Tag: "Howard B. Price"

Monday, July 2, 2018

| July 2, 2018

Price: Who Else Must Die?  Business continuity expert Howard B. Price writes about the importance of security at media outlet offices in the aftermath of the deadly attack on the Annapolis, Maryland newspaper Capital Gazette.  “This is not the time for the media to cower in fear.  This is the time for action.  This is the time to stop talking about this issue of violence perpetrated against members of the media – and start DOING SOMETHING…The work we do every day – and the toxic environment in which we do it now – exposes print and broadcast journalists, crews and support staff to unspeakable risks that would have been unheard of just a few short years ago, except in war zones and riots.  Yet, most often the response within our industry is – crickets.  Or a series of lame excuses.  Or an unending game of kick the can into the next budget cycle.  Or the next.  Or the next.”  Read what Price has to say about developing a security and safety plan here.

Iowa Sports Media Pro Larry Cotlar Dies in Des Moines Flash Flood.  Central Iowa sports radio personality Larry Cotlar died on Saturday (6/30) after being swept away by flash flood waters in Des Moines.  The 65-year-old broadcaster had been the voice of Drake University men’s basketball for the past 12 seasons and was currently hosting a weekly sports talk show on Saga Communications’ KRNT, Des Moines “1350 ESPN.”  According to WHO-TV, Cotlar’s van became stalled in high waters.  Cotlar and unnamed occupants left the van but Cotlar was swept away.  His body was found several hours later a couple of blocks from the van.  Cotlar started his sports radio career on WHO-AM in 1981.  He’s also served at Des Moines stations KXNO and KBGG in addition to producing and co-hosting the “Out of Bounds” show on KCCI-TV.  Saga issued the following statement: “All of us at 1350 ESPN and the Des Moines Radio Group are devastated by the loss of our voice, our colleague, and our friend, Larry Cotlar… today, our thoughts are with his wife, Deb and their son, Zach. There is absolutely no replacing Larry.  He will be thought of fondly and missed greatly by his family, friends, and his extended families in the sports and broadcasting communities.”

WCCO, Minneapolis’ John Hines to Retire at Summer’s End. Minneapolis-St. Paul news/talk station WCCO-AM announces that late morning talk show host John Hines is retiring from his position at the end of the summer (though he will continue to do part-time fill-in work for the station).  He’s been with WCCO since 2012.  He released a statement saying, “I am thankful to the many listeners who have supported me over the years and to WCCO in allowing me the opportunity to extend my career these past years.  I am also pleased that WCCO has invited me to stay on in a part-time/fill in capacity.”  During his career in the Twin Cities, he’s worked at WWTC, KSTP-AM, WLOL-AM, and KSTP-TV, among others.

Mike Valenti Signs New Deal with WXYT-FM, Detroit. Motor City sports talk personality Mike Valenti signs a new, long-term deal with Entercom sports talker WXYT-FM “97.1 The Ticket” to continue as host of the 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm program.  Valenti is a native New Yorker who made his way to Michigan to study at Michigan State and began his radio career as a producer in the Lansing market.  Prior to joining WXYT-FM in 2007, he was co-host of “The Sports Inferno” on WXYT-AM. Entercom Detroit SVP and market manager Debbie Kenyon says, “Mike is an extraordinary talent who has a great rapport with Detroit sports fans.  He has built a dedicated listener base and we’re thrilled to have him on the 97.1 team for years to come.”

Ex-“stream”-ly Enlightening Net ResultsTALKERS magazine editor Mike Kinosian takes a look at how stations’ streams add to their (6+) ratings, based on data from Nielsen Audio’s PPM surveys.  Kinosian notes that during the most recent survey, “Among all formats throughout the entire 48 PPM markets, there are only 34 instances of a station’s online ‘stream’ appearing in print during the May 2018 sweep.”  See which stations are getting credit for streaming listening and how it affects their overall ratings in Kinosian’s report here.

TALKERS Continues Posting Videos Today of the Recent TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! Convention – Today’s Post:  Special Presentation by WFAN, New York, Afternoon Drive Mega-Star, Mike Francesa.  Today (7/2), TALKERS magazine continues posting individual events from the recent TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! convention held in New York City on June 8.  Each business day, another session will be posted in the order that they originally took place.  Today’s sixth installment features the special presentation by WFAN personality Mike Francesa titled “Sports Talk’s Role in Media and Popular Culture” with an introduction by author and former radio producer Bernadette Duncan.   Videos already posted include:  Salem SVP Phil Boyce’s address titled “What Has Donald Trump Done to Talk Radio?”  Last week’s posts also include the Fireside Chat between TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison and Beasley Media Group CEO Caroline Beasley including Harrison’s presentation of the 2018 “Woman of the Year” award to Beasley; Harrison’s Fireside Chat with FOX News Radio/FOX News Channel mega-star Brian Kilmeade with an introduction by Westwood One syndicated host Walter Sterling and special remarks by Sean Hannity; opening remarks by the convention’s co-emcees, TalkersRadio GM, David Bernstein and Good Day Networks/DJV Show CEO/host, Doug Stephan; KGO, San Francisco host, Ethan Bearman delivering the event’s welcoming remarks and Pioneer Valley Radio GM/host, Brad Shepard introduction of Bearman.  Also posted: the presentation of the Gene Burns Memorial Award for Freedom of Speech (“Freedom of Speech Award”) by TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian to SiriusXM Satellite Radio host, book publisher, Hunter College professor, and former New York Daily News/Pulitzer prize-winning journalist, Karen Hunter.  To view the page, please click here.

Talk Host Phil Valentine and Book Publisher Question Google’s Ad Rejection.  As regular TALKERS readers are probably aware, Nashville-based, nationally syndicated talk host Phil Valentine is an author and filmmaker in addition to his radio work.  He just published his latest novel, a spy-thriller titled, Barbican: A Sterling McQueen Spy Story, and publisher Oxley Durchville created a 30-second video ad to promote the book and submitted it to Google Adworks.  They were surprised when the ad was rejected for “dangerous and derogatory content.” They’ve reached out to Google for further explanation but have not yet heard back.  You can see the ad here.  Oxley Durchville and Valentine are concerned the rejection has nothing to do with the ad but with Valentine being a conservative talk host.  After viewing the ad, the consensus among TALKERS editors is that a rushed and harried censor probably noted the tone of the ad, saw the phrase “politically incorrect” connected with the book cover’s swastika image, and arrived at this conclusion. Time will tell if the two parties can resolve this issue.

Giordano Hosts Eagles QB Nick Foles at Speaker Series.  Pictured above is WPHT, Philadelphia talk show host Dom Giordano (left) chatting with Philadelphia Eagles QB – and Super Bowl LII MVP – Nick Foles (right).  The interview was a special installment of the station’s “Speakers Series.”  Foles talked about his new book, Believe It: My Journey of Success, Failure and Overcoming the Odds (2018, Tyndale Momentum).  WPHT says listeners who attended the live event made it the largest audience to date for the series.

Veteran Talk Show Host Mike Siegel Broadcasts from the Free Iran 2018 Rally in Paris.  Longtime radio talk show host and author Mike Siegel brought his microphone to Paris where he conducted numerous interviews on the site of yesterday’s (7/1) Free Iran 2018 rally.  The rally is an annual call for a democratic Iran and included hundreds of dignitaries from around the world joining tens of thousands of Iranians supporting the ousting of the nation’s authoritarian regime.  Pictured is Siegel (right) interviewing former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani (left) who was one of the many speakers at the event.

TALKERS News Notes. The weekend “Hugh Hewitt Show” on MSNBC has aired its last episode.  During Saturday’s program – which was a “best-of” format – Hewitt announced the end of the show that began a year ago.  He offered no reason, but Mediaite’s coverage of the story notes that the weekend edition of “FOX & Friends” on FOX News Channel topped Hewitt’s program in the ratings.  The Salem Radio Network-syndicated radio personality did say he will remain with MSNBC as a contributor and a guest on “Meet the Press.”…..The nationally syndicated “Free Talk Live” program adds new affiliates.  The Saturday night edition of the show is airing on Entercom’s WRKO, Boston.  Other new stations include: KYCA-AM/FM, Prescott, Arizona; and WRKQ-AM, Madisonville, Tennessee.  “Free Talk Live” is heard on 190 affiliate stations…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that journalist, author, and radio personality Amy Guth is named executive director of the Midwest Independent Film Festival. Guth is a weekend personality on Tribune’s news/talk WGN.

Air Personality and Programmer Richard “Box” Bachschmidt Dead After Suicide. Radio programming and on-air pro Richard “Box” Bachschmidt has died after apparently committing suicide in Charleston, South Carolina.  Most recently, he’d been hosting an Internet morning program.  He left his gig with LM Communications where he was hosting AM drive on triple A WCOO, Charleston “The Bridge” in February.  During his career he’d also served with iHeartMedia as host and PD at news/talk WSC, Charleston and APD at Cumulus’ WTN-FM, Nashville.

Saturday Immigration Policy Protest Rallies/Abolish ICE Movement, Open Supreme Court Seat, Iran Sanctions/Regime Change, New Canada Tariffs/Trade War Concerns, North Korea Nuclear Program, Lopez Obrador Wins Mexican Presidency, LeBron James Signs with Lakers, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. Saturday’s “Keep Families Together” rallies and the related movement to abolish the Immigration and Customs Enforcement bureau; the open Supreme Court Justice seat; President Trump’s call for renewed sanctions in Iran and Rudy Giuliani’s statement that the Trump wants Iranian regime change; Canada puts tariffs on more American goods and concerns about the effects of a global trade war; new intelligence suggesting North Korea is expanding its nuclear missile program; leftist Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador wins the Mexican presidency; LeBron James’ new deal with the Los Angeles Lakers; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Radio Hall of Famer Wolfman Jack is back on the air as Envision Networks begins offering digitally remastered programs.  The classic radio show is available as a five-hour weekly show and contains Wolfman’s comedy bits, funny phone calls, crazy characters, celebrity interviews, and great music from the 60s and 70s. Wolfman Jack Licensing executive producer Jay Harvey says, “We are delighted to be working with Danno and his team at Envision Networks.  The world famous Wolfman Jack Radio Show is back and sounding better than ever.”…..Country air personality Roxanne Steele exits Entercom’s WYCD, Detroit.  The company has scrubbed her info from that station website and Steele posted the following message, “I’m back from vacation but on a permanent vacation from WYCD.  I’m still having a hard time processing that I no longer wake up and go to a job I absolutely loved. This is like a bad dream that doesn’t seem real even though I’ve been through this before.”…..Anaheim Broadcasting’s rock KCAL, Riverside-San Bernardino is saying adios to longtime personality Kelli Cluque who is joining Cal State Bernardino to serve as operations manager for the school’s Coyote Radio station.

Who Else Must Die Before We Act?

| July 2, 2018

By Howard B. Price

 

NEW YORK — And now, it’s official.  The June 28 heinous and violent shooting at the Annapolis, Maryland Capital Gazette was not random.

The gunman, identified by authorities as Jarrod W. Ramos, 38, of Laurel, Maryland, went to the Capital Gazette newsroom – with the specific intention to kill people working in the Capital Gazette newsroom, reportedly in response to the court’s tossing out a defamation claim he’d made against the newspaper.

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Protect Your People, Protect Your Brand

| May 29, 2018

By Howard B. Price

 

NEW YORK — The broadcast industry was shaken this week by the deaths of a WYFF-TV, Greenville, SC news crew, crushed when a tree fell on their SUV while they were covering the effects of Subtropical Storm Alberto.  Rescuers found anchor/reporter Mike McCormick and videographer Aaron Smeltzer Monday afternoon — in their vehicle, its engine running, and its transmission in drive. According to The New York Times, the WYFF team had been driving on a North Carolina road that had been reopened just a week ago, after mud and debris had been removed following earlier floods.

News managers have two key daily missions: Aggressively, accurately and fairly enterprise news coverage that matters to their audience…and then bring their troops home safely at the end of the day.  Whenever a crew is dispatched, reporters or producers are sent into harm’s way, or a when a helicopter or drone is launched – the silent prayer whispered back in the newsroom is: “Please, God, bring them back.”

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Tuesday, May 29, 2018

| May 29, 2018

Swenson Out at Entercom Washington; Phil Zachary to Assume Market Manager Role. According to several consumer media reports (including the Philadelphia Business Journal) Entercom Hartford SVP and market manager Phil Zachary is leaving the cluster to assume the same role at the company’s Washington, DC operations.  The company has not commented publicly about the change, but the report indicates Zachary will take over the position from Steve Swenson.  Zachary moved to the Hartford cluster from the market manager position at Entercom’s Boston operations just after the CBS RADIO deal closed last November.  His duties also included oversight of the Providence and Springfield, Massachusetts markets.

Radio Station Imaging Master and Syndicated Show Host, Nick Michaels Dies.  Holland Cooke Pens Tribute.  One of the radio industry’s most influential voice over artists and musical curators, Nick Michaels, reportedly died of a sudden heart attack in his Pinecrest (Miami), Florida home on Friday (5/25).  Michaels was the host, writer and producer of the long-running, American Voice Corporation syndicated classic rock show, “The Deep End,” heard on music stations across the nation and the imaging voice of numerous major/medium market news/talk and all-news stations.  He was known for his rich tone and thoughtful – almost poetic – approach to copy that made him one of the most distinguished performers in the radio business.  Michaels’ media career began in advertising in his native Canada where success brought him to New York City in the late 1970s.  He appeared as the voice in many major national radio and television spots for a variety of major products and television programs.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison and Nick Michaels joined forces five years ago as Michael & Michaels co-producing a Memorial Day one-time special, “The Classic Rock Summer of ’13 Kick-Off” – a two-hour countdown of the most popular summer songs from the AOR era.  Harrison says, “The industry has lost a legend and I have lost a friend.  Nick was a one-of-a-kind talent and a passionate proponent of everything good about the kind of radio we grew up with and love.”  Media consultant, RT America TV host and special TALKERS correspondent Holland Cooke, a very close friend of Michaels, penned a tribute to the late broadcaster.  To read it, please click here.  In July of 2015, Nick Michaels appeared as a guest on the PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  To listen to a  clip from that conversation, please click here.

WQTX, Lansing Sports Talk Host Suing Fellow Michigan Personality.  What sounds like a feud between two sports talk hosts that goes back a few years is now a lawsuit in the state of Michigan.  According to the Lansing State Journal, WQTX, Lansing sports talk host Ryan Schuiling is suing WBBL, Grand Rapids-based sports talker Bill Simonson and his employer, Cumulus Media, for defamation. Schuiling alleges that Simonson made “false allegations” in a column he wrote on the blog Detroit Sports Rag, including accusing Schuiling of attempting to “orchestrate some alleged sexual interaction with Mr. Simonson’s daughter.” Schuiling says Simonson sent the link to the story to the IBEW – one of Schuiling’s sponsors – and that the actions have caused him emotional distress and have affected his professional standing in the community.  Simonson says the allegations in the suit are untrue and lack merit.  See the story here.

PPM Analysis: News/Talk. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his analysis of the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s April 2018 PPM survey, today focusing on news/talk.  Five news/talk stations saw (6+) increases of more than one full share from March to April, and four of those benefitted from the start of the baseball season.  They are: Entercom’s KMOX, St. Louis (+2.3); Scripps’ WTMJ, Milwaukee (+1.9); iHeartMedia’s WLW, Cincinnati (+1.6); KOA, Denver (+1.4); and Bonneville’s KSL-AM/FM, Salt Lake City (+1.2).  Meanwhile, iHeartMedia’s WTKS-FM, Orlando “Real Radio 104.1” is up 2.6 shares since April of 2017, and Emmis’ WIBC, Indianapolis is up two full shares.  Four news/talk stations ranked #1 in their respective markets in April: Cox Media Group’s WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta; KOA, Denver; KSL-AM/FM, Salt Lake City; and Townsquare Media’s WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5.”  Read the whole report here.

Price: Protect Your People, Protect Your Brand.  By now, most broadcasters are aware of the tragic deaths of the two young television journalists from WYFF-TV, Greenville, South Carolina who perished while covering Subtropical Storm Alberto over the weekend.  While the accident appears to have been a matter of bad timing – a tree fell on their SUV while they were driving – business continuity expert Howard Price writes that it is occurrences like these that should make all broadcasters review their safety protocols to make sure they offer the best safety practices to staffers.  Read his piece here.

Radio Journalist Bob Fuss Dies at 64.  Former longtime CBS Radio News reporter Bob Fuss died in Falls Church, Virginia on Sunday (5/27) after a battle with a rare form of leukemia.  During his long radio news career, Fuss served as Capitol Hill correspondent for 16 years.  During that time, he covered the impeachment of President Clinton, the Florida presidential election re-count, and the 9/11 terror attacks.  He covered the House and Senate for CBS Radio and reported national political stories until his retirement in 2014.  CBS News general manager Craig Swagler writes about Fuss saying, “After his retirement, he wrote a book about his life, Kidnapped by Nuns: And Other Stories of a Life on the Radio, drawing from his work and personal experiences in 50 states and 70 countries. The book briefly addresses what listeners couldn’t see: he was disabled. He writes he was born with defects his parents were told could end his life before adulthood.  He beat the odds and described himself as ‘a busy and active kid’ who ‘never let anything slow me down.’ That attitude held true throughout his adult life; unable to walk without crutches, he never allowed the handicap to deter him from attaining his career goals or pursuing activities like snorkeling and skiing.” Swagler adds, “Bob was an extraordinary reporter with a true skill for making complicated stories relatable for everyday people.  Not only was Bob an outstanding journalist he was an all-around optimistic and funny person. A true joy to work with.”

TALKERS News Notes. In the Shreveport-Bossier City, Louisiana market, Cumulus Media names Aaron Criswell vice president and market manager for the five-station cluster that includes sports talk KRMD-AM “The Ticket Sports Radio” and four music-formatted stations…..Chris Forgy is promoted within Saga Communications to the newly created corporate position SVP of operations.  In making the announcement, Saga CEO Ed Christian comments, “Chris is a world-class broadcaster whose contributions to Saga will be very important and strategic as he joins us in the corporate office.”  Most recently, Forgy was president and general manager of the company’s Columbus station group…..The Arizona Broadcasters Association announces that Art Brooks is exiting the president and CEO position after a near 30-year stint.  Brooks says, “I leave the ABA proud of the many things we have been able to accomplish together in my nearly three decades of leadership and will remain ever grateful for the many friends I have made in the Arizona broadcasting community.  I’m eager to explore my next adventure both personally and professionally.”

U.S.-North Korea Summit, Subtropical Storm Alberto, Ireland Abortion Vote, Starbucks Bias Training, Solo Film, Memorial Day Holiday, MLB Action, and NBA Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The off-again, on-again summit between President Trump and Kim Jong Un; subtropical storm Alberto hits the Southeast U.S.; the aftermath of Ireland’s vote to repeal the ban on abortion; Starbucks’ plan to close all stores today (5/29) for companywide bias training; the newest Star Wars film Solo; the Memorial Day holiday; Major League Baseball action; and the NBA Conference Finals were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. On-air pro Rebecca Wilde is becoming a personality on the “Wicker in the Morning” program with Jeff Wicker on Entercom’s hot AC WTVR-FM, Richmond.  Entercom Virginia SVP Bennett Zier comments, “We’re thrilled to bring Rebecca back into the Richmond mix and look forward to having her reconnect with our community.  Rebecca’s drive and enthusiasm will ensure we continue to deliver the engaging local content our listeners look forward to daily on ‘Mix 98.1.’”  She previously worked on-air in the market at hot AC WURV and hip hop WBTJ…..Longtime Myrtle Beach personality David “Prez” Spindler retires from Dick Broadcasting classic rock WYAV “Wave 104.1”  Station operations manager Charlie Steele says, “We wish Prez the best with where life takes him next.  He’s spent a long time in the radio trenches and will be missed.”

