Entercom CEO David Field Issues Companywide Memo Regarding Merger. In a memo that was also filed with the SEC under rule 425, Entercom president and CEO David Field encourages staffers to stay focused on their programming and sales goals as the company and CBS RADIO move toward the merger, scheduled to close in the second half of this year. Field writes, in part, “We are creating a truly preeminent radio company with an extraordinary platform of the industry’s best local brands, personalities, content and marketing solutions covering virtually all of the nation’s top 50 markets. The new Entercom will be a leading local media and entertainment company with strong positions in radio, digital, events, news, sports, music and entertainment. With close to $2 billion in annual sales, a value of over $4 billion, and a very strong financial position, we will have the scale and resources to compete aggressively with other media for a significantly larger share of advertising dollars…Until the transaction closes, Entercom and CBS RADIO will continue to operate as separate and independent companies and it is business as usual. We ask that you stay focused on delivering great content to our listeners and providing the best media and marketing solutions to our advertisers. With every passing day, I become even more excited about this combination and the opportunities it will create for our listeners, customers, shareholders, the radio industry, and most importantly, our outstanding team. As this process continues, we will do our best to keep you informed, providing you with periodic updates when we are able to do so. As always, thank you for your continued hard work, dedication and leadership.”
iHeartMedia Names Pickett EVP Marketing, Digital Products. Marketing pro Donna Pickett comes to iHeartMedia’s New York offices from her most recent role as VP of performance based media at Cannella Response Television. She also worked at Time Life for more than 20 years, including as senior vice president. At iHeartMedia, she’ll be EVP of marketing, digital products and report to Darren Davis. The company says Pickett will work closely with iHeartRadio chief product officer Chris Williams to “align all marketing and product/programming efforts.”
Only Three Slots Remaining for FAIR’s ‘Hold Their Feet to the Fire’ Radio Row in Washington. Broadcasters wishing to take part in the annual Washington, DC radio row event “Hold Their Feet to the Fire” – produced by Federation for American Immigration Reform – should contact event manager Cassie Williams at email@example.com today! FAIR executive director Bob Dane tells TALKERS magazine, “FAIR’s 11th annual ‘Hold Their Feet to the Fire’ radio row is one for the record books. Over 60 hosts are confirmed to attend this year’s special ‘Let’s Make America Great Again’ broadcast which will evaluate the progress the new administration is making toward securing the border and enforcing immigration laws. Radio row is staged at the Phoenix Park hotel on Capitol Hill Wednesday and Thursday June 28 and 29. Morning drive is now full, but one midday and two afternoon booths are still available. FAIR covers most expenses, hotel accommodations, all equipment and coordinates guests from Capitol Hill and across the country.”
Crawford to Buy WCHB-AM, Detroit for $2 million. Motor City news/talk and jazz hybrid WCHB-AM will be sold by Radio One to Crawford Broadcasting for $2 million. According to Crain’s Detroit Business, the nationally syndicated Tom Joyner morning show will remain with Radio One, airing on translator W260CB at 99.9 FM. Current WCHB-AM personality Mildred Gaddis will move to Radio One’s Gospel WPZR. At this time, it’s unclear if Crawford intends to continue airing talk programming on WCHB.
TALKERS News Notes. Philadelphia’s Crossing Broad is reporting that sports talk WPEN-FM, Philadelphia “97.5 The Fanatic” morning sports update anchor and sidekick to Anthony Gargano, Maureen Williams, a.k.a. MCW, has left the station – possibly in a cost-saving move. It also appears that Gargano is not pleased with management’s actions…..Operations manager John Blake leaves the Cumulus Media Albany, Georgia six-station cluster for a position outside the radio business. Blake’s position included handling operations at news/talk WALG-AM in addition to its five music-formatted sister stations…..The Kevin Jackson show joins the Genesis Communications Network for national syndication, effective Monday (4/17). The program – which originally launched as “The Black Sphere Radio Show” on BlogTalk Radio in 2009 – will air live from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm ET…..ESPN’s WEPN-FM, New York “ESPN 98.7FM” was honored with three awards from the New York State Broadcasters Association in the large market radio division. The sports talk station won for: Best On-Air Broadcast Personality/Team – “Hahn, Humpty & Canty”; Best Station Sponsored Event – for the Michael Kay show’s “The Great Sports Debate” live at Fordham University; and Outstanding Commercial for a campaign for client New York Sports Clubs.
U.S.-Russia Relations/Syria Gas Attack, North Korea’s Nuclear Program, Trump-Bannon Relationship, Sean Spicer Apology, United Airlines Passenger Removal Scandal, Daily Mail-Melania Trump Settlement, NBA Playoffs, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/12). Tensions between Russia and the U.S. over the two nations’ Syria policies, and the aftermath of Syria’s alleged use of sarin gas on its citizens; North Korea’s nuclear missile program and reports of an imminent bomb test; speculation about the future of presidential adviser Stephen K. Bannon; White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer’s apology for his remarks about Hitler’s use of gas on Jews; the backlash against United Airlines over its rough removal of a passenger; First Lady Melania Trump’s libel settlement with the Daily Mail; the NBA playoff teams are set; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Alan Taylor on ‘LIVE with Kelly!’ Nationally syndicated auto talk host Alan Taylor (right) poses for a photo with Kelly Ripa (left) – host of “LIVE with Kelly!” – after appearing on the program this week during Auto Show Week. Taylor is appearing all week to show off the top automobiles in all categories. Earlier this week he showcased new vehicles with Ripa and celebrity guest hosts Morris Chestnut, Vin Diesel, and Carrie Ann Inaba.
