brand manager responsibilities for the cluster’s rhythmic hot AC KYOT “Eva 95.5.”  Clear Channel Phoenix vice president of sales Linda Little states, “George Flora is the perfect addition to our sales management team.  He will add a wealth of knowledge and experience in driving revenue and creating solutions for clients utilizing our spoken-word brands.  Libia brings with her years of experience selling integrated marketing solutions with digital, newspaper, and TV assets in Phoenix.  I know she will take her team to new levels as they become even stronger digital marketers for their clients.” Prior to the six years he just spent at ESPN Los Angeles, Flora was with CBS Radio Los Angeles for 12 years.  DeLucca had a 14-year run with Gannett Media Phoenix – most recently as digital sales manager.

wtkw logoYankees Add Syracuse’s Rock “TK 99″ to its Radio Network.  Galaxy Communications, Syracuse classic rocker WTKW “TK 99″ signs a multi-year agreement with CBS Radio to air all 162 regular season games of the NY Yankees beginning with the 2014 season.  Galaxy Communications president/chief executive officer Ed Levine remarks, “We intend to go far beyond just broadcasting the games on the radio in Syracuse.  We’re going to enhance the experience for Yankee fans in Central New York in a myriad of innovative ways.”  CBS Radio vice president of sports programming Mark Chernoff comments, “CBS Radio and the New York Yankees are very excited to be partnering with ‘TK 99′ and Galaxy.  They have shown a great ability through their work with Syracuse University athletics to enhance what is already a strong presence in Syracuse.  We look forward to that continuing with the Yankees.”  In April 2007, WTKW became the flagship play-by-play outlet of Syracuse University men’s football, men’s basketball, and men’s lacrosse games.

kirofm logoKIRO-FM’s Twelve-Hour Fundraiser Collects More Than $489,000.  Local foster children will be aided by money amassed through listener donations and sponsor matching funds via the Bonneville Seattle talk outlet’s 7:00 am – 7:00 pm radio-thon last Thursday (12/5).  KIRO-FM conducted the annual “Holiday Magic” on-air event in conjunction with Treehouse, a nonprofit organization addressing essential education and enrichment needs of kids in foster care. Bonneville Seattle Media Group vice president/market manager Carl Gardner comments, “Again this year, our community has dug deep to support foster children.  Treehouse does a tremendous job of strengthening foster families and helping children realize their full potential.  It is a joy and privilege to connect our generous audience with good neighbors who just need a little help.”  Treehouse chief executive officer Janis Avery remarks, “We are absolutely thrilled with the success of the 25th ‘Holiday Magic’ radio-thon.  We are so grateful to the KIRO radio team and listeners for once again helping Treehouse give 6,000 kids in foster care across Washington State happy holidays.”  Founded in 1988, Treehouse recently set a goal that, by 2017, King County foster kids will graduate high school at the rate of their peers.  Major community contributors to the KIRO-FM radio-thon included Carter Subaru, Safeway Foundation, and GEICO.

wmal logoWMAL-AM/FM, Washington Helps Raise $330k-plus for Fisher House Foundation.  WMAL-AM/FM, Washington program director Bill Hess tells TALKERS magazine that it was a big weekend for the Cumulus Media station and its listeners as the 10th Annual Fisher House Radiothon raised $330,630 for the charity that helps provide housing for the loved ones of U.S. servicemen and women begin treated for injuries suffered in the line of duty.  Hess calls it an “incredible response by our wonderful WMAL listeners” and reports that this year’s total beat last year’s total by $40,000 and the 2011 total by $75,000.  The two-day radiothon was anchored by morning hosts Brian Wilson and Larry O’Connor, along with midday host Chris Plante and weekender Rick Fowler.

beasleylasvegaspartyBeasley Las Vegas Holiday Bash.  The Beasley Broadcast Group Las Vegas cluster took time over the weekend to get together for a holiday party at the Blue Martini.  Pictured here (from l-r) are: Beasley Las Vegas VP of programming Justin Chase, corporate VP of operations Brian Beasley, Beasley Las Vegas general manager Tom Humm, KDWN talk show host Alan Stock, KDWN and syndicated talk host Dr. Daliah Wachs, and KDWN program and news director John Shaffer.

Monday, October 21, 2013

| October 21, 2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

| April 3, 2013

infinitedial logoArbitron/Edison Research’s Infinite Dial 2013 Indicates Radio Still Dominates In-Car Listening; the Smartphone Is the Hot Delivery Tool.  Tuesday’s webinar from Arbitron and Edison Research provided a treasure trove of data for radio execs and sales personnel wishing to prove that radio is still a relevant medium in today’s world.  But much of the data also showed that over the course of the past 15 years, it’s been easy to see the leaps and bounds by which digital media is gaining on the traditionals – AM/FM and broadcast television.  Some of the key takeaways for talk stations:

  • Of those surveyed (18+) who’ve ridden/driven a car in the past month, 84% used AM/FM radio; 63% used the CD player; 29% an iPod or mp3 player; and 12% used online radio.

Obviously, the online radio usage (defined as AM/FM stations over the internet as well as pure plays) will continue to rise as that technology becomes more available and easier to use.

  • 58% of those surveyed report AM/FM radio as the medium used “almost all of the time” or “most of the time.”
  • 72% of respondents do not have a Bluetooth connection in their car.  A technology that would aid online usage in the vehicle.  That will change quickly as manufacturers make them standard in new cars.

The Smartphone.  Reaching potential listeners via smartphone technology is crucial to the future of content providers.  Fifty-three percent of Americans (estimated to be 139 million) own a smartphone – up from 44% just last year.

  • About 75% of persons 18-34 own smartphones
  • Of all people (12+) who own smartphones, 44% have ever listened to online radio.  Expect that number to grow rapidly.
  • Although just 18% of smartphone owners listen to online radio daily, that’s still a big number – more than 25 million Americans (12+) – and that is also likely to grow exponentially.

Podcasting.  Although podcasting listening has leveled out over the past two or three years – about 12% or 32 million Americans have listened to an audio podcast in the last month – more than 25% of weekly podcast users have listened to six or more during that period.  The takeaway for stations/talk hosts/content providers producing podcasts is that loyal podcast users consume a lot of them.  That’s good for sales to know.  Also, the goal of converting P1s into podcast users is a worthwhile one since it appears they often become hooked on the format.

