Tag: "Michael Harrison"

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

| January 17, 2017

Bubba the Love Sponge Countersues Nielsen and Files Third Party Complaints Against Cox Media and WHPT, Tampa’s Mike Calta.  The battle between Florida-based, syndicated morning talk host Bubba the Love Sponge, a.k.a. Bubba Clem, and Nielsen Audio just got more complicated after Bubba’s attorneys filed a countersuit against Nielsen Audio and fresh complaints against Cox Media Group and WHPT, Tampa morning personality Mike Calta.  As industry watchers are aware, Nielsen is suing Bubba claiming that his attempts tobubba manipulate the PPM ratings in the Tampa market have caused damages to its business.  During the discovery phase of this case, Bubba’s lawyers have requested documentation and Nielsen responded by ultimately providing some 71,000 pages, but not in a manner deemed timely by Bubba’s team.  In fact, they state that their work in the discovery phase has been “seriously delayed as a result of Plaintiff’s untimely nielsen logoproduction of discovery materials and broad-brush approach to making confidentiality designations.  Moreover, Defendants’ use of the discovery materials has been severely limited by the terms of the Protective Order.  As a result, on November 18, 2016, Defendants filed a Motion to Amend Case Management and Scheduling Order to extend the discovery cut-off from December 9 to January 9, 2016.  The Court entered an Order granting Defendants’ motion on November 29, 2016.”  If Nielsen’s tactics were intended to cause Bubba to settle the matter, it didn’t work.  He’s doubling down with the aforementioned countersuit and new complaints against Nielsen, Cox and Calta for: Defamation (Counts I and II), Tortious Interference with Contractual and Business Relationships (Counts III and IV), Violation of thecoxmediagroup Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act (Count V), and Civil Conspiracy (Count VI).  Bubba’s lawyers say their counterclaims and third-party claims “are based on various documents that were produced by Plaintiff in response to Defendants’ discovery requests.”  Here’s the breakdown according to the court filing: “In early 2015, Plaintiff entered into a conspiracy with Cox (one of Nielsen’s largest subscribers) to, among other things: (i) utilize Nielsen’s monopoly power over the audience measurement and ratings for the Tampa Market to prevent Defendants from broadcasting their morning radio show on WBRN in competition with WHPT; (ii) tortiously interfere with Defendants’ caltamikecontractual relationships with Beasley Media Group and their other affiliates; (iii) tortiously interfere with Defendants’ current and prospective business relationships with WBRN’s advertisers and US-based syndication partners; (iv) improperly manipulate Nielsen’s ratings for the Tampa Market to simultaneously increase WHPT’s market share to the benefit of Cox, while decreasing the share of WBRN to the detriment of Beasley, Clem and BRN; (v) publish knowingly false, defamatory allegations of ratings distortion activities against Defendants in an effort to conceal the fraudulent conduct of Nielsen’s employees with respect to the data included in Nielsen’s monthly ratings reports; (vi) unfairly apply Nielsen’s rules and impose unprecedented sanctions pressure on Beasley to bring about the termination of its contract with BRN and Clem; and (vii) engage in unfair methods of competition, anticompetitive behavior, and various unconscionable, deceptive, and unfair acts or practices in violation of Chapter 501, Florida Statutes, in order to further the interests of a large Nielsen subscriber over those of a smaller subscriber.  As a result of Nielsen, Cox, and Calta’s conduct, and the conduct of those conspiring with them, Defendants have incurred several million dollars in damages.”  As noted, much of Bubba’s evidence for the complaints comes from Nielsen documents but it is heavily redacted to protect Nielsen’s proprietary PPM information.  Regarding the complaint against Mike Calta, Clem’s lawyers allege Calta defamed him during an on-air phone conversation in which he made the following false statements: that Clem was cheating Nielsen’s ratings system; that Clem had control over PPMs; that Clem had PPMs on watch winders in a shed and/or a shipping container; that Clem had purchased a PPM from his dentist’s nurse; and that after Clem left WHPT, he stopped using the PPMs he allegedly had control over to benefit WHPT, causing its ratings to fall.  Bubba also alleges that Cox conspired with Nielsen for the latter to de-list heavy listeners to Bubba’s WBRN show and that Cox and Nielsen concocted a “sting operation” to entrap Bubba into engaging into ratings manipulation.  The complaint also states that “Nielsen admits that none of the PPM data obtained from any PPM panelist alleged to have engaged in ratings tampering activities with Clem was ever included in any of its monthly ratings reports and, therefore, it was unnecessary for Nielsen to reprocess or reissue any of its monthly ratings reports as a result of the ratings tampering activities allegedly engaged in by Clem.  Nevertheless, at the urging of Cox, Nielsen imposed its most severe response to the alleged ratings distortion activity by delisting Beasley’s WBRN for the month of September 2015.”  Neither Nielsen, Cox or Calta have commented publicly on the suit.

WEEI, Boston Promotes Alex Reimer to ‘Brand Personality.’  Sports media personality Alex Reimer has been part of the “third-chair rotation” for the “Kirk and Callahan Morning Show” on Entercom’s sports talkreimeralex WEEI, Boston since the fall.  Now, the company announces that he’s coming aboard full time as a brand personality.  Calling it a “move designed to augment both the on-air and online components of its media ecosystem,” Reimer will join the WEEI.com staff “creating columns, blogs, and podcasts” while continuing his rotating co-host position on the morning show.  The Boston University grad has previously served with Forbes, The Boston Herald and SB Nation.  WEEI program director Joe Zarbano comments, “Since joining the Kirk and Callahan third-chair rotation last fall, Alex has done a terrific job delivering opinionated and entertaining sports talk.  I’m excited that WEEI.com will now be an outlet for Alex’s insightful writing to our massive online audience.”

WVLK, Lexington Names ‘Kruser’ Program Director.  Eighteen-year WVLK-AM, Lexington air personality Dave “Kruser” Krusenklaus is appointed program director at the Cumulus Media news/talk station.  As part krusenklausdaveof the change, Krusenklaus will move from his midday talk show slot to the afternoon drive daypart.  Current station PD Scott Johnson transitions to the news director role for WVLK and the Cumulus Lexington cluster.  Prior to his work as a talk host at WVLK, “Kruser” worked as a programmer and air talent in both the rock and classic hits formats.  Cumulus Media Lexington vice president and market manager Scott Frazier states, “I look forward to ‘Kruser’ delivering the same powerful analysis and spirited attitude he has brought as an on-air personality to programming central Kentucky’s heritage news/talker, 590 WVLK!”

Trump Inauguration Protests, Trump NATO and EU Comments, Russian Hacking Allegations, World Economic Forum, GOP ObamaCare Plan, Istanbul Terror Suspect Caught, Wife of Orlando Terrorist Arrested, Eight Billionaires Statistic, and NFL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/16).  The planned protests for Friday’s inauguration of President-Elect Donald Trump, the boycott by numerous Democratic Members of Congress, and security plans; controversy over Trump’s comments about NATO being obsolete and his prediction about the end of the European Union; the allegations that Russia hacked the DNC emails in an attempt to influence the U.S. election; the World Economic Forum taking place at Davos, Switzerland; the GOP’s plan to replace the Affordable Care Act; the capture and confession of the man responsible for the deadly terror attack in Istanbul on New Year’s Eve; authorities arrest Noor Salman, wife of Orlando club shooter Omar Mateen; the report that eight of the world’s richest people hold more wealth than half of the rest of the world; and the weekend’s NFL playoff games were the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

cookehollandCooke: Recalibrating Talk for the Trump Era.  Consultant Holland Cooke writes today with thoughts about what talk radio can do to take advantage of the Trump era.  Cooke says that as social media flourishes, talk hosts should take that to mean that listeners expect to be heard and he adds that “the smartest thing talkers can do now is listen.”  Read more here.

Odds & Sods.  The nationally syndicated “Red Eye Radio” show from Westwood One is being simulcast by C-SPAN during the Wednesday (1/18) broadcast from 1:00 am to 6:00 am ET.  The full live show plus break banter with hosts Eric Harley and Greg McNamara will be simulcast by the cable news network…..“Thecarollaadam Forbes Interview” podcast debuts today on the “Forbes on PodcastOne” network.  The show is the first podcast to be developed jointly between Forbes and PodcastOne and delves into the minds of the most significant leaders of today – the people who have been, or easily could be, on the coveted cover of Forbes magazine.  The first interview by Forbes senior editor Steve Bertoni is with podcast superstar Adam Carolla.

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RadioInfo Web banner‘KISS FM’ Chicago’s Angi Taylor Joins ‘The Rendezvous.’  Chicago radio personality Angi Taylor is signed up for double duty as Premiere Networks announces she’ll partner up with Simon Marcel as the new co-host of the syndicator’s evening show “Thetaylorangi Rendezvous.”  Taylor will continue her role at iHeartMedia’s CHR WKSC “KISS FM” where she’s one half of the “Fred + Angi” morning show.  “The Rendezvous” is described as “the nightly radio program featuring insightful love and relationship advice, coupled with radio station music playlists.”  Taylor says, “I couldn’t be more excited to host ‘The Rendezvous’ along with the French captain of romance, Simon Marcel!  I’m so thankful for everyone at Premiere Networks for giving me the opportunity of a lifetime.  Hosting a syndicated show is a dream come true, and I can’t wait to share the love, romance, and FUN with a national audience!”

erickathy17Hubbard Re-Ups Eric & Kathy at WTMX, Chicago.  Chicago morning show stars Eric Ferguson and Kathy Hart sign a multi-year contract extension with Hubbard Radio to continue hosting The Eric & Kathy Morning Show on WTMX “101.9fm THE MIX.”  The station says that over the past 20 years the show “has been a consistent market leader, ranking number one among advertiser-coveted 25-to-54-year-old Adults, for most of their tenure at the station.”  Hubbard Radio president and chief operating officer Drew Horowitz comments, “I’m thrilled to have the most successful morning show team in Chicago radio history continuing their run on ‘THE MIX’ and remaining an integral part of Hubbard Radio.”

iHeartMedia Announces Lineup for Fourth iHeartCountry Festival.  The iHeartCountry Festival is comingiheartcountry17 back to Austin this spring.  iHeartMedia announces the big country show will again take place at the Frank Erwin Center on Saturday, May 6.  The lineup will feature acts including: Jason Aldean, Little Big Town, Dierks Bentley, Brantley Gilbert, Rascal Flatts, Old Dominion, Jake Owen, Darius Rucker, Lady Antebellum, Kelsea Ballerini and The Raging Idiots, plus more to be announced.  iHeartMedia president of entertainment enterprises John Sykes comments, “The iHeartCountry Festival has become an annual family reunion for the biggest stars in country music.  These artists grew up together and you can truly feel their deep friendships when they join each other on stage.”

Thursday, January 12, 2016

| January 12, 2017

WSCR, Chicago Unveils New Lineup; Windy City Native Parkins Comes Back from KCSP, Kansas City.  The recent retirement of original “Score” personality Terry Boers led industry watchers to expect at least an addition to the staff and that’s what program director Mitch Rosen is announcing.  Chicago native and recent six-parkinsdannyyear KCSP, Kansas City sports talk host Danny Parkins is heading home to partner with Matt Spiegel to co-host the 9:00 am to 1:00 pm “Spiegel and Parkins” show.  Current midday personality goffjasonJason Goff moves to the afternoon drive slot (1:00 pm to 6:00 pm) to partner with Dan Bernstein for the “Bernstein and Goff” show.  The changes take effect next Tuesday (1/17).  Rosen states, “The retirement of beloved ‘Score original’ Terry Boers after 25 years, coupled with the exciting achievements of the station over the last year, led us straight to Jason as the perfect match with Dan in afternoons.  As a hometown native, Danny brings passion to middays, and I couldn’t be more thrilled to hear what he and Matt create together for our loyal listeners.”  Goff first started with “The Score” in 2000 as a producer.  He’s worked on air at CBS RADIO’s WZGC, Atlanta, as well as SiriusXM.

Suit Against Glenn Beck and Others By ‘Clock Boy’ Family Dismissed.  The family of Ahmed Mohamed sued Glenn Beck, his company The Blaze, Center for Security Policy’s Jim Hanson, talk host Ben Shapiro and others for defamation in the aftermath of the then-13-year-old’s 2015 arrest.  The boy had made a homemadebeckglenn electronic device in a small briefcase using parts from a clock and batteries that he brought to school to show his teacher.  The teacher mistook it for a bomb and called authorities.  He was initially charged with making a hoax bomb but charges were soon dropped.  But the media attention to the case made it a viral story.  Beck and other defendants opined and speculated about the case, including whether the incident was planned by Mohamed’s father in order to draw sympathy.  Some defendants questioned that he’d built a clock at all and suggested what he made was something that looked like a small suitcase bomb.  Regardless, under a Texas anti-SLAPP suit measure, a Texas judge dismissed the complaints against all except Shapiro, whose motion-to-dismiss hearing will take place on January 30.  NBC News is reporting that the family intends to appeal the dismissals.

NYFalt172017 New York Festivals International Radio Program Awards Open for Entries; TALKERS Publisher Michael Harrison Named to Advisory Committee.  The 2017 New York Festivals International Radio Program Awards is now open for entries.  The awards program – now in its 35th year – honors “the World’s Best Radio Programs,” receiving entries from radio stations, networks, and independent producers from more than 30 countries around the world.  NYF Radio Program Awards executive director Rose Anderson says, “From hard-hittingandersonrose investigative journalism to breath-taking theater of the mind, radio today engages listeners as never before across a growing spectrum of genres and platforms.  Storytelling, the power of the individual voice, and the immediacy of the medium – all testify to the universal language of radio.  And so, every year we augment our categories not only to be in sync with the industry but in order to stay ahead of the curve as visionaries around the world raise the bar of what is possible.”  Additional categories added this year to address the breadth of radio programming emerging in today’s marketplace include: Best Live News Special and Heroes Documentary.  NYF also added two new podcast categories for Music and Personal Lives.  This year New York Festivals Radio Awards adds two new members to the Advisory Board: TALKERS magazine editor and publisher Michael Harrison and SiriusXM VP/talk production & operations Todd Stack.  NYF calls Harrison “one of America’s leading authorities on radio, communications, and public opinion as it is expressed in the media.”  The Advisory Board is comprised of prominent international executives recognized as thought-leaders in the radio broadcasting industry. These individuals function as a sounding board for the competition’s executive director, offering suggestions for category updates and sharing ideas, trends, and other concerns that impact radio broadcasting. Their guidance insures that the competition is relevant and in step with the ever-changing radio industry.  For information about submitting entries, click here.

Trump Press Conference, Russian Hacking Allegations/McCain Releases ‘Trump Dossier,’ Trump Business Separation Plan, Trump Cabinet Nominations Hearings, Obama Farewell Address, ObamaCare Repeal Efforts, and NFL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/11).  President-Elect Donald Trump’s first press conference since winning the White House; the allegations Russia was behind the hacking of the DNC emails and John McCain’s delivering the “Trump dossier” purportedly documenting bizarre sexual behavior by Trump while staying in Moscow to BuzzFeed; Donald Trump’s plan to put his business into a trust run by his sons in order to avoid conflicts of interest; the hearings of Trump cabinet nominees Rex Tillerson and Jeff Sessions; President Barack Obama’s Tuesday evening “Farewell Address”; the efforts by the GOP to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act; and the NFL playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

medvedbook17Michael Medved’s New Book Cracks NYT Bestseller Top 10 in Religion Category.  Nationally syndicated talk show host Michael Medved’s latest book, The American Miracle: Divine Providence in the Rise of the Republic (Crown Forum 2016), has cracked the top 10 in The New York Times Bestseller list in the religion, spirituality and faith category.  The Salem Radio Network talk host’s book looks at important moments in the history of the United States and suggests that “at moments of crisis, when the odds against success seem overwhelming and disaster looks imminent, fate intervenes to provide deliverance and progress.”  He writes that many notable leaders over the years have believed that the country’s good fortune came straight from the hand of God.  Read more about the book here.

Talk Media Network Names Willis Damalt to Senior Affiliate Relations Post.  Affiliate relations pro Willis Damalt joins talk radio programming syndicator Talk Media Network as senior affiliate relationstalkmedianetwork representative.  During his career, Damalt has served with the WOR Network as senior director of affiliate relations, at USRN, and SFX.  Talk Media Network CEO Josh Leng says, “We’ve been on the lookout for the right person to join our fun, but focused team, and having Willis Damalt aboard at Talk Media Network is a great way to start the New Year.  In the past 30 days, we’ve added 30 new show clearances, with Willis already contributing to our growth and providing great affiliate service.”   Damalt will serve stations primarily in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Upper-Midwest and Southwest and affiliate relations director Ken Silverstein covers the rest of the country.

Odds & Sods.  77 WABC, New York is expanding the weekend “Always in Fashion” show featuring host and fashion business leader Mark Weber.  The show, dedicated to business and fashion, has been airing Saturday eveningswebermark from 10:00 pm to 11:00 pm for the past year.  Beginning this Saturday (1/14), the program will now be broadcast Saturday evenings from 8:00 pm to 9:00 pm and on Sunday afternoons from 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm…..Southern California journalist and award-winning public radio news host Alex Cohen will become KPCC-FM, Pasadena’s voice of “Morning Edition.”  The native Angeleno is well known to KPCC listeners as co-host of “Take Two,” the station’s morning news magazine for the past four years…..Scripps announces that on this week’s “Cal Cast” podcast with Kentucky basketball head coach John Calipari, UConn women’s basketball head coach Geno Auriemma will be the guest.  Auriemma is on the verge of breaking his own record of consecutive wins with his UConn Lady Huskies.  On January 10, Auriemma coached his team to its 90th consecutive win – tying the record his teams set in 2010.  UConn faces Southern Methodist radiomercuryawards17University on the road this Saturday (1/14), with a chance to notch a record-breaking 91st consecutive win…..Call for entry for the 26th annual Radio Mercury Awards is now open.  Entries are being accepted for outstanding creative spots, campaigns and innovative radio work from advertising agencies, radio stations, production companies, colleges, universities, and advertisers.  Chief judge Mark Gross, along with a soon-to-be-announced team of final round judges, will disburse over $87,000 in cash prizes including the $50,000 Best of Show prize.  Winners will be announced at the 2017 Radio Mercury Awards event on June 1 in New York…..SiriusXM announces “The Big Bang Theory” star Jim Parsons is hosting a new, limited-run show on Andy Cohen’s SiriusXM channel, Radio Andy.  It’s titled “Jim Parsons Is Too Stupid for Politics” and will feature Parsons “breaking down today’s often confusing political climate, while exploring how U.S. citizens can become better participants in our government system.”

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Debbie Mazella Named Program Director at AC WMGQ, New Brunswick, New Jersey.  Ten-year WMGQ staffer Debbie Mazella is promoted to program director for Beasley Media Group’s Central New Jersey adult contemporary outlet.  Mazella has been assistantmazelladebbie program director for the past nine years while serving as midday host at “Magic 98.3” – a duty she will continue in addition to her new PD responsibilities.  Mazella states, “Ever since my childhood, I wanted to be involved in radio and I’m extremely grateful to the mentors who have influenced, encouraged and helped me on my career path.  It’s even more exciting to know that I am the first female PD in Magic’s 40 year history!”

daveMahoneyKXTEDave & Mahoney Return to CBS RADIO’s KXTE, Las Vegas.  Sin City alternative rock KXTE “X107.5” welcomes back morning personalities Dave & Mahoney, effective Monday, February 6.  The duo was most recently hosting the morning daypart at the company’s KHMX, Houston “Mix 96-5.”  They hosted the morning show on “X107.5” beginning in 2009, before leaving the market.  KXTE program director Ross Mahoney says, “Dave & Mahoney live and breathe Las Vegas and are ingrained in the history and lifestyle of ‘X107.5.’  They know the music, the community and understand what the ‘X107.5’ brand means to the listeners.  I couldn’t be more excited to have the boys come home and do what they do best – entertain Las Vegas!”

More Music Radio News and Career Moves.  In San Diego, program director and afternoon personality Mike Halloran exits Local Media San Diego’s alternative XETRA “91X.”  His bio has been scrubbed from the station website…..At Entercom’s hip hop KQKS, Denver, 17-year station personality Kendall B. exits the “KS1075” morning show…..John St. John is named operations manager for Midwest Communications’ Duluth, Minnesota station group that includes: country KTCO, classic country KDKE “102.5 Duke FM,” classic rock KQDS, adult contemporary KDAL-FM, news/talk KDAL-AM, news/talk WDSM-AM/W251CD and sports talk WDUL…..Beasley Media Group’s Detroit  classic rocker WCSX is hosting the “Cold as Ice,” ice fishing tournament at Lake St. Clair Metropark on Saturday, January 28.  Fishermen (and fisherwomen!) participating have the chance to win prizes for the top 10 catches.  First place prize of $1,000 goes to the fisher who catches the heaviest perch!  The fisher who catches the largest pike will win $500 cash and the one who catches the heaviest pan fish will win $250.

coburnbobMemorial Set for Legendary KLOS, Los Angeles Personality Bob Coburn.  A memorial service for Bob Coburn is set for Saturday, January 21 at Malibu Presbyterian Church in Malibu, California at 2:00 pm.  The service will be followed by a reception at Ollo Restaurant in Malibu.  If attending, you are asked to RSVP either via Rockline@gmail.com or by texting or calling 818-636-6160.  Coburn died in December at age 68 after a battle with lung cancer.  His weekly, syndicated “Rockline” show aired from 1981 through 2014.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

| January 11, 2017

Jim Bohannon and Westwood One Sign New Pact.  The overnight Jim Bohannon show is heard on more than 250 affiliate stations across the country via Westwood One.  Today, the company reports that it has signed Bohannon to a new multi-year contract to continue hosting the show beyond its current 33rd year.  As part of thisbohannonjim new deal, Westwood One is launching a new Jim Bohannon podcast and “Best of Bohannon” program, already slated to air on affiliates including: WLS-AM, Chicago; WBAP-AM, Dallas; KXL-FM, Portland; WTMJ, Milwaukee; and more.  Bohannon comments, “I’m delighted and honored to continue working with Westwood One.  It’s especially gratifying now that the new year finds me reaching even more stations with the weekly ‘Best of Bohannon’ broadcast.  Here’s to a fantastic 2017!”  ON a note unrelated to the new contract, Jim Bohannon has been selected to be one of the live crowd announcers for the Inaugural Parade in Washington, DC on January 20.  He will be introducing and describing the participating organizations to the throngs gathered along his location on Pennsylvania Avenue.

E.W. Scripps Hires Schenek to Lead Digital Content at Milwaukee Duo.  Most recently, Dan Schenek has been working for NBCUniversal’s “Access Hollywood” as a digital producer.  He’ll leave Los Angeles for Radio 620 WTMJ - WRS (662c)Milwaukee to take on the digital content director position for Scripps’ news/talk WTMJ and country WKTI.  He’s being charged with expanding the stations’ digital products, including growing wtmj.com, kticountry.com and the stations’ social media accounts. In addition, he’ll support the rapidly growing demand for video and podcasts.  Scripps Milwaukee vice president and general manager Tom Langmyer says, “Dan is an experienced digital leader that will take us beyond typical coverage and lead us to places that expand the overall content experience – the way our consumers expect it today.”  During his career, Schenek has also worked with CNN/HLN’s “Dr. Drew” show, with MTV in New York and CBS RADIO in Los Angeles.

Raback Named to Lead Pennsylvania Cluster for Cumulus Media.  The York-Lancaster-Reading, Pennsylvania operations of Cumulus Media has a new vice president/market manager as 17-year radio sales execrabackmatt Matt Raback is promoted to the position from his VP/sales post.  The six-station cluster includes news/talk WSBA, York; sports talk WGLD, York; classic hits WSOX, York; adult contemporary WARM, York; country WIOV-FM, Lancaster; and sports talk WIOV-AM, Lancaster.   York-Lancaster-Reading, PA.  Cumulus Pennsylvania RVP Ron Giovanniello states, “We are thrilled to recognize Matt’s talent with this opportunity to lead our terrific Cumulus team in York-Lancaster-Reading.  I’m very excited about the energy, enthusiasm and ideas that Matt will bring to our business in this great market and I’m looking forward to his contributions.”

Russian Hacking Allegations/Compromising Trump Material, Jeff Sessions Confirmation Hearings, Meryl Streep Golden Globes Speech, Obama’s Farewell Speech, Dylann Roof Sentenced to Death, Clemson Upsets Alabama for NCAA Football Title, and NFL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/10).  The ongoing allegations that Russia is involved in affecting the U.S. political system via hacking of the DNC emails and the new report published alleging that Russia has proof of compromising sexual behavior by President-Elect Donald Trump; the protests against attorney general nominee Jeff Sessions and yesterday’s hearings; the fallout from Meryl Streep’s anti-Trump Golden Globes speech; President Obama’s Tuesday evening farewell speech; Charleston church shooter Dylann Roof is sentenced to death for the murders of nine victims; Clemson’s upset of Alabama in Monday’s NCAA Football Championship game; and the NFL playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

wbenCool News Gig in Buffalo.  WBEN, Buffalo program director Tim Wenger alerts TALKERS magazine that the Entercom news/talk station has a rare full-time news opening.  Wenger says, “We’re seeking the next great radio news rock star who can make a difference on the air, be aggressive on the street and be a multi-media news operative in the Buffalo market.  WBEN is THE news leader in the market and operates a full morning news and information show and seven-day newsroom.” For more information and to apply, click here.

Workhouse Media and ICM Partners Form Strategic Partnership.  Talent and literary agency, ICM Partners, announced entering into a strategic partnership with Workhouse Media, a leading boutique agency representing professional voices of radio and audio broadcasting.  Led by Paul B. Anderson and offering theandersonpaul services of noted radio talent agent/executive John McConnell, Workhouse Media represents some of the most recognizable personalities in radio across many formats, including syndicated personalities in talk, country, urban, rock, and CHR.  ICM Partners, a full-service talent agency, will represent clients of Workhouse Media as content creators and performers in the areas of film, television, publishing, touring, branding, and digital entertainment, while Workhouse Media will represent the interests of ICM Partners’ clients wishing to extend their reach in radio.  “We have worked collaboratively and successfully with ICM over the past couple years on a number of premium talent and content deals and very much look forward to having our teams work even more closely together to optimize our talent brands and cross-platform opportunities,” Workhouse principal Paul B. Anderson tells TALKERS.  “Workhouse Media represents many of the best storytellers in broadcasting,” states ICM managing partner Chris Silbermann. “We are proud to partner with Paul and his team to help our shared clients reach new audiences with premium content.”

Odds & Sods.  Kansas City sports talk personality Danny Parkins is exiting Entercom’s KCSP after six-plusparkinsdanny years with the station to take a yet-to-be-announced gig outside of KC.  Parkins co-hosts “The Drive” with Harrison Carrington in afternoons and the Kansas City Star reports that Carrington will continue to host the show with producer Ben Heisler…..After learning of a series of car break-ins perpetrated arummarkagainst Gwinnett and Forsyth County firefighters while they were out on call, WSB-AM, Atlanta talk show host Mark Arum solicited listeners to his show to donate to a GoFundMe campaign to help pay for the personal items stolen.  Initially, the goal was $1,000, but after hitting that mark, Arum raised it to $2,000.  Arum states, “I couldn’t believe the story when I heard it over the weekend.  Who would steal from people that risk their lives every day?  I know first responders don’t make a lot of money, so I wanted to help them out and try to replace the items that were stolen.”…..ESPN officially announces the move of the “Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz” from sports talk WEPN-FM to Spanish sportsle-batard-dan WEPN-AM in New York City.  The move happens on January 17.  Le Batard says, “We are glad New York has embraced our particular brand of nonsense.  We appreciate the opportunity to continue making fun of Jets fans now on 1050 AM.  Being on the ESPN Deportes station makes sense for us because Stugotz still hasn’t learned how to speak English.”…..Talk WZZR, West Palm Beach “Real Radio 94.3” recently partnered with Tito’s Handmade Vodka for the second annual “Touchdowns for Charity” fundraiser that involved Tito’s pledging to donate $350 to Florida Atlantic University’s Center for Autism and Related Disabilities for each touchdown pass scored by the Miami Dolphins during the football season.  The team’s 27 TDs resulted in a $10,000 donation.  WZZR personality The Greek promoted Tito’s commitment on-air throughout the program during the season on his midday show, “The Penthouse.”…..ABC Radio announces the debut of a new podcast hosted by ABC News chief business, economics and technology correspondent Rebecca Jarvis, titled “No Limits with Rebecca Jarvis,” focused on leading women in a variety of industries.  Each week Jarvis will speak with women in Hollywood, business, technology, fashion, comedy, food, sports and startups about how they built their empire and their wide-range of accomplishments.

gracies-logoGracie Awards Deadline Extended.  The Alliance for Women in Media Foundation is announcing it has extended the call for entries for the 42nd annual Gracie Awards to January 19, 2017 at 11:59 p.m. ET in response to high requests for extensions.  Alliance for Women in Media Foundation chair Kristen Welch says, “Now is a time, more than ever before, where we need to celebrate women for their exceptional work and contributions, especially in the media industry.”  The Gracies recognize exemplary programming created by, for and about women in radio, television, cable and interactive media.  Honorees are selected in national, local and non-commercial markets as well as among students.  The AWMF will accept all entries submitted after the originally published deadline of January 12 through January 19 with an additional $50 late fee.  Honorees will be announced in mid- to late-March.  The Gracies are the largest fundraising event by the AWM Foundation, the philanthropic arm of AWM that supports educational programs, charitable activities and scholarships to benefit women in the media.

miw-logoMIW Radio Group Mentoring Program Application Deadline Extended.  The Mentoring & Inspiring Women in Radio group is extending the application window for the 2017 Mildred Carter Mentoring Program through next Wednesday, January 18.  This experience pairs up-and-coming women who currently work in the radio industry with female professionals recognized as leaders in all aspects of radio broadcasting and media.  MIW Radio Group’s Mentoring Committee chair Lindsay Cerajewski comments, “This provides a wonderful opportunity for mentees to gain valuable insight, knowledge and access to some of the most influential women in radio.”  A total of four candidates from the radio broadcasting industry – within the sales, marketing, programming and digital disciplines – will be selected for the 2017 program.  To apply, click here.

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radioinfo-web-bannerLuvv Joins Hip Hop WRWM, Indy.  Moving west along I-70 is Justin Luvv, who leaves Radio One’s Columbus, Ohio cluster where he was an air personality, imaging coordinator and mix DJ for hip hopluvvjustin WCKX “Power 107.5 and its sister urban outlet WBMO “Boom 106.3” to join Cumulus Media in Indianapolis to serve as afternoon jock and imaging director for hip hop WRWM “93.9 The Beat.”  WRWM program director Jay Michaels comments, “Justin’s on-air skills and amazing imaging expertise make him stand out from the crowd.  I’m really excited to have him on board as we take ‘93.9 The Beat’ full throttle into 2017!”

More Music Radio News and Career Moves.  The “Full Metal Jackie” show – syndicated by Envisionfullmetaljackie Networks – is being added to the program schedule at Alpha Media’s KMKO-FM, Mankato, Minnesota.  The Jackie Kajzer-hosted metal show will air Sunday’s at 10:00 pm CT…..Programmer Garett Michaels is exercising his option to leave rock KFMB-FM, San michaelsgarettDiego where he’s been PD and afternoon host as the joint operating agreement between Midwest Television and Local Media San Diego ends.  He’ll remain in a consultant capacity…..The syndicated Walton & Johnson morning show is finding a new home at Townsquare Media’s rock KFTE, LaFayette, Louisiana “Planet Radio 105.1.”  It had been heard on Guaranty Broadcasting’s  classic rock WDGL, Baton Rouge.  Guaranty is suing the show on the grounds that it was not given the notice required by the contract…..Tamara Grant joins the Superadio-syndicated Michael Baisden show as senior producer.

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Foo Fighters Visit ‘Jonesy’s Juke Box.’  KLOS, Los Angeles midday host Steve Jones (second from right) poses for a photo in the studio where he hosts “Jonesy’s Juke Box” from 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm each day.  Joining him on the occasion of the release of his memoir, Lonely Boy: Tales from A Sex Pistol (Da Capo 2017), are (from l-r) former Nirvana guitarist Pat Smear, and Foo Fighters members Taylor Hawkins and Dave Grohl.

Monday, January 9, 2017

| January 9, 2017

CBS RADIO Re-Ups KYW, Philly’s Steve Butler.  Programmer Steve Butler signs a multi-year contract renewal with CBS RADIO in which he’ll continue to serve as vice president of news programming, and programbutlersteve director of all-news KYW.   In his capacity as vice president of news programming and news format captain, Butler advises eight of CBS RADIO’s all-news outlets on on-air and digital content and strategy.  In his KYW Newsradio role, he oversees the station’s production and content, as well as the on-air and newsroom staffs.  CBS RADIO EVP of programming Chris Oliviero comments, “CBS RADIO continues to be the industry leader in providing many of the nation’s largest cities with the trusted and credible local news and information that millions of listeners depend on day in and day out.  Steve’s expertise and influence has helped shape the ongoing success of our iconic, eight all-news stations and will be critical in the continued growth of these brands for years to come.  We are thrilled to have him lead in this important position.”

Cumulus Names Tim Shickles to PD Role at Sports WTRX, Flint.  At the Cumulus Media operations inshicklestim Flint, Michigan, the company names August Wallace operations manager for the entire cluster.  At the same time, Tim Shickles is promoted to program director for sports talk WTRX “Sports Xtra 1330.”  wallaceaugustShickles is also now programming sister country station WFBE “NASH 95.1.”  Shickles has been an on-air personality for Cumulus Media Flint for the past seven years and will continue in his on-air role with WFBE.  Ed Leick, vice president/market manager Cumulus Media Flint, says, “Cumulus is fortunate to have such incredible talents working in our radio stations across the country and right here in Flint, Michigan.  It is my great pleasure to assist in moving these two fine broadcasters to the next level in their careers.”

kay-zwerlingRemembering Kay Zwerling. One of talk radio’s original partisans and supporters has passed away at the age of 95. For approximately 20 years, Kay Zwerling became a familiar central California on-air talent via Zwerling Broadcasting System talker KSCO, Santa Cruz-Monterey- Salinas, where she would write/voice commentaries on a variety of topics, especially politics and current events. Those short-form features were broadcast several times throughout the day. A compilation of those commentaries was incorporated into a hardcover book, “For KSCO, I’m Kay Zwerling.” She and her husbandkay-z-book-cover Bernard encouraged and supported their son Michael’s acquisition of Class B AM KSCO in January 1991. Nearly 18 months ago, KSCO added a 255-watt simulcast on K218CA (104.1). Commenting on his mother, Michael Zwerling states, “She had a fine mind, a great, clear speaking voice, and a special flair to be direct, logical, and concise with her thoughts. Over the years, I had the pleasure to see mom evolve and grow into a most popular and certainly the most admired personality on our family-owned, independent news-talk radio station.” According to TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison, “Kay Zwerling was the matriarch of a great radio broadcasting family that has made a real difference in the lives of the people of the Monterey Bay region for many decades.  She was a savvy business person, locally-renowned author, and articulate on-air commentator.  She should also be historically noted as an influential pioneer in advancing the position of women in the radio industry.” Listeners shared their thoughts and memories of Zwerling this past Saturday (1/7) in a two-hour KSCO special (10:00 am – 12:00 noon). Arrangements are pending for a family-only funeral for Kay Zwerling; a public celebration of her life will take place in the spring.

cookechoosecarefullyToday on TalkersTV: Consultant Holland Cooke presents a useful New Year’s Resolution – say more with fewer words.  He says, “Life has become a wall of noise.  In his latest TalkersTV video, he explains that “the best way to cut through the clutter is ‘word economy.’”  Viewer warning: HC is a former high school English teacher.  See the video in the TalkersTV box in the upper right-hand of this page.

wbtsmallBeasley’s Charlotte Deal Closes.  The $24 million radio station deal that transferred ownership of news/talk WBT-AM/FM, sports talk WFNZ-AM and hot AC WLNK-FM from Beasley Media Group to Entercom has closed.  If you remember, Beasley had to divest of some stations in Charlotte after the $240 million acquisition of Greater Media that closed at the end of last year.

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The Yappy Tour Rolls Through Providence, RI.  The recently published book, Yappy Days: Behind the Scenes with Newsers, Schmoozers, Boozers and Losers (Talkers Books, 2016), by veteran talk radio producer Bernadette Duncan, continues to burn up the airwaves.  The coast-to-coast book tour rolled through Providence, Rhode Island Friday (1/6) as the author was interviewed by the legendary talk radio personality Dan Yorke for both his local radio (WPRO) and television (Fox 12 and MyRI-TV) shows.  (The two are pictured above on the set of the TV show.)  Duncan tells TALKERS, “Dan Yorke is an amazing interviewer.  He really cuts below the surface and gets to the psychological heart of the topic in an intimate and credible manner. Being on the airwaves of WPRO, which is so richly steeped in radio heritage, was deeply gratifying to me. I am so grateful to the hundreds of broadcasters and thousands of radio enthusiasts who have been giving this book such wonderful support.”  Yappy Days recounts Duncan’s 26-year career as a producer of radio talk shows working with such big-name talents as Larry KingSally Jessy RaphaelLou DobbsTom SnyderGil GrossCharles Osgood and many more during modern talk radio’s pre- and post-9/11 “golden era.”  Plus, she tells stories about behind-the-scenes encounters with hundreds of guests from the worlds of show business, politics, media, business and literature.  Due to the strong response by hosts across the nation to the subject and Duncan’s lively air presence, the national “Yappy Tour” will continue to roll on through the Spring of 2017.  Duncan has already appeared on more than 50 local and syndicated programs.  Hosts and shows interested in booking Bernadette Duncan can do so by calling Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.

Odds & Sods.  On its recently acquired St. Louis AM signal KXFN, Salem Media Group debuts a stationkxfn dedicated to health and wellness branded, “AM 1380 The Pulse.”  The former sports talk station was purchased by Salem from Grand Slam Sports LLC’s receiver Detalus for $190,000.  Shows airing on the station include “Dr. Asa on Call,” “Dr. Katherine Albrecht,” “The Dr. Daliah Show,” “Dead Doctors Don’t Lie,” and others…..At the Chicago operations of Salem Media Group, Michael Mann adds new duties as his title is expanded to director of sales strategy, broadcast media.  Salem president of broadcast media David Santrella comments, “There has been a planned and deliberate ‘march’ since Michael joined us in Chicago which has resulted in consistent and impressive growth.”…..Tomorrow (1/10), Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett is joining the “WTMJ Today” early afternoon program for an hour-long segment in which listeners will hear the mayor discuss the news of the day and issues important to him and the community.  “WTMJ Today” is co-hosted by WTMJ executive producer for news Erik Bilstad and interim co-hosts including the representative for Wisconsin’s 37th Assembly District, John Jagler.

Deadly Fort Lauderdale Airport Shooting, Trump-Intelligence Community Meeting/Russia Hacking Allegations, Future of ObamaCare, Deadly Attack on Israeli Soldiers, Iran’s Rafsanjani Dies, Sunday’s Golden Globes Awards, and NFL Playoff Action Among Top Stories Over the Weekend.  The fatal shooting of five travelers at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood airport; the allegations of Russian hacking of DNC emails and the related story of President-Elect Donald Trump’s contentious relationship with the intelligence community over the matter; the future of the Affordable Care Act and the GOP’s plans to alter the health care legislation; the deaths of four Israeli soldiers in an attack by a Palestinian; the passing of key Iranian Islamic Revolution architect Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani; Sunday evening’s Golden Globes Awards; and the NFL playoff games were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

harrisonupclosefaroutsmallMichael Harrison Podcast Explores “The Real History of Fake News.”  The award-winning, weekly PodcastOne hit series “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison” kicks off 2017 with an engaging discussion about fake news with Columbia Journalism Review (CJR) staff writer and senior Delacorte fellow, David Uberti.  Uberti recently penned an article inubertidavid CJR titled, The Real History of Fake News.  It traces the long-standing practice of newspapers in America publishing hoaxes, falsehoods and blatantly slanted stories to manipulate public opinion all the way back to the founding of the republic.  The fake news phenomenon, now greatly amplified and accelerated by social media and digital technology, was one of the most-discussed issues on news/talk radio this past year and promises to continue to be an area of concern moving forward.  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

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radioinfo-web-bannerAJ Lurie Named to Market Manager Role at Beasley Wilmington.  Now leading the Wilmington, Delaware duo for Beasley Media Group is AJ Lurie, who is promoted from his most recent position with the company’s Fort Myers-Naples cluster aslurieaj director of sales.  As vice president and market manager, Lurie will oversee the operations of hot AC WJBR and gospel WTMR-AM (licensed to Camden, New Jersey).  About his new position, Lurie comments, “I am honored to begin working with the talented team in Wilmington.  I have had the privilege of serving for more than a decade with our amazing Fort Myers cluster, which has prepared me for this next step in my career.  I want to sincerely thank Bruce Beasley, Brad Beasley and everyone who showed faith in my abilities to move into this market manager position.”

Tim Hattrick Returns to KNIX, Phoenix.  The iHeartMedia-owned country station announces that formertimbenbrooke station personality Tim Hattrick will join its morning show alongside Ben Campbell and Brooke Hoover for the “Tim, Ben & Brooke Show.”  Hattrick served with the station as half of the “Tim & Willy Show” with Willy D. Loon from 1998 through 2007.  He says, “I’m thrilled to join Ben and Brooke and so honored to come home to KNIX.  I look forward to serving Phoenix again and continuing to build upon the legacy that KNIX has built in the community.”

Marc Jason Joins WQYK, Tampa Morning Show.  Tampa country outlet WQYK announces air personality Marc Jason joins Veronica Young and Kevin Ebel as the third co-host of the Beasley Broadcast Groupjasonmarc station’s morning show.  Operations manager Tee Gentry comments, “It’s a great feeling to start this new year with Marc on the ‘QYK morning team with Veronica and Kevin!  Marc has been an on-air radio personality in some of America’s biggest and most iconic radio cities, including Nashville, Las Vegas, Atlanta and Washington, DC.  We’re definitely hitting the ground running in 2017!”

More Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Changes corporate structure at Cox Media Group mean corporate manager of radio and ratings research Paul Douglas exits the company after a 19 yearosburncasey stint…..Entercom brings Casey Osburn aboard to program hot AC KFBZ, Wichita “105.3 The Buzz.”  Osburn, who will also work the afternoon drive shift at KFBZ, was most recently with Eagle Communications at its Hutchinson, Kansas operations…..CBS RADIO St. Louis announces that gazalltrishKEZK ,midday personality Trish Gazall signs a multi-year contract extension with the adult contemporary station.  Gazall holds down the 10:00 am to 3:00 pm show that features her unique perspective on entertainment and current events, with a healthy dose of local community information.  She also hosts the “Totally ‘80s Lunch” every weekday at noon…..iHeartMedia renews the contracts for the three hosts of the “Bama, Rob and Heather” morning show on country KVET, Austin.  iHeartMedia Central Texas region president Breeanna Malik says of the trio, “We are so fortunate to have this amazing team in the iHeartMedia family.  They are true Austin celebrities and we know our listeners and sponsors are ecstatic that they will be here for many years to come.”…..United Stations Radio Networks announces that programmer and on-air pro Steve Stewart is the new host of the syndicated country radio show “The Road.”  Stewart also serves as PD and midday personality at iHeartMedia’s WEBG, Chicago “Big 95.5.”…..Adult contemporary WHUD-FM, Peekskill, New York (Hudson Valley market) adds the local “Night Rhythms” program hosted by Susan Browning for the evening daypart.  Browning has been with the 6 Johnson Road Licenses-owned station on a weekends/fill-in basis for the past six years.

kinosianmikeAC Augments Audience in Philly, Tampa, and Dallas.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian takes note of the number of new adult contemporary stations signing on in top 20 markets.  “The last time a major market station transitioned to adult contemporary was in April 2016, when iHeartMedia San Francisco’s urban-rhythmic oldies KISQ became “The Breeze.”  Now that the all-Christmas music has come to an end, however, there are three new players under the AC banner.”  He’s referring to “Star 102.1” in Dallas; “Today’s 96.5” in Philly; and “B 98.7” in Tampa.  Read his report on these new stations here.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

| January 4, 2017

ESPN Confirms Reports of Stephen A. Smith’s Return to the Company; LeBatard Show Bumped to ‘ESPN Deportes’ in NYC.  Yesterday, numerous media reports predicted sports media personality Stephen A. Smith’s exit from Mad Dog Sports on SiriusXM and his return to the ESPN Radio platform.  Today, ESPNsmithstephena confirms the matter, stating he’ll bring his current two-hour radio show from Mad Dog Sports to ESPN Radio where it will also air on one of the sports giant’s SiriusXM channels.  In addition to being available nationally in radio syndication, it will air on ESPN Radio O&Os WEPN, New York from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm ET and KSPN, Los Angeles from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon PT, effective Tuesday, January 17.  It will originate from ESPN Audio’s headquarters in Bristol, Connecticut.  The move bumps WEPN’s “Hahn & Humpty” show to the 10:00 am to 1:00 pm timeslot.  But, this addition also pushes the “Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz” off WEPN-FM and over to WEPN-AM “ESPN Deportes” (12:00 noon to 2:00 pm).  Also, back on SiriusXM, the first two hours of Russillo & Kanell (1:00 pm to 3:00 pm) will move to the ESPN Xtra channel while the third hour will remain on the ESPN channel.

Retiring WSCR, Chicago Personality Terry Boers to Host Farewell Toast.  “670 The Score” operations manager Mitch Rosen tells TALKERS that the CBS RADIO sports talk station will bid adieu to retiring Windy boersterryCity sports personality Terry Boers during a special broadcast tomorrow (1/5) from 1:00 pm – 6:00 pm at the Blue Cross Blue Shield Performance Stage inside the CBS RADIO Chicago offices.  Boers is retiring after 25 years with WSCR (the station celebrated its 25th anniversary as a sports talk station on Monday), and he’s hosting the “Toast To Terry” that will include past and present hosts at “The Score.”  A limited amount of fans are able to win tickets while listening to the station.

ces-logoAnalysis: 2017 Consumer Electronics Show.  Media consultant Holland Cooke is in Las Vegas at the gigantic 2017 Consumer Electronics Show reporting for TALKERS magazine.  True, this isn’t a media show, but a lot of what is being displayed at the mega-convention affects the radio business – mostly because of the relationship between the Internet and high-tech automobiles.  Cooke writes, “Cars we’re test-driving here talk to each other…the cars, not the drivers. ‘Texting each other’ actually.  2017 Cadillac CTS Sport Sedans can share information about driving conditions — weather, speed, sudden braking, and accidents.  The term is ‘V2V,’ meaning vehicle-to-vehicle communication, your car’s sensors feeding, and reading, the cloud, to tell you what’s beyond your line of sight. With real-time information, instantly updated, why wait until the 8s for an old-school radio traffic report?”  Read more from Las Vegas here.

Nick Cattles Leaves WVSP, Virginia Beach for Gig at ‘98.5 The Sports Hub’ in Boston.  Sports talkcattlesnick personality Nick Cattles is leaving Max Media’s Newport-Virginia Beach sports station WVSP “ESPN 94.1” to return to his native New England to take an on-air position with CBS RADIO’s WBZ-FM, Boston “98.5 The Sports Hub.”  His last show on WVSP will be Monday, January 9.  WVSP VP/GM Mark McKay tells his staff the station will be “methodical” in its search for Cattles’ replacement and will use fill-in hosts during the interim.  Interested hosts should see the application details below.  Meanwhile, CBS RADIO has not announced Cattles’ arrival yet, so it’s unclear in which daypart he’ll work.

Darnell to Program iHeartMedia’s Connecticut N/T and Sports Stations.  Programmer Ben Darnell joins iHeartMedia Connecticut to handle programming duties for the company’s news/talk and sports talk stations there.  He’s now in charge of programming news/talkers WPOP, Hartford and WELI, New Haven and sports talk outlets WUCS-FM, Hartford “97.9 ESPN” and WAVZ, New Haven “ESPN Radio 1300.”  Darnell was most recently serving with Sunrise Broadcasting’s sports talk WMFD, Wilmington, North Carolina.

hallmarkverleiKCRS-AM, Midland’s Hallmark and Verlei Morning Hosts Retire.  Today (1/4) was the last “Morning Drive” program for co-hosts Robert Hallmark and Kurt Verlei at Ica Radio Ltd.’s news/talk KCRS-AM, Midland, Texas.  The duo is retiring after 14 years on the air together waking up West Texans.  Hallmark has been with the station since 1992, serving in numerous positions including as program director.  The “Morning Drive” show launched in the spring of 2001.  The station has not announced the morning show’s replacement host.

New Affiliates for Stephanie Miller and Thom Hartmann.  The new year brings new affiliates for WYMmillerstephanie Media Management’s Stephanie Miller show and the Thom Hartmann show.  Miller’s program is now heard on KTMS, Santa Barbara; KBZZ-AM, Reno; KTOX, Needles, California; KKNW, Seattle; and KEVT-AM, Tucson.  The Thom Hartmann show also joins KEVT-AM, Tucson as well as KSZL, Barstow, California.

envisionnetworks-newDecember Brings 23 New Affiliates to Envision Networks.  Content and service provider Envision Networks announces it inked 23 new affiliate stations during the month of December for programming and services across numerous formats.  In the talk realm, WKXO, Lexington, Kentucky added “On Air with Doug, Jen, and Victoria.”  Envision also formed a partnership with Sun Broadcast Group to offer Shazam for Radio.  Additionally, it launched new programming including: Today’s Comedy Network, Drive By Funny, and Collin Raye’s Rewind Country.

Obama Lame Duck Actions, GOP Ethics Office About-Face, GOP ObamaCare Strategy, Russian Hacking Allegations, Megyn Kelly Exits Fox News Channel, Jeff Sessions Protests, Trump vs Ford and GM, and NFL Playoffs Chatter Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/3).  The moves being taken by President Barack Obama to prevent President-Elect Donald Trump from undoing some of his legislation; Republican House leaders elect not to try to eliminate the Independent Ethics Office on the advice of Trump; the GOP’s potential strategies for altering the Affordable Care Act; ongoing debate over the allegations of Russian hacking of the DNC’s emails; FNC personality Megyn Kelly announces she’s leaving Fox for NBC; the protests over Trump’s nomination of Jeff Sessions for attorney general; Trump’s fight with Ford and General Motors over expansion of plants abroad versus investment in U.S. facilities; and the NFL playoffs and coaching vacancies were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

wvspCool Sports Talk Gig.  “ESPN Radio 94.1,” a locally owned and operated, top 50 market radio station located in Virginia Beach, VA, is searching for a full-time afternoon sports talk host.  Qualified candidates will have the ability to host solo but also be a strong team player, must be a champion across all social media platforms and go beyond the headlines to create unique and compelling content.  This individual will have relationships with key local and national contacts, as well as the ability to develop and grow new associations.  If this is you, please send resume, air check – mp3 demos of your latest work and anything else to support your qualifications to midatlanticradiojobs@gmail.com.  EEO.

2017-talkers-conference-navySave the Date! Talkers 2017 Set for Friday, June 2, 2017 in New York City.  The editorial board of TALKERS magazine is pleased to announce the date and location of the 20th annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important national convention.  Titled, Talkers 2017: A New Era, the power-packed, one-day event will take place on Friday, June 2, 2017 at the ultra-modern Helen Mills Event Space and Theater located in the colorful Chelsea district of Manhattan in New York City.  The conference will feature top speakers from all aspects of the spoken-word media industry with a focus on talk radio and its role in the new digital age at the dawn of the Trump Era.  This will include programming, sales, marketing, and technology – the full spectrum of concerns, challenges and opportunities facing the modern day talk broadcaster and broadcasting organization.  It will feature keynote addresses, panel discussions, fireside chats, and exhibits of the latest services and equipment available to broadcasting professionals.  The event will also provide its attendees with unparalleled networking opportunities and social mixers including breakfast, lunch and a closing cocktail reception.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “As has always been the case with this annual gathering, all the way back to its days as ‘The New Media Seminar,’ Talkers 2017: A New Era will focus on the future.  There is no doubt about it; we are at the dawn of an exciting new era – full of both daunting challenges and fabulous opportunities.  Good things happen at this convention.  We pack three days’ worth of content and activity into one dynamic day and comfortable space. It is not to be missed!”  Complete agenda and hotel details will be posted in the coming days and weeks.  As is customary, Talkers 2017: A New Era is only open to members of the professional media industry and communications students.  Because seating is limited and the event has been an early sellout every year since the 1990s, in order to maintain this policy, non-refundable registrations can only be purchased via telephone with a credit card.  Full registration, including all functions, meals, and refreshments costs $329 per person.  To register or obtain sponsorship information, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.

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radioinfo-web-banneriHeartRadio Music Awards Nominees Announced.  The list of nominees for this year’s 2017 iHeartRadio Music Awards is announced by iHeartMedia and Turner.  The winners will be announced on Sunday, March 5, at a broadcast event at the historic Forum in Los Angeles.  It will be televised live on TBS, TNT and truTV and will be simulcast on iHeartMedia stations and iHeartRadio.  See the complete list of nominees here.

iHeartMedia Names DZL Program Director for ‘XL102’ in Richmond.  Programmer Chuck “DZL” Thompson is the new program director and midday host for alternative WRXL,thompsonchuck Richmond “XL102.”  iHM Richmond SVP of programming Zac Davis says, “‘XL102’ is an extremely valuable heritage station in our iHeartMedia Richmond market.  We needed to find the right fit to oversee its day-to-day operations – someone who had good relationships with our label partners and had experience in coordinating and managing large-scale events.  ‘DZL’ stood out as someone who possessed this unique skill set and we’re looking forward to having him lead our ‘XL102’ brand.”  Thompson most recently spent eight years at WEND, Charlotte as APD/MD and afternoon personality.

KSHE, St. Louis to Unveil the ‘KSHE 50th Anniversary Real Rock Museum.’  St. Louis rocker KSHE “Real Rock Radio” – which just celebrated its 50th anniversary as an FM rock station – announces it is opening its vaults of rock history to listeners in the form of “The KSHE 50th Anniversary Real Rock Museum” to be launched on January 9 at kshe95.com.  The Emmis station says there are eight wings in the museum: The KSHE 95 Audio Wing is filled with KSHE audio history, including air-checks of air personalities from throughout the decades, fascinatingksherealrockmuseum interviews and listener favorite audio clips; each gallery in The KSHE 95 Photo Wing has a theme such as Air Personalities, Rock Stars and St. Louis Concerts; the KSHE 95 Hall of Fame is made up of videos that each focus in on an artist or band that has had a very special long-standing relationship with the station. In each video, these rock stars share KSHE and St. Louis memories.  The KSHE 95 Video Wing is an amazing collection of videos ranging from moments with rock stars caught backstage at concerts to KSHE events through the years and old KSHE TV commercials.  In the KSHE 95 Essentials Wing, you’ll find what have been selected as albums and songs that rise to the top of all the great rock that has been played on the station since the beginning.  The KSHE 95 John “U-Man” Ulett Wing is a toast to this 40-plus year KSHE air talent.  The KSHE 95 You-seum Wing is dedicated to KSHE listeners.  Listener submitted photos include themes such as Generations of Rock, World Famous KSHE and Show Us Your Schtuff.  The KSHE 95 Collections Wing is a wide array of Real Rock Radio history including: magazine and newspaper articles highlighting KSHE, early KSHE playlists, and unmistakable KSHE humor on display in Sweetmeat’s Gallery.  Station PD Rick Balis says, “So many talented people have contributed, throughout our 50 years, to make KSHE 95 what it is today.  It’s actually, amazing.  More amazing, though, is the incredible listeners that we have had and have today.  It’s rare.  And, we cherish those relationships.  The relationships are ‘generational.’  Grandparents, their kids and the kids of those kids are listeners today.”

