Tag: "Michael Harrison"

Friday, July 17, 2015

| July 17, 2015

wgow logoWGOW, Chattanooga Gives Listeners News, Avoids Opinion and Conjecture During Initial Hours of Deadly Assault on Military Sites.  News of the fatal shootings of four U.S. Marines at a recruiting center in Chattanooga and the wounding of others at a Naval facility seven miles away broke just a couple of hours before WGOW, Chattanooga talk host Brian Joyce was preparing to go on the air for his 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm program.  Joyce tells TALKERS magazine that the station decided right away to go into full news mode to provide as much information to the public as possible andjoycebrian avoid opinion and conjecture.  Joyce, program director Kevin West, and APD Bill Lockwood worked together to get the information that was trickling in on the radio.  Joyce says he and West co-hosted his show while Lockwood gathered information from authorities.  He says, “WGOW decided that there will be plenty of time to present opinions on radical Islam, gun laws, security at military facilities in the weeks to come, at that moment yesterday though, our job was to inform.”  Joyce says they did put callers on the air if they were in the area and had something to report, but they were careful with what was said.  “It was important that we don’t broadcast any misinformation and our call screeners were instructed to avoid that when putting people on the air.”  Today, Joyce is on a planned vacation and the station has Robin Smith – the former chair of the Tennessee Republican Party – sitting in for him.  She will be speaking with Tennessee’s U.S. Senators Bob Corker and Lamar Alexander as well as other state and local officials as the station remains in information mode.  Joyce says that when he’s back on the air next week, he’ll begin to delve into the opinions that will come in the aftermath of the attacks.

entercomEntercom Closes on LFM Deal; Begins Operating Bonneville’s KSWD, Los Angeles.  On the heels of this week’s announcement that Entercom Communications and the Department of Justice reached an agreement on its acquisition of  Lincoln Financial Media’s radio stations comes today’s news that the deal has closed and it begins operating the stations today (7/17).  Entercom iskkfn logo also beginning operation of Bonneville’s classic rock KSWD, Los Angeles “The Sound” under a Time Brokerage Agreement and Bonneville begins operating the four Denver stations it is acquiring from Entercom as part of the larger deal.  Those Denver stations are: adult contemporary KOSI, country KYGO, and sports talkers KKFN-FM and KEPN.  Closing of the Bonneville-Entercom station exchange is subject to FCC approval and other customary closing conditions.  Entercom expects this transaction to close by the fourth quarter of this year.

cosbyritaWABC, New York to Air Rita Cosby’s Donald Trump Interview.  There’s little question that the current poll success Republican candidate for president Donald Trump is enjoying means tremendoustrumpdonald content for talk show hosts who get him for a guest on their show.  WABC, New York’s Rita Cosby will air a conversation with the real estate magnate on her Sunday (7/19) 6:00 pm ET program.  The station says, “Trump shares with Cosby and her listeners his unvarnished and often provocative views…Trump calls for a boycott of Mexico in light of its illegal immigration/border issues and the escape of El Chapo.  He also discusses Bill Cosby and says they should take away his Medal of Freedom because, ‘He’s guilty as hell.’”

daykennyiHeartMedia Names Day to Political Marketing Post.  Named to the SVP, political sales and strategy position for iHeartMedia is Kenny Day, who joins the company on July 23.  He’ll report to president of national sales Jeff Howard.  The company says that in this new role, Day will oversee its “political and advocacy efforts by building a Washington D.C.-based team focused on working with political and issue advertisers as well as advertising agencies to create custom strategies, campaigns and content” that leverage all the company’s platforms.  Day was most recently director of platform solutions for unified programmatic video advertising platform BrightRoll.  Day comments, “With the introduction of its innovative programmatic buying platform and the upcoming 2016 election, there could not be a more exciting time to be joining iHeartMedia.  I look forward to the opportunity to provide iHeartMedia’s political and issue advertisers with the most targeted, effective, affordable and powerful ways to deliver their messages.”

ktar-fm logoBonneville Names Bertrand Berry Host of Late Morning Show on KTAR-FM, Phoenix.  The former Arizona Cardinals defensive star known as “B-Train” begins hosting the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon program on August when KTAR-FM “Arizona Sports 98.7 FM” replaces “The Herd with Colin Cowherd” with Bertrand Berry’s “Off the Edge with B-Train.”  Berry says, “I’m so excited to add a new sound to the mid-mornings on ‘Arizona Sports.’  I can’t wait to share my opinions and connect with the bird gang and all of the great fans of the local teams in the Valley.”  Bonneville Phoenix VP of content and operations Ryan Hatch says, “The local sports market continues to grow, and we’re very excited to add more local content with such a unique and dynamic personality like B-Train.  He’s going to bring the same passion and energy he brought on game days to the Arizona Sports airwaves.”

harrisonCarrs15Howie Carr Celebrates Tremendously Successful Launch of His Independent Regional Network.  Approximately 100 affiliates, sponsors, staff and well-wishers of the Boston-based Howie Carr Radio Network gathered last evening (7/16) at the Wellesley, Massachusetts home of Howie and Kathy Carr.  It was a festive party in celebration of the first seven months of Carr’s regional Northeast network now approaching a whopping 25 affiliates in all six New England states as well as attracting a significant listenership in neighboring New York.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison was in attendance and introduced Carr to the gathering stating, “Howie has created an example of regional talk networking that has attracted the attention of the entire industry.”  Carr told the affiliates and sponsors at the poolside event how grateful he is for all the support his show has received since going independent in November of 2014, stating “thank you for sticking with us and believing in us.”  Pictured at the party (l-r):  Kathy Carr, VP sales and marketing, HCRN; Howie Carr and Michael Harrison.

tradupHaiti15Covering a Humanitarian Crisis in Haiti.  The Salem Radio Network is reporting from Haiti this week on a “major humanitarian crisis unfolding in that island nation.”  Vice president of news & talk programming Tom Tradup (pictured here with refugee children in Jimani, Haiti) tells TALKERS magazine, “The neighboring Dominican Republic has forced over 30,000 refugees (so far) over the border with Haiti and experts say Haiti — the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere — could eventually end up with over 200,000 refugees from the Dominican Republic.  Tradup is working with the charity Food For The Poor.  He adds, “The mainstream media spends its time hyping the Confederate Battle Flag and Donald Trump…while 90-minutes from Florida, men, women and children face starvation and death.”  He says Salem Radio Network hosts Bill Bennett, Mike Gallagher, Hugh Hewitt and others are incorporating live reports from Haiti, as are local hosts Joe Piscopo – on WNYM, New York – and Mark Davis and Jon-David Wells on KSKY, Dallas.

nbcSchwartzmanToomerBarkley15NBC Sports Radio Stars at American Century Championship.  Pictured here at the celebrity golf tournament are NBC Sports Radio Network personalities Dan Schwartzman (left) and former New York Giants great Amani Toomer (right) with former NBA superstar Charles Barkley (center).  The 26th edition of this golf tourney is taking place at Edgewood and Harrah’s Lake Tahoe, Nevada.  Schwartzman and Toomer are broadcasting their daily show from the event, as is fellow host Mark Malone.  Weekend coverage of the tournament will take place with NBC personalities Rodney Harrison and Brian Webber.

mcCulloughMetaxasSorbo15Talk Hosts on Broadway.  The radio personalities you see here aren’t performing on Broadway, but they were at the opening performance of the new show “Amazing Grace” now playing at the Nederlander Theatre.  The play is based on the life of John Newton, longtime 18th Century slave trader and composer of the hymn “Amazing Grace.”  Pictured here (from l-r) are: actress Sam Sorbo (syndicated weekly by TRN), XtreMedia’s Kevin McCullough, and Salem Radio Network’s Eric Metaxas.

talkersten logoIran Nukes Deal Tops Talkers TenTM for Week of July 13-17.  The U.S.-led deal with Iran for its nuclear program was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week.  At #2 were the activities of the candidates for president in 2016.  Coming in at #3 was the deadly assaults on the Chattanooga military facilities, and following at #4 was Caitlyn Jenner’s speech at Wednesday’s ESPY awards.  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.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

| July 14, 2015

harrisonUpCloseFarOutsmallMichael Harrison Gets ‘Up Close and Far Out’ with Legendary KGO, San Francisco Talkmeister Ronn Owens.  This week’s new installment of Podcast One’s international hit podcast for media freaks, “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison,” is posted today (7/14).  It features a compelling conversation between TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison and legendary radio talk show host Ronn Owens.  Owens is about to mark his 40th anniversary with the heritage San Francisco outlet KGO – having survived numerous regimes and ownership changes during that four-decade period, including the controversial 2011 reorganization of the station from aowensronn news/talk format to an all-news direction that left Owens the station’s only full-time talk show host.  In addition, Owens recently disclosed publicly that he has been privately dealing with the challenges of Parkinson’s Disease for the past 13 years that has progressed to the point that he will be undergoing a leading-edge form of surgery called Deep Brain Stimulation.  This aggressive procedure, when successful, has been shown to alleviate the incurable neurological disorder’s movement-prohibiting symptoms.  Owens – ranked by TALKERS as one of the 25 most important radio talk show hosts of all time — discusses his career and views on talk radio, including the power of local programming, options beyond the left/right paradigm, the disastrous simulcast of his show on KGO and KABC, Los Angeles in 1997-98 and the impact of cell phones on the format, plus more.  He also candidly talks about his quiet battle with advancing Parkinson’s Disease, his decision to open up about it and details of the exotic form of brain surgery that he will be facing in August.  Harrison says of Owens, “This man is truly one of the giants of the industry.  Just like all the truly great performers of the talk radio arts, he rises above technique and has made it big simply based upon his unique brand of ‘personhood’ – an elusive quality that the Dickey Brothers obviously recognize – and speaks volumes about their nuanced awareness factor.  Add to that, his backbone is of figurative steel as he faces an experimental form of invasive surgery.  Ronn Owens is an inspiration to us all, professionally and personally.  I am so darned pleased to be able to present this podcast to the industry and the world.”  This is a must-listen for members of the professional radio community.  To hear the entire podcast, 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.

legrettkevinLeGrett Lands iHeartMedia LA Market President Slot. Currently senior vice president of operations for approximately 225 iHeartMedia stations in roughly 50 northeast and midwest markets, Kevin LeGrett is shifting to market president for the company’s eight-station Los Angeles cluster. Executive vice president of operations for iHeartMedia – and the company’s Southern California president – Greg Ashlock (to whom LeGrett will report) comments, “Kevin has a successful track record leading operations and accelerating growth across multiple regions. He has earned the right to lead our largest market. His vast experience managing talent and revenue across so many diverse markets and stations will allow him to bring a unique perspective to our Los Angeles portfolio – a portfolio that I have been blessed to directly manage for the last decade that hosts the most compelling on-air talent and most innovative leaders in the business.” LeGrett states that he is “thrilled” at the “opportunity to lead” the “extremely talented” Los Angeles team. He further states, “iHeartMedia Los Angeles has some of the most iconic brands and beloved personalities in the country. With the instantaneous success of [urban contemporary KRRL] ‘Real 92.3′ and the continued stellar ratings and thriving pop culture events such as ‘Wango Tango’ and ‘Jingle Ball,’ it is an exciting time foriheartmedia logo small the market. I look forward to the opportunity to further build on the team’s already enormous success.” LeGrett, who begins his new duties in three weeks (8/3), joined iHeartMedia five years ago as vice president and market manager for the company’s Rochester stations. He will be leading a Los Angeles group of properties that includes hot AC KBIG “My-FM” and adult contemporary KOST “Coast 103.5,” tied for second in Nielsen Audio‘s June 2015 PPM, each with 5.1 (6+). Also in the top ten this June are iHM CHR KIIS “Kiss-FM” (#4, 4.9) and talk KFI (#8, 3.5). The rest of the company’s Los Angeles cluster consists of aforementioned urban contemporary KRRL “Real 9.2.3″ (formerly urban-rhythmic oldies KHHT “Hot 92.3,” #11, 3.1); alternative KYSR “Alt 98.7″ (#20, 2.3); and sports/Los Angeles Dodgers’ flagship KLAC and talk KEIB (both with .9, tied at #30).

cumulus logoCumulus Media Expands Brand Partnerships Team.  This move includes promotions for two current Cumulus Media staffers.  The company says that in expanding the Brand Partnerships team, it has named Leslie Slender vice president, Brand Partnerships and Events, and Leslie Caraccilo, vice president, Brand Partnerships.  The Brand Partnerships division is responsible for developing “unique experiential opportunities for Cumulus and Westwood One, connecting advertisers to itsslenderleslie listening audiences and leveraging its integrated radio, digital, social and live events platform.”  Slender has been serving as Cumulus New York’s corporate director, events and marketing.  She’ll continue to caracciloleslieoversee marketing and events for Cumulus New York stations.  Caraccilo has been with the company for five years as was most recently senior director of digital monetization.  She’ll continue to oversee digital sales strategy for Cumulus.  Cumulus SVP of Brand Partnership Tommy Page states, “We are excited to welcome these two talented professionals to the Brand Partnerships team.  Leslie Slender is a rare example of a marketer that is not only outstanding at producing and executing live events, but also knows how to package these opportunities for advertisers.  Leslie Caraccilo has done an incredible job of creating custom digital and content solutions for our advertisers across the Cumulus platform. Her understanding of artist programming and deep knowledge of the digital space make her a natural fit for our Brand Partnerships team.  With these strong additions to our already stellar Westwood One events group, all Cumulus and Westwood One partners and advertisers will benefit from this powerhouse team’s expertise.”

familyleadershipsummit15USA Radio Network Helps Sponsor Broadcast of Family Leadership Summit.  A live, five-hour broadcast from the Family Leadership Summit on Saturday, July 18 is being made available for free to broadcasters from USA Radio Networks in cooperation with Truth Radio Network.  The Ames, Iowa event will originate from Iowa State University and be anchored by nationally syndicated host and political commentator Steve Deace and American values expert Steve Noble.  The live broadcast will give voters the opportunity to hear from top conservative leaders and Republican presidential candidates, including: Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Dr. Ben Carson, Scott Walker, Marco Rubio, Mike Huckabee, Bobby Jindal, Rick Perry, Rick Santorum, and Bob Vander Plaats.  USA Radio Networks SVP of news operations Russ Jones says, “Iowa is a key battleground state for any presidential candidate.  The Family Leadership Summit is the first major platform the electorate will get to hear how candidates would lead the nation.”

bellartArt Bell Returns to Airwaves in Portland on Monday.  We’ve known for some time now that Art Bell has been preparing to return to hosting a nightly program via his Dark Matter Digital Network, but now Alpha Media announces the originator of “Coast to Coast AM” will bring his new show – “Midnight in the Desert” – to KXL-FM, Portland beginning Monday, July 20.  The show will air from 10:00 pm to 1:00 am local time and will follow Clyde Lewis’ “Ground Zero.”  Alpha Portland SVP/market manager Milt McConnell comments, “Art is an American original in terms of putting the paranormal on the radio landscape.  We are so proud to extend his coverage to the Northwest where there is a rabid appetite for his unique brand of communication.”

2015 Marconi Finalists Announced.  The 2015 Marconi Award finalists have been announced by the NAB.  The annual awards, to be given out during the NAB Radio Show in Atlanta on October 1, are divvied up into 20 categories.  Legendary Station of the Year finalists include: news/talk outlets KRMG-AM/FM, Tulsa; WHIO-AM, Dayton; and all-news KYW, Philadelphia.  Major Market Personality of the Year finalists include: Felger & Massarotti from sports talk WBZ-FM, Boston and Hal Jay from news/talk WBAP, Dallas.  View all the finalists here.

malcolmoutloudWYM Media to Distribute Malcolm Out Loud Features.  Through WYM Media Management, radio news commentator Malcolm Out Loud is expanding his daily radio presence with three new features.  “Out Loud News and Comment” is the news of the day with Malcolm’s unique twist; “Out Loud America” is a “relevant and timely commentary from Malcolm”; and “Brink Thinking Out Loud” is “motivational content and inspiring stories and positive events shaping our world.”  Malcolm Out Loud is a motivational speaker, innovator and creator of the popular websites OutLoudAmerica.com and BrinkThinking.com.

kcmo logoKCMO, Kansas City Holds Drive to Assist Mother of Six Caught Shoplifting.  The case of homeless widow and mother-of-six Sarah Robinson was the focus of attention for Cumulus Media’s Kansas City radio stations, led by news/talk KCMO on Saturday as it held a donation drive Saturday for the family.  Robinson was cited for shoplifting at a local Walmart but the officer who responded, Mark Engravalle, decided to pay for the diapers and wipes for her twin two-year-olds and bought shoes for her other girls.  After hearing the woman’s story of desperation, the stations planned a two-hour donation drive that netted cash, diapers, baby wipes, clothing, blankets, food, toiletries and other items.  KCMO morning host Rob Carson hosted both Robinson and Officer Engravalle on his show on Monday.  Officer Engravalle remains touched that he’s changed someone’s life for the better and he is in constant touch with Sarah, who is off the street with her girls in temporary lodging, while something more permanent is being arranged.  The generosity continues with a local law firm offering her a job.

Odds & Sods.  Texas-based talk show host Lynn Woolley is celebrating the 20th anniversary of his talk show.  Woolley says his days as a talk show host go back to 1995 when he and two partners operated KTEM, Kileen-Temple…..The NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes and Capitol Broadcasting Company have reached a multi-year agreement for WCMC, Raleigh “99.9 The Fan” to continue serving as the team’s flagship station through the 2019-20 season.

nbcsportsradio logoCool Job Opportunity.  NBC Sports Radio in Culver City, California is looking for the next great sports talk producer!  Are you totally immersed in all things sports?  Can you oversee and manage a top-notch, daily sports talk show and book compelling guests and newsmakers?  Can you handle show/talent/guest prep, organize formats and rundowns, develop content, fact-check and research, and distribute social media and digital content across platforms?  Do you have excellent live and studio production skills using multiple software programs, including Adobe Audition and Pro Tools?  If you can do all this and have 3-4 year’s major market or network experience, we want to talk to you!  Send a link to work materials, including resume and audio samples, to Jack Silver, Program Director, at jsilver@westwoodone.com.  No calls, please.

WBAPbushmanMurrowWBAP, Dallas’ Bushman Recognized with Regional Murrow Award.  WBAP, Dallas-Fort Worth news staffer Eric Bushman was recently honored with Regional Edward R. Murrow Award from the Radio Television Digital News Association for his reporting on the U.S. Ebola outbreak last year.  Dallas was “Ground Zero” for Bushman’s story, and he was lead reporter from start to finish.  This is the second consecutive year Bushman has been honored with a Murrow Award.  Last year, he received one for his comprehensive coverage of the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. WBAP, Dallas operations and program manager Tyler Cox comments, “Eric’s work represents the type of reporting that is the signature of the WBAP news staff: comprehensive, in-depth, and sticking with the story from start-to-finish.”

sandlerGuitarNicole Sandler Auctioning Cool Radio Memorabilia for Radio Or Not.  Progressive talk personality Nicole Sandler is opening up her archives of radio memorabilia for an auction to help support her Radio Or Not digital platform.  Sandler says she’s always vowed to not put her content behind a paywall and this auction – which starts tomorrow (7/15) – will help her costs of operation.  Sandler is not the only radio pro who’s been collecting cool radio and music artifacts oversandlerBillHillary the years.  In fact, TALKERS editors believe one of the interesting, untold stories in the radio biz is just what these personal treasure troves contain.  Sandler’s has some pretty fun items that come from her days producing for Jim Kerr at WPLJ, New York and for Mark & Brian at KLOS, Los Angeles.  Note the autographed guitar pictured above that’s been signed by Johnny Cash, BB King, Les Paul, James Taylor, Roger Daltrey, Todd Rundgren and others.  Then, for political wonks, the Bill and Hillary corkscrew-nutcracker pair pictured here at right make the perfect election year gift!  Sandler’s auction site is: radioornot.com/auction.

2016 Presidential Candidates/Scott Walker Joins Race, Mexican Drug Lord Prison Escape, Iran Nuclear Talks, NYC Eric Garner Settlement, Immigration Policy-Sanctuary Cities, Greek Debt Deal, and MLB All-Star Break Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/13).  The activities of the candidates for president in 2016 and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s entering the primary race; the escape from prison of Mexico’s most notorious drug lord; the conclusion of negotiations between Iran and the West over its nuclear program; New York City’s settlement with the family of Eric Garner over his death at the hands of an NYC cop; the ongoing controversy over the nation’s illegal immigration policy and the country’s sanctuary cities; the Greek debt solution and the effects on the EU; and the Major League Baseball All-Star festivities were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

| July 7, 2015

beckglennGlenn Beck to Take Time Off to Rest Strained Vocal Cords.  Nationally syndicated talk radio host and digital media pioneer Glenn Beck announced via Facebook yesterday that he’s taking time off from his daily radio program to rest his voice.  He states in the video, “As you may or may not have noticed over the past couple of months, my voice has been changing a bit.  Because I have had problems with my nerves in my vocal cords in the past where my voice has stopped working, I have been a little concerned, but I have really, really great doctors.  This Friday I consulted with them and they have advised me to take a few weeks off andtheblaze logo rest my voice due to some severe strain that has happened.”  Beck is expected to return to hosting his programs on August 3.  Meanwhile, although Beck did not directly address the news that his TheBlaze is ceasing operation of its radio news network this summer, he touched on the matter in another way when he spoke about the direction of his work in the future.  “I know the staff has this weekend been working overtime on the trying to find the things that we can do to enrich us and keep us on track for where we are headed.  They will be doing some really exciting things on radio and television that I think will help us.  The time for looking and saying what is happening with the news is over.  Now we need to start to say what’s coming our way and what can we do about it – and that’s where my focus is going to be.”

petriebonnieBonnie Petrie Joins ‘Wisconsin’s Morning News’ on WTMJ, Milwaukee.  Award-winning journalist Bonnie Petrie is named co-anchor of “Wisconsin’s Morning News” alongside Gene Mueller on E.W. Scripps-owned news/talk WTMJ, Milwaukee.  Petrie most recently worked in radio at Radio One’s Houston all-news WROI “News 92.”  She’s also worked at CBS RADIO’s KRLD-AM, Dallas andwtmj logo iHeartMedia’s WGY, Albany.  WTMJ notes that Petrie has been honored with awards for anchoring, feature writing, series writing and production.   WTMJ VP/GM Tom Langmyer comments, “We were looking for very specific qualities in a news anchor to join Gene Mueller and ‘Wisconsin’s Morning News.’  Bonnie combines the qualities of experience in large news organizations, leadership depth, ideas, great writing ability, work-ethic, drive, an engaging personality and the passion for being an active part of our community.”  Petrie will join the station on July 13 and begins on the morning program in August.

brokawcarterCarter Brokaw Joins iHeartMedia as President of Digital Revenue Strategy.  In this position, Carter Brokaw will oversee iHeartMedia‘s digital sales efforts, driving digital revenue through new and existing sales channels as well as developing new digital revenue strategies for the company.  He assumes the president of digital revenue strategy after serving with Guardian News and Media.  He reports to Tim Castelli, president of national sales, marketing and partnerships.  The company reports that Brokaw will work closely with Brian Kaminsky, iHeartMedia’s president of programmatic and dataiheartmedia logo small operations, to take to market iHeartMedia’s “first-of-its-kind programmatic, real-time ad buying platform launched earlier this year for broadcast radio stations, enriched with unique and proprietary data as well as third-party data.”  Castelli comments, “Carter’s impressive track record of developing business strategies and launching national sales organizations for several media companies makes him the perfect person to drive our digital sales strategy.  His vision and skill sets will be integral as we continue to build on the success of our digital sales team.”

engmannrandyEngmann Appointed GSM at iHM Milwaukee. Nine-year Nielsen Audio senior account manager Randy Engmann joins iHeartMedia Milwaukee as general sales manager. Senior vice president of sales Nathan Tonarelli declares, “We are excited to welcome Randy to our winning Milwaukee team. Randy’s leadership, knowledge, and drive will be a great addition to our culture.” Engmann remarks, “I am extremely enthusiastic in joining such a talented team providing a wide variety ofiHeartMedia Milwaukee offerings with the strong, impactful, high value brands of Milwaukee.” The company’s six Milwaukee properties include news/talk WISN; urban contemporary WKKV “V-100.7 Jams”; WMIL “FM 106.1 Milwaukee Country”; WOKY “Big Sports 920″; WRIT “Oldies 95.7″; and CHR WRNW “Radio Now.” In advance of his Nielsen Audio tenure, Engmann worked at cross-town Entercom Milwaukee as an account executive, general sales manager, and regional account manager.

rosenbergmiltMilt Rosenberg Moves to PM Drive in Chicago.  As reported by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, Chicago radio icon Milt Rosenberg’s program on WCGO will move from middays to the 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm slot.  Rosenberg – who spent most of his Windy City radio career hosting “Extension 720” on Tribune’s crosstown WGN – joined the Kovas Communications-owned station in April of this year.

harrisonUpCloseFarOutsmallMichael Harrison Gets ‘Up Close and Far Out’ with Radio Imaging Master and ‘Deep End’ Host Nick Michaels.  This week’s new installment of Podcast One’s international hit podcast for media freaks, “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison” is posted today (7/7).  It features a candid, free-flowing conversation between TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison and legendary radio imaging master Nick Michaels – host of the long-running, syndicated classic rock (and beyond) radio show “The Deep End with Nick Michaels.”  The two practitioner/theorists discuss the state of imaging in radio and related media, sea changes in today’s creative approach to advertising, themichaelsnick increasing scarcity of time in the modern world, and serious problems facing music radio in the digital era.  Michaels says, “Time is the new currency in today’s over-communicated world” – a concept he defines as ‘too much information traveling through too little time.’”  He says that the competition for people’s attention has never been more intense and in order for programmers and advertisers alike to get their messages across they must do so by focusing on the perspective of the recipients of the message, not the presenters.  Michaels boldly states, “In this environment, the advertiser’s need to sell a product or get a message out is no longer an annoyance, burden or interruption that this audience is willing to bear!”  To hear the entire podcast, 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.

wpen-fm logoGreater Media Philadelphia Re-Ups with NHL’s Flyers. The new multi-year deal between Greater Media’s Philadelphia cluster and the NHL’s Philadelphia Flyers means sports talk WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic” will continue to serve as the flagship of the Flyers Radio Network.  Flyers games will air on both WPEN-FM and sister rock outlet WMMR.  Additionally, Greater Media’s classic rock WMGK and adult hits WBEN-FM will continue to be promotional partners with the team.

Odds & Sods.  At iHeartMedia’s WOR, New York, Blain Ensley is named the new producer for the station’s late-morning Mark Simone show.  The New York radio pro has a two-decade-long career producing, writing and co-hosting radio shows.  He’s worked at NYC outlets WABC, WPLJ, WNEW-FM as well as WMMR in Philadelphia…..Legendary Houston radio personality Barry Warner is being inducted into the Texas Radio Hall ofwarnerbarry Fame in November.  Warner is currently a Yahoo Sports Radio network contributor and hosts the “Barry Warner Classic Minute.”  He’s also a host on KGOW, Houston and a contributor to Gow Media-owned KFNC-FM, Houston…..CBS RADIO all-news KNX, Los Angeles “1070 NEWSRADIO” announces Northwestern Orange County will be the next community to be featured on its award-winning series, “KNX On Your Corner.”  On Friday, July 31, the station will broadcast live most of the day from the Katella Deli in Los Alamitos, including the Frank Mottek-hosted “KNX Business Hour” and the afternoon news co-hosted by Diane Thompson and Chris Sedens…..SiriusXM launches a weekly interview program hosted by former New York Times columnist and best-selling author Bill Carter.  “The Bill Carter Interview” will feature conversations with “performers, writers, producers, and executives who are shaping the culture today.”…..New Hampshire Public Radio is recognized by the Radio Television Digital News Association with a 2015 National Edward R. Murrow Award for Overall Excellence in the small market category.  NHPR president Betsy Gardella says, “This national recognition is a testament to the thorough and thoughtful local reporting efforts of our news team day in and day out.  It is an extraordinary moment for NHPR, and I couldn’t be more proud.”

joycebrianDunk15Brian Joyce Gets Wet for Pets.  Chattanooga talk show host Brian Joyce (pictured here atop the dunk tank) helped the Hamilton County Humane Society and the McKamey Animal Center in Chattanooga get new homes for 108 dogs and cats at the recent all-day “Adopt-A-Thon.”  The WGOW “Talk Radio 102.3 FM” midday personality says it was satisfying to know that so many animals now have “forever” homes thanks to the efforts of the local community and media.

2016 Presidential Prospects, Kate Steinle Death-Illegal Immigration Debate, Bill Cosby Testimony, Greek Debt-EU Tensions, ISIS Atrocities-U.S. Policy, Iran Nuke Talks, and U.S. Women’s Soccer Team Wins World Cup Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/6).  The activities of the candidates for president in 2016; the shooting death of Kate Steinle in San Francisco by an illegal alien and the controversy over U.S. and San Francisco illegal immigration policy; unsealed testimony from Bill Cosby in which he admits he’d given Quaaludes to women in the past in order to have sex with them; the ongoing financial turmoil in the EU and Greece over the latter’s inability to repay debt to the IMF; more atrocities perpetrated by ISIS and the U.S. military policy in Iraq and Syria; the ongoing nuclear talks between the U.S. and Iran; and the World Cup victory by the U.S. Women’s Soccer team were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, July 6, 2015

| July 6, 2015

limbaughrush15Programming Changes Take Effect in Indy; Limbaugh Moves to WNDE.  Today, Premiere NetworksRush Limbaugh moves from his longtime place on Emmis’ WIBC-FM, Indianapolis to iHeartMedia-owned crosstown sports talk WNDE – a move announced earlier this year.  At WIBC-FM,wibclogo the new lineup sans Limbaugh includes the new show “The 10@10 with Mike Wilson and Ray Steele,” a program and will run down the top 10 stories of the day at 10:00 am.  Greg Garrison moves to the 11:00 am to 1:00 pm slot and Radio America-syndicated “The Dana Show” with Dana Loesch airs from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm.  The “Chicks on the Right” with Daisy and Mockarena airs from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm and “Abdul at Large” with local political writer, educator and media personality Abdul-Hakim Shabazz from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm.

cookehollandCooke: Turning Digital Disappointment into Direct Success.  Radio consultant Holland Cooke presented at two state broadcasters’ conferences recently and he says the common thread from all three sessions was the following: “Recent years’ radio revenue data has many shrugging that ‘flat is the new up.’  Less so in small and medium markets, where local direct retail comprises more of radio’s income than in big markets where transactional business is the ball game.  And in every market, digital is the shiny object sucking dollars away from legacy media.  Especially ours.  Ask car stores: Detroit is telling them to move radio money online.”  And while digital is expected to eclipse all other ad platforms by 2017 (in terms of dollars spent), there are those who dare to question digital’s efficacy relative to ‘legacy’ media.  In today’s column, Cooke offers some advice for reigniting the power of radio as a sales vehicle.  Read the entire piece here.

kgo logo newCumulus Draws Local Criticism from Press, Unions for Closing KGO’s South Bay Bureau.  Noting that the South Bay bureau of news/talk KGO, San Francisco has been open for more than four decades, the San Jose Mercury NewsScott Herhold laments the decision of Cumulus Media to shutter the two-staffer office in San Jose without notice.  Reporting thatsagaftra logo Jennifer Hodges and Jeanne Lynch were let go June 26, the paper says even San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo wrote Cumulus’ Lee Hammer writing, in part, that the closure “wouldn’t serve the station well to abandon the region’s biggest city and hope that folks could simply phone it in.”  SAG AFTRA (which represents also registered its displeasure by asking listeners to do the same via a petition at its savelocalradio.org site.

savagemichaelMichael Savage Announces Winners of $100,000 Scholarship Contest.  Nationally syndicated talk show host Michael Savage announced the five winners of his “What Does It Mean to Be an American?” essay contest on July 2.  The winners – Alex Peterson, James Lutack, Heather Fisher, Curtis Butterfield and Mark Bragg – will each receive a $20,000 scholarship over a two-year period.  The Westwood One-syndicated host says he launched the unprecedented $100,000 scholarship fund in early 2015 with the intention of promoting traditional American values among conservative college students.  Savage says he received approximately 1,700 entries, and the five carefully selected winning essays “honor the principles that America was built upon and discuss the country’s past, present and future.”  You can read the winning essays here.

bearmanbookcoverHeavy Hundred Host Ethan Bearman’s New Book, Liars & Whores: How Big Government and Big Business are Working to Save their Own Assets, Not Yours (Talkers Books, 2015), Released Today. Praised by the TALKERS editorial board as being “one of the rising stars of talk radio – a new voice of Generation X” – KSFO, San Francisco (local) and GCN (national) radio talk show host Ethan Bearman adds “published author” to his growing list of credentials with the official release today of his new book, Liars & Whores; How Big Government and Big Business Are Working to Save Their Own Assets, Not Yours (Talkers Books, 2015).  The book – a populist, non-partisan approach to the economic and social challenges faced today by the average person trying to make a living and feed his or her family against the backdrop of an increasingly corrupt corporate and government culture – addresses the key issues of these times and marks the return of TALKERS magazine to the book publishing business after a 10 year hiatus.  According to TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison, “What makes this book so fresh and exciting is the fact that it is a manifesto that ‘works’ in any of today’s competing political ideologies… that is what makes Ethan Bearman such an effective up-and-coming host with razor-sharp teeth, and now a superb guest for any talk show that deals with current events.”  For more information about Ethan Bearman and the book, please click here.  To schedule Ethan Bearman for a talk radio interview call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.

Odds & Sods.  The Minneapolis Star-Tribune is reporting that, based on a recent memo from American Public Media CEO Jon McTaggart there are cuts coming to the public radio corporation this month.  Saying theamericanpublicmedia company “cannot succeed with ‘business as usual,’” he tells staffers, “We will stop some programming and create capacity for new content and innovative audience services.  We will eliminate and change positions in some departments, and create capacity for new positions in others.”…..Saga Communications is relocating the newly acquired Illinois Radio Network from Chicago to the state’s capital of Springfield.  According to a report from WAND-TV, Springfield, WTAX, Springfield news director Alex Degman adds ND duties for the network to his responsibilities, replacing Jim AndersonDave Dahl stays aboard at the capitol and will add WTAX morning anchor duties.  WTAX’s Will Stevenson assists the network with Springfield and Capitol coverage.  Current IRN staffers John Gregory and Jason Goch will continue to be based in Chicago.

shepardMH4th15Hyper-Local Radio.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison (the hipster on the left wearing the Broadcasters Foundation baseball hat) stopped by the reviewing stand at the East Longmeadow (MA) Independence Day Parade on Saturday (7/4) to say hi to his buddy Brad Shepard (right) who was serving as emcee of the annual event.  Shepard is the general manager and star host of the recently launched, hyper-local online station, Pioneer Valley Radio (www.PioneerValleyRadio.com), designed to super-serve the Western Massachusetts communities of the Greater Springfield Metropolitan Area.  The station’s format is best described as “personality-oriented public affairs” geared to the community, its leaders and most-active citizens. Harrison, a primary backer of the internet media station, says, “Everyone knows that I am a strong advocate and supporter of local radio as well as non-traditional online programming.  How could I resist getting involved with and supporting a project of this nature in my own backyard?  Of all my many projects, Pioneer Valley Radio is one of the most exciting and fulfilling.  The positive response from the good folks who keep the wheels turning in this region has been incredibly gratifying.”

barberdaveMichigan and Rhode Island Talk Personality Dave Barber Dead at 60.  Family, friends, the talk radio business and the Rhode Island political scene are remembering Dave Barber today after he succumbed to what his brother Larry called a “catastrophic health event” in Michigan 10 days ago.  Barber – who had been serving as host of the Rhode Island General Assembly’s TV program “Straight from the Gavel” – was put into a medically induced coma after choking during a rehearsal dinner for a friend’s wedding.  Complications ensued and Barber was not able to emerge from the coma.  He died on Saturday (7/4).  Barber was a longtime Flint, Michigan talk host – serving at such signals as WTRX, WTAC, and WFDF – before joining WPRO, Providence in 2006.  Two years later he took up the “Straight from the Gavel” gig and had been doing it ever since.  You can see a tribute video of Dave Barber from Art Vuolo here.

wbtlogoWBT, Charlotte’s John Hancock Kicks Off Fourth Peanut Butter ‘N’ July Food Drive.  WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte afternoon drive personality John Hancock is working with local merchant Harris Teeter and peanut butter manufacturer Jif for the “Peanut Butter ‘N’ July” benefit for Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina.  Saying that the high protein food is one of the most requested items for those who benefit from their services, WBT has launched a campaign to bring attention to the importance of this product.  Hancock and other WBT personalities will be appearing at Harris Teeter locations during the month of July to collect unopened jar of peanut butter.

troopathon158th Annual Troopathon Raises $280,000.  Co-hosts Melanie Morgan of KSRO, Santa Rose, California (left) and WABC, New York personality Rita Cosby (right) share a laugh with Premiere Networks superstar Rush Limbaugh via Skype during the recent “Troopathon” fundraiser organized by the group Move America Forward.  The organization has been raising cash to send care packages to troops on the front lines in Afghanistan and raised $280,000 during this year’s program that ended June 25.  Cosby says, “The participation of radio personalities played a huge role in the success of this year’s Troopathon.  This year, we were joined by my co-host Melanie Morgan, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Mark Levin, Geraldo Rivera, Brian Kilmeade, Dennis Miller, Adam Corolla, and Herman Cain.”  Celebrities who assisted with the effort included rock legend Ted Nugent, producer Jerry Bruckheimer, Super Bowl Champion quarterback Joe Theisman, singer Tony Orlando, TV host Nancy Grace, and many more.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

| June 30, 2015

2015 NYC 150Talkers New York 2015 “Programming Talk Radio in 2015” Video Posted Today. One of the most important panel discussions of the Talkers New York 2015 mega-conference (held on June 12) is posted today on Talkers TV. Skillfully moderated by TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey and introduced by Radio America syndicated host Dana Loesch, the take-away-packed session includes (in alphabetical order): Carl Anderson, EVP, programming, iHeartMedia; Mike Bendixen, PD, Newstalk 1010, CFRB, Toronto; Valerie Geller, CEO, Geller Media International; Scott Masteller, PD, WBAL, Baltimore; and Mike McVay, SVP, content & programming, Cumulus Media. Subjects covered include keeping the news/talk format fresh and modern, the primacy of content, the relationship today between programming and sales, overcoming widespread negativity about the news/talk format, the benefits and pitfalls of branding, the challenge of hiring good talent, the effective utilization of social media and more. To view the video in its entirety, please click here.

hunnicuttclayHunnicutt Exits iHeartMedia to Head New Record Label.  A shocker in the radio biz as longtime iHeartMedia exec Clay Hunnicutt leaves his EVP and general manager of national programming platforms position to become president of the new record label Big Loud Records.  The move was announced to iHeartMedia staffers via a memo from national programming platforms president Tom Poleman.  He writes, “After more than 15 years here with us, Clay Hunnicutt has decided to leave iHeartMedia to become president of Big Loud Records, a record label startup. Clay has not only been a great partner to me in the day-to-day operations of national programming, he’s also become a great friend; I know you all feel the same.  He’s been a pioneer and leader in shaping the great company that we are today, and for that I’ll always be thankful.”

courtemanchejasonCumulus Media Los Angeles Courts Courtemanche as VP/Sales. Former iHeartMedia Chicago vice president of sales Jason Courtemanche relocates to Los Angeles for a similar position with Cumulus Media talker KABC-AM and classic rocker KLOS. Cumulus Media senior vice president of operations Tom Schurr comments, “I am thrilled to be working with Jason again. He is a smart, competitive, experienced broadcast executive who attracts top talent and produces results for partners and stations. We are excited to have a leader of his caliber joining the team.” Courtemanche remarks, “I am looking forward to this excitingCumulus opportunity on the west coast with these two legendary radio stations and the highly respected sales team. I am committed to getting in the trenches and helping make Cumulus the place to be in Los Angeles media.” Prior to his stint at iHeartMedia Chicago, Courtemanche was sales manager for CBS Radio Chicago all-news operation WBBM-AM; general sales manager for iHeartMedia San Diego; and director of sales for San Diego-based MVS International Communications.  In pro hockey for six years (1993 – 1999), Courtemache played for various teams in the ECHL, IHL, AHL, WCHL, and CHL.

harrisonUpCloseFarOutsmallBridging the Generational Divide – 17 Year Old Talk Radio Rising Star, Pavlina, Meets Michael Harrison on “Up Close and Far Out” Podcast.  It starts out light and chatty but quickly develops into an insightful dialogue that spans the generational divide.  Seventeen-year-old, multi-platform talk radio host Pavlina Osta is interviewed by TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison on this week’s installment of the international hit Podcast One production “Up Close and Far Out.”  “Pavlina” has been remarkably active as a self-motivated “celebrity journalist” since the tender age of 11 — racking up archives of more than 450 interviews with famous figures in show business, music, sports and public policy.  She hosts a weekly radio show called “Pavlina’s Kidz Place” heard on Florida stations WAPN, Holly Hill; WAPB, Madison; and WELE, Ormond Beach plus a number more across the Sunshine State and scattered around the country — as well as maintaining a very active website and YouTube presence. She is already a two-time Gracie Award winner and holds the Guinness world record for the most radio interviews conducted in 24 hours.  She conducted 347 interviews, each being a unique set of at least five questions. The entire 24-hour periodPavlinaMHselfie15 was broadcast live on Ustream.tv and via Live365.  Pavlina, a published author and tireless charity volunteer, has attended a number of industry conferences including the last two TALKERS events in New York City where her irrepressible personality, charisma and unique flair for fashion caught the attention of industry leaders – many of whom have begun championing her career.  She served a summer internship with Premiere Networks star Sean Hannity in 2014 and is working this summer with Salem stations (WNYM and WMCA) in New York City under the direction of Phil Boyce.  She has also received vigorous talent coaching by David Bernstein. Pavlina recently made an appearance on Newsmax TV as a guest of Steve Malzberg further fueling her rocketing profile as a media figure to be reckoned with.  Upon interviewing Pavlina for “Up Close and Far Out,” Michael Harrison states, “What this remarkable young woman lacks in polish and sophistication, she more than makes up for in sheer likability.  She oozes positive energy, remarkable charisma, unmistakable style and indelible authenticity.  Plus, and most important, just under the surface of her ‘contemporary teenage girlishness’ lies an uncommon intelligence and wisdom that are clearly fueling this young woman’s self-motivated juggernaut to stardom.  I didn’t treat her like a kid – but, rather, the amazing young woman into which she is clearly developing.  I gave her the respect of asking her tough questions. We talked about kids today – sex, drugs, peer-pressure, education, even tattoos and body piercing, plus more.”  On being interviewed by Michael Harrison, Pavlina states, “We actually covered more than I’ve ever done in an interview. This was a lot of fun.  I appreciate it.”  To hear the entire conversation between Michael Harrison and Pavlina, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player located in the right hand column of every page on Talkers.com. (Pictured here are Michael Harrison and Pavlina in a selfie taken at Talkers New York 2015 on June 12.)

ppmunit altVoltair and PPM Controversy Getting Play in Consumer Press.  The digital publication FiveThirtyEight.com (published by ESPN) just posted a story by Carl Bialik that brings the industry’s concern about the reliability of the PPM technology used by Nielsen Audio to lightvoltair image with more of the public.  The piece uses the demise of the smooth jazz format as the primary case against the ratings technology – though it does point out that the talk and classical formats are likely adversely affected by alleged inadequacies in the PPM, as well.  Though the piece doesn’t go into detail about how Voltair works, it offers a summary of the processor’s recent history, including the moratorium on it in Canada.  The piece also poses the question: If this controversy turns the radio ratings on its head, isn’t that a potential death knell for the entire industry?  One anonymous industry executive replies, “When you’re buying on a flawed system, nobody’s winning.”  Read the entire article here.

tacinelliglenGlen Tacinelli Named 77WABC General Sales Manager.  Heading up the sales efforts at Cumulus Media-owned news/talk WABC, New York is Glen Tacinelli, who begins his role as general sales manager on July 13.   Tacinelli comes to WABC from Eastman Radio’s New York office, where he’s repped radio stations in more than 137 markets across the United States for the past seven years.  Prior to that he served at CBS RADIO’s WCBS-FM, New York.  He began his radio career at Arbitron (now Nielsen Audio).  Cumulus New York VP/market manager Chad Lopez states, “We are thrilled to welcome Glen Tacinelli as the GSM to the iconic, legendary WABC brand.  Glen’s outstanding talent, knowledge of the New York radio market and expertise in selling some of the top AM stations across the country is exactly what we were looking to add to the Cumulus New York team.”

Odds & Sods.  Taking home two awards from the Virginia Association of Broadcasting is Monticello Media’s news/talk WCHV-AM/FM, Charlottesville, Virginia.  The station was honored with the “Outstanding Newscast” and “Outstanding News Series” awards.  Program director Joe Thomas says, “Less than eight years since taking over a station with no local news content, I am so proud of news director John Peterson, his news team and our afternoon drive host Coy Barefoot and their efforts to both inform and entertain our community!”…..Delta Media Corporation welcomes Ben Love to the station’s permanent program lineup on sports talk KLWB-FM, Lafayette, Louisiana “103.7 The Game.”  Love, who hosts “Bumper to Bumper Sports with Ben Love,” is an award-winning sports media pro who recently was honored with the Best Website Feature, Best Website Column awards and finished second for Best Website Game Story by the Louisiana Sports Writers Association…..SiriusXM plans regular coverage of Pope Francis’ visit to the U.S. in September on The Catholic Channel.  SiriusXM says it will feature around-the-clock coverage each day, including live broadcasts of all of the major events during the Pope’s visit, including his appearance at the World Meeting of Families and Papal Mass in Philadelphia, his speech at the United Nations, the mass at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, DC, and more.

masondanMason Elected BFA Co-Vice Chair, Treasurer. Recently retired CBS Radio president and chief executive officer Dan Mason is elected co-vice chair and treasurer of the Broadcasters Foundation of America. Broadcasters Foundation chair Phil Lombardo declares that, “Dan is one of the Foundation’s most ardentBroadcasters Foundation of America ambassadors and he gives tirelessly of his time. The entire board is grateful that he is taking on these additional responsibilities to advance our charitable mission of helping broadcasters in need.” As CBS Radio’s president/CEO, Mason oversaw more than 125 stations in 27 markets. The National Association of Broadcasters’ executive committee honored him as its 2012 “National Radio Award” winner for his outstanding leadership in the industry.

SCOTUS Gay Marriage and ObamaCare Rulings, 2016 Presidential Prospects, Trump-NBC Fallout, Iran Nukes Negotiations, NY Prison Escape Aftermath, Greece-EU Tensions, and ISIS Atrocities Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/29).  Last week’s rulings by the Supreme Court supporting federal subsidies for the Affordable Care Act and making same-sex marriage legal in all states; the potential candidates for president in 2016; Donald Trump’s skirmish with NBC over the Miss America and Miss Universe pageants; the negotiations between the West and Iran over its nuclear program; the capture of the second escapee from a New York prison and the aftermath of the ordeal; the economic tensions being created by Greece’s inability to pay its debt to the IMF and talk of its exit from the EU; and the ongoing atrocities being perpetrated by ISIS were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

| June 25, 2015

wrkologoWRKO, Boston Unveils New AM Drive Show and Partnership with The Globe’s Boston.com.  It’s been no secret that Entercom’s WRKO, Boston would move morning talk personality Jeff Kuhner to the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm slot after declining to renew Premiere NetworksRush Limbaugh show, but the station is now announcing its new morning drive programming.  Leading the show will becarrigankim Boston media pro Kim Carrigan.  Former crosstown sports WEEI personality Jon Meterperel will join Carrigan along with show producer David Cullinane.  Still more interesting is the station’s joint venture with the Boston Globe Media Partners-owned online platform Boston.com.  WRKO says the new show – the “Boston.com Morning Show” – will consist of “four hours of rapid-cadence news, talk and trending live from the newsroom at Boston.com.  The show will lean heavily on contributing writers and columnists from the highly-trafficked, regional website as well as national correspondents from ABC News.”   The new lineup will be live and local from 6:00 am to 7:00 pm (Barry Armstrong’s Financial Exchange airs from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon and Boston talk legend Howie Carr’s show holds down PM drive) for the first time in more than 20 years, according to the station.  Entercom Boston VP/market manager Phil Zachary says this is a logical evolutionary step for the talk format.  “On the cusp of the 2016 election cycle, it’s very clear traditional talk radio is facing strong headwinds.  As ideological lines blur and new technologies afford almost limitless tractability in audio news options, now is the time to deliver highly targeted, local content that’s unavailable to consumers anywhere else.  This new lineup, anchored by our alliance with New England’s second largest news website, squarely positions WRKO for the next decade.”  The lineup debuts Monday, June 29.

talkersNYC15BigPictureTalkers New York 2015 “Big Picture” Panel Video Posted Today.  “The Big Picture,” one of the major panel discussions at the recently concluded (6/12) Talkers New York 2015 mega-conference, is posted today on Talkers TV.  The session covers a range of important issues pertaining to the state of talk media from a wide variety of perspectives.  Introduced by TALKERS legal editor (and Bentley University law professor) Steve Weisman and moderated by TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison (both not pictured here), the panel includes (from left to right): Chris Oliviero, EVP programming, CBS RADIOJoe Sciacca, editor-in-chief, Boston Herald/Boston Herald Radio;  Craig Schwalb, PD, WABC, New York; Karen Hunter, host, SiriusXM Satellite RadioAlan Colmes, host/commentator, FOX News Radio/FOX News Channel; Julie Talbott, president, Premiere Networks; and Holland Cooke, consultant, Holland Cooke Media. The session covers the position and future of the stick; the psychology of being a talk host; the challenges of local, independent station ownership; the broadening of the news/talk menu as it relates to partisan politics, preserving major market heritage radio brands; the role of urban talk; the glass ceiling in spoken-word radio; the emerging new relationship between radio and newspapers and more.  To view the video in its entirety please click here.

podcastone logoNew Shows Debut on PodcastOne.  Comedian, actress and bestselling author Heather McDonald debuts “Juicy Scoops with Heather McDonald” on PodcastOne, beginning today (6/25).  The network says McDonald “asks the questions everyone wants to know and discusses the hottest and most controversial topics each week.”  Also “The Fraze & Bentley Podcast,” hosted by radio personality, actor and comedian Frazer Smith, and actor, magician and comedian Jim Bentley launches.  PodcastOne says, “The duo is serious about comedy, but it’s all fun and games as they invite podcast regular and burlesque dancer Harper Rose to the mic each week, in addition to a myriad of their famous friends.”  Jon Lovitz is the duo’s first celebrity guest.

klz logoThree Hosts Quit KLZ, Denver Over Disagreement with Management.  Denver talk outlet KLZ is without three of its hosts after Ken Clark, Kris Cook, and Randy Corporon resigned from the Crawford Broadcasting station.  According to a story in the Denver Post by Lynn Bartels, The three – who hosted separate shows on the station – had given 30-day notices of their resignation but exited before that period had elapsed after they were instructed not to book former Colorado Congressman Tom Tancredo as a guest.  Tancredo is playing a role in controversy surrounding Colorado Republican Party Chairman Steve House and station manager Don Crawford Jr. told the hosts he didn’t want Tancredo booked as a guest until Crawford could determine for himself what Tancredo’s role in the call for House to resign was all about.  Read Bartels’ story here.

Odds & Sods. It’s being called “a new national headline news service and full-time satellite radio channel produced by a dedicated team of FOX News journalists and contributors.”  The joint effort from SiriusXM and FOX Newsfoxnewsradio will launch this fall and is part of a multi-year agreement between the two.  SiriusXM says the channel, under the watch of FOX News senior vice president of news Jay Wallace, will be “staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year” to “deliver the day’s top stories at any time.”…..Kevin Radich joins CBS RADIO-owned all news KCBS, San Francisco “All News 106.9 FM/740 AM” as weekday sports reporter.  Radich served as afternoon sports reporter on Cumulus Media’s crosstown news/talk KGO until earlier this year…..The Radio Television Digital News Association’s Edward R. Murrow Award winners are being announced and there are several to report today.  ABC News wins a total of five awards, including the Overall Excellence in Television and Overall Excellence in Radio awards for the second year in a row.  ABC News president James Goldston comments to his staff, “I want to extend a abcnewsStaff15special congratulations to [ABC News] Radio for a banner year – winning three more Murrow awards.  Radio stations count on ABC News Radio when news breaks.  The radio team works tirelessly with unmatched production and groundbreaking reporting every day.”  RTDNA recognized  the radio division for Breaking News – The Shooting at Fort Hood, Brad Mielke for Sports – Spartan Racing and Writing – Scott Goldberg.  (pictured at left is the ABC News Radio staff celebrating its honors.)  At the local level, all-news WCBS, New York “Newsradio 880” is honored with “Overall Excellence in Large Market Radio.”  The winning entry included coverage of the east Harlem gas explosion, New York City police protests, and the murders of New York Police Department officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu.  Also, Rivet Radio – a multi-bowermikeplatform media company that produces customized audio news and feature stories – was recognized for “Best Use of Sound by a Small Online News Organization.”  News reporter and producer George Drake Jr. conceived, wrote and produced the piece, “The Story of Marvin the ‘Street Greeter’,” which profiled a Chicago resident spreading joy within the bustling metropolis…..Former WUCS, Hartford and Maxim Radio personality Michael Bower sits in on iHeartMedia‘s sports talker WINZ, Miami for Andy Slater tomorrow from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm.

Obama’s TPP Trade Deal, Charleston Church Slayings Aftermath/Confederate Flag Issue, 2016 Presidential Prospects/Bobby Jindal, Freddie Gray Autopsy Results Revealed, OPM Hack, Iran Nukes Negotiations, and Obama LGBT Pride Event Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/24).  The U.S. Senate votes to give President Obama fast-track authority over the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement; the aftermath of the Charleston Church slayings and the matter of flying the Confederate flag on public property; the growing list of 2016 presidential prospects grows as Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal enters the GOP primary race; the results of the Freddie Gray autopsy are acquired by the Baltimore Sun; questions about how much information was available to hackers into the Office of Personnel Management; The U.S.’s offer to provide Iran with nuclear technology; and talk about the scene at President Obama’s LGBT pride event at the White House were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

| June 16, 2015

talkersnyc15RatingspanelRave Reviews Mounting for Talkers New York 2015.  Complete Agenda Videos to be Posted Here in Coming Weeks Beginning Monday (6/22).  The sessions at the recent Talkers New York 2015 are being widely praised as some of the best in the colorful 18-year history of the annual event.  According to TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey, “The panels and presentations at this conference were just packed with non-stop takeaways.  We are extremely gratified by the positive response and feedback that we have been receiving from so many of the hundreds of people who packed this SRO event.”  Casey adds, “Now through the technology of being an online ‘media station’ we will be able to share this information with everyone in the world interested in what was said in New York this past Friday (6/12).  We will kick it off with the blockbuster panel, “The State of Radio Ratings” moderated by Sean Hannity that already has the entire industry buzzing.”  Pictured here are (from l-r): Salem Media SVP Phil Boyce, E.W. Scripps Milwaukee VP/GM Tom Langmyer, Amplifi Media CEO Steve Goldstein, Moceri Media CEO Greg Moceri, Radio Advertising Bureau president/CEO Erica Farber, Nielsen Audio VP Jon Miller, and FOX News Channel and Premiere Networks host Sean Hannity (not pictured: Richard Harker of Harker Research).

crenshawmillsMills Crenshaw New PM Drive Host at KLO, Salt Lake City.  Station general manager Matt Webb says, “Our audience has been asking for a local host in our afternoon drive time slot and we think we’ve landed the best in the business when it comes to local talk radio.  Mills is a true icon in Utah radio and we’re pleased to have him as part of our radio family.”  Mills Crenshaw has been in talk radio since 1965 and now is hosting “Drive Time Live with Mills Crenshaw” from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm.  He comments, “I am thrilled to be part of such a prestigious radio lineup on a legacy station such as KLO.  To be on the same station with Bill Bennett, Laura Ingraham, and Michael Medved is a true honor.”

cooperleanderCooper to Manage Beasley’s Atlanta Religion and Talk Outlets.   This is a promotion for LeAnder Cooper who moves up from the assistant business manager post to general manager for Beasley Media Group’s religion WAEC and talk WWWE in Atlanta.  Company EVP of operations Brian Beasley states, “We are deeply impressed with LeAnder’s commitment to WAEC and WWWE, and we have great confidence she is the ideal professional to serve as general manager of two historically successful AM stations in the Atlanta radio market.”

nielsen logoNielsen’s RADAR June 2015 Released; 167 Million Americans Reached.  The June 2015 RADAR from Nielsen is out and the ratings giant reports that this survey indicates more than 167 million Americans age 12 or older listened to a network radio commercial during an average week.  As industry pros are aware, Nielsen RADAR reports estimated audiences to network commercials broadcast by affiliates of the subscribing networks.  RADAR audience estimates do not account for listening to all network radio programming.  RADAR delivers data for the entire country but it also breaks out numbers for reach into the top 25 DMAs.  That data shows network radio reaches 64.6% of persons aged 12+; 68.5% of persons aged 18-49; and 69.3% of persons aged 25-54.  Nielsen’s RADAR (Radio’s All Dimension Audience Research) June 2015 Report is the standard currency for national network radio ratings and measures 43 individual radio networks.  These networks are operated by AdLarge Media, American Urban Radio Networks, Crystal Media Networks, Premiere Networks, United Stations Radio Networks and Westwood One.

