AP Sues Ingraham’s LifeZette Inc. for Non-Payment. In a suit filed in the District of Columbia Superior Court, the Associated Press has filed suit against the Laura Ingraham-operated LifeZette Inc. alleging the company defaulted on payments for providing it with its news service. In its suit, the AP documents that LifeZette agreed to pay $4,200 per month for 12 months for a digital current news license. After not receiving timely payments, AP suspended the service to LifeZette. LifeZette did remit a payment of $42,611.71 but the check was returned for insufficient funds. AP is seeking a total of $49,267.39 plus interest from the date of judgement at 18%, as per the contract.
New Shows Hit Air at KTXX, Austin. There are a few programming changes at Genuine Austin Radio-owned sports talk KTXX “104.9 The Horn.” Geoff Ketchum returns to the station – he hosted a show there from 2008 through 2012 – to handle the 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm show. Additonally, weekend shows are joining the program schedule. Former Longhorns and NFL players Kasey Studdard and Lyle Sandlein are hosting a Saturday morning show called, “The Big Ugly Outdoors.” Also on Saturdays, the station adds Texas Motor Speedway’s “Total Access” with hosts Rich Phillips and Katie Tull.
10th Annual Hersky Awards. Today, TALKERS magazine presents the winners of the 10th Annual Hersky Awards, as determined by talk radio sales maven (and H&H Communications president) Al Herskovitz. Regular TALKERS readers are aware that each year, Herskovitz gives a nod – no statuette – to those broadcasters and advertisers that stand out among the crowd in the world of talk radio advertising. To read about this year’s winners, click here.
Longtime ABC News Radio Correspondent Bill Diehl Publishes Memoir. Radio pros who worked at stations that carried ABC News Radio know the name Bill Diehl. He was a correspondent for the news organization for almost 50 years, covering the world of entertainment and, during that time, interviewed some of the biggest names in showbiz, including Cher, Tom Hanks and Jane Fonda. Serving as chief entertainment reporter, he also covered all the major awards shows: The Emmys, Grammys, Oscars, and Tonys. Now, he’s published his memoir titled, Stay Tuned: My Life Behind the Mic. Diehl says, “I have a great love for covering the world of entertainment, a passion, really. And while I still periodically contribute celebrity interviews to the ABC News Radio ‘Perspective’ program, those award-show days are getting smaller and smaller in my rearview mirror. So, I decided to reminisce ‘out loud,’ if you will, sharing favorite remembrances with others through a book that’s filled with photos and excerpts of some of my most memorable interviews – including those with Oscar nominees or Oscar winners I’ve put my mic in front of on a few red carpets over the years.” Check it out at bdiehl.com.
Trump’s Address to Congress, ObamaCare Overhaul, Trump Budget Plan, Trump vs News Media, White House Leaks Crackdown, North Korea Executions, Oscar Snafu, Tourists to Circle Moon, and NBA/NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/27). The build-up to this evening’s address to Congress by President Donald Trump; the anticipation of an overhaul of the Affordable Care Act by the GOP and the Trump Administration; Trump’s budget plan that includes ramping up military spending by $53 billion; Trump’s ongoing war against the news media, including last week’s exclusion of several news organizations at a press conference; the Trump Administration’s concerns about leaks, including Press Secretary Sean Spicer’s searching of staffers’ phones; the execution of five national security staffers by North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un; the envelope mix-up at Sunday night’s Academy Awards ceremony; Elon Musk’s announcement a couple will take a trip around the moon and back next year; and NBA and NHL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Jackson Blue Partners with Hannah Byrom for AMs on WKLB, Boston. Moving over from his afternoon drive show on Beasley Media Group’s urban contemporary WBQT “HOT 96.9” is Jackson Blue, who is joining Hannah Byrom to host the morning show on WKLB “Country 102.5.” Beasley Boston director of programming Cadillac Jack comments, “I’ve had the pleasure of having a ‘front row seat’ to watch Jackson’s growth over the past 15 years and feel proud to promote such a talented personality from within our Beasley Boston cluster to this key position. Here’s to the success that Jackson and ‘Country 102.5’ will undoubtedly enjoy for years to come!”
