Tag: "KGO"

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

| August 7, 2018

Field Answers USTN Lawsuit: “Ridiculous allegations.” As we reported last Monday (Talkers.com, 7/30), in a complaint filed in Harris County, Texas District Court, United States Traffic Network is suing Entercom for material and punitive damages “in excess of $5 million.” USTN alleges that Entercom entered into negotiations to buy the company and walked away from the deal at the last minute with the intent of developing a directly competitive business. Yesterday (Monday, 8/6), Entercom president/CEO David Field addressed the lawsuit in an internal memo. He writes, “The truth is we have acted in good faith and made every reasonable effort and then some to assist USTN in fixing their challenging issues.” Entercom released a statement including the following quote on the situation: “We are relieved to no longer be mired by the difficult USTN situation that was inherited as part of the CBS Radio merger. We will move quickly to augment our strong internal sales organization to ensure that we realize the full value of this inventory. With leading news brands like WINS, New York; KNX, Los Angeles; and WBBM, Chicago, Entercom has the industry’s most valuable traffic inventory. We are pleased to be in control of our own destiny as we pursue opportunities in this attractive market segment.” In response to the lawsuit, Field states, “Entercom believes it is entirely baseless, frivolous and frankly insulting. Entercom has worked tirelessly and constructively with USTN over the past six months to help USTN work through its significant financial issues. Entercom is owed substantial amounts of money by USTN, and the company intends to defend itself vigorously and assert all of its rights.” In yesterday’s memo, Field states, “To say the least, it is disappointing to read the ridiculous allegations that USTN has made when the truth is that we have acted in good faith and made every reasonable effort and then some to assist USTN in fixing their challenging issues. In order to set the record straight and ensure that you have all the facts regarding our relationship with USTN, I have included a summary of the events over the past 8 ½ months.” Click here to read the rest of Field’s memo.

Bortnick Joins iHeartMedia D.C. as Senior VP/Sales. Six-year vice president of sales for Entercom Washington (D.C.), Danny Bortnick crosses the street to become senior vice president of sales for iHeartMedia’s five stations in the Nation’s Capital. Region president Michael Preacher remarks, “We couldn’t be more pleased to welcome Danny to iHeartMedia. Danny has earned a great reputation building client-centric sales organizations while creating a positive work culture. He is the perfect fit for us.” Bortnick adds, “I am thrilled to be joining some of the most iconic brands in [the market], as well as one of the most recognizable media brands in the country.” Bortnick, who has a marketing and management degree from the University of Miami – School of Business, began his radio career 13 years ago as an account executive at Katz Radio in New York City and Atlanta. After a year at Katz, he became an account executive – and later, digital sales manager – at New York City all-news outlet WINS and then, director of sales for Salem Media Group New York City.

Saga Reports 6.5% Q2 Net Revenue Increase. For the quarter ending June 30, Saga Communications net revenue increased to $32.2 million. Meanwhile, operating income increased 2.7% to $6 million and station operating expense increased 8% to $23.1 million. Free cash flow from continuing operations was $6 million for the quarter, compared to $4.8 million for the same period last year. On a same station basis, net revenue decreased .6% to $30.1 million; operating income increased 1.5% to $6 million; and station operating expense decreased 1% to $21.2 million. The company had $52.9 million in cash on hand as of June 30, and $53.3 million as of yesterday (8/6). The company’s total long-term debt was $25 million as of June 30. Results for the quarter and six-month period were affected by the sale of the company’s television stations and purchase of radio stations in Charleston and Hilton Head (South Carolina) on September 1, 2017. Saga’s 2018 Q2 conference call will be at 11:00 am (ET) today (Tuesday, 8/7). Saga owns or operates 75 FM and 33 AM radio stations.

Gregg Receives Salute to Excellence Award. For the second consecutive year, Entercom Philadelphia’s KYW “News Radio 1060” community affairs reporter Cherri Gregg is recognized by the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ). This time, she will receive a “Salute to Excellence Award” at the NABJ’s gala in Detroit. Entercom Philadelphia senior vice president and market manager David Yadgaroff states, “It comes as no surprise that Cherri has been recognized once again for the exemplary work she contributes to KYW. The hard work she has committed in less than a year demonstrates why she is deserving of this honor.” Gregg remarks, “I am honored and humbled by this great recognition. This acknowledgment validates the importance of creating conversation around social issues.” Gregg was recognized in the “Public Affairs” category in “Top 15 Markets, Radio.” The specific segment – “Police Transparency – When Should Names of Officers Who Kill Be Released?” – was from her weekly program “Flashpoint,” which airs Saturdays (9:30 pm) and Sundays (8:30 am). Launched in 2017, “Flashpoint” discusses community affairs, political news, civil rights and social issues. Last year, NABJ honored Gregg with a “Salute to Excellence Award” in “TV Investigative – Top 15 Markets” for her piece “Driving While Black,” a collaboration between Entercom and KYW-TV, Philadelphia (Channel 3). Gregg, who joined Entercom in 2010, was president of the Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists (2015 – 2016) and vice president of broadcast in 2013. A member of the Pennsylvania and Georgia Bars, she has an undergraduate degree (B.S.) from Boston University; a J.D. from Howard University School of Law; and an M.J. from Temple University’s College of Communications and Theater. Gregg was named one of the Philadelphia NAACP’s Most Influential Black Women and PABJ’s Journalist of the Year in 2013.

Remembering Bill Wattenburg. Cancer has claimed the life of 82-year-old Bill Wattenburg, who died last Thursday (8/2). For 39 years (1972 – 2011), “Dr. Bill” hosted a late night show on KGO, San Francisco where the former nuclear weapons designer at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory would answer questions about everything from car repairs to physics. Show promos often referred to him as “The smartest man in the world.” The three-hour program (“Open Line to the West Coast,” 10:00 pm – 1:00 am) aired Saturday and Sunday nights and originated from his home in the Sierras. An occasional caller was Clint Eastwood, who gave Wattenburg a few cameos in the “Dirty Harry” movies. Using the nom de plume Will Harvey, the inventor and former physics professor at the University of California – Berkeley authored an early-1970s best-selling book “How to Find and Fascinate a Mistress.” The success of that book led to him being booked on numerous television talk shows where he debated the merits of feminism with people such as the Gabor sisters and Gloria Steinem. As an inventor, Wattenburg had eight patents to his credit, one reportedly being the first home alarm system using electrical wiring for its communication medium. A 2011 KGO format modification from news/talk to news resulted in several hosts – including Wattenburg – exiting the station. Shortly thereafter, Wattenburg hosted a show on Zwerling Broadcasting System news/talk KSCO-AM, Santa Cruz (California), which – after his death – aired a two-hour retrospective of his radio career.

Spanish Broadcasting System Forecasts Q2 Sales, OIBDA Increases. Preliminary estimated quarter two financial results for Spanish Broadcasting System estimates that consolidated net revenue will be between $34.5 million and $34.8 million, an increase of between 1% and 2% over the same period in 2017. Adjusted OIBDA, excluding non-cash stock-based compensation, is projected at $10.8 million – $11.6 million, an increase of 34% – 44% over last year. SBS chair/chief executive officer Raul Alarcon notes, “The company has continued its positive operational momentum throughout the second quarter with strong OIBDA growth and operating margins that continue to be among the highest in the industry.  In addition, the announced $14 million sale of our surplus real estate in New York City has successfully closed, allowing for our move to newer and more suitable facilities in midtown Manhattan. A correlated and corresponding repayment of the company’s 12.5% senior secured notes from the net proceeds of the real estate sale has been undertaken, as previously envisioned. We maintain our positive view as to the continuing momentum in 2018 and will be filing our finalized second-quarter results within the next week.”

Ten Radio Groups Support NAB’s Owner Cap Modification Stance. Represented in this particular assemblage of group owners is “a cross-section of the industry” with minority-owned and family-owned entities that have stations in large and small markets. In alphabetical order by group owner, the open letter is signed by Alpha Media CEO Bob Proffitt; Connoisseur Media founder/CEO Jeff Warshaw; Emmis Communications chair/CEO Jeff Smulyan; Midwest Communications COO Michael Wright; Mid-West Family Stations president Thomas Walker; Neuhoff Communications president/CEO Beth Neuhoff; NRG Media president/CEO Mary Quass; Perry Publishing and Broadcasting chair Russell Perry; Townsquare Media co-CEOs Dhruv Prasad and Bill Wilson; and Zimmer Radio of Mid-Missouri president/owner John Zimmer. Read the entire letter here.

Round One of July 2018 PPM Data Released. The first of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s July 2018 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union. Nielsen Audio’s July 2018 survey period covered June 21 – July 18. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.

TALKERS News Notes. Following stints on New Jersey outlets WMTR and WCTC, Jonathan Friedman’s “Talking Sports” (8:00 pm – 10:00 pm) debuts this Saturday (8/11) on Salem Media Group New York City’s news/talk WNYM “AM 970, The Answer.” The 52-year-old New Jersey resident notes, “I wanted to bring the show to a bigger stage. Growing up in Atlanta and being a huge fan of the Atlanta Falcons, Hawks, and Braves, my love for sports started early in my life. No matter who I talk to, the topic always seems to go to sports; that’s how I connect with people.” A 30-year advertising executive, Friedman has been with Success Communications Group the last 15 years and created the “Gotta Go To Mo’s” campaign for Modell’s Sporting Goods ….. St. Louis-based Project 21 co-chair Stacy Washington is broadcasting “Stacy on the Right” live nationwide. The first hour of the weekday talk program is available on all 180 stations of the American Family Radio Network. The national hour is 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm (ET) and can be streamed through the AFR website, TuneInRadio, Facebook, and YouTube. Decorated Air Force veteran and Emmy-nominated TV personality Washington began her broadcasting career several years ago as a fill-in host on news/talk KFTK, St. Louis and began a two-hour program on the Urban Family Talk Network in 2016 ….. Having added ten million listeners over the last few months, iHeartRadio officially surpasses 120 million registered users. It has over 20,000 podcasts in 20 different unique categories, including 750 iHeartRadio original podcasts ….. According to a report by Richard Deitsch in The Athletic, former NFL quarterback (St. Louis Rams, New York Giants, Arizona Cardinals) Kurt Warner will succeed Boomer Esiason as analyst on Westwood One’s “Monday Night Football” broadcasts. Hall of Famer Warner – who has filled-in when Esiason wasn’t available – would work alongside play-by-play announcer Kevin Harlan. According to Deitsch, a formal announcement of the deal is forthcoming ….. In a situation that will have him relocating to the network’s Chicago headquarters, Scott Krus – station manager of religious teaching WCRF “Moody Radio,” Cleveland – is promoted to general manager of the national Moody Radio Network. Three-month vice president, and former GM, Doug Hastings states, “Scott has the background, skills, and passion to take Moody Radio into our next season. He is very well known at Moody Radio; respected by staff and industry leaders; and has proven that he will effectively lead Moody Radio as general manager.” Krus, who begins his new duties in approximately four weeks (9/1), comments, “I am grateful for the opportunity to serve our teams and [am] energized by the challenge of navigating this ever-changing landscape of media ministry. I believe that Moody is strategically-positioned to expand on its role as a leader in the industry and uniquely equipped to inspire listeners to take that next step in their walk with Jesus Christ. I am looking forward with great excitement to all that God will do in the days to come.”

Paul Manafort Trial/Gates Testimony, Kushner Deleted Stories, Midterm Races, California Wildfire, MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/6). The trial of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort highlighted by the juicy testimony of Rick Gates; claims that Jared Kushner deleted sensitive stories at his newspaper; the attempted drone assassination attempt of Venezuela President Nicolás Maduro;  this fall’s midterm elections; the deadly California wildfire; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

Premiere Promotes Silcock to VP/Affiliate Relations – Morning Shows. Six-year, New York City-based director of affiliate relations Casey Silcock receives vice president stripes from Premiere Networks. In the newly-created position of vice president of affiliate relations – morning shows, Silcock will oversee affiliate sales and serve as the syndicator’s brand manager for programs featuring Elvis Duran; Bobby Bones; Brooke & JubalJohnjay & Rich; and Kane. Senior vice president of affiliate relations/talk and morning shows Peter Tripi comments, “Casey has been a valuable member of our team for the past six years, and he has made significant contributions to the growth of our industry-leading morning shows. I’m confident his leadership, sound judgment, and solid relationships with affiliate stations and talent alike will drive continued success for our programming.” Silcock previously was head of promotion for Verve Music Group, a division of Universal Music Group, and held management promotion and marketing positions at Virgin Records America.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Weekend WTXF-TV “Fox 29,” Philadelphia sports anchor Sean Brace will appear each Friday at 8:20 am on iHeartMedia Philadelphia rhythmic hot AC WISX “Real 106.1” during “Chio in the AM.” In addition, Brace will contribute to the station’s website and host a Saturday night (7:00 pm – 12:00 midnight) music show. He formerly was heard on cross-town Greater Media (now Beasley Media Group) sports talk WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic” ….. It is an eventful day for San Antonio air-on talent named “Cortez.” Taking to Facebook, Tony Cortez announces he is leaving his position as assistant program director/afternoon drive talent at Alpha Media’s  CHR KTFM “Energy 94.1,” while “The Dana Cortez Show” was missing this morning at cross-town Univision Radio-owned rhythmic CHR KBBT “98.5 The Beat.” On Twitter, Dana Cortez tweets, “We have some exciting things in the works & want you to be part of.” ….. Promotions coordinator/night personality Edwin Guevara is elevated to promotions director/afternoon host at Townsquare Media Trenton, New Jersey CHR WPST “94.5 – Your New #1 Hit Music Station.” He replaces Tom Shinn, who exited last month. Guevara is approaching his third year at the station, arriving from Kemp Broadcasting Las Vegas rhythmic CHR KVEG “Hot 97.5” ….. Former Bonneville country KYGO, Denver program director Eddie Haskell is named senior vice president of programming for iHeartMedia’s Fort Collins (Colorado) stations. According to iHeartMedia Denver area president Amy Griesheimer, “I am thrilled to have someone of Eddie’s caliber and expertise partner with us to lead [our] Northern Colorado dynasty. Eddie’s passion and brand knowledge are unmatched.” Denver region senior vice president of programming Jason McCollim notes, “Eddie’s knowledge and experience in Colorado radio are second to none. His addition to the Fort Collins team will only help to increase our already strong footprint in Northern Colorado.” Haskell adds, “I am so stoked to join the team at iHeartMedia Fort Collins. We have great brands, great programmers, and a great management team.” His prior background includes being operations manager for Cumulus Media Albuquerque and he has held various programming roles in Detroit (WYCD) and Salt Lake City (KKAT-AM). The iHM cluster in Fort Collins includes country KXBG “Big 97.9”; classic hits-oldies KXBG-HD2 “B-107.3”; classic country KIIX “AM 1410 – Country’s Greatest Hits”; CHR KSME “96.1 – Kiss-FM”; classic rock KPAW “92.9 – The Bear”; alternative KPAW-HD2 “Radio 94.9”; and news/talk KCOL “Fox News Radio 600” ….. Grammy winner – and the first “American Idol” – Kelly Clarkson is filming a pilot for a daytime (TV) talk show.  Clarkson has a deal with NBC Entertainment, but the pilot is currently not attached to any network; it is potentially being shopped for a fall 2019 debut.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

| May 15, 2018

FAIR Sets September 5 and 6 for Washington Radio Row. The Federation for American Immigration Reform sets Wednesday, September 5 and Thursday, September 6 as the dates for its 12th annual “Hold Their Feet to the Fire/America at the Midterms” radio row in Washington, D.C.  Talk hosts from across the country will broadcast live both days, debating immigration policy while interviewing members of Congress, law enforcement officials, experts, activists, administration officials, and others.  FAIR executive director Bob Dane states, “The outcome of this year’s midterms will determine whether President Trump will have an opportunity to fully deliver on his campaign promises to secure our borders, stop illegal immigration, enhance national security, rein in sanctuary policies, and push for reforms that serve our broad American interests.  This year’s event will focus on the political landscape halfway through the Trump Administration, educate Americans about what has been accomplished, what’s left to do, what’s at stake and what listeners can do to make informed voting choices on the immigration issue.”  As in recent years, the event takes place at the Phoenix Park Hotel on Capitol Hill.  Reservations are required and hosts should call FAIR now to reserve their free broadcast booth.   Contact event manager Joe Gomez at 202-328-7004 or jgomez@fairus.org.  Congressional guests, activists, high-profile media personalities, and immigration experts will be in attendance and available throughout the event for wall-to-wall interviews with an expected crowd of 65 talk hosts.

Harvill to Lead Cumulus San Francisco.  Appointed to serve as vice president and market manager for Cumulus Media’s San Francisco station group is media executive Doug Harvill.  He was most recently CBS RADIO’s SVP and market manager in San Francisco.  Harvill says, “Over the past 12 years I’ve competed against the Cumulus San Francisco properties and am acutely aware of both the significant strengths and growth opportunities for these legendary stations.  Think about these call letters: KNBR, KFOG, KGO, KSAN, KSFO and KTCT.  These are iconic radio brands with passionate listeners.  I am excited to work with the people who create these powerful community-centered stations.”

Nielsen Audio to Re-Issue Los Angeles PPMs – Back to October.  The notification from Nielsen Audio doesn’t specify why the panelists in question are being pulled from the Los Angeles PPM survey. Here’s what the ratings giant tells the industry: “The integrity of our data is a top priority.  Effective with the April monthly currency data (March 29-April 25), Nielsen removed four homes from the Los Angeles PPM panel.  An internal review determined that these homes did not meet our compliance and data integrity standards.  In addition, we conducted an analysis of data from October 2017 to March 2018 and we have determined that the data for these months will be reissued.  Therefore, we will publish revised audio data for these months in Los Angeles starting with March monthly data on Tuesday, May 22, at 12:00 noon local time.”  The first round of April PPMs was released yesterday afternoon.  Mike Kinosian’s “Takeaways” and a link to all the numbers is published below.

TALKERS News Notes. The photo above is one of two Allstate Skyline Studios at the new digs of Tribune’s WGN, Chicago.  The station is still about a month away from the first live broadcast from the new offices as it moves from its longtime home in the Tribune Tower on N. Michigan Ave. to the 18th floor of 303 E. Wacker Drive.  As you can see in the photo, the new 16-thousand-square-foot office space offers sweeping vistas of both the Chicago River and Lake Michigan.  There are two Allstate Skyline Studios with northeast (above) and northwest views, six dedicated studios to the podcast platform WGN Plus, and a 650-square-foot performance studio and stage for live music and radio dramas with seating for 25 plus standing room.  At the core of the studio space is the WGN Radio journalism hub, home base for the station’s 24/7 news room.  The new headquarters includes an expanded video production suite with green screen for WGN Radio’s in-house content agency DATS.  The station says that the layout “invites all employees to work in the content space and features state-of-the-art lighting for video production, broadcast, and streaming.”  The project was spearheaded by WGN chief engineer Bill Murdoch.  WGN station manager and VP of content Todd Manley says, “An investment like this represents the strength of our brand beyond traditional broadcast.  It recognizes our success on every platform.  What an exciting time for this 94-year-old start-up.”…..Small business expert, talk show host, and author Jim Blasingame is publishing his fourth book.  The host of the nationally syndicated talk radio show, “The Small Business Advocate,” releases The 3rd Ingredient: The Journey of Analog Ethics into the World of Digital Fear and Greed (2018, SBN Books).  In this book, Blasingame reveals a once-in-10-millennia shift is at the heart of the unprecedented anxiety we’re experiencing as we make the transition from an analog world to a digital one.  He says, “Hundreds of years before a robot takes us down, we humans will do it to ourselves by failing to establish effective digital ethics.  We have to determine what digital trust looks like.  We have to start now.”  Blasingame argues that a shift of this magnitude – about something so much a part of our very being, our ethical DNA – has never happened before in human society and markets.  The source of so much anxiety about technology comes from expecting our miles-per-hour analog ethics to transition and perform in a billions-of-bits-per-second digital environment, with virtually no conversation…..Nationally syndicated talk radio host Walter Sterling (left) is pictured below in the WLS-AM, Chicago studios where he recently hosted his Westwood One program, “Sterling on Sunday.”  Pictured with Sterling is Cook County Commissioner Richard Boykin (right), who told listeners that a major source of criminal behavior is a lack of fathers in the home.  Speaking about doing the program from Chicago, Sterling says, “Program director Peter Bolger, market manager Marv Nyren, and producer Michael Garay made this fun and easy.  The listener got an authentic earful of street life in Chicago.”

In Studio at KFI, Los Angeles.  Pictured above is ABC News chief business, technology and economics correspondent Rebecca Jarvis (center) in the KFI, Los Angeles studios with midday hosts Gary Hoffmann (right) and Shannon Farren (left).  Jarvis has been doing weekly, Monday guest appearances on the program for the past three years, usually from her desk in New York City, but yesterday she had the opportunity to be in the LA studios.

U.S. Embassy Opening-Gaza Violence, U.S. Exits Iran Nuclear Deal, Trump’s ZTE Statement, SCOTUS Sports Betting Ruling, Margot Kidder Dies, Melania Hospitalized, MLB Action, and NBA Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/14). The official opening of the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem and the deadly Gaza violence; The response to President Trump’s withdrawing the U.S. from the Iran nuclear deal; reaction to President Trump’s desire to “save” Chinese tech firm ZTE; the Supreme Court strikes down 1992 federal law preventing states from allowing sports betting; actress Margot Kidder dies at 69; First Lady Melania Trump is hospitalized for treatment for a kidney condition; Major League Baseball action, and the NBA playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Salem Offers Florida Studios for Rent. Planning to have some “fun in the sun?” Why not combine business with pleasure?  Chances are that you would like to visit the Sunshine State sometime soon.  If you have a weekly or daily radio show – why not make plans to broadcast from any of our conveniently located studios in Orlando, Tampa or Miami?  In 2017 the state of Florida saw a record number of visitors — 116.5 million, according to Visit Florida, the state’s tourism marketing arm.  With proper advance planning – you can feel right at home and broadcast your regular show, no need for pre-recordings or replays!  Contact us at Salem Media Florida to find out more!  Our rates are most affordable! Call Jim Glogowski in Miami (786)871-2407, Barb Yoder in Tampa (813)-349-8232, or Bill Files in Orlando (407)-682-9494 ext. 1760.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. A new music format from Envision Networks is targeting the United States markets that have “become so culturally blended with millennial relationships so diverse that English-speaking and Hispanic backgrounds have become integrated into the same circle of family, friends and lifestyles.” Envision says this is reflected in their musical tastes and listening habits and that’s the inspiration behind the “No Borders Radio.”  The company adds that the format is balanced to reach English-speaking millennials and Latino 18-44 females by blending the best North American pop hits with their counterparts from Central and South America…..Cumulus Media is importing “The Woody Show” for three of its alternative rock stations.  On May 21, the Premiere Networks-syndicated morning show airs on KHTB, Salt Lake City; KCJK-FM, Kansas City “X105.1,” and WZRH, New Orleans “Alt 92.3”. Cumulus VP of rock programming Troy Hanson says, “We are delighted to continue to grow our relationship with ‘The Woody Show’ in three key markets in our alternative portfolio.  ‘The Woody Show’ is the destination for what people are talking about and the New Orleans, Kansas City and Salt Lake City communities will be well served by their funny slice of life.”…..Sun Broadcast Group enters into a sales and affiliate partnership with “The Woody & Wilcox Show.”  The program becomes part of the SBG network lineup on June 1.  It’s currently heard on WEND, Charlotte “106.5 The End,” WRDU, Raleigh; KKZX, Spokane; and more…..Alpha Media names Daena Kramer general sales manager for its San Jose market stations.  Kramer began her career as an account executive with CBS RADIO in Las Vegas.  She’s also worked on air on KXTE, Las Vegas and KHMX, Houston.  She says, “Radio has been in my blood since I was a kid, but I never imagined the amazing journeys it would take me on.  I can’t express how excited I am to be back in California with such a fantastic company as Alpha Media and to take on a new challenge in San Jose.  Nobody has taught me more about the radio business than [market manager] Lori Heeren, and I’m thrilled to be working with her again.”

Round One of April PPM Data Released. The first of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio‘s April 2018 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets, including: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey). Nielsen’s April 2018 PPM survey period covered March 29 – April 25.  See all the number from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@TALKERS.com) provides his “Takeaways” from these 12 PPM markets.

TAKEAWAYS

New York City

Spoken-Word Formats – This marks 2018’s first Major League Baseball (MLB) sweep and it produces very good news for the flagships of the Yankees and Mets. Specifically, Entercom’s WFAN “Sports Radio” (Yankees) is up eight-tenths (3.1 – 3.9, #13 to #8, 6+), while iHeartMedia news/talk WOR “710 The Voice of New York” (Mets) improves by six-tenths (1.9 – 2.5, #18 to #15, 6+). Following five survey periods in a row without an increase resulting in a nearly 50% loss (-2.5) of its 6+-share (5.2 – 5.2 – 3.9 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 2.7, 6+), WFAN picked up four-tenths in March. Prior to February, the last time WFAN dropped below a three-share (6+) was March 2017 (2.9). A +.1 by WOR in March ended five straight down or flat reports for a -.4 (2.2 – 2.2 – 2.0 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8, 6+). In the all-news arena, Entercom’s WINS sputters by seven-tenths (6.2 – 5.5, third to fourth, 6+), while co-owned and similarly-formatted WCBS-AM relinquishes 80% of March’s +.5 (3.3 – 2.9, -.4, #11 to #13, 6+). Prior to March, WCBS-AM was stuck on 2.8 (6+) the previous three sweeps; 3.3 (March 2018) is the station’s strongest 6+-showing in more than three years (4.0, February 2015). As they were in March, Cumulus Media news/talk WABC (1.2 – 1.1, -.1, 6+) and Townsquare Media’s similarly-programmed WKXW “New Jersey 101.5” are tied at #23. The latter’s last 12 New York City report trends are 1.1 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.2 – 1.1 (6+). For the third month in succession, Emmis-owned/ESPN-operated WEPN posts a 1.3 (6+) and “98.7 ESPN New York” remains at #22. When WEPN picked up two-tenths in February, it halted three downward moves in succession that produced a loss of seven-tenths (1.8 – 1.4 – 1.2 – 1.1, 6+). In the public news/talk arena, WNYC Broadcasting Foundation’s WNYC-FM is up two-tenths (3.2 – 3.4, #12 to #10, 6+), while co-owned WNYC-AM drops one-tenth (.7 – .6, #27 to #28, 6+).

New York City Music Formats –

A collective +7.1 in five consecutive gains (6.0 – 6.1 – 6.6 – 7.0 – 8.8 – 13.1, 6+), WLTW was -5.1 in January and February (13.1 – 8.5 – 8.0, 6+); however, “106.7 Lite FM” rebounds in March and April with a +.5 (8.0 – 8.4 – 8.5, 6+). The iHeartMedia adult contemporary outlet remains on top for the ninth time in a row. While continuing in the runner-up slot, Entercom classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM “101.1 New York’s Greatest Hits” is off two-tenths to 6.1 (6+), thus ending three successive increases that netted a collective +1.4 (4.9 – 5.0 – 6.0 – 6.3, 6+). Its March 2018 6.3 is the best 6+-showing for WCBS-FM since July 2017’s 6.6. The six-tenths advantage (6+) that Entercom hot AC WNEW-FM “Fresh 102.7” had over Cumulus Media-owned format rival WPLJ “New York’s 95.5 PLJ” is down to four-tenths as “Fresh” is off three-tenths (2.7 – 2.4, #14 to #16, 6+), while WPLJ drops one-tenth (2.1 – 2.0, #16 to #17, 6+).

Los Angeles

Spoken-Word Formats – Continuing a down/up pattern that commenced in December (4.1 – 3.9 – 4.5 – 3.9 – 4.2 – 4.1, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk KFI “AM 640” slips from sixth to seventh. When KFI dipped by two-tenths in “Holiday” 2017, it ended at six a consecutive string of up or flat trends that netted a collective eight-tenths (3.3 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.9 – 4.1 – 4.1, 6+). Cluster-mate KEIB “AM 1150 The Patriot,” which was stuck on 1.0 (6+) for six straight sweeps, is now off by one-tenth in consecutive monthlies (1.0 – .9 – .8, #32 to #34, 6+). Meanwhile, Salem Media Group’s KRLA “AM 870 The Answer” drops one-tenth (1.1 – 1.0, flat at #29, 6+) and Cumulus Media-owned KABC “790 News-Talk-Evolved” once again posts a .5 (6+) but skids from #37 to #39. Not only does Entercom all-news outlet KNX regress by six-tenths (3.2 – 2.6, 6+), “1070 News Radio” departs the top ten (#10 to #13); February’s 3.3 was its best 6+-stat since June 2017 (3.3, as well). It is tied with Pasadena City College news/talk KPCC “The Voice of Southern California” (2.7 – 2.6, -.1, #14 to #13, 6+). Linked as well (at #31) are KSPN “710 ESPN” (-.1, 6+) and iHeartMedia-owned Los Angeles Dodgers flagship KLAC “AM 570 LA Sports” (.5 – .9, #37 to #31, 6+). KSPN’s December 2017 – April 2018 topline 6+-trending is 1.0 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.0 – .9.

Los Angeles Music Formats – Without a decrease in each of the last four survey periods (2.7 – 3.4 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 4.4, 6+), Entercom adult hits KCBS-FM is a collective +1.7 as “93.1 Jack FM Playing What We Want” inches up from seventh to sixth. In a similar vein, co-owned smooth AC KTWV “The Wave” is a collective +.7 in four straight months without a loss (4.1 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.7 – 4.8, fourth to third, 6+). Having lost more than half (-6.6) of its 6+-share in consecutive surveys since the “Holiday” 2017 report (11.9 – 5.5 – 5.3, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary KOST bounces back in March and April with a combined +.7 (5.3 – 5.9 – 6.0, 6+); “Coast 103.5” repeats at #1. Following a January-February-March (6+) trending of 3.2 – 3.5 – 3.4, Spanish Broadcasting System regional Mexican KLAX “La Raza 97.9” regresses by nine-tenths to 2.5 (6+), plummeting out of the top ten (#9 to #16). Although flat at #12, Cumulus Media’s KLOS “95.5 The Rock of Southern California” drops one-tenth to 2.7 (6+), curtailing at five its successive string of up or flat trends that accounted for a +.4 (2.4 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.8, 6+). Mt. Wilson FM Broadcasters’ KKGO “Go Country 105” (2.0 – 2.2, +.2, #22 to #20, 6+) is within 2.0 – 2.9 range (6+) for the 30th time in succession; March 2018’s 2.0 was its lowest 6+-stat since January 2016 (2.0, as well). The market’s (6+) mainstream CHR share erodes by six-tenths as iHeartMedia’s KIIS “Kiss-FM” is -.2 (4.7 – 4.5, fourth to fifth, 6+), while Entercom’s KAMP “97.1 Amp Radio” falters by four-tenths (2.9 – 2.5, #11 to #16, 6+).

Chicago

Spoken-Word Formats – Down two-tenths in back-to-back reports (2.7 – 2.5 – 2.3, 6+), Entercom sports talk WSCR “670 The Score” roars back with a +.9 to 3.2, as the Chicago Cubs flagship rockets from #20 to #13. “The Score” posted a full-share gain in October (3.9 – 4.9, 6+) and improved by six-tenths in January but was a combined -2.8 between October 2017 – “Holiday” 2017 (4.9 – 3.6 – 2.1 – 2.1, 6+). Format rival – ESPN-owned WMVP “ESPN Chicago 1000” – is trending a very consistent 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.6 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.4 (#23 to #24, 6+). A combined +.8 in March and April (2.2 – 2.5 – 3.0, #18 to #15, 6+), Chicago Public Media news/talk WBEZ ended six straight down or flat sweeps that resulted in a collective -.7 (2.9 – 2.7 – 2.6 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.2, 6+). Up by eight-tenths in January and February (4.5 – 4.7 – 5.3, 6+), Entercom all-news WBBM-AM is a collective -.4 in March and April (5.3 – 5.1 – 4.9, 6+), dropping from second to fourth; February’s 5.3 was its finest 6+-stat since March 2017’s 5.4. After January’s one-half share gain to 3.3 (6+) – its best 6+-stat since May 2017 (3.3, as well) – Tribune Media news/talk WGN is a collective -1.3 in three successive decreases (3.3 – 3.1 – 2.2 – 2.0, flat at #21, 6+). Prior to January, WGN notched a 2.8 (6+) in four of the previous seven sweeps. It remains two-tenths ahead of Cumulus Media news/talk WLS-AM, which dips by two-tenths to 1.8 (unchanged at #22). WLS-AM had registered seven straight up or flat ratings periods and was +.7 in that stretch (1.3 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 2.0 – 2.0, 6+).

Chicago Music Formats – In its fourth straight up or flat trend (2.5 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 4.2 – 4.6, steady at #5, 6+), Hubbard’s WDRV “97.1 The Drive – Chicago’s Classic Rock” is a combined +2.1. Remaining on a roll as well, Univision Radio regional Mexican WOJO is +1.7 in four increases in a row (3.3 – 3.5 – 3.7 – 4.2 – 5.0, 6+) with “Que Buena 105.1” leaping from fifth to second. Prior to March, “Que Buena” had been within 3.3 – 3.9 range (6+) in each of the previous 12 sweeps. Steady at 6.1 (6+), iHeartMedia urban AC WVAZ “V-103 Today’s R&B and Throwbacks” is on top for the fourth month in succession; WVAZ ranked first from February 2017 through September. Segueing from fourth to seventh, Entercom’s WBMX “104.3 Jams” forfeits twice as much as its March half-share gain (4.5 – 3.5, -1.0, 6+). Following a combined +3.0 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (2.4 – 4.4 – 5.4, 6+), “104.3 Jams” was -1.4 in January and February (5.4 – 4.8 – 4.0, 6+). A one-half share loss (3.1 – 2.6, 6+) sinks Hubbard adult contemporary WSHE “100.3 SHE The Best Variety” from #11 to #19. Approximately one-third into the March ratings period, classic rock WLUP “The Loop” transitioned to contemporary Christian WCKL “Positive, Encouraging K-Love.” It eroded by -1.9 in that sweep (3.2 – 1.3, #11 to #26, 6+). Until the sale is finalized, Educational Media Foundation is operating the Merlin Media-owned station, which disappears from print in April. Gone as well this sweep is Window to the World classical WFMT, which had been trending 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.2 (6+) since “Holiday” 2017.

San Francisco

Spoken-Word Formats – Busting out from a (6+) trending of 2.9 – 3.3 – 3.0 – 2.9 with a gain of nine-tenths to 3.8 (6+), Cumulus Media-owned San Francisco Giants flagship KNBR “The Sports Leader” vaults back into the top ten (#11 to #5). Meanwhile, Entercom’s KGMZ “95.7 The Game” (key station of the Oakland A’s) is without a loss for the eighth time in a row, more than doubling (+1.3) its 6+-stat in that timeframe (1.0 – 1.2 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.3, #17 to #16, 6+). While #1 for the fourth time in succession, KQED surrenders one-half share to 8.4 (6+). The Northern California Public Broadcasting news/talker was a combined +1.3 via three straight positive spikes (7.6 – 8.1 – 8.8 – 8.9, 6+). It had been on top 12 consecutive times before “Holiday” 2017. A gain of four-tenths in July halted at four a successive streak without an increase that produced a -1.0 (7.7 – 7.3 – 7.0 – 6.7 – 6.7, 6+). KQED added one-half share in August (7.1 – 7.6, 6+); relinquished 60% of that increase in September (7.3, -.3, 6+); and was +1.3 in November (7.3 – 8.6, 6+). After gaining six-tenths in January (5.6 – 6.2, 6+), Entercom all-news KCBS-AM is down for the third time in a row for a net loss of eight-tenths (6.2 – 5.7 – 5.6 – 5.4, 6+) but carries on in the runner-up slot. Up eight-tenths in October, KCBS-AM was a combined -1.2 via three straight drops in November, December, and “Holiday” 2017 (6.8 – 6.7 – 6.4 – 5.6, 6+). October’s 6.8 was its strongest 6+-performance since February 2017 (6.8, as well). In five straight decreases, KSFO was a combined -1.3 (3.4 – 3.0 – 2.4 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.1, #15 to #17, 6+), but the Cumulus Media news/talker gains two-tenths to 2.3 (6+) and is tied with KGMZ at #16. The aforementioned negative streak by KSFO followed four straight gains that doubled (+1.7) its 6+ stat (1.7 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.9 – 3.4, 6+). News/talk sibling KGO is trending 2.0 – 1.9 – 2.0 – 1.8, 6+) and remains at #20.

San Francisco Music Formats – Steady at number four, iHeartMedia urban contemporary KMEL “#1 for Hip-Hop and R&B” is up nine-tenths via three increases in a row (3.2 – 3.8 – 3.9 – 4.1, 6+). Conversely, owing to its third consecutive loss, hot AC sibling KIOI “Star 101.3 – More Music, More Variety” is -1.0 (4.2 – 3.8 – 3.3 – 3.2, 6+), slipping from eighth to ninth. Similarly-formatted/Entercom-owned KLLC “Alice @ 97.3” is -.6 in three straight (modest) declines (4.1 – 3.7 – 3.6 – 3.5, 6+) and remains in seventh-place. After picking up seven-tenths in four straight upticks (3.1 – 3.2 – 3.5 – 3.7 – 3.8, 6+), its CHR cluster-mate KMVQ “99.7 Now – New Hit Music” falters by four-tenths to 3.4 (fifth to eighth, 6+). Without increases for the fourth time in a row are Alpha Media classic hits-oldies and hot AC siblings KBAY “94.5 Bay FM The Bay’s Greatest Hits” (2.1 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.5 – 1.5, #23, 6+) and KEZR “Mix 106 Today’s Best Music” (1.5 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.3, #24, 6+); “Bay FM” is -.6 in that stretch while “Mix” is -.2.

Dallas

Spoken-Word Formats – Five straight negative trends by Entercom’s KRLD-FM “105.3 The Fan” resulted in a -1.2 (3.1 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.1 – 1.9, 6+), but the Texas Rangers flagship dials up a +.5 to 2.4 (#22 to #18, 6+). After dropping three-tenths in back-to-back sweeps (3.5 – 3.2 – 2.9, 6+), Cumulus Media’s KTCK “The Ticket – All Sports, All The Time” adds four-tenths to 3.3 (#14 to #12, 6+). “The Ticket” was stuck on 3.0 (6+) in December and “Holiday” 2017 and registered a +.5 in January. A collective -.7 in five consecutive downward moves (1.6 – 1.5 – 1.2 – 1.1 – 1.0 – .9, 6+), ESPN’s KESN “103.3 ESPN Dallas” is up one-tenth in consecutive monthlies (.9 – 1.0 – 1.1, #31 to #32, 6+). While flat at 2.6 (6+), Entercom news – talk hybrid KRLD-AM slips from #15 to #17. Its -.2 in March ended at seven a consecutive string of up or flat trends that netted seven-tenths (2.1 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.8, 6+). Going back to “Holiday” 2016, KRLD-AM is within a high of 2.8 and a low of 2.0. In the news/talk arena, North Texas Public Broadcasting’s KERA, which was 2.4 (6+) in February and March, drops one-tenth to 2.3 and departs the top twenty (#17 to #21); Cumulus Media’s WBAP “News Talk 820” regains half the four-tenths it lost in March (2.0 – 2.2, +.2, #21 to #22, 6+); Salem Media Group-owned KSKY “660 AM The Answer” is up one-tenth to 1.0 (flat at #33, 6+); and Cumulus Media’s KLIF-AM “570 News & Information” gains one-tenth as well (.5 – .6, unchanged at #35, 6+).

