Tag: "Lifetime Achievement Award"

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

| April 25, 2018

PPM Analysis: All-News. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his monthly look at the performances of radio stations based on 6+ ratings from Nielsen Audio’s March 2018 PPM survey.  Today’s report focuses on all-news stations.  Hubbard Radio’s WTOP, Washington remains the highest-rated all-newser with a 10.4 AQH share (6+).  Big gainers include iHeartMedia’s WBZ-AM, Boston; Entercom’s KYW, Philadelphia; and New York news duo WCBS-AM and WINS-AM.   The biggest improvement from the March 2017 survey to this March was iHeartMedia’s KFBK, Sacramento – up by 1.4 shares to an 8.1 AQH share.  Both KFBK and WTOP ranked #1 (6+) in their respective markets in March.  See Kinosian’s entire report here.

Francesa: ‘Time to Return to WFAN.’ After yesterday’s report in the New York Post that former WFAN-AM/FM, New York afternoon drive host Mike Francesa is “desperate” to get back on the air in New York comes Neil Best’s story in Newsday quoting Francesa himself saying, “It is time to return to WFAN.”  Best reports that WFAN confirmed “ongoing discussions” with Francesa.  A source says Francesa would likely be back in a portion of his old 1:00 pm to 6:30 pm slot.  A statement from WFAN adds, “We are very proud of our current lineup at WFAN and that any potential future engagement with Mike will not result in any talent departures.”  Entercom hired Chris Carlin, Maggie Gray, and Bart Scott for the 2:00 pm to 6:30 pm show that launched in January.  The Newsday piece notes that Carlin, Gray, and Scott talked about Francesa’s return on their Tuesday program and admitted that it looks like Francesa will return to some portion of afternoon drive but said they are planning to be with the station “for a long time.” Read the Newsday piece here.

Missouri State Senator Seeks Action on KQQZ, St. Louis Personality Bob Romanik.  The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Missouri State Senator Jamilah Nasheed has petitioned the FCC to take action against KQQZ-AM, St. Louis and radio host Bob Romanik for language used on his program.  Although the story does not report Romanik’s exact words, Jack Suntrup writes that Romanik’s program “has used the n-word and various misogynistic and homophobic slurs over the years.”  Nasheed’s letter to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai states, in part, “Our nation has witnessed a horrific increase in white nationalist activity, due in part to the normalization and toleration of hate-speech.  Too often, racist views are turned into violent action through the encouragement of racist personalities like Mr. Romanik and radio stations like 1190 KQQZ-AM.” She is asking the FCC to fine Romanik and revoke KQQZ’s license.  The story quotes station assistant GM Bill Thomas saying, “As soon as they take the n-word off all the black radio stations throughout this country — on all the rap stations, on all the comedic routines that the blacks use the n-word — then we’ll quit using it.”  Read the story here.

SiriusXM Reports Q1 2018 Net Income Up 6%. Net income in the first quarter of 2018 for satellite radio operator SiriusXM was $289 million, up from $207 million a year ago (an increase of 6%).  It added 330,000 total net subscribers and says that it hit the 33 million-mark for total subscribers for the first time.  Operating cash flow climbed 34% to $415 million.  SiriusXM CEO Jim Meyer says, “SiriusXM has come out of the gate strong in 2018.  Our 6% growth in revenue would have been 8% absent the change in generally accepted accounting principles that was effective January 1st, and we are pleased with our 6% growth in adjusted EBITDA given the sharp increase in our music royalties also beginning January 1st.  We are on-track to meet all of our full-year guidance, and I’m thrilled to announce we topped 33 million paying subscribers.”

WBZ-AM, Boston Reporter Lana Jones Dies Suddenly at 62.  The circumstances surrounding her death have not been made public but longtime radio news pro Lana Jones – a reporter for WBZ-AM, Boston – collapsed at her home late Tuesday and died early this morning (4/25).  On its website, WBZ-AM wrote: WBZ News Radio 1030 is deeply saddened by the passing of one of their veteran news reporters, Lana Jones.  Lana died suddenly this morning at UMass Medical Center in Worcester.  She was an outstanding journalist who will be severely missed by her colleagues and friends in the Boston media.  “Lana was the consummate professional who could take a hundred-page Supreme Court Decision and boil it down into a concise report for our listeners,” said Bill Flaherty, WBZ Program Director. “She knew everyone and everything. She will be greatly missed.”  Alan Chartrand, President of the iHeartMedia Boston Region, said “I’ve always admired Lana’s work on WBZ Radio. She took the tough stories and made them easy to understand. Our deepest sympathies go out to Lana’s family and the newsroom.”  Lana Jones was a general assignment reporter for WBZ Newsradio 1030.  Jones began her broadcast career in Toledo, Ohio while studying Special Education at Bowling Green State University. A native of Warren, Ohio, Jones moved to Worcester, Massachusetts in 1981 to join the staff of WAAF. There she anchored the news and hosted a weekly talk show on local youth issues. From 1983 to 1988, Jones was a news anchor and reporter for WMJX, Boston. She worked as a reporter for the former WHDH radio from 1989 to 1991. Jones is survived by her husband Steve who resides in Worcester, Massachusetts.