Odds & Sods.  Nashville-based, Westwood One-syndicated talk show host Phil Valentine has a role in the new film The Secret Handshake, starring Kevin Sorbo (Hercules, God’s Not Dead), pop star Amy Grant and countryvalentinephil music singer Mark Collie.  The film was written and directed by Howie Klausner, who co-wrote Space Cowboys starring Clint Eastwood and Tommy Lee Jones.  In the movie about a young boy who starts down the wrong path and is taken on a camping trip by three concerned men, Valentine plays the role of a novelist pitching another book idea to Sorbo’s character.  Valentine says, “Hey, I got to do a scene with Hercules.  It doesn’t get much better than that.”…..Three of FOX Sports Radio’s talk shows will broadcast from the 2015 U.S. Open at Chambers Bay in University Place, Washington as part of the network’s coverage of the tournament.  “Jay Mohr Sports,” “Steve Gorman SPORTS!” and JT “The Brick” will air from Washington June 17-19 and the network’s coverage will continue through the weekend with national anchor Dan Breyer providing live updates during play…..Sports USA announces its 2015 NCAA football schedule, kicking off the season with an opening week doubleheader featuring Jim Harbaugh’s Michigan Wolverines facing Utah on Thursday September 3 and Washington Huskies head coach Chris Petersen’s return to Boise State on Friday September 4.  The 2015 schedule consists of 16 regular season games plus four bowl games.

rtdna logoRTDNA/Hofstra University Survey Indicates Local News Content Stabilizing.  That study by Hofstra University professor emeritus Bob Papper summarizes local news content for TV and radio.  Looking at the radio numbers, Papper reports that “66.2% of radio stations in the survey run local news — 71.9% of AM stations and 63.9% of FM stations.  The overall percentage running local news is down around 4 points (3.8) compared to last year — which was down 7.7 from the year before.  AM and FM stations were down about the same amount.”  The report shows, among other things, the number of minutes of news stations in different size markets air and one thing that pops out is the dip in minutes aired from major market stations to large market stations.  The weekday average number of minutes of news aired on major market stations was 129.3.  Large market stations aired much less news – 35.8 minutes on average during the week.  That number shoots back up for medium markets – 70.7 minutes and remains almost level in small markets at 68.9 minutes.  Read the study report here.

theblaze radio networkTheBlaze Radio Network’s Independence: An American Story Distributed by Premiere Networks.  The Fourth of July special “Independence: An American Story” – from Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze Radio Network – is being distributed to stations by Premiere Networks.  The show is hosted by TheBlaze’s Doc Thompson and Skip LaCombe and features appearances by several Blaze hosts, including Andrew W.K. and Sheriff David Clarke.  “The special highlights stories and conversations about the American Dream being achieved; the renewal of national pride and the accomplishments only possible in an independent, free nation; and why, despite the challenges facing Americans, this is the greatest nation on Earth.”  It’s available for news/talk stations to air from July 3-5, 2015.  Stations interested in this special should contact Premiere Networks’ affiliate relations department at 818-377-5300.

2016 Presidential Race/Jeb Bush Announces, Rachel Dolezal Case, Drone Strike Kills al Qaeda Leader, ISIS Military Activity, EU-Greece Tensions, TTP Trade Deal, and NHL and NBA Finals Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/15).  Republican Jeb Bush officially enters the race for president in 2016; the case of Spokane NAACP head Rachel Dolezal who resigned from the post after questions about her identifying as black became a major news story; the U.S. military uses a drone strike to allegedly kill al Qaeda leader Nasir al-Wuhayshi; the United States’ policy in Iraq as ISIS continues its military campaign there; the state of the EU and Greece’s place in it as the Greek government fights the EU’s efforts to affect its policies; the tenuous state of the TTP trade deal; and the NHL and NBA Finals were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

| June 2, 2015

pew logoLatest Pew Research Report on Political News Consumption Prompts Questions About Ever-Shifting Definition of ‘News.’ The just-published “Millennials and Political News” report from the Pew Research Center is subtitled “Social Media – the Local TV for the Next Generation?”  It looks at how three different generations – Millennials, Gen Xers, and Baby Boomers – get their political news today and, not surprisingly, suggests that Millennials get more of their political news from social media than do the other two groups (especially Baby Boomers, who cite Local TV as their primary source).  However, the study goes deeper than just that conclusion and presents some interesting data illuminating media usage among these three generations.  But the study also reminds us that social media as a conduit of news isfacebooklogo personalized from the start.  “Understanding the nuances of the social media news environment is complicated: The experience is individualized through one’s own choices, through the friends in one’s network and their proclivities, and through algorithms – all of which can change over time. We are only limbaughrushbeginning to understand these complex interactions.”  Although good for marketing purposes, does the suggestion that social media makes it easier for people to “swim with their own” make them less likely to be introduced to ideas or opinions they’ve not experienced before?  How does the “narrowcasting” of political news affect the electorate?  But a question perhaps more relevant to TALKERS readers is what ishannity the definition of a news source?  The Pew survey asks respondents about specific programs, networks, newspapers, or news outlets and asks each generation about their use, awareness and trust of each.  Premiere NetworksRush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck were listed among the beckglenn36 sources for political news (as was Comedy Central’s The Daily Show), and this brings up the old question of whether a talk radio show (or even a TV comedy show) are news programs in the same way the “CBS Evening News” is a news program.   The 36 sources were suggested to the respondents by Pew and one has to wonder how different the list of cited political news sources might be if respondents were asked to name their most used and trusted sources, instead of choosing from a list.  Regardless, this study certainly serves as a reminder that models of presenting news are changing almost as fast as the definition of what news is.  See the Pew study here.

clarkedavidMilwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke to Host Podcast on TheBlaze Radio Network.  The new weekly podcast available from Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze Radio Network is called “David Clarke: The People’s Sheriff,” hosted by Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke.  Saying that Clarke is well known for being “an outspoken defender of individual liberties,” TheBlaze the show will “focus on law enforcementtheblaze radio network issues, knowing your rights, commentary on current affairs, racial issues, 2nd Amendment matters, and the importance of empowering individuals rather than the state.”  On his new venture, Clarke states, “What an honor to be a part of TheBlaze Radio Network!  This podcast is an opportunity to add to the conversation of well-thought-out reason on issues confronting America.  I look forward to being a part of TheBlaze family, working to keep the public well informed.”

hamburgjoanWABC, New York Announces Pre-Tony’s Program with Joan Hamburg.  Big Apple talk radio personality Joan Hamburg will be broadcasting a special show this week from the famous Sardi’s Restaurant in the heart of Times Square on 77WABC to celebrate Sunday’s Tony Awards.  On Wednesday, June 3, Hamburg will speak with special Broadway guests and 100 of her loyal listeners during this sold-out luncheon event.  The show will air on Saturday, June 6 from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm.  Guests will include Tony nominees: Jason Alexander, Geneva Carr, Marc Kudisch, Tyne Daly, Harriet Harris, Brian Darcy James, Christian Borle, Brad Oscar, Chita Rivera, Kelli O’Hara, Robert Fairchild, and Kelsey Grammer.

harrisonUpCloseFarOutsmallLeading Progressive Talk Show Host Thom Hartmann Interviewed on Latest Installment of “Up Close and Far Out.”  Top 10 Heavy Hundred member and multi-platform talk star, Thom Hartmann, is this week’s guest on PodcastOne’s international hit series, “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.”  Hartmann and TALKERS  publisher Michael Harrison discuss what they both describe as the “messed up state” of much of the categorical labeling (left, right, center) that is used to describe both talk show hosts andhartmannthom politicians involved in the national discussion of complex issues.  Hartmann – branded by industry observers and the media as a “liberal,” and/or “progressive” who approaches his show from a “left” position — says, “There really is no ‘left’ in America as there is in other countries.  There is the ‘right,’ the ‘far right,’ and the ‘center.’  No real ‘left’ to speak of.”  Hartmann describes himself as a lifelong “serial entrepreneur who hasn’t had an employer in about 40 years.”  He says, “There is no truth in the idea that liberals hate business.”  Hartmann goes on to cite a number of “fundamental American” issues upon which “both progressives and Tea Partyers agree.”  Hartmann cites issues upon which he agrees with conservative Cumulus/Westwood One host Mark Levin (who will be Harrison’s guest on next week’s installment of the podcast) and points out that, although he disagrees with just about every political position taken by Cumulus/Westwood one star Michael Savage, he greatly admires the host’s skill as a talk broadcaster.  Hartmann says he loves broadcasting as much as he loves politics.  To hear the entire podcast click here or click the player box in the right hand column of every page on TALKERS.com.

bostonheraldradio logoBoston Herald Radio Tweaks Lineup.  New personalities are being added to the lineup at Boston Herald Radio effective today (6/2).  The morning program “Boston Herald Drive” – airing from 7:00 am to 9:00 am – will add John Sapochetti as co-host alongside current personality Adriana Cohen.  Sapochetti’s progressive takes will provide some balance to Cohen’s conservative stance.  Also, in mid-afternoons, “Fargo Street,” airing from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm and featuring hosts Chris Villani and Tyler Sullivan, will cover “current events, sports and entertainment.”  Villani comments, “I love the chance to broaden all of our horizons a bit.  It is a big world and there are big conversations to have.”  Also announced by the Herald is executive producer Tom Shattuck’s powering up the multimedia center in the Herald’s City Hall bureau to deliver daily news from City Hall.

Odds & Sods. An FM signal is added to Beasley’s South Florida business talk outlet WSBR, Boca Raton.  Via translator W245BC – whose primary signal covers an area to the northwest of Fort Lauderdale – the “740 AM MoneyTalk Radio” format will be heard on 96.9 FM as well…..Pubcaster WBUR, Boston is launching a six-week pilot season of “You’re the Expert,” a new science and comedy program hosted by comedian Chris Duffy. Each episode is recorded in front of a live audience and features a guest expert in a specialized field, such as a doctor who studies Neanderthal DNA or a researcher who examines bacteria from the New York Public Transit System.  A panel of comedians then uses questions and games to try and guess what the expert does and why his or her field is important…..Salem Media announces that it is declaring a quarterly dividend of $0.065/share payable on June 30 for shareholders of record as of June 16…..Talk show host Charles Butler fills in for Jerry Doyle on his Talk Radio Network program this week.

hurleyHarryMissAmerica15Miss America Pageant Returns to Atlanta City.  And WPGG, Atlantic City morning legend Harry Hurley got to spread the news of the beauty pageant’s return to the city with 2015 Miss America Kira Kazantsev in the studio to talk about it.  The pageant returned to Atlantic City in 2013 after six years in Las Vegas.

2016 Presidential Prospects/Lindsey Graham Joins GOP Race, TSA Fails Explosives Test, Patriot Act Expires, SCOTUS Head Scarf Ruling, Hastert Indictment, ISIS Military Success/U.S.-Trained Tajik Colonel Defects, and Bruce Jenner Case Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/1).  The potential candidates for president in 2016 and Republican Lindsey Graham’s entering the race; the controversy over the TSA’s failure to detect fake explosives 97% of the time; the expiration of the Patriot Act and questions about NSA phone surveillance in the aftermath; the Supreme Court’s ruling in favor of a Muslim woman who was denied a job because of her head scarf; former GOP House Speaker Dennis Hastert charge with violating banking laws; the military success of ISIS in Iraq and Syria and a U.S.-trained Tajikistan colonel’s defection to ISIS; and the ongoing transition of Bruce Jenner into Caitlyn were among the top news/talk stories yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

| May 28, 2015

limbaughrushRush Limbaugh’s Boston Situation Has the Industry – and the Media – Talking.  After Entercom’s WRKO, Boston announced it would end its relationship with Rush Limbaugh and Premiere Networks when the current contract expired this summer, the show was thrust into the spotlight as radio industry watchers and special interest groups wondered aloud why Entercom is letting Limbaugh go and where the show might land in the nation’s #10 radio market.  Recently, Boston mediawrkologo reports have crosstown WMEX management saying that it will not pick up the show.  As TALKERS noted during its initial coverage of this story, the list of quality AM signals in Boston likely to add a news/talk program are few and many wonder if the show will end up on a suburban AM.  While organizations such as Media Matters might like to take credit for the Entercom decision – that they successfully showed advertisers the show is “toxic” – without detailed comments from Entercom or Premiere Networks, no one can say for sure.  However, it’s likely the decision was more financial and less politically judgmental in nature.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “Politics is a double-edged sword for talk radio.  Taking ownership of it in the era following the repeal of the Fairness Doctrine has proven to be a magic elixir that has given additional life and longevity to not only spoken-word programming but, by osmosis, the entire medium of radio itself.  The downside, of course, is the reality that politics – unlike its conceptual cousin, sports – is more than a ‘game’ and people do get hurt.  It is a dirty, ruthless business – a blood sport – that often brings out the worst in people that seek victory rather than truth.  This mindset has splashed over into the armchair analysis of events in radio.  Limbaugh – being the political poster child of the medium – is the target of so much vitriol, from both within and outside the industry, that any bump in the road that he suffers on a business or economic level is seized as evidence of his complete demise directly due to his alleged ‘wrongness’ and ‘toxicity.’  Also fueling the fires of anger seeking to burn Rush at the stake is widespread resentment toward Clear Channel – that runs much deeper than its rebranding as iHeartMedia can sidestep – being the primary symbol of the so-called evils of consolidation.  The truth is – just like almost everyone and every company in this business – Rush has an economic set of difficulties and hard choices to make, based on the financial realities of the radio business in 2015 and the fact that his act is more than a quarter century old.  Cut him some slack… yes, he has a problem in a couple of major markets — he ain’t the only one.  In their zeal to destroy the guy who has lots of miles left in his treads, I hope his critics don’t castrate radio of its greatest asset – the courage to be controversial, irritating, politically incorrect and even ‘wrong.’”

JohnandLeahShow logo‘The John & Leah Show’ Lands New York Affiliate WNYM.  The syndicated weekend talk show “The John & Leah Show” is now being heard on Salem Media Group-owned news/talk WNYM, New York “AM 970 The Answer.”  Hosted by radio pros John Ziegler and Leah Brandon, the Envision Networks-syndicated show that deals with “the week’s news focusing on media, politics, sports and pop culture” airs Sundays at 10:00 pm.  Salem Media Group New York VP/GM Jerry Crowley says, “‘AM 970, The Answer’ in New York is excited to air the ‘John and Leah Show’ each Sunday night…John Ziegler and Leah Brandon provide our listeners with up-to-date news and opinion and New Yorkers have a chance to call-in and let them know how they feel about it.”

cumulus logoCumulus Names Sutherland to Providence VP Market Manager Post. Taking over the VP/market manager position in Providence after Barbara Haynes’ exit last week is John Sutherland, who moves up from his VP of sales position with Cumulus Media’s Worcester, Massachusetts cluster.  Prior to joining Cumulus in 2013, he was chief visual officer for Sutherland Marketing Group.  He was also awpro logo vice president with iHeartMedia.  Cumulus SVP Gary Pizzati says, “Placing John at the helm of Cumulus Providence is a perfect fit for that dynamic group of stations and will maximize our position in the market.  John has many years of broadcast history in the Northeast and his tremendous track record speaks for itself.  This is another example of the opportunities for advancement and growth Cumulus offers to our employees.  We congratulate John and are pleased to present him with this well-deserved battlefield promotion.”

KMZQ-AMYahoo! Sports Radio About to Score in Vegas. The affiliation between Kemp Communications’ KMZQ “The Score,” Las Vegas and Yahoo! Sports Radio will start next Monday (6/1). Yahoo! Sports Radio chief executive officer David Gow states, “We have had a significant presence in Las Vegas through our great partnership with the [Las Vegas hotel and resort] Palazzo. It is so exciting to welcome our newest Las Vegas partner and to build on our deep connection with the market through a terrestrial signal. It’s going to be a big win for everyone.” KMZQ executive vice president and general manager Marty Basch comments, “Yahoo! has built locally-rooted connections with its national programming across the country. We are excited to be an integral part of its Las Vegas presence. From special events to nightly broadcasts, this is a great opportunity for KMZQ and its listeners to connect locally; get their national sports information; and be represented nationwide.” The lineup on KMZQ will include: Steve Czaban; “Prime Cut” with Sean Salisbury and John Granato; Leigh Steinberg; and “Sports X Radio” with Ken Thomson, who originates his Yahoo! Sports Radio show from the Palazzo. KMZQ is currently a Fox Sports Radio affiliate; the station did not appear in Nielsen Audio‘s April 2015 PPM report for Las Vegas.

Odds & Sods.  Talk pro Michael Bower (WUCS, Hartford and SiriusXM’s Maxim Radio) will fill in for WINZ,bowermike Miami’s Jeff “Defo” DeForrest on June 8 and 9…..New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. will be a weekly contributor to WEPN, New York “ESPN New York 98.7FM” on the Michael Kay show.  Beginning September 3, Beckham will join Kay and co-host Don LaGreca each Thursday to talk Giants football and the NFL.

wgnhofplaqueWGN, Chicago to Induct ‘Walk of Fame’ Class.  In a ceremony that will be open to the public (and broadcast live on WGN, Chicago) and hosted by personalities Steve Cochran and Bob Sirott, the station will honor 10 broadcast legends.  The WGN Radio Walk of Fame Induction and Ceremony will take place tomorrow (5/29) on Pioneer Court in front of Tribune Tower from 1:00 pm to 2:30 pm.  The 2015 inductees include: Steve Bertrand, Lyle Dean, Dave Eanet, Steve King, Franklyn MacCormack (represented by Rick Kogan), Lou Manfredini, Johnnie Putman, Ward Quaal (represented by 2014 Walk of Famer Orion Samuelson), Ron Santo (represented by his wife Vicki) and Eddie Schwartz (represented by his brother Hal Ross).

tradupKrauthammer15Conservative Commentator Krauthammer to Join Salem Conference.  On Wednesday, June 17, Salem Radio Network talk hosts Bill Bennett, Mike Gallagher and Michael Medved will host a V.I.P. “Preview Dinner” in Washington, DC to kick-off the 2015 Road to Majority conference and conservative commentator Charles Krauthammer (pictured here at right with SRN VP/News & Talk Programming Tom Tradup at left) will be a special guest.  Former SRN talk host and GOP presidential hopeful Rick Santorum will also be featured at the conference, along with Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Mike Huckabee and others.

2016 Presidential Prospects/Rubio Claims Assault on Christianity, FIFA Scandal/Clinton Donations, Deadly Texas and Oklahoma Floods, ISIS Military Progress, Baltimore Violent Crime Wave, Hillary Clinton Emails Issue, IRS Data Theft Case, and NBA-NHL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/27).  The potential candidates for president in 2016 and Marco Rubio’s assertion that Christianity is under assault in America; the FIFA corruption scandal and its donations to the Clinton Family Foundation; the continuing, deadly heavy rains and flooding in Texas and Oklahoma; ISIS’ military successes in Ramadi and Palmyra; the increase in violent crimes in Baltimore since the Freddie Gray case; the ongoing scrutiny of Hillary Clinton’s use of private emails for State Department business; the theft of data from IRS computers that is suspected to have been Russian in origin; 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.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

| May 26, 2015

eastlanratings logoDick Broadcasting Signs with Eastlan Ratings for Triad Market Stations.  Certainly this is big news for the Bellevue, Washington-based ratings firm as Dick Broadcasting is the first broadcaster to sign on with Eastlan in a market served by Nielsen Audio’s PPM surveys.  This story doesn’t involve a spoken-word radio station as Dick operates only classic rock WKRR “Rock 92” and CHR WKZL in the Triad market, but it’s one broadcasters of all stripes find interesting.  According to a press release issued by Eastlan, under the terms of a new multi-year agreement, the company will field its initial audience measurement study in the Greensboro/High Point/Winston-Salem market this summer.  Dick Broadcasting VP/GM Dick Harlow comments, “I was surprised to learn that we are the first to make this switch in a PPM market.  The meter was supposed to be the savior and all it’s done is increase our annual payments to Nielsen.  And now we find out to win in the PPM game you need a magic black box to job the system.  At some point, enough is enough.  We look forward to working with Eastlan Ratings to see who people in the Triad choose to listen to rather than who they are exposed to.  Plus the sample size will be about triple the number of meters now in the market.”  Eastlan president and CEO Mike Gould adds, “After more than 16 years of providing radio ratings in markets coast-to-coast, we’re finding broadcasters and media buyers who don’t know the Eastlan story are few and far between.  Our methodological hybrid of telephone recall (landline and cellular) and e-surveys isn’t sexy but it’s fair and it’s reliable.  We are thankful that Dick and his colleagues trust Eastlan as their preferred ratings vendor.  We are going to help save them a lot of money by getting their ratings investment back in line with the realities of today’s radio revenue stream.”

kollinsdonKollins to Program KGMZ, San Francisco.  San Francisco sports talker KGMZ “95.7 The Game” has a new PD two-and-a-half months after Jason Barrett exited the position for family reasons.  Entercom announces Don Kollins assumes the post on June 12.  Company market vice president Steve DiNardo says, “After an exhaustive search, the best choice was located north of us – way north – in Canada!  We’rekgmzlogo excited to have Don join the San Francisco programming team.  He comes to us with an established record of success – specifically in sports and news/talk formats.  His experience in managing both play-by-play relationships with professional sports teams as well as personalities makes him the ideal choice for this position.  Under Don’s leadership, I’m confident that we will continue to build on the successes that Jason Barrett achieved during his four-year tenure as PD.”  Kollins comes to Entercom from Rogers-owned CJCL, Toronto “SportsNet 590 The Fan.”

harrisonUpCloseFarOutsmallMichael Harrison and Richard Neer Reminisce About Their First Two and a Half Years in Radio.  There’s a whole lot of ancient radio and pop cultural history discussed in this week’s installment of the hit international podcast for media freaks, “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison,” as the TALKERS/RadioInfo publisher is joined by his close friend and colleague of 48 years – Richard Neer – in an intimate conversation about how they met in 1967 at their first job at the same radio station, WLIR-FM, Long Island.  They were teenage broadcasters struggling to survive in their first toe-hold as pros (while still attending college) at a small beautiful/classical music-formatted FM station in Garden City where they served as staff announcers/news readers and engineers thatneerrichard fumbled their way through the challenging process of learning to run the board and announce records that were targeted to a far older audience while trying to avoid the wrath of a demanding owner.  By 1970, they had learned their craft under fire and actually became quite good at it, earning the respect of WLIR’s owner, John Rieger, who appointed Harrison program director and Neer music director of a new progressive rock format for the station that the duo suggested.  As it turned out, the station’s new format was an instant smash, WLIR-FM went from obscurity to national prominence, and Harrison and Neer were catapulted, within 10 months of the new format’s debut, to highly coveted, on-air positions at the legendary WNEW-FM, New York.  Both went on to colorful 48-year careers in music, talk and sports radio as well as trade publishing.  Neer subsequently wrote FM: The Rise and Fall of Rock Radio (Villard, 2001) which still stands as a widely quoted reference work about the golden era of album rock broadcasting.  To hear the podcast in its entirety and enjoy descriptive insights into what it was like to be a couple of kids in small-time radio back in the late-1960s, please click here or the player box located in the right-hand column of every page on Talkers.com and RadioInfo.com.

ksfologoKSFO, San Francisco Raises $135,000 for Fisher House Foundation. During the Memorial Day holiday weekend, Cumulus Media-owned news/talker KSFO, San Francisco’s morning show with Brian Sussman, Katie Green and Sheri Yee helped raise $136,000 for the Fisher House Foundation.  The “KSFO Morning Show” broadcast live from the Palo Alto Fisher House Friday morning from 5:00 am to 9:00 am and featured interviews with soldiers and their families who have used Fisherfisherhouselogo House’s services.  Listeners donated online and by phone during the live broadcast and throughout the Memorial Day weekend.  KSFO supported the fundraiser through on-air recorded and live promotional announcements, listings on KSFO.com and a message from Brian Sussman on the KSFO newsletter.  This is the fifth consecutive year for KSFO’s Memorial Day weekend fundraising effort.  KSFO has raised more than $600,000 for Fisher House Foundation over the past five years.  Sussman comments, “Once again the KSFO audience has revealed its profound patriotism!  This kind of generous giving is representative of the American spirit.”

redstatetalkradioConservative Talk Digital Platforms Merge.  Effective June 1, the two conservative talk digital platforms Red State Talk Radio and WDFP Digital will become one network.  Red State Talk Radio program director Premo Mondone says, “Our goal is simple.  We will utilize the growing technology of digital broadcasting to produce the very best in grassroots, common sense, conservative programming.  This merger will allow Red State Talk Radio to move to the next level.  Put simply, I think that in time, we can establish ourselves as the dominant conservative Internet talk radio station in America.”  Joining the newly merged company will be WDFP’s Donna Fiducia (formerly of the Fox News Channel) and Don Neuen, co-host of “Cowboy Logic Radio.”  The result of the merger will be new programs joining the Red State network and the platform will broadcast two digital streams (Studio A & Studio B), which will allow the station more capacity and flexibility.  It also plans to bring new contributors on board.

westwoodoneLacrosse15WW1 Wraps NCAA Lacrosse Title Game Coverage.  The championship game for college lacrosse was played over the weekend at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia with the Denver University Pioneers beating Maryland to claim the school’s first title.  Pictured here is Westwood One announcer Jason Horowitz (left) interviewing winning coach Bill Tierney (right).

ISIS Progress in Iraq and Syria, Hillary Clinton Emails Case, 2016 Presidential Prospects, B.B. King Murder Allegations, Texas-Oklahoma Floods, Memorial Day Weekend, NBA-NHL Playoffs, and Anne Meara Dies Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/25).   The military progress of ISIS taking territory in both Iraq and Syria; the ongoing talk about Hillary Clinton’s use of private emails for State Department business; the potential candidates for president in 2016; the allegation by B.B. King’s family that he was poisoned by two associates; the severe floods affecting parts of Texas and Oklahoma; the Memorial Day holiday; the weekend’s NBA and NHL playoff action; and the death of comedienne and actress Anne Meara were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

| May 21, 2015

lettermandavid wideEnd of Letterman Show Reveals Late Night Giant’s Impact on News/Talk Personalities.  Late night TV talk legend David Letterman’s retirement from the business after an astonishing run on both NBC and CBS gave talk radio hosts the opportunity to not only address the cultural phenomenon that his program was but to express their admiration for Letterman’s broadcasting skills, creativity and groundbreaking humor and admit to being influenced by him.  Yesterday (5/20), TALKERS magazine published a heartfelt and deeply personal piece by WPHT, Philadelphia morning drive host Chris Stigall.  If you missed it, read that here.joycebrian  TALKERS editors are hearing from other hosts who’ve been thinking about how Letterman influenced their careers.  WGOW, Chattanooga midday host Brian Joyce says he hosted comics Rob Schneider and Brian Kiley to talk about Letterman’s show and his impact.  “Rob made his network debut on Letterman’s show back in 1987 when he was 23 years old.  Kiley is a stand-up comedian and writer who has appeared on Letterman’s show six times and has been nominated for 16 Emmy Awards as Conan O’Brien’s head monologue harrisonmichael5-15writer.  They discussed their feelings about Letterman and his legacy, plus their overall thoughts on the state of late night TV, plus media in general.”  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “Although Johnny Carson remains THE cultural icon of late night television talk/variety shows, and Steve Allen and Jack Parr certainly cast their significant influence upon several generations of late night TV talkers, no singular practitioner of the genre has influenced the modern era of both radio and television talk show hosts as much as David Letterman.  You see his fingerprints all over the style and constructs of so many of today’s radio gabbers covering the spectrum of pop culture, political and even sports talk programs.  David Letterman’s contribution to the basic attitude of talk programming has been nothing short of profound.”

JohnandLeahShow logoThe John and Leah Show to Air on WNIR-FM, Akron.  The Akron heritage FM talk outlet will be the weekend home to the Envision Networks-syndicated “John and Leah Show” featuring John Ziegler and Leah Brandon.  The Media-Com talk station will air the program live on Sunday evenings at 10:00 pm ET.  WNIR-FM station manager Bill Klaus says, “It’s good to have a live weekend program, instead of taped replays of programs earlier in the week.  We love having a male and female host anchoring our Sunday nights.”  Envision Networks says, “Hosts John Ziegler and Leah Brandon bring you the final word on the week’s events and first thoughts on the week to come.  The hosts provide an informative, compelling and entertaining take on the news of the week as well as their own crazy lives.  The John and Leah Show is always interesting with unpredictable conversations.”

schoenbergertoddTodd Schoenberger Named Afternoon Host at WGMD, Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.  Effective June 1, retired hedge fund manager and national media personality, Todd Schoenberger begins hosting the afternoon drive program on Resort Broadcasting’s WGMD, Rehoboth Beach, Delaware “92.7FM The Talk of Delmarva.”  The company says that it “boasts a deep and seasoned lineup of veteran hosts and award-winning shows, from Mike Bradley to Jim Rash to Rush Limbaugh.  The addition of Toddwgmd logo Schoenberger is expected to only further validate WGMD as the finest and most credible news/talk radio station in Delmarva and points west of the Chesapeake Bay.”  Director of broadcast operations, engineering and programming Walt Palmer comments, “Todd’s background as a frequent guest and expert on major national networks, such as FOX News, CNBC, CNN and Bloomberg, exemplifies the station to a level unmatched by our competitors.  WGMD continues to be the clear station-of-choice for radio and on-line listeners.”  Schoenberger was most recently founder and managing partner for LandColt Capital LP.  He is also a published freelance writer and has authored numerous articles for The Washington Times, The Baltimore Sun, CNBC.com and FOXBusiness.com.

nyfest smallNew York Festivals World’s Best Radio Programs Finalists Announced.  The winners of the 2015 New York Festivals World’s Best Radio Programs competition will be announced on June 22 as the awards ceremony at the Manhattan Penthouse.  For the 33-year-old competition, The Grand Jury selected 289 finalists from entries submitted from over 30 countries worldwide. Entries were judged on production values, organization, presentation of information, creativity, and use of the medium.  All finalists proceed to the medal round to determine Gold, Silver, and Bronze trophies.  From the United States, finalists include programs created by public radio-affiliated companies as well as commercial broadcasters including ESPN and SiriusXM.  The latter is a finalist in four categories and ESPN is a finalist in six categories.

wgnplus logoWGN Plus to Carry ‘Jones and Mike’ Show.  The Chicago-based program “Jones and Mike,” with hosts Brian Jones and Mike Noonan, is being aired on Tribune Media’s “digital content incubator” WGN Plus where it will be available via WGNPlus.com and the WGN Plus app in thejonesbrian chicago Apple and Google Play stores.  WGN Radio vice president of content and programming Todd Manley comments, “WGNplus is a place for us to take risks and get behind innovative talent. Jones and Mike fit noonanmikethat mold perfectly.”  Brian Jones says, “When we set out to create this show we wanted to bring it to the biggest possible audience of 35-to-54-year-old people interested in hearing lifestyle talk.  WGN Plus has a valuable audience and we’re very happy to be associated with a blue-chip brand like WGN!”  The “Jones and Mike” show is a production of Revolutionary Media Group and is heard on local AM signal WCGO, Evanston on weekends.

Odds & Sods.  The news/talk format produced by Forever Broadcasting in the State College, Pennsylvania market leaves WRSC-FM and will move to the company’s WRSC-AM, bumping the sports talk format off the air.  Replacing news/talk on the FM is a classic hits format branded “Happy 103.”…..ESPN Audio is debuting the “Golf” podcast with ESPN.com golf writers Michael Collins and Jason Sobel.  New podcasts will arrive bi-weekly and will be about 30 minutes in length.  The first episode, May 7, featured Jacksonville Jaguars kicker Joshbowermike Scobee…..Talk show pro Michael Bower is back in the fill-in business from his ISDN-compatible home studio after Memorial Day.  Bower tells TALKERS magazine he’s done fill-in work for such notable signals as KNXT, Vegas; KKFN, Denver; KSFO and KGO, San Francisco; KIRO-FM, Seattle; and KTAR-FM, Phoenix.

New York Sports Talkers Donate ‘Fantasy Packages’ to Fairfield University.  The sports radio fantasy packages consist of time at the various studios watching the shows produced plus meet-and-greets with the hosts and key personnel and benefit Fairfield University Sports Performance which aids varsity student athletics.  CBS RADIO’s Mike Francesa, ESPN’s Michael Kay and SiriusXM’s Chris “Mad Dog” Russo are each contributing a package to the online auction that runs through May 31.

2016 Presidential Prospects, Rand Paul Filibuster, Declassified Bin Laden Information, ISIS Takes Ramadi and Palmyra, Iran Nuclear Program Talks, David Letterman Wraps CBS Late Show, and ‘Deflategate’ Controversy Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/20).  The potential candidates for president in 2016; Kentucky Senator – and presidential candidate – Rand Paul’s filibuster over the renewal of the Patriot Act over the mass surveillance of Americans’ telephone records; the release of information gathered at the site of the death of Osama bin Laden; ISIS takes control of the Iraqi city of Ramadi and the Syrian city of Palmyra; the Iran nuclear talks take a turn as the ayatollah refuses to agree to inspections and meeting with its scientists; David Letterman broadcasts his last late night talk show; and the ongoing  controversy over the NFL’s “Deflategate” issue were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

| May 12, 2015

usaRadioNetworks‘Washington Watch with Tony Perkins’ to Air on USA Radio Networks.  Another afternoon program is added to the roster at USA Radio Networks as it announces “Washington Watch with Tony Perkins” begins airing on the network on June 8 live from 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm.  Perkins is president of the Washington, D.C.-based Family Research Council and a former member of the Louisiana legislature.  Perkins also serves as the president of the Council for National Policy an umbrellaperkinstony organization for dozens of conservative organizations that address fiscal, social, and foreign policy issues.  He says about joining USA Radio Networks, “I’m excited to join the USA Radio Networks at such a critical time for our nation.  ‘Washington Watch’ is uniquely positioned in the heart of our nation’s capital to provide daily interviews from Capitol Hill with political and conservative leaders.  Radio has only become more important to our mission to keep God-fearing Americans informed and equipped to respond to the policy and cultural challenges of our day.  We are excited to partner with USA Radio Networks as we advance faith, family and freedom across America.”  Tim Maranville is chief content officer at Cross Platform Media Group, parent company to USA Radio Networks.  He says, “Tony Perkins has been a prominent voice in Washington for years with the Family Research Council.  The important issues he brings will now be available for discussion and debate in the open market through USA Radio Networks.”

le batard danDan Le Batard Show to Simulcast on Fusion.  According to TVNewser, ESPN Radio’s “The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz” will begin being simulcast on May 19 at 4:00 pm ET.  Fusion – a multi-platform, joint endeavor from Disney-ABC Television and Univision – debuted in the fall of 2013 and targets millennial consumers.  Fusion’s chief programming officer Wade Beckett is quoted by TVNewser saying, “Dan and Stugotz are an extremely engaging pair, and we are thrilled that they are bringing their unique flare to Fusion daily line-up.  Dan’s smart-yet-irreverent take on sports and the stories making headlines perfectly aligns with Fusion’s desire to present this young, diverse generation with an array of dynamic voices that have an authentic point of view and, at the end of the day, are just are fun to watch.”

rtdna logoRTDNA Reports on Social Media and Mobile Strategies for Radio News Operations.  The third edition of a series of reports from Hofstra University professor emeritus Bob Papper – whose data comes from the annual survey of radio and television news directors – investigates newsrooms’ use of social media and mobile applications.  Among the questionspapperbob answered by the approximately 150 news directors who responded to the survey include: What’s the most important new thing you started doing with social media in 2014?  Almost 49% of radio news directors reported doing something new in social media in 2014.  In underscoring the importance of developing mobile apps for news consumers, Papper points out that 55% of news directors mentioned apps compared to the next most popular answer – streaming, at 11%.  The RTDNA will be releasing new reports every two weeks through July.  See the whole report here.

nielsen logoNielsen Audio Releases First Round of April 2015 PPM Data.  The first of four rounds of April 2015 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 2015 survey period covered March 26 through April 22.  You can find the complete ratings from subscribing stations here.  Additionally, TALKERS/RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Ten Takeaways” from this group on the main page of our sister publication here.

harrisonUpCloseFarOutsmallMichael Harrison Engages in Stimulating Conversations with Rebecca Costa and Buzz Aldrin on New Podcast.  TALKERS magazine publisher Michael Harrison presents a “double header” on this week’s installment of the international hit podcast “Up Close and Far Out” as he interviews two provocative thinkers on the connection between human evolution and the species’ chances of survival.  The podcast opens with Harrison in conversation with a personality he describes as “one of the most intelligent voices in talk radio today,” sociobiologist Rebecca Costa.  Costa, a renowned author, speaker and consultant, hosts radio’s weekly “Costa Report” – a nationalcostarebeccaposed weekend talk show syndicated by GCN, in which she interviews thought leaders with an eye on the future from a wide spectrum of fields and disciplines.  Costa, author of the worldwide best-seller, The Watchman’s Rattle (Vanguard, 2010), says the human brain needs to evolve if it has a chance of coping with the increasingly complex nature of society and its technological/information-generating systems.  She calls for humanity rising above the traits it shares with lower animals (“the lower instruments of our aldrinbuzzgenetic inheritance”) to be able to enter an age of cooperation and enlightenment, vital to its survival, by tapping into the evolutionary advantages offered by the brain’s frontal cortex.  In part-two of the podcast, Harrison engages legendary astronaut Buzz Aldrin in a discussion about the Apollo moonwalker’s new book, Mission to Mars (National Geographic, 2015) in which he encourages humanity to begin planning its future as being more than a “one-planet species” – an evolutionary step he believes necessary for humanity’s long-term survival.  To listen to Rebecca Costa and Buzz Aldrin on “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison,” please click here or click on the special player box in the right hand column of every page of Talkers.com.  Archived interviews currently available for download at www.upcloseandfarout.com in the “Up Close and Far Out” series include Sean Hannity, Mike Francesa, Dr. Joy Browne, Linda Ronstadt, Joe Sciacca, Christopher Ruddy, Norm Pattiz, Alan Colmes, and Steve Weisman.

wddz logoSalem Media Group to Unveil ‘AM 1250 The Answer’ in Pittsburgh.  The station acquired from Disney – WDDZ, Pittsburgh – becomes the latest Salem-owned AM news/talk to assume the brand “The Answer.”   In addition to airing the Salem Radio Network lineuptennentrose of talk hosts, local news/talk personality Rose Tennent – formerly with partner Jim Quinn on crosstown WPGB-FM – is signed on for a local morning show that will air from 8:00 am to 10:00 am.  The rest of the schedule is: Bill Bennett, 6:00 am to 8:00 am; Mike Gallagher, 10:00 am to 12:00 noon; Dennis Prager, 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm; Michael Medved, 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm; Westwood One’s Mark Levin, 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm; and Hugh Hewitt, 9:00 pm to 12:00 midnight.  Salem general manager Tom Lemmon comments, “Pittsburgh deserves a news/talk station that reflects the conservative, hard-working heart and soul of its people.  We’re thrilled to have an opportunity to provide an intelligent, sensible, conservative voice to the market.  We want to be a station that tackles solid local and national issues with an intelligent opinion committed to truth and integrity.

focus 360 logoWYD Media and Focus 360 Announce Partnership.  Saying that this agreement “significantly extends the reach of Focus 360‘s sales efforts and its ability to provide top-shelf service to agencies,” Focus 360 and WYD Media Ad Sales announce a new partnership.  The deal provides for WYD to provide enhanced ad sales representation for Focus 360.   Focus 360 CEO Phil Brown explains, “This is a tremendous opportunity for us to extend our sales efforts.  WYD’s resources and sales talent will enable us to increase our presence at key agencies, thereby boosting revenue and enabling us to do an even better job at servicing our partners.”  Brown says Focus 360 will continue to work directly with certain agencies where the company has long-standing relationships.  Focus 360 also will continue to build its Jelli programmatic advertising platform.

Odds & Sods.  There’s a new all-comedy station as Austin Radio Network flips its Gospel-formatted KLGO, Austin and re-brands it “Comedy 1260 AM.”…..The Georgia Association of Broadcasters kicked off its second annual Radio Talent Institute at Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of Georgia, as the opening Institute this summer from the National Radio Talent System.  The GAB sponsors the Institute, now in its second year, with further support from Cox Media Group.  Twenty-five students from Georgia schools with a “desire and passion for broadcasting” were accepted into the program.  Opening day speakers included Cumulus Media CEO Lew Dickey, Cox Media VP Scott Smith, and Cox EVP Kim Guthrie, to name a few.  Numerous other radio pros are speaking and teaching courses.

davislaurenCFRA, Toronto News Anchor Lauren Davis Dies Suddenly at 24.  Condolences are pouring in to the family, friends and co-workers of Lauren Davis, who died unexpectedly at age 24 over the weekend.  Davis was a news anchor on CFRA, Toronto.  She’s the daughter of longtime CHFI, Toronto personality Erin Davis.  Lauren Davis’ husband Phil Shirakawa also works at CFRA as a producer.  Lauren Davis was on maternity leave after giving birth to her son Colin last fall.  Bell Media regional vice president Richard Gray issued the following statement, “Lauren’s sudden passing was a shock to our CFRA and Bell Media staff here in Ottawa.  We are deeply saddened by the loss of Lauren, who had just become a mom in the last year.  We also want to extend our deepest sympathies to Lauren’s husband, Phil Shirakawa, who is a producer with us here at CFRA.  Lauren will be deeply missed by her family and the many colleagues here who knew her so well.”

2015 NYC 150Talkers New York 2015 Nearing Maximum Capacity.  Based on the diminishing number of registrations still open and the rate at which they are being filled, Talkers New York 2015 – the 18th annual installment of the talk media’s longest-running and most important national convention — will be sold out sometime this week.  According to TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey, “We are gratified by the strong response this event is receiving and we clearly do not like to turn folks away – however, we must abide by New York City’s building codes, not to mention be sensitive to the comfort and safety of our attendees.”   Casey continues, “There will be no registrations sold after 5:00 pm EDT this Friday May 15, IF NOT SOONER.  Friday at 5:00 pm Eastern will be the absolute cut off point… but we cannot guarantee that we won’t run out of room earlier.”  The event will be located at the historic India House Club dramatically situated at One Hanover Square in the heart of Manhattan’s financial district.  It is an all-day event – 8:45 am to 6:15 pm.  Registrations, priced at $299 per person and only open to professionals currently or recently employed in media-related industries, include all sessions, presentations, exhibits and breakfast/lunch/refreshment/and social networking activities.  The heavyweight, non-stop agenda will include approximately 65 speakers and 500 attendees will be the allowed limit.  Registrations can only be taken over the phone and paid for by credit card.  They are not refundable or transferable.  For registration, sponsorship and hotel information, please call 413-565-5413.  To see the latest agenda, please click here.

wccr logoEWTN Launches Programming on Cleveland Affiliate.  Catholic broadcaster EWTN Global Catholic Radio Network debuts its programming on WCCR, Cleveland “AM 1260 The Rock.”  The Cleveland station, which launched on Monday, May 11, becomes EWTN Radio’s 300th affiliate in the United States.  St. Peter The Rock Media acquired the former WWMK from Radio Disney Group, LLC.  EWTN Radio general manager Dave Vacheresse says, “We are grateful to all the folks at St. Peter The Rock Media who have worked so hard to make this station a reality!  EWTN Radio is the beneficiary of incredible partnerships like this all over the U.S. and around the world.  These partnerships, combined with the cooperation and blessings of bishops across the U.S., has led to a growth rate of nearly 250% in the last five years – from 120 stations to over 400 and growing!”

Michelle Obama ‘Racism’ Commencement, 2016 Presidential Prospects, Baltimore Freddie Gray Death Aftermath, Obama Trade Bill Issue, Arctic Drilling Approved, NATO Expels Alleged Russian Spies, Clinton Email Suit Reopened, and Deflategate Sanctions Announced Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/11).  Criticism of First Lady Michelle Obama’s “racism” commencement address at Tuskegee University; the potential candidates for president in 2016; the legal and political aftermath of the death of Freddie Gray in Baltimore; the controversial trade bill being pushed by President Obama; the approval by the Obama Administration to allow oil drilling in the Arctic; the expelling from Brussels of alleged Russian spies by NATO; the lawsuit seeking to force Hillary Clinton to turn over private emails is reopened by a judge; and the NFL issues a fine for the Patriots and four-game suspension for Tom Brady in the “deflategate” case were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

| May 6, 2015

Sean Hannity Says Times Have Reached a Seriously Important ‘Tipping Point’  – Candidly Discusses Wide Variety of Media/Industry Issues on Michael Harrison’s ‘Up Close and Far Out’ Podcast. TALKERS magazine publisher Michael Harrison interviews Premiere Networks and Fox News Channel harrisonUpCloseFarOutsmalltalk superstar Sean Hannity on this week’s installment of the international hit podcast series, “Up Close and Far Out.”  In an exclusive 30-minute conversation, Harrison and Hannity cover a variety of fascinating topics including the changing nature of how politics is (and should be) handled in talk media as well as challenges presented by the digital age in achieving accurate audience measurement (a subject he will be spearheading at Talkers New York 2015) and his condemnation of the practice of organized political groups trying to “catch” talk show hosts withhannity whom they disagree saying something politically incorrect for the sake of shutting them down.  He explains that the days of predictable arguments about politics within the traditional “right versus left” paradigm are over… or at least they are for him.  He states, “Here’s an interesting evolution of my show… I am far more critical of Republicans than I am of Democrats these days… my argument being that they should know better… they are not articulating an inspiring vision that lets people who don’t have hope today know that their lives could be better.”  Hannity goes on to say that these times and today’s issues are so serious that talk show hosts need to re-evaluate what they consider to be “entertainment” in their medium.  He examines the unique set of functions being a talk show host encompasses and the many different roles they play in doing their jobs: “Some days I might be a newsmaker, some days I might be at the White House interviewing a president.  I might be interviewing a secretary of defense or a secretary of state.  Sometimes I might be interviewing a top newsmaker based on what the issues of the day are.  Another day I might be fostering a debate on the social issues that happen to be in the news.  Sometimes I am interacting with callers.  At other times, I’m giving a monologue with strong opinions.  That is by definition what a talk show host is… it is a unique role in the media.  It is unlike any other position that exists out there.  Reporters are supposed to report on the news and never give their opinion.  Anchors and reporters are supposed to be fair, balanced and objective.  That’s not my role.  My role is not to be fair and balanced… but at times, will I do a straight interview about news and facts or maybe the content of a book or an experience that somebody had while fighting in Iraq or Afghanistan or maybe their role in the CIA or the FBI or maybe their life as a Navy Seal?  Of course!  And that falls under the umbrella of what is our unique role as a talk show host which enables us to do a lot of different things… and then, maybe on a Friday when I’m kind of sick and tired of the news, I’ll put on Jim Norton or Larry the Cable Guy or any comedian and we’ll just have a fun half hour or hour or we’ll just goof around with calls and I’ll just be having fun with the listeners.”  In describing Sean Hannity, Michael Harrison states, “I know Sean has his share of political critics – but that comes with the territory of being a compelling radio/TV talk show host in the modern era.  Sean’s success as a professional performer is borne out by the numbers and track record he has accrued and maintained for such a long period of time.  What many people who only see and hear him as a media performer do not realize is that he is an outstandingly admirable human being… as a family man, colleague and positive spirit.”  To listen to Sean Hannity on “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison,” please click  here or click on the special player box in the right hand column of every page on Talkers.com.

brady billBrady: What to Consider Before Buying a Radio Station.  Radio sales/management pro and president of Futures & Options Inc, Bill Brady, presents his perspective on the business of radio station ownership in a column published today (5/6).  Brady writes that for anyone planning to get into the radio business these days, there are some serious points he believes need to be considered first.  “Over the years, too many bloated egos have crashed and burned on the rocks of radio station ownership.  Some were small players who misjudged situations, overpaid for stations, stupidly signed personal guarantees and went bankrupt.  Some huge corporate egos have also lost their groups when they tried to pull off acquisitions too big to digest when economic adversity inevitably came along.”  Is there a future for the entrepreneurial owner without a personal fortune to spend?  Brady says, “Yes, I said it is still a good business for the time being.  Radio stations in 2015 can still generate 30% cash flow.  But, we can’t stop time and with every passing year there is more competition for media time and ad dollars.  And that’s before the ‘connected car’ achieves critical mass.”  Read Brady’s entire column here.

paigemollyMolly Paige Joins Doug Stephan’s ‘Good Day.’ Joining the Stephen Multimedia-produced, nationally syndicated morning program “Good Day” is news radio pro Molly Paige.  She takes on the co-host and news anchor role effective immediately.  Paige, most recently working in network news in Washington, comments, “I knew this would be the situation worth waiting for from the very first time I talked withstephangoodday logo Doug.  He has created a show that informs his audience with the top trending news stories and then entertains them with his personal insight.  I look forward to adding my perspective to the show.”  Paige has also worked at Los Angeles signals KABC, KLOS, KRLA, KCBS-FM and in San Antonio on WOAI.   Doug Stephan says, “The addition of Molly to the ‘Good Day’ team of Rich McFadden, Jennifer Horn and Ken Kessler will help us continue to deliver fast and fun morning conversation.  She has great energy and we are thrilled to introduce her to our loyal listeners.”

wdbo-FM logoWDBO, Orlando to Present Domestic Violence Awareness Panel.  This evening (5/6), Cox Media Group news/talk outlet WDBO, Orlando “News 96.5” is presenting a live, one-hour program to “raise new awareness about Central Florida’s growing domestic violence problem and ask listeners to take action in support of eliminating domestic violence.”  The event is a partnership with The George C. Young American Inn of Court – an organization of more than 125 lawyers and judges dedicated to improving professionalism in the practice of law in Central Florida.  Titled, “Awareness & Action: Domestic Violence,” the panel will include Belvin Perry, former chief judge who presided over the Casey Anthony murder trial; Jeff Ashton, Florida’s Ninth Judicial Circuit State Attorney who was on the prosecution team in the Casey Anthony trial; Sherri DeWitt, “News 96.5” legal analyst and founder of The DeWitt Law Firm in Orlando; and Carol Wick, CEO for local domestic violence outreach, Harbor House of Central Florida, Inc.  The panel will be moderated by Joe Kelley, host of “Orlando’s Morning News” on “News 96.5,” and Nancy Alvarez, WFTV-TV, Orlando news anchor.  It will be broadcast live on WDBO at 7:00 pm and will be videostreamed on the CMG Orlando radio station websites.

boldgoldfounationBold Gold Foundation to Present Citizenship Award at Inaugural Fundraiser.  The Bold Gold Broadcast and Media Foundation – formed by Bold Gold Media Group to help prepare tomorrow’s frontline communicators – is holding its Inaugural Fundraising and Dinner Event on May 19 at Mohegan Sun Pocono in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.  The evening will feature citizen-journalist James O’Keefe of Project Veritas as the guest speaker in addition to the presentation of the 2015 Atlas Award for Citizenship to Bob Tambur – abenedettovince Northeast Pennsylvania business leader and philanthropist.  Bold Gold president Vince Benedetto says, “Radio broadcasting is the most powerful, informative, and persuasive medium in the world, and the news and talk formats are extremely demanding, and like all media, evolving… and we need the best and brightest communicators of tomorrow to begin preparing for these fields today.”  Bold Gold states that the Atlas Award is presented to an individual who, through their hard work and bold actions, show what is possible to achieve in a free society, and who exhibits extraordinary dedication to the highest ideals of character, community service, entrepreneurialism, patriotism, leadership, and virtue.

goldberghankHank Goldberg to Assume Afternoons on WMEN, West Palm Beach.  According to a report in the Florida Sun-Sentinel, former ESPN reporter and analyst Hank Goldberg will be hosting the afternoon drive show on James Crystal Radio-owned sports talker WMEN, Royal Palms, Florida “640 Sports.”  Hank “The Hammer” Goldberg worked at both WIOD and WQAM in Miami during his radio career and spent 20 years with ESPN.  James Crystal has not commented on the move and Joe Raineri is currently afternoon personality.

Odds & Sods.  The 2015 New York Emmy Awards were held on Saturday (5/2) and multimedia talker Lionel of LionelMedia.com received the Emmy for commentary and editorial writing for his work at WPIX Channellionel 11…..Los Angeles all-news KNX “1070 NEWSRADIO” is presenting the KNX Business Hour’s 2015 Small Business Summit on Friday, May 8 at Sheraton Universal Hotel in Universal City.  The event, titled “Achieving Small Business Success,” is designed to give small business owners and those thinking about starting a business insight into the key challenges of turning a passion into a profitable venture.  KNX Business Hour anchor Frank Mottek will moderate a special guest panel of business experts…..CBS RADIO and CBS Local Digital Media are debuting the “WOOOOO! Nation” podcast to its Play.it platform.  The podcast features former pro wrestler Ric Flair, also known as The Nature Boy.

