Tag: "Heidi Harris"

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

| May 14, 2013

brothersjoyceIndustry Mourns Death of Dr. Joyce Brothers.  Before there was a Dr. Laura Schlessinger or a Dr. Joy Browne on the radio and in talk media, there was a Dr. Joyce Brothers.  Named by TALKERS magazine as the 72nd most important radio talk show host of all time (“Heaviest Hundred”), Joyce Bauer Brothers, the mother of media psychology, died yesterday at the age of 85 surrounded by her family.  The cause of death has not been disclosed.  Dr. Joyce Brothers exploded into the public conscience in 1955 after appearing on the TV game show “The $64,000 Question,” the most popular program at the time.  She was the second person to ever win the entire payment and she was the first woman.  Those qualities alone may have made her an instant celebrity, but add into the mix this unexpected element: she answered obscure questions on the subject of boxing while pitted up against boxers.  After that, she landed an opportunity to do commentary for CBS Sports during a boxing match between Carmen Basilio and Sugar Ray Robinson.  Thus began her television career.  By 1958, Dr. Brothers was hosting a new kind of television talk show – one where she took mailed-in questions from viewers on the subjects of love, marriage, childrearing, and sex.  It was that last subject during an innocent era of the late 1950s which summoned the NBC executives into the control room one day.  They sweated through her response to a question about premature ejaculation and then waited for the calls to come in – calls of complaints.  In the book Making Waves, the 50 Greatest Women in Radio and Television, Dr. Brothers says, “Their white faces drained of blood, and they were waiting for phone calls of complaints and horror.”  Sure enough the calls did come in – but “were all positive – men saying ‘This is something I’ve had all my life and you’ve helped me.’”  There was not one complaint among them, she recalled.  And from that point forward, “I went on my own way and I was on my own way,” a path that lasted decades during which she was often cited as one of the most admired women in America.  Her ability to take private issues public with genuine compassion, grace and intelligence — and never embarrass or offend someone – was the key to her connection to the viewer and listener.  The only topic she declined to ever discuss?   “Mental illness,” she once explained. “I am not trying to do therapy on the air.  If I think there is even a possibility that people need therapy, I suggest they seek professional help.”  Though her media career began in television, she made a significant foray into radio on NBC Radio/Westwood One and is widely credited with spearheading the call-in psychology shows that became a traditional genre of talk radio.  Over the years, she appeared frequently as a guest on talk shows such as “The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson” and “Late Night with Conan O’Brien.”   Dr. Brothers also landed numerous television roles – many of which were comedic cameo appearances on sitcoms and even ended up in an animated version of herself on “The Simpsons.”   She was the author of nine books including most recently Widow, in which she dispenses advice to women who have lost a husband (hers died in 1989).  Her articles have appeared in Readers’ Digest, Good Housekeeping and Parade.  Born to attorney-parents who worked together in their own law practice, Dr. Brothers grew up in Far Rockaway, Queens.  She credits her off-the-charts memory for her ability to cite details for things she only read once.  Not only did she skip two grades in high school, but then she went on to graduate with honors.  After winning a scholarship to Cornell University where she was forced to major in Home Economics (to retain the scholarship), she discovered psychology and achieved a double-major.  She went on to get her doctorate at Columbia University.  Dr. Brothers married medical student Milton Brothers in 1949 and left a teaching position in 1955 at Hunter College in New York City to be a stay-at-home mother for her newborn daughter.  It was when their money got tight that Dr. Brothers hoped to take home the prize from “The 64,000 Question.”  The rest, as they say, is history.

brownejoyDr. Joy Browne Credits Pioneer Dr. Joyce Brothers with Making Psychology Accessible.  One of the leading radio psychologists of the last quarter century, Dr. Joy Browne (syndicated 12:00 noon – 3:00 pm daily by Radio America) tells TALKERS, that in addition to the media pioneer being an enormous influence on her career, not to mention talk radio and TV in general, the late Dr. Joyce Brothers was a giant figure in America popular culture because “she made psychology accessible to the masses.”  Browne, who worked on a number of occasions with Brothers, describes the legendary broadcaster as being one of the “most focused people I’ve ever met in this business.”  Browne recalls, “Dr. Joyce Brothers could accomplish almost anything she wanted to do simply by putting her brilliant mind to it…whether it was remembering minutia about boxing to win a game show… to knowing exactly what to do to promote her books… to distilling complex topics down to their basic essence so people could understand them.  She had an amazingly disciplined mind.”

valentinephilTalk Host Phil Valentine Alleges Experiencing IRS Harassment as Political Payback.  In an op-ed piece posted today (5/14) exclusive to TALKERS, Nashville-based Cumulus Media syndicated conservative host Phil Valentine claims that he has been repeatedly audited by the IRS over a number of years for no wrongdoing on his part which he believes is tied to his on-air political positions.  He also says that he has spoken a number of his liberal friends on radio who’ve told him they have experienced the same thing.  He writes, “The revelation on Friday (5/10) that the IRS was targeting conservative groups came as a shock to much of America, especially those on the right side of the aisle.  Once the story broadened on Monday to include more groups and more abuse it became apparent that there’s something big going on here.  For me, it was all simply a confirmation of something I’ve been experiencing for some time.  In fact, I’ve been chronicling the experience on my radio show.”  Valentine encourages fellow talk show hosts who have been experiencing the same thing but are afraid to complain because of how “frightening” the IRS can be, to stand up and come forward.  To read his entire opinion piece, please click here.

cookehollandSome On-Air Do’s And Don’ts from a Leading Consultant.  One of the hardest-working consultants (and TALKERS columnist) in the radio business today, Holland Cooke shares some helpful tips to sharpening up on-air performance (sort of like an old “aircheck meeting”) and keeping people listening longer.  In a new article posted today (5/14) Cooke suggests prepping better, listening better (while on the air), and speaking in the second person singular.  He advises not to talk like a radio guy (avoid terms like “remote” broadcast – people think a remote is what they use to change TV channels), do not waste listeners’ time, and SEDUCE listeners into giving you more of their time.  Cooke writes, “The way Arbitron ratings are calculated – diaries or PPM — keeping listeners even just five more minutes each time they tune in could as much as DOUBLE your ratings.  So when you tease, really tease!”  To read Holland Cooke’s entire column, click here.

curleyjohnJohn Curley Back on Evenings at KIRO-FM, Seattle.  The night shift was the original slot John Curley had when he joined Bonneville’s news/talk KIRO-FM, Seattle but he moved to morning drive in November of 2012.  Just two months later the station replaced him in AM drive with Dave Ross and he’s been off the air since.  Now, program director Pete Gammell pairs Curley up with current evening host Andrew Walsh.  Gammell says in a statement, “With John’s comfortable style and storytelling skills he naturally fits well in a nighttime setting.  Partner John’s entertaining approach with Andrew’s newsy perspective and you have a completely new dynamic and compelling show.”

barksingaInga Barks Adds PM Drive Show to Hosting Responsibilities.  Bakersfield, California-based talk radio personality Inga Barks begins hosting the 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm program on Buckley Broadcasting’s KNZR, Bakersfield.  She’ll handle this program in addition to her evening talk show heard on Peak Broadcasting’s KMJ-AM, Fresno.  Barks previously worked in the Bakersfield market on American Media General’s news/talk KERN.

harrisheidiLas Vegas Talk Personality Heidi Harris Debuts Daily Feature.  Las Vegas-based talk show host Heidi Harris – most recently heard in Los Angeles on Salem Communications’ KRLA – is producing a daily feature dubbed the “Heidi Harris Files” that is airing on Silver State Broadcasting’s news/talk KBET.  The three- minute vignette will air on KBET three times daily at 7:30 am, 12:30 pm and 4:30 pm.  Harris has also worked at CBS Radio‘s KXNT and Beasley Broadcasting‘s KDWN in the Las Vegas market.

Bruce Newbury to Host Local Show on WADK, Newport, Rhode Island.  3G Broadcasting is adding a local program to its news/talk WADK, Newport with Bruce Newbury hosting his “Talk of the Town” show.  Newbury also hosts a weekend food and cooking show on Cumulus Media’s WPRV, Providence and he’ll continue in that role.  Newbury’s 9:00 am to 12:00 noon program will debut on May 22.

NYFtrophyNew York Festivals Announces 2013 Radio Programs and Promo Awards Finalists.  This international competition isn’t limited to spoken-word programs as the list of categories indicates, but many of the categories include news, long-form and community service components in the spoken-word realm.  As you’ll notice by scanning the list of finalists from the United States (which will compete with finalists from other countries with winners announced June 17 in New York) many programming finalists were produced at public radio stations or companies.  However, commercial broadcasters including ESPN and SiriusXM were well represented.  ESPN had finalist entries including the “Best News Documentary or Special” for “Outside the Lines and The Sporting Life: A Fight for Faith.”  SiriusXM was also represented as it was a finalist with “Best Interview” for “Bob Edwards Talks with Children’s Book Author Jack Gantos,” among others.  Bloomquist Media is a finalist in both the “Community Service” and “Profiles/Community Portraits” categories for “A Grateful Nation.”  See the entire list of finalists here.

hayworthgranddadTwo Generations of Hayworth Men Grace San Diego.  Talk radio personality (and former Arizona Congressman) J.D. Hayworth is currently co-host of the morning drive program alongside Lee “Hacksaw” Hamilton on XEPRS, San Diego “The Mighty 1090.”  On a recent visit to the station’s partners in downtown San Diego – Fox Sports San Diego – J.D. Hayworth noticed a huge black and white photo of Babe Ruth crossing home plate.  Hayworth tells TALKERS magazine, “Imagine my surprise when I looked up and saw this HUGE photo of my grandfather, Ray Hayworth, a catcher for the Detroit Tigers, reaching to tag Babe Ruth at home plate!  My grandfather greets passersby outside the building, while the Bambino’s image is seen inside the lobby!”

