While industry lords in expensive suits swap radio stations like baseball cards at the opulent Wynn and Encore twin towers, your correspondent is among 103,000 from around the world swarming the sprawling Las Vegas Convention Center. It’s the National Association of Broadcasters’ big show, themed “The M.E.T. Effect,” as in Media, Entertainment, Technology.
Unlike NAB’s smaller September Radio Show, the massive April event isn’t just about radio. Although, as corporate barks for more-more-more digital revenue, stations know darn well that radio isn’t just about transmitters any more. “These once distinct fields of media, entertainment and technology are converging and becoming something far greater than the sum of their parts,” the conference program offers, “redesigning the very nature of how we live, work and play, from content creation to consumption.” So I’m impressed by how many radio people I see here.
There’s a Facebook Video Boot Camp, an Aerial Robotics and Drone Pavilion, and lots about virtual and augmented reality. Radio sessions include strategies for mobile, video, texting, apps, web, and podcasting.
Speakers include executives from Adobe and Amazon and Roku and TMZ. In addition to the inevitable surprise walk-ons, celebs speaking here include Al Roker, actors Hank Azaria and Amanda Peet and America Ferrera, and various TV reality show stars. Larry King and Jane Pauley are among moderators.
At Tuesday’s Radio Luncheon, Ford’s Scott Burnell will discuss radio’s future in the car, Delilah will be inducted into the NAB Broadcasting Hall of Fame, and NAB Crystal Radio Award winners will take a bow for community service.
The Show will broadcast online at nabshow.com and broadcastbeat.com and feature live streaming of select conference sessions as well as interviews with leading industry experts and vendors. And look for my daily updates this week here, and follow my real-time convention Tweets @HollandCooke.
WIBC, Indianapolis’ Greg Garrison to Retire from Daily Talk Show. Indiana talk radio legend Greg Garrison is retiring from his daily, 11:00 am to 1:00 pm talk show on Emmis’ WIBC-FM, Indianapolis, effective June 9. Garrison – who gained international fame for successfully prosecuting boxer Mike Tyson on rape charges – will remain involved at WIBC by writing a weekly column for www.wibc.com, doing regular commentary on air, and by serving as a contributing legal expert for WIBC news and programs. WIBC-FM program director David Wood states, “Greg’s unique style, sharp wit, deep understanding of the law and conservative values have attracted a loyal, devoted audience. He’s their friend, advocate and conscience – and he will be sorely missed.” The station will announce Garrison’s replacement at a later time. Garrison began his program on WIBC in June of 1997. He expanded his reach across Network Indiana in 2000. In addition to numerous media appearances over the years, Garrison served as CBS News’ legal analyst during the O.J. Simpson and Timothy McVeigh trials.
Cumulus Appoints Merenda Topeka Market Manager. Radio sales and management pro Nicola Merenda joins Cumulus Media as vice president and market manager for the Topeka cluster that includes: news/talk KMAJ-AM “The Big Talker,” sports talk KTOP-AM, classic country KTOP-FM “NASH Icon,” classic hits KWIC “99.3 The Eagle,” rock KDW “V100,” and adult contemporary KMAJ-FM “Majic 107.7.” Merenda was most recently with Pandora’s San Antonio offices. Cumulus regional vice president Donna Baker states, “Nic brings a wealth of experience and infectious enthusiasm for our industry. We are excited to welcome him ‘home’ as he joins the Midwest Region to lead our outstanding Topeka team.”
Stephanie Miller’s Sexy Liberal Resistance Tour Visits Madison. The 2017 Sexy Liberal Resistance Tour – featuring talk show host Stephanie Miller and John Fugelsang – kicked off in Madison, Wisconsin over the weekend. Pictured above are (from l-r): Fugelsang, Washington correspondent for The Nation and associate editor for The Capital Times John Nichols, Miller, and U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI).
‘Mike & The Mad Dog’ Reunion a Possibility. According to a report in the New York Daily News, WFAN, New York afternoon host Mike Francesa spoke very positively about considering a reunion with former partner Chris “Mad Dog” Russo at the TriBeCa Film Festival on Friday (4/21). The ESPN 30 for 30 “Mike and the Mad Dog” premiered at the festival and, taking the stage together after the screening, the two chatted with Francesa saying he’d consider working with Russo again, something he previously said wouldn’t happen – mostly due to how much it would cost to pay both of them. Francesa is leaving WFAN when his contract expires at the end of this year. Russo hosts his own show on the SiriusXM Mad Dog Radio channel. Read the Daily News story here.
Dave Ramsey Brings Live Events to Atlanta and San Antonio. In the photo above, nationally syndicated talk radio superstar Dave Ramsey is pictured addressing the packed audience at his Smart Conference at the Cornerstone Church in San Antonio. Last week, Ramsey visited Atlanta as well as San Antonio. He presented his Smart Money event there on Tuesday (4/18) and his Business Boutique 1-Day event on Wednesday (4/19). To promote those events, Ramsey combined forces with iHeartMedia’s Talk Radio 640 WGST. In San Antonio, the Business Boutique 1-Day event happened on Friday (4/21) with the Smart Conference taking place on Saturday (4/22). Alpha Media news/talk KTSA helped promote the San Antonio events. KTSA sales manager Coreena Hazelett says, “Dave has made a tremendous impact on our lives, in our businesses and our families. The Smart Conference was another terrific event filled with world class speakers and life changing information. We couldn’t be more proud to team up with Ramsey Solutions.”
Norman Lear to Host Show on PodcastOne. Legendary television producer, writer, and director Norman Lear launches a weekly podcast on the PodcastOne platform beginning May 1. Lear – known for creating such revered television programs as “All In The Family,” “Good Times,” “One Day at a Time,” “The Jeffersons,” “Maude,” and others – “brings his progressive and boundary-moving voice” to the microphone with an intimate weekly podcast. A press release says that “while topics will cover any and everything you can think of, the show will always feature the unique perspectives of celebrities, politicians and everyday folk. Lear is joined each week by great friend, actor, composer and sidekick, Paul Hipp. Early celebrity guests include Amy Poehler, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Jerrod Carmichael and America Ferrera. PodcastOne CEO Norm Pattiz states, “I have known and admired Norman for a very long time. Having his podcast on our PodcastOne network is gigantic, not to mention totally cool. From one Norman to another, ‘Welcome aboard.’”
TALKERS News Notes. When this weekend’s 2017 NFL Draft begins. FOX Sports Radio will provide multi-platform coverage of the first round, live from the Hard Rock Café in downtown Philadelphia, beginning at 8:00 pm ET on Thursday (4/27). FOX NFL insider Jay Glazer will lead the coverage, joined by Joel Klatt and Chris Spielman. Additionally, WPEN-FM, Philadelphia morning host and FSR weekend personality Anthony Gargano will host a two-hour pre-Draft show live from Philadelphia beginning at 6:00 pm ET…..Envision Networks announces it adds Entercom’s newly acquired stations in Charlotte – news/talk WBT-AM/FM, sports talk WFNZ-AM, and hot AC WLNK-FM – to Focus 360’s “Powered by Jelli networks.” The three Charlotte stations join Entercom’s recently extended agreement for Focus 360 ad sales representation on Jelli’s platform…..KMG Networks is partnering with Fantasy Sports Entertainment Group to make the FNTSY Sports Radio Network available to terrestrial radio station networks and groups. The network’s focus is on fantasy sports, breaking sports and fantasy sports news updates, scheduled sports and fantasy sports news, season-long fantasy strategy and advice, daily fantasy sports advice, general sports talk, call-in segments, celebrity guests, fan trivia, entertainment and pop culture programming…..CBS RADIO’s all-news WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM Newsradio won five awards this past weekend from the Illinois Associated Press Broadcasters Association, including Best Spot News, Best Newscast, and Outstanding News Operation. Individually WBBM’s Lisa Fielding won Best Series “Generation Heroin” and WBBM’s Rick Gregg won for Best Sports Report “The Ballad of James Shields.”
U.S.- North Korea Tensions, Russia Patrols U.S. Coast, French Election, Looming Government Shutdown, American Airlines Incident, Actress Erin Moran Dies, and MLB, NBA, and NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. North Korea’s threats against the U.S. and China’s attempts to diffuse the situation; Russian fighters continue to patrol the U.S. coast; the first round of France’s elections and the results that pit far-right candidate Marine Le Pen against centrist Emmanuel Macron in the May 7 run-off; concerns about the looming U.S. government shutdown; American Airlines in the headlines after a flight attendant scuffles with a mother over her child’s stroller; “Happy Days” actress Erin Moran dies at age 56; and MLB, NBA and NHL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programming pro Jules Riley is named program director for iHeartMedia’s St. Louis country outlet KSD-FM “93.7 The Bull.” She has been programming sister classic hits KLOU and continues in that role. iHeartMedia St. Louis SVP of programming A.J. comments, “Jules has done amazing things with 103.3 KLOU over the past six months. I am very excited to see her utilize her wealth of market knowledge and experience as well as her innovative style in leading ‘93.7 The Bull.’”…..A coup of sorts takes place among the two top syndicated urban radio morning shows as longtime Tom Joyner show cast member J. Anthony Brown joins Premiere Networks’ syndicated “Steve Harvey Morning Show” as a daily contributor. Harvey says, “I’ve known J since my very first comedy gig outside of Cleveland, and it’s my joy to be reunited with the man who taught me real comedy. Get ready folks, we’re ‘bout to turn the funny meter up 10 notches. Having J join Shirley, Nephew Tommy, Carla, Junior and myself is going to create bend over, stop the car, spit on your computer, spray your drink, gut-busting laughter.”
Round Four of March PPMs Released. The fourth and final round of ratings information from Nielsen Audio‘s March 2017 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen Audio’s March 2017 survey period covered March 2 – 29. View all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here. Meanwhile, TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Takeaways” from all 12 of these PPM markets below.
1) Austin – In addition to notching its third consecutive increase for a combined +1.0 (5.4 – 5.5 – 5.7 – 6.4, 6+) iHeartMedia’s KVET-FM “98.1 All Time Country Favorites” logs its highest 6+-share since July 2015 (6.4, as well) and marches from fifth to third. Following February’s +.6, KKMJ “Majic 95.5” erodes in excess of three times as much (7.4 – 8.0, 6.1, -1.9, 6+), tumbling from second to fourth; “Majic 95.5” was down by more than five full-shares in January (12.6 – 7.4, 6+). Over the course of five straight up or flat trends before January’s -5.2, the Entercom adult contemporary facility nearly tripled its 6+-share (4.3 – 5.1 – 5.1 – 5.6 – 6.5 – 12.6, 6+). Furthermore, by posting a 12.6 in “Holiday” 2016, KKMJ outdid its own mark for Austin’s highest-ever 6+ PPM-stat (previously 11.4). On top for the third successive sweep, Emmis adult hits KBPA “Bob” posts a gain of six-tenths (8.5 – 9.1, 6+). “Bob” returned to #1 in January after being ousted in “Holiday” 2016 by KKMJ. With the exception of October (and the “Holiday” 2016 report), KBPA held the lead each month in calendar year 2016. Improving by six-tenths as well is Univision Radio regional Mexican KLQB “Que Buena 104.3,” which bounces back from February’s -.9 (3.9 – 3.0 – 3.6, 6+) and climbs from #13 to #12. In January, “Que Buena 104.3” picked up seven-tenths to halt three straight downward trends that produced a -1.3 (4.5 – 3.7 – 3.4 – 3.2, 6+). Conversely, format rival – Emmis’ KLZT – is experiencing a yoyo effect with a -.5 in January; +1.0 in February; and now a -.5 in March (5.4 – 4.9 – 5.9 – 5.4, 6+), with “107.1 La Z” slipping from fourth to fifth. Its HD2 channel gains one-half share (1.3 – 1.8, 6+) to enter the top twenty at #20. Still in that Emmis cluster, it is a mixed bag for the KLBJ calls as news/talk KLBJ-AM registers a one-half share gain, while KLBJ-FM “93.7 The Rock of Austin” is down by that same margin (to 3.8, 6+) and exits the top ten (#7 to #11). A cumulative +1.4 in three straight increases (3.0 – 3.6 – 3.9 – 4.4, 6+), KLBJ-AM cracks the top ten (#11 to #9). After eight straight sweeps without an increase accounting for a loss of more than two shares (5.7 – 5.7 – 5.5 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.2 – 4.1 – 3.6, 6+), “The Rock of Austin” was +.7 in February.