Baltimore Aftermath, 2016 Presidential Prospects, Clinton Family Foundation Scrutiny, Prophet Cartoon Shooting Incident, California Drought, Kofi Annan Insect Proposal, Obama Trade Deal, and Amnesty Issue Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/5).  The legal and political effects of the death of Freddie Gray in Baltimore; the growing list of potential candidates for president in 2016; the ongoing scrutiny of the operation of the Clinton Family Foundation; the Garland, Texas prophet drawing contest and questions about ISIS attacks on U.S. soil; action being taken in California to address the state’s ongoing drought; former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan’s suggestion eating insects will help combat global warming; the political battles over President Obama’s proposed trade deal; and the amnesty for illegals issue were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

| April 28, 2015

WBALBaltimore Protests Turn Violent. Owing to that fact, Hearst talker WBAL-AM, Baltimore advanced yesterday (Monday, 4/27) to “continuous coverage,” after a weekend of “extensive coverage.” According to WBAL-AM president and general manager Cary Pahigian, “We are sharing resources with our sister station, WBAL-TV (Channel 11), which is flying their helicopter almost nonstop. Our goal is to keep the community up-to-the-minute and to provide an opportunity to discuss and analyze the situation with WBAL-AM talk hosts in a responsible manner. It is very fluid, so we are staying nimble and flexible.” The unrest in the Maryland city increased following the funeral of Freddie Gray, a young black man who died just over one week ago (4/19), after suffering spinal injuries while in police custody. At least one Baltimore building has been torched; several of the city’s police cars have been set on fire; and protesters have thrown bricks at Baltimore police officers. Six Baltimore police officers have been seriously injured in Monday’s violence. Maryland governor Larry Hogan declared a state of emergency and activated the National Guard, while Baltimore mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake states every possible resource is being deployed to “gain control of this situation.”

harrisonUpCloseFarOutsmallWFAN Sports Giant Mike Francesa Is Extremely Bullish on Radio – Says the Medium Is Here to Stay on Michael Harrison’s “Up Close and Far Out” Podcast.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison interviews WFAN sports talk superstar Mike Francesa on this week’s installment of the international hit podcast series, “Up Close and Far Out.”  In an exclusive 30-minute conversation, Harrison and Francesa cover a variety of fascinating topics including authenticity in broadcasting, internet critics, digital era audiences, radio versus television, changes in pop culture, the phenomenal growth of sports and the future of radio in a world of screens.francesamike  Francesa credits the authenticity, for which Harrison praises him, in part, to being on the air an unusually long five-and-a-half hours per day, pointing out that you can’t be live on radio that long every day without being your real self.  According to Francesa, one of the big changes faced by hosts in both sports and general talk programming today is the audience has as much, if not more, access to information as you do – which means merely presenting news is not enough.  A host’s success is dependent on having an interesting “take” on the events of the day.  He says the internet has made it much easier to break into broadcasting but much more difficult to get noticed.  Of his critics, he states the worst thing that can happen is to be ignored.  “If you are ignored, you are dead.”  Francesa tells Harrison that he very seldom responds to his critics – refusing to give them the exposure of his larger platform that they seek.  In addition to having a growing national following due to television and radio syndication, Mike Francesa has long been one of the highest profile media figures in New York and has been ranked by TALKERS magazine for the past two years in a row in the #1 spot on its “Heavy Hundred” of sports talk radio (“The 100 Most Important Radio Sports Talk Hosts in America”).  After several years of being carried by the YES Network, Francesa’s daily local radio show is presently simulcast nationally on Fox Sports 1.   In comparing radio to television, Francesa says, “Television is a director’s medium.  Radio is a performer’s medium.”  He explains, “Radio is unvarnished.  It is visceral.  It is emotional.  Television is more packaged and homogenized.”  Regarding the survival and future of radio, Francesa states, “Radio will be here long, long past us.  People have been trying to kill radio since the first days of television.  They’ve tried to kill radio 40 different times in multiple generations.  They will never kill it because its appeal of being live, local, personal and mobile will never be equaled.”  Francesa sees the rise of mobile digital media as actually being a good thing for radio, acknowledging that “radio will change.”  He confidently says, “It will be enhanced because of the smart phone.  It is the new transistor radio. Who carried a transistor radio for the past 30 years?  Now everyone does.  THAT is an opportunity!”  In describing Mike Francesa, Michael Harrison states, “I know Francesa has his share of critics – but that comes with the territory of being ‘out there’ the way he is and being a compelling radio talk show host in the modern era, sports or otherwise.  What makes him so successful is he has that special ‘something’ that only a handful of performers have ever had in this business – he rises above technique!  All he needs to do is bring his authentic, unique personhood to the airwaves each time he’s on and that – at least to this point – is enough.  He is one of my handful of all-time favorites and I am delighted that he is still going strong.”  To listen to Mike Francesa on “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison,” please click here or click on the special player box in the right hand column of every page on Talkers.com and RadioInfo.com.

guptashow placardDr. Sanjay Gupta Reports from Nepal for Westwood One.  Internationally known medical doctor and media figure Dr. Sanjay Gupta is in Nepal doing both media work and helping doctors there deal with the overwhelming number of casualties from Saturday’s earthquake.  In addition to his work covering the aftermath for CNN, Dr. Gupta is also doing live hits for Westwood One affiliate stations.  His “A Better Life with Dr. Sanjay Gupta” is syndicated by Westwood One.  Dr. Gupta was called into action in the operating room, asked to help perform brain surgery on a 15-year-old girl in Kathmandu after a wall of her family’s home fell on her as she collected water outside.

siriusxmSiriusXM 2015 Q1 Revenue Up 8%.  Satellite radio operator SiriusXM delivered its 2015 first quarter financial numbers today (4/28) and, compared to the same period a year ago, revenue was $1.08 billion – up 8%.  Net income was $106 million, up 12% from $94 million in the first quarter of 2014.  Net income per diluted common share was $0.02 in the first quarter of 2015 and 2014.  Adjusted EBITDA was $399 million in the first quarter of 2015, up 19% from $335 million in the first quarter of 2014.  The satcaster says that it added 431,000 net new subscribers in the first quarter, a 61% increase from the 267,000 net new subscribers added in the first quarter of 2014.  Sirius CEO Jim Meyer says, “The year is off to a fantastic start at SiriusXM. We are increasing our subscriber guidance to approximately 1.4 million net additions and revenue guidance to approximately $4.47 billion after reporting our best first quarter for self-pay subscriber additions since 2008.  Our results demonstrate that SiriusXM’s bundle of live news and sports, exclusive talk and comedy, and curated, commercial-free music is resonating with more and more consumers every day,”

Odds & Sods.  Nationally syndicated, WABC, New York-based morning personality Don Imus announced to his listeners his simulcast on cable’s Fox Business Network will end on May 29.  The program has been airing onimusdon both since 2009.  Though Imus didn’t elaborate on the reason for the change, The New York Daily News reports Imus and wife Deirdre plan to spend the summer at their new ranch in Texas and that property has no TV uplink facilities.  Read the Daily News story here…..Atlanta real estate broker Bryan Crabtree crabtreebryanis adding a daily show on Salem Communications’ business talk WAFS, Atlanta “biz 1190,” debuting May 4 and airing from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm.  Crabtree and his wife Mackenzie have been hosting the “Housedog.com Real Estate Show” on both WAFS and sister news/talk WGKA on weekends and that show will continue on both outlets.   WAFS station manager Adam Wattenbarger says, “We are so excited to bring Bryan aboard to add to our live and local lineup.  biz 1190 is committed to giving the Atlanta community something we’ve been lacking for years – real talk about real issues affecting ourbrandotim neighborhoods.”…..Sports talk personality Tim Brando is wrapping his daily, eponymous show heard on SiriusXM’s College Sports Nation channel.  The final show is this Thursday.  Brando will continue to be heard on the radio via FOX Sports Radio as he’ll handle play-by-play for college football and basketball as well as the network’s coverage of this June’s US Open golf tournament…..The program “Entertainment This Week” is joining the America’s Talk Radio Network effective May 3.  “Mr. Hollywood” Shannon Rose and co-host James Lowe will discuss Hollywood gossip, comics, movies, television, pro-wrestling, and so much more during the “fastest hour on national radio.”

wtmj logoWTMJ, Milwaukee Helps Raise Funds for Accessible Playground Equipment.  Last Saturday, Scripps-owned news/talk WTMJ, Milwaukee unveiled new accessible playground equipment at a local elementary school for which the station helped raise funds.  The need for the equipment came after the station learned of eight-year-old Ben Nelson who uses a wheelchair due to his Spinal Muscular Atrophy.  Ben’s family began raising funds for the equipment and WTMJ joined forces with the family and was able to – through the help of listeners – raise $50,000.   WTMJ Radio VP/GM Tom Langmyer says, “WTMJ firmly believes we do well by doing good.  We serve Wisconsin – and we’re getting behind our air personalities by giving them a month where we use our resources to give back to our community.  [Morning host] Jodi Becker is first on our team to lead in this new community betterment initiative.  We are pleased to help – and we thank our listeners and great businesses for helping to build this wonderful playground.”

limbaughrushLimbaugh and Mahindra Partner on Tractor Giveaway.  For the second year in a row, Rush Limbaugh and Mahindra USA have joined together to give away a Mahindra eMax 22HST with loader to an active duty service member or U.S. military veteran.  The winner will be selected in a random drawing on May 26.  Last year, more than 4,500 service men and women entered for an opportunity to win a Mahindra tractor.  It was awarded to Lieutenant Colonel Mike Petzinger of Elizabethtown, Kentucky, who has served his country for 25 years in the Army.

beckandrewwkMusic and Pop Culture Figure Andrew W.K. to Host Weekly Show on TheBlaze Radio Network.  New to the weekend lineup at Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze Radio Network is the show “America W.K.,” hosted by musician, writer, TV host and lecturer Andrew W. K.  TheBlaze Radio Network says the show will be a “raw and penetrating discussion of what it is to be alive – meaning, motivation, mindset, and making dreams come true, all included in a celebration of life itself – and all with a positive and honest outlook. Andrew will also field questions and input from the audience, adding an engaging interactive component.”  Andrew W.K. is probably most known for his 2001 rock album titled, I Get Wet, the cover of which featured a photo of him with a bloody nose.  During his musical career he’s penned a number of rock anthems that have appeared in video games, movies and as pro sports team themes.   Andrew W.K. (pictured here at left with Glenn Beck at right) says, “When Glenn asked me to do my own radio show on TheBlaze, I was shocked but excited, as I knew he would allow me the unrestrained freedom to say exactly what I wanted.  I’m very dedicated to exploring and learning from different people in different places, and always with an open heart.  If people never went outside their own box, life would be boring.  After all, why would I only want to talk with people who already think exactly like me?”

Baltimore Protests, White House Correspondents Dinner, Bush Criticism of Obama Foreign Policy, Nepal Earthquake Aftermath, SCOTUS Hears Same-Sex Marriage Argument, Clinton Foundation Scrutiny, James Holmes Trial Begins, and the Bruce Jenner Transgender Case Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/27).  The intensifying, violent protests in Baltimore after the death of Freddie Gray in police custody; the annual White House Correspondents’ Dinner and President Obama’s performance; former President George W. Bush comments on Obama Administration’s foreign policy; the devastation in Nepal after Saturday’s earthquake; the Supreme Court’s hearing of arguments as anti-gay marriage statutes in four states are challenged; ongoing scrutiny of the Clinton Foundation financial operations; the opening of the trial of Aurora, Colorado movie theater killer James Holmes; and the chatter about Bruce Jenner’s sex change procedure and his recent interview were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

| April 21, 2015

littlelindaLittle Rises to President of Phoenix Market for iHeartMedia.  Assuming the position left briefly vacant by Scott Hopeck after he was promoted to the same post at the New York City cluster is Linda Little.  She moves up from her SVP of sales position with the station group.  Prior to that, she was GSM for adult contemporary KESZ and country KNIX.  She also served as integrated media business development manager.   She comments, “I have had the privilege of building my media career in Phoenix and am very fortunate to have worked for a company that has given me many opportunities to grow while constantly evolving with the industry.” In this position she’ll oversee news/talk KFYI, talk KOY, and sports talk KGME.

schreiberjonathanSchreiber Promoted at Mercury Radio Arts.  Moving up from his head of strategy and special projects position with Glenn Beck’s Mercury Radio Arts to president of the company is Jonathan Schreiber.  In this new post, Schreiber will oversee Mercury’s divisions including digital, radio andmercuryradioarts logo publishing and its continued growth in film, television and “digital content across different genres beyond politics and current events.”  The company says Schreiber will continue to serve as an advisor to TheBlaze, the company’s news, information and entertainment network led by CEO Betsy Morgan.  Schreiber has an 18-year pedigree in the tech, mobile and entertainment businesses.  Beck says, “I personally recruited Jonathan to help take our company to the next level.  Since joining Mercury, he has played an integral role in both the strategy and execution at Mercury Radio Arts and my overall business philosophy and approach.  He is a trusted advisor and this title reflects the leadership position he has and will continue to assume in this new era for both me and our business.

quayledonIndustry Mourns Don Quayle. The first president of National Public Radio (NPR) has died: Don Quayle was 84 years old. NPR’s Susan Stamberg recalls that Quayle gave her her first radio job. “It was the early-1960s and he was head of the Educational Radio Network – the precursor of NPR – a little network of 12 east coast stations that developed a daily drive-time news show. He hired me to help produce it. When this national network arose, he was an obvious choice to run it. Don was principled, decent, and astute. In the euphoric tumult of our first years, he navigated the choppy seas of building a public radio system. He knew NPR had to serve our listeners, above the competing needs of stations, boards, and funders.” The program to which Stamberg alludes, of course, is “All Things Considered,” which Quayle debuted on NPR in 1971. He headed the network – which now has more than 900 member stations – from 1970 to 1973. Prior to that (1960 – 1962), Quayle managed Boston public outlet WGBH. Five years ago, the Logan, Utah native received an honorary doctorate of humane letters for his “significant contributions” to public broadcasting from his alma mater, Utah State University.

theblaze radio networkPremiere and TheBlaze to Present Memorial Day Special.  The annual Memorial Day radio special produced by Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze Radio Network returns in 2015 with Premiere Networks handling affiliate relations.  The three-hour program – titled “Reflections from a Gratefulpremierenetworks Nation” – features the hosts, writers and editors of TheBlaze and TheBlaze.com, including: Doc Thompson, Skip LaCombe, Buck Sexton, Jay Severin, Chris Salcedo, Mike Broomhead and others.  In addition to special appearances by award-winning actor Gary Sinise, “Wheel of Fortune” host Pat Sajak and members of the military, listeners will hear personal stories and conversations about the meaning of the holiday in this special tribute to those who fought and gave their lives to defend America’s freedom.  It’s available to news/talk stations for airing from May 23-25.  Interested stations can phone Premiere at 818-377-5300.

harrisonUpCloseFarOutsmallMichael Harrison Interviews Boston Herald Editor-in-Chief Joe Sciacca on Weekly Podcast, ‘Up Close and Far Out.’  In a candid and informative interview on the popular weekly podcast “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison,” Boston Herald editor-in-chief  Joe Sciacca discusses his views on a wide variety of media-related topics that include, among others:  the state of the newspaper industry in a changing media landscape; the impact of the digital era on journalism; and his experience in being involved with his newspaper’s pioneering effort in online news/talk/sports radio broadcasting – Boston Herald Radio.   During the extensive conversation, Sciacca – a 37-year veteran of the newspaper business as a reporter, columnist and editor — tells TALKERS magazine publishersciaccajoe Michael Harrison that the biggest challenge facing journalists in the newspaper business today is “keeping their print product relevant.”  He tells Harrison, “I believe this is the greatest time to be leading a news organization in America even though resources are challenging and newspapers are experiencing difficult times in terms of revenue.  There really is a great window of opportunity to be creative – to reinvent our business.  So when I became editor five years ago after being at the Herald for 32 years, I embraced the challenge because even though I knew the road was going to be difficult to navigate, we have done some incredible things over the last five years and we’ve really transformed what was purely a print organization into a multimedia news organization.”  This transformation, of course, includes the launch of Boston Herald Radio – the newspaper’s online talk station that produces 11 hours of original, live content every weekday from a studio located right next to the newspaper’s newsroom.  It has proven to be a major source of breaking stories, not only for Boston-area news consumers, but for the media across the country and around the world.   Harrison and Sciacca delve into media theory and discuss differences in the psychology between reading stories online as opposed to the printed page.  They also analyze the impact of video cameras inside a radio studio and the differences between what Harrison describes as “great radio or bad television.”  Sciacca discusses the Boston Herald’s commitment to getting the stories right, rather than just being first – a pressure amplified by the competition generated by the 24 hour non-stop, digital news cycle and he recalls how coverage of the Boston Marathon bombing was particularly challenging because of all the false information that was out there in the general news media’s frenzy to stay on top of the breaking story during its early hours and days.  Harrison describes his theories about the emergence of what he calls “stickless” radio broadcasting (meaning radio without the traditional license, transmitter and tower) and the development of the online “media station” in the 21st century.  To hear the entirety of this fascinating conversation between two seasoned, front-line media visionaries, please click here, or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” box in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

clipinteractiveFour More Smartphone Models Can Have FM Chip Activated Via Clip Interactive.  According to Clip Interactive, more consumers can exercise the FM chip listening option as it has expanded the phones that can use its technology to include the HTC One M9, HTC Desire 610, Sharp Aquos Crystal and LG G3.   Clip Interactive says its application technology connects to this chip, allowing the listener to tune into local stations without having to stream, which depletes data allowances and consumes more battery life.  FM chip activation through Clip Interactive mobile apps allows stations to optimize listening options for users.  Clip Interactive chief technology officer Peter Shoebridge says, “Activating the FM chip on more devices benefits the listener as they can reduce data usage and enjoy the real-time broadcast.  The industry can expect more announcements about additional devices in the coming weeks as we continue our mission to provide interactive radio to the masses.”

Odds & Sods.  Appearing in the KFAQ, Tulsa studios this morning is a crew from “Good Morning America” as morning host Pat Campbell interviews attorney Clark Brewster.  Reserve Sheriff Deputy Robert Bates hiredcampbellpat Brewster to represent him in the case of the fatal shooting of Eric Harris that took place during a drug sting.  Bates has been cleared by the FBI of violating Harris’ civil rights but faces a second-degree manslaughter charge for accidently using his pistol instead of a taser on Harris.  Pat Campbell tells TALKERS magazine, “Our station has been ground zero for many exclusives on this story, including the foxsportsradio logoonly sit-down interview with Sheriff Stanley Glanz.  KFAQ news director Tami Marler has been all over this since day one, getting scoops and guests other outlets can’t secure.”…..FOX Sports Radio is presenting “FOX Sports Live 2015 NFL Draftcast” – a multi-platform NFL draft special featuring Jay Glazer, Joel Klatt, Peter Schrager, Mike Garafolo and Don Bell in Chicago.  It will air on the network’s more than 400 affiliates nationwide beginning at 8:00 pm ET on Thursday, April 30…..The last Buckley Broadcasting property – KIDD-AM, Monterey, California – has been sold to Saul Levine’s Mt. Wilson Broadcasters for $50,000.  Buckley took KIDD-AM dark a few months ago and recently tore down its aging tower structure.

ISIS Violence, Iran Nuclear Program Controversy/U.S. Naval Presence in Yemen, 2016 Presidential Prospects, Police Shootings Controversies, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/20).  The reports of ISIS executing Christians; the controversy about negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program and the United States’ naval presence in the waters off Yemen; the potential candidates for president in 2016; the cases of police shooting citizens in Baltimore, Tulsa and elsewhere; and the weekend’s Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

| April 16, 2015

kdkaKDKA-AM, Pittsburgh Names Mangino and Duffy Afternoon Hosts.  Pittsburgh news/talker KDKA-AM announces two new personalities will lead its “KDKA Afternoon News” program beginning April 27.  Current KDKA-AM evening talk show host Robert Mangino will team with Shelleymanginorobert Duffy, who moves across the hall from her current gig as co-host of sister hot AC’s Bubba Show.  Duffy has been a part of morning shows with CBS RADIO Pittsburgh for the past 25 years.  The station says, duffyshelley“The paring of Mangino and Duffy will augment the award-winning news and information programming on Pittsburgh’s news/talk leader.  Mangino and Duffy join veteran newscaster Rose Ryan-Douglas, field reporter Joe DeStio and sports director Jeff Hathhorn on a fast-paced afternoon news magazine format that features traffic and weather together on the fives and business reports at :20 and :50 past the hour every week day.”  KDKA-AM program director Jim Graci comments, “Robert is a great quarterback to tie it all together while Shelley has a unique perspective about life in Pittsburgh.”

wqamlogoRyan Maguire Named WQAM, Miami Program Director; Jim Graci Adds Pittsburgh Sports Talker Programming Duties.  Moving from CBS RADIO’s Pittsburgh sports talker KDKA-FM “Sportsradio 93.7 The Fan,” programmer Ryan Maguire takes overmaguireryan the PD role at WQAM, Miami, effective May 4.  CBS RADIO acquired WQAM as part of a swap of stations between it and Beasley Media Group.  CBS RADIO VP of programming Rob Morris comments, “Ryan is passionate about radio, competitive, a terrific strategic thinker and possesses great leadership skills.  We very much look forward to Ryan joining WQAM and our CBS RADIO Miami team.”  Maguire states, “I’m thrilled at the opportunity given to me by CBS RADIO to take this leadership role at one of the greatest gracijimheritage sports stations in America.  I can’t wait to get working with our diverse and dynamic team in South Florida as we shape and build on a leading sports brand.”  The company says that during Maguire’s tenure in Pittsburgh, KDKA-FM “set ratings and revenue records in 2012 and 2013, reaching #1 P6+, and was also nominated for a National Association of Broadcasters‘ Marconi Radio Award in 2014.”kdkafmlogo  Simultaneously, the company announces that sister news/talk KDKA-AM program director Jim Graci will serve as program director for “The Fan” and KDKA-AM news director and executive producer PJ Kumanchik will also serve as executive producer for “The Fan.”  CBS RADIO Pittsburgh SVP and market manager Michael Young says, “Jim and PJ are a strong and very competent managerial team.  They have performed very well in developing and executing the programming vision of KDKA-AM.  With much synergy already existing between KDKA-AM and KDKA-FM, I believe their expanding programming roles at ‘Sports Radio 93-7 The Fan’ are a natural progression, and will benefit our various audiences.”

connellmandyMandy Connell Adds New Show to Duties in Return to Louisville.  Talk show host Mandy Connell will continue to host the morning program on iHeartMedia’s KHOW, Denver but she’s also taking on another program responsibility when she begins hosting the 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm show on her alma mater WHAS, Louisville.  Starting May 18, Connell’s new show will replace Lachlan McLean’s evening sports talk show.  Connell joined iHeartMedia in 2010 from her morning gig at WINK, Naples/Fort Myers when she took over the midday show on WHAS previously occupied by the late Francene Cucinello.

huckabeemikeMike Huckabee to End Daily Talk Radio Features; SRN’s Mike Gallagher to Assume Host Duties.  The decision to stop producing his daily talk radio feature, “The Mike Huckabee Report,” is being confirmed by Huckabee’s production partner WYM Media Management.  Though WYM offers no specific reason for the end of the programming, speculation is that Huckabee intends to focus on hisgallaghermike possible run for president in 2016.  In a memo to affiliate stations, WYM states that the last report hosted by Huckabee will air on May 1 and, effective May 4, Salem Radio Network personality Mike Gallagher will begin as host of the daily feature with the new title, “Gallagher Online.”  The show will be syndicated by WYM, the affiliate sales division of by Ron Hartenbaum’s WYD Media,  which also had the rights to “The Huckabee Report.”  Gallagher comments, “I’m honored to be walking on the commentary path blazed by Governor Mike Huckabee.  I just hope this doesn’t mean folks will expect me to run for president myself!”

cookehollandCooke: Report from Las Vegas – Day 4.  Radio consultant Holland Cooke files his final report from Sin City where he’s been covering the NAB Show and the co-located NMX for TALKERS magazine/RadioInfo.  In today’s report, there’s plenty of advice for podcasters from Grant Baldwin; some notes from the standing-room-only keynote from FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler and some chilling realities about your smartphone’s ability to spy on you from security software baron John McAfee.  Read Holland Cooke’s report here.

FAIRHold2015DC Radio Row Addresses Complex Immigration Issues.  The ninth annual Hold Their Feet to the Fire radio row produced by the Federation for American Immigration Reform moves into the second and final day today.  Taking place at the Phoenix Park Hotel on Capitol Hill, the event has drawn some 45 radio talk show hosts to the Nation’s Capital for live broadcasts addressing the topic of U.S. immigration policy.  Appearing on the radio programs are members of Congress, law enforcement officials, experts, activists and citizens who live along the border.  Attending the event and appearing as a guest on numerous shows discussing talk radio’s role in the immigration issue and the relative First Amendment component is TALKERS magazine publisher Michael Harrison.  From the scene in WashingtonharrisonLarsKaufmanHTF15 Harrison says this year’s radio row was an interesting blend of well-known hosts and newcomers to the scene.  “Everyone with whom I spoke on air was extremely thoughtful and solutions-oriented in dealing with this complex and sensitive issue.”  Harrison (right) is pictured here with WFTL, Fort Lauderdale personality Joyce Kaufman (center) and KXL, Portland and Compass Media Networks-syndicated host Lars Larson (left).

nielsen logoNielsen Audio Releases Third Round of March 2015 PPM Data.  The third of four rounds of March 2015 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 March 2015 survey period covered February 26 through March 25.  You can find the complete ratings from subscribing stations here.  Additionally, TALKERS/RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Ten Takeaways” from this group on the main page of our sister publication here.

wkxw‘New Jersey 101.5’ Finds Pirate Radio Operator; Authorities Shut Station Down.  After receiving complaints from listeners about interference with its signal, Townsquare Media talk station WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5” investigated on its own and discovered the illegal signal was operating at 101.3 FM out of a home in Linden, New Jersey.  According to a story at NJ.com, after being told by the FCC that an investigation could take a couple of weeks, the station appealed to local authorities.  The homeowner subsequently was told of complaints and the zoning codes being violated and the 20-plus foot antenna was removed and the station ceased to operate.

Odds & Sods.  This year’s National Headliner Awards have been announced and CBS Radio News picked up four first-place finishes.  CBS Radio News was honored in four categories: Broadcast Radio Networks and Syndicators Breaking News or Continuing Coverage — First place, “Police Killings,” CBS Radio News staff; Broadcast Radiocbsradionews logo Networks and Syndicators Newscast — First place, “CBS World News Roundup,” Steve Kathan and Paul Farry; Broadcast Radio Networks and Syndicators Feature and Human Interest Story — First place, “Beatles 50th Anniversary,” Dave Barrett; Broadcast Radio Networks and Syndicators News Series — First place, “Midterm Election,” Barry Bagnato…..Hubbard Radio’s WTOP, Washington and sister station WFED, Washington were honored with National Headliner Awards in the radio wtop logo NEW 1-15station categories.  WTOP was recognized in four categories: Radio stations Newscast, all markets – First Place for “September 4th, 6 p.m.”; Radio stations Breaking News or Continuing Coverage of a Single News Event – Second Place for “Gaithersburg Plane Crash”; Radio stations Feature and Human Interest Story, all markets – Second Place for “If This Violin Could Talk” by Jamie Forzato; and Radio affiliated Website:  – First Place for WTOP.com.  WFED was honored in two categories: Online-Only Writing – First Place, Mike Causey; and Best Radio-Affiliated Website – FederalNewsRadio.com…..The new producer for the Salem Radio Network-syndicated Eric Metaxas show is Chris Himes.  SRN calls him “a seasoned digitalhimeschris media producer with a passion for curating world-class content.”  Prior to joining SRN, Himes served as supervising digital producer at NBC, working 7 seasons on “Saturday Night Live,” managing the show’s digital footprint on NBC.com and on their social media platforms.  In 2010, he began overseeing “Late bayneianNight with Jimmy Fallon” as well and eventually would supervise web production operations for “30 Rock,” “Grimm,” “Law and Order: SVU” and several other prime time shows…..Illinois talk radio personality Ian Bayne makes his Chicago debut tomorrow (4/17) when he fills in for Joe Walsh on his afternoon show on Salem‘s WIND “AM 560 The Answer.”  Bayne hosts the morning program on WRPW, Bloomington, Illinois “Cities 92.9.”

2016 Presidential Prospects, the Obama Administration Amnesty Order, Tax Day, ISIS Activity in Iraq, Aaron Hernandez Guilty Verdict, Spring Break Gang Rape Case, Obama’s Cuba Policy, Iran Nuclear Negotiations Controversy, and Gyrocopter Capitol Lawn Landing Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/15).  The potential candidates for president in 2016; the effects of the amnesty order signed by President Obama; chatter about the taxes Americans pay each year; the report that ISIS is close to taking control of Ramadi, Iraq; former NFL star Aaron Hernandez is convicted of murder and sentenced to life without parole; the case of a gang rape on a Panama City, Florida beach during spring break, President Obama’s changing policy toward Cuba; the controversial negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program; and the case of a retiree landing a gyrocopter on the lawn of the Capitol building in Washington were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

| April 14, 2015

wheelertomFCC’s Wheeler Agrees to Pursue AM Rule Changes.  Patting FCC commissioner Mignon Clyburn on the back for work beginning the process of “AM revitalization” while acting chairman, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler writes in a blog post that he’s “committed to taking action in this proceeding so that AM radio will flourish while also preserving the values of competition, diversity, and localism that have long been the heart and soul of broadcasting.”  Speaking about AM technical issues, Wheeler says, “In the coming weeks, I intend to conclude this open item with a Report and Order that will buttress AM broadcast service and ease regulatory burdens on AM broadcasters.  The proposed Order would adopt specific measures to addressfccnew practical problems and interference-related issues that have long plagued AM stations across the country. If adopted, these measures will enable AM stations to operate more efficiently in today’s spectrum environment.  For example, the proposed Order would give stations more flexibility in choosing site locations, complying with local zoning requirements, obtaining power increases, and incorporating energy-efficient technologies.  These actions will help to ease some of the technical limitations that have hindered AM stations in serving their listeners.”  In response to Wheeler’s announcement, the NAB’s EVP of communications Dennis Wharton comments, “NAB is grateful Chairman Wheeler has announced plans to circulate an item to his FCC colleagues designed to revitalize AM radio.  AM broadcasters have uniquely served local communities for nearly 100 years.  The time is ripe for the FCC to follow through on the tremendous efforts of Commissioners Clyburn and Pai so that AM broadcasters can continue to play a vital role in the fabric of our nation.  We look forward to working with the chairman and the commissioners to help ensure the item ultimately adopted serves the American public in the best manner possible.”

cookehollandCooke: Report from Las Vegas – Day 2.  Radio consultant Holland Cooke is in Las Vegas reporting for TALKERS magazine/RadioInfo from not one, but three conferences going on there.  Today’s report is from the NAB Show – a convention that Cooke points out is often thought of more as a TV gathering than a radio conference – but there’s still plenty of talk about audio.   And, you guessed it, podcasting is one of the show’s darlings.  Cooke writes that Edison Research’s Tom Webster showcased the importance of the success of the “Serial” podcast.  “HOW impactful is podcasting?  ‘Serial’ – a 12-episode true story podcast about a teen murder – has caused The Maryland Court of Appeals to revisit the conviction of Adnan Syed, imprisoned for the 1999 killing of his former girlfriend.  To date, it’s been downloaded 68 million+ times.  Webster calls this a watershed for podcasting, ‘a watercooler moment, like what ‘House of Cards’ and ‘Orange is the New Black’ did for Netflix.  People are talking to each other about listening to a podcast.’”  The integration of social media with legacy media is also a hot topic.  Read more from Holland Cooke in Las Vegas here.

nielsen logoNielsen Audio Releases First Round of Mach 2015 PPM Data.  The first of four rounds of March 2015 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 2015 survey period covered February 26 through March 25.  You can find the complete ratings from subscribing stations here.  Additionally, TALKERS/RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Ten Takeaways” from this group on the main page of our sister publication here.

premierenetworksPremiere Networks and Futuri Media Announce Long-Term Deal.  The two companies release the news of a new, exclusive, long-term national sales representation agreement between iHeartMedia subsidiary Premiere Networks and Futuri Media.  The partnership includes all of Futuri’s interactive radio programming platform brands: LDR (Listener Driven Radio), Futuri Mobile Apps, and TopicPulse – a social media monitoring system for broadcast stationsfuturi logo across the U.S.  Additionally, Premiere’s international division will offer Futuri’s systems and services to Canada and, later this year, to the UK and continental European markets.  Premiere president Julie Talbott comments, “We love working with forward-thinking companies whose teams are focused on success for local affiliates, and Futuri Media delivers every time.  This new agreement testifies to the great working relationship we’ve had for years as Futuri has evolved from LDR.  Daniel Anstandig and the Futuri team exemplify Premiere’s ongoing commitment to supporting broadcasters around the world with solutions that drive ratings, revenue, and digital engagement growth.”

envisionnetworks newEnvision Networks and Focus 360 Partner on ‘Powered by Jelli’ Networks.  Affiliate sales for Focus 360’s “Powered by Jelli” networks will be handled by Envision Networks as the two firms have entered into a new relationship.  Jelli is a cloud-based programmatic advertising platform for broadcast radio, enabling the selling and serving of advertising on behalf of radiofocus 360 logo station groups and show producers.  Focus 360 provides programming, syndication and national advertising sales to thousands of radio stations nationwide.  Its “Powered by Jelli” ad networks traffic, serve and report all ad campaigns using Jelli’s RadioSpot platform.  Envision president and CEO Danno Wolkoff comments, “We are excited to bring this proven revenue generating opportunity to radio stations.  Jelli is offering national advertisers a powerful vehicle to deliver and monitor commercials as they are broadcast while relieving stress on traffic departments to schedule and report those spots every day.”

harrisonUpCloseFarOutsmallMichael Harrison and Christopher Ruddy Discuss Politics, Journalism, Commercialism and the Nature of Truth in New ‘Up Close and Far Out’ Podcast.  TALKERS magazine publisher Michael Harrison engages in a candid and revealing conversation with Newsmax president/CEO Christopher Ruddy in the sixth and latest installment of his PodcastOne series, “Up Close and Far Out.”  Ruddy is the mega-successful founder of a conservative-tilting news organization that began as a website in the late-1990s (Newsmax.com) and has grown into a multi-million dollar empire consisting of, among numerous assets, a dynamic website, monthly print publication (Newsmax Magazine), and most recently, a full-service television news network (Newsmax TV) that holds the potential to give Fox News Channel a run for its money.  In the podcast, they discuss what Harrison describes as the tendency of today’s media (and society in general) to “seek victory at the expense of truth.”  Harrison praises Ruddy as being somewhat of an exception to that rule – especially in today’s popular political media in which most news publications, websites and electronic media channels cater to the predisposition of their target audiences in an attempt to gain “more eyeballs and eardrums” even if it means distorting or suppressing the facts to conform to the expectations of the target consumer.  Harrison points out several significant instances in which Ruddy has actually committed what so many of today’s opinion practitioners consider a sin – he actually changed his mind and renounced formerly held opinions in the face of new evidence and facts.  The fascinating discussion delves into Ruddy’s role as a major Republican Party influencer (but not registered member) and his colorful relationship with former President Bill Clinton.  Ruddy talks about the coming presidential election and explains the mechanisms often referred to as the Clinton and Bush “machines.”  In the “Far Out” section of the podcast following the Ruddy interview, Harrison delves deeper into what he describes as the coming “Quantum Era” that will be marked by the rise of quantum computing that he predicts will relegate the current digital era to “primitive” status.  To access the podcast 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. 

quiversrobinRobin Quivers to Receive ‘Woman of the Year’ Honors at Talkers New York 2015. Longtime Howard Stern show cast member Robin Quivers will be honored at the June 12 Talkers New York 2015 conference where she will be presented with the Judy Jarvis Memorial Award for Outstanding Contributions to Talk Radio by a Woman – known informally as the ‘Woman of the Year’ award.  Robin Quivers is legendary in the radio business – an industry she entered in the late 1970s on a daytime AM station in tiny Carlisle, Pennsylvania. A couple of upward moves later she was cast in the news anchor role at WWDC, Washington “DC 101” when Howard Stern began as morning host there in March of 1981.  Thirty-four years later, she’s still holding her own as the “voice of reason” on Stern’s SiriusXM program.  Though successful on the radio, Quivers has had to navigate challenging waters in her personal life.  A series of health issues forced her to reexamine her approach to healthy living and she is now one of the leaders of the movement to require full disclosure of where our food comes from and what’s in it.  Quivers has become a dedicated philanthropist, working hands on with numerous charitable causes both at home and abroad.  She does all this while maintaining a rigorous work schedule on the Stern program and on various other media projects.  Upon making the announcement of the editorial board’s decision to honor Quivers, TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison stated, “This recognition of Robin Quivers is long overdue and can hardly even come close to serving as an accurate2015 NYC 150 reflection of the magnitude of her achievements.  She has established a unique place for herself, not just as a talk show personality in the modern era, but as one of the most skilled, accomplished and important radio personalities of all time.  It is almost impossible to describe her unique sense of timing and elegance as she practices her skills and artistry every morning within the iconic Stern universe and the indispensable contributions she has made to this amazing show’s ongoing empire in the American pop culture landscape.”  Quivers will receive the award, which will be presented by the 2014 recipient Julie Talbott, president of Premiere Networks at Talkers New York 2015 on Friday, June 12 at the India House Club in Manhattan’s Financial District.  The conference is for working media industry people only.  Registration for the conference, which is on the verge of a sellout, and sponsorship inquiries can be made by calling 413-565-5413.  For more information, click here.

Odds & Sods. The deal between Alpha Media Group and Access.1 Communications for the former to acquire stations in Shreveport, Louisiana and Tyler-Longview, Texas has closed.  It gives Alpha ownership of: hip hop KBTT,alphamedia logo gospel KOKA, urban contemporary KDKS, oldies KLKL, and classic rock KTAL in Shreveport; and country KKUS, adult contemporary KOOI, regional Mexican KOYE, and country KYKX in Tyler-Longview…..Salem Communications reports is has expanded its partnership with Clip Interactive to roll out the latter’s Total Audience Solution platform to all 109 Salem stations in 29 markets nationwide.  Salem says it initially implemented Clip Interactive apps for their four Portland stations in 2013, expanding to San Antonio and Atlanta in 2014.  After seeing significant revenue gains and user engagement in 2014, Salem chose to expand its partnership and propagate Clip Interactive’s solution nationally…..At the New York operations of iHeartMedia, Anthony Molaee is promoted to director of digital programming and operations for the cluster.  SVP of programming Thea Mitchem notes that Molaee has been with iHeartMedia since 2007 and joined the New York operations in December of 2013.  Molaee’s promotion comes as Colby Hall joins iHeartMedia’s Entertainment Enterprises team.

schnittMets15Todd Schnitt and Len Berman Attend Mets Home Opener.  The New York Mets took the field for their home opener on Monday (4/13), and in attendance at Citi Field were WOR, New York morning personalities Todd Schnitt and Len Berman.  WOR serves as the flagship station for the Mets radio network.  Pictured here in the broadcast booth are (from l-r): Berman, Wayne Randazzo, Howie Rose, Josh Lewin, and Schnitt.

2016 Presidential Prospects/ Marco Rubio Declares, ISIS Violence, Iran Nuclear Program Negotiations, and MLB Action Among Top Stories Yesterday (4/13).  The potential candidates for president in 2016 and the declaration for candidacy by Marco Rubio; the ongoing violence being perpetrated by ISIS and other militant Islamic factions; the negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program; and the weekend’s MLB action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

| March 24, 2015

2015 small header_250TALKERS ‘Heavy Hundred’ for 2015 Delayed One Day – Coming Tomorrow Wednesday, March 25.  TALKERS magazine has delayed the date for the posting of the 2015 installment of the publication’s annual feature, “The 100 Most Important Radio Talk Show Hosts in America” which was originally set to be posted today.  The list will be revealed tomorrow (3/25) at approximately 2:00 pm ET.  This will mark the 20th consecutive year that the talk media trade journal (that is about to mark its 25th 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 will include a number of familiar faces (and voices) as well as new up-and-comers and several veterans whose continuing, successful careers our editors believe need acknowledgement on this list in 2015.”  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.”

savagemichaelSavage Celebrates Milestone!  Talk radio icon Michael Savage – now syndicated by Westwood One – is celebrating 21 years in radio today (3/24) with a special program that will reflect on his more than two decades on the air.  Savage is recognizing his time on the radio by encouraging listeners to call in and share their favorite memories from past shows.  He’ll also play rare archival show segments from over the years throughout the program.

robinsonjosephRobinson to President Post at iHeartMedia Ventures Group.  This is a promotion for iHeartMedia’s EVP of strategic development as Joseph Robinson is named president of theiheartmedia logo iHeartMedia Ventures Group in which Robinson will work “to develop high-value strategic opportunities with media, technology, and content companies.”  He’ll report to iHeartMedia president, COO and CFO Rich Bressler, who states, “Joe has played an invaluable role in helping iHeartMedia explore new digital and technology opportunities for both consumer-facing and internal initiatives.  I’m delighted that Joe is expanding his role with us; his new leadership position will be instrumental in our continued success as a 21st century media company — one that is both relentlessly forward-looking on the technology front and focused on using iHeartMedia’s cross-platform assets in creative ways that help redefine the future of consumer media and entertainment.”

suttonsteveSutton to Program KCMO, Kansas City.  Talk radio pro Steve Sutton is appointed program director for Cumulus Media’s KCMO-AM, Kansas City.  Sutton is an experienced broadcaster who’s worked at CBS RADIO, iHeartMedia, ABC, and Air America (where he was co-creator and VP of programming and operations).  Cumulus SVP of programming Mike McVay says, “We’re very excited to have Steve join us in Kansas City.  He’s a multi-formatted programmer with amazing life experiences.  I can’t wait to hear how he sets news/talk radio on its ear.”  Sutton comments, “A life of amazing experiences continues in Kansas City at KCMO.  We all do this because it’s fun and fulfilling.  And now, thanks to Lew Dickey, John Dickey, Mike McVay, and Mark Sullivan, I get to do it again.  Donna Baker and I arrive within a week of each other.  We both can’t wait to start drawing on the easel.”

holleymichaelWEEI, Boston Re-Ups with Michael Holley.  Boston sports talkers WEEI announces that PM drive personality Michael Holley is “in it for the long haul with his veteran partner, Dale Arnold.”  Holley just signed a new, multi-year contract that will keep the duo together in the 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm shift (alongweei logo with recent addition Jerry Thornton).  Holley comments, “I’m so grateful to be able to do a job that I love, in a region that I love, speaking and working with people that I love.  There have been so many incredible stories in New England sports the past decade-plus, and I’m excited and humbled that I’ve been able to share in the journey on the radio.  I look forward to many more great shows with Dale, Jerry and our producers Andy Massaua and Ben Kichen.”

younglarryWOLB, Baltimore Morning Host Larry Young Named TALKERS 2015 “Humanitarian of the Year.”  Veteran radio talk show host and former Maryland State Senator Larry Young has been selected by the TALKERS magazine editorial board as this year’s recipient of the Sharon L. Harrison Memorial Award for Outstanding Community Service by a Radio Talk Show Host.  The prestigious honor – also known as “Humanitarian of the Year” — will be presented to Young during the Awards Presentation at the forthcoming Talkers New York 2015.  The presentation will be made by Carole Marks, CEO of Talk Media,2015 NYC 150 Inc.  WOLB, owned by Radio One, is an urban/talk-formatted station serving the Baltimore-area African American community.  Young began his show and radio career on the station in 1998 hosting weekday mornings, 6:00 am to 10:00 am, after a turbulent and controversial career in Maryland state politics.  Since then, he has accrued a number of honors celebrating his work in the community as a broadcaster including “Best Radio Station” by Baltimore City Paper in 2007, 2008 and again in 2009. He also has been the recipient of such awards as the 2007 Pinnacle Award presented by the American Development Consortium, the 2009 Ed Bradley Award presented by the Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church, the 2011 Unsung Hero Award presented by the Grace Outreach fundraising committee and prestigious 2012 Whitney M. Young Jr. Award presented by the Greater Baltimore Urban League.  Young, a longtime member of the TALKERS “Heavy Hundred” is held in extremely high regard not only within the community served by WOLB, but by his co-workers as well.  WOLB general manager Howard Mazer tells TALKERS, “Larry Young is the kindest and most helpful person I know. The word NO is not in his vocabulary. When anyone in the community calls Larry, he will go out of his way to help them.  It does not matter the time or the day.”  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison adds, “I have had the personal pleasure of spending time with the folks at WOLB at the station’s community functions where I have witnessed this man in action first-hand and I must say – the work of Larry Young and the relationship he has with his listeners and co-workers is absolutely inspiring – makes me proud to be in radio. And it is not a single day, promotion or activity that we are talking about.  Every moment of his work on and off the air involves the concepts of service and connection.  Larry Young and WOLB are the very essence of ‘community’ as it applies to radio.”  Talkers New York 2015 – the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important national convention — takes place on Friday, June 12.  As of today’s posting, it is 75% sold out.  For complete agenda details and registration, sponsorship and hotel information, please click here.

wind logoSalem-Owned WIND, Chicago Debuts New Program Schedule; Dave Ramsey to Join the Station in June.  The Chicago secular news/talk outlet WIND “AM 560 The Answer” announces its lineup changes that take effect on both Monday, March 30 and Monday, June 1 of this year.  WIND has made official the addition of Dan Proft as permanent morning co-host, alongsideramseydave Amy Jacobson, in which the duo will host the newly created, “Chicago’s Morning Answer,” from 5:00 am to 9:00 am.  Station general manager Jeff Reisman comments, “Dan Proft is the perfect addition to our lineup.  As the only talk radio station in Chicago dedicated to talking about politics, current events, and proftdanbreaking news, Dan Proft provides the kind of analysis and insight that our audience has come to expect from us.  ‘Chicago’s Morning Answer’ will be the go-to place in Chicago to get up to speed on what’s happening in the world each morning.”  Salem Radio Network’s Mike Gallagher will be added to the station’s lineup airing live from 9:00 am to 11:00 am.  Dennis Prager will follow from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm, replacing Dennis Miller.  Then, on June 1, nationally syndicated superstar Dave Ramsey will begin airing in the 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm slot, immediately following the Joe Walsh program that will air from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm.  Finally, “This Morning with Gordon Deal,” (syndicated by Compass Media Networks) will debut on March 30 in the 4:00 am to 5:00 am slot.

harrisonUpCloseFarOutMichael Harrison and Norm Pattiz Discuss a Wide Spectrum of Media Issues on PodcastOne.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison and PodcastOne founder/CEO Norm Pattiz engage in an illuminating conversation about media and its impact on society in the third and latest installment of the podcast series, “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.”  The two iconoclastic media figures draw upon their radio industry experience and 38-year friendship in tackling such issues as net neutrality; new advertising techniques; the impact of consolidation on radio; differences between radio and TV; the evolving state of journalism; the effect of fractionalization on the national consciousness, problems and changes in music radio and the burgeoning state of podcasting.  To hear the podcast in its entirety, please click here.

parriottphilKKOH, Reno APD Phil Parriott Dies in Auto Accident.  Tragic news from the Cumulus Reno station group after news/talk KKOH, Reno assistant program director Phil Parriott died early on the morning of March 21 from injuries sustained in a car accident.  Station staffers are saying Parriott was an extremely valuable member of their team who will be deeply missed by current and past co-workers who call him a friend.  KKOH program director Dan Mason states, “We report tragedy in the news every day and can easily forget that real people are involved.  We’re reminded of that as we mourn our friend and colleague today.  Our thoughts and prayers are with Phil’s family during this difficult time.”

wpen-fm logoGreater Media Named ‘Best in Philly’ Again.  For the fourth consecutive year, Greater Media’s radio properties have been named among the “Top Workplaces in Philadelphia” by Philly.com.  Hundreds of companies take part in the survey, but only a select few companies are awarded top workplace.  The Greater Media Philadelphia station group consists of rock WMMR; classic rock WMGK “102.9 MGK”; adult hits WBEN-FM “95.7 Ben FM”; and sports talk WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic.”  The evaluation for the “Top Workplaces” program was based entirely upon feedback from an employee survey conducted by Workplace Dynamics in the fall of 2014.  Greater Media Philly VP and market manager John Fullam comments, “Great companies start with great employees.  We are fortunate to have such an extraordinary team dedicated to serving Philadelphia, our listeners and advertising partners every day.”

2016 Presidential Prospects, U.S.-Iran Nuke Negotiations, Obama-Netanyahu Relationship, UVA Rape Investigation, Battle Against Militant Islam, Russian Military Aggression, and March Madness Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/23).  The potential candidates for president in 2016; the controversy over the negotiations between the West and Iran over its nuclear program; the strained relationship between Benjamin Netanyahu and President Obama and the recent Israeli elections; the police statement that it failed to find corroborating evidence in the Rolling Stone-reported UVA gang rape story; the militant Muslim organizations waging war in the Middle East and Africa; concern over Russia’s recent uptick in military maneuvers; and the weekend’s NCAA tourney action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

| March 11, 2015

salemmediagroup logoSalem Media Group Reports Broadcast Sector Flat in Q4 2014; Net Revenue Up 2.3% for All of 2014.  The company’s net broadcast revenue was up 2.3% on revenue of $192.9 million for the entire year of 2014.  The fourth quarter of 2014, however, was flat on revenue of $48.8 million.  However, the company’s digital and publishing arms performed much better with the digital media sector’s revenue increasing 14.7% to $11.7 million from $10.2 million (compared to the same quarter a year ago).  Publishing revenue rose 47% to $5.4 million from $3.7 million (compared to Q4 of 2013).

ellisrobRob Ellis Exits WIP-FM, Philadelphia.  Telling listeners of his final evening show on CBS RADIO’s WIP-FM, Philadelphia that he’s leaving the station, Rob Ellis lets on that he was not happy being moved from middays – where he was partnered with Anthony Gargano prior to Gargano’s exit from the station last December – to evenings as Josh Innes was moved up from nights to work with Tony Bruno on the new midday show.  He teases that he’ll be seen and heard in the market but was not specific.

TALKERS/RadioInfo Publisher Michael Harrison Joins Podcast One to Host Weekly Podcast. TALKERS/RadioInfo publisher Michael Harrison and Norm Pattiz have announced entering into an agreement harrisonUpCloseFarOutin which Harrison will host a weekly podcast on Pattiz’ PodcastOne, the leader in advertiser-supported, on-demand digital audio with more than 200 programs downloaded over 120 million times every month. Titled, Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison, the podcast, which officially debuted yesterday (3/10), delivers provocative insights into the digital era’s rapidly evolving technology and the effects of these changes on the human condition. In addition to conducting candid, probing conversations with top contemporary thinkers from the arts, science, business and pop culture worlds, Harrison will share personal experiences and perspectives culled from his long-standing career as one of the most influential media observers and analysts in the broadcasting realm for more than four-and-a-half decades. “Up Close and Far Out has found the perfect platform for distribution and promotion with the leading podcaster, PodcastOne, to deliver illuminating insights and stimulating information to the rapidly growing podcast audience in the most modern and timely way possible,” says Michael Harrison. “It will be a pleasure and valuable opportunity to once again be associated with this innovative company’s extraordinary founder, Norm Pattiz.” This marks the first time that Michael Harrison has agreed to take on a regularly scheduled performance role on a platform outside those under the TALKERS magazine umbrella in more than 20 years and he credits that largely to his confidence in Pattiz. Harrison and Pattiz worked together in the mid-1970s when Pattiz was launching Westwood One and Harrison hosted, wrote and produced one of that company’s earliest groundbreaking offerings, The Great American Radio Show with Michael Harrison. “Michael Harrison’s track record of success in predicting, defining and participating in media trends spans the digital divide and is nothing short of extraordinary — and we are excited to expand that from the newspaper, magazine, radio and television commentaries in which he has become a universally recognized resource to the intimate and unfiltered realm of his own regularly scheduled podcast,” says Norm Pattiz, chairman and CEO of PodcastOne. “Bringing his unique brand of articulate analysis and intelligent conversational skills to the table, Michael Harrison knows how to connect with both the professional media practitioner and educated pop culture consumer on a remarkably high and consistent level.” Harrison adds, “Whereas my work in the industry trades focuses primarily on information directly applicable to professionals in the radio, TV and digital realm, this project will be more aggressively speculative and theoretical — targeted to the hardcore ‘media freaks’ in and beyond the industry.” This unique podcast, Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison, will be available on www.PodcastOne.com, the PodcastOne app, www.talkers.com, www.RadioInfo.com, and iTunes. The podcast can be directly accessed at www.podcastone.com/up-close-and-far-out

Odds & Sods.  Another podcaster is added to the program lineup at Dupage Radio’s WCKG, Elmhurst, Illinois (suburban Chicago) as “The Dolly McCarthy Show” joins for weekends.  WCKG general manager Matt Dubiel says, “We’re always working on new ways to live up to our mission to be the WGN of the suburbs.  Adding Dolly – a suburban mother who is involved in suburban organizations and hosts a show about suburban affairs – makes her show a win-win for everyone…and sure beats crazy, political shout-fests!”…..Mahindra USA and Yahoo Sports Radio are hitting the air with a comprehensive, nationwide marketing partnership to support the continued robust growth of the Mahindra brand and the company’s extensive dealer network.  As part of the Yahoo Sports Radio campaign and in appreciation of their service, Mahindra is offering First Responders across America an opportunity to win a Mahindra eMax 22 HST tractor with front-end loader.  Any active or retired law enforcement, firefighter or EMT is eligible to enter through Yahoo Sports Radio’s website or www.tributetothebrave.com between March 6 – April 4, 2015.

cosbyritaCumulus New York Talent to Be Honored with Gracie Awards.  Broadcasters from Cumulus Media’s New York stations will be honored with three Gracie Awards from the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation during the awards presentation on June 22 at the New York Hilton Hotel.  Thefordkelly awards are about recognizing excellence in programming by, for or about women. Capturing Gracie Awards at Cumulus New York are: Rita Cosby, WABC for Outstanding Host-News/Non-Fiction, Local Market Radio; “The Ride Home with Pat Kiernan & Rita Cosby,” WABC New York, for Outstanding Talk Show-News, Local Market Radio; and “NASH Matters with Kelly Ford” featuring the Grace Institute, WNSH “NASH-FM 94.7” for Outstanding Interview Program or Feature, Local Market Radio.

biggerpicture‘The Bigger Picture’ Celebrates Two Years on Los Angeles Airwaves This Month.  The idea for the radio program that would become “The Bigger Picture with Timothy Spangler” began when the host returned to the United States in 2012 after spending 10 years in London.  Spangler says that the experience gave him “a platform to learn the ways of the world outside the sterile partisan political debates so common in American media.”  He says the concept was simple: a live weekly radio show that would focus on international affairs and global events that would approach the stories and guests with ample amounts of humor, familiar to listeners who had grown up on “The Daily Show” and “Colbert Report.”  By avoiding domestic political issues – too often talked to death during the week on traditional AM stations – he hoped to give listeners a refreshingly different radio experience.  “The world is a funny place,” according to Spangler, “and we just want to share that with as many people as we can.”  Joined by college buddies actor David C Fisher and musician Phillip Sparks, the three UCLA alumni decided to launch the show on Salem Media Group’s news/talk KRLA “AM870 The Answer.”  “We were drawn to the heritage of KRLA, which is a station anyone who grew up in LA is familiar with.”  Spangler says they kick off the Sunday 10:00 pm show with a news round-up featuring the strangest and most puzzling news stories from around the globe – German grandmothers thwarting bank robberies, Venezuelan grocery stores running out of toilet paper – all are fair game.  On a more serious note, each week the BIG story goes in depth on a topic or development that has not yet received the attention it deserves – important stories that mainstream media are unwilling to make time for, says Spangler.  He also books top-notch guests to talk about the world’s issues.  Some recent guests include: Edward Norton, Stevie Wonder, Jim Kerr from the rock band Simple MindsLesley Nicol, who plays “Mrs. Patmore” on PBS‘ “Downton Abbey,” Mathew Rhys, star of FX‘s hit drama, “The Americans,” and Jeff Perry, star of the ABC hit television series, “Scandal,” to name just a few.  As for the future of the program, Spangler observes that the content is not local market-specific and clearly lends itself to a national audience.  Conversations with syndicators and affiliates are ongoing, and the team hopes to bring “The Bigger Picture” to more and more listeners in the months ahead.

weeksdonLongtime Albany Talk Personality Don Weeks Dies at 76.  Four years after retiring from a 30-year stint as morning drive host at WGY, Albany in 2010, Don Weeks passed away at age 76.  The Daily Report of Schenectady wrote that Weeks had been in failing health.  He lost his wife Suzanne in December of 2014.  “Uncle Don” began hosting the morning show in December of 1980 and earned a Marconi Award in 2005.  He started in radio in the Capital Region in 1956.

Hillary Clinton Email Probe, Iran Nukes Deal Controversy, OU Sigma Alpha Epsilon Racism Case, Amnesty Issue, 2016 Presidential Prospects, ‘Blurred Lines’ Ruling, and Apple Unveils Watch Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/10).  The ongoing investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s use of private email for State Department business; the battle between Congress and President Obama over the proposed Iran nukes deal; the racial tensions ignited at University of Oklahoma after a fraternity is recorded singing a song with racist lyrics; the GOP’s fight against President Obama’s amnesty orders; the potential candidates for president in 2016; a jury sides with the estate of Marvin Gaye in the “Blurred Lines” case; and Apple unveils its soon to be marketed Watch product were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Friday, March 6, 2015

| March 6, 2015

beasley logo longBeasley Reports 2014 Q4 Pro Forma Net Revenue Dips 4.3%.  Getting an accurate picture of the fourth quarter – not to mention the total of 2014 – is a bit dicey because of the asset exchange between Beasley and CBS RADIO.  But as Beasley chairman and CEO George Beasley says in the press release, “On a reported basis, fourth quarter net revenue from continuing operations rose 23.5% and SOI [station operating income] increased 14.6%, while operating income of $1.8 million was impacted by $1.7beasleygeorge million of transaction and termination expenses related to the Asset Exchange and otherwise would have compared favorably with the $2.8 million in the comparable year ago period.  However, given the required accounting treatment for discontinued operations, the results include only one month of operations from the stations we received in the asset exchange, while excluding the results of the stations we gave up in the transaction.  As a result, we believe a pro forma presentation, which assumes the asset exchange occurred on January 1, 2013, better reflects the operating results.  On a pro forma basis, fourth quarter net revenue decreased 4.3% to $28.9 million while SOI declined 8.0% to $9.2 million.  Importantly, while the fourth quarter pro forma presentation allows for a comparison of the same stations during both periods, it does not reflect our recently initiated and planned format and personnel changes in Tampa as well as expense reductions in Tampa and Charlotte, the benefits of which we expect will be reflected in our results as we move through 2015 and into 2016.”

kkfn logo20 Years of KKFN Sports Talk in Denver Being Recognized.  This Monday (3/9), Lincoln Financial Media will celebrate 20 years of sports talk in Denver on KKFN.  The format is now heard on KKFN-FM “104.3 The Fan,” but debuted in 1994 on KKFN-AM.  The special broadcast will feature several former personalities and athletes who have been part of the two-decade history.  The station’s original lineup included: the Fabulous Sports Babe (Nanci Donnellan), Woody Paige & Todd Mansfield, Doug Moe & Tom Green and Jeff Reckard.  On Monday the station will welcome back former Fan personalities Woody Paige, Tom Green, Dan Issel, Charles Johnson, Irv Brown and Joe Williams.  They will be joined by Rockies radio announcer Jerry Schemmel.  The station’s current lineup is: “The Fan Morning Show with Mike Evans, Nate Lundy and Vic Lombardi” (5:30 am to 9:00 am), Dan Patrick (9:00 am to 12:00  noon), Sandy Clough and Scott Hastings (12:00 noon to 3:00 pm), “The Drive”­ with Alfred “Big Al” Williams and Darren “D-Mac” McKee (3:00 pm to 9:00 pm) and “The Fan Late Night” with Ryan Edwards and Shawn Drotar (9:00 pm to 12:00 midnight).  “The Fan” will also hold an anniversary party on Thursday, March 26, at the Sports Column in downtown Denver.  Listeners will get the chance to celebrate with members of “The Fan” on-air staff and celebrities.

iheartmedia logo smalliHeartMedia Names Charlie Wilkinson Dallas Market President.   Moving to Texas from his most recent position with the company as regional president overseeing Charlotte and Raleigh, Charlie Wilkinson becomes market president of iHeartMedia’s six Dallas properties.  EVP of operations – Texas majors Kelly Kibler comments, “Charlie has exceeded expectations and consistently raises the bar.  He has proven his ability to create and lead winning teams.  I’m confident he will continue to deliver consistent integrated revenue growth for the Dallas cluster.”  Former market president, Deidre Richter, will join iHeartMedia’s national sales team and will report to Jeff Howard, president of national sales.  Richter will lead the South Central Connections Team.