It’s Business Continuity Awareness Week – How Are YOU Celebrating?

| May 16, 2018

By Howard B. Price

 

NEW YORK — With the start of the Atlantic hurricane season just two weeks away, it’s fitting that the business continuity community takes time this week to bolster public awareness of the importance of operational resilience to any public or private organization.

May 14th-18th is Business Continuity Awareness Week – promoted by the UK-based Business Continuity Institute and observed around the globe. And it’s a perfect time for broadcasters to review the plans they have in place (or don’t) to sustain critical operations in the event of a disruption.

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Monday, April 30, 2018

| April 30, 2018

Conservative News/Talk Radio Takes on the White House Correspondents Dinner.  While listeners of news/talk radio were venting about what they overwhelmingly saw as unnecessary attacks on President Trump’s administration – most especially comedian Michelle Wolf’s targeting of White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders – at Saturday’s White House Correspondents Dinner, some news/talk radio industry players were also making their thoughts about the evening’s program known.  WABC, New York news and talk personality Rita Cosby attended the event.  (She’s seen above with Sarah Huckabee Sanders at a WHCD party and below with Kellyanne Conway at the event itself) Cosby tells TALKERS magazine that she’ll be offering her take to WABC listeners on the “Curtis and Cosby” show today.  Meanwhile, Salem Radio Network V.P./news & talk programming Tom Tradup shares the letter he penned to Bloomberg White House correspondent and White House Correspondents Association president Margaret Talev:

Hi, Margaret…and congratulations!

 After viewing the disgraceful White House Correspondents Dinner on Saturday—and your refusal on CNN this morning to denounce “comedian” Michelle Wolf and the mortifying, obscenity-laced attacks she directed at White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders,  White House counselor KellyAnne Conway and other Trump Administration officials in attendance last evening…you have actually achieved what I had always thought impossible: displaying less professional journalism and more outrageous bias than even The Associated Press.  An astonishing accomplishment.

 Given the fact that you, personally, invited the vile Michelle Wolf as the evening’s entertainment…and that rather than booing or leaving,  members of your Association were seen on television guffawing over an onslaught of stupid “pussy” references, lame jokes about President Trump’s performance in bed, the suggestion that President Trump’s daughter is “full of shit” and sophomoric F-bombs for nearly 20 minutes…I hope President Trump never attends another White house Correspondents Dinner.

 I know I won’t.

 Tom Tradup

iHeartMedia Files Joint Chapter 11 Plan of Reorganization.  This Saturday (4/28) filing in iHeartMedia’s Chapter 11 reorganization lays out the current plan for the company’s exit from bankruptcy protection.  The Disclosure Statement states, in part, that “the proposed Plan achieves a value-maximizing restructuring that comprehensively addresses the Debtors’ funded debt obligations and positions their businesses for continued growth and long-term success.  As a result of extensive negotiations with groups representing their primary stakeholders, the Debtors entered into a restructuring support agreement on March 16, 2018.  As a result, the transactions embodied by the Plan enjoy the support of Holders of nearly $12 billion of outstanding debt obligations across the Debtors’ capital structure (including outstanding indebtedness held by the Debtors and their Affiliates), as well as the Debtors’ equity sponsors.  The Plan will reduce the Debtors’ funded debt by nearly two-thirds – approximately $10.3 billion – and will result in the separation of the iHeart business and CCOH businesses through either a Tax-Free Separation or a Taxable Separation (the ‘CCOH Separation’).”…Reorganized iHeart will emerge from chapter 11 with New Secured Debt of $5.75 billion that will be secured by substantially all assets of Reorganized iHeart with a 5 – 7 year maturity, as well as a new ABL facility that will, among other things, provide working capital and fund distributions under the Plan; Senior Creditors collectively will share, in the manner described in detail below, in (i) 100% of iHeart’s equity interests in CCOH (as separated from iHeart), (ii) $5.55 billion of the New Secured Debt, (iii) all Excess Cash, and (iv) 94% of the equity in Reorganized iHeart; Holders of Unsecured Debt Claims will receive their Pro Rata share of (i) $200 million of the New Secured Debt and (ii) 5% of the equity in Reorganized iHeart; and Holders of iHeart Interests will receive 1% of the equity in Reorganized iHeart.”

PPM Analysis: News/Talk.  In this final analysis of Nielsen’s March 2018 PPM survey, managing editor Mike Kinosian takes a look at the 6+ performances of news/talk stations.  iHeartMedia’s KOGO, San Diego and Emmis Communications’ WIBC, Indianapolis each record 6+ AQH share increases of more than half a share (+0.8 and +0.6, respectively) from the February 2018 survey.  This during a period when only 34% of news/talk stations saw ratings increases. WIBC (+1.8) was one of five stations to see a year-over-year (March 2017 to March 2018) increase of more than one full share.  Others were: iHeartMedia’s hot talk WTKS-FM, Orlando (+1.6); Cumulus Media’s WMAL-AM/FM, Washington (1.3); and iHeartMedia news/talkers KTLK, Minneapolis (+1.0); and WHJJ, Providence (+1.0).  During Nielsen’s March PPM survey, only two news/talk outlets ranked #1 in their respective markets: Cox Media Group’s WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta and Townsquare Media’s WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5.”  See Kinosian’s complete report here.

Russo and Rosen Appointed to Executive Posts at Entercom’s Radio.com.  The moves signal what Entercom is calling its “renewed commitment and strategic shift” regarding the Radio.com platform.  Critics say that CBS’s focus on TV and video allowed the digital audio platform Radio.com to languish under its watch.  Now, new owner Entercom is bringing aboard Pamela Russo as SVP and general manager and Christopher Rosen as editorial director.  Russo will report to Entercom EVP of digital JD Crowley, who says, “This is an exciting time for Radio.com.  We welcome both Pam and Chris’s expertise as we accelerate our strategy to make Radio.com a daily habit for the millions of fans across our family of brands, entertaining and informing users with spoken-word audio, curated music and premium editorial.”  Russo joins Entercom from Meredith Corporation (formerly Time Inc.) where she led digital strategy and operations for the company’s portfolio of entertainment, travel and luxury brands, including People.com, EntertainmentWeekly.com, TravelandLeisure.com and Departures.com, among others.  Rosen is being charged with leading the content development, editorial and video strategy for Radio.com, overseeing content teams in New York and Philadelphia. The company says that “working alongside Entercom programming executives Jeff Sotolano and Liana Huth, Rosen will focus on developing exclusive and original national content for Radio.com’s national platform and portfolio of stations, while also working with local markets to surface their best content for national audiences.”  Rosen joins Entercom from Entertainment Weekly, where he served as executive editor for the brand’s digital properties.

Michael Harrison Says Advertiser Boycotts Infringe Upon the Spirit of the First Amendment, If Not Its Letter.  During a provocative conversation Friday evening (4/27) about advertiser boycotts being waged against the hosts of talk radio and television commentators such as Rush Limbaugh and Laura Ingraham by their political critics, RT America “The Big Picture” host Holland Cooke asked TALKERS founder Michael Harrison if this practice infringes upon Freedom of Speech as guaranteed by the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. Cooke suggested that boycotts are also an expression of free speech.  Harrison agreed, but only to a point stating, “The First Amendment guarantees you not to be censored by the government, with a few limitations here and there, but basically the First Amendment gives you free speech separate from government control and government censorship.  It doesn’t provide you with a soap box and it doesn’t guarantee that other people can’t express their free speech rights in protest of what you said.  So, the boycotts are a form of free speech – however, because commercial media today is so dependent on advertising revenue as its life blood, boycotts may not be an infringement of the letter of the First Amendment but they certainly are an infringement of the spirit of the First Amendment.”  Harrison continued, “It’s hitting below the belt…it’s part of the game but it’s playing very dirty and it does threaten free speech in America because so many of our vehicles of free speech are dependent upon advertising.”  To see the entire segment of Friday’s conversation, please click here.

WFAN-AM/FM, New York Keeps ‘CMB’ for Early Afternoons.  With the return of Mike Francesa to the WFAN-AM/FM, New York “The Fan” program schedule tomorrow, the Entercom station announces the new program lineup. Current 2:00 pm to 6:30 PM hosts Chris Carlin, Maggie Gray, and Bart Scott – “CMB” – remain with the station hosting the 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm show. An hour is cut off the “Joe Benigno and Evan Roberts” program (now heard 10:00 am to 1:00 pm), and Francesa’s “Mike On” show airs from 3:00 pm to 6:30 pm.  Prior to Francesa’s December departure from WFAN, his show aired daily from 1:00 pm to 6:30 pm.

Price: All I Learned About Resilience I Learned from ABBA.  Business continuity expert Howard B. Price writes today to explain that all he’s learned about dealing as a broadcaster with the challenges of natural disasters and made-made calamities he learned from the pop supergroup ABBA.   The former, longtime ABC news and technology & operations director of business continuity and crisis management says that within the titles of the group’s iconic songs lie the “inspiration and guidance for every resilience practitioner who aspires to rock-star status in the craft.”  Read his piece here.

Michiana’s WTRC Raises $174,000 for Five Star Life. Pictured above is the staff of WTRC, Niles, Michigan “95.3 MNC” celebrating the $174,100 grand total raised recently during the radiothon to benefit Five Star Life – an organization that teaches middle-school children five core values of respect, responsibility, integrity, sacrifice, and courage in after-school programs.  This is the eighth year that the Pathfinder Communications news/talk station has raised funds for Five Star Life.

TALKERS News Notes.  Former Atlanta Braves outfielder Jeff Francoeur is joining Dickey Broadcasting Company’s sports talker WCNN, Atlanta “680 The Fan” for a regular Tuesday appearance on the late morning show with Nick Cellini and Chris Dimino.   WCNN general manager David Dickey says, “I’m excited that Jeff will continue to help ‘The Fan’ provide Braves fans with the best coverage and most in-depth analysis of the Atlanta Braves.  And we are thrilled that Jeff will continue to be an important member of the Dickey Broadcasting Company family…both in prime-time and in game-time content.”…..The NAB Education Foundation announces the election of six new members of the NABEF board of directors.  They are: Graham Media Group’s Emily Barr, Cox Media Group’s Kim Guthrie, Sinclair Broadcasting’s Rebecca Hanson, Univision Communications Inc.’s Rosemary Mercedes, Perry Publishing and Broadcasting’s Kevin Perry and NBCUniversal’s Craig Robinson.  The National Association of Broadcasters Education Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to “serving broadcasters and the public interest by supporting and advocating community service, diversity, education and broadcasting issues and trends.”…..Wishes for a speedy recovery go out to New Jersey Broadcasters Association president and CEO Paul Rotella who recently underwent emergency surgery for acute diverticulitis.  Rotella says that although there were complications, he’s on the mend and expects to be back working from his home office by next week…..Bonneville’s news/talk KTTH, Seattle hosted the quarterly “Freedom Series” debate on April 24, this time addressing the issue, “Guns and Our Children.”  The station says the intent of the live community discussion “was to give the public an opportunity to talk through and find common ground on what’s normally a polarizing issue.  The two-hour panel event was hosted at the Edmonds Center for the Arts in front of a sold-out audience of more than 600 people.  Pictured below (photo courtesy of Ashten Linkhart) The panel featured KTTH hosts Jason Rantz (far right) and Todd Herman (second from right), King County Sheriff Mitzi Johanknecht (center), and KIRO-FM morning host Dave Ross (second from left).  KCPQ-TV, Seattle reporter Brandi Kruse (left) served as the moderator.   Bonneville Seattle VP and market manager Dave Pridemore says, “Through the ‘KTTH Freedom Series’ events, it is our hope to help our communities work through the issues that are important to them, especially issues that directly affect their families.  I was proud of how the station respectfully addressed this timely and highly emotional topic.  It was clear from the size of the audience, as well as their passion for the station, our KTTH hosts are connecting with our listeners about these matters on a daily basis.”

White House Correspondents Dinner, Trump Threatens Government Shutdown/Caravan Asylum Seekers, Sprint and T-Mobile Announce Merger, Texas Voter ID Ruling, Pompeo Confirmed as Secretary of State, MLB Action and NBA Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The flap over Michelle Wolf’s routine at the White House Correspondents Dinner; President Trump’s threat to let the federal government close in September if he doesn’t get funding for the Mexico wall, along with the related issue of “caravan asylum seekers” at the border; T-Mobile and Sprint announce plans to merge; a federal panel of judges rules Texas voter ID law does not violate rights of blacks and Hispanics; Mike Pompeo’s confirmation as Secretary of State; the weekend’s MLB action and NBA playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. At San Francisco hip hop outlet KRBQ “Q102.1,”Entercom promotes midday personality and music director Billy Vidal to program director.  Entercom San Francisco SVP and market manager Gregory Nemitz, says, “Billy has a great understanding of this format and, more importantly, the Bay Area market.  I have no doubt he will excel in his new role and will continue the upward trajectory of ‘Q102.1.’”  Vidal has been with the station for the past three years.  He rose to music director in June of 2017…..Alpha Media appoints Dave Numme content director for classic hits KBAY and hot AC KEZR.  Numme was most recently serving with Hubbard Radio in Seattle.  He previously worked in the Bay Area as program director for KITS, San Francisco and was vice president of rock/alternative formats for CBS RADIO.  Alpha Media San Jose market manager Lori Heeren comments, “I am honored to be able to work with someone with Dave’s breadth of experience in radio and the Bay Area.  He’s a perfect fit for our team in Silicon Valley!”…..Gene “Bean” Baxter returned to the air on Entercom’s alternative KROQ, Los Angeles on the “Kevin & Bean” show after more than a month off to deal with an undisclosed medical issue.  Stryker had been sitting in on the morning show and returns to his afternoon drive show…..At the same time as Cox Media Group’s WPYO “Power 95.3” shifts from hip hop to CHR, operations manager and WPYO program director Steve DeMann exits…..Neuhoff Media brings Miggy Santos to Illinois to program CHR WSOY-FM, Decatur “Y103” and rhythmic CHR WWHX, Bloomington “Hits 100.7.”  Neuhoff VP/programming Mike Shamus says, “Miggy brings experience and energy to a new concept for us. We’ve developed a special brand in the Twin Cities, Miggy has experience in winning with these types of projects. We’re excited to have him on our team.”

We’ve Been Warned

| April 16, 2018

By Howard B. Price

 

NEW YORK –We’re just under two months from the start of the Atlantic Hurricane Season, and the tropical researchers at Colorado State University are out with their predictions. The headlines:

 

  • 14 named storms predicted between June 1 and Nov. 30.
  • Of those, researchers expect seven hurricanes, with three of those likely to be major storms (Saffir/Simpson category 3-4-5, with sustained winds of 111 MPH – plus)

The team bases its forecasts on over 60 years of historical data. And right now, they say 2018 hurricane activity could be about 135 percent of the average season. Last season’s hurricane activity, which produced four major hurricanes – Harvey, Irma, Maria and Nate — was about 245 percent of average.

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Are You Ready for Today’s 10 Plagues?

| April 6, 2018

By Howard B. Price

 

NEW YORK — Business continuity professionals love the Jewish holiday of Passover, which we’re commemorating right now, because it features the well-known biblical story of the 10 Plagues.

Even if you’re not Jewish, you likely know the tale – Moses asks Pharaoh to free his Hebrew slaves after some four centuries of hard bondage. Pharaoh says no. God sends 10 plagues to change his mind – Pharaoh remains obstinate through nine of the plagues.  And only after the last, most horrific plague (the death of every first born Egyptian) does he finally relent, freeing the Jews. (He changes his mind again at the Red Sea, of course – but that’s another story for another day.)

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Listeners and Advertisers Care About Your Operational Resilience

| March 26, 2018

By Howard B. Price

 

NEW YORK — A few weeks back, I had a terrific Facebook conversation with one of my dearest college buds – who has gone on to become one of radio’s truly great local operators. For him, radio is more than a business – it’s a passion. As we do frequently, we were talking about the state of radio’s operational resilience, and my friend told it as it was. “Investors,” he said, “just don’t care about that.”

As we exit March – the month when we “beware the ides” and hope goes out like a lamb – it’s worth taking a moment to fully unpack this respected group operator’s candid, and regrettably true, statement.

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Monday, March 26, 2018

| March 26, 2018

Positioning: The Battle for Your Government.  Consultant Holland Cooke says it’s interesting to note how today’s current political candidates – including Democrat Conor Lamb, recent winner of the Pennsylvania Congressional special election – are using some of the time-proven strategies of “product differentiation” to separate themselves from their opponents.  Read his piece here.

Imus’ ‘CBS Sunday Morning’ Segment Airs.  Radio legend Don Imus appeared on “CBS Sunday Morning” yesterday, interviewed by Anthony Mason about his 50-year radio career, including his fondest memories and his regrets.  Last week, CBS teased the segment, reporting that Imus said he would include Howard Stern in the same group with himself as one of the five greatest radio performers of all time.  If you missed it you can read a partial transcript here and see the video.

Price: Investors May Not Care About Operational Resilience, but Your Listeners and Advertisers Do.  Former longtime director of business continuity & crisis management for ABC’s news and technology & operations divisions, Howard B. Price, says that as recent natural disasters have taught radio and television operators in places like Houston, the U.S. Southeast, and in the Caribbean, both listeners and advertisers care about the operational resilience of your stations.  “Your business has value so long as it operates.  When it doesn’t, it has no meaningful value to your audience or your clients.  And modern technology has made reasonable operational resilience easier and more affordable than ever.  Seems like a no-brainer.”  Yet many operators don’t take the time to prepare and end up regretting it.  Read Price’s piece here.

MIW Radio Group Announces Participants in 2018 Mentoring Program.  The four mentees for this year’s MIW Group Mildred Carter Mentoring Program, sponsored by the Mentoring & Inspiring Women in Radio Group, are announced.  This year’s class consists of: Candy Cintron, assistant program director at El Zol 107.9, Entercom, Washington; Amanda Guest, founder & general manager BFF.fm, Best Frequencies, Inc., San Francisco; Jillene Khan, WMGN afternoon host/social media director, Mid-West Family Broadcasting, Madison; Kimberly Sonneborn, vice president of digital operations, Beasley Media Group, LLC, Charlotte.  Now in its 17th year, the MIW Group’s signature mentoring program matches up-and-coming women in the radio industry with female professionals recognized as leaders in all aspects of radio.  To date, the MIW Group Mildred Carter Mentoring Program has successfully mentored a total of 43 mentees.

TALKERS News Notes.  Pro wrestling icon Jim Ross is taking his podcast to the Westwood One Podcast Network, effective in early April.  Westwood One president Suzanne Grimes states, “This proud partnership is an impressive match between two legendary brands – Jim Ross and Westwood One.  Jim always brings it, which is why he has such a passionate fan base and massive social media following.  We can’t wait to share the first episode of ‘The Jim Ross Report’ with his highly engaged audience.”…..SiriusXM is launching “Urban View Vote” – what it calls “a non-partisan, mid-term election year voter registration campaign designed to raise awareness about voter registration opportunities throughout the 50 states.”  The campaign includes the roll-out of an “Urban View Vote” vehicle to tour multiple states – visiting college campuses, community centers, and other key locations.  Urban View host and programming consultant Karen Hunter states, “This is a crucial time in our country’s history to register new voters, and Urban View listeners will lead the way.  On Urban View, we don’t just talk about issues, we take action.  Now more than ever, we want people to know their voting rights and to empower them to take an active role in their futures.  Our hashtag – #10for2018 – reflects our goal that every listener will inspire 10 people they know to get registered.”

