Tag: "John Fugelsang"

Monday, April 24, 2017

| April 23, 2017

2017 NAB Show: The M.E.T. Effect.  Media consultant Holland Cooke is in Las Vegas reporting to TALKERS magazine from the 2017 NAB Show.  He writes:

While industry lords in expensive suits swap radio stations like baseball cards at the opulent Wynn and Encore twin towers, your correspondent is among 103,000 from around the world swarming the sprawling Las Vegas Convention Center.  It’s the National Association of Broadcasters’ big show, themed “The M.E.T. Effect,” as in Media, Entertainment, Technology.

Unlike NAB’s smaller September Radio Show, the massive April event isn’t just about radio.  Although, as corporate barks for more-more-more digital revenue, stations know darn well that radio isn’t just about transmitters any more.  “These once distinct fields of media, entertainment and technology are converging and becoming something far greater than the sum of their parts,” the conference program offers, “redesigning the very nature of how we live, work and play, from content creation to consumption.”  So I’m impressed by how many radio people I see here.

There’s a Facebook Video Boot Camp, an Aerial Robotics and Drone Pavilion, and lots about virtual and augmented reality.  Radio sessions include strategies for mobile, video, texting, apps, web, and podcasting.

Speakers include executives from Adobe and Amazon and Roku and TMZ.  In addition to the inevitable surprise walk-ons, celebs speaking here include Al Roker, actors Hank Azaria and Amanda Peet and America Ferrera, and various TV reality show stars.  Larry King and Jane Pauley are among moderators.

At Tuesday’s Radio Luncheon, Ford’s Scott Burnell will discuss radio’s future in the car, Delilah will be inducted into the NAB Broadcasting Hall of Fame, and NAB Crystal Radio Award winners will take a bow for community service.

The Show will broadcast online at nabshow.com and broadcastbeat.com and feature live streaming of select conference sessions as well as interviews with leading industry experts and vendors.  And look for my daily updates this week here, and follow my real-time convention Tweets @HollandCooke.

WIBC, Indianapolis’ Greg Garrison to Retire from Daily Talk Show.  Indiana talk radio legend Greg Garrison is retiring from his daily, 11:00 am to 1:00 pm talk show on Emmis’ WIBC-FM, Indianapolis, effective June 9.  Garrison – who gained international fame for successfully prosecuting boxer Mike Tyson on rape charges – will remain involved at WIBC by writing a weekly column for www.wibc.com, doing regular commentary on air, and by serving as a contributing legal expert for WIBC news and programs.  WIBC-FM program director David Wood states, “Greg’s unique style, sharp wit, deep understanding of the law and conservative values have attracted a loyal, devoted audience.  He’s their friend, advocate and conscience – and he will be sorely missed.”  The station will announce Garrison’s replacement at a later time.   Garrison began his program on WIBC in June of 1997.  He expanded his reach across Network Indiana in 2000.  In addition to numerous media appearances over the years, Garrison served as CBS News’ legal analyst during the O.J. Simpson and Timothy McVeigh trials.

Cumulus Appoints Merenda Topeka Market Manager.  Radio sales and management pro Nicola Merenda joins Cumulus Media as vice president and market manager for the Topeka cluster that includes: news/talk KMAJ-AM “The Big Talker,” sports talk KTOP-AM, classic country KTOP-FM “NASH Icon,” classic hits KWIC “99.3 The Eagle,” rock KDW “V100,” and adult contemporary KMAJ-FM “Majic 107.7.”  Merenda was most recently with Pandora’s San Antonio offices.  Cumulus regional vice president Donna Baker states, “Nic brings a wealth of experience and infectious enthusiasm for our industry.  We are excited to welcome him ‘home’ as he joins the Midwest Region to lead our outstanding Topeka team.”

Stephanie Miller’s Sexy Liberal Resistance Tour Visits Madison.  The 2017 Sexy Liberal Resistance Tour – featuring talk show host Stephanie Miller and John Fugelsang – kicked off in Madison, Wisconsin over the weekend.  Pictured above are (from l-r): Fugelsang, Washington correspondent for The  Nation and associate editor for The Capital Times John Nichols, Miller, and U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI).

‘Mike & The Mad Dog’ Reunion a Possibility.  According to a report in the New York Daily News, WFAN, New York afternoon host Mike Francesa spoke very positively about considering a reunion with former partner Chris “Mad Dog” Russo at the TriBeCa Film Festival on Friday (4/21).  The ESPN 30 for 30 “Mike and the Mad Dog” premiered at the festival and, taking the stage together after the screening, the two chatted with Francesa saying he’d consider working with Russo again, something he previously said wouldn’t happen – mostly due to how much it would cost to pay both of them.  Francesa is leaving WFAN when his contract expires at the end of this year.  Russo hosts his own show on the SiriusXM Mad Dog Radio channel.  Read the Daily News story here.

Dave Ramsey Brings Live Events to Atlanta and San Antonio.  In the photo above, nationally syndicated talk radio superstar Dave Ramsey is pictured addressing the packed audience at his Smart Conference at the Cornerstone Church in San Antonio.  Last week, Ramsey visited Atlanta as well as San Antonio.  He presented his Smart Money event there on Tuesday (4/18) and his Business Boutique 1-Day event on Wednesday (4/19).  To promote those events, Ramsey combined forces with iHeartMedia’s Talk Radio 640 WGST.  In San Antonio, the Business Boutique 1-Day event happened on Friday (4/21) with the Smart Conference taking place on Saturday (4/22).  Alpha Media news/talk KTSA helped promote the San Antonio events.  KTSA sales manager Coreena Hazelett says, “Dave has made a tremendous impact on our lives, in our businesses and our families.  The Smart Conference was another terrific event filled with world class speakers and life changing information.  We couldn’t be more proud to team up with Ramsey Solutions.”

Norman Lear to Host Show on PodcastOne.  Legendary television producer, writer, and director Norman Lear launches a weekly podcast on the PodcastOne platform beginning May 1.  Lear – known for creating such revered television programs as “All In The Family,” “Good Times,” “One Day at a Time,” “The Jeffersons,” “Maude,” and others – “brings his progressive and boundary-moving voice” to the microphone with an intimate weekly podcast.  A press release says that “while topics will cover any and everything you can think of, the show will always feature the unique perspectives of celebrities, politicians and everyday folk.  Lear is joined each week by great friend, actor, composer and sidekick, Paul Hipp.  Early celebrity guests include Amy Poehler, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Jerrod Carmichael and America Ferrera. PodcastOne CEO Norm Pattiz states, “I have known and admired Norman for a very long time. Having his podcast on our PodcastOne network is gigantic, not to mention totally cool.  From one Norman to another, ‘Welcome aboard.’”

TALKERS News Notes. When this weekend’s 2017 NFL Draft begins.  FOX Sports Radio will provide multi-platform coverage of the first round, live from the Hard Rock Café in downtown Philadelphia, beginning at 8:00 pm ET on Thursday (4/27).   FOX NFL insider Jay Glazer will lead the coverage, joined by Joel Klatt and Chris Spielman.  Additionally, WPEN-FM, Philadelphia morning host and FSR weekend personality Anthony Gargano will host a two-hour pre-Draft show live from Philadelphia beginning at 6:00 pm ET…..Envision Networks announces it adds Entercom’s newly acquired stations in Charlotte – news/talk WBT-AM/FM, sports talk WFNZ-AM, and hot AC WLNK-FM – to Focus 360’s “Powered by Jelli networks.”  The three Charlotte stations join Entercom’s recently extended agreement for Focus 360 ad sales representation on Jelli’s platform…..KMG Networks is partnering with Fantasy Sports Entertainment Group to make the FNTSY Sports Radio Network available to terrestrial radio station networks and groups.  The network’s focus is on fantasy sports, breaking sports and fantasy sports news updates, scheduled sports and fantasy sports news, season-long fantasy strategy and advice, daily fantasy sports advice, general sports talk, call-in segments, celebrity guests, fan trivia, entertainment and pop culture programming…..CBS RADIO’s all-news WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM Newsradio won five awards this past weekend from the Illinois Associated Press Broadcasters Association, including Best Spot News, Best Newscast, and Outstanding News Operation.  Individually WBBM’s Lisa Fielding won Best Series “Generation Heroin” and WBBM’s Rick Gregg won for Best Sports Report “The Ballad of James Shields.”

U.S.- North Korea Tensions, Russia Patrols U.S. Coast, French Election, Looming Government Shutdown, American Airlines Incident, Actress Erin Moran Dies, and MLB, NBA, and NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. North Korea’s threats against the U.S. and China’s attempts to diffuse the situation; Russian fighters continue to patrol the U.S. coast; the first round of France’s elections and the results that pit far-right candidate Marine Le Pen against centrist Emmanuel Macron in the May 7 run-off; concerns about the looming U.S. government shutdown; American Airlines in the headlines after a flight attendant scuffles with a mother over her child’s stroller; “Happy Days” actress Erin Moran dies at age 56; and MLB, NBA and NHL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing  research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programming pro Jules Riley is named program director for iHeartMedia’s St. Louis country outlet KSD-FM “93.7 The Bull.”  She has been programming sister classic hits KLOU and continues in that role.  iHeartMedia St. Louis SVP of programming A.J. comments, “Jules has done amazing things with 103.3 KLOU over the past six months.  I am very excited to see her utilize her wealth of market knowledge and experience as well as her innovative style in leading ‘93.7 The Bull.’”…..A coup of sorts takes place among the two top syndicated urban radio morning shows as longtime Tom Joyner show cast member J. Anthony Brown joins Premiere Networks’ syndicated “Steve Harvey Morning Show” as a daily contributor.  Harvey says, “I’ve known J since my very first comedy gig outside of Cleveland, and it’s my joy to be reunited with the man who taught me real comedy.  Get ready folks, we’re ‘bout to turn the funny meter up 10 notches.  Having J join Shirley, Nephew Tommy, Carla, Junior and myself is going to create bend over, stop the car, spit on your computer, spray your drink, gut-busting laughter.”

 

 

Round Four of March PPMs Released. The fourth and final round of ratings information from Nielsen Audio‘s March 2017 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen Audio’s March 2017 survey period covered March 2 – 29. View all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Takeaways” from all 12 of these PPM markets below.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

1) Austin – In addition to notching its third consecutive increase for a combined +1.0 (5.4 – 5.5 – 5.7 – 6.4, 6+) iHeartMedia’s KVET-FM “98.1 All Time Country Favorites” logs its highest 6+-share since July 2015 (6.4, as well) and marches from fifth to third. Following February’s +.6, KKMJ “Majic 95.5” erodes in excess of three times as much (7.4 – 8.0, 6.1, -1.9, 6+), tumbling from second to fourth; “Majic 95.5” was down by more than five full-shares in January (12.6 – 7.4, 6+). Over the course of five straight up or flat trends before January’s -5.2, the Entercom adult contemporary facility nearly tripled its 6+-share (4.3 – 5.1 – 5.1 – 5.6 – 6.5 – 12.6, 6+). Furthermore, by posting a 12.6 in “Holiday” 2016, KKMJ outdid its own mark for Austin’s highest-ever 6+ PPM-stat (previously 11.4). On top for the third successive sweep, Emmis adult hits KBPA “Bob” posts a gain of six-tenths (8.5 – 9.1, 6+). “Bob” returned to #1 in January after being ousted in “Holiday” 2016 by KKMJ. With the exception of October (and the “Holiday” 2016 report), KBPA held the lead each month in calendar year 2016. Improving by six-tenths as well is Univision Radio regional Mexican KLQB “Que Buena 104.3,” which bounces back from February’s -.9 (3.9 – 3.0 – 3.6, 6+) and climbs from #13 to #12. In January, “Que Buena 104.3” picked up seven-tenths to halt three straight downward trends that produced a -1.3 (4.5 – 3.7 – 3.4 – 3.2, 6+). Conversely, format rival – Emmis’ KLZT – is experiencing a yoyo effect with a -.5 in January; +1.0 in February; and now a -.5 in March (5.4 – 4.9 – 5.9 – 5.4, 6+), with “107.1 La Z” slipping from fourth to fifth. Its HD2 channel gains one-half share (1.3 – 1.8, 6+) to enter the top twenty at #20. Still in that Emmis cluster, it is a mixed bag for the KLBJ calls as news/talk KLBJ-AM registers a one-half share gain, while KLBJ-FM “93.7 The Rock of Austin” is down by that same margin (to 3.8, 6+) and exits the top ten (#7 to #11). A cumulative +1.4 in three straight increases (3.0 – 3.6 – 3.9 – 4.4, 6+), KLBJ-AM cracks the top ten (#11 to #9). After eight straight sweeps without an increase accounting for a loss of more than two shares (5.7 – 5.7 – 5.5 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.2 – 4.1 – 3.6, 6+), “The Rock of Austin” was +.7 in February.

