Tag: "Greater Media"

Friday, September 29, 2017

| September 29, 2017

Michael Harrison Says Talk Radio Is at the Forefront of Radio’s Evolution into the Digital Era.  At this morning’s (9/29) weekly meeting of the TALKERS editorial board, the publication’s founder addressed the relationship between talk radio and music radio from a sales perspective saying that the foreground nature of talk radio and the significant influence its talent have over the actions of its loyal listeners gives advertisers a tremendous bang for their buck – “on a dollar by dollar basis, as much as three times the potency of music radio for a wide variety of general consumer products including restaurants, automobiles, appliances, clothing, travel and health care.”  According to Michael Harrison, spoken word radio’s influence on keeping the medium pertinent extends beyond advertising power.  He states, “Talk show programming is at the forefront of three movements that make it the most formidable force in radio today.  These include the transition and expansion of audio media from on-air to online platforms; the delivery of effective direct-response marketing to advertisers; and continuing influence in public policy and the marketplace of ideas.  In today’s noisy world, influence is valuable currency unto itself.”  Harrison brought the issue up at the meeting after having recently been asked to comment on the subject of selling talk radio for a story being written by a major consumer publication.

Deborah Rodriguez New AM Anchor on WCBS News Radio.  Starting Monday (10/2), radio news pro Deborah Rodriguez is the weekday morning drive time anchor for CBS News Radio.  Rodriguez will anchor the top-of-the-hour newscasts on the network starting at 5:00 am.  She takes over for Frank Settipani, who handled the morning anchor position for the past 10 years. Rodriguez has been with CBS News Radio since 2014 as a writer, reporter and correspondent anchoring such major news events as the San Bernardino terrorist attack, the shooting of five Dallas police officers, the presidential campaign, the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, and Hurricane Harvey.  Between 1992 and 2017, Rodriguez also worked at WCBS-AM, New York “Newsradio 880” anchoring middays and the afternoon drive dayparts.  She was WCBS-AM news director from 2008 through 2014.

Shelman to Program KBOI, Boise.  Afternoon drive talk show host Nate Shelman is adding program director duties to his role with Cumulus Media’s news/talk KBOI-AM.  The company had been searching for a new program director and, in a memo to the staff from vice president and market manager Don Morin, Shelman is quoted saying, “I consider it an honor and a great pleasure to continue keeping KBOI as successful as it has been and will work hard with everybody to accomplish and surpass our goals!”

WTIC, Hartford Welcomes Bob Cox Back to Morning Show.  Hartford news/talk WTIC-AM “NewsTalk 1080” announces a change to “The Morning Show with Ray Dunaway” as meteorologist Joe Furey exits the show and Bob Cox returns to serve as weekday morning meteorologist.  Cox previously held the position from 1992 to 2014.   WTIC-AM program director Jenneen Lee says, “Together, Bob, Sam, Steve and AccuWeather will provide important local weather forecasts, without the hype, to WTIC’s loyal listeners throughout Connecticut.  We’re thrilled to welcome Bob back to the station and feel great about the dynamic team we have in place.”

iHeartMedia Names Drew Salamon to New Regional Sales Post.  Radio sales pro Drew Salamon is moving from iHeartMedia’s Pittsburgh Region to the Virginia-Carolina Region to take on the regional vice president of sales position.  iHM Virginia-Carolina Region president Dave Carwile says, “Drew is a natural leader and has a proven track record of success in this role.  His experience as the region senior vice president of sales in iHeartMedia’s Pittsburgh Region, oversight of sales efforts with world championship teams like Pittsburgh Steelers Radio Network, back-to-back Stanley Cup Champion Pittsburgh Penguins Radio Network and his tremendous passion for helping clients grow their business makes Drew the perfect choice for this important role.”

TALKERS News Notes.  Satellite radio operator SiriusXM announces the appointment of Megan Liberman to the position of SVP, news, talk & entertainment.  She comes to the company from the digital world, having most recently served as vice president and editor-in-chief at Yahoo News Group.  To this position she brings experience from the print news industry, having served for 13 years with The New York Times, ultimately as deputy news editor.  The following executives will report to her: Dave Gorab, VP/GM, talk programming; Tim Johnson, PD, entertainment programming; Steve Sturniolo, PD, entertainment programming; Jack Vaughn, SVP, comedy programming…..The Boston Globe and public radio news talker WBUR, Boston are partnering for a new, daily podcast designed to provide “in-depth analysis and thought-provoking discourse on sports.”  Titled, “Season Ticket” (and launching on 10/2), it will be hosted by Globe sports columnist Chris Gasper.  A preview episode is available and delves into the NFL protests issues from a local perspective …..WHMP-AM, Northampton, Massachusetts morning drive personality Bob Flaherty is training hard for his October 6 ping pong marathon fundraiser.  Flaherty and the Saga Communications news/talk station will be at Zing! Table Tennis in Northampton from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm as Flaherty attempts to play for 12 hours straight — against a number of local politicians as well as regular citizens — while raising cash for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield’s refugees resettlement project.  Check out the promo poster at right with Flaherty dressed up like John McEnroe.

Smyth Inducted into Massachusetts Broadcasters Hall of Fame.  Pictured above are Beasley Media Group CEO Caroline Beasley (left) and former Greater Media chairman and CEO Peter Smyth (right) at yesterday’s Massachusetts Broadcasters Hall of Fame Induction Luncheon.  Smyth was among the 2017 Inductees recognized for their life-long contributions and commitment to the broadcasting industry.  Caroline Beasley commented, “On behalf of the entire Beasley Media Group family, we are thrilled for Peter in receiving this well-deserved honor that celebrates his many outstanding contributions and achievements in the broadcasting Industry.”  Beasley Media Group acquired Greater Media’s radio stations in 2016.

NFL Anthem Protests Top News/Talk Story for Week of September 25-29.  The protests by NFL players during the playing of the national anthem and President Trump’s admonition of the protesters was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the Trump administration’s tax overhaul plan.  Coming in at #3 was the GOP’s attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, followed by Alabama judge Roy Moore’s victory in the GOP Senate special election primary 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.

KHOW, Denver Talk Show Host and Former FEMA Director Michael Brown is this Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  The latest installment of the award-winning PodcastOne media series “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison” posted on 9/26 features a fascinating, wide-ranging conversation between the TALKERS founder and KHOW, Denver host Michael Brown.  Brown, a non-practicing attorney, hosts the daily 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm show on the iHeartMedia powerhouse. He gained fame (including a degree of infamy) while serving as head of FEMA during the post-Hurricane Katrina days of the President George W. Bush administration when he became the “poster boy” for all that went wrong in the government’s handling of the devastating crisis.  Brown – a member of theTALKERS “Heavy Hundred” –  has gone on to become a tremendously successful radio personality. He has also evolved into one of the nation’s leading “go-to” experts on the volatile intersection of natural disasters and politics.  According to Harrison, “Michael Brown has evolved into one of the most original, knowledgeable and forthright hosts in talk radio today.  His experience in the Department of Homeland Security [that incorporates FEMA], that included a trial by fire in the media in the aftermath of Katrina, has given him first-hand knowledge and extraordinary wisdom in the complex subject of government and personal responsibility during and after natural disasters.”  Harrison continues, “He has also developed tremendous savvy about the modern-day issues of the radio business including navigating social media, accumulating workable cross-platform metrics, and balancing local and national content in the age of Donald Trump – topics we explore in this conversation.”  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.  On air pro Shawnda McNeal joins Cumulus Media’s country KIZN, Boise “Kissin’ 92.3” where she’ll be part of the morning show with Cory Mikhals and will also host the midday program from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm.  During her career, McNeal has worked on air at KDGE, Dallas “102.1 The Edge,” KHMX, Houston “Mix 96.5” and others.  Station program director Hank Aaron says, “We did an extensive national search to find the exact right person to join Cory Mikhals for mornings at ‘Kissin’ 92.3.’  Shawnda not only brings morning show experience but the energy, creativity, and passion to win.  Can’t wait for them to start this Monday!”…..Envision Networks expands its partnership with Sun Broadcast Group to include additional affiliate sales support for Sun’s nationally syndicated shows, “Little Steven’s Underground Garage” and “Slacker & Steve.”  Envision Networks continues its affiliation support for Sun’s Shazam for Radio platform.  The two companies have been working closely together for years on various products including advertising sales support for Envision Hispanic and general market products including “Six Second Reviews,” AudioMonky, “Our Auto Expert” and Collin Raye’s “Rewind Country.”  Envision president and CEO Danno Wolkoff says, “With the continued success of Shazam for Radio affiliations, we are thrilled to add ‘Slacker & Steve’ and ‘Little Steven’s Underground Garage’ to the list of programming we can offer radio stations.  Sun Broadcast Group represents some of the best talent available for syndication and we look forward to expanding their current footprints throughout the USA.”…..Country superstar Kenny Chesney (right) is co-hosting “Country Countdown USA” with Lon Helton (left) this weekend (9/30-10/1).   On the program, the two discuss Chesney’s ​Love For Love City Fund, aimed at helping the residents of the U.S. Virgin Islands, hard hit by Hurricane Irma.  Chesney also discusses his recent shows at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts, his current hit “All The Pretty Girls,” and his forthcoming album Live In No Shoes Nation.

Monday, May 15, 2017

| May 15, 2017

WFAN Sells Studio Naming Rights for ‘Boomer & Carton’ to Investors Bank.  New York City sports talk WFAN enters into a multi-year partnership with Investors Bank under which the bank will become the exclusive studio naming rights partner of the station’s “Boomer & Carton” show.  Investors Bank CEO Kevin Cummings says, “As we look to expand our profile throughout the NY and NJ region, partnering with organizations that share our values is important to us.  Investors Bank is looking forward to a very strong relationship with WFAN and we’re excited about having the ‘Boomer & Carton’ show broadcast from the Investors Bank Studio at WFAN.”

Alpha Media Launches Peoria Sports Talker.  In Peoria, Alpha Media launches a sports talk outlet – the company’s seventh station in the market – branded “95.9 The Sports Nut.”  So far, the station features Fox Sports Radio programming including “The Herd with Colin Cowherd,” Dan Patrick and Doug Gottlieb and promises more programming news soon.  It airs on WNGY-HD2 and translator W251BQ.

Brown Named Sales Manager for WPHT, Philadelphia. Coming over to CBS RADIO from his most recent position with Greater Media as group sales manager for the company’s Philadelphia stations prior to their acquisition by Beasley Broadcast Group is Jim Brown. He’ll serve as sales manager for news/talk WPHT.  Brown is a Philly native well acquainted with the market, having started his career as an account manager at KYW-TV in 1983.  VP/director of sales for CBS RADIO Philadelphia Dave Scopinich comments, “We’re so fortunate to add someone of Jim’s talent and experience to our sales management team.  Jim is a natural coach and leader.  He understands how to create multi-platform campaigns that deliver results for clients.  He’s a perfect fit at 1210 WPHT.”

Sean Hannity, Jim Rome and Robin Quivers Among Nominees for National Radio Hall of Fame Class of 2017. The voting for the National Radio Hall of Fame class of 2017 begins today (5/15).  There are 24 nominees in six categories.  Four of those categories will be voted on by a panel comprised of nearly 1,000 industry professionals.  The other two categories will be voted on by the public, beginning June 5 for eight nominations for Music Format On-Air Personality and Spoken Word On-Air Personality.  National Radio Hall of Fame chairman Kraig Kitchin says, “As an industry, we should all be proud of our incredibly diverse community of talent who have made and continue to make radio great.  This year’s class of nominees is a fine representation of why millions of people connect to our medium on a daily basis.”  News/talk and sports talk radio nominees include: Sean Hannity; Jim Rome; Mike Greenberg & Mike Golic; the Fabulous Sports Babe Nanci Donnellan; Robin Quivers; Diane Rehm; KFI, Los Angeles’ Bill Handel; SiriusXM’s Joe Madison; WFLA-AM, Tampa’s Jack Harris & Tedd Webb; and public radio shows “Marketplace” and “Wait, Wait…Don’t Tell Me.”  Inductees will be announced June 26.  The induction ceremony will be held November 2 at the Museum of Broadcast and Communications in downtown Chicago.  See the full list of nominees here.

TALKERS News Notes. In New Hampshire, Great Eastern Radio agrees to sell three FMs to longtime Granite State broadcaster/engineer Dirk Nadon.  After FCC approval of the deal, he’ll take over the operation of sports talk WZEI, Meredith “Sportsradio 101.5,” sports talk WTPL, Hillsboro “The Pulse 107.7” and rock WLKZ, Wolfeboro “The Hawk 104.9.”  Nadon says, “I am very excited to return to ownership in New Hampshire radio which began when my father and I originally put on the air the 101.5 frequency that I am re-purchasing in this transaction.  I feel like it is a coming home for this station and for me.”  WZEI airs programming from the WEEI Sports Radio Network and Boston Red Sox baseball.  WTPL also carries Red Sox baseball along with local sports talk…..Salem Radio Network News is offering a five-part series on media bias to interested stations for free.  Salem Radio Network VP/news & talk programming Tom Tradup says the news series was produced by SRN News anchor Keith Peters and features comments from former CBS News correspondent Sharyl Attkisson, Tim Graham of the Washington, DC-based Media Research Center, and others.  He says stations wishing to incorporate this material into local talk shows or newscasts will receive scripts and audio clips that is also free of any reference to SRN News.  If interested, email Tradup at ttradup@srnradio.com…..Compass Media Networks announces it will offer 72 college and pro football broadcasts this fall.  The slate of NCAA and NFL games includes exclusive coverage of Oakland Raiders games and full national coverage of Dallas Cowboys games.  Compass is also announcing its commitment to play-by-play announcer Chris Carrino’s fight against Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD) by encouraging people to visit fightforchris.com and donate to the cause.

Reminder! AMC-8 Service Is Going Away.  From your friends at Westwood One comes this reminder that in 45 days, “radio stations around the country will lose all radio network programming from all major companies if they do not re-aim their satellites from AMC-8 to the new AMC-18 at 105 degrees West Longitude.  On June 30, AMC-8 will no longer serve as the radio network “neighborhood,” and there will not be a suitable replacement satellite at the 139 degree position.  It has exceeded its design life and is not being replaced by an equivalent C-band satellite at the same location.  The five major commercial radio networks – Learfield, Orbital Media Networks (OMNi), Premiere Networks, Skyview Networks and Westwood One – now have their full complements of satellite-delivered programming available on their new frequencies on AMC-18.  This also includes programming from syndicators who lease their satellite time from these five companies. For more information, click here.

TAB Radio Institute at University of Tennessee Begins Today. At the University of Tennessee in Knoxville today, more than 40 broadcast professionals will begin leading sessions for the 25 students accepted into the inaugural Tennessee Association of Broadcasters Radio Talent Institute.  The Radio Talent Institute is spearheaded by radio consultant Dan Vallie.  TAB president Whit Adamson says of the 10-day program, “The student preparation and focus for the Radio Talent Institute is like nothing else we could get involved with.  This course gets them ready for graduation and the next step in their careers, which is a valuable asset to any station. They have been exposed to all facets of a station and capable of sitting down at any broadcast radio or television facility and prepared to add something.”  Sessions throughout the Institute will be led by broadcasters from Midwest Communications, Scripps Radio Group, 5 Star Radio, Cumulus, Thunderbolt Broadcasting, Saga, iHeartMedia, Cromwell, Entercom, and others.  Vallie says, “We are very excited to be partnering with the University of Tennessee and working with Sam Swan and the College of Communication and Information, and with Benny Smith, at their award-winning college radio station, WUTK. And we couldn’t be happier to partner with Whit Adamson and the TAB, who have been supportive of the National Radio Talent System almost from the very beginning.”

Herskovitz: Emerging Trend in Radio Ads?  Radio sales maven Al Herskovitz says we may be seeing the emergence of a new trend in radio advertising – the use of old, classic song snippets to hawk modern goods and services.  As Herskovitz notes, “The wide world of commercials is no different than any other segment of society.  It goes through its periods of fads and fashions.”  Although the radio ad jingle is not as popular as it used to be, and popular music songs have long been used in commercials, this trend involves a slightly different twist.  Read Herskovitz’s column here.

Fox News Radio’s Starnes Delivers Commencement Address.  Pictured above are Fox News Radio personality Todd Starnes (right) and Toccoa Falls College president Dr. Robert Myers (left).  Starnes delivered the commencement address at the Toccoa Falls, Georgia school and was presented with the President’s Medallion in recognition of meritorious service.

Worldwide Cyber-Attack, Trump Threatens End of Press Briefings, Comey Firing Aftermath, North Korea Missile Test, ‘SNL’ Spicer-Trump Bit, and MLB, NBA, and NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The ransomware attack that’s affected more than 100 countries; President Donald Trump’s threat to end press briefings for the sake of “accuracy”; the political effects of the dismissal of FBI Director James Comey and speculation about who will take his place; North Korea’s test of a long-range missile; the latest Sean Spicer-Donald Trump skit on “Saturday Night Live”; and MLB, NBA, and NHL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. The weekly “Country Club with Dee Jay Silver” show returns to Compass Media Networks.  The program airs Friday and Saturday nights and is currently heard on more than 60 country stations across the nation.  Dee Jay Silver says, “I am thrilled to rejoin Compass Media Networks.  This is where it all began for me a few years ago and I look forward to a long-term partnership.”  Compass is providing syndication and affiliate and ad sales…..Reach Media is launching a new weekend show called, appropriately, “The Weekend Blast” with co-hosts and hip hop legends Ed Lover and Monie Love.   Reach says that the two-hour show will “give listeners their hip hop culture fix with celebrity interviews, entertainment news and the best music for every generation.  It debuts on Saturday (5/20) in more than 15 markets including Philadelphia, Atlanta and Dallas.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

| May 2, 2017

Entercom Names Sports Exec Mike Dee to New President Post.  Named to this newly created position – president of Entercom sports – is professional sports executive Mike Dee.  He comes to Entercom’s Philadelphia headquarters from San Diego where he was president and CEO of the MLB’s Padres.  He’s also served as president and CEO with the NFL’s Miami Dolphins and as COO of the Boston Red Sox.  In this new position with Entercom, Dee will be working on “creating value for the company’s sports business enterprise…with a focus on revenue development from national sales and marketing programs, new platform opportunities, key partnerships, expanded sports distribution, direct-to-consumer offerings and other entrepreneurial initiatives at the national level. He will be responsible for elevating Entercom’s position as a leading sports media partner in support of the company’s expansive suite of local sports radio stations and personalities and sports play-by-play relationships.”  After the closing of the Entercom-CBS merger, the new company will have an increased portfolio of sports talk stations and affiliated digital platforms.  Entercom CEO David Field states, “Mike is a highly talented and accomplished executive with over 20 years of leadership experience with some of the most respected organizations in the world of sports.  The creation of this new role underscores our commitment to leveraging our sports platforms to compete more effectively with other media as we drive new opportunities and expand our customer base.  Mike is uniquely equipped to help us develop cohesive national opportunities across sports and we are delighted to welcome him onboard.”

Ernie Brown New Host of ‘Trending Today.’ After the recent departure of host Rusty Humphries, Liftable Media announces it brings talk radio pro Ernie Brown aboard as the new host of “Trending Today USA.”  Brown has worked in markets such as Houston, Austin, Cleveland, Las Vegas, and San Diego, as well as for seven years in mornings at KRLD, Dallas and five years at KOMO-AM, Seattle.  Liftable Media CEO Patrick Brown says, “We are innovating and attempting something new in audio programing.  We are creating a social media news feed program and placing that programing in traditional broadcast radio.  We see over-the-air radio as a natural addition to the distribution points for the content we create every day.”  The program is syndicated by the USA Radio Networks.

Beasley Broadcast Group Reports on First Quarter.  This 2017 first quarter financial report from Beasley Broadcast Group is a bit more complicated due to the company’s acquisition of the Greater Media stations and the pending deal to sell the Charlotte stations.  In reporting the 2017 and 2016 first quarter pro-forma results, these numbers reflect the legacy Beasley Broadcast Group broadcasting and digital operations and the results from the Greater Media stations, excluding the divested Greater Media Charlotte stations, as if the transaction had been completed January 1, 2016.  Chief executive officer Caroline Beasley reports, “Our first quarter revenue, SOI and net income growth reflect the contributions from the Greater Media stations, partially offset by the absence of political revenue and softer national revenue trends.  On a reported basis, the 95.7% increase in consolidated first quarter net revenue drove SOI growth of 31.1%.  Pro forma revenue was down 5.7%, or $3.3 million, of which approximately $1.0 million was attributable to the lack of political revenue, with the remainder attributable to transitional matters related to the Greater Media stations as well as lower national revenues. This was partially offset by a 5.7% reduction in pro-forma first quarter operating expenses…On a stand-alone basis, Beasley legacy station revenue declined by $2 million, with approximately 35% of the decline related to the absence of political revenue and the remainder partially attributable to the reformatting of a station in Tampa-St. Petersburg market. The Greater Media properties had a first quarter revenue decline of approximately 4% on a stand-alone basis, which was attributable to the political spending levels, as well as certain specific integration-related issues particularly in Philadelphia and declines in national revenues.”

Hannity Denies He’s Trying to Get Out of Fox News Channel.  In the immediate aftermath of the exit of Fox News Channel co-president Bill Shine, there was speculation in the form of a Mediaite piece citing Fox insiders who said Fox News Channel star Sean Hannity is negotiating his exit from the company and would probably be out by Friday.  Hannity responded via Tweet to an Independent Journal Review story reporting that he is not negotiating an exit, writing, “If I have anything to say about @FoxNews, I will say it tonight at 10 est.  All I’ll say now is this is true,” referring to the IJR report that he’s not leaving. With the recent ouster of Bill O’Reilly, and the exits of Megyn Kelly and Greta Van Susteren, there’s been a lot of chatter about wholesale changes at Fox News Channel, even a potential shift in programming philosophy.  However, even as Fox adjusts its prime time programming, there doesn’t seem to be any evidence of major changes.

Beasley Retains Lori Burgess as Integrated Marketing Strategy Consultant. Working in area of content and advertising alignment, Lori Burgess is being retained by Beasley Media Group as an integrated marketing strategy consultant.  The company says that Burgess’ expertise is a “focus on building revenue through creative multi-platform marketing and new media solutions.”  In the past she’s worked with such brands as The Hollywood Reporter, Prevention Magazine, Conde Nast’s Mademoiselle and House & Garden; Elle Magazine; Seventeen Magazine, and Niche Media.

Salem Tweaks Lineup at KCBQ, San Diego.  Saying it wants to use its two top-rated hosts in mornings, Salem Media Group adjusts the morning drive lineup on news/talk KCBQ-AM, San Diego “AM 1170 The Answer.”  Beginning May 15, the Hugh Hewitt show will be expanded and air from 3:00 am to 7:00 am, followed by two live hours of the Mike Gallagher show from 7:00am to 9:00 am.  Salem SVP of spoken word Phil Boyce states, “Salem Radio Network now provides live news and issue-oriented programming from 6:00 am to 12:00 midnight ET with some of the best hosts on radio.  This new lineup will be well received in San Diego and will allow us to properly use the Salem assets at our disposal in the most efficient way. These two hosts are at the top of their game, and we’re delighted to give them more time in such an important market.”

TALKERS News Notes. Legendary Dallas station WBAP-AM is celebrating its 95th year on the air today (5/2).  The Cumulus Media news/talk signal is one of the oldest radio stations in Texas.  It was founded by Fort Worth businessman Amon G. Carter, creator and publisher of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, and debuted on May 2, 1922, when stations in Texas were still given call signs beginning with a “W” instead of a “K.”  Pictured at right is one of the station’s first remote broadcast vehicles…..There were a number of cuts at iHeartMedia stations yesterday (5/1), including KOA, Denver sports director Mark Johnson.  He exits the station after 13 years there.  He continues his duties as the radio play-by-play voice of the University of Colorado Buffaloes via his deal with Learfield Sports…..Also exiting an iHeartMedia station is sports talk host Matt Shepard, who departs WDFN, Detroit after 16 years there.  The Detroit News reports that there were also cuts at the company’s Grand Rapids station group…..New York radio personality Sid Rosenberg – co-host of the Bernie & Sid midday show with Bernard McGuirk – is venturing back into the sports talk realm and will start hosting a weekend show on the CBS Sports Radio network on May 20 from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm.

Trump’s First 100 Days, Trump’s Andrew Jackson-Civil War Statements, Status of New Health Care Bill, Trump Budget, UT Stabbings, Trump’s Kim Jong Un and Duterte Meetings, Climate Change Controversy, May Day Protests, and MLB, NBA and NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/1).  The assessment of the first 100 days of the Trump Administration; President Donald Trump’s historically questionable statements about Andrew Jackson and the cause of the Civil War; the status of a new GOP-authored health care bill; analysis of the Trump Administration’s federal budget proposal; the deadly stabbings at the University of Texas; President Trump’s statements about desiring meetings with Philippines leader Rodrigo Duterte and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un; the reinvigorated debate over climate change and the flak The New York Times is taking for an op-ed by Bret Stephens on the matter; violent May Day protests across the world; and MLB, NBA and NHL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. There appears to have been reductions in forces across numerous iHeartMedia clusters yesterday (5/1), including the company’s parting of ways with Cincinnati programmer Bo Matthews, who was responsible for rock WEBN and CHR WFKS “Kiss 107.”…..Multi-media urban superstar Steve Harvey and iHeartMedia agree to an “exclusive, long-term” contract extension to keep him at the helm of the Premiere Networks-syndicated “Steve Harvey Morning Show.”  Additionally, Harvey will work with iHeartMedia on a variety of projects, including development and creation of new programming and promotions, community and charitable initiatives, as well as multimedia projects and events.  He will also continue to serve as a spokesperson for the company.  iHeartMedia chairman and CEO Bob Pittman states, “Steve is a tremendous talent and has an incredible connection with audiences across multiple platforms, which make him a great asset for iHeartMedia.  We are excited to extend our partnership with Steve, continuing to deliver the most engaging content and top personalities to our listeners nationwide.”…..Hearst’s rock WIYY, Baltimore “98 Rock” announces that Marianne Sierk is joining Kirk McEwen for the afternoon drive show.  “Kirk and Marianne” are now heard weekdays from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm pm. Sierk has headlined comedy clubs across the country and has done numerous television shows, including VH1’s “I Love the 80s,” Tru TV’s “World’s Dumbest,” and “The World Stands Up” for the BBC.  WIYY PD Rick Strauss says, “Kirk was already flying high in afternoons, but when Marianne was a guest on his show a few months ago, it was so much fun that we had to make it permanent.”…..Alpha Media’s triple A KINK, Portland announces the station’s new show lineup that’s designed to “reflect and enhance KINK’s more progressive music stance.”  Corey and Mitch are in AM drive, Jared Aman hold down middays, program director Sean Demery hosts afternoons, Jeff Allen is night jock and Shauna Steele is the overnight personality…..SiriusXM launches a new channel dedicate to the work of The Beatles.  On May 18, the satcaster will debut the channel “created by SiriusXM to present unique and exclusive programming in collaboration with and fully authorized by The Beatles’ Apple Corps Ltd. The Beatles Channel will also be available online and through the SiriusXM app.

PPM Analysis: Adult Contemporary.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a review of the performances of adult contemporary-formatted stations based on data from the March 2017 Nielsen Audio PPM survey.  iHeartMedia’s “Sunny 106.5” in Las Vegas led the pack in improvement (6+ Mon-Sun) in which “roughly half the stations (51%) on our adult contemporary sample falter between February 2017 – March 2017 (6+); 44% improve; and the remaining 5% of the panel is steady (6+).”  Comparing last March to March of this year, with Milwaukee Radio Alliance’s WLDB “B93.3” leading the gainers, “50% of this adult contemporary panel regresses year-to-year and 46% improve; 4% of the panel is unchanged from March 2016.”  Meanwhile, eight adult contemporary stations ranked #1 in their respective markets in March.  See all the data here.

Monday, April 3, 2017

| April 3, 2017

RTDNA Establishes Voice of the First Amendment Task Force.  In obvious response to statements by President Trump that the press is the “enemy of the people,” the Radio Television Digital News Association announces it is creating the Voice of the First Amendment Task Force.  Saying that the task force is being founded amid “growing attacks on journalism,” the RTDNA “is renewing its commitment to speak out for freedom of the press…The goals of the task force include not only reacting to threats to First Amendment Freedoms, but proactively supporting journalists and educating the public about the importance of a free press to our democracy.”  Task Force co-chair Sheryl Worsley comments, “If the public comes to believe the news media are the ‘enemy of the people,’ one of our country’s most fundamental rights could be lost.  Freedom of the press helps ensure a check on government and helps America stay free.”  RTDNA says members of the task force will be meeting with leaders from radio and television station groups across the country at the NAB Show in Las Vegas this month.  They will discuss recent threats to press freedom and begin to develop a strategic plan to protect and promote the vital role of journalism.

Long-Rumored ‘Mike & Mike’ Breakup Still Full of Uncertainties.  A piece in Philly.com reports that the break-up of 18-year ESPN Radio morning show “Mike & Mike” – with Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic – is going to happen, but when and how is still a well-kept secret.  Writer Rob Tornoe cites a Sporting News piece in which both Greenberg and Golic appear to admit the end is near, but both insist they don’t know when or what will take the show’s place in the ESPN Radio lineup.  Also in that story is the report that Mike Greenberg recently signed a new deal with ESPN to work the television side of the company for about $6.5 million per year.  That’s always been part of the narrative – that Greenberg’s new duties necessitate his departure from the radio morning show.  Read the Philly.com piece here.

Derrick Martin Appointed Region President for iHM St. Louis.  Moving from his market president position with iHeartMedia in Norfolk, Derrick Martin returns to the St. Louis area to serve as region president for the St. Louis Region that includes 33 radio stations in St. Louis, Des Moines, Cedar Rapids/Iowa City and Davenport, Iowa and Springfield, Missouri.  He’ll report to Tom McConnell, president of the Midwest/Southeast Division.  McConnell says, “I’m very excited to have Derrick return to the St. Louis Region in this important role leading our brands.  He has a proven track record of success and understands how to build and maintain a strong culture that rewards innovation and team work.”