Dan Mason to Speak at TALKERS 2017: A New Era. One of the most respected broadcasters in the radio business, Dan Mason, has joined the stellar roster of speakers at the forthcoming 20th annual installment of the longest-running and most important annual convention in the talk media industry – TALKERS 2017: A New Era. The convention takes place on Friday, June 2 in New York City. Mason, who retired from his long standing position as CEO of CBS RADIO in 2015, currently serves as chairman of the Broadcasters Foundation of America as well as senior adviser of broadcast relations for iHeartMedia. In addition, Mason has been pursuing his passion for sportscasting as a commentator on women’s college basketball for the CBS Sports Network and a horse racing analyst for NBC Sports Radio and the Horse Racing Radio Network. Mason will participate in one of the exciting series of “fireside chats” that will mark the updated format of this year’s conference. He will be interviewed by WPGG, Atlantic City’s popular morning host Harry Hurley – the recipient of last year’s TALKERS Humanitarian of the Year Award. Hurley will also present Mason with a check in the amount of $1,000 for the BFoA from his Hurley in the Morning Charity. For more information about TALKERS 2017: A New Era please click here.
TALKERS 2017: A New Era to Present Blockbuster Agenda. The agenda for the rapidly approaching 20th annual installment of the talk media industry’s biggest and most important national convention – TALKERS 2017: A New Era – continues to grow and its organizers are saying that it is one of the best in the colorful history of the storied event.
The power-packed, one-day event will take place in New York City on Friday, June 2 at the Helen Mills Theater and Event Space in the Chelsea district of Manhattan.
Speakers include a variety of industry figures from talk media ownership, management, programming, sales, talent, and technology and the topics will focus on the key issues, challenges and opportunities facing the medium at the dawn of what TALKERS founder Michael Harrison describes as “a dynamic new chapter in the history of human communications and the limitless potential of talk media’s position within it.”
New Brisk Format
The speaking sessions will feature a newly developed format consisting largely of keynote fireside chats, solo addresses and intimate one-one-one conversations.
There will be specially curated exhibits of the latest services and equipment available to broadcasting professionals. Exhibitors displaying the latest innovations of importance to both on air and online broadcasters include (in alphabetical order): Backbone Networks, Broadcast Bionics, Broadcasters General Store, Comrex Corporation and Wheatstone among others.
The event will also provide its attendees with unparalleled networking opportunities and social mixers including breakfast, lunch and a closing cocktail reception.
Convention Faves Hannity and Francesa Return
Reprising their traditional roles at this event as morning kickoff speakers will be Premiere Networks/Fox News Channel star Sean Hannity and WFAN, New York afternoon drive icon, Mike Francesa. TALKERS VP and executive editor Kevin Casey says, “These giants of talk are extremely popular attractions for the attendees of this convention. Each year, they bring to the table their insights into the leading edge action on the news/talk and sports talk fronts as they consistently maintain their positions as two of the most important players in the game.”
Jeff Smulyan to Keynote
Emmis Communications chairman/CEO/founder Jeff Smulyan will participate in a keynote fireside chat with Michael Harrison discussing his views of audio media’s past, present and future as one of the most visionary leaders in the radio industry. Smulyan is the leading advocate of getting FM-enabled wireless devices in smartphones. He shepherded the unification of the radio industry behind the installation of the Emmis-created NextRadio application in a broad array of FM-enabled wireless devices, allowing consumers to listen to their local radio stations without data charges. He also was the original architect and creator of the all-sports talk format.
Pattiz on Podcasting
Westwood One founder and PodcastOne executive chairman Norm Pattiz will deliver an address about optimizing the relationship between local radio and podcasting, covering programming, sales and promotion.
A Tribute to Dr. Joy Browne, Alan Colmes and Tom Marr
Westwood One syndicated legend Jim Bohannon will deliver a special memorial tribute to three of the industry’s most notable talk show hosts (and popular participants in the TALKERS Convention) who passed away this past year – Dr. Joy Browne, Alan Colmes and Tom Marr.
