Tag: "hip hop"

Thursday, February 16, 2017

| February 16, 2017

CBS Reports Q4 2016 and Full-Year Financials; CBS Presented as Discontinued Operation.  The latter is due to the pending merger of CBS Radio with Entercom and it means that CBS did not present any revenue information or operating income metrics for the radio division.  Here’s what the company has to say about the Entercom deal: “In connection with the transaction, which is expected to be tax-free to CBS Corporation and its stockholders, the Company intends to split-off CBS Radio through an exchange offer immediately prior to the merger.  The merger will create a well-capitalized company with a market cap in excess of $2 billion, a strong balance sheet, significant free cash flow, and the ability to pay an attractive dividend.  The combined company is expected to generate meaningful cost synergies within 12-18 months after the merger.  The Company expects to complete the transaction in the second half of 2017, subject to customary closing conditions.”  In a press statement, CBS Corporation chairman and CEO Les Moonves states, “2016 was a phenomenal year for the CBS Corporation, with all-time highs in revenue, operating income, and EPS [earnings per share] that came in above $4 for the first time in our Company’s history; and as we begin 2017, I couldn’t be more excited about our growth prospects in the years ahead.”  During yesterday’s investor conference call, COO Joseph Ianniello addressed the radio deal, saying, “CBS shareholders who participate in this split-off will own 72% of the combined company which will have best-in-class assets and will clearly be the best capitalized radio company in the industry.  The combined radio business will benefit from increased scale, stronger cash flow and real operational synergies which should drive higher profitability.  The new company will also have the ability to pay an attractive dividend.”

Cumulus Extends Early Tender Date for Note Exchange.  This is the third extension of Cumulus Media Inc’s offer for its previously announced private exchange offer for 7.75% Senior Notes due 2019 issued by Cumulus Media Holdings Inc.  Obviously not satisfied with the number of takers, the company is extending the early tender date to March 6 (5:00 pm ET).  The company explains that “Eligible Holders tendering their Outstanding Notes prior to the Early Tender Date, as extended that are accepted for exchange, will receive the ‘Total Exchange Consideration.’”  That exchange includes “revolving loans, the participation interests, the trust certificates and the shares of Class A common stock (or warrants, if applicable), Class D common stock and Class E common stock.”

TALKERS Editorial Board Tackling Freedom of Speech Award Decision.  The TALKERS magazine editorial board has begun the sensitive and often-controversial task of deciding its annual roster of major award recipients in the categories of “Lifetime Achievement,” “Woman of the Year,”  “Humanitarian of the Year,” and “Freedom of Speech” – the latter being the most potentially contentious of all – especially in today’s highly charged, politically polarized news/talk environment.  In his weekly address to the editors, TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison stated, “This award is always a sensitive issue because freedom of speech is one of the most difficult concepts to explain and the award is doubly difficult to defend – especially when a significant percentage of people immediately assume that the organization presenting the honor necessarily endorses the political position of the recipient.”  Harrison continued, “TALKERS has a distinguished history of non-partisanship in its editorial coverage of political news/talk media and this has been reflected in the diversity of positions held by the recipients of this prestigious award over the decades.  The award is not a reward for saying something ‘controversial’ with which we necessarily agree but, rather, for conducting oneself as a broadcaster in a manner that clearly displays the tenets of the First Amendment in action, as well as showing the courage of one’s convictions in facing the negative blowback and consequences of one’s public stance.”  Harrison cited Premiere NetworksSean Hannity, Salem Radio Network’s Michael Medved and former WTMJ, Milwaukee host Charlie Sykes among worthy candidates to be considered for this year’s honor, stating, “Hannity showed amazing courage coming out early and unswervingly for Donald Trump when it was not clear which way his core audience would swing and what the outcome of the primary and general election would be.  Medved, also a conservative, came out early against Trump and then stuck to his guns as an objective observer of the candidate and now-president’s pros and cons as he sees them – even against negative criticism from his listeners and even members of his own syndication company.  Sykes actually let his cool job in Milwaukee slide away rather than back down from his perception of the truth.”  Harrison concluded, “And there are many more examples of news/talk hosts having to take a principled stand with uncertain consequences as a result of this turbulent but exciting chapter of talk radio history in the making.”   The TALKERS awards will be presented on Friday, June 2 at Talkers 2017: A New Era in New York City.  For information about the 20th annual installment of the talk industry’s longest running and most important national convention, please click here.

TALKERS News Notes.  Beginning with this year’s 2017 NFL season, Washington Redskins football play-by-play (including some pre- and post-game programming) will be heard on Cumulus Media’s WMAL-AM/FM, Washington.  The games will continue to air on Red Zebra properties WTEM, Washington “ESPN980”; WWXT, Prince Frederick, Maryland; and WWXX, Buckland, Virginia.  This is a homecoming of sorts for Redskins football; the team’s games have aired on WMAL-AM from time-to-time as far back as 1942.  WMAL-AM/FM vice president and GM Jake McCann comments, “We are excited and honored to be working with the Redskins again.  The Redskins and WMAL were partners during the team’s three glorious Super Bowl-winning seasons.  We look forward to bringing the combined assets of WMAL to this exciting, renewed partnership.”…..NBA All-Star 2017 begins today and SiriusXM is offering coverage with special, live programming from New Orleans on its NBA Radio channel, in addition to the live broadcast of the 66th NBA All-Star Game.  Coverage will be hosted by Milwaukee Bucks guard Jason Terry, former players Eddie Johnson and Tim Legler, as well as Frank Isola, Jason Jackson, Joel Meyers, Justin Termine and Brian Geltzeiler…..The Forbes on PodcastOne network premieres “The Forbes List” today (2/16), featuring an in-depth look at the world’s top billionaires.  The show – hosted by Jordan Harbinger dives into the stories behind Forbes’ most famous lists, including the Forbes 400 list featuring the wealthiest Americans, as well as lists covering celebrities, music, sports, entrepreneurs, companies and the world’s most powerful people.  PodcastOne founder and executive chairman Norm Pattiz comments, “This makes our third launch of a new Forbes podcast and points out the strong relationship between Forbes and PodcastOne.  Jordan Harbinger has hosted “Art of Charm,” which consistently ranks in iTunes’ top 10.  This provides a combination that’s tough to beat.”

Violent Tragedy Strikes Dominican Radio Station.  Two radio journalists were shot dead and a third staffer was seriously wounded in a raid on a radio station in the Dominican Republic on Tuesday.  Numerous news outlets are reporting that news presenter Luis Manuel Medina and station director Leonidas Martinez were killed when unidentified men entered the station and shot Medina while he read a newscast and Martinez as he sat in his office.  Medina was streaming his newscast live on Facebook at the time of the attack.   It took place at radio station 103.5 FM in San Pedro de Macoris, a town near Santo Domingo.  The AFP reports that the organization Reporters without Borders states that journalists that investigate corruption and the drug business are often the victims of violent attacks.

