Tag: "KVI"

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

| August 8, 2018

Entercom Q2: “Great Progress.” Owing to the addition of CBS Radio, Entercom Communications’ second-quarter net revenue jumped, but fell on a same-station basis. Revenue nearly tripled from $125 million to $372.1 million; however, on a same-station basis, it decreased from $405.7 million to $372.1 million. Meanwhile, net income dropped from $6.4 million to $1.6 million. Entercom president and chief executive officer David Field notes, “We have made great progress across multiple fronts as we continue our work to capitalize on our transformational merger. We have signed a definitive agreement with Bonneville to complete our last required station divestitures; successfully launched the Entercom Audio Network with strong early revenues; terminated our painful relationship with United States Traffic Network; achieved rapid growth on our burgeoning Radio.com platform; and delivered a 5% reduction in Q2 expenses as we realize our merger-related synergies. Second-quarter revenues were down 8%, exacerbated by the loss of $12 million in revenues from USTN, but revenue performance is improving. We are currently pacing down 2% in the third-quarter, excluding the impact of USTN. For the fourth quarter, we are pacing up 3% on an unadjusted basis. I am proud of the outstanding team we have built and the terrific work they are doing to capitalize on our abundant scale-driven opportunities.”

Local Nielsen Media Impact Debuts. The planning system allows users to understand cross-media reach, frequency, and duplication on a local scale using advanced audience segments from Nielsen Scarborough. In addition, it enables advertisers, agencies, and media owners to reach their desired audience in the country’s 25 “Local People Meter” (LPM) Designated Market Areas (DMAs). Local Nielsen Media Impact is built with respondent level data to allow in-depth cross-platform analyses for both local television and radio separately, as well as TV and radio together. Beasley Media Group vice president of sales Bob McCurdy comments, “Local Nielsen Media Impact offers empirical data supporting radio’s ability to amplify and complement TV campaigns. This is the first time radio is included in this type of multi-channel media mix that enables users to derive cross media insights with currency grade accuracy. Nielsen Scarborough data within the NMI solution allows us to assess campaign scenarios against consumer insights.” According to Nielsen vice president of product leadership Jay Nielsen, “Local Nielsen Media Impact offers a unique lens to the industry, enabling effective decision-making about where and when to engage audiences with content and advertising on local levels. Similar to the solution clients have widely adopted on the national level, this local solution unlocks access to new insights on media allocation and schedule optimization to better reach a cross platform-based audience.”

Q2: Townsquare Media “Exceeds Previously Issued Guidance.” Second-quarter net revenue for Townsquare Media rose 1.9% to $11.96 million. Owing to the divestiture of North American Midway Entertainment, however, net income decreased by 70.6% to $1.6 million; net income from continuing operations improved 29.2% to $10.1 million. Co-chief executive officer Bill Wilson remarks, “Our second-quarter financial results exceeded our previously issued guidance, continuing the momentum we experienced in the first-quarter of the year. In the first six months of 2018, net revenue increased 2.6%, and 2.2% excluding political revenue; Adjusted EBITDA increased 6.6%. Our second-quarter and year-to-date revenue growth was primarily the result of continued stability in our broadcast products and strong revenue growth of our digital solutions.” Co-CEO Dhruv Prasad notes, “Through internal reorganization and the divestiture of North American Midway Entertainment, we have concluded the strategic reset that we initiated in late-2017 and have largely reoriented the company towards the stability, profitable growth, and cash generation of the advertising, marketing solutions, and live events businesses in our local market footprint. Our strong performance in the first half of this year reinforces that this was the right strategy, and we remain committed to this plan moving forward.”

Rush Limbaugh’s Impact on Radio and America Examined by News Site, Who. What. Why. (whowhatwhy.org)  Veteran talk radio programmer and executive Jeff Schechtman of Napa Broadcasting interviews TALKERS founder Michael Harrison about Rush Limbaugh and the state of talk radio for this week’s WhoWhatWhy.org podcast.  It is part of an article titled “The Mouth that Roared – How Rush Limbaugh Changed America” posted yesterday (8/7) marking the milestone of the talk radio superstar’s syndicated radio show reaching its 30th anniversary last week.  Schechtman and Harrison discuss the impact of the repeal of the Fairness Doctrine in 1987, Limbaugh’s major contributions to the rise of news/talk radio, how talk radio has changed over the decades, the driving factors behind those changes, the influence of the video screen on communications devices, and the general future of talk media.  To read the article and listen to the podcast, please click here .

Making Music Great Again.  It seems the talented Mike Gallagher isn’t the only member of the Salem roster of talk show hosts blessed with extraordinary gifts as a musical entertainer.  These two super-suave lounge lizards pictured above are none other than Salem Radio Network host Larry Elder (left) and WNYM (“AM 970 The Answer”), New York morning man Joe Piscopo (right).  The two are off-air buds and like hanging out together when they find themselves on the same coast.  This bit of show biz magic was captured last night (8/7) as the two serenaded thrilled diners at Vitello’s, a swingin’ hot spot in Studio City, California.  The song they were performing – Louis Armstrong’s classic, “What a Wonderful World.”

Sinclair Q2 Revenue Up 11.9%. While stats for its Seattle radio properties (KOMO “News Radio 1000 & 97.7, KVI “Talk Radio 570,” and hot AC KPLZ “Star 101.5) are not broken out in its earnings release, Sinclair Broadcast Group saw second-quarter revenue increase 11.9% year-to-year to $730.1 million; net income attributable to the company fell from $44.6 million to $28 million. Regarding the pending acquisition of Tribune Media Company, Sinclair president and chief executive officer Chris Ripley states, “We are working with them to analyze approaches to the regulatory process that are in the best interest of our companies, employees, and shareholders.” In terms of Q2 results, Ripley notes, “[They] came in well ahead of guidance in all key financial metrics, and we expect the second half of the year to continue to be robust, underlined by increasing distribution revenues and strong political advertising spend. This year’s mid-term elections are expected by many to have the most spending in U.S. history with broadcast television a primary beneficiary.”

Urban One Second-Quarter Net Revenue Down 2.1%. The year-to-year total slips to $115.2 million although broadcast and digital operating income is up 6.1% to $44.3 million. Overall operating income doubles to $24.8 million and net income improves from $802,000 to $23.6 million. Attributed to results in Atlanta, Philadelphia, St. Louis, and Raleigh, radio advertising fell 6% to $52 million. There was radio growth, however, in Dallas, Washington (D.C.), and Cleveland. Digital advertising, cable TV advertising, and event revenues are all off, as well; cable TV affiliate fees saw increases. Keeping pace with 2017, Tom Joyner’s 19th “Fantastic Voyage” took place in the second-quarter and generated $9.4 million. Company president and chief executive officer Alfred C. Liggins, III remarks, “Our Q2 radio performance was in line with expectation. After a tough April, the quarter improved sequentially, and we are currently pacing approximately flat for third-quarter. We are launching a new network in January 2019 that will target African-American females and feature lifestyle and entertainment programming. The addition of a second network will help us continue to grow our TV business in the longer term, and has great potential synergy with our existing platform. Our digital segment came in below expectation for Q2, but has had a very strong start to third quarter and we remain optimistic for the back half of the year.”

Lotus Acquires Scripps Stations in Tucson and Boise. Eight stations are involved in the $8 million transaction between (buyer) Lotus Communications and (seller) The E.W. Scripps Company. Lotus president Jim Kalmenson remarks, “We are looking forward to getting to know the many talented professionals at these Scripps radio stations. Both companies share a genuine passion for producing excellent local radio and serving the public.” Scripps president and chief executive officer Adam Symson adds, “Lotus Communications’ commitment to serving local communities – with a focus on western region markets in particular – makes it a natural fit to run the Tucson and Boise stations. This deal sets up the stations for continued success.” In Tucson, Lotus picks up and will keep adult contemporary KMXZ “94.9 “Mix FM” and sports talk KFFN “ESPN Tucson,” but will spin urban-rhythmic oldies KTGV “106.3 The Groove” and news/talk KQTH. Its Boise acquisitions include classic rock KJOT “J-105”; rock KQXR “100.3 – The X”; triple A KRVB “94.9 The River”; and classic hits KTHI “107.1 K-Hits.”

TALKERS News Notes. Longtime New York City (WMCA, WINS, WCBS-AM) newscaster and talk host Ralph Howard has died. According to Salem Radio Network vice president of news & talk programming Tom Tradup, “Ralph personified New York City – vibrant, charming, a little edgy, and nonstop energy; I will miss him greatly.” Tradup produced “Ralph & Ryan” on WMCA in the early-1980s; “Ryan” was longtime NBC-TV newsman Bill Ryan. In addition to New York City credentials, Howard worked in Chicago at WIND, WBBM-AM, and WCFL, as well as for The Associated Press and ABC Radio. Until he retired in May 2013, he was a news anchor for Howard Stern, hosting “Howard’s World,” covering Stern’s SiriusXM exploits. This Sunday (8/12) at 3:00 pm, a celebration of Ralph Howard’s life will be observed at New York City’s Riverside Chapel; Howard was 76 years old ….. Alpha Media Portland’s KXL “FM News 101” adds Envision Networks’ two-hour Nik Miles-hosted “Our Auto Expert” to its Sunday afternoon lineup (2:00 pm – 4:00 pm). Alpha Media executive vice president of programming Scott Mahalick remarks, “When it comes to personality and compelling automotive talk, nobody does it better than Nik Miles. We are excited to share ‘Our Auto Expert’ with the world as part of our commitment to bring the best live & local programming to our listener community.” KXL operations manager Bruce Collins notes, “Nobody knows more about the auto industry than Nik. He is both informative and entertaining – we welcome Nik and his show to KXL.” Miles adds, “I am so excited be working with the country’s most forward-thinkers in radio. Being live and local every week gives listeners an opportunity to be the first to hear about groundbreaking automotive stories and stay informed.” ….. The former general manager of Ohana Media Group’s six Anchorage (Alaska) stations – Tom Oakes – is named operations manager for Scripps Radio’s five-station Springfield, Missouri cluster, which consists of KTTS “94.7 Country’s Best”; CHR KSPW “Power 96.5”; adult hits KRVI “106.7 The River”; and KSGF AM & FM “News/Talk 1260 & 104.1.” In addition, he will be the program director of KTTS. Springfield Operations vice president and general manager Rex Hansen notes, “Tom Oakes brings years of experience in all formats we operate here in Springfield. Our listeners, team, and advertisers will benefit greatly from his expertise. His coaching skills will make a difference for our air staff immediately.” Oakes remarks, “A busy fall lies ahead as we prepare for not only the next ratings sweep, but continue to work with our on-going projects, promotions and programming needs across the entire cluster.” Oakes previously was vice president of programming for  Ohana’s 11 stations in Alaska and Oregon; worked for New Northwest Broadcasters in a variety of upper-management roles with their stations in Alaska, Montana, Oregon, and Washington; and has experience in Omaha, Madison, and South Bend (Indiana) ….. The annual Public Radio Program Directors (PRPD) content conference will be held later this month (8/20 – 8/23) at Austin’s Hyatt Regency Hotel. “Pixels and Place” author Kate O’Neill will be a keynote speaker. PRPD is the only national gathering devoted solely to public radio content and programming and this year’s conference, “will be the most format-inclusive in the organization’s history. As every public radio station grapples with consumption, relevance and sustainability, the PRPD is committed to creating a setting where content leaders can learn, network and advance their careers.” ….. Owing to a strategy change regarding original podcasts, Amazon’s Audible Originals senior vice president of original content development Eric Nuzum is departing. The former NPR executive made the announcement in an email earlier this week. Several other Audible Originals staffers – including the entire unit responsible for original spoken-word podcast content – are also exiting, according to published reports. After releasing high-profile shows in its short existence, Audible Originals has more recently shifted to signing major authors to audiobook-first deals.

Round Two of July 2018 PPM Data Released. The second of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s July 2018 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets, including Washington (D.C), Boston, Miami, Detroit, Seattle, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Denver, Tampa, Baltimore, and St. Louis. Nielsen Audio’s July 2018 survey period covered June 21 – July 18. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.

TEGNA Releases Q2 Financials. The former television division of Gannett, Virginia-based TEGNA, reports that its second-quarter net income from continuing operations was up 87.8% to $92.5 million. “Subscription,” which is the company’s term for television retransmission consent revenue, was up 16%. President/CEO Dave Lougee notes, “Our progress in the quarter gives us confidence that our growth strategy is on track. Our business mix continues to evolve toward predictable and profitable subscription-based revenue streams. Contrary to conventional wisdom, our paid subscriber base is very stable, and in fact, our total number of paid subscribers was up year-over-year for the first time in recent years.” TEGNA owns or operates 47 TV stations in 39 markets. Results for its San Diego radio properties, news/talk KFMB-AM “AM 760 Talk & Breaking News” and rock KFMB-FM “100.7 KFM-BFM,” are not broken out in its earnings releases. The company completed its acquisition of KFMB-AM, KFMB-FM, and KFMB-TV from Midwest Television six months ago for a reported $325 million.

Ohio Special Election/Primaries, Manafort Trial/Gates Testimony, California Wildfire and the Environment, Trump China Tariffs, Alex Jones/InfoWars Banned by YouTube and Facebook, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Discussed Yesterday (8/6). The cliffhanger special election in Ohio and key primaries in several states, the trial of former Donald Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort highlighted by the damaging testimony of Rick Gates; the deadly California wildfire and its connection to the environment; Alex Jones and InfoWars being dropped by several major social media platforms and MLB action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday (8/7), according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Co-host of “The Bob & Tom Show” – Tom Griswold – will host two evenings of live comedy featuring Greg Hahn, Pat Godwin, and Josh Arnold one week from Friday (8/17) at Indianapolis’ Irving Theater and the following night (8/18) at Lafayette, Indiana’s Lafayette Theater. All proceeds from both shows will go to The Nora Dane Fund, which helps defray the costs of medical treatment and related expenses for two-year-old Nora Dane, who is being treated for a rare, aggressive malignant brain tumor. Griswold states, “Three of my favorite comedians are stepping up to help little Nora. I promise a great night of comedy to support the amazing efforts being made to help this wonderful little girl.” Preferred seating tickets for each show are $75 and include early access to the venue; a meet-and-greet with the featured talent; a photo; VIP laminate; and choice of seating. Griswold and co-host Bob Kevoian originate their Westwood One syndicated show from Cumulus Media Indianapolis flagship WFBQ “Q-95 Indy’s Classic Rock.” ….. In honor of mid-day talent Pat Martin’s 30th anniversary with Entercom Sacramento’s KRXQ “98 Rock,” The Pat Martin All-Star Band will perform tonight (Wednesday, 8/8, 8:00 pm – 10:00 pm) as part of a free concert at Folsom, California’s Powerhouse Pub. Guest band members Jeff Keith from Tesla, composer Robert Sabino, and UFO’s “Atomik” Tommy McClendon are among others scheduled to appear. Martin currently fronts the longest consecutive running radio show in Sacramento history ….. As part of an exclusive long-term partnership with Saga Communications, Mediabase and BuzzAngle Music will provide Saga with comprehensive music listening and consumption data for more than 130 radio stations nationwide. Saga Communications vice president of programming Bob Lawrence comments, “Mediabase and BuzzAngle have proven to be essential tools for our many markets and programmers over the years. When presented with the opportunity to put them in our arsenal on a group-wide level, we simply could not resist.” Mediabase president and RCS Worldwide president/CEO Philippe Generali remarks, “We couldn’t be more thrilled to be chosen by the very talented programming team at Saga Communications. This partnership will expand the list of markets covered by Mediabase and complement it with the BuzzAngle sales and streaming data for all Saga stations.” Meanwhile, Jim Lidestri, chief executive officer of Border City Media, the makers of BuzzAngle Music, adds, “Mediabase’s airplay monitoring and BuzzAngle’s extensive consumer analytics is a powerful combination for programmers. We are delighted to partner with Saga to give them the most comprehensive tools to connect with – and engage – their listeners through music.” ….. Tickets go on sale this Friday (8/10) for Stephens Media Group Tulsa alternative KMYZ “Z-104.5 The Edge,”-sponsored “The Edge Halloween Haunt.” The October 31 event will feature The Struts, Meg Myers, and Albert Hammond, Jr. ….. After a four-year hiatus, Corey Garrison will return to Binnie Media Portland, Maine country outlet WTHT “99.9 The Wolf” later this month (8/20) as music director and afternoon driver. Operations manager Stan Bennett notes, “Corey has a great passion for country music. I could not be happier to see him return home and help an already veteran team keep ‘The Wolf’ Maine’s most-listened to country station.” Prior to working for three Blueberry Broadcasting stations in Lewistown-Augusta-Bangor, Maine (WABK, WBAK, and WBKA), Garrison was assistant program director/music director/afternoon talent at “The Wolf” (2007-2014). He takes over for J.C. Coffey, who left WTHT late last month ….. This past Saturday (8/4), 24-year-old Eric Manias was a victim of a home invasion at his New Albany (Ohio) apartment. Manias is a family member of Digi-Dude Nate, who is part of “Bailey and Southside,” the morning team on Cumulus Media Atlanta’s WNNX “Rock 100.5.” Manias was shot twice, beaten, and robbed. Transported to Grant Hospital, he is in critical condition with a fractured jaw and arm; broken hip; and numerous cuts and bruises; he’s had four surgeries thus far. Manias was born with pulmonary atresia, a heart disease in which the pulmonary valve is not properly formed. Shortly after his birth, he had three open-heart procedures. As of noon yesterday (8/7), a fund to help with his medical bills raised more than $5,700 toward a $10,000 goal ….. WOCQ-HD2 “Kool Oldies,” Salisbury-Ocean City (Maryland); WQTL “Kool Oldies 106.1,” Tallahassee (Florida); and KWML “Kool Oldies,” Las Cruces (New Mexico) are the latest affiliates of Envision Networks’Wolfman Jack Radio Show.” All three are Adams Radio Group properties. Its president & chief executive officer Ron Stone states, “We are thrilled to bring ‘The Wolfman’ back in our markets where we have great oldies stations playing the best music of all time. We believe the audience our oldies stations target are going to fall in love with ‘The Wolfman’ all over again.”

Monday, July 16, 2018

| July 16, 2018

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai Has ‘Serious Concerns’ About Tribune/Sinclair Merger.  Releasing a statement today, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai says he’s sharing with fellow commissioners a “draft order that would designate issues involving certain proposed divestitures for a hearing in front of an administrative judge.”  Pai’s sticking point is an aspect of the proposed merger that would allow Sinclair to control stations it doesn’t technically own.  “When the FCC confronts disputed issues like these, the Communications Act does not allow it to approve a transaction.”  The proposed sale of Tribune Broadcasting’s assets to Sinclair Broadcast Group includes Tribune’s lone radio property – news/talk WGN-AM, Chicago.  Sinclair currently owns three other radio stations in the Seattle market: news/talk KVI, all-news KOMO-AM/FM, and hot AC KPLZ.  Newsmax Media CEO Christopher Ruddy comments on Pai’s decision, saying, “I applaud Chairman Pai’s decision today to designate the Sinclair-Tribune transaction for further review and hearings.  Clearly this decision is based on the facts and law — specifically that Sinclair has not complied with requirements set forth by the FCC to promote diversity, localism and competition.  After a lengthy and fair process, Chairman Pai acted in a non-partisan manner in making this decision – a marked departure from the Commission’s partisan actions during the Obama administration.

iHeartMedia Elevates Four to Division Presidents. Four iHeartMedia region presidents are being promoted to division presidents of the iHeartMedia Markets Group.  Linda Byrd, Scott HopeckBrian Olson, and Jeff Tyler are expanding their current region president roles to include division president responsibilities — joining current division presidents Kevin LeGrett and Tom McConnell — and will report to Greg Ashlock, president of the iHeartMedia Markets Group.

ESPN Extends Contract with Paul Finebaum. Sports media personality Paul Finebaum and ESPN announce they’ve inked a new multi-year contract that will keep Finebaum with ESPN and SEC Network.  Finebaum will continue to host his eponymous radio program and continue to serve as an analyst on “SEC Nation.”  Finebaum comments, “I’m thrilled to be a member of the ESPN family and look forward to continuing our show on SEC Network.  I consider myself incredibly blessed to do this every day and I’d like to thank everyone at ESPN, as well as all of our loyal listeners and viewers, for their support.”  Finebaum is also featured on a variety of additional ESPN programming, including “Get Up!,” “First Take,” “SportsCenter,” “College Football Live,” “Finebaum Film Room” and “College GameDay.”

Boomer Esiason Leaves Westwood One ‘Monday Night Football’ Radio Booth. No one can accuse Boomer Esiason of being a slacker.  His numerous media gigs make him one of the busiest sports media figures working today.  But now, he’s saying ‘good-bye’ to one of the roles he’s held for the past 18 years – color analyst for Westwood One’s “Monday Night Football” radio broadcasts.  Esiason also co-hosts the WFAN-AM/FM, New York morning show with Gregg Gionnatti; he’s a lead studio analyst for CBS Television’s pregame, halftime and post-game program, “The NFL Today”; and is a member of Showtime’s “Inside the NFL” team.  Esiason says, “It has been an honor to be a member of the Westwood One NFL broadcast team for the last 18 years.  I am proud to have delivered the calls for some of the most iconic Monday Night and Super Bowl moments in the history of the NFL.  With my continuing busy schedule during the NFL season, including my daily NYC-based morning drive radio show, ‘The NFL Today’ and ‘Inside the NFL,’ I thought the timing was right for me to step away.  I would like to thank my broadcast partners in the booth who have made the job enjoyable and fulfilling.  Also, I would like to thank Westwood One’s senior management and sales force, who, over the years, were instrumental in providing on-air support for the Boomer Esiason Foundation.”

Forbes: Hannity’s Rise ‘Inextricably Tied’ to Trump Friendship. In a piece in Forbes written by Hayley Cuccinello, some experts are quoted saying that Premiere Networks and FOX News Channel star Sean Hannity’s “rise is inextricably tied to his close friendship and access to President Donald Trump.”  The piece goes on to note that Hannity is the only cable news/talk host to make the Forbes world’s 100 highest-paid celebrities list this year.   TALKERS magazine publisher Michael Harrison is also quoted in the piece explaining Sean Hannity’s eclipsing fellow Premiere Networks star Rush Limbaugh on TALKERS’ 2018 Heavy Hundred list of the most important radio talk show hosts.  Harrison says, “Sean Hannity’s prominence as a news-making, frontline player in presidential politics, coupled with being a double threat as a radio and TV star, rank him this past year as one of, if not the, most influential radio and TV talk show hosts of all time.”  Harrison adds in a statement to the TALKERS editors, “It is important to point out that even before Trump came on the scene as a political player, Hannity was a major force in talk media nipping at the heels of Rush for years.”  See the Forbes piece here.

Third Annual Hubbard Radio Talent Institute Gets Underway at Central Washington U. The third annual Hubbard Radio Talent Institute begins this afternoon on the campus of Central Washington University in Ellensburg, Washington with Hubbard chair and CEO Ginny Morris.  She says, “Compelling and relatable on-air talent is what separates local radio from all other audio entertainment services.  Our investment in the National Radio Talent System at Central Washington University is an extension of Hubbard Radio’s commitment to do our part to nurture and grow the talent pipeline for the industry.  We are proud to partner with Dan Vallie and his team in this important initiative.”  Hubbard president of radio Drew Horowitz, Hubbard Seattle VP/market manager Marc Kaye, and more than 35 other radio pros from Hubbard, Entercom, Bonneville, Townsquare, Alpha Media, the Seattle Seahawks and others will lead sessions during the 10-day institute.  The Hubbard Radio Talent Institute at Central Washington is the sixth institute of the summer and will be followed by the KBA Western Kentucky University Radio Talent Institute in Kentucky and the MBA Radio Talent Institute at Northwest Missouri State.

TALKERS Continues Posting Videos Today of the Recent TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! Convention – Today’s Post: Panel Discussion, “Talk Media: The Big Picture.”  Today (7/16), TALKERS magazine continues posting individual events from the recent TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! convention held in New York City on June 8.  Each business day, another session or activity will be posted in the order that they originally took place.  Today’s 14th installment is the panel discussion titled, “Talk Media: The Big Picture.”  It is moderated by ABC News Radio VP/GM, Steve Jones; introduced by “The Cats Roundtable” host, John Catsimatidis; and featuring panelists iHeartMedia SVP news/talk/sports programming Chris BerryBeasley Media Group EVP programming, Justin ChaseWeiss Agency EVP, Heather CohenCumulus Media EVP content & programming Mike McVay; and Premiere Networks president, Julie Talbott.  Already posted: the panel discussion titled “Hosting a Talk Show in 2018.”  It is moderated by Cumulus Media VP of news/talk and PD of WMAL, Washington, DC, Bill Hess; introduced by iHeartMedia VP programming/national news/talk brand coordinator and PD KOA, Denver, Greg Foster; and featuring panelists Howie Carr Radio Network host, Howie Carr; WPGG, Atlantic City host, Harry HurleyFox News Radio/Fox News Channel host, Brian KilmeadeWestwood One host Chris PlanteTalk Media Network host Tom Sullivan; WPRO, Providence host, Dan Yorke; and KTSA, San Antonio host, Jack Riccardi; the panel discussion titled “Attracting Younger Demos to Talk Radio.”  It is moderated by Mike “Bax” Baxendale, morning co-host, WAQY-FM (Rock 102), Springfield, MA; introduced by WPHT, Philadelphia host Rich Zeoli; and featuring panelists Armstrong & Getty Show co-hosts Jack Armstrong and Joe Getty; WRKO, Boston PD, Michael Czarnecki; WRHU-FM/WRHU.org, Hofstra University OM, John T. Mullen; WABC, New York host Sid Rosenberg; and Compass MediaNetworks/Newsmax host, Todd Schnitt;  a video of the donation given by WPGG, Atlantic City morning host Harry Hurley to the Broadcasters Foundation of America and accepted by its president Jim Thompson;  convention luncheon greetings by WNYM “970 AM The Answer,” New York morning host Joe Piscopo with an introduction by Salem SVP Phil Boyce along with the posthumous presentation of the “Humanitarian of the Year” award to the late Texas and Ohio radio talk show host Matt Patrick by Michael Harrison with an acceptance by his widow and show producer, Paula Ryan;  the panel discussion titled “Adding the Video Component to Talk Radio” moderated by Livestream head of news, Clayton Rose and featuring panelists Krantz Media Group CEO, Gary Krantz and KTRS, St Louis host, McGraw Milhaven; the panel discussion titled “Generating Talk Radio Revenue in 2018” moderated by TALKERS VP/executive editor, Kevin Casey; introduced by Crossover Media Group managing member, Ron Hartenbaum; and featuring panelists Asa RX host, AsaBold Gold Media Group CEO, Vince BenedettoHowie Carr Radio Network president, Kathy CarrWestwood One president, Suzanne Grimes; WBAL, Baltimore president/GM, Cary Pahigian; and KSCO/KOMY, Santa Cruz owner, Michael Zwerling;  the special presentation by Amplifi Media CEO, Steven Goldstein titled “Radio Broadcasters and Smart Speakers with an introduction by GCN personality, Dr. Daliah Wachs ;  a special presentation by PodcastOne chairman and CEO, Norm Pattiz titled “Radio Broadcasters and Podcasting” with an introduction by Voice of America and National Public Radio anchor/reporter, Lori Lundin;  a special presentation by WFAN personality, Mike Francesa titled “Sports Talk’s Role in Media and Popular Culture” with an introduction by author and former radio producer, Bernadette Duncan;  Salem SVP, Phil Boyce’s address titled “What Has Donald Trump Done to Talk Radio?”; the fireside chat between TALKERS publisher, Michael Harrison and Beasley Media Group CEO, Caroline Beasley including Harrison’s presentation of the 2018 “Woman of the Year” award to Beasley; Harrison’s fireside chat with FOX News Radio/FOX News Channel mega-star, Brian Kilmeade with an introduction by Westwood One syndicated host, Walter Sterling and special remarks by Sean Hannity; opening remarks by the convention’s co-emcees, TalkersRadio GM, David Bernstein and Good Day Networks/DJV Show CEO/host, Doug Stephan; KGO, San Francisco host, Ethan Bearman delivering the event’s welcoming remarks and Pioneer Valley Radio GM/host, Brad Shepard introduction of Bearman; and the presentation of the Gene Burns Memorial Award for Freedom of Speech (“Freedom of Speech Award”) by TALKERS managing editor, Mike Kinosian to SiriusXM Satellite Radio host, book publisher, Hunter College professor, and former New York Daily News/Pulitzer prize-winning journalist, Karen Hunter.  To view the page, please click here.

