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SiriusXM Reports Revenue Up 13% in Q2; Net Subscribers Up 38%. The satellite radio company announced second quarter numbers yesterday and reports revenue for that period was $838 million – up 13% over the same period in 2011. Subscriber growth continues this year as the satcaster saw 463,000 self-pay net adds with the total adds for the year at around 1 million. As for the status between Liberty Media and Sirius – or more specifically, Mel Karmazin whose contract expires in December? Karmazin says his duty is clear, “I can assure you that our board and I are interested in trying to accomplish whatever Liberty wants to do as long as it’s in all of our shareholders’ best interests and that there is no issue involving Mel that has anything to do with the current conversations with Liberty at all. Regarding my contract, it doesn’t expire until the end of the year, and prior to the Q3 earnings call, prior to our next call I think the board and I will deal with it.” Liberty Media has been acquiring SiriusXM stock and holds about 46% of the shares. It has twice asked the FCC to declare it in “de facto control” of the company but the FCC has balked.
Saga Communications Has Stable Q2. Net operating revenue was up 0.7% for Saga Communications and station operating expense decreased 4.6% compared to the same period last year to $22 million. On the radio side, operating income from continuing operations for the second quarter of 2012 was $9.56 million – up from the $8.60 million reported for the same period in 2011.
Big Talent Shuffle in Boston; Local Hosts Out at Clear Channel News/Talker. There’s been a major re-alignment of syndicated talent in Boston and two local talk hosts – Jeff Katz and Jay Severin – are dropped from the program schedule at Clear Channel’s Talk 1200 (WXKS-AM). Almost 2 and ½ years ago, Premiere Networks’ Rush Limbaugh left Entercom’s WRKO, Boston – one of his first major market affiliates after going into syndication from home base WABC, New York – to become the anchor of Clear Channel’s crosstown WXKS-AM – Talk 1200. Now, on August 21, Limbaugh returns to WRKO where management has remade the program schedule with tweaks that include current midday talk host Michele McPhee moving to AM drive alongside Todd Feinburg; current mid-morning host Barry Armstrong hosting “The Financial Exchange” from 9:00 am to 11:00 am and fill-in host and morning show contributor Jeff Kuhner now host of the 11:00 am to 12:00 noon program, “The Kuhner Report.” Additionally, Premiere Networks’ “Coast to Coast AM” with George Noory returns to WRKO in the 1:00 am to 5:00 am slot from CC’s crosstown WXKS-AM. At Talk 1200, Premiere Networks’ Sean Hannity now airs live in PM drive where Jay Severin was and Premiere’s “America Now with Andy Dean” is heard in AM drive in place of Jeff Katz. Regarding the elimination of the Katz and Severin shows, Clear Channel Boston’s Joe Mazzei tells TALKERS, “Unfortunately, these are never easy decisions to make. We appreciate their commitment and service to the station/company over the years, and we wish them all the best.” Mazzei would not comment specifically on the status of Talk 1200 program director Paula O’Connor citing privacy issues but it appears her job has also been eliminated. Katz tells TALKERS he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Prime Time Continues to Be Trouble for CNN. Though CNN remains a top-of-mind brand for Americans seeking breaking news coverage, its prime time talk-oriented programming is suffering persistent ratings problems. Deadline Hollywood’s Dominic Patten writes that the cable news/talk network hit a 20-year low in the Nielsen ratings during the week of July 30 – August 5. “‘Piers Morgan Tonight’ at 9:00 pm averaged 314,000 viewers overall, with a mere 81,000 in the 25-54 demo, according to Nielsen. That average is the lowest week Morgan has had since he took over Larry King’s spot on January 17, 2011. During the same time slot over on Fox News, Sean Hannity averaged 1,749,000 total viewers and 324,000 in the 25-54 demo. On MSNBC, the Rachel Maddow show averaged 933,000 total viewers that week, with 271,000 in the key demo.” Patten goes on to note, “‘Anderson Cooper 360’ at 8:00 pm averaged 349,000 viewers for the week, also with 81,000 in the demo. Cooper’s 10:00 pm repeat had 97,000 among the 25-54 demo, the sixth lowest the network has had in two decades, but a slight 259,000 average total viewers for the week. That averaged total viewership was the lowest 10:00 pm weekday hour CNN has had in 20 years.”