Townsquare Media Renews with Compass Media Networks for Syndication of Weeknight Music Radio Shows.  The four evening music shows are produced by Townsquare Media and are affiliated with their namesake websites, also owned by Townsquare.  Under the terms of the multi-year extension, Compass Media Networks will continue to provide advertising sales and affiliate marketing for the rock program “Loudwire Nights,” CHR show “PopCrush Nights,” “Taste of Country Nights,” and “Ultimate Classic Rock.”

More Career Moves and Music Radio News.  In Philadelphia, market radio pro Marilyn Russell joinsrussellmarilyn classic hits WOGL as part of the “Breakfast Club” morning show alongside co-hosts Frank Lewis and Bill Zimpfer.  WOGL program director Anne Gress says, “Marilyn’s got tons of enthusiasm and a rich history of delivering compelling Philadelphia morning radio.  I’m excited about the fresh, new perspective she’ll bring to the show alongside Frank and Bill, and look forward to her contributions both on-air and at our many events.”   The Philly native started her radio career in 1993 at modern rock WDRE…..Chicago radio pro Robin Rock is back hosting middays on iHeartMedia’s adult contemporary WLIT “93.9 MYfm.”  Rock takes over for Brooke Hunter, who exits.  Rock hosted middays at the station until June of 2013 when the company re-branded the station from “LITE FM” to the “93.9 MYfm” and made across-the-board talent changes…..Former news/talk station WOBM-AM, Lakewood Township, New Jersey is now an oldies outlet as Townsquare Media re-brands the station as “BEACH RADIO 1160/1310.”  Townsquare says the format change was made to better serve the influential adult audiences in Monmouth and Ocean Counties…..In the Los Angeles market, Entravision Communications the official launch of its new radio format: La Suavecita.  The company calls is a regional Mexican format focused on playing a mix of grupero and cumbia music from the 80s and 90s.  The format airs on KSSE-FM.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

| January 3, 2017

WPRO-AM, Providence and Talk Host John DePetro Go Separate Ways.  During the month of December, the late morning talk show hosted by longtime WPRO-AM personality John DePetro was handled by a rotating cast of fill-in hosts.  DePetro had referenced a “health situation” on his website.  Then, just before Christmas,deptrojohn DePetro notified listeners via his website of his departure from the station.  He wrote, in part, “At this time, I have decided to conclude my entertaining weekday 9:00 am -12:00 noon radio show on WPRO.  Thank you to all my listeners for making 2016 my best year ever in radio, with my coverage of the Trump campaign, my many exclusives, plus my national work on ‘The Savage Nation’ and CNN.  I am very grateful for the many loyal listeners who have been entertained by my program on WPRO over the past 10 years.”  So far, WPRO has not named a replacement host, nor has the Cumulus Media news/talk station officially addressed DePetro’s departure.

Programming Moves at iHeartMedia Denver.  This affects both news/talk KOA and sports talk KDSP.  First, at KOA “NewsRadio 850 AM & 94.1 FM,” the new afternoon show is Lewis & Logan from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm featuring Rick Lewis and Dave Logan.  The duo will be joined by Kathy Lee as co-host and Robbyn Hart as koanews anchor.   In June of 2014, iHM tweaked afternoons by bringing Denver TV and radio pro Susie Wargin aboard to co-host with Logan for the 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm hours and the show moved away from being sports-centric.  Wargin then co-hosted a newsy program with Mike Rice from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm.  Wargin moves to the company’s classic rock KRFX.  Also at KOA, Cory Lopez is the new host of “PrimeTime Sports,” airing weeknights from 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm.  At sports talk KDSP, “Denver Sports 760,” Mike Rice hosts the 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm show.  The new duo of Ed McCaffrey and Andy Lindahl will co-host the 10:00 am to 1:00 pm program.

KCMO-AM, Kansas City Announces New Program Lineup.  There are two talk personalities returning toknappgreg Cumulus Media’s news/talk simulcast KCMO-AM/K279BI as the station announces its new, 2017 program lineup.  Longtime Kansas City talk personality Greg Knapp is back on the station after a nine-plantechrismonth absence to host the morning drive program.  Knapp hosted the afternoon show at KCMO until late April of 2016.  Westwood One’s rollout of the national Chris Plante program brings him back to KCMO in the 11:00 am to 1:00 pm slot.  Tom Becka remains in the 9:00 am to 11:00 am slot, while Mike Ferguson moves from middays to afternoon drive (4:00 pm to 6:00 pm) with co-host and producer Jared Carter.  Nationally syndicated superstar Dave Ramsey also remains in his current 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm timeslot.  Knapp takes over mornings for Rob Carson, who exited late last year.

‘PowerTalk’ in Fresno Launches New Early Evening Program.  Fresno news/talk simulcast KALZ-FM/KRZR-AM “PowerTalk 96.7 and AM 1400” announces the debut of the Guillermo Moreno program, thismorenoguillermo evening from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm.  The iHeartMedia station says Moreno “will take a conservative approach to local and national issues – including politics, business headlines and pop culture – from the perspective of a Latino millennial and for listeners of all ages.”  Moreno comments, “I’m excited to continue breaking the political and radio establishment mold and thrilled to be among the first young Latino millennial hosts in the Central Valley.  Fresno is the greatest city in America and I’m honored to continue my passion for politics with my generation here at home.”

kinosianmikeDecember PPMs: Some Notable Occurrences.  TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at some significant happenings, from a ratings perspective, relative to Nielsen Audio’s December PPM survey.  Among them are the return to earth for CBS RADIO’s sports talk WSCR, Chicago and iHeartMedia’s WTAM, Cleveland – both of which benefitted mightily from the performances of the Chicago Cubs and the Cleveland Indians leading up to and including the World Series.  See more interesting highlights here.

cookeces172017 CES Preview.  Media consultant Holland Cooke is in Las Vegas at the Consumer Electronics Show reporting for TALKERS magazine and he files the following:

165 THOUSAND of us – from 150 countries – are heading to the massive, mind-boggling Consumer Electronics Show.

This year is the 50th annual CES.  Back in 1967, there were ooohs and ahhhs for console color TVs.  Are you old-enough to remember the handsome woodwork?  Some had built-in stereo systems…but only for the vinyl you played on the turntable.  Stereo TV sound?  Someday.

50 years ago, only 14 companies were showing-off their stuff, in 100,000 square feet of exhibit space.  Back-to-the-future: Today, when they cut the virtual ribbon, four THOUSAND companies will display in 2.4 MILLION square feet of Las Vegas Convention Center.  Picture FIFTY football fields.

And that’s just inside.  Outdoors, there’ll be drones up above, and down-below we’ll be test-driving cars with no gas tank, and cars with no driver.

Technology accounts for 15 million American jobs.  Not everyone becomes a billionaire, by inventing, for instance, the smartphone.  But someone became a millionaire by accessorizing it with the Selfie Stick.

Much of what we’ll see here this week is here-today-gone-tomorrow.  Many of these companies didn’t exist a couple years ago, and many won’t be around a couple years from now.  Innovation is the-name-of-the-game, and that makes CES a welcome pump-up for radio broadcasters attending.

Look for my reports here in TALKERS all this week, and listen for updates on “America in the Morning” and “The Jim Bohannon Show,” or at www.HollandCooke.com.

Terry Foster Returns to WXYT-FM, Detroit’s Afternoon Drive Show.  After missing a lot of time on the air during the latter part of 2016 due to a stroke caused by high blood pressure, Terry Foster is returning to thefosterterry “Valenti and Foster” program with co-host Mike Valenti on sports talk “97.1 The Ticket.”  Program director Jimmy Powers states, “We are excited that Terry is returning to the ‘Valenti and Foster’ show.  His humor and insight have been missed not only by his co-workers, but by the listeners.  I sincerely appreciate and would like to thank Jeff Riger for sitting in for Terry while he was out; the show didn’t miss a beat.”  Foster comments, “I have been on the sidelines for too long.  I missed a lot of good stories and a lot of good times.  I’m glad to be back on the train again.  I want to thank all of the listeners and my co-workers for their encouraging words, they got me through a tough time.”

Dan Lovallo Joins AM Show on Connoisseur’s ‘Talk of CT.’  The news/talk multi-cast heard on Connoisseur Media’s “The Talk of CT” (WDRC-AM, Hartford; WMMW, Meriden; WWCO, Waterbury; and WSNG, Torrington) is adding well-known Connecticut radio personality Dan Lovallo to the Brad Davis morning show.  Lovallo has been with the stations in various capacities over the years.  In addition to news duties on thelovallodan company’s sister classic rock WFOX, Southport (Bridgeport-Stamford market), Lovallo will also host his own Connecticut politics-focused show, “CT On The Hill,” on “The Talk of CT” every day at 9:00 am.  This is one of a number of changes at the Connecticut operations of Connoisseur and OM Keith Dakin comments, “These changes, across our portfolio, indicate a strong commitment to localism.  Radio will continue to be vibrant if it remains a true fabric of the community with more local morning shows, local news and people from Connecticut behind the microphones.”

Free Talk Live Hosts Prevail at NH Supreme Court.  This case goes back three years to a suit filed against “Free Talk Live” hosts Ian Freeman and James Cleaveland by the City of Keene, New Hampshire.  The long-running courtroom saga of the “Robin Hood of Keene” all started when Freeman and Cleaveland began plugging the parking meters of citizens whose time was running out and were about to get parking tickets issued by the city’sfreemanian parking enforcers.  The city sued, alleging among other things that Freeman and Cleaveland were “threatening, intimidating, and harassing” the parking enforcers – something the court ruled the city was unable to prove.  The pair won their case at the superior court level but the city took the case all the way to the state supreme court.  Freeman informs TALKERS that “the supreme court agreed with the superior court that the city’s proposed injunction, which would keep us away from their enforcers, was unconstitutional.  It’s a victory for freedom of speech in the public streets.”

‘Kilmeade & Friends’ Adds 24 New Affiliates.  The nationally syndicated “Kilmeade & Friends” late morningkilmeadebrian show hosted by Fox News personality Brian Kilmeade and produced and distributed by Fox News Radio, adds 24 new radio affiliates.  Some of the stations adding the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon ET program include: WHIO-AM/FM, Dayton; WOKV, Jacksonville; WRHI, Charlotte; WMMI, Flint, Michigan; KZRG, Joplin, Missouri; WFIN, Toledo; and WNIX-AM, Greenville, Mississippi.

Odds & Sods.  Nationally syndicated, San Antonio-based talk show host Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo is now heard onpagliarulojoe an number of new affiliate stations across the country, including: KZRG, Joplin, Missouri; KHVH, Honolulu; KMBZ, Kansas City; KSTE, Sacramento; WATX, Cookeville, Tennessee and more…..Syndicated morning show “Walton & Johnson” changes affiliates in both New Orleans and Baton Rouge.  The program is moving from Entercom classic rocker WKBU to iHeartMedia’s news/talk WRNO in New Orleans and from Guaranty’s classic rock WDGL to iHM’s news/talk WJBO in Baton Rouge…..Westwood One is celebrating the 25th anniversary of “The Dave Ross Show” and announces rossdaveit is extending its relationship with Ross (who also serves as morning news host at KIRO-FM, Seattle).  The daily feature is heard on more than 200 stations nationwide including: WCBS-AM, New York; KNX, Los Angeles; WBBM-AM, Chicago; and WTOP-FM, Washington.  Ross also guest hosts for Charles Osgood on “The Osgood File.”…..Robert K. Tanenbaum, trial attorney, author of 31 books, and former mayor of Beverly Hills, will be featured in a new segment titled, “Book Buzz,” on Patzi Gil’s “Joy on Paper” radio show, which airs twice weekly on Radio Works’ WTAN, Clearwater, Florida…..Executive vice president Paul Cramer exits Triton Digital after 16 years with the company and its predecessors.   He’s excited about his next challenge in the digital solutions space and can be reached at PaulCramer@Outlook.com or 716-508-4104.

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radioinfo-web-bannerMusic Radio Trade Publication RadioInfo to Be Absorbed into TALKERS Magazine.  Beginning today, January 3, 2017, the music radio industry trade publication RadioInfo is folded into an expanded incarnation of TALKERS magazine (www.Talkers.com and the daily TALKERS email newsletter) and ceases to be distributed as a stand-alone entity.  According to TALKERS/RadioInfo VP/executive editor Kevin Casey, “This has been a transition in the works for a number of months now.  Because, RadioInfo has shared main headquarters and staff with TALKERS for the past five years, there has been a significant degree of duplication between the publications, especially regarding general industry stories that cover all formats.  It makes sense from a standpoint of economy, proficiency and expediency to combine these into one ‘super’ trade journal.  We will continue to provide RadioInfo readers and newsletter subscribers with the latest news events and personnel changes in music radio within the pages of TALKERS.  We also are expanding our coverage of the talented talk-oriented hosts heard across America on music station morning programs that we categorize as ‘pop culture talk.’”  Subscribers to the daily RadioInfo email newsletter, not already signed up for TALKERS, will be added to the TALKERS list so they will continue to receive the service.  RadioInfo was founded as a set of radio discussion boards and an accompanying general online industry news platform in 1999 by young radio enthusiast and entrepreneur Doug Fleming who tragically passed away in 2005 at the age of 25.  The entity, known as Radio-Info.com, continued to be published by Doug’s parents Diana and Rick Fleming until 2012.  At that time, the discussion boards were acquired by trade publication Radio Ink’s parent corporation Streamline Publishing and eventually discontinued.  The trade publication side was acquired by TALKERS magazine’s parent company Talk Media, Inc. and transitioned into the music radio incarnation of RadioInfo.

Talent Moves at KRFX, Denver.  At iHeartMedia’s Denver classic rock KRFX “103.5 The Fox,” 25-yearkrfx morning personalities Rick Lewis and Kathy Lee renew and extend their contracts with the station.  At the same time, the station announces Denver radio and TV pro Susie Wargin is the new midday personality and market radio pro Uncle Nasty assumes the afternoon drive daypart.

Talent Moves at Connoisseur Connecticut.  At the Connecticut operations of Connoisseur Media, operations manager Keith Dakin announces changes to a number of the company’s stations designed to increase their commitment to focus on “being more local and involved in the community.”  First, Ken Tuccio is named the new morning drive host at classic rock WFOX, Southport (Bridgeport-Stamford market).  He’ll be joined by news broadcaster Dan Lovallo with Fairfield County-centric news updates every 30 minutes.  The station will air local news throughout the day during the shifts of new midday host Pam Ciaburri and afternoon host Allan Lamberti.  Additionally, Cari Edwards is the new evening personality.  At rock WPLR, New Haven, Kevin Begley adds programming duties for the station to his current responsibilities serving as PD for hot AC WEZN “Star 99.9” and WFOX.  Finally, at classic rock WDRC-FM, Hartford “102.9 The WHALE,” Allan Lamberti takes over the programming duties (in addition to hosting evenings).  The jock lineup consists of: Michael Picozzi in morning, Suzi Klonk in middays, and Keith Dakin in afternoons.

iHeartMedia Adds ‘Mojo in the Morning’ to CHR WSNX, Grand Rapids.  The AM drive show “Mojo in themojomorninggroupstrip Morning” – featuring Mojo, Shannon, and Spike – based at iHeartMedia’s CHR WKQI, Detroit “Channel 95.5,” is the new morning show at the company’s West Michigan CHR WSNX, Grand Rapids, effective January 16.  Mojo says, “We love Michigan and are so excited to have the show heard in West Michigan.  As a big fan of SNX, we are honored to be on the two best CHR radio station brands in Michigan!”

KKHH Hits ‘The Spot.’  Among stations making format modifications over the holidays was CBS RADIO Houston CHR KKHH “Hot 95-7,” which transitions to adult hits “95.7 The Spot.” Supplementing “The Spot” identity is the slogan “Your Place – Your Music – Your Way – A Radio Station Unlike Any Other in Town.”  The format changekkhh means Cumulus Media’s KRBE will now have the market’s CHR lane to itself.  CBS RADIO senior vice president and Houston market manager Sarah Frazier comments, “We worked exhaustively to understand what Houston listeners were missing from their local radio stations.  They told us they wanted their own ‘spot’ to hear their favorite music hits, a ‘spot’ to relax and energize at work, and a ‘spot’ to feel comfy and complete.”  Representative “Spot” artists include Aerosmith, Bon Jovi, Michael Jackson, Madonna, Prince, and U2.  Among persons 6+ in Nielsen Audio’s December 2016 PPM report, KKHH is flat at 2.7 (#18), while KRBE gains two-tenths to 3.5 (#14); iHeartMedia adult contemporary KODA “Sunny 99.1” is #1 (7.3, 6+).

JVC Goes True Oldies in the Palm Beaches.   This change is the result of a partnership with Scott Shannon’s True Oldies format.  JVC Broadcasting announces that WBGF, Belle Glade, Florida flips from rock as “93.5 Thewbgf Bar” to oldies as “True Oldies 93.5.”  JVC Broadcasting of South Florida vice president and general manager Matt Goldapper says, “True Oldies is the perfect fit for the West Palm Beach market – lots of jingles, lots of voices and all the hits all the time.  This music is just missing from the radio here in South Florida and with our sister stations ‘95.9 The Palm’ and ‘900 AM The Talk of the Palm Beaches,’ we are just super-serving this market.  The best part of this radio mix is the partnership with radio legend Scott Shannon who is the genius behind this entertaining and upbeat radio format.”

More Career Moves and Music Radio News.  At the Kansas City cluster of Cumulus Media, the company announces that the Premiere Networks-syndicated Steve Harvey show is now airing in mornings at urbanharveysteve contemporary KMJK “Magic 107.3.”  Meanwhile, at sister classic hits KCMO-FM, Kansas City radio pro Steve-O assumes the afternoon drive host duties, following Lance Tidwell, who takes over the middays schniederguennprogram…..The syndicated “Ace & TJ Show” announces the official return of former cast member Guenn (Peterson) Schneider. She was previously part of the Ace & TJ  team from 2007-2011.  Following her departure from the show, Guenn worked with various media outlets in Charlotte…..Alpha Media launched a new contemporary rock outlet on translator W259CL, Orangeburg, South Carolina at 99.7 FM in the Columbia market on December 27.  The station will feature such core artists as Green Day, Kings of Leon, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Blink 182, and the Foo Fighters.  Alpha Media EVP of programming Scott Mahalick comments, “Alpha continues to grow and invest in Columbia with our latest addition of a contemporary rock station.  ‘Rock 99.7’ will be a great companion to our classic rock station ‘Fox 102.3’ WMFX.”…..Refuge Media closes on its purchase of classic rock KMFG, Nashwauk, Minnesota.  Refuge bought the station from Midwest Communications, Inc.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

| December 20, 2016

MRC Withholds Accreditation of Nielsen’s December PPM Survey.  Ratings giant Nielsen Audio has released the first round of data from its December 2016 PPM survey (November 3-30) but it does so without accreditation for the 26 markets that the Media Rating Council has previously accredited.  This stems from mrc-logoNielsen’s PPM connectivity issues that affected the first week of the December survey.  Here’s what the MRC had to say in a statement: “Since the PPM connectivity disruption, Nielsen has shared information with MRC about the outage, Nielsen Audio’s recovery efforts, and related data analyses Nielsen Audio has performed.  However, MRC believes the data analyses related to this incident with which we have been presented by Nielsen Audio, in addition to Nielsen Audio’s response to a series of questions related to the incident that MRC has raised to Nielsen Audio, are incomplete, and therefore MRC and its Radio Committee and its Board of Directors are unable to conclude as yet on this matter.  Nielsen has committed to continue to work with MRC on this issue.  Therefore, MRC has chosen to withhold its accreditation for the December PPM reports to which it would otherwise have been applicable until we receive responses and appropriate analyses of the impacted data that we deem satisfactory to address these concerns.  We will update the marketplace at a future time should this situation change and we believe these issues have been sufficiently addressed to reinstate MRC accreditation of the December 2016 PPM estimates.”

nielsen-logoNielsen Audio Releases Round One of December 2016 PPM Data.  The first of four rounds of December 2016 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio 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).  The December 2016 survey period covered November 3-30.  You can find the complete 6+ ratings numbers from subscribing stations here.  Additionally, TALKERS/RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Twelve Takeaways” from this group on the main page of our sister publication here.

harrisonupclosefaroutsmallKABC, Los Angeles Morning Host Doug McIntyre Joins Michael Harrison on this Week’s Podcast.  After serving a decade as morning host on KABC, Los Angeles (and 10 years before that developing a powerful, all-night presence on “Red Eye Radio”), multi-media renaissance man, Doug McIntyre has just signed a new, two-year extension to his contractmcintyredoug with the heritage Cumulus-owned West Coast talk outlet.  He is this week’s guest on the award-winning, PodcastOne hit series “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.”  In addition to radio, McIntyre is a page one newspaper op-ed columnist for the Los Angeles Daily News, and has enjoyed a successful 20-year career as a television and film writer/producer/director.  According to Harrison, “Doug is one of the most original hosts in talk radio today – a potent combination of quirky humor, keen intelligence, unbridled courage and smoldering rage.”  Harrison and McIntyre talk about the state of politics, journalism, fake news, and new media – making this program a must-listen for its worldwide audience of “media freaks.”  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com and RadioInfo.com.

Mark Anderson Rises to VP of Programming at CBS RADIO Pittsburgh.  At its Pittsburgh cluster, CBS RADIO promotes Mark Anderson to vice president, programming, a move up from his current role as Pittsburgh operations manager and program director of hot AC WBZZ and country WDSY.  Anderson will continue to programandersonmark WBZZ and WDSY and will now “provide operational guidance and oversight as well as leadership in developing new products, partnerships and opportunities for all of the Pittsburgh stations.”  Jim Graci continues his role as program director for news/talk KDKA-AM and sports talk KDKA-FM.  SVP and market manager Michael Young comments, “Mark is a well-seasoned programming executive who has a strong track record of successfully managing the day-to-day details as well as the long-term vision and creativity to develop and advance exciting new concepts.  As our products evolve to engage audiences beyond the airwaves, I am excited about the additional contributions that Mark will make to all of our stations.”

Andy West Appointed Creative Services and Imaging Director for iHeartRadio.  In this new role at iHeartRadio, Andy West will oversee a network of producers to develop and produce fresh, format-specific on-air content for the iHeartRadio app, that airs across iHeartMedia’s network of 850-plus radio stations.  The company says he’ll also collaborate with marketing, operations, sales and senior management to create innovative new features and content for iHeartRadio, as well as manage the imaging for iHeartRadio’s digital only stations.  The Atlanta-based West will work alongside fellow creative services & imaging director Ricky Roo.

Chris Jericho and PodcastOne Launch ‘Beyond the Darkness.’  This new audio exploration of the paranormal comes from Chris Jericho’s podcast network under the PodcastOne umbrella and it’s called “Beyond podcastone-bthe Darkness.”  The podcast is hosted by author and radio host Dave Schrader, and radio producer and host Tim Dennis.  PodcastOne founder and executive chairman Norm Pattiz comments, “Chris has distinguished himself as one of the jewels of the PodcastOne network.  When he started The Jericho Network collection, we knew it would evolve beyond wrestling.  He’s delivered comedians and now takes us into the paranormal with ‘Beyond the Darkness.’”

Doug Stephan Broadcasts from Israel.  Nationally syndicated talk radio host Doug Stephan, co-host of thestephanuri16 “On Air with Doug, Jen, and Victoria,” is pictured here (left) in the Tel Aviv airport with popular illusionist Uri Geller (right).  Stephan reports he’s originating his portion of the program this week from Israel, talking about such topics as President-Elect Trump’s desire to move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s tense relationship with President Obama, and more.  Stephan says, “The timing of this visit is extremely newsworthy, and besides, what better week to be in Israel than the week before Christmas!”

Odds & Sods.  At news/talk WFMD and country WFRE in Frederick, Maryland, director of operations Phyliss Betson rises to market manager for the duo.  She takes over for Michael Banks, who is exiting to join Connoisseur Media.…..The NHL’s Minnesota Wild and iHeartMedia’s KFAN, Minneapolis announce a three-year extension of their partnership.  KFAN is currently in its sixth season as the official radio flagship home of the Minnesota Wild…..BizTalkRadio announces the addition of “The Win. With Heather Havenwood” to its Thursday evening lineup.  The program, featuring entrepreneur and digital marketing, email marketing and online publishing business strategies expert Heather Ann Havenwood will air at 7:00 pm ET beginning in January.

Russian Diplomat Assassinated, Monday’s Electoral College Vote, ‘Fake News’/Russian Hacking Allegations, Trump Cabinet Nominations, Terror Attack in Germany, China-U.S. Drone Incident, and Weekend’s NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/19).  The assassination of Russian Ambassador to Turkey Sergey Lavrov by off-duty Turkish police officer Mevlut Mert Altintas; the electoral college vote to officially name Donald Trump president-elect; the ongoing controversy over “fake news” and the related story of allegations of Russian meddling in the U.S. presidential election; the cabinet nominations by President-Elect Trump; the deadly terror attack at a Christmas bazaar in Berlin; China returns an intercepted submersible drone belonging to the U.S. Navy; and the weekend’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

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A Big 2016 for KXNT, Las Vegas’ Alan Stock.  Sin City talk personality Alan Stock – 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm at CBS RADIO’s news/talk KXNT – checks in with TALKERS magazine to share this pic with President-Elect Donald Trump and what he’s been up to all year.  In addition to his radio work, Stock has enjoyed a weekly presence on KLAS-TV, appearing on the station’s “Politics Now” in the program’s “Face Off” segment.  He writes a weekly column for the Las Vegas-based Now Report.  In February, he’ll lead a tour of listeners on a trip to Israel.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

| December 13, 2016

 

WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta Announces New Program Schedule; Mark Arum and Eric Von Haessler Move to New Dayparts.  The new program schedule at Cox Media Group’s news/talk simulcast WSB-AM/WSBB-FM in Atlanta takes effect on January 9.  Previously, TALKERS magazine reported that WSB-based talk

wsbpersonality Herman Cain would exit the syndication business and focus on his Atlanta show.  Under the new program scenario, an hour is trimmed off his late morning show, so he’ll be on the air from 9:00 am to 11:00 am.  CMG is bringing “The Von Haessler Doctrine” with host Eric Von Haessler to weekdays for a one-hour show from 11:00 am to 12:00 noon.  Von Haessler has been hosting his program Sundays at 12:00 noon.  Also, the late night Mark Arum show moves up to the 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm time slot from its current 10:00 pm start.  Cox Media Atlanta VP/general manager Donna Hall states, “We are pleased to add even more local content to our weekday lineup by adding Eric, and it has been exciting to watch Mark’s success in the late evenings.  By moving Mark to 7:00 pm, we’re giving even more Atlanta listeners an opportunity to get to know him through his show.  Mark and Eric are both true radio professionals, and we are fortunate to have them as part of our team.”

Jonathon Brandmeier Show Ends Runs with Cumulus/Westwood One.  The Chicago talk radiobrandmeierjonathon personality announced back in October that his deal with Westwood One to syndicate his WLS-AM-based show was not going to continue after the contract expires in February.  But yesterday (12/12), Jonathon Brandmeier was told that was his last live show, he announced via Facebook.  According to a report by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, it seems WLS-AM was surprised by the move.  The first two hours of Brandmeier’s show aired from 9:00 am to 11:00 am on WLS-AM.  It’s not clear what will replace his show on WLS-AM but it appears reruns of the show will air for now.  Read Feder’s story here.

harrisonupclosefaroutsmallAttorney Helene M. Freeman Guests on This Week’s Michael Harrison Podcast Discussing Changes in Music Copyright, Trademark and Royalty Law.  One of the nation’s leading attorneys specializing in copyrights, trademarks and royalties in the entertainment industry with a specific focus on music joins Michael Harrison on this week’s installment of the award-winning PodcastOne series “Up Close and Far Out.”  Helene M. Freeman is a partner in the litigation department at Phillips Nizer LLP based in New York City.  Her practice and worldwide reputation focus on all facets of entertainment, publishing, the arts and fashion.  She has counseled multinational record distributors, leading musical performing groups, film and televisionfreemanhelene producers and distributors, international music publishing companies, theatrical producers, authors and advertising agencies.  As a litigator with more than 30 years’ experience, she has been trial and appellate counsel in precedent setting cases under both copyright and trademark law throughout the United States.  Her most recent in a string of high-profile cases was her successful defense of Led Zeppelin in the Michael Skidmore v. Led Zeppelin, et. al. trial –  the copyright infringement case involving the claim that “Stairway to Heaven” copied an instrumental composition originally appearing in a song by the group Spirit.  Harrison engages in a phone chat with this brilliant attorney recently honored by the Times of London with their “Lawyer of the Week” award covering a wide array of aspects of the law rapidly evolving with changes in technology and sociology that mark life in the digital age.  They specifically explore the implications of a recent ruling in a UK court involving members of the popular 80s group Duran Duran trying to reclaim publishing rights to their songs arguably due them after the passage of a certain amount of time.  To listen to this podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com and RadioInfo.com.

Trump Cabinet Nominees, ‘Fake News’/Russian Election Meddling, Syrian Civil War, State of Iran Nukes Deal, Soaring Dow, Susan Olsen Fired from LA Talk Radio, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/12).  The cabinet nominations by President-Elect Donald Trump, including ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson for Secretary of State; the “fake news” controversies and the related allegations of Russia’s meddling in the recent U.S. election; the Syrian civil war and the re-taking of Aleppo by Syrian forces; concerns about Iran violating the terms of the nuclear accord; the record-setting Dow Jones industrial average; former “Brady Bunch” actress Susan Olsen exits LA Talk Radio after social media fight with gay actor; and the weekend’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Grunin Transitions at WOBM, Toms River.  At the Townsquare Media news/talk WOBM, Toms River, Newgruninjeremy Jersey, morning personality Jeremy Grunin is moving from his gig as host of ‘Wake Up With Jeremy Grunin’ to  co-host of the weekend public affairs show ‘Topic A’ with current host Bob Levy.  Grunin joined the station earlier this year to host the 5:30 am to 8:00 am show.  There’s no announcement from Townsquare about what will air in morning drive after Grunin’s last weekday show on Friday (12/16).

SCBA Publishes Q1 2017 Market Guidance Report. Among items contained are a study of market conditions; listenership trends; advertising category trends; regional economic trends; competitive analysis; industry trends; research highlights; and Southern California Broadcasters Association recommendations for radio scba-logoadvertising strategies. SCBA president Thom Callahan explains that this particular quarterly market guidance report is “our most extensive report to date on the dynamic Southern California region. It is researched and written as an informative guide for advertisers wanting factual information that will be useful in building their brands and their business. The report highlights impressive consumer demand for AM/FM radio content with weekly cume and average time exposed growing for Southern California radio. With our leading ad categories projected to increase, a surging regional economy, solid job growth, and our enhanced competitive position with other media, Southern California radio is well positioned for a solid [first quarter].”  Published prior to each quarter, SCBA market guidance reports are used as a planning resource for radio advertisers interested in “the country’s largest region” as well as the “largest radio revenue market in the United States.” Documented in the report are specific regional market and business trends for Southern California, as well as specific industry information from a wide variety of sources.

Odds & Sods.  WGN, Chicago has a new station voice in legendary Windy City broadcaster and journalist Billkurtisbill KurtisTribune’s WGN Radio has signed Kurtis to become part of the station’s branding beginning in January.  WGN creative service manager Chris Duffy comments, “Bill is perfect for WGN Radio.  His body of work represents thoughtful honesty, yet he has never been afraid to do lighthearted and fun projects.  That combination plus his impeccable Chicago credibility make him a natural fit as a signature voice for WGN.  Bill Kurtis IS…kind of a big deal.”…..For the 25th straight year, CBS RADIO’s WIP, Philadelphia will present Wing Bowl – the competitive chicken wing eating contest that’s become a Philly tradition during Super Bowl weekend.  Again this year Wing Bowl will take place at the Wells Fargo Center on Friday, February 3, 2017 at 6:00 am.  This year it will feature an appearance by special guests, professional wrestler Ric Flair and Grammy Award winning artist Coolio.  Partial proceeds from WIP’s Wing Bowl 25 will benefit the Philadelphia Fraternal Order of Police Survivor’s Fund…..CBS RADIO budget cuts hit the Atlanta cluster and gone from the company’s sports talk WZGC “92.9 The Game” is sports anchor and reporter Jon Jeffries…..WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta-based talk personality Clark Howard – via his annual Clark’s Christmas Kids charity drive – was able to work with the Georgia Division of Family and Children Services and The Society of St. Vincent de Paul Georgia to provide holiday gifts for 8,360 foster kids all across Georgia.  This is the 26th year of stephandougthe Clark’s Christmas Kids project…..Doug Stephan’s “American Family Farmer” program passes the 150-affiliate mark.  The show – a weekly program dedicated to advocacy of and ideas helping to sustain the family farm – launched in 2015 as an experimental show on Talkers Radio.  Doug Stephan says, “I have been around cows all my life.  I spent all my free time around the animals as a young boy.  But today, the family farm is in jeopardy as the mega-farms and government intervention have run many of them out of business.”

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

| December 7, 2016

MMTC Calls for ‘Long-Term, Humane Decommissioning’ of the AM Band as Part of ‘12 Imperatives.’  The Multicultural Media, Telecom and Internet Council is presenting what it calls 12 imperatives to the Trump Administration that “address the persistent challenges in closing the digital divide, and advancing multicultural commercial ownership opportunities to create voices and participation in the telecommunications mmtc-logoindustry.”  Of those 12 imperatives, #12 is “Create a ‘Glide Path’ for the Short-Term Survival and Long-Term Humane Decommissioning of the AM Band in a Manner that Preserves Minority Ownership.”  It states, in part, that the FCC’s future policies “should facilitate the preservation of AM radio’s program services when the AM band disappears.  It should seek to ensure that AM broadcasters receive fair compensation for the loss of their assets as well as assistance in transitioning their programming to other platforms.  For that purpose, MMTC has formed the MMTC AM Glide Path Taskforce.”  It goes on to suggest “we encourage the Commission to work with the MMTC AM Glide Path Taskforce to identify potential uses of the low-band spectrum now assigned to AM, such as maritime mobile, aeronautical fixed, and aeronautical mobile, as well as exploring new potential classes of users such as drones, driverless vehicles, rural irrigation, and the Internet of Things (IOT).  Ultimately, these new users can be cobbled together into a market for AM spectrum that can enable AM owners to find buyers and leapfrog into newer platforms that can support their programming.”  Read the entire “12 imperatives” from the MMTC here.

Mike North Launches Daily Podcast. Chicago-based radio personality Mike North is debuting a new, dailynorthmikesticksstones16 podcast titled, “Sticks and Stones,” that is being produced from North’s home studio.  The longtime Windy City talent was most recently heard on the radio on the FOX Sports Radio network co-hosting “FOX Sports Daybreak” with Andy Furman.  “Sticks and Stones” will be a 30-minute show available daily around 9:30 am and will consist of North riffing on sports, pop culture, news or whatever’s on North’s mind.  Occasional special guests will join North.  Chicagoland Radio and Media reports this new podcast is a collaboration between North and Gow Media’s PodcastArena.com.  Read the Chicagoland Radio and Media piece here.

The Trump Transition/Secretary of State Candidates, Deadly Oakland Warehouse Fire, Trump’s Boeing-Air Force One Comments, Pentagon Waste Study Scandal, ‘Fake News’/Comet Ping Pong Incident, Pearl Harbor Anniversary, Merkel: Ban Full-Face Veils, Dakota Access Pipeline Case, Grammy Nominations, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/6).  The Trump Administration transition and the potential Secretary of State nominee, the aftermath of the deadly Oakland warehouse fire; President-Elect Donald Trump’s statement about cancelling Boeing’s Air Force One contract due to expense; the controversy over the Pentagon’s burying of a study revealing some $125 billion in waste; chatter about “fake news” and the related gun incident at the Comet Ping Pong eatery in DC; today’s 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor; German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s proposal to ban full-face veils in public; the re-routing of the Dakota Access Pipeline by the Army Corps of Engineers; the list of 2017 Grammy nominees; and NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Media Matters Names New President; Broadens Scope of ‘Bad Actors.’  In a report published by Politico’s Hadas Gold, anti-conservative media “police” Media Matters for America is naming current EVP Angelomediamatters Carusone to the president post, taking over for Bradley Beychok, who will remain with the organization as a senior advisor.  Gold’s story quotes Carusone saying, “There was a period of time which we were, rightfully so, described as the ‘Fox antagonists.’  Now, our mission is to be principally focused on the value of journalism…It used to be simple, Fox News was the gate keeper, but now there are so many potential bad actors.  Now there are places like Facebook who aren’t bad actors but can be enablers of misinformation.”  Read the whole Politico piece here.

NAB Creates Podcast Addressing Photo Copyright Laws.  A new podcast from National Association of Broadcasters is available that is designed to help content creators avoid legal troubles when using photos.  The nab-logopodcast is titled, “Navigating Photo Copyright Law: Protecting Your Station from a Lawsuit,” and is available here.  NAB says, “The podcast explores strategies on how stations can avoid alleged and real copyright infringement claims.  A recent series of copyright infringement lawsuits filed against radio and television stations highlight the importance of broadcasters fully understanding how to legally use photographs and other content on social media and websites. Securing proper permission ahead of time is necessary to protect against potential legal ramifications.  Podcast presenters include Bart Stringham, senior vice president and corporate counsel, NAB, and David Ervin, partner, Crowell and Moring.”

Odds & Sods.  In the category of year-end programming, Westwood One News is producing two long-formwestwood-one-news-logo “Year in Review” programs: “The Year in Review – The Big Stories,” anchored by “First Light” host Evan Haning, and “The Year in Review – People, Sports and Entertainment,” anchored by “America in the Morning” host John Trout.  Also, the news organization is offering a series of “Year in Review” reports – a total of 20 vignettes – for unlimited use by affiliates from December 22, 2016 through January 2, 2017…..WIBW, Topeka farm director lenzkellyKelly Lenz was recently inducted into the Kansas Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame.  The Alpha Media news/talk station notes that “Lenz has been a leader and innovator in the farm broadcast industry for the past 38 years.  In 1978, he was hired as assistant farm director for WIBW, and rose to farm director one year later.  In 1983, he started the “Ag Issues” program on WIBW, one of the first agricultural talk shows in the nation.  Lenz also began an annual agricultural conference for farmers and ranchers.  The conference is now held in four different locations and has more than 725 producers in attendance.”

bfoa-logo16BFoA’s Holiday Giving Campaign Underway.  The 2016 Holiday Giving Campaign has been launched by The Broadcasters Foundation of America – the charity that provides aid to broadcasters in acute need.  As part of the campaign, an appeal letter was mailed to thousands of broadcasters across the country, encouraging individual donations to the Broadcasters Foundation’s Guardian Fund.  BFoA chairman Dan Mason states, “Our grant recipients had robust careers as producers, managers, on-air talent, engineers, account executives, and more. Now, through disease, accident, or advanced age, they and their families are in need of our assistance.  It is up to us to come together and help them through the Broadcasters Foundation of America.”  Over the past year, the Broadcasters Foundation has distributed more than $800,000 in aid, including nearly $100,000 in one-time emergency grants to broadcasters who were affected by the Louisiana floods.  In addition to individual donations to the Guardian Fund, corporate contributions are accepted through the Broadcasters Foundation’s Angel Initiative and bequests can be made through its Legacy Society.  For more information, please visit broadcastersfoundation.org, email info@thebfoa.org, or call 212-373-8250.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

| December 6, 2016

Will Art Bell’s Suit Against Michael Savage Be Successful?  On Friday (12/2), TALKERS magazine reported that talk show host Art Bell and his wife are suing fellow talker Michael Savage in U.S. District Court in Northern California for defamation after Savage said the following on his Westwood One nationally syndicated program: “I generally avoid gun questions. I know this from the first day in radio.  I learned you never do certain topics where you can destroy your show.  Third rail… You say UFOs, you wind up in the Philippines with a 10-year-old hooker and you are off the radio after a number of years.  You can’t do UFOs.  That’s an in joke, by the way, for people whoweismansteven understand the business.  There are other topics you can’t do…”  For his take on Bell’s chance of success, we turned to TALKERS legal editor Steven J.J. Weisman.  He says, “It is hard for public figures to win defamation lawsuits because they have to prove actual malice or a reckless disregard for the truth.  More telling in this case, however, may be for Bell to prove that he was harmed.  Rodney Dangerfield once won a defamation case against a tabloid that said he snorted cocaine with hookers in a hot tub.  He won the case, but only was awarded a dollar because the judge said his reputation wasn’t harmed.”

Former Augusta Mayor Deke Copenhaver Joins WGAC Talk Host Lineup.  Nine-year Augusta, Georgia Mayor Deke Copenhaver exited the mayor’s office in 2014.  Now, he’ll join the on-air staff at Beasley Media Group’s news/talk WGAC, Augusta to host “There It Is” from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon daily.  The station says thatcopenhavedeke Copenhaver “will bring an exciting brand of talk radio through his relationships with local, regional and national government officials, as well as high-level executive decision makers throughout the Southeast and beyond.  Beasley Augusta VP/market manager Mark Haddon comments, “We are delighted to have Deke join us on the air at WGAC.  He brings a fresh approach to the current issues of the day that are important to our local community.  We think Deke will have a little something for everyone, so it should be enlightening and entertaining…a great way to keep up with what’s going on in the Central Savannah River Area.”

harrisonupclosefaroutsmallTrans-Atlantic Conversation on the American Election and Brexit.  TALKERS magazine publisher Michael Harrison engages in an in-depth discussion about the election of Donald Trump and the UK’s recent public vote approving Brexit with award-winning British talk show host Graham Mack.  The two compare notes on both the American and English points-of-view regarding the surprising state of world affairs as we wrap up the politically and culturally mind-bending year of 2016 on both sides of the Atlantic.  It takes place on the latestmackgraham installment of the hit PodcastOne series “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.”  Harrison states, “My dear friend Graham Mack really has his finger on the pulse of British public opinion and brings a refreshing objectivity and honesty to the discussion about the complex events taking place there following the Brexit referendum.  He also offers a fascinating look at the election of Donald Trump from the English perspective.”  Harrison adds, “This installment of the podcast also gives me the opportunity to express my own personal assessment of this past election and the impact it is having upon politics, journalism and the media in the US.”  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com and RadioInfo.com.

Chiasson to Lead Cumulus Lafayette.  At the Lafayette, Louisiana cluster of Cumulus Media, Scottchiassonscott Chiasson is named vice president/market manager.  The company says Chiasson is a Lafayette native with 18 years’ experience in broadcast sales and operations management.  He’s previously served with E.W. Scripps in Wichita, iHeartMedia in Colorado and Florida, Metro Networks in Orlando, Cox Media in Lafayette, and CBS RARIO in Tampa/St. Pete.  Cumulus Media SVP Jeff Brown states, “Scott is a great radio guy and a Lafayette native.  That combination is a terrific match for our powerful brands and our talented team.”

Beasley Media Group Names Jami Beasley Associate General Counsel.  Attorney Jami Beasley joins the family business as associate general counsel for Beasley Media Group.  Beasley has most recently been serving as beasleyjamipartner in Kopelowitz  Ostrow P.A.’s Ft. Lauderdale office, where she focused on commercial and complex litigation, as well as her previous experience in real estate litigation.  She comments, “It’s an honor to serve Beasley Media Group as associate general counsel.  This is an exceptional opportunity and I am eager to contribute to the corporate team.”  General counsel Joyce Fitch adds, “We are absolutely delighted to welcome Jami to Beasley’s corporate headquarters.  Jami’s experience will greatly enhance the legal department and I will rely on her talent and skills as we move forward in our dynamic, growing company.”

wmaltrio16WMAL, Washington Raises $491,000 for Fisher House.  The 13th Annual WMAL Fisher House Radiothon, benefiting Fisher House Foundation, raised a record-setting $491,064 from the station’s generous listeners in the Washington, DC area over the past weekend.  The two-day event concluded with a live broadcast from The Fashion Centre at Pentagon City.  WMAL program director and Cumulus VP of news/talk Bill Hess states, “I remain in awe of WMAL listeners.  They have generously donated some $5.4 million over the last 13 years in support of this wonderful organization and its mission.”  Fisher House Foundation provides homes away from home for the families of injured servicemen and women while their partners are undergoing treatment and rehabilitation.  Pictured above are (from l-r): WMAL morning co-host Larry O’Connor, mid-morning personality Chris Plante, and morning co-host Brian Wilson.

Steve Deace Book Gets Movie Deal.  Talk show host and conservative media figure Steve Deace is getting a movie deal for his novel, A Nefarious Plot (2016 Post Hill Press).  Believe Entertainment principals Carydeacenefariousplot Solomon and Chuck Konzelman – producers of the film “God’s Not Dead” – have purchased the film rights to Deace’s book and will begin developing the story for a film to be released in 2018.  Konzelman states, “We’ve been looking for the right story to expand into the imaginative and compelling horror-thriller genre and we knew it was Deace’s book as soon as we read it.  We’re into developing movies with spiritual themes, and A Nefarious Plot represents a way to explore those themes in a whole new way for the faith-and-values audience.”  Deace, who writes about issues exclusively for Conservative Review, says of this project, “My goal with A Nefarious Plot was to literally scare the hell out of people.  I’m very excited to see how Believe Entertainment will do exactly that.”  A Nefarious Plot centers around a demonic force which has long sought to manipulate American history to the ruination of the world’s lone superpower.

Trump Names Carson HUD Secretary, Al Gore Visits Trump Tower, Trump Calls Taiwan President, Fake News/DC Pizzeria Incident, Iran Nuke Deal Status, Mistrial in Cop Shooting Death of SC Man, Deadly Oakland Warehouse Fire, Dakota Access Pipeline Case, College Football Playoffs, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/5).  The Trump Administration transition and the naming of Ben Carson as nominee for HUD Secretary; Vice President Al Gore’s controversial visit to Trump Tower in New York; President-Elect Donald Trump breaks protocol and speaks with Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen; the ongoing controversy over “fake news” and the incident in which a North Carolina man fired a gun in a DC restaurant that he believed may have been operating a child sex ring run by Hillary Clinton; Iran’s concern over the status of its nuclear deal with Trump soon to be president; a mistrial is declared in the case against former officer Michael Slager, who shot unarmed black motorist Walter Scott to death in South Carolina; the aftermath of the deadly warehouse fire that took the lives of 36 people; the Dakota Access pipeline controversy and the recent Army Corps of Engineers’ ruling requiring the pipeline be re-routed; the four-team college playoffs tournament; and the weekend’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Northwest Missouri State to Host Radio Talent Institute.  The Missouri Broadcasters Association is working with six radio companies to bring the Radio Talent Institute to Northwest Missouri State University in Maryville July 31 through August 9, 2017.  The Institute is a 10-day radio immersion program bringing broadcasting nationalradiotalentsystem-logostudents together with more than 30 broadcast professionals for on-air training in music radio, news and sports, as well as digital/social media, production, promotion, sales and more.  Students will also become certified Radio Marketing Professionals by the Radio Advertising Bureau.  Missouri will be one of six states in the country hosting an institute with the National Radio Talent System.  Other locations are the Kellar Radio Talent Institute Appalachian State University in North Carolina, Confer Radio Talent Institute Bloomsburg University in Pennsylvania, KBA WKU Radio Talent Institute Western Kentucky University, GAB Radio Talent Institute University of Georgia, and Hubbard Radio Talent Institute Central Washington University.  Missouri Broadcasters Association president Mark Gordon states, “We are pleased to bring in a program taught by industry professionals that will help fill job openings at broadcast stations with quality employees who have a true understanding of how fun and rewarding a career in our industry can be.”  Broadcasting companies taking part include: Hubbard Radio, Eagle Communications, Emmis Communications, Zimmer Radio and Marketing Group, iHeartRadio, and Mid-West Family Broadcasting.”

sabowphtguests16

Sunday Night at CBS RADIO Philadelphia.  On Sunday evening, WPHT, Philadelphia talk host Walter Sterling spoke with guests about Satan and the history of rock ‘n’ roll.  Pictured here are (from l-r): Sterling, former WYSP program director Tim Sabean, classic hits WOGL program director Anne Gress, and Get the Led Out author Denny Somach.

A Message from Michael Harrison – BFoA

| December 1, 2016

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

| November 29, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

| November 22, 2016

WMAL-AM/FM, Washington Moves Larry O’Connor to Afternoon Drive.  Air personality Larry O’Connor has been heard during the 5:00 pm hour on Cumulus Media’s WMAL-AM/FM, Washington since 2014, while also serving as co-host of the morning drive show “Mornings on the Mall” alongside Brian Wilson.  Now, O’Connor will give up the morning co-host gig and host the 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm daypart solo, effective January 2.  WMAL program director and Cumulus VP, news/talk Bill Hess comments, “Larry’s success, both on ouroconnorlarry morning and 5:00 pm shows, has positioned him perfectly to re-open the local afternoon daypart on wmal-logoWMAL.  He’s smart, entertaining, and an engaging storyteller who will anchor a program built on the stories of the day, with expanded service elements for our busy DC commuters.”  O’Connor adds, “During this time of unprecedented change and interest in Washington DC, it’s an exciting and humbling opportunity to help facilitate an entertaining and provocative conversation on a station as important and influential as WMAL.  During the four years I’ve been here in the Nation’s Capital, I’ve been so impressed with this community’s engagement in not only our government, but with issues that hit our kitchen tables every day – like pop culture, faith, and parenting.”  WMAL is not renewing “Savage Nation” with Michael Savage which is currently airing from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm.  Meanwhile, the station is seeking a new co-host for the AM show.  Interested personalities should send resumes to Bill Hess at: Bill.Hess@Cumulus.com.

iHeartMedia Flips Alternative WXZX, Columbus to Sports Talk.  Using the brand “Sports Radio 105.7 The Zone,” WXZX, Columbus leaves alternative rock behind for sports talk.  iHeartMedia is using FOX Sports Radio wxzxprogramming plus a local morning drive program hosted by Bruce Hooley and featuring Maddie Spielman (daughter of Chris Spielman, former Buckeye All American, NFL All Pro linebacker and Fox Sports announcer).  The show will announce another co-host at a later date.  Former WTVN, Columbus sports anchor Matt McCoy will provide special reports.  The station will air play-by-play for the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Cincinnati Bengals.  iHeartMedia Columbus VP of programming Michael McCoy comments, “Columbus has one of the best sports fan bases in the country and they finally a have a new destination for Columbus-based sports and entertainment radio in the morning, plus the best national lineup available the rest of the day.

Newsmax CEO Chris Ruddy Takes Call from President-Elect Trump.  Conservative news pioneer Chris Ruddy – CEO of Florida-based Newsmax – tells TALKERS magazine he received a phone call from President-newsmax-logoElect Donald Trump, who praised Newsmax’s coverage of the presidential race.  Ruddy says he’s known Trump for about 20 years and, while the content of his conversation with the president-elect is private, says their talk revealed a man who is “remarkably relaxed and focused.”  Ruddy gives his readers a preview of how Trump and his administration might operate, saying, “Trump has the best retail political skills of any politician I have seen.  Only Bill Clinton comes close.  This will serve him well in the sausage-making process of getting his policies through Congress.”  Read Ruddy’s entire piece here.

Cubs Baseball Was Very Good to WSCR, Chicago.  WSCR, Chicago program director Mitch Rosen checks in with TALKERS magazine to report that the historic Chicago Cubs season – culminating in the club’s first World Series crown since 1908 – was a boon to the CBS RADIO station in its first year as the team’s flagship station.wscr-logo  Rosen reports that on November 2, more than 1 million people listened to WSCR throughout the day, including the extra-inning game seven.  “There were times in game seven that half of all Chicago radio listeners were tuned into ‘The Score’ to hear the hometown call of Pat Hughes and Ron Coomer.  What an amazing first year it’s been for WSCR as the radio home of Chicago Cubs games.  To experience the World Series on this station as we approach our 25th anniversary makes this even more momentous.  When ‘The Score’ first launched, the station was a day-time only frequency, now the same brand is the home of The World Champion Chicago Cubs.”

nielsen-logoNielsen Audio Releases Round One of November 2016 PPM Data.  The first of four rounds of November 2016 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio 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).  The November 2016 survey period covered October 6 to November 2.  You can find the complete 6+ ratings numbers from subscribing stations here.  Additionally, TALKERS/RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Twelve Takeaways” from this group on the main page of our sister publication here.

Odds & Sods.  This Thursday and Friday, morning talk personality Doug Stephan and his crew will be live on thestephandoug nationally syndicated “On Air with Doug, Jen & Victoria” program.  Stephan is no stranger to working holidays, giving local morning hosts all over the country time off.  On Thanksgiving, Doug, Jen Horn and Victoria Keelan will again broadcast live and, while others are out spending their money on Black Friday, Doug and his team will be giving away an HP Laptop with a special Black Friday contest…..Genesis Communications takes back the operation of WIXC, Titusville, Florida and is airing the news/talk format also heard on its WWBA, Tampa on WIXC.  Meanwhile, John Harper’s “WMEL” talk format – which had been heard in WIXC – moves to Astro Enterprises-owned WWBC, Cocoa Beach-Melbourne.

Former WOAI, San Antonio PD Pat Rodgers Dead at 67.  The programmer who is credited with creating the modern version of WOAI, San Antonio died on Monday (11/21) at age 67 after complications from a massive heart attack.  The station published a bio of Pat Rodgers on its website.  It notes that Rodgers came to WOAI after a number of years at then-MOR/full service WTMJ, Milwaukee with the charge of turning WOAI into a contemporary news and talk powerhouse.  “Rodgers built a powerful news operation and a stable of talk show hosts which included Carl Wiglesworth, and well as Eliza Sonneland, who was his co-host on the chatty ‘Morning Magazine’ program, as well as news legends Bob Guthire and George Jennings, and sports talk host Jay Howard.  In fact, Pat created the Ticket Sportsradio 760.”  Rodgers left the station in 1998 to pursue his dream of becoming a Roman Catholic deacon.  He edited the Archdiocesan newspaper, managed Catholic Television, and was the press secretary to three Archbishops.

harrisonupclosefaroutsmall96-Year-Old PR Pioneer Leo Pearlstein Guests on Special Thanksgiving Harrison Podcast.  If you are looking for a simple, great approach to preparing a Thanksgiving meal with turkey and all the trimmings, check out this week’s fun installment of the award-winning PodcastOne hit series “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.”  96-year-old Leo Pearlstein, founder and CEO of the groundbreaking LA public relations firm Lee &pearlsteinleo Associates was a pioneer in the promotion and marketing of food during the second half of the 20th century.  Pearlstein specialized in representing specific food industries (such as the egg farmers, salmon raisers and prune growers) and tying in celebrity endorsements to his remarkably creative PR campaigns.  He was especially influential in elevating turkey meals from being primarily a Thanksgiving custom to becoming a mainstay of people’s diets all year round.  He launched that campaign with celebrated sexy 1950s movie icon Jayne Mansfield.  He even played a role in inventing the heat-resistant plastic turkey thermometer that pops up when the meat reaches a safe 180 degrees in the oven.  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com and RadioInfo.com.

