Tag: "Hot Talk"

Thursday, January 16, 2014

| January 16, 2014

cclogoTerrible News:  Clear Channel Managers Slashing Another 5%.  Numerous reliable sources throughout the radio industry are saying Clear Channel Media + Entertainment market managers are under the gun to find another 5% of their budgets they can trim to come into compliance with the corporate dictate.  What was rumored just a week or so ago appears to be true and as positions at CC-owned stations are eliminated over the coming weeks and months we’ll see what departments are going to feel it the most.  Regular readers of TALKERS are aware of the on-air positions that have been cut and industry watchers say some of the most obvious solutions in the programming departments at stations are: double-duty for talk hosts (two shows per day), voice tracking multiple dayparts for jocks, and the importation of national shows such as Bobby Bones for country outlets and Elvis Duran for CHR stations, which greatly reduces the money spent on morning shows.

bubbaBubba the (Country) Love Sponge?  No name change is impending but Florida-based hot talk star Bubba the Love Sponge is reporting success as morning show host at Asterisk Communication’s country duo WTRS-FM, Dunnellon and WYGC, High Springs “My Country” in the Ocala and Gainesville markets, respectively.  Bubba reports he’s thankful to station management for taking a chance on his show on a country outlet.  His Bubba Radio Network reports “WTRS-FM moved from 12th to 4th place with Men age 25-54, an all-time high for the station.  Bubba was very excited and thankful that women have taken to his program so well.  ‘You ladies get what’s hot and new and we love you for that.’  The Bubba the Love Sponge syndicated morning show also proudly reports it currently ranks top three Men 25-54 and top five Persons 25-54 in all markets it currently airs.  Bubba expresses interest in working with additional program directors to bring his program to country and urban format stations.”

callahanthomSCBA Reports 6.3% Revenue Surge in December.  The latest figures from Miller Kaplan Arase are giving the Southern California Broadcasters Association reason to cheer and the organization announces the Los Angeles radio market “enjoyed a robust 6.3% growth rate for the month of December 2013.”  SCBA president Thom Callahan states, “December was a great month for our region as we were finally out from under the political comps from 2012 and the market flexed its true revenue muscles as only Southern California Radio can.  All key revenue segments posted impressive gains: local and national spot combined was up 3.6%; digital posted an impressive 20.7% gain; and NTR/network was up 19.6%.”  For the 12 months ending December 2013, total market revenue growth was 1%, according to Miller Kaplan Arase.  Callahan says he’s more optimistic about the region than the 1% hike indicates.  “In our view, our real growth rate for 2013 was 4.4%, when factoring out 2012’s huge political revenue of $20.5 million.  It’s more than fair to deduct those comps, which are never a true indicator of market growth or the health of our business.  Political revenue on a YTD basis is not an apples to apples comparison.  As any station will tell you, it’s impossible to replace $20.5 million in 12 months, yet these incomplete YTD revenue comparisons continue.  These lopsided revenue reports help feed the misguided narrative that radio is a legacy medium, and nothing, I repeat nothing, is further from the truth.”

nymrad logoNew York Market Boasts 6% Revenue Hike in 2013; 5% in December.  On the Right Coast, the New York Market Radio Association reports that not only was its December up – 5.3% for all revenue – the year was way up over 2012 notching a 6% increase in total revenue.  The NYMRAD says for the month of December 2013, total revenues, including total spot, digital, and network/NTR/other, were up 5.3%.  For the 12 months ending December 2013, market growth was up across all sectors: +5.6% for local spot, +5.1% for national spot, +5.5% for total spot and +6.0% for grand total market revenue.  NYMRAD executive director Debbie Beagan comments, “New York radio is healthy, vibrant, and strong.  Advertisers and their agencies are investing in our medium and utilizing radio’s audio, online, mobile, and social platforms to reach engaged and loyal listeners.  The robust revenue results for the 2013 and December position the market well as we head into 2014.”

sabowalterSabo:  HD Radio Is Going to Explode.  In a new opinion column posted today (1/16) in TALKERS, noted consultant Walter Sabo makes eight predictions pertaining to the radio industry for 2014.  They include his prognostication that it will be a good year for HD based on iBiquity’s claim of 16 million automobile installs, stating “HD is radio’s best real estate grab for the connected dash.”  He also comments on the immediate future of websites and social media as well as the difference between corporate debt and personal debt.  To read Sabo’s entire piece, please click here.