2) Raleigh – Trending 6.0 – 6.9 – 6.7 (6+) since the “Holiday” 2016 report, Curtis Media Group-owned WQDR “94.7 – Today’s Best Country” explodes with a +1.3 to 8.0 (6+), inching up from a fourth-place tie to third. This is the most potent 6+-share for “Today’s Best Country” since its 8.0 in October 2015. One-half share ahead of WQDR – and locked in a first-place tie – are Capitol Broadcasting adult contemporary WRAL “Mix 101.5” (8.8 – 8.5, -.3, #1 in February) and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s WUNC (flat at 8.5, second to first, 6+). Ousted from #1 in January and moved to the runner-up slot, “Mix” bounced back in February to reclaim the top spot. Its modest March -.3 isn’t exactly typical, considering that WRAL’s recent (6+) fluctuations include +.5 November 2015; +.6 December 2015; +5.7 Holiday 2015; -7.2 January 2016; +.6 February; +.6 March; -.6 April; +.5 May; +.5 July; +.9 September; +1.0 October; -.5 in November 2016; +.9 December; +5.2 “Holiday” 2016; -5.3 January 2017; and +.9 in February. In an October 2015 – December 2016 timeframe, WRAL was in sole possession of first-place eight times and thrice shared top honors. The station “Mix” succeeded at #1 in February – WUNC – logged a massive +1.9 in January to assume the lead 6+). Entering the “Holiday” 2016 sweep, WUNC had notched a 7.7 (6+) in three of the previous four sweeps and was in 7.6 – 7.8 range for six monthlies, before floundering by nine-tenths. Having sandwiched a 3.6 (6+) between a pair of 3.4 shares (6+), Capitol Broadcasting’s WCMC “Sports Radio 99.9 – The Fan” breaks out a +.7 to 4.1, its strongest 6+-showing since a 4.4 last April, but remains at #12. A one-half share gain from February’s 3.7 (6+) enables Curtis Media Group classic hits-oldies WKIX “Kix 102.9 – Carolina’s Greatest Hits” to match October’s 4.2 (6+); “Kix” carries on at #11. The HD2 channel of iHeartMedia’s WDCG drops one-half share (2.5 – 2.0, #16 to #17, 6+).

3) Indianapolis – After dropping one-half share in February, Radio One CHR WNOW “100.9 Radio Now” answers with a gain of six-tenths (4.8 – 5.4, 6+) and remains in eighth-place. In three straight increases immediately prior to February’s -.5, “Now” was a combined +2.3 (3.0 – 3.4 – 5.0 – 5.3, 6+). Climbing from seventh to sixth, iHeartMedia-owned WFBQ “Q-95 Rocks” registers its third successive increase that accounts for a +1.2 (4.6 – 5.3 – 5.6 – 5.8, 6+). Notwithstanding that it is unchanged at #17, sibling WNDE “Indy’s Sports Station” is without a decrease for the seventh consecutive sweep (.9 – 1.0 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.5, 6+). Following three successive sweeps without a loss that accounted for a +.7 (6.4 – 6.8 – 6.8 – 7.1, 6+), Radio One urban AC WTLC-FM “106.7 Indy’s R&B Leader” regressed by nine-tenths in February and slips six-tenths further (6.2 – 5.6, 6+), moving from sixth to seventh. Seven-tenths of a share (6+) is the difference among Indy’s top three March 2017 finishers. Not only does WZPL have its third straight upward move for a combined +1.7 (6.2 – 7.5 – 7.8 – 7.9, 6+), the Entercom CHR makes it three consecutive months at #1. WZPL was -1.1 in “Holiday” 2016 and then +1.3 in January (7.3 – 6.2 – 7.5, 6+). Off by one-half share (7.7 – 7.2, 6+), Cumulus Media‘s WJJK “Classic Hits 104.5” slides from second to third. With a -1.4 in “Holiday” 2016, “Classic Hits 104.5” ended at four its string of consecutive up or flat trend gains that netted a combined +.7 (7.1 – 7.4 – 7.6 – 7.8 – 7.8, 6+). Recording a .7 in each of the last four survey periods, University of Indianapolis-owned WICR (#20 to #21) is down or flat for the seventh straight time (1.0 – .9 – .9 – .9 – .7 – .7 – .7 – .7, 6+). Unlisted for the third successive month is iHeartMedia urban contemporary WZRL “Real 98.3” (1.4, #16, “Holiday” 2016, 6+).

4) Milwaukee – This is the only PPM market to have a station register a February 2017 to March 2017 (6+) gain of at least two full-shares as well as an outlet declining by at least two full-shares (February 2017 – March 2017, 6+). On the positive side, iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WRIT “95.7 Big FM – Milwaukee’s Greatest Hits” is #1 for the 24th consecutive sweep and does so in grand fashion with a +2.5 to 11.2, mirroring its 6+-share in “Holiday” 2016. “Big” month-to-month moves are practically to be expected for WRIT as some of its recent (6+) fluctuations include +1.7 (October 2015); -.7 (November 2015); +5.6 (“Holiday” 2015); -5.7 (January 2016); +1.3 (February); +1.1 (April); -.6 (May); -1.1 (August); -.6 (September) +1.2 (November); -.5 (December); +2.1 (“Holiday” 2016); -2.4 (January 2017); and now +2.5 (March). On the flipside, WJMR “Jammin 98.3 Today’s R&B and Old School” has its string of four successive increases that netted two full-shares since November (4.3 – 4.4 – 4.6 – 4.9 – 6.3, 6+) end rather emphatically with a -2.3 to 4.0 (6+). The Saga Communications urban AC plummets from the top ten (#4 to #12). February’s 6.3 marked the first time in WJMR’s printed PPM-history that it crossed the six-share level (6+). After floundering by -1.4 in February, Scripps Broadcasting news/talk WTMJ recoups just over one-half of that loss (6.4 – 5.0 – 5.8, +.8, 6+), zooming from ninth to fifth. Prior to February, WTMJ had been within 6.0 – 6.9 range (6+) the previous 15 ratings periods. Off a combined four shares since the “Holiday” 2016 report (8.3 – 4.6 – 4.3, 6+), Milwaukee Radio Alliance-owned (AC-to-hot AC-back to adult contemporary) WLDB “B-93.3 – The ‘80s to Today” hangs out a +.7 to 5.0 (6+) and cracks the top ten (#12 to #9). This is the third successive sweep that Entercom hot AC WMYX “99.1 The Mix” (steady at #6) is frozen on 5.7 (6+), while CHR sibling WXSS “Kiss 103.7” (unchanged at #10) records its third consecutive (albeit modest) increase (4.4 – 4.6 – 4.7 – 4.8, 6+). Three consecutive increases by WUWM produced a +.9 (2.5 – 2.6 – 3.3 – 3.4), but the string ends as the University of Wisconsin news/talk outlet stumbles by one-tenth to 3.3 (flat at #14, 6+). Talk about consistency: The line for public triple A WYMS (#17 to #18) between March 2016 and March 2017 (14 total sweeps) is confined to a high of 1.5 and a low of 1.2 (1.2 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.2, 6+).

5) Nashville –The market’s (6+) CHR share balloons by +1.3, with iHeartMedia’s WRVW “107.5 The River” rebounding from February’s -.6 with a +.7 (6.5 – 5.9 – 6.6, sixth to fourth, 6+) and Midwest Communications’ WNFN “Nashville’s New Hit Music” picking up six-tenths (2.8 – 3.4, steady at #15, 6+). The 5.9 that “The River” registered in February was the first time it had been below a six-share (6+) since June 2011 (5.9, as well). Prior to gaining one-tenth in February, “Nashville’s New Hit Music” was down the previous three sweeps for a cumulative -1.0 (3.7 – 3.2 – 3.1 – 2.7, 6+). In the country tussle, Cumulus Media’s WKDF “Nash FM 103.3” enjoys a gain of six-tenths (3.3 – 3.9, #13 to #11, 6+), but co-owned WSM-FM “95.5 Nash Icon” sputters by one-half share (5.5 – 4.8, seventh to tenth, 6+); meanwhile, iHeartMedia’s WSIX “The Big 98” is steady at #7 (5.5 – 5.4, -.1, 6+). This is the 11th successive sweep that “Nash FM” has been within 3.3 – 3.9 (6+). “The Big 98” returned half of January’s full-share gain in February, halting at four its consecutive string of up or flat trends that netted a +1.6 (4.4 – 4.7 – 5.0 – 5.0 – 6.0, 6+). One share separates March 2017’s top five. Steady at 7.4 (6+) – after a combined December- “Holiday” 2016 – January – February +1.8 (6+), iHeartMedia urban contemporary WUBT “101.1 The Beat” repeats at #1. By losing one-share to 4.9 (6+) in December, “The Beat” halted an August to November pattern of 6.1 – 5.9 – 6.2 – 5.9 (6+) and sent WUBT below a five-share (6+) for the first time since July 2013 (4.8). Off in three straight previous ratings periods for a combined -.5 (2.2 – 2.1 – 2.0 – 1.7, 6+), Ryman Hospitality Properties’ classic country WSM-AM posted a +.6 in February, but “The Most Famed Country Music Station in the World” forfeits one-half share in March (2.3 – 1.8, #16 to #17, 6+). Locked on 1.6 (6+) in January and February, WAY Media contemporary Christian WAYM “Uplifting-Upbeat-Real” drops one-half share to 1.1 (#19 to #21, 6+). As the result of five straight decreases, Cumulus Media’s WGFX “104.5 The Zone” (#11 to #12) is a combined -3.8 (7.6 – 6.8 – 5.9 – 5.3 – 3.9 – 3.8, 6+). When WGFX lost two-tenths in November, it ended a string of three consecutive improvements which resulted in a +4.1 since July (3.7 – 4.0 – 5.4 – 7.8, 6+).     Although flat at #18, Cromwell Group’s WQZQ “Classic Hits 93.3” drops by one-tenth to 1.6 (6+), thus drawing to a close at seven its string of up or flat trends that more than tripled its 6+-share since September (.5 – .6 – .6 – .6 – .6 – .9 – 1.6 – 1.7, 6+).

