Tag: "Jim Meyer"

Thursday, October 26, 2017

| October 26, 2017

Will November 16 Be the Day the Radio-Newspaper Cross-Ownership Ban Dies?  Testifying before the House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on Communications and Technology yesterday, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai explained that serval proposals to ease regulations on broadcasters will be taken up at the Commission’s November 16 Open Meeting, the cross-ownership ban among them.  Radio operators and newspapers have long sought to end the ban on cross-ownership of their media platforms and it seems likely – with a 3-2 Republican majority on the Commission – that the 42-year-old rule will be eliminated.  Arguing that the rule – designed to ensure a diversity of news sources for consumers – is outdated, Pai told the subcommittee, “If you believe as I do that the federal government has no business intervening in the news, then we must stop the federal government from intervening in the news business.”  Pai said the media landscape has changed dramatically over the years and pointed to Google and Facebook and an example of that.  “Online competition for the collection and distribution of news is greater than ever and just two internet companies claim 100% of recent online advertising growth.  Indeed, their digital ad revenue this year alone will be greater than the market cap of the entire broadcasting industry.”

Westwood One Unveils Radio’s First ROI Guarantee.  In an effort to build confidence in the power of radio to give a return on investment to advertisers, Westwood One is announcing the “first-ever, industry-wide ROI Guarantee in the audio space based upon irrefutable evidence of radio’s powerful return on advertising spend.”  WW1 says that “the results, as proven by Nielsen, have continually shown exceptionally strong evidence of radio’s positive ROI across 23 national studies measuring sales results for multiple brand category campaigns.”  The press release explains how the program works.  “Westwood One will partner with qualifying clients to accomplish their business objectives.  Additionally, because campaign creative influences 50% of sales lift, the commercial creative will be pre-tested and benchmarked against industry audio creative test norms to ensure consumer impact and resonance.  Nielsen will measure return on advertising spend on behalf of the radio campaign, which includes all media that run across the entire broadcast radio landscape, as well as Westwood One, by matching Media Monitors ad occurrences with Portable People Meter listening, Nielsen credit card data and in-store CPG purchase data from Nielsen Catalina Solutions.  If ROI is not positive, Westwood One will run no-cost supplemental media weight sufficient to deliver the guaranteed ROI.”  Westwood One president Suzanne Grimes says, “We have seen stunning radio ROI data across the board and are convinced of radio’s ability to generate a positive return, so much so that we are offering the ROI Guarantee to our advertisers.  Given secular trends across the media landscape, brands are deeply concerned over ad fraud, viewability, and questionable metrics.  Marketers demand solutions that reach their target customers and generate results. The Westwood One ROI Guarantee elevates radio as the measurable mass reach medium that, simply put, delivers.”

Cumulus Offers Preliminary Operating Results for Third Quarter.  Ahead of the November 9 release of official financial figures and the subsequent investor conference call, Cumulus Media is presenting some “preliminary operating results” along with some commentary from CEO Mary Berner.  Today’s press release says the company expects to report net revenue in a range of $286 million to $288 million with net income in a range of a loss of $0.3 million to a gain of $1.7 million…Adjusted EBITDA performance for the three months ended September 30, 2017 is expected to show growth in a range of 3% to 6% year-over-year.  Berner states, “The strong preliminary results for the third quarter provide further evidence that our turnaround plan is taking hold.  We are encouraged by our continuing operating and financial momentum in the face of negative industry trends.  This quarter, we delivered our seventh straight quarter of ratings share growth at the station group along with revenue share gains for our fifth straight quarter at the station group and third straight quarter at Westwood One.  Most importantly, it was the second straight quarter of year-over-year growth in revenue and Adjusted EBITDA.  While the company has ample cash to operate our business, Cumulus continues to be constrained by an excessive debt load.  With the assistance of outside advisors, we are proactively exploring a range of alternatives with our lenders and noteholders to restructure the balance sheet and reduce debt.  Our objective is to be able to redirect more of our time and resources to where they can have the greatest impact on our future – investing in our employees, in key technologies and in initiatives that drive growth.”

SiriusXM Q3 Revenue Up 8%.  Reporting on third quarter results, SiriusXM announces that its revenue for the period was up 8% over the same period a year ago.  Revenue for the quarter was $1.4 billion.  The company reports, “Net income totaled $276 million in the third quarter 2017, up 42% from $194 million in the third quarter 2016….free cash flow in the third quarter 2017 grew 22% to $434 million, compared to $357 million in the third quarter 2016.”  SiriusXM CEO Jim Meyer states, “SiriusXM delivered a very strong third quarter despite headwinds from slowing auto sales and the impact of severe weather in many parts of the United States. We recorded our best-ever quarter for adjusted EBITDA and its corresponding margin — which reached 39.9%.  SiriusXM is pleased to once again raise our full-year guidance for revenue, adjusted EBITDA and free cash flow.  In September, we also completed our $480 million strategic investment in Pandora and recently announced a 10% hike in our quarterly dividend.”  SiriusXM says total subscribers reached 32.2 million during the quarter and 27 million self-paying subscribers.

Radio Talent to Appear on C-Endorsement Videos for Cumulus.  The power of radio talent endorsements is being harnessed by Cumulus Media for its C-Endorsement Videos – “local personality-branded video endorsements will appear as pre-roll video ads before content on popular and reputable third-party websites visited by consumers within a local advertiser’s specific target audience including age, gender, geography, and behavioral characteristics.”  Cumulus VP, digital operations and business development Larry Linietsky states, “Radio personality endorsements are effective marketing solutions because of the trusted relationship listeners have with their favorite local DJs and hosts.  With audiences spending up to four hours every day with these personalities, research shows that nearly 80% trust on-air personalities like friends.  Given the combination of the time spent and the trust built, it is no wonder that over 50% of the audience reports their favorite personalities influence their opinions.  Now is the perfect time to harness the tremendous influence our talent has with local audiences into the digital world via C-Endorsement Videos as part of the growing Cumulus Digital C-Suite.”

Sean Hannity Executive Producer of Faith-Themed Film, Let There Be Light.  Actor and director Kevin Sorbo tells FOX News about his new film called, Let There Be Light, a production involving FOX News Channel and Premiere Networks superstar Sean Hannity.  Sorbo tells FOX that he and Hannity have known each other for years and Hannity approached him about doing a project together because he likes Sorbo’s movies.  Sorbo says the protagonist is an atheist who undergoes a transformation after the death of his son and his failed marriage. Hannity calls the film a real-life emotional rollercoaster.  “If you want to avoid the typical formulaic Hollywood movie model of sex, violence and cartoon characters and watch a movie that can truly impact your life, this is the movie for you and your entire family.”  See the FOX News piece here.

Menendez Promoted at WGN, Chicago. Windy City news pro Stephanie Menendez is being promoted by Tribune news/talk WGN to director of news and operations for the station.  Menendez joined the station in 2008 as a producer.  She then was elevated to executive producer, assistant program director and operations manager.  She is quoted saying, “I am excited for this opportunity to lead our news team as we continue to curate strong content 24/7.  We have the best team of journalists, hosts and producers in the city and I look forward to seeking innovative ways to further expand WGN Radio’s presence in the digital space.”  WGN vice president of content & programming Todd Manley states, “Stephanie has the zest our team needs to tell remarkable Chicago stories.  Every day I’m grateful for the way she leads and collaborates.”

NPR Seeing Growth in Content Consumption.  It wasn’t that long ago that The Current, the trade publication that reports on public media, wrote a piece detailing the listenership woes the content provider was experiencing: an aging listenership to NPR Member stations and five years of declining listenership to its morning and afternoon programs.  That article was published in October of 2015.  Today, NPR is gleefully reporting that via radio, podcast listenership and visits to NPR.org, it is reaching 99 million people per month.  Moreover, NPR states that, based on spring 2017 numbers from Nielsen Audio, “the total weekly listeners for all programming on NPR stations reached an all-time high of 37.7 million.”  The Fall 2016 election cycle brought a lot of listeners to news and news/talk radio stations.  NPR says it still isn’t seeing any falloff almost one year later.  “Both ‘Morning Edition’ and ‘All Things Considered’ retained the remarkable growth seen during the Fall 2016 election cycle.  Their weekly audience is at 14.63 million and 14.6 million listeners, respectively.  NPR is also happy with its younger demos, reporting that 28% of all 25-54 year olds listened to an NPR Member station at least once a month, 16% listened at least once a week, and 6% of all 25-54 listened at least once a day.”  Read more here.

Clinton-DNC Trump Dossier Case, Trump Tax Overhaul, Sexual Harassment Accusations, North Korea Nuclear Threats, Uranium One Investigation, Deadly Niger Ambush, and MLB World Series Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/25).  The revelation that the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee funded the Trump-Russia dossier; the Trump-GOP tax overhaul process; the numerous public allegations of sexual harassment; North Korea’s nuclear threats against the U.S.; the investigation into the Obama Administration’s deal with Russia-backed Uranium One and whether the Clinton Foundation benefitted from the deal; the aftermath of the ambush on U.S. troops in Niger that left four dead; and the Dodgers-Astros World Series were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

WHO, Des Moines’ Van Harden and Bonnie Lucas Spend Night in Scariest Place Ever.  Pictured here are WHO, Des Moines morning personalities Van Harden (right) and Bonnie Lucas (left) broadcasting from the place Google ranked the scariest place in America.  The two spent the night in the Villisca, Iowa home of the Moore family who, along with two house guests, were bludgeoned to death with an axe in 1912.  The killer(s) of the eight victims were never found.  Harden tells TALKERS, “Very odd things have been happening in the house ever since the murders.  We were not allowed to sleep on the beds, so we slept on the floor in sleeping bags, although between creepy sounds, unexplained happenings and the radio engineer’s loud snoring, there wasn’t much sleep.  Axe marks still remain on the walls and the case remains unsolved.  Footsteps were heard in other parts of the house when all the broadcast crew was accounted for. Weird things popped up on cell phones, including a picture of a room ceiling with 2 arms hanging out of it.  And when play balls were put on the floor, they mysterious started moving on their own in different directions.”

 

 

Kelsea Ballerini Thanks the NASH Folks!  Country sensation Kelsea Ballerini is pictured above on the NASH Campus of Cumulus Media in Nashville presenting a platinum record in recognition of her debut album, The First Time (Black River Group).  Pictured here are (from l-r): John Shomby, NASH director of programming and PD for WKDF “NASH FM 103.3”; Ballerini; Mike McVay, EVP, content & programming, Cumulus Media and Westwood One; and John Kilgo, VP, label relations, Cumulus Media.

Friday, July 28, 2017

| July 28, 2017

Entercom Reports Second Quarter Net Revenue Rises 3%.  With the pending EntercomCBS RADIO merger front-and-center in the radio news these days, when Entercom president and CEO David Field talks, people listen.  Analysts and industry watchers were no doubt eager to hear what Field had to say about the merger process and here’s what he told them on this morning’s conference call.  “We’ve made good progress towards completing the transaction. We’re well along in our post-merger integration work, developing our plans to optimize our structure, practices and strategies to ensure we move quickly and effectively to capitalize on the opportunities in front of us.  And we have entered into letters of intent on all of our planned divestitures with strong interest from a significant number of various parties for the various stations and we’re pleased with the outcome of this process.  That said, we’re still working to achieve approval from the Department of Justice on the divestiture plan and are in the midst of that process.  We believe we’ll remain on schedule for closing in the second half of this year.”  To the numbers, Entercom reports net revenue of $125 million during the second quarter of 2017, an increase of 3% compared to the same period a year ago.   Same station net revenue was up 1%, excluding political.  In a statement, Field says, “We continue to make great progress in our planning for our transformational merger with CBS RADIO that will make us the #1 provider of original, local audio content in the U.S. and create the scale to compete with other media for a larger share of ad spending.  As we meet with clients, agencies, and strategic partners, we are more confident than ever about the value-creating opportunities ahead.  Second quarter revenues increased 3% as reported, and up 1% on a same-station basis ex-political.  Expenses were up more than usual due to our acquisition in Charlotte, some significant one-time-only expenses and additional costs related to building the organization in anticipation of the merger.  We expect expense growth to recede in the third quarter and look for meaningful margin expansion post-closing.”  As of June 30, Entercom had outstanding $467.6 million of senior debt under its credit facilities and $27.7 million in perpetual cumulative convertible preferred stock.  The company reports $8.6 million in cash on hand.

SiriusXM Q2 Revenue Up 9%; Subscribers Top 32 Million. Satellite radio operator SiriusXM is reporting 2017 second quarter financial numbers, led by “record” revenue of $1.3 billion, up 9% compared to Q2 of 2016.  Net income was $202 million in the second quarter, up 16% from $175 million in 2016.  The company’s free cash flow rose 6% to $417 million.  During the quarter, SiriusXM added 466,000 net new self-pay subscribers, putting its total self-pay subscribers at nearly 26.7 million.  SiriusXM CEO Jim Meyer states, “In the second quarter, SiriusXM continued its strong track record of execution and demand for our premium content bundle pushed our listener base to an all-time high of more than 32 million paying subscribers. We are pleased to raise our full-year guidance for net self-pay subscriber additions, revenue, and adjusted EBITDA. We also made tremendous progress on strategic initiatives in the second quarter with the closing of our recapitalization of SiriusXM Canada, our acquisition of Automatic Labs, and our agreement to acquire a minority stake in Pandora Media.”

TALKERS Hears: Westwood One Signs Syndication Agreement with Walter Sabo.  TALKERS magazine hears that, according to unconfirmed inside sources, Westwood One has signed an agreement to syndicate a three-hour radio show hosted by Walter Sabo.  Sabo, CEO of the New York-based consultation firm Sabo Media, has been hosting a live, weekly two-hour talk show at 11:00 pm on Sunday nights on CBS O&O WPHT, Philadelphia for the past several years.  He uses the on-air name Walter Sterling.  The pact is the result of conversations between CBS RADIO and Cumulus Media to make the Walter Sterling Show (a CBS property) available to Cumulus stations and others in the late night weekend slot including an extra third hour.  TALKERS editors who have been listening describe the show as a departure from typical “left versus right” political news/talk fare focusing largely on social, family, and cultural issues of current life.  Noted radio impresario Kraig Kitchin is reportedly managing Sabo’s emerging on-air career and negotiated the deal. NEXT WEEK:  TALKERS will be presenting a special feature story by managing editor Mike Kinosian detailing the history of Walter Sabo’s colorful career from being a wunderkind 20-something radio executive in the 1970s and 1980s with ABC and NBC through his work as a leading consultant in the 1990s and early 2000s – culminating with his emerging presence as an on-air talent today.

Longtime KTRS, St. Louis Personality Frank O. Pinion Exiting.  After more than 20 years onFrank the St. Louis talk station, afternoon drive host Frank O. Pinion, a.k.a. John Craddock, will wrap his deal with CH Holding’s KTRS on September 14. The St. Louis Post Dispatch reports that Craddock told his listeners that the parting was not amicable – he’s resigned – and that he’s not retiring either.  The paper reports that Craddock is not a KTRS employee but an independent contractor who brokers the show, getting inventory to sell.  Read the Post-Dispatch story here.

Jon Kelly Takes Control of SummitMedia LLC.  The company announces that shareholder and private investor Jon Kelly reaches an agreement to purchase the controlling interest in SummitMedia LLC held by Highpoint Holdings.  SummitMedia chairman/CEO Carl Parmer states, “Jon has been our largest individual shareholder since inception and we are delighted he will become our controlling shareholder, pending FCC approval.  Not only is he a good friend, but he and his family have a long and incredibly successful history in broadcasting in the United States.  His commitment to SummitMedia positions us to take advantage of strategic opportunities and grow our platform in the years ahead.”

Conclave 42.  Consultant Holland Cooke (pictured above with conference chair Lori Lewis, VP/social for Cumulus Media/Westwood One) reports from Minneapolis with his notes on the Conclave Summer Learning Conference.  Among the topics discussed at this year’s conference were: the possibilities for radio with the growth of smart speakers, podcast strategies for radio personalities, the future of radio’s place in the car, and more.  See Cooke’s coverage here.

Salem Hosts at the White House.  Pictured above are some of the Salem Radio Network personalities and some of the hosts whose shows air on Salem Media Group-owned news/talk stations at this week’s “Made In America” radio remote from the White House.  Clockwise from left: Kevin McCullough (WNYM, New York), Joe Piscopo (WNYM, New York), Salem SVP spoken word format Phil Boyce, Craig Silverman (KNUS, Denver) and his son, SRN’s Eric Metaxas and Larry Elder.

Talking Issues with Jon Lovitz. “Saturday Night Live” alum Jon Lovitz (right) is pictured here with talk radio star Lars Larson (left) at Alpha Media’s KXL, Portland studios. Larson tells TALKERS magazine that Lovitz appeared on his radio show and talked “Trump, guns, Caitlyn Jenner and a lot of other things.”

TALKERS News Notes. With the goal of making its 34 radio stations in 13 states available on to Amazon Alexa-supported devices, E.W. Scripps enlists XAPPmedia.  XAPP VP of sales Ryan Higbie says, “We are honored to work with Scripps to bring Amazon Alexa users access to its radio stations’ original audio content.  The technology offers an immersive experience for users to listen to their favorite radio programs on demand.  XAPP is committed to helping Scripps make the most of this new distribution channel and build deeper listener relationships at the same time.”…..SiriusXM announces comedian and actor Godfrey begins hosting a daily show on the Urban View channel on Monday (7/31).  “The Power Hour” will air daily from 12:00 noon to 1:00 pm and feature “dynamic and often provocative conversations on politics, pop culture, and social issues in Godfrey’s relaxed, comedic style.”

ObamaCare Repeal and Replace Tops Talkers TenTM for Week of July 24-28.  The GOP’s attempts to vote on the repeal of the Affordable Care Act and efforts to craft a replacement health care plan tied for the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio this week.  At #2 was the threat by new White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci to fire the entire West Wing to stop leaks to the press.  Coming in at #3 was President Trump’s ban on transgender soldiers in the military, followed by the announcement by Foxconn of plans for a new plant in Wisconsin 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.