2) Raleigh – Trending 6.0 – 6.9 – 6.7 (6+) since the “Holiday” 2016 report, Curtis Media Group-owned WQDR “94.7 – Today’s Best Country” explodes with a +1.3 to 8.0 (6+), inching up from a fourth-place tie to third. This is the most potent 6+-share for “Today’s Best Country” since its 8.0 in October 2015. One-half share ahead of WQDR – and locked in a first-place tie – are Capitol Broadcasting adult contemporary WRAL “Mix 101.5” (8.8 – 8.5, -.3, #1 in February) and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s WUNC (flat at 8.5, second to first, 6+). Ousted from #1 in January and moved to the runner-up slot, “Mix” bounced back in February to reclaim the top spot. Its modest March -.3 isn’t exactly typical, considering that WRAL’s recent (6+) fluctuations include +.5 November 2015; +.6 December 2015; +5.7 Holiday 2015; -7.2 January 2016; +.6 February; +.6 March; -.6 April; +.5 May; +.5 July; +.9 September; +1.0 October; -.5 in November 2016; +.9 December; +5.2 “Holiday” 2016; -5.3 January 2017; and +.9 in February. In an October 2015 – December 2016 timeframe, WRAL was in sole possession of first-place eight times and thrice shared top honors. The station “Mix” succeeded at #1 in February – WUNC – logged a massive +1.9 in January to assume the lead 6+). Entering the “Holiday” 2016 sweep, WUNC had notched a 7.7 (6+) in three of the previous four sweeps and was in 7.6 – 7.8 range for six monthlies, before floundering by nine-tenths. Having sandwiched a 3.6 (6+) between a pair of 3.4 shares (6+), Capitol Broadcasting’s WCMC “Sports Radio 99.9 – The Fan” breaks out a +.7 to 4.1, its strongest 6+-showing since a 4.4 last April, but remains at #12. A one-half share gain from February’s 3.7 (6+) enables Curtis Media Group classic hits-oldies WKIX “Kix 102.9 – Carolina’s Greatest Hits” to match October’s 4.2 (6+); “Kix” carries on at #11. The HD2 channel of iHeartMedia’s WDCG drops one-half share (2.5 – 2.0, #16 to #17, 6+).
3) Indianapolis – After dropping one-half share in February, Radio One CHR WNOW “100.9 Radio Now” answers with a gain of six-tenths (4.8 – 5.4, 6+) and remains in eighth-place. In three straight increases immediately prior to February’s -.5, “Now” was a combined +2.3 (3.0 – 3.4 – 5.0 – 5.3, 6+). Climbing from seventh to sixth, iHeartMedia-owned WFBQ “Q-95 Rocks” registers its third successive increase that accounts for a +1.2 (4.6 – 5.3 – 5.6 – 5.8, 6+). Notwithstanding that it is unchanged at #17, sibling WNDE “Indy’s Sports Station” is without a decrease for the seventh consecutive sweep (.9 – 1.0 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.5, 6+). Following three successive sweeps without a loss that accounted for a +.7 (6.4 – 6.8 – 6.8 – 7.1, 6+), Radio One urban AC WTLC-FM “106.7 Indy’s R&B Leader” regressed by nine-tenths in February and slips six-tenths further (6.2 – 5.6, 6+), moving from sixth to seventh. Seven-tenths of a share (6+) is the difference among Indy’s top three March 2017 finishers. Not only does WZPL have its third straight upward move for a combined +1.7 (6.2 – 7.5 – 7.8 – 7.9, 6+), the Entercom CHR makes it three consecutive months at #1. WZPL was -1.1 in “Holiday” 2016 and then +1.3 in January (7.3 – 6.2 – 7.5, 6+). Off by one-half share (7.7 – 7.2, 6+), Cumulus Media‘s WJJK “Classic Hits 104.5” slides from second to third. With a -1.4 in “Holiday” 2016, “Classic Hits 104.5” ended at four its string of consecutive up or flat trend gains that netted a combined +.7 (7.1 – 7.4 – 7.6 – 7.8 – 7.8, 6+). Recording a .7 in each of the last four survey periods, University of Indianapolis-owned WICR (#20 to #21) is down or flat for the seventh straight time (1.0 – .9 – .9 – .9 – .7 – .7 – .7 – .7, 6+). Unlisted for the third successive month is iHeartMedia urban contemporary WZRL “Real 98.3” (1.4, #16, “Holiday” 2016, 6+).
4) Milwaukee – This is the only PPM market to have a station register a February 2017 to March 2017 (6+) gain of at least two full-shares as well as an outlet declining by at least two full-shares (February 2017 – March 2017, 6+). On the positive side, iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WRIT “95.7 Big FM – Milwaukee’s Greatest Hits” is #1 for the 24th consecutive sweep and does so in grand fashion with a +2.5 to 11.2, mirroring its 6+-share in “Holiday” 2016. “Big” month-to-month moves are practically to be expected for WRIT as some of its recent (6+) fluctuations include +1.7 (October 2015); -.7 (November 2015); +5.6 (“Holiday” 2015); -5.7 (January 2016); +1.3 (February); +1.1 (April); -.6 (May); -1.1 (August); -.6 (September) +1.2 (November); -.5 (December); +2.1 (“Holiday” 2016); -2.4 (January 2017); and now +2.5 (March). On the flipside, WJMR “Jammin 98.3 Today’s R&B and Old School” has its string of four successive increases that netted two full-shares since November (4.3 – 4.4 – 4.6 – 4.9 – 6.3, 6+) end rather emphatically with a -2.3 to 4.0 (6+). The Saga Communications urban AC plummets from the top ten (#4 to #12). February’s 6.3 marked the first time in WJMR’s printed PPM-history that it crossed the six-share level (6+). After floundering by -1.4 in February, Scripps Broadcasting news/talk WTMJ recoups just over one-half of that loss (6.4 – 5.0 – 5.8, +.8, 6+), zooming from ninth to fifth. Prior to February, WTMJ had been within 6.0 – 6.9 range (6+) the previous 15 ratings periods. Off a combined four shares since the “Holiday” 2016 report (8.3 – 4.6 – 4.3, 6+), Milwaukee Radio Alliance-owned (AC-to-hot AC-back to adult contemporary) WLDB “B-93.3 – The ‘80s to Today” hangs out a +.7 to 5.0 (6+) and cracks the top ten (#12 to #9). This is the third successive sweep that Entercom hot AC WMYX “99.1 The Mix” (steady at #6) is frozen on 5.7 (6+), while CHR sibling WXSS “Kiss 103.7” (unchanged at #10) records its third consecutive (albeit modest) increase (4.4 – 4.6 – 4.7 – 4.8, 6+). Three consecutive increases by WUWM produced a +.9 (2.5 – 2.6 – 3.3 – 3.4), but the string ends as the University of Wisconsin news/talk outlet stumbles by one-tenth to 3.3 (flat at #14, 6+). Talk about consistency: The line for public triple A WYMS (#17 to #18) between March 2016 and March 2017 (14 total sweeps) is confined to a high of 1.5 and a low of 1.2 (1.2 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.2, 6+).
5) Nashville –The market’s (6+) CHR share balloons by +1.3, with iHeartMedia’s WRVW “107.5 The River” rebounding from February’s -.6 with a +.7 (6.5 – 5.9 – 6.6, sixth to fourth, 6+) and Midwest Communications’ WNFN “Nashville’s New Hit Music” picking up six-tenths (2.8 – 3.4, steady at #15, 6+). The 5.9 that “The River” registered in February was the first time it had been below a six-share (6+) since June 2011 (5.9, as well). Prior to gaining one-tenth in February, “Nashville’s New Hit Music” was down the previous three sweeps for a cumulative -1.0 (3.7 – 3.2 – 3.1 – 2.7, 6+). In the country tussle, Cumulus Media’s WKDF “Nash FM 103.3” enjoys a gain of six-tenths (3.3 – 3.9, #13 to #11, 6+), but co-owned WSM-FM “95.5 Nash Icon” sputters by one-half share (5.5 – 4.8, seventh to tenth, 6+); meanwhile, iHeartMedia’s WSIX “The Big 98” is steady at #7 (5.5 – 5.4, -.1, 6+). This is the 11th successive sweep that “Nash FM” has been within 3.3 – 3.9 (6+). “The Big 98” returned half of January’s full-share gain in February, halting at four its consecutive string of up or flat trends that netted a +1.6 (4.4 – 4.7 – 5.0 – 5.0 – 6.0, 6+). One share separates March 2017’s top five. Steady at 7.4 (6+) – after a combined December- “Holiday” 2016 – January – February +1.8 (6+), iHeartMedia urban contemporary WUBT “101.1 The Beat” repeats at #1. By losing one-share to 4.9 (6+) in December, “The Beat” halted an August to November pattern of 6.1 – 5.9 – 6.2 – 5.9 (6+) and sent WUBT below a five-share (6+) for the first time since July 2013 (4.8). Off in three straight previous ratings periods for a combined -.5 (2.2 – 2.1 – 2.0 – 1.7, 6+), Ryman Hospitality Properties’ classic country WSM-AM posted a +.6 in February, but “The Most Famed Country Music Station in the World” forfeits one-half share in March (2.3 – 1.8, #16 to #17, 6+). Locked on 1.6 (6+) in January and February, WAY Media contemporary Christian WAYM “Uplifting-Upbeat-Real” drops one-half share to 1.1 (#19 to #21, 6+). As the result of five straight decreases, Cumulus Media’s WGFX “104.5 The Zone” (#11 to #12) is a combined -3.8 (7.6 – 6.8 – 5.9 – 5.3 – 3.9 – 3.8, 6+). When WGFX lost two-tenths in November, it ended a string of three consecutive improvements which resulted in a +4.1 since July (3.7 – 4.0 – 5.4 – 7.8, 6+). Although flat at #18, Cromwell Group’s WQZQ “Classic Hits 93.3” drops by one-tenth to 1.6 (6+), thus drawing to a close at seven its string of up or flat trends that more than tripled its 6+-share since September (.5 – .6 – .6 – .6 – .6 – .9 – 1.6 – 1.7, 6+).
6) Providence – A genuine statistical oddity occurs here: With the exception of an eighth-place tie, the March 2017 rankers are a carbon copy of February 2017 and no Providence outlet in March 2017 is up or down by more than four-tenths. Boasting the best month-to-month gain (+.4, #11) is The Wheeler School’s news/talk WELH, which is without a decrease for the third straight time for a collective +1.0 (.5 – .5 – 1.1 – 1.5, 6+). Albeit the net loss was just three-tenths, WELH had nevertheless been without an increase between August and the “Holiday” 2016 report (.8 – .8 – .8 – .7 – .7 – .5 – .5, 6+). Gaining three-tenths and up or flat for the third straight time is Cumulus Media’s news/talk WPRO-AM (3.4 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 4.0, #7, 6+). Public news/talk WGBH-FM is also +.3 (1.6 – 1.9, #10, 6+). Trending 6.2 – 6.0 – 6.2 (+.2, 6+) and finishing fifth is iHeartMedia hot AC WSNE “Coast 93.3.” Up by one-tenth each are Cumulus Media CHR WPRO “Today’s Hit Music” (8.6, #2, 6+) and Bryant University classical WJMF (.5, #13, 6+). Having eroded by -7.3 in January to 10.7 (6+), Cumulus Media adult contemporary WWLI “Lite Rock 105” is a combined -.4 in February and March (10.7 – 10.6 – 10.3, 6+) but is #1 for the 18th successive ratings period. “Lite Rock” was a collective +8.5 in December and “Holiday” 2016 (9.5 – 10.6 – 18.0, 6+), following a cumulative -.4 in October and November (9.9 – 9.8 – 9.5, 6+). Flat from February are iHeartMedia-owned WHJY “Providence’s Home of Rock and Roll” (8.2, #3, 6+); Hall Communications’ WCTK “Cat Country 98.1” (7.8, #4, 6+); and Cumulus Media rhythmic CHR and news/talk siblings WWKX “Hot 106” (2.7, #8, 6+) and WPRV (.4, #14, 6+).
7) Norfolk – In the span of just two sweeps (January and February), WWDE “101.3 2WD” lost more than 60% of its “Holiday” 2016 share (13.4 – 7.0 – 5.2, -8.2, 6+), but the Entercom adult contemporary regains eight-tenths to 5.8, moving from fifth to fourth. WWDE gained a collective one-half share in back-to-back sweeps (4.8 – 5.2 – 5.3, August – September – October, 6+) before dropping eight-tenths in November to 4.5, its lowest 6+-stat since June 2015’s 4.4. Following a massive +1.2 in February, iHeartMedia urban contemporary WOWI tacks on another half-share (7.6 – 8.1, 6+) and repeats in the runner-up slot. Prior to finishing fourth in January and “Holiday” 2016, “Jamz 103” was at #2 for 12 straight sweeps. Rebounding from February’s -.5 with a gain of four-tenths to 11.6 (6+), Entercom urban AC WVKL “Smooth R&B From Yesterday & Today” is at #1 for the third straight time. In “Holiday” 2016, adult contemporary sibling “2WD” bumped WVKL to second after “Smooth R&B From Yesterday & Today” had been on top the previous 55 ratings periods. The two swapped places in January 2017 as WVKL registered a +.7. This is the 11th time in the last 12 sweeps that “Smooth R&B From Yesterday & Today” is in 11.0 – 12.7-share range – it has been in double-digits (6+) in each survey since notching a 9.8 in January 2014. Owing to a -.7 to 5.5 (6+), Saga Communications classic rock WAFX “106.9 The Fox” (fourth to fifth) ends at three its consecutive string of uptrends that produced a +2.1(4.1 – 4.3 – 5.5 – 6.2, 6+). The 6.2 it notched in February was its best 6+-share (in print) since a 6.6 in July 2010. Cluster-mate WNOR “99 Rocks” is in a similar situation, given that a -.6 to 6.7 (6+) stymies four straight positive sweeps that yielded two full-shares (5.3 – 5.8 – 6.0 – 7.0 – 7.3, 6+), but “99 Rocks” continues in third-place.