Heavyweights and Star Power
In addition to the above, TALKERS 2017: A New Era will feature a star-studded roster of more than 50 key industry figures in various speaking roles including (in alphabetical order): Dr. Asa, Dr. Asa Network; Mike “Bax” Baxendale, Rock 102, Springfield, MA; Ethan Bearman, KGO, San Francisco; Vince Benedetto, Bold Gold Media Group; David Bernstein, TalkersRadio; Michael Berry, iHeartMedia; Phil Boyce, Salem Media Group; Howie Carr, Howie Carr Radio Network; Kathy Carr, Howie Carr Radio Network; Kevin Casey, TALKERS; Heather Cohen, The Weiss Agency; Holland Cooke, Holland Cooke Media; Ron Hartenbaum, DGital Media; Bill Hess, WMAL, Washington, DC; Harry Hurley, WPGG, Atlantic City; Brian Kilmeade, Fox News Channel/Fox News Radio; Mike Kinosian, TALKERS; Tom Leykis, The New Normal; Graham Mack, BOB-FM, London, UK; Mike McVay, Cumulus Media; John T. Mullen, Radio Hofstra University; Craig Schwalb, WABC, New York; Doug Stephan, Stephan Multimedia; Chris Stigall, WPHT, Philadelphia; Julie Talbott, Premiere Networks; Steven JJ Weisman, Esq., Bentley University; and Larry Young, WOLB, Baltimore. More speakers will be announced in the days ahead.
The complete agenda will be posted in the coming days and weeks. As is customary, TALKERS 2017: A New Era is only open to members of the professional media industry and communications students. Because seating is limited and the event has been an early sellout every year since the 1990s, in order to maintain this policy, non-refundable registrations can only be purchased via telephone with a credit card. Full registration, including all functions, meals, and refreshments costs $329 per person. To register or obtain sponsorship information, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413. For hotel information please click here.
Tommy Hilfiger Visits WABC, New York. Fashion legend Tommy Hilfiger appears on this weekend’s edition of the WABC, New York show “Always in Fashion” with host Mark Weber. The program was recorded live during Hilfiger’s appearance at Cumulus Media’s Stage 17. Pictured here are (from l-r): Krantz Media Group president and CEO Gary Krantz, Mark Weber, Tommy Hilfiger, and 77WABC program director Craig Schwalb.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. At Albany Broadcasting’s CHR WFLY, Albany “FLY 92.3,” the new morning team of Jake Allen and Ashley Marie will begin hosting mornings on Monday (4/17). Allen moves to WFLY from the company’s sister country station WKLI “100.9 The Cat,” and Marie heads north from her most recent gig at Delmarva’s hot AC WAFL, Salisbury-Ocean City, Maryland…..Magic Broadcasting announces that David “No Sleep” Sebastian is the new afternoon drive host at its CHR WILN, Panama City, Florida “Island 106.” Sebastian’s previous stops include on-air gigs at Midwest Family Broadcasting’s hip hop WJQM, Madison “93.1 Jamz,” MacDonald Broadcasting’s hip hop WQHH, Lansing “POWER 96.5,” and CBS RADIO’s CHR WDZH “98.7 AMP Radio.”…..Signal Media’s country KHLR, Little Rock “106.7 The Ride” announces the addition of “promotions guru” and radio personality Matt Cruz to the staff as promotion & marketing director and assistant program director under Mike Kennedy, effective April 24…..Radio One debuts a new Saturday program on WOSF, Charlotte “Old School 105.3” hosted by former Charlotte Mayor Patrick Cannon called, “At The Table With Cannon.” Cannon just wrapped a year of house arrest after serving almost two years in federal prison for taking bribes from undercover FBI agents while service as mayor…..Adult hits WHCN, Hartford “105.9 The River” morning personality Joseph Aguiar is facing charges of third-degree assault, third-degree reckless endangerment and second-degree breach of peace after being identified as the man on a March 9 security video tape seen attacking another man from behind at a gas station, knocking the victim unconscious. Aguiar is free on $75,000 bond and has a court appearance set for April 25.
Millennials Schmillennials! Media consultant Holland Cooke presents what he calls an “instant sales meeting” for managers and AEs charged with marketing talk radio. It’s titled, “Grey Is Gold,” and offers some eye-popping facts about the value of upper-end Baby Boomers to retailers. Cooke notes that recent studies indicate fully one-third of 18-34-year-olds have no AM/FM radio at home and that radio’s most habitual users are Baby Boomers. Watch this video and see Cooke’s list of data points that can arm radio reps to pitch this demographic with a ton of disposable income. Then, share it with your sales staff. View the video in the Talkers TV box in the upper right-hand of this page or click here.
Trey Radel Returns to Mornings on ‘92.5 Fox News’ in Naples-Fort Myers. Prior to running for congress – and winning – Trey Radel worked in radio and television in the Naples-Fort Myers market. In fact, he left the morning show gig at Sun Broadcast Group’s WSFX “92.5 Fox News” to run for office. But once in Washington, Radel had a run-in with the law, getting busted buying cocaine. He gave up his seat, cleaned up and started a media consulting firm. The opportunity to get back into radio came up when WSFX morning host Drew Steele resigned to take a position with KSL-TV, Salt Lake City. Radel did fill-in work this summer before being officially named the new morning host last week. Read the Naples Daily News account here.