Sports, Music, Politics and Talk Media.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison is joined in a free-wheeling dialogue by his long-time friend, New York City radio broadcaster Richard Neer as his guest on this week’s installment of the award-winning PodcastOne series “Up Close and Far Out.”  The two talk about the public’s and media’s obsession with Donald Trump, with an emphasis on the infiltration of sports and entertainment by political passions.  Richard Neer brings his diverse background as a legendary Big Apple music radio host (WNEW-FM), sports talker (WFAN) and best-selling author of the landmark book FM: The Rise and Fall of Rock Radio (Villard, 2001) to the discussion which focuses on the rapid morphing of the traditional left/right talk media paradigm into a more complex resistance/revolution chess game.  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Trump Campaign Russia Communications/Flynn Exit, Puzder Withdraws From Labor Secretary Nomination, Reince Preibus’ Status, Trump vs Intelligence Community, Fate of ObamaCare, and NBA-NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/15).  The controversy over the resignation of National Security Advisor Michael T. Flynn and questions about the depth of communications between the Donald Trump campaign and Russian agents; Labor Secretary nominee Andrew Puzder withdraws from consideration for the cabinet position; questions about the status of White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus after unconfirmed reports President Trump is unhappy with his work; the contentious relationship between Trump and the intelligence community; the fate of the Affordable Care Act after Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini told the Wall Street Journal the program is in a “death spiral”; and NBA and NHL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  The performer and host lineups have been announced for the March 5 iHeartRadio Music Awards taking place at the Forum in Los Angeles.  The evening will be hosted by Ryan Seacrest and will air live on TBS, TNT and truTV at 8:00 pm ET will be broadcast on iHeartMedia-owned stations nationwide, as well as on the iHeartRadio.  Performers will include: Katy Perry, Ed Sheeran, The Chainsmokers, Shawn Mendes, Thomas Rhett, Noah Cyrus and Big Sean, in addition to the previously announced Bruno Mars…..Entercom San Diego is expanding the platform for its culinary audio feature, “Lick the Plate,” which has been airing on alternative KBZT “FM94/9,” adult contemporary KXSN “Sunny 98.1,” and country KSON.  The David Boylan-hosted program will now be available in podcast format via the stations’ websites.  The radio stations will continue to promote the show via on-air teaser segments.  These changes take effect on February 27…..Radio programming for the 52nd Academy of Country Music Awards from Westwood One is being announced.  Westwood One and Cumulus Media are the official national radio partners for the ACM Awards.  There will be a three-hour ACM Nomination Special, hosted by Thomas Rhett, on March 25 from 9:00 pm to 12:00 midnight as part of “NASH Nights Live.”  The ACM Radio Row will take place on Friday, March 31 from 12:00 noon to 4:00 pm ET and Saturday, April 1 from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm ET.  Then, the five-hour ACM Night Of Event Coverage will happen on Sunday, April 2 from 7:00 pm to 12:00 midnight…..Beasley Media Group’s adult hits WBEN-FM, Philadelphia is announcing a new weekend program featuring Kathy Romano.  The show is titled, “Her Story,” and will air Sundays at 7:30 am.  Romano – who works for sister rock station WMMR as part of the “Preston & Steve” show – says, “I’m thrilled to be the host of ‘Her Story’ on 95.7 BEN FM!  This is giving me the opportunity for some girl talk that just doesn’t make sense on WMMR’s ‘Preston & Steve’ show.  There are so many amazing women with fascinating stories that we just don’t get to hear.  Every Sunday morning I’m going to bring listeners the great stories these dynamic women have to tell!”…..Radio One hip hop outlet WKYS, Washington announces that Danni Starr is joining “The Fam in The Morning” as co-host alongside QuickSilva.  Radio One DC SVP and general manager Jeff Wilson comments, “Danni is the full package.  She’s amazingly smart, well versed in music and community activism.  Danni is authentic and transparent about her struggles and victories.  That kind of energy and wit will serve our listeners well on-air, in social media and on the street.”  Starr has worked in radio for more than a decade and is the face of TLCme on the TLC network.

Midland Pays Valentine’s Day Visit to NASH Campus.  New country act and Big Machine recording group Midland is pictured here with “NASH Nights Live” co-hosts Elaina Smith (second from left) and Shawn Parr (second from right).

PPM Analysis: Country.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his analysis of the ratings performances of country-formatted stations based on Nielsen Audio’s Holiday 2016 PPM survey.  In this report, see charts detailing country stations’ (6+) numbers over the past six PPM surveys, fluctuations from December to the Holiday survey, comparisons to performances in the Holiday 2015 and Holiday 2016 surveys, station market ranks and more.  Click here for more.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

| February 7, 2017

CBS Radio Signs Jim Rome to Multi-Year Extension.  Sports talk personality Jim Rome and CBS Radio have come to terms on a new, multi-year deal.  Rome jumped from Premiere Networks back in January of 2013 to be one of the lead talents on the then-new CBS Sports Radio network.  CBS Radio EVP of programming Chris Oliviero says Rome was a key ingredient, “The Jim Rome show was the critical building block in the successful launch of CBS Sports Radio four years ago and brought immediate star power and credibility to the network.  We now look forward to writing the next chapter together in the storied history of Jim’s show, which has been and continues to be the standard by which all nationally syndicated sports shows are judged.”  As part of the deal, a one-hour highlight podcast of Rome’s show will continue to be available via CBS’ Play.it network.  He’ll also continue to anchor three editions of the early afternoon broadcast of the network’s flagship feature, the “CBS Sports Minute.”

Philly Sports Talker Signs with WIP-FM.  When Philadelphia sports talk radio personality Jon Marks exited Beasley’s crosstown WPEN-AM/FM after 10 years with the station last fall, there was speculation he would land at CBS Radio’s “SportsRadio 94WIP.”  Now, that’s a reality as Marks assumes the 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm air shift beginning this evening (2/7).  Additionally, Marks will anchor weekday Phillies pre-game and post-game coverage, provide content for CBSPhilly.com and contribute to WIP’s daytime lineup.  WIP-FM program director Spike Eskin comments, “Jon’s talent, relationship to Philadelphia sports fans, and history in the marketplace will be a huge addition to WIP.  We’re thrilled to have him aboard.”  Brian Haddad, who was hosting the evening show, remains with WIP-FM as creative services director.

SRN’s Hugh Hewitt Joins Washington Post as Columnist.  Conservative media figure Hugh Hewitt adds another gig – and media outlet – to his resume.  The Salem Radio Network talk host is signing on with The Washington Post as a regular opinion columnist.  In addition to his daily morning drive show on Salem Radio Network, Hewitt is a regular panelist on “Meet the Press,” is a contributor to NBC News, and teaches constitutional law at Chapman University Law School.  WaPo editorial page editor Fred Hiatt comments, “Hugh is one of the most influential and intelligent conservatives in political media, simultaneously thoughtful and provocative.  It’s essential to us that we offer readers a range of views, and we’re thrilled that Hugh has agreed to join our diverse team.”

KABC, Los Angeles Adds Tweeden to ‘McIntyre in the Morning’ Show.  Radio and television personality Leeann Tweeden was previously heard in the Los Angeles market at iHeartMedia’s sports talk KLAC “AM570 LA Sports” as one half of the “Roggin & Tweeden” show.  Now, she joins Cumulus Media’s news/talk KABC as news anchor for the “McIntyre in the Morning” show.  KABC operations director Drew Hayes states, “We are delighted to have Leeann sign on as the newest addition to the KABC on-air team.  She is not only a bright, high energy, and plugged-in broadcaster, she brings a broad reservoir of life experiences.  Leeann is a perfect fit for ‘McIntyre in the Morning’ and the big-personality lineup of News. Talk. Evolved. 790 KABC.”  Tweeden’s resume includes time spent as co-host of “UFC Tonight on FOX Sports” and FSN’s “The Best Damn Sports Show Period.”  Currently, she makes appearances presenting social and political commentary on FOX News’ “Hannity,” HLN’s “Dr. Drew,” and FOX News’ “Red Eye.”

