Tag: "heavy hundred"

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

| March 11, 2014

nielsen logoNielsen’s March 2014 RADAR Report Says Radio Listening Up.  According to the soon-to-be-released March 2014 RADAR 120 National Radio Listening Report from Nielsen, total radio listening has increased in the past 12 months by 1.2 million weekly listeners.  Stating that radio now reaches 244.4 million Americans, Nielsen also breaks it down a bit adding that “the national audience aged 18 to 34 grew by more than half a million compared to the previous year, reaching 91.9% of all 18 to 34 year-olds.”  As far as time spent listening is concerned, the report indicates the average total time spent listening to AM/FM radio is 2 hours and 41 minutes (persons 12+), a figure that remains steady from the time documented last March.

geronimodonDon Geronimo Teases Fans About New Show.  Radio pro Don Geronimo is Tweeting teasers to his followers about his next radio venture and it appears to include some old friends.  Geronimo, who is still under the employ of CBS RADIO for another three weeks or so after exiting both KHTK, Sacramento and WJFK-FM, Washington, reports that his new show will also include  former “Don & Mike” show newsman Buzz Burbank, “Slow Joe” Ardinger, and Drew Hoffar, with whom Geronimo worked at KHTK.  Due to contract issues, Geronimo is keeping quiet about where the show will be available until April.  It’s not certain the show will be aired on AM/FM radio and may be an internet venture.

parkertheman‘Parker and The Man’ Returns to WDFN, Detroit.  The sports talk duo of Rob Parker and Mark Wilson is coming back to its original Detroit signal on March 24 when “Parker and The Man” will take over the evening slot on Clear Channel’s WDFN, Detroit.  Parker, who works for WDIV-TV, Detroit on its “Sports Final Edition” show, made the announcement of the pair’s return to AM/FM radio on Sunday.  The duo have been hosting an internet version of their show since last summer but now, through Woodward One Media, the show is being reborn on the radio.  It will also be available online via Premier Sports Talk Network.  Parker and Wilson left WDFN in 1999 and jumped to CBS RADIO’s WXYT-FM and held down the evening slot through 2006 when they exited the station.  Woodward One CEO Weston Silver tells the Detroit News, “‘Parker and the Man’ is a proven commodity in Motown.  We’re thrilled to be able to put them back on the air.  Sports fans will flock back to them because their show is both fun and informative.”

Odds & Sods.  When the Big 10 Men’s basketball tourney begins on Thursday, all of the games will be made available to radio stations via Compass Media Networks.  Compass says two of its crews will be in Indianapolis calling the games.  Matt “Money” Smith (co-host of KLAC’s “Petros & Money,” NFL Network host, and Compass play-by-play man) and former NBA star Rick Mahorn will partner up and Drew Bontadelli and former Cal Poly star and Compass analyst Mike Wozniak will serve as the second crew.  KLAC producer and host Tim Cates will announce the broadcasts and serve as studio host from Compass’ Los Angeles broadcast facility…..Clear Channel’s Minneapolis-based KFAN network has inked a deal with Learfield Sports to air University of Minnesota football for another three seasons…..American Public Media Group announces Morris Goodwin is the new senior vice president and chief financial officer for the corporation that is made up of Minnesota Public Radio, American Public Media, Classical South Florida, and Southern California Public Radio.

UnivisionAmerica“Univision America de Costa a Costa” Debuts.  The morning program is from Univision Radio‘s AM arm - Univision America.  Translated as “Univision America from Coast to Coast,” the Ricardo Espinoza, Tsi Tsi Ki Felix, and Ricky Lopez-hosted show is a combination of news and talk programming, mixed with finance, health, and entertainment information. Univision America vice president/general manager Felix Perez comments, “These personalities reflect the diversity of their listeners’ world.  Audiences crave 24/7 engagement with radio personalities who they can relate to – and – this team delivers.”  Miami-based Espinoza was most recently co-host/news announcer for “Buen Dia New York” on WADO, New York.  Chicago-based Felix is an air personality with “Al Aire con Tsi-Tsi-Ki,” her daily show on Chicago’s WRTO.  New York-based Lopez is the voice of New York City’s WQBU.  ”Univision America de Costa a Costa” premiered yesterday (3/10) at 6:00 am on KTNQ, Los Angeles; WRTO, Chicago; KFLC, Dallas; KLAT, Houston; WQBA, Miami; KCOR, San Antonio; KLSQ, Las Vegas; KGBT, McAllen; and KQBU, El Paso.

Missing Malaysian Jet Mystery, Obama vs. Putin/Ukraine-Crimea Case, Snowden SXSW Appearance, and Global Warming All-Nighter Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/10).  The mysterious disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370; the criticism of President Obama’s handling of Russian president Vladimir Putin and Russia’s incursion into Ukraine and Crimea; the appearance of former NSA contractor Edward Snowden via video at the SXSW festival in Austin; and the all-night session held by Congressional Democrats on the topic of global warming were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

| May 16, 2013

berrymichael2TALKERS Spotlight on Michael Berry: Gaining Traction in Self-Syndication.  With tongue in cheek, KTRH, Houston-based talk show host Michael Berry calls himself “The Czar of Talk Radio” – an apt title that reflects both his dab of self-deprecating irreverence and the fact that his self-syndicated show has been somewhat of an empire-in-the-making as it spreads now to 10 formidable talk stations across the country with no end to its growth in sight.  Berry was a high jumper on this year’s TALKERS “Heavy Hundred” (2013) rocketing from #95 last year to #67.  Michael Harrison calls this former Mayor pro tem of Houston-turned-talk radio host “one of the most promising and intriguing up-and-comers in the business today” and often cites his name when asked from where the next wave of talk radio superstars is coming.  Interested in learning more about this 42-year-old rising star?  Read TALKERS managing editor/West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian‘s in-depth profile of Michael Berry posted today (5/15) by clicking here.

belk logoDepartment Store Chain in Middle of Talk Radio Ad Storm.  The Charlotte-based department store chain Belk found itself in the eye of a partisan politics storm after an ad for one of its vendors that mentions Belk found itslimbaughrush way onto a local station airing the Rush Limbaugh program.  Activist groups monitoring conservative talk radio with the goal of harassing advertisers into deserting the format quickly began targeting Belk with requests to end the campaign.  However, Belk spokesperson Jessica Graham told the Charlotte Observer it doesn’t advertise on talk radio and the ad was through a vendor.  She also explained the vendor was being made aware of the company’s policy.  But the fire had already been started with conservative Belk shoppers and those sympathetic to the anti-talk radio crusade squaring off on social media and communicating with Belk about their feelings.  Graham told the paper in the aftermath of the flap, “This is why we don’t advertise on talk radio.”

jvcbroadcasting logoJVC Media to Buy Asterisk Communications’ Florida Stations.  Long Island-based JVC Media announces it has entered into an agreement to purchase five Florida FM stations from Asterisk Communications.  The stations include: country WTRS, Dunnellon (Gainesville/Ocala market); hot AC WMFQ, Ocala “Q92”; smooth jazz WXJZ, Gainesville; news/talk WBXY, Gainesville; and sports talk WYGC, High Springs (Gainesville market) “104.9 The Game.”  JVC Media CEO John Caracciolo says, “We are honored and privileged to welcome these top-performing radio stations into the JVC family.  The prior owner of these stations was committed to community service, high-quality broadcasting and creating an excellent work environment for its staff, and we are proud to be able to continue the tradition that Asterisk started in this great market.”  JVC chief operating officer Victor Canales adds, “We love this radio market, and we are excited to continue the trend of fun, local radio in North Central Florida.  We plan on adding staff in Florida and New York and to make a big splash with marketing and programming when we begin operating the stations.”  JVC Media owns four FM radio stations on Long Island, dance music WPTY, Spanish WBON, country WJVC, and rock WRCN and operates Long Island Events, which manages the 7,000 seat outdoor entertainment venue known as the Pennysaver Amphitheater.  JVC was formed by broadcasting veterans John Caracciolo and Victor Canales and is backed by Northwood Ventures.