8) Greensboro – Via three straight gains (3.0 – 3.1 – 3.2 – 3.7, 6+), iHeartMedia rocker WVBZ “105.7 – Man Up!” (unchanged at #10) is a combined +.7. After being up or flat the last four ratings periods netting a +1.2 (9.7 – 9.7 – 10.1 – 10.5 – 10.9, 6+), Entercom urban AC WQMG surrenders half that gain (10.3, -.6, 6+). On the plus side though, “97.1 QMG The Best R&B and Old School” achieves double-digits (6+) for the fourth straight sweep and has been #1 since January. Country-formatted sibling WPAW “93.1 The Wolf,” a cumulative +1.5 in January and February (4.8 – 5.6 – 6.3, 6+), erodes by seven-tenths in March to 5.6, sliding from fifth to sixth. In February, it reached the six-share level (6+) for the first time since November 2015’s 6.0. Leapfrogging “The Wolf” is its rival, iHeartMedia’s WTQR “New Country Q-104.1” (sixth to fifth, 6+), which is up or flat for the third straight time (4.7 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 5.9, 6+). In “Holiday” 2016, “Q-104.1” and “The Wolf” were each down by four-tenths. November’s +.3 by “Q-104.1” ended three successive down-trending monthlies that produced a collective loss of more than two shares (7.2 – 7.0 – 6.5 – 5.1, 6+). Prior to reaching 5.0 in October, “The Wolf” had been in 4.2 – 4.8 range (6+) the previous eight sweeps. Back in September, “Q-104.1” held a 1.9-share lead over “The Wolf.” The rollercoaster ride continues for Entercom adult hits WSMW “Simon,” whose last four moves have been by -1.1 (“Holiday” 2016); +2.0 (January); -.6 in February; and another -.6 in March (9.4 – 8.3 – 10.3 – 9.7 – 9.1, 6+) with “Simon” flat at #3. January’s 10.3 was its strongest 6+-performance since August 2016’s 10.5. Although steady at #9, Curtis Media Group regional Mexican WYMY “La Ley 101.1” posts its fourth straight gain (2.2 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 3.5 – 3.9, 6+); “La Ley 101.1” is +1.7 since November. After five successive times of logging a .4 (6+), co-owned news/talk WSJS drops to .3 but stays at #13.
9) West Palm Beach – The top four finishers are Alpha Media properties, followed by three in a row owned by iHeartMedia. By registering a +.7 (to 1.3, 6+), the drought is finally over for WRLX “Mia 92.1,” which hadn’t had an increase since last May. In that stretch of ten down or flat reports, the iHeartMedia Spanish contemporary outlet was a combined -1.5 (2.5 – 2.1 – 2.0 – 1.9 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.0 – 0.6, 6+); “Mia 92.1” moves from #16 to #14. In only two back-to-back declines, Alpha Media adult contemporary WEAT “Sunny 107.9” (9.1 – 6.2 – 6.1, -1.5, 6+) lost half as much as “Mia” did in the aforementioned dry spell, but “Sunny” bounces back with a one-half share increase (6.6, 6+) to advance from third to second. Roughly three shares (6+) ahead of “Sunny” is co-owned hot AC WRMF, which despite a loss of seven-tenths (to 9.5, 6+), is #1 for the third consecutive month. After improving by six-tenths in January, WRMF more than tripled that gain in February with a +1.9 to 10.2, its best 6+-performance since December 2015 (10.2 as well). Prior to “Holiday” 2016, WRMF was #1 the previous five ratings periods. With a collective +1.9 in August and September, WRMF followed October’s -.8 with a November loss of six-tenths. It fell to second in July, after 23 successive sweeps at #1. Off by seven-tenths as well is WAY Media contemporary Christian WAYF “Uplifting-Upbeat-Real” (unchanged at #8), which in the last four survey periods, is +.5 (“Holiday” 2016); -1.1 (January); +.5 in February; and now in March -.7 (4.3 – 4.8 – 3.7 – 4.2 – 3.5, 6+). Without a decrease for the seventh straight time for a combined +1.9 (4.4 – 4.4 – 4.6 – 4.7 – 5.1 – 5.7 – 6.3 – 6.3, 6+), Alpha Media-owned WIRK “103.1 South Florida’s Country Music” has its highest 6+-share since last May’s 6.6, but backslides from second to third. Steady at #6, iHeartMedia-owned adult contemporary WOLL “Today’s Kool 105.5” is down or flat for the third straight time for a cumulative -2.1 (6.6 – 5.9 – 4.5 – 4.5, 6+). Prior to January, “Kool” had been up the previous three sweeps for a +1.8 (4.8 – 5.7 – 6.5 – 6.6, 6+).
10) Jacksonville – Powered by an impressive +1.7, Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies WJGL “96.9 The Eagle” posts an 8.7, its strongest 6+-showing since last September’s 9.3 and cruises from fourth to second. A combined +1.1 in three straight sweeps (2.8 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 3.9, 6+), iHeartMedia adult hits WWJK “107.3 Jacksonville – We Play Anything” cracks the top ten (#11 to #10). Co-owned WQIK “99.1 – Jacksonville’s Country” regains one-tenth of the one-half share it lost in February (12.8 – 12.3 – 12.4, 6+) and is #1 for the third time in a row. WQIK was +2.1 in January to 12.8, the best-ever 6+-performance in its PPM-history. Owing to December’s +4.5 (6.8 – 11.3, 6+), “Jacksonville’s Country” jumped from fifth to first, but with a -.6 in “Holiday” 2016, it fell to second. Prior to a modest one-tenth gain in November, WQIK was down two full-shares as a result of being without an increase since February 2016 (8.7 – 8.7 – 8.4 – 8.2 – 8.1 – 7.7 – 7.7 – 7.3 – 6.7, 6+). Wild ups and downs continue for Renda Broadcasting adult contemporary WEJZ “Lite 96.1 – Today’s Variety,” whose last four (6+) moves are +5.8 (“Holiday” 2016); -6.6 (January); +.7 (February); and now -1.2 in March (8.9 – 14.7 – 8.1 – 8.8 – 7.6, 6+) for a net loss of -1.3. With a 14.7 in “Holiday” 2016, “Lite” returned to double-digits (6+) for the first time since last July’s 10.2. Even though Cox Media Group’s similarly-formatted WEZI “Easy 106.5,” is without a decrease for the third straight time (2.1 – 2.5 – 2.8 – 2.8, 6+) and segues from #14 to #13, it does not appear to be a benefactor of WEJZ’s -1.2. Unchanged at #6, WEZI’s CHR sibling WAPE “95.1 Jacksonville’s #1 Hit Music Station” registers its sixth successive decline (9.1 – 7.9 – 7.8 – 7.4 – 5.9 – 5.8 – 5.3, 6+) that has resulted in a collective loss of nearly four full-shares. Frozen on .6 (6+) in November and December, iHeartMedia’s WFXJ “Sports Radio 930” (flat at #17) has followed with a 6+-line of .3 – .4 – .3 – .4. For the third consecutive month, contemporary Christian WMUV “100.7 The Promise” (.7 in “Holiday” 2016, 6+) is unlisted.
11) Memphis – Within 2.2 – 2.8 range (6+) the past 13 ratings periods, Cumulus Media’s WKIM “98.9 The Vibe – Classic Hip-Hop” gains one-half share to 3.3 (6+), inching up from #12 to #11. In its third straight up or flat sweep producing a collective +.9 (6.0 – 6.3 – 6.6 – 6.9, 6+), Entercom hot AC WMC-FM elevates from fifth to fourth. Adding three-tenths (9.0 – 9.3, 6+), iHeartMedia urban AC KJMS “V-101” repeats at #1. On top for ten consecutive monthlies before sliding to #2 in “Holiday” 2016, “V-101” was +.2 in February to halt nine consecutive down or flat trends that yielded a -3.7 since last May (12.5 – 11.6 – 10.7 – 10.5 – 10.2 – 9.9 – 9.9 – 9.3 – 9.3 – 8.8, 6+). The rollercoaster ride continues for Cumulus Media’s WGKX “Kix 106 Today’s Best Country,” which was +.8 in November; -.7 in December; -.5 in “Holiday” 2016; a monstrous +1.9 in January; +.8 in February, and now -1.0 in March (4.3 – 5.1 – 4.4 – 3.9 – 5.8 – 6.6 – 5.6, 6+). A net +1.3 in that timeframe, “Kix 106 Today’s Best Country” slides from fifth to sixth. October’s +.3 curtailed three successive negative trends that produced a -.7 (4.7 – 4.6 – 4.4 – 4.0, 6+). As a result of dropping nine-tenths (3.6 – 2.7, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WREC has its softest 6+-share since last June (2.7, as well) and departs the top ten (#10 to #12). Dating back to December, the 6+-trends for Mid-South Public Communications’ WKNO “NPR For the Mid-South” are 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.3 (steady at #15, 6+). Right behind it and unchanged at #16 is iHeartMedia CHR KWNW “101.9 Kiss FM – All the Hits,” down for the fourth straight time (1.9 – 1.8 – 1.4 – 1.2 – 1.1, 6+) for a -.8.
12) Hartford – Although unchanged in the runner-up slot, CBS Radio hot AC WTIC-FM “Hartford’s Best Variety” lengthens its consecutive string of positive or flat trends to six for a cumulative +1.7 (6.9 – 7.2 – 7.2 – 7.2 – 7.6 – 8.3 – 8.6, 6+), with its best 6+-performance since October 2014’s 8.9. Not only does adult contemporary cluster-mate WRCH “Lite 100.5” add six-tenths to February’s +.3 (10.2 – 10.5 – 11.1, +.3, 6+), “Lite” is #1 for the seventh consecutive ratings period. Up between September and “Holiday” 2016 (9.3 – 9.6 – 10.1 – 10.8 – 18.4, 6+), producing a cumulative +9.1 (nearly doubling September’s 9.3), “Lite” forfeited 8.2 shares in January. Entering the September sweep, WRCH was on top for 15 straight ratings periods and 23 of the previous 24; however, it decreased by -1.1 and dropped to second-place. Gaining six-tenths as well (4.9 – 5.5, 6+) is Connoisseur Media’s WDRC-FM “102.9 The Whale – Hartford’s Classic Rock,” which was without an increase the past seven sweeps accounting for a -2.6 (6.0 – 5.9 – 5.6 – 5.2 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 3.9 – 3.4, 6+). The improvement of six-tenths pushes “The Whale” from ninth to eighth. Co-owned news/talk WDRC-AM though (unchanged at #13) is down or flat for the fourth straight time (1.3 – .7 – .7 – .7 – .6, 6+). Ever since October, it has been an up/down pattern for iHeartMedia’s WWYZ “Country 92.5,” including a +.5 in March. Overall in that period though, “Country 92.5” is -2.1 (9.2 – 7.8 – 8.2 – 6.8 – 7.5 – 7.1 – 7.6, 6+). While it remains at #12, University of Massachusetts-owned WFCR “New England Public Radio” drops two-tenths to 1.3 (6+), thus stymying at three its string of progressive trends that netted at +.4 (1.1 – 1.2 – 1.4 – 1.5, 6+).
Katz: Study Says Radio Reaches Independents In Battleground States Better. The study was done by Nielsen and commissioned by Katz Media Group and Katz says it concludes that “customizing radio messages to local markets in key battleground states is the most impactful way to swing young Independent voters in the upcoming presidential election and in critical down ballot races.” This is the fifth wave of “The Local Vote 2016” that analyzed custom data from Independent voters across seven states (Ohio, Florida, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Virginia, Wisconsin and Colorado.) Some of the key findings include: One in three battleground Independents spend more time listening to radio than watching television. On average, these voters listen to over 2 hours of radio daily, while watching less than 1 hour of TV; and radio – across a diverse range of formats – outstrips cable news. On a weekly basis, more Independents will listen to news/talk/sports radio stations (33%) and music formats such as adult contemporary (43%), rock (40%) and country (35%) than watch cable news channels CNN (23%), Fox News (15%) or MSNBC (10%). As far as key local radio findings are concerned, the study indicates geographical differences. For example, in Ohio, Independents gravitate towards different formats depending on the Ohio market they live in. Adult/classic hits has the highest share of listening with Cleveland Independents; adult contemporary garners the highest share in Columbus; and news/talk/sports and country are the strongest formats in Cincinnati. Katz Media Group’s Stacey Lynn Schulman, EVP of strategy, analytics and research, says, “‘The Local Vote 2016’ continues to unearth important insights to help candidates and political strategists effectively use media to engage the local electorates. Everyone is voting in the same election, but you need to speak to people where they live. It’s a national election won by reaching local voters. And, what we have consistently found is radio delivers better national reach with the ability to connect on a local level than any other medium.”