Trump Transition, Pence-‘Hamilton’ Incident, Trump Meets with Television News Figures, Weekend Police Shootings, Kanye West Incident, Russian Military Build-Up, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/21).  The process of the transition of the Trump Administration; the hullabaloo over VP-Elect Mike Pence’s encounter with the cast of “Hamilton”; President-Elect Donald Trump chews out television news figures at meeting at Trump Tower; the spate of deadly attacks on police officers that took place over the weekend; Russian military maneuvers and tensions over Vladimir Putin’s build-up of the nation’s forces; hip hop star Kanye West’s political rants and the sudden cancellation of his current tour; and the weekend’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

| November 16, 2016

cookehollandCooke: Listeners Expect to Be Heard.  Media consultant Holland Cooke presents another in his series of TALKERS TV videos – this one titled, “Listeners Expect to Be Heard.”  Cooke states, “Donald Trump conveyed ‘I hear you’ to voters who already expected to be heard, by virtue of social media.  Yet the talk format – radio’s most interactive – often offers monologue to listeners now accustomed to dialogue.”  Cooke says he has advice for programmers and talk hosts interested in being positioned at the center of conversation “that extends Time Spent Listening, and makes you sound popular to advertisers.”  View the video in the Talkers TV box in the upper right side of this page.

crabtreebryanCrabtree: Radio’s Social and Digital Dilemma.  Atlanta-based talk show host and writer Bryan Crabtree advocates for an aggressive use of social and digital media for radio talk hosts in a piece published today in TALKERS magazine.  Crabtree hosts a daily show heard on “biz1190” and “AM920 The Answer” in Atlanta and he says, “Talk radio is no longer just a three-hour, on-air production.  Our shows must continue ‘24/7’ via Twitter, Facebook, Soundcloud, iTunes, YouTube and other digital platforms.  For me, it created pure anxiety in knowing that all of these platforms were available for free because the manpower required to utilize them was daunting.  I knew there had to be some way to expedite and automate this process.”  Read more about how Crabtree is using social and digital media here.

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TALKERS’ Harrison on CNN’s ‘Anderson Cooper 360.’  TALKERS magazine publisher and editor Michael Harrison is pictured above on CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360” last night discussing the potential for Courtside Entertainment nationally syndicated talk host Laura Ingraham to be named Press Secretary in the Trump Administration.  Harrison said talk hosts are perfect for press secretary roles because they are able to articulate sometimes complex political issues to the press and public so well.  He also noted that if President-Elect Donald Trump gets Ingraham for the Press Secretary post, he’s showing his skills in the “art of the deal” since she’s probably earning far more now than the Press Secretary position pays!

meyergratys16Sports KDKT, Bismarck Announces New Role for TJ Meyer; Alex Gratys Climbs Aboard.  At DSN Radio’s Bismarck sports talk outlet KDKT, programming and on-air staffer TJ Meyer (left) is promoted to the station manager position.  Meyer joined KDKT earlier this year after serving as the official voice of the Chicago Cougars hockey team and the DePaul Blue Demons, as well as handling duties at Matrix Broadcasting’s suburban Chicago signals.  Joining the company is Alex Gratys (right), who becomes production manager.  Meyer and Gratys worked together producing sports talk programming for ChicagoLandSportsRadio.com.

Odds & Sods.  Memphis native Jeffrey Wright returns home to join the programming department at Entercom’s sports talk WFMS-FM “92.9FM ESPN.”  Having most recently served the Yahoo/Rivals network covering Old Miss in Oxford, Mississippi, Wright’s duties at WFMS will include serving as executive producer of the Geoff Calkins show from 9:00 am to 11:00 am, as a contributor to the 929 Line at 929espn.com, as well as handling talk host duties at the station.  Wright takes over the Calkins show producing duties from John Martin who is now partnered up with Jason Smith on the midday “Jason & John Show.”….. The National Association of Media Brokers is jumping into the fray over the FCC’s recent refusal to update its media cross-ownership rules.  NAMB – a group of professionals representing buyers and sellers of radio and television stations and related businesses – is responding to the recent news that the National Association of Broadcasters and the News Media Alliance (formerly the Newspaper Association of America), each has filed suit against the FCC regarding its quadrennial media ownership rules review which maintained the prohibition against the common ownership of broadcast media and daily newspapers in the same market.   NAMB vice president Eddie Esserman comments, “To agree with the FCC’s decision about cross-ownership, you would have to believe there is not enough media in the marketplace.  I don’t know anyone who believes that.”…..The “Intelligent Medicine” with Dr. Ronald Hoffman podcast hits the 3 million download mark, according to Media Management Group EVP/business development Alan Eisenson.  He says, “We are very proud of this major accomplishment and the rate at which Dr. Hoffman’s podcast and other digital assets have grown.”

Trump Victory Aftermath/Transition, U.S.-Russia Relations, Battle Against Islamic State, the State of ObamaCare, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/15).  The aftermath of the Donald Trump victory over Hillary Clinton and the transition of the Trump Administration; speculation about the potential relations between Vladimir Putin and the U.S. after Trump’s inauguration; the fight to take Mosul from Islamic State; the future of the Affordable Care Act under the Trump Administration; and NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Dunkle and Nadel Upped at TTWN.  Two promotions are taking place at Total Traffic & Weather Network.  VP of affiliate sales Jack Dunkle rises to SVP of affiliate sales, in which he’ll report to Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott.   In this newly expanded role, he’ll manage TTWN’s radio, television and digital product sales and distribution.  At the same time, vice president of affiliate sales and compliance Roger Nadel is promoted to SVP of affiliate operations.  He’ll also report to Julie Talbott.

Rare Talk Show Opportunity in Milwaukee.  WTMJ, Milwaukee is building a dynamic midday talk show.  E.W. Scripps’ WTMJ Radio is looking for an engaging LOCAL host or team to connect Milwaukee and Wisconsin Radio 620 WTMJ - WRS (662c)with the issues, news and stories of the day.  The host or team must LIVE the multi-platform audio experience and lead its 12:00 to 3:00 pm daily show with timely, relevant and entertaining talk.  The opportunity is now.  The show will begin in January as Charlie Sykes retires, with longtime WTMJ host Jeff Wagner moving into Sykes’ time slot.  WTMJ is not limiting this opportunity to political-only shows, but to the next generation of talkers who can inform and entertain on whatever the big story happens to be that day.  E.W. Scripps Radio is “Famous for Localism.”  Apply at Scripps.com under the “Careers” tab and send materials along with your ratings track record to Eric Brooks, director of programming & news at: Eric.Brooks@WTMJ.com.  EEO.

wbtwlnk-duo-logoCool Sales Opportunity.  Entercom is seeking a director of sales for news/talk WBT-AM/FM and hot AC WLNK-FM in Charlotte, North Carolina.  The right candidate must possess a strong desire to win, must lead by example, and have a track record of revenue success.  The director of sales must have a strong background in running successful stations.  Candidate must be an exceptional sales trainer, be a creative thinker, and be able to recruit and hire the best in the business.  Primary responsibilities: Oversee all aspects of the sales operation; Implementation and compliance with CRM tools; Set rates through yield management tools; Meet or exceed all revenue goals; Work as a coach, leader and problem solver;  and understand the digital space and present a specific plan for its growth.  Please submit your cover letter and resume to hired@wbt.com or hired@1079thelink.com or mail to: Human Resources, WBT/WLNK, Entercom Charlotte, One Julian Price Place, Charlotte, NC  28208. EOE.

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The Yappy Tour Rolls On.  The coast-to-coast book tour of Bernadette Duncan rolled back into New England this past week as the author of Yappy Days: Behind the Scenes with Newsers, Schmoozers, Boozers and Losers (AuthorHouse/Talkers Books, 2016) stopped by Saga Communications’ WHMP-AM/FM, Northampton, Massachusetts (the station that launched the radio career of Rachel Maddow) where she appeared on the live-and-local, mid-morning show of noted civil rights and criminal defense attorney Bill Newman.  The book recounts Duncan’s 26-year career as a producer of radio talk shows working with such big-name talents as Larry KingSally Jessy RaphaelLou DobbsTom SnyderGil GrossCharles Osgood and many more during modern talk radio’s pre- and post-9/11 “golden era.”  Plus, she tells stories about behind-the-scenes encounters with hundreds of guests from the worlds of show business, politics, media, business and literature.  Duncan (r) is pictured with host Bill Newman (l). Her national “Yappy Tour” will roll on through the remainder of the year.  She has already appeared on more than 30 local and syndicated programs.  Hosts and shows interested in booking Bernadette Duncan can do so by calling Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

| November 15, 2016

TRN Suit Against Cumulus’ Westwood One and Others Partially Dismissed.  Oregon federal Judge Ann L. Aiken ruled yesterday (11/14) in agreement with a September recommendation by an Oregon magistrate judge to dismiss the antitrust suit filed by Talk Radio Network Enterprises LLC against Cumulus Media and other trn-logodefendants.  As regular TALKERS readers are probably aware, TRNE filed suit against Cumulus’ Westwood One, Compass Media Networks, LLC; Compass Media Marketing; WYD Management LLC; WYM Management LLC; Lewis Dickey; and Charles Steinhauer in 2012, and amended in 2013, alleging antitrust and unfair competition violations – that the defendants had conspired to and effectively did create a monopoly in the national radio ad sales sector.  What portions of that suit that weren’t dismissed were settled in 2014.  But, TRNE filed a very similar suit again in April of this year claiming that the illegal practices were ongoing by the defendants and that TRNE had suffered new injury.  Yesterday, U.S. District Judge Ann L. Aiken dismissed seven of the allegations with prejudice and the other seven without prejudice and granted the plaintiff the leave to replead (within 30 days).  The overriding reason for dismissal cited by Judge Aiken was that, “While Plaintiffs are correct that new antitrust violations may be alleged after dates covering a prior judgment, Plaintiffs have failed to show new antitrust conduct, thus necessitating dismissal of their claims.”

CBS Names Matthew Siegel CFO of CBS RADIO.  President Andre Fernandez says that as CBS RADIO prepares to be separated from parent CBS Corp, it is putting officers in place that will help the company succeed.siegelmatthew  It names Matthew Siegel as its chief financial officer.  New York-based Siegel will “oversee all financial functions of the business, including treasury, investor relations, financial planning, corporate accounting and risk management.”  Fernandez says, “Matt’s broad financial experience serving top media organizations will help position us for continued success.”  Most recently he served as the co-CFO and treasurer of Time Warner Cable through the merger period with Charter Communications.  Prior to that, he was the senior vice president and treasurer of TWC since just prior to TWC’s separation from Time Warner.

harrisonupclosefaroutsmall53rd Anniversary of the JFK Assassination Coming Up – Investigator Mark Shaw Guests on Harrison Podcast Connecting Mysterious Death of Dorothy Kilgallen to Murder of President.  With the anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination coming up on November 22, noted investigative reporter and author Mark Shaw guests on this week’s installment of the award-winning PodcastOne series “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.”  Shaw is the author of the soon-to-be-released book The Reporter Who Knew Too Much: The Mysterious Death of What’s My Line TV Star and Media Icon Dorothy Kilgallen (Post Hill Press/Simon & Schuster, 2016)Was the “What’s My Line” TV star, media icon, gossip columnist and crack investigative reporter/journalist Dorothy Kilgallen murdered for writing a tell-all book about the JFKshawmark assassination?  If so, is the main suspect in her death still at large?  These questions and more are effectively tackled in former CNN, ESPN and USA TODAY legal analyst Mark Shaw’s forthcoming book.  On interviewing the former radio talk show host and prolific author of 25 books, Harrison states, “Mark Shaw is the real deal when it comes to investigative journalism – as was Dorothy Kilgallen – one of the most important multi-media icons of the 20th century.  I loved doing this interview for two reasons.  First, as the years go by it is becoming increasingly evident that there is more to the story of JFK’s death than the official history would indicate.  Second, I take every opportunity I can to expose new generations of media practitioners to the late Dorothy Kilgallen – hands down the most important woman ever to appear on radio, television and in print in the mid-20th century… and perhaps, ever!”  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com and RadioInfo.com.

Meghan McCain Upped to Permanent Show Position at Fox News Channel.  Nationally syndicated,mccainmeghan Premiere Networks radio talk host and Fox News Channel contributor Meghan McCain is promoted by FNC to permanent co-host on the daily panel show “Outnumbered.”  The daily 12:00 noon ET show also regularly features Harris Faulkner and Sandra Smith.  McCain hosts the nightly “America Now” radio show that airs live from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm ET. FNC notes that McCain has served as the host of Pivot Network’s ‘TakePart Live,’ has contributed to multiple publications, including The Daily Beast, Newsweek and Time.

Odds & Sods.  The Broadcasters Foundation of America unveils its new logo (pictured here), as well as itsbfoa-logo16 redesigned website.  The charity also launched new social media sites as part of a rebranding campaign that makes it easier for broadcasters to find help and give back.  The new logo, with images of the American flag and a microphone, reinforce that the Foundation is a nationwide charity that helps broadcasters across the country.  The more user-friendly and intuitive website makes navigation to the get-help and give-back pages easier, and the new social media sites generate broader awareness among broadcasters.  BFoA president Jim Thompson says, “Over the past few months, we’ve received more requests than ever before, within a similar timeframe.  As we get ready for our year-end donation drive, it’s important that our process is seamless and that every broadcaster knows where and how to ask for help or give back.”…..WPGG, Atlantic City morning personality Harry Hurley tells TALKERS magazine that he spent 30 minutes uninterrupted interviewing New Jersey Governor Chris Christie on his hurleyharrychristie16program this morning (11/15).  Hurley (pictured here, right, with Christie, left) says the two discussed topics including: the new state-appointed Atlantic City CEO – former U.S. Senator and former New Jersey Attorney General Jeffrey Chiesa – regarding the state takeover; Governor Christie’s run for president; Christie endorsing Donald Trump early on; the effect “Bridgegate” had on his presidential run; whether Christie expects to join the Trump cabinet; and the impact that “Bridgegate” has had on Christie and his family…..This change doesn’t take effect until February 28, 2017, but after 19 years in the position, Steve Fisher is leaving as EVP/chief financial officer at Entercom.  The company is seeking Fisher’s replacement and has enlisted the services of executive search firm Spencer Stuart…..New York State radio operator Galaxy Communications announces it has a new national ad sales rep firm.  Gen Media Partners is now serving as Galaxy’s exclusive national ad sales rep.  Galaxy president and CEO Ed Levine comments, “We are very pleased to move Galaxy’s national business to the leading independent rep firm in radio.  I will sleep better at night knowing that I’m not relying on my direct competitor to oversee my national business any longer.  Gen Media’s independent standing aligns with Galaxy’s, and their experienced team knows how to increase national revenue for the independent broadcaster.”

The Trump Transition, Priebus and Bannon Appointments, Trump Protests, Sanctuary Cities/Immigration Policy, Battle for Mosul, and the Weekend’s NFL Games Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/14).  Talk about the transition of President-Elect Donald Trump’s administration and the legacy of the Barack Obama Administration; Trump’s appointments of Reince Priebus at Chief of Staff and Steven K. Bannon as White House Chief Strategist and Senior Counselor; the anti-Trump protests taking place in cities across the country; the several city mayors who’ve promised their towns will remain “sanctuary cities” and speculation over the Trump Administration’s eventual immigration/deportation policies; the battle to re-take Mosul from Islamic State; and the weekend’s NFL games were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Monday, November 14, 2016

| November 14, 2016

Harvey Nagler to Retire from CBS Radio News Post.  The news radio legend announced to his staff today (11/14) that, after 50 years in radio and 18 years at CBS Radio News, he will be retiring from his vice president role naglerharveywith the company as of January 6.  Harvey Nagler, who was honored with the Talkers Lifetime Achievement Award in 2015, said in a memo to his staff, “I feel very confident that I am leaving our network in the most capable of hands.  I am pleased that we have renewed our relationship with Westwood, thus securing our future.  I am not stopping work completely, but going to slow down by doing some consulting work.” He noted the more than 50 Edward R. Murrow Awards the news organization has been awarded over the past 10 years for covering some of the biggest stories in recent American and world history, stating, “You and I have truly been a witness to – and have reported – the first drafts of history…As the industry continues to evolve I am proud that we have been able to change with it while maintaining the finest traditions of CBS News and the highest standards of journalism.”

Trump Appointments Begin; Talk Radio Figures Poised for Role in New Administration.  A piece by Brian Stelter and the CNNMoney media team, published yesterday, outlines the nascent formation of the administration of the Donald Trump presidency.  The first cabinet post has been awarded to RNC Chairmanbannonstephenk Reince Priebus, who will serve as White House Chief of Staff.  But joining Priebus in the White House is Breitbart’s Stephen K. Bannon, who will serve as White House Chief Strategist and Senior Counselor.  Until taking leave of his Breitbart duties to work with the Trump campaign, Bannon – among other executive duties at the news and opinion organization – was hosting the morning news/talk program “Breitbart News Daily” on ingrahamlauraSiriusXM.  It’s being reported by Jonathan Swan in The Hill that nationally syndicated talk personality Laura Ingraham is being considered for Press Secretary.  Swan writes, “Trump appreciated Ingraham’s loyalty through the campaign… Ingraham helped Trump with debate preparation.  She also campaigned on his behalf and offered occasional strategic advice.”  Of course, Trump’s Vice President-elect is a former longtime talk radio host from Indianapolis.  Mike Pence’s experience in the news/talk radio biz precedes his career in politics.  TALKERS magazine editor and publisher Michael Harrison states, “The election of Donald Trump marks an unmistakable bellwether for the accumulating influence of news/talk radio since Ronald Reagan began his commentaries.  Not only have former radio hosts Mike Pence and Stephen K. Bannonharrisonmichael16 been thrust into positions of enormous power, but the even higher-profiled Laura Ingraham is now in the conversation for Press Secretary.  And let us not forget about the looming potential of Sean Hannity down the road.  He risked it all on the dark horse and won.  I do not say this from a partisan perspective.  Let us not forget that Al Franken would never have been elected to the United States Senate as a prominent progressive had it not been for the magic of radio facilitating his transition from outspoken comedian to serious political player.  As for Trump himself, he employed disruptive, radio-style techniques in vanquishing his Republican rivals during the primaries and then took it all the way, thus becoming the first effective ‘shock politician.’  In today’s amplified media environment, the ability to articulate complex populist concepts via the combination of traditional talk media and the internet can fuel the rise of unexpected influencers and leaders.  It is both refreshingly invigorating and dreadfully dangerous.  We must remain alert.  Welcome to the new digital era!”

Westwood One Realigns Operations; Seymour Named SVP.  Stating that its goal is to create “quicker response times to client requests, an enhanced ability to focus on advertiser needs and accountability, the ability toseymourtim better support its partner and producer clients’ business goals, and a renewed focus on its affiliate sales process by providing actionable information to its station partners,” Westwood One is integrating the business operations and research teams.  As part of the restructure, the company is promoting Tim Seymour to SVP, operations.   He’ll report to COO Charles Steinhauer and oversee the consolidated business operations and research teams under VP Jennifer Baez, the traffic under SVP Jim Maurer and senior director Julie Kim, the affiliate services under VP Fiona Brennan, and the newly created partner relations under director Becky Bennett.

Odds & Sods.  KIRO, Seattle “710 ESPN” is working with the local Kent School District to present a free town hallkiro forum on “Concussions in Youth Sports” on Tuesday, November 15 at the Kentwood High School Performing Arts Center.  “710 ESPN Seattle” host and former Seahawks linebacker Dave Wyman will appear on the panel with world-renowned UW Medicine clinical professor Dr. Stan Herring, and Kent School District athletic director Dave Lutes on the panel.  Danny O’Neil, co-host of the station’s “Danny, Dave & Moore” show will serve as moderator.  KIRO program director Mike Salk says, “Safety in youth sports is a huge conversation right now.  We are excited to roll up our sleeves and engage with those on the front lines of this issue.”…..At the corporate level at Sinclair Broadcast Group, 32-year employee David Amy rises from EVP/COO to vice chairman.  Sinclair owns one radio cluster, having acquired the Seattle stations of the former Fisher Communications.  Those signals are hot AC KPLZ “Star wrko15101.5,” all-news KOMO-AM/FM, and news/talk KVI…..Entercom’s news/talk WRKO, Boston hosted its third annual radiothon raising money for the Disabled American Veterans.  Friday’s nine-hour effort brought in more than $71,000.  WRKO program director Michael Czarnecki says, “The WRKO audience proves once again how passionate they are about helping our veterans.  I am so proud of our listeners, the DAV staff, and the WRKO team.”  Personalities taking part included: Kim Carrigan and Doug “VB” Goudie from “The Boston.com Morning Show,” Barry Armstrong from “The Financial Exchange” show, and Jeff Kuhner from “The Kuhner Report” show.

Trump Transition, Clinton-Democrats Post-Mortem, Immigration Policy, ISIS Atrocities in Mosul, Marijuana Legalization Movement, Clinton Pardon Chatter, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The work of the Donald Trump transition team and the appointing of Reince Priebus to Chief of Staff and Stephen K. Bannon to Chief Strategist; analysis of the failure of Hillary Clinton and the Democrats in the House and Senate in the ’16 campaign; speculation about the future of America’s immigration policy; the battle for Mosul and Islamic State’s abuse of civilians; the success of the marijuana legalization movement in the wake of the elections; talk about President Obama or Trump pardoning Hillary Clinton and avoiding any future investigations into the emails matter; and the weekend’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend.

kirkwoodjimUtah Talk Host Jim Kirkwood Dies at 74.  Just days shy of his 75th birthday, longtime Salt Lake City talk radio personality Jim Kirkwood passed away on November 6.  According to the Salt Lake Tribune, Kirkwood worked in radio for more than 40 years.  At the time of his death, Kirkwood was hosting the 8:00 pm to 10:00 pm show on United Broadcasting Company’s KTKK “K-TALK.”

Thursday, November 10, 2016

| November 10, 2016

What’s Next for Talk Radio?  At this week’s post-election editorial meeting, TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison shared his response to the most-frequently-asked question he has answered since it was announced on Election Night that Donald Trump cracked the 270 electoral votes threshold – What’s next for talk radio?  harrisonmichael16Harrison says, “The answer is simple… talk radio will continue to talk about whatever is happening in society.” Harrison adds, “When things of common interest stop happening, well…that will mark the end of talk radio.  Until then, you can be sure this format will keep on yapping!”  According to Harrison, “It is important for talk broadcasters not to allow SWA (‘spoken word audio’) – the broader genre to which talk radio belongs – to become synonymous in the public’s perception with any singular subject (such as ‘politics’) or with any specific take on a subject (such as ‘conservative’ politics).  This election did talk radio and its hosts a big favor by shaking up dissent among the ranks and even putting broadcasters in challenging struggles with their core audiences.”  Harrison strongly suggests, “Respectful disagreement and unpredictability in search of truth are the engines that power not only talk radio – but democracy in general.  They key word here, however, is ‘respectful.’”

cookehollandNAB Show New York.  Media consultant Holland Cooke is in New York City reporting from the second year of the NAB Show New York.  He notes that although this is not a radio conference, there’s a lot there from which radio can learn. Cooke reports that Facebook’s Bob Gruters said the following: “‘Mobile has changed us’ and ‘mobile has changed business’ he proclaimed.  When he shared that the average person looks at his/her smartphone 30 times a day — and young people 127 times – I felt young again.”   Read Cooke’s report here.

iHeartMedia Madison Bids Adieu to Progressive Talker  “92.1 The Mic.”  Management isn’t saying anything about WXXM, Madison – the former progressive talker “92.1 The Mic” and now, all-Christmas as “92.1 BEST FM” – other than it’s Christmas music through December 25.  There’s no hint of what the format might bewxxmlogo after that.  The Wisconsin State Journal reports that mid-morning host Mitch Henck says he’s not too worried about losing his slot on the station – he streams his show online and says he’s working on getting more radio affiliates.  Ditto for the afternoon program “Devil’s Advocate” with hosts Dominic Salvia and Mike Crute.  Their show is streamed and the paper reports they plan to debut on 20 new affiliates in January.  “92.1 The Mic” had bounced around in the Nielsen ratings (12+) recently, notching a 1.7 share in the Fall 15 book, a 2.9 in the Winter 16 book, a 1.5 share in the Spring 16 survey, and a 2.1 in the recent Summer 16 book.

Comic and Talk Host Steven Crowder Joins CRTV.  Former Fox News Channel contributor, comic, and talk show host Steven Crowder is joining media company CRTV.  CRTV is producing the CRTV Digital Networkcrowdersteven that is the home of the video talk show LevinTV – hosted by Mark Levin – and new shows soon to come hosted by Michelle Malkin and Mark Steyn.  Now, CRTV announces the “Louder with Crowder” host – “notorious for pushing the comedic envelope and ‘triggering’ modern leftists” – is joining the network.  CRTV chief content officer Chris Crane says, “We are excited to have Steven Crowder on the CRTV team.  He is a rare talent that can entertain and educate at the same time.  He is very popular with young audiences, and reaches them in a unique way that very few conservatives can.”

PodcastOne Launches ‘The Chick Show.’  Leading podcast platform PodcastOne announces the launch of “The Chick Show,” featuring actresses (and working moms) Lisa Ann Walter – “Bruce Almighty,” “The Parent podcastone-bTrap” – and Rosa Blasi – “Strong Medicine” “The Thundermans.”  PodcastOne says, “With a 15-year friendship under their belts, the hosts let loose and help each other through cheating husbands, online dating, falling in love, vacations with kids, single-parenting, blended families, and most importantly, balancing life as working moms – all in front of an audience who can learn from the duo’s experiences and advice.”  The first guests to drop by the show are The View’s Sherri Shephard, and Chrissy Metz from the critically acclaimed NBC-TV show, “This Is Us.”

FOX Sports Radio Brings Chris Broussard Aboard.  Sports media pro Chris Broussard joins FOX Sports Radio as a host, opinionist and NBA analyst.  The company says that in addition to making frequent appearances across the network as a guest and contributor, Broussard will launch the first of two weekend programs thisbroussardchris Saturday, November 12.  Co-hosted by FSR personality Brian Noe, the two will broadcast from 8:00 pm to 11:00 pm ET on 200 stations nationwide, plus several digital platforms, including iHeartRadio.  Broussard will add a Sunday radio program in 2017 and will continue his role as FS1’s new NBA analyst.  Broussard says, “I want to thank FOX Sports Radio and FS1 for providing me with the platform to share my sports views and opinions, which have been developed over my 20 years of covering professional sports, particularly the NBA.  I can’t wait to hit the airwaves in my new role with Brian Noe.  Together, we’ll bring listeners a show that is smart, entertaining and insightful.”

Odds & Sods.  The ad sales firm Regional Reps Corp. announces the hiring of Grace Agostino as East Coast regional manager.  New York-based Agostino will cover the East Coast territory for Regional Reps, calling on clients, stations, and advertising agencies.  The firm says Agostino started her sales career with Katz Media Sales in 1996.hobbycaroline  She’s also worked for iHeartMedia, Interep, and SBS…..Westwood One announces new partnerships with Nashville-based musician, TV personality and podcaster Caroline Hobby and KQRS, Minneapolis morning host Tom Barnard.  Both have joined the network’s podcast and on-demand platform via audioBoom.  As part of the deal, Westwood One is providing exclusive ad sales representation for “Hyper Caroline Hobby” and “The Tom Barnard Podcast.”…..Galaxy Communications CEO Ed Levine is named chairman of The New York State Broadcasters Association for 2017.  NYSBA president and executive director David Donovan says, “NYSBA is fortunate to have the most respected and dynamic executives in broadcasting serving on its board of directors. Through their leadership, stewartelizabethcumulusdesmoines16NYSBA will help ensure that radio and television stations in New York meet the challenges of today’s hyper competitive marketplace.”…..College hoops expert Seth Davis is producing an eponymous podcast that’s being made available via a partnership between DGital Media and Time Inc.’s Sports Illustrated Group…..Pictured at left is Cumulus Media Des Moines director of marketing, NTR & integrated sales Elizabeth Stewart at last Sunday’s world record-setting “FriendsGiving” event.  Held in conjunction with Prairie Trail and Jethro’s Barbecue, more than 600 people came out to set a Guinness World Record for the “Largest Number of People Breaking Bread” and enjoyed a traditional holiday meal of turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, and pie, as well as games and live music.  The event benefited Hope Ministries, which feeds about 450 people a day. Image: WOI-TV.

Trump Defeats Clinton in Presidential Race and GOP Retaining Control of House and Senate Dominated Discussion on News/Talk Radio Yesterday (11/9).  The victory of Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton for president and the GOP’s retaining control over the U.S. House and Senate were the stories that dominated the discussion on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

| November 8, 2016

Salem Third Quarter Net Broadcast Revenue Up 3.2%.  Chief executive officer Edward Atsinger said on the Q3 conference call that Salem Media Group’s total revenue was up 5.6% but expenses were up 7.3%, “resulting in a 1.5% decrease in adjusted EBITDA.”  Atsinger said the expenses increase was almost entirely the result of salemmediagroup-logoincreased health care costs.  Back to the numbers, in the Broadcast segment, net broadcast revenue was $51.1 million, an increase of 3,2% over the same period a year ago.  However, station operating income decreased by 2.1%.  Atsinger reported that although they booked $1 million of broadcast political revenue during the quarter, that was down about 20% from the same period during the 2012 campaign.  However, Atsinger adds, “Network revenue was up 29.2% for the quarter.  Obviously, this extraordinary political year is a major driver in this revenue growth, and our nationally syndicated hosts have significantly increased their profile beyond the exposure of their own radio programs, which has resulted in an increased time spent listening to their shows and better response for advertisers, all of which has led to higher renewals, higher rates of renewals, and additional advertising clients.”

Townsquare Media Net Revenue Flat in Q3.  On a pro forma basis, Townsquare Media’s Local Marketing Solutions segment – the one that includes broadcast and digital – saw net revenue increase 3.8% over the same period a year ago.  It was the Entertainment segment – live events – that had a tough quarter and drew the company down to a net revenue decrease of 0.8%.  Townsquare Media chairman and CEO Steven Price says, “On a protownsquaremedia forma basis, our Local Marketing Solutions segment continued its positive momentum by delivering another quarter of solid growth, with net revenue increasing approximately 4% over the prior year period.  These results were offset by a decline in our Entertainment segment due primarily to exceptionally poor weather at four of our largest fairs.  Excluding those fairs, Townsquare’s pro forma net revenue and Adjusted EBITDA increased approximately 2% and 3%, respectively.”  For the first nine months of the year, Townsquare’s (pro forma) net revenue is up 2.2% and the Local Marketing Solutions segment is up 5.1%.

sagaSaga Communications Q3 Net Revenue Rises 6.8%.   Reporting financial data for the third quarter of 2016, Saga Communications’ net revenue was $36.1 million – an increase of 6.8% over the same period a year ago.  Breaking the radio segment out from the television segment, radio’s net revenue was $29.8 million – an increase of 4.6% over 2015’s third quarter.  For the year so far, Saga’s net revenue is $105.3 million – up 8.3% over the first nine months of 2015.

WABC, New York Officially Names Sid Rosenberg Imus Sports Anchor.  A press release from Cumulus Media’s WABC, New York officially announces that Sid Rosenberg is returning to the “Imus in the Morning”rosenberg show to serve as sports anchor, however the presser makes no mention of Warner Wolf, who exited the show suddenly on Friday (11/4).   WABC program director Craig Schwalb comments, “Sid’s triumphant return to ‘Imus In The Morning’ has reunited him with an incredibly gifted cast.  Their collective chemistry is exceptional.”  Rosenberg adds, “I’m really excited to be back with Imus and the guys in the same role where it all started for me nearly 17 years ago.”  Rosenberg will continue to co-host the late morning show with now-fellow Imus cast member Bernard McGuirk.

NAB to Sue FCC Over Quadrennial Review.  This suit must be filed by Monday and that is presumably what the National Association of Broadcasters will do as EVP of media relations Dennis Wharton says it’s nab-logodifficult to believe the Federal Communications Commission could recommend (on a 3-2 party line vote) going forward with decades-old policy when technology isfccnew moving the industry ahead at the speed of light.  The cross-ownership rules seem particularly out of date considering what’s been going on in other sectors of the media, says Wharton, who tells Broadcasting and Cable, “Broadcasters want to compete in the digital age and continue being a trusted source for local news and information, but FCC rules need to reflect 2016 and not the 1960s.  It defies belief that the FCC allows AT&T/DirecTV and Charter/Time Warner mergers while barring two Topeka TV stations from combining, or a radio station from buying a newspaper.”

Today’s Presidential Election; the U.S. House and Senate Races; Voter Fraud and Poll Hacking Concerns; UVA Administrator Awarded $3 Million in Rolling Stone Rape Story Case; Hillary Clinton’s Emails Troubles; and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/7).  The presidential race between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton; the down-ticket races for U.S. House and Senate seats; concerns over voter fraud and the possibility of hacking the electronic polls; a jury awards a University of Virginia administrator $3 million in her case against Rolling Stone and the author of a discredited story about a gang rape at the school; the private email server case surrounding Hillary Clinton’s campaign; and the weekend’s NFL Action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Ginny Morris to Chair RAB Board of Directors.  The Radio Advertising Bureau announces the new slate of officers recently to its board of directors and new, incoming directors.  Chairperson and CEO of Hubbard Radio Ginny Morris is elected chair of the RAB board of directors.  Cox Media Group RVP Susan Larkin ismorrisginny the vice chair.  The finance chair is Steve Newberry, president and CEO of Commonwealth rabBroadcasting.  The secretary is Mike Hulvey, COO, Neuhoff Communications, and immediate past chair is Hartley Adkins, president, Northeast Division & Corporate Operations, iHeartMedia.  Newly elected directors are: Brian Beasley, EVP, chief operating officer, Beasley Media Group; Jonathan Brewster, CEO/president, Cherry Creek Radio LLC; Mike Tarter, president/CEO, Forcht Broadcasting; and Sabina Widmann, VP, general manager/director of sales, radio, Univision Radio.  RAB president and CEO Erica Farber says, “We are excited to have Ginny Morris at the helm of the RAB board of directors.  With Ginny’s tremendous experience and passion for this industry, the organization is well-positioned to continue to lead and advocate for radio.”

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

| November 1, 2016

cookehollandCooke on Talkers TV: Make Money with Endorsement Spots.  Consultant Holland Cooke presents this brief-yet-insightful video underlining some of the key aspects of – and reasons for – well-done endorsement spots for local advertisers.  Cooke notes that especially “if your competition is robotic and you’re doing solid, local radio, you have the advantage.”  He adds, “YES YOU CAN become ‘indispensable’ to your station, even with all the changes radio has gone through, and with more coming.”  He reiterates advice from Katz Media Group EVP of strategy Stacy Lynn Schulman, who says, “Broadcast advertising that is ‘localized’ stands out because the velocity and variety of digital interactions today have multiplied our level of distraction and numbed us to the constant barrage of retargeted, ‘personalized’ digital ads.”  Watch the video on Talkers TV in the upper right-hand of this page.

Keith Larson Exits WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte.  Ahead of Entercom’s taking over the Greater Media news/talk duo (along with hot AC WLNK and sports WFNZ in a spin-off deal from Beasley Broadcast Group‘s acquisition of Greater Media’s radio stations), 14-year WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte talk host Keith Larson is let go from the station.  The Charlotte Observerlarsonkeith reports that Larson and news director Jim Barroll – with the station for 31 years – left after their shifts yesterday (10/31).  Larson, who hosted the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon show, told the Observer, “There have been ups and downs but it’s been absolutely fabulous at WBT.  I would have done another 14.  I’m very blessed that I’ve always had other interests and other investments.  It’s a drag but life goes on.”  Larson tells the paper he will expand his Larson Advertising and Media Associates business, is a minority partner in a Zen Massage franchise and also hopes to continue writing his Charlotte Observer column.  Read the Observer piece here.

Matt Hanlon to Head New Charlotte Cluster for Entercom.  Former Citadel Midwest regional manager Matt Hanlon is named the new vice president and market manager for Entercom’s Charlotte stations.  The company notes that while at Citadel, Hanlon “launched a sports network and a news network creating newhanlonmatt revenue in Michigan and maximized both ratings and sales across local, regional, national and non-spot.  Hanlon began his career in broadcasting as a media buyer for Backer & Spielvogel, vice president of stations at Katz Media Group and vice president, director of sales at AM/FM.”  Entercom COO Weezie Kramer says, “We are super excited to welcome Matt to Entercom and to the Charlotte team.  Matt has terrific experience in news, talk, sports, syndication, working with big personalities and making a difference in the community – all of which make him a great fit for Charlotte and these iconic brands.”  As noted above, the new Entercom Charlotte cluster includes news/talk WBT-AM/FM, sports talk WFNZ and hot AC WLNK.

Beasley Names New Market Managers for Detroit and Fayetteville.  Replacing Steve Chessare as vice president and market manager for its newly acquired Detroit station group is Mac “Edwards” (McTindal), and moving up to fill Edwards’ role at the Fayetteville, North Carolina cluster is Erika Beasley.  Edwards takes over the cluster just acquired from the Greater Media deal.  It includes rock WRIF, rhythmic oldies WMGC “105.1 Theedwardsmac Bounce,” and classic rock WCSX.  Beasley EVP/COO Brian Beasley comments, “After 25 years of dedicated service to Beasley’s Fayetteville market, Mac will bring his wealth of experience to our new beasleyerikaDetroit cluster.  Mac has worked with Beasley in positions from program director to air personality to operations manager and he has served as Fayetteville’s award-winning market manager since 2007.  We’re moving forward on our path to success in Detroit as Mac takes the helm of these iconic stations.”  Erika Beasley has been serving the company as general sales manager of WQYK, Tampa since January 2015.  She states, “With Fayetteville’s established, veteran market manager Mac Edwards as my predecessor, I know I will have huge shoes to fill!  I am absolutely prepared for this new challenge and welcome this new level of responsibility.  My sincere appreciation goes to the entire executive management team for showing abiding faith in my leadership abilities.  I am excited about my opportunity in Fayetteville and am anxious to get to work with my new team!”

harrisonupclosefaroutsmallWPHT, Philadelphia Host Dom Giordano Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  One of the longest-running and most highly respected major market local news/talkers in America, Dom Giordano of CBS O&O WPHT, Philadelphia, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “Up Close and Far Out with Michaelgiordanodom Harrison.”  Giordano, a moderate conservative with libertarian leanings, objectively discusses the impact that the election of 2016 (with its disruptive Donald Trump factor) has had on most of the industry’s news/talkers.  Harrison says, “This conversation is a fitting way for this media-based series to wrap up the 2016 pre-election era.  Dom Giordano is one of those rare players in today’s talk media who seeks truth (at least as he earnestly sees it) – even if it comes at the expense of victory.  We need more of that kind of thinking on all ends of the political spectrum in America.  It’ll make better radio, not to mention a better country.”  To listen to this podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com and RadioInfo.com.

nielsen-logoNielsen: News/Talk Benefitting from Election Cycle.  The news/talk format is seeing the expected spike in PPM ratings that happens every four years as the result of the presidential election, according to Nielsen Audio.  The company’s PPM surveys over the past year indicate that, as a format, news/talk has risen from a 9.1 share in October of 2015 to a 9.9 share this October (persons 6+).  In terms of the 25-54 demo, the format is up a full share from a 6.3 in October of 2015 to this October’s 7.3 share.  Interestingly, comparing the last presidential election cycle – October 2012 – to this October, the numbers are lower for 6+ and 25-54 (10.4 share to 9.9, and 7.8 share to 7.3, respectively) the 18-34 share is up from a 4.1 to a 4.3.  See the Nielsen report here.

The Presidential Contest, U.S. House and Senate Races, FBI’s Hillary Emails Investigation, CNN Drops Donna Brazile, Peter Thiel National Press Club Speech, Battle for Mosul, Russian Military in Syria, the World Series, and the Weekend’s NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/31).  The presidential race between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump; the down-ticket races for U.S. House and Senate seats; FBI Director James Comey’s announcement the FBI is again investigating Hillary Clinton’s private server emails; CNN cuts ties with Donna Brazile after a Wikileaks-hacked email indicates she tipped the Clinton campaign off about a debate question; tech billionaire Peter Thiel’s National Press Club speech and support of Donald Trump; the battle against Islamic State for Mosul; Russian’s military ramp-up and involvement in Syria’s civil war; the Cubs-Indians World Series; and the weekend’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

| October 25, 2016

CRTV Digital Network to Launch in December.  Production firm CRTV is announcing plans to launch a new digital network in December “uniquely rich with honest and informative conservative content seen nowhere else in any medium anywhere.”  The company (parent of the Conservative Review) partnered with Mark Levin (left) back in crtvlevinmalkinsteynFebruary to debut the digital video program “LevinTV.”  Now, CRTV is adding conservative media personalities Michelle Malkin (center) and Mark Steyn (right) to the mix.  CRTV chief content officer Chris Crane comments, “We have partnered with the best thinkers and storytellers out there and given each the resources to design their own show in their own voice on their own custom set reflective of each of their personalities.”  Mark Levin adds, “With the huge success of ‘LevinTV’ launched earlier this year, we decided to accelerate plans.  We know people have rejected liberal media bias and there is an enormous demand for straight, bold, conservative talk and they will get it here from a wide variety of talent.  This is much bigger than any of us.  It is about our beloved audience.  This is a movement with millions of liberty lovers who know cable TV content doesn’t square with their worldview.  Proudly conservative in content, CRTV will allow popular personalities, presenting scholarly thought, culture to comedy, the liberty to be themselves.  And, viewers will have the freedom to consume straightforward, candid, unfiltered, commercial-free content whenever and wherever they want.”  CRTV is a subscription-based service available on digital and mobile devices for $99 per year or $12 per month.

CBS RADIO Names Radiate Media New Traffic Data Provider.  The 10-year deal between CBS RADIO and iHeartMedia’s Total Traffic Network ends on March 31 of 2017 and CBS is announcing that it has chosen cbsradio-logoRadiate Media as its new broadcast content traffic partner, effective April 1.  In a statement, CBS RADIO says Radiate will supply it with customized traffic data for its over-the-air radio stations in 26 markets, as well as on corresponding station websites.  Radiateradiatemedia-logo Media will sell sponsorships within traffic reports to national network advertisers while CBS RADIO will continue to sell sponsorships to local and regional advertisers.  CBS RADIO COO Scott Herman states, “We are excited to work with Radiate Media to deliver superior traffic reports to our local listeners who rely on our stations for timely updates and alerts.  The new arrangement allows for Radiate to better serve national network advertisers, while giving CBS RADIO maximum flexibility to deliver unique marketing opportunities to our local and multi-market partners.”

Genesis Simulcasts WHOO, Orlando’s Erik Kuselias Show to WHBO, Tampa.  Back in April, sportskuseliaserik media personality Erik Kuselias joined Genesis Communications to begin hosting a sports talk show on Orlando’s WHOO and the company’s SportsTalkFlorida.com platform.  Now, Genesis announces the show – airing 6:00 am to 9:00 am – will also be heard on the company’s WHBO, Tampa.  Kuselias comments, “Tampa has always been one of my favorite sports towns.  It’s incredibly underrated because it has smart, diverse sports fans.  I think my show and the city will be a great match and I’m honored to be part of their scene.”

nielsen-logoNielsen Audio Releases Round One of October 2016 PPM Data.  The first of four rounds of October  2016 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio 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).  The October 2016 survey period covered September 8 (the first game of the NFL season) – October 5.  You can find the complete 6+ ratings numbers from subscribing stations here.  Additionally, TALKERS/RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Twelve Takeaways” from this group on the main page of our sister publication here.

harrisonupclosefaroutsmallMichael Harrison and Richard Neer Get ‘Up Close and Far Out’ with Baseball and the World Series.  Veteran WFAN, New York sports talk show host Richard Neer is this week’s guest on the PodcastOne international hit “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison” paying tribute to what used to be called America’s National Pastime and talking about the unusual “battle of the underdogs” nature of the 2016 World Series.  The discussionneerrichard focuses on the importance of sports teams to their local communities and the people who grew up loving them.  It covers changes in the relative popularity of sports in the US (baseball, football, boxing and horse racing) and even brings up Ronald Reagan’s early career as a baseball play-by-play pioneer.  Harrison and Neer engage in a pop cultural-oriented sports dialogue unlike most heard on sports talk radio.  To listen to this fun and illuminating conversation in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com and RadioInfo.com.

The 2016 Election, Battle Against Islamic State in Mosul, Soaring ObamaCare Premiums, Enlistment Bonus Scandal, Friday’s Cyber-Attack, France to Demolish Calais Immigrant Camp, Josh Brown Spousal Abuse Controversy, Cubs-Indians World Series, and Weekend NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/24).  The presidential race between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump as well as the U.S. House and Senate races; the fight against Islamic State in the battle to assume control of the Iraqi city of Mosul; reports of soaring premiums under the Affordable Care Act; the scandal at the California National Guard forcing thousands of soldiers to repay unqualified-for enlistment bonuses; the attack on U.S. DNS servers that greatly affected parts of the Internet on October 21; France begins to move immigrants from “the jungle” camp in Calais; controversy over the NFL’s handling of the Josh Brown spousal abuse admissions; anticipation for the Chicago Cubs vs Cleveland Indians World Series; and the weekend’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Odds & Sods.  KSTE, Sacramento-based, syndicated morning duo Armstrong & Getty is working to mobilize its listeners to help war veterans by signing a WhiteHouse.gov petition to ask congress to forgive the debts of the thousands of California soldiers who are being forced to repay enlistment bonuses a decade after they went to war.  Through improper action by California National Guard recruiters, thousands of soldiers were given enlistment bonuses for which they may not have qualified.  Many are now being asked to repay those bonuses.  Jack Armstrong says, “We are outraged.  Our listeners are outraged.  We are going to get something done about this.  The United States cannot mistreat our veterans like this.”  Joe Getty adds, “It’s time that the bureaucrats andelswickclown politicians honor our promises to our vets and honor the will of the people.  And it’s absolutely indisputable that these vets not get screwed.  We are going to hold the politicians’ feet to the fire.”…..Award-winning political journalist Soledad O’Brien and National Association of Broadcasters president and CEO Gordon Smith are being featured in a keynote session on the intersection of media and politics at the NAB Show New York on November 9 – the first day of the two-day conference at the Javits Convention Center in New York City…..Pictured at right, Gizmo the Clown (left) stopped by the KHTE-FM, Little Rock studios to visit with afternoon personality Dave Elswick (right) to discuss recent “scary clown” sightings in the Central Arkansas area.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

| October 18, 2016

Entercom to Acquire Four Charlotte Signals from Beasley for $24 Million.  In order to stay under the FCC ownership cap in the Charlotte market, Beasley Broadcast Group has to sell some of its holdings that would wbtwlnk-duo-logoput if over the cap after the previously announced Greater Media acquisition deal closes.  Now, Beasley announces that Entercom will acquire news/talk WBT-AM/FM, hot ACwfnz WLNK-FM (all three currently owned by Greater Media) plus sports talk WFNZ-AM and its accompanying FM translator.  The company says that Entercom will begin operating WBT-AM/FM and WLNK-FM upon the closing of the Greater Media deal, pursuant to a time brokerage agreement.  Back on July 19, Beasley and Greater Media entered into a definitive merger agreement whereby Beasley will acquire all of the outstanding stock of Greater Media for an aggregate consideration of approximately $240 million, subject to adjustments.

Westwood One to Syndicate WMAL, Washington-Based Chris Plante Show.  Over the years, the WMAL-AM/FM, Washington-based Chris Plante show has aired on other Cumulus Media news/talk stations – it still is heard on the company’s KARN-FM, Little Rock.  Now, the company is getting serious about going beyond DC with the show and Westwood One begins syndication efforts for the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon ET program beginningplantechris January 2, 2017.  About the conservative talk personality, WW1 says, “A third-generation media pro, Plante began his radio career at WMAL in 2005 after 17 years inside the Washington bureau at CNN, where he moved up the ranks from researcher and assignment editor to Pentagon correspondent.  During his tenure at CNN, he crisscrossed the globe, covering events from Vietnam and Albania to Jakarta.  He was the director of the U.S. westwood-one-newtelevision network pool operations in Saudi Arabia for three months following Saddam Hussein’s 1990 invasion of Kuwait.  Plante won the Edward R. Murrow Award from the RTDNA for his live coverage of the terrorist attack on the pentagon on September 11, 2001.  He was the first to report that the Pentagon had been attacked. He was also recognized by the Television Academy for his September 11 reporting.  He makes regular appearances on the Fox News Channel and the Fox Business Network.”  Westwood One president Suzanne Grimes states, “Chris Plante takes the news of the day and breaks it down in his signature direct, funny, and fearless style.  He engages a legion of devoted fans who tune in every day whether they agree with him or not.  He’s a captivating storyteller who makes great radio.  It’s the kind of programming we are proud to add to our best-in-class talk lineup.”

WABC, New York and Westwood One Renew Don Imus.  When January 2, 2017 rolls around, the only difference in morning drive at Cumulus Media’s WABC, New York and its Westwood One radio network will be imusdona 9:00 am ET signoff time for New York radio legend Don Imus (right now it’s 10:00 am).  Cumulus announces it has re-signed Imus and his crew to a new multi-year deal for the show to air on 77 WABC Radio from 6:00 am to 9:00 am.  It’s been nine years since WABC inked Imus to a morning radio deal after CBS RADIO dropped him from crosstown WFAN in the wake of the “nappy-headed hos” scandal.  Cumulus SVP, content andwabc-logo programming Mike McVay states, “Don Imus is not a media icon.  He is much more than that.  He is an American Icon.  Mr. Imus brings his ‘A’ game every day. And if you miss one day, you miss a lot.  We are thrilled to have Don continue with Westwood One, Cumulus and WABC.”  The cast of executive producer Bernie McGuirk, comedians Rob Bartlett and Tony Powell, producer Lou Rufino, sportscaster Warner Wolf, and news anchor Connell McShane will also remain with the show.  The program is currently followed by “The Bernie & Sid Show” with McGuirk and Sid Rosenberg.  Whether WABC expands that program to 9:00 am to 12:00 noon remains to be seen.

WPRO-AM, Providence’s John DePetro Hosts Red Sox Great Curt Schilling; Former Pitcher Intends to Challenge Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren.  During a long interview on the John DePetro program on Cumulus Media’s WPRO-AM, Providence, former Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling (whoschillingcurt currently hosts a weekend syndicated talk show distributed by the Howie Carr Radio Network) spoke deptrojohnat length about the failed video game company 38 Studios that received a large Rhode Island state loan to locate in Providence.  The company went belly-up and the issue has been a sore spot for a number of politicians in the state, not to mention segments of the public.  During the interview, Schilling also told DePetro that he’s decided – pending approval from his wife Shonda – that he will challenge Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) for her U.S. Senate seat.  Shonda Schilling later called in to the station to say she has not decided if she’s willing to give approval.  WPRI-TV, Providence reports that a recent WBZ/UMass poll put Warren at 47% and Schilling at 28%.

Entercom to Refinance Debt.  The Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania-based broadcaster announces it is meeting with Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley Senior Funding, Inc., RBC Capital Markets, LLC and entercomWells Fargo Securities, LLC today to discuss a refinancing of its senior and senior unsecured debt.  In a press statement, Entercom Communications says it expects to enter into a $520 million senior secured credit facility that will include a $60 million revolving credit facility with a five-year maturity, plus a $460 million term loan with a seven-year maturity.  Entercom will use the term loan to refinance $225 million in existing senior secured bank debt, plus it will buy back $220 million in 10.5% senior subordinated notes.

harrisonupclosefaroutsmallCBS News Icon Charles Osgood Is the Subject of this Week’s Harrison Podcast.  Legendary CBS News radio and television giant Charles Osgood is the guest on this week’s installment of the award-winning PodcastOne hit series, “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison,” posted today (10/18).  Osgood has been hosting (and continues to host) the four-osgoodcharlestimes-per-weekday morning feature “The Osgood Files” via Westwood One on radio stations across the nation since 1971.  He also retired several weeks ago from a 24-year stint as the anchor of television’s CBS News “Sunday Morning” program. Harrison and Osgood talk about changes in media and journalism over the years culminating with a provocative analysis of the current presidential election. To listen to the podcast in its entirety please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com and RadioInfo.com.

The Presidential Race, Trump’s Media Conspiracy, Hillary Clinton Emails Scandal, Battle Against ISIS in Mosul, Police Chiefs Group Apology, MLB Playoffs, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/17).  The race for the presidency; Donald Trump’s statements that the election is in jeopardy of being stolen by the media conspiracy against him; allegations that State Department Under-Secretary Michael Kennedy engaged in a quid-pro-quo with the FBI to have some of Hillary Clinton’s emails declassified during the investigation of her use of a private email server for State Department business; the ongoing battle against Islamic State in Iraq and the fight to retake Mosul; International Association of Chiefs of Police president Terrence Cunningham apologizes for generations of mistrust between police officers and minority communities; the Major League Baseball playoffs; and the weekend’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

giordanodomElection 2016: TALKERS Magazine in the Trenches – WPHT, Philadelphia’s Dom Giordano Interviews Michael Harrison About the State of Talk Radio During Current Cycle.  WPHT, Philadelphia midday host Dom Giordano engages in an in-depth conversation with TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison about the disruptive effect Election 2016 has been having upon conservative talk radio during the current presidential election cycle.  The two talk about how the concept of targeting audiences and preaching to the choir – a modern day strategy of political talk broadcasting – has hit speedbumps on the right with the emergence of Donald Trump and even to a degree on the left with revelations about Bernie Sanders’ candidacy. Harrison says, “We have gone from playing checkers to three dimensional chess.”  To hear the conversation in its entirety, please click here.

