Tag: "KXL"

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

| June 10, 2020

iHeartMedia Extends Furloughs for 90 Days. As first reported by Billboard, iHeartMedia announces to staffers that it is extending the companywide furloughs for another three months due to the coronavirus pandemic that has “had a significant impact on advertising revenue.” The company says it will be some time before radio station staffing levels will return to full status. This extended furlough for certain staffers will now last through September.

Pennsylvania Attorney Targets Townsquare Media with Investigation. Bensalem, Pennsylvania attorney Howard G. Smith announces an investigation “on behalf of Townsquare Media, Inc. investors concerning the Company and its officers’ possible violations of federal securities laws” in which he’s seeking qualified clients. This comes a day after the company filed a Form 8-K with the Securities Exchange Commission in which it disclosed that it had discovered an error in projected cash flows that were utilized in its valuation model. As a result, the company is reporting an impairment charge of approximately $39.4 million for its licenses and an impairment charge of approximately $69.0 million for its goodwill. It reported that certain financial statements for fiscal years 2017, 2018 and 2019 should no longer be relied upon and would be restated due to the error. Townsquare says it is “reassessing its previous conclusions regarding the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting and disclosure controls and procedures. Based on this assessment, the Company expects to report material weaknesses in the Company’s internal controls and therefore conclude that internal controls over financial reporting and disclosure controls are not effective.”  Smith says in a press release that “on this news, the Company’s share price fell $1.20, or nearly 19%, to close at $5.28 per share on June 9, 2020, thereby injuring investors.”

KXL, Portland Promotes Three, Adds On-Air Personality. At Alpha Media’s Portland news/talk KXL “FM News 101,” spoken word content director Bruce Collins announces the promotion of three news team members and the addition of another. Current morning and afternoon drive news and traffic reporter Brett Reckamp moves to the co-anchor chair on the station’s “Portland’s Morning News” program. He’s joined by co-anchor Veronica Carter. Previously, she’s served as West Coast regional news director for iHeartMedia and news anchor/reporter for Entercom’s WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM and Nexstar Media’s WGN-AM in Chicago. KXL assistant news director Jim Ferretti is promoted to news director and Jeremy Scott is promoted to full-time morning and afternoon drive traffic reporter. Collins says, “It’s awesome to have such a strong staff and be able to promote from within. With the addition of Veronica Carter and the promotion of key personnel, it puts KXL in an extremely strong position.”

WGN-AM, Chicago Adds ‘Sunday Standards with John Williams’ to Weekends. Chicago heritage news/talker WGN-AM adds a second music program to its weekend programming schedule beginning June 21 with the launch of “Sunday Standards with John Williams.” The Nexstar Media Group station says that following the success of “The Sinatra Hours with Dave Plier,” which ranked #2 with adults 25-54, it’s adding the new program hosted by midday talk personality and Great American Songbook aficionado John Williams to air from 9:00 pm to 11:00 pm. The show will feature a wide range of artists, including Sammy Davis, Jr., Nat King Cole, and Burt Bacharach, along with more modern artists like Linda Ronstadt, Barry Manilow and Amy Winehouse covering those songs. Williams comments, “Some of the hits we play go back 85 years, others go back 15 years. The music is really nice to listen to, and that’s the idea. I think there’s something really big about WGN Radio, a 50,000-watt AM station, energizing this music all over again – and getting people something they need right now.” Left out of the new Sunday program schedule is “The Sunday Spin: Politics with Rick Pearson” that’s been airing from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm weekly. WGN general manager Mary Boyle says, “The success of ‘The Sinatra Hours’ has proven there is an appetite for nostalgia. This music is hard to find, and certainly not on free, over-the-air radio. John Williams has a passion for this kind of music, so it’s a natural fit.”

Kevin Wall Takes Over Afternoons on KMZQ, Las Vegas. Talk show host Kevin Wall is joining Kemp Broadcasting’s KMZQ, Las Vegas to handle the 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm show. The station says that “together with morning drive host Heidi Harris, the addition of ‘Live and Local with Kevin Wall’ gives Las Vegas Valley radio listeners more local talk than any other Vegas radio station.” Wall – who has served with such talk outlets as KFI, Los Angeles and KSFO, San Francisco – was most recently hosting a talk show on Royce International Broadcasting’s KBET, Las Vegas. Prior to that he was the afternoon personality on Entercom’s crosstown KXNT. Kemp EVP Marty Basch says, “Now more than ever with what’s happening in our country and locally, KMZQ will have Las Vegas’ only live and local morning show with Heidi Harris, and now afternoons with Kevin Wall. It’s Las Vegas radio’s ‘Dream Team,’”

Bob Adams Exits Saga’s Portland Station Group. According to a story in the Portland Press Herald, Bob Adams has exited his general manager role at the Portland cluster of Saga Communications stations that includes news/talk WGAN-AM and seven music brands. The paper says that a memo sent to station staffers from SVP of operations Chris Forgy and Saga president and CEO Ed Christian indicated the reason for Adams’ departure was the need for a “more defined growth pattern” and that “a change was necessary.” The company expects to name a new general manager within the next few days. Adams’ exit comes after a number of high-profile air talent were recently laid off, including WGAN-AM talk host Ken Altshuler and music programmer and jock Randi Kirshbaum.

Round Two of May PPMs Released. The second of four rounds of ratings data from Nielsen Audio’s May 2020 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: Washington, Boston, Miami, Seattle, Detroit, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis. Nielsen’s May 2020 survey period covered April 23 – May 20. You can see all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways for this group of markets and he reports that a number of all-news and news/talk stations that saw their weekly, 6+ AQH shares go up in April as a result of coverage of the coronavirus pandemic are starting to see those numbers fall. Cumulus Media’s news/talk WMAL-FM, Washington dropped seven-tenths to a 9.3 share but stays in the #1 position in the market. Hubbard Radio’s all-news WTOP-FM, Washington adds three-tenths and climbs into the #2 spot. iHeartMedia’s news/talk WRKO, Boston gives up a half share to finish May at a 4.8 share and the #6 rank. Sister all-news WBZ-AM also forfeits a half share for a 5.9 share finish and the #4 rank. Bonneville’s KIRO-FM, Seattle bucks the trend, adding three-tenths to wrap the May survey with a 7.2 share and the #1 rank. Meanwhile, Entercom’s all-news WWJ, Detroit drops seven-tenths to a 5.7 share and falls into the #2 rank in the Motor City. See Mike Kinosian’s complete report here.

TALKERS News Notes. The New York Post’s Andrew Marchand reports that the status of ESPN Radio personality Trey Wingo is up in the air as the sports media giant mulls its options. He currently co-hosts the morning drive show with Mike Golic. Marchand says ESPN is “reshaping its radio and NFL presentations” and with Wingo’s contract up, it’s not clear what his status with ESPN is. He says the company would like Keyshawn Johnson – who’s currently heard on O&O KSPN, Los Angeles – and Max Kellerman on its national radio platform. Johnson’s contract is up at the end of the summer…..Cumulus Media’s sports talk KNBR-AM/FM, San Francisco announces it raised more than $100,000 for Bay Area hunger relief partnering with Giving in Motion for last week’s fund drive. The money raised will provide more than 6,500 family meals, plus 1,300 bags of school supplies and household essentials to Bay Area residents impacted by COVID-19. The KNBR staff will deliver the meals to people in need at specific locations in San Francisco, San Jose, Oakland and Walnut Creek…..Cox Media Group Tulsa announces that it has helped its community partners raise more than $2 million in the first half of 2020. The cluster – including news/talk KRMG-FM, four music brands and three TV signals – says that figure does not include non-monetary fundraising efforts it has pushed through its channels. The cluster partnered with the Community Food Bank to collect more than 774 pounds of food for its annual Spread the Love campaign, collected 220 pints of blood through a drive with the Oklahoma Blood Institute, and diverted more than 93 tons of recyclable items from the dump through the inaugural Big Spring Clean. CMG Tulsa market VP Cathy Gunther says, “During times of great uncertainty, like now, people rely more than ever on the support of community partners to help them get through. This is why we have not only upheld our commitments to our current partners but have gone a step further and added a number of new events to try and help our partners jump-start donations to serve more people who are now reliant upon them.”

George Floyd Funeral/Protests, Police Reform, COVID-19 Statistics & Projections, Presidential Race, Georgia Election Problems, Russia Probe Review, Financial Markets Activity, MLB Negotiations/NFL Racism Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/9). The funeral of Minneapolis police violence victim George Floyd and the ongoing protests taking place across the country; the calls for the reforming and de-funding of police departments; the rising and falling of confirmed COVID-19 cases as states continue the re-opening process; the November presidential election; the troubles Georgia faced holding efficient voting on Tuesday; the review of the Russia probe being led by John Durham; the world’s financial markets react to the coronavirus pandemic and U.S. unrest; and the negotiations between the MLB’s players and the league and the state of racism in the NFL were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

NEED A GUEST? We’ve Got Some Good Ones for You at ‘Expert Guests.’ Talk media hosts, producers, and bookers are advised to check out the newly expanded “Expert Guests” section of TALKERS. It is updated on a weekly basis with outstanding experts and personalities available by telephone, Skype, or Zoom for booking on radio, TV, and online talk shows. This week you’ll find a wide array of guests that includes an expert on how to generate lost revenue due to COVID-19 via online marketing, an author who writes about Islamic matters, and an expert on finance who puts the race-oriented protests, demonstrations, and riots into perspective from an economic standpoint – plus a whole lot more. To visit “Expert Guests,” please click here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Seattle classic hits outlet KJR-FM “95.7 The Jet” announces the debut of its new morning show, “95.7 The Jet Mornings with Jodi & Bender.” The iHeartMedia station notes that Bender previously served as a morning host on its KBKS “106.1 KISS FM” where he “became one of the most impactful on-air personalities in the Seattle region.” Jodi has served with KJR-FM since 2011. iHeartMedia Seattle market president Robert Dove says, “Putting Jodi and Bender together gives ‘95.7 The Jet’ a dynamic morning show that will be entertaining and provide civic values to our great city of Seattle. Whether it’s Seafair or Seattle Children’s Hospital, Jodi, Bender, and KJR will be there to shine a light on the good things happening in the Emerald City.”…..iHeartMedia announces that Mark Manuel is the new program director for classic rock KCQQ, Quad Cities. He’s been serving the station as APD and webmaster. He says, “I’m really grateful for the opportunity. After chasing a morning host dream for two decades, I found that I really enjoyed the programming aspect of radio for the past five years. I especially want to thank iHeartMedia for believing in me and giving me this opportunity. I’m happy to continue to be part of the team for years to come.”

Monday, April 20, 2020

| April 20, 2020

Monday Memo: The Trump Show. There’s lots of buzz about that New York Times report that the president told the coronavirus task force “he wanted to start a White House talk radio show.”  To which Rush Limbaugh invited him to guest host.  In this week’s column, consultant Holland Cooke asks “What if…?”  Read it here.

COVID-19 Statistics and Projections, the Re-Open the Country Debate/Stay Home Protests, Trump vs Governors, U.S.-China Relations, Deadly Nova Scotia Shooting, Financial Markets Activity/Oil Prices Crash, and Celebrities with Coronavirus Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The tally of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. and the death toll as well as the projections for future cases and deaths; the debate over “re-opening” the country and the organized protests against “stay home” directives; President Trump’s war of words with some of the country’s governors over the breadth of his powers; the pressure on the Chinese Communist Party as calls for an investigation into the coronavirus’ origins mount; a lone shooter posing as a police officer kills 16 people in Nova Scotia; the world’s financial markets’ reactions to the coronavirus pandemic and the glut of oil; and global celebrities with COVID-19 were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Pending Business: Time Is of the Essence. Sales and marketing consultant Steve Lapa, president of Lapcom Communications, writes in today’s column about adjusting to the new dynamic of deadlines and timeliness.  “Adjusting to working from home, with limited access to the people and resources you rely on is a daily climb.  More than likely you are now participating in (multiple) online meetings that eat the clock.  Still, you are paid on performance and need to keep the dynamics of the sales process moving forward in a timely fashion.  Like it or not, for today, you need to own this new dynamic.”  Read his column here.