Trump-Putin Meeting, Trump-Russia Investigation/Indictments, NATO Meeting Aftermath, Trump Flouts Royalty Protocol, Illegal Immigration Policy, U.S.-China Trade War, Chicago Police Shooting Protests/KC Cop Attacks, Brexit Controversy, France Wins World Cup, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. Today’s meeting between President Trump and Russia’s Vladimir Putin; the ongoing investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russia agents and Friday’s indictment of 12 Russians on hacking charges; President Trump’s meeting with NATO leaders and his statement that the European Union is America’s foe; chatter about Trump’s failure to observe royalty protocol when meeting Queen Elizabeth; the Trump administration’s illegal immigration and asylum policies; the trade war brewing between the U.S. and China; protests in Chicago after police kill an armed black man and the attack in Kansas City that wounded three police officers; British Prime Minister Theresa May’s EU exit woes; France wins the World Cup; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Hubbard’s Triple A WWFD, Frederick, Maryland First Full-Time, All-Digital AM Station. Frederick, Maryland triple A WWFD-AM “The Gamut” (also heard on translator W232DG at 94.3 FM) is making history as the “first full-time, all-digital AM radio station in the U.S.” Hubbard Radio says, “In an effort to keep up with the ever-evolving demand for digital, ‘The Gamut’ will be turning off its analog signal and will no longer be accessible through regular AM radio beginning today (7/16) at 12:00 noon.  This announcement comes as a result of a collaborative effort between ‘The Gamut’ and HD Radio, an Xperi Corporation brand, to give AM broadcasters parity in the car dashboard with FM HD Radio, satellite and internet streaming, among others.”  The conversion to all-digital is primarily expected to provide listeners with better sound quality and include new display features such as artist name, song title and even album artwork.  WWFD engineer and program director Dave Kolesar states, “My belief is that AM needs to start trending in this direction. We’re excited to be doing this extremely innovative project that has tremendous potential to make AM much more viable to distribute all formats.”

Indianapolis Radio Personality Bernie Eagan Retires. WYXB, Indianapolis afternoon personality Bernie Eagan is retiring from the business on July 20 after almost four decades on the radio.  Eagan – who is blind – got his start on radio while in college at the former Indiana Central College.  He studied broadcasting at Ball State and joined Emmis’ WENS, Indianapolis “Lite Rock 97.1” in 1981.  In 2002, he became morning host on Emmis’ adult contemporary WYXB “Soft Rock B105.7,” and later transitioned to afternoons.  Eagan was recently selected by the Indiana Broadcasters Association to be inducted into the Indiana Broadcast Pioneers Richard M. Fairbanks Hall of Fame. He will receive that honor this November.

More Music Radio News and Career Moves. New York hot AC WNEW-FM re-brands from the “Fresh 102.7” moniker to “NEW 102.7.”  Entercom New York region president and market manager Susan Larkin states, “This is an exciting move that underscores our commitment to offer listeners in New York a top-rated content and music experience.  Feedback tells us that New Yorkers are looking for a hot AC station that can take them through their workday and we know ‘NEW 102.7’ will deliver.” Additional announcements regarding the new programming lineup will be made shortly…..After cutting loose longtime syndicated morning show Bubba The Love Sponge” from rock WRXK, Fort Myers, Beasley Media Group announces it is piping in the “Dave & Chuck the Freak Morning Show” that emanates from its Detroit classic rock WRIF.   Beasley EVP of programming Justin Chase states, “We are pleased to have some of the finest personalities in the rock format within our company and Dave and Chuck are among the best of the best.  The type of content that they deliver has proven success in this market and I have no doubt this show will be a winner in Fort Myers.”…..Saga Communications classic hits KIOA, Des Moines announces Luke Matthews is the new morning drive co-host, alongside Amy on the “Luke & Amy” show. Matthews takes over for Maxwell Schaffer, who recently departed to take on the director of promotions and marketing at iHeartMedia’s Des Moines station group.

Round Four of June PPM Data Released. The fourth and final round of ratings information from Nielsen Audio‘s June 2018 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’s June 2018 survey period covered May 24 – June 20. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@Talkers.com) provides his “Takeaways” from all 12 of these PPM markets below.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

Austin

Spoken-Word Formats – It is a quick one-month stay at #1 for University of Texas at Austin-owned news/talker KUT (8.2 – 7.8, -.4, 6+), which shifts to the runner-up slot. May’s 8.2 is its highest 6+-share since 9.0 in November 2016. A combined +1.0 in January and February (6.5 – 7.2 – 7.5, 6+), KUT previously was -1.4 as the result of three straight decreases (7.9 – 7.6 – 6.8 – 6.5, 6+). Its November loss of three-tenths ended three successive gains that netted +1.8 (6.1 – 6.5 – 7.1 – 7.9, 6+). Off one-half share in April but up one-tenth in May, Emmis news/talk KLBJ-AM “News Radio 590 AM” now falters by four-tenths in June (4.6 – 4.1 – 4.2 – 3.8, 6+), exiting the top ten (#10 to #11). Three straight increases by KLBJ-AM prior to April’s -.5 resulted in a +1.8 (2.8 – 4.1 – 4.3 – 4.6, 6+). Immediately in advance of that streak, “News Radio 590 AM” was -1.3 in four straight decreases (4.1 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.2 – 2.8, 6+). A one-tenth gain in May by Genuine Austin Radio sports talk KTXX halted three straight down or flat trends that accounted for a -.3 (1.8 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.5, 6+). Now, “The Horn” adds one-half share (1.8 – 2.3, #18 to #16, 6+). Anchored at #24, iHeartMedia’s similarly-programmed KVET-AM “1300 AM The Zone” posts a +.2 to .5 (6+), suspending four straight down or flat trends that accounted for a loss of three-tenths (.6 – .6 – .5 – .3 – .3, 6+).

Austin Music Formats – On top four months in a row, Emmis adult hits KBPA “103.5 Bob FM” plummeted -1.4 in May (8.9 – 7.5, 6+), segueing to #2. Wiping away nearly half of May’s deficit, “Bob” – which was +1.0 in April – posts a June improvement of six-tenths to 8.1 (6+) and returns to #1. A November gain of one-half share halted three successive down or flat trends for a collective -.4 (8.7 – 8.7 – 8.6 – 8.3, 6+). Prior to picking up one-tenth in March (2018), “Bob” was -.6 (February); +1.7 (January); and -1.7 (“Holiday” 2017). In addition to moving from sixth to fifth, Entercom hot AC KAMX “Mix 94.7” is up for the third straight time for a collective +1.1 (4.7 – 5.1 – 5.2 – 5.8, 6+) and has its strongest 6+-stat (5.8) in nearly seven years (6.1, August 2011). Off one-half share in May, iHeartMedia-owned KASE erases that loss completely with June’s +.5 (5.6 – 5.1 – 5.6, eighth to sixth, 6+). Immediately before May’s one-half share decline, “Austin’s #1 For New Country” was +1.7 in four straight upticks (3.9 – 4.6 – 5.1 – 5.3 – 5.6, 6+). When KASE racked up a +.7 in January, it ended three consecutive decreases for an overall -1.2 (5.1 – 4.6 – 4.5 – 3.9, 6+). It now trails co-owned/similarly-formatted KVET-FM “98.1 – The Austin Texas Original” (6.1 – 6.0, -.1, third to fourth, 6+) by four-tenths. April’s +1.1 enabled KVET-FM to notch its best 6+-stat since last December’s 6.2; “The Austin Texas Original” was -.9 in February. KVET-FM and KASE were tied for fifth place in March (5.3, 6+). Meanwhile, Genuine Austin Radio-owned KOKE “Austin’s Country Alternative” is down slightly in back-to-back sweeps (1.4 – 1.2 – 1.1, #21 to #22, 6+). Locked on 1.8 (6+) in March and April, University of Texas at Austin-owned triple A KUTX “98.9 The Austin Music Experience” improves by a cumulative six-tenths in May and June to 2.4 (#17 to #14, 6+). At the same time that Emmis regional Mexican KLZT-FM “La Z 107.1” falters by one full-share following a May increase of six-tenths (5.3 – 4.3, fifth to ninth, 6+), co-owned Spanish contemporary KLZT-HD2 returns in its entirety the six-tenths it picked up in May (3.0 – 3.6 – 3.0, #12 to #13, 6+). The 5.3 for KLZT-FM in May is its highest 6+-stat since November 2017’s 5.4.

Raleigh

Spoken-Word Formats – Powered by a robust +.9 (7.8 – 8.7, 6+), University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill news/talk WUNC progresses from third to first; “91.5 North Carolina Public Radio” was -1.0 in April. January 2018’s 9.1 is its strongest 6+-share since January 2014’s 9.4. WUNC fell to third-place in “Holiday” 2017 after four consecutive months in the runner-up slot. In addition to dropping from seventh to eighth, iHeartMedia news/talk WTKK “106.1 Stay Connected” is down (slightly) or flat for the third time in a row for a -.3 (5.3 – 5.1 – 5.1 – 5.0, 6+). An April loss of two-tenths curtailed three consecutive upticks that yielded a +1.5 (3.8 – 4.7 – 4.9 – 5.3, 6+). Just before that, WTKK was -1.4 via three straight decreases (5.2 – 5.0 – 4.7 – 3.8, 6+). After four successive times of posting a 1.0 (6+), Curtis Media Group news/talk WPTF gains two-tenths to 1.2 (6+) yet backslides from #18 to #19. Ironically, prior to May, “News Radio 680” occupied the #19 slot for nine straight sweeps. The rollercoaster ride continues for Capitol Broadcasting sports talk WCMC “99.9 The Fan,” which was -1.3 in January; +.5 in March; -.5 in April; +.5 in May; and now -1.3 in June (3.4 – 3.9 – 3.4 – 3.9 – 2.6, #11 to #14, 6+). This (2.6) is its softest 6+-stat since July 2017’s 2.4. Following eight straight up or flat moves that produced an overall +.3 (.2 – .3 – .4 – .4 – .5 – .5 – .5 – .5 – .5, 6+), co-owned sports talk WDNC “620 The Ticket” was off four-tenths in May to .1 (#25, 6+) and now disappears from print.

Raleigh Music Formats – Three major improvements in a row by Capitol Broadcasting adult contemporary WRAL (5.1 – 5.8 – 7.1 – 7.7, March – April – May – June, 6+) net a collective +2.6, propelling “Mix 101.5” from fifth to third with its strongest 6+-showing (7.7) since 10.4 in “Holiday” 2017. This streak was immediately preceded by three negative moves in succession that accounted for a roughly 50% decline (-5.3) in its 6+-share (10.4 – 6.1 – 5.4 – 5.1, 6+). With its 6+ AQH share cut exactly in half as a result of four straight negative moves (2.0 – 1.9 – 1.7 – 1.4 – 1.0, 6+), Curtis Media Group regional Mexican WYMY “La Ley 101.1” bounces back with a +.6 to 1.6 (#19 to #17, 6+). Knocked out of the top spot following 12 straight months there and slipping to second is Radio One urban AC WFXC “Foxy – Today’s R&B and Classic Soul” (9.3 – 8.4, -.9, 6+). Its +.4 in May pulled the plug on three dips in a row that accounted for a combined -1.8 (10.7 – 9.5 – 9.3 – 8.9, 6+). This past January’s 10.7 is its best-ever (6+) PPM stat. Immediately prior to February, “Foxy” was an overall +2.0 in four consecutive gains (8.7 – 8.9 – 9.4 – 10.4 – 10.7, 6+). Its loss of one-half share last October halted six straight positive spikes that netted +2.4 (6.8 – 7.2 – 7.5 – 8.1 – 8.2 – 8.7 – 9.2, 6+). Within 6.0 – 6.7 range (6+) in each of the last five survey periods (6.0 – 6.7 – 6.0 – 6.1 – 6.3, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WDCG  drops six-tenths to 5.7, its lowest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2017’s 5.3, but “G-105 Raleigh’s #1 Hit Music Station” remains at #6.

Indianapolis

Spoken-Word Formats – The market’s largest (6+) May 2018 – June 2018 increase is made by Emmis news/talk WIBC (5.6 – 6.7, +1.1, 6+), which jumps from seventh to fourth. Prior to May’s -.3, “93.1 Indy’s News Center” was a combined +2.5 via four straight positive spikes (3.4 – 4.5 – 5.0 – 5.6 – 5.9, 6+), preceded by an overall -1.8 in four straight downward moves (5.2 – 4.9 – 4.2 – 3.6 – 3.4, 6+). Having forfeited seven-tenths in April, Metropolitan Indianapolis Public Broadcasting news/talk WFYI erases it with a combined +.7 in May and June (2.6 – 3.1 – 3.3, #13 to #14, 6+); WFYI was +1.1 in January. Frozen on 2.3 in March, April, and May, Emmis-owned sports talk WFNI is off one-tenth to 2.2 (flat at #16, 6+); “The Fan” was stymied at 2.1 (6+) in January and February. At the same time, iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WNDE “Indy’s Sports Station” is without an increase for the third time in succession for a loss of three-tenths (1.8 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.5, #17 to #18, 6+).

Indianapolis Music Formats – A collective -2.3 as the result of three downward trends in succession (5.4 – 4.7 – 3.9 – 3.1, 6+), WNOW “100.9 Radio Now” hangs out a +.6 to 3.7 (6+) but remains at #13. The Radio One CHR was a combined +2.2 in January and February (3.2 – 4.3 – 5.4, 6+). Its rhythmic CHR sibling WHHH “Hot 96.3” advances from eighth to seventh with its third consecutive increase for a collective +.9 (4.7 – 4.8 – 5.1 – 5.6, 6+). Notching May 2018 – June 2018 increases of one-half share as well are Emmis adult contemporary WYXB “B-105.7” (6.6, sixth to fifth, 6+), which was a combined -1.3 in April and May (7.4 – 6.4 – 6.1, 6+), and Cumulus Media’s WJJK “Classic Hits 104.5” (6.8 – 7.3, fourth to second, 6+). Winning ways continue for co-owned WFMS, which is not only #1 for the third month in a row but “95.5 The Country Station” is an overall +2.3 in four straight upticks (5.9 – 6.2 – 7.3 – 7.8 – 8.2, 6+). Prior to April, the last time WFMS reached #1 was November 2013; June 2018’s 8.2 is its highest 6+-stat since 8.3 in October 2013. WFMS was -.9 (July 2017); +.8 (August); +.5 (September); -.7 (October); +1.1 (November); -.9 (December); -.6 (“Holiday” 2017); -.5 (February 2018); +1.0 in April; and +.5 in May. Meanwhile, Emmis-owned WLHK “Country 97.1 Hank FM,” which was +1.6 in five consecutive monthlies without a loss (5.5 – 6.2 – 6.2 – 6.7 – 6.8 – 7.1, 6+), spirals by nine-tenths to 6.2 (second to sixth, 6+). On the strength of a +.7 in January, “Hank” ended three straight down or flat sweeps for a -1.6 (7.1 – 7.1 – 6.4 – 5.5, 6+). May 2018’s 7.1 is the strongest 6+-showing for WLHK since 7.6 in September 2015. Including June’s -1.1, Entercom CHR WZPL “99.5 ZPL – Indy’s #1 Hit Music Station” is now an overall -2.0 via three straight negative moves (7.5 – 6.8 – 6.6 – 5.5, fifth to eighth, 6+). After trending 4.7 – 4.4 – 4.5 (March – April – May, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WOLT “Alt 103.3 – Indy’s Alternative” sputters by seven-tenths to 3.8 (its lowest 6+-share since May 2017’s 3.8) but stays at #11. Substituting May’s +.6 with a June -.6, Entercom hot AC WNTR “107.9 The Mix – Better Variety for a Better Workday” carries on at #9. Its gain of six-tenths this time last month halted three downward moves in a row that accounted for a collective -1.2 (5.5 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.3, 6+). Displaying an identical May 2018 – June 2018 profile as “The Mix” is Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WKLU “Positive & Encouraging K-Love” (4.9 – 4.3, -.6, flat at #9, 6+), which has its lowest 6+-stat since re-appearing in print in December 2016. In four downward trends in a row, Radio One urban AC WTLC-FM “106.7 Indy’s R&B Leader” is -1.4 (5.2 – 4.6 – 4.1 – 3.9 – 3.8, 6+) but actually improves from #12 to #11 – where it is tied with WOLT.

Milwaukee

Spoken-Word Formats – At the same time that Scripps news/talk (and Milwaukee Brewers flagship) WTMJ “Wisconsin’s Radio Station” virtually eliminates May’s -.6 with a +.5 (7.3 – 7.8, third to second, 6+), iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WISN “News/Talk 1130” surrenders eight-tenths of May’s +.9 (7.7 – 6.9, second to fourth, 6+). In April (2018), WTMJ matched February’s +.9. Before that particular February gain, “Wisconsin’s Radio Station” was without an increase the previous four sweeps for a -2.0 (7.3 – 6.4 – 6.4 – 6.1 – 5.3, 6+). With downward trends in three straight sweeps (8.4 – 8.3 – 7.5 – 6.8, January through April, 6+), WISN was an overall –1.6. Finishing second in six successive survey periods, “News/Talk 1130,” which was a combined -.9 in February and March, fell to fourth in April; it was +1.0 in January. When WISN dropped one-half share in “Holiday” 2017, it ended five straight gains that yielded a +1.9 (6.0 – 6.1 – 6.7 – 6.8 – 7.0 – 7.9, 6+). Prior to January, the last time it reached the eight-share level (6+) was just over five years ago (8.1, April 2013). An overall +.8 in five sweeps in a row without a loss (2.0 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.8, 6+), WUWM has a one-tenth setback to 2.7 (6+) yet climbs from #15 to #13; the University of Wisconsin news/talk outlet is within 2.0 – 2.9 range (6+) for the 14th consecutive sweep. The March 2018 – June 2018 topline trending for Entercom’s WSSP “Sports Radio 105.7 The Fan” is 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.2 (#16 to #17, 6+).

Milwaukee Music Formats – Significant ups/downs continue for Saga Communications’ WKLH “96.5 Milwaukee’s Hometown Rock,” which was -.9 (“Holiday” 2017); +.5 (January 2008); -.9 (February); +1.1 (March); -.5 (April); -.5 (May); and now +.9 in June (6.4 – 7.3, fourth to third, 6+). “Milwaukee’s Hometown Rock” was an overall +3.0 in four consecutive August through December increases (4.6 – 5.1 – 5.5 – 6.0 – 7.6, 6+). A May uptick of three-tenths by Entercom hot AC WMYX halted five successive sweeps without an increase which accounted for a -1.2 (5.7 – 5.4 – 5.3 – 5.2 – 5.2 – 4.5, 6+). By adding one-half share (4.8 – 5.3, 6+), “99.1 The Mix” climbs from seventh to sixth. April’s 4.5 marked the first time “Mix” slipped below a five-share (6+) since “Holiday” 2016’s 4.9. In addition to being +1.7 in four straight increases (8.8 – 9.4 – 9.9 – 10.3 – 10.5, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WRIT “95.7 Big FM – Milwaukee’s Greatest Hits” is #1 for the 40th consecutive ratings period. Prior to January 2018, “Big FM” had been in double-digits (6+) in six of the previous 12 ratings periods; 11.6 in “Holiday” 2017 was its strongest 6+-stat since 14.4 in “Holiday” 2015. A cumulative +2.5 in five straight increases (3.6 – 4.5 – 5.0 – 5.4 – 5.5 – 6.1, 6+), co-owned WMIL “FM 106.1 – Milwaukee’s Best Country” forfeits 40% of that increase (5.1, -1.0, 6+), dropping from fifth to seventh. In advance of registering a +.9 in January, “FM 106.1” was a combined -3.2 in five successive downward moves (6.5 – 5.7 – 5.0 – 4.3 – 3.9 – 3.6, 6+). Eight-tenths behind it is format rival, Scripps’ WKTI “94.5 KTI Country,” which loses one-tenth (4.4 – 4.3, ninth to tenth, 6+). Its +.6 in February interrupted six successive down or flat survey periods for a collective -1.4 (4.8 – 4.5 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 3.6 – 3.4, 6+). Immediately prior to that trending, WKTI posted three straight gains for a +1.1 (3.7 – 3.8 – 4.0 – 4.8, 6+).

Nashville

Spoken-Word Formats – Having recorded a +.7 in April and then a -.1 in May (1.9 – 2.6 – 2.5, 6+), Cromwell Group-owned sports talk WPRT “102.5 The Game” (#15 to #20, 6+) spirals by -1.6 to .9, its lowest 6+-performance since October 2017’s .8. In five consecutive losses, Cumulus Media sports talk WGFX  is -3.5 (6.5 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.4 – 3.1 – 3.0, #13 to #12, 6+); “104.5 The Zone” followed “Holiday” 2017’s loss of six-tenths with a January gain of nine-tenths. Anchored at #9, Nashville Public Radio news/talk/classical hybrid WPLN-FM “NPR News and Classical Music” is a combined -.5 in four straight sweeps without an increase, (5.3 – 5.3 – 5.0 – 4.8 – 4.8, 6+). January’s full-share gain ended three decreases in succession that resulted in a -2.4 (6.4 – 5.7 – 4.6 – 4.0, 6+). WPLN-FM was +1.2 in October to 6.4, its best 6+-share in the PPM-era. For the third straight sweep, Cumulus Media news/talk WWTN has a (6+) fluctuation of two-tenths (3.5 – 3.7 – 3.5 – 3.3, 6+) with “Super Talk 99.7” remaining at #11. January’s half-share improvement halted three straight declines that yielded a -2.0 (5.0 – 4.4 – 3.1 – 3.0, 6+). With a (6+) high of 1.4 and low of .9, the topline May 2017 – June 2018 trending for iHeartMedia news/talk WLAC “Talk Radio 1510” is 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – .9 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.0 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.1 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.1 (#19 to #11, 6+).

Nashville Music Formats – Roaring back from May’s -.5 with a gain twice that margin (8.2 – 9.2, +1.0, 6+), Midwest Communications adult contemporary WJXA  is #1 for the fifth month in a row. “Mix 92.9 – Your Life, Your Music” ranked first in November, December, and “Holiday” 2017; shifted to second in January; but returned to #1 in February. Prior to January’s -6.7, “Mix” was +8.0 in six straight increases (6.4 – 6.5 – 6.7 – 7.4 – 7.7 – 9.9 – 14.4, 6+). Adult hits cluster-mate WCJK “96.3 Jack-FM Playing What We Want,” which had been (slightly) down or flat the past four ratings periods for an overall loss of six-tenths (7.4 – 7.0 – 6.9 – 6.9 – 6.8, 6+), dials up a one-half share gain to 7.3 (6+) and continues in third-place. Adding seven-tenths to May’s +.4 (5.3 – 5.7 – 6.4, 6+) Cumulus Media’s country-formatted WSM-FM “95.5 Nash Icon” advances from eighth to fifth. “Nash Icon” faltered by one-half share in April following March’s -.3; a January and February +1.9 (4.2 – 5.6 – 6.1, 6+) wiped out its -1.7 from December and “Holiday” 2017 (5.9 – 5.6 – 4.2, 6+). Off a collective -1.5 (5.0 – 4.7 – 3.5, January – February – March, 6+) and then stuck on 4.0 (6+) in April and May, similarly-formatted sibling WKDF “103.3 Nash FM” breaks out a +.6 to 4.6 and remains at #10. Immediately in advance of the aforementioned -1.5, “Nash Icon” was an overall +1.8 via four straight gains (3.2 – 3.3 – 3.6 – 3.9 – 5.0, 6+). A loss of three-tenths by iHeartMedia’s WSIX (5.9 – 5.6, 6+) shifts “The Big 98 – Nashville’s #1 for New Country” from sixth to seventh. “The Big 98” registered a +.6 in February, -.5 in March, and +.6 in April. Its +1.1 in January ended three straight setbacks that accounted for a -1.4 (5.5 – 5.1 – 4.9 – 4.1, 6+). The market’s two mainstream CHRs are a combined -1.1 (May 2018 – June 2018, 6+) as iHeartMedia’s WRVW “107.5 The River” erodes by seven-tenths (5.9 – 5.2, sixth to eighth, 6+), while Midwest Communications’ WNFN “106.7 Nashville’s New Hit Music” drops four-tenths (2.6 – 2.2, #14 to #15, 6+). WRVW and WNFN were a cumulative -1.4 in April and teamed for a +.5 in May. By dropping one-half share (3.5 – 3.0, 6+), Cromwell Group-owned WBUZ “102.9 The Buzz – Nashville’s Rock Station” slips from #11 to #12. Four successive up or flat trends by co-owned WQZQ more than doubled (+.7) its 6+-share, but “Classic Hits 93.3” (.5 – .6 – .7 – 1.2 – 1.2, 6+), hands over-one-tenth to 1.1 (6+) yet proceeds from #18 to a four-way tie at #16; May’s 1.2 is its best 6+-stat since November 2017 (1.2, as well). Also included in that logjam at #16 is TBLC Media Spanish contemporary WNVL, which is off three-tenths to 1.1 (#17 to #16, 6+). Having reached the top twenty for the first time in March, “Activa” concludes three straight up or flat moves that produced a 6+ AQH stat seven times greater than it was in February (.2 – .9 – 1.4 – 1.4, 6+).

