Tag: "Gordon Smith"

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

| June 14, 2017

Report: Cable News Numbers Soaring in Trump Era.  According to a story in Variety, Pew Research data indicates that the combined ratings for the three cable news/talkers – CNN, Fox News Channel and MSNBC – are up 33% for the first week of June over the same period a year ago.  The same Pew data notes that prime time viewership for the cable channels in the election year of 2016 was up 55%.  In past years, viewership would have come back down to earth following the election.  Fox News Channel chief political anchor Bret Baier says, “We’ve never seen a news cycle like this.  We’ve never seen an administration get this kind of reaction from the country.  Add to that breaking news of a terrorist attack or a natural disaster, and you get a pretty frenetic pace…We are just working at a different pace now.  It’s not just this administration but our society.  People are now used to absorbing things in a nanosecond, and they expect their 24-hour cable news to be as fast as they are.”  Read the Brian Steinberg/Cynthia Littleton piece here.

Fox News Radio’s Mitch Davis to Retire.  Twenty-year Fox News manager Mitch Davis announces he’s retiring from his post as vice president at Fox News Radio, effective June 23.  He says, “I’m blessed – not only because of the great places I’ve been and stories I’ve covered – but by the chance to work with so many amazing people in this business.  I’m grateful for the opportunities I’ve had and I thank everyone involved for making this wonderful ride.”  Prior to joining Fox News, Davis served for 24 years with ABC News.

NAB Supports Rosenworcel Return to FCC. The word is out that President Trump intends to nominate former FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel to return to her position with the agency.  National Association of Broadcasters president and CEO Gordon Smith says, “NAB is delighted to hear that President Trump will renominate Jessica Rosenworcel to the FCC. Commissioner Rosenworcel is supremely qualified for another FCC term, having demonstrated her public service credentials and full command of telecommunications issues during her Commission tenure.  NAB strongly supports her renomination and confirmation.”

RTDNA Responds to Senate Access Rule Changes. The U.S. Senate Rules Committee, responding to what it sees as increasing chaos and aggressiveness on the part of the media in the halls of the U.S. Capitol, is considering ending the longstanding practice of allowing the media to use video and audio recording equipment to interview senators in Capitol hallways.  The RTDNA says reporters who cover the U.S. Senate were told that new rules had been enacted to no longer allow reporters to interview senators in the hallways.  RTDNA executive director Mike Cavender states, “This is another attempt at obscuring transparency in Washington.  At a time when Senators are already doing too much business behind closed doors, such as on the health care overhaul, further limiting access to senators in the hallways of Congress represents just one more effort to keep the public’s business private.  It’s totally unacceptable!”  On its website, the RTDNA notes that Rules Committee Chairman Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) issued a statement saying that no rules change had occurred.  But the existing rules, while not currently enforced, do require advance permission for interviewing Senators outside of designated areas.  Should the Senate choose to enforce those rules, access to lawmakers would be considerably restricted.  Responding to concerns about overly aggressive reporting tactics, incoming RTDNA executive director Dan Shelley says, “In no way does RTDNA condone an atmosphere in which someone might be hurt in the process of routine newsgathering.  However, today’s new restrictions appear to be an overreaction.  It is the duty of the Senate Sergeant at Arms and U.S. Capitol Police to protect everyone’s safety, but, in our view, not through such draconian means.”

TALKERS News Notes. Houston sport talk host Lance Zierlein announces via Facebook that he is leaving his role as morning drive personality on iHeartMedia’s KBME “Sportstalk 790.”  Zierlein says he’s exiting “The Proper Gentlemen of Sports” program with co-host Matt Thomas when his contract is up to take a break from years of doing morning radio…..Alpha Media stations recently took home honors from the Missouri Broadcasters Association including first place for Complete Newscast for KTJJ-FM, Farmington; first place for Documentary/Public Affairs/Special Programming for KJPW-AM, Waynesville; and first place for News Series for KJFF-AM, Festus’ “Heroin.”  Also, Alpha Media Waynesville-Lebanon market manager Mike Edwards received the Distinguished Broadcaster Award.  He says, “I was surprised and honored by this award.  To be recognized by my peers is the highest compliment I have ever received.  I could not have survived 47 years in this business without the support of my wife and daughters who made sacrifices so that I could advance my career.  It’s gratifying to work for Alpha Media who still believes that radio should be live and local and be dedicated to serving the community.”

Nielsen Signs Up Westwood One for New Data Management Platform Service. Ratings giant Nielsen announces that Cumulus Media’s Westwood One is its charter client for its first-ever audio advanced data management platform – Nielsen DMP.  Nielsen says that its Marketing Cloud’s unique consumer insights capabilities will enable Westwood One to “easily provide its advertisers with detailed reports indexing all of its network station lineups, key programming (NFL and NCAA) and radio formats (such as ‘Alternative Rock,’ ‘Mainstream Country,’ or ‘News/Talk’) against their prospective customers’ demographics, personalities, TV viewing habits, digital behavior, credit card spending and specific product purchases.” WW1 EVP of corporate marketing Suzanne Grimes states, “Purchase-based marketing is now a long-awaited reality for our advertisers, and proudly a first-mover advantage for Westwood One.  Radio now offers specificity of audience alongside the biggest reach in media.  We are embracing Nielsen’s big data capabilities to enable our advertisers to identify and reach their best customers across every radio format we offer at an extremely high degree of accuracy.”  Nielsen EVP Damian Garbaccio states, “Never before have radio audiences been linked to such a rich source of actual purchase data across industries – something Nielsen is uniquely equipped to do.  The Nielsen DMP has the data, analytics and reporting advertisers need to understand and act on incredibly deep consumer insights.  This enables Westwood One to better demonstrate just how important its audience is and to win more advertising dollars in a very competitive cross-media marketing environment.”

Jeff Sessions Testimony, Trump-Russia Investigation, Megyn Kelly Controversy, Rodman in North Korea, Virginia Governor Race, Warriors’ Take NBA Title, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/13). Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee; the special counsel investigation into possible Trump campaign connections with Russia; the backlash NBC is facing over Megyn Kelly’s interview piece with Alex Jones; former NBA star Dennis Rodman visits North Korea; the primary races for governor of Virginia; the Golden State Warriors beat the Cleveland Cavaliers to win the NBA Championship; and MLB action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio according to research from TALKERS magazine.

Sean Hannity’s Freedom of Speech Award Presentation on This Week’s Harrison Podcast.  Talk radio and television star Sean Hannity received the 2017 Gene Burns Memorial Award for Freedom of Speech at TALKERS 2017: A New Era in New York on June 2.  The award was presented within the context of a “fireside chat” between the Premiere Networks and Fox News Channel host and TALKERS founder Michael Harrison at the event.  This week, in advance of the posting of the videos of sessions at the convention on Talkers.com, the audio of that presentation is being played on the latest installment of the award-winning PodcastOne series, “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.”  Hannity and Harrison discuss the meaning of the First Amendment along with the dangers inherent in the ongoing practice of heavily organized, politically motivated advertiser boycotts used as an offensive weapon to shut down voices in the media with which certain groups and individuals disagree. (Hannity describes this latest effort to take him down as a “kill shot.”) Harrison opens the podcast with a detailed explanation of the events leading up to and following the selection of Hannity for this honor, as well as providing background about the meaning and history of the award – a tradition in the talk radio industry for almost three decades.  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Alternative WLZX, Springfield, Massachusetts “LAZER 99.3 & 105.1” names Leah Rantz its new afternoon drive jock.  The Saga station had the opening after Pat Kelly was tapped to move from afternoons to the AM drive show to replace the departing Leslie.  Rantz comes to WLZX from her most recent gig at Adams Radio’s rock WZBH, Salisbury-Ocean City, Maryland “93.5 The Beach.”…..Country radio pro Don Brake joins West Virginia Radio’s WKKW, Morgantown to serve as afternoon drive personality.  He’d most recently served with iHeartMedia at country WFRE, Frederick, Maryland…..Bobby Bones show director of digital Nada Taha announces she’s leaving the Premiere Networks-syndicated country morning show for a gig soon to be announced…..The Premiere Networks-syndicated “Steve Harvey Morning Show” hits the 100-affiliate mark.  Harvey comments, “This milestone has me beaming.  To be in the 100 club is so gratifying, and to have growth after all this time is a testament to my crew’s hard work and willingness to evolve.  We keep looking for ways to improve to give our listeners the best morning we can.”

 

 

Round Two of May PPM Data Released. The second of four rounds of ratings data from Nielsen Audio’s May 2017 PPM survey period is released for 12 markets including: Washington, Boston, Miami, Detroit, Seattle, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Denver, Tampa, Baltimore, and St. Louis. Nielsen Audios May 2017 survey period covered April 27 – May 24. View the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here. Meanwhle, managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Takeaways” from all of these PPM markets below.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

1) Washington, D.C. – Frozen on 2.8 (6+) in February, March, and April, Cumulus Media hot AC WRQX “Mix 107.3” picks up one-tenth to 2.9, yet actually backslides from #15 to #16. A gain of two-tenths to 3.4 (6+) by CBS Radio’s similarly-formatted WIAD “94.7 Fresh FM” (#14 to #13) pulls the plug on three consecutive downward trends (4.2 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.2, 6+) that resulted in a combined full-share loss in that stretch. With its third straight gain (1.5 – 2.2 – 2.8 – 3.0, 6+), sports cluster-mate WJFK-FM “106.7 The Fan” doubles its 6+-stat since February, with the Washington Nationals’ flagship advancing from #15 to #14. Meanwhile, this is the fifth straight month that its main competitor, Red Zebra Broadcasting’s WTEM “ESPN 980” (1.9, #17, “Holiday” 2016, 6+), does not appear in print. Ups and downs in terms of 6+-share continue for American University‘s WAMU, but one constant is that “The Mind Is Our Medium” is the market leader for the fifth consecutive time. A combined -1.5 in back-to-back sweeps (11.5 – 11.0 – 10.0, February – March – April, 6+), WAMU rebounds in May with a +.7 to 10.7 (6+). Off by -2.3 in “Holiday” 2016, WAMU recaptured all of it in January and February (9.2 – 11.0 – 11.5, 6+). February’s 11.5 matches the highest 6+-share in its PPM-history, first reached in December 2016. Holding down the runner-up slot in each of the five successive sweeps that WAMU has finished first is Hubbard all-news operation WTOP (9.1 – 8.8, -.3, 6+). After posting a 5.7 (6+) in three of the previous six sweeps (5.7 – 5.9 – 5.6 – 5.7 – 6.0 – 5.7 – 6.0, 6+), WHUR in April dialed up a full-share increase and follows in May with a one-half share gain (7.0 – 7.5, 6+), as the Howard University urban AC continues in third-place for the fifth straight month. A loss of one-tenth (5.4 – 5.3, 6+) drops format rival – Radio One’s WMMJ “Majic 102.3” – from fourth to fifth. Down in five consecutive sweeps resulting in a combined -2.3 (6.1 – 5.9 – 5.4 – 4.7 – 4.3 – 3.8, 6+), WMMJ bounced back with three straight increases for a collective +1.6 (3.8 – 4.4 – 4.9 – 5.4, 6+), but that streak concluded in March. In 3.0 -3.9 range (6+) in each of the last 13 survey periods, co-owned urban contemporary WKYS sputters by six-tenths to 2.9, drifting from #11 to #16 (6+), where it is tied with “Mix 107.3.”

2) Boston – The third straight improvement by Beasley Media Group’s WKLB (4.0 – 4.1 – 4.3 – 5.1, 6+) elevates “Country 102.5” from eighth to fifth, as it crosses the five-share threshold (6+) for the first time since last September’s 5.0 and is +1.1 since February. Advancing from #16 to #15 is its cross-town format challenger, iHeartMedia’s WBWL “101.7 The Bull” (2.1 – 2.2, +.1, 6+). Logging its third successive increase for a cumulative +.6 (5.6 – 5.7 – 6.1 – 6.2, 6+) and continuing at #2 is co-owned CHR WXKS-FM “Kiss 108 – Boston’s #1 Hit Music Station.” At the same time, format rival – CBS Radio’s WODS “Amp 103.3” – dips by one-tenth to 3.0 (unchanged at #13, 6+), curtailing four successive positive sweeps which netted four-tenths (2.7 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 3.1, 6+). When hot AC sibling WBMX dropped two-tenths in April, it snapped at three its consecutive string of increases which yielded one-half share (3.0 – 3.1 – 3.2 – 3.5, 6+), but “Mix 104.1 – Boston’s Best Variety” rebounds with a one-half share increase (3.3 – 3.8, 6+) to improve from #12 to #11. On top for the fifth successive sweep, Beasley Media Group-owned classic hits-oldies WROR “Boston’s Classic Hits” gains two-tenths to 7.9 (6+). The market leader for 11 successive monthlies before being dislodged in December by adult contemporary sibling WMJX “Magic 106.7,” WROR was +1.1 in December; -1.4 in “Holiday” 2016; +1.6 in January; +.8 in March; and -.8 in April. As far as “Magic” is concerned, it advances from fourth to third with a repetitive trending pattern of 5.6 – 5.9 – 5.6 – 5.9 (6+). Without an increase for the fourth straight time for a combined -1.3 (5.8 – 5.4 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 4.5, 6+), CBS Radio’s WBZ-FM “The Sports Hub” drops from sixth to eighth. Also in the sports talk format, Entercom owned Boston Red Sox flagship WEEI-FM, off by six-tenths in both February and March before gaining six-tenths in April, loses one-tenth in May (4.7, fifth to seventh, 6+). Slipping from #16 to #17, co-owned news/talk WRKO has lost a cumulative nine-tenths in four straight down or flat trends (3.0 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 2.1 – 2.1, 6+). Conversely, urban AC cluster-mate WKAF “97.7 – Boston’s #1 For R&B” is up or flat for the fourth consecutive time (.9 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.8 – 2.0, 6+), climbing from #20 to #19.

3) Miami – Sandwiched between a pair of Spanish contemporary outlets are the market’s two adult contemporary facilities. Specifically, with a robust +.8 to 6.6 (6+), Cox Media Group adult contemporary WFEZ “Easy 93.1” (fourth to third) applies the brakes to six successive decreases that accounted for a combined -1.4 (7.2 – 7.1 – 7.0 – 6.6 – 6.3 – 6.1 – 5.8, 6+), directly following a collective +1.1 (6.1 – 6.7 – 7.2, September – October – November, 6+). “Easy 93.1” finished first in November, December, and “Holiday” 2016. It overtakes by nine-tenths Entercom’s similarly-programmed WLYF “Lite FM” (5.9 – 5.7, third to fourth, -.2, 6+); “Lite” gained three-tenths in April, after spiraling by a full-share in March. Its 5.6 in March took “Lite” below a six-share (6+) for the first time since June 2014’s 5.8, while January’s one-tenth gain enabled the AC to halt five straight down or flat ratings periods that resulted in a decrease of more than two full-shares (8.4 – 8.4 – 7.0 – 7.0 – 6.7 – 6.2, 6+). “Lite” was #1 from July 2016 through October. Serving as bookends for the two adult contemporary properties are Univision Radio’s WAMR “Amor 107.5” (7.0 – 7.1, +.1, 6+) and Spanish Broadcasting System-owned WCMQ “Zeta 92.3” (4.8, +.1, unchanged at #5, 6+). After back-to-back stays at #1, “Amor” drops to second-place, while “Zeta” halts three straight negative trends that produced a loss of one-half share (5.2 – 5.0 – 4.9 – 4.7, 6+). Prior to the April sweep, “Amor” recorded a 6.8 (6+) in four of the previous seven ratings periods. Taking over for “Amor” at #1 and advancing from #2 is Cox Media Group urban AC WHQT “Hot 105,” which wipes out April’s one-half share loss with a +.7 (7.2 – 6.7 – 7.4, 6+); 7.4 is the station’s strongest 6+-stat since last July’s 8.0. Down or flat in six straight sweeps for a combined -1.9 (8.2 – 8.0 – 7.2 – 7.1 – 6.4 – 6.4 – 6.3, 6+), “Hot 105” notched a one-half share gain in “Holiday” 2016 but was off by seven-tenths in January. Within 4.1 – 4.6 range (6+) the past five ratings periods, Entercom classic hits-oldies WMXJ “102.7 The Beach” sputters by seven-tenths (4.4 – 3.7, 6+), sliding from seventh to tenth. A recap of the market’s CHR battle finds iHeartMedia-owned WHYI “Y-100 Miami’s #1 Hit Music Station” off by four-tenths to 3.7 (eighth to tenth, 6+) to halt at four its successive string of up or flat trends that netted an overall gain of one-half share (3.6 – 3.7 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 4.1, 6+). April’s 4.1 was the best 6+-stat for “Y-100” since December 2015 (4.1, as well). Meanwhile, Cox Media Group’s similarly-formatted WFLC “Hits 97.3” follows April’s full-share improvement with a loss of two-tenths (4.7 – 4.5, fifth to sixth, 6+); 4.7 in April was the strongest 6+-performance for “Hits 97.3” since 4.9 last September.