TALKERS 2017 Convention Videos Continue Posting Today (7/28) with Memorial Tribute to Alan Colmes by Jim Bohannon.  The entire agenda of the recent Talkers 2017: A New Era national talk media convention has been video recorded and its sessions are being posted to Talkers.com – one event per day.  Already posted are:

–          The “Welcoming Remarks” by WMAL, Washington, DC afternoon drive host Larry O’ Connor (including an introduction by TalkersRadio GM David Bernstein).

–          The special presentation “You HAVE Options” by consultant Holland Cooke (including an introduction by Yappy Days author Bernadette Duncan).

–          The “Fireside Chat” between TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison and Premiere Networks/Fox News Channel host Sean Hannity (with introduction by Westwood One host Jim Bohannon).

–          The “Fireside Chat” between TALKERS managing editor  Mike Kinosian and WFAN, New York sports talk show host Mike Francesa (with introduction by Sabo Media CEO Walter Sabo).

–          The special presentation “The Trump Effect: Latest Research of Interest to News/Talk Radio” by Salem Radio Network SVP Phil Boyce (with introduction by Pioneer Valley Radio GM/host Brad Shepard).

–          The special presentation “Podcasting and Local Radio” by PodcastOne excutive chairman Norm Pattiz (with introduction by Hubbard Radio SVP/programming Greg Strassell).

–          The first, second and third in a series of three consecutive “one-on-one” sessions discussing the topic “Maximizing Talk Radio’s Multi-Platform Potential for Reach and Revenue” featuring conversations between WABC, New York, PD Craig Schwalb and KGO, San Francisco host Ethan BearmanBold Gold Media Group president/CEO Vince Benedetto and DGital Media managing partner Ron Hartenbaum, and nationally syndicated host Dr. Asa Andrew and TalkersRadio GM David Bernstein.  All three sessions are facilitated by Sirius/XM Satellite Radio host Karen Hunter.

–          A “one-on-one” dialogue titled “Radio That Makes a Difference” featuring the SiriusXM Satellite Radio husband/wife team of host Joe Madison and executive producer Sharon Madison (introduced by Sirius/XM Satellite Radio VP/GM talk programming Dave Gorab).

–          A “Fireside Chat” featuring former CBS Radio president/CEO and Broadcasters Foundation of America chairman Dan Mason being interviewed by WPGG, Atlantic City morning host Harry Hurley (with introduction by BOB-FM, London morning host Graham Mack).

–          A “Fireside Chat” featuring Emmis Communications CEO/chairman Jeff Smulyan being interviewed by TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey (with an introduction by Bentley University professor/TALKERS legal editor Steve Weisman).

–          The series of four “one-on-one” dialogues titled “The Challenges of Doing Talk Radio in 2017.”  They feature a conversation between WYD Media syndicated host Thom Hartmann and Cumulus Media corporate PD/WMAL, Washington PD Bill Hess(introduced by Moceri Media president Greg Moceri), a conversation between morning co-host of WAQY-FM (Rock102), Springfield, MA  Mike “Bax” Baxendale and morning host of WOLB, Baltimore Larry Young, and a conversation between Cumulus Media EVP programming and content Mike McVay and Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott (facilitated by ABC News Radio VP/GM Steve Jones).

–          The series of four “one-on-one” dialogues collectively titled, “Where Does Talk Media Go From Here?” featuring a conversation between WRHU, Hofstra University OM John T. Mullen and WRFH, Hillsdale College GM Scot Bertram; a conversation between The New Normal CEO/founder/host Tom Leykis and syndicated host Michael Berry; a conversation between The Weiss AgencyEVP Heather Cohen and Fox News Radio/Fox News Channel host Brian Kilmeade; and a conversation between WPHT, Philadelphia host Dom Giordano and GCN syndicated host Dr. Daliah Wachs  (facilitated by WOR, New York APD Scott Lakefield). At the conclusion, Dr. Wachs is presented the TALKERS “Humanitarian of the Year” award by Michael Harrison.

–          TODAY (7/28) we posted the second of a series of three memorial tributes by Westwood One host Jim Bohannon dedicated to major talk show personalities and longtime TALKERS Convention participants who passed away this past year:  Tom MarrDr. Joy Browne and Alan Colmes.  Today’s posted tribute is for Alan Colmes. Dr. Joy Browne’s tribute will be posted on Monday.  (Introduction by Stephan Multimedia CEO/host, Doug Stephan.)

Within the following days and weeks, every session will be posted and will remain on Talkers.com for the rest of the year.  The Talkers 2017: A New Era video page is sponsored by Backbone NetworksBroadcasters General Store and Comrex Corp.  To view the video page of Talkers 2017: A New Era, please click here.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Charlotte, air personality JT Bosch is named the afternoon drive host and assistant program director at iHeartMedia’s country WKKT “96.9 The Kat.”  Effective August 14, Bosch begins hosting the 2:00 pm to 7:00 pm show.  Bosch was most recently with the company as APD/evening personality at WMZQ, Washington.  iHeartMedia Virginia-Carolina Region president Dave Carwile states, “I’m excited to have JT in Charlotte and involved in the programming of WKKT.  He is familiar with the area and his experience in both programming and on-air is unrivaled.”…..Carson Daly is resigning from his morning show duties at CBS RADIO’s KAMP, Los Angeles “97.1 AMP Radio,” in order to focus on his television projects and his other radio work.  He told his radio listeners that his desire to spend more time with his wife and three kids was a big factor in the decision.  “I just want to have breakfast with my kids,” he said.  Daly will still produce the weekend radio countdown show “Daly Download” while handling television duties that include hosting “The Voice,” anchoring on the “Today” show, and hosting “Last Call with Darson Daly.”…..The mystery surrounding the April disappearance of Kathy Hart from WTMX, Chicago’s popular “Eric & Kathy” AM drive show may soon be revealed to some degree or another, according to Chicago media writer Robert Feder.  He writes today that sources say action on her relationship with the station should come soon and it sounds as though she’s negotiating an end to her contract.  However, everyone seems mystified as to what caused her to choose to take a leave from the highly rated program 12 weeks ago, including radio partner Eric Ferguson.  Read Feder’s piece here…..Entercom’s WLNK, Charlotte “The Link 107.9” inks a new deal with Bob Lacey and Sheri Lynch (pictured at right) for the two to continue hosting their syndicated “Bob & Sheri” show on the station.  Entercom Charlotte VP/GM Matt Hanlon states, “This is the top-rated show in the market and one of the best, most unique morning shows in America.  We’re fortunate to have the caliber of talent and creative engagement the ‘Bob & Sheri’ show brings to the airwaves every day.”

Friday, February 3, 2017

| February 3, 2017

Profile: FOX Sports’ Colin Cowherd.  Seventeen months into his deal with FOX Sports – one that puts him on television, in national radio syndication and makes him part-owner of his own content – Colin Cowherd speaks with TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian in  a profile published today (2/3).  Cowherd tells Kinosian that the change from ESPN to FOX Sports was moving from “one great company to another.” But he’s happier with the vibe at FOX.  “The reality is that radio should be more dangerous.  It is unedited, ad-libbed, and free-form. There’s a little stand-up, a little ranting, a little painting and you are going to spill a little on the canvas.  I think my personality fits the FOX ecosystem a little better than the current ESPN ecosystem, which has gotten much more politically correct in the last several years.”  Read the whole piece here.

Beasley to Unload Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville, North Carolina Cluster for $11 Million.  The buyer is CMG Coastal Carolina and Beasley Media Group says it will use the cash to pay down debt.  The stations affected are: blues WNCT-AM, Greenville; classic hits WNCT-FM, Greenville; classic rock WSFL-FM, New Bern; hip hop WIKS-FM, New Bern; adult contemporary WMGV-FM, Newport; and rock WXNR-FM, Grifton.  CMG Coastal Carolina, which is affiliated with Curtis Media Group, intends to spin off WNCT-FM to Inner Banks Media, LLC.  Beasley CEO Caroline Beasley comments, “Since the Company’s founding in 1961, Beasley has established a long-term record of successfully optimizing its station portfolio through both strategic acquisitions and divestitures to drive returns for our shareholders.  Last November we completed the accretive acquisition of Greater Media, adding 17 stations (net of divestitures) and four attractive new markets to our operating footprint.  We are making continued progress with the integration of the new stations as we apply our proven strategies that focus on strong core programming and targeted localism to support ratings and market leadership.  We are confident that the stations being divested will continue to offer listeners in Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville great local programming.”

2016 Banner Year for SiriusXM.  The financial figures from the fourth quarter of 2016 and the entire year are being reported and SiriusXM says it beat its guidance “on all metrics.”  The satcaster’s net income for the fourth quarter of 2016 was $205 million – up 52% from the same period in 2015.  For the year, net income was $746 million – up 46% from 2015.  As for its subscriber numbers, SiriusXM reports a net subscriber growth of 1.75 million for the year.  It now reports more than 31 million subscribers with nearly 26 million self-paying subscribers. CEO Jim Meyer comments, “Last year was a phenomenal year for SiriusXM’s business, and we expect continued success in 2017.  We finished ahead of our guidance across the board, with record revenue, adjusted EBITDA and free cash flow.  With more than 31 million subscribers, SiriusXM has never had more paying customers. We’ve issued guidance for continued growth in 2017, and we expect a record adjusted EBITDA of more than $2 billion.”

Michael Harrison Says a New Golden Age of News/Talk Radio is at Hand – IF Broadcasters Rise to the Challenge.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison addressed this month’s meeting of the magazine’s editorial board with optimistic observations about the news/talk format’s future as the world enters the Donald Trump era.  But he also pointed out that the format’s inherent multi-genre potential can only be reached if broadcasters have the vision and courage to significantly alter the current paradigm and “take advantage of the political passions that have engulfed a wide swath of the American population, way beyond the traditional conservative core audience.”  Harrison was clear that he thinks traditional conservative news/talk radio is here to stay although “enthusiasm for Trump has bent some of the tried-and-true guidelines that provided a dependable ideological template for hosts connecting with their audiences way beyond what were once considered to be their breaking points.”  Harrison explains, “Conservative listeners will remain extremely loyal to their brand of talk radio because they fear opposition to Trump will water down the changes he promised to bring America in ‘making it great again,’ adding, “There is indeed room within conservative talk radio for hosts to be critical of Trump on occasions that warrant nuanced alternative perspectives… but then again, that has always been the case.  Conservative news/talk has never been as monolithic as its political critics have implied.”  However, it is the new potential of progressive talk radio or as Harrison puts it, “resistance talk” that is truly exciting in expanding the boundaries of spoken word strategies on the commercial radio dial.  “Intense, passionate and obsessive opposition to Trump has galvanized and ignited a hitherto non-focused target audience for news/talk hosts, programs and stations,” states Harrison.  “The door is open for performers such as Thom Hartmann, Stephanie Miller, Joe Madison, Alan Colmes and countless others of the progressive perspective to tap into a potentially vast audience of listeners who, since the election of Trump, deeply care about their message – as long as these messengers are talented by radio standards.  The Trump era offers the talk radio industry the opportunity to double its reach by providing a platform for both the ‘revolution’ (Trump) and the ‘resistance’ (anti-Trump) passions that are clearly exploding in the American marketplace of ideas.  Both sides feel embattled.”  Harrison adds, “If radio misses this opportunity, it would be the equivalent of missing the British Invasion of the sixties, the disco craze of the late seventies, and the rise of conservatism in the nineties.”

Trump Travel Order/Protests Top Talk Story for Week of Jan. 30-Feb. 3.  The travel order banning people coming into the U.S. from seven predominantly Muslim nations and the protests over the presidential order was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 was the nomination of Neil Gorsuch for the vacant seat on the Supreme Court.  Coming in at #3 was the violent protests at UC-Berkeley over the planned speech by Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos, followed by the U.S. putting Iran “on notice” over its test of a missile 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.

Rick Thomas to Oversee Operations at CMG Tampa.  Most recently with CBS Radio’s CHR WBMP, New York “92.3 AMP Radio” as program director, Rick Thomas heads south to Tampa to serve as operations manager for Cox Media Group’s six-station cluster there and to program CHR WPOI “HOT 101.5.”   Thomas will oversee operations for adult contemporary WWRM “Magic 94.9,” alternative WSUN-FM “97X,” hot talk WPHT “102.5 The Bone,” adult contemporary WDUV “105.5 The Dove,” and classic hits “107.3 The Eagle,” plus all digital content.    CMG Tampa VP and market manager Keith Lawless says, “CMG is very fortunate to have Rick join our Tampa team.  Rick is a successful and innovative leader in our business with an exceptional track record.  I’m proud to partner with Rick and I have no doubt that his contributions will help Tampa compete and win, even more.”

TALKERS News Notes.  Nationally syndicated talk show host Mike Gallagher (pictured here) poses for a photo with a young Guatemalan girl during his trip to the Central American Nation.  The Salem Radio Network personality is there this week with fellow SRN hosts Larry Elder and Mark Davis in the company of international relief agency Food For The Poor…..New Yorkers won’t have to miss the sound of Mike Francesa’s voice when the WFAN afternoon personality finishes his contract with the CBS Radio sports talk station at the end of this year.  The “Pope” told former partner Chris “Mad Dog” Russo, on the latter’s SiriusXM program, that he’ll be doing something on January 3, 2018.  “I’m not promising it’ll be conventional.  It’s something new,” he said.  Read the New York Post’s take on it here.

Longtime ABC News Radio Staffer Bob Benson Passes.  News radio pro Bob Benson passed away on Sunday (1/29) after a four-decade career in radio.  Benson started in radio while still in high school.  In 1966 he joined ABC as news director at WLS, Chicago, then moved to the company’s KGO, San Francisco.  In 1974, Benson launched AP Radio in Washington.  He returned to ABC as vice president of ABC News, managing the news and sports for the radio networks.

Is It Possible to Teach Media and Politics in Today’s Environment without Expressing (or Being Accused of) Expressing a Significant Degree of Bias?  This is just one of several key questions that are explored in an extremely candid conversation between TALKERS founder Michael Harrison and veteran talk radio programmer David Bernstein posted today (1/31) on this week’s installment of the award-winning PodcastOne series “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.” Bernstein’s stellar career in radio includes stints as program director of such politically diverse powerhouses as WTIC in Hartford, WPRO in Providence, WRKO and WBZ in Boston, and a 10 year run at WOR in New York.  He even served for a brief period as VP/programming at Air America.  Today, he is the general manager of the experimental “workshop” platform TalkersRadio and going into his second full year as an adjunct professor of media studies at Caldwell University in New Jersey.  Harrison and Bernstein explore the characteristics, habits and challenges facing Millennials with a focus on those considering careers in the media. The discussion includes an analysis of the public’s across the board obsession with politics inspired by the rise of Donald Trump permeating all aspects of daily American life.  Don’t miss this one!  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click the “Up Close and Far Out” player box  located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

 

 

Zannie K. Named PM Drive Host at ‘105 The Vibe’ in Twin Cities.  In the Minneapolis market, Cumulus Media announces that on-air pro Zannie K. is the new afternoon personality and assistant program director at classic hip hop outlet WGVX “105 The Vibe.”  He also hosts the weekend “Zannie K’s Throwback Theory” Saturday nights at 10:00 pm.  Additionally, he’s going to host the Sunday midday show for Westwood One’s 24/7 AC, hot AC and CHR affiliates.  Cumulus Media Minneapolis OM (and corporate VP of classic rock) Scott Jameson comments, “We’ve seen consistent growth with ‘The Vibe,’ and adding Zannie to afternoon drive will no doubt sustain the positive momentum for our listeners and advertisers.”

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  On Monday (2/6), married morning show personalities “Chadd & Kristi” (at right) debut their program on Beasley Media Group’s newly launched adult contemporary WBRN “B98.7.”  The station was formerly a rock outlet and the Tampa affiliate of the Bubba the Love Sponge show, but Beasley flipped it to AC on January 5…..Country superstar Luke Bryan chatted with Westwood One Sports NFL host Scott Graham on Thursday (2/2).  Bryan appeared as part of Westwood One’s nightly “The Road to Super Bowl LI” broadcast that aired live.  On Sunday, Bryan will sing the national anthem before the Super Bowl LI broadcast…..Townsquare Media launches the new KAMM, Missoula, Montana as an alternative rock outlet branded “ALT 101.5.”  The brand manager for the new station is Angel Hughes, who will also serve as the station’s morning personality…..Rock radio jock Spam joins Sun Broadcasting’s alternative WXNX, Fort Myers “93X” as host of the morning show.  Spam comes to Sun from his most recent gig at Entercom’s cross-state alternative rocker WSFS, Miami “104.3 The Shark.”  Spam was a longtime personality at CBS Radio’s WHFS, Baltimore/Washington…..In Reading, Pennsylvania, Jimmy Steele exits iHeartMedia’s hot AC WRFY and Spanish AC WRAW after a restructuring of the cluster’s staff.

Friday, January 6, 2017

| January 6, 2017

cookeces17a2017 CES: Your Elevator Speech.  Media consultant Holland Cooke reports from the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas and he writes:

Attention is currency. So short sentences rock. And sentence fragments. See?

On a normal day in Las Vegas (oxymoron), it’s already a wall of enticements:

  • “100X odds craps!”
  • “Celine!”
  • A rib joint touts “The Best Rack on The Strip!”
  • Guy Fieri’s restaurant serves up “In Your Face Food & Booze.”
  • “Fire a Machine Gun!”
  • “Girls! Girls! Girls!”

Now, fly-in 165,000 of us, for-whose-attention 20,000 new products compete, and you’re in the graduate school of messaging. Yours will drown in the din unless it’s “SQUIRREL!”