GCN to Continue Providing Affiliates with Dr. Joy Browne Show Until Replacement is Set – Special Series of Tribute Shows Begins this Friday (9/9). Because of the “timeless” nature of most of her shows, Genesis Communications Network (GCN) has announced that it will continue providing the large roster of the late Dr. Joy Browne’s affiliates with re-runs and “best of” programs from the iconic talk show host’s extensive archives for the next two weeks, punctuated by a series of three live “tribute” shows. The tribute shows will be hosted and organized by her close friend, TALKERS founder Michael Harrison. The Dr. Joy Browne program airs weekdays between 12:00 noon and 3:00 pm ET. The special tribute shows will run live on Friday, September 9 through Tuesday, September 13 presenting a combination of radio industry guests and listener calls discussing the life, career and work of the legendary broadcaster. Between Wednesday, September 14 and Friday, September 16, GCN will provide the affiliates with more archival Dr. Joy Browne content. After that, beginning Monday, September 19, the time slot will indefinitely be hosted live by Michael Harrison until a permanent replacement is named. Upon agreeing to keep the seat warm, Harrison states, “It is an honor to serve as interim host of Joy’s program. I deeply believe in her mission and the importance of keeping generalist, non-specifically political talk programming alive within the context of ‘news/talk’ during the daytime hours. I will do my best to provide her wonderful affiliates and audience with a meaningful listening experience within that time-honored radio tradition.” Harrison says he has cleared his schedule during that time slot for at least the rest of 2016 but will step out during that time frame if and when “a permanent replacement is named.” Simultaneously, GCN will be continuing to offer Dr. Joy Browne’s radio show, podcasts and archives to radio stations and listeners worldwide on a separate channel.
GCN Head Ted Anderson Expresses Deep Sentiments About the Passing of Dr. Joy Browne. In a statement to TALKERS, GCN founder and CEO Ted Anderson says, “I started listening to talk radio in the 1980s. Over my tenure I became a fan of Click & Clack [Tom and Ray Magliozzi], Bill Nye, and of course the beloved Dr. Joy Browne. As a business entrepreneur, it was natural for me to market my wares over the platform of talk radio. Developing the Genesis Communications Network became the best solution for a long term sustainable platform to reach a very loyal listening audience. As a radio fan iconic figures like Dr. Joy Browne were larger than life. Though Dr. Joy’s work and ethics far exceeded all expectations, having the chance to know her personally, I found a very down to earth non-egotistical, emotionally secure and may I add sexy woman. One could say that there are milestones business owners can refer to referencing success. Having the honor of producing the Dr. Joy Browne show will always be on the top of my list of accomplishments. My staff always found it to be a pleasure to work with Dr. Joy and we all are heartbroken from her sudden departure. In Dr. Joy’s honor, gcnlive.com will be continuing to offer her radio show, podcasts and archives to radio stations and listeners worldwide. Dr. Joy, I’ll always miss you.” Dr Joy Browne’s radio program was the longest running of its kind in syndication, airing on over 100 stations across the country. Her show offered millions of devoted listeners compassionate, practical and substantive advice on issues ranging from relationships and marriage, finance, work and career. Dr. Joy has won numerous awards for her work including the American Psychological Association’s President’s Award, the TALKERS magazine award for Best Female Talk Show Host (two years in a row), #10 on the list of the 25 Greatest Radio Talk Show Hosts of All Time, and she has been named one of the 100 Most Important Radio Talk Show Hosts in America (The Heavy Hundred) every year since that list’s inception the early 1990s.
Fox News Settles with Gretchen Carlson; Issues Apology. Numerous media reports are indicating that Fox News has settled the sexual harassment suit brought against its former chief Roger Ailes by on-air personality Gretchen Carlson for the sum of $20 million. The organization also issued an apology via a statement that reads, in part, “During her tenure at Fox News, Gretchen exhibited the highest standards of journalism and professionalism. She developed a loyal audience and was a daily source of information for many Americans. We are proud that she was part of the Fox News team. We sincerely regret and apologize for the fact that Gretchen was not treated with the respect and dignity that she and all of our colleagues deserve.” Meanwhile, another former Fox News personality – Andrea Tantaros – is suing the organization for sexual harassment, as well. However, Fox News attorneys filed to move the Tantaros suit to arbitration and, in doing so, called her an opportunist who is using the Carlson suit to obscure her alleged breach of contract.
Greta Van Susteren Abruptly Exits Fox News Channel. This morning’s surprise announcement by Fox News that 14-year Fox News Channel fixture Greta Van Susteren has exited the organization immediately comes as a shock to the public and industry insiders alike. In a press release, Fox News co-presidents Bill Shine and Jack Abernethy praised Van Susteren for her contributions to the network. Separately, Fox News’ Howard Kurtz is reporting that after Roger Ailes was ousted as Fox investigated allegations of sexual harassment against him, Van Susteren asked to renegotiate her contract and, when that didn’t happen, she exercised the “key man” clause in her contract that allowed her to leave if Ailes left. Brit Hume is assuming the hosting of the 7:00 pm ET “On the Record” program.
The Joy of Bundling. Radio sales maven Al Herskovitz writes today about a prescription for making those well-produced but oft-neglected weekend specialty shows profitable for the producers. Sure, they serve the stations well enough. They provide quality weekend programming that address lifestyle topics. But, too often the producers have to scrape just to get by. Enter: bundling. Read Al’s piece here.