Beasley Promotes Steve Meyers.  Rising from his director of digital operations with Greater Media to executive vice president of digital for Beasley Broadcast Group is Steve Meyers.  He joined Beasley with the company’s acquisition of the Greater Media stations last fall.  In his new role as Beasley’s EVP of digital, Meyers will oversee the Charlotte and Detroit corporate digital teams.  He says, “I’m honored to take on this leadership role in Beasley Media Group.  Our digital landscape has brought such a unique opportunity to the media space, and combined with our strong Beasley brands, we are creating an outstanding formula for continued growth and success.”

Beasley Names Craig Shemon PM Host at ‘99.3 ESPN’ in Fort Myers.  Sports media pro Craig Shemon is signed by Beasley Media Group to host the afternoon drive show on WWCN, Fort Myers “99.3 ESPN.”  Shemon has worked at both Yahoo! Sports Radio and FOX Sports Radio Network, in addition to handling play-by-play duties for Fox Sports and The Big Ten Network.  He’s done studio work for NBA TV and MLB Strikezone on DirecTV.  Beasley Southwest Florida operations manager Adam Star states, “Craig’s play-by-play experience with the NBA, MLB and NFL is remarkable!  His ability to carry a daily sports show and his highly successful achievements in other national broadcast platforms from Los Angeles to Chicago are truly impressive.  Hiring Craig is a game changer and we’re looking forward to have his success and positive attitude continue here in Southwest Florida on ‘99.3 ESPN!’”

TALKERS News Notes.  According to the San Diego Reader, market radio personality Chris Cantore – XETRA, KPRI, and KBZT – is set to replace sports journalist Kevin Acee on sports talk XEPRS, San Diego “The Mighty 1090” in the evening slot.  The piece notes that Cantore has made references in the past to not being a fan of big league team sports and questions what management is expecting of his 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm show.  TALKERS recently wrote about Cantore’s new venture into podcasting via his Yew Media LLC firm.  Read the San Diego Reader story here…..Talk media personality Joe Madison is being honored by his alma mater Washington University in St. Louis with one of this year’s 2017 Distinguished Alumni Awards.  The school says, “The Distinguished Alumni Awards honor Arts & Sciences graduates who exemplify the ideals of a liberal arts education, and in so doing bring honor to Washington University through their lives, work, and service.”  Joe Madison, a.k.a. “The Black Eagle,” is heard daily on SiriusXM’s Urban View channel.  He’s a 1971 graduate of the school…..Kate Delaney’s “America Tonight” nationally syndicated overnight program adds new affiliate stations KPAM, Portland; WGSO, New Orleans; KSPI, Palm Springs, California; WKAL, Rome, New York; and WVBG, Vicksburg, Mississippi…..Cumulus Media’s news/talk WPRO-AM/WEAN-FM, Providence “NewsTalk 630 & 99.7 FM WPRO” announces that 10-year staffer Tara Granahan is named the permanent host of the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon show.  Granahan began hosting the daypart in January after John DePetro’s exit from the station.  Granahan is an award-winning journalist who joined WPRO in 2007 as host of the morning show.  During her time there, she’s also served as sidekick and co-host with former Providence Mayor Buddy Cianci and hosted the 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm talk show.

Trump Campaign-Russia Investigation, Looming Gorsuch Vote, Trump Foreign Leader Meetings, North Korea Threats, GOP Health Care Plan/ObamaCare Repeal, and NCAA Final Four Among Top News Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The investigation into possible contacts between Trump campaign staffers and Russian agents; Republicans’ plans to confirm Supreme Court justice nominee Neil Gorsuch; President Trump meets this week with Egypt’s President Abdel Fatteh el-Sisi, King Abdullah II of Jordan, and hosts Chinese President Xi Jinping at Mar-a-Lago on Friday; North Korea’s nuclear missile threats; GOP plans for a new health care bill and promises to repeal the Affordable Care Act; and the weekend’s NCAA Men’s Basketball games were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Medved Broadcasts from Scottsdale. Nationally syndicated talk show host Michael Medved is pictured above broadcasting his Salem Radio Network program live from Scottsdale, Arizona – a remote sponsored by KKNT, Phoenix “AM960/The Patriot.”  During the broadcast, Medved was joined by local hosts Seth Leibsohn and Chris Buskirk.  He also autographed copies of his new bestseller The American Miracle for fans.

Exclusive: Sean Hannity Guests on Harrison Podcast TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison conducted an exclusive interview with Premiere Networks/Fox News Channel star Sean Hannity recorded Monday night (3/27) as the high-profile star was riding home from work. It is now playing on the award-winning PodcastOne series “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.” They discuss a variety of subjects including the talk show host’s contentious encounter this past weekend with CBS newsman Ted Koppel, who stated that Hannity is “bad for America.” The two also talk about Hannity’s relationship with President Donald Trump and the rapidly evolving state of conservative talk media. At one point, Harrison asks Hannity if it was true that he could corroborate that Trump had told him he was against the Iraq War early on – as the then-candidate stated in one of the presidential debates with Hillary Clinton. Hannity answered that, yes, it was true and that he and Trump had engaged in a number of private conversations and passionate debates over their differences of opinion at that point as to the merits of the U.S. becoming militarily involved in Iraq. To listen to an excerpt from the interview, please click here. To listen to the entire unedited 48-minute podcast conversation between Hannity and Harrison, 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.

Sean Hannity to Receive the 2017 TALKERS Freedom of Speech Award. The editorial board of TALKERS announces that Premiere Networks and Fox News Channel talk show host Sean Hannity is going to be the recipient of the 2017 TALKERS Freedom of Speech Award. The award (officially titled “The Gene Burns Memorial Award for Freedom of Speech”) will be presented to Hannity in New York City on Friday, June 2 at TALKERS 2017: A New Era, this year’s installment of the annual talk media convention. The Freedom of Speech Award is the longest-running and most prestigious honor annually bestowed by the publication upon a member of the greater broadcasting community, although not always the most popular. According to TALKERS publisher, Michael Harrison, “The Freedom of Speech Award is a non-partisan honor presented to a person in the industry who sets a meaningful example of the First Amendment in action, either by having taken a high-profile, risky stand on a controversial issue or working on an exceptional level to make that opportunity available to others. It does not necessarily indicate this publication’s endorsement of the recipient’s position, only his or her right to express it publicly and our salute to them for having the courage to face the consequences. The First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America is the bedrock of all of this nation’s freedoms and values. Without it, this would not be the country we believe it to be in our minds and hearts. It is clearly the most important element that makes American talk media vibrant, alive and indispensable.” Harrison continues, “Sean Hannity is the clear-cut champion of this concept and a high-profile example of it in action in the talk media industry today.”

 

 

Jeff Kapugi Joins iHeartMedia as Regional SVP of Programming for DC-Baltimore.  Programming pro Jeff Kapugi and iHeartMedia work out a deal to bring Kapugi into the company as regional senior vice president of programming for the Washington and Baltimore markets.  In addition to overseeing the programming of CHR WIHT “HOT 99.5,” adult contemporary WASH, classic rock WBIG “BIG 100,” alternative W284CQ “104.7 Cherry Blossom Radio” in Washington and country WPOC, CHR WZFT “Z104.3,” adult hits WQSR “102.7 JACK FM,” and Gospel WCAO in Baltimore, Kapugi will also serve as program director for country WMZQ, Washington.  Kapugi was most recently VP of programming for CBS RADIO Chicago and PD for country WUSN “US99.”    iHeartMedia EVP of programming Meg Stevens comments, “I could not be more excited to bring Jeff Kapugi to DC.  Having worked with him previously, I have firsthand knowledge of his exceptional skills and incredible character.  Jeff’s smart, strategic and passionate about the brands and he will be a tremendous asset for our stations.”

Bohannon to Lead Cumulus Memphis.  Broadcasting management pro Morgan Bohannon is named the new vice president and market manager for Cumulus Media’s four-station cluster.  Bohannon was most recently area president for iHeartMedia’s Memphis operations.  At Cumulus, he’ll be in charge of rhythmic oldies WRBO, rock WXMX “98.1 The Max,” hip hop WKIM “98.9 The Vibe,” and country WGKX “KIX 106.”  Prior to his work with iHeartMedia, Bohannon was director of sales for Apex Broadcasting.

More Music Radio News and Career Moves.  KDKB, Phoenix “ALT AZ” announces MO! takes over the morning show.  The Hubbard Radio alt rocker moves jock Ian Camfield from AMs to middays (10:00 am to 3:00 pm).  Hubbard Phoenix market manager Trip Reeb says, “Mo’s energy and enthusiasm, along with her listener appeal make her a great choice for this daypart.  Ian has got the ball rolling and will be great in middays.  We are thrilled with the new lineup.” MO! has worked at Hubbard Phoenix sister rock KUPD and, had been hosting the midday show on “ALT AZ” prior to the change…..iHeartMedia Sacramento drops the adult hits and the “JACK FM” format on KQJK to re-launch the station as classic rock “93.7 The River.”  The station will also feature longtime Sacramento personalities Dog & Joe, Monica Lowe and Derek Moore as well as the nationally syndicated “Sixx Sense” show with Nikki Sixx.  iHeartMedia Sacramento SVP of programming Curtiss Johnson says, “We’re incredibly excited to bring ‘93.7 The River’ to the River City.  ‘93.7 The River’ is built on the Dog & Joe show, a destination morning show with two wildly creative and beloved personalities, a redefined take on classic rock for 2017, and a passion and commitment to community we’ve embraced and called home for many years.”…..iHeartMedia launches “ALT 97.5” on translator W248BQ, Nashville.  The new alternative rock outlet will feature on-air personalities Wells Adams, Gabby Sanderson and Battle.  Program director Rossi states, “We’re thrilled to bring ‘ALT 97.5’ to Nashville’s alternative rock fans. ‘ALT 97.5’ is an alternative station with Nashville sensibilities. We’re excited to serve the community, which has such a loyal and passionate fan base.”…..Country radio legend Lon Helton celebrated his 25th anniversary hosting “Country Countdown USA” over the weekend.  He also was honored at the 52nd Academy of Country Music Awards where he received his fourth ACM “National On-Air Personality” award…..Beasley Media Group moves Russ Parr from hip hop WZFX, Fayetteville, North Carolina “Foxy 99” to sister rhythmic oldies WUKS “Old School 107.7 Jamz.”…..Condolences to the family and friends of Warren “Rhubarb” Jones, who passed away on April 2 at the age of 65.  He was most recently working at Gradick Communications’ oldies WWGA, Tallapoosa, Georgia “Great Classics 98.9.”  From 1985 through 2008, Jones was a personality on WYAY-FM, Atlanta when it was a country outlet.

PPM Analysis: Rhythmic CHR.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents an analysis of the performances of rhythmic CHR stations based on ratings data from Nielsen Audio’s February 2017 PPM survey.  Comparing (6+) ratings data from January of 2017 to February, “Six of every 10 rhythmic CHR panelists are up January 2017 – February 2017 (60%); approximately one of three are down (35%); and the remaining 5% of the sample is flat (6+).  Looking at the changes from February 2016 to February 2017, Kinosian reports, “For all practical purposes, year-to-year percentages represent a complete reversal versus month-to-month stats, as 59% of our eligible rhythmic CHR sample is off year-to-year (6+), while 35% improve; the remaining 6% are steady.”  See all the data here.

Miranda Lambert Visits with Elaina Smith.  Country star Miranda Lambert (left) sits down for a chat with “NASH Nights Live” host Elaina Smith (right) at the Westwood One Backstage at the ACM Awards Radio Row event last weekend.  The event saw some 100 country music stars visit with country radio personalities at the Lucky Live Lounge at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.  Cumulus Media and Westwood One served as the official national radio partners for the 52nd Academy of Country Music Awards.

WYCD, Detroit’s Linda Lee Dies at 55.  Almost seven months after being diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer, WYCD, Detroit radio personality Linda Lee Young died on Friday (3/31) at age 55.  Young was a 20-year staffer at WYCD.  For 16 years, she co-hosted the “Edwards & Lee” afternoon drive show with Chuck Edwards.  For the past year and a half, she’s worked with co-host Rob Stone.   Young leaves behind her husband Jeff Young, daughter Gina Holmes Mills, and a stepdaughter Alexa Young.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

| March 21, 2017

Beasley Broadcast Group’s Q4 Financial Report Reflects November Greater Media Acquisition.  As Beasley Broadcast Group CEO Caroline Beasley explains, the fourth quarter of 2016 was “productive and transitional.”  She says, “…Our revenue, SOI and net income growth reflects two months of operations of the Greater Media stations, solid industry fundamentals, including the benefit of political advertising, strength across our platform of legacy Beasley stations and high levels of operating discipline.  On a stand-alone basis, Beasley legacy station revenue increased approximately 7.6%.  Immediately following the close of the Greater Media transaction we began the integration process including the implementation of sales and cost initiatives, the elimination of redundant overhead and other strategies to derive synergies and value from the expanded scale and diversity of our portfolio.  Partially reflecting, the change of ownership and related transitional concerns, on a stand-alone basis, the Greater Media stations’ revenue decreased 6.1% or approximately $2.3 million in the fourth quarter with about 60% of the decline attributable to Philadelphia.  Overall, we are making continued progress with the integration of the new stations as we implement best practices, processes, and talent from both companies to optimize audience engagement and drive results.  We believe we are on track to complete the integration and realize the synergies expected from this transaction within 12 to 18 months.”  BBG’s net revenue for the fourth quarter of 2016 was $53.7 million.  For the whole of 2016, net revenue was $136.7 million.  Beasley continues, “With the financing of the Greater media acquisition, our total outstanding debt as of December 31, was approximately $268 million.  With our focus on actively and conservatively managing our capital structure to provide the financial flexibility to support our near- and long-term growth, we made voluntary debt repayments of $2.3 million in the fourth quarter.  In January, we closed on the previously announced divestiture of four stations in Charlotte for $24 million and in February, we entered into an agreement to divest our Greenville-New Bern cluster for $11 million.  We applied the net proceeds from the Charlotte transaction to debt reduction in the 2017 first quarter and intend to further reduce debt and leverage with the majority of the net proceeds from the Greenville-New Bern transaction when it closes, which is expected in the second quarter of 2017.”

CBS and Entercom Begin Filing Paperwork for Merger.  The two companies have filed Forms 314 and Forms 315 with the Federal Communications Commission and have also filed a Form 425 with the Securities Exchange Commission, informing it of their intentions.  A couple of things we’re learning from these filings are that, 1) CBS chairman, president and CEO Les Moonves and CBS COO Joseph Ianniello are being proposed to serve as directors for Entercom following the merger, but for just six months.  Since the two would have “attributable interests in the television stations owned by CBS and the radio stations owned by Entercom,” they are seeking a temporary waiver for said purpose; and 2) the stations that will be divested as a result of exceeding the market ownership caps in seven markets will be Entercom stations.  No CBS stations will be divested prior to the closing of the merger.  The 14 stations that will have to be divested are in the following seven markets: Boston, Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle and Wilkes Barre-Scranton.  Any stations not divested as of the closing, will be placed in a divestiture trust.  Entercom CEO David Field has said that he would prefer to swap stations rather than enter into outright sales.

KPOJ, Portland Names New PM Drive Show.  Portland sports talk outlet “Rip City Radio 620” launches its new afternoon drive program “Rip City Drive with Chad and Travis,” featuring Chad Doing and Travis Demers.  The iHeartMedia-owned station says the local afternoon drive program complements the “Rip City Mornings with Dan and Nigel” show.  “‘Rip City Drive with Chad and Travis’ is a sports talk show that will provide listeners with unique insight into the Portland sports market and a strong passion for the Portland Trail Blazers.  This will be Portland’s true sports talk show in the afternoons.”  Chad Doing continues hosting “Blazers Warm-up” and “The 5th Quarter” on Trail Blazers game days.  iHeartMedia Seattle SVP of programming Rich Moore adds, “We’re excited to bring veteran talent Chad Doing back to the Portland in the afternoon drive slot.  Chad and Travis’ show will be a strong outlet for the sports fans in Portland, especially Trail Blazers fans.”

KLBJ, Austin Unveils New Lineup; ‘Kilmeade & Friends’ Now Airs in Mid-Morning.  Yesterday (3/20), Emmis Communications/Sinclair Telecable-owned news/talk KLBJ-AM, Austin announced its new program lineup, including the addition of Fox News Radio’s “Kilmeade & Friends” for the 9:00 am to 11:00 am slot.  The station also moved its “Todd and Don” show into an earlier timeslot – 5:30 am to 9:00 am – in order to accommodate the Kilmeade show.  Pictured above are (from l-r): Sinclair Telecable’s Bob Sinclair, Emmis Austin SVP and market manager Scott Gillmore, FOX News’ Brian Kilmeade; KLBJ program director Mark Caesar.

CBS Sports Radio Tweaks Lineup.  The new lineup at the CBS Sports Radio network takes effect on April 17 with three moves happening:  afternoon drive host Doug Gottlieb will exit the network after his April 14 program; the “Tiki and Tierney” show, featuring Tiki Barber and Brandon Tierney, moves to 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm ET; and “The DA Show,” with host Damon Amendolara, moves to the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon slot.  Barber, Tierney and Amendolara all sign new, multi-year contracts.  The “Tiki and Tierney” show will also be simulcast on television’s CBS Sports Network.  The radio network is seeking a new 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm ET show that will be announced in the near future.

Chip Arledge Named OM for Cumulus Shreveport.  Programming pro Chip Arledge joins Cumulus Media to serve as the operations manager for its five-station cluster in Shreveport, Louisiana and to program country KRMD-FM and sports talk KRMD-AM.  The cluster also includes hip hop KMJJ, CHR KQHN, and urban contemporary KVMA.  Arledge was most recently with Eagle Radio Group/Results Radio Network in Marquette, Michigan.  During his career he’s programmed and overseen operations in Birmingham, Fayetteville and Chillicothe, Ohio and was regional brand manager for adult contemporary Clear Channel Radio.   Cumulus Shreveport VP/market manager Cody Welling states, “Chip is the perfect addition to the Cumulus Shreveport team as our operations manager and program director for the legendary calls of KRMD.  He is a true radio man that cares about the medium, and has an excellent track record in programming and operations in markets both big and small.  Chip’s ability to lead and coach programmers from multiple formats, along with his passion for radio and our listeners, made this an easy decision for Cumulus Shreveport.”

TALKERS News NotesTALKERS magazine hears that Alpha Media news/talk WFTL, West Palm Beach and sister sports talker WMEN have a new program director.  Paul Mason was most recently with iHeartMedia’s WLW, Cincinnati as assistant program director and producer…..Recently retired New York Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira is joining WEPN, New York’s Michael Kay show every Thursday at 5:00 pm during the baseball season to provide opinion and analysis.  Recently, ESPN announced Teixeira is joining the network as a Major League Baseball analyst.  “98.7 ESPN” program director Ryan Hurley comments, “We are excited to add Mark to our broadcast team at ‘98.7 ESPN.’  New York sports fans can look forward to his unique insight, expertise, and some laughs when he joins Michael, Don La Greca and Peter Rosenberg on the show.”

Cooke: Trump Cuts Provide Promotional Opportunities.  Media consultant Holland Cooke says that the federal budget cuts being proposed by President Trump could provide radio stations with the opportunity to create promotions that assist those affected but budget cuts and appear to listeners as the “good guy.”  Read more here.

Comey Testifies on Lack of Obama Wiretapping Evidence, Trump Campaign Russia Investigation, Gorsuch Confirmation Hearings, GOP Health Care Bill, Brady Jerseys Recovered, and March Madness Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/20).  FBI chief James Comey’s testimony that he has no information indicating that former President Barack Obama ordered Trump Tower to be wiretapped; Comey’s admission that the agency is investigating some Trump campaign personnel for possible ties to Russian agents; the first day of confirmation hearings for Supreme Court Justice nominee Neil Gorsuch; the GOP’s plans to replace the Affordable Care Act with its own national health care program; the missing jerseys of Super Bowl MVP Tom Brady are discovered in Mexico; and the aftermath of the first weekend of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Country outlet WQDR, Raleigh names Mimi Wheeler promotions director and music director.  Curtis Media Group VP of programming Lisa McKay states, “Mimi has a fire in her belly to be a part of a winning team.  She has a love for doing great radio and understands how to treat our listeners like family.  Mimi grew up here and knows the local landscape of people and places extremely well.  Her label relationships are rock solid too, which makes Mimi a very welcome and valuable team Q member.”…..Maryland radio personality EJ Foxx joins Adams Radio Group’s WKHI, Salisbury-Ocean City “Your Country K107.7” to host the midday program.  Foxx previously spent 23 years with crosstown WKTT “Cat Country 97.5.”…..Chelsea Corrine is the new midday jock at Townsquare Media’s country WPUR, Atlantic City “Cat Country.”  She takes over the 10:00 am to 3:00 pm shift after previous host Georgia left the station to focus on her family’s business.

 

 

Round One of February PPM Data Released. The first of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio‘s February 2017 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey). Nielsen Audio’s February 2017 survey period covered February 2 – March 1. View all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Takeaways” from these 12 PPM markets below.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

1) New York – Powered by a gain of seven-tenths (5.4 – 6.1, 6+), CBS Radio classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM rises from fourth to second. Within 5.3 – 5.9 range (6+) the past seven sweeps, “101.1 New York’s Greatest Hits” boasts its best 6+-showing since July 2016, when it reached 6.2. One full-share ahead of WCBS-FM is iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW “106.7 Lite FM” (7.2 – 7.1, -.1, 6+), which is #1 for the eighth straight time. “Lite FM” was -6.1 (6+) in January. In addition to “New York’s Greatest Hits,” WLTW classic rock cluster-mate WAXQ “Q-104.3” (steady at #7) notches a +.7 as well, thus recouping the combined seven-tenths it lost since December 2016 (5.0 – 4.4 – 4.3 – 5.0, #7, 6+). In the rhythmic CHR contest, the 1.2-share (6+) advantage iHeartMedia’s WKTU (4.1 – 3.9, -.2, unchanged at #8, 6+) enjoyed in January over Emmis’ WHQT “Hot 97” (2.9 – 3.3, +.4, #12 to #10, 6+) is sliced in half. After being off one-half share in “Holiday” 2016, WKTU was +.6 in January. A January +.3 to 3.5 (6+) by CBS Radio’s WFAN-FM halted three straight downward trends that yielded a one-half share loss (3.7 – 3.4 – 3.3 – 3.2, 6+), but “The Fan” regresses by eight-tenths in February to 2.7, as it exits the top ten (#10 to #14, 6+). After three straight sweeps both in the runner-up slot and posting an uptrend (4.5 – 4.6 – 5.5 – 5.8, 6+), Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish tropical WSKQ “Mega 97.9” is off by seven-tenths to 5.1 (6+) and stumbles to sixth-place. Flat at #19, CBS Radio CHR WBMP “92.3 Amp” is without an increase for the sixth successive sweep for a cumulative -.9 (3.1 – 2.8 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.2, 6+). Conversely, more than three shares ahead of “Amp” is iHeartMedia’s similarly-programmed WHTZ “Z-100,” which is a combined +.9 since “Holiday” 2016 (4.6 – 5.1 – 5.5, 6+), vaulting from sixth to third.

2) Los Angeles – By dialing up a six-tenths improvement (4.3 – 4.9, 6+), CBS Radio classic hits-oldies KRTH not only has its best 6+-performance since November (4.9 as well), “K-Earth 101” jumps from fifth to second. A gain of just one-tenth (5.1 – 5.2, 6+) is sufficient for KBIG “My-FM” to depart the runner-up slot it has held the past three sweeps and take over at #1. It is there that the iHeartMedia hot AC dislodges its adult contemporary sibling KOST (5.2 – 4.6, -.6, 6+), which had been on top in each of the last 16 ratings periods. “Coast 103.5” drops to fifth, as Los Angeles’ top five February 2017 rankers are separated by six-tenths of a share (6+). Before seeing its 6+share skewered in January 2017 by more than half since “Holiday” 2016 (10.7 – 5.2, -5.5, 6+), “Coast” had been up the previous three straight ratings periods for a combined +5.3 (5.4 – 5.5 – 6.4 – 10.7, 6+). Following four straight down moves that produced a -.8 (2.7 – 2.6 – 2.4 – 2.2 – 1.9, 6+), Entercom classic rocker KSWD “The Sound” gained four-tenths to 2.3 in January and is unchanged in February (2.3, steady at #17, 6+). Unlisted in January 2017, Univision Radio regional Mexican KSCA “Zona Mx 101.9” returns by logging a 3.4 (6+) to place ninth; its 3.2 (6+) in “Holiday” 2016 put it in a three-way tie at #7. Slipping from #10 to #11, co-owned Spanish adult hits KRCD “Recuerdo 103.9” has nonetheless been the model of consistency over the last nine ratings periods (3.2 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.2, 6+). Notwithstanding that it holds steady at #7, CBS Radio all-news operation KNX picks up one-tenth to 3.8 (6+) – the highest 6+-stat in its PPM history, shattering the previous best set just last month.

3) Chicago – The market’s two country rivals – CBS Radio-owned WUSN “US-99.5” and iHeartMedia’s WEBG “Big 95.5” – made identical 1.9 – 2.2 (+.3, 6+) moves in January, putting them in a tie at #20. There is some breathing room between the two now though as “US-99.5” picks up one-half share to 2.7 (its best 6+-share since September’s 2.8), leaping to #15, while “Big 95.5” is flat at 2.2, dropping to #21. Following 34 straight monthlies within 2.0 – 2.9 range (6+), Hubbard Broadcasting adult contemporary WSHE adds three-tenths to 3.1 (6+) and returns to the top ten (#12 to #9). The combination of a two-tenths gain by iHeartMedia urban AC WVAZ “V-103 Today’s R&B and Throwbacks” (5.8 – 6.0, second to first, 6+) and a nine-tenths drop by CBS Radio all-news WBBM-AM (6.3 – 5.4, first to second, 6+) results in the two stations trading places. The last time that “V-103” was on top was September 2016 when it shared the lead with WBBM-AM – each with a 6.0 (6+). It proves to be just a one-month stay at #1 for WBBM-AM, which previously occupied the penthouse from January 2016 through May 2016. Not only is its sports cluster-mate WSCR off by one-half share (2.6 – 2.1, 6+), “670 The Score” freefalls from the top 20 (#14 to #22). As recently as November 2016, the Chicago Cubs flagship was in second place with a 6.1 (6+) – just four-tenths off the pace set by WBBM-AM. Checking in at #24, Spanish Broadcasting System regional Mexican WLEY-FM “La Ley 107.9” is up or flat for the sixth consecutive time (1.2 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.5 – 1.6 – 1.8 – 1.9, 6+). This is the second straight month that Window to the World Communications’ WFMT “Chicago’s Classical Experience” (1.8, #22, “Holiday” 2016, 6+) is unlisted. Eight of February 2017’s top 20 are either up or flat, whereas this time last month, the entire top 25 (6+) was up from “Holiday” 2016 with the exception of WVAZ (5.9 – 5.8, -.1, #2); iHeartMedia hot AC WLIT (-10.2, #6); and CBS Radio triple A WXRT (2.3, flat, #19).

4) San Francisco – Owing to a February spike of four-tenths on the heels of January’s +.9 (6.4 – 7.3 – 7.7, 6+), Northern California Public Broadcasting’s KQED repeats at #1. Off by -.7 in “Holiday” 2016, KQED fell from first to second. That loss of seven-tenths halted seven straight positive trends that yielded a cumulative +2.3 (4.8 – 4.9 – 5.3 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 5.9 – 6.9 – 7.1, 6+). The public facility was evicted from the top spot (by CBS Radio all-news KCBS-AM) and moved to the runner-up position in October, but registered a full-share gain in November to recapture the lead. Without an increase the past four sweeps for a combined -.6 (4.2 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 3.7 – 3.6), CBS Radio’s KMVQ “99.7 New Hit Music Now” is up two-tenths to 3.8 (6+) as it climbs from sixth to fifth. After improving by one-half share in January, KALW “Local Public Radio” surrenders seven-tenths (1.4 – 1.9 – 1.2, 6+), as it plummets from #19 to #27. Down two-tenths to 2.3 (6+), Entercom urban AC KBLX “The Bay’s R&B” (#14 to #17) has its consecutive string of up or flat trends that netted a combined +.9 snapped at four (1.6 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.5). Sports sibling KGMZ “95.7 The Game” loses one tenth to (1.7, #22, 6+), curtailing six straight monthlies without a decline that yielded a +.7 (1.1 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 1.8, 6+). On the other hand – and still in that Entercom cluster – KRBQ picks up one-tenth to 2.4 (6+), thus applying the brakes to five consecutive down or flat trends that resulted in a -.7 (3.0 – 2.7 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 2.3 – 2.3, 6+), as “Q-102.1 The Throwback Station” moves from #15 to a three-way tie at #14. Although the net loss is just three-tenths, Cumulus Media classic rock KSAN “107.7 The Bone Rocks” nonetheless is without a gain for the fourth successive sweep (2.4 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.1, 6+) and slips from #17 to #18.

5) Dallas – Down by a collective -1.1 in three straight downtrends since November (4.4 – 4.0 – 3.5 – 3.3, 6+), iHeartMedia hot AC KDMX “Now 102.9 – Music Variety” dials up a +.8 to 4.1, as it elevates from tenth to seventh. It is a strong sweep for the market’s two Cumulus Media-owned country outlets: KPLX “The Wolf,” +1.2 in January to progress from fourth to first, repeats at #1 (5.9 – 6.2, +.3, 6+), while cluster-mate KSCS “New Country 96.3” improves by seven-tenths (3.6 – 4.3, 6+), advancing from eighth to fifth. “New Country” had been within 3.1 – 3.6 range (6+) in each of the last 13 ratings periods. In addition to KSCS, CBS Radio regional Mexican KMVK notches a gain of seven-tenths as well (2.1 – 2.8, 6+) with “La Grande 107.5” cracking the top 20 (#22 to #16). Prior to picking up three-tenths in January, Service Broadcasting urban AC KRNB went five successive sweeps without an increase for a collective -.6 (3.2 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 2.9 – 2.8 – 2.6, 6+). “Smooth R&B 105.7” now adds another one-half share (2.9 – 3.4, 6+) and enters the top ten (#12 to #10). Five consecutive down or flat trends have produced a cumulative -2.3 for CBS Radio sports outlet KRLD-FM “The Fan” (3.7 – 3.2 – 2.9 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 1.4, 6+), which spirals from #19 out of the top 20 to #28. An extremely interesting contemporary Christian situation is developing in the market with Salem Media Group’s KLTY “94.9 Safe for the Whole Family” (3.0 – 2.6, -.4, 6+) freefalling from #11 to #19, while Educational Media Foundation’s KYDA “Air 1 Positive Hits” – which debuted in print at #20 in January – remains there in February (2.3 – 2.1, -.1, 6+). As recently as September 2016, KLTY was seventh with a 3.6 (6+).