Sound familiar?

Radio has never had more competition for listeners’ attention, and advertisers’ do-re-mi.

So, as I navigate a Las Vegas Convention Center the size of FIFTY football fields, I am struck by how well exhibitors distill their messages, something radio hosts and commercial and promo copy should strive to do.

  • BACtrack is “The World’s First Wearable Alcohol Monitor.”
  • Mevo, The Live Event Camera, enables you to “Edit on the fly. Stream live or share later.”
  • ThinOptics assures that you will “never be without your reading glasses again.” Their “stick anywhere, go everywhere” sleeve adheres to the back of your smartphone.
  • Rem-Fit’s Zeeq Smart Pillow “Streams Music, Stops Snoring, Analyzes Sleep.”
  • You’re “always connected, never apart” with Petcube’s “interactive cameras bringing pets and people closer than ever.”
  • Tablo is “The DVR for Cord Cutters.”
  • Assure Lock by Yale lets you “Lose your keys for good;” and “Answer your door. Anywhere. Anytime.”
  • MightyPURSE “charges your phone.”
  • Without a live demonstration in the booth, we’ll take Willow’s word that their “wearable breast pump” has “no external tubes, cords, or dangling bottles.”

Get the picture? Yes, we see.

Make America Great Again.”

We just elected a most unlikely president whose gift of brevity plays Twitter like a Stradivarius. “Drain the swamp,” “Crooked Hillary,” “Jeb Bush is weak,” “Little Marco,” “Build a wall, and Mexico will pay for it,” and other bumpersticker-length catch-phrases were utterly digestible. Is your message?

Holland Cooke (www.HollandCooke.com) is a media consultant working at the intersection of broadcasting and the Internet, and he covers industry conferences for Talkers. Follow him on Twitter @HollandCooke; and look for his new TalkersTV video “Choose Your Words Carefully” next week at Talkers.com

SiriusXM Ends 2016 with More Than 31.3 Million Subscribers.  Satellite broadcaster SiriusXM will release its 2016 fourth quarter financials early next month, but it announced yesterday that it beat its guidance on net subscriber additions by adding more than 1.7 million during the year to pass the 31.3 million mark.  It also says it siriusxmsmallexpects to meet or exceed its 2016 guidance for revenue, adjusted EBITDA and free cash flow.  CEO Jim Meyer comments, “We continue to make substantialmeyerjim investments in new products, content and technologies, including investments in new satellites, our next-generation 360L platform, wideband chipsets, and new marketing capabilities.  In 2017, we expect to continue our never-ending focus on bringing our customers the best content bundle available, and our strong record of delivering cost-effective growth and returning substantial capital to stockholders through stock buybacks and our recently introduced dividend.”  SiriusXM also issued 2017 guidance for self-pay net subscriber additions (1.3 million), revenue ($5.3 billion), adjusted EBITDA ($2.025 billion) and free cash flow ($1.5 billion).

PodcastOne Debuts Laila Ali Show.  Women’s boxing champ Laila Ali is launching a new show called “Laila Ali Lifestyle” on the PodcastOne platform.  The daughter of the late boxing legend Muhammad Ali joins thealilaila Norm Pattiz-founded entertainment company to offer a show in which fans can join Ali “on her journey to holistic greatness, as she balances mind, body and soul, and shares her passion for helping people achieve their personal best in every aspect of life.”  She will invite guests to appear each week, with new episodes every Thursday.   Pattiz comments, “We’re happy to have someone of Laila’s esteem, experience and class on our network.  She’s a legend in her own right, and it will be great for fans to see a different side of her through the podcast.”

Chris Mack to Host Pirates Pre-and Post-Game Shows.  At CBS RADIO’s Pittsburgh sports talker KDKA-FM “Sports Radio 93-7 The Fan,” station personality Chris Mack will begin hosting the pre and post-game shows for Pittsburgh Pirates baseball beginning in the spring.  Mack currently hosts the station’s weekly “Bucco Talk”mackchris program in addition to a number of shows.  Jack Zduriencik, a former Pirates director of scouting and former Seattle Mariners general manager will work alongside Mack during the shows.  ‘Fan’ program director Jim Graci comments, “Chris is a seasoned talk show host and well versed in the Pittsburgh sports scene.  Elevating him to host our pre- and post-Pirates game broadcasts was a natural progression for him, ‘The Fan’ and our scores of loyal listeners.  We’re excited to have Chris take on this expanded role and look forward to his color commentary and analysis this spring.”

talkersten-logoRussian Hacking Controversy Tops Talkers TenTM for Week of January 2-6.  The debate in Washington over whether Vladimir Putin’s Russia is responsible for hacking the DNC’s email was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was President Obama’s lame duck actions.  Coming in at #3 was the GOP’s strategy to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, followed by the Chicago Facebook torture case at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

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radioinfo-web-bannerBeasley’s WBRN, Tampa Goes AC; Chadd & Kristi Thomas Named Morning Hosts.  The former “Bubba Radio Network”-branded rock station ditched that moniker last year and transitioned to the “No Rules Rock!” brand.  Then, late last year, Beasley Media Group dropped the Bubba the Love Sponge show in anticipation of a format change.  Yesterday, the company unveiled the new adult contemporary format for WBRN and its new brandwbrn “The New B98.7.”  After a 10,000 songs-in-a-row launch, the station will feature Chadd and Kristi Thomas as its morning team, beginning Monday, February 6.  The duo is well known in the market after years on Cox Media Group’s crosstown AC WWRM “Magic 94.9.”  Kristi Thomas says, “Chadd and I are absolutely delighted to be part of creating a new radio station!  We are excited about our new home for our special brand of radio in Tampa Bay, which is a place we cherish and where we have chosen to raise our family!”  Beasley EVP of programming Justin Chase adds, “For nearly two decades, Chadd & Kristi have developed a deep relationship with the Tampa listening audience and we are thrilled they decided to join us in the process of building a new and great AC brand in the market.”

Johnnie D. Upped to PD of WGCI, Chicago.  In Chicago, iHeartMedia promotes WGCI and WVAZ assistant program director Johnnie D. to program director for WGCI.  iHeartMedia Chicago director of urban programming djohnnieDerrick Brown says, “Johnnie has made a significant impact since joining WGCI in 2015.  His passion and vision for our brand has enhanced our signature concert events like Big Jam and Summer Jam, plus his work in helping launch the city’s only live-and-local urban morning show has made the ‘Chicago Morning Takeover’ a dominant force in the market.  It’s a pleasure to recognize Johnnie’s hard work with this promotion and it certainly comes with great expectations as he manages all facets of the 107.5 WGCI-FM brand.”

kroichrRadio One Jumps on CHR Opportunity in Houston.  With CBS RADIO’s move away from CHR on KKHH to adult hits, Radio One’s only other CHR competition for KROI “92.1 RADIO NOW” will be Cumulus Media’s KRBE.  A format change for KROI was not unexpected after Radio One CEO Alfred Liggins recently commented that classic hip hop and R&B is not a “sustainable format.”  The station is being programmed by cluster operations manager Terri Thomas, who says, “The ‘New 92.1 Radio Now’ will reflect emerging music, trends and culture for the NOW generation of 18-34 year old millennials here in Houston.”   Radio One senior vice president of programming Jay Stevens adds, “We’re excited about this opportunity to bring a fresh innovative approach to top 40 radio in H-Town.”

KBAY, San Jose Names Bruce Scott Morning Host.  Former KOST, Los Angeles personality Bruce Scottscottbruce joins Alpha Media as morning drive host for classic hits KBAY, San Jose, effective January 17.  Alpha Media VP of programming and “Bay FM” program director Ronnie Stanton states, “It’s very exciting to add Bruce to the refreshed sound of ‘Bay FM.’  He brings years of experience and a great radio brain to create an upbeat and fun morning show with the greatest hits of all time for the Bay Area.”

Friday, October 28, 2016

| October 28, 2016

WBEN, Buffalo Pairs David Bellavia with Longtime Afternoon Personality Tom Bauerle.  Calling it a “new show for a new Buffalo on ‘NewsRadio 930 WBEN,’” Entercom Buffalo operations manager Tim Wengerbellaviadavid announces the addition of decorated war hero, political commentator and Western New York native bauerletomDavid Bellavia to the afternoon daypart as co-host of the 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm show with current host Tom Bauerle.  Wenger notes that Bellavia has been a regular contributor on WBEN since leaving the Army and political endeavors and “will now concentrate on radio full-time as he joins veteran broadcaster and talk host Tom Bauerle to bring listeners an uncensored, irreverent and entertaining view of current events.  Bauerle and Bellavia will cover everything from breaking news to politics and entertainment to the offbeat, all with a uniquely Western New York flavor.  No subject or topic is off the table.  I’m ecstatic to have two wbensuch wildly intelligent and talented hosts who complement one another working together on the same show in Buffalo.”  Bauerle has lobbied on-air for Bellavia to become his radio partner for some time and is thrilled about the new show.  Bellavia comments, “We will drive the conversation day after day with nonstop coverage of the things people care about, not just politics.  Having the chance to work with the legendary Tom Bauerle is incredible and humbling.”

ppmunitNielsen Audio Releases Round Four of October 2016 PPM Data.  The fourth of four rounds of October 2016 PPM ratings 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 October 2016 survey period covered September 8 (the first game of the NFL season) – October 5.  You can find the complete 6+ ratings numbers from subscribing stations here.  Additionally, TALKERS/RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Twelve Takeaways” from this group on the main page of our sister publication here.

SiriusXM Reports Q3 Net Income Up 16%.  On Thursday (10/27), SiriusXM reported its third quarter financial numbers and announced net income was $194 million – up 16% from the same period in 2015.  Quarterly siriusxmrevenue was $1.3 billion, up 9% from the third quarter of 2015.  The company is also declaring its first quarterly dividend – a penny per share.  CEO Jim Meyer says in the press release, “SiriusXM’s performance in the third quarter was exemplary.  We grew self-pay subscribers by 385,000 and turned in record quarterly high levels of revenue and adjusted EBITDA…We remain dedicated to bringing the best audio entertainment in an easy-to-use bundle of programming to a nation of listeners.  In recent months, we’ve strengthened areas where we are leaders, such as country music, added new talent in talk programming, and held special, one-of-a kind live music events for subscribers and listeners nationwide, all content you can only find at SiriusXM.”

talkersten-logoThe Presidential Race and Related Stories Top Talkers TenTM for Week of October 24-28.  The presidential contest between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week, landing at #1 on the Talkers TenTM.  Following at #2 was the races for the U.S. House and the Senate and which party will control them.  Coming in at #3 was the issue of potential voter fraud and poll tampering, followed by the Affordable Care Act premium increases 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.

Odds & Sods.  Milwaukee news/talk WTMJ is presenting a “community conversation on the issues, ideas andmercurejohn hopes” of Milwaukee’s Mayor on Monday, October 31 from 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm.  The station says the unprecedented, one-hour special will feature a one-on-one interview with Milwaukee Mayor Tom jacksonkevingator16Barrett and “Wisconsin’s Afternoon News” host John Mercure and will get into the topics of social unrest, business growth, water quality and crime…..Nationally syndicated talk host Kevin Jackson appeared at affiliate station KYKN, Salem, Oregon recently.  He’s pictured here (right) with popular local afternoon talk show host Gator Gaynor (left) of “Gator’s Radio Experience with Gator & Denise.”  Gaynor says they appeared live at the County Fair and then had more fun with a “fire-code violating crowd at a local favorite BBQ establishment.”  He adds local promotion began about a month before the events with the crowds and his book sales solid proof of a successful trip.  “Many thanks to Kevin Jackson for partnering with local radio to make a difference!”

John Zacherle Passes at 98.  Iconic television and radio personality John Zacherle – most famous for his “Roland” character who hosted WCAU-TV, Philadelphia’s “Shock Theater” in the 1950s and as “Zacherley the Cool Ghoul” on WABC-TV, New York in the 1960s – died on Thursday (10/27) at age 98.  Zacherle also worked in film zacherleyas an actor but was known to New Yorkers as well for his time on the radio at rock outlets WNEW-FM and WPLJ.  TALKERS/RadioInfo publisher Michael Harrison comments, “John Zacherle was an important pioneer of progressive rock radio back in New York in the 1970s, first at WNEW-FM – where I had the honor of briefly working with him when I was a young DJ there in 1971 – and then for 10 years at crosstown rival WPLJ.  However, I must say he made an extraordinary impact on me and most of my friends much earlier – back in the 1960s when he hosted the campy ‘Shock Theater’ horror movie program on WABC-TV Channel 7.  He was quirky and unpredictable.  Even when he mumbled, he was pure fun.  I loved his character as a kid – which made meeting and knowing him later, as a radio colleague, a really big deal.  He was a true one-of-a-kind media personality and holds a special place in my heart.”

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

| July 27, 2016

Entercom Second Quarter Pro Forma Revenue Rises 5%.  This second quarter report from Entercom includes the impact of last year’s acquisition of Lincoln Financial Media stations and the swap with entercomBonneville International.  As such, net revenue for the second quarter of 2016 was up 20% on income of $120.5 million.  On a pro forma basis, revenue was up 5%.  President and CEO David Field states, “Entercom continues to deliver strong and consistentfielddavid organic, top-line and bottom-line growth, driven by the great work of our talented programming and sales teams and our strategic investments in building powerful local brands and content and excellent customer marketing capabilities.  Looking forward, we expect a strong second half of the year as we benefit from our excellent ratings performance, enhanced sales execution, multiple growth initiatives and election year political revenue.”

SiriusXM Reports Q2 Revenue Up 10%.  The satellite radio service is reporting 2016 second quarter revenue of $1.2 billion, up 10% from the same quarter in 2015.  CEO and director Jim Meyer notes that SiriusXM added siriusxm580,000 net new subscribers during the quarter, bringing the satcaster’s total subscriber base to 30.6 million.  During yesterday’s investor conference call, Meyer spoke about the company’s efforts to continue advancing the service’s technology.  He says they are investing in the new SiriusXM17 “next-generation platform” 360 L, short for 360-degree listening.  Meyer says, “360 L is proceeding ahead and gaining traction with OEMs.  I’m very pleased at the progress we are making building and deploying this platform.  360 L breaks down the big barrier we live with today as a one-way broadcaster by integrating satellite radio with two-way cellular connectivity.  It lets us offer non-linear content to our subscribers, such as customized music playlists, on-demand content and personalized recommendations based on the tastes of our individual subscribers.”  Meyer also outlined the company’s continuing work expanding its connected vehicle services.

nielsen logoNielsen Revenue Up; Net Income Dips.  Ratings giant Nielsen reported 2016 second quarter financial numbers yesterday and while revenue was up 2.4% during the period compared to the same period a year ago (4.5% in constant currency), net income was down 1.7% because of foreign exchange.  Nielsen says audio revenue grew 1.7% on a reported and constant currency basis.

Talkers2016 logoThe Podcasting Session from TALKERS 2016: Bridging the Generations Posted Today.  One of the highlights of the recent TALKERS 2016: Bridging the Generations convention – The Podcasting Session – is posted today on Talkers.com.  The panel discussion was part of the 19th annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important national convention that took place May 20 on the campus of Hofstra University in Hempstead, NY.  Moderated by PodcastOne founder and CEO, Norm Pattiz, speakers include (in alphabetical order):  Andy Bowers, chief content officer/co-founder, Panoply/The Slate Group; Tom Cuddy, program director, WOR, New York; Greg Strassell, SVP programming, Hubbard Radio; and Tom Webster, VP strategy, Edison Research.  The session is introduced by Brad Shepard, general manager/host, Pioneer Valley Radio, Springfield, MA.  To view the panel discussion in its entirety, please click here.  Stay tuned to Talkers.com for more videos from Talkers 2016: Bridging the Generations that will be posted in the days and weeks to come.

The Presidential Race/Democratic National Convention, DNC Server Hack Case, South China Sea Tensions, Black Lives Matter Movement, ISIS Attack on French Church, NYC Trump Jr. vs Weiner Mayoral Tiff, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/26).  The action at the Democratic National Convention and the activities of presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton; the hack into the DNC’s server and speculation that Russia is behind it in order to help Trump win the presidency; military tensions between the U.S. and China in the South China Sea and the territorial dispute; controversy over the actions of the Black Lives Matter movement; the murder of a Catholic priest in Northern France by ISIS terrorists; Anthony Weiner’s statement he would come back to politics to challenge Donald Trump Jr. if he ran for NYC mayor; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Odds & Sods.  This year’s NAB Marconi Radio Awards Dinner & Show will be hosted by WCBS-FM, New York morning personality Scott Shannon.  The event will take place September 22 at the 2016 NAB Radio Show at the Omni Nashville Hotel…..NBC Sports Group announces it is making the entire NBC Sports Radio portfolio of programming available on-demand via podcast.  It also announced the new program, “Tara and Johnny,” hosted by Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir.  It debuts today (7/27) and will “touch on hot topics in sports, pop culture, and fashion.”  Weir and Lipinski are serving as NBC Olympic correspondents during the Rio Games.

Radio Biz Figure Jim Carnegie Dies at 66.  Radio pro and longtime publisher of the trades RBR and TVBR Jim Carnegie has died at the age of 66.  Carnegie’s RBR/TVBR was acquired by Eric RhoadsStreamline Publications in 2013, a year after Carnegie’s wife and business partner Cathy unexpectedly passed away from complications due to a brain aneurysm.