bergensamCreative Advisory Council Scholarship Winner Announced.  The Berlin School of Creative Leadership and Clear Channel Media + Entertainment are announcing Sam Bergen, SVP and creative director of Deutsch Inc., is the winner of the Berlin School’s “Clear Channel Scholarship for Leadership in Audio Innovation” program.  Bergen will receive a full-tuition scholarship (worth 53,000 Euro) to attend the Berlin School’s prestigious Global Executive MBA in Creative Leadership Program starting in March of this year.  The Berlin School and Clear Channel’s recently formed Creative Advisory Council (CAC), featuring advertising thought leaders who focus on the development of innovative approaches to the audio and out-of-home media landscape, reviewed over 40 entrants from more than 20 countries around the world, based on their professional and academic profile, as well as their response to a special essay question about innovative audio strategies.  Berlin School of Creative Leadership founding president Michael Conrad states, “We are pleased to welcome Sam Bergen into our Executive MBA program.  Focused on leading radio and audio commerce to the forefront of media thinking, the Berlin School-Clear Channel scholarship drew an amazing amount of high-quality applications from around the world.  We were extremely impressed by the caliber of applications as well as the many compliments applicants had of our young school.  We thank Clear Channel for this exciting and collaborative opportunity.”  CC’s Bob Pittman adds, “Driving education and awareness on the value audio advertising offers is a key initiative for us.  We are proud to work with the Berlin School and our new Creative Council to award this scholarship to the audio industry’s next creative innovator.  Sam Bergen distinguished himself among a very elite group of applicants and I am confident that with his continued development at the Berlin School, Sam will be a trailblazer on the media landscape for both audio and out-of-home.”

radioioDigital Pure Play Radioio Takes RDIO Stock Ticker in Post-Merger Organization.  The digital music service Radioio – operated by Radioio Inc. – is being traded under the new stock ticker RDIO on the OTC market.  The merger resulted in the company’s name being changed from ioWorldMedia, Incorporated to Radioio, Inc.  In a statement, the company’s board of directors says it believes that the name change is consistent with the direction of the company. President and CEO Zach McAdoo says, “Radioio is a marquee name and brand of great distinction.”  He added that RDIO is a fitting ticker symbol for the company’s new name.

14mirrorawardsDeadline for Newhouse School’s ’14 Mirror Awards is February 14.  The Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University’s ’14 Mirror Awards is accepting entries through February 14.  The Mirror Awards competition for “media covering media” – established in 2006 by the Newhouse School – “honor the reporters, editors and teams of writers who ‘hold a mirror to their own industry’ for the public’s benefit.  They are the most important awards for recognizing excellence in media industry reporting.”  The competition is open to anyone who conducts reporting, commentary or criticism of the media industries in a format intended for a mass audience.  Eligible work includes print, broadcast and online editorial content focusing on the development or distribution of news and entertainment.  All entries must have been published or broadcast between January 1 and December 31, 2013.  Entries are evaluated based on three criteria: Excellence of craft; framing of the issue; and appropriateness for the intended audience. Winners are chosen by a group of journalists and journalism educators.  An awards ceremony will be held in June 2014 in New York City.  For more information, click here.

russochrisChris “Mad Dog” Russo to Host History of New York NFL Championship Games Special.  For those who are critical of the NFL’s decision to locate the Super Bowl in chilly New York (okay, New Jersey) this year, some may not be aware that this will not be the first championship that ever took place in the New York area.  SiriusXM’s Chris “Mad Dog” Russo will host “Deep Freeze: A History of NFL Championship Games in New York,” a special broadcast to air first on Tuesday, January 21 with encore airings to follow.  Special guests on the program will include NFL greats Frank Gifford, Paul Hornung, Jerry Kramer, Raymond Berry, plus more.  The three-hour special will focus in-depth on four of the most memorable championships in NFL history – played in 1934, 1956, 1958 and 1962.

