Tag: "Jeff Schechtman"

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

| December 9, 2014

stephandoug“American Family Farmer” Hosted by Doug Stephan Graduates from Experimental Lab to Terrestrial Platform.   For the second time in its first 15 months of operation, TalkersRadio – the experimental talk radio platform launched in September, 2013 by TALKERS magazine – has spawned a program that has been picked up by terrestrial radio.  The first TalkersRadio program to be acquired by terrestrial radio was “The Brent & Meg Show” hosted by the husband/wife team of Brent Seltzer and Meg McDonald.  Now, “American Family Farmer,” hosted by highly accomplished talk show host Doug Stephan, will launch in January 2015 on two terrestrial syndication platforms — Washington, DC-based Radio America and Minneapolis-based Genesis Communications Network (GCN) – and be available for general radio affiliation.  According to Stephan, the show is specifically geared to stations located in small- to medium-sized rural markets with signals covering locally owned-and-operated family farms.  Although the program is a spoken-word presentation it would fit any number of music-formatted outlets as well as talk because it is only an hour per week and can run any time deemed convenient and appropriate for the station.  “American Family Farmer” is an information and advocacy forum targeted specifically to the beleaguered sector of the American agriculture industry that is comprised of small, independent operators.  What makes Stephan qualified to host such a specifically targeted program?  The answer: In addition to being a dedicated lifelong radio broadcaster, he is also a dedicated lifelong family farmer!  The program’s producers emphasize that this show is being marketed and produced as an entity completely separate from the other Doug Stephan properties.  “American Family Farmer with Doug Stephan” is now available by barter on a market-exclusive basis.  Interested stations should contact Bob K.  Telephone: 774-643-6450.  Email: bobthek@comcast.net.   For the complete details written by TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey, please click here.

talkersradio logoWhat’s Next for TalkersRadio?  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “The graduation of ‘American Family Farmer’ and ‘The Brent & Meg Show’ to solid terrestrial platforms within the first 15 months of TalkersRadio’s existence is extremely gratifying – especially considering that both programs were conceived as ‘out-of-the-box’ concepts and never would have had the chance to develop into such special properties if it were not for this experimental platform.”  According to Harrison, TalkersRadio will go on a one month “hiatus” for technical updates and improvements and come back in early January, 2015 with a new roster of programs headlined by “Healed Planet,” hosted by Alan Colmes, and “The Lionel Show,” hosted by Lionel.  Harrison says, “‘Healed Planet’ – which deals with the leading edge of the human consciousness movement – shows a side of Alan Colmes’ wide realm of interests and journalistic skills that most people have not yet had a chance to experience.  It’s a truly great radio show ‘in the bud’ and I am enthusiastic about its potential for development.  ‘The Lionel Show’ presents the legendary and iconoclastic broadcaster – Lionel – in an unbridled format totally geared to his verbal genius.  Although what he says neither breaks the rules of taste nor the bounds of legitimate clear thinking, I don’t think there has been a tightly wound terrestrial operation out there with the courage to put him on the air and let him run free without tinkering with the brilliant product that just oozes from his fertile mind… at least not up until now.  I suspect that is about to change and the industry will catch up this year with and gain the benefits of what the ‘real’ Lionel has to offer.”  TalkersRadio is powered by Boston-based Backbone Networks.  Readers interested in learning more about TalkersRadio should contact Michael Harrison at michael@talkers.com.

