Tag: "Josh Leng"

Monday, March 30, 2020

| March 30, 2020

Monday Memo: Smart Advertisers Relate. While many radio sales reps are in pandemic panic mode, smart sellers are helping nimble advertisers do what radio does best: tell a lot of people something useful quickly.  In this week’s column, consultant Holland Cooke lists commercial copy points he’s hearing.  See them here.

Growing Coronavirus U.S. Death Toll, Trump Extends Social Distancing Through April, Criticism of Trump Administration, Financial Markets Activity, Celebs with COVID-19, Lawmakers’ Stock Trades Controversy, and Presidential Race Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The rising U.S. death toll from COVID-19; President Trump extends the nation’s social distancing policy through April 30; criticism of the Trump administration’s handling of the coronavirus epidemic; the pandemic’s effect on the world’s financial markets; celebrities who’ve tested positive for COVID-19; the investigation into U.S. lawmakers who sold stocks ahead of the global sell-off; and the November presidential election were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Pending Business: The Vice President’s Lead List. Sales and marketing consultant Steve Lapa, president of Lapcom Communications, writes in today’s Pending Business column that smart salespeople should take a cue from Vice President Mike Pence’s Presidential Task Force press conference last week in which he named the three biggest companies hiring – today.  Read Lapa’s tips for smart marketing in a new normal environment here.

Forever Media Cuts Staff at News/Talk WDEL, Wilmington and Elsewhere. The Wilmington News Journal reports that Forever Media has taken the drastic step of laying off “more than 10 people” from its radio properties as the result of a revenue hit from the coronavirus pandemic.  Included in the layoffs are WDEL talk personalities Allan Loudell and Robin Bryson.  Forever Media closed on its $18.5 million purchase of Delmarva Broadcasting’s 10-station radio portfolio last May.  Bryson is quoted telling the News Journal that the mandated closure of non-essential businesses hit business hard.  “That’s a good portion of who our advertisers are.  So, you know they’re not open, they can’t afford to advertise so they cancel their contracts and then we don’t have any commercials to run and we’re not getting any revenue.”

WGAN-AM, Portland Drops Morning Drive Co-Host Ken Altshuler. In Portland, Maine, Saga Communications drops morning drive co-host Ken Altshuler – the left-leaning half of the show – as part of a restructuring move.  Altshuler has been co-host of the morning show since 2002.  The change leaves conservative Matthew Gagnon hosting solo.  Altshuler tells the Portland Press Herald that over the past few months, the station has been moving to a single-host format in other dayparts.  Altshuler says he plans to continue in the media, either with another radio station or with a blog and podcast.  Sixty-seven-year-old Altshuler is a family law attorney who practices in Portland.

Ramsey’s ‘Message of Hope’ Becomes Regular Podcast. The Ramsey Solutions organization announces that a new podcast from the Ramsey Network called, “A Message of Hope” is launching.  The Ramsey Network says, “There’s a lot of fear and uncertainty in our country right now.  Let’s change that. Ramsey Network hosts Dave Ramsey, Ken Coleman, and Rachel Cruze share practical money and career advice through the ‘Message of Hope’ series.  This brand-new podcast also features episodes from Chris Hogan, Christy Wright, Anthony O’Neal, and Dr. John Deloney to encourage you in every area of life.”

‘Ark Midnight with John B. Wells’ Partners with Talk Media Network. The weekly, three-hour radio show “Ark Midnight with John B. Wells” is partnering with Talk Media Network for marketing and affiliate relations.  Talk Media Network CEO Josh Leng says, “John B. Wells is an expert in weaving stories, news, and interviews together with an artful thread and his instantly recognizable voice.  ‘Ark Midnight’ is a destination nighttime show.”  Wells comments, “It’s great to be working with Talk Media Network.  They understand the program and have added new affiliate stations before we could even make this announcement.”  The show recently was added to the program schedule at WNTW-AM Richmond and KLKS-FM in Brainerd, Minnesota and soon joins KYAH-AM in Delta, Utah and WIOS-AM, Tawas City, Michigan.

Tony Bruno to Reunite with Harry Mayes on SiriusXM. Sports talk pro Tony Bruno – via SiriusXM and JAKIB Media Partners – is returning to a daily sports talk radio show after five years away from the format.  He’s being joined on the new “Tony Bruno Show” by former WPEN-FM, Philadelphia “The Fanatic” partner Harry Mayes.  The show launches on SiriusXM’s Dan Patrick Radio channel on April 6.  Bruno says, “I want to thank all of my fans who have followed and supported me through the years.  I am grateful to everyone who has encouraged me to return and who still wants to hear my daily fun approach to sports and current affairs, which has been my forte’ for over four decades in broadcasting.  I can’t think of a better platform than SiriusXM and reuniting with my former ESPN colleague on the Dan Patrick Radio channel, and I am thrilled to be able to return to the airwaves with my good friend and co-host Harry Mayes.  There is no doubt that we will provide an exciting, fun, sports talk radio program that joins a sea of great content on SiriusXM.”

PPM Analysis: News/Talk. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s February 2020 PPM survey, today focusing on news/talk-formatted stations. Fifty-three percent of the news/talk stations on our panel were up (weekly, 6+ AQH share) over the January 2020 survey with just 27% seeing a ratings decline. Leaders in the improved column include Cox Media Group’s WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta (+1.4) and iHeartMedia’s WISN, Milwaukee (+1.0). Comparing February 2019 to February 2020, WSB-AM/WSBB-FM is again the leader, posting an increase of 4.4 shares. iHeartMedia’s WTVN, Columbus adds 2.7 shares year-over-year, and Entercom’s KFTK-FM St. Louis is up 2.1 shares. Just two news/talk stations ranked #1 in their markets in February – CMG’s WSB, Atlanta (11.4 share) and iHeartMedia’s KFBK, Sacramento (8.4 share). However, five news/talk outlets ranked #2 in their respective markets.  Find out which ones, here.

TALKERS News Notes. The KSTE, Sacramento-based “Armstrong & Getty Show” starring Jack Armstrong and Joe Getty adds new affiliate WGOW-FM, Chattanooga, starting today (3/30).  Earlier this year, the program was added to other Cumulus Media talk stations including KABC-AM, Los Angeles and KSFO, San Francisco…..The nationally syndicated “Free Talk Live” program – led by show founders Ian Freeman and Mark Edge – adds new affiliate stations: KGGF-AM, Coffeyville, Kansas; WTSN-AM/FM, Dover, New Hampshire; WNTW-AM/FM, Richmond; WAIM-AM, Anderson, South Carolina; and WCSI-AM/FM, Columbus, Indiana to put its total affiliate roster at 209 stations…..ESPN’s “Paul Finebaum Show” makes its return to the cable TV SEC Network with an audio-only format at 3:00 pm ET.  Although Finebaum has been doing the show for ESPN Radio for the past two weeks, it has not aired on the SEC Network.  Finebaum comments, “Despite all of us adjusting to this new normal and distancing ourselves from each other, we’re probably more connected right now than we’ve been in a long time.  I’m really proud of the conversations and discussions we’ve had on the show, especially over these past few weeks, and look forward to returning to television and continuing to support and uplift one another during such an uncertain time.”