Comrex to Unveil New Portable Audio IP Codec at NAB 2017.  This new portable audio IP codec is called the ACCESS NX, and it’s the latest version available from audio IP transmission leader Comrex.  This new unit (pictured at right), builds on the 10-year legacy of the ACCESS Portable.  However, this unit adds an audio channel, a larger touch screen, and a digital mixing stage.  The five-inch, capacitive touch screen doesn’t require a stylus, which simplifies set up and operation.  The ACCESS NX includes a dedicated stereo line input, in addition to a pair of XLR switchable audio inputs.  ACCESS NX is compatible with an ACCESS clip-on channel mixer (also pictured at right), a new accessory which adds four mic/line inputs and headphone outputs.  Comrex says that the new unit includes CrossLock, the company’s custom reliability layer that enables both powerful error correction and network bonding.  CrossLock intelligently monitors network connections and adjusts data allotment in real-time.  The features on the ACCESS NX include: Two USB jacks for 3G/4G and Wi-Fi connectivity, Ethernet port, and compatibility with POTS modem (sold separately); two stereo headphone outputs (¼” jacks) with individual controls; digital mixing and headphone busses; digital peak limiting; field-changeable internal lithium battery with built-in charger (5 hours of power); and serial data and four contact closures.   Comrex notes that the ACCESS has enabled broadcasters to transmit live programming from war zones, airplanes, bicycles, protests, and natural disasters – “its uniquely portable design has allowed for truly creative programming.”

TALKERS News Notes.  WRKO, Boston morning drive personality Doug “VB” Goudie has published a new historical book titled, ACK in Ashes: Nantucket’s Great Fire of 1846.  Goudie co-hosts the “Boston.com Morning Show” on the Entercom news/talk outlet with Kim Carrigan.  The book tells the story of the July 13, 1846 fire on the island of Nantucket and the challenges the whaling town faced rebuilding after the devastation…..iHeartMedia and partner Advertising Age launch their “Tagline” podcast with season one presenting sponsor Bulleit Frontier Whiskey on board.  iHM says, “As the presenting sponsor of “Tagline” season one, Bulleit Frontier Whiskey will work with AdAge and iHeartMedia to craft stories and experiences centered around the cultural frontier.  Bulleit and its family of high-rye, award-winning variants will provide inspired cocktails to ‘Tagline’ guests throughout the season and will work with award-winning mixologists to curate cocktails based on each episode’s discussion topic.  The premier episode features Jeff Bell, 2013 World Class American Bartender of the Year…..ABC News Radio is presenting a special series titled, “America’s Fentanyl Crisis,” in which senior justice correspondent Pierre Thomas reports on the crisis from New England, ground zero of the Fentanyl epidemic.  Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic pain killer that has become a popular street drug.  During this five-part investigation, Thomas goes inside a Drug Enforcement Administration drug lab, participates in law enforcement ride-alongs, and meets with survivors struggling to stay clean.

Travel Ban Court Battle, DeVos Education Secretary Nomination, O’Reilly vs Putin, Iran Missile Test, Melissa McCarthy’s Sean Spicer Spoof, and Patriots Win Super Bowl LI Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/6).  The looming court battle over President Donald Trump’s order stopping travel from seven predominantly Muslim nations; the slim margin of support for Michigan billionaire Betsy DeVos for Education Secretary; the Kremlin’s request for an apology from FOX News for Bill O’Reilly’s calling Vladimir Putin a killer; Iran’s bluster over its recent missile tests and the Trump Administration’s putting it “on notice”; the flap over Melissa McCarthy’s “SNL” performance as Press Secretary Sean Spicer; and the New England Patriots’ comeback win over the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  At country WUBL, Atlanta “94.9 The Bull,” iHeartMedia names Jeremy “Otis” Maher afternoon drive personality and music director.  Otis is psyched about his new gig.  He says, “I am so excited to join Brian Michel and the iHeartMedia team on one of the biggest country stations in the nation!  I can’t wait to bring a high-energy, ultra-interactive show to The Bull’s listeners.”  Most recently, Otis worked as the program director and afternoon host at Alpha Media’s CHR WDJX, Louisville “99.7 DJX.”…..In Colorado Springs, Aaron Zytle exits the program director and afternoon drive personality roles at Bahakel Communications’ KRXP “The Alternative RXP @ 103.9.”…..The weekly, San Diego market Bob Marley program “Brunch With Bob and Friends” is now being heard on alternative XETRA “91X.”  The show has been produced in San Diego for the past 13 years and launched on “91X’ on Sunday – what would have been Markey’s 72nd birthday.  The show (airing Sundays from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon) is hosted by “91X” morning personality Tommy Hough, who created the program in 2004…..CBS Radio CHR WBBM-FM, Chicago “B96” is presenting the “Lectric Leprechaun” EDM show on March 15 at the Aragon Ballroom.  The concert will feature Steve Aoki, Krewella, Cash Cash, and Grandtheft…..Beginning Thursday (2/9), Cumulus Media and Westwood One begin presenting an array of special programming, exclusive brand activations, and backstage performances in celebration of the 59th Annual GRAMMY Awards.  The Westwood One Backstage Live at the GRAMMYS weekend will include live performances from Columbia recording artist and multiple GRAMMY Award-winners Train, Republic recording artist Marian Hill, and Hollywood Records recording artist Ocean Park Standoff. The events take place at the Staples Center in Los Angeles Thursday from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm ET and Friday from 3:00 pm to 9:00 pm PT.  More than 25 radio stations and Westwood One’s nationally syndicated Zach Sang and Adam Bomb shows will be backstage to capture the action as it happens…..The annual Super Bowl-related battle between Dick Broadcasting air personalities got even crazier this year.  Each year WKZL, Greensboro personality (and operations manager) Jason Goodman, a.k.a. “The Littlest Patriot” and WKRR, Greensboro personality Chris Kelly (half of the syndicated “2 Guys Named Chris” program)  compete to see whose home will host the biggest and greatest Big Game party.  Both jocks spent a small fortune trying to outdo each other. (Check out the billboard Goodman rented to park outside the WKRR studios!)  Goodman’s party featured door prizes and Oscar-worthy gift bags, while Kelly invested heavily in a state-of-the-art, surround-sound system.  The goal: Win the contest by having more friends and co-workers over than your opponent, thus proving Party Superiority!  Goodman was declared winner by acclamation…..The WNNX, Atlanta morning show “Bailey and Southside” is running the “Sucks for Bucks” promotion all this month.  The contest is simple: When listeners hear a cast member – Jason Bailey, Southside Steve, Brandi Britain or Digi-Dude Nate – on the show sucking (as in performing poorly), they phone in and call them out on it.  If a majority of the cast agrees with the caller, the caller wins $100.  WNNX says it has allocated “thousands of dollars” for this month-long promotion.

‘REAL 92.3’ Los Angeles Promotes DJ Carisma to Music Director.  Los Angeles DJ and mixer DJ Carisma has been with iHeartMedia’s hip hop KRRL “REAL 92.3” since 2015, serving as live DJ/mixer in afternoon drive and as part of the Saturday night “Young California Radio” collaboration with DJ Amen and Dre Sinatra.  Now, she’s been upped to music director and mix show coordinator.  She says, “I feel like I was born to be a part of the radio world, and the ‘REAL 92.3’ brand is the perfect fit for me.  I’m proud of my radio industry track record, and my promotion to music director is mind blowing.  I can’t wait to continue to better serve this station and community by doing what I love.”