Providence

Spoken-Word Formats – Albeit that it remains at #7, Entercom sports talk WVEI posts its third positive spike in succession for a collective +1.2 (2.8 – 3.4 – 3.9 – 4.0, 6+). Leading up to the February sweep, the Boston Red Sox Radio Network affiliate was an overall +1.8 via three consecutive up or flat trends (3.2 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 5.0, 6+) but then was a cumulative -2.2 in February and March (5.0 – 3.6 – 2.8, 6+). One-tenth behind is Cumulus Media news/talk WPRO-AM “News Talk 630” (flat at 3.9, seventh to eighth, 6+). May’s setback of eight-tenths essentially negated the eight-tenths it collected via three consecutive upticks (3.9 – 4.2 – 4.6 – 4.7, 6+). When WPRO-AM lost one-tenth in January, it curtailed four straight upward moves of two-tenths each for a collective +.8 (3.2 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 3.8 – 4.0, 6+). The January 2018 – June 2018 (6+) topline for co-owned WPRV “AM 790 Talk & Business” is a steady .4 – .5 – .6 – .5 – .6 – .6 (unchanged at #15). Down an overall seven-tenths in four straight decreases (2.0 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.5 – 1.3, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WHJJ slips from #12 to #13; “Providence’s News, Traffic, and Weather” gained six-tenths in February. Off one-tenth (2.2 – 2.1, 6+), The Wheeler School’s WELH is unchanged in its market rank (#10); WGBH Educational Foundation’s WGBH falters by three-tenths (2.2 – 1.9, #11, 6+); these two public news/talk facilities were tied in May at #10. Immediately prior to the May sweep, WELH and WGBH finished back-to-back four straight times.

Providence Music Formats – Owing to six straight sweeps without a decrease (7.2 – 7.4 – 7.5 – 8.3 – 8.3 – 8.8 – 9.8, third to second, 6+), Hall Communications’ WCTK “Cat Country 98.1” is +2.6. Moreover, this (9.8) is its strongest 6+-performance in three years (9.9, June 2015). Tacking on nine-tenths to May’s increase of eight-tenths (8.6 – 9.4 – 10.3, 6+), Cumulus Media adult contemporary WWLI “Lite Rock 105” repeats at #1. This (10.3) is the highest 6+-stat for “Lite” since 12.3 in “Holiday” 2017. Prior to this past October, “Lite Rock” (-1.1 in March) was a combined +1.6 as the result of three straight increases (9.8 – 10.0 – 10.8 – 11.4, 6+). Erasing May’s -.4 with an increase twice that margin, iHeartMedia-owned WHJY (9.0 – 9.8, +.8, 6+) remains at #2, where it is tied with WCTK. On top in March and April, “94 HJY Providence’s Home of Rock and Roll” slipped to the runner-up slot in May. June 2018’s 9.8 is its best 6+-stat since January 2012’s 10.0. Following three upticks in a row that netted seven-tenths (4.7 – 5.0 – 5.2 – 5.4, 6+), iHeartMedia hot AC WSNE “Coast 93.3” erodes by -1.2 to 4.2 but continues in sixth-place. In three straight monthlies without an increase (2.8 – 2.3 – 1.4 – 1.4, #13 to #12, 6+), Red Wolf Broadcasting Spanish tropical WKKB loses exactly half its 6+-share (-1.4); “Latina 100.3” was a cumulative +1.3 in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018.

Norfolk – Huge winning ways continue for Entercom urban AC WVKL which is #1 for the 19th time in a row and a collective +2.2 in three straight increases (12.1 – 12.3 – 13.2 – 14.3, 6+). Moreover, “Smooth R&B from Yesterday & Today” posts a 6+-share of 11.0 or higher for the 27th time in the last 28 sweeps. When it logged a 14.6 in November 2017, WVKL set the record for highest 6+-performance by any Norfolk station in the PPM-era, breaking the old mark of 14.3 (6+) it set two months earlier. Before slipping by one-half share in October, “Smooth R&B from Yesterday & Today” – which earlier was on top for 55 consecutive ratings periods – posted three straight improvements accounting for a +2.4 (11.8 – 12.0 – 13.4 – 13.7 – 14.2, 6+). Having faltered by three-tenths May, iHeartMedia urban-rhythmic oldies WHBT displays an increase twice that size (1.9 – 2.5, +.6, 6+) and is anchored at #8. In five successive (slightly) up or flat trends, “92.1 The Beat” gained three-tenths (1.9 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.2 – 2.2, 6+). Bouncing back from May’s -1.1, Entercom adult contemporary WWDE logs a one-half share increase (5.0 – 5.5, 6+) and continues in fifth-place. Just prior to May’s loss, “101.3 2WD” strung together three upticks in succession that generated a +1.8 (4.3 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 6.1, 6+). Three straight declines by iHeartMedia urban contemporary WOWI accounted for a –1.3 (8.6 – 8.1 – 7.7 – 7.3, 6+), but “103 Jamz” is now +.6 in May and June (7.3 – 7.4 – 7.9, 6+) to advance from third to second. In a somewhat similar vein, Norfolk State University urban contemporary WNSB was without a gain for seven successive ratings periods for a -.8 (1.7 – 1.7 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.0 – 1.0 – .9, 6+), but “Hot 91.1” is up a combined six-tenths in the last two sweeps (.9 – 1.0 – 1.5, 6+) and enters the top ten (#12 to #9). In the  Saga Communications cluster, WNOR “99 Rocks” erodes by -1.0 (8.3 – 7.3, second to third, 6+), while classic rock WAFX “106.9 The Fox” is a cumulative -1.1 in May and June (7.1 – 6.7 – 6.0, 6+) and remains in fourth-place. This (7.3) is the lowest 6+-showing for WNOR since its 6.0 in “Holiday” 2017. When “The Fox” dropped four-tenths in May, it halted three upticks in a row that netted +2.4 (4.7 – 5.9 – 6.3 – 6.4 – 7.1, 6+). As the result of six successive sweeps without an increase, iHeartMedia rhythmic hot AC WMOV spirals by roughly 80% (-3.9) of its 6+ AQH share (5.0 – 1.6 – 1.3 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – .9) with “Movin’ 107.7” falling from #11 to #12.

Greensboro

Spoken-Word Formats – In back-to-back sweeps, iHeartMedia news/talk WPTI “94.5 Your News, Talk, & Sports Station” posts a gain of two-tenths (3.8 – 4.0 – 4.2, flat at #9, 6+). Its +.2 in May ended three decreases in succession that produced a cumulative -2.1 (5.9 – 5.2 – 4.6 – 3.8, 6+); WPTI was +1.6 in January (4.3 – 5.9, 6+). An overall +2.2 in five consecutive increases (3.3 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 5.5, 6+), it relinquished more than half that total in December (4.3, -1.2, 6+). Once again finishing at #13 and #14, respectively, are Wake Forest University news/talk WFDD “88.5 Public Radio for the Piedmont” (2.5 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.0, for an overall -.5 the past three sweeps, 6+) and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill news/talk WUNC (1.1 – 1.0, 6+). In “Holiday” 2017, WFDD returned in its entirety the +.6 it gained in November and December (1.7 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 1.7, 6+). Prior to April, WUNC registered a .9 (6+) in three of the previous four sweeps (.9 – .9 – 1.1 – .9, 6+). Unchanged at #16, Curtis Media Group sports talk WSJS is off 50% (-.4) in three straight dips (.8 – .6 – .5 – .4, 6+). Immediately before that, owing to three straight (slight) increases, “Triad Sports” quadrupled its 6+-share (.2 – .3 – .6 – .8, 6+).

Greensboro Music Formats – Resurfacing in April following a long absence of being unlisted, Dick Broadcasting CHR WKZL 107.5 KZL – The #1 Hit Music Station” posts its five latest 6+-stats – including May 2018 – June 2018’s +1.1 (4.0 – 5.4 – 5.0 – 4.3 – 5.4 (eighth to seventh). Coinciding with iHeartMedia-owned WTQR “Q-104.1 – #1 for New Country” posting a +1.0, Entercom’s similarly-programmed WPAW “93.1 The Wolf” spirals by -1.5 (6.2 – 4.7, sixth to eighth, 6+). This marks the third uptick in a row by “Q-104” for an overall +2.3 (4.9 – 5.0 – 6.2 – 7.2, 6+) as it jumps from sixth to fifth. When WTQR, which logs its highest 6+-share (7.2) since October 2017’s 7.3, registered a +1.2 in May, it drew even with WPAW. Immediately prior to June’s -1.5, “The Wolf was +1.1 (May) and -.9 (April). Its April decrease curtailed three successive upticks that accounted for an overall gain of seven-tenths (5.3 – 5.7 – 5.8 – 6.0, 6+). Similar to WTQR, May’s 6.2 is the highest 6+-share for “The Wolf” since 7.1 in October 2017. After both stations sputtered by six-tenths in May, Entercom rhythmic CHR WJMH “102 Jams” (7.9 – 7.3 – 8.2, 6+) and iHeartMedia adult contemporary WMAG “The Triad’s Best Variety of the ‘80s, ‘90s, & Today” (7.5 – 6.9 – 7.8, 6+) roar back with matching leaps of nine-tenths; they remain at #3 and #4, respectively. WJMH was a combined +1.1 (7.3 – 8.0 – 8.4, January – February – March, 6+), but off one-half share in April. Entering the May sweep, WMAG netted +1.4 as the result of three positive or flat trends in a row (6.1 – 7.0 – 7.0 – 7.5, 6+). Notwithstanding a loss of eight-tenths (12.0 – 11.2, 6+), Entercom urban AC WQMG “97.1 QMG The Best R&B and Old School” is #1 for the sixth straight sweep and notches double-digits (6+) for the 20th time in succession. WQMG was -1.1 in March but then +1.2 in April. Before slipping to #2 in “Holiday” 2017 with a -1.2, “97.1 QMG” spent seven straight survey periods on top. While anchored in the runner-up slot for the sixth straight sweep, adult hits sibling WSMW “98.7 Simon Says We Play Everything” is -2.5 in five consecutive decreases (11.6 – 11.4 – 10.4 – 10.3 – 9.4 – 9.1, 6+). As the result of six successive sweeps without a loss (2.6 – 2.8 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 4.1, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WMKS was +1.5; however, “100.3 Kiss FM All the Hits” is now a collective -.9 in May and June (4.1 – 3.7 – 3.2, #11 to #12, 6+). Up nine-tenths via three consecutive gains (2.9 – 3.0 – 3.3 – 3.8, 6+), co-owned WVBZ “105.7 Man Up!” returns four-tenths to 3.4 (6+) but stays at #10.

West Palm Beach

Spoken-Word Formats – This is the third straight up or flat trend by iHeartMedia news/talk WJNO “1290 The Palm Beaches’ News & Talk” for a collective gain of seven-tenths (2.0 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.7, tenth to ninth, 6+). Before posting a +.3 in April, WJNO was a collective -1.3 via four successive decreases (3.3 – 2.9 – 2.6 – 2.1 – 2.0, 6+). Without a loss the past five months for a +1.2 (2.3 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.5 – 3.5, 6+), Dade County School Board news/talk WLRN is off four-tenths to 3.1 (6+) but stays in eighth-place. While flat at #11, Alpha Media’s WFTL “News Talk 850” gains two-tenths (1.7 – 1.9, 6+). Three-tenths behind “News Talk 850” is iHeartMedia news/talk WZZR “Real Radio 94.3 – Real Talk for the Palm Beaches,” which is steady at 1.6 (#13 to #12, 6+). WFTL had been +1.0 in four straight sweeps without a loss (1.0 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.5 – 2.0, 6+). Similar to WJNO, “Real Radio” posted a +.3 in April, stopping four consecutive down or flat trends that resulted in a -.9 (2.7 – 2.3 – 2.1- 2.1 – 1.8, 6+). The five 6+-stats for WSWN, which debuted in print in January 2018, are .5 – .6 – .6 – .5 – .5 (#17, 6+); “The Talk of the Palm Beaches,” however, is unlisted in June 2018.

West Palm Beach Music Formats – Locked on 5.9 (6+) in April and May, after having climbed to 6.9 in March, iHeartMedia adult contemporary WOLL “Today’s Kool 105.5” picks up six-tenths to 6.5 (6+), advancing from third to second. Prior to April, “Kool” was +2.0 in three consecutive upticks (4.9 – 5.4 – 6.4 – 6.9, 6+) and had been +.8 (December 2017); -.6 (“Holiday” 2017); +.5 (January 2018); +1.0 (February); +.5 (March); and -1.0 (April). Down one full-share in September to 4.2 – its lowest 6+ showing since 3.9 in July 2011 – “KOOL” regained six-tenths of that decline in October; 6.9 in March was the station’s highest 6+-share since 7.5 in July 2016. A gain of three-tenths to 9.3 (6+) by WRMF “97.9 Variety from the 90s and Now” applies the brakes to three straight decreases that produced a collective -1.2 (10.2 – 9.9 – 9.2 – 9.0, 6+). Over and above that, the Alpha Media hot AC is on top for the sixth month in a row. Prior to January’s +1.6, WRMF was down or flat in three consecutive ratings periods for an overall -3.0 (11.2 – 11.2 – 8.9 – 8.2, 6+). It spent 12 ratings periods in a row on top before dropping to the runner-up slot in “Holiday” 2017. A one-tenth September setback ended four straight increases that netted +1.6 (9.3 – 9.4 – 9.5 – 10.4 – 10.9, 6+). Co-owned urban AC WMBX “X-102.3” regresses by six-tenths (6.2 – 5.6, 6+) to slide from second to third.

Jacksonville

Spoken-Word Formats – Despite gaining one-tenth for its third increase in succession for a +2.1 (7.3 – 8.2 – 9.3 – 9.4, 6+), news/talk WOKV falls to #2 after a one-month stay at #1. This (9.4) is the strongest 6+-showing since September 2017’s 9.7 for “104.5 – Jacksonville’s News, Weather, and Traffic,” which was -.9 in March. Four straight negative trends (9.7 – 8.5 – 7.7 – 7.0 – 6.9, 6+) accounted for a -2.8 but WOKV wiped out nearly half that margin in January and February (6.9 – 8.1 – 8.2, +1.2, 6+). In “Holiday” 2017, the Cox Media Group outlet recorded its softest 6+-stat since 6.6 in “Holiday” 2016; the station was +1.3 in September. Having dropped one-tenth in each of the last three survey periods (3.5 – 3.4 – 3.3 – 3.2, 6+), public news/talk WJCT gains one-tenth in June to 3.3 (6+) and carries on at #12. WJCT was a combined +.9 in January and February (2.6 – 3.0 – 3.5, 6+) with January’s +.4 halting five straight down or flat sweeps for a collective -.7 (3.3 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 2.6, 6+).

Jacksonville Music Formats – When WEJZ lost two-tenths in May, it bumped the Renda Broadcasting adult contemporary property from first after just a one-month stay on top. Powered by a June +1.4, however, “96.1 Jacksonville’s Official Work Station” returns to #1 (9.0 – 10.4, 6+). WEJZ was #1 in “Holiday” 2017 and February 2018. Before sputtering by -4.3 in January, “Jacksonville’s Official Work Station” was an overall +5.8 in four straight uptrends, practically doubling its 6+ AQH share (6.1 – 6.4 – 6.4 – 9.0 – 11.9, September 2017 through “Holiday” 2017, 6+). This (10.4, June 2018) is its highest 6+-stat since 11.9 in “Holiday” 2017. After being a collective -2.3 in April and May (9.0 – 8.2 – 6.7, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WQIK “99.1 – Jacksonville’s Country” bounces back with a one-half share increase to 7.2 (steady at #4, 6+). Its +1.1 in March pulled the plug on four straight decreases that accounted for an overall -5.7 (13.6 – 12.3 – 11.0 – 10.6 – 8.2 – 7.9, 6+). On top for 12 straight ratings periods, “Jacksonville’s Country” shifted to #2 in “Holiday” 2017 but returned to #1 in January 2018 and March; October 2017’s 13.6 is its best-ever (6+) PPM-performance. Conversely, with a one full-share loss, Spanish contemporary WQIK-HD2 virtually disappears from print (1.1 – .1, #18 to #21, 6+). In October 2017, WQIK “Jacksonville’s Country” had a 10.3-share advantage (13.6 – 3.3, 6+) over Renda Broadcasting’s similarly-programmed WGNE but that lead is now 1.5 as “Gator Country 99.9” is steady at #5 with a 5.8 (-.1, 6+). WGNE bounced back from a -.6 in March with a +1.1 in April. Without a decrease in each of the past five sweeps for a combined +1.8 (6.6 – 7.1 – 7.7 – 8.2 – 8.2 – 8.4, 6+), Cox Media Group classic hits-oldies WJGL surrenders one-half share to 7.9 (flat at #3, 6+); “96.9 The Eagle” was -1.7 in “Holiday” 2017 (8.3 – 6.6, 6+). Off a cumulative -1.0 in March and April (5.2 – 4.6 – 4.2, 6+), iHeartMedia urban contemporary WJBT “93.3 The Beat” erased 80% of that margin with a +.8 in April to 5.0 (6+), but forfeits one-half share in June (4.5, flat at #7, 6+).

Memphis

Spoken-Word Formats – Tied at #11 in June are Entercom sports talk WMFS “ESPN Sports Radio” which gains one-tenth (2.8 – 2.9, #12 to #11 6+) and iHeartMedia news/talk WREC “600 AM – Memphis’ News, Traffic, & Weather” – down one-tenth (flat at #11, 6+). Immediately prior to dropping one-tenth in April, WMFS was up or flat three monthlies in a row for an overall gain of eight-tenths (2.5 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 3.3, 6+). Following four straight increases that accounted for a +1.3 through November (2.0 – 2.2 – 2.6 – 2.9 – 3.3, 6+), “ESPN Sports Radio” was a combined -.8 in December and “Holiday” 2017 (3.3 – 3.1 – 2.5, 6+). Meanwhile, WREC is without an increase for the fifth successive sweep for an overall deficit of six-tenths (3.5 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 2.9, 6+). Its eight-tenths’ setback in “Holiday” 2017 brought to a close five consecutive up or flat moves for a collective +.7 (2.7 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 3.4, 6+); January’s 3.5 is the best 6+-share for WREC, -.8 in “Holiday” 2017 and a +.9 in January, since 3.6 in February 2017. Having logged a .1 (6+) three consecutive times, Entercom sports talk WMC-AM “Sports 790 AM” adds two-tenths to .3 (#18).

Memphis Music Formats – In addition to climbing from sixth to fifth, Entercom hot AC WMC-FM  registers its fourth straight uptick for an overall +2.3 (4.5 – 4.9 – 5.2 – 5.5 – 6.8, 6+). Moreover, “FM 100 Today’s Best Mix” has its strongest 6+-showing (6.8) since May 2017’s 7.0. Piling on a +1.0 in June to May’s +.7 (9.4 – 10.1 – 11.1, 6+), iHeartMedia urban AC KJMS “V-101” solidifies its hold on #1. On top for three months in a row, KJMS slipped to second in April. “V-101” departed the top spot in “Holiday” 2017 after four consecutive months there and rebounded from January’s -.6 with a +.7 in February. Following three straight improvements that yielded a +2.1 (9.2 – 10.0 – 10.4 – 11.3, 6+), “V-101” was -1.0 in December. While anchored at #8, co-owned WEGR “Rock 102.7 – Memphis’ Classic Rock” is a collective +1.5 in three straight positive spikes (3.0 – 3.8 – 4.0 – 4.5, 6+). A one-half share May 2018 – June 2018 improvement to 3.9 (tenth to ninth, 6+) by Cumulus Media-owned WGKX “Kix 106 Today’s Best Country” curtails four decreases in a row that accounted for a loss of seven-tenths (4.4 – 4.1 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.4, 6+). This is the fourth time in a row that iHeartMedia gospel WHAL “95.7 Halleluiah – Memphis’ Inspiration Station” sputters for a collective -2.5 (7.3 – 7.2 – 7.1 – 6.1 – 4.8, fifth to sixth, 6+); June 2018’s 4.8 is its softest 6+-stat since September 2017’s 4.6. A combined -1.3 in May and June (9.8 – 9.4 – 8.5, 6+), urban contemporary sibling WHRK “K-97.1 – Memphis’ Only Hip-Hop and R&B” repeats at #3. By gaining six-tenths in April (following a +1.0 in March), “K-97.1” succeeded urban AC sibling “V-101” at #1. As a result of three straight upticks (7.7 – 8.0 – 9.2 – 10.0, 6+), Cumulus Media urban-rhythmic oldies WRBO was +2.3 but “Soul Classics and Today’s R&B” forfeits seven-tenths in June to 9.3 (flat at #2, 6+). May’s 10.0 is its finest 6+-performance since October 2017’s 10.2.

Hartford

Spoken-Word Formats – While unchanged in tenth-place, Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network news/talk WNPR “Connecticut’s Public Media Source for News & Ideas” records its sixth down or flat trend in succession for a -2.4 (5.9 – 5.9 – 5.5 – 4.2 – 3.6 – 3.5, 6+). WNPR followed “Holiday” 2017’s -1.3 with a +.9 in January. Prior to May, the last time it was below a five-share (6+) was in August 2017 (4.7). This represents the third straight (modestly) down or flat trend in succession by Entercom news/talk WTIC-AM “News Talk 1080” for a -.2 (5.9 – 5.8 – 5.8 – 5.7, unchanged at #7, 6+). An April loss of one-tenth halted three increases in a row that netted +1.5 (4.4 – 5.1 – 5.5 – 5.9). Just prior to that, WTIC-AM was a collective -1.4 in three straight dips (5.8 – 5.6 – 5.0 – 4.4, 6+). Off two-tenths (1.2 – 1.0, 6+), Red Wolf Broadcasting news/talk WDRC-AM “AM 1360 The Talk of Connecticut” remains at #13, but has its consecutive streak of up or flat trends which produced a +.4 end at five (.8 – 1.0 – 1.0 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.2, 6+). Immediately after being a cumulative +1.1 in three straight gains (1.4 – 1.7 – 2.3 – 2.5, 6+), University of Massachusetts-owned WFCR “New England Public Radio” is -1.1 in four successive down or flat trends (2.5 – 1.8 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.4, unchanged at #12, 6+). Entering the January 2018 sweep, WFCR was within 1.0 – 1.7 range (6+) in each of the previous 21 ratings periods.

Hartford Music Formats – A one-half share increase by Red Wolf Broadcasting’s WDRC-FM “102.9 The Whale – Hartford’s Classic Rock” (4.3, unchanged at #8, 6+) erases a combined setback of four-tenths in three consecutive down or flat trends (4.2 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 3.8, 6+). Even though Entercom adult contemporary WRCH is an overall -1.9 in three straight downward moves (14.3 – 13.2 – 13.1 – 12.4, 6+), “Lite 100.5” is #1 for the 23rd consecutive ratings period and in double-digits (6+) for the 20th time in the last 22 sweeps. WRCH was +1.1 in March but then -1.1 in April. January’s -4.9 halted at six its consecutive string of up or flat trends that yielded a +8.4 (9.9 – 10.2 – 10.2 – 10.3 – 11.0 – 13.0 – 18.3, 6+). Having posted five successive improvements for an overall +2.9 (4.9 – 5.1 – 5.5 – 6.0 – 7.0 – 7.8, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WWYZ “Country 92.5” surrenders eight-tenths to 7.0 (third to fifth, 6+); May’s 7.8 is its best 6+-showing since last October (also 7.8). Off eight-tenths as well in June is classic hits-oldies cluster-mate WHCN “105.9 The River” (7.7 – 6.9, fifth to sixth, 6+), which is below a seven-share (6.9, 6+) for the first time since “Holiday” 2017’s 6.0. A collective +1.1 in April and May ( 6.7 – 7.5 – 7.8, 6+), Entercom hot AC WTIC-FM “96.5 ‘TIC – Today’s Best Variety” falters by seven-tenths in June to 7.1 (third to fourth, 6+).

Monday, July 9, 2018

| July 9, 2018

Nielsen and Bubba The Love Sponge Settle $1 Million Suit.  The trial was scheduled to begin on July 23 after more than two-and-a-half years of preparation and paying lawyers, but on Friday afternoon (7/6), a settlement was announced and from what we’ve learned, Nielsen came out on top.  If you remember, Nielsen sued Bubba Clem for $1 million claiming that his attempts to manipulate the PPM survey in the Tampa market had caused damage to its reputation and the PPM methodology. Bubba countersued claiming, among other things, that Nielsen and competitor Cox Media Group conspired against him.  The terms of the settlement are confidential, but in a press release from Nielsen, the company says Bubba will make a cash payment to Nielsen (that amount will likely never be known) and a number of statements from both sides were made public.  Bubba’s statement includes the following: “I understand how important it is to the radio industry that the Nielsen ratings be free from bias and I deeply regret interfering with Nielsen’s collection of listening data.”  He promises never to do it again and, if he does, “any future infractions by Clem will be punishable by a court-ordered injunction and additional financial damages payable to Nielsen.”  One has to wonder what changed for Bubba.  He had numerous attempts to settle via mediation.  The discovery process should have indicated to him and his lawyers that Nielsen’s case had more merit than his criticism of Nielsen’s methodology and his theory of a conspiracy between Nielsen and Cox.  It seems clear the big winners here were the lawyers who notched a lot of billable hours.