Obama Executive Order Threat, Chris Christie Scandal, ObamaCare Criticism, GOP IRS Investigation Push, New Mexico School Shooting/Indiana Grocery Slayings, and ‘Duck Dynasty’ Returns Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/15).  The statement from President Obama about using executive orders to accomplish his administration’s goals; the aftermath of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s lane closure scandal; criticism of the implementation of the Affordable Care Act; the effort by GOP members of Congress to investigate the process by which the IRS is being scrutinized for allegedly targeting conservative organizations; the school shooting in New Mexico and the double murder at a grocery store in Indiana; and the debut of the new season of “Duck Dynasty” were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, October 28, 2013

| October 28, 2013

brokawtomClear Channel and Tom Brokaw Partner on Daily Features.  The three-times-daily feature is being called “An American Story” and will feature a wide range of topics — from newsworthy current events to historic figures to notable moments in history — which impact the lives of Americans today.   Tom Schurr, president of major markets for Clear Channel, says, “There are few public figures as respected as Tom Brokaw, one of the most trusted journalists in America.  We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to bring his insights and perspectives to our listeners across the country.”   Brokaw adds, “I am grateful to Clear Channel for the opportunity to offer observations on the dynamic changes in America as well as the lessons from our past.  Radio is where I began and it’s good to add it once again to my television duties.”

salespanelThe State of Radio Advertising and Sales.  Fresh from the recent Talkers Los Angeles 2013 conference in Hollywood (10/10), the video of “The State of Radio Advertising and Sales” panel moderated by RAB CEO/president Erica Farber is now posted (10/28) on TalkersTV.  The panelists participating in this comprehensive discussion about the ongoing challenges of generating revenue for radio broadcasting operations include (from l-r):  Terry Fahy, VP/GM, Salem, Los Angeles; Chris Pendl, creative director, Bonneville SeattleRon Hartenbaum, CEO, WYD/WYM Media; Bob Moore, president, Sports USA Media; and Paul Vandenburgh, president/GM/host, WGDJ, Albany.  Erica Farber (far right) is introduced by TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison.  To see this exclusive presentation in its entirety, please see the box marked TalkersTV on the upper right hand column of this page.

whptbillboardCox Media Group’s Hot Talk ‘The Bone’ Buys ‘Fire Schiano’ Billboard.  NFL fans in Tampa Bay are not happy with the Buccaneers’ 0-7 record and neither is local hot talk station WHPT “The Bone.”  The station bought a billboard in town that simply says, “Fire Schiano” – referencing the team’s coach Greg Schiano – and has the station’s logo in the bottom right corner.  Program director Michael Sharkey tells ESPN.com, “Our listeners have voiced their opinion that they are tired of a team that, on paper, should have a winning record.  This billboard isn’t a message to the Buccaneers as much as it is a message to our listeners that we are right there with them.”  Photo by Brett McMurphy.

scbagroupBest in SoCal Radio Creative Recognized.  The Southern California Broadcasters Association and its General Sales Managers Council honored the Southern California Ford Dealers, AIS Insurance, In-N-Out Burger, and Cedars-Sinai with its annual Outstanding Achievement in Radio Awards Luncheon on Thursday, October 24, at the Sheraton Universal Hotel in Universal City.  The awards – voted on by the GSM Council – represent the very best in creative radio commercials using both Southern California’s radio and digital platforms.  The event was highlighted by the special appearance of Mayor Eric Garcetti who recognized the “enormous contribution that local Radio makes to the Los Angeles region” and personally congratulated each SCBA award winner.  SCBA president Thom Callahan states, “This SCBA awards luncheon was a huge success for Southern California radio.  We had a complete sell out, recognized great Southern California advertisers, and presented a special lifetime achievement award for Cal Worthington, a southern California auto dealer icon.”  Pictured here are: (seated left to right) Nick Worthington, Worthington Ford; Dennis Shannon, FDAASC chairman, Citrus Motors; Kevin Roberts, FDAASC vice president, Lake Elsinore Ford; (standing): Miles Sexton, president, Point Broadcasting; Mark Casas, SVP/sales, AIS Insurance; Greg Ashlock, president/market manager Clear Channel Los Angeles; Michelle Guzman, director of marketing, In-N-Out Burger; Amber Perry, GSM council chair & GSM, KRTH; Jaime Jimenez, SVP/general manager, Univision Radio; Mark Ribisi, president/CEO, AIS Insurance; Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti; Dan Kearney, SVP/market manager, CBS Radio; Thom Callahan, president, SCBA; Marko Radlovic, president/general manager, Cumulus Los Angeles; Val Maki, vice president, Emmis Radio/KPWR.