TALKERS News Notes. The acquisition of Tribune’s television and radio assets by Sinclair Broadcast Group is getting a little closer to a done deal after Sinclair agreed to divest of 23 television stations in 18 markets in order to assuage the Justice Department and the Federal Communications Commission.  As a result, WGN-AM (along with WGN-TV) will be part of the new Sinclair.  Previously, the company had planned to sell the Chicago radio and TV stations but operate them via joint sales and shared services agreements…..Entercom Communications will announce its first quarter 2018 financial results on Tuesday, May 8.  This will be the first full quarter Entercom has been operating the former CBS RADIO stations since that acquisition closed in November of 2017…..Cumulus Media news/talk WBAP, Dallas “News/Talk 820 AM” is hosting the third annual WeatherCon at the Frontiers of Flight Museum this Saturday, April 28.  The event is a free, family-friendly event that features informative and entertaining weather seminars throughout the day, including a session hosted by WBAP chief meteorologist Brad Barton with WFAA-TV chief meteorologist Pete Delkus…..Nationally syndicated “Motley Fool Money” with host Chris Hill adds new affiliate stations WNTK-FM, New London and WUVR-AM, Lebanon in New Hampshire…..The “Financial Focus Radio” show moves from affiliate KUIK to crosstown KBNP in Portland.  The weekly show is hosted by Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management partners Troy Reinhart and Tyler Simones…..The long-running “Freakonomics Radio” podcast is moving from the WNYC platform to Midroll Media’s Stitcher platform. Stitcher has inked journalist and best-selling author Stephen J. Dubner to co-produce the podcast and to expand the “Freakonomics Radio” brand through existing and new content.

Trump-Macron Visit, Trump’s Kim Jong Un Comment, Judge’s DACA Decision, Trump-Russia Investigation/Comey Book, Ronny Jackson Nomination, Deadly Toronto Van Attack, NRA-Yeti Flap, and MLB Action and NBA Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/24). The official state visit by French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte with President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania; criticism of President Trump’s statement calling North Korea dictator Kim Jong Un “very honorable”; U.S. District Judge John D. Bates rules against President Trump’s attempt to end the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents and the related book by fired FBI Director James Comey; White House physician Ronny Jackson’s imperiled secretary of veteran affairs nomination due to allegations of professional misconduct; the case of accused Toronto van attacker Alek Minassian; the destruction of Yeti products by NRA members upset over a change in the company’s discount programs; and Major League Baseball action and the NBA playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Three programming pros get new roles with iHeartMedia’s Arizona region, all effective May 3.  Reid Spivey is named assistant program director and PM drive host for country KNIX, Phoenix.  He was most recently APD for sister CHR KZZP and hot AC KMXP.  Spivey will work with music director Lois “Double L” Lewis and program director Steve GeofferiesRameen Madani joins iHeartMedia Phoenix as assistant program director for KZZP and KMXP.  David Adams has added duties as program director for KDWR-LP “My 92.9,” where he will be responsible for the day-to-day programming operations and work closely with on-air personalities and sales to oversee the station’s on-air content, digital footprint and music programming.  He will continue to serve as senior vice president of programming for iHeartMedia Tucson…..Josh Martinez is named program director for iHeartMedia’s CHR WKFS, Cincinnati “Kiss 107.1.”  Previously, Martinez served as program director for stations in Dayton and Cedar Rapids and as a music director in Des Moines.  Cincinnati market president DJ Hodge says, “We knew this was the right time to promote Josh Martinez to program director.  Since the time he arrived, he has made significant inroads to improve both the trajectory of the station and our ability to successfully engage with our growing audience.  The future is very bright for both Josh and ‘Kiss 107.1.’”…..Max Kachinske takes on the newly-created position of corporate programming assistant at Midwest Communications. The position is based in Green Bay and Kachinske will leave his evening show gig at Neuhoff Media’s WFMB-FM, Springfield, Illinois.  Kachinske says, I’m beyond excited to begin working with such a respected programmer in Jeff McCarthy and the amazing group at Midwest Communications.  This is something I couldn’t begin to dream up that became a reality.  I can’t wait to get started.”…..Pittsburgh country outlet WDSY “Y108” announces the lineup for the station’s 7thannual “Y108 8 Man Jam” concert.  The show will feature: Joe Nichols, David Lee Murphy, Eric Paslay, Jordan Davis, Michael Tyler, Cale DoddsRyan Hurd, and Mitchell Tenpenny on Thursday, May 24 at Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh’s North Shore.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

