Tag: "George Plaster"

Thursday, August 22, 2019

| August 22, 2019

Joe Walsh May Mount Primary Challenge Against Trump. Talk media personality and former U.S. Representative Joe Walsh (R-IL) tells Politico that he’s seriously considering launching a Republican primary campaign to challenge President Trump for the nomination. Calling the president an “unfit, divider-in-chief,” Walsh tells the publication he believes he can raise the money to compete against the president.  He adds that if he decides to run, he’ll make an announcement soon.  Walsh hosts his eponymous 9:00 pm to 12:00 midnight ET talk radio program syndicated by Salem Radio Network.

Sports Talker George Plaster to Return to Nashville Airwaves.  Recently, Nashville sports media personality George Plaster went back on the radio in Nashville after a three-year stint as associate athletics director and Belmont College.  But his gig with Grand Ole Opry’s WSM-AM lasted only one month.  Now, The Tennessean reports that Plaster is joining Southern Wabash Communications’ sports talk WNSR-AM “Sportsradio 560” to host the 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm show, effective September 3.  Before Plaster left the radio biz to serve with Belmont College, he had served with Cumulus Media’s WWTN-FM and WGFX-FM, as well as Cromwell Group’s WPRT-FM as a sports talk host in the market.

PPM Analysis: MLB Flagships. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents the second of his four-part series looking at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s July PPM survey.  Today’s report looks at stations that serve as MLB flagships.  In it, see charts logging the changes in weekly, 6+ AQH share from the June survey to July’s; from July of 2018 to this year; based on market rank; and more here.

WLAC, Nashville Host Steve Gill Arrested for Non-Payment of Child Support. According to coverage in The Tennessean, talk host and conservative media personality Steve Gill was arrested on Tuesday (8/20) and placed in the Williamson County Jail for non-payment of child support to his ex-wife.  The piece states that Gill, who hosts “The TN Star Gill Report” on iHeartMedia’s news/talk WLAC, Nashville, is being ordered by a county judge to pay Kathryn B. Gill $170,000 in support.  The court is also ordering that Gill remain in jail until he pays the money owed.  In January of this year, Kathryn Gill initiated a petition for civil contempt that sought $86,000 in child support, $4,400 in medical expenses, $133,000 in college expenses, and $11,000 for a car for the children’s use.

Epoch Times Responds to NBC/MSNBC Attacks with Scathing Rebuttal.  Once again, NBC News has attacked the independent New York-based international news organization with Chinese roots, The Epoch Times, in a harsh “expose” based on its unwavering support of President Donald Trump, its non-traditional reporting on so-called “conspiracy theories,” its connection to the growing Chinese spiritual practice of Falun Gong, and its unambiguous opposition to the Chinese Communist Party. The article, written by NBC reporters Brandy Zadrozney and Ben Collins, posted Tuesday (8/20) is titled, “Trump, QAnon and an impending judgment day: Behind the Facebook-fueled rise of The Epoch Times.”  It’s headline subtitle states, “Started almost two decades ago with a stated mission to ‘provide information to Chinese communities to help immigrants assimilate into American society,’ The Epoch Times now wields one of the biggest social media followings of any news outlet.”  During the past year, The Epoch Times has gained significant popularity as a news and guest source among conservative talk media hosts for what they see as its fresh perspective on a wide array of hot topics, from the Mueller Report to the Southern Border immigration crisis.  But, specifically, it is The Epoch Times’ first-hand connection to China and the growing importance of U.S.-China relations in the national conversation that have elevated it to must-read status among a growing number of conservative and independent media practitioners beefing up their intelligence in this rapidly emerging arena.  In today’s online edition of The Epoch Times, the news organization responds with a point-by-point rebuttal penned by its editor-in-chief/US editions, Jasper Fakkert titled, “Why NBC, MSNBC’s Reporting on The Epoch Times is Textbook Fake News.”  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison comments, “This troubling media skirmish prompted by the NBC ‘expose’ of The Epoch Times is yet another example of a disturbing trend in which diverse news organizations are attacking each other based on political bias and journalistic practices for the sheer purpose of providing affirmation to their target audiences.  It has become a widespread exercise of the pot calling the kettle black.  We all know that there’s plenty to criticize about any media outlet in today’s highly polarized political arena – and that ‘cherry picking’ isolated issues and piling them up out of context into a damning case has become routine in today’s increasingly normal practice of seeking victory at the expense of truth.  It is journalism’s brand of the kind of ‘negative campaigning’ that has turned politics into an odious form of mud wrestling.” Harrison continues, “My statement here is not to endorse nor oppose the editorial positions of The Epoch Times – I stay out of that kind of stuff – but rather to support the legitimacy of its role in the world media as one of the most influential outlets along the leading edge of the Chinese people’s resistance to the repressive Communist control of their homeland for the past 70 years.”  To read the NBC story, please click here.  To book an interview with editor Jasper Fakkert or a reporter from The Epoch Times please contact Victoria Jones of DC Radio Company at 202-227-7067 or victoria@dcradiocompany.com.

WEEI-NESN Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon Raises $3.5 Million for Cancer Charity.  The past two days – August 20-21 – Entercom sports talk WEEI-Boston produced the 18th annual WEEI/NESN Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon with cable TV partner New England Sports Network.  This year’s radio-telethon helped raise $3,471,104 for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.  Pictured above is Boston comic Lenny Clarke (center) with WEEI morning show personalities Greg Hill (right) and Danielle Murr (left).

Matt Senne to Lead Hubbard Radio’s Central Minnesota Cluster. Radio pro Matt Senne is named to the general manager position for Hubbard Broadcasting’s radio station group in the Alexandria and Wadena, Minnesota markets.  Hubbard acquired the stations from Omni Broadcasting in a 2015 deal.  Hubbard VP and regional manager Dan Seeman says, “I can’t tell you how excited we are to bring Matt into Hubbard Broadcasting. Matt‘s background provides the perfect fit for the experience, passion and creativity we need in the Alexandria and Wadena markets.  He comes from a great family company at Leighton Broadcasting and we look forward to welcoming him to the Hubbard family and Hubbard Broadcasting.”  Senne served with Leighton for 21 years, serving as morning show host, program director, operations manager and director of programming.  Most recently he was the general manager for Leighton in Winona, Minnesota .

Sarah Huckabee Sanders Joining FOX News as Contributor. Former White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders is joining FOX News as a contributor, effective September 6.  Variety’s Brian Steinberg has the scoop here.  Sanders has been Trump’s longest-serving White House press secretary, logging two years in the position.  In this position she’ll make appearances on FOX News Channel, FOX Business Network, FOX News Digital and the FOX Nation streaming service.

U.S.-China Trade War, Financial Markets Activity/Recession Fears, 2020 Presidential Race, Immigration Reform, U.S.-Israel Relations, Trump’s Greenland Purchase Controversy, and Sean Spicer-Dancing with the Stars Flap Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/21).  The tariffs the U.S. and China are placing on each other’s exports; the volatility of the world’s financial markets and the fears of a recession; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020; the Trump administration’s efforts to re-shape U.S. immigration and asylum rules; U.S.-Israel relations in the aftermath of the latter’s travel ban on U.S. Reps Tlaib and Omar; the controversy over Trump’s comments about buying Greenland; and the reactions to former Trump press secretary Sean Spicer’s appearance on “Dancing with the Stars” were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Dana Cortez Talks with Chance the Rapper in Central Park.  Nationally syndicated multi-media star Dana Cortez (right) is pictured above in Central Park in New York City chatting with Chance the Rapper (left) about his new album and his status as an expecting father preparing to go out on the road to support the record.  “The Dana Cortez Show” is a cooperative effort of ABC Radio and Skyview Networks.  See the video here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Los Angeles, KYSR-FM “ALT 98.7” imaging director Josh Jensen exits the station after a year.  He moved to KYSR in 2018 after a lengthy gig at iHeartMedia’s rock WXTB “98 Rock” and country WUFS “US 103.5” in Tampa.  Jenson plans to re-locate to Nashville while continuing to handle imaging duties for The Mix Group.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

| August 14, 2019

And the (Topical) Hits Just Keep on Coming – Stay focused on China!  Although the news itself can hardly be called “good,” news/talk radio continues to be the beneficiary of a non-stop tsunami of intensely compelling topics playing out on multiple tracks that has kept the format a major appointment destination for news junkies as well as people with a casual interest in current events. According to TALKERS research, yesterday’s (8/13) most-discussed topic remained the mysterious and controversial death of Jeffrey Epstein (which it has been all week) followed closely by the economic implications of the US-China trade war.  The Hong Kong protests have generated enormous interest and people are still extremely engrossed in the Dayton/El Paso shootings which have spawned opinions and analysis of gun control legislation, violence in American entertainment and the nation’s handling of mental illness.  According to TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison, “It appears that talk show hosts would be wise to stay focused on China and educate themselves to every aspect of its Communist government’s relentless strategy to compete with US interests on all fronts going forward from a position of unfair trade practices to outright hostility for what will likely be years to come.”

Arizona Coyotes Now Skating With KGME. As part of a multi-platform broadcast and streaming agreement between iHeartMedia Phoenix and the Arizona Coyotes, iHM sports talk KGME “Fox Sports 910” takes over as the NHL team’s principal radio outlet. Additionally, the Arizona Coyotes Audio Network will provide exclusive content via the iHeartRadio app (when the NHL season starts on October 3). Coyotes’ games were previously carried by Bonneville Phoenix-owned KMVP-FM “Arizona Sports 98.7.” According to iHeartMedia Phoenix market president Linda Little, “The entire team at iHeartMedia is excited to be the new home for the Arizona Coyotes, especially at such an exciting time for the team. Working together, we will build our all-in agreement between the Arizona Coyotes and ‘Fox Sports 910’ across our entire iHeartMedia platform of well-known audio brands in Phoenix and on our iHeartRadio app.” The Coyotes were recently acquired by California-based Meruelo Group, whose holdings include Meruelo Media. Coyotes president and chief executive officer Ahron Cohen comments, “We are thrilled to partner with ‘Fox Sports 910.’ As we strive to build and cultivate new Coyotes fans, this multi-dimensional partnership – including iHeartMedia’s multitude of media platforms – provides us with unparalleled touchpoints to a broad cross-section of the Valley’s population. Equally important is iHeart’s ability to deliver an exceptional fan entertainment experience for all of our robust Coyotes content that will enhance our fans’ connectivity to the team.” Play-by-play announcer Bob Heethuis will return for his 15th season with the team and Paul Bissonnette will be back as analyst. All 82 regular-season games will air on “Fox Sports 910” and simulcast on Tucson sibling KTZR “Fox Sports 1450 AM.”

KOZN Prepares Severe Homecoming. Host of “The Bottom Line” on SummitMedia-owned sports talk KXSP “AM 590 ESPN Omaha,” Mike’l Severe, returns to cross-town NRG Media’s similarly-formatted KOZN “1620 “The Zone” tomorrow (Thursday, 8/15) after a five-year absence. Severe and Damon Benning will form “Severe and Benning in the Morning” (6:00 am – 10:00 am). NRG Omaha market manager Mark Shecterle comments that University of Nebraska football national champion Benning and local radio/television sports personality Severe “will offer listeners a new blend of morning sports radio. They will be able to give listeners an intense focus on all local sports. We are excited to bring back Mike’l Severe to the NRG family.” Former morning show co-host Gary Sharp transitions to mid-days (10:00 am – 2:00 pm) replacing Nick Bahe. Shecterle notes that Sharp will have “the platform to fully exhibit his expertise in sports analysis and his legendary interviewing skills. Gary has deserved his own show for a while and we are thrilled that he will be anchoring our mid-day slot. By moving [Sharp] to mid-days, we truly believe we have a sports-talk line-up second to none.” John Bishop and Josh Peterson-hosted “Unsportsmanlike Conduct” continues in afternoon drive (2:00 pm – 6:00 pm), while Nebraska football post game show, “Big Red Over Reaction,” will be simulcast on KOZN’s classic rock cluster-mate KOOO “101.9 The Keg.”

iHM Wheeling/Parkersburg Boosts Bommer to MP. The onetime vice president of business operations for the Wheeling Nailers, Craig Bommer, is named market president for iHeartMedia’s West Virginia stations in Wheeling and Parkersburg. Region president for iHeartMedia Pittsburgh and West Virginia Tim McAleer states, “I am excited for Craig to lead and demonstrate his leadership capabilities as market president by helping to grow each market’s revenue.” Bommer remarks, “This opportunity is a new and exciting challenge in my career path. I look forward to working with everyone to help build upon the success each market has achieved.” The West Liberty University alum began his career at iHeartMedia in 2016 as senior vice president of sales for the company’s Wheeling and Parkersburg stations. Those outlets include: news/talk WWVA “News Radio 1170”; news/talk WLTP “News Radio 910”; sports talk WBBD “Fox Sports AM 1400 Wheeling”; WEGW “Eagle 107.5 The Rock Station”; adult contemporary WKWK “Mix 97.3”; WOVK “Country 98.7”; CHR WVKF “Kiss 95.7”; classic hits-oldies WDMX “Mix 100”; WNUS “Country 107”; and CHR WRVB “102 The River.”