6) Providence – A genuine statistical oddity occurs here: With the exception of an eighth-place tie, the March 2017 rankers are a carbon copy of February 2017 and no Providence outlet in March 2017 is up or down by more than four-tenths. Boasting the best month-to-month gain (+.4, #11) is The Wheeler School’s news/talk WELH, which is without a decrease for the third straight time for a collective +1.0 (.5 – .5 – 1.1 – 1.5, 6+). Albeit the net loss was just three-tenths, WELH had nevertheless been without an increase between August and the “Holiday” 2016 report (.8 – .8 – .8 – .7 – .7 – .5 – .5, 6+). Gaining three-tenths and up or flat for the third straight time is Cumulus Media’s news/talk WPRO-AM (3.4 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 4.0, #7, 6+). Public news/talk WGBH-FM is also +.3 (1.6 – 1.9, #10, 6+). Trending 6.2 – 6.0 – 6.2 (+.2, 6+) and finishing fifth is iHeartMedia hot AC WSNE “Coast 93.3.” Up by one-tenth each are Cumulus Media CHR WPRO “Today’s Hit Music” (8.6, #2, 6+) and Bryant University classical WJMF (.5, #13, 6+). Having eroded by -7.3 in January to 10.7 (6+), Cumulus Media adult contemporary WWLI “Lite Rock 105” is a combined -.4 in February and March (10.7 – 10.6 – 10.3, 6+) but is #1 for the 18th successive ratings period. “Lite Rock” was a collective +8.5 in December and “Holiday” 2016 (9.5 – 10.6 – 18.0, 6+), following a cumulative -.4 in October and November (9.9 – 9.8 – 9.5, 6+). Flat from February are iHeartMedia-owned WHJY “Providence’s Home of Rock and Roll” (8.2, #3, 6+); Hall Communications’ WCTK “Cat Country 98.1” (7.8, #4, 6+); and Cumulus Media rhythmic CHR and news/talk siblings WWKX “Hot 106” (2.7, #8, 6+) and WPRV (.4, #14, 6+).

7) Norfolk – In the span of just two sweeps (January and February), WWDE “101.3 2WD” lost more than 60% of its “Holiday” 2016 share (13.4 – 7.0 – 5.2, -8.2, 6+), but the Entercom adult contemporary regains eight-tenths to 5.8, moving from fifth to fourth. WWDE gained a collective one-half share in back-to-back sweeps (4.8 – 5.2 – 5.3, August – September – October, 6+) before dropping eight-tenths in November to 4.5, its lowest 6+-stat since June 2015’s 4.4. Following a massive +1.2 in February, iHeartMedia urban contemporary WOWI tacks on another half-share (7.6 – 8.1, 6+) and repeats in the runner-up slot. Prior to finishing fourth in January and “Holiday” 2016, “Jamz 103” was at #2 for 12 straight sweeps. Rebounding from February’s -.5 with a gain of four-tenths to 11.6 (6+), Entercom urban AC WVKL “Smooth R&B From Yesterday & Today” is at #1 for the third straight time. In “Holiday” 2016, adult contemporary sibling “2WD” bumped WVKL to second after “Smooth R&B From Yesterday & Today” had been on top the previous 55 ratings periods. The two swapped places in January 2017 as WVKL registered a +.7. This is the 11th time in the last 12 sweeps that “Smooth R&B From Yesterday & Today” is in 11.0 – 12.7-share range – it has been in double-digits (6+) in each survey since notching a 9.8 in January 2014. Owing to a -.7 to 5.5 (6+), Saga Communications classic rock WAFX “106.9 The Fox” (fourth to fifth) ends at three its consecutive string of uptrends that produced a +2.1(4.1 – 4.3 – 5.5 – 6.2, 6+). The 6.2 it notched in February was its best 6+-share (in print) since a 6.6 in July 2010. Cluster-mate WNOR “99 Rocks” is in a similar situation, given that a -.6 to 6.7 (6+) stymies four straight positive sweeps that yielded two full-shares (5.3 – 5.8 – 6.0 – 7.0 – 7.3, 6+), but “99 Rocks” continues in third-place.

8) Greensboro – Via three straight gains (3.0 – 3.1 – 3.2 – 3.7, 6+), iHeartMedia rocker WVBZ “105.7 – Man Up!” (unchanged at #10) is a combined +.7. After being up or flat the last four ratings periods netting a +1.2 (9.7 – 9.7 – 10.1 – 10.5 – 10.9, 6+), Entercom urban AC WQMG surrenders half that gain (10.3, -.6, 6+). On the plus side though, “97.1 QMG The Best R&B and Old School” achieves double-digits (6+) for the fourth straight sweep and has been #1 since January. Country-formatted sibling WPAW “93.1 The Wolf,” a cumulative +1.5 in January and February (4.8 – 5.6 – 6.3, 6+), erodes by seven-tenths in March to 5.6, sliding from fifth to sixth. In February, it reached the six-share level (6+) for the first time since November 2015’s 6.0. Leapfrogging “The Wolf” is its rival, iHeartMedia’s WTQR “New Country Q-104.1” (sixth to fifth, 6+), which is up or flat for the third straight time (4.7 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 5.9, 6+). In “Holiday” 2016, “Q-104.1” and “The Wolf” were each down by four-tenths. November’s +.3 by “Q-104.1” ended three successive down-trending monthlies that produced a collective loss of more than two shares (7.2 – 7.0 – 6.5 – 5.1, 6+). Prior to reaching 5.0 in October, “The Wolf” had been in 4.2 – 4.8 range (6+) the previous eight sweeps. Back in September, “Q-104.1” held a 1.9-share lead over “The Wolf.” The rollercoaster ride continues for Entercom adult hits WSMW “Simon,” whose last four moves have been by -1.1 (“Holiday” 2016); +2.0 (January); -.6 in February; and another -.6 in March (9.4 – 8.3 – 10.3 – 9.7 – 9.1, 6+) with “Simon” flat at #3. January’s 10.3 was its strongest 6+-performance since August 2016’s 10.5. Although steady at #9, Curtis Media Group regional Mexican WYMY “La Ley 101.1” posts its fourth straight gain (2.2 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 3.5 – 3.9, 6+); “La Ley 101.1” is +1.7 since November. After five successive times of logging a .4 (6+), co-owned news/talk WSJS drops to .3 but stays at #13.

9) West Palm Beach – The top four finishers are Alpha Media properties, followed by three in a row owned by iHeartMedia. By registering a +.7 (to 1.3, 6+), the drought is finally over for WRLX “Mia 92.1,” which hadn’t had an increase since last May. In that stretch of ten down or flat reports, the iHeartMedia Spanish contemporary outlet was a combined -1.5 (2.5 – 2.1 – 2.0 – 1.9 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.0 – 0.6, 6+); “Mia 92.1” moves from #16 to #14. In only two back-to-back declines, Alpha Media adult contemporary WEAT “Sunny 107.9” (9.1 – 6.2 – 6.1, -1.5, 6+) lost half as much as “Mia” did in the aforementioned dry spell, but “Sunny” bounces back with a one-half share increase (6.6, 6+) to advance from third to second. Roughly three shares (6+) ahead of “Sunny” is co-owned hot AC WRMF, which despite a loss of seven-tenths (to 9.5, 6+), is #1 for the third consecutive month. After improving by six-tenths in January, WRMF more than tripled that gain in February with a +1.9 to 10.2, its best 6+-performance since December 2015 (10.2 as well). Prior to “Holiday” 2016, WRMF was #1 the previous five ratings periods. With a collective +1.9 in August and September, WRMF followed October’s -.8 with a November loss of six-tenths. It fell to second in July, after 23 successive sweeps at #1. Off by seven-tenths as well is WAY Media contemporary Christian WAYF “Uplifting-Upbeat-Real” (unchanged at #8), which in the last four survey periods, is +.5 (“Holiday” 2016); -1.1 (January); +.5 in February; and now in March -.7 (4.3 – 4.8 – 3.7 – 4.2 – 3.5, 6+). Without a decrease for the seventh straight time for a combined +1.9 (4.4 – 4.4 – 4.6 – 4.7 – 5.1 – 5.7 – 6.3 – 6.3, 6+), Alpha Media-owned WIRK “103.1 South Florida’s Country Music” has its highest 6+-share since last May’s 6.6, but backslides from second to third. Steady at #6, iHeartMedia-owned adult contemporary WOLL “Today’s Kool 105.5” is down or flat for the third straight time for a cumulative -2.1 (6.6 – 5.9 – 4.5 – 4.5, 6+). Prior to January, “Kool” had been up the previous three sweeps for a +1.8 (4.8 – 5.7 – 6.5 – 6.6, 6+).

10) Jacksonville – Powered by an impressive +1.7, Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies WJGL “96.9 The Eagle” posts an 8.7, its strongest 6+-showing since last September’s 9.3 and cruises from fourth to second. A combined +1.1 in three straight sweeps (2.8 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 3.9, 6+), iHeartMedia adult hits WWJK “107.3 Jacksonville – We Play Anything” cracks the top ten (#11 to #10). Co-owned WQIK “99.1 – Jacksonville’s Country” regains one-tenth of the one-half share it lost in February (12.8 – 12.3 – 12.4, 6+) and is #1 for the third time in a row. WQIK was +2.1 in January to 12.8, the best-ever 6+-performance in its PPM-history. Owing to December’s +4.5 (6.8 – 11.3, 6+), “Jacksonville’s Country” jumped from fifth to first, but with a -.6 in “Holiday” 2016, it fell to second. Prior to a modest one-tenth gain in November, WQIK was down two full-shares as a result of being without an increase since February 2016 (8.7 – 8.7 – 8.4 – 8.2 – 8.1 – 7.7 – 7.7 – 7.3 – 6.7, 6+). Wild ups and downs continue for Renda Broadcasting adult contemporary WEJZ “Lite 96.1 – Today’s Variety,” whose last four (6+) moves are +5.8 (“Holiday” 2016); -6.6 (January); +.7 (February); and now -1.2 in March (8.9 – 14.7 – 8.1 – 8.8 – 7.6, 6+) for a net loss of -1.3. With a 14.7 in “Holiday” 2016, “Lite” returned to double-digits (6+) for the first time since last July’s 10.2. Even though Cox Media Group’s similarly-formatted WEZI “Easy 106.5,” is without a decrease for the third straight time (2.1 – 2.5 – 2.8 – 2.8, 6+) and segues from #14 to #13, it does not appear to be a benefactor of WEJZ’s -1.2. Unchanged at #6, WEZI’s CHR sibling WAPE “95.1 Jacksonville’s #1 Hit Music Station” registers its sixth successive decline (9.1 – 7.9 – 7.8 – 7.4 – 5.9 – 5.8 – 5.3, 6+) that has resulted in a collective loss of nearly four full-shares. Frozen on .6 (6+) in November and December, iHeartMedia’s WFXJ “Sports Radio 930” (flat at #17) has followed with a 6+-line of .3 – .4 – .3 – .4.  For the third consecutive month, contemporary Christian WMUV “100.7 The Promise” (.7 in “Holiday” 2016, 6+) is unlisted.

11) Memphis – Within 2.2 – 2.8 range (6+) the past 13 ratings periods, Cumulus Media’s WKIM “98.9 The Vibe – Classic Hip-Hop” gains one-half share to 3.3 (6+), inching up from #12 to #11. In its third straight up or flat sweep producing a collective +.9 (6.0 – 6.3 – 6.6 – 6.9, 6+), Entercom hot AC WMC-FM elevates from fifth to fourth. Adding three-tenths (9.0 – 9.3, 6+), iHeartMedia urban AC KJMS “V-101” repeats at #1. On top for ten consecutive monthlies before sliding to #2 in “Holiday” 2016, “V-101” was +.2 in February to halt nine consecutive down or flat trends that yielded a -3.7 since last May (12.5 – 11.6 – 10.7 – 10.5 – 10.2 – 9.9 – 9.9 – 9.3 – 9.3 – 8.8, 6+). The rollercoaster ride continues for Cumulus Media’s WGKX “Kix 106 Today’s Best Country,” which was +.8 in November; -.7 in December; -.5 in “Holiday” 2016; a monstrous +1.9 in January; +.8 in February, and now -1.0 in March (4.3 – 5.1 – 4.4 – 3.9 – 5.8 – 6.6 – 5.6, 6+). A net +1.3 in that timeframe, “Kix 106 Today’s Best Country” slides from fifth to sixth. October’s +.3 curtailed three successive negative trends that produced a -.7 (4.7 – 4.6 – 4.4 – 4.0, 6+). As a result of dropping nine-tenths (3.6 – 2.7, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WREC has its softest 6+-share since last June (2.7, as well) and departs the top ten (#10 to #12). Dating back to December, the 6+-trends for Mid-South Public Communications’ WKNO “NPR For the Mid-South” are 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.3 (steady at #15, 6+). Right behind it and unchanged at #16 is iHeartMedia CHR KWNW “101.9 Kiss FM – All the Hits,” down for the fourth straight time (1.9 – 1.8 – 1.4 – 1.2 – 1.1, 6+) for a -.8.