SmartTalk Radio Network Distributing ‘The Hard Question.’ The daily talk radio program “The Hard Question” with host Blanquita Cullum is now being made available to stations across the country via the SmartTalk Radio Network.  Cullum says, “‘The Hard Question’ is all about trying to help the audience to be empowered, to be able to hear a deeper level of a conversation on an issue that may impact them and change their life.”  The network says, “With decades of experience in broadcasting and government service, Cullum knows the decision makers and her guest list routinely includes the names you hear in the headlines: governors, senators, ambassadors, foreign heads of state, as well as regular citizens.”  SmartTalk Radio Network general manager Chuck Duncan says, “Occasionally in network radio, a diamond emerges from the clutter of ho-hum.  Blanquita Cullum is a woman of worldly experiences and a deep participant of the inside rail, allowing her to ask and offer sensible solutions to the hard questions.  With unique clarity and above-the-fold guests, BQ covers the critical issues with a compassion, intellect, and understanding that evidences her emergence onto the national scene. She’s got a voice that must be heard.”

KXL, Portland’s Steve Leader Retires. Longtime morning news anchor Steve Leader retired from his role with Alpha Media’s KXL-FM, Portland on Friday (4/17).  Leader had been a news anchor on KXL for 34 years.  His KXL news colleague Pat Boyle posted photos and a tribute to Leader on Facebook, writing: “Legendary news guy Steve Leader’s last day! Thanks Steve for keeping Portlanders informed for more than 30 years.  You are a huge talent and will be greatly missed.  Enjoy your retirement; you deserve it.”

Round Three of March PPMs Released.  The third of four rounds of ratings data from Nielsen Audio’s March 2020 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: Portland, Charlotte, San Antonio, Sacramento, Pittsburgh, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Orlando, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Columbus.  The survey period covered February 27 – March 25.  You can see all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  The intense coronavirus news consumption since the pandemic was declared in mid-March has driven listening to all-news and news/talk radio stations.  Some of those seeing increased weekly 6+ , AQH share increases include: Alpha Media’s KXL-FM, Portland which added 1.8 shares in March to finish with a 6.7 share and a leap to the #3 rank in the market; iHeartMedia’s KFBK, Sacramento rises 1.9 shares from February to March for a 10.3 share and its third straight month at #1; Entercom’s news/talk KDKA-AM, Pittsburgh climbs 1.3 shares to finish with a 5.6 share and the #5 rank in the Steel City; Bonneville’s KSL-AM/FM, Salt Lake City rises to the #3 rank by adding 1.1 shares to end the survey with a 6.0 share; and iHeartMedia’s WLW-AM, Cincinnati tacks 1.8 shares onto its February 8.3 share to finish March with a 10.1 share and the #1 rank in the market.  You can see all of TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian’s Ratings Takeaways here.

‘New Jersey 101.5’ Presents Next Coronavirus Town Hall. This Thursday (4/23), Townsquare Media’s news/talk WKXW-FM, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5” is presenting the next in its series of coronavirus Town Hall broadcasts.  The station’s senior political director Eric Scott leads the news and digital departments in highlighting the sacrifices being made by the front-line workers dealing with this health crisis.  He says, “Nurses, EMTs, and police officers are among the many frontline workers who are putting their own health at risk during this crisis.  We will both highlight their stories and offer them the resources they need to deal with the overwhelming stresses of their jobs.”  This edition’s on-air expert panel will feature: Debbie White, president, Health Professionals and Allied Employees; Pat Colligan, president, New Jersey Police Benevolent Association; Barbara Platt, president, New Jersey EMS Council; and first-responder crisis councilor Michael Bizzarro, PhD, LCSW, BCD.

Legislators Seek Paycheck Protection for Local Journalists and Broadcasters. A bi-partisan effort to assist local journalists and broadcasters suffering with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic is being spearheaded by U.S. Senators Maria Cantwell (D-WA), John Kennedy (R-LA), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), and John Boozman (R-AR).  They sent a letter to senate leadership urging them to ensure any future legislation make thousands of local newspapers, TV, and radio stations around the country eligible for small business assistance under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).  In the letter, the senators called for waiving the Small Business Administration’s affiliation rule to allow local media outlets to access funding, pointing to the critical role these outlets play in keeping communities healthy and informed.  The senators say in their statement, “Ensuring that local news outlets remain viable at this critical time is not only a matter of fairness but is essential to public health.  Local newspapers, radio, and television stations provide important local content that keeps their communities informed.  People rely on local newspapers and broadcasters to cover school and business closures, to widely communicate public health guidance, and to combat life-threatening misinformation.”  National Association of Broadcasters president and CEO Gordon Smith comments on the move, “NAB is grateful to Senators Cantwell, Kennedy, Klobuchar and Boozman for their leadership in supporting expanded access to Small Business Administration loans for local radio and television stations under the Payroll Protection Program.  America’s broadcasters are providing trusted and credible lifesaving coverage to keep citizens safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, yet local stations are suffering advertising losses of historic proportion that will undermine this critically important service.  We urge congressional leaders to support this proposal to provide immediate SBA loan eligibility to more local radio and TV stations.”

TALKERS News Notes. WHO, Des Moines afternoon drive personality Simon Conway signs a new deal with the iHeartMedia news/talk station that runs through 2022, with an additional one year option.  Conway’s program is also heard on the company’s WMT, Cedar Rapids and WOC, Davenport, Iowa.  Conway says, “WHO Radio was and remains the gold standard for local talk radio in America.  I’m delighted to have signed this contract and look forward to many more years broadcasting on these heritage stations.”…..Indianapolis-based news/talk personality Tony Katz, who hosts “The Morning News” on Emmis’ WIBC-FM as well as his own syndicated late morning show, is putting his flagship station together with local businesses and sponsors to feed first responders across Central Indiana.  He says, “‘Hoosiers Helping Heroes’ does weekly deliveries of meals, snacks, and drinks to local hospitals.  It’s our way of saying, ‘thank you.’  And businesses across the area have been great to work with.  They want to help.  People want to help.  We’re getting calls from restaurants all over the area.  All types of businesses and individuals are asking if they can be a part of it.”…..NPR president and CEO John Lansing tells company staffers in a memo that the organization is preparing to cut costs due to a budget shortfall of between $35 million and $40 million due to the coronavirus pandemic.  He says, “We do not have any position eliminations on the table now, and it is our goal to avoid them as much as is reasonably possible.  However, I don’t have a crystal ball so I can’t guarantee anything other than that is my intent.”…..JVC Media is airing the “Florida Man Radio”-based Shannon Burke afternoon drive program on its Long Island news/talk outlet WRCN “103.9 LI News Radio”  JVC Media’s EVP for Florida Shane Reeve says, “Now more than ever, our community needs to come together and stay at home to keep their families and loved ones safe.  With that being said, as humans we have the need to socialize and feel like we are still part of the society that we love.  The ‘Florida Man Friday Happy Hour with Shannon Burke’ is that bit of relief and laughter you need to keep some sense of normalcy in your life.”…..The nationally syndicated “America Tonight” with Kate Delaney adds two new affiliate stations as Seehafer Broadcasting’s WFHR-AM, Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin and Rck 1 Group’s WVLY, Wheeling, West Virginia add the show to their program lineups.

Wheeler Morris Named Hubbard Seattle VP/Market Manager. In Seattle, Hubbard Radio names Wheeler Morris vice president and market manager for the five-station cluster.  Scott Mahalick, who’s been serving as interim market manager, is named operations manager for the Seattle station group.  Morris has been serving the company as manager of corporate podcasting strategy.  Wheeler says, “I’m excited to join the great team at Hubbard Radio Seattle and to help continue the success that the strong brands have built over the years.  I’m especially excited to have an experienced and accomplished partner like Scott Mahalick to lead content and brands. He’s the right person to lead operations.”  Mahalick comments, “It brings joy to my heart that we will have the good fortune of Wheeler at the helm of Hubbard Radio Seattle.  Our team deserves a dedicated full-time manager focused on our success. I’ve had the advantage of getting to know and work with Wheeler this past year in his capacity as the head of our podcasting efforts. I can tell you he is a people person with great charm, empathy, wicked smart, driven and innovative as they come.  Bring it Wheeler!”

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Country radio personality Shawn Parr is launching a new, daily syndicated program via Key Networks titled, “Shawn Parr’s Across the Country” on June 1.  Key Networks says the four-hour, localized country music entertainment program features Parr’s trademark warmth, wit and love for country music, and is available for stations Monday-Friday via FTP delivery.  The show is customized to air anywhere in a station’s lineup between 6:00 am and 12:00 midnight.  Key Networks adds, “Known as ‘The Ambassador of Country Music,’ Shawn Parr is one of country radio’s brightest and most familiar voices.  With nearly 30 years in country radio, including 10 years as a nationally syndicated on-air host, Parr takes country fans front row-center to country’s biggest stars and hottest music.”  Parr says, “My entire career has always been about the country listeners and they will lead the way with this show as well!  Teaming up with Key Networks is like a dream come true.  Together we have worked so hard to get this show on the air and trust me when I say I am fired up and can’t wait for you to feel the energy ‘Across The Country!’”…..Air personality Corey Dillon exits Hubbard Radio’s country KNUC, Seattle “98.9 The Bull” after a two-year stint.  Dillon says via Facebook, “There are no hard feelings on my end.  It’s business, and I understand that.  I have learned so much over the past two years here at ‘The Bull’ and feel more confident in my craft than ever.”…..Cumulus Media names Paul Williams director of programming for Westwood One Nashville.  In this role, Williams will oversee the marketing, content, and operations for Westwood One’s nationally syndicated country programming.  Williams was most recently vice president of marketing & artist development for Reviver Entertainment Group in Nashville…..iHeartMedia Atlanta announces the Spanish hits format is moving from WBZY at 105.3 FM to WRDA at 105.7 FM.  iHeartMedia SVP of programming Meg Stevens says, “This is a tremendous opportunity to move the signal where more of the Hispanic audience can enjoy the music, information and the top-rated ‘Tu Mañana Con Enrique Santos’ show.”

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

| October 22, 2019

Tegna Putting San Diego’s KFMB-AM and KFMB-FM Up for Sale. According to Ken Leighton’s report in the San Diego ReaderTegna has put news/talk KFMB-AM and classic hits KFMB-FM up for sale and intends to announce a potential new owner by November 15.  The story indicates radio station staffers learned about Tegna’s plans in a memo last week.  Tegna bought the two radio stations as part of its acquisition of two San Diego television outlets – KFMB-TV and KFMB-DT2 – back in December of 2018.  The piece reports that iHeartMedia is rumored to be interested and goes on to speculate that KFMB-AM could become a sports talk station, with programming from iHeartMedia’s crosstown KLSD moving to KFMB-AM’s better signal.  However, such an acquisition would put iHeartMedia over the ownership cap in the market and require divestitures.