hewitthughOdds & Sods.  Salem Radio Network nationally syndicated talk host Hugh Hewitt appeared at a luncheon debate event sponsored by O&O WHK, Cleveland dubbed, “Constitution Under Fire” at a local restaurant.  The program included a debate between Hewitt and noted civil rights attorney Avery Friedman.  Topics discussed included the Affordable Care Act, presidential overreach and the interpretation of the Constitution…..CBS Radio’s WIP-AM, Philadelphia “CBS Sports Radio” agrees with St. Joseph’s University to serve as the flagship station for the school’s men’s basketball play-by-play for the 2013-14 season.  In addition to airing games, the station will again serve as the host for Phil Martelli‘s “HawkTalk” radio show which will air live on Monday evenings from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm and will be held again at J.D. McGillicuddys in Havertown and consist of a call-in format with Martelli and host Joe Lunardi…..Entercom’s WEEI, Boston continues its coverage of the Boston Red Sox-St. Louis Cardinals World Series as today’s sports talk programs are emanating from St. Louis.  After the Dennis & Callahan morning show, the midday Mut & Merloni program airs followed by an extended edition of Salk & Holley beginning at 2:00 pm and leading into the pre-game show with Dave O’Brien and Joe Castiglione and the first pitch of Game 5 at 8:07 pm.

wachsfrenchmaidBusy Fundraising Weekend for Dr. Daliah Wachs.  Nationally syndicated talk show host (and practicing physician) Dr. Daliah Wachs – pictured here in her French maid Halloween costume – is very involved in fundraising for causes in which she believes and this was a busy weekend for her.  First, on Friday (10/25), Dr. Wachs appeared with Las Vegas radio personality Al B Sure at the “Dressed to Thrill” masquerade ball at Michael Jackson’s “Thriller Villa” to benefit the Shine Foundation that assists homeless veterans.  Then on Saturday, Dr. Wachs attended the Monster Mash Car Bash that benefits F.A.S.T. (Finding Autistic Solutions for Tomorrow).

robinhoodrelliefRobin Hood Sandy Relief Fund Drive Takes Place Tomorrow at CC’s New York Stations.  On Tuesday, October 29, Clear Channel’s New York City stations are urging listeners to continue assisting those recovering from last year’s devastating effects of Hurricane Sandy by texting STORM to 50555 to give $10 to the Robin Hood Sandy Relief Fund.  Clear Channel says that in addition to co-producing last year’s 12-12-12 benefit concert, it is continuing “to assist in the relief work in the coming months, or even years, until all of the impacted communities are on the road to recovery.”   The stations are also asking listeners to share their Sandy hero stories with the hashtag #SandyHero to share how those around them managed the storm, and helped others along the way.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

| August 21, 2012

Gow Communications to Pay $5.17 Million for KFNC, Houston.  The sale of sports talk outlet KFNC, Houston to Gow and Educational Media Foundation that was announced in the spring is coming close to the finish line as David Gow and company should begin LMAing the station Cumulus put into bankruptcy protection as early as September 1.  The station – positioned as ESPN 97.7 – is expected to continue to broadcast ESPN programming at least for a while.  Gow also operates crosstown sports talk KGOW and Yahoo! Sports Radio and there have been some changes there with Travis Rodgers moving to the early afternoon slot on both KGOW and the national network.  KGOW is preparing to debut Adam Clanton and John Wessling in the afternoon drive slot, according to David Barron of the Houston Chronicle.  Clanton currently works for KPRC-TV but will wrap up his role with the station this weekend.  As for the Yahoo! Sports Radio network, a new PM drive show is being developed and will be announced soon.  The network’s Craig Shemon returns to weekends from the midday slot.

Heidi and Frank Return to the Terrestrial Airwaves in Los Angeles.  Cumulus Media names Heidi Hamilton and Frank Kramer the new morning show on KLOS, Los Angeles, taking over for Mark & Brian beginning September 4.  Brian Phelps surprised the industry last week announcing he would also be leaving the Cumulus classic rocker at the same time Mark Thompson would, although Thompson made his decision to retire public earlier this summer.  Cumulus COO John Dickey told TALKERS over the weekend that Brian Phelps was “part of a large consideration pool” of candidates for the new morning program.  In announcing “The Heidi and Frank Show,” Dickey states, “After a long and thoughtful search which overwhelmed us with great, established talent and new talent waiting to be discovered both in and out of radio, I couldn’t be more pleased with the selection of ‘The Heidi and Frank Show’ to continue on the tradition that Mark and Brian set in place with 25 years of Hall of Fame radio.”  Hamilton and Kramer have been producing an internet radio show since CBS Radio shut down hot talk KLSX, Los Angeles in a format flip.  The Frosty, Heidi and Frank program (with Frosty Stillwell) aired there successfully for years.  They also worked at KABC after the demise of KLSX.  Prior to the KLSX era Hamilton and Kramer hosted the morning show at crosstown Hot AC KYSR.   On the new gig, Heidi Hamilton states, “KLOS is rock.  KLOS is the definitive iconic rock radio station in the world.  It’s one of those stations that evokes a feel good emotion while you’re driving in your car.  I’m beyond honored that Frank Kramer and I have been invited to become a part of something so legendary!  The ‘Heidi and Frank Show’ fans are second to NONE and I know they will be with us on this long fun ride together.”  Frank Kramer comments, “If it would have been any other station than KLOS, I would have said no.  We have a huge following across the world and only a station as large and iconic as KLOS could lure us back to radio.  To be given this opportunity is an honor and a privilege.  With the continued support from my partner, Heidi Hamilton, and the fans that never left us, and the fans waiting for us to return, the next 25 years are going to be one hell of a ride.”