Obama Benghazi Reaction, IRS Target Allegations, Justice Department AP Phone Records Search, Syria Tensions, and Philly Abortion Doctor Found Guilty Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/13).  The president’s reaction to recent Benghazi testimony and the GOP’s push to continue searching for answers; the IRS’ alleged targeting of conservative groups; the Justice Department’s investigation into phone records at the Associated Press; ongoing tensions in Syria; and the conviction of Philadelphia abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, March 25, 2013

| March 25, 2013

beckglennGlenn Beck’s Plans for TheBlaze Require More Funding; Media Pioneer Seeks $40 Million.  Techcruch tips us that in an SEC filing, Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze is seeking $40 million in funding to take the company to the next level.  According to the filing, TheBlaze has already raised $1.5 million as it is offering equity in the company through New York-based broker Hypatia Capital Advisors, LLC.  Beck’s online venture began in 2010 and subscriptions to TheBlaze have reportedly been bringing in a steady flow of cash but the organization has made no secret of its desire to get broader distribution for the video content via cable TV.  Currently, TheBlaze is carried by Dish Network.  On the subject of Glenn Beck’s entrepreneurism, TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison recently stated the following strong words about the high-profile talk show host in a media interview, “Most people, particularly talk media consumers, view Glenn Beck through the lens of politics and judge him solely on their reaction to his often-times provocative views and ideology.  Those of us behind the scenes, however, see a much larger and more complex individual whose importance to broadcasting extends way beyond the boundaries of his public persona and programs.  The work that Glenn Beck has tirelessly accomplished in building an audience, developing a brand, utilizing the many emerging 21st century vehicles of communication, and then inventing and perfecting amazingly bold and innovative delivery systems for distribution and business models for monetization will stand as a historic starting point for a new chapter in ‘popular’ media.  Future generations of broadcasters will look back at Beck the way today’s automakers look at Henry Ford.”  And there’s more Beck news below…

theblaze logoGlenn Beck and SiriusXM Strike Deal for Beck Channel.  SiriusXM and Glenn Beck announce in a joint press release that the satcaster will debut a new channel dedicated to Beck’s TheBlaze content called, “TheBlaze Radio Network” that will appear only on the SiriusXM Internet Radio service.  This comes as part of the deal that has Beck’s “TheBlaze Radio News” providing hourly news updates on SiriusXM’s conservative talk Patriot channel.  “TheBlaze Radio Network” will feature not only Beck’s radio program but the other shows featured on TheBlaze including Doc Thompson, Jay Severin, and Pat Grey & Stu Burguiere.  Beck states, “TheBlaze is successfully becoming a true multi-platform news, information and opinion network.  We are excited to further our long relationship with SiriusXM with the launch of ‘TheBlaze Radio Network,’ and feel that SiriusXM Patriot is the perfect home for our news updates which will prove that the truth has no agenda.”  SiriusXM SVP of talk and entertainment programming Jeremy Coleman says, “As ‘TheBlaze’ brand and SiriusXM continue to grow, SiriusXM is pleased to expand our relationship with Glenn Beck with the creation of ‘TheBlaze Radio News’ and the addition of ‘TheBlaze Radio Network’ to our lineup.”

millerchrisSOCIAL MEDIA POSTING:  When and How Often?  Radio digital consultant and TALKERS columnist Chris Miller answers two of the most asked questions he receives from radio broadcasters regarding their social media initiatives:  “When are the best times to post?” and “How often should we post?”  In a concise article posted today (3/25) he writes, “Now, neither of them is as important as making sure you have the right content for your fans.  That’s the big thing.  But let’s assume you’re good to go, content-wise.  When you post and how often you post will be different depending on the platform you’re talking about.  Keep in mind that getting seen only by your fans is not enough.  When they start re-tweeting, sharing, commenting, favorite-ing and liking what you show them, that’s when more and more people will see what you posted.”  To read Chris Miller’s entire article, click here.

nms2013logoTalkers New York 2013 to Exhibit the Latest in Practical Radio Broadcast Tech Equipment.  Gone are the days when the only person in a radio station concerned with microphones, mixing boards, frequency extenders and the various pieces of gear that go into actually making and delivering programs was the chief engineer.  Today, with single station chief engineers becoming an endangered species and the advent of remote broadcasting and proliferation of entrepreneurial internet startups, radio programmers and managers are finding themselves increasingly responsible for selecting and purchasing the equipment it takes to run a radio operation.  This is true for major market heritage stations as well as desktop-studio podcasters.  Two of the most important and respected companies in this arena will be at Talkers New York 2013 displaying and explaining a variety of practical (meaning basic and reasonably priced) equipment that “everyone in radio today needs to know about” – Comrex Corporation and Broadcasters General Store.  According to TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey, “We are constantly being asked by radio broadcasters from GMs to PDs to talent to people wanting to launch home media stations how to go about developing or upgrading production and delivery setups for today’s extremely flexible and highly opportune environment.  I can think of no two companies in the business today that provide the answers to these questions better and more completely than Comrex and BGS.  Their presence, patient and friendly level of service adds a vital dimension to the conference.”   In addition, one of the radio industry’s most respected technical experts, Tom Ray, president of Tom Ray Broadcast Consulting and TALKERS technical editor, will be speaking at the conference and available to give attendees practical advice throughout the day.  Talkers New York 2013 takes place Thursday, June 6 and is on track to being an early sellout.  Because of space limitations, registration is only open to working members of the media and can only be taken via telephone at 413-565-5413.  Stay tuned to Talkers.com for more agenda details about speakers, panels, presentations and award recipients coming in the immediate days ahead.

twitterlogoTwitter as a Broadcaster’s Tool:  Use it Wisely.  Radio consultant Holland Cooke writes that “Twitter invites more voices into your on-air and digital conversation; even more so than Facebook.”  In this primer and reminder for practicing broadcasters using social media, Cooke delivers some information that will help you optimize this technology.  Read his piece here.

warelincolnWDBZ, Cincinnati Talk Host Lincoln Ware Celebrates 40 Years in Radio.  Cincinnati talk host Lincoln Ware – who was recognized as one of the 100 Most Important Radio Talk Show Hosts in America by TALKERS (#36 this year!) – is celebrating his 40th anniversary in radio this year.  In a nice write-up in the Cincinnati Herald, the story notes that Ware began his radio career on WCIN in 1973 after returning from a tour of duty with the U.S. Marines.  After five years of spinning records, Ware transitioned his program to talk.  Over the years, he worked at local stations WPBF, WLW, and WHKK.  He came to WDBZ in 2000 and has been there ever since.  Check out the full story here.

kgmzlogoKGMZ, San Francisco Adds Josh Reddick to A’s Coverage.  The Entercom sports talk station announces 2012 Gold Glove winner and A’s outfielder Josh Reddick will become part of the station’s Oakland A’s coverage, appearing weekly on “The Wheelhouse” with John Lund and Greg Papa Tuesdays at 12:30 pm PT.  Reddick joins A’s GM Billy Beane and manager Bob Melvin as A’s personnel adding to 95.7 The Game’s coverage of the team.  Program director Jason Barrett states, “We wanted to strengthen our A’s coverage for 2013 and few players are more productive at the plate and entertaining on and off the field than Josh Reddick.  Whether he’s talking about his beard, an important series against an AL West opponent, or his passion for pie and the WWE, Josh will captivate the audience.”

zollermarthaOdds & Sods.  WGAU, Athens, Georgia-based Martha Zoller is sitting in for WSB-AM/FM, Atlanta’s Erick Erickson on the 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm show this afternoon.  Both stations are owned by Cox Media Group…..Nicole Sandler is filling in for Premiere NetworksRandi Rhodes on her nationally syndicated talk program all this week…..SiriusXM talk hosts Ron & Fez had Ronnie Spector on their program on Friday to promote the service’s new “Girl’s Room” channel hindeswallyfeaturing all girl groups, Spector’s new one-woman show “Beyond the Beehive” and her takes on the Phil Spector movie starring Al Pacino – which she said she will not watch…..Gay marriage will be a huge news/talk radio topic this week as the Supreme Court hears arguments in two cases: challenges to the Defense of Marriage Act and California’s Proposition 8.  Salem Radio Network tells TALKERS magazine its U.S. House correspondent Wally Hindes will be among a select few broadcast journalists credentialed to be inside the U.S. Supreme Court tomorrow.

krlashootKRLA, Los Angeles Hosts Get Range Practice.  In the photo here are KRLA, Los Angeles “AM 870 The Answer” personalities (from l-r) Ben Shapiro, Phillip Naman and Brian Whitman.  Naman hosts the Saturday “The Firing Line” program on the stations and Shapiro and Whitman are co-hosts on “The Morning Answer” with Heidi HarrisCRN Digital Talk’s Jennifer Horn (who also co-hosts with Doug Stephan on his “Good Day” program) was sitting in for Harris today and snapped this photo of the boys showing off their targets from a weekend outing with Naman.  It was Whitman’s first time at the range – not bad for a beginner!