PPM Analysis: Hot AC.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of hot AC-formatted stations based on the Holiday 2016 PPM survey from Nielsen Audio.  In this report, you can see the (6+) ratings battles between in-market competitors, how stations compared to their performances in the December PPM survey, as well as how they performed compared to the Holiday 2015 PPM survey.  See it all here.

Friday, January 20, 2017

| January 20, 2017

Shocker: Dan Snyder’s WTEM, Washington Parts Ways with Andy Pollin.  Respected Washington, DC sports talk radio personality Andy Pollin was notified by management that his contract with WTEM, Washington “ESPN 980” – coming to an end next month – would not be renewed and that his Thursday afternoon edition ofpollinczaban “The Sports Reporters” with co-host Steve Czaban was his last.  Pollin had been on the air talking sports in DC for the past 25 years.  Czaban will go forward as solo host of the afternoon drive show.  The Washington Post’s Dan Steinberg covers the story and Pollin tells him, “I’m not in any way bitter about this.  I’m disappointed that it wouldn’t continue.  I thought Czabe and I were humming along there in our second run, but it didn’t happen. That’s life.”  Czaban tweeted that he is “gutted” by management’s decision.  He says, “Andy started this station 25 years ago, and he has done more and seen more than you can imagine in this business.  He hired me off a driving range in 1994, and I owe my entire career in sports radio to him from the opportunities that followed.”  Read Steinberg’s Post column here.

Mark Mason Returns to KEX, Portland for New Midday Talk Show.  Portland radio personality Mark Mason is returning after a three-year hiatus to iHeartMedia’s “News Radio 1190” KEX to host a new midday talk show, beginning Monday (1/23).  Mason co-hosted the “Mark & Dave” show with Dave Anderson on the stationmasonmark for 18 years.  Anderson lost his battle with pancreatic cancer last year.  Mason says, “After I lost my good friend and co-host Dave Anderson, my perspective on life changed and I wanted to return to the Portland kexcommunity that embraced me.  I’m excited to return to the KEX family and bring my 100% hate-free brand of talk radio back to Portland.”  KEX says the new 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm program will offer Mason’s “uplifting perspective on pop culture, national news, politics and currents events, as well as reports on local news, traffic and weather.”  KEX program director Cort Webber comments, “We are thrilled to have Mark back home at KEX where he belongs.  The place just hasn’t been the same without him.  We’re excited to kick off a new year and a new administration with a new show from an old friend.”  Mason continues to serve as the public address announcer for the Portland Trailblazers, a role he has held for the past 21 years.

Emmis Promotes Conner to Lead Network Indiana.  Longtime Emmis Terre Haute general manager James Conner is taking over the general manager role for the company’s Network Indiana, effective January 30.  Network Indiana is a statewide service providing news, sports and business programming to affiliated radioconnerjames stations.  Emmis Indianapolis senior vice president and general manager Chuck Williams states, “James will lead Network Indiana with a mission to continue our history of building meaningful value with our Network Indiana team and for our affiliates.  Network Indiana is a strong brand and an important ingredient in the success of our Emmis Indianapolis Radio Division. James will be focused on helping our team grow Network Indiana relationships, operations and of course, growing value for this historic Emmis Brand.”  The company says Conner has successfully managed the radio stations in Terre Haute the last 22 years, noting that the cluster has consistently accounted for more than 40% of the market revenue.

talkersten logoTrump Inauguration Top News/Talk Story for Week of January 16-20, 2017.  The Inauguration of the 45th President of the United States and the protests against Donald Trump tied for the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the last days of the Barack Obama presidency.  Coming in at #3 was the several cabinet confirmation hearings, followed by the Chelsea Manning commutation at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

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Covering the Trump Inauguration.  Pictured above are staffers from two of the radio networks covering the Inauguration of the 45th President of the United States in Washington DC today (1/20).  At left are (from left to right) Jeff Matzka, Salem Radio News chief engineer; Linda Kenyon, SRN U.S. Senate correspondent, and Greg Clugston, SRN News White House correspondent.  At right is Westwood One News correspondent Bob Costantini in position at Westwood One’s broadcast post overlooking the Inauguration at the West front of the Capitol.

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RadioInfo Web bannerBeasley Names Randy Bliss to Programming Role and Promotes Tap Money in Fayetteville.  At the Fayetteville, North Carolina cluster of Beasley Media Group, a new programmer comes aboard and another adds new PD duties.  First, Randy Bliss joins theblissrandy company as operations manager of the Fayetteville cluster, he takes on the program director role at adult contemporary WAZZ-AM/W232CI “Sunny 94.3,” and he’ll host the afternoon drive show on country WKML.  Market manager Erika Beasley comments, “Randy moneytapbrings his hands-on experience and success in a number of formats, which we welcome in Fayetteville.  From his extensive research skills to his ability to incorporate both sales and programming to ensure success, Randy has proven he is a tried-and-true radio pro!”  At the same time, hip hop WZFX “FOXY 99” program director Tap Money adds programming duties for sister rhythmic oldies WUKS “Old School 107.7 JAMZ” to his responsibilities.  Beasley EVP of programming Justin Chase states, “Beasley is an organization that enjoys promoting good people from within and it is especially exciting when it’s a rock star like Tap Money!  Tap is a radio hero who has lifted WZFX to an entirely new level in ratings and revenue.  We have no doubt he will improve our urban footprint in Fayetteville as he begins working with WUKS.”

Cassiday Proctor Joins 106.5 The Arch’s ‘Spencer’s Neighborhood’ Morning Show.  In St. Louis, radioproctorcassiday personality Cassiday Proctor becomes a cast member on the “Spencer’s Neighborhood” show at Hubbard Radio’s adult hits WARH “106.5 The Arch,” effective January 30.  Proctor was most recently with Entercom in Atlanta appearing on the WSTR “Star 94” morning program.  During her career she’s served with CBS RADIO in Charlotte where she also did television, hosting “The Edge” on WCCB-TV.  WARH program director Scott Roddy says, “Hubbard is known to be the platinum standard for live, local talent.  Cassiday is not only pure class, but hilariously fun and genuine – the perfect complement to Spencer’s and Brando’s humor.”