The Battle for Control over Sirius XM Continues and the Momentum Seems to be Shifting in Favor of John Malone’s Liberty Media.  Yes, what seemed like an odd story just a matter of months ago has developed into a high stakes big business drama.  John Malone and Liberty Media, the company that rescued the merged satellite radio company from burning up in the atmosphere back in 2009 by gobbling up 40% ownership at what has turned out to be a super good deal for them has asked the FCC for approval to take outright control of Sirius XM Radio, noting it plans to raise its stake in the satellite radio company above 50%. The request follows disclosure earlier this week that Liberty, SiriusXM’s largest shareholder, was inching up its collection of shares in Sirius from approximately 46.2% to an aggressively postured 48%.  In last week’s filing, Liberty said it will “have purchased sufficient shares of Sirius’s common stock and will convert its preferred shares such that the transfer of control will be completed within 60 days of commission consent.”  Raising its stake above 50% and being granted FCC approval to take absolute control opens the way for Liberty to replace Sirius management and spin its Sirius stake off to Liberty shareholders. But would replacing Sirius XM CEO Mel Karmazin be a wise move?  Probably not.  Although coldly brash and hard-nosed as they come, Karmazin is an extremely effective radio broadcast executive and business strategist who has done a world class job of getting Sirius XM to its present state of health.  Reports from inside Liberty indicate that John Malone recognizes that and is giving “Mel” wiggle room to back pedal off his earlier blurts that he wouldn’t work for anyone else.  There is a huge lesson here for wannabe broadcast industry moguls (and there sure are a lot of them out there):  When you turn to venture capitalists and outside big money investors to save your ass, they will likely wind up owning it.

In Search of the Effective Commercial.  There’s a trend away from humorous commercials in radio, according to H-and-H Communications president Al Herskovitz.  Research indicates Madison Avenue is questioning the effectiveness of funny ads and, as it applies to talk radio advertising, Herskovitz writes that the “recognizable spokesperson” – read, the talk show host – is much more effective.  But there are still problems there that need to be solved.  Read Al Herskovitz’s piece here.

Courtside Entertainment’s “Loveline” Clears Tampa Market.  Cox Media’s FM hot talker WHPT, Tampa – The Bone – adds Courtside Entertainment Group’s “Loveline” featuring Dr. Drew Pinsky, Mike Catherwood and Simone Bienne for the 1:00 am to 3:00 am slot.  “Loveline” becomes part of Cox’s young male-targeted talk outlet that features Bubba the Love Sponge in morning drive and Cowhead in PM drive.

Odds & Sods.  Hubbard Radio’s WTOP, Washington hosts a special “school” edition of its “Ask the…” program today at 10:00 am.  Mark Seagraves serves as moderator for the commercial-free hour featuring a Q&A session with superintendents and school board officials from Montgomery County, Prince George’s County, Fairfax County and the District of Columbia…..Entercom’s New England sports talk juggernaut WEEI produces the 11th Annual WEEI/NESN Jimmy Fund Radio Telethon beginning today and running through tomorrow.  The fundraising extravaganza takes place live from Fenway Park from 6:00 am to 12:00 midnight both days.  Last year the event raised more than $3.3 million for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute…..Nationally syndicated radio host Phil Grande of the “Phil’s Gang” program will broadcast his show live from the Republican National Convention in Tampa next week with broadcasts starting at 3:00 pm ET.  Grande will have special guests Donald Trump, Florida Governor Rick Scott and Sarasota Republican Chairman Joe Gruters plus many other guests.  In addition, he will have up to the minute news, updates and of course his own commentary.  The 2012 Republican National Convention is being held at the Tampa Bay Times Forum August 27-30, 2012.

