Tag: "Michael Berry"

Friday, December 11, 2020

| December 11, 2020


NOW POSTED:  This Weekend’s Installment of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.”  The latest installment of the vibrant, one-hour weekend special, “The Michael Harrison Wrap,” that looks back each week at the hottest topics discussed in American talk media per the research of TALKERS magazine, is now posted. This new episode titled, “Truth, Justice, and the American Way,” looks back at this past week of December 7 – December 11, 2020.  The program features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS magazine; Michael Berry, talk show host, KTRH, Houston /  Michael Berry Radio NetworkGrace Curley, talk show host, WRKO, Boston / Howie Carr Radio Network;  Steve Weisman, professor of law, Bentley University, Boston / founder Scamicide.com; Graham Mack, talk show host, Podcast Radio, UK; and Robbie Stevens, record producer / commentator, TalkersRadioThis acclaimed news/talk radio show airs each week on its flagship, WONK-FM, Washington, DC, Friday evenings at 6:00 pm ET. It also airs throughout the weekend on WTIC, Hartford; KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA; KDFD (“Freedom 93.7”), Denver; KFNX, Phoenix; WVLY, Wheeling, WV; WTRW-FM, Scranton/Wilkes Barre, PA; WVOX, Westchester, NY; KBDT, Dallas; KQSP, Minneapolis; KBKW, Aberdeen, WA; WGDJ, Albany, NY;  WJFN-FM, Richmond, VA; WZFG, Fargo; KTGO, Tioga, ND; KWAM, Memphis; K-NEWS, San Luis Obispo; WCHM, Clarkesville, GA;  WPHM, Port Huron, MI; KSYL, Alexandria, LA; KTOE, Mankato, MN; WCED (“Connect FM”), DuBois, PA; K-NEWS 101.3, Owensboro, KY; WWTK, Sebring, FL; the Virginia Talk Radio NetworkCRN Digital Talk Radio NetworkPioneer Valley Radio, Springfield, MA; Podcast Radio, UK and many more.  To listen to this week ’s episode, please click here. To view the latest TALKERS magazine topic research, please click here. “The Michael Harrison Wrap” is now available in syndication via Talk Media Network to stations across America on a market exclusive basis. For affiliation information, please click here or call 616-884-8616.

NYPost: Craig Carton to Host ‘Responsible Gambling Show.’ According to a story in the New York Post, WFAN, New York afternoon drive co-host Craig Carton will host a Saturday show called “Hello, My Name Is Craig” that is being called a “responsible gambling show.” The show is a partnership between Entercom’s sports talk WFAN and problem gambling help network 1-800-GAMBLER. Carton said on WFAN, “They’re going to bring their expertise into it. I’ll tell the stories of gambling and the way my addiction manifested itself in the bad decisions I made, which became criminal.” It was the need to pay off gambling debts that caused Carton to create a phony concert tickets brokerage scheme that put him in prison for fraud after a November 2018 conviction.

WJR-AM, Detroit’s Mitch Albom Radiothon Raises $1.5 million for Local Charity. During Thursday’s daylong radiothon, WJR, Detroit afternoon drive host Mitch Albom helped raise more than $1.5 million for SAY Detroit – a local organization that helps the needy with health care, housing, food and education. The “9th Annual Mitch Albom SAY Detroit Radiothon” included appearances by special celebrity guests including Kate Hudson, Hugh Jackman, Katie Couric, Lily Tomlin, Hank Azaria, Tim Allen, and Anderson Cooper.

WGN-AM, Chicago’s Dean Richards to Return to Air After COVID Case. Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that Windy City media personality and WGN-AM weekend talk host Dean Richards is returning to the air after a couple weeks off due to a bout with COVID-19. The 66-year-old Richards will broadcast from his home for the next week or two before returning to the Nexstar Media Group station’s studios. Richards tells Feder his symptoms were relatively mild and adds that he’s not sure how he caught the coronavirus because he was being very careful. “The moral of my story is no matter how careful you think you’re being, be ten times more careful than that. Because I thought I was being super careful. I know I was being super careful.”

News/Talk KBOI, Boise Holds Successful Toy Drive for Marine Corps Reserve Campaign. Last Thursday through Sunday (12/3-6), Cumulus Media’s news/talk “NewsTalk 670” KBOI, Boise and Idaho Central Credit Union hosted Idaho’s biggest toy drive to benefit the US Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots program for Treasure Valley children in need this holiday season. The event helped bring in more than 70,000 toys and $27,000 in cash donations. Pictured above (from l-r) are: US Marine Corps Reserve Charlie Company Marines Elmore and Perez, a smitten stuffed bear, Miss Idaho USA Katarina Schweitzer, and KBOI’s Mike Kasper and Nate Shelman.

WMAL-FM, Washington Fisher House Radiothon Raises More Than $360,000. During last weekend’s annual two-day WMAL Operation Fisher House Radiothon, the Cumulus Media news/talk station helped raise $368,000 for the Fisher House Foundation. WMAL listeners have donated more $7.5 million dollars over the last 15 years to support the efforts of the Fisher House Foundation to provide housing to families of injured military members who are undergoing treatment. Cumulus Media VP of news/talk and WMAL program director Bill Hess says, “We are humbled by the response of our listeners each and every year. Their response is incredibly heartwarming.”

COVID-19, Vaccines, Stats, and Protection Top News/Talk Story for Week of December 7-11. The fast-rising number of positive COVID cases in the U.S., the status of hospitals, hope for effective vaccines, and warnings about holiday get-togethers combined for the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was Donald Trump’s continuing efforts to overturn the election results. Coming in at #3 was Joe Biden’s transition appointments and nominations, followed by the Georgia senate runoff elections at #4. The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine. It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. See this week’s complete chart here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Milwaukee urban contemporary “HOT 105.7” (WXSS-HD2) adds two air talents to the program schedule. Entercom announces that former crosstown WKKV-FM personality Promise is now hosting mornings while DJ Gee A moves from sister CHR WXSS-FM to afternoons on “HOT 105.7.” Entercom Milwaukee market manager Andrea Hansen says, “We’re excited to welcome Promise and DJ Gee A to our on-air lineup and introduce them to our listeners. Both have deep roots in this community with valued experience entertaining and connecting with the listeners of this city. We trust that combination will quickly resonate with our fans and round out our locally focused programming lineup.”…..The nationally syndicated “Ashley & Brad” show – hosted by Ashley Paige and Brad Abrell and produced by Skid Trax and distributed by Sun Broadcast Group – adds new affiliate stations as KFLX-FM, Chino Valley, Arizona; KPPT-FM , Depoe Bay, Oregon; KQBG-FM, Rock Island, Washington; and KHKM-FM, Hamilton, Montana add the program to their schedules.

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

| December 8, 2020

Howard Stern Signs Renewal with SiriusXM for Five More Years. During previous investor conference calls, outgoing SiriusXM CEO Jim Meyer said he believed Howard Stern and SiriusXM would come to terms on a new deal and today’s announcement bears that out. Under the new agreement, Stern will continue to produce and host “The Howard Stern Show” exclusively for SiriusXM for the next five years, and the Howard Stern archive of audio and video will continue to be licensed to SiriusXM for an additional seven years. Stern says, “Fifteen years ago, I joined SiriusXM, a fledgling group of broadcasters. I had been in a toxic relationship with terrestrial radio. And no matter how well I treated the medium, no matter how successful I made them, they abused me. Going to SiriusXM liberated me. I felt like Tina Turner freeing myself from Ike. And despite the naysayers and the ridicule, we have persevered, and are thriving. I’ve been proven right about satellite radio over and over again. With this contract renewal, I can’t wait to see what else I’ll be right about. Certainly, I have a lot more to say about Metamucil crackers and stepmom porn. Plus, now that I can work from home, I simply don’t have an excuse to quit.” Meyer says, “As the leading audio entertainment company, we couldn’t be happier to have Howard, the leading host in all of radio and audio, continue to make SiriusXM the home for his show, channels, and archives while at the peak of his broadcasting career. Howard’s home has been SiriusXM and it will remain that way, but we’ve expanded SiriusXM in recent years too, and we are excited about finding the right ways that select content from Howard can find audiences on additional platforms. May I add, I consider Howard a close friend and look forward to listening to him for years to come.”

Ron St. Pierre Out at iHeartMedia’s WHJJ, Providence; Jim Polito Takes Over Morning Show. Longtime Providence air personality and programmer Ron St. Pierre has exited iHeartMedia’s news/talk WHJJ-AM, Providence where he hosted the morning drive show. Filling the programming gap is WTAG-AM, Worcester, Massachusetts-based morning personality Jim Polito. In 2016, iHeartMedia dropped the local morning show hosted by Adam Wright and Bo Sullivan on WHYN-AM, Springfield, Massachusetts and began simulcasting Polito’s show there. The WHJJ move puts the Jim Polito show in three of iHeartMedia’s New England markets.

Salem’s KRLA and KTIE Cut Ties with Brian Whitman. Southern California radio pro Brian Whitman exits Salem Media Group’s morning drive show “The Morning Answer” that he co-hosted with Jennifer Horn that was simulcast on KRLA, Los Angeles and KTIE, San Bernardino. Whitman shared the news on his Facebook page on Friday (12/4). He wrote, “I was provided the following from folks at Salem/KRLA this morning. The announcement was sent by the general manager to their kind and hardworking staff, making this news public. I’ll have very personal thoughts to share with members of the ‘Morning Answer Listening Family’ (as I came to know and regard you over many years) very soon. It will be in this space at a time that is more appropriate and comfortable. With all of my love and with the warmest gratitude for every moment that we’ve shared together, I offer words that I know fall far short of my heart’s sentiment. Thank you, thank you, thank you guys.” The message from management was as follows: “After eight years hosting ‘The Morning Answer,’ Brian Whitman will no longer be with us. We wish Brian all the best in the future. Chuck [Tyler] and I echo Phil Boyce who said, “Brian has been a hard-working and extremely talented employee for us for many years. We will always cherish his friendship, and our opportunity to work together at KRLA and KTIE.” Whitman was the liberal counterpart to conservative Horn.