Hofstra’s WRHU-FM Wins Third Marconi Award. At this year’s Marconi Awards at the NAB/RAB Radio Show in Dallas, Hofstra University’s WRHU, Hempstead, New York took home its third Marconi Award.  The school’s station won the Noncommercial Station of the Year in 2014 and 2017.  This year, the station won the inaugural College Station of the Year honor.  TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a feature-length look at Hofstra’s WRHU.  Kinosian writes that several things make WRHU unique.  “Operated primarily by a roughly 250-member student staff, which in itself is fairly mind-blowing, the noncommercial, educational, community-oriented facility has another 20 or so ‘community volunteers.’”  Read the entire piece here.

TALKERS News Notes. Indianapolis sports talk host Dan Dakich is serving a one-week suspension from his show on Emmis Communications’ WFNI-AM “The Fan” for “a failure last year on Dan’s part to adhere to the journalistic principles valued by Emmis,” according to a report in the Indianapolis Star.  However, neither Emmis nor Dakich are responding to inquiries about the specifics of his transgression.  Former Indiana Pacers player Scot Pollard is sitting in as host of Dakich’s 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm show…..Entercom sports talk personality Christian Fauria is doing a marathon radio broadcast on WEEI, Boston to raise awareness of diabetes and raise funds for the American Diabetes Association.  “Christian Fauria’s 25 for 25k” entails Fauria broadcasting live for 25 hours straight from 2:00 pm on November 13 to 3:00 pm on November 14 in an effort to raise $25,000.  Fauria’s son was recently diagnosed with diabetes and during the broadcast, he’ll discuss his family’s journey with diabetes and welcome special guests, including New England Patriots linebacker Dont’a Hightower, diabetes patients, medical professionals, and Susan Sarro, executive director of the American Diabetes Association in New England…..This week’s Westwood One blog looks at the levels of awareness, usage, and enrollment in their rewards programs for Uber and Lyft among AM/FM radio listeners.  According to a national MARU/Matchbox study commissioned by Westwood One, heavy AM/FM radio listeners are big users of ridesharing.  60% of heavy AM/FM radio listeners used Uber in the past year compared to 37% of light AM/FM radio listeners.  A greater proportion of heavy AM/FM radio listeners used Lyft in the last year (49%) versus only 21% of light AM/FM radio listeners.  See more here…..ESPN Radio is reporting that its summer ratings (June 20-September 11) with men 25-54 in PPM markets were up 4% over the same period in 2018 (6a-6p).  The upward trend was aided by an increase in time spent listening of 6%.  The morning drive “Golic and Wingo” show was up 5% year-over-year with men 25-54 and enjoyed a 17% increase in TSL for the same period.

Presidential Candidate Marianne Williamson Tells TALKERS, “We live in a time of journalism by clickbait.”  Criticism of today’s media and journalism is not the exclusive domain of President Donald Trump.  Nor is the observation that the national party committees are above putting their thumbs on the scale to help certain candidates of their own choosing.  Interestingly, a candidate who is ideologically as far from the president as anyone in the race – Marianne Williamson – shares his view that both today’s media journalism and political party machinery can use improvement when it comes to honesty, integrity, and competency.  Although Williamson has not qualified for inclusion in the last two debates, her candidacy remains very much alive.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison caught up with Williamson last week shortly after the Democratic debate on CNN.  To listen to the conversation, please click 

      here
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John McConnell to be Honored by the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation.  Radio industry veteran programmer, executive, and talent agent John McConnell has been named the 2019 recipient of prestigious Arnold Schneider Visionary Award by the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation for his work on behalf the organization’s mission to improve quality of life and speed the development of treatments for paralysis and breakthroughs in spinal cord research.  The award will be presented at the Foundation’s annual Gala dinner in the Big Apple in November.  McConnell is executive vice president of Workhouse Media and runs the talent agency’s New York office.  One of his clients, the legendary Scott Shannon of WCBS-FM, New York tells TALKERS, “Since the moment he first joined the ranks as a fundraiser and now vice chair, John has left an indelible mark as a leader.  He fractured his neck in 2005 after flipping over his bike.  While he recovered, this experience ignited a passion and purpose to help the Foundation accelerate its mission.  A year to the day after the injury, John ran the New York City Marathon.  He’s since completed multiple marathons, raising millions under the Reeve banner.”  Shannon continues, “I’ve known John for 30 years.  Our love of radio brought us together and we have a wonderful friendship.  And I’m proud to call him my agent.”  This year’s Gala is titled “A Magical Evening” and it is set for Thursday, November 14 at Cipriani South Street located at 10 South Street in New York City.  Those interested in attending or making a contribution may contact the Gala office at 973-933-7114 or events@christopherreeve.org for reservations.

Egan Named GSM for Alpha Media Portland. The Alpha Media Portland station group that includes news/talk KXL-FM, talk KUFO “Freedom 970,” and sports talk KXTG-AM “750 The Game,” and four music brands names Michael Egan its new general sales manager, effective November 4.  Egan was most recently general manager at Pitt Learfield/IMG College Sports Marketing in Pittsburgh.  Prior to his six-year stint at Learfield/IMG, Egan held senior roles in corporate sponsorship sales for the Pittsburgh Steelers, Pittsburgh Pirates, and Portland Trail Blazers.  Alpha Media Portland director of sales Cressy Walton says, “We are very excited to have Mike join us and look forward to the ideas, relationships, and experience he is bringing to our team.  His knowledge, sense of humor, leadership, work ethic, and Oregon roots are a perfect fit.”

Impeachment Inquiry Delay, Syria Withdrawal, 2020 Presidential Race/Gabbard-Clinton Clash, Trudeau Ekes Victory in Canada, Netanyahu Fails to Form Government, and Brexit Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/22). The Democrats delay the impeachment inquiry against President Trump; debate over the U.S. military’s withdrawal from Northeastern Syria; the Democrats hoping to challenge President Trump in 2020 and Hillary Clinton’s calling Tulsi Gabbard a “Russian asset”; Justin Trudeau wins Canada’s prime minister race but will lead a minority government; Benjamin Netanyahu fails to form a government in Israel; and Boris Johnson’s asking Parliament to approve his Brexit deal 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. Changes are taking place on air at Connoisseur Media’s Connecticut operations.  Air personality Allan Lamberti is moving from mornings on classic rock WFOX, Southport “95.9 The Fox” to sister adult contemporary WEBE, Westport for afternoons, taking over for Jay Michaels, who is stepping down this week.  Charlie Padgett will assume morning duties on WFOX.  Lamberti says, “I grew up in Trumbull, live in Bridgeport, and have long listened to and admired WEBE108.  I’m extremely excited to take over in my new role on afternoons on such a legendary signal.”…..iHeartMedia’s hip hop KMEL, San Francisco announces the lineup for its 2019 “Holiday House of Soul” taking place on Saturday, December 14 at The Masonic in San Francisco.  The event will feature live performances from artists including Layton Greene, SiR and DVSN.  iHeartMedia San Francisco SVP of programming Don Parker says, “The KMEL ‘Holiday House of Soul’ is a Bay Area tradition and frequently showcases some of the biggest new stars in R&B.  Previous shows have included talent such as SZA and The Weeknd, just as their careers were in their earliest stages. We’re proud to again feature several of today’s freshest R&B artists who’ve all had a breakout year in 2019 with big things to come in the years ahead.”

Friday, July 26, 2019

| July 26, 2019

NY Post: Pitaro and Le Batard ‘On the Same Page.’ According to Andrew Marchand’s column in the New York Post, ESPN radio and TV personality Dan Le Batard and ESPN chief Jimmy Pitaro are “on the same page” regarding the media organization’s stance on purely political content after yesterday’s face-to-face meeting in New York City.  Le Batard violated that directive last week when he chose to comment on the “Send her back” chants shouted at President Trump’s campaign rally, calling them “un-American.”  After being called out by management, Le Batard criticized ESPN, calling it “cowardly” for avoiding such issues with the blanket policy.  Marchand’s source for today’s story offers no details on yesterday’s meeting other than that the two have an understanding and Le Batard will continue his work on the company’s radio, cable, and podcast platforms.

New Air Talent Join ‘ESPN 630’ in Washington, DC. Washington sports radio pros Andy Pollin and Bram Weinstein are joining Cumulus Media’s new sports talk WMAL-AM “ESPN 630.”  Weinstein is a 10-year veteran of the DC sports scene as a reporter and talk host. He also spent seven years as an ESPN anchor.  He is the new afternoon drive talk host.  Additionally, he’ll host the 6:00 pm “Redskins Today” show.  Pollin, a longtime crosstown WTEM personality, will serve as morning drive sports update anchor during the “Golic & Wingo” show.  He’ll also be a features correspondent for the station.  Program director Bill Hess says, “We’re thrilled to welcome these DC sports radio icons to ‘ESPN 630’ and look forward to sharing news of further additions to our team in the very near future.”  Pictured above are (from l-r): Cumulus Washington DC vice president/market manager Jake McCann, Weinstein, Pollin, and Hess.

Chessare Named Market President for Townsquare’s Princeton Cluster. Radio sales pro Steve Chessare is named market president and chief revenue officer for Townsquare Media’s Princeton, New Jersey station group that includes sports talk WNJE “920 The Jersey,” as well as CHR WPST and religion WCHR-AM.  Chessare – whose resume includes service with Westwood One, WLTW-FM and WCBS-FM in New York, and Greater Media – was most recently vice president and market manager for Cumulus Media’s Bridgeport, Connecticut operations.  Townsquare senior vice president Rob Williams says, “Steve Chessare is among the most talented media executives I have worked with. He has led some of the biggest brands in our industry and has an extraordinary ability to build winning teams that deliver consistently strong results for our clients.”

‘ESPN Upstate’ Host Mark Sturgis Recovering from Stroke. Sports talk host Mark Sturgis is recuperating after suffering a stroke earlier this week (7/23).  Sturgis hosts the “Straight Up ith Sturg” afternoon drive program on Entercom’s sports talk multi-cast “ESPN Upstate” (WORD-AM/WYRD-AM/W246CV/W249DL). Sturgis’ wife Theresa posted the following message on his Twitter account: “I am sorry to inform y’all Mark had a stroke yesterday morning. He’s in ICU and will be off the air for some time.  Hopefully will be able to go home from the hospital, but short-term rehab in a nursing home is a possibility.  Just send him a positive thought.”

New Installment Posted of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.” The recently launched one-hour weekend program, “The Michael Harrison Wrap,” produced by Goodphone Communications that looks back each week at the hottest topics discussed in American talk media per the research of TALKERS magazine, is now posted on the website of its flagship station, iHeartMedia’s WONK-FM, Washington, DC.  The new episode titled, “Political Theater on Both Sides of the Pond!,” looks back at this past week of July 22-26, 2019 and features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS magazine; Wayne Allyn Root, talk show host, USA Radio Network/Newsmax TVVictoria Jones, executive director, DC Radio CompanyThom Hartmann, talk show host, WYD Media/Free Speech TVKaren Hunter, talk show host, SiriusXM Satellite Radio “Urban View Channel;” Heidi Harris, talk show host, KMZQ, Las Vegas; and Joyce Kaufman, talk show host, WFTL, Miami/Fort Lauderdale/Palm Beaches.   The news/talk media show airs on WONK-FM on Friday afternoons between 6:00 pm and 7:00 pm as a recap and exclamation mark for the week-in-review as well as several other stations around the country including KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA and during the weekend on the Virginia Talk Radio Network as well as Pioneer Valley Radio in Springfield, Massachusetts. Hosted by Michael Harrison, this excellent show is now being made available as a service to terrestrial news/talk stations from TALKERS for on-air or online presentation on a market-exclusive basis.  For information call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.  To listen to this week’s episode (and the program’s complete archives), please click here.