CBS Radio News Announces Convention Coverage.  Dial Global and CBS Radio News will deliver coverage from the two national conventions – the Republican National Convention in Tampa August 27 through 30 and the Democratic National Convention September 4 through 6.  Coverage plans include anchored coverage, updates, special reports, special features, and one-on-one interviews with correspondents, pundits and political experts.  CBS Radio News states it will “provide expert reporting and analysis, featuring an experienced lineup of respected and award-winning correspondents and commentators, including Howard Arenstein, Pam Coulter, Peter King, Dan Raviv, Peter Maer, Andrew Mollenbeck, Brian Montopoli and Professors Dotty Lynch and Leonard Steinhorn.


Los Angeles Radio Personality Paul Crosswhite Passes Away.
  Southern California newsman and DJ Paul Crosswhite died on August 17 after a long illness.  Crosswhite served as a news person at both KFI and KNX-FM during his career.  He also was an evening and morning drive host at KTWV, Los Angeles – The Wave – for 10 years.  According to LARadio.com’s Don Barrett, “Crosswhite did news during most of his tenure in Southern California radio and has received Golden Mike Awards for documentary, feature and best newscast.  He did news during the glory years of KNX-FM.  During the Gulf War, he won the Associated Press Award for best newscast.  When he moved to “the Wave,” he gave up news to become a DJ, originally in the evenings and, later, mornings after the female morning drive team collapsed.”

Romney-Ryan Team, Obama Medicare Cuts, Facebook Stock Plummets and Syria Violence Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/20).  The Mitt Romney-Paul Ryan ticket hitting the campaign trail full-swing; President Obama’s cuts to Medicare; the sagging stock price of Facebook; and the ongoing violence in Syria were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

| April 12, 2012

Cox Media Group Goes Hot Talk in Tampa on “The Bone.”  The rock music stops on Cox Media Group’s WHPT-FM, Tampa – The Bone – on Monday, April 23 as the company builds a hot talk station around morning drive star Bubba the Love Sponge and PM drive personality Cowhead.  Cox will add the DirecTV-produced Nick DiPaolo and Artie Lange show for late nights and is considering programs for middays and early evenings.  Cox Tampa VP/market manager Keith Lawless says, “‘The Bone’ dominates the morning and afternoon drive talk shows and has room to grow in the midday and evening classic rock shows.  Evolving this station into an all-talk station is an obvious move.  Bubba plays no music and is clearly the market’s leader in mornings.  Filling in the other dayparts with compelling talk and removing all music from the already successful Cowhead show will make ‘The Bone’ dominant with men and adults all day long.”

KNBR, San Francisco Parts Company with Ralph Barbieri After 28 Years.  Ralph Barbieri – the Razor – has been a part of sports talk on KNBR, San Francisco since 1984 but he’s been let go by Cumulus Media as the result of a “management decision,” according to the San Jose Mercury News.  Barbieri’s co-host Tom Tolbert – Mr. T – continues as solo host of the PM drive show.  Barbieri wrote for Sport magazine before joining KNBR in 1984 and became one of the pillars upon which KNBR was built.  Last fall, Barbieri revealed to the San Francisco Chronicle that he’d been diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease in 2005 and that he disclosed the diagnosis to Cumulus as the two sides began negotiating a contract renewal.  Barbieri said he believed it was only fair to Cumulus.  He also reported that CEO Lew Dickey told him the company wanted him back.  Barbieri wrote to the Mercury News stating: “…All I can say is that I’m weighing my options, which are considerable.  I’ll have more to say later on.  For now, I just want to say that I’ve seen a couple of articles that have characterized this as an amicable parting.  Well, that’s not exactly the case.  I came to work (Tuesday) morning with no idea that anything of this nature was afoot, especially since my contract does not expire until November 1.  I was immediately told that the general manager wanted to see me.  I went to his office and the program director was there as well.  I was told that I was being terminated and that April 10, was to be my last day at KNBR.”