4) Detroit – Enjoying the most substantial (6+) April 2017 – May 2017 improvement of any station in the 24 PPM-markets whose data has been released thus far is iHeartMedia urban AC WMXD “Mix 92.3 – Detroit’s R&B and Throwbacks” (4.0 – 5.5, +1.5, 6+), which catapults from #11 to #6. The last time “Mix” reached the five-share level (6+) was exactly one year ago (May 2016, 5.0, 6+). On the flipside, Radio One’s similarly-formatted WDMK “105.9 Kiss-FM,” which was trending 4.0 – 3.8 – 4.0 (6+), erodes by six-tenths to 3.4, as it slips from #11 to #15 (6+). Progressing by six-tenths each are iHeartMedia adult contemporary WNIC “100.3 – The ‘80s ‘Til Now” (5.8, fifth to fourth, 6+) and CBS Radio CHR WDZH “Amp 98.7” (#15 to #11, 6+). WNIC was off by a combined one-half share since February (5.7 – 5.6 – 5.2, 6+), while after a 3.6 (6+) in January, “Amp” was locked on 3.3 in February, March, and April. Having lost a collective full-share in three straight dips (6.4 – 5.7 – 5.6 – 5.4, 6+), classic hits-oldies sibling WOMC “104.3 – Detroit’s Greatest Hits” recaptures half of it (5.9, +.5, 6+) to climb from fourth to third. Picking up one-half share as well is urban contemporary WGPR “Hot 107.5” (3.3, #17 to #16, 6+), which had been trending 2.4 – 2.8 – 2.4 – 2.8 (6+). On the heels of surrendering in its entirety the nine-tenths it gained in March (6.5 – 7.4 – 6.5, 6+), CBS Radio all-news WWJ is off by another two-tenths (6.5 – 6.3, 6+), but is #1 for the fifth successive sweep. The 7.4 that WWJ garnered in March marked the first time it crossed the seven-share level (6+) since February 2016, when it reached 7.5 (6+). A loss of seven-tenths by Beasley Media Group-owned WMGC takes “105.1 The Bounce – Detroit’s Throwback and R&B” out of the top ten (#10 to #13) and to the 3.6 (6+) it posted in January. Co-owned WRIF “Rocks Detroit” is -1.2 via four consecutive decreases (5.9 – 5.4 – 5.2 – 4.8 – 4.7, 6+), slumping from sixth to tenth. After improving by nearly two full-shares in four successive up or flat trends (4.1 – 4.9 – 4.9 – 5.3 – 6.0, 6+), CBS Radio-owned WYCD “Detroit’s Country 99.5” has a two-tenths decrease to 5.8 (third to fourth, 6+). Prior to April, the last time “Detroit’s Country” reached the six-share level (6+) was in July 2014 (6.0, as well). Format rival – Cumulus Media’s WDRQ “93.1 Nash FM” – regains one-tenth of April’s -.5 (3.4 – 2.9 – 3.0, 6+) yet backslides from #16 to #18. As was the case in April, Bell Media alternative CIMX “89-X,” which was trending 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.6 – 1.4 (6+) since the “Holiday” 2016 report, is unlisted.

5) Seattle – Notching impressive gains of nine-tenths each are iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies KJR-FM “95.7 The Jet” (5.0 – 5.9, fifth to third, 6+) and CBS Radio-owned KMPS “Seattle Country Music Radio” (3.7 – 4.6, tenth to sixth, 6+). Following three straight gains that netted one full-share (6.8 – 7.1 – 7.2 – 7.8, 6+), Hubbard’s mainstream CHR KQMV “MOViN 92.5 All The Hits” returned 90% of that increase in April (6.9, -.9, 6+) but bounces back with a +.5 (7.4, 6+) in May to finish at #1 for the fifth consecutive time. Entering the “Holiday” 2016 ratings period, KQMV was on top for 12 straight sweeps before giving way to adult contemporary cluster-mate KRWM “Warm 106.9” and then regained the lead in January. Speaking of “Warm,” it improves by one-half share as well, thus applying the brakes to four successive sweeps without an increase that nearly sliced its 6+-share in half since the “Holiday” report (10.9 – 5.6 – 5.3 – 5.1 – 5.1, 6+); “Warm” continues at #4. In addition to KQMV and KRWM, CBS Radio adult hits KJAQ “96.5 Jack FM – Playing What We Want” picks up one-half share as well and climbs from ninth to eighth. This represents the fifth consecutive sweep in which Seattle’s version of “Jack” is either up or flat and is +1.5 in that stretch (2.9 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.5 – 3.9 – 4.4, 6+). Owing to four consecutive losses (5.7 – 5.1 – 4.8 – 4.3 – 3.5, 6+), Bonneville news/talk KIRO-FM has eroded by more than two full-shares and departs the top ten (#7 to #11). Moreover, this is the lowest 6+-share for KIRO-FM in nearly three years (3.8, 6+, July 2014). By adding one-tenth to 3.3 (6+), iHeartMedia hot AC KBKS “106.1 Kiss FM” (unchanged at #14) ends at three a consecutive string of down or flat trends that yielded a -.5 (3.7 – 3.7 – 3.3 – 3.2, 6+). It overtakes Sinclair Broadcast Group’s similarly-programmed KPLZ “Star 101.5,” which spirals from #11 to #17 (3.3 – 3.0, -.3, 6+). When “Star” added two-tenths in April, it curtailed three consecutive negative trends that accounted for a combined -2.4 (5.5 – 3.7 – 3.4 – 3.1, 6+).

6) Phoenix – Having sputtered by four-tenths in April (6.5 – 6.1, 6+), Hubbard-owned KSLX “Classic Rock 100.7” segued from a one-month stay at the top spot to #2. Roaring back though, “Classic Rock 100.7” hangs out a whopping +1.2 (6.1 – 7.3, 6+) and returns to the Phoenix penthouse. Once again, it evicts iHeartMedia adult contemporary KESZ, which logs an impressive +.6 (6.6 – 7.2, 6+), but must slide to #2, one-tenth behind KSLX. When “Classic Rock 100.7” gained seven-tenths (5.8 – 6.5, 6+) in March and KESZ faltered by one-half share (6.7 – 6.2, 6+), the impressive streak of KESZ reigning at #1 for 30 successive ratings periods came to an end. Concurrent with KESZ notching a +.6, The Yucaipa Companies’ adult contemporary KOAI “The Oasis” erodes by that margin to 1.9 (6+) and exits the top twenty (#20 to #22). Entering the May sweep, “The Oasis” was up a combined nine-tenths in back-to-back sweeps (1.6 – 2.0 – 2.5, 6+). At this time last month, following three straight gains netting a +1.3 (4.0 – 4.4 – 4.8 – 5.3, 6+), Hubbard-owned KUPD returned in full the one-half share it picked up in March, but “Arizona’s Real Rock” responds with a +.8 (4.8 – 5.6, 6+) and continues at #3. Up a combined +1.1 via six straight up or flat trends (2.3 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 3.0 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 3.4, 6+), co-owned KDKB “Alt 93.3 Arizona’s Alternative” is steady at #12. Locked on 1.8 (6+) in January and February and then on 2.2 in March and April, Entravision regional Mexican KLNZ busts out a +.6 to 2.8 and enters the top twenty in a four-way logjam at #13. It is the best 6+-showing for “La Tricolor 103.5” since last November’s 2.9. One of its format rivals – Farmworker Educational Radio’s KNAI “La Network Campesina” – falters by eight-tenths (3.2 – 2.4, 6+) and drifts from #12 to #18. Trending 4.3 – 4.2 – 4.3 – 4.4 (6+) since January, iHeartMedia hot AC KMXP “Mix 96.9 – Today’s Best Music” registers a one-half share gain to 4.9 (sixth to fourth), its best 6+-stat in almost one year (5.5, 6+, June 2016). Dropping seven-tenths each are its news/talk cluster-mate KFYI (3.0 – 2.3, #14 to #19, 6+) and Family Life Radio contemporary Christian KFLR (1.6, #20 to #24, 6+), which hadn’t had a decrease in the last seven sweeps for a cumulative +1.5 (.8 – 1.0 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.3, 6+).

7) Minneapolis – Not only does a gain of eight-tenths to 5.9 (6+) put an end to its 5.1 – 4.8 – 5.1 (6+) trending, Cumulus Media rocker KXXR “93-X” jumps from ninth to fifth with its best 6+-performance since September (5.9, as well). Stuck on 5.8 (6+) in March and April, iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies KQQL “Kool 108 – Minnesota’s Greatest Hits” improves by six-tenths to 6.4 to climb from a four-way tie at #4 to #3 (6+). After posting a one-half share increase in March, CHR sibling KDWB dropped one-tenth in April and is flat in May, but “The Twin Cities’ #1 Hit Music Station” manages to repeat at #1 (6.9 – 6.8 – 6.8, 6+). The station it succeeded in the top spot – Hubbard-owned KSTP-FM “KS-95 Today’s Variety” – is down for the fourth successive sweep (7.7 – 7.6 – 7.3 – 6.7 – 6.6, 6+) and remains at #2. In January, “KS-95” posted a +1.3, curtailing a drought in which the hot AC hadn’t had an increase since February 2016 (10.2 – 9.8 – 9.8 – 9.8 – 9.1 – 9.1 – 8.9 – 7.7 – 7.6 – 7.1 – 7.1 – 6.4, 6+). In those 11 straight sweeps of being either down or flat, “KS-95” was a combined -3.8. Format rival – iHeartMedia’s KTCZ “Cities 97” (#12 to #13) – was +1.3 in January, only to follow with four consecutive negative trends of its own that have produced a -1.4 (5.3 – 4.8 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 3.9, 6+). “Cities 97” was a combined -1.2 in December and “Holiday” 2016 (5.2 – 4.6 – 4.0, 6+). Included in the Twin Cities’ aforementioned April logjam at #4, iHeartMedia sports outlet KFXN “KFAN 100.3 – The Sports Leader” regresses by eight-tenths (5.8 – 5.0, 6+) and spirals to tenth with its softest 6+-stat since last July’s 4.8. Down three-tenths to 1.4 (#18 to #19, 6+), Northern Lights Broadcasting alternative KQGO has its streak of consecutive up or flat trends which nearly tripled its 6+-stat end at four (.6 – .7 -.7 – .7 – 1.7, 6+).

8) San Diego – On the strength of four straight up or flat trends (1.8 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.3 – 3.0, 6+), Media Sports de Mexico classic hits-oldies XPRS-FM is a combined +1.2 and “Max 105.7 – San Diego’s Throwback Station” leaps from #19 to #15. Within 3.0 – 3.9 range (6+) the past 18 sweeps, iHeartMedia-owned KGB-FM “101 – San Diego’s Classic Rock” notches a +.6 to 4.0 (6+), inching up from #11 to #10. Displaying a gain of six-tenths as well is Imagen Spanish contemporary XLTN “104.5 Radio Latina” (3.2, #16 to #13, 6+), which had been off in each of the past three ratings periods for a -1.6 (4.2 – 3.5 – 2.9 – 2.6, 6+). Six-tenths of a share separates the market’s top five stations, including iHeartMedia news/talk KOGO (5.6, +.3, #1, 6+) and public (San Diego State University) news/talk KPBS (5.0 -. 5.3, +.3, fifth to second, 6+). Powered by an April increase of seven-tenths (4.6 – 5.3, 6+), KOGO rocketed from eighth to second. Departing the top spot (which it held for the first time since December) is Entercom adult contemporary KXSN “Sunny 98.1 – Better Music for a Better Workday,” which forfeits April’s +.7 in its entirety (5.3 – 6.0 – 5.3, 6+). “Sunny” is now tied for second-place with KPBS. Its 6.0 in April was its most potent 6+-share since last May’s 6.6. Prior to April, “Sunny” had been within 5.1 – 5.9 range (6+) the previous 11 sweeps. After trending 4.7 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.8 (6+), CBS Radio hot AC KYXY regresses by six-tenths to 4.2, its lowest 6+-share since last September’s 4.0 (seventh to eighth, 6+). As the result of four straight declines, Entercom-owned KBZT “94.9 San Diego’s Alternative” is -1.2 (2.7 – 2.4 – 2.2 – 1.7 – 1.5, 6+) and falls from #21 to #22. After tripling its 6+-share in five straight up or flat trends (.6 – .9 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.6 – 1.8, 6+) and finishing steady at #22 in March, Tijuana FM regional Mexican XHTY “99.7 La Invasora” was unlisted in April, but reappears in May at #20 with a 1.7 (6+).

9) Denver – Over and above recapturing the seven-tenths it lost in back-to-back declines since February (6.2 – 5.9 – 5.5, 6+), Entercom classic rock KQMT “99.5 The Mountain” (6.2, 6+) vaults from third to first. Shifting from the top spot after three straight months there, Bonneville country outlet KYGO slips to second (6.4 – 6.0, -.4, 6+). Within 5.3 – 5.9 range (6+) for seven consecutive survey periods, KYGO posted a full-share gain in February (5.6 – 6.6, 6+), lifting it past the six-share threshold for the first time since last July’s 6.0. Registering its sixth successive increase netting a cumulative +2.1 (3.4 – 3.6 – 4.1 – 4.2 – 4.7 – 5.2 – 5.5, 6+) iHeartMedia triple A KBCO “World Class Rock” marches from fifth to third with its best 6+-showing since a 6.1 in September 2015. A gain of six-tenths (1.8 – 2.4, 6+) enables Colorado Public Radio classical outlet KVOD (#20 to #19) to notch its best 6+-stat since January’s 2.7. More ups and downs for Bonneville’s KKFN “Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan,” whose six most recent fluctuations are -.5 (“Holiday” 2016); +1.1 (January); -.7 (February); +.6 (March); -.5 in April; and now +.5 in May (3.4 – 3.9, #16 to #11, 6+). A loss of six-tenths in November halted four successive up or flat trends which netted two full-shares (2.9 – 2.9 – 3.5 – 3.6 – 4.9, 6+). This past October’s 4.9 represents the most potent 6+ showing for KKFN under PPM methodology. Regressing by one-half share in back-to-back sweeps is Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KLDV “Positive & Encouraging K-Love,” which is down for the fourth straight month for a -1.2 (4.4 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 3.7 – 3.2, #12 to #16, 6+). Slipping by one-half share as well is KSE Radio Ventures classic hits-oldies KXKL “Kool 105” (4.1, seventh to ninth, 6+), which was trending 4.7 – 4.8 – 4.6 (6+). Down or flat for the fourth straight time accounting for a loss of nearly two full-shares (7.1 – 6.1 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 5.2, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KTCL “Modern Rock – Channel 93-3” shifts from third to fifth. Co-owned KBPI “Rocks the Rockies” is in 3.0 – 3.8 range for the 18th successive survey period (3.7 – 3.3, -.4, #12 to #15, 6+).