Lisa Wexler Show Moves to WICC, Bridgeport. In Connecticut, “The Lisa Wexler Show” begins airing on Connoisseur Media’s WICC, Bridgeport, from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon, effective August 5.  Wexler’s program launched on WSTC/WNLK in Fairfield County in 2006.  And most recently has been airing on WGCH, Greenwich from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm.  Wexler is an attorney admitted to the Connecticut and New York Bars.  She’s been serving as the Westport/Weston Probate Judge since 2013.  She comments, “I am thrilled to be joining the legendary WICC AM 600.  The WICC audience is incredibly knowledgeable and engaged.  I will be discussing the issues that occupy our thoughts and bringing to the airwaves the people that influence our lives.  Our emphasis will be on what is happening right here in our own communities.  Listeners are encouraged to call into the show to air their opinions and provide their own perspectives.”

Nik Miles Moves to New Portland Flagship. Portland, Oregon-based automotive radio host Nik Miles moves his flagship station affiliation from Alpha Media’s KXL-FM to Salem Media Group’s crosstown KPAM “860 The Answer.”  His program, “Our Auto Expert,” is nationally syndicated via Envision Networks.  Salem Portland general manager Dennis Hayes says, “Not only are we excited to add ‘Our Auto Expert’ to the ‘AM860 The Answer’ weekend lineup, but we are honored to be the ‘home station’ for the show, Nik Miles, and his team in Portland. We enthusiastically welcome them to the Salem Media Group and look forward to a long and prosperous relationship!”

Sports Garten Network’s ‘Wanna Bet!?’ Enters Syndication Via Envision.  The sports talk and betting show “Wanna Bet!?” – hosted by Tom Barton – is being syndicated by Envision Networks and will launch in four markets: Chicago, Las Vegas, Richmond, and Paducah-Cape Girardeau.  Sports Garten Network’s Wanna Bet?! debuted on WRCN-FM, Long Island “103.9 FM LI Radio” in September 2018.  Now, it’s joined the Envision Networks lineup as a four-hour, daily show.  Barton says, “The time is now for sports talk to reach an audience craving not just wagering news but knowledgeable information.  The response to what we’re doing is phenomenal. Radio is ripe for a transition from arguing hosts and home team bias to important decision-making information and guests whose opinions are not only entertaining but informative. This is a game changer.”

Brad Carson Upped at Entercom Memphis. Programming pro Brad Carson rises from his director of branding and sports programming to operations manager/sports brands, effective immediately.  Carson has been leading the programming on Entercom’s Memphis sports stations WMFS-AM/FM and WMC-AM “ESPN 92.9.”  Carson has served with the Memphis station group for the past 15 years.

Museum of Broadcast Communications Names Susy Schultz Executive Director. Chicago’s Museum of Broadcast Communications names Susy Schultz its executive director, effective August 19.  Museum board chairman David Plier says, “Susy is experienced in developing and implementing innovative programs with key stakeholders.  She also has demonstrated the ability to initiate and foster robust partnerships and strategic alliances with community, journalists, sponsors and donors.”  Schultz has been serving as president of the nonprofit community media training organization Public Narrative since 2013.  She takes over for Julian Jackson, who resigned from the post this March. Schultz comments, “I look forward to working with the board in developing a strong curriculum to discuss the history, the impact, and the relevance of broadcast and digital media.  Chicago has and always will be integral to the history and future of television, radio, and beyond.”

Mueller Testimony Top News/Talk Story for Week of July 22-26. Wednesday’s testimony from special counsel Robert Mueller before the House judiciary and intelligence committees was the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the 2020 Presidential race and President Trump’s war of words with the Democratic congresswomen known as “the Squad.”  Coming in at #3 this week was Boris Johnson’s election as the UK’s new prime minister, followed by the resignation of Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello 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. See this week’s entire chart here.

Britain’s Fix Radio Produces Boris Johnson Viral Video. “Fix Radio” is a radio station for tradespeople working in Great Britain.  It’s led by broadcaster Graham Mack, who also serves as a TalkersRadio personality and as The Michael Harrison Wrap’s British correspondent. The organization got a lot of attention after creating a video purporting to show newly elected Prime Minister Boris Johnson auctioning off items left at 10 Downing Street by former PM Theresa May.  Check it out here.

Ancient Interview with George Harrison Played on This Week’s Installment of Michael Harrison Podcast.  Inspired by the recently released film, “Yesterday,” and the ongoing popularity of the 2011 Martin Scorsese documentary, “George Harrison: Living in the Material World,” TALKERS founder Michael Harrison dug into the archives and pulled out a 43-year-old interview he conducted with the late Beatles lead guitarist back in 1976.  It was originally recorded at the Warner Bros. studios in Los Angeles to be a promotional radio special (“A Personal Musical Dialogue with George Harrison”) released by Dark Horse Records in conjunction with the debut of George’s solo album, “33 1/3,” and aired on hundreds of stations around the world.  It serves as this week’s “retro” installment of the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  This recording is widely regarded as one of the best interviews ever conducted with George and contains fascinating information and insights into his life at that time as well as the never-ending Beatles story.  The segment in which George discusses his legal battle over the “My Sweet Lord”/“He’s So Fine” plagiarism case holds up today as one of the most-thorough explanations of the historic intellectual property rights clash ever recorded.  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here www.MHInterview.com or click on the player box located in the right-hand column of the TALKERS email newsletter and every page of Talkers.com.

Cool Promotion and Marketing Position. In Baltimore, Hearst Television is seeking a highly motivated promotion and marketing manager for news/talk WBAL and rock WIYY “98Rock.” The company says, “This person must be able to manage numerous projects simultaneously while elevating the sound and image of our legacy brands.  This person will also be a key player in helping develop and produce targeted, promotional campaigns that connect with our audiences across all platforms.  Among other duties, you will oversee, manage and lead marketing & promotion department; identify and implement strategies for increasing station brand awareness and resonance; develop ongoing marketing strategies on all platforms including production & placement of television commercials; manage, along with news & program directors, production of compelling image & special event campaigns and topical promotion for all platforms; attend outside community functions and meetings and manage our Baltimore Ravens promotional partnership, including on-site events.  See more and apply here.

PPM Analysis: Alternative.TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s June 2019 PPM survey, today focusing on alternative.  The June ratings period saw more alternative stations go up (weekly AQH share) than down. Entercom’s KXTE, Las Vegas led that group with a +0.7.  Comparing June 2018 to this year, about half the alt rock stations in our panel were down, but big gainers during that period include Hubbard Radio’s KPNT, St. Louis “105.7 The Point” (+1.6), Entercom’s KITS “Live 105” in San Jose (+1.2), and iHeartMedia’s KTCL, Denver “Channel 93.3” (+1.0).  KPNT was the highest-ranking alternative station in the June survey, coming in at #3 in the St. Louis market (6+).  See the entire piece here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. At the Memphis operations of Entercom, programmer Chris Michaels is promoted to operations manager/music brands. Michaels has been the director of branding and programming for hot AC WMC-FM, adult contemporary WRVR “104.5 The River,” and country WLFP “94.1 The Wolf.”…..In Raleigh, PMC Broadcasting names Brian “B” Paiz director of branding for hip hop WAUG-AM/W250AZ “Hot 97.9.”  Paiz was most recently with iHeartMedia as SVP of programming in the Columbus-Albany, Georgia market…..Atlanta radio personality Jeff Dauler and his wife Callie have launched a podcast titled, “The Upside with Callie and Jeff.” Dauler was most recently morning drive co-host on WSTR “Star 94.”  Prior to that he was executive producer and air talent on the syndicated “The Bert Show.”  In a press release, the two say, “We’ve had the idea for a while to create something to spread the message about gratitude and finding the positive in every single situation.  That mindset has changed our lives for the better… and we want everyone to understand what we have learned.  It was just an idea… until Jeff lost his job.  We decided just a few days later that now is the time.”

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

| June 4, 2019

Lars Larson Inks New Deal with Alpha Media’s KXL-FM, Portland. Talk radio star Lars Larson signs a new deal to continue hosting his daily program on Alpha Media’s KXL-FM, Portland “FM News 101” through 2024.  As part of the deal, Larson’s 12:00 noon to 4:00 pm PT show is also broadcast to 21 stations in the Pacific Northwest via Alpha Media’s Radio Northwest Network.  Larson’s national radio show airs live on some 125 affiliate stations from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm PT via syndicator Compass Media Networks (with whom Larson also holds a multi-year contract).  Alpha Media SVP and market manager Lisa Decker says, “With the biggest local talk radio audience in the region, ‘The Lars Larson Show’ reaches more than 3.5 million listeners.  All of us at Alpha Media Portland, our listeners, and our advertisers are excited to extend our relationship with Lars for the next five years.”  Larson comments, “I’m thrilled to renew my relationship with a station I’ve been with through half a dozen presidents, a dozen NW governors, a live volcano eruption, and more than 25 years as a reporter, anchor, and now talk host.”

Cumulus Makes WABC Programmer Change Official. Yesterday (6/3), TALKERS magazine reported that former hot AC WPLJ, New York program director Dave LaBrozzi has taken over the programming reigns of Cumulus Media’s heritage news/talk WABC, New York, replacing Craig Schwalb.  Now, the company makes it official with a press release. LaBrozzi joined WPLJ in May of 2018.  Prior to that he was VP of programming for what is now Entercom’s Baltimore cluster (when it was owned by CBS RADIO) that includes sports talk duo WJZ-FM “105.7 The Fan” and WJZ-AM “CBS Sports Radio 1300.”  He previously served as regional vice president of programming for iHeartMedia (back when it was Clear Channel) overseeing stations in Pittsburgh; Wheeling, West Virginia; and Johnstown, Pennsylvania.  Cumulus New York VP and market manager Chad Lopez says, “Dave will be an incredible asset to 77 WABC and Radio 103.9/WNBM-FM, and brings experience in both the news/talk and urban AC formats to his new role with Cumulus New York.  We are looking forward to continuing to grow these stations and to giving their passionate listeners even more of the content and community connection that they rely on and enjoy every day.”

The Thompson Family’s Big Radio to Acquire Two More in Janesville, Wisconsin. Two historical Janesville, Wisconsin radio stations are changing hands as Skip BlissSouthern Wisconsin Broadcasting (a subsidiary of Bliss Communications) agrees to sell heritage news/talk WCLO-AM and country WJVL-FM to Ben Thompson-led Big Radio for an undisclosed sum.  Buyer Big Radio operates eight stations in the Southern Wisconsin markets of Beloit, Freeport, Monroe, and Janesville.  Skip Bliss’ father put WCLO on the air in 1930 and WJVL-FM launched in 1947.  Meanwhile, Big Radio was founded by Ben’s father Scott Thompson in 1996 with the purchase of two Monroe stations.  The sale announcement states that “[u]nder Ben’s leadership, Big Radio remains committed to its founding ideals, providing superior coverage of the community’s local news, sports, entertainment, and information.  Big Radio provides local news 365 days a year and its sports department broadcast over 350 regional high school sporting events last year.  Ben Thompson and Big Radio believe the future of radio is local, and aggressively pursue this strategy to the benefit of its listeners and advertisers.”  Kalil & Co., Inc. represents the buyer in this transaction.

New York’s WOR to Present Live Event Speaker Series. Big Apple news/talk WOR is launching an event series called “WOR Live” that will feature in-depth interviews and compelling speakers.  iHeartMedia announces that for the first event, station morning personality Len Berman will moderate a panel that will analyze the news business in 2019.  Joining Berman will be New York news personalities Rosanna Scotto – co-host of WNYW-TV’s “Good Day New York” – and Ernie Anastos, news anchor at WNYW “FOX News 5.”  The event also features networking opportunities and lunch and takes place at the Cutting Room on June 19 at 11:30 am.