Hubbard Radio Drops Sports Talker Chris Rongey; Re-Aligns Host Lineup. According to a report by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Dan Caesar, afternoon drive sports talk personality Chris Rongey has been let go from Hubbard Radio’s WXOS-FM, St. Louis. Rongey had been part of “The Fast Lane” afternoon show since replacing D’Marco Farr in 2017. The station moves midday host Jamie Rivers into afternoons alongside Anthony Stalter and Brad Thompson and promotes Alex Farrario to the midday show co-hosting with Brandon Kiley.

Talk Radio Host Michael Berry’s Good Month Includes Raising $1.3 Million for PTSD Foundation. KRTH, Houston-based, nationally syndicated talk host Michael Berry had a very good month in which his program helped raise $1.3 million for Camp Hope, the residential treatment center run by the PTSD Foundation of America, of which Berry is the national spokesman. The organization was laying off staff, including the vital folks who counsel suicidal veterans who struggle with re-integration after war. Berry teamed up with sponsor Jim “Mattress Mac” McIngvale, owner of the Gallery Furniture chain, to raise funds. During the whole of 2020, Berry’s efforts have raised $3 million for the organization, almost its entire budget. Additionally, Berry made national news on Monday (12/7) for his interview with Houston-based Goya Foods CEO Bob Unanue, during which Unanue said he gave U.S. Rep. Alexandra Ocasio Cortez the company’s “employee of the month” award. This came after Ocasio Cortez called for a boycott on Goya products because Unanue publicly praised President Trump. However, Unanue says the boycott call produced a counter-protest in which supporters flocked to buy Goya goods. On top of that, Berry has added new affiliates, WPNN, Pensacola, Florida, and KNUW, Silver City, New Mexico and hopes to roll out seven new affiliates before the New Year. In case you missed it, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian profiled Berry back in October. Read it here.

PPM Analysis: Sports Talk. The Nielsen Audio PPM ratings survey in the month prior to the November election (October 8 – November 4) was not as generous to sports talk radio stations as it was to news/talk, still TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian reports that 46% of sports talkers were up (weekly 6+ AQH share) from the October 2020 survey. Gainers from October to November were led by RadiOhio’s WBNS-FM, Columbus “97.1 The Fan” (+0.7, 6.2 share) and Cumulus Media’s WGFX-FM, Nashville (+0.7, 6.0 share). Due to the pandemic’s effect on live sports, year-over-year comparisons have not been kind to the sports talk format and November 2019 to November 2020 is not different. 68% of sports talk outlets in PPM markets were down. However, 23% of stations gained with Cumulus Media’s KTCK-AM/FM, Dallas leading the pack (+1.6, 2.8 share). While no sports talkers claimed the #1 rank in their market during the November survey, iHeartMedia’s KXFN, Minneapolis came close, posting a 7.6 share good for the #2 rank. See Mike Kinosian’s complete report here.

WJR, Detroit News Director Dick Haefner to Retire. After a 51-year career in radio news, WJR, Detroit news director Dick Haefner is retiring. Haefner, an award-winning newscaster, reporter, and news director, has been WJR news director since 1989. Cumulus Media says that “his tenure is unmatched by any other Detroit broadcast news director. He is one of the most recognizable news voices in his hometown of Detroit, signing on to radio news in 1969 and signing off on December 11, 2020, Haefner’s last day on-air.” The company goes on to note that “under Haefner’s leadership, WJR News has been honored with nearly every national and local news award in the broadcast business, including: the Peabody Award, Associated Press national award for Best Broadcast Reporting, Edward R. Murrow Awards, and numerous state news awards… Some of Haefner’s projects have changed laws. A series on suburban toxic waste dumps resulted in tighter rules for handling waste. An investigation of fraud at gas stations brought about new regulations on service station inspections and fuel hauling, and even changed the way the IRS taxes the fuel hauling industry. Among the biggest stories Haefner has broken are Coleman Young’s baby, the Nancy KerriganTonya Harding incident heard around the world, and Detroit’s two side-by-side sports stadiums.” Haefner comments, “Anything I may have accomplished is because of other people, my wife Judy, and my family who allowed me to pursue adventures in broadcast news, and especially my co-workers. My most important job was to put them in position to do their best work. What they accomplished every day is my greatest reward. I have had the best job in Detroit radio news for almost 32 years. I’m the luckiest person I know.”

Susan O’Connell Retires from Compass Media Networks; Robert Blum Rises to Senior Manager of Affiliate Sales. Affiliate sales pro Susan O’Connell is retiring from her position as vice president of news/talk affiliate sales with Compass Media Networks, effective December 31. At the same time, the company announces that Robert Blum – a Compass Media staffer since 2011 – is being promoted to senior manager of affiliate sales for news/talk/sports. O’Connell has been in the news/talk affiliate sales business for the past 40 years, the last six with Compass Media. She previously served with the Wall Street Journal Radio Network, ABC Radio Networks, CBS News, and the Progressive Radio Network. She comments, “The best part of my job has always been working with great broadcasters. Thank you all for sharing your time, talent, and friendship over the years. Compass Media Networks was the perfect place to wind up. Representing our stellar news/talk lineup and being part of this team has been an honor and a privilege.” Compass Media Networks CEO Peter Kosann says, “Susan is a total superstar, friend, and treasured colleague. Through hard work, perseverance, and cunning, Susan established Compass Media Networks as a dominant player in news/talk programming with over 750 leading news/talk stations airing over a dozen hours of our daily, live, and original news-talk programming.”

COVID-19 Stats/Vaccines, Trump Challenges, Biden Transition, Stimulus Package, Georgia Runoff Elections, Pornhub Allegations, and Presidential Pardons Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/7). The fast-rising number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S., the pleas from authorities to follow mask and gathering mandates, and the status of vaccines; Donald Trump continues legal challenges to the results of the presidential election; President-Elect Joe Biden continues his administration’s transition; the debate in Congress over a new stimulus package; the January runoff elections for Georgia’s two U.S. Senate seats; the allegations that porn giant Pornhub has promoted underage actors; and reports of Donald Trump’s pardon plans 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. On-air pro and urban media personality Charlamagne Tha God, a.k.a. Lenard McKelvey, and iHeartMedia renew and extend their relationship. The deal means the co-host of the WWPR, New York “Power 105.1”-based, nationally syndicated “The Breakfast Club” will continue to work with iHeartMedia for the next five years.  He says, “I give my sincerest thanks to iHeart for empowering me over the past decade to be the best talent that I can be, and for honoring me as an owner and executive. I love the audio business and iHeart is the biggest and best audio company in the world. As co-founder and chief creative officer of the Black Effect Podcast Network and now senior creative officer of cultural content and programming at iHeart, all I want to do for the next five years is continue to move the culture of radio and podcasting forward by curating a new era of voices, programming, and events. GOD IS GREAT! Now, it’s time to get back to work.”

Self-Syndication Has Been Berry, Berry Good

| October 13, 2020

By Mike Kinosian
TALKERS
Managing Editor

 

HOUSTON — Seldom are talk radio hosts at a loss to fill two or three hours of airtime.

Situations though have become wildly frenetic in a calendar year that has already seen among countless other things:

  • January impeachment trial of a first-term president that concluded with a February acquittal
  • (Hopefully only) a once-in-a-lifetime global pandemic that has taken a toll of American lives rapidly approaching 215,000, cratered the economy, and erased millions of jobs
  • Presidential campaign unlike any other
  • Significant racial injustice, protests, and rise of the “Black Lives Matter” movement
  • West Coast wildfires and East Coast hurricanes
  • Controversy over the evenhandedness of nominating a Supreme Court justice only weeks before a presidential election
  • Brief/mysterious hospitalization of the sitting POTUS who tested positive for the coronavirus

Still to come in 2020’s more than two-and-one-half remaining months are the presidential election itself, not to mention the already anticipated precedent-setting intensity possibly contesting it.

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Tuesday, October 13, 2020

| October 13, 2020

iHeartMedia’s Black Information Network Names Three Broadcasters to Key Positions. Three broadcast pros are joining iHeartMedia’s BIN: Black Information Network. Emmy Award-winning journalist Ed Gordon will serve as an anchor and correspondent, Chris Thompson is joining as director of network operations and longtime iHeartMedia Chicago communications executive Angela Ingram is taking on the director of local advocacy and engagement role. iHeartMedia says that Gordon will also produce special programming leading up to the 2020 presidential election and will provide exclusive reports covering politics, Black culture and more. BIN director of news operations Tanita Myers says, “There’s no question that this is the most important election in decades, especially for Black America, and we’re thrilled to have Ed Gordon leading our coverage of this upcoming Presidential race. Whether it’s talking with presidents or just talking about today’s biggest stories, Ed’s well-known, hard-hitting direct and no-nonsense style will be right at home at BIN: Black Information Network and further establishes our role as a trusted source for Black Americans nationwide.” Chris Thompson is the former vice president of radio operations for Reach Media. He also served with the WOR Radio Network as executive director of network operations.  Angela Ingram will continue in her role as SVP of communications for the Chicago region of iHeartMedia in addition to this new position. BIN president Tony Coles says, “One of our goals is to attract the best leadership and talent to the Black Information Network. As we continue to expand, this team is vital to providing our affiliates and partners with best-in-class service and support. I am thrilled to have Chris leading these efforts as our director of network operations and Angela spearheading integral advocacy initiatives as director of local advocacy and engagement.”

PPM Analysis: All-News. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s September 2020 PPM survey (August 13-September 9), today focusing on the all-news format. This PPM survey was not particularly good to all-news stations as 65% of those saw their weekly, 6+ AQH share decline from the August 2020 survey. However, those stations that gained included Entercom’s KCBS-AM/KFRC-FM in both the San Jose market (+1.2) and in the San Francisco market (+0.5), Hubbard Radio’s WTOP-FM, Washington (+1.0), and Sinclair Broadcast Group’s KOMO-AM/FM, Seattle (+0.6). Year-over-year was a different story with 69% of all-news stations showing ratings increases, led by Entercom’s KYW, Philadelphia (+2.5 shares), KOMO-AM/FM, Seattle (+2.1 shares), and WTOP-FM, Washington (+2.0 shares). You can see Mike Kinosian’s complete report – including cume data – here.