6) Houston – It has been nearly three months (12/30/2016) since CBS Radio transitioned KKHH from CHR to adult hits “95.7 The Spot.” Over and above being up or flat for the fifth straight time for a net gain of two shares (2.6 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 3.1 – 3.5 – 4.6, 6+), “The Spot” breaks into the top ten (#14 to #6). Its former CHR rival – Cumulus Media’s KRBE – loses three-tenths, ending at three its successive streak of increases for a collective +1.0 (3.3 – 3.5 – 3.7 – 4.3, 6+) as “Houston’s #1 Hit Music Station” departs the top ten (#8 to #13). Effective with the first day of the January 2017 sweep, Radio One flipped KROI from urban-rhythmic oldies to CHR as “Radio Now 92.1.” Frozen on 1.4 (6+) in December and “Holiday” 2016, KROI – ostensibly taking the CHR spot vacated by KKHH – dropped one-half share in January to .9, but gains three-tenths in February to 1.2 (#24 to #23, 6+). Following three straight negative trends that yielded a combined -1.5 (8.0 – 7.4 – 6.7 – 6.5, 6+), Univision Radio regional Mexican KLTN brought back 60% of that deficit in January (+.9), jumping from third to first. It’s a very quick stay in the penthouse though for KLTN, which surrenders -1.3 (7.4 – 6.1, 6+) and falls to third. Taking over at #1 – progressing from the runner-up slot – is Radio One-owned urban AC KMJQ (7.2, +.3, 6+). Since November, “Majic 102.1 The People’s Station” was trending 7.1 – 6.9 – 7.0 – 6.9 (6+). The HD3 channel of iHeartMedia’s KODA picks up one-half share (.2 – .7, #27). Noncommercial contemporary Christian KSBJ “God Listens,” which improved by one full-share in January to 5.9, its strongest 6+-share in more than four years (6.0, November 2012), forfeits half of it (5.4, -.5, 6+), but carries on at #4. Declining by six-tenths each are Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KOVE, down for the third straight time for a combined -1.1 (3.9 – 3.7 – 3.4 – 2.8, #15 to #16, 6+) and CBS Radio’s KILT-AM “Sports Radio 610” (1.4 – .8, #26, 6+).

7) Philadelphia – Replicating its January 2017 +.6, iHeartMedia CHR WIOQ “Q-102” (3.1 – 3.7 – 4.3, 6+) cracks the top ten (#12 to #7) and matches August 2016’s 4.3 (6+). Co-owned WRFF “Radio 104.5 – Philadelphia’s Alternative” (3.8 – 4.3, #11 to #7, 6+) registers a gain of one-half share, as does CBS Radio classic hits-oldies WOGL (6.8 – 7.3, third to second, 6+). In four straight decreases (5.0 – 4.9 – 4.1 – 3.5 – 2.7, 6+), WRFF lost nearly half its 6+-share (-2.3) but dialed up a +1.1 in January; meanwhile, WOGL was +1.3 in January. Flat at 7.9 (6+), Jerry Lee Radio adult contemporary WBEB “Today’s 101 More FM” is nevertheless #1 for the seventh consecutive time, six-tenths ahead of WOGL. “More FM” was +6.8 in “Holiday” 2016 but eroded by ten (10) full-shares in January (17.9 – 7.9, 6+). Following a collective gain of eight-tenths (6.8 – 7.4 – 7.6, August – September – October, 6+), WBEB dropped one-tenth in November, only to post a +3.6 in December. The day after the “Holiday” 2016 ratings period ended (1/5), CBS Radio CHR WZMP “Amp” flipped to adult contemporary as WTDY “Today’s 96.5.” In its first adult contemporary sweep (January 2017) against WBEB, “Today’s 96.5” registered a 2.6 and picks up one-tenth in February (2.7 – #18 to #15, 6+). The rollercoaster ride continues for Beasley Media Group’s WMGK, which sputtered by one-half share in “Holiday” 2016; roared back with a gain four times that amount, +2.0; but now regresses by half that (5.4 – 4.9 – 6.9 – 5.9, -1.0, 6+). The net result after the dust settles is a -.5 and “Classic Rock 102.9 MGK” moves from second to fourth. In December, WMGK was -.6, curtailing three straight progressive trends (5.5 – 5.7 – 5.8 – 6.0, 6+). Sports sibling WPEN-FM added one-half share in January to end three straight negative trends (2.5 – 2.4 – 2.2 – 2.0, 6+), but “97.5 The Fanatic” forfeits six-tenths (2.5 – 1.9, 6+) and dips from #19 to #20. Locked on 2.7 (6+) in October, November, and December, iHeartMedia hot AC WISX “Mix 106.1” trended 2.4 – 2.8 (“Holiday” 2016 – January 2017, 6+) and now falters by one-half share to 2.3 (#16 to #18, 6+). Temple University’s WRTI “Your Classical and Jazz Source” (1.7, “Holiday” 2016, 6+) was unlisted in January 2017, but reappears in February with a 1.2 (#23, 6+).

8) Atlanta – Even though Cox Media Group urban AC WALR remains anchored in third-place, on the strength of a +.8 (5.5 – 6.3, 6+), “Kiss 104.1” records its strongest 6+-stat since June 2016’s 7.1. Improving by one-half each are co-owned adult contemporary WSB-FM “B-98.5” (4.8 – 5.3, unchanged at #4, 6+); classic hits-oldies cluster-mate WSRV “97.1 The River” (4.6 – 5.1, sixth to fifth, 6+); and CBS Radio urban contemporary WVEE “V-103” (6.0 – 6.5, steady at #2, 6+). Consistently within 4.4 – 4.9 territory (6+) the past 12 ratings periods, “B-98.5” has its best 6+-showing in exactly one year (5.5, February 2016, 6+). Up a collective eight-tenths in December 2016 and “Holiday” 2016 (5.9 – 6.3 – 6.7, 6+), “V-103” forfeited seven-tenths in January. Relishing its eighth consecutive monthly without a decrease for a combined +1.8 (2.9 – 3.2 – 3.7 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 4.1 – 4.3 – 4.5 – 4.7, 6+), Radio One urban AC WAMJ “Majic The Real Sound of Atlanta” progresses from eighth to seventh. Despite dropping eight-tenths (10.7 – 9.9, 6+), Cox Media Group talker WSB-AM is #1 for the fourteenth straight ratings period. Its most recent trends are -2.3 (“Holiday” 2016); +2.8 (January 2017); and now -.8 (February 2017). January 2017’s 10.7 represents the station’s best-ever (6+) performance, eclipsing the 10.2 in December 2016. A combined +1.4 in “Holiday” 2016 and January 2017 (3.0 – 3.6 – 4.4, 6+), CBS Radio sports outlet WZGC “92.9 The Game” gives all of it back and one-tenth more (3.1, -1.3, 6+) as the Atlanta Falcons’ flagship spirals out of the top ten (#9 to #14). Unlisted in January 2017, Atlanta Public Schools’ WABE “90.1 Where ATL Meets NPR” (2.9, #15, “Holiday” 2016, 6+) is back at #15 (3.0, February 2017, 6+).

9) Long Island – Progressing from #15 to #13, iHeartMedia classic rock WAXQ “Q-104.3” gains three-tenths to 2.9 (6+0, thus halting at three a successive string of down or flat trends that produced a -1.0 (3.6 – 2.8 – 2.6 – 2.6, 6+). For the fourth straight time, CBS Radio classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM (third to second) posts a Long Island increase (3.8 – 4.6 – 4.8 – 5.0 – 5.3, 6+); “101.1 New York’s Greatest Hits” is+1.5 since November. A pickup of six-tenths (.5 – 1.1, 6+) by WQXR more than doubles its 6+-share and lands “New York’s Classical Music Radio Station” at #26. The six-tenths of a share lead that CBS Radio all-news WINS had over co-owned and similarly-formatted WCBS-AM is down to one-tenth as WINS is 4.4 – 3.9, -.5, seventh to eighth (6+), while WCBS-AM is flat at 3.8 and unchanged at #9 (6+). Without a decrease for seven successive sweeps for a net gain of +1.6 (2.9 – 3.2 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 4.0 – 4.2 – 4.5, 6+), WINS floundered by one full-share in “Holiday” 2016 but recaptured all but one-tenth in January 2017. Having registered 11 successive sweeps at #1 in the Long Island report, iHeartMedia New York City CHR WHTZ “Z-100” spiraled by -1.5 in “Holiday” 2016 (6.6 – 5.1, 6+), sliding to third. It then gained eight-tenths to 5.9 (6+) in January 2017 to reappear at #1 and repeats at #1 in February – albeit flat at 5.9 (6+). Down a combined four-tenths in three straight (minor) downtrends (3.7 – 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.3, 6+), co-owned New York City adult contemporary WLTW “Lite FM” rebounded with a collective +4.5 in December and “Holiday” 2016, before sputtering by -4.6 in January 2017 and another eight-tenths in February (3.2 – 2.4, 6+), plummeting from #12 to #19. In addition to WINS, iHeartMedia talker WOR is also off by one-half share as it returns January’s +.5 (3.1 – 3.6 – 3.1, 6+) but stays at #10. This marks the 27th straight sweep that Emmis rhythmic CHR WQHT “Hot 97” (#20 to #15) is in 2.0 – 2.9 range (2.2 – 2.6, +.4, 6+).

10) Riverside – Off by one-half share in January 2017, LC Media’s urban-rhythmic oldies KQIE “Old School 104.7” recaptures all of it and one-tenth for good measure (2.7 – 2.2 – 2.8, +.6, 6+) but remains at #8. After being up or flat in each of the last five sweeps for a collective +2.2 (7.2 – 7.5 – 7.5 – 8.3 – 8.7 – 9.4, 6+), Entravision Spanish adult hits KLYY “Jose” dips by two-tenths to 9.2 (6+), but is #1 for the sixteenth consecutive ratings period. Following a one-share increase in June 2016, which halted back-to-back downward trends that produced a combined -.4, “Jose” fell by two-tenths in July but bounced back with a +.8 in August. Apparently, Anaheim Broadcasting classic hits-oldies outlet KOLA can only increase or decrease by one-half share, as this represents the fifth consecutive fluctuation by that margin (7.1 – 6.6 – 6.1 – 5.6 – 6.1 – 5.6, 6+) for a collective -1.5. In the runner-up slot six straight times before dropping to third in “Holiday” 2016, KOLA finishes at #2, just as it did in January. Prior to November 2016, KOLA was up or flat the previous six times for a net gain of +2.2 (4.9 – 4.9 – 5.6 – 6.5 – 6.8 – 6.9 – 7.1, 6+). Faltering by one-half share as well is regional Mexican KXSB (1.2 – .7, #11 to #14, 6+); this is the lowest 6+-share for “Radio Lazer” since September 2016 (also .7, 6+). Following 12 successive sweeps with a .1 (6+), CBS Radio country outlet KXFG (#21, January 2017, 6+) disappears.

11) San Jose – On the heels of January’s +.9, Entercom-owned KUFX “98.5 The South Bay’s Classic Rock” does it one better by improving by one full-share in February (2.9 – 3.8 – 4.8, 6+) to zoom from seventh to fourth. In “Holiday” 2016, “The South Bay’s Classic Rock” was -1.0; 4.8 is its best 6+-showing since last July (4.8 as well). On Christmas Day (12/25/2016) at 5:00 pm, Alpha Media’s KBAY ended 20 years as an AC by flipping to classic hits-oldies as “94.5 Bay FM.” Following seven straight sweeps without a loss for a cumulative +4.6 (3.4 – 3.8 – 4.1 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 5.5 – 8.0, 6+), KBAY regressed by -3.6 in January and drops another three-tenths in February (4.4 – 4.1, sixth to seventh, 6+). Seemingly taking advantage of KBAY’s format change, iHeartMedia-owned adult contemporary KISQ “98.1 The Breeze” notches a +.8 (2.4 – 3.2, 6+), rocketing from #19 to #14. It is a different story, however, for Entercom adult contemporary KOIT-FM “Better Music for a Better Workday,” which sputters by eight-tenths after January’s -3.3 (8.4 – 5.1 – 4.3, 6+), moving from fourth to fifth. A nonsubscriber to the San Jose report since posting a 5.1 (6+) in the “Holiday” 2015 report, KQED returned in robust fashion in January by recording a 6.9 (6+) to finish at #1; the Northern California Public Broadcasting facility repeats in the top spot with a +.7 to 7.6 (6+). Enjoying gains of one-half share each are Empire Broadcasting’s KRTY “Hot Country 95.3” (3.6 – 4.1, ninth to seventh, 6+) and Spanish Broadcasting System regional Mexican KRZZ “93.3 La Raza,” up for the third straight time (1.0 – 1.5 – 1.8 – 2.3, 6+); KRZZ enters the top 20 (#23 to #17). Stuck on 2.0 (6+) in October and November and then on 2.2 (6+) in December and “Holiday” 2016, iHeartMedia’s KMEL “#1 For Hip-Hop and R&B” was up one-half share in January but regresses by seven-tenths in February (2.7 – 2.0, 6+) to tumble from #16 to #20. Down by one-half share (1.8 – 1.3, 6+), Entercom-owned KGMZ “95.7 The Game” flounders from #23 to #27. Within 3.0 – 3.9 range (6+) for the nineteenth successive sweep, iHeartMedia CHR KYLD “WiLD 94.9 The Bay’s #1 Hit Music Station” (3.0 – 3.1, +.1, 6+) is flat at #15.

12) Middlesex-Somerset-Union – One of the most intriguing February 2017 nuggets is found here and it involves iHeartMedia New York City adult contemporary WLTW “Lite FM.” As noted above, “Lite FM” was off by one-tenth in its home market and down eight-tenths in Long Island (Nassau-Suffolk). Neither of those moves is especially surprising, given that all-Christmas music programming is gone from the station and it suffered the typical (substantial) January falloff. The curious thing in Middlesex though is that the largest (6+) January 2017 – February 2017 increase by any station in the 12 PPM-markets whose data was released Monday was … WLTW (3.8 – 5.9, +2.1, 6+). The huge spike enables “Lite” – which logged a “Holiday” 2016 – January 2017 decrease of roughly 56% (8.7 – 3.8, -4.9, 6+) – to cruise from seventh back up to second. Before January 2017’s -4.9, “Lite FM” had four straight up or flat trends in the Middlesex report, more than doubling its 6+-share since September (4.3 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 5.2 – 8.7, 6+). In addition to catapulting from #16 into the top ten (#8), Emmis rhythmic CHR WQHT “Hot 97” (2.7 – 3.6, +.9, 6+) posts its best 6+-stat since November 2015 (3.6 as well). Having registered three successive upward trends producing a +.8 (2.3 – 2.4 – 2.7 – 3.1, 6+), Pillar of Fire contemporary Christian WAWZ “Star 99.1” dipped by seven-tenths in January only to rebound in February by six-tenths (2.4 – 3.0, 6+), soaring from #21 to #13. Just as it did in January, iHeartMedia CHR WHTZ “Z-100” registers a one-half share gain (4.9 – 5.4, fifth to fourth, 6+), as does CBS Radio hot AC WNEW-FM “Fresh 102.7” (2.5 – 3.0, 6+), which zooms from #20 to #13. As a result of hanging out a “Holiday” 2016 – January 2017 increase of one-full-share (6.8 – 7.8, 6+), WKXW “New Jersey 101.5” returned to #1 following one turn in the runner-up slot. The Townsquare Media talker adds one-tenth to 7.9 (6+) and continues at #1. Prior to “Holiday” 2016 (where it was -.7, 6+), “New Jersey 101.5” spent 12 consecutive ratings periods on top. Down a combined one-share in October and November (8.2 – 7.6 – 7.2, 6+), WKXW picked up three-tenths in December. Sputtering by one share (5.3 – 4.3, 6+), Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish tropical WSKQ “Mega 97.9” slips from third to sixth. Following three straight gains netting seven-tenths (2.8 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.5, 6+), Univision Radio’s similarly-formatted WXNY “X-96.3” relinquished nine-tenths in “Holiday” 2016; erased that with a +1.0 in January 2017; but erodes by six-tenths in February (3.5 – 2.6 – 3.6 – 3.0, 6+), dropping from #10 to a five-way logjam at #13. A loss of seven-tenths (3.2 – 2.5, 6+) sinks CBS Radio all-sports WFAN-FM “The Fan” from #13 to #19. Trending 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.1 – 4.2 (6+) since November, classic hits-oldies cluster-mate WCBS-FM “101.1 New York’s Greatest Hits” regresses by one-half share to 3.7 (6+) and skids from sixth to seventh.

Friday, December 16, 2016

| December 16, 2016

susan-karisHubbard Radio Phoenix Names Karis VP/Sales. It marks a return to the day-to-day radio business for Susan Karis, who is appointed vice president of sales for Hubbard Radio Phoenix. She has spent the last nearly four years as group publisher of Cities West Publications and will begin her new duties in several weeks. Hubbard Radio Phoenix market manager Trip Reeb comments, “Having someone of Susan’s stature and background join our cluster and company is an incredible opportunity.” Karis remarks, “Every once in a while, an opportunity comes along that you just know is right – joining Hubbard Radio Phoenix is one of them. I am excited to come back to radio with Trip and his team, and to become part of Hubbard Radio.” For seven years, Karis was Phoenix-based executive vice president of operations for iHeartMedia (Clear Channel); one year as senior vice president of operations; and six years as market manager/director of sales. Prior to that, the Arizona State University grad logged 13 years (1985 – 1998) as general sales manager for Nationwide Communications. Karis replaces Jeff England, who became market manager of Hubbard’s stations in Chicago. The Hubbard Radio Phoenix cluster consists of classic rock KLSX (6.0, #2, 6+, Nielsen Audio PPM, November 2016); KUPD “Arizona’s Real Rock” (5.1, #3, 6+); KDKB “93.3 Arizona’s Alternative” (2.4, #19, 6+); KAZG “Oldies 1440 & 92.7” (1.2, #26, 6+); and KDUS “AM 1060 NBC Sports Radio” (.1, #32, 6+). The market leader is iHeartMedia adult contemporary KESZ (6.3, 6+).

karolyn-johnstonJohnston Joins Beasley Las Vegas As GSM. After five months as senior account executive at crosstown Cox Business, Karolyn Johnston is appointed general sales manager of Beasley Media Group’s five-station Las Vegas cluster.  Beasley Las Vegas director of sales Mark Sturcken states that years ago, he “had the pleasure working alongside Karolyn. Her energy, enthusiasm, relationships in the Las Vegas market, knowledge and passion for our business are second to none. With more than two decades of media experience, Karolyn brings tremendous value to our leadership team.” According to Johnston, she is “so happy to be on board. There are great things on deck for us [owing to] Beasley Media Group’s reputation in Las Vegas, along with the smart, seasoned roster of media professionals that make up this group. I simply could not be more delighted to be a part of this team as we move into the new year.” Johnston previously was integrated marketing specialist at iHeartMedia Las Vegas; account executive for Cumulus Media Atlanta; senior account manager for Atlanta’s WQXI-AM “The Zone”; and an account executive for Seattle’s KIRO-TV. From November 2002 to March 2009, she was an account executive at Cox Media Group Las Vegas. With their November 2016 Nielsen Audio PPM (6+) average quarter hour share and market rank in parentheses, Beasley Las Vegas consists of classic hits-oldies KKLZ (7.2, #1); urban-rhythmic oldies KOAS “Old School 105.7” (4.8, #4); country KCYE “The Coyote” (2.5, #15); hot AC KVGS “Star 107.9” (2.3, #19); and talk KDWN (1.1, #24).

nick-figueredoFigueredo Named WOKV Director/B&P. Most recently assistant director of branding and programming for Cox Media Group Orlando talker WDBO-FM, Nick Figueredo transfers to similarly-programmed Jacksonville sibling WOKV as director of branding and programming. Cox Media Group Jacksonville director of radio operations Todd Shannon remarks, “After working closely with Nick over the past three months as we interviewed for the position, it became very apparent that he has the passion, vision, and leadership to take WOKV to even greater ratings success.” Figueredo – who has worked for the company’s Orlando cluster the past seven years – notes, “I am very excited and thankful for this amazing opportunity. From the day I was hired at WDBO-FM, I knew my future was with Cox Media Group. I am now taking the next step in my career.” Powered by a hefty October 2016 – November 2016 gain of +1.7 (7.2 – 8.9, 6+), WOKV finishes first in Nielsen Audio’s November 2016 Jacksonville PPM report.

mason-markMason to Mark KEX Homecoming. After leaving KEX, Portland three years ago, Mark Mason will return to the iHeartMedia talk facility for a daily three-hour air-shift beginning next month (1/23). Along with the late Dave Anderson, Mason co-hosted “The Mark & Dave Show” on KEX. He notes that Anderson’s passing and his own health issues involving a blood clot in his leg changed his perspective on life. “It has been such a tumultuous ride that when I found myself able to breathe again, I felt an overwhelming need to take control of my life again,” he writes. “My decision to come back home to KEX was part of it.” Most recently, the public-address announcer for the NBA’s Portland Trailblazers was an on-air talent at crosstown Pamplin’s KPAM-AM. Just over three weeks ago (11/23), Michael Castner departed KEX to begin a podcast. Among persons 6+ in the November 2016 Nielsen Audio PPM, KEX finishes in a four-way tie at #17 (2.1), while Alpha Media talker KXL-FM is at #6 (4.9, 6+). KEX adult contemporary sibling KKCW “K-103” and public KOPB are tied for the lead (7.7, 6+).

crowleymonica-2Crowley Chosen As NSC Senior Director/Strategic Communications. Immediately rumored to be in line for a position in the Trump administration, former syndicated radio host Monica Crowley will be senior director of strategic communications for the National Security Council. “I am deeply honored, humbled, and grateful to be asked by the president-elect to join the extraordinary national security team he is assembling,” the Fox News Channel commentator and Washington Times columnist comments. “With vision, courage, and moral clarity, he is committed fully to re-establishing America’s singular place in the world. He is also committed to selecting the best people for the jobs of keeping the American people safe and the country secure. It will be a great privilege to serve with them.” Prior to her combined 10 years of doing syndicated talk radio for Westwood One and Talk Radio Network, Crowley spent four years as an on-air host in New York City on Cumulus Media talker WABC.

nick-pintoPinto Promoted to BMG VP/Information Technology. Two-year Charlotte-based information technology director for Beasley Media Group – Nick Pinto – is bumped up to vice president of information technology. The company’s chief technology officer Mike Cooney comments, “Nick has proven himself over the past several years and he was invaluable during our recent Greater Media acquisition. Nick will be overseeing the capital budget for IT and supervising the IT managers in the local markets. His strong customer service skills made him the obvious choice for this new corporate position.” Pinto remarks, “I am honored to join our dedicated Beasley corporate team. I have always believed that working hard will you give you many rewards – this promotion is one of them. My thanks to Mike Cooney for his faith in my abilities and to market manager Bill Schoening for his constant support for more than a decade.” Pinto has been overseeing the IT infrastructure in Beasley Media Group’s Charlotte cluster since 2004.

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Public WUSF Adds Colombini as Producer. Former WCBS-AM, New York City reporter Stephanie Colombini is named producer of “Florida Matters,” the public affairs show of University of South Florida-owned WUSF, Tampa. In addition, Colombini will contribute to state and local news coverage as part of the “Health News Florida” team. WUSF Public Media general manager JoAnn Urofsky states, “Stephanie will be a wonderful addition to our news team. She has a wide variety of skills, and I know she will play a major role in enhancing ‘Florida Matters’ and many other WUSF programs; we are fortunate to have her here.” New York native/Fordham University graduate Colombini comments, “It is a real honor to join such an esteemed group of journalists. I am excited to start covering news in the Sunshine State.” WUSF ranks tenth (4.1) among persons 6+ in Nielsen Audio’s November 2016 PPM report, while Cox Media Group adult contemporary WDUV “Lite Favorites” is the pacesetter with a 9.4 (6+).

knx logoOdds & Sods. Budget cutbacks at KNX result in the departure of three familiar voices. Exiting the CBS Radio Los Angeles all-news operation are mid-day anchor Linda Nunez, who had been with the station the past 26 years; sports director Steve Grad (23 years with KNX); and reporter Ed Mertz who transitioned to KNX in 2009 from former news cluster-mate KFWB where he had been since 2000 ….. Word out of the Windy City via reliable source RobertFeder.com is that after three years on Chicago’s WLS-AM, Westwood One’s Michael Savage will disappear from the Cumulus Media talker at the end of the year. WLS-AM had been delay-broadcasting Savage from 9:00 pm – 12:00 midnight ….. Ordinarily, an item about a forthcoming movie wouldn’t warrant much of our attention. In this case,kfi logo however, it is he identity of the executive producer of “Let There Be Light,” a film about an atheist finding religion, that is noteworthy as it is none other than … Premiere Networks’ host and Fox News Channel talent Sean Hannity ….. In its sixth annual, 17-hour, December 1 “Pasta-thon,” iHeartMedia Los Angeles talker KFI raised over $320,000 and collected 90,000 pounds of food for “Caterina’s Club.” Throughout the KFI “Pasta-thon,” station personalities Bill Handel, Aron Bender, stevens-richJennifer Jones Lee, Gary Hoffman, Shannon Farren, John Kobylt, Ken Chiampou and Tim Conway Jr. were on-site, encouraging listeners to donate packaged pasta, jars of pasta sauce, and money to help feed underprivileged children. Everything gathered helps provide a balanced meal every night to more than 1,800 low-income children in over 15 cities in Los Angeles and Orange County ….. Earlier this month (12/3), Alpha Media talker WFTL, West Palm Beach helped to raise more than $40,000 as part of the city’s “Walk to Cure Arthritis.” Station on-air talent Rich Stevens comments, “My mom has been affected by this awful disease and I see the pain it causeshurley, harry her. Now that I have been involved, I know it has nothing to do with age. It can affect anyone at any age, which is why I wanted to be part of this great cause to help find a cure.” Arthritis Foundation development manager Lisa Roeberg remarks, “It was truly inspiring to see so many of our arthritis champions taking another step toward victory.” ….. When Townsquare Media-owned WPGG “Talk Radio 104.1,” Atlantic City (New Jersey) morning man Harry Hurley learned that 100 children who attend Pleasantville’s Christian Ministry Impact of God Church were not going to have Christmas this year, he thought “that was unacceptable” so, the “Hurley in the Morning Charity” is writing a cash grant for the church today (Friday, 12/16). Hurley tells TALKERS, “I have partnered with Atlantic County Toys for Kids program and, we have obtained 100 new children’s toys for the church. I am also going to help raise $500 more in cash donations on-air this morning.”

beasley-christmas-2‘Tis The Season. Celebrating last night (Thursday, 12/15) at the Beasley Media Group Las Vegas Christmas party are Las Vegas-based GNC Network syndicated personality Dr. Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP; market general manager Tom Humm; and KDWN program director-news director-morning anchor John Shaffer.

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Trump Transition/Cabinet Nominees Top News Talk Stories for Week of December 12-16.  The transitioning of the Trump Administration and President-Elect Donald Trump’s cabinet nominees were the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM for this week.  At #2 was the allegation the Russian government was responsible for hacking the DNC computers, tied with the CIA’s refusal to testify before congress on the matter.  Coming in at #3 was Donald Trump’s meeting with Silicon Valley executives, followed by the Federal Reserve’s raising of interest rates and the record high Dow Jones industrial average at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com View this week’s entire chart here.

Monday, November 7, 2016

| November 7, 2016

Entercom Reports Q3 Net Revenue Up 5%.  It was a rosy third quarter for Entercom Communications as it reports net revenue was $120.5 million during the period – up 5% from the same period a year ago.   Station operating income increased 12% to $37.9 million, and adjusted net income per share increased 8% to $0.27. entercomEntercom president and CEO David Field states, “Entercom delivered another solid quarter of organic top-line and bottom-line growth, demonstrating the strength of our great local brands and our outstanding team.  We are also very pleased to have just completed a highly successful refinancing that will lower our annual interest expense by more than $10 million and to have announced a terrific, value-creating acquisition of four stations in Charlotte.  We are excited by the opportunities ahead as we look to finish the year on a strong note and get off to a great start in 2017.”  Entercom is acquiring news/talk WBT-AM/FM, hot AC WLNK, and sports talk WFNC in Charlotte from Beasley.  Currently it is operating WBT-AM/FM and WLNK under an LMA and expects to close on the stations by the first of the year.  If the purchase of the stations from Beasley doesn’t close by then, it will start operating WFNZ under an LMA, as well.

cbsradioCBS RADIO Reports Flat Q3.  As parent company CBS Corp. prepares to issue an initial public offering on CBS RADIO stock and create a separate company out of the radio segment, it is breaking out the radio numbers from the Local Broadcasting segment.  CBS RADIO’s performance was basically flat comparing the third quarter of 2016 to the same period a year ago.  Net revenue was $319 million compared to $318 million in 2015.

Gann Upped to Regional SVP of Programming for iHeartMedia.  Programming pro Brian Gann is being elevated to regional SVP/programming for iHeartMedia’s Central Texas Region.  Gann has been program director gannbrianfor spoken-word formatted stations in the same region, including news/talk WOAI and sports talk KTKR in San Antonio and news/talk KVET in Austin.  In this new role, San Antonio-based Gann will “oversee all on-air content as well as music and digital programming for iHM’s 15 radio station brands in the Austin and San Antonio regions.”  He comments, “I am thrilled to have the opportunity to program some of the leading radio station brands in Central Texas.  Great things are happening for iHeartMedia in Austin and San Antonio and I am humbled to be a part of it.”