Some of the key observations by Arbitron’s Bill Rose and Edison’s Tom Webster from this year’s Infinite Dial research project include:

  • Over the population, digital platforms do not appear to replace traditional media usage, they tend to enhance them;
  • The smartphone is the most important device media businesses are dealing with and the smartphone is functioning as a “two-way” radio today;
  • Online radio reaches 86 million people per week for an average of 12 hours, with so many choices it is imperative to have a strategy that cuts through the clutter;
  • 66% of those surveyed who wake up to a smartphone use the alarm sound, not music to talk content, convince them to do otherwise!

hunnicuttclayClay Hunnicutt to Receive 2013 ”Humanitarian of the Year” Award at Talkers New York 2013.  The 2013 recipient of the Sharon L. Harrison Memorial Award for Outstanding Community Service by a Radio Broadcaster (also referred to as ”Humanitarian of the Year”) has been selected by the TALKERS editorial board.  This year’s recipient is Clear Channel Media & Entertainment EVP of programming, Clay Hunnicutt.  The 25-year veteran of radio broadcasting has been selected for this important honor in recognition of the key role he has played in paving the way for the Fisher House Foundation to become one of the radio industry’s most actively spotlighted charities, thus providing invaluable support in the form of free housing to the families of service men and women injured in combat during their visits to them at the hospital.  To learn more about Fisher House Foundation visit www.fisherhouse.org.  While serving as CC’s SCP/Community Engagement he arranged for a company-wide 2010 Veterans Day initiative in support of Fisher House.  Every CC station spotlighted Fisher House on that day and urged listeners to donate online or via text.  That event was repeated in 2011.  These campaigns alone (2010 and 2011) raised a total of $1.2 million for Fisher House.  In addition, the company donated $3 million in PSA airtime around Veterans Day 2012.  Fisher House representatives inform TALKERS that Hunnicutt has also helped them make vital connections at the local level.  Hunnicutt tells TALKERS, “If you’ve never been to a Fisher House – you must go!  Just one visit will change your life because they are making the lives of so many soldiers and sailors better.  They took the challenge of helping the men and women that put their lives on the line for our freedom every day to a whole new level.  It is a world class organization that delivers on everything they say they will do, and that always puts the needs of other first.  This is something we should all aspire to do, and make a priority with our individual time and our stations.”  Hunnicutt will be presented the award on Thursday, June 6 at Talkers New York 2013 during the afternoon “Freedom of Speech Award Ceremony.”  The event, which is nearing a sellout, is open to members of the working media.  Registrations can only be booked over the phone at 413-565-5413.

millerdennisDennis Miller Celebrates 6th Radio Anniversary.  It’s been six years since comedian and Saturday Night Live alum Dennis Miller began a daily radio talk show on the old Westwood One radio network.  On Friday, March 29, Miller celebrated his 6th anniversary on the Dial Global network hosting some friends from the old days.  Fellow SNL cast members Dana Carvey and Kevin Nealon, along with Seth Meyers appeared on the program as did fellow television star Tim Allen.

duemigsteveWDAE, Tampa’s Steve Duemig Returns to Air with New Deal.  Tampa sports talk host Steve Duemig was taken off the air at Clear Channel’s WDAE, Tampa last week after the two sides hit some sort of snag in their contract negotiations.  According to the Tampa Bay TimesEric Deggans, Duemig said he was asked to sign a new contract before the window that would allow him to speak with other companies opened.  When he refused, he was taken off the air.  Now, Duemig says he’s back with a three-year deal that, according to the paper, includes no new money.  He tells the Times, “But am I happy? I won’t answer that.”

raytomProof of Performance, Transmitter Control and Other Technical Stuff Radio Station Staffers Should Understand…at Least a Little.  In a page out of the Engineer’s Truth is Stranger than Fiction files, renown engineering wizard and TALKERS technical editor Tom Ray cites a couple of “strange but true” examples of how crazy things can get in to today’s radio station environment when it comes to “little” things like which buttons to press when the transmitter goes haywire and avoiding trouble with the FCC by staying within compliance.  In the process he sheds light on standard concepts like “proof of performance” and “turning a transmitter on and off” that programming-types really should know and in language that they can actually understand…we hope!  To read Tom Ray’s column, click here.

francesamikeMike Francesa Signs Long-Term Renewal with WFAN, New York.  American sports talk radio icon Mike Francesa inks a deal to remain the afternoon drive host on CBS Radio’s WFAN-AM/FM, New York for years to come.  The exact term of the contract is not being disclosed but CBS Radio president Dan Mason states, “Mike has earned his place inwfan logo radio history as a great broadcaster and we’re thrilled to continue our relationship with sports radio’s most celebrated host.  WFAN and Mike Francesa are synonymous with the absolute best in sports programming excellence.  These two powerful brands have endured the test of time, and remain a very relevant force in the industry nearly three decades after they first went on the air.”  As part of the deal, Francesa’s long-running Sunday morning “The NFL Now” show will be aired on the CBS Sports Radio Network beginning this fall.  Vice president, sports programming, CBS Radio Mark Chernoff states, “Mike represents the heart and soul of WFAN, and we’re proud he will continue to make the station his long-term broadcast home.  Like no one else, Mike can take a story to the next level and involve his listeners in thought provoking ways with topical and opinionated conversation.  He has set the standard for what represents an entertaining and informative radio program.”  Francesa says, “I’m very proud of what we have accomplished at WFAN.  I am also honored and thankful to CBS Radio for its continued commitment, and most of all to the listeners for their enduring loyalty.”  Mike Francesa will be the sports talk keynote speaker at Talkers New York 2013 on Thursday, June 6.  The event, which is nearing a sellout, is open to members of the working media.  Registrations can only be booked over the phone at 413-565-5413.

zpolitics logoOdds & Sods.  WGAU, Gainesville, Georgia-based talk show host Martha Zoller announces the coming debut of her Georgia politics website called Zpolitics.  Zoller states, “I am thrilled to announce the launch of my new website, Zpolitics.  We created this online hub to satisfy the desire for relevant news, smart political commentary, and sharp analysis from Georgia’s top pollsters, strategists, and grassroots activists.”….. The “Mo’Kelly Show” celebrates its one-yearokellymorris anniversary on Clear Channel’s KFI, Los Angeles this Saturday, April 6 from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm.  Show host Morris O’Kelly reports that over the past 12 months, guests have included NAACP president Ben Jealous, Pleasanton Tea Party president Dr. Bridget Melson, members of Congress, state leadership from both the Democratic and Republican parties and entertainment guests such as actresses Gabrielle Union and Tamara Tunie, comedian Cedric the Entertainer and musicians Joe Sample, Will Downing and Eric Benét.  O’Kelly also hosts various mornings on sister progressive talk station KTLK and serves as American political correspondent for the BBC…..Sunrise Broadcasting flips oldies WGNY-AM, Newburgh, New York to sports talk using ESPN Radio.  The company also plans to flip country WZAD, Wurtsboro, New York (Poughkeepsie market) as a simulcast soon.