TALKERS News Notes. After working at Premiere Networks the past 21 years, senior director of affiliate sales Tom Garrett departs. Garrett previously programmed in Rockford (Illinois) at WROK & WZOK. In addition he was responsible for non-traditional revenue event marketing for Connoisseur’s Rockford and Quad Cities (Illinois-Iowa) stations ….. The relationship between afternoon drive talent George Plaster and Ryman Hospitality Properties’ WSM-AM, Nashville has come to an end after one month. In a tweet sent out yesterday (Tuesday, 8/13), Plaster writes, “Sorry to pass this [a]long, but I have parted ways with WSM-AM. My intention is to begin a podcast with a target around Labor Day. Thanks to all of you who supported us.” Plaster hosted “Sports Night” shows in Nashville on sports talk stations WGFX “104.5 The Zone” and WPRT “102.5 The Game,” as well as WWTN “Super Talk 99.7.” He took a break from radio three years ago but joined WSM-AM in 2017 for a weekend program; Plaster’s weekday effort commenced July 15 ….. Brand manager/morning host of Townsquare Media Bangor (Maine) sports talk WEZQ “92.9 The Ticket,” Dale Duff, will segue to 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm, effective next Monday (8/19). Duff makes room for Wayne Harvey’s 6:00 am – 8:00 am “Morning Line.” Harvey has worked at Bangor stations WABI-TV and WZON-AM “The Zone.”

The Return of the Pitch Pod. For the second straight year, attendees of “Podcast Movement 2019” can venture inside CUMULUS MEDIA’s Westwood One “Pitch Pod” and tell their story for a chance to win consultative services from the Westwood One Podcast Network. This mini-studio is located in the main hallway of the conference. The Podcast Movement kicked off yesterday (Tuesday, 8/13) and runs through this Friday (8/16) in Orlando at Rosen Shingle Creek.

Urban One, Smith Slapped with Sexual Harassment Suit. On the same day “Hurricane” Dave Smith exited as Radio One Atlanta’s vice president of programming/operations, former urban contemporary WHTA “Hot 107.9” on-air personality Feleg Abraham (using the air name Shorty Mack) filed a lawsuit in the (Georgia) state court of Fulton County alleging multiple instances of sexual harassment by her then-boss (Smith). After working at “Hot 107.9” for 14 months, Abraham left in February 2018 and now does mid-days for Davis Broadcasting Columbus, Georgia urban contemporary WFXE “Foxie 105.” Radio One parent, Urban One regional vice president Timothy Davies last week declined to comment about Smith’s dismissal; however, in a published report last Monday (8/5), Smith claims he was terminated owing to “a misunderstanding.” Urban One executive vice president/chief administrative officer Karen Wishart states, “The allegations made by Feleg Abraham against Dave Smith, both former employees of Urban One, are unsettling. As a company founded by an African-American woman [Cathy Hughes] with a long history of empowering women in the workplace, Urban One takes these allegations very seriously. After Ms. Abraham left Urban One to take a new job, we were notified of her complaint and conducted a thorough, independent investigation. In light of the ongoing litigation, we cannot provide further comment on this matter.” Charges in Abraham’s lawsuit include intentional infliction of emotional distress by Smith; negligent infliction of emotional distress by Urban One; negligent hiring, retention, and supervision; assault and battery; and false imprisonment. The suit claims Smith made “unwanted sexual comments about Ms. Abraham’s body and would often ask her when he would be allowed to see her naked.” It references an incident that allegedly took place on May 22, 2017 in which Smith is said to have trapped Abraham in his office. As Rodney Ho reports in The Atlanta Journal Constitution, a statement regarding the lawsuit released yesterday afternoon (Tuesday, 8/13) by Smith reads, “This is an organized attempt by some former employees looking to capitalize on the #MeToo climate. I categorically deny these disgusting statements. I have no further comment.”

 More Music Radio News and Career Moves. Music director and afternoon drive host of Entercom Miami classic hits-oldies WMXJ “102.7 The Beach,” DJ Holiday, adds even more responsibilities as assistant program director. Entercom South Florida senior vice president/market manager Keriann Worley explains, “This is a natural move for DJ Holiday and our station. DJ Holiday has grown up with this music and has an intimate knowledge of the market, having spent many nights spinning at Miami clubs. We’re thrilled to have him step up into the APD role and look forward to his increased contributions to the station’s success.” Holiday, who has been with “The Beach” since it debuted in 2016,  opines, “There’s always something new to learn and room to grow professionally. I’d like to extend my heartfelt thanks to my Entercom family for the opportunity to do so.” … KNDD “107.7 The End” mid-day talent “Alyssa” is promoted to music director at the Entercom Seattle alternative outlet. Program director Leslie Scott remarks that, “In her three years here, Alyssa has proven to be a huge music lover, a supporter of all things ‘107.7 The End,’ and a champion of the power of radio. I can think of no better team in alternative than ours and Alyssa’s new position reinforces that.” Alyssa notes, “It is an honor to be part of this incredible team. I’m looking forward to jumping into this role under the guidance of Leslie and [assistant program director/afternoon drive talent] Walt [Flakus].” … Effective this Friday (8/16), seven-month KXOJ “94.1 Tulsa’s Christian Music Station” evening show host Jeremiah St. James adds assistant program director duties at the Stephens Media Group contemporary Christian station. According to Stephens Media Group owner David Stephens, “Jeremiah is one of those rare talents whose potential seems limitless. He is forward-thinking and is more about where radio is going than where it has been.” SMG senior vice president of programming & technology/KXOJ program director Bob Thornton notes, “Jeremiah is a gifted imaging and branding specialist who is going to bring a tremendous amount of energy and new ideas to our building.” ….. Program director Caleb James exits NRG Media Omaha rhythmic CHR KOPW “Power 106.9” and hot AC KQKQ “Sweet 98.5.”

 

 

July 2019 PPM Data. July 2019 ratings information has been released for San Antonio, Sacramento, and Pittsburgh. 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.

San Antonio

Spoken-Word Formats – The rollercoaster ride continues for iHeartMedia news/talk WOAI “News Radio 1200 – San Antonio’s News, Traffic, & Weather,” which was +1.1 in April (4.2 – 5.3, 6+); an equally divided -1.0 in May and June (5.3 – 4.8 – 4.3,  6+); and now +.7 in July (5.0, sixth to fifth, 6+). Up until April when it logged a 5.3, WOAI hadn’t reached the five-share level (6+) since August 2016’s 5.2. For the third month in a row, Alpha Media news/talk KTSA “Stay Connected” loses one-tenth (1.5 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.1, #22 to #24, 6+).

In June, KTSA’s sports talk sibling KZDC “ESPN San Antonio” and iHeartMedia’s KTKR “Ticket 760 – San Antonio’s Sports Station” were tied at #32. Both are flat at .3 (6+) and are again deadlocked – this time at #30.

This is the seventh report in a row Texas Public Radio news/talk KSTX (+.3, #16 to #12) logs a 6+-share between 3.3 – 3.7 (3.5 – 3.7 – 3.4 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 3.0 – 3.3, 6+).

San Antonio Music Formats – Roaring back from June’s one-half share loss with a July uptick of eight-tenths (3.8 – 4.6, 6+), Alpha Media adult hits KJXK “102.7 Jack-FM – Playing What We Want” returns to the top ten (#11 to #7). Prior to June – when it slipped to 3.8 – San Antonio’s version of “Jack” last fell below a four-share (6+) in “Holiday” 2018 (3.5). Enjoying a July 2019 jump of eight-tenths as well and zooming from #17 to #11 is iHeartMedia Spanish contemporary KZEP “104.5 Latino Hits,” which records its third bump in succession for a collective +1.4 (2.1 – 2.4 – 2.7 – 3.5, 6+). This (3.5) is the first time in exactly one year that “Latino Hits” hits a three-share (3.1, July 2018). Five successive negative or neutral trends resulted in a nearly 50% decline (-.6) of its 6+-stat (1.4 – 1.1 – 1.0 – .8 – .8 – .8, 6+), but iHeartMedia regional Mexican KQXT-HD3 answers with a gain of seven-tenths to 1.5 (#22, 6+). When Univision Radio rhythmic hot AC KVBH gained one-tenth in June (to 2.1, 6+), it suspended at four a consecutive string of negative or neutral moves that accounted for an overall -1.4 (3.4 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 2.9 – 2.0, 6+). “The Vibe” now adds another six-tenths to 2.7 (#20 to #16, 6+). In mid-April, Tejano KXTN transitioned to KVBH “The Vibe.” While Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies KONO-FM is the market pacesetter the fifth month in a row, “101.1 San Antonio’s Greatest Hits” erodes by -1.1 (8.2 – 7.1, 6+). Whereas May’s +1.1 took KONO-FM to 8.5, its highest 6+-stat since September 2018’s 8.8, July’s 7.1 is its  lowest 6+-showing since 6.0 in “Holiday” 2018. “San Antonio’s Greatest Hits” had been in the runner-up slot five successive times before progressing to #1 in March. Significant alternating ups/down continue for Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KZLV. In the last four reports, San Antonio’s version of “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” has been +.5 (April); -1.0 (May); +1.5 (June); and now -1.2 in July (3.9 – 2.7, 6+). KZLV spirals from #10 to #16. Entering the July 2019 sweep, Alpha Media regional Mexican KSAH notched three straight positive or neutral trends netting nine-tenths (2.3 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 3.2, 6+). That entire increase drifts away with a -.9 to 2.3 (#13 to #19, 6+). June’s 3.2 was its best 6+-showing since November 2018 (3.3). Four consecutive up or flat trends by iHeartMedia CHR KXXM accounted for an overall gain of four-tenths (3.4 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.8 – 3.8, 6+) but “96.1 Now” (#11 to #14) falters by seven-tenths to 3.1, its lowest 6+-stat since December 2018 (3.1, as well). Within two-share range (6+) 19 sweeps in a row before dialing up a June gain of eight-tenths to 3.2 (6+), Univision Radio Spanish contemporary KMYO regresses by one-half share to 2.7 (#13 to #16, 6+). June’s 3.2 marked the first time since December 2017’s 3.0 that “Latino Mix 95.1” hit a three-share (6+). There’s just no separating Cox Media Group-owned KCYY “Y-100 San Antonio’s New Country Leader” and iHeartMedia’s KAJA “KJ-97 San Antonio’s #1 Country Station.” They both showed June decreases of two-tenths and now July losses of one-half share: KCYY is 7.2 – 6.9 – 6.4 (6+) and KAJA is 6.2 – 6.0 – 5.5 (6+). The country rivals are anchored at second and third, respectively. Recent shifts for “Y-100” include: -.8 (December); -1.1 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.8 (January 2019); +.6 (February); -.6 (March); +.6 (May); and -.5 (July). “KJ-97” has been +.5 (September 2018); -1.1 (October); +1.0 (December); -1.0 (“Holiday” 2018); +3.0 (January 2019); –1.9 (March); and -.5 (July).

Sacramento

Spoken-Word Formats – Immediately following an erosion of nine-tenths this time last month, iHeartMedia-owned news/talk KFBK “Sacramento’s News, Weather and Traffic Station” repeats its June 6+ AQH-share (5.2) and market rank (fifth). Co-owned KSTE “Talk 650” continues an alternating down/up pattern that commenced in December 2018 and includes July’s positive spike of seven-tenths (2.4 – 2.3 – 2.5 – 2.3 – 2.7 – 2.3 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 3.2 (#14 to #12, 6+).

In five consecutive sweeps without an increase, Bonneville’s KHTK lost exactly half (-.6) its 6+ AQH share (1.2 – 1.2 – .9 – .8 – .6 – .6, 6+), but “Sports 1140” ends the slide with a one-tenth gain to .7 (#26 to #23, 6+). It is now tied with Entercom’s KIFM-AM “ESPN Radio 1320,” which repeats June’s .7 (#24 to #23, 6+).

Albeit flat in seventh-place, Capital Public Radio news/talk KXJZ notches its third straight increase for an overall +1.5 (3.5 – 4.5 – 4.7 – 5.0, 6+); December 2018’s 6.9 is the highest 6+-stat in its PPM-history. Northern California Public Broadcasting’s KQEI has an October 2018 through July 2019 topline of .6 – .6 – .7 – .6 – .7 – .7 – .6 – .7 – .5 – .7 – .6 (#24 to #25, 6+).