More Music Radio News and Career Moves.  The WMMS, Cleveland-based “Rover’s Morning Glory” show isroversmorningglory logo airing on iHeartMedia’s rock WBFX, Grand Rapids “101.3 The Brew,” effective Monday (1/23).  Shane “Rover” French comments, “We’re excited to be on ‘101.3 The Brew’ in Grand Rapids, a city that has more craft beer breweries than anywhere else on the planet.  It’s a perfect match since my staff has consumed more craft beer than any other radio show on the planet.”…..In Jacksonville, iHeartMedia debuts the new “Rumba, #1 Para Éxitos y Música Variada” simulcasting on translator W295AZ at 106.9 FM and the HD2 channel of country WQIK.  Rumba’s broadcasting a variety of Spanish tropical music…..Talk about dedication to the cause, in Peoria, WSWT PD and morning host Randy Rundle and WXCL afternoon personality Joe Greenwood spent 12 hours overnight in cardboard boxes in 25-degree weather to call attention to the homelessness problem in Peoria.  The “Gimme Shelter – A Night to End Homelessness” event took place last Friday and together the two jocks raised $2,675.  The event, as a whole, exceeded its goal of $50,000 – hitting the $63,000 mark.  Proceeds benefit the South Side Office of Concern and its efforts to provide permanent, supportive housing and to end homelessness in the community…..CBS RADIO Houston and BBVA Compass are teaming up to host “Live Bright Bash,” a free stadium party tomorrow (1/21) for city ambassadors and volunteers during Super Bowl week.  The event – intended to inspire the community to welcome visitors and encourage local volunteerism – will feature live music and speeches from city leaders and radio hosts.  wxrt logoRadio personalities from KILT-FM, KHMX-FM, KLOL-FM, and KILT-AM will be on hand to reinforce the “Live Bright” message…..CBS RADIO triple A WXRT, Chicago “93XRT” is presenting two nights with Los Lobos at the Tivoli Theatre on February 15 and 16.  XRT music director Kelly Ransford says, “Long-time XRT favorite Los Lobos is the ideal band for two nights of high-energy fun at the historic Tivoli Theatre in Aurora. Emerging from East LA in the early ‘80s, Los Lobos has become one of America’s greatest live rock ‘n’ roll bands and we couldn’t be more thrilled to host them for two special shows.”

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Laura Alaina Visits ‘NASH Nights Live.’ Stopping by the NASH Campus in Nashville on Thursday evening (1/19) was Mercury Nashville/19/Interscope Records artist Lauren Alaina (center) pictured here with “NASH Nights Live” co-hosts Shawn Parr (right) and Elaina Smith (left).  Alaina chatted about her new album, Road Less Traveled.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

| May 7, 2015

2015 NYC 150HEADS UP:  Talkers New York 2015 Is Nearing Sellout.  Based on the diminishing number of registrations still open and the rate at which they are being filled, Talkers New York 2015 – the 18th annual installment of the talk media’s longest-running and most important national convention — will be sold out sometime next week.  According to TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey, “We are gratified by the strong response this event is receiving and we clearly do not like to turn folks away – however, we must abide by New York City’s building codes, not to mention be sensitive to the comfort and safety of our attendees.”   Casey continues, “There will be no registrations sold after 5:00 pm EDT next Friday May 15, if not sooner.  That will be the absolute cut off point.”  The event will be located at the historic India House Club dramatically situated at One Hanover Square in the heart of Manhattan’s financial district.  It is an all-day event – 8:45 am to 6:15 pm.  Registrations, priced at $299 per person and only open to professionals currently or recently employed in media-related industries, include all sessions, presentations, exhibits and breakfast/lunch/refreshment/and social networking activities.  The heavyweight, non-stop agenda will include approximately 65 speakers and 500 attendees will be the allowed limit.  Registrations can only be taken over the phone and paid for by credit card.  They are not refundable or transferable.  For registration, sponsorship and hotel information, please call 413-565-5413.  To see the latest agenda, please click here.

emmis logoEmmis Reports for Fiscal Q4 and Full Year; Net Revenue Flat in Q4, Up 1.6% on the Year. Reporting on its past fiscal year, Emmis Communications Corporation states radio net revenue for the fourth fiscal quarter was $38.8 million, up from $32.3 million from the prior year, an increase of 20%.  On a pro forma basis, Emmis’ revenue reported to Miller Kaplan in the markets where Emmis competes (excluding barter and syndication revenue) were up 0.8% in markets down 2.5%.  For the full year, radio revenues were $176.3 million, compared to $145.3smulyanjeff million in the prior year, an increase of 21%.  On a pro forma basis, Emmis’ revenues reported to Miller Kaplan in the markets where Emmis competes (excluding barter and syndication revenue) were up 1.6% in markets down 3.7%.  Emmis likes to frame its revenue in the context of how it performed against the markets.  It goes on to say, “February marked the 15th consecutive month in which Emmis outperformed the markets in which it competes.  Every measured Emmis market outperformed for full year fiscal 2015.  Emmis stations in New York, Los Angeles and Austin all outperformed their markets in the fourth fiscal quarter.”  President and CEO Jeff Smulyan comments on the company and the NextRadio platform.  “Despite weakened markets and a challenged industry, Emmis once again outperformed.  The radio industry needs a catalyst for growth, and we are convinced we have it with NextRadio, the Emmis-developed free smartphone app that marries over-the-air local FM broadcasts with visual and interactive features.  The radio industry’s consumer awareness campaign for NextRadio has had remarkable results, further validating the promotional power of radio.  Consumers exposed to NextRadio overwhelmingly love it.  Average Time Spent Listening (ATSL) per session on NextRadio is nearly double traditional listening, all major radio companies are supporting the effort, and we are adding 350,000 activations each month.  The momentum is tremendous.”

townsquare logoTownsquare Media Q1 Net Revenue Up 2.5%.  That’s compared to the same period one year ago.  The company’s 2015 first quarter net revenue was $81,118,000.  The press release also notes Local Advertising net revenue was flat; Live Events net revenue increased 5.1%, and 59.7% excluding non-recurring festivals; and Other Media and Entertainment net revenue increased 29.%.  Townsquare Media chairman and CEO Steven Price states, “In the first quarter of 2015, we delivered net revenue growth of 6.5% excluding political revenue and non-recurring festivals.  We are pleased with our first quarter performance, in the face of challenges presented by harsh weather conditions which particularly affected our Northeastern markets.  These challenges impacted our Local Advertising segment and were offset by the strength in our Live Events segment and in Other Media and Entertainment.”

salemmediagroup logoSalem Media Group Flat for First Quarter of 2015.  As a whole, Salem Media Group reports flat net revenue – down 0.8% revenue of $61.9 million — for the first quarter of 2015 compared to the same period a year ago.  Breaking it down by sector, the broadcasting division saw net revenue dip 0.5% to $46.5 million from $46.8 million.  The digital sector also reversed course and dropped 4.6% on revenue of $10.8 million.  Publishing, on the other hand, rose 6.2% to $4.5 million from $4.3 million.

advantagesystems logoSchatz Back with Advantage Systems.  The sales consultancy firm Advantage Systems Inc. brings Jeffrey A. Schatz back into the fold as director of integrated sales.  Schatz comes to the company from Digity Companies where he was director of revenue development.  Prior to that he was vice president of total marketing solutions forschatzjeffrey Townsquare Media from 2009-14.  Schatz comments, “I am excited to be joining Advantage Systems Inc. again!  I’ve spent the last seven years helping broadcast companies generate revenue through integrated selling.  Advantage offers a variety of integrated sales platforms, which align perfectly with my experience in helping media companies maximize their sales efforts in broadcast, online, digital, and interactive.  These platforms will generate an annual revenue base for our media partners in their local markets.  I’ve also been involved with Musical Images and Custom Creative and am excited to be able to offer these services through Advantage Systems Creative to enhance local clients’ existing marketing efforts.  It’s the perfect marriage!”  Advantage president Mike Loconte says, “We are ecstatic to have a veteran like Jeff back on our team.  Jeff knows the challenges experienced by our media partners first hand.  He knows the ins and outs and he’s worn every hat, so he can relate to our clients in a very unique way.  His experience in traditional and digital sales along with his creative experience makes him the perfect fit for this position.”