Dallas Music Formats – In four straight up or flat trends (3.9 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 4.5, fifth to third, 6+), Cumulus Media’s KSCS “96.3 New Country” is a +.6 and it overtakes co-owned/similarly-programmed KPLX “99.5 The Wolf” (fourth to fifth), which continues a down/up pattern (4.8 – 3.9 – 4.2 – 4.0 – 4.4 – 4.3, 6+). Tacking on seven-tenths to March’s +.6 (5.4 – 6.0 – 6.7, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned KHKS “106.1 Kiss – Dallas/Fort Worth’s Hit Music” is #1 for the fourth straight month. When “Kiss” reached #1 in January, it was the first time the mainstream CHR held the lead position since March 2017. Improving by one-half share each are co-owned adult contemporary KDGE “Star 102.1 – More Music, More Variety” (#15 to #14, 6+) and Univision Radio Spanish contemporary KDXX “Latino Mix” (2.3 – 2.8, #19 to #16, 6+). In three straight monthlies without a loss, “Star” is up six-tenths (2.5 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 3.1, 6+), while this is the best 6+-showing for “Latino Mix” since 3.0 in November. Following three up-trends in a row that netted nine-tenths (1.0 – 1.3 – 1.7 – 1.9, 6+) Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KYDA “Air 1 Positive Hits” returns seven-tenths of that increase (1.2, #31, 6+). Down an overall seven-tenths in January and February (3.7 – 3.2 – 3.0, 6+), Radio One rhythmic CHR KBFB “97.9 The Beat” recorded a one-half share increase in March but sputters by six-tenths in April (3.5 – 2.9, #11 to #15, 6+). Off by six-tenths as well are Entercom classic hits-oldies KLUV “98.7 K-LUV” (5.0 – 4.4, third to fourth, 6+) and adult hits sibling KJKK “100.3 Jack-FM” (4.2 – 3.6, sixth to ninth, 6+). Off by six-tenths as well are Entercom classic hits-oldies KLUV “98.7 K-LUV” (5.0 – 4.4, third to fourth, 6+) and adult hits sibling KJKK “100.3 Jack-FM” (4.2 – 3.6, sixth to ninth, 6+). After being frozen on 3.4 (6+) in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018, iHeartMedia’s KEGL “97.1 The Eagle Rocks” (ninth to seventh) records a 3.9 (6+) for the third time in a row.

Houston

Spoken-Word Formats – After recording a .7 (6+) in each of the last four ratings periods, iHeartMedia’s KBME “Sports Talk 790” – the flagship of the defending World Series champion Houston Astros – nearly doubles it to 1.3 (+.6, #26 to #22, 6+). Elsewhere in the market’s sports talk format, Entercom’s KILT-AM “Sports Radio 610” returns the one-tenth it gained in March (.9 – .8 – .9 – .8, #23 to #26, 6+) and Gow Communications’ KFNC “ESPN 97.5” adds two-tenths (.5 – .7, #28 to #27, 6+). Finishing back-to-back at #15 and #16, respectively, are University of Houston news/talk KUHF (4.0 – 3.6, -.4, #10 in March, 6+), which surrenders in its entirety March’s +.4 and iHeartMedia news/talk KTRH “News Radio 740” (3.4 – 3.3, -.1, 6+). Both KUHF and KTRH improved by six-tenths in January. In advance of its January +.6, KTRH was without an increase in the previous four monthlies for an overall -1.4 (3.9 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 2.5, 6+).

Houston Music Formats – Having finished first in four successive sweeps, iHeartMedia adult contemporary KODA “Sunny 99.1” shifted to second in March. It answers March’s -1.1 with an April +.8 though and returns to the top spot (7.3 – 6.2 – 8.0, 6+), where it is tied with Radio One’s KMJQ (6.8 – 7.0, +.2, repeats at #1, 6+). “Sunny,” which finished second in October and November, was -5.4 in January but gained two-tenths in February. Its 12.5 in “Holiday” 2017 is its strongest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2016’s 10.3 and the first time any Houston station reached double-digits (6+) since that ratings period. Immediately prior to September’s -.8, KODA was a collective +1.7 via four straight up or flat monthlies (5.5 – 5.5 – 5.8 – 6.4 – 7.2, 6+). Urban AC KMJQ “Majic 102.1 – The People’s Station” was stuck on 7.0 (6+) in January and February, dropping to 6.8 (6+) in March. As the result of three straight decreases (5.2 – 5.0 – 4.3 – 3.7, 6+), KSBJ Educational Foundation’s KSBJ erodes by a cumulative -1.5 as “89.3 Contemporary Christian Music – God Listens” exits the top ten (#9 to #13). Within 3.1 – 3.5 range in each of the last seven sweeps (3.1 – 3.5 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 3.5, 6+), Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KOVE “Amor 106.5” falters by six-tenths to 2.9 (#16 to #17, 6+). More major ups/downs for Entercom adult hits KKHH “95.7 The Spot,” which was +1.0 in January; -.9 in February; +.8 in March; and now -.5 in April (4.1 – 5.1 – 4.2 – 5.0 – 4.5, fifth to eighth, 6+). January’s 5.1 was the best 6+-showing for “The Spot” since last June and July (5.1, as well). In five straight sweeps without a loss (3.8 – 4.4 – 4.7 – 5.3 – 5.5 – 5.5, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KTBZ was +1.7 but “94.5 The Buzz – Houston’s Rock and Alternative” slips by three-tenths to 5.2 (6+) and carries on in fourth-place.

Atlanta

Spoken-Word Formats – Stabilizing itself in March with a 2.6 (6+) after February’s -1.1, Entercom sports talk WZGC “92.9 The Game” trots out a +.7 in April to 3.3 (#17 to #14, 6+). In advance of February’s loss, “The Game” was a combined +.7 in three straight gains (3.0 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.7, 6+). As the result of six successive sweeps without a decrease (1.2 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 1.8, 6+), Dickey Broadcasting’s WCNN “Sports Radio The Fan” is +.6; the flagship of the Atlanta Braves enters the top twenty (#22 to #20). Notwithstanding it is #1 for the 29th successive ratings period, Cox Media Group news/talk WSB-AM is -2.5 in three consecutive negative moves (10.2 – 9.4 – 8.4 – 7.7, 6+); it was +1.6 in January. WSB-AM notched three straight increases for a collective +1.6 (8.6 – 8.9 – 9.9 – 10.2, 6+) but then was a combined -1.6 in three consecutive drops (10.2 – 10.0 – 9.1 – 8.6, October – November – December – “Holiday” 2017, 6+). January 2017’s 10.7 represents its best-ever (6+) PPM-performance. Steady at #19, Cumulus Media news/talk WYAY “106.6 Where Atlanta Comes to Talk” is up two-tenths to 2.0 (6+), after recording a 1.8 (6+) three straight times. With a December 2017 – April 2018 topline of 4.4 – 4.5 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 4.2 (6+), City of Atlanta Board of Education news/talk WABE remains at #8. Georgia State University news/talk WRAS, which had been +.3 in three consecutive up or flat moves (.7 – .7 – .9 – 1.0, 6+), is off by an overall four-tenths in March and April (1.0 – .7 – .6, #26 to #29, 6+). At #31 and #33, respectively, are iHeartMedia-owned WGST “Talk Radio 640” (.1 – .2, +.1, 6+) and Salem Media Group’s WGKA “AM 920 The Answer” (flat at .1, 6+).  

Atlanta Music Formats –  Five upticks or flat moves in succession by Cox Media Group adult contemporary WSB-FM “B-98.5” have netted two full-shares (3.9 – 4.7 – 4.8 – 4.8 – 5.5 – 5.9, steady at #4, 6+). Similarly, Cumulus Media CHR WWWQ “Q-100 Atlanta’s New Hits” is +.5 in five straight positive or flat trends (4.1    – 4.1 – 4.2 – 4.3 – 4.4 – 4.6, 6+), progressing from ninth to seventh. The market’s (6+) country share increases by three-tenths as iHeartMedia’s WUBL “94.9 The Bull” (+.1 in April) registers its fourth increase in a row for an overall gain of six-tenths (4.1 – 4.2 – 4.5 – 4.6 – 4.7, seventh to sixth, 6+), while Cumulus Media-owned WKHX “Kicks 101.5” (+.2 in April) is up seven-tenths in four successive up or flat trends (2.9 – 2.9 – 3.2 – 3.4 – 3.6 (#13 to #12, 6+). This is the fourth negative move in a row for Salem Media Group contemporary Christian WFSH “104.7 Fish” (8.5 – 6.0 – 5.5 – 5.3 – 4.2, sixth to eighth, 6+), which is -4.3 (roughly -50%) in that stretch. “The Fish” was a combined +2.9 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.6 – 7.2 – 8.5, 6+) but now has its lowest 6+ share (4.2) since July 2017’s 3.9. A November decrease of one-tenth pulled the plug at four its string of successive trends without a loss that netted a +1.8 (3.9 – 3.9 – 4.3 – 5.3 – 5.7, 6+). As the result of three downward trends in succession (3.9 – 3.3 – 3.0 – 2.5, #16 to #17, 6+), Entercom hot AC WSTR “Star 94.1 Today’s Hits” is a cumulative -1.4. In three straight positive spikes, Radio One urban AC WAMJ was an overall +1.2 (4.2 – 4.5 – 4.8 – 5.4, 6+), but “Majic” drops three-tenths to 5.1 and is unchanged at #5. Prior to March, WAMJ was within 4.1 – 4.9 range (6+) in each of the previous 17 sweeps. In addition to being up nine-tenths in three consecutive up or flat moves (5.8 – 5.8 – 6.3 – 6.7, third to second, 6+), Entercom urban contemporary WVEE “V-103 The People’s Station” has its best 6+-showing (6.7) since “Holiday” 2016 (6.7, as well). In four straight down or flat trends, iHeartMedia alternative WRDA “Alt 105.7” is off by one-half share (2.0 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.5 – 1.5, #22, 6+).

Philadelphia

Spoken-Word Formats – Another MLB flagship turning in a strong April performance is Entercom sports talk WIP (Phillies), which picks itself up from March’s massive -2.9 with a +1.1 (8.7 – 5.8 – 6.9, fifth to fourth, 6+). Huge shifts have been common lately for WIP, including an overall -1.1 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (8.0 – 7.1 – 6.9, 6+); a +2.6 in January 2018; and -.8 in February. Its format rival –  Beasley Media Group’s WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic” – adds three-tenths to 2.8 (#17 to #14, 6+); “The Fanatic” was +.9 in January. On the heels of posting a +.9 in March (5.1 – 6.0, 6+) for its strongest 6+-showing in three years (6.1, March 2015), Entercom all-news KYW surrenders one full-share in April (5.0, fourth to seventh, 6+). KYW improved by one full-share in January and then dropped one-tenth in February. Steady at #9, public news/talk WHYY adds two-tenths to March’s +.3 (3.9 – 4.2 – 4.4, 6+). WHYY chalked up a +1.0 in January and was -.6 in “Holiday” 2017. Locked on 1.8 (6+) in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018 and then on 1.9 (6+) in February and March, Entercom news talk WPHT “Talk Radio 1210” drops to 1.5 (#19 to #23, 6+). Unchanged at #21, Townsquare Media news/talk WKXW “New Jersey 101.5,” which had been a collective +.6 in six straight up or flat Philadelphia sweeps (1.2 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.6 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8, 6+), is off two-tenths to 1.6 (6+).

Philadelphia Music Formats – By posting an increase of six-tenths (2.8 – 3.4, #15 to #12 6+), Beasley Media Group adult hits WBEN-FM “95.7 BEN-FM” has its best 6+-showing since October 2016 (3.4, as well). The January 2018 – April 2018 6+-topline for WBEB “Today’s 101.1 More FM” is a very consistent 8.3 – 8.4 – 8.4 – 8.3 (6+) as the Jerry Lee-owned adult contemporary repeats at #1. WBEB was -8.7 in January, but in five straight increases before that, “Today’s 101.1 More FM” was a collective +10.3 (6.7 – 7.2 – 7.6 – 7.8 – 12.8 – 17.0, 6+). In “Holiday” 2017, WBEB achieved its most potent 6+-share since 17.9 in “Holiday” 2016. Steady at #2, Entercom classic hits-oldies WOGL “98.1 – Nobody Plays More 80s” is a combined +1.7 in three upticks in succession (5.3 – 6.3 – 6.9 – 7.0, 6+); this (7.0) is its best 6+-stat since September’s 7.4. Registering its fourth straight improvement for an overall +1.3 (3.6 – 4.2 – 4.3 – 4.6 – 4.9, 6+), Entercom-owned WXTU “92.5 Philadelphia’s Country Station” carries on in eighth-place. In seven straight up or flat trends, Connoisseur Media hot AC WPST “94.5 PST” has gained one-half share (.7 – .7 – .8 – .8 – 1.0 -1.0 – 1.1 – 1.2, #24, 6+). Deflating by one-half share each are iHeartMedia rhythmic hot AC WISX “Real 106.1” (2.7, #13 to #15, 6+) and Radio One urban AC WRNB “100.3 R N B” (3.1 – 2.6, #14 to #16, 6+). “Real” was +.8 in three straight increases (2.4 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 3.2, 6+).

Long Island

Spoken-Word Formats – Flat at 2.9 in March (6+), following February’s -1.1, Entercom’s WFAN “Sports Radio” hauls out a +1.1 in April (2.9 – 4.0, 6+) as the New York Yankees’ flagship is back in Long Island’s top ten (#14 to #7). Meanwhile, the key station of the New York MetsiHeartMedia news/talk WOR “710 The Voice of New York” – notches a +.6 (2.5 – 3.1, #16 to #13). WOR was an overall +.8 in three straight gains (2.0 – 2.1 – 2.6 – 2.8, 6+), before returning three-tenths in March. Albeit down one-tenth (3.0 – 2.9, #13 to #14, 6+), Entercom all-news WCBS-AM overtakes co-owned/similarly-formatted WINS (3.3 – 2.8, -.5, #10 to #15, 6+). WCBS-AM gained two-tenths in January, curtailing four straight down or flat trends for an overall loss of one full-share (3.8 – 3.7 – 3.0 – 2.8 – 2.8, 6+). In March, it recaptured the four-tenths it dropped in February. Without an increase in Long Island for six successive survey periods for a -1.3 (4.2 – 4.1 – 3.9 – 3.6 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 2.9, 6+), WINS was +.4 in March. In addition to posting its fourth consecutive positive spike for an overall +.9 (1.1 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.8 – 2.0, 6+), Emmis-owned WEPN “98.7 ESPN New York” cracks the top twenty (#24 to #19). Down one-tenth to 1.4 (yet moving from #26 to #25, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk WABC has its consecutive streak of Long Island up or flat trends that yielded a +.4 end at three (1.1 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.5, 6+). Trending 1.6 – 1.9 – 1.6 (6+), WNYC Broadcasting Foundation news/talk WNYC-FM drops from #22 to #24.

Long Island Music Formats – A gain of six-tenths (3.8 – 4.4, eighth to fourth, 6+) enables Connoisseur Media classic hits-oldies WBZO “103.1 Max FM” to have its best 6+-stat (4.4) since last June (4.4, as well). Also improving by six-tenths is Sacred Heart University’s WSHU “NPR News and Classical Music” (.6 – 1.2, #27, 6+). Even though its 6+-share has been pared in excess of 50% (-6.5) in four straight sweeps without an increase (12.6 – 7.4 – 7.4 – 7.0 – 6.1, 6+), Connoisseur Media hot AC WALK-FM “Real Variety 97.5” is nonetheless #1 for the seventh consecutive time. “Real Variety” was an overall +7.2 in October – November – December – “Holiday” 2017 (5.4 – 6.7 – 8.7 – 12.6, 6+). Off by nine-tenths in October, WALK-FM was on top between June and September. After three consecutive increases that generated a +2.1 (4.2 – 5.1 – 5.3 – 6.3, 6+), it dropped one-tenth in July; rebounded with a +.7 in August; but surrendered six-tenths in September. In back-to-back sweeps, iHeartMedia classic rock WAXQ “Q-104.3” falters by six-tenths (4.6 – 4.0 – 3.4, sixth to tenth, 6+). Via three consecutive increases (2.3 – 2.7 – 3.1 – 4.3, 6+), Connoisseur Media adult contemporary WKJY was +2.0, but “Long Island’s K-98.3” dips by one-tenth to 4.2 (6+), slipping from fifth to sixth. Within 2.0 – 2.9 territory (6+) for the 42nd consecutive ratings period, Emmis rhythmic CHR WQHT “Hot 97” is off by one-tenth (2.6 – 2.5, #15 to #16, 6+).

Riverside

Spoken-Word Formats – Down by a cumulative six-tenths in February and March (1.3 – .9 – .7, 6+), San Bernardino Community College news/talk KVCR regains half that loss to 1.0 (+.3, #15 to #13, 6+). Prior to February, KVCR was +.4 via three minor upticks in a row (.9 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.3, 6+). With a very consistent Inland Empire November 2017 – April 2018 topline of .4 – .4 – .3 – .4 – .4 – .4 – .3 (6+), Pasadena City College news/talk KPCC “The Voice of Southern California” moves from #17 to #18. It is part of a five-way logjam there with iHeartMedia’s KUBE “Fox Sports Radio 1350 AM – Riverside’s Sports Station” (.1 – .3, +.2, 6+).

Riverside Music Formats – An overall +1.2 as the result of three upticks in a row (4.6 – 4.9 – 5.4 – 5.8, 6+), Entercom country outlet KFRG “K-Frog” continues in the runner-up slot. After dipping by one-half share in March (5.2 – 4.7, 6+), Univision Radio Spanish contemporary KLVE “107.5 K-Love” answers with a +.6 to 5.3 (fourth to third, 6+). Anaheim Broadcasting’s KCAL-FM registers a one-half share increase (2.1 – 2.6, 6+) as “96.7 Rocking’ The Empire” rises from tenth to eighth. After racking up a cumulative +2.9 in January and February (5.5 – 7.3 – 8.4, 6+), classic hits-oldies cluster-mate KOLA falters by -1.7 in March and April to 6.7 (6+) but is #1 for the fourth month in succession. January’s +1.8 pulled the plug on three straight decreases that accounted for a -2.0 (7.5 – 6.0 – 5.8 – 5.5, 6+). Prior to January, KOLA last occupied the #1 slot in January 2016 with a 6.9 (6+). This is the fifth sweep in succession without an increase for Entravision’s KLYY “Jose” for an overall -3.0 (7.6 – 7.3 – 5.8 – 5.8 – 5.0 – 4.6, third to fourth, 6+). Returning roughly half of March’s +.9, Liberman Broadcasting regional Mexican KRQB “Que Buena 96.1” (3.0 – 2.5, -.5, 6+) shifts from seventh to tenth; its 3.0 in March was its best 6+-performance since 4.2 in August 2017. Flat at #11, Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KLRD shows a decrease of one-half share as well to 1.5 (6+); “Air 1 Positive Hits” was trending 2.0 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 2.0 (6+).

San Jose

Spoken-Word Formats – After trending 3.0 – 3.3 – 3.0 – 3.0 (6+), Cumulus Media sports talk KNBR trots out a +1.6 – the highest (6+) March 2018 – April 2018 increase by any station in the 12 PPM-markets highlighted here. Moreover, “The Sports Leader” (3.0 – 4.6, 6+) catapults from #12 to #4 and the San Francisco Giants flagship reaches the four-share level in San Jose (6+) for the first time since May 2017’s 4.2. Simulcast partner/co-owned KTCT is flat at .5 (unchanged at #31, 6+). Stuck on 1.0 (6+) in December, “Holiday” 2017, and January 2018, Entercom’s KGMZ “95.7 The Game” gained two-tenths in February but the key station of the Oakland A’s drops one-tenth in March and April (1.2 – 1.1 – 1.0, flat at #29, 6+). Floundering by -.8 in February and then leveling off in March, Entercom all-news KCBS-AM advances by one-half share in April (5.8 – 6.3, 6+) and finishes second for the fourth time in a row. Nearly two full-shares ahead of it is Northern California Public Broadcasting’s KQED, which is #1 for the fourth straight month although down in April by six-tenths (8.8 – 8.2, 6+). When KQED lost six-tenths in “Holiday” 2017, it shifted to #2, following five straight sweeps on top; it was +1.0 in January. A loss of one-tenth in December halted three consecutive gains that produced an overall +1.3 (6.9 – 7.3 – 8.0 – 8.2, 6+). Unlisted in San Jose since posting a 5.1 (6+) in the “Holiday” 2015 report, KQED returned in January 2017 by recording a 6.9 (6+) to finish at #1 and it stayed on top through April 2017. A combined +.7 in January and February (2.4 – 2.8 – 3.1, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk KGO is -1.0 in March and April (3.1 – 2.9 – 2.1, #14 to #17, 6+). Co-owned news/talk KSFO, also an overall +.7 in January and February (1.2 – 1.5 – 1.9, 6+), gains one-tenth (1.9 – 2.0, 6+) to progress from #23 to #18.

San Jose Music Formats – Not only does Entercom adult contemporary KOIT-FM record a +1.0 to 4.2 (6+), applying the brakes to three downward trends in a row that accounted for a roughly 58% loss (-4.4) of its 6+-share (7.6 – 3.7 – 3.3 – 3.2, 6+), “96.5 Better Music for a Better Workday” returns to the top ten (#11 to #7). A gain of eight-tenths (3.7 – 4.5, 6+) takes Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KBRG “Amor 100.3” from eighth to fifth. Regional Mexican sibling KSOL “Que Buena” erases March’s -.5 with an April +.6 (2.8 – 2.3 – 2.9, #18 to #14, 6+). Up by six-tenths as well is Entercom CHR KMVQ “99.7 Now New Hit Music” (3.6, flat at #12, 6+), which was -1.2 in five straight monthlies without an increase (4.2 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.0 – 3.0, 6+). A combined +2.6 in six successive up or flat sweeps (3.2 – 3.4 – 3.8 – 4.0 – 4.7 – 4.9 – 5.8 – 5.8, 6+), co-owned KUFX “98.5 K-Fox, The South Bay’s Classic Rock” segues from second to third. Returning all of its March +.6 (and one-tenth more), hot AC cluster-mate KLLC “Alice @ 97.3” departs the top twenty (2.6 – 1.9, -.7, #17 to #21, 6+); March’s 2.6 was its strongest 6+-share in San Jose since May 2017 (2.6, as well). Meanwhile, its hot AC rival, Alpha Media-owned KEZR, is a cumulative -1.1 in four straight decreases (5.1 – 5.0 – 4.7 – 4.6 – 4.0, fifth to ninth, 6+). As a result of dropping six-tenths to 2.7 (6+), Univision Radio rhythmic CHR KVVF not only exits the top ten (#10 to #15), “Hot” halts at six a consecutive string of up or flat trends that netted a +1.2 (2.1- 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.6 – 3.0 – 3.2 – 3.3, 6+).

Middlesex-Somerset-Union

Spoken-Word Formats – Four successive losses by WFAN accounted for a -1.9 (5.2 – 5.0 – 4.2 – 4.1 – 3.3, 6+), but the Entercom sports talk facility and New York Yankees flagship is an overall +.8 in March and April (3.3 – 3.4 – 4.1, steady at #9, 6+). Immediately prior to the -1.9, WFAN was +1.4 via three straight increases (3.8 – 4.3 – 5.1 – 5.2, 6+). Its format competitor – WEPN “98.7 ESPN New York” – is trending 1.6 – 1.9 – 2.0 – 1.7 – 2.0 (#23 to #21, 6+). Without a loss for the fourth straight time for a net gain of eight-tenths (1.5 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 1.9 – 2.3, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk (and New York Mets flagship) WOR progresses from #20 to #18. Despite a -.8 (8.1 – 7.3, 6+), Townsquare Media news/talk WKXW “New Jersey 101.5” is #1 for the fourth month in a row. “New Jersey 101.5” posted a +.9 in January to advance from second to first with its strongest 6+-stat since April 2016’s 8.5. WKXW held the lead position from January 2017 through November 2017. The four latest (6+) trends for Cumulus Media news/talk WABC are 1.5 – 1.6 – 1.4 – 1.5 (flat at #24); WABC was +.4 in January. Following three consecutive downward moves for a loss of six-tenths (2.8 – 2.5 – 2.3 – 2.2, 6+), Entercom all-news WCBS-AM answered with a +.7 in March – only to drop nine-tenths in April (2.9 – 2.0, 6+), freefalling from the top twenty (#14 to #21). Similarly-programmed sibling WINS is flat at 1.1 (#26 to #25, 6+). Even though it is down one-tenth (2.6 – 2.5, 6+), WNYC Broadcasting Foundation’s WNYC-FM advances from #17 to #16. In three straight improvements (2.2 – 2.5 – 3.1 – 3.4, 6+), the public news/talker was a cumulative +1.2 but was -.8 in March.

Middlesex Music Formats – Boasting a seven-tenths increase (4.1 – 4.8, 6+), Pillar of Fire contemporary Christian WAWZ “Star 99.1” jumps from eighth to fifth. A gain of one-half share (2.9 – 3.4, #14 to #12, 6+) enables Entercom-owned WBMP “Alt 92.3 New York’s New Alternative” to register its best 6+-share since June 2017 when it was a mainstream CHR (“Amp”). Although unchanged at #20, Cumulus Media hot AC WPLJ “New York’s 95.5 PLJ” improves by two-tenths to 2.1 (6+), thus halting five straight down or flat trends that accounted for an overall -1.2 (3.1 – 2.7 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 1.9, 6+). With the loftiest (6+) March 2018 – April 2018 decrease by any station in the 12 PPM-markets highlighted here (5.6 – 4.2, -1.4, 6+), Beasley Media Group adult contemporary WMGQ “Magic 98.3 Today’s Hits/Yesterday’s Favorites” drifts from third to seventh. An overall +1.5 in five successive up or flat moves in Middlesex-Somerset-Union (4.0 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.7 – 5.2 – 5.5, 6+), Entercom classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM “101.1 New York’s Greatest Hits” forfeits six-tenths to 4.9 (6+) yet actually climbs from fifth to fourth. After trending 3.4 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 3.3 – 3.4 (6+), Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish tropical WSKQ “Mega 97.9” regresses by one-half share to 2.9 (6+) and spirals from the top ten (#9 to #15).

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

| February 14, 2018

WEEI, Boston to Suspend Programming on Friday; Holds Mandatory Sensitivity Training for Air Staff.  In the aftermath of two recent incidents in which WEEI, Boston air personalities made statements that offended some, Entercom is suspending the sports talk station’s Friday programming and all staff will complete mandatory sensitivity training.  As regular TALKERS readers are aware, WEEI has been dealing with blowback – including lost advertisers – after a bit in which midday personality Christian Fauria used a phony Asian accent while imitating sports agent Don Yee (who, incidentally, speaks English without an accent).  It’s being reported that Comcast, City of Boston Credit Union, the Massachusetts Lottery, and possibly others, have cancelled ad campaigns with the station.  Fauria has been suspended by Entercom for a week and both the station and Fauria have apologized for the incident.  The cancellations appear to have come on the heels of an op-ed piece by Boston Globe columnist Shirley Leung.  This latest incident came almost two weeks after WEEI’s Alex Reimer referred to Tom Brady’s daughter as “an annoying little pissant.”  Brady cut short a scheduled appearance on the “Kirk & Callahan” morning show because of Reimer’s comments.  The station posted the following on its website: “Nothing is more important to WEEI than the close-knit and diverse Boston community we call home, and we are committed to actively contributing to its betterment.  WEEI is in the process of closely reevaluating our policies and procedures in an effort to ensure that our programming is never intolerant or harmful to our listeners or our city.”  This suspension of live programming for mandatory sensitivity training is, as far back as TALKERS editors can remember, unprecedented in the radio industry.

U.S. Trustee Has Issues with Cumulus Bonus Structure.  More accurately, U.S. Trustee William Harrington has issues with the information Cumulus has supplied regarding its bonus structure at both the station level and for corporate executives.  Harrington has filed an objection stating that, among other things, Cumulus has not identified the job titles of those at the station level slated for bonuses, has not identified all of the corporate executives scheduled to receive payouts, nor has Cumulus shown that its bonus plan is an actual incentive plan and not retentive in nature (i.e. solely designed to keep key employees on board during a time of uncertainty).  What Harrington is saying is that actual incentive plans are allowed but Cumulus hasn’t satisfied him in showing its bonus plans are exactly that and not mechanisms to “enrich insiders” at the “expense of the creditors.”  Cumulus issued the following statement regarding Harrington’s objection: “The objection filed last night has absolutely no impact on the authorizations the Court gave the company on February 8th to pay incentive compensation for employees who earned it in 2017, or will earn it in 2018.  We will be making our incentive compensation payments to those employees, beginning with this week’s normal payroll cycle.  The objection filed is common in these situations and applies only to a small number of senior executives whose compensation will be addressed at an upcoming hearing on March 12th.”

WGN, Chicago to Air White Sox Games.  After 75 years, the Chicago White Sox are returning to WGN’s airwaves.  As you’re probably aware, Cumulus asked the bankruptcy court to let it out of contracts that were onerous and the WLS-AM/White Sox deal was one of them.  Now, for the first time since 1943, White Sox games will return to Tribune’s WGN starting with a spring training game on Friday, February 23.   In the booth will be former Sox pitcher Ed Farmer handling play-by-play and former outfielder Darrin Jackson as analyst.  WGN VP of content Todd Manley says, “What an honor it is to join the White Sox family.  Summer starts TODAY on WGN Radio.”

WOR Names Ray Martel to Executive Producer Role for Mets Broadcasts.  New York radio pro Ray Martel – currently the associate producer for WOR, New York’s “Len Berman in the Morning” show – is named executive producer for New York Mets radio broadcasts and “Sports Zone with Pete McCarthy,” effective March 1.  Martel says, “I am extremely honored to be the next producer of the Mets broadcasts on 710 WOR.  When I began in broadcasting 20 years ago, one of my first positions was as a board-op working on the Mets broadcasts.  It’s amazing to think it’s come full-circle two decades later…I can’t wait for the season to start!”  Prior to his arrival at WOR, Martel was a producer at crosstown sports talker WFAN for 13 years.  He produced for Mike Francesa, Tiki Barber, Brandon Tierney and Dana Jacobson.  He also produced for ESPN Radio.  Martel takes over for Joe Curci, who is leaving on February 28 for a position outside of radio.

Lauer Named Director of Sales for Entercom Milwaukee. Radio sales pro Eric Lauer is appointed to the director of sales position at Entercom’s Milwaukee station group that includes sports talk WSSP/W289CB “105.7 FM/AM 1250 The Fan,” CHR WXSS “103.7 Kiss FM,” and hot AC WMYX “99.1 The Mix.”  Lauer was most recently general sales manager at Scripps’ crosstown news/talk WTMJ and country WKTI.   Entercom Milwaukee/Madison SVP and market manager Chuck Sullivan says, “I have known Eric since he first arrived in the market and his passion, intellect and leadership skills were apparent immediately.  We feel very fortunate to have him partner with us to lead the Milwaukee team.”  Lauer has also held sales management roles with Cox Media Group in Florida and Georgia.

TALKERS News Notes. KIRO-FM, Seattle adds Gee Scott to the evening “KIRO Nights” program with co-host Zak Burns.  Scott moves to the new position from Bonneville’s sister sports talker KIRO-AM “710 ESPN Seattle” where he hosted the evening program.  He fills the seat vacated by Jason Rantz, who exited last fall to assume the morning drive show on the company’s local news/talk KTTH-AM…..The popular podcast from The New York Times, “The Daily,” is being produced as a 30-minute evening radio program distributed by American Public MediaMichael Barbaro will also host the radio version…..Also in Seattle, iHeartMedia is signing with the Major League Soccer club Seattle Sounders FC to serve as its flagship radio station for match play-by-play.  Games and related programming – that used to air on Bonneville’s KIRO-FM – will now air on KJR-AM.  Matt Johnson will call the matches along with rotating analysts Wade Webber, Danny Jackson, and Pete Fewing.

Cumulus Celebrates 40 Years of Steve Dahl with Billboard Campaign.  Radio personality Steve Dahl has been a part of Chicago radio for 40 years and Cumulus Media is honoring Dahl’s colorful career with a billboard campaign in Chicagoland.  Dahl is currently hosting afternoon drive on Cumulus’ news/talk WLS-AM.  The image above is part of the creative for the campaign and shows Dahl with the late John Belushi.

audioBoom and Triton Digital Merge.  This pairing is being termed a “reverse takeover” with Triton Digital merging with the UK-based audioBoom podcast network and technology provider.   audioBoom will acquire all of the stock of Triton Digital Canada for $185 million.  The new company will be called Triton Digital Group and will be publicly traded on the London Stock Exchange.  The executive structure will effectively remain in place with president/CEO Neal Schore, president/market development John Rosso, EVP/CFO Mark Rosenbaum, and SVP/ product and technology Alex FournierCurrent audioBoom CEO Rob Proctor becomes managing director of the audioBoom business unit.  He also remains an executive director.  Schore comments, “We’re proud of our position in the marketplace.  We feel an enormous sense of responsibility to continuously innovate and to drive monetization opportunities.  Our clients can expect us to not only maintain our leadership position, but to have the resources and the team to expand our technology and services meaningfully.”  audioboom currently hosts more than 12,000 content channels, with U.S. content partners including: Cumulus Media, Westwood One, and the Associated Press.  The transaction is expected to close in late March or early April.

Rob Porter White House Exit/John Kelly Status, Russia Election Interference, DACA Status/Immigration Policy, Trump/Stormy Daniels Matter, U.S. Strikes in Syria, Netanyahu Criminal Allegations, PyeongChang Winter Games, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/13).  The aftermath of Rob Porter’s exit from the White House after allegations of spousal abuse and questions about chief of staff John Kelly’s job security; U.S. intel concerns about Russian influence in 2018 mid-term elections; a judge refuses to allow DACA to be shut down and the related Trump Administration policy on immigration; Donald Trump attorney Michael Cohen reveals he paid porn star Stormy Daniels $130,000 out of his own pocket; U.S. military strikes in Syria allegedly kill Russian mercenaries; Israeli investigators say Benjamin Netanyahu should be indicted on corruption charges; the Olympic Games in PyeongChang, South Korea; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Deborah Norville to Host BFoA’s Golden Mike Award Ceremony.  Television’s Deborah Norville is hosting the Broadcasters Foundation of America’s 2018 Golden Mike Award honoring Graham Media president and CEO Emily Barr on March 5 at the Plaza Hotel in New York City.  Also, at this event Pat McLaughlin will accept the Lifetime Achievement Award on behalf of her late husband, Ed McLaughlin, who is credited with discovering Rush Limbaugh and was the founder of EFM Media Management.  Ed McLaughlin was chairman emeritus of the Broadcasters Foundation when he passed away last month.  This annual event is one of the biggest fundraisers in support of the mission of the Broadcasters Foundation to provide aid to broadcasters in acute need.

WIOV, Lancaster’s ‘Murph’ Dies Unexpectedly at 61. Sad news out of Lancaster, Pennsylvania as Cumulus Media reports that WIOV-FM “I-105” morning personality Jerry Murphy – half of the “Murph & Casey” program with Casey Allyn – died unexpectedly at the age of 61.  The duo had worked together on “I-105” for the past 19 years.  Station PD Rich Creeger says, “Murph was not only one of the most charismatic personalities I had the pleasure of working with, but he was also a great friend.  I will miss him tremendously.”  The station has set up a tribute to Murph on the station website at wiov.com.

More Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Appointed to take over management of Spanish Broadcasting System’s New York operations is Maire Mason.  She’s the new VP/GM for Spanish music outlets WSKQ-FM “Mega 97.9FM” and WPAT-FM “Amor 93.1FM.”  Mason, who most recently worked for Cumulus as ​VP/GM in New York, takes over for Eric Garcia who recently exited to join Univision…..Nate Reed is named operations manager for Cox Media Group’s Tulsa cluster.  CMG market VP Cathy Gunther comments, “Nate’s commitment to strong programming will continue to set our stations apart from our competitors.  He has been a natural leader at our radio properties and now, with all our platforms working together, he will be integral part of our new leadership team.”…..Yes, it happened on Valentine’s Day!  Cumulus Media appoints Chad Valentine program director for CHR WBHT, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.  Valentine was most recently with iHeartMedia as air personality, APD, and music director for CHR WHYI, Miami “Y100.”  Valentine says, “I’m excited to be here and ready to make some great radio for Northeast PA.  I’m proud to be part of the next chapter of WBHT’s evolution.”…..Mid-West Family Broadcasting South Bend general manager Jim Roberts leaves the company after almost 22 years to become the national account manager at Cleveland-based Futuri Media.  Roberts had served as GM of the South Bend station group since 2011…..Pictured at right are Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott (right) and Premiere’s SVP, talent and brand integration Rick Murray (left) chatting with country star Sara Evans (center) as she kicked off the “CMT Next Women of Country” tour at B.B. King Blues Club & Grill in New York City on February 12.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

| January 23, 2018

End of Imus Show a Corporate Decision.  Following yesterday’s report of the end of the WABC, New York-based “Imus in the Morning” program, today we learn a little more about why Cumulus is shutting down the program on March 29, even though Imus is under contract through December.  As reported in the New York Daily News, Don Imus himself says that the company – in the midst of a Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization – can save millions by cancelling the program.  During a bankruptcy reorganization a company must do its best to contain costs wherever it can.  Imus understands the position Cumulus is in, saying he has no intent to speak ill of the company.  He said on the air, “The agreement they had me sign was full of language about, ‘He can’t disparage the company.’  Well I wasn’t going to do that.  I don’t feel like that.”  The program is syndicated nationally via Westwood One.

Sean Hannity Set to Headline TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead!  In keeping with what has become a tradition at the 21st annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most-important national convention, Sean Hannity will be one of the keynote speakers at TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead!  The event is set for Friday, June 8 in New York City at the ultra-modern Helen Mills Event Space and Theater located in the colorful Chelsea district of Manhattan.  The syndicated Premiere Networks talk radio star and prime-time host of the FOX News Channel will host the convention’s “Breakfast with Hannity” morning networking social which will be followed by a one-on-one “fireside chat” with TALKERS founder Michael Harrison.  (NOTE:  Harrison will also conduct a one-on-one chat that same morning with a major radio group CEO to be announced tomorrow.)  Harrison states, “It’s going to be a spectacular start to what promises to be another very special conference.  For me, it’ll be like pitching a double header – interviewing Sean who is arguably the most important host in talk media today and, then, having a dialogue with one of the most influential captains of industry in the radio business.”   The conference will feature top speakers from all aspects of the spoken-word media industry with a focus on talk radio and its role in the new digital age and dawn of a rapidly accelerating era.  This will include programming, sales, marketing, and technology – the full spectrum of concerns, challenges and opportunities facing the modern day talk broadcaster and broadcasting organization.  It will feature keynote addresses, panel discussions, fireside chats, and exhibits of the latest services and equipment available to broadcasting professionals.  The event will also provide its attendees with unparalleled networking opportunities and social mixers including breakfast, lunch, and a closing cocktail reception.  Harrison adds, “Good things happen at this convention.  We pack three days’ worth of content and activity into one dynamic day in a comfortable space.  It is not to be missed!”  Complete agenda and hotel details will be posted in the coming days and weeks.  As is customary with TALKERS conventions, TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! is only open to members of the professional media industry and communications students.  Because seating is limited, and the event has been an early sellout every year since the 1990s, in order to maintain this policy, non-refundable registrations can only be purchased via telephone with a credit card.  Full registration, including all functions, meals, and refreshments costs $329 per person.  However, an early bird special ($279 per person) is available for those who register before 5:00 pm ET on Friday, February 2.  To register or obtain sponsorship information, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.

KMOX, St. Louis’ Mark Reardon Scoops Radio Competition with Governor Greitens Interview.  St. Louis talk radio host Mark Reardon was the only radio broadcaster that embattled Missouri Governor Eric Greitens spoke with over the weekend, in which he talked publicly about his admitted extra-marital affair while vowing not to resign his position over it.  The story is, obviously, a big deal in Missouri.  There have been allegations of blackmail and other sordid aspects associated with the governor’s affair, all of which he denied to Reardon.  Mark Reardon hosts the mid-afternoon 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm program on Entercom’s KMOX, St. Louis and he played the entire interview for his listeners on Monday’s program.

Premiere Network’s Buck Sexton Launches New Podcast on iHeartRadio.  Conservative media figure and Premiere Networks syndicated radio talk host Buck Sexton launches a new podcast titled, “Shields High,” that “explores the epic struggles that could have extinguished the Western world as we know it.”  In the podcast, Sexton features stories of valiant last stands of armies led by champions from Charles Martel to Don Juan of Austria where the West fought back and won. The series explores those heroes and the momentous battles that reverberate from ancient times to the present.”  Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott comments, “Premiere Networks is dedicated to providing audiences with a wide variety of audio content and programming across multiple platforms, so we’re excited to partner with Buck on this new podcast showcasing his passion for history and storytelling.  We think listeners will enjoy hearing Buck share these epic tales of the quest for freedom and knowledge, which continue to influence the world we live in.”