10) Tampa – Following March’s -1.0 and a +.2 in April (9.7 – 8.7 – 8.9, 6+), Cox Media Group adult contemporary WDUV “Lite Favorites” trots out a +.6 in May to 9.5 (6+) and finishes first for the 56th successive ratings period. The 8.7 it recorded in March was its lowest 6+-stat since November 2015’s 8.5. “Lite Favorites” was off by more than three shares in January (12.7 – 9.6, 6+). Once again finishing in the runner-up slot is co-owned WXGL “Classic Hits 107-3 The Eagle,” which boasts its fifth straight increase (6.4 – 6.9 – 7.1 – 7.5 – 7.6 – 8.1, 6+) for a cumulative +1.7. After five consecutive positive trends for a cumulative full-share increase (5.5 – 5.6 – 6.0 – 6.1 – 6.2 – 6.5, 6+), “The Eagle” was down by one-tenth in “Holiday” 2016. Gaining one-half share as well is iHeartMedia’s WFUS “US 103.5 – Tampa Bay’s Best Country” (4.5, tenth to eighth, 6+), which applies the brakes to three consecutive dips that resulted in a cumulative loss of seven-tenths (4.7 – 4.3 – 4.1 – 4.0, 6+). Three-tenths ahead of it and steady at #6 is Beasley Media Group-owned WQYK “99.5 Tampa Bay’s New Country Hits,” up or flat for the third straight month (4.2 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 4.8, 6+) for a +.6. Steady at #19, iHeartMedia-owned WDAE “Tampa Bay’s Sports Radio” picks up three-tenths to 1.8 (6+) as the flagship of MLB’s Rays ends four straight declines (2.7 – 2.2 – 1.7 -1.6 – 1.5, 6+) that produced a -1.2. Making identical 3.8 – 3.3 (-.5, #12 to #14, 6+) moves are Beasley Media Group rhythmic CHR WLLD “Wild 94.1” and iHeartMedia hot AC WMTX “Mix 100.7.” Between November 2016 and April 2017, “Wild” registered a 3.7 (6+) four times and was without a decrease in the last three ratings periods (3.5 – 3.7 – 3.8 – 3.8, 6+). On three occasions over the last six sweeps, “Mix” notched a 3.4 (6+). Tied with those two stations at #14 (up from #16 in April) is Cox Media Group’s WHPT “102.5 The Bone -Real, Raw, Radio,” which is actually down one-tenth to 3.3 (6+), halting at four a string of successive sweeps without a loss (2.2 – 2.6 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 3.4, 6+) that yielded a +1.2. A collective +1.7 in three successive positive trends (3.9 – 4.5 – 5.4 – 5.6, 6+), Beasley Media Group classic hits-oldies WRBQ “Tampa Bay’s Q-105” lost two-tenths in April and drops another half-share in May (5.4 – 4.9, 6+), moving from fourth to fifth. Its 5.6 in March was the best 6+-performance for “Q-105” since last September (5.6, as well). Segueing from sixth to seventh, iHeartMedia’s WXTB “98 Rock” dips one-tenth to 4.6 (6+), curtailing at four its successive streak of positive trends that netted two full-shares (2.7 – 3.4 – 3.7 – 4.0 – 4.7, 6+).

11) Baltimore – In a bit of a statistical oddity, iHeartMedia adult hits WQSR “102.7 Jack FM Playing What We Want for Baltimore” (4.4 – 5.6, seventh to fifth, 6+) and CBS Radio hot AC-turned-CHR WWMX “106.5 Baltimore’s Best Mix” (ninth to eighth, 6+) flaunt impressive April 2017 – May 2017 gains of +1.2. It is the best 6+-performance for “Jack” in more than two years (6.1, 6+, March 2015) and fifth straight time that “Mix” is without a loss for a combined +1.6 (3.4 – 3.6 – 3.7 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 5.0, 6+). After holding down the runner-up slot for four consecutive ratings periods, Radio One urban contemporary WERQ moved to third in April, but with a gain of one-half share (7.5 – 8.0, 6+) “Q-92 Jams” catches co-owned urban AC WWIN “Magic 95.9” (8.3 – 8.0, -.3, 6+) at #1. “Magic” is on top for the fifth straight time. Without an increase in six consecutive sweeps for a cumulative -1.7 since June (9.8 – 8.6 – 8.5 – 8.5 – 8.4 – 8.4 – 8.1, 6+), “Magic” added one-tenth in “Holiday” 2016 and seven-tenths in January 2017 to march from third to first. Prior to gaining four-tenths in March, WERQ was down or flat since December (8.5 – 8.3 – 8.3 – 7.3, 6+); February’s 7.3 was its lowest 6+-share since the 7.3 it recorded in March 2016. Three-tenths behind the co-leaders (second to third) is iHeartMedia-owned WPOC “Baltimore’s #1 for New Country” (7.7, -.3, 6+), which sees its skein of consecutive positive trends (which included back-to-back increases of +1.2) that netted a +3.3 end at four (4.7 – 5.9 – 7.1 – 7.4 –  8.0, 6+). April’s 8.0 (6+) matches what “Baltimore’s #1 for New Country” posted in September 2015. Entering the “Holiday” 2016 sweep, WPOC had been at #4 the previous seven ratings periods, but fell to #5, surrendering a combined -2.5 in three consecutive slides (7.2 – 6.9 – 6.3 – 4.7, 6+), including a -1.6 in “Holiday” 2016.

12) St. Louis – After three successive sweeps as the market’s pacesetter, KLOU assumed the runner-up slot in April and, despite a gain of six-tenths in May (7.8 – 8.4, 6+), it continues there. The iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies outlet is one-tenth behind CBS Radio news/talk and St. Louis Cardinals flagship KMOX, which jumped from fifth to first in April and has more than doubled its 6+-share in five straight increases (4.1 – 5.0 – 5.1 – 6.2 – 8.4 – 8.5, 6+). A combined +1.3 in October and November (6.4 – 6.9 – 7.7, 6+), KLOU floundered by -1.6 in December; bounced back with a +3.8 in “Holiday” 2016; but was -2.8 in January. Before October’s +.5, it had been down or flat the previous four sweeps (7.4 – 7.4 – 6.7 – 6.5 – 6.4, 6+) for a net loss of one full-share. In addition to KLOU, Radio One urban contemporary WHHL “Hot 104.1” flashes an increase of six-tenths as well (tenth to eighth, 6+), nearly wiping out the collective -.7 since February (5.1 – 4.6 – 4.4, 6+). Having logged four successive trends without a loss for a collective +1.4 (3.3 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 4.2 – 4.7, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KSD “93.7 The Bull – #1 For New Country” falters by one-half share to 4.2 (6+) and departs the top ten (#8 to #11). Registering a decrease of one-half share as well is co-owned KMJM “100.3 The Beat – STL’s Hip-Hop and R&B” (2.5 – 2.0, 6+). This marks the fifth straight decline that has accounted for a cumulative loss of over seven full-shares (11.1 – 5.5 – 4.6 – 4.3 – 4.1 – 4.0, 6+) for CBS Radio adult contemporary KEZK (#11 to #12). Prior to January’s decline, KEZK put together four consecutive progressive trends that netted a +6.8 (4.3 – 4.6 – 4.9 – 5.8 – 11.1) and it was #1 in “Holiday” 2016. Unlisted for the fifth consecutive month are Gateway Creative Broadcasting-owned contemporary Christian KLJY “99.1 Joy! FM” (4.5, #9, “Holiday” 2016, 6+) and co-owned, similarly-formatted KLJY-HD2 (.2, #20, “Holiday” 2016, 6+).

2017 NAB Show: Sound Bites from Sin City

| April 28, 2017

By Holland Cooke
Media Consultant

 

LAS VEGAS — It’s a wrap!  103,000+ of us are headed home, with lots to digest and implement.  Among the ideas I heard – and heard-repeated – here this week, these stand-out:

“We cannot ever, ever take our position for granted.”
Graham Media Group VP for Digital Media Catherine Badalamente, accepting the 2017 Digital Leadership Award at the NAB Show Technical Luncheon.

“The living room will be in the car.”

Scott Burnell, Ford Motor Company Global Lead for Business Development and Partner Management (translation: He’s leading his company’s “connected car” project).

Keynoting NAB’s Radio Luncheon, he explained: “People build their habits outside the vehicle, and we help them bring them into the vehicle,” via new-tech dashboards.

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NAB Show: Cast Broader

| April 25, 2017

By Holland Cooke
Media Consultant

 

LAS VEGAS — Because it’s not just a radio show – not even just a broadcasting conference — I’m impressed to see so many radio people here.  They got (or wrote) the memo that just-spots-N-dots isn’t a business any more.

The very first words of Monday morning’s opening session underlined the necessity that broadcasters evolve, when CBS Sunday Morning host Jane Pauley quipped “I come from the 20th Century, when ‘multimedia’ meant 3 networks.”

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Monday, March 13, 2017

| March 13, 2017

Townsquare Media Announces Q4 2016 Net Revenue Up 5.8%; Up 3% for 2016 on Pro Forma Basis.  Those numbers are for the company as a whole.  Townsquare Media breaks its quarterly financial reports into two segments: Local Marketing Solutions (including broadcast and digital products) and Entertainment (live event experiences and music and lifestyle content directly to consumers, and promotion, advertising and product activations).  For the fourth quarter of 2016, Townsquare Media reports the Local Marketing Solutions segment’s net revenue was $119.5 million – an increase of 5.1% on an actual basis.  For all of 2016 on a pro forma basis (pro forma for the acquisition of NAME and the divestiture of 43 of its towers on September 1, 2015), the segment’s net revenue was $342.2 million – also up 5.1%.  For the company as a whole, 2016 pro forma net revenue was $516.9 million, an increase of 3% over all of 2015.  Townsquare chairman and CEO Steven Price adds, “In 2016, we delivered net revenue, net income and Adjusted EBITDA growth of 17%, 127% and 9%, respectively.  On a pro forma basis, net revenue growth of 3.0% was driven by the strong performance of our local products and offerings within our Local Marketing Solutions segment, where pro forma net revenue increased 5.1% over the prior year.  This year we focused on strengthening our balance sheet; through EBITDA growth and debt repayment we reduced net leverage from 5.5x at the start of the year, to 4.9x at year end.”

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai to Address 2017 NAB Show.  New FCC Chairman Ajit Pai will address the 2017 NAB Show at a general session on Tuesday, April 25 in Las Vegas.  The address is expected to provide insight into the FCC’s policy and regulatory objectives related to broadcasting, technology and communications law and regulation.  Pai was appointed as an FCC Commissioner by President Obama and confirmed in May of 2012.  President Trump designated him chairman in January.  NAB president and CEO Gordon Smith states, “We know from his tenure as FCC commissioner that Ajit Pai believes deeply in the value of free and local broadcasting.  Chairman Pai’s appearance at NAB Show represents a tremendous opportunity for attendees to hear first-hand about his regulatory philosophy and priorities.”

Phil Valentine Now Airing in Afternoons on KCMO-AM, Kansas City.  Local talk show host Mike Ferguson is leaving the Cumulus Media station to take on the communications director role at the Show Me Institute.  That opens up the 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm slot for Westwood One’s Phil Valentine show to take over.  In announcing the move, WW1 notes that in Valentine’s home market of Nashville, Valentine “is #1 Persons 25-54 in Nashville.  His show draws more listeners in his home market than Limbaugh, Hannity, and Beck combined.”  Commenting on joining KCMO-AM, Valentine says, “If ever there were a perfect market for our show it’s Kansas City.  What a heritage station!  They have big plans to take this station to the top and we’re thrilled to be a part of it.”

Alpha Media Drops Local Morning Show on Sports Talk WMEN, West Palm Beach.  The duo of Joe Raineri and Steve Zemach have exited Alpha Media’s sports talk WMEN, West Palm Beach “FOX Sports 640.”  The station is now running the full lineup of FOX Sports Radio programming.  Replacing Raineri and Zemach is the “Outkick the Coverage with Clay Travis” program.

PodcastOne Executive Chairman Norm Pattiz Guests on Harrison Podcast Tomorrow (3/14).  The executive chairman of PodcastOne and noted industry pioneer, Norm Pattiz joins TALKERS founder Michael Harrison tomorrow (3/14) for an in-depth conversation about the general state of radio and podcasting on the award-winning weekly series, “Up Close and Far Out.”  The compelling dialogue was recorded this past Friday, inspired by the Thursday release (3/9) of the annual Edison Research/Triton Digital 2017 Infinite Dial Study. Don’t miss it, posted bright and early tomorrow morning right here on Talkers.com, PodcastOne and iTunes.

Trump’s Obama Wiretapping Accusations, Trump Fires Preet Bharara, GOP Health Care Plan, the “Deep State” concept, Trump-Russia Connection, North Korea Threats, NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  President Donald Trump’s accusation the Obama Administration ordered the wiretapping of Trump Tower; President Trump fires U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara after Bharara refused to resign in accordance with the administration’s request that he and 45 other U.S. Attorneys do so; questions about what the GOP-engineered replacement of the Affordable Care Act will entail; talk about the existence of a “Deep State” that operates the government behind the scenes; Democrats’ wishes to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the possible connection between Russian agents and the Trump campaign; the growing nuclear missile capabilities of North Korea; and the Sunday afternoon revelation of the teams making the 2017 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS News Notes.  At last week’s annual Great Lakes Broadcasting Conference presented by the Michigan Association of Broadcasters, the MAB presented its 2016 broadcast excellence awards.  Cumulus Media’s WJR reports that it won 22 awards across numerous categories, including: 2016 Commercial Station of the Year; Best Regularly Scheduled Weekday Broadcast – The Mitch Albom Show; Best Morning Show Broadcast Personality – The Paul W. Smith Show; and Best Regularly Scheduled Weekday Broadcast Personality – The Frank Beckmann Show.  WJR program director Mike Wheeler says, “We’re really proud of the way the WJR team serves our audience, advertising partners and community.  It is gratifying to have the MAB validate our efforts.”…..Westwood One will tip off coverage of the 2017 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship on Tuesday (3/14) with play-by-play coverage of all 67 games.  In addition, Westwood One will broadcast the NCAA Men’s Final Four on Saturday, April 1, and the National Championship Game on Monday, April 3, in both English and Spanish, live from University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Charleston, South Carolina, Cumulus Media appoints 20-year radio programming pro Kathy Brown as program director for hip hop WWWZ “93 Jamz” and urban contemporary WMGL “Magic 107.3.”  She comes to Cumulus from her most recent position with iHeartMedia programming hip hop KMJM “100.3 The Beat” and Gospel KATZ-AM “Hallelujah.”  Cumulus Media Charleston operations manager Bill West says, “Kathy is a pro and I’ve already been inspired by hearing her ideas for our brands here in Charleston.”…..Mapleton Communications ups Jamie Patrick to program director for country KDRK, Spokane “93.7 the Mountain.”  Patrick host the morning show, is music director and assistant operations manager – all duties he will continue while ascending to PD…..Entercom names Lindsey Martin director of promotions for its five-station Sacramento cluster…..Cumulus brings Appleton/Oshkosh market radio pro Dan Markus aboard to host the morning drive show on its adult standards WNAM and middays on classic hits WVBO.  Markus spent 17 years programming the company’s Green Bay classic hits outlet WOGB…..iHeartMedia classic rock KZPS, Dallas “Lonestar 92.5” is presenting the return of the “Bo and Jim Bash VI” taking place on August 18 at Starplex Pavilion in Dallas.  This annual event, presented by the station and the morning team of Bo Roberts and Jim White, will this year feature Foreigner, Cheap Trick, Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Experience and Stone Cold Sweat featuring Bo and Jim.  KZPS program director Don Davis says, “Foreigner is coming off a sold-out show last month in Dallas and we have been after Cheap Trick since year one, so to say we are excited about this lineup would be an understatement.  And if Foreigner and Cheap Trick weren’t enough, I couldn’t think of a better way to kick off the night than having Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Experience and Bo and Jim’s Stone Cold Sweat open the show this year.”…..Beasley Media Group’s Fayetteville, North Carolina hip hop WZFX “Foxy 99” adds the Premiere Networks-syndicated morning show “The Breakfast Club” – hosted by Charlamagne Tha God, Angela Yee and DJ Envy – to the station’s program lineup for morning drive…..Entercom launches new urban station “Hot 103.7 FM” on translator K243AV, New Orleans.  Entercom New Orleans VP and market manager Chris Claus says, “We are focused on delivering the content and music that we know listeners in New Orleans are looking for.  The combination of well-known and live local talent and the R&B hits that fans want to hear on 103.7 FM is a magical one that has not been on the dial in New Orleans.”  Tom “Jammer” Naylor – who programs sister CHR WEZB “B97” – will serve as the program director.  Urban radio pro Jay Dixon is consulting the station.  On air is Abraham “Big Abe” Johnson on the “Big Abe in the Morning” program.  Terrence “Terry Bello” Burton is hosting afternoon drive…..JVC Media has partnered with major Long Island retail locations and DNS publications to publish a quarterly country music newspaper called This Is Country.  JVC says the free, full-color magazine will contain exclusive interviews, stories, pictures, news, album and movie reviews, up-coming events around Long Island “and other information a country music lover will not want to miss.”  JVC’s country WJVC-FM, Center Moriches, New York “My Country 96.1” is promoting the publication that launches April 15.