‘March for Our Lives,’ Stormy Daniels’ ‘60 Minutes’ Interview, Trump-Russia Investigation, Bolton Named National Security Adviser-Designate, Trump’s China Tariffs, Craig’s List Shutters Personals, March Madness, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  Saturday’s “March for Our Lives” gun control advocacy demonstrations; the “60 Minutes” interview with porn star Stormy Daniels; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; President Trump names former Ambassador to the UN John Bolton National Security Adviser-Designate; Trump’s tariff threats on Chinese goods and China’s response; Craig’s List closes its personal ads section to prevent human rights violations; the weekend’s NCAA Men’s tournament games; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Tampa, iHeartMedia names the personalities for its “Throwback 94.5, 99.1, and 105.9.”  Morning drive is home to “Big Boy’s Neighborhood.” Queen B hosts middays, DJ Chase is afternoon personality, and DJ Sandman is evening jock.  The three-signal station is fed to W233AV, Gulfport; WVVD-LP, Seffner; and W290BJ, West Tampa via WMTX-HD2.  Station PD Mychal Maguire says, “This is an opportunity for us to give our listeners a great lineup of air personalities along with the great throwback hip-hop songs they grew up listening to and love.  iHeartMedia Tampa is continuously providing our listeners with the music and entertainment they want.”…..Chicago media maven Robert Feder reports that Weigel Broadcasting’s Windy City low-power FM, adult contemporary WRME “Me-TV FM” is syndicating its programming to WJMK-AM, Bridgeport, Michigan (Saginaw-Bay City-Midland market).  WJMK-AM station manager Philip Bernstein says, “We are excited to bring the Tri-Cities the proven ‘Me-TV’ music format, which attained ratings far surpassing the heritage stations in Chicago in only one year of being on the air.”…..Three staffers exit Entercom’s San Diego cluster.  Alternative KBZT “ALT 94/9” program director Chris Patyk, cluster promotions director Kiku Boyance, and production assistant Dawne Davis all exit in what’s being termed a restructuring…..Pictured below is “CMT After Midnite” syndicated star Cody Alan (at the standing mic) in the Seacrest Studios at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt speaking with UMG Nashville recording artist Jordan Davis (seated).  In addition to meeting with the young patients and their families, Davis chatted with Alan about the release of his debut album, Home State, and his first headlining “White Wine and Whiskey Tour” that kicks off in April.

Monday, May 2, 2016

| May 2, 2016

kcmo logoTom Becka Returns to Kansas City as KCMO Re-Vamps Lineup.  Last week, Cumulus Media’s KCMO-AM/K279BI, Kansas City cut ties with 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm personality Greg Knapp.  It turns out that was phase one of a programming lineupbeckatom restructure.  Talk host Tom Becka – who previously worked in the market at crosstown KMBZ – joins the station to host the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon show.  Local host Rob Carson remains in the morning drive slot.  Current KCMO personality Mike Ferguson moves to the 12:00 noon to 1:00 pm slot, followed by Dave Ramsey from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm and Westwood One’s Michael Savage from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm.  Cumulus Media Midwest regional VP and market manager Donna Baker comments, “KCMO talk radio takes an exciting step forward today.  Welcoming Becka back to KC, Mike Ferguson continuing local community conversations over the lunch hour, and Dave Ramsey returning to three hours in the afternoon are powerful additions to our talented lineup.”

theblaze logoReport: ‘Nearly 40’ Laid Off at TheBlaze.  According to a published report by Lloyd Grove in The Daily Beast, close to 40 staffers have been let go from Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze – just a year after numerous staffers were laid off in May of 2015.  Grove’s piece says this is part of a restructuring required by the covenants of a “multimillion-dollar bank loan” recently taken out to keep the company going.  Layoffs reportedly affect some 20 at offices in New York, 12 in Washington, five at a dozen in Washington, five at a documentary studio in Columbus, Ohio, plus several in a Los Angeles office.  Back in February, Kraig Kitchin stepped down from his CEO role with TheBlaze to focus on “existing commitments.”  Director of advertising sales Jeremy Price and director of marketing Liz Julis also exited at that time.  The story says these changes do not affect Beck’s Premiere Networks-syndicated show.  Read Grove’s piece here.

baileykenettaKenetta Bailey Named SVP of Marketing for CBS RADIO.  Joining CBS RADIO as senior vice president, marketing is Kenetta Bailey.  She was most recently heading up her own consulting firm – KB Consulting – in which she worked with a variety of start-up businesses on subscriber growth, social media and branding.  She also serves as an adjunct instructor at the Wharton School of the University ofcbsradio logo Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.  CBS RADIO president Andre Fernandez states, “I’m thrilled to welcome Kenetta to our leadership team, and look forward to introducing her creative energy and brand expertise into everything we do.  We have a tremendous opportunity to expand the strength of our brands locally and nationwide, as well as define our long range position in the marketplace.  I know Kenetta will play an instrumental role in the telling of our story to the industry.”  Bailey will be responsible for the marketing and brand positioning of the company, its stations and its digital products.  She’ll also provide business-to-business marketing support and work with the division’s market managers and station management to develop and coordinate strategy for their local marketing efforts.

price howardWhen Your Station IS the News.  Last week’s attempted takeover of a media outlet in Baltimore by an allegedly deranged man happened at a television station.  But, it could just as easily have been a radio station group.  ABC Television Network director of business continuity Howard B. Price writes in a column published today (5/2), that “comprehensive, well-resourced and well-rehearsed emergency planning not only assures your continued ability to operate in times of crisis, but more importantly, shows your staff and clients how much you care.”  He notes that the Sinclair-owned station and its staffers were prepared and it showed in how the situation was dealt with.  Read Price’s valuable advice for preparing for potential emergencies here.

entercom2015 Acquisitions Help Entercom to Q1 Net Revenue Hike of 23%.  During 2015, Entercom added stations to its portfolio in deals with Lincoln Financial Media and Bonneville.  Those deals helped the company’s first quarter 2016 net revenue soar tofielddavid $96.1 million.  Company CEO David Field says, “But the bigger news is that we had another great quarter of organic revenue growth.  Same station revenues increased 6% for the quarter… In sum, it was a terrific quarter. What is important to note is that is part of an increasingly consistent pattern of Entercom delivering solid growth quarter-after-quarter.  This now marks the fourth consecutive quarter of accelerating organic revenue growth for Entercom.”

The Presidential Race/Trump Protests, Iraq Parliament Protest, Seattle May Day Violence, 9/11 Report Controversy, White House Correspondents Dinner, and NFL Draft Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The activities of the candidates for president and the California Donald Trump protests; the storming of the Iraqi Parliament by anti-government protestors; Sunday’s violent May Day protests in Seattle; controversy over the validity of the contents of the 9/11 report and Saudi Arabia’s threat to the U.S. if blamed for the terror attacks; the various political jabs from speakers at Saturday’s annual White House Correspondents Dinner; and the 2016 NFL Draft were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

holdtheirfeet16FAIR’s ‘Hold Their Feet to the Fire’ Reports Record Attendance.  The immigration-oriented radio row scheduled for June 22-23 in Washington is filling up with radio talk show hosts fast.  The “Hold Their Feet to the Fire” event is produced by Federation for American Immigration Reform and executive director Bob Dane calls it an all-time high attendance record and adds that it’s “no surprise given immigration is the hottest issue in a high-profile, turbulent campaign.”  FAIR says there are three remaining broadcast slots up for grabs.  The event on Capitol Hill pulls together talk hosts, lawmakers, law enforcement and media.  FAIR covers all expenses and engineering.  Call for details at 202-328-7004.

Odds & Sods.  Sports talk KDCO, Denver adds an FM presence in the market via translator K284CI at 104.7 FM.  Mile High Sports Radio operates the stations under an LMA from Kona Coast Radio….. The Red State Talk Radio Network-based talk show “Standing Ground” hosted  by Jeremy Leahy adds new affiliate station WJHC, Jasper, Florida (between Jacksonville and Tallahassee).  The show airs at 11:00 pm on Sunday evenings…..Alpha Media’s Mason City, Iowa stations news/talk KGLO and standards KRIB pick up 11 honors in the Small Market Division of the 2015 Iowa Broadcast News Association awards.  KGLO’s Bob Fisher won four first-place awards for Best Newscast, Sports Play-by-Play, Political Coverage, and Public Affairs.

When Your Station IS the News

| May 2, 2016

By Howard B. Price
ABC Television Network
Director, Business Continuity

 

pricehowardbwriterNEW YORK — It’s been an interesting couple of years for TV stations in Baltimore – to say the least.

About two years ago, a deranged man hijacked a landscaping truck and drove it through the front lobby of WMAR-TV, disrupting station operations for hours before being apprehended by authorities.

And Thursday, an emotionally disturbed man in an animal costume, and claiming to have a bomb, set fire to his car and forced the evacuation of WBFF-TV and WNUV-TV.  The intruder, who later walked out of the building shadowed by SWAT officers, was shot three times after refusing their repeated orders to take his hands out of his pockets and lay down on the ground.  He is expected to survive following treatment at a local hospital, and will face arson, reckless endangerment and other charges.

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Another Breaking News Weekend…

| February 23, 2016

By Howard B. Price
ABC Television Network
Director, Business Continuity

 

pricehowardbwriterNEW YORK — It’s been a few years now since I worked on the editorial side of the business, but my adrenaline still starts pumping anytime news breaks.

Weekend before last, it was the unexpected passing of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. Network radio and TV were all over it – smart local stations used those resources, and were all over it, too.

But local radio stations WITHOUT a network news affiliation likely found themselves behind the eight ball – unable to meaningfully respond beyond whatever they were able to pass along from social media and news websites.  Better than nothing, but not good enough.

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Tuesday, February 23, 2016

| February 23, 2016

SC Primary Aftermath/Presidential Race, Apple-FBI iPhone Controversy, Scalia Replacement Battle, Syrian Civil War, Kalamazoo Killer Case, Nebraska-Kearney Chick-fil-A Flap, and Ke$ha-Dr. Luke-Taylor Swift Case Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/22).  The effects of the South Carolina primary election on the field of candidates for president; the fight between Apple and the FBI over gaining access to the iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino terrorists; the political battle over the process for replacing deceased Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia; the Syrian civil war, a potential ceasefire and Russia’s involvement in the matter; a gay student group nixes Chick-fil-A as on campus restaurant at University of Nebraska-Kearney; and the legal case between singer Ke$ha and producer Dr. Luke plus Taylor Swift’s cash donation to Ke$ha were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

price howardPrice: Another Breaking News Weekend.  With the recent spate of weekend news events fresh in the minds of news/talk practitioners, ABC Television director, business continuity Howard B. Price writes that he believes too many local stations are missing the opportunity to prove their worth as media outlets.  Addressing this past weekend’s hair-raising story of a gunman on the loose in Kalamazoo, Price reports streams from local stations indicate most appeared to be on automation.  “If there were ever a reason to get someone in, break format and go live on a developing story, this was it. Lives were at risk, and the circumstances were such that radio, in particular, could have played a big role in keeping people who were most at risk, safe.  Does your station have a plan for instituting breaking news coverage after hours, on weekends and holidays?  Do you have protocols in place to at least get your air personalities up to speed and on the air with meaningful, vetted information while newsgathering resources are assembled?  Is there a list of emergency contacts and authoritative government sources in your air studios – with after-hours contact information for each one?  Are there TVs in your air studios so your talent can monitor local and network television for breaking news?”  Read more from Price here.

Odds & Sods.  Former Denver Broncos and Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Brandon Stokley joins Bonneville’s sports talk KKFN-FM, Denver “Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan” to work with Sandy Clough on therootTrumprally midday “Sandy & Stokley Show.”…..Capitol Broadcasting is preparing to flip Spanish sports WCLY, Raleigh to a simulcast of its WCMC-HD3 “99.9 HD3 The Ticket.”  That station – 1550 The Ticket – will air a mix of CBS Sports Radio, Fox Sports Radio and ESPN Radio programming…..KBET, Las Vegas talk show host Wayne Allyn Root is pictured here addressing the more than 8,000 people who recently attended a rally for GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump at South Point Arena.  Root was the opening speaker and master of ceremonies for the event.

alandavaeKSCO, Santa Cruz Mourns Passing of Air Personality Dave Alan.  Iconic station owner Michael Zwerling of KSCO “Station Santa Cruz” and KOMY, Santa Cruz informs TALKERS that long time personality Dave Alan (legal name David Duarte) has passed away.  Alan’s air talent was “discovered” by Zwerling back in 1992 when he was a contractor engaged in painting the KSCO building.  The then-host of the 3:00 pm air shift abruptly quit leaving a vacancy that needed to be filled quickly.  Zwerling liked the quirky personality of the man painting his building and coaxed him into going on-air and hosting the show. The rest, as they say, is history.  Zwerling tells TALKERS, “The amazing, very engaging character went on the air and became a big hit on KSCO, regardless of where we put him in the program schedule.”  Alan was on his way to fame as a nationally syndicated talk radio host when tragedy struck in 2000 – 16 years ago this week.  According to Zwerling, “While on a trip to Marin, Dave suffered a small stroke and made his way to the hospital where he had a massive brain stem stroke from which he was not expected to recover.  But, thanks to his strong will and indomitable spirit, recover he did… and lived the rest of his life from a wheelchair with the left half of his body paralyzed. He continued to do his KSCO radio shows and did podcasting on his own, got very involved with online research for his shows, and continued to be one of the most creative chefs and quality food connoisseurs I have ever known — always stuffing me with great food every time I visited him.  God, I’m going to miss you Dave… you were the greatest!”   Broadcasters interested in donating to Dave Alan’s Last Honors should click here.

Radio’s Hot New (Old) Format: ‘The Puddle’

| January 8, 2016

By Howard B. Price
ABC Television Network
Director, Business Continuity

 

pricehowardbwriterNEW YORK — What do we learn from the nearly 20,000 people worldwide who’ve been watching a puddle on Periscope?

Well, if we’re historically conscious and observationally astute – we should be saying, “they have rediscovered the magic of radio.”

Say what? These are people watching a PUDDLE. In the UK. Visually. On social media. What does that have to do with radio?

Think about it. If you really believe all radio is local – and GREAT local radio is all about making compelling content out of the everyday events and observations in the communities it serves — then “the puddle” can be seen as a metaphor for what radio’s core mission has always been, and which it used to execute better than any other medium.

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Friday, January 8, 2016

| January 8, 2016

carrollbillKFI’s Carroll Announces His Departure. With approximately 90 seconds remaining in Thursday’s (1/7) broadcast, KFI, Los Angeles midday talent Bill Carroll revealed he is leaving the iHeartMedia talk property effective immediately. In addition to sharing his reason for departing KFI (#9, 3.4, 6+, December 2015 Nielsen Audio PPM), Carroll implored his listeners to grant an election-day request. “Hey, I wanted to say one thing before I wrap up the show today,” CarrollKFI began, as he sought to “explain” his “cryptic New Year’s Day tweet” which many people asked him about on Facebook. “[My wife Sylvie and I] have been considering this for a while and we came to the conclusion that it is time to get closer to home.” Carroll’s father passed away in 2010; Scotland born/Canada raised Carroll joined KFI in February of that year. “I did not get to see him much,” he lamented. “My mother is older so we are leaving. We still do not know exactly where we are going to land [but] this is my last show – maybe we will talk again in the future.” That led Carroll to rhetorically ask, “Can you just do one final favor for me? For God sakes, when I am gone, do not elect Donald Trump. You are better than that. Do not let anger sweep you away. Do not elect Donald Trump. I came to live among you because I admire you for your graciousness, your openness, and your religious freedoms. Don’t elect Donald Trump – I am begging.” It is unclear how long it will be before KFI program director Robin Bertolucci names a permanent replacement for Carroll; apparently, several guest hosts will be utilized in the station’s 10:00 am – 1:00 pm slot. Prior to his six-year KFI tenure, Carroll worked in Toronto at CILQ “Q-107,” and CFRB-AM. The 56-year-old Carroll appears at #47 on TALKERS’ 2015 “Heavy Hundred.”

talkersten logoObama ‘Guns’ Town Hall Top News/Talk Story of the Week.  Thursday night’s “town hall” on gun control presented by CNN and the White House along with President Obama’s announced plans to use executive power to alter some gun laws were the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio during the week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the presidential race.  Coming in at #3 was the battle against Islamic State, followed by the Saudi Arabian and Iranian diplomatic break and the growing rift between Shiite and Sunni-majority Middle Eastern states 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.

wtmj logoWTMJ, Milwaukee to Present Special Program ‘Beyond Making a Murderer.’  The Netflix original program “Making a Murderer” is attracting large audiences across the country but in Wisconsin, where film subject Steven Avery is currently incarcerated, the case is now the subject of a special program to be presented this weekend on E.W. Scripps-owned news/talk WTMJ, Milwaukee.  The special, “Beyond Making a Murderer,” will present update coverage of the case of convicted murderer Avery.  The station says it has covered the Avery story since the beginning.  The Netflix seriesnetflixMaking has sparked a petition demanding a presidential pardon, curious tourists are traveling to Wisconsin, and critics are claiming there’s more to the story.  WTMJ vice president and general manager Tom Langmyer says, “The story of Steven Avery is not only a big story in our backyard but also a story of national significance.  WTMJ is Wisconsin’s Radio Station and we are leading the way with exclusive interviews and expanded local coverage to advance the story.”  This weekend, “Wisconsin’s Morning News” host Gene Mueller will anchor a two-hour special “WTMJ Presents: Beyond Making a Murderer” that will air on Saturday at 7:00 pm and on Sunday at 11:00 am, immediately prior to coverage of the Packers vs Redskins playoff game.  WTMJ executive producer of news Erik Bilstad will anchor coverage live from Manitowoc, Wisconsin with one-on-one interviews, videos and exclusive digital coverage.  WTMJ program manager Eric Brooks adds, “‘Wisconsin’s Radio Station’ is working to go beyond the documentary, to talk with the people involved in the case and give our audience updated information.  We are talking with family members, justices, jurors, law enforcement, and prosecutors to learn everything new we can.  WTMJ is providing content for not only our Wisconsin audience, but for those interested worldwide.”

price howardRadio’s Hot New (Old) Format: ‘The Puddle.’  In an opinion piece published today (1/8), ABC Television director of business continuity Howard B. Price writes about the sensational amount of global interest in Periscope’s “The Puddle” – a camera shot at a puddle of water in the U.K.  Price says the people watching the puddle on their smartphones have “rediscovered the magic of radio…If you really believe all radio is local – and GREAT local radio is all about making compelling content out of the everyday events and observations in the communities it serves — then ‘the puddle’ can be seen as a metaphor for what radio’s core mission has always been, and which it used to execute better than any other medium.”  Read his entire piece here.

kiblerkellyKibler Named iHeartMedia’s EVP Multi-Cultural Marketing. Executive vice president of operations for iHeartMedia‘s Texas major markets Kelly Kibler is appointed executive vice president of multi-cultural marketing. According to iHeartMedia chair and chief executive officer Bob Pittman, “Kelly has been a constant innovator in this company. She is the perfect choice to head up our focused multi-cultural advertising efforts at the market level. Her success as executive vice president of operations, as well as in her role as a sales leader and market president and her leadership of numerous iHeartMedia initiatives, have enabled her to grow her career with us. We look forward to her using all of her experience and relationships to build this new capability for our company.” The bilingual Kibler comments, “I could not be more excited to take on this new position at iHeartMedia, using the tools and experience we’ve developed in Texas and applying them across our 150 markets in a space that continues to grow in both importance and footprint across America.” Kibler began her career in 1991 at Telemundo. Before becoming iHeartMedia’s executive vice president of operations for the company’s major markets in Texas, she was a market president in Dallas, San Diego, and Las Vegas.

emmis logoEmmis Confirms Layoffs; Executive Pay Cuts.  After a fiscal third quarter report that showed a 5.1% drop in radio net revenue, Emmis Communications is confirming that it has laid off 32 company staffers and instituted pay cuts for corporate senior executives.  During the recent conference call with investors, Emmis CEO Jeff Smulyan stated, “We’ve made some changes and they’re very painful changes.  This is always very, very hard for us.”  The moves are designed to trim some $5.3 million from the radio sector’s budget.

kidRich Broadcasting Adds Three Signals to News/Talk KID, Idaho Falls.  The announced expansion of Rich Broadcasting’s heritage news/talk KID, Idaho Falls will expand the reach of the station within the Idaho Falls market and some 90 miles east to the Jackson, Wyoming market.  The company says, beginning Monday, KID “Newsradio” will be heard on KQEZ-FM in Idaho Falls and to KSGT-AM, Jackson and translator K242BU at 96.3 in the Jackson market.  KID, Idaho Falls is also simulcast on KIDG-FM, Pocatello, Idaho.  Rich Broadcasting president Richard Mecham says, “KID has served the eastern Idaho market since 1928 and we are both pleased and excited to substantially expand its impact and coverage with the addition of three more frequencies, which not only will substantially expand its geographical reach but also, and very significantly, will enhance its nighttime coverage.  With the addition of 106.3 FM, it now will be heard regionally from Ashton to Pocatello.  Additionally, we are very pleased to expand the KID brand into the Teton County radio market, and in the process enhance the synergy between the eastern Idaho and Jackson markets. We look forward to providing to our listeners the very best in news and information for years to come.”

cookeCES16hashtagCES 2016 Wrap Up.  Radio consultant Holland Cooke files his final report from Las Vegas where this week he’s been attending the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show.  Today he writes about the ubiquitous phone camera, drones, the head-on challenges facing television, and new technologies that are doing what radio stations traditionally helped people do.  Read Holland Cooke’s entire report here.