More Music Radio News and Career Moves. Spanish language broadcaster SBS announces that its New York City outlet WSKQ-FM “Mega 97.9” has achieved an historic milestone, claiming the #1 ranking for two major demos — A 18-34, A 18-49 — in Nielsen‘s January PPM survey among all radio stations serving the Tri-State area, regardless of language or format. SBS says that the recent ratings rank WSKQ-FM as not only the most-listened-to station in the New York metro but as the #1 ranked Latino station in the nation…..In San Diego, Zach Van Lue assumes the afternoon drive daypart at Local Media San Diego’s alternative XETRA “91X.” Van Lue comes to San Diego from Seattle where he’s been the evening host for the past three years at Entercom’s alternative KNDD “107.7 The End.”…..Cumulus Media and rock WAQX, Syracuse “95X” afternoon air personality Big Smoothie, a.k.a. Jamie Hantke, part ways after an eight-year relationship. Hantke tells Syracuse.com that the move was not his choice, but refused to elaborate. The station is also not commenting…..Morning drive personality Sean McMaster announces his exit from Townsquare Media’s country WGNA, Albany. He posted on Facebook: “Today was my last day at WGNA. After more than 20 years of sharing my life with the greatest listeners of all time, this even to me, seems to be unbelievable. I have taken my role as an advocate of my listeners very seriously through the years and I hope that you will all support me in what was the hardest decision I have ever made.”…..In Bend, Oregon, Horizon Broadcasting adds Danni K., a.k.a. Danielle Keys, to the morning show alongside Kit Mann on its hot AC KWPK “The Peak 104.1.”
Acquiring Arbitron Adds to the Total Media Mix for Nielsen. At day two of the Deutsche Bank DbAccess 21st Annual Media and Telecom Conference, Nielsen president of Global Media Products & Advertiser Solutions Steve Hasker says that the acquisition of Arbitron will add another two hours per day to its understanding of the media to which consumers are exposed. “If you think about media consumption here in the U.S. as one geographic example, we cover about five hours per day for the average consumer through television audience measurement…That is the bedrock of our ‘Watch’ business. To that, we hope to add radio, which is another two hours of consumers’ time. And we felt that this was a very important part, both of understanding the media exposure and what consumers watch and what they listen to, but also a very important part of the overall media mix particularly for local advertisers. And so the ability to capture this data and combine it with our TV data and our digital information, which is online and mobile through products like ‘Online Campaign Ratings,’ ‘Brand Effect’ and the ‘Nielsen Twitter TV Ratings,’ put it all together and we’re covering around about eight hours of a consumer’s time per day exposed to media…think about that as coverage of everything except for print and we think that those are the most valuable parts of the media mix and are central to our proposition of understanding consumer behavior at a very, very deep level.”
Salem’s WIND, Chicago to Air Evening Show with Former Congressman Joe Walsh. Time Out Chicago’s Robert Feder reports that one-term Tea Party congressman Joe Walsh will begin a two-hour early evening talk show on Salem Communications’ WIND, Chicago on March 18. Although Salem was not commenting officially, Walsh spoke openly to Feder. The “Joe Walsh Unplugged” show will air from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm and will often emanate from locations around the state as he indicates his recent travels to push the Tea Party ideals are part of his desire to create a movement. He tells Feder, “We are going to make this a real grass-roots push and advocacy thing, and the radio show is going to be a key part of that.” Feder reports the show is expected to be officially announced on March 14 when Walsh appears at “Obama 2.0: The Road Ahead,” a public event sponsored by WIND. Expected to be there with Walsh will be WIND afternoon host Steve Cochran, Salem Radio Network host Michael Medved and Illinois Policy Institute’s John Tillman.