Entercom’s New York All-News Stations Win Big at NYSAPA. WCBS-AM and WINS-AM – both all-news outlets operated by Entercom Communications – won a total of 16 2018 New York State Associated Press Association Awards. WCBS 880 received first place in seven categories, including top honor for “Outstanding News Operation for Radio.”  Sister station 1010 WINS was recognized with top honors in three categories, including for Best Newscast and Best Weathercast.  The stations collectively received second place finishes in six categories.  Winners were honored at NYSAPA’s annual awards dinner on June 1 in Saratoga Springs, New York.

Trump’s UK Visit, 2020 Presidential Race, Deadly Virginia Beach Shootings, U.S.-China Tensions, Mexican Tariff Proposal/Immigration Issues, Big Tech Anti-Trust Investigation, and Holzhauer’s ‘Jeopardy!’ Run Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/3). The official state visit to the U.K. by President Trump; the Democrats vying to challenge Trump in 2020; the aftermath of the shootings in Virginia Beach that left 12 dead; the diplomatic and economic tensions between the U.S. and China over the tariffs the U.S. has slapped on Chinese exports; the Trump Administration’s plan to place tariffs on Mexican exports and the Southern border immigration issues; the House Judiciary Committee’s investigation into possible Big Tech anti-trust activity; and James Holzhauer’s improbable “Jeopardy!” run 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. In Detroit, iHeartMedia names Bill Black director of urban programming for hip hop WJLB and urban contemporary WMXD “MIX 92.3,” taking over for Nate Bell, who left that position earlier this year.  Black comes to Detroit from his most recent position with Radio One in Cleveland programming hip hop WENZ and urban contemporary WZAK.  He says, “I am really thrilled to join the iHeartMedia team and be able to do what I love. The talented programmers that I get to collaborate with, coupled with these legendary Detroit urban stations are unmatched and I’m excited to get to work.”…..iHeartMedia appoints Dustin “Fletcher” Matthews program director for alternative WEND, Charlotte “106.5 The End,” effective June 10.  Matthews moves from the company’s St. Louis region where he was director of alternative rock programming.  iHeartMedia Virginia-Carolina Region SVP Chadwick “A.J.” Hausknecht says, “Dustin is one of the best alternative format programmers in the country.  His unmeasurable creativity and distinctive out-of-the-box thinking will be a great addition to our super passionate and strategic programming family here at iHeartMedia Charlotte.”…..Alpha Media announces that programmer Brown is moving from his PD position in Louisville to Columbia, South Carolina where he’ll serve as operations manager.  He continues as format captain for the company’s urban, urban AC, and gospel brands.  Alpha Media regional president Mike Hartel says, “Brown is a natural leader and he has been a star in our company for a while now.  We can’t wait to bring his big ideas and his big heart to our organization and our community in Columbia!”…..This past weekend, Premiere Networks-syndicated personality Delilah (left) appeared on the Food Network program,  “Trisha’s Southern Kitchen,” hosted by country star Trisha Yearwood (right).  Yearwood also sat down for an interview with Delilah for her podcast “Love Someone with Delilah.”  The three-time Grammy Award-winner discussed her life and career, including her first full-length studio album in more than 10 years, Let’s Be Frank: A Tribute to Frank Sinatra…..Entercom expands its LGBTQ+ Talk Radio Network CHANNEL Q to new markets, including: Dallas-Fort Worth, Denver, Kansas City, San Diego, and Washington D.C.  The network now brings the latest in LGBTQ+ news and information, pop culture, and new music to listeners in a total of 19 local markets and via the RADIO.COM app nationwide…..WAQX, New York morning personality Shelli Sonstein – longtime co-host of Q104.3’s “Jim Kerr Rock & Roll Morning Show” – led her fundraising team in the 2019 NYC Tunnel to Towers Climb that benefits the families of first responders and military personnel killed in action.  Sonstein led her team (pictured below) in their age group with a record time climbing the 104 stories of the World Trade Center.  She says, “I would like to thank Elvis Duran and my co-host Jim Kerr for their very generous donations, and of course, ‘Q104.3’ and iHeartMedia for supporting my efforts.  My entire team finished this very difficult climb and vows to be back again next year to raise even more funds and awareness of this great organization.”

Monday, January 14, 2018

| January 14, 2019

Talk Radio Host Lars Larson Banned from Twitter for 12 Hours. The story in the Willamette Week has the details of KXL, Portland-based, nationally syndicated talk host Lars Larson’s 12-hour ban from Twitter for his exchange with a Portland activist over a recent police shooting that resulted in the death of man reportedly schizophrenic and legally blind.  Former Portland mayoral candidate Sarah Iannarone tweeted, “We know the police kill. [The] question is whether we will ever stop funding this deadly paramilitary force and start funding things that actually keep the people of Portland safe.”  Larson was suspended for the following response, “Gee @sarahforpdx you think the cops make PDX dangerous? Read the story and you find the dead man was 1) paranoid schizophrenic 2) invaded a stranger’s home 3) fought with the officer 4) pulled a knife. What’s your millennial snowflake solution to that situation without the cops?”  Responding to the ban Larson received for the tweet, Iannarone said Larson’s words “may not seem like much on the surface.”  But complained that “whenever that account retweets me, it brings commenters into my sphere who hurl insult and innuendo my direction. I reported three other accounts resulting from the retweet that day that Twitter admins agreed were abusive or harmful.”

Ron & Don Fans Baffled by Show’s Abrupt, Unexplained Exit. This story in the Seattle Times was published on Saturday (1/12) and includes comments from TALKERS magazine publisher Michael Harrison.  Friday’s launch of a new afternoon drive program – “Candy, Mike and Todd” – on Bonneville’s KIRO-FM Seattle caught fans of the “Ron and Don” show off guard.  The story notes some 1,000 comments on the “Ron and Don Nation” Facebook page expressing their dismay at the show’s departure and anger with the lack of Bonneville’s explanation.  Ron Upshaw and Don O’Neill had been with the station for 13 years.  They didn’t shed much light on the controversy, either, probably due to a non-disparagement clause in their contracts.  They wrote, “Life is not about what you got, it’s what you give. We are very appreciative to all our great advertisers and everyone in the Ron and Don Nation for giving so much of your time, your energy, and your resources over the last 22 years. Together we raised over 11 million dollars for causes in the community we all care about. From our families to yours, Thank You Seattle, Tacoma, Fife, and Fremont.”

KSTP-AM, Minneapolis Re-Brands as ‘SKOR North.’  Tomorrow (1/15) will be sports talk KSTP-AM’s first day as “SKOR North” as it shucks the “1500 ESPN” brand.  Hubbard Radio says in a press release that the brand is now “a digital-first sports brand that will create and distribute content across multiple traditional and digital platforms, including 1500 AM, 94.5 FM HD2, streaming, a dedicated SKOR North app, podcasts, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.”  In September, Hubbard dropped the “Garage Logic” show with host Joe Soucheray from the lineup, as well as Patrick Reusse’s show (PD Brad Lane exited as well).  The new program schedule will still consist of ESPN Radio’s “Golic & Wingo” in morning drive, followed by the “Dan Le Batard with Stugotz” show.  Local afternoon program includes the new “SKOR North Live with Matthew Coller,” followed by the drive time “[PhilMackie and Judd [Zulgad] Show with Ramie,” and a return to the airwaves of Patrick Reusse as one of the four 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm programs that will rotate throughout the year, depending on the season.

Monday Memo: CES 2019.  Consultant Holland Cooke’s Monday Memo here at TALKERS magazine summarizes some of his takeaways from last week’s enormous CES 2019 in Las Vegas.  Cooke reports that Consumer Technology Association vice president of market research Steve Koenig says we’re at the beginning of the “Data Age of Consumer Tech” and that means, “information about our listeners – whom advertisers want as customers – is gold.” See his entire report here.

WICC, Bridgeport Announces Programming News. Connecticut news/talk WICC-AM, Bridgeport announces it will continue to serve as an affiliate for New York Yankees baseball.  In addition, the Cumulus Media station is adding FOX News Radio’s Brian Kilmeade show for the 10:00 am to 1:00 pm slot.  It also is carrying Westwood One’s Ben Shapiro in the 10:00 pm to 12:00 midnight daypart.

Mike Rich to Lead Townsquare Media Danbury. Radio management pro Mike Rich is named market president and chief revenue officer for Townsquare Media’s Danbury, Connecticut group of sports talk WINE-AM “Sports Radio 940,” rock WRKI-FM “i95,” and WDBY-FM “Kicks 105.5.”  Rich comes to Townsquare from his most recent position as CEO of digital media firm Irish Studio.  He’s also served with Time Inc., Radio One, and AOL.

TALKERS News Notes. Albuquerque news/talk KKOB-AM’s new afternoon drive personality – former, longtime rock KZRR “94 Rock” morning personality T.J. Trout – is an unabashed “left of center,” “social liberal” who will take over 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm program on Cumulus Media’s conservative news/talk station on January 22.  Trout talks about getting the gig and how he views his role on the station in a piece with Albuquerque Journal here…..The podcast “Red Pilled America” – an iHeartRadio original podcast – got some love from The Washington Times recently in an article about story-focused podcasts that target conservative listeners.  The podcast is the work of husband and wife creative duo Patrick Courrielche and Adryana Cortez and the piece delves into how the program highlights stories rather than monologues to get the message across to listeners…..The NHL’s Boston Bruins and the Boston Bruins Foundation are holding the second annual Patrice Bergeron & 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Pucks & Paddles event on Thursday, February 7.  The table tennis tournament will feature players from the active Boston Bruins roster, on-air personalities from Beasley Media Group’s sports talk WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub,” and patients from Floating Hospital for Children at Tufts Medical Center with all proceeds to benefit the hospital…..Beasley Media Group announces Jennifer Sulik is named to the newly created position of vice president of strategic partnerships at Beasley XP, the company’s esports division.  Sulik was most recently founder and chief executive officer of Go Media Detroit, a digital media advertising agency.  Previously, she worked in the digital sales division at WXYZ-TV, Detroit and UBM Tech in San Francisco, where she developed integrated business-to-business media campaigns targeting game developers and game industry influencers, including Game Developer Magazine, Gamasutra.com and Indiegames.com…..Across the pond, “Fix Radio” – the station for builders and tradespeople – will launch in Manchester, England today (1/14).  Fix Radio is programmed by British talk radio pro Graham Mack and is based in London.  Mack and Gaz Drinkwater present the daily morning show on the format.