Odds & Sods.  The digital production field and studio tool suite Control Room Pro is now being used at stations including CBS RADIO’s WFAN, New York; Bonneville’s WTOP-FM, Washington; iHeartmedia’s WIOD, Miami;rosenbergsid and news/talk WHO-AM and sports KXNO-AM in Des Moines,  The suite of tools is produced by Harris Media and is repped by AdLarge Media…..Next Thursday and Friday (1/14-15), (and for the second time in the last three weeks!) Sid Rosenberg and “Imus in the Morning” executive producer Bernard McGuirk are sitting in for “Curtis & Kuby” co-hosting the midday show at Cumulus Media’s WABC, New York.

pittmanbobPittman to Receive BFoA Golden Mike Award. Jackson, Mississippi native Bob Pittman began his radio career at the age of 15 and the iHeartMedia chair/chief executive officer is set to be honored with the Broadcasters Foundation of America‘s 2016 “Golden Mike” award. Broadcasters Foundation vice chair Dan Mason declares, “Bob is an extraordinary broadcaster. As an architect of today’s iHeartMedia, Bob’s focus on innovation – and his deep belief in broadcast radio – has expanded radio into new areas and platforms. We are proud to recognize his contributions to broadcasting.” Pittman states that, “Radio reaches more Americans than any other medium. [It is] the best friend in the seat next to them and their trusted companion and information source across multiple platforms. I feel extremely fortunate to be in broadcasting during the most exciting time in our industry’s history. I am grateful to theBroadcasters Foundation of America Broadcasters Foundation for this honor, and I thank them for their deep commitment to supporting our broadcast colleagues in their times of need.” Pittman programmed WMAQ, Chicago and famously became program director at WNBC, New York at the age of 23. Also included on his impressive, extensive resume is being co-founder/programmer of the team that created MTV; CEO of MTV Networks; AOL Networks; Six Flags Theme Parks; Quantum Media; Century 21 Real Estate; and Time Warner Enterprises. He was chief operating officer of America Online and later of AOL Time Warner. Pittman was named one of Advertising Age‘s “10 Marketers Who Changed American Culture”; received the Robert F. Kennedy “Ripple of Hope” award; and he was named one of LIFE Magazine‘s “Five Original Thinkers of the 1980s.” He will receive his “Golden Mike” award next month (2/29) at New York City’s Plaza Hotel.

poebobBroadcaster Poe Declares Congressional Candidacy. Former Florida Democratic Party chair Bob Poe made his intentions official yesterday (Thursday, 1/7) that he is seeking to represent Florida’s 10th congressional district, which is based in west Orlando. The 61-year-old Poe comments that, “Many people are aware that I’ve been blessed with a tremendous amount of success in my life – but what most people don’t know is that my success had some humble beginnings. I come from this community. I became successful because of what I learned in this community, and I think I bring a very different perspective of how we grow the economy. I didn’t graduate from college, but I built a technology business that I’m proud of and that keeps people safe, because I never quit. Too many politicians today are too busy playing the game of musical chairs – running for one office and then another – to truly stand up and fight for us.” Prior to a nine-year run as president of Emergency Communications Network, Poe spent three years as vice president and general manager of WMMO, Orlando; four years as director of broadcasting and sponsorship sales for the NBA‘s Orlando Magic; and 12 years as vice president and general manager of Orlando talk station WKIS and the Florida Radio Network.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

| December 16, 2015

price howardPrice: Weighing Public Safety vs Risk of Assisting Threatmongers in Reporting to Your Listeners.  The recent terroristic threats against the New York City and Los Angeles public school districts – which turned out not to be true – present a bit of a potential problem for radio stations and news organizations.  ABC Television director, business continuity Howard B. Price writes today in TALKERS, “Critical to the discussion is the hard reality that those who make these threats are banking on a response from both authorities AND the media.  Thankfully, even in these troubled times, most threats are hoaxes made to seize on public fear.  The hoaxers find out about that response the same way the rest of us do – through the media.  SO what to do?  As with most professional challenges, the process begins with an internal conversation, specific to your station and market.  For example, do you have a policy document to guide your decision making in such dynamic breaking news situations?”  Read more here.

grimessuzanneCumulus Media Names Suzanne Grimes to President of the Westwood One Division and EVP of Corporate Marketing Roles.  According to Cumulus Media, this new role of president of the Westwood One Division “creates a unified structure that maximizes opportunities across the division’s national content and sales platform.”  Steve Shaw, president of Westwood One, will continue to lead ad sales, and Charles Steinhauer, COO of Westwood One, will continue to lead operations, both reporting directly to Grimes, who in turn reports to company CEO Mary Berner.  Grimes was most recently president and COO of Clear Channel Outdoor.  Berner states, “When it comes to anything in media, Suzanne’s the full package.  With 30 years of experience building content businesses into high-performing brands, she brings valuable perspectives from leadership roles in outdoor, mobile, social, digital, print and experiential sectors for both public and private companies, so she’s a natural choice for these important roles.  I look forward to her contribution as we build a stronger, more operationally focused organization.”

Newly Re-Organized Corporate Structure at Cumulus Includes Tommy Page and Mike McVay Taking on New Responsibilities.  As part of her memo to Cumulus Media staff of Suzanne Grimes’ new role, CEO Mary Berner also explained some of the other changes atop the corporate structure at the company.  Working forbouvardpierre Grimes will be the company’s chief marketing officer Pierre Bouvard and VP of social media Lori Lewis.  Berner announces Tommy Page’s new title will be SVP of brand partnerships & NASH in which he’ll continue his role as leader of platform events initiatives and brand partnerships, corporate mcvaymikemarketing function, and new duties including the development and execution of the NASH brand strategy.  Berner says the company is creating a new Office of Programming in which SVP of content & programming Mike McVay will operate to “lead our content strategy across the platform, including talent recruitment and development and label relations.”  Tom Schurr, SVP ofschurrtom operations, will work with McVay in a new role overseeing the business aspects of programming, including organization and prioritization, resource allocation, and budget responsibilities.  Berner concludes, “Our belief with regard to ratings is that more local insight and more effective corporate support will result in an improved outcome.  The new Office of Programming will be responsible for executing this strategy to drive ratings growth and will be rolling out more details in the coming weeks.”

bohannonjimJim Bohannon to Exit ‘America in the Morning’; Continues Late Night Show.  Hall of Fame broadcaster Jim Bohannon is cutting back on his duties for Westwood One and is leaving the hosting role for “America in the Morning” after the December 18 broadcast.  He is continuing his work as host of the late night Jim Bohannon show.  He signed a multi-year contract extension with Westwood One in February of this year.  Bohannon has been the sole host of “America in the Morning” since its firsttroutjohn broadcast in 1984.  The morning magazine program airs on more than 250 stations nationwide.  Taking over for Bohannon is the show’s regular guest host John Trout.  He officially begins on Monday, January 18, 2016.  Bohannon comments, “It’s time for me to cut back the daily schedule a bit and focus my attention on the research, interviews, and calls for my weeknight Jim Bohannon show.  But I’ll still be contributing my daily feature, the ‘Offbeat,’ and my newsmaker interviews to ‘America in the Morning.’  Listeners will love John Trout as host.  He’s got a stellar track record and he’s been a terrific fill-in.  The show is in great hands and I wish him much success.”

leykistomTom Leykis’ New Normal Projecting Another Profitable Year.  New Year’s Eve will be the sixth anniversary of The New Normal – the audio content company founded by radio legend Tom Leykis after exiting his CBS RADIO talk show in 2009.  Leykis has long been a vocal proponent of the digital delivery system for taking audio content into the future.  Today, he reports that as 2015 winds down, The New Normal is financially continuing on an upward trend.  Leykis tells TALKERS that revenue is up for the third straight year.  Profits will increase from $23,000 in 2014 to almost $100,000 in 2015.  He adds, “This means that, for the second year in a row, we will be more profitable than the top two radio companies combined.”

Odds & Sods.  Are there wrinkles in the future of the Bob & Tom Show post-Bob KevoianTALKERS sources arebobandtom labeled hearing that negotiations between the syndicated program’s management and staff are hitting snags.  Kevoian announced his retirement at the recent Radio Hall of Fame induction ceremony and although the show is moving forward with Tom Griswold continuing his role, rumors are that negotiations for contract renewals with longtime cast member Kristi Lee and contributor Ron Sexton are facing challenges…..Software platform provider Mediaocean announces it is integrating iHeartMedia within its Spectra platform.  As a result, within one central system, ad agencies are able to seamlessly manage, research, and buy local digital audio inventory across the iHeartMedia digital platform.  Mediaocean says users will be able to compare iHeartMedia’s audience data side-by-side with other digital audio platforms to better plan campaigns and engage the right audiences at the local level.

tradupTrump15Covering the GOP Debate.  Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is seen here gesturing as he makes a point while speaking with Salem Radio Network personalities Mike Gallagher, Dennis Prager and Michael Medved (who are out of the picture to the right) while SRN VP news & talk programming Tom Tradup holds the mic.  The exchange took place during SRN’s exclusive radio distribution of the Republican presidential debate.  SRN talk host Hugh Hewitt appeared on the CNN debate panel asking questions of the GOP hopefuls.

Run-Up to Last Night’s GOP Debate/2016 Presidential Race, Refugee and Immigration Policy, Los Angeles and New York Schools Terror Threats, Battle Against Islamic State, Freddie Gray Trial, Government Shutdown Threat, and New Star Wars Film Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/15). The build-up to last night’s GOP primary debate in Las Vegas and the activities of the candidates for president in 2016; debate over policy regarding refugees from Syria and over immigration in general; terror threats against the New York and Los Angeles public school districts and criticism over LA’s decision to cancel school; the battle against Islamic State; the wait for the verdict in the case against the first of six Baltimore police officers in the death of Freddie Gray; the move in Congress to avert a government shutdown; and the hype over the new Star Wars film were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Where’s the Line Between Giving Threatmongers What They Want…And Citizens What They Need?

| December 16, 2015

By Howard B. Price
ABC Television Network
Director, Business Continuity

 

pricehowardbwriterNEW YORK — The nation’s second largest school district was shut down Tuesday by a terroristic threat.  Several other school districts, most notably New York City’s (the largest in the country) also received similar threats – but did not close schools, take buses off the road, or tell staff and students to stay home.

Why the different responses? Simply put, specificity and credibility as judged by local law enforcement and other officials.  The proverbial “abundance of caution.”  Important because all of these concepts also guide broadcasters as to how, when – or even IF – threats should be reported.

Read More

Friday, December 4, 2015

| December 4, 2015

wyay logo newCumulus Media Nabs Rob Stadler for WYAY, Atlanta Mornings.   Market news pro Rob Stadler is joining Cumulus Media’s WYAY-FM, Atlanta “News Radio 106.7” to serve as executive producer and host of “The Morning News.”  Stadler was the voice for morning news and information on crosstown CHR WSTR “Star 94” for almost 30 years.  During that time, he wasstadlerrob named “Atlanta’s Best Newscaster” 10 times by the Achievement in Radio Awards (AIR) while serving as the station’s news director.  He also earned two Edward R. Murrow awards from the RTDNA for broadcast journalism excellence, and was also recognized by the Georgia Associated Press for “Best Newscast.”  He’ll make his inaugural appearance for “News Radio 106.7” as host for the “Making Miracles Marathon” on Friday, December 11, from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm and he’ll begin hosting the morning show on December 16.  WYAY program director Greg Tantum states, “Rob has been a part of the Atlanta morning landscape for nearly three decades – not only on the radio, but with his community involvement.  Rob has the unique ability to blend his deep news background with the understanding of how to keep an audience engaged and entertained while dealing with nightmare commutes in Atlanta.”

price howardPrice: It’s Not IF Anymore…But WHEN.  It may be a reality that no one wants to face, but ABC Television director, business continuity Howard B. Price writes in a column for TALKERS/RadioInfo today (12/4) that radio stations need to prepare for the possibility that an act of destructive violence can happen in their markets.  In reference to Wednesday’s San Bernardino shootings, Price says that local news/talk radio stations he monitored stayed with national programs while the story was breaking.  Yes, those shows were talking about the shootings, but he believes stations in the market should “own” the story in a way out-of-market stations don’t have to.  “Even if we acknowledge the cost constraints that today make it so difficult to sustain a round-the-clock news operation at most stations, in my personal view, operators do a disservice to their communities if they don’t at least have a PLAN for flushing their formats and throwing any and every live body into coverage of catastrophic local events.” Read Price’s column here.

cookehNCC15More from the Nielsen Audio Client Conference.  Radio consultant Holland Cooke (pictured here) reports from the first day of the Nielsen Audio Client Conference (formerly the old “Consultant Fly-In”).  This batch of notes comes from yesterday afternoon’s sessions and covers Dr. Ed Cohen’s presentation of data from his study, “The Class of 2015: Four Years in the Lives of Digital Natives”; podcasting and its relationship with radio; plus more research about the behavior of radio’s P1s.  See Holland Cooke’s notes here.

wiplogoWIP, Philadelphia’s Wing Bowl 24 Scheduled for February 5 at the Wells Fargo Center.  What started as a small promotion 23 years ago has grown into one of sports talk radio’s biggest events that now fills Philadelphia’s Wells Fargo Center each year.  The annual chicken wing eating contest has evolved to present winners in three divisions: the overall winner, the local winner and the collegiate winner.  WIP morning show co-host Al Morganti, co-founded Wing Bowl 23 years ago with host Angelo Cataldi, and he says, “In a year where everything has seemed to go wrong with sports in Philadelphia, it never goes wrong at Wing Bowl!  We win every year so if you’re disappointed with Philadelphia’s sports teams, you won’t be disappointed with this year’s ‘Game of Bones’ – Wing Bowl 24.”  Tickets go on sale on December 8.  This year’s event is presented by title sponsors Steven Singer Jewelers and SugarHouse Casino.  Prizes this year include: For the overall winner, a 2016 Harley-Davidson FLSTF Softail Fat Boy Motorcycle courtesy of Barb’s Harley Davidson, a custom Wing Bowl 24 championship ring and $10,000 in cash courtesy of Steven Singer Jewelers; the local winner receives a 2016 Hyundai Santa Fe courtesy of Colonial Hyundai of Downingtown; and the top collegiate eater will win $5000 in cash.

Odds & Sods.  After 18 years in morning drive Bob Levy and wife Marianne Levy are shuttering the Bob &bobmarianne Marianne in the Morning show on Townsquare Media’s news/talk WOBM-AM, Lakewood Township, New Jersey.  Marianne Levy will continue her role with the station on the Preferred Home Health Care-sponsored “Preferred Company” show that airs from 9:00 am to 10:00 am on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursdays.  Taking over mornings on WOBM-AM is Jeremy Grunin, effective January 4.  Bob Levy will continue to host the Sunday “Topic A” public affairs program that airs on WOBM-AM and sister AC WOBM-FM…..An FM translator is boosting the signal of Saga Communications’ sports talk simulcast (now trimulcast!) francesamikeWISE/WYSE in the Asheville, North Carolina market.  “ESPN Asheville” is now heard on W247BV at 97.3 FM…..Legendary New York sports talk radio personalities Mike Francesa and Christopher “Madrussochris Dog” Russo are teaming up for a charity reunion show at  Madison Square Garden to benefit MSG’s Garden of Dreams Foundation.  Sports talk fans have been anticipating some sort of reunion of the two after recent reports of friendly chat between them about the possibility.  They haven’t worked together since their split in 2008 when Russo left CBS RADIO’s WFAN, New York for SiriusXM Satellite Radio.  The reunion event takes place on March 30…..NUVObobandtom labeled managing editor (and Indy radio personality) Ed Wenck conducted an interview with Bob Kevoian of the nationally syndicated Bob & Tom show to mark Kevoian’s retirement from the show and the business at the end of the year.  This cool piece touches on everything from how Kevoian and Tom Griswold became radio partners to how their show took off at WFBQ, Indianapolis in the mid-1980s.  Check it out here.

talkersten logoSan Bernardino Shootings/Gun Control Top Talk Radio Stories This Week.  The most-talked-about story on news/talk radio for the week of November 30- December 4 was the deadly San Bernardino shootings tied with the related topic of gun control, tying atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the 2016 presidential race.  Coming in at #3 was the Paris climate summit followed by Russia-Turkey tensions 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.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

It’s Not IF Anymore…But WHEN

| December 4, 2015

By Howard B. Price
ABC Television Network
Director, Business Continuity

 

pricehowardbwriterNEW YORK — At the height of Wednesday’s horrific mass shooting in San Bernardino, Calilfornia, I went online to sample the local coverage from a couple of that city’s self-proclaimed “news/talk” radio stations.

One stayed with syndicated talk programming with a well-known national host.  Sure, he was talking about what was going on in San Bernardino…but he wasn’t IN San Bernardino.  Wasn’t at the scene.  Wasn’t capturing all the chaos, the raw emotion, the nuance of a big story evolving by the nanosecond in a community that could’ve been Anytown, USA.  He wasn’t talking to eyewitnesses, local officials – relaying minute-to-minute updates, keeping San Bernardino listeners specifically informed on local impacts of this story.

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How Did Your Station Respond to France's 9/11?