Monday, January 23, 2017

| January 23, 2017

Odds & Sods.  There’s news to report from the NielsenBubba the Love Sponge legal war.  Bubba’s legal teambubba has been arguing that Nielsen’s arguments for keeping certain documents confidential are unfounded and that they should be made part of the public record.  However, Friday, U.S. District Court Judge James Whittemore ruled against Bubba, stating that “challenging a confidentiality designation is not the proper procedure for a court to decide whether the public has a right to access a pleading.”…..Longtime CBS Radio News reporter Dan Raviv leaves the news organization in surprising fashion – with a tweet at the end of his coverage of the Presidential Inauguration.  He wrote, “Radio friends, I had the bittersweet honor of declaring (I swear it was short) at the end of our 90-min. coverage that it is my last on CBS.” Raviv had been with CBS Radio News since 1978.

Trump Sworn In/ObamaCare Executive Order, Women’s Marches, Trump Press Team’s Inauguration Crowd Dispute, Allegation of Trump Business Interests Conflicts, Cabinet Confirmation Hearings, and NFL Conference Championships Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  Friday’s inauguration of President Donald Trump and his signing of an executive order pertaining to the Affordable Care Act; the Women’s March on DC and the marches in various cities across the nation; the Trump press team’s offering of “alternative facts” regarding the size of the crowd at the inauguration; the planned suit by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington over Donald Trump’s business interests; the confirmation hearings of the several cabinet nominees; and Sunday’s NFC and AFC Conference Championship games were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend.

Louisville Non-Com Hacked; Anti-Trump Song Plays on the Air.  Non-commercial low power FM WCHQ, Louisville was the victim of a hack on Friday afternoon (1/20) that resulted in the rap tune “F*ck Donald Trump” by YG & Nipsy Hussle playing in a loop for about 15 minutes.  The Louisville Courier-Journal reports that station manager Kathy Weisbach was able get the digital song file to stop playing.  Station program director Gary Simpson tells the paper that whoever hacked the station got in via the software it uses for its FM audio and that the software permits EAS alerts from getting on the air.  He speculates that since other stations use the same software, other outlets could be vulnerable to a hack.  See the Courier-Journal story here.

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RadioInfo Web bannerDanny Meyers to Program ‘Movin’ 107.7’ in Norfolk.  Programmer Danny Meyers joins iHeartMedia’s Norfolk cluster to serve as program director and morning drive personality at urbanmeyersdanny contemporary WMOV “Movin 107.7, Hampton Roads’ Feel Good Music.”  The station says Meyers – who was most recently morning host at CHR WXLK, Roanoke – will oversee WMOV’s “on-air content and music programming, as well as broadcast the local morning show with his perspective on pop culture and community news.”  Meyers says, “I’m excited to start a new chapter at ‘Movin’ 107.7’ and become part of the iHeartMedia Norfolk family, especially after a record-setting revenue year for the station.  I know the team is ready for an even bigger 2017!”

More Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Alternative KDGE, Dallas is no more but iHeartMedia is notEdgefest17 letting go of the annual “Edgefest” concert promotion.  Now, the company’s rock KEGL “97.1 The Eagle” is presenting “Edgefest 2017” scheduled for April 1, 2017 at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas.  The acts signed up for the daylong, two-stage event are: Blink 182, The Offspring, 311, Chevelle, The Toadies, Naked and Famous, The Nixons, The Record Company, Goodbye June, Black Pistol Fire, Dreamers, Missio, Badflower and The Wrecks.  iHeartMedia regional SVP of programming Patrick Davis comments, “This year’s ‘Edgefest’ has one of the strongest lineups we’ve ever had, with a variety of established and rising star artists.  As a nod to the 25th anniversary of the show, we are pleased that several of these ‘Edgefest’ alums are back to celebrate with us.”…..At the Saginaw, Michigan station group of Alpha Media, Joby Phillips is adding the program director responsibilities for hot AC WGER “MIX 106.3” to his workload.  He’ll continue to program country WCEN “94-5 The Moose” and host the station’s afternoon show.

Friday, March 18, 2016

| March 18, 2016

Nielsen LogoNielsen Digital Audio Ratings (NDAR) Set to Debut. The service will formalize a two-month pre-currency preview period covering data from this year’s February and March surveys, available in mid-March and mid-April, respectively. Clients must license Nielsen Digital Audio Ratings to access data related to their own media properties and the data of other subscribers. NDAR is a component of Nielsen’s ‘Total Audience,’ an initiative that provides comparable metrics across all linear and digital platforms. Nielsen Audio managing director Brad Kelly states, “With the way people consume content in a continual state of change, it is critical to capture all of the platforms where people are listening to audio, whether on the radio, computers or Smartphones. To achieve ‘Total Audience’ for audio, we must provide a comprehensive view of listening behavior across all platforms. Nielsen Digital Audio Ratings allows broadcasters, advertisers, and marketers to better understand the dynamics of a station’s over-the-air and online audiences. Radio is a crucial format to reach audiences and must be an integral part of Nielsen’s ‘Total Audience’ initiative. With NDAR, we will be able to capture broadcast radio’s total reach and begin laying the groundwork to measure other audio platforms where people listen to music, syndicated programs, or news-talk and sports content.” Audience estimates will include Average Quarter Hour (AQH) and an Average Minute Audience (AMA) metric for digital streams. Nielsen Digital Audio Ratings is expected to expand reporting to include diary markets, as well as regional and national views. NDAR is currently collecting data on more than 2,500 station streams across all 48-PPM markets. Initially, Nielsen Digital Audio Ratings will report listening of digital streams of AM and FM stations and e-radio stations in the 48-PPM markets. Measurement for custom-curated and on-demand audio, including podcasts, is currently in development.

browne, joyDr. Joy Browne Recruited to Serve as Official Emcee of TALKERS 2016: Bridging the Generations.  The reigning queen of the psychology talk radio genre, Dr. Joy Browne, has been named Official Emcee of the 19th annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important national convention, TALKERS 2016: Bridging the Generations.  The power-packed, one-day event will take place on the campus of Hofstra University in Talkers2016 logoHempstead, NY on Friday, May 20.  In making the announcement, TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “Dr. Joy Browne is perfect for this role that she performed for us so successfully a number of years ago – opening up the show and tying all its components together as the dynamic day moves along.  Between her rapier intelligence and wit, unpredictable ad libs, numerous wardrobe and hairdo changes and vivacious personality, she is perfectly suited to take on this awesome responsibility.  We are delighted that she has consented to do this.”  The Genesis Communications Network (GCN) syndicated star says, “I have never missed an installment of this amazing conference and I am absolutely delighted and honored to have the opportunity to again play this role in it and have so much fun!”  The event kicks off at 8:00 am with the traditional “Breakfast with Hannity” opening social. It will conclude 12 hours later with a gala, early-evening reception on the university’s magnificent television soundstage. Located just outside of New York City, Hofstra University’s Lawrence Herbert School of Communication is nationally recognized as one of the nation’s most respected and influential breeding grounds of great broadcasters. The NAB honored WRHU-FM in 2015 with a Marconi Award as the first ever “student operated” non-commercial station of the year! Radio Hofstra University WRHU-FM is also currently ranked number one – best college radio station – by the Princeton Review. WRHU-FM also earned a Pinnacle Award – station of the year – from the CMA. The cost of a full registration is $299 per person with a special student rate of $249. Registration is only open to professionals currently or recently (within one year) employed in media-related industries as well as students enrolled in accredited colleges or universities. Registration includes all sessions, presentations, exhibits, receptions, and tours as well as breakfast/lunch/refreshment and social networking activities. Registrations can only be taken over the phone (to verify qualifications) and paid for with a credit card. As in years past, for the sake of intimacy and productivity, total attendance will be limited to 500 and TALKERS 2016 will be an early sellout. No registrations can be sold after that point. All registrations are non-transferable and non-refundable. To register please call 413-565-5413.  For more up-to-the-minute agenda, registration, hotel and sponsorship information, please click here.

KLACClippers Dribble Over to KLAC. Professional sports franchises do not usually change flagships during the season, but starting tomorrow (Saturday, 3/19) and continuing for the rest of the NBA regular and post-season, Los Angeles Clippers’ games will be heard on iHeartMedia Los Angeles sports outlet KLAC as part of an exclusive multi-year broadcast rights agreement. The key stationLA Clippers Logo of the Clippers since 2009 had been cross-town KFWB, which was recently sold to Principle Broadcasting, but earlier this month, the new owners transitioned “980 The Beast” to an Asian music format (“Desi 980”). Being an NBA flagship is nothing new for KLAC: Up until the 2009-2010 season, it was the longtime home of the Los Angeles Lakers (now on ABC Radio Los Angeles’ KSPN). This will be the fifth year KLAC will be the flagship of MLB‘s Los Angeles Dodgers. When there are Dodgers-Clippers schedule conflicts, Clippers games will shift to KLAC talk cluster-mate KEIB “The Patriot.” Senior vice president of sports for iHeartMedia Los Angeles Don Martin comments, “iHeartMedia Los Angeles and the Clippers just reinforced the fact that KLAC ‘AM 570 LA Sports’ is the number one destination for sports in Los Angeles.” Clippers president of business operations Gillian Zucker remarks, “We are proud to establish an exceptional, long-term destination for Clippers basketball on a radio station that sounds like it was named for us.” Brian Sieman continues to do radio play-by-play, as does Isaac Lowenkron for pre-game, halftime, and post-game shows. Joining Sieman on nationally televised games not shown on Fox‘s Prime Ticket will be Ralph Lawler and analyst Michael Smith. Among persons 6+ in the most recent (February 2016) Nielsen Audio PPM report for Los Angeles, KLAC ranks #37 (.5), KFWB is #36 (.2), and KSPN places #31 (.8); adult contemporary cluster-mate KOST “Coast 103.5” is first with a 5.7 (6+).

ppmunitRound Four of February PPM Data.  The fourth – and final – round of February 2016 PPM data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Austin, Milwaukee, Indianapolis, Providence, Raleigh, Norfolk, Nashville, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford.  The survey period was January 28 – February 24.  TALKERS magazine’s sister publication RadioInfo has all of the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  In addition, managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his “Top Takeaways” from this batch of ratings on the main page at RadioInfo.com here.

KCBS-AMKCBS-AM Staffers Vote to Join SAG-AFTRA. Results from ballots cast yesterday (Thursday, 3/17) by a group of employees at CBS Radio San Francisco’s all-news KCBS-AM reportedly were “nearly unanimous” in favor of aligning with SAG-AFTRA. Editor and shop steward Joe Rogers comments that the station’s writers, production assistants, and newsroom assistants “have shown a lot of courage and determination” and “the entire KCBS-AM news team stands united at a time when the company is contemplating drastic changes in how this station gathers and reports the news.” Production assistant and producer Nick St. Charles states, “Volatility in the news business and skyrocketing living costs in the Bay Area make union representation essential.” Production assistants, writers, and newsroom assistants will join the union with an existing bargaining unit of editors at the all-news operation. SAG-AFTRA also represents Bay Area units at CBS’ KPIX-TV and KCBS-AM hot AC sibling KLLC “Alice,” as well as on-air counterparts at KCBS-AM. Dislodged from San Francisco’s top spot in the “Holiday” 2015 report, KCBS-AM posted its second straight +.4 in February’s Nielsen Audio PPM (5.4 – 5.8 – 6.2, 6+) and repeats at #1; it had been in the top spot six successive sweeps before “Holiday” 2015.

baum, rayBaum Becomes NAB’s VP/Government Relations. The former senior policy advisor to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce – Ray Baum – joins the National Association of Broadcasters as vice president of government relations. NAB president and chief executive officer Gordon Smith states, “I am pleased to have Ray Baum join our talented government relations department. He brings extensive policymaking experience on the federal, state, and local levels as both a legislator and a staffer. Broadcasters will benefit greatly from having Ray advocating on our behalf in Washington.” Baum previously was chair of the Oregon Public Utility Commission and Oregon House majority leader. Beginning his new assignment in two weeks (3/31), Baum will report to NAB executive vice president of government relations Curtis Legeyt.

Khatija MohiuddinMohiuddin Appointed LSM at iHeartMedia Chicago. Formerly an account executive at Hubbard Broadcasting Chicago hot AC WTMX “The Mix,” Khatija Mohiuddin is named local sales manager of cross-town iHeartMedia. Vice president of sales of iHeartMedia Chicago Adam Kurtz comments, “Khatija is the perfect leader to augment our sales efforts on our heritage brands. Khatija’s experience in Chicago media is unsurpassed and we are so excited she is on our team.” Mohiuddin, who begins her new duties one week from Monday (3/28), remarks, “I am really looking forward to working with such amazing radio properties as well as an incredibly talented sales team.” This is actually a homecoming for Mohiuddin, as she began her sales career in 2005 with iHeartMedia Chicago hot AC WLIT “93.9 My-FM,” which was then adult contemporary “Lite-FM.”

talkersten logoThe Presidential Race Tops Talkers TenTM Again.  Likely to be an ongoing trend, activities of the candidates for president and the surrounding issues were the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was President Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland for the Supreme Court.  Coming in at #3 was the Syrian civil conflict and Russia’s involvement followed by the battle against Islamic State at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Beasley Media GroupBeasley’s Quarterly Cash Dividend is $0.045 Per Share. The board of directors of Beasley Broadcast Group announces a quarterly cash dividend of $0.045 per share of its Class A and Class B common stock. The dividend is payable on April 8 to shareholders of record on March 31. All subsequent dividends will be reviewed quarterly and declared by the board at its discretion.