Sacramento Music Formats – There is interesting June 2019 – July 2019 movement for Lotus Communications regional Mexican stations with the KVMX call letters. On the plus side, KVMX-FM – which notched a .3 (6+) in April, May, and June – hangs out a multiple of seven in July to 2.1 (+1.8, 6+) and pops in the top twenty at #15. On the other hand, KVMX-AM, which was trending .9 – 1.1 – 1.4 – 1.7 (6+) for a collective March 2019 through June 2019 gain of +.8, vanishes from print in July. After checking in with a 1.3 (#20, 6+) in June, Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KLVB disappears as well. Frozen on 4.2 (6+) in March, April, and May before slipping to 4.1 (6+) in June, iHeartMedia urban-rhythmic oldies KHYL adds six-tenths to 4.7 (6+) as “V-101” progresses from tenth to eighth. Notwithstanding it is #1 the sixth month in a row (including January’s first-place tie with iHeartMedia news/talk KFBK), Entercom-owned KSEG “96.9 The Eagle – Sacramento’s Classic Rock” falters -1.1 in June/July (8.9 – 8.3 – 7.8, 6+). “The Eagle” held the lead position ten consecutive survey periods before shifting to #2 in December. Seven of its recent fluctuations include -1.1 (November 2018); -.8 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.0 (February 2019); -.5 (April); +.9 (May); -.6 (June); and -.5 (July). In each of the last 16 survey periods, Entravision Communications’ KNTY notched a 6+-share between 2.0 – 2.5. That streak comes to an end as KNTY drops eight-tenths to 1.3 (#16 to #19, 6+). That’s not the only thing though that KNTY dropped during the July 2019 sweep: Country “101.9 The Wolf” became regional Mexican La Tricolor and is simulcasting KRCX (1.7 – 1.6, -.1, flat at #18). Returning all of June’s half-share increase and one-tenth more (2.3 – 1.7, -.6, 6+), Spanish adult hits sibling KXSE “104.3 La Suavecita” slips from #15 to #17; June’s 2.3 was its best 6+-stat since 2.4 in November 2018. Three straight downturns (5.6 – 5.0 – 4.2 – 3.7, 6+) by Entercom alternative KKDO produce a combined -1.9 and “Alt 94.7” exits the top ten (#9 to #11). This immediately follows April’s gain of nine-tenths. While it repeats at #2, iHeartMedia classic rocker KYRV “93.7 The River” surrenders three-tenths to 6.3 (6+), thus halting four consecutive upticks that netted a +1.4 (5.2 – 5.3 – 5.5 – 5.7 – 6.6, 6+). Adult contemporary stations hold this California market’s eighth and tenth slots in July 2019. Specifically, Entercom’s KYMX “Mix 96 – Today’s Hits/Yesterday’s Favorites,” without a gain the past three sweeps for a collective -1.6 (6.2 – 5.7 – 4.6 – 4.6, 6+), picks up one-tenth to 4.7 (#8, 6+). Meanwhile, iHeartMedia’s KBEB “92.5 The Breeze” is off two-tenths in June/July (4.1 – 4.1 – 3.9, 6+). “Mix” and “The Breeze” continue at eighth and tenth, respectively. June’s 4.6 was the weakest 6+-stat for “Mix” since September 2015’s 4.5. Formerly “92.5 The Bull – #1 for New Country,” KBEB transitioned to adult contemporary as “The Breeze” in early-November (2018). It netted a +2.1 in three straight positive spikes (2.4 – 3.1 – 3.7 – 4.5, 6+), in advance of March/April’s -.8 (4.5 – 4.3 – 3.7, 6+).

Pittsburgh

Spoken-Word Formats – As a result of six straight February 2019 through July 2019 decreases (5.1 – 4.6 – 4.3 – 4.1 – 3.7 – 3.3 – 3.2, 6+), Entercom’s KDKA-AM “News Radio 1020” is -1.9 and slips from #11 to #12.

Co-owned sports talk/Pirates flagship KDKA-FM “93.7 The Fan,” which dropped seven-tenths in May (6.8 – 6.1, 6+), forfeits the two-tenths it picked up in June (6.1 – 6.3 – 6.1, 6+) but carries on in fourth-place. The ultra-consistent September 2018 through June 2019 topline for iHeartMedia sports talk WBGG 970 AM – ESPN Pittsburgh” is 2 – .2 – .2 – .3 – .2 – .2 – .2 – .2 – .3 – .2 – .2 – .2 (#23 to #17, 6+).

Bouncing back from June’s loss of six-tenths with a July increase of three-tenths, Essential Public Media news/talk WESA “90.5 Pittsburgh’s NPR Station” progresses from tenth to ninth and is trending 4.2 – 3.6 – 4.2 – 3.6 – 3.9 (6+).

Pittsburgh Music Formats – In four straight decreases, iHeartMedia alternative WXDX was an overall -1.8 (4.8 – 4.3 – 4.4 – 3.1 – 3.0, 6+); however, “105.9 The X” erases one-third of that deficit with a July uptick of six-tenths (3.6, #12 to #11, 6+). July 2019’s top three “Steel City” finishers are separated by one-half share. The combination of iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WWSW “94.5 3WS” gaining four-tenths and co-owned rock WDVE sputtering by twice that margin (9.5 – 8.7, -.8, 6+) results in “3WS” progressing from third to first and WDVE segueing from first to second. WWSW is a combined +1.2 in June/July (7.7 – 8.5 – 8.9, 6+) with July’s 8.9 its best 6+-stat since 13.6 in “Holiday” 2018 when “94.5 3WS” was #1. The six most recent shifts for WDVE, which was #1 the past five reports, are: +.8 (February); +.8 again (March); -.9 (April); +.6 (May); +.6 again (June); and -.8 (July). In four straight upticks, Steel City Media adult hits WRRK was +2.3 (6.9 – 7.4 – 8.0 – 8.2 – 9.2, 6+), but “96.9 Bob FM” relinquishes eight-tenths in July to 8.4, sliding from second to third. In June, “Bob” reached the nine-share level (9.2, 6+) for the first time since December 2017’s 9.0. The just-concluded positive streak directly follows a -1.8 in three consecutive sweeps without an increase (8.7 – 7.7 – 7.7 – 6.9, 6+). As Steel City Media-owned hot AC WLTJ “Q-92.9” records its third straight boost for a net gain of nine-tenths (3.0 – 3.1 – 3.7 – 3.9, unchanged at #9, 6+), Entercom’s similarly-formatted WBZZ “Star 100.7” has its third consecutive down or flat report for an overall loss of nine-tenths (5.0 – 5.0 – 4.4 – 4.1, flat at #8, 6+). The +2.0 advantage WBZZ held over WLTJ in April is down to two-tenths. Apparently, it is that time again for Forever Media to pull its Nielsen Audio subscription as five Forever Media stations that have been listed in April, May, and June disappear from print, as they’ve done before. The five are: classic hits-oldies WKPL (1.7, June 2019, 6+); classic country WLYI (1.4, June 2019); country WOGI (.9, June 2019, 6+); country WOGG (.8, June 2019, 6+); and classic hits-oldies WPKL (.7, June 2019, 6+).

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

| May 8, 2019

It’s Official: Rich Zeoli Moves to AM Drive on WPHT, Philadelphia. Afternoon drive personality Rich Zeoli is making the move to the WPHT, Philadelphia’s morning drive daypart, effective May 13. Zeoli is taking over the show most recently hosted by Chris Stigall, who exited the station earlier this year. Entercom Philadelphia SVP and market manager David Yadgaroff says, “Rich is a compelling and thought-provoking radio host and we’re looking forward to seeing him shine in the mornings on WPHT. From interviewing the president to covering what’s hot in pop culture or entertainment, to Rich’s passion for recognizing local police officers, his funny and poignant style always shines a light on what everyone is talking about.” Zeoli comments, “For years I have had one simple goal: to blend information and humor to make entertaining talk radio. Moving to mornings is an honor and a challenge and I’m thrilled that my team will be moving with me.” Zeoli has been with the company since joining as a talk host in 2010.   He became afternoon drive host in 2015.  Zeoli is also the founder of RZC Impact, a communications firm specializing in media training, public speaking, and strategy. His clients have included Fortune 100 C-Suite executives, national television personalities, and bestselling authors. He is the author of The Seven Principles of Public Speaking: Proven Methods of a PR Pro (2008, Skyhorse).  WPHT has made no statement about its plans for the now-open afternoon drive depart.

Nashville Sports Talk Personality George Plaster Launching Daily Show on WSM-AM. The Tennessean reports that Nashville sports talk personality George Plaster is returning to the air full time to host a daily, afternoon sports talk show on Grand Ole Opry’s country WSM-AM, effective July 15.  Plaster has been serving as athletics director at Belmont University since 2016.  Plaster first started doing sports talk radio on WWTN-FM, Nashville in 1989. From 2003 through 2012, he hosted afternoons on crosstown WGFX-FM “The Zone,” and moved to WPRT-FM “102.5 FM The Game” in 2012.  Despite its afternoon drive air time, the show will be called “Sports Night with George Plaster.”

Connoisseur Sells Billings Cluster to Desert Mountain Broadcasting. The Billings, Montana cluster of six stations owned by Connecticut-based Connoisseur Media is going to Desert Mountain Broadcasting for $3 million in a just-announced deal.  The cluster includes news/talk KYYA and sports talk KBLG in addition to four music-formatted brands.  Connoisseur regional vice president and general manager Cameron Maxwell formed Desert Mountain Broadcasting in 2018 with the intention of acquiring the stations.  He says, “And now I’m in the very rare position to be able to launch my new media company by purchasing from these exceptional broadcasters six radio stations I’ve helped to create.  I’m forever grateful for this incredible time with Connoisseur Media and the constant mentoring they’ve provided.  With this first acquisition, Desert Mountain Broadcasting launches today on a solid foundation, built upon the values and best practices embedded in me by [Connoisseur CEO] Jeff [Warshaw], [CFO] Mike [Driscoll], and COO David Bevins.”

TALKERS CONVENTION SPOTLIGHT: Attracting Younger Demos to Talk Radio. Among the challenges news/talk radio faces today is the aging of its audience and the desire by many broadcasters to attract younger listeners to the format. Opinions on how to achieve this – and there are those who question whether it can be achieved at all – vary greatly.  Some believe broadcasting on FM is a necessary first step while others say the whole approach to the format must be re-thought for the Millennial generation.  At Talkers 2019: Telling the Story, set for New York on Friday, June 7, TALKERS executive editor Kevin Casey will moderate a panel of broadcasters to discuss “Attracting Younger Demos to Talk Radio.”  Panelists include (pictured below): Mike “Bax” Baxendale, host, WAQY, Springfield, MA “Rock 102”; Greg Foster, VP of programming and national news/talk brand coordinator, iHeartMedia and KOA, Denver PD; John T. Mullen, operations manager, WRHU-FM, Hofstra University; Sid Rosenberg, host, WABC, New York; Rich Zeoli, host, WPHT, Philadelphia.  The conference is rapidly moving toward being an early sellout.  To see the entire up-to-the-minute agenda and for registration/hotel information, please click here.

TALKERS News Notes. Philadelphia all-news KYW gets a brand refresh as Entercom unveils a new logo and an update to its iconic jingle.  The company says the changes reflect “its multiplatform growth and evolution.”  KYW worked with legendary arranger and Philadelphia native Larry Gold on the modern update to its beloved jingle. Entercom SVP and market manager David Yadgaroff says, “KYW Newsradio has evolved into a modern news organization serving a wide range of listeners across various platforms and we are proud to introduce visual and audio enhancements that reflect who the station is today.  The station is a local treasure that remains an integral part of the city and to honor those roots, we worked with hometown artists to capture its essence and develop the refreshed brand identity.  Everyone in town sings our jingle and we’re thrilled to introduce this new contemporary sound.”  Check it out here…..Sun Broadcast Group announces the opening of its West Coast office in Los Angeles as part of its expansion efforts and the hiring of Ed Moloney as affiliate content director, effective immediately.  The company says Moloney will affiliate stations for all SBG shows and services, maintain relationships with current affiliates, and support other programming efforts for new additions to the SBG line up such as “Ground Zero with Clyde Lewis” and more.  For the past eight years, Moloney programmed the syndicated version of JACK FM.  He has also served with Westwood One, Entertainment Radio Networks, KCBS and KYSR, Los Angeles and WBCN, Boston…..Townsquare Media’s news/talk WPGG-AM, Atlantic City is changing its FM simulcast to 95.5 FM.  The company announces that, effective immediately, the station is being heard there in addition to 104.1 and, of course, 1450 AM.  But, the 104.1 FM simulcast will eventually go away.  Townsquare also says it’s not done making major announcements about the station, saying, “WPG is getting even bigger and better very soon…” Stay tuned!

MIW Radio Group Announces 2019 Mildred Carter Mentoring Program Participants. The Mentoring & Inspiring Women in Radio (MIW) Group announces the four radio professionals selected to participate as mentees in the 2019 MIW Group Mildred Carter Mentoring Program.  They are: Andrea Clay, national sales manager, Beasley Media Group Charlotte; Katy Dempsey, program director and morning show host, Bryan Broadcasting, College Station, Texas; Nicole Jones, manager of sales training & development, Cumulus Media Chicago; and Jennifer Seelig, director of news & programming, Entercom San Francisco.  The MIW Group’s signature mentoring program matches up-and-coming women in the radio industry with female professionals recognized as leaders in all aspects of radio broadcasting.  Beasley Media Group, LLC is, for the second year in a row, serving as the lead sponsor of this year’s program.  Lindsay Cerajewski, chair of the 2019 MIW Group Mentoring Committee and national sales manager/new business development, Entercom Chicago says, “Each year, this coveted program generates more and more interest and therefore applications.  We are very encouraged by the quantity and quality of candidates desiring to grow their careers in radio, and this year’s class definitely reflects the excellence we’re seeing in our applications.  Let the mentoring begin!”