| November 29, 2016

harrisonupclosefaroutsmallMulti-Media Communications Artist Jay Mohr Guests This Week on Harrison Podcast.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison describes nationally-syndicated Fox Sports Radio host Jay Mohr as a “remarkably diverse and original multi-media communications artist” and welcomes him as his guest this week on the award-winning PodcastOne series “Up Close and Far Out.”  In addition to being heard daily as a sports talker on more than 160 stations, Mohr is an acclaimed stand-up comic (one of the “100 Greatest of All Time” according to Comedy Central) and an accomplished actor who has starred or appeared in more than 25 movies (including “Jerry McGuire” and “Picture Perfect”) and 50 television shows (including “Gary Unmarried” and “Ghost Whisperer”).  Between 1993 and 1995, he served as a cast member on “Saturday Night Live.”  He’s beenmohrjay nominated for an Emmy and a Grammy.  He is the author of two best-sellers, Gasping for Airtime: Two Years in the Trenches of Saturday Night Live (Hachett, 2004) and No Wonder My Parents Drank: Tales from a Stand-Up Dad (Simon & Schuster, 2010).  He also hosts a weekly PodcastOne series, “Mohr Stories.”  Harrison and Mohr talk about comedy, radio (and really rip apart the PPM), and sports as well as philosophy, space and time.  Harrison says, “Mohr is startlingly candid and thoughtfully provocative.  Our audience of ‘media freaks’ around the world will love this one.”  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com and RadioInfo.com.

ppmunitNielsen Audio Releases Round Four of November 2016 PPM Data.  The fourth and final round of November 2016 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Austin, Milwaukee, Indianapolis, Providence, Raleigh, Norfolk, Nashville, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford.  The November 2016 survey period covered October 6 to November 2.  You can find the complete 6+ ratings numbers from subscribing stations here.  Additionally, TALKERS/RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Twelve Takeaways” from this group on the main page of our sister publication here.

Report: Conservative Media Personality Monica Crowley Possibly Up for Trump Administrationcrowleymonica Post.  Current Fox News Channel analyst and Washington Times columnist (and former, longtime radio talk show host) Monica Crowley is reportedly being considered for a position on the Trump Administration’s communications team.  The New York Post reports that it’s unclear if Crowley is being considered for Press Secretary or another position in the West Wing.

NBA Great Elvin Hayes to Host Weekly Show on SB Nation Radio.  Basketball legend – and NBA Hall-of-Famer Elvin Hayes is debuting a new, weekly radio show on SB Nation Radio, starting this sbnationSaturday (12/3) at 12:00 midnight ET.  The show, “In the Post,” will include co-host Joe George and will “provide interviews and analysis from all the biggest newsmakers in college and pro basketball.”  SB Nation PD/COO Craig Larson states, “I’m absolutely thrilled to have Elvin Hayes on the network.  There are very few athletes who have made an impact on a particular city more than Elvin has for Houston.  His combination of grace and charm are as present on radio as they have always been on the hardwood.”

Odds & Sods. Effective in the New Year, Westwood One will no longer be offering the weekend “Best of John Batchelor” program.  His nightly program on the network continues to air…..In Pittsburgh, Shelley Duffy has exited CBS RADIO’s news/talk KDKA, Pittsburgh where she was a personality on the afternoon drive “KDKA Afternoon News” with Robert Mangino.

Jill Stein Recount Effort/Trump ‘Voter Fraud’ Charge, Trump Transition, ‘Fake News’ Phenomenon, Ohio State Knife Attacker, Castro Death Aftermath, Holocaust Ice Dance Controversy, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/28).  The controversy over Green Party candidate Jill Stein’s efforts to force recounts in hope that Hillary Clinton will be declared winner of the presidential race, tied with Donald Trump’s claims that millions voted fraudulently; the Trump transition and the ongoing filling of cabinet positions; talk about “fake news” and the role it played in the election; the attacks on students at Ohio State by a knife-wielding student; the death of Fidel Castro and criticism of various heads of state for praising the Cuban dictator; the bizarre holocaust-themed ice dance performed by the wife of a high-level aid to Vladimir Putin; and the weekend’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