Monday, November 5, 2012

| November 5, 2012

KRMG-AM/FM, Tulsa Promotes Dan Potter to AM Drive Show.  There’s been a lot of movement among Cox Media Group staffers between properties lately.  It started with long-time KRMG-AM/FM, Tulsa program director Drew Anderssen moving to the company’s WDBO-AM/FM, Orlando at the end of the summer.  Then it was announced that WDBO morning host Jim Turner would retire and KRMG AM drive personality Joe Kelley would move to Orlando to take over the morning show there.  Now, KRMG announces that it is promoting “Tulsa’s Afternoon News” host Dan Potter and he will slide into the morning drive chair beginning November 19.  Potter says, “Under Joe Kelley’s leadership, the ‘KRMG Morning News’ has become the single most important morning show in Oklahoma, both in terms of content and listenership.  I hope to continue the growth Joe started and to attract new listeners to the show.  I am humbled, honored and very excited for this opportunity.  I anchored newscasts on a similar morning show in Dallas-Fort Worth for over 15 years and am constantly impressed by KRMG’s commitment to covering breaking news better than anyone.  You could take this newsroom and this product and put it in any major market in the country and be competitive.”

ESPN Audio Debuts New PM Drive Show with Jonathan Coachman.  A new sports talk show from ESPN Audio debuts this afternoon hosted by ESPN studio anchor Jonathan Coachman.  The 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm ET show will have Coachman initially joined by a rotating array of ESPN on-air personalities to present three hours of personality-driven opinion, analysis, humor and interviews covering the news of the day, as well as interaction with listeners via e-mails, texts and calls.  The program is available to terrestrial affiliates as well as being heard via the ESPN app, espnradio.com, TuneIn and SiriusXM.  During his time at ESPN, Coachman has hosted “NBA Tonight,” “College Football Live,” “NASCAR Now,” and “ESPN2 Friday Night Fights.”  Coachman says of the new venture, “To say I am excited about ‘Coach’ & Company would be an understatement, but it’s going to be about our entire team – our production team and the team of fans at home – who will all have a hand in hopefully making it a successful show.  I am very serious about sports, but people can expect above all else a show that is fun.  And, with my background in the WWE, I feel I can really bring an entertainment value to the show in a strong way.”

Clear Channel’s Columbia, South Carolina Country Jocks Pull Double Duty; Host PM on News/Talk WVOC.  Jonathon Rush and Kelly Nash – known to their country WCOS, Columbia listeners and Rush & Nash, hosts of the “Morning Rush” program – begin a new chapter in their careers hosting the “Afternoon Rush” on sister news/talk WVOC.  The station parted ways with PM drive host Keven Cohen last week.  Rush and Nash will continue to host their morning program on “My Country 97.5.”  In a statement, Kelly Nash says, “This is an opportunity I’ve dreamed of for years.  We can play the world’s greatest music for the greatest music fans in the morning and talk with the most passionate radio listeners every afternoon.”

WOWO-AM/FM, Ft. Wayne Names Ryan Reker PD.  Federated Media’s heritage WOWO-AM/FM, Ft. Wayne, Indiana announces the hiring of Ryan Reker as program director.  Reker comes to the station after a management shuffle that saw Gregg Henson (now at Clear Channel’s WPGB and WBGG, Pittsburgh) exit the post and Federated’s own Woody Zimmerman oversee the station briefly before being reassigned to oversee the company’s Warsaw, Indiana cluster.  Reker most recently served as program director and morning host at Maverick Media’s classic rock WEGE-FM and as program director of sports talk WWSR-FM, both in Lima, Ohio.  Reker also worked at Clear Channel’s news/talk WOOD-AM in Grand Rapids and Entercom’s sports WSSP, Milwaukee.  He says of his new position, “WOWO is a unique station with very unique listeners.  I love the reputation and passion they’ve built with the community.  I’m honored and excited for the opportunity to work with such a great group of broadcasters.”

How to Write a Professional Radio Facebook Post (Part 2).  Radio digital consultant Chris Miller was so amazed by the high level of interest in his previous TALKERS piece, “Start Doing THIS Right NOW on Facebook,” published here last week, that he decided to share a few more tips to help you get your radio station’s pages and posts right!  Miller writes, “A lot of us radio folks see the value in social media.  Still, many could use some help working it in a way so you’re building your brand, instead of just spinning your wheels.  Many of the mistakes businesses make on Facebook have to do with how your write what you post.  We tend to speak in marketing-ese or like we’re scripting a promo.  That’s a huge error that may have people consistently hiding your content.”  Read Miller’s entire article explaining how to write a post that works for you, here.

President Obama Friendly to African American-Targeted Radio.  President Obama is credited with being the first presidential candidate to seriously use social media to assist his election and re-election efforts but he’s also been a user of radio programs that target the urban audience.    SiriusXM talk radio star Joe Madison (whose program is also heard on terrestrial outlet WOL, Washington, DC) tells TALKERS magazine the president reached out to him early and often.  “His administration nurtured a relationship with black talk radio since he first took office.  I have had access to most members of his cabinet.  They have addressed issues related to the black community and the general population.  Contrast that with Romney’s campaign, we have not received a single news release or response to appear on my show.”  In fact, Madison will host the president on his radio show today.  Madison says he believes the get-out-the-vote effort targeted to black radio by the Obama campaign appears to be working.  “I believe the early voting we’ve seen in our community is due to black talk radio encouraging our audience to vote.  Yesterday in Dade County, Florida, voters were in line until 1:00 am.”

Report:  Actor John Cusack to Produce and Star in Film About Rush Limbaugh.  The Huffington Post reports that actor John Cusack’s company, New Crime Productions, is putting the finishing touches on the script of a movie about Rush Limbaugh tentatively titled “Rush.”  The story quotes actress/director Betty Thomas (who also directed Howard Stern’s “Private Parts”) saying she will direct and that production starts sometime next year.

NBC Sports Radio Names Stan Van Gundy NBA Senior Analyst.  The former head coach of the Orlando Magic joins the NBC Sports Radio network as senior analyst for the NBA.  Stan Van Gundy will call into network shows each week during the NBA season.  He’ll talk exclusively to NBC Sports Radio affiliates and co-host for an hour every Friday during the NBA season, on a show soon to be announced.  NBC Sports Ventures senior vice president Rob Simmelkjaer states, “We are thrilled to add one of the most respected and outspoken coaches in the NBA to the NBC Sports Radio roster.  Our listeners will get to enjoy Stan’s unique insight into events and storylines around the league on a weekly basis.”

 

KABC, Los Angeles’ Doug McIntyre Emcees Bennett Film Opening.  KABC, Los Angeles morning drive host Doug McIntyre had the opportunity to emcee the Los Angeles opening of the new Tony Bennett documentary titled, “The Zen of Bennett” before a sold-out crowd at the Landmark Theater.  McIntyre tells TALKERS, “The distributor of ‘The Zen of Bennett’ is a fan of the documentary I made with my wife, ‘Trying to Get Good: The Jazz Odyssey of Jack Sheldon.’  Since I had a background in music — specifically the Great American Songbook and jazz, and have a ton of experience doing these kind of interviews (Robert Redford, Betty White, etc.,) – he recommended me to Tony’s manager, Danny Bennett.  I had met Tony a number of times before but this was the first chance I had to really spend some time with him, a thrill for me, probably less so for Tony.”  McIntyre says the event was not a KABC promotion but the station did give away tickets to the premiere.

“Free Talk Live” Celebrates 10 Years on the Radio.  “Free Talk Live” – the evening and weekend independently syndicated talk program hosted by Ian Freeman and Mark Edge – celebrates its 10th anniversary.  Freeman writes, in a memo to affiliates and the industry, that the program began in Florida after a format change at the station at which he was working.  “In 2001, rock WYNF, Tampa flipped to hot talk and was using content from Orlando’s successful ‘Real Radio’ WTKS-FM as well as the other ‘Real Radio,’ WZZR-FM in West Palm Beach.  After a year of this, I approached management, Big Jim Davis and Ron White, and pitched the idea of a local show for the weekend.  I said we’d be willing to do it for free.  They gave us the green light and ‘Free Talk Live’ was born, at first on Sunday nights.  The response from the audience was so spectacular that it was within the first few weeks that we were asked to take over weeknights.  Clear Channel ended up flipping the format of the station back to rock in 2003, but FTL continued online, then on another station in town, then another, until I approached the Genesis Communications Network and asked them if they were looking for new programs.  We started in syndication as a weekend show and within a few weeks were offered weeknights.  Since then we have continued doing our live Saturday show (our most popular) and added a live Sunday show as well.   We’ve grown to over 110 AM/FM affiliates and are also heard all week on XM.”

Odds & Sods.  Former New Orleans Saints quarterback and current WWL, New Orleans PM drive co-host Bobby Hebert was ejected from the press box at Saturday’s LSU-Alabama game for ignoring warnings not to create a disturbance by cheering.  The Times-Picayune reports the press box was stuffed with 947 credentialed media people and police escorted Hebert out in the fourth quarter of LSU’s 21-17 loss…..Proving that she CAN hang with Democrats, on Friday night (11/2), KRLA, Los Angeles morning drive host Heidi Harris sang in the Barbra Streisand concert at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.  She was in the choir for “Make Our Garden Grow.”…..Kim Komando, host of the eponymous nationally syndicated weekend computer talk show is appointed to the Phoenix-located Musical Instrument Museum’s President’s Cabinet. The President’s Cabinet is comprised of Valley leaders who provide guidance and support to MIM’s president and director, Dr. Bill DeWalt.  Komando joins the ranks of other notable Phoenix-area business leaders and philanthropists and will assist MIM with furthering its mission.