Odds & Sods.  At the Cromwell Group’s Nashville sports talk duo “94.9 The Game 2” — WQZQ-AM and W235BW – morning drive co-host Joe Dubin leaves the station and partner Greg Pogue to return to television sports as sports anchor on WSMV-TV, Nashville, effective March 30…..This weekend begins Westwood One Sports’ presentation of a slate of exclusive women’s college basketball broadcasts this month.  It gets underway Sunday with the Pac-12 Women’s Championship game andwestwood one sports culminating with the Women’s Final Four and National Championship in Tampa on April 7.  On Tuesday, March 10, WW1 broadcasts the Big East Women’s Championship, live from Allstate Arena in Chicago.  CBS Sports Radio talk-show host Amy Lawrence has the play-by-play, along with former University of Connecticut All-American Swin Cash as the analyst…..Salem Media Group New York brings Chief of Robotic Surgery at Lenox Hill Hospital, Dr. David Samadi, to the staff serving as chief medical correspondent for news/talk WNYM “AM 970 The Answer” and Christian talk WMCA “AM 570 The Mission.”  Additionally, Dr. Samadi will host the new program “World Health News with Dr. Samadi,” airing Sundays from 10:00 am to 11:00 am.

curtiskubyroast15Curtis & Kuby Roast Takes Place Monday in NYC.  Gotham Comedy Club will be the site of the Curtis & Kuby Roast on Monday, March 9 at 7:00 pm.  The duo – heard daily in middays on Cumulus Media’s WABC – will be in attendance as Roast Master Rich Vos (featured on Comedy Central, HBO, and Showtime) hosts a night of no-holds-barred comedy in honor of talk radio odd couple Curtis Sliwa and Ron Kuby.  Comedians Kurt Metzger, Bonnie McFarlane, Geno Bisconte, Aaron Berg, and The Stone Brothers will all come out to roast the duo. Limited tickets are still available at www.wabcradio.com. The event is produced by Jeffrey Gurian in conjunction with Gotham Comedy Club and 77 WABC.

TALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  The sports programming from Yahoo! Sports Radio is now being heard on Word Broadcasting’s WVHI, Evansville, Indiana…..The Genesis Communications Network-syndicated “Freedom Feens” show is now being heard on affiliate stations WRMN, Elgin, Illinois (Chicago market) and on WPNN, Pensacola, Florida.

Netanyahu Speech/Iran Nukes Top Talkers TenTM for Week of March 2-6.  The speech before Congress by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the issue of a pact to allow Iran’s nuclear program to expand were tied for the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week.  At #2 was the Supreme Court’s hearing a challenge to the Affordable Care Act. Coming in at #3 was the probe of Hillary Clinton’s use of private email for State Department business, followed by the Homeland Security Department funding battle and President Obama’s amnesty order at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio this 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.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

| February 24, 2015

2015 NYC 150Sean Hannity to Moderate Major Panel Session, “The State of Radio Ratings,” at Talkers New York 2015. Continuing with an important theme that he has discussed at prior TALKERS conferences, Premiere Radio Networks and Fox News Channel talk icon Sean Hannity will moderate a panel analyzing the changing relationship between talk radiohannity (as well as radio in general) and audience measurement methodology as we move further into the digital age. It is no secret that determining the methodology to properly and fairly balance (and credit) listenership to radio programming on both terrestrial and online platforms has been a bumpy transition creating challenges for radio programmers and sellers alike. Joining Hannity will be a stellar panel including (in alphabetical order): Erica Farber, farberericapresident/CEO, Radio Advertising Bureau; Phil Boyce, SVP/Spoken Word Format, Salem Media Group and Salem Radio Network, operations VP, New York Region; Steve Goldstein, EVP, Sagaboycephil Communications; Tom Langmyer, VP/GM, Milwaukee radio operations, VP/news-talk programming, Journal Broadcast Group, and Greg Moceri, CEO, Moceri Media. The panel will be joined by a yet-to-be-named representative of Nielsen Audio. The session will be held as part of the power-packed, day-long “Talkers New York 2015” on Friday, June 12 at the India House Club in the Big Apple’s historic Financial goldsteinsteveDistrict. This marks the 18th annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important national convention. It will also celebrate the 25th anniversary of TALKERS magazinelangmyertom which was launched by Michael Harrison in the summer of 1990. Registrations are priced at $299 per person with an early bird, discounted cost of $249 available until 5:00 pm ET on Friday, February 27. Registrations, which are only open to professionals currently or recently employed in media-related industries, include all sessions, mocerigregpresentations, exhibits and breakfast/lunch/refreshment/and social networking activities. The heavyweight, non-stop agenda will include approximately 65 speakers and 500 attendees are again expected. Registrations can only be taken over the phone and paid for by credit card. For registration, sponsorship and hotel information, please call 413-565-5413. Again, an early sellout is expected, so avoid being shut out by registering now! More speakers, panelists and agenda updates will be announced here in the coming days.

talkersradio logoTalkersRadio Back for 2015 after Brief Retooling with Experimental Programs by Alan Colmes and Lionel.   TalkersRadio, the experimental internet radio platform launched by TALKERS in 2013, is back online after a two-month “re-tooling” in which several technological improvements were instituted and new ideas sorted out.  The platform is designed to serve as a workshop for new shows and concepts being developed as well as an industry showcase for programs about to be marketed.  On announcing the re-launch, TALKERS general manager of broadcast operations, David Bernstein states, “We are happy to be back up and running with great enthusiasm for the potential of this audio ‘stage.’  All of us at TALKERS are indeed proud of the remarkable success TalkersRadio has had in its first year-and-a-half providing a number of fine broadcasters the opportunity to work out new ideas and techniques, including having launched the terrestrial radio success of the Brent & Meg show and Doug Stephan’s ‘American Family Farmer.’”  The platform, described by TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey as “an audio gymnasium” is re-launching with two on-demand programs hosted by well-known hosts Alan Colmes and Lionel.  Colmes – star of Fox News Radio and the Fox News Channel – is continuing to work on a concept titled “Healed Planet” — far removed from his political fare — in which he interviews thought leaders in the human consciousness movement.  Lionel – an iconoclastic and legendary veteran of major radio and television stations and networks, currently seen and heard on his own LionelMedia.com, performs an exclusive, experimental program for TalkersRadio simply titled, “Lionel.”  In it, he amply displays his remarkable and compelling aptitude for stream of consciousness story-telling and observations of leading-edge issues.  According to Bernstein, “TalkersRadio will also be streaming live industry events and inner-industry forums in the coming weeks and months with an exciting ‘new and improved’ system powered by our colleagues at Backbone Networks in Boston.”  Bernstein encourages broadcasters with new ideas and concepts that might be of interest to TalkersRadio to get in touch with him at 413-565-5413.  To hear TalkersRadio, please click here.

podcastone logo‘Mogul Mom’s Playbook’ Debuts on PodcastOne.  Joining the growing stable of star-powered podcasts available via the Norm Pattiz-founded PodcastOne is “Mogul Mom’s Playbook with Shaunie and Stella.”   The new podcast focuses on the increasing commitment of moms to juggle kids, career, parenting and relationships and is hosted by “Basketball Wives” star and executive producer Shaunie O’Neal and famed executive producer and founder of Wikked Entertainment, Stella Bulochnikov.  The weekly program features the duo and their celebrity friends “as they share tips, advice, support and lots of laughs to encourage the everyday ‘superwoman.’”   Pattiz says, “We are thrilled to welcome Shaunie and Stella to our family of hosts.  Their expressive personalities are such a joy to be around and their ability to connect with women has been proven in their personal and professional lives.”

Odds & Sods.  The first of three Republican primary debates will be moderated by Salem Media Group talk show host Hugh Hewitt.  Salem is working with CNN to produce the RNChewitthughsanctioned debates.  According to a press release, Hewitt will also broadcast special editions of his talk show pre- and post-debate.  At the conclusion of the debate, candidates will be invited to join Hewitt to talk candidly about the event and the pressing issues facing the nation.  Hewitt says, “I am delighted to be included with journalists posing questions as part of one of America’s finest political traditions – the presidential debate.”…..The self-described “metaphysical/biographical” program, “Outer Limits Of Inner Truth,” is airing a special two-hour show on Thursday, February 26 to commemorate its one-year anniversary.  The program is distributed via Star Com Radio Networks and airs on more than 24 stations across the country…..SWN Communications, a Memphis-based provider of the “Inside Track” radio show dedicated to horse racing, announces the program – hosted by Charlie Ricks and Bernie Halprin – becomes available on Yahoo! Sports Radio’s national network effective February 28.

Rudy Giuliani Comments Controversy, Obama Amnesty Order Case, DHS Funding Battle, 2016 Presidential Prospects, Ukraine Tensions, Sunday’s Academy Awards, and Frigid Winter Weather Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/23).  The controversy over former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s comments about President Obama’s love of his country; debate over President Obama’s amnesty order and its effects; the congressional battle over funding the Department of Homeland Security; the potential candidates for president in 2016; the civil unrest in Ukraine and Russia’s role in the matter; the 87th Academy Awards; and the frigid weather affecting much of the country were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Friday, February 20, 2015

| February 20, 2015

entercomEntercom 2014 Q4 Net Revenue Up 2%.  That increase over the same period a year ago comes on revenue $101.5 million.  For all of 2014, Entercom Communications posted net revenue up 1% over 2013, with total net revenue hitting $379.8 million.  Other fourth quarter data includes: station expenses increasing 3% to $63.3 million; station operating income flat at $38.2 million; and free cash flow rising 4% to $23.4 million.  For the year 2014, adjusted net income per share was flat at $0.79.  Entercom fielddavidpresident and CEO David Field says, “After finishing 2014 with modest gains in net revenues, adjusted net income and free cash flow, Entercom is looking forward to a promising year of opportunity in 2015.  Our recently announced Lincoln Financial Media acquisition will add a number of terrific new markets and brands to our lineup and should be accretive to shareholders with no material impact on our solid balance sheet.  And we are well positioned to capitalize on a number of other significant growth opportunities throughout the organization.”  If you remember, Entercom is buying Lincoln Financial Media’s 15 stations in the Atlanta, Denver, Miami and San Diego markets for $105 million.  It will sell one of its Denver FMs to comply with FCC regulations.

iheartmedia logo smalliHeartMedia Q4 Net Revenue Rises 1%.  During its 2014 Q4 conference call, iHeartMedia announced that net revenue was up 1% for both the fourth quarter of 2014 and for the year as a whole.  iHeartMedia COO Richard Bressler said during the investors conference call that “political dollars, traffic and weather, as well as national broadcast radio, drove higher revenues in a market that was soft across local radio.”  Bressler also touted the performance of the iHeartRadio digital platform, saying it has surpassed 60 million registered users and that total listening hours have risen 14% compared to the fourth quarter of 2013.

nielsen logoRound Three of January PPM Data Released.  The third of four rounds of January 2015 PPM 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 survey period was January 1-28.  TALKERS magazine’s sister publication RadioInfo has all of the numbers from subscribing stations here.  In addition, managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his “Ten Takeaways” from this batch of ratings on the main page at RadioInfo.com here.

wtemlogoWTEM, Washington to Launch Local AM Drive Show.  Currently, Red Zebra-owned WTEM, Washington ESPN980 carries ESPN Radio’s Mike & Mike show.  But beginning on March 16, the station will pair up longtime morning drive personality Chris Paul with national sports columnist Jason Reid to host “The Man Cave with Chris Paul and Jason Reid.”  Red Zebra vice president of programming Chuck Sapienza says the show “will be a blend of sports, comedy and entertainment and we are thrilled to welcome these two talented men to ESPN980.”  Chris Paul has worked in radio as part of the Donnie Simpson show on crosstown hip hop WPGC for 16 years and, for the last six years, on the syndicated “Tom Joyner Morning Show.”  Jason Reid began his professional journalism career at the Los Angeles Times covering the Los Angeles Dodgers, Los Angeles Clippers and providing college basketball analysis.  He moved to Washington in 2010 as the beat writer for the Washington Redskins for the Washington Post and was promoted to a sports columnist position in January 2011.  Reid will continue writing as a NFL columnist for ESPN.com.   Red Zebra CEO Rick Carmean adds, “We have been interested in creating a local morning drive show on ESPN980 for a while.  Chris and Jason give us and the Washington, DC sports fan the perfect combination of sports knowledge, humor and personality.”

Odds & Sods.  Producer Scott Miller jumps from Tribune’s news/talk WGN, Chicago to Hubbard’s classic rock WDRV to serve on the new Dan McNeil and Pete McMurray morning show…..Celebrity cook Paula Deen works out a deal with Compass Media Networks to launch daily radio vignettes called, “Get Cooking with Paula Deen,” and a weekly long-form podcast called, “What’s Cooking with Paula Deen.”  They will debut on May 1…..USA Radio Networks adds “Animal Radio” to its weekend lineup, airing on Saturdays from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm, effective March 7…..New York radio personality Joan Hamburg is hosting a special show on Cumulus Media‘s WABC on February 21 from 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm titled, “The Business of Fashion Week,” focusing on the fashion economy and featuring interviews with leading fashion industry insiders…..Alpha Media announces today that KXTG-AM, Portland “750 The Game” enters into a partnership agreement to continue as the official radio station of the Portland Thunder of the Arena Football League…..At the Fort Lauderdale cluster of iHeartMedia, Shari Gonzalez is named VP of sales…..ABC Radio is providing coverage of the 87th Annual Academy Awards this Sunday.  Correspondent Jason Nathanson will be live on the red carpet with interviews from the night’s biggest stars.  Starting at 8:20 pm ET, ABC News correspondent David Blaustein will anchor twice-hourly, one minute status reports from New York correspondents Alex Stone and Jason Nathanson reporting from backstage at the main event.

madisonjoeJoe Madison to Attempt Marathon Talk Show Record to Benefit Museum of African American History.  Talk radio host Joe Madison, as part of Black History Month, will attempt to break the Guinness World Record for hosting the longest talk radio show on Wednesday and Thursday, February 25-26.  The current record is 50 hours and the SiriusXM “Urban View” host plans to concurrently raise funds for the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, currently under construction on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.  The non-profit museum is scheduled to open in 2016.

ramseyDenver15Dave Ramsey’s Smart Money Tour Kicks Off in Denver.  Nationally syndicated talk radio superstar Dave Ramsey began his 2015 Smart Money tour in Denver yesterday (2/19) with a sold-out appearance at the Bellco Theatre.  The Smart Money tour presents Ramsey’s philosophy on winning with money, getting out of debt, and investing for the future.  Financial expert and speaker Chris Hogan appeared with Ramsey on stage.  Ramsey and affiliate station KKZN “Real Talk 760” worked together to promote the event.  Station program director Greg Foster comments, “The Dave Ramsey show connects with listeners like no other.  ‘Real Talk 760’ has been in existence for less than a year, but Dave sold out 5,000 seats to his live event in Denver.  Dave’s fans are incredibly loyal, and that translates to new revenue for his stations.”  Pictured here at the iHeartMedia Denver studios are (from l-r): iHeartMedia Denver director of integrated media and special events Ryan Clune, general sales manager Jessica Farias, Ramsey, and market manager Pat Connor.

Battle Against ISIS/Islam Criticism Controversy Tops Talkers TenTM for Week of February 16-20.  The fight against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria and the political controversy over associating Islam with the militant organization was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week.  Coming in at #2 was a Texas court’s stay of the Obama amnesty order.  At #3 was the 2016 presidential prospects and following at #4 was the rise in European anti-Semitism.  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.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

| February 18, 2015

whfs-am logoBeasley Flips WHFS-AM, Tampa Bay to Money Talk.  One of the sports talk outlets Beasley acquired in its swap with CBS RADIO – WHFS-AM – is flipping from sports talk to money talk.  The company says “MoneyTalk 1010 AM” will be “the Tampa Bay area’s only exclusively financial talk-formatted radio station…with programming that features valuable and timely information on the financial markets and emerging trends in the economy. ochscharlie Additionally, ‘MoneyTalk 1010’ offers an assortment of health, lifestyle, and general information programs delivered by a wide variety of local and national broadcasters.”  Beasley is naming Tampa market radio pro Charlie Ochs general manager of the station.  Most recently, Ochs served as a financial professional for Prudential Financial in Tampa.  Prior to that, he was an SVP and market manager with CBS RADIO.  Beasley Media Group VP and market manager Kent Dunn comments, “The expertise and leadership that Charlie brings to ‘MoneyTalk 1010’ is extremely valuable.  This radio station is committed to delivering the most current and up-to-date financial news to the Tampa Bay area.”

If You Think Radio Has Problems with Millennials, TV Faces Immediate 18-34 Crisis – Brings Up Question About Evolution of Radio Ratings.  In the New York Post, media columnist Claire Atkinson writes about the dramatic rate at which Millennials are dropping their live television watching habits.  She reports that “traditional TV usage — which has been falling among viewers ages 18 to 34 at around 4% a year since 2012 — tumbled 10.6% between September and January.”  Read Atkinson’s entire piece here.  Radio practitioners are well aware this is not a “sucks to be you” moment; all media are trying to adapt to the changing habits of consumers – especially Millennials and Gen Xers.  And tied directly into that is rating all of this consumption so that it can be priced and sold effectively.  While radio bemoans the lack of rating non-broadcasting listening, rest assured that while Nielsen hears radio’s cries, it has much more to gain financially by figuring out how to rate non-broadcast video viewing accurately.  As Atkinson points out, there is $80 billion in annual TV ad money at stake.  In response to this situation, TALKERS/RadioInfo publisherharrisonmichael2015 Michael Harrison states, “It is going to be a long time until an accurate system of rating radio audience numbers stabilizes to the point of widespread industry acceptance – if ever.  This looming fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants period should inspire radio broadcasters to: 1) value the opportunities available in highly specialized local programming based more on direct relationships with advertisers and obvious customer results; and 2) understand the principle whereby the nature of the programming defines the nature of the audience.”  Harrison concludes, “The burden will fall upon sales departments to get out there and communicate directly with potential advertisers on a one-on-one, very human level about their businesses and how radio can directly help them connect with specifically-desired customers.”  Harrison’s Principle basically means the genre of the programming has to be so clearly distinct and appealing to an obvious segment of the population that it becomes a given whether or not it will attract significant qualitative or quantitative numbers.

nielsen logoNielsen Audio Releases First Round of January 2015 PPM Data.  The first of four rounds of January 2015 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 January 2015 survey period covered January 1 – 28.  You can find the complete ratings from subscribing stations here.  Additionally, TALKERS/RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Ten Takeaways” from this group on the main page of our sister publication here.

zieglerbrandonEnvision Networks Debuts Weekend ‘John & Leah Show.’  The duo of John Ziegler and Leah Brandon first worked together at iHeartMedia’s KFI, Los Angeles.  Now, they are hosting a Sunday evening program – 10:00 pm ET – being syndicated by Envision Networks.  The company says the program will focus on “media, politics, sports, and pop culture.”  Envision president and CEO Danno Wolkoff comments, “John and Leah’s insights, quick wits, and rapport will be a great addition to the stations’ weekends.  With entertaining views from a male and female co-host, we are well on our way to offering new content for talk radio.”

Odds & Sods.  Joining PodcastOne as sales manager, Western region is digital media and sales pro Dana Senit.  The company says that in this new role Senit will “work with local and national advertisers in the Western region to collaborate on digital media initiatives across the network of all-star podcasts to maximize campaign effectiveness throughconnectpal personality-driven strategies.”…..ConnectPal founder and CEO Andy Dean announces his platform has struck a deal with Benztown Radio Networks to bring the latter’s talent to the ConnectPal platform where podcasts featuring such talents as David Tutera, Chris Heben, Dougall Fraser, and A.J. Barrera will be monetized.  Benztown has also made an investment – the terms of which have not been revealed – in ConnectPal…..SiriusXM is presenting comprehensive coverage of the 57th running of the Daytona 500, with the live race broadcast, multiple channels carrying in-car audio from some of the sport’s top drivers, and daily coverage from Daytona International Speedway on its NASCAR Radio channel.

marksdrjA Visit from the Doctor.  During a remote broadcast of NBC Sports Radio’s Anita Marks show live from the Harman store on Madison Avenue in New York City, NBA Hall of Fame legend Dr. J, a.k.a. Julius Erving, stopped by to chat with Marks.  Dr. J was a special guest during the in-store remote designed to celebrate the exclusive audio partnership between JBL and the NBA.  Pictured here are (from l-r): Marks, NBC Sports Radio’s Jon Stashower, Chris Mannix and Erving.

The Battle Against ISIS, The Stay on Amnesty Order, The Cost of ObamaCare for the States, 2016 Presidential Prospects, Rise in European Anti-Semitism, Ukraine Tensions, and Fifty Shades of Grey Film Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/17).  The violence perpetuated by ISIS and debate over how to combat the militant organization; a Texas court’s stay on President Obama’s amnesty order; the financial ramifications of the Affordable Care Act on the states; speculation about the potential candidates for president in 2016; the increase in anti-Semitism across Europe; the military tensions in Ukraine; and controversy over the film Fifty Shades of Grey were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

The Spreading Digital Junkyard

| December 23, 2014

By Michael Harrison
TALKERS/RadioInfo
Publisher

mh2014SPRINGFIELD, MA — Is it just me?  Have you noticed lately that some of your favorite websites have become increasingly user-unfriendly?

Odds are your usual haunts in the newspaper, magazine, general entertainment and information arenas have become cluttered with terribly annoying pop up ads, videos that start playing loudly without invitation (sometimes more than one at a time) – and maddeningly confusing hodge-podges of editorial and commercial content laid out in such a manner as to make it almost impossible to follow an article without being sidetracked into a unwanted advertisement.  (Hmm, which one of these three arrows should I click?)

How about the emergence of that creepy entity known as the “sponsored” or “promoted” story  that innocently sits among the non-paid editorial content on so many of our distinguished bastions of journalism.

Read More

Doug Stephan Breaking New Ground with Experimental Show, “American Family Farmer”

| December 9, 2014

Second program spawned on TalkersRadio in past 15 months to be picked up by terrestrial syndicator   

By Kevin Casey
TALKERS
VP/Executive Editor

caseywriter (2)SPRINGFIELD, MA — For the second time in its first 15 months of operation, TalkersRadio – the experimental talk radio platform launched in September, 2013 by TALKERS magazine – has spawned a program that has been picked up by terrestrial radio.

The first TalkersRadio program to be acquired by terrestrial radio was “The Brent & Meg Show” hosted by the husband/wife team of Brent Seltzer and Meg McDonald.

Read More

Political News/Talk Radio Needs Fewer Lapdogs and More Watchdogs

| November 21, 2014

By Michael Harrison
TALKERS
Publisher

harrisonmichael new headshot14SPRINGFIELD, MA – When the Fairness Doctrine was repealed back in the eighties and talk radio hopped into the seedy bed of political opinion – thus evolving into the present incarnation of what is commonly referred to as “news/talk” radio – it took on legions of enemies from all sides of the political spectrum.

Today, it finds itself in the cross-fire of the mudslinging, poisonous warfare commonly waged by those whose obsessive quest for power over their fellow citizens compel them to seek victory even at the cost of truth.

Every time modern day news/talk radio has a hiccup in the ratings or burps a gaffe offensive to the hypocrites of political correctness, the legions of critics (from all sides), quick to shoot any messenger with whom they disagree, start mouthing off predictions of the format’s imminent fall ignoring all contributing and relevant facts and factors of the radio world and larger social/economic backdrop.

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Friday, November 21, 2014

| November 21, 2014

harrisonherald2smallerMichael Harrison: Political News/Talk Radio Needs Fewer Lapdogs and More Watchdogs.  In a new opinion piece posted today (11/21), TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison (pictured here) suggests that the main element missing from today’s political news/talk radio mix is the old-fashioned “muckraker” who kept politicians of all political stripes – left and right – nervous and on their toes.  Harrison says that the crop of tried-and-true political ideologues who’ve been on the air all these decades since the repeal of the Fairness Doctrine and are still going strong should be preserved – but not imitated.  He writes, “There is nothing wrong with the current crop of long-standing, iconic figures of opinionated left vs right political discussion who have made talk radio and its stars household names.  They should be protected and supported for what they do… because they are valuable and, more importantly, cannot easily be replaced.  In fact, they shouldn’t be replaced.  The last thing we need are more ‘B’ and ‘C’ level imitators and talking point ideologues in this format.  We do not need lapdogs and mindless partisans clogging up the airwaves and bringing this format down! What we do need are more WATCHDOGS to round out what this format truly has to offer.  I guess you can call them populists or independents – but it goes much deeper than just superficial labels.  This industry needs talk show hosts – especially local ones – who don’t give a damn about political science ideology or carrying partisan water for their favorite ‘team,’ but rather keep a watchful eye and wag a fearless tongue on the biggest problem facing the American political system today.”  If you want to find out what Harrison thinks is the biggest problem facing the American political system today, read the entire column by clicking here.

renojayssonCumulus Names Reno to Lead KGO and KSFO, San Francisco Sales.  At the Bay Area cluster, Cumulus Media appoints sales pro Jaysson Reno to vice president, sales for heritage market news/talkers KGO and KSFO.  Reno has worked in the San Francisco market for 10 years in the radio, digital and event space, and has led sales for the company’s rock KSAN and triple A KFOG since 2012.  Cumulus San Francisco VP/market manager Justin Wittmayer says, “Jaysson brings strong leadership, a keen business sense and the market equity needed to drive advertiser performance and grow revenues.  KGO and KSFO are legacy brands in which we will continue to invest to benefit our community, to enhance the user experience and to deliver superior advertiser results.”

wgwg logoBen Finfer and Alex Quigley Also Casualties at Tribune Media.  With the reported looming end of Tribune Media’s nine-month-old sports talk experiment on WGWG-LP comes news two staffers – Ben Finfer and Alex Quigley – learned about their imminent dismissal via Twitter while on the air.  According to the Chicago Sun-Times, the “Quigs and Finfer” personalities spoke on air about their disappointment, with Finfer saying, “We’re doing a live show here and to be told this way, it’s really a letdown.  We’re getting screwed on this one…We just found out on Twitter a half hour ago that the station is being taken off the air.  We were not told about this ahead of time.”  The story broke via a Tweet and blog post by Chicago media writer Robert Feder (and TALKERS passed along the story to you) who learned about the changes from inside sources.  It appears WGN and WGWG-LP management didn’t anticipate the news leaking out and although the station has not been performing in the ratings against competitors WSCR and WMVP, this is a bit of a PR black eye for Tribune Media.

ramseyAustin14Dave Ramsey Rocks Austin’s Bass Concert Hall.  No, nationally syndicated financial talk superstar and best-selling author Dave Ramsey didn’t sing (as far as we know), but he did pack the house at the Bass Concert Hall in Austin, Texas last night (11/20) nonetheless.  Ramsey presented his “Legacy Journey LIVE!” event in which he discusses how to win with money, strengthen marriages and lead your children with confidence.  His daughter, Rachel Cruze, joined Ramsey on stage.  Ramsey worked with local affiliate KJCE “Talk Radio 1370 AM” to promote this event.  Entercom VP/market manager Alan Kirshbom comments, “Austin loves Dave!  We are proud to welcome him back for what promises to be another exciting and uplifting event.”  Pictured here are (from left to right): KJCE promotions director Aaron Hurd, KJCE director of sales Heather Baumli, Ramsey, KJCE program director Stephen Kerr, Kirshbom, and KJCE general sales manager Bob Woche.

rabRAB: Radio’s Q3 Revenue Dips 2%; Off-Air and Digital Jump.  The 2014 third quarter radio revenue report from the Radio Advertising Bureau concludes radio’s total revenue dipped 2% — a bit better than Q2’s 3% drop (all comparisons are versus the same period in 2013).  Breaking it down, spot revenue and network revenue fell back 3% and 4% respectively in Q3 this year compared to last, but digital and off-air revenue were up by 11% and 14% respectively.  RAB president and CEO Erica Farber comments, “The increasing strength of radio’s digital platforms becomes more evident every quarter as advertisers recognize the unparalleled benefits of reaching radio’s dedicated audiences on every device and platform they are using.  In addition, the growth in off-air opportunities for advertisers is a clear indication that radio is focused on continuing to deliver more innovative solutions to help them reach their consumers.”  See the RAB’s report here.

Odds & Sods. Longtime Arkansas talk show host and programmer Dave Elswick begins duties as program director and afternoon drive host at Crain Media Group-owned KHTE, Little Rock.  His program will also air on the company’selswickdave KSMD, Searcy, Arkansas (about 50 miles northeast of Little Rock) as Elswick begins building out the Dave Elswick Network.  He worked for years at Cumulus Media’s KARN-FM, Little rock as PD and personality…..SiriusXM adds former NBA head coach George Karl to its roster of hoops experts on its NBA Radio channel.  He debuts today (11/21) from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm ET and will host regularly throughout the season…..CBS RADIO‘s all-news KNX, Los Angeles will present a special program titled, “Immigration: The President Acts,” on Monday (11/24) from 10:00 am to 11:00 am.  The show will include expert guests and listener call-ins.  KNX anchor Tom Haule and chief investigative reporter Charles Feldman will host the show.

bellmediaBell Media to Lay Off 80 Employees.  Canadian broadcast giant Bell Media is announcing personnel cuts across its radio division that will affect some 80 people.  As reported by the Windsor Star, the Windsor market (which operates four stations that also serve Detroit listeners) will lose seven staffers, but those people haven’t been identified yet.  The stations in Windsor include: triple A CKLW-FM “The River 93.9,” alternative CIMX “89X,” oldies CKWW and news/talk CKLW-AM.  The paper notes that Bell Media cut about 120 positions in the radio division back in June.

miw logoMIW Announces 2015 Mentoring Program.  The details of the 2015 Mildred Carter Mentoring Program from the Mentoring & Inspiring Women in Radio Group are available.  The 14-year-old program matches up-and-coming women in the radio industry with female professionals recognized as leaders in all aspects of radio.  2015 Mentoring Committee chair Lindsay Cerajewski (who also serves as sales manager at CBS RADIO’s WUSN, Chicago) says, “This is a wonderful opportunity for mentees to gain valuable insight, knowledge and access to some of the most influential women in radio.  We look forward to another outstanding program in 2015.”  A total of four candidates from the radio broadcasting industry – within the sales, marketing, programming and digital disciplines – will be selected for the 2015 program.  Of those, at least one spot will be designated for a programming candidate, and one spot designated for a digital candidate.   For mentee criteria and instructions on how to apply, please visit http://tinyurl.com/miwmentee. The deadline to apply is Friday, December 12, 2014.

TALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  The Genesis Communications Network-syndicated Dr. Joy Browne program is added to the program schedule at WGNC, Gastonia, North Carolina.

Obama Amnesty Executive Action Top News/Talk Story for Week of November 17-21.  The plan by President Obama to use executive action to give amnesty to some 5 million undocumented aliens was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  Coming in at #2 was the videotaped speeches of Affordable Care Act architect Jonathan Gruber.  At #3 was the tension over the grand jury’s anticipated decision whether to indict police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri and at #4 was the record snowfall in Buffalo and the early cold snap.  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.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Friday, October 31, 2014

| October 31, 2014

2014hhsports-header only 200TALKERS Magazine Presents 2014 Heavy Hundred of Sports Talk.  Today (10/31), the editors of TALKERS magazine present the third annual Heavy Hundred of Sports Talk – The 100 Most Important Sports Talk Radio Hosts in America.  This list ranks sports talk hosts, duos or ensembles from 1 to 100, based upon a set of criteria that includes a combination of hard and soft factors.  The genre of sports talk radio has evolved greatly and grown exponentially over the past 10 years to go from being a fringe format to an important sub-genre of spoken-word radio programming.  With this in mind, the editors of TALKERS debuted the Heavy Hundred of Sports Talk in 2012 to acknowledge the hard-working air personalities on sports talk radio.  The results of this list are, admittedly, subjective.  Being  true to the realities of the media business, ratings and revenue are two of the major factors – some would say they are the only factors worth considering – but the editors also took into account other qualities that help create a list that is reflective of the industry’s diversity and total flavor and still give credit where credit is due.  Those qualities include: courage, effort, impact, recognition, service, talent and uniqueness.  The other concrete qualification for inclusion is hosts must be working – that is, have a regularly scheduled professional show on the air at a minimum of one terrestrial or satellite radio station – at the time of publication.  Now you know the criteria, so who’s #1 this year? Number two, and three?  Click here to find out.

ppmunitRound Four of October PPM Data Released.  The fourth of four rounds of October 2014 PPM 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 survey period was September 11 through October 8.  TALKERS magazine’s sister publication RadioInfo has all of the numbers from subscribing stations here.  In addition, managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his “Ten Takeaways” from this batch of ratings on the main page at RadioInfo.com here.

salemcommunicationsTwo More Salem News/Talkers Take ‘The Answer’ Brand.  Joining the 11 Salem Communications-owned news/talk station to begin using “The Answer” as their brand are WRC, Washington and KLUP, San Antonio.  Beginning November 4, they become “AM 1260 The Answer” and “AM 930 The Truth,” respectively.  Salem VP director of spoken word format Phil Boyce comments, “Since this is decision day in America, we felt the perfect time to make the brand name switch was on Election Day, and both markets were ready to go.”  Boyce says the brand has resonated with listeners in the markets where the company is using it.

napabroadcasting logoSchechtman Launches Local Digital Effort NapaBroadcasting.com.  Napa Valley broadcasting pro Jeff Schechtman – for the past 10 years the GM of radio stations KVON and KVYN in the region – is launching an online radio station targeting the Napa Valley community.  Schechtman is partnering with Napa Valley College and the operation’s offices and studios are located on the school’s campus.  In a press release, Schechtman notes that since leaving KVON and KVYN, former local talk station KVON flipped to sports using Fox schechtmanjeffSports Radio and he says both stations have outsourced their news.  “There is currently no original audio reporting and no chance for the community to hear the voices of local leaders, opinion makers or other citizens.”  He says his venture hopes to provide that local content.  “Suddenly it became clear to me and others in the community that there was a huge need for local programming that wasn’t being served.  Napa also provides a unique economic opportunity, because in addition to local news and talk, we can expand the effort to incorporate wine, food and health programing, which has both local and worldwide appeal.  We can use the internet for both local, regional and worldwide purposes.”  The partnership with Napa Valley College provides both programming and creative personnel.  Music programing will also start in January.  Schechtman believes that being on a college campus helps provide the energy and creativity that represents what this effort is about.  “This is radio for the way we live now,” he explains.

r'nelgaryOdds & Sods.  With the move of evening host Rich Zeoli from the evening shift to afternoon drive at CBS RADIO’s WPHT, Philadelphia, current afternoon drive co-host Gary R’nel slides back into the 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm time slot.  R’nel has been working with Dick Morris who exits the station on November 5…..New general managers are named by Salem Communications for its San Diego and Sacramento station groups.  Dale Hendry relocates to San Diego to lead the team there. He moves south from the company’s Sacramento cluster where he’s been serving as GM.  Taking over Hendry’s role in Sacramento is Mark Durkin who is promoted from his director of sales position.  And Scott Hamilton becomes general sales manager in Sacramento.

B&OLive showBig Bax & O’Brien Bash in Springfield.  The long-running, highly-successful morning talk team of Bax & O’Brien (Mike “Bax” Baxendale and John O’Brien) of Saga Communications’ classic rocker, WAQY (Rock 102), Springfield, Massachusetts presented their second annual “Thursday Night Live” show last night (10/30).  The bawdy, irreverent comedy spectacular played before a sold-out house of more than 200 core fans at downtown Springfield’s prestigious City Stage theater whoharrisongoldsteinBOsmall paid $27 each for the honor of being entertained by a slew of guests and performers that included salty crooner Red Peters & the Alan Pinchloaf Singers, show producer/newsman/sidekick Steve Nagel, a “mystery guest,” comedic appearances by several high-profile local sponsors as well as hilarious video drop ins from Lionel of LionelMedia.com and show regular, Fitsy. Pictured above (l-r):  Bax & O’Brien on stage.  Pictured at right (l-r): Saga Communications EVP Steve Goldstein and TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison with a photo bomb appearance of associate publisher Matthew B. Harrison taken at a selfie machine set up in the theater lobby.

journalcommunicationsJournal Reports Radio Revenue Up 5.1% in Q3.  Bucking the industry-wide third quarter trend, Journal Communications is reporting a downright outstanding quarter for its radio and television division.  On the radio side, operating earnings were up 16.1% and the net revenue figure of $21.6 million saw a percentage hike of 5.1%.  Television net revenue was up 22.8% but publishing fell 5.4%.  The irony here is that Journal is entering into a complex deal with E.W. Scripps that would put the combined TV and radio properties into one company and the publishing platform into another called Journal Media Group.  Journal Communications CEO Steve Smith states, “Journal benefitted from continued growth in television retransmission revenue along with significant political and issue advertising spending in a number of our markets.  Our focused broadcast sales efforts grew both television and radio revenue, excluding retransmission and political, by approximately 3% and drove television and radio digital revenue up 22% and 31%, respectively.”  Journal has fared better than other radio station owners in the political advertising arena by luck of the draw – it owns stations in states and markets with tight and high-profile races and ballot issues.

wmaldiner10-14Another Stop on the ‘WMAL Diner Tour.’  This photo is from the latest stop on the October “WMAL Diner Tour” in which the station broadcasts (each Friday this month) live from a different diner in Maryland or Virginia.  It’s all part of the station’s content leading up to Tuesday’s elections.  Seen here are (from left to right): guest Ed Henry, Fox News White House correspondent; WMAL “Mornings On The Mall” hosts Larry O’Connor and Brian Wilson.

Mid-Term Elections Take Over Top Spot on Talkers TenTM.  After three weeks of the Ebola pandemic threat as the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio, the run-up to Tuesday’s mid-term elections was the prevailing topic this week.  At #2 was the domestic Ebola cases and the threat of a global pandemic.  Coming in at #3 was the battle against ISIS in Iraq and Western citizens joining the radical organization, followed by the 2016 presidential prospects 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.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

KFWBsports legendsLos Angeles Sports Media Legends.  The opening of the Los Angeles Clippers 2014-15 season was the reason for the remote broadcast from “Fan Fest” outside the Staples Center in Los Angeles for the team’s flagship KFWB “The Beast 980.”  Pictured here are (from left to right): Ralph Lawler, who appears on the station at 7:30 each morning; midday personality Fred Roggin; and late morning syndicated talk host Jim Rome.  Additionally, the station’s other weekday personalities Marques Johnson, Jeanne Zelasko, Brett Winterble and George Wrighster appeared at the broadcast.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

| September 24, 2014

harrisonherald2Michael Harrison Sings Praises of Podcasting as “a Fundamental Broadcasting Process” of the New Era.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison (left) reiterated his longtime praise of podcasting as “the best thing to come down the pike since sliced bread” as a natural and obvious supplement to the tools available to broadcasters “in distributing their media products to a potentially unlimited global consumer base.”  In a statement made Monday (9/22) during the weekly TALKERS conference call, Harrison described podcasting as “so simple, elegant and traditional a distribution concept, it is amazing many people in radio are still confused as to exactly what it means now that it has become reincarnated in a digital age configuration and is being called podcasting.”  According to Harrison, “Podcasting has always been around.  On a fundamental level, a ‘podcast’ is simply a convenient unit of packaging in the distribution of a cohesive piece of pre-produced media content.  From the perspective of basic media theory, music records were ‘podcasts’ before the advent of the internet.  In 1978 and ‘79, when the infamous Ayatollah Khomeini — while in ‘exile’ in France — instigated a revolution that ultimately ousted the Shah from Iran, he did so, in part, by sending his manifesto and doctrines to his constituents via recordings on audiocassettes which were duplicated and/or ‘bicycled’ around the country from interested person to interested person.  That was also a pre-internet form of podcasting.”  Harrison says that modern digital podcasting should be a fundamental service of every radio station, network, syndicator and individual radio show every bit as important as their on-air service and online streaming.  He says, “Basically the word ‘pod’ – although stemming from an Apple device – should mean programming on demand. What we are really talking about is the vital and growing role ON DEMANDpattiznorm programming will play in the presentation of radio-oriented content.  We might soon reach a point when the only real-time, appointment broadcasting in both radio and television will be ‘live events’ most typified by sports presentations, breaking news, and talk shows dependent upon live listener/guest interaction.”  Harrison continues, “We will be getting into deeper and deeper discussions about the optimum programming of podcasts (or on demand content) as we figure out better and more practical ways to slice and dice the episodes into pragmatically digestible portions.”  When asked if he could cite an example of a broadcaster, station or company effectively executing podcasting at this point on the timeline, he immediately responded, “I’d put my money on Norm Pattiz and what he is doing with Podcast One.  This prestigious platform he is developing with attractive on demand entities performed by significant names with built in followings is an example of elegant, obvious genius at work.  This is an example to emulate.  Podcast One is going places and fast!”  He concludes, “But there is room on this train for everyone who has decent content and a handle on digital age promotion.  Thankfully, lots of bright folks in radio are well on their way to fully capitalizing on this marvelous technological gift.”

ludlumandyLudlum Leaves KNX. After nearly six years as director of news programming at Los Angeles’ KNX, Andy Ludlum exits the CBS RADIO all-news outlet.  He spent more than 16 years at onetime (similarly-formatted) KNX sibling KFWB in a variety of capacities including program director; news director (2003 – 2006); and executive producer (1998 – 2003).  KNX news director Julie Chin is the station’s interim PD until CBS RADIO Los Angeles market manager Dan Kearney hires a successor to Ludlum.  After a -.6 to 2.4 (May – June, 6+), KNX advanced to 2.5 in July and to 2.7 (#14) in August. It registered a 3.1 in January (#9) and March (#10).

podcastone logoThree New Multi-Media Talent Debut PodcastOne Shows.  Speaking of Norm Pattiz’s PodcastOne, the company announces three new podcast series preparing to debut.  TV and radio legend Larry King and his wife Shawn King will premiere their podcast on October 10.  “Pawn Stars” cast member Rick Harrison debuts his “Pawncast” next month, and Ultimate Fight Club star Chael Sonnen begins a series in October as well.  The Kings will interview guests and Shawn will lend a female perspective to the show.  Larry King comments, “I’ve never worked with a partner before.  It’s going to be fun doing this with the wife!”  Harrison will talk about history, pop culture and more, plus speak with Las Vegas mainstays and celebrities on his show.  And, saying the company is building upon its colossal success with former WWE stars Steve Austin, Chris Jericho, Jim Ross, Roddy Piper, Bill Goldberg and Jesse Ventura, the PodcastOne is targeting the lucrative MMA audience with Sonnen’s new weekly show featuring mixed martial arts talk and special guests.

scba logoSCBA White Paper Contrasts AM/FM Radio Satisfaction with That of Pandora.  In an effort to combat the perception that pureplays like Pandora are running away with consumer satisfaction – and more important, being an effective advertising medium – the Southern California Broadcasters Association is issuing its latest white paper titled, “Consumer Response and Listening Satisfaction of Broadcast Radio vs. Pandora Internet Music Service.”  Using data from Bridge Ratings LLC and Scarborough, the study included a survey of 4,339 Pandora Prime users and 4,400 heavy users of broadcast radio.  The SCBA states while marketers are always looking for something new and different, “questions of how the audience is measured and/or its effectiveness over time may not have been looked at in the rush of the ‘new media blitz’ on advertisers.  Moreover, how is the consumer using broadcast radio vs. the Pandora internet music service over time and what are the trend lines advertisers should concern themselves with to protect their media investment and ensure the media plans are performing as they should?”  Some of the conclusions reached by the SCBA include: customer dissatisfaction with Pandora over time as evidenced by a 40% drop in reported satisfaction over the course of three years; the collapse of session use on Pandora; and diminished awareness – or recall – of ads heard on Pandora versus broadcast radio.  See the white paper here.

wtoplogoWTOP, Washington Holds Live Online Chat Regarding Missing UV Student.  With the disappearance of University of Virginia student Hannah Graham a top story in the region, Hubbard Radio’s WTOP, Washington held a live chat about the case with reporters Neil Augenstein and Mike Murillo from a press conference in Charlottesville.  Augenstein Tweeted statements from authorities and the questions from the media and then took questions from visitors to WTOP.com.  It was during the chat that Augenstein reported the breaking development that 32-year-old Jesse Matthew has been charged with abduction with intent to defile in connection with the missing Graham.

woodwardeliseWoodward Exits KJR-AM, Seattle.  Sports talk outlet KJR-AM cuts midday personality Elise Woodward from the payroll.  She was co-host of the 10@10 show with Jerry Brewer on the iHeartMedia-owned station.  The Seattle Times reports the former UW basketball star was surprised by the move after being at KJR since 2002.  She worked in afternoon drive with Mike Gastineau for four years until Gastineau retired from the station in 2012.  Woodward maintains her roles as both a sideline reporter for UW football on crosstown KOMO and color analyst for UW women’s basketball home games that air on KKNW.

espnPDspanelESPN Holds Affiliate Programming Conference.  At the recent affiliate programming conference held at ESPN’s Bristol, Connecticut campus, radio PDs and brand managers at affiliate stations took part in panels and discussions on such topics as the state of sports radio, best programming practices, how to produce great talk shows and more.  Pictured here taking part in the “Producing Great Talk Shows” panel are (from left to right): ESPN’s Colin Cowherd, KGMZ, San Francisco PD Jason Barrett, ESPN Radio talent producer Josh Drew, and “The Herd” producer Vince Kates-Paulus.

U.S. Strikes in Syria/ISIS Fighting Coalition, Domestic Violence and the NFL, Climate Summit 2014, Hillary Clinton 2016 Prospects, Mid-Term Elections, White House Security Breach, and Ebola Virus Pandemic Threat Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/23).  The strikes against ISIS in Syria by the U.S. military and the building of a coalition; the NFL’s domestic violence cases; President Obama’s address at the UN Climate Summit 2014; the prospects for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential race; the looming mid-term elections and potential majority changes in Congress; the recent Secret Service White House security breach; and the threat of an Ebola virus pandemic were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

| September 16, 2014

iheartmedia logoClear Channel Becomes iHeartMedia.  This is a major name change for a heritage radio company, but, as the press release indicates, it reflects the company’s belief that it’s become a “one-of-a-kind multi-platform media company” that has moved beyond just radio.  Chairman and CEO Bob Pittman states, “iHeartMedia reflects our commitment to being the media company that provides the most entertainment to the most engaged audiences wherever they go, with more content and more events in more places on more devices.  We have massive consumer reach and influence across our platforms because we know how to program the live content people want to hear, see and share right now, we are the largest mobile media company in existence — more than 60 percent of our broadcast usage is out of home, compared to just 30 percent for other mobilepittmanbob devices — and we deliver more live programming than any other media company today, built on the national and local on-air personalities who are the heart of our powerful broadcast radio franchises.  Combined with Clear Channel Outdoor’s reach of over half a billion people worldwide across 30 countries and five continents, it’s clear that no other company can match our reach or broad spectrum of media platforms.”  Clear Channel Outdoor will retain its name.  Pittman adds, “In a world where 2x ROI is judged as successful, Nielsen has shown that radio delivers 6x ROI on average.  It’s because we combine the power and predictably of mass reach with the immediacy and relevance of live programming and the unique and powerful engagement that consumers have with their favorite radio stations and personalities.  The opportunity for the new iHeartMedia is to use all of these industry-leading assets together in new ways — extending our massive reach and cultural influence across radio, outdoor, digital, social and live events to make it easier for advertisers to deliver the most relevant, real-time messages across all our platforms at scale, amplified by social media and mobile, to get a superior ROI to other media.”

harrisonherald2Michael Harrison:  “The Systematic Abandonment of ‘Radio’ by ‘Radio’ is a Disturbing Trend.”   TALKERS and RadioInfo publisher Michael Harrison warns of what he terms “a disturbing half-baked trend, that although understandable in the big picture of communications, poses an unnecessarily sped-up threat to the livelihoods of everyone in the radio business – not to mention the fundamental role of audio-media in both the spoken-word and musical arts.”  Harrison acknowledges, “The move away from the word ‘radio’ in the lexicon of our industry is certainly understandable from a sales and marketing standpoint and  it makes total sense to create unified multi-media platforms for today’s mega-consolidated, corporate behemoths to compete effectively in the ‘noisy’ world of the emerging digital era.  However, those who work in the media arts that are fundamentally built upon aural foundations – spoken-word shows and music creation – will face increasingly limited opportunities to present their wares to an interested consumer base as venues and business opportunities evaporate at an exponential rate.”  Harrison observes, “As we move more and more into a world of screens and not speakers, the only talent that will have a chance to survive in a bottom-line driven, corporate environment will be those whose assets are visually gifted.  That does not bode well for the brilliant wordsmiths and musical geniuses who most likely do not have faces for television.  It also does not hold much of a future for the deeper aspect of communication that is aurally based – a means of expression that runs deep within our very humanity, holding a unique and special place within our brains.”  Harrison concludes, “Those of us who are still proud of and value the role of ‘radio,’ audio-oriented music, and the theater of the mind, must give considerable consideration as to what the role, if any, audio-only media will have in this new age.  It can and must be respected and preserved within this inevitable, emerging grid or we face the likely prospect of devolving overnight from making great radio and music to extremely cheesy television.”

wjbc logoTim Lewis Named PD, Afternoon Host at WJBC, Bloomington, Illinois.   Thirty-year radio pro Tim Lewis is the new program director and afternoon personality at Cumulus Media’s news/talk WJBC, Bloomington “The Voice of Central Illinois.”  Lewis was most recently with KBLY, Idaho Falls hosting AM drive and serving as program director.  He’s also worked at such heritage signals as KSL, Salt Lake City; KOA, Denver; and WLW, Cincinnati and has received numerous industry awards.  During the 1990s, he hosted a nationally syndicated sports talk show on the One on One Sports Radio Network, eventually clearing more than 250 stations.  Cumulus EVP, programming and content John Dickey states, “Tim Lewis’ long and diverse experience in spoken-word radio make him the perfect choice to lead the remarkable WJBC programming team and guide the station to even greater success.”

ingrahamlauraLaura Ingraham Show Podcast Debuts.  The nationally syndicated Laura Ingraham show is now heard on demand via PodcastOne as the Norm Pattiz-founded and let podcast producer and distributor launches the new program format.  A press statement from PodcastOne notes, “Laura’s phenomenally successful radio program, which airs on over 200 stations, has been a radio staple for a long time but market conditions have now made it very difficult for an independently produced program to get distribution in many of the major markets.”  Pattiz adds, “As undeniably great as Laura’s program is, it doesn’t air on a single Clear Channel (now iHeartMedia) station.  Her ability to make and influence news is a well-known fact.  So as of this week, the Laura Ingraham show can be heard in every market in the country as well as around the globe, on-demand from PodcastOne.  Obviously, Laura’s fans are finding her and significantly expanding her radio audience.”

wodt logoOdds & Sods.  Former Spanish sports talk WODT, New Orleans has flipped to English-language sports as “Fox Sports 1280.”  The iHeartMedia-owned station had been airing ESPN Deportes  content…..The Philadelphia Phillies and CBS RADIO’s WIP and WPHT have signed a one-year deal to keep Phillies play-by-play on the company’s stations through the 2015 season.  Phillies management tells the Philadelphia Business Journal that the one-year pact will allow the sides to hopefully work on a long-term deal before the end of next summer…..espnW and ESPN Radio are collaborating on special program dealing with domestic violence in the NFL and the Ray Rice case.  It’s called “espnW Presents: The State of the NFL” airing on ESPN Radio and ESPNRadio.com at 9:00 pm ET.  The program is being hosted by Jemele Hill and Cari Champion.  espnW voices Jane McManus, Kate Fagan and Sarah Spain, who have been sharing their perspectives on issue, will be featured.

wqamschellenbergerMarc Hochman Show Voice Schnellenberger Honored.  Florida football legend and “voice” of “The Marc Hochman Show w/ Zach Krantz” on WQAM, Miami, Howard Schnellenberger, was honored on Saturday as Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton renamed its football field “Howard Schnellenberger Field.”  Schnellenberger has coached for the Miami Dolphins, Miami Hurricanes, and Florida Atlantic University among many other teams.  Fans of the Hochman show know Schnellenberger voices all its opens, rejoins, and imaging.  Pictured here are (from left to right): Hochman, Schnellenberger, and Krantz.

conclaveThe Conclave Announces Student Scholarships.  Continuing the scholarship program that’s been part of The Conclave’s mission since 1979, the 2014 Conclave Scholarships are announced.  The five scholarships available from educational institutions include: The Bill Gavin Memorial Scholarship which includes application fees, books & supplies and tuition valued at $16,200, awarded by the Specs Howard School of Broadcast Media Arts, Southfield, MI. Competition for this scholarship will begin shortly with details forthcoming; The Dennis Becker Memorial scholarship which is a half tuition scholarship valued at $17,000, awarded by the Sanford Brown College, Mendota Heights, Minneapolis; The Conclave Music Industry Scholarship which is a 25-50% tuition discount valued up to $20,000 awarded by the McNally Smith College of Music, St. Paul, Minnesota; and details regarding The Marc Birger Memorial Scholarship to Kean University and The Doug Lee Memorial Scholarship will be announced soon.  For information about the 39th Conclave visit www.http://theconclave.com.

cbi logoJournalist Training Session Available at Seattle College Broadcasters Conference.  At next month’s CBI National Student Electronic Media Conference in Seattle (October 20-25) KUOW, KPLU, NPR and College Broadcasters Inc. are offering a unique training opportunity.  The student media project is seeking student applicants to their first event.  The week-long session is an opportunity for college and graduate students to learn from professional journalists.  A committee of journalists will select up to six students to pair one-to-one with public media journalists and college multimedia instructors from around the country. Three students will be selected from the Seattle/Tacoma area.  The Student Multimedia Project will emphasize multimedia storytelling focused on character development.  Students who are selected for the project will each find a person to focus on for their story — someone doing something interesting who is willing and available to be interviewed.  Students will produce a radio story about the person and then tell their story differently for the web.  NPR consultant and project manager Doug Mitchell says, “NPR and its member stations support the Project because it allows us to discover and groom a diverse pool of young talent.  The Project gives public media professionals a chance to see if students have what it takes to do the work and lets our industry build a pipeline of new professionals who understand our way of storytelling.”