12) Hartford – Although unchanged in the runner-up slot, CBS Radio hot AC WTIC-FM “Hartford’s Best Variety” lengthens its consecutive string of positive or flat trends to six for a cumulative +1.7 (6.9 – 7.2 – 7.2 – 7.2 – 7.6 – 8.3 – 8.6, 6+), with its best 6+-performance since October 2014’s 8.9. Not only does adult contemporary cluster-mate WRCH “Lite 100.5” add six-tenths to February’s +.3 (10.2 – 10.5 – 11.1, +.3, 6+), “Lite” is #1 for the seventh consecutive ratings period. Up between September and “Holiday” 2016 (9.3 – 9.6 – 10.1 – 10.8 – 18.4, 6+), producing a cumulative +9.1 (nearly doubling September’s 9.3), “Lite” forfeited 8.2 shares in January. Entering the September sweep, WRCH was on top for 15 straight ratings periods and 23 of the previous 24; however, it decreased by -1.1 and dropped to second-place. Gaining six-tenths as well (4.9 – 5.5, 6+) is Connoisseur Media’s WDRC-FM “102.9 The Whale – Hartford’s Classic Rock,” which was without an increase the past seven sweeps accounting for a -2.6 (6.0 – 5.9 – 5.6 – 5.2 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 3.9 – 3.4, 6+). The improvement of six-tenths pushes “The Whale” from ninth to eighth. Co-owned news/talk WDRC-AM though (unchanged at #13) is down or flat for the fourth straight time (1.3 – .7 – .7 – .7 – .6, 6+). Ever since October, it has been an up/down pattern for iHeartMedia’s WWYZ “Country 92.5,” including a +.5 in March. Overall in that period though, “Country 92.5” is -2.1 (9.2 – 7.8 – 8.2 – 6.8 – 7.5 – 7.1 – 7.6, 6+). While it remains at #12, University of Massachusetts-owned WFCR “New England Public Radio” drops two-tenths to 1.3 (6+), thus stymying at three its string of progressive trends that netted at +.4 (1.1 – 1.2 – 1.4 – 1.5, 6+).

Monday, March 20, 2017

| March 20, 2017

ESPN Moves Craig to Network PD; Ups Hurley to WEPN, New York PD.  Sports programmer Justin Craig is promoted from PD of WEPN, New York to senior director, programming and operations for the ESPN Radio network.  The sports giant says that Craig will be responsible for all aspects of ESPN Radio programming and production, including oversight of “Mike & Mike,” “The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz,” “Russillo & Kanell,” and nighttime and weekend programming.  Craig is now based at ESPN’s headquarters in Bristol and reports to David Roberts, vice president, ESPN Network Content.  With Craig’s move to Bristol, WEPN APD Ryan Hurley is elevated to program director.  Jonathan Winthrop, who has previously served as a producer at WEPN, adds APD duties and continues to produce the Stephen A. Smith show.

TALKERS Personality Profile: KSCO, Santa Cruz Owner, Michael Zwerling. One of the most colorful owner/operators of a local radio broadcasting company, Michael Zwerling, is the subject of an audio personality profile posted today (3/20) on Talkers.com.  Since 1991, Zwerling (known to his friends and colleagues as “MZ”) has owned heritage news/talk 10k flamethrower KSCO-AM 1080.   The station puts out a giant signal covering the Monterey Bay area as well as huge swath of Northern California territory.  KSCO first went on the air in 1947.  Zwerling has subsequently gained a national reputation for his unique ownership and management style that has turned KSCO into a dynamic combination of mostly locally produced content punctuated by carefully selected national programming.  Under Zwerling’s guidance, KSCO is financially fueled by a potent combination of traditional advertising sales and the generation of non-traditional revenue.  In the hour-and-a-half interview conducted by TALKERS founder Michael Harrison, Zwerling discusses what it has been like operating a conservatively oriented station (featuring Rush Limbaugh) in a predominantly liberal market.  He talks about his early, quirky days in broadcasting, the nuts-and-bolts of local radio station ownership in the modern era, the pros and cons of carrying Limbaugh over the years, his late mother and locally beloved broadcaster, Kay Zwerling, and his remarkably lucrative relationship with the multi-level marketing health products company, Youngevity.  To listen to this candid dialogue with the man described by Michael Harrison as one of the most interesting and eccentric owners in radio today, please click here.

‘The Big Talker’ Returns to Wilmington, NC.  Talk show host Chad Adams is reviving “The Big Talker” on WFBT-FM, Wilmington, North Carolina (licensed to Carolina Beach) under an LMA from Carolina Christian Radio.  His Red Wolf Broadcasting will operate the station and his regionally syndicated talk show – also heard in Charlotte and Greensboro – will be heard from 9:00 am to 11:00 am.  It will follow the local “Mornings With Pam and John” program with husband-and-wife team John and Pam Dismukes.  Other shows to air on the station include: Radio America’s Dana Loesch, the Dave Ramsey show, SRN’s Mike Gallagher, and Premiere NetworksSean Hannity and the overnight “Coast to Coast AM” with George Noory.  Originally, “The Big Talker” was heard on WNTB-FM and WUDE-FM.  WFBT-FM’s frequency is 106.7.  It was formerly WMYT and was put on the air by Curtis Wright’s and George Bell’s Talk Media TV in 2013.

TALKERS News Notes. The morning drive show at Cumulus Media’s news/talk WGOW-FM, Chattanooga – hosted by Jeff Styles, Jim Reynolds and Bill Lockhart – expands by an hour to air from 6:00 am to 10:00 am, eliminating the Reynolds-hosted hour, “The Nth Degree.”  At the same time, Styles – who had also been hosting the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon program, “Fred The Show,” gives up that program to new host Brad Giese…..WGN, Chicago launched a new weekend program on Saturday (3/18).  The two-hour show “On the Road with Dane Neal” airs from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm.  WGN says that this program is more than just a car show, “Neal will explore the relationship of people and their cars.  Topics will include motorsports, day trips, cruise nights, technology in the car and more.”  His first guests were Food Network’s Guy Fieri, Expedia’s Sarah Gavin, and NASCAR champion Kevin Harvick.  Neal comments, “I’m excited to be able to take a radio road trip with listeners each week.  We’ll share great stories about racing, innovation in driving and the great car culture of Chicago.”

Rising Country Music Star Pens and Records Inspirational Patriot Song for Both Music and Talk Radio.  Singer/songwriter Dede Wedekind is a rising star in country music circles (Indie Music Channel’s 2016 Best New Female Artist, plus a number of other music industry honors) and she is now attracting the attention of talk radio hosts doing interviews about her new soul-stirring, patriotic release titled “America United.”  The song was originally written by Wedekind and her husband in a flash of inspiration coming from the pulpit while attending church on a Sunday in 2012.  Garnering attention across her fan base for years, the couple then tweaked the song in the wake of the 2016 presidential election, resulting in another IMEA Award for the independent artist.  She tells CCM Magazine, “To me, everyone who hears ‘America United’ seems to like and relate to the overwhelming message of this song—which is the necessity of uniting all Americans once again. This song isn’t about a particular political party, being conservative or liberal, or even being Democrat or Republican—it’s about making America a great nation once again. ‘One nation, under God, with liberty and justice for all.’” Wedekind continues, “In the original version written in 2012, it features President Ronald Reagan‘s message of making America great quoting the line, ‘Once again, make America Great. When President Donald Trump decided to run last year, my husband Larry and I had already decided to update ‘America United’ to make it a better song with a more concise message and better production. We then decided to also incorporate Trump’s slogan, which, again was completely based on Reagan’s original message. We repeated the slogan in the chorus of the 2016 version, since it was already a part of the original song, and more importantly felt strongly that God had given it to President Reagan, and now again to President Trump.”  To listen to and download Dede Wedekind’s “America United” and obtain contact information to book an interview with her, please click here.

Trump’s Obama Wiretapping Accusations, Gorsuch Confirmation Hearings, GOP Health Care Bill, U.S.-Germany Relations, North Korea Missile Program, Rock Legend Chuck Berry Dies, and March Madness Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  President Donald Trump’s accusation that former President Barack Obama ordered wiretaps of Trump Tower during the 2016 campaign; Supreme Court judge nominee Neil Gorsuch’s confirmation hearings begin today; speculation about the fate of the GOP health care bill; President Trump’s belief that Germany owes the U.S. money for its NATO membership and his meeting last week with Angela Merkel; North Korea’s nuclear missile program and its threats to hit American targets; rock ‘n’ roll pioneer Chuck Berry dies at age 90; and the action during the first weekend of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Stephanie Miller Announces ‘Sexy Liberal Resistance Tour’ 2017.  Progressive radio talk show host and comedienne Stephanie Miller is announcing the 2017 version of her Sexy Liberal Comedy Tour – this year titled the “Sexy Liberal Resistance Tour 2017.”  On this tour will be Miller, John Fugelsang and Frangela.  A press statement from Miller reads, “Touring for several years as the Sexy Liberal Comedy Tour, the election forced us to rethink early retirement and return to the stage for a multiple-city tour.  We face Washington and laugh out loud at the tragic comedy of politics, to throw our finest, most scathing satire at the feet of our not-so-elected politicians.  To fight on with comedy…to offer the real fake news…to offer true alternative facts.”  The tour does 10 dates this year beginning in Madison on April 22 and ending in Maui, Hawaii on December 23.  Cities include Phoenix, Albuquerque, Seattle, Denver, Chicago, New York City, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

SRN’s Tradup Promoting Brantley Rescue Documentary.  Next Thursday night (3/30) is the one-night-only Fathom national movie theater screening of the film Facing Darkness.  The film was the result of a trip to the Ebola virus “hot Zone” in Liberia last summer during which Salem Radio Network VP/news & talk programming Tom Tradup (pictured at right) accompanied a film crew from non-profit charity Samaritan’s Purse to chronicle the successful, high-tech rescue of Dr. Kent Brantley during the deadly 2014 outbreak.  Tradup, who is actively promoting the film via social media, says, “The courage of the Samairtan’s Purse team (including Dr. Brantley) who risked their own lives as the Ebola outbreak claimed thousands of lives all around them, is a truly inspirational story that is the centerpiece of a stunning documentary.”

TALKERS magazine Publishes the 2017 Heavy Hundred of Sports Talk. On Monday, March 13, we published the fifth annual TALKERS Heavy Hundred of Sports Talk – formally known as the 100 Most Important Sports Talk Radio Hosts in America. This annual list is compiled and ranked by the editors of TALKERS magazine – with input from industry leaders. As with our publication’s “sister list,” the 100 Most Important Talk Radio Hosts in America, the criteria are a number of hard factors – including ratings and revenue – as well as such soft factors as talent, recognition, impact, service and more. Executive editor Kevin Casey states, “This annual ranking of the most important sports talk radio hosts is one of the most difficult – but enjoyable – projects we undertake at TALKERS. The reason for that is the partially subjective nature of the criteria combined with the enormous number of talented and successful sports talk hosts working in America. Paring that pool of talent down to 100 is no easy task!” Casey also notes that TALKERS will be publishing the 2017 Heavy Hundred of News/Talk Radio in April. See the 2017 Heavy Hundred of Sports Talk here.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Beginning this Friday (3/24), Entercom Austin is shifting its urban adult contemporary contemporary outlet to a new frequency as it changes translator K242CC from the 96.3 frequency to 95.9.  Appropriately, the station’s new brand is “95.9FM RnB.”  Entercom Austin VP/market manager Stephanie Callihan states, “We are looking forward to welcoming all of our loyal listeners at our new home on the dial.  We continue to be committed to providing the unparalleled radio experience that our fans have come to expect from us and will keep delivering for our fans at our new frequency.”…..Bonneville’s country KYGO, Denver welcomes Guy David aboard as the new co-host of the morning drive show with current AM personality Tracy Dixon.  David heads to Denver from his current position at RBH Enterprises-owned country WFON-FM, Fond Du Lac, Wisconsin “107.1 The Bull.”…..Wesley Miller returns to his hometown of Youngstown, Ohio to program adult contemporary WMXY “MIX 98.9” and CHR WAKZ for iHeartMedia.  Miller was most recently with Forever Media’s WGYY, Meadville, Pennsylvania “Froggy 100.3” hosting the morning show and serving as program director…..CBS RADIO country outlet WDSY, Pittsburgh “Y108” is hosting its annual Wine & Boots Bash to benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital on Thursday, April 13 at The Twentieth Century Club in Oakland.  The event will feature Warner Music Nashville country singer and songwriter Michael Ray.  CBS RADIO Pittsburgh VP of programming Mark Anderson says, “Michael Ray was a part of Y108’s ‘Eight Man Jam’ concert two years ago.  Michael’s career is on fire as he just achieved his second #1 hit single and we are thrilled to have him perform at Y108’s Wine and Boots Bash on April 13.”  Ray broke into music as a contestant on The CW’s “The Next: Fame Is At Your Doorstep.”  He co-wrote the 2015 Big & Rich hit “Run Away With You” and made his solo artist debut that same year with the #1 hit “Kiss You In The Morning.”  He scored his second #1 hit just this week with his song, “Think A Little Less.”