Robert SanchezSanchez Adds WLZL OM Duties. WNEW-FM, Washington, D.C. program director Robert Sanchez takes on further responsibilities as operations manager of CBS Radio Spanish tropical sibling WLZL “El Zol 107.9 FM.” He succeeds Pete Manriquez, who was the program director of “El Zol.” Senior vice president and market manager Steve Swenson comments, “We have a lot of talented people at ‘El Zol’ who will work with Rob in taking the station to new heights. The experiences of everyone will be of great help to Rob as the team works together. Rob is a straight shooter, he knows CBS Radio, and he is a winner. I would like to thank Pete for his work as one of the executives on my team.” Sanchez remarks, “Pete did a great job in creating a radio station that sounds wonderful. He has been incredibly supportive of his programming staff and it has shown in what comes out of the speakers.” Ever since all-news WNEW-FM debuted in November 2011, Sanchez has been the station’s only PD. Among persons 6+ in Washington, D.C.’s latest Nielsen Audio PPM report (March 2015), WLZL (1.9) and WNEW-FM (1.7) finish at #19 and #20, respectively; meanwhile, Hubbard all-news WTOP (9.1) is the market’s (6+) pacesetter for the third successive survey.

wansleytyChicago News, Talk and Urban Radio Pro Ty Wansley Dead at 63.  A week after being admitted to a Chicago hospital suffering from congestive heart failure, Ty Wansley has died.  Wansley’s career in Chicago spanned more than three decades and included success in urban, news, and talk formats.  Wansley had been serving as the news and information director for iHeartMedia’s three urban outlets: hip hop WGCI, urban AC WVAZ and gospel WGRB.  He began his career in his native St. Louis.  He became news director at the old WBMX, Chicago, served as a talk host on urban talk outlet WVON and was famously paired up with former Chicago Alderman Ed Vrdolyak on news/talk WLS-AM in 1993 – a show that became a ratings smash.  That show continued its success on crosstown WJJD.

Baltimore Aftermath, Prophet Drawing Contest Attack, Clinton Family Foundation Scrutiny, Tsarnaev Penalty Phase, Gay Marriage SCOTUS Case, Obama Trade Deal, Amnesty Issue, and Patriots Deflategate Report Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/6).  The political repercussions of the Freddie Gray death in Baltimore; controversy over the Garland, Texas prophet-drawing contest that was attacked by purported ISIS sympathizers; the ongoing scrutiny of the Clinton Family Foundation operations; the penalty phase of Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev; the case of four states with anti-gay marriage laws that went before the Supreme Court; President Obama’s foreign trade deal; the controversy over amnesty for illegal aliens in the U.S.; and the NFL’s report on the Patriots’ deflation of game balls were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

| October 2, 2014

cbsradio logoCBS RADIO-Beasley Station Swap Announced.  It’s sort of close to some of the rumors that had been moving through the industry about CBS RADIO and Beasley Broadcasting Group swapping Florida and Philly stations.  Here’s what the companies are announcing:  Beasley will take ownership of: sports talk WIP-AM, Philadelphia; in the Tampa market it gets sports talk duo WHFS-AM and WHFS-FM, hip hop WLLD, country WQYK, classic hits WRBQ, and Spanish WYUU-FM; in the Charlotte market it acquires urban contemporary WBAV, sports talk duo WBCN-AM and WFNZ-AM, AC WKQC, CHR WNKS, hip hop WPEG, and country WSOC-FM.  In exchange, CBS RADIO will take ownership of five stations.  They are the three Miami market signals: hip hop WPOW, country WKIS and sports talk WQAM; and Philadelphia outlets country WXTU, and hip hop WRDW.  Despite CBS RADIO’s major market tradition, this move will give it its first Miami holdings.  CBSbeasley logo long RADIO president and CEO Dan Mason states, “This transaction reinforces our strategy to concentrate on large-market properties.  We already have television duopolies in both Philadelphia and Miami, so these new stations will be a terrific complement to our existing local broadcasting portfolio, and a welcome addition to the overall CBS family.”  BBG chairman and CEO George Beasley says, “Throughout Beasley Broadcast Group’s 53-year history, we have actively managed our station portfolio with the goal of serving the local communities where we operate, diversifying our operations, managing risk and improving financial results.  The asset exchange agreement with CBS RADIO addresses all of these strategic objectives as, upon completion, we will expand our station base by nine stations and add completed clusters in Tampa and Charlotte which complement our already strong mid-Atlantic presence.  Furthermore, the transaction is also consistent with our long-term strategy to operate leading clusters in large- and mid-size markets.” These are straight-up swaps — no cash involved — and, obviously, are pending FCC approval.

redskins logoCan the FCC Really Outlaw ‘Redskins?’ TALKERS magazine legal editor attorney Steven J.J. Weisman writes today in response to the hoopla surrounding both the petition to deny the license renewal of one of Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder’s sports talkweismansteven stations, but also public comments by FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler that he is sympathetic to the movement to change the football team’s nickname.  As TALKERS readers are probably aware, three of the FCC commissioners have come out against use of the term during broadcasts and that’s led to the conclusion – drawn largely by the consumer media – that the agency will make the term illegal.  Is this possible?  See Steven Weisman’s column on this matter here.

mohrjayFox Sports Radio Network Renews Jay Mohr.  Comedian and actor Jay Mohr began his sports talk radio show on Fox Sports Radio Network in January of 2013.  Now, the network reports the two sides have signed a new “long-term agreement” to keep him part of its syndication efforts.  FSRN and iHeartMedia say the show is currently heard on more than 150 affiliate stations.  About the new deal, Mohr comments, “I’m so happy to be on the air with FOX Sports Radio and iHeartMedia for years to come.  I have always been a huge sports fan, and obviously, I have a difficult time keeping my mouth shut.  Now, for three hours a day, in upwards of 150 cities, it’s actually my job.  This is a dream come true for me.  The old cliché is true — ‘Pick a job you like…’  I love this job and hope to have many more multi-year deals after this one!”

halldonnaNew Market Managers for CMG in Atlanta, San Antonio and Tulsa.  There are three new market leaders for Cox Media Group to announce today.  In Atlanta, former Cox Media group VP Donna Hall is named VP and general manager.  She’s been with Cox since 1987.  Ben Reed moves from the Atlanta VP/GM post to the same position at the San Antonio station group.  And Dan Lawrie jumps from the San Antonio cluster to CMG’s Tulsa properties to serve as VP/GM.  CMG EVP of radio Kim Guthrie states, “We are thrilled that we can tap such phenomenal internal talent across Cox for these important leadership positions.  Ben, Dan and Donna are proven leaders who know how to build strategic, award-winning teams.”

westwood one NEWWestwood One to Rep Sports USA Media.  More football to sell for Westwood One as it and Sports USA Media announce an agreement for the former to rep the latter’ssportsusa Sunday NFL games beginning with the 2015 season.  Both Westwood One and Sports USA Media currently broadcast an NFL doubleheader every Sunday afternoon during the regular season.  Sports USA founder and CEO Larry Kahn states, “We are thrilled to partner with Westwood One and with the NFL.  We have worked with them in various capacities over the years, and they are the gold standard when it comes to the NFL.”