TALKERS Continues Posting Videos Today of the Recent TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! Convention – Today’s Post:  Panel Discussion Titled Adding the Video Component to Talk Radio.  Today (7/9), TALKERS magazine continues posting individual events from the recent TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! convention held in New York City on June 8.  Each business day, another session will be posted in the order that they originally took place.  Today’s 10th installment is the panel discussion titled “Adding the Video Component to Talk Radio” moderated by Livestream head of news, Clayton Rose and featuring panelists Krantz Media Group CEO, Gary Krantz and KTRS, St Louis host, McGraw Milhaven.  Already posted: the panel discussion titled “Generating Talk Radio Revenue in 2018” moderated by TALKERS VP/executive editor, Kevin Casey; introduced by Crossover Media Group managing member, Ron Hartenbaum; and featuring panelists Asa RX host, AsaBold Gold Media Group CEO, Vince BenedettoHowie Carr Radio Network president, Kathy CarrWestwood One president, Suzanne Grimes; WBAL, Baltimore president/GM, Cary Pahigian; and KSCO/KOMY, Santa Cruz owner, Michael Zwerling.  Other videos already posted include the special presentation by Amplifi Media CEO, Steven Goldstein titled “Radio Broadcasters and Smart Speakers with an introduction by GCN personality, Dr. Daliah Wachs ;  a special presentation by PodcastOne chairman and CEO, Norm Pattiz titled “Radio Broadcasters and Podcasting” with an introduction by Voice of America and National Public Radio anchor/reporter, Lori Lundin;  a special presentation by WFAN personality, Mike Francesa titled “Sports Talk’s Role in Media and Popular Culture” with an introduction by author and former radio producer, Bernadette Duncan;  Salem SVP, Phil Boyce’s address titled “What Has Donald Trump Done to Talk Radio?”; the fireside chat between TALKERS publisher, Michael Harrison and Beasley Media Group CEO, Caroline Beasley including Harrison’s presentation of the 2018 “Woman of the Year” award to Beasley; Harrison’s fireside chat with FOX News Radio/FOX News Channel mega-star, Brian Kilmeade with an introduction by Westwood One syndicated host, Walter Sterling and special remarks by Sean Hannity; opening remarks by the convention’s co-emcees, TalkersRadio GM, David Bernstein and Good Day Networks/DJV Show CEO/host, Doug Stephan; KGO, San Francisco host, Ethan Bearman delivering the event’s welcoming remarks and Pioneer Valley Radio GM/host, Brad Shepard introduction of Bearman.  Also posted: the presentation of the Gene Burns Memorial Award for Freedom of Speech (“Freedom of Speech Award”) by TALKERS managing editor, Mike Kinosian to SiriusXM Satellite Radio host, book publisher, Hunter College professor, and former New York Daily News/Pulitzer prize-winning journalist, Karen Hunter.  To view the page, please click here.

Attorneys Counter Arguments Against Tribune Merger in FCC Filing. The proposed acquisition of Tribune Media by Sinclair Broadcast Group is almost entirely about the merger of two television companies – except for Tribune’s lone radio property: news/talk WGN-AM, Chicago.  Responding to those who’ve argued that this acquisition would put too many local television stations under the control of Sinclair, lawyers for both companies write in a petition to the FCC that “contrary to Petitioners’ rhetoric, the sky is not falling.  Sinclair’s acquisition of Tribune will not radically disrupt the media marketplace or impede viewers’ access to quality local news, nor will it violate any FCC rules or policies.”  They argue – as have many radio operators seeking de-regulation of their industry – that the modern media landscape makes concerns about this level of ownership outdated.  “Petitioners ask the Commission to make decisions based on Petitioners’ subjective disagreement with content that airs on Sinclair stations and to review this transaction as if it took place in a time when there were seven TV channels and phones were simply used to call someone to say hello, rather than to watch a full-length movie or live newscast. But today there are hundreds of TV channels, OTT video services are proliferating and being subscribed to by tens of millions of households, and the lines between telephone companies, internet providers, MVPDs, programmers and broadcasters have long since disappeared.”  Sinclair currently operates just three radio stations – in the Seattle market: all-news KOMO-AM/FM, news talk KVI, and hot AC KPLZ.

TALKERS News Notes. Longtime all-news KYW, Philadelphia director of news and programming Steve Butler is leaving the Entercom station.  In a memo to staffers, Butler assures them that he’s not being forced out. “This is really, really my decision, and a really tough one.”  Butler says he wants to enjoy doing things he’s always wanted to explore while still in good health.  Butler says he’ll stay on until Entercom Philly market manager David Yadgaroff finds his successor…..New York City sports talk personality and radio voice of the New York Yankees Michael Kay is being inducted into the New York State Broadcasters Association’s Hall of Fame.  Kay hosts the afternoon drive show on ESPN-owned WEPN, New York.  He’ll be honored on October 18 along with the rest of the class of 2018.  Kay states, “I am extremely humbled by this honor.  To stand alongside the others who have been inducted to this prestigious hall is somewhat surreal for a kid from the Bronx who started out in this business as a newspaper man.  I thank those who voted for me; it is greatly appreciated.”…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM, Chicago afternoon drive traffic reporter Veronica Carter has exited the Entercom all-newser in order to move back to California.  Carter has been with the station for the past 12 years.  She worked at crosstown WGN-AM before that.  Her Facebook message states: “My kids have grown up and now I have zero obligations, so I’m going to do what I want for the next two or three decades!  That includes spending a lot of time outdoors, visiting my mother, sisters and other family members, and of course chillaxing on the beach!”…..Comic and SiriusXM personality Dean Obeidallah has won a judgement against neo-Nazi Andrew Anglin and his website The Daily Stormer.  The judgement was declared by a federal court clerk in Columbus, Ohio, but Anglin was not present in court – he’s been avoiding the matter.  Numerous attempts to personally serve Anglin were unsuccessful. The issue is that Anglin posted a phony story on the website that stated Obeidallah admitted to being the mastermind behind the terrorist attack at the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, UK last year.

Herskovitz: Commercial Cycles.  Radio sales pro Al Herskovitz writes today about some of the trends in commercial styles and how they’ve changed and, in some case, come full circle.  The full-sing spot was at one time very common. Iconic jingles were credited with creating and enforcing brand loyalty for many products over the years.  In some current instances, creative is returning to the jingle with some very effective results.  Read Herskovitz’s column here.

Confer Radio Talent Institute Opens at Bloomsburg University.  This is the sixth annual Confer Radio Talent Institute in conjunction with the Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters and it’s taking place at Bloomsburg University in Bloomsburg Pennsylvania beginning today (7/9).  Sessions over the 10-day institute cover almost every aspect of radio – from sales to on-air in music radio, sports, news, production, promotions, digital, social media, and engineering.  Twenty-two students have been accepted from eight universities, including: Susquehanna University, Clarion University, Temple, Stockton, Alvernia University, Pace University, and California University of Pennsylvania, as well as Bloomsburg University.  Pictured here is Kirby Confer addressing some of the students.

Georgia Beasley Named RAB’s Professional Development Manager; Kim Johnson Promoted to Director of Sales.  The Radio Advertising Bureau announces that Georgia Beasley has been named professional development manager.  In this role, Beasley will work closely with SVP professional development Jeff Schmidt on the overall training curriculum offered at the RAB.  This includes the Rising Through the Ranks program – dedicated to the support and advancement of women in radio sales management positions – of which Georgia herself is a graduate.  Beasley was most recently director of TopicPulse Strategic Initiatives at Futuri Media.  She has also held various sales management positions at Beasley Media Group.  At the same time, RAB says Kim Johnson has been promoted to the director of sales position. Prior to this role, she worked with the RAB’s CRM tool as an account development manager. Johnson will be responsible for the sales of the entire suite of RAB’s professional development training courses.

Illegal Immigration Policy, Trump Supreme Court Nominee, Trump-Russia Investigation, Thailand Cave Rescues, Tariffs and Trade War Concerns, North Korea Nuclear Program, MLB and World Cup Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The treatment of families in enforcing illegal immigration laws; speculation about President Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court and questions about the fate of Roe v Wade; special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russia agents; the rescue of five of the dozen boys trapped in underwater caves in Thailand; Trump’s tariffs and concerns about the effects of a trade war; suggestions that North Korea is continuing its nuclear weapons program despite the recent Trump-Kim Jong Un summit; Major League Baseball action; and World Cup soccer were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Los Angeles-based morning drive urban contemporary star Big Boy is heading to the small screen.  iHeartMedia and Fuse Media announce they will begin televising the KRRL “Real 92.3”-based, nationally syndicated “Big Boy’s Neighborhood” program on television’s Fuse Music channel beginning July 30.  The program features Big Boy and castmates Natalia Perez, Louie G, Ayyde, and DJ VickOne.  iHeartMedia president of entertainment enterprises John Sykes says, “This new partnership with Fuse is the continuation of an exciting trend of our iconic iHeartRadio personalities extending their reach to television.  Big Boy is a legend in music and this is the next logical step as he extends his brand.”…..At Urban One’s WKYS, Washington, DC, Angie Ange is named new host of the morning drive show, effective July 16.  Ange has been hosting the evening show on the station.  In mornings, she’ll be joined by Déja Perez and DJ Money.  Ange says, “Growing up I would have fun listening to Tom Joyner, Russ Parr, and Donnie Simpson.  To reach this height in my career and be in a position to give that same energy while also inspiring and enlightening our listeners as they start their day is the opportunity of a lifetime.”…..Impact Radio Group announces the debut of the new “Joey & Lauren” (pictured at left) morning show on hot AC KZMG, Boise “MY 102.7.”  Station program director James Garner says, “After an extensive nationwide search for a quality morning show, my team and I found ourselves right back in the Treasure Valley with Joey and Lauren Jenkins…The easiest option would have been to select a cookie-cutter, ready-made program, but we decided to create a new show from the ground up, with genuine personalities that our listeners can relate to.  I am excited to present this fun and unique local morning show to our listeners in the Treasure Valley.”…..In Cincinnati, Tropikana joins Radio One’s cluster as music director for hip hop WIZF “101.1 The Wiz.”  Operations manager Bill Black says, “Tropikana is an important part of the puzzle that we are building at ‘The Wiz!’  I am very excited about what she will bring to The Wiz’s team.”

Friday, June 22, 2018

| June 22, 2018

Corporate Programmer Chris Oliviero to Exit Entercom.  After a long history with CBS RADIO and seven months into the transition after that company’s merger with Entercom, EVP of programming Chris Oliviero is exiting the company to pursue new opportunities. “From my very first day as an intern and over the past 22 years, my experience at CBS RADIO has been nothing short of spectacular. Now that our merger with Entercom is fully integrated, I feel this is the right moment to begin turning my focus to new opportunities.  David Field has been fully supportive and understanding of my departure and I thank him for my smooth transition.  It has been my true honor and joy to have had a chance to partner with and learn from the best and brightest programmers in the industry.  Though our days as colleagues might be winding down, the friendships will continue.  So, to all my old friends at CBS RADIO along with my new ones at Entercom, I wish you all the best.”  A message from Entercom CEO David Field to his management team states, “I am writing to let you know that Chris Oliviero will be leaving Entercom on July 6 to pursue other opportunities.  He will remain in an advisory role through year end.  Chris has been a key leader over many years at CBS RADIO and, more recently, at Entercom.  He has made a great impact on the organization. We are saddened that Chris is leaving the company, but we wish him all the best in his future endeavors. Our programming organization will remain the best in the industry.  We are blessed to have a terrific group of program directors across the country and an outstanding leadership team led by our president of programming Pat Paxton and SVP radio and Radio.com programming Jeff Sottolano.”

iHeartMedia Releases Revenue Projections in Bankruptcy Filing.  The revenue projections were part of a 251-page Disclosure Statement filed by iHeartMedia as part of the reorganization process.  Starting with 2018 and looking through 2022, the report says that “management has based its revenue projections in part on third party forecast audio market declines of -2.6%, -2.9%, -3.4%, -3.7% and -4.1% in 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022, respectively.  Management expects its core audio business to return to its historical market outperformance of 200 bps, as measured by standard industry sources, by Q4 2018.  Additionally, management anticipates continuing the 200 bps outperformance in each year from 2019-2022.  The Debtors’ core audio business, comprised of spot, streaming, and non-traditional and other markets revenue, was $2,289 million in 2017 and is projected to decline to $2,207 million in 2018 and $2,160 million in 2019.  Thereafter, it is projected to total $2,095 million, $2,025 million, and $1,949 million in 2020, 2021, and 2022, respectively.”  The company drops in a forward-looking positive note when it reports that its “digital platform composition is moving towards home smart speakers.  As of April 2018, home consumer electronics comprised 22% of total monthly active users for the Debtors’ iHeartRadio app.”

Judge Orders Nielsen and Bubba Back to Mediation. The trial of Nielsen Audio v. Bubba the Love Sponge is supposed to open in court on July 23, but a surprise Order from U.S. District Judge James Whittemore may – or may not – change that. Yesterday (6/21), Whittemore ordered both parties to mediate with U.S. Magistrate Judge Anthony Porcelli.  This is not the first time Nielsen and Bubba have been in mediation.  The last session proved fruitless.  Nielsen is suing Bubba the Love Sponge for damages related to allegations of Bubba’s attempts to manipulate the PPM ratings in Tampa. Bubba is countersuing Nielsen, alleging the company conspired with competitor Cox Media Group to entrap him into engaging in ratings manipulation.

Attorneys General File Objections to Sinclair-Tribune Merger. Petitions to Deny were filed with the FCC by attorneys general in Illinois, Iowa, and Rhode Island, objecting to the merger of Sinclair Broadcast Group and Tribune Media.  As most industry observers are aware, Sinclair and Tribune are primarily television companies, but Tribune’s news/talk WGN-AM, Chicago is part of the proposed deal. Sinclair owns three Seattle market radio stations: news/talk KVI, all-news KOMO-AM/FM, and hot AC KPLZ “Star 101.5.”  Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan criticized the merger that would give Sinclair penetration into “nearly 60% of U.S. television households.”  She says, “The massive Tribune-Sinclair merger contradicts the FCC’s principles of diversity, localism, and competition that ensure consumer choice in the marketplace. I urge the FCC to deny the Tribune-Sinclair merger because it will result in the loss of diverse viewpoints on national and local television broadcasts.”

PPM Analysis: Public News/Talk. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s May 2018 PPM survey, today focusing on public news/talk.  Pub talkers in general had a tough month, with 51% of stations losing weekly 6+ AQH share compared to the April 2018 survey.  However, comparing May 2017 ratings to May 2018, 51% of public news/talk outlets saw their 6+ weekly AQH share increase.  Looking at market rank, there are 10 public news/talkers that finished in the top five in May, and five stations ranked #1 (6+) in their respective markets: KQED was #1 in both San Francisco and San Jose, as were KPBS, San Diego; KCFR, Denver; KOPB, Portland; and KUT, Austin.  See the entire report here.

Buck Sexton and Krystal Ball to Host Hill.tv AM Show. Conservative media figure Buck Sexton – who hosts his own Premiere Networks-syndicated talk radio program – is co-hosting the new morning program “Krystal & Buck” with MSNBC anchor Krystal Ball on The Hill’s new Hill.tv platform. The show launched on the “digital, bi-partisan news channel” on June 13.  A press statement says the program is designed to “break through the façade of cable news to expose the real Washington.”   Recent guests on the show include: Attorney General Jeff Sessions, former Hillary Clinton campaign manager John Podesta, Hollywood actor/producer Rob Reiner, Senator Ted Cruz, and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper.

Illegal Immigration Policy Top News/Talk Story for Week of June 18-22. The Trump administration’s policy detaining and deporting illegal aliens and controversy over separating children from parents was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the Trump-Russia investigation.  Coming in at #3 was the Trump tariffs and fears of a trade war, followed by the Charlottesville white supremacist rally organizer’s application for a rally on the Washington Mall at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

TV Comedy Writer Andy Cowan Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. The world of television sitcoms and late-night talk shows is explored in depth as former “Cheers,” “Seinfeld,” and “Third Rock from the Sun” writer Andy Cowan is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Cowan discusses his new book, Banging My Head Against the Wall: A Comedy Writers Guide to Seeing Stars (Black Rose Writing, 2018) and the neurotic nature of his brand of comedy as well as comedians in general. The discussion includes a look at the fractionalization of TV audiences going forward into the 21st century. Harrison states, “Andy Cowan’s unique mind operates at the turbulent intersection between the generations, the centuries, the down-to-earth, and the absurd. He is a largely unsung genius and potential cultural hero to the gigantic but quietly suffering population of neurotics that drag their sorry asses amongst the rest of us who are perfect.” To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Radio Talk Show Producer Opportunity. The Salem Radio Network is seeking a radio talk show producer in the Washington, D.C. area. Candidates should be capable in booking radio talk shows and have radio experience both on air and in digital. The position is based at the Salem Radio Network News Bureau. Contact Phil Boyce, SVP spoken word for SRN at 212-857-9696, or email resume and qualifications to: Philip.Boyce@salemmedia.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. At JVC Media’s Orlando operations, sales pro Lisa Kitchener is named general sales manager.  In Orlando, JVC operates country WOTW “103.1 The Wolf” and rock WOTW-HD2/W231CT “Bud 94.1.”  JVC Orlando general manager Chris Ganoudis says, “Lisa is a huge addition to our stellar staff in Orlando. ‘103.1 The Wolf’ was voted 2017’s Best Local Radio Station by Orlando Business Journal readers, and with the recent addition of ‘Bud 94.1,’ Lisa will have two very popular radio stations with strong programming, promotions and events to showcase to Metro Orlando’s business leaders.  Lisa’s enthusiasm, relationships, ideas, and leadership will propel JVC Orlando to the greatest heights.”…..Benztown names four new staffers to the company’s operations team with the addition of marketing coordinator Susan Aksu, imaging producer Matt Anderson, office manager/executive assistant Laura Keeney, and commercial production creative director Teddy Shrader.

Friday, June 1, 2018

| June 1, 2018

KVI, Seattle Unveils New Program Schedule.  With the addition of the Compass Media Networks-syndicated “Markley and van Camp” program to the late morning daypart announced earlier this week, Sinclair Broadcasting news/talk KVI, Seattle “Talk Radio 570” unveils its adjusted program schedule, effective Monday (6/4).  The addition of “Markley and van Camp” to the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon slot creates a new opportunity for market talk icon Kirby Wilbur as he takes on the afternoon drive daypart.  That bumps Premiere NetworksSean Hannity to the early evening slot (6:00 pm to 9:00 pm).  In promoting Wilbur’s new time to listeners, the station says, “Kirby has been into politics since he was a teenager, culminating with his election to state chairman of the Republican Party in 2011.  Along the way he helped build KVI into America’s preeminent conservative talk station with his unique blend of politics, entertainment, and historical anecdotes.  Catch you up on what happened while you were at work and loosen up on the way home with KVI’s Kirby Wilbur!”

Newsmax TV Free Trial Offered on Sling TV.  Cable news/talk channel Newsmax TV announces a new deal that helps it expand its reach via over-the-top (OTT) live TV service Sling TV.  Newsmax TV says that effective immediately, a three-month showcase of Newsmax TV is available to Sling TV customers who subscribe to the Sling Orange and/or Sling Blue service.  After the three-month showcase, Newsmax TV will be available in Sling TV’s News Extra add-on, $5 per month for Sling Orange and/or Sling Blue subscribers.  Newsmax Media Inc CEO Christopher Ruddy states, “Sling TV is the number-one live TV streaming service in the nation and we are proud to be carried on their platform.”  Conservative media personalities whose programs air on Newsmax TV include: Joe Walsh, Brett Winterble, Howie CarrWayne Allyn Root, Todd Schnitt, Joe Pags, Jesse Lee Peterson as well as Newsmax anchors John Bachman and Miranda Khan.

Comrex Unveils FieldTap for iOS. This free app – compatible with all Comrex IP codecs and the EarShot IFB – provides studio quality audio from the user’s cell phone with very low delay.  Comrex says that FieldTap is ideal for reporters and street team contributors for short drop-ins.  FieldTap features a very simple user interface (iPhone screen shot at right).  The company says its one-button control screen allows users of any technical ability to connect from the field to the station by simply pressing a single button.  FieldTap is a simple SIP client that uses Voice over IP (VoIP) to make it possible for field users to send wideband audio from their cellphones over cellular and Wi-Fi networks.  Comrex says an Android version of FieldTap will be available next week.  Comrex’s EarShot IFB (interruptible foldback monitoring and cueing system) was recently unveiled and will be available later this summer.  It is for live ENG applications as it provides four audio feeds and can support up to 10 wideband calls (or 30 regular calls).  Visit Comrex.com for more details.

ABC-TV’s Cancellation of ‘Roseanne’ Top News/Talk Story for Week of May 28 – June 1. The cancellation of the re-boot of “Roseanne” after a series of controversial Tweets from Roseanne Barr was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the status of the U.S.-North Korea talks.  Coming in at #3 was the ongoing Trump-Russia investigation, followed by President Trump’s plans to pardon Dinesh D’Souza, Rod Blagojevich, and Martha Stewart at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Westwood One Announces RFK Assassination Anniversary Programming. The news arm of Westwood One is presenting special programming on the 50thanniversary of the June 5, 1968, assassination of presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy.  At Los Angeles’ Ambassador Hotel that evening was Mutual News correspondent Andrew West, who filed a nearly seven-minute, on-scene report during the chaos.  West’s historic report (which is owned by Westwood One News) will be part of the extensive coverage planned on Tuesday, June 5, as the network remembers the assassination of RFK.  Westwood One News correspondent Michael Toscano will present longform and short-form reports throughout the day, along with West’s report and additional 50th anniversary sound. Additionally, the Westwood One News Memorial Day weekend special, “1968: The Year that Shook America,” with reporting and perspective on the RFK assassination, will continue to be available for broadcast by affiliates through the June 5 anniversary of the shooting.

Emmy Award-Winning TV News Cameraman and Producer Tim Ortman Joins Michael Harrison in Discussion About Fake News.  37-year TV news veteran Tim Ortman, who served as a staff cameraman and producer covering breaking news on five continents for the major TV networks, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  Ortman has just written a memoir titled Newsreal: A View Through the Lens When… (Incorgnito, 2018).  He recalls his adventures on the front lines of wars, major stories and political upheavals around the world analyzing the significant changes in journalism since the big four networks were the dominant platforms of information dissemination in America. Harrison and Ortman focus on the consequences of widespread misuse of the term “fake news” undermining the public’s confidence in the vital institution of the press.  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. After Nielsen Audio removed PPMs in four Hispanic households in the Los Angeles market and re-issued April’s PPM survey results, Spanish Broadcasting System is accusing the ratings giant of bias.  SBS was a loser in the re-issued ratings with regional Mexican KLAX dipping a full share (Mon-Sun, 6+), from a 3.4 to a 2.4. Competitor Radio Centro’s regional Mexican KXOS also slid – from a 2.2 (Mon-Sun, 6+) to a 1.9.  SBS general counsel Richard Lara’s public statement says, “Earlier this week, Spanish Broadcasting System, the owner and operator of 17 radio stations serving the top Hispanic markets throughout the United States for over 30 years, received disconcerting news from The Nielsen Company.  Nielsen announced its intention to make sweeping, retroactive changes to its audience measurement service based on an internal decision to remove a number of Hispanic households from its ratings sampling pool.  SBS, and other Spanish-language broadcasters, vehemently object and protest such unilateral, and seemingly, discriminatory actions taken by Nielsen, which unfairly and disproportionally exclude Hispanic-listener households from the ratings methodology.  The restated ratings and rankings reports are, in SBS’s view unreliable, and inaccurately suggest that Spanish-language stations have dropped from top 5 rankings to number 15 or lower.  This cannot stand.  SBS will continue to faithfully serve its Hispanic-listener communities and will not tolerate unfair and discriminatory attacks on Spanish language broadcasters.  We will not stop until Nielsen’s prejudicial and discriminatory attacks on U.S.-based Hispanics ceases.”…..Cumulus Media names David LaBrozzi as program director for hot AC WPLJ, New York.  LaBrozzi comes to Cumulus Media from Entercom Baltimore where he was vice president of programming for the company’s four-station cluster there for 14 years.  LaBrozzi states, “WPLJ is truly one of America’s iconic radio stations.  I am thrilled, honored, and humbled to join Chad Lopez, Dave Milner, Mike McVay, and the incredible team at 95.5 PLJ. While I can’t wait to get started in New York, I want to thank Entercom and CBS for a great experience and for being an important part of my life.”…..Air personality Megan Holiday is the new midday host at Entercom’s alternative KITS-FM, San Francisco “ALT 105.3,” effective Monday (6/4). Holiday was most recently evening personality on KROQ, Los Angeles.  She began her career at KITS in 2010 hosting the evening program.  Entercom San Francisco SVP and market manager Gregory Nemitz says, “Megan is well known in the Bay Area and we know our listeners will be happy to hear her back on the air. She’s passionate and energetic and we’re looking forward to her return to KITS.”…..On-air pro Corey Calhoun is the new evening personality and music director at iHeartMedia’s country WMZQ, Washington.  RVP of programming for Baltimore and Washington Jeff Kapugi states, “Corey completes the WMZQ team.  He brings a fresh new energy to the station and some great experience spanning multiple markets and formats.”…..The recent Digital Diaper Drive orchestrated by Hubbard Radio’s adult hits WARH, St. Louis “106.5 The Arch” was successful beyond the station’s expectations, collecting almost 2,000 diapers for the St. Louis Area Diaper Bank.  Led by the station’s “Spencer’s Neighborhood” morning show, the drive’s goal was 1,000 diapers but show fans blew away their initial goal.  Pictured at right are the show’s Spencer, Cassiday, and Brando presenting the diapers to Kathy Meyer of the St. Louis Area Diaper Bank…..Award-winning radio and CMT personality Cody Alan is pictured below with country duo Thompson Square at the Seacrest Studios at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt.  Keifer and Shawna Thompson met with patients, gave away autographed copies of their new children’s book, and performed songs from their new album.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

| May 30, 2018

Entercom Brings Adam Klug West to Program ‘97.3 The Fan’ in San Diego.  Sports programming pro Adam Klug is named program director for Entercom’s San Diego sports talk KWFN-FM “97.3 The Fan” and the San Diego Padres Radio Network, effective June 11.  Klug has been serving with CBS Sports Radio in New York City as a producer for national radio and television personalities Bill Reiter and Doug Gottlieb.  Prior to that, he spent two years with ESPN Radio.  Entercom San Diego SVP and market manager Bob Bolinger comments, “‘97.3 The Fan’ is thrilled to welcome Adam.  His extensive career in sports radio will strengthen the team and help us continue to provide engaging content to the San Diego community.”