WNIR, Akron Host Tom Erickson Mourned.  Talk show host Tom Erickson died on Saturday (11/3) after a long battle with peritonitis.  He was 58.  Erickson was the evening host on Media-Com’s WNIR, Akron.  He worked for nearly 30 years in the radio and television news end of the media business and became a talk show host at WNIR in 2001.  He was on medical leave to deal with his health issues and last appeared on the radio in early June.

From WMAL’s Swing State Road Show.  Cumulus Media’s WMAL-AM/FM, Washington, DC has been touring the “swing state” of Virginia broadcasting from diners across the commonwealth as the election approaches.  The tour wrapped up on Friday with the final road show broadcast featuring former House Speaker (and former presidential candidate) Newt Gingrich.  Pictured here are (from l-r): Breitbart columnist and WMAL guest co-host Larry O’Connor, Gingrich, and WMAL’s “Mornings on the Mall” host Brian Wilson.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

| September 12, 2012

CBS Radio Flips WNEW-AM, Washington to Government and Business News.  The AM side of the CBS Radio Washington, DC all-news duo (licensed to Morningside, Maryland) will become “Gov.Biz Radio 1580 AM” on October 1 – putting it in a head-to-head battle with Hubbard’s WFED, Washington.  The station will feature content from The Wall Street Journal Radio Network, Bloomberg Radio and The Hill.  Local programming will include host Nancy Lyons on a morning show called “The Daily Briefing” and a midday program dubbed, “The Capitol Report.”

Pilgrim Communications Adds AM Signal to Indy News/Talk WFDM-FM.  The new and improved 950 AM signal of WXLW will help fill in the coverage of Pilgrim’s news/talk station in the Indianapolis market.  WFDM-FM (“Freedom 95.9”) is licensed to Franklin, Indiana about 25 miles south of downtown Indy.   Vice president and general manager Randy Tipmore says, “Hamilton and Hendricks Counties are not only the fastest-growing counties in Indiana, but also the two most Republican counties in the entire state.  We wanted to better serve those listeners who love our conservative news/talk format which features five of the top six radio talk show hosts in national syndication.  The new 950 AM signal covers two-thirds of Indiana and allows us to expand our audience reach by a factor of 10.”  Tipmore says they chose to debut the new signal on the anniversary of 9/11 “the day that reminds us of the preciousness of America’s freedom.  It is also the anniversary of Sean Hannity‘s launch into national syndication.  On September 12, we’re honored to have Dave Ramsey coming to the Murat Theatre at Old National Centre for his EntreLeadership, 1-day business training event.  It’s the perfect way to celebrate our new simulcast.”

Cumulus Media to Restore Matching 401k for Employees.  The radio operator announces to its 7,000-plus employees that, beginning in October, it will reinstate the matching 401k contribution that it ceased in early 2009 after the real estate crash of 2008 triggered the Great Recession.  Entercom and Journal have also reinstated matching 401k programs for employees since suspending them in order to conserve on cash flow.

Two More Panels Set for the TALKERS Los Angeles New Media Seminar.  As the forthcoming Los Angeles installment of TALKERS magazine’s New Media Seminar nears an early sellout, two more dynamic panel discussions have been added to the growing power-packed agenda.  “The Modern Pioneers” will feature (in alphabetical order): Sam Hasson, president and founder of LATalkRadio.com; Mike Horn, CEO and founder of CRN Digital Talk; Tom Leykis, president and founder of The New Normal; and LA-based national broadcasting legend Shadoe Stevens of “MentalRadio” on SiriusXM and “The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson.”  A talk personality panel titled “The Challenges of Hosting in 2012” will feature (in alphabetical order):  Lars Larson of Compass Media Networks and KXL, Portland; Bill Handel of KFI, Los Angeles; Heidi Harris of KRLA, Los Angeles; Doug Stephan of  the “Good Day” morning show; and Alan Stock of KDWN, Las Vegas; with more to be announced.  The panel will be moderated by TALKERS managing editor/West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian.  Highlights of the event will include the presentation of the TALKERS magazine’s annual “Woman of the Year” award to KFI/KTLK, Los Angeles program director Robin Bertolucci by last year’s recipient, Stephanie Miller of WYD Media and Current TV.  Courtside Entertainment CEO and Westwood One founder Norm Pattiz will deliver the morning keynote address.  Noted talk radio consultant Holland Cooke will deliver a special presentation “Database your Tribe NOW!”  Other highlights include “The State of Local News/Talk Radio,” with (in alphabetical order);  Robin Bertolucci, PD of KFI/KTLK, Los Angeles; Skip Essick, PD of KMJ-AM/FM, Fresno; Andy Ludlum, PD of KNX, Los Angeles; Garret Lewis, PD/morning host of KNST, Tucson; Dave Sniff, PD of KFMB, San Diego; and Chuck Tyler, PD of KRLA/KKLA, Los Angeles. It will be moderated by Kevin Casey, VP/executive editor, TALKERS.  The panel “Spoken Word Radio; The Big Picture” features (in alphabetical order): Phil Boyce, VP/director ,spoken word format, Salem Communications; Ron Hartenbaum, president, WYD Media;  Kraig Kitchin, CEO Sound Mind, LLC; and Mike McVay, senior VP/programming, Cumulus Media.  The moderator will be Michael Harrison, publisher, TALKERS.  Additional speakers include (in alphabetical order: Kevin LaRue, program director KSL, Salt Lake City; Don Martin, OM/GM, KLAC, Los Angeles and VP programming, Fox Sports Radio; Patt Morrison, host/commentator KPCC, Los Angeles/Southern California Public Radio; Ken Rutkowski, host of “Business Rock Stars,” KFWB, Los Angeles; and Eric Stanger, vice president of operations, the Sean Hannity Show, Premiere Networks.  As those of you who have been following the development of this amazing conference know, the above is just the tip of the iceberg with a whole lot more scheduled.  The complete up-to-the-minute agenda will be posted tomorrow at Talkers.com.  In total, the seminar will feature more than 60 leading industry speakers who will examine the key issues facing the talk radio/media industries.  It will take place in Los Angeles on Thursday, October 11 at the Steve Allen Theater in Hollywood between 9:00 am and 6:00 pm being presented by TALKERS in association with the Los Angeles Press Club.  To assure registration, attendees are advised to sign up now.  Registration is a recession-era low $99 which includes everything.  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.

Clear Channel Flips KVNS, Brownsville, Texas to Sports Talk.  The station – at 1700 AM – switches from classic hits to sports talk on September 17 airing Fox Sports Radio Network’s lineup of “Fox Sports Daybreak,” Dan Patrick, Jim Rome, “Loose Cannons,” Petros & Money, and “Fox Sports Tonight” plus will serve the market as a Dallas Cowboys play-by-play affiliate.  Clear Channel market manager John Richards says, “There are too many sports fans in the valley to not yet have a sports/talk station in the market.  Like advertisers, we know sports fans are passionate about their favorite sports, teams and hosts, so we are very passionate about partnering with Fox Sports Radio for this launch.”

Premiere Networks/Fox News Channel Star Sean Hannity Hits Silver Screen in “Atlas Shrugged: Part II.”  When the second part of the Ayn Rand saga hits theaters in October, moviegoers will get a glimpse of Premiere Networks and Fox News Channel personality Sean Hannity as he plays a cable news TV anchor in one scene.  A still from the flick is seen here as Hannity (far right) sits on the fictitious cable news network set with actual Fox News Channel correspondents (from l-r) Bob Beckel, Juan Williams, and Tamara Holder.  In addition to Hannity’s cameo appearance in the movie, his radio show will be offering exclusive content, movie gear and tickets leading up to the movie’s premiere in Washington, D.C. in October.

Michael Harrison to Speak at the NAB/RAB Radio Show in Dallas.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison will deliver an address provocatively titled, “Can Terrestrial Radio Thrive in the Digital Era?” at the forthcoming NAB/RAB Radio Show in Dallas.  According to Harrison, “The main challenge concerning FM and AM broadcasting at this perilous time is making the transition to the digital age without prematurely sacrificing the value of the stick which is still the economic foundation of this industry and main source of livelihood for its practitioners.”  Harrison describes the danger facing terrestrial radio as a “five-headed dragon” of  1) smothering debt, 2) exotic media rivals, 3) blurry ratings methodology, 4) an unprecedented generational divide, and 5) 60 and 30 second commercial spots (which when put together in clusters become “PPM pits of purgatory”).   Harrison says “radio must be smart and use its traditional on-air assets in balanced harmony with its unlimited online potential.”  He states, “The cultural heritage of what we  grew up thinking as ‘radio’ is deeply rooted in the traditions of over -the-air transmission and it is vitally important that in its rush to put everything it has into one internet basket, radio avoids losing its core identity, its soul, that separates it from being just another online music or informational utility.”  Harrison advises that just as talk radio has claimed “ownership” of politics in America and sports radio has claimed “ownership” of the country’s sports juggernaut, “music radio must reclaim its lost ownership of the music culture.”  He says the first step in accomplishing this is to bring back the colorful DJ as the backbone of the radio station’s presentation and the street savvy music director as its ear to what’s really going on out there.  Radio must not only ‘relate’ to this element, it must aggressively lead it as well.”  Harrison will be speaking at a special info-session sponsored by TALKERS magazine on Wednesday, September 19 between 10:15 am and 11:15 am.  All Radio Show registrants are encouraged to attend.