Odds & Sods.  Progressive talk media personality Nicole Sandler returns to work after taking time off to treat her cancer.  She says, “It’s been a long couple of months during which my world changed completely.  I had no idea howsandlernicole long my detour to deal with cancer would last, but I’m ready to head back into the land of electoral insanity with just three weeks to go before election day.  If a life-threatening illness had to sideline me for a few months, it surely picked the right time.  And if I wasn’t already sick, covering this year’s presidential madness would have certainly made me ill.  But as we approach the finish line, I have to admit that I’ve been getting a bit antsy in recent days.  Talking back to the TV just wasn’t helping.”  She starts streaming her show – starting one hour from 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm ET – at nicolesandler.com and Progressive millerstephanieVoices Network…..Stephanie Miller’s final “Sexy Liberal Comedy Tour” date for this year takes place in Los Angeles at the Saban Theater on November 5.  It will be broadcast in movie theaters across the country via Fathom Events on November 7.  Also, Miller’s book, Sexy Liberal! Of Me I Sing, wins the 2016 Wild Card Book Award in the Northern California Book Festival…..Following yesterday’s news about Galaxy Communications’ acquisition of Berkshires Media Group, it’s worth noting that Galaxy has applied to the FCC to move the FM translator it recently bought in South Burlington, Vermont to the Western Massachusetts region to serve as the translator for news/talk WBEC-AM, Pittsfield at 93.9 FM…..DGital Media issues a presser listing some of its recent content partnerships – including relationships with Tony Kornheiser, Peter King, Fortune, Sports Illustrated, IMG, The MMQB, and more.  Chief content officer Chris Corcoran says, “We are extremely proud to add so many wonderful partnerships to our business.  The power of on-demand audio only continues to grow.  We are well poised for what lies ahead, bringing together our new and existing partners with a rapidly growing audience of millions of fans who tune in on a daily basis.”

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

| October 11, 2016

cookehollandCooke: The Value of Social Media to Broadcasters.  Media consultant Holland Cooke writes today about how broadcasters are applying their use of social media to their on-air work.  Several radio pros Cooke spoke with say that listeners like the ability to connect “personally” with them via social media. He notes that at the recent NAB/RAB Radio Show in Nashville, Cumulus/Westwood One’s Lori Lewis said it reminds people “that they matter.”  Most of the broadcasters say they learn from their P1s about what kind of show content might interest those P1s that they themselves would never have thought of.  And still others use social media to continue “the show” even after it goes off the radio.  Read Cooke’s entire report here.

brownejoyVideo of Recent Industry Memorial Tribute to Dr. Joy Browne Posted to TalkersTV.  A group of industry figures recently gathered in New York City to present “A Celebration of Joy” memorial tribute to talk radio legend Dr. Joy Browne, who died unexpectedly on August 27.  It took place Tuesday, October 4 at the Helen Mills Theater in the Chelsea district of Manhattan and featured a roster of speakers who eulogized and shared stories about their memories of the famed radio psychologist.  The program was co-hosted by TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison and Salem Radio Network syndicated star Mike Gallagher.  Speakers included (in alphabetical order): Ted Anderson of Genesis Communications NetworkDavid Bernstein of TalkersRadioPierre Bouvard of Cumulus Media/Westwood One;  Tracy Cramer of the Alzheimer’s Association of America;  Bernadette Duncan of Talkers BooksJoan Hamburg of WABC, New York; and Doug Stephan of Stephan Multimedia. To view the video please click here or on the TalkersTV box at the top of the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

harrisonupclosefaroutsmallWFTL, Ft. Lauderdale/Miami Dynamo Joyce Kaufman Joins Michael Harrison on this Week’s ‘Up Close and Far Out.’   She is one of the most politically provocative news/talkers in the industry and a longtime mainstay of South Florida local radio.  Joyce Kaufman – who hosts 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm daily show on Alpha Media’s WFTL, Ft. Lauderdale – has been outspoken for decades about the full spectrum of conservative issues – from Second Amendment rights to abortion to illegal immigration and much more.  She is a true regional mover and shaker – and no stranger to controversy.  In a candid conversation on this week’s installment of the PodcastOne international hit series, “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison,” Kaufman discusseskaufmanjoyce dealing with the intense negative blowback that accompanies her broadcasting career path and the impact it has had on her life raising children as a single mother.  Harrison and Kaufman further delve into the impact social media has on radio hosts as well as society in general.  They also discuss the shocking changes we are witnessing in the style of public political discourse marking the current presidential election.  Kaufman says, “The genie is out of the bottle, there’s no going back.”  To listen to this fascinating conversation that even includes a look at the role local radio plays in providing vital service to the public during hurricanes, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com and RadioInfo.com.

CLARIFICATION.  For our readers who saw Monday’s story regarding the Facebook post by E.W. Scripps Milwaukee VP/GM Tom Langmyer, TALKERS magazine would like to clarify.  Our story gave the impression that Langmyer wrote that talk show hosts should not offer opinions about political candidates via social media.  Whatlangmyertom Langmyer did say (and Tom’s Facebook friends who read the piece are aware) was that reporters and anchors, i.e. journalists, should read their company’s policy on social media use because he’s seeing so many of his reporter colleagues opining about candidates – something they are, in many cases, not allowed to do on their day jobs or via other avenues.  As for talk show hosts, Langmyer says of course they can have opinions about candidates – that’s part of their job.  His problem with some talk hosts is their use of “F-bomb laden posts about how much they hate a candidate.”  He goes on to say that he believes the policy should be, if you wouldn’t say it on the air, don’t write it on social media.  Langmyer says his disappointment stems from having worked with and trained some of the people who are doing these things and he feels frustration that his training didn’t get through to some of them.

Odds & Sods.  Des Moines-based talk host Simon Conway is doing triple duty today.  This morning he filled injonesstevertdna16 on iHeartMedia’s WFLF, Orlando.  That’s in addition to his regular morning show on the company’s WMT, Cedar Rapids and his afternoon drive show on WHO, Des Moines…..ABC Radio vice president Steve Jones is pictured here accepting the Edward R. Murrow Award for Overall Excellence in Radio from the RTDNA.  During his acceptance speech he stated, “It’s an honor for ABC News Radio to be recognized by our peers for the excellence of our work.  We are deeply appreciative of the support we receive every day under James Goldston’s leadership and from all of our ABC colleagues, particularly those here tonight.”…..“Free Talk Live” with hosts Ian Freeman and Mark Edge is added to new affiliate stations KWAM, Memphis; WXME, Monticello, Maine; and WMXF, Waynesville, North Carolina…..Westwood One enters into a partnership with Jerry Springer, whose “Tales, Tunes & Tomfoolery” weekly podcast joins Westwood One’s Podcast & On-Demand platform via audioBoom.  Westwood One is providing exclusive ad sales representation for the show.  The show is streamed live every Tuesday night and emanates from Ludlow, Kentucky’s Folk School Coffee Parlor and promoted as “an easygoing and intimate conversation between three friends — Springer, Jene Galvin, and Megan Hils – who provide a mix of comedy, liberal political talk, and contemporary roots music.”

Presidential Race/Sunday’s Debate, Syria Civil War/Russian Military Involvement, Hurricane Matthew Aftermath, Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 Woes, MLB Playoffs, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/10).  The presidential campaign, the Trump hot-mic tape, and Sunday evening’s debate; the ongoing Syrian civil conflict and growing criticism of Russia’s military involvement in the war; the effects of Hurricane Matthew plaguing the Carolinas; Samsung’s decision to stop producing the Galaxy Note 7 in the wake of continuing safety issues; the Major League Baseball playoffs; and the weekend’s NFL games were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

| October 4, 2016

WTMJ, Milwaukee’s Charlie Sykes to Retire from Radio in December.  Longtime Milwaukee conservative voice Charlie Sykes announces that he will step away from his daily radio show and weekly television show at the end of this year after a 23-year stint hosting the mid-morning show on Scripps’ news/talk WTMJ.  Sykes is also the sykescharliehost of “Sunday Insight” on WTMJ-TV “Today’s TMJ4.”  The station will move current early afternoon host Jeff Wagner into the 8:30 to 12:00 noon slot and will seek a new host for the open 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm show.  Sykes states, “It has been both a pleasure and honor to work here.  It has been an extraordinary privilege to be a part of the momentous changes that have taken place in Wisconsin over the last two decades.  This is not a decision that I made either lightly or recently and it was not driven by this year’s political season.  I made this decision moreRadio 620 WTMJ - WRS (662c) than a year ago for both professional and very personal reasons.  My father died when he was 63, and I will turn 62 this year, so this year has always been circled on my calendar.  Frankly, if I was ever going to make a move, it was now.  While I am stepping back from my daily radio duties I intend to remain an active voice.  I want to write more, travel more and pursue new opportunities.”  In addition to his work for Scripps, Sykes created and served as the editor-in-chief of RightWisconsin.com.  RightWisconsin.com is an online community that distributes the conservative perspective on the day’s news through a website, audio, video and a daily newsletter.  WTMJ VP/GM Tom Langmyer comments, “Charlie Sykes is one of the most talented broadcasters in America.  His voice is not only an important one in Wisconsin, but across the country.  His daily impact has influenced public thought for decades.”

Josh Innes Takes Over Afternoons at KBME, Houston.  Sports talk personality Josh Innes returns to Houston to begin hosting the afternoon drive slot on iHeartMedia’s KBME “Sports Talk 790,” effective October 10.  Innes worked at CBS RADIO’s KILT-AM from 2010 through 2013 – partnered with KILT’s Rich Lord for part of innesjoshthat time.  Innes was brought by CBS to its Philadelphia sports talker WIP where he started in evenings and moved to afternoon drive.  Innes exited WIP in August.  Lord is now partnered with Sean Pendergast and Ted Johnson in afternoons on KILT and Innes will be competing with the trio.  Innes tells the Houston Chronicle, “After I left Houston, I missed it.  The opportunity at 790 is perfect.  They said they want me to be who I am and to do what I do, and they will support what I do.”  Innes replaces longtime station personality Charlie Pallilo on the KBME afternoon show.  Read the Chronicle piece here.

iHeartMedia Creates New Southwest Division; Kevin LeGrett Named President.  This realignment will create a new division within iHeartMedia – a Southwest Division that will include many regions formerly in iheartmedia-logo-smallits Central Division.  Other former Central Division Regions will be moved into the West and Midwest/Southeast Divisions to better align them with the right resources and operating structure, according to the company.  Kevin LeGrett, formerly iHeartMedia’s Los Angeles region president, becomes president of the new Southwest Division which now includes the Los Angeles, San Diego/Riverside, Arizona, Red River, Houston, Dallas and Austin/San Antonio regions.  Helegrettkevin will continue to report to Greg Ashlock, president of iHeartMedia West, and will also become a member of the company’s senior executive Operating Committee.  In addition to overseeing the new Southwest Division, Ashlock will add the Denver, Western Great Lakes and Omaha regions to his existing West Division.  The St. Louis, Nashville and Mid-South regions will move to the Midwest/Southeast Division under president Tom McConnell.  The Pittsburgh region, formerly part of the Midwest/Southeast Division, will now move to the Northeast Division under president Hartley Adkins.  Both LeGrett and Ashlock will continue to operate from iHeartMedia West’s headquarters in Los Angeles.

Opie Stays with SiriusXM Reluctantly.  Tweeting about his new contract with SiriusXM, Gregg “Opie” Hughes announces he’s back on the air with the satcaster, but not in his morning drive slot.  He’s now in afternoon hughesgreggdrive.  The New York Post reports Hughes said, “I did not want to leave mornings.  Short-term deal.  They wanted longer. I said, no [bleeping] way.  We do a great show.”  Hughes has been off the air since his previous contract expired and former partner Jim Norton has been co-hosting the morning show with producer Sam Roberts and they reportedly will remain in that slot.  Hughes tells The Post he took a pay cut but remains the third-highest paid talent there.

Veteran Illustrates the Emotional Power of Talk Radio.  During a discussion on SiriusXM’s Joe Madisonmadisonjoe show about PTSD and the suicide rate of U.S. veterans spurred by Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s speech to a veterans group in Virginia, a retired Marine Corps serviceman called in to tell his personal story and how his life was saved by Madison’s program.  Listen to the audio here.

harrisonupclosefaroutsmallThe Amazing Kreskin Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  One of the world’s most prolific performers and established pop cultural icons, The Amazing Kreskin, is interviewed on this week’s installment of the award-winning PodcastOne series “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.”  Harrison and Kreskin dive into an in-depth conversation about how the power of persuasion can shape the public’s perception.  According to Kreskin,kreskin there is no such thing as hypnosis, per se – but, rather, people can be made to believe things and take action by a charismatic personality who knows how to engage in psychological manipulation.  He points out that the larger the number of people in an audience, crowd, mob or population, the easier it is for them to relinquish individual responsibility for their actions and follow the pack.  This is a compelling conversation of significance to anyone involved in talk media – especially during election season.  To hear this conversation in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com and RadioInfo.com.

The Presidential Race/Tuesday’s VP Debate, Syria Civil War/U.S.-Russia Tensions, Wikileaks Doc Drop Threat, Oregon H.S. White Privilege Survey, Kim Kardashian Robbery, Hurricane Matthew, MLB Playoffs, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/3).  The activities of presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton and this evening’s vice presidential debate; the U.S.’ cessation of bi-lateral talks with Syria and Russia over the besieged city of Aleppo and U.S.-Russia military tensions; Wikileaks founder Julian Assange’s threat to begin dropping documents that could be harmful to Hillary Clinton’s campaign; the controversy over an Oregon high school class’ assignment that included a white privilege survey; the widely reported holdup of Kim Kardashian West and theft of $10 million in jewelry; Hurricane Matthew hits Haiti and heads toward the U.S.; the Major League Baseball playoffs begin; and the weekend’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

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Covering Tonight’s VP Debate.  In advance of tonight’s Vice Presidential Debate at Longwood University in Virginia, Lou Dobbs (left) will be delivering his Salem Radio Network financial reports and co-anchoring FOX Business Network’s live coverage of the debate.  After the debate, Dobbs will join Fox’s Neil Cavuto for live, post-debate coverage before filing his early-morning Market Preview for SRN affiliates.  Pictured with Dobbs is Salem Radio Network VP/news & talk programming Tom Tradup.

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Allen Shaw Talks Radio and More with Walter Sterling on WPHT.  Pictured here outside the WPHT, Philadelphia studios are Allen Shaw (right), former president of ABC FM Radio and current vice chairman of Beasley Broadcasting, and WPHT, Philadelphia talk host Walter Sterling (left).  During a discussion of the history of album rock radio, Allen fully credited TALKERS magazine and RadioInfo publisher Michael Harrison with creating the format name album oriented rock – AOR – and shared how to sell a new idea to a stubborn company.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

| September 29, 2016

CBS Corp. Announces $1.46 Billion Debt Financing.  This has been revealed in the radio trades and in financial news sources but now CBS makes it official with a press statement.  The company says that “in connection with its previously announced intention to separate its radio business, CBS Radio Inc. plans to offer cbsradio-logo$460 million of senior unsecured notes and to enter into a $1 billion senior secured term loan, in each case, subject to market and other conditions.  CBS expects that substantially all of the net proceeds from both the notes offering and the term loan will be distributed to CBS.  The remaining net proceeds not used for such distribution will be used by CBS Radio for general corporate purposes and ongoing cash needs.”  This is not a sale to the public.  As CBS reminds us, “The notes will be offered and sold in a private placement to qualified institutional buyers in the United States pursuant to Rule 144A under the Securities Act of 1933…the notes to be offered have not been registered under the Securities Act, and may not be offered or sold in the United States absent registration or an applicable exemption from the registration requirements of the Securities Act.”

SiriusXM Launches Innovative Channel Dedicated to Talk About Music.  The satcaster is dubbing it “VOLUME” and calls it “the first-ever 24/7 talk radio channel dedicated to music — its latest news, raging controversies, and non-stop debates – as the focus of the conversation.”  The channel will consist of daily shows, artist interviews, weekly specials, a music trivia game show, album reviews, and an in-depth docuseries and more siriusxmdealing with all genres of popular music.  SiriusXM president and chief content officer Scott Greenstein says, “Sirius XM has millions of loyal music fans nationwide and now we are giving those fans a place where they can talk about the music they love.  VOLUME will have a deep, all-star roster of talent bringing that conversation only to SiriusXM.  It’s yet another example of SiriusXM delivering unique and exciting content to our subscribers.  Roger Coletti is the executive producer of this channel and his extensive music expertise makes him the ideal person for this ground-breaking channel.”  Some of the shows that will appear on and after the October 17 launch include: live, morning talk show “Feedback” with Nik Carter and veteran magazine editor, entertainment journalist and author Lori Majewski; “Trunk Nation” with DJ Eddie Trunk, who’ll host Metallica’s Lars Ulrich on the debut show; “Debatable” with Mark Goodman and former Spin and Vibe editor and author Alan Light; “Written in My Soul with Bill Flanagan” featuring a series of interviews with legendary musicians, including Robert Plant and Paul Simon; “Rolling Stone Music Now” hosted by Rolling Stone executive editor Nathan Brackett; “Rap Radar Report” hosted by journalist and TV producer Elliott Wilson; “Melissa’s Basement” with Melissa Etheridge (guests booked include David Crosby, Pat Benatar, and Steve Cropper); “Never Meet Your Heroes” with Anthrax guitarist Scott Ian; “True Stories with Kurt Loder”; “The Album Review Show” featuring YouTube star Anthony Fantano; music trivia game “70s 80s 90s Now” with host Jim Shearer; and “The Last of The …” with Ryan Duffy, a journalist, producer and entrepreneur, who will examine the changing landscape in the world of music and tech.

Scripps’ WTMJ, Milwaukee Partners with Milwaukee Business Journal on Local Economy Series.  This series will be available on air, online and in print as Scripps’ news/talk WTMJ and the local Milwaukee Business Journal are combining the forces of their newsrooms to present “The Changing Face of Milwaukee” – an in-depth look at “Southeastern Wisconsin’s unprecedented growth in business and infrastructure.”  WTMJ viceRadio 620 WTMJ - WRS (662c) president and general manager Tom Langmyer states, “As ‘Wisconsin’s Radio Station,’ it’s critical for WTMJ to cover the local news that is affecting our area.  Partnering with the Milwaukee Business Journal provides WTMJ great access in the business community and more complete coverage of the economic boom in Southeastern Wisconsin.”  WTMJ director of programming and news Eric Brooks adds, “WTMJ and Milwaukee Business Journal reporters will work in pairs to go deeper on this story.  With interviews of business leaders and government officials, our teams have created in-depth feature content and expansive digital coverage.”  This special news series is in addition to the daily content partnership between the Milwaukee Business Journal and WTMJ.  Business Journal reporters share local business headlines six times each weekday along with in-depth analysis of breaking business news in Milwaukee.

nielsen-logoNielsen Audio Releases Third Round of September 2016 PPM Data.  The third of four rounds of September 2016 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Portland, Charlotte, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, San Antonio, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Kansas City, Orlando, and Columbus.  The September 2016 survey period covered August 11 through September 7.  You can find the complete 6+ ratings numbers from subscribing stations here.  Additionally, TALKERS/RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Twelve Takeaways” from this group on the main page of our sister publication here.

The Presidential Race/Post-Debate Analysis, El Cajon Police Kill Black Man, South Carolina Teen Shooter Incident, 9/11 Bill Override, Syria Civil War/U.S.-Russia Relations, Shimon Peres Dies, MLB Playoff Push Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/28).  The activities of presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton and the analysis of Monday night’s first debate; police in El Cajon, California kill a black man they believed was wielding a gun; a teen shooter in South Carolina kills his father and injures three at a local school; congress overrides President Obama’s veto of a 9/11 bill that will allow victims of the terror attacks to sue Saudi Arabia; the ongoing civil conflict in Syria and the tensions between the U.S. and Assad-backing Russia; former Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres dies; and the Major League Baseball playoff push were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Odds & Sods. KIRO, Seattle afternoon talk hosts “Ron & Don” are partnering with the Seattle Police Departmentrondon (with the support of the Seattle Police Foundation and Sleep Train) for the “Beds for Kids Project.”  This year, the goal is to provide a minimum of 150 mattresses, bedframes, sheet sets, comforters and pillows to local children in need, with 100% of the mattresses donated by The Dream Bed, a bed-in-a-box brand with a greater purpose of improving sleeping conditions around the world with its buy one-give one model.  The Beds for Kids Project was created in 2014 by Seattle police officers Jeremy Wade and Ryan Gallagher after the two responded to a 911 call and discovered two young girls had been sleeping on the floor of their home.  They later returned to that same home with brand new beds, both purchased from their own pockets…..Los Angeles Dodgers play-by-play legend Vin Scully will end a 67-year career calling the team’s games on Sunday (10/2).  Fans interested in celebrating Scully’s monumental career and wish to witness the end of an era can hear the broadcast via TuneIn’s MLB Radio…..AdLarge Media‘s “So Money with Farnoosh Torabi” wins the prestigious 2016 Plutus Award for the Best Personal Finance Podcast.

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Left to Right.  In a joint appearance in the Embry-Riddle Speaker Series in Daytona Beach, Florida on Wednesday (9/28), 93.5/1150 WNDB afternoon drive host Marc Bernier (left) interviews CNN’s Paul Begala (center), and Fox News Channel’s Tucker Carlson (right), before a live audience.  The trio analyzed the first presidential debate and looked ahead to the general election.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

| September 28, 2016

cookehollandAnalysis: The Local Media Company of the Future.  Media consultant Holland Cooke reported from last week’s NAB/RAB Radio Show in Nashville.  He says each year there is one session that’s worth the price of admission and this year’s was Gordon Borrell’s presentation: “Reach Beyond Radio: The Local Media Company of the Future.”  The upshot of this presentation is that if your radio station wants to exist in the future, learn to create digital avenues of marketing for your prospective clients.  Citing data – “year-over-year, ‘Local Non-Digital’ is up 1.9%; ‘Local Digital’ is up 37.1%” – Cooke notes that (adding insult to injury) when advertisers increase their digital marketing budget, that money is taken away from advertising on traditional platforms.  And that means radio.  Read Cooke’s entire report here.

ppmunitNielsen Audio Releases Second Round of September 2016 PPM Data.  The second of four rounds of September 2016 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Washington, Boston, Detroit, Miami, Seattle, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis.  The September 2016 survey period covered August 11 through September 7.  You can find the complete 6+ ratings numbers from subscribing stations here.  Additionally, TALKERS/RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Twelve Takeaways” from this group on the main page of our sister publication here.

londoncallingimageNew Installment of ‘London Calling with Graham Mack’ Posted to TalkersRadio.  A brand new installment of the international radio talk show “London Calling with Graham Mack” has been posted today (9/28) to TalkersRadio – the experimental radio platform provided by TALKERS magazine for producers of exciting new programming concepts.  This new episode emanating from Great Britain features the godfather of British blues, John Mayall.  There are also guest appearances by American radio legend Jonathon Brandmeier and Geri Halliwell (Ginger Spice). Topics covered include the Royal visit to Canada and the British version of “Dancing With The Stars.”  To listen to the program please click here.

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WPGG, Atlantic City’s Harry Hurley Interviews Miss America.  Atlantic City talk radio star Harry Hurley (left) is pictured here with the newly crowned Miss America – Savvy Shields (right).  Hurley tells TALKERS magazine, “Our new Miss America exudes confidence, poise, elegance and a wonderful personality.  She is going to be a great Miss America.”  The contest took place in Atlantic City on September 11.

The Presidential Race/Monday’s Debate, California Cops Shoot Black Man/Charlotte Protests Aftermath, Wells Fargo Scandal Fallout, Syrian Civil War, Shimon Peres Dies, National Anthem Protests, MLB Playoff Push and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/27). The activities of presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton and the discussion about Monday evening’s first presidential debate; police in El Cajon, California kill a black man and the aftermath of the protests in Charlotte; the CEO and another Wells Fargo executive take compensation penalties in the wake of the phony accounts scandal; the battle for Aleppo in Syria’s civil war; former Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres dies; the ongoing controversy over National Anthem protests; the Major League Baseball playoff push and the weekend’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

larsonlarsperesLars Larson Remembers Former Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres.  In reflecting upon the death of former Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres, KXL, Portland (and nationally syndicated) personality Lars Larson recalls meeting the statesman on a TALKERS-sponsored America’s Voices in Israel fact-finding mission to the Middle East.  He shares the following remembrance with TALKERS readers:  “Nine years ago, Michael Harrison and a group of American talkers traveled to Israel for a week of broadcasts and fantastic interviews.  There were half a dozen terrorist attacks daily (per our IDF soldier escort, a young man who grew up in the U.S. and made aliyah (immigrated) and was doing his mandatory service.  On our last night in the country, our group had just sat down to dinner in a nice restaurant in Tel Aviv near the beach when a familiar figure sat down with his group one table away from us.  I figured, nothing ventured, nothing gained so I asked our waiter what kind of wine he liked and sent a bottle to his table with the message it was from Americans who had enjoyed a great week in his country. Best bottle of wine I never drank.  Ten minutes later, the man the Washington Post describes as one ‘who held nearly every high office in his country and whose influence spanned 10 US presidencies,’ walked over to talk to us for a few minutes.  He was very gracious and it was a pleasure to have met him (although you can see the security man over Peres’ shoulder trying to decide whether some Krav Maga was in order).  May he rest in peace.”

brownejoyIndustry Memorial Event Planned for Dr. Joy Browne in NYC.  A memorial event titled “A Celebration of Joy” is planned as a tribute to the late Dr. Joy Browne, who unexpectedly died on Saturday, August 27.  The event will take place on Tuesday, October 4, 2016 between 6:30 pm and 8:30 pm at the Helen Mills Theater, 139 W. 26th Street in Manhattan.  Although admission is free, seating will be limited and open only to members of the radio, theater and media industries as well as friends and family of the late talk radio star and advance registration is required.  To register, please call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413 or email event coordinator Michael Harrison at michael@talkers.com.  The event will consist of a series of industry speakers eulogizing Dr. Browne and sharing stories about her life and significant impact on popular culture.

bfoalouisiana16Broadcasters Foundation of America Donates $85,000 to Louisiana Flood Victims.  The recent floods that ravaged parts of Louisiana affected numerous broadcasters who work in the area.  The Broadcasters Foundation of America – a non-profit that works to provide assistance to broadcasters in need – donated checks for $1,000 to some 85 people whose lives were negatively impacted by the storm damage.  Pictured here are (from l-r) Emily Barratt of the BFoA, Louisiana Broadcasters Association CEO and president Polly Prince, and BFoA president Jim Thompson.  To find out more about the Broadcasters Foundation of America and to donate, click here.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

| September 27, 2016

harrisonupclosefaroutsmallMichael Harrison Discusses Recently Revealed Yahoo! Hack with Cybercrime Expert Steve Weisman.  The recent massive Yahoo! hack of a half-billion internet users is scrutinized in an illuminating conversation between Michael Harrison and cybercrime expert Steve Weisman on this week’s installment of the award-winning PodcastOne series, “Upweismansteven Close and Far Out.”  Weisman is a prominent attorney, professor at Bentley University, prolific author, TALKERS legal editor, and publisher of the crime-fighting website, www.Scamicide.com.  In addition to the Yahoo! breach, the two talk about a wider range of online dangers facing individuals and business and their implications on freedom of speech as well as general privacy.  To listen to this fascinating podcast in its entirety, please click here.

Michael Savage Pre-Empted on WABC for Election Coverage; Technical Glitch Affects Network.  Syndicated talk host Michael Savage was livid for claiming not to have been informed by WABC his show would besavagemichael pre-empted for local, pre-debate coverage there.  But it had nothing to do with his commentary nor did the show’s failure across the Westwood One radio network – that’s the result of a technical problem beyond Westwood One’s control.  The matter was reported by Breitbart News and conservative news outlets picked it up and ran with a conspiracy-oriented explanation.  TALKERS magazine reported that earlier today.  Savage’s program is airing today as usual.

nielsen-logoNielsen Audio Releases First Round of September 2016 PPM Data.  The first of four rounds of September 2016 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio 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).  The September 2016 survey period covered August 11 through September 7.  You can find the complete 6+ ratings numbers from subscribing stations here.  Additionally, TALKERS/RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Twelve Takeaways” from this group on the main page of our sister publication here.

Dibley Partnered with Fortenbaugh and Neal for Mornings on KGMZ, San Francisco. Former KGMZ,dibleydan San Francisco “97.5 The GAME” personality Dan Dibley is returning to the Entercom sports outlet to work as a trio with Joe Fortenbaugh and NFL veteran Lorenzo Neal hosting the morning drive show.  The Bay Area sports personality was part of the station’s first morning show when the sports format launched back in 2011 and he also co-hosted afternoons with both Greg Papa and Damon Bruce.  He’s served as a sports anchor on crosstown all-news KCBS and worked for Comcast SportsNet Bay Area.

Chris ‘Mad Dog’ Russo Re-Ups with SiriusXM.  Sports talk personality Chris “Mad Dog” Russo is staying with SiriusXM for at least another three years as he and the satcaster agree to a new contract.  Russo’s ownrussochris program, “Mad Dog Unleashed,” will continue to be heard in the 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm slot on the Mad Dog Sports Radio channel along with the slate of other sports talk hosts – including lead-in Stephen A. Smith.  Russo comments on remaining with SiriusXM.  “I am proud of what Mad Dog Sports Radio has become and continue to believe this is the best place in all of radio.  After 30 years of broadcasting, my excitement to come to work every day and talk sports with all of America is as strong as ever due to the freedom SiriusXM provides.  So stay tuned, America.  There’s plenty of bark left in the Doggie!”

The Presidential Race/Monday Night’s Debate, Charlotte Protests, Wells Fargo Scandal, Houston Shooter Injures Nine, U.S. Homicide Rate Soars, Death of Marlins Pitcher Jose Fernandez, Growing National Anthem Protests, MLB Playoff Push and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/26). The activities of presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton and the build-up to last night’s debate; the continuing protests in Charlotte over the shooting death of Keith Scott by police; the fake account scandal plaguing Wells Fargo and the suit being filed by fired former employees for not meeting unrealistic sales goals; a shooter in Houston injures nine before being killed by police; FBI statistics indicating the U.S. homicide rate rose 10% in the last year; Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez dies in a boating accident; the National Anthem protests spread to the college football ranks; the playoff push in Major League Baseball; and the weekend’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

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Covering the Debate on CBS.  Pictured above at Hofstra University at last night’s presidential debate are (from l-r): WCBS, New York reporter Peter Haskell, CBS chief White House correspondent Major Garrett, and WCBS, New York reporter Steve Scott.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

| September 22, 2016

cookehollandNAB/RAB Radio Show: ‘A Snapshot of Where the Radio Industry Is.’ Radio consultant Holland Cooke is in Nashville covering the NAB/RAB Radio Show for TALKERS and he presents a compact report of some of day one’s key takeaways.  Among them are sound bites from radio’s captains of industry and key players from the “Broadcast Finance Forecast 2016 Leadership Breakfast.”  Also included are Cooke’s notes from Edison Research’s “Share the Road: The Changing In-Car Audio Space” report presented at Tuesday’s RAIN Summit and David Oxenford’s invaluable “Legal Snapshot: Issues for Audio Services” presentation from that event.  See it all here.

Steve Czaban Exits SB Nation Radio.  Washington, DC-based sports media pro Steve Czaban blogs that hisczabansteve contract with SB Nation Radio – formerly Yahoo! Sports Radio – has not been renewed so he’s ended his morning radio show there.  Czaban writes, “I want to thank David Gow, Craig Larson, and the rest of the network for having me for 6 great years. They always treated me right, and let me do the kind of show that I wanted to do, a show that I was energized to do every morning.”  Czaban remains on the air as he also co-hosts the afternoon drive “Sports Reporters” show on Red Zebra’s WTEM, Washington “ESPN 980” with Andy Pollin.

Radio Tips Wells Fargo Troubles.  Sunday evening talk host Walter Sterling – heard on CBS RADIO’s WPHT, Philadelphia – says he was the first to reveal the Wells Fargo apparent fee scam.  The federal investigation has resulted in the CEO being grilled before Congress and more than 5,000 Wells Fargo employees being let go for opening fake accounts and charging fees to those accounts.  Sterling says, “I noticed charge after charge on my Wells account that made no sense and I yelled about it.  On my show, my goal was not to go after any one bank but to empathize with the listener who is being screwed by their bank.  I also talk about my suspicious cell phone bill and last week the FCC announced an investigation of Verizon fees.”  Sterling says his show is unique because he doesn’t talk election politics, “I talk about the politics of my life: the phone bill, bank nonsense, cheap relatives, parent-teacher conferences and the 11-year-old who doesn’t like the way I make her lunch.”

The Presidential Race, Cop Shootings and Protests in Charlotte and Tulsa, NYC/NJ/Minn. Terror Attacks Aftermath, Islamic State Chemical Weapons Use, Weiner Teen Sexting Accusation, Pitt-Jolie Divorce, and Major League Baseball Playoff Push Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/21).  The activities of presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump; the fatal shootings of black men in Charlotte and Tulsa and the violent protests rocking Charlotte; the aftermath of last weekend’s bombings in New York, the bombs found in New Jersey and the stabbings in St. Cloud, Minnesota; the U.S. military’s determination that Islamic State is using chemical weapons; allegations that Anthony Weiner had been sexting a 15-year-old girl; the flap over Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt’s divorce; and the playoff push in Major League Baseball were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

zeolidaughter16WPHT, Philadelphia’s Rich Zeoli Welcomes New Daughter.  Afternoon drive personality Rich Zeoli spent the past couple of weeks doing his WPHT, Philadelphia from Utah – via the reliable Comrex Access – while going through the process of adopting his new daughter Clare Megan Zeoli (pictured with dad here).  Zeoli, who also adopted a son named Patrick in 2014, tells TALKERS, “I was fortunate enough to interview Ivanka Trump about her maternity leave plan while feeding my daughter from my makeshift Utah studio…a closet! Irony?”

‘Heard’ at the RAIN Summit.  While media consultant Holland Cooke is covering the panels and presentations taking place at this week’s NAB/RAB Radio Show in Nashville, TALKERS special features correspondent Jeff McKay is talking to people in the hallways about what’s being said at the events.  From yesterday’s day one of the annual convention, click here to see what people are telling Jeff.

wbtwlnk-duo-logoJob Opportunities at WBT and WLNK in Charlotte.  There are three positions available at Greater Media’s Charlotte operations.  First, News Talk 1110 WBT is looking for a fun, outgoing, hands-on and dedicated individual with entry level event planning experience for a full-time position in our Marketing and Promotions Department.  This position works to ensure the timely and successful execution of promotions, contests and events through teamwork and coordination with other departments and staff.  See more about that position here.  Second, WBT/WLNK seek part-time Event Relations Team Members.  They are committed to providing extraordinary customer service to WBT/WLNK radio station listeners and event guests at WBT or WLNK sanctioned events.  Find more here.  And last, News Talk 1110 WBT and 107.9 The Link is looking for an outgoing, sharp, dedicated individual for a full-time, seasonal position as our Ice Rink Project Leader.  The project leader will help in the planning, building, operation, and execution of the Holiday Outdoor Ice Rink, to ensure the successful execution of the promotion through guidance, teamwork, and coordination with other staff.  Find out more about that here.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

| September 20, 2016

FCC Commissioner O’Rielly: Future of AM Decided by ‘Demands of Listeners.’  Speaking at a luncheon of the Association of Federal Communications Consulting Engineers, FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly addressed the issue of AM revitalization.  He noted that the changes allowing the relocation of FM oriellymichaeltranslators is something of which a number of AM operators are taking advantage.  However, he said there’s still more work to do.  “For instance, I’d personally like to see us split off the relief for the main studio rule from the FNPRM so as to complete it before year’s end, and you are likely to hear more from me on this soon.  In addition, I am carefully considering the Commission’s proposal to reduce the protected daytime primary service contour for certain AM stations, and of course when doing so, the actual areas and levels of additional interference are of primary interest.”  But, O’Rielly also said that, in the final analysis, the “future of AM radio will be decided in the market by stations seeking to meet the demands of listeners, as it should be.  No amount of Commission action or government involvement is going to save the medium from irrelevancy if listeners and advertisers abandon stations, although I don’t see that happening in the immediate term.  From my conversations with AM radio license holders, that’s exactly how they see it too: they just want the Commission to eliminate some of the barriers to competition so they have the tools to win the hearts and minds of listeners and then let the chips fall where they may.”

Kitchin to Consult The Mix Group.  Radio exec Kraig Kitchin is entering into a consultant relationship withkitchinkraig radio imaging and production firm The Mix Group.  Kitchin is co-president of SoundMind LLC, which manages the businesses of high-profile broadcast personalities and companies.  He’s also the chairman of the National Radio Hall of Fame.  On joining The Mix Group, Kitchin says, “Once stations discover The Mix Group, there’s no turning back.  Jason [Garte] and his team of talented producers create an exceptional sound that differentiates a station from all others in the market.  The individual attention to detail for each station client is really remarkable.”

TalkersRadio Launches New International Talk Show Hosted by Award-Winning British Host Graham Mack.  The name of the show is “London Calling with Graham Mack” and it is the newest featured program exclusively heard on the TALKERS magazine experimental radio platform, TalkersRadio.  Graham Mack hosts a daily morning program on BOB-FM in London’s “Home Counties” region.  In this new program, Mack tells talkersradio-logoTALKERS, “I will present a weekly look for American listeners at what’s happening across the Atlantic – from princesses to prime ministers, from ‘Dr. Who’ to ‘Downton’ and from Beckham to Brexit – things that matter and some things that just don’t.”  The debut installment of the show features an exclusive interview with the legendary English actor, comedian, writer, and film producer – John Cleese.   According tomackgraham TalkersRadio general manager David Bernstein, “We are very excited about this fabulous new show debuting on our experimental talk radio platform.  This show is totally major league right out of the box and I expect that it will have a major impact not only here in the states but around the world as well.  Graham Mack is an outstanding broadcaster and this show sizzles with information and entertainment.”  Mack has been awarded a number of honors over the years.  They include: “Best Radio Personality” New York Festivals International Radio Awards – 2013 Bronze;  “Best Talk Show Host” New York Festivals International Radio Awards – 2012 Finalist; “Breakfast Show of the Year” Sony Radio Academy Awards – 2011 Gold; and “Best Programme Presenter” Gillard Award – 2011 Gold among others.  TalkersRadio was launched several years ago to serve as an experimental workshop to develop new types of radio talk shows as well as provide a showcase for new concepts worthy of broadcast radio consideration.  “London Calling with Graham Mack” joins current TalkersRadio programs “Healed Planet with Alan Colmes” and “Good for You Radio with Claire Carter.”  Past TalkersRadio programs have included “Vox Animali with Lori Lundin,” “American Family Farmer with Doug Stephan,” and others.  To follow the latest “London Calling with Graham Mack” show info and guests on Twitter: @GrahmMack.  Got a question about life in Britain and Europe? Send your question as an MP3 to graham@mackmedia.co.uk.  To listen to “London Calling with Graham Mack,” click here.

Odds & Sods.  Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that Eddie Volkman – half of the highly successful, former Windy City radio duo “Eddie & Jobo” – is leaving his talk show gig with suburban WCKG-AM.  Volkman’s been doing a 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm show on the station since earlier this summer but declares he’s ready to try to get back on the air on a big Chicago signal…..“Good Morning America” host Robin Roberts is producing a podcast series based on her book, Robin Roberts: Everybody’s Got Something (Grand Central 2014).  Her production company Rock’n Robin Productions and ABC Radio are working together on the project.  Each show will be a 45-minute episode in which listeners will hear Roberts and her guests share “their incredible, real-life challenges that will inspire everyone to face their ‘somethings’ and believe in the power of resilience.”…..Westwood One News is providing live, anchored coverage of all three presidential debates and the vice presidential debate in late September and October, plus is providing live, special reports on each night the debates are held.  Coverage will be anchored by Chas Henry, with on-scene reporting by correspondents Bob Costantini, Steve Kastenbaum, Jim Roope, and Karin Caifa.  The first presidential debate is September 26 at 9:00 pm ET from Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York.

NJBA President Paul Rotella Reiterates Call to Activate FM Chip in Smartphones.  Citing the importance of receiving crucial information during emergencies, New Jersey Broadcasters Association president Paul Rotella is asking senators and congressman to again urge Verizon to activate the FM chips in njba-logosmartphones that it sells.  Referencing the bombings in New York and the bombs found in New Jersey over the weekend, he writes, in part, “One year ago to the day, I wrote to you to urge the adoption of a mandate to light up the FM chip in all smartphones. The tragic events this past week in our state and in New York now make this request a matter the highest urgency, as well as a matter of national security.  For almost a century, New Jersey’s radio broadcasters have been the primary source of critical information to the public in the event ofrotellapaul disasters such as tornadoes, hurricanes, tropical storms, floods, snowstorms, earthquakes, tsunamis, solar storms, terrorist violence, mass transportation accidents, and industrial or technological catastrophes.  This important role can be both before an impending event, to warn the public as we did before Hurricane Sandy, or help law enforcement through life saving AMBER Alerts, but most importantly, after a catastrophic event.  In an emergency, the role of broadcasters is even more important because they serve local communities with essential, fact-checked, reliable information, and they distribute it to all within the broadcast signal.  Today, the most common battery operated device readily available to our citizens may be a smart phone, but it is useless without cell service.  However, with an activated radio chip, a smart phone will function similar to the time-proven reliable transistor radios found in emergency kits around the globe, providing our citizens with information essential for survival.  This includes where food, water and shelter are available; where FEMA and other humanitarian assistance are located.”  Rotella is asking that bill be filed to make chip activation a reality.

The Presidential Race, Terror Attacks in NYC/NJ/Minn., Syria Civil War/U.S-Russia Tensions, Sunday’s Emmy Awards, NFL Action and MLB Playoffs Push Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/19).  The activities of presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton; the investigation of the terror bombings in New York, the pipe bombs found in New Jersey and the stabbings in St. Cloud, Minnesota; the resumption of violence in Syria and the military tensions between the U.S. and Russia in the region; chatter about the political speeches at Sunday’s Emmy Awards show; the weekend’s NFL action; and the Major League Baseball playoff push were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

| September 13, 2016

harrisonupclosefaroutsmallA Walk Down Pop Music Memory Lane with Freddy Cannon.  One of the true legends of the pop rock ‘n’ roll era, Freddy “Boom Boom” Cannon is this week’s featured guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.”  Cannon rose to international stardom in the early 1960s with a string offreddysvengouliimage memorable hit singles that included “Tallahassee Lassie,” “Way Down Yonder in New Orleans” and “Palisades Park” among many others.  His records were known for their pounding drums, rhythmic guitars and vibrant Bob Crew (Four Seasons) production.  Cannon has remained active as a rock ‘n’ roll oldies act to this very day.  He has just cannonfreddyreleased a novelty song (video and audio) titled “Svengoolie Stomp” for Halloween – dedicated to the iconic Saturday night television horror movie host Svengoolie seen nationally on MeTV (where it debuted last week).  Harrison and Cannon talk about the early 60s pop era, amusement parks, horror films and more in a delightful, invigorating conversation that spans the coasts and the decades. Not to be missed by rock ‘n’ rollers of all ages!  To hear the entire podcast, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com and RadioInfo.com.

Dave Ramsey Show Hits 575 Affiliate Mark.  The nationally syndicated Dave Ramsey show announces it has topped the 575 radio affiliate-mark.  Ramsey Media vice president Brian Mayfield says, “We are extremely ramseydaveexcited about the continued growth of Dave’s show.  Radio is the cornerstone of our success and we remain focused on growth and exposure within the industry.  Our digital reach, led by an industry leading podcast, provides the ability to reach new and emerging audiences every day and ensures the future longevity of the show.”  Mayfield notes that in addition to terrestrial radio, the program is available on multiple digital platforms. “The Dave Ramsey Show” podcast was acknowledged as one of the top 10 most-downloaded podcasts of 2015 and averages more than 2 million weekly downloads.  The three-hour show is also available on iHeartRadio.  “The Dave Ramsey Show” video channel can be streamed in HD on You Tube, “The Dave Ramsey Show” app and at DaveRamsey.com/Show.

salemmediagroup-logoSalem Seeks Peroyea’s Replacement.  There’s little information available other than that Salem Media Group’s John Peroyea has resigned from his vice president of operations and general manager post at the company’s Dallas station group that includes news/talk KSKY “660 The Answer,” business news KEXB, Christian contemporary KLTY, Christian teaching KWRD, and Spanish Christian KTNO.  Peroyea will remain with the company as a consultant to KLTY and Salem is searching for his replacement.

The Presidential Race/Clinton Health Issue, Syrian Conflict/U.S.-Russia Tensions, North Korea Nuclear Threat, Iran Threatens U.S. Military, NCAA Pulls NC Events Due to LGBT Issues, U.S.-Philippines Relations, NFL Anthem Protests, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/12).  The activities of presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, including concerns about Clinton’s health after a pneumonia diagnosis; the Syrian civil conflict and the U.S. and Russian tensions as a ceasefire is negotiated; North Korea’s latest nuclear test and threats against America; Iran’s threat to shoot down U.S. spy planes; the NCAA’s withdrawal of several tournament events from North Carolina due to the state’s anti-LGBT laws; Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte’s demand that U.S. Special Forces leave their base in his country; the various National Anthem protests and Black Power salutes that took place during the NFL’s opening weekend; 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.

podcastone-bSerialized Drama Comes to PodcastOne Via ‘Telling Stories: The Podcast.’  This new series is a collaborative effort between PodcastOne and Blackstone Audio and results in a dramatic, scripted series titled, “Telling Stories: The Podcast.”  They are serialized, daily episodes with a new story beginning each Monday.  This week features “Telling Stories: Extinction Horizon,” which follows Team Ghost and their race against the clock to find the cure for a deadly strain of Ebola that turns men into monsters and threatens the survival of mankind.  Blackstone CEO Josh Stanton says, “I believe that anyone who enjoys hearing a riveting and exciting story will want to listen to each of our new weekly story podcasts.  In addition to just being wonderful stories – and most everyone loves to have a good story told to them – they are a perfect way to pass the time whether you’re traveling, exercising, cleaning the house, driving in the car, or just relaxing.”

Odds & Sods.  Family relationship expert and psychologist Dr. Claudia’s “Parenting Pointers” feature is nowdrclaudia drbobmartinavailable to stations via production and syndication firm Smilecom Media.  The LA-based company says daily feature “targets families with tips and advice for parents,” and is compatible with not only news/talk stations but AC and country formats, as well.  Dr. Claudia is media savvy and, as an expert guest on radio, has made appearances on KABC and KFI in Los Angeles…..September marks the 20th anniversary of the national syndication of the Dr. Bob Martin show.  The weekend health talk program is heard on more than 130 AM and FM affiliates across the U.S. via Radio America, Genesis Communications Network and Better Health Network…..iHeartMedia sports talker WOKY, Milwaukee “The Big 920” announces the addition of Green Bay Packers lineman Kenny Clark to the Mike Heller show on Wednesdays from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm live from The Stadium View Bar & Grille in Green Bay.  Also, Packers great Gilbert Brown will appear on the Mitch Nelles show on Wednesdays from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm for the station’s “Green and Gold Wednesday” programming.

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KLAC’s Eric Dickerson Show Welcomes Rams Back to SoCal.  Los Angeles sports talk outlet KLAC “AM 570 LA SPORTS” kicked off the Rams’ first game as the Los Angeles Rams in 21 years with a live broadcast of the new, weekly “Eric Dickerson Show” live from BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse in Orange.  This show will happen throughout the NFL season, airing live from 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm from a different BJ’s Restaurant and Brewery.  Pictured here at yesterday’s inaugural show are (from l-r): Former Rams tight end David Hill, KLAC’s Fred Roggin, Dickerson, and former Rams cornerback LeRoy Irvin.  The show will also feature LA Daily News writer Vinny Bonsignore.

Friday, September 9, 2016

| September 9, 2016

woicAlpha Media Adds Translator to Sports WOIC, Columbia.  Adding translator W235CH, St. Matthews, South Carolina at 94.9 FM to Alpha Media’s “ESPN Columbia” gives the station a solid FM presence southeast of the Columbia market center.  Alpha says this simulcast of Class C WOIC-AM, Columbia “will significantly increase the coverage of the station throughout Richland and Lexington counties.  At the same time, the station adds ESPN’s SEC expert Paul Finebaum to its daily lineup.

Titans TE Delanie Walker to Appear on Live, Weekly Show on WGFX, Nashville.  Unlike a lot of weeklywalkerdelanie shows that carry the name of a pro athlete, the Delanie Walker show on Cumulus Media’s sports talker WGFX, Nashville “104.5 The Zone” will involve Walker joining the regular midday crew in person, before a studio audience at the 104.5 The Zone Music Performance Studio.  Program director Brad Willis says the Tennessee Titans’ Walker will sit down with the “Midday 180 Team” – Chad Withrow, Jonathan Hutton and Paul Kuharsky – every Tuesday from 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm during the football season.

WTMM, Albany Shucks Half of Afternoon Show.  Sports talker WTMM, Albany “ESPN 104.5 FM” has parted company with Bob “Wolf” Wohlfeld after about seven months as co-host of the “Levack and Wolf” show with Jeff Levack.  Wohlfeld joined the station not long after former WTMM programmer and personality Armen Williams exited to take the PD post at KKFN, Denver.  There’s no word from Townsquare Media if it plans to replace Wohlfeld or continue with Levack hosting solo.

talkersten-logoThe Presidential Race Top News/Talk Story for Week of September 5-9. The activities of presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, including their performances at Wednesday’s candidate’s forum, were the top news/talk story of the week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 was the Hillary Clinton email scandal.  Coming in at #3 was the Iran cash payment controversy and the naval skirmish involving Iran and U.S. ships, followed by the Syria conflict and the related U.S.-Russian relations 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.  View this week’s entire chart here.

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Hangin’ Out with Beantown’s Best.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison and his wife Bernadette Duncan attended a star-studded affiliate and sponsor appreciation party last evening at the Boston home of Howie and Kathy Carr celebrating the signing of Boston Red Sox pitching legend Curt Schilling to the Howie Carr Radio Network. Schilling will host a Saturday morning show (9:00 am ET to 12:00 noon ET) beginning tomorrow (9/10).  Below, Harrison (r) is pictured with TownSquare Media’s Southeastern Massachusetts news/talk powerhouse WBSM, New Bedford’s GM Mark Stachowski (l) and legendary morning host Phil Paleologos (c).  The Harrisons (above) are also pictured with Schilling (r) who told the crowd, “I will be over-prepared, I will not be shy about the things I believe in, but I also won’t go off the rails.  I do not have a racist bone in my body and I am not homophobic [referring to recent controversies].  I am coachable and I am not doing this to just be another radio talk show voice – I am doing it to become the best in the world at it.”

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Odds & Sods.  On Tuesday (9/13), Herman Cain takes his WSB-AM, Atlanta-based syndicated talk show on the road to Smyrna, Georgia where he’ll record his show live from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm.  Cain is a guest of the Smyrnacainherman Business Association which is bringing him in as its featured speaker for September.  At the event, fans will have the opportunity to get their picture taken with Cain and purchase an autographed copy of the special edition of his latest book, The Right Problems: What the President, Congress, and Every Candidate Should Be Working On (Post Hill Press 2016)…..At Entercom Buffalo, the broadcaster and Pegula Sports and Entertainment have agreed to extend the long-standing broadcast partnership wgrbetween sports talk WGR “Sportsradio 550” and the NFL’s Buffalo Bills and NHL’s Buffalo Sabres through the 2020-21 seasons.  The WGR Bills and Sabres radio networks are collectively heard on more than 20 radio stations across New York, Northwestern Pennsylvania, and Southern Ontario.  John Murphy, Mark Kelso, and Sal Cappacio will continue as the Bills broadcast team.  Rick Jeanneret, Dan Dunleavy, and Rob Ray remain as the Sabres radio team.  The deal also means WGR will continue to air “Sabres Hockey Hotline” on weekdays from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon, with hosts Andrew Peters and Craig Rivet.  The Bills-themed John Murphy show, with Murphy and former Buffalo Bill Donald Jones is heard from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm, Monday through Friday.  Both shows will also be simulcast on MSG…..Philadelphia Eagles great (and Villanova standout) Brian Westbrook is now part of the broadcast team for the unofficial Eagles pre-game show that airs on Greater Media’s WPEN “97.5 The Fanatic.”  Westbrook will join Devon Givens and Michael Bradley for the three-hour show.

Milwaukee Radio Personality Eric Von Dies at 58.  For 30 years, Eric Von was a voice in Milwaukee’s urbanvoneric community.  He spent most of his radio career hosting a show on WMCS and only exited when the station changed its format.  Eric Von died on Thursday (9/8) at age 58.  Friends and family tell the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that Von had been dealing with health issues of late and suffered a heart attack about a month ago.  He’d been hosting a two-hour morning show on Courier Communications’ WNOV.  He was also instrumental in the recent media project titled “Precious Lives” that explored the causes and consequences of gun violence on children in the city.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

| September 6, 2016

cookehollandMillennials Schmillennials!  Media consultant Holland Cooke presents what he calls an “instant sales meeting” for managers and AEs charged with marketing talk radio.  It’s titled, “Grey Is Gold,” and offers some eye-popping facts about the value of upper-end Baby Boomers to retailers.  Cooke notes that recent studies indicate fully one-third of 18-34-year-olds have no AM/FM radio at home and that radio’s most habitual users are Baby Boomers.  Watch this video and see Cooke’s list of data points that can arm radio reps to pitch this demographic with a ton of disposable income.  Then, share it with your sales staff.  View the video in the Talkers TV box in the upper right-hand of this page or click here.

Trey Radel Returns to Mornings on ‘92.5 Fox News’ in Naples-Fort Myers.  Prior to running for congress – and winning – Trey Radel worked in radio and television in the Naples-Fort Myers market.  In fact, he left theradeltrey morning show gig at Sun Broadcast Group’s WSFX “92.5 Fox News” to run for office.  But once in Washington, Radel had a run-in with the law, getting busted buying cocaine.  He gave up his seat, cleaned up and started a media consulting firm.  The opportunity to get back into radio came up when WSFX morning host Drew Steele resigned to take a position with KSL-TV, Salt Lake City.  Radel did fill-in work this summer before being officially named the new morning host last week.  Read the Naples Daily News account here.

GCN to Continue Providing Affiliates with Dr. Joy Browne Show Until Replacement is Set – Special Series of Tribute Shows Begins this Friday (9/9).   Because of the “timeless” nature of most of her shows, Genesis Communications Network (GCN) has announced that it will continue providing the large roster of the late Dr. Joy Browne’s affiliates with re-runs and “best of” programs from the iconic talk show host’s extensive archives for the next two weeks, punctuated by a series of three live “tribute” shows.  The tribute shows will begcn logo hosted and organized by her close friend, TALKERS founder Michael Harrison. The Dr. Joy Browne program airs weekdays between 12:00 noon and 3:00 pm ET.  The special tribute shows will run live on Friday, September 9 through Tuesday, September 13 presenting a combination of radio industry guests and listener calls discussing the life, career and work of the legendary broadcaster.  Between Wednesday, September 14 and Friday, September 16, GCN will provide the affiliates with more archival Dr. Joy Browne content.  After that, beginning Monday, September 19, the time slot will indefinitely be hosted live by Michael Harrison until a permanent replacement is named.  Upon agreeing to keep the seat warm, Harrison states, “It is an honor to serve as interim host of Joy’s program.  I deeply believe in her mission and the importance of keeping generalist, non-specifically political talk programming alive within the context of ‘news/talk’ during the daytime hours.  I will do my best to provide her wonderful affiliates and audience with a meaningful listening experience within that time-honored radio tradition.”  Harrison says he has cleared his schedule during that time slot for at least the rest of 2016 but will step out during that time frame if and when “a permanent replacement is named.”  Simultaneously, GCN will be continuing to offer Dr. Joy Browne’s radio show, podcasts and archives to radio stations and listeners worldwide on a separate channel.