How Did Your Station Respond to France’s 9/11?

| November 16, 2015

By Howard B. Price
ABC Television Network
Director, Business Continuity

 

pricehowardbwriterNEW YORK — So what was on YOUR station’s air when news broke of the horrific, coordinated attacks on six Paris locations, where large crowds had gathered – for dinner, for soccer, for a rock concert?  When news broke that at least 120 innocent people had been cut down by terrorism, with perhaps hundreds more injured?

“Well, France is a long way from (name of your town),” you might say. “And TV was all over it….” And of course, there’s the web, and maybe your market or an adjacent market has an all-news or news/talk station that was on top of the story.  So maybe you saw no role for your station, especially if it’s not in the news or news/talk format.

Read More

Monday, November 16, 2015

| November 16, 2015

Paris Terror Attacks and Saturday’s Democratic Candidates Debate Lead Weekend News/Talk Discussions.  Friday’s deadly terror attacks in Paris, the larger topic of the ISIS problem and Saturday’s Democratic candidate’s debate were the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend.  TALKERS magazine research reveals the two topics – at times intertwined – were front-and-center on stations airing live and local and/or live national talk shows on Friday evening, Saturday and Sunday.

price howardPrice: How Did Your Station Respond to France’s 9/11?  Attempting to foresee the unforeseeable is part of what Howard B. Price is paid to do as director of business continuity for ABC Television.  He’s written numerous articles about preparing for disasters and events that should affect your programming and/or your ability to operate a radio station as usual for TALKERS magazine.  Today’s article addresses Friday’s deadly terrorist attacks in Paris and how some stations failed to break programming in any way.  He says localizing the story is part of how it should be addressed.  “There were local stories springing from the events in Paris all over the US.  Security around sports stadiums was being ramped up (one of the Paris attacks took place at a soccer game where the French president had been in attendance).  More police were being dispatched to major transportation centers, and tourist areas known to draw big crowds.  I live near a nuclear plant – and I sure wish my local station was updating me on security there.  I live near a major bridge, the loss of which would severely impact our local economy…and disrupt transportation between New York City and points to the north, east and west.  I live near major commuter rail lines, the loss of which would cripple the ability of people to commute to their jobs.  I live in a community with lots of shopping malls.  And parks.  And movie theatres. And bars. Which in Paris and other places, have been the scenes of recent terror attacks.  I’d like to know what my local officials are doing to protect us against similar attacks here.  I’d like to hear what my neighbors are thinking and saying about it.”  Read Price’s entire piece here.

bubbaBubba The Love Sponge Files Motion to Dismiss $1 Million Nielsen Lawsuit.  After Nielsen Audio filed its $1 million dollar civil suit against Bubba The Love Sponge for his admitted ratings tampering in the Tampa market which it claims has resulted in its “reputation and the reputation of its ratings reports” having been “damaged irreparably,” TALKERS legal analyst Steven J.J. Weisman wrote that Nielsen’s claims appear to be “very much a dramatic overstatement.”  Since the initial tampering was discovered, Beasley’s WBRN, Tampa has been delisted from both the September and October PPM surveys, even though Nielsen stated to customers that the Tampa ratings were not compromised.nielsen logo  Now, Bubba’s legal team files a motion to dismiss the fraud suit against him stating that Nielsen has not shown proof of ongoing ratings tampering.  Bubba’s counsel also argues Nielsen’s filing in federal court is improper.  “Nielsen cannot manufacture federal jurisdiction by plucking from mid-air the nice round compensatory damages figure of $1,000,000, and without offering a shred of support for this number.  Instead, Nielsen promises that this isolated disagreement among private actors has harmed not just Nielsen but ‘the entire radio industry.’…Nielsen’s ‘entire radio industry’ theory of harm simply cannot serve as the basis for subject matter jurisdiction.”  Nielsen claims it has more evidence of tampering that led to the October survey for Tampa being delayed and WBRN again being delisted but has not released that information publicly.

ramseyEMS15Dave Ramsey’s EntreLeadership Master Series Features Live Broadcast.  Last Friday (11/13), nationally syndicated talk radio superstar Dave Ramsey presented his EntreLeadership Master Series event at Ramsey Solutions’ headquarters in Nashville.  As part of the event, his daily radio program was broadcast live with this special edition focused on leadership and business questions from callers, e-mails and event attendees.  Ramsey Solutions says the EntreLeadership Master Series condenses “20 years of business and leadership wisdom into a seven-day event.  Business owners and leaders who attend walk away with practical ideas that can improve their communication, organization, team culture, finances, negotiating and selling skills, marketing, advertising, and ability to make tough decisions.  EntreLeadership combines the innovative spirit of an entrepreneur with the passion and drive of a leader.  This philosophy is how Ramsey has grown his highly successful company and trained his leadership team since day one.”  The photo here shows the Dave Ramsey show being produced during the EntreLeadership Master Series event.

hillaustinTalk Radio Personality Austin Hill Dies Unexpectedly.  Author, public speaker and radio personality Austin Hill died unexpectedly on Friday (11/13) from what appears to have been a cardiac event.  Hill, who’s worked at such secular news/talk outlets as KFI, Los Angeles; KSFO, San Francisco; and KFYI, Phoenix during his career, was hosting a daily morning drive program on the internet station www.myfaithradio.com.  He was also serving as a regular fill-in host for WMAL, Washington’s “Drive at Five” afternoon drive program.  Hill was in his early 50s and leaves behind a wife and his son, Graham, a high school senior.

bouvardpierreWestwood One Invites Radio People to ‘State of American Podcasting’ Webinar.  The webinar is on Wednesday (11/18) at 2:00 pm ET and is being moderated by Westwood One’s chiefWW1StateofPodcasting15 marketing officer Pierre Bouvard with special guests Brendan McDonald, executive producer and co-creator, “WTF with Marc Maron”; Stuart Last, VP, audioBoom; and Jenna Weiss-Berman, director of audio, Buzzfeed.  WW1 says the webinar is for marketers and advertisers, podcast creators and producers, and media and audio enthusiasts and will reveal insight gained from its commissioned studies of the podcasting platform, including: Never-before-heard insights on the podcast consumer; how marketers really feel about podcast advertising; where podcasts fit in the marketing mix; and competitive research from podcast advertisers. Register here.

wrko15WRKO, Boston Raises $357,000 for Fisher House Boston.  WRKO, Boston held a day-long radiothon live from the Seaport Hotel and World Trade Center on Friday (11/13) from 6:00 am to 7:00 pm to raise funds for the Fisher House Boston.  The programming featured moving stories from veterans, their families and Fisher House Boston staff.  In addition to WRKO listeners, Mark Wahlberg, Mike Eruzione, and others called with their donations that totaled more than $357,000.  WRKO personalities Kim Carrigan, Barry Armstrong, Jeff Kuhner and Howie Carr anchored the day’s programs.  WRKO operations manager Michael Czarnecki says, “Fisher House is an incredible organization, attending to the care and housing of families who have already made such a sacrifice for the American people.  I am so proud of the WRKO and Fisher House staff for all of their hard work today.  Once again the WRKO listeners demonstrate that they’re true patriots in their love of our country and support of our troops.”

Where Will You Be When the Lights Go Out?

| November 10, 2015

By Howard B. Price
ABC Television Network
Director, Business Continuity

 

pricehowardbwriterNEW YORK — As I write this, the New York sun will give way to dusk – and at 5:27 pm ET, New York will mark exactly 50 years since the Great Blackout of 1965.

As The New York Times reported, the outage – triggered by the failure of a relay at a Canadian power station – was the result of a cascading failure across the northeast power grid. Systems were overloaded – and in some cases, automatically shut down – plunging New Jersey, New York and New England into darkness for as long as 13 hours. Some 30 million people across 80,000 square miles were impacted.

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Thursday, August 27, 2015

| August 27, 2015

price howardHoward B. Price: Now, It’s Personal.  Writing in the aftermath of the shooting deaths of WDBJ-TV, Roanoke journalists Alison Parker and Adam Ward, ABC Television Network director, business continuity Howard B. Price says that, although it’s impossible to know if anything could have prevented their deaths, media employers must take this tragedy as a lesson to do more to prepare staffers to combat threatening situations.  How so?  Price says, “Ask any crisis trainer, and they will tell you that situational awareness is critical – no matter one’s field or the instant circumstances of their work.  Who would have imagined that a live shot on local tourism in a bucolic park would end in so much trauma – on an early morning newscast in Moneta, Virginia?”  He suggests that even in the most seemingly benign situations, crews should observe a safety protocol.  “When you arrive at the scene of a story, look for areas of safe refuge and secondary escape routes.  Try to keep a corner of your eye cocked peripherally to catch at least a glimpse of anything that doesn’t look quite right.  Keep a cellphone or two-way radio close.  Think about how you might call for help.  And don’t hesitate to raise red flags about any coverage plan you find risky.”  Read Price’s entire story here.

newsmax logoNewsmax.com Places Third in Views for Political News.  The July 2015 comScore MultiPlatform data shows that while CNN Politics is #1 in multiplatform views with 136 million for the month, Newsmax.com comes in third (55mm), close on the heels of Politico.com (57mm).  Newsmax.com tops Fox News Politics, HuffPost Politics and MSNBC TV, according to comScore’s survey, which includes desktops and mobile devices.  comScore also notes that July marked the best month in mobile traffic and video starts on record.

cookehollandHolland Cooke: ‘Quality, Currency, Quantity.’  Just back at his Block Island, Rhode Island home base after a summer on the road visiting client stations, consultant Holland Cooke writes in TALKERS today about crafting news copy that is more “remarkable.”  He says, “Not ‘miraculous,’ but ‘remarkable,’ meaning likely-to-provoke-a-remark when heard.  ‘Hmmm…’ is a remark, because the listener heard useful information which he/she might quote over lunch or dinner.  Or at least REMEMBER, which is, after all, what diary ratings measure, and relevance is what brings PPM-ers back again and again.”  For more thoughts about effective radio news, read Cooke’s entire column here.

lagrecadonDon La Greca Inks Extension with WEPN, New York.  The co-host of the afternoon drive Michael Kay show on ESPN O&O WEPN, New York has signed a three-year contract extension with the station to continue in that role.  Don La Greca, in addition to his duties with the Kay show, will continue to host 98.7FM’s “Jets Gameday” pregame show and “The 5th Quarter” postgame show.  La Greca will also retain his duties as studio host and occasional play-by-play commentator for New York Rangers broadcasts.  ESPN New York 98.7FM general manager Tim McCarthy states, “Don has established himself as one of the most knowledgeable hosts in all of New York sports.  He is a rare breed who can combine talk and play-by-play without missing a beat.  Don and Michael are one of the longest-tenured and most entertaining sports talk teams in the country.”

Odds & Sods. According to the New York Daily NewsBob Raissman, ESPN is going to move current sports talkwepn logo WEPN, New York evening duo Alan Hahn and Rick DiPietro to the 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm slot that opened with Mike Lupica’s recent departure.  He says Dave Rothenberg will leave the 12:00 noon to 1:00 pm show with Ryan Ruocco and host evenings solo.  He also notes the station will air the soon-to-move Dan LeBatard show in the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon quigleyalexslot…..Former WGN, Chicago operations manager Alex Quigley is joining Hubbard Radio Chicago to serve as executive producer and update anchor for classic hit WDRV’s weekly, three-hour Chicago Bears post-game show that will be hosted by Mike North…..News and talk radio programmer Al Mayers, currently station manager at Bloomberg Radio, is adding Bloomberg TV programming duties to his responsibilities, according to a report in the New York Post.  The story says Claudia Milne is exiting the Bloomberg TV programming post to work on special projects and product placement for Bloomberg.  Mayers was a longtime Boston program director having served at WRKO, WEEI and WHDH.  He also programmed WJR, Detroit…..WMTI, New Orleans “106.1 The Ticket” is flipping from sports talk to a music format.  No word on what Cumulus will settle on.  Currently the station is stunting with song loops.

westwood one news logoWestwood One Celebrates Affiliate Mark for News Product; Names Chas Henry to Anchor/Correspondent Role.  Syndicator Westwood One is celebrating surpassing the 750-affiliate mark for its news product Westwood One News, powered by CNN.  WW1 says that since launching in January, it’s placed the service on more than 750 stations, including in nine of the top 10 markets.  At the same time, the companyhenrychas announces it has brought aboard Washington, DC news pro Chas Henry to serve as an anchor and correspondent.  Henry has served at WTOP, Washington; TV news outlets NewsChannel 8 and ABC7, and at CBS RADIO’s WNEW-FM as anchor and national security correspondent.  A combat-decorated veteran of the 1991 Gulf War, Henry came up in the U.S. Marine Corps, rising in rank from private to captain.  He has reported from Iraq, Afghanistan and Qatar and been frequently heard nationwide on the CBS Radio Network.  For Westwood One, in addition to anchoring newscasts, he will report on national security issues and will fill in on the daily feature “Something to Think About with Mike Rogers” from September 8-14.

ramseydaveCarson15GOP Candidate Dr. Ben Carson on the Dave Ramsey Show.  Pictured here on the air with nationally syndicated talk superstar Dave Ramsey (left) is retired neurosurgeon and GOP presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson (right).  Ramsey has invited all of the presidential candidates to appear on his program to discuss relevant topics during the election season.  Earlier this summer, Texas Governor Rick Perry appeared on the Ramsey program.

Virginia TV Reporters Slayings, Trump Candidacy, Immigration Policy Debate, Probable Joe Biden Presidential Run, Hillary Clinton Email Investigation, Financial Markets Volatility, and Western Wildfires/Tropical Storm Erika/Climate Change Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/26).  The killing of two Virginia television journalists by a former station employee; the presidential candidacy of Donald Trump; ongoing debate over immigration policy and Trump’s interaction with Univision reporter Jorge Ramos at an Iowa press conference; the probable entrance of Vice President Joe Biden into the presidential race; the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server for State Department business; concern over the volatile world financial markets and a possible crash; the Western drought, recent wildfires, Tropical Storm Erika, and the specter of climate change were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

wbtlogoCool Job Opportunity.  Wanted: Part-Time WBT Tailgate Girls.  “News Talk 1110” WBT, Charlotte is seeking part-time WBT Tailgate Girls who are interested in learning more about event marketing, promotions and broadcasting.  As part of the WBT Tailgate Girls, you will work to gain exposure for the radio stations at station-produced and/or sponsored events, area concerts, sporting and cultural events and other on-site opportunities relevant to the station’s marketing and sales effort.  Candidates must be detail oriented, creative and outgoing.  They must have strong communications and organizational skills and must be able to represent the station(s) in a positive manner at events.  Candidates should have strong people skills, web/internet knowledge, and must be able to multi-task and meet deadlines.  All candidates should possess a desire to learn more about promotional/marketing strategies for radio.  In order to be considered for the position, candidates must have a valid driver’s licenses.  Hourly pay: $12.00.  If you think you have the talent and qualifications to be a (part-time) News Talk 1110 WBT Tailgate Girls with Greater Media Charlotte, please e-mail resume and photo to hired@gmclt.com.  If you would like to mail a package, send to: Greater Media Charlotte, Attn: Promotions, One Julian Price Place, Charlotte, NC 28208 NO TELEPHONE CALL PLEASE!

Price: Now, It’s Personal

| August 27, 2015

By Howard B. Price
ABC Television Network
Director, Business Continuity

 

pricehowardbwriterNEW YORK — The assassination – yes, it was an assassination — of WDBJ-TV, Roanoke, Virginia reporter Alison Parker and her videographer, Adam Ward, on live morning television, should be a wake-up call, not only for the media business, but also for every business.

The shootings themselves were horrific enough. That they took place on live television – on a program being line-produced by the fiancée of one of the victims – compounded the tragedy.  That it was also captured and posted online by the gunman himself is simply unspeakable.

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Price: Radio’s Role on a ‘Typical Friday Night’

| July 8, 2015

By Howard B. Price
ABC Television Network
Director, Business Continuity

 

pricehowardbwriterNEW YORK — It was just a typical summer Friday…until news broke, and didn’t stop breaking until well into the evening.

If you were online, or near a TV, or fortunate enough to be within earshot of one of the country’s 31 all-news radio stations on June 26, (and perhaps many news/talk stations, too), you were very much aware of what was going on.

You heard history being made at the Supreme Court as same-sex marriage became the law of the land.

You heard the president lead thousands in “Amazing Grace,” as he eulogized the nine souls murdered by a racist assassin, in oratory so stirring even some of the president’s critics acknowledged it as some of the best of his or any other presidency.

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Wednesday, July 8, 2015

| July 8, 2015

price howardHoward B. Price: Radio’s Role on a ‘Typical Friday Night.’  When important news breaks on a “typical summer Friday night,” news and talk stations have the opportunity to be there for people tuned into the station.  ABC Television director of business continuity Howard B. Price writes today about the bevvy of news stories that broke on June 26 and what he observed.  “If you were online, or near a TV, or fortunate enough to be within earshot of one of the country’s 31 all-news radio stations on June 26, (and perhaps many news/talk stations, too), you were very much aware of what was going on.  You heard history being made at the Supreme Court as same-sex marriage became the law of the land.  You heard the president lead thousands in “Amazing Grace,” as he eulogized the nine souls murdered by a racist assassin, in oratory so stirring even some of the president’s critics acknowledged it as some of the best of his or any other presidency. You heard about not one, not two – but THREE bloody terrorist attacks in three different countries.  And you heard about the dragnet that cornered and killed one of two murderous escapees from a maximum-security prison in northern New York State.  But if you were listening to many music stations, and even some spoken-word stations programmed almost exclusively via satellite and with no local or network news service – you may have heard little or nothing about any of these major news events.”  Price was traveling in rural New York State on that night and says that because no local radio station was reporting these stories, he learned about them on the Internet.  But it didn’t have to be that way.  Read Price’s entire piece here.

nielsen logoNielsen Audio Releases First Round of June 2015 PPM Data.  The first of four rounds of June 2015 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey).  The June  2015 survey period covered May 21 through June 17.  You can find the complete ratings from subscribing stations here.  Additionally, TALKERS and RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Ten Takeaways” from this group on the main page of our sister publication here.

ballentinewarrenWarren Ballentine Gets Light Sentence in Fraud Conviction.  Being indicted two years ago on charges of fraud in connection with mortgage fraud schemes cost attorney and media personality Warren Ballentine his Reach Media-syndicated talk show that had been heard on some 35 signals across the country.  After last fall’s conviction on six counts of fraud, U.S. District Judge Matthew Kennelly sentenced Ballentine to three years’ probation, 300 hours community service, and restitution of $140,940.  Ballentine claimed he was just a representative attorney and had no knowledge of any plan to defraud.

schachteraaronCox Media Group Names Schachter WOKV, Jacksonville PD.  With the recent dismissal of longtime program director Mike Dorwart, Cox Media Group doubles up duties for other programmers in order to provide news/talk WOKV, Jacksonville with a leader.  Music programmer Aaron Schachter will let go of alternative WXXJ “X102.9” in order to become director of branding and programming for WOKV.  He maintains his other responsibilities as morning host and program director for sister classic hits WJGL “96.9 The Eagle.”

pauleymattCumulus Transitions KCSF, Colorado Springs to All Sports as ‘Xtra Sports Radio 1300.’  By transitioning KCSF, Colorado Springs from talk to sports as “Xtra Sports Radio 1300,” Cumulus Media gives the market what it calls “Southern Colorado’s first radio station offering ‘All Sports, All The Time.’”  The station will carry national hosts from CBS Sports Radio NetworkJim Rome and Doug Gottlieb – as well as afternoon personality Matt Pauley, who also becomes PD of the new station.  Pauley also serves as one of the play-by-play announcers for Colorado Springs Sky Sox Triple A baseball team and is sports reporter for cluster mate KVOR.  Cumulus Colorado Springs OM Bobby Irwin says, “Matt’s enthusiasm for this station has been a force throughout our cluster for quite some time.  It’s exciting to see him take the reins of this upgrade and create a station that both listeners and advertisers have been clamoring for.”

wssp logo15Entercom’s ‘Sportsradio 105.7 The Fan’ in Milwaukee Adds ‘Save Our Bucks Radio Hour’ Program.  The status of the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks is in jeopardy after the league declared the city’s Bradley Center “unfit” for an NBA team.  Now, Entercom sports talk simulcast WSSP-AM and W289CB, Milwaukee (105.7 FM) “Sportsradio 105.7FM The FAN” is addressing the matter adding a one-hour, weekly program called the “Save Our Bucks Radio Hour.”  The show is being hosted by Paul Henning, a representative from Save Our Bucks – a fan-based, grassroots community group founded to help support the team and the proposed arena project to keep the team in the market.  WSSP personality Joe Zenzola will co-host the program that debuts tomorrow (7/9) at 6:00 pm.  ‘The FAN’ program director Tom Parker states, “We’re excited to partner with Paul for this important community show.  Paul’s been at the forefront on this issue and he cuts through partisan politics to give our listeners clear, actionable facts that are absent from many other shows and news outlets.  This is a show that will share ALL sides of the debate.”  Henning will also be heard on the station’s regular programs on the matter.