wdnc logoWDNC, Raleigh-Durham Adds Translator to Multi-Cast.  With the addition of translator W246CG at 96.5 FM (licensed to Durham), Capitol Broadcasting’s sports talker WDNC “620 The Buzz” is now available to listeners on four signals.  Back in April, the company added the station’s signal to W257CS at 99.3 FM (licensed to Morrisville near Raleigh).  It is also heard on WCMC-FM’s HD2 channel at 99.9 FM.  Company OM and PD for sports programming Dennis Glasgow states, “Capitol Broadcasting is working to ensure that our Raleigh-Durham listeners have the best opportunity to tune into our outstanding sports talk programming, along with Duke football and basketball on FM.  In this fast-changing radio landscape, we’re looking for every advantage to grow our listenership for the Triangle sports fan.  I think we’ve accomplished that with the addition of these two translators in Raleigh-Durham.”

kilmeadebrianKilmeade on Remote from Texas.  Today (10/2), Fox News Radio personality Brian Kilmeade is broadcasting his “Kilmeade and Friends” radio show from Irving, Texas, site of the 2014 Warrior Open golf tournament.  As part of the broadcast, Kilmeade will interview former President George W. Bush.  The radio show will emanate from the Las Colinas Country Club and some of the guests in addition to President Bush will include: General Peter Pace, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; General Peter Chiarelli, former Vice Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army; and wounded warrior Luis Avilar, who has the honor of doing the ceremonial first hit.  The Warrior Open is a competitive 36-hole golf tournament, including an 18-hole Pro-Am.  The event honors U.S service members who serve and sacrifice to defend the United States of America and heralds the many effective organizations that give their time, talents and resources to support men and women of our military.

nielsen logoRound Three of September PPM Data Released.  The third of four rounds of September 2014 PPM data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Portland, Charlotte, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, San Antonio, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Kansas City, Orlando, and Columbus.  The survey period was August 14 through September 10.  TALKERS magazine’s sister publication RadioInfo has all of the numbers from subscribing stations here.  In addition, managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his “Ten Takeaways” from this batch of ratings on the main page at RadioInfo.com here.

Odds & Sods.  Joining the growing Cross Platform Media Group, is Russ Jones who is named SVP of news operations for the IRN/USA Radio Network and director of news and public relations for Cross Platform Media.  Jones is co-founder of Christian News Service, a news release distribution and content creation firm and publisher of ChristianPress.com. Both entities are now under the CPM umbrella of companies…..CBS RADIO Washington makes staffing changes and out is promotions coordinator Cain McCoy.  He’d worked with sports talk WJFK-FM and all-news WNEW-FM.

U.S. ISIS Strikes/Intelligence Debate, U.S. Ebola Case/Pandemic Fears, Secret Service Controversy, Jimmy Carter CNBC Interview, Immigration/Amnesty Issues, Hong Kong Protests, Financial Markets Activities, Washington Redskins Name Flap Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/1).  U.S. military strikes on ISIS and discussion about the quality of intelligence information the administration is receiving; the first documented U.S. Ebola case and questions about how a Dallas hospital handled it; the controversy over the effectiveness of the Secret Service after a man got all the way to the East Wing before being apprehended; reflections of President Jimmy Carter as he celebrates his 90th birthday; the immigration legislation and Barack Obama-promised amnesty issues; continuing protests by pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong; the activities on the world’s financial markets; and the ongoing flap over the Washington Redskins’ name were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

| December 11, 2012

Holland Cooke: Start Your Own Media Station.  Noted radio consultant and TALKERS columnist Holland Cooke says getting laid off during this year’s pre-Christmas industry bloodbath, though painful and scary, might not be the worst thing that can happen to enterprising broadcasters.  In a boldly worded opinion piece, the forward-thinking programming advisor connects numerous dots and cites fascinating examples painting a positive picture of just how much opportunity now exists in the digital world for radio people daring enough to go “stickless.”  He points to a number of telling signs in the changes in our culture – such as Larry King’s new online show being listed in a larger font on the USA Today television listings page than his former home, CNN.   Cooke writes, “Anyone who uses Twitter online can click-to-listen.  Those who Tweet on smartphones or iPad simply touch-to-listen.  Voila!  You’re in-the-pocket, where AM/FM radio used to be.” Read his piece here.

Rumors of Format Change at WTKK, Boston Rampant.  The Boston media is all over the rumors that Greater Media will flip the news/talk station to a different, music-based format in the near future.  The local media picked up on domain name registrations such as 969BostonsBeat.com, 969TheBeat.com, and Power969.com.  The Boston Herald speculates the change is coming because “’toxic’ all-talk formats aren’t attracting enough younger listeners.”  Greater Media spokesperson Heidi Raphael states, “We deal in a business of attitudes and being responsive to the preferences of our audiences and the needs of our advertisers and communities.  We are continually exploring our options, looking for ways to improve our product and brands.  No decisions have been made on any changes to the format.”  Radio operators register domain names that go unused frequently so the actions by Greater Media don’t necessarily mean a change is coming but it certainly means the company is considering it.

Dave Ramsey Changes Affiliates in Home Town of Nashville; Jumps from WWTN to Sports WPRT.  The nationally syndicated Dave Ramsey show will move to Cromwell Radio Group’s sports talk WPRT “102.5 FM The Game” beginning January 1.  Ramsey’s program has aired on Cumulus Media’s WWTN, Nashville since the program debuted in the early 1990s.  Ramsey states, “After 20 years on WWTN it is very difficult to leave.  Unfortunately, we couldn’t come to terms with Cumulus on a simple renewal agreement.  There are a lot of great people at WWTN and we’ll miss them.  But we’re excited to have the opportunity to work with an independent radio station owner the caliber of Bud Walters.”  It appears as though the move is being precipitated by Cumulus’ desire to give its own talk programs more exposure – in this case, giving Mike Huckabee a full three hours on WWTN.  The new schedule at WWTN puts Huckabee on live from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm and allows Phil Valentine a 3:00 pm start to his PM drive show.  At the same time, Cumulus announces its newly acquired Michael Savage will air live from 10:00 pm to 1:00 am.  Cumulus Nashville market manager Mike Carpenter states, “We believe in the Mike Huckabee show and anticipate that this change will accelerate the governor’s popularity in Nashville.  Mike is a man of such character that we feel our clients will appreciate the opportunity to make him a key part of their marketing plans.  His on-air interest in music expands our talk repertoire and will play extremely well in a city where the music industry is the number three employer.  As for Savage, we assure you that a large number of our listeners will be happy to learn that their pleas have been heard and that Michael Savage is back on in Nashville.”

FCC Approves Transfer of WFAN-FM, New York to CBS Radio.  The $75 million deal that sends Merlin Media’s former WRXP, New York to CBS Radio as WFAN-FM, New York is approved by the Federal Communications Commission.  The station changed its call letters to WFAN-FM and CBS began operating it under an LMA on November 1 simulcasting sports talk WFAN-AM on the signal.

More on Changes at XEPRS, San Diego.  Yesterday, TALKERS reported sports talk XEPRS, San Diego “XX1090” let morning hosts Dave Palet and Jeff Dotseth go.  But now we’ve learned more as midday hosts Josh Rosenberg and Charod Williams have also been let go.  Lee “Hacksaw” Hamilton is now on mornings and the San Diego Union-Tribune is reporting that former morning hosts Scott Kaplan and Billy Ray Smith will return to the station in AM drive soon and Darren Smith will move to the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm slot.  Kaplan and B.R. (Smith), who were fired after Kaplan made disparaging comments about a female sportscaster, have been hosting the San Diego Union-Tribune’s online TV morning show and, according to the report, would continue in that role.