Mueller Report/Barr Contempt Vote, U.S.-China Trade War, Iran Nuclear Deal, NYTimes Trump Losses Story, 2020 Presidential Politics, Colorado School Shooting, and North Korea Missile Test Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/7). The ongoing reactions to the release of the redacted version of the Mueller Report and Democrats’ option to consider Attorney General William Barr in contempt of congress for his refusal to turn over the complete report; the financial markets react to President Trump’s reigniting the tariff war with China; Iran backs out of the nuclear deal it entered into with six other nations; The New York Times’ story about Trump’s business losses from 1985 to 1994; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020; Tuesday’s shooting at a Colorado high school that left one dead and several injured; and North Korea’s latest missile test 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. The “Todd & Jayde” morning show announced that May 31 will be the last broadcast on WPLJ-FM, New York as a hot AC outlet.  Owner Cumulus Media is selling the iconic FM to Educational Media Foundation and that company will flip the station to a Christian music format…..The Daily Chronicle reports that Bustos Media is acquiring the Centralia, Washington FM KFNY from the Ocean Station II Trust, operated by iHeartMedia.  The station has been airing a smooth jazz format for the past couple of years as it awaited acquisition by another broadcaster.  Bustos owns KDDS-FM in the market that currently airs a regional Mexican format.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

| July 20, 2017

Cumulus San Francisco Promotes Programmers at KNBR and KTCT. Sports talk PD Lee Hammer is elevated to the newly created position vice president, sports play-by-play programming at Cumulus Media San Francisco.  At the same time, the company ups Jeremiah Crowe to program director for both KNBR and sister sports talker KTCT.  Hammer has been KNBR program director for the past 12 years. Crowe joined Cumulus last year as KNBR APD and KTCT PD.  He’s previously served at crosstown KGMZ-FM in addition to serving as producer of “Mike and Mike in the Morning,” “The Herd with Colin Cowherd,” “SportsNation,” “NFL Countdown to Kickoff,” “College Gameday,” “RaceDay,” and “Fantasy Focus” on ESPN Radio. Cumulus San Francisco VP/market manager Justin Wittmayer comments, “Jeremiah Crowe and Lee Hammer are the ‘Dream Team’ for outstanding sports radio programming and together, will continue to drive the growth of these powerhouse sports stations. Jeremiah has done a remarkable job leading the re-launch of KNBR 1050 over the past year, while expanding our high-engagement social media platforms for Bay Area sports fans.  In this new role as program director of both KNBR 680 and KNBR 1050, he will focus his considerable expertise and efforts into growing these stations and the KNBR brand as the Bay Area’s most powerful name in sports programming.”

WRRD, Milwaukee Owner Challenging WTMJ Translator Deal. Saying that WTMJ and Scripps have “picked a fight with the wrong guy and the wrong radio station,” WRRD-AM, Waukesha owner Michael Crute announces he’s hired Rebecca E. Jacobs of the law firm Womble Caryle Sandridge & Rice LLP to file an Objection to the Amendment to the Construction Permit for moving FM translator W277CV from Waukegan, Illinois into the Milwaukee metro at a site owned by Scripps.  Crute says this move violates the original CP that would have put WRRD’s programming on the translator.  TALKERS reported yesterday that Scripps and translator owner Frank McCoy have filed applications with the FCC to move the translator to a tower owned by Scripps and to carry WTMJ programming.  In that story, TALKERS speculated that McCoy was offered a better deal by Scripps than he had with Crute, and that turns out to be true, as Crute states in a press release.  Crute is co-host of “The Devil’s Advocates” program syndicated by WYD Media Management and distributed by Westwood One.  After years of working on air in Madison and other markets via syndication, he purchased WRRD to launch a progressive talk station in the Milwaukee market.  His show airs on the station.  In his press release, Crute paints this conflict as a David vs Goliath-type battle and says his efforts operating WRRD are designed to “level the broadcast playing field” in the market.  The FCC, however, will rule only on whether or not the Construction Permit was violated.

George Plaster to Return to Airwaves in Nashville.  The Tennessean is reporting that Nashville market sports talk radio pro George Plaster will be back on the air talking sports in some capacity on classic country WSM-AM.  The story notes that the Grand Ole Opry LLC-owned station is not specific about when or how often the new program would air, just that WSM program director Jon Shaffer will co-host the program.  Last August, Plaster left sports talker WPRT “The Game 102.5 FM” to become athletic director at Belmont University.  He will remain in the position.  Plaster tells the paper, “What this is doing is allowing me to dip my toe back in a little bit, to have some fun with something I love so much and at the same time continue to work at a great school in a great situation with great people.”  Read the Tennessean piece here.

CBS RADIO Unveils KDKA-Branded Traffic and Weather Service.  The new CBS RADIO “KDKA Traffic & Weather Together” service will be available to listeners via WDSY-HD3, the online streaming app Radio.com, Wi-Fi connected cars, and Amazon Echo or Alexa-enabled devices through the TuneIn app.  CBS RADIO says the station “will provide reliable, up-to-the-minute traffic and weather information for the Pittsburgh, PA area.  CBS RADIO Pittsburgh SVP and market manager Michael Young comments, “Radio listeners in Western Pennsylvania have long relied on accurate and timely local updates from NewsRadio 1020 KDKA.  By utilizing the station’s trusted resources, we have produced a product that is solely dedicated to providing continuous traffic and weather updates to the local communities we serve.”

TALKERS News Notes. The Fox Sports Radio show “Outkick the Coverage with Clay Travis” is being added to the program schedule at Genesis Communications’ sports talk duo WHBO, Tampa and WHOO, Orlando – branded “Sports Talk Florida.”  The show is airing in the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon daypart starting on Monday (7/24)…..Also on Monday, a new edition of “The Regular Guys” – led by Larry Wachs – will start airing on Dickey Broadcasting’s sports talk WFOM-AM, Atlanta/W292EV “1230 The Fan 2 106.3 FM.”  The program will air at 2:00 pm.  In a video posted to Twitter by Wachs, he’s seen at the Atlanta Braves’ new Suntrust Park looking for “new regular guys.”  The original “Regular Guys” consisted of Wachs and Eric Von HaesslerTim Andrews and “Southside” Steve Rickman later joined the show.  It was airing at rock WNNX, Atlanta when it disintegrated on 2014.  Rickman is co-host of the “Bailey and Southside” show with Jason Bailey on WNNX.  Von Haessler and Andrews work at Cox Media Group’s news/talk WSB-AM/WSBB-FM…..Former Carolina Panthers general manager Marty Hurney is back with the NFL club as interim GM after the team fired Dave Gettleman.  Hurney is a partner in HRN Broadcasting and owns and manages sports talk WZGV, Charlotte “ESPN Charlotte.”  Hurney previously spent 14 years with the Panthers, exiting the GM position in 2012…..The FCC sides with Media-Com in its battle with Salem Media Group over two FM translators – W260CY and W262CY – that would have simulcast news/talk WHK-AM and Christian talk WHKW-AM, respectively.  Media-Com successfully argued that the moves overlapped the signal of its news/talk WNIR-FM, Kent.

Fate of ObamaCare, McCain Cancer Diagnosis, Trump-Russia Investigation, O.J. Prison Release Hearing, USPS Clinton Campaign Scandal, U.S. Ends Syrian Arms Program, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/19).  The status of the Affordable Care Act as President Trump presses Congress to repeal the law, as well as the state of a GOP-authored health care plan; Senator John McCain reveals brain cancer diagnosis; the investigation into Trump campaign operatives’ connections with Russian agents; today’s prison release hearing for O.J. Simpson; the investigation concluding that the United States Postal Service violated the Hatch Act in allowing union workers to take paid time off to campaign for Hillary Clinton; the CIA’s end to supplying anti-Assad forces in Syria with arms, 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.

TALKERS 2017 Convention Videos Continue Posting Today (7/20) with Grace Blazer, Chris Stigall and Steve Jones.  The entire agenda of the recent Talkers 2017: A New Era national talk media convention has been video recorded and its sessions are being posted to Talkers.com – one event per day.  Already posted are:

–          The “Welcoming Remarks” by WMAL, Washington, DC afternoon drive host Larry O’ Connor (including an introduction by TalkersRadio GM David Bernstein).

–          The special presentation “You HAVE Options” by consultant Holland Cooke (including an introduction by Yappy Days author Bernadette Duncan).

–          The “Fireside Chat” between TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison and Premiere Networks/Fox News Channel host Sean Hannity (with introduction by Westwood One host Jim Bohannon).

–          The “Fireside Chat” between TALKERS managing editor  Mike Kinosian and WFAN, New York sports talk show host Mike Francesa (with introduction by Sabo Media CEO Walter Sabo).

–          The special presentation “The Trump Effect: Latest Research of Interest to News/Talk Radio” by Salem Radio Network SVP Phil Boyce (with introduction by Pioneer Valley Radio GM/host Brad Shepard).

–          The special presentation “Podcasting and Local Radio” by PodcastOne excutive chairman Norm Pattiz (with introduction by Hubbard Radio SVP/programming Greg Strassell).

–          The first, second and third in a series of three consecutive “one-on-one” sessions discussing the topic “Maximizing Talk Radio’s Multi-Platform Potential for Reach and Revenue” featuring conversations between WABC, New York, PD Craig Schwalb and KGO, San Francisco host Ethan BearmanBold Gold Media Group president/CEO Vince Benedetto and DGital Media managing partner Ron Hartenbaum, and nationally syndicated host Dr. Asa Andrew and TalkersRadio GM David Bernstein.  All three sessions are facilitated by Sirius/XM Satellite Radio host Karen Hunter.

–          A “one-on-one” dialogue titled “Radio That Makes a Difference” featuring the SiriusXM Satellite Radio husband/wife team of host Joe Madison and executive producer Sharon Madison (introduced by Sirius/XM Satellite Radio VP/GM talk programming Dave Gorab).

–          A “Fireside Chat” featuring former CBS Radio president/CEO and Broadcasters Foundation of America chairman Dan Mason being interviewed by WPGG, Atlantic City morning host Harry Hurley (with introduction by BOB-FM, London morning host Graham Mack).

–          A “Fireside Chat” featuring Emmis Communications CEO/chairman Jeff Smulyan being interviewed by TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey (with an introduction by Bentley University professor/TALKERS legal editor Steve Weisman).

–          The first three in a series of four “one-on-one” dialogues titled “The Challenges of Doing Talk Radio in 2017.”  They feature a conversation between WYD Media syndicated host Thom Hartmann and Cumulus Media corporate PD/WMAL, Washington PD Bill Hess, introduced by Moceri Media president Greg Moceri, a conversation between morning co-host of WAQY-FM (Rock102), Springfield, MA  Mike “Bax” Baxendale and morning host of WOLB, Baltimore Larry Young and a conversation between Cumulus Media EVP programming and content Mike McVay and Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott (facilitated by ABC News Radio VP/GM Steve Jones).

–          TODAY (7/20), the fourth and final dialogue in the above series is posted featuring a conversation between iHeartMedia national brand coordinator, news-talk-sports programming/director of AM programming, Miami/Fort Lauderdale market Grace Blazer and WPHT, Philadelphia morning host Chris Stigall (also facilitated by ABC News Radio VP/GM Steve Jones).

Within the following days and weeks, every session will be posted and will remain on Talkers.com for the rest of the year.  The Talkers 2017: A New Era video page is sponsored by Backbone NetworksBroadcasters General Store and Comrex Corp.  To view the video page of Talkers 2017: A New Era, please click here.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Denver adult contemporary KOSI, Denver announces it is naming Sean Henry as the new morning drive personality.  Henry comes to Bonneville International from his most recent gig at Radioworks’ AC WGFB, Rockford, Illinois.  KOSI program director Andy Holt says, “We were looking for a very specific skill set for KOSI mornings and we checked every box with Sean.  His in-depth understanding of the AC target audience, engaging content, and superior social media skills were all key factors in our choice.”…..At All Pro Broadcasting’s hot AC KHTI Riverside-San Bernardino “HOT 103.9,” Sabrina Ruiz is named the new midday personality.  Ruiz, who takes over for the recently departed Christen Limon, was most recently afternoon host at Kemp Communications’ hot AC KVGQ, Las Vegas “Q106.9.”…..Cumulus Media names Roderick Grover, a.k.a. DJ Hot Sauce program director for hip hop WYNN, Florence, South Carolina.  He was most recently mix show coordinator and air personality at iHeartMedia’s hip hop WGCI, Chicago…..Programmer and jock Shadow Williams is leaving her PD/on-air gig at Mid-West Family Broadcasting’s rock KQRA, Springfield, Missouri to return to college.

Monday, August 15, 2016

| August 15, 2016

Slaten Exits KFNS, St. Louis; Teases Move to Political Talk.  Incendiary St. Louis sports talk personality Kevin Slaten has exited the Randy Markel-owned sports talk station KFNS and told listeners on Friday (8/12) that he’s planning to join one of the Bob Romanik-operated stations in the market – either talk-oldies KZQZ orslatenkevin talk-country KQQZ – to host a political talk program.  This comes as KFNS is preparing to bring market sports talk pro Tim McKernan aboard on September 1 to serve as director of day-to-day operations.  McKernan is also becoming part owner of KFNS.  Markel tells the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Dan Caesar that the brokered business model is not making money for him and that has to change.  According to Caesar’s report, the Romanik-Slaten deal is not a sure thing.  Slaten said if he and Romanik can work something out, he expects to launch a new show in two weeks.  Slaten’s co-host Owen Schroyer is moving to Texas to join Alex JonesInfowars.com as a reporter.

Daunic Joins Midday Show at WPRT, Nashville.  Sports talk personality Willy Daunic is remaining with The Cromwell Group’s WPRT, Nashville “ESPN 102.5 The Game” after his afternoon drive co-host George daunicwillyPlaster recently announced his exit from the station – and the business – to take a position with Belmont University.  Last week, the station revealed that Jared Stillman and former Plaster co-host Floyd Reese are the new afternoon drive team.  Now, we learn that Daunic is moving to middays to work with Darren McFarland and Derrick Mason on the “3D” show.