Bubba the Love Sponge’s Attorneys Found Guilty in Florida Bar Trial.  Just what the punishment will be for Bubba the Love Sponge’s attorneys in his defense against former rival Todd Schnitt remains to be seen but Steven Diaco, Robert Adams, and Adam Filthaut were found guilty of multiple ethics violations by the Florida Bar for conspiring to get Schnitt counsel Phil Campbell arrested on DUI charges.  MyFoxTampaBay reports that the three could get fines, suspensions or disbarment when sentencing takes place on August 5. Read the MyFoxTampaBay account here.

millerjeffDigital Sales Pro Jeff Miller Named VP/GM of Entercom’s SmartReach Digital.  The SmartReach Digital division of Entercom provides the company’s local and regional clients with a broad range of digital marketing solutions, products and services.  Now, the company brings Jeff Miller aboard as vice president/general manager of SmartReach Digital.  He spent the last seven years withentercom ReachLocal, most recently as senior director of sales for virtual markets.  Entercom regional president Michael Doyle comments, “We are excited to find an executive with Jeff’s talent and experience available to help us continue to build our market-leading portfolio of digital products and services.  Our focus is on helping local advertisers understand the power of combining the unmatched reach of radio with the best available digital advertising tools to generate outstanding results.  Jeff provides us with cutting-edge thinking on both the product development and sales execution sides of the digital business.”

Odds & Sods. WJFK-FM, Washington “106.7 The Fan” personality Grant Paulsen – co-host of the midday “Grant and Danny” show – is joining WTTG-TV, Washington “FOX 5” as a Washington Redskins reporter.paulsengrant  According to the Washington Post, Paulsen will appear on newscasts and on the “Redskins Game Time” program…..On Monday and Tuesday (7/13-14) ESPN Radio’s Mike & Mike show with Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic will broadcast live from the Moerlein Lager House in Cincinnati – across the street from the Great American Ball Park – site of this year’s MLB All-Star festivities.  Guests scheduled to appear on the show include Hall-of-Fame pitcher John Smoltz, Kansas City Royals manager Ned Yost, former All-Star Frank Thomas, San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy, and MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred…..Morning drive personality Tim Greene is promoted to assistant program director and music director of non-com and NPR affiliate WSGE, Charlotte.  In his new role, he’ll assist in overseeing all programming operations while continuing to host the morning drive slot following NPR’s “Morning Edition.”

wnrpCool Job Opportunity.  “NewsRadio1620” in Pensacola, Florida is looking for an experienced afternoon drive talk host.  Our simulcast FM106.5 launches next month.  Our ideal candidate will entertain our listeners with a three-hour, host-driven show with minimal guests.  A host who covers the big national issues and current buzz — but gives equal attention to local news and issues.  We’re looking for a host who covers the local scene as an ombudsman.  Who creates conversation, makes our listeners smile and gives them something to talk about.  Pensacola is an active news market with a growing economy.  “NewsRadio1620” has a high community profile and our on-air team has won seven Edward R. Murrow awards since 2010.  Our sister station, “CatCountry 98.7” is the top FM in the market.  Nine hours of local talk, plus local news every 30 minutes every weekday.  Totally locally owned and operated.  Fox News Radio affiliate. 401k/ health/dental plans available.  Best of all, live and work in paradise on the Gulf Coast of Florida’s NW Panhandle.  Check out www.NewsRadio1620.com and Facebook.  Send resume and most recently unedited audio/link to Anne Schiller at: aschiller@newsradio1620.com.  EOE.

2016 Presidential Prospects, Steinle Slaying-Illegal Immigration, Cosby Testimony Released, Confederate Flag Issue, Greek Debt Crisis-EU Tensions-Chinese Stock Market Dive, OK Ten Commandments Case, Iran Nuke Talks, and U.S. Women’s Soccer World Cup Victory Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/7).  The activities of the candidates for president in 2016; the slaying of Kate Steinle in San Francisco, the debate over the nation’s illegal immigration policy, and the controversy over “sanctuary cities”; the release of decade-old testimony from Bill Cosby admitting he gave Quaaludes to women in order to have sex with them; the ongoing discussion over the status of the Confederate flag; the Greek debt crisis, its effect on the European Union and concerns over a Chinese stock market crash; the Oklahoma capitol Ten Commandments monument case; the talks with Iran over its nuclear program; and the U.S. Women’s Soccer World Cup victory were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

How to Cover Breaking News at the Worst Possible Time

| May 13, 2015

By Howard B. Price
ABC Television Network
Director, Business Continuity

 

pricehowardbwriterNEW YORK — Last night’s horrific derailment of an Amtrak Northeast Regional train just north of Philadelphia was an object lesson in why broadcasters MUST be prepared to spring into action at any moment.

The crash happened just before 9:30 pm – at a time when today, many radio stations simply have no news coverage or staffing.

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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.

Pursuing Truth Amid Civil Unrest

| April 29, 2015

By Howard B. Price
ABC Television Network
Director, Business Continuity

 

pricehowardbwriterNEW YORK — It’s happened again…outrage unleashed on the streets of a major American city following a controversial police arrest and the death of the suspect.

This time it’s Baltimore — a city long polarized by economic disparities, troubled schools and strained relations between law enforcement and its citizens.

Civil unrest has rocked several neighborhoods, resulting in injury and destruction. The numbers tell the story: nearly 250 arrests as of this writing, almost 150 vehicles set on fire, numerous buildings looted and burned, nearly two dozen police officers hurt.

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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

| April 29, 2015

pricehowardPursuing Truth Amid Civil Unrest.  Media outlets have experienced a number of situations recently that qualify as true “danger zones” in which to send their reporters and tech crews if they choose to cover the event first hand.  ABC TV director of business continuity Howard B. Price writes today about the hazards radio news staffers are facing in situations similar to what’s been happening in Baltimore and – not too long ago – Ferguson, Missouri.  He presents a plan for broadcasters to follow in preparing for coverage of such news events in the future.  Read his entire piece here.

dickeylewLew Dickey, Cumulus, Agree to Continuation. The co-founder of Cumulus Media will be remaining in-place for at least another three years: Lew Dickey extends his employment agreement as the company’s president and chief executive officer. In addition, he will carry on as a board member through 2018. According to board member Jeff Marcus, “We are grateful that Lew Dickey, who has built Cumulus into a leading national media business, has renewed his commitment to lead the company into the future. I look forward to continuing to collaborate with Lew to build value for our shareholders.” In other news at the Atlanta-based company, Ridgemont Equity PartnersRobert “Trey” Sheridan, III, will retire from Cumulus’ board when his termCumulus ends at this year’s annual stockholders meeting; Association of Magazine Media (MPA) president and chief executive officer Mary Berner will be nominated to fill Sheridan’s vacated seat. Dickey comments, “We are fortunate to be adding Mary Berner to our board. Her insights and experience will be valuable as we continue to position the company for long-term success in the changing media landscape.” Elsewhere, Cumulus lead director, Jeffrey Marcus, is appointed non-executive board chair. Marcus has been a Cumulus board member since 2011. He is a partner with Crestview Partners, Cumulus’ largest stockholder.

zampillodanRed Zebra Officially Names Dan Zampillo to PD WTEM, Washington.  The company owned by Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder announces former WXYT-FM, Detroit and SiriusXM program director Dan Zampillo is taking over the programming reigns at its sports talk WTEM, Washington “ESPN 980.”  The PD position opened up after Chuck Sapienza exited in the middle of the on-off-on again addition of the new “Man Cave” morning show hosted by Chris Paul and Jason ReidRed Zebra Broadcasting CEO Rick Carmean says, “When it comes to sports, we have the best on-air talent in the area.  We look forward to having Dan join our team.  He brings great leadership, experience and fresh insight.”

jacobsmedialogo

What News/Talk Fans Are Doing When They’re Not Listening To Your Station.  In a piece prepared for TALKERS magazine by Jacobs Media based on data from the company’s recently released Techsurvey 11, company president Fred Jacobs presents a media and tech profile of news/talk P1s.  He notes that while news/talk P1s tend to lag behind younger demos in the tech and social media areas, that’s changing.  “Fans of the format are more likely to own a tablet, listen to podcasts, and subscribe to satellite radio.  They are less apt to be social networkers.  Compared to just a few short years ago, news/talk devotees are catching up tech-wise with their kids.  The data show that six in 10 stream video at least weekly while nearly eight in 10 own a smartphone.”  See how news/talk P1s choose to use social media and why they turn to broadcast talk radio.  Read the entire piece here.

Odds & Sods.  From the podcast genre comes news that PodcastOne is unveiling a new series featuring TV personality and entertainment reporter Katie Wagner, and international celebrity psychic Voxx Voltair.  Dubbed, “InnerView with Katie and Voxx,” it promises to combine “the hottest news in Hollywood with astrology, clairvoyance, numerology, and Tarot readings and features the latest gossip, fashion trends, and secrets from celebrity guests.”…..At the same time CBS RADIO and CBS Local Digital Media announce some new on-demand programming on its Play.it platform.  New shows include podcasts from SHOWTIME Boxing Commentator Paulie Malignaggi, ELLE Style correspondent Alia Ahmed-Yahia, TED.com speaker Julian Treasure, former CNN senior executive producer Michael Schulder’s “Wavemaker Conversations,” “The Marilu Henner Show”; and “Boomer & Carton” producer Al Dukes’ interview series with media moguls called, “Al’s Boring Podcast.”…..SiriusXM is launching “Let’s Talk with Abby and Ari,” a live, one-hour weekly, call-in show hosted by MSNBC The Cycle’s Abby Huntsman and Ari Melber.  The show will entail Huntsman and Melber examining the news of the day first, and welcoming tastemakers and newsmakers for interviews in a relaxed, casual style.  “The show will be a conversation at the cross-section of current events, politics and entertainment.”…..ESPN 2 “First Take” moderator Cari Champion is now hosting a new weekly ESPN Audio podcast called, “espnW Presents: Be Honest with Cari Champion.”  It will feature the “straight-shooting, always-honest Champion talking sports and more with A-list athletes and celebrity guests.”

srnlogoSalem Radio Network to Organize Aid Drive for Nepal Earthquake Victims.  Via its Washington-based SRN News, Salem Radio Network launched a campaign on its 1,600-plus affiliates nationwide to encourage donations on behalf of victims of last Saturday’s earthquake in Nepal.  The network is working with Oklahoma City-based nonprofit relief organization Project HOPE.  SRN will generate funds to rush food and emergency supplies to the stricken area.  The effort includes Salem Radio Network nationally syndicated talk hosts Bill Bennett, Mike Gallagher, Dennis Prager, Michael Medved, Eric Metaxas and Hugh Hewitt.

fisherhouselogoFisher House Foundation Offers Memorial Day Special to News/Talk Outlets.  As it has done in the past, Fisher House Foundation is offering news/talk radio stations a three-our Memorial Day Weekend program titled, “A Hero’s Best Medicine.”  Fisher House says this year’s program contains “all-new, compelling and diverse storytelling.  The show shares the role that Fisher House plays in military heroes’ recovery, giving family a safe place to stay just steps from their hospital rooms.”  Some of the stories told include that of Marine Cpl. Kyle Carpenter, a Medal of Honor recipient, and his family in South Carolina. Carpenter threw himself on a grenade in Afghanistan to save a fellow Marine’s life. His parents spent nearly three years in a Fisher House; and Marine Cpl. Jake Schick, a wounded warrior who attracted the attention of Clint Eastwood and landed a role in the blockbuster film “American Sniper.”  Schick met his wife in a military hospital.  Throughout his recovery she stayed in a Fisher House.  The program is hosted by KARN, Little Rock afternoon host Doc Thompson.  For affiliation details on “A Hero’s Best Medicine,” news/talk stations should send an email to radio@fisherhouse.org with the word “radio” in the subject line.

Baltimore Protests, SCOTUS Gay Marriage Arguments, Clinton Foundation Scrutiny, Nepal Quake Aftermath, 2016 Presidential Prospects, and Iranian Navy Intercepts U.S. Ship Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/28).  The tactics to curb the violent protests in Baltimore and the political aspects of the event; the Supreme Court’s hearing of arguments in the case challenging the anti-gay marriage laws in four states; the ongoing scrutiny of the financial operations of the Clinton Foundation; the aftermath of the earthquake that’s taken more than 5,000 lives in Nepal; the potential candidates for president in 2016 including new possibilities Bernie Sanders and Martin O’Malley; and the interception of a U.S-flagged ship in the Strait of Hormuz by an Iranian Naval vessel were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Getting It Partly Wrong and Absolutely Right

| January 27, 2015

By Howard B. Price
ABC Television Network
Director, Business Continuity

 

pricehowardbwriterNEW YORK — You’re already hearing it – the pundits pouncing all over broadcasters, their meteorologists, their promo people.

“It’s YOUR fault, you know.  YOUR fault a huge, powerful storm system hundreds of miles wide had the temerity to jog just 50 miles farther east, turning a forecast blizzard for many into a whimpering flurry.”

“Oh, and it’s YOUR fault, too – you emergency managers and business continuity pros – YOUR fault government and businesses took decisions that inconvenienced many and cost untold dollars in lost revenue or extra expense.”

Yeah, well – speaking as both a broadcaster and a certified emergency planning professional – to that I say simply and with strong resolve: “Good for us.”

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Thursday, January 8, 2014

| January 8, 2015

price howardHoward B. Price: Preparedness, Vigilance and Training Important in Wake of Charlie Hebdo Attack.  The horrific assault on French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo serves as a sad reminder that attacks on media outlets are not only possible, they happen on an all-too-frequent basis.  In a piece published in TALKERS magazine, ABC Television Network director, business continuity Howard B. Price writes that “even with the best security resources and procedures in place, no broadcast facility is immune from criminal acts or terrorism.  And being in a small place doesn’t necessarily reduce the risk.  But, there are common sense things we all can do to help deter such incidents, mitigate their impact and help assure an investigative trail in the event one takes place.”  Read Price’s very important piece here.

whitebillBill White Named KFBK and KSTE, Sacramento Program Director.  It’s official: news/talk programming pro Bill White is the new PD at iHeartMedia’s KFBK and KSTE in Sacramento, effective January 20.  White – who’s programmed such storied talk outlets as WGN, Chicago; KDKA, Pittsburgh; and WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte – most recently served as PD at Journal Broadcast Group’s KQTH and KFFN in Tucson.  White comments, “These legendary stations inform and touch listeners in the Sacramento area every day.  I’m honored to be joining the talented team at KFBK/KSTE and look forward to building on their successes.”

frantzbobBob Frantz Adds Cleveland News/Talk Duties.  Longtime WTAM, Cleveland personality Bob Frantz exited that station in July of last year and in October began hosting an afternoon sports talk show for Cumulus Media on WLQR, Toledo “106.5 The Ticket.”  Now, Frantz is adding a daily news/talk program on Salem Communications-owned WHK, Cleveland “AM 1420 The Answer” to his responsibilities.  Frantz has been producing commentaries for the Salem station and now begins the daily 9:00 am to 11:00 am talk program.  Salem Cleveland GM Mark Jaycox comments, “There has been a very loud cry from Clevelanders to hear Bob Frantz on the air once more, since his mic went silent five months ago.  His straightforward, honest approach to news, sports and politics has earned him a strong following among conservatively minded listeners who want more in-depth perspective on news stories that affect our daily lives.”

charleskenKen Charles Exits iHeartMedia.  News/talk pro Ken Charles – after a long career with iHeartMedia programming stations in Houston, Miami and Sacramento, to name a few – exits the company.  Charles had been serving as the company’s national brand manager for news/talk and sports before his sudden exit.  iHeartMedia has been very quiet about this and has, so far, not announced any plans to fill Charles’ corporate post.

podcastone logoHollywoodLife Signs with PodcastOne.  What it calls “another, in a series of previously announced partnerships, merging editorial and audio media,” PodcastOne unveils the arrival of the HollywoodLife podcast to its roster of advertiser-supported, on-demand digital audio programs.  The weekly podcast is hosted by HollywoodLife.com’s renowned president and editor-in-chief Bonnie Fuller and delivers “discussion, debate and the inside scoop on all the biggest, breaking celebrity news.”  It will also feature candid conversations with top TV, music and movie stars.  PodcastOne CEO Norm Pattiz says, “Bonnie’s track record of success in editorial content and audience engagement is extraordinary, and we are excited to expand that from the website to the podcast.  Providing the best in entertainment and celebrity news, she knows how to connect with the female demographic and affect lifestyle interests in ways no one else can.”

cookehollandCES 2015: Is Your Station Merely ‘the Linear Feed?’  Radio consultant Holland Cooke continues his reporting for TALKERS magazine from the giant Consumer Electronics Show 2015 in Las Vegas and today (1/8) he focuses on the disruption TV is feeling at the hands of technology that has made about half of television program viewing delayed or on demand.  “The linear feed” means live programming in the order that it’s broadcast and Cooke writes that as consumption of media continues to change, radio must address that “the linear feed” only isn’t going to be good enough.  Read his piece here to find two ways radio stations can deal with this conundrum.

flintaaronAaron Flint Continues to Build State-Wide Montana Talk Show.  Thirty-four-year-old Montana National Guard officer Aaron Flint began hosting Northern Broadcasting System’s “Voices of Montana” radio talk show five years ago.  Since then the KYYA, Billings-based program has expanded from 10 signals to more than 20 with KLTZ, Glasgow being the latest station to begin airing the program.  Flint states, “It’s pretty clear that listener and station demand for local, interactive, engaging content on both AM and FM radio is strong.  I went on another military deployment back in 2012, and I was, frankly, a little worried that we may lose some affiliates due to the disruption.  But the support for all service members shown by our radio affiliates has just been incredible.  The fact that the show has doubled is a strong testament to the support for the community and local programming by independent and corporate-owned stations alike.”  Flint has served three tours of duty: in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Horn of Africa.  A former staffer on The Hill, he is also a political blogger publishing The Flint Report – a blog the Washington Post has listed as one of the best state-based political blogs.