entercomLincoln Financial to Exit Radio Biz; Entercom to Acquire LFM Assets in Four Markets.  The deal announced this morning will see Entercom Communications Corp. acquire Lincoln Financial Media from Lincoln Financial Group for $105 million plus working capital.  Entercom expects to take over operation of the LFM stations in late January and should close on the purchase in the second quarter of 2015.  The agreement includes 15 radio stations in the Atlanta, Denver, Miami and San Diego markets, and it will expand Entercom’s station portfolio to more than 130 stations in 26 markets.  The deal allows Lincoln Financial to get out of the media business and focus on its “core lines of business.”  Entercom president and CEO David Field comments, “We are excited to announce the acquisition of Lincoln Financial Media and welcome thelfm logo addition of their outstanding brands and talented broadcasters to Entercom.  LFM is a great organization that has done an excellent job serving its listeners, customers and communities over many years and we look forward to building on that tradition.  LFM is a perfect fit for us as it bolsters our position in Denver and expands our footprint into Atlanta, Miami and San Diego with terrific brands that have significant growth potential.  Furthermore, it fulfills our disciplined acquisition criteria as it enhances our company’s competitive position and growth and should be accretive to shareholders in 2015 while having a minimal impact on leverage.”  The stations to be acquired include: Atlanta outlets hot AC WSTR and sports talk WQXI; Denver stations country KYGO, rhythmic CHR KQKS, oldies KRWZ, sports talk KEPN and KKFN, and comedy-formatted translator K276FK; San Diego signals alternative KZBT, country KSON and KSOQ, and adult contemporary KIFM; and Miami outlets AC WLYF, classic hits WMXJ, and sports talk WAXY-AM/FM.  The transaction is structured as an acquisition of the stock of LFM with a tax election that allows Entercom to receive a step-up in the tax basis of the station tangible and intangible assets providing additional future tax shields and enhancing future free cash flow.  The $105 million purchase price will be paid in the form of $77.5 million in cash and $27.5 million in new perpetual cumulative convertible preferred stock that will be issued to Lincoln.  Entercom expects to finance the cash portion of the purchase price through a combination of its existing $50 million revolver, cash on hand, and through other financing sources, if necessary.

napabroadcasting2Napa Valley Radio Promises New Local Content, Music in 2015.  The new digital audio platform Napa Valley Radio – a service of Napa Broadcasting – is promoting new local content plus curated music streaming coming to the site in 2015.  Napa Valley Radio is being led by longtime broadcasting executive Jeff Schechtman.  The station marked its three-month anniversary with a message to listeners touting its local content – local election coverage including long-form interviews with candidates, local arts & music happenings, and promotion of the area’s wine industry – plus promises of the content to come.  In what TALKERS editors consider a creative move, the station has partnered with Napa Community College to bring an infusion of youth to the project.  Napa Valley Radio says the New Year will see more content originate by students at NCC and will also bring music shows of various genres to the station.  It will be interesting to watch this local media venture as music rights fees are added to the station’s expenses but, regardless, this local approach to the digital audio service is one to watch and Napa Broadcasting appears to be dedicated to serving a broad spectrum of the community with a relevant mix of news, talk and music.

sternhowardHoward Stern to Return to “AGT.”  As tipped by the Hollywood Reporter, SiriusXM star Howard Stern will return to NBC TV’s “America’s Got Talent” as a judge.  The show is entering its 10th season.  In a Facebook post, Stern writes, “I decided that a life without ‘AGT’ is not worth living.  America needs a caring, compassionate and wise judge, and who am I to deny the people what they want?  It would be selfish of me to walk away.”

brunotonySports Talker Tony Bruno Heard on BlogTalkRadio.   Philadelphia native Tony Bruno – most recently heard on AM/FM radio on Greater Media’s WPEN-FM, Philadelphia “97.5 The Fanatic” in middays – is podcasting via BlogTalkRadio.  In a statement from BlogTalkRadio, Bruno comments, “Deciding who to partner with was an exhaustive process.  BlogTalkRadio is the ONLY company out there with a fully portable stream and call screener system built into one application and when they approached me with their new PRO STUDIO in full HD hosting platform, the choice was clear.  I am excited to be a part of a company that is striving to bring both innovation and quality content directly to the fans.”  Bruno is producing new shows twice per week, on Mondays and Thursdays.