Trey Ware to Host Special Race Relations Show on KTSA. The program will air tomorrow (8/19) on Alpha Media’s KTSA, San Antonio at 7:00 pm. It’s titled “Race Relations in San Antonio and Beyond,” hosted by morning drive personality Trey Ware. The station says, “This is a topic that has dominated local and national news many times in the past with the police officer shootings in Dallas and the Black Lives Matter movement. The discussion panel consists of well-known religious, law enforcement, and community leaders. Ware comments, “Everyone has something valuable to contribute. That is why this event is so important. People who are different from us have so much to offer, and together we make each other better.”
CBS Philly Inks New Deal with Ray Didinger. Philly sports media legend Ray Didinger signs a new, multi-year contract with CBS RADIO to continue his weekend program on sports talk WIP (co-hosted with Glen Macnow) and take on new duties with the cluster. The Pro Football Hall of Fame writer’s show will be heard on Saturdays and Sundays from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm. He’ll continue to make frequent appearances on WIP throughout the year, especially during football season. Additionally, he will also be heard on news/talk WPHT with morning host Chris Stigall on Fridays during the football season, and he’ll do commentary on all-news KYW. Didinger says, “I’m delighted to continue my relationship with WIP. I’ve had a great time working with so many good friends, in particular Glen Macnow, my weekend partner for many years. I enjoy talking sports with the Philadelphia fans and I’m grateful to CBS RADIO Philadelphia for giving me that opportunity.”
iHeartMedia Realigns Northeast Division; Promotes Preacher and Carwile. This realignment within iHeartMedia’s Northeast division is part of a dismantling of its former Mid-Atlantic region. The Washington, DC and Baltimore markets will now form the new Washington, DC Region and the Virginia markets will join the existing Carolina region to form the new Virginia-Carolina region. To lead these new regions, the company has promoted Michael Preacher – formerly the SVP of Strategic Partnerships to president of the Washington, DC region and government initiatives. Region president Dave Carwile is now president of the Virginia-Carolina region. That region consists of the following markets: Richmond, VA; Harrisonburg, VA; Norfolk, VA; Roanoke and Lynchburg, VA; Winchester, VA; Charlotte, NC; Raleigh, NC; Asheville, NC; Greenville, SC; and Greensboro, NC. Both Preacher and Carwile report to Northeast division president Hartley Adkins.
Bill Kelly ‘Unretires’ with Cumulus Youngstown. Radio management pro Bill Kelly retired from iHeartMedia in February, ending his career with the company as regional president. But on October 3 he’ll leave the ranks of the retired and join Cumulus Media as vice president and market manager for the Youngstown market. Kelly worked in the Youngstown market for 35 years, beginning with the original owners of heritage AM signal WKBN. He helped build the six-station iHeartMedia cluster when it was first acquired by Jacor in 1997. Kelly comments, “After meeting with CEO Mary Berner and other senior leaders at Cumulus, I knew I had to take advantage of this opportunity. I can’t thank them enough. The Cumulus brands as well as the staff are well positioned. I look forward to helping them get to the next level.” Cumulus owns eight stations in the Youngstown market.
NYMRAD Releases Q2 2016 Report. The New York Market Radio Association releases its second quarter 2016 State of the New York Market Report. The organization calls it’s a “comprehensive analysis of the NY marketplace…[that] assesses the New York area economy, including business drivers and provides up-to-date consumer research on music consumption, radio usage, and more.” The report states that “New York Radio revenue showed some positive growth in the first half of 2016. Four hundred and fifty advertisers increased their spending by double-digit percentages. Fourteen percent of these advertisers more than doubled their radio ad spend, each paying more than $100K for airwaves. Of these larger spenders, six were in the automotive space and nine were part of the food and beverage sector. In the entertainment category, advertisers for concerts, theatre, and movies had a 22% increase over the last six months. Communications/Cellular spending has increased by 7%.” Read the entire report here.
Odds & Sods. At the Salem Media Group Denver operations, Scott Curtis is the new afternoon drive news anchor on the Steve Kelley and Krista Kafer program. Curtis says, “I am excited to finally be working at a great team at Salem Media. For a radio guy, this is a dream job!”…..NBC Sports Radio is adding Emmy Award-winning Sunday Night Football sideline reporter Michele Tafoya as a featured contributor across NBC Sports Radio programming in which she’ll also do interviews with affiliated stations. She says, “I began my broadcasting career in radio and I absolutely love the medium. Sports talk radio offers a certain freedom to talk more conversationally than most formats. NBC Sports Radio has been a fun platform for me over the past couple of seasons, so I’m looking forward to this extended role.”…..CBS Sports Radio unveils its football-intensive weekend programming that begins Saturday (8/20) with the “Eye on Fantasy Football” show. Other shows this fall will include “Eye on College Football,” “Sunday Morning Football,” “Fantasy Football Today,” and “Eye on Football.”…..Entercom’s news/talk KNSS, Wichita takes the top prize from the Kansas Association of Broadcasters in the Best Complete Newscast category for Large Market Radio in the organization’s 2016 awards. The station’s Steve McIntosh, Ted Woodward and Jad Chambers, earned honor for their work on the “Day After Hesston, KS Mass Shooting.”
The Presidential Race, Milwaukee Shooting Case, Rio Olympics-U.S. Swimmers Detained, Louisiana Floods/SoCal Wildfires, Battle for Aleppo, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/17). The activities of presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton; the aftermath of the shooting death of an armed black man by police in Milwaukee; the Olympic games in Rio de Janeiro and the controversy over U.S. swimmers’ allegations they were robbed at gunpoint; the devastating floods in Louisiana and the Southern California wildfires; the battle to retake Aleppo from Islamic State forces and Russia’s involvement in the Syrian conflict; 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.
The Conclave Names New Board Members. Three broadcast executives join the board of directors for The Conclave. The new members are: Peter Bowen, vice president/market manager, Cumulus Media Chicago; Tony Coles, EVP, programming, iHeartMedia; and Melek Demir, director of radio, National Association of Broadcasters. Cumulus Media VP, social Lori Lewis says, “As volunteers, it’s not always easy to find time to give back. We are all busier than ever. And because of that, I’m grateful for Peter, Tony and Melek for giving their time to Conclave. I am also grateful for the current board members that work tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure Conclave serves our industry. We are working on dates for Conclave 42 in 2017 and will have an announcement soon!”
What’s Cupping? WHMP, Northampton, Massachusetts morning personality Bob Flaherty – like many watching the Rio Olympics and noticing the dark spots on U.S. swimmer Michael Phelps – was intrigued by the ancient healing practice known as cupping. But instead of just asking an expert about it, Flaherty decided to get “cupped” live on the air and stream it live on Facebook as well. Flaherty is pictured here with the small glass globes still on his back while doing his program.
John Cravens Exits ESPN’s WMVP, Chicago. He’d been in management at ESPN sports talk O&O WMVP for the past 10 years but now John Cravens is out as vice president and general manager of the property. Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports Cravens’ history with the station: general sales manager for four years until being boosted to VP/GM in 2009. Feder also writes that, although sources have confirmed his ouster, neither side is commenting and it’s uncertain whether his position will be filled or whether his duties will be picked up by others in the organization. According to figures from Miller, Kaplan, Arase, WMVP’s revenue dipped more than 11% from 2013 to 2014. Read Feder’s story here.
Steve Deace Show to Be Syndicated by Salem Radio Network. Iowa-based conservative talk show host Steve Deace’s nationally syndicated program will be distributed by Salem Radio Network beginning November 2, feeding live from 9:00 pm to 12:00 midnight ET. SRN says the Steve Deace show will air on many of its news/talk-formatted stations across the country and will be available to stations in other markets. On his new arrangement, Deace comments, “We couldn’t be more excited to be partnering with Salem, which is a leader in conservative multi-media. It’s the perfect fit for our message, which unashamedly proclaims the pillars of American exceptionalism — faith, family, and freedom. We are finally getting our shot at the ‘big leagues’ and look forward to reaching a new and bigger audience.” Deace is a columnist for Salem-owned Townhall.com and recently released the book, Rules for Patriots: How Conservatives can Win Again (2014 Post Hill Press). SRN SVP Phil Boyce states, “I have been following Steve’s radio career for several years now and felt he would be the perfect addition to the Salem lineup at 9:00 pm ET, following Hugh Hewitt. I can’t think of a better time to do this, just as we are one year away from one of the biggest political elections in our country’s history, and Steve is all over this.”
Glenn Beck to Air in NYC Market on WVNJ in New Jersey. Nationally syndicated talk star Glenn Beck is being heard in the New York market again as Universal Broadcasting’s WVNJ, Oakland, New Jersey adds his show for the 11:00 am to 1:00 pm time slot. The addition of the Premiere Networks program comes just weeks after WVNJ brought New York-based GCN-syndicated talk star Dr. Joy Browne to its roster for live clearance immediately following Beck’s show (1:00 pm to 3:00 pm). WVNJ director of operations Luis Felix states, “WVNJ is excited to welcome Glenn Beck to the airwaves in New York. The Glenn Beck program is a perfect fit for our listeners and makes a great addition to our programming lineup.”
Round One of October PPM Ratings Released. The first of four rounds of October 2015 PPM data from Nielsen Audio is released for 12 markets including: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey). You can find all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here. Additionally, TALKERS and RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his Twelve Takeaways from this round of data at our sister publication’s site here. The October 2015 PPM survey covered September 10 through October 7.
San Antonio Radio Pro Johnny Shannon Dead at 70. After a 50-year career in radio, Johnny Shannon died on Monday after a battle with liver cancer. Shannon had been working for the last 10 years of his career as a reporter for Alpha Media’s news/talk KTSA, San Antonio. The earlier part of his career was spent working in music formats. In the San Antonio market, he’d worked at such outlets as KONO and KSMG. Earlier this year Shannon was inducted into the San Antonio Radio Hall of Fame and five years prior, he was honored as a member of the Texas Radio Hall of Fame.
Odds & Sods. The tragic case of the death of a New Mexico four-year-old after a road rage incident was the focal point of recent broadcasts on Cumulus Media’s KKOB-AM, Albuquerque. While the search was still on for the killer of Lilly Garcia, Albuquerque Police Chief Gordon Eden called in to KKOB-AM when morning show host Bob Clark was talking about the story with listeners. Eden said, “We know that 770 is heard around the Southwest and we need your help in tracking down truckers who may have witnessed the road rage shooting.” KKOB-AM program director Pat Frisch says, “770 KKOB is a vital part of New Mexico and that could not have been more evident when Chief Eden called in.”…..The national radio broadcast of the 111th Major League Baseball World Series is being carried by ESPN Radio for the 18th consecutive season. Talent for this year’s broadcast are: “Sunday Night Baseball” play-by-play voice Dan Shulman with analyst Aaron Boone, reporter Chris Singleton, ESPN Radio studio host Marc Kestecher, and ESPN MLB Insider Peter Pascarelli…..ABC Radio announces the availability of three special shows for the Thanksgiving weekend: “Shopping for Kids” with Alex Stone, “Holiday Gift Guide” with host Scott Goldberg, and “Holiday Movie Guide” with ABC Radio entertainment correspondent and movie critic David Blaustein…..AdLarge Media adds two more shows to its roster of podcasts for which it serves as exclusive ad sales rep. “Women Worldwide” reaches women who benefit from the shared experiences of the show’s notable guests and “The #Hashtag Show” from The Social Network Station draws listeners who want to implement best practices for using hashtags as an effective marketing or social networking tool.
DC Radio Legend Ed Walker Passes. Just hours after listening to his final “Big Broadcast” program air on WAMU-FM, Washington, market legend Ed Walker died at age 83 after battle with cancer. Walker holds a memorable place in Washington, DC radio history as (future renowned TV weatherman) Willard Scott’s partner on the WRC, Washington show “The Joy Boys.” That show ran from the mid-1950s through 1972. After that show ended, Walker worked at numerous stations in the market until taking over the weekly “Big Broadcast” show on WAMU-FM in 1990. Even after being diagnosed with cancer, Walker recorded the program for broadcast on Sunday evenings. See the Washington Post’s obit by Paul Farhi here.
2016 Presidential Race, European Migrant Crisis/U.S. Immigration Policy, U.S. Patrols South China Sea, Congressional Budget Deal, Russia’s Syria Campaign/U.S. Syria-ISIS Policy, OSU Homecoming Parade Tragedy, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/26). The activities of the candidates for president in 2016; the ongoing migrant crisis in Eastern Europe and the United States’ policy on immigration; China’s warning to the U.S. about its patrol near disputed islands in the South China Sea; the tentative two-year budget deal agreed to by Republicans and Democrats in Congress; the Russian military campaign in Syria and the U.S.’s military policy in the region; the deadly accident that took the lives of four and injured dozens at the Oklahoma State University homecoming parade on Saturday; and the weekend’s NFL games were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.