WFNC, Fayetteville, North Carolina Debuts “Goldy and Jim” AM Show.  North Carolina talk host Curtis Wright had been heard on the Cumulus Media station though he broadcast from the coastal market of Wilmington, North Carolina (his show was also heard there on Cumulus’ news/talk WAAV).  Cumulus recently dropped Wright’s show for the more general interest “Good Morning Fayetteville with Goldy and Jim” (that’s Jim Gold and Jim Cooke).  According to the Fayetteville Observer’s Andrew Barksdale and Paul Woolverton, Wright’s program was very political and, since it emanated from Wilmington, contained a lot of Wilmington political talk.  WAAV, Wilmington has filled the slot Wright occupied with Tyler Cralle.  As for Wright, he’s embarked on an online-only internet TV venture called “Curtis Wright on the Beat Virtual.”

NRG Media’s Omaha Sports Brand “The Zone” to Air UNO Contests.  In a deal brokered by Nelligan Sports Marketing – the exclusive agent for University of Nebraska Omaha sports – NRG Media’s sports talk duo KOZN and KZOT, Omaha – “The Zone” and “The Zone 2” respectively – will air UNO basketball and hockey play-by-play for the next five seasons.  Between the two sports, the stations will air more than 60 games during the 2012-2013 season.  Zone general manager Andy Ruback states, “This is a tremendous partnership for our stations.  Listeners are deeply rooted in the UNO sports tradition and both teams have a following on a regional level.  The dual coverage on both Zone and Zone 2 will mean listeners can always stay in touch with the two premiere sports programs.”

WTOP, Washington Promotes David Dildine to Full-Time Traffic Team.  David Dildine joined WTOP in 2010 during the launch of its in-house traffic center, taking on the weekend afternoon shifts.  Now he becomes a member of the full-time staff where he’ll also work on traffic and weather related features.  Interestingly, Dildine has another passion – storm chasing.  Dildine is a seasoned storm chaser and weather research analyst having worked in Oklahoma and Texas where he chased severe storms and tornados for a living.  WTOP states, “Dildine serves as a valuable resource for WTOP’s traffic, weather and news departments – recently analyzing Hurricane Isaac, flying with Hurricane Hunters into Hurricane Irene and producing popular traffic/news stories such as “DC’s Worst Traffic Merges.”

TuneIn to Be Included in 2013 Chevy Spark MyLink Dash.  Digital audio content aggregator TuneIn strikes a deal with GM to use Livio Connect technology so its app can be integrated into the MyLink Radio dashboard of 2013 Chevrolet Spark models made globally.  According to a release, Livio Connect is a middleware framework protocol that enables hardware devices and mobile apps, now including TuneIn, to connect to and interact with one another.  GM uses Livio Connect technology, which allows owners of Chevy Sparks equipped with the MyLink Radio to enjoy 70,000 stations.  Livio Connect technology bridges the app, featured on iPhone and Android mobile devices, with MyLink.  While connected through Livio Connect, all of the TuneIn buttons and controls from the mobile device will be available on MyLink’s seven-inch touch screen, while the app on the phone itself will be disabled to help promote safer driving.

Schnitt Wows ‘Em in Memphis.  Compass Media Networks nationally syndicated talk host Todd Schnitt is pictured here in the studio at affiliate WREC, Memphis hosting his program on 9/11.  The previous evening, Schnitt hosted a sold-out “Right Night with Schnitt” where more than 200 WREC listeners paid to attend the event held at the popular Memphis eatery Owen Brennans.

9/11 Anniversary, Chicago Teachers Strike, Obama Convention Bounce, and ‘Fast and Furious’ Report Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/11).  The anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks; the political implications of the Chicago teachers strike; President Obama’s “convention bounce” in the campaign polls; and the inspector general’s report on the Justice Department’s ‘Fast and Furious’ gun-running sting were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Friday, September 7, 2012

| September 7, 2012

Contentious End to Democratic National Convention for Some Talkers on Radio Row…But Not All.  By now, many talk media people are aware of a piece by conservative pundit John Fund in the National Review Online that beats up the Obama Administration in which he alleges it kept high-level Democrats from appearing on radio programs hosted by conservatives that camped out on radio row at the convention.  Radio America’s Roger Hedgecock and Breitbart Radio’s Larry O’Connor are quoted in the piece saying they were frozen out from getting any decent guests.  Hedgecock reportedly packed up and left early while KRLA, Los Angeles morning show co-host Ben Shapiro says his attempt to get John Podesta on their show with Heidi Harris and Brian Whitman was stopped when Podesta’s handler intervened.  However, nationally syndicated talk host Kevin McCullough (also principal of content creator XtreMedia) has a different take.  He writes, “If talk show hosts are outraged that big names aren’t sitting down to speak with them in Charlotte, then they are only weakening their own brand.  Have we not learned anything from the attacks on Limbaugh and fellow talkers?  Are we actually claiming that guests are the prerequisite for what should be our own success?  We have the bully pulpit of a live microphone every day, and if a talker can’t turn that into a distinct advantage for their own purposes every day, then they are simply in the wrong business.  Talk hosts, but specifically CONSERVATIVES, should be slow to anger when liberals refuse to go on our platforms.  As a conservative, I’m eager to go on liberal outlets, because I actually have the chance to put my ideas in front of people who disagree with me — I actually have a chance to win them over. Whining because people who disagree with you won’t come on your show is pretty much the polar opposite of that idea.  As idea generators we should never be dependent upon someone sitting across a table from us to be interesting, to have something to say, or to be able to say it well.  I hope that the younger generation of talkers will observe this fundamental truth…The more you depend on other people to generate YOUR success, the less successful you will ever be!”

Newsy Approach at the DNC Gets the Guests.  TRN-operated America’s Radio News Network reports it had no problems getting high-profile Democrats to sit in front of its microphones.  ARNN – which provides 15 hours of long-form news content to its more than 350 affiliates – reports to TALKERS that on day three of the convention it delivered reports to its stations that included interviews with: Rev. Jesse Jackson, Delaware Governor Jack Markel, Senator Kent Conrad, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, and former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson, among others.

Talk Host Ray Lucia Responds to SEC Actions.  Yesterday, TALKERS magazine reported nationally syndicated financial advice talk host Ray Lucia’s company – RJL Companies – is being charged by the Securities and Exchange Commission with misleading potential investors and violating several sections of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940.  Lucia says his company will vigorously defend itself in the case against a slide presentation his company has not used in two years.  He cites former SEC Commissioner, Roel Campos, who is now the head of Locke Lord’s SEC Enforcement and Regulation practice, who made the following statement: “It is disappointing that the SEC would file an administrative matter because it principally disagrees with an inflation rate that has been used regularly by economists and other professionals.  No harm is alleged to have occurred to any investors and this matter appears to reflect an honest disagreement about statistics and estimates of investor returns under hypothetical situations.  Mr. Lucia disagrees strenuously with the SEC’s allegations that affected his estimates of possible returns.  This type of matter should have been resolved during the inspection process.”

Talk Host Phil Hendrie Disagrees with Syndicator’s Suit Against Dial Global Et Al.  Consider TRN-FM-syndicated talk show host Phil Hendrie not one who supports the suit by TRN CEO Mark Masters against Dial Global and numerous other industry program suppliers.  Hendrie issued a statement that after reading the suit and, especially the paragraph that states, “Today, by bringing this Action, Plaintiffs stand not only for themselves, but also for every smaller independent syndicator, network or programming producer, and for the hosts, producers, technicians and other Americans whose livelihoods are dependent upon these independent syndicators,” his response is as follows: “I’d like to make it very clear that TRN does not represent my views and I certainly don’t need them ‘standing up’ for me in regard to this lawsuit, which I don’t support.  My livelihood is not dependent on TRN.”

ESPN Makes Inroads Against WFAN in New York City.  In a piece in the New York Daily News, writer David Hinckley reports ESPN’s WEPN-AM/FM – to split apart when the AM side becomes ESPN Deportes today – climbed a hair above longtime CBS Radio’s sports talk market dominator WFAN in the midday slot of 10:00 am to 1:00 pm in the ratings (we’re assuming persons 6-plus) for Colin Cowherd’s and Mike Lupica’s shows.  Hinckley’s story points out that WEPN’s David Roberts admits the flip of WEPN-AM to Spanish language may affect some of its English-speaking audience but the new 98.7 signal has been a smash for the station overall.  Read Hinckley’s piece about sports talk in New York City here.

Barron’s Names Ric Edelman #1 Independent Financial Advisor in America.  The radio and television talk show host and principal of the Edelman Financial Services firm – which manages more than $7.9 billion for more than 17,000 clients – is named the number one independent financial advisor in the nation by Barron’s for the third time.  Edelman states, “I am excited and honored.  We are committed to sharing our knowledge with consumers across the country.  To be recognized by Barron’s repeatedly for these efforts is truly gratifying.”  In addition to his independently syndicated talk radio program, “The Truth About Money,” that emanates from flagship WMAL-AM/FM, Washington and is heard in 57 other markets, Edelman hosts a public TV program of the same name.