dialglobal logo USEChristina Albee Named Chief Marketing Officer at Dial Global.  Dial Global brings Christina Albee to the company from Condé Nast where she was most recently managing The Studio at Condé Nast, a division producing a wide range of digital campaigns.  She also supervisedalbeechristina event marketing, strategic alliances, and operations at the Condé Nast Media Group.  In Albee’s new role as chief marketing officer at Dial Global, she’ll be responsible for the company’s positioning and branding.  On her new position, Albee states, “I am thrilled to assume the chief marketing officer role at Dial Global.  I look forward to working closely with Paul Caine to innovate and advance our marketing initiatives surrounding Dial Global’s premium programming and unique assets.  There’s an incredible amount of opportunity to redefine the category and I’m happy to be a part of Dial Global’s extremely smart team at the forefront of this industry.”  Prior to Albee’s work with Condé Nast, she held associate publisher positions at Style.com, and Time Inc.’s In Style Weddings and TEEN PEOPLE.  She was also part of multiple successful brand launches, including PEOPLE en Español, In Style, TEEN PEOPLE and All You.

buerkleannmarieFormer Congresswoman Ann Marie Buerkle to Host Show on WSYR, Syracuse.  The Clear Channel news/talk station is bringing former U.S. Congresswoman Ann Marie Buerkle aboard to host a one-hour Saturday program airing from 11:00 am to 12:00 noon.  The one-term rep made the announcement about her new program on the station’s Bob Lonsberry program and said it will debut on Saturday, May 25 – Memorial Day weekend.  She says given the holiday, her program will be dedicated to the nation’s military.

pagliarulojoeOdds & Sods.  Former Jacksonville Jaguars great and current Dial Global football analyst Tony Boselli moves into the radio broadcast booth for Jaguars play-by-play alongside Brian Sexton and Jeff LagemanCox Media Group’s WOKV-AM/FM serves as the flagship for Jaguars broadcasts…..It’s a busy week for talk host Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo who, in addition to his daily show on home base WOAI, San Antonio, is sitting in on the AM drive show on KTRH, Houston.  Next week, Pags does double duty on WOAI filling on for Charlie Parker who’s out on medical leave…..Monday, May 20 will be a full one for ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith as he sits in with Mike Greenberg on the “Mike & Mike” AM drive show on the radio and on ESPN2.  Immediately following, Smith will take his regular turn on ESPN2’s “First Take with Skip Bayless and Cari Champion” and, to further meld the two shows that day, Bayless will join Mike & Mike at 9:30 am for a group discussion on the events of the day.  Greenberg will then join “First Take” for a segment at 10:15 am. Whew!…..Viacom’s Comedy Central inks a pact with SiriusXM to begin airing content on the satellite service under its brand.  And to kick off the launch of Comedy Central Radio, the cable channel will go dark and simulcast the audio feed of the historic launch, which goes live at 12:00 midnight ET on Sunday, May 19.  Virgin Mobile and Monster DNA headphones will sponsor the opening minute of Comedy Central Radio, which marks only the second time that the channel has gone dark in its illustrious history, the first being May 22, 1992 when it did so for the entirety of Johnny Carson’s final broadcast of “The Tonight Show.”

cookehollandThree Old Movies for New Radio Managers.  Noted radio consultant (and TALKERS columnist) Holland Cooke says, “Forget those boring management training videos!” and recommends three old flix to today’s upcoming crop of radio managers for a valuable bit of advice and inspiration.  He suggests viewing “Disclsoure” for input of sexual harassment, “Bridge on the River Kwai” for leadership training, and “Glengarry Glen Ross” for sales do’s and don’ts.  To read more, click here.

malzbergrummyDonald Rumsfeld Visits Steve Malzberg.  Former U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld was Steve Malzberg’s guest on Wednesday (5/15) on his Newsmax Media-produced and syndicated talk show.  Rumsfeld is promoting his new book Rumsfeld’s Rules: Leadership Lessons in Business, Politics, War, and Life (Broadside Books 2013).  In addition to promoting the new book, Rumsfeld and Malzberg talked about the big issues of the day – responsibility for the Benghazi attacks, the IRS scandal and the tensions in the Middle East.  Malzberg’s program airs live from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm ET.

whitefredIndustry Mourns Fred White.  The broadcasting industry and Major League Baseball is mourning the passing of Kansas City Royals director of broadcast services (and long-time Royals play-by-play voice) Fred White, who passed away after a battle with cancer one day after retiring from the organization.  White worked in the broadcast booth with Denny Matthews from 1973 through 1998 before he left that role to move into managing the broadcasting services.

IRS Scandal, Benghazi Attack Probe, Justice Department AP Phone Records Audit and Israel-Syria Tensions Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/15).  The scandal involving the IRS and conservative groups; the ongoing investigation into the deadly attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi; the Justice Department’s audit of AP phone records and Eric Holder’s appearance before the House Judiciary Committee; and Israel-Syria tensions were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

| March 14, 2013

morrisdickCBS Radio’s WPHT, Philadelphia to Add Dick Morris for PM Drive.  The station is making programming moves in anticipation of Michael Smerconish’s departure to SiriusXM Satellite Radio in April and announces political consultant, author and media personality Dick Morris will begin hosting the 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm shift.  Currently, Smerconish is on from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm followed by Rich Zeoli and Steve Martorano from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm.  WPHT does not say if Zeoli and Martorano will remain with the station and be moved to the 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm slot or if it has other plans yet to be announced.  CBS Philadelphia SVP and market manager Marc Rayfield states, “Dick is a great addition to our lineup of live and local personalities, and provides a voice that will raise the audiences’ interest in what’s happening in politics today.  As someone who isn’t afraid to express his opinions or make bold predictions, his show won’t just be a win for Philadelphia and WPHT, it’s a win for radio.”

schultzedMSNBC’s Ed Schultz to Move to Weekend Slot.  News/talk personality Ed Schultz announced at the end of his Wednesday evening program that he will be vacating the 8:00 pm ET time slot on MSNBC to begin hosting a two-hour weekend program on both Saturday and Sunday – from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm beginning in April.  Saying it is “a big opportunity for ‘The Ed Show’ and my brand.”  Schultz said on the air that the five-nights-per-week gig isn’t for him and he’s looking forward to more time to prepare stories.  He told viewers, “I raised my hand for this assignment for a number of personal and professional reasons…My fight on ‘The Ed Show’ has been for the workers and the middle class.  This new time slot will give me the opportunity to produce and focus on stories that I care about and are important to American families and American workers.”  MSNBC offered a congratulatory statement from Phil Griffin but is not announcing just yet who will take over the slot leading into the channel’s prime time star, Rachel Maddow.  Schultz’s program has performed well for the network.  On Tuesday, March 12, for example, Schultz came in second to Fox News Channel’s Bill O’Reilly but beat CNN’s Anderson Cooper in most demographics (in Persons 25-54 Schultz grabbed 195,000 to Cooper’s 170,000, according to TVByTheNumbers.com).  Schultz also fared better than his lead-in, Chris Matthews.  Schultz continues to host his nationally syndicated talk radio program.

longbrianBonneville Seattle Announces Programming Appointments.  Vice president and market manager Carl Gardner promotes KIRO-FM news director Pete Gammell to program director for news/talk KIRO-FM; KIRO-FM assistant program director Jason Antebi to PD of sister news/talk KTTH and sports talk KIRO-AM “710 ESPN” program director Brian Long to senior director of programming for the Bonneville Seattle stations.  Gardner says of Long, “Brian is a talented gammellpeteprogrammer and proven ratings winner. He brings experience, focus, and a leadership style that will be invaluable to our content teams on all three stations.”  The programming positions opened up when programmer Larry Gifford announced he would be leaving the KIRO-FM and KTTH stations back in early February.  On Gammell’s rise antebiJasonto PD, Gardner states, “Pete instinctively understands KIRO Radio.  He was born and raised in Tacoma, educated in Seattle, came up through the KIRO Radio newsroom and has been a leader in shaping KIRO’s distinctive blend of news and conversation.  More than anyone, Pete just gets the unique role this station plays in our community.”  Gammell began his radio career at KIRO Radio in 2000 and moved to San Francisco to work as associate news director at KCBS, San Francisco from 2006 to 2008.  Jason Antebi, who will run the day-to-day programming of KTTH and continue in his role as the architect of KIRO Radio Weekends, worked as a producer in Los Angeles at KLSX, KRLA and  KFI (2006-08).  He served as executive producer at Greenstone Media and as an executive producer of the TRN-syndicated Phil Hendrie show.

