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Howard Stern’s Debut on “America’s Got Talent” Gets Mixed Ratings Results. Although billed as a “judge,” iconic talk radio star Howard Stern’s debut on NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” was one of the most-judged elements on the program. The show’s season opener was one of Monday’s top shows with a 3.6 average rating in the 18-49 demo but that number was down from the program’s debut episode last season when it scored 4.3 average rating. TVbytheNumbers reports the program faced stiffer competition this year. Ratings for reality talent and music competition programs are down pretty much across the board this season and Stern’s effect on “America’s Got Talent” will be hard to judge. The TV industry is dealing with softer ratings in prime time for almost all programming this season. Meanwhile, TALKERS editorial board members report noticing that it seemed strange seeing Stern in the role of prime time TV ”celebrity team player,” as opposed to being the focal point of his own edgy show. Those expecting anything approaching “The Howard Stern Show” came away disappointed — including media watchdog groups.
Cumulus to Move Atlanta All-Newser Closer to the City. Cumulus Media’s WYAY-FM, Gainesville, Georgia – soon to be the company’s new all-news outlet in the Atlanta market – will move from 106.7 to 106.5 and take Sandy Springs as its city of license if the FCC grants approval for the changes. The move would put the new station’s tower much closer to the downtown area. Currently, WYAY-FM’s class C signal emanates from a tower location about halfway between Atlanta and Athens to the east.
Social Media Ad Spending to Near $10 Billion by 2016. That’s from BIA/Kelsey’s U.S. Local Media Forecast and it predicts that ad spending on social media will climb from the 2011 level of $3.8 billion spent to $9.8 billion in 2016. The local segment of that revenue will go from 2011’s $840 million to $3.1 billion in 2016. BIA/Kelsey’s Jed Williams states, “Better performance, coupled with richer formats and creative elements, like video, will be the principal social ad market growth drivers. Social advertising’s local business penetration will steadily increase as SMBs’ understanding of social media deepens, and as the networks continually improve the ease of onboarding and campaign management. Facebook opening its Ads API to more partners, including those that work with SMBs, and Twitter’s self-serve platform will help to ‘democratize’ social ads, which will ultimately lead to more local growth.”
Emmis Stock Continues to Be Traded on the NASDAQ. Emmis’ listing on the NASDAQ was in jeopardy after falling under the $1 threshold late last year earning a de-listing notice from NASDAQ. But Emmis stock rose above the $1 mark in late April and even hit $1.63 on May 2. Emmis stated its case to a NASDAQ panel and the company was just informed it will continue to be traded on the board.
ESPN’s Scott Van Pelt Agrees to New Multi-Year Deal. Twelve-year ESPN personality Scott Van Pelt agrees to a new multi-year extension with ESPN to remain a SportsCenter anchor and host his eponymous daily sports talk radio program. Van Pelt joined ESPN in 2001 as its lead professional golf reporter. He says he’s thrilled how his career at ESPN has turned out. “I’ve always been a guy who was kind of on the wave wherever it took me. And somehow it took me to where it did and I’m thankful. I’m happy to stay in this boat, on this wave, until they’re done with me. . .None of this was even thinkable but here we are. It’s baffling to me.” The details of the new contract are not being disclosed.
WQAM, Miami Seals Contract Extension with University of Miami. The Beasley Broadcasting sports talk station agrees with Hurricane Sports Properties to a five-year contract extension to keep football and men’s basketball games on WQAM. The financial terms of the deal were not released. The deal also calls for a certain number of baseball games to air as well as the weekly coaches’ shows with Joe Zagacki. WQAM vice president and general manager Joe Bell states, “UM sports have been a huge part of WQAM for over a decade and we’re excited to continue that relationship. Our listeners have come to expect the best from WQAM and it doesn’t get any better than Hurricane sports.”
ESPN Radio Unveils New App for iPhone, iPad and iTouch. The sports entertainment giant announces it is releasing a new ESPN Radio app touting it as its “single, most definitive ESPN Radio app optimized for iPhone, iPod touch and – for the first time – iPad. The app, sponsored by Lowe’s, creates a seamless, personalized sports listening experience both live and on demand and includes a new feature that allows fans to build their own sports stations. Additionally, fans now have the option to rewind live audio streams, including ESPN Deportes Radio.” ESPN digital and print media vice president Marc Horine says, “With this update, fans now have complete control over their listening experience as the app provides the functionality to customize specifically by sports, teams and athletes they care most about.”
Euro Zone Tensions, Financial Markets Activity, 2012 Presidential Race, Obama Gay Marriage Stance, and Trayvon Martin Case Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/15). The possibility of Greece’s exit from the EU; the European effect on world financial markets; the 2012 presidential race; President Obama’s stance on gay marriage; and new information about George Zimmerman’s injuries in the Trayvon Martin case were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.