GCN Head Ted Anderson Expresses Deep Sentiments About the Passing of Dr. Joy Browne.  In a statement to TALKERS, GCN founder and CEO Ted Anderson says, “I started listening to talk radio in the 1980s. Over my tenure I became a fan of Click & Clack [Tom and Ray Magliozzi], Bill Nye, and of course the beloved Dr. Joy Browne. As a business entrepreneur, it was natural for me to market my wares over the platform of talkbrownejoy radio. Developing the Genesis Communications Network became the best solution for a long term sustainable platform to reach a very loyal listening audience. As a radio fan iconic figures like Dr. Joy Browne were larger than life. Though Dr. Joy’s work and ethics far exceeded all expectations, having the chance to know her personally, I found a very down to earth non-egotistical, emotionally secure and may I add sexy woman. One could say that there are milestones business owners can refer to referencing success. Having the honor of producing the Dr. Joy Browne show will always be on the top of my list of accomplishments.  My staff always found it to be a pleasure to work with Dr. Joy and we all are heartbroken from her sudden departure.  In Dr. Joy’s honor, gcnlive.com will be continuing to offer her radio show, podcasts and archives to radio stations and listeners worldwide.  Dr. Joy, I’ll always miss you.”  Dr Joy Browne’s radio program was the longest running of its kind in syndication, airing on over 100 stations across the country.  Her show offered millions of devoted listeners compassionate, practical and substantive advice on issues ranging from relationships and marriage, finance, work and career.  Dr. Joy has won numerous awards for her work including the American Psychological Association’s President’s Award, the TALKERS magazine award for Best Female Talk Show Host (two years in a row), #10 on the list of the 25 Greatest Radio Talk Show Hosts of All Time, and she has been named one of the 100 Most Important Radio Talk Show Hosts in America (The Heavy Hundred) every year since that list’s inception the early 1990s.

Fox News Settles with Gretchen Carlson; Issues Apology.  Numerous media reports are indicating that Fox News has settled the sexual harassment suit brought against its former chief Roger Ailes by on-air personalitycarlsongretchen Gretchen Carlson for the sum of $20 million.  The organization also issued an apology via a statement that reads, in part, “During her tenure at Fox News, Gretchen exhibited the highest standards of journalism and professionalism.  She developed a loyal audience and was a daily source of information for many Americans.  We are proud that she was part of the Fox News team.  We sincerely regret and apologize for the fact that Gretchen was not treated with the respect and dignity that she and all of our colleagues deserve.”  Meanwhile, another former Fox News personality – Andrea Tantaros – is suing the organization for sexual harassment, as well.  However, Fox News attorneys filed to move the Tantaros suit to arbitration and, in doing so, called her an opportunist who is using the Carlson suit to obscure her alleged breach of contract.

Greta Van Susteren Abruptly Exits Fox News Channel.  This morning’s surprise announcement by Fox News that 14-year Fox News Channel fixture Greta Van Susteren has exited the organization immediately comes vansusterengretaas a shock to the public and industry insiders alike.  In a press release, Fox News co-presidents Bill Shine and Jack Abernethy praised Van Susteren for her contributions to the network.  Separately, Fox News’ Howard Kurtz is reporting that after Roger Ailes was ousted as Fox investigated allegations of sexual harassment against him, Van Susteren asked to renegotiate her contract and, when that didn’t happen, she exercised the “key man” clause in her contract that allowed her to leave if Ailes left.  Brit Hume is assuming the hosting of the 7:00 pm ET “On the Record” program.

herskovitzalThe Joy of Bundling.  Radio sales maven Al Herskovitz writes today about a prescription for making those well-produced but oft-neglected weekend specialty shows profitable for the producers.  Sure, they serve the stations well enough.  They provide quality weekend programming that address lifestyle topics.  But, too often the producers have to scrape just to get by.  Enter: bundling.  Read Al’s piece here.

The Presidential Race, The Labor Day Holiday, G20 Summit, Philippines’ Duterte Assaults Obama, Ongoing Kaepernick ‘Anthem’ Protest Issue, Saudi Arabia-Russia Oil Agreement, Merkel Party Defeat, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The activities of presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton; the Labor Day holiday; the G20 Summit meeting in Hangzhou, China, including President Obama’s meeting with Vladimir Putin regarding Syria; Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte’s verbal assault on President Obama; the ongoing controversy over Colin Kaepernick’s National Anthem protests; the agreement between Vladimir Putin and Saudi Arabia to stabilize oil prices; Germany’s Angela Merkel suffers defeat as her party loses in weekend elections and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend.

Odds & Sods.  It’s football season again and Westwood One celebrating its 30th season as the exclusive network radio partner for the National Football League.  It’s providing play-by-play coverage of the NFL’s national regular season package of primetime games and all postseason games, including Super Bowl LI.  WW1 says that in addition to those 70 contests, it will broadcast 17 Sunday afternoon doubleheaders, resulting in a record-high 104 total NFL game broadcasts this season.  The season kicks off this Thursday with the Panthers at the Broncos…..Satcaster SiriusXM is offering subscribers coverage of the 2016 NFL season, featuring live broadcasts of every game, plus in-depth NFL talk on its NFL Radio channel.  SiriusXM’s NFL schedule will also include multiple Spanish-language broadcasts on SiriusXM channel 157 each week, including all primetime games on Sunday and Monday nights, the Thursday Night Kickoff game, Thanksgiving Day games, and select Sunday afternoon games during the regular season.  Listeners will also get Spanish-language broadcasts for every playoff game.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

| September 1, 2016

Rare Air Talent Changes Hit WXYT-FM, Detroit.  Motor City sports talker WXYT-FM is one of the most stable and highly rated stations in the format, so talent changes there have been exceedingly rare.  Now, CBSsamuelsenjamie RADIO announces that evening personality Jamie Samuelsen moves from that daypart – where he co-hosted with Bob Wojnowski – to AM drive where he’s partnering up with Mike Stone and Sara Fouracre for the “Jamie and Stoney Show.”  The station does not mention the departure of Stone’s longtime partner Bill McAllister, but it seems pretty clear he’s been let go since his bio has been removed from the station’s website.   For now, it appears Wojnowski will go solo in the evenings on “97.1 The Ticket.”

Cort Webber Rises to PD at KEX, Portland.  After serving as assistant program director for KEX – among other positions at the iHeartMedia Portland station group – Cort Webber is named program director for the webbercortnews/talk station.  Webber’s been with iHM Portland since 2010 and the station says Webber is well known to Portland radio listeners having served as a co-host of “The Gina, Cort and Rebecca Show” on KXJM, formerly “The Beat 107.5,” and as longtime afternoon host of KUFO’s former “Cort and Fatboy Show.”  He’s currently on-air at sister rock KFBW “105.9 The Brew” and serves as that station’s APD.

bradenfitzWPRTWPRT, Nashville Adds Braden & Fitz for Mornings.  Gone from the daily schedule as of Tuesday (9/6) is ESPN Radio’s Mike & Mike and in is the new local duo of Braden Gall and Jason Fitz.  WPRT “ESPN 102.5 The Game” says Gall has “an impressive resume that includes stints at WNML in Knoxville, Rivals Radio, Athlon Sports and SiriusXM.”  Fitz is a multi-talented performer who is best “known as the fiddle player and musical director for The Band Perry.  Fitz has performed in front of tens of millions of fans live and on television and has played on records totaling over 20 million units in sales.  Fitz currently co-hosts ‘College Football Daily’ on ESPNU with Mike Golic, Jr. on Monday nights.”

nielsen logoNielsen Audio Releases Third Round of August 2016 PPM Data.  The third of four rounds of August 2016 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Portland, Charlotte, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, San Antonio, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Kansas City, Orlando, and Columbus.  The August 2016 survey period covered July 14 through August 10.  You can find the complete 6+ ratings numbers from subscribing stations here.  Additionally, TALKERS/RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Twelve Takeaways” from this group on the main page of our sister publication here.

Odds & Sods.  The nationally syndicated “Free Talk Live” with hosts Ian Freeman and Mark Edge adds new affiliates WFJX, Roanoke and KENN-AM/FM, Farmington, New Mexico to its roster of stations……“Motley Fool Money” partners with Amazon to provide a daily stock market update for the millions of people who own an Amazon Echo.

The Presidential Race/Trump Meets Enrique Peña Nieto, SCOTUS NC Voter ID Law Ruling, Kaepernick ‘Anthem’ Protest Aftermath, Iran Nuclear Deal, Brazil Impeaches Dilma Rousseff, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/31).  The activities of presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, including Trump’s visit with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto; the Supreme Court’s ruling against North Carolina’s voter ID law; the ongoing aftermath of 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s protest of the National Anthem; new information coming out alleging “secret” aspects of Iran’s nuclear deal with the West; Brazilian senate votes to impeach President Dilma Rousseff; 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.

brownejoyBluenocapIndustry Memorial Event Being Planned for Dr. Joy Browne in NYC.  Services for Dr. Joy Browne will be a small family-only gathering set at an undisclosed time in Denver.  However, a “memorial event” honoring the life and times of the iconic media psychologist who passed away unexpectedly this past Saturday (8/27) is now in the planning stages by a radio industry group loosely calling itself “Friends of Dr. Joy.”  Group spokesman Michael Harrison states, “We will be announcing the date, time and location of a low-key gathering in New York City that will take place sometime during the next few weeks. The purpose will be to simply honor the memory of this great woman as people who worked with her or knew her in the business join together to share stories and reminisce about her role in our industry and our lives.”  Those interested in participating can contact Harrison at michael@talkers.com.  Specific details will be posted here at Talkers.com as they develop.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

| August 30, 2016

Dr. Joy Browne Dead at 71.  This report – confirmed by a Facebook post by her sister Alannah Sinclaire and a conversation today between TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison and her brother David Oppenheim – indicates that talk radio star Dr. Joy Browne died on Saturday, August 27 at age 71.  The exact cause is unknown at brownejoythis time, but Sinclaire writes that she was on the phone speaking with Dr. Joy “chatting about movies reviews, recipes, and favorite memories from a recent birthday party for our 95-year-old mom when the phone suddenly disconnected; her heart had stopped as well.”  At the time of her death, Browne’s long-running talk show had been syndicated to stations across the country by Genesis Communications Network.  Browne received her M.A. and a Ph.D. from Northeastern University in Boston.  It was in Boston that she got her start in talk radio but she launched into national syndication from New York’s heritage WOR in the early 1990s and built a strong roster of affiliate stations all across the country.  After the demise of the WOR Radio Network, Browne continued to host her syndicated program via various independent distributors, finally working with GCN.  Browne was also the author of numerous self-help books and well known for her love of theater and movies.  Dr. Joy Browne was ranked at #25 on the TALKERS magazine 2016 Heavy Hundred – The Most Important Radio Talk Show Hosts in America.  Memorial services are pending.  Friends and admirers of Dr. Joy Browne will likely be encouraged to make donations in her memory to her international charitable foundation, the Joy to the World Foundation. In a statement, released moments ago Michael Harrison says, “I am personally devastated, Joy was one of the greatest talents in the history of radio, a humanitarian and wonderful human being. All of us in radio and her vast listening audience have suffered a terrible loss.”

Conservative Talk Hosts Debate Their Role in the Rise of Donald Trump.  Several weeks ago, TALKERS magazine published a story about a coming piece in Business Insider by Oliver Darcy in which WTMJ, Milwaukee conservative talk host Charlie Sykes wondered if decades of mainstream media bashing by he and his colleagueshannity has created a “monster” – an ultra-conservative constituency that won’t believe anything that doesn’t beckglenncome from Fox News, Breitbart, or Drudge.  The full piece was recently published and you can read it here.  Quoted in the story are talk hosts Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, and John Zeigler, as well as a few political operatives, and, of course, Sykes.  TALKERS editors are not prepared to conclude that conservative media alone created Trump’s presidential campaign success.  After all, it likely took more than just conservative media junkies to get Trump the nomination.  But the piece is an interesting read and certain to be the subject of debate among talk radio people and media theorists.

nielsen logoNielsen Audio Releases First Round of August 2016 PPM Data.  The first of four rounds of August 2016 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio 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).  The August 2016 survey period covered July 14 through August 10.  You can find the complete 6+ ratings numbers from subscribing stations here.  Additionally, TALKERS/RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Twelve Takeaways” from this group on the main page of our sister publication here.

KFTK-FM, St. Louis Weekend Host to Appear in NRA Documentary.  From a story in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch is the news that KFTK-FM weekend personality Stacy Washington will be part of a recently filmedwashingtonstacy National Rifle Association documentary.  Washington is host of the Sunday evening “Stacy on the Right” program and makes appearances on the station’s morning drive program hosted by Jamie Allman.  Washington tells the Post-Dispatch that the filming consisted of her answering questions about guns and gun rights.  She is an Air Force veteran who also appears on the “NRA News” show that airs on SiriusXM.

TTWN Looks to Bolster Services with Baron Partnership.  This cooperative effort between iHeartMedia’s Total Traffic & Weather Network and “weather intelligence” firm Baron is a multi-year, data-collaboration partnership.  The technological agreement will combine TTWN’s real-time traffic incident and flow data, with totaltraffic logoBaron’s expertise in location-specific weather products, including the patented Baron Telematics Weather safety solution.  In a press release, the companies say that this partnership will “create the next generation of integrated traffic and weather solutions offering enhanced road and weather safety capabilities to automotive manufacturers, tier-one suppliers, insurance companies, media and public safety markets.  The first integration is designed to enhance the connected car driving experience providing better road guidance, smoother commutes and increased safety, and will be immediately available for all TTWN automotive traffic and weather partners.”

Odds & Sods.  As reported by Blaine Thompson’s Indiana Radio Watch, today (8/30) Kayla Blakeslee rejoins Federated Media’s news/talk WOWO, Fort Wayne as news director.  She’s been serving with the Ohio Department of Transportation…..A new golf show launches on Emmis’ news/talk KLBJ-AM, Austin with hosts Ed Clements and Scotty Sayers.  Titled, “The Fifteenth Club,” the program airs Saturdays from 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm and will involve the hosts taking calls and interviewing golf pros and celebrities…..SiriusXM is airing live coverage of the 2016 US Open Tennis Championships from the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, New York.  Coverage began yesterday and runs through the Women’s and Men’s Finals on September 10 and 11…..Just because broadcasting legend Charles Osgood is retiring from his Sunday morning television program after 22 years doesn’t mean he’s leaving his radio gig.  Westwood One assures stations Charles will still “see you on the radio” with his daily “Osgood File” programs delivered four times a day, five days a week.

The Presidential Race, Weiner-Abedin Separate, Hacking of Election Systems, Shooting Death of Dwayne Wade’s Cousin, Colin Kaepernick National Anthem Protest, ObamaCare Troubles, Gene Wilder Dies, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/29).  The activities of presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton; Clinton aid Huma Abedin and Anthony Weiner separate after Weiner’s latest sexting incident; elections systems in Arizona and Illinois are breached by hackers; the aftermath of the Chicago shooting death of NBA star Dwayne Wade’s cousin, Nykea Aldridge; the response to Colin Kaepernick’s statements about not standing for the National Anthem; the troubles facing ObamaCare exchanges; the death of actor Gene Wilder; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to research from TALKERS magazine.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

| August 23, 2016

Former Fox News Personality Andrea Tantaros Sues Fox News.  News/talk media personality Andrea Tantaros has filed a suit in New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan against her former employer Fox News for sexual harassment, according to a story in The New York Times.  Tantaros also hosted a nationally syndicatedtantarosandrea talk radio show for Talk Radio Network in 2013.  In her complaint, Tantaros accuses former Fox News chief Roger Ailes – among other executives – of sexual harassment and alleges she was pulled from her host position on “The Five” after rebuffing advances by Ailes and demoted to a midday show.  Fox News is not commenting on the suit. However, Tantaros recently left the network after a contract dispute ignited by what Fox alleged was Tantaros’ publication of a book without seeking permission.  The Times piece reports that a Fox lawyer said Tantaros made up the harassment allegations to gain leverage during the contract dispute while Tantaros’ lawyer says Tantaros was offered a seven-figure sum to renounce the claims against Ailes.

Nielsen Pulls 35 Households from Los Angeles PPM Panel.  Citing “irregular compliance patterns,” Nielsen Audio has made it known that has dismissed 35 households from the Los Angeles PPM panel.  Nielsen is not going into much detail other than to say that its review team discovered that its quality standards were not nielsen logoadhered to.  Nielsen says the irregularities were noticed among households in question in the first two weeks of the Los Angeles August 2016 survey and that those households were removed for weeks three and four of the survey.  As a result, Nielsen is reviewing the data for the Los Angeles surveys to determine if any previous months had been affected.  The company is also looking at other PPM markets to see if similar irregularities occurred.  Meanwhile, Nielsen says its control system did its job is discovering the problems but will continue to review ways to prevent recurrence of these irregularities.  It’s not believed that any media households were involved.  It was two years ago that a KSCA, Los Angeles staffer was fired after it had been determined the station had made contact with a panelist and ratings had to be reissued.

WTBC, Tuscaloosa Talk Host John Fisher Jr. Arrested on Meth Trafficking Charges.  Attorney and talk show host John Fisher Jr. has been arrested – along with alleged accomplice Christopher Shane Rushing – on fisherjohnjrcharges of trafficking in methamphetamine, according to AL.com.  The report states authorities apprehended Fisher and Rushing after receiving tips about a meth lab.  Raw Story reports that Fisher is host of an eponymous political talk show on Townsquare Media’s WTBC, Tuscaloosa.  WTBC is a country outlet branded “Catfish Country.”  TALKERS’ calls to WTBC to confirm the status of his program have been unsuccessful.  The webpage for the johnfishershow.com has been suspended.

Eric Lauer Named WKTI, Milwaukee GSM.  Milwaukee native Eric Lauer returns to Brew Town to serve as general sales manager for country WKTI.  In addition to that role, Lauer will also serve as national sales lauerericmanager for WKTI, news/talk WTMJ and the company’s sports properties.  Lauer comes to the E.W. Scripps stations from his current role with Cox Media Group as general sales manager for the company’s six Jacksonville stations and CODAN Internet Marketing.  Vice president and general manager Tom Langmyer says, “The growth of WKTI has taken us to the next level – creating a need for its own sales leadership.  The restructuring of management roles at Milwaukee’s radio operations will provide stronger focus on each of our properties, which includes Jason Bjorson’s assumption of full sales leadership in his role as GSM of WTMJ and sports sales.”  Lauer begins in Milwaukee on September 26.

Broadcasters Foundation of America Assists Broadcasters Affected by Louisiana Floods and California Wildfires.  The Broadcasters Foundation of America is moving swiftly to provide emergency grants to broadcasters whose lives and property have been severely damaged by the floods in Louisiana and the bfoa logowildfires in California. The Emergency and Disaster Grant Program features an abbreviated vetting process that gets emergency funds to victims within a week.  To be eligible, applicants must have worked in radio or television broadcasting and be facing extreme financial hardship due to a natural or environmental disaster.  BFoA chairman Dan Mason says, “It’s imperative that we get these emergency funds into the hands of broadcasters within days.  The Broadcasters Foundation has a track record of moving quickly and nimbly in emergencies, while thoroughly screening the abridged applications for need.”  In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the Foundation acted speedily to award $250,000 in one-time emergency grants of $1,000 each to 250 broadcasters.  The Foundation also moved quickly following the tornadoes in Joplin, Missouri and Hurricane Sandy in the New York area.  The Broadcasters Foundation contacted the Louisiana and California Broadcasters Associations last week to distribute emergency grant application information among its members.   Emergency grants already have been awarded to broadcasters in Louisiana from Cumulus Media, Guaranty Broadcasting, Nexstar Broadcasting, Raycom Media, Townsquare Media, and others.  Requests for aid from Louisiana flood victims are coming in almost hourly, and the Foundation is reviewing completed applications immediately to rapidly deliver emergency grants to those who are approved.  For more information and to make a donation to the BFoA, visit www.broadcastersfoundation.org, or call 212-373-8250.

Beth Neuhoff to Receive 2016 MIW Trailblazer Award.  The recipient of this year’s 2016 MIW Trailblazer honor from the Mentoring and Inspiring Women in Radio group is Neuhoff Communications neuhoffbethpresident and chief executive officer Beth Neuhoff.  She will receive the 8th annual MIW Radio Group Frances Preston Trailblazer Award on Wednesday, September 21 during the 2016 Radio Show Wednesday Headliner: ‘Cutting Edge Trends in Marketing, featuring Dave Ramsey and John Rich.’  MIW Radio Group spokesperson Kay Olin states, “Beth Neuhoff is an accomplished broadcaster who blazes new trails and heights in everything she touches.  Beth has been a passionate and enthusiastic ambassador for Radio and especially women throughout her career.  She sets a tremendous example for all women in broadcasting through her bold decision-making and inspiring leadership.  Beth is intelligent, caring, approachable and the natural choice to be honored as our 2016 MIW Trailblazer.”

Odds & Sods. In the recently awarded Kansas Association of Broadcasters awards, Alpha Media Topeka was honored with a number of accolades, including First Place finishes for: Complete Sportscast by WIBW-AM’s Jake Lebahn, News Feature by WIBW-AM’s Ryan Ogle, and Station Website by WIBW-AM’s Dave Navarro and Carol Gallmeyer.  Market manager Larry Riggins commented on the announcement, “We are exceptionally proud of our staff members and departments for this high honor.  We have a great reputation as a radio group because of our staff and ability to represent the station at a statewide level sets us apart.”…..Sinclair Broadcast Group’s news/talk KVI, Seattle drew several hundred people to a listener appreciation party held at the FlyinglarsSoviet16 Heritage Collection at Paine Field in Everett, Washington.  This museum is the private collection of Microsoft billionaire Paul Allen and includes a couple of dozen rare warbirds, a V2 rocket from WWII and some tanks and tracked vehicles from the U.S. and half a dozen other countries.   KXL, Portland-based talk host Lars Larson is heard on the station and appeared at the listener party.  He’s pictured here (at left) with fellow KVI personalities John Carlson (right) and Kirby Wilbur (center).  Larson tells TALKERS magazine, “What I love about this is it’s a picture of three conservative talkers, standing in front of a missile built by a now-failed Communist country [USSR], owned by an American capitalist and available for a free people to enjoy as a museum piece (as communism is for everyone but Bernie Sanders).”

The Presidential Race, More Hillary Clinton Emails Found, Ryan Lochte Scandal, ObamaCare Exchange Troubles, Judge Halts Trans Bathroom Policy, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/22).  The activities of presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton; the FBI finds 15,000 more emails from Hillary Clinton’s private server that were not turned over; the behavior of U.S. swimmer Ryan Lochte and the image of U.S. Olympic athletes; troubles for ObamaCare as numerous insurers back out of some exchanges; a federal judge puts injunction on Obama Administration’s transgender bathroom policy for schools; 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.

Bernadette Duncan’s “Yappy Days” Released Today

| August 22, 2016

Highly anticipated historical memoir reveals candid behind-the-scenes look at talk radio and its big-time stars of the day from the perspective of a young female producer during the genre’s golden decades

 

By Kevin Casey
TALKERS
VP/Executive Editor

caseywriterSPRINGFIELD, MA — Bernadette Duncan spent 26 years as a radio talk show producer between 1983 and 2009.  In her newly released book, YAPPY DAYS: Behind the Scenes with Newsers, Schmoozers, Boozers and Losers (AuthorHouse/Talkers Brooks, 2016), she vividly recounts her adventures in the trenches of big-time talk radio during its most dynamic decades – set against the dramatically changing backdrop of America’s pre- and post-9/11 cultural realities.

Juicy stories and details

Bernadette writes interesting details about hundreds of names – from the high-profile hosts for whom she worked, tobernadettebook the many more she met and knew, to the non-stop parade of famous celebrity and newsmaker guests she booked (and, in many cases, babysat) along the way.  And she’s not shy about sharing the juicy tidbits of her experiences with these personalities as well as her recollections about the very processes that make talk radio fascinating.  The book is about “the character of characters.”

The candidly told story focuses on Bernadette’s first-hand impressions of the sometimes-quirky, extremely talented, performers whom she served as a producer during her career.  Namely, Larry King, Sally Jessy Raphael, Tom Snyder, Gil Gross, Charles Osgood and Lou Dobbs.  In the process, the reader follows her growth from innocent, wide-eyed, newbie – who at the tender age of 12 sent a fan letter to Sally Jessy Raphael – to becoming a seasoned media professional standing her ground in hostile toe-to-toe situations with such broadcasting bruisers as Lou Dobbs and Geraldo Rivera.

Read More

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

| August 16, 2016

WTMJ, Milwaukee’s Charlie Sykes Questions Talk Radio’s Role in Creating Fact-Challenged Constituency.  In a Twitter post promoting his upcoming piece on conservative media that contains comments from WTMJ, Milwaukee talk show host Charlie Sykes, Business Insider writer Oliver Darcy reveals some frank thoughts from the air personality about talk radio’s role in growing a listener base that doesn’t believe anysykescharlie mainstream media outlet can be trusted to check the facts.  With regard to the presidential campaign of Donald Trump (whom Sykes famously challenged on air during the primary race), Sykes says Trump can say anything without fear of being investigated by a source talk listeners will trust.  Sykes says that although he believes there is bias against conservatives in the mainstream media, he wonders if the business insiderconstant drumbeat of conservative media people railing against liberal bias hasn’t had an unintended consequence.  For example, Sykes expresses his frustration dealing with his listeners to Darcy, “…it is impossible for me to say that, ‘By the way, you know it’s false.’ And they’ll say, ‘Why? I saw it on Allen B. West.’ Or they’ll say, ‘I saw it on a Facebook page.’ And I’ll say, ‘The New York Times did a fact check.’  And they’ll say, ‘Oh, that’s The New York Times.  That’s bullsh*t.’  There’s nobody – you can’t go to anybody and say, ‘Look here are the facts.’ And I have to say that’s one of the disorienting realities of this political year.”  Sykes is quoted saying he has to ask himself, “To what extent did I contribute?”  It’s not clear when Business Insider will publish Darcy’s entire story.

ruizlizHoF16KTSA, San Antonio’s Elizabeth Ruiz Inducted into SA Radio HoF.  KTSA, San Antonio news personality Elizabeth Ruiz was inducted into the San Antonio Radio Hall of Fame on Sunday (8/14).  Ruiz (pictured here at Sunday’s induction) is a member of the Texas Radio Hall of Fame, San Antonio Women’s Hall of Fame, Edgewood Hall of Fame, and Fiesta San Antonio’s Order of the Cascaron.  Alpha Media operations director Greg Martin says, “Liz has been a credible voice in San Antonio for more than 30 years.  Beyond her news credibility, Liz is also known for her charitable work around San Antonio having emceed hundreds of community events throughout the years.”

The Presidential Race, Milwaukee Protests, NYC Imam Murder, PA AG Case, Russia-Iran Military Relationship, Rio Olympics-Gabby Douglas Controversy, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/15).  The activities of presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, including House Republicans’ perjury allegations against Clinton; the ongoing violence and protests in Milwaukee after the shooting death of a black suspect by police; the murder of an NYC imam and his assistant; the guilty verdict against Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane; the military relationship between Russia and Iran as the former uses Iranian air bases to strike Syrian rebel targets; the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro and the social media attacks on U.S. gymnast Gabby Douglas; 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.

espnradiologoESPN Radio Announces NBA Broadcasts.  Over the course of the 2016-17 NBA season, ESPN Radio will broadcast 28 regular season games, starting with the defending NBA Champion Cleveland Cavaliers hosting the New York Knicks on Opening Night (10/25).  ESPN Radio will also broadcast All-Star Game events plus playoffs and the NBA Finals.  This season, games are also being made available via the ESPN app.  Marc Kestecher makes his debut as the primary play-by-play voice, alongside analyst Jon Barry, with P.J. Carlesimo and Kara Lawson returning for select games.

cheadlePSAEntercom to Launch Don Cheadle-Voiced $1 Million PSA Campaign.  This campaign is part of Entercom Communications’ 1Thing initiative.  The company is launching a nationwide PSA campaign on behalf of the Environmental Defense Fund equal to $1 million worth of free airtime.  The company says the PSA features Academy Award-nominated actor Don Cheadle discussing the importance of stabilizing the global climate for our children and grandchildren.  The PSAs will run across 124 of Entercom’s stations in 27 markets in the country beginning this month.   Cheadle says, “I’m happy to help introduce more people to the great work of EDF.  We’re in the fight of our lives against climate change and EDF has been a real leader in that struggle.  So I hope this helps.”

wbtwlnk duo logoCool Job Opportunity.  Greater Media Charlotte is seeking account executives to work in the market representing news/talk WBT and hot AC WLNK “The Link.”  The company says it is seeking applicants who have: quantifiable success in radio/media sales or another industry; the drive, hunger, and ability to see the sales process through from prospecting to the final close; courage to ask for and deliver remarkable programs; a love and passion for winning; integrity and pride in being a full service rep; new business expertise and a creative mind; a desire to exceed expectations and move up quickly; independent and entrepreneurial performers; excellent verbal and written communication.  “At Greater Media Charlotte, you will be surrounded by people who love to have fun and work extremely hard.  We offer great benefits and lots of incentives for self-starters, while enjoying the stability of a privately owned media company with two of Charlotte’s best radio stations.”  To apply, send your resume and a cover letter to: hired@gmclt.com.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

| August 2, 2016

Rush Limbaugh and Premiere Networks Reach Agreement on Extension.  There was little doubt from most industry observers that talk radio superstar Rush Limbaugh and iHeartMedia’s Premiere Networks limbaughrushwould come to terms on an agreement to continue syndicating Limbaugh’s show.  Not surprisingly, today’s announcement from Premiere did not mention the terms of this new deal, but simply called it a “long-term, multi-platform agreement.”  Eight years ago, Limbaugh and Premiere announced a partnership agreement that was widely reported to have been worth $400 million.  The conventional wisdom is that changes in the radio industry and the backlash from the infamous “Sandra Fluke incident” have negatively affected Limbaugh’s ability to earn the type of ad dollars that would justify that kind of money this time around.  At the top of today’s program, however, Limbaugh told his listeners that the deal is for four years and he gets no regular salary but, presumably, a percentage of sales.  He said, “I have to make my numbers.”  In the press release, Premiere stated, “Ad revenue for ‘The Rush Limbaugh Show’ has also increased by 20% over last year, and the show continues to be the number one program in talk radio.”  Limbaugh celebrated his 28th anniversary in national syndication on Monday.  He said in the prepared statement, “After 28 fulfilling years, I seriously considered moving on to something else, but Rich [Bressler] and Bob [Pittman] were very persuasive.  I’m thrilled to be continuing.  And I really want to be on the air if the Russians find Hillary’s emails.”

Former Mercury Radio Arts and TheBlaze Chief Sued by Glenn Beck.  In a case filed in District Court of Dallas County, Texas on Friday (7/29), Glenn Beck is suing his former executive, Christopher Balfe, alleging among other things: Breach of Fiduciary Duty, Faithless Servant, Fraud, Breach of Contract, and more.  The suit mercuryradioarts logodoes not specify how much money Mercury Radio Arts is seeking from Balfe, but states it’s asking for actual, consequential and punitive damages; forfeiture of everything Balfe earned from Mercury since he first breached his duties, and more.  The lawsuit alleges that Balfe earned more than $13 million between 2009 and 2014 and calls it “a shockingly excessive amountbeckglenn that far exceeds appropriate compensation for companies of Mercury and TheBlaze’s size and financial performance.”  It also alleges that Balfe signed a lease for New York office space – the entire 12th floor of Five Bryant Park – for $2 million per year for 10 years that was “motivated by his own self-interest.”  The suit calls the $20 million liability an example of Balfe ignoring his duty to Mercury.  Beck comments on the case on TheBlaze’s balfechriswebsite, saying, “You have all heard me over the last couple of years describing how hard a time it has been.  Between being sick, turning over my company, etc…It culminates in a lawsuit that we filed Friday in Dallas between MRA and the former president.  I am embarrassed and saddened it has come to this.”  It’s difficult to read the suit and not come to the conclusion that Beck hired a man whom he considered a friend who was simply not qualified to serve in the positions in which he did.  Scribd has the complaint and you can read it here.

‘Bob & Tom Show’ Rounds Out Cast with Josh Arnold.  The nationally syndicated “Bob & Tom Show” adds comic Josh Arnold to the cast.  The Westwood One program features show co-founder Tom Griswold,arnoldjosh Chick McGee, Kristi Lee, and now St. Louis native Arnold.  The press release from Westwood One says Arnold “has established himself as one of the top nationally touring feature comedians in the country.  Arnold’s comedy has been heard on Sirius XM Satellite Radio and he’s provided material for Comedy Central’s ‘@Midnight’ and ‘The Burn.’”  Griswold says, “We are thrilled to have Josh join us each day…he is one of the funniest, most twisted people I know.”

Cumulus’ Gary Pizzati Announces His Retirement.  Longtime Cumulus Media senior vice president Gary Pizzati is retiring from the company and from radio broadcasting at the end of August.  Pizzati started his pizzatigarycareer as an air talent and programmer and then moved into sales and management.  He joined Cumulus in 1998 to manage the Augusta, Georgia cluster.  Pizzati says, “The past 30 years in radio and 18 with Cumulus have been extremely rewarding.  I truly love radio and all the amazing people who power this exciting industry.  It’s been a part of my life since my teens and has been a remarkable journey that started from my days on air.”  Pizzati rose to SVP in 2005 with responsibility for 27 markets, including two of the company’s largest.  Cumulus especially commends him for “turning around several major markets and recruiting some of the best talent into the company.”  President and CEO Mary Berner adds, “Known as a strong leader, teacher, and consummate radio guy, Gary’s contributions to Cumulus cannot be overstated.  He will be greatly missed by his Cumulus colleagues.”

harrisonUpCloseFarOutsmallThe Farmer That Roared: Doug Stephan is This Week’s Guest on ‘Up Close and Far Out.’  Radio talk show host Doug Stephan, whose daily generalist news/talk morning show is the third longest-running weekday syndicated program in the industry having launched in 1988 (behind Rush Limbaugh by a few months and “America in the Morning” by four years), is the guest on this week’s installment of the PodcastOne hit series “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.”  Stephan discusses his dual career (and arduous schedule) as both a broadcaster and a dairy farmer.  In his role as host of the rapidlystephandoug growing weekend specialty show, “American Family Farmer” (almost 100 affiliates in less than a year), Stephan has stepped up to the plate as a powerful advocate of the beleaguered people who own and operate small farms in the US, that are slowly but systematically being put out of business by the combined interests of big business (“factory farms”) and big government.   He and Harrison also talk about the growing “locavore” movement that ties into this issue.  (A locavore is a person whose diet consists primarily of locally produced and sold food.)  To listen to this fascinating podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column of every page of Talkers.com and RadioInfo.com.

nielsen logoNielsen Audio Releases First Round of July 2016 PPM Data.  The first of four rounds of July 2016 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio 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).  The June 2016 survey period covered June 16 through July 13.  You can find the complete 6+ ratings numbers from subscribing stations here.  Additionally, TALKERS/RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Twelve Takeaways” from this group on the main page of our sister publication here.

The Presidential Race/Khan Family Controversy, FBI Staffer Guilty of Selling Secrets to China, South China Sea Dispute, Black Lives Matter Movement, Miami Zika Outbreak, Rio Olympics Troubles, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/1).  The activities of  presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, including the public conflict with the Khan family; former FBI employee Joey Chun pleads guilty to being an agent of the Chinese government; the dispute over China’s claim to territory in the South China Sea; the state of the Black Lives Matter movement; the CDC’s warning about a Zika virus outbreak in an area near Miami; reports of poor conditions and lack of preparedness at the Rio De Janeiro Olympics; 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.

talkersrumble16Talk Rumble Video Posted from TALKERS 2016: Bridging the Generations.  One of the highlights of the recent TALKERS 2016: Bridging the Generations convention – “The Talk Rumble” – is posted today (8/2) on Talkers.com.  The panel discussion was part of the 19th annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important national convention that took place May 20 on the campus of Hofstra University in Hempstead, NY.  Moderated by TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison and co-moderated by CBS News VP Harvey Nagler, participants include (in alphabetical order): Howie Carr, host, Howie Carr Radio Network; Brian Kilmeade, host Fox News Radio/Fox News Channel; Sid Rosenberg, host, WABC, New York; Dr. Daliah Wachs, host Genesis Communications Network; Lisa Wexler, host, WGCH, Greenwich, CT: Larry Young, host, WOLB, Baltimore; and John Ziegler, host Envision Networks. To view the Talk Rumble in its entirety, please click here.  Stay tuned to Talkers.com for more videos from TALKERS 2016: Bridging the Generations that will be posted in the days and weeks to come.

Odds & Sods.  WAXY, Miami “790 The Ticket” extends its partnership with the NBA’s Miami Heat to continue broadcasting play-by-play through 2021.  The Entercom sports talk station says Mike Inglis and John Crotty will continue to call the games.  Tommy Tighe will provide the pre-game, halftime and post-game reporting and Jonathan Zaslow, host of the station’s morning show, will continue as host of the pre- and post-game shows…..FOX Sports Radio personality Ben Maller will join the minor league baseball Bakersfield Blaze for a night of festivities on August 13 as the team takes on the Lake Elsinore Storm.  Maller says, “Having been a Dodgers fan my entire life, Bakersfield baseball is near and dear to my heart.  My firecracker staff is thrilled to be joining me for this occasion and I’m sure Sam Lynn Ballpark will welcome us with open arms.”

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

| July 26, 2016

marconiimage small2016 Marconi Award Finalists Announced; News/Talkers Dominate Legendary Station of the Year Category.  The finalists for this year’s Marconi Radio Awards from the National Association of Broadcasters have been announced.  The winners will be announced September 22 at the NAB Marconi Radio Awards Dinner & Show at the 2016 Radio Show in Nashville.  News/talk stations dominate the Legendary Station of the Year category.  The finalists are: KRLD-AM, Dallas; WBAL-AM, Baltimore; WBT-AM, Charlotte; WDBO-FM, Orlando; and all-news WINS-AM, New York.  Two Premiere Networks sports talk hosts are finalists in the Network/Syndicated Personality of the Year – Jay Mohr and Dan Patrick – along with Premiere’s Delilah and Elvis Duran plus Entravision’s Erazno y la ChokolataCBS RADIO’s Mike Francesa (WFAN, New York) and Toucher and Rich (WBZ-FM, Boston) are finalists in the Major Market Personality of the Year category along with KFI, Los Angeles’ Tim Conway Jr. and music radio personalities Mark Curry of KBLX, San Francisco and Woody from KYSR, Los Angeles.  See the rest of the finalists here.

beasleybrianBrian Beasley Promoted to Chief Operating Officer of Beasley Media Group. The company announces Brian Beasley is promoted to chief operating officer of Beasley Media Group, Inc. from his EVP of operations post.  He comments, “This COO position is a great honor, considering my entire life has been dedicated to the radio business.  I’ve benefitted greatly from my hands-on experience at all levels of this business and I’ll be continuing to contribute to the successful operations of our stations for many years to come.”

harrisonUpCloseFarOutsmallGeorge Noory Interviewed by Michael Harrison.  The nation’s leading late-night talk show host, George Noory is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne hit “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison,” posted today (7/26).  The multi-talented Noory, who has hosted Premiere Networks’ “Coast to Coast AM” for the past 14 years, talks about how the show has evolved and expanded from primarily covering the paranormal (UFOs, ESP, time travel, astral projection, etc.) to now include the paranoid (conspiracy theory, thenooryNightTalk Illuminati, special interest groups, etc.).  Harrison and Noory discuss the impact of digital age technology and modern communications on the human nervous system and society.  The podcast is coordinated with today’s release of prolific author Noory’s first novel, Night Talk (Forge 2016) – a thriller that tells the story of a late night talk show host (“Greg Nowell”) who gets himself entangled in a web of intrigue that involves the same elements as the subject matter covered by its real life author.  To listen to this fascinating podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column of every page of Talkers.com and RadioInfo.com.

Progressive Talker Nicole Sandler Battling Lung Cancer.  A YouCaring fundraising account has been set up to help defray the cost of the medical bills that she says will not be paid by insurance.  Radio pro and progressive talk personality Nicole Sandler recently relaunched her Internet radio show in a partnership with fellow talk hostsandlernicole Randi Rhodes, whose show follows Sandler’s on the stream.  But now she’s facing a diagnosis of adenocarcinoma – Non Small Cell Lung Cancer.  Sandler is blogging about her experience – and keeping followers well-informed about her struggles with her insurance company – and she says the cancer does not appear to have spread beyond the one lung but that other tests are pending to determine if that’s the case.  You can visit Sandler’s YouCaring page here.

Entercom Launches Late-Night, Syndicated Paranormal Show ‘Beyond Reality Radio.’  The program – Entercom’s first syndication effort – launches on August 1 on 10 company-owned news/talk stations live from hawesjason12:00 midnight to 2:00 am ET.  It stars Jason Hawes, co-founder of The Atlantic Paranormal Society (TAPS) and creator and star of Syfy’s blockbuster hit “Ghost Hunters,” and JV Johnson, ajohnsonjv longtime paranormal investigator and current publisher and editor of TAPS paraMagazine.  Entercom stations airing the program are: KJCE, Austin; WRKO, Boston; WBEN, Buffalo; KEZW, Denver; WSKY, Gainesville; WYRD, Greenville; KMBZ, Kansas City; WWL, New Orleans; KNSS, Wichita; and WILK, Wilkes-Barre.  JV Johnson says, “Radio has a long history of programs about the paranormal, dating back to the 1920s, so it’s very exciting to bring ‘BRR’ to the airwaves with Entercom and continue this tradition, but with a contemporary twist.  We’ll be engaging with our listeners not only through call-in, but through our digital platforms.  So while we’re reaching a larger audience, we’re also creating a community with which we’re intimately connected.”

The Presidential Race/Democratic National Convention, Verizon-Yahoo! Deal, Rio Troubles/Russian Doping Scandal, Cuomo NC Ads Controversy, SoCal Wildfires, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/25).  The aftermath of the Republican National Convention, day one of the Democratic National Convention, and the activities of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump; the acquisition of most of Internet pioneering firm Yahoo! by Verizon; the troubles facing Rio De Janeiro as it prepares to host the Olympics and the related Russian doping scandal; New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s state-paid ads aired in North Carolina that critics say violate the Hatch Act; the wildfires affecting Southern California; 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.

Odds & Sods.  The regular CBS RADIO Pittsburgh promotion “eat.drink.SUMMER” is taking place on August 12 from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm at the Lodge at North Park.  Attendees can enjoy samples from some of Pittsburgh’s finest restaurants along with new products, spirits, beers and more.  On-air personalities from the CBS Pittsburgh stations will be in attendance throughout the evening…..In the Greenville, South Carolina market, Entercom Upstate – with seven radio stations in the market – is being honored by the Greenville Health System for Entercom’s support and promotion of the Children’s Hospital over the last 10 years. The GHS Children’s Hospital is dedicating its fifth floor Family Room to Entercom Upstate to recognize how the stations have helped the hospital through the Children’s Hospital Radiothon, an annual fundraising event that has raised more than $2.6 million to date and supported thousands of children.  The 9th Annual Radiothon will take place on August 4…..The RAB announces the retirement of SVP, research Andy Rainey.  Rainey has led the research team at the RAB for the last 23 years.  At the same time, Annette Malave, vice president of business development is promoted to SVP, insights, effective August 1.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

| July 19, 2016

‘KNBR 1050’ in San Francisco Launches New Morning Show.  Completing what Cumulus Media is calling a re-launch of ‘KNBR 1050’ ( KTCT, San Mateo), the sports station announces its new morning drive show – ktctdebuting August 8 – is “The Audible” with Bay Area natives Kevin Frandsen, Drew Hoffar and Rudy Ortiz.   Frandsen ended his 10-year MLB career with the San Francisco Giants and has been a fill-in host on KNBR 680 as well as a contributor to CSN Bay Area.  Hoffar previously served with crosstown KGMZ-FM and KHTK, Sacramento.  Ortiz is a stand-up comic who’s also worked at KGMZ as part of the “Three Amigos” show.  KNBR 1050 PD Jeremiah Crowe says, “KNBR 1050 AM’s revamped lineup focuses on an underserved base of sports fans here in the Bay Area.  Frandsen, Hoffar and Ortiz are a trio of refreshing and energetic voices aimed at serving a passionate young Bay Area fan base.  The three hosts come from very different backgrounds and their unique personalities are a perfect blend of what the new ‘KNBR 1050AM’ will represent going forward.”

kinosianmikePPM Analysis: MLB Flagships.  TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his fourth review this season of the performances of Major League Baseball flagship stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s June 2016 PPM survey.  In this report, Kinosian tracks the (6+) AHQ shares of MLB flagship stations over the past six surveys.  In addition, see how flagships performed versus the same survey in 2015, as well as how the stations ranked in their respective markets in June.  See it all here.

The Presidential Race/Republican National Convention, Baton Rouge Police Slayings, Failed Turkish Coup, Pakistan Honor Killing, Rio Olympics Troubles/Russian Doping Scandal, German Train Attack, Fourth Baltimore Cop Exonerated in Freddie Gray Death, Venezuelan Food Shortages, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/18). The activities of presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump tied with the Republican National Convention; the aftermath of the slayings of three Baton Rouge police officers; the failed military coup in Turkey; a brother kills his Internet celeb sister in Pakistan; the troubles facing Rio De Janeiro as it prepares to host the Olympic games tied with the Russian athletes doping scandal; the terror attack on a German train by a Syrian refugee; the fourth police officer charged in the death of Freddie Gray is found not guilty; the food shortages facing Venezuelans; 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.

iheartradioNYCBBiHeartRadio to Be Featured on Iconic NYC Billboard.  The logo for iHeartMedia’s iHeartRadio will soon appear over the New York City skyline on one of the city’s most iconic billboards.  It sits atop the old Ruppert Ice House overlooking the Triboro/RFK Bridge leading into Manhattan and out of The Bronx.  The billboard displays the company’s iHeartRadio logo and is one of only eight brands to grace this historic billboard over the last 80 years.  They are: Knickerbocker Beer (1952-1962), City Services Gasoline (a.k.a. Citgo, 1962- early 70s), Kent Cigarettes (early 70s – late 70s), Golden Lights Cigarettes (early 80s – late 80s), Newport Cigarettes (early 90s – 1999), and HISTORY Channel (2000-2015).  The more than 8,000 square foot billboard will include a digital display that will promote iHeartMedia’s New York City-based station brands — Z100, Power 105, KTU, Lite FM, Q104.3 and WOR — and upcoming events such as the iHeartRadio Jingle Ball Tour and the iHeartRadio Music Awards.

Odds & Sods.  Radio management and programming pro Steve Gallagher’s Creative Talent, Inc. secures a sales development agreement with Tampa, Florida-based mixed martial arts media firm United Fight Alliance.   In this relationship, Creative Talent will work to expand the sales and marketing of UFA’s live MMA cage events across the country, the on-site promotional vehicles as well as the weekly television show’s commercial advertising and promotional campaigns…..The deal between Jerry Evans and Wilks Broadcasting that gives ownership of the country KWFP-FM and classic rock KURK-FM in Reno to the former for $750,000, closes…..Access1 Communications Corp. closes the sale of one-time urban/progressive talker WWRL, New York to Dr. Nimisha Shukla-owned NJ Broadcasting LLC for $7 million.  The station has been airing South Asian programming since wachsdaliahentering into an LMA back in February…..GCN nationally syndicated talk show host Dr. Daliah Wachs is working with blood banks all over the country to coordinate National Blood Donation Week (9/4-8).  Blood banks throughoutconnroeJonesSteve16 the country are reporting disastrous shortages due in part to the Zika crisis and recent mass casualties.  Dr. Daliah says more than half of the nation’s governors have their proclamation requests.  She also says any radio stations wishing to host a blood drive and be part of this can contact her at: doctordaliah@hotmail.com….. ABC News Radio vice president and general manager Steve Jones (right) is pictured here with WGN, Chicago afternoon drive personality Roe Conn (left) at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland at the first day of the Republican National Convention.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

| July 14, 2016

KNBR Staffers Picket at AT&T Park Over Wage Negotiations.  It’s been almost two years since the staffers at Cumulus Media’s sports talker KNBR, San Francisco voted to unionize under SAG-AFTRA, but negotiations between the union and the company are moving slowly.  A number of Cumulus employees picketed outside AT&T Park — home of the MLB’s Giants (whose games are broadcast on KNBR) — on Wednesday to draw attention to their case.  According to a story in the San Francisco Chronicle, theknbrlogo sagaftra logounion is seeking a minimum wage of $17 an hour for off-air staff and $30 an hour for on-air talent.  Cumulus has reportedly countered with the new San Francisco minimum wage of $13 an hour, plus 1%.  Despite Cumulus Media’s enormous corporate debt, KNBR staffers say the station is making plenty of money.  The union commissioned a study that indicates the station brings in the fifth-most revenue of Cumulus’ 453 stations.  SAG-AFTRA San Francisco executive director Len Egert tells the paper that a work stoppage is not out of the question.  The story notes that when sister news/talk station KGO voted to unionize, contract negotiations took four years before a pact was finally signed.  Read the SFGate story here.

NPR and iHeartMedia Strike Deal for Streaming.  This new relationship between iHeartMedia and NPR will allow NPR’s more than 260 member stations to make their live news/talk programming available via iheartradio newiHeartRadio.  iHM says that “in support of the public radio mission, all stations that join iHeartRadio will also have access to 50% of their individual iHeartRadio landing page’snpr digital banner inventory to encourage listeners to donate and directly support the station’s public programming.”  iHeartRadio & iHeartMedia Networks president Darren Davis comments, “The addition of NPR’s member stations helps to create even more signature audio content for iHeartRadio listeners.  By joining forces, it is the perfect way for public radio stations to reach listeners on new platforms and to provide iHeartRadio users with additional high-quality news/talk programming wherever they are.”

Radio Business Reacts to Music Biz Study on Millennial Listening Habits.  The release of the study from Music Biz and LOOP titled “Music & Millennials” is raising the hackles of AM/FM radio operators, some of whom are vigorously challenging the study’s findings.  The study, made available to members of the Music Biz Consumer Insights portal, was conducted by LOOP (which stands for Lots Of Online People) in May and used information from 3,014 U.S. respondents.  It should be noted that the summary made public focuses on 15-19 year olds, so any comparison to the larger group of Millennials – often described as those between 18 and 35 – cited in other studies, is a mismatch from the start.  Regardless, here are some of the study’s findings: AM/FM radio reaches 65% of 15-19 year olds.  That’s much lower than the 93% reach of 18-34 year olds Nielsen says are reached by AM/FM.  The Music Biz study reports that 15-19 year olds only spend 12% of their time with AM/FM radio.  It also concludes that, for the first time, YouTube is the primary source of new music discovery, surpassing AM/FM radio.  That conflicts with other research that traditionally serves the radio industry.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison had the following to say about the topic at this morning’s editorial meeting, “As Bob Dylan wrote and sang, ‘You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.’  This is as much a matter of using your powers of observation, day-to-day experience and gut-based intuition to read the tea leaves on the generational divide impacting both radio and music.  All of these so-called official surveys and research studies are as wrong as they are right. They are like out-of-date GPS systems.  Now is not the time for the radio industry to seek temporary victory through the use of limited statistical surveys and numbers-bending persuasion, but rather to find sustainable truth through accurate, first-hand observation and intelligence.  With all due respect to Nielsen, the worst thing radio can do in 2016 is put its head in the sand of comforting statistics that fly in the face of observation and reality.  We have work to do to remedy a growing and inevitable problem facing this industry.”

The Presidential Race, Police Violence Against Blacks/Dallas Cop Slayings Aftermath, Hillary Clinton Email Investigation, and Pokemon Go Craze Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/13).  The activities of presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton; deadly violence against blacks at the hands of police and the aftermath of the slaying of five Dallas police officers last week; ongoing talk about the FBI investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server for State Department business; and the Pokemon Go game that’s sweeping the nation were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Radio One Announces Plans to Cover RNC and DNC Conventions ‘From the Black Perspective.’  The largest Black-owned and targeted media company is announcing it will cover the Republican and Democratic National Conventions “from the Black perspective.”  Host Roland Martin will broadcast TV One’s “News Oneradioonelogo Now” live from the convention sites each morning at 7:00 ET.   The company also says WKYS, Washington midday personality EZ Street will provide daily live coverage from the convention floor, along with recaps on all of Reach Media’s nationally syndicated morning shows.  Radio One VP of corporate communications Yashima White AziLove states, “There couldn’t be a more critical time in our country for Black media to engage in the political process.  More now than ever the outcry of Black people continues to reverberate throughout this country for equality, justice and reform. Our entire platform will be represented at each convention to ensure our community is informed of each presidential nominee’s plan to address the issues plaguing America, especially those that impact daily Black life. ”

Redskins Great John Riggins to Co-Host Pre-Game Show on ‘ESPN 980’ in Washington.  NFL Hall of Famer and Washington Redskins great John Riggins is joining Red Zebra Broadcasting’s WTEM, Washington wtemlogo“ESPN 980” for the co-host role on the official “Washington Redskins Pregame Show.”  The Super Bowl XVII MVP will work with WTEM’s Kevin Sheehan.  Riggins says, “I solemnly swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help me God, well, most of the time… maybe… I think.  Oh, yeah, El Riggo is back.  And, that means the circus is back in town!”  Riggins will also serve as a contributor to regularly scheduled “ESPN 980” shows.

SiriusXM to Launch Star-Hosted Series Called ‘The Source.’  The four-week show is a co-operative effort between SiriusXM and IMG and it’s described as “a unique new radio program curated and hosted by stars from every genre” that “will give listeners an opportunity to connect with celebrities in a new way as they share theirsiriusxm insights on everything from fashion, art and entertainment to businesses, politics, and pop culture.”  The program is presented by the AARP-created Life Reimagined, “a platform that helps people navigate transitions and pursue their goals in life.”  Celebs involved in the project include: Arianna Huffington, Ricky Williams and Donovan McNabb, Ashley Graham, Jerry Springer, Niecy Nash, Carolyn Murphy, Jenna Elfman, Ashley Judd, and Chanel Iman.  SiriusXM president and chief content officer Scott Greenstein says, “Bringing new voices to radio has been a hallmark of SiriusXM, and we are excited to work with IMG to bring this eclectic slate of personalities for our listeners.  This new show will draw talent from the fields of music, sports and entertainment and beyond, and give them the opportunity to speak at length and in uncensored fashion about their work, passions, views, and life experiences.”