mackquatroGraham Mack Interviews All-Girl Band Pioneer Suzi Quatro on TalkersRadio’s ‘London Calling.’  In one of the latest episodes of “London Calling,” host Graham Mack talks to Suzi Quatro in the kitchen of her Elizabethan mansion in Essex.  Suzi shares stories about life on the road in an all-girl band touring the USA before she moved to Britain, how her life changed when she met British record producer Mickie Most, and how at the age of 18 and pregnant by a married man she made the difficult decision to terminate the pregnancy.  She tells Mack, “I carry the stigma of that forever.”  “London Calling with Graham Mack” is a weekly show produced in the UK specifically for TalkersRadio, TALKERS magazine’s special online radio experimental workshop and program showcase.  Suzi Quatro (r) is pictured with Graham Mack (l).  To listen to the entire episode of “London Calling” please click here.

CMG’s Bill Hoffman to Receive BFoA’s Lifetime Achievement Award.  The third Lifetime Achievement Award bestowed by the Broadcasters Foundation of America will go to Cox Media Group president Bill Hoffman.  He will be honored during the Golden Mike Award dinner on Monday, February 27, 2017, at the Plaza Hotel in New York City.  The gala is a major fundraiser for the mission of the Broadcasters Foundation of America to help broadcasters in need.  Hoffman states, “I am honored to be recognized by the Broadcasters Foundation ofhoffmanbill America.  I have always been proud of our industry for the generous donations from individual broadcasters, stations, and groups across the country.  It is only with that kind of support that the Broadcasters Foundation can continue to help those in our business who need it most.”  BFoA chairman Dan Mason comments, “Bill is a respected leader in broadcasting, and we are proud to recognize his accomplishments at Cox and his contributions to our industry.  As a member of our Board for several years, Bill has helped us advance our mission of helping every broadcaster who qualifies for help.”  The Broadcasters Foundation has distributed millions of dollars in aid to broadcasters who have lost their livelihood through a catastrophic event, debilitating disease or unforeseen tragedy.  Personal donations can be made to the Foundation’s Guardian Fund.  Corporate contributions are accepted through the Angel Initiative, and bequests can be made through the Foundation’s Legacy Society.  For more information, please visit www.broadcastersfoundation.org, call 212-373-8250, or email info@thebfoa.org.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

| February 11, 2016

imusdonDon Imus to Be Honored with the TALKERS 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award.  The TALKERS editorial board announced today (2/11) that one of the most colorful, controversial, and venerable radio personalities of all time, John Donald Imus Jr. – mononymously known as Imus – has been named the 2016 recipient of the prestigious TALKERS Lifetime Achievement Award.  The 75-year-old legend has been heard on radio since 1968 on a variety of heritage stations including WGAR and WHK in Cleveland as well as WNBC and WFAN in New York.  He has hosted cable TV shows on MSNBC and more recently Fox Business Channel.  He presently hosts his long-running show “Imus in the Morning” on WABC, New York.  Imus, author of numerous books and performer on several hit comedy albums, is a complex broadcasting figure known both for being a politically incorrect insult-artist as well as being a humanitarian and philanthropist, particularly in the battle against childhood cancer.  Imus has won four NAB Marconi Awards, three for Major Market Personality of the Year in 1990, 1992 and 1997 and one for Network Syndicated Personality in 1994. He inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame in 1989 and was named one of the 25 Most Influential People in America by Time magazine in 1997. In 2002, TALKERS magazine ranked Imus as one of the 25 Greatest Radio Talk Show Hosts of all Time.  In making the announcement on behalf of the board, TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “If Don Imus doesn’t deserve this spoken-word radio award, no one does.  His unique position, diversity of styles, capacity for reinvention – not to mention influence on the industry, pop culture and politics – stand out among a rarified handful of bold performers who have made broadcasting history.”  The award will be presented to Imus at the forthcoming TALKERS 2016: Bridging the Generations convention set for Friday, May 20 at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York.  It is hoped that he will be in attendance to receive the award personally, despite his challenge with health issues and present home-base in Texas.  True to form, the legend tells TALKERS, “My wife thinks I should do this – be gracious and accept your idiotic award.”