The NFL and Domestic Violence, Hillary Clinton in Iowa/2016 Presidential Prospects, Obama Forms ISIS Coalition, Mid-Term Elections, Scotland Separation Referendum, and Ebola Pandemic Threat Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/15).  The furor over domestic violence cases in the NFL and the league’s plans to address the situation; Hillary Clinton’s weekend visit to Iowa and the probability she’ll run for president in 2016; President Obama’s formation of a coalition to fight ISIS; the looming mid-term elections; the build-up to Scotland’s Thursday referendum to leave the United Kingdom; and the threat of an Ebola pandemic were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

| September 9, 2014

nagleraward14Radio Television Digital News Association Honors Nagler. This past Friday night (9/5) in Nashville, CBS Radio News vice president Harvey Nagler received the Radio Television Digital News Association‘s John F. Hogan Distinguished Service Award.  The honor recognizes an individual’s contributions to the journalism profession and freedom of the press. During his acceptance speech, Nagler stated, “Schools must be incubators for innovation in a field that desperately needs it.”  Many years ago, those in radio, television, and print, Nagler remarks, were “the messengers,” who decided what Americans would know.  “Today it is the reverse,” he opines.  “Everyone can publish – everyone can, at least, perceive themselves as journalists.  Content is ubiquitous.  It is often hard to discern the big picture from individual snapshots of information that flood our devices.  To place context on stories, many still seek out journalistic entities with traditional values.  In the end, it proves we still need to be able to turn to journalists and news organizations we can trust.”  Believing that the public’s “appetite for news has never been greater,” Nagler emphasizes, “It is our job, our responsibility, our mission to maintain that trust as we broaden our roles on new platforms, while continuing to serve our audiences on our traditional platforms.”  Prior to becoming vice president of CBS Radio News nearly 17 years ago, Nagler is credited with establishing the phrase, “traffic and weather together on the eights” when he was director of news programming for CBS Radio New York’s WCBS-AM.

neerrichardA Case for Accurate Headlines.  A story published today in TALKERS magazine by WFAN, New York sports talk host Richard Neer underscores the position talk hosts often find themselves in today when taking on a delicate – and complicated – issue.  Neer accurately points out that in today’s media culture, where all content must be immediate, fresh and provocative, there is little time for anything that isn’t black and white or that involves any depth.  Neer writes that for the talk host, “There is no tolerance for asking questions that have no easy answers.  Certain stories are reported from only one angle.  Anyone who carefully parses a statement that the press declares politically incorrect is defined as supporting the dark side.  Forget nuance, once you are attacked by the consensus bullies, you can only surrender and apologize, lest you lose your livelihood.”  He points to one of the culprits in this matter: the news headline.  Neer says so many headlines are misleading and are written purposely that way to tantalize to get people to read the story.  But often times, upon closer inspection, it becomes clear the headline is misleading or even the exact opposite of what the text of the story shows.  Still, what readers (assuming people actually go on to read the story) often come away with is a “glib conclusion based on the headline.”  Read his entire piece here.

joycebrianBrian Joyce Show Gets Permanent Billing on WGOW, Chattanooga.  Mid-afternoon talk show host Brian Joyce tells TALKERS magazine that the 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm time slot on Cumulus Media’s WGOW, Chattanooga “Talk Radio 102.3” is now officially called the Brian Joyce show.  Since he took over wgow logothe slot in April of 2012, the daypart had been called “Live & Local.”  Joyce also reports that since he began hosting his show, that daypart has gone from 10th in the market among Men 25-54, and 15th in the market among Persons 25-54, to among the top three in both demos, making it the first time in station history that this has been accomplished.

wgwg logoTribune Sports Talker WGWG-LP, Chicago Announces Changes.  A couple of changes to report at the sports talk outlet WGN Radio programs on low-power FM WGWG, branded “The Game 87.7 FM.”  In conjunction with Tribune Media, the station announces Chicago Bears’ cornerback Tim Jennings and safety Ryan Mundy will join as on-air contributors appearing on segments during the “Kap & Haugh” and the “Jarrett, Harry & Spike” shows, as well as Jennings co-hosting the weekly hour-long program, “The Jennings & Jarrett Show,” with The Game’s Jarrett Payton.  Jennings and Mundy will also provide updates on WGN-TV during the morning and evening news.  At the same time, as Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports, Howard Griffith goes to part time with his duties at the station, due to his workload at the Big Ten Network.  Griffith had been sharing equal billing with Alex Quigley and Ben Finfer on the station’s afternoon drive program.

clipinteractiveClip Interactive Announces Revenue Successes in Portland and Indy Markets.  Saying that it measures its success based on the new advertising dollars that its interactive radio apps bring to its station partners, Clip Interactive announces its apps developed for Alpha Media and Salem Broadcasting in Portland and Cumulus Radio in Indianapolis have generated more than $1 million in new revenue to date in 2014.  Further, the company says Clip Radio-powered stations are producing $100,000 of new revenue within 30-45 days of launch and Clip says this shows not only that radio advertising works, but also proves that an innovative and revenue-generating mobile solution is now available and radio advertisers embrace it.  Moreover, Clip says this net new revenue is coming from multiple sources including advertisers who are completely new to radio and returning advertisers who previously left radio for digital media.  Alpha Media’s president and CEO Bob Proffitt comments, “We are now able to attract advertisers that had previously abandoned the medium for alternative digital solutions.  Through the Clip Radio-powered apps, we are able to build a stronger relationship with both our listeners and our advertisers, providing both groups with compelling content that they cannot find anywhere else. We are eager to expand our interactive radio capabilities to our other Alpha Media markets.”

TALKERS Affiliate Roundup.  KNEI-FM, Cedar Rapids adds Envision Networks-distributed VirtualNWS Weather Reports featuring meteorologist Laura Huckabee…..The Sun Broadcast Group-syndicated Marilu Henner show joins the programming at KUSH-AM, Cushing, Oklahoma and KJFF, Festus, Missouri.

Obama ‘Theater of Being President’ Comment, Obama Drops Immigration Changes, Ray Rice Cut and Suspended by NFL, U.S. ISIS Strategy-Wednesday Press Conference, Global Warming Controversy, Midwestern Child Respiratory Virus Mystery, Bruce Levenson Scandal, and Joan Rivers Funeral Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/8).  Criticism of President Obama’s comment on “Meet the Press” that the “theater of being president” doesn’t come naturally to him; Obama’s decision to not pursue immigration law changes via executive order before the mid-term elections; the Baltimore Ravens cut Ray Rice and the NFL suspends him indefinitely after the full video of him punching out his wife in an elevator is revealed; Wednesday’s scheduled press conference during which President Obama will address the US’s ISIS strategy; increased scrutiny of the global warming theory; the mystery of a respiratory virus affecting thousands of Midwestern children; Atlanta Hawks owner Bruce Levenson’s admission of a racist email forces sale of team; and the weekend funeral of comedienne Joan Rivers were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

| August 21, 2014

Ferguson Provides News/Talk Radio with Red Meat on Controversial Issues for Both Left and Right.  The tragic events that have unfolded in Ferguson, MO have provided talk radio opinion leaders from the left, right and in-between with more than enough fresh material on mainstay topics around which to build their cases.  Some see it as another horrific indication of unjust racial inequality in America and the troubling expansion of a militarized police state.  Others see it as further infuriating evidence of the rise of crime, unwarranted traduptomplaying of the race card and growing disrespect and lack of support for law enforcement.  Almost all are concerned about its reflection of the declining state of journalism and increasing suppression of the press and First Amendment rights.  Asked by Salem Radio Network VP news & talk programming, Tom Tradup (for a forthcoming article in September’s Townhall Magazine) his take on talk radio’s role in the matter and whether he sees it as negative or positive, TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “Ferguson contains a tempest of pressing and controversial American issues. There’s red meat for both the left and right in this tragedy.  Talk radio – collectively – has played a positive role in responding to and covering it by airing all the different ideologies, including those that are politically incorrect, and moving the vital discussion forward.  Some hosts have gone directly to the scene putting local people on the air to present  real life perspectives, thus bringing the public closer to the disturbingly obscured truth.”  The article will contain comments from Sean Hannity, Mike Gallagher, and SiriusXM personality David Webb who went to Ferguson where he interviewed a wide variety of residents including African American businesspeople.  Tradup tells TALKERS, “I’m proud of our industry leading the national conversation on this issue, and look forward to highlighting the great work many shows did inviting audience members to experience the story-behind-the-headlines.”

gallagher mikeMike Gallagher: “I Can – and Will – Do Better.”  On his Salem-syndicated talk program yesterday (Wednesday, 8/20), Mike Gallagher became embroiled with one of his callers (“James”). The two discussed James’ opinion that releasing surveillance video of 18-year-old Michael Brown robbing a convenience store prior to the shooting that took Brown’s life was, in and of itself, a “violent act.” There was considerable shouting between host Gallagher and caller “James” with the latter hanging up. Gallagher maintains the on-air exchange bothered him the rest of the day and it prompted him to write on Facebook Wednesday night, “Today on my radio show, my emotions got the best of me. I have been bothered by that exchange all day and I wanted to formally apologize. While I steadfastly disagree with [caller James’] contention that the surveillance video of Michael Brown robbing a convenience store was not a ‘violent act,’ I should not have interrupted James as I did. I will give a more detailed and specific apology on the air tomorrow, but I wanted to put it in writing tonight. I should not have reacted the way I did, and I certainly should not invite people to call my show and then disagree so passionately that I don’t give them much of a chance to talk. I am sorry. I can – and will – do better.”

mason danDan Mason To Cox Media Group Tampa As OM. To clarify, the Dan Mason appointed operations manager for three Cox Media Group Tampa facilities is the former WODS, Boston program director – not the CBS Radio president and chief executive officer with the same name. CMG vice president and market manager Keith Lawless comments, “Dan’s approach to programming is firmly in line with ours and he is a welcome addition to our team. I am confident his contributions will help us continue to compete and win.” Cox Media Group vice president of programming Steve Smith explains, “We took our time searching for the right fit, and Dan is that guy. He will add his expertise in management and talent development to some of our other super-brands in Tampa. We welcome Dan to the CMG family.” Mason – who begins his new assignment in about two weeks (9/8) – states that he is “thrilled” to join the “fantastic team” in Tampa on “three of the most exciting and unique brands not just within Cox Media Group, but the country. I am grateful to Keith Lawless and Steve Smith for the opportunity to lead the team.” Mason’s Tampa OM duties involve alternative WSUN “97-X,” CHR WPOI “Hot 101.5,” and talk WHPT “102.5 The Bone.” He will also be director of branding & programming for “Hot 101.5.” Mason’s previous programming background includes Clear Channel Miami CHR WHYI “Y-100″; Entercom Sacramento outlets CHR KDND-FM “107.9 The End” and hot AC KBZC “Star 106.5″; and Clear Channel Cleveland CHR WAKS, “96.5 Kiss-FM.”

loesch danaCMG Talkers Clear “The Dana Show.” The agreement for Radio America‘s “The Dana Show” includes Cox Media Group talk outlets in Atlanta (WSB-AM); Orlando (WDBO-FM); Jacksonville (WOKV-AM/FM); Dayton (WHIO-AM/FM); Tulsa (KRMG-AM/FM); and Athens, Georgia (WGAU). Cox Media Group vice president of marketing/news-talk-sports format leader Nick Roberts comments that, “Cox Media Group strongly believes in growing new talk talent — people who can be the next superstars. We believe Dana has the ability to reach the next generation of listeners.” Radio America chief operating officer Mike Paradiso states, “The growth of ‘The Dana Show’ has been outstanding. Dana and all of us at Radio America are excited about her success across the country. It is a privilege to be working with a great company like Cox and their heritage stations.” Host Dana Loesch originates her daily program from Emmis St. Louis’ KFTK.

sabowalterWhen Broadened Aspirations Deserve a Thank-You. For well over one-half century (1926 – 1983), New York City’s female-targeted WOR was America’s #1 rated radio station and the country’s top-biller. Similarly-programmed talkers KABC, Los Angeles and WGN, Chicago were typically second and third. Partnership pioneer Tom O’Neil understood that his business was show business and grew the crown jewel of the RKO Radio Network – WOR – by hiring major stars from other media. Nowadays though, when topflight radio personalities seek to broaden their horizons in other media, most radio managers try to quash such plans. Tipping his cap to the O’Neil model, Sabo Media chief executive officer Walter Sabo strongly suggests that when on-air personalities possess the ambition to do more than radio, management should reward them with a hearty “Thank-You.” Click here to read Sabo’s exclusive TALKERS article.

donahue harryDonahue to Retire from KYW. After a five-decade Philadelphia broadcasting career, Harry Donahue is retiring. Tomorrow (8/22) is the last day on the job for the morning drive co-anchor at CBS Radio-owned all-news KYW. CBS Radio Philadelphia senior vice president and market manager Marc Rayfield states, “Harry’s voice is one of Philadelphia’s most familiar. His contributions to KYW are immeasurable. He is a consummate professional and will be sorely missed by those who have worked with him all these years, as well as our many listeners who set their alarms to 1060 each morning.” Donahue reflects that when he was hired at KYW, “I couldn’t believe it. It was, and remains, the preeminent radio station in Philadelphia. I have done what I always wanted to do. To work in my hometown and having been part of this iconic radio station – it just doesn’t get any better.” Donahue joined KYW in 1973. He began his career as an announcer for Philadelphia’s former WPBS (now WUSL) and as a manager of media relations for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. Donahue is the longtime play-by-play voice for Temple University athletics – men’s football and basketball. The latter is heard on KYW’s talk sibling WPHT; he will continue those responsibilities.

hartmann thomTree Media Releases Climate Crisis Film “CARBON.” Production company Tree Media is supported by the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation (DiCaprio is the film’s narrator). Made in collaboration with nationally syndicated, WYD Media progressive talk host (and recipient of the 2014 TALKERS Freedom of Speech Award) Thom Hartmann, CARBON explores crucial issues related to the climate crisis. Hartmann stresses, “We need serious action to address the most pressing issue of our time. Communities across the world have taken action in the most direct and effective ways possible by taxing and trading carbon. For us to beat this crisis, many more need to join.” According to DiCaprio, “97% of climate scientists agree: Climate change is happening now and humans are responsible. We cannot sit idly by and watch the fossil fuel industry make billions at our collective expense.  We must put a price on carbon — now.” This is the first film in the “Green World Rising” series that will include three additional ones covering solutions to the climate crisis. Director Leila Connors explains, “This film is meant to be an asset for the climate movement and to generate momentum for the global reduction of carbon emissions. We must move toward renewable energy and to create a real solution.” CARBON was produced by George DiCaprio, Mathew Schmid, Roee Sharon and Earl Katz, and presented by Thom Hartmann.

Mark Hochman 250Return of the Hochman Burger. For the second year, Beasley Broadcast Group Miami’s WQAM “Sports Radio 560″ afternoon (3:00 pm – 7:00 pm) driver Marc Hochman can go into a certain Boca Raton establishment – Red’s Backwoods BBQ – and order a burger that is named after him. “As a guy, I don’t think there is a bigger honor than [that],” he contends. “In my radio career, I have interviewed everyone from Hulk Hogan and Mike Tyson to Pat Sajak and Al Roker. As a program director, I have been nominated twice for ‘Sports Radio Station of the Year’ for the Marconi Awards, but I have never been more proud of anything than [this]. For the record, the “Hochman Burger” is accompanied with cheddar cheese, barbeque sauce, and is topped with Funyuns.

NFL LogoTrojans Live 125Los Angeles’ KFWB to Air NFL and NCAA Slate. Set to launch the station’s all-sports format early next month, KFWB, Los Angeles newly-named program director Owen Murphy reveals KFWB will carry a complete schedule of NFL and NCAA play-by-play. In addition, the hour-long USC sports spotlight “Trojans Live” will return for its second season. The Tuesday evening (6:00 pm – 7:00 pm) program devoted to USC sports features men’s head football coach Steve Sarkisian. This is KFWB’s fifth year as flagship of the NBA‘s Los Angeles Clippers and it becomes the exclusive Los Angeles home for Westwood One‘s coverage of all NFL Sunday night, Monday night and Thursday night games. That schedule begins in two weeks (9/4) when Green Bay takes on reigning champion Seattle. Murphy states, “With rumors swirling about the NFL draft coming to Los Angeles in 2015, and maybe an NFL team as well, we could not be more excited to deliver great Westwood One football programming to a football hungry town so deserving of its own team. There is no better product than Westwood One’s March Madness play-by-play and we are proud to have the opportunity to present it to the most passionate and knowledgeable hoops fans in America.” The station’s broadcast schedule will include the NFC and AFC Championship games, Pro Bowl, and next February’s Super Bowl.

ragozino mike“Ragz” To Program Portland’s “Game.” Alpha Media Portland sports outlet KXTG “750 The Game” names Mike “Ragz” Ragozino program director and afternoon drive (3:00 pm – 7:00 pm) host. Executive vice president of programming Scott Mahalick comments, “‘Ragz’ is uniquely qualified to lead the staff of ‘The Game’ and practice what he preaches everyday on the air. He ‘gets’ the entertainment factor in sports radio like no one else in this business.” Ragozino reflects that ever since he got into the radio business, “It was always about taking a new challenge head on, without fear of failure, having fun and most importantly, entertaining the audience. Joining Alpha Media – and more specifically ‘750 The Game’ – offers me a chance to do what I love for an incredible company in a beautiful city that has the same passion for sports as I do.” The Queens, New York native has 12 years of classic rock programming/on-air experience at WNNJ, Sussex, New Jersey and WAOR, South Bend, Indiana. When WAOR flipped to sports in May 2012, it enabled “Ragz” to accomplish his dream of programming an all-sports station. In addition to programming it, he co-hosted a weekly one-hour show with Heisman Trophy winner Tim Brown. Ragozino begins his Portland assignment in just over two weeks (Monday, 9/8).

BOB Logo 125BOB-FM to the Romantic Rescue. “You’ll hear all sorts of stuff” is the way BOB-FM positions itself and a recent audio clip from the station underscores that positioning statement. This particular BOB-FM though is not an adult hits outlet here in the United States, but a radio station broadcasting at 106.7 and 106.9 in Knebworth, Hertford, Ware, Hatfield, Stevenage, Hitchin, Letchworth Garden City, Welwyn Garden City and Watton-at-Stone. Knebworth most likely gave away the location as the United Kingdom. Reminiscent of something syndicated personality “Delilah” or Karen Sharp on her nightly “Love Songs” show on Los Angeles adult contemporary KOST “Coast 103″ might do, BOB-FM morning talents (or “breakfast presenters,” as they are more elegantly called) Graham Mack and Amy Stevenson came to the aid of a young woman (“Sarah”) yearning to reconnect with her dream man (“Sam”). The back-story is that Sarah met Sam at a music festival that featured Justin Timberlake and it was love at first sight. The snafu was that Sarah didn’t get Sam’s number, so she did what was only logical – call BOB-FM to track him down. Her email to Mack and Stevenson recapped that part of the story and stated her desire to meet the 25-year-old, 6′ 5″ Hertfordshire dog trainer. It took Mack and Stevenson all of two days to locate him. Especially if you are a hopeless romantic, click here to listen to the complete interchange.

marshall robin“Proactive” Patient Will Overcome Ovarian Cancer. That is what Robin Marshall optimistically writes on her Facebook page. Cumulus Media‘s “Sound Solutions” production manager states that, “Short and sweet,” she has stage two or slight stage three Ovarian cancer but “all was removed.” Doctors “did snippets” from her other organs for biopsy purposes and regardless of the results,” Marshall will be treated with “a very strong regiment of chemo.” As she laments, “It is nothing that anyone looks forward to.” Realizing she has a difficult road ahead, Marshall will remain in the hospital until this Saturday (8/23), but she declares, “I have hope.” At the “end of the day,” however, Marshall stresses, she will survive Ovarian cancer because, “I was proactive. There are no options – I want to live.”   

ISIS Beheading, Ferguson Turmoil, Rick Perry Indictment, Gaza Crisis and ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Among Top Talk Stories Yesterday (8/20).  The stories listed in this headline were some of the most talked about on news/talk radio yesterday  However the breaking story of ISIS beheading American journalist James Wright Foley was by far the most-dominating conversation on American talk radio according to the ongoing research from TALKERS.  Check here tomorrow for the complete top stories and most-talked-about people listings for the entire week.

Le3007_texas_a&m_aggies-alternate-2012arfield Launches Spanish Network for Texas A&M Football. Beginning with next week’s (8/28) season opener against South Carolina, fans of the Texas A&M Aggies will hear complete Texas A&M pigskin game coverage in Spanish on Univision Radio Houston’s KLAT; Salem Espanol San Antonio’s KRDY; KAMA, El Paso; and MBM Radio McAllen’s KVJY. Aggies games will also be on SiriusXM Deportes en Vivo Channel 551. Chancellor John Sharp of The Texas A&M University System explains, “It is important we share the Texas A&M brand across the state, To do so, we need a Spanish language option for our fans. We believe this is a real step forward for Aggie sports as we begin our third season in the SEC.” The Texas A&M Spanish Network will feature Pedro Vela Almaguer on play-by-play and Alberto Rodriguez doing color commentary. There are 55 English-language radio affiliates on the Texas A&M Sports Network. All 12 Aggies’ regular season and any postseason games will be carried on the Texas A&M Spanish Network.

TALKERS Affiliate Roundup. Rich Beem & Sandy McIlree-hosted “Beemer & the Bald Guy” welcome Cumulus Myrtle Beach, South Carolina’s WSEA “100.3 The Team” as an affiliate to its Nineball Radio Networks-distributed Sunday morning golf show.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

| August 20, 2014

Bicentennial SSB Cover 175Views “Rising” on Rock Band’s “Spangled” Song Interpretation. Several months ago, TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison — a showman at heart — pondered the advantages of — and reaction to — opening the publication’s annual New York City seminar in June with a rousing, dramatic version of — all things — the National Anthem. The more he deliberated on it, the more he reasoned, why not. It has famously preceded every major sporting event and, truth be told, a multitude of minor ones as well. When done correctly and under optimum circumstances though, a spirited rendition of this country’s anthem can elicit powerfully positive emotions. Such was the case two months ago (6/20) at that very TALKERS confab when patriotic rock band Madison Rising gripped everyone’s attention and brought several to a misty-eye state with their “Star Spangled Banner” performance. The group now boasts sales of over 100,000 of “The Star Spangled Banner,” which celebrates its 200th birthday in about four weeks. Francis Scott Key wrote it on the morning of September 14, 1814, as he watched the American flag rise over Ft. McHenry. Madison Rising has updated and re-energized the anthem just in time for this momentous occasion. Thus far, there have been nearly six million unique YouTube video views of Madison Rising’s “Star Spangled Banner” performance. The band, a creation of New York City entrepreneur Richard Mgrdechian, hopes to reach 10 million views by the September 14 anniversary.  To view it, please click here.

price howardFerguson Wake Up Call: Is your Emergency Planning Proactive or Reactive?  The turmoil in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, MO illustrates the need for radio stations – particularly those in the news/talk/information genre – to be prepared in the event that something like what is happening in Ferguson strikes close to home.  Howard B. Price, director, business continuity, ABC Television Network expert (and one of the huge stars of the recent Talkers New York 2014 seminar) shares his expertise on this subject in a new piece posted today (8/20) writing: “We don’t yet know the full story behind the shooting of an unarmed African-American man by a white police officer in Ferguson…but what has emerged in the days of protest, rioting and looting that have followed is both a cautionary tale and a teachable moment for broadcasters. They – and digital newsgatherers, too – are being tested on their ability to ramp up meaningful coverage of contentious social issues simmering in communities large and small. Also being tested is their preparedness to both report the story while protecting their people and property.  To read Price’s entire priceless piece, please click here.

gallagher mikeGallagher Encourages Listeners to Support Local Police. The call-to-action by Salem talk show host Mike Gallagher comes after last weekend’s fatal shooting by a Ferguson, Missouri police officer of 18-year-old Michael Brown and the aftermath there and elsewhere. Some protesters are calling for retribution for the officer involved in Brown’s death but Gallagher hopes his audience can “turn a negative into a positive” by donating to his 501c3 non-profit “Gallagher’sArmy Fallen Officer Fund,” which provides money to families of officers killed in the line of duty. According to Gallagher, the mission of that endeavor is simple: “We want to get a check into the hands of the surviving family members of a police officer who has been killed in the line of duty as quickly as possible,” he states. “This show of financial support to be used in any way the family sees fit will in no way compensate for their loss; rather, it is a sign of appreciation, respect and support from a grateful nation.” Violence and confrontations in Ferguson are generating headlines, but Gallagher maintains that incidents there are “detracting from the solid work” local police departments do in cities and towns throughout America.

brady billBrady: What Do We Do About AM Radio?  The somber financial and technological state of AM radio as a viable commercial medium going forward is the subject of almost-daily articles both in the consumer media and the media trades. The recent Walt Disney Company  announcement of its intention to sell off 23 of its 24 AM stations only added fuel to these fires of worry and pessimism.  It’s not unusual to read the opinion that AM radio has an “image problem” or is virtually “non-existent” to younger demos — but as Futures & Options, Inc. president and CEO Bill Brady writes in a new TALKERS piece published today (8/20), news/talk radio can step up to the plate and again save AM radio (and itself) in the process.  But in order to do so, there is going to have to be new thinking, creativity and commitment on the part of all involved.  Brady writes:  “News/talk isn’t just a different format, it’s a different business.  News/talk stations used to be stand-alone operations managed by broadcasters who nurtured and cared for them.  They were sold by dedicated sales teams who knew well the format’s ability to bring customers through their client’s doors.  With the dawn of consolidation, news/talk stations suddenly found themselves in big station clusters with managers who were preoccupied with their other stations.  Often, these were music station GMs without news/talk backgrounds — and they weren’t at all prepared for the cranky, petulant, expense-laden news/talk AMs they were suddenly forced to deal with. News/talk stations can be a handful.  Their audiences are vocal, and they complain.  A lot.  Then, there are the hosts.  They are often high-maintenance.  There are pressure groups and PR crises which can’t be ignored.  Then, there’s the expense.  News/talk hosts make a lot of money.  A lot more than FM jocks do.  With news and support staffs, news/talk stations can cost a lot to operate.  To consolidation era GMs, news/talk stations were a pain and the expense reductions were irresistible.  GMs cut the guts out of their news/talk stations.  Gone, too, is the “time suck” of local hosts and their shenanigans.  GMs no longer have to spend their days talking to complaining listeners, or newspaper reporters seeking comment on controversial local hosts. All is now quiet on the western front.  Too quiet.”  To read media management pro Brady’s entire article, please click here.

wckgChicago’s WCKG Relocates. Elmhurst, Illinois-licensed/DuPage Radio-owned talker WCKG “The Voice of DuPage County” is moving to state-of-the-art studios and offices in suburban Chicago. Their facilities will be in Carr Workplaces’ Oak Brook Terrace Tower. With the exception of those in Chicago, it is the tallest building (31 stories) in Illinois. Station manager Matt Dubiel explains, “I wanted to move WCKG to the tallest building in the Chicago suburbs. Carr Workplaces make it possible for small businesses like ours to afford a world-class office environment – smack dab in the middle of Chicago-land, which is exactly what we need to serve the community and our local advertising partners. WCKG program director Leslie Harris remarks, “It is the best place to be in the suburbs. Like [TV’s George & Louise Jefferson said], “We’re moving on up to the east side … of DuPage.” WCKG does not appear in print in Nielsen Audio‘s July 2014 PPM report for Chicago.

WPEN-FM LogoMidday Changes Coming to Philadelphia’s “Fanatic.” WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic” will institute football season midday lineup modifications on the Greater Media-owned Philadelphia sports outlet. One constant is that Harry Mayes will be on every day 10:00 am – 12:00 noon. Each Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday — he will be paired with Brian Baldinger. Every Monday and Friday, Mayes’ on-air teammate will be another “Brian,” Brian Westbrook, who has been a regular “Fanatic” contributor in recent years. While a member of the Philadelphia Eagles, he hosted his own show on the station during the 2008 – 2009 NFL season. The Eagles drafted Westbrook in 2002 out of Villanova University. He spent eight seasons with the Eagles; made two NFL Pro Bowl squads; played in four NFC Championship Games; and in one Super Bowl. A “Fanatic” contributor since 2010, Baldinger — or “Baldy” — joined the Eagles in 1992. After his playing career ended in 1993, Baldinger developed a second career in broadcasting. This new “Fanatic” midday roster takes shape in about two weeks (9/2).

Return of Boston’s “Jimmy Fund” Radio-Telethon. Considerably more often than not in recent memory, the Boston Red Sox are serious contenders for post-season play, although the defending (2013) World Series champions have been in a protracted slump this year. That issue notwithstanding, its radio flagship – Entercom‘s WEEI – and the cable network that broadcasts all their games – the New England Sports Network (NESN) – have commenced the 36-year, 13th annual Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon. Dating back to the days of the “Splendid Splinter,” Ted Williams, and when Hall of Famer Curt Gowdy called the games, the Jimmy Fund has been the Red Sox charity of choice. Regardless of a player’s tenure with the club, he becomes immersed in the exemplary effort to support pediatric and adult cancer care/research at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. As usual, this year’s broadcast is featuring David Ross croppedheart-tugging, compelling stories from Dana-Farber patients, doctors, researchers and nurses. Interspersed are celebrity guests and athletes, including a huge dose of those with a past or present Red Sox connection. The mission, of course, is to inspire people to contribute to Dana-Farber’s lifesaving mission and, since 2002, more than $34 million has been raised. Every charity nowadays needs corporate sponsorship and the WEEI – NESN Radio-Telethon is no exception. It is being aided by the Arbella Insurance Foundation, which contributes $50 for every strikeout by a Red Sox pitcher (up to $100,000).In addition, whenever a Red Sox player smacks a “Wall Ball” off Fenway Park‘s fabled “Green Monster,” Walgreens will give the Radio-Telethon $100. Perhaps the most touching part of this deeply moving event is seeing wide smiles on faces of young cancer patients when they see their favorite Red Sox stars face-to-face. Case in point is this adorable child with her new best friend, Red Sox catcher David Ross.

CBS Sports RRadio 2CBS Sports Radio Sets Weekend NFL Programming Roster. Beginning next Saturday (8/30), CBS Sports Radio anchor Rich Ackerman will host “Eye on College Football” (2:00 noon – 8:00 pm, ET), which will include reports from all top college games, as well as interviews. Co-hosted on a rotating basis by CBSSports.com senior fantasy football writers Adam Aizer, Dave Richard and Jamey Eisenberg, “Eye on Fantasy Football” will air Saturdays (10:00 pm – 12:00 midnight, ET) and will be broadcast from CBSSports.com’s Fort Lauderdale studios. CBS Radio all-sports WFAN, New York afternoon drive personality Mike Francesca will host “Mike Francesa’s Football Sunday” (9:00 am – 11:00 am). While that show starts on the network September 7, it has been on WFAN the past 25 years. Another show kicking off September 7 – and following Francesca – is a one-hour simulcast of CBSSports.com’s Adam Aizer-hosted “Fantasy Football Today.” Rich Ackerman’s “Eye on Football” (12:00 noon – 8:00 pm) will offer a national perspective on all of that day’s NFL games; it also starts September 7. Beginning with Saturday, here is a complete look at the network’s weekend lineup, with all times listed ET. Marc “Moose” Malusis and Maggie Gray (6:00 am – 10:00 am); “Eye on Baseball” with Adam Gerstenhaber and CJ Nitkowski (10:00 am – 12:00 noon); “Eye on College Football” (12:00 noon – 8:00 pm); Jody McDonald (8:00 pm – 10:00 pm); and “Eye on Fantasy Football” (10:00 pm – 12:00 midnight). The Sunday schedule is: Bill Simonson (12:00 midnight – 2:00 am); Amy Lawrence (2:00 am – 6:00 am); John Kincade (6:00 am – 9:00 am); “Mike Francesa’s Football Sunday” (9:00 am – 11:00 am); “Fantasy Football Today” (11:00 am -12:00 noon); “Eye on Football” (12:00 noon – 8:00 pm); and Jody McDonald (8:00 pm – 10:00 pm).

stephan dougMilking The Ice Bucket Challenge. Ever since going viral via social media, the “Ice Bucket Challenge” to raise awareness and donations for ALS has become nothing short of a legitimate phenomenon. Logistics are simple: After accepting someone’s dare to do so, a person fills a bucket with ice and (presumably) ice water and douses it over their head. They then extend the challenge to others and post the video on their social media site. “Good Day” host Doug Stephan participated, but presented a different twist. Not only is he one of the industry’s most tireless workers, Stephan is also a Massachusetts dairy farmer. So, let’s just say water was not in the bucket. Click  here to see what Stephan dumped on his head instead.

llbws-logo100Tonight’s Taney Dragons Game To Air on Philly’s “Fanatic.” The Philadelphia Taney Dragons Little League World Series game versus the team from Las Vegas will be broadcast tonight (8/20) on Greater Media‘s all-sports outlet WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic.” What makes this so noteworthy is that the Taney Dragons are led by starting pitcher Mo’ne Davis, who owing to her pitching prowess and personality, has become a national media star. In fact, she is the first Little Leaguer ever to appear on the cover of Sports Illustrated. WPEN-FM midday personality Jon Marks will host a viewing party at Paganos on Market Street. Tonight’s game begins at 7:30 pm.

SBG LogoSun Broadcast Group Basks in Glow of Inc. Magazine Honor. Specifically, Sun Broadcast Group is proclaimed by Inc. Magazine as being one of America’s fastest growing companies. In rankings released today (8/20), the publication grades America’s quickest- rising private companies, based on percentage of revenue increase over three years. Sun Broadcast Group chief executive officer Jason Bailey proudly enthuses, “I have had the pleasure to announce many great things over these six years, but today I am ecstatic to share this news – what an accomplishment. For the many who never understood our strategy, and for those [who] still do not, receiving this award only affirms to the great people who work at Sun and the amazing agency partners who support us, that we truly are leading the way to a new era of network radio. It is caring about your partners, providing an honest, transparent sales process and always thinking big that will completely change our industry for the better. We are proof that it can be done and we are just getting started.” During the period measured that led to this year’s Inc. Magazine honor, SBG’s revenue jumped more 520%. In that time, the company added 15 fulltime positions between its New York City and Boca Raton (Florida) offices. Bailey and his SBG team will be recognized later this year in Phoenix at the “Inc. 5000 Conference & Awards Ceremony.” Sun’s programming roster includes, among others, “The Marilu Henner Show,” “The Little League World Series,” “Nashville Music Minute,” “Six-Second Reviews with Mr. Movieman,” Accuweather en Español, horse racing’s triple crown, and The Breeders Cup.

 

MVS RadioSD_Logo_Horz_2lines_April2014 lgCross-Border Partnership Involves Stardome and MVS Radio. The result will be an expansion of their respective syndicated branded programming and services in the United States and Mexico. Mexico-based MVS Radio will spearhead ad sales and affiliate relations for Stardome in Mexico; Stardome will do the same for MVS Radio-produced programming/services in the United States. Stardome managing director and chief executive officer Anthony Michael Hernandez states that, “Of all the Mexico-based companies I have worked with throughout the years, none has demonstrated the highest regard for professionalism, strong business ethics, and an undeviating work focus like my friends at MVS Radio. This is truly a partnership and a team effort in the making.” MVS Radio president and chief executive officer Alejandro Vargas remarks, “We are enthusiastic about this alliance with Stardome. We recognize them as ideal strategic partners to expand the coverage of our content in the USA and to represent its brands in Latin America. We are sure this is the beginning of new and prosperous businesses for both companies.” Stardome will service current MVS Radio owned-and-operated stations and affiliates across the southwest border of the United States, while distributing MVS Radio’s branded 24/7 formats, syndicated talk shows and morning shows in the USA Hispanic media marketplace. It adds the entire roster of over 160 MVS Radio affiliates, and owned-and-operated stations in Mexico and Central and South America as part of its duties for Pan Regional Network Radio. MVS Radio will act as Stardome’s in-country Mexico sales office and develop affiliations, network radio, and digital ad sales for Stardome’s soon-to-launch Noti-America radio news network.

Napa lgSite Vows To Keep Pace with Napa. Mention “Napa” to anyone in California and “wine country” will undoubtedly be the instant word-association response. With a 2010 census population of 76,915, Napa is California’s 100th largest city. Maintaining that their site “will not be anything like your father’s radio station or your grandfather’s newspaper, executives at NAPAbroadcasting.com declare, “You won’t hear Katy Perry or Pink ten times a day and you won’t hear sports programs from out of town.” Instead,  local conversations and local voices, “talking, in depth, about local issues” will be emphasized. They will be leaving the “daily police blotter to others” but promise “plenty of controversy” since, “no one here will be afraid to say what is on their minds.” According to a NAPAbroadcasting.com communication, “For years, television was about programs and radio was about formats. Those days are over. Today it’s all about programs and personalities – and it can’t be on someone else’s schedule. Appointment television or radio, is so over. NAPAbroadcasting.com is all about being on demand.” The site is partnering with Napa Valley College. Students, faculty, and staff there will contribute community-focused programming. “On the music side, we will be about music discovery and new kinds of music programs. We will not be another streaming music service, an online jukebox, or a place for mindless patter. Our music programs might be about anything under the musical sun, from jazz to oldies to rock. We will also be interactive, with lots of reviews, samplers and information about the business of contemporary music.” Admitting the site will always be a work in progress, a NAPAbroadcasting.com spokesperson writes, “If you stay with us, you will learn a lot about the wine, food, the hospitality business, and many of the larger-than-life, but often lesser known personalities, who live in this Valley. We think that what is good for the visitors is also good for those of us who live here.”

Ferguson Turmoil, ISIS/US Strife, Rick Perry Indictment, Robin Williams, and Gaza Crisis Among Top Talk Stories Yesterday (8/19).  The stories listed in this headline were some of the most talked about on news/talk radio yesterday  However the breaking story of ISIS beheading American journalist James Wright Foley is dominating conversation on American talk radio today (8/20) according to the ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

| June 18, 2014

sheridantomJournal Broadcast Group Milwaukee Announces Promotions.  From Tom Langmyer, VP/GM of radio operations for Journal Broadcast Group’s Milwaukee stations – news/talk WTMJ and adult hits WLWK “94.5 The Lake” – come the following promotions: Tom Sheridan is promoted to director of sales from his GSM position.  The company says in this role, Sheridan has a more clearly defined, overall bjorsonjasonresponsibility and accountability for all top-line revenue at Milwaukee’s radio operations.  With his promotion it has eliminated the previous dual reporting structure for interactive and national sales and streamlined the sales organization.  Jason Bjorson is elevated from local sales manager to general sales manager.  Bjorson will continue to oversee local sales, with additional leadership responsibilities across oconnellkatieall other top-line revenue streams.  He will oversee sales training, recruit to expand the sales organization, develop general revenue strategies, lead the company’s growing events business and expand local relationships.  Katie O’Connell is promoted to executive producer, digital content and social media.  This new lead position will drive the company’s content and social media strategies across all platforms.  Prior to her current role at Milwaukee’s radio operations, O’Connell served with the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, rothcollinWTMJ-TV, and Journal Interactive.  Collin Roth has been promoted to managing editor for Right Wisconsin, working with WTMJ personality Charlie Sykes and leading his content team for this growing digital/subscription-based product.  Additionally, Bryan Shore and Steve Frank have been named digital sales associates.  Langmyer says, “This solid new structure and excellent team will lead us in product development, cross-platform content and revenue growth.  These promotions represent a new leadership structure to drive further growth at Journal’s Milwaukee Radio Operations.”

brent and meg_61714 A 72 dpi“Brent & Meg” Graduate from TalkersRadio to Launch New Terrestrial Midday Show on GCN.  The husband/wife talk radio team “Brent & Meg” (legendary rock radio personality/newsman Brent Seltzer and award-winning public relations veteran Meg McDonald) have signed a deal with Genesis Communications Network (GCN) to launch a Monday-Friday midday show (1:00 pm – 3:00 pm ET) on Monday, July 7.  This development marks the first time a program conceived and launched on TalkersRadio has made the leap from the experimental platform operated by TALKERS magazine to terrestrial radio. “We couldn’t be more delighted,” states TalkersRadio GM David Bernstein, adding, “This marks an exciting milestone for TalkersRadio and is a wonderful testimony to our initial success in carrying out our ongoing mission to be a laboratory where new concepts in talk radio can be developed.  I am personally proud of Brent & Meg because I believe what they’ve got to offer midday talk radio has been – with rare exceptions – a missing element from our medium for many years.  They are, simply put, sensationally fresh!”  TalkersRadio officially began streaming on Talkers.com in September of 2013 and Seltzer and McDonald were among its charter performers.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison (who “discovered” Brent & Meg) adds, “Brent & Meg couldn’t be in better hands than with entrepreneurial visionary Ted Anderson who has done such a fantastic job of developing GCN into a budding powerhouse syndication firm.  He reminds me of the old record company and studio heads who understood how to build and develop new talent and acts from the grassroots markets up.  We sure need more of that in today’s network radio scene.”  Harrison goes on to describe “Brent & Meg” as “the newest thing ‘old school’ has to offer – perfect, contemporary husband/wife chat for the midday position…where yesterday meets tomorrow.”  To read TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian’s fascinating in-depth account of the Brent & Meg saga posted today (6/18), please click here.

ccme horiz logoClear Channel to Put New Audience Targeting Tool to Use for 2014 Political Buys.  The new tool is called AuDiO – short for Audience Delivery Optimizer – and what the company calls “a groundbreaking, proprietary radio targeting tool developed specifically for political advertisers.”  Clear Channel goes on to say, “This first-of-its-kind radio optimization tool enables local and national political campaigns across the country to precisely target key voter segments using radio — which was confirmed by recent research to be one of the most effective and efficient consumer advertising vehicles.”  How does it work?  The company says AuDiO matches key information about 245 million Americans who listen to Clear Channel’s 840 U.S. terrestrial radio stations to leading political databases to make actionable predictions about which desired voter segment is listening to which stations at which times.  The launch of AuDiO means that Clear Channel is now uniquely able to match broadcast listener data – for any of its 840 stations, at any time of day and in any political district nationwide – to multiple third-party data sources to identify which listeners fall into any given political district and, within that district’s listening audience, which segments are present and in what numbers.  CCM+E EVP for political strategy Nathan Daschle comments, “Ninety-two percent of Americans listen to radio every month — but despite radio’s incredible reach, campaigns have never had a tool like AuDiO for radio before.  AuDiO takes the guesswork out of radio buying by replacing wild hunches with actionable and precise models so that campaigns know which of their desired target audiences are listening, when and to whom.  This means that campaigns, political parties and other groups across America have the ability to use radio in a much smarter way to reach their target voters.”

nielsen logoNielsen Releases Revised Los Angeles PPM Data.  After the controversial case of one Univision Los Angeles programming staffer (who’s been fired) being involved in a PPM household, which delayed the release of May PPM data for the market from last week to this week, the ratings company releases the Los Angeles numbers and revises the April PPM data for the market as well.  Those numbers can be found at TALKERS magazine’s sister publication RadioInfo here.  Also, see managing editor and West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian’s “Takeaway” from the LA ratings here.

snookipodcastReality Star Nicole ‘Snooki’ Polizzi Podcast Debuts on PodcastOne.  Add another colorful celebrity to the lineup of podcasts available through Norm Pattiz-founded PodcastOne as former “Jersey Shore” reality series cast member Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi begins producing a weekly on-demand show for the service.  Pattiz comments, “Sometimes I feel like we’re on the Starship Enterprise going where no man has gone before!  Taking a star of one medium like Nicole and exposing – in every sense of the word – her on another is what makes this all fun.  PodcastOne is pleased to welcome Nicole’s audience to our platform and expose her to the additional hundred million monthly listeners who currently consume PodcastOne programs.”

harrismedia logoAdLarge, KMG and Harris Media Partner for Control Room Pro Distribution.  Three firms are teaming up to sell and distribute the new Control Room Pro suite of digital production field and studio tools.  AdLarge Media will lead the national advertising sales effort, while KMG Networks will spearhead radio station distribution.  The two firms share a similar relationship on behalf of several radio and digital products and services.  Harris Media founder Lee Harris says, “Most of the new digital and mobile programs for broadcast radio are consumer-facing.  We focused on the development of cutting-edge newsroom and radio station field tools that expedite the gathering of news-related material for anchors and streamlined the field reporting process.”  Krantz Media Group president and CEO Gary Krantz adds, “Control Room Pro tools already are proven winners in the news/talk marketplace, including top stations like WINS, New York; WCBS-AM, New York; and KYW-AM, Philadelphia.  News/talk stations have a high overhead on field equipment and in-studio production programs.  These digital products fill a clear marketplace need by increasing productivity and decreasing equipment and production library costs.  Radio station affiliates will experience positive bottom line results.”

cataldibobbleheadWIP-FM, Philadelphia and Personality Angelo Cataldi Sell Bobbleheads to Benefit Police Survivors Fund.  In cooperation with local business Cottman Transmission & Total Auto Care and the Philly Team Store, CBS RADIO sports talker WIP-FM, Philadelphia and morning drive personality Angelo Cataldi are selling Cataldi bobble-head dolls, a portion of the proceeds from which will benefit the Philadelphia F.O.P. Lodge #5 Survivors Fund.  The dolls are being sold for $20 via the station’s website.  Both Cottman Transmission and the Philly Team Store are giving dolls away with major purchases.  The F.O.P. Lodge #5 Survivors Fund, since its inception, has been invaluable to the members of the lodge who have experienced the most devastating tragedies.   The losses incurred by the families of deceased and extraordinarily injured officers cannot be recovered but can be eased through financial support or assistance.  This fund continues to be able to provide help for families due to the charitable donations of police family, friends and business partners.

waltersbudCromwell’s Bud Walters to Receive National Radio Award.  At the coming NAB Radio Show in Indianapolis in September, Cromwell Group founder and president Bud Walters will receive the NAB’s “National Radio Award” during the Radio Show Luncheon on September 12.  NAB EVP of radio John David states, “Bud Walters’ exemplary leadership and his enthusiasm for radio have had a positive impact on the industry.  We salute Bud for his tireless devotion to serving local communities through the power of radio.”  Walters founded his company in 1972.  He currently owns and operates 28 radio stations (six AM, 17 FM and five HD2+ translators) in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky and Tennessee.

Iraq Turmoil, Primary Results/State of the GOP, Hillary Clinton Memoir, Benghazi Suspect Prosecution, Child Immigrant Influx, IRS Scandal-Missing Lerner Emails, Soaring Food Prices, and World Cup Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/17).  The violence in Iraq as a militant Muslim group vies for power in the state; the victories of Tea Party-backed candidates in the primaries and the future of the GOP; former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s memoir; the plans to prosecute a suspect in the deadly Benghazi attack; U.S. immigration policies and the large numbers of child immigrants pouring across the Southwest borders; the IRS scandal and the loss of Lois Lerner’s emails; the dramatic hike in U.S. meat prices; and American interest in World Cup action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

MEET BRENT & MEG: Genesis of an Energizing Mid-Day Partnership

| June 18, 2014

By Mike Kinosian
TALKERS
Managing Editor/West Coast Bureau Chief

 

LOS ANGELES —Journey back to the “Golden Age” of radio and television, and, you will promptly ascertain that, especially in terms of audience acceptance, pairing a real-life husband and wife was a brilliant programming strategy that tended to produce blockbuster results.

ozzie and harrietConsider such instantly familiar classic examples as George Burns & Gracie Allen; Desi Arnaz & Lucille Ball; Ozzie & Harriet Nelson; and Jim & Marian Jordan as “Fibber McGee & Molly,” whose 24-year radio run concluded in 1959.

Contemporary “Windy City” radio partisans will surely cite “Don Wade & Roma,” who were staples on WLS-AM, Chicago for over 25 years; Don Wade succumbed to brain cancer last September.

brent and meg_61714 A 72 dpiFairly recently (then-married) couples Chet Curtis & Natalie Jacobson on Boston’s WCVB-TV, and Jim Lampley & Bree Walker on Los Angeles’ KCBS-TV co-anchored the news together on their respective stations; 74-year-old Curtis lost his fight against pancreatic cancer five months ago.

These are simply representative examples (certainly not approaching a definitive list) of the effective, albeit not now revolutionary concept.

Consequently, while it will hardly be precedent setting when Los Angeles-based Brent Seltzer and his wife Meg McDonald debut next Monday (6/23) on the Genesis Communications Network for their daily, two-hour (1:00 pm – 3:00 pm, ET) broadcast, it nonetheless promises to be a wonderfully refreshing burst of fresh air to talk radio.

Read More

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

| May 7, 2014

callewaertcoreyCory Callewaert Named PD at CC’s Bay Area News/Talkers.  Bay Area talk radio pro Cory Callewaert is promoted from his assistant program director post at Clear Channel’s San Francisco cluster to PD of news/talk outlets KKSF “Talk 910” and KNEW “960 The Patriot.”  The latter station is largely conservative syndicated fare – Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Andy Dean – while KKSF features local and regional programming with Armstrong & Getty (based at KSTE, Sacramento), Frosty Stillwell in middays and Gil Gross hosting PM drive.  Callewaert’s experience in the market includes a stint with CBS RADIO co-hosting the Cory & Lex show at former hot talker KIFR-FM “106.9 Free FM” and two years as APD at KKSF and KNEW from 2003 to 2005.  He rejoined Clear Channel San Francisco in 2009.

rogersmikeNYT Magazine Spotlights Rogers, Huckabee and Political Talk Radio.  In a piece by Mark Liebovich in The New York Times Magazine, current Fox News Channel/former WestwoodOne talk show host Mike Huckabee and soon-to-be WW1 talk personality (and current House Intelligence huckabeemikeCommittee chair) Mike Rogers (R-MI) chat about talk radio and politics.  Rogers recounts meeting Cumulus Media CEO Lew Dickey at WJR, Detroit personality Paul W. Smith’s wedding.  The two chatted and Dickey asked if he’d ever considered getting into talk radio.  The rest, as they say, is (developing) history.  Both he and Huckabee offer comparisons between politics and media and Huckabee sums it up telling Liebovich “If you have more votes than the other guy, you win; if not, you lose.” Same with ratings. “Anybody who thinks, Oh, I’m really smart and articulate, good for me…if he doesn’t have people who watch and listen to him, he’s gone.”  Read the whole story here.

raydottieKXIC, Iowa City’s Dottie Ray to Retire.  Iowa City radio personality Dottie Ray is retiring from Clear Channel’s KXIC “Iowa City’s News & Sports Leader” after a career that has spanned 64 years in the market.  Ray hosts her daily eponymous show from 8:45 am to 9:00 am.  The station says she began broadcasting her fifteen-minute program back in 1950 and since then has informed listeners about local organizations, artists and events.  She has interviewed thousands of guests over the years, always focusing her program on the Iowa City community and non-profit organizations.  To celebrate her contributions to the community, AM-800 KXIC will be broadcasting one final interview with Dottie Ray, flipping the microphone around to ask Dottie about her career.  KXIC morning host Jay Capron will conduct the interview on Tuesday, May 13.  The entire 9:00 am hour will be dedicated to Ray, with several special surprises planned for the program.  CCM+E Iowa City OM JJ Cook says, “She is an amazing lady and a very passionate and involved broadcaster.  Dottie is a true Iowa City icon and I’m lucky to have had the pleasure of working with her for the past 11 years.”

entercomEntercom Introduces SmartReach Digital.  Headed up by Stephen Gibbons, the Entercom division is intended to help local businesses navigate digital marketing options.  Gibbons most recently was vice president of marketing and vice president of national sales at Dex One.  Entercom president and chief executive officer David Field states that, “SmartReach Digital is an exciting and important expansion of our company’s product line and a perfect complement to our core radio business.  Our goal is to be the preferred choice to meet the advertising and marketing needs of our local customers.”  The new division will focus on designing and implementing integrated digital marketing strategies for local businesses.  It will offer a number of products and services that “enable local businesses to attract, activate, and engage targeted leads.”  Field adds, “We believe our new SmartReach Digital products will bolster our ability to deliver powerful and effective solutions for our customers.”  As of April 1, SmartReach Digital has debuted in six Entercom markets; over the next 12 months, it will be rolled out in other markets where the company owns stations.

cbssportsradiologoNFL Draft Day Draws Radio Coverage.  The National Football League’s annual draft has become one of the sport’s prime events and – especially since it moved from being held exclusively on the weekend to the first two days happening on a Thursday and Friday – it’s become a major event for radio coverage as well.  CBS Sports Radio announces it will be on hand and broadcasting live from Radio City Music Hall in New York to its more than 300 affiliate stations.  The network says evening duo Chris Moore and Brian Jones of “The Mojo Show” will be live from 6:00 pm to 12:00 midnight ET for round one of the draft and from 6:00 pm to 11:00 pm on Friday for rounds two and three.  CBS Sports Radio overnight host Damon Amendolara will serve as reporter. nbcsportsradio logo Over at NBC Sports Radio and WestwoodOne, that network’s Scott Graham will westwoodone logoanchor the coverage with updates and one-on-one interviews throughout the night.  Donovan McNabb will co-host “Under Center with McNabb & Malone” from Radio City.  Later that evening, NBC Sports Radio crew of Jon Stashower, Amani Toomer, and Eytan Shander will go live with features, special reports, and expert analysis.  NBC Sports Radio is a joint venture between NBC Sports and WestwoodOne.  CBS Sports Radio is repped by WW1.

salemcommunicationsSalem Communications Reports Q1 2014 Revenue Up 12%.  But that big hike includes the recent acquisition of Eagle Publishing, as CEO Ed Atsinger noted during the investors conference call yesterday.  Atsinger says the company is very bullish on the acquisition of Eagle and what it can mean to the company’s multi-platform efforts.  More on that shortly, first the numbers.  Salem’s broadcast division was up 5.4% while its internet and e-commerce division revenue rose 32.9% and the publishing division went up 44%.  Breaking down the radio numbers a bit, Atsinger said, “Forty of our radio stations are in the foundational Christian teaching and talk format.  These stations contributed 45% of total broadcast revenue and increased 4% for the quarter.  Advertising revenue was up 9% while block programming on this format was up 3%. We have 27 stations in news/talk and they increased 16% for the quarter, due to an increase in santorumbookpolitical revenue.  Overall, these stations contributed 17% of total broadcast revenue.”  Back to the integration of publishing with broadcasting, Atsinger says the addition of Eagle and imprint Regnery dovetails nicely with its stations’ conservative philosophy as well as with its digital properties including TownHall.com, HumanEvents.com and RedState.com.  He said Regnery just published the book Blue Collar Conservative by former senator and presidential candidate Rick Santorum – its first significant title – and it used its nationally syndicated news/talk shows and digital assets to plug the book.  Regarding this, Atsinger says, “This marketing approach we think will help us boost sales, but I think it will also regularly provide additional leverage in terms of being competitive for signing up new attractive offers.”  Thanks to Seeking Alpha for the transcript.  Members can read the whole transcript here.

ordwayglennOdds & Sods.  The new radio play-by-play voice of the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars is Frank Frangie, who replaces Brian Sexton as the team switches from former flagship WOKV-AM/FM to Seven Bridges Radio-owned sports talker WJXL “1010XL.”  Sexton had called all 392 games in the franchise’s history.  He’ll move to jaguars.com where he’ll serve as senior correspondent.  Former Jaguars players Jeff Lageman and Tony Boselli will remain in the game-day booth as analysts…..Boston sports talk personality Glenn Ordway reports the app for his internet radio show is now available.  The “Big Show Unfiltered” app makes its debut just months after Ordway launches his venture Sportstalkboston.com…..Former WNTA, Rockford, Illinois talk host Doug McDuff lands across the Illinois-Wisconsin border at WTJK, Janesville “The Big AM 1380” to host the 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm show, according to mystateline.com.  WTJK is owned by Good Karma but is being operated by Big Radio under an LMA with the sale of the station to Big Radio pending.

Global Warming Debate, 2016 Presidential Race/Monica Lewinsky Interview, Obama Economic Legacy, Benghazi Aftermath, and Russian Aggression in Ukraine Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/6).  The reignited debate over climate change and the Obama Administration’s policy regarding power plant emissions; the 2016 presidential race and Monica Lewinsky’s piece in Vanity Fair in which she goes public about her affair with President Bill Clinton; the tepid U.S. economy and the Obama Administration’s fiscal legacy; continued investigation into the deadly Benghazi attack; Russia’s aggression in Ukraine and fears other former Soviet bloc nations have about Vladimir Putin’s motives were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Catching Up with Lionel

| March 31, 2014

By Mike Kinosian
TALKERS
Managing Editor/West Coast

 

LOS ANGELES — Recording artists running the gamut from Bing Crosby to Sam Cooke to Janet Jackson and Luther Vandross (among others) have wonderfully warbled to remind us that the “The Best Things in Life Are Free.”

A 1956 film that starred Gordon MacRae accentuated the point as well.

Offering a different take in the predominantly uplifting sentiment are the Beatles, who – while acknowledging the fact – nonetheless suggested those “free” things could be kept in exchange for “money” – but – that’s another story.

Smart, Funny, and Unedited

Back to the positive point: Words are free and no one in talk radio is more adroit, melodious, and astute in his splendidLionel large employment of the vocabulary than brilliantly witty Lionel, who generously remarks, “If you like my words – take them – they are not mine [anyway], they are yours. As a sesquipedalian and a logophile, I love the mother tongue. Do not marvel at the fancy words. It is part of who I am. I will never try to make people feel stupid. People love smart and funny – they crave it.”

These days, not only does Lionel get to demonstrate how deliciously lovely the language may be when utilized with panache, he also offers a veritable talk radio clinic.

On one hand, it is a fresh and innovative concept, while on the other, there is enormous simplicity to a back-to-the-basics approach. “It came about through the genius, foresight, and wherewithal of [TALKERS publisher] Michael Harrison,” Lionel comments of his Saturday, 9:00 am – 10:00 am ET TalkersRadio show. “It is just a joy and Michael is the preeminent voice in talk radio. Since the beginning, he has told me what I need to do must be the best.”