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

| July 12, 2016

wfsx-fmDrew Steele to Exit Mornings on ‘92.5 FOX News’ in Fort Myers/Naples.  Current WFSX, Estero, Florida (Fort Myers/Naples market) morning personality Drew Steele is leaving Sun Broadcasting’s news/talk station to join KSL-TV, Salt Lake City.  Theradeltrey News/Press reports that station management is talking to former morning show host – and former U.S. Rep. – Trey Radel, among others, about the position.  Radel left the morning show host position at the station in 2012 to successfully run for congress in Florida’s 19th District.  However, he resigned from the seat in January of 2014 after a cocaine possession conviction in late 2013.  Station manager Jim Schwartzel tells the News/Press they have talked with Radel as well as other candidates about the open position.

Bill Michaels Upped to OM for Cumulus Toledo Cluster.  Programmer Bill Michaels – responsible for leading classic rock WXKR, sports talk WLQR “106.5 The Ticket,” talk WTOD-AM, and alternative WQQO-michaelsbillToledo16HD2/W264AK – is promoted to operations manager for Cumulus Media’s Toledo cluster and Monroe, Michigan property country WMIM “98.3 NASH Icon.”  The cluster also includes country WKKO “K100” and classic hits WRQN.  This is a newly created position and in addition to his new responsibilities, Michaels will continue to program WXKR, “100.7 The Zone,” WLQR and WTOD as well as host the WXKR midday show from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm.  Cumulus RVP and market manager Andy Stuart says, “Bill and I have worked together for a long time and while I am quite certain that he has the experience, intuition and leadership skills necessary to lead our stations to greatness, I’m also quite certain he can handle my penchant for emailing and texting him at 3:00 am.”

Dan Conry Assumes PM Drive on ‘Power Talk 1360/1280’ in Modesto/Stockton.  Talk show host Danconrydan Conry joins iHeartMedia’s news/talk simulcast KFIV, Modesto and KWSX, Stockton – “Power Talk kfiv1360/1280” for the 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm show.  Conry says, “I’m extremely grateful for this opportunity with iHeartMedia in the Modesto/Stockton market.  I’m excited to work with this team to take ‘Power Talk’ to the next level and I am very grateful to the leadership in Milwaukee, Madison and Sacramento talk radio for allowing me to sit in for some of the best talk talent in the country and keeping my show in the game.”

Dallas Cop Slayings Aftermath, The Presidential Race, Hillary Clinton Email Case, Michigan Bailiffs Slain, and NBA’s Tim Duncan Retires Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/11).  The aftermath of the slayings of five Dallas police officers and the deaths of two black men at the hands of police in Baton Rouge and Minneapolis; the activities of presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump; the GOP’s move to investigate whether Hillary Clinton lied to the FBI about the email issue; two Michigan bailiffs are slain in a courthouse; and NBA great Tim Duncan announces his retirement were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Odds & Sods.  This Thursday, ESPN is covering the Celebration of Life service honoring legendary Tennessee women’s basketball coach Pat Summitt.  The 7:00 pm ET broadcast will also be covered by ESPN Radio’s Ryan McGee, co-host of “Marty & McGee.”…..KDKA-FM, Pittsburgh “SportsRadio 93.7 The Fan” is holding its 2016 Fan Kickoff to the PNC Champions Club at Heinz Field on September 8.  The CBS RADIO station’s event allows fans to take part in an exclusive evening that includes appetizers, cocktails, desserts, and unique cigars – this year at the Pittsburgh Steelers’ home stadium.  It’s also a fundraiser for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society via live and silent auctions featuring sports memorabilia, experiences and other items…..SRN Broadcasting (InternetFM.com,) and David Rusch Media (HomeImprovementUSA.net,) are launching the Home Improvement USA Radio Network that will air a variety of programs and features from across the country on a 24/7 basis.  It will serve as a clearinghouse for programming for other terrestrial or Internet radio stations.  Programming will center on home improvement, lawn and garden, energy efficiency, sustainable living, and product safety, among others…..“Motley Fool Money” with Chris Hill adds two New Hampshire affiliates to its roster: WNNH-FM, Concord and WTSN, Dover/Portsmouth…..SiriusXM is presenting live coverage of the Republican and Democratic National Conventions.  Beginning Monday, July 18 for the Republican National Convention and Monday, July 25 for the Democratic National Convention, SiriusXM will transform its non-partisan P.O.T.U.S. (Politics of The United States) channel into “Convention Radio” featuring uninterrupted, gavel-to-gavel coverage from the convention floor.  P.O.T.U.S channel hosts including Tim Farley, Michael Smerconish, Julie Mason, Michael Steele, and Rick Ungar will broadcast from each convention city, with White House correspondent Jared Rizzi reporting live from the convention floor.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

| July 7, 2016

WCBM, Baltimore’s Tom Marr Dead at 73.  Longtime Baltimore talk radio and sports radio personality Tom Marr died early today (7/7) at the age of 73 after suffering a stroke as a result of complications from back surgery.  WCBM posted the following on its website: “It is with the heaviest of hearts that we announce Thomas A. Marr has marrtompassed away today due the severity of his stroke.  Please keep him and his family in your thoughts and prayers!”  Marr had been with WCBM since 1988 when he joined the station as a reporter and political commentator.  He later became a talk show host.  Prior to joining WCBM, Marr worked at WFBR (now WJZ-AM) as a reporter and news director.  While there, he also served as part of the Baltimore Orioles play-by-play team for a number of years.  WCBM program director Sean Casey says, “He helped to build this news/talk radio station into the force that it is today.  He had a successful career while informing and entertaining listeners in Baltimore and worldwide.”  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison issued the following statement:  “All of us at TALKERS are devastated over the loss of our dear friend and broadcasting treasure, Tom Marr.  Tom was one of the true greats and a perennial member of the Heavy Hundred.  His accomplishments in radio go back well before the modern era of talk radio that he played such an important role in building.  He was an outstanding, kind, compassionate man who cared deeply about his fellow human beings – qualities that he brought to the airwaves day-after-day, decade-after-decade.  The radio industry has lost one of its greatest players.”  Marr is survived by his wife Sharon, five children and 10 grandchildren.

Emmis Radio Division Q1 Net Revenue Flat.  Indianapolis-based Emmis Communications is reporting financial numbers from its fiscal first quarter for 2016.  As a whole, the company’s net revenue was down 4.2% — but the radio division was up a tick to $42.7 million from $42.6 million in the same quarter one year ago.  In a statement, emmis logoEmmis says, “Excluding the company’s radio station in Los Angeles, which is being negatively affected by a recent format competitor, Emmis’ radio net revenues would have been up 5% in the quarter.  Per Miller Kaplan reporting, radio revenues in Emmis’ markets were up 3% in the quarter with and without Los Angeles.  For the first fiscal quarter, operating income was up 13%, from $7.6 million to $8.6 million, primarily due to cost reductions the company implemented in January 2016.”  Chairman and CEO Jeff Smulyan adds, “Our New York radio stations had asmulyanjeff stellar first quarter, growing revenues 11% and beating a healthy New York radio market that was up 4% in the quarter.  Compared to last year, Emmis’ ratings are up across our portfolio, and we are optimistic this will help drive revenue growth in the second half of the fiscal year.  I continue to be amazed and encouraged by the progress the radio industry is making with NextRadio, the radio industry’s initiative to make FM broadcast radio available on smartphones and tablets.  The Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge will soon be NextRadio compatible across all major wireless carriers in the United States, and with the support of handset makers BLU, Alcatel, and others, we have launched NextRadio in Canada and Peru.”

talkers16BigPictureTALKERS 2016: Bridging the Generations – ‘The Big Picture Panel’ Video Posted Today.  The Livestream video recording of the panel discussion titled, “The Big Picture,” one of the many highlights of the recent TALKERS 2016: Bridging the Generations convention, has been posted today (7/7) to Talkers.com. The 19th annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important convention took place on Friday, May 20 on the fabulous campus of Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York.  Introduced by Radio Hofstra University general manager Bruce Avery and moderated by TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison, the panel members include (in alphabetical order):  Heather Cohen, EVP, The Weiss Agency; Alan Colmes, host, Fox News Radio/commentator, Fox News Channel; Evan Cornog, Ph.D., dean, Hofstra University’s Lawrence Herbert School of Communication; Mike McVay, SVP/content & programming, Cumulus Media & Westwood One; Chris Oliviero, EVP/programming, CBS Radio; Joe Sciacca, editor-in-chief, Boston Herald; and Julie Talbott, president, Premiere Networks.  The video opens with a brief appearance by convention emcee, Dr. Joy Browne, host, Genesis Communications Network.  “The Big Picture” panel is a traditional favorite of the annual TALKERS convention and covers the spectrum of broad-strokes topics facing the radio and talk media industries. To view this video in its entirety, please click here.

The FBI’s Hillary Clinton Email Investigation, The Presidential Race, Baton Rouge and Minneapolis Police Shootings, U.S. Immigration Policy, UK Iraq War Report, and Rio Olympics Troubles Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/6).  The FBI’s decision not to pursue criminal charges against Hillary Clinton for using a private email server for State Department business; the activities of presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump; the deaths of black men in confrontations with police in Baton Rouge and Minneapolis; US immigration policy including the Senate’s failure to begin debate over a bill to de-fund “sanctuary cities”; the UK report on its involvement in the Iraq War and former Prime Minister Tony Blair’s decision to join the coalition; and the reports of the numerous problems Rio De Janeiro is dealing with preparing to open the Summer Games in August were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

ppmunitNielsen Audio Releases Second Round of June 2016 PPM Data.  The second of four rounds of June 2016 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Washington, Boston, Detroit, Miami, Seattle, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis.  The June 2016 survey period covered May 19 to June 15.  You can find the complete 6+ ratings numbers from subscribing stations here.  Additionally, TALKERS/RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Twelve Takeaways” from this group on the main page of our sister publication here.

Former WABC and WOR, New York Manager Steve Borneman Named COO of Pamal Broadcasting.  Management pro Steve Borneman is the new COO at Albany-based Pamal Broadcasting.  He exits his generalbornemansteve manager role at Times Shamrock Communications’ Scranton station group to take the Pamal gig.  Previously in his career Borneman served as general manager for news/talk WABC and hot AC WPLJ in New York.  He also managed talk WOR, New York for iHeartMedia after the company acquired the station from Buckley Broadcasting.  Borneman will be based in White Plains, New York.

Odds & Sods.  At the Norfolk, Virginia Max Media cluster, Mark McKay is named program director for sports talk WVSP “ESPN Radio 94.1.”  McKay currently serves as program director for the company’s country WGH “97.3 THE EAGLE.”…..Hearst’s WBAL, Baltimore “NewsRadio 1090” picks up an Edward R. Murrowwbal National Award for Continuing Coverage of the Freddie Gray story.  The award is for the station’s coverage of the case, including Gray’s arrest and death, the unrest that followed, and the first trial of the six Baltimore police officers charged in Gray’s death.  The award is for nearly eight months of coverage by the station…..ESPN’s radio hosts are taking over ESPN2’s “First Take” show.  Next week (7/11-15), a new duo or trio from ESPN Radio will sit down at the First Take desk to give their takes on the day’s top stories from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon ET.  Molly Qerim will host all week.  Radio hosts and teams appearing on the show include: Steve Mason and John Ireland from KSPN, Los Angeles; Tom Waddle and Marc “Silvy” Silverman from WMVP, Chicago; Peter Rosenberg, Don La Greca comptonKatersky16and Rick DiPietro from WEPN, New York’s Michael Kay show and the Hahn & Humpty show; and ESPN Radio personalities Freddie Coleman, Bomani Jones, Jalen Rose and David Jacoby…..ABC News Radio is offering affiliate stations live, anchored coverage of the RNC and DNC conventions Monday through Thursday of the respective weeks (July 18-21 and July 25-28).  Correspondent Aaron Katersky (right) will anchor nightly coverage joined by special contributor Ann Compton (left), political analysts Steve Roberts and Trey Hardin, correspondents Alex Stone, Jim Ryan, Cheri Preston, Brad Mielke, Rick Klein and Shushannah Walshe.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

| July 5, 2016

Shannon Burke Wins ‘Casting Call’ for WYAY, Atlanta Talk Show.  Program director Greg Tantum says audience response to Shannon Burke’s appearance on Cumulus Media’s WYAY, Atlanta “NewsRadio 106.7”burkeshannon wyay logo newduring the on-air auditions – or Casting Call – was an “overwhelming audience favorite.”  As a result, Burke is inked to a deal to host the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon program on WYAY.   Burke was most recently with Cox Media Group’s WHPT, Tampa “102.5 The Bone.”  He’s also worked on the Bubba the Love Sponge show, iHeartMedia’s WTKS, Orlando “Real Radio 104.1” and WFLF, Orlando “540 WFLA.”  Tantum says, “[Burke’s] show creatively combines intelligent talk with humor, entertainment and a connection with the Atlanta lifestyle.”

WCBM, Baltimore’s Tom Marr on Medical Leave After Suffering Stroke.  The longtime Baltimore news, talk, and sports radio figure suffered a stroke on Sunday (7/3) that the family says happened as a result of marrtomcomplications from recent back surgery.  WCBM, Baltimore’s Tom Marr will be on medical hiatus while he recovers.  Marr has been with WCBM since 1988 when the Mangione family acquired the station.   Prior to coming to WCBM, Marr spent 21 years at the former WFBR (now WJZ-AM) in Baltimore as a newsman and Orioles play-by-play announcer.

Baghdad, Saudi Arabia and Bangladesh Terror Bombings, The Presidential Race, FBI’s Clinton Email Investigation/Bill Clinton-Loretta Lynch Meeting, The Fourth of July Holiday, and Kevin Durant Joins Golden State Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The deadly terror attacks in Baghdad, three sites in Saudi Arabia and in Bangladesh; the activities of presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton; the status of the FBI’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server for State Department business, tied with Bill Clinton’s controversial meeting with Attorney General Loretta Lynch; the Fourth of July holiday; and NBA star Kevin Durant’s decision to join the Golden State Warriors were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Randi Rhodes Returns to Talk Show Hosting; Teams with Nicole Sandler for One-Two Progressive Punch.  Florida-based progressive talk host Nicole Sandler (right) tells TALKERS magazine that she and Randi rhodesSandler16Rhodes (left) are debuting four hours of live progressive talk on the Internet as Rhodes gets back behind the mic for the first time since her Premiere Networks show ended in May of 2014.  Sandler says, “Randi Rhodes and I have teamed up to produce and broadcast four daily hours of fierce, independent, entertaining and informative progressive talk radio streaming live weekdays.”  The Nicole Sandler Show runs live from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm ET and The Randi Rhodes Show follows immediately, airing live from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm ET.  Sandler’s show moves from its previous “Radio or Not” home to NicoleSandler.com.  Rhodes is broadcasting from her studios in Delray Beach, which were funded by Rhode’s listeners via a Kickstarter campaign.  Sandler says that in addition to their own streaming channels and their respective websites, the Randi Rhodes show and the Nicole Sandler show are also heard on The Progressive Voices channel and app, and a few other select streaming stations around the world.

Hyper-Local Online Talk Media Station.  For the fifth consecutive year, legendary Western Massachusetts radio personality Brad Shepard served as the voice and emcee of the regionally iconic East Longmeadow Fourth ofshepard4th16 July Parade yesterday (7/4).  Shepard is the GM and star personality on the hyper-local Pioneer Valley Radio (PioneerValleyRadio.com) launched a year-and-a-half ago after Shepard left his long-running morning show at local iHeartMedia news/talk outlet WHYN, Springfield.  Shepard tells TALKERS, “Pioneer Valley Radio features a format that can best be described as ‘full-time public affairs with personality.’  We are achieving tremendous traction with this concept and it is gratifying to works within an exciting medium that operates so closely with the heart and soul of its local community.  This platform has quickly become the favorite of this region’s most civically active citizens.  It is a qualitative bonanza for advertisers that functions within that mindset.”

haskewgaryWGOW-AM/FM, Chattanooga ‘SportTalk’ Host Gary Haskew Dead at 74.  Longtime Chattanooga sports reporter and talk host Gary Haskew, a.k.a. “Dr. Basketball” died on July 4 after suffering a massive heart attack.  Haskew hosted the afternoon program “SportTalk” on the Cumulus Media station.  WGOW interim PD Bill Lockhart comments, “Gary was an incredible talent, an excellent storyteller, a true original, and the largest of larger-than-life characters.  In a world of wanna-bes, posers, and imitators, Gary was the genuine article – a man’s man, an entertainer extraordinaire, with a love for people.  We are all lucky to have had Gary in our lives.”

talkers16MillennialsTALKERS 2016: Bridging the Generations – ‘Millennials and the Media’ Panel Now Posted for Viewing.  TALKERS continues to add Livestream video recordings of the various presentations, addresses and discussions at TALKERS 2016: Bridging the Generations.  The 19th annual installment of the longest-running and most important national talk media industry convention took place Friday, May 20 on the fabulous campus of Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York.  The latest event from the convention being posted today (7/5) is the panel discussion “Millennials and the Media” moderated by TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey.  Speakers on the panel include (in alphabetical order):  Mike “Bax” Baxendale, morning co-host, WAQY-FM, Springfield, MA “Rock 102”; Ethan Bearman, host, KGO, San Francisco; Vince Benedetto, president/CEO, Bold Gold Media Group; Mike Calta, host, WHPT-FM, Tampa “Rock 102”; Meghan McCain, host Premiere Networks; and John T. Mullen, director of operations, Radio Hofstra University.  To view the video in its entirety, please click here.

Odds & Sods.  The WOAI, San Antonio-based “Joe Pags Show” – hosted by talk radio personality Joe “Pags”pagliarulojoe Pagliarulo – renews its relationship with Compass Media Networks to be exclusively distributed by the firm into the next decade.  Joe Pags says, “The team at Compass Media Networks is extraordinary.  As I focus on putting on a great show and serving my stations, listeners and sponsors, this team is hitting it out of the park consistently bringing in new affiliates and revenue.”…..CBS Radio News is offering coverage of the 2016 political conventions to affiliate stations that will fit their needs.  CBS News will provide a variety of coverage from the 2016 Republican and Democratic National Conventions from Cleveland and Philadelphia – long- or short-form coverage, updates several times an hour, one-on-one interviews, and social media opportunities…..Podcasting pioneer Blubrry is partnering with StreamGuys to enable podcasters to expand their audience and reach through internet radio streaming.  StreamGuys’ new Podcast2Radio option lets Blubrry customers effortlessly convert podcasts into linear internet radio streams delivered to new audiences through StreamGuys’ robust, cloud-based content delivery network.  This increased distribution is complemented by rich analytics and statistics from StreamGuys that enhance the ability for Blubrry users to measure and track their wwweMoH16agrowing listener base…..At Beasley Media Group’s Atlanta sports talk WWWE, “Sports Joc Show” host Wayne Gandy (right) is announcing that Waverly T. Lucas II (left), a former member of the Dance Theatre of Harlem and The Atlanta Ballet is the first recipient of the “Man of Honor” award.  This award is presented by ex-NFLer Gandy once a month from June through September.  This award pays tribute to men who display integrity, honor, hard work, sacrifice and kindness to others.  Lucas is the co-founder and co-artistic director of Ballethnic Dance Company, the choreographer of more than 30 ballets and is the creator of Danseur Development Project, a program with a unique approach to the athletic development and mentoring of young males in dance.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

| June 28, 2016

fccnewFCC’s Wheeler Refuses to Loosen Cross-Ownership Regulations.  Perhaps it’s not shocking, but broadcasters are disappointed by the news that FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler is not going to relax the newspaper-radio cross-ownership ban.  Wheeler announced to the rest of the commission his intentions for the 2010/2014 Quadrennial review and rules.  Wheeler says that if these rules are adopted, they “will take into account the evolving media marketplace and thewheelertom Commission’s obligation to conduct timely review of the rules.”  Many broadcasters would disagree that Wheeler’s unwillingness to budge on the cross-ownership ban takes into account the evolving media marketplace.  The NAB issued the following statement: “We’re disappointed that Chairman Wheeler continues to ignore the will of both the courts and Congress by proposing to retain broadcast ownership rules that long ago outlived their usefulness.  It is shocking that regulators who bless mammoth mergers like AT&T/DirecTV and Charter/Time Warner Cable would still bar common ownership of two TV stations or broadcast/newspaper combinations in a local market.  Ultimately, NAB hopes the five-member FCC, Congress, or the courts end this indefensible FCC charade, and that meaningful ownership reform is adopted for the benefit of the millions of Americans reliant on free and local broadcasting.”

Salem to Operate KTRB, San Francisco; Will Air SRN Programming on ‘860 AM The Answer.’  In the San Francisco market, Salem Media Group announces it is entering into an LMA with Susan L. Uecker, ktrbReceiver of the estate of Pappas Radio California, to operate KTRB.  Salem will air the entire slate of Salem Radio Network on the full-market AM as “860 AM The Answer.”  This is the 26th station Salem has branded “The Answer” and Salem Media Group president David Santrella says, “We are thrilled and excited to enter market #4 with a station that reaches the entire metro population.  Just in time for the run-up to the biggest presidential election of our lifetime, we’re adding the entire lineup of Salem’s outstanding network talk talent.”  The lineup will be: Hugh Hewitt, 3:00 am to 6:00 am; Mike Gallagher, 6:00 am to 9:00 am; Dennis Prager, 9: 00 am to 12:00 noon; Michael Medved, 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm; Larry Elder, 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm; and Steve Deace, 9:00 pm to 12:00 midnight.

harrisonUpCloseFarOutWhat Exactly IS a Podcast?  On the new episode of the PodcastOne award-winning weekly program, “Up Close and Far Out,” host Michael Harrison opens the show with a discussion about the very definition of the term “podcast” itself.  Harrison expresses two perspectives on the concept.  The first is the current popular view – that a podcast is a pre-recorded program (mostly audio) delivered directly and instantaneously to the consumer on a digital device via the Internet and available for play “on demand” without delay or interference from a radio station schedule, transportation vehicle or brick-and-mortar store.  He then takes the broader approach to the concept showing how video and text files (programs) also enjoy that same convenience in the digital age – making the point that a file containing a movie, song, article or book are similarly “podcasts” although we don’t necessarily call them that.  Harrison says that the vinyl phonograph record was an early version of a pre-Internet-era podcast insomuch as the consumer could buy the file and then have access to play it on demand without having to make an appointment or be subject to the whims of a DJ or playlist by waiting to hear it on the radio. Harrison says this is basically obvious but he is surprised by the number of people who still find podcasting “mysterious and daunting” and ask all kinds of questions about how they can go about hearing his show.  They ask questions like, “Do I need special equipment to hear it?” or “How do I find it?”  According to Harrison, he is even asked these kinds of questions by people already in the broadcast business.  “How do I record a podcast?” “Do I need a special microphone or device?”  “What’s the secret?”  Part two of this week’s episode contains excerpts from earlier episodes of the “Up Close and Far Out” series including conversations with pop legend Linda Ronstadt, planetary scientist Alan Stern, former governor Jesse Ventura, cosmic consciousness guru Deepak Chopra, former FEMA director (now talk show host) Michael Brown, talk host Mark Levin, sports talker Mike Francesa and “digital goddess” Kim Komando.   To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box in the right-hand column of every page on Talkers.com and RadioInfo.com.

‘Brexit’ Vote Aftermath, the Presidential Race, SCOTUS Abortion Ruling, U.S. Immigration Policy, SCOTUS Overturns McDonnell Bribery Conviction, and MLB Action Among Top News/talk Stories Yesterday (6/27).  The aftermath of Britain’s referendum vote to leave the European Union, including the effects on the world’s financial markets; the activities of presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump; the Supreme Court overturns abortion regulations enacted by Texas; the ongoing conversation about immigration policy in the United States; former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell’s bribery conviction is overturned by the Supreme Court; and MLB action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

KARN, Little Rock News Anchor Donna Kelley Dies at 66.  Little Rock radio news pro Donna Kelley – a longtime anchor and reporter for Cumulus Media’s KARN “Newsradio 102.9” – died at her home on Sunday (6/26) from natural causes.  Cumulus Media Little Rock VP/market manager Keith Liesmann made the following statement: “All of us at Cumulus are tremendously saddened by the sudden and shocking passing of Donna Kelley.  Donna was an outstanding reporter/anchor who served with the highest degree of journalistic integrity at KARN for a decade-and-a-half.  Donna was at her happiest when she was working on a news story and never let anything keep her from getting her job done.  She was a friend to everyone she worked with.  We will all miss her.”  This is the second death at KARN in a month.  Morning news personality Gary DiGiuseppe died in a car crash on June 1 after a driver traveling the wrong direction on I-430 crashed into his car.

herskovitzalHerskovitz: Yelling and Obfuscation.  Radio sales maven Al Herskovitz writes today about the rampant “yelling and obfuscation” he’s hearing (and seeing) too much of in today’s advertising.  He suggests that what might serve clients better than the cryptically worded claims or annoying splash ads is a well-done radio campaign using the techniques that have worked so effectively for the medium over the years.  Read Al’s piece here.

lindanielleHealth and Wellness Syndicated Host Optimistic About State of Radio Industry in Mixed Media Environment.  Long-running talent/entrepreneur Danielle Lin, C.N. – host and producer of the successful, independently syndicated program, “The Danielle Lin Show: The Art of Living and the Science of Life” – believes that the combination of old media, new media and specialized, targeted programming with built-in advertising prospects is a winning combination for successful radio going forward into the digital age.  In an exclusive article posted today (6/28) in TALKERS, Lin states, “Advertisers and agencies see the marriage of terrestrial radio with streaming, as the perfect way to enhance audience continuity.  Quality weekend programming is seeing an increasing audience and the locking in of frequencies.”  To read the entire article, please click here.

Odds & Sods.  Three nationally syndicated shows from Genesis Communications Network add new affiliates: Doug Stephan’s “Good Day” morning program is now airing on Cumulus Media’s KBGG, Des Moines; the “Daren Streblow Comedy Show” is added to the program schedule at Northeast Colorado Broadcasting’s KPRB, Fort Morgan, Colorado; and “America’s Health Care Advocate” joins the lineup at Eastern Sky LLC’s WZXI, Lancaster, Kentucky…..This Friday (7/1), WEPN-FM “ESPN New York 98.7FM” is presenting “The Ultimate Kickoff Party” with “The Michael Kay Show” and “Hahn & Humpty” to mark the beginning of summer.  The event is being held at Martell’s Tiki Bar in Point Pleasant, New Jersey from 12:00 noon to 7:00 pm and will feature thetroutjohnNYFaward16 hosts of both shows – Michael Kay, Don LaGreca, Peter Rosenberg, Alan Hahn and Rick DiPietro – will welcome guests including Yankees great Bernie Williams, Super Bowl champion and former New York Jet Willie Colon and entertainment provided by Willie Wilson and the 98.7 All Stars.….Producer Tom Delach (left) and host John Trout (right) show off their Bronze Trophy from the New York Festivals International Radio Program Awards.  The Westwood One program “America in the Morning” was honored with the trophy for its achievements in the “News Magazine” category.

TALKERS 2016 Video Presentations Launch Today!  A special feature presenting Livestream videoharrisonhannitySem16 recordings of the recent TALKERS 2016: Bridging the Generations gathering launches today on Talkers.com.  The 19th annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest running and most important national convention took place on the fabulous campus of Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York on Friday, May 20.  Beginning today, the industry will be able to view the event’s main panels and presentations kicking off with three outstanding sessions – event emcee, Dr. Joy Browne’s “Welcoming Remarks;” media consultant Holland Cooke’s presentation, “Talk Media: The Next Generation;” and Premiere Networks/Fox News Channel talk radio and television star Sean Hannity being interviewed by Michael Harrison in a one-on-one “Fireside Chat.”  More speeches, panels and presentations from the dynamic event including WFAN, New York icon, Mike Francesa’s “Morning Sports Radio Keynote;” the TALKERS “Awards Ceremony;” the “Talk Rumble” and much more will be added in the days and weeks to come. To view this must-see presentation, please click here.

Monday, June 27, 2016

| June 27, 2016

WGN, Chicago Renews Steve Cochran Through 2020.  This is the latest in a series of contract renewals at Tribune’s news/talker WGN Radio.  Morning drive host Steve Cochran’s pact with the station is extended through 2020.  Station VP of content and programming Todd Manley says, “Steve makes it look easy with hiscochransteve affable brand of intelligence, but nobody works harder to gather and share the stories Chicagoans care about.  He’s got the raw talent and work ethic we need for many years to come.”  The Cochran morning show team includes co-anchor and reporter Andrea Darlas, news by Steve Grzanich, sports by Dave Eanet and traffic by Mary Van De Velde.  Last week, the station made public new deals for afternoon drive star Roe Conn and, on Friday, an extension for programmer Manley.  Cochran worked at WGN from 2000 through 2010 when he was let go.  He rejoined WGN in 2013.  In a story this morning by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, Cochran speaks glowingly about the new regime at WGN – and rather frankly about the one that fired him.  You can read Feder’s piece here.

Melissa Harrison Named AM Co-Anchor at KRLD, Dallas.  News pro Melissa Harrison becomes part ofkrld logo the KRLD Morning News alongside Mike Rogers and Scott Sams, beginning Friday, July 1.  harrisonmelissaHarrison has most recently been working as a freelance reporter for KXAS-TV, Dallas-Fort Worth.  She formerly worked as a television news reporter in New York, Birmingham, Jackson, Waco, and Abilene.  KRLD director of news and programming Paul Mann says, “Melissa’s extensive journalism experience will further strengthen the award-winning KRLD news team.  As with co-anchors Mike Rogers and Scott Sams, Melissa’s roots run deep in North Texas and she is passionate about our community.”

‘Brexit’ Vote/Financial Markets Activity, The Presidential Race, SCOTUS Immigration Ruling, Coming SCOTUS Abortion Ruling, Sacramento Rally Violence, and MLB Action and Copa America Final Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  Britain’s vote to leave the European Union and the reactions by the world’s financial markets; the activities of presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton plus the hiring of former Trump aid Corey Lewandowski by CNN; the effects of the recent Supreme Court ruling halting President Obama’s immigration executive orders; this week’s expected ruling by the Supreme Court on Texas’ abortion laws; the violent clash of protestors at a ‘white power’ rally in Sacramento; and MLB action and the Copa America soccer final were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Odds & Sods.  Radio personality Anthony Cumia has pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor  charges – third-degreecumiaanthony assault and a charge of blocking someone’s breathing – related to an incident with his then-girlfriend in December of 2015.  Cumia – former partner of Gregg “Opie” Hughes on both SiriusXM and AM/FM radio – currently hosts an internet talk program.  Newsday is reporting that Cumia must complete six tradupfeder16months of outpatient alcohol abuse treatment and a six-month batterer’s intervention program.  Upon completion of those programs, he can get the charges reduced to non-criminal harassment counts…..Salem Radio Network VP/news & talk programming Tom Tradup tips TALKERS magazine that Chicago media writer Robert Feder is celebrating his 36th year in the business of covering radio and television in the Windy City.  Tradup and Feder recently shared a lunch in Chicago where Tradup was once president and general manager of news/talk WLS-AM…..SiriusXM is offering comprehensive live coverage of The Championships, Wimbledon 2016 beginning today through the Ladies’ and Gentlemen’s Singles Finals on Saturday, July 9, and Sunday, July 10.  The broadcasts are airing courtesy of rightsholder ESPN Audio…..Audio content aggregator TuneIn is now offering Scripps-owned Newsy’s daily news reporting.  TuneIn premium subscribers can access two weekly podcasts focused on politics — “Newsy Politics” — and culture — “Givin’ Takes” – plus three daily podcasts focused on U.S. and world news; tech, science and health; and current events…..Alpha Media’s Salina, Kansas news/talker KSAL-AM “NewsRadio 1150” collects two honors in the 2016ksal Salina Journal Reader’s Choice Awards.  KSAL was named “Favorite Radio Station.”  KSAL personality Clarke Sanders was chosen “Favorite Radio Host.”  Fellow staffers Rich Alexander and Mike Hammett were finalists in the host category.  Alpha Salina market manager Bob Protzman says, “We’re very proud of Alpha Media’s representation in the 2016 Salina Journal Reader’s Choice Awards.  Once again, ‘News Radio 1150’ KSAL takes ‘Favorite Radio Station’ showing that AM radio is alive and well – all it takes is quality local programming.”

biakelseyBIA Kelsey Releases State of Radio Industry Report.  As part of its state of the radio industry report, BIA Kelsey releases “The Position of Local Radio Stations: Trends for 2016 & Beyond.”  Using data from Nielsen Audio, Edison Research, Miller Kaplan, and more, the study looks at AM/FM radio’s reach and revenue over the past five years and projects where radio is likely to be five years down the road.  It notes recent industry-wide dips in local station revenue.  “We believe local radio stations will be able to turn around this negative over-the-air revenue growth slightly.  As long as the economy maintains moderate growth in the next few years, we expect total radio advertising to grow in the 1.0 % to 1.25 % CAGR range.”  The BIA Kelsey study also points to digital and live events as pieces of the radio revenue pie that have helped AM/FM survive spot sales declines that will continue to be crucial to radio’s bottom line in the years ahead.

New Jersey Broadcasters Association Convention a Success in Atlantic City

| June 24, 2016

By Jeff McKay
TALKERS
Special Features Correspondent

 

mckayjeffATLANTIC CITY — New Jersey broadcasters face the daunting issue of having to compete with New York City, the largest market in the nation to the north, and Philadelphia, the 9th Nielsen-rated market to the south, all while fighting formidable radio stations in their own backyard markets like PPM-rated Middlesex-Somerset-Union, along with #53-rated Monmouth-Ocean on the Jersey Shore, and rated markets in Atlantic City, Morristown, and Trenton.  With a population of over eight million, many of whom commute daily to the neighboring big cities, the task of gaining listener loyalty might be more challenging in the Garden State than anywhere else.

Each year, the New Jersey Broadcasters Association holds its annual convention in Atlantic City, and as is the tradition, it’s not just a chance for broadcasters to mingle.  The 69th annual two-day event that took place yesterday and Wednesday (6/22-23) at Caesars Atlantic City featured a number of productive work sessions dedicated to new technologies, mentoring talent, improving stations’ ad revenue, and honoring the best performers on New Jersey radio.

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Friday, June 24, 2016

| June 24, 2016

New Jersey Broadcasters Association Annual Conference a Success in Atlantic City.  The 69th annual NJBA convention just wrapped up two-days at Caesars Atlantic City (6/22-23) and by all measures was a successful event.  Several hundred broadcasters from the Garden State and beyond gathered to discuss the state of the radio NJBA convention logo artindustry both regionally and nationally.  The theme of the conference was “The Power of Broadcast” and it included sessions on programming, sales and technology as well as an awards ceremony, Hall of Fame induction and radio row.  TALKERS/RadioInfo special features correspondent Jeff McKay was in attendance and provides coverage of the sessions and speakers.  To read it in its entirety, please click here.

manley, toddWGN Extends Its Programming ‘Man’ Through 2019. Six-year vice president of content and programming for Tribune Chicago talker WGN, Todd Manley will continue in that role through (at least) December 2019. WGN Radio president and general manager Jimmy de Castro states, “Todd makes it fun to come to work every day. He is a content musician that drives our incredible spoken-word content across a multitude of platforms.” ManleyWGN Radio remarks, “I am in awe of the effort our personalities and producers put forth each day. They are each driven to make sure WGN listeners never ever miss a story. I am grateful to Jimmy de Castro and [president, Tribune Broadcast Media] Larry Wert for the commitment to continue building this great team.” TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison comments, “I am so pleased to hear this news. Todd Manley is one of the most thoughtful and creative programmers in the talk field today.” Manley’s prior titles at WGN include imaging director and creative director. Before joining the station, he was program director/brand manager of KTRS, St. Louis. In addition, he has worked at cross-town Chicago outlets WXRT (as director/creative content) and WCKG (as production/imaging director). Among persons 6+ in Nielsen Audio‘s May 2016 PPM survey period, WGN ranks seventh (3.7); CBS Radio all-news WBBM-AM is on top with a 6.4 (6+).

kinosianmikeMLB Logo2MLB Flagships: Part Three. In the third of a multi-part series, TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian recaps the performance of Major League Baseball‘s radio flagships. In a ratings overview based on data from Nielsen Audio’s May 2016 PPM survey period, Mike highlights each key station’s 6+ share; 6+ market rank; month-to-month and year-to-year fluctuations; flagships by league/division; and he unveils a new component to this overview. More than twice as many MLB flagships are in their markets’ top five in May (31%) versus March (14%). Average (6+) year-to-year decreases of MLB flagships in March, April, and May though far outweigh typical increases. See the third installment of this exclusive special feature piece regarding MLB flagships here.

Orlando Mass ShootingMedia Outlets Seek Access to Orlando Shooting 911 Calls. Nearly two-dozen media organizations filed a lawsuit Thursday (6/23) against the city of Orlando asking for the release of city phone recordings related to the mass shooting earlier this month at the Pulse nightclub. The suit challenges the city’s contention that those calls are exempt from public records laws because they record the killing of a person. The media consortium argues that the Orlando shooting is similar to the Sandy Hook school shooting, in which a Connecticut court ruled that related 911 calls were not confidential despite state laws that restricted the release of child abuse records. The media organizations argue that, “There is strong public interest in fully evaluating how first responders and police reacted during the most critical phases of this incredible tragedy. To be sure, the news media do not approach this petition with any preconceived notion that the city somehow acted inappropriately. Indeed, the audio recordings may well serve to substantiate and justify any action taken.” The city of Orlando made its own filing with the court, arguing release of the recordings is exempt under Florida public records law and that the FBI says releasing the recordings could damage the ongoing criminal investigation into the attack that left 49 people dead.

ruble, michaeltownsquareTownsquare Media Atlantic City & The Shore Officially Names Ruble Market President. It is “official,” in that, Michael Ruble had been market president and chief revenue officer for Townsquare Media‘s Atlantic City & The Shore’s (New Jersey) properties on an interim basis. He now handles both of those responsibilities without the “interim” prefix. Senior vice president of operations Rob Williams notes that, “Mike has been an exceptional leader in Atlantic City for years, building a terrific team that has consistently performed at a high level. In Toms River, we have a team with significant strengths and talents; wonderful brands; and the foundation to grow to new heights with Mike’s leadership.” Three of the company’s Monmouth and Ocean County stations include talkers WOBM-AM, WADB, and WPGG. The rest of its outlets in that area are adult contemporary WOBM-FM “Soft Rock 92.7”; hot AC WJLK “The Point”; AC WFPG “Lite Rock 96.9”; sports WENJ “97.3 ESPN“; hot AC WSJO “SOJO 104.9”; classic rock WCHR “The Hawk”; and WPUR “Cat Country 107.3.” Ruble joined Townsquare Media five years ago as market manager-general sales manager. He previously was a market manager-general sales manager with Millennium Radio Group; national sales manager for Citadel Broadcasting; and an account executive with Spring Broadcasting.

sportsshopWDNC, Raleigh Shifts Reese & Kmac to Mornings.  The midday “Sports Shop with Reese & Kmac” is moving into morning drive on Capitol Broadcasting’s WDNC, Raleigh “The Buzz.”  According to Capitol’s sports radio operations manager Dennis Glasgow, the program will be the first African-American sports talk morning show in the Raleigh-Durham market.  Glasgow comments, “We’ve wanted to bring more diversity to our listeners that would reflect the Raleigh-Durham population, and we will do that by bringing a very entertaining and energetic show with ‘The Sports Shop.’”  Reese & Kmac replace “The Morning Show with Mike, Lauren & Demetri.”  The company says Mike Maniscalco and Demetri Ravanos have exited the station but Lauren Brownlow will continue regular, on-air appearances on both WCMC-FM “The Fan” and “The Buzz.”  In addition to her radio appearances, Brownlow will continue to contribute to WRALSportsFan.com. “The Sports Shop” will be made available via WRALSportsFan.com and with the WRALSportsFan App.

brexit“Brexit” Fallout Felt in U.S. Following yesterday’s “Brexit” vote by Brits to separate from the European Union (Thursday, 6/23), several major United States-based media companies such as Fox, Viacom, Netflix, and Apple opened their stateside trading days down billions of dollars in stock valuation. Netflix and Apple though were among those surging back within the first 10 minutes of the U.S. trading day. The Pound dropped to its lowest valuation in decades, and stock prices overseas sunk.  British Prime Minister David Cameron has stepped down, vowing there will be a new PM in place by October. In a statement of support from the White House, President Barack Obama comments, “The people of the United Kingdom have spoken, and we respect their decision. The special relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom is enduring, and the United Kingdom’s membership in NATO remains a vital cornerstone of U.S. foreign, security, and economic policy.” Given economic implications domestically and abroad, this is bound to be among talk radio’s biggest topics today.

talkersten logoThe Presidential Race Returns to Top of Talkers TenTM.  The activities of presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton were the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week, landing atop the TALKERS TenTM.  At #2 was the gun legislation push in congress tied with the investigation into Omar Mateen and the Pulse nightclub massacre.  Following at #3 was the Supreme Court’s deadlock on a challenge to President Obama’s immigration executive orders, and at #4 was Thursday’s “Brexit” vote by Britons.  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.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

| June 22, 2016

cumulus logoCumulus Makes Change at CFO Role; Abbot Succeeds Hannan.  There has been chatter in the industry lately about looming personnel changes in the corporate tier at Cumulus Media and now the company reveals a new face in the chief financial officer post.  John F. Abbot is appointed executive vice president, treasurer and chief financial officer effective July 1.  He replaces Joseph P. “J.P.” Hannan, who the company says resigned his position after six years in order to pursueabbotjohn other interests.  Hannan will assist the company for several months to ensure a smooth transition.  Abbot comes to Cumulus from his most recent position as EVP and CFO of Telx Holdings Inc., a provider of connectivity, co-location and cloud services in the data center industry.  Abbot’s experience also includes spent as EVP/CFO for cable’s Insight Communications Company, Inc. and as managing director for the Global Media and Communications Group of the investment banking division at Morgan Stanley.  Abbot says, “I am excited to join Mary [Berner] and the senior leadership team at this important juncture in the company’s evolution.  I join Cumulus with an appreciation for the headway that has already been made around the company’s four key strategies as well as a keen understanding of the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. I look forward to using my skills and experience to help maximize value as we work to deliver on the turnaround.”

Day One of FAIR’s Immigration Radio Row Underway.  This year’s “Hold Their Feet to the Fire” radio row in Washington, DC is the ninth annual such event and this Federation for American Immigration ReformcarsonrobFAIR16 production is comprised of 50 talk show hosts from all over the country broadcasting their shows and suttongarydebating immigration policy while interviewing members of congress, law enforcement officials, experts, activists and citizens who live along the border.   FAIR says that “this year’s event will focus on the aftermath of President Obama’s amnesty and his continued abuse of executive power, the GOP’s internal battle over how to tackle immigration and the ongoing border crisis with its implications for national security risks.”  TALKERS magazine publisher Michael Harrison is at the event today speaking with hosts about talk radio’s role in the national discussion ofmarrtomFAIR16 immigration issues.  He reports back that “it’s very apparent from the very beginning of this event that daneHarrison16there is a more thoughtful attitude toward immigration reform among the hosts and expert guests this year.  It seems to be understood that, even among Republicans and conservatives, there are many points of view with regard to the issues surrounding the security of our nation’s borders.”  Pictured here at today’s event are some of the talk show hosts taking part in day one – Rob Carson from KCMO, Kansas City; Gary Sutton from WSBA, York; and Tom Marr from WCBM, Baltimore.  At bottom left are Michael Harrison (left) and FAIR’s Bob Dane (right).

weei logoWEEI, Boston Parts Ways with Evening Personality Mike Adams.  Longtime WEEI, Boston personality Mike Adams – host of the evening “Planet Mikey” show on Entercom’s sports talker – exits the station after almost 11 years in the daypart.  The Boston Globe’s Chadadamsmikey Finn reports that Entercom Boston VP and market manager Phil Zachary did not cite ratings or any other specific measuring stick regarding the decision to change the evening show, but said, “We made a tough call on Mike but, at the same time, we feel there are some innovative opportunities we’d like to explore over the next few months.  As you know, WEEI has extensively – and successfully – revamped every major weekday show over the last three years.  The time is right to extend that thinking to nights.”  During baseball season, Red Sox baseball airs in the evening daypart most nights, so the station has some time before unveiling anything permanent.  Read Finn’s Globe piece here.

The Presidential Race, Former Secret Service Agent’s Clinton Book, ‘Brexit’ Vote, Battle Against Islamic State, Orlando Massacre Investigation/Gun Legislation, and Olympics-Zika Virus Concerns Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/22).  The activities of the candidates for president; former Secret Service agent Gary Byrnes’ tell-all book about the Clinton White House; tomorrow’s vote by Britons on whether to leave the European Union or not; the ongoing military campaign to fight Islamic State in the Middle East and the charge domestic authorities face in preventing attacks in the U.S.; the ongoing investigation into the events at Orlando’s Pulse nightclub massacre and the attempts at gun legislation changes in Washington; and the increasing number of athletes choosing not to compete in the Rio de Janeiro Olympics over concerns about the Zika virus were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Fashion Figure Mark Weber to Host WABC, New York Weekend Show.  This Saturday (6/25) is the debut of the new weekend program “Always in Fashion” on Cumulus Media’s WABC, New York.  Hosted by fashion industry business leader Mark Weber, WABC says, “The one-hour weekly business talk program featureswebermark luminaries from fashion’s most successful and innovative brands.  Weber and his guests share insights from the heights of the glamorous, fast-paced and highly competitive business of fashion in an exciting, engaging and highly entertaining talk format.”  The show is airing on 77 WABC at 10:00 pm ET.  Weber says, “Throughout my entire career I worked and commuted to New York City.  77 WABC was my pre-set on my radio and people like Don Imus and Michael Savage are my role models.  I listened and learned from these storytellers, and now I have my own stories and lessons that can teach, inspire and entertain listeners interested in business and fashion.  I am thrilled to be on the air at 770 WABC!”  WABC is the first station of a planned syndication rollout through KMG Networks, a division of Krantz Media Group, in association with Sungate Partners, Inc.

More Murrow’s to Announce.  Yesterday, TALKERS magazine wrote about a number of winners of Edward R. Murrow Awards bestowed in 2016.  Here are a couple of more: For the fourth year in a row, CBS Radio News winscbsradionews logo the Murrow award for “Best Newscast.”  The RTDNA recognizes excellence in numerous categories.  This award is for CBS’ “World News Roundup” from June 19, 2015, covering the wbbmlogoaftermath of the Charleston church shootings.  The first section of the broadcast was anchored from Charleston by CBS EVENING NEWS anchor Scott Pelley.  It was a comprehensive look at the investigation, the suspect, the victims and how the city was coping.  The rest of the broadcast was anchored from New York by CBS Radio News anchor Steve Kathan and covered the Colorado movie shooting trial wbz logoand the manhunt for two escaped prisoners in Northern New York.  Also, CBS RADIO O&O WBZ-AM, Boston – in the Large Market category – received the top honor for “Best Newscast” for its morning report, which included updates on the 2015 snow storm.  The company’s WBBM-AM, Chicago was awarded “Best Breaking News Coverage” for its continued coverage following the public release of the video capturing the shooting of Laquan McDonald.

gracies logoWABC’s Joan Hamburg Honored with Lifetime Achievement Gracie.  The 41st Annual Gracie Awards Luncheon took place at Cipriani on 42nd in New York yesterday (6/21).  The ceremony was presented by The Alliance for Women in Media Foundation.   Host Robin Meade led the program alongside presenters BeverlyhamburgjoanAlda16 Bond, Emme, Erica Hill and Ginger Zee.  The Gracie Awards were presented to honorees which were previously announced on March 21 in recognition of their successes in the media industry.  Lifetime Achievement Honoree Joan Hamburg was presented her award by close friend Alan Alda (pictured at right).  Ginger Zee was not only a presenter but an acceptor for Good Morning America’s win for Outstanding Talk Show- News.  In presenting Hamburg with her honor, Alda said, “In a media industry where talk radio is overwhelmingly dominated by men, Joan is a woman’s voice that is graceful and lively but authoritative.”  As part of the program, Canadian singer/songwriter Ruth B performed her viral hit “Lost Boy” and her unreleased single “In My Dreams.”

Odds & Sods.  According to a report in the New York Daily News, radio personality Zev Brenner was hit with a fine of $2,500 and will serve a year’s probation for failure to file income tax returns.  Brenner hosts an online radio show.  He was previously with WMCA, New York hosting his “Talkline” program.  The Feds charged Brenner with failure to file for tax years 2003 through 2011.  He’s already paid $63,764 in restitution…..The audio of NBC Sports Radio – the NBC Sports Group/Westwood One joint venture – is now available for live-streaming via Apple Music.  NBC Sports Ventures SVP Rob Simmelkjaer says, “Now, through Apple Music, with its broad reach andgreshamHannah16 immediate availability, NBC Sports Radio content is even more accessible.”…..Lisa Gillespie joins Louisville Public Media’s WFPL, Louisville as the station’s health and innovation reporter.  She was most recently working in Washington for Kaiser Health News.  Her beat with WFPL will be public health and health care policy…..Pictured here is nationally syndicated “Gun Talk” host Tom Gresham (right) with the host of television’s “Into the Wild,” Jack Hanna (left).  The two appeared at the Professional Outdoor Media Association’s annual conference in Kalispell, Montana where Hanna spoke about the role of hunting in conservation and his belief that hunters are the original conservationists.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

| June 21, 2016

NYFtrophyPodcastOne’s ‘Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison’ Wins Trophy at New York Festivals International Radio Program Awards.  The popular weekly podcast that is designed for “media freaks around the world” is honored with the Bronze Trophy in the “Culture & The Arts” audio podcasts category of the 2016 New York Festivals International Radio Program Awards for The World’s Best Radio Programs.  “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison” is a co-production of PodcastOne and Goodphone Communications and features as host, TALKERS magazine and RadioInfo.com publisher and editor Michael Harrison in conversation with some of today’s top contemporary thinkers from the arts, sciences, business and pop culture.  Harrison and his guests deliver provocative insights into the digital era’s rapidly evolving technology and the effects of these changes onMBHNYFest16 the human condition.  About the honor, PodcastOne founder and executive chairman Norm Pattiz says, “I’m not the least bit surprised.  This is exactly why I wanted Michael on PodcastOne.  He’s smart, creative, motivated, and what a voice.  A pro’s pro. That’s why we’ve been friends and colleagues for all of our adult lives.”  The specific episode of “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison” cited for the award is “The Podcast Theater of the Mind” – described as “a media freak’s tour de force covering the evolution of humanity’s relationship with communications from prehistoric cave paintings to virtual reality and beyond.” Podcast executive producer Matthew B. Harrison (pictured at right) accepted the award on behalf of PodcastOne and Goodphone Communications at the ceremony at Manhattan Penthouse in New York City last night (6/20).

Winners Announced in 2016 New York Festivals International Radio Program Awards for The World’s Best Radio Programs.  Entries in the New York Festivals International Radio Program Awards for The World’s Best Radio Programs come from all over the world and represent both private and public AM/FM radio, satellite radio and podcasts.  This year, some of the U.S.-based trophy winners include: with Carole Zimmer with a Silver Trophy in the “General” category for audio podcasts; CBS RADIO Boston with a Silver Trophy in the Sports & Recreation category; ESPN Audio (in several categories); SiriusXM’s Joe Madison with a Silver Trophy in the “Best Talk Program” category; Entercom’s WLYF, Miami with a Bronze Trophy for “Best Drama Special”; and Westwood One with a Bronze Trophy for “America in the Morning” for “Best News Magazine.”  See the Grand Award winners and the complete list of winners in all categories here.

The Presidential Race/Trump Fires Lewandowski, Secret Service Officer’s Clinton Book, Orlando Massacre Aftermath/Mateen’s Redacted Cell Call Transcripts, the ‘Brexit’ Vote, and Cavaliers Win NBA Championship Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/20).  The activities of the candidates for president and Donald Trump’s firing of campaign manager Corey Lewandowski; the controversy over former Secret Service officer Gary Byrne’s tell-all book about Bill and Hillary Clinton’s White House years; the aftermath of the Orlando massacre, including gun control legislation and the Justice Department’s decisions to first release transcripts of Omar Mateen’s cell calls redacted, then release them in full; this week’s vote by Britons on whether or not to leave the European Union; and the Cleveland Cavaliers’ victory over Golden State to win the NBA Championship were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

kspnlogoKSPN, Los Angeles to Serve as Rams Flagship.  The NFL’s Los Angeles Rams announced their radio deals yesterday and ESPN O&O KSPN “ESPNLA” will serve as the team’s flagship station for the next five seasons.  The agreement covers pre-season, regular-season, and post-season games, with extensive pre and post-game shows, producing an eight-hour, game-day broadcast.  It will also include a one-hour, weekly “Coach’s Show” with Jeff Fisher, airing Mondays at 7:00 pm during the season; a one-hour game preview show airing Thursdays at 7:00 pm; weekly segments with Jeff Fisher and star Rams players; and a daily “Rams Report.”  As part of the flagship agreement, “ESPNLA” will be responsible for all radio production efforts and for selling virtually all of the advertising inventory in the game-day broadcasts and ancillary programming.  Additionally, the Rams reached a multi-year agreement with Entercom’s classic rock “The Sound 100.3FM” (KSWD) which will simulcast game-day broadcasts and serve as the Rams’ official FM home.

harrisonUpCloseFarOutsmallMichael Harrison and Dr. Joy Browne Discuss Emotional Consequences of the Internet and These High-Pressure Times.  In the new installment of the award-winning PodcastOne hit series “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison,” legendary radio psychologist Dr. Joy Browne of Genesis Communications Network makes a returnbrownejoy appearance with host Michael Harrison to talk about the digital era’s possible contribution to society’s seemingly heightened level of stress and emotional discomfort.  Does the combination of lowered inhibitions, instantaneous information and rampant negativity brought on by digital era technology contribute to anger, fear and despair?  Is the Internet generating a gigantic negative feedback loop?  To listen to the entire podcast please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com and RadioInfo.com.