The Vertical Podcast Network Programming to Air on SiriusXM.  A new programming relationship between SiriusXM and Yahoo Sports’ The Vertical Podcast Network franchise has begun that brings the popular pro basketball driven series, featuring stars Woj, J.J. Redick, and Chris Mannix to SiriusXM.  The Verticalverticalpodcastnet Podcast Network is “powered” by DGital Media.  SiriusXM VP of sports programming Steve Cohen says, “Adrian, Chris and J.J. offer pro basketball fans exceptional reporting and insight, making ‘The Vertical Podcast’ an excellent addition to SiriusXM.  We’re pleased to work with Yahoo Sports and DGital Media to deliver this dynamic content to our subscribers and further enhance SiriusXM as a premier destination for fans who want to get closer to their sport.”

Odds & Sods.  KLSD, San Diego “Fox Sports Xtra 1360” launches its new program lineup that consists of Hardwick & Richards in AM drive featuring former San Diego Chargers center Nick Hardwick and station personality Judson Richards; Fox SportsColin Cowherd; the Mark & Rich show with market media pro Mark Willard and former Chargers guard Rich Ohrnberger; and the Loose Cannons remaining in afternoon drive…..Sports media pro Morgan Patrick is back working Carolina Hurricanes radio shows co-hosting “The Stormfront” with Hurricanes play-by-play man Chuck Kaiton and co-hosting “The Aftermath” with Hurricanes TV analyst John Forslund.  Patrick co-hosted the team’s pre- and post-game shows from 1999 through 2006…..AdLarge Media is adding popular podcast “The 5 AM Miracle with Jeff Sanders” to its roster of shows for which it provides exclusive ad sales representation…..CBS RADIO is presenting a special edition of “The Taz Show: Bodyslams & Beyond airing after wrestling’s summer premiere event on Sunday, August 21 from 11:00 pm to 2:00 am ET.  Taz will host a live, three-hour program on CBS Sports Radio and various CBS RADIO sports stations…..Good Karma Brands’ WUUB, Jupiter and WEFL, Tequesta will air Miami Dolphins football play-by-play in the West Palm Beach market this season.  English broadcasts will air on WUUB, and WEFL will air the games in Spanish…..Daniel McDonald, former executive director of programming and consumer research at National Geographic Channels, is the new vice president of research for the National Association of Broadcasters.  He takes over for Tanya Van Pool.

The Presidential Race, Milwaukee Violence/Protests, Rio Olympics, NYC Imam Slain, Louisiana Floods, and MLB Action Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The activities of presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump; the violence and protests in Milwaukee after police shoot and kill an armed black suspect; the Olympic games in Rio de Janeiro; the murder of a NYC imam and his aid; the historic floods ravaging parts of Louisiana; 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.

harrisonFenwayZacharyTake Me Out to the Ball Game.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison (r) paid a visit yesterday (8/14) to the WEEI, Boston broadcast booth at the legendary Fenway Park before the start of an interleague 16-2 Red Sox blowout of the Arizona Diamondbacks.  Harrison is pictured with Phil Zachary (l), Entercom Communications’ VP/market manager for its New England cluster.  Harrison was shown around the historic stadium by Zachary, including the press box where he met iconic Boston Globe sports writer andharrisonFenwayShaughnessey Baseball Hall of Fame inductee Dan Shaughnessy (c). Harrison says, “WEEI does an excellent job of presenting the Red Sox games and the way they maximize their connection to the team in terms of promotion and marketing is nothing short of extraordinary.  It is the model radio/baseball relationship in one of the nation’s outstanding sports markets.”  When asked why he wasn’t wearing a Red Sox cap, Harrison said, “As you know, although I have a soft spot in my heart for the New England clubs, I try to remain non-partisan – even in sports.  Instead, Harrison was wearing a cap promoting “a team we can all get behind – the Broadcasters Foundation of America.”

Thursday, August 4, 2016

| August 4, 2016

iheartmedia logo tinyiHeartMedia Second Quarter Net Revenue Rises 1.2%.  That figure is based on net revenue of $1.6 billion during Q2 of 2016, compared to the same period in 2015 and that is for the whole company.  Separating the radio and digital business from the outdoor segment, iHeartMedia reports an increase of 3.2% in net revenue due in large part to live events, the traffic and weather services, broadcast and digital advertising, as well as the Premiere Networks syndication segment, especially news/talk.

Townsquare Media Reports Q2 Financials; Radio Segment Up 3.5%. The company reports on its two business segments – Local Marketing Solutions, which includes radio plus its digital products, and Entertainment, which provides live events and music and lifestyle content.  During Q2, Local Marketing Solutions pro forma net townsquaremediarevenue increased $2.9 million, or 3.5%, to $86.7 million (including political).  For the first half of 2016, Local Marketing Solutions net revenue increased $8.8 million, or 5.8%, to $161.9 million (including political).   Townsquare Media chairman andpricesteven CEO Steven Price says, “We are pleased to report solid results for the first half of 2016, with pro forma net revenue and Adjusted EBITDA increasing approximately 4% over the prior year, with strength in our Local Marketing Solutions segment.  In the second quarter, we delivered net revenue growth of 16.7% over the prior year.  On a pro forma basis, net revenue increased 2.1%, which was in line with our expectations, and Adjusted EBITDA increased 4.1%, which exceeded our guidance.  In addition, we were able to strengthen our balance sheet through the repurchase of $17 million of Unsecured Senior Notes.”

Saga Communications Reports Net Revenue Up 6.1%.  That figure – comparing Q2 of 2016 with the same period a year ago – is based on net revenue of $36.4 million for the whole company.  The Sagasaga Communications radio division’s net revenue mirrors that at +6.1% on net revenue of $30.8 million.  However, on a pro forma basis, the radio net revenue dipped 1.7%.  Saga notes that free cash flow increased 15.6% to $6.5 million.  Operating Income increased 12.6% to $8.4 million.  Station operating expense increased 4.6% to $25.4 million (station operating expense includes depreciation and amortization attributable to the stations).  Same Station net revenue increased 0.8% to $34.2 million and same station operating expense was flat at $24.0 million.  Net income for the period was $4.8 million ($0.82 per fully diluted share compared to $0.77 for the same period last year).

Radio One Delivers Positive Second Quarter; Net Revenue Up 2.4%, But Radio Flat.  That 2.4% is for the company as a whole, for which net revenue was approximately $122.7 million compared to the same period in radioonelogo2015.  Station operating income was approximately $48.9 million, an increase of 5.5%.  Radio One breaks its net revenue report into six categories: Radio Advertising, Political Advertising, Digital Advertising, Cable Television Advertising, Cable Television Affiliate Fees, and Event Revenues & Other.  The company says, “Net revenues from our radio broadcasting segment decreased 0.2% for the quarter ended June 30, 2016, versus the same period in 2015.  We experienced net revenue growth in eight of our radio markets (most significantly in Washington D.C., Charlotte and Cleveland); however, this growth was offset by declines in other markets (with Columbus, Philadelphia, Houston and Detroit experiencing the most significant declines).  Reach Media’s net revenues increased 2.8% in the second quarter of 2016, compared to the same period in 2015.”

Nashville Sports Personality George Plaster Exits ‘102.5 The Game’ for University Gig.  After a Nashville sports media career that’s spanned 30-plus years, WPRT “102.5 The Game” afternoon drive sports talkplastergeorge radio host George Plaster is leaving the station to take the position of associate athletics director for marketing at Nashville’s Belmont University.  The Tennessean reports that Plaster’s friend Scott Corley, athletics director at the school, approached him about the position and Plaster was intrigued with the notion.  Over time he became very interested and told the paper, “It’s probably the one scenario that I would’ve considered leaving radio.”  Plaster joined Bud Walters’-owned WPRT in 2011 after exiting Cumulus Media’s crosstown WGFX “104.5 The Zone.”

nielsen logoNielsen Audio Releases Third Round of July 2016 PPM Data.  The third of four rounds of July 2016 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Portland, Charlotte, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, San Antonio, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Kansas City, Orlando, and Columbus.  The June 2016 survey period covered June 16 through July 13.  You can find the complete 6+ ratings numbers from subscribing stations here.  Additionally, TALKERS/RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Twelve Takeaways” from this group on the main page of our sister publication here

wygcJVC Drops Classic Hits Simulcast in Gainesville; Launches News/Talk Format on WYGC.  The classic hits will be heard on JVC Media’s WXJZ, Gainesville “WOW 100.9” and WYGC, licensed to High Springs (northeast of Gainesville) flips to news/talk as “104.9 The Talk of Gainesville.”  The company says the station will air from its “downtown Gainesville studios with non-stop local news, weather, and traffic in addition to the legendary ‘Imus in the Morning’ and FOX NewsBrian Kilmeade.”  WYGC program director and JVC Media VP Matthew Goldapper says, “‘104.9 The Talk of Gainesville’ will be locally programmed to allow our community to discuss issues important to Gainesville residents.”

The Presidential Race, US Cash Payment to Iran, Deadly London Knife Attacks, Wikileaks-Benghazi Emails, Black Lives Matter Movement, Rio Olympics Troubles, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/3).  The activities of presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump; the controversy over the US’ payment of $400 million to Iran the day Americans were released from Iran; the deadly knife attack in London that left several wounded and one woman dead; the claim by Wikileaks’ Julian Assange that emails indicate the U.S. was arming jihadists in Syria via Benghazi; the Black Lives Matter movement; the problems facing Rio De Janeiro as it prepares for the Olympic opening ceremony; 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.

Tom Arnold’s ‘100% Honest. Pretty Much’ Launches from PodcastOne.  Hollywood’s Tom Arnold is joining the PodcastOne platform with his new podcast, “Tom Arnold. 100% Honest. Pretty Much.”  PodcastOne podcastone bsays the show will cover everything from his career, to life as a husband and father of two, followed by an interview each episode, “as some of the funniest people around bring laughter and something extremely embarrassing about themselves to reveal to the audience.”  PodcastOne founder and executive chairman Norm Pattiz says, “Tom has shared his humor and entertainment with the world for decades, and it’s great to now bring him to the podcast world. It’s the perfect platform to let loose, hang out and have a great time – with all his fans.”

Radio One and Edison Research to Release Race Relations Study Results.  Urban media company Radio One says it engaged Edison Research to conduct the study into the “true state of race relations in this country.”  The results will be revealed on Friday (8/4 at 11:00 am ET via conference call) and Radio One teasesedisonresearch that a key finding is “Black and White Americans are more closely aligned than previously thought on improving race relations in the country and share broad agreement on practical solutions.”  Radio One commissioned the study “on the heels of outrage, protests and emotional responses after the shooting of two black men by police officers in Louisiana and Minnesota and the subsequent shooting of five police officers in Dallas (study fielded prior to Baton Rouge police shooting).

Odds & Sods.  This report in from the Los Angeles base of The New Normal, home of Tom Leykis’ digitally distributed program: the special wine made just for Leykis and his fans is almost gone.  Leykis tells TALKERSleykistom magazine that they surpassed 1,000 bottles sold of the 2014 Pedal to the Metal Santa Ynez Valley Syrah.  Sales will end August 31 and they will likely have sold all 120 cases by that date.  Leykis has another money-making event on the horizon.  The show has rented the biggest suite at Dodger Stadium – holds 70 – for an upcoming game and has sold it out.  Tickets range in price from $299 – $349.  The show grossed $21,000…..DirecTV’s Rich Eisen will report from Canton, Ohio during this week’s Pro Football Hall of Fame festivities.  He’ll broadcast live today and tomorrow with guests including: Brett Favre, Kevin Greene, Orlando Pace, Eddie DeBartolo, and Tony Dungy.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