Friday, April 29, 2016

| April 29, 2016

WEEI-FMRed Sox-WEEI Streak Continues. While financial terms of the highly expected deal were not disclosed, Entercom Boston sports outlet WEEI will carry on its role as the radio flagship of the Boston Red Sox through (at minimum) the 2023 MLB season. WEEI and the Red Sox have been partners since 1995. Entercom chief operating officer David Field states, “WEEI and Entercom are delighted to be extending our outstanding relationship with the Boston Red Sox well into the future. It is a true privilege to be partnered with this extraordinary, iconic organization and their world-class team of professionals, both on and off Boston-Red-Soxthe field. Red Sox fans across the country will continue to hear outstanding Sox play-by-play broadcasts and 24/7 team coverage on WEEI and WEEI.com, the home of Red Sox baseball.” Red Sox president Sam Kennedy comments, “We are pleased to extend our partnership with WEEI for another seven seasons. We look forward to this new phase of our partnership and sharing more winning baseball through the airwaves with our fans across New England.” The WEEI play-by-play crew consists of Red Sox Hall of Fame announcer Joe Castiglione and Tim Neverett, who this year succeeded Dave O’Brien (now doing Red Sox telecasts on NESN); Hamden, Connecticut native Castiglione is in his 34th year in the Red Sox radio booth. In addition to WEEI, the Red Sox Radio Network consists of 55 affiliates throughout the six New England states. To see how WEEI-FM and 28 other MLB radio flagships performed in Nielsen Audio‘s March 2016 PPM sweep, please read today’s exclusive TALKERS special features piece which appears below.

kinosianmikePPM Analysis: MLB Flagships. TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian introduces Major League Baseball‘s 2016 radio flagships with a ratings overview based on data from Nielsen Audio’s March 2016 PPM survey period. Highlighted are each key station’s 6+ share; 6+ market rank; month-to-month and year-to-year fluctuations; and a special breakout chart featuring the flagships by league/division. See the first of Mike’s exclusive special feature pieces about MLB flagships here.

Talkers2016 logo lgTALKERS 2016: Bridging the Generations Is Nearing a Sellout!  If you haven’t made your reservations to attend the forthcoming 19th annual edition of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important national convention, now is the time to do so.  It is nearing an early sellout and there will be no registrations sold at the door. TALKERS 2016: Bridging the Generations will take place three weeks from now on Friday, May 20 on the fabulous campus of Hofstra University in Hempstead, NY (on Long Island, just outside of NYC).  Featuring a powerful lineup of more than 60 luminous speakers, panel discussions, presentations, breakfast, lunch, closing reception, techno exhibits, live broadcasts and more – this is shaping up to be the most exciting and productive industry networking events of its kind in years.  Registration cost is $299 per person and can only be arranged with credit card over the phone. The event is only open to media professionals and communications students.  Please call 413-565-5413 for registration, sponsorship, and hotel information.  Complete up to date agenda info can be found by clicking here.

Knapp, GregKnapp, KCMO-AM Cut Ties. After more than five years as KCMO-AM, Kansas City’s afternoon drive host, Greg Knapp departs the Cumulus Media talk outlet. Regarding his dismissal, Knapp writes on his Facebook page, “I was told repeatedly it was not about my performance. My general manager was very kind in telling me how much she appreciated my show and my work [but] corporate decided it was cheaper to run syndicated programming than it was to pay me a salary. I have consistently had the highest ratings on the station; everyone at Cumulus Kansas City has been very good to me. The good news is I learned a long time ago to always have more than one source of income. I am now ramping up my personal development business [but] I am also looking for new opportunities in radio.” Knapp previously did afternoon drive on KLIF, Dallas; was a syndicated Radio America talk talent; and owned a guest-hosting service. Down or flat for the fourth successive sweep (1.9 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.5 – 1.5, 6+), KCMO-AM ranks #21 in Nielsen Audio‘s March 2016 PPM report for Kansas City; Entercom hot AC KZPT “The Point” is the market leader (6.5, 6+).

Talkers Ten LogoPresidential Race Tops “Talkers Ten” for Week of April 25 – 29. Activities of the presidential candidates and the battle for delegates were the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 were the European terrorism investigations and the arrest of Salah Abdeslam, tied with the United States’ Syria military policy.  Coming in at #3 was the controversy over state laws affecting public restroom use and gender identification, followed by North Korea’s recent missile tests 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.

KXLRobbins & Markley” Becomes “Markley & van Camp.” Owing to health concerns that have sidelined Scott Robbins since late-August (2015), there is a title change for the weekday program on Alpha Media Portland’s KXL “FM News 101” and co-owned WMBD, PeoriaWMBD (Illinois). David van Camp will permanently join Jamie Markley for the “Markley and van Camp Show,” which airs 9:00 am – 12:00 noon on KXL and from 2:00 pm – 6:00 pm on WMBD. Alpha Media executive vice president of programming Scott Mahalick comments that, “David van Camp brings a unique perspective to the show and a great balance to Jamie Markley; together, they are magical.” The first official day of the newly-named “Markley and van Camp Show” will be next Monday (5/2).

Sirius-XM-Logo (2)SiriusXM Q1 Revenue Rises 11%. The increase is to a record $1.2 billion, with SiriusXM net income up 62% to $171 million; adjusted EBITDA improves 11% to $441 million. The satcaster adds nearly one-half million new subscribers, ending with almost 30.1 million. First quarter results exceeded expectations of chief executive officer Jim Meyer who comments, “I am especially pleased we were able to add 465,000 net new subscribers, leading to an 8% increase in subscribers over the prior year. With excellent subscriber growth so early in the year, we are raising our guidance for full year net subscriber additions to 1.6 million. We set first quarter records for revenue, adjusted EBITDA, and free cash flow, and we are on track to achieve all of our financial goals this year. With a new full-time music channel from Kenny Chesney, live broadcasts from major music festivals, special popup channels for David Bowie, and Billy Joel, as well as new talk shows, and unmatched coverage of the presidential primaries, SiriusXM continues to be the leader in audio entertainment. We are always looking to deliver new, compelling content to our subscribers.” Chief financial officer David Frear notes that during the first quarter, “We reduced our outstanding share count by about 3%, spending $588 million to repurchase 159 million shares of our common stock. Our debt to adjusted EBITDA remained low at just 3.4 times, leaving plenty of flexibility to continue capital returns to our stockholders or make acquisitions while also making investments in our technology, content, and new satellite infrastructure.”

NYMRADState of the New York Market Report Released. Among the findings from a New York Market Radio Association (NYMRAD) overview is that several industries expanded their footprint in the New York area contributing to a strong first-quarter start. NYMRAD executive director Debbie Beagan remarks, “With luxury retailers and department stores opening locations across the Tri-State area, radio offers high-end businesses an engaging environment for reaching consumers with household incomes of $250,000 and higher. New York market radio reaches 91% of high-income households, $250,000+, [as well as] over 90% of those who own a second home; those planning on buying a luxury car; dined in upscale restaurants; purchased fine jewelry in excess of $500; and vacations in excess of $10,000.” The report addresses latest information about New York’s economy, commuting information, radio and politics, and national radio advertising/usage. Analysis of the New York marketplace is designed to help advertisers understand radio’s impact on consumers and its role in the local advertising landscape. NYMRAD’s “State of the Market Report” provides business trends as well as local information from a variety of sources including Nielsen Audio, Media Monitors, and The New York Times.”

The BlazeExecs Named to Build Digital Content Network for TheBlaze. Three digital media industry veterans have been added to TheBlaze‘s leadership team. Former Core Media Group chief marketing officer Chris Gannett joins as senior vice president of marketing; previously with CNN and the weekend edition of ABC-TV‘s “Good Morning America,” Matt Frucci is appointed senior vice president of content & programming; and Lisa Fowler – from BET Networks – joins as vice president of talent and culture. TheBlaze president Stewart Padveen notes, “TheBlaze is investing heavily in our mission to redefine the way digital media is delivered and consumed. Chris, Matt, and Lisa are a significant part of a new high-performing culture and a diverse lineup of superstar talent.” Ironically, the additions at Glenn Beck‘s TheBlaze come after cuts across offices in New York, Los Angeles, Washington (D.C.), and Columbus, where a documentary group had been based. Sources tell TVNewser, between 35-45 staffers have been pinkslipped. These layoffs follow what a source calls a “brain drain” of talent over the last year. Chief executive officer Betsy Morgan left the company last summer and her interim replacement, former Premiere Networks chief operating officer, Kraig Kitchen, exited earlier this year. According to The Daily Beast, the latest cuts are meant to “satisfy the requirements of a multi-million dollar bank loan taken out recently to keep Beck’s revenue-challenged enterprise running.” TheBlaze is consolidating the company’s operations to its Irving, Texas headquarters.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

| December 15, 2015

siriusxmHoward Stern Renews with SiriusXM in Landmark 12-Year Audio/Video Deal.  The wait is over – Howard Stern and SiriusXM are announcing the two sides have agreed to an extension to keep Stern’s live program on the satellite radio service for another five years.  But the new deal also includes an agreement that will allow SiriusXM to use Stern’s extensive audio and video library –sternhoward drawn from performances, specials, and shows spanning his more-than-30-year broadcasting career – for the next dozen years.  The details of the video plans will be announced at a future date.  This will be SiriusXM’s first venture into the video realm.   Under the new deal, Stern’s show will continue to be broadcast live exclusively from 7:00 am to 11:00 am ET, with replays throughout the day, and on demand online and through the SiriusXM app.  Additionally, Stern will continue to produce his Howard 101 channel, which includes current and classic episodes of the Howard Stern show as well as original special programming throughout the day.  Stern is currently working a three-day week and the press release does not indicate any changes there so we’ll assume that remains the same.  Also, the financial details are not being meyerjimannounced.  Stern says, “As a broadcaster, it does not get better than working at SiriusXM and I’m truly excited for the future with this great company.  I happen to think that its best days are ahead…I am living a dream here on satellite radio and Jim Meyer is my life partner and the baby we are about to have is our new streaming video app.  The joy we are going to bring you in the very near future will make you feel like Christmas is every day.  Ho, Ho, Howard…out.”  SiriusXM president and chief content officer Scott Greenstein comments, “Howard is better than ever.  Howard is a one-of-a-kind interviewer, who always delivers a provocative, engaging and headline-grabbing show.  We look forward to providing fans even more and deeper ways to experience Howard, and his world-class talent and insights.”  Noting that the deal has been worked on for months, Stern agent Don Buchwald adds, “Jim, Scott, and I have been discussing this arrangement for some time.  Obviously, the terms and conditions of a deal of this nature required a lot of give and take, as well as creative thinking on everyone’s part, and I am grateful to them both for the hard work they invested to make this deal a reality.  Howard and I are excited to enter into this cutting-edge and truly unique broadcasting agreement with SiriusXM that I believe will further the legacy of Howard Stern.”

bellart15Art Bell Tells TALKERS He Doesn’t Want to Be Off the Air.  Legendary late night talk host Art Bell abruptly quit his most recent return to a regular program on Friday (12/11), stating that he’s been the victim of attempts on his life that make it impossible for him to do the program.  The sudden end to “Midnight in the Desert,” which was steadily picking up affiliate stations, caused some in the business to think, “Oh no, here we go again.”  But Bell tells TALKERS magazine he wants to be on the radio.  Citing three incidents on October 21, November 23 and December 8, Bell says his wife has said, “Enough.”  Bell says, “If this jerk is caught I will be back, if not I will wait for some time to pass without incident and then do some non-scheduled shows.  I would like my fellow radio people to know this is not what I want.”

wilburkirbyKirby Wilbur to Host Late Morning Show on KVI, Seattle.  Last month, Sinclair-owned KVI-Seattle announced that market conservative talk pro Kirby Wilbur would return to the air and KVI in the New Year. Now, the station announces Wilbur will host the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon slot, effectivekvilogo January 4.  Wilbur will be joined for the first hour by current morning drive host John Carlson, then host the next two hours solo.  The station is dropping Glenn Beck’s Premiere-syndicated show to make room for Wilbur.  KVI program director Rick Van Cise states, “It’s clear our listeners want more local conservative conversation on Seattle radio.  And who better to have back-to-back than two of the original Northwest conservative voices who made KVI great.”  Wilbur has been off the radio for the past six years.  Most recently he’s been the Washington director for Americans for Prosperity heading up the Washington, DC-based National Journalism Center.  Wilbur comments, “I’m glad to be back with a new knowledge of the workings of the other Washington as we address local and national issues affecting all of us here.”

wowo15WOWO, Fort Wayne Switches FM Frequencies.  This is a bit of a downgrade as far as market coverage is concerned since the move of news/talk WOWO, Fort Wayne’s FM simulcast is from class A FM WFWI to 75-watt translator W298BJ at 107.5 FM.  The heritage station has been heard on WFWI’s 92.3 frequency since Federated Media signed it on in March of 2012.  Program director Ryan Reker says, “It’s just a different place to listen to us.  The change from 92.3 FM to 107.5 FM means our listeners will need to update their radios to get the same news, weather and talk coverage they listen to now.”  WOWO-AM is heard very well throughout northeastern Indiana on its 50,000-watt 1190 kHz signal.  No plans have been announced for WFWI-FM’s new format.

delaneykateTalk Host Kate Delaney Talking Pete Rose Across the Country.  Nationally syndicated general issues show host Kate Delaney is guesting on scores of radio shows today (12/15) because of her sports expertise and her knowledge of the Pete Rose decision that came down yesterday from the Major League Baseball commissioner’s office.  The commissioner is continuing the ban on Rose working in baseball because of his cover-up of his gambling on baseball while manager of the Cincinnati Reds.  Prior to her “America Tonight” program, Delaney spent a good part of her career in the sports media world covering 15 Super Bowls, 10 Final Fours, 10 U.S. Opens and numerous other sporting events.  She also served as sports director of KRLD, Dallas and did a stretch at sports talk WFAN, New York.  In addition to her regular show Delaney currently does a weekend shift on the NBC Sports Radio Network.

Odds & Sods.  San Francisco all-newser KCBS-AM is being honored with a special finalist citation by the 2016kcbs-am logo Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Awards for reporter Doug Sovern’s “Unholy Water,” a series of investigative reports that exposed the San Francisco Archdiocese’s installation of an illegal plumbing system at St. Mary’s Cathedral that poured water on homeless people at night to keep them from sleeping in the cathedral doorways, in the middle of the worst drought in California rosefrancishistory.  The CBS RADIO-owned station will be recognized at a ceremony hosted by veteran newsman Tom Brokaw at Columbia’s Low Library on January19, 2016…..Former WFED, Washington afternoon drive personality Francis Rose is handling a lot of fill-in work this week and next.  Rose is sitting in for Larry O’Connor on WMAL-AM/FM, Washington’s “Drive at Five” all this week, and Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday next week.  Rose is also in for Westwood One’s Jim Bohannon tonight and that company’s John Batchelor on Wednesday and Friday of this week…..The 27th annual Holiday Magic Radiothon on Bonneville’s KIRO-FM, Seattle to benefit Treehouse raised more than $512,000.  Treehouse is asalemdebateMedved15 nonprofit organization that addresses the essential education and enrichment needs of kids in foster care…..In advance of tonight’s GOP primary debate, Salem Radio Network talk hosts Michael Medved (left) and Dennis Prager (right) are seen at right broadcasting from the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas.  Salem Radio Network is partnering with CNN to provide the audio to radio stations across the country.  All five SRN daytime syndicated personalities are broadcasting from Las Vegas.  Additionally, SRN is presenting both pre- and post-debate programs co-hosted by Hugh Hewitt and Mike Gallagher.  Hewitt is also serving as one of the media panelists on the debate…..Premiere Networks announces it is broadcasting four college bowl games.  Available to sports stations nationwide, Premiere will distribute the live play-by-play for the Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl, Popeye’s Bahamas Bowl, Zaxby’s Heart of albomRadiothon15Dallas Bowl and Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl, all of which are produced by RedVoice Productions LLC…..Cumulus Media announces that the 2015 Mitch Albom S.A.Y. Detroit Radiothon raised $1,002,748 during last Thursday’s event.  Albom is afternoon drive host on the company’s news/talk WJR, Detroit.  This was the fourth year of the charity broadcast and included special guests Hugh Jackman, Paul Stanley, Billy Bob Thornton, Jane Pauley, JK Simmons, Craig Ferguson, Alice Cooper, Dr. Phil, Tim Allen, Howard Schultz, Dave Barry, John Pizzarelli, Mayor Mike Duggan, Bruce Cornblatt, Kevin Eubanks, Charles Woodson, Kirk Cousins, Matt Stafford, Stan Van Gundy, Brad Ausmus, Dan Gilbert, and Bernie Smilovitz.  Pictured here is Mitch Albom (at center) on the remote set during the radiothon.