sharpejimUSA Radio Networks Adds Jim Sharpe to Lineup.  The latest addition to USA Radio Networks’ “rapidly growing syndicated programming lineup” is media pro Jim Sharpe who will host “AMERICA CONTINUES,” airing from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm ET beginning February 2.  USA says the show “will advance the significant news stories of the day with a different insight: the kind of insight that only comes whenusaRadioNetworks America has had a chance to digest the events of the day and put them into true perspective.”  Sharpe’s resume includes winning awards for his work as a war correspondent, and hosting radio shows in markets including: Los Angeles, Dallas, and Phoenix.  Sharpe says of his new syndicated show, “The name of the program serves two purposes: We will continue to update America’s truly important stories even as people put their workday behind them.  And, we will continue to work on this grand experiment called America.  Too many people have given up on the ‘American Dream,’ but ‘AMERICA CONTINUES’ will acknowledge and honor that America is still the planet’s best hope.”

wwwe logoAtlanta’s WWWE Converts to Women’s Radio Network. After having aired Spanish-language music and religious programming as well as sports, Beasley Broadcast Group‘s WWWE, Atlanta transitions to the Women’s Radio Network as “1100 WRNW1.” WWWE general manager Greg Cooper remarks, “Beasley and WWWE are committed to serving the concerns of the Atlanta community. A format focused on the lifestyle of today’s woman gives us a great opportunity to drive our vision for the market forward.” The Women’s Radio Network was previously available only as an online stream: The WWWE affiliation represents the company’s first experience in delivering content on an over-the-air broadcast facility. Hapeville, Georgia-licensed Class D WWWE has not appeared in a monthly Atlanta Nielsen Audio PPM ratings report in recent memory.

nyfest smallEntries Being Accepted for “World’s Best Radio Programs.” Several new categories have been added to the 30-plus-year-old international competition, including “Best Innovation,” “Best Journalist,” and “Best Music Program Host.”  New York Festivals International Radio Program Awards executive director Rose Anderson remarks, “Our categories for ‘Sound Art’ and ‘Best Innovation’ recognize the limitless advances of creativity.  Our ‘Best Journalist,’ and ‘Best Music Program Host’ categories honor the artistry and dedication of the individuals at the mic.”  Advisory board grand jury member/Geller Media president Valerie Geller works with broadcasters in 35 countries “to become more powerful storytellers and communicators.”  Geller comments, “Stories are how we track our lives, learn about others, and develop empathy and understanding of the world.  At its best, broadcasting informs, entertains, inspires, and persuades. Most importantly, it connects people to one another through our stories.  It is satisfying on every level to have the opportunity and honor to hear the amazing work that news, documentary and program teams throughout the world are producing/creating.”  NYFIRPA entries are received from radio stations, networks, and independent producers.  Among the 2014 winners were the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (“Broadcaster of the Year”) and TBI Media UK (“Production Company of the Year”). Deadline for entering the competition is a little more than two months away (3/19); the awards ceremony will take place Monday, June 22 at New York City’s Manhattan Penthouse.

cadeauxavierpaulCreative Talent Inc. Signs Xavier Paul Cadeau.  The voice of the Brooklyn Nets – Xavier Paul Cadeau – signs with talent agency Creative Talent Inc.  The firm, founded and led by radio pro Steve Gallagher, announces the inking of the actor, comedian and voice-over artist to a management contract encompassing broadcast on-air hosting, live sporting events announcing and corporate and industrial hosting and voiceovers.  Cadeau will be appearing on the upcoming HBO television series, “Crime.”  Gallagher says, “You’ve heard his promo voice on HBO Sports, narrating on the History Channel‘s ‘UFO Files’, ‘Planet of the Apes’ week on SyFy and he’s been multiple characters on the ‘Grand Theft Auto’ video game series.  Xavier Paul is an incredible talent.”

lowysloanewendyTalk Host Wendy Lowy Sloane Celebrates Radio Show’s Fifth Anniversary.  The nationally syndicated “What’s Up with Wendy” radio show – hosted by Wendy Lowy Sloane – prepares to celebrate its fifth anniversary tomorrow (1/9).  The BizTalkRadio program is based at WGCH, Greenwich, Connecticut and “showcases interviews with the biggest names in television, movies, music, comedy, fashion, literature, and sports, in addition to self-help segments.”  Celebrity guests who will help Lowy Sloane recognize the anniversary include “Parenthood” actress Monica Potter, “Awkward” star Greer Grammer, and Michael Dinan, owner and editor of NewCanaanite.com.  The program airs from 11:00 am to 12:00 noon on Fridays on WGCH and nationally on BizTalkRadio Fridays at 7:00 pm ET.

harrisonCCraneradio15C. Crane Catalogue for 2015 Chock Full of Interesting “Radio” Units.  As the role of the AM/FM “airwaves” appliance (commonly referred to as a “radio”) continues to struggle for a place of prominence within contemporary 21st century digital society, the remaining manufacturers and distributors of traditional radios – and still out there aggressively marketing them — play a very important role in the fabric of the broadcasting industry and hold a largely untapped key to its longevity.  That being stated, the TALKERS editorial board continues to pore through the annual catalogue of products released by Fortuna, California-based C. Crane, an independent provider of radios who champions the concept of using the airwaves as a ground for mass communications.  As C. Crane president Bob Crane puts it:  “The freedom of radio listening is truly magical with its huge educational and entertainment benefits.”  Crane continues, “Traditional radio and cell phones are dependent on radio waves.  The invisible waves deliver mobility without a connection to wires.  Radios will be here forever because they are devoted to the act of listening.”  Crane sums it up: “When we started this company over 30 years ago, radio waves were broadcast over the air.  For the most part, no matter what you listen with, they still are.  Receiving radio waves better is what we specialize in.  We are here to build the best radios we can to serve [our customers] now and in the future.”  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison (pictured here) adds, “Ever since someone asked the audience of radio professionals at one of our recent New York Seminars, “How many of you have a small AM/FM radio in your possession at this moment and the only one who raised his hand out of several hundred in the room was Art Vuolo, I resolved that as long as I am in the business of serving the radio industry, I will always have a simple AM/FM unit nearby – like my keys, cell phone and wallet… if for nothing more than just principle.”   One of the C. Crane units in Catalogue 2015 that Harrison has been carrying around lately is a neat little 5.5 ounce device dubbed the “CC SKYWAVE.”  It is a travel pocket radio that features intuitively easy on/off AM, FM, Shortwave, Weather and Aviation bands (you can listen to pilot/control tower conversations to amuse or inform yourself while waiting for a plane) that retails for $89.95.  For more information about C.Crane visit www.ccrane.com.

Charlie Hebdo Massacre, New GOP Controlled Congress, Bitter Cold Across U.S, 2016 Presidential Prospects, and Sinking Oil Prices/Financial Markets Activity Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/7).  The murder of 12 at the Paris satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo presumably by Islamic radicals and the world’s reaction; the agenda of the new GOP-controlled Congress and reports of John Boehner’s revenge on those who voted against him for House Speaker; the extreme cold hitting much of the U.S.; the potential candidates for president in 2016; and the sinking oil prices, euro concerns and the effects on the world financial markets were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Je suis Charlie: “I am Charlie” –
and So are We All

| January 8, 2015

Protection against media terrorism, violence and hostility

By Howard B. Price
ABC Television Network
Director, Business Continuity

pricehowardNEW YORK — The horrific terror attack on the satirical Parisian newspaper, Charlie Hebdo, has shaken the public at large, and the media most especially. The paper long has been in the crosshairs of extremists; its offices were firebombed in late 2011 after it published a cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad.  The BBC characterized the paper as “irreverent” in its coverage of current events and controversial issues – so irreverent, in fact, that its editor-in-chief was placed under police protection after receiving death threats.

Today, the police protection and physical security not withstanding, its offices were breached during an editorial meeting – and at least a dozen people, including the editor-in-chief and some of the paper’s most prominent cartoonists, were assassinated in a hail of automatic gunfire.

While there is no specific threat against any American media organizations, more than a few no doubt are reviewing their own security provisions and protocols right now. And with good reason. In recent years, a number of US media outlets have seen violence visited upon them:

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When the Crisis Is at Your Doorstep

| December 15, 2014

By Howard B. Price
ABC Television Network
Director, Business Continuity

 

pricehowardbwriterNEW YORK — As I write this, Australian authorities are trying to end an hours-long hostage situation in the Lindt Chocolat Café at Martin Place, in the heart of Sydney’s central business district.

The area is home to government offices, shopping, financial institutions – and Sydney’s Channel 7, which is located virtually across the street from the scene.

Shortly after police responded, Channel 7 was ordered evacuated – its staff relocated to temporary facilities (see picture below left) — and police set up a monitoring point in its offices.

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Wednesday, December 3, 2014

| December 3, 2014

elderlarryLarry Elder Missing from KABC, Los Angeles Website.  Rumors in Los Angeles are that Larry Elder has exited Cumulus Media’s KABC, Los Angeles where he’d been hosting the 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm program.  No confirmation from KABC or Cumulus officials yet but Elder’s information has been removed from the KABC website and his name is missing from the program lineup.  Elder returned to KABC in 2010 to host afternoon drive after a two-year absence.  He’d been a personality on the station previously from 1994 through 2008.

beckglennJudge Rules Against Glenn Beck in Libel Case.  Tuesday’s ruling from U.S. District Court Judge Patti Saris on Glenn Beck’s request to dismiss Saudi student Abdulrahman Alharbi’s libel suit against him has been denied and the case could move forward if not settled.  If you remember, Alharbi was initially questioned by police investigating the Boston Marathon bombing but was quickly ruled out by police as being involved in the crime.  However, for several weeks after that, Beck used his program to accuse Alharbi of potential involvement in the bombing.  Alharbi is suing for libel.  Beck’s attorneys argue that Alharbi was an involuntary public figure by virtue of his being at the event and, however briefly, becoming part of the story surrounding the event by being questioned.  But Judge Saris stated that simply going to a public event doesn’t make one a public figure and further that, even if Alharbi became an involuntary public figure during the time he was being investigated, that definition ended when he was cleared.  Whether Beck’s camp decides to settle or not may take time but Judge Saris believes Alharbi has a legitimate complaint.  She writes in her decision, “The facts alleged in Alharbi’s complaint easily permit an inference that the defendants were negligent as to the truthfulness of their reports after the authorities cleared his name.”

rosenbergsidSid Rosenberg and Lawrence Taylor to Host Show on WFAN, New York.  Former WFAN personality (and current WMEN, Fort Lauderdale “640 Sports” morning host) Sid Rosenberg and New York Giants great Lawrence “LT” Taylor will host a special sports talk show on CBS RADIO’s WFAN this Saturday afternoon (12/6).  News of the program was reported by the New York Daily news which says that Rosenberg and Taylor are working on a Florida radio project and that the idea was pitched to WFAN programmer Mark Chernoff who agreed to give the show an airing.  Taylor’s agent – Mark Lepselter – tells the paper that his client became interested in doing a radio show and that his failed attempt as an analyst with TNT 20 years ago was exactly that: 20 years ago.  Read the Daily News piece here.

floriomikeMike Florio to Take Over Midday Show on NBC Sports Radio.  Beginning Monday, January 5, NBC Sports Radio debuts a new three-hour football-focused program featuring host Mike Florio.  Florio is creator of ProFootballTalk on NBCSports.com and co-host of Pro Football Talk on NBCSN.  NBC Sports Group and Westwood One say the show “will feature Florio’s critically acclaimed NFL insight, all-encompassing coverage of the league with the most current news and analysis, and thought-provoking debate.  In addition, Florio will conduct interviews with a wide variety of NFL insiders, experts, players and coaches.”  NBC Sports Ventures SVP Rob Simmelkjaer adds, “We are excited to bring Mike’s unparalleled NFL insight to our NBC Sports Radio team.  The fan appetite for smart NFL talk is insatiable, and we are proud to bring them one of the most respected voices in the industry.”

smithmattBeasley Names Matt Smith to VP/Market Manager Post.  Promoted from his interim market manager position at Beasley Broadcast Group’s Philadelphia stations WXTU and WRDW, Matt Smith is upped to vice president and market manager for the company’s Wilmington, Delaware FM adult contemporary WJBR and three Philly AM properties – sports talk WTEL (formerly WIP-AM), religion WTMR, and ethnic WWDB.  Smith will report to Beasley Broadcast Group president Bruce Beasley.

price howardLessons Learned from Protests, Power Failures and Prolonged Snowfall.  Three recent emergency events in different parts of the country are timely examples of the need for station operators to have comprehensive plans to broadcast in these situations, says ABC Television Network director, business continuity Howard B. Price.  In a column published in TALKERS today (12/3), citing the unrest in Ferguson, the snow fall in Western New York and the major power outage in Detroit, Price writes, “If you wait for civil unrest to break out, wait until a blizzard is upon you, or wait until the lights go out before planning for and resourcing a response to these events, you have waited too long to make sure you can respond when your listeners and advertisers need you the most.  Delaying the implementation of a robust emergency action plan – and properly resourcing it – exposes you to the risk of being ill prepared to respond quickly, competently and meaningfully.  And a bad response – or worse, no response — may do irreparable damage to your reputation for reliability and service.”  Read Price’s comprehensive and important story here.

brennancharlieKMOX, St. Louis Talk Host Charlie Brennan Challenges Missouri Traffic Camera Laws.  The case of KMOX, St. Louis talk host Charlie Brennan is just one of three cases the Missouri Supreme Court heard earlier this week that are challenging the traffic camera citation policies in the state.  Here’s the background: Brennan was cited with unsafe supervision of a vehicle – not the moving violation of speeding – after his car was clocked going 11 mph over the speed limit.  He contested the ticket, insisting the city did not give him due process, violated state law, and could not demonstrate he was the driver.  Brennan won his case in two lower courts.  Now, the Missouri Supreme Court will issue a decision sometime in 2015 after hearing the three cases.  Brennan says, “I challenged the speed camera ticket on several grounds.  One of the big issues: the City of Moline Acres does not assess points, even though Missouri law requires such action for all moving violations.  Some of us suspect the city does not assess points because it can’t identify the driver of the car!”  Brennan is on vacation but says he’ll be back on Friday and his lawyers will appear on his show that day to talk about the matter that is irking many drivers across the country.

Odds & Sods.  Bakersfield news/talker KERN is now heard on the FM band as American General Media begins simulcasting the station on translator K241CI, Bakersfield at 96.1 FM.  AGM president Rogers Brandon comments, “The simulcast will allow KERN-AM and the excellent talent that we have on the station to be discovered by the vastly larger FM audience.”…..Ric Russo is named executive producer of the Bubba Radio Network – the syndication arm of the Bubba the Love Sponge program…..CRN Digital Talk Radio announces it is the new national radio home for Nancy Solari‘s radio program, “Living Full Out with Nancy Solari.”  The program makes its CRN debut on Sunday, December 7 at 5:00 PM Eastern.

smulyanbellKicking Off the Holiday Giving Season at Emmis.  On Monday of this week, Emmis Communications chairman and CEO Jeff Smulyan (left) kicked off the holiday season at the Emmis headquarters in Indianapolis.  Smulyan is pictured here ringing the Salvation Army bell to initiate the Salvation Army Radiothon.  He was joined by Emmis COO/CFO Patrick Walsh (right).  This is the 20th year Emmis and news/talk WIBC, Indianapolis have hosted the Radiothon to support the work of the Salvation Army.

Ferguson Grand Jury Aftermath/Barkley Comments, Obama Amnesty Executive Order, 2016 Presidential Prospects, Extension of Tax Breaks, Sinking Oil Prices, and Bill Cosby Rape Allegations Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/2).  The issues of police-African American relations and Charles Barkley’s comments in the aftermath of the Ferguson grand jury decision; the executive order by President Obama outlining a path to amnesty for illegal aliens; the potential candidates for president in 2016; the passing of legislation to extend tax breaks to millions of Americans; dropping oil prices and the effect on how much Americans are paying at the pump; and the fallout from the renewed rape allegations against Bill Cosby were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Lessons Learned from Protests, Power Failures and Prolonged Snowfall

| December 3, 2014

By Howard B. Price
ABC Television Network
Director, Business Continuity

 

pricehowardbwriterNEW YORK — Recent days have brought broadcasters across the country a trifecta of disasters.

In Ferguson, Missouri – where tensions between police and the public were inflamed after the shooting of an unarmed black teenager by a white police officer  – the community’s public safety resources found themselves overwhelmed when anger turned to outrage and to violence.

In Western New York, the snow started and didn’t stop until parts of the region were buried under five or more feet.  Transportation in many areas was seriously disrupted; folks were trapped on deserted, snow-covered roads and waited hours for rescue.  Suddenly, a region famous for its sense of community felt very isolated.

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“It’s Three A.M. – And The Phone Rings…” – And How to Stop the “Janks Pranks”

| August 25, 2014

By Howard B. Price
ABC Television Network
Director, Business Continuity

pricehowardNo doubt you remember “it’s three a.m. – and the phone rings…” from a 2008 Clinton for President political ad – arguably the most enduring line from that campaign.

And it’s a question broadcasters need to answer BEFORE bad things happen…because bad things tend to happen at the worst possible time.

Like 3:20 a.m. Pacific Time this past Sunday…when the earth in and around Napa County, California shook like it hadn’t shaken in almost 25 years.

At 3:20 am at most stations outside the largest markets – and even at some of the bigs, too – the programming likely is automated, or live via satellite. If anyone actually IS home, they are likely to be the lowest-paid, least-experienced people on the payroll.

And that’s OK…we’ve all been there.

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Ferguson Wake Up Call: Is Your Emergency Planning Proactive or Reactive?

| August 20, 2014

By Howard B. Price
ABC Television Network
Director, Business Continuity

 

pricehowardNEW YORK — For more than a week now, civil unrest has rocked a city in America’s heartland. And what started as a tragic local story, has now captured the attention of the nation – and the world.

We don’t yet know the full story behind the shooting of an unarmed African-American man by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri – a suburb of St. Louis.

But what has emerged in the days of protest, rioting and looting that have followed is both a cautionary tale and a teachable moment for broadcasters. They – and digital newsgatherers, too – are being tested on their ability to ramp up meaningful coverage of contentious social issues simmering in communities large and small. Also being tested is their preparedness to both report the story while protecting their people and property.