Nielsen Audio Gains MRC Accreditation for Five New Markets; Loses San Francisco. In a move that brings the total number of PPM markets for which the Media Rating Council has provided accreditation to Nielsen Audio to 30 of the 48 PPM markets.  Today’s news is the MRC grants accreditation for the Columbus, Greensboro-Winston Salem-High Point, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, and Salt Lake City-Ogden-Provo.  At the same time, the MRC board voted to remove accreditation for the San Francisco PPM market.  Nielsen Audio managing director Brad Kelly states, “We are pleased to have achieved MRC accreditation in these additional markets.  This demonstrates our continued commitment to quality for the industry’s gold standard audio measurement and it helps enhance our client’s confidence in the currency.”  Regarding the San Francisco removal, Nielsen states that it “stands behind the estimates produced for San Francisco and will continue to work with the MRC and clients to regain accreditation in this market.”

KVI, Seattle to Add ‘Markley and van Camp’ to Program Lineup. The “Markley and van Camp” show has been successful on KXL, Portland for several years, and Sinclair Broadcasting’s KVI, Seattle hopes the show is a hit in that Pacific Northwest market, as well.  The program, syndicated by Compass Media Networks and starring Jamie Markley and David van Camp, will take over the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon daypart on June 4.  The station is moving Kirby Wilbur to the 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm slot to make room.  Compass says “Markley and van Camp” “has been #1 adults 25-54 on KXL-FM in Portland for 36 straight books and has been rapidly adding affiliates.  Now heard in over 15 markets including Seattle, Portland, Orlando, Peoria, West Palm Beach, Oklahoma City and Baton Rouge.

Talk Host Wayne Allyn Root Inks Deal for Trump Book. Nationally syndicated radio talk host Wayne Allyn Root signs a deal with Humanix Books to author a book on “Donald Trump’s business and political success,” due out in early 2019. Root, whose USA Radio Network program is based at flagship stations KBDT, Dallas and KBET, Las Vegas (also simulcast on Newsmax TV) says, “President Trump has achieved awe-inspiring success in business, entrepreneurship, branding, PR, publishing, television and now, of course, politics.  I’ve studied Donald Trump’s life for decades (since I graduated Columbia University and started my business career in 1983) and owe much of my own success to the remarkable lessons learned from this man.”  Root has authored almost a dozen books in the fields of politics, business and personal development.  In addition to his television, radio and author careers, Root is also the national politics opinion columnist for the Las Vegas Review Journal and his articles have appeared regularly at Newsmax.com, FoxNews.com, Breitbart.com,TownHall.com, Blaze.com, RealClearPolitics.com and many others.

TALKERS News Notes. At Entercom in Miami, Brian “The Beast” London adds assistant program director duties for sports talk duo WAXY “790 The Ticket” and WQAM to his responsibilities.  London co-hosts the “Tobin, Leroy, and Beast” midday show on WAXY…..Tomorrow afternoon, Scripps’ WTMJ, Milwaukee continues its “Community Conversation” series as WTMJ News addresses the recent, controversial tasing of Milwaukee Bucks shooting guard Sterling Brown.  The Thursday 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm special program is being hosted by John Mercure and Melissa Barclay…..Mt. Rushmore Broadcasting announces that its effort to “promote American values” includes airing the nationally syndicated “Our American Stories” program (hosted by Lee Habeeb) across its stations in Wyoming and South Dakota.  Mt. Rushmore president Jan Charles Gray says, “This is a wonderful way to air public affairs issues in a format that listeners can understand and embrace.”

ABC Cancels Rosanne, Trump vs Mueller, North Korea Summit, Italy Economic Fears/Financial Markets Activity, China Tariffs, Starbucks Bias Training, Solo Film, MLB Action, and NBA Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/29).  ABC-TV cancels “Roseanne” after Roseanne Barr issues a series of bizarre Tweets; President Trump accuses special counsel Robert Mueller of meddling with fall elections; the status of possible negotiations between the U.S. and North Korea; Italy’s shaky political state and its effects on the European economy and the world’s financial markets; the issue of trade concerns between the U.S. and China; Starbucks’ bias training program; the new Star Wars film Solo; Major League Baseball action; and the NBA Finals were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. On-air pro Elvis, a.k.a. Dan Lay, joins Entercom’s San Francisco alternative rock outlet KITS-FM “ALT 105.3” as morning drive host.  He was previously partnered with Jeff Vandergrift on “The Dog House” on “WiLD 107” in the market.  Entercom San Francisco SVP and market manager Gregory Nemitz says, “We’re thrilled to welcome Elvis to the Entercom team.  His passion and drive for radio and its multiple platforms, coupled with his knowledge and connection to the Bay Area will provide our listeners and partners with the engaging live, local audio content they enjoy daily on ‘ALT 105.3.’”…..Air personality Christy Taylor is the new midday jock, APD, and music director at Go Media’s alternative KQGO, Minneapolis “GO 96.3.”  She was previously with Riviera Broadcasting’s hot AC KMVA, Phoenix “HOT 97.5/103.9” hosting the evening program…..In Sacramento, Entercom names Michael “Big Mic” Buhrman program director for hip hop KSFM and announces the arrival of air personalities Mia Amore and SOOSH*E who join the station as on-air hosts, effective immediately.  Interim market manager Stacey Kauffman says, “We are excited to welcome Michael’s skill set, dedication, and passion to 102.5 KSFM.  His knowledge of the format and reputation in the industry will be an asset to the team. The additions of Mia and SOOSH*E to the KSFM staff solidifies a great line up of talented on-air personalities who understand the importance of being topical, relatable and entertaining to an already passionate listener base.”…..Zander is promoted to operations manager and program director for Mid-West Family Broadcasting’s rock WXRX “104.9 The X” and sister sports talk WNTA “Sportsfan 1330.”…..Pictured below at WPLJ, New York’s holiday weekend remote broadcast are (from l-r): “Todd & Jayde in the Morning” executive producer Joe Pardavilla, Jayde DonovanJason Mraz, and Todd Pettengill.  Last Friday, the program broadcast from Jenkinson’s Boardwalk in Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey.  Mraz, along with fellow artists Echosmith, MAX, and John Splithoff performed on the boardwalk.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

| November 14, 2017

New Entercom Names Format Captains; Newman, Butler and Chernoff to Lead Spoken-Word Formats.  When the EntercomCBS RADIO merger closes – as early as this Friday (11/17) – format captains for the new company will be in place.  The spoken-word formats will continue to be led by Diane Newman (talk), Steve Butler (all-news), and Mark Chernoff (sports).  Newman is the longtime operations manager and program director for Entercom’s WWL, New Orleans.  Butler is director of news and programming at KYW, Philadelphia and vice president of news radio for CBS RADIO.  Chernoff is the longtime program director at WFAN-AM/FM, New York who also holds the vice president of programming title.  Other format captains include: Jimmy Gonzalez –  Spanish Language, Brian Kelly – Top 40, Michael Martin – Alternative, Mike Moore – Country, Nikki Nite – Adult Contemporary, Dave Richards – Rock/Classic Rock, Reggie Rouse – Urban, Jim Ryan – Classic Hits, and Steve Salhany – Hot Adult Contemporary.  Michael Martin will continue in his role as SVP of programming and music initiatives in the new organization.  Format captains will report to president of programming Pat Paxton and EVP of programming Chris Oliviero.  Paxton comments, “We are excited about the best-in-class programming team we are building at Entercom.  This talented team of experts has the skills and experience to take our live, original and local audio content to new heights and compete at the highest level in the media industry.”

Report: Trio of Carlin, Scott and Gray to Take Over Afternoons on WFAN. The stories in the New York media – Newsday and the New York Daily News – indicate an official announcement from WFAN, New York could come today (11/14) regarding the fate of the afternoon drive show after Mike Francesa’s departure next month.  They are reporting that current WIP-FM, Philadelphia afternoon personality Chris Carlin and former New York Jets player Bart Scott will team up with SI.com and CBS Sports Radio staffer Maggie Gray for the new show.  WFAN program director Mark Chernoff had no comment on the reports, according to both papers.  The stories also indicate that NBC SportsChris Simms and the NFL Network’s Kimberly Jones both turned down offers by the station to be part of the new program.

Michael Savage Pens New Book: God, Faith and Reason.  Nationally syndicated talk show host Michael Savage says this new book is a result of his own spiritual journey and his belief that God wants us to question things.  On his website, Savage says that publisher Hachette asked him to write another book after his last release, Trump’s War: His Battle for America.  He says he agreed on the condition that he could “dedicate my next book to God, who has given me everything.”  He also says, “I’m not a holy guy, I’m not a holy roller, I’m not an evangelist.  I’m not better than the next man, I’m just really talking about my odyssey.  I’m still questioning myself and my existence.  What’s it all about?  I believe God wants us to question.”  See more here.

Roy Moore Allegations, Uranium One/Clinton Foundation Investigation, GOP Tax Plan, North Korea Nukes/U.S. Carrier Exercises, Saudi Arabia-Iran Tensions, Roger Goodell-Jerry Jones Battle, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/13).  The allegations of contact with underage girls against Alabama U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore; Republicans’ request to investigate possible connections between the Uranium One deal and the Clinton Family Foundation; the details of the Republican tax reform plan; North Korea’s nuclear program and the presence of U.S. aircraft carriers in the region participating in drills with South Korea and Japan; tensions in the Middle East as Saudi Arabia accuses Iran of fomenting war; speculation that Jerry Jones leaked NFL commissioner Roger Goodell’s new contract requests in an effort put him in a bad light; and the weekend’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Democrats Request Probe into FCC’s Treatment of Sinclair.  With the proposed acquisition of Tribune Media’s 42 television stations by Sinclair Broadcast Group (owner of 193 TV stations) hanging in the balance, U.S. Reps. Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and Elijah Cumming (D-MD) are asking the FCC’s inspector general to look into whether FCC Chairman Ajit Pai is giving favor to Sinclair because of its perceived conservative slant.  As Reuters reports, the advocacy group Free Press stated in an FCC filing that Sinclair’s stations “air pro-Trump propaganda” and then seek favors from the administration.  Politico published a piece purporting that Sinclair struck a deal with then-candidate Donald Trump to get access in exchange for favorable coverage from its news departments.  While this is largely a TV story, Sinclair owns three radio stations in Seattle it acquired in the Fisher deal.  Two of them are all-news KOMO-AM/FM and news/talk KVI.  Tribune owns Chicago news/talk WGN-AM.

KIDO, Boise’s Kevin Miller Talking Turkey. For the sixth consecutive year, KIDO, Boise morning drive personality Kevin Miller is living outside a local Walmart for an entire week to raise awareness of homelessness and hunger and to get donations to benefit the Boise Rescue Mission.  Pictured above, Miller is dressed in a turkey suit while being interviewed by KTVB-TV’s Larry Gebert.  Over the past six years, Miller has helped raise more than $400,000 in cash, food, and clothing.

TALKERS News Notes. In recognition of the current “Saturday Night Live” exhibition at the Museum of Broadcast Communications in Chicago, Tribune’s WGN Radio will be doing a series of live broadcasts from the museum.  Next Tuesday (11/21), the Steve Cochran morning show will produce a remote broadcast that will include special guests and former “SNL” cast members Nora Dunn, Tim Kazurinsky and Julia Sweeney.  Later in January and February, “The Bill and Wendy Show,” “The John Williams Show,” and “The Roe Conn Show with Anna Davlantes” will also originate live broadcasts from the “SNL” exhibit at the museum…..Crawford Broadcasting Company announces the addition of WMUZ-AM, Taylor, Michigan “1200 The Salt” to its lineup of Christian stations in the Detroit area.  The company says the station will be ministry talk, featuring local and national pastors and teachers, including Alistair Begg and Dr. David Jeremiah…..The Coffee With Kenobi podcasting network is joining BlogTalkRadio, moving some four years of shows to the platform.  Creator of the Star Wars-themed podcast outfit Dan Z says, “We are thrilled to bring members of our Coffee With Kenobi family network to BlogTalkRadio.  If you love analysis and Star Wars conversation, this is the podcast you’re looking for!”

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  On-air and programming pro Rich DeSisto is appointed to the program director position at Beasley Media Group’s adult contemporary WJBR-FM, Wilmington, Delaware.  DeSisto has been serving Beasley as APD and afternoon personality at adult hits WBEN-FM, Philadelphia and as a weekend jock on classic rock WMGK (a role he’ll continue).  The company says that DeSisto has spent most of his 30-year radio career in the region, working at such stations as WYSP-FM, Q104.3-FM, WPST-FM, WZXL-FM and WSJO-FM.  In addition, DeSisto served as the director of programming of the WMGM-FM/WJSE-FM/WTKU-FM cluster in Atlantic City, New Jersey.  Beasley VP/market manager AJ Lurie says, “I have learned to hire people brighter than myself, and Rich is one of those people!”…..iHeartMedia promotes Jacob “Tight Pants” Bowling to assistant program director, music director and afternoon personality for alternative rock KTHR, Wichita “ALT 107.3,” effective November 20.  iHeartMedia Wichita SVP of programming Jim Dorman says, “We are very excited at what ‘Tight Pants’ will be bringing to Wichita.  His work ethic and passion for music is second to none and I am looking forward to working with him on ‘ALT 107.3.’  He truly deserves this promotion.”…..Curtis Media Group brings Morgan Thomas back to the Raleigh market to host the morning show on adult hits WBBB-FM “96.1 BBB.”  Thomas co-hosted the successful “Mike & Morgan” show on the company’s country WQDR from 2001 through 2004.  She left the market to take on the morning co-host role at KSON, San Diego, working there until 2010.  Station SVP/general manager David Stuckey says, “Morgan is a proven major market personality and I am very pleased to welcome her back to Raleigh on ‘96.1 BBB.’”…..This year’s “The Night Before” show at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul (the night before Super Bowl LII) will feature the Dave Matthews BandCBS RADIO and On Location Experiences are co-producing the show…..Content producer and syndicator Westwood One is presenting 12 holiday-themed, weekend music specials for affiliate stations to air from Thanksgiving weekend through Christmas weekend.  The first is the four-hour “A Thanksgiving Weekend Celebration with Chris Young.”  Christmas-themed shows are being hosted by such stars as Brett Eldredge, Gwen Stefani, Josh Groban, Kelly Clarkson, Dave Koz, and more…..iHeartMedia’s Phoenix adult contemporary signal KEZ brings the Premiere Networks syndicated “Delilah” show back to the program schedule for the evening daypart.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

| December 15, 2015

siriusxmHoward Stern Renews with SiriusXM in Landmark 12-Year Audio/Video Deal.  The wait is over – Howard Stern and SiriusXM are announcing the two sides have agreed to an extension to keep Stern’s live program on the satellite radio service for another five years.  But the new deal also includes an agreement that will allow SiriusXM to use Stern’s extensive audio and video library –sternhoward drawn from performances, specials, and shows spanning his more-than-30-year broadcasting career – for the next dozen years.  The details of the video plans will be announced at a future date.  This will be SiriusXM’s first venture into the video realm.   Under the new deal, Stern’s show will continue to be broadcast live exclusively from 7:00 am to 11:00 am ET, with replays throughout the day, and on demand online and through the SiriusXM app.  Additionally, Stern will continue to produce his Howard 101 channel, which includes current and classic episodes of the Howard Stern show as well as original special programming throughout the day.  Stern is currently working a three-day week and the press release does not indicate any changes there so we’ll assume that remains the same.  Also, the financial details are not being meyerjimannounced.  Stern says, “As a broadcaster, it does not get better than working at SiriusXM and I’m truly excited for the future with this great company.  I happen to think that its best days are ahead…I am living a dream here on satellite radio and Jim Meyer is my life partner and the baby we are about to have is our new streaming video app.  The joy we are going to bring you in the very near future will make you feel like Christmas is every day.  Ho, Ho, Howard…out.”  SiriusXM president and chief content officer Scott Greenstein comments, “Howard is better than ever.  Howard is a one-of-a-kind interviewer, who always delivers a provocative, engaging and headline-grabbing show.  We look forward to providing fans even more and deeper ways to experience Howard, and his world-class talent and insights.”  Noting that the deal has been worked on for months, Stern agent Don Buchwald adds, “Jim, Scott, and I have been discussing this arrangement for some time.  Obviously, the terms and conditions of a deal of this nature required a lot of give and take, as well as creative thinking on everyone’s part, and I am grateful to them both for the hard work they invested to make this deal a reality.  Howard and I are excited to enter into this cutting-edge and truly unique broadcasting agreement with SiriusXM that I believe will further the legacy of Howard Stern.”

bellart15Art Bell Tells TALKERS He Doesn’t Want to Be Off the Air.  Legendary late night talk host Art Bell abruptly quit his most recent return to a regular program on Friday (12/11), stating that he’s been the victim of attempts on his life that make it impossible for him to do the program.  The sudden end to “Midnight in the Desert,” which was steadily picking up affiliate stations, caused some in the business to think, “Oh no, here we go again.”  But Bell tells TALKERS magazine he wants to be on the radio.  Citing three incidents on October 21, November 23 and December 8, Bell says his wife has said, “Enough.”  Bell says, “If this jerk is caught I will be back, if not I will wait for some time to pass without incident and then do some non-scheduled shows.  I would like my fellow radio people to know this is not what I want.”

wilburkirbyKirby Wilbur to Host Late Morning Show on KVI, Seattle.  Last month, Sinclair-owned KVI-Seattle announced that market conservative talk pro Kirby Wilbur would return to the air and KVI in the New Year. Now, the station announces Wilbur will host the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon slot, effectivekvilogo January 4.  Wilbur will be joined for the first hour by current morning drive host John Carlson, then host the next two hours solo.  The station is dropping Glenn Beck’s Premiere-syndicated show to make room for Wilbur.  KVI program director Rick Van Cise states, “It’s clear our listeners want more local conservative conversation on Seattle radio.  And who better to have back-to-back than two of the original Northwest conservative voices who made KVI great.”  Wilbur has been off the radio for the past six years.  Most recently he’s been the Washington director for Americans for Prosperity heading up the Washington, DC-based National Journalism Center.  Wilbur comments, “I’m glad to be back with a new knowledge of the workings of the other Washington as we address local and national issues affecting all of us here.”

wowo15WOWO, Fort Wayne Switches FM Frequencies.  This is a bit of a downgrade as far as market coverage is concerned since the move of news/talk WOWO, Fort Wayne’s FM simulcast is from class A FM WFWI to 75-watt translator W298BJ at 107.5 FM.  The heritage station has been heard on WFWI’s 92.3 frequency since Federated Media signed it on in March of 2012.  Program director Ryan Reker says, “It’s just a different place to listen to us.  The change from 92.3 FM to 107.5 FM means our listeners will need to update their radios to get the same news, weather and talk coverage they listen to now.”  WOWO-AM is heard very well throughout northeastern Indiana on its 50,000-watt 1190 kHz signal.  No plans have been announced for WFWI-FM’s new format.

delaneykateTalk Host Kate Delaney Talking Pete Rose Across the Country.  Nationally syndicated general issues show host Kate Delaney is guesting on scores of radio shows today (12/15) because of her sports expertise and her knowledge of the Pete Rose decision that came down yesterday from the Major League Baseball commissioner’s office.  The commissioner is continuing the ban on Rose working in baseball because of his cover-up of his gambling on baseball while manager of the Cincinnati Reds.  Prior to her “America Tonight” program, Delaney spent a good part of her career in the sports media world covering 15 Super Bowls, 10 Final Fours, 10 U.S. Opens and numerous other sporting events.  She also served as sports director of KRLD, Dallas and did a stretch at sports talk WFAN, New York.  In addition to her regular show Delaney currently does a weekend shift on the NBC Sports Radio Network.

Odds & Sods.  San Francisco all-newser KCBS-AM is being honored with a special finalist citation by the 2016kcbs-am logo Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Awards for reporter Doug Sovern’s “Unholy Water,” a series of investigative reports that exposed the San Francisco Archdiocese’s installation of an illegal plumbing system at St. Mary’s Cathedral that poured water on homeless people at night to keep them from sleeping in the cathedral doorways, in the middle of the worst drought in California rosefrancishistory.  The CBS RADIO-owned station will be recognized at a ceremony hosted by veteran newsman Tom Brokaw at Columbia’s Low Library on January19, 2016…..Former WFED, Washington afternoon drive personality Francis Rose is handling a lot of fill-in work this week and next.  Rose is sitting in for Larry O’Connor on WMAL-AM/FM, Washington’s “Drive at Five” all this week, and Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday next week.  Rose is also in for Westwood One’s Jim Bohannon tonight and that company’s John Batchelor on Wednesday and Friday of this week…..The 27th annual Holiday Magic Radiothon on Bonneville’s KIRO-FM, Seattle to benefit Treehouse raised more than $512,000.  Treehouse is asalemdebateMedved15 nonprofit organization that addresses the essential education and enrichment needs of kids in foster care…..In advance of tonight’s GOP primary debate, Salem Radio Network talk hosts Michael Medved (left) and Dennis Prager (right) are seen at right broadcasting from the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas.  Salem Radio Network is partnering with CNN to provide the audio to radio stations across the country.  All five SRN daytime syndicated personalities are broadcasting from Las Vegas.  Additionally, SRN is presenting both pre- and post-debate programs co-hosted by Hugh Hewitt and Mike Gallagher.  Hewitt is also serving as one of the media panelists on the debate…..Premiere Networks announces it is broadcasting four college bowl games.  Available to sports stations nationwide, Premiere will distribute the live play-by-play for the Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl, Popeye’s Bahamas Bowl, Zaxby’s Heart of albomRadiothon15Dallas Bowl and Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl, all of which are produced by RedVoice Productions LLC…..Cumulus Media announces that the 2015 Mitch Albom S.A.Y. Detroit Radiothon raised $1,002,748 during last Thursday’s event.  Albom is afternoon drive host on the company’s news/talk WJR, Detroit.  This was the fourth year of the charity broadcast and included special guests Hugh Jackman, Paul Stanley, Billy Bob Thornton, Jane Pauley, JK Simmons, Craig Ferguson, Alice Cooper, Dr. Phil, Tim Allen, Howard Schultz, Dave Barry, John Pizzarelli, Mayor Mike Duggan, Bruce Cornblatt, Kevin Eubanks, Charles Woodson, Kirk Cousins, Matt Stafford, Stan Van Gundy, Brad Ausmus, Dan Gilbert, and Bernie Smilovitz.  Pictured here is Mitch Albom (at center) on the remote set during the radiothon.

2016 Presidential Race/Tonight’s GOP Debate, Government Shutdown Threat, Paris Climate Summit Agreement, Battle Against IS/Islamic Anti-Terror Alliance, Refugee/Immigration Issues, Looming Freddie Gray Verdict, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/14).  The activities of the candidates for president in 2016 and the build-up to tonight’s GOP primary debate in Las Vegas; the temporary spending bill and the threat of a government shutdown; the agreement that came out of the Paris Climate Summit and the larger topic of global warming; the battle against Islamic State and the news of a Saudi-led anti-terror coalition; the status of Syrian refugees and the issue of immigration policy in the United States; the expected verdict in the first phase of the Freddie Gray trials in Baltimore; and the weekend’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, November 30, 2015

| November 30, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, July 10, 2015

| July 10, 2015

kvilogoLars Larson’s Radio Northwest Network Show Added to KVI, Seattle Lineup.  Portland-based talk pro Lars Larson is getting an affiliate in Seattle for his regional talk show.  Sinclair Broadcast Group-owned KVI “Talk Radio 570” is adding the program to its lineup in the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm slot, effective July 20.  The station also carries Larson’s nationallarsonlars show syndicated via Compass Media Networks (that one airs from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm) but the regional show is distributed to 18 affiliates in the Pacific Northwest via Alpha’s Radio Northwest Network.  KVI, Seattle program director Rick Van Cise states, “We’re excited to bring Lars Larson’s northwest edition to America’s pioneer conservative radio station!  Lars has been a big part of KVI’s programming with his daily national show and frequent morning fill-ins.  Adding the northwest show is another way we’re boosting KVI’s commitment to covering local and regional issues with news and views you can’t get anywhere else!”  Larson comments, “KVI is a fantastic addition to the Radio Northwest Network.  I look forward to including the Seattle metro area, its people and its left-wing politicians to the conversation I have every day…and naysayers go to the head of the line on the Lars Larson show.”

hubbardPhoenixnewstudioHubbard Breaks Ground on New Phoenix Facility.  The company recently broke ground on a new, 20,000-square-foot broadcasting complex (see architect’s image in the graphic here) that will serve as the home of the company’s Phoenix operations that includes rock KUPD, alternative KDKB “93.3 Alt AZ,” classic rock KSLX, sports talk KDUS, and oldies KAZG “AZ Gold.”  The company says the new digs will include an outdoor deck and performance promenade for visiting artists as well as 13 audio studios and a video studio.  Hubbard Phoenix VP and market manager Trip Reeb says, “I can’t think of a more significant way for Hubbard Radio to commit to the Phoenix market and its community.  We have a great team of people whose passion and commitment is being rewarded with a home that is a reflection of all the hard work that we do.”

nielsen logoNielsen Audio Releases Third Round of June 2015 PPM Data.  The third of four rounds of June 2015 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Portland, Charlotte, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, San Antonio, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Kansas City, Orlando, and Columbus.  The June 2015 survey period covered May 21 through June 17.  You can find the complete ratings from subscribing stations here.  Additionally, TALKERS and RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Ten Takeaways” from this group on the main page of our sister publication here.