wipwingbowl15CBS RADIO Announces Wing Bowl 23.  The competitive chicken wing eating event that CBS RADIO’s sports talker WIP, Philadelphia debuted as a promotional prelude to the Super Bowl is in its 23rd year and will be held at the Wells Fargo Center on Friday, January 30 at 6:00 am.  The station is presenting the now-nationally famous contest in conjunction with sponsors Steven Singer Jewelers and SugarHouse Casino.  The station will broadcast the contest on WIP-FM as well as online via CBSPhilly.com.  The $10 ticket price will help benefit the Philadelphia Police Department Survivor’s Fund, The Police Athletic League, the Comcast-Spectacor Charities and other beneficiaries to be named soon.  CBS RADIO says that this year’s competition promises to be the biggest party and the prizes have a different twist.  The overall winner of Wing Bowl 23 wins a 2015 Harley-Davidson FLSTF Softail Fat Boy Motorcycle courtesy of Barb`s Harley Davidson, along with $10,000 in cash and a Wing Bowl 23 Championship ring both courtesy of Steven Singer Jewelers.  For the first time ever, SportsRadio 94WIP and Steven Singer Jewelers will give $10,000 cash to the Overall Runner Up as well. This makes it a $20,000 grand total of cash provided by Steven Singer Jewelers. Once again, WIP has two cars up for grabs: one for the top Local Eater and one for the top College Eater.  The Wing Bowl 23 Local Winner has the chance to win a Chrysler 300 and the Collegiate Eater will win a Chrysler 200 both from Barbera`s on the Boulevard.  The Wingette of the Year walks away with $5000 cash courtesy of Rumer Cosmetic Surgery and a Riviera Spas, Orchid 5 Person Hot Tub from Diamond Pools. PJ Whelihan’s is the official supplier of wings for WIP Wing Bowl 23, their eighth consecutive year as sponsor and supplier.

rathertQatarImportant Guest.  Pensacola talk radio personality Brandon Rathert (left), is pictured here with Qatar Ambassador Mohamed Jeham Al-Kuwari (right) in the WNRP “NewsRadio 1620” studios.  Rathert tells TALKERS magazine that his program was graced with the presence of the Qatar ambassador through the work of the Panhandle Tiger Bay Club and Edward Howard (pictured here at center).  Rather says he and Ambassador Al-Kuwari discussed the differences between the two countries and the similarities of its peoples.  The ambassador shared some thoughts on relations between the Arab nations and the U.S.  Al-Kuwari also made a $10,000 donation to a local charity.

Police Killings Protests, Potential Government Shutdown, CIA Interrogation Report, Rolling Stone-UVA Rape Story, Battle Against ISIS, Gruber and the ObamaCare Hearings, 2016 Presidential Prospects, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/8).  The continuing protests against police killings of black Americans; the looming threat of a government shutdown; the controversy surrounding the CIA interrogation report expected to be released today; the flap over the Rolling Stone story about an alleged gang rape at a UVA fraternity house; the ongoing battle against ISIS; Jonathan Gruber’s appearance before a House committee on the Affordable Care Act; the list of potential presidential candidates in 2016; and the weekend’s NFL action were among the top news/talk stories yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Friday, October 31, 2014

| October 31, 2014

2014hhsports-header only 200TALKERS Magazine Presents 2014 Heavy Hundred of Sports Talk.  Today (10/31), the editors of TALKERS magazine present the third annual Heavy Hundred of Sports Talk – The 100 Most Important Sports Talk Radio Hosts in America.  This list ranks sports talk hosts, duos or ensembles from 1 to 100, based upon a set of criteria that includes a combination of hard and soft factors.  The genre of sports talk radio has evolved greatly and grown exponentially over the past 10 years to go from being a fringe format to an important sub-genre of spoken-word radio programming.  With this in mind, the editors of TALKERS debuted the Heavy Hundred of Sports Talk in 2012 to acknowledge the hard-working air personalities on sports talk radio.  The results of this list are, admittedly, subjective.  Being  true to the realities of the media business, ratings and revenue are two of the major factors – some would say they are the only factors worth considering – but the editors also took into account other qualities that help create a list that is reflective of the industry’s diversity and total flavor and still give credit where credit is due.  Those qualities include: courage, effort, impact, recognition, service, talent and uniqueness.  The other concrete qualification for inclusion is hosts must be working – that is, have a regularly scheduled professional show on the air at a minimum of one terrestrial or satellite radio station – at the time of publication.  Now you know the criteria, so who’s #1 this year? Number two, and three?  Click here to find out.