2016 Presidential Race/Tonight’s GOP Debate, Government Shutdown Threat, Paris Climate Summit Agreement, Battle Against IS/Islamic Anti-Terror Alliance, Refugee/Immigration Issues, Looming Freddie Gray Verdict, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/14).  The activities of the candidates for president in 2016 and the build-up to tonight’s GOP primary debate in Las Vegas; the temporary spending bill and the threat of a government shutdown; the agreement that came out of the Paris Climate Summit and the larger topic of global warming; the battle against Islamic State and the news of a Saudi-led anti-terror coalition; the status of Syrian refugees and the issue of immigration policy in the United States; the expected verdict in the first phase of the Freddie Gray trials in Baltimore; and the weekend’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

| October 22, 2015

ktar-fmKTAR-FM, Phoenix Names Sharpe, West New ‘Arizona’s Morning News’ Hosts.  The Bonneville-owed news/talk station is bidding Ned Foster a happy retirement after a 27-year stint with the station.  News anchor Connie Weber recently left the morningsharpejim program after a 10-year term.  So, effective November 30, longtime Valley news personality Jim Sharpe and award-winning news anchor Jayme West will be the new hosts of KTAR’s “Arizona’s Morning News.”  Bonneville Phoenix vice president of content and operations Ryan Hatch states, “With more than 40 years of combined local news experience, Jim and Jayme are the perfect pair to move the ‘Arizona’s Morning News’ product westjaymeforward on air, online and on social media.  We think their natural chemistry, insatiable curiosity and passion for our community will be warmly received by our audience, which counts on ‘Arizona’s Morning News’ to keep them informed and connected.”  Bonneville notes that Sharpe is a 2006 Associated Press Arizona Reporter of the Year and a war correspondent who most recently hosted a nationally syndicated news talk program on USA Radio Networks.  He’s also hosted the “Sharpe in the Morning” program on crosstown news/talk KFYI.  West is a five-time Arizona Associated Press Reporter of the Year winner and 19-year KTAR veteran who will move to mornings after previously anchoring the news in afternoon drive and hosting “Arizona’s Evening News.”

kogo 15KOGO, San Diego Announces New Programming Lineup: Hannity Joins for Middays, DeMaio to PM Drive.  San Diego news/talk outlet KOGO “Newshannity Radio 600” adjusts its program schedule, “with extended news programming, a new timeslot for Carl DeMaio and the addition of top-rated, nationally syndicated talk radio host Sean Hannity,” effective Monday, October 26.  iHeartMedia San Diego market president Melissa Forrest states, “We are extremely excited about demaiocarlour new lineup and the addition of Sean Hannity to our team.  ‘News Radio 600’ has experienced tremendous ratings growth in the past year and we anticipate these new changes will help evolve our programming to the next level.”  A year ago, the station launched new programming with an emphasis on news in morning and afternoon drive and reports the ratings indicate the audience is responding.  The daily lineup is: “San Diego Morning News with Ted Garcia & LaDona Harvey,” Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, “DeMaio Report,” and “KOGO Evening News with Ernie Brown.”

thompsonmikeESPN Layoffs Claim KSPN, Los Angeles PD Mike Thompson.  The layoffs at sports entertainment giant ESPN – confirmed yesterday by the company – have hit the radio ranks with ‘ESPNkspnlogo LA’ program director Mike Thompson learning that his position is being eliminated.  He stated in an email to the Los Angeles Metro Bugle, “It’s been a wonderful 12 years with the Walt Disney Company.  I am honored to have worked alongside talented broadcasters to build a record ratings winner among contemporary males never seen before in the format and AM radio in the No. 2 market.”  The company is laying off some 300 staffers across all company departments.  Although on-air talent is not expected to be affected, it’s unclear how many more behind-the-scenes radio people will be affected.

siriusxmSiriusXM Reports Q3 Earnings; Net Revenue Up 11%.  Satcaster SiriusXM reports its third quarter 2015 financial numbers announcing that revenue was up 11% year-over-year and net revenue was $167 million, compared to $136 million during the same period a year ago.  In a statement, Jim Meyer says, “With subscribers at an all-time high of nearly 29 million and record adjusted EBITDA and adjustedsternhoward EBITDA margin, our third quarter was one of the strongest performances in our company’s history.  We are confident of our continued success in the fourth quarter, and we are increasing our guidance for self-pay and total net subscriber additions, revenue, and adjusted EBITDA.”  The burning question before SiriusXM is will Howard Stern renew or leave the platform he’s been on for the past 10 years?  Meyer would only say in an investors’ conference, “I hope so.”  He went on to say, “You should assume we speak quite often and stay tuned for updates.  And of course, the best way to hear any news regarding its renewal is to tune into Howard’s show every morning, heck, that’s what I do.”

cookehollandFAQ: Is There a PD?  Radio consultant Holland Cooke writes today about the changing/disappearing role of program director.  As he notes in his column published today (10/22) that radio stations are not programmed anymore, they are managed.  There are two primary reasons: “Debt service compromises Quality Control. VERY few managers are responsible for a single station.  At many talk stations, this manager also does an air shift, before or after Rush.  Stations think they can get-away-with-it because… most programming is now non-local.  Who’s left to direct?   Most talk programming comes off the bird.  Music stations are voicetracked or downlinked from the mother ship.  Directing is a lost art.”  For those managers seeking a real, live PD, read Holland Cooke’s take on what qualities he/she must possess here.

Odds & Sods.  The decision is not set in stone yet, but Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that CBSwscr logo RADIO will likely move Chicago Cubs play-by-play from all-news WBBM-AM to sports talk WSCR “The Score.”  WSCR is losing Chicago White Sox play-by-play as Cumulus-owned crosstown news/talk WLS-AM will begin serving as that team’s flagship beginning next season…..John W. Pirkle-owned WNFZ-FM, Knoxville drops news/talk and goes alternative rock as “94Z.”  However, the “Rude Awakening” morning show with Mike Howard and Terry West remains on wilsonnickthe program schedule.  The station also aired a local afternoon show called “The Drive” with Russell Smith.  It’s not clear what his and producer Richard Daughtry’s fates are…..CBS RADIO gives Nick Wilson an evening sports talk show on WKRK, Cleveland “92.3 The Fan.”  Wilson has been a producer, part-time host and sports anchor at the station.  His rise to host of “The Nick Wilson Experiment” comeswspd logo after Ken Carman moved from that slot to co-host morning drive with Kevin Kiley…..Cumulus Media gives Toledo news/talker WSPD an FM presence in the market as the station is now simulcasting on new translator W221BG at 92.1 FM.  The translator is licensed to Rudolph, Ohio, about 25 miles south of downtown Toledo.

rekerbillKMOX, St. Louis’ Bill Reker Retires.  According to a report in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, KMOX, St. Louis news anchor Bill Reker is retiring from the station after a 20-year career there.  KMOX program director Steve Moore tells the paper, “He is a pro’s pro.  Whether it was severe weather or something going on in Ferguson, you knew you had a professional in the newsroom.  I’ll miss the level of calm he brought.”

Hillary Clinton’s Benghazi Testimony, Joe Biden’s ‘Won’t Run’ Announcement, 2016 Presidential Race, Russia-Syria Relationship, Paul Ryan House Speaker Bid, Chris Rock to Host Oscars, European Migrant Troubles, and MLB League Championships Series Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/21). Today’s Benghazi testimony by former Secretary of State and current Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton; Vice President Joe Biden’s announcement that he will not run for president; the activities of the rest of the candidates for president in 2016, notably Dr. Ben Carson’s poll-leading numbers in Iowa; the military relationship between Putin’s Russia and al-Assad’s Syria; Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan’s bid for the Speaker of the House post; comic Chris Rock set to host the next Academy Awards show; ongoing migrant problems in the European Union; and the Major League Baseball playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

| October 8, 2015

bellart15BigLoyal Fans of Art Bell Pool Resources and Invest in TALKERS Ad Campaign for their Radio Hero.  An international group of extremely loyal fans of legendary radio talk show host Art Bell (left) have pooled their financial resources and invested in a major trade publication advertising campaign (see box and banner ads on every page of Talkers.com and the TALKERS email newsletter) on behalf of their favorite broadcaster.  The purpose is to let broadcast radio owners, managers and programmers know that the iconic champion of cosmic consciousness, the paranormal and metaphysical subject matter is back in action doing a nightly (12:00 midnight – 3:00 am ET) online radio program via the Dark Matter Digital Network titled “Midnight in the Desert” – and, most importantly, that it is immediately available for syndication on AM and FM radio stations. Launched this past summer, the show is already carried on more than 35 terrestrial stations across the US and Canada. The group, organized largely through social media, issued the following statement:

Art Bell, the legendary king of late night radio, has always had a unique and surprising relationship with his listeners. For us, it’s personal. A pioneer of interactive radio since the 90s, Art has a long history of connecting directly with his fans in ways few, if any, other radio hosts have. Through Art’s early embrace of internet bulletin boards, IRC chats, and even HAM radio, he created a devoted following. These days, Art is a constant presence to his fans through more modern social networking tools, such as message boards, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. He has continued to maintain direct contact with his fans even during the years when he wasn’t on the air, whether updating them on family matters or giving them his observations on the world.

That personal touch allowed Bell to retain tens of thousands of hardcore fans years after his retirement from national broadcasting. That listener loyalty was bolstered by such things as Art calling into fan podcasts, or granting an exclusive two hour fan interview, hosted in his home and posted online for all to hear. Ever active on the pages of the various fan message boards, Art has always gone to his fans and interacted directly.

Now Art is back with a new show, “Midnight in the Desert,” and in true Art Bell fashion he’s bringing his loyal fans with him.

The genesis of the show was a true grassroots effort. Through modern social media, Bell connected with his fans and built the new show from the ground up. The fans chose the name of the show, as well as the show’s theme music, a song composed especially for Art Bell by Crystal Gayle. It turns out that she’s a fan, too. Art also recruited his staff from his fan base, most famously his webmaster of many years Keith Rowland, but also his current producer. A fan runs his official YouTube channel, and fans created no less than 10 commercial trailers to promote the upcoming show. A dedicated group of fans even got an advertisement for the show on an electronic billboard in Times Square. Art Bell doesn’t just broadcast, he inspires his fans through his interactivity with them.

That loyalty continues with this ad campaign on Talkers.com. Art’s fans include everyone from housewives to astrophysicists.  It was brought to the fans’ attention by one of their members in the broadcasting profession that TALKERS was the most effective place to get the word out to radio stations that Art Bell is back and many tens of thousands of listeners are waiting to hear him on their local radio stations once again. Because, if there’s one thing Art Bell has in common with all of his fans, it’s their shared passion for good radio.

Please watch a special video from Art by clicking here.

TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “In the 25 years that we have been publishing TALKERS, we have never witnessed this type of display of fan loyalty.  It is remarkable and tremendously inspirational for all of us who love radio and have a vested interest in the proliferation of the viability of the FM/AM paradigm.  Thank you Art Bell for continuing to be a trailblazer and to his very special fan base for showing us that people will certainly care if we simply ‘do our jobs’ the way we are supposed to.”  For affiliate information, interested stations should contact  Amy Martin at affiliates@artbell.com.  Art Bell is scheduled to be Michael Harrison’s guest on a forthcoming installment of the international PodcastOne hit, “Up Close and Far Out.”  Stay tuned for details.

emmis logoEmmis Reports Q2 Radio Revenue Flat.  Reporting that its net radio revenue was flat at $47.6 million, Emmis Communications releases figures from its second fiscal quarter, which ended August 31.  In a press statement, the company notes that “second quarter radio revenues were down 0.5% compared to local radio market revenues [which were] down 1.9%.  Our Newnextradio logo York cluster performed much better in the second quarter (up 4.3% in a market down 3.4%).”  Emmis CEO Jeff Smulyan states, “Despite our outperformance, the markets where we operate remain challenged.  While we are outperforming in a difficult marketplace, the radio industry is clearly in need of a catalyst and we think we have it with NextRadio.  The addition of AT&T and T-Mobile during the quarter continues the momentum for NextRadio, the Emmis-led industry initiative to make FM broadcast radio available on smartphones and tablets.  I’m most pleased by the broad industry support we have garnered for the effort, which we believe will revolutionize radio.”

bellmikeCBS RADIO Suspends 92.9 The Game Atlanta Personality Mike Bell for Jessica Mendoza Tweet.  Even though he’s apologized for his ill-advised Tweet about ESPN MLB playoff game analyst Jessica Mendoza, CBS RADIO has suspended the WZGC, Atlanta host until Monday (10/12), according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Rodney HoMike Bell, who co-hosts the afternoon drive show with Carl Dukes on “92.9 The Game,” used a reference from a line in the movie Anchorman to express his displeasure with ESPN’s call to have the U.S. Women’s Softball gold medalist serve as color analyst for the Astros-Yankees game.  He Tweeted: “yes tell us T*ts McGhee when you’re up there hitting the softball you see a lot of 95 mile an hour cutters.”

kinosianmikePPM Analysis: MLB Flagships.  TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his fourth 2015 PPM analysis of the ratings performances (6+, Mon-Sun 6a-12mid) of stations that serve as flagships for MLB franchise play-by-play.  This report is based on the September 2015 PPM data (survey period August 13-September 9).  Since this report is not based on ratings from actual game time dayparts, it reflects the overall movement of a station with baseball listening as one possible factor.  In this report see charts illustrating the AQH shares of stations from August 2015 to September 2015, from September 2014 to September 2015, as well as the market ranks and how the flagships stacked up based on MLB divisions.  Click here to read more.

siriusxmSiriusXM Renews with the NFL Through 2022.  There’s no mention of the price satcaster SiriusXM is paying the National Football League for the just-announced six-year extension of the satellite broadcasting and marketing agreement, but SiriusXM CEO Jim Meyer and his team obviously value the play-by-play programming.  As the Official Satellite Radio Partner of the NFL, SiriusXM will continue to “feature every NFL game live nationwide from the preseason through Super Bowl LVI in 2022 as well as SiriusXM NFL Radio – SiriusXM’s 24/7 radio channel dedicated entirely to the NFL.”

Clinton Gun Control Plan, 2016 Presidential Race, Hillary Clinton Email Server Case, Russia’s Syria Military Campaign, Obama’s TPP Trade Deal, New House Speaker Vote, and MLB Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/7).  Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton announces her gun control plan if elected; the activities of the candidates for president in 2016; the ongoing matter of Hillary Clinton’s private email server allegedly used for State Department business; the Russian military campaign in Syria and the U.S.’ role in the battle against ISIS; controversy over President Obama’s Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal; the pending votes on a new GOP House Speaker; and the action in the MLB playoffs were some of the top news/talk stories yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Friday, April 25, 2014

| April 25, 2014

nielsen logoNielsen to Present Radio ROI Study to Group Heads.  Using phrases such as “they’ve finally cracked the code” and “radio’s ability to deliver sales lift of more than $6, for every dollar spent,” Clear Channel president and CFO Rich Bressler spoke during yesterday’s investor conference call glowingly about the recent Catalina Solutions group study that shows excellent return on investment for consumer packaged goods (CPG) advertisers using radio.  He announced that on Monday (4/28), radio group heads will gather for a conference at CC’s New York offices to see a presentation bybresslerrichard Nielsen’s Catalina Solutions group that Bressler also called “the first-ever, single source ROI study in the radio sector…Finally, we have the definitive proof of radio’s value.”  If you remember, the study in which Nielsen worked with Clear Channel measured the sales impact for the specific media buys of 10 brands, each of which had different combinations of radio networks.  Nielsen says that this group of 10 brands, which included eight CPG and two retailer brands, provided the foundation for the first normative database for radio effectiveness.  Another key finding was that radio delivers a strong consumer sales response close to the time of purchase.  The closer the exposure is to purchase, the higher the response.  On another note, Bressler did not respond directly to the recent cuts in the sales departments at Clear Channel but made reference to them in describing the state of the company’s executive structure.  “From an organizational standpoint, we create a new major market structure under which four of our senior operating executives are reporting directly to Bob Pittman and myself.  This major markets operating group will collaborate directly with our local market management to oversee our operations in our largest and highest revenue generating markets from our core broadcast radio stations to our digital mobile and events business as well as a more expanded coordination with Clear Channel Outdoor.”

siriusxmSiriusXM Q1 Revenue Up 11%.  It was another good quarterly report for satcaster SiriusXM as CEO Jim Meyer reported that his company’s subscription total is up to 25.8 million – an increase during the quarter of 267,000.  The all-important free cash flow figure was up 56% on $223 million.  Meyer toldmeyerjim analysts on Thursday, “Our solid subscriber growth, even faster revenue growth and high contribution margins have produced dramatic growth in adjusted EBTIDA and free cash flow — exactly what you would expect from SiriusXM’s highly scalable business model.  We are the world leader in monetizing audio entertainment, and the way this monetization translates in cash flow is also unmatched.  Our radios today are only in about 20% to 26% of the cars on the road today.  So we believe the opportunity for long term growth remains significant.”

smerconishmichaelPost Piece Highlights Smerconish’s Drive to Capture Center.  In a feature piece by Manuel Roig-Franzia in the Washington Post, media personality Michael Smerconish is profiled and his quest to find a political center that is hot to talk about the issues of the day is front-and-center.  The story details Smerconish’s entrance into the media world, his syndicated radio career, his cable TV gigs and his decision to leave AM/FM radio for SiriusXM last year.  In discussing this move and critics’ assertions that there is no centrist audience to be found in talk radio, he tells the Post, “I’m the referendum, aren’t I?…I’ve put my livelihood on the line to prove that you can.”