RTDNA Bestows National Edward R. Murrow Awards. The Radio Television Digital News Association announced the 2020 National Edward R. Murrow Award winners during a virtual event on Saturday evening (10/10). The program featured the announcement and celebration of more than 100 National Murrow Awards, selected from more than 5,000 entries. During his opening speech, RTDNA executive director Dan Shelley said, “We know that this year has been extraordinarily tough. 2020 has brought about challenges that have tested us at every level of our professionalism and humanity and I couldn’t be more proud that you are always there, covering it all. That you – despite the previously unthinkable professional and personal challenges you’ve faced – are continuing to serve your communities with distinction and dignity and professionalism.” You can see all the winners here.

Biden Outspending Trump on Radio Ads. According to a story in Newsmax that cites McClatchy, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden outspent Republican President Donald Trump on radio ads by a margin of 50-1. The piece by John Gizzi says, “Federal Election Commission spending reports shows Biden spent over $15 million in radio ads across 50 states, while the Trump campaign spent a meager $270,000 across just seven states.” The story adds Biden is “spending heavily on radio targeting evangelical Christians, senior citizens, and core supporters like urban Blacks and Hispanics. Biden’s radio targeting could be pivotal to him winning such key states as Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin — all of which went narrowly for Trump in 2016.” McClatchy notes Biden’s ad spend is going to urban, gospel, and Hispanic radio “to help create a big turnout.”

The Presidential Race, Microsoft vs Russian Hackers, Amy Coney Barrett Confirmation, COVID-19 Stats & Projections, Johnson & Johnson Pauses COVID Vaccine Trial, Columbus Day-Indigenous Persons Day, NFL Battles Positive COVID Cases, and Lakers Win NBA Championship Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/12). The November presidential election; Microsoft and U.S. intelligence shut down Russian hacker effort; the confirmation proceedings for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett; the rising number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and other parts of the world and projections for a potential fall and winter second wave; drug maker Johnson & Johnson pauses COVID-19 vaccine trial after test subject’s adverse reactions; the holiday celebrated in some states as Columbus Day and in others as Indigenous Persons Day; the NFL’s ongoing strategy to deal with positive COVID-19 cases among its players; and the Los Angeles Lakers win the NBA Championship 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. Condolences to the family and friends of KFDI, Wichita morning personality JJ Hayes whose wife Michelle Horne died on Friday after a battle with COVID-19. The KFDI website features a tribute to Horne. Hayes says, “Tonight, I lost my superpower. I’m broken.” He says that Horne, who was 50, had been home from the hospital for nine days and appeared to be getting better before she stopped breathing on Friday evening…..The Times of San Diego reports that former KXSN-FM “Sunny 98.1” morning duo “AJ and Sara” – A.J. Machado and Sara Perry– have launched their own streaming radio station. The two were let go from the Entercom adult contemporary station back in January and debuted their “AJ and Sara Radio” on October 2. They host the 7:00 am to 10:00 am show and the rest of the day features AC music “with an expanded 80s and 90s playlist.” Machado tells the paper, “It wasn’t easy to build a radio station, everything was a struggle and a challenge. I learned a lot about music licensing, apps and technology, forming an LLC and the business side of everything. I thought it would take a few weeks, and it’s been nearly six months since the decision was made to go our own direction.”

Talk Radio Rises to Coronavirus Challenge

| March 9, 2020

By Michael Harrison
TALKERS
Publisher

 

JUPITER, Fla. — This past weekend seems to have marked a tipping point in America regarding public anxiety over COVID-19, still commonly referred to as the coronavirus.  Fears and near-panic have infiltrated the beleaguered heath care systems of our communities, the stock market, and a number of inter-connected industries and public events.  Add to that, discourse about the problem in our politically oriented media have included the “weaponization” of issues per the troubling practice of each side tending to seek victory at the expense of truth.

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Thursday, April 25, 2019

| April 25, 2019

Hubbard Radio’s All-News WTOP, Washington Takes 2018 Revenue Crown. The 2019 edition of the annual BIA Advisory Services Investing in Radio Market Report is released and accompanying that is the ranking of radio’s top revenue-earning stations from 2018. Once again, Hubbard Radio’s all-news WTOP, Washington was #1, earning $69 million in ad revenue.  As seen in the graphic above, iHeartMedia music-formatted stations in Los Angeles and New York take the next four slots.  But Entercom’s all-newsers in New York and Chicago – along with sports talk WFAN, New York – show their earning power consistency with return appearances at the same spots in the top 10.  One news/talk station – iHeartMedia’s KFI, Los Angeles – makes the list in the #10 spot as it did last year.  BIA notes that over-the-air advertising remained relatively flat at $13.3 billion (down 1.6% from $13.5 billion in 2017).  It was digital advertising platforms at local radio stations that saw revenue growth across the industry.   The report indicates digital income rose 8.1% to $923 million.  Putting over-the-air advertising together with digital revenue gave radio a 2018 revenue figure of $14.2 billion and, BIA says, “positioned radio as the fifth most significant local advertising platform, behind direct mail, mobile, online/digital, and local television.”  BIA Advisory Services SVP and chief economist Mark Fratrik states, “Although local radio stations are still important players in their markets and are managing to maintain their position in the top five advertising platforms, we do expect the OTA advertising revenue of U.S. radio stations to decrease this year by 1% to 2% and through the next few years.”  He adds that combined radio revenues will remain relatively flat for at least the next five years, while digital platforms will hit $1 billion by 2020.  See more about the report here.

PPM Analysis: Public Radio News/Talk. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his analysis of the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s March 2019 PPM survey, today zeroing in on public radio news/talk. A slight dip in weekly 6+ AQH share affects the format as 53% of stations go down and just 38% see a ratings increase from the February 2019 to the March 2019 survey.  The same situation applies to the year-over-year comparison – 53% of stations saw their 6+ number decrease from the March 2018 survey. There were four public radio news/talk stations that ranked #1 in their respective markets in March: KQED, San Francisco; KUOW, Seattle; KPBS, San Diego; and KUT, Austin.  See Mike Kinosian’s entire report here.

iHeartMedia Q1 Radio Biz Revenue Up 2.9%.  In a 10-Q filing with the Securities Exchange Commission, iHeartMedia releases financial data from the first quarter of 2019 that indicates the company’s radio and streaming revenue was $766 million, up almost 3% compared to the same period in 2018.  The company as a whole reports first quarter revenue of $1.38 billion, an increase of slightly less than 1% compared to the first quarter of 2018.  Consolidated operating income dropped from $60.9 million in Q1 2018 to $28.3 million this year due to impairment charges of $91.4 million.

SiriusXM First Quarter Pro Forma Revenue Up 10%. The acquisition of Pandora by SiriusXM adds a little wrinkle to the company’s 2019 first quarter financial report.  The company reports total revenue of $1.7 billion, an increase of 27% over the same period in 2018, that was driven by bringing Pandora into the fold.  On a pro forma basis, revenue increased 10%, hitting $1.9 billion in the first quarter.  But the Pandora acquisition impacted the company’s bottom line as net income was $162 million in Q1 of 2019, down from $289 million during the same period a year ago. During the quarter, SiriusXM added 131,000 net new self-pay subscribers, bringing its total above the 29 million mark.

TALKERS News Notes. Another major national award for Westwood One News comes on the heels of its recent National Headliner honor from the Press Club of Atlantic City. Now, the Society of Professional Journalists is bestowing its Sigma Delta Chi award upon Westwood One News for “Radio Breaking News Reporting” for the network’s coverage of the Parkland Florida School shooting and aftermath in February of 2018.  The award recognizes “resourceful and complete coverage of a major breaking news event, emphasizing both deadline reporting and continuing coverage as the story develops over succeeding days.”  Last year, Westwood One News won the honor for its coverage of the 2017 Las Vegas shooting…..Former Baltimore Ravens linebacker Jarret Johnson is joining the WBAL-AM and WIYY-FM-based Ravens Radio Network as color analyst alongside play-by-play voice Gerry Sandusky for this season.  Johnson worked on game broadcasts during the past two seasons and earns the promotion to the booth.  Cary Pahigian manages the Hearst radio stations and says, “Jarret’s NFL experience, unique insight, and enthusiasm is a major component of our superb Ravens broadcast team.”…..Bay Area public media corporation KQED announces that DeLinda Mrowka is promoted to the newly created position of chief audience officer.  In this executive role, Mrowka is “responsible for extending brand, deepening audience engagement and growth, and strengthening the membership and corporate sponsorship programs for one of the largest stations in public media.”  Mrowka started her KQED career in 2013 as the station’s executive director of marketing and communications before being promoted to vice president of corporate sponsorship in 2015.  In 2017 she was again promoted to vice president of marketing, with broad responsibilities overseeing the audience development, marketing, digital fundraising and corporate sponsorship teams.

PodcastOne Issues Request to Luminary. The subscription podcast start-up Luminary is facing the issue of a number of content creators requesting their shows be removed from its service for various reasons.  PodcastOne is one of those companies.  It made the move when it became aware that Luminary was carrying PodcastOne’s podcasts without permission.  PodcastOne executive chairman Norm Pattiz says, “Since Luminary’s focus has been promoted solely as a paid subscription model, we were surprised to see them also use the free model which they have spoken negatively about and compete against.  If they want to reach our audience to promote their site, then they should do the ‘unthinkable’ and advertise in our podcasts as hundreds of other advertisers do.”