levinmarkCumulus and Mark Levin Agree to ‘Lifetime Extension.’  Both Westwood One EVP of news/talk Bart Tessler and talk radio star Mark Levin jokingly use the term “lifetime” to describe the new contract extension between the two parties, but nine years seems like a lifetime in the world of radio contracts.  Levin says, “I could not be more pleased to extend my radio partnership withwestwood one NEW Cumulus/Westwood One.  For the next nine years — an unprecedented long-term relationship in the broadcasting industry — I am committed to continuing to bring the best possible program, both substantive and entertaining, to my millions of beloved and loyal listeners each and every day.”  Tessler adds, “To know that we’ll be working together for so many years is a Mark Levin show primary victory and a big win for affiliates, advertisers, and listeners.  Mark’s tenure will now exceed that of a two-term president and that means continued excellence on the air on a nightly basis.”  The company says Levin’s show “not only covers the most critical events of the day, but delves into history, economics, philosophy, and the constitution – and continues to be an enormous ratings and revenue winner for Westwood One and for the more than 300 stations that broadcast the show.

entercomEntercom Reports 2015 Net Revenue Up 8%.  2015 was a good year for Entercom.  The company reported net revenue for the fourth quarter was $117.7 million – up 16% from the same period a year ago.  For the year of 2015 net revenue was $411.4 million, an increase of 8%.  These figures include the impact of the transaction with Lincoln Financial Media and the stationfielddavid exchange with Bonneville International Corporation which started in July.  But the impressive revenue hike is not just the result of additional signals; president and CEO David Field notes that the company’s stations performed well.  “I am pleased to report that Entercom’s performance continued to accelerate into the fourth quarter, capping a very successful 2015…Fourth quarter same-station revenue increased by 5%, excluding political advertising.  This marked the second straight quarter of mid-single digit organic growth.  We are very well positioned for success in 2016 with an expanded market footprint, strong station ratings growth, and enhanced digital and customer marketing capabilities.  Our pacings look strong and we are optimistic about our potential to deliver excellent results for our shareholders in 2016 and the years ahead.”

baligianmazaweyfellhauerGreater Media’s ‘Detroit Sports 105.1’ Moves Baligian, Mazawey & Fellhauer to Mornings.  The trio of Sean Baligian, Tom Mazawey and Marc Fellhauer is currently heard in the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm slot on Greater Media’s WMGC “Detroit Sports 105.1.”  Beginning Tuesday (2/16), they will move to morning drive, replacing ESPN Radio’s Mike & Mike.  ESPN’s Ryan & Rico will now be heard from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm and the afternoon drive show co-hosted by Matt Dery and Drew Sharp will start at 2:00 pm.   Station program director Dave Shore says, “We feel this new lineup will give our dedicated motor city sports fans a more local sports experience.  We are very grateful to ESPN’s Mike & Mike for their contributions to the station.”

iheartmedia logo smallFive iHeartMedia Programmers Boosted. Trading in their titles of senior vice president of programming to become division executive vice president of programming for iHeartMedia‘s national programming group are Tony Coles, Steve Geofferies, Andrew Jeffries, Thea Mitchem, and Meg Stevens. Along with fellow division executive vice president of programming Gene Romano, they will report to iHeartMedia national programming group executive vice president and general manager Brad Hardin. According to national programming group president Tom Poleman, “Great programming is the foundation of our stations. We are fortunate to have an amazing group of local program directors leading our brands. The collaboration between local programming and the iHeartMedia national programming group unlocks the unparalleled scale and assets of iHeartMedia, providing us with unmatched resources which benefit each and every one of our stations.” Formerly organized into major and regional market groups, iHM is now comprised of four geographic divisions, each led by a division president. Jeffries and Geofferies are working in the West division with Greg Ashlock; Coles is in the Central with Matt Martin; Mitchem and Stevens in the Northeast with Hartley Adkins; and Romano is teamed with Tom McConnell in the Midwest-Southeast division.

NH Primary Aftermath/Presidential Race, Hillary Clinton Emails Investigation, Record Low Oil Prices/Financial Markets Activity, Iran-U.S. Navy Incident, U.S. Afghanistan Forces Strengthened, European Refugee Problems, Zika Virus Concerns, and Beyonce Super Bowl Performance Flap Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/10).  The analysis of Tuesday’s New Hampshire presidential primary and the activities of the candidates for president; the ongoing investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server for State Department business; the continuing downward trend in oil prices, the world’s financial markets activity, and concerns about a new recession; Iran’s gloating over the incident with a U.S. Navy patrol; the U.S. increases peacekeeping troops in Afghanistan; the troubles European nations are experiencing dealing with Syrian refugees; concerns about a Zika virus pandemic and reports of cases in 20 U.S. states; and ongoing criticism of Beyonce’s performance at the Super Bowl were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Odds & Sods.  KEIR, Idaho Falls is expanding its local content.  Riverbend Communications general manager Bill Fuerst tells East Idaho News that the station wants to give more voice to its listeners.  “Idaho’s Morning News with Dylan Carder” will expand to two hours – airing from 7:00 am to 9:00 am – and Mark Richardson will host a new, hour-long afternoon show at 3:00 pm…..Podcasting and audio-video streaming experts StreamGuys are attending “Proclaim 16” – the NRB International Christian Media Convention and Exposition – to share their expertise to assist worship communities extend their reach.  StreamGuys says Matt Kellogg (who joined the company from the recently shuttered Live365) will lead the company’s engagements with houses of worship and religious organizations…..ESPN Radio will present radio coverage of the NBA’s 65th All-Star Game on Sunday (2/14) from the Air Canada Centre in Toronto.  This will be ESPN Radio’s 20th year covering the game.  In the booth will be Kevin Calabro and Jon Barry with reporters Marc Stein and Shelley SmithMarc Kestecher will host the pre-game and halftime coverage with analyst P.J. Carlesimo.