WXOS, St. Louis Inks Bernie Miklasz to New Deal; Michelle Smallmon Returns to St. Louis Sports Talker.   St. Louis sports media pro Bernie Miklasz signs a contract extension with Hubbard Radio’s WXOS “101 ESPN” to continue hosting his 7:00 am to 10:00 am program.  At the same time, the station welcomes Michelle Smallmon back to work on air with Miklasz and as an online contributor to the station’s 101sports.com.  Hubbard St. Louis Radio vice president John Kijowski says, “With all of his accomplishments, awards, and honors from his on-the-air show hosting and sports writing, we’re thrilled to extend Bernie’s contract with ‘101 EPSN.’”  Smallmon got her start working with Miklasz producing and doing some on-air appearances.  She also produced the afternoon drive “Fast Lane” show.  In 2015, she moved to Bristol, Connecticut to work for ESPN.  Smallmon started as a producer for the weekday evening radio show “Jorge & Jen,” and most recently was producing the Ryen Russillo show.

Television News Pro Lauren Sivan Joins Dr. Drew Radio Show.  The “Dr. Drew Midday Live” program – heard on Cumulus Media’s KABC, Los Angeles and KGO, San Francisco – adds TV news pro Lauren Sivan (right) to the show as co-host.  She’s recently made regular appearances as a fill-in co-host with Dr. Drew Pinsky (left), KABC afternoon host John Phillips, and has anchored news during the “McIntyre in the Morning” show on KABC.  Sivan’s TV news resume includes on-air work at KTTV-TV, Los Angeles and FOX News Channel in New York.  About her new gig, she says, “I am thrilled to join Dr. Drew as co-host and to launch the next generation of this dynamic and engaging show.  As a broadcast journalist, I love being able to talk with Dr. Drew and our listeners every day about issues that are relevant and topical – and often controversial.  It’s a great pleasure to not only tell stories on the show, but to break them down and hear what people are really thinking and what really matters to them.”

TALKERS News Notes.  Chicago news/talker WGN revives the “Sports Central” program on its digital platform, wgnradio.com and the WGN Radio app.  The program – for years an evening show hosted by David Kaplan (who’s now at crosstown WMVP) on WGN – will stream from 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm daily and will be hosted by Adam Hoge.  He says, “Listeners can interact with ‘Sports Central’ live while also having the freedom to consume it on-demand throughout the day.  There’s no better place to launch than from radio row at the Super Bowl.  I can’t wait to get started!”…..Salem Radio Network host Mike Gallagher is pictured at left at the annual SHOT Show in Las Vegas today (1/23) broadcasting his talk show.  The sportsmen/hunter/outdoor trade show is being held at the Sands Expo Center.  Gallagher says “As an ardent supporter of the Second Amendment, I can’t think of a better — or safer — place to be this week than with friends from 111 countries at the biggest event in outdoor sports.”…..Independent sports website RealGM, teams with PodcastOne to debut the long-running “RealGM Radio” on PodcastOne’s SportsNet lineup.  RealGM Radio features “conversations with the NBA’s best thought leaders, along with in-depth analytics on the sport.” The podcast is hosted by RealGM, The Athletic, and Sporting News writer Danny Leroux…..After five years at their Trinity Centre location in the Financial District of New York City, Sun Broadcast Group announces it has relocate to Midtown Manhattan.  The new, multi-year lease, signed in December, has the network occupying the entire second floor of 363 Seventh Avenue, just steps away from Madison Square Garden.

Report: Mancow in Limbo at ‘The Loop.’  Chicago media writer Robert Feder writes about his chat with WLUP-FM, Chicago morning host Erich “Mancow” Muller and what his status is now that Cumulus has made it known it wants out of its LMA of the station (and sister WKXQ) and it doesn’t want to have to buy the stations from Merlin Media for $50 million.  On the heels of Friday’s report in TALKERS that Cumulus has asked the bankruptcy judge to let it out of a number of financially onerous contracts, including the Merlin deal in Chicago, Mancow talks about possibly working for Merlin chief Randy Michaels.  Read what Mancow – who made a second career out of being a political talk host in the news/talk genre before returning to morning rock radio – told Feder here.

Government Shutdown Ends, DACA Status, Trump-Russia Probe/FBI Texts Issue, Pence in Middle East, Eagles-Patriots Super Bowl Matchup, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/22).  The federal government shutdown ends with Democrats accused of caving to the GOP; the debate over the status of the Dreamers Act and the Trump Administration’s immigration policy; the investigation into possible connections between the Donald Trump campaign and Russian operatives and the related investigation into missing text messages from alleged pro-Hillary Clinton FBI agents; Vice President Mike Pence’s trip to the Middle East and the process for peace talks; the Super Bowl LII match-up between the Eagles and Patriots; and NBA 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. Chicago country outlet WUSN “US*99” names Kenny Jay program director.  He comes to Chicago from his most recent position as program director for Entercom’s former country KMPS, Seattle.  He’s also programmed KMNB, Minneapolis.  Jay will report directly to Entercom Chicago VP of programming Todd Cavanah, who will continue as program director of CHR WBBM-FM “B96.”…..In Miami, Entercom’s adult contemporary WLYF “101.5 LITE FM” names Tamara G., a.k.a. Tamara Gant, co-host of the morning program alongside Julie Guy.  Entercom South Florida SVP and market manager Keriann Worley says, “We are incredibly excited to partner with Tamara G. and bring back together two of South Florida’s most popular radio personalities.  Their chemistry is unmatched and our listeners will benefit from a fun, family-friendly morning show every morning.”  The two previously worked together co-hosting mornings on crosstown WFLC, Miami.  Most recently, Tamara G. was a cast member on the nationally syndicated Michael Baisden show.

‘Make It Bigger’ Ed McLaughlin

| January 19, 2018

By Walter Sabo
Sabo Media
CEO

 

NEW YORK — The great Ed McLaughlin has left a legacy of stunning success.  Working for him for five years at the ABC Radio Networks, I learned how and why he was so successful, respected, and beloved.  He was responsible for the success of KGO, San Francisco as its VP/GM in its founding year of 1960.  Ed gave KGO its on-air staff, momentum and “sound” that lead it to record-breaking #1 ratings.  The multiple network concept at ABC was brought to profitability by his determination and leadership.  Ed retired from ABC to bring Dr. Dean Edell to syndication and Rush Limbaugh to the status he enjoys today.

MAKE IT BIGGER

Today, if you take an idea to most manager-types they will say that the company can’t afford it, or it costs too much, or it’s never been done before.  Ed McLaughlin never embraced a small idea.

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Tuesday, January 16, 2018

| January 16, 2018

New KGO, San Francisco Lineup Follows Ronn Owens Move.  On the heels of Friday’s announcement of San Francisco talk legend Ronn Owens’ transition from hosting his daily talk radio show to now hosting the 10-minute “Ronn Owens Report” at 12:50 each weekday, the new talk show schedule is confirmed.  Cumulus Media announces the changes that include the move of the Ethan Bearman program from its previous 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm slot to the 10:00 am to 12:50 pm daypart.  KGO brings medical expert and media personality Dr. Drew Pinsky aboard to host the 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm show, and expands the afternoon drive Chip Franklin program by an hour to air from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm.

Adam Gold Celebrates 20th Anniversary in Triangle Sports Talk Radio.  WCMC-FM, Raleigh sports talk personality Adam Gold is celebrating his 20th year in Triangle sports talk radio this month.  Gold arrived in Raleigh 20 years ago to host afternoons at “850 The Buzz.”  As Capitol Broadcasting notes, Gold has transitioned through various ownership changes and sports talk signal shuffles during his time in the market.  He currently co-hosts the “Adam & Joe” show with his partner of seven-plus years, Joe Ovies.  WCMC general manager Brian Maloney says, “Adam literally showed up on our doorstep at the radio station one afternoon, we gave him a shot and loved what we heard.  Sports talk and hosts giving their opinions about teams and players was a new concept to the area.  Adam has never been shy or afraid to give his honest opinion and that’s one of the reasons he’s been so successful.”

Four Promoted at Westwood One. At syndicator and sales firm Westwood One, four affiliate sales directors are promoted to vice presidents.  Senior vice president of affiliate sales Dennis Green announces that Neal Bird, Rich Burg, Stuart Greenblatt, and Jim Jones are now wearing VP stripes.  Green says, “Neal, Rich, Stuart, and Jim lead the charge each and every day to make sure our affiliates and station partners have the best products available and customer service possible.  We are proud to elevate them as a result of their tireless efforts in helping to make Westwood One America’s largest radio network.”  Neal Bird is in Los Angeles and is responsible for all music and entertainment affiliations, Rich Burg is in New York and is in charge of all sports affiliations, Stuart Greenblatt is in New York and handles all talk affiliations, and Jim Jones is Washington, DC and oversees all Westwood One News affiliations.

Red Wolf Buys Connoisseur Signals in Connecticut for $8 Million.  The big signal in this deal is Hartford classic rock WDRC-FM “102.9 The Whale,” but Red Wolf is also acquiring three of the four stations that Connoisseur Media has been using for the “Talk of Connecticut” talk radio format.  Those stations are WDRC-AM, Hartford; WSNG, Torrington; and WMMW, Meriden.  The price tag for the Bergner & Co-brokered deal is $8 million.  The deal also includes translator W272DO that Connoisseur had been using as an alternative rock outlet.  Red Wolf flips that to Spanish tropical and helps protect its longtime Hartford alt-rocker WMRQ (licensed to Waterbury).

TALKERS News Notes. In the Jackson, Tennessee market, Grace Broadcasting flips classic hits WHPP “Hippie Radio 105.3” to talk as “The Talk of Jackson” and changes the calls to WTJK.  Steve Bowers – pictured at right – continues to host the “Blue Suede Forever” morning show live from the Dixie Café on the new format…..Comedy Central is debuting a live, daily show on its SiriusXM channel – Comedy Central Radio.  “You Up with Nikki Glaser” will launch in February and air from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon ET Monday through Thursday…..Tribune’s news/talk radio outlet WGN, Chicago is changing its Sunday programming lineup and is adding the new “Karen Conti Show,” airing from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm.  The Chicago attorney has 25 years of TV and radio experience.  She’s been a permanent guest on the Steve Cochran show and the Brian Noonan show where she discusses current legal topics and fields listeners’ legal questions.  Conti comments, “I have been part of the WGN family for 10 years and I’m very excited to host my own show.  Now, with two hours, I can cover legal issues and other topics that are informational and entertaining to WGN listeners.”…..Georgia meteorologist George Wetherbee has been added to this Thursday’s “Coffee with Envision” webinar titled “Weathering the Storm with Hyperlocal Coverage.”  There’s still room to sign up for the Envision Networks-sponsored event here.

Trump DACA Policy-“Shithole” Comment, Hawaii Missile False Alarm, North Korea Nuke Threats, Government Shutdown Threat, California Captive Family, Soaring Dow, MLK Jr. Day, Baghdad Suicide Bombings, and NFL Playoff Games Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/15).  The Trump Administration’s DACA policy and the continuing controversy over allegations of President Trump’s use of the word “shithole” describing Caribbean and African nations; the missile false alarm in Hawaii that caused panic over the weekend; North Korea’s nuclear weapons threats against the U.S.; the possibility of a U.S. government shutdown; the case of a California couple’s shackling of 12 children in their home;  the soaring Dow Jones industrial average and the potential for it to hit 26,000 for the first time; Monday’s Martin Luther King Jr. holiday; a double suicide bombing in Baghdad kills 27 and wounds more than 60; and the weekend’s NFL playoff games were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

‘Survivor’ Winner Joins KIDO, Boise’s Kevin Miller.  Pictured above are KIDO, Boise morning drive talk host Kevin Miller (left) with season 35 “Survivor” winner Ben Driebergen (right) after talking on the program about how to win “Survivor” and win $1 million.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. The nationally syndicated “Tom Joyner Morning Show” is back on the air in the Atlanta market on Radio One’s FM translator W275BK – fed by WUMJ-HD2 – that’s branded “Classix 102.9 FM, Atlanta’s Classic RnB.”  The company says that, as part of the change, market pro Mitch Faulkner joins Radio One Atlanta as the morning show local producer, as well as hosting his “Classic RnB Show” Saturdays from 7:00 pm to 12:00 midnight.  Faulkner says, “I’m proud to join the team at Radio One Atlanta.  ‘Classix 102.9’ plays the music I grew up with and it’s refreshing to work with a company that ‘gets’ urban radio – and they do it right!  Plus, to work with a management team I have known and watched over the years, I feel this year will be the best of my career.”…..Speaking of Tom Joyner, Reach Media says he’s “signed on” for 2018 as host of the “Tom Joyner Morning Show.”  It also says Joyner introduced the “Funny Chair” last year, bringing all-star comedic personalities to the radio show lineup each day.  For 2018, Joyner will feature Guy Torry and Sherri Shepherd as co-hosts…..The “Ace & TJ Show” promotes longtime show producer Rob Miller to the newly created role of vice president of affiliate relations.  Miller says, “There is nowhere else I’d rather be.  When the people you work with become family, it makes growth like this even more special.  Thank you to Ace & TJ for this amazing opportunity.”…..iHeartMedia promotes Adam Kurtz to SVP of sales for the Chicago Region.  With iHeartMedia since 2001, Kurtz has most recently been VP of sales for the six-station cluster.

Monday, January 15, 2018

| January 15, 2018

Stunner: KGO’s Owens Transitions from Host to Commentator. At the conclusion of last Friday’s (1/12) program on Cumulus Media San Francisco’s news/talk KGO, Ronn Owens revealed the plug has been pulled on his 42-year “Ronn Owens Show” in favor of a daily, ten-minute “Ronn Owens Report,” which debuts tomorrow (Tuesday, 1/16) at 12:50 pm. According to a report in the San Francisco Chronicle, “A test version included commentary on president [Donald] Trump’s vulgar reference to Haiti and African nations, as well as whether a work requirement should be imposed on able-bodied food stamp recipients.” Owens tells the paper that his “goal” with the weekday commentary “is to be a 2018 version of Paul Harvey and Andy Rooney.” Two years ago, Cumulus Media announced it would move Owens from KGO to co-owned news/talk KSFO, a decision that was reversed one month later. The most recent contract for the 72-year-old Owens expired in December; he reportedly didn’t expect it to be renewed at the same salary level. A 2015 National Radio Hall of Fame inductee, Owens apparently isn’t the only KGO on-air talent off the weekday schedule. On Facebook, 2:00 – 4:00 pm host Brian Copeland writes that his show has been scrubbed; Copeland states management would like him to remain with the station in some capacity. Although unconfirmed, KGO’s revised weekday on-air lineup is believed to be: Armstrong & Getty (5:00 am – 10:00 am); Ethan Bearman (10:00 am – 12:50 pm); Owens (12:50 pm – 1:00 pm); a simulcast from Los Angeles sibling KABC of Dr. Drew Pinsky and Mike Catherwood (1:00 pm – 3:00 pm); and Chip Franklin (3:00 pm – 7:00 pm).

Nashville’s “Zone” Expands Local Coverage. Changes extending local dayparts on Cumulus Media Nashville sports talk/Tennessee Titans flagship WGFX “104.5 The Zone” go into effect today (Monday, 1/15). Program director Brad Willis states that “The Zone” has “long been Nashville’s preeminent sports station. In an effort to devote more time to Nashville’s continually evolving sports landscape, we feel it is time that we are all local, all day long. I look forward to having our team cover the teams and sports that are important to Nashville nonstop from 6:00 am until 6:00 pm every weekday.” Hosts of the (now 10:00 am – 2:00 pm) “Midday 180” show Chad Withrow, Jonathan Hutton, and Paul Kuharsky have been signed to multi-year contracts and they state, “We are looking forward to loading up with even more great interviews with important people, giving more commentary on the local teams and the issues of the day. Our commitment remains the same: In and out of season, we will crush on a daily basis.” Meanwhile, Brent Dougherty, Mickey Ryan, and Dawn Davenport of the lengthened 2:00 pm – 6:00 pm “3HL” program add, “Nashville sports fans are the best in the country and we are excited about the opportunity to spend more time with them. During that time, we plan to continue to focus heavily on the sports and storylines that are most important to our listeners.” The Mark Howard, Kevin Ingram, and Blaine Bishop-hosted “Wake Up Zone” continues daily from 6:00 am -10:00 am.

“Whoa Nellie” – The Passing of Keith Jackson. If you ever watched a college football game on television, you knew the unmistakable voice and style of Keith Jackson and his trademark catch-phrase, “Whoa Nellie.” The legendary play-by-play man for the first season of ABC-TV’s “Monday Night Football” and at the microphone for a variety of other sports, 89-year-old Jackson died Friday (1/12) in Los Angeles. ABC parent Walt Disney Company chief executive Robert Iger succinctly states, “For generations of fans, Keith was college football.” While Jackson worked on ten Summer and Winter Olympics and on “ABC’s Wide World of Sports,” his resume includes radio, as well. The western Georgian native joined the Marines as a teenager, then attended Washington State University, where he received a degree in broadcast journalism in 1954. Jackson spent ten years at KOMO, Seattle in news, sports and production, before becoming sports director of ABC Radio West. He began broadcasting college football for ABC Sports in 1966. The National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association named him “Sportscaster of the Year” five consecutive times (1972 to 1976). Working a largely regional schedule close to his Southern California home, Jackson retired after broadcasting the 2006 Rose Bowl game.

Terry Takes Commentary to KKNT. Longtime Phoenix on-air personality Terry Gilberg joins Salem Media Group news/talk KKNT “960 The Patriot” in the Valley of the Sun to do “Terry’s Take.” According to KKNT general manager Jim Ryan, “Terry Gilberg delivers compelling commentary, capsulized in a nutshell – a dose of reality and common sense delivered daily with reason and passion. She covers what you are thinking and what you are feeling. It is timely talk and we are happy to have her points of view.” Some of Gilberg’s favorite subjects include media bias; housing and education in America; socialized medicine; and national security. In addition to her new duties at “The Patriot,” journalist-turned-talk host Gilberg continues hosting/producing Radio America’s two-hour “Think! America,” which airs in 53 markets. Prior to doing talk radio, Gilberg was a television news anchor.

 News-Gazette Media Continues U.I. Pact. The renewed partnership – that has spanned more than three decades – keeps University of Illinois athletics on News-Gazette Media Champaign (Illinois) WDWS “News Talk 1400” and co-owned adult contemporary WHMS “Lite Rock 97.5.” News-Gazette Media chief executive office and publisher John Reed remarks, “We are proud to continue our long-standing partnership with UI Athletics and Fighting Illini Sports Properties. The fast-paced world of college athletics is a part of our business where we have consistently invested in top-tier talent for our organization. I am personally thrilled with the opportunity to continue working with two entities who share the same philosophy. The future looks bright for ‘The Fighting Illini,’ and we very much look forward to being a part of it.” According to Illinois Director of Athletics Josh Whitman, “We are pleased to continue our long-time relationship with News-Gazette Media and WDWS and WHMS. Fighting Illini fans in the Champaign-Urbana area have known for decades that those stations are the radio homes to our games; this new agreement will increase the presence of our programs even more.” Over 150 live events a year will be aired, including football; men’s and women’s basketball; baseball; and women’s volleyball. Football and men’s basketball will be simulcast on the two stations, while baseball, women’s volleyball, and select softball games will be carried on WDWS.

TALKERS News Notes. In response to a high volume of requests, the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation (AWMF) extends the call for entries for the 43rd annual Gracie Awards to next Thursday (1/25) at 11:59 pm (ET). Alliance for Women in Media Foundation chair Sarah Foss states, “Now, more than ever, we need to celebrate women for their exceptional work and contributions, especially in the media industry.” The Gracies recognize programming created by, for, and about women in radio, television, cable and interactive media. Honorees are selected in national, local, and student markets, including both commercial and non-commercial outlets. Qualified judges are chosen by AWMF leadership after meeting specific published criteria ….. San Diego sports talk host, television sports anchor/weathercaster C.S. Keys died Saturday (1/13) in La Mesa. Most recently, Keys hosted a weekend show for Interamericana de Radio sports talk XEPRS-AM “The Mighty 1090,” San Diego. The station’s program director, Mike Shepard, writes, “All of us at ‘The Mighty 1090’ are stunned and saddened by the untimely passing of our teammate, C.S. Keys. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, his fans, and the San Diego sports community at this difficult time.” According to La Mesa police, the death was not suspicious, but it was not yet clear how Keys died. Keys previously was a weathercaster at San Diego television outlet KUSI-TV; sports anchor at cross-town XETV-TV; and worked on-air at KDKA-TV, Pittsburgh and WTVD, Raleigh. He was 54 years old and is survived by two sons and a daughter … Those expecting to hear Marc “Beetle” Bertrand on Saturday’s (1/13) AFC Divisional playoff pre-game show prior to the New England PatriotsTennessee Titans showdown, heard Chris Gasper instead. “Beetle” couldn’t fulfill his duties on Entercom-owned Patriots flagship WBZ-FM “The Sports Hub,” but had a legitimate reason that was nearly tragic. On Saturday at 6:37 pm (ET), he posted on Facebook, “I am lucky to be alive. I was involved in a motor vehicle crash in Norwood [Massachusetts] on my way to [Gillette Stadium in] Foxboro. While driving down the road, another car exited a parking lot on a straight line at full speed and struck the passenger side of my Dodge Ram. I only saw the car for a split second before going for a [rollercoaster] ride when my truck rolled and eventually came to a stop on its side. For reasons I cannot explain, I am relatively okay. I did sustain injuries but I have already been released from the hospital. I cannot express in words how thankful I am for the Norwood fire/EMS and police departments. They were on the scene in what seemed like seconds. I was trapped in the truck and NFD worked quickly to free me with the jaws of life. They do amazing work like this every single day. Thank you to all my ‘Sports Hub’ colleagues for covering for me, especially Chris Gasper who hosted pre-game on very short notice. I hope I’m talking to everybody again on the radio this week. Go Pats! Beetle.” As for Saturday’s game, the Patriots defeated the Titans by three touchdowns, 35-14 ….. WOWO, Fort Wayne, and WBAT, Marion (Indiana) talk show host and current president of internet talk station Indiana Talks, Gary Snyder, files paperwork to run for the Democratic nomination for the State Senate in Indiana’s 17th district. Snyder ran unsuccessfully as a Democrat for a county council seat in the November 2008 general election, months after he lost the May 2008 primary for a state representative seat in which he ran as a Republican. He lost a bid for county clerk in 2010 as a Republican.

Hawaii False Alarm “Totally Unacceptable.” What proved to be an incorrect alert sounded on hundreds of thousands of cellphones across Hawaii this past Saturday (1/13), warning residents to seek shelter because of an inbound ballistic missile threat. In a statement issued yesterday (Sunday, 1/14) regarding that incident, FCC chairman Ajit Pai notes, “The false emergency alert sent in Hawaii was absolutely unacceptable. It caused a wave of panic across the state – worsened by the 38-minute delay before a correction alert was issued. Based on the information we have collected so far, it appears that the government of Hawaii did not have reasonable safeguards or process controls in place to prevent the transmission of a false alert.” The erroneous alert was reportedly caused by Hawaii Emergency Management Agency administrator Vern Miyagi “pushing the wrong button.” Miyagi took responsibility for the mistake, stating the error happened during a shift change around 8:00 am. Pai said officials at all levels needed to identify vulnerabilities, and that the FCC would look into steps “to prevent a similar incident.” Working with the FCC to investigate the issue, Democratic Senator Brian Schatz remarks, “This system failed miserably. We need to improve it and get it right.” According to a CBS News report, Miyagi – who has been with the agency for ten years – was re-assigned within the emergency operations center.

Remembering Lisa McKay. After a brief battle with cancer, Curtis Media Group vice president of radio/program director of Raleigh’s WQDR “94.7 – Today’s Best Country” Lisa McKay (Blake) passed away peacefully yesterday (1/14) morning. Curtis Media Group President/COO Trip Savery notes, “It is with very heavy hearts that we share the news of Lisa’s passing. She had a tremendous and positive impact on so many people’s lives and careers, and will be greatly missed by all of us. Please send your love, support, and prayers to Lisa and her family.” Word of McKay’s death comes just two days after it was announced she would be taking an indefinite leave of absence, owing to medical reasons. In what proved to be her last message, McKay remarked, “I am grateful beyond belief for the opportunity given to me by Curtis Media Group; I know this team will continue to excel.” Scores and scores of tributes already populate McKay’s Facebook page, with virtually all conveying the same sentiment of a remarkably talented, caring programmer. Distinguished Cleveland and Akron-area program director Sue Wilson (Cordle) vice president of operations for the Rubber City Radio Group, reflects, “I admired her so much, not only as a tremendous programmer but as a lovely person. I had only been at WQMX [Akron] a short while and met her on an industry trip. There were very few women program directors in [the] country [format]; I was so impressed by her knowledge and talent. I connected with her then and followed her continued success. Our industry lost an incredible talent and our country music family will miss her so much. Things like this put life in perspective. How precious it is and that we have no time to waste. Deepest sympathy to her family and friends and to all of us who will mourn her loss.” Operations manager of SummitMedia Richmond Mel Chase laments, “My heart is in a million pieces right now. When Lisa McKay took someone under her wing, you knew you were in a special place. I wouldn’t have a career in radio without her love and nurturing. Lisa saw something in me when I was an intern that I never saw and she made sure I worked hard to make radio my career – even hiring me for my first job. She was my constant reminder that a leader doesn’t bark orders, they dive in, get their hands dirty and share the work with the team. She’s the absolute best, no one is on her level. Lisa changed my whole world and I will forever be indebted to her for everything I have because of her patience, kindness and love.” The program director of iHeartMedia Boston urban AC WKAF, Chris Malone, states, “Lisa played a big role in my career, I’d go as far to say I’d still be a kid in my hometown working to make ends meet until she came along. Lisa opened the door for me in Raleigh and graciously held my hand through my first ‘on the road PD gig.’ Her kindness and warmth could be felt from the moment I met her. On my interview, she said, ‘Here take my car while I’m on air and get to know the town.’ At age 24, I thought who would say this? That’s just how she treated those who were fortunate enough to know her. It’s a badge of honor to have known Lisa, work for her, and learn from one of the brightest, creative, [tenacious] programmers in the business. So many good memories, generous gifts, and valuable lessons that I’ll hold on to forever.” Veteran programmer Chris Shebel remarks, “We were competitors during my time in Raleigh. Lisa is a first-class programmer who built a great station and genuinely cared about the country community and the ‘Triangle.’ Condolences to her family and colleagues. I’m sure there is much sadness today, but she will be remembered for many great things.” According to Kevin Kolbie, “A few months ago, I got the opportunity to be back on the radio at WQDR. Lisa was the one who took the chance on me. Over the years, Lisa and I went from clients to friends and finally to co-workers. After my first air-shift, I asked her if she had any advice. She smiled and said, ‘Just have fun.’ Even as I type the words, it’s still hard to comprehend [that she has died].” Recently-arrived to do mornings at Curtis Media Group adult hits WBBB, Morgan Thomas comments, “RIP, my sweet friend. To work with you again was a major reason I came back to Raleigh. I am just so grateful you are no longer in pain. ‘Fly away my sweet bird over the land.’” McKay-programmed WQDR was the Country Music Association (CMA) large market “Station of the Year” in 2017.

PPM Analysis: December 2017’s Ups & Downs.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a December 2017 ratings overview “Extra” as he examines the impact made by stations that transitioned to all-Christmas music. See which formats benefitted the most this sweep and which were negatively impacted. In addition to scoring honors for largest (6+) November 2017 – December 2017 improvement (+6.6), Bonneville Salt Lake City adult contemporary KSFI boasts the largest 6+-share of any station in the 48 PPM-markets (13.6). Approximately half of the adult contemporary properties that improve by at least one full-share (November 2017 – December 2017, 6+) wind up finishing first. There are market-by-market breakouts, as well as a comparison chart of November 2017 versus December 2017 market ranks. See Mike Kinosian’s extensive report here.

SBS, Grupo Radio Centro Interference Lawsuit Resolved. An agreement has been reached to settle a long-standing lawsuit involving Spanish Broadcasting System and Grupo Radio Centro. Nearly two years ago, SBS filed a multi-million-dollar grievance, alleging tortious interference and unfair competition when Grupo hired air personality Martin Romero Hernandez (“El Raton”) from SBS Los Angeles regional Mexican KLAX “97.9 La Raza.” Hernandez left “La Raza” in January 2016 to join cross-town competitor – Grupo’s KXOS “Radio Centro 93.9.” SBS claimed Grupo attracted Hernandez by recruiting and soliciting his entire “La Raza” morning team to move with him to “Radio Centro,” despite SBS having him under contract through 2020 and having matched the GRC offer. Spanish Broadcasting System general counsel Richard Lara comments, “We are extremely pleased to have amicably resolved the matter. As has always been its practice, SBS will not hesitate to take legal action when necessary to defend its contractual rights and business interests.” The settlement is confidential; terms cannot be disclosed.

FLR Names Mike Kankelfritz PD/Afternoon Driver. After ending a nearly six-year run in November as morning show co-host on Educational Media Foundation Indianapolis contemporary Christian WKLU “Positive and Encouraging K-Love,” Mike Kankelfritz joins Tucson-based Family Life Radio as program director and afternoon drive talent. FLR’s chief broadcast engagement officer Sally Barton comments, “Mike’s professional and personal reputation testifies to his faithful love and care for God’s people. We see God’s timing in the journey that brought Mike and his family to us, and we’re eager to see him use his extensive experience and creativity to share the message of hope in Christ.” Kankelfritz adds, “The Family Life Radio team felt like family from the minute I walked in the door. When I learned that the backbone of this network came from Dr. Randy Carlson’s vision of intentional living, I realized that his principles were already a part of my DNA. I am so excited to help more people connect to God in a deeper way through this amazing ministry of Family Life Radio.” Listener-supported Family Life Radio has approximately 40 affiliates. Prior to joining WKLU in 2011, Seattle native and John Brown University graduate Kankelfritz spent six years at Houston contemporary Christian KSBJ and three years at KXOJ, Tulsa.

More Music Radio News and Career Moves. The producer of the 5:30 am – 10:00 am “Mo! Show” on Hubbard Phoenix alternative KDKB “Alt AZ 93.3” – Dayton Banas – fills the station’s promotions director opening ….. Five-year KOLA, Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario morning co-host Irma Blanco steps down from the Anaheim Broadcasting classic hits-oldies outlet to spend more time with her family. Blanco and co-host Jesse Duran made the announcement on-air last Friday (1/12) ….. Starting tomorrow (Tuesday, 1/16), “Stacey & Jonah” take over afternoon drive duties on Hubbard Radio St. Louis’ WIL “New Country 92.3.” For the last six years, Stacey K Boyer & Jonah Griss-Bush did mornings on KHTH “Hot 101.7,” Santa Rosa (California), an Amaturo Sonoma Media Group CHR outlet that Boyer programmed. WIL program director Scott Roddy comments, “While most radio companies are reducing local talent, Hubbard is adding to our stable of show hosts. Stacey and Jonah’s charm, wit and humor make them the perfect companion while sitting in traffic on Highway 40 during the drive home.” Stacey & Jonah add, “We are so excited to join the Hubbard family and ‘New Country 92.3.’ It is an honor to join a company that believes in people and talent.” ….. Following eight years with Bonneville Sacramento hot AC KZZO “Now 100.5,” assistant program director/music director Sonia Jimenez takes on music director responsibilities for co-owned KNCI “New Country 105.1.” Bonneville Sacramento vice president of programming Chad Rufer states, “Sonia is a true pro – one of the best out there.” ….. Columbus alternative WWCD “CD-102.5” program director and “The Stash” host Mase Brazelle replaces afternoon driver Lesley James, who left the station approximately two weeks ago ….. Songwriter/pianist Jim Brickman adds four affiliates for his four-hour lifestyle/music/interviews program, which features co-hosts “Brynne” and “Bob.” New to the show are WWFW “Sunny 103.9,” Fort Wayne (Indiana); WZIM “Magic 99.5,” Peoria (Illinois); WNCV “Coast 93.3,” Fort Walton Beach (Florida); and KMWX “Mix 92.5,” Abilene (Texas).

Never Be The Same. After a performance on ABC-TV’s “Good Morning America” to mark the release of her debut solo album (“Camila,” which includes the single “Never Be The Same”), singer Camila Cabello (left) chats with ABC Radio’s Andrea Dresdale.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

| September 26, 2017

NYPost: How Mike Francesa Almost Didn’t Get WFAN Gig.  As Mike Francesa’s historic run as afternoon drive personality on WFAN, New York winds down – he’s assured everyone he is leaving after December 15 – the New York Post publishes a piece by Don Burke that gives CBS Sports play-by-play man Jim Nantz credit for getting Francesa into WFAN when the station had no interest in hiring him.  Believe it or not, the Emmis programming executives were turned off by Francesa’s Long Island accent and wanted national-level talent to star on the fledgling sports talk station.  But Francesa and Jim Nantz had worked at CBS together and Nantz convinced Emmis exec Luke Griffin to give him a shot and he was eventually – and apparently reluctantly – hired for a weekend show.  The rest, as they say, is history.  Read the Post piece here.

Cooney Named to Morning Co-Host Post at WPEN-FM, Philadelphia.  Longtime Philadelphia sports media pro Bob Cooney is officially the new co-host of “The Fanatic Morning Show” on Beasley Media Group’s sports talk WPEN-FM, Philadelphia.  He’s been filling in on “The Fanatic” for the past few months and now joins Anthony Gargano on the AM show.  Cooney was a longtime 76ers beat writer with the Philadelphia Daily News but also covered the Flyers, the Eagles and more.  The station says he’ll be part of its expanded Sixers coverage.  Beasley Philly VP and market manager Joe Bell says, “We are absolutely thrilled to welcome Bob as the new co-host of the ‘Fanatic Morning Show.’  He is no stranger to Philly sports.  His reputation is incredible.  Bob and Anthony are the perfect team to serve as the official voice of the Philly sports fan!”  At the same time, the station announces it has renewed its multi-year partnership with the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers to serve as the flagship radio station.  WPEN-FM will present the play-by-play, pre- and post-game shows, plus additional Sixers-related programming.

Bears and WBBM ‘Newsradio 780 & 105.9FM’ Renew.  Sports programming is an important format for CBS RADIO and the company – soon to join Entercom in a merger – proves that with the renewal of its deal for all-news WBBM-AM/WCFL-FM “WBBM Newsradio 780 & 105.9FM” to serve as the flagship radio station for Chicago Bears football.  CBS RADIO Chicago SVP and market manager Tim Pohlman says, “All of us at CBS RADIO Chicago are thrilled to continue our 17-year partnership with the NFL’s most preeminent franchise.  We thank the McCaskey family, Ted Phillips and everyone at the Chicago Bears for their commitment to keeping WBBM Newsradio 780 & 105.9FM as part of this first-class organization for years to come.”  Out-of-game programming will include the “Bears Coaches Show” every Monday at 6:30 pm hosted by Jeff Joniak.  “Bears All-Access” will air weekly throughout the year on sister sports station WSCR, featuring Tom Thayer and Zach Zaidman. All six CBS RADIO Chicago stations will also air a “Bears Noon Update” daily during the football season.

Chip Franklin’s ‘Inside The Beltway’ Site Off to Positive Start.  One month after the launch of the progressive site InsidetheBeltway.com, it’s garnered a million impressions, according to site founder – KGO, San Francisco talk host Chip Franklin.  He tells TALKERS magazine that his videos that are available on the site have gotten more than 250,000 shares.  Check out the site here.

TALKERS News Notes. Atlantic City talk show host Harry Hurley tells TALKERS magazine that he’s booked Roger Stone – the Republican and Donald Trump campaign strategist who will testify before the House Intelligence Committee – on his program tomorrow morning (9/27).  Stone will appear on Hurley’s WPGG program hours before he’ll appear on Capitol Hill to testify regarding the Trump-Russia investigation and Hurley says Stone promises to reveal what his testimony will entail…..The Alabama-based, nationally syndicated Rick & Bubba show got a call from President Trump yesterday morning (9/25) ahead of today’s special primary election for the open U.S. Senate seat there.  The president also talked about the Graham-Cassidy Health Care Bill.  See CNN’s report on the appearance here…..Salem Media Group promotes Steve Brodsky from general sales manager at Christian teaching KKLA-FM Los Angeles to market manager for the company’s San Diego operations that includes Christian KPRZ and news/talk KCBQ “1170 The Answer.”…..E.W. Scripps-owned news/talk WTMJ, Milwaukee is presenting the holiday radio show “WTMJ Saves Christmas” live at Turner Hall on Monday, November 27.  It stars WTMJ hosts and other local voices and will be recorded in front of a live audience, with $5 from each ticket sold to benefit the Kids2Kids Christmas charity.  “WTMJ Saves Christmas” will feature station personalities: Gene Mueller, Jane Matenaer, Jeff Wagner, Wayne Larrivee, John Mercure, Erik Bilstad, Melissa Barclay, and Steve Scaffidi.

Trumps vs the NFL, Fate of the Graham-Cassidy Bill, Kim Jong-Un and Donald Trump Saber Rattling, Devastation of Puerto Rico, Alabama Senate Primary, Kushner Private Email Issue, Weiner Sentenced, MLB Playoff Push, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/25).  The controversy over President Trump’s call to fire NFL players who protest during the national anthem and the league’s and players’ responses; whether or not the Graham-Cassidy health care bill will be put up for a vote in the Senate; the war of words between North Korea’s Kim Jong Un and President Donald Trump; the devastation in Puerto Rico caused by Hurricane Maria and its need for help from the U.S. government; the Alabama U.S. Senate primary race between Luther Strange and Roy Moore; allegations that Jared Kushner used a private email server for White House business; Michael Weiner is sentenced to 21 months in federal prison for sexting a minor; Major League Baseball’s playoff push; and Sunday’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Agent Robert Eatman Dead at 65.  Talent agent Robert Eatman passed away on Sunday (9/24) in Los Angeles after a battle with cancer.  Eatman established his own agency in 1991 and represented some of the radio business’s top talent during the 1990s and 2000s, including Mancow Muller, Opie & Anthony, Shane “Rover” French, and more.

 

 

Sitting Down with Dolly.  “NASH Nights Live” co-host Elaina Smith (left) visited the Nashville studio of country legend Dolly Parton (right) on Monday (9/25) to chat with Parton about her first-ever children’s album, I Believe in You.  During the conversation, that also discussed such topics as women on country radio, Dollywood, sweatpants, both being tiny, working on Miley Cyrus’ new album and more.

More Music Radio News and Career Moves Country radio pro Matt McAllister is named the new morning personality at Entercom’s KKWF, Seattle “100.7 The Wolf,” replacing the Ellen Tailor-hosted AM program.  McAllister comes to Seattle from his most recent position hosting mornings at iHeartMedia’s KNIX, Phoenix.  He’s won Personality of the Year awards from both the Academy of Country Music and the Country Music Association.  KKWF program director Drew Bland says, “Matt is creative, innovative, competitive, and laser-focused on bringing audiences compelling content for their morning commute.  We are excited to welcome him to our team in Seattle, leading the next chapter of mornings for ‘100.7 The Wolf.’”  The station says both a new show name and additional cast will be announced at a later date…..Las Vegas alternative rock KXTE “X107.5” announces that the “Holiday Havoc – Night Two” show scheduled for December 11 at the Palms Casino Resort will feature The Killers, with supporting acts Bleachers and Joywave.  A portion of proceeds from the concert will benefit the Nevada SPCA…..Country KTTS, Springfield, Missouri is presenting the “4th Annual KTTS Springfield Country Music Awards Show” at Juanita K. Hammons Hall on October 25.  It will feature a concert from Grammy, Country Music Association, and Academy of Country Music Award winner Maren Morris, plus special guest Russell Dickerson.  The station says this is Springfield awards show with winners decided by local votes on a ballot at the station’s website.   Local and national artist and song category winners will be announced during the awards ceremony portion of the evening.