2013hh logo 3 inchesTALKERS magazine Unveils the 2013 Heavy Hundred.  The editors of TALKERS magazine, with input from industry leaders, present the 100 Most Important Radio Talk Show Hosts in America –– a popular annual feature that has come to be known as the “Heavy Hundred.”  This is one of the most challenging tasks that TALKERS undertakes each year considering that there are thousands of talk show hosts across the country, ranging from national icons to those laboring in relative obscurity.  Aside from the hosts whose sheer numbers and fame demand their inclusion on this list, the selection process is subjective with the goal being to create a list reflective of the industry’s diversity and total flavor as well as giving credit where credit is due.  The TALKERS magazine editors who painstakingly compile this super-list draw upon a combination of hard and soft factors when evaluating candidates.  These include (in alphabetical order): courage, effort, impact, longevity, potential, ratings, recognition, revenue, service, talent and uniqueness.  We acknowledge that it is as much art as science and that the results are arguable.  There is one concrete qualification for inclusion.  Hosts must be working at the time TALKERS magazine initially posts the list in order to be considered.  They must have a regularly scheduled professional show on the air at a minimum of one terrestrial or satellite radio station at “press time.”  The list remains intact from that point forward until the next year’s edition.  In past years, TALKERS magazine has included sports talk hosts in the Heavy Hundred.  Last year, due to the massive growth in the sports talk genre, sports talk radio has earned a Heavy Hundred of its own, the 2013 installment of which will be published by TALKERS in the coming months.  TALKERS magazine salutes the fine broadcasters who made this year’s list.  To view it, click here.

zollermarthaMartha Zoller’s Gettin’ Busy.  Georgia talk show host Martha Zoller recently returned to the radio after an unsuccessful run for Congress last year.  She’s heard on Cox Media Group’s WGAU, Athens in AM drive with co-host Tim Bryant and – she tells TALKERS – now on about 10 affiliate stations across the state.

hrabechrisKMOX, St. Louis Brings Chris Hrabe in from Memphis for Evening Sports Show.  The 9:00 pm to 12:00 midnight “Dave Sinclair Sports Hub” has a new host as KMOX brings Chris Hrabe in from Flinn Broadcasting’s WHBQ, Memphis, beginning April 4.  Hrabe (pronounced RAY-bee) will host Cardinals and Blues post-game shows in addition to the aforementioned shift.  He’ll also be responsible for contributing content to KMOX.com.  Director of programming and operations Steve Moore states, “Chris is a terrific addition to our sports team.  He’s a talented and accomplished broadcaster, with roots in the Midwest.  He’s well versed in Major League Baseball, the National Hockey League and his recent career experience has provided him tremendous insight into the Southeastern Conference.  Sports fans in St. Louis will be pleased to hear his fresh insights and we are confident he’ll make an immediate impact on our programming.”

kpopeSavvy Texas Broadcaster Brings Pontiff Selection to Local Audience.  Radio consultant Holland Cooke reports to TALKERS about KTBB, Tyler, Texas owner Paul Gleiser’s taking ownership of the new Pope selection story.  He writes: Station managers across the US were already coping with ownership demands for digital and social media revenue as two news items this week complicated such planning: Arbitron issued a “Social Media Do’s & Don’ts” memo and the Federal Trade Commission issued guidelines for sponsored social media content.  Meanwhile, KTBB, Tyler owner/GM/pundit Paul Gleiser (pictured at left in Vatican City) spent a week in Rome…making money with internet content…in market #142.  Full disclosure: Paul is my longtime, long-suffering client; and, admittedly, his coverage of this week’s papal transition hit the ground running because he covered the same story eight years ago.  In both cases, he sold the sponsorship to – you guessed it – the local Catholic hospital.  And he’s a Methodist!  Other local advertisers fund his on-site coverage of the national political conventions every four years, and the full week he and his sports guy spend at the Super Bowl run-up, and other special stuff.  Those sponsors get extra bang for their buck when the local TV station Paul also filed for let him plug them on the tube.  Win-win-win.  All accomplished with equipment in checked luggage, and an assist from ABC News Radio, of which KTBB is an affiliate.  See/hear/read what Paul filed from Rome here, and ask yourself “Why not?”  What can you craft for advertisers that delivers them, and your listeners, something special?

KINB, Oklahoma City Flips to Sports Talk.  The Kingfisher, Oklahoma-licensed FM station had been airing a standards format for the past two years (it was an alternative outlet before that).  The station is part of the Last Bastion Trust including other stations Citadel had to jettison in order to complete the 2007 ABC Radio deal.  A proposed sale to Ferris O’Brien in 2010 never was consummated and the station’s remained in the trust ever since.  The flip from “105.3 The Martini” to “105.3 The Pro” using CBS Sports Radio Network’s programming happened on March 12.

olbermannkeithOdds & Sods.  Keith Olbermann settles with Current TV over his firing.  According to numerous media reports – including The Hollywood Reporter and Deadline.com – though the details are confidential, Olbermann and Current TV have settled his $50 million suit against the Al Gore-owned cable network that’s in the process of being sold to Al Jazeera…..Clear Channel’s sports KTKR, San Antonio agrees to renew its deal with the Houston Astros to carry the team’s games during the 2013 season…..Mark Evans moves from adult contemporary WIKY, Evansville, Indiana to sunny San Diego to become the news man on the “Mornings with Chip and LaDona” AM drive show at Clear Channel’s KOGO.

Washington Sequester/Deficit Battle, New Pope Named, North Korea Threats, Upstate New York Shootings, and Gun Legislation Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/13).  The debate in Washington over the sequester and moves to reduce the budget deficit; Catholic Church names new Pope; ongoing threats by North Korea; fatal shooting rampage in Upstate New York; and gun legislation proposals were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

| February 27, 2013

launchpad logoNorm Pattiz’s Launchpad Digital Media Announces Debut of PodcastOne.com.  Calling it “a single, online destination that makes it easier than ever to discover, download and enjoy the most popular podcasts,” Launchpad Digital Media debuts PodcastOne.com.  In a statement, the company says the site is “already home to more than 200 major podcasts including those from some of the biggest names in radio, news and entertainment, such as: Adam Carolla, CBS News, Dr. Drew, Tom Green, Dennis Miller, Ron Paul, Laura Ingraham, Penn Jillette, Maria Menounos and more.”  Chairman of Launchpad Digital Mediapattiznorm and Courtside Entertainment Group, Norm Pattiz, states, “What others have done with music, we are doing with the spoken word – helping listeners discover new programming based on their listening habits.  This is a powerful promotional vehicle for any program looking to grow audience in a big way.  In addition, by delivering talk, comedy, news, sports and entertainment radio as on-demand podcasts accessible via the internet, Podcast One expands the reach of national radio programs to every listener in the country – eliminating void and uncleared markets, while helping radio grow its audience and receive fair value for it.”  Users go to PodcastOne.com, pick their favorite podcasts and add them to their listen list.  Podcast One suggests new shows based on what they already enjoy and the list is continuously updated with the freshest episodes and users can listen online or download and take their favorite shows with them.  Launchpad Digital Media president Kit Gray says, “Podcast One helps people spend less time searching for great content and more time discovering and enjoying it.  The site’s discovery feature and easy-to-use social network interface allow Podcast One to provide programs with unprecedented exposure to a previously untapped audience.”