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Last night’s “FOX Presents the iHeart Living Room Concert for America” event aired on FOX Television as artists including host Elton John and guests Alicia Keys, Backstreet Boys, Billie Eilish, Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day, Camila Cabello and Shawn Mendes, Dave Grohl, H.E.R., Mariah Carey, Sam Smith,Tim McGraw and more performed from their own homes.  The program was also aired live on iHeartMedia radio stations and the iHeartRadio app.  Pictured below is Tim McGraw (upper left) singing “Something Like That” while three of his band members accompany him from their homes.  The event encouraged viewers and listeners to support charities Feeding America and First Responders Children’s Foundation.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

| March 26, 2020

Ramsey Network to Host ‘Message of Hope’ Live Stream. Tonight’s free, live stream is being produced by Ramsey Solutions and is being call “A Message of Hope.”  Ramsey Solutions says, “There’s a lot of fear in our country right now.  Ramsey Network hosts Dave Ramsey, Ken Coleman, and Rachel Cruze will share practical money and career advice to spread hope in the middle of national uncertainty through the Message of Hope livestream at 8:00 pm EST.  No matter what’s happening on Wall Street or in the White House, you need to focus on what’s happening in YOUR house.  In a time of great unknowns, we are here to help.”  The program is being made available for free on Daveramsey.com, on The Dave Ramsey Show YouTube page, or Dave’s Facebook page.  It will also be broadcast live on SiriusXM ch. 111 and ch. 132 and AM/FM radio stations across the country.  It will also be made available as a podcast.

Noory and Listeners to Engage the Power of Prayer on ‘Coast to Coast AM.’ Overnight talk radio star George Noory will focus his show’s regular Friday Night Prayer this week on the COVID-19 pandemic.  For more than a decade on Premiere Networks’ “Coast to Coast AM,” the show has featured the special segment where listeners submit their names or those of their loved ones to the show and the audience collectively prays for them.  During the first segment of Friday’s show (1:00 am EST), Noory is inviting people worldwide to join in prayer to help end the spread of COVID-19.  Participants will also be encouraged to dedicate their prayers to healing those who have been affected, easing the pain and sorrow of those who have lost loved ones, and supporting the medical care professionals on the front lines.  Noory says, “I have always believed in the power of prayer and the existence of a higher power.  For years now, I have witnessed the positive effect of our Friday Night Prayer on ‘Coast to Coast AM’ and I’m therefore asking that on March 27, people across the globe take a few moments to pray for the eradication of this deadly coronavirus.”

Bonneville and Hubbard Enter Unusual News Partnership in Seattle. In a rare move brought about by the coronavirus pandemic, Bonneville Seattle’s news/talk KIRO-FM and Hubbard Radio Seattle’s CHR KQMV 92.5 FM “Movin’,” adult contemporary KRWM “Warm,” and country KNUC “The Bull” are announcing a partnership in which the three music stations will broadcast hourly local news updates from the KIRO Radio newsroom in order to give their listeners the latest information on COVID-19.  In return, KIRO Radio will encourage listeners to pause from the news and listen to the music stations as a source of encouragement and relaxation in this extraordinary time.  The collaboration begins tomorrow (3/27).  Bonneville Seattle director of programming Mike Salk says, “We are thrilled to partner with the Hubbard stations.  To have KIRO Radio news played on three excellent music stations is an opportunity for us to help our community stay informed in this unique time.  And we can understand the need to take a break and listen to music to avoid feeling overwhelmed.”  Hubbard Radio Seattle market manager Scott Mahalick adds, “Music is a mood elevator and a source of inspiration for people when times are tough.  We’re proud to partner with Bonneville’s news, talk, and sports radio stations in Seattle.  Combined, we are able to offer the perfect balance of information and entertainment.”

PPM Analysis: Public Radio News/Talk. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s February 2020 PPM survey, today focusing on public radio news/talk.  KNOW, Minneapolis; KUT, Austin; and WAMU, Washington led the 39% of stations that gained weekly, 6+ AQH share from the January to February surveys.  KNOW also was the leader comparing year-over-year data, adding 2.7 shares and jumping from #10 to #3 in the market rank.  Close behind is WHYY, Philadelphia, which posted a 1.9 share gain good for a climb from #13 to #7.  WAMU, Washington and KUT, Austin were the only public radio news/talk stations to rank #1 in their respective markets in February.  See Mike Kinosian’s entire report here.

The Status of COVID-19 in the U.S., Death Tolls Across the Globe, Senate Approves Relief Package, Financial Markets Activity, Presidential Race/‘Draft Cuomo’ Movement, and Prince Charles Tests Positive for Coronavirus Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/25). The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 and the death toll across the U.S.; authorities in Spain and Italy report overwhelming conditions at hospitals there; the U.S. Senate passes the $2 trillion relief package and sends it to the House; the world’s financial markets react to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic; the presidential race and the cries for “drafting” New York Governor Andrew Cuomo for the Democratic nomination; and Britain’s Prince Charles tests positive for the coronavirus were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Ron Ananian ‘The Car Doctor’ to Celebrate 1,500th Episode. This Saturday (3/28), Ron Ananian will host the 1,500thedition of “The Car Doctor Radio Show.”  The program began in January of 1991 on WFAS, White Plains, New York and aired there through 1997.  It moved to WOR, New York in 1998 and went into syndication via the WOR Radio Network in September of 1999.  The program is currently syndicated by Talk Media Network.  Ananian draws upon his 45 years of repair experience to help listeners with their car issues.  Talk Media Network CEO Josh Leng says, “If you’ve ever met him… you know that God broke the mold when he made Ron Ananian.  No, it’s not just the Jersey in him, it’s his witty personality combined with his unending commitment to doing the right things right, every time… whether he’s in his shop, working with advertisers, or assisting his listeners and fans with their car care questions, radio is a profoundly better place with Ron Ananian The Car Doctor behind the microphone.  Ron’s dedication to his craft and his show is one that is nearly three decades in the making.  Take a victory lap Ron Ananian, you most certainly deserve it.”  The program is heard on almost 100 affiliate stations across the country and airs live from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm ET on Saturdays.

TALKERS News Notes. There are two programs being offered to stations from CBS News Radio this weekend focused on the COVID-19 pandemic: “Coronavirus: Changed Forever,” features interviews with experts from various fields hosted by Gil Gross; and “CBS Weekend Roundup Special Report on the Coronavirus” is hosted by correspondent Allison Keyes with reports and discussions from CBS reporters, correspondents, and newsmakers across the country and around the globe…..The Hill reports that Seattle public radio station KUOW is not going to air President Trump’s coronavirus press conferences live because of what it calls “a pattern of false or misleading information provided that cannot be fact checked in real time.”  The station made the announcement via Twitter and added, “KUOW is monitoring White House briefings for the latest news on the coronavirus – and we will continue to share all news relevant to Washington State with our listeners.”.….MyPillow founder and CEO Mike Lindell revealed that his company – whose ads are practically ubiquitous on talk media – is going to be helping in the effort to supply America’s health professionals with surgical masks by manufacturing them.  Lindell made the announcement on Salem Radio Network’s Mike Gallagher program.  The N95 respirator mask is the most sought-after though it’s unclear which type of mask MyPillow will be making…..NRG Media’s news/talk KXEL, Cedar Rapids, Iowa is ending the “On Press Row” sports show hosted by Gary Rima for the past 14 years as of tomorrow (3/28).  The Courier reports that Rima was told in late February of management’s decision and, although he’s upset the show is ending, he holds no grudge against the station or the company…..TransMedia Group is collaborating with Anita Finley, president and publisher of Boomer Times & Senior Life, to produce “Boomer Times Radio” with Finley as host.  The program is now airing Sundays from 6:00 am to 9:00 am on Beasley Media Group’s financial talk WWNN, Pompano Beach, Florida “South Florida’s Money Talk Network.”…..Condolences to the family and friends of Michigan broadcasting legend Bob Allison, who passed away at age 87.   “Radio’s Best Friend” Art Vuolo tips TALKERS to Allison’s passing and writes: “Bob lasted nearly 60 years on radio and TV in Detroit.  A lot of people don’t last 60 days, and a few have flamed out in less than 60 minutes!  Many radio fans surely know who he was and have loved his caring disposition on the ‘Ask Your Neighbor’ program.  Even those who hadn’t heard him lately on WNZK, Detroit, ALL remember him for those legendary ‘Bowling for Dollars’ shows on Channel 4.  He was an iconic member of the broadcasting fraternity and in August of 2018 was inducted into the Michigan Broadcasting Hall of Fame.  He was still on the air regularly on WNZK until about three weeks ago.  He began on WWJ, Detroit back in 1962 with ‘Ask Your Neighbor.’  He worked at a number of Detroit area stations including: WIID, WEXL, WLQV and even WJR.”