Talkers New York 2015 ‘Navigating a Talk Show Hosting Career’ Panel Video Posted Today. One of the most interesting panel discussions of the Talkers New York 2015 mega-conference (held on June 12) is posted today on Talkers TV. Moderated by WMAL, Washington, DC PD and recently-appointed Cumulus Media corporate PD/talk Bill Hess and introduced by WBAL, Baltimore host Jimmy Mathis — the informative session includes (in alphabetical order): Mandy Connell, host, KHOW, Denver/WHAS, Louisville; McGraw Milhaven, host, KTRS, St. Louis; Larry O’Conner, host WMAL, Washington, DC; Todd Schnitt, WOR, New York/Compass Media Networks; David Webb, host, SiriusXM Satellite Radio; and Dan Yorke, host WPRO, Providence. The panel covers a wide variety of issues pertaining to being a professional talk radio host – drawing upon the speakers’ personal experiences — including breaking into the business (each tells his/her own story); working at multiple stations doing separate shows; doing separate local and national shows; performing on both radio and television; simulcasting on multi-media platforms; using social and digital media for brand extension; creating digital-specific content; working productively with sales; dealing with ongoing corporate changes; being entrepreneurial to protect your career and financial options; overcoming challenges faced by women in the business; breaking through listener confusion in a noisy world; keeping it fresh and preventing topic burnout; making due with diminishing support personnel; and negotiating conflicts with management, plus more. To view the video in its entirety, please click here.
Profile: Bold Gold Media Group CEO Vince Benedetto. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a profile of Vince Benedetto, chief executive officer of the 10-year-old radio company Bold Gold Media Group. To say Benedetto is bullish on radio is an understatement. The former U.S. Air Force captain tells Kinosian he can’t believe so many people in the industry are such naysayers about its future. “There is an explosion of audio consumption because it is even easier to consume. It is so strangely un-entrepreneurial to live in a world where audio demand and consumption is exploding, yet so many in our industry act as if it is the end of the world.” Benedetto began building his radio portfolio with the acquisition of four signals in the Catskill Mountains and Pocono Lake Region and grew into the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre market from there. He says, “There are things about radio that other businesses do not have as strengths. One is that you are not warehousing things, so you get to refresh your inventory every day. Radio’s margins are very good and you can get involved in many businesses all at once. If you do it correctly, you learn about many different kinds of businesses. It was exciting to me that I knew radio was about to go through many changes.” Read the entire piece here.
Cumulus Media and Audioboom Announce Partnership. This deal will allow Cumulus to use Audioboom’s SaaS platform for its content across station websites and mobile apps. Cumulus CEO Lew Dickey says, “This exciting new partnership marries Cumulus’ and Westwood One’s best-in-class local and national content with Audioboom’s industry-leading technology and distribution capabilities. Radio is America’s number-one reach medium, and as listeners continue to increase their consumption of audio, this partnership allows for new ways for consumers to explore and engage with the radio stations and on-air talent they know and love today. Additionally, from an advertising perspective, the short-form and on-demand digital medium provides a unique and effective way for brands to activate consumers.” As part of the deal, Westwood One will sell the advertising within the digital platform and Audioboom will get a share of the revenue. Audioboom CEO Rob Proctor comments, “This partnership represents a major step-change in our plans for monetization, and as we see the full rollout of our platform across the entire USA, we expect to benefit from a considerable increase in monthly listens and registered users, but also a steady flow of advertising revenues.” The two companies are also expected to collaborate on original audio content to be distributed online.
CBS Launches ‘Small Business Pulse’ Platform. The new digital destination is an aggregation of CBS content that’s designed to target small business owners. Dubbed “CBS Small Business Pulse,” the site is a creation of the CBS Local Digital Media division. President Ezra Kucharz says, “CBS Small Business Pulse brings together the best content from across many CBS divisions plus new, original editorial on the topics that matter most to small business owners. CBS Small Business Pulse will provide the insights and knowledge small business owners need to immediately solve the challenges they face by delivering daily, easily digestible information across myriad topics that can easily be put into action.”
WCMC, Raleigh Conducts Third ‘Fan Town Hall’ with Duke’s Coach K. The event takes place tonight on WRAL-TV, Raleigh with WCMC “99.9 The Fan” personality Joe Ovies joining WRAL-TV’s Jeff Gravley for an hour-long “Fan Town Hall” featuring Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski tonight from 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm. The public is not allowed to attend the event but Gravley and Ovies will sprinkle in questions submitted by the public via social media using #FanTownHall. WCMC-FM programmer Dennis Glasgow says “Capitol Broadcasting continues to give unprecedented access to some of the Triangle’s most accomplished sports figures, and Coach K is no exception. We know how passionate sports fans are in North Carolina, and it’s important to us for the fan base to have social media access so that they can ask questions to the all-time winningest coach in college basketball history.”
Odds & Sods. Two KTSA, San Antonio personalities are being inducted into the San Antonio Radio Hall of Fame this year. Longtime morning drive personality Trey Ware and traffic reporter (and voice/imaging pro) Johnny Shannon will be honored at a ceremony next month…..Longtime KFYI, Phoenix radio personality (and husband and business partner of WestStar Radio Network principal Kim Komando) Barry Young is one of four broadcasters to be enshrined in the Arizona Broadcasters Hall of Fame this fall. Being honored on October 15 along with Young are Bill Buckmaster, Tom Dillon and Maurie Helle…..Entercom is expecting to close on its purchase of the Lincoln Financial Media stations very soon but one programming change taking place is LFM-owned Atlanta sports talk WQXI’s loss of its ESPN affiliation. Dickey Broadcasting-owned WFOM (licensed to suburban Marietta) will become the new ESPN Radio affiliate, effective August 17…..PodcastOne is reporting that the four-week-old Shaquille O’Neal podcast has been holding the #1 spot on the iTunes Sports Charts for the past three weeks. PodcastOne also says the advertising industry is supporting the podcast with Mazda, Vonage, Draft Kings and True Car becoming sponsors.
TALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup. “Free Talk Live” with Ian Freeman and Mark Edge is now heard on new affiliates KKFT-FM, Reno and KEEL-AM, Shreveport, Louisiana…..The Envision Networks-syndicated “John and Leah Show” with John Ziegler and Leah Brandon adds new affiliates: WNIR-FM, Akron; WNYM, New York; WNTP, Philadelphia; WRGA, Atlanta; WHAS, Louisville; KKFT-FM, Reno; and WMEL-AM, Cocoa Beach, Florida.
Harry Hurley Way Dedicated. Pictured here is WPGG, Atlantic City morning drive personality Harry Hurley (at podium) speaking at the dedication of St. David’s Pl. in Atlantic City as Harry Hurley Way. Hurley tells TALKERS magazine that he took the opportunity to surprise Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian (back row, left) by presenting his honor with the New Jersey Broadcasters Association 2015 Crystal Award for the “Ask The Mayor” program that airs on WPGG.
2016 Presidential Prospects, Fourth of July Terror Threats, Trump’s Pageant Troubles-NYC Contracts Being Reviewed, Hillary Clinton Emails Investigation, Obama Re-Establishes Cuba Diplomatic Ties, ISIS Atrocities, Greek Debt Crisis/EU Tensions, Jim Carrey Bashes California Vaccine Law, and Global Warming Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/1). The candidates for president in 2016; concerns over threats of Fourth of July terror attacks; Donald Trump’s legal issues with the Miss America and Miss Universe pageants and NYC’s review of his contracts; the ongoing investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of private email for State Department business; President Obama re-establishes diplomatic relations with Cuba; the latest reports of barbaric activities from ISIS; the Greek debt problem, its fate in the EU and effects on global financial markets; Jim Carrey blasts California Governor Jerry Brown over vaccine law; and talk about the state of climate change were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday.
By Mike Kinosian
Managing Editor/West Coast Bureau Chief
LOS ANGELES — Blessed with an enduring ability to captivate a broad base demographic with droll, clever, sometimes-corny witticisms/puns that much sooner rather than later made you laugh, Gary Owens is being fondly remembered by those whose lives he touched by his character and one-of-a-kind classiness.
Even at the zenith of his popularity, Owens had an unrivaled flair to make anyone and everyone with whom he came in contact feel as though he or she were a genuinely important friend of his.
Dignity with which Owens carried himself make those having the privilege to work behind a microphone exude intense pride in saying they are in the same profession.
Alpha Broadcasting, L&L Broadcasting Become Alpha Media; Main Line Deal Closes. Portland-based L&L Broadcasting operates 43 stations in seven markets; the merged company’s corporate headquarters will continue to be in Portland, where Alpha Broadcasting owns six radio facilities. In addition to this merger, L&L’s $57 million deal to purchase 19 Main Line Broadcasting stations has been finalized. Alpha Media chairman Larry Wilson states, “The merger of Portland’s Alpha operation into our newly created Alpha Media results in one company operating all markets. Our ‘Live and Local’ vision continues to be our focus. By adding the former Main Line markets, we can continue to develop our footprint with attractive markets operated by great radio people. We are excited to add them to our growing company.” L&L Broadcasting president and chief executive officer Bob Proffitt remarks, “From the day we visited each Main Line market, we knew they were full of talented radio broadcasters who understand our vision and how we operate. We feel our live and local approach will enhance each market’s rating and revenue potential. Having Portland in the fold allows us to liberally use some of the best brains in the radio business to help listeners, clients, and employees at our other markets throughout the country.” According to Main Line Broadcasting chief executive officer Marc Guralnick, “It has been a great nine years at Main Line Broadcasting. I have had the pleasure of working with some of the best people in the industry. I am excited to have our talented broadcasters now under the leadership of Larry Wilson, Bob Proffitt, and the Alpha-L&L team. I wish L&L and this tremendous staff much continued success.” The four markets for Philadelphia-based Main Line are Louisville, Dayton, Richmond, and Hagerstown, Maryland-Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. The company was represented in the transaction by Media Venture Partners.
Tony Katz Assumes Morning Drive Role at WIBC-FM, Indianapolis. Monday (6/30) was the first day on the job for new WIBC-FM, Indianapolis morning show personality Tony Katz. He replaces Steve Simpson who recently exited the station after 22 years. Katz had been hosting the 9:00 pm to 12:00 midnight show at WIBC-FM from his home in Los Angeles but is moving to Indy for this new role. Emmis market manager Charlie Morgan recently told the Indianapolis Business Journal the move to replace Simpson with Katz was the result of the station wanting a more opinionated, commentary-driven show than the newsy approach Simpson was comfortable with. “He’s just not the right guy for what the role of host now requires. What we’re asking our hosts to do is offer opinion and perspective, and [Simpson] was not comfortable with that. He was more comfortable in a more traditional news role.”
CBS Sports Radio Network’s Doug Gottlieb Show Gets Cable Simulcast. Beginning August 25, the Doug Gottlieb show will be seen on cable’s CBS Sports Network in addition to being heard on the CBS Sports Radio Network. The program will be simulcast live from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm ET. CBS Sports SVP of programming Dan Weinberg says, “Adding the Doug Gottlieb show greatly strengthens our afternoon lineup adding three hours of live and relevant content each day. Doug’s show is high-energy, insightful and entertaining and we are excited to extend the reach of his radio show to the CBS Sports Network television audience.”
KFBK Boosts Murray to News Director. Assistant program director Mike Murray is elevated to news director at Clear Channel Sacramento talker KFBK. Vice president of programming Ken Charles – who programs KFBK and sibling talker KSTE – comments, “In determining the needs of our department, and wanting to make sure there is one vision and voice between programming and news, Mike rose to the top as the right candidate for the role.” In the next few weeks, there will reportedly be some news/programming restructuring associated with Murray’s promotion.
Keiper Returns to WLS-AM, Chicago as News Anchor. As reported by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, Jennifer Keiper is back with news/talk WLS-AM, Chicago after a six-year absence during which she worked as Midwest correspondent for Fox News Radio. Keiper will anchor the news during afternoon drive, where Roe Conn and Richard Roeper are currently heard. Keiper is taking over for Susan Carlson who resigned two months ago to join WMAQ-TV. Read Feder’s column here.
Matheny Named EVP/Chief Technology Officer for NAB. Joining NAB from Capitol Broadcasting to serve as the new EVP and chief technology officer is Sam Matheny. His work as part of the corporate staff involvement in several Capitol Broadcasting media ventures: general manager at News Over Wireless, which provided the first local television news applications for wireless carriers; manager of Digital Cinema at Microspace Communications, deploying digital cinema as a viable market for satellite delivery; and vice president & general manager at DTV Plus, which developed and launched the nation’s first DTV datacasting service. Matheny is currently a member of the FCC Communications Security, Reliability and Interoperability Council and is a member of the Academy of Digital Television Pioneers. NAB president and CEO Gordon Smith states, “NAB is thrilled to have Sam Matheny joining the team as our new CTO. Sam’s roots are in broadcast localism and service to the community, but he is also a technology strategist determined to push broadcasters to embrace digital and Internet opportunities that generate revenue. Today, tens of millions of our listeners and viewers are legally accessing broadcast programming on platforms and devices that are IP-based, portable and mobile. We believe Sam is the right choice to press these digital strategies forward and lead our industry’s technology future.”