Read More

Thursday, March 27, 2014

| March 27, 2014

hannityseanUnusual ‘Ratings Battle’ Between Savage and Hannity Heats Up.  Prior to the rollout of his WestwoodOne-syndicated talk show on Cumulus-owned news/talk stations – many of which had previously carried Premiere NetworksSean Hannity show – Michael Savage took an aggressive stance in both industry and consumer presssavagemichael proclaiming he would beat Hannity in the ratings.  Now, two Nielsen Audio PPM rating periods later, WestwoodOne is waging a PR offensive that many industry watchers note is rarely seen in the syndication business, going so far as to use words like “trounced” and “demolished” with respect to Savage’s ratings versus Hannity’s.  Reporting Nielsen Audio PPM data in the Persons 25-54 demo for major markets New York, Chicago, San Francisco and Dallas, WestwoodOne shows Savage more than doubling Hannity’s AQH share there (NYC 1.1 vs .5, Chicago 1.2 vs .2, San Francisco 1.5 vs .5, and Dallas-Ft. Worth 1.3 vs .5).  Hannity’s camp responds with a memo from premierenetworks newPremiere Networks VP/operations and affiliate marketing for the Sean Hannity show Eric Stanger, who writes, “It’s puzzling that Michael Savage would want to brag about his listening audience.  Despite his claims, the numbers show that Savage is losing thewestwoodone logo audience that he inherited from Sean Hannity in droves, on the radio stations that Sean spent 17 years building.  In New York on WABC as well as on Dallas on WBAP, in the key demo of A25-54, Savage has lost a whopping 49% of the audience that he inherited from Sean Hannity.  Other key markets tell a similar story as you can see below.  All in all, Savage has bled away almost half of the audience on the key stations that were given to him in 2014 (In Los Angeles, where Cumulus has decided not to air the ‘Savage Nation,’ KABC-AM has dropped 27% without Hannity).  Meanwhile, Sean Hannity has more than doubled the total audiences where he has started on new stations after leaving Cumulus in New York, Los Angeles, and Dallas (AQH percentage change December ’13 to February ’14 Persons 12+:  WOR, New York, +108%; KEIB, Los Angeles +172%; and KSKY, Dallas +128%).”  EDITOR’S NOTE:  TALKERS magazine maintains a general policy of not publishing ratings results of contests between individual hosts because there are so many potential situations taking place in the industry it would become editorially unwieldy and impossible to manage accurately and fairly.  This is especially true in regards to reporting on battles between syndicated hosts in which there is often inconsistency from market to market in terms of actual times and number of hours broadcast.  Plus, this publication avoids getting involved in situations hinting of personal vendettas and vitriol between personalities and even competing companies.  In the words of publisher Michael Harrison, “This industry faces enough competitive challenges these days from external sources for us to turn our guns on each other in anything more intense than healthy, sportsmanlike competition.”

eskinspikeCBS RADIO Ups Spike Eskin to PD of WIP-FM and WIP-AM.  Interim program director Spike Eskin is officially the PD at CBS RADIO’s “SportsRadio 94 WIP” and “CBS Sportsradio 610,” the company announces.  Eskin has been filling the role on an interim basis since Jeff Sottolano was named director of programming for CBS RADIO earlier this year.  Previously, Eskin served as sports editor for CBSPhilly.com and did part-time air shifts on WIP-FM, all-news KYW and CBS 3 TV.  Senior vice president and market manager Marc Rayfield says, “Spike is his own person.  He is tenacious, strategic and a proven winner.  We interviewed an extremely talented pool of national and local candidates.  Spike was clearly our best choice.”  Eskin comments, “My career in radio has taken me in many different directions, and has ultimately led me to a job that I feel like I was born to do and I am honored and humbled to have. I’m excited to work with the best air talent in sports radio, and our incredible staff to continue building the legend that is WIP.”

schembrijoeSchembri Upped to VP of Corporate Business Development, Sports Sales and Sponsorships.  This new corporate position lifts Joe Schembri from his VP of business development post.  Now, he’ll be working directly with clients to “create local, regional, and national campaigns that reach and engage consumers by utilizing multiple platforms to drive incremental revenue that include radio, sports play-by-play, event sponsorships, digital, database, mobile and social.”  Entercom station group president Weezie Kramer states, “For years, Joe has been a leader in our company and throughout radio, and I am proud to elevate him to this new position.  Sports has always been a strength of entercomEntercom and, under Joe’s leadership, we will bring a greater platform of products and greater results to our clients.”  Entercom serves as the radio broadcast partner for the Boston Red Sox, Buffalo Bills, Buffalo Sabres, Kansas City Royals, Memphis Grizzlies, New Orleans Saints, New Orleans Pelicans, Oakland Athletics, Oakland Raiders, San Jose Sharks and several NCAA teams, including this year’s #1 NCAA basketball seeds University of Florida Gators and Wichita State Shockers.  Schembri comments, “This is an exciting time for radio, sports and event marketing.  Entercom is powerfully positioned across the country to build dynamic, multi-platform campaigns that engage our fans, connect them to our clients and generate results that make a difference.”

nymrad logoNYMRAD Registers a +3.26%.  According to the Miller Kaplan New York Market Revenue Report, New York Market Radio (NYMRAD) advertising revenue for the first two months of this year increased 3.26%, when compared to last year’s figures.  Total revenue for February – including “digital” and “network”/”NTR”/”other” were up 2.3%.  New York Market Radio Broadcasters Association executive director Deborah Beagan comments, “The New York market is up, despite the series of storms.”  The “automotive” category there is up 11%, with over $10 million of spending.  Three rapidly growing such advertisers are Land Rover, up 153% from $166,000 last year to $420,000 this year; Tri State Ford Dealers – improving by 48% from $458,000 to $680,000; and Mercedes Benz, up 72% from $265,000 to $455,000.  The “communications/cellular” category sees a 20% gain, with over $8 million of spending.  Rapid such growers included Verizon, up 69% from $1.29 million to $2.17 million; Metro PCS – improving 95% from $1.28 million to $2.50 million; and AT&T, up 67% from $917,000 to $1.53 million.

scba logoLos Angeles Radio Revenue Grows in February.  According to data from Miller Kaplan Arase as reported by the Southern California Broadcasters Association, during February, the Los Angeles radio market saw revenue climb by 3.7% for the month and, on a year-to-date basis through February, the LA total market revenue growth is 3.1%.  SCBA president Thom Callahan states, “This substantial market growth reflects the dynamic power of Southern California Radio and our member radio stations’ determination to begin 2014 on very strong footing.”  On the digital side, the report indicates revenue for the reporting stations in February up 16.8% and a YTD growth rate of 14.7%.  The subsequent “X-Ray” report YTD also reveals substantial new business growth with 336 new advertisers spending $12.7 million.  Key category drivers include: insurance – up 141.7%, cellular/communications – up 45.8%, concerts/theatre/movies – up 34.7%, casinos/lottery – up 32.5%, and education – up 32.3%.

starkjaysonStark Reality for Philly’s WPEN-FM.  ESPN.com senior baseball writer – and Philadelphia native – Jayson Stark will host a one-hour eponymous show on select Mondays throughout the baseball season for Greater Media Philadelphia’s WPEN-FM “The Fanatic.”  The two-time Pennsylvania Sportswriter of the Year will continue to be a Wednesday afternoon contributor on the station’s “Mike Missanelli Show.”  Stark acknowledges that, “I may work for ESPN now, but I’m still a Philadelphian, so the only thing cooler than joining my buddy Mike Missanelli every Wednesday is getting my own personal hour of radio.  I will get to talk to my favorite Philadelphians about the Phillies and the sport they play, mix in a little trivia, and do our best to turn this extravaganza into a show that’s even more fun than spending a summer evening hanging out in Ashburn Alley.”  Stark’s program will emanate live from Newtown, Pennsylvania’s Green Parrot; the debut show is one week from Monday (4/7) between 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm.  Stark has written/reported about MLB for ESPN since 2000.  Before that, he covered the Phillies for the Philadelphia Inquirer.  He appears as an analyst on a variety of ESPN radio and television programs.

delcollianojerryJerry Del Colliano’s “Media Solutions Conference” Draws 100-plus to Philadelphia.  More than 100 radio broadcasters from across the country gathered at the classy Rittenhouse Hotel in Philadelphia yesterday (3/26) to attend noted industry observer and analyst Jerry Del Colliano’s fifth annual “Media Solutions Conference.”  The attendees represented various levels of management, talent and ownership from a variety of radio companies — local, regional and national.  In addition to Del Colliano’s in-depth presentation of information about such topics as understanding the Millennial generation, disrupting radio before its media rivals do, separating radio’s main product into unique on-air and online categories, using video to generate additional revenue streams, reinventing the morning show, time-shifting radio, and reducing the liability of commercials while increasing their effectiveness, attendees were treated to presentations by WBEB, Philadelphia “More FM” owner Jerry Lee, Premiere Networks and Fox News Channel talk star Sean Hannity and TALKERS/RadioInfo publisher Michael Harrison.  Jerry Lee discussed a number of tactics and philosophies employed by his company to make it one of the most successful ratings and revenue-generating, leejerryindependent music-formatted, stand-alone FMs in America.  He basically told the attendees that you have to spend money to make money and espoused the benefits of heavy promotion, research and putting together a top-notch team of talent and management in order to reap the rewards radio is still capable of delivering.  He also spoke extensively about the importance of creating effective, listenable commercials and limiting the number of spots perharrisonmichael hour to no more than 12.  Sean Hannity discussed the various keys to attracting younger listeners to the talk format on both radio and television (something he has proven to do very well) and was critical of today’s ratings system that largely ignores listenership to radio on the internet and satellite platforms.  Michael Harrison joined Del Colliano at the end of the conference for a free-wheeling Q&A wrap up of the day’s subject matter.  Harrison encouraged the attendees to trust in their own common sense and intuition, pointing out that all forward evolution in the arts and communication begin with someone taking a stand based on their gut instincts.  According to Harrison, “This was one of the most interesting, informative and well-organized conferences I have ever attended.”  Jerry Del Colliano will be a major speaker at the forthcoming “Talkers New York 2014” on Friday, June 20.  For information call 413-565-5413.

borrell logoBorrell Research Projects Hike in Recruitment Advertising.  Just what radio might realize from the projected 5.8% increase in dollars spent by employers seeking workers via broadcast isn’t certain and the category doesn’t break down radio, TV, and cable.  However, as the recruitment advertising report – subtitled The Long, Gray, Line – states, employers will spend $22.9 billion in the category this year.  “Of that, 84% is spent on online media, and of that, half is being spent on so-called digital services like developing websites, search engine optimization, and managing social media.  That services portion is growing at the fastest clip – nearly 50% growth in 2014 and potentially tripling over the next five years.  By 2018, we foresee a future where employers will spend 67% of their recruitment marketing budgets on digital services, 23% on classic digital advertising, and the remaining 10% on traditional media advertising.”  See more about the report here.

RIhof logoWOR, New York PD Tom Cuddy Leads Rhode Island Radio HoF Class of 2014.  The Rhode Island Radio Hall of Fame announces the class of 2014 inductees and they include: current WOR, New York program director Tom Cuddy (who got his start in radio at WPRO-AM in 1980); air personality and programmer Rick Everett (served at WGNG, WSNE, WWLI, WWBB, WRX, and WCTK; current WRNI news anchor/reporter and host Dave Fallon; New England Tech teacher and 30-plus year radio station staffer Paul Perry; the late Carroll “Pappy” Philbrook, who began his career in Rhode Island radio in the 1940s as an engineer at WHIM, WHJJ and WHJY; easy listening pioneer Tony Rizzini; and entertainment icon Saucy Silvia who hosted an entertainment program on WADK for 26 years.  Additionally, the Shepard Award – created to recognize the founders of radio (John and Robert Shepard, owners of the Shepard Department Stores) in the Ocean State and to honor present-day contributors to the industry through leadership, dedication, achievement, innovation and spirit – goes to Janice Skelly.  Skelly began her radio career in 1978, working for WPRO-FM in the sales department, and for most of the next 36 years, she remained a fixture within the sales and business operations of WLKW-AM/FM and WSNE-FM through several ownership changes.

ObamaCare Criticism, SCOTUS Hobby Lobby Case, Mid-Term Elections/2016 Presidential Race, Obama vs Putin/Russian Aggression, Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 Fate, and NSA Data Collection Policy Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/26).  Scrutiny of the rollout and effects of the Affordable Care Act; the Supreme Court Case that will decide the scope of religious exemptions for employer-provided health care; speculation about the political ramifications of the mid-term elections and possible candidates for president in 2016; Russian aggression in Eastern Europe and criticism of President Obama’s handling of Vladimir Putin; the fate of missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370; and concern over the NSA’s bulk data collection program were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

| March 18, 2014

graefejohnEntercom Ups Graefe to Chief Information Officer.  Twelve-year Entercom staffer John Graefe is promoted to a new post as the company’s first chief information officer, responsible for delivering a broad range of IT initiatives to support the company.  Graefe has been the vice president of IT and will continue to lead the team of employees overseeing the company’s IT infrastructure, as well as its strategy and partnerships.  In making the announcement, the company says Graefe is a tech leaderentercom with a unique view of IT innovation and its application in driving business objectives.  In this new role he will take over responsibilities for the company’s analytics and business intelligence initiatives.  He’ll report to EVP/CFO Steve Fisher, who comments, “John has demonstrated outstanding leadership in managing our IT organization while continuing to position IT as a strategic asset and business driver.  I am confident that, as CIO, he will continue to advance Entercom strategic platforms and strategies.”  Graefe says, “I am excited for the opportunity to continue leading the IT team at Entercom and further advancing our initiatives in analytics and business intelligence.   This will continue to enhance Entercom’s position as a leading broadcasting and marketing solutions company.”

rileyjulesRiley Returns to Journal Broadcast Group in Tulsa.  Most recently working as a consultant in the industry, Jules Riley is named operations manager for Journal Broadcast Group’s Tulsa operations, including news/talk KFAQ.  Tulsa VP/GM Bill Berry says, “We are very excited to welcome Jules back to Journal.  She has a stellar reputation in the industry and extensive experience with multiple formats.  I have no doubt that she will do a terrific job as our programming leader.”  Riley was the program director for Journal’s rock KICT “T95” and classic rock KFXJ “104.5 The Fox” in Wichita until 2001 before leaving to lead programming teams in St. Louis, Philadelphia and Phoenix.   She comments, “I am thrilled to rejoin Journal Broadcast Group and work with the phenomenal Tulsa team.  My thanks to Bill Berry, Beverlee Brannigan and Steve Wexler.”

“Trippin’ Out into the Future” with Michael Harrison.  The time has come for the rise of the MEDIA STATION.  When Jerry Del Colliano was asked what role TALKERS/RadioInfo publisher Michael Harrison will play at his forthcoming “Media Solutions Conference” in Philadelphia on Wednesday, March 26 – the noted industry observer and analyst described Harrison as a “futurist” and stated “Michael and I will trip out into the future of radio and digital content.”  Harrison’s reaction to delcollianojerrythe comment was that he was extremely flattered by the remark, stating, “Wow, to be in this business for 48 years and still be called a ‘futurist’ is a compliment, to say the least.  Those who know me personally or have heard me speak and read my articles over the decades know that I maintain a very healthy respect for the past and radio’s pop cultural heritage – HOWEVER, they also know that I do so only from the perspective that they help us navigate the wild waters of the future into which we must always be bravely sailing.”  Harrison continues, “There are several things that I am looking forward to discussing at Jerry’s seminar that span my interest in both talk and music radio…but first and foremost, I believe it’s time for the industry to come to terms with the theoretical (and increasingly real) concept of the “media station”harrisonmichael because that is, in fact, where we are heading in terms of platform.  And while many people in this business are running around uttering the half-baked phrase ‘content is king’ and counting their chickens over the seeming ease of entry to the internet — those who have an understanding of media theory and elementary art appreciation understand that without ‘platform,’ content cannot be monetized.  The ‘media station’ will be the platform of today’s radio station (as well as most newspapers and magazines) before this decade is over.  Those who prepare for this and understand exactly what it entails will not only survive — they will thrive — and continue to successfully ride the traditional time-line of our glorious industry from one century to the next.  Those who do not will drown in the vast ocean of noise that is the undeveloped, platform-less internet.”  Harrison will be one of three special guest speakers at the conference.  Along with WBEB, Philadelphia (“More FM”) owner Jerry Lee and nationally syndicated Premiere Networks and Fox News Channel talk star Sean Hannity.  The intensive day-long workshop will focus on a wide variety of digital-era issues currently facing and challenging radio.  These include coming to a better understanding of the Millennial generation, learning to disrupt radio itself before its media rivals do, separating radio’s main product into unique on-air and online categories, effectively using video to generate significant amounts of revenue, reinventing the morning show, time-shifting radio, making commercials less of a liability and much more.  Harrison adds, “I am really looking forward to participating in this conference and tackling these crucial issues with a bunch of smart people from all ends of the business.  Jerry Lee has so much to share about running an independent station in an aggressive, winning way – we could sure use more Jerry Lees in this industry – and Sean Hannity is the very definition of a classy guy who rose to the very top of the talent ladder.  One of the things Sean brings to the table is the ability to attract younger listeners to traditional news/talk – he has done quite alright in already solving questions to which most people are actively seeking answers.”  The event takes place at Philadelphia’s Rittenhouse Hotel.  For more information click here.

nielsen logoFirst Round of February PPM Data Released.  PPM data from the first of four groups of 12 markets for the February 2014 period (January 30 – February 26) has been released by Nielsen Audio.  Those markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey).  TALKERS magazine’s sister publication RadioInfo has all the (subscriber) numbers here.  Managing editor and West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian offers his “Ten Takeaways” from the report at RadioInfo.com here.

wnfl logoOdds & Sods.  The station that will benefit from Midwest Communications’ purchase of the construction permit for an FM translator licensed to Howard, Wisconsin (W221DA at 92.1) is sports talk WNFL, Green Bay.  Midwest is buying the CP from David M. Stout for $65,000.  Howard lies northwest and adjacent to the City of Green Bay…..The mystery of the disappearance of Malaysian Airlines flight 370 has been a boon to the ratings of cable news/talk channel CNN.  The ratings woes of the channel are well known to industry watchers and the recent news has boosted the channel’s ratings above those of its competitors Fox News Channel and MSNBC in recent days.

Crimea Votes to Join Russia/Obama vs. Putin, Malaysian Airline Flight 370 Mystery, Mid-Term Elections/2016 Presidential Race, ObamaCare Criticism, Los Angeles Quake, and Lingering Winter Weather/Global Warming Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/17).  The Crimea-Russia case and criticism of President Obama’s handling of Vladimir Putin; the ongoing mystery of the disappearance of Malaysian Airlines Flight 370; the forecasting of political change with the mid-term elections and speculation about the 2016 presidential race; scrutiny of the rollout and effects of the Affordable Care Act; Monday’s Los Angeles earthquake and concerns about another one; and the chilly weather still affecting the Midwest and East and the global warming controversy were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

| February 25, 2014

levinmarkMark Levin to Be Honored at CPAC.  Nationally syndicated talk show host Mark Levin will receive the inaugural Andrew Breitbart Defender of the First Amendment Award at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Thursday, March 6.  According to a story on Breitbart.com’s Big Journalism, Breitbart News editor-in-chief Alex Marlow will introduce Citizens United president David Bossie, who will present the award to Levin along with Breitbart News president and CEO Larry Solov and Breitbart News executive chairman Stephen K. Bannon.  Solov says, “Mark Levin fearlessly and passionately stands up for conservatives and everyday Americans whose voices the mainstream press often tries to marginalize or silence.  And like Andrew Breitbart, Levin has a way of cutting through the mainstream press’s filter with his words and is never afraid to have arrows slung at him by the institutional left on the front lines of the fight.”  David Bossie comments, “Levin is not only a friend, but supports and defends the vision of our Founding Fathers on his nationally syndicated radio program daily.  There is nobody better to receive this inaugural award and I am happy that he will be joining us at CPAC to accept it.”  Levin’s show is syndicated by Cumulus Media Networks.

kkfn logoProgramming Additions at LFM’s Denver Sports Outlets.  At Lincoln Financial Media’s Denver cluster, changes are taking place beginning Monday, March 3 that will put Fox Sports Radio/DirecTV’s Dan Patrick on KKFN “104.3 The Fan,” moving over from sister sports station KEPN “1600 The Zone.”  To make room, Sandy Clough leaves the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon slot where Patrick will air and joins Drew Goodman and Scott Hastings for the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm show.  Program director Nate Lundy states, “Like many in Denver, I’m a big fan of Dan Patrick.  As we take the next step in our evolution, it only makes sense to bring the number one national personality to ‘The Fan.’  His perspective and top-level guests will further solidify our commitment to the best sports talk in town.”  KKFN is also debuting a new evening show called “The Fan Late Night with Ryan Edwards and Shawn Drotar” that is airing from 9:00 pm to 12:00 midnight.  Lundy adds, “Sandy Clough has been part of The Fan’s success for over 17 years and putting him alongside two other outstanding Denver sports veterans will make for a great show for our listeners.  ‘The Fan Late Night’ will give fans of Denver’s four major pro sports teams a chance to sound off as part of their postgame experience.”  Lundy says a new lineup on KEPN will be announced in the near future as Patrick’s show transitions to “104.3 The Fan.”

mhnrbapanelMichael Harrison Speaks at NRB 2014 in Nashville.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison (c) participated as a keynote speaker yesterday afternoon (2/24) at the National Religious Broadcasters (NRB) conference in Nashville in a general session focused on “Values in American Popular Media.”  The presentation included an opening address by Harrison followed by a spirited panel discussion in which he was joined by DeVon Franklin, SVP of production, Columbia Tristar Pictures (l) and Russell Moore, president, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (r).  Harrison used the platform as an opportunity to espouse his personal and professional philosophy that the combination of vigilant community service and high ethical standards equate to good and successful business strategy in the media industries – especially radio.  Harrison told the conference, “Radio of all formats – not just Christian specifically – should never miss an opportunity to be a hero and serve the true needs of humanity within its local, national and even global market reach.  Why wait for a hurricane or natural disaster to suddenly go into emergency mode?  Why limit our potential to just being the ‘Sterno’ of media?  Day-to-day life provides a nonstop series of emergencies, pain, fear, sorrow and loss on a very human scale that we have the power to calm and alleviate in addition to providing our regular menus of music and talk entertainment, information and discussion.  If we do this with sincerity and authenticity on a consistent level, the communities we serve will amply reward us with both ratings and financial support and the self-fulfilling prophecy about radio being a dying medium will be forestalled for decades to come.”  Harrison warned the crowd that “Christian and religious broadcasting has a head start on fulfilling this role because it is woven into the basic fabric of its service – however, in its passion and zeal to compete in the same marketplace of ideas and commerce co-occupied by secular media, it should be careful not to fall into the trap of stifling the First Amendment rights of dissenting voices and lifestyles nor succumb to the present-day widespread practice to seeking victory at the expense of truth for commercial and political advantage.”

meyersstevenSteven Meyers Heads Digital Strategy at Greater Media.  This is a promotion for Steven Meyers who joined Greater Media Philadelphia in 2012 as digital manager.  Now, in this new director of digital strategy role for all of Greater Media, he will be responsible for helping to grow Greater Media’s audiences and revenue by developing new digital platforms that deepen listener engagement while providing new opportunities to the company’s commercial partners.  He comments, “Greater Media understands that ‘digital’ isn’t just a separate line of business, but a foundational component of our brand experiences and client value.  I’m very excited to become a larger part of shaping that vision.”  Greater Media CEO Peter Smyth adds, “We look forward to having Steve share his valuable knowledge and insight with our teams as we continue to grow and drive our company’s interactive efforts into the future.”

fornicolajasonHubbard’s WFED, Washington Names Fornicola Director of Custom Media.  Coming to Hubbard’s Washington, DC talk and federal news outlet WFED is Jason Fornicola in the new position, director of custom media.  Fornicola recently worked as communications specialist for the American Federation of Government Employees.  He also hosted the weekly AFGE radio program “Inside Government.”  In a statement, director of federal sales Ralph Renzi comments, “We have worked with Jason for seven years and are impressed with his experience and success in journalism, as well as his innovative outreach.  Our investment in providing greater resources for our clients will help us solve more complex marketing objectives.”

edisonresearchEdison Research to Present ‘Infinite Dial 2014’ Next Week.  In a teaser for the free webinar from Edison Research and new partner Triton Digital, the companies report that data from this year’s study shows “31% of Americans 12+ report using the internet radio service Pandora on a monthly basis, up from 27% one year ago.  iHeartRadio is used by 9% monthly, while iTunes Radio, which debuted in 2013, comes in third with 8% monthly usage, followed by 6% using Spotify.”  The webinar takes place Wednesday,tritondigital March 5 at 2:00 pm ET.  Edison says this is the 22nd study in “The Infinite Dial” series, one of the longest-running research series covering consumer use of media, technology and digital platforms.  The webinar will be co-presented by Edison Research VP of strategy Tom Webster, and Triton Digital COO Mike Agovino.  Topics covered will include:  An update on Internet Audio usage, including new data on iTunes Radio, Beats Music, and other services; recent growth in podcasting; the growth in smartphone ownership, and how it has changed consumer behavior; updates on social media usage for services including Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Pinterest and more; and the connected car, and in-car usage of digital media.

alexanderbarbraFinancial Talk Host Convicted in Fraud Case.  A federal jury convicted Barbra Alexander Monterey, California on 28 counts of conspiracy and fraud for her role in a Ponzi scheme.  Sixty-four-year-old Alexander worked with APS Funding partner Michael Swanson to host “Money Dots” on Clear Channel-owned KION, Monterey and other outlets.  Prosecutors had alleged Alexander and Swanson bilked investors of some $4 million.  Alexander is expected to get a lengthy prison term.  Swanson was previously convicted.

pregnantNew Maternity Leave Policy for Cumulus Announced.  Radio giant Cumulus Media announces a change to its human resources policy by adding “the implementation of an industry-leading maternity leave policy providing new mothers with six weeks of fully paid time off in addition to the paid time off and disabilitycumulus logo benefits currently provided to employees.”  The company says the policy takes effect immediately and is available to all full-time, non-commission employees with at least one year of service.  Chairman and CEO Lew Dickey states, “Cumulus continues to grow and innovate thanks to the dedication of our colleagues across the country.  We are committed to providing benefits that recognize employees’ health and family needs, and providing fully paid leave to new mothers after they give birth is the right thing to do.”

nabcrystalawardNAB Crystal Award Finalists Announced.  The 50 finalists for the 2014 Crystal Awards have been announced and that list can be found here.  The National Association of Broadcasters states that since 1987, the NAB Crystal Radio Awards have recognized radio stations for their outstanding year-round commitment to community service.  Winners will be announced and the finalists will be honored at the NAB Radio Luncheon.  The Luncheon will be held Tuesday, April 8 during the 2014 NAB Show in Las Vegas.  During the luncheon, Yahoo tech columnist David Pogue will present a keynote address and popular national radio personality, television host and best-selling author Steve Harvey will be inducted into the NAB Broadcasting Hall of Fame.

kfwbcargiveawayThis Brand New Car Is No Mirage.  Well, actually it is.  It’s a 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage and it’s now the property of Anita Gowing of Whittier, California (right).  She was the winner of the KFWB, Los Angeles giveaway that took place at South Coast Mitsubishi on Sunday, February 23.  Gowing is seen reacting as her key starts the car.  Inside the car with her is KFWB afternoon news co-anchor Maggie McKay (left).  As part of the contest, 124 listeners won a pair of tickets to an upcoming LA Clippers game and got a key for a chance to win the car.

ObamaCare Criticism, NFL N-word Penalty, Arizona Religious Rights Bill, Ukraine Unrest-Russian Influence, Hagel’s Proposed Military Cuts, and Winter Weather Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/24).  Scrutiny of the rollout and effects of the Affordable Care Act; the NFL’s new rule penalizing teams for players’ use of the n-word during games; the Arizona bill that would allow businesses to discriminate for religious reasons; the political turmoil in Ukraine and the influence of Putin’s Russia; Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s proposed shrinking of the Army to its smallest size in 74 years; and a new round of winter weather for the East were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, February 17, 2014

| February 17, 2014

wgwg logoWGN-Programmed FM Debuts Today as Sports Talk ‘The Game 87.7.’  Chicago media writer Robert Feder has the scoop following Friday’s announcement that Tribune’s WGN, Chicago will LMA WKQX-LP at 87.7 beginning today.  Last week Feder tipped us that Jonathon Brandmeier would do mornings when Tribune begins programming the station, but now he informs us the station will be thewgnlogo market’s first FM sports talk station branded “The Game 87.7.”  In addition to Brandmeier in mornings, the rest of the lineup will be: current WGN evening sports host David Kaplan and Chicago Tribune sports columnist David Haugh in middays, followed by WGN’s Alex Quigley and Big Ten Network’s Howard Griffith hosting an early afternoon show.  Former WMVP personality Harry Teinowitz and Spike Manton will host late afternoons with WGN’s Mark Carman hosting the evening show.  Overnights will feature programming from NBC Sports Radio Network.  WGN’s Jordan Bernfield will serve as full-time sports reporter.  Making the move over to the FM from WGN, Kaplan is giving up his “Sports Central” show on WGN and late night host Pete McMurray is bumped into the 7:00 pm to 11:00 pm slot.  Read Feder’s entire column here.

vitalejill‘Flirty Flipper’ Returns to WABC to Produce ‘Curtis & Kuby.’  It’s a return to the studios at Cumulus Media’s WABC, New York for Jill Vitale (a.k.a. Flirty Flipper) who served as Sean Hannity’s producer beginning in 1999 when he was a local NYC-only show.  During her time there she also produced John Gambling’s program before leaving in 2011.  Now, she returns to produce the midday show featuring Curtis Sliwa and Ron Kuby.

kevt logoTucson Talk Personality Jim Parisi to LMA KEVT.  Market talk radio pro Jim Parisi is taking over the operation of One Mart Corp.-owned KEVT under an LMA and is re-branding the former Spanish music station as news/talk radio outlet “Power Talk 1210.”  Tucson Weekly reports Parisi will serve as general manager in addition to hosting the 7:00 am to 10:00 am program.  Other personalities will include Providence, Rhode Island-based Steve Kass for 5:00 am to 7:00 am and John C. Scott for the 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm program.  Fox Sports Radio Network programming will air in evenings and on weekends.  Parisi tells the paper, “I’ve come to a point that the only way to be happy is doing what I believe in.  I’m not doing anything that doesn’t reflect how I truly feel, so it will be the most genuine station I can be a part of.  We should have more local programming than most anyone in town.  We want to be as local, but as budget conscious, as we can so that we don’t go away.”

knbrlogoKNBR, San Francisco Takes Beating Over Olympics Coverage.  When Cumulus Media-owned sports talk outlet KNBR, San Francisco cut away from its coverage of the U.S.A.-Russia men’s hockey game during the shoot-out (which the U.S.A won!) to air “Hooked on Golf,” critics took to the internet to blast the station for the move.  The sports media critique site AwfulAnnouncing called the station out and posted a series of Tweets from fellow critics.  One Tweet came in from a Ryan Covay, who appears to be a KNBR staffer, saying, “I’m @ryancovay at home, not at station.  I imagine it’s because there are specific shows that need to air.  Apologies.”  It’s not been confirmed by KNBR but it appears the “Hooked on Golf” show is a brokered show that broadcasts live from a golf course in San Mateo.  That could explain the decision to cut away.

johnsondaniXtreMEDIA Expands Dani Johnson Show to Daily Format.  More than two years ago, the Dani Johnson show debuted on weekends on premier affiliate WNYM, New York “AM 970 The Answer.”  Now, the program moves to a daily format beginning today (2/17) and Johnson’s program will be available seven days per week.  XtreMEDIA states that “Johnson’s brand of ‘No Excuses, Just Results’ is now heard/seen in more than 66 million television householdsXtreMedialogo nationally, heard in more than 112 terrestrial radio markets, cleared on SiriusXM, and streamed/accessed by hundreds of thousands of social media users on her wesbite, social media pages, and her proprietary smartphone app.  And now she is accessed seven days a week.”  Johnson adds, “I can’t believe how much fun I’m having doing a daily show.  My true desire is to continue to help push people to achieve results in all areas of their lives, so that they can take back control, build financial resources, build stable marriages and families, and ultimately feed orphans and help those who need it most.”  XtreMEDIA CEO Kevin McCullough comments, “Dani connects with people — especially in this hyper-partisan environment — in ways that few people can.  The beauty of her show is that it doesn’t matter where you are on the spectrum of success, if you apply exactly what she shows you, you achieve better results.”

nrb logoMichael Harrison to Speak in Keynote Session at National Religious Broadcasters Convention.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison will serve as a keynote speaker next week at the NRB International Christian Media Convention 2014 in Nashville.  The event, which runs February 22-25 and is preceded by a one-day Digital Media Summit on February 21, is billed as an event that networks thousands of Christian communicators, from program producers to authors, pastors to engineers, directors to vendors presenting outstanding internationally known speakers and musicians and giving attendees the opportunity to attend numerous educational sessions on radio, TV, film, church media, internet and leadership, and receive helpful industry training.  Harrison, whose two-hour session will take place on Monday, February 24 at 2:00 pm, states, “I am really looking forward to participating in this event and spending time getting to better know people from the faith-based sector of the radio and media industries.  It will certainly give me the opportunity to embellish one of the key points of my own personal view of what radio needs to do to be a viable and productive entity in the digital era – and that is to never miss any opportunity to be a hero…to literally serve the community… to spread hope and inspiration…to talk about the many crisis and challenges facing people in everyday life and help them cope.  I recommend this course of action to all broadcasters – but this is a community where it is already proven to be a winning strategy.  I am honored to be a part of this event.”  The conference will take place at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center in Nashville.  For more information please click here.

rothmanloriOdds & Sods.  On the Fox Business News cable TV simulcast of Cumulus Media NetworksDon Imus show, Lori Rothman is the new business news update reporter.  TVNewser reports that Rothman is moving into the morning role after serving as part of the early-afternoon “Markets Now” crew.  She’s joining FBN’s Connell McShane and Dagen McDowell…..Clear Channel names Brent Henslee operations manager for the company’s six-station Macon, Georgia cluster that includes sports talk WPLA “Fox Sports 1670” and all-comedy WIBB…..KCRW, Santa Monica personality Matt Miller announces he will run as a Democrat for the seat in Congress being vacated by the retiring Henry Waxman.  Miller is co-host of “Left, Right & Center” on the public radio station.  He’s also a columnist for the Washington Post.  Several Democrats are competing in the primary for the party’s nomination to run in the general election.

hendersonangeloDetroit Media Personality Angelo Henderson Dead at 51.  WCHB, Detroit talk show host Angelo Henderson passed away on Saturday (2/15) at age 51 after an illness.  The Radio One Detroit cluster issued the following statement on the WCHB website: “We at Radio One Detroit are devastated by unexpected news today.  We regretfully must confirm the passing of one of our on-air icons Angelo B. Henderson.  Henderson has been with Radio One Detroit for 15 years and was the host of the popular talk show “Your Voice with Angelo Henderson” on Newstalk AM1200/99.9FM WCHB for the past 6 years.”  Vice president and general manager Kathy Stinehour adds, “Angelo was a strong pillar in the community, I am saddened by his untimely passing and he will be greatly missed by the entire Detroit community and his Radio One Detroit family.”  In addition to his broadcasting work Henderson was a Pulitzer Prize-winning writer.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

| February 6, 2014

gustinpeteImaging with Style and Class in a PPM World.  Your imaging should not try to beat the listener over the head with your message, says voice-over and creative services pro Pete Gustin. Instead, “when done right, your radio imaging will give your listeners the overall impression that you are exactly what you tell them you are.  It’s extremely powerful in fact.”  What’s the difference?  Gustin points out that “the local car dealerships scream about their deals and discounts.  The car manufacturers, however, brand their vehicle lines with high-end music, breathtaking imagery, top-notch actors and subtle innuendo.  Don’t be a local car dealer screaming at your listeners.”  Read more of Gustin’s useful pointers for getting station imaging tuned up for connecting with modern consumers here.

nielsenstateoffeb2014Nielsen Releases Audio Study Charting Use of Radio.  A new report from Nielsen titled “State of the Media: Audio Today 2014” is a graphics-intense, 15-page summary of the use of radio among the population based on data culled from the Nielsen RADAR 119 December 2013 and the Nielsen National Regional Database Spring 2013.  The study illustrates what most industry insiders probably already know – that the majority of radio listening among all demographics is done outside the home, and that Millennials listen to less radio during a given week than their older fellow media consumers.  But the report also notes that “overall, midday is the highest-rated daypart,” due most likely to high at-work listening, though the 7:00 am hour is still the one with the most people listening to radio.  The comparison of the three generations – Boomers, Gen Xers and Millennials – shows the difference in the use of radio on a weekly basis.  Some may quibble with the results.  For example, the report states that 88.2% of Men 12-17 hear at least 5 minutes of radio during the week compared to 95% of Men 45-54 who hear at least 5 minutes of radio.  There are industry observers who will claim the 88.2% figure is probably too high – that fewer are actually listening to radio – but the figure doesn’t pretend to show heavy users of radio, just those who’ve heard at least 5 minutes during the week.  Regardless, the study does show the lower number of young consumers hearing AM/FM radio on a weekly basis compared to the rest of the population.  Nielsen promises to update and expand on the study on a quarterly basis.  See the entire study here.

clearchannelClear Channel and Horizon Media Enter into Cross-Platform Partnership.  Media services agency Horizon Media and Clear Channel are announcing a partnership they call a “$100 million multi-year, cross-platform” relationship.  In a statement, Clear Channel says this pact will create “first-to-market integrated marketing partnership opportunities for Horizon clients and exclusive access to select Clear Channel platforms including out-of-home, horizonmediabroadcast, mobile, events and digital.”  Horizon’s clients include such ubiquitously marketed products as Corona beer, GEICO insurance, The History Channel and Silk.  Clear Channel adds that the relationship will “provide Horizon Media with exclusive rights across key events and promotions, including select Artist Integration Programs, World Premieres, customized shows at Clear Channel’s iconic iHeartRadio Theaters in New York and Los Angeles, as well as special events created just for Horizon clients.  In addition, the agency will have access to the full array of creative talent at Clear Channel Media and Entertainment for special content creation opportunities.  The partnership will also allow for the co-creation of new psychographic targeting systems utilizing Horizon’s proprietary tools and insights fused with unique music and consumer research built on Clear Channel Media’s industry-leading national reach.  The valuable research insights developed throughout the partnership will fuel further media mix model development.”  Horizon founder and CEO Bill Koenigsberg states, “We’re excited about this ground-breaking partnership and the positive impact it will have for our clients’ business.  I’ve been impressed with the transformation of Clear Channel into a multi-platform company that can provide national reach while activating locally and providing measurable ROI.”

kapelmikeMike Kapel Named PD at WDAY, Fargo.  At the Forum Communications-owned news/talker WDAY, Fargo, market pro Mike Kapel takes over the program director position.  He’ll also host the mid-morning 9:00 am to 11:00 am program.  According to the Fargo Forum, Kapel is a native who’s worked in music radio for the past 20 years.  Operations manager Jim Manney says, “There is nobody that I trust more than Mike to take over the day-to-day operations of 970 WDAY.”  Kapel comments, “I am excited to lead the charge into a new era.  As someone who grew up here and as somebody who understands the importance of WDAY to the community, it’s an exciting place to be.”

stephanbignocapDoug Stephan Joins TalkersRadio in Development of New Show – “American Family Farmer” — to Launch This Weekend.  One of the longest-running syndicated personalities in the business, “Good Day” host Doug Stephan, is launching a new program into development on TALKERS magazine’s online radio station, TalkersRadio, this Saturday morning (2/8).  The one-hour program which will air Saturdays at 8:00 am ET with repeat broadcasts throughout the week is a significant departure from Stephan’s generalist weekday morning show, “Good Day” which is heard on hundreds of terrestrial stations and is one of the most-listened-to on-air talk shows in the country.  The new program is titled “The American Family Farmer with Doug Stephan” and it taps into a side of the seasoned broadcaster not often displayed publicly in his career thus far as a broadcaster – and that is his alternate career as a farmer.  Yes, Doug Stephan is an independent dairy farmer operating two family farms for a number of years in the Boston suburb of Framingham, Massachusetts.  In this capacity, Stephan is on top of the numerous issues — many of crisis proportions — facing today’s small farmer in America.  He tells TALKERS, “There is a pressing need for a no-nonsense talk show that serves as antalkersradio logo advocate for the interests of the small, independent, family farmer in this great country of ours that is being squeezed on all ends by the combined interests of the mega-corporate agricultural giants – backed by the government – economically and otherwise.”  Stephan continues, “This is an area close to my heart and because I am deeply entrenched in this business, as well as broadcasting, I know the issues first-hand and like the back of my hand.”  The program will feature commentaries and observations by Stephan, the latest information of value to family farmers and interviews with experts from agriculture, academia and government.  Stephan says, “We aim to make a big difference.”  On making the announcement of this new program’s launch, TalkersRadio general manager David Bernstein states, “We are extremely focused on bringing this program to its fullest potential on the ‘experimental’ radio platform that is TalkersRadio.  The on-air syndicated potential of this show is absolutely enormous with literally hundreds of rural and small market stations across the heartland of America ripe to carry such a powerful vehicle with so important a mission.  Meantime, our job at TalkersRadio is to provide Doug Stephan with a ‘safe’ workout space to bring this project up to speed, as we are doing with the growing roster of hosts such as Alan Colmes, Lionel, Brent Seltzer, Meg McDonald, Robbie Student, the Gooches and their projects that are already incubating on this exciting stage.  And we are only just getting started!  Man, I am really loving this job!”

limbaughrushNot So Fast.  Attorney and activist Sandra Fluke will not run for the seat being vacated by Congressman Henry Waxman (D-CA) after all.  Fluke tells the Los Angeles Times that her filing papers in the state of California was a preliminary move and that she has decided that she can accomplish more of her goals in a “better way.”  Fluke’s national profile skyrocketed after Rush Limbaugh called her a “slut” as part of a critique of the provision that Catholic organizations be forced to provide birth control to students and employees under the Affordable Care Act.  The incident ignited a backlash against Limbaugh and talk radio in general by special interest groups such as Media Matters for America.

wow-fm logoCool Job Opportunity.  Cumulus Media-owned news/talk WOW-FM, Des Moines is looking for a morning host/program director to lead the station to the next level of success.  This person will play a huge role in shaping WOW’s sound by generating great local content and overseeing the presentation of the station’s syndicated programming, imaging and on-air promotion.  The successful candidate will have the proven ability to host an information-intensive morning show along with a basic understanding of news/talk programming principles and a desire to develop professionally.  Salary is commensurate with experience and ratings history.  Resumes, ratings history, references and mp3 should be sent in confidence to cumulusradio.jobs@cumulus.com with the subject “Des Moines News/Talk PD.”  Cumulus Media is an EOE.

ObamaCare Criticism, Sochi Horror Stories, Hillary in 2016, Financial Markets Activity, Marijuana Laws, and IRS Targeting Scandal Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/5).  Continuing scrutiny of the rollout of the Affordable Care Act; reports from the Winter Olympics site of widespread unpreparedness as the games get ready to open on Friday; the speculation that Hillary Clinton will run for president in 2016; the selling of stocks in financial markets around the world on weak factory reports in the U.S. and China; controversy over the implementation of the new marijuana laws in various states and the effects the changes may be having; and the House hearing investigating allegations of the IRS’ targeting of conservative groups were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Friday, January 31, 2014

| January 31, 2014

westwoodone logoCuts at Cumulus-Owned WestwoodOne Happening; SVP Amy Bolton Exits.  The names of those being let go are coming out as Cumulus Media begins the cuts at WestwoodOne that have been expected since the acquisition of then-Dial Global closed.  Numerous high-level executives are beingboltonamy shown the door – in many instances where there are duplicative positions between WestwoodOne and the Cumulus Media Networks.  Cumulus CEO Lew Dickey is promising investors he can realize $40 million in synergies and eliminating these positions is one of the ways he hopes to accomplish that.  WestwoodOne  SVP and general manager of news & talk Amy Bolton – who’s been with the organization going back when it was Jones Radio Networks – is let go.  Also reportedly out in this round of cuts are: chief marketing officer Christina Albee; EVP/Eastern director Eileen Decker; and SVP of research Paul Bronstein.

lionelLionel Joins TalkersRadio in Development of New Show to Launch This Weekend.  One of the most original personalities in the business, radio talk show host Lionel, is launching a new program on TALKERS magazine’s online radio station, TalkersRadio, tomorrow morning (2/1).  The self-titled show “Lionel” will air live on the “experimental” talk show platform Saturday mornings between 9:00 am and 10:00 am ET and run as a regular weekly series.  It will feature the intellectually stimulating talk media star in an hour of free-form conversation and reflection about the wide variety of topics that fall within his realm of interest.  Lionel describes his plans for the new program as “spoken thought not spoken word” telling TALKERS, “The show will be the editorial cartoon versus the editorial.  Broadcast idea topiaries.  Stream of consciousness meets targeted subject selection.  No left-right paradigm blather.  No bumper sticker, talkersradio logoplaybook, echo chamber drivel.  As I feel, as I want, as I please.”  A veteran of such major outlets as WABC and WOR, New York among others, as well as being a podcast pioneer at lionelmedia.com, the quirky, satirical and extremely original observer of the human condition has been enjoying tremendous success conceiving, writing, producing and performing daily commentaries on the heritage WPIX-TV, Channel 11 in New York City.  The ex-prosecutor Lionel has also added his insight and experience as its resident legal analyst.  However, he has not forgotten his roots in and love for radio and promises that his 9:00 am to 10:00 am Saturday show will provide Lionel enthusiasts around the country with a version of his work that is “like nothing they have ever heard before.  This will truly be Lionel unchained!”  On making the announcement of Lionel’s joining the station, TalkersRadio general manager David Bernstein says, “Lionel joining this ‘audio workout space’ is a perfect example of what TalkersRadio is about and hopes to achieve – and that is to provide select people in this business as well as potentially outstanding newcomers with the opportunity to try and develop things that are not being done in the traditional on-air space for the sake of moving the industry forward.”

kono-am logoCox Flips KONO-AM, San Antonio to Sports Talk.  The AM side of the KONO-AM/FM simulcast flips to sports talk using the CBS Sports Radio Network after more than 20 years airing the classic hits format of sister KONO-FM.  Cox Media Group San Antonio vice president and market manager Dan Lawrie states, “We’re excited to bring this level of quality sports programming to San Antonio.  Additionally, South Texas sports fans should be glad to welcome the return of the Jim Rome show after a two-year absence in the market.”  CBS Sports Radio program director Eric Spitz adds, “We’ve put together a tremendous lineup of experienced hosts with strong opinions and personalities who perfectly capture the passion and excitement of the sports fan.  With sports, the action never stops, and CBS Sports Radio provides listeners with cutting-edge analysis, high-profile interviews and late breaking news.”

harrisleslieWCKG-AM, Chicago Names Leslie Harris Director of Community Programming.  At the Matt Dubiel-run DuPage Radio LLC, market personality Leslie Harris is named director of community programming and host at the suburban talk station.  Harris recently exited NextMedia’s suburban rocker WERV “95.9 The River” and Dubiel comments, “Leslie was the full addition I made at WERV and I am over the moon excited to have a Downers Grove rock mamma as part of our local team.”

wtjk logoGood Karma Sells Janesville, Wisconsin Stations to Local Operator.  Two stations in the Janesville, Wisconsin market – rock WWHG “105.9 The Hog” and sports talk WTJK “ESPN Radio 1380” – are being sold by Craig Karmazin’s Good Karma Broadcasting to Scott Thompson who operates stations in nearby Monroe, Wisconsin and Freeport, Illinois.  The Janesville Gazette reports that Thompson plans to keep the staff already in place at both stations and possibly add an employee.  He tells the paper WTJK may air less ESPN content and more local news.  Thompson takes over under an LMA while the transaction works its way through the FCC approval process.

weeidirtywaterWEEI-FM, Boston Begins Friday Night Promotion.  In a partnership with local watering hole The Greatest Bar and local media sources Dirty Water TV and DirtyWaterNews.com, Entercom sports talk WEEI-FM begins broadcasting the “Planet Mikey” show with Mikey Adams live from The Greatest Bar Friday, February 7 from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm.  The show will feature celebrity guests from the world of sports and entertainment.  WEEI brand manager Kevin Graham, citing the bar’s proximity to the TD Garden, states, “It’s a natural fit to partner with the Dirty Water brand and The Greatest Bar.  Combining Mikey’s unique entertaining style, the Dirty Water connections for guests and content, and the proximity to the TD Garden will make for a fun atmosphere and a great listen on ‘93.7FM WEEI’ and the WEEI Sports Radio Network.”  Bill Fairweather is co-owner of The Greatest Bar and creator of Dirty Water TV.  He says WEEI-FM is the perfect radio partner for Dirty Water’s growing array of media entities. “When we decided to add radio to the growing menu of media options that our brand delivers to Greater Boston and beyond, WEEI – with its strong sports focus – was a natural partner for us.  Entertainment and celebrity mix very well with sports and The Greatest Bar is the perfect location to bring those topics together.  We’re excited to have the opportunity to add these new dimensions to WEEI’s radio offerings.”

Odds & Sods.  In honor of Rosa Parks Day on February 4, the Premiere Networks-syndicated Comedy 24/7 format will air special clips of comics of the civil rights era talking about the issue.  African American comedians including Dick Gregory, Godfrey Cambridge and Slappy White were outspoken about necessary changes to be made in our society during that time and the format will air special tracks by these comedians and others as they spoke out in the language of the times at :57 after the hour all day on February 4…..Former NFL coach and executive Mike Holmgren will serve as a football analyst with Clear Channel’s sport talk KJR, Seattle next season after handling the same duties in 2013…..Milwaukee Brewers radio play-by-play voice Bob Uecker will step back a little bit from his duties with the team beginning this season as he’ll call fewer road games for flagship WTMJ, Milwaukee.  Uecker, who turns 80 this year, will still call all home games and be present for spring training in Arizona.

traduphaitiJoy and Hope Amidst the Misery.  Pictured here with children in Port Au Prince, Haiti is Salem Radio Network VP/news & talk programming Tom Tradup.  He tells TALKERS he is there with Salem Radio News documenting conditions in Haiti on the fourth anniversary of the devastating 2010 earthquake that left 300,000 dead and millions homeless.  He’s embedded with the relief organization Food for the Poor and has been visiting slums, orphanages and feeding centers for the news network’s five-part special series on “The Poorest of the Poor.”  Tradup reports that Salem VP/director spoken word format Phil Boyce (who also is serving as operations manager of the New York stations) is there working on documenting the trip for a New York market broadcast.

deacesteveTALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  New York-based XtreMEDIA announces a number of affiliates joining three of the company’s offerings.  First, the daily Kevin McCullough show is added to the program schedule at WCIS-AM, Morganton, North Carolina; WCST-AM, Berkeley Springs, West Virginia; WGEA, Geneva, Alabama; and KNLB-FM, Blythe, California.  The nightly Steve Deace program joins the lineup at WGTK-AM, Louisville; WTOH-FM, Columbus; and WWTC, Minneapolis.  Finally, the weekend “Baldwin/McCullough” show is now heard on WMRC, Milford, Massachusetts and WYPV-FM, Mackinaw City, Michigan…..The GCN-syndicated “America Tonight” with Kate Delaney joins the program schedule at WKVL, Knoxville.

The State of the Union Address Top Talk Radio Story This Week.  According to the Talkers TenTM, the president’s State of the Union Address was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week of January 27-31.  At #2 this week was criticism of the rollout of the Affordable Care Act.  Following at #3 was new immigration legislation and the prospect of amnesty and at #4 was the extreme winter weather affecting much of the nation.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week.  It is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS and is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

| January 14, 2014

dollarsignJohn Hogan’s Exit from Clear Channel Cushioned with Cash.  Although the official line from former Clear Channel Media + Entertainment chairman and CEO John Hogan and the company is that he wanted to “spend more time with his family” and the time was right, a fair number of jaded industry watchers will never believe he wasn’t forced out – especially just seven months after he was moved to the company’s New York City offices to work more closely with CC Media Holdings chairman and CEO Bob Pittman.  The company’s 8-K filing details what Hogan is walking away with after his time leading the division.  Here’s what he can counthoganjohn on: $900,000, representing the amount previously earned by Hogan pursuant to a supplemental incentive plan with respect to 2012 performance; an annual bonus of $77,250 for performance during 2013; and a prorated annual bonus with respect to the days he was employed during 2014.  Pursuant to the Separation Agreement and in consideration of the extension by Mr. Hogan of certain restrictive covenants applicable to him, the vesting of 93,076 restricted shares of Class A Common Stock of CCMH granted to Mr. Hogan on October 22, 2012 will be accelerated and CCMH will repurchase 83,938 of such shares (the aggregate repurchase amount of such repurchased shares, the “Repurchase Amount”), provided Mr. Hogan does not revoke the Separation Agreement.  Additionally, in exchange for the Separation Agreement, Mr. Hogan’s release of claims and the extension of certain restrictive covenants applicable to him, and provided that Mr. Hogan does not revoke the Separation Agreement, CCB agreed to pay Mr. Hogan: $333,000, representing the remaining amount earned by Mr. Hogan pursuant to a supplemental incentive plan with respect to 2011 performance; an “equity value preservation payment” equal to $1,027,355, paid in a lump sum payment; a lump sum severance payment equal to (x) $1,538,000 minus (y) the Repurchase Amount; a severance payment equal to $3,297,000, paid over 36 months; and a payment of $1,000,000, paid over 12 months, beginning on the first anniversary of the date of separation.  Hogan is also entitled to receive continued healthcare coverage for 36 months, continued secretarial services for 6 months, $20,000 in outplacement services, and a housing allowance of $25,000 per month for up to 9 months, which amount is grossed up for certain applicable taxes; provided, that the housing allowance payments will stop if Mr. Hogan ceases to have obligations under the terms of his current lease agreement.  CCB also will pay up to $25,000 for Mr. Hogan’s reasonable legal fees incurred in connection with the negotiation of the Separation Agreement.

hannityseanSean Hannity to Air on Salem’s WDTK, Detroit.  The Motor City destination for Premiere NetworksSean Hannity show is Salem Communications-owned WDTK.  The program will air live in the 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm slot.wdtk logo  It previously was heard on crosstown news/talk WJR since its 2001 national debut.  WDTK general manager Chris MacCourtney states, “The opportunity to bring Sean Hannity aboard was one we felt we could not pass up.  Sean was an instant hit when he came to Detroit and he continues to be one of the most popular talk personalities in the market.  He will join an already solid lineup of talk talent on ‘News/Talk 1400.’”  Since the first of the year, Hannity’s program had been added to Salem outlets WIND, Chicago; WWRC, Washington; and KSKY, Dallas.

quigleyalexDouble Shot of WGN, Chicago News.  Two items from Tribune’s WGN, Chicago: First, as Chicago media writer Robert Feder reported over the weekend, assistant program director Alex Quigley has been upped to operations manager at news/talk WGN, Chicago.  Quigley worked in the market at former Emmis alternative rock WKQX as interactive program manager.  When he first came to WGN he hosted the weekend show “ChicagoNow Radio” and “Chicago Preps Plus.”  WGN vice president of creative content Todd Manley said in a memo to staffers, “This is a recognition of Alex’s role in our expanding future…He’ll be mentoring producers and searching for new talent that builds our farm system, coordinating special programming, scheduling, digging deep on ratings analysis, and dreaming big dreams.”  Second,jacobsonwalter longtime television news personality Walter Jacobson brings his “Perspective” commentaries to the station beginning this Thursday.  Robert Feder reports that the longtime WBBM-TV anchor who exited the station last February will present his 90-second feature on Thursdays during Bob Sirott and Marianne Murciano’s midday show and they will be repeated on the weekend during “The Sunday Spin: Politics with Rick Pearson” program.  Jacobson will also appear as a contributor to various shows on WGN.  Jacobson tells Feder, “Having been listening to WGN Radio since the day I became a reporter, and believing it’s the best in the business, I’m thrilled to be joining the team.  For me, it’s a perfect fit at a perfect time.  The station’s coming back, and 2014 is going to be an intriguing and exciting year in Chicago’s wild and woolly politics.”

salemcommunicationsSalem Communications Buys Eagle Publishing for $8.5 Million.  It had been reported recently that this deal was on the way and now it’s official as Salem Communications enters into a deal to purchase the assets of Eagle Publishing that includes conservative book publisher Regnery Publishing, and digital properties RedState.com and HumanEvents.com.  In a statement, Salem CEO Edward Atsinger IIIeaglepub logo says, “Eagle is one of the most influential companies in the conservative media space.  Its addition to Salem brings together a unique portfolio of conservative media properties and fits with our strategy of integrating traditional media and new media assets all serving the same target audience.  The opportunity we like most about this acquisition is that each of Eagle’s businesses matches up so well with Salem’s extensive media platform.  With 102 radio stations and a dozen major national websites all targeting the conservative community, this provides a perfect marketing platform to promote Eagle’s products to a wider audience.”  The purchase price is $8.5 million and current Eagle CEO Jeff Carneal will exit the organization as a result of the acquisition.

sternhoward‘A-List’ Talent Jon Bon Jovi and John Fogerty Added to Howard Stern Birthday Broadcast.  The January 31 birthday bash broadcast for SiriusXM’s Howard Stern just added two more “A-list” talents as Jon Bon Jovi and John Fogerty will join Steven Tyler, David Letterman and Louis C.K. for the show to be hosted by Jimmy Kimmel live from the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City.  On his program, Stern announced, “We have told you on the music side of things that we have Steven Tyler coming by to do a little number in honor of my birthday, I’m so honored…[today] I am excited [to announce that]…Jon Bon Jovi is going to perform…I am very excited to see Jon and thank him for that.  And also one of my heroes will perform that night—one of the greats, the all-time greats.  A guy whose every record I bought when he was in Creedence Clearwater Revival, and later his solo stuff, John Fogerty will come by to perform two great songs – I won’t say what the songs are, [but] we’re really excited about that…the list just begins there, Robin, it just begins there [there is] a huge amount of musicians coming by to help us out…it’s great.”

dubayjeffSports Talk Host Jeff Dubay Exits KSTP, Minneapolis in Budget Move.  Twin Cities sports talk personality Jeff Dubay, who fought a public battle against drug addiction to return to the airwaves in the market on Hubbard Radio’s KSTP, has left the station in what he says is a budget-related move.  The Star-Tribune reports Dubay – who worked at Clear Channel’s “KFAN” sports talk brand for 10 years before a crack cocaine addiction sidelined him – sent social media messages indicating that he was let go from the late morning show he co-hosted with Judd Zulgad because of financial reasons.  The station posted a message on its Facebook page confirming the matter was financial and not performance related.  The paper reports KSTP waived Dubay’s non-compete and he is free to work in the market if the opportunity arises.

shannonmikecardsShannon Staying With the Redbirds. St. Louis Cardinals fans will continue to hear Mike Shannon as the voice of the National League team that appeared in the 2013 World Series, as the former MLB player signs a two-year contract extension.  This will be Shannon’s 42nd year as a Cardinals broadcaster and 56th year with the team.  According to club president Bill DeWitt, “Mike’s voice has become the soundtrack to St. Louis baseball.  We look forward to having him back in the booth this season and for years to come.”  It is anticipated that Shannon will call all Cardinals’ home games this year for St. Louis flagship KMOX and roughly 30 road games for the CBS Radio-owned talk station.  Fox Sports Midwest‘s Rick Horton and former lefty relief pitcher Al Hrabosky will do the remaining road games.  Shannon will continue his work throughout the year on KMOX pre-game, post-game, and morning drive call-in segments.

mhblasingamebookGreat Read!  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison is pictured intensely absorbing the new book authored by independently syndicated talk show host Jim Blasingame titled The Age of the Customer: Prepare for the Moment of Relevance  (2014 SBN Books).  Blasingame is the longtime host of the very successful program “The Small Business Advocate Show” which is targeted to helping independent entrepreneurs and business owners cope with the day-to-day issues that face people running their own companies during this era of rapidly accelerating change.  This book, Blasingame’s third, is “his best work yet,” according to Harrison and “must-reading for anyone out there on the perilous high seas of today’s turbulent marketplace…especially those who are doing it independently without the backing of the Wall Street/banking/big-time money machine.”  Harrison goes on to say, “This includes those brave and hardy ‘Davids’ owning and operating independent radio stations and small groups, syndication companies and internet communications startups bucking the death grip of today’s mega-corporate ‘Goliaths.’”  The premise of the book is that small business owners are operating at a time that is so momentous it has never happened before.  Blasingame, a veteran of TALKERS magazine’s Heavy Hundred, identifies it as an epochal marketplace shift that’s causing the 10,000 year old Age of the Seller to be replaced by the Age of the Customer.  With an introduction by Steve Forbes, Blasingame’s book reveals how these two ages are existing concurrently in parallel universes, and how much time business-people have left to join the emerging universe.  He says relevance is replacing competitiveness and explains how to recognize when you arrive at the “moment of relevance,” how to connect with “new-influencers” who co-own your brand message; why you must be a good storyteller; the good, the bad and the ugly of social media; and he identifies the “killer app” that wasn’t a part of your past but will dominate your future.  Broadcasters interested in learning more about this book and perhaps scheduling Jim Blasingame as a guest can visit AgeoftheConsumer.com or email jim@jbsba.com.

cpb logoWHYY, Philadelphia-Led Local Journalism Center Awarded CPB Grant.  The recipient organization of a Corporation for Public Broadcasting grant for $1.5 million is the new multimedia local journalism center (LJC), Keystone Crossroads — a collaboration of Pennsylvania public media stations.  The new Keystone Crossroads is led by WHYY, Philadelphia.  Pittsburgh’s WQED and WESA FM, Central Pennsylvania’s WPSU and Harrisburg’s WITF will be partner stations.  The LJC will focus on the challenges the cities are facing, including a shrinking tax base and crumbling infrastructure, and enormous budget deficits.  The Corporation for Public Broadcasting  states, “By combining smart storytelling with energetic civic engagement, Keystone Crossroads will help Pennsylvanians see the challenges of their cities more clearly, understand how they are related, and create a forum for potential solutions at both the local and state levels.”  CPB president Pat Harrison adds, “Local Journalism Centers are really centers of collaboration comprising public media stations working together to report on local stories with significant impact.  This kind of focused collaboration ensures in depth reporting on issues of importance and concern to Pennsylvanians and of interest to all Americans.”  In addition to Keystone Crossroads, CPB  funds six other LJCs across the country, including:  EarthFix based in the Northwest; Fronteras in the Southwest; Harvest in the Midwest; Innovation Trail in upstate New York, the Southern Education Desk in the South, and most recently the Energy LJC in the Rocky Mountains.