harrisonUpCloseFarOutsmallMichael Harrison and Tom Leykis Chat About the Past, Present and Future of Audio Media. Legendary broadcast radio performer and pioneering online radio entrepreneur Tom Leykis joins TALKERS magazine publisher Michael Harrison as this week’s guest on PodcastOne’s international hit, “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.” The two engage in an extensive, one-on-one discussion about Leykis’ colorful career that spannedleykistom decades as a talk show host on some of America’s highest-profile radio stations and during which time his on-air persona ranged from outrageous “shock jock” to edgy “progressive” political news/talker. Today, Leykis approaches the fourth anniversary of his successful online radio enterprise, The New Normal – a multifaceted platform upon which he streams his daily, live, listener call-in program, “The Tom Leykis Show,” as well as a podcast for radio talents Gary & Dino. A separate iteration of The New Normal delivers two streaming music channels – pop and rock – personally curated by Leykis. Leykis discusses his leading-edge business model that includes a mix of advertising, subscriptions, merchandising and live events – now generating upwards of $600,000 annual gross revenue. The two venerable pros talk about targeting Millennials, the nature of “authenticity” as it applies to today’s younger demos, the scope of non-traditional revenue and various aspects of media theory as it applies to 21st century communications. To listen to this entire uninterrupted conversation, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column of every page of Talkers.com and RadioInfo.com.

Friday, January 3, 2014

| January 3, 2014

wlup logoCumulus to Acquire Merlin Media’s Chicago Signals – WKQX and WLUP-FM.  Variations of this deal had been rumored in the Windy City for some time.  Scuttlebutt heard in the late fall also had Tribune interested in WLUP-FM due to WGN president Jimmy de Castro’s earlier comments that his company is looking to acquire an FM signal inwkqx Chicago.  But now it comes to pass that Cumulus Media – for a sum yet-to-be-announced – will bring classic rock WLUP-FM and WKQX (currently adult hits WIQI at 101.1) into the company’s portfolio in addition to the alternative format airing on WKQX-LP.  Speaking about the sale, COO John Dickey states, “These great brands will be welcome additions to the two legendary brands we already own in Chicago.”  Dickey says the alternative format under calls WKQX will return to the 101.1 frequency as early as next week.  The company also has no plans to change the classic rock format on WLUP-FM so it’s unlikely it will put the country NASH format on either station in the near future.  The acquisition of the two FM signals from Emmis by Randy Michaels-led Merlin took place in 2011 and the alternative format of WKQX was displaced by a news and talk format that was to target females.  The format never took off and was flipped to adult hits a little less than a year later in July of 2012.

grantbobnmsExclusive Never-Before Seen Video of Special Tribute to Bob Grant.  In 2008, now-defunct trade publication Radio & Records announced that it was going to present the late Bob Grant with its Lifetime Achievement Award at its then-annual convention.  Shortly after making the announcement, the publication rescinded the award in the face of threatened picketers that protested Grant’s selection based on their opposition to his stated views and controversial reputation.  WABC, then owned by Citadel and Grant’s home base at the time, stepped up to the plate and decided to present Grant with its own Lifetime Achievement Award.  The station, represented by its then-VP of programming, Phil Boyce, asked TALKERS magazine if it would be willing to host the ceremony at its annual conference (then known as the New Media Seminar) in New York City that summer.  TALKERS agreed and the ceremony was conducted (amidst protests) at the event’s Friday night cocktail party.  It featured the presentation of the award by Boyce and a magnificent acceptance speech by Grant in addition to a stunning video tribute to Grant’s career produced by renowned industry videographer and historian Art “Radio’s Best Friend” Vuolo.  After the event, the video was filed away in the TALKERS vaults for posterity and never seen again.  Until now, that is.  Upon the sad occasion of Bob Grant’s passing at the age of 84 this past New Year’s Eve, TALKERS has made the video available for public viewing.  To see this historic document which includes Grant’s discussion of talk radio’s role in a free society, its relationship with the First Amendment and the unconstitutionality of the repressive Fairness Doctrine please see the TalkersTV box at the top of the right hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