RamseyIndyIndianapolis Welcomes Dave Ramsey.  Talk radio superstar and best-selling author Dave Ramsey visited Indianapolis yesterday (4/24) as he presented his Legacy Journey LIVE! event at Traders Point Christian Church to a packed house.  The event was promoted by Ramsey’s Indy affiliate WFDM “Freedom 95 Radio.”  Pilgrim Communications VP and general manager Randy Tipmore says, “As usual when Dave Ramsey comes to Indianapolis, excitement and enthusiasm go up in the entire area as do station sales.  Every time Dave comes to town we sell out in record time for record amounts.  The Dave Ramsey show is the number-one selling tool we have at ‘Freedom 95.’  Dave Ramsey is pictured here (second from right) with members of the “Freedom 95 Radio” team.

sturgismark‘ESPN Upstate’ Adds Local Evening Show.  Sports media personality Mark Sturgis is tapped to host a live and local evening program on the Entercom-owned multi-cast serving northern South Carolina (the signals include WORD-AM, Spartanburg; WYRD-AM, Greenville; W246BU, Spartanburg on 97.1 FM and WFNC-HD3, Fayetteville, North Carolina).  Sturgis moves from his two-hour show on Byrne Acquisition Group-owned sports talk WCCP-FM, Clemson to a 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm nightly show on “ESPN Upstate.”  He follows the new “In The Huddle” show with Greg McKinney that airs in afternoon drive.  Entercom VP and market manager Steve Sinicropi states, “Our sports coverage in terms of talent, teams and signal coverage continues to get stronger and stronger.  ‘ESPN Upstate’ has become the most dominant sports network in the market.  Mark has a great live and local show right now, he has a network of sports contacts and he brings a passion for sports, strong knowledge and tremendous energy to the fast-growing ‘EPSN Upstate’ audience.  When you have a powerful brand like ESPN and the largest portfolio of radio stations in the Upstate to cross promote, it’s no wonder listeners and talent are coming to ‘ESPN Upstate.’”

sexy liberal logoStephanie Miller’s ‘Sexy Liberal Comedy Tour’ Hits Chicago Tomorrow; Albuquerque and Minneapolis Next.  Talk show host and comic Stephanie Miller’s comedy roadshow – the Sexy Liberal Comedy Tour lands in Chicago tomorrow and there are still a limited number of VIP tickets available for the event.  The show – featuring Miller, John Fugelsang, Carlos Alazraqui, and Stephanie Miller show family members Chris Lavoie and voice deity Jim Ward – is also traveling to Albuquerque on May 10 and rolls into Minneapolis on June 7.

talbottjuliePremiere Networks President Julie Talbott Named Woman of the Year.  The editorial board of TALKERS has named Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott as the 2014 recipient of the Judy Jarvis Memorial Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Talk Radio Industry by a Woman.  The honor, also known as “Woman of the Year,” will be presented to Talbott by last year’s recipient, Heather Cohen, EVP of The Weiss Agency, at the forthcoming Talkers New York 2014 conference on Friday, June 20 as one of the highlights of an awards ceremony at which presentations will also be made for “Lifetime Achievement,” Humanitarian of the Year,” and Freedom of Speech (the recipients of which have yet to be announced).  In addition to Cohen, past recipients of this prestigious award include Robin Bertolucci, Stephanie Miller, Laurie Cantillo, Grace Blazer, Kim Komando, Laura Ingraham, Randi Rhodes, Lynn Distler, Adriane Gaines, Ellen2014 NYC logo 150 Ratner, Gloria Allred, Lisa Evers and its namesake Judy Jarvis, the late independent talk radio syndication pioneer for whom it was first presented posthumously.   Upon announcing the board’s choice of Julie Talbott, TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey states, “We all look forward to the day that a special award to a female member of the talk radio community is no longer relevant or necessary – but if you look at the breakdown of the numbers of men versus women in the business, it is clear that we have not yet reached that day.”  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison adds, “We couldn’t be more delighted having the opportunity to honor Ms. Talbott for her achievements and contributions to not just talk but the entire spectrum of popular radio over the years. She is a bright, creative, dignified and extremely inspirational role model for young women looking to build a career in the radio broadcasting industry.”  Julie Talbott started her career in advertising at BBDO, where she spent five years as supervisor of media planning and buying.  Her love of radio took her to MJI Broadcasting, where she spent 19 years.  As COO of MJI Broadcasting, Talbott was instrumental in growing the company from five people to more than 150.  In 1999, Premiere Networks acquired MJI Broadcasting.  At that time, Talbott joined Premiere as senior vice president of integrated marketing solutions, focusing on advertising sponsorships.  In 2003, she was promoted to executive vice president, affiliate relations.  In that role, she oversaw a staff that increased affiliations for programs hosted by Jim Rome, Glenn Beck, George Noory, Bob and Tom, Steve Harvey, Keith Sweat, Elvis Duran, Fox Sports Radio and others.  In 2009, Talbott was named VP, content and affiliate relations for Premiere Networks and then promoted in September 2012 to extend that title to Clear Channel Media and Entertainment’s National Media Groups.  In January of this year, she was promoted to president of Premiere Networks.  In her current role, Talbott continues to oversee the operation of Premiere Networks radio programs and services and manages business partnerships with talent, while leading and maintaining key affiliate relationships to sell and service Premiere Networks, Total Traffic & Weather Network and iHeartRadio.  A native of Kentucky, Talbott received her B.A. from the University of Kentucky and attended the Business Strategy Program at the Columbia University Graduate School of Business in 1996.  Talbott lives with her husband and three children in New York.  For information about registering for Talkers New York 2014 please call 413-565-5413.

greshamtomTALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  “Tom Gresham’s Gun Talk” is added to the program lineup at the following stations: KAOK, Lake Charles, Louisiana; KFIV, Modesto, California; KWSX, Stockton, California; WCHS, Charleston, West Virginia; and WBBA, Pittsfield, Illinois…..“Free Talk Live” with Ian Freeman and Mark Edge is picked up by new affiliates KQAM, Wichita; WBKV, West Bend, Wisconsin; WHIR, Danville, Kentucky; and WRMN, Elgin, Illinois…..“Into Tomorrow” with Dave Graveline’s weekly program is picked up by KNOX-AM/FM, Fargo.

ABCCainDean Cain Visits ABC News Radio.  Actor Dean Cain goofs with ABC News Radio entertainment correspondent Joi Marie McKenzie during a visit to ABC News Radio studios to promote the new season of his VH1 series “Hit the Floor” that returns on May 26 at 9:00 pm ET.

Russian Aggression in Ukraine/U.S. Troops in Poland Top News/Talk Stories During Week of April 21-25.  The turbulent political state in Ukraine, Russia’s aggression in the region and the arrival of U.S. troops in Poland were the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio during the week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 was the scrutiny of the rollout and effects of the Affordable Care Act.  Following at #3 was the 2016 presidential race tied with Chelsea Clinton’s pregnancy and at #4 was the deadly attack on Americans at an Afghanistan hospital tied with drone strikes on suspected al Qaeda in Yemen.  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.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

| February 5, 2014

bennettseatedsmallStill Pioneering After All These Years – 74-Year-Old Alex Bennett Is Building New Platform and Inventing “New” Talk Format.  Some view their own age and/or that of others as a roadblock – a barrier to achieving an untold number of additional hopes and dreams.  To others, age – more correctly – is merely a meaningless number with no attached strings or restrictions.  It would have been quite easy and understandable for radio legend Alex Bennett to take leave and retreat from the business in which he has been an integral part for several decades. After all, the legendary broadcaster was 73-years-old when Sirius XM unceremoniously pink-slipped him last June after more than nine years of service at the satcaster (he turned 74 two months ago).  Notwithstanding an imposing and lengthy list of accomplishments and vitae, which the native Californian could trumpet as an entree to retirement, he has become an entrepreneur with “Alex Bennett’s Great American Broadcasts” being the centerpiece of his novel take on talk radio.  Bennett is innovatively and opportunistically using Skype to create “citizen panels” of up to 10 callers per clip interacting with him in on-air conversation at a time.  To learn more about this creative venture and the ongoing adventures of one of radio’s truly cooler characters, read TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian’s feature piece posted today (2/5) in its entirety by clicking here.

siriusxmSiriusXM Reports Revenue Up 12% in 2013.  During yesterday’s Q4 conference call, SiriusXM CEO Jim Meyer told investors and analysts that the company delivered on all of its guidance for 2013 and enjoyed a revenue spike of 12% for the year plus saw its subscriber base rise to 25.5 million.  Meyer, like Mel Karmazin before him, is touting the company’s dedication to increasing free cash flow and, to that end, Meyer reports free cash flow was up 31% to $927 million for the year.  Looking back onmeyerjim 2013 Meyer underscored the importance of deals that get SiriusXM radios into new cars and stated the satellite service is now available in 71% of cars sold in the United States.  Meyer also spoke about the company’s strategy with regard to the “connected vehicle,” saying, “We’ve acquired a smart team of technology engineers who are accelerating development of our overall connected car architecture, including the combination of satellite receivers with LTE hardware, a strategy that should also yield benefits to our existing audio business…We expect connected vehicle services to deliver close to $100 million of revenue this year, and we expect to grow this at strong double-digit rates over the next many years.  We are in the process of fully integrating the CV business into SiriusXM, and its financial results are embedded in our guidance today.”  Thanks to Seeking Alpha for the conference call transcript.  Members can check out the entire conference here.

missanellimikeGreater Media Suspends WPEN, Philadelphia’s Mike Missanelli for Gay Slurs.  This story goes to show how even a seasoned pro like Philadelphia sports talk host Mike Missanelli can make the mistake of engaging with a critic online.  Greater Media has suspended afternoon personality Mike Missanelli after he called a critic a “latent homosexual” in an email exchange.  The station issued the following statement, “We are aware of the email communications between Mike and one of his listeners.  This individual has been harassing Mike by email for several years, which is cause for concern, and we are working with Mike to try to identify this person and stop the abuse.  However, that does not excuse Mike’s conduct.  The content of his emails is unacceptable and does not reflect our values as a company.  Mike has been suspended and understands that future similar conduct will not be tolerated.”  The story broke after the email exchange was posted on Deadspin.com.

beasley logoBeasley Broadcast Group Beefs Up Digital Division.  In announcing the hiring of three new regional digital directors, Beasley reveals its dedication to digital sales efforts.  In a statement, vice president of digital Stacey Sedbrook speaks about the expectations after bringing Eddie Thorpe, Adam Meltzer and Carolyn Cope aboard.  “The formation of this team will surely be the foundation of our success.  Having the right people on my team is as important to me as having the right products and services to sell.  Eddie, Adam and Carolyn were hand selectedsedbrookstacey for their talents, capabilities and, most importantly, their nimble thinking.  Our objective is to drive revenues for our advertisers, especially those smaller businesses and growing brands in the communities we serve.  To achieve this goal, our regional digital directors will assist Beasley’s local market sales teams in creating enhanced advertising campaigns that include digital products and services tailored to the specific needs of our existing and new clients.”  Eddie Thorpe comes to Beasley from the Tampa Bay Times where he was senior digital director.  He’s responsible for the Miami and Fort Myers-Naples markets.  Adam Meltzer is responsible for the Philadelphia and Wilmington, Delaware markets.  He most recently was multimedia sales manager for Wicked Local.  Carolyn Cope also served with Wicked Local as senior digital account executive of major accounts and is now overseeing the Augusta, Georgia; Fayetteville, North Carolina; and Eastern North Carolina markets (Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville).  Sedbrook is responsible for the company’s Las Vegas group.

klattlenKlatt Yields the Winning Run.  In this case, that is a good thing as The Winning Run is the name of the full-service consultancy that Len Klatt is opening.  The former Premiere Networks senior vice president/director of research is gearing the new undertaking – which will have Los Angeles and New York City offices – to national media companies and talent, programming services and advertisers.  Among his clients are Sound Mind, Compass Media Marketing, Big Shoes Productions, Reel World, and The Blaze Radio Network.  “Len continues to do the best job industry wide in both interpreting audience numbers and explaining them to clients interested in exploring the value premise of audience engagement on radio, online, and in digital media,” comments Sound Mind president Kraig Kitchin, Premiere’s former president/chief operating officer.  “We are fortunate to have his talents for the benefit of our sponsors.”  Klatt remarks, “It is not just about columns and numbers, it’s about how they can be used to shape the story in such a way to advance my clients’ vision.  With The Winning Run, I want to cover all the bases.” Before the nearly two decades he spent at Premiere, Klatt was Westwood One‘s New York City-based director of research.  He began his media research career at Media Buying Services International.

learfieldsports logoLearfield Adds to Footprint with Nelligan Acquisition.  One of the leaders in college sports play-by-play rights is adding 41 schools to its roster with the acquisition of Nelligan Sports MarketingLearfield Sports will now hold the multi-media rights to 92 schools, which puts its total above that of its fiercest competitor – IMG Sports, which holds the rights to 79 schools.  Learfield president and CEO Greg Brown tells SportsBusinessDaily, “In some cases, this will open up new markets for us.  In other cases, it will further fortify what we’re doing…Early on in our discussions with Providence [Learfield owner Providence Equity Partners], we identified some strategic opportunities that would be productive for our business.  Nelligan is consistent with the business we’re already in.  This was right down the middle of the fairway for us.”  Nelligan Sports founder T.J. Nelligan will remain with the new company in a leadership role.  He comments that he doesn’t expect attrition with this merger.

wtoplogoOdds & Sods.  Hubbard Radio’s WTOP, Washington is helping the National Multiple Sclerosis Society by naming it the station’s WTOP Charity of the Month recipient for February 2014.  Through the program the MS Society will receive more than $20,000 worth of in-kind contributions to support Multiple Sclerosis awareness and programs, including 64 promotional announcements on WTOP and sister station Federal News Radio.  Additional content and exposure for MS Society will be included on WTOP.com and FederalNewsRadio.com throughout the entire month of February…..Tribune Company’s WGN, Chicago announces the next in its “Blackhawks Live” series when forwards Kris Versteeg and Brandon Saad take part in the live event at the Old Town Pour House in suburban Oakbrook on February 24.  The event includes a photo op with the players, an autographed photo and dinner, tax and tip.  “Blackhawks Live” is a series of one-hour radio broadcasts hosted over dinner throughout the year featuring current Blackhawks players, legends and management.  Blackhawks radio broadcasters John Wiedeman and Troy Murray host the event that includes a question-and-answer format between the hosts and the featured Blackhawks guests…..The New Jersey Broadcasters Association has created PSAs for member stations reminding drivers in the Garden State that it’s illegal to drive a vehicle that hasn’t had the snow and ice properly cleared off it.  Interested stations can visit www.njba.com for information…..The Radio Television Digital News Association names WBIR-TV, Knoxville news director Christy Moreno to its board of directors, representing Region 8, which includes Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina and West Virginia.

ww1sochiWestwoodOne to Present Exclusive Coverage of Winter Olympics.  When the 2014 Olympic Winter Games commence in Sochi, Russia on Friday, WestwoodOne will be the exclusive network for audio coverage.  WestwoodOne’s programing will include: shortform coverage Olympic updates three times an hour, 24/7, from February 7- February 23; longform coverage – “Today in Sochi” including two hours of longform coverage for 17 consecutive nights; coverage of all U.S. Olympic Hockey (Men’s and Women’s) plus the gold medal games in Men’s and Women’s hockey regardless of who is playing.

loeschtheviewDana Loesch Visits ‘The View.’  Conservative talk media figure Dana Loesch – who just entered national syndication for her daily talk radio show via Radio America – appeared on ABC TV’s “The View” on Monday in her stead as a host on Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze where she hosts a daily, 5:00 pm program.  Pictured here (center) between the program’s Jenny McCarthy (left) and Sherri Shepherd (right), Loesch spoke about her conversion from a progressive liberal to her current conservative philosophy and fielded questions from the four co-hosts.

Obama Administration Splits with Some Democrats, Philip Seymour Hoffman Death/Heroin Use in America, Hillary in 2016, Immigration Legislation/Amnesty Component, ObamaCare Criticism, Financial Markets Activity, and Sochi Olympics Troubles Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/4).  The reported rift between Democrats on Capitol Hill and the Obama Administration on some issues; the aftermath of the death of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman and the light it’s shed on heroin abuse in America; the prospect of Hillary Clinton running for president in 2016; the proposed immigration legislation working its way through Congress and the possibility of amnesty for current illegals; ongoing scrutiny of the implementation of the Affordable Care Act; activity on the U.S. and world financial markets; and reports of the problems Russia is facing getting Sochi ready for the Winter Olympics were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

| January 8, 2014

borrell logoBorrell Associates New Study and Forecast Predicts Radio Revenue Flat but Listening Minutes Continue to Decline Over Next Five Years.  Research firm Borrell Associates has published a new study titled, “The Future of Legacy Media: With 5 Years of Digital Disruption Ahead, What Happens Next?”  As the title implies, it looks at the effect the digital revolution has had over the past five years on time spent with each medium and ad dollars spent and then goes on to predict what is likely to happen over the next five years.  The conclusion for AM/FM radio is probably not going to be shocking to most.  Borrell predicts that minutes spent with AM/FM radio (which have already dropped from 124.1 in 2008 to 93.5 in 2013, according to the study) will continue to erode even though the number of individuals listening at least once per week (that figure we hear reported by Nielsen Audio so frequently) may remain fairly constant.  By 2018 Borrell predicts minutes spent with radio will further drop to 81.9 (for a total decrease from 2008 to 2018 of 34%).  On the revenue front, Borrell notes that radio ad spending has dropped by almost a third over the past 13 years and predicts the level the industry is at right now – about $14.3 billion – is roughly where it will be in another five years.  Here’s what the study has to say about AM/FM radio’s future: “If trends hold true, traditional radio ad spending will continue to tread water, remaining largely unchanged while growth moves online – especially among national advertisers.  Detroit is already equipping some new cars with Pandora service, so even that industry sinecure may have been breached.  Losses – where they occur – will be most felt in the larger metros, while suburban and rural areas will still depend on the local flavor of stations that have been good friends to their fathers and grandfathers.”  Which media will experience growth in minutes spent with through 2018?  Borrell predicts cable TV, out-of-home, video games and pure-play mobile, which it says will have realized a 1,145% increase in minutes spent with during the 10-year period examined in the study.  Read more here.

siriusxmSiriusXM Reports Total Subscribers Top 25 Million.  Satellite radio service SiriusXM announces it ended the year 2013 with 25.56 million subscribers – an addition of 1.66 million net subscribers during the course of the year.  The company reports that self-pay net additions in 2013 were 1.5 million for the full year, bringing self-paymeyerjim subscriptions to over 21 million.  SiriusXM CEO Jim Meyer states, “SiriusXM had an outstanding 2013, and we expect to meet or exceed all other guidance we have provided for the year.  Automotive distribution is hitting on all cylinders and an increasing number of households, at all income levels, are subscribing to SiriusXM.  In a world where consumers have many choices, millions of subscribers continue to love our unmatched and easily affordable lineup of exclusive talk, live news, major sports events, and commercial-free and curated music channels.”  At the same time, the company offers guidance for 2014 that includes: Net subscriber additions of 1.25 million; free cash flow approaching $1.1 billion; revenue of over $4.0 billion; and adjusted EBITDA of approximately $1.38 billion.

cookeholland2014 International CES: Day Two.  Media consultant Holland Cooke reports from Las Vegas where he’s covering the enormous 2014 International Consumer Electronic Show for TALKERS magazine.  Some tidbits for radio people include how Yahoo! is revamping its content to fit what consumers want with regard to size and frequency and how new global anchor Katie Couric is integrating “citizen reporting” into her work.  Also, read what radio execs attending a session on internet radio are saying about building a connection with consumers in Holland Cooke’s piece here.