bohannonjimJim Bohannon to Receive the TALKERS magazine Lifetime Achievement Award.  Veteran Dial Global radio talk personality Jim Bohannon has been named by the TALKERS editorial board as the 2013 recipient of the publication’s prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award.  Bohannon began his illustrious on-air career in 1960 at KLWT in Lebanon, Missouri.  He began working as a reporter at Mutual Broadcasting System in 1983 and went on to become the fill-in host for that network’s pioneering Larry King Show.  In 1993 he took over the hosting reigns of that program which he maintained through its ownership by Westwood One to its present incarnation as a Dial Global property.  Bohannon also hosts Dial Global’s “America in the Morning.”  The recipient of numerous industry awards and honors, Jim Bohannon has been a member of TALKERS magazine’s Heavy Hundred every year since its inception in 1995 and is an inductee in the National Radio Hall of Fame.  He will be presented the TALKERS Lifetime Achievement Award at the forthcoming national convention, Talkers New York 2013 on Thursday, June 6 in New York City.

bloomberglogoClear Channel Brings Bloomberg Radio to WXKS-AM, Boston.  The comedy format currently airing on Clear Channel’s WXKS-AM, Boston – formerly Talk 1200 – will move to WXKS-FM’s HD-2 channel and Friday will see the debut of a full-time business news station.  Bloomberg Radio programmer Al Mayers – who programmed news/talk WRKO, Boston almost 20 years ago – tells the Boston Herald, “There’s been a retrenchment in business coverage and we hope to come in there and fill that void.  Boston’s a great center for the things that our customers are very interested in.”  Mayers says there are 26 Bloomberg journalists stationed in Boston who will contribute to program content.  He says there will be eight hosts and that programming will be guest-driven.  The new venture will also include a relationship with Bentley University to use its faculty for content and commentary.

colmesalanAlan Colmes Show Moves to Earlier Air Time on Fox News Radio.  The late-night talk radio show hosted by Fox News personality Alan Colmes will begin airing live at an earlier time – 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm – starting on Monday, March 4.  The network announces that it will continue to offer a re-feed from 10:00 pm to 1:00 am and that Colmes will do live programming during the later hours during times when there is major breaking news.

melissaetheridgeMelissa Etheridge Wins Gracie Award for Syndicated Radio Show.  Musician and radio program host Melissa Etheridge will take home a 2013 Gracie Award for Outstanding Talk Show in the Entertainment/Information category for her Benztown Radio Networks-produced and syndicated radio program.  The 38th Annual Gracie Awards will be presented on May 21, 2013, at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles.  Etheridge says in a statement, “I have won Grammys and an Oscar, but there is something especially meaningful about being recognized with a Gracie.  I love radio, and it’s important to me to bring the voices of women to our audiences, as they share their respective truths about life, love and family — and as I share the same with them.  It’s also a great pleasure to provide a forum where we can connect with each other about the music that moves us.  I’m honored that people are responding to the show across the country and I thank the AWM Foundation for this award.”

heavyhundred logoHeavy Hundred to be Published Next Week.  Hang in there talk radio enthusiasts.  It’s almost here!  The 2013 installment of TALKERS magazine’s signature annual feature, The 100 Most Important Radio Talk Show Hosts in America – otherwise known as “The Heavy Hundred” – is being readied for publication next week.  According to TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey, “This feature is always a painstaking task for our editorial board to compile because it takes into account so many variables from the quantitative to the qualitative and plays such an important role in the lives and careers of so many established and rising stars of the industry.”  Casey adds, “It also offers a snapshot impression to industry watchers outside the business of just what makes ‘talk radio’ tick.  It defines its parameters, dispelling the widespread notion that spoken-word radio is any one single slice of a much bigger pie.”

wmcs logoUrban Talk/Music Hybrid WMCS, Milwaukee to Flip Formats.  The All Pro Broadcasting-Times Shamrock venture called Milwaukee Radio Alliance that operates urban talk and music outlet WMCS, Milwaukee says it will flip the station’s format after 20 years targeting the African American community in the market.  The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Duane Dudek writes that Milwaukee Radio Alliance vice president Bill Hurwitz says the station has been losing money for the past 10 years and that the move is a business decision.  He’s quoted saying, “Stations like this, basically super-serving the African American community — especially on AM — don’t exist in this country.”  All Pro Broadcasting is operated by Green Bay Packers great Willie Davis and Hurwitz says if not for Davis, the station would have disappeared long ago.  The move is affecting 15 full- and part-time employees including morning host Eric Von and PM drive talk host Earl Ingram.

albrightjayeThe Conclave Names 2013 Rockwell Award Winners: Jaye Albright and Tom Kay.  The Conclave Learning Conference announces country consultant Jaye Albright and Conclave executive director emeritus Tom Kay are thiskaytom year’s recipients of the Rockwell Award for 2013.  Executive director Bob Shannon says of this year’s honorees, “Jaye Albright represents the best broadcasting has to offer.  Always a student of radio, she’s also one of our best teachers and her influence on country radio is unmatched.”  Regarding Tom Kay, Shannon says, “This is recognition for a job well done.  If it weren’t for Tom, the Conclave wouldn’t exist today. Giving him the Rockwell Award makes all the sense in the world.  I can’t tell you how pleased I am.”  On her receiving the honor, Albright states, “As I think about the past Rockwell honorees, and how much I respect what each of them has given to our business over many, many years, I remain a bit stunned that The Conclave feels that I belong among them.  I’m humbled, surprised, flattered and honored.”  Albright and Kay will receive the Rockwell Award and be honored during “Conclave 38: The Learning Conference” in Minneapolis July 17, 18 and 19.

wnox logoFCC Approves Journal Broadcast Group’s Purchase of WNOX, Knoxville.  When the sale of Oak Ridge FM-owned news/talk WNOX, Knoxville to Milwaukee-based Journal Broadcast Group was announced late last year, M&M Broadcasting said it intended to sue Oak Ridge for breach of contract implying it had a deal to buy the signal.  Now, the FCC has approved the transfer of the license from Oak Ridge to Journal and the speculation about the station’s future format gets more intense.  Based on a scan of recent domain registrations, it appears Journal is considering moving its country WCYQ “Q93” to WNOX’s 100.3 signal and may be prepping a launch of a classic hits format for the 93.1 signal, thereby eliminating news/talk from the mix.  Domain registrations can be intentionally misleading so only time will tell for sure what Journal’s intentions really are.

grandephilPhil Grande’s “Phil’s Gang” Show to Be Distributed on Business TalkRadio Network.  The independently produced and syndicated financial talk show “Phil’s Gang” – hosted by Phil Grande – will be available to Business TalkRadio Network affiliates beginning March 11.