Odds & Sods. WBEZ producer/reporter Kathy Chaney departs the Chicago Public Media-owned outlet to join Ebony Magazine as managing editor ….. Also in the “Windy City,” the Chicago Police Department and Illinois State Police have dropped all charges against CBS News campaign reporter Sopan Deb, who was cuffed and placed into a police van last Friday during his coverage of the protests outside a Donald Trump event ….. WDDV, Venice-Sarasota (Florida) transitions from adult standards to talk WFLG and is simulcasting iHeartMedia Tampa sibling WFLA.

‘The Golden Age of Audio Consumption’

| September 11, 2014

NAB/RAB Radio Show & RAIN Summit coverage by consultant Holland Cooke

 

cookewriterINDIANAPOLIS — An advertiser on one of my client stations recently asked, “Aren’t you guys worried about SiriusXM?”  With Pandora and iTunes and satellite radio and podcasting now competing for attention and ad dollars, it’s not hard for AM/FM radio to feel surrounded.  Yet, “despite a constantly changing audio landscape, broadcast radio controls more than half of the more than four hours a day that Americans spend with all sources of audio,” according to Edison Research.

You may have read about Edison’s recently-fielded “Share of Ear” study, billed as first-ever measurement of all audio consumption.  Topline numbers initially released:

Read More

Monday, August 18, 2014

| August 18, 2014

wgn-720-logo 125Wanna Buy a Fantastic Radio Station Mobile Studio?  Well. If you do, here is a rare opportunity to pick up a real gem.  The legendary WGN, Chicago is letting go of its phenomenal mobile broadcast studio and tow truck.  Seems it is too big to be conveniently used in the congested Windy City.  But in a market where there’s space to move around, it is a fully-equipped, mind-blower that could put your station in front of everybody, boost sales, and significantly increase the value of your broadcasting asset.  To learn more, please click here.

KOY LogoKOY Transitions From Business Talk To Mainstream Talk. Clear Channel Phoenix replaces its one-year business talk format on KOY “1230 The KFYI Business Channel” with mainstream talk under the “KFYI 2: The Next Generation of Talk” moniker. As KOY’s handle underscores, the station continues its association with co-owned mainstream talker KFYI. Program director Neil Larrimore states, “This is an exciting brand to put under the KFYI umbrella. Our approach of heavy digital messaging, new hosts, and more moderate content is geared toward the evolution of the information format.” The on-air roster for “KFYI 2” is Armstrong & Getty (6:00 am – 10:00 am); Dana Loesch (10:00 am -1:00 pm); Casey Bartholomew (1:00 pm – 3:00 pm); “America Now” (3:00 pm – 6:00 pm); “TMZ Live” (6:00 pm – 7:00 pm); “Ground Zero” (7:00 pm – 10:00 pm); and Bloomberg Radio (10:00 pm – 6:00 am). Having the distinction of being Arizona’s first radio station, KOY received its broadcast license in 1922 with the calls KFCB – “Kind Friends Come Back.” KFYI ranks seventh this July (4.3, 6+); Bonneville talker KTAR-FM finishes #14 (3.0); and Rio Salado College‘s KJZZ (NPR) is #19 (2.1). KOY does not appear in the July 2014 report.

compton ann smallForty-One and Done For Ann Compton. Being the first woman assigned to cover the White House fulltime by any network was — in Ann Compton‘s opinion — an advantage since the President could not miss seeing her. The Chicago native, who began covering that demanding beat nearly 40 years ago, wants to devote more time to other things, such as being a grandmother. So, on September 10 — the anniversary of her 41st year with ABC News — she will retire. Click here for an in-depth feature piece by TALKERS managing editor and West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian to find out what Compton believed were her most challenging things early-on; vivid reflections on 9/11/2001; and why — and who — made being inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame especially memorable.

brown joy new 8-14Dr. Joy Browne Switching Networks to GCN.  Longtime TALKERS Heavy Hundred syndicated star Dr. Joy Browne’s show will be moving from present distributor Radio America to Genesis Communications Network (GCN) beginning Monday, September 8.  The program will continue to air during its regular time slot of 12:00 noon – 3:00 pm ET. GCN will also syndicate Dr. Joy Browne’s “Best Of” weekend program, which will air Saturdays, 1:00 am – 4:00 am ET.   Browne, a licensed clinical psychologist, hosts the longest running relationships program of its kind in syndication, airing on over 100 stations across the country including WNYM, New York.  Her show offers listeners advice on issues ranging from relationships and marriage to finance and career. (She even reviews movies and comments on theater.) Regarding Browne’s show, TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “With interest growing among talk radio broadcasters in expanding the menu beyond politics and getting back to a number of areas that have long been mainstays of spoken word commercial radio during its golden days, I suspect we will see the stock of a show like Joy Browne’s take a significant upward turn.  After all, she’s remained a serious player on stations across the country during a period in which relationship shows have had tough going.  Considering she is still the best in the genre, watch out world – Dr. Joy will be riding high for years to come.”  Interested stations can contact GCN affiliate relations at (877) 996-4327, Ext. 241, 148 or 123 for more information.

murphy owenKFWBKFWB Recruits Murphy as PD. When KFWB, Los Angeles flips from talk to sports next month, the station will be programmed by Owen Murphy, who has been working as a talent coach and sports radio consultant for several hosts. KFWB Asset Trust trustee Diane Sutter comments, “Owen has built great relationships with some of America’s premiere sports talents. He has a unique perspective and will provide a fresh approach for sports radio fans in Los Angeles.” Murphy remarks, “I cannot adequately express how excited I am to be part of a team that is going to serve the Los Angeles sports radio audience in a manner never before heard. Having [CBS Sports Radio’s] Jim Rome as a centerpiece of the station’s new lineup is a thrilling base to build upon for the passionate sports fans of Southern California.” Rome will be heard on KFWB 9:00 am – 12:00 noon. Murphy’s resume includes a 2009 – 2010 stint programming KIRO-AM “710 ESPN,” Seattle. He previously was an ESPN Radio producer for “Mike & Mike in the Morning” and was executive producer of “The Dan Patrick Show.” Among persons 6+ in Nielsen Audio‘s July 2014 PPM report, KFWB ranks #42 (.2). Its all-sports competitors are KSPN (1.2 in July, #28); KLAC (.9, #32); and KLAA (.3, #40).

ESPN RAdio - NBA LogoNBA, ESPN Audio – Teammates for a 20th Season. For the 20th successive year, ESPN Audio will broadcast games of the National Basketball Association. This year’s ESPN – NBA schedule — which will feature 29 regular-season games — tips off in slightly more than two months (Tuesday, 10/28), with Tim Duncan and the defending NBA champion San Antonio Spurs hosting the Dallas Mavericks. ESPN Audio will broadcast a Christmas Day doubleheader, which will showcase San Antonio against Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder. Immediately following that will be LeBron James’ first game back in Miami as the Cleveland Cavaliers visit the Miami Heat. ESPN Audio will air the NBA Playoffs and NBA Finals, as well as the 64th All-Star Game. Returning as ESPN Radio’s lead play-by-play voice and prime analyst are Kevin Calabro and Jon Barry, respectively. Calling/analyzing select games are Marc Kestecher and PJ Carlesimo.

Westwood-One-LOGO 7-15-2014 125townsend steveWestwood One Taps Townsend as Senior Account Manager.  Former Clear Channel New York sales manager Steve Townsend joins Westwood One‘s sales division as senior account manager. New York City-based Townsend reports to senior vice president of network sales Darrin Klayman, who states, “Steve has a proven track record and he comes with an immeasurable wealth of sales expertise. His multimedia experience and passion fit well into our desired DNA as we strive to build a team that will provide integrated multi-platform solutions for our clients.” Townsend meanwhile comments, “Westwood One is at the forefront of delivering solutions and driving revenue for clients. From its customized content, events, talent endorsements, local activations, digital initiatives, and geo-targeted programs, it is clearly the place to be; I am thrilled to be part of the momentum.” Townsend’s Clear Channel New York sales manager responsibilities were for adult contemporary WLTW “Lite-FM” and classic rock WAXQ “Q-104.3,” as well as managing sales for the “Automotive” category for the company’s entire New York group. He previously was sales manager in New York City for then-Citadel-owned (now Cumulus) hot AC WPLJ; CBS Radio‘s WXRK (now CHR WBMP); and he was an account executive and national sales manager for classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM.

smith gordonsmulyan jeffConclave Confirms Smith As Keynoter — Smulyan to Speak as Well.  The 39th annual Conclave Learning Conference – presented in partnership with the Minnesota Broadcasters Association (MBA) – will feature a keynote address by National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) president and chief executive officer Gordon Smith. Conclave chair Mark Bolke comments, “Whether you are in programming, news, sales, or station management, what happens in Congress and at the Federal Communications Commission directly impacts our collective future. Gordon Smith’s keynote will instill in all of us the ongoing need to protect our industry’s interests and preserve its status as America’s premier source for music, entertainment, news, and emergency information.” MBA president and chief executive officer Jim du Bois states, “With the broadcasting industry facing unprecedented legal, regulatory, and competitive challenges, Gordon Smith and the NAB are leading the charge in Washington. We are honored that he is taking time from his busy schedule to share his insights on key issues facing radio and television broadcasters. We are also looking forward to hearing his vision for the industry’s future as it adapts to rapidly changing media consumption habits and a shift to mobile distribution platforms.” Smith is scheduled to deliver his keynote on (Saturday) November 15 at 9:00 am onsite at the Conclave, which will be held at Minneapolis’ Crown Plaza Hotel Airport. Smith is a former United States Senator. The Oregon Republican served two terms in the Senate and was appointed NAB president/CEO five years ago (9/2009). The Conclave’s day-and-a-half learning conference begins (Friday) November 14 with a “Radio & TV Career Fair and Air Check Clinic,” followed by a special keynote from Emmis president and chief executive officer Jeff Smulyan on the NextRadio mobile platform.

wachs daliah“Dr. Daliah” Accepts Daunting Task. Radio stations and personalities constantly are being enlisted to support a number of worthwhile endeavors. An especially challenging fundraiser involves Dr. Daliah Wachs. The syndicated talk show host and Las Vegas television personality has been asked to build the pediatric wing of Community Outreach Medical Center, which will serve thousands of underserved and uninsured Las Vegas children. “This is a huge undertaking but it will get done,” Dr. Wachs promises. A board certified family physician, Dr. Wachs (University of Nevada – Las Vegas, University of Nevada – Reno, and UCLA) originates her daily “Dr. Daliah” program from Las Vegas talker KDWN; iHeart Radio carries it daily 9:00 am – 12:00 noon PT. In addition to her radio show, Dr. Wachs is the medical expert on KVVU-TV, Las Vegas.

sbs 125SBS Reports 12% Q2 Revenue Gain for Radio. Primarily owing to a boost in special events revenue and network sales, revenue for Spanish Broadcasting System‘s radio division increased 12% in the second quarter to $3.8 million. SBS’ consolidated net revenue grew from $36.1 million in 2013 to $40.9 million (+13%). Consolidated OIBDA fell 22% to $9.9 million, compared to $12.7 million; radio OIBDA decreased 10% to $1.5 million. Spanish Broadcasting System reported a net loss of $3.23 million (44 cents per diluted share), versus a loss of $1.23 million (17 cents) in the year-prior period.

Odds & Sods.   After the success of his first non-fiction book, “FM, the Rise and Fall of Rock Radio” (Villard 2001), Richard Neer of WFAN, New York has written and published his first novel “Something of the Night” (Amazon 2014).  It features a detective on the Jersey shore whose colleague and best friend is a radio talk show host. Originally tasked to find a missing small town author, the plot evolves into something much deeper, threatening the entire metropolitan region. A suspenseful page turner, the twists are non-stop.  Neer has been told that social media is the only way to move books today. However he still believes in radio’s power and will promote it mainly through our medium. Interview requests will be honored by emailing novelistcafe@windstream.net.  To access the book, please click here. ….. Mark Wainwright is filling in this week (8/18 – 8/22) for morning host Joe Galuski at Clear Channel-owned talker WSYR, Syracuse.

 

Thursday, August 14, 2014

| August 14, 2014

krg logoColossal Sales Deal Between Katz and Cumulus.  Radio rep firm Katz Radio Group announces it has agreed to a new deal with Cumulus Media that is creating a new rep division at Katz dedicated to Cumulus owned-and-operated stations nationwide.  The firm – Westwood One National Sales – will provide advertisers and agencies direct access to all of Cumulus’ radio stations.  In a press statement, the companies say, “The new long-term agreement supports thecumulus logo companies’ mutual goal to evangelize the power of sound and drive more dollars into the sector. Westwood One National Sales will exclusively represent Cumulus stations nationwide and focus on providing integrated, multi-platform marketing solutions aimed to meet the rapidly evolving needs of advertisers.  Westwood One National Sales will also offer advertisers and agencies access to Cumulus’ newly developed traffic system.  The cutting-edge technology is designed to improve speed-to-market, giving Cumulus advertisers and agencies real-time pricing and availability of minute-by-minute, market-by-market opportunities across the country.”  Katz Radio Group president Mark Gray says, “Our common goal is to get radio a much bigger share of advertiser spending by solving their marketing problems and showcasing the unmatched results radio delivers.  Our new partnership with Cumulus to launch Westwood One National Sales strengthens our ability to deliver the most innovative marketing solutions for advertisers and agencies across the expanding advertising platform of one of our important partners.”  As a result of this, Bryan Forbes is promoted to senior vice president, general manager of Westwood One National Sales.  His current post with KRG is vice president/director of sales.  Westwood One National Sales will have dedicated offices in Chicago, New York and Los Angeles.

nab logoFighting for AM in New Cars; NAB Pleads with BMW.  After learning that BMW’s new electric model – the i3 – will not include an AM radio due to the engine’s causing interference with AM reception, the NAB’s Gordon Smith wrote a letter to BMW asking the company to reconsider the move and re-engineer the system to accommodate AM, as some other manufacturers have.  Smith writes, “In the last decade, AM radio has embraced an evolution towards ethnic language programming, with a wide variety of formats serving a melting pot of diverse communities that make up the fabric of America.  Indeed, two-thirds of all minority-owned stations are now broadcast on the AM band; and many of these radio stations serve as a community gathering spot for vital information about health services, education and job opportunities.”  Smith goes on to note that in many markets, sports broadcasts – from high school to the professional level – are only heard on AM signals.  How BMW will respond, if at all, is anyone’s guess but it’s worth noting that radio stations that are also streamed could be heard via the owner’s smartphone which the i3 allows to be connected to its audio system.  Still, that the AM band — where most talk radio shows reside — is considered disposable by a major auto manufacturer (combined with the growing popularity of electric autos) is a huge red flag for AM stick owners.

paiajitFCC Commissioner Ajit Pai Talks AM Revitalization in Columbus.  The campaign for AM revitalization being championed by FCC commissioner Ajit Pai was the topic at Wednesday’s town hall meeting held by the Ohio Broadcasters Association where Pai spoke and heard from broadcasters and the public on the matter.  Pai said three things he’s been thinking about lately regarding AM revitalization are: eliminating nighttime skywave protection for clear channel AM signals; allowing the use of synchronous transmission systems on the AM dial; and allowing stations to go all-digital on a voluntary basis.  But Pai said that by Halloween it’s his hope that the FCC will adopt AM revitalization that would: 1) move forward with an FM translator window designed for AM broadcasters and, 2) ask the public to comment on a new batch of specific proposals for improving our AM radio rules because “the proposals we made last year, while they will help AM broadcasters, aren’t going be a panacea.”