ppmunitRound Four of October PPM Data Released.  The fourth of four rounds of October 2014 PPM data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Austin, Milwaukee, Indianapolis, Providence, Raleigh, Norfolk, Nashville, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford.  The survey period was September 11 through October 8.  TALKERS magazine’s sister publication RadioInfo has all of the numbers from subscribing stations here.  In addition, managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his “Ten Takeaways” from this batch of ratings on the main page at RadioInfo.com here.

salemcommunicationsTwo More Salem News/Talkers Take ‘The Answer’ Brand.  Joining the 11 Salem Communications-owned news/talk station to begin using “The Answer” as their brand are WRC, Washington and KLUP, San Antonio.  Beginning November 4, they become “AM 1260 The Answer” and “AM 930 The Truth,” respectively.  Salem VP director of spoken word format Phil Boyce comments, “Since this is decision day in America, we felt the perfect time to make the brand name switch was on Election Day, and both markets were ready to go.”  Boyce says the brand has resonated with listeners in the markets where the company is using it.

napabroadcasting logoSchechtman Launches Local Digital Effort NapaBroadcasting.com.  Napa Valley broadcasting pro Jeff Schechtman – for the past 10 years the GM of radio stations KVON and KVYN in the region – is launching an online radio station targeting the Napa Valley community.  Schechtman is partnering with Napa Valley College and the operation’s offices and studios are located on the school’s campus.  In a press release, Schechtman notes that since leaving KVON and KVYN, former local talk station KVON flipped to sports using Fox schechtmanjeffSports Radio and he says both stations have outsourced their news.  “There is currently no original audio reporting and no chance for the community to hear the voices of local leaders, opinion makers or other citizens.”  He says his venture hopes to provide that local content.  “Suddenly it became clear to me and others in the community that there was a huge need for local programming that wasn’t being served.  Napa also provides a unique economic opportunity, because in addition to local news and talk, we can expand the effort to incorporate wine, food and health programing, which has both local and worldwide appeal.  We can use the internet for both local, regional and worldwide purposes.”  The partnership with Napa Valley College provides both programming and creative personnel.  Music programing will also start in January.  Schechtman believes that being on a college campus helps provide the energy and creativity that represents what this effort is about.  “This is radio for the way we live now,” he explains.

r'nelgaryOdds & Sods.  With the move of evening host Rich Zeoli from the evening shift to afternoon drive at CBS RADIO’s WPHT, Philadelphia, current afternoon drive co-host Gary R’nel slides back into the 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm time slot.  R’nel has been working with Dick Morris who exits the station on November 5…..New general managers are named by Salem Communications for its San Diego and Sacramento station groups.  Dale Hendry relocates to San Diego to lead the team there. He moves south from the company’s Sacramento cluster where he’s been serving as GM.  Taking over Hendry’s role in Sacramento is Mark Durkin who is promoted from his director of sales position.  And Scott Hamilton becomes general sales manager in Sacramento.

B&OLive showBig Bax & O’Brien Bash in Springfield.  The long-running, highly-successful morning talk team of Bax & O’Brien (Mike “Bax” Baxendale and John O’Brien) of Saga Communications’ classic rocker, WAQY (Rock 102), Springfield, Massachusetts presented their second annual “Thursday Night Live” show last night (10/30).  The bawdy, irreverent comedy spectacular played before a sold-out house of more than 200 core fans at downtown Springfield’s prestigious City Stage theater whoharrisongoldsteinBOsmall paid $27 each for the honor of being entertained by a slew of guests and performers that included salty crooner Red Peters & the Alan Pinchloaf Singers, show producer/newsman/sidekick Steve Nagel, a “mystery guest,” comedic appearances by several high-profile local sponsors as well as hilarious video drop ins from Lionel of LionelMedia.com and show regular, Fitsy. Pictured above (l-r):  Bax & O’Brien on stage.  Pictured at right (l-r): Saga Communications EVP Steve Goldstein and TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison with a photo bomb appearance of associate publisher Matthew B. Harrison taken at a selfie machine set up in the theater lobby.