The Presidential Race, The Labor Day Holiday, G20 Summit, Philippines’ Duterte Assaults Obama, Ongoing Kaepernick ‘Anthem’ Protest Issue, Saudi Arabia-Russia Oil Agreement, Merkel Party Defeat, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The activities of presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton; the Labor Day holiday; the G20 Summit meeting in Hangzhou, China, including President Obama’s meeting with Vladimir Putin regarding Syria; Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte’s verbal assault on President Obama; the ongoing controversy over Colin Kaepernick’s National Anthem protests; the agreement between Vladimir Putin and Saudi Arabia to stabilize oil prices; Germany’s Angela Merkel suffers defeat as her party loses in weekend elections and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend.
Odds & Sods. It’s football season again and Westwood One celebrating its 30th season as the exclusive network radio partner for the National Football League. It’s providing play-by-play coverage of the NFL’s national regular season package of primetime games and all postseason games, including Super Bowl LI. WW1 says that in addition to those 70 contests, it will broadcast 17 Sunday afternoon doubleheaders, resulting in a record-high 104 total NFL game broadcasts this season. The season kicks off this Thursday with the Panthers at the Broncos…..Satcaster SiriusXM is offering subscribers coverage of the 2016 NFL season, featuring live broadcasts of every game, plus in-depth NFL talk on its NFL Radio channel. SiriusXM’s NFL schedule will also include multiple Spanish-language broadcasts on SiriusXM channel 157 each week, including all primetime games on Sunday and Monday nights, the Thursday Night Kickoff game, Thanksgiving Day games, and select Sunday afternoon games during the regular season. Listeners will also get Spanish-language broadcasts for every playoff game.
By Walter Sabo
NEW YORK — Television stations have program directors. What do most of them program? Nothing. A network affiliate airs network shows, syndication packages and movie packages—usually bought by corporate. There may be a local morning show but it is probably under the auspices of the news department. When you receive a TV station program director’s business card it reveals the future of the radio programmers job: “Program and Research Director.”
There will be variations:
Program and Promotion Director
Program and Marketing Director
Program and Public Relations Director
Bill White Named PD at Journal’s ‘104.1 The Truth’ and ‘ESPN Tucson.’ Programming pro Bill White is the new program director at Journal Broadcast Group’s news/talk KQTH, Tucson “104.1 The Truth” and sports talk duo KFFN-AM/FM “ESPN Tucson.” Journal Tucson operations manager Shaun Holly says, “I am pleased to announce, after a long and exhaustive search, we have found the perfect program director for ‘104.1 The Truth’ KQTH and ‘ESPN Tucson’ 1490/1049fm KFFN-AM/FM and we are fortunate to add a team member with his talent and background of success.” Bill White comments, “I am thrilled to be joining Shaun Holly, vice president and general manager Jim Arnold and the talented team at ‘The Truth,’ ‘ESPN Tucson’ and Journal Broadcast Group/Tucson. Journal is a company committed to creating great local content through all media platforms: radio, TV, digital, and publishing. ‘The Truth’ and ESPN are strong brands and I am very excited to work with their talented lineup.” Bill White fills the programming slot left vacant when Ryan McCredden left to join CBS Radio Houston’s sports talk outlets KILT and KIKK. Upon learning of White’s appointment to this position, TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison stated, “Journal has made a brilliant move landing Bill White for this position and the Tucson market, which is a wonderful place to live and work, as well all of radio, will be better off for it. In my opinion, Bill White is one of the finest programmers and individuals in radio today.”
Beasley 2013 Q2 Net Revenue Up 8.3%. A good quarter for Beasley Broadcast Group as the company announces second quarter net revenue was up 8.3% on revenue of $26.9 million (compared to $24.8 million during the same period a year ago) and same station net revenue rose 4.2%. Beasley notes that the increase “reflects strength in the company’s Philadelphia, Fayetteville and Las Vegas market clusters, including the acquisition of KOAS-FM in Las Vegas during the 2012 third quarter.” In a statement chairman and CEO George Beasley says, “Beasley Broadcast Group generated its fourth consecutive period of top line growth as second quarter net revenue rose 8.3% and same station net revenue increased 4.2%. The increase in second quarter revenue reflects strong national and digital revenue growth which contributed to strength in several market clusters including Philadelphia, Las Vegas, Ft. Myers and Augusta. Overall, for our five markets that report to Miller Kaplan — which represent approximately 75% of our total second quarter revenue – Beasley station clusters grew revenue by 8.4% while the total revenue for all reporting radio stations in these markets declined by 2.4% for the quarter. We attribute our out-performance to our organization-wide focus on strong core programming and targeted localism, both of which are contributing to the Company’s ratings strength in its markets. Notwithstanding the solid revenue growth, comparisons of our other financial metrics with the year-ago period are clouded due to the operating expense credit in last year’s second quarter, and certain charges in the 2013 second quarter including a loss on the early extinguishment of debt and a prepayment fee incurred in connection with the refinancing of our second lien debt. In addition, recent initiatives in the areas of sales, programming and the further expansion of our digital offerings are expected to drive long-term revenue growth, but are resulting in higher operating expenses on a short-term basis.”