romejimRome Added as KFWB Gears Up To Sports Flip. Rumors of a talk-to-sports format change by Los Angeles’ KFWB will become reality sometime in September and the station locks in CBS Sports Radio mega-talent – and LA native – Jim Rome as a cornerstone.  Trustee for KFWB Asset Trust, Diane Sutter, comments, “It has been nearly two years since Southern Californians have been able to enjoy Jim’s show and he is just a hint of what listeners can expect from the new KFWB sports lineup.  We are thrilled and excited tokfwb bring Jim back home to his many Los Angeles sports fans.”  Rome, a genuine sports radio host original, will be heard on KFWB 9:00 am – 12:00 noon and will originate the program from Orange County.  Remarking that he is “thrilled to be returning home” on KFWB, Rome states, “CBS Sports Radio has provided me with an incredible opportunity to communicate with our nationwide audience via various platforms, but to reunite with our Los Angeles-based fans is particularly meaningful to me, personally and professionally.  I look forward to bringing ‘the jungle’ back home to Los Angeles.”  Rome has been with CBS Sports Radio since the network launched approximately 18 months ago.  It is believed sports KFWB’s moniker will be “The Beast.”  For years, KFWB had been an all-news station and competed against CBS Radio‘s KNX (which later became its sibling) in that arena.  Five years ago though (September 2009), it switched to talk.  Among persons 6+ in Nielsen Audio‘s July 2014 PPM report, KFWB ranks #42 (.2). It will be butting heads against existing all-sports outlets KSPN (1.2 in July, #28); KLAC (.9, #32); and KLAA (.3, #40).

cclogoClear Channel’s Political Advertising Tool Now Incorporates Nielsen Data.  Earlier this year, Clear Channel Media + Entertainment announced the development of its proprietary radio targeting tool for political advertisers – dubbed Audience Delivery Optimizer (AuDiO).  Now, the company reports that it is now incorporating Nielsen’s radio audience measurement data to further enhance its ability to identify key voter segments.  CC says this marks the first time that Nielsen’s Portable People Meter currency data has been combined with specific public voter information – creating a powerful new tool for political advertisers.  Clear Channel calls AuDiO a “first-of-its-kind radio optimization tool that enables political campaigns to precisely identify the 10 voter segments that are most crucial in key election districts.”  It goes on to say that with the integration of Nielsen’s industry-standard audience measurement data into AuDiO, political advertisers now have access to even more robust identification capabilities for their radio buys.  Using the 10 most common political segments, AuDiO can determine how many voters radio reaches in any political district around the country.  It can then identify the media preferences of any segment, giving advertisers key information about which media are best to reach which voters.  AuDiO works at all levels of national, statewide and local elections, and will be available for the upcoming 2014 election cycle.

fradybillGCN Adds ‘Lock-N-Load’ to Morning Offerings.  New to the Genesis Communications Network stable of programs is the Bill Frady-hosted daily program “Lock-N-Load.”  The company states that the show “covers all spectrums relating to the world of the gun, including the gun industry, trends, self-defense and, of course, those that would strip away your rights.  With guests such as the 3D gun guru Cody Wilson, Gunowners of America executive director Larry Pratt, Noble Peace Prize nominee Dr. Jim Garrow, tactical trainer Chris Costa, psychologist Dr. Linda Lagemann and many others, ‘Lock-N-Load’ explores the dynamics of the uniquely American Second Amendment and everything that goes along with it.”

bohannonnashvilleJim Bohannon Addresses Tennessee Association of Broadcasters Conference.  Sitting on a panel about spoken-word radio titled, “Give’em Something to Talk About,” Westwood One-syndicated talk show host Jim Bohannon appeared at the Tennessee Association of Broadcasters conference in Nashville.  Pictured here (from left to right) are: Westwood One’s Misti Douglas, Jean Williams, and Chrystal Heidemann, Governor Bill Haslam, Bohannon, and Westwood One’s Donny Walker.

IS Iraq Campaign/U.S. Military Involvement, Hillary Clinton-Obama Relationship, Michael Brown Slaying Aftermath, Limbaugh-Robin Williams Suicide Comments Controversy, and Israel-Hamas Cease Fire Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/13).  The Iraq campaign of IS and the Obama Administration’s involvement of U.S. military personnel; the rift between Hillary Clinton and President Obama over U.S. foreign policy; the tensions in Missouri after the shooting death of Michael Brown; controversy over Rush Limbaugh’s comments after Robin Williams’ suicide; and the cease fire between Israel and Hamas were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

| July 2, 2014

alphamedia logoAlpha Broadcasting, L&L Broadcasting Become Alpha Media; Main Line Deal Closes. Portland-based L&L Broadcasting operates 43 stations in seven markets; the merged company’s corporate headquarters will continue to be in Portland, where Alpha Broadcasting owns six radio facilities.  In addition to this merger, L&L’s $57 million deal to purchase 19 Main Line Broadcasting stations has been finalized.  Alpha Media chairman Larry Wilson states, “The merger of Portland’s Alpha operation into our newly created Alpha Media results in one company operating all markets.  Our ‘Live and Local’ vision continues to be our focus.  By adding the former Main Line markets, we can continue to develop ourmain line broadcasting footprint with attractive markets operated by great radio people.  We are excited to add them to our growing company.” L&L Broadcasting president and chief executive officer Bob Proffitt remarks, “From the day we visited each Main Line market, we knew they were full wilsonlarryof talented radio broadcasters who understand our vision and how we operate.  We feel our live and local approach will enhance each market’s rating and revenue potential.  Having Portland in the fold allows us to liberally use some of the best brains in the radio business to help listeners, clients, and employees at our other markets throughout the country.”  According to Main Line Broadcasting chief executive officer Marc Guralnick, “It has been a great nine years at Main Line Broadcasting.  I have had the pleasure of working with some of the best people in the industry.  I am excited to have our talented broadcasters now under the leadership of Larry Wilson, Bob Proffitt, and the Alpha-L&L team.  I wish L&L and this tremendous staff much continued success.”  The four markets for Philadelphia-based Main Line are Louisville, Dayton, Richmond, and Hagerstown, Maryland-Chambersburg, Pennsylvania.  The company was represented in the transaction by Media Venture Partners.

katztonyTony Katz Assumes Morning Drive Role at WIBC-FM, Indianapolis.  Monday (6/30) was the first day on the job for new WIBC-FM, Indianapolis morning show personality Tony Katz.  He replaces Steve Simpson who recently exited the station after 22 years.  Katz had been hosting the 9:00 pm to 12:00wibclogo midnight show at WIBC-FM from his home in Los Angeles but is moving to Indy for this new role.  Emmis market manager Charlie Morgan recently told the Indianapolis Business Journal the move to replace Simpson with Katz was the result of the station wanting a more opinionated, commentary-driven show than the newsy approach Simpson was comfortable with.  “He’s just not the right guy for what the role of host now requires.  What we’re asking our hosts to do is offer opinion and perspective, and [Simpson] was not comfortable with that.  He was more comfortable in a more traditional news role.”

gottliebdougCBS Sports Radio Network’s Doug Gottlieb Show Gets Cable Simulcast.  Beginning August 25, the Doug Gottlieb show will be seen on cable’s CBS Sports Network in addition to being heard on the CBS Sports Radio Network.  The program will be simulcast live from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm ET.  CBS Sports SVP of programming Dan Weinberg says, “Adding the Doug Gottlieb show greatly strengthens our afternoon lineup adding three hours of live and relevant content each day.  Doug’s show is high-energy, insightful and entertaining and we are excited to extend the reach of his radio show to the CBS Sports Network television audience.”

kfbk logoKFBK Boosts Murray to News Director.  Assistant program director Mike Murray is elevated to news director at Clear Channel Sacramento talker KFBK.  Vice president of programming Ken Charles – who programs KFBK and sibling talker KSTE – comments, “In determining the needs of our department, and wanting to make sure there is one vision and voice between programming and news, Mike rose to the top as the right candidate for the role.”  In the next few weeks, there will reportedly be some news/programming restructuring associated with Murray’s promotion.

keiperjenniferKeiper Returns to WLS-AM, Chicago as News Anchor.  As reported by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, Jennifer Keiper is back with news/talk WLS-AM, Chicago after a six-year absence during which she worked as Midwest correspondent for Fox News Radio.  Keiper will anchor the news during afternoon drive, where Roe Conn and Richard Roeper are currently heard.  Keiper is taking over for Susan Carlson who resigned two months ago to join WMAQ-TV.  Read Feder’s column here.

mathenysamMatheny Named EVP/Chief Technology Officer for NAB.  Joining NAB from Capitol Broadcasting to serve as the new EVP and chief technology officer is Sam Matheny.  His work as part of the corporate staff involvement in several Capitol Broadcasting media ventures: general manager at News Over Wireless, which provided the first local television news applications for wireless carriers; manager of Digital Cinema at Microspace Communications, deploying digital cinema as a viable market for satellite delivery; and vice president & general manager at DTV Plus, which developed and launched the nation’s first DTV datacasting service.  Matheny is currently a member of the FCC Communications Security, Reliability and Interoperability Council and is a member of the Academy of Digital Television Pioneers.  NAB president and CEO Gordon Smith states, “NAB is thrilled to have Sam Matheny joining the team as our new CTO.  Sam’s roots are in broadcast localism and service to the community, but he is also a technology strategist determined to push broadcasters to embrace digital and Internet opportunities that generate revenue.  Today, tens of millions of our listeners and viewers are legally accessing broadcast programming on platforms and devices that are IP-based, portable and mobile. We believe Sam is the right choice to press these digital strategies forward and lead our industry’s technology future.”

joycebrianpanelWGOW, Chattanooga Host Brian Joyce Moderates Panel on Democracy and Human Rights in Geneva.  Tennessee talk radio personality Brian Joyce (pictured here, bottom, far right) was recently in Geneva, Switzerland at the invitation of the Geneva Press Club to moderate a panel discussion on democracy and human rights.  Among the members of this panel were Egyptian MP and Secretary General of Egypt’s Industry & Energy Committee Hatem Azzam (second from right, standing).  Joyce is going abroad this weekend to speak at a public rally in Istanbul, Turkey in Alfatih Square in Istanbul to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the military coup in Egypt, which took place on July 3, 2013.  He was invited by a Turkish organization called Union of NGOs of the Islamic World, in cooperation with the Egyptian Solidarity Movement. Joyce says the Turkish government and Turkish people have been strong, vocal critics of military rule in Egypt, as well as of violations of democracy and human rights across the Muslim world.

pavlinahannityPavlina Interviews Sean Hannity on Talkers TV.  Sixteen-year-old talk media prodigy, Pavlina Osta, host of the syndicated radio show “Pavlina’s Kidz Place,” conducted an interview with Premiere Radio and Fox News Channel star Sean Hannity at the recent Talkers New York 2014 convention. That 15 minute interview is currently playing on Talkers TV located at the top of the upper right hand column of boxes on every page on Talkers.com.  Pavlina has been broadcasting since she was 11 years old and has an amazing track record of conducting exclusive interviews with more than 300 stars from the fields of entertainment, sports, politics and media.  David Bernstein, GM of Talkers broadcasting operations says, “This young woman is going to be a huge media star.  She has everything going for her – even a local Gracie Award to her credit.  Watch out world, Pavlina is coming!”

marconiawardMeet This Year’s NAB Marconi Radio Award Finalists. They are listed below and the list encompasses 21 categories.  The Marconi Radio Awards are given by the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) to honor excellence in broadcasting. “Legendary Station”:news KCBS-AM, San Francisco; talk KXLY-AM, Spokane; sports WFAN, New York; country WIL-FM, St. Louis; and adult contemporary WLEN-FM, Adrian, Michigan. “Network/Syndicated Personality of the Year”:Bob & Tom, Westwood One; Elvis Duran, Premiere Radio Networks; Rush Limbaugh, Premiere Radio Networks; Ryan Seacrest, Premiere Radio Networks; and Rickey Smiley, Radio One/REACH Media. “Major Market Personality of the Year”:Carter Alan of WZLX, Boston; Big Boy of KPWR, Los Angeles; Kevin & Bean of KROQ, Los Angeles; Preston & Steve of WMMR, Philadelphia; and (Fred) Toucher & Rich (Shertenlieb) of WBZ-FM, Boston. “Large Market Personality of the Year”:Bo Matthews of WIL-FM, St. Louis; Dr. Don (with Rachael and Grunwald) of WYCD, Detroit; Jim “JJ” Johnson of WOMC, Detroit; Larry Richert of KDKA-AM, Pittsburgh; and Ryan & Shannon of KSTP-FM, Minneapolis. “Medium Market Personality of the Year”:Brent Johnson of WTCB, Columbia, South Carolina; Cole Johnson of WNVZ, Norfolk; Kevin Miller of KIDO-AM, Boise, Idaho; Chris Kelly & Chris Demm of WKRR, Greensboro; and Jeff Walker of WKRZ, Wilkes Barre-Scranton. “Small Market Personality of the Year”:Bill Barrett, Tim Fox & Tracy Berry of KKNU-FM, Eugene, Oregon; David Gustafson of KJSK-AM, Columbus, Nebraska; Dottie Ray of KXIC-AM, Iowa City, Iowa; Brian Egan, Rusty Bumper & Amanda Walton of WKWS-FM, Charleston, West Virginia; and Brian Lee & Chris Wolfe of KZOQ-FM, Missoula, Montana. “Major Market Station of the Year”: country KKBQ, Houston; urban AC WBLS, New York; rock WMMR, Philadelphia; hot AC WTMX, Chicago; and country WUSN, Chicago. “Large Market Station of the Year”:adult contemporary KRWM, Seattle; CHR WBLI, Long Island; talk WCCO, Minneapolis; talk WTMJ, Milwaukee; and sports WXYT-FM, Detroit. “Medium Market Station of the Year”:rock KAZR-FM, Des Moines; hot AC KSTZ, Des Moines; country WIVK-FM, Knoxville; talk WOWO-AM, Fort Wayne, Indiana; and country WUSY-FM, Chattanooga, Tennessee. “Small Market Station of the Year”:talkKFGO-AM, Fargo, South Dakota; CHR KNDE-FM, Bryan-College Station, Texas; full-service adult contemporary KYNT-AM, Yankton, South Dakota; country WFRE-FM, Frederick, Maryland; and adult contemporary WLEN-FM, Adrian, Michigan. “Adult Contemporary Station of the Year”:KIFM, San Diego; WBEB, Philadelphia; WILV, Chicago; WMEE-FM, Fort Wayne, Indiana; and WVAF, Charleston, West Virginia. “CHR Station of the Year”:KQKS, Denver; WBBM-FM, Chicago; WNVZ, Norfolk; WPOI, Tampa; and WVAQ, Morgantown, West Virginia. “Country Station of the Year”:KCYY, San Antonio; WIL-FM, St. Louis; WKLB, Boston; WLHK, Indianapolis; and WOKQ, Portsmouth, New Hampshire. “News-Talk Station of the Year”:KCBS-AM, San Francisco; KRLD-AM, Dallas; KTMY, Minneapolis; WGCV-AM, Columbia, South Carolina; and WLW, Cincinnati. “(Classic Hits-) Oldies Station of the Year:”WJMK, Chicago; WMJI, Cleveland; WSRZ, Sarasota; WXGL, Tampa; and WOGL Philadelphia. “(Contemporary Christian) Religious Station of the Year”:KKJM, St. Cloud, Minnesota; KKLA, Los Angeles; KLTY, Dallas; KNOM, Nome, Alaska; and WMHK, Columbia, South Carolina. “Rock Station of the Year”:KROQ, Los Angeles; KSWD, Los Angeles; WBAB, Long Island; WDRV, Chicago; and WSUN, Tampa. “Spanish Station of the Year”:KLZT, Austin; WNUA, Chicago; WYUS-AM Milford, Delaware; WYUU, Tampa; and WXSH, Georgetown, Delaware. “Sports Station of the Year”:KDKA-FM, Pittsburgh; KFXN-FM, Minneapolis; WBZ-FM, Boston; WIP-FM, Philadelphia; and WXYT-FM, Detroit. “Urban Contemporary Station of the Year”: KPRS, Kansas City; WGCI-FM, Chicago; WHQT, Miami; WQHT, New York; and WVKL, Norfolk. “Noncommercial Station of the Year”: KPCW, Park City, Utah; KUNV, Las Vegas; WEAA, Baltimore; WRHU Long Island; and WSDP,  Canton, Michigan. Winners will be announced in two months (9/11) at the awards dinner in Indianapolis during this year’s NAB Radio Show.

kgy logoKGY Inc. Sells KGY-AM, Olympia to Catholic Broadcaster.  Sports talk KGY-AM, Olympia, Washington is being sold to Sacred Heart Radio for $250,000, according to The Olympian.  The station has been in the Kerry family since current KGY Inc. business manager Nick Kerry’s grandfather Tom Olsen purchased it in 1939.  KGY Inc. will continue to operate country outlet KYYO-FM “96.9 KAYO” and translator K237FR at 95.3 FM.