President Obama’s Record Tops the Talkers TenTM for the Week of September 3-7.  The president’s record during his first four years in office was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, set against the backdrop of the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte.  Coming in at #2 this week was the DNC speeches.  At #3 was the controversy over God and Jerusalem in the Democratic Party platform and at #4 was the United States’ slide on the global competitiveness scale.  The Talkers TenTM – a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio – is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine and is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  See this week’s entire chart here.

TALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  The XtreMedia-produced Sunday evening “Dani Johnson Radio Show” is picked up by affiliates: KTUR, Salt Lake City; KKVV, Las Vegas; WDRU-AM/FM, Raleigh/Durham; WTRU-AM/WSAL, Winston-Salem; WTRU-FM, Greensboro; WLES-AM/FM, Richmond, Virginia; and KTIA, Des Moines…..“Free Talk Live” featuring hosts Ian Freeman and Mark Edge is picked up by WDOV, Dover, Delaware…..Premiere NetworksBob & Tom show is added to the morning drive slot at KGON, Portland…..“Into Tomorrow” with Dave Graveline is added to the program schedule at WXDE, Lewes, Delaware and WSOY, Decatur, Illinois…..The weekend “Café Mocha” show hosted by MC Lyte, Loni Love and Angelique Perrin joins the programming lineup at WHUR, Washington, DC; WKJS/WKJM, Richmond, Virginia; WKZJ, Columbus, Georgia; WBGA, Brunswick, Georgia; KZWA, Lake Charles, Louisiana; and KKST, Alexandria, Louisiana.

Talkin’ and Walkin’ After Midnight.  Syndicated talk show host Dr. Daliah Wachs of KDWN, Las Vegas; Genesis Communications Network, and Sirius XM Satellite Radio is the current star of TALKERS TV (see video box at upper right) where she is seen and heard singing the Patsy Cline classic “Walkin’ After Midnight” (although Dr. Daliah tells TALKERS she was doing the more recent Kelly Clarkson arrangement).  The impromptu performance took place at TRN-syndicated host Jerry Doyle‘s Labor Day BBQ at his home near Las Vegas.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

| July 11, 2012

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

Monday, April 16, 2012

| April 16, 2012

Heidi Harris Named Morning Drive Host at Salem’s Re-Branded KRLA, Los Angeles and KTIE, San Bernardino.  Salem Communications announces its Southern California news/talk outlets KRLA, Los Angeles and KTIE, San Bernardino are being re-branded “The Answer,” following the same plan recently instituted at the company’s WNYM, New York.  At the same time, rising talk media star Heidi Harris joins the stations to serve as AM drive host.  Harris, a Las Vegas native, most recently hosted the morning drive program at Beasley Broadcasting’s KDWN, Las Vegas.  Salem VP/director of spoken word format Phil Boyce says the new morning show and the new name and positioning will make both stations more competitive, with more attitude in the imaging and more opportunities to position the stations in their markets.  “We have been using the name ‘The Answer’ in New York since March 12, and could not be happier with the response.  The on-air attitude and positioning is much more positive and we decided we could do something similar for KRLA and KTIE.  The addition of Heidi Harris to the morning show is a major investment in the future of these stations, so the timing was perfect to combine the new show with the re-branding effort.”  Heidi Harris says of her new gig, “I am thrilled and excited to join Salem Communications, a company that has quickly become one of the most respected places to work in radio and a company with a huge commitment to what I do: the news/talk format.  I can’t wait to get back on the radio and to do my thing in Los Angeles and the Inland Empire – two great markets for talk – and two great stations.  With a teeny bit of talent, 13 years of busting my butt, and most importantly the Grace of God, I have landed my dream job.”

Florida’s Magic Broadcasting Buys Tallahassee Market WGWD-FM; Flips to News/Talk.  Panama City, Florida-based Magic Broadcasting II announces it has completed the purchase of classic country WGWD-FM, Gretna, Florida (Tallahassee market) and will flip the station to news/talk today as “Talk Radio 93.3 FM” WGWD.  CEO Don McCoy tells TALKERS magazine the station will feature state-syndicated talk hosts Burnie Thompson (12:00 noon to 3:00 pm) and Derrell Day (7:00 am to 10:00 am).  Thompson’s guests on today’s program will include Governor Rick Scott, upcoming Florida Senate President Don Gaetz, Florida’s next Speaker of the House Will Weatherford, and U.S. Rep. Steve Southerland (R-Tallahassee).  McCoy says the company is bringing “Florida’s year-round Town Hall right to the Capital City.”  He calls the new format “live, local, fun and exciting!  We’re focused on state programming as well as national issues …and always for Floridians.”  The station will also air Talk Radio Network/Washington Times-produced “America’s Morning News,” TRN’s Laura Ingraham, Michael Savage and Rusty Humphries, Cox Media’s Neal Boortz and CBS Radio’s “Overnight America with Jon Grayson.”

WNYM, New York’s Curtis Sliwa Featured in New York Post Story About Fiancé and Children.  Consummate New Yorker, Guardian Angels founder and talk media personality Curtis Sliwa is a local celebrity in New York but few knew of his home life until a piece in the New York Post this weekend shed light on that aspect of Sliwa’s life.  The short version is that Sliwa and fiancé Melinda Katz plan to marry soon and continue raising their two sons – Carter and Hunter – in their Forest Hills, Queens home.  Sixteen years ago Katz asked former boyfriend Sliwa for a sperm donation intending to raise any children she bore alone.  While pregnant with Hunter, Katz developed complications and called Sliwa – out of her life for years at this point – and he came to her aid and the relationship grew from there.  There’s far more to this human interest story featuring one of talk radio’s colorful characters.  Read it here.

KBME, Houston Brings N.D. Kalu and Greg Koch Aboard for Mid-Morning Show.  When former NFL players N.D. Kalu and Greg Koch left CBS Radio’s crosstown sports talk KILT last month, it was rumored the two might reappear at Clear Channel Media and Entertainment’s crosstown sports talk KBME.  That has been confirmed.  The two will host the 10:00 am to 11:00 am “In the Trenches with Koch and Kalu” beginning today (4/16).  Koch and Kalu had been hosting a weekend program on KILT and served as commentators on other station programs.  Kalu works in real estate in the Houston area and Koch is an attorney.

KOMO, Seattle Morning News Anchor Bill Yeend Retires.  Pacific Northwest broadcaster Bill Yeend finished his last airshift at Fisher’s KOMO, Seattle on Friday and begins enjoying his retirement – and probably sleeping in for the first time in a long time – today.  For the past 10 years, Yeend has co-anchored the morning news at KOMO with Manda Factor.  Yeend began his career at rock KBBX-FM, Seattle in 1968 and moved to crosstown KIRO in 1970.  There, he won five Edward R. Murrow Awards for journalistic excellence.  Taking over at KOMO alongside Factor is KOMO sports reporter and Seattle Mariners public address announcer Tom Hutyler.

WLS, Chicago Changes Imaging Voices; Drops Jeff Davis and Brings Aboard Scott Fisher.  Chicago radio fans are well aware of Jeff Davis’ history with Cumulus Media’s news/talk WLS.  He started with the station in 1974 when it was the big hit music outlet in the city.  He remained with the station through the late 1980s.  Davis has been the voice of the station for most of the last 20 years but Cumulus has decided to change the station’s imaging and chooses not to renew Davis’ contract and signs on with Scott Fisher Productions.

Sports KFNC-FM, Houston to Be Hawked at NAB.  Station trustee and broker Larry Patrick of Maryland-based Patrick Communications tells the Houston Chronicle he will be actively looking for potential buyers for sports talk KFNC-FM, Houston and its sister Triple A KHJK-FM at this week’s NAB in Las Vegas.  KFNC-FM is one of four Cumulus Media stations in the market that went through a pre-packaged Chapter 11 bankruptcy deal to eliminate its debt and make it more attractive to potential buyers.  The station is still operated by Cumulus Media but Patrick owns more than 75% of the station.  According to Patrick, KFNC-FM boasted $2.4 million in ad sales in 2011.  Patrick tells the paper, “The staff is aware of what is happening, and the former owner has every right to bid and buy the stations back.  I’ve had inquiries from five or six people and I think there will be real interest.”

Dave Graveline in Croatia.  That’s “Into Tomorrow” talk host Dave Graveline (l) and producer Rob Almanza (r) standing on the (usually) sunny Adriatic coastline of Croatia.  Graveline and Almanza are there producing the weekend consumer electronics show while Graveline serves as moderator of the Global Press Conference for IFA – that’s the big Consumer Electronics & Appliance show that he broadcasts from in Berlin every September.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

| March 29, 2012

Beasley Names Alan Stock KDWN, Las Vegas Morning Host.  Longtime Las Vegas media personality Alan Stock is officially named morning drive host at Beasley Broadcasting’s news/talk KDWN.  He takes over the show after the departure of Heidi Harris several weeks ago.  KDWN program director John Shaffer says, “We are extremely excited to have Alan in morning drive on KDWN.  He knows this town and the Las Vegas listeners can relate to him.  Alan has done a great job for us in mid-mornings and we look forward to him leading the KDWN on-air team.”  Stock spent more than a decade at KDWN’s crosstown competitor KXNT-AM/FM – and for several of those years partnered with Heidi Harris.  Of his new gig, Stock says, “I’m happy and grateful to be at the most supportive station I’ve ever worked at since beginning my career in radio over 25 years ago.  The warm environment at KDWN and Beasley makes everyone feel as if they are one big family.  Having worked with Tom Humm for many years, I’m pleased to be back working with him, as well as with program director John Shaffer and director of sales Cory Cuddeback.  Also, I can truthfully say that I’ve never worked for a radio station that allows as much freedom as I’m allowed at KDWN.”