WGOW, Chattanooga Host Brian Joyce Moderates Panel on Democracy and Human Rights in Geneva. Tennessee talk radio personality Brian Joyce (pictured here, bottom, far right) was recently in Geneva, Switzerland at the invitation of the Geneva Press Club to moderate a panel discussion on democracy and human rights. Among the members of this panel were Egyptian MP and Secretary General of Egypt’s Industry & Energy Committee Hatem Azzam (second from right, standing). Joyce is going abroad this weekend to speak at a public rally in Istanbul, Turkey in Alfatih Square in Istanbul to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the military coup in Egypt, which took place on July 3, 2013. He was invited by a Turkish organization called Union of NGOs of the Islamic World, in cooperation with the Egyptian Solidarity Movement. Joyce says the Turkish government and Turkish people have been strong, vocal critics of military rule in Egypt, as well as of violations of democracy and human rights across the Muslim world.
Pavlina Interviews Sean Hannity on Talkers TV. Sixteen-year-old talk media prodigy, Pavlina Osta, host of the syndicated radio show “Pavlina’s Kidz Place,” conducted an interview with Premiere Radio and Fox News Channel star Sean Hannity at the recent Talkers New York 2014 convention. That 15 minute interview is currently playing on Talkers TV located at the top of the upper right hand column of boxes on every page on Talkers.com. Pavlina has been broadcasting since she was 11 years old and has an amazing track record of conducting exclusive interviews with more than 300 stars from the fields of entertainment, sports, politics and media. David Bernstein, GM of Talkers broadcasting operations says, “This young woman is going to be a huge media star. She has everything going for her – even a local Gracie Award to her credit. Watch out world, Pavlina is coming!”
Meet This Year’s NAB Marconi Radio Award Finalists. They are listed below and the list encompasses 21 categories. The Marconi Radio Awards are given by the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) to honor excellence in broadcasting. “Legendary Station”:news KCBS-AM, San Francisco; talk KXLY-AM, Spokane; sports WFAN, New York; country WIL-FM, St. Louis; and adult contemporary WLEN-FM, Adrian, Michigan. “Network/Syndicated Personality of the Year”:Bob & Tom, Westwood One; Elvis Duran, Premiere Radio Networks; Rush Limbaugh, Premiere Radio Networks; Ryan Seacrest, Premiere Radio Networks; and Rickey Smiley, Radio One/REACH Media. “Major Market Personality of the Year”:Carter Alan of WZLX, Boston; Big Boy of KPWR, Los Angeles; Kevin & Bean of KROQ, Los Angeles; Preston & Steve of WMMR, Philadelphia; and (Fred) Toucher & Rich (Shertenlieb) of WBZ-FM, Boston. “Large Market Personality of the Year”:Bo Matthews of WIL-FM, St. Louis; Dr. Don (with Rachael and Grunwald) of WYCD, Detroit; Jim “JJ” Johnson of WOMC, Detroit; Larry Richert of KDKA-AM, Pittsburgh; and Ryan & Shannon of KSTP-FM, Minneapolis. “Medium Market Personality of the Year”:Brent Johnson of WTCB, Columbia, South Carolina; Cole Johnson of WNVZ, Norfolk; Kevin Miller of KIDO-AM, Boise, Idaho; Chris Kelly & Chris Demm of WKRR, Greensboro; and Jeff Walker of WKRZ, Wilkes Barre-Scranton. “Small Market Personality of the Year”:Bill Barrett, Tim Fox & Tracy Berry of KKNU-FM, Eugene, Oregon; David Gustafson of KJSK-AM, Columbus, Nebraska; Dottie Ray of KXIC-AM, Iowa City, Iowa; Brian Egan, Rusty Bumper & Amanda Walton of WKWS-FM, Charleston, West Virginia; and Brian Lee & Chris Wolfe of KZOQ-FM, Missoula, Montana. “Major Market Station of the Year”: country KKBQ, Houston; urban AC WBLS, New York; rock WMMR, Philadelphia; hot AC WTMX, Chicago; and country WUSN, Chicago. “Large Market Station of the Year”:adult contemporary KRWM, Seattle; CHR WBLI, Long Island; talk WCCO, Minneapolis; talk WTMJ, Milwaukee; and sports WXYT-FM, Detroit. “Medium Market Station of the Year”:rock KAZR-FM, Des Moines; hot AC KSTZ, Des Moines; country WIVK-FM, Knoxville; talk WOWO-AM, Fort Wayne, Indiana; and country WUSY-FM, Chattanooga, Tennessee. “Small Market Station of the Year”:talkKFGO-AM, Fargo, South Dakota; CHR KNDE-FM, Bryan-College Station, Texas; full-service adult contemporary KYNT-AM, Yankton, South Dakota; country WFRE-FM, Frederick, Maryland; and adult contemporary WLEN-FM, Adrian, Michigan. “Adult Contemporary Station of the Year”:KIFM, San Diego; WBEB, Philadelphia; WILV, Chicago; WMEE-FM, Fort Wayne, Indiana; and WVAF, Charleston, West Virginia. “CHR Station of the Year”:KQKS, Denver; WBBM-FM, Chicago; WNVZ, Norfolk; WPOI, Tampa; and WVAQ, Morgantown, West Virginia. “Country Station of the Year”:KCYY, San Antonio; WIL-FM, St. Louis; WKLB, Boston; WLHK, Indianapolis; and WOKQ, Portsmouth, New Hampshire. “News-Talk Station of the Year”:KCBS-AM, San Francisco; KRLD-AM, Dallas; KTMY, Minneapolis; WGCV-AM, Columbia, South Carolina; and WLW, Cincinnati. “(Classic Hits-) Oldies Station of the Year:”WJMK, Chicago; WMJI, Cleveland; WSRZ, Sarasota; WXGL, Tampa; and WOGL Philadelphia. “(Contemporary Christian) Religious Station of the Year”:KKJM, St. Cloud, Minnesota; KKLA, Los Angeles; KLTY, Dallas; KNOM, Nome, Alaska; and WMHK, Columbia, South Carolina. “Rock Station of the Year”:KROQ, Los Angeles; KSWD, Los Angeles; WBAB, Long Island; WDRV, Chicago; and WSUN, Tampa. “Spanish Station of the Year”:KLZT, Austin; WNUA, Chicago; WYUS-AM Milford, Delaware; WYUU, Tampa; and WXSH, Georgetown, Delaware. “Sports Station of the Year”:KDKA-FM, Pittsburgh; KFXN-FM, Minneapolis; WBZ-FM, Boston; WIP-FM, Philadelphia; and WXYT-FM, Detroit. “Urban Contemporary Station of the Year”: KPRS, Kansas City; WGCI-FM, Chicago; WHQT, Miami; WQHT, New York; and WVKL, Norfolk. “Noncommercial Station of the Year”: KPCW, Park City, Utah; KUNV, Las Vegas; WEAA, Baltimore; WRHU Long Island; and WSDP, Canton, Michigan. Winners will be announced in two months (9/11) at the awards dinner in Indianapolis during this year’s NAB Radio Show.
KGY Inc. Sells KGY-AM, Olympia to Catholic Broadcaster. Sports talk KGY-AM, Olympia, Washington is being sold to Sacred Heart Radio for $250,000, according to The Olympian. The station has been in the Kerry family since current KGY Inc. business manager Nick Kerry’s grandfather Tom Olsen purchased it in 1939. KGY Inc. will continue to operate country outlet KYYO-FM “96.9 KAYO” and translator K237FR at 95.3 FM.
SCOTUS Hobby Lobby Ruling, Obama Executive Actions, Illegal Immigrant Influx-Amnesty Proposal, Global Warming Debate, Israeli-Palestinian Tensions, Sarkozy Investigation, and World Cup Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/1). The backlash over the Supreme Court’s ruling in the Hobby Lobby contraceptive case; John Boehner’s threat to sue President Obama over the executive actions issue; debate over amnesty as the Southwest deals with an influx of minor illegal immigrants; continuing disagreement over the issue of man-made climate change; high tensions in Israel following the deaths of three Israeli teens and a Palestinian youth; the corruption investigation of former French president Nicolas Sarkozy and the U.S.’s exit from the World Cup were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.
FCC Will Seek Public Comment on Ownership Rules; Reversal of Cross-Ownership Bans Appear Unlikely. Reports are circulating in the media trades that senior FCC officials say FCC chairman Tom Wheeler will propose relaxing cross-ownership bans, but in a blog post dated March 6, that tone is not expressed. Wheeler writes about the Commission’s duty to undertake and complete the 2014 Quadrennial Review. He discusses some of the proposals regarding maintaining current ownership rules that will be open for public comment but many industry watchers say this should not be cause to think a Wheeler-chaired Commission will ultimately relax current cross-ownership bans. Much of Wheeler’s concern in the blog is with television joint sales agreements and he’s clearly out to change those. You can read Wheeler’s entire post here.
Newsmax Chief Chris Ruddy Announces Cable TV News/Talk Project. In a piece in Bloomberg Businessweek, Newsmax founder and CEO Chris Ruddy announces his plans for a new cable news/talk network with Fox News Channel as his target. Ruddy is quoted asking, “How do you have something so successful in cable that nobody else wants to imitate or cut into their market share? It defies reason.” Ruddy tells Bloomberg Businessweek his goal is “to be a little more boomer-oriented, more information-based rather than being vituperative and polarizing.” He says that if he can get 10% to 15% of FNC’s audience, he’s going to be “hugely profitable.” The piece states FNC bills $1 billion a year. He understands the cable carriers don’t want to pay new networks and believes even if he has to pay them to carry the network, he’ll make money. Currently Newsmax TV is online featuring talk media personality Steve Malzberg. Ruddy does not say what the programming will look like when he’s ready to launch in June. Read the entire Bloomberg Businessweek story here.
Odds & Sods. Nationally syndicated “America Tonight” talk host Kate Delaney keeps her sports talk chops sharp as she sits in on the NBC Sports Radio Network this weekend hosting the 11:00 am to 2:00 pm slot both Saturday and Sunday this weekend…..In honor of Women’s History Month, SiriusXM host Julie Mason (left) sat down with House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (right) before a live audience at the Newseum in Washington, DC on Tuesday, March 4. It’s part of the “SiriusXM Leading Ladies” series of candid conversations with influential and inspiring women who have forged their own paths to leadership and success.
Dave Ramsey Deep in the Heart of Texas. Nationally syndicated talk radio star Dave Ramsey is pictured here on stage at the Lila Cockrell Theatre in San Antonio as he presented his “Legacy Journey LIVE!” on Thursday (3/6). Ramsey talked about how to win with money, strengthen marriages and lead your children with confidence. His daughter, Rachel Cruze, joined Ramsey on stage. Ramsey combined forces with L&L Broadcasting’s news/talk KTSA to promote this event. KTSA GSM Coreena Hazelett comments, “L&L Broadcasting and ‘550KTSA’ are thrilled to partner with the Dave Ramsey team in bringing life-transforming content to entrepreneurs and leaders as well as teaching families how to live now so you can leave a powerful legacy for your family. We, along with our sponsors, sincerely believe in the importance of contributing to the growth of business and the quality of life for families here in San Antonio.” Ramsey also hosted his “EntreLeadership 1 Day Event” on Wednesday along with Cruze and speaker Chris Hogan. The content of that presentation was how to run a business using the same common sense principles that Ramsey practices in his own company of more than 400 team members.
LaNeve Named to Entercom Board of Directors. From the sales and marketing world comes the newest member of the Entercom board of directors as Mark LaNeve joins immediately. He has served as COO of WPP’s Global Team Ford – an agency that serves as the marketing and advertising partner to Ford and Lincoln businesses globally. During his time as chief marketing officer at Allstate Insurance, he led the marketing for the company and developed the long-running “Mayhem” campaign. Entercom president and CEO David Field comments, “Mark LaNeve is a tremendous addition to Entercom’s board of directors. He has led some of America’s most iconic brands and ad campaigns. He will bring a new and fresh perspective to the Entercom board.”
Michael Medved Broadcasts from CPAC. Seattle-based Salem Radio Network nationally syndicated talk show host Michael Medved (right) is pictured here interviewing Republican Senator from Utah Mike Lee (left) at the radio row at CPAC 2014 taking place in Washington, DC. The event is the American Conservative Union’s annual confab of conservative activists being held at the Gaylord Hotel & Convention Center.
Obama vs. Putin/Ukraine-Crimea Unrest Top News/Talk Stories This Week. The political crisis in Ukraine and Crimea and the scrum between President Obama and Vladimir Putin were the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. Coming in at #2 was ObamaCare Criticism. At #3 was the Israel-Palestinian talks followed by the 2016 presidential race at #4. The Talkers TenTM is a chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week. It is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS and is published every Friday at Talkers.com. View the entire chart here.
TALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup. ABC News Radio adds WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte to its roster of affiliate stations…..Yahoo! Sports Radio announces KXFN, St. Louis flips to sports and takes its lineup of national sports talk hosts.
How news/talk radio stations can take ownership of breaking news events
By Kevin Casey
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — News/talk stations covering breaking news have a challenge in this era of shrinking news departments and pared-back staffs. In order to be the place to which people turn for coverage of breaking news and then the talk about the news, stations must have a pre-planned approach and use their people creatively in order to compete for the consumer’s attention. With the recent case of the Aurora shootings last month, stations beyond Denver woke up to a major breaking story from out of market that was the only thing people were talking about that morning.
The Rolodex of the well-run news room can help the station respond to such complex cases where gun law experts, psychology practitioners, crime experts and others are used by stations to bring local analysis to the story. How stations prepare for and execute coverage of breaking news and the talk about that news determines how “on top of the story” a station and its talk hosts sound.
KTRS, St. Louis Talk Show Host JC Corcoran Responds to TALKERS Feature Story. St. Louis talk show host JC Corcoran’s Twitter exchange that got him suspended from talk station KTRS last fall was an example cited in the TALKERS feature piece, “Social Media: Handle with Care,” published on Friday. Corcoran responded with an insightful letter to the editors that adds new levels to the story and the larger issue of social media use by talk and sports radio broadcasters. Read the piece and Corcoran’s response here.
Talent Shake-Up at WLW, Cincinnati; Eddie Fingers Returns. Today sees a revamped talk host lineup at Clear Channel Media and Entertainment’s “Big One” WLW, Cincinnati highlighted by what Queen City media observers are calling the bizarre return of Eddie Fingers to the PM drive show 15 months after he was fired from the same show. According to the Cincinnati Enquirer’s John Kiesewetter, Fingers will rejoin co-host Tracy Jones for the 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm program. Jones’ partner since October of 2010 – former Cincinnati Reds outfielder Scott Sloan – moves to the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon slot. That means late morning host Doc Thompson is the odd man out. Kiesewetter reports Thompson was fired last week while on his honeymoon with WHIO-TV, Dayton reporter Yuna Lee. Thompson still works for Clear Channel hosting the PM drive show at the company’s WRVA, Richmond. Back to Cincy, Fingers has been a personality in town since the early 1980s. He moves from rock WEBN-FM to WLW in 2007. Kiesewetter reports Fingers has no animosity toward the station for his October 2010 firing, stating, “I never had a problem with anyone in the building all along. The decision on firing me came from corporate, and I get the impression some of them have moved along. I loved it there. I loved those guys. This is unprecedented. This is a load off my shoulders.”
Programmer Jack Landreth Named KMBZ-AM/FM, Kansas City PD. Entercom Kansas City announces talk radio programmer Jack Landreth takes over the PD position at news/talk KMBZ-AM/FM beginning Monday, January 30. Landreth most recently held the PD post at CBS Radio’s KXNT-AM/FM, Las Vegas. During his career he has also programmed KTSA, San Antonio; KNST, Tucson; and WWTN-FM, Nashville. Landreth says, “KMBZ is the premiere radio station in Kansas City and I could not be more honored to work with such a great team of local, top-notch broadcasters. My sincere gratitude goes out to Pat Paxton, Ken Beck and, of course, Dave Alpert. My family and I look forward to coming back to the Midwest and calling Kansas City our true home.”
“Loveline” Tweaking Format to Appeal to Talk Stations as Courtside Offering. The former Westwood One talk show, now in Norm Pattiz’s growing Courtside Entertainment stable, has been a nighttime music radio mainstay for almost 30 years. It is heard on more than 50 alternative rock, classic rock and CHR stations with a strong base in the top 25 markets. Hosted by noted medical authority Dr. Drew Pinsky and well-known LA-based pop culture broadcaster Mike Catherwood with the recent addition of British radio and TV personality (and sex therapist) Simone Bienne, the nightly program which airs live 10:00 pm to 12:00 midnight PT has evolved and adapted over the years from a free form Sunday night KROQ, Los Angeles show, appealing to a very young audience, to a formatted, highly-planned and targeted production designed to deliver a more mature, diverse 18-54 audience. Along the course of its colorful history, Loveline’s hosts included such figures as Adam Corolla, deejays Jim “Poorman” Trenton and Swedish Egil (Egil Aalvik) and former MTV veejay Riki Rachtman. Courtside Entertainment founder and CEO Norm Pattiz tells TALKERS, “Unlike many talk shows on music radio, this program does not play music and never did. However, it does include well-known music personalities among its diverse guests a la Jay Leno and David Letterman.” Pattiz unequivocally states, “Yes we are now going after talkers… the growing number that think a talk show with equal parts information, entertainment and advice is right at night. This show attracts a loyal audience. Current stations really like what we are doing with Loveline as we have phased it in this new direction over the past six months. It has a distinct format which is very important in a PPM world. Every quarter hour is planned with calls, subject, host features and guests. Master programmer Bert Kleinman oversees this aspect of the production on a daily basis. It is a unique product that has stood the test of time by continuously adapting.”
Clear Channel Gives Hartford an FM Sports Talker. Clear Channel Media and Entertainment puts into effect the changes that had been brewing with its Hartford and Springfield, Massachusetts stations last spring. The “Kix” country format leaves WPKX-FM as the station becomes an FM simulcast of CC’s sports talk WPOP, Hartford and moves its city of license from Enfield, Connecticut closer to Hartford in Windsor Locks, Connecticut. That leaves the country format on the former AAA WRNX-FM, Amherst, Massachusetts serving the Springfield market. The new 97.9 ESPN obviously uses programming from ESPN Radio but it’s being reported that CC Hartford is looking to put a local PM drive show on the station.
WGDJ, Albany’s Paul Vandenburgh to Host Daily Afternoon TV Show. WGDJ, Albany is co-owned by president and general manager Paul Vandenburgh. He also hosts the morning drive show on the station. Beginning Monday, Vandenburgh will host the Paul Vandenburgh Show on Albany’s MyNetworkTV affiliate My 4 Albany from 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm Monday through Friday. My 4 TV’s Chuck Hunt says, “Vandenburgh has long been the premiere talk show host in the Capital District and adding his expertise to television increases the reach, visibility and credibility of MY 4 Albany. His show will be topical each day, keeping people up to date with the major news stories of the Capital District. Live callers will also be included in the program. We are thrilled to have Paul on the MY 4 Albany team.” Prior to his endeavor with WGDJ, Vandenburgh hosted the morning drive show on crosstown WROW. He also hosted at WQBK, Albany.
Sirius XM Adds Two High-Profile Talk Shows. Former Indianapolis Colts GM Bill Polian becomes part of the satcaster’s NFL Radio channel with his debut tonight on the “Late Hits” program from 8:00 pm to 11:00 pm. He’ll appear again for shows on Wednesday and Friday prior to the Super Bowl and will host regular shows throughout the year. Polian says, “I’ve been a guest on SiriusXM NFL Radio many times and it is an outstanding source for league news and information. Now I get to be the one asking the questions. I’m excited to get on the air to talk shop with players, executives and coaches around the league and interact daily with many of the great fans who have helped make the NFL the most successful sports league in the world.” In other Sirius XM news, former New York City police chief Howard Safir is hosting a limited run program called, “The Badge with Howard Safir,” focusing on the “drama, heroism and challenges facing law enforcement today.” The series will air Sunday evenings and run for six weeks.
Northeast Ohio Sports Media Figure Joe Pete Dies at 45. Joseph J. Pete, Jr. broadcast the “Sports Report with Joe Pete” on WFUN, Ashtabula, Ohio. He was a play-by-play announcer for prep athletics in the region and wrote about sports in the region for numerous publications. He passed away on Thursday, January 26 at the Cleveland Clinic.
WQAM, Miami Host Sid Rosenberg Serving Unpaid Suspension. Sid Rosenberg’s been off the air at WQAM, Miami for several weeks now with a lot of speculation as to why. Now, according to Jose Lambiet’s Gossip Extra, the Beasley Broadcasting sports talk host is serving a six-week unpaid suspension for a plugola deal to pay off a gambling debt. Lambiet cites a source connected to the station reporting that Rosenberg had a debt of about $100,000 to a sports betting organization and he was going to pay off the debt by plugging the operation on his program. The details of the arrangement were spelled out in a fax to Rosenberg at the WQAM offices that the source says Rosenberg accidently left on the fax machine. It was discovered “before he did any damage,” according to the source. Rosenberg is scheduled to return to the air on January 2.
Phil Tower Returns to Program Director Post at WOOD-AM/FM and WTKG, Grand Rapids. Clear Channel has been looking for a new program director for its Grand Rapids, Michigan news/talk duo of WOOD-AM/FM and WTKG since Paul Cashin left in August. Now a familiar face returns to the building as Phil Tower takes over the PD post he held for so many years. Tower was most recently general manager of publications/multimedia at Stafford Media Solutions. Prior to that he was general manager of the nationally syndicated Allen Hunt show.
WBAL, Baltimore Talk Host Ron Smith Dies at 70. It’s only been two months since WBAL talk host Ron Smith announced he’d been diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer. He passed away on December 19 at his home in Shrewsbury, Pennsylvania after several weeks in hospice care. Smith spent more than 25 years at WBAL and was an institution in the market as a talk radio host and, in later years, as a columnist with the Baltimore Sun as well.
Rumor: WMAL, Washington Talk Host Chris Plante to Be Syndicated. DCRTV.com’s Dave Hughes reports rumors of a plan by Cumulus Media to syndicate Chris Plante’s 9:00 am to 12:00 noon ET talk show to other stations on some sort of limited basis. It could be that Cumulus is taking a page from Clear Channel’s playbook and is planning to distribute programming to smaller regional markets emanating from large markets like DC. Hughes also reports talk of more job cuts coming to the Cumulus cluster in Washington.
Dave Ramsey to Buy Nashville Office Building. The Tennesseean is reporting that nationally syndicated talk host Dave Ramsey – through a company called Andy’s Union, LLC – is buying a four-story office building in downtown Nashville for $1.6 million. The building is known locally as the Jackson law office since it sits on the site of what is believed to have been the law office of Andrew Jackson. The current building was built in 1996. Ramsey’s plans for the building are unknown.
“The Costa Report” Clears Seattle on Fisher’s KVI, Seattle. When KVI returns to a talk format in January, it’ll air the weekly “Costa Report” program being distributed by Broadcast Affiliate Sales. The program is described as “a weekly news talk program which features a one-hour interview with a world leader or expert, followed by a second hour of call-ins from listeners.” It’s hosted by Rebecca Costa who states, “Americans are sick and tired of the rage-a-holics who have hijacked talk radio, hosts who, day after day, spew hateful, divisive rhetoric which has torn the country apart. ‘The Costa Report’ is the voice of the ‘rational center of America’ – citizens who don’t care if a solution comes from the left or the right as long as it really works.” Costa is a sociobiologist and author of The Watchman’s Rattle: Thinking Our Way Out of Extinction (Vanguard Press 2010).
Wrappin’ With Jack! This mass of people you see here are gathered at Northside Ford in San Antonio for the 13th annual Wrappin’ With Jack event in which listeners gather to wrap donated gift items for children and adults through the Family Services Association of San Antonio. KTSA’s Jack Riccardi proudly notes that some 600 people showed up to volunteer their services. “We set new records for participants, gifts donated, and for the first time in our 13 years, we managed to ‘adopt’ 100% of the families FSA was hoping to serve. I think our growth is largely due to the unique call-to-action: You don’t have to donate money or a toy to participate (although many people do) – all we ask is that you show up and help us wrap, while enjoying live Christmas music performed by local musicians and treats served by local restaurants. Although the radio station gets behind ‘WWJ’ logistically, it’s mainly a talk show host appealing to his listeners for help in a worthy cause, and people responding to the intimacy and immediacy of that.” The event took place on December 13 from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm.
Steve Gill Launches “Generous Hearts” Charitable Program. Nashville-based syndicated talk host Steve Gill recently created the Generous Hearts charitable organization in conjunction with local charities Nashville Wraps and A Generous Heart. Since November, it has raised $20,000 in cash for the Tennessee Baptist Children’s Homes, 750 turkeys delivered to the Nashville Rescue Mission and has offered aid to six homeless Sumner County families to bring Christmas to life this season. Gill says Generous Hearts is aligning with a regional food bank’s mobile pantry to help feed Middle Tennessee’s hungry families. Gill states, “The ‘Generous Hearts’ project initiative, throughout 2012, is to raise funds as well as provide increased visibility to people and organizations in need. As an active community member, ‘friend-raising’ is as vital as fundraising.”