GAcompositeThe Georgia Radio Hall of Fame Announces 2013 Legacy Inductees.  The following Georgia broadcasters will be honored at the Georgia Radio Hall of Fame 7th Annual Induction Awards on October 19, 2013 at the Atlanta/Marietta Hilton Hotel and Conference Center.  The Class of 2013 includes (in alphabetical order): Palmyra Braswell, the first black female disc jockey in Macon, Georgia (WBML ) and educator; George Crumbley, sales manager at WSB, Atlanta and father of The Peach Bowl; Jimmy Dunaway, WSB, Atlanta farm director and news anchor; Al Evans, Jr., WVLD, Valdosta owner, on air known as Danny Dee; John Holliman,  WSB reporter and Peabody Award recipient; Don Kordecki, WKRW, Cartersville owner and civic leader; Royal Marshall, WSB, Atlanta talk show host and producer; Leonard Postero, creator and voice of weekly sports program “Leonard Losers”; and Annie Lee Small, WYTH, Madison co-owner and Atlanta’s first female announcer.  The Legacy inductees join other honorees: James “Alley Pat” Patrick, 2013 Founders and Directors Award and Jim Woodruff, Jr., 2013 Elmo Ellis Spirit Award.  Pictured here are: Top row (l-r): Palmyra Braswell, George Crumbley, Jimmy Dunaway, Al Evans, Jr., John Holliman. Bottom row (l-r): Don Kordecki, Royal Marshall, Annie Lee Small, Leonard Postero.

North Korea Threats, Gun Legislation, ObamaCare Effects, Illegal Immigration, and Rutgers Basketball Coach Fired Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/2).  The ongoing concern over North Korea’s threats of military action against South Korea and America; the myriad gun legislation proposals; the effects of the Affordable Care Act; chatter over illegal immigration and amnesty legislation; and the firing of Rutgers basketball coach Mike Rice after a video goes viral were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

| August 14, 2012

 Yesterday’s Announcement of Clear Channel Buying WOR Sets Industry Buzzing.  The joint Clear Channel Media and Entertainment and Buckley Radio announcement yesterday that Clear Channel is purchasing AM radio station WOR 710 from Buckley Broadcasting Corporation, pending FCC approval, set off an industry wide storm of surprise followed by speculation on how it will impact both the local and syndication landscape.  Terms of the agreement were not disclosed although Radio-Info’s Tom Taylor reports qualified rumors in the vicinity of $40 million.

What Does it Really Mean?  As reported yesterday in TALKERS, information about this deal was kept even more closely guarded than Romney’s plans to select Ryan as his VP choice. (See yesterday’s story below.)  All signs from Cumulus indicating its plan to take news/talk in a different direction lend credence to the speculation that CC is protecting the future of its syndicated and highly valuable news/talk properties in terms of  New York clearances .  Also subject to question:  What will happen to the hosts currently syndicated by the WOR Radio Network who currently claim the legendary 710 AM as their flagship station?  Clear Channel says they will “benefit” from the relationship.  Stay tuned.

Glenn Beck Sets September Return to National Live Movie Theaters. Following his successful series of six past “cinematic” events, pioneering talk media personality Glenn Beck returns to the big screen this fall with a new comedy stage show titled “Glenn Beck’s Unelectable 2012 Live.” Broadcast live from the Majestic Theater in San Antonio, Texas on Thursday, September 20 at 8:00 pm. ET with a tape delay for the Western states, Beck will use the debate format to say the things politicians can’t – or won’t – say during this election season. In a timely mock “debate,” Beck will square off against Brian Sack, host of The B.S. of A., a sketch comedy show that airs on TheBlaze (formerly GBTV), Beck’s HD video network.  Sack’s “say anything to get elected” character is a composite of what is described as “just about every candidate from all parties.”  Beck tells TALKERS, “The B.S. of A and I have a hard job with this comedy show but I think we can pull it off – create a fake debate that is actually funnier and more absurd than the real ones we have to look forward to this fall. I am excited to once again partner with NCM Fathom Events and return to movie theaters across the country.”  In addition to the comedy, Beck will deliver a monologue presenting his view on a variety of contemporary topics. The event is a co-production of Beck’s Mercury Radio Arts and NCM Fathom Events.

You Can Tell a Lot About a News/Talk Station from its Weekend Programming… or Lack Thereof. Consultant Holland Cooke says news/talk radio stations are by and large missing major opportunities to maximize ratings, revenue and image by wasting weekends on “best-of” reruns and embarrassing paid programs.  He offers a suggestion of how to bring the commonly programmed but terribly dated “swap shop” concept into a lucrative 21st century radio role.  Read Holland’s article here.

WNIR, Akron Names John Denning New Midday Host to Replace the Late Howie Chizek. When legendary talker Howie Chizek died suddenly in June due to a heart attack, WNIR management reportedly began an extensive search to select the beloved midday host’s successor.  They decided upon John Denning, known to Chizek’s listeners as “Couch Burner” – a regular and extremely popular 20-year caller who would engage in friendly arguments with the host.  As it turns out Denning is a colorful and accomplished local businessman whom station management confidently feel will keep the legacy of Chizek alive. He takes over 10:00 am to 3:00 pm weekdays and Saturdays 9:00 am to 12:00 noon.

Romney’s Selection of Rep. Paul Ryan as Republican VP Choice Top News/Talk Radio Story Yesterday (8/13). The Ryan story significantly leads the pack which also includes the Texas A&M shootings, and the Mars “Curiosity” mission among the most talked about stories on news/talk stations yesterday according to ongoing TALKERS research.

Odds and Sods. Talk host Kevin McCullough, his co-host (and famous actor) Stephen Baldwin and “Secret Millionaire” Dani Johnson are extending their efforts to feed orphans.  Hoping in April 2012 to feed more than 2012 orphans before the end of the calendar year, and with more than 3600 children – who have no resources – fed for the coming year, the coalition formerly known as “2012 in 2012″ has become www.DoGood.com… Sexy Philadelphia-based “shock jockett” Lois Burak and her podcast-grown program “The Lolo Show” (which includes co-host  Joe DeLong) have been given a monthly spot on Sirius XM’s Playboy Spice Channel 103.  Burak is the daughter of Marvin Burak, a controversial Philadelphia broadcaster in the 1960s.  Talkers Tip:  Check this talent out.