Odds & Sods.  For the third year in a row, ABC News is recognized with Edward R. Murrow Awards for Overallabcnewsradio Excellence both in radio and television by the Radio Television Digital News Association.  ABC News Radio also won Murrow awards in the “Breaking News” category for its coverage of the San Bernardino terror attack and in the “Hard News” category for its coverage of the Paris wgn logo 16terror attacks…..Chicago news/talk WGN Radio is honored with a number of accolades at last week’s 2016 Illinois Broadcasters Association Silver Dome Awards.  For the ninth year in a row, the IBA recognized WGN Radio as the Chicago Market Station of the Year.  The Tribune-owned station also earned First Place honors in six catergories:  Best Radio Personality – Patti Vasquez, Best Radio Series or Documentary – “Compelled to Serve: Military veterans now serving their communities” by Vic Vaughn, Best Radio Light Feature – “Pullman: The Journey Continues” by Dave Schwan, Best Radio Station Website – wgnradio.com, Best Radio Station Self-Promotion – “Blackhawks Two Week Roadtrip” produced by Chris Duffy, and Best Radio Humorous Commercial – “Annoying People” produced by Jason Skaggs…..Shelby Travis joins E.W. Scripps-owned news/talk KFAQ, Tulsa to serve as executive producer.  He was most recently with Cox Media Group’s crosstown KRMG-AM/FM in a similar position…..ESPN O&O WMVP, Chicago “ESPN 1000” reaches an agreement on a multi-year agreement to broadcast Notre Dame football and men’s basketball play-by-play beginning with the 2016-17 season.  Chicago has a large built-in Notre Dame fan base and this deal brings Notre Dame sports back to WMVP after an 11-year absence.  WMVP will produce Notre Dame basketball games and IMG will produce Notre Dame football games, as part of IMG’s Notre Dame Football Network…..New Hampshire Public Radio is recognized by the Radio Television Digital News Association with a 2016 National Edward R. Murrow Award for its week-long news series, “The First Decade.”  The news series examined how inequalities in the areas of home/family, nutrition, education, play and politics/policy shape a child’s chances for success later in life.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

| June 16, 2016

iheartmedia logo smallDan Mason Named Senior Advisor for Broadcast Relations at iHeartMedia.  Longtime CBS RADIO president Dan Mason – a year after retiring from that position – is joining iHeartMedia in the newly created position senior advisor for broadcast relations.  Mason will report to iHeartMedia CEO and chairman Bob Pittman and president, COO and CFO Rich Bressler.  In a press release, iHeartMedia describes Mason’s role this way: “Mason will advise Pittman and Bressler on current and developing issues important to iHeartMedia and themasondan broadcast radio industry; additionally, he will focus most of his attention and time on important issues affecting the broadcast industry, working with other broadcasters, vendors, government relations and important industry associations, including the National Association of Broadcasters.”  Pittman is quoted saying, “I’ve known and deeply respected Dan for decades.  Given his long and deep relationships with the broadcast industry, we feel he is ideally suited to establishing deeper and more constant communications with everyone associated with the radio industry on an ongoing and timely basis.  We look forward to Dan’s wise counsel on important broadcast issues.”  Mason very recently spoke in-depth with TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison on Harrison’s PodcastOne show, “Up Close and Far Out.” Listen to that here.

bfoa logoBroadcasters Foundation of America Names Dan Mason Chairperson.  It’s a big news day for Dan Mason as this election to chairperson of the Broadcasters Foundation of America position comes at the same time as his joining iHeartMedia.  Mason has served as co-vice-chairperson of the BFoA since June of last year, following his retirement as president and chief executive officer of CBS RADIO.  He assumes this chairmanship role from Phil Lombardo, chief executive officer of Citadel Communications, who is retiring from the position after 13 years and who is being recognized for his service with the title of chair emeritus.  Also retiring from the board are George Beasley and David Barrett.  Named to the board at yesterday’s elections in New York City are: Caroline Beasley, interim chief executive officer of Beasley Broadcast Group; Perry Sook, president and chief executive officer of Nexstar Broadcasting Group; and Jordan Wertlieb, president of Hearst Television.  In addition, Bill Hoffman, president of Cox Media Group, will now serve as co-vice chair with Richard A. Foreman, president and chief executive officer of Richard A. Foreman Associates, and Leo MacCourtney, president of Katz Television Group, will take over as treasurer of the Broadcasters Foundation.

Orlando Massacre Aftermath, Gun Control Filibuster, The Presidential Race, Disney Toddler Gator Death, Iran-Boeing Deal, ‘Brexit’ Issue, and NBA Finals Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/15).  The aftermath of the Pulse nightclub massacre; the filibuster by Democratic Senator Chris Murphy to force votes on gun laws; the activities of the candidates for president; the death of a toddler attacked in a lake at Disney World; the deal in which Iran will buy airplanes from Boeing; the ‘campaigning’ ahead of next week’s vote by Britons on whether to leave the European Union; and the Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

boersterryBoers to Be Off ‘The Score’ in Chicago for Medical Leave.  Chicago sports talk figure Terry Boers is taking about two months off of the WSCR afternoon show “Boers & Bernstein” to deal with an unspecified medical issue.  Boers told “Score” listeners his surgery is one that has to be done, but said little more about it.  ChicagoRadioandMedia reports that the station will be using a rotating cast of fill-in hosts alongside Dan Bernstein during Boers’ absence.  The Chicago media news site also reports the 66-year-old Boers is considering full or semi-retirement from his almost-25-year sports talk career.

engvallbillBill Engvall Show Joins PodcastOne Lineup.  Comic Bill Engvall is the first to enter the on-demand audio world from the Blue Collar Comedy Tour team.  PodcastOne says his “My Two Cents with Bill Engvall” brings that same humor, along with celebrity interviews, personal stories and, of course, his “two cents” on current events.   PodcastOne chairman and CEO Norm Pattiz says, “Bill is hilarious and a great addition to our comedy lineup.  Plus, he’s squeaky clean for those big brands out there looking for mass audience in a safe setting.  It’s really cool for people who have felt a personal connection to him with his relatable work thus far, to be able to step into this new world.”

Odds & Sods.  Washington all-news WTOP-FM was recognized in seven out of eight categories at Tuesday’s DCwtop logo NEW 1-15 Society of Professional Journalists Dateline awards.  The WTOP staff won as a whole for its coverage of the Metro smoke incident in the “Breaking News” category, and for the visit of Pope Francis in the “Non-Breaking News” category.  Individual accolades were presented to WTOP’s Jamie Forzato, Noah Frank, Andrew Mollenbeck, Chris Core and Paula Wolfson…..New Orleans Saints great Deuce McAllister is joining the radio broadcast booth for Saints games his year.  Entercom’s news/talk WWL, New Orleans is the team’s flagship station and McAllister will work in the booth alongside Saints Radio Network play-by-play announcer Jim Henderson.  McAllister takes over for the late Hokie Gajan…..iHeartMedia’s country outlet WDSD, Wilmington re-ups with University of Delaware Athletics cookeRakovan16and Blue Hens IMG Sports Marketing for a multi-year deal to broadcast Delaware football and men’s basketball game broadcasts…..FOX Sports Radio is presenting coverage of the first round of the 2016 NBA Draft on next Thursday (6/23).  FSR weekend personality and former NBA All-Star Cedric Ceballos, FS1 NBA Insider Bill Reiter and FOXSports.com/FS1 College Basketball Insider Reid Forgrave will lead the network’s live coverage of the draft beginning at 7:00 pm ET…..At this week’s convention in Champaign, the Illinois Broadcasters Association awarded its fourth-ever Lifetime Achievement Award to recently retired Radio Advertising Bureau SVP Dick Rakovan, pictured above at right with consultant and TALKERS contributor Holland Cooke at left, who worked for Rakovan on three separate occasions.

kilmeadeFLAKilmeade on the Scene in Orlando with Cox Media Group’s WDBO-FM.  In this week’s aftermath of the Orlando club massacre, news/talk WDBO-FM, Orlando and FOX News Radio have been working more closely.  The station has been airing the entire 9:00 am to 12:00 noon ET “Kilmeade & Friends” show, pre-empting its other programming.  The Brian Kilmeade-hosted show originated from WDBO’s studios on Monday and Tuesday, and WDBO-FM morning host Joe Kelley has been appearing on Kilmeade’s program providing insight.  FNR says notable guests on the show this week have included:  Gov. Rick Scott (R-FL), Rep. Peter King (R-NY), Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) as well as Florida State Attorney Jeff Ashton.  Kilmeade is pictured here interviewing two women who attended a vigil for the victims at the Dr. Philips Center in Downtown Orlando.

New Affiliates for WYM Media Management Shows.  The WYM Media Management staff has been busymillerstephanie securing new affiliates for its talk shows.  Some of the new deals include the Herman Cain show adding WEEB-AM, Raleigh-Durham; KTMS-AM, Santa Barbara; WQSC-AM/WJQB-AM, Charleston, South Carolina; WDXZ-AM, Mobile-Pensacola; and WHEE-AM Roanoke-Lynchburg; the Thom Hartmann show now airing on WCAP, Lowell and the Stephanie Miller show joining KKSF, San Francisco.

holdtheirfeet16Burning Issue of Immigration Policy to Be Front and Center at Hold Their Feet to the Fire 2016.  The annual Washington, DC radio row presented by Federation for American Immigration Reform takes place next Wednesday and Thursday at the Phoenix Park Hotel from 6:00 am to 9:00 pm each day.  Fifty talk show hosts will be broadcasting live from the radio row and will be speaking with leading members of congress, sheriffs, ICE officials, police union officials and more.  FAIR executive director Bob Dane says, “This event provides the public with insight, clarity, choices, and solutions that emerge during the dialogue between our public officials and talk radio hosts.  More importantly, it is about holding our elected leaders accountable for securing the borders, enforcing immigration laws, and reforming our policies so that America’s broad national interests are properly served.”

harrisonBoldGold16soloFreedom of Speech Major Topic at Bold Gold Broadcast and Media Foundation Dinner — Harrison Warns Challenging Times Ahead for Free Speech Under Hillary or Trump.  The Bold Gold Broadcast and Media Foundation held its second annual fundraising dinner on Tuesday evening (6/14) at the Mohegan Sun Pocono in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.  The foundation was launched two years ago by Bold Gold Broadcast Group president/CEO Vince Benedetto to provide education and training support, as well as funding, to educational institutions and organizations that are preparing America’s future communicators.  Two of the main speakers of the evening were keynoter James Rosen, chief Washington correspondent for Fox News Channel and special remarks presenter Michael Harrison (top left) of TALKERS magazine.  Rosen discussed his ongoing battles against government censorship and personal harassment at the hands of the US Department of Justice and the US Department of State as well as his latest book, Cheney One on One: A Candid Conversation with America’s Most Controversial Statesman (Regnery 2016).  Harrison delivered a dynamic overview of the importance of the First Amendment as the “very foundation of everything that we believe America symbolizes and what it truly means from the perspective of day-to-day reality.”  Harrison, a charter member of the foundation’s board of directors, warned,harrisonBoldGold16group “Regardless of whether Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump is elected the next president, based on the track records and character of each, we can be sure it will be a challenging four or eight years for those who are charged with supporting the tenets of free speech in America.  We must remain vigilant or these will be truly dark times ahead!”  Since its founding, the Bold Gold Broadcast and Media Foundation has provided funds to build a college radio station on the campus of Hillsdale College in Michigan and a sister facility at the highly regarded school’s Kirby Center in Washington, DC.   Pictured at right are (from l-r): Vince Benedetto, James Rosen and Michael Harrison.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

| June 14, 2016

fccnewDC Court of Appeals Affirms Internet as Utility; Victory for ‘Net Neutrality’ Advocates.  This ruling from a three-judge panel at the District of Columbia Court of Appeals is not likely to settle the matter once and for all, but this is a huge victory for the Federal Communications Commission which had wanted broadband declared a common carrier utility service in order to put under its purview.   Supporters of the ruling say this paves the way for the federal government to prevent broadband providers from creating tiers of services that would give advantage to some at the expense of others.  Critics of the ruling will argue that the common carrier utility aspect of the decision puts control of the Internet into the hands of the FCC.  Regardless, it’s unlikely that we’ve seen the last legal challenge to this.

rtdna logoRTDNA/Hofstra: News Not Primary Responsibility for More Than One-Third of Radio News Directors.  The sixth report in the RTDNA Newsroom Research Project – a survey of local radio and television news – has been released by Hofstra University professor emeritus Bob Papper and this report focuses on the state of television and radio news directors.  It’s probably no surprise to radio people that most news directors have other duties at their station besides news.  Papper’s research indicates that 38.3% of news directors say that news is not their primary station responsibility.  What duties constitute not news?  Forty-six percent stated that other administrative duties made up their non-news responsibilities, 22.4% said on air/DJ/hosting were their primary roles and 5.6% said production or sales came first.  Read more from the RTDNA/Hofstra University study here.

harrisonUpCloseFarOutsmallMichael Harrison and Steve Weisman Discuss the Dark Side of the Digital Era.  In an intense conversation that pulls no punches, Michael Harrison and noted media attorney and cyber-scam expert Steve Weisman talk about the dangers to privacy and property presently lurking on the Internet.  In the latest installment of the PodcastOne hit series “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison,” such topics as the recent hacking of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s accounts are explained and analyzed, covering a variety ofweismansteven dangers spanning identity theft to fraudulent advertising.  Harrison and Weisman illuminate the problems being caused by criminals Harrison describes as the “dastardly bastards” who prey upon innocent victims (meaning the rest of us) who are becoming increasingly dependent on the Internet for its obvious benefits in all aspects of day to day life.  Harrison also goes off on a rant about his extreme distaste for the widespread and still-growing practice of so-called legitimate websites selling “native” advertising (paid-for editorial content), not to mention the purposely deceptive clutter that leads to unintentional clicks and consequences for the user.  This conversation is not-to-be missed.  To listen to it in its entirety please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com and RadioInfo.com.

wgn logo 16WGN, Chicago and ABC News Radio Extend Relationship.  Chicago news/talk WGN and ABC News Radio announce they’ve extended their affiliation agreement through May 2018.  At the same time, reporter and multimedia journalist Ryan Burrow is continuing asburrowryan the ABC News Radio national correspondent based out of the Tribune station.  The renewed partnership will bring expanded coverage from the Republican and Democratic National Conventions this July.  ABC Radio VP/GM Steve Jones says, “We’re excited to continue our relationship with WGN Radio, one of America’s iconic media brands!  We’re also proud of the excellent journalism Ryan Burrow has produced as he’s traveled the country for both ABC News and WGN.”

Orlando Club Massacre Aftermath, the Presidential Race, Battle Against Islamic State, Paris Cop and Wife Killed in Terror Attack, NBA Finals and Penguins Win Stanley Cup Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/13).  The aftermath of the slaying of 49 and wounding of dozens more at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, the matter of gun control and radical Islam; the activities of the candidates for president; the battle against Islamic State and the push by Iraq to reclaim Fallujah; the fatal stabbing of a Paris police officer and his wife by an ISIS sympathizer; the Pittsburgh Penguins claiming the 2016 Stanley Cup; and the NBA Finals were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

whynreunion16WHYN, Springfield Morning Personalities Reunite.  An impromptu “reunion” of the cast of the extremely popular “Brad & Bo Morning Show” that ran for many years on iHeartMedia’s Springfield, Massachusetts talk outlet WHYN recently took place at New England’s legendary “Big Mamou” restaurant. Pictured (l-r, top): Mary Orr, Bo Sullivan; bottom (l-r): Denise Vozella, Brad Shepard.  The picture reportedly received hundreds of “likes” on Facebook from former listeners.  Brad Shepard is now the GM and star performer of the region’s online, hyper-local media station, Pioneer Valley Radio.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

| June 8, 2016

nielsen logoNielsen Audio Releases First Round of May 2016 PPM Data.  The first of four rounds of May 2016 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio 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).  The May 2016 survey period covered April 21 to May 18.  You can find the complete 6+ ratings numbers from subscribing stations here.  Additionally, TALKERS/RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Twelve Takeaways” from this group on the main page of our sister publication here.

Nielsen Audio Announces Changes for Spring 2016 Diary Markets; Breaks Newburgh Out of Hudson Valley Market.  Beginning with the Spring 2016 diary survey, Nielsen Audio is bringing back the Newburgh-Middletown, New York market.  The market consists of Orange County with Sullivan County included in the TSA.  Arbitron – prior to its acquisition by Nielsen – created the Hudson Valley market five years ago consisting of Orange, Westchester, Rockland and Putnam counties.  Nielsen is also going to deliver Spring and Fall diary surveys for Sioux Falls, South Dakota beginning with the Spring 2016 survey.  The ratings company is also adding four counties to the Traverse City, Michigan market and is renaming the market Traverse City-Petoskey-Cadillac.

mcconnellmitchMcConnell: Base Voters ‘Misled’ by Talk Hosts.  Speaking at a recent event sponsored by the American Enterprise Institute, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that “a lot of talk show hosts and others” have misled the base voters about what can be accomplished by a Republican-controlled Congress with a Democrat in the White House.  According to a report in the Washington Examiner, McConnell was responding to a question about why voters are favoring “outsider” candidates.  Read the Examiner story here.

The Presidential Race, Battle Against Islamic State, Stanford Rape Case Sentencing, NYC Restroom Use Ad, Bilderberg Group Meeting, and NBA-NHL Finals Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/7).  The activities of the candidates for president and yesterday’s California primary election; the ongoing battle against Islamic State in Iraq and the fight by Iraqi forces to retake Fallujah; reaction to the light sentence for a Stanford student convicted of rape and comments made by the student’s father; New York City’s use of $250,000 for an ad suggesting people use the restroom they are most comfortable with; this week’s meeting in Germany of the Bilderberg Group and its agenda to address the Donald Trump campaign, European migrant issues, the state of the European Union and more; and the NBA and NHL Finals were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

harrisonUpCloseFarOutsmallMichael Harrison Gets ‘Up Close and Far Out’ with Retired CBS RADIO President Dan Mason.  In this week’s new episode of the PodcastOne hit series “Up Close and Far Out,” retired CBS RADIO president/CEO Dan Mason joins host Michael Harrison for a wide-ranging dialogue about the state of radio broadcasting in the digital era. The discussion focuses on Mason’s recent change of career direction that includes assuming the chairmanship of the 60-year-old, non-profit charity, the Broadcasters Foundation of America (BFOA) as well asmasondan putting on the headphones again and becoming a CBS Sports play-by-play announcer for college athletics.  Mason discusses his passion for women’s basketball as well as his roots in radio programming going back to his days as a teenage top 40 fan (a “contest pig”) in Louisville, Kentucky.  The two talk about the fine work being done by the BFOA on behalf of broadcasters in acute need and the satisfaction Mason is getting by being able to “give back” to the industry.  The discussion covers the viability of the “stick” as a business going forward, HD radio, and the role of the computer screen in digital audio media.  Not to be missed!  To listen to the entire podcast, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” players located in the right-hand column of every page of Talkers.com and RadioInfo.com.

Odds & Sods.  Media executive and entrepreneur Steve Lehman – founder of Premiere Networks and currentlehmansteve chairman of Business Rockstars – joins the group of partners of Peter Csathy’s new firm Creatv Media.  In a story in Variety, Csathy says the company will “fund new ventures and provide a range of services including business and strategy development, marketing, production and distribution.”…..A new startrekpodcastStar Trek podcast is launching on CBS’ Play.it podcast platform.  CBS RADIO, CBS Local Digital Media and CBS Consumer Products are bringing “Engage: The OFFICIAL Star Trek Podcast,” to Play.it starting June 22.  The program is being hosted by Jordan Hoffman, a film critic and writer of the “One Trek Mind” blog on StarTrek.com.   The three episodes available June 15 feature special guests including “Weird Al” Yankovic, and Adam Nimoy…..Radio pro Mike Tyler joins BizTalkRadio to lead the affiliate relations department.  Tyler is owner of Broadcast Affiliate Sales and a partner in Fishnet Syndication.  Tyler was also most recently vice president of TKO Radio Networks – a venture with partner Kent Jones…..77 WABC’s Joan HamburghamburgSardis16 taped a special show on Tuesday (6/7) at Sardi’s Restaurant in Times Square in advance of this Sunday’s Tony Awards.  She spoke with some of Broadway’s finest actors, including: Christopher Fitzgerald from Waitress, Daveed Diggs and Christopher Jackson from Hamilton, Laura Benanti from She Loves Me, Heather Headley from The Color Purple, Billy Porter and Brian Stokes Mitchell from Shuffle Along, and Jayne Houdyshell and Reed Birney from The Humans.  The show will air on Saturday, June 11, from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm 77 WABC and streamed live at www.wabcradio.com.  Pictured at right at the taping are (from l-r) Matthew Broderick, Hamburg, and Billy Carter as the two talk to Hamburg about a new show called Shining City…..The Baltimore Orioles welcomed FOX gormansteveOrioles16Sports Radio personality Steve Gorman and his brother Jim Gorman to Oriole Park at Camden Yards on June 5 to help raise awareness for The Multiple System Atrophy Coalition.  The “Steve Gorman SPORTS!” host threw out the first pitch and the brothers were recognized by the Orioles for their efforts to raise money and awareness for MSA, which Jim was diagnosed with in 2014.  Pictured at left are (from l-r): the Orioles’ mascot, Jim Gorman, Steve Gorman and Orioles pitcher Mychal Givens…..Hubbard Radio Washington, DC all-news WTOP grabbed eight Chesapeake Associated Press Broadcasters Association Awards last weekend.  The news organization won Outstanding Website award for WTOP.com, Outstanding Specialty Reporting by Chris Core, and Outstanding Year-Round Local Sports award, among others…..The “WAR NOW: The Wayne Allyn Root Show” moves from its 6:00 pm start to the 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm slot on Silver State Broadcasting’s KBET, Las Vegas “790 TalkNOW.”  The show launched on the station back on February 1.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

| June 7, 2016

collinsbruceAlpha Media Names Bruce Collins OM for Portland Talk Stations and Radio Northwest Network.  Talk programmer Bruce Collins comes to Alpha Media’s Portland station group after his most recent gig with iHeartMedia serving as a programmer and news/talk/sports format captain.  At Alpha, Collins is talk operations manager for news/talk KXL-FM “FM News 101,” sports talkkxl logo KXTG/K275CH “750 The Game,” news/talk KUFO “Freedom 970,” and the Radio Northwest Network.  Alpha Media EVP of programming Scott Mahalick comments, “Bruce is a star programmer and talent mentor with a great sense of news, sports, and entertainment.  He is the perfect fit for our talk brands in Portland.”  Collins says, “What a wonderful opportunity Alpha Media has given me to lead their talk stations in such a beautiful city as Portland, Oregon. Alpha truly believes in staying connected to the community with their stations and they believe in being informative through live and local programming.  I am looking forward to working with the great teams at FM News 101 KXL, Sports 750/102.9 The Game, and Freedom 970 and calling Portland home.”

oriellymichaelFCC Commissioner Michael O’Reilly Emphasizes Need for Action Ownership Issues.  A recent court decision struck down a 2014 FCC rule affecting joint sales agreements.  At the same time, the court chided the commission for its failure to complete not one, but two congressionally mandated Quadrennial Reviews.  Republican Commissioner Michael O’Reilly writes in a blog post that the time is now to move on eliminating cross-ownership bans.  He writes, “Consumers are demanding 24/7 access to media content on numerous platforms, but artificial silos created by the cross-ownership bans are keeping broadcasters and newspapers from innovating into multi-platform entities that could better serve these needs.  Evidence of synergies already exists in the form of grandfathered combinations and giving the opportunity for more, with additional outlets and platforms, could generate a boom in local content or perhaps prevent a further erosion from occurring in some markets.”  Prepared for the possibility that the cross-ownership ban won’t be repealed, O’Reilly suggests that, at the very least, provide more waivers and grandfathering.  He says the Commission should “reform [the] current waiver processes to make them clear and realistically obtainable, provide more opportunities for waivers, and allow grandfathering of existing combinations.  The market size waivers proposed by various parties could mitigate the constrictive impact of these outdated rules on broadcasters in smaller markets.”  Read the entire blog here.

harrisonUpCloseFarOutsmallMichael Harrison Gets ‘Up Close and Far Out’ with Retired CBS RADIO President Dan Mason.  In this week’s new episode of the PodcastOne hit series “Up Close and Far Out,” retired CBS RADIO president/CEO Dan Mason joins host Michael Harrison for a wide-ranging dialogue about the state of radio broadcasting in the digital era. The discussion focuses on Mason’s recent change of career direction that includes assuming the chairmanship of the 60-year-old, non-profit charity, the Broadcasters Foundation of America (BFOA) as well asmasondan putting on the headphones again and becoming a CBS Sports play-by-play announcer for college athletics.  Mason discusses his passion for women’s basketball as well as his roots in radio programming going back to his days as a teenage top 40 fan (a “contest pig”) in Louisville, Kentucky.  The two talk about the fine work being done by the BFOA on behalf of broadcasters in acute need and the satisfaction Mason is getting by being able to “give back” to the industry.  The discussion covers the viability of the “stick” as a business going forward, HD radio, and the role of the computer screen in digital audio media.  Not to be missed!  To listen to the entire podcast, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” players located in the right-hand column of every page of Talkers.com and RadioInfo.com.

kiroKIRO-AM, Seattle Expands Local Programming; Gee Scott to Host Nightly Show.  Beginning June 13, Gee Scott will host the 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm show on Bonneville’s KIRO-AM “710 ESPN Seattle.”  The station says, “Scott will also deliver unique perspectives from inside the locker room in a new, comprehensive role for 710sports.com.  Afterscottgee developing close, personal relationships with many Seahawks players, coaches and staff, Scott will be able to connect Seattle sports fans with their favorite athletes like no one else can.”  Program director Mike Salk says, “This show will be a great complement to the rest of the 710 ESPN Seattle lineup.  Gee has a special relationship with both listeners and players.  He is so adept at bringing those two worlds together in a compelling way.”  Scott’s journey into the Seattle sports scene began in 2003 cleaning the vehicles of Seahawks’ players and coaches.  After a decade developing valuable relationships within the local sports community, Scott worked on “The Barbershop” radio show alongside former local football stars Marcus Trufant and Terry Hollimon.  Since then, Scott has become a prominent motivational speaker, auctioneer and emcee, in addition to his duties with 710 ESPN Seattle.

stitcherlogoE.W. Scripps Acquires Stitcher for $4.5 Million.  This is another addition to its on-demand portfolio.  Stitcher doesn’t have a huge number of registered users – about 8 million – but it aggregates some 65,000 podcasts and is included in the digital dashboard of more than 50 auto models.  Last July, E.W. Scripps acquired Los Angeles-based podcast platform Midroll Media.  The company says that Stitcher will operate as part of Midroll Media.  Scripps chief digital officer Adam Symson says, “The Stitcher brand is recognized to be an early mover and innovator in on-demand audio, especially with connected cars.  Stitcher’s data-driven technology has made it a leader in podcast discovery and audio distribution, which will complement Midroll’s leadership in content creation and advertising sales.”  Founded in 2008, Stitcher was purchased by French music streaming service Deezer in 2014.  Now, Deezer agrees to sell Stitcher to Scripps.  Twelve Stitcher staffers will join Scripps as part of the deal.

The Presidential Race, Stanford Rape Case Sentencing, Muhammad Ali Death, Battle Against Islamic State, IRS Conservative Groups Scrutiny, Immigration Bureaucrat Cited in San Bernardino Report, Weak U.S. Job Growth, and NBA and NHL Finals Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/6).  The activities of the candidates for president and media reports that Hillary Clinton has clinched the Democratic nomination ahead of today’s California primary election; the controversial light sentence for a Stanford student convicted of raping a fellow student; the death of Muhammad Ali; the intensifying war in Iraq against Islamic State; the information pulled from the IRS about its targeting conservative groups; the case of an Immigration bureaucrat who prevented Homeland Security Agents from detaining the man who allegedly provided the San Bernardino terrorists with weapons; the recent report of weak job growth during the last month; and the NBA and NHL Finals were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

kinosianmikeAnalysis: Final Hivio Highlights.  TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a wrap-up of his analysis of the recent Hivio 2016 conference in Los Angeles. It includes a different view of contesting from Omaze co-founder Ryan Cummins; Red Seat Ventures founder (and former Mercury Radio Arts president/CEO) Chris Balfe speaking about AM/FM broadcasters truly seizing the digital opportunities available to them; and MaximumFun.org chief Jesse Thorn presenting his philosophy of operating a podcasting platform.  Read the entire story here.

millerstephaniebookcover16Stephanie Miller’s Sexy Liberal – Of Me I Sing! Published in Paperback Format.  The ebook memoir written by nationally syndicated talk show host Stephanie Miller is now being published in paperback format by Gival Press.  The publisher says Sexy Liberal! Of Me I Sing, is “both deeply personal and hilariously political.  But most of all it is Stephanie’s unique voice, her jokes, her happy clappy optimism, and her truth that they tune into day after day, that they download as a subscription podcast, that they buy tickets for, to see her unbleeped and in person. That’s what Sexy Liberal! delivers.  Like an uncensored comedy drone right to your door!”  Miller’s Sexy Liberal comedy tour has been wildly successful as have her comedy albums.  She has recently had her second and third #1 comedy albums in the country with her Stephanie Miller’s Happy Hour, Volume One and Stephanie Miller’s Happy Hour, Volume Two.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

| May 31, 2016

cunninghambillWLW, Cincinnati’s Bill Cunningham Wrapping TV Show.  According to a report by WVXU.org’s John Kiesewetter, longtime WLW, Cincinnati afternoon drive personality Bill Cunningham is declining to renew his deal with Tribune Broadcasting to produce three more seasons of his eponymous TV show that airs on the CW Network.  Citing the hectic schedule he has to keep to do both the television program and his WLW and Premiere Networks Sunday evening radio shows, Cunningham told WLW listeners he wants to spend more time with his grandchildren.  Cunningham was recruited for the television show by Tribune president of strategic programming and acquisition Sean Compton, a former Clear Channel programming executive who joined Tribune when former Clear Channel Radio president Randy Michaels became chief of Tribune.  The first season of the show was syndicated by Tribune but seasons two through five aired on the CW Network.

cookehollandCooke: 70 Rocks.  Media consultant Holland Cooke writes today about the maturation of the Baby Boomer generation and the value of these consumers to the radio industry.  For radio station operators – and for news/talk stations that target a mature audience – this demographic is a big fan of radio and is likely to purchase the products and services for which radio marketing campaigns work so well.  Read some of Cooke’s advice for radio stations taking advantage of this generation’s use of radio here.

The Presidential Race, the Battle Against Islamic State, Putin’s NATO Threats, Zoo Gorilla Killing, the Memorial Day Holiday, and the NBA and NHL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The activities of the candidates for president and the weekend’s Libertarian Party debate; the ongoing fight against Islamic State and the push by Iraqi forces to reclaim Falluja; Russian President Vladimir Putin’s threat to prevent U.S. missiles from being places in NATO countries Romania and Poland; the case of the rare gorilla killed in the Cincinnati Zoo after a child had entered the animal’s enclosure; the Memorial Day holiday and the weekend’s NBA playoff and the start of the NHL Finals were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

iheartmedia logo smallAnother Investor Sues iHeartMedia.  This time, the complaint against iHeartMedia comes from Gamco Asset Management Inc., which owns close to 10% of Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings public stock.  According to a report by Bloomberg, Gamco is saying that shareholders of Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings are not being protected first and foremost and that the subsidiary is being given short shrift in order to benefit the parent company.  An iHeartMedia spokesman says the asset shift is legal.  Gamco was in iHeartMedia’s corner during the recent case iHM won after being sued by senior lenders for the move.  Still, Gamco is alleging the stock’s shift to Broader Media Inc., harms CCOH’s ability “to exploit business opportunities.”

Odds & Sods.  Over the Memorial Day weekend, the Libertarian Party’s top five candidates held a debate in Orlando that was moderated by Salem Radio Network nationally syndicated talk radio host Larry Elder.  The debate was aired live on C-SPAN.  SRN VP/news & talk programming Tom Tradup says, “As SRN’s newest nationally syndicated host, we are proud that Larry Elder was selected for this high-profile assignment as the unpredictable campaign 2016 continues to unfold.”…..Pro hoops star Jason Terry is launching a new weekly showabcNewsStoneAlexTrump16 on SiriusXM’s NBA channel beginning tomorrow at 7:00 pm ET (6/1).  “The Runway with Jason ‘The Jet’ Terry” will air Wednesdays and also feature co-host Justin Termine…..ABC News Radio correspondent Alex Stone is seen here positioned near police at the Donald Trump rally in San Diego on May 27.  The protest reportedly drew about 1,000 people and was peaceful for three hours until some protestors tried to break a police line.  Thirty-five people were arrested.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

| May 24, 2016

iheartmedia logo smalliHeartMedia Prevails in Suit Against Creditors.  As reported by Reuters, iHeartMedia Inc wins its suit against a group of creditors that wished to have the company declared in default on its debt obligations after transferring $500 million in Clear Channel Outdoor stock to a shell company called Broader Media Inc.  The trial lasted just over a week in Bexar County, Texas.  The court ruled the transfer does not violate the terms of its loans.

wzzrCumulus Launches New FM Talker on 99.5 in Birmingham.  The former NASH Icon station becomes an FM talk outlet this morning (5/24) branded “Talk 99.5, Birmingham’s Real Talk.”  Cumulus Media announces WZRR-FM is featuring a live-and-local lineup of personalities starting with morning show “Matt and Aunie” – Matt Murphy and Andrea Lindenberg.  Lindenberg handles the 10:00 am hour solo, followed by Richard Dixon from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm.  Leland Whaley hosts “Leland Live” from 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm.  After that it’s Westwood One programming with Mark Levin from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm, Michael Savage from 9:00 pm to 12:00 midnight, “Red Eye Radio from 12:00 to 5:00 am and “First Light with Evan Haning” at 5:00 am.  Matt Murphy is also the program director for the station and he says, “‘Talk 99.5, Birmingham’s Real Talk’ is designed not only to be a source for breaking news and information, but as a place for Birmingham listeners to talk about the issues important to them.  We are extremely excited to bring an all-star lineup to an all-star state.  Our commitment to live and local hosts represents our commitment to delivering the very best news, information and talk to the people of Alabama.”  The format is being simulcast on the company’s longtime news/talk-formatted WAPI-AM.

wylandrodgerAlbany Sports Talker Jumps Across Town.  Sports talk personality Rodger Wyland has left iHeartMedia’s WOFX, Albany and will reappear on Townsquare Media’s WTMM on July 5, according to a report in the Albany Times Union.  Wyland hosted the “Big Board Sports” show and had been with the station for the past 15 years.  The paper is reporting the WTMM show will air from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon.  Neither of the sides are commenting on the move but it appears, based on his start date at WTMM, that Wyland may be sitting out a 30-day non-compete.  How WOFX will fill the host role on “Big Board Sports” is unknown at this time.

The Presidential Race, EgyptAir Crash Investigation, Airport Security Wait/TSA Scrutiny, Obama Vietnam Visit, Freddie Gray Case Acquittal, Facebook’s Alleged Anti-Conservative Bias, McAuliffe FBI Investigation, and NBA-NHL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/23).  The activities of the candidates for president; the investigation into the cause of the crash of EgyptAir flight 804 and initial indications an explosion is a likely cause; public furor over long airport security wait lines and the dismissal of TSA security chief Kelly Hoggan; President Obama’s visit to Vietnam and the reversal of policy allowing the U.S. to sell weapons to the former adversary; the acquittal of Baltimore police officer Edward Nero in the case of the death of Freddie Gray; the charges against Facebook that it manipulated trending stories in a bias against conservative topics; the FBI investigation into Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe for campaign finance violations; and the NBA and NHL playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Odds & Sods.  The Boston operations of CBS RADIO report that longtime WBZ-AM personality Jordan Rich is giving up his weekend overnight talk show role in order to spend more time with family “after working seven days (and nights) a week for so many years.”  CBS says Rich will still be producing the “New England Weekend” and “Connoisseur’s Corner” segments that air on the station.  Rich also operates his own Chart Productions audio production company…..“Motley Fool Money” with host Chris Hill adds an exciting new affiliate in London-based U.K. financial talk media platform Share Radio.  Hill tells TALKERS it’s the first American show the company is airing.

maederNakedDJRadio Pro Jo Maeder Publishes Novel Titled, NAKED DJ.  Former rock jock and talk show host Jo Maeder is publishing a novel set in the radio business titled, NAKED DJ (Vivant Press 2016).  The former “K-ROCK” New York air personality says of her novel, “NAKED DJ is an uncensored, all-access pass to one woman’s climb to the radio top.  Then her troubles really begin.  It’s also a great contemporary story.  How far do you go for your job?  And for love?”  Several years ago, Maeder wrote a best-selling memoir about her time caring for her aging mother titled, When I Married My Mother.  Now, she says she’s a full-time writer.  High-profile entertainment and media people quoted promoting the book include, musician Paul Shaffer, Premiere’s Delilah, and TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison.  The audio version of the book is read by comic and impressionist Rachel Butera who is booked to appear on SiriusXM with Mader’s old “K-ROCK” co-worker Howard Stern in June.

Monday, May 23, 2016

| May 23, 2016

harrisonHannity16TALKERS 2016 Conference Wraps; Coverage of Annual Talk Media Event Forthcoming.  The 19th annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important national convention took place at Hofstra University on Long Island on Friday (5/20), drawing a sell-out crowd of several hundred talk media professionals.  TALKERS 2016: Bridging the GenerationslevinFOS16 was presented by TALKERS magazine in association with Hofstra University’s Lawrence Herbert School of Communication and WRHU Radio.  The full day of panel discussions and speaker presentations was video streamed live by Livestream.  Detailed coverage of the event, including archived video from the Livestream morrisginnyWOTY16content, will be presented here on Talkers.com in the coming weeks.  Reflecting on the event, TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey states, “This was one of the smoothest and productive content-laden installments of this historic convention in its storied 19 years of service to the radio industry.  We are grateful to all the speakers, panelists, displayers and sponsors for making it so.  We are especially grateful tofrancesaSpeech16 Dean Evan Cornog of Hofstra’s Lawrence Herbert School of Communication and WRHU (Radio Hofstra University) station manager Bruce Avery and operations director John Mullen for their phenomenal support as partners in the successful event.” Pictured here are: (top, left) TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison and Premiere Networks/FOX News Channel star Sean Hannity engaging in a “fireside chat”; (top, right) Westwood One star Mark Levin accepting the annual Freedom of Speech award; (above, left) Hubbard Radio CEO Ginny Morris accepting the 2016 TALKERS Woman of the Year Award; and (bottom, right) WFAN, New York sports talk legend Mike Francesa addressing the attendees.

sykesTrumppaper16Donald Trump Seeks to Build Support from WTMJ, Milwaukee’s Charlie Sykes.  Milwaukee talk show host Charlie Sykes and several other Wisconsin talk radio personalities were publicly chastised by GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump during that state’s primary election for their opposition to his candidacy.  Now, Trump is seeking to bring the influential WTMJ host around.  The image you see here is a copy of The New York Times with a hand-written note from Trump to Sykes.  It references an article in the paper about groups that’ve previously been against Trump reversing their course.  The note to Sykes reads: “Charlie, I hope you change your mind. Looking forward to coming back on your show. I WILL WIN!”  WTMJ posted the photo and an accompanying story in its website.  Sykes comments, “He’s reaching out.  I’m surprised that he would reach out to somebody who has been as critical.  Obviously, he understands the need to unify the Republican party and reach out to some conservatives.  I figured maybe there would be some conservatives who would be beyond the pale, including #NeverTrump guys like me, but apparently he’s doing that.  I will give him credit for reaching out to people that I did not think he was going to reach out to.”  Read the WTMJ piece here.

The Presidential Race, EgyptAir Crash Investigation, TSA Efficiency Issues, Facebook Anti-Conservative Bias Allegations, Islamic State Calls for Civilian Attacks, and NBA and NHL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The activities of the candidates for president; the investigation into the downing of EgyptAir flight 804; efficiency issues plaguing the TSA in screening airline passengers and statements from the agency that lines will get worse this summer; the controversy over allegations that Facebook manipulates its trending stories to downplay conservative issues; a high-ranking Islamic State official’s call for renewed attacks on European and American civilians; and the NBA and NHL playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend.

Odds & Sods.  KBET, Las Vegas-based talk show host Wayne Allyn Root will appear on this Friday’s edition of HBO’s “Real Time” with Bill Maher.  Also on the show will be Democratic presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders.  Root tells TALKERS his role will be to defend Donald Trump…..Two Fox News Radio programs are being made available on the CRN Digital Talk Radio platform.  “Kilmeade & Friends” with Brian Kilmeade and the Alan Colmes show are both the CRN 2 “Bulls and Bears” channel…..The GCN-distributed “Freedom Feens” show with host Michael W. Dean adds new affiliate KZLS, Enid, Oklahoma.

herskovitzalHerskovitz: Hall Talk 2016.  Radio sales maven Al Herskovitz writes today in the aftermath of last Friday’s TALKERS 2016: Bridging the Generations conference.  He says the sales pros attending the conference with whom he spoke all agreed that political advertising and digital sales were the hot topics this year.  He says, “The unusual circumstances surrounding the current national candidates are posing unique sales problems. Yes, just about all with whom I spoke, acknowledged that they benefited from the ad wars affecting the primary season.  But now local and regional battles are upon us.  And numerous aspiring candidates are not allying themselves with the traditional wings of their political parties.  Some candidates with no clearly defined affiliations are emerging.”  Read Herskovitz’s column here.

neerMBbook16WFAN, New York Personality Richard Neer Publishes Second Mystery Novel.  Did you know that The Martian began as a self-published book?  As did Still Alice and Legally Blonde. Do you think you’ve written a great book but the publishing industry won’t give it the attention it deserves?  Richard Neer of WFAN, New York has just released the second of his Riley King series of mysteries through Amazon and CreateSpace — cutting out the middleman.  Both are selling briskly without a traditional publisher.  “Publishers are skeptical that radio, other than a few syndicated giants, can sell books.  I’m happy to be proving themneerrichard wrong,” Neer says. His traditionally published book, FM, the Rise and Fall of Rock Radio was released in 2001 by Villard, and Neer believes that it wouldn’t stand a chance with a major publisher today.  “I’ve had radio friends with great stories to tell inform me that their manuscripts have been rejected because there aren’t enough sordid tales of sex and drugs.  They’re not interested in great writing —  just sensationalism and what seems trendy today.”  The Master Builders is the title of Neer’s latest effort.  As a result of promoting it on his WFAN sports talk radio show, his first novel, Something of the Night, is also selling well.  Both are murder mysteries featuring private investigator Riley King and his radio sidekick Rick Stone as they battle crime and corruption up and down the Eastern Seaboard.  “Just like with the music and film industry, there’s a revolution in publishing where traditional gatekeepers are less important.  People can be introduced to fine work that otherwise might be ignored.  It’s a lot more democratic.  Sometimes those books can be as important or entertaining as the big blockbusters,” Neer says.  “As much as I lament the demise of many great bookstores, most readers are buying online these days.”  Richard is available for interviews about the business of publishing your own work and can be contacted at Rneer@wfan.com.  All his books can be purchased at Amazon.com here.

nationalradiohalloffameNational Radio Hall of Fame 2016 Nominees Announced.  Today, industry voting begins for the 2016 National Radio Hall of Fame inductees.  The 24 nominations in six categories were determined by the organization’s nominating committee.  Four of those categories will be voted on by a voting participant panel comprised of 400 industry professionals, while the other two will be voted on by the public.  Public voting commences June 20 for eight nominations for Music Format On-Air Personality and Spoken Word On-Air Personality.  National Radio Hall of Fame chairman Kraig Kitchin says, “The sheer depth of talent in our industry never ceases to amaze me.  After much discussion and deliberation, our nominating committee is very proud of this year’s class of nominees.  We’re all looking forward to seeing the voter outcome from our industry peers and listeners nationwide.”  Inductees will be announced July 11.  The induction ceremony will be held Thursday, November 17 at the Museum of Broadcast and Communications in downtown Chicago.   Nominees are: Longstanding Local/Regional (20 years or more): Jeff & Jer (Jeff Detrow & Jerry Cesak), San Diego; Charles Laquidara, Boston; Bobby O’Jay, Memphis; and Garland Robinette, New Orleans.  Active Local/Regional (10 years or more): Tom Barnard, Minneapolis; BJ & Migs (BJ Shea & Steve Migs), Seattle; Eric & Kathy (Eric Ferguson & Kathy Hart), Chicago; and Preston and Steve (Preston Elliot & Steve Morrison), Philadelphia.  Networks/Syndication (10 years or more): American Top 40 & On-Air With Ryan Seacrest, Ryan Seacrest; The Fabulous Sports Babe, Nanci Donnellan; The Steve Harvey Morning Show, Steve Harvey; and Wait, Wait…Don’t Tell Me!, Peter SagalLongstanding Network/Syndication (20 years or more): Delilah, Delilah; Gospel Traxx with Walt “Baby” Love, Walt “Baby” Love; The Jim Rome Show, Jim Rome; and The Kim Komando Show, Kim Komando.  The following are to be voted on by listeners. Music Format On-Air Personality: Sean “Hollywood” Hamilton; Tom Kent; The Kevin & Bean Show (Kevin Ryder & Gene Baxter); and Bob KingsleySpoken Word On-Air Personality: Diane Rehm; Mike Francesa and Chris Russo; Michael Savage; and Sean Hannity.

gracies logoGracies Awards Ceremony Take Place Tomorrow in Beverly Hills.  The 41st annual Gracie Awards are taking place tomorrow (5/24) in Beverly Hills and actress Marika Domińczyk will serve as host.  Also, Grammy Award-nominee Andra Day will perform her hit, “Rise Up.”  The Gracie Awards honor outstanding individual achievement and programming by, for and about women.  Alliance for Women in Media Foundation chair and SVP, Global Content Operations at Discovery Communications, Kristen Welch, says, “The talent that Marika holds, along with her contagious energy and sense of humor, makes her an ideal host for the Gracie Awards Gala.  In the spirit of The Gracies, our host, presenters and performances will be unapologetically diverse, loud, personal, funny, emotional and bold.”  The Gracie Awards Gala will be live streamed in partnership with Cumulus on websites nationwide.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

| May 17, 2016

harrisonUpCloseFarOutsmallMichael Harrison Flies with the Black Eagle, Joe Madison.  This week’s installment of the PodcastOne international hit “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison” presents a fascinating conversation between the TALKERS/RadioInfo publisher and SiriusXM Satellite Radio “Urban View” channel morning host Joe Madison.  Listed at #8 on the TALKERS 2016 “Heavy Hundred,” Joe Madison is the highest-ranked African American news/talk show host inmadisonjoe the US radio industry.  Michael Harrison describes him as a “political, cultural and inspirational thought leader.”  The two discuss their 25-year friendship as well as race relations in America, Black Lives Matter, the 2016 presidential election, and the pros and cons of the dizzying advances in communications technology that we are all experiencing.  To listen to the entire podcast, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column of Talkers.com and RadioInfo.com.

austinbradBrad Austin Named Corporate PD for Delmarva.  This promotion puts Brad Austin in charge of the programming of the company’s nine radio stations.  Austin is operations manager for Delmarva Broadcasting Company’s country WXCY, Wilmington, Delaware – a position he’ll continue to hold.  But he’s now also overseeing Wilmington stations hot AC WSTW, news/talk WDEL-AM/FM, and Gospel WFAI; Milford, Delaware classic hits WNCL, hot AC WAFL, sports talk WYUS, and news/talk WXDE; plus Salisbury-Ocean City, Maryland country WKTT, adult hits WICO, and classic hits WAVD.  The company says Austin will oversee the programming and promotions efforts on all stations and assist the staffs on a wide variety of issues involving local programming and community service.  Austin says, “I appreciate the confidence president Jeff Boden and WXCY general manager Bob Bloom have placed in me with the creation of this position.  Making local radio great, compelling and of service to our listeners is priority #1.  Oh – and we plan to have a hell of a lot of fun doing it!”

PodcastOne Names Amy Lewis Schachter to Sales Post.  Radio and digital sales pro Amy Lewis Schachter joins PodcastOne as vice president, East Coast sales.  She’s been with CBS Radio for the past 20 years and in 2013 was named Digital Sales Person of the Year for CBS Radio NY.  PodcastOne chairman and CEO Norm Pattiz comments, “So, I get all these calls from people telling me how great Amy is.  I met with her and they were right.  She hit the street running last week before her start date.  What more can I say?”

nielsen logoContentious Nielsen vs Flinn Broadcasting Case Settled.  The hotly contested case in which Nielsen Audio was suing Memphis market operator Flinn Broadcasting for failure to pay for PPM ratings (and other services) and Flinn was countersuing, alleging inaccurateflinnlogo PPM surveys that adversely affected minority-patronized stations, has been settled.  This comes after a court-ordered attempt at settlement.  The terms of the pact are, of course, sealed.  Nielsen alleged Flinn owed almost $140,000 in PPM fees accrued over the course of eight months.  As long as the settlement is consummated within 30 days, the suits cannot be filed again.  It’s anyone’s guess how the settlement panned out but it’s a safe bet that Nielsen did not want to go to trial, if only because even more information about the inner workings of the PPM surveys would have been made public as part of the evidence.  As a result of the press this story received, the industry and the public already learned more about the fee structure for the service than it had known before.

glassiraIndiana Public Station and TAL Founder Ira Glass Disagree on Pandora Strategy.  A disagreement over Ira Glass’ decision to make “This American Life” available via Pandora has caused public station WBAA, West Lafayette, Indiana general manager Mike Savage to cancel his station’s affiliation with the program, effective in August.  Savage posted a criticism of the Pandora move on his LinkedIn page stating that it’s “inconsistent with the mission of public radio” – assuming because Pandora is a for-profit company.  He also writes, “I am all for improving the bottom line.  However, we as publicwbaa radio leaders must keep the balance between mission and bottom line in the forefront.  If all we wanted to do was grow the audience, we could change our formats to country music and accomplish that objective.  We must respect the mission.  Do the ends justify the means?  For a program that got its start on public radio and had some of the best on-air fundraising messages for listeners where Ira Glass says he is volunteering his time because he believes in the mission of public broadcasting, the move by ‘This American Life’ to Pandora is disingenuous at best.”  But Glass says TAL is not leaving public radio and its presence as a podcast before (and now on Pandora) is not hurting listening on public radio stations.  In fact, Glass says the numbers bear that out and that the influx of cash is allowing him to hire more staff and produce better and more far-reaching programming.  You can read his more detailed response in The Current here.  What this really shows is divergent broadcasting philosophies.  Many media observers would consider Savage’s take on the issue to be outdated, and would say Glass is successfully taking advantage of the platforms available to grow his program and his staff.

The Presidential Race, Iran Nuke Negotiations Controversy, Russian-Syria Military Cooperation, Yellowstone Baby Bison Case, Bathroom-Gender Laws, and NBA-NHL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/16).  The activities of the candidates for president; the controversy over the nuclear negotiations with Iran and the White House’s refusal to allow former aide Ben Rhodes to testify about misleading the press; Russian’s reported building of a military base in Palmyra, Syria; the case of a baby bison that was euthanized after tourists at Yellowstone put it in their van; the ongoing debate over the legal use of public restrooms by transgender individuals; and the NBA and NHL playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Odds & Sods.  Sports media giant ESPN promotes Nate Ravitz to vice president of audience development.  In this new role, Ravitz will oversee programming of digital content across ESPN.com and the ESPN App, in addition to his existing responsibilities leading ESPN-branded social media content, mobile push notifications and digital video.  Ravitz also will manage the new ESPN Daily email newsletter.  He will continue to report to Ryan Spoon, SVP of digital product management…..Sports USA releases its 2016 NCAA football schedule.  The firm’s slate of offerings includes games featuring defending national champion Alabama, plus conference champions Stanford, Oklahoma, and Michigan State.  Sports USA president Bob Moore says, “Sports USA is proud to announce this fantastic schedule to our affiliate stations, the advertising community and college football fans nationwide.  We are featuring an incredible array of major rivalry games this year.”…..Former WFED, Washington daily personality Francis Rose is adding some television to his current roster of projects.  Rose – who currently hosts “National Defense Week” on WMAL, Washington – is joining WJLA-TV, Washington as host of the Sunday morning “Government Matters” program.  Rose tells TALKERS the program will soon expand to nightly broadcasts.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

| May 10, 2016

townsquaremediaTownsquare Media Reports Q1 Net Revenue Up 6.7%.  The addition of North American Midway Entertainment to Townsquare Media’s portfolio has been a boon to revenue, helping drive net revenue to $94.4 million in the first quarter.  But looking at the Local Advertising segment – which it defines as revenue from “broadcast, digital and mobile advertising on our stations, streams, websites and mobile application” – net revenue was still up 4.4% on a pro forma basis.  Excluding political advertising, net revenue in the Local Advertising segment was up 2.7%.  Chairman and CEO Steven Price states, “Townsquare’s first quarter performance marked a solid start to 2016, driven by strong results across the company.  We grew pro forma net revenue 6.7% and saw particular strength in many of our local markets.”

crowejeremiahCrowe Joins KNBR Programming Team.  Sports talk programmer and producer Jeremiah Crowe joins Cumulus Media to serve as program director for KTCT “KNBR 1050” and assistant program director for KNBR in San Francisco.  Crowe comes to Cumulus San Francisco from Entercom’s crosstown sports talk KGMZ “95.7 The Game” where he was APD.  He’s also served as producer at ESPN Radio working with such shows as “Mike and Mike in the Morning,” “The Herd with Colin Cowherd,” “SportsNation,” “NFL Countdown to Kickoff,” “College Gameday,” “RaceDay,” and “Fantasy Focus.”  KNBR and KTCT operations manager Lee Hammer says, “We’re about to re-launch KNBR 1050, and we’re excited to have Jeremiah join our programming team to lead this effort.  In addition, he’ll be working closely with me on new strategic programming initiatives at KNBR 680, plus helping to expand our growing social media platforms.”

cookehollandCooke: Is the 2016 Election AM Radio’s Last?  In a piece teasing some of the content media consultant Holland Cooke will deliver during his presentation at next week’s TALKERS 2016: Bridging the Generations conference at Hofstra University, he writes today questioning whether this year’s election will be the last presidential race covered with intensity by AM radio-based talk stations.  Cooke notes that recent research shows people between the ages of 18-34 – Millennials – are less familiar with AM radio than their elders and ownership of a non-car radio among that demographic is about 33%.  Read more from Holland Cooke here.

nielsen logoNielsen Audio Releases First Round of April 2016 PPM Data.  The first of four rounds of April 2016 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio 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).  The April 2016 survey period covered March 24 to April 20.  You can find the complete 6+ ratings numbers from subscribing stations here.  Additionally, TALKERS/RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Twelve Takeaways” from this group on the main page of our sister publication here.