Update on Warner Wolf’s ‘Imus’ Exit.  No one’s talking on the record – neither Don Imus nor WABC – but it appears that sports anchor Warner Wolf’s surprise departure from his role on the “Imus in the Morning” showwolfwarner based at Cumulus Media’s WABC comes as a result of the wishes of Imus himself.  The New York Daily NewsDon Kaplan writes that, when asked why he’s leaving the show, his cagey response was, “You’d have to ask Imus that question.”  As TALKERS reported on Friday, WABC personality Sid Rosenberg is returning to the sports anchor role on the show and he’ll continue to co-host the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon show with Bernard McGuirk.  Read the Daily News piece here.

iHeartRadio Names Peterson and Murphy to SVP Positions.  Joining iHeartMedia’s digital platform iHeartRadio are Chris Peterson, to serve as senior vice president of podcasting, and Beth Murphy, as the newpetersonchris senior vice president of marketing.  The company says Peterson will oversee iHeartRadio’s overall murphybethpodcast strategy and grow its profile in the podcast community.  He will guide content partnerships, advise the product team on its podcast roadmap, and work with sales to monetize podcast efforts.  He most recently was content partnerships manager for TuneIn.  He’s also worked as director of operations for The Blaze and the director of affiliate relations for Premiere Networks.  Murphy’s charge is to manage brand messaging and the user lifecycle process, as well as optimize user acquisition and retention.  She will work closely with iHeartRadio’s Chris Williams, chief product officer and Adam Denenberg, chief technology officer to oversee iHeartRadio’s overall streaming music and live digital radio strategy.  Murphy has previously served as chief marketing officer at Deezer and Stitcher.

sabowalterSabo: What Are You Going to Do on Wednesday?  Media consultant Walter Sabo asks that question of talk radio stations that are talking primarily politics most of the time.  What do stations that want to broaden their appeal do after tomorrow’s election?  He ticks off a list of stations whose ratings are growing and states, “Those stations, and others that are growing, present a wide range of subjects and hosts with varying points of view.  The results indicate that the wider the conversation, the higher the ratings.”  Read more from Sabo here.

The St. Louis Post- Dispatch Encourages FCC Complaints About Oldies/Talk KZQZ-AM.  The newspaper has taken an unusual step in publishing an editorial encouraging the public to complain to the FCC about kzqzthe language of talk host Bob Romanik.  The station calls itself “The First Amendment Station” and the newspaper says it is a great supporter of First Amendment rights, “but there’s a line between political expression and hate speech that must not be crossed.”  Romanik’s voice appears in recorded political ads in which he refers repeatedly to St. Clair County Board Chairman Mark Kern as a cross-dresser and “faggot.”  The paper writes, “Listeners must not allow this abuse of the public airwaves to stand.  The Federal Communications Commission needs to hear from anyone who believes Romanik’s hate speech deserves sanction.  Romanik makes GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump seem like a model of good manners and decorum.”  Read the whole editorial here.

Odds & Sods.  At Entercom’s sports talk WEEI-FM, Boston, air personality and WEEI.com writer Jerry Thornton announces he’s leaving the company to return to Barstool Sports where he’ll write and host his own football podcast.  Thornton joined WEEI two years ago and has been serving as the third voice on the afternoon drive “Dale and Holley” show with Dale Arnold and Michael Holley.  He writes of his decision saying, “You don’t walk away from a job situation like this unless you have an opportunity too good to pass up.  And that’s what Barstool has offered me.”…..iHeartMedia promotes Matt “Shaggy” Culbreath from his APD position to program director of news/talk WSPD, Toledo…..Former WITI-TV, Milwaukee anchor and reporter Katrina Cravy is signed up to make regular, twice-weekly appearances on the “Mornings with Dave Luczak” show on Saga Communications’ classic rock WKLH, Milwaukee.  Cravy exited the TV station in September of this year…..FOX News Radio’s election coverage plans include a 6:00 pm start for anchored content with Jared Halpern, Laura Ingle, along with Fox News contributor Tony Sayegh.  Tonya J. Powers and Jon Decker will report live from the Hillary Clinton campaign headquarters while Rachel Sutherland and Gurnal Scott will be on hand live from the Trump headquarters.  FNR will have reporters throughout key states and Chad Pergram will cover the congressional race from Capitol Hill.

Beasley Broadcast Group Retains Dan Finn to Lead New Jersey Stations.  On the heels of last week’s closing on the Greater Media stations, Beasley Broadcast Group announces that it is formally bringingfinndan executive Dan Finn into the company’s fold as senior vice president and market manager for the New Jersey cluster.  Finn had been with Greater Media since 2001, first as VP and regional general manager, then as SVP and regional general manager since 2007.  Finn comments, “It’s an honor and privilege to now be a part of the Beasley team.  My staff and I are excited to continue working with these heritage properties for such a legendary broadcasting company.”

The Presidential Race, U.S. House and Senate Races, FBI Clears Clinton in Emails Matter, ObamaCare Premiums Soar, Daylight Saving Time Ends, and College and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The presidential contest between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton; the down-ticket races for the U.S. House and Senate; FBI Director James Comey announces no new investigation into Clinton emails; ObamaCare’s premium increases; the pros and cons of Daylight Saving Time; and the weekend’s college football and NFL games were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

| October 12, 2016

Cumulus Shareholders Approve Reverse Stock Split.  The vote among Cumulus Media shareholders took place today and becomes effective at 5:00 pm ET.  This move consists of a 1-for-8 reverse split – eight shares cumulus-logoof the company’s Class A common stock will be converted into one share – to increase the price of each share.  There will be no fractional shares issued; they will be rounded up to whole shares.  This obviously results in a reduction of the number of authorized shares of common stock.  Cumulus Media’s stock has been trading for less than $ 0.75 per share for most of the past year.

Charlie Sykes’ Exit from WTMJ, Milwaukee Presents Options for New Show.  In a piece published in the Milwaukee Business Journal, WTMJ VP/GM Tom Langmyer says that the station will not be limiting its search Radio 620 WTMJ - WRS (662c)for a replacement for talk host Charlie Sykes to a “political host.”  Sykes’ national profile has grown over the last year due to his refusal to support the candidacy of Donald Trump for president.  As a conservative media icon in the state – Sykes founded the conservative media site RightWisconsin.com – his approach to his radio program has also been politically focused.  Langmyer has already announced that Jeff Wagner’s program will move into the 8:30 am to 12:00 noon slot currently occupied by Sykes, leaving the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm daypart the one to be filled.  Referring to the station’s programming philosophy, Langmyer says, “Over the last couple of years, (we have) focused on a more inclusive feel.  We have definitely broadened our scope and appeal to what WTMJ means to the community overall.”  You can read the entire piece here.

Evening Personality Joe DeCamara Exits WPEN-FM, Philadelphia.  Both Crossing Broad and Philly.com are reporting that evening sports talk host Joe DeCamara has exited Greater Media’s WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic” where he’s been host of the 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm show since April of 2015.  DeCamara first joined thewpen-fm station in 2005.  WPEN-FM, along with the other Greater Media signals in Philly, is in the process of being acquired by Beasley Broadcast Group.  Just last month, Jon Marks exited the WPEN-FM morning program hosted by Anthony Gargano.  Three other staffers were let go at the time the Greater Media-Beasley deal was announced.  There’s no word from Greater Media about its plans for replacing DeCamara.  Staffer Matt Lombardo hosted the show last night (10/11).

oshaughnessywilliamWilliam O’Shaughnessy Goes to Bat for Billy Bush.  New York broadcaster William O’Shaughnessy pens an opinion piece addressing the character of embattled NBC-TV personality Billy Bush.  O’Shaughnessy says, in so many words, what a shame it would be for Bush to lose his position with NBC due do his role in the Donald Trump hot-mic case that’s plaguing the Republican nominee.  Read it here.

londoncallingimageNew Episode of International Talk Show ‘London Calling with Graham Mack’ Posted Today.   Episode 4 of the exciting new TalkersRadio weekly program “London Calling” is posted today (10/12).  The experimental show that swaps news, views and information between the US and Great Britain, hosted by award-winning English talk host Graham Mack, features a conversation with an icon of British broadcasting who happens to be an American, Paul Gambaccini.  Mack talks about a possible fist fight in the European Parliament and he hears from a listener named Linda Lee King in California who discovered the show via an interview Mack did on Chicago radio, plus Michael Harrison checks in from Massachusetts to discuss Brexit.  To hear the show in its entirety please go directly to TalkersRadio by clicking here.

Odds & Sods. At iHeartMedia’s Tampa sports talker WDAE, the local morning drive program co-hosted by Tampa Bay Times writers Rick Stroud and Tom Jones is cancelled in favor of ESPN Radio’s “Mike & Mike” show…..WTMJ, Milwaukee is once again producing a holiday radio show.  This year, the Scripps-owned station is doing “It’s a Wonderful Life,” featuring radio personalities Charlie Sykes, Jeff Wagner, Gene Mueller, Greg Matzek, Wayne Larrivee and a cast of other WTMJ hosts and local voices.  It will take place live at Milwaukee’s Turner Hall on November 29 and be replayed on the radio throughout the holiday season.

The Presidential Race/Debate and Trump Hot-Mic Aftermath, Clinton Wikileaks Docs, Syria Civil War/Russian Military Involvement, Hurricane Matthew Destruction, Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 Crisis, MLB Playoffs, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/11).  The presidential race, including the Sunday evening debate and the “Access Hollywood” hot-mic issue; the Wikileaks release of revealing emails between Hillary Clinton and John Podesta; the civil conflict in Syria and the Russian military’s role in recent deadly attacks on civilians; the destruction in the Carolinas from Hurricane Matthew; the problems facing Samsung due to the exploding Galaxy Note 7 phone; the Major League Baseball playoffs; and the weekend’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

| October 5, 2016

Jimmy deCastro to Exit WGN, Chicago President and GM Role.  Chicago media writer Robert Feder has the scoop as Windy City radio management legend Jimmy deCastro confirms he’s exiting the Tribune-owned,decastrojimmy standalone news/talker after three-and-a-half years leading the heritage station.  Telling Feder he’s “done wgn-logo-16everything I can to respect and build on the legacy of this amazing place,” deCastro says, “now the time is right for me to go back and build something new.”  Larry Wert is the president of broadcast media for Tribune and comments, “Jimmy brought his unique leadership, experience and passion to the job every single day, and it made WGN a better, more focused radio station both on and off the air.  I am eternally grateful to him professionally and personally.”  Read Feder’s piece here.

Brandmeier and Westwood One to Part Company.  From the statement made by Jonathon Brandmeier on his website, this decision by syndicator Westwood One to put the wraps on their deal when it expires in early 2017 is okay by him.  Brandmeier writes, “I completely agree with that decision.  I truly believe this is the best move brandmeierjonathonfor all involved.  It was only a matter of time, and there are no hard feelings…I met some good people at Westwood One, we picked up new listeners from across this great nation of Murica, and I realized what has always driven me in this business was missing: the spirit of JUST HAVIN’ FUN.  It’s time for me to get back to that.  We plan to honor our agreement and continue on the air until it’s officially over – or until they literally pull the plug.  I have no idea what the future holds, but I’m as pumped as ever to create content for the people of earth.”  Brandmeier’s show emanates from his home base at Cumulus Media’s WLS-AM, Chicago airing from 9:00 am to 11:00 am.  There’s no word yet what the end of the syndication deal means for WLS-AM.

Dave Adams Appointed SVP of Programming for iHeartMedia Tucson. Programmer Dave Adams takes on a new role with iHeartMedia, moving west to become SVP of programming for the company’s Tucson clusteradamsdave that includes CHR KRQQ, hot AC KMIY “My 92.9,” hip hop KOHT “Hot 98.3,” country KYWD “97.1 The Bull,” news/talk KNST, talk KTZR, and Tejano KXEW.  Adams most recently was serving as brand manager for classic hits KLOU, St. Louis.  iHeartMedia EVP of programming Steve Geofferies states, “What a great hire for the Arizona region and the Tucson market.  Experience, steady hand, and a history of success. I’m looking forward to getting Dave to Tucson.”

SB Nation Names New Morning Show.  With the exit of Steve Czaban from the lead role on the morning drive show, SB Nation Radio promotes from within and announces the Monday (10/10) debut of “SB Nation AM with Linn, Murray and Solly” featuring Scott Linn, Tim Murray and Steve Solomon.  The three are rejoining sbnationthe network after spending six years on the Steve Czaban show.  Murray also hosted his eponymous Sunday evening show on the network.  SB Nation Radio (formerly Yahoo! Sports Radio) CEO David Gow states, “This group is a talented trio.  They have long been integral to the success of our network and we are excited to give them their own show.”  All three have ties to WTEM, Washington “ESPN 980.”  Linn served as an anchor and OM at the station, Murray is afternoon anchor and host of “DMV Game Time,” and Solomon hosts a weekly show dedicated to mixed martial arts on “ESPN 980.”

Odds & Sods.  A new deal from Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment and the NHL’s New York Islanders put Islanders hockey on numerous radio signals.  CBS RADIO’s sports talk WFAN-AM/FM is named a broadcast partner of the Islanders Radio Network with the broadcast of 30 games during the regular season on 660 AM and simulcast on 101.9 FM, starting with the team’s home opener on Oct. 16.  Salem Media Group-owned news/talk WNYM “AM 970 The Answer” will join the network and broadcast 52 regular season games.  Plus, Hofstra University-owned WRHU-FM, Hempstead will continue to simulcast each game throughout the regular season and playoffs as part of the Islanders Radio Network…..Morning shows from five of CBS RADIO’s Chicago station group will broadcasting live from Wrigley Field prior to that evening’s game one of the Chicago Cubs Nationalweissmichael League Division Series versus either the Giants or the Mets.  Broadcasting will be WSCR’s Mully and Hanley show, WJMK’s Dave Fogel, WBBM-FM’s “The J Show,” WUSN’s Stylz and Roman, and WXRT’s Lin and Mary…..Sales pro Michael Weiss joins SiriusXM as senior advisor to advertising sales from his most recent position as president of sales for CBS RADIO.

The Presidential Race/VP Debate/Trump’s Taxes, Syria Civil War/U.S.-Russia Tensions, U.S., Immigration Policy, Wikileaks Letdown, Hurricane Matthew, MLB Playoffs, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/4).  The activities of presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, the build-up to last night’s vice presidential debate, and the dominant chatter about Trump’s tax history; the state of the civil war in Syria and the tensions between the U.S. and Russia over the latter’s role in the violence; the immigration policy in the U.S.; the lack of any document drop from Wikileaks on the occasion of the organization’s 10th anniversary; Hurricane Matthew hits Haiti and heads for the U.S.; the Major League Baseball playoffs begin; and the weekend’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

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Standing Room Only in Charlotte.  The latest sold-out stop on nationally syndicated talk radio superstar Dave Ramsey’s Smart Money tour was the Ovens Auditorium in Charlotte.  Last night (10/4), Ramsey spoke to attendees about winning with money, getting out of debt and investing for the future.  Best-selling author and financial expert (and Dave’s daughter) Rachel Cruze joined him on stage. Cruze’s most recent book is titled, Love Your Life, Not Theirs (Thomas Nelson 2016).   Pictured here at the event is Ramsey (center) and, from Charlotte affiliate WBT “News Talk 1110,” Rick Feinblatt, SVP/market manager for Greater Media Charlotte (left), and Greater Media Charlotte sales manager Carol Poteat (right).  Feinblatt states, “Dave Ramsey continues to have a great impact on the listeners of WBT as indicated by the sold out show in Charlotte.  His daily interaction with the listeners proves that the Dave Ramsey show is a great complement to the powerful lineup here at ‘News Talk 1110 WBT.’”

kfwbdesiLotus to Buy KFWB-AM, Los Angeles for $11.2 Million.  The former Los Angeles heritage news signal (more recently sports talk before the March 1, 2016 sale) KFWB has been airing a Bollywood music format since Universal Media Access acquired it officially just seven months ago for $8 million.  Now, Lotus Communications is agreeing to buy the signal for $11.2 million.  It’s unknown what Lotus’ format plans are for the station.

Monday, September 19, 2016

| September 19, 2016

J.T. the Brick Hosting Local Show on ‘95.7 The GAME’ in San Francisco.  Nationally syndicated sports talk star J.T. The Brick begins hosting a 10:00 am to 12:00 noon local show on Entercom’s KGMZ, San Francisco “95.7 The GAME” today.  J.T. The Brick, a.k.a. John Tournour, is syndicated by FOX Sports Radio live fromjtthebrick 8:00 pm to 11:00 pm ET with co-host Tomm Looney.  Speaking about his station’s new show, KGMZ kgmzprogram director Don Kollins says, “I am excited to welcome J.T. back to the local market and to the ‘95.7 The GAME’ family.  He’s an accomplished radio and television personality with high energy, strong Bay Area ties and stronger opinions.  I think he brings appointment listening back to the 10:00 am-12:00 noon time slot.”  J.T.’s ties to the Bay Area include six years as host of the Oakland Raiders pre- and post-game radio shows in San Francisco, host of “Behind the Shield” and the “Raiders Report” for Silver and Black Productions on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area as well as numerous guest appearances on FOX, CNBC and MSNBC network television programs.  He will continue his syndicated radio show.

Jon Marks to Exit ‘97.5 The Fanatic’ in Philly.  According to Philly’s Crossing Broad, morning drive personality Jon Marks – who currently co-hosts sports talk WPEN-FM’s “Mornings with Anthony Gargano” – is exiting the station when his contract expires in October.  There’s some speculation in Philadelphia about the future marksjonof WPEN-FM after Beasley assumes ownership from Greater Media.  We know for sure based on Beasley’s recent presentation to lenders that it intends to realize $6.2 million in synergies from the combination of the two companies, but there are no specific plans announced for the sports talk outlet.  Philly.com’s Rob Tornoe reports that Beasley interim CEO Caroline Beasley told the Philadelphia Inquirer’s John Takiff that the company has no plans to change the formats or talent of the Philly stations.  While WPEN-FM scored a 1.5 share (persons 6+) in the August PPM survey against competitor WIP-FM’s 3.8 share, it’s unknown how revenue at WPEN-FM stacks up against expenses.

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Salem’s KRLA, Los Angeles Hosts Town Hall Forum in Pasadena on 2016 Election.  An all-star panel of talk radio talent appeared at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium last night (9/18) as Salem Media Group’s KRLA, Los Angeles “AM 870 The Answer” presented the latest in its TOWNHALL 2016 series titled, “Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump – Who Will Best Lead Our Country over the Next Four Years?”  In the photo above are (from l-r): moderator Hugh Hewitt, KRLA’s Brian Whitman, KRLA’s Elisha Krauss, SRN’s Larry Elder, SRN’s Mike Gallagher, Westwood One’s Mark Levin, SRN’s Michael Medved, SRN’s Dennis Prager, and KRLA’s Ben Shapiro.

Harvey Nagler and Radio Journos Honored by RTDNF.  Pictured here accepting the Barney Oldfield Awardnaglerrtdna16 from the Radio Television Digital News Foundation is CBS RADIO News vice president Harvey Nagler (left).  Nagler is pictured with the RTDNF chair Amy Tardif (right).  The award is named for the founder of the Radio Television Digital News Foundation and presented to individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the success of the Foundation.  Nagler is departing the board after serving two terms as a director at-large.  He was a recipient of the Association’s John F. Hogan Award in 2014.  Also honored this year was KSL-AM/FM, Salt Lake City news director Sheryl Worsley, who received the Bob Priddy Award, named for the Association’s longtime board member and two-time chairman.  Worsley serves as RTDNA’s region 3 director and chairs the Association’s digital committee.

Odds & Sods.  Nationally syndicated talk show host Chad Benson is now airing on Cox Media Group’s KRMG-AM/FM, Tulsa.  The Radio America-syndicated program is airing in the early morning, leading into KRMG’sbensonchad “Morning News with Dan Potter.”  Potter comments, “The next generation of talk radio is here right now, and his name is Chad Benson.  KRMG is enthusiastic about adding the Chad Benson show to a weekday daypart, leading into our NAB Marconi Award winning local programming.”…..A new podcast titled, “The Tackling Life Podcast” with NFL great Ray Lewis and emotional management expert Dr. Christian Conte is launching.  It’s being exclusively repped by AdLarge Media.  The podcast will help “listeners set goals, overcome obstacles, and achieve happier, more successful lives.”…..Greater Media senior vice raphaelheidipresident Heidi Raphael is named among the class of 2016 Women of Influence in Western New York by Buffalo Business First, a leading business publication.  She’s being honored at luncheon on Thursday (9/22) at the Millennium Hotel in Buffalo.  The recipient selection process was based on professional success and community involvement.  Raphael is an avid philanthropist in her hometown of Buffalo.  She’s involved on a number of boards, including the Board of Trustees of Medaille College and serves as president of the board of directors of the Buffalo Broadcasters Association and vice president of the Buffalo History Museum board of managers…..The NAB Education Foundation and the Broadcast Education Association are announcing the winners of the Freedom of Speech Public Service Announcement Contest for college communications students.  The winners are being awarded a $2,500 scholarship for their submissions of 30-second spots that creatively address, “What Freedom of Speech means to me.”  Felicia Tonga of Andrews University won in the television category for “Protect Our Future,” and Melvin Johnson III of American Broadcasting School won in the radio category for “More Than Words.”  Stations are encouraged to run the spots during Free Speech Week, October 17-23…..Houston-based radio pro Doug Harris, founder of the digital broadcast platform Radio Brave, is putting a call out for the next star podcaster.  Not only that, he’s putting his money where his mouth is and offering a $5,000 cash prize plus a one-year development, distribution and promotion contract with Radio Brave.  Harris says, “Radio Brave’s purpose is to bring new content, from new people, to new audiences.  wachsroot16We began with weekly, one-hour shows, but since our studios and crew are perfectly suited to produce and distribute shorter formats, we’re making podcasts, podcasting, and podcasters our focus.”  Radio Brave’s Master ‘Caster Talent Search will begin accepting entries on October 3 Slam@RadioBrave.com.  Official rules are posted at the bottom of the home page at RadioBrave.com…..Fans near and far (from Houston, Dallas and Washington DC) came out for late talk show host Jerry Doyle’s tribute that happened at No Regrets Bar in Las Vegas on Saturday night (9/17).  Radio people in attendance included Wayne Allyn Root, Heidi Harris, Alan Stock, Talk Media Network’s Josh Leng, KDWN GM Tom Humm, and KDWN PD John Shaffer.  GCN-syndicated talk host Dr. Daliah Wachs (pictured above with Root) helped organize the event and tells TALKERS, “We miss our beloved Jerry so much and hope he is at peace, though we made a helluvalotta noise!”

The Presidential Race, Saturday’s Manhattan Bombing/Minnesota Stabbings, Putin Party Wins Russian Elections, Syrian Civil War/U.S.-Russia Tensions, Sunday’s Emmy Awards, NFL Action and MLB Playoffs Push Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The activities of presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton; the Saturday night bombing in NYC, the bombs found at a New Jersey train station, and the ISIS-inspired stabbings in Minnesota; Vladimir Putin’s United Russia party wins a majority in parliamentary elections; the unsteady Syrian cease-fire, the U.S.’ bombing of Syrian troops, and the tensions between the U.S. and Russia; Sunday evening’s politically charged Emmy Awards ceremony; Sunday’s NFL action and the playoff push in Major League Baseball were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Friday, August 26, 2016

| August 26, 2016

Three Suspended from WPEN-FM, Philly for ‘Dwayne from Swedesboro’ Bit.  According to a report in Philly.com from writer Rob Tornoe, Greater Media management has suspended three WPEN-FM employees after the “Dwayne from Swedesboro” bit was revealed earlier this week to be phony.  Serving three-day suspensions wpen-fmare program director Matt Nahigian, APD and PM drive personality Jason Myrtetus, and producer Pat Egan.  In case you missed it, “Dwayne from Swedesboro” – who exhibited numerous black stereotypes – was a regular “caller” to WPEN-FM’s PM drive Mike Missanelli program.  Turns out, though, that “Dwayne” was really white producer Pat Egan and that fact was kept from Missanelli (which is why he’s not been suspended).  When the story broke earlier this week, it created intense chatter among Philly sports talk fans and discussion about broadcasting ethics and racial sensitivities among radio people.  Crosstown rival Josh Innes was so incensed, he posted a photo of an old actor in blackface with one of his tweets critical of the bit.  Innes was let go by CBS RADIO’s WIP-FM on Wednesday and only WIP management knows if that was the sole reason for his dismissal or if it was one of several factors.  Regardless, the three will return to work on Wednesday (8/31) and, in the meantime, Greater Media has some damage control to do in Philadelphia.

It’s Official:  FCC Releases 2014 Quadrennial Regulatory Review.  For some time we’ve known what this review was going to say, but the FCC has now officially released the Quadrennial Regulatory Review with the subtitle “Review of the Commission’s Broadcast Ownership Rules And Other Rules Adopted Pursuant to Section fccnew202 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996.”  Republican Commissioner Michael O’Rielly sums up his feelings thusly, “…rarely have I seen a proceeding take so long and a document say so much in order to accomplish nothing of value.  I dissent.”  Ouch!  And referring to the release of theoriellymichael 2010 Quadrennial Review in 2016, Republican Commissioner Ajit Pai states, “What took us so long?  Based on the ‘substance’ of this Order, I have no idea, for the agency essentially does nothing but stick its head in the sand.”  Both commissioners chide their agency for sticking with the ban on Newspaper-Broadcast Cross-ownership, citing arguments with which readers of this trade publication are already very familiar.  Pai also laments the commission’s unwillingness to update the Local Radio Ownership Rule, the Radio-Television Cross-Ownership Rule, and the Dual Network Rule.  paiajitHe accuses the agency of defying the courts with regard to diversity.  Five years ago, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit vacated the FCC’s definition of “eligible entity.”  Pai comments, “Earlier this year, the Third Circuit said ‘enough is enough’ and demanded that the FCC take prompt action on its ‘stalled efforts to promote diversity in the broadcast industry.’   So what does the Commission do here in response to the court?  Precisely one thing: It re-adopts the exact same ‘eligible entity’ definition that the Third Circuit rejected in 2011!”  Pai goes on to express disappointment with partisanship and procedure that hampers the agency’s ability to serve the industry.  “Today’s result is all the more unfortunate because compromise was well within reach.  For example, a bipartisan majority of commissioners was willing to repeal the outdated Newspaper-Broadcast Cross-Ownership Rule.  But for some reason, we were told that this rule would not be repealed unless all commissioners agreed.  And sadly, one chose to exercise that veto.  As someone who has been on the losing end of more 3-2 votes than I care to remember, I am baffled by this new requirement for unanimity.  We’ve been told for years by the FCC’s leadership that 3-2 votes are what democracy is all about.  Except, I guess, when it isn’t.”  You can read the FCC’s entire report as well as full commentary by O’Rielly, Pai and Democratic Commissioner Mignon Clyburn here.

talkersten logoThe Presidential Race Remains Atop the Talkers TenTM.  The activities of presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton again this week were the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio, finishing at #1 on the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 during the week of August 22-26 were questions about Clinton Family Foundation donors getting access to Hillary Clinton while she was Secretary of State.  Coming in at #3 was the recent skirmishes between Iranian and U.S. naval vessels in the Strait of Hormuz, followed by the terror attack at American University in Kabul.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Odds & Sods.  Ryder Cup captain Davis Love III is taking part in a special Town Hall show at SiriusXM’sconwaysimonPags16 Manhattan studios on August 30.  The program before a live, studio audience is being hosted by PGA Pro Bob Ford and SiriusXM’s Taylor Zarzour.  Love will answer questions from audience members and discuss the U.S. team as it prepares for the 2016 Ryder Cup, being played September 30 through October 2 at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, Minnesota…..Some people take it easy at work on Friday – not WHO, Des Moines afternoon personality Simon Conway.  For a while now, Conway has also been hosting the morning show on iHeartMedia’s WMT, Cedar Rapids in addition to his afternoon gig.  Today, Conway is also filling in for WOAI, San Antonio-based, syndicated talk host Joe Pagliarulo.  The duo is pictured at right at the recent Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Conway on the left and Pags on the right…..“America Outdoors Radio,” produced and hosted by John Kruse and presented by Northwest Sportsman Magazine, the American Shooting Journal, California Sportsman Magazine and the Alaska Sporting Journal, adds new affiliates: KBYR, Anchorage; KBYR, Prudhoe Bay; and KBYR, Kuparuk in Alaska as well as WEMB, Johnson City, Tennessee and KBNH, Burns, Oregon.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

| August 16, 2016

WTMJ, Milwaukee’s Charlie Sykes Questions Talk Radio’s Role in Creating Fact-Challenged Constituency.  In a Twitter post promoting his upcoming piece on conservative media that contains comments from WTMJ, Milwaukee talk show host Charlie Sykes, Business Insider writer Oliver Darcy reveals some frank thoughts from the air personality about talk radio’s role in growing a listener base that doesn’t believe anysykescharlie mainstream media outlet can be trusted to check the facts.  With regard to the presidential campaign of Donald Trump (whom Sykes famously challenged on air during the primary race), Sykes says Trump can say anything without fear of being investigated by a source talk listeners will trust.  Sykes says that although he believes there is bias against conservatives in the mainstream media, he wonders if the business insiderconstant drumbeat of conservative media people railing against liberal bias hasn’t had an unintended consequence.  For example, Sykes expresses his frustration dealing with his listeners to Darcy, “…it is impossible for me to say that, ‘By the way, you know it’s false.’ And they’ll say, ‘Why? I saw it on Allen B. West.’ Or they’ll say, ‘I saw it on a Facebook page.’ And I’ll say, ‘The New York Times did a fact check.’  And they’ll say, ‘Oh, that’s The New York Times.  That’s bullsh*t.’  There’s nobody – you can’t go to anybody and say, ‘Look here are the facts.’ And I have to say that’s one of the disorienting realities of this political year.”  Sykes is quoted saying he has to ask himself, “To what extent did I contribute?”  It’s not clear when Business Insider will publish Darcy’s entire story.

ruizlizHoF16KTSA, San Antonio’s Elizabeth Ruiz Inducted into SA Radio HoF.  KTSA, San Antonio news personality Elizabeth Ruiz was inducted into the San Antonio Radio Hall of Fame on Sunday (8/14).  Ruiz (pictured here at Sunday’s induction) is a member of the Texas Radio Hall of Fame, San Antonio Women’s Hall of Fame, Edgewood Hall of Fame, and Fiesta San Antonio’s Order of the Cascaron.  Alpha Media operations director Greg Martin says, “Liz has been a credible voice in San Antonio for more than 30 years.  Beyond her news credibility, Liz is also known for her charitable work around San Antonio having emceed hundreds of community events throughout the years.”