Sequestration Battle, John Kerry in Germany, ObamaCare, Iran/North Korea Nuke Threats, Michelle Obama ‘Automatic Weapon’ Gaffe, and Winter Weather Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/26).  The looming March 1 sequester; Secretary of State John Kerry’s European tour; the implementation of the Affordable Care Act; nuclear weapons threats from Iran and North Korea; Michelle Obama’s “automatic weapons” gaffe; and the winter weather affecting large parts of the nation were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, July 16, 2012

| July 16, 2012

Judge to Approve Tribune’s Exit from Bankruptcy; Oaktree Capital Plays Major Role.  The private equity firm that also backs Townsquare Media and Dial Global will be part of a group of creditors that will bring Tribune Company out of bankruptcy pending the revision of some of the reorganization plans.  Judge Kevin Carey overruled the objections of some of Tribune’s creditors in approving the deal to end the bankruptcy protection that began three-and-a-half years ago and the emergence from which is expected to take several months.  Also involved are JP Morgan Chase & Co. and Angelo Gordon & Co.  There had been speculation that the company may be broken apart, with the publishing arm separated from the broadcasting division that owns 23 television stations and its lone radio property – WGN, Chicago – but that remains speculation as there does not appear to be a plan to sell anything just yet.  The FCC must still approve the transfer of the TV and radio licenses.

Public Radio’s “The Takeaway” Ends Morning Drive Run in September.  The show that was designed to be a younger-skewing alternative to NPR’s “Morning Edition” will move out of the AM drive daypart, trim down to one hour and be heard in the mid-mornings beginning in September.  The show is a collaboration between WNYC, New York and Public Radio International.  According to The Current, the show – hosted by John Hockenberry and Celeste Headlee – has 55 affiliate stations with another 15 carrying it on digital multi-cast channels.  Due to the fact that it’s live and produced in New York, the show has had a tough time getting West Coast affiliates because it doesn’t seem as fresh several hours later.  Beginning September 3, the one-hour version of the show will feed live at 9:00 am ET.

ESPN Radio’s Mike & Mike Debut Weekly NFL Show on ESPN.  The morning drive duo of Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic (whose radio network show is also simulcast on ESPN2) will host a weekly football show for ESPN beginning Tuesday, September 11 at 3:00 pm ET called, “Mike & Mike’s Best of the NFL.”  It’s a 30-minute program that features highlights from the previous week’s NFL games.  ESPN says the duo will “count down the top passes, runs, catches, blocks, defensive plays and other categories from around the league.  The show will offer footage that NFL fans have not seen in other highlight packages throughout the weekend.”

Odds ‘n’ Sods.  Talk show host Joe Crummey (WABC, KFI, KABC, KFYI) sits in for Cumulus Media’s Geraldo Rivera on KABC, Los Angeles both this week and next.  He’ll do it from New York next week as he’s also filling in for the WABC, New York show (Geraldo’s heard on both stations) July 23-25…..Shawn Wheat takes an anchor/reporter post with Morris Communications’ KIBW, Topeka and the Kansas Information Network.

Former Opie & Anthony Show Executuve Producer Steve Carlisi Dies.  There are not a lot of details about the passing of Steve Carlisi, but the former executive producer of SiriusXM’s Opie & Anthony show is dead, leaving behind a wife and son.  Carlisi was let go by SiriusXM from his producer role in 2010 in a round of budget cuts.  Most recently he had worked at Shamrock Communications’ WEZX, Wilkes Barre/Scranton.  He also served as a producer for the Danny Bonaduce show when it aired at WYSP, Philadelphia.

Friday, July 13, 2012

| July 13, 2012

Journal Broadcast Group Promotes Beverlee Brannigan to VP of Programming.  Milwaukee-based Journal Broadcast Group promotes KFDI, Wichita operations manager and program director Beverlee Brannigan to vice president of programming for the entire broadcast group.  In making the announcement, Journal EVP Steve Wexler states, “While Beverlee is best known for her country radio programming expertise, she has demonstrated her ability to apply sound strategic thinking across multiple formats and markets.  I am thrilled to welcome her to our corporate team and look forward to her contributions.  Many very talented programmers expressed interest in this position, so it is gratifying to be able to promote from within Journal.  This is a well-deserved promotion for one of our brightest people.”  Journal operates a number of news/talk and sports talk outlets including flagship news/talker WTMJ, Milwaukee.

Registrations Booking Fast for Talkers New Media Seminar/LA 2012.  Registrations for the West Coast installment of this year’s innovative two-part Talkers New Media Seminar are now being booked.  Based upon initial demand it will be an early sellout – just as the standing room-only New York installment this past June and last year’s experimental Los Angeles Regional Talkers Forum.  The gathering is following the new format consisting of one solid, power-packed day, a drastically-reduced recession-friendly registration fee of $99 (including breakfast, lunch, refreshments and all sessions) and a limited seating capacity in an intimate setting.  Set for Thursday, October 11 between 9:00 am and 6:00 pm, the conference will take place at the historic Steve Allen Theater and again be presented by TALKERS in association with the Los Angeles Press Club which is based out of that colorful venue.   According to TALKERS founder Michael Harrison, “Last year’s experimental Los Angeles Regional Talkers Forum was a smashing success that set the stage for this year’s two-part bi-coastal national event.  The first part of this new version of the convention that was held in New York this past June was one of the most productive and well-received conferences in TALKERS magazine’s history.  LA will be equally if not more exciting a happening!  Attendees will enjoy a memorable day of dynamic networking and exposure to the most sought-after views and information about the industry’s hottest challenges, opportunities and issues.”  Full agenda details and hotel information will be posted here at Talkers.com in the coming days and weeks – but to assure registration, attendees are advised to sign up now.  Because it is open only to working media, there will be no online registration — only by telephone.  For registration and sponsorship information call 413-565-5413.  Click here. for more details.

TuneIn Adds NPR Programming to Its Service.  Online audio aggregator TuneIn strikes a deal with NPR to expand the reach of the public radio broadcaster’s programming across the internet.  Users of TuneIn will be able to hear NPR programming – including “Morning Edition,”  “All Things Considered,” and “Fresh Air” – live as they are broadcast on member stations as well as archived via TuneIn’s array of more than 2 million podcasts.  NPR VP of digital media Zach Brand states, “The collaboration with TuneIn allows us and our member stations to attract more diverse audiences as audio streaming explodes across mobile devices.  Through TuneIn, loyal and new listeners will be able to seamlessly enjoy their favorite programs and stations, and discover new NPR shows wherever they are and whenever they want.”

WTKK, Boston Hosts “Cocktails & Conversation with Jonah Goldberg.”  That’s WTKK, Boston talk host Michael Graham on the left side of the dais speaking with author Jonah Goldberg on the right at a sold-out appearance by the author at the Café Escadrille in suburban Boston.  Attendees of the three-hour event got to hear an “unedited and unplugged” conversation about Goldberg’s new book, Tyranny of Ideas: How Liberals Cheat in the War of Ideas (Sentinel HC 2012).  After the presentation, Goldberg autographed copies of his book for those in attendance.

Odds ‘n’ Sods.  ESPN Radio is providing coverage of the British Open golf tournament beginning next Thursday, July 19 with a six-hour broadcast live from Royal Lytham & St. Annes beginning at 7:00 am ET…..New York talk host Steve Malzberg is busy this summer on the fill-in circuit.  He recently sat in for Chris Krok at WBAP-AM/FM, Dallas.  He’s in for Jack Riccardi at KTSA, San Antonio this week and he’ll be subbing for Chris Plante at WMAL-AM/FM, Washington next week…..KDKA-AM, Pittsburgh talk host Marty Griffin hosted a live broadcast in the borough of Bellevue combined with a “grillabration” at which more than 600 hot dogs and sausages were served to listeners protesting the borough’s new restrictions on outdoor grilling.  In the picture here, Griffin is behind the grill with Ernie Ricci from Ricci’s Italian Sausage…..Twin Cities radio personality Tom Barnard announces he’s signed a new four-year deal to remain with Cumulus Media’s classic rock KRQS, Minneapolis…..WVON, Chicago’s morning drive personality Matt McGill had Tia Norfleet as his guest co-host on the program today (7/13).  Norfleet is the only African-American female driver licensed to drive for NASCAR.  Norfleet brought her race car to the studios of WVON for the public to come by and check out.  After the program, she did a meet and greet with WVON listeners.