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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

| August 20, 2014

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

price howardFerguson Wake Up Call: Is your Emergency Planning Proactive or Reactive?  The turmoil in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, MO illustrates the need for radio stations – particularly those in the news/talk/information genre – to be prepared in the event that something like what is happening in Ferguson strikes close to home.  Howard B. Price, director, business continuity, ABC Television Network expert (and one of the huge stars of the recent Talkers New York 2014 seminar) shares his expertise on this subject in a new piece posted today (8/20) writing: “We don’t yet know the full story behind the shooting of an unarmed African-American man by a white police officer in Ferguson…but what has emerged in the days of protest, rioting and looting that have followed is both a cautionary tale and a teachable moment for broadcasters. They – and digital newsgatherers, too – are being tested on their ability to ramp up meaningful coverage of contentious social issues simmering in communities large and small. Also being tested is their preparedness to both report the story while protecting their people and property.  To read Price’s entire priceless piece, please click here.

gallagher mikeGallagher Encourages Listeners to Support Local Police. The call-to-action by Salem talk show host Mike Gallagher comes after last weekend’s fatal shooting by a Ferguson, Missouri police officer of 18-year-old Michael Brown and the aftermath there and elsewhere. Some protesters are calling for retribution for the officer involved in Brown’s death but Gallagher hopes his audience can “turn a negative into a positive” by donating to his 501c3 non-profit “Gallagher’sArmy Fallen Officer Fund,” which provides money to families of officers killed in the line of duty. According to Gallagher, the mission of that endeavor is simple: “We want to get a check into the hands of the surviving family members of a police officer who has been killed in the line of duty as quickly as possible,” he states. “This show of financial support to be used in any way the family sees fit will in no way compensate for their loss; rather, it is a sign of appreciation, respect and support from a grateful nation.” Violence and confrontations in Ferguson are generating headlines, but Gallagher maintains that incidents there are “detracting from the solid work” local police departments do in cities and towns throughout America.

brady billBrady: What Do We Do About AM Radio?  The somber financial and technological state of AM radio as a viable commercial medium going forward is the subject of almost-daily articles both in the consumer media and the media trades. The recent Walt Disney Company  announcement of its intention to sell off 23 of its 24 AM stations only added fuel to these fires of worry and pessimism.  It’s not unusual to read the opinion that AM radio has an “image problem” or is virtually “non-existent” to younger demos — but as Futures & Options, Inc. president and CEO Bill Brady writes in a new TALKERS piece published today (8/20), news/talk radio can step up to the plate and again save AM radio (and itself) in the process.  But in order to do so, there is going to have to be new thinking, creativity and commitment on the part of all involved.  Brady writes:  “News/talk isn’t just a different format, it’s a different business.  News/talk stations used to be stand-alone operations managed by broadcasters who nurtured and cared for them.  They were sold by dedicated sales teams who knew well the format’s ability to bring customers through their client’s doors.  With the dawn of consolidation, news/talk stations suddenly found themselves in big station clusters with managers who were preoccupied with their other stations.  Often, these were music station GMs without news/talk backgrounds — and they weren’t at all prepared for the cranky, petulant, expense-laden news/talk AMs they were suddenly forced to deal with. News/talk stations can be a handful.  Their audiences are vocal, and they complain.  A lot.  Then, there are the hosts.  They are often high-maintenance.  There are pressure groups and PR crises which can’t be ignored.  Then, there’s the expense.  News/talk hosts make a lot of money.  A lot more than FM jocks do.  With news and support staffs, news/talk stations can cost a lot to operate.  To consolidation era GMs, news/talk stations were a pain and the expense reductions were irresistible.  GMs cut the guts out of their news/talk stations.  Gone, too, is the “time suck” of local hosts and their shenanigans.  GMs no longer have to spend their days talking to complaining listeners, or newspaper reporters seeking comment on controversial local hosts. All is now quiet on the western front.  Too quiet.”  To read media management pro Brady’s entire article, please click here.

wckgChicago’s WCKG Relocates. Elmhurst, Illinois-licensed/DuPage Radio-owned talker WCKG “The Voice of DuPage County” is moving to state-of-the-art studios and offices in suburban Chicago. Their facilities will be in Carr Workplaces’ Oak Brook Terrace Tower. With the exception of those in Chicago, it is the tallest building (31 stories) in Illinois. Station manager Matt Dubiel explains, “I wanted to move WCKG to the tallest building in the Chicago suburbs. Carr Workplaces make it possible for small businesses like ours to afford a world-class office environment – smack dab in the middle of Chicago-land, which is exactly what we need to serve the community and our local advertising partners. WCKG program director Leslie Harris remarks, “It is the best place to be in the suburbs. Like [TV’s George & Louise Jefferson said], “We’re moving on up to the east side … of DuPage.” WCKG does not appear in print in Nielsen Audio‘s July 2014 PPM report for Chicago.

WPEN-FM LogoMidday Changes Coming to Philadelphia’s “Fanatic.” WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic” will institute football season midday lineup modifications on the Greater Media-owned Philadelphia sports outlet. One constant is that Harry Mayes will be on every day 10:00 am – 12:00 noon. Each Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday — he will be paired with Brian Baldinger. Every Monday and Friday, Mayes’ on-air teammate will be another “Brian,” Brian Westbrook, who has been a regular “Fanatic” contributor in recent years. While a member of the Philadelphia Eagles, he hosted his own show on the station during the 2008 – 2009 NFL season. The Eagles drafted Westbrook in 2002 out of Villanova University. He spent eight seasons with the Eagles; made two NFL Pro Bowl squads; played in four NFC Championship Games; and in one Super Bowl. A “Fanatic” contributor since 2010, Baldinger — or “Baldy” — joined the Eagles in 1992. After his playing career ended in 1993, Baldinger developed a second career in broadcasting. This new “Fanatic” midday roster takes shape in about two weeks (9/2).

Return of Boston’s “Jimmy Fund” Radio-Telethon. Considerably more often than not in recent memory, the Boston Red Sox are serious contenders for post-season play, although the defending (2013) World Series champions have been in a protracted slump this year. That issue notwithstanding, its radio flagship – Entercom‘s WEEI – and the cable network that broadcasts all their games – the New England Sports Network (NESN) – have commenced the 36-year, 13th annual Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon. Dating back to the days of the “Splendid Splinter,” Ted Williams, and when Hall of Famer Curt Gowdy called the games, the Jimmy Fund has been the Red Sox charity of choice. Regardless of a player’s tenure with the club, he becomes immersed in the exemplary effort to support pediatric and adult cancer care/research at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. As usual, this year’s broadcast is featuring David Ross croppedheart-tugging, compelling stories from Dana-Farber patients, doctors, researchers and nurses. Interspersed are celebrity guests and athletes, including a huge dose of those with a past or present Red Sox connection. The mission, of course, is to inspire people to contribute to Dana-Farber’s lifesaving mission and, since 2002, more than $34 million has been raised. Every charity nowadays needs corporate sponsorship and the WEEI – NESN Radio-Telethon is no exception. It is being aided by the Arbella Insurance Foundation, which contributes $50 for every strikeout by a Red Sox pitcher (up to $100,000).In addition, whenever a Red Sox player smacks a “Wall Ball” off Fenway Park‘s fabled “Green Monster,” Walgreens will give the Radio-Telethon $100. Perhaps the most touching part of this deeply moving event is seeing wide smiles on faces of young cancer patients when they see their favorite Red Sox stars face-to-face. Case in point is this adorable child with her new best friend, Red Sox catcher David Ross.

CBS Sports RRadio 2CBS Sports Radio Sets Weekend NFL Programming Roster. Beginning next Saturday (8/30), CBS Sports Radio anchor Rich Ackerman will host “Eye on College Football” (2:00 noon – 8:00 pm, ET), which will include reports from all top college games, as well as interviews. Co-hosted on a rotating basis by CBSSports.com senior fantasy football writers Adam Aizer, Dave Richard and Jamey Eisenberg, “Eye on Fantasy Football” will air Saturdays (10:00 pm – 12:00 midnight, ET) and will be broadcast from CBSSports.com’s Fort Lauderdale studios. CBS Radio all-sports WFAN, New York afternoon drive personality Mike Francesca will host “Mike Francesa’s Football Sunday” (9:00 am – 11:00 am). While that show starts on the network September 7, it has been on WFAN the past 25 years. Another show kicking off September 7 – and following Francesca – is a one-hour simulcast of CBSSports.com’s Adam Aizer-hosted “Fantasy Football Today.” Rich Ackerman’s “Eye on Football” (12:00 noon – 8:00 pm) will offer a national perspective on all of that day’s NFL games; it also starts September 7. Beginning with Saturday, here is a complete look at the network’s weekend lineup, with all times listed ET. Marc “Moose” Malusis and Maggie Gray (6:00 am – 10:00 am); “Eye on Baseball” with Adam Gerstenhaber and CJ Nitkowski (10:00 am – 12:00 noon); “Eye on College Football” (12:00 noon – 8:00 pm); Jody McDonald (8:00 pm – 10:00 pm); and “Eye on Fantasy Football” (10:00 pm – 12:00 midnight). The Sunday schedule is: Bill Simonson (12:00 midnight – 2:00 am); Amy Lawrence (2:00 am – 6:00 am); John Kincade (6:00 am – 9:00 am); “Mike Francesa’s Football Sunday” (9:00 am – 11:00 am); “Fantasy Football Today” (11:00 am -12:00 noon); “Eye on Football” (12:00 noon – 8:00 pm); and Jody McDonald (8:00 pm – 10:00 pm).

stephan dougMilking The Ice Bucket Challenge. Ever since going viral via social media, the “Ice Bucket Challenge” to raise awareness and donations for ALS has become nothing short of a legitimate phenomenon. Logistics are simple: After accepting someone’s dare to do so, a person fills a bucket with ice and (presumably) ice water and douses it over their head. They then extend the challenge to others and post the video on their social media site. “Good Day” host Doug Stephan participated, but presented a different twist. Not only is he one of the industry’s most tireless workers, Stephan is also a Massachusetts dairy farmer. So, let’s just say water was not in the bucket. Click  here to see what Stephan dumped on his head instead.

llbws-logo100Tonight’s Taney Dragons Game To Air on Philly’s “Fanatic.” The Philadelphia Taney Dragons Little League World Series game versus the team from Las Vegas will be broadcast tonight (8/20) on Greater Media‘s all-sports outlet WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic.” What makes this so noteworthy is that the Taney Dragons are led by starting pitcher Mo’ne Davis, who owing to her pitching prowess and personality, has become a national media star. In fact, she is the first Little Leaguer ever to appear on the cover of Sports Illustrated. WPEN-FM midday personality Jon Marks will host a viewing party at Paganos on Market Street. Tonight’s game begins at 7:30 pm.

SBG LogoSun Broadcast Group Basks in Glow of Inc. Magazine Honor. Specifically, Sun Broadcast Group is proclaimed by Inc. Magazine as being one of America’s fastest growing companies. In rankings released today (8/20), the publication grades America’s quickest- rising private companies, based on percentage of revenue increase over three years. Sun Broadcast Group chief executive officer Jason Bailey proudly enthuses, “I have had the pleasure to announce many great things over these six years, but today I am ecstatic to share this news – what an accomplishment. For the many who never understood our strategy, and for those [who] still do not, receiving this award only affirms to the great people who work at Sun and the amazing agency partners who support us, that we truly are leading the way to a new era of network radio. It is caring about your partners, providing an honest, transparent sales process and always thinking big that will completely change our industry for the better. We are proof that it can be done and we are just getting started.” During the period measured that led to this year’s Inc. Magazine honor, SBG’s revenue jumped more 520%. In that time, the company added 15 fulltime positions between its New York City and Boca Raton (Florida) offices. Bailey and his SBG team will be recognized later this year in Phoenix at the “Inc. 5000 Conference & Awards Ceremony.” Sun’s programming roster includes, among others, “The Marilu Henner Show,” “The Little League World Series,” “Nashville Music Minute,” “Six-Second Reviews with Mr. Movieman,” Accuweather en Español, horse racing’s triple crown, and The Breeders Cup.

 

MVS RadioSD_Logo_Horz_2lines_April2014 lgCross-Border Partnership Involves Stardome and MVS Radio. The result will be an expansion of their respective syndicated branded programming and services in the United States and Mexico. Mexico-based MVS Radio will spearhead ad sales and affiliate relations for Stardome in Mexico; Stardome will do the same for MVS Radio-produced programming/services in the United States. Stardome managing director and chief executive officer Anthony Michael Hernandez states that, “Of all the Mexico-based companies I have worked with throughout the years, none has demonstrated the highest regard for professionalism, strong business ethics, and an undeviating work focus like my friends at MVS Radio. This is truly a partnership and a team effort in the making.” MVS Radio president and chief executive officer Alejandro Vargas remarks, “We are enthusiastic about this alliance with Stardome. We recognize them as ideal strategic partners to expand the coverage of our content in the USA and to represent its brands in Latin America. We are sure this is the beginning of new and prosperous businesses for both companies.” Stardome will service current MVS Radio owned-and-operated stations and affiliates across the southwest border of the United States, while distributing MVS Radio’s branded 24/7 formats, syndicated talk shows and morning shows in the USA Hispanic media marketplace. It adds the entire roster of over 160 MVS Radio affiliates, and owned-and-operated stations in Mexico and Central and South America as part of its duties for Pan Regional Network Radio. MVS Radio will act as Stardome’s in-country Mexico sales office and develop affiliations, network radio, and digital ad sales for Stardome’s soon-to-launch Noti-America radio news network.

Napa lgSite Vows To Keep Pace with Napa. Mention “Napa” to anyone in California and “wine country” will undoubtedly be the instant word-association response. With a 2010 census population of 76,915, Napa is California’s 100th largest city. Maintaining that their site “will not be anything like your father’s radio station or your grandfather’s newspaper, executives at NAPAbroadcasting.com declare, “You won’t hear Katy Perry or Pink ten times a day and you won’t hear sports programs from out of town.” Instead,  local conversations and local voices, “talking, in depth, about local issues” will be emphasized. They will be leaving the “daily police blotter to others” but promise “plenty of controversy” since, “no one here will be afraid to say what is on their minds.” According to a NAPAbroadcasting.com communication, “For years, television was about programs and radio was about formats. Those days are over. Today it’s all about programs and personalities – and it can’t be on someone else’s schedule. Appointment television or radio, is so over. NAPAbroadcasting.com is all about being on demand.” The site is partnering with Napa Valley College. Students, faculty, and staff there will contribute community-focused programming. “On the music side, we will be about music discovery and new kinds of music programs. We will not be another streaming music service, an online jukebox, or a place for mindless patter. Our music programs might be about anything under the musical sun, from jazz to oldies to rock. We will also be interactive, with lots of reviews, samplers and information about the business of contemporary music.” Admitting the site will always be a work in progress, a NAPAbroadcasting.com spokesperson writes, “If you stay with us, you will learn a lot about the wine, food, the hospitality business, and many of the larger-than-life, but often lesser known personalities, who live in this Valley. We think that what is good for the visitors is also good for those of us who live here.”

Ferguson Turmoil, ISIS/US Strife, Rick Perry Indictment, Robin Williams, and Gaza Crisis Among Top Talk Stories Yesterday (8/19).  The stories listed in this headline were some of the most talked about on news/talk radio yesterday  However the breaking story of ISIS beheading American journalist James Wright Foley is dominating conversation on American talk radio today (8/20) according to the ongoing research from TALKERS.

Friday, August 1, 2014

| August 1, 2014

lewisjasonJason Lewis Quits Radio On Air.  The Genesis Communications Network-syndicated talk show host abruptly quit his radio program some 24 minutes into his Thursday evening show Tweeting, “Today I left the radio biz for something better.”  The Pioneer Press reports Jason Lewis told Clear Channel Minneapolis president and market manager Mike Crusham he intended to retire on August 1 (Lewis’ show was based out of KTLK, Minneapolis).  “He told me two months ago he intended to retire August 1.  He decided not to go public with it until today.  I think he is serious about it.  I hope he is not.  He is one of the best talk show hosts I have ever worked with or listened to.”  Lewis posted a video at Galt.io – his new venture – that explains his Ayn Randian views on government and society.  You can view that here.

mcneildanWSCR, Chicago’s Dan McNeil on the Ropes?  As reported by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, WSCR, Chicago sports talk personality Dan McNeil – off of his midday show now for the past eight weeks while in what’s assumed are contract negotiations – and his superiors at the CBS RADIO station are preparing for his permanent departure.  CBS Chicago SVP and market manager Rod Zimmerman tells Feder the two sides have been communicating but talks appear to be all but exhausted and the sense is that the two are not finding mutual ground.  McNeil reportedly wants a pay increase from about $300,000 per year to $500,000 and he wants to move to afternoon drive and Feder reports Zimmerman is not amenable to either.  Read Feder’s column here.

2014 NYC logo 150Talkers New York 2014 Videos Being Posted.  Up Today: “Howard B. Price: Being Prepared for Emergencies.” Today (8/1) marks the 14th and concluding business day of TALKERS magazine’s video posting of speeches, sessions and presentations made during last June’s 17th annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important national convention – Talkers New York 2014.  The presentation of these informative and historic recordings is sponsored by WYD Media Sales, LLC., the rep firm recently launched by Ron Hartenbaum and headed by John Murphy, that specializes in the advertising sales of spoken-word media on all popular platforms.  The worldwide showing of these very special videos continues today with a very special presentation by Howard B. Price, director/business continuity, ABC Radio News, titled “It’s Not IF, But WHEN: Preparing Your Station or Network for Emergent Events, Large or Small.”  Price cites a set of real life examples of what can happen to broadcasting facilities inpriceNYC14 terms of invasions by demented listeners or local disasters – natural and otherwise — that impair their ability to broadcast and threaten the lives and well-being of the local population.  He goes on to offer a detailed explanation of key steps that should be taken in advance of such events.  Price is introduced by national syndicated talk star Doug Stephan who says that he would expect and hope to be pre-empted by his affiliates if they were faced with a local life-threatening calamity.  He would even be “embarrassed” to be on the air during such an event and coming across as being oblivious to it.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison says, “Howard B. Price is, indeed, an industry hero.  His presentation, that concluded our conference on a compelling note, is chock-full of truths and valuable information that address the very heart and soul of our roles as broadcasters.  We didn’t catch some of the images of his accompanying power point presentation in our one-camera shoot – but with a speaker the caliber of Price at the helm, absolutely none of the vital information was lost.”  To view Howard B. Price’s address, please click here.   The Talkers New York 2014 conference videos were recorded by Art Vuolo.  They will remain posted through the remainder of 2014.

hamiltonhacksawOdds & Sods.  Southern California sports media personality Lee “Hacksaw” Hamilton exits Broadcast Corporation of the Americas-operated XEPRS, San Diego “The Mighty 1090” where he’d been co-hosting the Padres pre-game show.  Hamilton had been in morning drive at the station until this past January.  He’s now operating his own eponymous website and seeking his next opportunity…..Former Minnesota Governor (and radio talk show host) Jesse Ventura debuts his “We the People with Jesse Ventura” podcast on Adam Carolla’s Carolla Digital platform.  The weekly podcast will also be available via iTunes…..The on-air lineup for coverage of Houston Texans football on sports talk KILT-AM (and on sister country KILT-FM) is set as Marc Vandermeer and Andre Ware will handle the play-by-play.  KILT-AM personality Rich Lord will host the pre-game show with John Lopez and former Texan Seth Payne.  KILT-AM personality Sean Pendergast, Mike Meltser and Ted Johnson host the post-game show and crosstown KGOW host John Harris joins the radio network for sideline reporter work…..Westwood One brings Jason Benetti aboard as a college football play-by-play announcer.  His first game will be the network’s coverage of the Wisconsin vs LSU game on August 30.  Benetti most recently was media director and play-by-play announcer for the Syracuse Chiefs minor league franchise.

marshallleslieTALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  New affiliate stations for the WYM Media-produced Leslie Marshall program include KTNF, Minneapolis; KTOX, Needles, California; WKBZ and WTKG, Grand Rapids; KNFO, Denver; KVOT, Taos, New Mexico; KTRC, Santa Fe, New Mexico; WNYY, Syracuse; and WHMP, Northampton, Massachusetts…..Nationally syndicated home improvement show “The Money Pit” with Tom Kraeutler and Leslie Segrete is added to the program schedule at WOBM, Lakewood Township and WADB, Asbury Park, New Jersey; KARN-FM, Little Rock; and KRCN, Denver-Longmont…..The “Racing to Success Minute” feature with host Nadine Lajoie is added to the “Mind Your Own Business Radio Show” WLOB, Portland, Maine.

Obama Impeachment Chatter Tops Talkers TenTM for Week of July 28-August 1.  The talk about GOP leaders pushing for impeachment of President Obama and the Democrats’ use of the matter as a fundraising tool was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week.  At #2 was the U.S. House’s vote to authorize a lawsuit against President Obama for unconstitutional action.  Following at #3 was the ongoing Gaza Strip violence and at #4 was the U.S. immigration policy and the border crisis in the Southwest.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.