The Trump-Putin Relationship, U.S.-Mexico Border Wall, Government Shutdown, Jayme Closs Case, Paris Bakery Bombing, Bezos Divorce, 2020 Presidential Race, Dems in Puerto Rico, Winter Snow Storm, and NFL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. Reaction to weekend stories indicating the FBI was concerned about President Trump’s relationship with Russia’s Vladimir Putin; the battle over funding for a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border; the ongoing government shutdown; missing teen Jayme Closs is found after escaping her captor; the deadly bombing at a bakery in Paris; the divorce of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos; potential presidential candidates in the 2020 election; Democrat legislators are criticized for “partying” in Puerto Rico with lobbyists; the winter storm that swept across the Midwest to the Mid-Atlantic; and the weekend’s NFL playoff action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend according to ongoing research from TALKER magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programming pro Terri Avery is the new PD at Cox Media Group’s urban contemporary WALR, Atlanta “Kiss 104.1,” effective January 22. Avery was most recently radio station manager and an instructor at Carolina School of Broadcasting in Charlotte.  Prior to that, she was OM/PD at WPEG and WBAV in Charlotte for 14 years. CMG Atlanta director of operations Chris Eagan says, “Terri is well-regarded in the radio industry.  She is smart, engaging, a champion in talent coaching and an expert in urban AC.  Her years of diverse experience make her a great addition to the ‘Kiss 104.1’ team.”…..Cumulus Media rock KSAN, San Francisco “107.7 The Bone” officially names Chasta Michaelis midday personality.  She’s been interim host of the daypart since Steven “The Weedman” Seaweed in 2017.  Chasta also serves as a cast member on the station’s “Lamont& Tonelli Morning Show,” a role she will continue along with her daily production of her daily Facebook Live chats from “The Bone” studios following each morning show…..Through a partnership between iHeartMedia and LiveXLive Media Inc – a global digital media company focused on live entertainment – the 2019 iHeartRadio ALTer Ego concert at the Forum in Los Angeles on January 19 – will stream live. LiveXLive chairman and CEO Rob Ellin comments, “Our mission is to bring our global audience of music fans the ‘best seat in the house’ for musically diverse concerts by the most popular artists.  iHeartMedia, with its massive reach across radio, digital and social, and its culture-defining marquee events such as ALTer Ego, is undeniably a perfect fit.”…..According to a report by Chicago media maven Robert Feder, the “Rock ‘n’ Roll Roots” show with Bob Stroud that’s heard weekly on Hubbard Radio’s classic rock WDRV “97.1 The Drive” is getting another play.  The show has been airing Sunday mornings from 7:00 am to 10:00 am but, as program director Rob Cressman says, “The ‘Stroud Crowd’ has been relentless in their quest to get ‘Roots’ scheduled a bit later in the day.”  So, now the show also airs from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm…..Kelly J moves from evening jock to a member of the Jeff Pope morning show on All Pro Broadcasting’s hot AC KHTI, Riverside-San Bernardino…..Condolences to the family and friends of radio personality Michael “Mike” Walker, who died on January 7 at the age of 60.  Walker worked at numerous radio stations during his career, including WIFM, Elkin; WKBC North Wilkesboro; and WWWC, Wilkesboro in North Carolina.  He was the founder/operator of The Production Room where he produced and voiced more than 530 weekly episodes of the syndicated “Saving the 70s” show that focused on 1970s music and pop culture.

PPM Analysis: Contemporary Christian. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s December 2018 PPM survey, today focusing on contemporary Christian. See the report here.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

| October 25, 2018

Talk Host Lars Larson at Center of Gun Rights Issue in Portland.  According to a piece on Campus Reform’s website, KXL, Portland-based radio talk show host Lars Larson was required by the administration of Portland State University to promise not to bring his permitted gun (legal in Oregon) to a Second Amendment event on the campus being sponsored by the PSU College Republicans.  Larson was vocally critical of the school for making the request and for threatening the College Republicans if they invited Larson knowing he would bring his conceal carry weapon.  Ultimately, the group cancelled the event.  Larson is quoted saying he fought the school’s request for obvious reasons.  “It would be the height of hypocrisy, for me to say ‘I’m going to go talk to these kids about the importance of their Second Amendment rights,’ while voluntarily forfeiting mine.”  Larson also tells Campus Reform he plans to do a broadcast from the school.  “Later this week, my producer and I will walk up, sit down in the student union, and I’m gonna do five or 10 minutes on a Facebook Live stream, explaining the entire background.  I cannot speak to the students unless I give up my civil rights, I cannot do the broadcast that I wanted to do, and the students have been threatened.”

Nielsen Reports Q3 Financials; Net Income Down 32.4%. Ratings and consumer research giant Nielsen Holdings plc releases financial data for the third quarter of 2018 and reports revenue of $1.6 billion, down 2.5%, or 0.6% on a constant currency basis, compared to the third quarter of 2017.  Free cash flow for the third quarter of 2018 decreased to $266 million, compared to $425 million in the third quarter of 2017.  The company’s audio ratings service falls under its Watch segment and for the third quarter, Audio revenue dipped 1.6%, from $127 million in 2017 to $125 million in Q3 of 2018.  However, the company reports “Audience Measurement of Video and Text revenues increased 4.7%, or 5.2% on a constant currency basis, due to continued client adoption of our Total Audience Measurement system and our ongoing investments, including Gracenote.”  Nielsen executive chairman Jim Attwood says, “The third quarter revenue and earnings are consistent with our updated 2018 guidance despite a number of near-term challenges in our markets.  We have a number of key initiatives and actions that we are pursuing to improve our future outlook.  Together with the board of directors, we are aligned on a set of operational priorities to drive the business forward. In addition, the board of directors, with the assistance of our advisors and management team, is focused on the expanded strategic review that we announced in September, which includes a broad review of strategic alternatives for Nielsen and its businesses.”

SiriusXM’s Jim Meyer on Pandora Acquisition. During yesterday’s third quarter investor conference call, SiriusXM chief executive officer Jim Meyer talked about the company’s bid to acquire streaming pure play Pandora. He said the two platforms have the ability to cross-promote.  He adds that the goal, obviously, is not to convince paying SiriusXM subscribers to leave for a cheaper or free version of Pandora.  “At SiriusXM, we are running about 23 million trials in new and used cars this year.  And the truth, as the flip side of our conversion statistics will tell you, is that most people don’t want to pay for radio at the end of the day.  I feel there is a strong opportunity if we can link non-converters back to a Pandora or maybe a Pandora with a bit more content in a way that makes our combined business bigger, better, and more profitable. There are many ways we believe that one plus one will exceed two very quickly and we plan to give you additional color on that over the next few months.”  The company is still waiting for anti-trust approval from the FTC and Justice Department before meetings with Pandora can affect any change there, but it is downplaying the synergies that might be realized from a combined operation. Meyer adds, “Last week, while I was out in Oakland for a Pandora board meeting, I had the privilege of speaking with a large group of Pandora’s talented employees.  It was fantastic to talk about our shared future, what we can do with all of our financial resources, vast troves of data, unmatched content, enormous user bases, and some of the most talented people in radio and technology.  I am confident that together, these two companies will be even stronger.”

TALKERS News Notes. Detroit’s “910 AM Superstation” – Kevin Adell -owned WFDF – brings local media personality Charlie LeDuff aboard to host a weekly, one-hour program airing Mondays at 4:00 pm, titled, “No BS News Hour.”  LeDuff is a former Detroit News and WJBK-TV, Detroit reporter.  The weekly show is being designed as a companion to LeDuff’s Michigan-focused podcast of the same title.  LeDuff says, “If you suffer from insomnia, I recommend you watch the news.  If you want the news, I recommend you tune into the ‘No BS News Hour.’ Original reporting, nowhere else.”…..The “Motley Fool Money” with host Chris Hill adds new affiliates news/talk KGVO-AM/FM and KMPT-AM “Montana’s Progressive Talk” in Missoula for the weekly program. Hill tells TALKERS magazine that the addition of the Townsquare Media stations puts the program at the 52-affiliate mark…..SiriusXM is adding “The Dan Abrams Show: Where Politics Meets The Law” to its P.O.T.U.S. channel programming, effective October 29.  The ABC News chief legal analyst will host a show that will “analyze the biggest news stories of the day from a legal perspective.”  Abrams says, “The legal side of news stories is more important and prominent than ever. I’m thrilled to have this opportunity on SiriusXM to really dig in and separate the legal realities from the wishful spin for listeners and people calling in to the show.”…..New York Public Radio names longtime Viacom executive Depelsha McGruder chief operating officer.  McGruder was most recently senior vice president of programming for BET Networks.  NYPR operates not only public radio news/talk WNYC-AM/FM, but WNYC Studios and New Jersey Public Radio, as well…..Legendary college basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski is hosting the premiere episode of the 14th season of his SiriusXM talk show, “Basketball and Beyond with Coach K,” tonight at 6:00 pm ET.

SRN’s Larry Elder to Attend Meeting of Young Black Conservatives at Trump White House. According to a report in the New York Post, President Trump will entertain a group of hundreds of young, black conservatives gathered for the Young Black Leadership Summit, an event produced by Turning Point USA.  Also attending this evening’s kick-off of the conference will be Salem Radio Network talk show host Larry Elder and actress-turned-conservative-pundit Stacey DashDonald Trump Jr. will also speak to the group this evening, as will HUD Director Ben Carson.

Pipe Bombs Sent to Top Democrats and CNN; Financial Markets Activity, Midterm Elections, Migrant Caravan, Mega Millions Jackpot, Khashoggi Murder Aftermath, Halloween ‘Blackface’ Issue, NFL Action, and World Series Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/24). The news of pipe bombs sent to CNN and top Democrats including the Obamas and the Clintons; the Dow loses 600 points and the activity in other world financial markets; the November midterm elections and the battle for control of the House and the Senate; the migrant caravan making its way through Mexico to the U.S. border; one winning ticket in South Carolina is sold for the $1.6 billion Mega Millions lottery; the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi and U.S.-Saudi relations; the issue of schools warning students not to dress in blackface for Halloween; the week’s NFL action; and the World Series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Boston Red Sox 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. Seattle CHR KBKS-FM “106.1 KISS FM” is stunting in preparation for a format change.  The stunt began on Wednesday with jockless programming peppered with mysteriously worded sweepers teasing the change.  The status of the air staff with owner iHeartMedia is not known but numerous reports indicate AM drive personality Bender has exited…..Entercom hot AC KHMX “Mix 96.5” promotes afternoon drive personality Jason Cage music director, effective immediately.  He’ll continue hosting his 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm program.  Entercom Houston SVP and market manager Sarah Frazier says, “Jason has proven to be a very valuable contributor to the overall sound and feel of KHMX and has helped to lead culture here at Entercom Houston.  We are excited to elevate him to the role of music director.”…..As a result of the flip of SummitMedia’s WJSR, Richmond from classic hits to adult hits as “Jack FM,” morning show team Bill Bevins and Shelly Perkins exits after a four-year stint.

Friday, September 21, 2018

| September 21, 2018

iHeartMedia’s Fourth Chapter 11 Re-Org Does the Trick. When it comes to eliminating billions of dollars of debt in a Chapter 11 re-organization, someone is not going to be happy with what they get (or don’t get). Certain debt holders are likely to feel they’re not getting what they deserve.  But Houston Bankruptcy Court Judge Marvin Isgur liked what he saw enough to approve iHeartMedia’s fourth crack at its Joint Chapter 11 Re-Organization Plan.  Yesterday’s approval of the adequacy of the disclosure statement sets the stage for more deadlines and court dates as iHeartMedia still hopes to exit Chapter 11 by the end of this year.  The deadline for voting on this plan is set at November 9.  The Plan Objection deadline is November 28.  A pre-trial conference is set for December 7 and the Confirmation Hearing is set for December 11.

Hannity Talks with President Trump in Las Vegas. The screenshot above is from FOX News Channel and the “Hannity” show’s coverage of President Trump’s rally in Las Vegas last night (9/20).  After the president addressed the crowd he spoke with host Sean Hannity about a number of issues, including the allegation against Supreme Court nominee Brett KavanaughRobert Mueller’s Russia investigation, and the midterm elections.

iHeartMedia Adds FM Translator to WLAC, Nashville; Expands Steve Gill Reports. Nashville news/talker WLAC has an FM presence now that iHeartMedia adds translator W252CM at 98.3 FM to WLAC’s broadcast.  The station is also being transmitted on WSIX-FM’s HD-2 signal.  As the company says, the 250-watt translator is heard “across the southern portions of the Nashville area, including Williamson County and the Franklin area.” The translator had been carrying country WSIX-FM’s broadcast.  At the same time, the station announces that it is expanding the “Tennessee Star Report” so that the Steve Gill-hosted program now airs from 5:00 am to 8:00 am.  Tennessee Star executive editor Michael Patrick Leahy co-hosts the program with Gill, who comments, “It’s been great being back on the air in Nashville over these last few weeks.  Adding a big booming FM signal on WLAC will be a great opportunity for us to reach voters in the final month of this election season and we will be right in the thick of things.”