Australian Radio Legend Trevor Smith Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  One of the leading content providers in Australian radio and the legendary former PD of such stations as Triple-M in Sydney, Trevor Smith, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  Harrison caught up with Smith via Skype at his home/studio in the beautiful coastal town of Byron Bay, located north of Sydney where, like so many Americans, he is practicing social distancing.  Smith discusses how the epidemic is being handled in the “land down under,” including the health, politics, economics, and social aspects of the crisis.  It’s a fascinating look at just how truly small the world is revealed to be as it battles a common enemy that respects no borders, barriers, or distance.  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, iHeartMedia’s CHR KIIS-FM, Los Angeles is cancelling the June 6, 2020 edition of the Wango Tango concert.  The station issued the following statement: “Due to the uncertainty regarding COVID-19 and for the health and safety of our guests, employees, artists and partners, we have decided to cancel this year’s iHeartRadio Wango Tango. Refunds are being issued to ticketed guests.  If you purchased your tickets via AXS online, a refund will automatically be issued to the credit card you used to purchase within 30 business days.”

Thursday, February 27, 2020

| February 27, 2020

Jack Sunday Retires from Full-Time KFGO, Fargo Role. Longtime Fargo talk radio personality Jack Sunday has retired from his full-time role as an on-air talk host on Midwest Communications’ news/talk KFGO-AM.  Sunday had been co-hosting the late morning show with Amy Iler, who wrote a nice piece about Sunday that you can see here.  Iler is now partnered with JJ Gordon on the “It Takes Two” program.  Sunday acknowledged his decision to leave the position was difficult and noted that he is caring for his wife who suffers from a rare neurological condition.  Sunday first joined KFGO in 1989 and over the course of 30 years served as program director, afternoon host, and midday personality.  He tells KFGO’s Joel Heitcamp, “I am convinced that there is probably no other radio station in the country like KFGO… we have 17 or 20 people who are on the air live as personalities for extended periods of time… a four-person news team, a meteorologist and sports.  We have two great sportscasters here, plus on-air personalities with producers that become personalities themselves.”  Sunday will develop a podcast to be part of the station’s podcast offerings.

Appeals Court Tosses Prager’s YouTube Lawsuit. The suit by Salem Radio Network talk host Dennis Prager’s non-profit educational organization, Prager University, against Google’s YouTube platform was shot down by the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals yesterday (2/26).  Prager University had sued YouTube claiming it had violated its First Amendment rights and the Lanham Act (false advertising), but the District Court dismissed the suit.  PragerU appealed and the Appeals Court agreed with the lower court.  At issue here was PragerU’s claim that YouTube’s Restricted Mode violated the conservative educational organization’s First Amendment rights by making certain of its video unviewable for those under a certain age due to its Restricted Mode guidelines.  It also claimed that YouTube’s promotional language touting the importance of people being able to “speak freely” while putting certain videos in Restricted Mode violated the Lanham Act.  Judge M. Margaret McKeown writes in the decision, “The panel held that despite YouTube’s ubiquity and its role as a public-facing platform, it remains a private forum, not a public forum subject to judicial scrutiny under the First Amendment.  The panel noted that just last year, the Supreme Court held that ‘merely hosting speech by others is not a traditional, exclusive public function and does not alone transform private entities into state actors subject to First Amendment constraints.’  The panel held that the Internet does not alter this state action requirement of the First Amendment.  The panel therefore rejected plaintiff’s assertion that YouTube is a state actor because it performs a public function.  Addressing the false advertising claim under the Lanham Act, the panel held that YouTube’s statements concerning its content moderation policies do not constitute ‘commercial advertising or promotion’ as the Lanham Act requires.  Nor was YouTube’s designation of certain of plaintiff’s videos for Restricted Mode part of an advertising or promotion or a misrepresentation as to the videos.  Finally, the panel held that YouTube’s braggadocio about its commitment to free speech constituted opinions that are not subject to the Lanham Act.”

Former News Staffer Sues Entercom’s KCBS-AM, San Francisco.  A lawsuit filed in California Superior Court by former KCBS-AM, San Francisco news staffer Sheryl Raines accuses the station of retaliation, failure to prevent harassment, unlawful termination and more.  The complaint centers around allegations of inappropriate behavior and sexual harassment on the part of engineer Dan Denton.  Raines says she reported Denton’s alleged behavior to superiors, but it continued.  She was terminated in May of 2019 and was told that the station wanted “a different sound.”  In her complaint, she states her replacement was a woman of similar demographic makeup with a “startlingly similar” on-air voice to her own.  She is seeking unspecified damages.

ABC Audio Appoints Lakeia Brown to Senior Producer, Race & Culture Audio Insights Post. The senior producer, race & culture audio insights position is a newly created one at ABC Audio and Lakeia Brown will assume that post on March 9.  She has been serving in the ABC News research department.  She has more than 15 years of experience in consumer insights and analytics for television networks including: ABC, Disney, Comedy Central, Nick @ Nite, TV Land and BET.  She starts with ABC Audio on March 9.  ABC Audio vice president and general manager Stacia Philips Deshishku says that in this position Brown will “act as a storyteller, researcher, and social connector all rolled into one.  She’ll work closely with our amazing team to create and deliver new radio news products and podcasts, maximize sponsorship opportunities and participate in editorial story development, all while focusing on expanding Audio’s reach with multicultural audiences. Lakeia will also serve as ABC Audio’s in-house expert on all things research, connecting insights to actionable strategies that help drive reach and revenue for ABC Audio.”

TALKERS News Notes. Nationally syndicated home improvement radio show, “Today’s Homeowner with Danny Lipford,” hits the 300-affiliate station mark as it celebrates its 10th year under the direction of Lipford.  Along with Lipford’s Emmy-nominated TV show, “Today’s Homeowner with Danny Lipford,” airing in 91% of the U.S., Lipford is a familiar figure in the home improvement industry.  “Today’s Homeowner” radio dates back to 2009 when Lipford took over a small radio show called “Homefront.”  He re-branded the program, officially launching “Today’s Homeowner” radio which began airing on 60 stations.  Over the past decade, Lipford and his team have strategically grown the show’s footprint by 200%.…..In Virginia Beach, Max Media names Tim Donnelly executive producer of the Nick Cattles show on sports talk WVSP “ESPN Radio 94.1.”  Donnelly was most recently with Monticello Media’s WRAD-AM, Blacksburg, Virginia where he hosted his own sports talk show.  Max Media VP of operations and programming Rusty James says, “Tim lives and breathes sports and we are so excited to have his passion on ‘ESPN Radio 94.1.’”…..Townsquare Media’s sports talk WTMM, Albany adds another hour to the “Big Board Sports” show.   The program, hosted by Rodger Wyland and Chris Onorato, now airs from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm…..Salem Radio Network assures us that nationally syndicated late morning talk host Mike Gallagher does not have the coronavirus, but he did test positive for influenza and has to miss the opening day of CPAC 2020 in Washington.  So, filling in for him is Kurt Schlichter (right) who is pictured below interviewing American Conservative Union president Matt Schlapp (left).