KTRH, Houston’s Michael Berry Hosts Premiere of Conservative Movie.  Houston-based talk show host Michael Berry (l) is pictured here with the producers of the new movie “2016: Obama’s America” at a theater in the Houston area.  Dinesh D’Souza (c) and Gerald Molen (r) appeared in town for the premiere at which more than 500 of Berry’s listeners attended.  The three held a Q&A session for the crowd as well.  Berry tells TALKERS this was the first showing of the movie to a public crowd and he says he believes the audience was encouraged and left the theater filled with the knowledge of where President Obama came from and where his vision for America was going to lead us.  “2016: Obama’s America” opens in theaters across the country over the next few weeks and Berry will be hosting the Nashville premiere at the end of July for his affiliate station WLAC.

Why I Love The Fan.  In light of the recent 25th anniversary of WFAN, New York, sports talk host Dan Sileo – afternoon drive host on Beasley’s WQAM, Miami – writes about why The Fan is such a special station and continues to be after all these years.  Read Dan’s piece here.

2012 Presidential Race Returns to #1 on the Talkers TenTM.  The 2012 presidential race was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week of July 9 – 13, landing it atop the Talkers TenTM chart of the week’s top stories.  Coming in at #2 was the Obama tax cut extension proposal.  At #3 was weak job numbers tied with financial markets activity and at #4 was the Euro Zone debt crisis.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio, according to ongoing research from Talkers, and is published each Friday at Talkers.com.  View the entire chart here.

TALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  Talk personality Leslie Marshall is added to the program schedule at WRVC, Huntington, West Virginia…..Fox Sports Radio Network is the affiliate network for WCCW-AM, Traverse City, Michigan as Fox Sports Radio 1310 will launch on August 30.  The station will air the network’s entire lineup including: Fox Sports Daybreak, Dan Patrick, Jim Rome, Loose Cannons and Petros & Money.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

| April 19, 2012

Entertainment Industry Mourns Passing of Dick Clark.  The music, television and radio industries are mourning the passing of pioneer broadcaster Dick Clark, who died on Wednesday after suffering a massive heart attack at age 82.  In addition to his numerous other contributions to the entertainment industry, Clark co-founded United Stations Radio Networks with Nick Verbitsky in 1981.  Verbitsky says, “Dick was an icon to many, but a true friend, partner and mentor to those of us who worked closely with him.  His impact on broadcasting is immeasurable, and his entrepreneurial spirit will be a part of our world at United Stations forever.”

Talk Host Scott Hennen to Purchase WZFG, Fargo.  The conservative talk-formatted WZFG, Fargo – positioned as “1100 AM The Flag” – will return to the control of talk host and station manager Scott Hennen upon FCC approval and the closing.  Hennen announces he’s struck a deal with Great Plains Integrated Marketing to buy back the station he founded in 2008.  Hennen was fired by his investors as president and CEO of GPIM in the fall of 2010.  His program remained on the air at WZFG until May of 2011.  Hennen is currently hosting a nationally syndicated radio show but is not heard in the Fargo market at this time.  His program will return to the station when the new deal begins.

Internet and Terrestrial Radio Are Different Businesses When it Comes to Non-Competes.  That’s the ruling of Stark County (OH) Common Pleas Court Judge Charles E. Brown in the case of two Canton jocks who started a radio show on the internet and were sued by their former employer for violating the non-compete.  Radio hosts Patrick DeLuca and Charlotte DiFranco (pictured here) left their highly rated morning program at WDJQ-FM, Canton after failing to agree to terms on a contract renewal with station owner Don Peterson III.  They started their own station at www.theradiosucks.com and began broadcasting three shows per week after exiting in February and Peterson sued, claiming they violated the non-compete.  Attorney Steve Okey argued his clients were prevented from operating a business that was “the same or essentially the same as a radio station” and their venture does not fit that description.  The judge agreed.  Peterson tells the Youngstown Vindicator he’s disappointed with the decision and will review his options.  This is a case others in the radio and internet radio businesses will be watching closely.

Red Zebra’s WTEM, Washington Inks Deal for Sports Content with Dial Global.  Red Zebra Broadcasting announces it has signed a two-year deal with Dial Global Radio Networks to have exclusive rights to March Madness, the NFL package, the NFL playoffs, the Super Bowl, the NFL Draft, Golf’s Majors and the Olympics in the Washington, DC market. Vice president of programming Chuck Sapienza says of the deal, “We want to thank Greg Leader and Sean Thompson of Dial Global for being such great partners.  We could not be more pleased with the relationship and all the great programming Dial Global brings to our listeners.  When you team the Redskins Radio Network with Dial Global’s NFL Package, NFL fans in DC will receive extensive, exclusive coverage of the National Football League on ESPN980.”

Current TV to Add Show Hosted by California Lieutenant Governor.  Former San Francisco mayor and current California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom will debut a new talk show on the Al Gore-founded Current TV network beginning in May.  The New York Times reports the move is designed by Current TV to “keep its progressive agenda on track.”  In a statement announcing the move, co-founder Al Gore states, “He touches many worlds – business, politics, entertainment and activism.  We are honored that Current TV will be bringing his curiosity, intelligence, insights and enthusiasm to television.”  Newsom will continue to serve as lieutenant governor of California.  Current TV is rebounding from the high-profile battle – now in the courts – with former “Countdown” host Keith Olbermann.  It also recently added video simulcasts of talk radio stars Stephanie Miller’s and Bill Press’ nationally syndicated morning radio programs.

TALKERS Publishes 2012 Heavy Hundred.  The 2012 installment of TALKERS magazine’s signature feature, “The Talkers 250 featuring the Heavy Hundred,” is officially posted.  This long-running talk radio industry institution also titled, “The 250 Most Important Talk Radio Hosts in America,” is compiled by the TALKERS editorial board based upon a compilation of both objective and subjective elements including (in alphabetical order):  courage, effort, impact, longevity, potential, ratings, recognition, revenue, service, talent and uniqueness.  Although the list is traditionally drawn from a wide variety of genres representing the breadth of spoken word radio from commercial to public and including everything from traditional news/talk to specialty programming, this year’s installment of the popular feature marks a departure from the custom of including sports talk hosts.  According to TALKERS VP/managing editor Kevin Casey, “Because of the explosive growth of sports talk radio and the number of excellent hosts participating in it across the country, TALKERS will be publishing the genre’s own Heavy Hundred beginning in 2012.”  The TALKERS Sports Talk Heavy Hundred is scheduled for publication this coming June.  To see this year’s entire “Talkers 250 featuring the Heavy Hundred” click here.

23rd Annual Imus Radiothon Begins Today.  77WABC, New York-based Don Imus broadcasts the 23rd Annual Imus Radiothon beginning today and running through tomorrow.  The Radiothon is airing on 77WABC, radio affiliates around the country and on the Fox Business Network.  The two-day event benefits the Imus Ranch for Kids with Cancer, the Tomorrows Children’s Fund and the CJ Foundation for SIDS.  Guests on the program for the Radiothon will include various sponsors and children/siblings who have visited and experienced the Imus Ranch in Ribera, New Mexico.

Warren Ballentine Interviews First Lady Michelle Obama.  Syndication One nationally syndicated talk host Warren Ballentine is pictured here at the White House on April 16 interviewing First Lady Michelle Obama.  Ballentine visited the White House as part of the Summit on Entrepreneurship for Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Minority-Serving Institutions.  The White House Summit offered the opportunity for Ballentine to provide a national African-American audience for small business owners, government experts and leaders from a variety of HBCUs/MSIs to discuss their numerous opportunities and facilitate solutions to challenges in underserved communities.  Ballentine states, “Doing my show from the White House was such a great honor for me.  The staff was outstanding and the chance to interview First Lady Michelle Obama was truly a blessing and honor.  The First Lady is not only gracious, she is wise, funny, empathetic and truly in tune with the people of America.  This is an experience that I will never forget!”  Ballentine’s interview with the First Lady will be highlighted on his program today (4/19).