ESPN New York 98.7 Adds Bill Parcells Appearance to Michael Kay Show. Legendary NFL coach Bill Parcells will make a weekly appearance on WEPN, New York’s Michael Kay show every Thursday at 4:00 pm beginning September 6. The station is also expanding the role of Hall-of-Famer Joe Namath whose “Joe Namath Report” fills a whole hour of the Michael Kay show on Mondays at 6:00 pm during the season. New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan will appear every Monday at 5:15 exclusively on Kay’s program as well. WEPN VP/GM Dave Roberts says, “We’re focused on serving New York sports fans with the best in news and analysis. The opportunity to work with someone like Bill Parcells allows us to deliver unique insight to our listeners. We’re also thrilled to bring football to fans on the FM dial. We anticipate a very exciting fall between our extensive list of weekly contributors and our complete coverage of both the Jets and Giants.”
Fox Sports Daybreak at Dolphins Camp. “Fox Sports Daybreak” co-hosts Andy Furman and Artrell Hawkins are pictured here interviewing Miami Dolphins offensive tackle Jake Long at Dolphins Training camp in Davie, Florida. HBO’s “Hard Knocks” series is following the Dolphins this season and invited the Fox Sports Radio morning program to take part in the camp. During the two-day broadcast, Furman and Hawkins brought listeners an up-close look at NFL training camps, and talked to Long, defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle, Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin and NFL super-agent Drew Rosenhaus.
WRKO Tea Party. Some of the air staff of the new lineup at Entercom’s WRKO, Boston pose for a photo during a remote broadcast of the Howie Carr show from the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum. It was at Monday’s remote broadcast that the station announced its new program schedule, including the return of Rush Limbaugh to the station. Pictured here are (from l-r): PM drive host Howie Carr; AM drive co-hosts Michele McPhee and Todd Feinburg; morning show producer Bill Cooksey; and Howie Carr show producer Nancy Shack.
Magic Matt Alan’s and Shadoe Stevens’ OutLaw Radio Enters Partnership with RadioLoyalty. Radio legends Magic Matt Alan and Shadoe Stevens are partnering with internet radio firm RadioLoyalty to distribute their “OutLaw Radio” 24–hour radio channel. The programming is billed as “a non-stop, high-energy party featuring celebrity and would-be celebrity guests gathered together by radio legends Magic Matt Alan and Shadoe Stevens. It’s talk radio and irreverent humor broadcast from an 1876 Virginia City, Nevada-style Bar in the Hills of Encino, California.” The RadioLoyalty website says, “The network is a spin-off of the original Outlaw Radio ‘show’ — on the air non-stop for more than a decade – and is the brainchild of Magic Matt Alan. Alan was joined three years ago by radio legend Shadoe Stevens, who loved the show and helped expand the brand. He built the programming into a seven day a week, 24 hour radio channel…For more than 10 years, Matt and a roving cast of characters – The Demons of Decadence – have laughed their way through and around some of the most interesting celebrities on the planet with the slogan: ‘We smoke, we drink, we interrupt.’” The programming can be found at RadioLoyalty.com beginning August 11.
Fleetwood Mac Co-Producer Ken Caillat Celebrates 35th Anniversary of Iconic Album with Book and Press Tour. The co-producer of Fleetwood Mac’s “Rumours” album is available for radio interviews. Ken Caillat was co-producer for the record that went on to become the third best-selling album of all time and tells all the stories of the making of the record in his new book, Making Rumours: The Inside Story of the Classic Fleetwood Mac Album (Wiley 2012). The publisher states, “Ken recalls experiences from an era of excess, that include the endless partying, relationship dramas and creative struggles that ensued, while writing and recording these classic tracks, “You Make Loving Fun,” “Don’t Stop,” “Go Your Own Way,” “The Chain,” among others.” Caillat is available for interviews. Contact Samantha Schipman at Howard Rosen Promotion at 704-249-3951.
Presidential Election, Wisconsin Sikh Shooting Aftermath, London Olympics, and Mars Landing Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/7). The campaign for president in the 2012 elections; the aftermath of the deadly shootings at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin; the 2012 London Olympics; and the landing of the rover Curiosity on Mars were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.