WPG, Atlantic City’s Harry Hurley to Receive Inaugural Broadcaster of the Year Award from NJBA. Atlantic City morning drive personality Harry Hurley – heard daily on Townsquare Media’s news/talk WPGG-AM – is being honored by the New Jersey Broadcasters Association at its 71st Conference and Gala this summer with the first-ever “Broadcaster of the Year” award.  NJBA president and CEO Paul S. Rotella, Esq. says Hurley meets all of the criteria for this award “with a high degree of professionalism and a passionate dedication to his craft and the NJBA is very proud of our inaugural ‘Broadcaster of the Year’ recipient!”

Mueller Report Aftermath/Impeachment Talk, Trump vs Subpoenas, 2020 Presidential Politics/Biden Enters Race, Financial Markets Rally, Southern Border Crisis, Sri Lanka Bombings Aftermath, Putin-Kim Meeting, ‘Jeopardy!’ Record Breaker, Avengers: Endgame Film, NBA Playoffs, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/24). The response to the release of the redacted version of the Mueller Report and Democrats’ debate over impeachment possibilities; President Trump’s rejection of subpoenas from the U.S. House; the Democrats vying to challenge Trump in 2020, including Joe Biden’s entry into the race; U.S. financial markets hit records in latest rally; the state of the migrant influx at the U.S.-Mexico border; ISIS claims responsibility for Sri Lanka bombings; Russia’s Vladimir Putin meets with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un; the record-breaking “Jeopardy!” streak by James Holzhauer; the new Marvel Comics film Avengers: Endgame; the NBA playoffs; 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.

TALKERS CONVENTION SPOTLIGHT:  Panel Discussion to Address the Challenges Facing Talk Radio by Heightened Political Correctness.  One of the many highlights planned for the forthcoming Talkers 2019: Telling the Story on Friday, June 7 in New York City will be an extremely timely and pertinent panel discussion focusing on the challenges being faced by talk radio during the current era of heightened political correctness.  Titled “Talk Radio in the Era of ‘Watch What You Say,’” the session will feature panelists Michael Berry, host, “The Michael Berry Show”; Grace Blazer, national brand coordinator, news/talk/sports programming and director of AM programming Miami/Fort Lauderdale, iHeart MediaBrett Winterble, host KFMB-AM, San Diego; Larry Young, host, WOLB-AM, Baltimore; and Dan Yorke, host WPRO-AM, Providence. The session will be moderated by Bill Hess, VP of news/talk, Cumulus Media and program director, WMAL, Washington, DC.  Talk radio depends on the free-wheeling exchange of ideas, tolerance for controversy, and, most important, a healthy understanding of and respect for the First Amendment in order to operate effectively. These tenets are clearly under assault in the age of advertiser boycotts, righteous indignation and widespread hypocrisy.  This session will earnestly attempt to identify the issues at play and offer solutions to overcome the challenges and obstacles they present. Don’t miss this session!  The TALKERS convention is rapidly heading toward being an early sellout.  To see the entire up-to-the-minute agenda and registration/hotel information, please click here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Phoenix classic hits outlet KOOL-FM adds market radio personality Dee Garcia to its morning drive “The Niko Show” with host Nicholaus “Niko” Petrou.  She joins the Entercom station after having worked in the Valley at such stations as hot AC KMVA-FM and hip hop KKFR.  She says of her new gig, “I am honored to join Niko on ‘The Niko Show’ on KOOL.  Niko and [producer Abe] are positive, fun, and hardworking.  They are exactly the kind of people that you want to share your mornings with.”…..Alpha Media’s hot AC KEEZ, Mankato, Minnesota “Mix 99.1” names Zannie Kaye program director and morning drive personality.  Cluster operations manager Jeff Spence says, “We are more than excited to add Zannie Kaye to our Alpha Mankato team as our new host for the ‘Mix 99.1’ morning show and PD duties.  Zannie has a lot of experience and has had a terrific career in lots of different markets, including Minneapolis.  His energy is contagious and his warm and funny nature will win fans over immediately.”…..SummitMedia appoints sales pro Larry Jennings general sales manager for its Birmingham, Alabama stations that include: urban contemporary WBHK “98.7 KISS FM,” hip hop WBHJ “95.7 JAMZ,” and Gospel WAGG-AM “HEAVEN 610.” SummitMedia market president John Walker says, “Larry is exactly the professional we were looking for to lead our outstanding team. He has a proven track record of team building, talent development, client relations, community involvement, and revenue performance.”…..Beasley Media Group’s Philadelphia rock station WMMR-FM signs morning team “Preston and Steve” – Preston Elliot and Steve Morrison – to a new, multiyear contract extension.  The duo joined WMMR in May of 2005 and Beasley says the show has “maintained the top-rated morning show position in Philadelphia” since it launched.  The company says the show has “led the way in embracing innovative multi-platform initiatives, including creating daily, full-show and highlight episode podcasts, inventing their own ringtone service, producing daily/weekly video programs, and cultivating a formidable social media audience.”  Pictured below (from l-r) are: agent Glenn Goldstein, BBGI president Bruce Beasley, Beasley Media Group CEO Caroline Beasley, Elliot, Morrison, Beasley Philly market manager Joe Bell, Beasley EVP of strategy and innovation Buzz Knight, and Beasley rock format brand manager Bill WestonPhoto: BP Miller/Chorus Photography

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

| April 16, 2019

Round One of Nielsen’s March PPM Survey Released.  The first round of (6+) data from Nielsen Audio’s March PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey).  You can see all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations hereTALKERS magazine editor Mike Kinosian’s “Takeaways” from the March survey will appear at Talkers.com beginning tomorrow (4/17).

Francesa-Kay Battle at Center of New York Sports Talk Wars.  With the release of the March PPM survey data from Nielsen Audio yesterday, the battle between WFAN’s Mike Francesa and WEPN’s Michael Kay is back in the news.  Both afternoon drive sports talk shows are claiming victory in the “Winter Book” that uses the January, February and March PPM survey data.  The controversy lies in how one counts the numbers.  As Newsday reports, the issue here is whether not each station’s stream ratings are added to the over-the-air numbers.  Counting streams, Francesa beats Kay in Men 25-64 with 6.2 share to Kay’s 5.9 share.  But unlike WEPN, WFAN airs different spots in its stream and, WEPN would argue, WFAN doesn’t qualify for Total Line Reporting.  Taking away Francesa’s streaming numbers gives Kay a 5.9 to 5.5 (M 25-54) share advantage over Francesa.  No matter how one slices up the Nielsen numbers, neither host’s other avenues, such as Kay’s TV simulcast nor Francesa’s app data are taken into account in the “Winter Book” ratings.

Connoisseur and Cumulus Swap Stations in Allentown and Connecticut. This swap of assets gets Connoisseur Media two stations in the state of Connecticut in which it’s based – news/talk WICC-AM, Bridgeport and adult contemporary WEBE-FM, Westport – and it gives Cumulus Media four more stations for its Northeast Pennsylvania presence.  That group includes sports talk duo WEEX-AM and WTKZ-AM/W234AX, plus classic rock WODE-FM and alternative WWYY-FM.  The stations will begin being managed by the respective buyers under an LMA, effective May 1.  Connoisseur Media SVP and market manager Kristin Okesson says, “As a lifelong Connecticut resident and the former general sales manager of WEBE/WICC, it is my privilege to lead these stations.  The combined reach of our portfolio will offer exciting opportunities for our partners and to the communities we serve.”

WBRP, Baton Rouge Cuts Three Talk Personalities. Baton Rouge news/talk station WBRP “Talk 107.3” made what general manager Gordy Rush tells local TV outlet WAFB was a “business decision” and let go of morning show team Kevin Gallagher and Bill Profita as well as late morning talk host Clarence Buggs.  The Guaranty Media station’s morning show is cut to two hours and is now being hosted by program director Brian Haldane.  The late morning daypart is being filled by FOX News Radio host Brian Kilmeade from 8:00 am to 11:00 am, followed by Todd Starnes from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm.

SiriusXM Making Its Talk Hosts Available Via Podcasts on Pandora. This content sharing will make audio from SiriusXM’s talk talent – from its entertainment, talk, comedy, music, and sports programming – available to Pandora subscribers via the newly announced Podcasts on Pandora platform.  The service will use the company’s Podcast Genome Project technology to recommend podcasts. SiriusXM president and chief content officer Scott Greenstein says, “We’re excited that some of our most popular talk shows are now being made available to Pandora users.  This will be a great opportunity for new audiences to discover these SiriusXM shows, while providing Pandora with great programming, as we continue to collaborate on content opportunities for both platforms.”

2019 Gracie Award Winners Announced. The Alliance for Women in Media Foundation announces the winners of the 44th annual Gracie Awards being celebrated at The Gracie Awards Gala in Beverly Hills on Tuesday, May 21 and at the Gracie Awards Luncheon in New York on June 26.   Some of the honorees include Sean Hannity radio show producer Lynda McLaughlinAngela Yee of the urban morning drive show “The Breakfast Club”; syndicated country radio star Elaina Smith; Jayde Donovan of “The Jayde Show”; Jillian Barberie of “The Morning Drive” on KABC-AM, Los Angeles and more.  Alliance for Women in Media Foundation executive director Becky Brooks says, “Our leadership is proud to honor the best of the best who embody the spirit and intention of the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation’s Gracie Awards.”  Christine Travaglini, president of Katz Radio Group and chair of the board of directors adds, “In the more than four decades since the inception of the Gracie Awards – what stands out in 2019 is bravery.  The courage of storytellers to share poignant, relevant and compelling content. This will be a year of true celebration.” See all the winners here.