NRG Media’s KKAR, Omaha Raises Funds for Child Saving Institute. On Friday, December 16, news/talk KKAR, Omaha held a radiothon to raise funds for the Child Saving Institute that provides a safe haven and healing for thousands of innocent young victims of family crisis, neglect and abuse. Program director Neil Nelkin says the event raised $60,000 for the institute. “The listeners of KKAR delivered again this year. Despite the economy, the listeners opened their hearts and their wallets to make a difference for a wonderful cause that will brighten the holidays of hundreds of children in need throughout Omaha.”
October Northeast Storm Knocks Two Weeks Out of November PPM in Hartford. Arbitron delivers the news to the Hartford market that the November 2011 PPM report – consisting of the time period October 13 through November 9 – will not include the two weeks of October 27 through November 9 during which a substantial portion of the market was without power. In a message to clients, Arbitron writes, “Arbitron has carefully monitored Average Daily In-Tab and other performance metrics throughout this interval. Based on these metrics, Arbitron will be releasing a November 2011 Hartford-New Britain-Middletown report based exclusively on November Weeks 1 and 2 (October 13-October 26).” It is painfully ironic that radio – relied upon during times of emergencies such as these and often lauded for its tremendous dedication to keeping listeners in the market informed under difficult circumstances – is at the mercy of a ratings system that relies upon electricity at a time when stations in the market should get credit for the huge number of people who used it during that period.
CBS Radio’s KXNT-AM/FM, Las Vegas Names Kevin Wall PM Drive Host. Several months after parting ways with longtime station personality Alan Stock, CBS Radio Las Vegas announces the new permanent PM drive host at FM News Radio 100.5 KXNT is Kevin Wall. Most recently at Border Media Partners’ KTSA, San Antonio, Wall has also served as a fill-in host for Glenn Beck, Bill Bennett and Fox News Radio. KXNT program director Andrew Paul states, “We couldn’t be happier to have Kevin join our team. Kevin is talented, bright, articulate and an excellent communicator. Heading into next year’s general election, we face a critical juncture in our nation’s future. Kevin will be able to relate the important issues to Southern Nevada through his informative and entertaining style.” Also from KXNT, Jason Pothier is named the new producer for Kevin Wall’s “Live and Local” program. Pothier spent eight years in Boston as a producer at WEEI, WRKO and WXKS. Samantha Stone joins the station as the new morning news anchor. She worked for many years in Reno as a reporter/producer for Nevada Newsmakers and a reporter for Vegas PBS and Cumulus’ KKOH. Trevor Smith also joins KXNT as a news reporter after spending the past four years as news director at KZBI-FM in Elko, Nevada.
Clear Channel Adds FM Simulcast to KNST, Tucson; Drops Spanish Music on 97.1. Beginning Monday, November 28 the Spanish language music format at KTZR-FM ends and a simulcast of KNST begins. Clear Channel Tucson market manager Shanna McCoy states, “Bringing our heritage News Talk KNST 790 to 97.1 FM will help us deliver the most powerful programming lineup in the market. We’re committed to bringing our listeners the absolute best programming.” Market operations manager Chris Pickett says, “KNST will join the growing movement of great news/talk programming moving to FM. This is an important time for listeners to tune in with a presidential primary coming in February, and I can’t think of a better time to make the change.” Journal Broadcast Group has been operating news/talk KQTH-FM in the market since April of 2007.
MSNBC Names Meghan McCain Contributor. The daughter of Senator John McCain has been a media figure for some time now and has been a frequent guest on cable news/talk TV. Now MSNBC puts her on the payroll as a contributor. In a statement, Meghan McCain says, “I couldn’t more be more excited to be joining the MSNBC family. It’s a unique opportunity to share my perspective as a Republican on a network I respect and have built a relationship with over the past two years.”
Jim Bohannon Recognized by RTDNA. Dial Global talk personality Jim Bohannon – host of the “America in the Morning” news program and his eponymous overnight talk show – is being honored by the Radio Television Digital News Association with a Special Recognition First Amendment Award. Bohannon and three other journalists will be honored at the RTDNA’s 22nd annual First Amendment Awards Dinner on March 15 in Washington, DC. The RTDNA states, “Bohannon is the originator of National Freedom of Information Day, a concept he first presented to the national convention of the Society of Professional Journalists at their 1979 convention in New York City. Bohannon has broadcast dozens of programs about freedom of information issues.”
BookMarc from Miami. Sirius/XM talk host Bob Edwards (l) chats with WNDB, Daytona Beach talk personality Marc Bernier (r) about Edwards being forced out of NPR. Bernier took his special program about books to the Miami Book Fair International where he interviewed 43 authors over the course of the weekend. Broadcasting live from Miami-Dade College, the site of the nation’s largest book fair, it was Bernier’s seventh visit to the annual event as he conducted 10 hours of interviews on Saturday and Sunday live on WNDB and produced streaming video of the event on kenneytv.com.
Super Committee Fails, Markets Tumble, 2012 Presidential Race, Egypt Unrest, and Freeh to Head Penn State Investigation Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/21). The failure of the Congressional Super Committee to come to terms on federal spending cuts, the financial markets’ reactions to Euro Zone debt and the Super Committee’s failure, the 2012 presidential race, new political unrest in Egypt and Louis Freeh’s appointment to lead the Penn State sex abuse scandal investigation were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday.
Walter Sabo Says Merlin’s FM News Operations in New York and Chicago off to Good Start. In an exclusive interview for TALKERS TV conducted this past Friday in New York City (right before Hurricane Irene made its way up the coast to the Big Apple), Merlin Media COO Walter Sabo praises his company’s talent roster, sales staff, and CEO Randy Michaels for creating and marketing all-news FM products in New York and Chicago strategically targeted for 25-54 year old working families. These are WEMP-FM, New York (FM News 101.9) and WWWN-FM, Chicago (FM News 101.1). When asked to further define the term “working families,” Sabo responds, “Families in which mom and dad go to work.” He says compared to the audiences of today’s traditional all-news stations, 25-54 represents the younger demographic. “They need the same information as everyone else but the key to reaching them is to understand they are extremely busy.” He explains, “They are busy running to their jobs, going to day care, picking up the kids. Their day is a series of high-pressure points regarding the clock. They don’t have time to listen to any information that isn’t right to the point.” He credits the impressive list of advertisers already signed up for these relatively brand new stations to the competence of their sales department and the fact that advertisers “immediately embrace” the concept of all news targeted to a young working audience. TALKERS monitors on the ground in New York City report that FM News 101.9 delivered “superb coverage” of Hurricane Irene throughout all phases of its assault on the region. View this must-see interview, “Lunch with Walter Sabo,” on TALKERS TV on this page.
CBS Aggressively Leads Sports Talk Invasion of FM. The FM band is quickly being populated by sports talk radio and it’s not a stretch to say CBS is leading the charge. TALKERS special features correspondent Mike Kinosian writes that when the company launched WXYT-FM, Detroit four years ago, it wasn’t planning beyond that station. But as CBS Radio SVP of programming Chris Oliviero tells TALKERS, “We realized this is a road we should go down from a programming, as well as a general radio business standpoint. We love the format and think we are good at doing it.” With the simulcast of WIP, Philadelphia beginning on September 6, CBS will have nine sports outlets on FM in the top 30 markets. Read Mike Kinosian’s in-depth look at CBS Radio’s FM sports initiative here.
Josefa Salinas of Hot 92.3 to Speak at Los Angeles Regional Talkers Forum 2011. Well-known Los Angeles radio personality Josefa Salinas who hosts a widely-heard weekend community affairs talk program on Clear Channel’s urban oldies “Hot 92.3” (WHHT-FM) will join the growing all-star roster of speakers at the forthcoming Los Angeles Regional Talkers Forum. Salinas will participate on the panel titled “The Issues Facing Southern California: Challenges and Solutions.” Moderated by TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison it will be the only panel at the event which focuses entirely on public issues outside the industry. (The rest of the event will address inner-industry issues.) Panelists include Charles Feldman of KNX, Los Angeles; Roger Hedgecock of KOGO, San Diego and Radio America; Stephanie Miller of KTLK, Los Angeles and Dial Global; Doug McIntyre of KABC, Los Angeles and Citadel Media; Patt Morrison of KPCC, FM Los Angeles and Southern California Public Radio; and John Phillips of KABC, Los Angeles. TALKERS managing editor Kevin Casey states, “We have an amazingly well balanced panel of stars coming together here and the addition of such a community-involved radio broadcaster as Josefa Salinas really rounds it out beautifully. Considering the intensely controversial issues facing the region and the firepower that’ll be sitting up there on that stage, we should be in for an explosive session in the tradition of our most exciting Talk Rumbles.” The Los Angeles Regional Talkers Forum 2011, presented by TALKERS in association with the Los Angeles Press Club, will take place on Thursday, October 20 between 9:00 am and 3:00 pm. It features a lineup of more than 30 leading talk broadcasters including keynote speaker Bill Handel of KFI, Los Angeles and most of the top program directors from the major talk stations in Southern California. For the complete up-to-the-minute agenda and registration information, please click here.
WQXI, Atlanta Adds Dave Archer to PM Drive Show. Former Atlanta Falcons quarterback and current Falcons Radio Network analyst Dave Archer is named co-host of the Lincoln Financial Media station’s PM drive show alongside Mike Bell. Archer replaces David Pollack who becomes co-host of the new Palmer and Pollack show on the station. WQXI general manager Andrew Saltzman states, “There is no question that Dave Archer is the perfect guy to co-host our afternoon drive show. As an eight-year veteran of the Atlanta Falcons Radio Network, along with his six-year career as a NFL quarterback, Dave truly understands the intricacies of collegiate and professional sports. Most important is his tremendous chemistry with Bell. These guys have a lot of fun together and so will our listeners.”
Changes in PM Drive at KTSA, San Antonio? Nothing confirmed by owner Border Media Partners yet but TALKERS hears PM drive host Kevin Wall is out at KTSA, San Antonio and Sean Rima takes over his show. Rima worked for BMP in Austin at KXBT-FM before the company flipped it from talk to oldies. There was a report Rima was going to host a program at an online talk venture BMP was developing but the status of that is unclear.
Stephan Multi-Media Producing “Different” 9/11 Special. Doug Stephan, host of the nationally syndicated morning show, “Good Day,” is producing a September 11 anniversary special available for broadcast the weekend of September, 9-11. Media Management Group’s Craig Whetstine says, “We think it is different from most of the specials. It is a three-hour special, entitled, “Stronger Than Ever: Ten Years Past September 11.” Doug isn’t going to be looking back at the events of 9/11/01; he’ll be focused on where we are today and looking forward.” The program is being made available to non-affiliates of “Good Day” providing the program is not already heard in the market. Contact Whetstine at 212-545-8383.
Clear Channel Changes Market Managers in Seattle. Michele Grosenick is suddenly out as market manager of Clear Channel’s Seattle-Tacoma stations that include sports KJR. In is former CBS Radio manager Lisa Decker who left that company earlier this year. CC EVP of operations for the Western Region Susan Karis says of Decker, “Lisa is an amazing addition to the Clear Channel team. She has proven success with an impressive track record in delivering results in a highly competitive field.”
WDFN, Detroit Personality Tom Kowalski Dies Unexpectedly at 51. Known as Tom “Killer” Kowalski, he wrote for the Oakland Press and co-hosted PM drive at Clear Channel’s sports WDFN with Sean Baligian and Ryan Terpstra. His beat was the Detroit Lions and he got his nickname for his dogged pursuit as a reporter. CC Detroit market manager Til Levesque posted the following on WDFN’s website: “It is with a very heavy heart that I share with you that Tom Kowalski passed away this morning. Tom was a tremendous talent and his passion for all things Lions and the NFL never faltered. He was a tremendous asset to us on WDFN AM. His presence will be greatly missed in afternoons not to mention in the hallways and around the building. Having him on our team made us a better sports talk station and for that I will always be thankful of his time with CCD.”
Former WCCO, Minneapolis Talk Host Brad Walton Dies at Age 60. Walton was a Twin Cities media figure who spent 11 years at CBS Radio’s WCCO handling weekend overnights and fill-in shifts beginning in 1997. Walton wrote a book in 2004 titled, How Does the Heart Know Love?, a personal story about his life after open heart surgery.
Fox Sports Radio Hits 400 Affiliate Mark. The addition of CBS Radio’s new Cleveland FM sports talk outlet, “SportsRadio 92.3 The Fan” (WKRK-FM), on August 29 gives Fox Sports Radio 400 affiliate stations 11 years after its debut in August of 2000. FSRN vice president and general manager Don Martin says of the milestone, “This is a proud moment for the FSR family, as we welcome Cleveland’s WKRK 92.3 ‘The Fan’ and eclipse the 400-affiliate mark. None of this would be possible without the tremendous product that our talent delivers every day and, most importantly, the relationships we have with our incredible affiliates. Fox Sports Radio and our affiliates are the true definition of a team.”
Obama Economic Policy, 2012 Presidential Race, Irene Aftermath/Global Warming and Libya Turmoil Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/29). President Obama’s plan to fix the ailing economy, the 2012 presidential race, the aftermath of Hurricane Irene and global warming and the state of Libya as the Gaddhafi family flees were among the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.