Fisher House Honors Premiere Networks. Fisher House Foundation recently recognized Premiere Networks for its support of “A Grateful Nation,” a  Memorial Day radio special that used the powerful personal stories of wounded warriors to promote the Fisher House mission.  Premiere handled affiliation and distribution of the one-hour show, which aired on 65 news/talk radio stations and Sirius/XM.  From left to right: Premiere Networks president/content and affiliate relations Julie Talbott, Fisher House VP Cynthia Campbell and Premiere SVP/affiliate relations for talk and morning shows Peter Tripi.  Fisher House provides no-cost housing and other support to the families of wounded warriors while their loved ones are being treated at military and VA hospitals.

 

Monday, June 4, 2012

| June 4, 2012

Tom Leykis and Lionel to Discuss Their High-Profile Pioneering Digital Efforts at NMS.  Two questions (or variations thereof) regularly fielded by the TALKERS editorial staff these days are “How’s Tom Leykis doing with his new online talk show?” and “What’s Lionel up to these days with his online project?”  Both will be answered in detail straight from the horses’ mouths at the New Media Seminar’s Digital Workshop in New York City this Thursday, June 7.  As West Coast-based Leykis approaches the two-month mark into the launch of his “New Normal Network” online project and East Coast-based Lionel chalks up two years of operating “LionelMedia.com,” both individualistic graduates of the terrestrial talk show scene continue to gain traction on both the audience and revenue fronts as the industry watches with great interest.  Leykis tells TALKERS, “We had over 1.1 million sessions from our debut on April 2nd until April 30th. That number would most closely approximate cume. In our first week of 24/7 streaming, we had exactly 401,180 listeners. That was more listeners than the weekly cumes of 14 L.A./Orange County radio stations in March.”  On the revenue front, Leykis is also very pleased with immediate results saying, “At the current pace, we will make over 100K in revenue, but we are conservatively estimating 100K for the year.”  Leykis explains the key to making an online radio operation work is to provide specific listeners something they cannot get anywhere else.  He tells TALKERS, “You really have to super-serve your P1s…even in the process of selling advertising.  We go out into the marketplace and ask radio-friendly businesses the question, ‘Are you being priced out of radio?’  Because our operating costs are so much lower than radio we can offer these small businesses very affordable deals.  And when you specifically target business owners who are already in your audience as listeners, well it just makes a lot of sense.  This is what we are doing and it is working.”  Lionel describes his digital effort to TALKERS as follows: “This month is the second anniversary of the launch of LionelMedia.com, a paid subscription podcasting outlet. I podcast an hour daily of uninterrupted, unedited, commercial and break-free freeform-yet-structured spoken word. It, frankly, knows no peer. Every day I post news stories, columns, ideas, opinions and the like that supplement the subject or content of that day’s podcast. I’ll also attach a YouTube video of my latest PIX11 commentary on myriad subjects. To be most precise: I do exactly what I want. Let that sink in. My podcasts are not profane or blue in the least — in fact they could be played in their entirety on terrestrial radio. That, I feel, is a drawing point and basis for much of our success.”  Although Lionel no longer does a terrestrial radio talk show, he does regularly scheduled commentaries on Tribune television stations including New York’s WPIX channel 11 and Merlin Media’s all-news FMs in New York, Philadelphia and Chicago in addition to appearing as a regular guest on a number of terrestrial radio talk shows…exposure that helps drive traffic to his online media station.  The Digital Workshop will be moderated by Ellen Ratner of Talk Radio News Service and Dan Patterson of KoPoint.  The June 7 industry-only New Media Seminar/NYC is an advance sellout.  For information call 413-565-5413.

Wisconsin Recall Spurs Question of “Equal Time” on Milwaukee News/Talk Outlets – and Beyond.  Progressive political groups are charging Clear Channel‘s WISN, Milwaukee and Journal Broadcasting‘s WTMJ, Milwaukee with violating the FCC‘s “Zapple Doctrine” which mandates “equal time” to all qualified political candidates within 60 days of an election under certain circumstances. TALKERS legal editor Steven J.J. Weisman writes that talk hosts often benefit from exemption from the “Zapple Doctrine” by qualifying as a “news interview program.” But that exemption is not always a slam dunk. Read Weisman’s column about how the courts tend to interpret this section of FCC regulations here.

WPLJ-FM, New York OM Tony Mascaro to Program WABC?  Some posts on the New York Radio Message Board indicate inside sources are reporting Cumulus Media New York is naming CHR WPLJ-FM operations manager Tony Mascaro program director of its news/talk WABC. As of the posting of this item, there is no confirmation or denying of the report from Cumulus. WABC APD Chuck Armstrong has been serving as interim program director for the station filling the role left vacant when Laurie Cantillo exited the post last fall. Stay tuned.

Tony Kornheiser Re-Ups with WTEM, Washington for Two Years.  The Red Zebra Broadcasting station announces high-profile personality Tony Kornheiser renews his deal to remain host of the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon program on ESPN 980 WTEM, Washington, DC. As part of the new contract, Kornheiser will contribute to the Washington Redskins Radio Network‘s “Official Pre-Game Show” during the football season. WTEM CEO Rick Carmean states, “Tony’s unique brand of humor and entertainment fits perfectly into our strong and highly rated midday lineup.” Kornheiser is joined weekdays by a rotating cast of co-hosts including Gary Braun, Jeanne McManus, Torie Clark, David Aldridge and longtime producer Nigel. Frequent contributors include Tony’s “Pardon the Interruption”co-host Michael Wilbon.

WSB-AM/FM, Atlanta Gives Adam Goldfein Nightly Program.  Local attorney and auto dealership owner Adam Goldfein has hosted a weekend program about cars on Cox Media‘s WSB-AM/FM for some time. Now, the station adds more air time to his schedule. The consumer issues expert begins hosting a program airing nightly from 8:00 pm to 10:00 pm. Goldfein had been filling in for Clark Howard on the station and Cox Radio Atlanta VP and market manager Dan Kearney tells the Atlanta Journal Constitution, “He was doing a great job filling in for Clark Howard and his Sunday show was getting great ratings. We wanted him on more consistently.” 

Stephen King’s WZON, Bangor Drops Local Sports Talk; Dismisses Two.  Give WZON, Bangor owner Stephen King credit for manning up and personally delivering the news to sports talk hosts Dale Duff and Clem LaBree that they were being dismissed for financial reasons. Duff and LaBree hosted the 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm sports talk show on WZON-AM as well as covering a slew of local sports events, including high school and college games. The Bangor Daily News reports King told the two the change had nothing to do with the quality of their work but because the programming was losing money. WZON-AM had ceased being a full-time sports talk station in November of 2010 and was carrying much of the progressive talk format from sister WZON-FM ­- The Pulse. Duff had been with the station for 19 years. Both are receiving severance from the company. Duff and LaBree’s show will be replaced by a simulcast from WZON-FM although the station will continue to air sports play-by-play.