TALKERS News Notes. The KTRH, Houston-based Michael Berry show called on its listeners to assist military veterans with PTSD – seeking the donation of 1,000 suits – and brought in more than 5,000. Berry says, “The reason talk radio is a great format for advertisers is the reason it is the best platform for charitable events: community engagement.  It’s not a passive medium.  Listeners are engaged; they share our values.  They respond when we put out the call.  In this case, it was for our veterans, but it’s also the case when we endorse goods and services provided by people who share our values.” Berry is the national spokesman for PTSD Foundation of America, that operates Camp Hope, a residential treatment center committed to reducing the 22 suicides per day our veteran community is experiencing.  The suits are being donated to assist veterans who are seeking employment after coming home from a war zone…..Today is Chicago newsman Bob Roberts’ last day on the job at Entercom’s all-news WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM.  Roberts is retiring after a long career in the radio news biz.  WBBM director of news and programming Ron Gleason says Roberts is “one of Chicago’s best reporters” and “an invaluable member of our team thanks to his tremendous knowledge of the Chicago area and its transit system.  He’s second to none during breaking news situations.”  See highlights from Roberts’ career here…..Pubcaster WHYY in Philadelphia is acquiring the digital news publication Billy Penn.   The Philadelphia Business Journal reports that the millennial-targeted publication’s staffers will become WHYY employees…..The podcast “Crime Junkie” expands on its relationship with cabana, the digital audio business of AdLarge Media, and is now the exclusive ad sales partner for “Crime Junkie.”…..The Omaha World-Herald reports the death of KLIN, Lincoln, Nebraska talk show host Coby Mach.  He hosted the daily 5:00 pm “Drive Time Lincoln” program on the NRG Media news/talk station. He also served as the president of the Lincoln Independent Business Association.  The paper reports that he was ending his show due to his dealing with tinnitus and his wife’s ongoing battle with breast cancer.  Lincoln police are saying the death of the 53-year-old host was an apparent suicide.  He wrote in a Facebook post, “It’s time to slow down…Thanks to the KLIN crew for some great years and a lot of fun.  Thanks to the listeners and advertisers who made it all possible!”

KIRO-FM, Seattle’s Dori Monson Performs Sold-Out Stage Show. KIRO-FM midday talk show host Dori Monson (pictured above on stage) packed the Kirkland Performance Center on Friday (4/12) for his inaugural “What Are The Odds? An Evening with Dori Monson” one-man stage show.  The sold-out event did include guest appearances by other KIRO Radio talent, including news anchor Ursula Reutin, Monson’s longtime friend Dave Wyman, show producer Nicole Thompson and more.  KIRO-FM promoted the show with the following: “Sometimes a hustler. Frequently incorrigible. Often a rascal. What are the odds that an aimless kid from old-school Ballard would grow up to become Seattle’s most fiery and most-listened-to radio talk show host?  Find out when you reserve a seat as KIRO Radio’s Dori Monson introduces you to the remarkable people who helped shape his improbable career.”

Southern Border Issue/Sanctuary Cities Proposal, Redacted Mueller Report Expected, Notre Dame Fire, 2020 Presidential Politics/Weld to Challenge Trump for GOP Nom, ‘Game of Thrones’ Season Premiere, Tiger Woods’ Masters Victory, NBA Playoffs and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/15).  The Southern Border migrant issue and the related proposal by President Trump to transport migrants to sanctuary cities; the anticipated release of the redacted version of the Mueller Report; the fire at the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020 and Republican Bill Weld’s announced challenge to Trump’s GOP nomination; the premiere of the final season of “Game of Thrones”; Tiger Woods’ stunning Masters victory; NBA playoff action; and MLB action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Hannity, O’ Reilly and Rome Set to Keynote Talkers 2019: Telling the Story. The agenda continues to grow as the 22nd annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important annual convention takes shape for Friday, June 7 in New York City. Heading up a roster of more than 55 speakers will be Premiere Networks/Fox News Channel superstar Sean Hannity, Key Networks radio commentator, best-selling author and former FNC personality Bill O’Reilly, and CBS Sports Radio giant Jim Rome. Talkers 2019: Telling the Story will take place at the ultra-modern Helen Mills Event Space and Theater located in the colorful Chelsea district of Manhattan. Radio Advertising Bureau CEO Erica Farber will moderate a special panel focusing on the challenges facing talk radio sales and marketing in 2019. Senior VP programming WFAN and Entercom NY and CBS Sports Radio, captain/sports format Mark Chernoff will participate in a discussion about the state of sports talk radio. A general programming discussion will include Mike McVay, EVP, content and programming, Cumulus Media and Justin Chase, EVP programming, Beasley Media Group; Some of the other speakers already set to participate in the program include (in alphabetical order): Dr. Asa Andrew, host, Asa RX; Greg Batusic, chief operations officer, PodcastOne; Mike “Bax” Baxendale, host, WAQY, Springfield, MA “Rock 102”; Vince Benedetto, CEO, Bold Gold Media Group; Michael Berry, host, The Michael Berry Show; Grace Blazer, national brand coordinator, news/talk/sports programming and director of AM programming Miami/Fort Lauderdale, iHeartMedia; Jim Bohannon, host, Westwood One; Phil Boyce, SVP spoken word format, Salem Media Group and VP/operations, Salem Radio Network, New York Region; Howie Carr, host, The Howie Carr Show; Kathy Carr, president, The Howie Carr Show; Heather Cohen, EVP, The Weiss Agency; Michael Czarnecki, program director, WONK-FM, Washington, DC; Kate Delaney, host, NBC Sports; Alex Fife, VP/regional operations, Total Traffic & Weather Network – Southeast; Greg Foster, VP programming and national news/talk brand coordinator, iHeartMedia/PD, KOA, Denver; Dom Giordano, host, WPHT, Philadelphia; Steven Goldstein, founder/CEO, Amplifi Media; Sebastian Gorka, host, Salem Radio Network; Suzanne Grimes, EVP/marketing, Cumulus Media and president, Westwood One; Lee Habeeb, host/producer, Our American Stories; Thom Hartmann, host WYD Media; Bill Hess, VP of news/talk, Cumulus Media and program director, WMAL, Washington, DC; Harry Hurley, host, WPGG, Atlantic City; Andrew Kalb, executive director of programming, ABC News Radio; Brian Kilmeade, host, FOX News Radio/FOX News Channel; Scott Lakefield, assistant program director, WOR, New York; Greg Moceri, CEO, Moceri Media; John T. Mullen, operations manager, WRHU, Hofstra University; Bill O’ Reilly, commentator, Key Networks; Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo, host, The Joe Pags Show; Michael Riedel, host, WOR, New York; Dave Robinett, Chief Marketing Officer, #250 – America’s Mobile Speed Dial; Jim Rome, host, CBS Sports Radio; Sid Rosenberg, host, WABC, New York; Todd Starnes, host, Fox News Radio; Walter M. Sterling, host, Westwood One; Julie Talbott, president, Premiere Networks; Mike Thomas, program director, WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub,” Boston/brand manager for spoken word, podcasts, esports, Beasley Broadcasting; Rick Ungar, host, The Rick Ungar Program/editor-in-chief, TheDailyCentrist.com; Dr. Daliah Wachs, host, Genesis Communications Network; Brett Winterble, host KFMB-AM, San Diego; Dan Yorke, host, WPRO-AM/WEAN-FM, Providence; Rich Zeoli, host, WPHT, Philadelphia; and Michael Zwerling, owner, KSCO/KOMY, Santa Cruz. More speakers to be named in the days and weeks ahead along with a complete agenda. The conference will feature more than 50 top speakers from all aspects of the spoken-word media industry – including talent, programmers, managers and owners – with a focus on talk radio and its role in the rapidly accelerating digital age. This will include programming, sales, marketing, and technology as well as the full spectrum of concerns, challenges and opportunities facing modern day talk broadcasters and broadcasting organizations. It will feature keynote addresses, panel discussions, fireside chats, one-on-one conversations and exhibits of the latest services and equipment available to broadcasting professionals. Like its predecessors, Talkers 2019: Telling the Story will also provide its attendees with unparalleled networking opportunities and social mixers including breakfast, lunch, and a closing cocktail reception — all in a single, power-packed day! Full agenda details, speaker roster and hotel information will be posted in TALKERS during the days and weeks ahead. As is customary with TALKERS conventions, Talkers 2019: Telling the Story 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. To take advantage of the hotel discount available to TALKERS convention attendees, contact the Hilton Fashion District Hotel located directly across the street from the venue at 152 W. 26th St, New York, NY 10001 by clicking here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  The big music radio story is Cumulus Media’s announced sale of classic rock KLOS, Los Angeles to Meruelo Media for $43 million in cash.  The deal was announced at the same time as the Connoisseur swap noted above.  Cumulus president and CEO Mary Berner says, “These transactions are part of the continued execution of our portfolio optimization strategy.  Both transactions are accretive, and the sale of KLOS-FM to Meruelo Media at an attractive multiple allows us to generate substantial cash, which can be used to further pay down debt and invest in high-potential business opportunities.  The Connoisseur Media swap significantly strengthens our presence in Allentown and the Lehigh Valley.”  There’s no indication from Meruelo if it intends to make programming changes to KLOS or not…..Two big moves take place in the Seattle market as former Alpha Media EVP of programming Scott Mahalick joins Hubbard Radio’s cluster there as brand/content director for country KNUC “98.9 The Bull.”  At the same time, Hubbard Radio Seattle VP/market manager Ann Marie Mulholland announces the return of “Fitz in the Morning” to the Seattle airwaves. Mulholland says, “The country audience in Seattle has been without their favorite morning show host for too long.  I believe the dynamic duo of Fitz backed by Scott Mahalick will change the face of radio in Seattle.”…..Back in Los Angeles, iHeartMedia’s hip hop KRRL “REAL 92.3” grabs J Cruz away from crosstown competitor KPWR to host the afternoon show.  “The Cruz Show” had been heard in mornings on Meruelo’s Media’s KPWR.  Joining Cruz on his show will be executive producerJeff Garcia, DJ Lechero and DJ Lezlee.   KRRL program director Doc Wynter says, “iHeartMedia is all about attracting the very best on-air talent and I’m excited to add J Cruz to the growing list of super talents in our thriving Los Angeles market.  Big Boy in the mornings and J Cruz in the afternoons – I get chills just saying it!”…..Entercom names Boston radio personality Karen Blake the new afternoon drive host at adult contemporary WMJX-FM “Magic 106.7.”  Blake was most recently morning drive host on WQRC, Cape Cod.  In Boston she’d previously served in drive time at WODS-FM and the old WQSX-FM (now WEEI-FM). Blake says, “It is a privilege to return to the Entercom family.  I am looking forward to being part of an air staff that I’ve admired for years and am thrilled to be continuing my career in my hometown of Boston.”