gormansteveFox Sports Radio Goes to Gorman for Afternoons.  As far as Fox Sports Radio is concerned, the next wave of sports talk talent may be coming from the world of rock music, as the network fills its weekday 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm slot with The Black Crowes’ founding member/drummer Steve Gorman.  “Steve Gorman Sports” debuts later this month (1/27) with a series of broadcasts leading up to the Super Bowl.  According to Clear Channel senior vicefoxsportsradio logo president of sports operations Bruce Gilbert, “‘Steve Gorman Sports’ is the perfect combination of sports, passion, pop culture, music and entertainment.  Fox Sports Radio is committed to serving sports fans with unique and entertaining insight, stories, and opinions surrounding the natural drama of sports.  Steve Gorman is an excellent addition to our leading, multi-platform, sports entertainment lineup.”  Gorman comments, “This is an amazing opportunity to be able to work with the one network I always felt was a perfect fit for my show.  I know listeners will love hearing athletes and musicians alike talking, laughing, and arguing about our shared passions: sports and music.”  Gorman has hosted several local sports shows; he began “Steve Gorman Sports” as a podcast in 2010.  With all times listed referring to the Eastern time zone, FSR’s revised lineup consists of: “Fox Sports Daybreak” with Andy Furman & Mike North (6:00 am – 9:00 am); “The Dan Patrick Show” (9:00 am – 12:00 noon); “Jay Mohr Sports” (12:00 noon – 3:00 pm); “Steve Gorman Sports” (3:00 pm – 6:00 pm); J.T. “The Brick” with Tomm Looney (6:00 pm – 10:00 pm); “The Jason Smith Show (10:00 pm – 2:00 am); and “The Ben Maller Show” (2:00 am – 6:00 am).

amezcuacarlosCarlos Amezcua PM Drive Host at ‘The Patriot’ in Los Angeles.  The newly transformed conservative talk outlet KEIB, Los Angeles (formerly progressive talker KTLK), now branded “The Patriot AM 1150,” has a new PM drive host as former KTTV-TV, Los Angeles news anchor Carlos Amezcua joins the station.  KEIB’s change includes Premiere Networks nationally syndicated hosts Rush LimbaughSean Hannity and Glenn Beck now airing at the station – Limbaugh slid over from sister news/talk KFI – and also includes The Blaze personality Doc Thompson in early mornings and Westwood One’s Clark Howard in evenings.

mancowGenesis Communications Network and Mancow Partner for Syndication.  Talk radio personality Erich “Mancow” Muller and Genesis Communications Network are partnering to distribute the Chicago-based morning program.  GCN states it is “excited to announce the arrival of the popular Mancow show featuring the notorious Erich ‘Mancow’ Muller and his controversial, snarky, hilarious and hard-hitting brand of talk radio.”

stonedaveLos Angeles Sports Radio Talent Dave Stone Passes. “This is one of the toughest things I’ve ever written.”  With that, iconic Los Angeles sports talk radio/mainstream talk radio programmer and on-air talent Joe McDonnell began his Facebook tribute to longtime Los Angeles sports voice Dave Stone, who passed away earlier this week at age 64.  He’d been diagnosed with ALS.  “I didn’t even know he was sick, which was typical of Dave,” McDonnell states.  “He did not want anyone to fuss over him – even when he was batting a terminal disease.  Dave was my first hire when I was putting together ESPN 710 [KSPN, Los Angeles] in 1999 – 2000.  He put his heart and soul into everything he did there.” Part of that lineup was “McDonnell-Douglas” consisting of McDonnell and veteran Los Angeles sportswriter Doug Krikorian; Stone did sports updates.  “Big Joe” first met Stone in the mid-1970s when they were competing for the job to operate the Dodger Stadium message board. “Dave beat me out, but it became a moment when I met one of the best friends I’ve ever had,” FoxSportsWest.com writer-reporter-columnist McDonnell states.  A notoriously famous Lakers fan, McDonnell nonetheless concedes that Stone might have been just as strong of a partisan of the NBA team.  “We would spend hours talking about [Jerry] West, [Elgin] Baylor, [Wilt] Chamberlain, Darrell Imhoff, and Archie Clark.  If he was a Lakers player, we knew about him.”  Stone was the public address announcer for more than 1,400 Harlem Globetrotter performances and McDonnell writes, “If the phone rang at 3:00 am, it might be Dave calling from Singapore to get the score of the Lakers game.”  In 1991, Stone was working at Huntsville, Alabama’s WVNN-WZYP and he hired a young afternoon drive talent named Sean Hannity. Mike Dunsmore worked with Stone at Fox Sports Radio from 2007 – 2009 and just this past year at NBC Sports Radio, where Stone was an update anchor.  “He had a booming voice, loved the Lakers, and despised [former Lakers player] Kwame Brown,” Dunsmore posts on Facebook. “Dave Stone was a class act.”  Former KLOS, Los Angeles program director Rita Wilde – currently doing evenings at cross-town KSWD “The Sound” – writes, “I had no idea he was sick – he was a great guy.”  McDonnell rhetorically states of Stone, “You have no idea how much I’m going to miss you.”  Services for Stone were held yesterday (Thursday, 1/2) at 2:00 pm in suburban Los Angeles (Simi Valley).