Monday, June 19, 2017

| June 19, 2017

Bill O’Reilly Touts New Operation; Promises ‘Grisly’ News About His Fox Ouster. At a performance at the NYCB Theatre in Westbury (Long Island) on Saturday, former Fox News Channel personality Bill O’Reilly told attendees, “In the weeks to come, there will be a bunch of news stories that will explain what happened and why it happened,” regarding his exit from FNC.  “It’s pretty grisly.  It’s pretty nasty.  It has to do with far-left progressive organizations that are bent on destroying anybody with whom they disagree, including the president.”  This is according to CNN, which covered his “The Spin Stops Here Tour” that includes former Westwood One talk host (and ‘SNL’ alum) Dennis MillerNewsday also covered the event and reports O’Reilly promoted the efforts of his eponymous website.  “But I am starting my own operation.  We are going to do that.”  He says they will being airing a new, half-hour newscast “where we will go into a studio and it will look like ‘The Factor.’  It’s basically an experiment to see how many people are going to want this service.  That’s coming and will be here before September in a robust form.  But I suspect there will be another network maybe merging with us.  There will be a network that rises up because the numbers for Fox are going down.”  However, the CNN report also indicates he’s not exactly predicting the death of FNC, answering a question from the audience about starting a TV network to compete with Fox, “Don’t underestimate it.  The Fox brand is very strong.  They have a lot of talent.  But if you want to get into that game, you need about $200 million.”

KBME, Houston Moves Josh Innes to AM Drive in Schedule ShuffleWith the impending departure of Lance Zierlein from the station at the end of his contract, “The Proper Gentlemen of Sports” morning drive show will disappear and current afternoon personality Josh Innes will move to mornings, effective July 17. Zierlein’s co-host Matt Thomas moves to the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm daypart. “In the Trenches with Koch & Kalu” moves up an hour to 10:00 am to 12:00 noon, and “The Bottom Line” moves from middays to afternoon drive. Joining “Bottom Line” hosts Adam Clanton and Sean Jones will be Jayson Braddock. iHeartMedia director of AM programming Bryan Erickson states, “We’ve received a lot of great feedback since Josh joined ‘SportsTalk 790.’ Love him or hate him, he’s one of the most passionate guys on the radio right now and that resonates with sports fans.”

Reynolds Appointed Marketing/Promotions Director for iHM Portland. Radio pro Susan Reynolds joins the Portland operations of iHeartMedia as marketing/promotions director.  The cluster includes news/talk KEX “News Radio 1190,” sports talk KPOJ “Rip City Radio,” country K279BO “103.7 The Legend,” rock KFBW “105.9 The Brew,” hip hop KXJM “JAM’N 107.5,” classic hits KLTH “106.7 The Eagle,” CHR KKRZ “Z100,” and adult contemporary KKCW “K103.”  Reynolds’ experience includes time spent as a freelance publicist for various lifestyle clients; talk show producer at CJAD-AM, Montreal; director of marketing and promotion for Alpha Media Portland; and marketing and promotions director for KSOL, San Francisco.

Second Annual Hubbard Radio Talent Institute Begins at Central Washington University. Today begins the second annual Hubbard Radio Talent Institute at Central Washington University in Ellensburg, Washington.  Hubbard Radio chair and CEO Ginny Morris leads the opening session of the 10-day institute.  She says, “Compelling and relatable on-air talent is what separates local radio from all other audio entertainment services.  Our investment in the National Radio Talent System at Central Washington University is an extension of Hubbard Radio’s commitment to do our part to nurture and grow the talent pipeline for the industry.  We are proud to partner with Dan Vallie and his team in this important initiative.”  Hubbard president Drew Horowitz will close the institute with his session titled, “Now is the Time to Start Thinking like a Pro.”  Students from various universities in the state and region accepted into the program will learn from radio pros from Hubbard, Bonneville, Alpha Media, Entercom, Townsquare Media, and others.  Each student will be certified as a Radio Marketing Professional by RAB.

TALKERS News Notes. Effective today, KSOO, Sioux Falls, South Dakota moves Fox News Radio’s “Kilmeade & Friends” with Brian Kilmeade from the delayed evening broadcast to a live airing from 8:00 am to 11:00 am CT…..Fred Weinberg is the new CEO of USA Radio’s parent company, Anthem Broadcasting LLC.  He announces in a press release that Corrie Creasman is now news director for the network and that USA content is being distributed digitally via VPN…..This year’s NAB Marconi Radio Awards Dinner and Show, taking place on September 7 at the 2017 Radio Show in Austin, is being emceed by Reach Media-syndicated personality Rickey Smiley…..Rock’n Robin Productions and ABC Radio announce that Robin Roberts’ podcast series “Robin Roberts: Everybody’s Got Something” returns on Wednesday (6/21).  The 10-episode series will continue to feature aspirational, positive and intimate discussions that ABC says resonated so deeply with listeners in season one.  ABC Radio vice president Steve Jones comments, “After a debut season filled with candid and uplifting conversations, we are thrilled to have Robin return with 10 new emotionally satisfying episodes for listeners.”

Trump-Russia Investigation, Iran Attacks Syrian ISIS Targets, USS Fitzgerald Collision, Megyn Kelly-Alex Jones Interview, GOP Baseball Shooting, Kaepernick Police Comments, U.S. Open, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The special counsel investigation into possible links between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents and debate over whether President Donald Trump himself is being investigated; Iran launches missiles into Syria at ISIS targets in response to Tehran terror attacks; the deaths of seven sailors in the collision of the USS Fitzgerald with a merchant marine vessel; the controversy over Megyn Kelly’s Sunday broadcast of her interview with Infowars’ Alex Jones; the status of U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise and the attack on the GOP baseball practice; Colin Kaepernick’s comments that police are comparable to runaway slave patrols after the ‘not guilty’ verdict in the case against officer Jeronimo Yanez; Brooks Koepka wins the U.S. Open; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

KGO’s Ethan Bearman on Fox News Channel’s ‘The Specialists.’  The screen capture above is from KGO, San Francisco midday talk host Ethan Bearman’s recent appearance on Fox News Channel’s “The Specialists” program.  The show makes regular use of radio talk show hosts.

 

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Air personality Aimee Montgomery shifts from Beasley Media Group’s hot AC KVGS “Star 107.9” to adult contemporary W268CS “Lite 101.5” as midday host, effective July 5.  Montgomery joined “Star 107.9” in 2015 and most recently served as a co-host of the morning show and worked as local on-air liaison/producer for the “Brooke and Jubal” program.  Beasley Las Vegas operations manager John Candelaria comments, “We have witnessed Aimee’s great attitude, effort, and dedication.  We look forward to her applying these same skills across the hall on ‘Lite FM.’”…..Programming pro Joshua Raiford, a.k.a. J1, moves from Urban One’s Indianapolis cluster where he was PD of hip hop WHHH “Hot 96.3” and CHR W275BD “Boom 102.9” to Washington to program the company’s hip hop WKYS.  Raiford comments, “I’m humbled, honored and excited about this great opportunity.  I thank God first and foremost, and I would also like to thank Jay Stevens, Jeff Wilson, and Kashon Powell for selecting me for this tremendous responsibility.”…..Longtime triple A WXRT, Chicago personality Wendy Rice is leaving the station.  She’s been the host of “Saturday Morning Flashback” for more than 30 years.  Rice married then-station PD Norm Winer in 1987 and works full time as a middle school teacher.  Taking over her duties will be WXRT’s Frank E. Lee and Johnny Mars who will rotate as host of the 8:00 am to 11:00 am program…..There are three moves to report from CBS RADIO’s Philadelphia cluster from VP of music programming Shelly EastonMark Radziewicz (a.k.a. Razz) of country WXTU, Nicky G. of classic hits WOGL, and Michael Bennett of adult contemporary WTDY all add assistant program director to their titles.  All three remain music directors for their stations…..Brian Fisher is upped to operations manager at Curtis Media Group’s Boone, North Carolina cluster.   Fisher will continue to host the 11:00 am to 2:00 ppm show on country duo WMMY/WWMY “Highway 106.1 and 102.3” and handle operations at news/talk WATA-AM/W243DH and Gospel WECR…..Beasley Media Group launches a “Southern”-based format on W234BY, Charlotte branded “94.7 Smoke.”  Beasley says “the core of the playlist will be Southern rock, however, ‘94.7 Smoke’ will also play anything it deems ‘Southern,’ including both local and new artists.  In addition, the station will focus all things deemed ‘Southern,’ including hunting, fishing, four-wheeling, pick-up trucks, cold beer, horseshoes, great BBQ, Myrtle Beach, The Smokies, NASCAR and more!”

CBS RADIO’s KNCI, Sacramento Forced to Apologize for Artist Snub. This is one that CBS RADIO’s country KNCI, Sacramento would like to have back.  Up-and-coming artist Lindsay Ell was scheduled to be part of a station appearance at KNCI by country artists in town on Brad Paisley’s “Weekend Warrior World Tour.”  But, Lindsay happens to be dating air personality Bobby Bones and his show airs on iHeartMedia’s crosstown KBEB “92.5 The Bull.”  So, the station “uninvited” her.  She tweeted about the incident, apologizing to her fans.  Meanwhile, “The Bull” took the bull by the horns and declared it Lindsay Ell Day and played her single, “Waiting on You,” every hour on the hour.  Realizing its error, KNCI subsequently tweeted out the following, “Lindsay is an amazingly talented, up-and-coming artist and today we regrettably made a bad decision to cancel her show.  We only hope that she — and our listeners — will forgive us, and that Lindsay and her team will allow us to reschedule the show.”

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

| February 21, 2017

Mary Walter Joins WMAL-AM/FM, Washington’s ‘Mornings On The Mall.’  Radio pro Mary Walter is named the co-host of the “Mornings On The Mall” program on Cumulus Media’s news/talk WMAL-AM/FM, Washington.  Walter is working with co-host Brian Wilson.  She takes over for Larry O’Connor, who recently moved to the afternoon drive daypart.  Walter was most recently with iHeartMedia’s WHAS, Louisville, hosting the evening program.  She’s been a frequent guest host on WMAL in addition to guest host stints on FOX News Radio and SiriusXM’s The Patriot channel.  WMAL program director Bill Hess comments, “Mary’s experience, energy, and familiarity to our audience made her the perfect addition to our team.”

WTMJ, Milwaukee Announces New Midday Show.  The new midday show at E.W. Scripps’ WTMJ, Milwaukee is being unveiled.  The station moved Jeff Wagner to the late morning slot that opened up with the retirement of Charlie Sykes at the end of last year.  Now, taking over the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm slot is the “Scaffidi & Bilstad” show with Steve Scaffidi (center) and executive producer Erik Bilstad (left).  Scaffidi was most recently mayor of suburban Oak Creek and an account executive at the Leonard & Finco Public Relations firm.  He’s resigned from both posts to join WTMJ.  Station VP/GM Tom Langmyer states, “We’re pleased to welcome Steve to our team. He brings a great depth of knowledge and local connection to add to his take on the news of the day.  Steve is a Wisconsin native, has a deep background and so much life experience, beyond broadcasting.”  News anchor and reporter Colleen Boland (right) will man the newsroom during the program.  The show debuts on February 28.

ABC News Radio Makes Staffing Changes; Gearing Towards Covering Breaking News.  An ABC News Radio spokesperson tells TALKERS magazine that the news organization is making staffing changes that signal a shift from putting its primary resources into newscasts and focusing more intently on the coverage of breaking news, “reflecting immediacy and producing additional program content” for their approximately 1,575 affiliates.  ABC News Radio says it has parted ways with a handful of employees but is in the process of hiring for a number of positions that will exceed those eliminated.  Those include: Affiliate Solutions Manager, Associate Producer, Country Reporter/Producer, Urban Reporter/Producer, and WGA Newswriter/Producer.  An ABC News Radio spokesperson tells TALKERS, “These changes allow ABC News Radio to provide more two-ways, breaking news and anchored coverage which have become more important to stations.  It is never easy when fellow employees leave and we wish the very best to these colleagues.  The media landscape is always evolving and it’s critical we’re meeting stations’ needs every step of the way.”

Erik Kuselias to Host Daily Talk Show on Genesis Communications Florida Talk Stations.  Known primarily for his work in the sports media business, Erik Kuselias is expanding his reach in Florida by hosting a daily, two-hour talk show on Genesis Communications-owned news/talk outlets WWBA, Tampa and WIXC, Titusville (on the Space Coast).  Kuselias – a former ESPN and NBC Sports personality – currently hosts a morning drive sports talk show on the company’s sports talk duo WHBO, Tampa and WHOO, Orlando.  He’s continuing in that role in addition to the new program that airs from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm.  WWBA program manager Tom Paleveda states, “This is a natural progression for EK.  We launched EK on the sports stations in both Tampa and Orlando last year.  He is incredibly talented and will produce one of talk radio’s best programs.  He will also continue to provide his brand of content on the company digital platforms, ‘News Talk Florida’ and ‘Sports Talk Florida.’”

Bubba the Love Sponge Files New Counterclaim Against Nielsen.  The first time Bubba the Love Sponge filed a counterclaim against Nielsen, the court denied the motion ruling that it was difficult to discern the relevant facts due to the heavily redacted documents supplied by plaintiff Nielsen.  That counterclaim included third parties Cox Media Group and CMG employee (and WHPT, Tampa personality) Mike Calta.  But the denial was without prejudice, allowing Bubba’s lawyers to try again.  And he has, this time leaving Cox and Calta out of the counterclaim.  The counterclaim still alleges Nielsen entered into a conspiracy with Cox Media Group to get Bubba off the air in Tampa and interfere with his ability to do business with Beasley Media Group (owner of Tampa affiliate WBRN).  The specific counterclaims are: Tortious Interference with Contractual and Business Relationships, Violation of the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act, and Civil Conspiracy.

KFYO, Lubbock, Texas Names Dave King & Matt Martin Morning Hosts.  Friday (2/17) was the last day for the “First News with Tom Collins and Laura Mac” on Townsquare Media’s news/talk KFYO, Lubbock, Texas.  Assuming the morning show role are Dave King (right) and Matt Martin (left).  The station says, “Both Dave and Matt are easy going, view the world from a conservative viewpoint, and want to interact with KFYO listeners.  King is owner of Dave King Advertising in Lubbock.  Matt Martin is a realtor with The Wyatt Team at Keller Williams.

Neuhoff Ups Byerly to DOS and Associate GM for Decatur Station Group.  Moving up from her general sales manager position at Neuhoff Communications’ Decatur, Illinois cluster is Kathy Byerly.  She’s now director of sales and associate general manager for the group that includes news/talk WSOY, sports talk WDZ, hip hop WCZQ “HOT 105.5,” CHR WSOY-FM “Y103,” and country WDZQ “95Q.”  Neuhoff COO Mike Hulvey states, “Kathy is a wonderful success story.  She has grown a career from the front desk to market leadership.  You can’t get much better than that.  The group of Decatur stations and digital products are not only the market leaders, they also have been recognized among the best in the industry.  Kathy will help support those traditions while driving more business to our advertising partners.”

Hanging Out at the Club.  Nationally syndicated Westwood One talk host Michael Savage and his son, Rockstar energy drink founder Russ Weiner, crossed paths with President Donald Trump at the chief executive’s famous Palm Beach, Florida private club, Mar-a-Lago, this weekend.  They were attending a dinner hosted by Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy when the president stopped by to say hello.  Pictured (l-r): Ruddy, Trump, Savage, and Weiner.

Limbaugh-Touted Book Debuts at #6 on NYT Bestseller List. The latest book by conservative writer David HorowitzBig Agenda: President Trump’s Plan to Save America – debuted on the New York Times Bestseller list at #6 in the hardcover nonfiction books and e-book/hardcover nonfiction categories.  Newsmax reports that the book was released the week of President Trump’s inauguration and is being praised by Rush Limbaugh, among other conservative media figures, for its predictions about Trump’s agenda.  Horowitz is founder of the David Horowitz Freedom Center.

New Trump Travel Order, McMaster Named National Security Advisor, Trump’s Sweden Comment, McCain vs Trump, UK’s Anti-Trump Debate, Uber Sexual Harassment Scandal, Yiannopoulos Controversies, and NBA-NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/20).  The Trump Administration issues new travel order exempting green card holders; President Donald Trump names Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster national security advisor; the controversy over Trump’s allusion to crime in Sweden and filmmaker Ami Horowitz’s allegations that violent crime there has spiked due to immigrants; Republican Senator John McCain’s role as a major critic of Trump’s policies; the British House of Commons debates denying President Trump’s state visit; the allegations of sexual harassment at Uber’s corporate headquarters and the company’s hiring former AG Eric Holder to investigate; the controversies surrounding media figure Milo Yiannopoulos, including his being uninvited to CPAC and Simon and Schuster refusing to release his book; and NBA and NHL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS News Notes.  Phoenix market broadcast legend Pat McMahon is being roasted on March 15 at local comedy club Stand Up Live in an event being organized by Bonneville news/talk outlet KTAR-FM.  The “Tip of the Hat to Pat” roast is being hosted by KNIX personality Tim Hattrick and will feature rock legend Alice Cooper, as well as local celebrities Jude LaCava from Fox 10, John Holmberg from KUPD, authors Jana Bommersbach and Rita Davenport and former ADL director Bill Straus.  McMahon says, “I’m feeling both honored and terrified at the prospect of this event.  But you can be sure that I’ll be able to dish it out, just as well as I can take it.”…..New York Mets flagship station WOR, New York announces it will air play-by-play for 15 spring training games, beginning on February 24 when the Mets take on the Boston Red Sox…..The New York Times recently published a feature story about Premiere Networks host George Noory.  In the piece, the “Coast to Coast AM” host discusses how “Coast to Coast AM” has evolved over the years, his open approach to stories and topics, and his relationship with his audience.  Read the story here.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  At the Atlanta cluster of Cox Media Group, Jaleigh Long is promoted to director of sales.  She moves up from her general sales manager role.  She’ll oversee the sales efforts for news/talk WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, CHR WSB-FM “B98.5,” classic hits WSRV “97.1 The River,” urban contemporary WALR “Kiss 104.1 FM,” and country simulcast WNGC/WTSH “Your Georgia Country.”…..At Mid-West Family Broadcasting’s rock WXRX, Rockford, Illinois “104.9 The X,” Zander – who’s been morning host and PD since joining the station in August of last year – moves to the afternoon drive slot.  At the same time, Lori joins the station from crosstown competitor WKGL “96.7 The Eagle.”…..In the Lexington, Kentucky market, iHeartMedia drops sports talk on the simulcast of WWTF-AM and translator W239DJ at 97.7 FM and flips it to rock as “WTF 97.7 Lexington’s Rock Alternative.”  Air personalities include Aly, Big Rig, Audrey, and Shroom…..Binnie Media says good bye to classic music on its WBQX, Thomaston, Maine and translator W245AA, Portland at 96.9 FM.  WBQX takes on the classic hits format “FRANK FM” while the translator is simulcasting country station WTHT, Auburn “99.9 The Wolf.”

iHeartRadio Music Awards Announces Best New Artist Nominees.  When the 2017 iHeartRadio Music Awards take place on Sunday, March 5 at the Forum in Los Angeles, one of the awards to be given will be the Best New Artist.  The ultimate winner will be chosen by fans from all categories of popular music.  The first step was naming the nominees in each category.  Now, the finalists have been named.  They are: Best New Rock/Alternative Rock Artist: The Strumbellas; Best New Country Artist: Kelsea Ballerini; Best New Hip-Hop Artist: Chance the Rapper; Best New Latin Artist: CNCO; Best New Regional Mexican Artist: Joss Favela; Best New Pop Artist: The Chainsmokers; and Best New R&B Artist: Bryson Tiller. The awards show will be televised live on TBS, TNT and truTV at 8:00 pm ET and simulcast on iHeartMedia radio stations nationwide, as well as on iHeartRadio.

Monday, August 29, 2016

| August 29, 2016

‘99.9 The Fan’ in Raleigh to Broadcast Town Hall on Race Relations in Sports.  As part of its ongoing “Fan Town Hall” series, Capitol Broadcasting’s Raleigh-Durham sports talker WCMC “99.9 The Fan” is presenting a live multi-cast of a town hall focusing on the question, “Do today’s African-American athletes bear any responsibility to commenting on today’s social issues?”  The event takes place on Tuesday (8/30) at 7:00 pm.  It is wcmcRaceSportsTownHallbeing moderated by WRAL-TV anchor/reporter Gerald Owens and features the following seven panelists: sport business professor at UNC-Charlotte Dr. Deborah Stroman, former ECU head football coach Steve Logan, former UNC and NBA player George Lynch, former NC State and NFL player Brandan Bishop, “99.9 The Fan” afternoon drive host Adam Gold, and “Buzz Sports Radio” morning drive hosts Erroll Reese and Kevin McClendon.  The social media desk and interaction with Twitter will be managed by 99.9 The Fan’s afternoon drive host Joe Ovies.  The program will air with live video and audio on WRAL-TV 2, “99.9 The Fan,” WRALsportsfan.com and the WRALsportsfan app.  Capitol Broadcasting sports radio operations manager, program director and executive producer for the Fan Town Hall series, Dennis Glasgow, says, “This discussion is long overdue and we have a diverse and opinionated panel to tackle this polarizing topic.  I’m also excited that our viewers and listeners can participate with their feedback and commentary in real time via Twitter.”

Colin Cowherd’s Digital Platform Launches.  The launch of FOX Sports Radio and FS1 personality Colin Cowherd’s new digital platform is a cooperative effort between Cowherd, Premiere Networks, and Chris cowherdlogoBalfe’s Red Seat Ventures.  It’s called TheHerdNow.com and serves as “the digital home for content created and curated by Colin Cowherd including bold opinion pieces, viral news stories, exclusive podcasts, and original video series. The new site also serves as a portal for fans to find stories covering the best moments and interviews from Cowherd’s radio show, as well as the daily podcast and streaming audio of ‘The Herd.’”  Cowherd says, “I’ve chosen to work with the best people in the industry and the support I’ve received has been like nothing I’ve ever experienced.  I feel incredibly lucky to launch this venture for fans to connect with my best content whenever and wherever they happen to be.”

Hogenson Tapped by RNC for Help with Radio During Campaign.  Consultant and radio expert Scott Hogenson is working for the Republican National Committee to consult on and assist with radio for thehogensonscott campaign election cycle.  Hogenson started working with the RNC today (8/29).  He also served as radio director for the GOP convention in Cleveland this summer.  He is president of the Washington, DC public affairs firm Hogenson Communications, LLC.  He served in the George W. Bush Administration as deputy assistant secretary for public affairs for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.  During his career he has worked on three presidential campaigns as a senior member of the press office at the Republican National Committee.

New Sales Managers Named at Entercom Boston.  Moving over from her sales manager position at Entercom’s news/talk WRKO to the same post at rock WAAF is Alison Harris.  Assuming the open sales manager post at WRKO is Denise DiLuca, who returns to Entercom from her most recent gig with iHeartMedia as VP of wrko15sales in Providence.  DiLuca worked in the business development department at Entercom Boston before joining iHeartMedia in 2012.  Entercom New England VP/market manager Phil Zachary says both Harris and DiLuca embody the cluster’s inexorable work ethic.  “Alison and Denise are natural sales leaders.  Both are highly regarded in the marketplace for their uncompromising integrity, outstanding training skills, intensity of focus and ability to recruit the very best local sellers.  I have no doubt our Boston cluster will continue to outperform the market with these proven professionals in key roles.”

Scott Robbins Easing Back into Radio on WMBD, Peoria a Year After Heart Attack.  Before suffering a major heart attack a year ago, Scott Robbins and on-air partner Jamie Markley were co-hosting a three-hourrobbinsscott talk show simulcast on Alpha Media’s WMBD, Peoria and KXL, Portland.  But that major health issue put Robbins in the hospital for four months.  The Peoria Journal Star, in a piece by Steve Tarter, reports that Robbins is back on the radio with a weekly show airing on WMBD Saturdays from 6:00 am to 8:00 am with co-host Joe Greenwood.  After Robbins’ heart attack, David van Camp began filling in alongside Markley and was later named permanent co-host of the show.

Cumulus Ups Hach to VP, Digital for San Francisco.  After serving as digital and integrated sales manager for Cumulus Media’s San Francisco and Minneapolis clusters, Justin Hach is promoted to vice president, digital hachjustinfor the company’s San Francisco station group that includes sports talk KNBR, triple A KFOG, classic rock KSAN, news/talk KGO, news/talk KSFO and Asian KSJO.  Hach’s charge will be to lead a team that is responsible for all digital and social strategies, development, content and revenue.  Vice president and market manager Justin Wittmayer says, “I’m really proud of the team that Justin has built and the way that they’re connecting our brands and fans.  His content strategy is driving database growth, engagement, revenue and, most important, a better user/client experience.”

Nigel Burton Partners with Dan Sheldon on KPOJ, Portland for Mornings.  Sports talk KPOJ-AM “Rip City Radio 620” adds Pacific Northwest sports analyst Nigel Burton to its morning show with current host Dan kpoj sportsSheldon.  The new show is called “Rip City Mornings with Dan and Nigel,” airing weekdays from 6:00 am to -9:00 am.  Burton is an analyst for Pac-12 Networks and a college football analyst for CSNNW.  Newly appointed “Rip City Radio” program director Rich Moore says, “Adding Nigel Burton with his background and associations is very exciting and we are looking forward to partnering him up with Dan Sheldon in the morning.”

Jess Hanson to Head Up Horizon Broadcasting’s Central Oregon Station Group.  Most recently with Townsquare Media’s Abilene, Texas operations, Jess Hanson heads north to join Horizon Broadcasting Group’s Central Oregon media properties as market manager/general sales manager.  He’ll  oversee thehansonjess company’s five radio stations – classic hits KQAK-FM, hot AC KWPK “The PEAK 104.1,” AC KLTW “95.7 MY FM,” news/talk simulcast KBNW-AM/FM, and classic country KRCO – as well as the company’s digital assets and event productions.  Horizon president and CEO Keith Shipman states, “I am pleased to hand over the day-to-day operations of our Central Oregon assets to an experienced and successful leader.  Jess has demonstrated his passion for the radio industry over the past three decades and has built successful sales and programming teams throughout his career.  He has a proven track record in broadcast, digital and event sales – all of which are key to our clients’ marketing plans.”

WTMJ, Milwaukee’s Charlie Sykes Announces 2016 Right Wisconsin Award Winners.  WTMJ, Milwaukee talk show host Charlie Sykes operates the digital news platform RightWisconsin.com and each year, he sykescharliepresents awards to conservatives in the state.  This year – at a banquet to be held this Friday (9/2) – Sykes announces that former Governor Tommy Thompson and Mary Kohler will be presented lifetime achievement awards.  Kohler will be presented the Margaret Thatcher Award and Thompson will receive the Ronald Reagan Award. The Thatcher and Reagan Awards are the top honors being given at this fourth annual event.  The evening will be hosted by Wisconsin Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch and Sykes.

The Presidential Race, Dwayne Wade’s Cousin Killed in Chicago Violence, Italy Earthquake Aftermath, Kaepernick Sits Out National Anthem, Weiner Sexting Again, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The activities of presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton; the Chicago shooting death of Nykea Aldridge, cousin of NBA star Dwayne Wade; the aftermath of the deadly earthquake in central Italy; controversy over NFL star Colin Kaepernick’s sitting out the National Anthem in protest; former U.S. Congressman Anthony Weiner caught in another sexting case; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend.

Odds & Sods.  There’s a new PM drive show on Entercom’s sports talk WROC, Rochester “ESPN Rochester.”dangerbattaglia  Replacing “The Radio Press Box with Scott Pitoniak and Dan Borrello” is “The Sports Bar with Mike Danger and Gene Battaglia.”  Danger is also programming WROC in addition to his programming role at sister CHR WPXY…..SiriusXM is enhancing its college sports play-by-play offerings with a new five-year broadcasting agreement with Learfield and IMG.  The deal now includes both streaming and satellite radio broadcast rights and greatly expands the number of college games that will be available to subscribers on the SiriusXM app…..Alpha Media is announcing that adult contemporary KUIC, Vacaville, California has become an affiliate of the NBA’s Golden State Warriors.  KUIC will air full broadcast of all Warriors games including playoff games for the 2016-2017 season…..WUUB, Jupiter, Florida “ESPN West Palm” is dedicating its Friday night programming to the biggest high school football matchups in the Palm Beaches and Treasure Coast.  “Football Night in South Florida” on the Good Karma-operated station is sponsored by Papa John’s Pizza.  Also the station adds ESPN’s Paul Finebaum show to its daily lineup, airing from 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm…..The final chapter of the Todd Schnitt vs Bubba the Love Sponge defamation suit has been written, but it doesn’t involved either broadcaster – it’s about three of Bubba’s former attorneys.  Regular TALKERS readers will remember that attorneys Stephen Diaco, Robert Adams and Adam Filthaut – with the assistance of legal assistant Melissa Personius and then-cop Ray Fernandez – orchestrated the DUI of Schnitt attorney Philip Campbell in hopes of helping their case.  (How would that help? We’re not really sure.)  Regardless, Diaco tried to man up and voluntarily gave up his law license in hopes the Florida Supreme Court would go easy on his colleagues.  No such luck.  The Court has permanently stripped Adams and Filthaut of the right to practice law.  For more on the case, see Fox13 News’ summary here.

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Howie Carr Sits in on WOR, New York.  Syndicated, Boston-based talk host Howie Carr made his New York City debut on Friday (8/26) filling in on the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon slot on iHeartMedia’s 710 WOR for the vacationing “Mr. New York” Mark Simone.  Carr’s program is syndicated on numerous signals throughout New England.  Pictured above are Carr (left) and Simone (right) who met for the first time at TALKERS magazine’s annual conference in New York several years ago.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

| July 14, 2016

KNBR Staffers Picket at AT&T Park Over Wage Negotiations.  It’s been almost two years since the staffers at Cumulus Media’s sports talker KNBR, San Francisco voted to unionize under SAG-AFTRA, but negotiations between the union and the company are moving slowly.  A number of Cumulus employees picketed outside AT&T Park — home of the MLB’s Giants (whose games are broadcast on KNBR) — on Wednesday to draw attention to their case.  According to a story in the San Francisco Chronicle, theknbrlogo sagaftra logounion is seeking a minimum wage of $17 an hour for off-air staff and $30 an hour for on-air talent.  Cumulus has reportedly countered with the new San Francisco minimum wage of $13 an hour, plus 1%.  Despite Cumulus Media’s enormous corporate debt, KNBR staffers say the station is making plenty of money.  The union commissioned a study that indicates the station brings in the fifth-most revenue of Cumulus’ 453 stations.  SAG-AFTRA San Francisco executive director Len Egert tells the paper that a work stoppage is not out of the question.  The story notes that when sister news/talk station KGO voted to unionize, contract negotiations took four years before a pact was finally signed.  Read the SFGate story here.

NPR and iHeartMedia Strike Deal for Streaming.  This new relationship between iHeartMedia and NPR will allow NPR’s more than 260 member stations to make their live news/talk programming available via iheartradio newiHeartRadio.  iHM says that “in support of the public radio mission, all stations that join iHeartRadio will also have access to 50% of their individual iHeartRadio landing page’snpr digital banner inventory to encourage listeners to donate and directly support the station’s public programming.”  iHeartRadio & iHeartMedia Networks president Darren Davis comments, “The addition of NPR’s member stations helps to create even more signature audio content for iHeartRadio listeners.  By joining forces, it is the perfect way for public radio stations to reach listeners on new platforms and to provide iHeartRadio users with additional high-quality news/talk programming wherever they are.”

Radio Business Reacts to Music Biz Study on Millennial Listening Habits.  The release of the study from Music Biz and LOOP titled “Music & Millennials” is raising the hackles of AM/FM radio operators, some of whom are vigorously challenging the study’s findings.  The study, made available to members of the Music Biz Consumer Insights portal, was conducted by LOOP (which stands for Lots Of Online People) in May and used information from 3,014 U.S. respondents.  It should be noted that the summary made public focuses on 15-19 year olds, so any comparison to the larger group of Millennials – often described as those between 18 and 35 – cited in other studies, is a mismatch from the start.  Regardless, here are some of the study’s findings: AM/FM radio reaches 65% of 15-19 year olds.  That’s much lower than the 93% reach of 18-34 year olds Nielsen says are reached by AM/FM.  The Music Biz study reports that 15-19 year olds only spend 12% of their time with AM/FM radio.  It also concludes that, for the first time, YouTube is the primary source of new music discovery, surpassing AM/FM radio.  That conflicts with other research that traditionally serves the radio industry.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison had the following to say about the topic at this morning’s editorial meeting, “As Bob Dylan wrote and sang, ‘You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.’  This is as much a matter of using your powers of observation, day-to-day experience and gut-based intuition to read the tea leaves on the generational divide impacting both radio and music.  All of these so-called official surveys and research studies are as wrong as they are right. They are like out-of-date GPS systems.  Now is not the time for the radio industry to seek temporary victory through the use of limited statistical surveys and numbers-bending persuasion, but rather to find sustainable truth through accurate, first-hand observation and intelligence.  With all due respect to Nielsen, the worst thing radio can do in 2016 is put its head in the sand of comforting statistics that fly in the face of observation and reality.  We have work to do to remedy a growing and inevitable problem facing this industry.”

The Presidential Race, Police Violence Against Blacks/Dallas Cop Slayings Aftermath, Hillary Clinton Email Investigation, and Pokemon Go Craze Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/13).  The activities of presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton; deadly violence against blacks at the hands of police and the aftermath of the slaying of five Dallas police officers last week; ongoing talk about the FBI investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server for State Department business; and the Pokemon Go game that’s sweeping the nation were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Radio One Announces Plans to Cover RNC and DNC Conventions ‘From the Black Perspective.’  The largest Black-owned and targeted media company is announcing it will cover the Republican and Democratic National Conventions “from the Black perspective.”  Host Roland Martin will broadcast TV One’s “News Oneradioonelogo Now” live from the convention sites each morning at 7:00 ET.   The company also says WKYS, Washington midday personality EZ Street will provide daily live coverage from the convention floor, along with recaps on all of Reach Media’s nationally syndicated morning shows.  Radio One VP of corporate communications Yashima White AziLove states, “There couldn’t be a more critical time in our country for Black media to engage in the political process.  More now than ever the outcry of Black people continues to reverberate throughout this country for equality, justice and reform. Our entire platform will be represented at each convention to ensure our community is informed of each presidential nominee’s plan to address the issues plaguing America, especially those that impact daily Black life. ”

Redskins Great John Riggins to Co-Host Pre-Game Show on ‘ESPN 980’ in Washington.  NFL Hall of Famer and Washington Redskins great John Riggins is joining Red Zebra Broadcasting’s WTEM, Washington wtemlogo“ESPN 980” for the co-host role on the official “Washington Redskins Pregame Show.”  The Super Bowl XVII MVP will work with WTEM’s Kevin Sheehan.  Riggins says, “I solemnly swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help me God, well, most of the time… maybe… I think.  Oh, yeah, El Riggo is back.  And, that means the circus is back in town!”  Riggins will also serve as a contributor to regularly scheduled “ESPN 980” shows.

SiriusXM to Launch Star-Hosted Series Called ‘The Source.’  The four-week show is a co-operative effort between SiriusXM and IMG and it’s described as “a unique new radio program curated and hosted by stars from every genre” that “will give listeners an opportunity to connect with celebrities in a new way as they share theirsiriusxm insights on everything from fashion, art and entertainment to businesses, politics, and pop culture.”  The program is presented by the AARP-created Life Reimagined, “a platform that helps people navigate transitions and pursue their goals in life.”  Celebs involved in the project include: Arianna Huffington, Ricky Williams and Donovan McNabb, Ashley Graham, Jerry Springer, Niecy Nash, Carolyn Murphy, Jenna Elfman, Ashley Judd, and Chanel Iman.  SiriusXM president and chief content officer Scott Greenstein says, “Bringing new voices to radio has been a hallmark of SiriusXM, and we are excited to work with IMG to bring this eclectic slate of personalities for our listeners.  This new show will draw talent from the fields of music, sports and entertainment and beyond, and give them the opportunity to speak at length and in uncensored fashion about their work, passions, views, and life experiences.”

Monday, April 4, 2016

| April 4, 2016

owensronnKGO, San Francisco Announces New Programming; Ronn Owens to Remain on KGO After All.  Citing listener outcry (who saw that coming?), Cumulus Media is changing its plans to move Bay Area talk legend Ronn Owens to drive time on sister talker KSFO and will keep him on KGO (with anbearmanethan3 hour trimmed off) from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon.  Beginning tomorrow (4/5), the new KGO lineup begins with KSTE, Sacramento-based Armstrong & Getty – Jack Armstrong and Joe Getty – in morning drive.  After Owens is Ethan Bearman from 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm.  Bearman has been hosting weekend shows for KGO and sister KSFO for the past few years.  Brian Copeland, a copelandbrianlongtime weekend host at KGO, follows Bearman from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm.  Chip Franklin is now afternoon drive host from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm and DreX remains the 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm personality.    Last week, the company moved away from its newsy heritage, dismissing most of its newsfranklinchip personnel in this move to re-make KGO a live-and-local talk station.  Program director Mike Anthony states, “We couldn’t be more excited about the new direction KGO 810 is taking, and we believe our listeners will love what they hear.  Ronn’s audience made it very clear to us yesterday that he belongs at KGO — so we listened.”

The Presidential Race, Syrian Conflict/Battle Against Islamic State, European Jihadists Investigation, European Migrant Issues, and the Final Four Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The activities of the candidates for president in advance of Tuesday’s Wisconsin primary; the Syrian civil conflict, weekend attacks on al-Nusra leaders and the battle against Islamic State fighters; the investigation into the jihadists responsible for the Paris and Brussels terror attacks; the issues European nations are dealing with as they absorb refugees from Syria and other Middle East nations; and the Final Four games were some of the stories discussed on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

wilsonamberAmber Wilson Joins WAXY-AM, Miami’s ‘Zaslow & Romberg’ AM Show. Florida broadcaster Amber Wilson is joining Entercom’s WAXY-AM, Miami “Sports Talk 790 AM The Ticket” as a member of the on-air team on the “Zaslow & Romberg” show with Jonathan Zaslow and Brett Romberg.  Entercom notes that Wilson is “a veteran sports broadcaster, who began her career hosting a weekly sports television show, ‘Sports Bang’ on WFOR-TV alongside ESPN’s Jon ‘Stugotz’ Weiner.  She has previously appeared on a variety of sports radio programs, including CBS Network’s ‘The Players Club’ and as an anchor, reporter and writer for Open Sports Inc. and CBS Sports Interactive.”  Entercom South Florida VP and market manager Doug Abernethy states, “Amber has it all: in-depth sports knowledge and expertise, a fan’s enthusiasm and a lively on-air presence.  Her chemistry with Jonathan and Brett will be a winning combination that will resonate with our audience and our ad partners.  Listeners will benefit from her proven track record providing real time commentary and sports analysis.”

schnitttoddTodd Schnitt and Wife Lose Case Over Unpaid Legal Bills.  Talk show host Todd Schnitt and his wife Michelle were handed a legal defeat in a Tampa courtroom when the jury decided that the couple must pay their former legal team the fees it charged to sue former Tampa radio rival Bubba the Love Sponge.  The Schnitts had argued that they were deceived by former attorney Philip Campbell and would not have sued Bubba if not for “bad advice” from Campbell.  The Schnitts lost their bid to win a defamation case against Bubba.  In the end, the jury found the Schnitts had not been deceived by Campbell and they are being ordered to pay $669,000 in legal fees.

kinosianmikePPM Analysis: Public Radio Talk.  TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents the third of three format analyses of spoken-word radio based on the February 2016 PPM survey from Nielsen Audio.  Previously we published reports on all-news and news/talk.  Today’s report focuses on non-commercial news/talk.  No public radio talk station ranked first in its market in February, however six stations finished in the top five: WAMU, Washington (#2); KOPB, Portland (#2); KQED-FM, San Francisco (#3); WUNC, Raleigh (#3); KCFR, Denver (#4); and KPBS, San Diego (#5).  In this report you’ll also find a chart comparing the performances of all-news, news/talk, and non-commercial talk.  See it here.