Chris Christie Scandal, Hillary Clinton in 2016, New Congressional Spending Deal, ObamaCare Enrollment Status, A-Rod Suspension/Legal Challenge, and Golden Globe Awards Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/13).  The ongoing analysis of the Chris Christie lane closure scandal and apology press conference; speculation about Hillary Clinton’s plans to run for president in 2016; the new $1 trillion spending plan approved by Congress; enrollment in healthcare plans via the Affordable Care Act; Alex Rodriguez 162-game suspension and his plans to challenge the arbitration ruling; and the aftermath of Sunday’s Golden Globe Awards were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

TalkersRadio Hits the Ground Running for 2014 with New Hosts, Shows and Programming Directions

| January 10, 2014

By Kevin Casey
TALKERS
VP/Executive Editor

caseywriter (2)TalkersRadio logo 300SPRINGFIELD, MA – TalkersRadio, the “experimental” talk radio station launched last fall by TALKERS magazine to provide the industry with a “work out space” and “showcase for new talk programming concepts” has, according to its general manager David Bernstein, “hit the ground running” in 2014 with the announcement of several new hosts and shows scheduled to join its programming roster this month.

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Millennials, Music and Radio

| December 17, 2013

By Jerry Del Colliano
Inside Music Media
Publisher

EXCLUSIVE TO RADIOINFO AND TALKERS

delcollianoSCOTTSDALE — There are over 80 million “Millennials” coming of age the oldest of whom are already 30-years-old – 12 years older than the youngest 18-49 money demo cherished by advertisers.

Millennials have their own technology just as baby boomers had records, radio and TV.

Except technology has very little to do with the impact that “Generation Y” is making on media and just about everything else.

Sure there is Facebook that they went to college with, and Napster that helped disrupt the record business, iPads, apps, smartphones, Instagram and their latest devilish work – to unbundle cable and make Netflix the new standard for the on-demand content they, well – demand.

Radio consolidated about the time the first Millennials were in grade school and the industry just assumed that young listeners would always be there to like radio.

The music industry that consisted of old white men who were lawyers thought Napster needed to be sued out of existence – and they succeeded.

But the damage was already done.

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Friday, November 22, 2013

| November 22, 2013

kennedyjohnfNews/Talk Radio Remembers JFK.  As the nation commemorates the fateful, painful events of November 22 1963, the media at large – newspapers, television and, of course, radio — are focused across the board on the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.  Obviously, the subject is dominating conversation on news/talk radio today in the form of historical documentaries, as well as live talk shows in which every aspect of the almost mythical story is rehashed, retold, analyzed and memorialized.  Many shows are spending time giving listeners the opportunity to recall “where they were and what they were doing” when the horrible news was announced.  As TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison points out, “This milestone serves as a powerful generational marker in our industry’s obsession with demographics that basically breaks audiences down to two significantly different categories — those who remember JFK and the events of November 22, 1963… and those who don’t.”

leykistomCompass Media Marketing Will Represent Tom Leykis.  As of the first of next year (January 2014), Compass Media Marketing will be the advertising sales agent for “The Tom Leykis Show.”  CMM will do similar duties for the talk show host’s NewNormalNetwork.com and BlowMeUpTom.com.  “We are appreciative to the tens of thousands of listeners who are tuning in daily to our show,” Leykis remarks.  “The time is right to start aggressively marketing the show to sponsorscompasslogo and we are thrilled to work with the Compass team.”  Compass Media Marketing president of advertising sales Paul Gregrey comments that Leykis is a “creative genius” with a “highly engaged and loyal audience.  There is limitless upside for growth, both in terms of listenership and sponsors.”  Introduced last year, the latest version of Leykis’ talk show is a streaming internet-centric call-in program, which is broadcast daily at 3:00 pm (PT) from Burbank.  This past Tuesday (11/19), we mentioned that Leykis put himself up for auction on eBay.  The stunt raked in $7,800 for his company and Leykis tells TALKERS, “This promotion worked perfectly for us because it engaged our audience, it brought press attention to our growing brand, and it brought us substantial revenue.  For The New Normal, it was nothing short of a homerun. [Furthermore, it] makes it hard to accept the whining of radio stations who say that they ‘can’t monetize’ digital.”

trn logoReports of Renewed TRN Activity Circulating.  There’s buzz in the industry that Talk Radio Network CEO Mark Masters is working to bring some of his talent back on the radio hosting live programs.  TALKERS sources indicate Masters and talk personality Jerry Doyle have come to terms that have allowed Doyle to return to his program immediately.  Doyle and other Talk Radio Network personalities have not been hosting regular livedoylejerry shows for most of the past month or so in the wake of a financial disruption at the company that involved staff layoffs at the Grants Pass, Oregon home offices and numerous legal actions between Masters and current and former employees.  Other rumors circulating purported that talk host Rusty Humphries is also soon to be returning to the program schedule at TRN but TALKERS sources report Humphries and Masters have not come to terms that would bring Humphries back to TRN.  TALKERS has reached out to Masters for comment but as of this posting there has been no response.  Stay tuned.

riverageraldoGeraldo to Remain with Cumulus Media.  Any rumors circulating the internet that Geraldo Rivera’s days with Cumulus Media are numbered are untrue says company COO John Dickey.  Geraldo – who is based at the company’s WABC, New York and is also heard on its Los Angeles news/talker KABC as well as 45 other news/talk outlets – airs live from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon ET.  Dickey tells TALKERS, “Geraldo is going to be working even more closely with us next year – still anchoring 10:00 am to 12:00 noon on WABC – as well as spearheading our Putting America Back to Work (PABTW) initiative.”  Geraldo began his program on WABC, New York in January 2012.

pattiznormNorm Pattiz Discusses Podcasting and the State of the Radio Industry on TalkersTV. An exclusive video of Courtside Entertainment, LLC/Podcast One CEO Norm Pattiz‘s presentation at the recent Talkers Los Angeles 2013 conference has been posted today (11/22) on TalkersTV (top panel of boxes on right hand side of this page).  In what was billed as a “keynote conversation,” with TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison, the noted industry pioneer, who founded the original Westwood One and created a veritable media empire from scratch, discusses the impact and meaning of podcasting as an extension of the radio industry as well as other important issues of the broadcasting business.  During the presentation he asks the provocative question, “When was the last time you can think of a national star that was created on network radio?  Been a while, hasn’t it!”  He goes on to state, “There’s a demographic national star created in podcasting every week.  That’s because in the podcasting world, the only people you have to satisfy are your audiences and consumers.”  To view the entire video presentation, see TalkersTV on the upper right side of every page on Talkers.com.

rabRAB: Third Quarter Radio Spot Revenue Up 1%.  The Radio Advertising Bureau reports its 2013 Q3 figures and states after two flat quarters, radio spot advertising rose 1% on sales of $3.684 million.  The report also notes thatfarbererica network revenue was down 11% while digital rose 19% and off-air was up 3%.  RAB president and CEO Erica Farber states, “The momentum we saw building at the end of Q2 has definitely translated into a positive Q3 for radio in many of our top 10 advertiser categories, led by communications/cellular with a healthy 24% increase.  Among key categories, automotive, professional services, health care, home furnishings, all showed substantial increases, as well.  Increases from these diverse ad categories illustrate radio’s cross-platform strength to drive traffic and sales – for large corporations to Main Street businesses.”

toddchuckChuck Todd Readies to Add Radio Duties.  “Unscripted with Chuck Todd” is the name of the one-hour (9:00 am to 10:00 am) Saturday show the veteran journalist will launch in two weeks (12/7) on SiriusXM‘s “P.O.T.U.S.” channel.  “In this day and age, people tend to think they have more access to newsmakers and politicians, when in many ways, they actually have less,” Todd comments.  “We will aim to help listeners get to know powerful people in a different way – as human beings, not as sound-bite machines.  I look forward to talking to many famous amateur political junkies out there who just happen to have day jobs in the worlds of sports, Hollywood, Wall Street and everywhere in between.”  According to SiriusXM vice president/general manager of talk programming Dave Gorab, “Chuck will go outside his normal field of reporting and delve into the personal passions and interests of not just politicians but leaders from virtually every field of interest. This show is new territory for Chuck, but will be built on his journalistic savvy and experience.”  Todd hosts MSNBC‘s “Daily Rundown” and is NBC News’ chief White House correspondent.

kravitzpinkyAtlantic City Talk Host Pinky Kravitz Celebrates 55 Years on WOND.  Atlantic City talk radio legend Seymour “Pinky” Kravitz is celebrating his 55th anniversary on WOND this afternoon with a special broadcast from the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa.  The station notes that Kravitz has broadcast more than 169,000 hours of air time (that’s over 701 consecutive days!) from more than 20 remote broadcasting locations and more than a handful of time changes.  It boasts that 1400 AM is where South Jersey still turns for “informative and provocative conversation.  Pinky Kravitz has become one of thewond logo region’s most recognized, trusted and beloved media personalities through what has become the longest running radio program (on one station by one personality) in the country.”  Longport Media president Dave Coskey states, “It’s amazing that in an industry where longevity is often measured in months or years that we measure Pinky’s career on WOND in decades.  Pinky’s career spans not only decades but generations – generations of listeners all who have spent time in Pinky’s Corner.  And his brand is even stronger today than it was in 1958.”  Kravitz adds, “I’ve been blessed to not only have the support of my family, a radio station and city for all of these years but also the love and support of an entire region.”  In addition to his daily radio show on WOND, Kravitz also hosts a weekly television program on WMGM-TV and writes a weekly column for the Press of Atlantic City.

sagaSaga Communications to Pay Special Cash Dividend.  Saga Communications, Inc. announces its Board of Directors is declaring a special cash dividend of $1.80 per share on its Classes A and B Common Stock to be paid on December 12, 2013 to shareholders of record on December 2, 2013.  The aggregate amount of the payment to be made in connection with the special dividend will be approximately $10.3 million.  This special cash dividend will be funded by cash on the company’s balance sheet.

finebaumpaulPaul Finebaum Show to Air on SiriusXM’s ESPN Channel.  The formerly Birmingham-based sports talker – now calling Charlotte home and produced and syndicated nationally via ESPN Radio – joins the ESPN Xtra channel on SiriusXM effective Monday, November 25.  Paul Finebaum joined ESPN in August after years of success on Cumulus Media’s WJOX-FM, Birmingham.  Finebaum’s show airs live from 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm ET.

hdradio logoHonda Displays HD Radio Civic Pride.  The Los Angeles Auto Show is not typically where you would expect to find something noteworthy about the radio business.  That, however, is where HD Radio developer iBiquity Digital this week announced that the 2014 Civic is the first Honda vehicle to launch integrated audio and real-time traffic information using the HERE mapping service, BTC, and HD Radio technology.  iBiquity Digital chief operating officer Jeff Jury comments, “Honda is showing real leadership in bringing the benefits of digital HD Radio data to their vehicles.  This is another great example of a leading automaker integrating digital terrestrial technology as part of a connected vehicle strategy.”  Honda Civic navigation systems incorporate HD Radio audio and data features, including a way for listeners to view album art and other images on their radio screens.  There is subscription-free, real-time traffic information, showing flow patterns, construction alerts, and traffic incidents to drivers.  In addition to Honda, other automakers integrating digital traffic and data services include Lexus, Mazda, Mitsubishi and Toyota.  More than 30 automakers have announced plans to incorporate HD Radio in over 170 models by the end of this year.  Nearly seven-dozen models will feature HD Radio receivers as standard equipment.  The 2014 Honda Civic arrives at dealerships next month.

bfoa logoRon Ruth Memorial Fund Announced.  The Radio Advertising Bureau and the Broadcasters Foundation of America are announcing the creation of the Ron Ruth Memorial Fund in celebration of the life and work of Ruth and to benefit the Broadcasters Foundation of America.  The BfoA’s mission is toruthron help improve the quality of life of men and women in the radio and television broadcast profession who find themselves in acute need.  Donations may be sent directly to the Broadcasters Foundation at 125 West 55th Street, 3rd Floor, New York, NY 10019 and please make note that the donation is for the Ron Ruth Memorial Fund.  Tentative plans by the RAB are underway to hold a celebration of life with Ron’s many friends sometime in the first quarter of next year and will be made public as soon as they are finalized.  RAB CEO and president Erica Farber states, “Ron was an ardent supporter of the Broadcasters Foundation.  We at the RAB couldn’t think of a more fitting way to honor and commemorate his life and work.”

ramseyNYCDave Ramsey Takes New York.  The actual event took place right across the Hudson River at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark but Dave Ramsey’s New York affiliate – Clear Channel’s WOR – was a partner in promoting the event.  Ramsey presented his “Legacy Journey LIVE!” last night (11/21) before a packed house speaking about how to win with money, strengthen marriages and lead your children with confidence.  His daughter, Rachel Cruze, joined Ramsey on stage.  WOR general sales manager Ron Russo says to the Ramsey team, “Thank you for creating an engaging event in an intimate setting where we have the opportunity to connect our listeners with our clients in a truly interactive environment.”  WOR sales manager Chris Borelli adds, “The event is not only impeccably prepared and executed, but entertaining and enjoyable.  We look forward to many more events like this as long term partners.”

ObamaCare Criticism Top News/Talk Story for Week of November 18-22.  The scrutiny of the rollout of the Affordable Care Act was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was President Obama’s sinking approval ratings.  Following at #3 was the talks with Iran about its nuclear policy and debate over economic sanctions on the nation followed by the GOP’s 2014 and 2016 strategy 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.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

| October 2, 2013

TalkersLA2013Eyes (and Ears!) on News/Talk Radio as Recent Ratings Trends Spur Criticism.  As the September PPM data continues to roll out, industry watchers and mainstream media writers and analysts are scrutinizing talk radio’s numbers – as well as its programming.  Citing a perceived slow-but-steady decline in ratings for the news/talk format in general, critics are wondering if the political “right-versus-left” programming philosophy has become tiresome to all but the staunchest news/talk radio fans and is resulting in the generally lower numbers in Nielsen Audio’s PPM and diary ratings.  Some high-profile cases have been cited, including KFI, Los Angeles’ kfilogodecline in 6+ PPM ratings over the past year from being one of the country’s best-performing news/talk stations in one of America’s most vibrant markets.  Just today (10/2), Chicago media writer Robert Feder writes about the state of Cumulus Media’s WLS, Chicago and its declining place in the wls-am logoratings race.  The reasons for the states of these stations are open to analysis – including, but not limited to, the possibility that Nielsen Audio’s PPM methodology is less than perfect – and could easily vary from market to market.  When talking ratings, what are usually not included in the recent criticism of news/talk as a format are: the #1 showing for Cox Media’s WSB-AM, Atlanta (which carries the oft-maligned Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity); wsb logoCumulus’ WMAL, Washington’s rise in the September PPM; CBS Radio’s high-flying KMOX, St. Louis; Bonneville’s steady-performing KIRO-FM, Seattle; Cox’s WOKV, Jacksonville; and the two Milwaukee news/talk outlets that have kmoxconsistently performed as two of the top six stations over the last year – Clear Channel’s WISN and Journal’s WTMJ.  Constant awareness and analysis of the sound and perception of one’s stations are the hallmarks of good operators and effective programmers should care about how the format is perceived.  But discovering what’s “wrong” with a format or a station is not easy and not always possible given the limited information available.  In the words of TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison, “The first people out there ready to proclaim news/talk radio as being dead are usually people who see the world primarily through a political lens who disagree with the ideology of the hosts they dislike.  Political news/talk radio is cyclical and will always come back from the brink when there’s inevitably a new chapter in contemporary issues.  Regardless, the good thing that hopefully will come out of this ratings down-tick will be some of the major operators giving consideration to different forms of talk and even news/talk that are just being ignored.  There are so many potential ways of doing ‘talk radio’ it is crazy for so many stations to bunch up around one predominant style.  Everyone should spread out and claim and develop new territory on the spectrum of possibilities.”  This topic will be one of those addressed at the Talkers Los Angeles 2013 conference taking place next Thursday, October 10 at the Steve Allen Theater in Hollywood.

nielsen logoNielsen Begins Synergies; Sean Creamer and Debra Delman to Exit Ratings Giant.  Nielsen responded quickly to TALKERS last week after we reported that the “$20 million in creamerseansynergies” the company hopes to realize with the acquisition of the former Arbitron would cost jobs.  The company stated it had “no plans to reduce headcount at this time.”  Perhaps that applies to the rank and file and not the executive strata because it’s now being reported that former Arbitron CEO Sean Creamer and CFO Debra Delman will leave Nielsen at the end of the year.  Though Nielsen has not released a statement about the changes, it’s expected that other executives may also be headed for the door.  Both Creamer, Delman and most of the other high-level execs who might follow the two have clauses in their contracts that will give them very nice golden parachutes.  Creamer could realize almost $7 million in total compensation and Delman’s take is just shy of $2 million.

espndeportesESPN Deportes Radio Extends NFL Deal.  Sports giant ESPN reports that its ESPN Deportes Radio unit has reached a new multi-year agreement for media rights to the 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 National Football League seasons.   Under the agreement, the network will have exclusive Spanish-language rights to Monday Night Football, the 2013-2014 National Football Conference Playoffs, the 2014 Super Bowl, 2015 Pro Bowl and the 2014-2015 American Football Conference Playoffs.  ESPN Deportes Radio general manager Oscar Ramos says, “We’re incredibly excited to add NFL to our diverse roster of programming.  U.S. Hispanics are becoming avid NFL fans and this new deal allows us to deliver the content they want in the language they prefer.”

warrenrobinsonMEDIA BROKER SPOTLIGHT: Diane Warren and Jean Robinson – MMTC Media Brokers (run by Bounceology).  In this week’s installment of Media Broker Spotlight, Sandi Bergman of RadioTVDeals.com interviews media brokers Diane Warren and Jean Robinson of MMTC Media Brokers (run by Bounceology) located in San Antonio, Texas.  MMTC Media Brokers specializes in locating properties and selling them to potential minority, multicultural and women buyers. In addition to telling their fascinating story, they share several outstanding opportunities that they have among their listings that would be of interest to first-time buyers. To read the entire installment of Media Broker Spotlight, please click here.

siriusxmcramerCNBC’s Jim Cramer Featured on SiriusXM ‘Town Hall.’  CNBC “Mad Money” host Jim Cramer (left) recently took part in SiriusXM’s “Town Hall” series for a Q&A with SiriusXM personality Pete Dominick (right).  The program will be aired on Friday, October 4 on its Indie channel.  The conversation – which took place before an audience of SiriusXM listeners – covered financial markets, fiscal trends, the economic state of the nation, and the story of Cramer’s personal road from hedge fund manager to popular CNBC host.  Dominick is a stand-up comedian who has opened up for Cramer on his “Mad Money Back to School Tour.”

millercheckTwo Weeks in a Kennel Reaps Rewards for KIDO’s Kevin Miller.  KIDO, Boise morning drive host Kevin Miller (right) is pictured here with ASPCA senior director Tami McReynolds (left) and Canyon County Animal Shelter director Barb Hutchinson (center) showing off the check for $35,000 the CCAS received after Miller helped get more than 300 animals adopted.  To achieve that and win the $35,000 prize, Miller spent two weeks living in a makeshift kennel from which he broadcast his morning program.  The contest is national in scope and – with Miller’s help – the CCAS is the only shelter to win the prize twice.

Government Shutdown, ObamaCare Enrollment Begins, Scrapped Hillary Clinton Programs, U.S.-Iran Relations, and Financial Markets Activity Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/1).  The battle between the GOP and the Obama Administration and the government shutdown; the enrollment period for the Affordable Care Act begins; two television projects on the life of Hillary Clinton are scrapped; possible diplomatic relations between Iran and the U.S. and the former’s nuclear program; and the effects of the government shutdown on the U.S. financial markets were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

| September 25, 2013

nielsenarbitronNielsen Says No Plans to Reduce Headcount.  In covering the Nielsen conference call with investors that took place on Monday, TALKERS took note of Nielsen CEO David Calhoun’s statement about realizing $20 million in synergies and, due to the fact that broadcasting companies often use that term to define the cost savings from elimination of duplicative positions and consolidation of duties after a merger or acquisition, interpreted his comment to mean the acquisition of Arbitron would mean exactly that for some of the Arbitron staff.  However, Nielsen tells TALKERS, “In fact, there are no plans to reduce headcount at this time, and as a growing business, we have many opportunities to redeploy talent.  Mr. Calhoun’s comment on a ‘logical and steady pace’ was related more to the pace of global expansion.”

wmyt logoTalk Media TV’s WMYT, Wilmington, North Carolina Holds ‘Ribbon Cutting’ Tomorrow.  News/talk outlet WMYT, Wilmington, North Carolina announces the “official ribbon-cutting ceremony” at its Wilmington broadcast studios — sponsored by the North Brunswick Chamber of Commerce – taking placewrightcurtis show logo Thursday, September 26 at 10:30 am.  The station is owned by Talk Media TV principals Curtis Wright and George Bell who put the station on the air on July 22.  The two say they built the station to appeal to conservative talk radio listeners whom they believe had lost a voice in Southeastern North Carolina.  They add, “WMYT 106.7 FM has returned America’s top syndicated conservative talk, subject talk and spoken-word shows to FM and the region.  Since the launch of WMYT 106.7 FM, five new locally produced shows have been added to its lineup, while expanding its audio streaming on the web.”  Wright hosts his “On the Beat” morning drive show from 6:00 am to 9:00 am.  The station also features Premiere NetworksGlenn Beck and Sean Hannity plus Courtside Entertainment’s Laura Ingraham.  George Bell is the former Brunswick County GOP chair and a life-long business professional in the region.  Talk Media TV’s business plan includes acquiring additional radio stations, expanding its internet broadcasting capabilities, and adding cable broadcasting over the next several months.

pittmanbobBob Pittman Stands Up for Radio at Goldman Sachs Ad Week Conference. Clear Channel chairman and CEO Bob Pittman is working the “Advertising Week” events in New York this week and today (9/25) he laid down the case for what he sees as radio’s rightful place in an advertising mix at the “Goldman Sachs Communacopia” investor conference.  The Hollywood Reporter’s Georg Szalai is covering the event and reports Pittman is saying (about radio), “’The sector is way under-represented’ while TV is over-represented in marketers’ media mix…‘TV is wonderful, is very effective, but doesn’t deserve quite as much money as it has.’”  Pittman argues that TV gets three times the rate that radio does but “all the studies show the impact is about the same.”  He then explains how advertisers could benefit by moving 15% of their ad spend into radio.  Clearly, when Pittman says, “There is a huge opportunity in radio…We need to monetize it better, sell it better,” he is trying to get the message through at the agency level, where an industry-wide sea change must take place.

mhNAB2013Michael Harrison’s NAB/RAB Radio Show Address Now Posted on TALKERS TV.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison’s annual address at the NAB/RAB Radio Show drew a standing-room-only crowd and rave reviews from those in attendance.  The speech which runs 56:33 includes an information-packed “countdown” of the 10 most important things AM/FM radio must do to remain culturally relevant and thrive in the digital age of the 21st century.  In this ambitious and far-ranging overview of the state of broadcast radio, the man dubbed by the mainstream press as “The Wise Old Owl of the Radio Industry” connected the dots between Edward R. Murrow broadcasting live on rooftops from World War II bombing raids over London — to Murray the K anointing himself the “Fifth Beatle” — to today’s transitional period between the “old country” of the 20th century to the “new world” of the digital age — to the potential emergence of 21st century “Homo Technicus” listening to internet broadcasts piped directly into the temporal lobes of the brain via nanotechnology.  Harrison fearlessly speaks his mind about today’s debt-soaked radio mega-corporations that have emerged as a result of consolidation — to the dangers of mindless, product-less “branding” that plays to the shortcut mentality crippling today’s creative process in broadcasting. The speech received an ovation and was later described on the air by WSOY, Decatur morning host and Marconi Award winner Brian Byers as “sensational.”  Byers told his listeners it was “smokin'” and a “barn burner” saying, “He fired me up.  I looked around and the rest of the room was electric.  You could feel it in the air.  I can’t tell you how good it was!” To see Michael Harrison’s speech please check out the TALKERS TV box at the top of the right-hand column of this page.

sabowalterWALTER SABO: The Return of the Neat Idea.  Sabo Media CEO Walter Sabo celebrates what he says it’s going to take to get radio back in a forward-moving position: the return to creatively operating the business.  In this new column, Sabo writes, “The current economic depression celebrates ‘operators’ — executives with shrewd ‘operating’ skills who are known for their ability to cut costs, cut staffs, sell their story to Wall Street and keep their company within its COMFORT ZONE.  They do not have, nor are they required to have, vision.  Knowing what’s next is the key to growth in any industry.  No vision, no growth.”  Sabo offers five steps to establishing an environment for the birth and implementation of neat ideas with pragmatic results.   Read this important column here.

cookehollandRadio Sales Lead: ObamaCare.  Radio consultant Holland Cooke says forget what people on the radio are saying about ObamaCare, start thinking about how your marketing department can get some of the advertising that’s coming from it.  He recommends a video webinar available from the RAB.  In it, Cooke says veteran broadcaster Dave Burke shares some of his research into the impact of the law on the stakeholders.  Cooke writes, “AP estimates that $684 million will be spent on the initial activation period; and Burke reckons that 2014-2015 and beyond will be even bigger than 2013-2014: ‘I believe that this category, all-in, could be the biggest category on your stations.’”  Read Holland Cooke’s column here.

kassof coContinuing Concern for Radio to Placate Men 18 – 34.  Something new can now be added to the growing list for those who grumble, “They don’t make them like that anymore.” Unfortunately, that item is radio.  A Mark Kassof & Company-conducted research project indicates that more than half (53%) of U.S. radio listeners aged 18 – 64 agree that, “Radio is not as good as it used to be.”  Approximately four in 10 (41%) disagree, while 6% are not sure.  “The perception that radio is not as good as it used to be seems pervasive in the industry,” Ann Arbor, Michigan-based Kassof comments. “This research reveals that a majority of listeners agree.”  The most criticism regarding radio’s overall quality can be found among those 18 – 34, with more than six in 10 (61%) concurring that what they are hearing these days through their radio speakers has slipped; 31% however disagree and the remaining 8% are neutral.  Men tend to be more pessimistic about the current state of the medium than women are.  Consistent with the above-stated trend – and highly noteworthy – Men 18-34 are the most negative, as two of every three in that demo (67%) are of the opinion that radio has seen better days.  Results of this Kassof study are based on slightly less than 1,000 online interviews conducted among U.S. radio listeners earlier this month (9/12 – 9/15).  Reacting to the findings of the Kassof study, TALKERS magazine sister trade, RadioInfo’s  music editor/director Duane Doobie states, “It reminds me of the famous line in Bob Dylan’s ‘Subterranean Homesick Blues’ that so powerfully says ‘you don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.’”

wbenNo More FM Signal for News/Talk WBEN, Buffalo.  Entercom is dropping the simulcast on news/talk WBEN, Buffalo and will install a different format on WLKK 107.7 licensed to Wethersfield Township (some 30 miles southeast of downtown Buffalo) beginning Thursday, September 26 at 12:00 noon.  WBEN program director Tim Wenger tells Buffalo Business First that research tells the company 95% of the listening to WBEN is done on the huge 930 AM signal.

schnitttoddOdds & Sods.  Compass Media Networks syndicated and WFLA, Tampa-based talk host Todd Schnitt was in court on Monday suing his former attorney Phillip Campbell for legal malpractice.   Campbell was arrested for DUI while representing Schnitt in his defamation suit against Bubba the Love Sponge but the DUI case was dismissed in July after prosecutors agreed Campbell was set up.  Schnitt maintains it damaged his case.  Schnitt paid Campbell $1 million and owes another $1 million but he’s suing to get the first $1 million back, according to myfoxtampabay.com…..The Fourth Period continues its relationship with SiriusXM and the media site that calls itself “hockey’s only lifestyle destination” adds a program dubbed “The Players’ Lounge” to the SiriusXM NHL Network Radio channel airing Friday’s from 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm ET.  This is an addition to “TFP Live” which returns to the channel airing from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm ET hosted by TFP editor-in-chief David Pagnotta and VP Dennis Bernstein.

Government Shutdown Threat, ObamaCare Defunding/Implementation, U.S.-Iran Talks, and Kenya Mall Massacre Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/24).  The looming threat of a government shutdown; the fight to defund the Affordable Care Act and the consequences of its implementation; relations between the U.S. and Iran; plus the ongoing stalemate after a massacre by militant Muslims at a mall in Nairobi, Kenya were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, September 16, 2013

| September 16, 2013

merrillchrisKOGO, San Diego Debuts New Lineup; Chip Franklin Exits AM Drive.  After a six-year run at KOGO, San Diego, Chip Franklin exits the station as the programming lineup is tweaked at the Clear Channel news/talker.  Moving into AM drive is former afternoon personality Chris Merrill.  He’s followed by Rush Limbaugh.  At 12:00 noon, LaDona Harvey – who had been partnered with Franklin in AM drive – is on air solo from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm and Bob “Sully”franklinchip Sullivan moves from the early afternoon slot into PM drive.  Franklin came to San Diego after a long and successful run at Hearst’s WBAL, Baltimore.  He tells the San Diego Union Times he has no hard feelings about the change. “I had a great run at KOGO, and they have and continue to treat me in a highly professional manner.  Believe it or not, I have been very lucky.  I still have a lot of great friends there and I sincerely wish them the very best.  The new morning guy, Chris Merrill, is a friend and a tremendous talent.  Don’t underestimate him.”

wnymlogoSalem Communications to Move New York Stations into Current WOR Facilities.  Salem Communications announces it will move its two New York properties – news/talk WNYM “AM 970 The Answer” and Christian talk WMCA – from their current New Jersey location to Lower Manhattan into what is now the studios of Clear Channel’s news/talk WOR in the Trinity Building next to Trinity Church at 111 wor710Broadway where WOR has been located since 2006.  Since Clear Channel bought WOR from Buckley Broadcasting more than a year ago, plans have been made for WOR to move into CC’s larger New York studios.  Salem VP director of spoken word format and regional VP for New York Phil Boyce says, “Salem has a major commitment to winning in New York and this move will help us take both stations to the next level.  We know for years great radio came out of this building when it housed WOR and now we have the opportunity to continue that tradition with both WMCA and ‘AM 970 The Answer.’  As an added plus, WMCA, known as ‘New York’s Christian Talk,’ will be re-locating next door to historic Trinity Church, founded in 1697,  as the oldest church in New York City.  There is some divine providence going on here,  as WMCA,  which is licensed to the city of New York now moves next door to the oldest church.”  The move is expected to be completed before the end of this year.

pendlchrisCHRIS PENDL: Help Your Best Clients Thrive in Local Searches.  Bonneville Seattle creative director Chris Pendl writes that some of radio’s best advertisers can be the most difficult to find when it comes to mobile-based local searches.  What’s more, there can be a huge difference between how one of your clients rates on a desktop search and where they rate – if at all – on a mobile search.  Pendl notes, “With smartphone ownership now 56% among American adults, searching on smartphones is increasingly becoming a part of the consumer’s journey before making a purchase.  A recent local search study revealed, there’s an 87% increase in local searches via mobile apps.  It is in this mobile space where some of radio’s best advertisers, local and regional businesses, have poor visibility and are often non-existent.”  Pendl offers simple solutions to help your valuable advertisers appear where they should in mobile searches.  Read his column here.

komovoiceofevilKOMO-AM/FM, Seattle Scores Exclusive Interview with ‘Green River Killer.’  This morning, Sinclair Radio’s KOMO-AM/FM, Seattle begins broadcasting an exclusive interview series with serial killer Gary Ridgway, conducted by the station’s Charlie Harger.  Titled, “Voice of Evil,” it begins with a special preview at 7:15 am (PT) on ‘KOMO Newsradio.’  Reports will be broadcast at 7:15 am, 12:15 pm and 5:15 pm all this week and mark the culmination of a near year-long investigation.  The station says “Harger spoke exclusively with Ridgway on six separate occasions in what are the killer’s only media interviews since his incarceration in 2001.  Ridgway was convicted on 49 counts of murder but reveals to KOMO that he committed many more.  In his conversation with Harger, Ridgway shares frightening details of his crimes, tells detectives where to look for additional remains and even explains why he did it.  Is he sorry?  KOMO posed that question to the man serving a life sentence at Washington State Penitentiary in Walla Walla and his answer stunned the veteran reporter.”  Harger adds, “I think it’s important that people understand just why we’re giving voice to a guy like this.  People deserve answers and the families deserve some kind of closure.”  KOMO-AM/FM program director Paul Duckworth adds, “It’s also about justice.  There are a number of unsolved cases and we’re hopeful that our investigation will prompt the task force to reopen its investigation.”

knx logoKNX, Los Angeles to Present Health Care Town Hall.  CBS Radio all-news KNX, Los Angeles “1070 NEWSRADIO” is presenting an “unprecedented town hall event and day-long series of special reports, titled ‘KNX 1070 Healthcare Uncovered,’ on Thursday, October 3 giving Californians a broad range of information about choosing health insurance under the newly enacted Affordable Care Act.”  The station reports that more than a dozen guest speakers representing various entities involved with healthcare reform, from federal, state and local officials to health professionals and consumer advocates, will appear at the town hall forum at The Autry in Los Angeles from 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm.  Guests will include Peter Lee, the executive director of Covered California, the state’s overseer and marketplace for health insurance coverage beginning in January 2014.  Also scheduled to appear are Herb K. Schultz, regional director for the Department of Health and Human Services; Carmen Balber, executive director of Consumer Watchdog; Victor Parker, district director for the U.S. Small Business Administration, Janice Rocco, California’s deputy insurance commissioner; Rocky Delgadillo, CEO of the L.A. County Medical Association, and many others including doctors and consumers of different demographics.  The event will be hosted and moderated by KNX news anchors Diane Thompson, Bob McCormick and Frank Mottek and investigative reporter Charles Feldman who is co-producing the event with Laraine Herman.  Feldman states, “This is the biggest change to our healthcare system since Medicare was rolled out in 1966 and a lot of people are confused.  Because this law is so new, we’re bringing together panelists with knowledge covering a wealth of issues so that whether you’re self-employed, a business owner, the head of household or just entering the workforce, we’ll provide answers to questions you’ve never had to think about before.”

nprHaaga Gets Nod As NPR’s Acting President/CEO.  Two-year NPR board member Paul Haaga, Jr. is named acting president/chief executive officer.  The appointment takes effect at the end of this month for Haaga, who most recently was vice chair of the board and finance committee chair.  He will succeed Gary Knell, who leaves for similar duties at thehaagapaul National Geographic Society.  “Paul has made many valuable contributions to NPR during his tenure on the board,” comments NPR board chair Kit Jensen.  “His intimate knowledge of our organization, his unwavering commitment to the highest quality of journalism and programming, and his financial acumen make him particularly well-suited to lead NPR as we begin our search for a permanent chief executive.”  The retired chair of the board of Capital Research and Management Company, Haaga is the former chair of the Investment Company Institute, and he was a senior attorney for the Securities and Exchange Commission.  “I am thrilled to have the opportunity to lead one of the world’s leading providers of news, music, and cultural programming on an interim basis,” he remarks.  “I look forward to working with my colleagues on the board and senior leadership team to help this great organization build on its success.”  The former National Public Radio renamed itself NPR in July 2010.

wrso logoStar Over Orlando Retakes Control of WRSO, Orlovista, Florida; Doubles Transmitting Power.  Star Over Orlando operators Carl Como Tutera and his son Carmine announce they have taken back WRSO, Orlovista which operates as a sports talk outlet carrying CBS Sports Radio Network programming.  The Tuteras also announce that they have received FCC approval to increase the daytime power to 20 kw and the night-time power to 1 kw — double the power of its original license.  Earlier in the week, the FCC placed the Carl Como Tutera FM Translator application for Channel 226 in Orlando on a ‘singleton’ list for the operation of an FM on 93.1 with 250 Watts of Power.  The pair built the AM station in 2005 and it began operations in early 2006.  WRSO operates from a studio location in Altamonte Springs and at a tower site in Orlando.  They say CBS Sports will continue to be an affiliate and be heard on both the AM and FM.

sharelljerryJerry Sharell Stable After Being Held Hostage, Stabbed. The Los Angeles radio and music communities remain stunned this morning following news that broke last night involving former five-year (1987 – 1992) Westwood One senior vice president of talent marketing Jerry Sharell, who was reportedly held hostage and attacked in Woodland Hills (San Fernando Valley – Los Angeles).  Sharell was with his girlfriend when her ex-husband was said to have arrived with flowers and a machete at approximately 8:00 am yesterday (Sunday, 9/15).  He apparently held the couple hostage for more than three hours.  “Sometime during that time, [Sharell] had been stabbed repeatedly,” Los Angeles Police Department sergeant Jeff Nuttal told KABC-TV, Los Angeles.  The woman was injured when she tried to halt the attack, but was able to escape and called authorities.  Police say that owing to a history of domestic violence, she had a restraining order against her ex-husband.  Sharell, who hosts “Sundays with Sinatra” on Los Angeles public outlet KKJZ “KJazz” – is in critical, but stable condition at Northridge Medical Center with injuries to his head and neck.  The unidentified attacker turned the weapon on himself; his condition is listed as critical as well but both he and Sharell are expected to survive.  The alleged attacker is in police custody at the hospital.  Sharell was co-executive producer of Ronnie Milsap‘s 2004 Grammy-nominated “Just for a Thrill” album.  He began his career as a Mercury Records promotion rep, before joining Main Line Distributors in 1962.  Sharell held executive positions at Buddah Records and A&M Records.  He has helped the careers of artists such as Herb Alpert, Jackson Browne, Carpenters, Cars, Joe Cocker, Eagles, Curtis Mayfield, Joni Mitchell, Queen, Linda Ronstadt, and Carly Simon.  He is past president of City of Hope, Entertainment Division, and is on the advisory board of MusiCares.  From 2002 – 2010, he was president/CEO for the non-profit Society of Singers.  Sharell’s wife of 48 years, Joanne, recently died after losing her fight against cancer.

boomercarton‘Boomer & Carton’ Off MSG Network as Contract Expires.  Last week TALKERS reported that the Yankees-owned YES Network is in talks with WFAN, New York’s Boomer Esiason and Craig Carton to do a cable TV simulcast of their AM drive show on the CBS Radio sports talk station.  Up until last week, the duo had been seen on the Madison Square Garden Network (MSG), but that deal elapsed on Friday and for now, Boomer & Carton are only available on the radio.

weei logoOdds & Sods.  Entercom’s WEEI, Boston adds ESPN “Monday Night Football” play-by-play voice Mike Tirico to its stable of football experts.  Tirico will call in to the Salk & Holley show every Thursday afternoon at 4:30 throughout the season…..Plain Talk Radio Network’s internet radio show “Talk Live with Peter Gantenbein” – a “weekly news and commentary program that engages in straight talk not for the faint of heart,” has been recognized as must-hear radio with an “Editor’s Pick” recognition from Windows Media Guide…..Good Karma flips WEFL, Tequesta, Florida to Spanish–language sports talk using ESPN Deportes.  The company had been simulcasting English-language sports on WEFL and WUUB-FM, Jupiter and the latter remains English-language sports talk…..CRN Digital Talk Radio‘s popular wine dinners return to Los Angeles on Tuesday, September 17.  Tobin James of Tobin James Winery in Paso Robles pairs a variety of wines with a prixabcdwtsradio fixe menu at Colombo’s Italian Steak and Jazz Club at 1833 Colorado Blvd. in Eagle Rock.  CRN CEO and president Michael Horn says, “People still talk about our Tobin James wine dinner from a few years ago.  Toby brings a world-class selection of wines people enjoy.  He’s also a fun, down-to-earth person that everyone relates to.  Colombo’s provides a great atmosphere and delicious food that will make the night all that more special.”…..Today ABC Radio re-launches its popular “Dancing with the Stars” station on Slacker, providing fans with behind-the-scenes access to the ABC hit reality TV show. Now in its third season, “Dancing with the Stars” Radio will deliver an on-demand audio experience and unlimited access to key moments throughout the competition.  Each week “Dancing with the Stars” Radio will follow the Season 17 cast as they battle it out on the dance floor for the coveted Mirror Ball trophy.  Season 17 of “Dancing with the Stars” premieres on tonight on the ABC Television Network.

newhouse logoNewhouse School Presents Audio Industry Summit.  The half-day event will take place in New York City on Friday, September 27 and will feature two panels of experts from 8:30 am to 12:00 noon at Syracuse University Lubin House, 11 E 61st St.  The event is free and open to the public but seating is limited.  RSVP with your name and professional affiliation to Ed Gorham at ejgorham@syr.edu by Wednesday, September 18.  Newhouse Dean Lorraine Branham states, “Given the seismic shifts in radio and newer audio platforms, much attention is being paid to the medium’s future.  It is crucial that we understand where the industry is headed so we can appropriately prepare our students.  We want to hear from thought leaders in management, programming and other key areas so we can get a better handle on best practices in radio moving forward.”  Industry players attending will include: Jeff Smulyan, founder and CEO of Emmis Communications; Dan Mason, president and CEO of CBS Radio; Buzz Knight, vice president of program development for Greater Media; Chris Oliviero, executive vice president of programming for CBS Radio; Deon Levingston, vice president and general manager at WBLS Radio (New York); Kevin Straley, vice president of programming at TuneIn; and Ed Levine, president and CEO of Galaxy Communications, among others.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

| September 4, 2013

westwoodone logoDial Global Changes Name to WestwoodOne.  Making good on what had been rumored for a little more than a week, Dial Global, as it prepares to be acquired by Cumulus Media, announces the official change of its name to WestwoodOne (complete with cool, new logo).  CEO Paul Caine states, “We’re proud of what we’ve accomplished as Dial Global.  Through our belief in the power of sound we are dedicated to continuously reinventing the industry and creating the most dynamic audio programming that connects people to their passions.  With the audio industry’s ever-changing landscape we know we’ve just scratched the surface of what’s possible for audio’s broad consumption.  By reclaiming and reviving an iconic audio brand name, we are not changing who we are, but accelerating thecainepaul great work we are doing to contribute to the growth of audio.”  In addition to the name change, the company reports it is commissioning “an industry study on the ‘power of sound,’ aimed at better understanding consumers, their behavior, and their interaction with audio.  The study builds on current recency data proving radio as the most-used medium closest to point-of-purchase and will explore trends in audio consumption based on behavioral tendencies among various demographics.”  The company says full study results are expected to be released in the fourth quarter of 2013 but states that preliminary findings further the notion that audio is an integral part of the new media landscape.

epictimes logoTRN’s Jerry Doyle Launches ‘Solution-Based News Destination’ EpicTimes.com.  Nationally syndicated talk show host Jerry Doyle – a former actor, voice-over artist, Wall Street trader and pilot, says he credits his varied background with instilling in him the obvious and growing need for a solution-based news doylejerrycommunity.  The Talk Radio Network personality is therefore launching his newest media endeavor, EpicTimes.com – what he calls “a solution-based news destination dedicated to putting cutting-edge news, resources, and answers in the hands of the public.”  He adds, “EpicTimes.com seeks to deliver insight from some of the most influential voices of our time, spanning a variety of expertise to share solution-based ideas and insights with a community that is focused on problem solving and results.”  Doyle says that to serve the knowledge of his online audience, he has assembled a diverse cast of contributors, whose collective goal is to offer clear insights into a range of issues, combined with hard-hitting commentaries and workable solutions to the issues that directly affect our lives.  “This unique view on the issues and news headlines is geared toward building an active community on the site.  All opinions are heard and commentary between readers and contributors and readers to readers is encouraged.  That kind of honest conversation is just what I believe people want.  My goal is for EpicTimes.com to not just publish relevant news, but to become a solutions community.”  Check out EpicTimes.com here.

rosenthalmarkKatz Radio Group Names Mark Rosenthal CEO.  Media rep firm Katz Media Group announces it has picked media executive Mark Rosenthal to head up the Katz Radio Group.  Rosenthal’s media experience goes back to the early days of MTV where he was one of the original team that created the cable TV channel.  He was also involved in the inception of Nickelodeon, VH1 and Comedy Central.  Katz says he “has been a leader in the media industry for more than 25 years, building advertising and marketing solutions for world-class media brands.”  KRG says Rosenthal will work with president Mark Gray to “ensure continued high-level performance in the transactional arena.  Rosenthal will also focus on KRG’s radio advocacy efforts and lead an accelerated charge to bring additional revenue into the radio sector.”  Clear Channel Media and Entertainment chairman and CEO John Hogan says, “We are thrilled to have such a well-respected media executive join Katz Radio Group.  Mark has an enormous range of experience across all forms of media, from traditional and digital media to the agency world.  Radio is a powerful national marketing platform.  Our goal is to continue to tell the success story of radio’s massive reach.  Mark joining the team signifies a very exciting step forward in our intensified effort to drive substantial growth for Katz clients by providing the most innovative media solutions available.”

foxnewsradioFox News and SiriusXM Re-Up; Content Added to SiriusXM Internet Radio.  After speculation over the summer that Fox News and SiriusXM were headed for a break-up, the two sides announce they have inked a deal to bring Fox News content to the satcaster through 2019.  In addition, as part of the new agreement, siriusxmSiriusXM will broadcast Fox Business Network.  SiriusXM will be the exclusive audio home for broadcasts of Fox News and Fox Business Network for its more than 25 million subscribers.  As part of the agreement, SiriusXM will add both channels to its SiriusXM Internet Radio channel lineup for the first time.  The new agreement also includes the addition of Fox News Talk to the SiriusXM Internet Radio service.  Fox News Talk, which offers news, analysis, listener call-ins, and commentary from popular Fox News personalities such as Brian Kilmeade, John Gibson and Alan Colmes, among others, will be available online at SiriusXM Internet Radio and through the SiriusXM Internet Radio App on smart phones and other connected devices.  Fox News chairman and CEO Roger Ailes states, “Our viewers love the ability to keep the connection with Fox News Channel, even while they’re in the car with SiriusXM.  This agreement not only ensures that will continue but expands it to our Fox Business Network viewers and restores the Fox News Talk channel to SiriusXM subscribers on their computers and smart phones.  This is good for Fox News, for SiriusXM and for the people we both work for, the American public.”

conwaylelandLeland Conway Named Late-Morning Host at WHAS, Louisville.  Clear Channel’s heritage Louisville news/talker announces talk host Leland Conway will assume the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon program that opened up when Mandy Connell moved to the company’s KHOW, Denver for the morning show earlier this summer.  Conway – a Kentucky native – currently hosts afternoon drive on CC’s WRVA, Richmond and will continue in that role as well.  Regional programming manager Kelly Carls states, “This is an exciting appointment for ‘84WHAS Radio’ and the Kentuckiana community.   We talked to many highly qualified and experienced on-air personalities, but Leland’s talents really shined brightly.  His wit, energy and longstanding Kentucky roots make him a great fit.  We’re extremely happy he’s returning to the Bluegrass State.”  Conway has served as a commentator on WTVQ-TV, and for six years hosted a successful talk show on WLAP, Lexington.  Conway adds, “It is an honor to join the WHAS team.  As a native Kentuckian, I grew up with WHAS.  It’s as much a part of the Bluegrass State as hot browns and horse racing.  I am excited to once again be a part of the lively conversation in Kentucky.”

radioshow2013Michael Harrison to Present Annual Address at NAB Radio Show.  In a popular “Info-Session” that has packed the room each year for more than a decade, TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison will address the forthcoming NAB Radio Show on the subject “The Vital Role Radio Plays in Popular Culture.”harrisonmichael  The info-session, sponsored by TALKERS, will be a power-packed hour touching upon a number of key issues that are vital to radio’s very existence – let alone artistic and financial well-being – in the rapidly advancing digital era.  Harrison says that for radio to remain iconic in the 21st century, it must maintain “ownership” of the scenes it addresses whether they are music, politics, news, sports or any other expression of the human condition.  He says radio must maintain a foreground, active position and avoid being marginalized as a passive delivery system and he gives solid examples and suggestions to make it happen.  Consultant Holland Cooke introduces what will be a riveting and inspirational hour.  The session takes place on Thursday, September 19 between 1:30 pm and 2:30 pm in the very heart of the conference at the Rosen Shingle Creek Hotel in Gatlin E2 and is open to all attendees of the conference.

baxobrien‘Rock 102’ Springfield, MA Morning Talk Duo Bax & O’Brien to Do Live Performance at Local Theater.  The long-running morning drive powerhouse of Bax & O’ Brien (Michael “Bax” Baxendale and John O’ Brien) have been gathering huge on-air audiences in Western Massachusetts for more than 15 years and innovating advances in local webcasting worthy of national attention.  Now, they’ve added another facet to their arsenal of attractions.  The team has been booked into the downtown Springfield prestigious City-Stage theater for a one-night special performance on Thursday, October 17.  The show is being sponsored by local car dealership Curry Honda and will cleverly feature “guest” appearances by locally famous advertisers who will actually perform their live commercial reads during the program (great idea!).  In addition, guests will include local and regional personalities Paul “Fitzy” Fitzgerald, live performances from guitar legend Gary Hoey and Dr. Westchesterson plus special video presentations from comedians Lisa Lampanelli and Tom Cotter, and the promise of other surprises!  Tickets go on sale Friday September 6 at the City Stage Box Office or at Ticketmaster.com.  Fans of Bax & O’ Brien will be able to see it live in person or watch the show streamed live with their BaxandObrien.com membership.

nathanalanMain Street Radio Network Re-Brands Alan Nathan-Hosted Program.  The talk show that’s been known as “Battle Line with Alan Nathan” is now titled “The Alan Nathan Show.”  Main Street Radio Network president Jane Silk states, “He’s the longest-running centrist radio show in the country and we’re delighted with the program’s evolution and direction.  As so many have said, ALAN is an important voice who needs to be heard!”  Nathan himself comments, “They’ve been calling it the ‘Alan Nathan show’ for years, so I learned how to take a hint.  Additionally, while there’s plenty of spirited debate (or battling) happening on the program, it’s also a guest-generated, panel-driven event that teases all who take themselves too seriously.”

costadinoDino Costa Moves to Mornings on SiriusXM’s New Sports Zone Channel.  As TALKERS reported yesterday (from a New York Daily News story), sports talk host Dino Costa is moving from the Mad Dog Radio channel at SiriusXM where he was the evening (Eastern Time) personality, to mornings where his show will be heard from 7:00 am to 11:00 am ET beginning September 5.  In a statement, Costa says, “When I joined SiriusXM nearly five years ago, my objective was to deliver listeners across North America a brand of sports commentary and opinion that they had never heard before, something that was a radical departure from the status quo.  I feel I have accomplished that and gained a more than appreciable audience over that time.  Creating and delivering the kind of a show I do would not have been possible anyplace other than SiriusXM and it is an honor and a privilege to be with what I consider to be the mightiest radio broadcaster on planet earth.  I enjoyed my time with Mad Dog Sports Radio and now I look forward to new challenges and conquests and feel more enthused than ever at the prospects of making SiriusXM Sports Zone a destination channel for our valued subscribers.  This is the start of something very big!”

mooreloriLori Moore to Retire from WKZO, Kalamazoo.  Retire might be too strong a word for AM drive host Lori Moore’s departure from Midwest Communications’ news/talk WKZO, Kalamazoo.  But Moore has worked at the station for the past 18 years (32 years in the market) and, to her faithful listeners, it might feel like retirement.  Still, Moore says she will remain close to the community and has “many projects” in the pipeline.  Morning host since 1995, Moore states, “I feel I have a special bond with my audience and advertisers.  I think I am able to connect with what people care about.  I talk about events because I go to them and I endorse products and services I actually use.”  Her last day is Friday, September 6.

Odds & Sods. Tribune’s WGN, Chicago adds more sports programming to its weekend lineup with a post-Bears game program called “Two and a Half Bears,” featuring NFL Hall of Famer and Chicago Bears alumnus Dan Hampton, his former teammate Glen hamptondanKozlowski and WGN’s resident football fanatic Pete McMurray.  The program will feature interviews with players, coaches, and front office personnel.  Additionally, Hampton will join WGN’s Steve Cochran every Monday and Friday morning at 7:40 to provide a Bears game recap and preview…..Entercom’s WEEI-FM, Boston announces its NFL and Patriots football-related programming to air on the station and its affiliate stations around New England.  The content again includes exclusive interviews with quarterback Tom Brady and head coach Bill Belichick on “Patriots Monday.”  As itcowherdcolin did last year, gameday coverage will originate from Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill at Patriot Place in Foxborough and include pre- and post-game programs.  Throughout the week, WEEI programs will be visited by numerous football experts, writers and Patriots players…..ESPN Radio sports talk host Colin Cowherd debuts a new program on ESPN2 titled “Colin’s New Football Show” that will air Sundays at 9:00 am ET.  ESPN vice president, original programming and production, Jamie Horowitz says, “’Colin’s New Football Show’ will be entirely from Colin’s perspective.  It’s a cool and alternative pre-game show with Colin, a football outsider on the inside, letting fans know the key stories of the day in his own style.”…..CBS Radio’s all-news WNEW-FM, Washington reports it is doubling its traffic alerts to keep commuters up to speed on the region’s roadways during drive time.  Dubbed “Beltway Fix on the Six,” in addition its traffic and weather together on the 1s, the station will add reports on the 6s between 7:00 am and 10:00 as well as between 4:00 pm and 7:00 pm……CRN Digital Talk Radio host and well-known actor Fred Dryer is back on the big screen in a new movie titled “Snake and Mongoose,” that chronicles the careers of drag racers Don “the Snake” Prudhomme and Tom “the Mongoose” McEwen.  In the film, Dryer plays Motorsports Hall of Fame member Ed Donovan, McEwen’s engine builder who coined the racer’s “Mongoose” moniker.

bernierimmigrationIllegal Immigration Forum.  Congressman Lou Barletta (PA-11) and former INS agent Michael Cutler appeared in “The President Speakers Series” on the subject of illegal immigration at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach.  The event was moderated by the talk show host Marc Bernier – who also serves as President’s special assistant at the university – and was broadcast on WNDB, Daytona Beach and carried by C-SPAN.  Pictured here are (from l-r): Bernier, ERAU president John P. Johnson, Rep. Barletta and Cutler.  The event was the 95th in the Town Hall Series.  Photo by Arthur J. Byrnes.