Small Business Authority Starts Website to Assist Businesses Hurt by Conservative Talk Radio Assault.  The Small Business Authority is a subsidiary of Newtek Business Services – a publicly traded company that provides services to businesses including insurance and payroll.  It has started a website at defendsmallbusiness.com designed to help companies who’ve been negatively affected by Media Matters’ attack on conservative talk radio – especially those affiliated with the Rush Limbaugh program.  On the site it states, “Well-funded professional activists, led by the left-wing pressure group Media Matters, are waging a campaign across America to hurt small businesses like yours through strong-arm tactics and intimidation…They are actually trying to shut down businesses – tying up phone lines, crashing websites, bombarding Facebook pages or Twitter accounts, and preventing real customers from getting through.”  The site provides quick links to help small businesses and their supporters communicate with Media Matters about its tactics, reach out to legislators about how their businesses are being affected and contact the media with the same concerns.

Heavy Hundred Set for Monday, April 9.  The 2012 edition of the “TALKERS 250 Featuring the Heavy Hundred” will be revealed here on Talkers.com on Monday, April 9.  This new installment of the long-running annual feature – also titled “The Most Important Radio Talk Show Hosts in America” – will be slightly different than those in the past in as much as this will be the first year in which it does not include sports talk show hosts.  Rather, a unique and separate version of the presentation will debut later in June of 2012 totally devoted to sports talk show hosts.  According to TALKERS VP/managing editor Kevin Casey, “Sports talk radio has become such an important subgenre within the talk radio universe, featuring so many outstanding local and national talents, that the editorial board of TALKERS feels compelled to create an entire Heavy Hundred totally devoted to it.  This serves the dual purpose of opening the door for even more deserving hosts to be included in the traditional Heavy Hundred while allowing so many great sports talkers to finally get the recognition due them as well.”

NPR Accepts Grant from CPB for Foreign News Bureaus.  The Corporation for Public Broadcasting recently awarded NPR $500,000 to help fund news bureaus in Beijing, Beirut, Cairo, Jerusalem and Shanghai.  In a statement announcing the grant, Corporation for Public Broadcasting president and CEO Patricia Harrison states, “Never has public media’s mission of providing the American people with information they need to understand the world around them been more important.  Journalism is a core mission for public media.  We are proud to support NPR’s foreign reporters, many of whom are women, who put themselves in harm’s way to bring us the information we need to understand our world events.”

North Carolina Association of Broadcasters Assists in Presenting Vietnam Veterans Event at Charlotte Speedway.  The North Carolina Association of Broadcasters is calling it “what will be the largest recognition of Vietnam Veterans in history” this Saturday, March 31 when the Victory Management and the Charlotte Speedway hosts the “Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Celebration.”  The event is the culmination of work by Senator Richard Burr and the North Carolina Association of Broadcasters working with USO North Carolina.  NCAB president John Idler states, “This celebration is the result of a great partnership.  We can’t say enough good things about USO of North Carolina, Victory Management at the Charlotte Motor Speedway, and, of course, Senator Burr, the driving force.  Not only is the event itself historic, the state’s radio and TV stations will be broadcasting the event across the state ‘live’ and providing various special broadcasts saluting Vietnam Veterans before and after the broadcast.”  North Carolina television and radio stations contributed over $1,000,000 in public service announcements to promote free tickets for all veterans and their families.

Supreme Court Hears ObamaCare Arguments, Trayvon Martin Case/Bobby Rush Hoodie Speech and GOP Primary Race/2012 Presidential Campaign Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/28).  The Supreme Court’s hearing of arguments on President Obama’s 2010 Affordable Care Act, the issues surrounding the shooting death of Trayvon Martin including congressman Bobby Rush’s speech in a hoodie on the House floor, and the GOP primary race and the 2012 presidential campaign were some of the most-talked-about stories discussed on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Mr. Bernier Goes To Washington.  WNDB, Daytona Beach talk host Marc Bernier (l) is pictured here interviewing Senator John McCain (r) at the Senate Republicans’ radio row in Washington, DC on March 28.  The interview occurred at the same time as the United States Supreme Court was hearing arguments about the legality of President Obama’s 2010 Affordable Care Act.

Monday, March 12, 2012

| March 12, 2012

Controversy and Misinformation of Radio Advertising Keeps Rush Limbaugh in the News; Host Reportedly Refuses to Take Back Advertiser.  The consumer media continues to hang onto the Rush Limbaugh-Sandra Fluke issue with numerous stories and segments being published and produced over the weekend about the extent to which the controversy may be hurting advertising on Premiere Networks’ Rush Limbaugh show as well as a wider swath of conservative talk radio.  In addition to the fluctuating count of advertisers that may or may not have left the Limbaugh program (depending on whether or not they actually advertised on the show in the first place as many reports cite firms that did not), outlets such as New York Magazine and The Daily Beast are writing about a memo from Premiere to affiliate stations detailing 98 companies that don’t want their goods or services advertised on controversial programming.  The memo gives examples of hosts including Mark Levin, Rush Limbaugh, Tom Leykis (shows how old that memo is), Michael Savage, Glenn Beck and Sean HannityTALKERS has pointed out to countless consumer media that have contacted our offices regarding this issue that “no controversial programming” dictates are common and practically as old as talk radio itself and not a unique reaction to the Limbaugh case – although certainly reiterated as a result of it.  TALKERS has also pointed out that monitoring a station’s internet feed does not reflect the same commercial content as the air feed since union regulations affect the degree to which union talent-voiced spots can air on the web.  Meanwhile, the Sacramento Bee is reporting Rush Limbaugh is refusing to take retailer Sleep Train back as an advertiser.  The story cites Limbaugh spokesman Brian Glicklich stating the company sought to return to the Limbaugh show and the program replied to the Sacramento-based mattress retailer, “Rush received your requests personally.  Unfortunately, your public comments were not well received by our audience, and did not accurately portray either Rush Limbaugh’s character or the intent of his remarks.  Thus, we regret to inform you that Rush will be unable to endorse Sleep Train in the future.  Rush appreciates your long friendship and your past support, and we wish you good luck in the future.”

Celebrity-Founded Women’s Media Center Piles on Rush Limbaugh.  The organization co-founded by Gloria Steinem, Jane Fonda and Robin Morgan is using the Rush Limbaugh controversy to call to arms like-minded activists to petition the FCC to take Limbaugh off the air.  In an op-ed piece on CNN.com, the group reasons that Limbaugh – through his language and political opinions – is a purveyor of “hate speech” and therefore is not acting in the public interest.  The group is suggesting the stations whose licenses are up for renewal that carry Limbaugh’s program are not serving the “public interest” and need either pull the show or not have their licenses renewed.  The group states in the piece, “This isn’t political.  While we disagree with Limbaugh’s politics, what’s at stake is the fallout of a society tolerating toxic, hate-inciting speech.  For 20 years, Limbaugh has hidden behind the First Amendment, or else claimed he’s really “doing humor” or “entertainment.”  He is indeed constitutionally entitled to his opinions, but he is not constitutionally entitled to the people’s airways.”  It’s hard to tell what the motive here is – beyond polemicizing – since the FCC does not deal with issues of content in this way during the license renewal process.

Special Interest Group Intent on Hounding KFI, Los Angeles; Picks on Bill Handel’s Comment.  Time will tell if the latest salvo from the Los Angeles-based Black Media Alliance sticks to Clear Channel’s KFI, Los Angeles or ricochets back to harm the goals of the very organization that fired it.  What’s for certain is the Black Media Alliance is taking a page from other special interest media “watchdog” groups and is recording every minute of KFI’s broadcasts and, when it hears something it doesn’t like, is firing off press releases and hoping for some traction.  It used a March 9 broadcast from the Bill Handel show for this purpose.  During a segment in which Handel comments on the news of the day with Gary Hoffman and Neil Saavedra, the topic of a California bill that would allow nurse practitioners to perform aspiration abortions came up.  Handel commented on a law in Kansas where doctors are required to have the women see sonograms prior to having an abortion and offered his opinion that those who don’t already understand the procedure are “dumb-ass women.”  BMA is using this comment to imply Handel has attacked all women.  Listen to the segment here.  There are numerous issues at play here but TALKERS will address the primary ones.  The tenor of Bill Handel’s program hasn’t changed and presumably his advertisers know what they’re buying.  If an advertiser boycott of Handel’s program is what the BMA seeks, it may find the going tougher for Handel’s Southern California show than national groups are for the Rush Limbaugh controversy.  That’s generally the way these cases work.  Handel broke no FCC rules and we believe it’s unlikely he or KFI will apologize – so far neither has.  During the discussion, you can hear both sides of the issue being debated by the air talent.  This is exactly the kind of public debate of important issues Supreme Court rulings, such as New York Times v. Sullivan, protects and which the Court admits could be controversial.  Justice Brennan even wrote of the “profound national commitment to the principle that debate on public issues should be uninhibited, robust, and wide-open.”  The most important issue for the BMA is whether this tactic will cause it to be perceived by the public as nitpicking and a pest instead of being seen as an organization with goals of diversity and fairness.