Josh Turner Plays Stage 17 LIVE.  The brand-new Cumulus Media New York performance space Stage 17 LIVE hosted country star Josh Turner on March 15.  WNSH “NASH FM 94.7” air personality Jesse Addy spoke with Turner on the air the same day Turner spent his morning hosting the fourth hour of NBC TV’s “Today Show.”  Pictured here are (from l-r): Jesse Addy, Josh Turner; WNSH program director John Foxx, and WNSH APD Mike Alan.

Friday, August 5, 2016

| August 5, 2016

Cumulus Media Reports 4.1% Decrease in Net Revenue.  For the second quarter of 2016, Cumulus Media announces net revenue was $287.2 million, down from the Q2 2015 figure of $299.3 million.  That number cumulus logowasn’t so surprising as CEO Mary Berner has been stating that the turnaround of the company would take some time.  The decrease in net revenue was attributable in part to a decline in local spot sales that offset growth in national, political and digital as well as the effects of the shutdown of NASH magazine.  Also, expenses rose by $12.2 million due to new sports rights fees and an adjustment from a recalculation of 2015 music license fees.  Westwood One had a challenging Q2, down 13.8% — or $12 million – over the same period in 2015.

ewscrippsE.W. Scripps Radio Division Down 6.4%.  The 2016 second quarter numbers from E.W. Scripps were pretty good in the company’s television and digital segments – up 15% and 20% respectively – whereas the radio segment was down 6.4% on Q2 revenue of $18.2 million.  A look ahead to the third quarter doesn’t see improvement.  The company’s forward-looking statement is for radio revenue to be down in the mid-single digits and radio expenses to be up in the mid-single digits.

D’Marco Farr to Exit ‘100 ESPN’ in St. Louis; Talent Search for Replacement Is On.  Former St. Louis Rams great D’Marco Farr is leaving WXOS, St. Louis “101ESPN” and the afternoon drive “The Fast Lane” showwxos logo after seven years for new opportunities.  “101ESPN” program director Chris “Hoss” Neupert says the station is beginning a talent search right away for the right personality to work alongside co-hosts Randy Karraker and Brad Thompson plus producer Brad Barnes.  Neupert says, “‘101 ESPN’ is looking for hardworking and well-informed on-air teammates who can help the show continue to succeed and grow.  The perfect candidate is a highly entertaining and stand out on-air talent who has a real passion for all sports.”  Find all the info about the gig here.

talkersten logoThe Presidential Race Tops the Talkers TenTM for the Week of August 1-5.  The activities of presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump were the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 was the controversy over the $400 million payment by the US to Iran on the day Americans were released from Iranian custody.  Coming in at #3 was public opinion about and the actions of the Black Lives Matter movement, followed by the allegation by Wikileaks founder Julian Assange that the US was funneling weapons to Syrian rebels via Benghazi 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.

ppmunitNielsen Audio Releases Fourth Round of July 2016 PPM Data.  The fourth and final round of July 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 June 2016 survey period covered June 16 through July 13.  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.

Connecticut Radio Pro Sebastian to Launch Internet Venture.  Via the Radio Button Network, well-known Connecticut radio personality Sebastian is debuting a new program called “Sebastian Uncensored.”  Thesebastian former WCCC and WZMX, Hartford jock will showcase his program on this 24/7 online personality station fully owned and operated by him, and managed by the Radio Button Network.  It debuts on Monday, August 8.  Sebastian comments, “I did not have a platform in radio that would allow the show I envisioned for 2016 and beyond.  This new media fits exactly with what I needed to do MY type of show again.”

Odds & Sods.  San Antonio talk radio star Trey Ware is being inducted into the Texas Radio Hall of Fame onwaretrey October 29.  The KTSA, San Antonio morning drive personality will join KTSA’s Elizabeth Ruiz, the late Johnny Shannon, and his father – legendary South Texas broadcaster Ricci Ware in the Texas Radio Hall of Fame…..There’s no shortage of audio coverage of the 2016 Olympic Games from Rio de Janeiro.   Westwood One has partnered with U.S. Olympics rights holder NBCUniversal and will present live radio coverage of the Games today through the closing ceremony on Sunday, August 21.  WW1’s coverage can also be heard via SiriusXM and TuneIn…..SiriusXM personality John Fugelsang – host of fugelsangjohn“Tell Me Everything” – is embarking on a special broadcast that will air on Tuesday, August 9 at 2:00 pm ET on the Insight channel.  The program will be a one-hour broadcast from a submersible deep in the ocean off the coast of Bermuda that is designed to set the world record for the deepest underwater live radio show and bring attention to protecting the deep ocean.  Fugelsang is joining a research team launched by Nekton, a UK-based scientific research charity formed by scientists from a dozen marine research institutes, to help raise awareness of the health and resilience of Earth’s least-explored and largest ecosystem…..Meruelo Holdings-owned hip hop outlet KDAY, Los Angeles announces it will be thekday logo Southern California affiliate for Oakland Raiders football. It will also enhance game coverage with exciting Raiders-oriented additional programming.  Meruelo and KDAY president Otto Padron says, “No other brand in SoCal speaks to the loyal Raiders Nation better than KDAY…our sound, attitude and colors are a natural fit for this legendary pro football franchise.  We are very excited with this new NFL partnership and KDAY is the right destination for the more than 2 million Raiders fans in our LA market.”…..BlogTalkRadio, in conjunction with P.I. Media, is presenting the Curious Minds podcast series, the “Heroes Of Podcasting.”  It features interviews with pioneers of podcasting, some of whom have been trailblazing as far back as 2004.  The show is co-hosted by Ran Levi and Kelly O’Laughlin.  The first in the series features special guest, professor Karlheinz Bradenberg, inventor of the MP3 format.

Wednesday, August 12, 2012

| August 15, 2012

Ron Hartenbaum and Liz Laud Expand, Merge with Debbie Greenbaum’s DG Media.  It was announced yesterday that broadcasting executive Debbie Greenbaum is joining WYM Media Management LLC as co-founder, managing partner with radio impresario Ron Hartenbaum and Liz Laud. Greenbaum’s business, DG Media will merge into WYM as part of its strategic business expansion into providing what is being described by the trio as “the most comprehensive affiliate sales and marketing for all radio formats.” Hartenbaum, who has worked over the years in developing the shows and careers of a number of the top talents in talk radio, via his New York City-based firm WYD Media Management, LLC, had earlier this year joined forces with affiliate sales and marketing veteran Liz Laud to launch WYM.  “Deb is an accomplished industry veteran who has successfully launched a variety of shows and products throughout her career and by bringing the ‘The Leslie Marshall Show’ and Good Parts Media services (‘Mr. Prep’ and ‘The Hookup’) into the fold, immediately adds to our arsenal of affiliate sales opportunities,” says Hartenbaum.  “I am thrilled to be able to continue our working relationship with her as a partner in WYM and am very excited about what the future holds.”  Greenbaum tells TALKERS,  “The opportunity to take my shows to the next level and grow WYM with the integration of Ron’s product at WYD and ground-breaking new shows such as “Istook Live!” and “Zach Sang and the Gang” is incredible.  The timing couldn’t be better; we are going to have a lot of fun and a lot of success!”  Considered a natural extension of Hartenbaum’s organization, WYM was formed to capture the affiliate marketing opportunities generated from the programming currently managed and produced by WYD which includes the “The Thom Hartmann Program,” “The Stephanie Miller Show,” “The Mike Malloy Show,” “The Michael Smerconish Show,” the “David Webb Show,” “Ring of Fire” and most recently  “Istook Live!” (Ernest Istook) and “Zach Sang & The Gang,” a new CHR radio program for 12-34s hosted by pop-culture icon, Zach Sang. “I am beyond ecstatic to be working with Debbie again.  We had a lot of fun, and more importantly, a lot of success working together at Westwood One years ago and I can’t believe our good fortune that we get the opportunity to do that again, this time with Ron!” says Laud, whose track record includes stints at Westwood One, Jones Radio and Dial Global.

Stephanie Miller’s “Sexy Liberal” Tour to Play Big Apple.  Only nine days before the election, talk radio and Current TV star Stephanie Miller‘s “Sexy Liberal Comedy Tour” wraps up its 2012 season with what its producers describe as its biggest show ever. The seemingly unstoppable traveling road show — considered by industry observers as a model example of how to bring a talk radio personality to a successful, revenue-generating theatrical platform — has been booked into the prestigious Beacon Theater on Manhattan’s Upper West Side on Saturday, October 27.  The production, produced by Ron Hartenbaum’s WYD Management (there he is again) will feature its full line up of “sexy liberals,” Stephanie Miller, John Fugelsang, Aisha Tyler and Hal Sparks with lots of surprises being promised.

Speculation about Clear Channel’s Plans at WOR Continues Including the Possible Addition of Sports Programming.  The radio industry remains abuzz about the acquisition of WOR from Buckley Radio by Clear Channel including speculation that the station could become home to some of CC’s top Premiere Network talents such as Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity should their present New York affiliate WABC follow its owner Cumulus Media’s stated new course toward a modified approach to political news/talk radio.  Now Clear Channel chairman and CEO John Hogan adds a sports wrinkle to the speculation hinting that a push for sports radio rights could be in planning.  He told the New York Post, “The Yankees radio rights come up next year, so do the New York Jets and there are others,” Hogan says, “If you look around on other news talk stations, sports can be a component. Part of the New York opportunity is that it allows us to think about the entire cluster, think about promo power of five radio stations plus WOR. That’s a really compelling package for sports players and advertisers.”

Is Another New York Deal Brewing – Putting “The Fan” on FM?  Ace radio industry reporter Tom Taylor writes in TALKERS sister trade publication Radio-Info: There’s serious talk behind closed doors, and it’s not just about Clear Channel buying WOR (710) from Buckley or the imminent announcement of Family Radio selling commercial-band WFME, Newark (94.7). There could be a swap in the middle part of the FM dial. So maybe, CBS Radio’s all-sports WFAN (660) gets an FM home – but it wouldn’t be 94.7. It might be 99.5, the perch of Pacifica’s non-commercial news/talk WBAI. The play could be WBAI relocating to 94.7 in exchange for desperately-needed cash, and CBS scoring 99.5. Though wringing a decision out of the splintered family around WBAI could take time. Just yesterday, the board failed, on an 8-8 tie vote, to keep WBAI’s GM from signing a costly three-year renewal to keep it at its Wall Street offices and broadcasting from the Empire State Building. Harold Camping-run Family Radio also has debts. It already sold its commercial-band FMs in Philadelphia (to Merlin) and Washington-Baltimore (to CBS). But the real windfall would be New York’s 94.7. This could all be happening pretty fast, perhaps by the time of the NAB/RAB Radio Show in Dallas, in mid-September. One complication is that WFME has a sister TV station, and they’re operated together. Would Family keep WFME-TV?