The Presidential Race, Milwaukee Protests, NYC Imam Murder, PA AG Case, Russia-Iran Military Relationship, Rio Olympics-Gabby Douglas Controversy, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/15).  The activities of presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, including House Republicans’ perjury allegations against Clinton; the ongoing violence and protests in Milwaukee after the shooting death of a black suspect by police; the murder of an NYC imam and his assistant; the guilty verdict against Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane; the military relationship between Russia and Iran as the former uses Iranian air bases to strike Syrian rebel targets; the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro and the social media attacks on U.S. gymnast Gabby Douglas; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

espnradiologoESPN Radio Announces NBA Broadcasts.  Over the course of the 2016-17 NBA season, ESPN Radio will broadcast 28 regular season games, starting with the defending NBA Champion Cleveland Cavaliers hosting the New York Knicks on Opening Night (10/25).  ESPN Radio will also broadcast All-Star Game events plus playoffs and the NBA Finals.  This season, games are also being made available via the ESPN app.  Marc Kestecher makes his debut as the primary play-by-play voice, alongside analyst Jon Barry, with P.J. Carlesimo and Kara Lawson returning for select games.

cheadlePSAEntercom to Launch Don Cheadle-Voiced $1 Million PSA Campaign.  This campaign is part of Entercom Communications’ 1Thing initiative.  The company is launching a nationwide PSA campaign on behalf of the Environmental Defense Fund equal to $1 million worth of free airtime.  The company says the PSA features Academy Award-nominated actor Don Cheadle discussing the importance of stabilizing the global climate for our children and grandchildren.  The PSAs will run across 124 of Entercom’s stations in 27 markets in the country beginning this month.   Cheadle says, “I’m happy to help introduce more people to the great work of EDF.  We’re in the fight of our lives against climate change and EDF has been a real leader in that struggle.  So I hope this helps.”

wbtwlnk duo logoCool Job Opportunity.  Greater Media Charlotte is seeking account executives to work in the market representing news/talk WBT and hot AC WLNK “The Link.”  The company says it is seeking applicants who have: quantifiable success in radio/media sales or another industry; the drive, hunger, and ability to see the sales process through from prospecting to the final close; courage to ask for and deliver remarkable programs; a love and passion for winning; integrity and pride in being a full service rep; new business expertise and a creative mind; a desire to exceed expectations and move up quickly; independent and entrepreneurial performers; excellent verbal and written communication.  “At Greater Media Charlotte, you will be surrounded by people who love to have fun and work extremely hard.  We offer great benefits and lots of incentives for self-starters, while enjoying the stability of a privately owned media company with two of Charlotte’s best radio stations.”  To apply, send your resume and a cover letter to: hired@gmclt.com.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

| August 11, 2016

beck, glennBeck Ordered to Identify Two Confidential Sources. In a ruling Tuesday (8/9), U.S. district court judge Patti Saris determined Glenn Beck must divulge the names of two sources cited for comments responsible for the Premiere Networks host to be sued for defamation and slander by a student falsely accused in early reports of involvement in the April 2013 Boston Marathon bombings. The suit against Beck was filed by Abdulrahman Alharbi, a Saudi Arabian student who Beck claims was the “money man” behind those bombings. He called Alharbi a terrorist – although then-secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano said publicly that Alharbi had been questioned about the bombings and he was cleared. Judge Saris categorized testimony about the sources’ information by Beck, producer Joe Weasel, and former The Blaze executive Joel Cheatwood “vague and often contradictory.” She further noted that documents supplied to the court did not validate the story Beck’s people say they were told. On his radio show yesterday (Wednesday, 8/10), Beck emphasized protecting the identities of sources is a longtime First Amendment tradition. The sources, he maintains, are at risk of being killed by “our government or our politicians or political institutions.” Beck, however, was victorious on the issue of applying Massachusetts law – not Texas law – to the case. For that reason, punitive damages will not be awarded. Saris dismissed a claim about another Beck comment that the judge determined applied to the bombers – Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and his brother Tamerlan Tsarnaev.

jared and the GMWPRT Slots “Jared & The GM” in PM Drive. The weekday 2:00 pm – 6:00 pm pairing by Cromwell Group Nashville sports outlet WPRT “ESPN 102.5 The Game” of Jared  Stillman and former Tennessee Titans general manager Floyd Reese (“Jared & The GM”) starts next Monday (8/15). Stillman – who will be transitioning from 9:00 am – 12:00 noon – comments, “We have taken great strides to give the city of Nashville the best sports product and have had a lot of fun doing it. We have an unbelievable team and I am absolutely thrilled to be working with Floyd Reese, who is an amazing [football] general manager and a great host – but most importantly – an even better person.” Reese – who moves over from being a “Sports Night” co-host – remarks, “I am really looking forward to our show. Jared was born and raised in Nashville and has been following Nashville sports his whole life. He is extremely passionate about sports and talk radio. As a sidelight, it’ll be a tremendous look at two generations: the baby-boomers, the finest generation ever produced, as well as millennials, who produced Pokémon Go.” Reese is obviously a baby-boomer, while Stillman is a millennial. In Nielsen Audio‘s July 2016 PPM sweep, “The Game” ranks #21 (1.0, 6+), while cross-town format competitor – Cumulus Media‘s WGFX “104.5 The Zone” – is #12 (3.7, 6+); Midwest Communications adult contemporary WJXA “Mix 92.9” is on top with an 8.2 (6+).

kellogg, chrisKellogg Transfers to Cumulus Fort Walton Beach as OM. Inbound from Columbia, Missouri where he was operations manager for Cumulus Media Columbia-Jefferson City the past 12 years, Chris Kellogg relocates to Fort Walton Beach for similar duties at the company’s five-station Florida cluster. Cumulus CumulusMedia regional vice president Pete De Simone states, “The addition of Chris to our team will afford us the additional focus we need to continue to grow our ratings and revenue. We are excited to have the collective firepower of this dynamic programming team at work for our brands, listeners, and advertisers.” Kellogg comments, “Pete has created a terrific atmosphere to foster radio excellence. I appreciate his confidence in me and I am excited to collaborate with the programming team.” The Cumulus Media Fort Walton Beach cluster consists of talk WFTW; WKSM “99 Rock”; adult contemporary WNCV “Coast 93.3”; country WYZB “Nash FM”; and CHR WZNS “Z-96.” In addition to his OM duties, Kellogg will program WNCV and WFTW, as well as co-host mornings (with Lisa Captain) on WNCV. He succeeds Hayden Green, who continues programming “Z-96” as he has done the past 16 years and is the station’s afternoon drive talent; Green has been with the cluster the past 23 years.

shamus, mikeNeuhoff Names Shamus VP/Programming & Content. Seven-year Neuhoff Communications Lafayette, Indiana operations manager Mike Shamus (“Shamus”) is appointed to the newly created position of corporate vice president of programming & content. Neuhoff Communications chief executive officer Beth Neuhoff comments, “‘Shamus’ is a tremendous talent – a proven manager and leader with a greatNeuhoff vision for growing and improving the Neuhoff product lineup. We are confident he will take ‘Media Made Locally’ to a whole new level.” Chief operating officer Mike Hulvey remarks, “We knew we had a rare opportunity to capitalize on Shamus’ vision for connecting with our audiences in meaningful and engaging ways. With our recent expansion, ‘Shamus’ is the guy to motivate and inspire our content and programming teams to create the best local media.” According to “Shamus,” The Neuhoff stations “are truly connected to the communities we serve. Knowing I can enhance that local audience relationship will truly solidify our position as the most important source of information and entertainment in the region.” Neuhoff owns 23 properties in five markets: Bloomington, Danville, Decatur, and Springfield (all Illinois) and Lafayette (Indiana). In addition to his operations manager duties, “Shamus” does morning drive (“Shamus & Annie”) on Neuhoff Lafayette’s WKOA “Lafayette’s Country Leader K-105.”

WJROdds & Sods. Former Greater Media-owned WMGC, Detroit sports talk host Sean Baligian will co-host Detroit Lions’ pre-game and post-game shows this football season on cross-town Cumulus Media talker WJR. Baligian will be teamed with WJR sports director Steve Courtney. The two see their first action together tonight (Thursday, 8/11) in the initial pre-season game asWNYM the Lions play the Pittsburgh Steelers ….. Theater columnist of The New York Post Michael Reidel joins Salem New York talker WNYM “970 The Answer” to host a Saturday 9:00 am – 10:00 am lifestyle show, “On The Town with Michael Riedel.” Vice president and general manager Jerry Crowley comments, “We are thrilled to have Michael on our team. We have a strong desire to support Broadway as the center point of the New York economy and Michael epitomizes both New York City and Broadway. He is going to add a unique quality to our station that is distinctly New York.” ….. McAllen talker KURV shifts Radio America‘s “The Dana Show” to 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm. “She communicates the perfect mix of personality, entertainment, and uncompromising values for a new generation of talk listeners,” notes program director Sergio Sanchez.

Bob & Sheri 20th Anniversary WCTW-FMBob & Sheri Note Milestone Anniversary. Syndicated from Greater Media-owned flagship WLNK “107.9 The Link,” Charlotte – “Bob & Sheri” traveled to Hudson, New York to celebrate the 20th anniversary of their first affiliate, iHeartMedia hot AC WCTW “98.5 The Cat.” Left to right in front of the WCTW prize wheel are Sheri Lynch, WCTW’s Tina Chambers, “The Cat” operations manager Bill Williams, and Bob Lacey. “Bob & Sheri” now have more than 50 affiliates. Their show airs weekdays 5:00 am – 10:00 am on “The Cat.”

titus, mattMatchmaker Titus Signs With KMG Networks. Plans are in place through KMG Networks’ Krantz Media Group to roll out a radio show next year featuring matchmaker, relationship/dating expert, and author Matt Titus. KMG Networks founder and chief executive officer Gary Krantz says, “The minute I saw Matt in action, we knew immediately that he is the guy to step up and take the job that has been open inKrantz Media Group radio for years – that of the ultimate national relationship expert for today’s high tech, mobile listeners, appealing to both men and women. We are excited to launch Matt on radio, streaming, and podcasting through our new talent division and watch him soar.” At first, Titus will be available as a guest to stations on a market-exclusive basis through KMG. Among the stations on which he has already appeared are the morning shows of iHeartMedia Detroit CHR WKQI “Channel 95-5; co-owned classic rock WBGG “Big 105.9,” Miami; and Lotus Communications-owned KLPX “Tucson’s Real Classic Rock.” Titus’ television credits include Lifetime‘s 2009 reality show “Matched in Manhattan” and NBC-TV’s “The Match Off.” In addition, he has written “Why Hasn’t He Called?” and “Why Hasn’t He Proposed?” Earlier this year, KMG Talent, in association with Sungate Partners, launched “Always in Fashion” with Mark Weber.

burns, garyBurns Fumes Over Nielsen’s Pending Policies. In a letter he sent yesterday (Wednesday, 8/10) to the FCC, the Nielsen Company, and the Federal Trade Commission, 3 Daughters Media chief executive officer Gary Burns addressed several issues including his opposition to the way radio stations are counted in specific markets and total line reporting. Nielsen has told subscribers total line reporting will be available only to qualified subscribers “in good standing.” Burns – who owns and operates eight stations in Virginia – writes, “I have strongly disagreed with the Commission’s policy of outsourcing its responsibility for defining radio markets to two commercial enterprises, Nielsen Ratings and BIA/Kelsey. Under a new Nielsen policy, only clients of Nielsen will be able to dictate how many stations an entity can actually own. Subscribers already dictate what counties are home to the metro. If this proposed new Nielsen rule stands, it seems that the Commission will be required to find a new method of determining how many stations are home to a metro. I respectfully request that the Commission weigh in on this policy and [ask] that Nielsen delay implementation of their new policy in order to insure that station counts are accurate, consistent, and to avoid unintended consequences of this new policy.”

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

| July 20, 2016

Beasley to Acquire Greater Media’s 21 Stations in Seven Markets for $240 Million. The two communications firms surprised the industry last night with an end-of-the-workday announcement that Beasley Broadcast Group, Inc. will acquire Greater Media, Inc.  The deal is being structured so that Beasley will beasley logo longacquire all of the outstanding stock of Greater Media for an “aggregate consideration of approximately $240 million, subject to adjustments.”  Greater Media shareholders are expected to receive approximately $100 million in cash and approximately $25 million in shares of the company’s Class A common stock (at a fixed value of $4.61 per share).  In addition, the shareholders of Greater Media will receive the net cash proceeds from the sale of its tower assets, estimated to be approximately $20 million.  Beasley will refinance approximately $80 million of debt of Greatergreatermedia logo Media.  The deal will add Greater Media’s 21 radio stations to Beasley’s portfolio and gives Beasley entrance into the major market of Detroit with rock WRIF, classic rock WCSX, and classic hip hop and R&B WMGC.  It seriously beefs up its Boston presence by adding five stations to current property ethnic WRCA-AM.  Those stations are: classic hits WROR, country WKLB, rhythmic AC WBQT, adult contemporary WMJX, and alternative WBOS.  It bolsters Beasley’s Philly and Charlotte holdings with the addition of sports talk WPEN, classic rock WMGK, rock WMMR, and adult hits WBEN in the former and news/talk WBT-AM/FM and hot AC WLNK in the latter.  Beasley will be over the station ownership limit in Charlotte and will have to divest a couple of FM signals.  Six New Jersey stations are also part of the package.  Beasley says it intends to fund the acquisition through borrowings under a new beasleycarolinecredit facility that it expects to enter into in connection with the closing of the acquisition, together with cash and cash equivalents available to the company and the issuance of Class A common stock as described above.  RBC Capital Markets and U.S. Bank have provided committed financing in support of the acquisition.  Upon closing, Beasley’s portfolio of stations that it owns and operates will expand to 73 stations (52 FM and 21 AM) in 16 markets.  BBG interim CEO and CFO Caroline Beasley says, “The acquisition of Greater Media’s broadcasting and related digital assets represents a transformational growth opportunity for Beasley and is strategically and financially compelling for our shareholders.  The transaction increases our broadcast portfolio by approximately 40% and more than doubles our audience reach, giving us both market leading stations and great brands.”

WPHT, Philadelphia Personalities Report from RNC.  Covering the Republican National Convention thiszeoliRNC16 week are WPHT, Philadelphia personalities Chris Stigall (AM drive) and Rich Zeoli (PM drive).  Zeoli tells TALKERS magazine that on Tuesday, the CBS Philadelphia booth drew a big crowd as Breitbart’s Milo Yiannopoulos and stigallCBS3RNC16author and conservative pundit Ann Coulter joined him for the entire 5:00 pm hour, live from media row (pictured at right).  This interview happened just before Yiannopoulos was permanently suspended from Twitter for comments he made about Ghostbusters actress Leslie Jones.  Meanwhile, Chris Stigall has been pulling double duty at the RNC, first hosting his morning show from 6:00 to 9:00, then serving as a correspondent for the company’s KYW-TV “CBS3” live from the convention floor for the station’s evening news (pictured above).

Rumors of Possible FOX News Talent Exodus If Ailes Forced Out.  Coming on the heels of widespread media reports of Fox News chief Roger Ailes’ potential ouster from his long-held position, is a report in Breitbart foxnewschannelthat indicates some of Ailes’ faithful talent at FNC would be willing to follow him out the door, ostensibly to start a new, competing network.  Ailes is being accused by former FNC personality Gretchen Carlson of sexual harassment.  Other reports indicate Megyn Kelly has also said Ailes harassed her.  The Breitbart piece states that the FNC talent referenced includes Bret Baier, Shepard Smith, Sean Hannity, Greta Van Susteren, and, possibly Bill O’Reilly.  However, the piece concludes by saying none of the report is certain and that the situation could change quickly.  Read it here.

The Presidential Race/Republican National Convention, Baton Rouge Cop Slayings, Black Lives Matter Movement, Turkey Coup Attempt, Twitter Bans Milo Yiannopoulos, FOX News-Ailes Case, Rio Olympics Troubles, and Garry Marshall Dies Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/19).  The activities of presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump tied with the action at the Republican National Convention; the aftermath of the slaying of three Baton Rouge police officers; criticism of the Black Lives Matter movement; the failed attempt to overthrow Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan; conservative media figure Milo Yiannopoulos is banned from Twitter after attacks on Ghostbusters actress Leslie Jones; the controversy surrounding Roger Ailes’ status with FOX News; the problems facing Rio De Janeiro as it prepares to host the Olympics; and the death of television’s Garry Marshall were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Odds & Sods. At the Tulsa operations of Cox Media Group, Mary Garcia is promoted to digital sales manager.garciamary  In this role, Garcia will work directly with the Cox Local Solutions team, a collaborative effort between Tulsa TV, its six radio stations, and its cable platform.  She joined the company 16 months ago as a digital sales specialist.  In Tulsa, CMG operates news/talk KRMG-AM/FM, country KWEN “K95.5,” adult contemporary KRAV “Mix 96,” classic rock KJSR “The Eagle 103.3,” and contemporary Christian K289CC “Spirit 105.7.”…..Cumulus Media fills the 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm slot on sports talk WJOX-FM, Birmingham with Alabama natives Joe Hunk and Jon Lunceford.  Their new show – “JOX Primetime” – replaces the previous 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm show hosted by Matt McClearin and Scot Harrison…..The NHL’s Florida Panthers and CBS RADIO’s sports talk WQAM, Miami have reached a multi-year contract extension to continue to broadcast play-by-play of Panthers games.  Doug Plagens and analyst Bill Lindsay return to the broadcast booth…..Futuri Media announces that broadcast news pro Jill Manuel is joining the company as director, TopicPulse partnership development.  The company says her “expertise with broadcast newsroom digital integration and successful history blending compelling journalism and engagement will provide a unique and specialized strategic resource for Futuri’s TopicPulse partners.”

Radio and TV Pro Pat O’Brien New Host of ‘Business Rockstars.’  The “Business Rockstars” media franchise has a new feature talent as radio and television pro Pat O’Brien becomes lead anchor.   The company says O’Brien will play an “integral role in the newly revamped daily show that targets the 30 million entrepreneurs andobrienpat ‘wantrepreneurs’ interested in starting and growing a business.”  The company also notes that “Business Rockstars” is available on TV in more than 40 million homes and airs in 150 radio markets.  Plus it’s streamed on numerous digital and social media platforms.  O’Brien will join a team of hosts including five-time Emmy award winning TV news anchor Thuy Vu, best-selling author and entrepreneur Mark Lack, and correspondents Laurel Mintz (CEO of Elevate My Brand), Darren Kavinoky (“Investigation Discovery” host), Rachel McCord (The McCord List), James Sun (BBC TV’s “Sun Tzu’s ART OF WAR”), and Jessica Naziri (tech expert and content strategist).  Business Rockstars chairman and co-founder Steve Lehman says, “Pat is a long-time friend and one of the greatest broadcasters on the planet.  He brings a fresh new approach to business interviews with some of the world’s biggest CEOs, disruptors, and entrepreneurs.  From hosting six Olympics, to anchoring “Access Hollywood” and “The Insider,” Pat brings a unique perspective in his approach and style to “Business Rockstars.”

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

| May 11, 2016

shoredaveTurnover at ‘Detroit Sports 105.1’ as PD Dave Shore Exits.  According to a report in the Detroit News, program director and air personality Dave Shore has exited Greater Media sports talk station WMGC “Detroit Sports 105.1” after 15 months on the job.  The paper reports that Shore, who joined the station in February of 2015 as PD and became part of the station’s afternoon drive show with former Detroit Piston star Lindsey Hunter two months ago, was let go.  Now, it’s reported that Hunter will remain in afternoons joined by Rob Pascoe and Jake Chapman and the station will be seeking a new programming chief.  See the Detroit News piece here.

solkgregCorporate Realignment at Hubbard Forces SVP of Programming Greg Solk Out.  Programmer Greg Solk was based at Hubbard Radio’s Chicago offices and held the title senior vice president of programming.  Now, he’s out and, according to Chicagoland Radio and Media, the company is not issuing a public statement about his departure.  The site reports that Greg Strassell, who also holds the SVP of programming title and joined the company last June, remains with Hubbard in that capacity.  It also says Hubbard president and COO Drew Horowitz confirmed Solk’s departure saying it was “a senior management decision to initiate a corporate restructure that was the driver of the change.”  Read the CRM report here.

The Presidential Race, Iran Negotiations Controversy, Facebook Anti-Conservative Content Allegations, Plight of Syrian Christians, Islamic State Baghdad Bombing, and NBA-NHL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/10).  The activities of the candidates for president and yesterday’s West Virginia primary election; the allegation of press manipulation by the White House during nuclear negotiations with Iran; charges against Facebook that its news editors altered trends against conservative-oriented stories; concerns over Syria’s attacks on Christians during the civil conflict; Islamic State takes credit for a massive bombing in Baghdad; and the NBA and NHL playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

ppmunitNielsen Audio Releases Second Round of April 2016 PPM Data.  The second of four rounds of April 2016 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Washington, Boston, Detroit, Miami, Seattle, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis.  The April 2016 survey period covered March 24 to April 20.  You can find the complete 6+ ratings numbers from subscribing stations here.  Additionally, TALKERS/RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Twelve Takeaways” from this group on the main page of our sister publication here.

lupicamikeCompass Media Networks and Mike Lupica to Produce Podcast.  The collaboration is between Compass Media Networks and Hiltzik Creative (the content production arm of Hiltzik Strategies) and will result in a weekly, one-hour podcast featuring New York Daily News columnistcompass logo15 Mike Lupica.  It debuts on Tuesday (5/17) with “Seinfeld” creator Larry David as the first guest.  Lupica comments, “A podcast is a perfect way for me to talk to people I want to talk to from the world of sports and entertainment and politics in a free-flowing format.  And I’m grateful to Larry David, one of the smartest and funniest people I know — and an extremely opinionated sports fan — to be my first guest.  The essence of sports is conversation.  We’re about to begin a great one.”

westwood one NEWWestwood One Releases ‘Political Radio Format Planner.’ Designed to entice political advertisers to spend money on radio, Westwood One’s Insights team releases a report based on Nielsen’s Voters Ratings research.  The slide presentation indicates where various subcategories of Democrats, Republican and Independents can be reached via radio formats.  The report presents that information in what it calls the “political radio format planner.”  See the slide show here.

trumpsalem16Gallagher Scores Trump Interview.  Presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump spent some time on the air with Salem Radio Network personality Mike Gallagher “on the eve of Thursday’s ‘summit meeting’ between Trump and U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan.  Gallagher and Trump discussed Ryan’s comments about not – so far – being ready to support Trump; Trump’s reaction to Jeb Bush breaking a signed pledge to support the party’s eventual nominee; and the coal industry and Trump’s opposition to Hillary Clinton’s energy policies.  Gallagher comments, “In the wake of his latest primary victories in West Virginia and Nebraska, Mr. Trump is understandably in great demand so I am very grateful he took time today to share his views with my listeners.”

Former WREC, Memphis Talk Host Mike Fleming Dead at 74.  Memphis talk radio personality Mike Fleming died on May 8 after a battle with Alzheimer’s Disease.  Fleming, who began his career covering sports for the Memphis publication The Commercial Appeal, eventually moved into talk radio while also working in television production at WMC-TV, Memphis.  He hosted a talk show on WREC for many years, leaving the business in 2009 after his show was cancelled.  Read his obit in the Appeal here.

harrisonUpCloseFarOutsmallMichael Harrison Talks with British Morning Host Graham Mack About UK Radio.  The PodcastOne international hit “Up Close and Far Out” focuses on British radio this week as host Michael Harrison engages in an extensive chat with Graham Mack, the personable “breakfast show” host and program director of independent music and talk station BOB-FM located in the affluent “Home Counties” adjacent to London.  The conversation covers the changing businessmackgraham model of radio in the UK, the relationship between the BBC and independent commercial outlets, government regulation of broadcast speech, the culture of soccer and the growth of the NFL in England… plus Mack’s story of his personal odyssey of going from blue color maintenance worker to award-winning broadcaster in a journey that took him from Liverpool to New Zealand to Australia and then back to Great Britain.  The conversation is sure to delight media freaks interested in the global perspective of mass communications and popular culture.  To listen to the entire podcast, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com and RadioInfo.com.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

| March 30, 2016

podcastone bPodcastOne Launches Premium Service.  This just-announced service from podcasting giant PodcastOne will present to subscribers “new exclusive content and interactive opportunities…available from the top podcasters across America, including PodcastOne’s Adam Carolla, Shaquille O’Neal, Steve Austin, Heather Dubrow, Brandi Glanville, Nicole ‘Snooki’ Polizzi, Larry King, Dan Patrick, Rich Eisen, Jay Mohr, Dr. Drew, Penn Jillette, and more.  Additionally, a series of Adam Carolla interviews with the top names in music, show business and beyond, will be made exclusively available and commercial free for PodcastOne Premium members [that] brings fans the closestcarollaadam they’ll ever be to their favorite podcast hosts through interactive opportunities, and is available, effective immediately.”  The company says the exclusively-available Adam Carolla interview series features talents like Seth MacFarlane, Bryan Cranston, Michael Moore, Seth Rogan, Alec Baldwin, Bob Odenkirk, Kevin Costner and more, all commercial-free.  Carolla also moves his entire premium pattiznormcollection to the PodcastOne platform, with new episodes weekly, including the popular “Take A Knee” podcast, along with “Two Chairs and a Mic” and original series’ “Adam’s Best” and “Adam’s Week In Rage.”  PodcastOne chairman and CEO Norm Pattiz says, “We’ve been developing new content and opportunities to give our listeners the best experience possible, bringing together our podcast programs, original exclusives and multi-media engagement opportunities.  Exclusive content and subscriber-only opportunities and events will make the ‘limited commercials’ perk seem small.  This will be the best Premium podcast platform out there.”

wtop logo NEW 1-15BIA/Kelsey: WTOP, Washington Top Biller for 2015; KFI, Los Angeles Back in Top 10.  Perennial big biller WTOP, Washington is the #1 biller in the nation for 2015 according to data from BIA/KelseyHubbard Radio’s WTOP has been the top biller five out of the last six years.  It was bested in 2014 by KIIS, Los Angeles (which finished #2 in 2015).  Major market all-newsers showed wellkfi logo again this year with CBS RADIO’s WCBS-AM, New York (#5); WINS, New York (#9); and WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM, Chicago (#6) all making the top 10.  The company’s sports talk WFAN, New York (#4) was the only sports talker to make the list.  Returning to the top 10 after a three-year absence is iHeartMedia’s news/talk KFI, Los Angeles (#10).  The rest of the top 10 consists of iHeartMedia music outlets KIIS, Los Angeles (#2); WHTZ, New York (#3); KBIG, Los Angeles (#7); and WLTW, New York (#8).

greaterMedia60Greater Media to Celebrate 60 Years in Broadcasting.  Tomorrow (3/31), Greater Media celebrates 60 years in the broadcasting business.  The company was founded in 1956 by Yale classmates Peter A. Bordes and Joseph Rosenmiller.  It began with the ownership of WESO-AM, Southbridge, Massachusetts and grew to multiple radio stations, cable television, printing, publishing, and telecommunications operations by the mid-1980s.  In 1999, the company sold its cable business in order to focus more exclusively on its radio and newspaper operations.  Greater Media is the parent company of 21 AM and FMsmythpeter radio stations in Boston, Detroit, Philadelphia, Charlotte, and New Jersey; a group of weekly newspapers in central New Jersey; and several telecommunications towers throughout the United States.  Greater Media chairman and CEO Peter Smyth comments, “I am very proud of the achievements of our company over the past 60 years.  Greater Media is the culmination of Peter Bordes’ life’s work.  I am grateful to our incredible employees for their continued dedication in making Greater Media greater on a daily basis over the past six decades.”

Odds & Sods.  Sports media personality and former NFL quarterback Rich Gannon is exiting SiriusXM’s “The Blitz” program to spend more time with his family in Minnesota.  Gannon – who’s been with the satcaster for the past seven years – will continue to work for CBS TV’s NFL coverage…..Westwood One is presenting radio play-by-play for the NCAA Men’s Final Four games in Houston on Saturday, April 2 as well as Championship Game on Monday, April 4…..CBS Sports Radio is broadcasting from Houston beginning tomorrow (3/31) live from Westwood One’s radio row at the George R. Brown Convention Center ahead of the NCAA Final Four.  Personalities including CBS Sports analyst Doug Gottlieb, former NFL Pro Bowl running back Tiki Barber and sports personality Brandon Tierney will produce content from the scene.  Also, various CBS RADIO sports stations, including WFAN-AM/FM, New York; KILT-FM, Houston; and WZGC, Atlanta will broadcast live from the city and will air Westwood One’s play-by-play of the NCAA Final Four games…..Programming pro Louie Cruz is “going home” to Modesto, California to serve as SVP of programming for iHeartMedia’s five-station cluster there that includes: rhythmic oldies KQOD “Mega 100,” hot AC KOSO “B93,” rock KMRQ “Rock 96.7,” and news/talk KFIV “Powertalk.”