compassmediamarketingCompass Media Brings Research Pro Len Klatt Aboard.  Research pro Len Klatt spent the last 16 years with Premiere Networks (ultimately as SVP of research) and 11 years with Westwood One before that.  Now, Compass Media Marketing announces it has hired Klatt as a research consultant and advisor, effective immediately.  Klatt comments, “It is an incredibly exciting time to be a part of the changing audio entertainment landscape.  Compass is well positioned for continued growth and my goal is to work closely with the Compass team to best serve our advertisers, affiliates and programming partners.”

minihanekirkKirk Minihane Inks Multi-Year Deal with WEEI, Boston.  The Boston Globe’s Chad Finn reports that staffer Kirk Minihane – a recently added member of the Dennis & Callahan morning show – has been rewarded for his positive impact on the show and the station with a new multi-year deal.  Minihane became part of the morning show featuring John Dennis and Gerry Callahan in February of last year and Finn reports that the morning show has been gaining ratings ground over the past several months.  Minihane was already employed by Entercom Boston writing for WEEI.com at the time he joined the show.  The Dennis & Callahan show – and the station in general – has been under the microscope since the start-up of CBS Radio’s crosstown WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub” debuted, gained ground on WEEI and overtook many of WEEI’s shows in the ratings.  Now, Finn reports that the Dennis & Callahan show recently finished in second place in the Nielsen Audio PPM ratings behind WBZ-FM’s Toucher & Rich program with a 9.0 share.

matthewsboOdds & Sods.  At Salem Communications’ New York City news/talker WNYM “AM 970 The Answer,” comic Joe Piscopo is guest hosting the morning show today (1/8) through the end of the week.  The permanent morning show slot is vacant right now after Curtis Sliwa split for Cumulus Media’s crosstown news/talk WABC for a midday show with co-host Ron Kuby.  The station says Piscopo will “have top name guests, give his take on the news of the day and do a variety of other comedy bits.”…..At Clear Channel’s Cincinnati cluster, Bo Matthews is named vice president of programming for the station group.  While Matthews’ recent day-to-day experience has been with music radio – he comes to Cincinnati from the company’s Cleveland cluster where he programmed rock WMMS and CHR WAKS “Kiss FM” – he will ultimately oversee news/talk WLW, talk WKRC and sports talk WSAI in his new position…..In the public radio sphere of the Rochester market, WXXI listeners are hearing new host Evan Dawson in the 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm slot held for so long by market pro Bob Smith.  Dawson is a familiar face as he spent six years as morning anchor at WHAM-TV.  The new show is called “Connections with Evan Dawson.”  Smith stepped down from his position in August after suffering a stroke in the spring.  He’s currently in long-term rehabilitative care.

rickandbubbagroupRick & Bubba Celebrate 20th Anniversary.  The nationally syndicated Rick & Bubba show – featuring Rick Burgess and Bill “Bubba” Bussey – celebrates its 20th anniversary this year.  The Syndicated Solutions Inc.-distributed program has special plans to commemorate the show’s birth.  Burgess and Bussey, along with cast members Calvin “Speedy” Wilburn, “The Real” Greg Burgess, Michael “Helmsey” Helms, Chris “Eddie Van” Adler, along with past/present show interns and related show contributors, will be performing live before sellout crowds during at least five special one-night only events in concert halls/theaters in select cities beginning in May.  SSI reports that “each ‘20th Anniversary Tour’ event will include hilarious, unforgettable Rick & Bubba moments, show favorites such as Good ‘ol Boys Theater, Willie & Wanda, The Giant Game of Rick & Bubba Knowledge, The Wacky World, Fact or Crap, and more.  There will be prizes, video tributes reliving the past 20 years, musical performances, special Q&A sessions and more…All behind-the-scenes and on-stage activities will be video recorded so excerpts can be shared during the Rick & Bubba show television/radio broadcast, and a full 20th Anniversary documentary will be available later in 2014.”  SSI president Bob Carey states, “Congratulations Rick and Bubba…I am so proud of what you’ve accomplished all these years and the special relationship that we share.  Although we’ve been business partners for just nine of your 20 years on air together, the Rick & Bubba show continues to evolve and gets better day after day, which is a testament to you both never taking your successes for granted or never stopping to work hard and improve upon yesterday.”  Pictured here are (from l-r): Bill “Bubba” Bussey (sitting), Michael “Helmsey” Helms, Rick Burgess (center/sitting), Calvin “Speedy” Wilburn, “The Real” Greg Burgess and Chris “Eddie Van” Adler.

havesonjeffOutstanding Talk Producer on the Loose.  One of the personnel casualties of WWRL, New York’s recent switch from progressive talk to regional Mexican Spanish-language entertainment is Jeffrey Haveson.  Haveson, an accomplished veteran radio broadcaster is known in talk circles as one of the most hard-working, versatile and dependable producers in the business, is without a home base for the first time in more than a decade.  He served at WWRL as an executive producer working with a wide variety of hosts and formats ranging from urban talk to liberal politics and then some.  In the words of TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison, “Jeffrey Haveson is one of the most competent and multi-faceted facilitators of talk programming I’ve ever met.  This guy can handle all the chores that go on behind-the-scenes in making a great show happen from nurturing hosts of all political and cultural stripes, booking guests, executing remotes and creating superb production to writing an effective press release and managing social media.  He is located in the New York area and should be grabbed by one of the many media outlets looking for a solid producer.”  Haveson can be phoned at 973-207-3095 or emailed at jeffhaveson@yahoo.com.

Robert Gates Criticizes Obama in New Book, Dennis Rodman in North Korea, Boehner-Benghazi Connection, Polar Vortex Chills U.S./Global Warming, and Janet Yellen Confirmed New Fed Chief.  The new book by former Defense Secretary Robert Gates that is critical of the Obama Administration; the controversy over former NBA star Dennis Rodman’s latest trip to North Korea; questions about what House Speaker John Boehner knew about the Benghazi mission; the frigid temperatures across the U.S. and the connection to global warming; and Janet Yellen is confirmed as new chief of the Federal Reserve were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Friday, September 27, 2013

| September 27, 2013

glasgowdennisDennis Glasgow Named OM/PD at Capitol Broadcasting’s Sports Properties.  Sports talk radio programming pro Dennis Glasgow joins Capitol Broadcasting as program director and operations manager for the company’s sports talk operations including WCMC-FM, Raleigh “99.9 The Fan”; WDNC, Durham “620 The Buzz”; WCLY, Raleigh “ESPN Deportes”; and WCMC-HD3 “99.9 The Ticket.”  During his career Glasgow has served as vice president and operations manager for Red Zebra’s WTEM, Washington; PD at KFXX, Portland and KNML, Albuquerque; and most recently programmed Pamplin’s news/talk KPAM, Portland.  Capitol Sports Radio general manager Brian Maloney says, “Dennis brings passion and a wealth of knowledge about radio along with experience and understanding of social media and web, both of which are a key part of the sports radio listener lifestyle.”  Glasgow adds, “Having the opportunity to work for Capitol Broadcasting and their sports properties is a genuine thrill.  I look forward to continuing the commitment of great sports radio in the Triangle region.”

TalkersLA2013“Shotgun” Tom Kelly to Speak at Talkers Los Angeles 2013 on October 10.  For the first time in the 16-year history of TALKERS magazine’s annual convention, a music radio “disc jockey” will be presented as an official speaker in the agenda line-up.  KRTH, Los Angeles “K-Earth 101” late afternoon/early evening legend “Shotgun” Tom Kelly will be participating as a panelist at “Talkers Los Angeles 2013” – a one-day, power-packed gathering of movers and shakers from the talk radio industry representing talent, sales, management and ownership.  Kelly will be on a panel moderated by TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison titled “The Big Picture” which, in addition to Kelly, will include Phil Boyce, VP Spoken Word Format, Salem Communications; Kraig Kitchin, CEO,kellytomshotgun Sound Mind, LLC; Mike McVay, SVP programming, Cumulus Media; and Harvey Nagler, VP, CBS Radio News.  The session will be introduced by Don Martin, SVP sports programming, Fox Sports Radio.  In making the announcement of Kelly’s inclusion on this panel and as a speaker at this conference, Harrison states, “This particular panel has always dealt with the broad strokes overview of where talk radio fits into the overall radio scene – not just now but over the horizon – and where radio, in general, fits into the larger media/cultural landscape.  At this point in the evolution of radio, it is appropriate that the beleaguered role of the music radio disc jockey be examined because we believe that the very existence of music radio in the new digital age DEPENDS upon the revitalization and to a certain extent, the reinvention, of the position within the mix of elements that will keep radio a distinct and unique genre capable of warding off exotic digital age competition and the perils of being assimilated into the utilitarian ‘sameness’ easily imposed by the internet.  We also believe that in order for talk radio to have a healthy future within the context of being ‘radio’ we need to preserve the health and viability of music radio as well.  ‘Shotgun’ Tom Kelly is the quintessential radio disc jockey whose mastery of the art form and ability to survive and thrive decades of change while still going strong makes him the perfect person to perform this function as a speaker at the conference.”  The sold-out “Talkers Los Angeles 2013” is open only to members of the working media.  It is being presented in association with the Los Angeles Press Club at the historic Steve Allen Theater in Hollywood on Thursday, October 10 between 9:00 am and 6:00 pm.  For information and remaining sponsorship opportunities call 413-565-5413.  To see the entire up-to-date agenda, please click here.

conwaysimonSimon Conway is a Busy Man.  WHO, Des Moines afternoon drive talk host Simon Conway is pulling double duty today and on Monday.  Conway will host his 4:00 pm CT show on the Clear Channel news/talk outlet and then sit in as host on Premiere Networks’ “America Now with Andy Dean” this evening.  On Monday, Conway will sub in morning drive on Clear Channel’s WFLF, Orlando “News Talk WFLA FM 104.5 and AM 540” in addition to his regular show on WHO.

sternhowardSiriusXM’s Jim Meyer Says Howard Stern and NFL Remain Important to Satcaster.  At the Goldman Sachs Communacopia taking place in New York during Advertising Week, SiriusXM CEO Jim Meyer told analysts that two of the big contracts the company would like to renew when they come up at the end of 2015 are those of Howard Stern and the NFL.  Meyer said the company is very comfortable with the amount of money it is spending on content right now and sees both franchises as important.  Regarding Stern, Meyer said, “I will be clear with you today.  As long as Howard Stern wants to work and as long as Howard Stern is as motivated as he is today to make a show as good as it is today, we want him on SiriusXM Radio.”  But in a follow-up question from an analyst, Meyer said Stern would have to remain exclusive to SiriusXM for him to remain.

le batard danOdds & Sods.  As had been predicted, CBS Radio’s WBZ-FM, Boston “98.5 The Sports Hub” signs a deal to serve as the flagship radio station for Boston Celtics basketball.  It’s a multi-year deal that brings the Celts to WBZ-FM from Entercom-owned crosstown rival WEEI which chose not to renew with the team after last season…..Dan Le Batard’s nationally syndicated sports talk program debuts on ESPN Radio Monday, September 30.  Le Batard – whose show emanates from Lincoln Financial Media’s WAXY, Miami “The Ticket” – will continue to do a local hour from 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm but goes national from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm.  Le Batard also is featured on ESPN2’s “Dan Le Batard is Highly Questionable.”…..Collegiate multimedia rights holders IMG College and Learfield Sports extend their deals with SiriusXM through June of 2016.  The new pacts will allow listeners to hear live coverage of NCAA football and men’s basketball games from the ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac 12, American Athletic Conference and Army, as well as basketball from teams from the Big East and several mid-major conferences.  In addition, it will feature select coaches’ shows and college athletic programming on SiriusXM College Sports Nation.

wmallogoWMAL, Washington’s Mark Weaver Retires After 45 Year Career.  DCRTV.com’s Dave Hughes reports that WMAL, Washington afternoon news anchor Mark Weaver is working his last shift for the Cumulus Media news/talk outlet today (9/27) and will retire to Florida.  Weaver worked for WMAL for the last 25 years of his 45-year career.  Weaver will be replaced at WMAL by news pro Rachel Sutherland who most recently worked at America’s Radio News Network.  Prior to that, she served for 10 years at Metro Networks in the DC market.

stephandougTALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  Cumulus Media NetworksMichael Savage is added to the program schedule at WGTK-FM, Greenville, South Carolina and WIQO, Lynchburg, Virginia…..Cumulus’ Mark Levin picks up new affiliates KBND, Bend, Oregon; KPSI, Palm Springs; and KYYA, Billings…..Doug Stephan’s nationally syndicated “Good Morning” program adds a dozen new affiliate stations.  They are: WTNT-AM/FM, Washington; WVWI, San Juan, Puerto Rio; KLPW, St. Louis; KLO, Ogden, Utah; WVOV, Chattanooga, Tennessee; WRHL, Rockford, Illinois; WCCM, Manchester, New Hampshire; KBTM-AM/FM, Jonesboro, Arkansas; WRPW-FM, Bloomington, Illinois; WRIK, Paducah, Kentucky; WATX, Algood, Tennessee; and WFLN, Arcadia, Florida…..Talk radio personality Chris Markowski – host of the weekly “Watchdog on Wall Street” show, also produces the free, daily feature called “Money Minutes.”  That feature is added to the programming at WMPL, Hancock, Michigan…..Talk Media Network’s “Frontlines of Freedom” with Lt. Col. Denny Gillem is added to the program schedule at WENY, Elmira and WENI, Corning, New York.

The Implementation of ObamaCare Tops Talkers TenTM for week of September 23-27.  The move by some Republicans to defund the Affordable Care Act and controversy over what the implementation of the law will mean was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week.  Coming in at #2 on the Talkers TenTM was the threat of a government shutdown.  At #3 was Iran’s nuclear program and the nation’s diplomatic overtures to the U.S., and at #4 was the continuing unrest in Syria and the United States’ policy regarding the use of chemical weapons.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week.  It is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS and is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  You can view this week’s entire chart here.

dreslercherCher Chats with ABC News Radio.  Hollywood icon Cher (l) sits down with ABC News Radio’s Andrea Dresdale (r) during Cher’s visit to ABC TV’s “Live with Kelly and Michael” to promote her new album “Closer to the Truth.”

Friday, July 26, 2013

| July 26, 2013

whitebillBill White Named PD at Journal’s ‘104.1 The Truth’ and ‘ESPN Tucson.’  Programming pro Bill White is the new program director at Journal Broadcast Group’s news/talk KQTH, Tucson “104.1 The Truth” and sports talk duo KFFN-AM/FM “ESPN Tucson.”  Journal Tucson operations manager Shaun Holly says, “I am pleased to announce, after a long and exhaustive search, we have found the perfect program director for ‘104.1 The Truth’ KQTH and ‘ESPN Tucson’ 1490/1049fm KFFN-AM/FM and we are fortunate to add a team member with his talent and background of success.”  Bill White comments, “I am thrilled to be joining Shaun Holly, vice president and general manager Jim Arnold and the talented team at ‘The Truth,’ ‘ESPN Tucson’ and Journal Broadcast Group/Tucson.  Journal is a company committed to creating great local content through all media platforms: radio, TV, digital, and publishing.  ‘The Truth’ and ESPN are strong brands and I am very excited to work with their talented lineup.”  Bill White fills the programming slot left vacant when Ryan McCredden left to join CBS Radio Houston’s sports talk outlets KILT and KIKK.  Upon learning of White’s appointment to this position, TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison stated, “Journal has made a brilliant move landing Bill White for this position and the Tucson market, which is a wonderful place to live and work, as well all of radio, will be better off for it.  In my opinion, Bill White is one of the finest programmers and individuals in radio today.”

beasley logo longBeasley 2013 Q2 Net Revenue Up 8.3%.  A good quarter for Beasley Broadcast Group as the company announces second quarter net revenue was up 8.3% on revenue of $26.9 million (compared to $24.8 million during the same period a year ago) and same station net revenue rose 4.2%.  Beasley notes that the increase “reflects strength in the company’s Philadelphia, Fayetteville and Las Vegas market clusters, including the acquisition of KOAS-FM in Las Vegas during the 2012 third quarter.”  In a statement chairman and CEO George Beasley says, “Beasley Broadcast Groupbeasleygeorge generated its fourth consecutive period of top line growth as second quarter net revenue rose 8.3% and same station net revenue increased 4.2%.  The increase in second quarter revenue reflects strong national and digital revenue growth which contributed to strength in several market clusters including Philadelphia, Las Vegas, Ft. Myers and Augusta. Overall, for our five markets that report to Miller Kaplan — which represent approximately 75% of our total second quarter revenue – Beasley station clusters grew revenue by 8.4% while the total revenue for all reporting radio stations in these markets declined by 2.4% for the quarter. We attribute our out-performance to our organization-wide focus on strong core programming and targeted localism, both of which are contributing to the Company’s ratings strength in its markets.  Notwithstanding the solid revenue growth, comparisons of our other financial metrics with the year-ago period are clouded due to the operating expense credit in last year’s second quarter, and certain charges in the 2013 second quarter including a loss on the early extinguishment of debt and a prepayment fee incurred in connection with the refinancing of our second lien debt.  In addition, recent initiatives in the areas of sales, programming and the further expansion of our digital offerings are expected to drive long-term revenue growth, but are resulting in higher operating expenses on a short-term basis.”

bearmanTVshotKSCO, Santa Cruz Talk Host Ethan Bearman Gets Huge Visibility from Needle Exchange Controversy.  Local talk show host Ethan Bearman raised his already skyrocketing profile in the Santa Cruz market even further after local TV station KION, Salinas (and other traditional news organizations) picked up on his efforts to get a better grasp of how the community feels about a controversial needle exchange program.  Bearman, (pictured here during the KION news segment) says he believes there is a disconnect between the community and the authorities on the newest needle exchange program designed to deal with the large number of used needles being found throughout the community left by intravenous drug users.  Bearman initiated his own unofficial Santa Cruz needle exchange survey online asking 10 questions of the public about the problem and the program.  The Health Services Agency and the citizens group Take Back Santa Cruz both put Bearman’s survey on their websites to try to feel the public’s mood.  Bearman says he’ll deliver the results to the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors as well as the Santa Cruz City Council.  The survey is closed and Bearman says he’ll have the results today (7/26).  See the KION segment here.