Friday, December 7, 2018

| December 7, 2018

Sean Hannity Tops Mediaite ‘Influential’ List. Consumer publication Mediaite unveils its 2018 list of the most influential figures in news media, and Premiere Networks/FOX News Channel superstar Sean Hannity is #1 this year.  Mediate says of Hannity: “There are many figures in media and on the air at FOX News that form what certain critics refer to as President Donald Trump’s ‘shadow cabinet.’  Only one of them has phone calls with the president on a truly regular basis.  When Sean Hannity isn’t chatting with the leader of the free world over the phone – they talk policy, media, ratings, and gossip – he’s speaking to him through his FOX News primetime show.  Did we mention Hannity is the highest-rated cable news show in the United States?  It has been for two years running.  And not by any small measure.  Hannity regularly notches a whopping three million viewers a night and sometimes breaks four.  His three-hour radio show garners millions of listeners too, making Hannity a veritable media empire in and of himself.  He has no shortage of critics who argue that his sort of advocacy doesn’t belong on a news network, but despite that Hannity has emerged as the king of cable news — after playing the long game over two decades at FOX.  Pair that with a direct line to the White House, and there’s simply no one more influential.”  The list – composed of 75 media figures including talk hosts, news anchors, comedians, executives, reporters and more – includes two other personalities doing radio work.  Laura Ingraham, who is transitioning her talk radio show to a podcast in the New Year, is ranked #36, and Westwood One-syndicated radio talk host Mark Levin is #67.

iHeartMedia Chapter 11 Confirmation Hearing Postponed. That December 11 Confirmation Hearing for iHeartMedia’s Chapter 11 reorganization is postponed to “a future date.”  We don’t know what date that is as it’s not been set.  According to a filing with Bankruptcy Court in Houston, iHeartMedia and Wilmington Savings Fund Society are agreeing to the extension. WSFS represents holders of two issues of senior notes and it appears they and iHM have more to hammer out before proceeding with the Confirmation Hearing.  In the meantime, as iHeart moves toward exiting Chapter 11 reorganization (sometime in early 2019, the company hopes) CEO Bob Pittman issues a company-wide pep talk memo reminding staffers they work for a company with a “unique position” in the media business.  Regarding the press the company’s bankruptcy proceeding is getting and the reports of companies like Liberty Media wanting a piece of iHM, Pittman says, consider it a “compliment” that there are those out there who want a piece of iHM’s equity.”

PPM Analysis: Sports Talk Radio. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s November PPM survey, today focusing on sports talk.  A comparison with the October survey indicates about half the sports talkers in PPM markets saw their weekly 6+ AQH share go up and the other half declined.  Entercom’s WSCR, Chicago saw the biggest decline as it was down 1.4 shares. The company’s WBZ-FM, Boston realized the highest gain of 0.8 shares.  Comparing November 2017 to this year, Entercom’s WVEI-FM, Providence was the big winner, up 2.2 shares to a 5.4 share, while Capitol Broadcasting’s WCMC-FM, Raleigh dropped 2.8 shares year-over-year.  WFAN is tops in Long Island as the Entercom sports talker ranked #1 in November.  A big month in sports talk in Boston saw WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub” rank #2 with a 6.1 share and crosstown competitor WEEI rank #3 with a 5.7 share.  See the entire report here.

Michael Berry Show Adds Digital Director. The nationally syndicated Michael Berry show announces it adds Josh Benoit to the staff as digital director.  Berry’s KTRH, Houston-based talk show is currently heard in almost 20 markets. Berry states, “I’m adding critical skills to my team so that the Michael Berry show is equipped for the next few years of exciting growth and expansion. I want our on-air content to continue to engage and entertain and I want to use the tools of technology to take that content and share it in more places.  Josh is the perfect talent to do that.  His relationships within the industry, as well as his focus on quality daily content, will prepare for us for an exciting future.” Benoit, who works on air as Josh Reno, will continue his weekend roles with alternative KTBZ, Houston and classic rock KYRV, Sacramento.  The Michael Berry show features executive producer Chad Nakanishi, the “King of Ding” Ramon Robles, “Producer KennyWebster, research director Sandra Peterson, “and a cast of characters and frequent callers.”

Glenn Beck’s Mercury One Charity Assists Lincoln Presidential Library. Upon learning that one-of-a-kind Abraham Lincoln artifacts were in danger of being sold to pay off debt, Glenn Beck’s Mercury One charity launched the “5 4 Lincoln” campaign that raised $50,869. A collection of documents and artifacts, owned by the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation and housed at the Lincoln Library and Museum in Springfield, Illinois, is not paid off and the foundation still owes $9.2 million.  If the foundation can’t make the payments, artifacts will have to be sold to raise the money.  Beck says, “When I heard about the museum and the help they needed last summer, we started a ‘5 4 Lincoln’ fundraiser.  Thousands of my listeners have signed up to donate $5 a month to help grow the library and preserve these treasures.  I wish we could do it all, but we are excited to play any role in helping.  Join us at 54Lincoln.com. We are committed through the long haul.”

TALKERS News Notes. Los Angeles news/talk KFI is presenting the eighth annual “KFI PastaThon,” an on-air fundraising event to help feed local children in need all day today (12/7) at the Christ Cathedral in Garden Grove. Proceeds will benefit Caterina’s Club, a charitable organization that helps feed, house and educate children in need in the Orange County.  During the 17-hour live broadcast, all of KFI’s on-air personalities – Bill Handel, Jennifer Jones Lee, Gary Hoffmann, Shannon Farren, John Kobylt, Ken Chiampou, and Tim Conway Jr. – are on site encouraging listeners to donate packaged pasta, jars of pasta sauce and money to help feed local children in need.  KFI program director Robin Bertolucci says, “This is an entire station and community effort.  Not only does ‘KFI PastaThon’ help feed children in need but it also aims to end the cycle of poverty.  We are grateful for our incredibly giving listeners.”  Since 2010, KFI has raised more than $1.8 million and 340,000 pounds of pasta and sauce to benefit Caterina’s Club…..CBS-TV’s “The Talk” is replacing Julie Chen – wife of embattled, former CBS Corp. chief Les Moonves – with “Dancing with the Stars” judge Carrie Ann Inaba.  Chen left the show as the allegations of sexual impropriety against Moonves began to heat up…..Westwood One News is producing a series of 20 year-in-review reports – one-minute vignettes showcasing the year’s biggest stories.  Westwood One News is also providing to affiliate stations two long-form, year-in-review programs: “The Year in Review – The Big Stories,” hosted by correspondent Michael Toscano, and “The Year in Review – People and Entertainment,” hosted by correspondent John Trout.  These programs will replace “The Week in Review” and “America This Week,” respectively, the weekends of December 22 and 23 and December 29 and 30, 2018.

Death of George H.W. Bush Top News/Talk Story for Week of December 3-7. The passing of former President George H. W. Bush was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At # 2 this week was the Trump-Russia investigation. Coming in at #3 was the migrant surge at the U.S.-Mexico border, followed by financial markets activity at #4. The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  See this week’s entire chart here.

Jim Bohannon Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. One of the longest-running and most highly regarded talk show hosts in radio, Jim Bohannon, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Bohannon broadcasts via Westwood One to hundreds of stations every weekday evening between 10:00 pm and 1:00 am ET. He has been a professional radio personality for 58 years and is still going strong. Along the way, he has been the recipient of numerous awards and honors including the Special Recognition First Amendment Award from the Radio Television Digital News Association and a nomination for the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Marconi Radio Award for Network Syndicated Personality of the Year. He was named by TALKERS as the 2013 recipient of its prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award in addition to being a perennial member of the publication’s “Heavy Hundred” – the 100 most important radio talk show hosts in America. He is also an inductee into the National Radio Hall of Fame. Known for his even-handed approach to the issues and big, friendly personality, Bohannon is an extremely likeable figure, popular with his radio colleagues and listeners alike. He and Harrison engage in an informal discussion about the major issues and interests facing America during the Age of Trump from divisive political polarity and political correctness to the state of the First Amendment and celebrity gossip. To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column of the TALKERS email newsletter and every page of Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Philadelphia CHR WTDY welcomes new morning drive show “Coop and Casey” to the air.  Sean “Coop” Tabler (left) and Casey Reed (right) take on morning show duties as the station recently transitioned from country to CHR.  Reed comes to WTDY from crosstown CHR WIOQ.  Tabler was most recently morning host at country WGH, Norfolk, Virginia. Entercom Philadelphia SVP and market manager David Yadgaroff states, “We are so excited to bring Coop to Philly and to welcome Casey back to the 96.5 TDY family.  Together, their focus on all things Philadelphia, along with their infectious energy is just what WTDY’s listeners are looking for in the morning.”…..At iHeartMedia’s hot AC WMTX, Tampa “Mix 100.7,” Laura Diaz is leading the new “Mix Morning Show with Laura Diaz,” starting January 3.  She joins “Mix 100.7” from iHeartMedia Orlando’s CHR WXXL “XL106.7,” where she co-hosted “Johnny’s House” with Johnny Magic for the past seven years.  She says, “My great-grandparents emigrated from Spain to Tampa in search of the American Dream.  To think that 103 years later I have the opportunity to be the female lead on a morning show and continue the dream is overwhelming!  I’m grateful and humbled to be able to join a community-focused station like ‘Mix 100.7’ and to continue doing what I love with iHeartMedia.”…..At Hubbard Radio’s country WYGY, Cincinnati “97.3 The Wolf,” air staffers Ernie Brown, Pete Miller, and Jimmy Salzurulo exit as the station appears to be going jockless.  That report comes from WVXU’s John Kiesewetter who also talks with Brown about his career in Cincinnati radio…..Beasley Media Group parts ways with adult contemporary WPBB, Tampa “B98.7” morning team Chadd & Kristi after almost two years.  The station is in Christmas mode and rumors in the market are that a format change may be in store for WPBB…..The Envision Networks-syndicated weekend rock show “Chop Shop Guitar Show” is celebrating the production of the 800th consecutive program.  On this weekend’s program, host Steve Black is joined by Lzzy Hale and Joe Hottinger from Halestorm and Trans-Siberian Orchestra guitar maestro Al Pitrelli…..Superadio Networks and CTC Productions announce an affiliation and sales partnership agreement to syndicate “Explicitly Old School with T-Boz,” a daily radio show hosted by Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins from the legendary super group TLC.  The one-hour, daily show is designed to air on rhythmic, urban, urban AC and throwback stations and features hip hop and R&B artists such as Dr. Dre, Mary J. Blige, LL Cool J, Snoop Dogg, Tupac, Kanye West, Lauryn Hill, P Diddy, and more.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