Odds & Sods.  Los Angeles all-newser KNX “Newsradio 1070” is presenting a special program today (7/10) as part of its KNX Spotlight series titled, “How Lo-tech Is Our Hi-tech?”  The CBS RADIO-owned station sets the stage,knx logo asking, “Was it a cyber-attack or just coincidence when the New York Stock Exchange, United Airlines and the Wall Street Journal suddenly had tech failures all on the same day?”  KNX says the show will bring together some of the best cyber experts in the country to look at what happened on Wednesday, what could happen next and how it affects you.  The program is being hosted by KNX anchor Tom Haule and chief investigative reporter Charles Feldman…..The Glenn Beck-led TheBlaze Radio Network adds a new weekly, two-hour podcast to its offerings featuring Rabbi Daniel Lapin…..FOX Sports Radio will be on site in Cincinnati for the 2015 Major League Baseball All-Star Game providing affiliates with interviews with players, Hall-of-Famers and special guests, as well as baseball insiders and experts leading into and surrounding the 86th annual event.  Talent will include FOX Sports 1 MLB analyst Dontrelle Willis and network host Ryan Field…..Satcaster SiriusXM is also broadcasting from the MLB All-Star game.  It will carry the national broadcast of both the game on Tuesday, July 14 and the Gillette Home Run Derby on Monday…..ESPN Radio’s 11th Annual ESPY Day Auction to benefit The V Foundation and its new Stuart Scott Memorial Cancer Research Fund is officially underway on eBay and will continue through Wednesday, July 15.  This year’s auction of more than 150 items includes tickets to prime sporting events, autographed memorabilia, unique experiences with athletes, celebrities and ESPN personalities like Scott Van Pelt and behind-the-scenes experiences with ESPN Radio’s Mike & Mike, Colin Cowherd, Stephen A. Smith and more.  To date, the ESPN Radio ESPY Day Auction has raised more than $7.7 million.

barberdaveA Tribute to Dave Barber.  The recent death of talk media pro Dave Barber at the all-too-early age of 60 elicited sorrow from those who knew him and those who knew his work.  City of Pawtucket, Rhode Island economic & cultural affairs officer Herb Weiss writes a career-spanning tribute to Barber, published today at Talkers.com.  Weiss recounts Barber’s entrance into the radio business, his decision to leave Flint for Providence and his transition to host of the Rhode Island state government’s “Capitol TV” platform.  Read Weiss’ piece here.

talkersten logoChina’s Market Plunge and Global Markets Reactions Top Talkers TenTM for Week of July 6-10.  The stock sell-off pulling China’s stock market down and the effects on world financial markets tied for the top spot on the Talkers TenTM this week.  At #2 was the Greek debt crisis.  Coming in at #3 was the illegal immigration and sanctuary cities issues followed by the activities of the 2016 presidential candidates at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

National Journalism Center Plays a Supportive Role with Talk Radio and Media’s Youth

| June 17, 2014

By Jeff McKay
TALKERS
Special Features Correspondent

 

mckayjeffWilbur, Kirby 2014WASHINGTON, DC — In the era of industry-wide consolidation and moves to cut costs with syndication over local talk hosts, longtime radio and media veteran Kirby Wilbur could be the poster child for reinventing a career while helping others to start their own.  Washington, DC-born and Seattle-raised, Wilbur made a name for himself in the Pacific Northwest not from his job as a real estate appraiser, but as a frequent caller to talk shows, a non-paid “hobby” that ultimately led him to his own talk show on KVI in 1993.  For the next 16 years, he was a staple on Seattle airwaves, along with numerous appearances on TALKERS magazine’s “Heavy Hundred” list of the most important radio talk show hosts in America, and also as a fill-in host for the Sean Hannity Show, until he was cut loose from KVI in October, 2009.

Fortunately for Wilbur, his Republican ideology, political activism and ability to articulate points allowed him to move directly into politics, becoming the chairman of the Washington State Republican Party.  During his tenure, Republicans picked up majorities in the Washington State House and State Senate.  However, an offer came his way that has not only changed him, but is also developing a new generation of members of the media.

Read More

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

| June 17, 2014

crowleymonicaRadio Host and Conservative Media Figure Monica Crowley Joins The Washington Times.  Conservative talk media figure Monica Crowley is named online opinion editor for The Washington Times.  Crowley, who has hosted a regular talk radio program syndicated by Talk Radio Network and is a longtime contributor to Fox News Channel, begins her work for The Washington Times on June 23.  Her duties will include overseeing all opinion content online, ranging from the weekly columns of Dr. Ben Carson and Tammy Bruce to the online “Communities” portals of such opinion contributors as Christine O’Donnell, Tom DeLay, Ernest Istook and Steve Deace.  Crowley will remain as a Fox News contributor and plans to write for The Washington Times.  The paper’s president and CEO, Larry Beasley, says, “We’re thrilled to have Monica join The Washington Times.  With her extensive background, talent and education, Monica will enhance our online offerings from around the country and the world.”

kroegerchrisCBS Radio’s WFNZ, Charlotte Names Chris Kroeger Afternoon Host.   Taking over for WFNZ, Charlotte sports talk host Marc James, who moved to the company’s WZGC, Atlanta “92.9 The Game” to partner with Chad Dukes, is Chris Kroeger – new host of “Prime Time with Chris Kroeger.  In a statement, program director DJ Stout says, “Like the Charlotte Hornets we too are bringing our legendary brand ‘Prime Time’ back.  We’re excited for Chris to take on this opportunity.  He is a top-notch talent and we look forward to him bringing his fresh approach to ‘Prime Time.’”  Kroeger is a Charlotte native who’s been coveringwfnz Appalachian State football.  He appeared weekly on WFNZ to talk App football.  He’s spent the last three years anchoring coverage of the Pac-12, SEC, ACC, AAC & Big East for IMG College.  The station says Kroeger will rotate two different co-hosts each day on the show including local and national writers, former athletes and team owners alongside the show’s other members: The Q.C.B., Hitman, and Jayweezie.  The station announces another addition to the lineup: “The Call Up with Colin and Nate” (airing weekdays from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon) featuring on air/producer for the WFNZ “Mac Attack Morning Show” Colin Hoggard and Nate Conley, executive producer of the WFNZ midday show “Bustin’ Loose with Frank Garcia and Mark Yarbro.”  WFNZ says fan favorites Colin and Nate are joining forces on this caller intensive show bringing a fresh perspective to sports radio.  DJ Stoud adds, “We’ve taken our time in putting the right shows and the right people in place.  All three of these guys know the city and know the station and bring a passion for sports as well as different perspectives for WFNZ and sports radio in the Carolinas.”

delcollianojerryWhat Would Jerry Del Colliano Do if He Owned a Radio Station Now?  Inside Music Media publisher and longtime industry observer/analyst Jerry Del Colliano candidly shares the 17 things he would do if he were in the situation of owning and operating a commercial radio station for profit today.  In a provocative piece posted today (6/17) in TALKERS and RadioInfo, Del Colliano addresses: sales department size, sales commission structure, commercial price structuring, handling (or not handling) eight-minute stop sets, appealing to a generation obsessed with video games, and strategizing the digital component as it relates to radio.  He also introduces a radical new way of dealing with hits and music discovery and much more.  To read Jerry Del Colliano’s entire article, please click here.  Also meet Jerry Del Colliano at Talkers New York 2014 on Friday of this week (6/20).

iheartradio newClear Channel Updates iHeartRadio App.  The newest version of the app for Clear Channel’s iHeartRadio digital music and talk service is being released.  The 5.0 verion for iOS and Android is being touted by the company to bring “iHeartRadio users an even more personalized listening experience with enhanced algorithms.  Among the new algorithm updates to the digital radio service is the ‘For You’ feature, which adds a genre selection tool for improved, more tailored station recommendations.  iHeartRadio 5.0 will also include a sleeker, more beautiful and intuitive UI, improved search and simplified controls.”  CC president of digital Brian Lakamp comments, “iHeartRadio 5.0 features a significant upgrade to the way we serve our listeners.  We’ve been working diligently to personalize iHeartRadio and give our listeners more of the artists, the music and the kind of listening experience they want.  iHeartRadio 5.0 accomplishes that by introducing recommendations, more intelligent design and a better user experience overall.”

nielsen logoNielsen’s RADAR June 2014 Quarterly Report Released.  The quarterly RADAR radio network ratings report from Nielsen for June 2014 has been released and, once again, the report concludes that network radio listening remains consistent from a cume standpoint.  Some data from the report includes an estimate of national audience listening – the national audience that heard a network radio commercial during an average week stands at 181.3 million Americans aged 12+.  Nielsen goes on to say, “That’s nearly 70% (68.0) of all Americans aged 12+ who heard a network radio commercial during an average week.”  It also reports that, in the top 25 DMAs, network radio reached more than 94 million listeners, more than 70% of the 12+ population in those markets; and that more than 70% of Americans aged 25-54 listened to network radio each week.   Nielsen notes the data here reflects listening to subscribing networks and does not include all network radio listening.

wilburkirbyNational Journalism Center Plays Supportive Role with Talk Media’s Youth – Organization to Showcase Internship Program at Talkers New York 2014.  In the era of industry-wide consolidation and moves to cut costs with syndication, longtime radio and media veteran Kirby Wilbur could be the poster child for reinventing a career while helping others to start their own.  Washington, DC-born and Seattle-raised, Wilbur made a name for himself in the Pacific Northwest as a talk show host on KVI for 16 years.  From 1993 to 2009, Kirby was a staple on the Seattle airwaves and also as a fill-in host for Sean Hannity.  After being cut loose from KVI, Wilbur became chairman of the Washington State Republican Party.  During his tenure, Republicans picked up majorities in the Washington State House and State Senate.  However, an offer came his way that has not only changed him, but is also developing a new generation of members of the media.  About a year ago, Wilbur and his wife left the Pacific Northwest for Washington, DC, where he became executive director of the conservative-based National Journalism Center.  His new career may not place him behind the microphone, but it does allow him to help groom the next generation of future radio reporters, talk show hosts, writers and members of the media.  “The Young America’s Foundation is a project of the National Journalism Center.  Its mission is to train and work with journalism students (conservative and otherwise) who aspire to careers in the field and encourage them through internships and academic programs.  The program’s alumni include a stellar roster of well-known media and journalism figures.  To read the entire story written by TALKERS special features correspondent Jeff McKay posted today (6/17) please click here.

joycebrianOdds & Sods.  WGOW, Chattanooga, Tennessee “102.3 The Talk Monster” mid-afternoon talk show host Brian Joyce is filling in on Cumulus Media’s Atlanta news/talk WYAY “Newsradio 106.7” from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm tomorrow evening (6/18)…..At Entercom’s Sacramento operations, Lance Richard is named vice president of sales for the six-station group that includes sports talk KCTC “ESPN 1320.”…..HLN personality Vinnie Politan is exiting the cable news channel to take a position with WXIA-TV, Atlanta.  Politan hosted the afternoon “HLN Now: On the Case” program.

schramkenPublic Memorial for Seattle Broadcaster Ken Schram Planned for June 22.  Longtime Seattle radio and television newsman and personality Ken Schram passed away on May 29 at the age of 66 after a long illness.  Schram worked for years for Fisher Communications on all-news KOMO-AM/FM, news/talk KVI as well as on the company’s KOMO-TV.  He also worked for Bonneville at KIRO-FM.  A public memorial is scheduled for Sunday, June 22 at the Fisher Pavilion at the Seattle Center.

millerdennis grandrapids“Live from Grand Rapids…”  Nationally syndicated WestwoodOne talk show host Dennis Miller did his June 6 program from the Cumulus Grand Rapids studios ahead of his appearance at the city’s DeVos Performance Hall for a show with Fox News Channel’s Bill O’Reilly.  Miller (left) took a moment to pose for a photo with WJRW and WBBL program director Dave Jaconette (right).

Iraq Turmoil, Primary Results/State of the GOP, IRS Scandal-Lerner Emails Status, Child Illegals Influx, Hillary Clinton Book Tour, World Cup Action, and NHL-NBA Finals Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/16).  The instability in Iraq due to the infiltration of a radical Islamic militant forces’ occupation of parts of the country; discussion about the state of the Republican party after this spring’s primary contests; the controversy over the status of Lois Lerner’s emails relative to the IRS scandal; the continuing influx of child illegal immigrants in the Southwest; Hillary Clinton’s book tour for her latest memoir; the World Cup action in Brazil and the U.S.’s victory over Ghana; and the Spurs’ and Kings’ victories in the NBA’s and NHL’s finals were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, February 10, 2014

| February 10, 2014

francesamikeWFAN, New York’s Mike Francesa Show to Air on Cable’s Fox Sports 1.  According to a report by Neil Best in Newsday, sources indicate the cable TV simulcast of New York sports talk icon Mike Francesa’s afternoon drive sports talk program will be Fox’s fledgling Fox Sports 1 cable channel.  The deal that had Francesa’s program simulcast on the Fox-owned and Yankees-operated YES Network for the past 12 years ended last week and though the MSG Network was anticipated being the eventual destination for Francesa’s show, the official news of the Fox Sports 1 deal could come sometime this week.  Best writes that Fox presumably wants Francesa’s show to help raise its visibility even though it’s a New York-centric show.  Interestingly, WEPN-FM’s afternoon host Michael Kay is now seen in Francesa’s old slot on YES and if Francesa does land on Fox Sports 1, the two shows will appear on side-by-side channels 69 and 70 on New York’s Cablevision system.

compasslogoWall Street Journal and MarketWatch Radio Networks Outsource Affiliate Relations and Marketing to Compass Media Networks.  Executive editor for the Wall Street Journal and MarketWatch Radio Networks John Wordock says in a memo to affiliate stations, “We are deeply committed to our audio business and appreciate our partnership with your station…The Wall Street Journal and MarketWatch Radio Networks will continue to provide the best money news coverage in the business, from Wall Street to Main Street to your street.  Together, Dow Jones and Compass look forward to working with you and your station and we’re both dedicated to providing top-notch customer service.”  This move to take the affiliate relations and marketing department out of house is not entirely unexpected after the cuts the company made in the fall eliminating executive positions within that department.

levinmarkMark Levin to Keynote Tea Party Anniversary Celebration.  Nationally syndicated talk show host Mark Levin will serve as the keynote speaker at the five-year anniversary celebration of the Tea Party Patriots taking place in Washington, DC on February 27.  Levin, whose program is syndicated by Cumulus Media Networks, says, “The Tea Party, which consists of millions of hard-working taxpayers, is to be celebrated not condemned.  The ruling class must be trounced and its media cheerleaders must be exposed if the republic is to survive.  The Tea Party is our only hope.  It’s a great honor to be asked to speak to such outstanding and courageous patriots.”  Other high-profile participants include: Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), and Jenny Beth Martin, co-founder of Tea Party Patriots.

schnitttoddTodd Schnitt: Not the Same-Old, Same-Old.  Nationally syndicated talk show host Todd Schnitt credits his background in CHR radio and his passion for finding the topics that intrigue him that he believes will also intrigue his listeners for making his show a different-sounding sort of conservative talk radio show.  TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian’s profile of the man who worked for years as the successful “MJ Kelli” at Clear Channel’s WFLZ, Tampa before branching into drive time talk radio at sister station WFLA delves into the mind of a personality working to grow his national program in the post-Sandra Fluke era.  Schnitt says, “My feelings have been bolstered by many experts and consultants in the field regarding the burn on conservative talk radio…You hear the same pounding on Democrats and liberals every single day.  It is to the point with a bunch of hosts in my space where you can pull one of their shows from last month and it would sound the same as what they are saying today.  I have always approached a talk radio show so that it fits on any conservative radio station, but with more of an intrinsic entertainment value.”  Read Mike Kinosian’s story here.

mckayjeffTALKERS Launches Three-Part Special Today, Tomorrow and Wednesday (2/10-12) Spotlighting Danno Wolkoff and Envision Networks.  Like many people who go to college with a plan for what they want to do when they graduate, Danno Wolkoff went to Syracuse University with a goal of winding up in television production.  Fate, and the prodding from senior management at MJI Broadcasting instead sent him in the direction of sales and affiliate relations.  Wolkoff discovered he had a gift for sales, and doubled his income in one year.  It was through sales and affiliate relations work that he climbed the corporate ladder at MJI, expanding and growing their sales offices nationwide.  When Clear Channel acquired MJI and merged it into Premiere Radio Networks (now simply “Premiereenvisionnetworks new Networks”), he became VP of affiliate relations.  However, it wasn’t long before he began to realize that the hands-on and creative approach he had at MJI wasn’t translating to the growth concepts and business model of Premiere and Clear Channel.  Wolkoff faced a career crossroads and would make a decision that would change his life and become an important source of programming and services for radio.  His vision was “Envision Radio Networks,” (now simply “Envision Networks”) — a highly successful and forward-thinking company that creates over four wolkoffdannodozen content products and services for radio stations and media outlets nationwide, customizing solutions for clients, producers and affiliates.  It was a company literally founded after another syndication and programming company decided they had a good product that despite making money, didn’t make enough money for their bottom line.  What Wolkoff has accomplished in the span of just 10 years is inspiring and a textbook example of creating a force for productivity and jobs in an industry.  He took the biggest gamble of his life, grabbing a program and three people laid off by an established firm that would become his largest competitor, and growing an independent syndication empire serving over 1,500 radio stations with everything from prep services to music shows, local news and information to weekend talk shows.  His staff has grown over 20-fold in a decade to include an array of producers, salespeople and contract staffers researching, producing, creating and selling more than four-dozen products to radio stations in both the largest and smallest markets.  Now known simply as Envision Networks (they dropped the word “Radio” this past week – more on that later) continues to not only grow, embracing new technology and catering to those needs, but in the process has become an independent force in syndication.  In the words of Michael Harrison, “The emergence of special individuals like Danno Wolkoff is the force that propels an industry such as ours forward.  I’ve seen this movie many times before.  Danno is the kind of guy who has the makings of being a true giant 10 years down the pike, taking his place among the biggest of the big.”  To read part one of TALKERS special features correspondent Jeff McKay’s extensive profile “The Vision of Envision: The Rise of Radio Syndication Entrepreneur Danno Wolkoff and an Emerging Independent Powerhouse” please click here.

cbslocalmediaCBS Reports Record Digital Traffic Month.  It’s a new record for a single month as CBS Local Digital Media reports its websites and mobile applications attracted 56.8 million unique users during January topping the previous all-time high of 50.6 million in April 2013.  The January 2014 number was up 37% compared to a year ago.  CBS Local is happy with its performance in this arena last year reporting year-to-year growth of 21% in average unique users per month.  CBS Local Media COO Anton Guitano says, “Our continued integration of digital into all parts of our local business is yielding dividends.  The great mobile presence our stations have via mobile websites, Radio.com and CBS Local apps creates a presence that gives the consumer a great user experience.”

larsonlarsLars Larson’s Busy Week: Subbing for KVI’s John Carlson; Keynoting Nevada Republican Dinner.  There are few in the talk radio business who work harder than talk show host Lars Larson.  Lars tells TALKERS that in addition to his regular radio programs – middays on Alpha Broadcasting’s KXL, Portland and nationally syndicated from 3:00 pm to 9:00 pm ET via Compass Media Networks – he’s filling in on morning drive today and tomorrow (2/10-11) on KVI, Seattle for John Carlson.  This evening he’ll be hosting a station event for KXL and then heads to Reno on Thursday to do both regular shows from affiliate KKFT-FM before keynoting the Washoe County Republicans’ annual Lincoln Dinner on Friday.  Lars reports he’ll be able to fly home in time on Friday to spend Valentine’s weekend with his “very patient wife,” Tina.

smerconishmichaelMichael Smerconish Jumps to CNN.  The SiriusXM talk show host is leaving MSNBC and will join up with CNN for a role that includes regular appearances during the week providing analysis and commentary plus a weekly Saturday morning program, reports the Washington Posts’s Eric Wemple.  In a release, CNN Worldwide president Jeff Zucker says, “We are thrilled to have Michael join CNN.  At a time when the cable news landscape has become increasingly polarized, his independence and passion for reasoned dialogue makes him the perfect fit for CNN.”  Smerconish joins CNN at a time of flux.  Zucker has been making programming changes to reverse the cable news/talk channel’s floundering ratings.  CNN announced recently it is cancelling Anderson Cooper’s “AC 360 Later.”

comptonawardHonoring Ann.  ABC News Radio White House correspondent Ann Compton (left) is pictured here at the Washington Press Club Foundation’s 70th Annual Congressional Dinner on February 5 at which she was honored with the 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award.  The award recognizes an individual whose outstanding accomplishments promote the journalistic profession and enhance the role of women journalists.

richertlarryOdds & Sods.  The Akron Beacon Journal reports that weekend and fill-in host Bob Early resigned from his position with WNIR-FM, Akron after a disagreement over a guest for his weekend talk show.  Early hosted the Saturday and Sunday evening show on the station and he tells the paper he and management were not in agreement about Early booking the owner of an erotic goods chain on his program.  Read the whole story here…..Patrick Ryan joins Magnum Broadcasting to serve as general manager for talk WEEO-FM,ryanpatrick Chambersburg, Pennsylvania/ Hagerstown, Maryland and corporate brands strategist.  Ryan was most recently local sales manager at Albany Broadcasting.  He says, “I’m thrilled to put my talk radio expertise back to work and look forward to buying-building new brands with Michael Stapleford and his incredible team.”…..KDKA-AM, Pittsburgh morning host Larry Richert announced that Pittsburgh Pirates president Frank Coonelly will serve as the keynote speaker at his “Larry Richert Honors Our Hometown Heroes” event at the Lexus Club at PNC Park on Thursday, March 6.  The annual even created by Richert honors five ordinary individuals in the community who have done extraordinary things and it benefits the Wounded Warrior Project.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

| January 2, 2014

grantbobIconic Talk Show Host Bob Grant Dead at 84.  Just months after retiring from his weekend talk show at WABC, New York, Bob Grant passed away on New Year’s Eve after what’s being described as a brief illness.  Grant began his talk radio career at KABC in Los Angeles in the mid-1960s but rose to fame when he came to New York and began a regular talk show at WMCA in 1970.  Grant’s career saw him move around the New York radio dial; he worked at WABC and WOR and – for a time – WWDB-FM, Philadelphia.  He is regularly cited by today’s conservative talk radio practitioners as the man who pioneered the opinionated, call-it-as-you-see-it style of issues-oriented talk radio upon which the modern era of the format was built.  Read more about his legendary career here.

sliwakubyCurtis & Kuby Return to WABC, New York.  Cumulus Media names Curtis Sliwa and Ron Kuby midday talk hosts at WABC, New York – returning one of the most popular local talk teams to the station where they first worked together more than 13 years ago.  The Curtis & Kuby show aired on WABC from 2000 to 2007 pairing the conservative Sliwa with the ultra-liberal Kuby for a show that was very successful.  Cumulus COO John Dickey says in a statement, “We’re delivering on our pledge to invest in localized content that will entertain, inform and engage listeners while also providing advertisers unique opportunities to reach their customers on a sustained basis.  Sliwa adds, “Ever since I left 77 WABC, everywhere I go people have asked me if and when I would ever reunite with Ron Kuby, because that was a great show!  At a time when New Yorkers are starved for information and entertainment, I’m thrilled that we’ll be able to offer it to them on the greatest news/talk station this country has ever seen.”  And Kuby comments, “I am thrilled to be back at legendary 77 WABC radio with the Curtis & Kuby show — it is a new day for New York City and a new afternoon for Newkiernanpat York radio!”  Sliwa has most recently been hosting both morning and afternoon shows at Salem’s crosstown WNYM “AM 970 The Answer.”  In addition to the Curtis & Kuby show, Cumulus is adding a local hour from 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm hosted by NY1 TV anchor Pat Kiernan.  Kiernan states, “My first broadcasting job was in radio so this is a natural way for me to extend my connection with New Yorkers.  I see this as a great way for listeners to reconnect after the workday.  We’re going to hit the big local stories, but we also want to plug into the conversation of the day.  That can include anything from pop culture to sports to the hot topic on Twitter.”  These moves come as the station transitions the late morning Geraldo Rivera show to local content and adds the Cumulus Media Networks nationally syndicated Michael Savage for the 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm slot.

wabcWABC, New York Names Craig Schwalb PD; Tony Mascaro Takes WPRO, Providence Programming Post.   Along with the programming changes announced above, Cumulus Media announces Craig Schwalb is being promoted to program director of WABC, New York from the company’s WPRO, Providence.  At the same time, Tony Mascaro moves from his operations manager post at WABC to program director of WPRO and sister business news outlet WPRV.  The company states that Schwalb has nearly two decades of news, talk and sports programming experience with roles held in markets including New York City, Detroit, St. Louis and Raleigh.  Prior to joining Cumulus, Schwalb was thewpro logo senior director of talk programming for SiriusXM.  Schwalb says, “WABC has inspired countless broadcasters over the years and to now lead WABC into its next phase will be an absolute pleasure.  Without a doubt, working alongside Cumulus NYC market manager Kim Bryant, COO John Dickey, SVP programming Mike McVay and corporate program director Randall Bloomquist, will be an honor.”  Speaking about his return to Providence, Mascaro comments, “I am thrilled to be returning to Providence where it all started for me.  WPRO-AM is a legendary radio station with an amazing line-up of talent.  I wish everyone at WABC continued success for the future.  Thanks to John Dickey, Mike McVay, Randall Bloomquist and Providence market manager Barbara Haynes for this opportunity to program a heritage radio station in a great radio market.”

hannityseanSean Hannity to Air Live on KVI, Seattle.  Premiere Networks nationally syndicated superstar Sean Hannity returns to Seattle’s “Talk Radio 570” KVI today airing live in the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm slot.  This marks a reunion with the station on which his show debuted in 2001.  Program director Paul Duckworth states, “We’re thrilled to bring Sean back to KVI.  Listeners deserve to hear Sean’s program live and get the most up-to-the-minute news, information and analysis.”  Hannity adds, “From the very first day I went on the air and that red light went on, I have been in love with radio.  I’m thrilled, excited, ecstatic, exuberant to be back on America’s original conservative talk station, ‘Talk Radio 570 KVI.’”  In addition, “The Hannity Encore” will air on the station Sundays from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm.

wind logo

WIND, Chicago Expands Morning Show; Adds Sean Hannity.  Salem Communications-owned news/talk WIND, Chicago announces the expansion of the morning drive show co-hosted by Big John Howell and Amy Jacobson plus the addition of Premiere’s Sean Hannity show to the lineup.  Beginning Monday, January 6, Bill Bennett‘s “Morning in America” returns live to the station for the 5:00 am to 6:00 am hour.  Howell and Jacobson will air in the expanded 6:00 am to 11:00 am slot.  Westwood One’s Dennis Miller remains in the 11:00 am to 2:00 pm slot but now airs live.  Sean Hannity also airs live from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm.  WIND general manager Jeff Reisman comments, “Sean Hannity is an ideal fit on ‘AM 560 The Answer.’  Sean is one of the premier news/talk personalities and his style will fit nicely with our outstanding lineup of local and national hosts.”

kaplandavidWGN, Chicago Gives David Kaplan New Contract.  Talk host and reporter David Kaplan inks a new, multi-year contract with Tribune’s WGN, Chicago.  Kaplan hosts the eponymous nightly sports talk show that airs from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm and serves as afternoon drive sports reporter as well as host of the Cubs and Blackhawks Confidential programs.  Kaplan comments, “It’s a thrill to continue my career at WGN Radio where I have spent the last 18-plus years.  I’m thankful to work for the best mind in radio, Jimmy de Castro, and I’m blessed to be able to talk sports in my hometown of Chicago on the best radio station in America.”  De Castro adds, “We are driven to deliver live and local programming to our listeners.  Kap has his finger on the pulse of Chicago sports and we’re excited for him to be a part of our multi-dimensional future.”

jamesmarcMarc James Goes Solo at “The Fan” in Charlotte.  CBS RADIO announces WFNZ, Charlotte “Sports Radio 610 The Fan” afternoon drive personality Marc James begins hosting the afternoon drive slot on the station solo as former co-host Taylor Zarzour leaves the show to host “Bleacher Report Radio” on SiriusXM‘s sports zone channel.  James and Zarzour had been co-hosting “The Drive” since they were paired up in 2011.  The station says Zarzour will continue to remain a part of the WFNZ family by calling into the show with Marc weekly.  Zarzour says, “I’ll be forever grateful for the opportunity that OM DJ Stout and market manager Bill Schoening gave me at WFNZ.  I am extremely proud of the success that we had in my three years on the show and have no doubt Marc and the crew will continue to grow the audience.  I am excited about my next opportunity but will continue to be a part of the WFNZ family.”  The show’s other cast members include The Q.C.B., Hitman, and Jayweezie.  Stout says, “Although it is bittersweet to see Taylor go, he has done a great job for us and we will miss his talent and professionalism.  We’re excited for Marc to take on this opportunity.  He is a top notch talent and we look forward to him taking The Drive to the next level.”  James comments, “Taylor Zarzour is probably the hardest working person in sports talk radio.  He made me a better host, but more importantly a better man.  I look forward to taking ‘Sports Radio 610 WFNZ the Fan’ to unparalleled heights in the future. Charlotte is hands down one of the best sports towns in America and we will continue to make Charlotte proud to call WFNZ THE best sports talk station in the city.”

xmas story albumThe Miracle of “A Christmas Story.”  Ever the radio historian, noted media consultant Walter Sabo reminds us about the power of story-telling as an audience-building device.  In a new column posted today (1/2) Sabo discusses the movie “A Christmas Story” which was based on the synthesis of dozens of radio monologues created and delivered by the late and legendary talker Jean Shepherd.  Shepherd broadcast on WOR, New York from 1958-1975.  His nightly monologues were not bedtime stories.  According to Sabo, they were subversive proclamations, challenging authority wrapped in imagery of American traditions.  Shepherd worked without a script, but with massive prep.  Some of his shows took months to come to fruition in his imagination.  He recorded every show.  The importance of Shepherd’s work is that it was not on NPR or an obscure station.  WOR was the number one station in audience and revenue in America through most of his reign.  It was a talk station that appealed primarily to women—about 70% of the cume was female.  About 70% of the hosts were women.  There were many other dominant talk stations at the time that appealed primarily to women such as KMOX, WCCO, WGN and WBZ.  Shepherd’s audience was young, more male.  His show often presented a youngster’s perspective on the idiocy of authority, success, day-people and capitalism.  He bashed advertising, radio, television and anything that was mainstream or plastic. In other words he trashed, on every level, the success of his employer: The number one radio station in America owned by General Tire and Rubber.  He did that every night.  There is much contemporary talk broadcasters can learn from this slice of radio history.  To read Sabo’s entire piece, please click here.