The Presidential Race, North Carolina Bathroom Law, Kerry ‘Borderless World’ Speech, Facebook Anti-Conservative Content Allegations, Russian Military Build-Up, and NBA-NHL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/9).  The activities of the candidates for president, today’s West Virginia primary election, and Donald Trump’s relationship with GOP leaders; the ongoing controversy over the North Carolina law mandating a person use the restroom consistent with their gender on their birth certificate; Secretary of State John Kerry’s Northeastern University commencement address in which he told graduates to prepare for a “complex and borderless world”; a report that Facebook tweaks its trending list to suppress conservative topics; Russia’s reported military build-up and its tensing relations with NATO; and the NBA and NHL playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

salemmediagroup logoCool Radio Sales Opportunity.  Salem Media Group is seeking an account executive to work at one of the finest broadcast companies in America!  Salem Radio in New York is looking for a dynamic individual to join the sales team for “AM970 The Answer,” which is news/talk format, and the legendary WMCA “AM570 The Mission, New York’s Christian Talk.”  This is an amazing opportunity to make money!  One to three years of media sales experience a must.  Undergraduate degree required.  To apply, visit the company website here.  To schedule an interview, contact general manager Jerry Crowley’s assistant Laura Sheaffer at laura@nycradio.com or 212-857-9639.  Salem Media Group is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

ktthKTTH, Seattle to Address ‘Bathroom Rights’ Issue at Next ‘Freedom Series’ Event.  Having explored the topics of race, religion, minimum wage laws, gun rights and more via its KTTH AM 770 Freedom Series, the station will tackle the hot-button issue of bathroom use rights at a June 29 public forum at the Washington State History Museum in Tacoma.  KTTH-based nationally syndicated Salem Radio Network talk show host Michael Medved, KTTH afternoon host Todd Herman, and transgender activist and Seattle LGBT commissioner Mac McGregor will discuss “Transgender Restroom Rights: Values, Safety and the Law.”  The station says the event is the latest in a series of events designed to examine issues where individual rights come into conflict in the Northwest.  KTTH program director Jason Antebi states, “This is one of the most controversial and emotionally charged topics and it deserves a civil dialogue looking at all sides.  I have no doubt that this will provide another opportunity for our community, on all sides of the issue, the chance to come together for a meaningful discussion with an eye toward finding understanding.”

Odds & Sods.  Detroit news/talker WJR-AM “News Talk 760” was honored with the Station of the Year award fromwjr logo the Michigan Association of Broadcasters.  Additionally, the Cumulus Media station took home 14 Best in Category and nine Merit Awards for its “outstanding talk talent, its news, sports and marketing departments, its community involvement and public affairs excellence, and for its new media and commercial production.”…..A new, weekly podcast is being produced by Second City Works and Tribune’s WGN, Chicago titled, “Getting to Yes, And,” with Kelly Leonard.  The program will feature interviews with “visionaries, authors and leaders who operate at the intersection of creativity and commerce.”  Some guests will include” Neil Stevenson, managing director of IDEO Chicago; cognitive psychologist Scott Barry Kaufman, author of Wired to Create; and Dartmouth scholar Sydney Finkelstein, author of Superbosses…..Production service Phantom Producer is awarded a U.S. patent on its radio imaging and production tool.  The service is an online interface that allows subscribers to create sweepers and other interstitial krokaward16programming elements “with a couple of mouse clicks in a matter of seconds.”…..ABC Radio is  providing three, one-hour specials for use over the Memorial Day Weekend: “Tribute to the Troops 2016,” hosted by Scott Goldberg; “Summer Survival Guide 2016,” with Brad Mielke and “Return of the Summer Sequels,” hosted by David Blaustein…..WBAP, Dallas talk show host Chris Krok recently returned to his Alma Mater of Western Illinois University to accept the 2016 “Alumni of the Year” award for radio.  Krok (pictured here at left with WIU professor Dr. Roger Sadler at center and Krok’s former colleague, Will Buss, who’s now on staff in at WIU’s Journalism Department at right) received the award “in recognition of contributions to the broadcast industry and the Western Illinois University Department of Broadcasting.”

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

| May 3, 2016

iheartmedia logo smalliHeartMedia and Creditors Agree to Mediation.  The legal battle between iHeartMedia and 15 creditors goes into mediation after the parties agreed to extend the existing Temporary Restraining Order the media giant won preventing Notices of Default going into effect.  This stems from iHeartMedia’s December 2015 transfer of a million shares of class B common stock in Clear Channel Outdoor into a shell company called Broader Media.  The creditors believe this move violates the terms of their loans; iHM believes it does not.  If the Notices of Default are allowed to go into effect, that could force iHeartMedia to have to try to pay back some $15 billion in debt within 60 days, something that is not possible and could force the company into bankruptcy.  The parties will work until May 16 to resolve the conflict.

wieneradamAdam Wiener Named to Succeed Ezra Kucharz at CBS Local Digital Media.  Named to take over for Ezra Kucharz as EVP and general manager of CBS Local Digital Media is Adam Wiener, who is promoted from his SVP, content, community and operations position.  He will report to both CBS RADIO president Andre Fernandez and CBS Television Stations president Peter Dunn.  Kucharz is transitioning to the new role of special advisor to the chief executive officer of CBS Corporation.  Fernandez comments, “Our digital effort is well on its way to realizing our vision of a powerful and compelling destination for viewers and listeners in our local markets.  Adam’s proven track record within the digital industry will be vital to the ongoing expansion of our assets and distribution strategy moving forward, and we are thrilled to have him assume this leadership role.”

The Presidential Race/Indiana Primary, The White House Correspondents Dinner, Battle Against Islamic State, U.S. Immigration Policy, Louisville Confederate Monument Case, and NBA-NHL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/2).  The activities of the candidates for president and today’s Indiana primary election; reactions to the routines from Saturday’s White House Correspondents Dinner; U.S. military action in Iraq and Syria against Islamic State; renewed controversy over U.S. immigration policy and treatment of illegal aliens; the legal battle over the status of a Confederate statue in Louisville; and the NBA and NHL playoff action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

caltamikeHulk Hogan Sues Gawker Again; Adds WHPT, Tampa’s Mike Calta and Buchwald & Associates’ Tony Burton to List of Defendants.  The recent court victory by Hulk Hogan, a.k.a. Terry Bollea,  over media organization Gawker, in which he was awarded $140 million for the publication of a portion of a video of him having sex with Tampa-based radio personality Bubba the Love Sponge’s then-wife Heather Clem, is not the end of his legal endeavors.  Hogan is now suing Gawker again for publication of the video, but this time because the racist language he used in the video cost him his employment with the WWE.  In this suit, WHPT, Tampa personality Mike Calta and his agent Tony Burton (of Don Buchwald & Associates) are being named among the defendants for allegedly conspiring – along with Tampa radio personality Matt “Spice Boy” Lloyd to have the video released.   Hogan is seeking unspecified damages plus attorneys’ fees.

boldgoldfounationBold Gold Foundation Names Citizen Award Winners.  On June 14, the Bold Gold Broadcast & Media Foundation – a non-profit organization that provides funding and resources to educational organizations that train tomorrow’s broadcast and media leaders – will honor Pride Mobility Products owners Scott Meuser and Dan Meuser with the foundation’s 2016 Atlas Award for Citizenship.  Scott and Dan will be honored during The Bold Gold Broadcast & Media Foundation’s 2nd annual event at Mohegan Sun Pocono.  The keynote speaker for the evening will be Fox News Channel chief Washington correspondent James Rosen.  Foundation president Vince Benedetto says the award is being presented annually to individuals who, “through their hard work and bold actions, show what is possible to achieve in a free society, and who exhibit extraordinary dedication to the highest ideals of character, community service, entrepreneurialism,benedettovince patriotism, leadership, and virtue.  We’re extremely proud to be celebrating and honoring both Scott and Dan Meuser with the 2016 Atlas Award for Citizenship.  Whether through their efforts in building and leading the magnificent company that is Pride Mobility, their ongoing investments in Northeast Pennsylvania, or serving the local community in the countless ways that they continually do, they embody all the attributes that the Atlas Award seeks to honor.”  The Bold Gold Foundation has had an ambitious past 12 months, helping to complete the building of Hillsdale College’s first broadcast radio station and studio in Hillsdale Michigan, as well as an additional production studio at the College’s Kirby Center for Constitutional Studies and Citizenship in Washington, D.C.  The Foundation encourages young people in all areas of broadcasting but it is currently placing particular emphasis on supporting advancement in the various spoken-word and informational formats such as news/talk.

Odds & Sods.  This weekend’s Kentucky Derby is being carried on SiriusXM, thanks to a partnership between the satcaster and Horse Racing Radio Network.  The deal includes coverage of the Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes, as well as the Breeders’ Cup World Championships and runs through 2018.  The wire-to-wire race broadcasts for each are provided by NBC Sports Radio and produced in partnership with HRRN and Westwood One…..This year’s Stanley Cup Final series will be offered to AM/FM radio affiliates via NBC Sports Radio, distributed by Westwood One.  The broadcast team will be Kenny Albert and Joe Micheletti…..Talk host William J. Kelly, a.k.a. Citizen Kelly, is launching his weekly talk show – “The Citizen Kelly Show” on WCGO, Chicago this Saturday morning (5/7) at 9:00 am.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

| April 26, 2016

The Presidential Race, Gender-Bathroom Issue, Islamists Kill Canadian/Battle Against Islamic State, Obama European Trip, and Tom Brady Suspension Reinstated Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/25).  The activities of the candidates for president, the debate over the delegate process and today’s Northeast primaries; controversy over laws affecting public restroom use by transgender citizens; the death of Canadian John Ridsdel at the hands of Philippine Islamists; President Obama’s visit to European nations; and the NFL’s four-game suspension of Tom Brady is upheld by a federal appeals court were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

hannityHannity Re-Ups with KDWN, Las Vegas.  Nationally syndicated superstar Sean Hannity sews up his Las Vegas affiliate for another three years.  The Premiere Networks personality will continue to be heard on Beasley Media Group’s news/talk KDWN through 2019.  Station program director John Shaffer says, “We’re ready and eager to continue what has been a very positive partnership with one of the greats in the talk industry.”

depetrotrump16WPRO, Providence Personality John DePetro Emcees Trump Rally.  Ahead of today’s Rhode Island primary election, the Trump campaign held a rally at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Warwick.  WPRO, Providence late morning personality John DePetro served as emcee for the event.  He’s pictured here (right) with Donald Trump (center) and DePetro’s son Daniel (left).

Odds & Sods.  Eighteen-year Las Vegas radio pro JB King is promoted to operations manager for the CBS RADIO cluster there that includes: news/talk KXNT and sports talk KXST, as well as CHR KLUC, hot AC KMXB, alternative KXTE, and urban contemporary KXQQ…..iHeartMedia fires up new translator W292EG in Eau Claire, Wisconsin to carry the signal of news/talk WMEQ, Menomonie.  The 34-watt translator at 106.3 FM lies between thelarsonkeith Menononie and Eau Claire centers…..WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte talk show host Keith Larson is organizing his 14th annual motorcycle ride to help kids battling life-threatening illnesses and their families.  It’s called Keith’s Ride and it takes place this Saturday (4/30).  The event is escorted by the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office Motor Unit and supported by several other law enforcement agencies…..The nationally syndicated “Motley Fool Money” radio show adds Shamrock Communications’ KNEZ, Reno “107.3 KNEWS” as its latest affiliate station…..CBS RADIO’s news/talk KDKA-AM, Pittsburgh is hosting “Allegheny Health Network’s Senior Life Today presented by LubriSyn HA” this Saturday (4/30).  The event will feature vendors with informational booths and break-out sessions.  KDKA personalities will be onsite throughout the day and the station will broadcast its Saturday programming live from site from 8:00 am to 1:00 pm.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

| April 19, 2016

NABShow16Analysis: NAB Show – Day 1.  Radio consultant Holland Cooke is reporting from the 2016 NAB Show for TALKERS magazine/RadioInfo.  From day one of the broadcasting mega-confab in Las Vegas, Cooke reports on the radio-centric panels he attended.  NAB CEO Gordon Smith declared in his opening keynote, “No other media industry is as dedicated to supporting our local communities – not Google, not Apple, not Pandora, not cable or satellite.”  That sentiment ran through a number of panels during which operators told attendees that in radio’s current era, stations have to be marketing experts for their clients and information and entertainment experts for their local communities.  For more about how operators are encouraging creativity in sales and programming, read Holland Cooke’s report here.

murphmacCumulus Re-Ups ‘Murph and Mac.’  Sports talk duo Brian Murphy and Paul McCaffrey will continue to host the morning drive show on Cumulus Media’s sports talk KNBR, San Francisco after signing a contract renewal.  Beginning April 25, the program will move up an hour and be heard from 6:00 am to 10:00 am.  KNBR operations manager Lee Hammer states, “I’m thrilled to be able to announce that ‘Murph and Mac’ will continue their morning show on KNBR 680. Their show, which blends sports talk and the perfect balance of pop culture and musical references, is the ‘go-to’ destination every morning for sports fans in the Bay Area.”  The two have been partners on KNBR for the past 10 years.

The Presidential Race/ New York Primary, SCOTUS Hears Obama Illegal Aliens Executive Order Case, $20 Bill Controversy, Afghanistan Taliban Activity, and Biden Netanyahu Criticism Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/19).  The activities of the candidates for president and today’s New York primary election; the Supreme Court’s hearing of arguments in the case challenging President Obama’s executive order protecting some illegal aliens from deportation; the flap over removing Andrew Jackson from the $20 bill and replacing him with a female historical figure; concern over increased violence by the Taliban in Afghanistan; and Joe Biden’s criticism of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

ericksonerickWSB-AM, Atlanta’s Erick Erickson Takes Time Off After Pulmonary Issues.  The host of “Atlanta’s Evening News” on WSB-AM, Atlanta – and RedState.com editor-in-chief Erick Erickson – is taking time off from his afternoon drive program to recover from a serious illness.  Erickson posted on TheResurgent.com that over the past few weeks his lungs have been filling up with blood clots.  Breathing difficulties sent him to see doctors on several occasions before his was diagnosed.  Though still in the hospital, Erickson says he is healing and hopes to return to work soon.

zieglerbrandonJohn Ziegler Discusses the State of His Syndicated Show (‘John & Leah’) and the Radio Industry in Candid TALKERS Audio Interview.  TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian recently spoke with Envision Networks-syndicated talk personality John Ziegler about the progress his Sunday evening show is making a year into its national distribution effort that resulted in a major personality profile posted in TALKERS on March 8.  The three-hour show that features co-host Leah Brandon (who also serves as WERC, Birmingham morning news anchor) is currently heard on 22 affiliate stations – 15 of which are in the top 28 markets.  Ziegler has an impressive set of talk radio credentials that include stints at WHAS, Louisville and KFI, Los Angeles among others.  He also has a colorful history in the business that includes its share of controversial, high-profile episodes.  In a brand new audio conversation with TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison conducted yesterday (4/18), Ziegler says having a wife, child and a female co-host serve to keep him more cautious and mature when it comes to recklessness and stepping over the line – but that hasn’t dampened his edginess and reputation for delivering strong opinions.  Ziegler and Brandon are included in the 2016 edition of the TALKERS “Heavy Hundred” and Ziegler will be a participant in the “Talk Rumble” at the forthcoming TALKERS 2016: Bridging the Generations convention set for Friday, May 20 at Hofstra University in Hempstead, NY.   To listen to the entire conversation between Ziegler and Harrison, please click here.  To read the March 8 feature story by Mike Kinosian please click here.

Odds & Sods.  Entering the business of podcast distribution is the America Out Loud News Portal which debuts six new shows including, “This is Real Life Radio with Host Malcolm Out Loud.”  Malcolm Out Loud is the founder of the platform and he says programming pro Gabe Hobbs will consult with the network and providemargarellacarolinaMarathon talent resources for hosts…..iHeartMedia Denver and the Colorado Rockies agree to a five-year extension of their radio broadcast agreement that’ll keep Rockies baseball on KOA, Denver “NewsRadio 850 AM & 94.1 FM” through the 2021 season.  Jack Corrigan and Jerry Schemmel will continue as the voices of Colorado Rockies play-by-play…..WCNN, Atlanta “Sports Radio 680 The Fan” account executive Carolina Margarella (pictured at right) took yesterday off from her duties at the Dickey-owned station to run in the 120th Boston Marathon.  This year’s race also marked the 50th anniversary of women being allowed to run.  Margarella finished the race in 3:25:57, which averages out to a very impressive 7:51 per mile.

brentmegIn Memoriam: Brent Seltzer. Just over four weeks from now (5/20), the annual TALKERS convention will take place on the campus of Hofstra University. There will be one sadly missing element there, however, following the passing yesterday afternoon (4/18) of our colleague Brent Seltzer (right). The 68-year-old golden-voiced on-air talent/writer/voice over artist died in his sleep at a Los Angeles-area long-term care facility. Always debonair and engaging, Seltzer is survived by his wife, Meg McDonald (left). For the last several years, Seltzer and McDonald served as “official greeters” at the TALKERS New York City and Los Angeles confabs and last year they served as emcees of the NY event.  Seltzer succumbed to complications following major surgery. TALKERS founder/publisher Michael Harrison states, “We all mourn the loss of a great broadcaster, wonderful friend, and outstanding human being.”   McDonald encourages a celebration of her late husband’s life, stating, “We hope you will raise a glass and toast Brent Seltzer.”  Instead of a formal funeral service, Seltzer will be cremated and buried at sea.  In lieu of flowers, the family requests that those so inclined make a donation to their favorite animal shelter or animal charity.  Seltzer had a legendary career in radio dating back to the late 1960s that included pioneering work in the field of FM rock radio news at such outlets as KGB, San Diego and KMET, Los Angeles among others.  His long-running podcast, “Still at Large with Brent Seltzer” had a significant national following early in the podcasting movement and, in recent years, he co-hosted a daily GCN nationally-syndicated husband/wife “chat” program, “The Brent & Meg Show” with McDonald.  Those interested in contacting Meg McDonald can do so via email at meg@mcdonaldmediaservices.com.  Approximately two years ago, TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian profiled both Brent and Meg. Please click here to read that June 2014 special feature piece in its entirety.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

| April 12, 2016

2016HH imageTALKERS 2016 ‘Heavy Hundred’ Published.  The editorial board of TALKERS magazine announces the posting of the 2016 installment of the publication’s annual feature, “The 100 Most Important Radio Talk Show Hosts in America.”  This is the 21st consecutive year that the talk media trade journal (that is about to mark its 26th anniversary) has been compiling and publishing the list – also known as “The Heavy Hundred.”  According to TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey, “This year’s list includes a number of familiar faces (and voices) as well as new up-and-comers and some radio pros who are in new situations.”  Casey continues, “Needless to say, compiling this list is extremely challenging – especially since it draws upon both objective and subjective factors – and is the source of heated debate every year among our editors for months leading up to its release.”  View the 2016 Heavy Hundred here.

steeledanDan Steele Exits WHP, Harrisburg.  Radio pro Dan Steele informs his listeners that he’s exited iHeartMedia’s news/talk WHP, Harrisburg where he co-hosted the morning drive program with RJ Harris.  Sixty-nine-year-old Steele tells TALKERS magazine that he was a victim of “economics” and was let go by the station he’d been with for 12 years.  Steele – real name Louis Braasch – says he started his radio career in Harrisburg in 1971 as a part-timer at WKBO.  Over the years he worked at such signals as KTSA, San Antonio; WPGC, Washington; and WFEC, WSFM and WHBO in Harrisburg.

limbaughrushRush Limbaugh’s Leukemia and Lymphoma Cure-A-Thon Raises $3.3 Million.  Aided by a $650,000 donation from Rush Limbaugh and his wife Kathryn, the Limbaugh program helped raise more than $3.3 million for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of America during last Friday’s 26th annual Cure-A-Thon broadcast.   Limbaugh dedicated portions of his three-hour show to encourage listeners to join the effort to find a cure for leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma, and to improve the quality of life for patients and their families.  Over the past 26 years, Limbaugh and his audience have collectively raised more than $47 million dollars for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, helping provide much-needed research and support for individuals and families affected by blood cancer diseases.  Limbaugh says, “Every year I think it’s going to be the year that we finally have topped out and we’re not going to be able to beat the previous year.  And I’ve never been right.  I and everybody at the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of America thank you from the bottom of our sizable beating hearts.”

The Presidential Race, Panama Papers Fallout, European Terror Bombings Investigation, Battle Against Islamic State, North Korea Nuke Threats, and North Carolina-Mississippi Anti-LGBT Laws Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/11).  The activities of the candidates for president and the controversy over delegate acquisition; the ongoing investigations into the perpetrators of the Paris and Brussels terror bombings; the fight against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria; the threats of nuclear attack on South Korea and the U.S. by North Korea; and the fallout over anti-LGBT laws in North Carolina and Mississippi were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

nielsen logoNielsen Audio Releases First Round of March 2016 PPM Data.  The first of four rounds of March 2016 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio 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).  The March 2016 survey period covered February 25 – March 23.  You can find the complete ratings from subscribing stations here.  Additionally, TALKERS/RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Twelve Takeaways” from this group on the main page of our sister publication here.

klivstaffKLIV, San Jose to Flip from News to Classic Country; Cost of Operation ‘Too Great.’  Soon the programming at KLIV, San Jose “Silicon Valley News” will flip from news to classic country as Empire Broadcasting makes a change that station president Robert Kieve tells listeners is a function of economics.  He posts on the station’s website that “the high expenses of running a news station and declining ad revenues have become too great.  Indeed, in the 30 years that KLIV has been a local news station, it has never made a profit; it has lost money every year. 2015 was the worst year in our history.  We’ll retain many features that have made KLIV distinctive – Carl Guardino’s weekly programs, our traffic reports, the voice of John McLeod, Phil Cosentino’s Produce Reports, commentaries about local issues, speakers from the San Jose Rotary Club and from the Commonwealth Club…We will miss our small news staff, especially its leader, George Sampson. They’ve done a wonderful job.”  The KLIV staff is pictured here with Kieve (bottom, left).

harrisonUpCloseFarOutsmallMichael Harrison Interviews KOZT Co-owner Tom Yates About the Past, Present and Future of FM Album Rock Radio.  In an extraordinary conversation covering the big picture view of FM album rock radio, the man “still living the dream,” KOZT, Fort Bragg, CA co-owner and air personality Tom Yates, talks about his experiences at the helm of one of the few remaining full-service “AOR” stations (album oriented rock) still in existence on this week’s installment of the PodcastOne international hit, “Up Close and Far Out withyatestom Michael Harrison.”  Yates and his wife (and business partner) Vicky Watts, bought the small Mendocino County station a quarter century ago, hired an air staff of accomplished “refugees” from major market West Coast rock radio, and installed a format that continues in the tradition of FM album rock radio in its golden era.  Yates, one of the pioneers of the genre, was the first program director of KLOS, Los Angeles in the early 1970s and left his fingerprints on such major outlets along the way as PD of KMPX and KLSX in Los Angeles; KSAN and “The City” in San Francisco, as well as stations across the nation as a consultant and managing editor of the then-influential trade publication, Goodphone Weekly.  Since its launch, KOZT (known as “The Coast”) has been nationally recognized and honored as a fantastic station picking up, along the way, an NAB Marconi Award for Best Rock station as well as three of that organization’s Crystal Awards for outstanding community service.  The station is ranked #1 in adults in the Mendocino County market and is a great example of a small broadcast station developing a huge and loyal online following across the nation and around the world.  KOZT is a great radio story and you can hear it in its entirety by clicking here or clicking on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column of every page at Talkers.com and RadioInfo.com.

Odds & Sods.  In what Westwood One is calling an unprecedented distribution arrangement, five all-news andwestwood one news logo news/talk stations in New York – WABC, WINS, WCBS, WOR and WBBR – will air the network’s coverage of Thursday night’s Democratic debate live from the Duggal Greenhouse at the Brooklyn Navy Yard.  The debate airs live from 9:00 pm to 11:00 pm on the radio and on CNN with Wolf Blitzer moderating…..Wyoming radio company Legend Communications names Mark Crump executive vice president and general manager of the Big Horn Radio Network – a nine-station, Cody-based cluster including: hot country KZMQ-FM, hot AC KKLX-FM, classic rock KCGL-FM, hot AC KTAG-FM, oldies KYTS-FM, classic country KCWB-FM, news/talk/sports KWOR-AM and KODI-AM, and oldies KZMQ-AM.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

| April 5, 2016

iheartmedia logo smalliHeartMedia and Creditors Still at Odds Over Asset Shift.  According to a report from Bloomberg, iHeartMedia and a number of its creditors have broken off talks to try to resolve the rancor over iHeartMedia’s shift of 100 million shares of Clear Channel Outdoor to a new subsidiary called Broader Media.  Creditors including D. E. Shaw, Canyon Capital, Franklin Advisers and Franklin Mutual sued iHeartMedia over the move claiming that it violates the debt covenants.  iHeartMedia argues that’s not the case and the move is designed to allow the company to deal more effectively with its $20 billion in debt.  iHeartMedia told a Texas judge that if the creditors’ bond defaults are allowed to proceed, it would cause as much as $15 billion of the company’s debt to come due quickly and that would force the company into bankruptcy protection.  The creditors argue that is not what they are trying to accomplish.  iHeartMedia SVP and treasurer Brian Coleman says the company’s maneuvers are part of its Project Indigo, a long-term strategy designed to allow it to study ways to deal with its debt.

The Panama Papers, The Presidential Race/Wisconsin Primary, Iran Arms Shipment Case, North Korean Nuke Threats, Tennessee Bible Bill, and NCAA Championship Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/4).  The so-called “Panama Papers” that reportedly link numerous world leaders to schemes to hide wealth in off-shore accounts; the activities of the candidates for president and today’s Wisconsin primary; the capture of illegal arms being shipped by Iran; the threats of nuclear attacks by North Korea; the controversial Tennessee bill that makes the Bible the official state book; and Monday evening’s NCAA Men’s Basketball championship were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

zaneericEric Zane Lands at Sports WBBL, Grand Rapids.  After exiting the nationally syndicated “Free Beer and Hot Wings” show based at Townsquare Media’s rock WGRD, Grand Rapids, Eric Zane has landed the morning show gig at Cumulus Media’s crosstown sports talk WBBL, effective April 7.  Zane officially left the show in mid-February after being absent from the program without explanation.  It appears Zane’s departure was the result of a contract dispute.  Now, he’ll compete in the Grand Rapids market directly with his former co-hosts Gregg “Free Beer” Daniels and Chris “Hot Wings” Michels.  The “Free Beer and Hot Wings” show is syndicated nationally by Compass Media Networks.

altitude sportsLineup at ‘Altitude Sports’ in Denver to Launch on Friday.  The newest sports talk radio station in the Denver market will officially launch on Friday, April 8 – the home opener day for the Colorado Rockies.  Much of the news about Stan Kroenke-owned KRWZ, Denver (recently purchased from Entercom) is not really news as it’s been rumored and reported in the Denver media for some time.  Here’s the lineup: Josh Dover hosts “The Morning Lineup” from 6:00 am to 7:00 am; the morning show will feature Tom Helmer, Lauren Gardner (an Altitude TV reporter), and former Denver Nuggets star Scott Hastings.  Middays will be hosted by Vic Lombardi and Kyle Keefe.  The station will also carry play-by-play of the NBA’s Nuggets, the NHL’s Avalanche; the MLS’ Colorado Rapids; and the National Lacrosse League’s Colorado Mammoth.

Odds & Sods.  There’s been a morning show and midday program re-build at CBS RADIO’s KHTK, Sacramento.  Carmichael Dave is now joined by Kayte Christensen and former midday host Nate Goodyear.  In middays, Jason Ross is partnered up with newcomers Ken Rudolph and Damien BarlingJay Johnson joins the station as executive producer…..Long Nine Inc.-owned news/talk WMAY, Springfield, Illinois adds an FM translator to its broadcast with the addition of W234CC, Sherman, Illinois at 94.7 FM.

granttoniDr. Toni Grant Dead at 72.  The cause of death is unknown at this time, but the Los Angeles Times is reporting that former radio talk show host and psychologist Dr. Toni Grant died in Beverly Hills on March 27.  Grant’s radio career was launched on KABC, Los Angeles in 1975 in the overnight daypart.  Her show eventually moved across town to KFI.  It went into syndication and at its height was heard on some 180 affiliates.  She was off the air from 1990 to 1997 when she re-entered the business.  She last worked on air at KABC in 2001.  Read the Times’ obit here.

kfivCool Job Opportunity.  “PowerTalk 1360 and 1280” is searching for a local talk show host for afternoon drive in California’s Central Valley.  Applicants must have spoken-word experience. General necessities include a passionate, opinionated, outspoken, larger-than-life personality with decidedly conservative values, obsession for news, politics, pop culture, and sports.  The ideal candidate will bring an intuitive understanding of the unique values, morals and issues of the California Central Valley and be in sync with those values and perspectives.  You must have the ability to speak to the audience as one of them; put a voice to their thoughts and beliefs…much more important than professional polish or experience.  In a perfect world you have spent time working in the Central Valley but you don’t have to presently live in the Modesto/Stockton area.  You will fully embrace the role of a LOCAL personality: specifically address and engage the LOCAL community issues, organizations, and interests, capitalize on endorsement opportunities, serve as station ambassador, be visible at all community functions, spearhead station and cluster community outreach. You must understand and dedicate your performance to the bottom line: your goals are ratings and unique visitors.  See required skills and submit resume and demo here.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

| March 22, 2016

moorerichKJR-AM, Seattle’s Rich Moore Upped to SVP of Programming for iHeartMedia Seattle.  Programmer Rich Moore is promoted to senior vice president of programming for iHeartMedia’s Seattle station group.  A 23-year iHeartMedia Seattle staffer, Moore has recently been serving as PD for sports talk KJR-AM “Seattle’s Sports Radio,” a position in which he will continue.  He’ll also oversee signals including CHR sisters KBKS “Kiss FM” and KPWK “POWER-FM,” hip hop KUBE, alternative KFOO “ALT-FM,” classic hits KJR-FM “95.7 The Jet,” and sports talk KHHO “FOX Sports Radio.”  Market president Kent Haehl says, “Rich has had a long and successful tenure at iHeartMedia Seattle.  He is a brilliant, creative and innovative leader who understands how to create deep relationships with listeners and we look forward to tapping into those skills across all our Seattle brands.”  At the same time, the company announces that Kevin Shockey is named to the assistant program director position for KJR-AM.

sliwarosenbergballbat2Mayhem at WABC, New York!?!  In the still photo you see here, WABC, New York air personality Curtis Sliwa (right) threatens fellow host Sid Rosenberg (left) with a baseball bat in the news/talk station’s studio.  In the video which you can see in full here, Sliwa is threatening Rosenberg for “stealing” producer Flipper, a.k.a. Jill Vitale, for his show and for subbing for him on what was supposed to be a “mental health” day off the air for Sliwa.  Sliwa co-hosts the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm show with Ron Kuby and Rosenberg co-hosts the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon show with “Imus in the Morning” cast member Bernard McGuirk.  Sources inside WABC tell TALKERS that the video is not contrived and that Sliwa was very upset about losing Flipper to the other show.  TALKERS editors, however, remain suspicious about the spontaneity of the video given WABC’s presenting it (proudly, it seems) on its website.  What, if anything, happens after this is unclear, however most employers discourage threatening fellow employees with baseball bats.  Stay tuned…

The Presidential Race, Obama’s Cuba Trip, Battle Against ISIS, Syria Conflict-Russian Involvement, and Hulk Hogan Sex Tape Suit Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/21).  The activities of the candidates for president; coverage of President Obama’s trip to Cuba and his meeting with Raul Castro; the ongoing battle against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria; the Syrian civil conflict and Russia’s military involvement; and the jury awards for Hulk Hogan in his suit against Gawker for releasing portions of his sex tape were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

harrisonUpCloseFarOutsmallMichael Harrison Gets ‘Up Close and Far Out’ with Kurt Hanson.  In this week’s installment of the PodcastOne international hit “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison,” the TALKERS magazine publisher conducts a candid and informative conversation with online radio pioneer Kurt Hanson from the convention floor of the recently concluded Radiodays Europe in Paris, France.  Hanson wears two feathers in his cap.  He is the founder and CEO of the tremendously successful online radio music service, AccuRadio,harrisonHansen16 that provides hundreds of thousands of music fans with a wide spectrum of music genres both old and new.  He also is publisher and founding editor of RAIN Enterprises.  RAIN provides the industry with two major services, the Radio and Internet Newsletter and its annual RAIN conference on the relationship between radio and the internet held in conjunction with the NAB Radio Show.  According to Harrison, “Kurt Hanson is a visionary in the merging fields of radio and digital broadcasting as well as being a heck of an entrepreneur.  He’s also a ‘Star Trek’ fanatic and I’m delighted to present our fascinating Paris conversation to the world’s ‘media freaks’ this week.”  To listen to the podcast in its entirety please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column of every page of Talkers.com and RadioInfo.com.

cbsradioWBBM-AM, Chicago’s Felicia Middlebrooks and Lola Vanderpuye Among Gracie Award Winners at CBS RADIO.  Winners of 2016 Gracie Awards include WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM, Chicago “Newsradio 780 & 105.9 FM” morning drive co-anchor Felicia Middlebrooks and WBBM coordinating producer Lola Vanderpuye.  The Gracie Awards — from the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation — honor exemplary programming for, by and about women in all facets of media and entertainment, as well as individuals who have made contributions to the industry.  Middlebrooks is being honored for anchor of a local news or news magazine program, and Vanderpuye is being recognized for local imaging for the Chicago Cubs.  Other CBS RADIO staffers being honored include: Marla Diamond, WCBS, New York “Newsradio 880” for Local Reporter/Correspondent; Nina Hajian, WNEW-FM, New York “92.3 AMP Radio” for Local Host of Entertainment/Information; Jane Tillman Irving, WCBS, New York “Newsradio 880” for Local Hard News Feature; Amy Lawrence, CBS Sports Radio for National Host of a Sports Program; Loren Raye, WODS, Boston “103.3 AMP Radio”; Suzyn Waldman, WFAN, New York for Local Sports Program; and Shila Nathan for Afternoon Drive Personality-Local (while at WUSN, Chicago).

cumulus logoCumulus Media Staffers Honored with Gracies.  Here’s a rundown of the Cumulus Media employees who will be recognized for their work by the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation with a 2016 Gracie Award:  “NASH Nights Live” personality Elaina D. Smith for National Radio Special; Rita Cosby, WABC, New York for Talk Show, News-Local Radio, and Host, Non-News/Non-Fiction-Local Radio; and Joan Hamburg, WABC, New York for Soft News Feature-Local Radio.

Odds & Sods.  The annual live political event “Charlie Sykes Insight 2016” – presented by E.W. Scrippssykescharlie WTMJ, Milwaukee and Sykes’ RightWisconsin.com – will include an appearance by GOP presidential candidate Senator Ted Cruz tomorrow (3/23).  During the program at Country Springs Hotel in Pewaukee, Sykes and Senator Cruz will have an exclusive, one-on-one discussion…..Chicago news pro darlasandreaAndrea Darlas is being honored with the Diogenes Award for Excellence in Media from the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois at the organization’s 90th Anniversary Dinner Meeting on Thursday, March 24 at the Hyatt Regency Chicago.  BBB president and CEO Steve Bernas explains, “The Diogenes Award is presented to a media person who exemplifies the goals and principles of the Better Business Bureau to support and foster an ethical marketplace benefiting both consumers and businesses.”  Darlas is currently the morning news anchor on Tribunes’s WGN Radio, a reporter on its WGN-TV and CLTV as well as a contributor to the nationally syndicated TV show, “House Smarts.”…..In Canada, Bell Media news/talk stations are now carrying the NPR-syndicated “TED Radio Hour.” The show, hosted by Guy Raz, currently airs in the U.S. on public radio outlets and is available as a podcast.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

| March 16, 2016

cbsradio logoCBS to Explore Options for Radio Division.  The company has always enjoyed the cash flow that the CBS RADIO division brought to its bottom line but CEO Les Moonves has often indicated that radio is not a core business for CBS Corp.  Yesterday’s announcement by Moonves at a CBS investor day that the company will explore “strategic options” for the radio division in order to “hone its asset portfolio” is being greeted by the radio industry with mixed emotions.  Potential buyers are thrilled by the thought of acquiring CBS’ heritage, major market signals, but few operators have piles of cash on hand and it will require taking on debt tomoonvesles buy these stations in a climate where debt can be difficult to pay off.  TALKERS magazine publisher Michael Harrison offers the following comments on the Moonves announcement, “Broadcast (FM/AM) radio can still be a very viable business if stations can be acquired at realistic prices.  There is still a lot of life left in the medium if it can run within a business model that makes sense per the times.  Also, broadcast radio has a large audience and provides a vital set of services for millions of Americans.  It just needs to be relieved of stifling debt.  Radio has to be able to afford to do radio.  Fresh capital within a realistic debt structure and the influx of invigorated, passionate ownership will create a much better product for radio which will further add years of vitality to the industry.”  However, Harrison points out, “CBS has been and still is one of the better-run major companies in radio, so its decision to get out – although advancing the cause of de-consolidation – is not an act of desperation as much as it is indicative of their long-term asset strategy.”  Moonves told investors that it views CBS TV and Showtime as its premium brands.  The company is focusing intently on its digital efforts CBS All Access and Showtime via the Internet to cater to consumers’ growing on-demand preferences.  CBS owns 117 signals in 26 markets, many of those clusters are in major markets.  Given what CBS hopes to get for the stations it is unlikely that one buyer will be able to swallow the whole group.  Since radio is not considered a growth industry by investors, finding favorable financing for radio station acquisitions – especially in light of the enormous debt fellow operators iHeartMedia and Cumulus are dealing with – will be a challenge.  Moonves said all options are on the table, meaning the company would consider a spinoff or a split as well as an outright sale.  CBS RADIO’s net revenue for the fourth quarter of 2015 was down 5% compared to the same period in 2014.

harrisonRadioDays16wcaptionAmerican Broadcasters Participate in Radiodays Europe.  Several prominent US radio broadcasters participated as speakers in the just-concluded seventh annual installment of Radiodays Europe – the growingly popular international radio convention that took place March 13-15 in Paris.  Among them were TALKERS magazine publisher Michael Harrison who delivered a speech titled “Lessons Learned by American Radio During the Dawn of the Digital Era” and moderated a “Fast and Curious” roundtable discussion titled, “Making Radio Indispensable;” Jacobs Media CEO, Fred Jacobs who participated in a group presentation titled, “”Radio in Car: Dashboard Disaster;” Geller Media International  president Valerie Geller who conducted a workshop titled “Create Powerful Radio,” spoke in a group session titled “30 Ideas in 45 Minutes” and debuted the brand new French language edition of her book Creating Powerful Radio; iHeart Media syndicated personality Elvis Duran and VP of talent development Dennis Clark who both appeared on the panel titled “Morning Radio SuperstarsgellerRadiodays16 – In Talent We Trust; NPR producer Bianca Giaeve, who presented a session titled “Storytelling in New Medias” and appeared in the group session titled “30 Ideas in 45 Minutes;” and Futuri Media CEO Daniel Anstandig who presented a session titled “Winning the First Tune-In Occasion of the Day.”  It was announced that next year’s Radiodays Europe will take place in Amsterdam.  Pictured at right is Valerie Geller with her Puissance Radio French publishing team (l-r) Philippe Chapot, Francois Quairel and Frederic Bruhaltour at the debut of the French version of her classic Creating Powerful Radio. 

tidwelllanceCumulus Kansas City Names Lance Tidwell Cluster OM and KCMO PD.  Programmer Lance Tidwell joins Cumulus Media’s Kansas City station group to serve as cluster operations manager and program director for news/talk KCMO-AM.  He’ll also supervise the Chiefs Radio Network.  Tidwell was previously SVP of programming for iHeartMedia’s San Antonio cluster.  On KCMO-AM, Tidwell replaces Steve Sutton who recently exited the PD and talk host roles at the station.

Odds & Sods.  The photo at right shows a billboard in the Tampa market for “102.5 The Bone” morning personalitycaltaBillboard16 Mike CaltaCox Media Group-owned talk outlet WHPT is also promoting the afternoon drive Drew Garabo show with a similar ad.  “Bone” program director John Brennan comments on the Trump-inspired boards saying, “We’re kicking off 102.5 The Bone’s ‘CamPAINFUL’ coverage and have launched a series of parody billboards ‘Trumped’ in ridiculousness only by the 2016 Election itself.”  Calta will appear at the Talkers 2016: hennermariluBridging the Generations conference at Hofstra University on May 20 on the “Millennials and the Media” panel…..It’s being reported that the Marilu Henner talk radio show will wrap after its last broadcast on March 31.  The program is no longer listed on the Sun Broadcast Group site.  It is distributed by Genesis Communications Network.  “Free Talk Live” principal Ian Freeman reports the news to affiliate stations.  His show is also distributed by GCN…..Speaking of “Free Talk Live,”janoffgreg the show announces it has added new affiliates in WWHP-FM, Bloomington, Illinois; KQQQ, Pullman, Washington; simulcast KEIR, KEII, and the four translators in Idaho Falls, Blackfoot, and Pocatello, Idaho; and WSDT, Soddy-Daisy, Tennessee…..Greg Janoff returns to CBS RADIO New York as director of news sales for all-newsers WINS and WCBS-AM.  Janoff was most recently with Townsquare Media as regional VP for New Jersey.

ppmunitRound Two of February PPM Data Released.  The second of four rounds of February 2016 PPM data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Washington, Boston, Detroit, Miami, Seattle, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis.  The survey period was January 28 – February 24.  TALKERS magazine’s sister publication RadioInfo has all of the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  In addition, managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his “Twelve Takeaways” from this batch of ratings on the main page at RadioInfo.com here.

Super Tuesday II/Presidential Race, Syrian Conflict-Russian Involvement, Scalia Replacement, U.S Immigration Policy, and ‘Pawn Stars’ Cast Member Bust Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/15).  Yesterday’s Super Tuesday II primary elections and the issues surrounding the presidential race; the Syrian conflict and Russia’s announcement it is removing its troops from the region; the controversy over the replacement of late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia; debate over the immigration policy in the U.S.; and the arrest of “Pawn Stars” cast member Chumlee were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

| March 15, 2016

nielsen logoRound One of February PPM Data Released.  The first of four rounds of February 2016 PPM data from Nielsen Audio 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).  The survey period was January 28 – February 24.  TALKERS magazine’s sister publication RadioInfo has all of the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  In addition, managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his “Twelve Takeaways” from this batch of ratings on the main page at RadioInfo.com here.

Presidential Race, Hillary Clinton Benghazi Gaffe, Syrian Civil Conflict, Battle Against Islamic State, North Korea Nuke Tests, and March Madness Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/14).  The activities of the candidates for president and today’s Super Tuesday II primary elections; controversy over Hillary Clinton’s statement about not losing any Americans in Benghazi; the Syrian civil war and Russia’s reported abrupt exit from the conflict; recent U.S. drone attacks on Islamic State fighters; the nuclear tests being conducted by North Korea; and the beginning of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

rtdnaSunshineWeekRTDNA Recognizes ‘Sunshine Week.’  All this week (3/13-19) the Radio Television Digital News Association is recognizing the public’s right to know by encouraging newsrooms across the country to observe the week.  Sunshine Week was begun by the Florida Society of Newspaper Editors and expanded nationwide 12 years ago, spearheaded by the American Society of News Editors, with the help of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and dozens of media organizations, including RTDNA.  Included in Sunshine Week this year is National Freedom of Information Day,bohannonjim which was conceived by radio talk show host Jim Bohannon, is celebrated on March 16 to honor the birthday of President James Madison, founder of the Bill of Rights.  RTDNA executive director Mike Cavender and Society of Professional Journalists president Paul Fletcher will be guests on Bohannon’s Westwood One-syndicated radio show on March 16, to mark the occasion and discuss the state of freedom of information in the country today.  Cavender says, “As the Freedom of Information Act turns 50 years old, we continue to see misguided attempts to undermine its principles by government agencies, members of Congress and state legislatures around the country.  Now more than ever, Americans should understand the need for transparency in government and having public access to the public’s business.”

Odds & Sods.  Baltimore talk radio legend Tom Marr signs a one-year contract renewal to continue his daily latemarrtom morning program on WCBM, Baltimore for a final year.  Marr has been in the radio industry for more than 50 years…..Programmer Mike Killabrew is the new SVP of programming at iHeartMedia’s Indianapolis cluster that includes sports talk WNDE…..Bob “Wolf” Wohlfeld returns to the radio in the Albany market where he’s now partnered with afternoon drive host Jeff Levack on Townsquare Media’s sports talk WTMM-FM “ESPN Radio 104.5.”  Wohlfeld had previously worked in the market at classic rock WPYX.

Monday, March 14, 2016

| March 14, 2016

shapirobenTalk Personality & Breitbart Editor Ben Shapiro and Reporter Michelle Fields Resign After Alleged Assault by Trump Campaign Manager.  Two Breitbart News staffers have resigned from the conservative news organization, citing lack of support from management after reporter Michelle Fields was allegedly assaulted by Donald Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski.  Both Fields and editor-at-large Ben Shapiro have resigned.  The alleged incident happened at a Trumpfieldsmichelle campaign rally on March 9.  Fields says she was grabbed by the arm and yanked away while trying to ask a question of Trump after his speech.  She did not see her attacker but Fox News reports Washington Post reporter Ben Terris identified Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski as the assailant.  Lewandowski has denied the accusation.  Fields says the Trump camp then began a “character assassination” campaign on her and received little support from Breitbart.  Further, both Fields and Shapiro (who also is a personality on KRLA, Los Angeles’ AM drive show), say Breitbart itself wrote skeptically about Fields’ allegation and even encouraged other staffers – under threat of termination – to stop supporting Fields in the matter.  Read Shapiro’s resignation statement in the Buzzfeed story here.

RadiodaysSA16_rev_390.Michael Harrison Participating in Radiodays Europe.  TALKERS magazine publisher Michael Harrison is playing a role in the international radio convention, Radiodays Europe, taking place yesterday, today and tomorrow (3/13-15) in Paris, France.  Harrison is participating in two capacities.  Yesterday, he moderated a fast-paced roundtable discussion with approximately 25 broadcasters from all over the world focused on the subject, “Making Radio Indispensable.”  Tomorrow, he addresses the conference on the subject, “Lessons Learned by American Radio at the Dawn of the Digital Era.”  According to Harrison, “The conversation was based on the premise that in order for radio to continue its relevancy in the 21st century, it must provide programming and services that a critical mass of listeners find indispensable.”  Participating radio professionals represented such diverse countries as France, Italy, the UK, Switzerland, Germany, Russia, Argentina, South Africa, and Australia.  Harrison says, “It became very clear, very quickly, that the concerns facing the American industry are also being experienced by radio broadcasters around the world – the challenge of new exotic forms of unregulated media spawned by changing technology as well as a significant generational divide in appealing to younger listeners.”  Among the commonly cited solutions suggested by participants include: “highlight live and local programming,” “maintain pressure on the auto industry to continue prominently including AM and FM availability in cars,” “activate the radio chip in smartphones,” and “provide programming of great importance to younger listeners to stimulate interest in the medium by Millennials.”  Harrison says, “The conversation – aside from the flavorful accents and colorful array of personal styles displayed by the wonderful people I met – was not all that different than conversations you would hear at an American radio convention.”  However, Harrison points out, “The biggest, obvious difference between the radio industries in many of these countries and the American model is government ownership.  In countries where a large percentage of stations and networks are government owned and state funded, there is significantly less pressure on both management and talent to deal with budget cuts, ratings obsession and the pain imposed by consolidation-induced smothering debt.RadiodaysRuss16  A highlight of the discussion came when Harrison engaged in a conversation about Freedom of Speech with Russian broadcaster Yuri Fedutinov, co-owner of privately held radio station “Echo of Moscow.”  According to Fedutinov (pictured here, far left, speaking with Harrison, far right), the amount of leeway Russian talk radio has in terms of expressing general opinion is in ratio to how much audience loyalty it has earned by consistently being engaged in community involvement.  Due to barriers in language and cultural differences, it was difficult for Fedutinov to be specific as exactly what you can and cannot say on the air in terms of political speech at this point in Russian societal evolution – but it was clear that Fedutinov had to be “fired” from his role as an on-air commentator because of things he opined, but was allowed by the government (and his co-owners) to remain as a principal of the station.”  Harrison admits, “I found the conversation with my new Russian friend both RadiodaysGerm16fascinating and frustrating.  Frustrating – because of the language barrier that made discussion about a nuanced subject prone to misunderstanding as well as my reluctance to push him into saying something publicly that might get him into further trouble.  After all, there are no longer any ‘off the record’ conversations at events where microphones and cameras are prevalent.”  In a lighter vein, Harrison learned from young Australian radio entrepreneur Ed Hooper that one of the fastest-growing cultural trends in the ‘land down under’ is interest in the NFL and American-style football.  Hooper is a self-proclaimed fan of the New England Patriots.  He and Harrison got along very well, to say the least.  Pictured at left is Harrison (left) with German broadcaster Jorg Stelkins (right).  More from Radiodays Europe tomorrow.

weismanstevenLegal Analysis: What the Hulk Hogan Sex Tape Case Means to You.  TALKERS magazine legal editor Steven J.J. Weisman writes today about the impact the verdict in Hulk Hogan’s suit against Gawker could have on a radio station’s ability to use material recorded unknowingly or that which is highly personal.  This case involves the sex tape of Hogan and Bubba the Love Sponge’s ex-wife Heather Clem that was recorded, without his knowledge says Hogan, and of which a portion was published to the Internet by Gawker.  As Weisman writes, the ruling could affect how stories like this are covered in the news.  “It is reasonably clear that the lives of celebrities have become valid topics for discussion, but when it comes to invasive videos and photographs, a right to privacy may trump the First Amendment rights of the media.”  Read more here.

The Presidential Race, Syrian Civil War, Ivory Coast Terror Attack, Germany Migrant Issues, Obama SXSW Speech, and NCAA Tourney Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The activities of the candidates for president; al Qaeda attacks on Syrian U.S.-backed, rebel-held strongholds; the deadly shootings at an Ivory Coast resort by militant Muslims; Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union party loses to anti-immigrant parties in German elections; President Obama states case for giving police access to smartphones during speech at SXSW festival; and the NCAA Men’s basketball tournament bracket is announced were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

francesarusso16FrancesaCon3 Draws Fans to Irving Plaza; ‘Mike & the Mad Dog’ Reunite.  It was the third annual “convention” held in New York City to honor sports talk giant Mike Francesa.  What started three years ago in a bar in the Big Apple, has grown so that the event was held for the second year in a row at the Irving Plaza and Francesa’s former WFAN partner, Chris “Mad Dog” Russo, joined him for the first reunion of the two since 2009.  The event was founded by Rockville Centre, New York’s Michael Leboff and New Jersey’s Ron Haraka.  Proceeds went to the Dr. Theodore Atlas Foundation, a charity assisting children in need.  Francesa tells Newsday, “This kind of outpouring is just unbelievable.  It’s so much different than anything else.  It’s so spontaneous…It’s just wild, it really is.  I went through it last year and [Russo] saw it this year for the first time.”  Image: Newsday.

Odds & Sods.  At Hearst’s news/talk WBAL, Baltimore, afternoon news anchor Mary Beth Marsden has exitedmarsdenmarybeth her role after a five-year stint.  The Baltimore Sun reports that Marsden would only say that it was time to move on and the parting was amicable…..Sports media personality Stephen A. Smith will sit down with SirusXM host Karen Hunter for a special “SiriusXM’s Town Hall with Stephen A. Smith: The smithstephenaState of Sports, Media and Culture Today.”  The satcaster says Smith and Hunter will go into Smith’s career and the path that led him to become one of America’s more polarizing television and radio personalities.  It will premiere on March 18 at 12:00 noon ET on the Urban View channel…..Westwood One is presenting exclusive coverage of the 2016 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship beginning Tuesday, March 15 and will carry all 67 men’s basketball games includes the First Four, games from all eight first-round and second-round sites, plus the regional semifinals and finals.  In addition, Westwood One will broadcast the NCAA Men’s Final Four on Saturday, April 2, and the National Championship Game on Monday, April 4, live from NRG Stadium in Houston.

mccarthyjpDetroit Public TV to Air J.P. McCarthy Documentary.  Detroit market radio legend J.P. McCarthy is being remembered in a documentary produced by Detroit Public TV.  McCarthy hosted the morning drive show on WJR, Detroit from 1965 through 1995.  The program, titled “J.P. McCarthy – The Voice of Detroit,” is an hour-long documentary that tells McCarthy’s story, “the ultimate local-kid-done-good tale.”  DPTV says it worked “extensively with the McCarthy family and conducted more than 20 interviews with J.P.’s friends, family, co-workers and contemporaries.”

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

| March 8, 2016

sagaSaga Communications Net Revenue for 2015 Flat; Down 2.1% in Q4.  Fourth quarter and 2015 full year financial figures have been released by Saga Communications and the company’s net revenue for all of 2015 was $132.9 million (basically flat at -0.9%).  Comparing 2015 Q4 net revenue to the same period in 2014, the company was down 2.1% (including political).  Saga reports that free cash flow increased 2.9% to $21.6 million for the year ended December 31, 2015.  Gross revenue without political increased 0.7% for the year.  Station operating expense decreased 1.2% to $97.3 million (station operating expense includes depreciation and amortization attributable to the stations).  Operating income decreased $1.9 million.  Net income for the year was $13.4 million ($2.29 per fully diluted share).

The Presidential Race, Battle Against Islamic State, Oberlin Prof. Controversy, Netanyahu Cancels White House Visit, U.S. Illegal Immigrant Tally, and Erin Andrews Jury Award Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/7).  The activities of the candidates for president and today’s Super Tuesday 2 primaries; the U.S. drone strikes on Islamic State militia; the controversial case of an Oberlin College professor’s Israel-Jewish conspiracy theories; Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s abruptly cancelled visit with the White House; a report indicating an estimated 15 million immigrants are in the U.S. illegally; and sports reporter Erin Andrews wins a $55 million jury award in her case against the man who videotaped her and the hotel at which it happen were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

harrisonUpCloseFarOutsmallMichael Harrison Explores a Wide Swath of Media Theory from Cave Painting to Virtual Reality.  In the latest episode of the weekly PodcastOne series “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison,” the TALKERS publisher presents a dynamic series of provocative connections casting a wide net from prehistoric cave painting to humanity’s “wiring of the solar system.”  Referring back to early technology, music (“Garland to Gaga”) and culture (including his own childhood memories of playing kiddie records on a phonograph), Harrison talks about the extraordinary influence that the smart phone and other modern appliances are having on the modern human nervous system going forward into the digital era.  This is a tour de force certain to stimulate Harrison’s following of “media freaks” both inside the industry and beyond.  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player located in the right-hand column of every page of Talkers.com and RadioInfo.com.

bahenickKOZN, Omaha’s Nick Bahe Returns to Air This Week.  Sports talk host Nick Bahe is planning to return to the air on NRG Media’s KOZN, Omaha “1620 The Zone” after being off the air since February 17 to have a tumor removed from his chest.  The midday personality called in to his own program yesterday (3/7) to tell listeners that the tumor is benign and he will be back on his show this week.  NRG reports that podcast plays of the program tallied close to 17,500.  KOZN operations manager Dave Tepper states, “Nick has had an incredibly challenging few months with his health.  His ‘Zone’ team and listeners share relief in learning his test results are healthy and that he’ll back entertaining his listeners soon.”

kinosianmikeKinosian: John & Leah Show 1st Year Progress Report.  TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian recently spoke with Envision Networks-syndicated talk personality John Ziegler about the progress his Sunday evening show is making a year into its national distribution effort.  The three-hour show that features co-host Leah Brandon (who also serves as WERC, Birmingham morning news anchor) is currently heard on 22 affiliate stations – 15 of which are in the top 28 markets.  Ziegler tells Kinosian, “So far, I am surprised there has not been more of a bandwagon effect.  Many stations are missing a