Lee Abrams Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. One of the most influential music radio programmers of the past 50 years, Lee Abrams, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Abrams was the chief architect of an approach to FM album rock radio known back in the seventies as the “Superstars” format and, as a consultant, guided hundreds of stations across the country to commercial success utilizing its systems and techniques. He went on to be one of the original programming forces behind today’s satellite radio during the first decade of its development and then served a couple of years with the Tribune Company helping that organization revamp its newspapers and television stations for the 21st century. Today, Abrams is the head of a newly launched, Chicago-based consultancy, MediaVision, which is focused on radio (terrestrial and beyond) and music for 40-plus consumers as well as revolutionary approaches to video news and television. Harrison and Abrams take a deep dive into the past, present, and future of pop culture including a retrospective on the days they spent as two of the top thought-leaders in AOR (album oriented rock) radio. This program is a must-listen for anyone in the radio business. To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Talk Radio at CPAC. Numerous radio talk show hosts from around the nation are attending this year’s CPAC gathering in National Harbor, MD with many broadcasting from the conservative event’s radio row.  Pictured covering CPAC for her national commentary is Victoria Jones (l) executive director of DC Radio Company visiting the broadcast setup of John Fredericks (r) of the John Fredericks Radio Network.

Broadcasters Foundation of America Names FCC Chairman Ajit Pai Recipient of Lowry Mays Excellence in Broadcasting Award. The recipient of this year’s Lowry Mays Excellence in Broadcasting Award from the Broadcasters Foundation of America is Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai.  The honor will be presented at the Broadcasters Foundation Annual Breakfast on Wednesday, April 22 at the 2020 NAB Show in Las Vegas.  The Award is bestowed annually on an individual in broadcasting whose work exemplifies innovation, community service, advocacy, and entrepreneurship.  The Lowry Mays Excellence in Broadcasting Award salutes its namesake and is underwritten by The Mays Family Foundation.  Past recipients include Bill Clark, Eddie Fritts, Cathy Hughes, Mel Karmazin, Jeff Smulyan, Dick Wiley, and others.

Coronavirus Pandemic Fears, Presidential Race, Financial Markets Activity/China Productivity, Deadly Milwaukee Brewery Shooting, and India Violence Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/26). Concerns about Covid-19 developing into a global pandemic; the Democrats battling to face President Trump in the November election; the reaction of the world’s financial markets to the coronavirus and the virus’ effect on China’s productivity; a fired brewery worker returns to the plant in Milwaukee and kills five co-workers before killing himself; and the deadly sectarian violence in India were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Air personality Scotty Kay is adding midday hosting duties at Entercom’s St. Louis CHR KNOU “NOW 96.3” to his responsibilities.  Kay also serves as co-host of the morning show at country WUSN-FM, Chicago “US99.”  Entercom St. Louis SVP and market manager Becky Domyan says, “I’ve been a fan of Scotty and his unique ability to become one with his audience and we’re delighted to add him to our team.  Scotty will be a vital part of the puzzle as we continue to grow ‘NOW 96.3’ into the dominant contemporary hit radio brand in St. Louis.”…..iHeartMedia appoints Rex Long program director for Austin CHR KHFI “96.7 KISS FM.”  He was most recently with the company’s Salt Lake City cluster.  iHeartMedia Austin/San Antonio region president Matt Martin says, “Rex’s abundance of energy, his creative ideas to connect with listeners, combined with his strategic vison to be a fabric of Austin’s culture make Rex a perfect fit to continue building the ‘KISS’ brand.”…..Cumulus Media names Bev Rainey program director of country KRST, Albuquerque.  She’ll also host the late morning show.  Rainey served for the past 20 years with iHeartMedia’s crosstown country KBQI, the last seven as program director.  Cumulus Albuquerque VP and market manager Jeff Berry says, “KRST provides the very best in country music and entertainment for our listeners and unmatched results for our promotional partners.  I could not be happier to have Bev join this fantastic team.  She is known and loved by the audience and respected by the industry.  This is a great day for one of America’s great country brands.”…..Berkshire Broadcasting flips WAXB-AM/W233CF, Danbury, Connecticut “B945” from classic hits to classic rock as “945 The Hawk.”  Berkshire CEO Irv Goldstein says, “‘B945’ has been continuously evolving over the years.  Morphing from a traditional oldies station to an 80s based classic hits/classic rock mix.  We just felt that now was the right time to get off the fence and go all in.  ‘945 The Hawk’ is classic rock that really rocks.”

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

| December 19, 2018

FOX News Radio’s Brian Kilmeade Show to Air Live on WABC, New York.  Beginning January 2, the FOX News Radio-syndicated Brian Kilmeade show will air live in the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon slot on Cumulus Media‘s 77 WABC, replacing the Chris Plante program.  Kilmeade, co-host of FOX News Channel’s “FOX & Friends” morning show, is also a New York Times bestselling author.  Kilmeade says, “As a Long Island native, I grew up listening to WABC and having been doing so my whole life.  Being a guest on the station has always been an honor, but to now have my nationally syndicated radio show carried by WABC, is a career goal that I am humbled to achieve.  This is a real reflection of not only just me, but of my incredible team, including Alyson Mansfield, Eric Albeen, and Pete Caterina.”  Kilmeade’s radio program has been experiencing steady growth in affiliate adds and close to 30 new stations will pick up the program on December 31, including: KSEV, Houston; KOIL, Omaha; KIVA, Albuquerque; KLIN, Lincoln; and WVFT-FM, Tallahassee.  FOX News Radio VP/GM Doug Murphy states, “‘The Brian Kilmeade Show’ is a staple to the FOX News Radio brand and has proven to be an enormous success.  We are delighted to expand the program to broadcast live on WABC.”

Tom Sullivan Show Growing into 2019. The nationally syndicated Tom Sullivan show is experiencing a “renaissance,” according to syndicator Talk Media Network, “thanks to a fully staffed affiliate relations team.” Talk Media Network’s Josh Leng says the KFBK, Sacramento-based program has added 12 new stations to its roster recently (including KSRO, Santa Rosa; WGOW-FM, Chattanooga; and WLFJ-AM/W225AZ, Greenville-Spartanburg) and has another 10 stations inked to add the program in the New Year.  Tom Sullivan says, “I’m thrilled to be adding so many new stations to my show, expanding our audience even further – the smartest audience, the smartest callers in talk radio, who add to the program and make it even more entertaining.”  Leng adds, “Talk Media Network is affiliate friendly in all we do.  Stations that have worked with us for years, airing our weekly programs, are now adding our weekday shows as well.  The New Year will only get bigger and better as TMN continues adding more quality programming.”

Eric Hadley Appointed SVP of Marketing for iHeartMedia. Advertising pro Eric Hadley is named senior vice president of marketing for iHeartMedia, serving under EVP and chief marketing officer Gayle Troberman.  In this role, Hadley is charged with reimagining “marketing for advertising partners.  He will work closely with advertising partners advising them on their audio strategy, to ensure that clients understand how to best plan, buy, measure and optimize the audio experience.”  Troberman adds, “As the leader in audio, we understand more than anyone that we’re at a key moment when all things audio are growing.  It’s important that we have someone who understands data, content, planning, and creative.  Eric’s experience on the client, agency and media sides of the table will help us continue to lead the way with audio.”  He most recently served as chief marketing officer for GroundTruth.  He’s also served with Microsoft, The Weather Channel, and Outbrain.