beckatom2012KOIL, Omaha’s Tom Becka Launches Podcast Project.  Talk radio pro Tom Becka – currently hosting afternoon drive at NRG Media’s KOIL, Omaha – announces the debut of a weekly podcast project that will be featured at his website tombecka.com.  Becka tells TALKERS, “TomBecka.com is a podcast page where I interview everyday people with a unique story to tell.  Think of it as NPR, but with personality and a pulse.  Some of the interviews that are helping me launch this are a woman who’s a breast cancer survivor, a soldier with PTSD, a drag queen, a woman who accidentally found out her bartender was the child she gave up for adoption 27 years ago, and a couple that practices polyamory.  Every Sunday I will add another podcast and so far I have a rodeo clown, a man with Asperger’s, and a drummer who has spent most of his life working the cruise ships.”  This project allows Becka to step outside of the format of a live, on-air talk radio show but still bring his own personality and style to these interview projects.  He says his ability to negotiate keeping ownership of his digital rights has allowed him to work on these types of initiatives.

schnitttoddOdds & Sods.  There’s been a minor lineup shuffle at Yahoo! Sports Radio where Sean Salisbury moves to the late afternoon “Prime Cut” show alongside current host John Granato.  Leaving that show to host the 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm ET program is Geoff Ketchum who replaces John Harris…..Compass Media Networks syndicated talk host Todd Schnitt announces changes in his show in a number of markets.  In Schnitt’s home market of Tampa, his program will be delay broadcast on WFLA from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm but will air live on sister station WHNZ from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm.   The show will also shift to early evening clearances on affiliates WQSC, Charleston, South Carolina and WTKS, Savannah, Georgia…..“Labor-Lines,” hosted by Vic Fusco, moves from former progressive talker WWRL, New York to its new home at Salem Communications’ WNYM, New York “AM 970 The Answer” where it airs Saturdays at 1:00 pm.

savagemichaelTALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  The Cumulus Media Networks-syndicated “Savage Nation” with Michael Savage is added to the programming lineup at KROP, Yuma, Arizona; KVPI, Lafayette, Louisiana; and WGSO, New Orleans…..Compass Media Networks talk host Todd Schnitt joins the program schedule at KNEW, San Francisco…..Rodger Fredinburg’s “Homeland Security” show joins the weekend program lineup at KMED, Medford, Oregon…..The Genesis Communications Network-syndicated Jason Lewis program is added to the program schedule at KNEW, San Francisco…..Also from GCN, the weekly Steve Sanchez program announces its new flagship station KFNX, Phoenix…..“Free Talk Live” featuring Ian Freeman and Mark Edge announces new affiliates: WXBR, Brockton, Massachusetts; WQXL-AM/FM, Columbia, South Carolina; KMMS-AM, Bozeman and KPRK-AM, Livingston, Montana; and KMED, Medford, Oregon…..From Salem Radio Network comes the following affiliate additions: Bill Bennett’s “Morning in America” is added to KVTA, Oxnard-Ventura; Mike Gallagher becomes part of the lineup at KGED, Fresno; the Dennis Prager show is added to WEZO, Augusta, Georgia; and Michael Medved joins the programming at WKEI, Kewanee, Illinois and WTIM-FM, Taylorville, Illinois.

Holidays and Year-in-Review Top Talk Topics for Week of Dec. 30 – Jan. 3.  The holidays and a look back at 2013 were the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  Following at #2 was criticism of the Affordable Care Act.  At #3 was the poor rating of Congress by the public followed by winter weather and discussions of global warming tied at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a list of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  To view this week’s entire chart, click here.