2012 Presidential Campaign, U.S. Soldiers Photos Scandal, North Korea Military Ambitions, Trayvon Martin Case Developments and Ted Nugent Comments Concern Secret Service Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/18).  The 2012 presidential campaign; the problems being caused by U.S. soldiers taking photos with the bodies of dead Taliban insurgents; ongoing concerns over North Korea’s military ambitions; judge steps down from Trayvon Martin case; and Ted Nugent’s comments to NRA group draws concern of Secret Service were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

| April 18, 2012

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

| April 17, 2012

All-Hannity Stunt Points to New FM Talker in Philly.  Merlin Media dropped the Christian talk on its new WKDN-FM, Philadelphia and began airing Premiere NetworksSean Hannity round the clock.  The move seems to back the speculation that Merlin will not follow the footsteps of its New York and Chicago FMs with an all-news format but will go news/talk.  It’s expected the station will soon clear Premiere’s Rush Limbaugh and possibly Glenn Beck as well as it builds an FM talk station with Philadelphia native son Al Gardner as PD and morning drive host.  Merlin also changed the call letters of the station to WWIQ-FM.

News/Talk KFI, Los Angeles Wins March PPM Battle.  It’s not often a commercial news/talk station is ranked the top station in a PPM market, but Clear Channel Media and Entertainment’s KFI, Los Angeles topped sister Top 40 KIIS-FM by a tenth of a point to win the March PPM contest with a 4.9 share.  A few news/talk stations have landed in the top spot in the monthly PPMs – Journal Broadcasting’s WTMJ, Milwaukee has a track record of dominance in that market as does Cox Media‘s WOKV-AM/FM, Jacksonville – but for the most part, the number one slot is usually nabbed by a music or all-news station.  It goes to show the astounding cume KFI has in the market.

Clear Channel Reorganizes Marketing Structure; Tim Castelli Replaces Charlie Rahilly.  Clear Channel Media and Entertainment makes a major move to “unify and align its marketing offerings under one umbrella” with the creation of a new, unified sales and marketing group led by former AOL executive Tim Castelli.  CC states, “This move, the latest in the company’s transformation to a fully integrated, multi-platform media and entertainment company, creates an unprecedented opportunity for partners to tap into the company’s unparalleled reach of 237 million people a month (the largest of any radio or television outlet in America) and unmatched collection of media assets.”  CCME chairman and CEO John Hogan says, “This is an entirely new way to leverage the unmatched national reach with local engagement capabilities of Clear Channel Radio Sales, Strategic Partnerships, Clear Channel Connections, Digital, event sponsorships and Premiere Radio Networks Sales supported by innovative programs and world class custom marketing insights.”  In addition to Castelli’s hiring, Clear Channel announces Condé Nast’s Holly Lang joins the company as senior vice president, marketing solutions.  Lang is responsible for conceiving and implementing innovative marketing programs for national advertisers, with a special focus on consumer brands.  Also, Chris Monteleone, formerly vice president of partner strategy at Madison Square Garden, has been named senior vice president, event sponsorship sales and development.

New Jersey 101.5 Gives Steve Trevelise the Evening Show.  Townsquare Media’s WKXW-FM, Trenton – New Jersey 101.5 – announces part-time staffer Steve Trevelise is named permanent host of the evening show on the station.  Trevelise has been sitting in hosting the evening program since the station parted ways with Michelle Jerson.  Now, brand manager Eric Johnson states, “There are few in radio that I know who sound more Jersey than Steve!  We are thrilled he is bringing his passion and knowledge of the state to weekday evenings on New Jersey 101.5.  Having been here part-time for a few years now, he has worked hard to earn this position and knows how to relate to our more than 1 million listeners.”  In addition to his radio career, Trevelise is a stand-up comic and has performed at comedy clubs throughout New Jersey.  He currently owns and operates Sarcasm Comedy Club in Cherry Hill, New Jersey.

Midway Broadcasting’s WVON, Chicago Joins iHeartRadio.  The Windy City’s urban talk outlet, WVON, is the latest station to join Clear Channel Media and Entertainment’s mobile/digital radio service iHeartRadio.  Midway Broadcasting chairman Melody Spann Cooper states, “I think this is a win-win for both WVON and iHeartRadio.  We’ll reach a national audience, our listeners will have the benefit of taking the station wherever they go by using their smart phones, and iHeartRadio gets the benefit of our best-in-class urban talk format.”  The station says it is embarking on an aggressive promotional campaign to introduce iHeartRadio and to educate its listeners on its usage.

Gabe Hobbs Named Strategic Advisor at Listener Driven Radio.  Former Clear Channel news/talk and sports corporate programmer Gabe Hobbs joins Listener Driven Radio to spearhead the company’s LDR.TopicPulse – what the company describes as “a new system that offers real time social media topic tracking, so news/talk stations can see what local audiences are talking about up-to-the-second.”  LDR further describes LDR.TopicPulse as “valuable real-time information to show producers and hosts on which topics and news stories are ‘getting buzz’ in their market on social media.  The system scans all available news sources, local blogs, Facebook posts, Tweets and other social media.  Then, producers can see a report – which is updated to the second – on the hottest trending topics and their shelf life.”  On his new position, Hobbs states, “LDR’s team is the finest group of interactive innovators in the country.  I’m proud to join the team to translate the success LDR is having at music radio to the news/talk/sports formats.”

Salem Radio Network Host Dr. Richard Land Responds to Plagiarism Accusations.  Southern Baptist Dr. Richard Land – host of the “Richard Land Live” Saturday program syndicated by Salem Radio Network – responds to accusations he pulled direct commentary for a monologue about the Trayvon Martin case from an editorial by Jeffrey Kuhner of the Washington Times.  Land admits he failed to provide verbal attribution on the program for using some content and apologizes.  Land states he did not intend to deceive and always posts his source material on his program’s website.  SRN VP of news and talk programming Tom Tradup tells TALKERS, “SRN stands firmly behind Dr. Richard Land, whose ethical standards and intellect are recognized around the world.  An oversight in giving an on-air mention to a source he clearly posted on his website hardly rises to the level of ‘plagiarism.’  That standard is reserved for individuals like Vice President Joe Biden, who was forced to abandon his 2008 presidential campaign when it was revealed he was recycling entire speeches from British Labour Policy figure Neal Kinnock. Or President Obama himself, who was found to be lifting entire sections of speeches formerly delivered by his friend DeVal Patrick, the Governor of Massachusetts.  It says a lot about Richard Land that he has acknowledged that he can do better…and that he has pledged to do just that.”

Dial Global Names Michael Schreck SVP/Director of Corporate Sports.  In his new position as senior vice president and director of corporate sports, Michael Schreck will be responsible for sports sales and marketing as well as league and team negotiations for Dial Global.  Co-president and CEO David Landau states, “Michael has a proven track record of success in cultivating both advertiser and league partnerships.  With his leadership, we are looking forward to continuing to define great moments for our advertisers and the millions of sports fans our broadcasts touch.”

Dave Ramsey Invades San Antonio.  Nationally syndicated talk radio star Dave Ramsey (pictured here on stage in San Antonio) addressed more than 6,000 fans during the presentation of his “Total Money Makeover Live.”  Ramsey also spoke before some 1,000 local business people  as he presented his EntreLeadership 1-Day event.  Affiliate KTSA, San Antonio benefitted from Ramsey’s appearance in town.  General sales manager Coreena Hazelett says, “One of the invaluable things about Dave’s Live Event visit is the time he puts aside for our sponsors.  The clients really get the opportunity to connect one on one with Dave, and they are moved by his desire to see their businesses succeed.  He’s not just a host on the radio, he’s a true partner who’s committed to the success of our station and our advertisers.”