| April 4, 2013

nms2013logoCan You Imagine Meeting These 47 People (and About 500 More) All in One Day?  The roster of industry luminaries signed up to serve as speakers at the forthcoming Talkers New York 2013 has been announced and it reads like a who’s who of the talk radio industry.  Not yet named on the list are several more “surprise” speakers including the yet-to-be revealed recipient of the 2013 Freedom of Speech Award which will bring the total to around 50.  In making the announcement, TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey states, “In the 16-year colorful history of this national conference, I believe this is the best and most balanced lineup of speakers we’ve ever assembled.  This power-packed gathering of management, programming, sales and technical leaders will directly address today’s most important issues, as the radio industry – not just spoken word – faces some of the most existential challenges of its century-long history.”  Talkers New York 2013 takes place on Thursday, June 6 between 9:00 am and 6:00 pm at the Concierge Conference Center, 780 Third Avenue on Manhattan’s East Side.   The event, which is on the verge of being an early sellout, is open exclusively to members of the working media.  Registrations can only be booked by credit card over the phone at 413-565-5413. The following individuals will be speaking (in alphabetical order): Michael “Bax” Baxendale, Co-Host, “Bax  & O’Brien Morning Show, WAQY “Rock 102”, Springfield, MA;  Michael Berry, Host, KTRH, Houston (and syndication); Jim Bohannon, Host, Dial Global; Phil Boyce, VP/Spoken Word Format, Salem Communications; Spencer Brown, former CEO, Dial Global; Kevin Casey, VP/Executive Editor, TALKERSMark Chernoff, VP of Sports Programming, CBS Radio/OM, WFAN, New York; Jeremy Coleman, SVP, Talk & Entertainment Programming, Sirius/XM;  Alan Colmes, Host, Fox News Radio;  Holland Cooke, President, Holland Cooke Media;  Jana Cosgrove, President, CBS Radio Sales/Entercom Radio Sales; Jerry Crowley, VP/GM, WNYM “AM 970 The Answer”, New York; Tom Cuddy, PD, WOR, New York; Andy Dean, Host, Premiere Networks;  Dave Elswick, PD/Host, KARN, Little Rock; Erica Farber, President/CEO, Radio Advertising Bureau; Mike Francesa, Host, WFAN, New York; Ian Freeman, Co-Host, Free Talk Live; Dom Giordano, Host, WPHT, Philadelphia; Steve Goldstein, EVP, Saga Communications; Sean Hannity, Host, Premiere Networks/Fox News Channel;  Michael Harrison, Publisher, TALKERSRon Hartenbaum, President, WYD/WYM Media; Thom Hartmann, Host, WYD Media; Bill Hess, PD, WMAL, Washington, DC; Clay Hunnicutt, EVP, Programming, Clear Channel; Kraig Kitchin, CEO, Sound Mind, LLC; Tom Leykis, President/Host, The New Normal; Lionel, Host, WWIQ “IQ 106.9”, Philadelphia; Steve Malzberg, Host, Newsmax.com; Carole Marks, CEO, Talk Media, Inc.; Kevin McCullough, CEO/Host, XtreMedia; Mike McVay, SVP, Programming, Cumulus Media; Dan Metter, SVP, Sales, Premiere Networks; Jon Miller, Director of Programming Services, Arbitron, Inc.; Trevor Oliver, former SVP/Operations, Premiere Networks; Norm Pattiz, CEO, Courtside Entertainment, LLC/Launchpad Digital Media; Tom Ray, President, Tom Ray Broadcast Consulting; Walter Sabo, Chairman, Sabo Media; Michael Smerconish, Host, SiriusXM Satellite Radio; Jeff Smulyan, CEO, Emmis Broadcasting; Doug Stephan, President/Host, Stephan Multimedia; Andrea Tantaros, Host, Talk Radio Network/Fox News Channel; Phil Valentine, Host, Cumulus Media; Paul Vandenburgh, President/GM/Host, WGDJ “Talk 1300 AM”, Albany; Lincoln Ware, Host, WDBZ (The Buzz), Cincinnati; Jeff Wasserman, President, Life Coach Media; David Webb, Host, Sirius/XM; Steven J.J. Weisman, Esq., Senior Partner, Harrison Strategies; Lisa Wexler, Host, WFAS, Westchester, NY; and Dennis Wharton, VP Communications, National Association of Broadcasters.  The actual agenda of sessions and times will be posted here later this week.

wvonlogoWVON, Chicago to Celebrate 50th Anniversary April 5-6.  Midway Broadcasting-owned WVON, Chicago commemorates 50 years on air tomorrow and Saturday with a two-day celebration kicked off with a special performance by musician Roy Ayers on Friday and culminating with the “IMPACT 50 Grand Gala” at the historic Chicago Theater featuring Toni Braxton on Saturday night.  Those expected to be in attendance on Saturday include: media personality Roland Martin, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Radio One’s Cathy Hughes, Rev. Al Sharpton, and actor/activist Dick Gregory.  Radio historians may be aware that the station was founded by Leonard and Phillip Chess, founders of the famous Chess Records that recorded so many black artists during the 1960s.  Current Midway Broadcasting chief Melody Spann Cooper’s father, Pervis “Blues Man” Spann, bought the station and since that time it has morphed from an urban music outlet into the urban news/talk station it is today.  Cooper tells the Huffington Post that two years ago she wasn’t sure the station was going to survive to see its 50th.  “Being independently owned in the third largest market, we definitely faced some challenges to stay afloat.  We have stood the test of time and worked through the challenges, so this makes it an extra special time for us.”  The station’s calls originally stood for the “Voice of the Negro” but now, the station calls itself the “Voice of the Nation.”  WVON’s being available on Clear Channel’s iHeartRadio digital delivery system certainly gives it a broader reach than its 1,000 watt Chicago signal can deliver.  WVON prides itself on its ability to talk about local issues as well as issues germane to African Americans across the country with its lineup of largely live and local personalities.  The station features Matt McGill in mornings, Perri Small in late mornings, the syndicated Rev. Al Sharpton in middays and Cliff Kelley in PM drive.

tribuneNils Larsen Exits Tribune Broadcasting President and CEO Role.  Chicagoland Radio and Media is reporting that Nils Larsen has left the Tribune Company and his latest role as president and CEO of the broadcasting division.  The site states Tribune confirmed his exit but said there will be no formal announcement of the change.  Larsen previously served as chief investment officer during the Sam Zell/Randy Michael’s era.  It goes on to say that Larsen, who had no experience in the broadcasting field but was a financial analyst, was only put in the position overseeing the broadcasting division to watch over the finances as the company exited from bankruptcy.  Larry Wert serves as president of local broadcasting in the Tribune Broadcasting division.

gcn logoFinancial Talker Phil Grande Signs with Genesis Communications Network.  The move will allow Phil Grande to expand his “Phil’s Gang” program from the one-hour 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm ET live broadcast time to agrandephil new, 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm ET time.  The new deal also includes the debut of a one-hour Saturday program airing from 12:00 noon to 1:00 pm.  “Phil’s Gang” partner and CEO Marta Grande says, “This is an exciting opportunity to join the Genesis Communications Network.  Adding a strong network like Genesis is the perfect complement to our strong affiliate lineup.”  Grande says the program is displaying an expanding affiliate roster, thus indicating unprecedented growth, especially in the major markets.  This new partnership will add even more strength to the GCN affiliates, providing the best source of media for host Phil Grande to expand with his coined message of “I’m going to tell you what Wall Street doesn’t want you to know!”

wqzq logoCromwell Broadcasting Flips WQZQ, Nashville to Sports Using NBC Sports Radio and Content from WPRT-FM.  Cromwell Broadcasting’s WQZQ, Nashville drops the gospel format and goes sports on the AM 830 frequency using both NBC Sports Radio Network programming as well as the PM drive “Sports Night” show featuring George Plaster, Willy Daunic and Darren McFarland from  sister sports talker WPRT “102.5 The Game.”  The same format is also airing on translator W248BM, Murfreesboro on the 97.5 frequency.  Cromwell general manager Tincy Crouse states, “We are excited to be a part of the brand new 24/7 NBC Sports Radio family from the beginning and looking forward to adding another quality sports talk product into the Nashville market.”  The “Sports Night” program begins airing at 3:00 pm on WQZQ but not until 4:00 pm on WPRT due to the latter’s carriage of the Dave Ramsey program.

finneykarenMSNBC Continues to Add to Weekend Lineup.  MSNBC has already announced the move of talk media personality Ed Schultz from his nightly “Ed Show” to a new weekend program.  Now, the network adds a new show as a lead-in to Schultz’s show.  MSNBC gives political analyst, former Democratic National Committee spokesperson and Clinton White House staffer Karen Finney her own Saturday and Sunday 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm program.  Schultz’s new program will air from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm.  In a statement, MSNBC’s Phil Griffin says, “Karen’s rich background in both education policy and politics will add a unique point of view to our expanding live weekend programming.”

Odds & Sods.  WIBC-FM, Indianapolis talk personality Ed Wenck leaves the PM drive program on the Emmis news/talk station to enter the sales department at the cluster and sell for sports talker WFNI “The Fan.”…..CRC Media West’s KPSF, Desert Hot Springs, California brings Marshall Gilbert aboard to host the daily “Business for Breakfast” program that airs from 8:00 am to 9:00 am.  Gilbert most recently served at crosstown KWNZ, Palm Springs…..Call letter changes take place at Clear Channel’s Raleigh cluster with news/talk “Rush Radio 106.1” giving up the WRDU calls to its classic rock clustermate at 100.7.  The news/talker takes the calls WTKK (most recently held by Greater Media’s former Boston talk station) and adopts the brand “More Stimulating Talk.”

North Korea Threats, ObamaCare Costs, Gun Legislation Issue, Illegal Immigration, and Sequester Effects Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/3).  The heightening threats against the U.S. by Kim Jong Un; the cost and effects of the Affordable Care Act; gun legislation proposals; the recent increase in illegal border crossings; and the effects of the sequester were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

| February 6, 2013

mrc logoChicago, San Francisco, San Diego and Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock Hill Join Arbitron PPM’s MRC-Accredited Markets.  The list of Media Rating Council-accredited markets for Arbitron’s PPM ratings service jumps to 18 with the addition of Chicago, San Francisco, San Diego and Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock Hill.   Arbitron EVP, service innovation and chief research officer Gregg Lindner says, “MRC accreditation for our PPM markets is an important priority for Arbitron, and we are pleased the MRC continues to recognize the progress we are making.  Continuous improvement in our PPM, diary and other information services is our objective, and we remain focused on our efforts to maintain the MRC double checkmarks in our currently accredited PPM markets and to achieve service-wide accreditation for all PPM markets.”  The MRC chose not to issue accreditation for the remaining 30 PPM markets.

tylerchrisChris Tyler Assumes Brand Manager Post at Cumulus Media’s WSBA and WGLD, York.  The Harrisburg, Pennsylvania radio pro becomes program director and brand manager for Cumulus Media’s news/talk WSBA and sports talk WGLD in nearby York.  Tyler was the longtime program director and morning host at Clear Channel’s rock WRVV, Harrisburg “The River” before exiting in August of 2011.  He then served as general manager, program director and morning host at crosstown rock WTPA – a Cumulus station the Department of Justice demanded the company spin off.  Tyler fills the programming role vacated by Jim Horn who retired from WSBA as morning co-host and PD last year.

wqzqWQZQ, Nashville Flips to Sports Talk.  Cromwell Radio Group drops the gospel on WQZQ, Nashville and begins simulcasting FM sports talker WPRT “102.5 The Game.”  The station is being used to air conflicting programming beginning with the 3:00 pm hour of its George Plaster-led “Sports Night” program that got bumped from WPRT when the station became the local home of financial talker Dave Ramsey.

morganjoeSports USA’s Joe Morgan Show Re-Brands.  The weekend sports talk show hosted by baseball and broadcasting legend Joe Morgan re-brands as “Conversations with Joe Morgan” to reflect the nature of the program.  Sports USA states that the show “will continue to focus on Joe’s unique conversations with iconic legends and celebrity personalities.  Previous guests have included Willie Mays, Sandy Koufax, former President George H. W. Bush, Jim Brown, Bob Costas, Charlie Sheen, Tom Seaver, John Madden, Al Michaels, and Johnny Bench.  These conversations take listeners well beyond what they think they may know about the subjects.”  Morgan says about his style, “These are conversations, not interrogations.”  Sports USA indicates there will be added digital aspects to “Conversations with Joe Morgan” as well.

crn mag logoCRN Digital Talk Radio Launches CRN Digital Mag.  Content provider and distributor CRN Digital Talk Radio is launching CRN Digital Mag, its own entertainment and lifestyle online magazine this week.  The magazine launch coincides with CRN’s 30th anniversary celebration.  CRN CEO and founder Mike Horn says, “Embarking on our 30th year is a major milestone for us.  We are proud of all that we have accomplished and look forward to our future endeavors, including CRN Digital Mag.  Our listeners have asked for more access to their favorite personalities, in-depth pieces on the topics we touch on CRN and CRN Digital Mag keeps your favorite shows going on your schedule.”  The all-new magazine will include exclusive stories written by CRN personalities Fred Dryer, Barry Farber, Karel, Larry Manetti and many others who will write about recent shows, upcoming guests and other popular topics.  Horn, who is also host of CRN’s highly popular “What’s Cookin’’ program, will also write a regular column on food, wine and the good life as featured on his show.

wjpzstudioThe Next Generation(s).  Seated at the control board of Syracuse University’s student-run CHR WJPZ is general manager Corey Crockett.  The studios will soon bear the name Envision Radio Networks Broadcast Center after Envision CEO Danno Wolkoff and COO Laura Orkin made a donation to acquire the naming rights to the newly renovated studios at the school’s Watson Hall.  Wolkoff states, “There is no better classroom in the world than ‘Z-89’ and I’m thrilled the legacy will continue.  Students who work at the station will benefit from learning the industry in a brand new space outfitted with state-of-the-art equipment including a new console, audio boards, touchscreen monitors and two new production studios.”  Wolkoff is an alumnus of the school and he helped sign the FM station on the air in 1985.  He began his career in radio as one of the original members of the “Cra-Z Morning Crew” and was inducted into the WJPZ Hall of Fame in 2009.  The official opening ceremony for the Envision Radio Networks Broadcast Center will take place on March 1 in conjunction with the station’s 28th birthday banquet and annual WJPZ Hall of Fame induction ceremony on March 2.

WRKL, New York Goes on the Market.  Owner of currently Spanish Christian WRKL, New York (class B AM at 910) Polnet Communications is retaining Media Services Group to “to identify, examine and consider a range of strategic options available including a possible sale of WRKL.  The asking price for the station is $3 million.  Polnet Communications Ltd. owns radio stations WEEF, WNVR, WPJX and WKTA and television station WPVN in the Chicago area.  It also owns WRKL and WLIM in the New York City area and WRXB and WTMY in the greater Tampa-Sarasota, Florida area.  Bob Heymann of the Chicago office of Media Services Group is the contact.