Salem Communications’ WNYM, New York Rebrands as “The Answer.”  The New York news/talk outlet formerly known as “The Apple” hits the air today with an altered programming schedule and the new handle, “The Answer.”  Salem Communications VP and director of the spoken word format Phil Boyce states, “The new name will more accurately reflect who we are and what the benefit is to listening to us.  ‘The Answer’ just popped into my head my first week here, and I couldn’t stop thinking about it.  We are the answer to so many questions, from ‘what happened while you slept?’ to ‘is it gonna rain?’ to ‘why am I stuck in traffic?’”  The company notes the new station lineup is as follows: Salem Radio Network syndicated Bill Bennett‘s “Morning in America” from 5:00 am to 7:00 am, local host Curtis Sliwa from 7:00 am to 10:00 am, Dial Global’s Dennis Miller from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon, SRN’s Dennis Prager from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm, SRN’s Michael Medved from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm; Curtis and attorney Jeffrey Lichtman from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm; and SRN’s Hugh Hewitt from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm.  Boyce says new imaging will create a hip, younger sound for the station, heavy on a New York-style attitude.  “New Yorkers are slightly jaded and a little sarcastic, so we wanted the sound of our station to reflect the city we serve.”  In describing his collaboration with voiceover talent Lonnie Perkins, Boyce gushed, “I told him to sound like that ‘Mayhem Man’ commercial for Allstate Insurance.” The new imaging includes new top of hour ID’s, promos, and show opens.  Boyce wanted to re-arrange the lineup to “put the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle” together in the right order.

Heidi Harris Exits KDWN.  Word from Las Vegas is that KDWN, Las Vegas morning talk show host Heidi Harris has exited her position at the Beasley Broadcasting-owned news/talker.  Sources inside the station tell TALKERS that the relationship between Harris and KDWN management had been strained for some time now and finally reached the breaking point.  Heidi Harris, a multi-repeat member of the TALKERS Heavy Hundred is considered by industry observers to be a rising star.  The conservative host has been a regular contributor and guest on the progressive Ed Schultz Show on MSNBC and speaker at the New Media Seminar.  Harris has not responded to e-mail requests by TALKERS for comment and confirmation but her presence on the KDWN website has been removed.  More details as they are available.

WMAL, Washington Re-Positions AM Drive Show; Mary Katherine Ham Exits.  The former “Morning Majority” AM drive show at Cumulus Media’s WMAL-AM/FM, Washington is now “Mornings on the Mall” with Brian Wilson and Bryan Nehman as Mary Katherine Ham – who joined WMAL last summer – leaves the program.  Ham wrote on her blog earlier this week,It has been a pleasure to work with Bryan Nehman and Brian Wilson – two consummate broadcast professionals who generously taught this n00b as much as they could.  And, though I’m new to radio, it’d be hard to imagine a producer more capable than our executive producer Heather Smith, who I remain convinced does not require sleep (in an industrious way, not a vampire way).  The folks at the company had a vision for a different, independent role for me at the station, but we just weren’t able to come to an agreement that would make it work, so I’m off to do my other jobs.  I’m constantly thankful I have the freedom to make decisions like that, and realize it’s a tremendous blessing to have such options.”  Ham is an analyst at Fox News Channel and is a contributing writer for The Daily Caller.

Firesign Theater Founder Peter Bergman Dies.  One of the founders of the radio comedy show Firesign Theater has died at age 72 after a battle with Leukemia.  Peter Bergman and three fellow comedians — Phillip Proctor, David Ossman and Phil Austin – created the radio program that spawned four must-have comedy albums (released between 1968 and 1972) for college-age hippies of the time.  Bergman was hosting a late-night talk show on Pacifica’s KPFK, Los Angeles when he started the Firesign Theater program.  Bergman revived the Firesign Theater show on the internet in 2010.

Salem Radio Network Correspondent Dan Hackel Passes Away.  Longtime news pro Dan Hackel died in Israel over the weekend after a battle with cancer.  He had been Salem Radio Network’s primary correspondent in Israel for the past four years.  Hackel was a founding anchor for CNN International and a frequent anchor on Headline News.  He served as Washington correspondent covering the White House for ABC News, and he reported on the U. S. Congress for the Mutual Broadcasting System.

TRN’s and WGST, Atlanta’s Rusty Humphries Named Kentucky Colonel.  Kentucky colonel is the highest title of honor bestowed by the Commonwealth of Kentucky.  Commissions for Kentucky colonels are given by the governor and the secretary of state to individuals in recognition of noteworthy accomplishments and outstanding service to a community, state or the nation.  Other notable Colonels include Bob Hope, Pope John Paul II, Winston Churchill and of course Col. Sanders. Pictured with Colonel Rusty Humphries is Melissa Forrest, president and market manager of Clear Channel Atlanta where Humphries works at news/talk WGST.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

| October 26, 2011

Westwood One Founder Norm Pattiz Describes Beginnings of Westwood One. During his special remarks at last week’s historic Los Angeles Regional Talkers Forum (10/20), Westwood One founder (and current CEO of Courtside Entertainment) Norm Pattiz shared the story of the early days of the ground breaking syndication firm that he started in one office in Westwood back in the late 1970s.  Telling the packed house of talk media professionals that he launched the company with “$10,000 and a working wife,” Pattiz describes how his background as a well-connected former L.A. television sales manager served to bring sponsorships to packaged radio programs — thus shifting the network radio business model from a direct cash to barter system and opening the door to the tremendous growth that followed.  He talks about Westwood One’s first show being an urban radio cross-over Motown special stating, “Being a television guy and not a radio guy, I didn’t know the rules of radio and if you don’t know the rules, you can’t be limited by them.”  Pattiz’s speech can be seen exclusively on TALKERS TV. If you are using a mobile device, click here to view the video.

Cumulus Budget Ax Chops Through Chicago.  Time Out Chicago’s Robert Feder reports Cumulus corporate dictates have taken a toll on the producer staff at news/talk WLS, Chicago and the programming and airstaff at sister oldies WLS-FM.  Afternoon drive “Roe & Roeper” executive producer Jock Hedblade and “Don Wade & Roma” morning drive show producer Zack Christenson both have been let go along with WLS-FM program director Michael LaCrosse and Chris Papendick, producer of the Greg Brown PM drive show on WLS-FM.  The other change includes operations director Drew Hayes remaining solely responsible for WLS and no longer overseeing WMAL, Washington as he has for the past several years.  Bill Hess was recently promoted to PD at WMAL.  Hayes’ oversight began when WMAL was without a programmer.

Q3 Reports:  Arbitron Up; Journal’s Radio Bright Spot in Down Quarter.  Arbitron reports third quarter revenue up 6.1% over the same period one year ago and states it expects revenue for the entire year to be up somewhere between 6% and 8%.  During a conference call, Arbitron CEO Bill Kerr noted that the company’s completion of the rollout of the Portable People Meter in the 48 top radio markets helped the company achieve its goals.  He also gave an update on the status of its Coalition for Innovative Media Measurement-sponsored project to develop a “single-source panel” for measuring TV, internet and mobile usage.  Kerr says they expect to present their work to CIMM during the fourth quarter.  At Journal Communications, while TV and publishing are languishing, radio has been pretty good to the Milwaukee-based company.  Radio was up 2.7% year-over-year while the company posted a 4.4% loss overall for the quarter.  Flagship news/talk WTMJ, Milwaukee posted record ratings under the PPM as the station benefitted from the success of the NFL’s Green Bay Packers, MLB’s Brewers and the recall elections across the state that brought in political dollars in a non-election year.

Michigan Sports Talker Sean Baligian Exits Clear Channel.  The “Sean and Terp Show” aired in PM drive on Clear Channel’s WDFN, Detroit and was simulcast to Grand Rapids on WMAX-FM.  With Baligian’s departure from the company, Ryan Terpstra continues to host the afternoon show on WMAX-FM, Grand Rapids and WDFN will feature a series of guest hosts as the station seeks its next permanent host for the daypart.  Via Facebook, Baligian says farewell to fans and hopes to announce a new gig soon.  The program was originally “Sean, Terp and Killer” and recently lost co-host Tom “Killer” Kowalski who died unexpectedly in August of heart failure at age 51.

Journal Names J. Pat Miller Promotion and Marketing Manager in Milwaukee.  Journal Broadcast Group’s Milwaukee operations announces classic hits WLWK-FM midday host and program director J. Pat Miller moves to a new position as promotion and marketing manager for the company’s WLWK-FM and news/talk WTMJ.  Journal states Miller “will work with the radio sales departments and programming teams to coordinate promotions, events and interactive platforms and will assume day-to-day oversight of the stations’ promotions department, as well.”  Programmer John Roberts joins Journal to handle programming at WLWK-FM.

Town Hall Takes on Los Angeles.  KRLA, Los Angeles’ sold out NTR event on Saturday evening (10/22) pulled a crowd of 1,400 into the Alex Theatre in Glendale, California.  The Salem Communications station produced the annual “Town Hall” event that featured Salem Radio Network talk show hosts plus special guests.  Pictured here (from l-r) are: SRN’s Mike Gallagher, columnist, author and pundit Ann Coulter, SRN’s Dennis Prager, KDWN, Las Vegas AM drive host Heidi Harris (who served as moderator for the program), and SRN personality Michael Medved.  The panelists batted around the current hot news stories including the 2012 presidential race.  They also fielded questions from the audience.

‘Occupy Wall Street,’ 2012 Presidential Race, Libya/Middle East Stability and Euro Zone Economic Tension Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/25).  The ongoing ‘Occupy Wall Street’ movement, the GOP candidates for president, political strife in Libya and the Middle East and the shaky state of the Euro Zone’s economy were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.