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

ces2014Coming Next Week: The 2014 International CES.  Media consultant and TALKERS columnist Holland Cooke will report from next week’s 2014 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.  He teases the event asking, “How dizzying is the-pace-of-change?”  Media are now asked NOT to refer to this massive, mind-boggling event as “The Consumer Electronics Show,” because whassup here has transcendedcookeholland hardware.

Sure, there’ll be gadgets aplenty in an exhibit hall bigger than 30 football fields, many of ‘em obsoleting whatever seemed so-cutting-edge last year.  But many of the ways technology is changing our everyday lives are…invisible, “The Internet of Things.”

Yes, the Amazon drone story was a publicity stunt.

But 62% of Internet traffic is now robots.

Maybe your refrigerator isn’t (yet) auto-ordering milk; and none of us are riding driver-less cars.

Yet already, patients can enable doctors to monitor real-time vital signs.

Soon, your alarm clock could wake you earlier if the route you commute has a traffic tangle.  And your thermostat will auto-adjust, based on the changing weather forecast.  Traditional radio information hooks are no longer franchises.  If you think I’m exaggerating, look at your iPhone.

Come along, virtually…

Look for my coverage here next week in TALKERS and RadioInfo; and follow my real-time Tweets @HollandCooke.  I’ll also be reporting for the Jim Bohannon show and “America in the Morning,” and on my client stations.

And it’ll be a ‘Vegas convention two-fer.  Again this year, I’ll also be covering NMX, the New Media Expo, formerly “Blogworld,” before-that “The Podcast & New Media Expo,” which, a decade ago, already drew twice-as-many attendees as radio conventions.

With media consumers now in on-demand pick-N-choose mode — and with advertising and marketing money flowing to the digital platform — these internet content creators’ work is now instructive to what TALKERS and RadioInfo publisher Michael Harrison has termed broadcast stations’ “survival and ‘thrival.’”

pattiznormNorm Pattiz to Keynote NMX 2014.  Speaking of the New Media Expo, Courtside Entertainment Group CEO Norm Pattiz will be among the three media execs keynoting the conference when it gets underway this weekend in Las Vegas.  Speaking alongside tech expert Leo Laporte and Stitcher CEO Noah Shanok, Pattiz – Westwood One founder and CEO of Podcast One – will address the former Blogworld conference at 9:00 am on Monday, January 6.  The title of the keynote address is “The Future of Podcasting.”

wmyt logoWMYT, Wilmington Adds Programming.  Talk Media TV-owned news/talk WMYT, Wilmington, North Carolina announces program additions to is schedule beginning with its “Super Saturdays” lineup.  The station says the new addition to its “Super Saturdays,” which consists of eight local shows, is “The Car Doctor with Val Boudreau.”  Also, the station announces it is bringing the new “The Blaze News” regular news updates to listeners airing every 15 minutes, saying “’The Blaze News’ spots, in addition to our Fox Business News spots, will expand our national news content and coverage!”  WMYT is also adding Premiere NetworksAndy Dean to the daily schedule airing weeknights from 8:00 pm to 11:00 pm.

ktxx logoAustin Sports Talker KTXX-FM Purchased By Local Group.  The Austin American-Statesman reports that longtime market media personality Bob Cole heads up an ownership group that is purchasing sports talk KTXX-FM “The Horn” and its sister AM signal KWNX from Total Austin Sports Radio for an undisclosed sum.  Cole – who serves as the Texas Longhorns stadium announcer and is a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Texas Radio Hall of Fame – tells the paper the station will remain sports but that “We’re going to do something a little different, that fills a hole that no one else in the market is filling.”  Earlier this year the group purchased country outlet KOKE where Cole hosts the morning show.

keib logoOdds & Sods.  Clear Channel changes the call letters of KTLK, Los Angeles to KEIB – a nod to its new centerpiece, Premiere NetworksRush Limbaugh, whose Excellence in Broadcasting network moniker is often shortened to EIB.  The station flipped from progressive talk to conservative talk as of today (1/2) and the station’s brand is “The Patriot.”  Limbaugh moved over from sister news/talk KFI…..CBS RADIO’s WIP-FM, Philadelphia “SportsRadio 94 WIP” is giving away a pair of tickets to Saturday night’s Eagles-Saints NFC Wild Card game at Lincoln Financial Field to the person “who needs them the most.”  The station iswiplogo telling listeners to make a banner that says “94WIP I Need Eagles Playoff Tickets,” make it big, creative and hang it where WIP can see – as long as it’s legal.  On Friday afternoon, the station will send its spotters out to select the best banner and will award the tickets accordingly…..ESPN Radio returns to the Columbia, South Carolina market after a 17-month absence on L&L Broadcasting’s WOIC “ESPN Columbia 1230 AM.”  WOIC flipped from news/talk on January 1 and is carrying much of the ESPN Radio lineup.  It will also air local programs “The Zone” hosted by Duane “The Shot Doctor” Everett from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm and “Sports Hotline” with Bobby Gist and Ernest Robinson from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm…..The “Positive Business with Patricia Raskin” show announces the addition of new co-host Lynda Adams.  “Positive Business” airs every Friday from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm on business talk WPRV, Providence where it’s been heard for the past four years.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

| November 26, 2013

suitsbryanBryan Suits to KABC, Los Angeles.  With Cumulus Media’s move making Geraldo Rivera a New York-only program beginning in the New Year, the late morning slot at KABC, Los Angeles opened up and it appears Bryan Suits will take over the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon show at the station.  KABC program director Drew Hayes has not responded to a request for confirmation but Suits himself has posted the news on his Facebook page and his Wikipedia entry indicates he’ll start doing the show in December.  Suits had been working from Seattle at Clear Channel’s crosstown KFI, Los Angeles on weekends.  He’s also hosted shows at KVI, Seattle and KOGO, San Diego.

savagemichaelCumulus Announces Savage Sponsorship Deal.  When Cumulus Media Networks’ “Savage Nation” with host Michael Savage moves to the 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm ET live slot in January, the program will enjoy Swiss America Trading Corporation as the presenting sponsor of the show.  The company reports that the year-long deal will build upon a 12-year relationship between Savage’s show and Swiss America.  The sponsorship agreement will expand Swiss America’s current presence on the show, with the program to be referred to as “The Savage Nation, Presented by Swiss America.”  Savage comments, “I am thrilled to have Swiss America as the presenting sponsor of ‘The Savage Nation.’  This is the most significant partnership ever announced for our show and Swiss America’s interest in deepening their relationship is a testament to our increasingly growing audience.”

malmbergalAl Malmberg Returns to WCCO, Minneapolis for Late Nights.  CBS Radio’s news/talk WCCO announces the return of Al Malmberg to the station’s lineup for the 11:00 pm to 2:00 am show effective December 16.  Malmberg hosted the overnight program on WCCO for more than 10 years during his previous stint with the station from 1996 to 2008.  He was honored as “Best AM Radio Personality” by the local alt weekly City Pages in 2008.  Program director Bob Shomper states, “We are thrilled for Al’s return to late nights on WCCO.  He is one of our most popular hosts with a huge and loyal following.”  Malmberg comments, “I am so glad to be back on WCCO.  I’ve really missed talking to all of my friends across the upper Midwest on the big 50,000 watt blowtorch.”

childersnicoleNicole Childers Named Senior Producer for ‘Marketplace Morning Report.’  American Public Media announces Nicole A. Childers is the new senior producer of “Marketplace Morning Report with David Brancaccio.”  She comes to Marketplace from Fusion, a joint venture between ABC and Univision, where she was a senior launch producer for the new network.  In her new role, she’ll oversee all production aspects of “Marketplace Morning Report,” which APM says is heard by 6.5 million listeners weekly on 475 public radio stations.  She will work closely with host David Brancaccio and the production team in the New York bureau.  Childers will report directly to vice president and executive producer Deborah Clark.

jaguarxfWRKO, Boston’s Howie Carr Gives Away Chance to Win a 2013 Jaguar XF.  Boston talk show host Howie Carr and Entercom’s WRKO are giving listeners to Carr’s show a chance to “Win Howie’s Jaguar” this holiday season.  From December 2 tocarrhowie December 13, Carr will contest twice during his show – 4:30 pm and 6:30 pm – to qualify up to 20 listeners to participate in a grand prize drawing and earn the chance to drive off in a 2013 Jaguar XF, courtesy of Jaguar Exeter.  The grand prize event will take place during a live Howie Carr broadcast taking place on December 18 at The Fairways at Woburn Country Club.  Each qualifier will receive a $50 gift card to The Green’s Grill and Pub at Woburn Country Club.  One lucky finalist will win a two-night stay at The Old Harbor Inn in Chatham, Massachusetts and a shot at the car.

michaelsfargophotoCommunication Through Creativity.  Highly respected radio imaging master, consultant, VO legend and program host Nick Michaels of American Voice Corp. recently brought his two-day seminar, “Communication Through Creativity,” to the Upper Midwest’s powerhouse talk station KFGO, Fargo.  Michaels tells TALKERS that he was tremendously impressed by the passion for creativity and local involvement displayed on an ongoing level at the Midwest Communications property.  Midwest VP programming Jeff McCarthy tells TALKERS, “Nick Michaels’ seminar had a powerful and positive impact on the staff and the results are already being heard on the air on all of our stations in Fargo.”  Pictured (l-r):  Jeff McCarthy, VP programming, Midwest Communications, Inc., Nick Michaels, American Voice Corp., and Peter Tanz, VP operations, Midwest Communications, Inc.

Iran-Nukes Deal, ObamaCare Criticism, Immigration Legislation, Threatened U.S.-Afghanistan Security Pact, Thanksgiving Holiday, and Gitmo Double Agents Program Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/25).  The global reaction to the potential U.S.-brokered nukes deal with Iran; the criticism of the rollout of the Affordable Care Act; President Obama’s proposed immigration legislation; the tenuous security deal between the United States and Afghanistan; the coming Thanksgiving holiday; and the reported double agent program at Guantanamo Bay were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

| September 4, 2012

Radio Coverage of Campaign 2012 Shifts to Charlotte.  The Democratic National Convention gets underway in Charlotte, North Carolina today and runs through Thursday.  Talk show hosts and news staffers from stations of all formats are ensconced in their radio row remote studios preparing to report to their markets over the next three days.  The non-partisan Talk Radio News Service will operate a booth on radio row and more than 100 talk show hosts will broadcast from the city – either in the convention center itself or from “alternative” sites – as they work to bring the Democratic message to their listeners or attempt to counter the message of the Obama campaign.  Salem Radio Network’s Bill Bennett – host of “Morning in America” – will broadcast from the city.  Bennett is seen here (r) enjoying a pre-convention meal at a Charlotte eatery with “Morning in America” regular guest and Fox News Channel contributor Byron York (l).  Joining them for the shot at center is former Tennessee Democratic congressman and MSNBC contributor Harold Ford, Jr. who stopped by to say “hello.”  While eating there Bennett was surrounded by MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, Soledad O’Brien of CNN and former Iowa governor Tom Vilsack among other Democrats  He tells TALKERS, “I enjoyed unnerving my Democratic friends.”

Jorge Sedano Joins WQAM as PD and PM Drive Host.  The Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson reports that South Florida sports media personality Jorge Sedano is taking the program director role at Beasley Broadcasting’s sports talk WQAM that was left vacant when Lee Feldman exited for interests outside of the media field.  Sedano, who left Lincoln Financial Media’s WAXY, Miami in April to pursue TV work, will also become the afternoon drive host while current PM drive guy Dan Sileo will move to the 11:00 am to 1:00 pm slot left vacant by Michael Irvin’s recent departure.  South Florida media chatter indicates Sileo was originally being considered for the midday slot but was hired for PM drive when he became available after exiting WDAE, Tampa and Sid Rosenberg was suddenly let go from the PM drive slot.  Sedano recently was hired to host the pre- and post-game shows for Miami Heat games on the Sun Sports telecasts.  He also is a part-time sportscaster for WFOR-TV, Miami – CBS4.  Sedano tells the Herald, “From a lifestyle perspective, this makes the most sense.  When I left 790, I needed to harness my skills and work on the craft and it’s led me to this position on the TV side, so it obviously paid off.   I felt if I wanted to get back in radio, and it was a perfect situation, I would get back.  This is perfect situation.  I can put my imprint on the radio station.”

A Huge Day for the Expansion of Sports Talk Radio.  It has been 25 years since WFAN, New York signed on as the first all sports talk radio station – an experiment that was considered bold and certainly risky on the part of then-owner Jeff Smulyan’s Emmis Broadcasting.  But it certainly did prove to be a risk worth taking as sports talk radio has gone on to be one of the hottest and dynamic genres of radio in the industry – second only to political news/talk in the spoken word realm.  Today the sports juggernaut picks up even more steam with the launch of two more major networks joining the ranks of four other biggies in what is becoming a crowded super-competitive marketplace.  NBC Sports Radio, in partnership with Dial Global, takes to the airwaves today and CBS Sports Radio is also going nationwide with the first phase of its rollout.

Greater Media’s WTKK, Boston Re-Images as “NewsTalk 96.9.”  The FM talk outlet has re-branded itself as “NewsTalk 96.9” The station’s website is still 969bostontalks.com but the station seems to be promoting its news coverage more – with emphasis on the “24-hour news center.”  There are no programming changes to the station and, as you can see in the image here, the station is promoting its coverage of all things election 2012.

Judge Denies Preliminary Injunction in Emmis Case; Shareholder Meeting Scheduled for Today.  Emmis CEO Jeff Smulyan was pleased with Friday’s ruling in which U.S. District Court Judge Sarah Evans Barker denied the injunction request of five preferred shareholders who wanted to stop the company’s shareholder meeting today at which they will vote on a plan to take some of the rights away from preferred shareholders and not pay some $10 million in past-due dividends.  Judge Barker ruled that the shareholders group “failed to meet any of the threshold requirements for injunctive relief.”  She also noted that had she granted the injunction, “both Emmis’ stock price as well as its efforts to refinance before the November 2012 deadline could be seriously and adversely affected.”  The minority shareholders group claims today’s vote is a “blatant attempt to grab wealth” from them but Emmis denies that and counters the move is designed to cut expenses and to improve the company’s fiscal health.  Jeff Smulyan controls the common stock’s voting power and therefore today’s vote is expected to go his way.  It should be noted that the judge’s decision last week does not stop the minority shareholder group from suing for damages after today’s vote takes place.  The group has not indicated one way or the other if it intends to take such action.

WPRO, Providence Provides Live Political Debates.  Cumulus Media’s WPRO & 99.7 FM in Providence hosts congressional debates this week.  Today at 6:00 pm, Democrats Anthony Gemma and David Cicilline ( who’ll face off in the primary next week) will appear on the air.  The debate will be moderated by WPRO news director Bill Haberman.  Tomorrow at 6:00 pm, Republican candidates for Congress in the Second Congressional District — Michael Gardiner, Michael Riley, Don Robbio and Kara Russo will debate before moderator Bill Haberman and guest panelists Tara Granahan and Andrew Gobeil from the “WPRO Morning News.”  The station is also making the debates available via video on WPRO.com with an accompanying, live Tweet Chat.

J.D. Hayworth Sits in on New KVI, Seattle in PM Drive.  Talk show host and former Arizona U.S. Rep. J.D. Hayworth will warm the PM drive chair for Cumulus Media Networks talk host Mark Levin until he can become part of the Fisher Communications news/talk station’s newly revamped lineup on September 24.  Hayworth, who hosted his own successful talk show on KFYI, Phoenix for years, will also sub as co-host on the morning drive show at Cumulus’ KSFO, San Francisco this week – Wednesday through Friday as well as next Monday.

Radio Pro Jay Andrews Returns to Alma Mater to Manage Student Station and Host AM Drive Show.  North Georgia media pro, former station owner and radio personality Jay Andrews is doing his first morning drive program on Brenau University’s WBCX, Gainesville, Georgia today as he returns to the college to do the radio show and manage the student radio station.  Andrews tells AccessNorthGa.com, “The choice to go back to 89.1 WBCX was an easy one.  Brenau University is my alma mater, and having the opportunity to manage this remarkable student station, return to the air, and most importantly help students learn the radio, TV and internet media businesses is quite an honor.”  During his career, Andrews has worked as a radio personality on numerous North Georgia stations.  He owned WDGR, Dahlonega, Georgia, and he managed Jacobs Media Corporation’s WDUN, WMJE and WGGA in Gainesville.  On the new morning show Andrews says, “It’s a whole different animal from a format and production standpoint.  Since it is technically a morning show it will move faster.  We will also attempt to open the format up to more listeners by taking phone calls, interviewing Brenau newsmakers, and also become more involved in the community.  We will work toward having regular contributors covering news, and current and historical events.  As always we will try do this with style, great hit music, and humor.”

“Poorman” Finds On-Air Home at Small California Station.  Jim Trenton, the original “Poorman” of California radio and creator of the mega-successful syndicated program “Loveline” will turn 60 next year.  The fame he enjoyed while co-hosting the show has become a distant memory.  The successful radio and TV series is primarily (and rightfully) associated with Dr. Drew Pinsky. Trenton’s stardom quickly faded after he was fired from “Loveline” for encouraging thousands of listeners to join him for a midnight surprise birthday party on the front lawn of a co-worker…and listeners showed up, by the thousands…but that was almost 20 years ago.  The Poorman continues to feel bitter about losing the show he feels he created.  Since then, he has either been fired or stormed away from a dozen stations.  His career has never recovered.  Ah, but now his career has been given a spark of new hope.  Courageous station owner Fred Lundgren, CEO and president of news/talker KCAA, San Bernadino/Riverside, California has taken a chance and hired Trenton to host a daily one-hour show at 12:00 noon on the “station that leaves no listener behind.”  Read Lundgren’s humorous account of why he put one of radio’s notorious bad boys back on the air and how it’s going by clicking here.

WABB-AM, Mobile Sold by Dittman Broadcasting to Omni Broadcasting.  Fort Walton Beach, Florida-based Omni Broadcasting filed on Friday (8/31) with the FCC to transfer the license of news/talk outlet WABB (1480 AM), Mobile for a reported purchase price of $106,000.  Omni also closed the same day to purchase time for the Ticket Sports Network until the close of the sale.  Earlier this year the companion WABB-FM (97.6) was sold to the Educational Media Foundation for $3.1 million, which in turn sold the assets of that station to Cumulus Media in return for WRQQ-FM, Belle Meade, Tennessee and WDLT-FM, Chickasaw, Alabama, giving Cumulus upgraded coverage of the Mobile market with the 97.6 FM signal.

TAB President and Radio Advocate Ann Arnold Dies.  The widely popular Ann Arnold, longtime president of the Texas Association of Broadcasters, died Saturday (9/1) at her office at the age of 67 after battling leukemia for many years.  Arnold headed the organization since 1987.  She had been a strong defender of Texas’ open government laws and during her tenure doubled the membership of the TAB.   “Ann Arnold was an extraordinary and inspiring woman,” says TAB chairman Mary Mike Hatcher of Bryan Broadcasting.  “She was fearless in her advocacy for local radio and television broadcasters, for the public’s right to know how elected officials run our government, and in her long fight with cancer.”  TAB VP Oscar Rodriguez adds, “Ann was passionate about Texas and optimistic about the future.  She cherished the opportunity to help local broadcasters strengthen their communities and had yet to find the challenge that would daunt her.” (Photo: Mike Wenglar)

Presidential Campaign/Democratic National Convention, Isaac Aftermath, Rising Gas Prices and Iran-Israel Tensions Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/3).  The presidential campaign and the approaching Democratic National Convention; the aftermath of Tropical Storm Isaac; the rising price at the pump for gasoline; and Iran’s threats to strike American bases if Israel takes military action against it were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

| August 30, 2012

Fisher Communications Re-Aligns News and Talk Programming in Seattle; KOMO to Air More News, KVI to Return to Conservative Talk.  After 20 months away from conservative talk programming, Fisher Communications’ KVI, Seattle – reputed to be the first station to intentionally program all-conservative talk in America – returns to that format with local talk host John Carlson moving over from KOMO to host morning drive at KVI.  When the lineup is finally in place, Carlson will be followed by TRN’s Laura Ingraham; Compass Media NetworksTodd Schnitt; Cumulus Media NetworksMark Levin; Compass’ Lars Larson; TRN’s Michael Savage; and Cumulus Media’s “Red Eye Radio” and Don Imus will round out the overnight period.  PD Paul Duckworth states, “KVI stands for the best in conservative talk in Seattle.  This is going to be one of the most hotly contested elections in history and people need a place to hear about it and talk about it.  Get set for an exciting ride!”  Meanwhile at KOMO-AM/FM, Bill Rice anchors the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon daypart and Brian Calvert anchors the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm slot.  Ken Schram – who had been hosting a talk show from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm—remains with Fisher in his role as commentator on KOMO 4 television.  Both Carlson and Schram will continue to provide daily commentaries on KOMO Newsradio.

Is Jim Rome Leaving Premiere Networks for CBS Radio Sports?  That’s what Deadline.com is reporting.  Jim Rome has been syndicated by Premiere Networks since he debuted nationally back in 1996.  Recently he left ESPN – the cable giant that produced his television program – and signed on with the upstart cable venture CBS Sports Network.  Now, Deadline is reporting Rome will leave Premiere when his contract is up and join the CBS Radio Sports network when it debuts in January and that the deal will also allow him to cover NFL, NCAA basketball and U.S. Open Tennis Championships, and other events.

Dial Global Responds to Mark Masters’ TRN Lawsuit — Calls it “Frivolous,” “Spurious.”  In a statement issued to the radio industry trade press, Spencer Brown, co-chief executive officer of Dial Global, states: “Despite the comments in Mr. Masters’ e-mail to the press distributed yesterday in which he announced his company Talk Radio Networks (TRN) is suing Dial Global, at this time, Dial Global has not been served a complaint. We have provided outstanding service to TRN for over 10 years and continue to represent several of TRN’s programs today. Based on the information contained in the complaint distributed by Mr. Masters to the press, which complaint was filed by a law firm run by Ron Severaid, TRN’s own internal legal counsel, we believe the complaint is entirely frivolous. We are confident we will defeat these spurious claims, assuming they are ever heard in a court of law.”

Lincoln Financial Media’s Sports WAXY Takes Over 104.3 in West Palm Beach.  As reported last week, the announced sale of WMSF, West Palm Beach to Lincoln Financial Media for use as an FM signal for sports talker WAXY would give LFM the right to operate under an LMA until the sale is approved by the FCC and that happened yesterday at 5:00 pm ET.  The 104.3 signal remains in the West Palm Beach market while the application to move it to the Miami market sits in Washington, DC with the commission.  Until the time that move happens, the station cannot broadcast Marlins or Heat games on the FM signal as Good Karma’s WEFL, Tequesta, Florida has the rights in the West Palm Beach market.

Crawford Broadcasting to Purchase Non-Comm WNED, Buffalo.  Western New York Public Broadcasting Association announces it is selling WNED-AM, Buffalo at 970 to Denver-based Crawford Broadcasting for $875,000.  The pubcaster purchased WBFO-FM, Buffalo from the University of Buffalo in March for $4 million and president and CEO Donald K. Boswell says the corporation no longer needs the AM frequency for its programming.  He also states the cash from the sale will go to pay down debt on the WBFO-FM purchase.  WNED also owns WNED-FM that airs a classical music format and WBFO-FM carries the corporation’s news and information programming.  Crawford programs both Christian and secular programming and has not signaled its intent for WNED-AM after the sale is approved.