Paul A. Rothfuss Named Roanoke-Lynchburg Market Manager for iHeartMedia. General sales manager Paul A. Rothfuss is elevated to market president for iHeartMedia’s Roanoke-Lynchburg market.  He takes over for Chuck Peterson, who was recently promoted to area president for the Roanoke-Lynchburg, Harrisonburg and Winchester markets.  iHeartMedia Virginia/Carolina president Dave Carwile says, “We are thrilled to have Paul lead the Roanoke-Lynchburg market.  Paul was the first to raise his hand when the market president position posted.  He’s a proven leader who consistently displays big thinking and has a solid track record of sales leadership.  We’re excited about the future of our sales and programming teams under Paul’s leadership and direction.”

TALKERS News Notes. The “Armstrong & Getty” show – based at KSTE, Sacramento and hosted by Jack Armstrong and Joe Getty – raised more than $1 million to benefit The Warrior Foundation/Freedom Station from its recent five-day radiothon.  The charity purchases plane tickets for injured warriors so that they can spend the holidays at home and with their families. The organization also supports the military by providing transitional housing used during both recovery and transition processes.  Joe Getty says, “Many of our brave men and women come back from military service with overwhelming burdens to bear.  It’s then that we as Americans have to be there for them.  I believe that as their service ends, ours begins.” Jack Armstrong adds, “Supporting Warrior Foundation/Freedom Station is one simple way for our community to acknowledge that our freedoms only exist due to their sacrifice.  We’re proud to be a part of this effort to support our troops.”…..Comrex announces a new partnership with Maple Audio Technology, a firm that supplies the latest in technology for digital broadcast for both television and radio in Japan…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that Windy City sports talk personality Terry Boers will do some vacation fill-in work on Entercom’s WSCR “The Score” during the holidays.  Boers retired from the station in January of 2017.  He plans to sit in with Matt Spiegel on December 24 and 28 and with Steve Rosenbloom on December 27…..CBS Audio Network is offering a three-hour special called the “CBS Audio Holiday Special,” hosted by Gil Gross that covers such stories as ‘How Poinsettias Became the Holiday Flower’, ‘How Dickens’ A Christmas Carol Became Essential to the Holidays,’ ‘The history and fun stories about Menorahs and the origin and traditions of Kwanzaa.  Along with how ‘Auld Lang Syne’ became a New Year’s staple thanks to this radio network, the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) and its founder William Paley.”…..And speaking of the holidays, pictured below is Westwood One syndicated personality Jim Bohannon dressed as Santa Claus posing with his elves at the Chickasaw Point Women’s Club benefit for the Collins Children Home of Seneca, South Carolina on December 13.

iHeartMedia Confirmation Hearing Set for January 10.  After settling two lawsuits earlier this week, iHeartMedia learns that its Confirmation Hearing for exit from Chapter 11 reorganization will continue on January 10.  Judge Marvin Isgur has also set January 17 as a date for concerns regarding the Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings Separation Settlement and January 22 for addition CCOH separation settlement concerns and the GAMCO motion.  Finally, January 23 is the date to consider any remaining confirmation issues.  An important date is January 9.  That’s the deadline for filing objections to the CCOH Separation Settlement agreed to on December 16 that raises the revolving line of credit from iHeartMedia to CCOH to $200 million with iHeart is also indemnifying CCOH for up to 50% of certain tax liabilities.

Trump-Russia Investigation/Flynn Sentencing, Trump Foundation Case, Border Wall-Government Shutdown Threat, Xi Jinping Speech, Dow Activity-Recession Fears, Woody Allen Teen Lover Story, Penny Marshall Dies, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/18). The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents and Tuesday’s related sentencing hearing for former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn; the Trump Foundation agrees to shut down after allegations of self-dealing; the battle over funding the U.S.-Mexico border wall and the threat of a government shut down; Chinese President Xi Jinping’s speech in which he defends China’s economic policies; the Dow’s December slough and worries about an impending recession; a former teenage lover of Woody Allen reveals her story; actress/director Penny Marshall dies at 75; and the weekend’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Nationally syndicated adult contemporary evening personality Delilah joins the program schedule at Max Media’s WVBW, Norfolk “92.9 The Wave.”  The Premiere Networks host is airing in the 7:00 pm to 12:00 midnight daypart…..Via an affiliation relationship with Envision Networks, Lazer Broadcasting Corporation is offering the “Radio Lazer” Spanish-language music format.  Lazer calls the format “a modern regional Mexican” one that plays today’s most popular songs in a top-40 environment…..Entravision Communications Corporation extends its agreements with Al & CM Broadcasting LLC to represent on a network basis and air Alex “El Genio” Lucas through 2020.  Alex “El Genio” Lucas’ syndicated morning radio show airs on Entravision’s “La Suavecita” radio network in 13 markets across the country.

Friday, January 29, 2016

| January 29, 2016

talkersten logoThe Presidential Race Tops Talkers TenTM for Week of January 25-29.  The activities of the candidates for president – highlighted by Thursday’s GOP debate and candidate Donald Trump’s choice not to participate – were the most-talked-about story during the week.  At #2 was the low price of oil and its effects on the world’s financial markets.  Coming in at #3 was the boycott by some black entertainment industry figures of this year’s Academy Awards show, followed by U.S. immigration and refugee policy 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.  View this week’s entire chart here.

gillemdennyFrontlines of Freedom Adds New Affiliates; Hosts Honored Veteran Guest.  The Talk Media Network-syndicated “Frontlines of Freedom” program announces the addition of 10 new affiliate stations, pushing its station roster to 105.  The weekly military and veterans talk show is hosted by Denny Gillem, LTC, U.S. Army (Retired).  Gillem states, “Our goal is the same today as when we came up with the idea for Frontlines of Freedom: To assist our listeners in better understanding the role of our military, and the challenges our nation faces.”  New affiliate stations include: WWRC, Washington; KBNP, Portland; and WGMD-FM, Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.  Talk Media Network CEO Josh Leng reports that the program recently hosted a special guest.  “You need to have great content to attract and retain an audience, and the colonel’s interview this week with Chris ‘Tonto’ Paronto, one of the heroes portrayed in the movie 13 HOURS: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi, is another example of our commitment to delivering compelling stories and information through ‘Frontlines of Freedom.’”  Program host Lt. Col. Denny Gillem is a graduate of West Point and is an Airborne Ranger.  He served 22 years in the US Army, including two tours in Vietnam, where he earned seven awards for valor and two Purple Hearts.  He also served as a Mideast War Planner and later ran the ROTC program at the University of Tampa.

Odds & Sods.  During Super Bowl week, FOX Sports Radio announces it will again present programming fromfoxsportsradio logo the Bay Area in the build-up to next Sunday’s championship game.  “The Herd with Colin Cowherd,” “Jay Mohr Sports,” J.T. The Brick, and the Jason Smith show with Michael Harmon will broadcast live from radio row at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, while the Dan Patrick show and the Rich Eisen show will emanate from the site of DirecTV’s remote broadcast at the historic Presidio in San Francisco…..Greater Media promotes Ellen Rubin to senior vice president and general counsel for the company.  She’s been with Greater Media since 2003.  In 2007 she was promoted to VP and general counsel.  Chairman and CEO Peter Smyth states, “Ellen is a brilliant attorney who has been a key player in shaping Greater Media’s future.  We are fortunate to have someone like Ellen in our company.”