Dave Wheaton Exits WOWO-AM/FM, Fort Wayne.  As tipped by Indiana Radio Watch’s Blaine Thompson, news director Dave Wheaton leaves his position at Federated Media’s WOWO-AM/FM, Fort Wayne to take the assignment editor post at Granite Broadcasting’s WPTA-TV, Fort Wayne (channel 21) and WISE-TV, Fort Wayne (channel 33).

Envision Radio Network Names Paul Harris “America Weekend” Host.  Talk radio pro Paul Harris is named the host of the new “America Weekend” program from Envision Radio Networks.  Executive producer Kipper KcGee says, “I’m thrilled to be working with Paul again.  We will be announcing the remainder of the ‘America Weekend’ lineup in coming weeks, and look forward to demonstrating that news/talk radio can enjoy weekend ratings and revenues!”  McGee worked with Harris in St. Louis and at WLS, Chicago.  Harris states, “I’m excited about launching ‘America Weekend’ to give both affiliates and listeners something more compelling, with great stories, interesting interviews, and my own perspective on what’s happening.”

Clear Channel Donates WDTW, Detroit to the Minority Media and Communications Council.  Clear Channel Media and Entertainment is donating progressive talk outlet WDTW, Detroit – a 5,000-watt Class B signal – to the MMTC under the Clear Channel-MMTC Ownership Diversity Initiative.  Clear Channel CEO and chairman John Hogan states, “We applaud MMTC for creating a program that helps minority broadcasters develop the skills and experience necessary to become successful broadcasters.  We’re pleased that the donation of these resources will give the opportunity for enthusiastic new entrepreneurs to own and operate their own radio station.”

Main Street Radio Network Launches New Weekly Program.  “The RichLife Show” with host Beau Henderson is a weekly one-hour program that, according to syndicator Main Street Radio Network, is “a fast-paced hour with a BIG mission to help listeners live healthy, wealthy, fulfilled lives on purpose by combining a highly engaging mix of education, entertainment, inspiration, and motivation.  The format of the show is financial Q&A, discussion around listeners’ biggest questions and concerns, and relevant expert interviews.”  Henderson is a senior financial advisor, Master Certified Success Coach, and Certified Master Behavioral Analyst and author of the book, The RichLife – Ten Investments For True Wealth.  Main Street president Jane Silk says, “We know ‘The RichLife Show’ will be a great addition to our current shows and our rapidly growing radio network.  Beau Henderson is a caring, honest person who truly has the listener’s best interest in mind.  Beau will cover a variety of topics such as all aspects of living rich: money, health, meaningful relationships, and living a fulfilled life of purpose.  Beau and RichLife advisors have built an online community through a weekly newsletter and social media that now exceeds 35,000 committed to living their definition of a RichLife.”

KGO, San Francisco Partners with Good News in Oakland for News Feature.  Cumulus Media San Francisco news/talker KGO announces a partnership with internet media outlet Good News in Oakland to create a feature that “will highlight a person or organization in Oakland that has made a difference in creating a positive image for the East Bay’s largest city.”  Good News in Oakland is described as an “internet-based renewable psychological socially responsible environmentally focused media outlet.”  Stories will be produced by KGO reporter Tihanna McCleese and Good News in Oakland founder Sean Kennedy.  KGO program director Paul Hosley states, “We’re thrilled to enter into this partnership with Good News in Oakland. This collaboration will give KGO listeners an opportunity to hear about the positive side of the city…stories that have not been told before.”  Features will air at 6:46 am, 1:46 pm, and 5:46 pm on Mondays and Wednesdays.

WNYM, New York Begins Picture Caption Contest for Lunch with Sliwa & Lichtman.  Salem Communications-owned WNYM, New York’s PM drive team of Curtis Sliwa and Jeffrey Lichtman are enjoying their new street-level studio with the giant display window at the Hotel Pennsylvania on 7th Avenue.  The station and hotel management say they are getting such a buzz from New Yorkers about the setup that they’re beginning a photo caption contest to capitalize on the publicity.  WNYM is asking fans to take a picture of Sliwa and Lichtman broadcasting, give it a caption and post it via Twitter or Instagram or send it to the station via email.  First prize is lunch with Sliwa and Lichtman.  Other prizes include Broadway show tix, restaurant deals and more.  WNYM general manager Sean O’Neill states, “The iconic Hotel Pennsylvania with Curtis Sliwa and Jeffrey Lichtman broadcasting live in the hub of midtown Manhattan is an extraordinary opportunity to personalize the radio experience in the digital age.  Hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers walk through this block daily and now have the opportunity to connect face to face with their favorite radio personalities.”

Quentin Tarantino Entertains Live Audience at SiriusXM.  As part of the “Town Hall Series” on SiriusXM, noted filmmaker Quentin Tarantino (l) was interviewed by Village Voice film critic Scott Foundas (r) before an intimate, live studio audience.  Tarantino, who also took questions from the crowd, discussed his new film “Django Unchained” and told stories about his career as a film director.  Photo Credit: Kevin Mazur / WireImage for SiriusXM.

ESPN Radio Broadcasts 24 College Bowl Games.  The college football bowl season will bring plenty of play-by-play to ESPN Radio affiliates as the sports media giant announces plans to broadcast 24 bowl games.  Beginning with the Gildan New Mexico Bowl on December 15 and wrapping up with the National Championship game between Notre Dame and Alabama in Miami on January 7, ESPN Radio’s coverage will span 16 days.  David Norrie and Bill Rosinski will call five of the games beginning with the S.D. County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl on December 20.  Additionally, both the “Mike & Mike in the Morning” and “SVP & Russillo” programs will originate from South Florida on Monday and Tuesday, January 7 and 8.

Lotus Communications’ ‘SuperGol’ Soccer Show Scores Affiliates.  The Spanish-language soccer show “SuperGol” recently snagged its 25th affiliate for the one-hour program targeted to younger Hispanic men.  The show airs live from 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm PT and is hosted by Halim Zadat and Erika Garza.  The show is produced by Lotus’ KWKW, Los Angeles and station president James Kalmenson says, “The young US-born Latino is a growing segment of the sports audience that’s responding extremely well to the program.  Latinos of all generations are avid soccer fans, making the soccer-themed talk show an ideal platform for younger audiences while maintaining the traditional sports target of men 25-54.”

Gow Broadcasting Acquires Sports Flash Radio Network.  The service that specializes in sports updates is acquired by Gow Communications, the company that is operating Yahoo! Sports Radio.  Gow announces at the same time that its affiliate base has grown to more than 360 stations.  David Gow states, “We are really pleased with the ongoing expansion of our affiliate base.  The acquisition of the Sports Flash Radio Network extends our reach to both sports-format and non-sports-format stations.  And the additions of new shows we have introduced over the past year have enabled us to achieve industry-leading growth.”

‘Fiscal Cliff’ Battle, Looming ObamaCare Costs, Michigan Right-to-Work Bill Controversy, Hillary in 2016, and Aussie DJ Prank Fallout Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/10).  The GOP versus Obama fight in Washington over avoiding the “fiscal cliff”; the costs associated with ObamaCare that will begin to take effect in 2013; the battle in Michigan over the union-busting right-to-work bill; the proposition Hillary Clinton will run for president in 2016; and the fallout after the Australian DJ prank call to Kate Middleton’s hospital in London were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.