Entercom’s 95.7 The Game Names Ric Bucher PM Drive Co-Host.  With Eric Davis leaving KGMZ, San Francisco to join The NFL Network, Entercom’s 95.7 The Game brings Ric Bucher aboard to co-host the PM drive show with Brandon Tierney.  Program director Jason Barrett states, “Ric Bucher’s credentials in our industry speak for themselves and he’s instantly recognized locally and nationally for his great work with ESPN.  Bay Area sports fans are going to learn quickly that he’s a 20-year Bay Area native and his passion and knowledge for our local teams is outstanding.  Ric and Brandon Tierney will be an absolute must-listen during afternoon drive for Bay Area sports fans.”  Bucher will continue his role with ESPN as a Bay Area NBA reporter and senior writer covering hoops for ESPN The Magazine.  He begins at KGMZ on September 6.

WFAN, New York Crowns Fantasy Phenom 3 Winner.  CBS Radio’s WFAN, New York announces the winner of its third annual local talent search who receives a weekly sports talk program on the station beginning in September.  Joe Giglio of Howell, New Jersey bested his competitors to claim the prize in the summer-long promotion.  WFAN operations manager and CBS Radio New York vice president of programming Mark Chernoff says, “We’ve been very pleased with our first two winners and look forward to Joe doing a great job this time around.  We thank all of our participants and special kudos to our five finalists, who had to perform both for a huge radio audience on WFAN, but also to our online listeners at WFAN.com, our YES TV viewers and the few thousand people who saw them live at Bar A.”

Hubbard Radio’s ESPN 101 St. Louis Presents Inaugural Speaker Series Event with St. Louis Rams Today.  WXOS, St. Louis is launching its speaker series with today’s “Game-Day Luncheon” with the St. Louis Rams from 11:30 to 1:30 at the local Patrick’s Restaurant & Sports Bar.  Fans can pay $25 per head to attend and hear St. Louis Rams head coach Jeff Fisher, general manager Les Sneed, and executive vice president of football operations/chief operating officer Kevin Demoff talk about the new season.  Rams Radio personalities and NFL commentators D’Marco Farr, coach Rick Venturi, Tony Softli and Steve Savard – along with other 101 ESPN on-air personnel – will be on-hand at this special game day gathering with the Rams.  The event takes place on the same day as the Rams’ last pre-season game against the Baltimore Ravens.

Odds & Sods.  Former Miami Dolphin great Jason Taylor begins a stint on WAXY, Miami’s Dan Le Batard PM drive show.  He’ll join Le Batard each Monday to talk NFL football during the season…..David Todd is the new 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm host on Clear Channel’s sports talk WBGG, Pittsburgh…..“Watchdog on Wall Street” host Chris Markowski begins a regular guest shot on the “Butler on Buisiness” program on WAFS, Atlanta.  He’ll join the program each Wednesday at 11:35 am…..Washington, DC-based talk host Chris Core – for years a star on WMAL and currently doing commentary on WTOP – will fill in for Michael Castner, host of “The Daily Wrap from The Wall Street Journal with Michael Castner” tomorrow…..Retired NFL star LaDainian Tomlinson signs on with SiriusXM to host weekly shows on the SiriusXM NFL Radio and SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio channels.

Republican National Convention, Isaac Stalls Over Gulf Coast, SEAL’s Bin Laden Book and Syria Among Top News Talk Stories Yesterday (8/29).  The Republican National Convention and election issues dominated the news/talk radio airwaves yesterday.  However, other topics that were discussed included Tropical Storm Isaac stalling over the gulf Coast and bringing devastating rain to the region, the Navy SEAL’s book about the death of Osama bin Laden and the ongoing strife in Syria.

 

Monday, April 2, 2012

| April 2, 2012

Programmer Paul Duckworth Returns to Seattle to Lead Fisher’s KOMO.  News/talk programming pro Paul Duckworth returns to the Emerald City, where he formerly led the programming department at Fisher Communications’ KOMO and KVI, to once again head up news radio KOMO.  He left Seattle in 2002 and programmed several other stations including KLIF, Dallas and WMAL, Washington, DC.  He begins his duties at KOMO on April 16 at the station that features morning and afternoon news blocks surrounding local talk hosts John Carlson in late mornings and Ken Schram in early afternoons.  Duckworth spent the last year in retirement in Florida.

Keith Olbermann Promises Legal Action as Tumultuous Term with Current TV Comes to an End.  Reports of mercurial news/talk TV personality Keith Olbermann’s contentious relationship with management at Al Gore-founded Current TV have been coming out for some time and, despite recent assurances via press releases that everything between the two sides is fine, Current TV has cut the cord and let Olbermann go, replacing him with former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer and his new show “Viewpoints.”  Current TV had hoped that Olbermann’s “Countdown” show – brought over after his departure from MSNBC – would be the anchor program around which the network could build, but after just nine months the relationship was too strained to continue.  Current TV released the following statement on Friday, March 30: “We created Current to give voice to those Americans who refuse to rely on corporate-controlled media and are seeking an authentic progressive outlet.  We are more committed to those goals today than ever before.  Current was also founded on the values of respect, openness, collegiality and loyalty to our viewers. Unfortunately these values are no longer reflected in our relationship with Keith Olbermann and we have ended it.”  Olbermann has fired back via Twitter and is promising legal action.  He states, in part: “I’d like to apologize to my viewers and my staff for the failure of Current TV. Editorially, Countdown had never been better.  But for more than a year I have been imploring Al Gore and Joel Hyatt to resolve our issues internally, while I’ve been not publicizing my complaints, and keeping the show alive for the sake of its loyal viewers and even more loyal staff.  Nevertheless, Mr. Gore and Mr. Hyatt, instead of abiding by their promises and obligations and investing in a quality news program, finally thought it was more economical to try to get out of my contract…In due course, the truth of the ethics of Mr. Gore and Mr. Hyatt will come out.  For now, it is important only to again acknowledge that joining them was a sincere and well-intentioned gesture on my part, but in retrospect a foolish one.  That lack of judgment is mine and mine alone, and I apologize again for it.”

Rush Limbaugh Reports Audience Hikes.  During his nationally syndicated Premiere Networks show last week, Rush Limbaugh broke format briefly to talk about his ratings in the wake of the Sandra Fluke controversy.  He stated that he usually doesn’t talk about ratings but because of the high-profile assault on his program’s advertisers (and others’) he felt compelled to report ratings were up at all 600 of his affiliates.  The Daily Caller reports Limbaugh stated, “The simple answer is that on the range of all 600 radio stations, our ratings are up anywhere from 10% to 60%, depending on the station…And that’s as detailed as I’m going to get…What I mean by that is we could be up 33% on one station, 12% on another – 60% is the top that we’re up on another.  We’re up 50% in a number of places.”  The increased interest in Limbaugh’s program was predicted by TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison as numerous consumer media outlets quoted TALKERS in covering the unfolding story.  Addressing the advertiser issue, Limbaugh also stated, “The advertisers who hung in here are going gangbusters, yes.  I mean, that’s the simple truth.  The only ones who got hurt are the ones who left.  And that’s its own tragedy because they left under false, trumped up, unreal pretenses.”

Another Casualty of the Clear Channel Cuts: Cincinnati Programmer Tony Bender.  Program director Tony Bender had been with the Cincinnati cluster of stations since it was owned by Great American Broadcasting in the late 1980s.  Until Friday he was serving as program director of talk WKRC and sports WCKY.  The Cincinnati Enquirer’s John Kiesewetter reports other staffers let go in the latest round of cuts included promotions director Sherry Rowland, traffic reporter Brian Pitts and two other off-air employees.

Coming Tomorrow: The FCC and You – Part 2 – An Explanation of Obscenity.  Don’t miss the second in a series of exclusive TALKERS articles by legal editor Steven J.J. Weisman covering the crucial FCC regulatory information of which every license holder and radio station management employee must be aware.  Informal surveys of radio station managers indicate that an alarming number of them are dangerously under-informed about the FCC regulations that pertain to them and their stations.  TALKERS editors urge managers to take the time to read this free abridgement (of a forthcoming expanded e-book) and share it with their management teams.  Information on the purchase availability of the expanded e-book will be announced via TALKERS soon.  In tomorrow’s installment, Attorney Weisman covers the FCC’s position on obscenity.

Battle for Control of SiriusXM Is Brewing.  Liberty Media Corp has filed a request with the Federal Communications Commission to take “de facto” control of SiriusXM, setting the stage for a battle between Liberty’s John Malone and SiriusXM CEO Mel Karmazin.  Malone’s Liberty Media came to the rescue of SiriusXM three years ago with a cash investment of $530 million when the satcaster needed it most.  Now, Liberty’s filing is being contested by SiriusXM as it asks the FCC to “dismiss or deny” the petition.  Liberty Media only owns 40% of the company and, though there is precedent for a minority shareholder taking control, it’s not common and many deal watchers are quick to doubt that the FCC will grant even “de facto” control to a minority shareholder.  Liberty is arguing that certain provisions of the Investment Agreement inked in 2009 have expired and should result in a takeover.  But again, numerous experts in the field of corporate takeovers are saying the Liberty FCC filing is unlikely to result in a control change.  Most say if Liberty wants control over SiriusXM it is going to have to acquire more shares the old-fashioned way: Buy them.

Cumulus Media Splits Simulcast of Sports WWLS, Oklahoma City; ESPN Radio Takes Over AM Side.  The “Sports Animal” radio network continues to be led by flagship WWLS-FM, Oklahoma City with programming sent to six affiliate stations in five Oklahoma markets, but the AM side of WWLS has split off to broadcast ESPN Radio’s programming lineup.  The Oklahoman reports the AM station will continue to air Oklahoma City Thunder play-by-play as well as Oklahoma University and Oklahoma State pre- and post-game programming.

Dan McNeil Set to Return to WSCR, Chicago After Month-long Absence.  It’s been a bit over a month since midday co-host Dan McNeil took time off from his program at CBS Radio’s sports talk WSCR, Chicago (co-hosted with Matt Spiegel) for unspecified health issues.  He recently announced on his Facebook page that he’s ready to return on April 9 and thanked family and friends for their support, assuring them he’s feeling better.  Time Out Chicago’s Robert Feder reports that McNeil’s health issues were not disclosed but that colleagues have alluded to McNeil’s struggles with sobriety.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

| January 10, 2012

Clear Channel’s iHeartRadio to Feature Greater Media Stations.  First it was Cumulus Media striking at deal with Clear Channel to have its radio stations available nationwide via the iHeartRadio digital radio platform, now Greater Media climbs aboard.  Beginning in April, Greater Media’s 22 stations in Boston, Philadelphia, Detroit, New Jersey and Charlotte will be available via the iHeartRadio app.  Greater Media CEO Peter Smyth states, “We are thrilled to be able to provide our listeners with even greater access to our stations  anywhere they may be listening throughout the country with this exciting platform.”  Clear Channel president and CEO John Hogan says, “Adding Greater Media to iHeartRadio only improves our leading digital destination for consumers, expanding their ability to find the best and most complete online radio experience anywhere.  Clear Channel Radio and Greater Media understand that radio connects local businesses to consumers like no other medium can, and this agreement offers more choices for our listeners which is what they want.”

Don Martin Promoted to Senior Vice President, Sports Programming for Premiere Networks.  This is a promotion from his role as vice president and general manager for Fox Sports Radio Network which has been a division of Premiere Networks since it began collaborating on sports programming with Fox Sports more than 10 years ago.  In this new role, Martin oversees all sports programming and operations for Premiere.  Martin reports to Premiere president of content and affiliations Julie Talbott who says, “This is a well-deserved promotion, as Don’s leadership has been instrumental in the growth and strength of the Fox Sports Radio Network.  His expertise, as well as his passion and dedication to this industry, make him a tremendous asset as we expand in the sports arena.  With Don at the helm, I’m confident we will continue to see the positive impact and success of our programming.”  Under Martin’s watch, FSRN has reached an all-time high of 400-plus affiliates.  He continues in his role as general manager and program director of Clear Channel’s KLAC, Los Angeles.  TALKERS magazine’s Mike Kinosian recently spoke with Don Martin about his work with Fox Sports Radio and KLAC.  See the video in the Talkers TV box on the right side of this page.

KFTK-FM, St. Louis Adds More Local Talk;  Expanded Shows for Dana Loesch and Dave Glover.  Emmis Communications’ news/talk KFTK-FM, St. Louis is adding more live and local programming to its daily schedule with the expansion of the Dana Loesch and Dave Glover shows.  Loesch moves from the 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm slot to the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm slot beginning January 30.  Dave Glover, the station’s longtime PM drive host, adds an hour to make his show live from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm.  Program director Jeff Allen says, “Now with more Dana and Dave we can better cover the issues that matter to our St. Louis listeners.  This is just another step in our commitment to respond to the local audience and to better cover breaking news anytime it happens.”  The expansion of the two shows means TRN’s Laura Ingraham program will exit the station.  Dana Loesch also does a live hour on Emmis’ WIBC-FM, Indianapolis from 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm and Allen says that will continue.

Compass Media Marketing Announces Executive Staff.  The newly formed advertising representation firm being organized by Compass Media Networks founder and CEO Peter Kosann announces Paul Gregery is installed as president of sales & marketing; Mary Giesen is named VP of sales planning; and Laura Peyer is New York account manager.  The appointments are effective immediately and Peter Kosann says, “We are extremely fortunate to have these executives join us.  This is a tremendous first step for our sales organization.”  Paul Gregery served at Westwood One for more than eight years in a variety of capacities, including president of sales.  Before that, he managed West Coast sales for the AMFM Radio Networks prior to its being acquired by Premiere Networks.  Gregery also worked for more than a decade at the ABC Radio Network in a variety of sales positions.  He will work out of Compass’ Los Angeles offices.  Mary Giesen also worked at Westwood One where she quickly rose through the sales management ranks, ultimately serving as VP of sales planning, traffic & continuity, managing the sales planning staff and overseeing the management of the commercial inventory.  She will work out of Compass’ New York offices.  Laura Peyer previously served as the sports network sales executive at Skyview Networks, managing advertising relationships with clients throughout the New York, New England and the Midwest markets.  Prior to Skyview, she held positions as national broadcast supervisor at MPG and sales planner at Westwood One.  She also will work out of Compass’ New York offices.

Glenn Beck’s GBTV to Debut New Roundtable Show.  In association with Glenn Beck’s internet news site The Blaze, GBTV will feature “Real News from The Blaze” airing weeknights from 7:00 to 8:00 beginning January 18.  GBTV personality Amy Holmes will moderate the roundtable discussion of the day’s news.  Participants will include Blaze editor-in-chief Scott Baker, Buck Sexton, Will Cain and S.E. Cupp.  GBTV president of programming Joel Cheatwood says, “While GBTV is and will remain an information and entertainment network, we saw a real opportunity to provide the news that our audience is looking for and is too often ignored by the mainstream media.  We are passionate about offering our audience a deeply reported and engaging look at the news and are excited to be able to draw on the incredible editorial resources at The Blaze.”

WIP, Philadelphia Brings Brian Haddad Aboard for Creative Services Director Post.  The former KDKB-FM, Phoenix morning drive host is named creative services director and part-time host at the CBS Radio sports talk station.  Operations manager Andy Bloom says, “We embarked on a three-plus month search to find the person who would make WIP the best-produced station in the country.  There is no question we found the most creative mind and talented person to help us accomplish that goal.  We view Brian as our new secret weapon.”  Brian “Sludge” Haddad joined Sandusky’s rock KDKB-FM in June of 2010 to host the morning show.  Previously, he’d worked at Cox Media’s WDYL-FM, Richmond.

KFNS, St. Louis Host Kevin Slaten Goes Solo After Ashlee Feldman Exits.  The PM drive show on Grand Slam Sports’ KFNS, St. Louis will go with Kevin Slaten solo for a while after former MTV reality show star Ashlee Feldman exited the program.  STLToday.com reports Feldman – a former college basketball player and star of MTV’s “Real World New Orleans” – missed her family in the East and decided to leave the program after a year.  Slaten tells the site he’s not certain if he’ll remain solo or be paired up with another partner.

Fisher Communications’ KVI, Seattle Loses PD Travis Box to Home Life.  Program director and producer Travis Box announces he’s leaving Fisher Communications to begin the most difficult job he’ll ever undertake – stay-at-home dad!  Box has been producing the KOMO-AM/FM “Newsline” program and programmed KVI as it made the recent transition from oldies back to talk.  KVI talk host Scott Carty will serve as interim PD.

New Hampshire Primary, Iran Nuclear Ambitions/American Sentenced to Death, Obama Chief of Staff to Exit and Tebow Rallies Boncos Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/9).  The GOP New Hampshire Primary race, Iran’s nuclear weapons program and its sentencing to death  American Amir Mirzaie Hekmati on charges of being a spy, the Obama Administration’s chief of staff Bill Daley to exit and Tim Tebow’s rallying the Broncos to victory over the Steelers were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

| December 20, 2011

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.”

Monday, November 21, 2011

| November 21, 2011

Fisher’s Plans for KVI, Seattle Outlined.  An e-mail to clients of Fisher Communications’ oldies-formatted KVI, Seattle announces the former talk stations will revert to talk – but not as a conservative talk station.  After the holidays, KVI will be called “Smart Talk 570 KVI” and will be positioned as “Smart talk for a Sound life.”  The memo states the station will feature “lifestyle, health, local and entertainment news.”  In addition to Friday’s story about Dial Global’s Clark Howard joining the station, the morning show will be called “Sunrise Seattle” hosted by Mark Christopher and Elisa Jaffe of KOMO TV 4.  TRN’s Phil Hendrie and The Wall Street Journal Radio Network’s “Daily Wrap with Michael Castner” are on the schedule along with a local program, “The Buzz” hosted by Scott Carty.

Political Influence of Conservative Talk Radio Analyzed in Timely Politico Article.  A hard-hitting article posted this morning (11/18) on the popular political news and opinion website Politico presents a particularly insightful and fascinating analysis of the role conservative talk radio hosts play in the process of presidential elections.  The story written by Keach Hagey and Glenn Thrush looks specifically at the meteoric candidacy of Herman Cain – a former radio talker – and examines the direct influence radio personalities such as Rush LimbaughSean Hannity,Laura Ingraham, and Mark Levin have had and are still having on his unexpectedly prominent position in the polls and national conversation.  The interesting and timely article appearing in one of the political world’s leading news websites poses the question, “How long will the love last now that Cain is on the rocks?” — referring to radio talk show hosts’ reaction to Cain’s propensity toward gaffes such as the Libya incident and embroilment in an alleged sexual harassment scandal.  Read the Politico story here.

RAB/Miller, Kaplan, Arase Data Shows Radio Revenue Up 2% for Q3.  That increase is due in large part to gains in digital for the radio industry.  The Radio Advertising Bureau and Miller, Kaplan, Arase & Co. report data that shows spot revenue for the third quarter was flat, network revene up 2%, digital up 17%, and off-air up 10%.  The data also indicates that total revenue for the first three quarters of the year is up 2% as well.

“Christopher Walken” Interview on WTEM, Washington Spooks AP After Natalie Wood Case Re-Opened.  It wasn’t exactly a “War of the Worlds” situation but apparently WTEM, Washington producer Marc Sterne does a pretty good Christopher Walken imitation and someone at the Associated Press bit.  The back story is that Sterne does a regular Friday segment on the Red Zebra Broadcasting sports talk station in which “Walken” talks fantasy football.  With the re-opening of the Natalie Wood case in the news and Walken’s link to the case, Sterne referenced the investigation during the segment last Friday and the AP reported it as a real interview, then realized what happened and reported it as a hoax.  However, the Washington Post writes that WTEM PD Chuck Sapienza says the “hoax” part bugs him because it implies underhandedness.  “No one [from AP] called us to see if it was real, and then they call it a hoax,” he told the Post. “A hoax makes it sound like it’s our fault.  We’ve been doing this [impersonation] for two years.  They’re taking no responsibility for shoddy journalism.”  The AP isn’t identifying the person who heard the segment and reported it as fact.

Howard Eskin and Wally Kennedy Inducted by Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia.  The non-profit Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia honors people from every aspect of the broadcasting industry who’ve contributed to the business for at least 10 years.  On Friday, the organization recognized WIP, Philadelphia sports personality Howard Eskin – WIP’s very first talk show sportscaster – and KYW news anchor Wally Kennedy.  Eskin began hosting sports talk radio shows in Philly in 1986.  He recently stepped down from his daily PM drive show to concentrate on Eagles game day coverage and other projects.  Kennedy – who’s worked in Philadelphia radio and television for 30 years – is morning news anchor at KYW.  CBS Radio Philadelphia SVP and market manager Marc Rayfield says, “CBS Radio is fortunate to showcase incredible talent on all of our properties.  Legends like Howard Eskin and Wally Kennedy have been heard in the Philadelphia area for decades.  It’s no surprise that they would be inducted into the Broadcast Pioneers Hall of Fame.  Both have contributed greatly to the success of our radio stations.”

Thom Hartmann Co-Authored Kennedy Book to Be Made into Movie by Leonardo DiCaprio.  According to columnist Liz Smith, the book Legacy of Secrecy: The Long Shadow of the JFK Assassination (Counterpoint 2009), authored by Lamar Waldron with Dial Global talk host Thom Hartmann, will be made into a movie by Leonardo DiCaprio’s Appian Way film company.  Smith reports that DiCaprio would play FBI informant Jack Van Laningham and Robert De Niro will play Carlos Marcello.  According to its Amazon description, the almost 950-page book suggests three Mafia bosses used John F. Kennedy’s and Robert F. Kennedy’s plan to stage a coup against Fidel Castro to murder the president.

Dave Graveline’s “Into Tomorrow” to Be Produced in New, Street-Level Studios.  Dave Graveline’s nationally syndicated consumer technology program will begin broadcasting and shooting video podcasts at new street-level studios in the Miami Lakes Broadcast Center.  The move will allow passersby to view the program as it’s being produced.

Friday, November 18, 2011

| November 18, 2011

A Complex Web of Debt.  There’s little reason to wonder why large radio companies are trying to find every available dollar – and that is most visible to the industry and the public in the form of reductions in force – when we read today’s news of Cumulus’ bankruptcy filings.  According to Bloomberg, a subsidiary of Cumulus Media Partners (which Cumulus Media Inc finished purchasing in August) — AR Broadcasting Holdings — was put into Chapter 11 bankruptcy as it owes creditors as much as $100 million with assets of between $10 million and $50 million.  AR Broadcasting Holdings consists of stations in San Francisco, Houston and Dallas.  AR Holdings states it has a prepackaged plan “supported by 100 percent of one class of creditors that voted for the restructuring proposal.”  Another Cumulus subsidiary, CMP KC LLC – owner of two stations in Kansas City and two in Houston – has been in default on debt.  It also is filing a pre-packaged bankruptcy protection plan that will cut the debt from almost $95 million to about $20 million and lenders in turn will end up with equity in the stations.

WBAL, Baltimore’s Ron Smith Ends Chemotherapy.  Baltimore talk radio legend Ron Smith announced Thursday (11/17) that he will continue to host his daily talk show on the Hearst news/talk station he’s worked at as a host for 27 years as long as he can, but he is ending his chemotherapy.  Smith announced on October 17 that he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer that has spread to other organs.  The 69-year-old personality said at the time his doctors believed he had a chance to beat the disease with treatment.  However yesterday he told his listeners he would end chemo and receive only palliative care.

The RTDNA Asks for Electronic Coverage of SCOTUS Health Care Case.  When the United States Supreme Court hears arguments on the constitutionality of the Obama Administration’s health care law, the RTDNA hopes to be able to have TV cameras and audio recording devices in the chamber.  RTDNA chairman Kevin Benz writes to the Court, “Health care overhaul has divided the nation since it was signed into law.  The Court’s ruling undoubtedly will shape the 2012 presidential campaign and most certainly will serve to define Congress’ ability to address national issues.  There is no better time than in anticipation of this watershed case for the Supreme Court justices to suspend the ban on cameras in the courtroom and to allow live electronic coverage of this and other proceedings of keen interest and import to the American public.”  It’s unlikely the Court will allow this as it historically has had little interest in putting itself into the mainstream electronic public media landscape – no matter how convincing the argument for such coverage may be.

Canadian Freedom of Speech Case to Hit Courts.  Damian Goddard was fired from Toronto-based Sportsnet in May after firing off a Tweet that the only “true marriage” is that between a man and a woman.  Goddard is a devout Catholic and believes he has “2,000 years of Christian history” backing him up.  Sportsnet claims it intended to fire Goddard before the Tweet and has documentation of that but Goddard’s attorney says he’s yet to see any such documentation.  What this appears to come down to is Canada’s intense restrictions on free speech.  The six-year-old law that made gay marriage legal in Canada even contains a clause that clearly states citizens have the right to freedom of conscience, religion and speech with regard to this matter.  One attorney anonymously tells the National Post, “Hate speech needs to be related to inciting violence, not hurting feelings.”  The Canadian courts will eventually have to rule on whether citizens – including broadcasters – have the right to express their beliefs if done so responsibly.

TALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  The Talk Radio Network/Washington Times produced “America’s Morning News” with John McCaslin and Dana Mills adds WLVJ, Boynton Beach, Florida; KEWI, Little Rock; WRCG, Columbus, Georgia; and WFDM, Fort Walton Beach, Florida…..America’s Radio News Network has its “Afternoon Edition” with Ernie Brown picks up WCFO, Atlanta; WFBL, Syracuse; and WUTI, Utica…..The “Free Talk Live” Sunday evening edition with Mark Edge and Stephanie is added to the schedule at WWNC, Asheville, North Carolina…..Dial Global’s Clark Howard joins the lineup at KVI, Seattle and WIBX, Utica…..Dial Global’s “Jill on Money” with Jill Schlesinger adds WMGG, Dunedin, Florida and WDNG, Anniston, Alabama.

Catching Up with Regis!  ABC News Radio’s Andrea Dresdale (r) interviews TV personality Regis Philbin (l) as he makes his way from an appearance on “The View” to the set of “Live with Regis and Kelly” for one of his final press conferences as co-host of the program.  Today is the 80-year-old Philbin’s last program as he retires from the daily morning talk program he’s hosted since it went from a local New York show into national syndication in 1983. Philbin successfully morphed from a game show host to talk show host and holds the Guinness Book of World Records top spot for most time spent on television – almost 17,000 hours!

‘Occupy’ Shutdowns/Protests Top Talk Radio Topic for Week of November 14-18.  The closing of many of the nation’s ‘Occupy’ encampments and the resulting protests landed atop the Talkers TenTM chart of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio this week.  Following at #2 is 2012 presidential race. At #3 is the European debt crisis and the related financial markets activity followed by the Penn State scandal at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine and is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View the entire chart by clicking on the banner below.