Odds & Sods.  WHJJ, Providence talk host Helen Glover landed an exclusive interview this morning with George Mendonca, the iconic “Kissing Sailor” who famously graced the cover of Life magazine following the surrender of Japan at the end of World War II.  Mendonca is now in his nineties.  The interview can be heard on Glover’s web page at http://www.920whjj.com/pages/helen.html…..The New York Post reports convicted former NBA referee Tim Donaghy today was denied permission to continue working as a paid talk radio commentator alongside another man who has several felony arrests in his own past. Brooklyn federal Judge Carol Amon ruled that Donaghy cannot receive paychecks as a radio personality on the nationally syndicated betting advice show “The Sports Connection” and must cut his professional ties with the Philadelphia-based program and its host, Danny Berrelli. The judge noted that an investigation by federal probation officers revealed that Berrelli is actually Daniel Thomas Biancullo — an ex-con with prior arrests for felony interstate gambling in Florida and possession of cocaine with intent to distribute in New Jersey.

Presidential Race Heating Up Top News/Talk Story Yesterday (8/14).  The addition of Rep. Paul Ryan to the Mitt Romney Republican ticket has intensified discussion of the 2012 presidential campaign with a huge focus on budget and fiscal policy.  Syrian violence ran a distant second and lots of gossip in the sports world over Tim Tebow’s controversial shirtless “Jesus” photo and Chad Johnson’s domestic violence scandal being among the big topics of discussion according to ongoing TALKERS research.

 

Thursday, August 9, 2012

| August 9, 2012

Pioneering Radio Owner Peter Straus Dies at 89.  His Straus Communications owned WMCA, New York when it was a part of the golden age of rock ‘n’ roll radio and after it became a talk radio outlet in 1970 until the time it was sold in 1986.  From a talk radio perspective Straus’ WMCA employed legendary talk hosts including Barry Gray, Barry Farber, Bob Grant and Bruce Williams.  The station is now owned by Salem Communications and broadcasts a Christian format.  Salem Radio Network vice president of news & talk programming Tom Tradup tells TALKERS he has fond memories of working for Straus as executive producer of the talk shows in the early 1980s.  “I worked with Peter at a time when WMCA was a petri dish of talk radio creativity.  Legendary hosts like Barry Gray, Bob Grant, Bruce Williams and Barry Farber were all local hosts on WMCA…and our 5,000-watt station (albeit in the middle of Midtown Manhattan!) was the home of every important New York politician including NYC mayor Ed Koch, New York Lt. Governor (and later Governor) Mario Cuomo, New York city clerk (and future mayor) David Dinkins and many more.  The hallways of WMCA were always full, and it was a rare day one didn’t run into a guest like Marlon Brando or Woody Allen or Tony Randall or Robert Vaughn.”  Tradup says the station was “vibrant but challenged” during his time there as it battled WOR and WABC but Straus was “one in a million.  Peter instituted a ‘first radio in New York’ policy, meaning if an author appeared on another NYC station before WMCA, we wouldn’t book him.  And son of a gun, we started getting all the big authors first because publishers knew he meant it.  This taught me a lesson I’ve never forgotten: If you act as if your radio station is #1, people will treat you like #1.  Peter was a winner, an exceptional leader, and the talk radio industry owes him respect and gratitude.”

Howard Stern Appeals Suit Dismissal in Beef with SiriusXM.  Talk radio legend Howard Stern and agent Don Buchwald are not going to let one dismissal get in the way of their goal of getting some $300 million in stock bonuses they say is due them as the result of the satcaster’s success.  According to the New York Daily News, Stern and Buchwald – through Stern’s 112 Inc. production company – filed suit in the New York Supreme Court Appellate Division.  The Daily News reports the suit hasn’t even been processed yet so the documents aren’t available but we have a pretty good idea what Stern is claiming: That he is owed the $300 million in stock bonuses because his program is responsible for a large degree of SiriusXM’s success, even the success that came after the merger of Sirius and XM.  In April of this year though, New York Supreme Court Justice Barbara Kapnick disagreed with Stern’s logic and dismissed the case ruling the language in Stern’s contract is “clear” and “unambiguous.”  In other words, he’s gotten everything the contract promised him.

Howard Eskin Returns to TV Sports Anchor Role.  Longtime WIP, Philadelphia sports talk personality Howard Eskin goes back to the little screen as sports anchor at WTXF-TV Fox 29 in Philadelphia.  The station says Eskin helped launch its 10:00 pm news back in 1986 and now he’ll be behind the sports desk for the Fox News 29 at 5:00 pm, 6:00 pm and 10:00 pm newscasts as well as “Fox 29 Sports Sunday,” “Game Time Live,” and he’ll contribute to “Good Day Philadelphia.”  After leaving his full-time talk show position at WIP, Eskin continued to work with the station as part of the Eagles pre- and post-game shows and as a sideline reporter.  Eskin will remain with WIP to host programs, the Eagles pre-game show and handle sideline reporting for the station.

Shara Fryer Added to KTRH, Houston AM Drive Show.  Longtime Houston market television news personality Shara Fryer will join Matt Patrick as co-host of KTRH’s “Houston’s Morning News.”  Fryer is currently director of the World Affairs Council of Houston but served as co-anchor of KTRK-TV, Houston’s 6:00 pm and 10:00 pm evening newscasts for more than 25 years.  Clear Channel Media and Entertainment’s Houston president and market manager Eddie Martiny says, “Over 25 years of major-market broadcast excellence combined with her commitment to numerous charities in Houston make Shara the perfect choice for mornings on KTRH.”  Fryer says, “I’m excited by the energy and raw spirit of radio.  It’s a brand new world for me…There’s a spark with Matt and the entire KTRH team that I hope listeners will feel and join us weekday mornings.”  She begins her new duties on September 4.

Al Gore to Anchor Current TV’s Convention Coverage.  Former Vice President Al Gore – founder of the cable news/talk channel Current TV taps himself to anchor the channel’s coverage of the two political conventions.  Current TV states, “Gore will be joined by former Michigan governor and ‘The War Room’ host, Jennifer Granholm, former New York governor and ‘Viewpoint’ host, Eliot Spitzer and ‘The Young Turks’ host, Cenk Uygur.  Additionally, California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom will join the panel for the RNC coverage.”  Current TV hosts Joy Behar and John Fugelsang will also assist in the coverage of the RNC beginning August 27 and the DNC beginning September 4.  In a statement, Gore says, “I’m pleased to be participating in Current TV’s impressive lineup throughout the Republican and Democratic National Conventions.  Cenk, Jennifer and Eliot provide the keen insight and spot-on analysis our viewers have come to expect, combined with decades of experience in public service and a deep understanding of politics.  I have no doubt that our coverage will be innovative and informative, and I look forward to working with them.”

Olympian Brings Home the Gold.  Bethesda, Maryland teen Katie Ledecky (pictured here with WTOP, Washington program director Laurie Cantillo) stopped by WTOP to talk with the news organization about her experiences at the London Olympics.  The gold-medal-winning 15-year-old won the 800-meter freestyle and spoke with WTOP anchors Shawn Anderson and John Aaron about the games and answered her critics who predicted she swam too fast in the beginning of the race and would tire before the end.  Obviously, she didn’t.

Odds & Sods.  SiriusXM’s Opie & Anthony bring their program to Chicago for a live remote broadcast tomorrow from the 115 Bourbon Street Bar in suburban Merrionette Park.  The special afternoon edition of the program kicks off at 3:00 pm CT…..CBS Radio names Laura Gonzalez local sales manager for sports talk WJFK, Washington, DC…..Cumulus Media splits off the AM side of sports simulcast WLQR, Toledo to go talk using all Cumulus Media Networks programs: Imus, Geraldo, Mike Huckabee, Mark Levin, John Batchelor and “Red Eye Radio”…..Clear Channel’s sports WPOP, Hartford will carry Central Connecticut State football and basketball play-by-play for the next four seasons…..Attorney Eddie Gadrix begins hosting a Monday hour-long program focused on senior issues on WVNJ, Washington Township, New Jersey (Philadelphia market) on Monday mornings at 9:00.  Gadrix has been hosting the “Divorce & Custody Show” on Fridays at 9:00 am on the station and continues that program…..Talk host Matt Bruce fills in on the AM drive show on the simulcast of WWJB, Brooksville and WXJB, Homosassa Springs, Florida today through August 14.

A Sign of the Times.  WRKO, Boston talk host Barry Armstrong – Boston-area financial advisor and host of the daily “The Financial Exchange” program – is pictured here during one of the presentations that was part of the two-day financial seminar event on the economy, social security and estate planning.  More than 1,000 people attended the seminars that were only promoted on Armstrong’s show on WRKO.  Many listeners decided to also get an inside look into the production of Armstrong’s program as he conducted the entire program in front of a live audience.

Presidential Campaign Ads, Neo-Nazi Hate Groups, London Olympics, Mars ‘Curiosity’ Mission and Randy Travis Arrest Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/8).  The state of the presidential campaign ads in the 2012 election; neo-Nazi groups and the aftermath of the Wisconsin Sikh temple shootings; the London Olympics; the ‘Curiosity’ mission on Mars; and the arrest of country star Randy Travis were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

 

Thursday, August 2, 2012

| August 2, 2012

Chick-fil-A Controversy Fires Up Conservative Talk Hosts; Sparks Movement to Support Fast Food Chain.  The issues of gay marriage and First Amendment rights have been front and center on news/talk radio this week in the wake of Chick-fil-A COO Dan Cathy’s comments in a Baptist publication about his support for the Biblical definition of marriage that’s grown into a major news story.  Some view his statement as bigoted and divisive while others see this as a free speech issue.  The case has spurred planned demonstrations by same-sex couples and their supporters as well as conservative media personalities who have encouraged their listeners and viewers to support the fast food chain.  Salem Radio Network talk host Mike Gallagher is pictured here (at left) in his studio preparing to enjoy his Chick-fil-A lunch and has been encouraging listeners to post pictures of themselves eating at the restaurant on Facebook.  Salem Communications O&O WNYM, New York – AM 970 The Answer – organized a call for support at the Paramus, New Jersey Mall where the station reports some 200 listeners had lined up by lunchtime to support the store.  At right is talk show host Kevin McCullough (l)  – whose weekend talk show is heard on WNYM – with Salem VP/director of spoken word format Phil Boyce (r) as they prepare to enjoy a sandwich.  In the panoramic photo below.  The Answer morning drive host Curtis Sliwa can be seen at the far right speaking with a listener while the line of customers spreads across the photo to the left.

Bill Handel’s “Cash Mob” Supports SoCal Toy Store.  A “cash mob” organized by KFI, Los Angeles morning drive host Bill Handel put some $9,000 in the register of struggling Corona del Mar toy store Toy Boat, Toy Boat, Toy Boat.  Handel appeared at the store from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm but Handel’s listeners patronized the store all day long after hearing Handel speak on the air about the state of the struggling local business.  Handel show executive producer Michelle Kube reports many of the people who bought toys donated them to Children’s Hospital of Orange County.  Kube states, “This was just the first.  We plan to do more of these across all day parts on KFI over the next few months all over the Southland as our amazing listeners have responded with so many requests to help local small business owners!”

Clear Channel Reports Radio Revenue Up 3%.  Clear Channel Media and Entertainment – of course, now a private company but one that still publicly reports financials – gives its 2012 Q2 financial report and states revenue was up from $771.8 million in the second quarter of 2011 to $793 million in the second quarter of this year.  CFO Tom Casey reports much of that increase was due to national and in categories including automotive, telecommunications, financial services, political and entertainment.  Casey noted that national business rose at roughly double the rate of local business.