SCOTUS Hobby Lobby Ruling, Obama Executive Actions, Illegal Immigrant Influx-Amnesty Proposal, Global Warming Debate, Israeli-Palestinian Tensions, Sarkozy Investigation, and World Cup Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/1).  The backlash over the Supreme Court’s ruling in the Hobby Lobby contraceptive case; John Boehner’s threat to sue President Obama over the executive actions issue; debate over amnesty as the Southwest deals with an influx of minor illegal immigrants; continuing disagreement over the issue of man-made climate change; high tensions in Israel following the deaths of three Israeli teens and a Palestinian youth; the corruption investigation of former French president Nicolas Sarkozy and the U.S.’s exit from the World Cup were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

| April 9, 2014

cookehollandNAB Show: Day Two.  Media consultant Holland Cooke reports back to TALKERS/RadioInfo from Las Vegas with notes from the second day of the annual NAB Show in Las Vegas.  Among the topics Cooke writes about are NAB CEO Gordon Smith’s conversation with FCC chairman Tom Wheeler (it appears radio is not on Wheeler’s radar), an instructive group of thoughts for radio operators from former NYTimes columnist and current Yahoo Tech columnist David Pogue, plus some comments about the future of the AM band.  Read Holland Cooke’s complete column here.

nabcrystalawardNAB Announces Crystal Radio Award Winners. Chosen among 50 finalists, 10 stations emerged as victors of the National Association of Broadcasters’ 27th annual Crystal Radio Awards.  Recipients were honored at yesterday’s (Tuesday, 4/8) radio luncheon at the NAB Show in Las Vegas.  Honorees are Clear Channel Los Angeles urban-rhythmic oldies KHHT “Hot 92.3”; CBS Radio Detroit all-news WWJ; Bonneville Phoenix KTAR-FM “News/Talk 92.3”; Hubbard Minneapolis hot AC KSTP-FM “KS-95”; and Clear Channel Omaha KXKT “Today’s Country.”  Other winners are Cromwell Group‘s WZUS “Talk 101 FM,” Decatur, Illinois; Lenawee Broadcasting adult contemporary WLEN “Lenawee’s Best Radio Station,” Adrian, Michigan; Fife Communication adult contemporary KCVM “93.5 – The Mix,” Waterloo-Cedar Falls, Iowa; East Kentucky Broadcasting‘s WDHR “Today’s Best Country,” Pikeville, Kentucky; and Riverfront Broadcasting‘s KYNT “Yankton’s Home Team,” Yankton, South Dakota.  Crystal Radio Awards recognize stations for outstanding year-round commitment to community service.  Judges representing broadcasting, community service organizations, and public relations firms chose the finalists.

wgan logoChanges at Saga Portland and Binnie.  WGAN, Portland brand manager and news director Jeff Wade exits his roles with Saga Communications in Portland to take on the news director role with Binnie Media’s statewide news network serving neighboring New Hampshire called New Hampshire One.  As a result, Saga names Portland operations manager Chris Mac program director of news/talk WGAN and promotes afternoon news anchor and reporter Frank Alosa to the news director position.  On his new post, Alosa says, “This really is a great opportunity to take the reins as news director at a station with such a rich history in this market.  I look forward to continuing and expanding upon WGAN’s news tradition.”

advantagesystems logoSales Pro Mike Messenger Joins Advantage Systems Inc.  Sales training and consulting firm Advantage Systems Inc. announces radio sales pro Mike Messenger – who most recently was director of sales for Cox Media – is joining the company to serve as revenue development manager.  Messenger says that the concept of growing revenue through a focus on local direct business is what attracted him to Advantage Systems.  During his time with Cox Media, Messenger led a team that sold across 12 states, growing revenue via local direct.  Messenger states, “It’s a unique concept that has proven fruitful – in fact growing revenue 15% year-over-year.  I am very excited to help advertising sales professionals grow their revenue.  What Advantage Systems offers to local, small and mid-size businesses is unparalleled in the industry.  This is a unique opportunity for me at the right time in my career to do what I love to do: help businesses grow their client base and make more money, while helping sales professionals improve their income.”  In this position, Messenger will be working with sales teams and managers to help strengthen their local direct strategy and maximize digital sales to ultimately generate sustainable growth in their individual markets.  Advantage Systems VP of sales Frank Kulbertis comments, “Media organizations and local advertisers are going to love working with Mike Messenger.  His experience and enthusiasm make him the ideal person to help us expand our business in the broadcast and cable TV industries, while continuing our extensive work in the radio industry.  I am thrilled that we were able to add someone of Mike’s caliber to our organization.”  Advantage president Mike LoConte adds, “A key advantage to our Advantage Systems program is the strengthening of the sales team so that we can help our media partners grow their revenue not only thru focused sales programs but all year round.  We feel Mike has what it takes to help all of our media partners exceed their sales goals.”

ObamaCare Criticism, 2016 Presidential Race, Global Warming, Russian Aggression in Ukraine, Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 Search, Lois Lerner Contempt Move, and Vance McAllister Scandal Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/8).  Ongoing scrutiny of the rollout and effects of the Affordable Care Act; speculation about the players in the 2016 presidential campaign; renewed debate over the consensus regarding anthropogenic climate change; suspicion that Vladimir Putin’s government is fomenting revolution in Ukraine; renewed hope that authorities are close to finding Malaysia Airlines Flight 370; the battle in Washington over potential contempt charges against former IRS official Lois Lerner; and the “Christmas kissing” scandal involving Louisiana congressman Vance McAllister were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

NAB Show: Day Two

| April 9, 2014

NAB Show convention coverage by consultant Holland Cooke

 

cookehollandLAS VEGAS – Applause to 2014 Crystal Award winning stations, who were honored at Tuesday’s Radio Luncheon, after-which came one helluva moment, Steve Harvey’s NAB Broadcasting Hall of Fame acceptance speech.

It began every bit as hilarious as you’d expect, then turned suddenly, stunningly, emotional, the kind of from-the-heart moment that defines great big characters.  He tearfully applauded the Crystal winners, declaring that “radio is about the community, about the people.  Every radio station can play the same songs.  [The Crystal winners] are doing radio the way radio should be done.”

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NAB Show: Sound Bites from Sin City

| April 8, 2014

NAB Show convention coverage by consultant Holland Cooke

 

cookewriterLAS VEGAS — 94,000-plus attendees and 1,700 reporters have come here from 159 countries, to peruse the wares of 1,550 exhibitors in a 35-football-field size exhibit hall.

The April NAB Show isn’t a radio convention, and the recurring theme radio people hear here is that stations can’t only be “in the radio business” anymore.  Although NAB’s mission remains advocating for its member licensees, there are lots of people here who don’t work at stations.  Conference themes such as “Where Content Comes to Life” and “Channel Opportunity” focus convention-goers on the reality that transmitter delivery is now merely part of broadcasters’ repertoire.  And that the credibility and habitual use transmitters have earned is a big advantage competing with new-tech interlopers for audience and advertiser attention.

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Radio Show: Show Me the Money

| September 19, 2013

By Holland Cooke
Radio Consultant

 

ORLANDO — The NAB/RAB Radio Show is underway, and I couldn’t help thinking, “It takes money to make money,” as I drove onto the posh Rosen Shingle Creek grounds Tuesday, past a sign announcing it’ll be $16 a day to park.  Imagine my relief when, on the way out, the attendant said it’d be half-price for Radio Show attendees…and then yesterday, when she told me “no charge!”

“If you’re in Radio, you’re in Sales.” 

That’s been a durable RAB mantra since before The Great Recession.  So it’s no coincidence that the vibe here is so not-2009, and that every session I’m attending addresses revenue opportunities.

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Monday, April 22, 2013

| April 22, 2013

genachowskiFCC Defuses F-Bomb. In giving all the broadcast outlets that inadvertently ran Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz a “fleeting expletive” pass for carrying his uttering the so called “F-Bomb” during his impassioned speech at Fenway Park Saturday, FCC chairman Julius Genachowski has significantly defused the power of America’s favorite dirty word.bigpapi  According to TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison, “Regardless of the highly subjective ‘fleeting expletive’ criteria, Genachowski has changed the nature of ‘fuck’ forever as a forbidden word through the legal power of precedents.  I can remember when words like ‘hell,’ ‘damn,’ ‘bitch,’ ‘piss’ and even ‘suck’ were broadcast no-no’s. Now you hear them regularly and very few even raise an eyebrow.  The English language, as we all know, is an organic, changing system of communication…as is the concept of ‘community standards.’  So, we have witnessed the wheel turn another click in this regard with the chairman’s pronouncement.  The big daddy of dirty words has been demoted to secondary status on the filth chart – sort of like ‘shit’ – and can be used under the right subjective circumstances to express politically correct outrage.  Whatever are we going to do now?  We need a new forbidden word to take its place!”

Boston’s Radio Stations to Go Silent at 2:50 Today.  The Boston radio stations owned by CBS Radio, Clear Channel Media and Entertainment, Entercom and Greater Media will observe a minute of silence at 2:50 today to honor the victims of last week’s Boston Marathon bombing.  National Association of Broadcasters president and CEO Gordon Smith says, “Our thoughts and prayers go out to those who were impacted by the horrific act that took place in Boston.  This moment of silence will serve as a time of reflection, honoring those lost and injured in this tragic event, and recognizing the countless acts of heroism and kindness that we saw on Monday and which continue today.  As first informers in times of crisis, broadcasters want to take this opportunity to salute the first responders and the many unsung heroes who do so much during emergency situations.”

kjrlogoFormer Seattle Seahawks Coach Mike Holmgren Takes Regular Role with KJR, Seattle.  Longtime NFL coach and general manager Mike Holmgren is signing on with Clear Channel’s sports talk KJR, Seattle for a regular contributor role.  The Super Bowl winning coach (with Green Bay) and Seahawks coach and GM from 1999 through 2008 will go on-air with “Mitch in the Morning” from 9:00 to 9:30 on Mondays, “Elise and Jerry” at 11:00 am on Tuesdays, “Ian Furness and Jason Puckett” at 2:00 pm on Wednesdays and “Softy” from 4:00 to 4:30 pm on Thursdays.  KJR program director Rich Moore states, “We are so excited to have Mike Holmgren join our team at Sports Radio KJR.  As a former coach he has a great connection with the fans here in Seattle and his football mind and personality will really enhance our comprehensive football coverage.”

millerchrisChris Miller:  Media Isn’t the Issue – Content Is.  According to noted digital radio consultant and TALKERS columnist Chris Miller, when it comes to understanding our role in the new digital world and application of its new and exciting tools, we broadcasters tend to become preoccupied with the means and lose sight of the all-important ends.  In a new article posted today (4/22) he suggests we use the term “social content” as opposed to “social media.”  He  sees radio as having a significant advantage over many other forms of communication in this new environment and believes we have done a disservice to program directors by beginning to label them as “brand managers.”  To read Chris Miller’s entire column, click here.

cookehollandOPINION:  The Death of Al Neuharth and Talk Radio’s Future.  Radio consultant Holland Cooke writes about the state of talk radio’s image set against the dual backdrops of the Boston Marathon bombing and the death of former Gannett chairman Al Neuharth.  Cooke writes, “Especially after last week, talk radio should heed the words of a media giant we now mourn: ‘They want to trust whatever voices they’re listening to.’”  Read his piece here.

brucedamonCBS Sports Radio Network Adds Weekend Baseball and Basketball Programs.  The two shows debuted this past weekend on the new sports talk radio network.  “Eye on Baseball” with host Damon Bruce, airs from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon ET on Saturdays.  Bruce, who serves as early afternoon host at Cumulus Media’s KNBR, San Francisco, is joined by a rotating group of expert co-hosts for the program.  The network is also adding “Eye on Basketball” Saturdays from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm ET co-hosted by Jody McDonald and CBSSports.com’s NBA insider, Ken Berger.

ramseyhouston13Dave Ramsey Visits OK City and Houston.  Nationally syndicated talk radio sensation Dave Ramsey (pictured here at Grace Community Church in Houston) brought two of his live events to Oklahoma and Texas last week.  Ramsey presented his “EntreLeadership 1 Day Event” in Oklahoma City on Friday, April 19 to a packed house at Cox Convention Center.  Ramsey, along with speakers Jon Acuff and Chris Hogan, spoke about how to run a business using the same common-sense principles that Ramsey practices in his own company of more than 300 team members.  Ty Tyler, president/general manager of Tyler Media in Oklahoma City, says, “Having Dave Ramsey in Oklahoma City is always a special occasion.  The loyal KOKC AM 1520 listeners were thrilled with the opportunity to learn and interact with Dave and our advertising partners were pleased with the outstanding results of telling their message to the exclusive Dave Ramsey audience.”  Ramsey also delivered his Total Money Makeover Live — his common-sense debt reduction and wealth-building strategies — to a crowd of more than 5,000 people in Houston.  Local affiliate KSEV general manager Marc McCoy states, “A gathering of Dave Ramsey fans in Houston is truly an event!  When Dave comes to town, the excitement begins.  KSEV listeners line up for each Dave Ramsey appearance and turn out by the thousands.”

katzjeffspeaksOdds & Sods.  Former Boston talk radio personality Jeff Katz got a lot of talk radio exposure in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing.  In addition to constant updates on his Facebook pages and his Twitter feed, Katz appeared multiple times on national outlets like Fox News Radio, The Ace & TJ Show, The Todd Schnitt Show and the regional Arkansas State Radio Network.  He also appeared on local stations including: KMJ, Fresno; KFBK, Sacramento; KKSF, San Francisco; KOA, Denver; WFLA, Tampa; WGUF, Naples; WHO, Des Moines; WJBO, Baton Rouge; WCCO, Minneapolis; WWNC, Asheville; WBT, Charlotte; WWIQ, Philadelphia; WPHT, Philadelphia; KSKY, Dallas; WHAM, Rochester; and WSYR, Syracuse.  The week was capped with a two-hour special live from Boston which aired on Clear Channel stations KKSF, San Francisco and KFBK,wphtspanishbeisbol Sacramento…..CBS Radio and Spanish Beisbol Productions are airing play-by-play of Phillies baseball in Spanish on CBS Radio’s “Phillies 24/7” as heard on 98.1 WOGL HD4 beginning Friday, May 3.  Broadcasts will include pregame and postgame coverage.  The Spanish broadcast team consists of Bill Kulik, Rickie Ricardo and Angel Castillo.  “Phillies 24/7” is the first-ever HD Radio multicast station exclusively dedicated to a Major League Baseball team and airs continuously throughout the year and features live play-by-play of every regular season Phillies game on-air at 98.1 WOGL HD4, plus game re-broadcasts the following morning at 9:00 am…..SiriusXM will add a limited-run “Cheech & Chong” channel to the service beginning this week.  The satcaster calls it a “celebration of their hilarious career, featuring their classic comedy albums and more” that will take over “Raw Dog Comedy” and continue as a nightly special through the following week, leading up to “SiriusXM’s Town Hall with Cheech & Chong,” moderated by Artie Lange.

mikemikenewstudioThe New Look Mike & Mike.  ESPN Audio’s Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic are pictured here in the Bristol, Connecticut studios where they broadcast their program that airs on ESPN Radio and ESPN 2 on cable TV.  The new logo, according to the company, coincides “with the start of the NBA Playoffs and this week’s NFL Draft.  ESPN Audio’s ‘Mike & Mike’ brings a fresh look to its logo beginning today.  Designed by ESPN’s Creative Services team, the re-designed logo serves as a nod to Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic being available for listeners not just ‘in the Morning,’ but any time.”