Cumulus Media Names Steve Shaw SVP of National Sales. In his new role with Cumulus Media, the former president of Katz Radio Group will be based out of New York. Steve Shaw most recently served as president of Cox Digital Solutions where he founded the digital rep group Cox Cross Media. Cumulus executive vice president and co-COO Jon Pinch says, “Having run Katz Radio for years, Steve is the natural choice for this position. He understands the national marketplace, has key relationships with buyers and sellers, and is well known for high integrity and an intense work ethic. Steve will work closely with our team of national sales managers, our partners at Katz, Mike Pallad, myself, and other senior management at Cumulus.” On his new position, Shaw states, “I am thrilled to be joining Cumulus Media – they operate some of the best brands in radio and I look forward to helping design and implement great solutions for our national advertising partners. Our combination of scale and quality programming will allow us to deliver great results that drive our customers’ businesses.”
RAB Names Brooke Trissel Senior Vice President, Membership. The Radio Advertising Bureau announces that, as part of its mission to serve its members, it is appointing Brooke Trissel senior vice president, membership. In this position Trissel will partner with the RAB’s Membership team to enhance and communicate the organization’s core membership benefits to existing and new members. She’ll report to president and CEO Erica Farber and will be based at RAB Dallas. Farber states, “I’m thrilled for Brooke to join the RAB in this capacity where she brings her vast experience in radio broadcasting to super-serve our growing membership. Brooke is the consummate radio executive who will work closely within the organization and our members to meet their needs in a changing radio and media landscape.” Trissel grew up in a radio family that owned and operated Oklahoma-based Omni Media Group. She served in many roles within the company including sales manager for KWOX-FM/KMZE-FM and station manager for KOMI-TV in Woodward, Oklahoma. Most recently, she has been overseeing marketing and sales as the vice president of News/Talk/Sports MediaOnline with prior experience selling advertising and sponsorships at Radio & Records. Trissel also worked in affiliate sales with ABC Radio Networks in Dallas. She says, “I’ve long been a fan of the RAB’s products and services and I’m excited to partner with Erica and the Membership team to share all the exciting enhancements taking place at the organization with our members.”
Neal Boortz Pens Talk Radio Memoir. The title of the book is Maybe I Should Just Shut Up and Go Away (Carpenters Son Publishing 2013). In it, iconic formerly Atlanta-based talk radio legend Neal Boortz looks back at his 42 years on the radio as a talk show host. The promotion for the book says, in part, Boortz “shares the often-hilarious reality of what happens behind the scenes when you’re a talk radio icon. Longtime friend with national radio greats Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, he tells how those relationships began in the hot seat of competition…Though early predictions by those who knew him in his youth cast Boortz as a sure prospect to become a preacher, he took a different route to educating the masses. Longtime listeners are certain to become enthusiastic readers as Boortz finally tips his hat to more than four decades of teeing up controversy, political education and general entertainment for audiences across the country to enjoy—and tells all they’ve been wanting to know but couldn’t get anyone to share until now.”
Arbitron to Present “Special PPM Report on the State of the Spoken Word” at Forthcoming TALKERS Conference. The agenda for the forthcoming “Talkers New York 2013” continues to grow as Arbitron, Inc. has joined the roster of presenters with a special in-depth statistical insight into the research company’s findings about the news/talk, sports talk, all-news, and NPR formats’ performance in a PPM world. It will also include a special look at listening habits and listener direction trends on the AM dial. The presentation will be delivered by Arbitron’s director of programming services Jon Miller who spearheaded a similar presentation analyzing country radio at the recent CRS in Nashville. In making the announcement, TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison says, “We were so impressed with the extraordinary value of the country conference presentation we checked out to see if they have a similar study pertinent to talk radio. As it turns out they do and we are delighted to make it available to our attendees.” Talkers New York 2013 is the 16th annual installment of the industry’s longest-running and most important national talk radio convention. It will take place on Thursday, June 6 and is open only to members of the working media. Registration is $199 per person which includes all sessions, attractions and food services. An advance sellout is expected. For registration (phone only) and sponsorship information call 413-565-5413. Stay tuned to Talkers.com for more exciting agenda details to be announced in the coming days.