The Presidential Race, Brussels and Pakistan Terror Attacks Aftermath, Islamic State Threats in Turkey, Bill Clinton ‘Mistress’ Story, Obama Journalism Lecture, and SCOTUS Public Unions Dues Case Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/29).  The activities of the candidates for president and last night’s GOP town hall meeting in Milwaukee; the aftermath of the terror attacks in Brussels and in Pakistan; the State Department’s ordering of U.S. citizens to leave Southern Turkey in the wake of threats from Islamic State; controversy over tales from an alleged Bill Clinton mistress; criticism of President Obama over his chiding of journalists; and the Supreme Court deadlocks on a move to overturn some states’ laws forcing non-union public sector employees to pay union dues were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

miw logoMIW Radio Group Announces 2016 Mentees.  The four mentees for this year’s 2016 Mildred Carter MIW Group Mentoring Program have been chosen by the Mentoring & Inspiring Women in Radio Group.  They are: Kathy Byerly, GSM, Neuhoff Media, Decatur, Illinois; Charlie Maxx, PD, Beasley Media Group, Wilmington, Delaware; Brittney Quarles, LSM, Radio One, Richmond, Virginia; and Stephanie Sabota, GSM, Cox Media Group, Tampa.  The MIW Radio Group says the mentoring program matches up-and-coming women in the radio industry with female professionals recognized as leaders in all aspects of radio.  To date, the Mildred Carter MIW Group Mentoring Program has successfully mentored a total of 35 mentees.  MIW spokeswoman Kay Olin says, “It is very rewarding to track the professional growth and success of our mentees.  We can clearly see a direct correlation between the participation in this supportive and impactful program and the accomplishments and professional trajectory our mentees achieve.”

Monday, March 21, 2016

| March 21, 2016

beasleygeorgeBeasley CEO George Beasley on Medical Leave.  Filling in for company chief executive officer George Beasley is EVP/CFO Caroline Beasley.  According to a statement from Beasley Broadcast Group, she’ll be interim CEO during his absence.  The notice of medical leave for George Beasley does not go into specifics but says the changes take effect immediately.  Caroline Beasley – George Beasley’s 53-year-old daughter – has served as the company’s executive vice president, chief financial officer,beasleycaroline treasurer and secretary since 1994 and as a director since 1983.  Caroline Beasley comments, “George’s passion for radio and his entrepreneurial spirit have made a positive and lasting impact on the industry and in the development and long-term success of Beasley Broadcast Group.  On behalf of Company employees, family, friends and business associates, our heartfelt thoughts are with George during his medical leave.  Out of respect, we will be honoring his request for privacy and will not be commenting further on his condition at this time.”

nielsen logoNielsen Audio: News/Talk Format a ‘Political Powerhouse.’  Looking at data from its February 2016 PPM survey, Nielsen Audio reports that – as it did during the presidential race of 2012 – the format is experiencing a ratings surge that has put it to “nearly in double-digit listener share territory.”  Citing the contentious primary races as having sparked interest in the races and the issues, Nielsen states, “News/talk is up two-10ths from January to February (9.7% to 9.9%) among all listeners (aged 6 and older).  Listenership for adults 25-54 also climbed two-10ths to a 6.9% share in February while listener share for adults 18-34 remain flat at 4.1%.  With more than seven months to go before the election, news/talk radio should remain a political powerhouse on the radio dial.”  Nielsen also notes in the report that sports talk has seen a dip – from 5.1% to 4.2% — for persons 6+.  However, February is traditionally a down month for sports talk in the aftermath of the NFL season and with baseball still two months away.  Nielsen says, “The good news is that All Sports tends to start a multi-book trend up after February thanks to March Madness, the start of baseball in April and post-season hockey and basketball in May.  This was true in 2015 and every prior year we have been tracking monthly format trends in PPM.”  See the study here.

The Presidential Race, Paris Terror Suspect Captured, Obama Visits Cuba, Open SCOTUS Seat, Hulk Hogan Sex Tape Case, and March Madness Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The activities of the candidates for president; the capture of Paris terror attacks suspect Salah Abdeslam; President Obama arrives in Cuba on diplomatic mission; the controversy over the replacement of late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia; the verdict in Hulk Hogan’s suit against Gawker for releasing video of his sex tape; and the action in the 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.

shoredaveNew Afternoon Duo for ‘Detroit Sports 105.1.’  Replacing Matt Dery and Drew Sharp in the afternoon drive slot on Greater Media’s sports talk WMGC “Detroit Sports 105.1” are former Detroithunterlindsey Pistons great Lindsey Hunter and station PD Dave Shore.  They begin hosting the 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm show this afternoon (3/21).   Hunter retired from the NBA after the 2010 season and most recently was assistant coach at Golden State serving under Mark Jackson during the 2013-2014 season.  Shore joined the station as PD a year ago.  Prior to that, he was on-air talent and operations manager at ESPN Radio-owned KSPN, Los Angeles “ESPN LA 710.”

wbalWBAL, Baltimore Makes Program Schedule Changes.  Two local personalities at Hearst’s news/talk WBAL, Baltimore “Newsradio 1090” are getting expanded duties.  First, late morning talk personality Clarence M. Mitchell IV, a.k.a. C4, sees his show expand to 9:00 am to 1:00 pm (adding the noon hour).  At the same time, talk host Derek Hunter continues his daily talk show (trimmed to two hours) from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm but adds political analyst duties for the station in which he’ll cover local and national races and issues and appear on other WBAL programs.

Odds & Sods.  Covering President Obama’s trip to Cuba is Westwood One News correspondent Bobww1newscostantini16 Costantini.  He’s pictured at right in Jose Marti Monument Plaza in Havana getting some man-on-the-street reaction to president Obama’s trip to the city.  Today, Costantini will be inside the presidential palace for the statements from President Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro…..ABC News Radio is also on the abcNewsStoneCuba16scene in Havana covering President Obama’s visit.  Pictured at left is ABC News Radio’s Alex Stone creating a video of the news organization’s broadcasting base camp in a park in Havana.  If you click on the link here, you can watch the whole video on Facebook that shows the media encampment…..Cumulus Media announces Jeff Pezzano is named VP of sales for its Youngstown, Ohio operations,  Pezzano will lead sales development and strategy for the eight-station cluster that includes: CHR WHOT “HOT 101,” country WQXK “K105 FM,” classic rock WYFM “Y103,” rock WWIZ “Rock 104,” sports talk WBBW “1240 AM ESPN,” sports talk WLLF-FM, “Sports Radio 96.7,” news/talk WPIC, and talk WSOM.

Friday, February 26, 2016

| February 26, 2016

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

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

hyde, coreyHyde Heads to Entercom Sacramento as GSM. Fourteen-month Pandora account executive Corey Hyde joins Entercom Sacramento as general sales manager. Vice president and market manager Lance Richard comments, “It is exciting to add Corey to our team. He has an impressive track record of success and Entercom_Communications_logohe brings experience in developing dynamic, integrated campaigns and long term partnerships for local clients. His leadership skills and experience in this market make him the perfect fit for Entercom Sacramento.” Hyde remarks, “I am thrilled to be joining Lance Richard and the team at Entercom Sacramento. Radio is stronger than ever, and we have the best local stations in the market. I look forward to using our wide array of marketing assets to drive real results for our clients.” In his 13-year radio career, Hyde spent nearly 10 years with CBS Radio Sacramento as a senior account executive and three years with iHeartMedia Sacramento as an AE. Entercom Sacramento consists of KCTC “ESPN 1320″; CHR KDND “The End”; alternative KKDO “Radio 94-7”; KRXQ “98 Rock”; classic rock KSEG “The Eagle”; and hot AC KUDL “Star 106.5.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, February 4, 2016

| February 4, 2016

iheartmedia logo smallReport: iHeartMedia Considering Securities Sale to Retire Debt Due in 2019.  According to a report from Bloomberg News, iHeartMedia is looking at a plan to offer up for sale securities in one of its units to help retire some $1.4 billion in bonds.  The report states that the company would create a subsidiary called Broader Media LLC. Existing debtholders would be offered the opportunity to exchange for the new obligations.  According to Bloomberg, $8.3 billion in debt is coming due in 2019 for iHeartMedia.  “iHeart’s plan would erase $192.9 million of 5.5 % unsecured notes due December 2016 that are already considered current,” a source told Bloomberg.  “The proposal is also intended to retire the company’s $190 million revolving loan due December 2017, the $850 million of 10% unsecured notes due January 2018 and the $175 million of 6.875% unsecured notes due June 2018.”  Read the Bloomberg piece here.

knightbuzzGreater Media Promotes Buzz Knight to SVP of Program Development.  Fourteen-year Greater Media staffer Buzz Knight is promoted to SVP of program development for the company.  Knight’s new duties include responsibility for “overseeing programming development for all of Greater Media’s radio properties and collaborating with the individual stations to build winning content, digital and brand management strategies.”  Greater Media CEO Peter Smyth comments, “Buzz has done an outstanding job overseeing our programming brands across the company over the past 14 years.  His insight and leadership plays an important role in the continued success of our company.”

Iowa Caucuses Aftermath/Presidential Race, Battle Against Islamic State, $1.7 Billion Iran Payment Controversy, Zika Virus Concerns, Bill Cosby Sexual Assault Case, Ken Stabler CTE Issue, and Run-Up to Super Bowl 50 Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/3).  The aftermath of the Iowa Caucuses, the focus on the New Hampshire Primary and the activities of the candidates for president; the U.S. military policy on defeating Islamic State; the controversy over the United States’ $1.7 billion payment to Iran as part of the nuclear agreement; fears about a potential pandemic of the Zika virus; the status of the sexual assault case against Bill Cosby; the results of the post-mortem on NFL great Ken Stabler and its effect on football’s CTE problem; and the week’s activities leading up to Sunday’s Super Bowl 50 were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

miw logoMIW: Women Gaining in GM and SM Roles; Stagnating in Programming Management.  According to data from the most recent Gender Analysis Study from the Mentoring and Inspiring Women in Radio Group (culled from data from M Street Publications), since 2004 the number of women serving in general manager positions has risen from 14.9% to 17.3% in 2015.  However, a tally of women in program management positions shows a negligible increase of 10.9% in 2015 compared to 10.7% in 2004.  MIW spokeswoman Kay Olin states, “Tracking the leadership roles of women in media brings awareness to the continued need to reach back and lift up.  There is an incredible talent pool of strong and capable female leaders and they stand ready to make a difference.  It is the responsibility of all of us in the media industry to make sure that we are conscientiously and consistently practicing inclusion.”

Odds & Sods.  After just a year hosting afternoon drive at iHeartMedia’s news/talk simulcast KALZ-FM/KRZR-gabrielchristopherAM, Fresno “PowerTalk 96.7 and AM 1400,” Christopher Gabriel exits the station.  On his Facebook page, Gabriel states, “Hey folks, here’s a little news: PowerTalk  96.7 and I have parted ways as of this morning.  I want to thank them for the opportunity to come to Fresno, work with a ton of talented radio artists and have some fun California adventures.  So… what’s next?  I guess we’ll see!”…..Former NBA star Dennis Rodman will appear as a special guest at WIP, Philadelphia’s “Wing Bowl 24” wipwingbowl24tomorrow (2/5) at the Wells Fargo Center.  The competitive eating event is pitting last year’s champion, Patrick “Deep Dish” Bertoletti, former champ Molly Schuyler, and the infamous LA Beast, against the field of local eaters.    Philadelphia Eagles long snapper Jon Dorenbos will act as the commissioner of Wing Bowl 24.  Local rock legend Tommy Conwell will perform the National Anthem.  Rodman will also be appearing at the WIP/SugarHouse Casino official after party of Wing Bowl 24.  WIP’s Michael Barkann and Ike Reese will broadcast from SugarHouse Casino from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm and the casino will feature food and drink specials all day long.

hochmanNSD16National Signing Day Remote for WQAM, Miami.  Remote broadcasts can present any number of technical and/or programming challenges, but the afternoon drive air staff at CBS RADIO’s sports talk WQAM, Miami was able to put on a brave face and forge ahead as it broadcast on Wednesday (2/3) at a local Twin Peaks restaurant.  The “Hochman, Crowder, and Krantz” show broadcast live for National Signing Day – the day when top high school athletes announce which college they’re going to attend.  Surrounded by the hard-working service staff at Twin Peaks are (from l-r): Channing Crowder, Zach Krantz, and Marc Hochman.

doverbenjaminFormer Talk Host Benjamin Dover Dead at 57.  Former Texas talk show host Benjamin Dover died back on January 1 after complications from pneumonia, according to an obituary published in the Dallas Morning News.  Dover was born Lance Blumen.  As his obit states, he got into the consumer advocacy business after a near-fatal motorcycle accident in 1989.  He not only hosted a radio program on such signals as KLIF and KRLD-AM in Dallas and KFI, Los Angeles, he was a columnist for the Dallas Morning News from 1998 through 2004.

Friday, January 29, 2016

| January 29, 2016

talkersten logoThe Presidential Race Tops Talkers TenTM for Week of January 25-29.  The activities of the candidates for president – highlighted by Thursday’s GOP debate and candidate Donald Trump’s choice not to participate – were the most-talked-about story during the week.  At #2 was the low price of oil and its effects on the world’s financial markets.  Coming in at #3 was the boycott by some black entertainment industry figures of this year’s Academy Awards show, followed by U.S. immigration and refugee policy 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.

gillemdennyFrontlines of Freedom Adds New Affiliates; Hosts Honored Veteran Guest.  The Talk Media Network-syndicated “Frontlines of Freedom” program announces the addition of 10 new affiliate stations, pushing its station roster to 105.  The weekly military and veterans talk show is hosted by Denny Gillem, LTC, U.S. Army (Retired).  Gillem states, “Our goal is the same today as when we came up with the idea for Frontlines of Freedom: To assist our listeners in better understanding the role of our military, and the challenges our nation faces.”  New affiliate stations include: WWRC, Washington; KBNP, Portland; and WGMD-FM, Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.  Talk Media Network CEO Josh Leng reports that the program recently hosted a special guest.  “You need to have great content to attract and retain an audience, and the colonel’s interview this week with Chris ‘Tonto’ Paronto, one of the heroes portrayed in the movie 13 HOURS: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi, is another example of our commitment to delivering compelling stories and information through ‘Frontlines of Freedom.’”  Program host Lt. Col. Denny Gillem is a graduate of West Point and is an Airborne Ranger.  He served 22 years in the US Army, including two tours in Vietnam, where he earned seven awards for valor and two Purple Hearts.  He also served as a Mideast War Planner and later ran the ROTC program at the University of Tampa.

Odds & Sods.  During Super Bowl week, FOX Sports Radio announces it will again present programming fromfoxsportsradio logo the Bay Area in the build-up to next Sunday’s championship game.  “The Herd with Colin Cowherd,” “Jay Mohr Sports,” J.T. The Brick, and the Jason Smith show with Michael Harmon will broadcast live from radio row at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, while the Dan Patrick show and the Rich Eisen show will emanate from the site of DirecTV’s remote broadcast at the historic Presidio in San Francisco…..Greater Media promotes Ellen Rubin to senior vice president and general counsel for the company.  She’s been with Greater Media since 2003.  In 2007 she was promoted to VP and general counsel.  Chairman and CEO Peter Smyth states, “Ellen is a brilliant attorney who has been a key player in shaping Greater Media’s future.  We are fortunate to have someone like Ellen in our company.”

Friday, October 30, 2015

| October 30, 2015

beasleymediagroupBeasley Media Group Q3 Financial Data Shows Mixed Results.  Last December’s asset swap with CBS RADIO – in which it exchanged five stations in Philly and Miami for 14 CBS stations in Tampa, Charlotte and Philly – makes this third quarter financial report from Beasley Media Group a bit more complex.  It’s required to report the five stations CBS received under discontinued operations for the 2014 third quarter, despite having operated them through November 2014.  Therefore, on a combined basis, third quarter top-line revenue was up 7%, but on a pro forma basis third quarter net revenue decreased 4.5% while station operating income declined 12.2%.  The company says, “The decline in pro forma revenue largely reflects weakness in Charlotte, Las Vegas, Fayetteville and Wilmington, which reduced operating leverage and impacted SOI.  However, we continue to make progress with the Tampa-St. Petersburg and Charlotte integration initiatives and reduced combined station operating expenses in these markets by approximately $700,000, while company-wide cost reductions led to a 1.5% reduction in third quarter station operating expenses.  We are now approximately 11 months into our integration and transition plan related to the asset exchange and despite it being more difficult and time consuming than expected, we believe our success in expense management combined with our ratings strength should lead to financial benefits from the swap in late 2016.  In the meantime, we continue to make progress in reducing debt, while returning capital to shareholders.  During the third quarter we made credit facility repayments totaling $3 million, reduced borrowings to $90.2 million at September 30, 2015 and declared our eighth consecutive quarterly cash dividend.”  In issuing its forward looking statements, Beasley says it remains “focused on operating our station clusters to match or exceed their markets revenue performance while further strengthening our balance sheet.  We believe our ratings and programming are in great shape and look forward to benefiting from the integration, programming, personnel, cost-efficiency and operating changes put in place over the last year.”

hannityLA15Sean Hannity Packs iHeartRadio Theatre in Los Angeles.  Nationally syndicated talk radio superstar Sean Hannity appeared in Los Angeles recently to a standing room only house at the iHeartRadio Theatre.  Hannity is heard on iHeartMedia’s KEIB, Los Angeles and the station reports that listeners were treated to breakfast and more than an hour of political conversation, jokes, personal stories and Q&A with the Premiere Networks and Fox News Channel personality.  Pictured here backstage at the iHeartRadio Theatre are (from l-r): iHeartMedia Los Angeles market president Kevin LeGrett, Hannity, and KEIB and KFI program director Robin Bertolucci.

wmgc sportslogoSmall‘Detroit Sports 105.1’ Adds Two Personalities to Revamped Lineup.  With the recent exit of longtime Detroit radio personality Drew Lane from the PM drive daypart lastsharpdrew week, Greater Media’s sports talk WMGC “Detroit Sports 105.1,” adds two new personalities to its new lineup.  Drew Sharp joins Matt Dery for the new afternoon program and Sean Baligian is now part of the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm show with Tom Mazawey baligianseanand Marc Fellhauer.  Baligian has been hosting the afternoon show on iHeartMedia’s Grand Rapids sports talk WMAX “96.1 FM ESPN.”  He also works for USA Hockey and is in his seventh year as the voice of Wayne State Football.  Drew Sharp is a 30-plus year Detroit Free Press columnist.  Program director Dave Shore says, “This new lineup is very exciting and we will continue bringing Detroit the most knowledgeable and most thought-provoking talent in sports radio.”

ppmunitRound Four of October PPM Ratings Released.  The fourth and final round of October 2015 PPM data from Nielsen Audio is released for 12 markets including: Austin, Milwaukee, Indianapolis, Providence, Raleigh, Norfolk, Nashville, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford.  You can find all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Additionally, TALKERS and RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his Twelve Takeaways from this round of data at our sister publication’s site here.  The October 2015 PPM survey covered September 10 through October 7.

brownejoycircus15Bringing Joy to the Visually and Hearing Impaired.  Hardly a week goes by when past-recipient of the TALKERS Humanitarian of the Year award, GCN-syndicated talk star Dr. Joy Browne is not involved in a high-profile charitable initiative.  This past Wednesday (10/28) America’s leading relationships talker performed the role of honorary ring master at the Big Apple Circus presentation of “Circus of the Senses” – a specially adapted performance of “The Grand Tour” – at New York’s Lincoln Center for children and adults with vision or hearing impairments and other disabilities allowing them to experience the joy and wonder of the circus. Dr. Browne (l) is pictured in full ringmaster regalia with Big Apple Circus regular ringmaster John Kennedy Kane (r).  Browne tells TALKERS, “It was a wonderful experience introducing the show.  Through the use of audio headsets, Braille descriptive programs, American Sign Language interpreters, and a special ‘touch session’ after the show, anyone and everyone could experience and enjoy the extravaganza!”

talkersten logoGOP Debate and 2016 Presidential Race Top News/Talk Stories for Week of October 26-30.  Wednesday evening’s GOP primary debate and the 2016 presidential race tied for the top spot on the Talkers TenTM this week.  At #2 was Paul Ryan’s ascension to the Speaker of the House.  Coming in at #3 was the congressional budget deal followed by the U.S.-Russian military skirmishes at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Monday, October 19, 2015

| October 19, 2015

weismanstevenNielsen vs Bubba: Round One.  TALKERS legal editor Steven J.J. Weisman analyzes the civil suit being brought against morning radio personality Bubba the Love Sponge by Nielsen Audio after the former was accused of and admitted to attempting to manipulate Nielsen’s PPM survey in the Tampa market.  In a piece published today, Weisman synopsizes the case and presents his view of Nielsen’s claim that its ratings business has been “damaged irreparably” and it is owned at least $1 million.  Read the whole piece here.

lanedrewDetroit Personality Drew Lane Exits ‘Detroit Sports 105.1.’  Longtime rock WRIF, Detroit morning drive personality Drew Lane has held the afternoon drive position on Greater Media’swmgc sportslogo sports talk WMGC “Detroit Sports 105.1” since the format launched in August of 2013.  But today the company releases a statement expressing regret that it and Lane could not come to terms on a renewal to keep him with the station.  “Drew is a phenomenal talent and has been a valued member of the Greater Media family for over 21 years.  Both sides regret an agreement could not be reached on the direction of the show moving forward.  We are truly sorry to see him go and wish him all the best.”  In the interim, midday personality Matt Dery serves as afternoon host.

ramseyPhoenix15bDave Ramsey Packs Phoenix’s Comerica Theatre.  Nationally syndicated talk radio superstar and New York Times best-selling author Dave Ramsey is seen here on stage in Phoenix on Saturday (10/17) speaking to a packed house at the 5,000-seat Comerica Theatre where he presented his Ramsey Solution’s Smart Conference.  The day-long conference included Ramsey, along with Chris Hogan, Rachel Cruze, Christy Wright, Chris Brown, Dr. Henry Cloud, Dr. Les Parrott, Dr. Meg Meeker and Michael Jr. providing attendees with “essential information on how to win with money, strengthen their marriages, build parenting skills and excel in their careers.”  Ramsey worked with local affiliate KTAR-FM to promote the event.  Bonneville owns KTAR-FM and the company’s Phoenix market manager, Scott Sutherland,ramseyKTAR15 says, “When Dave Ramsey comes to Phoenix, it’s always a huge deal for our listeners, clients and staff.  Dave’s message resonates incredibly well with residents of the valley of the sun, and, not surprisingly, his popularity continues to grow and grow.  We only wish that we could get him out to Phoenix more often.”  The lead-in show to Ramsey’s program on KTAR-FM is co-hosted by Bruce St. James (right) and Pamela Hughes (left) who are pictured at right posing for a photo with Ramsey (center).  Prior to Saturday’s Phoenix event, Ramsey brought his EntreLeadership 1 Day Event to Los Angeles on Thursday (10/15), partnering with iHeartMedia’s KEIB “The Patriot AM 1150.”

medvedconf15Medved Moderates Panel on State of the Middle East.  With the recent violence in Israel set as the backdrop, Salem Radio Network personality Michael Medved spent Thursday evening (10/15) in Cleveland at that city’s Jewish Policy Center moderating a panel titled, “What Now? The New Realities of the Middle East.”   Pictured here on stage is Medved at the podium and the seated panelists (from l-r) John Podhoretz, Commander Jennifer Dyer (Ret.) and Cliff May.  Medved’s SRN program is heard in the market on Salem Media Group-owned news/talk WHK “AM 1420 The Answer.”

Odds & Sods.  Reno rock station KRZQ held a Bubba’s Bike for Badges ride on October 10 in conjunction withkrzq logo syndicated morning host Bubba the Love Sponge.  The event raised money for the family of fallen police deputy Carl Howell.  More than 175 motorcycles and 200-plus people participated, raising $8,000 for the cause…..Today, CBS RADIO Houston partners with the Points of Light Foundation and the Barbara Bush Literacy Initiative to help break the Guinness World Record for the most children reading with an adult in 24 hours.  The cluster has been enlisting listeners to donate their time and each of the five CBS RADIO Houston stations will visit a local elementary school to read to students…..SiriusXM announces E! News co-anchor, producer, actress, and two time New York Times best-selling author Maria Menounos will host a new show titled, “Conversations with Maria Menounos,” on its Stars channel.  It will be a daily, one-hour show in which Menounos will go “one-on-one with celebrities, leaders in entertainment and the news, and influencer guests who will share their inspirations, personal stories, life journeys and expertise.”…..Former NPR “All Things considered Weekend” host Arun Rath becomes a shared correspondent for NPR and Boston pubcaster WGBH.  He’ll be based in the WGBH newsroom and will produce national stories for NPR and local stories for WGBH News.

lawrencecashAWMSports15AWM Hosts ‘Women in Sports’ Breakfast.  Members of the all-female sports talk show “We Need to Talk” were part of a panel discussion about women in sports media at this morning’s “Women in Sports” breakfast program presented by the Alliance for Women in Media at 10 on the Park at Time Warner Center in New York City.  CBS Sports Radio’s Amy Lawrence (right) is pictured here with multi-sport athlete Swin Cash (left), who is also a cast member on “We Need to Talk,” CBS’ first-ever, nationally televised all-female sports show. Lawrence moderated the panel consisting of talent and executives from CBS Sports Network at the breakfast.

Boston Herald Wins Honor for Boston Herald Radio.  The “Innovator of the Year” award comes from a joint conference of the Associated Press Media Editors and American Society of News Editors atbostonheraldradio logo Stanford University and was presented to the Boston Herald for “its innovative platform called Boston Herald Radio that is fully integrated with its print, online and video divisions.”  The Boston Herald competed against the Los Angeles News Group and The Oklahoman for the honor.  Herald publisher and president Patrick J. Purcell states, “This distinguished national award is a tribute to the finest multimedia newsroom in the city led by our cutting-edge Boston Herald Radio platform.  I couldn’t be prouder of the incredible work our staff does every day.  It is absolutely innovative — and it is incredibly rewarding to see that recognized by our peers in journalism.”

hennerwaybill15Pop Culture Figures Meet on the Radio.  Nationally syndicated talk show host Marilu Henner (left) poses for a photo with musician Fee Waybill (right) after the latter’s appearance on Henner’s program.  Henner – herself a pop culture icon as part of the star-studded cast of the classic television sitcom “Taxi” – chatted with Waybill about his work with the 1970s avant-garde rock outfit The Tubes.  Waybill’s band, which infused sharp social commentary into its music and combined that with outlandish stage shows during its heyday, is prepping for a 40th anniversary tour.

Jimmy Fallon Guests on Shaq’s PodcastOne Show.  “Tonight Show” starshaqPodcastOnestudio Jimmy Fallon appears on this week’s PodcastOne show, “The BIG Podcast with Shaq.”  Shaquille O’Neal was recently on “The Tonight Show” and took part in a few games, including “Shaqsticles,” a Fallon podcast creation.  This week, Fallon is on Shaq’s podcast and, among other things, gets Fallon to play one of his games.  Shaq, known for his terrible impressions, does a series of impersonations that Fallon must guess, including Miss Piggy, Bill Cosby, Mike Tyson and more. Check it out here.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

| August 18, 2015

Rob WilliamsWilliams Joins Townsquare Media Group As Senior VP/Operations. We learned yesterday (Monday, 8/17) that Rob Williams resigned as Greater Media Boston vice president and market manager to accept a position closer to his Connecticut home. We now know the specifics of that new job – it is Townsquare Media Group‘s senior vice president of operations. In addition, Townsquare Media Group boosts Todd Lawley to a similar role. Chairman and chief executive officer Steven Price comments, “We are thrilled to have Rob join our company. His track record of success and understanding of multi-product local media make him a great addition to our seniorTownsquare Media Group management team. We are also excited to announce the elevation of Todd Lawley to a more senior leadership role within the company. In a short amount of time, Todd has proven himself to be a results-based leader who understands and drives the Townsquare mission in the markets he oversees.” In other personnel activity within the company, former Westwood One senior vice president of network sales Darrin Klayman joins Townsquare as vice president of national client partnerships. Receiving promotions are Matt Kiger to vice president of sales and training; Todd Moskowitz to vice president of sales; and Kelly Quinn also to vice president of sales. Executive vice president Erik Hellum states, “Rob and Darrin are both great additions to the Townsquare team. I am excited to work with such accomplished professionals that can help us grow our company and drive revenue. We are also excited to announce the promotions of Todd Lawley, Matt Kiger, Todd Moskowitz, and Kelly Quinn – all of whom have played key roles in our company’s growth and development. We are confident that they will continue to excel in their new roles.”

harrisonUpCloseFarOutsmallConversation in Black & White.  Noted Black Conservative, Republican, Raynard Jackson Gets ‘Up Close and Far Out’ with Michael Harrison. There are a number of pressing issues playing out in the talk media as we approach the conclusion of the Summer of ’15 and are still more than a year away from the next presidential election.  These include the economy, the Iran nukes deal, ISIS aggression, immigration reform, the environment and climate change, cybersecurity, as well as the feeling that corruption in government is reaching an unacceptable tipping point — just to name a handful.  And of course, there’s the sticky matter of race relations.  It’s been a year since Ferguson rocked our collective consciousness about white/black relations in America – a year ofjacksonraynard news story-upon-news story of unarmed black men being killed by white police.  There is the growing “Black Lives Matter” movement inserting its message into the rallies of political campaigns for both Democratic and Republican candidates…the tip of what appears to be an enormous iceberg of festering anger and frustration.  On a recent episode of the Podcast One hit, “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison,” African American comic Jimmie JJ Walker waxed philosophically, “It seems we don’t like each other anymore!”  Program host and TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison’s reaction:  “The thought of such a generalization having any merit… sickens me.”  This week’s guest on the international podcast targeted to “media freaks” around the globe is noted Washington, DC-based political thinker Raynard Jackson.  Jackson is a well-connected political consultant, public relations executive, newspaper columnist, cable TV talking head and occasional radio talk show host.  He is also a conservative and a Republican.  Harrison says, “It is a candid conversation in black and white.  I am the white man and my guest, Raynard Jackson is the black man.  We have several things in common.  One, we are both media freaks.  Two, we like each other.  Three, we respect each other.”  Harrison continues, “I realize that no singular white person represents the views of the white population in America and no singular black person represents the more than 45 million black people living in this country who make up more than 14% of the nation’s citizenry.  Fourteen percent of 319 million people is a lot larger and more diverse than the commonly used term, African American community would imply.  The word ‘community’ in this context is terribly limiting and misleading.  We take the time and go into enough depth for Jackson to take a meaningful shot at explaining the often-embattled perspective of the black conservative in our society.”  To listen to the entire conversation between Michael Harrison and Raynard Jackson, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column of every page of Talkers.com.

kywlogoScopinich Returns to CBS RADIO Philly as VP/DOS.  A familiar face returns to CBS RADIO Philadelphia as Dave Scopinich is named VP/director of sales for the company’s six-station cluster.  In this capacity, he’ll also serve as GSM of all-news KYW while overseeing thescopinichdave sales efforts news/talk WPHT, sports talk WIP-FM as well as the three music outlets in the cluster.  CBS RADIO Philly SVP and market manager David Yadgaroff says, “I’m excited to bring Dave back home to CBS RADIO Philadelphia to lead our sales operation.  He has earned a reputation as a leader in our industry and will bring that leadership and passion to our iconic brands, CBS RADIO’s new media platforms and our valued advertising partners.  Our future is brighter when Dave is on our team.”  Scopinich worked for the company in Philly for 11 years before moving across the street to serve as GSM at Greater Media’s classic rock WMGK in March of 2014.

herskovitzalHerskovitz: Remember the Commercial.  Radio advertising pro Al Herskovitz writes in a column published in TALKERS today (8/18), that the salesperson’s responsibility doesn’t end with the signing of the contract.  It’s incumbent upon that person to make sure the copy – and the delivery of the copy on air – are done in a way that will get the sponsor’s message across effectively.   Regarding live reads, Herskovitz says, “The keys to good live copy are finding the most important advantages, hammering away at them in simple, understandable terms and delivering the message in an enthusiastic and sincere manner.”  Read Herskovitz’s entire piece here.