clearriffles logoMark Panetta Launches Clear Riffles Marketing and Research Agency.  Former DMR Interactive senior vice president of marketing strategy Mark Panetta (who spent 17 years with the Cincinnati-based strategic marketing consultancy) announces the launch of Clear Riffles – a new marketing and research agency.  Panetta says the reason for building his new venture is that “companies who specialize in direct marketing for radio have been more focused on the vehicle and the destination than on the content they deliver.  That is, they spend all their time on WHERE and HOW to advertise and little on WHAT TO SAY.  Yet, in the most successful advertising campaigns of the recent decade – Apple vs. PC, The Geico Gecko, Target Stores rebranding, etc. – it’s the perfectly executed message that mattered most.  Success is the result of panettamarkdeveloping a solid strategy based on understanding consumer perceptions and needs.  When you get that right, powerful creative can follow.  Where and how you advertise is then a matter of mechanics.”  Panetta says Clear Riffles was founded to fill the creative void by designing radio marketing campaigns that truly connect radio stations with today’s listeners.  He states this is accomplished with more emphasis on the creative process starting with proprietary research that illuminates current consumer views and attitudes.  And he adds, “It’s the hard work others in our field are not set up or qualified to do.”  Panetta can be reached at 470-239-3583 or emailed at Mark@ClearRiffles.com.

siriusxmSiriusXM Reports Q2 2013 Numbers; Net Subscribers and Revenue Both Up.  Satcaster SiriusXM reported second quarter figures for 2013 on Thursday, July 25 and CEO Jim Meyer said the company delivered more than 715,000 in net subscriber additions during the quarter to bring the company’s total paid subscriber tally over the 25 million threshold.  Meyer also said the revenue for the quarter — $940 million – was up double digits.  The company reports that meyerjimfactory-installed SiriusXM radios are now in 54.5 million automobiles and Meyer says he expects that figure to hit 100 million by the end of 2017.  Regarding developing technology, Meyers stated, “We also continue to make significant progress in developing our next generation connected-car platform and in driving our Telematics business.  During the second quarter we launched an in-car IP streaming app with Ford on the same platform.  This feature enables Ford customers to have two-way services such as Sirius XM on-demand and personalized music through MyXM.  It is a first step in creating an in-vehicle experience that harnesses both satellite and IT.  Our effort with Ford is just the beginning and we are holding discussions with all of the major OEMs about including their app on their platforms.  Ultimately, we believe that merging satellite and IP connectivity in the car will provide a superior service for subscribers.”  Thanks to Seeking Alpha for the conference call transcript.  You can check out the entire call here.

pepelarryOdds & Sods.  NBC Sports Radio weekend personality Jason Page will broadcast from the 2013 Ahmad Rashad Celebrity Classic at Mohegan Sun Country Club in Pautipaug, Connecticut tomorrow (7/27) from 9:00 pm to 1:00 am on Sunday.  The golf event has raised more than $500,000 for charity since its inception…..ESPN Radio’s popular podcast “His & Hers” featuring Michael Smith and Jemele Hill expands to a twice-per-week production with episodes now made available at ESPNRadio.com on Mondays and Thursdays…..Fox Sports Radio simulcasts “UFC on FOX: Johnson vs. Moraga” on Saturday, July 27 from Key Arena in Seattle.  Following the fights, mixed martial arts expert Larry Pepe will host a Fox Sports Radio wrap-up show with interviews and call-ins from 10:00 pm to 11:00 pm ET.

rosefrancisFilling In.  Boston-based talk show host Jeff Katz sits in at Clear Channel’s WHAS, Louisville for a day when he guest hosts the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon program on Monday, July 29…..WFED, Washington afternoon drive host Francis Rose fills in for Cumulus Media Networks nationally syndicated personality John Batchelor on his Sunday evening program on July 28.

kimkomandologoCool Job Opportunities.  WestStar MultiMedia Entertainment’s Kim Komando show has two job opportunities available.  First, the program is searching for seasoned National Sales Reps with experience in selling broadcast (radio and television) and digital online advertising.  All interested candidates should send their resume to ad-sales-acct-mgr-hr@komando.com.  Second, The Kim Komando show is seeking an Experienced Television Producer.  This is a new position being created.  Candidate shall have a passion for broadcast programming plus a minimum of 5 years as a television show producer and /or assistant producer.  To learn about this position and more you can send your resume to television-producer-hr@komando.com.  For all open positions you can check out http://www.komando.com/careers.

Cool Job Opportunity.  Southwest Broadcasting is seeking a station manager for news/talk KYCA and beautiful music KAHM in Prescott, Arizona.  Owner Lou Silverstein can be phoned at 928-445-7800 or emailed at kahm@att.net.

burkmanjackTALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  Radio America-syndicated “Behind the Curtain with Jack Burkman” announces the addition of KABC, Los Angeles; WTNT, Washington, DC; WFFG, Marathon, Florida; KTPA, and KXAR in Hope, Arkansas; KLEY, and KKLE in Wellington, Kansas; KSET, Beaumont, Texas; and WTIM-FM, Taylorville, Illinois begin carrying the program…..Genesis Communications Network-syndicated “Freedom Feens” featuring Michael W. Dean and Neema Vedadi is added to the program lineup at WPBQ, Jackson, Mississippi…..MMG Radio Network’s “The Pet Show” with Warren Eckstein adds affiliates: WFYL, King of Prussia, Pennsylvania; KWAM, Memphis; KBTK, Flagstaff, Arizona; and WRHI, Charlotte.

Anthony Weiner Saga Tops Talkers TenTM.  The trials and tribulations of New York City mayoral candidate and former congressman Anthony Weiner after new allegations of sexting and extramarital relationships were the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week of July 22-26.  Coming in at #2 on the Talkers TenTM was the George Zimmerman verdict aftermath.  At #3 was the implementation and promotion of the Affordable Care Act followed by the Detroit bankruptcy declaration at #4.  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 magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

| July 10, 2013

siriusxmSiriusXM Moves Past 25 Million Subscriber Mark.  SiriusXM Radio announces it has added 715,000 net new subscribers in the second quarter, and that brings its total subscriber number to more than 25 million.  The satcaster cites strong automotive sales for helping drive 15% growth in net additions over the second meyerjimquarter of 2012 and setting “a post-merger record for quarterly net subscriber additions.”  As a result, SiriusXM is raising full-year guidance for total net subscriber additions to 1.5 million from its previous guidance of 1.4 million.  Company CEO Jim Meyer states, “The new subscriber additions in the quarter have helped SiriusXM reach an exciting new milestone that reflects the popularity and reach of SiriusXM programming and services.  The quarterly results bolster SiriusXM’s leadership position in a dynamic audio entertainment marketplace as we continue our trend of strong, profitable growth.  Additionally, we are raising 2013 subscriber guidance to 1.5 million net additions based on our record performance in the quarter.”  Also, the company reiterated its existing 2013 guidance for 1.6 million self-pay net subscriber additions.

yankees logoClear Channel’s WOR, New York Bidding on Yankees Broadcast Rights.  According to a report by Phil Mushnick and Don Burke in the New York Post, Clear Channel-owned WOR, New York is entering thewor710 bidding war over rights to New York Yankees baseball play-by-play.  The reporters cite inside sources that say the company has offered a figure surpassing the current $14 million CBS Radio pays to air games on its all-news WCBS.  CBS Radio has held the rights for the past 11 years and bidding (contracts for both the Yankees and the Mets expire after this season) was expected to be hot with WFAN’s addition of an FM signal in the market and ESPN-owned WEPN also gaining an FM signal.  Whether Clear Channel really wants the Yankees or not is up for speculation – it’s not unusual for companies to enter into the bidding process to drive up the cost for its competition.  It’s a pretty good bet that CBS Radio wants to keep the Yankees but if the price gets too steep will the company let the games go to WOR?  Time will tell.  Meanwhile, unlike Buckley Broadcasting (WOR’s previous owner) Clear Channel has a lot of experience owning flagship baseball signals at its other stations across the country.

tribuneTribune to Split Broadcast and Publishing Entities into Two Companies.  Tribune Company is reporting that it is beginning the process of dividing its assets into two distinctive companies: Tribune Company will contain WGN-AM, Chicago and all of the television stations and TV production units while Tribune Publishing will be the parent ofwgnlogo its newspapers including the Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, Hartford Courant and others.  Like similarly structured companies, Tribune is focusing on its entertainment properties and the recent plan to acquire Local TV Holdings’ 19 TV stations is proof of that.  During its long bankruptcy proceedings, Tribune had its newspapers on the market but was unable to execute a deal.  News Corp. just announced it would execute a similar move and is splitting its TV and entertainment holdings (including Fox News Channel) into one company – 21st Century Fox – while keeping its publishing assets in the entity called News Corp.

baribeaurachelRachel Baribeau Exits ’92.9 The Game’ in Atlanta.  One of the cast members of CBS Radio sports talk WZGC, Atlanta “92.9 The Game” exits for a gig with Raycom SportsRachel Baribeau leaves the PM drive show where she appeared alongside Kordell Stewart and Carl Dukes to join the company that owns the television rights to ACC basketball and football and, through a sublicense with ESPN, is the syndicator of ACC football and basketball.  The Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Rodney Ho reports Dukes and Stewart mentioned her departure on the air with Dukes stating, “We love Rachel and we’ll stay in contact with her.  She’s moving on to a great opportunity for herself.”

luciarayNationally Syndicated Financial Talk Host Ray Lucia Fined Over Investment Strategy Claims.  Ray Lucia and his Raymond J. Lucia Cos. Inc. were fined by administrative-law judge Cameron Elliot after the judge agreed with the original SEC complaint that Lucia’s “Buckets of Money” investment strategy – which claimed it had back-testing to support the success of its strategy – had “scant, if any, actual back-tests.”  According to a report in Investment News, Lucia was fined $50,000 and his company was fined $250,000.  Additionally, his advisor registration was revoked by the judge.  Investment News reports that Elliot ruled Lucia “misrepresented for years ‘the validity of purported back-testing in seminars for prospective investors’ interested in his Buckets of Money strategy for retirement savings.”  Lucia and his company have 21 days in which to appeal the decision.

ligginsalfredRadio One and TV One Bring Roland Martin to Radio and TV with “News One Now.”  Radio One president and CEO and TV One chairman Alfred Liggins announces to Multichannel.com that his companies are developing a newmartinroland program featuring former CNN journalist Roland Martin to be called “News One Now” that will debut in the fall prior to the Congressional Black Caucus’ Annual Legislative Conference.   Liggins says, “This is a further evolution of TV One’s commitment to better and more important television for African-Americans, and is also an extension of Radio One’s history and philosophy of making sure we inform, entertain and advocate for the African-American community.  This is the first time a network has approached African-American news on this type of commitment tvone logolevel.”  Liggins adds, “About 50% of African Americans get their news from cable news networks so we now have the opportunity to set the table on a daily basis.  The show will serve as the nexus of black thought – when you talk about what’s happening politically, socially, culturally in our communities, this is the place where people will be able to have those discussions.”  The three-hour radio show will air from 7:00 am to 10:00 am with the last hour simulcast on television via TV One and will “offer news and analysis of politics, entertainment, sports and culture from an African American perspective.”  Martin has been hosting TV One’s Sunday program “Washington Watch” but with the new venture, that show will not return in the fall.

freebeerCompass Media Networks’ ‘Free Beer & Hot Wings’ Morning Show Renews with Flagship WGRD, Grand Rapids.  Townsquare Media’s rock WGRD, Grand Rapids announces it has struck a new deal with the nationally syndicated young male-targeted “Free Beer & Hot Wings” morning drive show hosted by Gregg “Free Beer” Daniels, Chris “Hot Wings” Michels, and Eric Zane.  The new deal keeps the program on the station through 2018.  Townsquare Grand Rapids vice president/general manager Russ Hines tells MLive.com, “Gregg, Chris and Eric continue to entertain and grow their audience every day and amuse their listeners with quality humorous content.  Their decision to stay in West Michigan and continue to raise their families here is another indication of what makes Grand Rapids special.”

hannityseanKQNT, Spokane Adds Sean Hannity for Middays.  Clear Channel-owned news/talk KQNT, Spokane adds Premiere NetworksSean Hannity program to the schedule to air in the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm following Premiere’s Rush Limbaugh.  KQNT program director Bob Castle states, “Sean Hannity is a media superstar and his addition to our lineup now provides our listeners and advertisers with the most popular talk show hosts in the country, all on one station.”

fifty & five logoGary Landis Named Director of Client Relations at Fifty & Five.  Former Westwood One vice president and longtime media consultant Gary Landis joins Fifty & Five as director of client relations.  Based in Redondo Beach, California, Fifty & Five is a four-year-old firm that landisgaryspecializes in social media marketing for brands, products and services including the radio industry.  Speaking about his new opportunity, Landis states, “With over 40 years of national broadcasting experience behind me, I am looking forward to working with CEO Lucas Vandenberg and EVP of client relations Peter Evans, plus the most incredible team of social media talent on the planet.  This is not your mother’s social media agency.  Beyond what is being done by every radio station today, there are new ways to employ social media that can profoundly impact the bottom line.”  Peter Evans says, “With Gary’s diverse experience and expertise in the broadcast media, we can only anticipate great things from him in the coming months and years.” Landis can be reached at 612-581-7581 or by e-mail at gary@fiftyandfive.com.

dreambigamerica logoDoug Stephan’s ‘Dream Big America’ Kicked Off This Week.  Nationally syndicated talk show host Doug Stephan – heard around the country on his “Good Day” morning program – debuted the “Dream Big America” first-ever live radio show that pits new entrepreneur ideas against each other.  The inaugural lineup of contestants appeared on Tuesday, July 9, at 9:00 am on “Doug Stephan’s Good Day.”  Three entrepreneurs each pitched their business ideas.  Then a panel of noted business executive/celebrities cross-examined each contestant.  Next, listeners were invited to call stephandougspecial voting numbers to select a weekly winner.  Weekly winners will be invited back to face off in the “Finals Show” on the last Tuesday of the month.  The final winner will receive cash, support and valuable resources for their business, according to Stephan.  The first three entrepreneurs were: Conscious Box, which enables customers to discover healthier, environmentally focused products by sending a monthly sample box of 10-20 products to a subscriber’s front door, presented by CEO Patrick Kelly, Jr.; myEDmatch, a job-matching site for educators that connects schools and teachers with shared missions, beliefs, and goals, presented by CEO Alicia Herald; and Stemulation, the first luxury skin-care product that uses adult mesenchymal stem cells to rejuvenate the skin, presented by president and CEO Laurie Nicoll.  Speaking about the debut program, Doug Stephan says, “What a powerhouse group of entrepreneurs for the ‘Dream Big America’ inaugural show.  We are coming out of the box with a bang!  Each one of these new ventures is very impressive in their own right.  I can’t wait to see how America will vote between these three companies.”  The “Dream Big America” program is a collaboration between Stephan’s “Good Day,” the Kansas City-based Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and its 1 Million Cups start-up education program, and the San Diego-based Nutritional Capital Network.

hasselbeckelisabethElisabeth Hasselbeck to Join Fox News Channel’s ‘Fox & Friends’ Morning Show.  Longtime cast member of ABC TV’s “The View,” conservative Elisabeth Hasselbeck, will become part of Fox News Channel’s morning show, replacing current co-host Gretchen Carlson who is going to be anchoring her own daytime show on the cable news/talker beginning in September.  In a statement, FNC chairman and CEO Roger Ailes says, “Elisabeth’s warm and engaging personality made her a star on ‘The View.’  She has proven to be an excellent conversationalist and I am certain she will make a great addition to our already successful morning franchise.”

mikeandmikeOdds & Sods.  Salem Radio Network announces a month-long, multi-platform initiative in August designed to highlight what it calls “the battle over America’s culture wars” and reporting that SRN’s nationally syndicated talk hosts – as well as the network’s 24/7 Washington, D.C.-based SRN News service – will all focus interviews and special features on “the current challenges to traditional American values.”…..WTOP, Washington’s “Best of Washington” kicks off this week with new and returning “Top 10” categories.  Hubbard’s broadcast and digital news operation says it wants to know the best things in the Washington area.  This week on WTOP.com listeners can nominate their favorites in these ten categories: pizza, local charity, food truck, burger, wings, fries, local brewery, happy hour, farmer’s market, and shopping mall.  During the week of July 15 -19 the finalists will be announced and voting will begin.  The winners of WTOP’s “Best of Washington” will be unveiled weekdays July 22 through August 2…..ESPN Radio’s Mike & Mike — Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic – will describe the action over the Citi Field PA system for those at the stadium during the 2013 Chevrolet Home Run Derby, Monday, July 15, at 8:00 pm at the MLB All Star Game festivities.  Greeny and Golic will be positioned on the field to provide commentary and player interviews during this year’s event.

Illegal Immigration Legislation/Amnesty Program, ObamaCare Implementation, George Zimmerman Trial, Egypt Turmoil, Aaron Hernandez Case, NSA Surveillance Program, Texas Abortion Bill, and Mexico Grabs Obesity Crown Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/9).  The debate over new immigration legislation and the proposed amnesty policy; implementation of the Affordable Care Act; the trial of George Zimmerman in the death of Trayvon Martin; new details linking Aaron Hernandez to the shooting death of Odin Lloyd; debate over the National Security Agency’s surveillance program; the Texas House’s passing of new abortion legislation; and Mexico’s rise to the most obese nation were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.