SRN’s Tom Tradup Makes Statement on End of “Richard Land Live” Program.  The Ethics and Religious Liberty Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention issued two reprimands to Dr. Richard Land for comments he made about the Trayvon Martin case that it deemed “irresponsible, insensitive and racially charged.” It also ended his radio program that it produced that was distributed via Salem Radio Network. The controversy surrounding the statements was enhanced further by allegations Land read them from another published opinion that was not cited. SRN vice president of news/talk programming Tom Tradup tells TALKERS, “Theologians have a different perspective on talk radio than the rest of our industry does. What some see as “hurtful language” on the Trayvon Martin case is, in reality, part of a free and open exchange of ideas and opinions that is the keystone of talk radio. And by talk radio standards, nothing Dr. Land may have failed to “fully attribute” on the air or on his website rose to the level of so-called plagiarism. Nevertheless, we respect the ERLC’s decision and thus the final edition of ‘Richard Land Live’ aired Saturday, June 2.

Twin Cities Radio Personality Dark Star Dies at Age 66.  Longtime Minneapolis radio personality Dark Star – real name George Chapple – was found dead in his home in Minnetonka, Minnesota. He co-hosted the “Sports Show” along with Sid Hartman on CBS Radio‘s WCCO, Minneapolis during part of his 25 years on the air there before accepting a buyout from the station in November of 2010. Recently he had been working at crosstown KFAN. He failed to show up for his Friday show there and authorities found him dead in his apartment.

Compass Media Marketing Named Exclusive Radio Sales Agent for Point-of-Purchase Service.  This story is really about the acquisition of InStore Broadcasting Network by POP Radio and the new company becomes InStore Audio Network. It delivers in-store advertising messages to more than 33,000 retail outlets – grocery, drug stores, etc. – and provides music content to some 14,000 stores. The company is enlisting Compass Media Marketing as exclusive national radio sales agent. Compass CEO Peter Kosann says, “I have been a longtime partner with POP Radio and the expanded footprint of the new company creates an exciting and compelling media product that network radio buyers will need to consider.”

KSFO, San Francisco Listeners Help Raise $135k for Fisher House Construction.  Cumulus Media‘s news/talk KSFO, San Francisco held a Memorial Day weekend fundraiser for the Fisher House Foundation that began with a live remote broadcast of Brian Sussman‘s morning drive show. Sussman (r) is pictured here interviewing Fisher House representative Cindy Campbell (l). Fundraising continued over the Memorial Day weekend and more than $135,000 was collected for the construction of the Palo Alto Fisher House which provides no-cost housing and the comforts of home for family members of military personnel while their loved ones rehab and recover from various injuries and ailments. Sussman states, “This gift of over $135,000 illustrates the abundant generosity of our KSFO radio family. The Fisher House provides our troops and their families with genuine American hospitality and it’s an honor to be associated with their vital endeavor.

Iowa Farm News Broadcaster Mark Pearson Dead at 54.  Mark Pearson worked at Iowa Public Television where he hosted the “Market to Market” show and at Clear Channel‘s WHO, Des Moines where he co-hosted “The Big Show,” a program that highlighted agricultural news. Pearson died of an apparent heart attack at his home on Sunday. WHO talk show host Jan Mickelson told the Des Moines Register, “Everyone at every level in the farm community respected the guy.”

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

| April 18, 2012

SiriusXM Bests Howard Stern in Court.  TALKERS legal editor Steven J.J. Weisman reports on a New York State Supreme Court judge’s decision to throw out Howard Stern’s $300 million suit against employer SiriusXM.  Weisman notes that the judge concluded that Stern and agent Don Buchwald were paid bonuses due as the result of the Sirius and XM merger but that Stern’s contention his bonus was calculated improperly was dismissed.  Read more here.

Tom Becka Returns to Air in Omaha on NRG’s KKAR.  Talk host Tom Becka recently joined Radio Fargo-Moorhead’s new FM talk outlet KRWK-FM, Fargo – 101.9 Talk FM – where he serves as program director and morning drive host.  He retains that post but adds a two-hour PM drive talk show at NRG Media’s KKAR, Omaha airing from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm.  Becka was heard in the market for years on Clear Channel’s crosstown KFAB until he parted ways with the station last fall.  NRG Omaha market manager Andy Ruback states, “I had a short but critical list of talent I wanted to recruit to our cluster of stations and having the legendary Tom Becka join the lineup on ‘The Mighty 1290’ truly offers our listeners localized content with an edge.  Having Tom on our team provides a perfect fit for our Mighty 1290 brand and I am confident the listeners will definitely tune in to hear Tom’s take on everything from politics, lifestyle, newsmakers and more.”  On his return to the air in Omaha, Becka says, “I’m looking forward to working very hard for two great companies doing what I love to do.  I’m having a blast building a new FM talker for Radio Fargo-Moorhead, and now NRG Media and ‘The Mighty 1290’ are giving me a chance to continue to have a strong presence in Omaha.  I have the best of all worlds.  I’m a blessed man to be able to have these two great opportunities.”

ESPN Radio’s Mike Greenberg Co-Hosts “Live with Kelly” Today.  ESPN Radio personality Mike Greenberg – one half of the Mike & Mike syndicated morning drive show – will co-host ABC’s “Live with Kelly” show this morning at 9:00 am ET.  Host Kelly Ripa called in to the Mike & Mike show yesterday to promote Greenberg’s appearance.  She notes actress Olivia Wilde is among today’s guests prompting Greenberg to say, “I want every girl who ignored me in high school to tune in tomorrow.”  Ripa quickly replied, “Think we’ll get a boost in ratings when every girl who was mean to you tunes in?”

New “Business for Breakfast” Morning Show Airs on Colorado Financial Talk Outlets.  Radio Colorado Network’s new “Business for Breakfast” show is the new AM drive show on Pilgrim Communications’ KRCN, Denver/Ft. Collins and KREL, Colorado Springs/Pueblo.  Hosted by Marc Mandel, Harriet Fox and Roger Cridlebaugh, the program is produced by Radio Colorado Network which promotes the program stating “the new and improved ‘Business for Breakfast’ gives listeners current market analysis, economic updates and timely interviews with featured guests.  This show is informative, educational and entertaining with the intent to best position listeners for the opening bell and start of the day.”