| February 7, 2018

KTRH, Houston’s Michael Berry Chats On Air with iHM CEO Bob Pittman.  During a visit to the Houston offices of iHeartMedia, company CEO Bob Pittman took a few minutes to sit in on the Michael Berry show based at flagship station KTRH, Houston.  He talked with Berry about his belief in the audio experience.  “I’m bullish on audio…depends on how you count it, we’re probably the number two podcaster in the U.S., behind NPR.  Podcasting has shown that, oh my gosh, people actually want to listen to people go in depth.  Certainly, radio has this enormous listenership…but we’re adding these pieces to it to make this even better and we’re doing this because the audience wants it.”  He also expressed his belief that smart speakers – such as Google’s Alexa – are the new clock/radio for the consumer’s home, citing their growth in popularity and ease of use.  Check out the segment here.

PodcastOne Series “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison” Rebranding with Expanded Scope.  Beginning this week, in marking its third anniversary, the weekly PodcastOne series “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison” will transition to a new name and incorporate a wider scope of guests and topics.  Under the new title, “The Michael Harrison Interview,” the program will be less targeted to the talk media and radio industries and more aimed at a worldwide general audience consisting of what its host,TALKERS founder Michael Harrison, describes as “media freaks,pop culture aficionados, political junkies and the philosophically curious.”  Although the newly positioned podcast will still include guests from the talk media field, it will also delve deeper into politics, science, the arts, technology, sociology, sports and philosophy.  As far as the weekly audio interviews with talk media figures that “Up Close and Far Out” has encompassed are concerned, Harrison will continue to conduct them and post them on Talkers.com.  According to Harrison, “Nothing will change in that regard.  We have been very successful with the Talkers interviews and will continue to do them.  I will basically be doing an extra podcast each week with this expanded vehicle.”   In announcing the expansion of the PodcastOne series, company founder and executive chairman Norm Pattiz states, “I met Michael Harrison decades ago in Los Angeles when he was managing editor of Radio & Records.  He also was a leading major market music and talk personality on KMET and syndicated nationally as a star performer on several of the top networks including Westwood One.  He had an amazing range and skill set as a broadcaster.  He voluntarily gave that up as the years passed to concentrate on his role as a trade magazine publisher and industry thought-leader.  In time, most folks in the business forgot that he was one of the best interviewers and all around broadcasters in radio.  I’m pleased to say that his performance on ‘Up Close and Far Out’ these past three years caused many people in the industry to take notice of his outstanding talent as an interviewer beyond just the topic of radio.  It has led to a number of stand-out, major market fill-in appearances and now, this new podcast.  I’m delighted to roll out one of the best kept secrets in the radio business – Michael Harrison as a world class talk show host.”  To listen to the debut installment of “The Michael Harrison Interview” featuring a deep-dive conversation with The Federalist publisher Ben Domenech, please click here.

Judge Shoots Down Request by Nielsen and Bubba Attorneys to Use Electronic Devices in Pre-Trial Conference.  When the pre-trial conference gets underway on Friday (2/9) at 11:30 in U.S. District Court in Tampa, the lawyers for both sides in the Nielsen vs Bubba the Love Sponge case will be without their laptops, iPads and smartphones.  Lawyers for both parties filed a Joint Motion to Permit Use of Electronic Equipment, but were denied.  Nielsen is suing Bubba the Love Sponge for $1 million for damages related to the ratings manipulation case in the Tampa market.  Bubba is countersuing.

TALKERS News Notes.  There’s a programming change at Dickey Broadcasting’s sports talk WCNN-AM/W229AG, Atlanta “680 and 93.7 The Fan” as the morning drive and late morning shows flip-flop.  “The Front Row” with Steak Shapiro, Sandra Golden, and Brian Finneran moves to the morning drive slot and the Nick Cellini and Chris Dimino show moves from mornings to the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon daypart.  The rest of the program schedule stays as is…..Another high-profile departure from NPR happens amidst allegations of sexual impropriety.  This time, award-winning investigative journalist Daniel Zwerdling exits the organization, according to a report in The Current.  The story says that all NPR would confirm is that Zwerdling is no longer on the staff.  Zwerdling himself states that allegations of sexual harassment are untrue and that he retired from NPR in January.  But, the story notes that “at least two NPR staffers reported Zwerdling to human resources in November.”  It also reports that subsequent allegations go back to the mid-1990s.  Zwerdling is quoted saying, “The allegations are not true.  When the movement started sweeping across the nation recently to expose sexual harassers and predators, I applauded it.  I still do.  The current national reckoning regarding sexual harassment is a momentous opportunity for America to make itself a better, safer and more equitable country.  Yet as many have already observed, there are also perhaps predictable and troubling collateral casualties along the way. The allegations against me are one of those instances.”

Former WFNI-AM/WIBC-FM, Indianapolis Staffer Loses Harassment Case Against Emmis.  The complaint against Emmis by former WFNI and WIBC, Indianapolis digital brand manager Kristine Esser Slentz was dismissed after Emmis sought a Motion to Strike and a Motion for Summary Judgement and was granted those motions.  The court also sustained Emmis’ objections to Slentz’s evidence as hearsay.  In her complaint, Slentz said that two show producers with whom she interacted in the course of her job, called her a “bitch” behind her back and criticized her work, among other actions she says created a hostile work environment.  But the court granted Emmis’ motions due to its agreement that any name-calling was hearsay – never heard by Slentz herself, and that the actions alleged on the part of the two producers, if true, did not cross the thresholds necessary for a hostile work environment claim.

Nominees Being Accepted for National Radio Hall of Fame. March 30 is the deadline for nominations for the 30th Annual National Radio Hall of Fame Induction that will take place in New York City in November.  The NRHOF nominating committee wants you to know you should make suggestions for individuals in the following categories: Longstanding Local/Regional (20 years or more), Active Local/Regional (10 years or more), Networks/Syndication (10 years or more), Longstanding Network/Syndication (20 years or more), Music Format On-Air Personality, and/or Spoken Word On-Air Personality.  National Radio Hall of Fame chairman Kraig T. Kitchin says, “We’re looking forward to celebrating this milestone anniversary in New York City.  As we prepare for the special evening, it’s our priority to provide everyone the opportunity to be a part of it, starting with suggestions for our 2018 nominees.”

RAB: Radio’s Digital Revenue Grew 13.4% in 2017.  This data comes from the Radio Advertising Bureau and Borrell Associates study called, “Benchmarking Local Radio Stations’ Online Revenues.”  This is the 6th annual RAB-Borrell report that analyzes online ad revenue from more than 10,000 radio stations, as well as survey responses from more than 1,300 local businesses that buy radio advertising.  Among the findings: 1) 85% of radio advertisers are also buying some form of digital advertising, and that three-quarters of them are buying digital and radio together; 2) digital ad revenue now accounts for 7.5% of the average station’s ad revenues, up from 6.3% last year; 3) digital revenue grew 13.4% in 2017, to a total of $700 million.  The forecast for 2018 is even higher; and 4) radio advertisers’ top marketing goal is to acquire new business, and they rank social media and radio as the top two methods to achieve those goals.  RAB president and CEO Erica Farber comments, “Digital has been integrated into all facets of broadcast radio’s offering both in programming and sales, and the results are definitely paying off.  As radio continues to provide integrated marketing solutions to its advertisers we expect to see continued growth.  The RAB is focused on providing digital training and continued knowledge building for our members so they can better serve their clients.”  RAB members can get the full report here.

Dow Activity/Bitcoin Value Swings, Trump-Russia Investigation, Trump Requests Military Parade, Government Shutdown Threat/Immigration Policy, FBI Surveillance Memo/Texting Scandal, Illegal Charged with NFL Player’s Death in DUI, Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, Black Panther Film, LA Times Sale, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/6).  The Dow returns more than 500 points and the related fluctuating value of Bitcoin; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives; President Trump requests the Pentagon stage a military parade; the renewed threat of a government shutdown and President Trump’s insistence on immigration reform being tied to a spending bill; the release of the Nunes FBI surveillance memo and the suggestion that the FBI texting scandal involved Barack Obama; a twice-deported illegal alien is charged in the DUI death of Indianapolis Colts player Edwin Jackson; the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea; the political messages within The Black Panther film; the Los Angeles Times is sold to a SoCal billionaire doctor; and NBA action 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. St. Louis morning drive personality Courtney Landrum re-ups with Entercom’s hot AC KYKY “Y98” on a multi-year deal.  At the same time, the name of the morning show is being changed to “Courtney and Company.”  The station says that “Y98” personalities Jen Myers, Kevin “The Intern” Berghoff, and Lance Hildebrand will remain on the show.  Landrum began her professional career as producer for “The Steve and DC Morning Show” in St. Louis in the early 1990s.  She joined “Y98” in 1999 as producer and co-host of “The Phillips and Company Morning Show,” and has been with the morning show ever since…..In Los Angeles, SVP/market manager Val Maki and VP/sales Janet Brainin make an unexpected exit from Meruelo Media Los Angeles, operator of classic hip hop simulcast “KDAY” – KDAY, Redondo Beach and KDEY, Ontario – and hip hop KPWR “Power 106.”  Both transitioned to Meruelo after having been with Emmis at KPWR for years prior to the sale of the station to Meruelo…..KUPL, Portland “98.7 The Bull” evening personality Cassidy Quinn is covering the Winter Olympics embedded as a reporter for NBC.  KUPL program director MoJoe Roberts says, “There is no better-suited person to capture the stories and behind-the-scenes moments than Cassidy!  We can’t wait to see and hear these highlights come to life from her perspective.”…..Indiana-based Woof Boom flips former Christian contemporary WKHL, West LaFayette to adult contemporary (with new calls WLQQ) as “Q106.7” after purchasing the station from Educational Media Foundation…..Eric Garcia exits his audio revenue chief position at Spanish Broadcasting System and his additional position as VP/GM of WSKQ/WPAT, New York.  At SBS New York, Albert Rodriguez COO of SBS is the interim general manager and Elizabeth “Liz” Paulino was promoted to general sales manager.