Odds & Sods.  According to a report from Chicago media writer Robert Feder, Cumulus Media’s WLS-AM,levinmark Chicago is flipping the air times of Westwood One syndicated talk programs “The Savage Nation” with host Michael Savage and the Mark Levin program.  When the shows aren’t being pre-empted or partially pre-empted by White Sox baseball, Savage will be heard at 9:00 pm and Levin will go on at 6:00 savagemichaelpm.  Both shows will be streamed when baseball is airing…..Media sales pro David J. Halberstam has just published his new book titled, The Fundamentals of Sports Media and Sponsorship Sales: Developing New Accounts.  Halberstam – who began his career with Katz Media and spent a decade as EVP of sports for Westwood One – currently heads up the Halby Group.  He tells TALKERS the book is being released in both hardcopy and electronic forms via Sagamore Publishing.  Halberstam says, “The title is a first of its kind; a step-by-step handbook on developing new sports media and sponsorship accounts. Corporate sports account executives, veterans and rookies alike, should findconwaysimon the text of interest. From identifying prospects to closing a piece of business and the emotional roller coaster throughout the process, they are all covered.”…..Hard-working Iowa personality Simon Conway – heard on WHO, Des Moines in afternoons and on WMT, Cedar Rapids in mornings – is tripling up this hewitthughweek as he is also being heard on iHeartMedia’s WFLF, Orlando in morning drive today through Wednesday…..Bill Bennett officially passed the baton to new Salem Radio Network morning drive host Hugh Hewitt, who replaces Bennett in the daypart.  Hewitt had U.S. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) on his program and he wished Hewitt well, “Congratulations, welcome to mornings…you have some big shoes to fill!”

millerpatWOWO, Fort Wayne’s Pat Miller to Undergo Kidney Transplant.  Afternoon drive talk host Pat Miller recently shared with his listeners his battle with Chronic Kidney Disease and the news that a matching kidney donor has been found.  He said, “God miraculously has made a kidney available for me.  There’s a donor that has selflessly put themselves on the line…”  Miller is scheduled to undergo the transplant on May 24.

WBBM-AM, Chicago Reporter Dies in Car Crash.  A Sunday morning automobile accident in Merrillville, Indiana took the life of 60-year-old WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM, Chicago reporter Dave Mitchell.  Mitchell had been with the CBS RADIO all-news outlet since 1992.  Chicago media is reporting Mitchell leaves behind a wife and four children.

Friday, April 1, 2016

| April 1, 2016

kgo logo newRonn Owens Move from KGO to KSFO the Tip of Iceberg of Changes at Cumulus San Francisco.  The company has not issued an official statement about the changes other than to announce KGO legend Ronn Owens’ move from late mornings there to the afternoon driveksfo slot at sister KSFO, effective Monday (4/4).  But there is much more going on, including what is reported be the dismissal of the majority of the news staff at KGO.  One can assume the expense of KGO’s news department was one of the big reasons for the new programming direction.  Nielsen Audio’s February PPM ratings saw armstronggettyCBS RADIO’s all-news KCBS-AM finish #1 with a 6.2 share (6+) compared to KGO’s 1.8 share.  There are more changes soon to be announced as Cumulus re-builds KGO and the addition of KSTE, Sacramento-based Armstrong & Getty to the KGO morning slot is one.  The duo is moving from iHeartMedia’s crosstown KKSF, San Francisco where it’s been heard for the past few years.  On the music side, Cumulus also let the air staff at triple A KFOG go, and is running without jocks as that station announces it is entering a “transformational time.”  The station is expected to remain some sort of rock outlet.

millerstephanieStephanie Miller to Assume Mornings at KKSF; Station Positioned as Progressive Talker.  With the departure of Armstrong & Getty from the morning daypart at iHeartMedia’s KKSF, San Francisco “Talk 910” for mornings at KGO, the company announces WYD Media-syndicatedkksf logo Stephanie Miller is the new morning drive personality.  Speaking about the changes, iHM San Francisco SVP of programming Don Parker says, “The Bay Area is arguably the most progressive market in the nation.  This move aligns ‘Talk 910’ with the predominant sentiment of the region in all prime dayparts, delivering compelling progressive or lifestyle content throughout the day.”  The new lineup is: Stephanie Miller from 6:00 am to 10:00 am, kellymoGil Gross from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm, Cory (Callewaert) and Joel (Riddell) from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm, “The Doghouse with JV & Elvis” (a.k.a. Jeff Vandergrift and Dan Lay) from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm, Los Angeles-based Mo’ Kelly from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm and Fox News Radio’s Alan Colmes from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm.  Mo’ Kelly, a.k.a. Morris W. O’Kelly, hosts on weekends at iHeartMedia’s news/talk KFI, Los Angeles where he’s heard from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm on Saturdays and Sundays.

talkersten logoThe Presidential Race Tops the Talkers TenTM for Week of March 28-April 1.  The activities of the candidates for president were once again the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the aftermath of the Brussels and Pakistan terror attacks.  Coming in at #3 was the battle against Islamic State followed by European migrant troubles 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.

kinosianmikePPM Analysis: News/Talk.  TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents an analysis of the performances of news/talk-formatted stations in PPM markets based on Nielsen Audio’s February 2016 survey.  Yesterday, we published a report on the all-news format.  IN this report, see how news/talk stations have progressed since the beginning of the presidential primary season last February.  Last month, there were 15 news/talk outlets that ranked in the top 5 (6+) in their respective markets – four ranked #1: WSB-AM, Atlanta; WLW, Cincinnati; KSL, Salt Lake City; and WKXW, Trenton (Middlesex-Somerset-Union market).  See charts showing fluctuations from February 2015, market share over the past six surveys, and comparing all-news and news/talk stations.  Read it here.

hallwells’97.1 The Fan’ in Columbus Adds Local Show with Tim Hall & Beanie Wells.  Columbus sports talker WBNS “97.1 The Fan” is moving former Ohio State and NFL running back Beanie Wells (right) into daylight to co-host the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon show with Tim Hall (left).  The duo had been hosting “The Buckeye Show,” airing evenings from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm.  Program director Jay Taylor tells WBNS-TV, “This is a great opportunity for our loyal and craving audience for get more local sports talk.  It also brings another exciting layer to our team on the highest-rated ESPN affiliate in the country.”

lundberggolicjrNew Early Morning Show Makes ESPN Radio Live 24 Hours on Weekdays.  Monday’s launch of “First and Last with Lundberg & Golic Jr.” means the ESPN Radio schedule will be live round the clock on weekdays.  The 4:00 am to 6:00 am show co-hosted by Robin Lundberg and Mike Golic Jr. will “recap the previous night’s highlights and delve into the coming day’s stories and will be preceded by a two-hour edition of ‘SportsCenter AllNight’ (2:00 am to 4:00 am).”  ESPN audio network content VP David Roberts says, “We are constantly looking for new, aggressive ways of serving sports fans.  Providing sports talk and information live, around the clock during the week underscores our commitment to offering our listeners another opportunity to engage with our network through a strong opinion-based program.  Robin Lundberg and Mike Golic Jr. will set the table perfectly for our flagship franchise, ‘Mike and Mike.’”

robertsonwillieFOX News Radio to Launch Willie Robertson Podcast.  Reality television star Willie Robertson of “Duck Dynasty” fame is the host of a new podcast series debuting on Monday (4/4).  FOX News Radio says the weekly program will focus on faith and family along with occasional celebrity guest interviews.  Robertson will also serve as a FOX News contributor.  In conjunction with his role as CEO of Duck Commander, Robertson acts as both a television personality and executive producer for A&E’s “Duck Dynasty” and The Outdoor Channel’s “Buck Commander.”  He has also co-written a New York Times bestseller titled, The Duck Commander Family with his wife, Korie Robertson.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

| March 31, 2016

owensronnRonn Owens to Move to KSFO in Afternoons; Rumors of KGO Shakeup Rampant.  Longtime KGO, San Francisco talk show host Ronn Owens is leaving his late morning show at the heritage news/talk outlet and is moving across the hall to sister KSFO to host the afternoon drive program.  KSFO program director Mike Anthony states, “With Ronn Owens taking over afternoons from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm, KSFO is now live and local in both drive times.  This is also a great opportunity for a whole new audience to hear the brilliance that has made Ronn a legend in San Francisco radio.  We couldn’t be more excited to have Ronn driving afternoons on 560 KSFO.”  Meanwhile, rumors are running wild through the Bay Area radio community that bigger changes are afoot for KGO.  Stay tuned.

wolfejasonJason Wolfe Named Network Manager for Howie Carr Show.  Former WEEI and WRKO, Boston VP of programming and operations Jason Wolfe joins The Howie Carr Radio Network in the newly created position of network manager.  President and CEO Howie Carr says, “Jason has been working with us for several months and has been doing a great job in getting the show noticed bycarrhowie show logo numerous new markets.  I know that he will build on that success in his new role as our network manager.”  Wolfe will be in charge of building and expanding the reach and brand of the program, in addition to managing the day-to-day operation of the network, which will include helping to develop new marketing and business partnerships.  Wolfe adds, “I’m very excited to be able to work with Howie in a more formal capacity again.  He is a truly great talk show host, which is why he’s in the Radio Hall of Fame.  I’m looking forward to helping him continue to build, what is, already, an incredibly strong regional network.”  In addition to this new role, Wolfe serves as chief media and marketing strategist for The Financial Exchange Radio Network.

kinosianmikePPM Analysis: All-News.  TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of all-news stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s February 2016 PPM survey.  Just how much of an effect has the 2016 presidential race had on the ratings of all-news stations in PPM markets?  It’s impossible to know just why certain panelists tuned in to all-news outlets when they did but some industry observers suggest news stations are seeing the same trend they experience every four years when the executive office is up for grabs.  Of the 18 markets served by at least one all-news station, 13 markets saw all-news outlets increase their (6+) AQH shares from January 2016 to February 2016.  However, when comparing February 2015 data and February 2016 numbers, only six markets saw all-news stations increase their (6+) ratings and 12 saw some degree of decline between the two periods.  See Kinosian’s entire report here.

salemradionetworkNew Salem Radio Network Lineup Takes Effect Monday.  The new lineup for the Salem Radio Network begins on Monday (4/4).  The changes that take effect include Hugh Hewitt’s move from the 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm ET slot to morning drive,hewitthugh taking over for Bill Bennett who leaves his role as daily morning show host to become senior correspondent.  In that role, Bennett will appear on SRN shows as an expert guest, he’ll have a morning feature called “The Bill Bennett Interview…Making America Work” and that will be elderlarryproduced as a one-hour special each weekend.  Southern California talk personality Larry Elder takes over Hewitt’s 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm ET slot.  Salem SVP Phil Boyce states, “If we are going to shake things up, this is the perfect time.  Hugh is on fire and is the new ‘go-to guy’ for the presidential campaign.  His new morning show will be fast-paced, and news-packed.  I want to thank Bill Bennett for his 11 years of service waking up America for Salem.  He has been a class act all the way, and we will miss him.  But he will always be a part of the Salem family.  Larry Elder is a true gem who will be the perfect complement to the other hosts on Salem’s all-star lineup.”

cardillojohnProfile: Entertainment Is Cardillo’s Driving Force.  In a personality profile published today (3/31), TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian digs into the personal history and life experiences that have motivated CRN Digital Talk Radio-syndicated personality John Cardillo in developing his radio talk show style.  The born-and-raised New Yorker who now calls South Florida home served as a cop in the Bronx before he left that job to launch his own firm specializing in tracking and removing sexual predators from online communities.  The unapologetic conservative says that the public image of conservative talk radio scares Millennials away and he’s trying to fix that.  “Rather than ‘lecturing’ listeners who are stuck in their cars, Cardillo opts for an alternative of booking ‘entertaining’ guests.   ‘The audience loves to hear me bring on conservatives living behind enemy lines in Hollywood.  My on-air competitors are not doing that.  They stick to wonky, content-and-policy-driven topics.  My show has to be about politics, entertainment, and pop culture – but not necessarily in any order. There is no substitute for working on the street and I have that going for me.’”  Read Kinosian’s profile of John Cardillo here.

fernandezandreCBS RADIO President Andre Fernandez Issues Memo Regarding Future of Radio Division.  Employees never like to hear that their company or division is up for sale.  And sale is certainly one of the possibilities for the CBS RADIO division or possibly some of it radio stations or clusters.  In a memo to the radio staff, CBS RADIO president Andre Fernandez seeks to put some perspective on CBS Corp. chairman Les Moonves’ previous announcement that the company iscbsradio logo seeking “strategic options” for its radio stations.  In part, Fernandez tells staffers that splitting the radio division off via an IPO is the preferred move (for tax purposes, although Fernandez doesn’t use those words).  Fernandez states that operating the radio division independently would heighten the importance of staffers’ value to the company.  “Our contributions to the organization would become even more important as we build the framework for our new company, and chart our pathway to the future.  That is a pretty incredible opportunity for those of you who have dedicated your careers to the business, and for the new generation of employees who are helping diversify our portfolio to compete in a digital world.”  Fernandez does admit that a sale is possible and asks employees to continue to work hard in light of these distractions.

foxsportsradio logoFOX Sports Radio Announces New Weekend Programming.  Beginning his weekend, several new personalities join the program schedule at FOX Sports RadioFS1 host Joy Taylor teams up with FOX Sports Radio’s Mark Willard for the 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm ET program.  NBA great Cedric Ceballos is being partnered with Brian Noe for the Saturday 8:00 pm to 11:00 pm show, and FS1 NBA analyst and former NBA star Jim Jackson is co-hosting with Ryan Field for the Sunday 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm program.  Premiere Networks VP of sports programming Scott Shapiro comments, “FOX Sports Radio cements its standing as the best place for sports talk radio with the addition of these three talented personalities.  I couldn’t be more proud of the opinions, credibility and creativity that have been assembled in this weekend lineup.  There is no better destination for timely and entertaining takes on the biggest stories in sports than FOX Sports Radio.”

The Presidential Race, Obama’s Nuclear Summit, Battle Against Islamic State, Brussels and Pakistan Terror Attacks Aftermath, North Korea Famine Warning, NFL vs The New York Times Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/30).  The activities of the candidates for president; President Obama’s nuclear summit taking place in Washington today and tomorrow; the ongoing battle against Islamic State; the aftermath of the terror attacks in Brussels and in Pakistan; North Korea’s warning to its citizens to prepare for a famine; and NFL’s war of words with The New York Times over the paper’s criticism of the league’s handling of head injury research were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

morrisginnyLgHubbard Radio CEO Ginny Morris Named 2016 TALKERS Woman of the Year.  The TALKERS editorial board announced today (3/29) the selection of Hubbard Radio, LLC chair and CEO Ginny Morris as the 2016 recipient of “The Judy Jarvis Memorial Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Radio Industry by a Woman.”  The award is also referred to as the “Woman of the Year.”  While still in college in 1982, Morris began working in the promotion department of their flagship TV station, KSTP-TV, Minneapolis. She started with special projects and promotional events and eventually became the manager of that department in 1985.  In July 1990, she was asked to take on the challenge of managing KSTP- AM, Minneapolis/St. Paul, the original holding of the Hubbard Family’s broadcasting business (originally licensed as WAMD in 1923). It was in that role that Morris developed her true passion for and interest in the radio business. In May 1995, she added KSTP-FM (KS95) to her duties, becoming president and general manager of both KSTP radio properties.  Having had success with developing local talent for KSTP-AM, the company began syndicating its talent on a regional basis and formed a new company, the Hubbard Radio Network in August 1999. The Hubbard Radio Network works with 26 affiliates throughout the Upper Midwest and continues to add stations.  Hubbard Radio purchased WIXK-AM/FM in New Richmond, Wisconsin, in December 2000. In June 2002, WIXK-FM was moved to the Twin Cities metropolitan area. The format was changed to a new type of talk radio, and is now referred to as myTalk107.1. MyTalk107.1 is one of the first, if not the only, FM talk station in the country building talk programming specifically targeted for women.  A former chair of the NAB Radio Board, Morris currently serves on the Executive Committee of the RAB (Radio Advertisers Bureau) and serves on the board of BMI (Broadcast Music Inc.) and the Library of American Broadcasting.  In 2000, Ginny Morris was named president of Hubbard Radio, delegating much of the day-to-day operations to others in the growing organization.  In speaking on behalf of the TALKERS editorial board, publisher Michael Harrison states,Talkers2016 logo lg “We are delighted to name Ms. Morris as the recipient of this year’s ‘Woman of the Year’ award.  In an industry where the breakdown of personnel percentages by gender remains at an awkward imbalance, she shines as a beacon of inspiration for women in the business – as well as all broadcasters –  on a number of fronts.  She is the CEO of one of radio’s most highly-respected companies that performs as role model to be emulated by organizations seeking to be responsibly effective in the reality of today’s broadcasting business environment.  Add to that the impressive, steadfast accomplishments of Hubbard’s myTalk107.1 in the Twin Cities market and that alone deserves industry applause.  Finally, she has earned a stellar reputation over the years as an outstanding human being respected by her co-workers and colleagues all across the radio industry.”   Ginny Morris will be presented the “Woman of the Year” award during the Awards Ceremony at the forthcoming TALKERS 2016: Bridging the Generations conference on Friday, May 20 on the campus of Hofstra University in Hempstead, NY.  For more information about the conference, please click here.

harrisonMHpodcastParis16REFLECTIONS FROM PARIS:  Michael Harrison Discusses the Three Parts of the Body That Must Be Stimulated for Something/Anything to Become a ‘Hit.’  In a tour de force inspired by his recent speech delivered to the international radio community in Paris titled, “Lessons Learned by American Radio at the Dawn of the Digital Era,” (as well as a feverish flu), TALKERS magazine publisher Michael Harrison (pictured here at the recent Radiodays Europe conference) explores a variety of esoteric media concepts in the latest installment of the international PodcastOne hit series, “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison” posted today (3/29).  In the intimate, one-on-one monologue, Harrison takes the listener on a journey through the human body’s “seats of consciousness” that he explains should be “targeted and touched” by artists and their creations if they are to stand a chance of becoming successful.  Whether it is a song, a show or a talent – or any number of entities in between – Harrison opines an artist or an artistic creation must effectively stimulate one, two or all three of the following zones within the human body in order to be successful:  the cerebral zone, the cardiac zone, and the testicular zone.  Set against the backdrop of chilly, terrorism-sensitive Paris, leading up to and immediately following the Brussels airport bombing, this uncompromisingly concept-dense podcast covers a wide spectrum of ideas following radio’s evolution from the one-to-many medium of Walter Winchell to today’s personal, screen-less mainline via the auditory nerve into the human psyche.  This podcast is sure to captivate the imaginations of “media freaks” both inside and outside the radio industry.  To hear it in its entirety, please click here or click the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com and RadioInfo.com.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

| December 1, 2015

kgo logo newMike Anthony to Program KGO and KSFO, San Francisco.  On the heels of yesterday’s announcement that Cumulus Media San Francisco programmer Lee Hammer is now operations manager for talk stations KGO and KSFO comes the announcement that Mikeanthonymike Anthony is named program director for the stations.  Anthony comes from his most recent gig as general manager of Empire Broadcasting’s KLIV, San Jose.  Prior to that, he was corporate SVP of programming for Mapleton Communications.  He is also owner of ResearchWorks, a 24-year-old Palo ksfoAlto-based media research company.  Anthony says, “The legacy of these two remarkable stations is well documented and when the opportunity to join the Cumulus team at KGO/KSFO was presented to me, I embraced it wholeheartedly.  Every day these stations make a difference in the lives of Bay Area residents.  This is what a great radio station does, and I’m proud to be a part of continuing that legacy.”

ppmunitRound Four of November PPM Data Released.  The fourth of four rounds of November 2015 PPM data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Austin, Milwaukee, Indianapolis, Providence, Raleigh, Norfolk, Nashville, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford.  The survey period was October 8 – November 4.  TALKERS magazine’s sister publication RadioInfo has all of the numbers from subscribing stations here.  In addition, managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his “Twelve Takeaways” from this batch of ratings on the main page at RadioInfo.com here.

stevensrichRich Stevens Named Permanent Late Morning Host at WFTL, Ft. Lauderdale.  South Florida news/talk WFTL, Ft. Lauderdale announces talk host Rich Stevens – who had been splitting his time between serving as news anchor and his own interactive show – is leaving his news duties to focus on his daily 9:00 am to 11:00 am program.  Stevens tells TALKERS that the Mayor of the City of Ft. Lauderdale called in as the first guest on the Rich Stevens program and he officially proclaimed it “Rich Stevens Show Day” in the city of Ft. Lauderdale.

myers&wes‘The Beast 980’ in Los Angeles Debuts New Live Midday Show.  Los Angeles sports talker KFWB “The Beast 980” launches a new, live and local midday show today (12/1) starring sports media pros Chris Myers and Wes Clements.  The “Myers & Wes” show airs from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm.  In a press release, KFWB notes that Myers is a 30-year sports broadcasting vet who has covered numerous major sports events and worked at such sports media outlets as Fox Sports Net, FoxSportsOne, and ESPN.  He also serves as an NFL play-by-play announcer for Fox.  Clements is a Southern California native who has worked as a baseball analyst for ESPN.  Program director Tom Lee comments, “Adding Chris and Wes to our daily lineup further underscores our goal to be the only radio station super serving LA sports fans.  Throughout the day sports fans now get an unprecedented dose of local coverage from the top sports talent here in LA.”

huthlianaLiana Huth Named to New Corporate Post at Entercom.  The new title for Liana Huth is vice president of programming innovation for Entercom and Huth will be based in New York City, reporting to Entercom president of programming Pat Paxton.  The company says Huth comes with “vast experience in content development, creative partnerships, event marketing and more.”  She’s heldentercom senior roles in entertainment and media for Columbia Records, The Madison Square Garden Company, and AEG Live, among others.  Huth will be responsible for creating and developing content opportunities and strategic partnerships that will drive ratings and revenue across all of Entercom’s platforms.  Paxton states, “Liana is a creative trailblazer with a distinguished track record of content creation, innovative thinking and partnership building.  I could not be more excited to add this pivotal new role to the company and to bring in Liana to kick it off.  No one is more ready for this challenge.”

wtmj logoJane Matenaer Named WTMJ, Milwaukee AM Drive Co-Anchor.  A new co-anchor for WTMJ, Milwaukee’s “Wisconsin’s Morning News with Gene Mueller” is named.  Milwaukee radio pro Jane Matenaer – who’d joined the E.W. Scripps station in May and had been heard filling in on the show – joins the morning show officially.  Matenaer replacesmatenaerjane Bonnie Petrie, who’d been hired for the post in July but developed a vocal problem called spasmodic dysphonia that forced her to leave the position.  Petrie replaced Jodi Becker.  Matenaer worked in the market on the morning show at Entercom’s hot AC WMYX add Milwaukee Radio Alliance’s hot AC WLDB.  WTMJ VP/GM Tom Langmyer comments, “WTMJ is Milwaukee and we’re excited to have two of the best-known hometown voices together on Wisconsin’s Radio Station.  Gene and Jane are both distinguished broadcasters who will share their knowledge of Milwaukee and Wisconsin, along with the great chemistry they’ve already developed together.”

knoepkeshannonKnoepke to Replace Anselmo at CBS RADIO Minneapolis.  The Minneapolis cluster of CBS RADIO has a new SVP and market manager as Shannon Knoepke is hired to take over for the retiring Mick Anselmo.  Knoepke will be responsible for country KMNB, adult hits KZJK, and news/talkcbsradio WCCO-AM and is also serving as director of sales.  CBS RADIO COO Scott Herman says, “We couldn’t be more thrilled to welcome Shannon back to the CBS RADIO family.  With years of sales and leadership experience under her belt, she has a terrific reputation in the Twin Cities area.  Her commitment to the region and wealth of knowledge in the events and digital marketplace makes her uniquely qualified for the role.  We are excited she will be bringing this expertise to our award-winning cluster.”  Knoepke previously worked for CBS RADIO Minneapolis as an account executive with WCCO-AM from 2000-2001.

wssp logo15WSSP, Milwaukee to Air Expanded Bucks Content.  Milwaukee sports talk outlet WSSP made a strong bid for Milwaukee Bucks play-by-play rights but the team chose to stick with E.W. Scripps-owned news/talk WTMJ.  But the Entercom sports simulcast of WSSP-AM and translator W289CB, branded as “105.7 FM The Fan,” partners with the NBA team for expanded game day and weekly coverage, as well as promotion and marketing opportunities for the club.  From a programming standpoint, the long-standing “Pick ‘n Save Milwaukee Bucks Post Game Show,” hosted by Steve “Sparky” Fifer, will be enhanced with regular on-air appearances by Bucks players, coaches and TV announcers Jim Paschke, Jon McGlocklin, Marques Johnson and Gus Johnson.

bubbaNielsen Amends Complaint Against Bubba the Love Sponge.  With new information added, Nielsen Audio amends its suit against morning radio personality Bubba the Love Sponge in U.S. District Court in Florida.  The amendment to the original suit that seeks $1 million dollars in damagesnielsen logo from Todd Clem, a.k.a. Bubba the Love Sponge, related to the ratings tampering case in the Tampa market, provides more information about influencing PPM panelists and alleges there was more than just one panelist Bubba was attempting to influence.  Bubba’s lawyers filed a motion to dismiss, arguing that Nielsen’s $1 million figure is part of an attempt to get the suit into the federal jurisdiction and that the company is unable to prove the damages it alleges.  Read the full story from the Tampa Bay Business Journal here.

rosenbergsidSports Talker Sid Rosenberg Getting Traction with Added Political Content at WMEN, Ft. Lauderdale.  South Florida sports talk personality – and former longtime “Imus in the Morning” cast member – Sid Rosenberg is putting a dose of political content into his morning drive show at sports talk WMEN, Ft. Lauderdale, and TALKERS sources report the addition is working for him.  Rosenberg tells TALKERS, “There is no bigger ‘water cooler’ issue than election 2016.  I bring on guests from both sides of the aisle – Lanny Davis, Chris Matthews and Robert Gibbs from the left and people like Rich Lowry, Molly Ball, and Jen Rubin from the right.  I’m the only show who has Chuck Todd on every Friday and we’ve already had six presidential candidates on as well.”  Rosenberg says he’s made this move against advice to avoid polarizing issues but says, “These are serious times.  This election is huge.  Where [Mets slugger] Daniel Murphy ends up is not keeping America awake at night!”  Rosenberg has been able to fill in at WABC, New York over the summer and will do another fill-in shot later this month.  He says the word from New York circles is that his show is getting positive feedback.

smulyanSalv15‘Tis the Season.  In advance of this Friday and Saturday’s 21st Annual WIBC Radiothon, Emmis chairman and CEO Jeff Smulyan (left) and president and COO Patrick Walsh (right) ring the Salvation Army bell outside Emmis headquarters in Indianapolis.  This weekend’s radiothon benefits the Salvation Army Bed and Bread Club of Central Indiana.  Last year, WIBC helped raise more than $255,000 for the Salvation Army of Central Indiana.

Colorado Planned Parenthood Shooting, Gun Control, Paris Climate Conference, Turkey-Russia Tensions, Fight Against IS, 2016 Presidential Race, U. of Chicago Terror Threat, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/30).  The aftermath of the deadly shootings at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs and the related topic of gun control policy; the Paris Climate Conference and discussion about the validity of man-made global warming theory; the tensions between Turkey, its NATO allies and Russia in the wake of the downing of a Russian fighter over Turkish airspace; the civil conflict in Syria and the battle against Islamic State; the activities of the candidates for president in 2016; Monday’s terror threat at the University of Chicago; 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.

Monday, November 30, 2015

| November 30, 2015

wabc logoGeraldo Exit from WABC, New York Appears Official.  There’s been no announcement from Cumulus Media and we don’t really expect one.  All of the information on this story comes from Geraldo Rivera himself.  As TALKERS reported last Thursday, Rivera first said on his Facebook page that he was informed by new Cumulus CEO Mary Berner and Cumulus NYC market manager Chad Lopez that the company will not be honoring “theriverageraldo handshake deal I made with ousted company chief John Dickey, an agreement to extend my current contract for a year.  The decision to renege on our deal on the eve of Thanksgiving is especially upsetting coming in the wake of my emotionally charged and highly rated coverage of the Paris massacre and frantic efforts by authorities to bring the perpetrators to justice.  Last year, The Village Voice named me the ‘2014 Best AM Radio Host in NYC’, writing in part, ‘Geraldo Rivera actually has something to say.  The guy understands the issues of the day and has enough confidence in his opinions to call bullshit on blowhards,’ which I’m doing here.”  Since then, Geraldo added to his post, writing that he intends to make this difficult for the company.  “That slight will not go unanswered.  Trust me on this; it is not about the money.  I have enough and give away to various charities more than most.  But because of their unforgivable disrespect I will fight them and they will end up costing their battered company far more in damages than they expect to save in my salary.”  Geraldo goes on to write about the value of his show to the New York audience.  “The pity is this misguided management has deprived my loyal New York audience a program that they have followed and engaged with during a turbulent time of crucial interest…”  Whether Geraldo can prevail in court remains to be seen, but of course it’s within Cumulus’ right to fire or hire talent as the company sees fit.

bozedavidDavid Boze Exits Bonneville’s KTTH, Seattle.  Saying that he’s leaving the station to pursue “ventures that can only be done in presidential years,” morning drive personality David Boze leaves Bonneville International’s KTTH, Seattle after 13 years with the station.  He says, “I leave the stationktth I helped found in the hands of a great company and good people.  I am incredibly grateful for the loyalty and kindness of my listeners.  It is a wonderful thing to meet them and realize we are already friends thanks to the power of radio.  I’m also exceptionally grateful for my show sponsors, who have invested in my show year after year. Bonneville has been a great company to work for, and I will miss the people who have become such a meaningful, daily part of my life.”  The company has not named a permanent replacement for Boze.

hammerleeLee Hammer Adds KGO and KSFO OM Duties.  Already serving as operations manager and PD for sports talk outlets KNBR and KTCT, Lee Hammer is promoted from interim ops manager for sister talk stations KGO and KSFO to permanent OM for the pair.  Cumulus San Francisco VP and market manager Justin Wittmayer says, “Lee has been instrumental in leading KGO and KSFO over the past year while continuing to deliver record breaking ratings for KNBR.  We are confident that with his considerable expertise in the talk format, he will take our news/talk stations to new heights.”

Odds & Sods.  Former longtime KVI, Seattle talk personality Kirby Wilbur is soon to be back with the iconicwilburkirby conservative talker.  It’s not known at this point what daypart Wilbur will be hosting.  He was part of the original lineup of KVI as a conservative news/talk station.  It’s for this period in history that it’s considered by many to be the first talk station to be purposely programmed as an all-conservative talk outlet…..Nationally syndicated talk host Kevin Jackson announces he is leaving USA Radio Networks and will self-syndicate his daily 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm talk show.

nielsen logoRound Three of November PPM Data Released.  The third of four rounds of November 2015 PPM data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Portland, Charlotte, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, San Antonio, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Kansas City, Orlando, and Columbus.  The survey period was October 8 – November 4.  TALKERS magazine’s sister publication RadioInfo has all of the numbers from subscribing stations here.  In addition, managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his “Twelve Takeaways” from this batch of ratings on the main page at RadioInfo.com here.

hickenlooperjohnSome Talk Radio Pros Take Issue with Colorado Governor’s Placing Blame for Shooting on Media and Campaign Rhetoric.  Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, in addressing the deadly shooting at the Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs over the weekend, hinted that talk show hosts and bloggers are in some way to blame for the deaths of the three victims and the nine people wounded.  The governor said, in part, “Certainly it’s a form of terrorism, and maybe in some way it’s a function of the inflammatory rhetoric we see on so many issues now, there are bloggers and talk shows where they really focus on trying to get people to that point of boiling over.  Just intense anger.  Maybe it’s time to look at howtraduptom do we tone down that rhetoric.  No one is going to try to reduce free speech in this country but that rhetoric — if people are in some way emotionally unstable or psychologically unbalanced – that intensity of rhetoric sometimes seems to pull a trigger in their brain that they lose contact with what reality is.”  Salem Radio Network VP of news & talk programming Tom Tradup tells TALKERS magazine, “Public officials who fail in their primary responsibility to protect the lives and property of the men and women who elect them should not use the free and open exchange of ideas and opinions on talk radio to scapegoat their own inadequacies.”

seltzerbrentHosp15Legendary News and Talk Personality Brent Seltzer Recovering from Brain Tumor Surgery.  Veteran radio personality Brent Seltzer, known most recently for his work on the nationally syndicated (GCN) “Brent & Meg Show” that he co-hosted with his wife Meg McDonald, is recovering from major surgery that took place in September at St. Joseph’s Medical Center in Burbank to remove a cancerous, golf ball-sized Glioblastoma Tumor Grade 4  from the front-left section of his brain.  This is the part of the brain that controls memory and language.  Seltzer’s colorful career dates back to the golden days of FM rock radio when he was a pioneer in the development of “rock ‘n’ roll radio style news” at such outlets as KGB, San Diego and KMET, Los Angeles among others.  He has also achieved considerable critical praise for his modern-era, short-form and podcast series, “Still at Large.”  Attendees at TALKERS conferences over the past four years will remember Brent & Meg as the events’ charismatic official greeters.  This past June, they served as emcees of Talkers 2015.  Seltzer (pictured here mugging for the camera after his surgery) tells TALKERS, “I have apparently been experiencing symptoms since September 2014 but it wasn’t until 11:15 am PT on Thursday, September 24, 2015 that my symptoms resulted in a seizure while sitting at my computer.  I crashed like a small bird out of a big tree.  If our ‘Brent & Meg’ radio show had not been on hiatus by that point, I would have had my seizure on the air.  In the months prior to the seizure, I was apparently doing some things without a clear memory.  My typing began to deteriorate and my quick recall for names, places and events often failed me.  I ignored symptoms that were bothersome but seemed innocuous and unrelated at the time.  But in truth, they were actually symptoms of a much bigger problem.”  Seltzer, who is now recovering at home while undergoing chemotherapy and radiation therapy, adds, “I share these things to let everyone know that I have begun what we hope will be a stunning return.  My recovery is an uphill battle which I’m very eager to face as I prepare for alerting everyone as to what has happened and what will come next  and as much pain and discomfort I am in… I’m Popeye and nothing is gonna get me down!”  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “I have known Brent all the way back to my radio days in San Diego in the early 1970s.  He is one of the nicest, smartest and most talented guys I’ve ever met in this business.  He and Meg are beloved members of our TALKERS family and we pray for his speedy and full recovery.”  Brent Seltzer can be contacted via email at: brent@mcdonaldmediaservices.com.

Colorado Springs Shooting Dominates Weekend Talk Stories.  The deadly shooting in Colorado Springs and the related debate over gun control were the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend on stations that air live and local shows and/or live national talk shows.  Other topics included the Thanksgiving holiday, Black Friday, and college and pro football, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Thursday September 10, 2015

| September 10, 2015

francesamikeWFAN’s Mike Francesa Show to End Fox Sports Cable Simulcast.  New York sports talk legend Mike Francesa told his WFAN listeners on Wednesday that his show would cease being simulcast on Fox Sports’ cable channel after this Friday.  As the New York Post reports, Francesa had problems with the relationship almost from the beginning and griped to listeners about being pre-empted by soccer or moved to the FS2 channel.  Francesa said, “First, let me say that the blame is mine.  I tried to do something a little different.  The Fox guys were eager and I’m not going to say money wasn’t an issue, because it was the biggest.  I had some trepidation, but I saw some promise and it just didn’t work.”  The Post reports that Francesa is beginning to look for a new cable simulcast partner and MSG Network is a possible destination.

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corralangelaCorral Named News Director at KGO, San Francisco.  This is a promotion from assignment editor to news director for Angela Corral.  She’s been with Cumulus Media’s KGO since October of 2013.  She’s worked in news in the Bay Area for the past 17 years, having joined CBS RADIO’s crosstown all-news KCBS in 1998 as a production assistant.  On her new gig, Corral comments, “It’s a true honor to be selected as news director of this legendary station.  I’m looking forward to working with an amazing staff of dedicated journalists as we move KGO forward.”

fairRadio Pro Bob Dane Rises to Executive Director at FAIR.  The Federation for American Immigration Reform announces Bob Dane is promoted to executive director of the organization after approval from the board of directors.  Dane, whose years of experience in network radio, marketing and communications led him to join FAIR in 2006 as director of communications, will be just the fourth executivedanebob director of FAIR since its founding in 1979.  In this new role, Dane will oversee the organization’s Washington, D.C.-based and national operations.  FAIR president Dan Stein comments, “With nearly a decade of experience in FAIR’s media department, Bob has spearheaded valuable and unique initiatives, bringing to light the public’s often-overlooked concerns about immigration.”  Chairman of the Board Donald Collins Jr. adds, “For many years, Bob has continually demonstrated media expertise, innovative ideas and able management.”  During his career, Dane also served in a policy and budgeting position within the Reagan administration.  He received a degree in public administration and management from George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia.

Odds & Sods.  After retiring from full-time work at Chicago all-news outlet WBBM-AM in 2004 after a 35-year career, Sheman Kaplan returned to the station on a freelance basis, according to Chicago media writer Robert Feder.  In a column today, Feder reports that Kaplan is again retiring from the station where he was co-anchoring midday newscasts and “The WBBM Noon Business Hour” alongside Kris Kridel…..Los Angeles-based talkelderlarryNEW1-15 personality Larry Elder will host presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson on his show today (9/10).  Elder’s program airs on CRN Digital Talk Radio at 3:00 pm ET and on Salem-owned KRLA, Los Angeles at 9:00 pm PT…..United Stations Radio Networks is now offering a sports radio prep service called Total Sports Prep.  USRN says it is intended for use by air personalities in sports talk or any krntprogramming that delves into sports content…..Bob Kempf  joins TV and online public media producer WGBH Boston as vice president for digital services.  Kempf was previously VP/general manager of digital services for NPR…..Saga Communications drops adult standards on KRNT, Des Moines and goes sports talk as “ESPN Des Moines.”  In addition to carrying ESPN Radio programming, it will carry Chicago Cubs baseball, Drake University play-by-play, and be an affiliate of the Green Bay Packers Radio Network…..Entercom flips from business talk on KWOD, Kansas City to sports talk using both CBS Sports Radio and Fox Sports Radio.

wipRadiothon15WIP, Philadelphia’s Eagles Radiothon Raises $200,000.  Another Eagles Radiothon is in the books and the event organized by the NFL club and CBS RADIO’s WIP-FM, “SportsRadio 94WIP raised $200,000 for the Eagles Youth Partnership.  As part of the annual radiothon, Eagles fans and 94WIP callers were provided the opportunity to bid on exclusive experiences involving their favorite Eagles players and 94WIP radio personalities.  Eagles Youth Partnership, Eagles Social Responsibility president Christina Weiss Lurie says, “We continue to be amazed each year by the generous contributions and devoted support from our fans during the Eagles Radiothon.  As an organization, we are always looking to deliver one-of-a-kind experiences for our fans.  The annual Radiothon provides us with the opportunity to do that, while also supporting the vital health and education programs of Eagles Youth Partnership.  On behalf of EYP, I would like to express a heartfelt thank you to 94WIP for their steadfast commitment and support of this event.”

tradupBosworth15Salem Radio Network at 90 Minutes in Heaven Premiere.  The new film 90 Minutes in Heaven – based on the New York Times bestselling book by Don Piper – opens this weekend and Salem Radio Network VP/news & talk programming Tom Tradup (left) was in Atlanta this week for the media premiere of the film.  Tradup says that on the heels of the Christian-themed film War Room being tops at the Labor Day weekend box office last week, fans of faith-based movies are also expected to turn out this weekend for the nationwide opening of 90 Minutes in Heaven.  Tradup is seen here speaking with actress Kate Bosworth (right) who plays Piper’s wife Eva Piper.  In a story based on Don Piper’s own experiences, she helps him recover from a car crash after being pronounced legally dead for 90 minutes.  The film also stars Hayden Christensen and Fred Thompson.

ewscrippsConspiracy Theory Gets Two Suspended from Scripps Springfield, MO Stations.  The host and the on-air producer of the Sunday morning “Cracker Barrel” show have been suspended by E.W. Scripps after suggesting the on-air slayings of Roanoke TV crew Alison Parker and Adam Ward were a hoax designed to spur stricter gun control laws.  Host Joe Rios and producer Rick Masters are heard on the both company’s country KTTS and news/talk KSGF-AM/FM.  Station manager Rex Hansen apologized to the station’s listeners for the commentary.  It’s not known how long the two will be suspended from the weekly community forum program.