Odds & Sods.  The new-look Josh Innes afternoon drive program on CBS RADIO’s WIP-FM, Philadelphiainnesjosh includes station program director Spike Eskin and former Philadelphia Eagles player Hollis Thomas.  The new additions come after Tony Bruno abruptly resigned from his position as Innes’ co-host last month…..Former WBUV, Biloxi, Mississippi morning duo Steve Taylor and Mike Mankiewicz are taking their craft digital with a daily podcast after exiting the iHeartMedia news/talk station.  The two hosted the “Gulf Coast Mornings” program for the past two years.  The station is now airing the Gerry Vaillancourt morning program being piped in from sister New Orleans news/talker WRNO.

Trump Immigration Plan, 2016 Presidential Candidates, Hillary Clinton Emails Case, Bangkok Terror Attack, Russian Aggression in Ukraine, North and South Korea Tensions, Amazon Workplace Controversy, and IRS Data Theft Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/17).  GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump’s plan to revise American immigration policy; the activities of the candidates for president in 2016; the latest news in the Hillary Clinton emails case; the Bangkok terrorist attack at a popular shrine in the city; the renewal of military aggression in Ukraine by Russian troops; the tensions between North and South Korea over the latter’s joint military operations with the U.S.; the PR issue facing Amazon after a New York Times article’s description of its workplace culture; and the report of more stolen data from the IRS hacking case were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, April 20, 2015

| April 20, 2015

garganoanthonyAnthony Gargano Officially Named WPEN-FM, Philly Morning Host.  Last week Philly.com called it the “worst-kept secret in Philadelphia sports talk radio” – and it turns out that was true.  As reported almost everywhere, former longtime WIP-FM, Philadelphia personality Anthony Gargano is the new lead morning drive talent on Greater Media’s sports talker WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic.”  Gargano – who left CBS RADIO’s WIP-FM recently after failing to come to terms with the company on a contract renewal – will be joined on “Anthony Gargano in the Morning” by co-host Jon Marks, sports update anchormarksjon Maureen Williams and producer Jamie Lynch.  The station had been airing ESPN Radio’s “Mike & Mike in the Morning” which can now be heard in the market on Beasley Media Group’s WTEL-AM.  Greater Media Philly SVP/market manager John Fullam comments, “We are thrilled to have Anthony join ‘97.5 The Fanatic.’  He is the perfect lead-off man for Philly sports talk every weekday morning.  It is great to provide Philly sports fans an all-star lineup for their drive times with Anthony in the morning and Mike Missanelli in the afternoon.  We are also proud to continue our long-standing affiliation with ESPN and our outstanding contributors including Sal Paolantonio, Ron Jaworski and Jayson Stark.”

mcculloughLateNightposterNew Kevin McCullough-Hosted Show Debuts on WNYM, New York Tonight.  Syndicated talk host and XtreMEDIA principal Kevin McCullough adds another talk program to his busy schedule as he debuts “Late Night with Kevin McCullough” airing on Salem Media Group’s WNYM, New York “AM 970 The Answer” from 10:00 pm to 12:00 midnight.  McCullough says the show will be him “rounding out the talk radio day with an irreverent look at the news, the talk radio industry, and everything else in life,” and says it’s a joint endeavor between his company and Salem New York.  McCullough says the show will “in some ways be a throwback to the greatest era of radio where the steaks always sizzled and the beverages are always cold!  Newsmakers, icons, and listeners will drive the conversation.  ‘The Ladies Lounge’ will feature some of the most important but not-yet-amplified voices of ladies in talk media – plus a ‘house band’ called The Hot Sardines.”  The program debuts tonight (4/20).

metaxasposterSalem Rolls Out Metaxas Show.  The radio syndication of popular author and TV personality Eric Metaxas by Salem Radio Network was announced back in late February but today the show celebrates its national debut.  Although Metaxas is well known in the Christian community, Salem says it believes his program will crossover into the news/talk format as well.  The show will launch in 26 of the top 30 markets, mostly on Salem O&Os.  Salem SVP Phil Boyce says, “This is the biggest rollout for Salem Radio Network in 10 years.  Eric’s show will be different, and a little bit about everything.  His personality and sense of humor will shine through.”  The show airs live from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm ET.

hopeckscottScott Hopeck Named President of iHeartMedia New York.  This is a move from the market president position at iHeartMedia’s Phoenix station group for Scott Hopeck.  Prior to his work in Phoenix, Hopeck was SVP/sales for the company in Atlanta where he was also general manager of the Braves Radio Network.  Hopeck will report to EVP of operations Hartley Adkins, who says, “Scott’s unique skills and experience in digital and technology are perfect for the evolution of this market from traditional media to world-class, multiplatform media with a tremendous impact on advertisers.  Additionally, his sports and MLB experience are ideal for the important and unique opportunities we have in New York.”

richardlanceEntercom Sacramento Raises Richard to VP/Market Manager. The vacancy in that position in California’s capital city was created this past week when Sean Shannon was named to replace the retiring Jon Pinch at Cumulus Media Atlanta (RadioInfo, 4/17). Entercom Sacramento immediately promotes vice president of sales Lance Richard to be Shannon’s successor. According to Entercom station group president Weezie Kramer, “Lance has helped to improve our sales organizations, our coaching ability, and our ability to deliver multi-platform programs that work for advertisers. Nothing gives me greater pleasure than to reward that success with a promotion to vice president and market manager in Sacramento.” Richard comments, “We have the best brands in the market, great local talent and content, strong ratings, and an excellent team in-place. I look forward to continuing our momentum and leading Entercom Sacramento’s market leading portfolio of brands.” The Auburn University graduate has beenEntercom with Entercom since 2009, previously as its corporate vice president of integrated sales. His resume also includes two years as regional sales director for Monster MediaWorks; four years as director of sales for Emmis Chicago; and two years as executive vice president of sales and strategic marketing at IP2M. Entercom Sacramento consists of KCTC “ESPN 1320″; CHR KDND “The End”; alternative KKDO “Radio 94-7”; KRXQ “98 Rock”; classic rock KSEG “The Eagle”; and hot AC KUDL “Star 106.5.”

andersoncarlIndustry Programmers to Take Part in ‘Programming Talk Radio in 2015’ at Talkers New York Conference.  On Friday, June 12 at the India House in Manhattan’s Financial District, the talkbendixenmike media industry will gather for the 20th annual edition of the TALKERS magazine-presented conference.  One of the nine panel discussions and presentations will be titled, “Programming Talk Radio in 2015” and will feature panelists: Carl Anderson, EVP, Programming, iHeartMedia; gellervalerieMike Bendixen, Program Director, Newstalk 1010, Toronto; Valerie Geller, CEO Geller Media International; Scott Masteller, Program Director, WBAL, Baltimore; Mike McVay, SVP,mastellerscott Content & Programming, Cumulus Media; and Paul Vandenburgh, owner and GM, WGDJ, Albany.  It will be moderated by TALKERS magazine VP and executive editor Kevin Casey.  Issues addressed will include: integrating digital into news/talk programming; dealing with resistance to advertising; the challenge of keeping the format fresh; mcvaymikefinding the next generation of talent; allocating resources to the actual program and to social media; seeking alternative ways to monetize the format; balancing the levels of local and syndicated talk content; and more.  Casey says, “I’m really looking forward to talking about the state – andvandenburghpaul the future – of the format with this outstanding panel of industry heavyweights.  These questions are on the minds of industry programmers and it will be enlightening to hear what our panelists have to say.”  Registrations for Talkers New York 2015 are moving fast.  To reserve your place, call 413-565-5413.  For more information about the event, click here.

Odds & Sods. At the Salem Media Group’s New York news/talk outlet WNYM “AM 970 the Answer,” the new walshjoeEric Metaxas show being syndicated nationally by the company’s Salem Radio Network (see story above) bumps Chicago-based Joe Walsh from the 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm slot on the station.  Walsh had been heard there since January of 2014.  Walsh remains on WIND, Chicago…..In Boston, market news pro Henry Santoro leaves his gig with streaming station RadioBDC (operated by the Boston Globe and Boston.com) to join pubcaster WGBH as midday anchor.  Prior to joining RadioBDC, Santoro had spent almost 30 years with the old alternative outlet WFNX.

masonscottLongtime CBS RADIO Engineer Scott Mason Dead.  Details are few but a statement from CBS RADIO Los Angeles SVP/market manager Dan Kearny was made public earlier this morning.  Kearny writes: “The entire CBS RADIO family is grieving today over the passing of Scott Mason, who has been part of CBS since 1979.  With his spirited passion for radio and unwavering dedication to his work, Scott’s accomplishments were numerous, from being an on-air personality at KROQ to hosting diverse programs like the popular “Loveline” and “OpenLine,”a long-running public affairs show, to overseeing the design and construction of CBS RADIO LA’s state-of-the art facilities on the Miracle Mile.  Our thoughts today are with his family and all those who knew and worked alongside Scott during his amazing life and career.  Due to Scott’s wishes, no funeral services will be held. A memorial will be planned in the weeks to come.”

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

| April 15, 2015

FAIRHold2015Ninth Annual ‘Hold Their Feet to the Fire’ Event Kicks Off Today.  The annual Washington, DC radio row produced by the Federation for American Immigration Reform is taking place today and tomorrow at the Phoenix Park Hotel on Capitol Hill.  As in the eight years prior, the event consists of some 45 radio talk hosts from across the country broadcasting live, debating immigration policy while interviewing members of Congress, law enforcement officials, experts, activists and citizens who live along the border.  FAIR says that “this year’s event is focusing on the aftermath of President Obama’s amnesty and his continued abuse of executive power, the GOP’s internal battle over how to tackle immigration and the ongoing border crisis with its implications for national security risks.”  EventgarrisonMH15 general manager and FAIR spokesman Bob Dane comments, “Politicians fear and respect the amplitude of talk radio.  Hold Their Feet to the Fire speaks for millions of radio listeners and, this year, is proving that the mic is mightier than Obama’s pen.”  Pictured here are WIBC-FM, Indianapolis late morning host Greg Garrison (left) and TALKERS magazine publisher Michael Harrison (right).  Harrison appeared on Garrison’s program to discuss talk radio’s role in the immigration issue and the relative First Amendment component.

nabcrystalawardNAB Announces 2015 Crystal Radio Award Winners.  At yesterday’s NAB Show Radio Luncheon, the winners of the 2015 Crystal Radio Awards were announced.  This was the 28th presentation of the Crystal Radio Awards designed to recognize radio stations for their outstanding, year-round commitment to community service.  The winners were chosen from thekevinbean 50 finalists.  They are: news/talk KRMG-FM Tulsa; news/talk WSB-AM Atlanta; country KTTS, Springfield, Missouri; news/talk WSOY, Decatur, Illinois; hot AC WAFL, Milford, Delaware; hot AC WTMX, Chicago; classic rock WDRV, Chicago; news WTOP-FM, Washington; news WINS, New York; and hip hop WUSL, Philadelphia.  NAB Crystal Radio Award finalists were chosen by a panel of judges representing broadcasting, community service organizations and public relations firms.  Also at the luncheon, Kevin Ryder and Gene “Bean” Baxter (pictured here) of CBS RADIO’s modern rock KROQ, Los Angeles were inducted into the NAB Broadcasting Hall of Fame.

cookehollandCooke: Report from NAB Show and NMX in Las Vegas.  Radio consultant Holland Cooke is in Las Vegas this week covering the NAB Show and the co-located NMX and files this report.  Cooke says two presentations stuck out for him on Tuesday including the NMX’s “Make Your Marketing Memorable with Visual Storytelling” by Ekaterina Walter.  For radio practitioners, the internet is the place to use images and Cooke reports some data he heard is eye-opening as Walter said, “Thinking in pictures is our nature.  Images act like shortcuts to the brain” and “speak to the heart and tell stories.”  She noted that “scientists say the average modern adult attention span is between 2.8 and 8 seconds,” and that “90% of all information transmitted to the brain is visual.”  Cooke says the NAB’s “Small and Medium Radio Markets Idea Exchange” alone is “worth the trip.”  Read more from Holland Cooke here.

garganoanthonyReport: New AM Show Slated for WPEN-FM, Philadelphia.  Calling it the “worst-kept secret” in Philadelphia sports radio, a report at Philly.com is saying former WIP-FM personality Anthony Gargano will be paired up with current WPEN-FM midday host Jon Marks for the morning drive show on Greaterwpen-fm logo Media’s “97.5 The Fanatic” before the month is out.  Gargano left the CBS RADIO sports talker recently after receiving what he called a “low-ball offer” to remain with the station.  Jon Marks had been co-hosting the midday show at WPEN-FM with Sean Brace but Brace exited the station earlier this month.  Currently, the station airs ESPN Radio’s Mike & Mike show.  If Gargano and Marks do end up in mornings together, it leaves a vacancy in the 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm show.

ppmunit altNielsen Audio Releases Second Round of Mach 2015 PPM Data.  The second of four rounds of March 2015 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Washington, Boston, Detroit, Miami, Seattle, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis.  The March 2015 survey period covered February 26 through March 25.  You can find the complete ratings from subscribing stations here.  Additionally, TALKERS/RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Ten Takeaways” from this group on the main page of our sister publication here.

limbaughrushRush Limbaugh’s Leukemia & Lymphoma Cure-A-Thon Raises $3.3 Million.  Last Friday, Premiere NetworksRush Limbaugh program held its 25th annual Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Cure-A-Thon during which Limbaugh dedicated the entire three-hour show to encouraging listeners to join the effort to find a cure for leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma, and to improve the quality of life for patients and their families.  During the broadcast and in the days that followed, on-air and online donations for the fundraiser totaled $3.3 million dollars.  Over the past 25 years, Limbaugh and his audience have collectively raised nearly $44 million dollars for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.  Limbaugh states, “I want to thank everyone once again who donated, contributed to our 25th annual Cure-A-Thon last Friday for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.  Every year, the people in this audience, you, just continue to come through.”

Odds & Sods.  Former MLB pitcher Curt Schilling joins Entercom’s WEEI-FM, Boston as a baseball analyst.  The Red Sox star will be part of the Dennis & Callahan show every Wednesday at 8:05 am during baseball season.schillingcurt  Schilling is also part of the broadcast team for ESPN’s “Sunday Night Baseball.”…..KOA, Denver weekend personality Ross Kaminsky is spending some time this week filling in for Rod Arquette on iHeartMedia’s KNRS, Salt Lake City (Tuesday and Friday).  Recently, Kaminsky has also filled in for Mandy Connell on KHOW, Denver; Leland Conway on WHAS, Louisville; and for the TRN-syndicated Jerry Doyle.

Marco Rubio Declaration/2016 Presidential Prospects, ISIS Military Action in Iraq, Iran Nuclear Program Negotiations, Obama’s Cuba Policy, Tax Day, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/14).  The declaration of his candidacy for president by Florida Senator Marco Rubio and the rest of the field of Republican prospects and Democrat Hillary Clinton; the military action by ISIS in Iraq; the ongoing controversy over Iran’s nuclear program and the negotiations with the West; President Obama’s policy regarding Cuba; chatter about Tax Day; and the young MLB season action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

| February 26, 2015

2015 NYC 150‘Big Picture’ Panel to Tackle Broad Strokes View of Radio’s Rapidly Evolving Role in 21st Century Media.  The power-packed agenda for the forthcoming 18th annual installment of the longest-running and most important talk media industry national convention is taking shape.  The event’s traditional convergence panel, “The Big Picture,” will feature a lineup of speakers including (in alphabetical order):  Alan Colmes, personality, Fox News Radio/Fox News Channel; Holland Cooke, consultant, Holland Cooke Media; Joe Sciacca, editor-in-chief, Boston Herald/Boston Herald Radio; and Julietalbottjulie Talbott, president, Premiere Networks with two more industry heavyweights to be confirmed shortly.  The colmesalaneclectic discussion will be moderated by TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison who states, “I love moderating this panel.  It goes in many directions and is not afraid to explore esoteric speculation about what is lurking just over the horizon and around the next corner.”  Harrison adds, “It is always full of valuable takeaways for our attendees.”  The session will be held as part of the day-long conference set for Friday, June 12 at the India House Club in the Big Apple’s historic Financial cookehollandDistrict.  Registrations are priced at $299 per person with an early-bird, discounted cost of $249 available sciaccajoeuntil 5:00 pm ET on Friday, February 27 (tomorrow).  Registrations, which are only open to professionals currently or recently employed in media-related industries, include all sessions, presentations, exhibits and breakfast/lunch/refreshment/and social networking activities.  The heavyweight, non-stop agenda will include approximately 65 speakers and 500 attendees are again expected.  Registrations can only be taken over the phone and paid for by credit card.  For registration, sponsorship and hotel information, please call 413-565-5413.  Again, an early sellout is expected, so avoid being shut out by registering now!  More speakers, panelists and agenda updates will be announced here in the coming days.

shoredaveDetroit’s WMGC Shores Up PD Vacancy. The program director opening at WMGC “Detroit Sports 105.1” has been filled, as the Greater Media outlet taps Dave Shore for the position. Vice president and market manager Steve Chessare comments, “Dave’s experience in overseeing sports radio in major markets made him the perfect choice to lead [our] team. We are absolutely thrilled to have him help us take the station to the next level.” Shore – who will beginWMGC- FM his Motor City assignment next month (3/23) – most recently was operations manager of ESPN Radio Los Angeles’ KSPN and was the pre-game host of the station’s broadcasts of the NBA‘s Los Angeles Lakers. For seven years, he was sports director/on-air talent for ESPN Radio Dallas’ KESN and he did television play-by-play for Texas Tech basketball, as well as pre-game duties for the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks. In 2007, Shore launched Capitol Broadcasting Raleigh’s WCMC “99.9 – The Fan” and managed co-owned sports WDNC “620 – The Buzz” and WCLY “1550 ESPN Deportes.” Shore succeeds Jason Dixon, who was the first program director WMGC hired in August 2013 when the station transitioned from adult contemporary to sports. Ironically, Dixon arrived at WMGC after a three-year stint as operations manager/program director of the same three Raleigh sports stations (WCMC, WDNC, and WCLY) on Shore’s resume.

williamsonrachelWilliamson to New CMG Digital Post.  Sales and management pro Rachel Williamson is the new director of digital revenue development for Cox Media Group.  The company says that in this role, she’ll focus on working with the company’s 59 radio brands “to drive our digital revenue growth and integrated sales.”  She joins CMG from her most recent post with Cumulus Media as director of national sales.  Cox senior director of digital solutions Jesse McCambridge says, “We are very excited to have Rachel join our team.  We have experienced tremendous growth in digital across the company and Rachel’s experience brings industry expertise and focus on integrated marketing solutions.”

bearmanethan3Bay Area Talk Personality Ethan Bearman Highlighted in HuffPo Piece.  Talk radio personality Ethan Bearman – currently heard on his regular weekend shows on KSFO, San Francisco (where he does a lot of fill-in work), via his GCN-syndicated program and as a regular sub on WPHT, Philadelphia – is one of five “agents of change” that writer Greg Archer profiles in a recent piece in the Huffington Post.  About Bearman, Archer writes, “In just a short span of time, Bearman’s nationally syndicated radio talk show…has quickly risen among the ranks as one of the more thought-provoking outings on the airwaves.  Why The host is unabashedly witty, yes, but he’s also deeply interested in current events, politics, science, tech and other rich topics.  Beyond that, he appears to have a rare gift of being able to dissect half-truths, offering realistic takes on complex topics, and somehow allow the listener to find a curious and perhaps unexpected respite with him somewhere in the middle of ‘The Here And Now.’”  Read the HuffPo piece here.

rabRAB Cites Borrell’s Positive Forecast for Radio’s Digital Sales Growth.  According to research from Borrell Associates, the radio industry will rise above the half-billion-dollar mark in digital advertising this year based upon revenue that is projected to grow by 18%.  The study, titled, “Benchmarking: Local Radio Stations’ Online Revenues,” was done on behalf of the Radio Advertising Bureau.  It indicates that radio stations added or reassigned as many as 750 new employees to focus on digital ventures last year, causing revenue to grow 16% in 2014.  More than one-third of the radio managers surveyed indicated that they had at least one employee exclusively assigned to digital operations, up from 11% last year.  Also, more than 33% of those surveyed said their stations were either setting up a “digital agency,” were planning to set one up soon, or already had one.  Some other findings from the report include: Nearly two-thirds believe their sales reps are talking to the wrong buyers when trying to sell digital; and 77% gave sales training a number 1 or number 2 priority in terms of what would boost their station digital sales the most.  RAB president and CEO Erica Farber comments on the study, “It’s important to look at all available revenue data in order to provide our industry members with additional market barometers.  We’re making tremendous strides in radio’s digital growth, and this survey continues to provide us with areas to focus on and invest in to truly maximize this revenue stream.”

metaxasericSalem Brings Eric Metaxas Aboard for Daily Talk Show.  Although Eric Metaxas is a well-known author, speaker and TV personality in the Christian community, Salem Media Group says his new daily talk show could cross over to the news/talk format.  Metaxas will begin hosting his new radio show on April 20, airing from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm ET.  Salem Radio Network SVP Phil Boyce says, “We are extremely enthusiastic to have Eric join the Salem platform.  I have tried to get Eric to join us for two years, and this opportunity seemed to be a perfect match.  He’ll do a great show every day that will inspire listeners and help stations grow their audience.”  In a press statement, Salem notes that Metaxas is the author of the bestseller, Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet Spy (Thomas Nelson 2011) as well as a recent Wall Street Journal column titled, “Science Increasingly Makes the Case for God.”

Odds & Sods.  Washington-Baltimore all-news WNEW-FM is adding talk to its lineup in the evenings andkatzmcAuliffe overnights.  It’s adding the Dave Ramsey show to air from 8:00 pm to 11:00 pm as well as the KMOX, St. Louis-based “America Overnight” with host Jon Grayson…..Hubbard Radio’s Washington all-news WTOP and sister WFED “Federal News Radio,” as part of a restructuring of their sales department, promote longtime national sales manager Jeffrey Wolinsky to director of federal and national sales.…..KBBO, Yakima, Washington flips from talk to sports.  The Ingstad-owned station becomes “The Fan 1390 AM” and the Yakima Herald reports much of the station’s programming will be piped in from Bonneville’s KIRO-AM, Seattle, including:  “Brock and Salk” and “Danny, Dave and Moore.”…..WRVA, Richmond afternoon drive personality Jeff Katz (left) had the opportunity to interview Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe (right) at the iHeartMedia studios in Richmond and the two posed for a quick photo after the broadcast.

hannityschnittbermanThe Big Apple Drive Timers.  Posing for a quick pic in the WOR, New York studios are the station’s drive time stars Sean Hannity (center), and new morning duo Todd Schnitt (right) and Len Berman (left).  Hannity’s radio show is syndicated by iHeartMedia’s Premiere Networks and airs in the afternoon slot on WOR.  Berman and Schnitt recently partnered up to host the morning drive show on the station.  Schnitt is also heard in afternoon drive (Eastern Time) on stations across the country via Compass Media Networks.

bfoa logoBFoA to Honor Mel Karmazin.  Legendary broadcasting executive Mel Karmazin will be honored with the 2015 Lowry Mays Excellence in Broadcasting Award presented by the Broadcasters Foundation of America at its annual breakfast Wednesday, April 15 during the National Association of Broadcasters Show in Las Vegas.  Karmazin retired from his CEO post at SiriusXM in 2013.  Prior to that, he was president and COO of Viacom.  He served as CEO of CBS Corp following his work as chairman and CEO of CBS Radio, which followed the merger of Westinghouse/CBS and Infinity Broadcasting.  The Lowry Mays Excellence in Broadcasting Award is bestowed annually on an individual in broadcasting whose work exemplifies innovation, community service, advocacy, and entrepreneurship.  It salutes its namesake Lowry Mays and is underwritten by The Mays Family Foundation.

Department of Homeland Security Funding Battle, Obama Amnesty Order, FCC’s Net Neutrality Proposal, 2016 Presidential Prospects, ISIS Brutality, Iran Nukes, and the Bill O’Reilly Journalistic Ethics Flap Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/25).  The battle in Congress over the funding of the Department of Homeland Security; the status of President Obama’s amnesty order; the FCC’s proposal to regulate the Internet as a utility and the possible ramifications; the potential candidates for president in 2016; the brutal violence being perpetuated by ISIS and controversy over labeling the militant organization “Muslim”; the potential for Iran to acquire nuclear weapons; and the flap over accusations against FNC’s Bill O’Reilly of journalistic lapses were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

| February 10, 2015

dixonjasonJason Dixon Exits ‘Detroit Sports 105.1.’  After a year and a half as the only program director WMCG, Detroit has known since flipping to sports in August of 2013, Jason Dixon announces he’s resigned from the station effective immediately.  Greater Media’s “Detroit Sports 105.1” debuted 16 months ago to challenge the sports talk dominance of CBS RADIO’s crosstown WXYT-FM.  Dixon tells TALKERS magazine he’s available for new opportunities and can be reached at: 919-999-6096 or via email at JasonDixonPD@Gmail.com.

podcastone logoVinny G Show Comes to PodcastOne.  Former “Jersey Shore” cast member Vinny Guadagnino is hosting a weekly podcast to be made available via PodcastOne.  Dubbed, “Get Into It with Vinny G,” the show will feature the host, “alongside his crazy friends and family members, celebrity guests, and other people from all walks of life, as they ‘get into’ every topic imaginable, including sports, pop culture, politics, self-help, food, comedy, dating and relationships, and more.  It debuts Thursday (2/12) and features a reunion with The Jersey Shore’s Pauly D.  PodcastOne chairman and CEO Norm Pattiz says, “Though I’ve never been to the Jersey Shore, a heck of a lot of people have, and most of them are Vinny fans.  That’s because he’s a unique guy who’s open about who he is and gives back to the community.  He’s a really interesting guy with a huge social following, which usually means success when launching a new podcast.  We’re delighted to add ‘Get Into It with Vinny G’ to the PodcastOne lineup.”

shepardbradWestern Massachusetts Radio Star Brad Shepard Launching Pioneer Valley Radio.  Longtime Springfield, Massachusetts-area talk radio personality, commentator and prominent local arts & entertainment figure, Brad Shepard has announced the launch of Pioneer Valley Radio – an online platform designed to present talk shows and conversations specifically geared to “serving the civic and cultural interests of Western Massachusetts.”  Pioneer Valley Radio – located at www.PioneerValleyRadio.com – will serve as a free online home for what Shepard describes as “a wide variety of talk shows and informative conversations about what’s happening here in Western Massachusetts.”  According to Shepard, “There are so many things to talk about in the Pioneer Valley that are not being addressed today in contemporary on-air broadcasting.  Hot issues like the casino.  The economy.  Public safety,  Education. Race relations. Health services.  The arts.  Public transportation.  The list is endless.  This platform will fill a dangerously huge void and be dedicated to serving the public good.  We will be doing audio shows (and some video) about politics, civics, health care, high school sports – you name it.  The key ispioneervalleyradioLG localness and the goal is to serve the interests of the people of this region across the board.  We will not embrace or ‘target’ any specific political ideology or bias.  We can leave that to traditional, on-air talk radio.”  Shepard – who was heard the past 12 years in morning drive on iHeartMedia’s heritage outlet, WHYN-AM (and a number of local stations for years before that) will serve as general manager of the new “media station.”  He will also personally host a variety of talk shows (available on demand 24/7) that will include interviews with a wide array of prominent local figures and every day folks, as well as his own commentaries — plus calls from listeners.  Pioneer Valley Radio will also provide live coverage of special events considered too niche or “small” to be given time on traditional over-the-air stations.  The station will also feature a variety of programs produced and hosted by other voices in the community including former radio, television and newspaper personalities who’ve been squeezed out of their jobs for reasons having nothing to do with their talent, skill or performance.  Shepard tells TALKERS, “It is no secret that budget cutbacks have forced many of the local traditional media outlets in this area to cut back on programming which has tragically resulted in the loss of jobs for some mighty fine talents, not to mention live and local discussion programs.  We will do our best to rectify that unfortunate situation.”  Pioneer Valley Radio is being designed and powered by Michael Harrison’s Massachusetts-based, multimedia firm Goodphone Communications, Inc.  Pioneer Valley Radio will be free to listeners and funded by local advertising.  Shepard says, “Because we are online and not restricted by enormous technical and regulatory burdens, we will make amazingly affordable and effective advertising packages available to local businesses seeking to get their messages out to the public in a manner that won’t clutter up the programming while giving these good businesses clear sailing in really getting their full stories and services valuable exposure.  This is the kind of thing to which intelligent, creative use of the internet lends itself.”

brandwidth coverKipper McGee Authors Book on Digital Disruption.  Radio pro Kipper McGee is publishing a new book this spring in which the programmer and consultant examines broadcasting’s experience with the “digital disruption.”  Titled, Brandwidth: How Big Broadcasting Missed the Mediamorphosis, McGee says the book “offers 7 ways YOUR brand(s) can avoid their mistakes…We live in a time when broadcasters are being attacked in ways not even dreamed about a decade ago.  Many operators insist on acting penny wise and PPM foolish.”  He says the book “reveals common traits of the biggest winners and losers and offers powerful takeaways for ANY brand planning to thrive in the ever-changing digital world order.”

connecticut broadcastersSnowy Winter Puts New England Stations in Consistent Emergency Mode.  Much of the Northeast has been battered by the series of winter storms affecting the region, and broadcast outlets have been in storm coverage mode pretty steadily over the past month.  The Connecticut Broadcasters Association reports how some of its member stations have been serving their markets.  Some examples from the January 26-27 blizzard, in particular, include: CBS RADIO’s news/talk WTIC-AM, Hartford made sure its generator was ready for multiple days of service.  It arranged for announcers to broadcast from home and for staff to stay in nearby hotels in order to keep the station on the air; in Eastern Connecticut, Hall Communications‘ six radio stations provided storm updates twice an hour, carried the governor’s press conferences, and had the New London mayor and local Emergency Management directors on several times.  Staffers stayed overnight at local stations or nearby hotels to remain on the air; WLAD-AM, Danbury put staffers up in a nearby hotel and expanded local programming with live weather and traffic information, and interviews with officials from Danbury, Ridgefield, Bethel and Brookfield; in the Connecticut River Valley, WMRD-AM and WLIS-AM stayed on the air by having someone sleep at the stations.  They provided hourly weather updates and interrupted programming with storm-related news and information.  Among other stories, they were able to report on a local power outage caused by a snowplow knocking down a power pole; WINY, Putnam gassed up an all-wheel-drive vehicle to get radio personnel to work, contacted local police to serve as potential back-up transportation, tested station generators and fuel levels, and provided meals for staff in nearby hotels.  One employee stayed with his grandmother who lives two miles from the station.

cohenheatherHeather Cohen Named to Alliance for Women in Media Board of Directors.  Named to the Alliance for Women in Media board of directors for 2015 is The Weiss Agency EVP Heather Cohen.  The 1998 Hofstra University graduate, who also serves on that college’s Herbert School Advisory Council, joins the organization that is dedicated to advancing women in media and entertainment.  The group also administers the national Gracie Awards, which recognize and honor excellence in programming by and about women.