All-News WBBM Top Biller in Chicago in 2011.  Time Out Chicago’s Robert Feder reports data from BIA/Kelsey that indicates all-news has been good for CBS Radio in the Windy City.  The most recent quarterly “Investing in Radio Market Report” from BIA/Kelsey ranks the top five radio billers in Chicago and ranks WBBM – with its recent FM simulcast addition – at the top with $48 million in billing in 2011 (an increase from $42.5 million in 2010).  Hubbard Broadcasting’s AC WTMX-FM is in second place followed by Tribune’s news/talk WGN in third ($35.5 million).  Univision’s Regional Mexican WOJO-FM comes in fourth and CBS Radio’s country WUSN-FM is in fifth place.

Tribune’s WGN, Chicago Jumps on Board iHeartRadio.  Stating that the new platform provides listeners with greater access to WGN, station VP/general manager Tom Langmyer announces Tribune Company’s news/talk WGN will be heard on Clear Channel’s iHeartRadio digital platform.  “This additional platform provides even greater access to WGN, and exposes new listeners to one of America’s premier personality-based talk, news and sports stations.”  Clear Channel Digital president Brian LeKamp says, “Adding a station like WGN to iHeartRadio further delivers on our mission to be wherever our listeners are with the products and services they expect, expanding our ability to offer our users an even more diverse and exciting listening experience.  As one of the top stations in Chicago, WGN features news, information, entertainment and sports and is an excellent addition to our platform.”

Jorge Sedano Leaves Post as AM Drive Host at WAXY, Miami.  South Florida sports talk host Jorge Sedano tweets to his fans that he’s left Lincoln Financial Media’s sports talk WAXY, Miami’s morning drive show:  “After four great yrs at 790 THE TICKET I’ve decided 2 move on effective immediately.  W/ all the new projects I’m working on its just too hard 2 do it all.  I want to thank all wonderful people I worked with in my time there.  Also, thank you the audience for some great radio.  Without you guys, I wouldn’t be in this great position to make this move.  I’m looking forward to the next chapter & hoping u all come along.  Thanks again for all your support.  You have no idea what it means to me. All the best. Love JORGE.”  Chatter in the sports talk world is that Sedano, who has previously worked at Fox Sports Radio Network, is developing a show to air on the new CBS Sports Network – possibly as a lead in to Jim Rome’s new show on the cable channel.  For now, Brandon Guzio is hosting the morning show at WAXY.

Salem Communications Partners with TuneIn.  Camarillo, California-based Salem Communications is the latest broadcaster to partner with internet audio company TuneIn to broadcast its stations via the web.  Salem makes its almost 100 radio properties available to listeners everywhere via the service.  Salem Radio president David Santrella says in a statement, “Through our partnership with TuneIn, we have expanded the number of access points to our content.  We have made it easier for our current listeners to access our programming from wherever they are and have opened up our broadcasts to new audiences.  Overnight we’ve expanded our footprint in digital and have gained a suite of first-of-their-kind analysis tools from TuneIn that help us further tailor programming to our listeners everywhere.”

Arbitron CFO Richard Surratt to Leave the Company.  A press release from Arbitron headquarters in Columbia, Maryland says Richard Surratt is leaving his role at the ratings giant for personal reasons and that EVP/COO Sean Creamer will take over the CFO role when Surratt’s exit takes place in May.  Meanwhile, the company has hired Crist Kolder Associates to search for a new CFO.

2012 Presidential Race, Charges Filed Against George Zimmerman, Obama Care Status, Tepid U.S. Jobs Creation and European Economic Tensions Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/11).  Mitt Romney’s apparent capturing of the GOP nomination and the 2012 presidential campaign, second degree murder charges filed against George Zimmerman in the death of Trayvon Martin, the legal status of President Obama’s Patient Accessibility and Affordable Care Act, meager job growth in the U.S. and economic tensions in the Euro zone were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Bonneville Seattle Gets Behind Fisher House Campaign.  Bonneville Seattle – which includes news/talk KIRO-FM, talk KTTH, and sports talk KIRO – is supporting a campaign to upgrade the Fisher House at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Tacoma, Washington.  The current house – which provides lodging for the families of American service personnel recovering from treatment after being wounded in the line of duty –  has been in use since 1992 and there is a need for a larger facility.  Bonneville VP/market manager Carl Gardner states, “Healing our wounded warriors and caring for their families is a mission all of us in the Pacific Northwest want to join.  At Bonneville, we’re excited to pull together our community of friends and bring this new Fisher House to life, to give something back to the soldiers and their families who have given us so much over these past ten years.”  Pictured here are Bonneville Seattle staffers and military personnel from the base.