Hillary Clinton Emails Apology, Trump Candidacy, 2016 Presidential Candidates, European Migrant Crisis, Brandon Marshall’s Brady vs NFL Racism Charge/ESPN Spygate Story, Iran Nuclear Deal, and Russia-Syria Military Connection Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/9).  Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton apologizes for use of private email server for State Department business; the criticism and analysis of the top-polling Trump for President campaign; the activities of the candidates for president in 2016; the migrant crisis affecting European nations; the aftermath of the Tom Brady vs the NFL case and Brandon Marshall’s charge that Tom Brady is treated different because he’s white, plus the related ESPN Spygate story; the controversy over the Iran nuclear deal; and reports of Russia sending military aid to Syria were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Friday, August 28, 2015

| August 28, 2015

owensronnRonn Owens to Return to KGO, San Francisco on Monday.  Weeks after undergoing surgery for phase one of Deep Brain Stimulation treatment for his Parkinson’s Disease, legendary Bay Area talk personality Ronn Owens posts on his Facebook page that he’s feeling better – minor complications notwithstanding – and will return to KGO, San Francisco’s airwaves on Monday.  Here’s what he had to say: “Just checking in (with a three-day growth of beard!) to let you know that I’m feeling much better and plan to be back on the show on Monday.  Falling down the stairs after the Deep Brain Stimulation surgery slowed my recovery due to the resulting blood clot on the surface of the brain, along with another blood clot in the lung and a nasty cough.  Those factors have also forced my doctors to postpone the second phase of the DBS process (implanting a battery pack in my chest) until late October.  Nonetheless, the DBS procedure is still on track for success and I look forward to it being able to reverse my Parkinson’s symptoms by 5 to 7 years when it’s complete in early November.”  Prior to his recent surgery, Owens spoke with TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison on the latter’s international hit podcast “Up Close and Far Out” on the PodcastOne platform.  You can check out that discussion here.

wnnhNew Hampshire Gets New FM N/T Station – Howie Carr Headlines Lineup.  Beginning Monday (8/31) Binnie Media-owned WNNH-FM, Concord, New Hampshire will re-launch as “99.1 NH1 News, New Hampshire’s Newsradio.”  The station will provide the Concord area with what is being described as “continuous local news updates on the top stories from around the Granite State, along with opinion and analysis from nationally recognized personalities, including Howie Carr weekday afternoons.”  The “NH1” brand has been serving New Hampshire as a major statewide TV and radio newscarrhowie organization.  “99.1 NH1 News” will feature hourly updates from the NH1 News staff. The NH1 Radio News Network will continue to broadcast on 12 radio stations in New Hampshire, including stations in Concord, Nashua, Portsmouth, the Lakes Region, and Lebanon.  In 2014, NH1 News received a Granite Mike Award for the Best Radio Newscast from the New Hampshire Association of Broadcasters.  The local news coverage on “99.1 NH1 News” will be augmented by the world and national resources of CBS News.  Binnie Media EVP Lee Kinberg tells TALKERS, “This is the next logical step in the growth of NH1 News.  Last month NH1 News on WBIN-TV was the #1 10:00 pm news in New Hampshire and in less than a year, NH1.com is achieving over 800,000 page views a month. “99.1 NH1 News” brings our comprehensive local news coverage to Concord’s radio listeners.”  In addition to Carr, nationally known personalities including Don Imus, Mike Gallagher, Dennis Prager, and Michael Savage round out the weekday lineup.  Carr tells TALKERS, “It’s an honor to be working with all the great professionals at NH1 News, and to be able to reach a whole new audience in the Granite State — especially with the presidential primaries coming up in less than six months.”  This marks the 24th affiliate for Howie Carr’s rapidly-growing independent regional talk network.  Binnie Media owns 16 stations in Maine and New Hampshire.

sullivanbobBob Sullivan Exits Daily Role on KOGO, San Diego.  His comments to the San Diego Union-Tribune about leaving his co-host role on the afternoon drive show with former San Diego city councilman Carl DeMaio are pretty sanguine, still there’s a tenor of disappointment in Bob “Sully” Sullivan’s comments that he and the station have different philosophies about what the show’s topics should be.  Sullivan tells the paper, “I like to talk red-meat topics — illegal immigration, gun control and minimum wage — and I think the station wants that segment to go more toward local politics, pension reform and the water crisis.  Carl is very passionate about that stuff and I just am not.”  Sullivan’s 16-year tenure with the station will continue as he’ll still be business editor and serve as a fill-in host.  DeMaio has been on the program for the past five months – shortly after losing a race for a seat in Congress.

cosbyritaRita Cosby to Host Weeklong Web Series on Education.  The hour-long program – titled “Back to the Books Radio” – will appear exclusively on WABC, New York’s website beginning Monday, August 31.  On the program, Rita Cosby will “discuss timely and critical issues in American education with some of the nation’s most prominent voices in education, including highlighting: teacher and student standards, busing, charter schools, Common Core, and illegal immigrants and who should pay for their education.  The series is a provocative and no-holds-barred look at the issues that are important to those who are concerned that the educational system is failing the country’s children — what is working, and what is not.  The series looks in-depth at New York City’s massive public education system with more than one million students and 1,700 schools.”  Each show features interviews with top experts and thought leaders in New York and U.S. education.

townhallcomSalem Media Group Re-Brands TOH News with Townhall.com Collaboration.  Raising the radio profile of its conservative website Townhall.com will likely be one of the effects of Salem Media Group’s decision to rename its top-of-the-hour news product with the brand Townhall.com.  SMG says the site “reaches 3 million unique visitors every month.  This will be a brand extension to the powerful SRN News product that provides both news/talk and Christian talk stations a strong 24/7 radio news service.”  Salem says it will continue to produce the SRN News feed at :55 past the hour,  primarily for Christian stations and that the Townhall.com branded product will be designed for news/talk stations.   Salem Radio Network SVP Phil Boyce comments, “We will continue to offer the outstanding reporting that is a hallmark of SRN News with great anchors and respected correspondents like Greg Clugston at the White House, Linda Kenyon at the Senate and Wally Hindes at the House.  The new brand extension will allow us to better market the product for news and talk stations and we can’t think of a better partner than Townhall.com which is so respected and well-known.”

wmen logo‘640AM Sports’ in Fort Lauderdale Shuffles Hosts.  Midday sports talk host Joe Raineri moves to afternoon drive on WMEN, Fort Lauderdale “640AM Sports,” replacing Hank Goldberg.  Currently, the midday daypart consists of DirecTV/FOX Sports Radio’s Dan Patrick from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon and Rich Eisen from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm but there is speculation that the station will opt for adding Colin Cowherd’s new FOX Sports Radio program – set to debut in September – to the slot currently held by Eisen.

Odds & Sods. Abundant, thunderous changes taking place with Major League Baseball‘s Boston Red Soxobriendave have even spread to the broadcasting booth. While it doesn’t take effect until next year, Dave O’Brien will shift from radio play-to-play to the television side, calling Red Sox games on NESN. O’Brien, who has a renowned national presence from his ESPN television exposure, will succeed Don Orsillo, whose contract isn’t being renewed. No word yet on a successor to O’Brien on the Red Sox Radio Network, whose flagship is Entercom Boston sports outlet WEEI-FM. Quincy, Massachusetts native O’Brien miklaszberniejoined the Red Sox radio booth for the 2007 season – when the Red Sox wound up winning the World Series…..St. Louis sports media pro Bernie Miklasz returns to Hubbard Radio‘s WXOS “101ESPN” on Monday, August 31  to revive his sports talk show.  The longtime St. Louis Post-Dispatch sports writer is exiting his position with the paper to begin hosting the 7:00 am to 10:00 am program.  He will also write for the station’s 101sports.com website…..ESPN Radio announces that Ian Fitzsimmons will host the 10:00 am to 1:00 pm slot with Will Cain, Trevor Matich, and Freddie Coleman next week.  The network is reportedly preparing to officially announce Dan LeBatard will assume that daypart permanentlyzaklana later in September…..Former Philadelphia Eagles great Brian Westbrook is reprising his football expert role at Greater Media‘s WPEN-FM, Philadelphia “97.5 The Fanatic” on the AM drive Anthony Gargano show.  Westbrook will be part of the Monday program from 9:00 am to 10:00 am following Eagles games during the NFL season…..ABC News announces Lana Zak is the newest member of the Multi-Platform Reporter team.  Zak began her career with ABC News as an anchor producer for Diane Sawyer at “Good Morning America.”  Most recently, she has served as a coordinating producer for ABC’s Specialized Units.

New Economic News Program to Debut in January.  This new offering comes from Walter O’Connell Tax Services, LLC on a weekly basis beginning January 2, 2016.  According to O’Connell, “Economics-Weekly.com” is a one-hour radio program featuring selected readings in economics from top economic bloggers from around the world and “was founded on the belief that liberty and free trade are created, and sustained, through economic understanding.”  O’Connell says, “Our current weekly syndicated radio program is a perfect pre-air or post-air program for news, business, economic, political or current event programing.”

hannity montgomerygentry15Country Duo Montgomery Gentry to Appear on ‘Hannity’ Tonight.  Country music will be a topic on FOX News Channel’s “Hannity” this evening (8/28) as country superstars Montgomery Gentry will be on the program.  Eddie Montgomery (left) and Troy Gentry (right) recently spoke with Sean Hannity (center) about their new Blaster Records album, Folks Like UsPhoto: Monarch Publicity.

TV Reporters Slayings/Gun Control Tops Talkers TenTM for Week of August 24-28.  The tragic slayings of WDBJ-TV reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward and the related issue of gun control were the most-talked-about stories during the week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM this week.  At #2 was the presidential candidacy of Donald Trump.  Coming in at #3 was the debate over immigration policy followed by the possible presidential candidacy of Vice President Joe Biden at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

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Tuesday, July 14, 2015

| July 14, 2015

harrisonUpCloseFarOutsmallMichael Harrison Gets ‘Up Close and Far Out’ with Legendary KGO, San Francisco Talkmeister Ronn Owens.  This week’s new installment of Podcast One’s international hit podcast for media freaks, “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison,” is posted today (7/14).  It features a compelling conversation between TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison and legendary radio talk show host Ronn Owens.  Owens is about to mark his 40th anniversary with the heritage San Francisco outlet KGO – having survived numerous regimes and ownership changes during that four-decade period, including the controversial 2011 reorganization of the station from aowensronn news/talk format to an all-news direction that left Owens the station’s only full-time talk show host.  In addition, Owens recently disclosed publicly that he has been privately dealing with the challenges of Parkinson’s Disease for the past 13 years that has progressed to the point that he will be undergoing a leading-edge form of surgery called Deep Brain Stimulation.  This aggressive procedure, when successful, has been shown to alleviate the incurable neurological disorder’s movement-prohibiting symptoms.  Owens – ranked by TALKERS as one of the 25 most important radio talk show hosts of all time — discusses his career and views on talk radio, including the power of local programming, options beyond the left/right paradigm, the disastrous simulcast of his show on KGO and KABC, Los Angeles in 1997-98 and the impact of cell phones on the format, plus more.  He also candidly talks about his quiet battle with advancing Parkinson’s Disease, his decision to open up about it and details of the exotic form of brain surgery that he will be facing in August.  Harrison says of Owens, “This man is truly one of the giants of the industry.  Just like all the truly great performers of the talk radio arts, he rises above technique and has made it big simply based upon his unique brand of ‘personhood’ – an elusive quality that the Dickey Brothers obviously recognize – and speaks volumes about their nuanced awareness factor.  Add to that, his backbone is of figurative steel as he faces an experimental form of invasive surgery.  Ronn Owens is an inspiration to us all, professionally and personally.  I am so darned pleased to be able to present this podcast to the industry and the world.”  This is a must-listen for members of the professional radio community.  To hear the entire podcast, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player located in the right hand column of every page of Talkers.com.

legrettkevinLeGrett Lands iHeartMedia LA Market President Slot. Currently senior vice president of operations for approximately 225 iHeartMedia stations in roughly 50 northeast and midwest markets, Kevin LeGrett is shifting to market president for the company’s eight-station Los Angeles cluster. Executive vice president of operations for iHeartMedia – and the company’s Southern California president – Greg Ashlock (to whom LeGrett will report) comments, “Kevin has a successful track record leading operations and accelerating growth across multiple regions. He has earned the right to lead our largest market. His vast experience managing talent and revenue across so many diverse markets and stations will allow him to bring a unique perspective to our Los Angeles portfolio – a portfolio that I have been blessed to directly manage for the last decade that hosts the most compelling on-air talent and most innovative leaders in the business.” LeGrett states that he is “thrilled” at the “opportunity to lead” the “extremely talented” Los Angeles team. He further states, “iHeartMedia Los Angeles has some of the most iconic brands and beloved personalities in the country. With the instantaneous success of [urban contemporary KRRL] ‘Real 92.3’ and the continued stellar ratings and thriving pop culture events such as ‘Wango Tango’ and ‘Jingle Ball,’ it is an exciting time foriheartmedia logo small the market. I look forward to the opportunity to further build on the team’s already enormous success.” LeGrett, who begins his new duties in three weeks (8/3), joined iHeartMedia five years ago as vice president and market manager for the company’s Rochester stations. He will be leading a Los Angeles group of properties that includes hot AC KBIG “My-FM” and adult contemporary KOST “Coast 103.5,” tied for second in Nielsen Audio‘s June 2015 PPM, each with 5.1 (6+). Also in the top ten this June are iHM CHR KIIS “Kiss-FM” (#4, 4.9) and talk KFI (#8, 3.5). The rest of the company’s Los Angeles cluster consists of aforementioned urban contemporary KRRL “Real 9.2.3” (formerly urban-rhythmic oldies KHHT “Hot 92.3,” #11, 3.1); alternative KYSR “Alt 98.7” (#20, 2.3); and sports/Los Angeles Dodgers’ flagship KLAC and talk KEIB (both with .9, tied at #30).

cumulus logoCumulus Media Expands Brand Partnerships Team.  This move includes promotions for two current Cumulus Media staffers.  The company says that in expanding the Brand Partnerships team, it has named Leslie Slender vice president, Brand Partnerships and Events, and Leslie Caraccilo, vice president, Brand Partnerships.  The Brand Partnerships division is responsible for developing “unique experiential opportunities for Cumulus and Westwood One, connecting advertisers to itsslenderleslie listening audiences and leveraging its integrated radio, digital, social and live events platform.”  Slender has been serving as Cumulus New York’s corporate director, events and marketing.  She’ll continue to caracciloleslieoversee marketing and events for Cumulus New York stations.  Caraccilo has been with the company for five years as was most recently senior director of digital monetization.  She’ll continue to oversee digital sales strategy for Cumulus.  Cumulus SVP of Brand Partnership Tommy Page states, “We are excited to welcome these two talented professionals to the Brand Partnerships team.  Leslie Slender is a rare example of a marketer that is not only outstanding at producing and executing live events, but also knows how to package these opportunities for advertisers.  Leslie Caraccilo has done an incredible job of creating custom digital and content solutions for our advertisers across the Cumulus platform. Her understanding of artist programming and deep knowledge of the digital space make her a natural fit for our Brand Partnerships team.  With these strong additions to our already stellar Westwood One events group, all Cumulus and Westwood One partners and advertisers will benefit from this powerhouse team’s expertise.”

familyleadershipsummit15USA Radio Network Helps Sponsor Broadcast of Family Leadership Summit.  A live, five-hour broadcast from the Family Leadership Summit on Saturday, July 18 is being made available for free to broadcasters from USA Radio Networks in cooperation with Truth Radio Network.  The Ames, Iowa event will originate from Iowa State University and be anchored by nationally syndicated host and political commentator Steve Deace and American values expert Steve Noble.  The live broadcast will give voters the opportunity to hear from top conservative leaders and Republican presidential candidates, including: Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Dr. Ben Carson, Scott Walker, Marco Rubio, Mike Huckabee, Bobby Jindal, Rick Perry, Rick Santorum, and Bob Vander Plaats.  USA Radio Networks SVP of news operations Russ Jones says, “Iowa is a key battleground state for any presidential candidate.  The Family Leadership Summit is the first major platform the electorate will get to hear how candidates would lead the nation.”

bellartArt Bell Returns to Airwaves in Portland on Monday.  We’ve known for some time now that Art Bell has been preparing to return to hosting a nightly program via his Dark Matter Digital Network, but now Alpha Media announces the originator of “Coast to Coast AM” will bring his new show – “Midnight in the Desert” – to KXL-FM, Portland beginning Monday, July 20.  The show will air from 10:00 pm to 1:00 am local time and will follow Clyde Lewis’ “Ground Zero.”  Alpha Portland SVP/market manager Milt McConnell comments, “Art is an American original in terms of putting the paranormal on the radio landscape.  We are so proud to extend his coverage to the Northwest where there is a rabid appetite for his unique brand of communication.”

2015 Marconi Finalists Announced.  The 2015 Marconi Award finalists have been announced by the NAB.  The annual awards, to be given out during the NAB Radio Show in Atlanta on October 1, are divvied up into 20 categories.  Legendary Station of the Year finalists include: news/talk outlets KRMG-AM/FM, Tulsa; WHIO-AM, Dayton; and all-news KYW, Philadelphia.  Major Market Personality of the Year finalists include: Felger & Massarotti from sports talk WBZ-FM, Boston and Hal Jay from news/talk WBAP, Dallas.  View all the finalists here.

malcolmoutloudWYM Media to Distribute Malcolm Out Loud Features.  Through WYM Media Management, radio news commentator Malcolm Out Loud is expanding his daily radio presence with three new features.  “Out Loud News and Comment” is the news of the day with Malcolm’s unique twist; “Out Loud America” is a “relevant and timely commentary from Malcolm”; and “Brink Thinking Out Loud” is “motivational content and inspiring stories and positive events shaping our world.”  Malcolm Out Loud is a motivational speaker, innovator and creator of the popular websites OutLoudAmerica.com and BrinkThinking.com.

kcmo logoKCMO, Kansas City Holds Drive to Assist Mother of Six Caught Shoplifting.  The case of homeless widow and mother-of-six Sarah Robinson was the focus of attention for Cumulus Media’s Kansas City radio stations, led by news/talk KCMO on Saturday as it held a donation drive Saturday for the family.  Robinson was cited for shoplifting at a local Walmart but the officer who responded, Mark Engravalle, decided to pay for the diapers and wipes for her twin two-year-olds and bought shoes for her other girls.  After hearing the woman’s story of desperation, the stations planned a two-hour donation drive that netted cash, diapers, baby wipes, clothing, blankets, food, toiletries and other items.  KCMO morning host Rob Carson hosted both Robinson and Officer Engravalle on his show on Monday.  Officer Engravalle remains touched that he’s changed someone’s life for the better and he is in constant touch with Sarah, who is off the street with her girls in temporary lodging, while something more permanent is being arranged.  The generosity continues with a local law firm offering her a job.

Odds & Sods.  Texas-based talk show host Lynn Woolley is celebrating the 20th anniversary of his talk show.  Woolley says his days as a talk show host go back to 1995 when he and two partners operated KTEM, Kileen-Temple…..The NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes and Capitol Broadcasting Company have reached a multi-year agreement for WCMC, Raleigh “99.9 The Fan” to continue serving as the team’s flagship station through the 2019-20 season.

nbcsportsradio logoCool Job Opportunity.  NBC Sports Radio in Culver City, California is looking for the next great sports talk producer!  Are you totally immersed in all things sports?  Can you oversee and manage a top-notch, daily sports talk show and book compelling guests and newsmakers?  Can you handle show/talent/guest prep, organize formats and rundowns, develop content, fact-check and research, and distribute social media and digital content across platforms?  Do you have excellent live and studio production skills using multiple software programs, including Adobe Audition and Pro Tools?  If you can do all this and have 3-4 year’s major market or network experience, we want to talk to you!  Send a link to work materials, including resume and audio samples, to Jack Silver, Program Director, at jsilver@westwoodone.com.  No calls, please.

WBAPbushmanMurrowWBAP, Dallas’ Bushman Recognized with Regional Murrow Award.  WBAP, Dallas-Fort Worth news staffer Eric Bushman was recently honored with Regional Edward R. Murrow Award from the Radio Television Digital News Association for his reporting on the U.S. Ebola outbreak last year.  Dallas was “Ground Zero” for Bushman’s story, and he was lead reporter from start to finish.  This is the second consecutive year Bushman has been honored with a Murrow Award.  Last year, he received one for his comprehensive coverage of the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. WBAP, Dallas operations and program manager Tyler Cox comments, “Eric’s work represents the type of reporting that is the signature of the WBAP news staff: comprehensive, in-depth, and sticking with the story from start-to-finish.”

sandlerGuitarNicole Sandler Auctioning Cool Radio Memorabilia for Radio Or Not.  Progressive talk personality Nicole Sandler is opening up her archives of radio memorabilia for an auction to help support her Radio Or Not digital platform.  Sandler says she’s always vowed to not put her content behind a paywall and this auction – which starts tomorrow (7/15) – will help her costs of operation.  Sandler is not the only radio pro who’s been collecting cool radio and music artifacts oversandlerBillHillary the years.  In fact, TALKERS editors believe one of the interesting, untold stories in the radio biz is just what these personal treasure troves contain.  Sandler’s has some pretty fun items that come from her days producing for Jim Kerr at WPLJ, New York and for Mark & Brian at KLOS, Los Angeles.  Note the autographed guitar pictured above that’s been signed by Johnny Cash, BB King, Les Paul, James Taylor, Roger Daltrey, Todd Rundgren and others.  Then, for political wonks, the Bill and Hillary corkscrew-nutcracker pair pictured here at right make the perfect election year gift!  Sandler’s auction site is: radioornot.com/auction.

2016 Presidential Candidates/Scott Walker Joins Race, Mexican Drug Lord Prison Escape, Iran Nuclear Talks, NYC Eric Garner Settlement, Immigration Policy-Sanctuary Cities, Greek Debt Deal, and MLB All-Star Break Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/13).  The activities of the candidates for president in 2016 and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s entering the primary race; the escape from prison of Mexico’s most notorious drug lord; the conclusion of negotiations between Iran and the West over its nuclear program; New York City’s settlement with the family of Eric Garner over his death at the hands of an NYC cop; the ongoing controversy over the nation’s illegal immigration policy and the country’s sanctuary cities; the Greek debt solution and the effects on the EU; and the Major League Baseball All-Star festivities were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, July 6, 2015

| July 6, 2015

limbaughrush15Programming Changes Take Effect in Indy; Limbaugh Moves to WNDE.  Today, Premiere NetworksRush Limbaugh moves from his longtime place on Emmis’ WIBC-FM, Indianapolis to iHeartMedia-owned crosstown sports talk WNDE – a move announced earlier this year.  At WIBC-FM,wibclogo the new lineup sans Limbaugh includes the new show “The 10@10 with Mike Wilson and Ray Steele,” a program and will run down the top 10 stories of the day at 10:00 am.  Greg Garrison moves to the 11:00 am to 1:00 pm slot and Radio America-syndicated “The Dana Show” with Dana Loesch airs from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm.  The “Chicks on the Right” with Daisy and Mockarena airs from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm and “Abdul at Large” with local political writer, educator and media personality Abdul-Hakim Shabazz from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm.

cookehollandCooke: Turning Digital Disappointment into Direct Success.  Radio consultant Holland Cooke presented at two state broadcasters’ conferences recently and he says the common thread from all three sessions was the following: “Recent years’ radio revenue data has many shrugging that ‘flat is the new up.’  Less so in small and medium markets, where local direct retail comprises more of radio’s income than in big markets where transactional business is the ball game.  And in every market, digital is the shiny object sucking dollars away from legacy media.  Especially ours.  Ask car stores: Detroit is telling them to move radio money online.”  And while digital is expected to eclipse all other ad platforms by 2017 (in terms of dollars spent), there are those who dare to question digital’s efficacy relative to ‘legacy’ media.  In today’s column, Cooke offers some advice for reigniting the power of radio as a sales vehicle.  Read the entire piece here.

kgo logo newCumulus Draws Local Criticism from Press, Unions for Closing KGO’s South Bay Bureau.  Noting that the South Bay bureau of news/talk KGO, San Francisco has been open for more than four decades, the San Jose Mercury NewsScott Herhold laments the decision of Cumulus Media to shutter the two-staffer office in San Jose without notice.  Reporting thatsagaftra logo Jennifer Hodges and Jeanne Lynch were let go June 26, the paper says even San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo wrote Cumulus’ Lee Hammer writing, in part, that the closure “wouldn’t serve the station well to abandon the region’s biggest city and hope that folks could simply phone it in.”  SAG AFTRA (which represents also registered its displeasure by asking listeners to do the same via a petition at its savelocalradio.org site.

savagemichaelMichael Savage Announces Winners of $100,000 Scholarship Contest.  Nationally syndicated talk show host Michael Savage announced the five winners of his “What Does It Mean to Be an American?” essay contest on July 2.  The winners – Alex Peterson, James Lutack, Heather Fisher, Curtis Butterfield and Mark Bragg – will each receive a $20,000 scholarship over a two-year period.  The Westwood One-syndicated host says he launched the unprecedented $100,000 scholarship fund in early 2015 with the intention of promoting traditional American values among conservative college students.  Savage says he received approximately 1,700 entries, and the five carefully selected winning essays “honor the principles that America was built upon and discuss the country’s past, present and future.”  You can read the winning essays here.

bearmanbookcoverHeavy Hundred Host Ethan Bearman’s New Book, Liars & Whores: How Big Government and Big Business are Working to Save their Own Assets, Not Yours (Talkers Books, 2015), Released Today. Praised by the TALKERS editorial board as being “one of the rising stars of talk radio – a new voice of Generation X” – KSFO, San Francisco (local) and GCN (national) radio talk show host Ethan Bearman adds “published author” to his growing list of credentials with the official release today of his new book, Liars & Whores; How Big Government and Big Business Are Working to Save Their Own Assets, Not Yours (Talkers Books, 2015).  The book – a populist, non-partisan approach to the economic and social challenges faced today by the average person trying to make a living and feed his or her family against the backdrop of an increasingly corrupt corporate and government culture – addresses the key issues of these times and marks the return of TALKERS magazine to the book publishing business after a 10 year hiatus.  According to TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison, “What makes this book so fresh and exciting is the fact that it is a manifesto that ‘works’ in any of today’s competing political ideologies… that is what makes Ethan Bearman such an effective up-and-coming host with razor-sharp teeth, and now a superb guest for any talk show that deals with current events.”  For more information about Ethan Bearman and the book, please click here.  To schedule Ethan Bearman for a talk radio interview call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.

Odds & Sods.  The Minneapolis Star-Tribune is reporting that, based on a recent memo from American Public Media CEO Jon McTaggart there are cuts coming to the public radio corporation this month.  Saying theamericanpublicmedia company “cannot succeed with ‘business as usual,’” he tells staffers, “We will stop some programming and create capacity for new content and innovative audience services.  We will eliminate and change positions in some departments, and create capacity for new positions in others.”…..Saga Communications is relocating the newly acquired Illinois Radio Network from Chicago to the state’s capital of Springfield.  According to a report from WAND-TV, Springfield, WTAX, Springfield news director Alex Degman adds ND duties for the network to his responsibilities, replacing Jim AndersonDave Dahl stays aboard at the capitol and will add WTAX morning anchor duties.  WTAX’s Will Stevenson assists the network with Springfield and Capitol coverage.  Current IRN staffers John Gregory and Jason Goch will continue to be based in Chicago.

shepardMH4th15Hyper-Local Radio.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison (the hipster on the left wearing the Broadcasters Foundation baseball hat) stopped by the reviewing stand at the East Longmeadow (MA) Independence Day Parade on Saturday (7/4) to say hi to his buddy Brad Shepard (right) who was serving as emcee of the annual event.  Shepard is the general manager and star host of the recently launched, hyper-local online station, Pioneer Valley Radio (www.PioneerValleyRadio.com), designed to super-serve the Western Massachusetts communities of the Greater Springfield Metropolitan Area.  The station’s format is best described as “personality-oriented public affairs” geared to the community, its leaders and most-active citizens. Harrison, a primary backer of the internet media station, says, “Everyone knows that I am a strong advocate and supporter of local radio as well as non-traditional online programming.  How could I resist getting involved with and supporting a project of this nature in my own backyard?  Of all my many projects, Pioneer Valley Radio is one of the most exciting and fulfilling.  The positive response from the good folks who keep the wheels turning in this region has been incredibly gratifying.”

barberdaveMichigan and Rhode Island Talk Personality Dave Barber Dead at 60.  Family, friends, the talk radio business and the Rhode Island political scene are remembering Dave Barber today after he succumbed to what his brother Larry called a “catastrophic health event” in Michigan 10 days ago.  Barber – who had been serving as host of the Rhode Island General Assembly’s TV program “Straight from the Gavel” – was put into a medically induced coma after choking during a rehearsal dinner for a friend’s wedding.  Complications ensued and Barber was not able to emerge from the coma.  He died on Saturday (7/4).  Barber was a longtime Flint, Michigan talk host – serving at such signals as WTRX, WTAC, and WFDF – before joining WPRO, Providence in 2006.  Two years later he took up the “Straight from the Gavel” gig and had been doing it ever since.  You can see a tribute video of Dave Barber from Art Vuolo here.

wbtlogoWBT, Charlotte’s John Hancock Kicks Off Fourth Peanut Butter ‘N’ July Food Drive.  WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte afternoon drive personality John Hancock is working with local merchant Harris Teeter and peanut butter manufacturer Jif for the “Peanut Butter ‘N’ July” benefit for Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina.  Saying that the high protein food is one of the most requested items for those who benefit from their services, WBT has launched a campaign to bring attention to the importance of this product.  Hancock and other WBT personalities will be appearing at Harris Teeter locations during the month of July to collect unopened jar of peanut butter.

troopathon158th Annual Troopathon Raises $280,000.  Co-hosts Melanie Morgan of KSRO, Santa Rose, California (left) and WABC, New York personality Rita Cosby (right) share a laugh with Premiere Networks superstar Rush Limbaugh via Skype during the recent “Troopathon” fundraiser organized by the group Move America Forward.  The organization has been raising cash to send care packages to troops on the front lines in Afghanistan and raised $280,000 during this year’s program that ended June 25.  Cosby says, “The participation of radio personalities played a huge role in the success of this year’s Troopathon.  This year, we were joined by my co-host Melanie Morgan, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Mark Levin, Geraldo Rivera, Brian Kilmeade, Dennis Miller, Adam Corolla, and Herman Cain.”  Celebrities who assisted with the effort included rock legend Ted Nugent, producer Jerry Bruckheimer, Super Bowl Champion quarterback Joe Theisman, singer Tony Orlando, TV host Nancy Grace, and many more.

Friday, April 24, 2015

| April 24, 2015

swansonjackJack Swanson to Lead KCBS, San Francisco Programming.  Legendary spoken-word programmer Jack Swanson is named director of news and programming for KCBS “All News Radio 740AM and 106.9FM.”  CBS RADIO SVP and market manager Doug Harvill says, “Jack has a distinguished track record of leading iconic radio stations.  He’s a terrific leader with a deep understanding of how a marketkcbs-am logo leading station such as KCBS can be a trusted and active member of its community.”  Swanson served for years as vice president of programming at Cumulus Media’s KGO and KSFO, San Francisco.  He began his radio career as a news anchor/reporter for WLS, Chicago before becoming the news and program director for KGO, San Francisco.  From there he became president and general manager for KING-FM, Seattle.  He says, “Being asked to lead one of the best news teams in the country is one of those rare situations that don’t present themselves often.  I’m looking forward to contributing to the amazing growth of this legendary station in the years ahead.”

CBS RadiFruge, Thomas Involved in CBS Radio Programming Changes. Concurrent with CBS Radio Las Vegas vice president of programming Charese Fruge transferring to Houston for similar duties (and to be operations manager there), the company promotes Cat Thomas to succeed Fruge in Las Vegas. Thomas will continue as day-to-day programmer of Las Vegas’ KXTE “X107.5 – Alternative First”; talk KXNT AM & FM; and KXST “CBS Sports Radio 1140.” Senior vice president and CBS Radio Houston market manager Sarah Frazier comments, “Charese is a talented programmer and leader. Her longstanding relationships in the music industry, passion for radio, and ability to create special experiences for the listener are an integral part of why she is such a great fit for Houston. We are thrilled to have her join the Houston team, as we continue to grow and build upon our brands under her guidance.” Frugefrugecharese remarks, “This role is the opportunity of a lifetime and a chance to finally be back in the south. I am honored and am looking forward to working with the Houston team to help take these amazing brands to the next level. I have made lifelong friends in Las Vegas and appreciate them always making me look good.” Meanwhile, senior vice president and CBS Radio Las Vegas market manager Jerry McKenna states, “Cat Thomas is a veteran programming executive whose experience in this market is unmatched. He has thomascatsuccessfully programmed [CHR] KLUC for the better part of two decades and most recently, has been the driving force behind the success of our spoken-word brands. Our stations are in very capable hands.” According to Thomas, “This is a dream come true. We have the biggest brands in the market. I have loved this group since we put these stations together in 1996. None of this would be possible without the passion of our staff. As [the late Ohio State University football coach] Woody Hayes said, ‘You win with people,’ and we have great people from top to bottom.” A member of the Nevada Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame, Fruge will oversee programming for hot AC KHMX “Mix 96.5”; sports outlets KIKK-AM and KILT-AM; country KILT-FM “The Bull”; CHR KKHH “Hot 95-7”; and Spanish contemporary KLOL “Mega 101.” She starts her new assignment – which will include day-to-day PD responsibilities for “Mix” and “Hot” – one week from Monday (5/4). Her resume includes on-air and programming stops in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Houston, San Diego, Denver, and New Orleans. In addition to KXTE, KXNT AM & FM, and KXST, Ohio State University alum Thomas will oversee CHR KLUC “Las Vegas’ #1 Hit Music Station” and hot AC KMXB “Mix 94.1.” Eight years after being night personality at KLUC, Thomas was elevated to program director (1996); he became PD of KXNT AM & FM, KXST, and KXTE last year. Similar to Fruge, Thomas’ first day on his new job is one week from Monday (5/4). Elsewhere at CBS Radio Las Vegas, KLUC assistant program director John “J.B. King” Bernard is promoted to program director and “Mix” assistant program director/music director Jonathan “J. Love” Campbell is boosted to PD of that station. Bernard joined KLUC 17 years ago and has been APD since 2001. He previously worked in San Francisco, Phoenix, and Sacramento. With CBS Radio Las Vegas the past three years, Campbell formerly programmed in Providence, Oxnard-Ventura (California), and Reno (Nevada).

carrhowieThe Howie Carr New England Juggernaut Rolls On.  In a remarkable display of just how potent an independent regional talk radio network can be, radio/newspaper/author phenomenon Howie Carr continues to expand the reach of his Howie Carr Radio Network north into New Hampshire and southeast into Connecticut.  Bringing the growing lineup to 22 radio stations (including flagship WRKO, Boston) are WASR, Wolfeboro, New Hampshire as well as Connecticut’s WMRD, Middletown and WLIS, Old Saybrook.  On penetrating the Nutmeg State, Carr tells TALKERS, “I’ve always had a sizable audience inwliswmrd logo Connecticut, and I’m happy that my listeners there can now find me even more easily.  As a kid, I wanted to go to Wesleyan, and now I’m in Middletown — and Old Saybrook.”  Don DeCesare, president/GM of WLIS/WMRD adds, “We’re thrilled to have Howie Carr as part of our onair lineup.  Howie has been New England’s voice for years.  We’re proud to add that voice now and be his stations in Connecticut.”  Regarding this latest expansion of Carr’s network, TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “It is only going to be a matter of months before the flood dam bursts and Howie Carr becomes a major national host eventually heard in all 50 states.  He is at the top of his game.”  Meet Howie Carr at Talkers New York 2015 on Friday, June 12.  The annual conference is on the verge of a sellout.  For registration and sponsorship information call 413-565-5413 or click here.

medvedmichaelSalem Radio Network Welcomes Michael Medved Back. It’s a gradual return to his daily, syndicated talk radio show, but Michael Medved is slowly working his way back after treatment for throat cancer.  Medved announced his hiatus from the program back on January 30.  Now, SRN VP/news & talk programming Tom Tradup says, “We are SO grateful to have Michael Medved transitioning back into his SRN talk show.  Monday he appeared by phone, and Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday he has been in his Seattle studio, hosting guests like U.S. Senator John McCain for discussion of today’s Obama apology for U.S. raids killing two hostages, plus the Senate confirmation of Loretta Lynch as Attorney General of the United States.”  Medved has been a nationally syndicated host for the past 18 years.

nj1015BattleshipNJJim Gearhart and New Jersey 101.5 Morning Show to Broadcast from Battelship New Jersey.  In recognition of Memorial Day, WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5” morning host Jim Gearhart and the rest of the morning show will broadcast from the deck of the Battleship New Jersey on May 22.  In a letter inviting listeners to attend the broadcast, Gearhart writes, in part, “While the nation celebrates the start of summer this year, I invite you, your family and friends to honor the service and sacrifice of our veterans and active military during a special live broadcast of the ‘New Jersey 101.5 Morning Show’ aboard America’s most decorated battleship.  The morning show team will be on the deck of Battleship New Jersey, located on the waterfront in Camden on Friday, May 22 joined by veterans, honor guards, military agencies and state dignitaries for patriotic music, discussions and storytelling…As a Naval veteran and the father of two enlisted men, it is my privilege to commemorate our military this Memorial Day Weekend, and I encourage all active and retired servicemen and women, as well as civilians, to come enjoy the show and share their appreciation for those who make America the land of the free and home of the brave.”

TALKERS Weekly Affiliate Update.  The Genesis Communications Network-syndicated Dr. Joy Brownebrownejoy show is added to the program schedule on WOMI, Owensboro, Kentucky…..Tom Gresham’s greshamtom“Gun Talk” adds new affiliate stations WCGO, Evanston, Illinois; WMXI-FM, Laurel, Mississippi; KFEQ, Saint Joseph, Missouri; and KELY, Ely, Nevada to its roster…..AdLarge Media reports “The National Marijuana News” program is added to the lineup at: WHIG, Colorado Springs; WPEK-AM, Asheville, North Carolina; and WNOS, New Bern, North Carolina…..Christian radio offering “The HopeLine with Dawson McAllister” is two months into syndication and already heard on nearly 100 stations including recent new affiliates: WGEN-FM, Chicago and the MyGen Radio Network; WTRJ-FM, Jacksonville; and WCLN-FM, Fayetteville, North Carolina.

talkersten logoIran Nuclear Negotiations Tops Talkers TenTM for Week of April 20-24.  The negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program were the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 was the ISIS violence tied with the military action taking place in Yemen.  Coming in at #3 was the 2016 presidential prospects tied with the scrutiny of the operation of the Clinton Foundation, followed by the death of two hostages at the hands of American drones 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.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

| April 23, 2015

iheartmediasoundfront15spiegelexecsiHeartMedia Previews New Podcast Initiative at First-Ever ‘Soundfront’ in NYC.  Yesterday, iHeartMedia presented the “Soundfront” event in New York to preview its new original audio programs.  The company says this new content “will allow marketers to collaborate with a host of celebrities and talent through customized and creative storytelling.”  Speaking about the company’s need to explore the audio-on-demand marketplace is iHeartMedia CMO/EVP Gayle Troberman, who says, “In the age of visual distraction and shorter attention spans, audio has the ability to break through and get heard better than any other advertising.  We are seeing increased engagement in audio programming both on air and via podcast, and original audio forces us to get back to the basics of telling stories simply and honestly, which consumers love.  We believe most marketers are massively under-invested in the power of sound and the iHeartMedia Soundfront is our opportunity to challenge the industry to explore the creative potential of sound to tell and sell better.”  Saying that it is teaming with “a broad spectrum of A-list producers, musicians, actors, music industry veterans and curators,” the company announces some of the people it is working with, including: “Skybound Rundown” (podcast): From the producers of “Theiheartmedia logo small Walking Dead” TV show and gaming franchise focusing on the world of indie gaming; “Heart of the Beat” (podcast):  Artist and musician Jared Leto will bring sound and storytelling together in this original audio show that allows artists to reveal the method behind their madness; “Who is Marty Hirsch?” (podcast) is the first-ever audio mockumentary, building off successes like “This Is Spinal Tap” and “Almost Famous” to tell a story of a mythical music icon.  iHeartMedia has partnered with Trium Entertainment (the creator and executive producer of “The Biggest Loser”) to produce a number of podcasts including: “The Vent” hosted by Jaime Pressly; “Get Mic’d” – a talent search show for the next great iHeartMedia DJ; and “Science of Success” with Jonah Berger.  The iHeartMedia-Trium relationship will also produce videocasts and the hiring away of Big Boy from Emmis in Los Angeles is relevant here as he’ll host “Urban Legends with Big Boy,” a hip hop show.  “Z100” New York-based personality Elvis Duran will also host a videocast titled, “The Elvis Sessions” in which he “digs throughout the day-to-day gossip and connects with the true passion that drives artists and celebrities.”  Other videocasts will include “On the Fly with Paul Costabile” and “My Journey.”  iHeartMedia also used the event to announce an expanded relationship with Snapchat, details of which are expected to come in the future.  Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel was in attendance discussing iHeartMedia’s unique positioning to “use the power of sound to drive social results.”  Pictured here are (from l-r): iHeartMedia Entertainment Enterprises president John Sykes, iHeartMedia president and CFO Richard Bressler, Snapchat co-founder and CEO Evan Spiegel, and iHeartMedia CEO Bob Pittman.

emmis logoFacing “Weak Markets,” Emmis Seeks Covenant Relief from Lenders.  In a filing with the SEC, Emmis Communications presents historical performance data and forward-looking statements as it seeks covenant relief for the quarters ended May 31 2015 through February 28 2017.  Emmis says it is outperforming its markets but the problem is that the markets are weak – for example, citing New York figures showing Emmis down 6% while the market as a whole was down 7.3% over the nine-month period ended November 30, 2014.  It says the battle between its urban KPWR, Los Angeles and iHeartMedia’s new KRRL (which is benefitting from its luring morning talent Big Boy away from KPWR) is causing it to face “new headwinds.”  In New York, the company says the market was weak throughout calendar 2014 – down mid- to high-single digits after being up 5% in calendar 2013.  It reports national was off by 30% during the 2014 summer months and down 18% for the nine months ended November 30, 2014.  Emmis states that it finished fiscal 2015 under its 6.00x covenant at 5.40x but “wants to constructively manage compliance with sufficient cushion.”  It goes on to show its efforts to control costs by noting it has “reduced cash operating costs by $7 million as part of its fiscal 2016 budget.”  You can see the entire lender presentation here.