journalcommunicationsJournal Reports Radio Revenue Up 5.1% in Q3.  Bucking the industry-wide third quarter trend, Journal Communications is reporting a downright outstanding quarter for its radio and television division.  On the radio side, operating earnings were up 16.1% and the net revenue figure of $21.6 million saw a percentage hike of 5.1%.  Television net revenue was up 22.8% but publishing fell 5.4%.  The irony here is that Journal is entering into a complex deal with E.W. Scripps that would put the combined TV and radio properties into one company and the publishing platform into another called Journal Media Group.  Journal Communications CEO Steve Smith states, “Journal benefitted from continued growth in television retransmission revenue along with significant political and issue advertising spending in a number of our markets.  Our focused broadcast sales efforts grew both television and radio revenue, excluding retransmission and political, by approximately 3% and drove television and radio digital revenue up 22% and 31%, respectively.”  Journal has fared better than other radio station owners in the political advertising arena by luck of the draw – it owns stations in states and markets with tight and high-profile races and ballot issues.

wmaldiner10-14Another Stop on the ‘WMAL Diner Tour.’  This photo is from the latest stop on the October “WMAL Diner Tour” in which the station broadcasts (each Friday this month) live from a different diner in Maryland or Virginia.  It’s all part of the station’s content leading up to Tuesday’s elections.  Seen here are (from left to right): guest Ed Henry, Fox News White House correspondent; WMAL “Mornings On The Mall” hosts Larry O’Connor and Brian Wilson.

Mid-Term Elections Take Over Top Spot on Talkers TenTM.  After three weeks of the Ebola pandemic threat as the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio, the run-up to Tuesday’s mid-term elections was the prevailing topic this week.  At #2 was the domestic Ebola cases and the threat of a global pandemic.  Coming in at #3 was the battle against ISIS in Iraq and Western citizens joining the radical organization, followed by the 2016 presidential prospects 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.

KFWBsports legendsLos Angeles Sports Media Legends.  The opening of the Los Angeles Clippers 2014-15 season was the reason for the remote broadcast from “Fan Fest” outside the Staples Center in Los Angeles for the team’s flagship KFWB “The Beast 980.”  Pictured here are (from left to right): Ralph Lawler, who appears on the station at 7:30 each morning; midday personality Fred Roggin; and late morning syndicated talk host Jim Rome.  Additionally, the station’s other weekday personalities Marques Johnson, Jeanne Zelasko, Brett Winterble and George Wrighster appeared at the broadcast.

Friday, December 7, 2012

| December 7, 2012

Broad Cuts at Clear Channel Media and Entertainment Claim Talk and Sports Staffers.  The end-of-the-year cuts taking place within Clear Channel is claiming numerous people in the programming end of the company’s radio stations.  Some of the talk and sports personnel who’ve been let go include:  Eric Chase, afternoons at sports WDFN, Detroit; Rich (Michaels) Minaya, afternoons, talk WIOD, Miami; Josh Sabrowsky, producer, sports KJR-AM, Seattle; Mike Morris, morning co-host, sports KFXN, Minneapolis; Don Ayers, morning producer, talk KOGO, San Diego and Jeff More, afternoon producer, KOGO; Steve Versnick, program director, talk WFLA, Tampa, and sports WDAE, Tampa; Catherine Brown, program director, talk WTKS, Orlando; “Bull,” midday producer, WTKS; and “Cabin Boy,” nights, WTKS.  This list is not necessarily complete as more reports of affected industry people are still coming in.  We’ll continue to update this list as more information becomes available.

Day 2 from the Arbitron Client Conference.  Radio consultant Holland Cooke covered the two-day Arbitron Client Conference for TALKERS that concluded yesterday (12/6).  Three points that dominated yesterday’s discussions and presentations are – as Cooke describes them – scary talk about in-car, straight talk about sports, and plain talk about politics.  Read Holland Cooke’s report from Annapolis here.