Tony Howard Named Interactive Sales Manager for Alpha Media Portland. Digital sales pro Tony Howard joins Alpha Media to serve as interactive sales manager for the company’s Portland operations that include news/talk KXL “FM News 101”and sports talk KXTG-AM/FM “102.9 The Game.”  Howard was most recently with Clip Interactive as VP of sales and affiliate partnerships. He’s also served with TribuneCBS RADIO, and iHeartMedia.  Alpha Portland VP of sales Amy Leimbach states, “I’ve had the opportunity to work with Tony Howard when he was at CBS RADIO and again when he handled affiliate partnerships at Clip Interactive.  Tony is creative, competitive, and has a drive to succeed – all qualities that correlate with Alpha’s core values.  I am looking forward to having Tony join the Alpha Portland team.”

KBOI, Boise’s Paul J Schneider to Retire After 51 Years. Incredibly, Paul J Schneider has been working on the air at KBOI, Boise since June of 1967.  Back then he worked on both TV and radio.  He was a news anchor and voiced the TV replay of Boise State football games. He shifted to radio only in 1976. Now, after 51 years on the station, he’ll retire after his December 14 program to finally sleep in for a change. During his career at KBOI he enjoyed one of the country’s largest radio audience shares as a part of “Dunn & Schneider,” that aired from 1973 to 1993. Since 2001, he’s hosted “Idaho Talks Live” with Chris Walton.   and throughout his career, Paul J and his morning partners have been at the top of station ratings.  Schneider says, “I have been privileged to work with great morning show partners and to be on AM radio in its heyday.  I was able to call the Boise State games through their growth trajectory and when not all the games were broadcasted live on TV.”  Schneider plans to produce weekly features and blog for NewsTalk 670 KBOI as well as continue covering Boise State football for Learfield Sports.

TALKERS News Notes. The San Diego Reader is reporting that local photographer Jesse Cuevas has received a settlement from Entercom over talk host Kevin Klein’s unauthorized use of his photo of San Diego’s Coronado Bridge in the ill-advised social media post that derailed his gig as morning host on what is now sports talk KWFN.  If you recall, Klein’s post teased his debut as the station’s new AM host with the phrase “Jump to a new morning show.”  The Coronado Bridge has been the scene of hundreds of suicides during its existence.  Cuevas can’t reveal how much he was paid but the paper speculates that settlements in cases like this are usually in the five figures…..PodcastOne reports that award-winning investigative journalist and WTOP, Washington national security correspondent J.J. Green recently spoke with a former Russian internet troll named Marat Mindiyarov on his podcast “Target USA.”  Mindiyarov served with the Kremlin-linked Internet Research Agency in St. Petersburg where his job was to “trick Americans on Facebook,Twitter and other social media platforms.”  During the interview Mindiyarov says one of the main objectives was to impact the U.S. presidential election by promoting Russian government views to Americans by pretending to be Americans on social media.  Listen to the episode here…..Beasley Media Group CEO Caroline Beasley is launching a brand-new podcast series.  In the premiere episode, Beasley speaks with Dr. Shawn DuBravac, author of the best-seller Digital Destiny: How the New Age of Data Will Transform the Way We Work, Live, and Communicate (Regnery, 2015).  Beasley says, “Podcasting is an area of growth in the audio space that I am personally very passionate about as we continue to grow as a company.  It was such a privilege to speak with Shawn and hear his valuable thoughts about the future role of smart cities, the transformation of automotive industry and more!”  Listen to the podcast here.

Talk Media Public Relations Pioneer Richard Strauss Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  The man who literally opened the White House doors to talk radio and gave the medium top tier access to the executive branch of the Federal Government for decades to come, Richard Strauss, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  Strauss, the founder and president of Washington, DC-based Strauss Media Strategies was the first-ever White House radio director, appointed at the age of 23 and serving between 1993 and 1996, the first three years of President Bill Clinton’s administration.  During that time, Strauss elevated the burgeoning medium of news/talk radio to equal status with newspapers and television in enjoying access to the presidency.  Prior to that, radio was a second-class citizen in that arena – at least during the modern era going all the way back to the Eisenhower years.  According to Michael Harrison, “What Richard Strauss did for talk radio, while still a kid, is a major piece of the medium’s colorful history and should serve as an inspiration for aspiring youngsters looking to make their mark in this industry going forward.   I am so glad we have a chance to tell his story on this week’s program.”  Media freaks, historians and audiophiles will not want to miss this podcast!  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.

Kavanaugh Assault Allegation Top News/Talk Story for Week of September 17-21. The allegation of sexual assault against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 was the investigation into possible connections between the Trump campaign and Russian agents. Coming in at #3 was the growing trade war between the U.S. and China, followed by the GOP spending bill and President Trump’s criticism it provides no funding for a Mexican border wall 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. See this week’s entire chart here.

Noted Record Producer and Social Commentator Robbie Stevens Launches Short-Form Series on TalkersRadio.  TALKERS magazine is pleased to welcome noted record producer and iconoclastic social commentator Robbie Stevens to its experimental talk radio platform, TalkersRadio, beginning today (9/19).  Stevens is launching a series of short-form features titled “I Don’t Do Podcasts” in which he randomly shares his views and experiences about a variety of subjects including politics, media, education, sociology, philosophy, psychology, sports and, of course, music.  He is well-known for decades in the record business for his prolific contributions as a musician, recordist, mixer, and/or producer on records by such artists as Herbie Hancock, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, the late Gil-Scott HeronJohn Lydon a.k.a. Johnny RottenAfrika Bambaataaa, the posthumous John Lennon catalog, and many more.  Stevens most recently headed up the production of Yoko Ono’s remarkable run of 13 Billboard #1 dance singles with her EDM band, ONO and just concluded the exciting 2018 surround sound re-mix of key elements from John Lennon’s “Imagine” album called “Raw” as a soon-to-be released box set titled “John Lennon’s Imagine – the Ultimate Collection” (Universal).  A Columbia University graduate, this fascinating raconteur was born in Brooklyn, raised in Queens and now resides in the Bronx.  Bringing what can be described as an “outer-borough” grit to the microphone, TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison has referred to Stevens as the “Bronx Philosopher” as well as the “Rogue from Riverdale.”  TALKERS general manager of broadcast operations David Bernstein says, “I first became aware of Robbie almost a decade ago when he came to my attention as a successful record producer who liked to dabble in news/talk radio.  He briefly did some interesting work on WNYM in New York and WOR’s short-lived online ancillary talk show platform where his well-informed, ‘streety’ take on hot topics generated a positive buzz.  I am beyond thrilled that he is clearing the time in his busy schedule to get back to trying new things in spoken word programming on TalkersRadio.  This guy is an original and that’s what TalkersRadio is all about.”   TalkersRadio was launched in 2013 as an experimental radio workshop/lab where new ideas in talk programming could be tested and showcased by newcomers to the industry as well as seasoned pros looking to expand their repertoire.  Since then, a number of shows have been developed on TalkersRadio that have gone on to achieve success in terrestrial radio and/or podcasting.  To listen to the first episode of “I Don’t Do Podcasts with Robbie Stevens” please click here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In the Panama City, Florida market, Powell Broadcasting enters into an agreement to sell CHR WPFM-FM to religious not-for-profit broadcaster Educational Media Foundation……….Programmer Candy Cintron is promoted to program director for Entercom’s Spanish pop outlet WLZL, Washington “El Zol 107.9.” She’s been morning show producer and assistant program director since 2015.  SVP and market manager Phil Zachary says, “Candy has invested close to a decade of her career in making ‘El Zol’ a vital, vibrant voice in DC’s Hispanic community.  This promotion honors her past, present and, most importantly, her future contributions to the ‘El Zol’ legacy.”…..Chicago media maven Robert Feder reports on the unexpected death of Chicago radio sales pro Laura Hangren, who died after a heart attack on Saturday (9/15) at age 56.  She’d most recently been an AE at Weigel Broadcasting’s WRME-FM “Me-TV FM.” She’d also worked at such heritage Windy City signals as WLS-FM and WLUP-FM…..The Premiere Networks nationally syndicated alternative morning program “The Woody Show” hosted Foo Fighters Dave Grohl (left) and Taylor Hawkins (right) recently.  They’re pictured below with show host Woody (center).  During their visit, they talked about how they met, the evolution of rock music, the upcoming Foo Fighters-curated “Cal Jam 18” festival, being parents, and more.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

| August 23, 2018

PPM Analysis: News/Talk.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his final format analysis of station performances based on data from the July 2018 PPM survey from Nielsen Audio.  This report addresses news/talk radio.  Comparing June’s 6+ AQH shares to the July numbers indicates just as many news/talk stations went up as went down – 42% each.  But 63% of news/talk stations in PPM markets saw their 6+ weekly AQH share rise, with Alpha Media’s KXL, Portland leaping by 2.2 shares, iHeartMedia’s WTKS-FM, Orlando rising by 1.9 shares, and Cumulus Media’s KSFO up by 1.7 shares.  While three news/talk stations ranked #1 in their respective markets in July, another eight ranked in the top five.  Number one finishers in July were Cox Media Group’s WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta; iHeartMedia’s WLW, Cincinnati; and Townsquare Media’s WKQX, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5.”  See the entire report here.

Westwood One Names New ‘First Light’ Host. Current “First Light” host Evan Haning is stepping back from full-time work with Westwood One but will continue as a part-time news anchor and fill-in for the morning news magazine.  With his decision, Westwood One names WWO News correspondent Michael Toscano the new host. He is a former host of the Wall Street Journal Radio afternoon news program “The Daily Wrap.”  At the same time, Westwood One News also announces that Mike Moss is taking on the role of full-time news anchor.  Moss has been part of Westwood One News’ operation since joining as a part-time anchor and fill-in guest host earlier this year.  He is well-known in the nation’s capital from his many years as morning drive anchor at all-news WTOP, Washington.

Cristina Mendonsa Named Co-Host of KFBK, Sacramento Morning Show. Market news pro Cristina Mendonsa joins Dan Mitchinson as co-host of “The KFBK Morning News” on iHeartMedia’s KFBK, Sacramento.  Mendonsa served with KXTV-TV, Sacramento “ABC 10” for more than 21 years – most recently as a news anchor.  KFBK program director Bill White says, “Cristina’s a team builder, passionate journalist, and storyteller with deep connections to the communities we serve.  A consummate pro, Cristina will further enhance KFBK’s news reputation not only on the radio but also on our digital and social media platforms through informative and thought-provoking podcasts and video content.”  Mendonsa comments, “KFBK is approaching a century of serving Northern California.  I’m so honored to become part of this team and legacy.  I’ve missed talking with listeners and viewers and collaborating with a team of passionate professionals.  Informing and engaging our community on a daily basis once again will be satisfying and fun!”

Athans Appointed New Radio Media CDO. Cultivating political talk programming will be Tom Athans’ (left) primary responsibility as chief development officer of Michigan-based New Radio Media. The company’s chief executive officer, Paul Bensman (right), comments, “We are excited to have Tom join our company.  Tom brings a wealth of experience in creating exciting new shows from the ground up that will resonate across the country.” Athans adds, “After a decade-long detour in the arena of government relations, I’m excited to be returning to my true love of talk and entertainment media and it’s a real privilege to join the NRM team.  In the early days of progressive talk, we were predicting that digital platforms were not far off in the future; well, the future is here. The NRM team is poised to do some really great things in the media landscape – particularly in political talk media. The political environment in this nation is more toxic and divisive than we’ve ever seen in modern American history. There hasn’t been a greater need or opportunity than right now to launch a new generation of exciting and compelling voices in the nation. Through digital media, those programs will be unconstrained. Anyone with a smartphone or an internet connection will be able to tap into their favorite show at their convenience – live or on-demand.”  Formerly co-founder and chief executive officer of Washington, D.C.-based Democracy Radio, Athans developed/launched syndicated programs for progressive talk hosts Ed SchultzStephanie Miller, and Leslie Marshall. In addition, he was executive vice president for Air America Radio and managing director at Talk USA Media.