KSCO, Santa Cruz Talk Host Ethan Bearman Gets Huge Visibility from Needle Exchange Controversy. Local talk show host Ethan Bearman raised his already skyrocketing profile in the Santa Cruz market even further after local TV station KION, Salinas (and other traditional news organizations) picked up on his efforts to get a better grasp of how the community feels about a controversial needle exchange program. Bearman, (pictured here during the KION news segment) says he believes there is a disconnect between the community and the authorities on the newest needle exchange program designed to deal with the large number of used needles being found throughout the community left by intravenous drug users. Bearman initiated his own unofficial Santa Cruz needle exchange survey online asking 10 questions of the public about the problem and the program. The Health Services Agency and the citizens group Take Back Santa Cruz both put Bearman’s survey on their websites to try to feel the public’s mood. Bearman says he’ll deliver the results to the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors as well as the Santa Cruz City Council. The survey is closed and Bearman says he’ll have the results today (7/26). See the KION segment here.
Mark Panetta Launches Clear Riffles Marketing and Research Agency. Former DMR Interactive senior vice president of marketing strategy Mark Panetta (who spent 17 years with the Cincinnati-based strategic marketing consultancy) announces the launch of Clear Riffles – a new marketing and research agency. Panetta says the reason for building his new venture is that “companies who specialize in direct marketing for radio have been more focused on the vehicle and the destination than on the content they deliver. That is, they spend all their time on WHERE and HOW to advertise and little on WHAT TO SAY. Yet, in the most successful advertising campaigns of the recent decade – Apple vs. PC, The Geico Gecko, Target Stores rebranding, etc. – it’s the perfectly executed message that mattered most. Success is the result of developing a solid strategy based on understanding consumer perceptions and needs. When you get that right, powerful creative can follow. Where and how you advertise is then a matter of mechanics.” Panetta says Clear Riffles was founded to fill the creative void by designing radio marketing campaigns that truly connect radio stations with today’s listeners. He states this is accomplished with more emphasis on the creative process starting with proprietary research that illuminates current consumer views and attitudes. And he adds, “It’s the hard work others in our field are not set up or qualified to do.” Panetta can be reached at 470-239-3583 or emailed at Mark@ClearRiffles.com.
SiriusXM Reports Q2 2013 Numbers; Net Subscribers and Revenue Both Up. Satcaster SiriusXM reported second quarter figures for 2013 on Thursday, July 25 and CEO Jim Meyer said the company delivered more than 715,000 in net subscriber additions during the quarter to bring the company’s total paid subscriber tally over the 25 million threshold. Meyer also said the revenue for the quarter — $940 million – was up double digits. The company reports that factory-installed SiriusXM radios are now in 54.5 million automobiles and Meyer says he expects that figure to hit 100 million by the end of 2017. Regarding developing technology, Meyers stated, “We also continue to make significant progress in developing our next generation connected-car platform and in driving our Telematics business. During the second quarter we launched an in-car IP streaming app with Ford on the same platform. This feature enables Ford customers to have two-way services such as Sirius XM on-demand and personalized music through MyXM. It is a first step in creating an in-vehicle experience that harnesses both satellite and IT. Our effort with Ford is just the beginning and we are holding discussions with all of the major OEMs about including their app on their platforms. Ultimately, we believe that merging satellite and IP connectivity in the car will provide a superior service for subscribers.” Thanks to Seeking Alpha for the conference call transcript. You can check out the entire call here.
Odds & Sods. NBC Sports Radio weekend personality Jason Page will broadcast from the 2013 Ahmad Rashad Celebrity Classic at Mohegan Sun Country Club in Pautipaug, Connecticut tomorrow (7/27) from 9:00 pm to 1:00 am on Sunday. The golf event has raised more than $500,000 for charity since its inception…..ESPN Radio’s popular podcast “His & Hers” featuring Michael Smith and Jemele Hill expands to a twice-per-week production with episodes now made available at ESPNRadio.com on Mondays and Thursdays…..Fox Sports Radio simulcasts “UFC on FOX: Johnson vs. Moraga” on Saturday, July 27 from Key Arena in Seattle. Following the fights, mixed martial arts expert Larry Pepe will host a Fox Sports Radio wrap-up show with interviews and call-ins from 10:00 pm to 11:00 pm ET.
Filling In. Boston-based talk show host Jeff Katz sits in at Clear Channel’s WHAS, Louisville for a day when he guest hosts the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon program on Monday, July 29…..WFED, Washington afternoon drive host Francis Rose fills in for Cumulus Media Networks nationally syndicated personality John Batchelor on his Sunday evening program on July 28.
Cool Job Opportunities. WestStar MultiMedia Entertainment’s Kim Komando show has two job opportunities available. First, the program is searching for seasoned National Sales Reps with experience in selling broadcast (radio and television) and digital online advertising. All interested candidates should send their resume to firstname.lastname@example.org. Second, The Kim Komando show is seeking an Experienced Television Producer. This is a new position being created. Candidate shall have a passion for broadcast programming plus a minimum of 5 years as a television show producer and /or assistant producer. To learn about this position and more you can send your resume to email@example.com. For all open positions you can check out http://www.komando.com/careers.
Cool Job Opportunity. Southwest Broadcasting is seeking a station manager for news/talk KYCA and beautiful music KAHM in Prescott, Arizona. Owner Lou Silverstein can be phoned at 928-445-7800 or emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.
TALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup. Radio America-syndicated “Behind the Curtain with Jack Burkman” announces the addition of KABC, Los Angeles; WTNT, Washington, DC; WFFG, Marathon, Florida; KTPA, and KXAR in Hope, Arkansas; KLEY, and KKLE in Wellington, Kansas; KSET, Beaumont, Texas; and WTIM-FM, Taylorville, Illinois begin carrying the program…..Genesis Communications Network-syndicated “Freedom Feens” featuring Michael W. Dean and Neema Vedadi is added to the program lineup at WPBQ, Jackson, Mississippi…..MMG Radio Network’s “The Pet Show” with Warren Eckstein adds affiliates: WFYL, King of Prussia, Pennsylvania; KWAM, Memphis; KBTK, Flagstaff, Arizona; and WRHI, Charlotte.
Anthony Weiner Saga Tops Talkers TenTM. The trials and tribulations of New York City mayoral candidate and former congressman Anthony Weiner after new allegations of sexting and extramarital relationships were the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week of July 22-26. Coming in at #2 on the Talkers TenTM was the George Zimmerman verdict aftermath. At #3 was the implementation and promotion of the Affordable Care Act followed by the Detroit bankruptcy declaration at #4. The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine. It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. View this week’s entire chart here.
Media Matters Begins Paid Ad Campaign in Eight Markets Against Rush Limbaugh and Conservative Talk Radio. The Associated Press is reporting that Media Matters for America will spend some $100,000 on an ad campaign in Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Seattle, Milwaukee, St. Louis, Macon, Georgia and Cedar Rapids, Iowa asking people who hear the ad to call the Rush Limbaugh affiliate in their market and say, “We don’t talk to women like that in our city.” Clearly, Media Matters is not backing off its attack on conservative talk media and any success it can claim for harming Limbaugh’s program – or conservative talk radio in general – will help bring in more donations to its cause. And, according to Premiere Networks spokesperson Rachel Nelson, therein lays the rub. “This is not about women. It’s not about ethics and it’s not about the nature of our public discourse. It’s a direct attack on America’s guaranteed First Amendment right to free speech. It’s essentially a call for censorship masquerading as high-minded indignation.” As this ideological and tactical war escalates, more important voices are entering the fray with a variety of takes on the issue. For example, leading progressive talker of radio, television and live performances, Stephanie Miller tells TALKERS, “I, for one, as someone in radio for over 25 years, know that advertiser boycotts can cut both ways and hurt everyone in the radio business. The other side can just as easily take something I said, or Ed Schultz said, and goes after our advertisers and stations, and then where does it end? ‘You send one of ours to the hospital; we send one of yours to the morgue’? If advertisers decide that talk radio in general is too controversial, we all lose!” Miller tells TALKERS that she intends to extend invitations to both Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity to appear as guests on her nationally syndicated morning radio program (simulcast beginning Monday on Al Gore’s progressive Current TV) to present their side of the story in a non-confrontational setting. Dial Global-syndicated progressive talk host Thom Hartmann is also bothered by the anti-Limbaugh campaign. “The Limbaugh boycott is bad for all talk radio; it’s harming progressive talk radio by shrinking the pool of companies willing to advertise on any type of talk radio. If people want to be activists “against” or “for” a show, they should call station management, not advertisers.”
America’s Radio News Network Gives CNN Radio Affiliates Free Trial of its 24-Hour News Service. With the CNN Radio news service going away after April 1, Talk Radio Network CEO Mark Masters says his company is offering the more than 1,100 CNN Radio affiliates the chance to take the America’s Radio News Network 24-hour top- and bottom-of-the-hour news service for 45 days contract and inventory free so they can make up their minds about their new news service without having to make a “snap decision.” Masters says, “This is a simple courtesy extended to those former CNN stations giving them a six week ‘pressure relief valve’ where they could sample our fine product inventory free without pressure, giving them extra time to make the best decision. Obviously we think that we are the best choice, but this offer was meant as a thoughtful courtesy to those stations that have not yet made up their minds – we don’t want them to be ‘high and dry’ on April 2.” Masters says because of the growth of America’s Radio News Network’s long-form programming and the demand for short-form top- and bottom-of-the-hour news brought on by CNN’s sudden departure from radio news ARNN recently announced that it had moved up its schedule for the launch of its second news network to accommodate the needs of radio stations looking for “agenda free” short-form news. ARNN EVP John McCaslin says, “We’re so confident that this is the best top- and bottom-of-the-hour news product on the air, we are willing to allow stations to air it, without inventory requirement contract free through May 15. So, all you have to ask yourself is, ‘What am I going to do with over 700 extra minutes of local inventory, if I take ARNN up on its free sample offer?’”