WXOS, St. Louis Crowns ‘Sportscaster Factor’ Winner. Hubbard Broadcasting’s WXOS, St. Louis “101 ESPN” announces it finished its first-ever “Sportscaster Factor” competition on Saturday, March 2 and has named Brett McMillan winner of the inaugural competition for which he gets bragging rights and a weekend show on the station. McMillan, a student at Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Missouri, beat out 175 other competitors in the competition. During Saturday’s final round at the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, 101ESPN’s Randy Karraker, PD Kent Sterling and APS Chris “Hoss” Neupert trimmed the 38 semi-finalists down to 16 finalists, and then to the eight who competed for the coveted spot. Sterling says of the promotion. “This was a great competition. We never had any inkling that there were so many talented broadcasters in St. Louis. Everyone knows this is a great sports town, but it’s also a great broadcasting city. When this started, we would have been really happy with any of the final eight – and most of the rest of the sixteen finalists. In Brett, we think we have found exactly what this competition was designed to find – a host that is really good today, will be better down the road, and someone we would not have found otherwise. I fully anticipate doing this again. It was fun for the contestants and for us. Not only did we find a solid host, we found several who might end up working for 101ESPN one day.”
Odds & Sods. Montana talk host Aaron Flint gets props from the Washington Post for his political blog “The Flint Report” as part of the paper’s “Best State-Based Political Blogs” piece. Flint, who broadcasts a daily talk radio show that airs on 17 stations across Montana, including Connoisseur Media’s KYYA, Billings, is an officer in the Montana Army National Guard and served three tours in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Horn of Africa. Of his media work, he says, “Every day, I hope to take a wide range of experiences to show audiences the bigger picture, or to give them a side of the story they won’t get anywhere else.”…..Programmer Peter Bolger is promoted to director of AM programming at Clear Channel’s San Antonio cluster. Bolger has served as program director for news/talk WOAI and sports talk KTKR since joining the cluster in 2007……CBS Sports Radio Network’s John Feinstein debuts a weekly hour-long segment called “One-On-One” as part of his late morning show on the network in which he interviews a sports newsmaker. The first installment is today from 11:00 am to 12:00 noon with Bob Costas. Upcoming guests for the segment include sports figures and celebrities such as NBA Commissioner David Stern, professional golfer Tom Watson and NBA champion Steve Kerr…..Talk radio pro Jeff Katz sits in for Compass Media Networks nationally syndicated host Todd Schnitt on his Monday, March 11 and Wednesday, March 13 programs.
Curtis Sliwa Boasts Five-Hour ‘Commemoration’ of Hugo Chavez. WNYM, New York “970 The Answer” talk personality Curtis Sliwa tells TALKERS magazine his was the only station to “commemorate” the late Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez yesterday. Sliwa states, “We got the news yesterday afternoon and did two hours on the “Curtis & Jeffrey” show from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm and then continued this morning from 6:00 am to 9:00 am on my solo show. Additionally, we discussed his career as a TV and radio talk show host as the host of “Alo Presidente.” You may think that we were comrades in arms because of our red berets and our battles with cancer. That couldn’t be further from the truth.” Pictured here is Sliwa in Cuba several years ago leading an anti-Castro and anti-Chavez chant among like-minded Cuban citizens.
Sequester Impact, Hugo Chavez Dies, Iran/North Korea Nuclear Threats, and High-Flying Dow Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/5). The impact of the sequester and the ongoing battle over federal budget issues; the death of Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez; Iran’s and North Korea’s nuclear threats; and the still-soaring Dow were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.