Entercom’s WEEI, Boston Names Kevin Winter AM Drive Sports Anchor.  When Jon Meterperel left the Dennis & Callahan morning drive show on Entercom’s WEEI, Boston earlier this fall to pursue his play-by-play career, that opened up a prime sports anchor/on-air role at the sports talk giant.  Now, Entercom announces Massachusetts native Kevin Winter will serve in that role.  Winter worked at the crosstown Boston ESPN affiliate and has served in a variety of studio host capacities including national SportsCenter anchor for all ESPN Radio shows including “Mike and Mike in the Morning.”  Additionally, he has been the pre- and post-game host for ESPN’s coverage of college football and basketball.  He says, “I’m very grateful and excited for the opportunity to join WEEI, particularly ‘Dennis and Callahan.’  This opportunity presents new and exciting challenges for me and I’m anxious and ready to get started.  I’m coming home!”

Rush Limbaugh’s Two If By Tea Initiative Raises More than $1 Million for Charity.  Nationally syndicated talk radio star Rush Limbaugh announces the charitable efforts of his Two If By Tea product initiative have surpassed his goal of $100,000 by 10 times, with $1 million going to charities including the Marine Corps – Law Enforcement Foundation.  Limbaugh, who started the tea company with his wife Kathryn in June of 2011, says, “We ran the numbers, and we are thrilled to announce that because of you, Two If By Tea has donated over $1 million in product and monetary donations to incredible causes.”  Limbaugh says in starting the tea company he wanted to create an American business.  “I personally wanted to experience firsthand all of the requirements, the licenses, the fees needed to take a product to market from nothing.  Our goal was to create jobs and manufacture with all American-made products in a fun, unique way.”

Steve Deace Show Hits 50-Affiliate Mark.  The Iowa-based Steve Deace program announces it has hit the 50-affiliate goal in its first year in national syndication.  With the addition of KXBR, Duluth; KVOI, Tucson; and WYAB, Jackson, Mississippi, Deace’s independently syndicated evening talk show (9:00 pm to 12:00 midnight ET) climbs to the 50-station plateau.  Deace left his position at Clear Channel’s WHO, Des Moines (the station that remains his flagship affiliate) to pursue his goal of national syndication success.  He states, “I am honored and humbled to have achieved such success in such a short time.  When I left the award-winning and legendary WHO last year to find out what other opportunities were out there, I had no idea this was possible.”

Jeff Schechtman Steps Down at Wine Country’s KVON and KVYN, Napa, California.  With the possible sale of the news/talk and hot AC duo on the horizon, Wine Country Broadcasting owner Roger Walther and general manager Jeff Schechtman jointly announce Schechtman will step down from his role as GM in January to pursue other opportunities.  Schechtman states, “Ten years is a long time in any one job, and with the possible potential sale of the station, it seems an ideal time to move on to pursue some projects I’ve been thinking about for quite some time. There is always a tendency to get stale after too long in one job and in one place.”

Gow Communications Closes on KFNC, Houston.  Sports talk station 97.5 The Ticket has been operated by David Gow’s Gow Communications under an LMA since September.  Now, the company closes on the station it purchases from AR Broadcast Holdings for $5 million.

CBS Sports Radio Names Chris Moore and Brian Jones Evening Hosts.  The national sports radio network CBS Radio will debut on January 2 has been fitted with the final piece of the programming puzzle.  Hosting the 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm ET slot will be veteran play-by-play announcer and talk host Chris Moore and former NFL player and current CBS Sports Network analyst Brian Jones, who have been named as co-hosts of CBS Sports Radio’s evening show.  Their program will emanate from CBS Sports Radio’s New York City studio in Tribeca and will be heard on several stations, including WIP-AM, Philadelphia, WFOM, Atlanta, WXYT-AM, Detroit, WJZ-AM, Baltimore, KJQS, Salt Lake City and WSJZ, Orlando.

‘Fiscal Cliff’ Battle Top News/Talk Story for Week of December 3-7.  The political fight in Washington over how to avoid the “fiscal cliff” was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM for the third straight week.  Coming in at #2 was Syria’s chemical weapons threat.  At #3 was the Egypt Morsi protests and following at #4 was the looming ObamaCare costs.  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.  See this week’s complete chart here.