2013 NAB Show: “Metamorphosis:
The Changing Face of Media & Entertainment”

| April 9, 2013

By Holland Cooke
Radio Consultant

cookeConnectedMediaWorld 150LAS VEGAS —  Even before 90,000 attendees step into the sprawling Convention Center, they expect change.  The Las Vegas Monorail robo-voice invites them to visit The Cloud Computing Pavilion.

Metamorphosis 200Atop the escalator, more evidence of the “Metamorphosis” that is this year’s NAB Show theme: Publication bins stacked with hard copies are being replaced by a wall-o-magazine covers.  Scan the QR code, and you get the digital version.

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Thursday, March 21, 2013

| March 21, 2013

mcdowellrobertFCC Commissioner Robert McDowell to Step Down.  Republican FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell announces that he will exit his seat within the next few weeks – 14 months before his term was set to expire.  The National Association of Broadcasters president and CEO Gordon Smith says of McDowell, “Robert McDowell has been a remarkably gifted public servant during his seven-year tenure at the FCC.  His good humor and grace have been matched only by his ardent support for fair media ownership rules and full-throated support for a vibrant First Amendment.  Commissioner McDowell will succeed in whatever path he chooses, and NAB wishes him well.”

launchpad logoNew York Public Radio Shows Repped by Launchpad Digital Media; Available on PodcastOne.com.  The Norm Pattiz-founded Launchpad Digital Media and digital content sitenypr logo PodcastOne.com work out a deal with New York Public Radio-produced content including “Freakonomics,” “RadioLab,” “Here’s the Thing with Alec Baldwin” and “On the Media.”  The podcasts of these shows will be represented for advertising sales by Launchpad and available on PodcastOne.com.  Launchpad says, “PodcastOne.com is already home to over 200 popular podcasts including CBS News, Adam Carolla, Dennis Miller, Ron Paul, Penn Jillette, Laura Ingraham, Maria Menounos, Tom Green, Dr. Drew and many more.”  Westwood One founder and Launchpad/PodcastOne.com chairman Norm Pattiz says, “New York Public Radio produces some of the most compelling, popular programming and we are proud to welcome these powerhouse audience magnets to the pattiznormLaunchpad/PodcastOne.com family.”  Director of digital underwriting for NYPR Sarah van Mosel states, “We’re so excited that Launchpad Digital Media has recognized the value of reaching the on-demand audience.  By harnessing this amazing content, Launchpad is paving the way for brands to finally connect intimately with listeners on a grand scale.”  According to Launchpad president Kit Gray, “These four podcasts alone are already downloaded more than 10 million times every month.  We are delighted to give our clients access to this loyal, educated and affluent audience that will continue to grow.”

nbcsportsradio logoNBC Sports Radio and Dial Global Name Brian Kenny Late Morning Host.  Filling the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon ET slot on the national sports talk radio network will be former ESPN personality and well-known sports media figure Brian Kenny.   The NBC Sports and Dial Global 24/7 sports talk network kennybrianproject debuts on April 1.  Kenny hosts “Clubhouse Confidential” on MLB Network and covers boxing for Showtime.  NBC and Dial Global say Kenny is a “respected interviewer who will go one-on-one with some of the biggest names in sports.  Additionally known for his adept skill as a ‘numbers cruncher,’ he will also go beyond the scores and delve into the data, breaking down the analytics of the games.”  Kenny hosted his own show on ESPN Radio and also anchored “SportsCenter” and “Baseball Tonight,” and called play-by-play for ESPN’s “Wednesday Night Baseball” and the “World Baseball Classic.”  Kenny was named “Media Personality of the Year” by SI.com in 2004.  He states, “I’m thrilled to be joining the team at NBC Sports Radio and Dial Global and I am excited to be back on the airwaves.  We look forward to building a show that fosters intelligent sports conversation with in-depth analysis.  It’s going to be a blast.”

sykescharlieWTMJ, Milwaukee Personality Charlie Sykes Hosts Annual “Insight 2013” Event.  The annual “Insight” live program is a big promotional event for Journal Broadcast Group’s WTMJ, Milwaukee and late-morning personality Charlie Sykes.  “Insight 2013” takes place at a local hotel from 6:30 pm to 9:00 pm on Wednesday, March 27, is broadcast live on WTMJ and features Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, Wisconsin Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch, United States Senator Ron Johnson, United States Congressman Paul Ryan and other office holders and media personalities.  Sykes’ own RightWisconsin.com – a digital destination for conservative content – is sponsoring the event.  In addition to being broadcast live, the program will be recorded and re-broadcast on Sykes’ 8:30 am to 12:00 noon show.

detersericEric Deters Leaves Morning Show Role on ClassX in Cincinnati.  The practicing attorney and well-known Cincinnati talk radio personality is leaving his role as morning host at Spryex Communications’ classic rock duo WMWX, Miamitown, Ohio and WKCX, Crittenden, Kentucky.  Eric Deters’ law practice is growing too much for him to dedicate the time necessary to hosting a three-hour morning program, ClassX manager Bill Spry tells the Cincinnati Enquirer’s John Kiesewetter.  “Eric is taking a sabbatical possibly through the end of the year due to his law business exploding.  He may be doing a weekly show, or possibly a daily morning segment.  We’re not sure.”  Deters, who’s hosted shows for Clear Channel on WLW and Christian Broadcasting Systems’ former talk WQRT, began hosting the morning show in September of 2012.  Spryex brings Snake & Carson aboard to host the 6:00 am to 9:00 am program.

tuneinlogoTuneIn and Dial Global Agree to Sports Programming Deal.  Digital content aggregator TuneIn and Dial Global strike a deal for the former to feature select Dial Global-produced sports content.  The arrangement begins with full, live coverage of the 2013 NCAA College Basketball Tournament.  TuneIn VP of programming Kevin Straley says, “TuneIn is excited to align with a company known for delivering superior programming.  We’re thrilled by the opportunity to deliver exciting play-by-play basketball to all our listeners around the world.”  TuneIn will also feature Dial Global’s play-by-play coverage of the Division I Women’s Basketball Championship, Men’s Frozen Four, the Men’s and Women’s College World Series and the Division I Men’s Lacrosse Championship semifinals and championship.

edisonresearchArbitron and Edison Research to Offer ‘Infinite Dial’ Webinar.  Scheduled for Tuesday, April 2, “The Infinite Dial 2013: Navigating Digital Platforms” from Arbitron and Edison Research will address the latest trends in consumer use of media, technology, and digital platforms.  Some of the issues to be reviewed include:  the growing penetration of smartphones and tablets and the ways people use these devices; radio’s continuing role in the lives of the digital consumer: at-work, in the car and as the “last word” before shopping; the continued growth of online radio usage and time spent listening; an update on social media use by brand and age demographics; and the devices people use to wake up in the morning.

Sequester Effects, Obama in Israel, Dr. Ben Carson-mania, North Korea Bluster, ‘Honors Night’ Cancellation, and the Soaring Dow Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/20).  The effects of the sequester; President Obama’s trip to Israel; the sudden popularity of Johns Hopkins neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson among conservatives; North Korea’s bellicose posturing; the cancellation of “honors night” at a Massachusetts High School; and the high-flying Dow were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, November 26, 2012

| November 26, 2012

CBS Sports Radio Network Announces National Morning Show: Tiki Barber, Brandon Tierney and Dana Jacobson.  When the CBS Sports Radio Network officially begins on January 2, former New York Giants great Tiki Barber, sports talk personality and current KGME, San Francisco afternoon co-host Brandon Tierney and longtime ESPN broadcaster Dana Jacobson will make up the morning drive show airing from 6:00 am to 9:00 am ET.  CBS Radio president and CEO Dan Mason states, “CBS Sports Radio has been able to attract some of the most renowned names in the business, and Tiki, Brandon and Dana are just the latest example of the network’s star power.  We’ve assembled an impressive group of professional athletes and accomplished broadcasters to bring fans unrivaled sports commentary, and the most entertaining lineup in all of sports radio.  The launch of CBS Sports Radio provides an additional way for us to use our content, debuting original programs to millions of listeners across the country on day one.  The network’s reach in the major markets is unsurpassed, and the marketplace has taken notice of our depth and broad range of offerings.”  CBS Radio is announcing the morning show will clear on such outlets as: WIP-AM, Philadelphia); WFOM-AM, Atlanta; WXYT-AM, Detroit; WJZ-AM, Baltimore; KFNZ-AM and KJQS-AM, Salt Lake City; and WSJZ-FM, Orlando.

Another Look Back at the Harsh Reality of Sandy and its Intense Relationship with Radio.  American voters are conditioned every four years to believe that the presidential ballot they are about to cast will be the most crucial such decision they will make in their entire lifetimes.  That was certainly a dominant theme of the 2012 campaign, yet less than 10 days before Election Day, something else began percolating that had approximately 20% of the country hitting the “pause” button to politics: Sandy.  Innocuous as the name sounds, “Sandy” unfortunately arrived as advertised and now, weeks later, harsh reality remains in its wake.  It is impossible to factor precious loss of lives and the shattering of countless dreams into the billions of dollars of wreckage caused by one of the unkindest of oxymorons – a so-called “perfect storm.”  As another testament to our democracy, the November 6 election went off without a hitch and the country would ready itself for one of its proudest traditions – setting aside a day of thanksgiving (albeit followed by the dubious recent sales custom known as “Black Friday”).  Radio stations though in locales that include the country’s #1 market – New York City – are continuing to focus on what has been consuming them since (roughly) Saturday, October 27.  Suffering through Sandy was brutal.  For many, enduring the aftermath is considerably worse.  As the radio industry returns from the Thanksgiving weekend, TALKERS takes another look back at the our medium’s intense relationship with the “weather event” that was so dominant a factor in current events that it even upstaged a presidential election – as seen through the eyes, lives and dedicated work of broadcasters at CBS Radio‘s all- news WCBS-AM, New York and Cumulus Media‘s news/talk WMAL, Washington, DC.   To read TALKERS managing editor/west coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian‘s epic article click here.

WTDY-AM/FM, Madison Drops News/Talk; Stunting with Christmas Music.  The Wisconsin State Journal reports that “several broadcasters” have been let go by Midwest Family Broadcasting as the simulcast of news/talk programming on WTDY AM 1670 and WTDY FM 106.7 ended late on Wednesday and was replaced with Christmas music.  Talk personality John “Sly” Sylvester and news director Amy Barrilleaux both communicated via social media that they had been let go by the station and that it is flipping formats but that they knew no more.  Midwest Family owns seven stations in the market that include: rock WJJO; AC WMGN; rhythmic CHR WJQM; country WWQM; WLMV Spanish music; and oldies WHIT.  The word on the street is that the simulcast will become a CBS Sports Radio Network affiliate on January 2 but that has not been confirmed.

ESPN in Agreement for Exclusive Rights to College Football Playoff Contests.  The sports giant announces it has reached agreements in principle to obtain exclusive rights to broadcast the games and the affiliated programming for the college football championship and playoff games that will begin after the 2014 season and begin in January of 2015 when the new playoff system begins.  ESPN Radio will be part of the broadcast of these games.  The announcement was made Wednesday by ESPN president John Skipper and Bill Hancock, executive director of the BCS and the future college football playoffs.  Skipper states, “Because of college football’s widespread popularity and the incredible passion of its fans, few events are more meaningful than these games.  We are ecstatic at the opportunity to continue to crown a college football champion on ESPN’s outlets for years to come, the perfect finale to our year-round commitment to the sport.”  ESPN is in the midst of a four-year agreement for the Bowl Championship Series (BCS).  The network televises all five games from the current format, including the Rose, Sugar, Orange and Fiesta Bowls, as well as the BCS National Championship Game.  The two BCS National Championship Games on ESPN (2011, 2012) have generated the two largest audiences for any program in the history of cable television.  The new playoff will be administered by the Football Bowl Subdivision conferences and independent institutions.  The agreement in principle is subject to completion of definitive documentation and all necessary approvals.

Stephen King-Owned WZLO and WZON, Bangor Progressive Talk Simulcast Splits.  “The Pulse” website states the stations have split their simulcast of progressive talk and are featuring Christmas music on the FM signal with a “BIG surprise” the station will reveal after Christmas.  The stations have been a simulcast for the past 2 ½ years – first as a sports talk station, then as the progressive talk outlet.  The FM side had been playing a triple A format prior to the simulcast.  WZON at 620 AM continues to air a progressive talk format featuring a local morning show with Don Cookson, WYD Media’s Stephanie Miller, Ed Schultz, Premiere NetworksRandi Rhodes, Thom Hartmann, Cox Media’s Clark Howard and Leslie Marshall.

April NAB Show to Feature Q&A with News Corp’s Chase Carey.  The National Association of Broadcasters announces the spring NAB Show scheduled for April 6-11 in Las Vegas will feature a question-and-answer session with News Corporation president and chief operating officer Chase Carey.  NAB president and CEO Gordon Smith will conduct the session.  Smith says, “As a leading executive of one of the world’s preeminent media companies, Chase Carey has valuable insight into today’s multi-platform global media environment.  I look forward to our conversation at the NAB Show and hearing Mr. Carey’s vision of what the future holds for the media business worldwide.”  Carey has served in his role at News Corp since July of 2009.  Prior to that he was president and CEO at DIRECTV, Inc.

French-Language Quebec Talk Host Suspended for Anti-Semitic Incident.  CHMP, Quebec late night talk show host Jacques Fabi has been suspended from his program after allowing a female caller to his program make anti-Semitic statements.  The caller was responding to Fabi’s discussion of the violence in Israel and Gaza and blamed the Jews, then went on to intimate that Hitler should have been allowed to finish the job.  Fabi never stopped her and, according to complaints to the CRTC and the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council, seemed to encourage her rant.  The CBC reports station spokesman David Crete said, “The comments that were aired earlier this week are unacceptable…hosts and journalists are subject to ethical rules.  If they are not met, penalties are applied.”  It is not clear how long Fabi’s suspension will be.  CHMP is owned by Cogeco.

British Broadcaster Fined for Anti-Gay Remarks.  The British agency that regulates broadcasting content – Ofcom – levied a $6,400 fine against the company that owns a Leeds, England station that serves the South Asian community.  The incident stems from a program hosted by Rubina Nasir – known as Sister Ruby – in which she interpreted passages in the Koran that indicated homosexuals should be punished – physically and mentally – for practicing their sexuality.  Ofcom ruled the statements made during the broadcast were likely to “encourage or incite the commission of a crime.”

Rock 102 Thanksgiving Tradition.  WAQY, Springfield, Massachusetts morning drive team Bax & O’Brien helped gather food and money for those in need in the area with the broadcast of their annual Mayflower Marathon food drive over the Thanksgiving week.  Hosts Mike Baxendale (center) and John O’Brien (far right) are pictured here announcing a donation of $10,000 to the Open Pantry – a local organization that provides food to those in need.  The annual charity event is a signature of Saga Communications’ “Rock 102” and the Bax & O’Brien morning show during which the duo broadcast continuously for two days while encouraging listeners to fill a Mayflower moving van with food staples for the hungry.