Palm Springs Talk Host Lee Rayburn Resigns; Announces Move “Back East.”  Until last Friday, Lee Rayburn was afternoon host at Morris Communications’ KNEWS multi-cast in the Palm Springs market.  Rayburn resigned on air at the end of his show on April 13 stating he was taking a position “back East.”  Rayburn and KNEWS have been embroiled in a controversy surrounding a civil suit for defamation, libel and invasion of privacy against Rayburn and the station by local business person Pete ChryssThe Desert Sun reports Chryss alleges Rayburn and the station made false and malicious statements about him on the radio – charges the station denies.  Chryss was providing security services for a number of city-owned buildings but those contracts were canceled in the wake of public scrutiny over Chryss’ relationship with a former city councilor.

Cumulus Media Providence Helps Raise More Than $600k for Children’s Hospital.  Last week’s Cumulus Media-sponsored, two-day radiothon for the Hasbro Children’s Hospital in Providence helped raise $611,312.  The Cumulus cluster – including news/talk WPRO/WEAN-FM — encouraged listeners and website visitors to donate in support of the hospital while on-air personalities interviewed dozens of patients and family members of the hospital, hoping to raise awareness of the doctors, hospital and care they provide.  WPRO/WEAN-FM program director Paul Giammarco says, “Cumulus Media Providence and our affiliated stations would like to extend our heartfelt thank you to everyone who donated to this incredible cause, you all made a difference in the lives of so many local children and families.”  Pictured here are (from l-r): Dr. Thomas Tracy; Tony Torres, 2012 Champion Child; WPRO/WEAN PM drive talk host Buddy Cianci; WPRO/WEAN-FM morning news host Tara Granahan; and Dr. Robert Klein.

2012 Presidential Race, Obama Oil Price Regulation Program, GSA Scandal and North Korea Military Ambitions Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/17).  The 2012 presidential showdown between President Obama and GOP challenger Mitt Romney; President Obama’s program to regulate oil prices; the testimony about the Government Services Agency spending scandal; and concern over North Korea’s military ambitions were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Support for Fisher House Recognized.  ABC News Radio vice president and general manager Steve Jones (l) accepts a plaque from Fisher House vice president of community relations Cynthia Campbell (r) for ABC’s assistance to the veterans organization.  Fisher House, which provides housing to the families of military personnel being treated at military and VA hospitals, says ABC lent critical pro bono technical support to “The Gift,” Fisher House’s Christmas radio broadcast, which aired on 85 radio stations and helped generate a 30% year-to-year increase in giving during the last week of 2011.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

| April 12, 2012

Cox Media Group Goes Hot Talk in Tampa on “The Bone.”  The rock music stops on Cox Media Group’s WHPT-FM, Tampa – The Bone – on Monday, April 23 as the company builds a hot talk station around morning drive star Bubba the Love Sponge and PM drive personality Cowhead.  Cox will add the DirecTV-produced Nick DiPaolo and Artie Lange show for late nights and is considering programs for middays and early evenings.  Cox Tampa VP/market manager Keith Lawless says, “‘The Bone’ dominates the morning and afternoon drive talk shows and has room to grow in the midday and evening classic rock shows.  Evolving this station into an all-talk station is an obvious move.  Bubba plays no music and is clearly the market’s leader in mornings.  Filling in the other dayparts with compelling talk and removing all music from the already successful Cowhead show will make ‘The Bone’ dominant with men and adults all day long.”

KNBR, San Francisco Parts Company with Ralph Barbieri After 28 Years.  Ralph Barbieri – the Razor – has been a part of sports talk on KNBR, San Francisco since 1984 but he’s been let go by Cumulus Media as the result of a “management decision,” according to the San Jose Mercury News.  Barbieri’s co-host Tom Tolbert – Mr. T – continues as solo host of the PM drive show.  Barbieri wrote for Sport magazine before joining KNBR in 1984 and became one of the pillars upon which KNBR was built.  Last fall, Barbieri revealed to the San Francisco Chronicle that he’d been diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease in 2005 and that he disclosed the diagnosis to Cumulus as the two sides began negotiating a contract renewal.  Barbieri said he believed it was only fair to Cumulus.  He also reported that CEO Lew Dickey told him the company wanted him back.  Barbieri wrote to the Mercury News stating: “…All I can say is that I’m weighing my options, which are considerable.  I’ll have more to say later on.  For now, I just want to say that I’ve seen a couple of articles that have characterized this as an amicable parting.  Well, that’s not exactly the case.  I came to work (Tuesday) morning with no idea that anything of this nature was afoot, especially since my contract does not expire until November 1.  I was immediately told that the general manager wanted to see me.  I went to his office and the program director was there as well.  I was told that I was being terminated and that April 10, was to be my last day at KNBR.”

All-News WBBM Top Biller in Chicago in 2011.  Time Out Chicago’s Robert Feder reports data from BIA/Kelsey that indicates all-news has been good for CBS Radio in the Windy City.  The most recent quarterly “Investing in Radio Market Report” from BIA/Kelsey ranks the top five radio billers in Chicago and ranks WBBM – with its recent FM simulcast addition – at the top with $48 million in billing in 2011 (an increase from $42.5 million in 2010).  Hubbard Broadcasting’s AC WTMX-FM is in second place followed by Tribune’s news/talk WGN in third ($35.5 million).  Univision’s Regional Mexican WOJO-FM comes in fourth and CBS Radio’s country WUSN-FM is in fifth place.

Tribune’s WGN, Chicago Jumps on Board iHeartRadio.  Stating that the new platform provides listeners with greater access to WGN, station VP/general manager Tom Langmyer announces Tribune Company’s news/talk WGN will be heard on Clear Channel’s iHeartRadio digital platform.  “This additional platform provides even greater access to WGN, and exposes new listeners to one of America’s premier personality-based talk, news and sports stations.”  Clear Channel Digital president Brian LeKamp says, “Adding a station like WGN to iHeartRadio further delivers on our mission to be wherever our listeners are with the products and services they expect, expanding our ability to offer our users an even more diverse and exciting listening experience.  As one of the top stations in Chicago, WGN features news, information, entertainment and sports and is an excellent addition to our platform.”

Jorge Sedano Leaves Post as AM Drive Host at WAXY, Miami.  South Florida sports talk host Jorge Sedano tweets to his fans that he’s left Lincoln Financial Media’s sports talk WAXY, Miami’s morning drive show:  “After four great yrs at 790 THE TICKET I’ve decided 2 move on effective immediately.  W/ all the new projects I’m working on its just too hard 2 do it all.  I want to thank all wonderful people I worked with in my time there.  Also, thank you the audience for some great radio.  Without you guys, I wouldn’t be in this great position to make this move.  I’m looking forward to the next chapter & hoping u all come along.  Thanks again for all your support.  You have no idea what it means to me. All the best. Love JORGE.”  Chatter in the sports talk world is that Sedano, who has previously worked at Fox Sports Radio Network, is developing a show to air on the new CBS Sports Network – possibly as a lead in to Jim Rome’s new show on the cable channel.  For now, Brandon Guzio is hosting the morning show at WAXY.