Odds & Sods.  Tax season is here and ABC News Radio is launching its annual Tax Tips series.  The news service says the series tackles “all the tough tax topics to provide listeners with a wide range of helpful information when filing for returns this year.”  ABC News correspondent Richard Davies and chief business and economics correspondent Rebecca Jarvis anchor the 30-part series…..Journal Broadcast Group and IMG have entered into a new radio partnership in Omaha that will expand the reach of University of Nebraska Cornhuskers sports, broadcast more games across the university’s entire sports lineup, and increase exposure for all Nebraska sports.  Journal says the new, five-year Omaha affiliate agreement with KXSP, KKCD, and KEZO will provide better coverage for Huskers sports through a strong AM signal on an all-sports format radio station and additional new FM affiliates.

Brian Williams Case, 2016 Presidential Prospects, Battle Against ISIS/Bobby Jindal Flap, Bruce Jenner Saga, Snowy Northeast Winter, Net Neutrality Proposal Controversy, Fighting in Ukraine, and GRAMMY Awards Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/9). The status of Brian Williams at NBC after his apology for fabricating an Iraq War coverage incident; the potential candidates for president in 2016; the fight against ISIS and the flap over comments by Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal about radical Islam; the gender transformation of Bruce Jenner and his involvement in a deadly auto accident in Malibu; the record snowfall being experienced by parts of the Northeast; the FCC’s proposal to regulate the internet; the ongoing fighting in Ukraine and Russia’s role in the unrest; and Sunday’s 57th GRAMMY Awards were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

| December 24, 2014

top stories - generic BTop News/Talk Stories of 2014.  As is the tradition at TALKERS magazine, the end of the calendar year provides the opportunity to look back and present the industry with a list of talk radio’s most-talked-about stories and people of 2014.  Regular TALKERS readers are aware that we present the Talkers TenTM each week – a chart that shows the top stories and people of the week as discussed on news/talk radio based upon ongoing research from TALKERS.  This year-end chart uses that data.  The accompanying graphic presents the charts for 2014.

howellbigjohnBig John Howell to Exit WIND, Chicago.  According to a report from Chicago media writer Robert Feder, Big John Howell is exiting his morning drive gig with Salem Communicatons’ news/talk WIND, Chicago “560 The Answer.”  Feder writes that Howell was offered a contract renewal but he turned it down.  Feder says Howell’s contract runs out at the end of this month but Howell may work into January while the company decides how to replace him.  But the rumor is that Howell may jump across the street to join Cumulus Media’s WLS-AM.  Howell has hosted the morning show for the past eight years and currently works with Amy Jacobson as co-host.

garganoanthonyAnthony Gargano Exits WIP-FM, Philadelphia.  Tweeting that his contract offer from CBS RADIO to remain afternoon host on sports talker WIP-FM in Philly was a “lowball” offer, Anthony Gargano exits.  He Tweets, “Thanks to WIP and all of the Philadelphia fans for 15 great years! On to the next chapter.”  It’s rumored that the station’s Josh Innes will assume Gargano’s role in afternoons where Gargano had been co-hosting with Rob Ellis.  There are also rumors that Gargano may pop up at Greater Media’s crosstown competitor WPEN-FM “The Fanatic.”

ppmunitRound Two of December PPM Data Released.  The second of four rounds of December 2014 PPM data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Washington, Boston, Detroit, Miami, Seattle, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis.  The survey period was November 6 through December 3.  TALKERS magazine’s sister publication RadioInfo has all of the numbers from subscribing stations here.  In addition, managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his “Ten Takeaways” from this batch of ratings on the main page at RadioInfo.com here.

Odds & Sods.  According to Jose Lambiet’s Gossip Extra, the Rick Sessa-hosted “American Biker Talk Radio” show is moving from its current station – WSVU, West Palm Beach – to rock-formatted WBGF, Belle Glade, Florida “93.5 The Bar” beginning in January.

medvedElwesInconceivable Guest Appearance!  Nationally syndicated Salem Radio Network talk star Michael Medved (right) poses for a photo outside the studio after interviewing actor Carey Elwes (left) – star of the classic film, The Princess Bride.  Elwes stopped by the show’s Seattle studios to chat with Medved – a noted film critic as well as talk personality – about his new book, As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride (Touchstone 2014).

marketwatchfarewellStaff Recognizes End of MarketWatch Radio Network.  The air staff of the MarketWatch Radio Network held a farewell party last week to celebrate one last time together.  Dow Jones’ exit from the AM/FM radio business at the end of the year spells the end for the business news network founded by Frank Barnako in 1999.  Barnako made a special appearance at the party joining staffers (from left to right, also noting stations they served) back row: Tracy Johnke (WBZ-AM, Boston), Andrew O’Day (WINS, New York and WBZ-AM), Alisa Parenti (WBZ-AM and WBBM-AM, Chicago), Joan Doniger (WBBM-AM), Steve Potisk (KNX, Los Angeles and KYW, Philadelphia), Adrienne Mitchell (WBBM-AM, KRLD-AM, Dallas and KCBS-AM, San Francisco), Ann Cates (WCCO, Minneapolis, WBBM-AM, KCBS-AM). Front row: Barnako and WSJ Radio executive editor John Wordock.

bfoa logoBFoA Creates Bill Burton Memorial Fund.  The recent passing of beloved radio pro Bill Burton is recognized by The Broadcasters Foundation of America as it establishes the Bill Burton Memorial Fund.  Burton, known for his trademark words of encouragement, “Be Fabulous,” died last weekend from head injuries suffered after a fall at his home.  He was 85.  Former BFoA executive and long-time friend and colleague Carl Butrum states, “Bill’s influence inspired countless individuals in the radio business.  Radio owes Bill our gratitude for his wisdom and for imparting to us his boundless positive attitude, which infected everyone who came into contact with him.  We mourn his loss, but remember the great man with The Bill Burton Memorial Fund.”  Donations to the Bill Burton Memorial Fund are being accepted at the Broadcasters Foundation website at www.broadcastersfoundation.org, or by calling 212-373-8250, or emailing info@thebfoa.org.

Sony to Release ‘The Interview,’ New York Police Killings Protests/Obama Racism Remarks, Potential 2016 Presidential Candidates, Joe Cocker Dies, Christmas Holiday, ISIS Violence, and NFL Playoffs Push/Possible Coaching Changes Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/23).  The decision by Sony to go ahead and release the movie “The Interview” on Christmas day after all; ongoing police killings protests in New York City and the slaying of two NYC cops over the weekend, plus President Obama’s comments on racism in America; chatter about the potential candidates for president in 2016; the death of rock icon Joe Cocker; the coming Christmas holiday; ISIS violence in Iraq; and the NFL playoff scenario and talk of potential coaching changes after the season were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

| November 4, 2014

magliozzibrothersIndustry Mourns Passing of Tom Magliozzi.  One of the two hosts of the long-running NPR program “Car Talk” died yesterday.  Co-host Tom Magliozzi passed away at age 77 after complications from Alzheimer’s disease.  Industry insiders know the popular show has been airing reruns for the past two years after Magliozzi and younger brother Ray elected to stop producing new shows.  The program was in national syndication from NPR for 25 years after beginning as a Boston-only show.  Though the brothers were certainly knowledgeable about all things automotive, it was their infectious personalities and their ability to create hilarious dialogue with callers that made the show so popular.  Read NPR’s piece on Magliozzi and “Car Talk” here.

duckworthpaulPaul Duckworth to Retire from KOMO and KVI in Seattle.  He’s been back at news and talk outlets KOMO and KVI in Seattle for two-and-a-half years, coming out of retirement to program the stations, but now he’s ready to “try my hand at that whole ‘retirement’ thing again.”  Paul Duckworth jokes that his two previous retirements ended in a return to work so why should we believe him now?!  He says he’s enjoyed his time with KOMO, KVI and the staff there but he’s going to try it again.  “No promises, but I think this time it may stick.  I love the business, but it’s time for a break…probably a nice LONG one.  I’m leaving behind an unbelievable group of people here in Seattle.  They’re the best!”  Duckwork’s last day will be Friday (11/7).  No word about his replacement yet.

kinosianmike2014 MLB Baseball Flagship Station Analysis.  TALKERS managing editor and West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian presents the fifth of a five-part series of analyses detailing the performances of MLB flagship stations this season – this time including October 2014 PPM data.  Again, the flagships in markets where baseball has traditionally been good to its radio outlet and in markets where the team was performing well continue to benefit from increased listenership.  In this report Kinosian tracks how flagship stations have performed over the past seven PPM surveys, compared to October 2013, how they rank in their respective markets, and how the stations stack up based on MLB divisions.  Check out Mike Kinosian’s analysis here.

westwood one news logoWestwood One News Sets Four Anchors. In place for its debut are four anchors for Westwood One News.  Dirk Van will cover AM drive; Evan Haning will do middays; Molly Paige will anchor PM drive; and Barbara Kusak will cover evenings.  Westwood One executive vice president of news and talk Bart Tessler comments that he is “thrilled” to debut Westwood One News “with some of the industry’s most respected and best-vandirksounding anchors.  Following up on our announcement of award-winning beat reporters, these broadcast journalists will enhance our product and add substantial power to our winning team.”  Van hosts Westwood One’s “First Light” and “The Week in Review.”  He previously anchored newscasts for NBC News Radio; was a reporter for WCBS-AM, New York; and news director of WHN, New paigemollyYork.  Paige joined Westwood One’s Washington, DC news operation two years ago.  She has worked for several Los Angeles stations; was an anchor/writer/producer for NBC News Radio; and frequently substituted for Jim Bohannon on “America in the Morning.”  For nearly a decade, Haning was a reporter/anchor for Washington, DC’s WTOP and has been on-air in the nation’s capital for 30 years.  Most recently, he anchored afternoon drive there for CBS Radio‘s WNEW-FM.  Kusak was a reporter and Sunday talk show interviewer at Greater Media Detroit classic rocker WCSX; an anchor/reporter at CBS Radio Detroit all-news WWJ; a writer at MSNBC; associate producer at Fox News Channel; and a writer/assignment editor at CBS Radio New York all-news WINS, New York. Westwood One News launches at the end of the year.

brownejoypartyDr. Joy Browne Honored by City Harvest for Helping Provide Food for City’s Homeless.  The humanitarian organization City Harvest rescuesbrownebusstopboard food from restaurants and stores and delivers desperately needed meals to shelters and underserved areas in New York. Nationally syndicated talk radio superstar, Dr. Joy Browne of Genesis Communications Network (GCN) has been a high-profile donor for a decade working on numerous occasions at their distribution centers in addition to being the poster girl in their ad campaigns and as a spokesperson.  She was recently honored by the group at a special food demonstration/dinner at the prestigious Institute for Culinary Excellence (ICE) in the Big Apple.  Pictured at left: the philanthropic “party girl” having a good time at the event embraced by Ritz Corporation executive Lehi Dowell and at right, a Harvest City poster featuring Dr. Joy Browne at a NYC bus stop.

podcastone logoRoss Mathews Debuts on PodcastOne.  Television personality and best-selling author Ross Mathews begins producing a weekly podcast program for the PodcastOne platform, starting Thursday, November 6.  The host of E!’s “Live from E!” and the former “Tonight Show” correspondent debuts “Straight Talk with Ross Mathews,” a podcast that showcases “Mathew’s trademark voice and hilarious takes on the latest gossip, entertainment and celebrity news, in addition to featuring visits from his extensive network of celebrity friends.”  PodcastOne president Kit Gray comments, “I’ve been a fan of Ross since his days at ‘The Tonight Show.’ His unique connection with celebrities, combined with his love of pop culture, brings a distinct flavor to entertainment gossip and news that consistently pushes the boundaries, which is perfect for podcasting.”

denenbergadamDenenberg Named Chief Technical Officer for iHeartRadio.  There’s a new chief technology officer at the iHeartRadio Network as Adam Denenberg joins the company in that role.  Denenberg comes to iHeartMedia from the Huffington Post and begins on November 17.  In this role he’ll be responsible for the technology strategy and vision for iHeartRadio, the company’s all-in-one digital radio and streaming music service, including technical direction and research and development of new products; he will also oversee the technology infrastructure across iHeartRadio’s network of websites, including the more than 859 local radio station and talent-specific sites.  Denenberg will also work closely with other divisions within the company to develop new technology initiatives that create dynamic experiences for iHeartRadio listeners, advertisers and partners.

Odds & Sods.  There’s a big remote coming up for WPEN-FM, Philadelphia “97.5 The Fanatic” as the Greater Media sports talker welcomes Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic of ESPN Radio to town for a live broadcast from XFINITY Live!  The daylong broadcast on Monday, November 10 is free and open to the public.  After the Mike & Mike show, “97.5 The Fanatic” will continue to broadcast from XFINITY Live! Harry Mayes and Brian Westbrook (10:00 am to 12:00 noon), The Jon & Sean Show (12:00 noon to 2:00 pm), and Mike Missanelli (2:00 pm to 6:00 pm)…..Kristina Quintos joins CBS RADIO as its new press representative.  Quintos come to CBS from J. Walter Thompson where she’s been since January 2013.  She was an intern at CBS Entertainment before graduating from New York University with a degree in media, culture and communications…..CBS RADIO’s KNX, Los Angeles presents its next “Ask the Mayor” program where listeners can call in and speak with Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti tomorrow (11/5).  The program is hosted by KNX anchor Tom Haule and chief investigative reporter Charles Feldman.

medvedaward14Michael Medved Honored by Police Union.  Nationally syndicated talk show host Michael Medved is pictured here holding his 2014 Quill & Badge Award from the International Association of Police Unions, AFL-CIO.  Salem Radio Network says that he received the honor in the wake of his on-air defense of Ferguson, Missouri police and several print columns he authored in USA TODAY.

Mid-Term Elections, 2016 Presidential Prospects, Brittany Maynard Suicide Case, Ebola Pandemic Threat, Battle Against ISIS, Navy Seals-bin Laden Slaying Controversy, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/3).  Today’s mid-term elections and the possibility of a Republican takeover of the U.S. Senate; the potential candidates for president in 2016; controversy over the assisted suicide of Brittany Maynard; the ongoing concerns over the Ebola epidemic and the U.S. cases of the virus; the threat ISIS brings to a stable Middle East; the flap over the TV movie detailing the slaying of Osama bin Laden and the violation of the Navy Seals’ code of secrecy and humility; and the weekend’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Friday, August 22, 2014

| August 22, 2014

thomas mikeThomas Adds CBS Sports Radio VP Stripes. Three-year CBS Radio Boston vice president of programming Mike Thomas takes on additional responsibilities as vice president of sports programming for CBS Sports Radio. Among the Boston stations Thomas supervises is all-sports WBZ-FM “The Sports Hub.” Thomas and Mark Chernoff will oversee the company’s sports properties, as well as CBS Sports Radio; Chernoff is CBS Radio’s vice president of sports stations and vice president of programming for CBS Radio New York, which includes iconic sports outlet WFAN. CBS Radio executive vice president of programming Chris Oliviero states that, “Mike’s creativity and expertise in the format is evident by [WBZ-FM’s] quick ascent in one of the most competitive and passionate sports towns in America. These skills will serve CBS Radio well as Mike joins Mark in guiding our continually growing, industry leading portfolio of both local and national sports brands which combined produces nearly 300 hours a day of original content.” Thomas has programmed CBS Radio Boston classic rocker WZLX the past eight years and “The Sports Hub” the last five. His prior programming credits include KGB, San Diego; WFBQ, Indianapolis; WTUE and WXEG, Dayton; and WYMG, Springfield, Illinois.

newsmax (3)mike rogersNewsmax Publishes Insightful Article About Mike Rogers and the Evolving Role of Politics in News/Talk Radio.  Senior editor David A. Patten of Newsmax Media (Newsmax.com and Newsmax Magazine) serves up an informative article that provides fairly objective insight into the recent announcement that at the end of his current Congressional term, U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI) will begin a career with Cumulus Media as a radio talk show host.  The article presents reaction from outspoken conservative media practitioners who react to Rogers’ plan to approach conservative politics from a “kinder and gentler” perspective than the traditional presentations allegedly offered by the genre’s big players such as Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Mark Levin, and Michael Savage.  In the article, commentator (and former radio talk show host) Michael Reagan labels Rogers’ yet-to-debut new show “RINO radio” (Republican in Name Only.)  Conservative media watchdog L. Brent Bozell III charges that Rogers thinks conservative radio listeners are “knuckle-draggers unable to think for themselves, unable to be smart.”  Rogers explains to Newsmax TV why he is giving up his coveted chairmanship of the House Intelligence Committee to join the likes of Mike Huckabee as politicians who enlisted in the media, stating, “It gives me an opportunity to talk to people all over the country about American exceptionalism, the future of America, the issues of the day, national security, and foreign policy in a way I just don’t hear interjected into the public debate.”  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison, known for his nonpartisan stance on political talk radio, is recruited for comment in the piece saying that Rogers is “more compelling than the average dry politician” — but perhaps not as interesting as the more successful radio talkers.  He adds that having a “flair for show business” is at least as important to success in talk radio as whatever policy knowledge a host brings to the table.  Harrison states, “Sometimes the goals of success in talk radio are different from the goals of success in politics which goes back to something I said before: Politicians do not make good talk-show hosts.”  Whether Rogers can succeed on the same battlefield where so many others from elective office have fallen really depends on how audiences react. And that, Harrison says, “Nobody can predict.” On the positive side of the ledger, Harrison says, “Rogers has savvy media instincts, and can talk credibly on a wide range of issues thanks to his insider knowledge.” The negative side of the ledger: Rogers is a politician.  “As a species,” says Harrison, “politicians don’t fully understand the show-business and human-element aspects of talk programming. They see it as another platform to further their political selves, as opposed to their personality selves.”  Harrison expounds, “What’s needed are spontaneous expressions that touch people on a human level. That’s not easy for most politicians, who by instinct and training learn to keep their reactions under wraps.  I’m not saying Rogers doesn’t have it.  I’m just saying we don’t know that he does.”  In the article, Harrison hastens to add that he’s rooting for Rogers to do well because his success would benefit the industry. He says that Cumulus “will have to show Rogers that it’s OK to flirt with controversy in expressing his opinion.”   The TALKERS publisher concludes, “On the radio dial, there’s no room for squishy Republicans. If he irritates the core of the right-wing that loves talk radio,” says Harrison, “and doesn’t generate interest among the people who want to hear a moderate, he may wind up with nothing.”  To read the entire Newsmax article, please click here.

Radio Statesboro, Georgia Eagle Media Close on Five-Station Deal. Neal Ardman‘s Radio Statesboro acquires a five-station Statesboro, Georgia cluster from Georgia Eagle Media. The transaction includes country WHKN, sports WPTB, adult contemporary WPMX, talk WWNS, and classic rock WZBX. Media Services Group‘s Eddie Esserman in the company’s St. Simons Island, Georgia office was the exclusive broker and represented Georgia Eagle Media (the seller) in this deal.

Pardon Me Governor. Even though Matt “Rookie” Michalski poured a bucket of ice and a drink pitcher’s worth of ice directly on Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton, the dayton bucketproducer/sidekick of Hubbard Minneapolis KSTP-AM’s regionally syndicated “Garage Logic” with Joe Soucheray is (presumably) not in any hot water with the state’s chief executive. The extenuating circumstance is that it was pre-arranged as part of the ALS “Ice Bucket Challenge.” Governor Dayton accepted the dare to be showered with ice yesterday (Thursday, 8/21) at the Minnesota State Fair. Minnesota Twins owner Jim Pohlad nominated Dayton, who in turn, laid down the gauntlet to a fellow Democrat, Minnesota Senator – and former Air America talk host – Al Franken. The “Ice Bucket Challenge” went viral through social media the middle of this year. A common stipulation is that nominated people have 24 hours to comply or forfeit by way of a charitable financial donation to ALS. We have larson bucketseen numerous media personalities become involved such as Lars Larson, who does daily conservative talk shows on Alpha Media Portland’s KXL-FM and nationally on Compass Media Networks. Portland city commissioner Steve Novick challenged Larson to participate in this charitable soaking. Larson accepted and got drenched yesterday morning (Thursday, 8/21) outside downtown Portland’s PacWest Center. “It was cold, but I loved doing it,” Larson remarks. “ALS is a terrible disease and we raised [more than $700] for the cause. Doing the honors of dumping the ice water on Larson was Alpha Media adult alternative KINK morning drive co-host/news director Sheila Hamilton. The initial shock, Larson comments, “is so cold.” Two of Larson’s listeners did the deed to Novick, who acknowledges, “It was fun and it is great to see people all over the country drawing attention to fighting this disease.”

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klein jerryKlein Proves “You Can Go Home Again.” Twenty years ago, longtime Charlotte resident Jerry Klein was one of the first liberal hosts given the challenging task of trying to balance conservative talk radio, when he took over late-nights at heritage 50,000-watt, “Blowtorch of the South”-turned talker WBT-AM, Charlotte. A few years later, he moved up to a slightly earlier timeslot, but he was dismissed in October 1997. A short-lived self-syndication effort followed before Klein departed for Washington, DC. He landed at WMAL where he learned the business not just as a host, but also as senior producer, and assistant program and marketing director. He rubbed shoulders with many top politicians and media personalities. Three years ago, however, things took a horrific turn for the worse, when he was diagnosed with esophageal cancer and serious liver disease. Klein was informed he had little chance to survive more than a year. Barely a month after a first unsuccessful surgery, Klein awakened one morning only to find his wife had unexpectedly passed away in their bathroom. One year later, unable to work, penniless, and close to homeless, he accepted an offer from friends in Charlotte to stay in a spare bedroom. Klein returned early last year, thinking he was going home to die. This time last year, things suddenly changed again – this time for the better – as Klein’s oncologist indicated Klein’s cancer had mysteriously vanished. Although still battling physical issues, Klein nonetheless began writing for Charlotte’s alternative news weekly, Creative Loafing, just as he did from 1987 – 2001. Moreover and quite astonishingly, one week from today (8/29), roughly 17 years after being fired from WBT, Klein returns to the now Greater Media-owned talker to fill-in for John Hancock (3:00 pm – 6:00 pm). He will do the same Labor Day (Monday, 9/1) for Keith Larson (9:00 am – 12 noon). “Take your pick of clichés,” Klein offers. “Either, ‘Lazarus is still rising,’ or ‘You can go home again.’ One year ago, I would never have dreamed this was possible – I didn’t think I’d be alive. Instead, I’ve been welcomed home in a way that rocks me to my core. People who screamed at me for my positions now come and hug me. I am constantly told how much I was missed. This proves you might have to leave home thinking you’re a failure, only to return to find out you might have been wrong.”

WZGC LogoFalcons Call an FM Flagship Audible. Effective with this weekend’s (third) pre-season tilt against the Tennessee Titans at the Georgia Dome, the NFL‘s Atlanta Falcons will move its FM flagship from Lincoln Financial Media hot AC WSTR “Star 94” to CBS Radio sports outlet WZGC “The Game.” According to a post on the station’s website, “The Game” will be “airing the remaining preseason games and all regular season games for the 2014 – 2015 season.” Lincoln Financial Media’s WQXI “The Zone” continues as the team’s AM flagship station. It is a bit of an oddity that two competing broadcast companies are flagships for the same sports franchise.

Duquesne DukesThree Outlets to Carry Duquesne Sports. The official radio home of Duquesne football, men’s basketball and coaches’ shows throughout 2014 – 2015 will be Clear Channel Pittsburgh’s WBGG “ESPN 970″ and WWSW-HD2 “94.5 3WS, as well as iHeartRadio. It is a result of a pact with Learfield Sports’ DUQS Sports Properties, Duquesne’s exclusive multimedia rights holder. Market president Tim McAleer remarks, “We are very excited to team up with Duquesne University athletics to bring our listeners even more local sports coverage. The ability to broadcast their specialty sports programming both locally on [WBGG] and on ‘3WS’ HD2, as well as on iHeartRadio allows them to reach fans everywhere.” Duquesne University director of athletics Greg Amodio opines, “It is a great time to follow the Dukes. We trust Learfield Sports with its years of experience in pairing university partners with respected quality broadcast outlets – this will be a terrific partnership with Clear Channel Pittsburgh. We want to create the best fan experience we can, including catering to our base which relies on catching our game action and coaches’ shows on the Duquesne Sports Network.” During the football season, the University’s new radio home for the “Dukes” will air the “Jerry Schmitt Show.” The “Jim Ferry Show” will be broadcast during men’s basketball season, while the “Dan Burt Show” will be carried during the women’s basketball season.

WMC-AM LogoMemphis University School, WMC-AM Continue Partnership. Tonight’s high school football game (Friday, 8/22) between Memphis University School and Brentwood Academy will kickoff the fifth year that Entercom Memphis sports WMC-AM “ESPN 790″ has been MUS’s broadcast partner. WMC-AM will air all of the school’s Friday night football contests. Vice president and market manager Dan Barron comments, “We are proud to be the broadcast home of MUS football and continue to bring high school athletics to Memphis and to the mid-south. MUS “Owls” games are called by Mike Lawhead, Bobby Wade, and Barr Ray. Memphis University School is a college-preparatory independent day school for boys in grades 7 – 12.

Odds & Sods. Starting next Monday(8/25) CBS Sports Radio‘s 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm (ET) “Doug Gottlieb Show” will be simulcast on the CBS Sports Network…..Owing to the station’s decision to abolish news programming, Inland Empire Broadcasting classic hits-oldies KOLA, Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario news director David Wylie exits.

ISIS Beheading, Ferguson Civil Unrest, 2016 Presidential Race, US Ecomomic Indicators, Rick Perry Indictment and Israel-Gaza Warfare are the Top News/Talk Radio Stories for the Week of August 18-22.  Although the Ferguson tragedy brought a wide variety of hot issues to the foreground and was the dominant story for most of the past two weeks, the horrific execution of American journalist James Foley at the hands of ISIS extremists captured the top spot collectively at midweek and has dominated conversation since.  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.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s chart here.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

| August 20, 2014

Bicentennial SSB Cover 175Views “Rising” on Rock Band’s “Spangled” Song Interpretation. Several months ago, TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison — a showman at heart — pondered the advantages of — and reaction to — opening the publication’s annual New York City seminar in June with a rousing, dramatic version of — all things — the National Anthem. The more he deliberated on it, the more he reasoned, why not. It has famously preceded every major sporting event and, truth be told, a multitude of minor ones as well. When done correctly and under optimum circumstances though, a spirited rendition of this country’s anthem can elicit powerfully positive emotions. Such was the case two months ago (6/20) at that very TALKERS confab when patriotic rock band Madison Rising gripped everyone’s attention and brought several to a misty-eye state with their “Star Spangled Banner” performance. The group now boasts sales of over 100,000 of “The Star Spangled Banner,” which celebrates its 200th birthday in about four weeks. Francis Scott Key wrote it on the morning of September 14, 1814, as he watched the American flag rise over Ft. McHenry. Madison Rising has updated and re-energized the anthem just in time for this momentous occasion. Thus far, there have been nearly six million unique YouTube video views of Madison Rising’s “Star Spangled Banner” performance. The band, a creation of New York City entrepreneur Richard Mgrdechian, hopes to reach 10 million views by the September 14 anniversary.  To view it, please click here.