PPM Analysis: Adult Contemporary.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s Holiday 2017 PPM survey, today focusing on adult contemporary.  The Holiday survey is usually a bonanza for adult contemporary outlets since Christmas music is such a part of their programming and the fluctuations in 6+ numbers from the December survey to the Holiday survey bear that out as “eight of 10 adult contemporary facilities noted here (80%) are up December 2017 – Holiday 2017, while 18% are down; the remaining 2% are steady.”  Looking at a comparison of Holiday 2016 to Holiday 2017, “approximately the same number of adult contemporary stations on this sample decline year-to-year (49%) as improve (46%), while the remaining 5% are flat.”  An amazing 38 AC stations ranked #1 in their respective markets (6+) during the Holiday survey.  See the whole report here.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

| September 5, 2017

CBS RADIO VP Sports Programming Mike Thomas Signs Contract Extension.  Programming pro Mike Thomas signs a multi-year contract extension with CBS RADIO to continue his roles with the company as corporate vice president of sports programming and VP of programming for the Boston cluster.  CBS RADIO EVP of programming Chris Oliviero states, “Mike is an accomplished programming executive whose outstanding talent has led our company to success across both music and spoken word formats, which is a rare feat in our industry.  I look forward to partnering closely with Mike for years to come on growing our Boston properties along with our industry leading sports platform coast to coast.”  Thomas’ almost-20-year management resume includes work as PD for classic rock WZLX, rock WBCN and sports talk WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub.”

The Triad’s WSJS Officially Launches as Sports Outlet.  The change from news/talk sports to full-on sports talk on Curtis Media’s WSJS, Winston-Salem officially took place on Friday (9/1).  Curtis Media Triad general manager Al Bunch comments, “Local sports fans have been asking for a forum like this.  ‘WSJS SPORTS’ is the Triad’s new destination for sports talk.  Our roster of a local afternoon sports talk show, local high school football, NC college sports, NASCAR, and popular FOX Sports Radio hosts is unmatched.  We’re excited to offer this untapped audience to local businesses market-wide.”  The program schedule includes “Outkick the Coverage with Clay Travis” for mornings, followed by Dan Patrick.  The regionally syndicated David Glenn show airs from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm, followed by local personality Kyle Schassburger in PM drive.  “WSJS SPORTS” airs on four stations and their FM translators: WSJS, Winston-Salem/W267AM; WMFR, High Point/W285EU; WCOG, Greensboro/W229CH; and WSML, Graham/W283BT.

Binnie Media and Gen Media Partners Announce Strategic Alliance.  Station owner Binnie Media announces it is shifting its national ad sales representation to Gen Media Partners.  The companies state that this move is “part of a unique strategic alliance to drive regional and national ad revenue.”  As part of the agreement, Binnie Media’s Boston office will handle all national business for Gen Media Partners, giving both companies, as well as Gen Media Partners’ other station partners, expanded Boston and New England presence and increased regional opportunities.  Binnie president Lee Kinberg comments, “Considering where national and regional business has been heading, we were looking for a partner open to a new kind of relationship that would capitalize on each company’s platforms to grow revenue.  We needed a sales and marketing team that was open to breaking down the lines of the traditional rep-station relationship without the inherent conflicts of interest that sometimes arise in the national representation business.”  Sales pro Jimmie Vereault will handle national ad sales for Gen Media Partners out of their Boston office and use the combined Binnie Media-Gen Media Partners’ platforms to drive regional as well as national business.

KJR-AM, Seattle Sports Talker Mitch Levy Nabbed in Prostitute Sting.  A prostitution sting in Bellevue, Washington netted 110 “Johns” – among them was KJR-AM, Seattle morning drive sports talk personality Mitch Levy.  According to The Seattle Times, Bellevue Police and the King County Sheriff’s Office orchestrated the sting in a condominium complex.  Levy, who was arrested and charged with misdemeanor patronizing a prostitute, told the detectives he’d been playing golf earlier in the day was there to receive a massage.  iHeartMedia has not issued a public statement on the matter.

TALKERS News Notes.  The 2017 NFL regular season begins on Thursday and NCAA football season is already underway.  This year, Focus 360 and Sports USA are again offering a slate of  NCAA football games to affiliate stations.  Focus 360 announces that it has partnered with Gen Media Partners for national ad sales.  The Sports USA schedule includes 16 regular season games plus four bowl games: Sun, Outback, Las Vegas, and Independence…..Westwood One is airing this Thursday night’s matchup between the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots and the Kansas City Chiefs.  In the booth are Kevin Harlan and Boomer Esiason with Tony BoselliJim Gray hosts the pregame and halftime with contributions from Pats’ quarterback Tom Brady and Cardinals’ wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald…..SiriusXM is offering subscribers comprehensive coverage of the NFL season, featuring live broadcasts of every game.  In addition to live play-by-play, subscribers get daily NFL talk on SiriusXM NFL Radio.

North Korea Bomb Test, Threat of Hurricane Irma, Utah Nurse Arrest Incident, Trump’s ‘Dreamer’ Decision, Harvey Aftermath, Senator Menendez Trial, Elon Musk’s WWIII Prediction, Labor Day Holiday, MLB Action, and NFL Roster Cutdowns Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  North Korea’s detonation of its largest nuclear warhead yet and threats to launch another ICBM test; Florida braces for a possible hit from Hurricane Irma; the viral video of a Utah nurse being arrested for following hospital procedure; President Trump to end DACA or the “Dreamer” act within six months; the aftermath of Hurricane/tropical storm Harvey; U.S. Senator Robert Menendez’s corruption trial; Elon Musk predicts World War III in the race to develop the most powerful artificial intelligence; the Labor Day holiday weekend; Major League Baseball action; and the cutdown to 53 for NFL clubs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to research from TALKERS magazine.

National Radio Hall of Fame Recognizes 100 Years of American Radio.  The National Radio Hall of Fame announces that it will debut its “100 Years of Radio” exhibit housed in Chicago’s Museum of Broadcast Communications in fall 2019 – the year leading up to the official anniversary in 2020.  A press release says, “To create a tribute worthy of the medium, the current space will undergo renovation, creating an interactive experience through emerging technologies and architecture. Patrons of the museum will have access to audio performances and histories of inductees as well as valuable artifacts ranging from microphones of iconic personalities to instruments from live radio theater productions.”  National Radio Hall of Fame chairman Kraig T. Kitchin adds, “This is an exciting time as we get to innovate and modernize the presentation of our medium’s rich history.  Plus, we’re looking forward to bringing the ceremony to New York City, especially since we received great feedback when we brought it to Los Angeles in 2014.”

Deep in the ‘Hot’ of Texas.  Broadcasters and netcasters are in Austin this week for the NAB + RAB Radio Show, and today’s RAIN Summit.  TALKERS magazine conventionista contributore Holland Cooke (pictured above) reports all this week.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Chicago radio personality Gary Spears revealed to his listeners on CBS RADIO’s classic hits WJMK, Chicago “K-Hits 104.3” that he’s leaving the station in mid-October to relocate to Florida.  He’s been with WJMK since 2011 and had worked at a number of Chicago stations during his career, including CBS’ CHR WBBM-FM…..iHeartMedia names Nikki Corl marketing director for the Charlotte market and the Carolinas.  She was most recently with the company’s Richmond, Virginia cluster as promotions director.  iHeartMedia EVP of programming for the Northeast Division Meg Stevens says, “Nikki is a proven leader.  She is the right choice to lead a very diverse and creative team in The Queen City.”…..iHeartMedia’s KVDU, New Orleans shifts from classic hits to adult hits as “104.1 The Spot.”  The station says its core artists created hits during the 70s, 80s and early 90s and include: Madonna, Boston, Bon Jovi and Duran Duran.  KVDU program director Joseph Sergio comments, “New Orleans has a classic rock station and we have an easy listening station, but ‘104.1 The Spot’ will take the best from those worlds, sprinkle in some more recent favorites and play all of the hits, non-stop, 24/7.”…..Alpha Media Dayton installs the “Jack FM” format on former adult contemporary WGTZ as “92.9 Jack FM.”  WGTZ had been airing a soft rock AC format. Alpha Media VP of programming Ronnie Stanton says, “What a fun day for Dayton!  Turning on a new ‘Jack’ is always a happy day and we have high hopes for this one.  A great new radio station in one of America’s great cities.”…..Blaine Thompson’s Indiana Radio Watch reports that DLC Media drops sports talk and the ESPN Sports Radio affiliation on WFNF, Brazil, Indiana/W258BA, Terre Haute, and begins airing the adult standards format from Westwood One.  DLC changes the call letters of WFNF to WAMB and begins using the new brand, “Timeless 1130 and 99.5 WAMB.”…..Programming pro Deon Cole joins Music Choice as manager, urban programming.  During his career, Cole has served with urban contemporary WGIV, Charlotte “Streetz 103.3”; hip hop WPEG, Charlotte; and Beasley Media Group in Charlotte.

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