Budget Cuts/Tax Hikes Debate, Gun Legislation, Iran/North Korea Nuke Threats, and Deadly Force Drones Controversy Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/5).  The debate in Washington over budget cuts and possible tax hikes; proposals for new gun legislation; the threat of nuclear weapons use from Iran and North Korea; and President Obama’s use of drones for deadly force on U.S. citizens were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

| July 11, 2012

Salem Builds Up the Morning Show at KRLA and KTIE in Southern California.  Las Vegas-native Heidi Harris has been hosting the morning drive show on Salem Communications’ KRLA, Los Angeles and sister KTIE, Riverside/San Bernardino (positioned as 870 The Answer and 590 The Answer, respectively) since late April.  Now, the company brings Brian Whitman and Ben Shapiro aboard to build a morning team.  Salem VP/director of spoken word format Phil Boyce states, “We’re committed to providing L.A.’s morning commuters with a show that informs, entertains and makes them want to stay in the car once they get into the parking lot at work.  We think that Heidi, Brian and Ben create a unique mix for L.A. that will do just that.”  Brian Whitman is a 15-year Los Angeles resident who worked at CBS Radio’s KLSX-FM when it was a hot talk outlet.  Ben Shapiro is an L.A. native, editor-at-large for Breitbart News and a graduate of UCLA and Harvard Law School.  Boyce says, “Creating an on-air radio team is tricky, but these guys all developed chemistry and camaraderie instantly.  You would think they had been on the air for years together.  Heidi continues to drive the bus on the air, and the guys seem to bring out the best of her many talents.”  KRLA/KTIE program director Chuck Tyler says, “When we threw these three people together we honestly weren’t sure what would happen, but we knew that each of them brought a unique and important element to the mix.  After hearing a week of shows we realized that something very special was coming out of the speakers.”

George Plaster Returns to Nashville Sports Radio July 23.  Nashville sports talk personality George Plaster and co-host Willy Daunic left WGFX, Nashville when Cumulus Media closed on the Citadel purchase back in September of 2011.  Since then, the Tennessee sports talker has been off the radio due to a non-compete.  Daunic joined Cromwell Group’s crosstown sports talk outlet WPRT in November of 2011.  Now, the stage is set for Plaster (pictured here with Cromwell Group market manager Tincy Crouse) to rejoin co-host Daunic on the PM drive show on July 23.  A report in The Tennessean says the program is headed for regional syndication as “Sports Night on The Game Radio Network,” although affiliates are not being announced just yet.  Station manager Jeff Kolb tells the paper, “George has been the biggest radio sports personality in this market for 20 or so years and carries a huge fan base.  We started this station last year by getting ESPN Radio (as the national network affiliate) and the Predators broadcasts, and then we added the Nashville Sounds.  George is a staple of Nashville sports talk radio, so adding him is huge.”

Why Not Just Say, “Don’t Listen?”  Consultant Holland Cooke cringes at amateur mistakes made by talk hosts bemoaning working during a holiday week.  Are you (or your staff) making those same mistakes?  Plus, a new study sheds some light on the public’s sentiments about civility in American political discourse (or lack thereof).  Read Holland’s entire piece here.

Odds ‘n’ Sods.  Genesis Communications sports talk WHOO, Orlando adds Central Florida News 13 sports anchor and reporter David Baumann to host the daily 9:00 am to 11:00 am show…..Grantland.com features another of its “oral histories,” this time writers Alex French and Howie Kahn write an oral history of sports talk pioneering station WFAN, New York.  Grantland.com is a sports and pop culture website founded by ESPN.com writer Bill Simmons…..In response to the recent weather-related power outages, WTOP, Washington is hosting an “Ask the Utility Execs” live Q&A hosted by WTOP investigative reporter Mark Seagraves today at 10:00 am and will include reps from Pepco, BG&E, SMECO, NOVEC, Potomac Edison and Rappahannock….. WXKS, Boston morning drive talk host Jeff Katz is pictured here speaking at a Greater Boston Tea Party rally at Christopher Columbus Park at Boston Harbor to encourage the repeal of President Obama’s Affordable Care law…..Tampa-based Bubba the Love Sponge calls on his Bubba Army for information leading to the arrest of those responsible for the beating of a 17-year-old in Land O’ Lakes, Florida on July 2 that sent him to the emergency room with multiple injuries.  Bubba is offering a $500 reward for information that leads to the arrest and prosecution of those involved…..Talk show host and candidate for Congress in Georgia’s 9th District, Martha Zoller, picked up some momentum in her bid for the seat as she won the Fannin County Tea Party Patriots’ Primary Preference Poll this weekend and earned the endorsement of the American Conservative Union PAC (ACU-PAC).

On a Pilgrimage.  KARN-FM, Little Rock program director and PM drive host Dave Elswick (c) is pictured here with his wife Lynda (r) and Cumulus Media Networks talk host and Fox News Channel personality Governor Mike Huckabee (l) during a visit to a production of Huckabee’s FNC program.  Elswick tells TALKERS he was in New York City with 50 listeners on his “Dave Elswick Patriot Tour 2012” and the group landed tickets to the taping.

 

 

ESPY Celebrity Golf Classic Raises $1 Million for V Foundation.  The 12th annual ESPY Celebrity Golf Classic was held at the Industry Hills Golf Club in Industry Hills, California as part of the V Foundation events that happen in conjunction with the 2012 ESPYS which air tonight on ESPN.  The golf outing helped raise $1 million for the V Foundation for Cancer Research.  Pictured here are (from l-r): ESPN’s Mike Greenberg, Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford, ESPN executive chairman George Bodenheimer, ESPN’s Mike Golic, Olympic Skiing Gold Medalist Lindsey Vonn, actor Joe Mantegna and ESPN’s Stuart Scott.

House to Take Up ObamaCare Repeal, Bush Tax Cuts Repeal for Wealthy, 2012 Presidential Race, and Russia-Syria Connection Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/10).  The U.S. House plans to vote on repeal of President Obama’s Affordable Care Act; the response to the president’s plan to repeal the Bush tax cuts for Americans making more than $250,000; the 2012 presidential campaign; and Russia’s sending of warships to aid Syria were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

| November 8, 2011

Critiquing Talk Hosts a Challenging Two-Way Street.  Many talk radio programming pros agree that critiquing – or air checking – talk show hosts is something that is almost a lost art in the current talk radio environment.  Both at the network and the station levels, programmers working with talent to improve their on-air product is challenging enough given the egos of the managers and talent and the myriad programming philosophies out there.  But add in the hectic schedule of today’s talk PD and “challenging” becomes a mild term for the state of the talent critique.  TALKERS special features correspondent Mike Kinosian speaks with programming pros including Salem Radio Networks VP of news and talk programming Tom Tradup, Sound Mind chief Kraig Kitchin and others about the state of critiquing talk talent.  Read the story here.

Roger Hedgecock Moves to KFMB, San Diego in New Year.  We have a clearer picture of what’s happening in San Diego now.  Yes, as reported earlier, longtime KOGO PM drive host Roger Hedgecock will move his Radio America-syndicated program to Midwest Television’s crosstown KFMB beginning January 2.  KFMB program director Dave Sniff says of the move, “KFMB has always been about mirroring our community, and Roger is synonymous with San Diego.  No host reflects the views and concerns of San Diegans better than Roger.”  Sniff does not mention current PM drive host Rick Roberts in the release.  Meanwhile, Hedgecock stays on the AM side at Clear Channel’s KOGO – which began simulcasting on FM this week – while LaDona Harvey handles the 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm show on the FM side.  So far, it’s the only split of programming for KOGO’s AM and FM broadcasts.  Also, KOGO debuts talk host Bryan Suits in the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon slot and Bob “Sully” Sullivan in the 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm time slot.

Willy Daunic Joined by Joe Dubin for PM Drive at Sports WPRT-FM, Nashville.  The Cromwell Group’s new FM sports talk station in Nashville adds market television sports personality Joe Dubin to “The Sports Revolution” program hosted by Willy Daunic.  Dubin will serve as co-host and executive producer.  Daunic worked at crosstown WGFX-FM with George Plaster’s “The Sports Zone” program before Plaster left the station suddenly just prior to the CumulusCitadel merger.  Daunic stayed with Cumulus briefly but the two sides could not agree on a contract.  Daunic says, “I am glad to have Joe aboard to launch “The Sports Revolution.”  His energy and enthusiasm are going to be an asset.  He also loves Nashville having grown up here, and has built a great following over the years.”  Dubin worked in Nashville TV for 15 years and has won two Murrow Awards and a local Emmy.

WBAL, Baltimore to Try Out Marc Unger in Evening Slot.  DCRTV.com’s Dave Hughes reports comic, actor and Baltimore sports talk personality Marc Unger is getting an on-air tryout at Hearst’s WBAL, Baltimore in the 9:00 pm to 12:00 midnight slot.  Beginning tonight (11/8), Unger will host a program dealing with politics, social issues and sports in the time slot where the station had been airing reruns of its midday Ron Smith program.

Sign of the Times?  As the media landscape changes and delivery of content moves inexorably from analog over-the-air to a digital combination of wired and wireless, perhaps this photo of America’s first licensed commercial radio towers coming down is truly worth 1,000 words.  WBZ, Boston director of news and programming Peter Casey photographed the felling of WBZ’s first towers atop the old Westinghouse plant in Springfield, Massachusetts – some 85 miles west of Boston – as a piece of radio history is dismantled.  What you see here is one of the two 100-foot towers that served as the original transmitters for WBZ when it began operation 90 years ago.  We posted photos of the two towers atop the buildings in September as CBS Radio’s WBZ celebrated its 90th anniversary on September 19.

New Cain Accusation, Iran Nukes, Penn State Scandal, Italy Economic Trouble and ‘OWS’ Movemement Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/7).  The latest accusation of sexual misconduct by GOP candidate Herman Cain, the reports of Iran’s advancing nuclear weapons program, the Penn State sexual assault scandal, Italy’s contribution to the Euro zone economic problems and the ‘OWS’ movement were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday.

Friday, October 7, 2011

| October 7, 2011

KFI, Los Angeles Cancels Meeting with Immigrant Rights Group.  Clear Channel Los Angeles market manager Greg Ashlock tells the Los Angeles Times he canceled a meeting with heads of regional immigrants’ rights advocacy groups because their request to meet became an ultimatum that John & Ken be fired.  The groups became upset after KFI PM drive hosts John Kobylt and Ken Chiampou gave the cell phone number of activist Jorge-Mario Cabrera over the air telling listeners to let him know how they feel about his support for California legislation called ‘The Dream Act’ that would provide educational financial assistance to illegal aliens.  Cabrera says he received more than 400 phone calls – some very angry and filled with foul language.  KFI management had initially agreed to meet with activist leader to discuss the issue but Ashlock tells the Times, “I’m more than happy to sit down with anybody who has a concern and talk it out but we’re not going to be held hostage to demands that are outlandish.”  Leaders of the groups say they will boycott the John & Ken show.

Bonneville’s KTAR-FM, Phoenix to Debut New Local Show.  Yesterday we told you Premiere’s Glenn Beck was joining the lineup at Clear Channel’s crosstown KFYI.  That’s because he’s leaving KTAR-FM and Bonneville responds by getting back to “its old roots” with an “all-local-news daytime focus.”  The Karie & Chuck show hits the air later this month in the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm slot featuring 20-year KTAR staffer Karie Dozer and market sports talk personality Chuck Powell.  Powell and on-air partner Vince Marotta have been hosting the AM drive show at Sandusky’s sports KDUS since January.  Powell, Marotta and sales pro Lee Rosenthal formed GOAT Media Group to create, produce and sell the program to the station.  Powell is wrapping up that deal before joining KTAR-FM.  Bonneville Phoenix VP for news and sports content Ryan Hatch says of the new show, “The chemistry between Karie and Chuck is off the charts.  They are two distinct, smart and fun personalities who bring unique perspectives from their life experiences.  This show will connect emotionally and intellectually with our audience in a meaningful, relatable way.”  The new program is described as being “built around conversations on current events and the biggest news stories of the day.  It features local and national news stories, political issues, pop culture and entertainment along with regular interviews with newsmakers.”

Willy Daunic Exits Cumulus’ WGFX-FM, Nashville.  Willy Daunic worked alongside longtime WGFX-FM PM drive host George Plaster since 2003 on “The Sports Zone” program.  Now, just a month after Plaster left the station, Daunic fails to come to contract terms on a renewal of his deal that expired August 31 and he exits.  The Tennessean reports Daunic says of his exit, “My time at 104.5 The Zone was the best eight years of my radio career.  The success that we’ve had and the fun that we’ve had is something I’ll always cherish.  Starting the show from scratch and seeing it build into what it is today was tremendously rewarding.”

Premiere Networks to Distribute DIRECTV’s “Nick and Artie Show.”  The sports/comedy program featuring comic personalities Artie Lange and Nick DiPaolo, being produced by DIRECTV and currently being streamed on the web is being offered to radio stations via Premiere Networks.  DIRECTV says a video simulcast of the program will be added to its Audience Network “next year.”  The program was developed over the summer with Lange and DiPaolo doing some sub work for the Tony Bruno show on Fox Sports Radio.  However, the program is not airing on Fox Sports Radio Network.  FSRN filled Tony Bruno’s old 10:00 pm to 1:00 am slot with “Fox Sports Tonight” hosted by Mike North and Lincoln Kennedy.  The “Nick and Artie Show” also airs live in the 10:00 pm to 1:00 am time slot.

NRG Omaha Adds Two Veteran AEs to its Sales Team.  NRG Media general sales manager Heather Gossett announces Omaha market sales pros Vickie Majorek and Kim Earl join the sales staff at its seven-station cluster that includes news/talk KKAR and sports KOZN.  Gossett states, “Vickie’s and Kim’s passion and love for radio makes them the problem solvers for clients in the Omaha Metro Area.  They never fail to make a difference in the life of a client and their business.  They strive to provide results in all that they do…it’s truly what makes the difference at NRG Media in Omaha.”