Salem Communications Partners with TuneIn.  Camarillo, California-based Salem Communications is the latest broadcaster to partner with internet audio company TuneIn to broadcast its stations via the web.  Salem makes its almost 100 radio properties available to listeners everywhere via the service.  Salem Radio president David Santrella says in a statement, “Through our partnership with TuneIn, we have expanded the number of access points to our content.  We have made it easier for our current listeners to access our programming from wherever they are and have opened up our broadcasts to new audiences.  Overnight we’ve expanded our footprint in digital and have gained a suite of first-of-their-kind analysis tools from TuneIn that help us further tailor programming to our listeners everywhere.”

Arbitron CFO Richard Surratt to Leave the Company.  A press release from Arbitron headquarters in Columbia, Maryland says Richard Surratt is leaving his role at the ratings giant for personal reasons and that EVP/COO Sean Creamer will take over the CFO role when Surratt’s exit takes place in May.  Meanwhile, the company has hired Crist Kolder Associates to search for a new CFO.

2012 Presidential Race, Charges Filed Against George Zimmerman, Obama Care Status, Tepid U.S. Jobs Creation and European Economic Tensions Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/11).  Mitt Romney’s apparent capturing of the GOP nomination and the 2012 presidential campaign, second degree murder charges filed against George Zimmerman in the death of Trayvon Martin, the legal status of President Obama’s Patient Accessibility and Affordable Care Act, meager job growth in the U.S. and economic tensions in the Euro zone were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Bonneville Seattle Gets Behind Fisher House Campaign.  Bonneville Seattle – which includes news/talk KIRO-FM, talk KTTH, and sports talk KIRO – is supporting a campaign to upgrade the Fisher House at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Tacoma, Washington.  The current house – which provides lodging for the families of American service personnel recovering from treatment after being wounded in the line of duty –  has been in use since 1992 and there is a need for a larger facility.  Bonneville VP/market manager Carl Gardner states, “Healing our wounded warriors and caring for their families is a mission all of us in the Pacific Northwest want to join.  At Bonneville, we’re excited to pull together our community of friends and bring this new Fisher House to life, to give something back to the soldiers and their families who have given us so much over these past ten years.”  Pictured here are Bonneville Seattle staffers and military personnel from the base.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

| December 6, 2011

Arbitron Reports Radio Listening Up; 1.4 Million Listeners Added.  According to Arbitron’s RADAR 111 National Radio Listening Report, 1.4 million more Americans ages 12-plus are listening to radio on a weekly basis compared to the RADAR report released one year ago.  “The number of persons 12 and older listening to radio each week now reaches an estimated 241.3 million, representing 93% of the population 12 and older,” according to Arbitron.  The report concludes, “In addition to adding 1.4 million weekly listeners during the past year, radio listening among key demographics continues to hold steady.  Compared to the December 2010 RADAR report, teens aged 12 to 17 remains consistent at 22.8 million, or 92% of that demographic’s population.  Radio listeners aged 18 to 34 increased slightly versus the December 2010 RADAR report.  Radio now reaches 66.3 million weekly listeners in this age range, that’s 93.4% of this demographic.”  The report also highlights the large increase of Hispanic listeners – more than 1 million 12-plus — from year-to-year.  Arbitron states the sample size for RADAR is 395,502 persons 12-plus which is “designed to provide more stability for key demographic estimates, dayparts and Market-by-Market Analysis reports, which report all individual DMAs®.

John B. Wells Joins “Coast to Coast AM” Air Staff.  Premiere Networks announces long-time “Coast to Coast AM” fill-in host John B. Wells becomes a regular host of the Saturday weekend edition of the program.  Wells becomes part of the staff after current weekend host Ian Punnett announces he must reduce his duties with the program to seek aggressive treatment for a debilitating case of tinnitus with which he’s suffering.  He’ll continue to host one weekend program per month.  (Punnett also continues to co-host the morning show at Hubbard Radio’s KTMY, Minneapolis with his wife Margery.)  On joining the program, Wells says, “Spending Saturday nights talking to millions of ‘Coast to Coast’ fans is a dream come true.  After guest hosting the show off and on for the last few years, it’s a real honor to officially join the ‘Coast to Coast’ and Premiere Networks crew.  This is going to be a lot of fun and a real adventure!”

Norman Goldman Snags Denver Affiliation.  Compass Media Networks talk host Norman Goldman becomes the PM drive personality at Clear Channel’s KKZN, Denver.  Goldman’s program has been in national syndication for two years and is heard in major markets including Chicago, San Francisco and Boston as well as numerous others.  Of his newest affiliation, Goldman says, “We are thrilled and excited to be part of the live programming schedule offered daily by AM 760, Colorado’s Progressive Talk.  Our highly engaged, socially connected audience expects to interact with and comment about the live events happening around the world and respond in real time.  My sincere thanks to KKZN PD Dan Mandis for this amazing opportunity to make great live radio.”  Compass Media Networks notes Goldman began his program in 2009 with the pledge of serving local affiliates.  “Throughout the past 24 months, Goldman has held rallies, Town Halls, advertiser appearances, and events – at no charge to his stations.  His emotion-filled message of hard work, tenacity and passion for justice resonates with listeners and advertisers alike.”

Fox Sports Radio Adds Bobby Bones and Andy Roddick for Weekend Show.  Tennis great Andy Roddick partners up with Austin, Texas-based syndicated CHR morning show host Bobby Bones for a weekend program on Fox Sports Radio Network beginning on January 7, 2012.  Roddick and Bones are long-time friends and the two have talked sports on Bones’ morning show numerous times.  They also subbed on FSRN this past summer.  Bones says, “I can’t wait to get paid to talk about sports, especially since Andy and I have been doing it for free for years.  We’re pretty excited to get to use real microphones and be heard by a real audience, on Fox Sports Radio!”  Fox Sports Radio VP/GM Don Martin states, “We are proud to bring the amazing talents of Bobby Bones and Andy Roddick into the Fox Sports Radio family.  This unique duo will blow the minds of the sports talk radio audience.”

CBS Radio Names Neil Salvage Head of Digital Sales.  Neil Salvage comes to CBS Radio from CityGrid Media where he was executive vice president of advertising.  In his new position he will oversee all sales efforts on a national and local level related to CBS Radio’s digital assets, including the division’s websites, a variety of mobile assets, and online streaming initiatives.  CBS Radio president of sales Michael Weiss states, “In Neil, we have succeeded in hiring an incredibly seasoned local advertising pro with experience at well-respected companies such as Citysearch, Yellowpages.com and BellSouth.  With his background we’re confident we can acquire new clients whose focus is deeply rooted in digital marketing, and claim a greater share of incremental dollars in 2012 and beyond.”