Comedian and Stephanie Miller Show Cast Member John Fugelsang Gets Current TV Show.  Regular Stephanie Miller radio show cast member – and one third of Miller’s “Sexy Liberal Comedy Tour” – John Fugelsang will have his own Current TV program beginning in the fall.  Talk radio host Stephanie Miller’s show is simulcast on the Al Gore-founded cable TV network in which Fugelsang gets some face time, but now he’ll have a solo gig there.  In a statement, Al Gore says, “We at Current are eager to bring John’s unique perspective on politics and the world around him to primetime.  He’s been a part of the Current family for a while now and we see just how much his voice resonates with our audience.  His new show will nicely complement our growing lineup.”  Fugelsang has guest-hosted prime time shows on the network including Eliot Spitzer’s and Jennifer Granholm’s programs.  The network has not announced what time the show will air.

WQSC, Charleston, South Carolina Flips to Talk.  The Kirkman Broadcasting station drops oldies for news/talk and airs largely syndicated programming with the exception of local PM drive host Rocky D.  Programming consists of: Cumulus Media NetworksImus in the Morning; Salem Radio Network’s Mike Gallagher; Talk Radio Network’s Laura Ingraham; Dial Global’s Dennis Miller and Jim Bohannon; and CBS Radio’s “Overnight America” with Jon Grayson.

California Couple Sentenced in Real Estate Ponzi Scheme; Infomercials Aired on KVTA, Port Hueneme.  It’s almost a mystery how stations keep selling infomercials to “investment gurus” who go on to swindle people out of their life savings…but they do.  The latest case in this oft-repeating story is that of Kenneth Powell and Kathryn Rose who pleaded guilty to numerous counts of felony fraud related to a real estate investment Ponzi scheme that scammed some $3 million out of 15 people in Southern California.  The two broadcast shows called “Academy of Real Estate,” “Money Intelligence” and “The Ken & Katie Show” on KVTA.  Investors were asked to put money into real estate development or loans secured by real estate but all investment cash went to pay off previous investors until the scheme went bust.  59-year-old Powell received 18 years in prison and 63-year-old Rose will serve 12 years, 8 months.

Odds ‘n’ Sods.  Journal Broadcasting’s news/talk WTMJ, Milwaukee gave away a fully restored 1969 Chevy Camaro (pictured here) to winner Aaron Guenterberg in its annual “Free Ride” promotion that saw more than 10,000 people enter the contest…..A Saturday morning talk show hosted by Tony Stiles debuts on news/talk KOIL, Omaha this Saturday…..Jacksonville-based sports talk show “Courts and Sports,” hosted by attorney John Phillips, moves from WOKV to crosstown WFXJ, Jacksonville on August 9.  Phillips’ regular co-host for the program is Jacksonville Jaguars running back Rashad Jennings…..SiriusXM presents “College Sports Nation Camp Tour” on its College Sports Nation channel beginning today.  Hosts Eddie George, Gino Torretta, Rick Neuheisel, Houston Nutt, Randy Cross, Gil Brandt, Jack Arute and Mark Packer will visit 13 camps in 16 days and report to listeners.

20 Gallons of Hat.  WLAC, Nashville-based talk host Steve Gill (r) is pictured here with music legend Charlie Daniels (l).  Daniels appeared on Gill’s syndicated talk program on Tuesday, July 31 and the two talked politics and the state of the country.

Presidential Race, Chick-fil-A Case, Ted Cruz Texas Primary Victory, Fed Economic Report/Financial Markets Activities, and London Olympics Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/1).  The campaign for president, the outpouring of support for Chick-fil-A and the issue of same-sex marriage; Tea Party candidate Ted Cruz’s Republican primary victory for U.S. Senate in Texas; the Fed’s economic report and financial markets activities; and the London Olympics were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, February 13, 2012

| February 13, 2012

Stephanie Miller Riding High on Radio, Live Show and Comedy Record Success.  WYD Media Management and Dial Global syndicated progressive talk radio host Stephanie Miller rolls into 2012 surfing the wave of success she began in 2011 using her popular radio show – and social media – to help promote her “Sexy Liberal Comedy Tour” and the recently released comedy album of the same name that’s topping the charts.  With the help of comedian pals John Fugelsang and Hal Sparks – both of whom make weekly appearances on Miller’s Los Angeles-based radio show – the “Sexy Liberal Comedy Tour” has been selling out shows across the country and grossed more than $1.4 million over the last 12 months.  Miller is astounded by the success of the tour and the album.  “Last spring when we performed in Madison, Wisconsin to support the recall efforts of Governor Scott Walker we had no expectations that the show would be as well received as it was, let alone set upon a nationwide tour raising money for locally focused progressive causes,” Miller says.  The resulting comedy album, released digitally, has been hugely successful.  Miller tells TALKERS, “The ‘Stephanie Miller’s Sexy Liberal Comedy Tour’ has become the first political comedy album to reach # 1 on the comedy charts for iTunes, Amazon and Billboard, and has remained on the Billboard Comedy Album charts for six weeks since its release in late-December, 2011.  The idea of progressive comedy making such a connection to people across America must be causing some serious Republican angina…at least I hope so!”  Miller, Fugelsang and Sparks continue to hit the road with the live show stopping at the Orpheum Theatre on Phoenix on February 25 and the Chicago Theatre in Chicago on March 3.

WQAM, Miami’s Sid Rosenberg Back in the News with Alleged Gambling Debt.  The Miami Herald is reporting that WQAM, Miami PM drive sports talk host Sid Rosenberg has a gambling debt of more than $44,000 he owes to an offshore gambling operation called www.1betvegas.com.  Gossip Extra columnist Jose Lambiet quotes a man named Frank Soviero who says he works for the gambling site – based in Costa Rica – and says he’s been in Miami for two months now trying to collect the debt.  Soviero tells Lambiet, “We can’t sue Sid since what we do is illegal in the United States.  I’ve tried everything.  He comes up with 100 bucks here and there, and he gives me a big hug.  It ticks me off because I talked my boss into giving Sid a few chances.  And I’ve seen [my boss] do things when he gets mad.”  Neither Rosenberg nor WQAM have commented to the paper.  Rosenberg was off the air for six weeks prior to the holidays and there was speculation then that he was being punished by the station for trying to repay a gambling debt via plugola – something Rosenberg vehemently denied to TALKERS.  Station management also did not confirm the story to local media but only said that Rosenberg was off and would return on January 2, which he did.  When asked by TALKERS to specifically clarify why he was off the air during that time, Rosenberg did not reply.  Read the Miami Herald story here.

WLW, Cincinnati’s Bill Cunningham Gets Big Network Pickup for TV Show.  Tribune Company launched “The Bill Cunningham Show” last September on a number of its O&O TV stations.  Now, Tribune announces the show is being picked up by the CW Network and will air in the 3:00 pm ET slot beginning in September.  Tribune Broadcasting president of programming and entertainment Sean Compton – one of the few remaining former Clear Channel execs brought to Tribune by Randy Michaels – tells the Cincinnati Enquirer’s John Kiesewetter, “Since the launch of ‘The Bill Cunningham Show’ six months ago, the show has exceeded expectations and found a strong voice in the daytime talk landscape…The renewal and expansion of the show to a national platform are a testament to Bill’s staying power.”  Kiesewetter reports that Cunnigham’s TV show is more popular in New York, Chicago, Miami and Dallas than it is in his hometown of Cincinnati.  While taping the show, Cunningham does his WLW program from studios in Manhattan.

Lou Sipolt and Heather Burnside Exit WOW-FM, Des Moines After Five Weeks.  The duo moved over to the news/talk sister station from Cumulus Media Group’s classic rock KGGO-FM in January after 13 years as a duo in morning drive there.  But after just five weeks hosting the AM drive show on 98.3 WOW (KWQW-FM), Sipolt and Burnside surprised their listeners with an 8:40 am announcement on Friday, February 10 that they were leaving local radio to pursue other interests.  Sipolt does a motorsports talk show on Fox Sports Channel.  Burnside isn’t saying what she’ll do next.

Fox Business Network Drops Three Prime Time Shows; Will Replay Early Evening Programs.  The four- and a half-year-old Fox Business Network cancels the three prime time shows airing between 8:00 pm and 11:00 pm ET – “Freedom Watch,” hosted by Andrew Napolitano; “Power & Money” with host David Asman; and “Follow the Money” with Eric Bolling – and will re-air its 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm programming.  The move puts what Fox execs consider their top personalities on in prime time: “The Willis Report” with Gerri Willis; “Cavuto” with Neil Cavuto; and “Lou Dobbs Tonight” hosted by Lou Dobbs.  David Asman co-hosts the 4:00 pm “After the Bell” program and will continue in that role while Eric Bolling remains in his role on Fox News Channel co-hosting “The Five.” Fox executive vice president Kevin Magee states, “Neil Cavuto, Lou Dobbs and Gerri Willis are the most trusted names in business news, and this new lineup affords Fox Business viewers additional access to their no-nonsense take on the day’s financial events.”

Talk Show Hosts Wow 275 at American Jewish University Panel.  Approximately 275 avid talk radio fans showed up for a two-hour panel discussion held Sunday (2/12) afternoon at American Jewish University in Bel-Air, California.  Moderated by veteran Los Angeles broadcaster Bill Moran, the panel featured Bill Handel and Bill Carroll of KFI, Los Angeles; Patt Morrison of KPCC, Los Angeles and Southern California Public Broadcasting; and TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison.  The fast-paced discussion blended a spectrum of hot topics in the news – everything from health care to Israel/Iran tensions to social media to Whitney Houston – plus behind-the-scenes radio shop talk and ended with a spirited question and answer session with the audience.  This was the fifth annual installment of this panel, one of AJU’s most popular events in its outstanding speakers series.

Salem Radio Network and Radio America Reach News Service Deal.  A pact between Dallas-based Salem Radio Network and Washington-based Radio America is being struck that will make SRN News the exclusive top- and bottom-of-the-hour news service distributed by Radio America.  This move adds some 400 Radio America affiliates as potential carriers of SRN’s news product.  SRN president Greg Anderson states, “The potential of adding up to 400 Radio America affiliates to our roster of almost 1,300 current SRN News affiliates is very exciting for us.  We look forward to a great partnership with Radio America and their affiliates in the days ahead.”  Radio America COO Mike Paradiso comments, “SRN News is a great fit in our lineup of talk programs and will serve our 400-plus stations well in this election year.  We’re excited to be partnering with SRN on this venture.”

Blue Star Media Promotes Jon Patch to VP of Affiliate Sales.  Jon Patch has been with Blue Star Media Group’s Business TalkRadio Network and Lifestyle TalkRadio Network for the past 15 years serving in numerous capacities, most recently working in affiliate sales and hosting the 21 year-old talk radio show “Talkin’ Pets.”  Now, Blue Star ups Patch to vice president of affiliate sales for the organization.  Patch says, “I believe in working with our stations as partners and offering the best service possible since, by keeping them happy, it in turn keeps the hosts, listeners and all others involved satisfied and happy as well.”

Bonneville’s Arizona Sports Enters into Marketing Agreement with University of Phoenix.  Bonneville International’s Phoenix-based sports media initiative – Arizona Sports – agrees to a broadening of its relationship with University of Phoenix that includes the naming rights to the Arizona Sports studios.  Bonneville describes Arizona Sports as “a first-of-its-kind sports marketing and media super brand encompassing all of Bonneville Phoenix sports media properties including: Arizona Sports 620 KTAR-AM, Arizona Sports.com, Arizona Diamondbacks baseball, Arizona Cardinals football, Phoenix Suns basketball, Arizona State football and men’s basketball, ESPN radio, AIA and the Fiesta Bowl.”  Bonneville Phoenix VP of news and sports content Ryan Hatch says, “Bill Pepicello (University of Phoenix president) and his entire team have been a great partner of ours for many years.  We’re excited that – from “Mike and Mike in the Morning” to “Doug and Wolf on the drive home – all of our shows will now be broadcast from the University of Phoenix Studios.”