Secret Service Prostitute Scandal, 2012 Presidential Race, ‘Buffet Rule’ Blocked by Senate GOP, GSA Wasteful Spending and ObamaCare Status Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/16).  The backlash against the Secret Service after agents found in prostitution scandal in South America; the 2012 presidential race including the flap over Ann Romney homemaker comments; the Senate GOP’s blocking of the ‘Buffet Rule’ to tax the super rich; the investigation into wasteful spending by the General Services Administration and the legal status of ObamaCare were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, October 10, 2011

| October 10, 2011

Civil Disobedience Nets Host Jail Sentence.  TALKERS Heavy Hundred member Ian Freeman, co-host of the nationally syndicated talk show “Free Talk Live,” didn’t set out to spend 59 days in jail — but he believes so strongly in what he talks about on the air and how he lives his life that that’s exactly what he did.  Freeman served 59 days of a 90-day jail sentence (he got early release for good behavior) for obstructing a police officer who was arresting a young woman for an open container violation in Keene, New Hampshire.  Many talk show hosts have strong beliefs and “walk the walk,” but as someone who believes the government is too invasive in people’s lives (and positions his show as a reflection of that philosophy), Freeman makes a habit out of protesting police enforcement of victimless crimes.  He says the authorities in the New England community in which the national show is based see him as “a leader of people with such beliefs” and that’s why he believes a judge gave him a 360-day sentence with 270 days suspended.  Facing the consequences of his commitment was not only personally challenging, but professionally as well.  Freeman tells TALKERS being away from the show for 58 programs left co-host Mark Edge to handle the nightly broadcast with the help of guest co-hosts.  Most programs would be in trouble if their lead personality were gone for that period of time.  Freeman, who created the program, says the unique nature of “Free Talk Live” is that it’s not the “Mark and Ian” show.  He explains, “I didn’t want it to be a show about the personalities as much as it is about the ideas and the concept of open phones and a pro-liberty discussion forum…the idea of the show has always been to have it be able to continue in my or Mark’s absence.”  Freeman says that they have a great crew of friends and volunteers who helped Mark Edge during his time in jail and even though it was Edge’s first time sitting in the “first chair,” he’s heard nothing but good things about how the show went in his absence.  “We didn’t lose any affiliates while I was gone.”  In fact, Freeman says he had the opportunity to hear the show from jail on a local affiliate and had his first real opportunity to hear it as a program director instead of as a part of the show.  He even phoned in on the hotline from jail once or twice with programming advice!  Freeman tells TALKERS he certainly does not want to spend more time in jail but that won’t change how he handles the show or his own life.  “I still firmly believe that more people need to practice civil disobedience and non-cooperation.  I agree with the oft-cited statement that ‘all that’s needed for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.’  I just can’t sit idly by and watch as my peaceful neighbors continue to be caged for all manner of nonsense – whether it be an RV being parked in their yard, smoking a marijuana cigarette, drinking a little bit of beer – whatever…I can’t get on the air with listeners and advocate non-cooperation with the government if I’m not willing to do it myself.  That would make me feel like a hypocrite.”  “Free Talk Live” is a formidable independently syndicated national show with an impressive growth trend heard on 109 affiliates across the country on stations as disparate as conservative news/talk WSPD, Toledo and progressive talk outlet WXXM-FM, Madison.  In these days of both civil disobedience and peaceful demonstrations erupting on the streets of America and the fracturing of the rigid left/right political categories prevalent within the news/talk radio landscape, it stands out as an important emerging talk media industry entity.

WWRL, New York Broadcasts from ‘Occupy Wall Street’ Protest.  Access.1 Communications’ WWRL, New York is broadcasting from the heart of the ongoing ‘Occupy Wall Street’ protest in Manhattan.  WWRL morning drive host Mark Riley is broadcasting his program this morning (10/10) from 6:00 am to 9:00 am from Zuccotti Park on Liberty Street between Trinity Place and Broadway.  Rev. Al Sharpton’s nationally syndicated program will also broadcast from the same location from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm today.  WWRL general manager Adriane Gaines states, “We feel it is particularly important to expand the platform for ‘RL’s culturally diverse audience by being on site of this historic movement.”  The ‘Occupy Wall Street’ movement began on September 17 and continues to be a major story on talk radio.

Cumulus Promotes WJR, Detroit GM to Market Manager.  Tom O’Brien is upped from his GM post at news/talk WJR, Detroit to market manager for the Cumulus properties in the Motor City that include music FMs WDVD and WDRQ.  Regional vice president of Cumulus Midwest Scott Meier says, “Tom has absolutely earned this promotion!  He’s led WJR to a new standard and has embraced the Cumulus Sales Operating System with a vision of incremental growth.”  O’Brien has served as GM of WJR since February of this year.

Entertainment Radio Network (ERN) Partners with eBay Motors for Expanded Online Distribution.  In what is being described as “the first of many new programming and distribution opportunities” that the company is identifying for 2012 and beyond, Entertainment Radio Network, the Oregon-based syndicator of specialty shows covering primarily automotive, consumer electronics, popular science and technology subjects, announces its distribution partnership with eBay Motors, one of the internet’s leading automotive destinations.  Effective immediately, all ERN shows will be distributed through the modJOBS site on the eBayMotors.com landing page to 14 million unique visitors per month.  modJOBS is also supported via social media links to Facebook and Twitter.  ERN president (and former ABC Radio Networks EVP) John McConnell tells TALKERS, “eBay Motors has an extraordinary audience – nearly one billion page views per month.  I believe this kind of distribution is very much a part of radio’s future and we are thrilled that Entertainment Radio Network is the first to be working with eBay Motors new audio programming initiative.  We are all accustomed to talking about TSL (time spent listening), but now get ready to consider stickiness as well – eBay Motors’ average shopper spends 35 minutes per day online, often with credit cards at the ready.”  McConnell recently joined ERN CEO (and on air personality) Alan Taylor as president and a partner in the company.

CBS Radio and NFL’s Houston Texans Sign Long-Term Extension.  CBS Radio’s sports KILT, Houston and country KILT-FM will remain the flagship stations for Houston Texans football for many years to come as the team and CBS agree to a long-term extension of their deal.  Texans football has been affiliated with KILT for the past 10 seasons.

Andy Greenberg Begins Local TV Segment Based on Radio Feature.  KFAB, Omaha-based motivational radio personality Andy Greenberg – host of “Your Weekend HIgh with Andy Greenberg” – is now appearing on KPTM-TV, Omaha on the Sunday evening broadcast beginning October 16.  Greenberg transitioned to his current role as a speaker, trainer and broadcaster after 35 years in the sales and marketing business.  He says, “I am thrilled to be part of the Fox 42 Sunday Night News broadcasts that continue the Fox tradition of broadcasting innovations and have been the forefront and hallmark of the network and its affiliates.”

Salem Radio Network Celebrates Talk Format with “SRN Talk-Tober Month” Promotion.  Rock radio fans certainly remember the “rocktober” moniker assigned to the 10th month of the year on many AOR stations back in the day.  Now, Salem Radio Network honors the talk radio format in its own way declaring it “SRN Talk-Tober Month” and Irving, Texas Mayor Beth Van Duyne joins the celebration by issuing a proclamation in honor of the Irving-based syndicator and all talk radio serving the metro area.  As part of the proclamation, Van Duyne states, “The talk radio industry in North Texas includes a number of talk radio stations including KSKY; WBAP-AM/FM; KRLD; and KLIF which strive to promote a free and open exchange of opinions on the premise that City of Irving residents and others throughout the area have the right to exercise free speech.”