Radio-thon for the Troops.  Cumulus’ WMAL, Washington, DC morning program personalities (from l-r) Brian Wilson, Mary Katharine Ham and Bryan Nehman work a remote broadcast on December 2 as part of the day-long 8th Annual WMAL Fisher House Radio-thon.  The station raised $256,000 for the Fisher House Foundation which provides housing near military hospitals for the families of convalescing and rehabbing military personnel who’ve been injured in the line of duty.  Program director Bill Hess states, “WMAL’s listeners have contributed more than $3.7 million over the past eight years through fund drives and events.  It’s a cause about which we – and our very supportive listeners – feel quite strongly.”  WMAL talk host Chris Plante also worked the radio-thon as part of the station’s effort.

Cain Suspends Presidential Race, Euro Zone Downgrade/Financial Markets Response, Putin’s Political Future and Iran Tensions Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/5).  Herman Cain’s suspension of his presidential campaign, the S&P downgrade of 15 Euro Zone countries and its effect on financial markets, Vladimir Putin’s political future in Russia and the tension over Iran’s military buildup were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

| November 17, 2011

The D.C. All-News Battle is On.  CBS Radio will take on Hubbard Broadcasting’s stranglehold on all-news in the Nation’s Capital in January when it unveils a brand new FM news station at 99.1 on the dial.  CBS is moving its “El Zol” Spanish station from 99.1 to the recently acquired WFSI-FM, Annapolis, Maryland signal at 107.9 it purchased from Harold Camping’s Family Stations, Inc.  Hubbard’s WTOP brand (which includes its tremendous digital initiatives) has been dominant in the news game in D.C. and nowhere is that more evident than in its first-place finish in the revenue race among all American radio stations as it billed $57 million in 2010.  Now, CBS Radio brings its years of all-news experience to town.  CBS Radio CEO Dan Mason states, “CBS Radio’s history in all-news is rich in tradition and recognized nationwide for its excellence.  There is no one more regarded in this field, nor anyone with the journalistic expertise and capability to put forth a product with such instant credibility.  We have perfected this format over many decades and we’re thrilled to expand the options for the D.C. community who have a distinct passion for news.”  CBS moves WCBS, New York assistant director of news and programming Robert Sanchez to DC to program the station and brings Michelle Komes-Dolge aboard to serve as news director.  Komes-Dolge is a veteran D.C. news person who served with WTOP-FM in the past.  CBS Radio operates successful all-news operations in New York (WCBS, WINS), Los Angeles (KNX), Chicago (WBBM-AM/FM), San Francisco (KCBS), Philadelphia (KYW), Detroit (WWJ), and Boston (WBZ).  The growth of all-news and the emergence of head-to-head competitive major market battles promises to focus a new level of industry attention on the competitive elements that make a difference in determining success in the format.  Stay tuned!

WBAL, Baltimore’s Ron Smith Ends Chemotherapy. Baltimore talk radio legend Ron Smith announced today that he will continue to host his daily talk show on the Hearst news/talk station he’s worked at as a host for 27 years as long as he can, but he is ending his chemotherapy.  Smith announced on October 17 that he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer that has spread to other organs.  The 69-year-old personality said at the time his doctors believed he had a chance to beat the disease with treatment.  Smith delivered the news to his listeners earlier today (11/17).

America’s Radio News Network Adds Daily Election Feature.  “Trek to 2012: The Presidential Agenda” is the name of ARNN’s new 90-second feature that airs four times daily during all four of ARNN’s news programs.  Billed as providing “listeners with all the latest on the 2012 presidential campaign schedules, media events, policy issues, latest polling numbers and debate coverage along with other election details and information,” the feature will be heard on ARNN’s 215-plus affiliate stations.  ARNN executive vice president John McCaslin says, “We trust that the ‘Trek to 2012: The Presidential Agenda’ will keep ARNN’s listeners well informed on the latest news and the whereabouts of their favorite 2012 presidential candidates, whether it is President Obama or one in the large field of GOP White House hopefuls.  Given the dismal U.S. economy and continuing recession, plus other hot-button issues such as national security, we are already experiencing unprecedented interest in the upcoming 2012 presidential campaign.”

KYW, Philadelphia Adds Three to its Newsradio Hall of Fame.  CBS Radio’s KYW, Philadelphia announces the induction of Bob Kelly, and the late Karin Phillips and Jack O’Rourke into its KYW Newsradio Hall of Fame.  Director of news and programming Steve Butler and director of sales David Yadgaroff gave the awards to Kelly, who served as an account executive for 20 years and to relatives of Phillips and O’Rourke, who died within days of each other in September.

Former WWNC, Asheville, North Carolina Host Matt Mittan Announces Digital Effort and Terrestrial Affiliate.  Matt Mittan hosted the “Take a Stand” show on Clear Channel’s WWNC, Asheville until a few weeks ago when he left the station after personnel cuts at the cluster cost him producer/sidekick Agnes Cheek.  Now, Mittan and Cheek, who’ve been producing a podcast, will begin streaming their show and have announced WHKP, Hendersonville, North Carolina (south of Asheville) will pick up the 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm hour of the show.  Mittan says that although the program is produced in their downtown Asheville studio, they plan to take it on the road across Western North Carolina.

Clear Channel Raises More than $700,000 for Fisher House.  Capping a week-long fundraising effort November 7-11 culminating on Veterans Day, Clear Channel Radio put its 850 radio stations to work to bring in more than $700,000 for the Fisher House Foundation.  Ken Fisher is chairman of the foundation and he comments, “We’re grateful for Clear Channel’s support of our military families again this year.  Clear Channel’s remarkable reach and continued support is an amazing force for our military families that will continue to help veterans and their families across the United States.”  Fisher House provides housing close to hospitals for families of military personnel who are receiving treatment for injuries suffered in battle so they can be near their loved ones during that time without incurring huge expenses.  CC has helped raise more than $1.2 million for Fisher House in the last two years.

2012 Presidential Race, ‘OWS’ Shutdown, European Debt Threatens U.S., and Marines in Australia Plan Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/16).  The 2012 GOP presidential candidates, the shutdown of the Zurcotti Park encampment in New York City and what it means to the ‘Occupy’ movement, the continuing threat to the U.S. and world economies by the European debt crisis and President Obama’s plan to station U.S. Marines in Australia were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday according to ongoing research from TALKERS.