TALKERS Affiliation Roundup.  Premiere NetworksGlenn Beck joins KFYI, Phoenix for the 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm slot…..Genesis Communications Network’s Jason Lewis picks up WVNJ, Oakland, New Jersey as an affiliate…..KCJJ, Iowa City signs United Stations Radio NetworksLex & Terry for middays at the station…..Talk Radio Network’s “Watchdog on Wall Street” with Chris Markowski adds KNIF-FM, Boise…..The Dr. Dahlia show joins the Genesis Communications Network and picks up affiliates KBOZ, Bozeman, Montana; WSRJ, Traverse City, Michigan; WSRT, Petoskey, Michigan; and WGGH, Marion, Illinois…..“Gun Talk” with Tom Gresham is added to the program schedule at KZYM, Joplin, Missouri; WHUB, Cookeville, Tennessee; KVFC, Cortez, Colorado; KNPT, Newport, Oregon; and KBSZ, Apache Junction, Arizona…..Delta Media’s “Armed American Radio” with Mark Walters adds the program to affiliates WEBY, Milton/Pensacola, Florida; KJJR, Kalispell, Montana; and KWKC, Abilene, Texas…..“The Rose Hollywood Report” with Shannon Rose picks up CKTB, St. Catharines, Ontario.

Obama Jobs Bill/Economic Policy Top News/Talk Story for Week of October 3-7.  President Obama’s jobs bill and his administration’s economic policy was the topic that landed at the top of the Talkers TenTM this week.  According to ongoing research from TALKERS, the ‘Occupy Wall Street’ protests were the #2 story of the week.  The 2012 presidential race was #3 and coming in at #4 was the European economic jitters and the strike and violence in Greece.  The Talkers TenTM is published weekly at Talkers.com.  To view the week’s entire chart, click on the banner below.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

| September 20, 2011

WGN Informal Tour Now Playing on TALKERS TV.  While TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison was in Chicago last week attending the NAB/RAB Radio Show, he ducked out briefly and headed across the street to the headquarters of the Tribune Company to pay a visit to his friends at WGN.  With video camera in hand, and upon extremely short notice, Harrison was graciously given an informal, off-the-cuff, tour of the facility by the station’s program director Bill White.  The video of that tour makes its TALKERS TV debut today.  Although it offers just a quick and limited slice of the rich world that is WGN – a radio station with a historic pedigree stretching back to the early 1920s – it does capture a provocative glimpse of the heritage station’s unique specialness.  Bill White takes us into the locked and almost forgotten — but still intact – record album and 45 rpm singles library, a fascinating reminder of big time radio as it was back in the day.  We visit the green room where today’s news/talk radio air guests are greeted, seated and offered beverages…a room that has hosted an endless list of the powerful and famous including heads of state.  We watch Leslie Keiling of WGN Traffic Central doing traffic reports and share a few words with her.  We talk with Jackie Paulus, WGN director of marketing & digital strategies about the station’s digital sales initiatives.  We meet assistant program director Alex Quigley in the WGN radio newsroom — situated against the dynamic backdrop of the main newsroom of the Chicago Tribune, located in the same building.  We peek in on the huge main studios of the iconic radio station.  A highlight of the visit is chatting with John Williams during a break during his midday show in the WGN street level Showcase Studio and barging in on the staff prep meeting conducted by afternoon drive star Garry Meier. View this must-see video in the TALKERS TV box on this page.

It’s Official: George Plaster Exits WGFX-FM, Nashville.  Speculation over whether sports talk host George Plaster would stay with the company he sued for his freedom eight years ago (Cumulus) when it became owner of WGFX-FM is over.  Plaster tells The Tennessean he made the decision on Friday, “It’s the toughest decision I’ve ever had to make in radio.  It was very emotional for me because of the people that I’ve worked with.  The people at 104.5 The Zone are as professional as any radio station that I have ever dealt with.  These are friends and we’ve had unbelievable success at this station.”  The new crosstown sports talk station owned by Cromwell Group – WPRT-FM – is a possible destination for Plaster but he says he’ll take some time to decide what he’s going to do next.  There is probably a non-compete that Plaster will have to wait out before going back to radio in Nashville.  At WGFX-FM, “The Allstate Sports Zone” continues on with Willy Daunic and Chad Withrow.

Premiere Networks Announces Goldline Exclusive Precious Metals Dealer Sponsor of Sean Hannity Show.  Sean Hannity’s nationally syndicated radio show – heard on more than 500 affiliate stations – reaches an extremely dedicated core group of conservative talk radio listeners.  That target demo must be exactly what Goldline International Inc. is looking for as it announces it is the exclusive precious metals sponsor of the Sean Hannity show.  Goldline CEO Scott Carter states, “Sean Hannity clearly represents the pinnacle of talk radio with millions of loyal listeners following Sean’s unique take on politics, culture and current events.  Goldline is thrilled to be a sponsor of the Sean Hannity show and help Americans across the country learn more about diversifying with precious metals.”  Speaking about the exclusive advertising deal, Sean Hannity says,I am looking forward to working closely with a gold company that has such a stellar reputation in the industry.  For those who are thinking about investing in gold, the place I highly recommend is Goldline.”

KIRO, Seattle Extends Contracts of Kevin Calabro and Jim Moore.  Bonneville’s 710 ESPN Seattle (KIRO) adds an hour to the Kevin Calabro show – now airing from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm daily – and gives contract extensions to host Kevin Calabro and co-host Jim Moore.  Station GM Dave Pridemore notes the program is currently the #1-rated show in the Men 25-54 demo and says, “We are thrilled to have Kevin and Jim continue to anchor our afternoon drive into the future.  Kevin’s connection to the Seattle sports audience, dedication to the craft and loyalty make him a true professional and advocate for this entire region.”

WTKK-FM, Boston Adds Pollster Scott Rasmussen for Weekly AM Drive Appearance.  Rasmussen is the founder of Rasmussen Reports – the public opinion polling firm – and a frequent guest on cable news/talk TV shows as well as a talk show host in his own right.  Now, Greater Media’s WTKK-FM, Boston announces Rasmussen will make a weekly appearance on its AM drive show with Jim Braude and Margery Eagan every Wednesday at 7:45.  Braude says, “Scott Rasmussen is as good as they come, his insight on topics that Bostonians and New Englanders care about is unmatchable.”  Eagan notes, “He knows what Americans are thinking about, everything from politics to laundry detergent.”

Pop Culture AM Drive Hosts Chaz and AJ Simulcast in New Haven and Norwalk, Connecticut.  Cox Media Group gives talk-intensive rock WPLR, New Haven morning drive hosts Chaz and AJ another market as the duo’s program begins a simulcast on the company’s classic rock WFOX, Norwalk, Connecticut.  The show is described as a mix of humor, politics and water cooler talk.  Keith Dakin, who programs both stations, says, “This move just makes sense.  I am extremely excited to extend the reach of Chaz and AJ to the residents of Fairfield County who have never been able to hear the show.  These guys really deliver for Connecticut and I expect big things from them on WFOX.”

Marty Basch Joins CBS Radio Las Vegas as VP/Director of Sales.  Basch has worked for CBS Radio in the recent past.  He left two years ago to take the EVP/GM position with Kemp Broadcasting.  Now he returns to the company as vice president and director of sales for the six-station cluster that includes news/talk KXNT-AM/FM.

Obama Deficit Reduction Plan, Palestinian-U.N. Issue, European Economic Jitters and 2012 Presidential Race Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/19).  President Obama’s plan to cut the nation’s deficit, the Palestinian plea to the U.N. for statehood, continued jitters in Europe over Greek debt and the GOP contenders for president in 2012 were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday.

Monday, September 19, 2011

| September 19, 2011

WBZ, Boston Celebrates 90 Years on the Air Today.  Yes, the building with its twin radio towers in the photo at the top of this page is the site of the original broadcast studios but you might be surprised to know it’s not in the Boston area.  The CBS Radio station’s history as the first “commercial license” radio station in the country began 80 miles west in Springfield, Massachusetts at the old Westinghouse plant.  Many of the nation’s oldest radio stations moved around the dial and WBZ was no exception.  It broadcast at 830 on the dial when it first went on the air from this location on September 19, 1921.  Read more about WBZ’s history here.

Cumulus Gives WMAL, Washington an FM Boost Today.  The victim is classic rock WVRX-FM at 105.9 as WMAL will simulcast beginning at 12:00 noon today in time for Premiere’s Rush Limbaugh to be heard in the Nation’s Capital on FM.  WMAL clearly has its sights set on some of the dollars crosstown competitor WTOP has been raking in on the FM band.  WMAL president and general manager Jeff Boden states, “By expanding our successful brand to the FM dial, we will be a viable listening and advertising option for many more people in the Washington, DC area.  There are many potential listeners who never listen on AM, and we are now making programs of wide interest available to the largest possible audience.”

George Plaster’s Status in Nashville Unknown.  Nashville sports talk host George Plaster was off the air at WGFX-FM on Friday and he tells the Tennessean, “There’s been a lot of rumors about where we’re going to end up.  At this point no decision has been made.  I want to do not only what’s good for my group, but I want to end up doing something good for our listeners.”  WGFX-FM was a Citadel station until the closing of the merger between Cumulus and Citadel.  Eight years prior, Plaster sued Cumulus to get away from that company and join Citadel’s WGFX-FM.  If there’s bad blood between the two parties, the question is will they be able to get over it and work together again?  Plaster’s show rakes in a reported $2 million annually for WGFX.  The complicating factor is the new crosstown FM sports talk station WPRT-FM “The Game,” operated by the Cromwell Group, which would no doubt love to bring Plaster over to get its new format off the ground with a popular, money-making talent.  Expect some decisions to be made soon.

Bill Cunningham Debuts on Daytime TV Today.  WLW, Cincinnati and Premiere Networks talk show host Bill Cunningham’s nationally syndicated eponymous TV show debuts today.  Cunningham tells the Cincinnati Enquirer’s John Kiesewetter that this is a completely different program than his radio show.  Cunningham has been taping shows since late July and the content is very much the stuff of daytime TV talk shows – dysfunctional families, pot parties and other such fare.  Cunningham says they’ve remade his image with spray-on tans and expensive suits but producers of the program say they want his image as a father, family man and the guy-next-door to shine through.  Cunningham’s program debuts on 22 stations across the country, including in his home town of Cincinnati.

WTMM-FM, Albany Brings Bruce Jacobs in for PM Drive.  Sports talk and talk radio pro Bruce Jacobs is named the new PM drive host at Townsquare Media’s Albany/Schenectady FM sports talk outlet 104.5 The Team.  Jacobs has worked most recently in the Phoenix market.  Jacobs begins his new program Tuesday, September 20.  The Long Island native says, “After 20 years of being away, it’s so great to be home again.  It’s great to be back with the most passionate, hardcore fans in the world.”

John Olsen Named PD at Sports WZZN-FM, Birmingham.  Cox Media Group announces John Olsen is the program director at its new FM sports talk outlet Sports Radio 97.7 The Zone.  Olsen has been with Cox since 2001 in various capacities.  He says, “Thanks to Ben Reed, David DuBose, Ray Nelson and Justin Case for their vision to bring 97.3 The Zone to the air.  We have a terrific, unique station that will give sports fans a true sports station.”  Also at the CMG in Birmingham, programmer Justin Case is named operations manager for the cluster.

Eleanor Mondale Dies at 51.  Eleanor Mondale, daughter of former vice president Walter Mondale and former WCCO, Minneapolis talk show host, passed away on Saturday at age 51 after her second bout with brain cancer.  Mondale left her show on WCCO in March of 2009 after the brain cancer returned a second time.  She had surgery later that year to remove the tumor and it was reported at the time that the surgery was successful.  Mondale began her broadcasting career in 1989 as the entertainment reporter for WCCO-TV, Minneapolis.  She went on to network television gigs but returned to Minnesota and co-hosted a radio talk show on WCCO with Susie Jones in 2006.

KYW, Philadelphia’s Jack O’Rourke Passes Away at 80.  Shortly after covering the Phillies-Cardinals game Friday night, the KYW sports reporter collapsed and passed away.  O’Rourke began his career with KYW in 1966.  He worked with NBC Radio in New York for more than 20 years before returning to KYW.

TALKERS Weekly Affiliation Roundup.  Premiere Networks’ “America Now” with Andy Dean is added to the program schedule at Cox Media Group’s KRMG-AM/FM, Tulsa in the 9:00 pm to 12:00 midnight slot…..Genesis Communications Network’s “America Tonight” with Kate Delaney is now heard on WWNZ, Bangor…..Premiere Networks’ “Coast to Coast AM” with George Noory is picked up by CBS Radio’s new news/talk outlet WXYT for the 1:00 am to 5:00 am timeslot…..The talk-intensive, Premiere Networks-syndicated Elvis Duran morning show adds new affiliate WMXZ-FM, Ft. Walton Beach, Florida…..The “Health Insurance Advocate” show with Cary Hall joins the lineup at KBMV-FM, West Plains, Missouri…..“Armed American Radio” with Mark Walters adds KFLO-FM, Shreveport, Louisiana; KWKC, Abilene, Texas; KBMV-FM, West Pains, Missouri; and WBFD, Bedford, Pennsylvania…..“The Rose Hollywood Report” with Shannon Rose is cleared on KRDO-AM/FM, Colorado Springs.