CBS Radio’s KNX, Los Angeles Continues “On Your Corner” Series in Culver City.  The CBS Radio Los Angeles all-news outlet will broadcast live from the Culver Hotel in Culver City on Friday, March 9 as part of its series that provides an “in-depth look at Southern California’s diverse communities.”  The day’s broadcasts will include civic and business leaders, along with colorful personalities connected to Culver City’s rich history and revitalization who will be featured guests as the city marks its 95th anniversary.  Additionally, a business mixer open to the public beginning at 5:00 pm will culminate the day’s events.  A special luncheon for invited business leaders will be hosted by Frank Mottek prior to his KNX Business Hour broadcast.

KMOX, St. Louis Holds Spring Training Correspondent Contest.  In conjunction with sponsor Lindenwood University, CBS Radio’s KMOX, St. Louis is conducting a contest to give one lucky winner a spring training correspondent position alongside sports director Tom Ackerman in Jupiter, Florida.  The winner gets an all-expenses-paid trip and will perform on-air and online Spring Training reports.  The station has been holding open auditions for the past month.  Nearly 200 people auditioned and 10 finalists have been announced.  Listeners to KMOX can vote on their favorite through February 21.

 

Thursday, December 22, 2011

| December 22, 2011

Dial Global Co-CEOs New Employment Contracts Revealed.  The three co-CEOs of Dial Global have signed four-year employment contracts with the now publicly traded company that pay each a base salary of $600,000 per year.  Spencer Brown, David Landau and Kenneth Williams will each get a bonus of $250,000 for this year with future discretionary bonuses based on half their annual salaries.  In addition, each is entitled to two years salary if he leaves the company.  There are other components such as $15,000 each for an annual country club allowance and a $1,250 per month parking allowance.

Dial Global’s Stephanie Miller to Publish New Book in 2013; Comedy Album Tops iTunes Download Chart.  Progressive talk host Stephanie Miller has a deal with Grand Central Publishing – a division of Hachette Book Group – to publish a book titled Sexy Liberal! to hit stores in 2013.  In a release from syndicator Dial Global, the book is described as follows: “Mixing the personal and the political, she takes on the politicians, the media, and the issues, with her own unique blend of fearless humor and optimism.”  Concurrent with the book announcement, iTunes reports Stephanie Miller’s Sexy Liberal Comedy Tour, Volume 1 is the #1-selling comedy album in the iTunes store.  The album features comedy bits from Miller’s live stage show of the same name with comedians John Fugelsang, Hal Sparks and Miller herself.  WYD Media Management president Ron Hartenbaum says, “Today’s audience response shows how powerful and impactful marketing on radio can be.  We have a vibrant medium, we have an effective medium and we all need to remind advertisers how effective radio is in moving product.”  Hartenbaum notes it was announced the album was for sale on Friday, December 16 at 10:00 am and by 10:45 it had reached the #1 spot.

Clear Channel Names Steven Cutler to VP/Corporate Strategy Post.  The newly created position is created by CC Media Holdings CEO Bob Pittman as he brings Steven Cutler into the company fold to “execute key initiatives and strategies as determined by the CEO and operating division leadership.”  Cutler worked with Pittman at the private investment firm Pilot Group.  He has worked in the investment banking industry and also has worked as a financial analyst.

Dave Ramsey Rewards Listeners in “Giving Challenge.”  Nationally syndicated financial talk host Dave Ramsey rewards three listeners with $5,000 each for charity work inspired by his Giving Challenge.  In early November, Ramsey encouraged listeners to “give like no one else” during the holidays, resulting in some 7,500 stories of how listeners had given of their time and money throughout the year and especially as the holidays approached.  Ramsey calculates more than $9 million and some 68,000 hours were donated by listeners reporting their charity work.  He then surprised three of the winners of The Giving Challenge with cash rewards of $5,000.  Those recognized were: Rayme Dorsey of Champaign, Illinois who organizes an annual golf tournament benefiting Crisis Nursery in honor of her best friend killed in a car accident two years ago at Christmas.  Crisis Nursery is dedicated to the prevention of child abuse and neglect;  JV Cotterell of Durham, North Carolina.  Cotterell founded Triangle Special Hockey to eliminate barriers that keep special needs kids from getting involved in hockey; and Alisha Ballinger of Knoxville, Tennessee.  Ballinger works for Knoxville Inner-City Kids Outreach which provides after school programs and service projects for inner city children ages K through 12.

Three New Talk Programs Debut on CRN Digital Talk Radio.  Sunland, California-based CRN Digital Talk Radio announces the debut of “The Pet Project” program hosted by well-known Los Angeles radio personality Tammy Trujillo; the current events-themed Mark Larson show and the Christian-themed Janet Mefferd show.  CRN describes Trujillo’s new weekly program stating the “award-winning newscaster and pet lover will talk with experts about the latest news on pet products, pet adoption, medical issues and much more about the amazing world of pets.”  Larson’s program will air daily from 6:00 am to 9:00 am and Mefferd’s show airs from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm daily.

Payroll Tax Cut Battle/Congress Adjourns, Iowa Caucuses and Post-Kim Jong Il North Korea Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/21).  The congressional impasse over extending the payrolls tax cut, the coming Iowa caucuses in the GOP race for president in 2012 and the implications of the death of North Korea’s Kim Jong Il were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Friday, December 9, 2011

| December 9, 2011

Seventh Annual Domestic Violence Radio Row a Big Apple Smash.  For the seventh consecutive year, TALKERS magazine presented “It’s Time to Talk Day” — a massive radio row produced in association with its sister firm, Talk Radio News Service, and the corporate sponsorship of Liz Claiborne, Inc.  Held yesterday (12/8) in the fashion showroom of the Midtown Manhattan corporate offices of Liz Claiborne, Inc., the ambitious event was one of the largest and most successful, bringing together more than 20 talk media hosts from around the country who broadcast their shows live or recorded interviews for delayed broadcast.  They spoke with a non-stop parade of more than 60 experts, victims, celebrities and public officials from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm on the insidious societal problems of domestic violence and teenage dating abuse.   This year’s participants included: Alan Colmes of Fox News Radio; Dr. Joy Browne of WOR Radio Network; Mark Riley of WWRL, New York; Roberta Facinelli of “Doug Stephan’s Good Day;” John Fugelsang of “The Stephanie Miller Show;” Kevin McCullough of “The Kevin McCullough Show” and “Baldwin/McCullough;” Maria Bailey of “Mom Talk Radio;” Gary Baumgarten of Paltalk; Lionel of WPIX-TV, New York Channel 11 and LionelMedia.com; Barry Farber of Talk Radio Network and CRN Digital Talk Radio; Lisa Wexler of WFAS, Westchester, NY; Andy Spano of WVOX, New Rochelle, NY; John Harper of  WNTK, Keene, New Hampshire; Deb Colitti of the Deb Colitti Show;  Dr. Renee Kohanski of PodJockey; and Dan Patterson of KoPoint.  Ellen Ratner and Geoff Holtzman of Talk Radio News Service broadcasted throughout the day on several hundred of the news service’s affiliates. Joining the line-up this year for the first time were representatives of college talk radio with Farhan Husain and Gary Duff of WRHU, Hempstead (Hofstra University); Nichole Murphy of WLIU, Brooklyn (Long Island University) and Alyssa DiNubila of WNEK, Springfield, MA (Western New England University).  Included among those who took live and recorded feeds from the event were Thom Hartmann of “The Thom Hartmann Show;” Dom Giordano of WPHT, Philadelphia; Ken Pittman of WBSM, New Bedford, MA/Providence, RI; and Carole Marks of “A Touch of Grey” plus many more. TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “‘It’s Time to Talk Day’ is certainly one of our most important annual events and this year’s installment topped all others.  It raises consciousness about a societal problem that impacts a frighteningly large segment of the population and it cuts across all gender, ethnic and demographic boundaries.  There isn’t a spoken-word format that doesn’t find the topic of domestic violence applicable to its audience and extremely compelling.  Most importantly, we get feedback each year that this radio row, upon reaching millions of talk radio listeners, really does make a huge difference in the lives of real people.  It doesn’t get better than that.  We are grateful to Liz Claiborne, Inc. for their public-mindedness in supporting such a valuable project.”

Joe Crummey and Patty Steele Out at WABC, New York.  There’s no official word from Cumulus but late-morning talk show host Joe Crummey and recently added co-host Patty Steele are gone from the lineup at WABC and it appears the station is filling in with various local talent for the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon program until a permanent decision is made.  Crummey was brought in from the West Coast by former program director Laurie Cantillo who left the station earlier this fall.

Terri-Rae Elmer Leaves Clear Channel’s KFI, Los Angeles – Possibly for KABC?  Hot rumors in Southern California have longtime KFI news anchor Terri-Rae Elmer being paired up with Doug McIntyre for a new morning show at Cumulus’ crosstown KABC in the New Year.  There’s nothing confirmed there but McIntyre’s scheduled departure from the company’s “Red Eye Radio” and its statement that it has plans for McIntyre are fueling the rumor.  Back to KFI, Elmer has been the news anchor and sidekick for KFI’s John and Ken for years.  Her position is being filled by Shannon Farren, according to the Orange County Register’s Gary Lycan.

Tim Conway, Jr. Signs Deal with KFI, Los Angeles.  The OC Register’s Gary Lycan reports KFI evening host Tim Conway, Jr. has signed a contract to do his 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm program on the Clear Channel station for three years.  KFI program director Robin Bertolucci is quoted saying, “Tim has created a unique space on KFI that is getting record high ratings and delighting fans all over Southern California.  Not only is he number one in ratings, he’s number one at covering local news – whether it’s power outages, the eviction of the Occupy L.A. campers or the implosion of Kim Kardashian‘s marriage.  Listening to Tim’s show is like getting a free sample of what tomorrow will bring.  He is always way out front of the big stories and it’s always uniquely entertaining and done in classic Tim Conway Jr. style!”

Dennis Winslow Leaves Traverse City Stations to Focus on Consultancy.  Winslow has served as program and operations manager at Northern Radio’s WSRJ-FM/WSRT-FM, Traverse City, Michigan and its sister music FMs classic hits WFCX/WFDX for the past five years.  Now, assistant program director and host Rich Nadeau takes over his duties as Winslow concentrates on his Winslow Programming Strategies business.  Cluster general manager Charlie Ferguson says, “Dennis has done an excellent job of guiding both The Fox FM and You – FM for the past five years.  The stations have improved every aspect of our operations on his watch and we’re truly grateful for his help.”

Former Los Angeles-Area Financial Talk Host Indicted on Fraud Charges.  This is pretty much the same story you’ve heard a dozen times before – only the names, and the language are different.  John Farahi hosted “Economy Today” on Persian-language KIRN, Simi Valley, California from 2005 to 2010.  The Los Angeles Times reports Farahi – through his New Point Financial Services – promised clients their money would be invested in corporate bonds insured through the Troubled Assets Relief Program.  But prosecutors allege Farahi spent the money on personal expenses and some highly speculative investments in which he lost millions.  The scheme is reported to have lost some $20 million of investors’ money.

TALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  Compass Media NetworksNorman Goldman show becomes the PM drive show at Clear Channel’s KKZN, Denver…..The independently syndicated Kevin McCullough show is picked up by KBDE-FM, Waco, Texas; and WCSO-FM, Columbus, Mississippi…..Premiere Networks’ “America Now with Andy Dean” adds KNST, Tucson…..The independently syndicated Burnie Thompson show is added to WBOB, Jacksonville.

2012 Presidential Race Lands Atop Talkers TenTM Chart of Week’s Top News/Talk Stories.  The 2012 race for president was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week of December 5-9 according to TALKERS magazine research.  Following at #2 was President Obama’s Kansas speech.  At #3 was the payroll tax cut issue and the U.S. deficit and at #4 was the Euro Zone debt crisis.  The Talkers TenTM is published every Friday at Talkers.com and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  To see the entire chart, click on the banner below.