2015 NYC 150Panel of Radio Hunter-Gatherers to Discuss Generating Revenue in Changing Marketplace.   One of the power-packed, panel discussions scheduled for Talkers New York 2015, “Generating Talk Radio Revenue in a Changing Paradigm,” will tackle the manybenedettovince challenges and identify opportunities in the sales end of the business today.  The lineup features a diverse array of what TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison describes as “major league ‘hunter-gatherers’ covering the spectrum of broadcasting situations today.”  Moderated by TALKERS managing editor/West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian, the lineup presents (in alphabetical order): Vince Benedetto, president/CEO, Bold carrkathyGold Media Group; Kathy Carr, VP, sales & marketing, Howie Carr Radio Network; Jerrycrowleyjerry Crowley, VP/GM, WNYM/WMCA, New York; Ron Hartenbaum, CEO, WYD Media; Tom Leykis, CEO, The New Normal; and Cary Pahigian, president/GM, WBAL/WIYY, Baltimore.  TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey adds, “This panel will provide a wide variety of valuable takeaways.  You have a dynamic, young owner of a medium-sized, up-and-hartenbaumroncoming group (Vince Benedetto); a seasoned sales and management pro who has masterminded one ofleykistom the model examples of a powerful and lucrative regional talk network (Kathy Carr); a veteran major market general manager with an impressive sales track record (Jerry Crowley); one of talk radio’s most aggressive impresarios who has built a major sales rep firm and is instrumental in monetizing the careers of numerous syndicated and satellite radio stars (Ron Hartenbaum); an pahigiancaryindependent, high-profile radio talent who is doing it on his own in cyberspace and showing a profit (Tom Leykis); and a highly accomplished, medium/large market GM who is at the helm of one of the nation’s most historic heritage properties (Cary Pahigian).  This is not to be missed.”  Talkers New York 2015 is nearing a sellout.  For registration and sponsorship information, please click here.

wgn logo newWGN, Chicago Legend Spike O’Dell to Appear on Steve Cochran Show.  Former WGN, Chicago personality Spike O’Dell – an inductee in this year’s class of the WGN Radio Walk of Fame – will be a part of the station’s Steve Cochran show tomorrow morning (4/24).  Cochran is broadcasting his show from the CMT Studios in Nashville the day after the Chicago Blackhawks play the Predators in game 5 of the first round of the NHL playoffs.  O’Dell hosted afternoons on WGN from 1987 to 2000.  He took over the morning show after the death of Bob Collins and hosted it until December of 2008.

wrhu logoHofstra’s WRHU-FM, Signs Deal with New York Cosmos Soccer Franchise.  One of the most decorated college radio stations in America, Hofstra University’s WRHU-FM, Hempstead, NY has added another major league sports franchise to its programming roster.  The Marconi Award-winning outlet has signed a deal with the New York Cosmos soccer franchise. WRHU-FM will be the team’s official radio partner and flagship for the 2015 NASL soccer season. Students will perform all on and off air roles as they do with the station’s other major league partner, the NHL’s New York Islanders.

Odds & Sods.  News/talk KRDO-FM, Colorado Springs is being sold by Optima Communications to Pike’s Peak Television for $2.5 million.  Pike’s Peak is a subsidiary of News-Press & Gazette Company which owns KRDO-AM.  Optima has been airing the KRDO-AM news/talk format on KRDO-FM for the past nine years…..ABC News is available on the Apple Watch.  ABC says the app will “give you the world on your wrist.  From real-timeabcnewsradio news updates with personalized notifications to live video and audio, the app keeps wearers in the know without disrupting the moments that matter.”  Some of the features include “Stories In A Second” – “glanceable news that keeps you up to date with what’s breaking and showcases the latest hand-selected stories in all coverage areas.”  The app will allow users to dig deeper into stories and video with the ability to seamlessly hand off to the user’s iPhone…..ESPN Radio is broadcasting the 2015 NFL Draft next Thursday espnradio(4/30) beginning at 7:00 pm ET with host Dari Nowkhah, NFL analyst Louis Riddick and NFL Insider John Clayton.  Freddie Coleman will host post-draft coverage alongside NFL Insider Adam Kaplan on Thursday and Friday at 11:30 p.m…..Yahoo Sports Radio will present a five-hour program next Thursday for the first day of the NFL Draft.  Featured on the show will be Steve Bunin and Yahoo Sports Radio host Jonathan Peterlin.  Insider analysis will come from former Carolina Panthers general manager and Yahoo Sports Radio host Marty Hurney, and former NFL Quarterback and Yahoo Sports contributor Shaun King.  The program airs from 8:00 pm to 1:00 am ET…..ABC News announces Karen Travers, Mary Bruce and Stephanie Ramos join the news organization as multi-platform reporters covering national and international news for all ABC News platforms with an emphasis on NewsOne, Radio and Digital.

FOX Sports Radio to Broadcast from Mayweather vs. Pacquiao Fight.  Prior to the May 2 Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao welterweight fight in Las Vegas, FOX Sports Radio will broadcast live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena.  The roundtable program will feature JT “The Brick,” Steve Gorman, Tomm Looney and Jeffrey Gorman.  Stations wishing to bring some unique expertise to their coverage of this upcoming fight may consider booking Jackie Kallen (pictured here) or Ivan Goldman from Boxing Insider.  Kallen has been involved inkallen jackie the sport of boxing for almost 35 years.  She started as a boxing journalist, hosted her own talk radio show, then became the publicist for the legendary Kronk Gym in Detroit and eventually segued into management.  Her success in the male-dominated business inspired the Meg Ryan film Against the Ropes.  Goldman is a New York Times best-selling author.  He has written for Columbia Journalism Review, The Nation, Rolling Stone, The New York Times, Washington Post, and the Los Angeles Times.  He’s a Fulbright Scholar and an elector for the International Boxing Hall of Fame.  To book either, email: boxinginsider@gmail.com.

Earth Day/Climate Change, Baltimore ‘Freddie Gray’ Protests, 2016 Presidential Prospects, ISIS Violence, Saudi Strikes on Yemen, Iran Nuclear Program Negotiations, North Korea Nukes Warning, and Gang Member Amnesty Case Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/22).  The observation of Earth Day and the issue of climate change; continuing protests in Baltimore over the death of Freddie Gray while in police custody; the potential candidates for president in 2016; the violence being perpetrated by ISIS; the military strikes on Yemen by Saudi Arabia and the U.S.’ naval presence in the region; the negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program; China’s warning about the underestimated nuclear weapons arsenal held by North Korea; and the case of a gang member accused of murder receiving amnesty under President Obama’s executive order were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio during the week, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

| April 8, 2015

iheartmedia logo smalliHeartMedia to Unveil Programmatic Ad Buying Platform.  Enlisting Jelli to help devise the new platform, iHeartMedia announces it’s set to debut the programmatic radio ad-buying platform for its 850-plus radio stations in addition to making the technology available to other industry operators via its sales subsidiary Katz Media Group.  Using cloud-based technology from Jelli, the platform will offer automated broadcast radio ad buying which it says is “the foundation for iHeartMedia to be able to offer its ad inventory to advertisers and agencies looking to leverage programmatic and automated technology including private market place and exchange environments to improve the buying process and reduce administrative hurdles and delays.”  Further, the company asserts, “the new,jelli logo programmatic solution will also allow iHeartMedia to apply its rich data and insights to the planning process and will utilize data sets to enable unique forms of targeting, such as music-based psychographic groups, weather and traffic patterns, purchase behavior and other environmental, population and consumer trends.”  Additionally, Katz Media Group, the top national sales firm katz mg logorepresenting more than 275 radio broadcasters including iHeartMedia, Cumulus, Entercom, Cox Media Group and others, will launch ‘Expressway from Katz,’ the first industrywide programmatic buying ad exchange at scale for the radio industry’s most important players, which also uses the same technology.   Katz Media Group president Mark Rosenthal says, “As the top national sales firm representing many great radio companies, we felt it was critical that radio take the lead.  Expressway from Katz will deliver the capabilities and speed of automation and programmatic to all of our radio companies as we bring the power of radio to advertisers, providing unprecedented scale and customer knowledge.”  Entercom president and CEO David Field comments, “This partnership is an innovative milestone for the radio industry.  Radio has always provided unmatched value, and now we can bring today’s data sources, targeting at scale and the speed, ease and precision of programmatic buying to our advertising partners, matching or exceeding the capabilities of any other media sector.”

gallianimelissaGalliani Elevated to KGO, KSFO GSM.  Three-year KGO and KSFO, San Francisco senior account manager and “team leader” Melissa Galliani is boosted to general sales manager of the Cumulus Media talk siblings. Cumulus vice president of sales for news/talk Jaysson Reno comments, “Melissa’s long-term association with KGO and KSFO makes her an invaluable asset within our company. Her high level of integrity, dedication, and track record made her the perfect fit for this well-deserved promotion.” Galliani – who possesses a San Francisco State University Bachelor’s degree and a Dominican University MBA in Team Leadership – states that she is “excited” and “pleased to be a part of the management team of KGO and KSFO, two brands that I hold close to my heart. I appreciate the opportunity to work with the radio stations in this new capacity. I will continue to value the team spirit for reaching our goals individually and collectively, and for meeting the needs of our marketing partners and advertisers.” After beginning her media career at KGO in 2000 as an account executive, Galliani was in business development at San Francisco’s KNTV-TV; local sales manager for KFRC, San Francisco; and KSFO’s local sales manager.

frebergstanStan Freberg Dead at 88.  TALKERS magazine mourns the passing of radio and advertising legend Stan Freberg, who died Tuesday in Santa Monica, California at the age of 88.  Freberg’s career covered just about all of the media bases – radio, television, publishing, records and advertising – and his humor was deemed as effective no matter into which medium he delved.  TALKERS executive editor Kevin Casey observes, “For those who may be under the impression that the video age has diminished the effectiveness of the audio arts, one need only look to the supremely creative work of Stan Freberg to see how wrong that impression is.  He was, and still is, an inspiration to any who are working to create attention-grabbing audio.”  See The New York Times’ obituary of Freberg here.

weismanstevenCan and Should You Censor a Political Ad?  TALKERS magazine legal editor Steven J.J. Weisman writes today about the case involving Chicago’s ABC TV outlet and its refusal to run a political ad from a PAC.  The case raises the issues of just what are the legal responsibilities of a broadcast outlet when I comes to political advertising?  Does a station even have to accept political advertising at all?  These and more questions are addressed by Weisman in the murky arena of political advertising on broadcast stations.  Read it here.

harrisonUpCloseFarOutsmallMichael Harrison Chats with Dr. Joy Browne on Podcast “Up Close and Far Out” – Also Discusses the Relationship Between Information and the Fabric of Reality.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison engages in a fascinating, candid dialogue with syndicated radio psychologist Dr. Joy Browne on the fifth and latest installment of his weekly podcast series “Up Close and Far Out” on the platform, PodcastOne.com.  Harrison and Browne tackle a variety of issues including the impact of the digital age on human thinking and social relationships, as well as the past, present and future of advice-giving in talk media.  They talk about the importance of credentials, transparency and credibility in “doctor” shows, generational differences in the modern era and the state of the cinema and live theater in America.  The podcast also includes Harrison’s ongoing observations about the relationship between media, technology and the wiring of the human nervous system.  He boldly suggests that the “digital era,” in which we are rapidly becoming immersed, will not last as long as the “analogue era” from which we are exiting and that an even larger, more important era of human technological development is waiting in the wings, perhaps only 20 years down the road.  Harrison states that this next era (that he cites on the podcast) will create changes in humanity that will make the current digital period seem quaint and primitive by comparison.  To listen to the entire podcast, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison” player located in the right-hand column of the TALKERS and RadioInfo websites.

HD Radio LogoUpdate: HD Radio Passes Benchmark. Several more car models – including the Mazda Miata MX-5, Nissan Maxima, and the Scion iA and iM – will have iBiquity Digital‘s HD Radio as standard equipment. That brings HD Radio’s total to over 200 vehicle models and iBiquity Digital chief operating officer Jeff Jury comments, “This is a tremendous milestone. More listeners are tuning in than ever before. Millions of new vehicle owners will get to enjoy HD Radio broadcasting. A record number of HD Radio-equipped vehicles have been sold this year. This is another step toward complete standardization of digital radio across North America.” The announcement was made at last week’s New York International Auto Show. Other vehicles that will offer HD Radio are the Honda Civic, Hyundai Tucson, Kia Optima, Lexus RX, Mitsubishi Outlander, and Toyota RAV4. More than 100 vehicle models are integrating digital radio technology as standard equipment.

boldgoldfounationBold Gold Broadcast and Media Foundation Names Board of Directors.  In an effort to “help prepare tomorrow’s frontline communicators,” Bold Gold Media – operator of nine commercial radio stations in Northeast Pennsylvania and Upstate New York – is establishing the Bold Gold Broadcast and Media Foundation.  The foundation will focus its efforts on providing funding and resources to educational organizations that train tomorrow’s broadcast and media leaders.  Now, Bold Gold president Vince Benedetto announces the board of directors for the foundation.  It includes: Benedetto; Ashok Divecha, business manager, Bold Gold Media Group; Bob Soper, president, Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority; Justin Moon, president, Kahr Arms; Mike Bean, president, Mohegan Sun Pocono; Doug Fink, president, Pennsylvania Paper & Supply Company; Kevin Tinkelman, owner, Kevin’s Worldwide; Doug Thomas, president, Gateway Ford; Josh Sheard, president, Sage Investments; Bud Williamson, president, Digital Radio Engineering/ Neversink Media Group; Michael Harrison, publisher & editor, TALKERS and RadioInfo; and Jimmy Wayne, musician/writer/performer/author, president, Barbershop Tours, Project Meet Me Half Way.

meterpareljonFormer WEEI, Boston Personality Jon Meterperel Debuts Podcast.  Former longtime WEEI, Boston personality Jon Meterparel is debuting his new sports talk podcast with ONE World Sports on April 10.  Dubbed, “The Meter Is Running,” the program promises to “deliver to fans insightful, lively – and occasionally controversial — conversations with some of the top influencers and stars in global sports.  The show will be distributed on iTunes, social media platforms and ONEWorldSports.com.”  Guests appearing for the first show are Sports Illustrated senior writer and MLB Network analyst Tom Verducci, offering his take on the 2015 MLB season’s hottest teams and players; and, reflecting on his NHL days, Stanley Cup-winning former New York Rangers coach “Iron” Mike Keenan, now coaching the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) 2014 championship team Metallurg MG.  Future guests are to include: ESPN baseball analyst Buster Olney, actor and producer Mike O’Malley and former “Saturday Night Live” writer and “30 Rock” executive producer Robert Carlock.

Odds & Sods.  Alabama talk hosts Matt Murphy and Dale Jackson are now heard in multiple markets after Cumulus Media made the move to expand their presence.  Murphy is based at the company’s news/talk WAPI, Birmingham, in middays and is now also heard on WLWI, Montgomery, Alabama and WVNN, Huntsville.  Jackson is based at WVNN, Huntsville and is now also heard in mornings on WAPI…..Derek Fogel is promoted from executive producer to program director for Max Media-owned sports talker WXLT, Marion, Illinois “103.5 ESPN Southern Illinois.”  Fogel will also serve as morning drive sports anchor for Max Media’s sister news/talk WJPF.

Rand Paul Announces Bid for President, California Drought, Iran Nuclear Negotiations, Religious Freedom Act/Indiana Pizza Joint Case, Russia Hacks White House Allegations, Yemen Military Action, SC Cop Charged with Murder, Rahm Emanuel Wins Re-Election Runoff, and MLB Season Opens Among Top News Stories Yesterday (4/7).  Kentucky Senator Rand Paul officially announces his bid for president in 2016; the debate over the reasons for the California drought; the negotiations with Iran over the progress of its nuclear program; controversy over the various religious freedom acts and the case of the Indiana pizza joint threatened for supporting that state’s law; allegations the Russians are responsible for hacking the White House’s computer system; the Saudi-led military action taking place in Yemen; the case of the South Carolina police officer charged with murder for shooting a black motorist in the back as he fled a traffic stop; Rahm Emanuel survives a runoff election to remain mayor of Chicago; and the start of the 2015 baseball season were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

The Amazing Career Journey
of Dr. Joy Browne

| February 10, 2015

 By Mike Kinosian
TALKERS
Managing Editor

 

kinosianNEW YORK — Bon mots such as “iconic” and “legendary” are intended to be the highest form of flattery, yet some broadcasters bristle when they are referred to that way.

While most will not admit it, they sense such genuine terms of endearment are really euphemisms that bring their mortality into question and are code for “old.”

In an oftentimes, if not all too customary, flavor-of-the-month industry where the next great star is eaten up and spit out after a 26-week run, it would be disingenuous though not to ascribe “icon/iconic” and “legend/legendary” to a talk host who has been top-of-mind for over three-dozen years.

This particular peerless personality has maintained an impeccable status of excellence while breaking basic (unwritten) talk radio rules.

joy_200Exemplary on-air work that is approaching four decades has been done without political bent and her legend of loyal listeners actually have meaningful life-altering changes owing to the unparalleled expertise of the program’s sage host. In a male-dominated spoken-word personality arena, this show’s headliner is one of only 12 women on TALKERS’ renowned “Heavy Hundred” of 2014, checking in at #44.  (The new list for 2015 will be published within the next few weeks and this writer would not be surprised if she moves up significantly due to recent developments in her dynamic career.)

Added twist to the progressing journey of this generously genial, uncommonly cordial licensed clinical psychologist is that Dr. Joy Browne has taken proprietorship of her daily three-hour program.

Read More

Friday, January 30, 2015

| January 30, 2015

drexDreX to Host New KGO, San Francisco Talk Show.  Music radio personality DreX crosses into the news/talk realm with his new gig as evening host at Cumulus Media’s KGO, San Francisco.  The station notes that DreX worked in the market in the past at KSJO, San Jose – now “NASH FM 92.3.”  DreX crafted successful CHR night shows in markets including San Antonio, Dallas and Philadelphia.  He then shifted to mornings at signals such as WHYT, Detroit and WKSC, Chicago “Kiss FM.”  Cumulus SVP of programming Mike McVay comments, “Drex brings a unique perspective to the news/talk format and an uncanny ability to entertain and inform in his own engaging style.”  San Francisco VP/market manager Justin Wittmayer adds, “DreX brings his unique voice to KGO nights for a highly compelling program that is fresh, live and local.  The Bay Area is in for quite an experience with DreX.”

malzbergsteveMalzberg and Newsmax TV Extend Relationship.  The new three-year deal keeps talk media pro Steve Malzberg hosting his Newsmax TV daily news and talk program that currently airs from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm ET.  Newsmax says in a statement that Malzberg is “a veteran TV and radio personality, [who]newsmaxtv logo attracts a star-studded roster of news-breaking guests and delivers insightful commentary around topical, often-contentious issues that connect with audiences.”  Newsmax Media CEO Christopher Ruddy says, “Steve Malzberg is a key member of our on-air team who brings a fearless and informed approach to news/talk programming.  Our growing audience is truly responding to him and he will no doubt continue to deliver provocative talk and engagement with his guests as we enter into the pivotal, upcoming presidential election period.”

levinmarkMark Levin Show to Air on KRLA, Los Angeles.  The Westwood One-syndicated Mark Levin show is moving to a prime spot in Los Angeles, airing live from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm PT on Salem Communications-owned news/talk KRLA, effective February 3.  With the change, Salem Radio Network’s Hugh Hewitt will move to the 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm timeslot.  Salem SVP of spoken word format Phil Boyce comments, “Rarely do you have the chance to add somebody of Mark’s quality in market #2, and we decided it was an opportunity we could not pass up.  Hugh Hewitt is also a class act, so running these two back-to-back makes this lineup even stronger.”  Levin states, “It’s an honor to join the wonderful lineup at KRLA.  I know my great listeners, who include two of my biggest fans in the LA area (my kids, who live and work there!) will appreciate hearing the show LIVE, too!”

worobchandWNDB, Daytona Beach Producer Arrested on Child Porn Charges.  According to a story by WKMG-TV, Orlando, WNDB, Daytona Beach executive producer Chand Worob has been taken into custody by Daytona Beach police on charges of receiving and distributing child pornography.  The story reports police had been investigating the 25-year-old radio station staffer since October.  They arrested him at the radio station where he works on the Marc Bernier morning show and served a warrant at his home where they reported finding a laptop with some 500 images on it.

zeisepaulCBS RADIO Ups Zeise at ‘Sportsradio 93.7 The Fan’ in Pittsburgh.  The new evening personality at CBS RADIO sports talker KDKA-FM “Sportsradio 93.7 The Fan” is Pittsburgh Post-Gazette sportswriter Paul Zeise.  He’s been hosting programs at the station on a part-time basis since 2011.  Program director Ryan Maguire says, “Paul has truly developed as a personality and we’re happy we could make him a larger member of our on-air team.  Paul has strong ties within the local sports community and will provide unique insight and hard-hitting opinions that will resonate with our listeners.”

imusbroadway logoFifth Annual ‘Imus on Broadway’ Happens on February 9.  On Monday, February 9, New York radio legend and WABC morning drive personality Don Imus will present the fifth annual “Imus on Broadway” at the Hard Rock Café in Times Square.  Ticket sales from the one-night only performance will benefit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.  New York Post theatre columnist Michael Riedel will join Imus as emcee.  The evening will showcase live performances from some of Broadway’s top musicals including: Kinky Boots, Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, It Shoulda Been You, Honeymoon In Vegas, The Lion King, Cabaret, Into The Woods, Les Miserables, Chicago and more!

wfanfantasyphenom5WFAN, New York to Begin 5th ‘Fantasy Phenom Challenge.’  Next Sunday (2/8), CBS RADIO sports talker WFAN, New York kicks off the 5th “Fantasy Phenom Challenge” at the Walt Whitman Shops in Huntington Station, New York in which contestants will have the chance to earn on-air shifts on “The Fan.”  The station will register the first 100 contestants online and those will audition before a panel of judges at area shopping malls around the region.  A change in this year’s competition will allow for finalists to receive personal coaching from one of WFAN’s on-air hosts!  Up to 12 participants will move on to round two, where online voting will determine the top six contestants for the final.  The finalists will be part of a special St. Patrick’s Day remote broadcast featuring WFAN’s Boomer and Carton show and simulcast on CBS Network.  The Finals will be held in late March or early April on Mike Francesa’s afternoon drive show.  “Fantasy Phenom” year 4 winner, Dimitri Adrahtas, is completing his one-year stint with the station broadcasting his show to Tri-State area listeners.

Odds & Sods.  Longtime Los Angeles talk radio personality Marc Germain, formerly “Mr. KABC,” will host the evening show on CBS RADIO’s KXNT, Las Vegas all next week, February 2-6.  Germain has been making his home in Sin City for the past five years and has been hosting a nightly live show and podcast from his TalkRadioOne.com base…..Agermainmarc new, four-year renewal between USC and ESPN O&O KSPN, Los Angeles “ESPNLA” means the station will continue to serve as the flagship radio outlet for Trojan football through the 2018-19 season.  The deal also means approximately one-half of USC’s men’s basketball games will also air on “ESPNLA.”…..CBS RADIO’s sports talk WFAN, New York begins its inaugural year of broadcasting the New York City Football Club with Tom Kolker, Glenn Crooks and Roberto Abramowitz handling the announcing duties.  For English-language broadcasts, Tom Kolker is the new play-by-play voice and Glenn Crooks will provide in-game analysis.  For Spanish-language broadcasts airing on WADO, they will be led by Roberto Abramowitz.  A Spanish-language analyst will be named at a later date.

TALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup. The Dr. Joy Browne program – distributed nationally by Genesis brownejoyCommunications Network – is added to the program schedule at: WPTF, Raleigh; WDXR, Paducah, Kentucky; and WVFT, Tallahassee…..As noted earlier in the week, Premiere NetworksSean Hannity joins the program schedule at Beasley Media Group’s KDWN, Las Vegas while Dave Ramsey moves to a live airing at CBS RADIO’s KXNT, Las Vegas…..The Kim Komando weekend “digital lifestyle” program is now airing on: Entercom’s WRKO, Boston; Townsquare Media’s simulcast KCHH and KBUL-AM, Billings, Montana; and WNBF, Binghamton, New York.

Northeast Blizzard Tops Talkers TenTM for Week of January 26-30.  Winter storm Juno and the criticism of forecasters and government officials anticipating the event was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week.  Coming in at #2 was the 2016 presidential race followed by ISIS threats tied with Taliban 5 developments at #3.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Friday, November 21, 2014

| November 21, 2014

harrisonherald2smallerMichael Harrison: Political News/Talk Radio Needs Fewer Lapdogs and More Watchdogs.  In a new opinion piece posted today (11/21), TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison (pictured here) suggests that the main element missing from today’s political news/talk radio mix is the old-fashioned “muckraker” who kept politicians of all political stripes – left and right – nervous and on their toes.  Harrison says that the crop of tried-and-true political ideologues who’ve been on the air all these decades since the repeal of the Fairness Doctrine and are still going strong should be preserved – but not imitated.  He writes, “There is nothing wrong with the current crop of long-standing, iconic figures of opinionated left vs right political discussion who have made talk radio and its stars household names.  They should be protected and supported for what they do… because they are valuable and, more importantly, cannot easily be replaced.  In fact, they shouldn’t be replaced.  The last thing we need are more ‘B’ and ‘C’ level imitators and talking point ideologues in this format.  We do not need lapdogs and mindless partisans clogging up the airwaves and bringing this format down! What we do need are more WATCHDOGS to round out what this format truly has to offer.  I guess you can call them populists or independents – but it goes much deeper than just superficial labels.  This industry needs talk show hosts – especially local ones – who don’t give a damn about political science ideology or carrying partisan water for their favorite ‘team,’ but rather keep a watchful eye and wag a fearless tongue on the biggest problem facing the American political system today.”  If you want to find out what Harrison thinks is the biggest problem facing the American political system today, read the entire column by clicking here.

renojayssonCumulus Names Reno to Lead KGO and KSFO, San Francisco Sales.  At the Bay Area cluster, Cumulus Media appoints sales pro Jaysson Reno to vice president, sales for heritage market news/talkers KGO and KSFO.  Reno has worked in the San Francisco market for 10 years in the radio, digital and event space, and has led sales for the company’s rock KSAN and triple A KFOG since 2012.  Cumulus San Francisco VP/market manager Justin Wittmayer says, “Jaysson brings strong leadership, a keen business sense and the market equity needed to drive advertiser performance and grow revenues.  KGO and KSFO are legacy brands in which we will continue to invest to benefit our community, to enhance the user experience and to deliver superior advertiser results.”

wgwg logoBen Finfer and Alex Quigley Also Casualties at Tribune Media.  With the reported looming end of Tribune Media’s nine-month-old sports talk experiment on WGWG-LP comes news two staffers – Ben Finfer and Alex Quigley – learned about their imminent dismissal via Twitter while on the air.  According to the Chicago Sun-Times, the “Quigs and Finfer” personalities spoke on air about their disappointment, with Finfer saying, “We’re doing a live show here and to be told this way, it’s really a letdown.  We’re getting screwed on this one…We just found out on Twitter a half hour ago that the station is being taken off the air.  We were not told about this ahead of time.”  The story broke via a Tweet and blog post by Chicago media writer Robert Feder (and TALKERS passed along the story to you) who learned about the changes from inside sources.  It appears WGN and WGWG-LP management didn’t anticipate the news leaking out and although the station has not been performing in the ratings against competitors WSCR and WMVP, this is a bit of a PR black eye for Tribune Media.

ramseyAustin14Dave Ramsey Rocks Austin’s Bass Concert Hall.  No, nationally syndicated financial talk superstar and best-selling author Dave Ramsey didn’t sing (as far as we know), but he did pack the house at the Bass Concert Hall in Austin, Texas last night (11/20) nonetheless.  Ramsey presented his “Legacy Journey LIVE!” event in which he discusses how to win with money, strengthen marriages and lead your children with confidence.  His daughter, Rachel Cruze, joined Ramsey on stage.  Ramsey worked with local affiliate KJCE “Talk Radio 1370 AM” to promote this event.  Entercom VP/market manager Alan Kirshbom comments, “Austin loves Dave!  We are proud to welcome him back for what promises to be another exciting and uplifting event.”  Pictured here are (from left to right): KJCE promotions director Aaron Hurd, KJCE director of sales Heather Baumli, Ramsey, KJCE program director Stephen Kerr, Kirshbom, and KJCE general sales manager Bob Woche.

rabRAB: Radio’s Q3 Revenue Dips 2%; Off-Air and Digital Jump.  The 2014 third quarter radio revenue report from the Radio Advertising Bureau concludes radio’s total revenue dipped 2% — a bit better than Q2’s 3% drop (all comparisons are versus the same period in 2013).  Breaking it down, spot revenue and network revenue fell back 3% and 4% respectively in Q3 this year compared to last, but digital and off-air revenue were up by 11% and 14% respectively.  RAB president and CEO Erica Farber comments, “The increasing strength of radio’s digital platforms becomes more evident every quarter as advertisers recognize the unparalleled benefits of reaching radio’s dedicated audiences on every device and platform they are using.  In addition, the growth in off-air opportunities for advertisers is a clear indication that radio is focused on continuing to deliver more innovative solutions to help them reach their consumers.”  See the RAB’s report here.

Odds & Sods. Longtime Arkansas talk show host and programmer Dave Elswick begins duties as program director and afternoon drive host at Crain Media Group-owned KHTE, Little Rock.  His program will also air on the company’selswickdave KSMD, Searcy, Arkansas (about 50 miles northeast of Little Rock) as Elswick begins building out the Dave Elswick Network.  He worked for years at Cumulus Media’s KARN-FM, Little rock as PD and personality…..SiriusXM adds former NBA head coach George Karl to its roster of hoops experts on its NBA Radio channel.  He debuts today (11/21) from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm ET and will host regularly throughout the season…..CBS RADIO‘s all-news KNX, Los Angeles will present a special program titled, “Immigration: The President Acts,” on Monday (11/24) from 10:00 am to 11:00 am.  The show will include expert guests and listener call-ins.  KNX anchor Tom Haule and chief investigative reporter Charles Feldman will host the show.

bellmediaBell Media to Lay Off 80 Employees.  Canadian broadcast giant Bell Media is announcing personnel cuts across its radio division that will affect some 80 people.  As reported by the Windsor Star, the Windsor market (which operates four stations that also serve Detroit listeners) will lose seven staffers, but those people haven’t been identified yet.  The stations in Windsor include: triple A CKLW-FM “The River 93.9,” alternative CIMX “89X,” oldies CKWW and news/talk CKLW-AM.  The paper notes that Bell Media cut about 120 positions in the radio division back in June.

miw logoMIW Announces 2015 Mentoring Program.  The details of the 2015 Mildred Carter Mentoring Program from the Mentoring & Inspiring Women in Radio Group are available.  The 14-year-old program matches up-and-coming women in the radio industry with female professionals recognized as leaders in all aspects of radio.  2015 Mentoring Committee chair Lindsay Cerajewski (who also serves as sales manager at CBS RADIO’s WUSN, Chicago) says, “This is a wonderful opportunity for mentees to gain valuable insight, knowledge and access to some of the most influential women in radio.  We look forward to another outstanding program in 2015.”  A total of four candidates from the radio broadcasting industry – within the sales, marketing, programming and digital disciplines – will be selected for the 2015 program.  Of those, at least one spot will be designated for a programming candidate, and one spot designated for a digital candidate.   For mentee criteria and instructions on how to apply, please visit http://tinyurl.com/miwmentee. The deadline to apply is Friday, December 12, 2014.

TALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  The Genesis Communications Network-syndicated Dr. Joy Browne program is added to the program schedule at WGNC, Gastonia, North Carolina.

Obama Amnesty Executive Action Top News/Talk Story for Week of November 17-21.  The plan by President Obama to use executive action to give amnesty to some 5 million undocumented aliens was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  Coming in at #2 was the videotaped speeches of Affordable Care Act architect Jonathan Gruber.  At #3 was the tension over the grand jury’s anticipated decision whether to indict police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri and at #4 was the record snowfall in Buffalo and the early cold snap.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

| November 19, 2014

franklinchipChip Franklin Named Midday Host at KGO, San Francisco.  The next step in returning KGO to its talk roots from the newsy experiment that began a few years ago comes as Chip Franklin takes over the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm slot beginning December 8.  Franklin has had long talk radio stints – most recently with KOGO, San Diego from 2007 to 2013 and with WBAL, Baltimore from 1999 to 2007 – and is also working writing position pieces and prep for guests on “Real Time with Bill Maher,” “Good Morning kgo logo newAmerica” and “Face the Nation.”  He also regularly appears at comedy clubs across the U.S.  On his new gig, Franklin comments, “The current narrative is that San Francisco is all liberals, progressives and Democrats mixed in with the occasional 4.9.  Maybe, but I see it more as a city that simply embraces freedom and more to the point, the free expression of ideas regardless of ideology.  Whether it’s politics, art, music or comedy, it all starts with a passion for discovery – discovery of life here in the Bay area, the wider world, and our inner lives.”  Cumulus Media EVP of content and programming John Dickey says, “KGO strives to inform and entertain the Bay Area with relevant news and compelling talk hosted by big personalities.  Chip Franklin’s point of view, intelligence and wit are going to drive some amazing conversations on KGO.”

Odds & Sods.  WABC, New York and CBS “Inside Edition” special correspondent Rita Cosby celebrated her 50th birthday hosting a special benefit for the Wounded Warriors Project at the Hotel Edison in New York City recently. crosbybednareksmall Among the 1,000-plus guests and celebs attending the fundraiser were fellow WABC personalities Curtis Sliwa and Geraldo Rivera.  Cosby is pictured here in this photo, (courtesy of Nicole Vranjican), with Broadway’s Tomaczek Bednarek at the event.  Read more about the party here…..WPGG, Atlantic City talk show host Harry Hurley is named to the PolitickerNJ’s “2014  Power List.”  This is the eighth time Hurley – morning personality on the Townsquare Media news/talk station – has been named to the list…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that Tribune’s WGN, Chicago adds former Sun-Times columnist and critic Dave Hoekstra who will host his weekly “Evening Journal” radio program on the station beginning in December.  The program will air Saturday evenings.

sportsfixWTEM‘Sports Fix’ Celebrates Five Years on WTEM, Washington.  Washington, DC midday sports talk show “The Sports Fix” with Kevin Sheehan and Thom Loverro is celebrating its fifth anniversary on Red Zebra Broadcasting’s WTEM “ESPN 980.”  The station says the program “has been a ratings leader, achieving #1-ratings in its time slot throughout the five-year run.”  Vice president of programming Chuck Sapienza adds, “‘The Sports Fix’ has been a constant performer.  Kevin, Thom and producer Marc Sterne perform at a high level every day and it shows in their consistency and ratings success.”

ccsatClear Channel Satellite Services to Serve iHeartMedia Only.  In a story by Leslie Stimson at Radio World, iHeartMedia, the parent company of Clear Channel Satellite Services, is informing clients that it will no longer provide satellite services to non-iHeartMedia operators.  Contracts currently existing will be honored until they expire and the company will not accept new ones.  A memo from CCSS reads, in part: “In the coming weeks, our team will be working with the existing customers to discuss the best way for a smooth transition to a new provider.  Customers with soon-expiring contracts will have the option to continue their service on a month-to-month basis until we’ve found a suitable assignee for the business.”

scba logoOctober Revenue Gains Reported in Los Angeles, San Diego. According to Miller Kaplan Arase‘s October summary report, Los Angeles posted increases of 3% for local spot and nearly double that (5.7%) for national spot.  Meanwhile, San Diego was +1.3% local spot and a substantially higher +18% for national spot.  Southern California Broadcasters Association president Thom Callahan comments, “Our entire region produced a very robust October as the critical fourth quarter began.  The sluggish third quarter performance we had is a distant memory, as advertisers once againcallahanthom looked to Southern California radio for increased market share and real revenue results.  Our combined market growth in October should set the stage for a dramatic and positive finish for [fourth quarter] and 2014.  Our members’ efforts to provide proactive solutions to client challenges really came together in October.  We see enormous positive energy in our markets and our continued regional focus on radio’s ROI is making a difference for all of our member sales teams.”  Revenue in the “NTR/Network/Other” category improved last month by a whopping (approximately) 63% in Los Angeles and 26.3% in San Diego.  October’s total market revenue for Los Angeles was 7.1%, while San Diego’s was 8.8%. Year-to-date total market revenue though is -2.2% (Los Angeles) and 2.9% (San Diego).

Ferguson Grand Jury Tensions, Jerusalem Terror Attacks, Keystone Bill Vote, Early Cold and Snow, ObamaCare/Gruber Controversy, and Bill Cosby Rape Allegations Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/18).  The simmering tensions in Ferguson as the public awaits the grand jury’s decision whether to indict Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown; Tuesday’s slayings in a Jerusalem temple; the failed vote in the U.S. Senate to move ahead with the Keystone Pipeline project; the six feet of snow that blanketed Buffalo and the cold affecting the rest of the country; the ObamaCare controversy surrounding plan architect Jonathan Gruber; and the new allegations of rape against Bill Cosby were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

| October 30, 2014

baxteredEd Baxter Named Midday Host at KKSF, San Francisco.  Longtime market pro Ed Baxter is named the permanent 10:00 am to 1:00 pm host at iHeartMedia’s KKSF, San Francisco “Talk 910.”  The Bay Area Radio Hall of Famer was a fixture on crosstown KGO for more than 30 years where he served as news anchor in both morning and afternoon drive slots.  iHeartMedia San Francisco VP of programming Don Parker writes on the station’s website, “We are thrilled to add Ed Baxter to the ‘Talk 910’ lineup.  Ed has a tremendous audience base from his many years on the air in the Bay Area, as well as a fantastic track record of success for advertisers.  Our commitment to live and local talk throughout prime-time programming is unparalleled in the Bay, making ‘Talk 910’ San Francisco’s Talk Station.”

lippjenJennifer Lipp to Leave KMJ-AM/FM, Fresno.  Twenty-year Fresno market radio personality Jennifer Lipp is leaving her morning drive co-host role at Cumulus Media’s news/talk duo KMJ-AM and FM.  The Fresno Bee reports that Lipp – who is partnered with John Broeske on the John and Jen show – and her family are moving from the area because her husband has accepted a position in Arkansas.  The Philadelphia native also worked in the Fresno market at rhythmic oldies KFBT “The Beat 103.7” and rock KKBZ “The Blaze 105.1” before joining KMJ two years ago.