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

| May 27, 2015

recode logoFormer Dial Global/WW1 Execs Launch Program Sales and Distribution Firm. Former Dial Global and Westwood One executives Spencer Brown and David Landau announce they are partnering with Michael Rolnick to form the firm DGital Media.  They describe it as “an audio engagement company that partners with media brands to create, distribute, and monetize spoken-word audio products.”  The company’s first venture will be the creation of the Re/code Radio network in partnership with Revere Digital LLC.  Re/code is a tech news web destination founded by journalists Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher.  The first program to be rolled out will be “Re/code Decode” with host Kara Swisher, expected to go live in June.  Revere Digital COO Lorenzano Kennett comments, “With the proliferation of mobile devices and the popularity of podcasts, we want to make sure our content is available to our audiences wherever they are – in the car, in the office, etc.  By partnering with DGital Media, Re/code will be able to leverage our authoritative content and brand with outstanding audio programming, distribution and monetization.”  DGital Media co-founder David Landau adds, “Partnering with Re/code as a brand accomplishes exactly what we set out to do – which is to amplify media brands through audio.  The Re/code Radio network will bring the same excellence in reporting and analysis to readers through the spoken word.”  Also joining the company as chief content officer is Chris Corcoran, former EVP for content at Dial Global/Westwood One, and as executive vice president for sales and strategy, Grace Carrick, formerly vice president of sales at Dial Global/Westwood One.

2015 NYC 150Talkers New York 2015 to Mark 25th Anniversary of TALKERS Magazine.  The forthcoming 18th annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important national convention – Talkers New York 2015 – will also serve as the publication’s 25th “birthday party.”  TALKERS was launched by publisher Michael Harrison in June of 1990 with the first issue of TALKERS: The Information-Radio Newspaper hitting the streets on July 23rd of that year.  TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey states, “This is an important milestone, not only for us, but for the talk radio and media industries as well.  That little trade publication provocatively named ‘Talkers’– that dared to refer to the relative handful of spoken-word stations that existed at the time as an ‘industry’ — has chronicled, championed and inspired one of the most colorful and historically significant chapters of American broadcasting ever gathered and archived in one continuous collection.  This year’s conference will serve as a milestone honoring that achievement and rich body of work.”  Casey adds, “Not only will Talkers New York 2015 have features that make note of this history but we will be publishing a number of retrospectives looking back at the past quarter-century in the days and weeks surrounding the conference and leading up to the official anniversary date in July.”  Talkers New York 2015 is sold out but a few choice sponsorship opportunities remain available.  For information, please call 413-565-5413.  To see the latest updated agenda, please click here.

alphamedia logoAlpha Media to Pay $38,250,000 for Morris and JMJ Stations.  From a filing with the FCC, we learn the price for the 36 stations that Morris Communications and JMJ operate in Topeka and Salina, Kansas; Amarillo, Texas; Palm Springs and Victor Valley, California; Anchorage and Wasilla, Alaska; Grays Harbor-Hoquiam, Washington and Wenatchee-Columbia River, Washington: $38,250,000.  This is not an all-cash deal.  Morris will receive $20 million worth of Alpha Holdings private stock (8,196,722 units in the aggregate), $6,585 worth of Alpha Holdings II private stock, and $18,250,000 in cash.

delaneykateKate Delaney Joins NBC Sports Radio for Weekend Shows.  Sports and news/talk radio pro Kate Delaney is adding weekend talk duties at NBC Sports Radio to her plate as she takes over the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm Saturday and Sunday shows from Anita Marks, who left the network to join WEPN-FM, New York “ESPN New York 98.7FM.”  During the week, Delaney is host of the GCN-syndicated “America Tonight” late night news/talk show.  NBC says Delaney’s show will feature “players, coaches, experts and analysts…from the locker room to the playing fields and beyond.”  Delaney’s sports pedigree includes being the first woman to host a solo sports radio talk show on WFAN, New York City and KRLD, Dallas.  She’s covered 15 Super Bowls, 10 U.S. Opens, and 15 Final Fours.  She has also been to the Kentucky Derby 10 times along with the other two Triple Crown races, the Preakness and the Belmont.  NBC Sports Radio program director Jack Silver comments, “It’s a major coup for us to have Kate with us on the weekends.  She connects really well with sports fans.  She’s smart, funny, and she knows her way around the world of sports.  Kate brings great energy, insight, and opinion to our weekend lineup.”

Odds & Sods. Joining the lineup of weekend talk shows at Talk Media Network is the “Into Tomorrow withgravelinelogo Dave Graveline” program.  In welcoming the almost-20-year-old program to the company’s roster, Talk Media Network CEO Josh Leng says, “The ‘Into Tomorrow’ team travels the globe to deliver the most comprehensive technology discussion available on radio, each and every week.  Talk Media mcpheemicheleNetwork is proud to offer radio stations this valuable program via satellite, for easy automation and scheduling.”…..Journalist and talk show host Michele McPhee – formerly with Entercom’s WRKO, Boston – is the new afternoon drive personality at WMEX, Boston, the daypart held briefly by Howie Carr before WRKO again became his syndicated program’s Boston affiliate.

2016 Presidential Prospects, ‘Is FOX News Bad for GOP?’ Flap, Hillary’s Role in Benghazi, Clintons Finances Scrutiny, ISIS Successes in Iraq and Syria, Amnesty Order Loses Round in Court, Obama Accuses Russia of Aggression, FIFA Scandal, Deadly Texas and OK Floods, and NBA/NHL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/26).  The activities of the potential candidates for president in 2016; reaction to historian Bruce Bartlett’s contention that FOX News is “self-brainwashing” conservative voters; more debate over Hillary Clinton’s role in the deadly Benghazi attack; ongoing scrutiny of the Clintons’ financial dealings and income reporting; the success of ISIS in Iraq and Syria and questions about America’s Iraq policy; President Obama’s amnesty order loses round at the Appeals Court level; Obama accuses Russia of military aggression; a report of widespread corruption at FIFA – soccer’s governing body; the deadly flooding in Texas and Oklahoma; and the NBA and NHL playoff action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, June 23, 2014

| June 23, 2014

wind logoWIND, Chicago’s Joe Walsh Returns to Air After Truncated Show Involving Racial Slurs.  To be clear, former congressman and current WIND, Chicago 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm talk personality Joe Walsh did not use the ‘N-word’ or any other words referring to actual people.  On his Thursday show is used the Washington Redskins controversy as a jumping off point for an academic conversation about words, their meaning and how people perceive them.  But in using those words, management pulled him off the air during a commercial break and he did not return.  Walsh met with management onwalshjoe Friday and was apprised of the company’s policy about such language.  The following statement issued Friday afternoon from Salem Communications-owned WIND “AM 560 The Answer” general manager Jeff Reisman explains that policy: “Yesterday, AM 560 The Answer’s Joe Walsh conducted a segment of his show regarding the recent controversy about the name of the Washington Redskins.  During the segment Joe intended to cite several common racial slurs as examples.  He did not in any way use them in a defamatory or derogatory manner, simply as examples. However, AM 560 The Answer did not allow them to go on the air.  AM 560 The Answer has a policy of not using certain words on the air that are highly inflammatory and offensive even in the context of a discussion of why those words are offensive.  We will continue that policy.  Joe Walsh will be back on air tonight.”