Musicoomph Publishes Infographic Highlighting Podcasting Data.  The images here are from the infographic published by Musicoomph that reveals some of the most compelling data about the growth of podcasting and the medium’s potential as a revenue stream.  The graphic’s date is culled from multiple 2018 studies of podcasting by Edison Research, Nielsen Audio, and others. It states, “With 550,000 active podcasts and rapidly growing, podcasting is indeed on a meteoric rise.  In fact, 64% of the U.S. population is already familiar with what a podcast is.  To put that into perspective, only 40% know the name of the vice president!”  The graphic above indicates the growth of podcasting revenue over the years as well as its projected growth.  The graphic below illustrates where people are listening to podcasts.  See the whole infographic here.

TALKERS News Notes.  WFAN, New York afternoon star Mike Francesa has recently been speaking to the media about his forthcoming Mike’s On app and what it will mean to his brand, but he’s a believer in radio he tells The New York Times Magazine in an interview piece with Jay Caspian Kang.  Read it here…..Pictured below is WPGG, Atlantic City morning personality Harry Hurley surrounded by “The Bombshells” at Wednesday’s eight-hour live broadcast from the 16th annual Atlantic City Airshow, “Thunder Over the Boardwalk.”  Hurley tells TALKERS magazine that the estimated attendance for the event was between 400,000 to 500,000.  Hurley adds, “The Atlantic City Airshow is the largest mid-week Airshow in America. This mega-event generates more than $27 million in direct spend and more than $33 million in overall financial impact.”

Manafort Conviction/Cohen Guilty Plea, Trump-Russia Investigation, Mollie Tibbetts Murder, Trump vs ESPN, Urban Meyer Suspension, Hurricane Lane, Asia Argento #MeToo Issue, Western Wildfires/Air Quality, NFL Pre-season and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/22). Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort is convicted on eight counts in fraud trial and former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen pleads guilty to breaking campaign finance laws; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the murder of Iowa college student Mollie Tibbetts and the illegal status of the suspect; President Trump encourages petition to ESPN over new policy of not showing national anthem during game broadcasts; Ohio State coach Urban Meyer is suspended for three games for role in assistant coach’s domestic violence case; Hurricane Lane bears down on Hawaii; Harvey Weintstein accuser Asia Argento’s reported payoff for having sex with a minor; the wildfires in the U.S. West and the region’s poor air quality; NFL pre-season action and the Major League Baseball playoff push 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.  At Phoenix country outlet KMLE “Country @ 107.9,” Entercom moves afternoon personality Alana Lynn from the afternoon drive program to “The Breakfast Buzz” morning program with co-host Niko Petrou.  Lynn maintains her music director role with the station.  This change includes current morning personality Nina D moving to the afternoon drive show. Entercom Phoenix SVP and market manager Dave Pugh says, “Alana and Nina D both bring incredible talent and commitment to KMLE.  We’re looking forward to them continuing to raise the bar for the station and connecting with audiences in their new time slots.”…..Detroit-based iHeartMedia personality Joe Carballo is upped to assistant program director and music director for CHR WKQI “Channel 955.”  He’s also heard on iHeartMedia stations WKSC, Chicago “103.5 Kiss FM,” WZEE, Madison “Z104,” and WSNX, Grand Rapids…..In Tuscaloosa, alternative WQRR brand manager Meg Summers is promoted to operations manager for the Townsquare Media cluster that includes country duo WFFN and WTBC, urban AC WTUG, plus sports talk WTID and Gospel WTSK.  She is also adding brand manager responsibilities for WFFN…..Exiting the operations and programming roles at Alpha Media’s hot AC WHBC-FM and news/talk WHBC-AM in Canton, Ohio is John Stewart.  He’d been with the stations for the past six years.

Friday, August 17, 2018

| August 17, 2018

WBAL, Baltimore Adds Dan Joseph Show for Nights. Charm City news/talk WBAL announces the launch of a new nighttime show hosted by Dan Joseph.  The Hearst station says he comes with “a unique background” that “includes acting, politics and media.”  He’s previously served with Media Research Center producing man-on-the-street videos used by FOX News.  WBAL president and general manager Cary Pahigian states, “Providing Baltimore and Maryland with the most local news and talk is job one at WBAL ‘Newsradio 1090.’  With Dan’s new 8:00 pm to 11:00 pm program, WBAL now is the area’s only destination weeknights for live and local conversation and insight.”  Joseph adds, “I’m absolutely thrilled to be here at WBAL and I’m so grateful to discuss the issues of the day with the people of Baltimore, each night.  It’s an honor to be part of the WBAL ‘Newsradio 1090’ lineup.”

Moyer to Lead Sales Efforts for Alpha Media’s Portland Talk Stations. This is a promotion for Alpha Media sales pro Geoff Moyer as he rises from local sales manager to general sales manager for the company’s Portland talk stations – KXL “FM News 101.1,” sports talk KXTG-AM/K275CH “102.9/750 The Game,” talk KUFO “Freedom 970,” as well as the 22-station Radio Northwest Network.  Alpha Media VP of sales Amy Leimbach states, “Geoff is an excellent coach and talent developer who has rapidly become one of Alpha Media Portland’s most effective leaders.  I’m excited to watch Geoff excel in his newly expanded role.”  Moyer says of his promotion, “I am happy and excited about this great opportunity to continue growing at Alpha.  It’s always exciting to work alongside so many great people.  Every day brings new adventures and I am excited about our future.”

Johnson to Host Afternoons at ’94.3 The Game’ in Greenville, NC. Air personality Patrick Johnson is joining Inner Banks Media to host the afternoon show on sports talk WRHD-FM, Greenville, North Carolina “94.3 The Game.”  He’ll also host the Eastern Carolina University football pre-game show this season. Johnson takes over on-air duties from Josh Graham who recently exited to join WSJS, Winston-Salem.  Inner Banks Media vice president Hank Hinton says, “We are so excited that Patrick has agreed to return to Greenville.  He is the perfect addition to our great sports talk lineup.  He’s a real pro and quite a fun guy to listen to.  ECU Pirate fans will love his new show on ‘The Game.’”

VSiN to Provide ‘The Sports Hub’ with Boston-Focused Updates.  Continuing to expand its relationships with sports talk radio stations, VSiN – the first network dedicated to delivering daily information about sports gambling – signs a deal with Beasley Media Group’s WBZ-FM, Boston “98.5 The Sports Hub” to provide it with Boston-focused updates.  Beginning Monday (8/20), the station will run “VSiN Action Updates” covering how the sports betting markets are reacting to Boston’s sports teams.  VSiN will supply one report at 12:13 pm ET and another at 6:13 pm ET each weekday from its Las Vegas studio at the South Point Hotel, Casino & Spa. WBZ-FM program director Mike Thomas says, “Sports gambling laws are changing across the country and ‘The Sports Hub’ is proud to have a relationship with VSiN and the Musburger team to give our listeners the latest and most accurate information.” VSiN CEO Brian Musberger comments, “‘The Sports Hub’ joins a growing list of more than 25 terrestrial radio stations across the country bringing ‘VSiN Action Updates’ to their listeners – including ‘670 The Score’ in Chicago, KNBR in San Francisco, ‘The Mighty 1090’ in San Diego and ‘101 ESPN’ in St. Louis.”

Omarosa’s ‘Bitchiness’ Provoked Radio Producer to Use the F Word and Hang Up on Her.  It happened back in 2009 during what was then referred to in the radio business as a “satellite tour.”  It is a series of radio interviews in which a hot guest appears in brief interviews on one show after another across the country from a central location via telephone, ISDN or satellite hook-up.   Famous radio producer Bernadette Duncan was coordinating one such tour on United Stations Radio Networks’ roster of client morning shows for Omarosa Manigault-Stallworth (Stallworth was her first husband) who was promoting her book, The Bitch Switch: Knowing How to Turn it On and Off (Phoenix Books, 2008).  The theme of the book was to inform women how to locate and properly use their “inner bitch.”  According to a segment titled “Talk Show, Freak Show” in Duncan’s popular radio book, Yappy Days: Behind the Scenes with Newsers, Schmoozers, Boozers and Losers (Talkers Books, 2016), Omarosa was extremely nasty and difficult to work with.  She called the usually affable producer a “fucking moron.”  In retaliation, Duncan writes, “I flung an F-bomb back at her, the first and only time I ever did so with any guest.”  Then Duncan hung up on Omarosa and fulfilled the remaining scheduled interviews herself, telling the story on the air about what had just happened.  To read the entire excerpt, please click here.

TALKERS News Notes. The Heidi Harris program on Kemp Communications’ KMZQ, Las Vegas is expanding by an hour.  Previously heard from 9:00 am to 10:00 am each day, the show starts an hour earlier beginning Monday (8/20) and will air from 8:00 am to 10:00 am.  Harris has hosted talk shows on numerous signals in the market, including KXNT and KDWN…..Former talk radio host Jerry Klein has died after a battle with esophageal cancer and non-alcohol-related cirrhosis of the liver.  Klein had been in hospice care for the past 10 days.  He was a talk host on WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte during the mid-1990s, later moving to WMAL-AM, Washington where he was an air personality and assistant program director.

Omarosa Recording and Book Top News/Talk Story for Week of August 13-17.  The secret White House recording made by former Trump administration staffer Omarosa Marigault Newman and her tell-all book were the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the ongoing Trump-Russia Investigation and the related firing of FBI agent Peter Strzok.  Coming in at #3 was the Tuesday primaries, followed by the Pennsylvania Catholic priest sexual abuse scandal 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. See this week’s entire chart here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. There’s a morning show change at Cumulus Media’s adult contemporary WRRM, Cincinnati “WARM 98.5” as Jim Day and Amanda Orlando launch “The WARM Morning Show with Jim and Amanda” on Monday (8/20).  They take over for Bob Goen and Marianne Curan who exit the station.  Day has hosted morning shows on WHKO-FM, Dayton; KWEN-FM, Tulsa; and WSM-FM, Nashville.  Orlando comes to WRRM from sister country outlet WNNF “NASH FM 94.1.”  WRRM program director Brian Demay says, “Sometimes you just know!  Jim and Amanda have obvious chemistry.  They have both been a part of very successful morning shows. It’s time to put them together on ‘Warm 98.5.’…..Entercom is putting Weigel Broadcasting’s MeTV FM format on the HD2 channel of WMYX, Milwaukee.  This format is syndicated by Envision Networks and is heard on flagship WRME-LP, Chicago.  The format has been making news in the radio industry since achieving very good ratings for a signal at 88.7 FM…..Cumulus Media and WNSH, New York “NASH FM 94.7” announce the NASH Next 2018 New York City Country Challenge Showcase – a live country music talent competition – taking place Tuesday (8/21) from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm at Opry City Stage in Times Square.  NASH FM 94.7 on-air personality Katie Neal will host Tuesday night’s competition with live music performances by 10 area country artists.  The NASH FM 94.7 judging team includes: Country artist Jessie Chris; Dolly Chandler, talent buyer, Opry Entertainment Group; Leslie Slender, VP, brand partnerships, Cumulus Media; NASH FM 94.7 on-air personality Kylie Keene; and NASH FM 94.7 producer and on-air personality Jason Goldstein.

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