All-News KROI-FM, Houston Fires Morning Anchor Scott Braddock. It’s an unusual case but not unheard of and certainly becoming more relevant as intellectual property issues become more common in the industry. Radio One’s KROI-FM, Houston recently dismissed morning drive news anchor Scott Braddock after he appeared on crosstown, non-commercial outlet KPFT-FM to discuss the Texas sonogram law and play audio of an interview that also had previously aired on his employer’s station. He tells the Houston Chronicle he did so without asking permission and believes he had the right to air the audio, equating it with a reporter’s notes. Radio One disagreed, stating it violated the terms of his contract – a contract Braddock says he had not signed – and it had no choice but to let him go. Braddock says Radio One is overreacting and wonders why a station that worked hard to get him to come to Houston from Austin for the job would let one of its prime talent go as it works to get the nascent all-news outlet off the ground.
Denver Woman Charged with Felonies After Telling Tale of Escaping Jury Duty on KOA. Last October Susan Cole appeared on KOA, Denver’s Dave Logan program and told the story of how she got out of jury duty by dressing bizarrely and pretending to suffer from mental illness. Unfortunately, Denver District Court Judge Anne Mansfield was listening and, due in part to Cole’s memorable performance in court, investigators were able to figure out who she was. According to the Denver Post, Cole used the name “Char from Denver” on the radio program and investigators linked her to her pen name Char Cole. She published a book that details her struggles with domestic abuse under the name and offered it to investigators to prove her life story and the mental illness claim, but she was unable to show she suffers from PTSD which she claimed at her jury appearance. It’s unclear what penalty, if convicted, the 57-year-old Cole faces.
Sales: H&H Communications’ Al Herskovitz Announces the Winners of His 2012 Hersky Awards for Talk Radio Sales Excellence. For the fifth year running, sales and marketing pro and TALKERS columnist Al Herskovitz recognizes some of the industry’s shining stars in the sales, commercial and ad copy arenas. Read Al’s humorous yet insightful piece here.
KILT, Houston AM Drive Co-Host Marc Vandermeer to Leave Radio Show. The NFL’s Houston Texans are taking their broadcasts in-house and current KILT morning drive co-host Marc Vandermeer will leave the CBS Radio sports outlet to become director of radio broadcasting for the team. KILT serves as the flagship for the Texans and Vandermeer tells the Houston Chronicle he’ll still be affiliated with the station. “It’s awesome to be able to work for an NFL team and to be involved in all aspects of their radio programming. I’m not saying goodbye to Sports Radio 610, so I will still maintain my relationships there. It’s the best of everything for me.” Program director Gavin Spittle tells the paper Vandermeer will exit in late May or early June and he will begin looking for a replacement to work alongside co-host John Lopez.
KKFN, Denver Re-Ups with Talk Host Alfred Williams. Lincoln Financial Media sports talk host (and former Denver Bronco star) Alfred Williams signs a contract renewal to remain in the co-host seat alongside Darren “D-Mac” McKee on the 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm program. In a statement, Williams says, “I am excited to continue to be a part of ‘The Fan.’ I love getting to interact locally with the Denver sports fans everyday and am happy to know I’ll be able to do it for many years to come.”
WRNN-AM/FM, Myrtle Beach Host Tara Servatius Exits Blog Position After Controversial Image Draws Criticism. Morning drive co-host Tara Servatius has left her position as a blogger for the non-profit John Locke Foundation after she used a doctored photo of President Obama in drag with a bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken in front of him to accompany the piece about the president’s opposition to the North Carolina marriage amendment. Servatius apologized for the photo stating, “I am genuinely sorry my inclusion of the photo along with my blog post has caused controversy for the John Locke Foundation. If it has offended anyone, I sincerely regret that. That was certainly not my intention. It was meant to illustrate Obama’s southern political strategy, nothing more. An honest reading of the piece itself shows there is nothing offensive in it.” WRNN-AM/FM owner Next Media Group says the issue will not affect Servatius’ status with the station.
Los Angeles Sports Talk Personalities Joe McDonnell and Doug Krikorian to Host Daily Internet Show. Southern California sports talk personality Joe McDonnell, who’s been doing sports update work at KNX, Los Angeles, will begin a daily internet sports talk show with former radio partner Doug Krikorian, according to the Orange County Register’s Gary Lycan. The McDonnell-Douglas show will air from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm on a yet-to-be announced URL. McDonnell was a major presence in the Los Angeles sports media scene going back to the 1980s but he disappeared from sports talk radio after leaving KLAC in 2008. He made the local news after undergoing gastric bypass surgery and losing some 400 pounds several years ago. The new show debuts on April 9 with a live broadcast from Legends Sports Bar in Long Beach.
Republican Primary/2012 Presidential Campaign Again Tops Talkers TenTM News/Talk Chart. The GOP primary race and the greater 2012 presidential campaign again tied for the most-talked-about topics on news/talk radio during the week of March 19-23 landing atop the Talkers TenTM chart for another straight week . Coming in at #2 was Iran’s nuclear weapons program tied with U.S.-Israel relations. At #3 was soaring gas prices tied with President Obama’s approval ratings and at #4 was the controversy over the slaying of Florida teen Trayvon Martin. The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the most-talked-about stories and people of the week as heard on news/talk radio across American based on ongoing research from TALKERS. View the entire chart here.
TALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup. “Free Talk Live” featuring Ian Freeman and Mark Edge picks up major market affiliate WWRL, New York…..Dial Global’s Michael Smerconish adds Boise affiliate KYWN.