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

nielsen logoRound Three of October PPM Data Released.  The third of four rounds of October 2014 PPM data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Portland, Charlotte, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, San Antonio, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Kansas City, Orlando, and Columbus.  The survey period was September 11 through October 8.  TALKERS magazine’s sister publication RadioInfo has all of the numbers from subscribing stations here.  In addition, managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his “Ten Takeaways” from this batch of ratings on the main page at RadioInfo.com here.

wsj this morningRamping Up to Election Day.  Tuesday’s mid-term elections are right around the corner and “The Wall Street Journal This Morning” went to the iconic Independence Mall in Philadelphia to gauge how Americans are feeling about the economy, their wages, their job security, and their small businesses.   Host Gordon Deal and news anchor Gina Cervetti will present comments from the people they talk to during special segments of the show on Monday and Tuesday in a feature called “Voices of the Voters.”

harrisheidiOdds & Sods.  KBET, Las Vegas talk show host Heidi Harris is honored by being profiled in the 2014 edition of the Distinguished Women in Nevada publication.  Harris, a longtime Las Vegas media personality, hosts the 6:00 pm hour on KBET…..WPHT, Philadelphia talk show host Dom Giordano (who recently re-upped with the CBS RADIO news/talk outlet) is being honored in chocolate!  Gertrude Hawk Chocolates will issue “The Dom Bar.”  The candy will have a picture of Giordano on the label that will say, “It’s Dom Time.”…..Westwood One announces that Mary Giesen has been hired to serve as vice president, sales planning.  It’s a homecoming for Giesen, who previously worked at Westwood One in several sales planning capacities.  Her responsibilities this time will include strategic development of the company’s sales initiatives, including management of commercial inventory; sales data; pricing; and performance.

batrapoojaNew Online Hindi Radio Station Offering Music and Talk Shows Targeted to America’s Growing Indian Population.  A new online radio station called Mera Sangeet (www.merasangeet.com), based in the Northridge area of Los Angeles and owned by its CEO, the dynamic Indian-born actress, model, entrepreneur and philanthropist Pooja Batra, is now streaming on the web with a wide variety of Hindi music and general interest (Indian issues and pop culture) talk shows.  The station’s management, which also includes noted Bollywood film-maker Anshuvijay Rode, describes its targetrodeanshuvijay audience (the Indian diaspora) as “the most affluent ethnic minority in the US.”  Many of the station’s impressive lineup of on-air personalities, described as “RJs” (radio jockeys) include household names and stars from India’s show business and Bollywood (cinema) scene.  The business model of the fledgling operation consists of two basic entities – the national Mera Sangeet LA stream that emanates from Los Angeles with the bulk of its programming and local franchises across the US (Mera Sangeet USA).  The station is offering interested and qualified parties across the country the opportunity to invest in these local franchises which would involve generating a local programming and sales component to compliment the national content provided from Los Angeles.  The station is also interested in meeting with potential general investors.  Interested parties can call Anshuvijay Rode in LA at 323-203-7445.

kqthFisherKQTH, Tucson Raises $121,000-plus for Fisher House Foundation.  On Wednesday (10/29), Journal Broadcast Group news/talk KQTH-FM, Tucson held a 12-hour radiothon to raise funds to help build a Fisher House at the Southern Arizona Veterans Administration Health Care Center.  During the broadcast, the station helped bring in $121,178 for the cause.  Pictured here celebrating the success of the event are (from left to right): KQTH producer Shane Dunn, program director and morning host Bill White, afternoon host James T. Harris and Arizona Fisher House vice chair Rick Grinnell.  Other KQTH personalities who participated in the radiothon were Jon Justice, Ben Buehler Garcia and news anchor John Harper.  Stations interested in learning how to support the Fisher House Foundation which provides housing for veterans and the families of military personnel being treated at military hospitals can contact Marshall Adams at radio@fisherhouse.org.

srnCruzSpecial Election Night Guest.  Posing for a photo with U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (right) is Salem Radio Network vice president/news & talk programming Tom Tradup (left).  Both share a laugh over an Obama t-shirt.  The two got together in advance of Tuesday night’s marathon mid-term election coverage on the network in which Cruz will play a role as one of a number of high-profile guests who will join anchor (and SRN-syndicated talk show host) Hugh Hewitt that evening.

Domestic Ebola Cases, Mid-Term Elections, Battle Against ISIS, 2016 Presidential Hopefuls, and World Series Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/29).  The domestic Ebola cases and controversy surrounding quarantine policies; next Tuesday’s mid-term elections and the possibility of a majority change in the U.S. Senate; the U.S.-led coalition against ISIS in Iraq and the cases of Western youths joining the militant Islamic organization; the potential candidates for president in 2016; and the Royals-Giants World Series were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Saturday, October 4th, 2014

| October 4, 2014

methenykevinVeteran Radio Programmer Kevin Metheny Succumbs to Heart Attack at 60.  Longtime broadcasting executive and major talk radio programmer Kevin Metheny has unexpectedly died yesterday (10/3) afternoon due to what is being reported as a sudden heart attack at the age of 60.  Metheny had been serving as operations manager of Cumulus Media outlets KGO and KSFO in San Francisco since JuneBefore that he was program director of WJR, Detroit, also a Cumulus station. He was a second generation radio professional, the son of broadcaster Terrell Metheny.  John Dickey, EVP programming and content for Cumulus issued the following statement:  “Kevin Metheny’s sudden passing this afternoon is a devastating personal and professional loss for his broadcasting family at Cumulus, and for the entire radio industry. Kevin was a legendary broadcasting talent who touched many lives in his remarkable 44-year career, and whose successes made an indelible mark on radio. His reputation and accomplishments are simply unparalleled and we are grateful for having had the opportunity to work with him as PD of WJR in Detroit and most recently, as operations manager of KGO and KSFO in San Francisco. His Cumulus family extends our deepest sympathies to Kevin’s loved ones. We will miss him profoundly.”  Metheny began working in radio at KWHP, Edmund, Oklahoma and WKY, Oklahoma City.  His long and storied career includes having worked at a number of key radio stations around the country, most notably as programmer of WNBC, New York with Howard Stern (who critically dubbed a character in his autobiographical book Private Parts based on Metheny, “Pig Vomit”) in the 1980s and in more recent times with Jacor, Clear Channel and the Randy Michaels regime at WGN, Chicago. TALKERS/RadioInfo publisher Michael Harrison states, “Metheny was one of the major radio programmers of the modern era.  He had a keen understanding of the basics of talk radio and the important role talent plays within it. He wasn’t afraid of controversy nor subjecting himself to criticism. After more than four decades of making a difference in this industry he was still involved in one of the hot spots of action where he was well on his way to engineering a turn-around at the Cumulus operations in San Francisco.  This is a tragic loss for all of us who care about radio.  Our deepest condolences to his family and colleagues.”

 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

| August 26, 2014

owensronnRonn Owens Goes Public with Parkinson’s Diagnosis. Longtime KGO, San Francisco talk personality Ronn Owens recently went public with the diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease that he received in 2001.  He tells the San Francisco Chronicle he held off on announcing his condition because he didn’t want people feeling sorry for him and didn’t want to be identified by his illness.  Owens tells the Chronicle’s David Wiegand he’s been managing the disease with medications since his diagnosis but felt the time was right for letting his listeners know about it.  “I felt it was important to tell people that you can have it like I have for 12 ½ years and not be severely impacted by it.  It’s possible, and it’s not a death sentence.”  The 68-year-old Owens sounds as though he has no plans to retire from radio if the station still wants him.  Read the entire piece here.

wwj logoCBS RADIO and Townsquare Media Partner on new Michigan News Network.  The new venture will roll out September 2 on 20 affiliate stations.  Both companies announce that the new Michigan News Network will provide affiliated stations across the state with news,wxyt-fm logo sports and other local content produced by CBS RADIO stations WWJ, Detroit “Newsradio 950” and WXYT-FM, “97.1 The Ticket.”  The service offered will include top-of-the-hour broadcasts weekdays from 6:00 am to 7:00 pm and 60-second sports updates three times per day during the same time period.  Townsquare Media will serve as the exclusive syndication partner and manage affiliate relationships.  CBS RADIO president and CEO Dan Mason states, “CBS RADIO’s Detroit stations have served as the authoritative voice of the community for many years, establishing themselves among the market’s most credible brands and news sources.  We are excited to be working with Townsquare to distribute our award-winning programming to listeners across the entire state of Michigan, while also realizing the highest value for our content.”

zollermarthaMartha Zoller to Leave Talk Radio Biz for Political Campaign Gig.  After stepping away from the talk radio business a couple of years ago to run for office herself (an unsuccessful campaign for U.S. Congress), Georgia talk radio personality Martha Zoller is again leaving the radio industry to join David Perdue’s U.S. Senate campaign.  She tells TALKERS that she’s been offered a post in which she’ll be doing surrogate work, training surrogates and messaging as well as focusing on engagement of women and minorities for Perdue’s campaign.  Zoller has been co-hosting the “Zoller & Bryant” morning drive show (with news director Tim Bryant) on WGAU, Athens, Georgia as well as in other parts of the state via the Georgia News Network.  She says she will continue to write for her zpolitics.com site while working for Perdue’s campaign.

wolfejasonJason Wolfe Named to Executive Post with Financial Exchange Radio Network.  Longtime WEEI and WRKO, Boston programmer Jason Wolfe joins The Financial Exchange Radio Network as chief media and marketing strategist.  The network syndicates the WRKO, Boston-based program “The Financial Exchange with Barry Armstrong (pictured below at right) and Kim Carrigan (left)” heard on eight other affiliate stations around New England.  Armstrong is president and CEO of the network.  In this new role, Wolfe will be in charge of building the brand and expanding the reach of the program in addition to developing new marketing and business partnerships that expose the show to a much larger audience.  Wolfe has also been working with former WEEI personality Glenn Ordway as chief content officer for Ordway’s Sportstalkboston.com and will continue in thatarmstrongcarrigan small position.  Wolfe comments, “I’m thrilled to be able to work more directly with Barry, to build on what is already a very successful show.  I’m privileged to have developed strong relationships with all of the major radio operators across the country and I’m extremely confident that as our discussions continue we’ll be able to expand the reach of this program.”  Armstrong adds, “Jason has been working with us as a consultant for several months and has been doing a great job in getting ‘The Financial Exchange’ on additional radio stations.  I know that he will build on that success in his new role as our new chief media and marketing strategist.”

price howardLesson from Napa: Be Prepared for that 3:00 am Telephone Call and Avoid Nasty Pranks While at It. No doubt you remember “it’s three am – and the phone rings…” from a 2008 Clinton for President political ad – arguably the most enduring line from that campaign. And it’s a question broadcasters need to answer BEFORE bad things happen…because bad things tend to happen at the worst possible time. Like 3:20 am PT this past Sunday…when the earth in and around Napa County, California shook like it hadn’t shaken in almost 25 years. At 3:20 am at most stations outside the largest markets – and even at some of the bigs, too – the programming likely is automated, or live via satellite. If anyone actually IS home, they are likely to be the lowest-paid, least-experienced people on the payroll. And that’s OK…we’ve all been there. But it’s only OK if plans are in place to help those folks deal with breaking news when senior managers, more experienced hands – and a full crew – aren’t around to help. If you’re a California station manager, you’ve got a quake plan that takes your staff step-by-step through operations and internal notification, programming and commercial adjustments, and continuous coverage ground rules. You’ve built comprehensive lists of key contacts in local, regional and state government; public and private disaster response groups; academic experts. And you’ve got a network news affiliation to back you up. Because at the end of the day, you’ve got to be fast. You have to be comprehensive. And most of all, you have to be right. In a must-read, informative new piece posted today (8/25) in TALKERS, ABC Television Network director of business continuity and industry expert on emergency preparedness Howard B. Price outlines everything a radio station should do to be ready for an earthquake such as the one that rocked Napa. He also lists things to help you avoid those horrific and embarrassing “pranks” that often accompany fast-breaking news events whereby imposters claiming to be officials get on the air and disrupt the decorum with nasty “gotcha” outbursts. To read the entire article, please click here.

brady billThe Best Talk Station Ever: What the Radio Industry Can Learn from a Truly Special News/Talk Operation. Seasoned radio business pro, Bill Brady, president/CEO of South Florida-based media investment firm, Futures & Options, Inc., serves up a fascinating look at one specific radio station that he says should be studied as the “best news/talk radio station, ever.” Wonder what it is? Hint: It existed in the past and proved there can be a lot more to news/talk radio than just one political point of view. Another hint: It had conservative, liberal, lifestyle, consumer advice, sports and art & entertainment elements delivered by legendary hosts who were at the top of their game and it sounded like no other station in the nation. Oh yes, by today’s standards, it also had extraordinarily high ratings Want to find out more? Read Brady’s entire piece by clicking here.

Host Rick Tryon Ends Political Show on KINX, Great Falls.  According to a story in the Great Falls Tribune, Rick Tryon is ending his daily one-hour political talk show, citing the difficulty of making it financially feasible.  Tryon brokers the “Politics Montana with Rick Tryon” program which consists of him interviewing opinion leaders about political issues.  Tryon tells the paper the listeners have been good to the show but it’s time consuming and he’s ready to dedicate energy to other interests.  Tryon’s last program will be Wednesday (8/27).

engsterjimMore TALKERS Career Moves.  After being unceremoniously let go by longtime employer NPR back in 2004, former “Morning Edition” host Bob Edwards landed at Sirius.  Now, 10 years later Edwards is leaving SiriusXM as the satcaster is cancelling his program.  SiriusXM has not commented publicly on the move but Politico’s Dylan Byers reports the last show will air September 26…..Louisiana talk show host Jim Engster is taking his eponymous talk show from public outlet WRKF, Baton Rouge to Guaranty Broadcasting’s commercial outlet WBRP, Baton Rouge beginning in November.  Engster will move from a one-hour morning program to a two-hour afternoon drive show.

cookehollandYour Podcast Format.  Are you serious about making your podcast stand out from the literally millions of podcasts available on the Internet?  As a professional talk show host you probably are already doing some type of on-demand programming, but are you conscious of the program’s format?  Media consultant Holland Cooke writes that basic radio formatics apply but there is a difference between an AM/FM talk show and a podcast and your execution should reflect the difference.  Cooke says you need to understand how users are consuming your podcast and design the show accordingly.  Read his entire piece here.

alangaryOdds & Sods.  Entertainment pro Gary Alan is currently available to handle fill-in work.  Alan, a South Florida native who’s worked at such signals as WAXY, Miami, says his unique style easily allows him to navigate through politics, sports, entertainment, and today’s social issues with wit and a sense of humor.  He can be contacted at: garyalan@cfl.rr.com or phoned at 407-960-3663…..The regularly scheduled “Ask the Mayor” show on CBS RADIO’s KNX, Los Angeles returns Thursday (8/28) as LA Mayor Eric Garcetti spends an hour with KNX listeners from 10:00 am to 11:00 am fielding calls and answering emailed and Tweeted questions.  KNX anchor Tom Haule hosts the program that airs about every six weeks…..Yahoo! Sports Radio adds “Sports Kings’ NFL Weekly Countdown” to its weekend lineup.  The show debuts Saturday at 7:00 am ET featuring MeanGene “The Sports Machine” and sports host Ronnie Brooks.

wachssmileyWachs and Smiley on Vegas TV.  Nationally syndicated talk show host Dr. Daliah Wachs (right), poses for a selfie with fellow syndicated radio personality and comic Rickey Smiley (left) at the studios of KVVU-TV, Las Vegas “FOX 5.”  Dr. Wachs appeared on the “MORE” program to discuss nurse practitioners taking over doctors’ duties and Smiley was there to promote his show at the Orleans Theater in Las Vegas last Friday night.

Ferguson Fallout/Michael Brown Funeral, Obama’s Relationship with Fellow Democrats/Mid Term Elections, Napa Earthquake, U.S. Iraq and Syria Military Policy, Ice Bucket Challenge, Russia-Ukraine Tensions, and VMA Awards Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/25).  The funeral of Michael Brown and the fallout from his death at the hands of Ferguson, Missouri police; the looming mid-term elections and chatter about the strained relationships between President Obama and fellow Democrats; the Napa, California earthquake and talk of the future “big one” for California; the military policy of the Obama Administration with regard to military involvement in Iraq and Syria; the ice bucket challenge phenomenon; the military tensions between Russia and Ukraine; and Sunday’s VMA Awards show were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday (8/25).

Friday, June 20, 2014

| June 20, 2014

methenykevinCumulus Media Moves Kevin Metheny to KGO and KSFO, San Francisco.  From his current position with Cumulus Media as program director of WJR, Detroit, Kevin Metheny will go West to take the helm of Bay Area news and talk stations KGO and KSFO as operations manager, effective July 14.  The company says that Metheny is “a career content creator whose other recent work includes the successful kgo logo newlaunch of CBS RADIO’s country KMNB, “BUZ*N @ 102.9” in the Twin Cities; program director of WGN, Chicago; and 13 years with Clear Channel in various roles, including regional vice president of programming.”  Cumulus EVP and co-COO John Dickey states, “Kevin Metheny’s reputation and accomplishments are unparalleled.  His deep understanding of spoken-word radio and ability to work with bigger-than-life talents make him the ideal candidate to lead the legendary KGO and KSFO.”  Metheny takes over for Ron Escarsega, who exits the stations.

walshjoe

WIND, Chicago Pulls Joe Walsh Off the Air After ‘Conversation About Words.’  Chicago talk show host (and former U.S. Congressman) Joe Walsh was pulled off his radio program on the Salem Communications-owned talk station yesterday (6/19) after he used a number of racial slurs while engaging in what he termed (via Twitter) “an honest, adult conversation about words without resorting to alphabet soup phrases (C-word, N-word etc.).”  Walsh was riffing on the controversy over the NFL’s Washington Redskins losing its trademark due a recent Trademark Office decision.  He Tweets that he “Found out that if I said Redskins or Cracker or Redneck Bible Thumper I could stay on.  But if I said N***er or Sp**k, they cut me off.”  As reported in the Daily Mail, Walsh is expected to be off the radio today and will meet with management later this afternoon.  Walsh is fairly new to talk radio and apparently didn’t think an academic discussion was the same as outright use of the words he was discussing.  Still, management is understandably skittish about the matter.  Time will tell if this afternoon’s meeting is about setting it right or a pink slip for Walsh.

wgn logo newTribune’s WGN, Chicago Takes Top Honors at IBA Awards Ceremony.  Chicago news/talker WGN was honored with the Chicago Market Station of the Year award at the 2014 Illinois Broadcasters Association Silver Dome Awards ceremony held in Peoria on Wednesday, June 18.  This is the seventh year running for WGN taking home that honor.  The Tribune-owned station also was honored with first place wins in six categories, including: Best play-by-play team for Chicago Blackhawks broadcasters John Wiedeman and Troy Murray; Best radio series or documentary for “Beyond Bartman: The Story of the 2003 Cubs,” produced by David Kaplan, Trey Elling and Dan Levy; Best radio feature for “Halloween Rescheduled,” with Bill Leff and Wendy Snyder; Best station website for wgnradio.com; Best use of new media for the “Graveyard Shift Tours,” video with Nick Digilio and Dan Sugrue; and Best non-humorous commercial for “Des Plaines Golf Center,” produced by Jason Skaggs.  WGN president and GM Jimmy de Castro states, “We are thrilled to have taken home seven awards and to be recognized by our peers at the Illinois Broadcasters Association.  You can’t be named Chicago Market Station of the Year without terrific contributions from people like John and Troy of the Chicago Blackhawks and the incredibly talented family at WGN Radio.  These awards are a testament to the strong sense of collaboration at our station and the amazing buzz in our hallways.”

Odds & Sods.  The chairman of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim will take over as general manager of sports talk KLAA, Orange, California after the exit of David Baronfeld.  The radio management pro had been GM of the station for the past three years…..Compass Media Networks announces its NFL play-by-play schedule for the 2014 season.  Some of the key games the network is offering include: the 49ers at the Cowboys on 9/7, the Raiders at the Seahawks on 11/2, and the Cowboys at the Bears on 12/4…..Sports USA also announces its NFL play-by-play schedule for the coming season.  Games available through it include the Saints at the Falcons on 9/7, the Broncos at the Seahawks on 9/21, and the Packers at the Bears on 9/28…..Staradio Corp.-owned rock station WYKT, Kankakee, Illinois will flip to sports talk as “105.5 the Ticket” beginning July 10.  The station will use CBS Sports Radio Network programming and will air NFL play-by-play from WestwoodOne as well as local high school football and basketball.

browneUN14Joy at the United Nations.  Nationally syndicated talk show host Dr. Joy Browne (right) is pictured here interviewing an unidentified expert from the United Nations at yesterday’s “Talk Radio Day at the United Nations” – the massive radio row at the iconic headquarters of the World Organization — produced by TALKERS magazine in association with the Talk Radio News Service and the United Nations Foundation.  Dr. Joy Browne will be at the Talkers New York 2104 conference taking place at the historic India House in Hanover Square today.  Meet her there!

Iraq Turmoil Tops Talkers TenTM for Week of June 16-20.  The political turmoil and violence taking place in Iraq and the Obama Administration’s policy toward the nation was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the crisis of child illegals pouring over the borders in the Southwest and the larger topic of immigration reform.  At #3 was the recent primary results and races and the state of the GOP followed by Hillary Clinton’s memoir tied with speculation about the 2016 presidential race 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.

International Remotes?
If Not Now, When?

| March 25, 2014

By Charles Karel Bouley II
Talk Show Host

 

karelLONG BEACH, CA – Fourteen years ago I did my first international remote broadcast for KFI, Los Angeles. My late husband Andrew (also my co-host) and I had been invited to Ireland to broadcast for St. Patrick’s Day 2000.

Once it got cleared, it was a big to-do.  Engineer and producer extraordinaire Emeliano Limon was to come with us, and he had an arsenal of equipment.  Metal crates and boxes, too much for one person to manage, all got on board Aer Lingus that year as the “Karel & Andrew” show went live in Dublin.

ISDN lines had to be dropped at each hotel.  There had to be access to POTS lines as well.  The internet and computers were in their infancy so international speeds were spotty at best.  To do the broadcast to an ISDN Codec like the Telos Zephyr, an ISDN line, two microphones, mixing board, vocal processor; it took large audio files taking hours to send and audio recorders like a DAT or MiniDisc for field audio that then had to be converted and edited.

In other words, it took manpower, equipment and time to do a remote abroad, or, anywhere for that matter.

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Monday, March 24, 2014

| March 24, 2014

businessrockstars radioBusiness Rockstars Radio to Debut. Via a strategic alliance with the Wall Street Business Network, “Business Rockstars Radio” will premier its national radio syndication effort on March 31 on 10 major market stations. Business Rockstars Radio, hosted by Ken Rutkowski, features “rockstar” CEOs, entrepreneurs, and start-ups and targets the 30 million “Wantrepreneurs” in the U.S. The March 31 rollout is the “launchrutkowskiken pad” for the national rollout of the program. Salem Radio Division president David Santrella states, “Salem is excited to be adding more compelling and relevant content to our Wall Street Business Network. We thank the Good Life Network for their efforts in securing the Business Rockstars Radio program for our growing business-format platform, and look forward to a long and mutually successful relationship with both the Good Life Network and Business Rockstars Radio.” The program will air live from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm ET and debut on: KDOW, San Francisco; KVCE, Dallas; KTEK, Houston; WZAB, Miami; WAFS, Atlanta; KKOL, Seattle; WBZW, Orlando; KYCR, Minneapolis; KSAC, Sacramento; and KGU, Honolulu. Business Rockstars Radio co-founder Steve Lehman comments, “Business Rockstars Radio is loaded with powerful entrepreneurial content presented in a fun, fast-paced, two-hour daily show. The program has big name CEOs, entrepreneurs and start-ups that discuss their adventures in starting, growing and funding businesses. These stories inspire and educate listeners, from billion dollar start-ups to business train wrecks.”

greatermedia logoGreater Media Philly Named a Top Workplace. This is the third successive year the company has earned such recognition from an annual survey conducted by the Philadelphia Inquirer, Daily News, and Philly.com.  Hundreds of companies take part in the survey and as Greater Media Philadelphia vice president/market manager John Fullam states, “Great companies start with great employees.  We are fortunate to have an extraordinary team dedicated to serving Philadelphia, our listeners, and advertising partners every day.”  Judges are employees and evaluation for the “Top Workplaces” program is based upon feedback from a fall 2013 employee survey conducted by Workplace Dynamics.  The Philadelphia Inquirer ran a special publication insert yesterday (3/23) to announce the honor.  Greater Media’s four-station Philadelphia cluster consists of adult hits WBEN-FM “95.7 Ben-FM,” WMGK “Philadelphia’s Classic Rock,” WMMR “Everything That Rocks,” and sports WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic.”

agasepaulCumulus Nabs Agase for VP Sales Post in Chicago.  Chicago market sales pro Paul Agase is named vice president of sales for Cumulus Media’s news/talk WLS-AM “Chicago’s Talk Leader” and classic rock WLUP “97.9 FM The Loop.”  Most recently, Agase was general sales manager at CBS RADIO’s all-news WBBM.  He’s also worked in the market at sports talk WSCR “The Score,” triple A WXRT, WKSC “103.5 Kiss FM,” and WBBM-FM “B96.”  Cumulus EVP and co-COO John Pinch comments, “Paul has made a significant impact driving sales for Chicago radio.  His talents are an ideal match for Cumulus Chicago’s iconic stations and we are excited to welcome him to the company.”

comrexComrex Welcomes Torelli as Market Development Manager.  Multi-disciplined media pro Joe Torelli joins Comrex Corporation as market development manager.  The company says that in this role, Torelli will spearhead awareness and drive acceptance of the Comrex LiveShot products in the broadcast, education, worship and government markets.  Comrex managing director Kris Specht states, “Joe comes to Comrex with extensive experience on both sides of the broadcast industry starting as a photojournalist at WFLA-TV, Tampa where he first used Comrex products.  Capitalizing on his field experience there and over a decade at NBC News covering world events, he transitioned to design and delivery of market focused products at Avid, Quantel and, most recently, Apple products that became standards in the industry.  That background will help Comrex grow the acceptance of the LiveShot products.”  Torelli says, “I see LiveShot as truly amazing technology and I’m no stranger to highlighting new technology and differentiating features to the market.  I’m excited about the opportunity to help extend LiveShot’s appeal and acceptance.”  Comrex LiveShot delivers live video and audio over a range of IP networks.  LiveShot is used by TV stations and networks to deliver high-quality, low-latency, full-duplex video and audio from anywhere internet access is available.

bearmanethan2Ethan Bearman Adds KGO, San Francisco to His Roster of Radio Homes.  Multi-platform talk show host Ethan Bearman, one of the 2014 first-time members of TALKERS magazine’s newly published “Heavy Hundred,” has just been named regular host of the Sunday 10:00 am to 1:00 pm slot on KGO, San Francisco.  Bearman has also been retained by the Cumulus San Francisco cluster to do fill-in at KGO’s sister station KSFO where he’ll be keeping the mic warm next week for morning host Brian Sussman (also a 2014 Heavy Hundred inductee) between 5:00 am and 9:00 am on April 3 and 4.  The hard-working Bearman also has a two-hour weekend syndicated show carried by Genesis Communications Network (GCN) and is a regular member of the air staff at Michael Zerling’s nationally famous KSCO, Santa Cruz where he hosts 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm weekdays.  Bearman tells TALKERS, “I am blessed and honored to be working with some of the best professionals in the industry – Michael Zwerling is one of the most ardent examples of a broadcaster dedicated to serving the local community and creating breakthroughs in modern marketing techniques.  Ted Anderson is a dynamo of entrepreneurial innovation, who has built GCN into a powerhouse among the up-and-coming syndicators.  And now, the mighty Cumulus, where I am honored to work at one of the truly legendary sets of call letters in America – KGO – with a staff that is the very embodiment of broadcasting professionalism.”  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison has been quoted as saying, “I have heard one of the major voices of talk radio’s future and it emanates from a young man named Ethan Bearman.”

cookehollandMedia Usage Research (and What You Can Do With It).  Media consultant Holland Cooke pens a brief synopsis of some of the recent media usage research that’s been published recently and takes it a step further and offers some advice that station operators can use to put their best foot forward.  Smart owners and programmers are not getting depressed about the changing media landscape; they are doing their best to adapt to how people are using media.  Cooke offers some thoughts about working with that mindset.  Read it here.

sorbosamSam Sorbo to Launch Daily Talk Show.  Actress/author and True Feminist CEO Sam Sorbo is beginning a daily, three-hour talk show on Wednesday (3/26).  A press statement says she’s being “tapped by America’s Talk Network, Inc. to host a new daily talk show that will be syndicated and exclusively represented by Talk Radio Network Enterprises.”  The eponymous show will air from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon ET.    CEO Mark Masters says Sorbo is “an ‘independent conservative,’ an accomplished entrepreneur, who has an uncanny ability to connect with the listeners on a visceral level.”  Sorbo states, “I view it as a privilege to be behind the microphone…Ronald Reagan understood the power of humor, satire and good-natured ridicule in ways that created a massive ‘Big Tent of Voters.’  My goal is to follow that model in creating a ‘Big Tent of Listeners’ for ratings success for our stations.”

kcoh logoHouston Judge Allows KCOH Suit Back Before Court.  The months-long dispute between former KCOH, Houston talk show host Michael Harris and South Houston Community Development Corp. president Jesse Dunn will return to the courts after being dismissed last month.  Harris claims Dunn made false representations to induce Harris into obtaining personal lines of credit totaling $130,000 to finance radio station equipment and operations.  Last month the case was dismissed but Harris’ lawyer Robert Collier argued he was unaware of the motion for summary judgment and didn’t have time to respond.  The suit was reinstated on March 11 and, according to the Houston Chronicle, Collier will ask that the court put KCOH assets into receivership for accounting and control.

eastlanratings logoEastlan Adding Three Markets. Tallahassee, Florida; Columbus, Georgia; and Hammond, Louisiana are the metros that the ratings company will begin surveying this spring.  Eastlan president/chief executive officer Mike Gould comments that, “As Eastlan rolls into our fifteenth year, we are grateful to the small and medium market radio leaders who have recognized the value in carefully scrutinizing their radio ratings/vendor relationship.  We never imagined we would be fortunate enough to become the senior radio ratings provider in the United States.” Nielsen Audio is already measuring Tallahassee and Columbus; Hammond was an unrated metro.  Roughly five months ago, Eastlan added 11 other markets in Texas, Wyoming, Pennsylvania, and Arkansas.

stigallswiftChris Stigall and Taylor Swift Goofing in NYC.  WPHT, Philadelphia morning drive personality Chris Stigall (right) takes what he calls the “ultimate selfie” with pop and country superstar Taylor Swift (left) at the 8th Annual Taste of Hope Wine Dinner to support City of Hope in New York City’s Tribeca on March 20.  This event is just one of the fundraising projects City of Hope produces to help raised funds to cure — and ultimately prevent — cancer, diabetes, HIV/AIDS and other life-threatening diseases.

millernooryCoast to Coast AM from Boise.  Nationally syndicated late-night star George Noory (left) poses for a photo with KIDO, Boise morning drive personality Kevin Miller (right) backstage at the Egyptian Theater in Boise during a visit to the city.  The Premiere Networks-syndicated “Coast to Coast AM” personality was in town for a live show at the Egyptian Theater.  Also pictured here is Noory Productions president Tom Danheiser (c).

BTC logoHD Radio Cited in Growth of Broadcaster Traffic Consortium Revenue.  The Broadcaster Traffic Consortium (BTC), is a nationwide broadcasting network that distributes location-based data — including: local traffic, weather, and fuel prices via radio technology to navigation devices and automobile in-dash systems.  The consortium reports that revenue for 2013 continued to grow and it anticipates more growth in 2014.  The consortium was established in 2007 and since that time its total revenue compound annual growth rate is 50.8%.  The addition of HD Radio technology for traffic data in 2011 comprises 20% of the BTC’s total revenue.  Greater Media CEO Peter Smyth says, “Greater Media is now seeing a return on our investment in BTC.  The transmission of traffic data via our HD signals allows us to be an integral part of the digital dashboard.  We are pleased to see that revenue growth is exceeding our expectations.”  Getting traffic data via HD Radio allows users to avoid eating up their allotted data on bandwidth-intense activities like traffic.  The BTC says, “The smooth launch with auto manufacturers Honda and Mitsubishi last year has opened the door for additional automakers to realize the value of HD Radio Data real-time traffic.”  The founding members of the BTC include: Beasley Broadcast Group; Bonneville International Corporation; Cox Radio, Inc.; Emmis Communications; Entercom Communications Corp.; Greater Media; NPR and Radio One.

Farewell to a Jim Dandy Gentleman

| March 5, 2014

By Mike Kinosian
Managing Editor
TALKERS

Jim Lange #3LOS ANGELES — The broadcasting industry took another hit last week as Jim Lange succumbed to a heart attack.

In much the same way the late Dick Clark never seemed to age, some were shocked that the always youthful-looking Lange was actually 81 when he passed away at his Mill Valley, California home.

Several years ago – during my tenure as special features editor for the trade publication Inside Radio – the two of us had an extended conversation; the result was one of my in-depth personality profiles.

That chat laid the foundation for what became a continuing friendship. It was a privilege to remain in contact with the gracious and hospitable Lange, who was most deserving of the “Gentleman Jim” handle.

As a tribute, here are edited/condensed/updated highlights from that profile, which began by theorizing, if those at Guinness ever concocted a world record category for “Person Throwing The Most Kisses on Television,” Lange would be the hands-down winner.

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Tuesday, December 3, 2013

| December 3, 2013

lindsleymikeMike Lindsley Returns to WSKO, Syracuse.  Sports talk host Mike Lindsley is back in Syracuse on Cumulus Media’s WSKO where he’ll host the Mike Lindsley Show: In the Cell with M.L.” from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm beginning December 9.  Lindsley talked sports in the market for more than 10 years before moving to Townsquare Media’s WTMM, Albany in March of this year.  Both Lindsley and WTMM co-host Brian Cady were let go from the station in earlywsko logo September after a caller pretending to be former Yankees outfielder Shane Spencer went on the air and said he experimented with PEDs.  Townsquare made no connection about the snafu and their release.  Back in Syracuse, operations manager Tom Mitchell replaces CBS Sports Radio Network’s Doug Gottlieb with Lindsley and he says, “We are happy to welcome Mike Lindsley back to the ‘voice of the Central New York sports fan.’  Once again, listeners have a choice of local afternoon sports shows.  Mike is known for his strong opinions and his love of the Syracuse Orange, Syracuse Chiefs, and New York Yankees, in no particular order.”

cross-platform report logoNielsen’s ‘Cross-Platform Report’ Concludes More Than 90% of Americans Use Radio Each Week.  The just released “A Look Across Media: The Cross-Platform Report” from Nielsen uses RADAR data for its conclusions about radio use and habits.  Stating that radio is used by more than 90% of Americans each week, the report notes that African Americans (92%) and Hispanics (94%) are the biggest users of radio on a weekly basis.  According to Nielsen, the average American “consumes almost 60 hours of content each week across TV, online, radio and mobile,” and it breaks down this way: TV – 35.1 hours; radio –14 hours; video online – 1.5 hours; video on mobile – 1.3 hours.  Though the report states that monthly listening to AM/FM radio is 60 hours and 42 minutes on average, missing from the options is listening to audio via mobile – obviously an important competitor for AM/FM radio.  The report measures traditional TV, using Blu-Ray/DVD, using game console, using internet from computer, watching video on the internet, and watching video on mobile in addition to listening to radio via AM/FM.  See more about the report here.

morellijenniferMorelli Moves to CBS Radio as VP/Integrated Marketing.  Two-year CBS Radio Chicago director of integrated marketing & events Jennifer Morelli is named vice president of integrated marketing for CBS Radio.  Morelli led non-traditional sales efforts for the company’s six-station Windy City cluster.  According to CBS Radio president of sales Michael Weiss, “Jennifer has taken on roles of increasing responsibility during her tenure at CBS Radio and is well prepared to take on this leadership position for the division.  She has demonstrated the ability to create opportunities for clients that go beyond conventional advertising and branding methods.”  Morelli joined CBS Radio Houston four years ago as integrated marketing manager.  She previously held several positions – including general sales manager – with Emmis in Austin and she has worked in the sales department of WQRF-TV, Chicago.  Morelli’s radio career began in 1997 at Sconnix Broadcasting‘s Quad Cities stations where she was an account executive.

nielsen logoNieslen Audio November PPM Data Released.  The November 2013 PPM ratings data is being released by Nielsen Audio – currently numbers for all 48 markets have been made public – and that information can be found at the site of TALKERS magazine’s sister publication RadioInfo.  Check out the main page for managing editor and West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian’s “Ten Takeaways” here or go straight to the full ratings data here.

karelKarel to Cut Back Radio Show Time; Promotes New Podcast.  Talk show host Charles “Karel” Bouley, whose daily program currently airs from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm ET via the Genesis Communications Network, will cut the daily show back to an hour each day and focus more energy on his new podcast “The Karel-Cast” via TheKDW.com network beginning January 2.  He says he will continue hosting his weekend evening programs on KGO, San Francisco and his program on WWRL, New York.  He says, “As an entertainer who is a content provider of audio, video, live stage shows, print, and live web cams, Karel and ‘The Karel Show’ have been a driving force for a website that has functioned as an actual network.  So now, it truly will.”

wsfm logoHometown Media Moves Wilmington News/Talk Outlet to New Frequencies.  The news/talk format branded “Port City Radio” is no longer being heard on Wilmington, North Carolina outlets WNTB and WLTT.  Those signals are now airing country format “The Dude” and news/talk has been moved to Hometown Media’s WSFM and translator W240AS, formerly the home of a classical music format.

bfoa logoBroadcasters Foundation of America Begins ‘Holiday Giving Campaign.’  The 2013 Holiday Giving Campaign is underway at the Broadcasters Foundation of America.  The campaign asks broadcasters to spread the word about the mission of the Broadcasters Foundation to those who may need its assistance, and encourages donations and memberships at www.broadcastersfoundation.org, or by calling 212-373-8250.  Often a last refuge, the Broadcasters Foundation has helped broadcasters and their families remain in their homes and made it possible for retirees to afford life-sustaining medications.  The Broadcasters Foundation also has provided one-time emergency grants, including in the aftermath of natural catastrophes such as Hurricane Sandy.  Chairman Phil Lombardo states, “The goal of the Foundation’s board of directors is that no broadcaster’s cry for help should ever go unanswered.  Requests for aid have more than doubled over the past few years and more come in every day.  Next year, we will disburse over $900,000 in financial assistance, a 100% increase from five years ago.”  BFoA president Jim Thompson adds, “The pace of incoming donations is lagging behind the requests for aid.  Our grant recipients are our colleagues — individuals who we have worked with and whose lives have been devastated by unthinkable circumstances.  Aid from the Broadcasters Foundation can be life-saving, in many cases.  I ask every broadcaster to consider making a donation or becoming a member.”

wachshall-pattonDr. Daliah Wachs on ‘Pawn Stars’ This Thursday.  Genesis Communications Networks-syndicated talk host Dr. Daliah Wachs (left) poses for a photo with “Pawn Stars” historical artifacts expert Mark Hall-Patton (right) during her most recent appearance on the History Channel program.  Dr. Wachs tells TALKERS magazine that the show will air this Thursday at 10:30 ET in which she brings a Civil War-era metacarpal bone saw in to sell.  How much, if anything, does she get for it?  You’ll have to watch the show to find out!  Her contract with the network prevents her from spilling the beans.

ObamaCare Criticism, Rush Limbaugh Pope-Marxism Flap, Iran Nukes Deal, New York Rail Crash, and Paul Walker Crash Death Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/2).  Criticism of the rollout of the Affordable Care Act as well as anticipation of how it will affect the health care industry; the flap over Rush Limbaugh’s calling Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation “pure Marxism”; the deal between the U.S. and Iran on the latter’s nuclear program; the deadly commuter rail crash outside of New York City; and the death of actor Paul Walker in a high-speed sports car crash were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.