baldwinmcculloughBig Little Screen Add for ‘McCullough/Baldwin *LIVE*’.  The XtreMEDIA-produced weekend talk show “McCullough/Baldwin *LIVE*,” featuring Kevin McCullough and Stephen Baldwin announces the addition of a new television affiliate for the video stream of the show.  Beginning July 1, the program will be seen on KFLA-TV, Los Angeles.  XtreMEDIA says the program will be available in the 14 million TV/cable households that get the channel.  Kevin McCullough comments, “Being live on television in ‘prime time’ always ratchets up response and numbers.  And on a signal like KFLA in SoCal — which stretches literally from Palm Springs to Santa Barbara, Huntington Beach all the way to Bakersfield, blows us away.”  He adds that in total through the partnership with BizTV, the weekend broadcast will reach approximately 40 million TV/cable households in some 20 markets.  He says of the radio version of the show that “in most recent PPM trends the Saturday night broadcast accounted for more than half the radio station’s Saturday total cume on its flagship market NYC, and two other markets.”

parisjimGenesis Communications Network Debuts “Jim Paris Live.”  The weekly, two-hour program airs Sundays starting at 9:00 pm (ET).  Palm Coast, Florida-based Jim Paris has recently been broadcasting over the internet and the ChristianMoney.com editor comments that he has “wanted to get back to terrestrial radio.  Genesis Communications was my first choice and it was a natural fit.  I already listen to several programs on the network and feel that my voice will be a complement to their already-fantastic lineup.  I love the niche that GCN fills, and I am excited to add my name to their roster.”  Paris formerly hosted programs on the Sun Radio Network and USA Radio Network.  In the late-1980s, he was a substitute host for financial advisor Charles J. Givens’ syndicated radio show.

learfieldsports logoLicensing Resource Group Liquidated into Learfield Sports.  Although terms of the transaction were not disclosed, Plano, Texas-headquartered Learfield Sports obtains Licensing Resource Group (LRG).  Learfield president and chief executive officer Greg Brown states, “The LRG team has done a terrific job serving its collegiate partners – we are thrilled to have them join the Learfield family.  We are also excited to now offer a broader collection of services to our collegiate partners.”  According to LRG president and CEO Lewis Hardy, “We have a great team of people and have worked hard over the years to build valuable relationships in the college marketplace.  Learfield will help us grow our capabilities in the coming years.  Learfield has a stellar reputation.  We are excited about this new chapter of growth for LRG.”  Hardy will continue to manage LRG day-to-day; he will report to Learfield Sports chief operating officer Marc Jenkins.  LRG primarily provides schools with licensing services, including trademark and brand management.  The company also provides schools and vendors with advice and consulting services.  Learfield Sports manages exclusive multimedia rights – including radio broadcast rights – to approximately 100 collegiate properties.  Learfield says it does not anticipate making any employee changes related to this acquisition.

gillemdennyAMVETS Joins Forces with ”Frontlines of Freedom.”  Denny Gillem-hosted military/veterans-geared talk program “Frontlines of Freedom” enters a long-term partnership with proactive veterans’ service organization AMVETS.  Gillem remarks that AMVETS is, “the most inclusive veterans organization in our country – they truly care about our veterans. AMVETS and its members are proactively engaging in local and national events, and initiatives to improve the provisioning of health care for veterans; preservation of earned benefits; recognition of service; encouraging Americanism; and positively representing veterans to our nation as a whole.”  The program’s co-creator and executive producer Josh Leng comments that “Frontlines of Freedom” listeners are “already benefiting from this partnership through the additional information and ideas on important veterans issues and the experts it has brought to the program.  In just over a year, we have welcomed 46 new affiliates.  This past week, we reached the 60-affiliate station mark.  Enthusiasm for ‘Frontlines of Freedom’ by station owners, general managers, and program directors has really started to snowball.”  The partnership will incorporate information-sharing on veterans’ issues and legislation, shared access to voices on military and veteran support, and action-based opportunities for veterans.

Odds & Sods.  Now heading up the sales efforts of Genesis Communications’ three-station cluster Florida cluster of WAMT, Orlando “AM 1190 News,” sports talk WHOO, Kissimmee “AM 1080 The Team,” and WIXC, Titusville “AM 1060 News” is Scott Schwartz whom the company names general sales manager.   Schwartz will also oversee sales for the company’s web publications…..Sonoma Media Group adds an FM translator – K276DT, Santa Rosa – to the signal of news/talk KSRO, Santa Rosa.  The new signal is at 103.5 FM.

Friday, November 15, 2013

| November 15, 2013

rhodesrandiPremiere Reverses Course; Keeps Randi Rhodes on Syndication Menu. There are no reports indicating just what happened between Randi Rhodes and syndicator Premiere Networks but the latter is confirming the widely reported news that Rhodes will continue to be syndicated by Premiere, at least through 2014.  Premiere SVP of affiliate relationspremierenetworks logo Peter Tripi emailed affiliates, “In a happy turn of events, we are pleased to announce that Premiere Networks will continue to produce and distribute the Randi Rhodes show.  In an industry of constant change, it’s a pleasure to provide good news about a talk talent we think so highly of.  We apologize for any inconvenience the previous announcement caused, but look forward to a very successful 2014 with the Randi Rhodes show.”  Several weeks ago, Rhodes began telling her audience she was foreseeing the end of her program and later Premiere notified affiliates the relationship would be ending.

kabclogoKABC and KLOS Could Fetch Roughly $90 Million. Before you start feverishly looking for loose change behind sofa cushions and envision putting together a consortium, that is the estimated price for (just) the real estate of the Cumulus-owned talk and rock combo.  For decades, KABC and KLOS have operated from a 45,000-square-foot broadcast facility that sits on a 10-acre Los Angeles site at La Cienega and Jeffersonkloslogo Boulevard.  It is close to a stop on the Expo Line rail route connecting downtown LA and Culver City.  In an article in yesterday’s (11/14) Los Angeles Times, Roger Vincent notes that, “The area is considered ripe for mixed-use development that might include apartments, offices and stores.  Real estate experts familiar with transit-oriented development say the Baldwin Hills site could command $200 a square foot, or more than $90 million,” although Cumulus reportedly has not officially set a price for the KABC-KLOS property.  The LA Times piece quotes an unnamed Cumulus spokesperson who indicates company officials feel the Los Angeles property is a “greatly underutilized asset.” Cumulus has decided to sell it “to free up cash to redeploy in other areas of the business.”  One option under consideration would be to have KABC and KLOS remain as tenants at the location following the sale.

nielsen logoNielsen Trims Payroll by as Many as 500 Positions.  The statement from Nielsen is vague company-speak – “As part of the integration of Nielsen Audio, Nielsen is implementing changes across the company to enhance growth and to align our resources to meet and exceed client needs. These changes will improve productivity and innovation for the benefit of our organization, clients and shareholders.”  However, unsubstantiated reports swirling through the industry are that as many as 500 former Arbitron staffers are being let go as Nielsen brings the radio ratings division fully into the parent company.  The move is not surprising – or shouldn’t be – to anyone who’s been in this business for a while.  Nielsen reported to shareholders that it would be able to realize $20 million in “synergies” and that money has to come from somewhere.  In late September, when TALKERS wrote that staffers at Arbitron are wondering how many jobs will be cut as a result of the acquisition, Nielsen was quick to issue a statement saying the company had, “no plans to reduce headcount at this time,” which we reported on October 2.  TALKERS sees the dismantling of the Arbitron brand and all that it stood for in this clandestine manner as a red flag that should not go by without at least comment.  Those who recall the sale of the iconic trade publication Radio & Records to Nielsen in 2006 will remember the company making similar statements about its intentions to use its formidable resources to grow the magazine and increase its services to the radio industry.  However, in 2009, Nielsen shut the publication down.  In a recent speech at the NAB Radio Show in Orlando, TALKERS and RadioInfo publisher Michael Harrison stated that for radio to thrive, let alone survive, in his new digital era — it must celebrate and protect its “radio-ness,” and avoid being assimilated into the multi-media soup of the 21st century at the expense of its unique industry and cultural identity.  We hope that the powers-that-be at Nielsen show more respect for the specialness of radio in the days going forward and that they will be held accountable for significant discrepancies between their words and actions.

ordwayglennGlenn Ordway Lands Weekend Gig at SiriusXM’s Mad Dog Sports Radio.  Longtime WEEI, Boston sports talk personality Glenn Ordway will begin hosting “The Big Weekend Show with Glenn Ordway” on SiriusXM’s Mad Dog Sports Radio channel this weekend.  Ordway’s show will air Saturdays and Sundays from 8:00 am to 11:00 am.  Ordway – who spent the early part of his radio career as a Boston Celtics commentator – was instrumental in the building of Entercom’s WEEI, Boston where he created “The Big Show” afternoon drive program.  His work in sports talk radio in Boston goes back to his days at talker WRKO where he hosted “Sportscall,” beginning in 1981.  He worked at WEEI from 1987 until leaving the station in the spring of this year.

duncanchrisWXOS, St. Louis Renews with Chris Duncan; Announces New Program Schedule.  Hubbard Radio’s WXOS, St. Louis “101 ESPN” announces it has signed a contract renewal with sports talk host – and former St. Louis Cardinals star – Chris Duncan.  The term of the contract was not announced.  Program director Chris “Hoss” Neupert states, “We are excited to have Chris continue with ‘101ESPN,’ he is a tremendously talented guy and a hard worker who prepares in great depth every day to entertain and inform the ‘101ESPN’ audience.”  At the same time, the station announces its new post-morning drive lineup effective 11/25: Kevin Wheeler, 9:00 am to 12:00 noon; “The Turn” with Chris Duncan and Anthony Stalter, 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm; and “The Fast Lane” with Randy Karraker and D’Marco Farr (with Brad Thompson joining the show on Monday, January 6th, 2013) from 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm.

fccnewFCC Approves Hiking Foreign Ownership Limit; NAB Approves.  The mood at the Federal Communications Commission was ebullient as all five commissioners signed on to a policy change that would allow for foreign investment in U.S. broadcasting signals.  The new policy would not put a strict limit on the percentage of interest allowed but would only kick in the FCC’s scrutiny if the stake goes above 25%.  The days of concern over foreign control over content on American airwaves are long over and the NAB weighed in on the change, with president and CEO Gordon Smith stating, “NAB applauds the FCC for providing flexibility in commission rules allowing increased foreign investment in broadcast TV and radio stations.  We are especially pleased the FCC recognized that local broadcasters routinely provide ‘local news, Amber Alerts and public safety information’ to serve our communities.  Today’s vote provides broadcasters greater access to capital that will allow local stations to continue our indispensable role as the primary purveyor of news, entertainment and lifeline information to the American people.”

blairderricknowitsthenewsTalk Media Network Brings Weekly Satirical News Program into the Fold.  “Now It’s the News with Derrick Blair” joins the Josh Leng-led Talk Media Network.  The company says in a statement, “While many shows embrace talking points and are overly predictable, Derrick Blair brings a refreshing approach to ‘Now It’s The News,’ in the genre of ‘enlightened entertainment’ that includes ‘The Colbert Report’ found on Comedy Central.”  Blair adds, “In the truest spirit of bipartisanship, ‘Now It’s The News’ will continue to mock the left, the right, the center, and all points in between.”  Josh Leng comments on the one-hour, weekly program, “’Now It’s The News with Derrick Blair’ appeals to core radio listeners who love news and politics, but also to a much wider audience who simply enjoy a good laugh and quality entertainment.  Derrick’s show is 100% original, and serves as a perfect bridge between political and non-political programming, giving listeners a humorous transition. It’s also a great way to laugh off some of the stress that can build up during the week.”  The program has been in syndication since 2010.

cumulus logoCumulus-Townsquare Deal Closes.  Yesterday, Cumulus Media announced that it had completed the sale to Townsquare Media, LLC of 53 radio stations in 12 small and mid-sized markets for approximatelytownsquare logo $238 million in cash, and the swap with Townsquare of 15 radio stations in two small and mid-sized markets in exchange for five radio stations in Fresno, California (together, the “Townsquare Transaction”).  Cumulus reports in an 8-K filing that it intends to use the cash proceeds from the Townsquare Transaction to fund a portion of the purchase price payable to complete its previously announced acquisition of Dial Global, Inc., now known as WestwoodOne.  This acquisition is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2013.

marksidWPHT, Philadelphia Celebrates 57 Years of Sid Mark’s Broadcast Career. The Philadelphia broadcaster is best known these days for his nationally syndicated weekly program “The Sounds of Sinatra.”  Home base – news/talk station WPHT, Philadelphia – is celebrating the career of Sid Mark tonight at a special, sold-out event at Galdo’s in Philadelphia to celebrate his 57th year hosting “The Sounds of Sinatra.”  The evening will feature Bobby Rydell and the sounds of the 17-piece big band City Rhythm Orchestra paying tribute to Sid Mark.  CBS Radio Philadelphia SVP and market manager Marc Rayfield says, “Sid is not only a Philadelphia treasure, but a national treasure as well.  His legendary voice has insured that another legendary voice has remained quite legendary.  We are honored to have him as a member of our team at WPHT.”  Sid Mark launched “The Sounds of Sinatra” in Philadelphia 57 years ago after a caller suggested that Sid spin one hour of Frank Sinatra songs.  That tradition developed into “Friday with Frank,” as well as “Sunday with Sinatra” which presently airs on 1210 WPHT on Sundays from 9:00 to 1:00 pm.  “The Sounds of Sinatra,” now heard on more than 100 radio stations from coast to coast, is the only radio program of its kind to have been personally authorized by Frank Sinatra.

ramseygreenvilleDave Ramsey Fills the House in Greenville.  Nationally syndicated talk superstar Dave Ramsey is pictured here on stage in Greenville, South Carolina last night presenting his new “Legacy Journey LIVE!” The program discusses how to win with money, strengthen marriages and lead your children with confidence.  His daughter, Rachel Cruze, joined Ramsey on stage. Ramsey combined forces with local affiliate WORD, to promote the event.  Entercom Upstate director of news and programming Bob McLain states, “As a heritage partner with Dave Ramsey it’s a pleasure to be able to welcome Dave and Rachel Cruze to the Upstate…The opportunity for ‘WORD 106.3’ to partner with Dave in this venture, as we do on the air, just helps to cement the personal relationship our listeners have with Dave and the station.”  Also, on Wednesday, Ramsey hosted his “EntreLeadership 1 Day Event” in Birmingham, Alabama with speaker Chris Hogan addressing how to run a business using the same common sense principles that Ramsey practices in his own company of more than 350 employees.

TALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  Envision Radio Networks’ “America Weekend” featuring hosts Paul Harris, Turi Ryder and Rob Carson, is added to the program schedule at Blount Broadcasting Corporation’s talk WKVL and rock WNFZ in Knoxville, Tennessee…..Genesis Communications Networks-syndicated Dr. Daliah Wachs joins the program lineup at WZGM, Asheville, North Carolina.

ObamaCare Rollout Criticism Tops Talkers TenTM.  The ongoing criticism of the rollout of the Affordable Care Act was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio for the fourth straight week.  At #2 this week was the GOP strategy for the 2014 and 2016 elections tied with analysis of the November 5 elections.  Following at #3 was President Obama’s declining poll numbers tied with the new Benghazi allegations and at #4 was the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio.  It is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS and is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s chart here.

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