Syria Question Goes Before Congress, ObamaCare Implementation, Miley Cyrus Fallout and Jack Nicholson Retires due to Memory Loss Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/3).  Secretary of State John Kerry takes the question of whether the United States should begin military action against Syria to Congress; ongoing complications in the implementation of the Affordable Care Act; the fallout from Miley Cyrus’ risqué performance at the MTV Video Music Awards and Jack Nicholson’s retirement from making movies, reportedly due to memory loss were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, August 19, 2013

| August 19, 2013

mrc logoEight More Arbitron PPM Markets Gain Accreditation by MRC.  The Media Rating Council gives accreditation to eight more Arbitron PPM markets – making the total number of accredited markets 26.  In making the announcement, Arbitron notes that the MRC is not granting accreditation in the remaining 22 markets at this time.  The eight newly accredited markets include: Cleveland, Dallas-Ft. Worth, Denver-Boulder, Detroit, Miami-Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood, Pittsburgh, Portland OR, and Nassau/Suffolk (Long arbitronIsland).  They join the 18 markets the MRC is voting to continue accreditation: Atlanta, Baltimore, Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock Hill, Chicago, Cincinnati, Houston, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Milwaukee-Racine, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Riverside-San Bernardino, San Antonio, San Diego, San Francisco, St. Louis, and Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater.  Arbitron executive vice president, service innovation and chief research officer Gregg Linder states, “MRC accreditation for our PPM markets is a company-wide priority at Arbitron, and we are pleased the MRC continues to recognize our ongoing efforts to improve Sample Performance Indicators and other quality metrics in our Portable People Meter ratings services.  Continuous improvement remains our watchword, for PPM and for all our ratings and software offerings and we are focused on earning accreditation for the balance of our PPM markets.”

theblaze logoFormer CNN Producer/Reporter Joins Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze.  Steve Krakauer – former CNN digital producer and media reporter – is named vice president of digital content for TheBlaze.  In his work at CNN, Krakauer oversaw the social and digital output of the CNN domestic U.S. television programs.  He also managed the team that ran @CNN — the network’s flagship Twitter account.  Krakauer joined CNN in November 2010 as the digital producer of “Piers Morgan Tonight.”  At TheBlaze, Krakauer will be responsible for growing the network’s presence across all digital media.  TheBlaze president and chief content officer Joel Cheatwood states, “Steve was one of the first people to truly recognize the growing relationship between digital media and traditional television and has built a remarkable track record integrating the two media.  We are excited to have Steve join TheBlaze as we continue to be at the forefront of creating a television network designed for the 21st century.”

schultzedEd Schultz Returns to Weeknights on MSNBC.  It hasn’t been quite five months since MSNBC moved “The Ed Show” from weeknights at 8:00 pm to a Saturday and Sunday 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm slot with Ed Schultz saying the move was for personal and professional reasons.  Now, the Hollywood Reporter writes that MSNBC president Phil Griffin asked Schultz to return to weekdays in the 5:00 pm slot replacing the first run of “Hardball with Chris Matthews.”  Matthews’ show will only air at 7:00 pm beginning August 26 when Schultz returns to weekdays.  Griffin told the publication, “Ed has proven himself no matter where we’ve put him.”

nprCEO Gary Nell to Exit NPR to Head Up National Geographic.  NPR CEO Gary Nell announces he’s leaving the public radio company after 21 months on the job.  In a letter to staff, he says, in part, “As president and CEO, supporting NPR’s success – your success – has been my highest ambition.  Working together, we have put NPR on more solid footing to continue to deliver the highest-quality journalism and programming.  We have launched innovative new platforms and made meaningful strides in attracting new audiences and new funding.  We have promoted a series of collaborations in news gathering, development, and a digital future.  And we have an exceptionally strong leadership team in place that is charting an ambitious path for our future.  We also face challenges, including the mandate to bring NPR to break-even cash operations.  We are completing a plan to focus our limited resources which support our essential services to stations and audiences.  We will present that plan to the Board soon, go over it carefully, and make it a reality.”  Nell took over the reins of NPR in December of 2011 after the high-profile departure of former CEO Vivian Schiller.  During her tenure, Juan Williams was fired after making comments on Fox News Channel admitting to feeling nervous when seeing people dressed in Muslim garb on airplanes.  Also, NPR fundraiser Ron Schiller (no relation) was recorded denigrating conservatives at a lunch meeting.

grahamkevinBoston Herald Reports Kevin Graham Will Succeed Jason Wolfe at WEEI-FM, Boston.  There is no confirmation from Entercom Boston market manager Jeff Brown about the Boston Herald’s recent report that KFNZ, Salt Lake City “1320 KFAN” program director and afternoon drive co-host Kevin Graham will take over the program director post at the station.  According to his bio on the KFNZ website, Graham was one of the key architects of KFNZ back in 1996 and has worked as programmer at KTAR-AM, Phoenix; WXYT, Detroit and other sports talk outlets.  In addition to programming KFNZ, Graham co-hosts the Gunther & Graham pm drive show with Kyle Gunther.  Longtime program director Jason Wolfe exited the station last week and the Boston media is rife with speculation about the status of the station’s air talent – especially morning duo John Dennis and Gerry CallahanCBS Radio’s crosstown WBZ-FM “The Sports Hub” has been topping WEEI-FM in recent ratings reports.  Still, the Herald also reports that Dennis and Callahan have been assured that they are not on the chopping block at this point.

talkersradio logoBrent Seltzer and Meg McDonald (“Brent & Meg”) Sign Up as Charter Members of TalkersRadio Lineup.  The married couple team of “Brent & Meg” (Brent Seltzer and Meg McDonald, pictured below) join the initial lineup of the soon-to-be-launched experimental internet talk station, TalkersRadio.  They will be hosting a Monday through Friday, two-hour Los Angeles-based program titled, “The Brent & Meg Show,” that will stream live between 3:00 pm and 5:00 pm ET with possible re-streams at other times during the following 24 hours.seltzermegbrent  According to TalkersRadio GM David Bernstein, “There never has been a ‘Brent & Meg Show’ prior to TalkersRadio.  They are coming together to do this specifically because the station is designed for these kinds of experiments.  Although they’ve been married for 28 years and have been in the media business doing everything from amazing short-form features to ground-breaking public relations campaigns for years, the idea of them being on the air live as a team hosting a long-form talk show is the brainchild of Michael Harrison who has been after them to do this for over two years now since hearing them bounce off each other in the ongoing short-form feature ‘Brent Seltzer, Still at Large.’  “I am excited about the potential of this show.  We envision it to be in the tradition of the classic husband/wife chat shows of the golden era – except with its focus fully planted on a 21st century foundation.”  The short-form feature “Brent Seltzer, Still at Large” — written, produced and performed by the couple — has accrued a dedicated multi-platform cult-following on Podjockey.com and XM Satellite Radio after having broken out in 2008 as a hot commodity at KSRO, Santa Rosa.  According to the couple, “Outraged by the cable TV political bloviates, we invented ‘Brent Seltzer, Still at Large’ as a panacea to the anger and complacency that radio was becoming.  We figured that since all the extreme right wingers and extreme left wingers were only preaching to their targeted choirs, we could have an extremely good time talking about anything to everyone.  It is our intention to continue that tradition on the ‘Brent & Meg Show.’  Absolutely no politician, celebrity, corporate business practice, social custom, anything or anybody will be safe from our scathing, biting and hopefully humorous and entertaining observations.  Hey, we just wanna have fun!”

Brent Seltzer is legendary in the annals of West Coast radio having worked as a personality “rock ‘n’ roll newsman” on two of the most storied signals in rock radio history – KMET, Los Angeles and KGB, San Diego — as well as  LA’s KZLA-FM/AM, KNX-FM, and KMPC. He has also been a popular radio writer working for years at companies such as Watermark (“American Top 40”) and its founder Tom Rounds’ celebrated international company, Radio Express.

Born into a Hollywood show business family, Meg McDonald’s mother was the popular character actress Elisabeth Fraser and her father was the dancer Ray McDonald.  Although a native of Santa Monica, her parents divorced when she was very young and her Mom moved to New York to co-star with Phil Silvers in his popular comedy, “You’ll Never Get Rich,” later known as “The Phil Silvers Show.”  As her mother went to work in many classic films, TV shows and Broadway shows, Meg found herself surrounded by gifted writers including Neil Simon, Norman Lear and Gore Vidal.  Returning to LA after a few years, Meg never thought of herself as a performer, so she majored in Journalism at LACC, but chose a career in public relations where she has forged an award-winning history as founder of her own shop, McDonald Media Services.  Strikingly beautiful with a big gorgeous voice, she always wanted to be on-air but was too shy to take the shot, until she met Brent Seltzer. “The Brent & Meg” show debuts on TalkersRadio Tuesday, September 10.  For more information about TalkersRadio call 413-565-5413 or email GM David Bernstein at david@talkers.com.  TalkersRadio streaming is powered by Backbone Networks.

wowoamshowWOWO-AM/FM, Fort Wayne Morning Show to Begin TV Simulcast.  Federated Media’s WOWO-AM/FM, Fort Wayne will begin a simulcast of one hour of “Fort Wayne’s Morning News with Charly Butcher on local NBC affiliate WISE-TV “NBC33″ on September 23.  The television outlet will air the 6:00 am hour of  Butcher’s program using several high definition cameras placed in the studio and newsroom at WOWO.  Program director Ryan Wrecker says, “What we’re doing is taking a historic show in the market and advancing it to a new medium.  Finding new platforms for our product is an important part of our station strategy, and we think this is going to make a big impact not only in the market but it’s what should be expected for news/talk stations looking for ways to gain a younger audience share.”  Butcher states, “We’re excited to bring a show we work very hard on every morning to NBC33.  It’s another way for listeners to get a behind-the-scenes look at what we do and get all the information they need every morning.  I’m not excited that I might need to start wearing make-up.”  Pictured above is the WOWO-AM/FM morning show in action (Butcher at right.)

MLB LogoSiriusXM and MLB Reach Six-Year Extension.  Satcaster SiriusXM and Major League Baseball have reached an agreement to extend their relationship for another six years.  As a result, every regular season and post-season game will be available on both Sirius and XM platforms through 2016.  The deal also includes select exhibition games and Spanish-language broadcasts.  SiriusXM president and chief content officer Scott Greenstein states, “Baseball has been an essential part of our programming lineup and we’re very happy to extend our relationship with MLB to deliver the games to our subscribers for many years to come.  We’re especially pleased to now offer the games to SiriusXM subscribers whether they listen through Sirius radios, XM radios, the SiriusXM App or online.”

NPR Producer Teshima Walker Dies at 44.  After a two-year battle with colon cancer, NPR executive producer Teshima Walker passed away on Friday morning.  Walker had been executive producer of the Michel Martin-hosted “Tell Me More” program since 2011.  She’d been with the show in various capacities for four years prior to that.  During her career she had worked at WBEZ, Chicago and served as a producer on the Tavis Smiley program.

Monday, August 5, 2013

| August 5, 2013

limbaughrush (2)hannity (2)CNN’s “Reliable Sources” Tackles the Cumulus-Limbaugh-Hannity Brouhaha. “It’s clearly a radio deal and it has nothing to do with the future of conservative talk radio.” Those emphatic words from TALKERS publisher/editor Michael Harrison were voiced yesterday (Sunday 8/4) on CNN’s “Reliable Sources” regarding why Cumulus might drop Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity from some of the radio company’s larger stations. “They are not going to be dropped from the air,” Harrison asserted of conservative talk radio superstars Limbaugh and Hannity. “If they don’t come up with a deal with Cumulus, they will be on Clear Channel stations or any other companies that would love to have the two biggest attractions in talk radio.” Also on the CNN program was liberal talk host Thom Hartmann, who indicated a boycott against Limbaugh’s show actually, “did a lot of damage to progressive talk radio” because many advertisers pulled out “of all talk radio.”  Salem syndicated host Michael Medved also appeared on the program strongly voicing his disapproval of advertiser boycotts targeted at either the left or the right – saying the practice is borderline “un-American.”  Interestingly all three guests were in almost total agreement on all aspects of the issue discussed.  To see the segment click here.
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Jeff Katz kicking off Boston Herald Radio Boston Herald Radio Launched This Morning at 6:00 am ET.  The concept of the full-blown, digital-age “media station” took a giant leap forward at 6:00 am ET today (8/5) as the Boston Herald newspaper unveiled its ambitious new initiative “Boston Herald Radio” – a Boston-centric news/talk/sports radio station that is beginning its life as a venue for four live three-hour shows running weekdays from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm.  These programs include:

6:00 am to 9:00 am – “Live from the Newsroom with Jeff Katz” (Katz is a well-known talk industry personality most recently heard in Boston on WRKO and Talk 1200.)  Katz is pictured here on the air during the first moments of the new station’s first program.

 9:00 am to 12:00 noon – “Morning Meeting with Jaclyn Cashman and Hillary Chabot” (Cashman is a former Springfield, MA TV anchor/reporter and multimedia consultant and Chabot is the chief political reporter with the Boston Herald.)

 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm – “The Michael Graham Show” (Graham is a former WTKK host and current Boston Herald op-ed columnist.)

 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm – “Sports Town with Jon Meterparel and Jen Royle” (Meterparel is a former WEEI personality and current Boston College play-by-play announcer and Royle is an Emmy-award winning Major League Baseball reporter, TV/radio host.)

This is the first news/sports/talk radio platform in the Boston market backed up by a full multimedia newsroom under the brand of a major newspaper and one of a handful of such operations beginning to pop up around the country.  News reports are being provided throughout the broadcast day by Boston Herald editors and reporters.  Feature elements include Boston Herald music, TV, movie reviews, political and business reports, style and food segments as well as live reports from staff reporters who travel with all four major teams and provide extensive high school sports coverage.  The stream is managed by Backbone Networks (the same company working on the forthcoming mid-August launch of TalkersRadio) and carried by Tune In as well as its home base on the Boston Herald website and its mobile news and sports apps.  The shows are streamed from a studio adjacent to the Boston Herald newsroom.  The studio team includes executive producer Tom Shattuck (formerly of WRKO and WTKK) and two part-time producers.

Reports from the launch indicate that all has been going as planned.

Boston Herald editor-in-chief Joe Sciacca tells TALKERS, “We’re launched and enjoying the ride! Today, the Herald’s unique voice is even stronger thanks to internet radio. For years, our content has set the table for talk stations and broadcast news anchors in this market and beyond. Now the daily  conversation is starting  in our own studio!”

kdka pintek CBS Radio, Pittsburgh’s Marcellus Shale Festival to Feature KDKA Town Hall Meeting. The free event will be held next Thursday (8/15) from 2:00 pm – 10:00 pm at Stage AE, which sits adjacent to the Pittsburgh Steelers’ , and is designed to celebrate what Marcellus Shale brings to the region. KDKA, Pittsburgh 12:00 noon – 3:00 pm personality Mike Pintek will host a 3:00 pm town hall meeting, “Marcellus Shale – A True Public-Private Partnership: Maximizing the Resource.” Panelists will include Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald; Pennsylvania State Rep. Jim Christiana; Pennsylvania State Sen. Tim Solobay; U.S. Rep. Tim Murphy; and Range Resources director of corporate communications and public affairs Matt Pitzarella. The Pittsburgh premiere of the movie “FrackNation” will be shown, and there will be a meet and greet with co-producer Ann McElhinney. Marcellus Shale is a unit of marine sedimentary rock found in eastern North America and is named for a distinctive outcrop near the village of Marcellus, New York.

Entercom ArbitronEntercom and Arbitron Sign Multi-Year PPM Renewal. Entercom Communications inks a multi-year, multi-market, renewal for Arbitron’s Portable People Meter (PPM) and diary radio ratings services. Entercom president/chief executive officer David Field comments, “We plan to continue to collaborate with Arbitron to demonstrate the incredible value of radio, to ensure broadcasters get full credit for their audiences and to enhance the high return to marketers on their advertising investment.” Arbitron president/chief executive officer Sean Creamer notes, “Our two companies have enjoyed a long and collaborative relationship. We will continue our joint efforts to demonstrate the strength of radio within the expanding media landscape.”

cookehollandLocal Radio News: Never More Opportune!  That is the educated opinion of noted radio consultant and TALKERS columnist Holland Cooke who will be devoting a special presentation at the forthcoming Talkers Los Angeles 2013 conference on Thursday October 10.  Cooke says that the decades-long trend of firings and shrinkage at radio station and network news departments is about to do a turn around… and that those still plying journalistic craft in both talk and music radio should not lose heart.  Rather they should get prepared as quickly as possible for exciting new opportunities in the unfolding digital era. And those are not the only new jobs he foresees.  In a new column posted today (8/5), Cooke elaborates on this and more, offering handy tips for the presentation of stories and information on the radio including advice to understanding the difference between “correctness” and “newsworthiness.”  To read the entire piece, please click here.

NAB Radio ShowthemavericksThe Mavericks to Appear at Marconi Radio Awards Dinner Show. The Grammy-winning group will perform at this year’s National Association of Broadcasters Radio Show at the Rosen Shingle Creek Hotel in Orlando. St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital will sponsor the September 19 appearance. NAB executive vice president of radio John David comments, “The Mavericks’ infectious energy, passion, and chemistry will make this year’s Marconi Radio Awards Dinner an unforgettable evening. These guys are great entertainers and they are excited to join radio to salute the nominees and winners.” Self-described as, “the most interesting band in the world,” The Mavericks – with lead singer and front man Raul Malo – blend country, rock and Cuban influences. Their hits include “All You Ever Do Is Bring Me Down,” “Here Comes the Rain” and “Dance the Night Away.” Produced by the Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB) and the NAB, this year’s Radio Show will be held September 18-20; TALKERS and RadioInfo publisher Michael Harrison is slated to speak about “Radio’s Evolving Role in Popular Culture.”

AnchorDashboardScreenshot_250Sabo Recommends:  Tomorrow’s Software Today.  Noted radio consultant and TALKERS columnist Walter Sabo offers a tip to personalities in both talk and music formats.  Check out the new software package created, developed and now used by all-news giant WINS, New York morning anchor Lee Harris (the most listened-to anchorman on all of radio).   One screen shows weather, traffic, any RSS feed, plus the ability for the producer or screener to put messages right in front of the talent.  It’s called ANCHOR DASHBOARD and it’s created by the most listened to anchorman on radio Lee Harris from 1010 WINS, New York. Most of the CBS-owned all-news stations use it. But Sabo points out, “It is NOT just for news stations. It would be a boon for any personality show.”  Harris Media (not to be confused with the giant Harris Corporation)sets it up any way you wish, with any ingredients you need. Then it works automatically. Sabo was so impressed with the Harris suite of support software that he agreed to help them come up with more products on a formal basis. To contact Lee Harris email  lee@harrismedia.com for a demo.

pagliarulojoe (2)Odds & Sods. If doing 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm each weekday on Clear Channel talk outlet WOAI, San Antonio; “The Weekend” for Premiere Radio Networks; and a Saturday show for Denver’s KOA, were not already enough, ever conscientious Joe “Joe Pags” Pagliarulo fills in all this week for Quinn & Rose’s Pittsburgh based “War Room” … KFAQ, Tulsa morning talent Pat Campbell is sitting in for Compass Networks syndicated host Todd Schnitt today (Monday, 8/5) and will do the same again this Friday (8/9).

WBUR_logoLanger Broadcasting Group to Purchase WBUR’s West Yarmouth, Massachusetts 1240 AM Repeater Signal. Langer’s new station will serve the Brazilian and Portuguese communities of Cape Cod and the Islands.  According to Langer Broadcasting Group president and chairman Alex Langer, “There is an appetite for more multi-cultural broadcasting in Massachusetts, especially in areas like Cape Cod where the Portuguese-speaking community is increasing every year.” Boston University-owned NPR affiliate WBUR-FM began simulcasting on Martha’s Vineyard outlet WBUA this past February; thus WBUR general manager Charlie Kravetz remarks, “We recognized that our 1240 AM signal was redundant in its coverage. We are pleased the station will now go to Langer Broadcasting.” WBUR-FM has simulcast programming on 1240 AM since it bought the station 16 years ago. The signal at 1240 was Cape Cod’s first radio station. Pending FCC approval, the changeover is expected to take place this fall.

Friday, August 2, 2013

| August 2, 2013

cclogoClear Channel Posts 2% Revenue Increase in Q2.  That’s for the Media and Entertainment division – the radio stations, Premiere Networks and Total Traffic Network – on revenue of $805.6 million for the second quarter of 2013 compared to the same period a year ago.  During yesterday’s investors’ conference call, chairman and CEO Bob Pittman spoke positively about the growth of iHeartRadio and SVP of investor relations Gregory Lundberg noted that it has 34 million registered users and that represents growth of 162% year-over-year.  Regarding the makeup of the company’s revenue, he stated, “National sales for the stations grew 5%, with local up 1%.  Excluding the impact of political advertising, in both quarters, national sales rose 7% and local was up 2%.  Our strongest performing ad categories remained financial services, retail and telecom.  Digital sales continue to grow in the double digits as we monetize our station’s online presence and keep growing iHeartRadio, where total listening hours were up to 36% in the second quarter.  We also saw good year-over-year growth at Premiere Networks.  Partially offsetting this growth rate were revenue declines in the traffic business from lost contracts and from lower sales resulting from integration activities.  Operating expenses increased $42 million or 9%, reflecting a $21 million expense credit from one of our performance rights organizations, which we received in the second quarter of last year.”  He stated pacing for the third quarter for the stations was up 3% and up 1% for the division as a whole.  Thanks to Seeking Alpha for the transcript.  Members can read it all here.

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xmradio logoClear Channel Sells Its SiriusXM Interests for $135.5 Million.  Way back in 1999 when XM Radio was gearing up its operations, Clear Channel was an initial investor putting in $83.1 million and getting the right to program some of the satcaster’s music and talk channels.  Now, CC sells its interest in the company for $135.5 million – the value of the stock – and that means most of the CC-programmed content will disappear from the XM Radio platform.  That’ll include some of the company’s music FMs such as hip hop WGCI, Chicago; country signal WSIX, Nashville and hot AC WLIT, Chicago.  But two of the CC-radio channels are expected to stay on the XM platform – WHTZ, New York and KIIS, Los Angeles.  It also means the talk radio channel on the XM platform will see talent like Glenn Beck, Bob & Tom, Todd Schnitt as well as Fox Sports Radio programming go away.

arbitronArbitron Reports Q2 Revenue Rises 2.9%.  As it prepares to be acquired by ratings giant Nielsen, Arbitron issues its 2013 second quarter financial reports and states that on revenue of $107.4 million dollars it is reporting net revenue of $7.1 million or $0.26 per share.  The cost of the potential Nielsen deal ate into the company’s earnings before interest and income tax expense (EBIT) as it shelled out $6.1 million during the quarter in preparation for the acquisition.  President and CEO Sean Creamer states, “In the second quarter, we maintained focus on our long-term priorities: investing in and growing our core radio services, evaluating and implementing quality initiatives to enhance the value and utility of our offerings, and exploring emerging opportunities with an emphasis on those that allow us to highlight the power and advantages of radio.  As the media and advertising marketplaces continue to evolve and new technologies permit consumers to consume content virtually anytime and anywhere, it is important we keep pace with these changes to ensure radio gets full credit for its audience – regardless of the delivery platform.  Radio is growing and vibrant – and we are committed to helping the radio industry tell and validate its complete and compelling story.”

sabowalterThe Job of the Program Director in Five Years.  According to noted consultant and TALKERS columnist Walter Sabo, if you want to know which way the job of PD is heading in radio, just take a look at what has happened to the same titled position at television stations.  In a new column posted today (8/2) Sabo writes “As more on-air content decisions are made at the corporate level and delivered from a central source, the program director job will morph to meet the demands of the tasks that must be completed.  Smart companies will evolve the position to one that has been desperately needed: ‘Program and Public Relations Director.'”  Sabo goes on to list other combinations of tasks and responsibilities that will be added to the title “Program Director” on the radio station level.  To read his entire column, please click here.

kbme logoKBME, Houston Ousts Adam Wexler and Matt Jackson from AM Drive; Adds Fox Sports Radio’s Jay Mohr to Middays.  In a realignment of programming at Clear Channel Media and Entertainment’s sports talk KBME, Houston, Adam Wexler and Matt Jackson have been let go from the station and their morning drive gig and Lance Zierlein and Adam Clanton take over the AM show.  Zierlein co-hosted the afternoon show with Charlie Pallilo but, as the Houston Chronicle notes, had also worked on the morning drive show alongside Wexler and Jackson in the past.  Adam Clanton has hosted sports talk radio in the market at CBS Radio’s crosstown KILT as well as having worked at KPRC-TV.  The addition of Fox Sports Radio’s nationally syndicated Jay Mohr to the lineup from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm forces some other changes.  Greg Koch and N.D. Kalu now air from 9:00 am to 11:00 am; Charlie Pallilo hosts solo from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm; and Matt Thomas is on the air from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm.

radioshow2013Michael Harrison to Speak at NAB Radio Show.  In what promises to be a riveting and inspirational hour, TALKERS and RadioInfo publisher Michael Harrison will address the forthcoming NAB Radio Show in Orlando (September 18-20) on “Radio’s Evolving Role in Popular Culture.”  Harrison, fresh off a rousing keynote speech at the Conclave, will further elaborate on the theme of the challenges facingharrisonmichael radio in its quest to remain societally iconic in the digital age of the 21st century at a specially scheduled Info-Session sponsored by TALKERS.  Harrison says that for radio to remain competitive with all the emerging “exotic” competition of this “wildly new era,” it must maintain “ownership” of the scenes it addresses whether they are music, politics, news, sports or any other expression of the human condition.  He says radio should maintain a foreground, active position that protects it from being marginalized as a passive delivery system and discusses options and opportunities to carry out the mission.  (To see a brief clip of Michael Harrison’s Conclave keynote speech addressing these subjects please click here.  The full speech will be posted to both RadioInfoTV and TalkersTV shortly, stay tuned.)  Consultant Holland Cooke introduces this popular annual NAB Radio Show session featuring the venerable programmer, air personality, entrepreneur and trade magazine publisher who has been accurately describing radio and popular media’s road ahead for the past 45 years.  The Info-Session is scheduled on Thursday, September 19 between 1:30 pm and 2:30 pm and is open to all attendees of the NAB Radio Show.

davisbobClear Channel Makes Morning Changes at KTCN, Minneapolis.  Morning drive talk show host Bob Davis and Clear Channel Minneapolis part company and the station fills the morning drive slot with former evening hosts Jack Tomczak and Ben Kruse, at least for now.  Bob Davis had been paired up with Tom Emmer for mornings but Emmer exited the station in June to make a run for the congressional seat being vacated by Michele Bachmann.  Davis made national news when, during a discussion about gun control, he said on the air he would tell the Newtown families to “go to hell” for their role in shaping the gun debate.  He later apologized for the tenor of his comments.

radiatemedia logoRadiate Media Promotes Ivan Shulman to President.  Seven months after joining Radiate Media as executive vice president of sales and chief revenue officer, the company promotes Ivan Shulman to president.  CEO Chris Rothey states, “Ivan has a deep shulmanivanbackground in sales, marketing and media, and his leadership experience makes him a great fit for us.  Since joining us in November of 2012, we have experienced quarter-over-quarter revenue growth, including the launch of Radiate360 – our integrated marketing platform to drive hyper-local business.  Ivan will continue to lead that initiative as well as overseeing the day-to -day activities of our broadcast radio, TV and digital lines of business.”  The company is bullish on its new product Radiate360 which it describes as “an easy-to-use, online platform that empowers businesses to expand their reach and connect with their customers.  With Radiate360’s revolutionary suite of tools, businesses can establish an online presence, engage customers through social and mobile media, and promote to the local audience that matters most.”  Shulman says of his promotion, “I joined Radiate because I was excited about future opportunities.  Our growth on both the broadcast and digital side has been phenomenal and I look forward to working with broadcasters to help bridge the gap between digital and traditional media.”

sileodanDan Sileo Takes Over Midday Program at WMEN, West Palm Beach.  Florida sports talk personality Dan Sileo – most recently midday host at WQAM, Miami – moves into the 10:00 am to 1:00 pm slot at JCE Licenses’ WMEN, West Palm Beach “640 Sports” effective Tuesday, August 6.  Sileo – who worked for years at WDAE, Tampa prior to his stint with WQAM – is filling in for Travis Rodgers on KLAA, Los Angeles today and on August 5.  Sileo is, by his own admission, an edgy personality whose willingness to push the envelope has gotten him fired from his last two radio gigs.  He maintains he achieved excellent ratings while with Clear Channel at WDAE and that the station pulled in a lot of revenue from his program.

deggansericEric Deggans to Leave the Tampa Bay Times for Gig at NPR.  Journalist Eric Deggans has covered first music, then media for the Tampa Bay Times for the past 18 years.  Now, he exits the Times to become a TV critic and correspondent for NPR News.  Deggans has been a contributor to NPR in the past but joins the organization full time.  He states in a press release, “For many years, I have been a fan of NPR’s super-smart journalism and I often fantasized of what it might be like to join their ranks as a contributor.  A position like this one is beyond my wildest dreams; I’m honored and excited by the opportunity to help shape NPR’s coverage of television and pop culture.”  Deggans has been an excellent reporter covering the Tampa Bay media scene over the years but also could be viewed as a polarizing writer.  He’s been a critic of talk radio on a number of levels as indicated in his recent book Race-Baiter: How the Media Wields Dangerous Words to Divide a Nation (Palgrave Macmillan 2012).  Photo by Carrie Pratt.

jacksonkevinOdds & Sods.  Dial Global announces it has signed an exclusive terrestrial, three-season deal with London-based talkSPORT to broadcast live coverage of Barclays Premier League, FA Cup and Capital One Cup.  The partnership includes play-by-play commentary of nearly 400 soccer matches per year, in both English and Spanish…..  “The Black Sphere” talk show host Kevin Jackson joins the advisory board of the Steamboat Institute, an institution that “defends freedom and advocates for liberty.”  Jackson says, “Witnessing the progress of the organization first hand, I am overjoyed to be part of the advisory board and play a role in the future direction of the Steamboat Institute, an organization that will undoubtedly mold political discussions and policy in the future.”

gillemdennyTALKERS Weekly Affiliate Update.  Statewide syndicated sports talk host Bill Michaels is added to the lineup at WOZN, Madison, Wisconsin…..Kevin Jackson’s “Black Sphere Radio” show is now airing on WEZO, Augusta, Georgia…..Talk Media Network announces affiliate additions for three of its programs: “Fat Guys At The Movies with Kevin Carr & Kristin Dreyer Kramer” joins WKVL, Knoxville; “The Financial Fitness Show with Chip Cummings & Tony Rubleski” is added to WRSB, Rochester, New York; and “Frontlines of Freedom with Lt. Col. Denny Gillem” joins the lineup at WZFG, Fargo.

ObamaCare Implementation Tops Talkers TenTM for Week of July 29 – August 2.  The implementation of the Affordable Care Act and the cost of the program was the top news/talk topic during the week.  Following at #2 was the Anthony Weiner sexting case and the political fallout.  At #3 was the 2016 presidential race followed by the Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity contracts flap at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Radio from the Newspaper: Stop the Presses?

| July 31, 2013

By Holland Cooke
Consultant

BLOCK ISLAND, RI — The impending launch of a Boston Herald-based online audio stream points to an opportunity I’ve been recommending to local radio newscasters who’ve been getting fired right and left these past several years.  With hard copy media now so mature, yet still commanding such a big revenue share, rich media was always a logical line extension for newspapers.  They need it, they know it, and they know they don’t know how to do it as well as broadcasters do.

Even without the financial support and promotional heft a newspaper gives a netcast, non-AM/FM “radio” is exploding.

  • “The transmitter” has been there ever since we could save as .mp3.
  • “The receiver” became conspicuous a decade ago, when iPod was the shiny object.  Since then, smartphones have obsoleted such player-only non-AM/FM receivers.  As he’s described what he terms “the media station,” TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison has suggested that the P-O-D in podcasting might simply refer to “Programming on Demand.”

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Monday, July 29, 2013

| July 29, 2013

bostonheraldradio logoBoston Herald Radio Launches August 5 at 6:00 am ET.  The concept of the full-blown, digital-age “media station” predicted and described for the past decade by Michael Harrison and other radio industry visionaries will be taking a giant leap toward coming to fruition at 6:00 am ET on August 5.  The Boston Herald newspaper is unveiling its ambitious new initiative “Boston Herald Radio” – a Boston-centric news/talk/sports radio station that will begin its life as a venue for four live three-hour shows running weekdays from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm.  These programs include:

katzjeffspeaks–          6:00 am to 9:00 am – “Live from the Newsroom with Jeff Katz” (Katz is a well-known talk industry personality most recently heard in Boston on WRKO and Talk 1200.)

–          9:00 am to 12:00 noon – “Morning Meeting with Jaclyn Cashman and Hillary Chabot” (Cashman is a former Springfield, MA TV anchor/reporter and multimedia consultant and Chabot is the chief political reporter with the Boston Herald.)

–          12:00 noon to 3:00 pm – “The Michael Graham Show” (Graham is a former WTKK host and current Boston Herald op-ed grahammichaelcolumnist.)

–          3:00 pm to 6:00 pm – “Sports Town with Jon Meterparel and Jen Royle” (Meterparel is a former WEEI personality and current Boston College play-by-play announcer and Royle is an Emmy-award winning Major League Baseball reporter, TV/radio host.)

This will be the first news/sports/talk radio platform in the Boston market backed up by a full multimedia newsroom under the brand of a major newspaper and one of a handful of such operations beginning to pop up around the country.  News reports will be provided capalboshattuckthroughout the broadcast day by Boston Herald editors and reporters.  Feature elements will include Boston Herald music, TV, movie reviews, political and business reports, style and food segments as well as live reports from staff reporters who travel with all four major teams and provide extensive high school sports coverage.  The stream will be managed by Backbone Networks (the same company working on the forthcoming mid-August launch of TalkersRadio) and carried by Tune In as well its home base on the Boston Herald website and its mobile news and sports apps.  The shows will be streamed from a studio adjacent to the Boston Herald newsroom.  The studio team includes executive producer Tom Shattuck (formerly of WRKO and WTKK) and two part-time producers (Shattuck pictured at right, is here with Backbone Networks VP of engineering development George Capalbo, at left).  Boston Herald editor-in-chief Joe Sciacca tells TALKERS, “Consumers want news and information that is mobile, and they want to be active participants connecting and collaborating on the issues of the day, not passive receptors being lectured to.  That is our mission in print, online, in video presentations and now Boston Herald Radio.”  Sciacca adds, “I see myself not as a newspaper editor but as the leader of a news organization that creates high-quality, original content for use across platforms — whether it is print, web or broadcast.”   According to TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison, who was writing and speaking about the potential of newspaper websites providing radio broadcasters with powerful platforms to operate on the internet as long as 10 years ago,  “This amazing development in Boston marks the tipping point in the evolution of the digital-age news and entertainment platform.  The brilliant and obvious idea of newspapers and radio stations rubbing their two sticks together (literally and figuratively) will send sparks flying that will potentially proliferate into a  21st century ‘media station’ wildfire.  By ‘media station’ I mean an online platform that has the cultural stationality of a radio station, a television station, a newspaper and a magazine combined – all in one location – fueled and synergized by the combined resources of each.”  Harrison maintains that the internet alone is not a practical platform.  He says, “By itself, the internet has no form, no definition and no prestige, similarly neither do the so called ‘airwaves’ of 20th century audio and video media.  The key is to build prestigious, well-defined platforms that will sail across the internet — the way ships, yachts and ocean liners sail the seas and the way glorious theaters give Broadway its pizzazz or great stadiums separate the big leagues from sandlot baseball.  If an actor, dancer or musician is performing ‘on Broadway,’ that could mean they are doing their act on the stage of the Winter Garden or on the sidewalk in front of the Winter Garden.  It is the same thing with the internet.  Prestigious, well-resourced platforms give you a place to put the key to monetization: a box office!”  Walter Sabo, CEO of the New York City-based consultancy firm Sabo Media (whose clients have included SiriusXM Satellite Radio, Parade magazine and numerous leading radio firms and talent), says, “When Jeff Katz or Michael Graham are on the air doing their shows in a studio right next to the Boston Herald newsroom, they will be one door away from an-in house news gathering and processing operation that employs hundreds of journalists.  This is a brilliant move!”  Sabo adds that his firm has been developing a new division for the past several months that will specialize in advising newspapers in executing this kind of move, stating, “I have been hearing from a number of publications – dailies and weeklies – that are very interested in pursuing these exciting new opportunities, but they realize that they not only need people with on-air broadcast experience, but people who have broadcasting management insight as well.  The Boston Herald was smart to hire Tom Shattuck.”  Summing up the synergy aspect of his new media station, Boston Herald editor-in-chief Sciacca tells TALKERS, “Our multimedia reporters are producing award-winning purcellsciaccavideo reports every day, producing broadcast-quality segments with compelling interviews and streaming content.  Is this a TV newsroom?  An online newsroom?  A radio station?  A newspaper?  It’s today’s Boston Herald.”  He continues, “The power of Boston Herald Radio when it comes to breaking news will be incredible.  Listeners can be confident they will be not only engaged and entertained by our talk shows, but will be insiders on breaking news in real time.”  Boston  Herald publisher and president Patrick J. Purcell (pictured at left with Joe Sciacca, right, in the Boston Herald newsroom) says, “Internet radio is exploding and it makes sense that the Herald rounds out our multimedia platform with talk radio programming.  It’s perfect synergy.  Boston Herald Radio will be fast-paced, uncensored, entertaining, completely interactive and, most important, very respectful to our listeners.  We have a terrific team of seasoned hosts who are smart, respected and extremely versatile.  They live in our communities and fully understand and appreciate the complexities of issues folks care about.”

sabowalterMemo to Newspapers on the Verge of Launching Radio Stations on Their Websites:  Do it Correctly!  Noted radio consultant Walter Sabo is no stranger to working in the intersection between print media and talk radio.  In a new advice column posted today (7/29), he offers several key points from a list of essential ingredients that are required for talk-oriented media stations based on publication websites to achieve success and longevity.  He advises newspaper executives to hire experienced radio executives to lead the station as well as seasoned, accomplished talk hosts to execute it.  He suggests protecting and growing the brand by taking advantage of the traffic already on the website and creating programming that delivers topics in which newspaper readers are already interested.  Most of all, understand that talk show hosts are like newspaper columnists – more so than reporters.  Listeners realize this and do not expect the spoken word of opinion to mimic the printed word of editorial fact and objectivity.  To read Walter Sabo’s entire piece, please click here.

cumulusAnother Report of a Cumulus Split from Limbaugh and Hannity.  We’ve heard these rumors before about Cumulus Media dropping Premiere NetworksRush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity and the latest comes from Politico.  The mag reports that inside sources say Cumulus is not satisfied with the results of negotiations to reduce the cost of airing the Limbaugh and Hannity programs on their 40-some news/talk stations that carry them.  Both contracts reportedly are limbaughrushup at the end of this year.  As most industry insiders are aware, there are cash considerations as well as inventory that airs outside the actual programs associated with carrying Limbaugh and Hannity and that, presumably, is what the bone ofhannitysean contention is.  Politico does report that a Cumulus spokesperson said the company does not comment on negotiations with talent under contract.  Cumulus holds its Q2 conference call tomorrow morning but don’t hold your breath waiting for Lew Dickey to comment on the Limbaugh/Hannity issue.  The tone of the Politico piece makes it sound as though this is about the politics of Limbaugh and Hannity and whether the “Sandra Fluke case” is still haunting the sales efforts.  If that were the case, negotiations over the cost of the programs would be irrelevant.  Ultimately, the Dickeys’ decision will likely be based upon whether they make enough money off of Limbaugh and Hannity to justify the cost while considering what the company could do with personalities such as Michael Savage, Mark Levin and Mike Huckabee to cover the time slots now held by Limbaugh and Hannity.

millerchrisThe Social Media Trick You Don’t Know You Know.  Although the term “call to action” has a slightly different application in broadcasting than it does in social media, it is increasingly growing in importance as a concept to managing content in the digital arena.  In a new column posted today (7/29), noted digital radio consultant and TALKERS columnist Chris Miller says that radio broadcasters can apply “call to action” concepts with which they are very familiar from their broadcasting experience to social media with merely a few tweaks and turns of a phrase.  To read Miller’s entire column, please click here.

kjce-am logoEntercom Splits KJCE-AM/FM, Austin Simulcast; New Lineup for KJCE-AM.  The FM side of Entercom’s KJCE, Austin becomes an urban AC outlet as the new “96 R&B” featuring Premiere NetworksSteve Harvey in morning drive.  KJCE-AM remains news/talk as “News Radio 1370” with some additions to the lineup, returning Talk Radio Network’s “America’s Morning News.”  Entercom Austin vice president and market manager Alan Kirshbom states, “By bringing back ‘America’s Morning News’ from 5:00 am to 8:00 am and moving Courtside Entertainment’s Laura Ingraham to live programming from 8:00 am to 11:00 am, KJCE once again proves it is Austin’s and Texas’ Talk Station.”  The station is also bringing back Dial Global’s Dennis Miller to air from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm followed by Dave Ramsey and Premiere NetworksSean Hannity.

kroi logoRadio One’s All-News KROI, Houston Partner with KHOU-TV for Weather.  Radio One all-news “News 92 FM” announces a partnership with CBS TV O&O “KHOU 11” for the latter to provide weather for KROI.  Radio One regional vice president Doug Abernethy states, “Why compete with the best when you can team up with the best?  KHOU 11 has built a stellar reputation as a local weather leader in Houston and we are thrilled to welcome KHOU 11 and their outstanding meteorologists to join our 24-hour ‘News 92 FM’ team to provide our audience the best, most accurate, up-to-the-minute weather coverage.”

michaelsbillSyndicated Bill Michaels Sports Talk Program Adds Madison.  Based at Entercom sports talk WSSP, Milwaukee, the statewide syndicated Bill Michaels program announces it will add Mid-West Family Broadcasting’s WOZN-AM, Madison “The Zone” beginning August 8.  The midday sports talk show airs live from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm and is in its second year of syndication.  “We’re delighted to welcome another Mid-West Family Broadcasting station to the Bill Michaels Sports Network,” says Michael Keck, vice president and market manager for Entercom Wisconsin.  “Bill’s enthusiasm and talent is contagious and that’s a big reason we continue to grow.”  Michaels comments, “This is a dream come true.  I feel like I’m now able to reach all Wisconsin sports fans.  I’m anxious to connect with the strong sports fan base that is represented in Mad-town.”

jacksonkevin‘The Black Sphere’ Radio Show Gaining Traction.  The Kevin Jackson-hosted “Black Sphere Radio Show” announces it adds WEZO, Augusta, Georgia to its list of affiliate stations.  Earlier this year the program added Salem Communications’ WGUL and WLSS in the Tampa-St. Petersburg and Sarasota markets.  Program senior producer Mickey White says, “Kevin is gaining in popularity and we will be adding markets and new sponsors in the very near future.  Kevin’s blend of entertainment with politics is getting lots of attention.  We are in talks with stations across the country, including some large market stations in Nevada, Colorado and California and we expect to make a lot of big announcements in the near future.”

rhodesaustinMan Arrested After Threatening WGAC, Augusta’s Austin Rhodes.  A 25-year old Augusta, Georgia man was taken into custody last week and held on $2,600 bond after allegedly threatening WGAC, Augusta talk show host Austin Rhodes with bodily harm.  After Darnell Tyray Chambers made what Rhodes considered a threatening statement about him on Facebook, he reported the threat as per Beasley Broadcast Group company policy.  According to the Columbia County News-Times, police arrested Chambers on charges of making terroristic threats and acts.

handel20yearsKFI, Los Angeles Celebrates 20 Years of Bill Handel.  Clear Channel news/talk giant KFI, Los Angeles is celebrating the 20th anniversary of Bill Handel as the morning drive talk personality on the station.  Handel began hosting the program in July of 1993 but the station says it will officially celebrate the anniversary with an extravaganza for listeners in November but on Friday, July 26, Rich Marotta, Michelle Kube, Mike Nolan, Neil Saavedra and Gary Hoffmann reminisced about their favorite Handel moments during the 5:00 am hour of the program.  To say that Handel is important to the station’s success would be an understatement.  Handel is consistently one of the highest-rated daily talk radio programs in the country in terms of cume.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

| July 18, 2013

pendlchrisGet Credit for Your Hard Work, Audit Your PPM Encoding.  Bonneville Seattle creative director Chris Pendl writes in this TALKERS column that it’s a very wise move to take the time to audit your PPMppmunit encoding ASAP.  Pendl says, “With radio audiences fragmented on different distribution platforms, it’s important to confirm all of our published content has the proper encoding to receive listening credit.  Regardless if you’re simulcasting commercials on your digital platforms, if you’re not using PPM-encoded audio to distribute content you’re missing out.”  In this must-read piece targeted to programmers, Pendl details why this is so important and provides a step-by-step plan for working with the good folks at Arbitron to make sure your PPM encoding is up to snuff.  Read his entire column here.

noorygeorgeGeorge Noory to Stay with ‘Coast to Coast AM’ for Many Years to Come.  Premiere Networks announces it has signed a new, multi-year contract renewal with “Coast to Coast AM” host George Noory.  Premiere says that “Under the new agreement, Noory will continue his current role as host of ‘Coast to Coast AM,’ the most-listened-to overnight radio program in North America.  Heard by nearly 3 million weekly listeners on nearly 570 radio stations in the U.S., Canada, Guam and Mexico, the program is ranked #1 in several markets, including Los Angeles, Houston, Seattle, Phoenix, Minneapolis, Sacramento, Cleveland, San Antonio, Las Vegas, Providence and Hartford.  In addition, Coast to Coast AM’s audience has grown 13% over the past two years, and in the past year alone, has experienced double and triple digit gains in major markets, including New York (+23%), Los Angeles (+25%), Houston (+121%) and Philadelphia (+167%).”  George Noory talks about his new deal, saying, “By renewing my deal with Premiere Networks, I’ll be around when astronauts land on Mars.  I want to thank Premiere and Clear Channel Media and Entertainment for having the confidence in me and our amazing team to take ‘Coast to Coast AM’ into the future.  I look forward to many more years of bringing riveting programs during the late-night hours to our millions of listeners around the world.”

harrisonshannonshomperThe Conclave Is Off and Running in Minneapolis.  The nation’s longest-running national radio conference is in full swing in Minneapolis.  Conclave 38 featured a multi-dimensional, all-afternoon presentation yesterday (7/17) by Fred JacobsJacobs Media titled “Jacobs Media Summer School.”  This morning (7/18), TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison delivered the keynote.  In it he addressed the future role of talent as radio continues to evolve and adapt itself to the new digital era.  He drew applause when he stated that music radio must bring back the active disc jockey and reclaim ownership of the music culture – just as news/talk radio has claimed ownership of the political culture and sports talk radio has claimed ownership of the sports culture – in order to survive.  Look for extensive coverage of the three-day event including a video of Harrison’s speech shortly in TALKERS.  Pictured here are (from l-r): Conclave executive director Bob Shannon; WCCO, Minneapolis, PD, Bob Shomper; and Harrison at the Conclave this morning.

baileyjasonJason Bailey Moves to Atlanta for AM Drive Gig on ‘92-9 The Game.’  CBS Radio announces Rick Kamla moves from “The Morning Grind” to the midday show alongside Jamie Dukes and former WTKS, Orlando personality Jason kamlarickBailey a.k.a. “Buckethead” (not the famous guitar player) partners up with Randy Cross and Kristen Ledlow for mornings.  WZGC notes that “some of Jason Bailey’s sports accolades include hosting the WYGM Pre-Game Show, voice of the Orlando Rage, and color commentary for Predators radio broadcasts.  Bailey has also been the sideline reporter for the Orlando Predators and Tuskers, as well as a host for WWE and TNA Wrestling.”  WZGC program director Terry Foxx says, “As we continue to position ‘Sportsradio 92-9 The Game’ for success, we are excited to have Jason join us to bring his unique and entertaining personality to our team.”

hortonstacyMedia Management Group Appoints Stacy Horton EVP of Sales and Affiliations.  Media affiliate sales pro Stacy Horton joins the team at Media Management Group as executive vice president of sales and affiliations.  The company states that in this new role, “Stacy will execute the affiliate growth strategy for the MMG Radio Network, as well as play an integral role in revenue growth and content development.”  MMG VP of business development Alan Eisenson says, “When we launched MMGRN in April with Warren Eckstein’s ‘The Pet Show,’ we had no idea it would grow so quickly.  There’s a great demand for quality, niche weekend programming, and Stacy will be invaluable in not only adding affiliates for Warren, but also as we continue to expand our roster of programs and services to affiliates.”  Horton comments, “This is an exciting time for the media industry and I’m thrilled to be joining the amazing team at MMG.  The company is ideally positioned at the nexus between talent, technology, and content.  My job will be to leverage those synergies, and create value to fuel growth for the company, our partner stations, and the personalities we represent.”  Horton started her radio career in the early 1990s as part of the marketing team that launched the Universal Studios Radio Broadcast Center, which hosted thousands of A-list radio personalities from around the world for live remote broadcasts during which Horton would join the guests for on-air banter.  Most recently she was VP of affiliate sales at the Business TalkRadio Network.  Prior to that, she was a producer and affiliate relations manager at Yahoo!, USRN, Launch Radio and Sony Music where she produced content and managed relationships with hundreds of stations around the United States.

pinchjonFinding Radio Advertising Solutions.  Radio is fighting for its piece of the American ad budget pie and numerous industry experts have been calling for better creative and better production in order to compete with the trend that ismarshallrobin moving tremendous amounts of ad dollars to the digital frontier.  In a piece published today (7/17), TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian offers a brief shout-out to a couple of the industry’s legendary creative talents and then spotlights Cumulus Media’s marketing initiative Sound Solutions.  In this story he speaks with EVP/COO Jon Pinch and production manager Robin Marshall about how the company is using this division to woo advertisers to a medium that has a strong history of creating memorable spots that deliver results.  Read his story here.

midwestcomm logoMidwest Communications Latest Company to Face Copyright Infringement Complaint.  The bottom line for radio station website operators here is that if you didn’t take the picture, pay the copyright holder for the photo or receive it as a promotional photo from the copyright holder or owner, then you don’t have permission to use it and you may end up negotiating a settlement that will cost you money.  That’s more than likely what Midwest Communications will end up doing after BWP Media filed a complaint in United States District Court Western District of Wisconsin alleging country WBFM, Sheboygan, Wisconsin “B93” posted a copyrighted photo on its website without permission.  As is usual in these cases, BWP is seeking $150,000 per infringement but it will probably be settled out of court for much less and that will remain confidential.  The photo in question was of Hugh Hefner’s girlfriend in a bathing suit with the caption “Hugh Hefner’s Girlfriend Looks Like a Pregnant Barbie Doll.”  Many station websites feature – or have in the past featured – these copyrighted photos and continued the practice because no complaint was filed.  Now more than ever though, companies such as BWP Media are actively patrolling the web to catch violators in order to protect their property.  Radio station digital brand managers must be vigilant in staying within the law.

kgme logoClear Channel’s KGME, Phoenix to Carry Arizona Men’s Sports.  IMG College owns the rights to University of Arizona football and Men’s basketball and the organization announces that Clear Channel sports talk outlet KGME, Phoenix “Fox Sports 910” will carry the play-by-play as well as coaches shows and affiliated programming under a newly signed deal.  CC Phoenix Scott Hopeck says, in a statement, “Teaming up with the Arizona Wildcats to provide full University of Arizona football and Men’s basketball coverage is a significant addition to our new ‘Fox Sports 910’ brand.  We are happy to serve the large base of fans and alumni who now have a new radio home where they can follow their Wildcats anywhere in the Valley.”

Zimmerman Verdict Aftermath, Rolling Stone Tsarnaev Cover, Soaring Dow/Fed Policy, Eastern U.S. Heatwave, IRS Conservative Targeting Scandal, and Internet Sales Tax Proposal Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/17).  The ongoing aftermath of the George Zimmerman verdict; controversy over Rolling Stone magazine’s cover featuring the surviving Boston Marathon bomber; the high-flying U.S. financial markets and the Federal Reserve’s policies; the heat wave affecting the Eastern United States; the Internal Revenue Service’s scrutiny of conservative organizations and individuals; and the proposed tax on internet sales were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Ben Fuchs: An “Alternative” Approach to Health as Well as Radio Syndication

| May 30, 2013

By Jeff McKay
TALKERS
Special Features Correspondent

5154164 croppedNEW YORK — While conservative political talk radio still dominates the AM/FM commercial spoken word air waves, pharmacist Ben Fuchs proves syndication, and talk radio in general, can come in many forms.  In the case of Fuchs, the host of the nationally syndicated Genesis Communications Network (GCN) radio program “The Bright Side,” he has become a thorn in the side of the pharmaceutical industry by becoming an advocate for better nutrition and a natural healing approach, because, as he says, “I look at the human body as a healing and regenerating system.”

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Thursday, May 23, 2013

| May 23, 2013

frontierfifty logoTALKERS Preparing 2013 Frontier Fifty for Publication this Summer.  The editorial board of TALKERS announces the long-awaited 2013 installment of the publication’s popular annual feature, “The Frontier Fifty,” will be reappearing after almost a year lay off with a number of new innovations and features.  TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey states, “We have renovated a number of the systems and basic formatting of this feature because it reflects an area of talk media that is undergoing the most rapid change.  That is why there had been no new ‘Frontier Fifty’ in 2012.  The Frontier Fifty was originally designed as a showcase for 50 interesting and outstanding internet talk radio hosts reflective of the diversity of styles and formats available on the internet – from long-form streaming shows to podcasts, from the traditional telephone talk/guest interview fare to the outrageous.”  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison adds, “Since we began this project, internet talk radio has exploded into a gigantic universe of literally thousands of individual performers, shows, networks, and concepts.  We needed to step back and do justice to this, or not do it at all.  The new incarnation of The Frontier Fifty will be based on a ranked listing of the ’50 Most Important Individuals Making A Difference in the Development and Growth of Internet Talk Radio’ as opposed to just being hosts of programs.  It will now include entrepreneurs and internet impresarios as well as individual hosts – people who are making a difference.”  Readers can expect to see the 2013 installment of The Frontier Fifty posted mid-to-late summer and are invited to send suggestions and “nominations” for individuals to be considered for inclusion to info@talkers.com.

mckeedarrenKKFN, Denver’s Darren McKee Signs Multi-Year Extension.  Afternoon drive co-host Darren McKee – who sits alongside former Denver Broncos star Alfred Williams on “The Drive with Big Al and D-Mac” – has signed a multi-year extension to remain with Lincoln Financial Media’s sports talk KKFN, Denver “Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan.”  Program director Nate Lundy states, “As a PD, it’s always a great gift when you can be surrounded by talented people who are passionate about what they do.  D-Mac is a great asset to the station and its live-and-local lineup.  I’m thrilled to know he will continue to be a part of our success as we embark on our 18th year as ‘The Fan.’”

taylormikeClear Channel Makes Changes at Austin Sports Station.  Bucky Godbolt exits Clear Channel Media and Entertainment sports talk KVET, Austin “AM 1300 The Zone” where he was morning drive host.  In his place, CC pipes in KTKR, San Antonio morning drive host Mike Taylor’s 6:00 am to 8:00 am program.  The move allows KVET to clear Fox Sports Radio’s Dan Patrick show and the Jay Mohr show live and shuffle Jon Madani to the PM drive “Sports Buffett” show which is expanding to five hours.  In a statement, CC Austin vice president of operations Jay Shannon says, “We’re excited to add Mike Taylor’s show to the KVET morning drive lineup.  He has proven his success in San Antonio and we’re thrilled to now have him on the Longhorn flagship station here in Austin.”

methenysmithFilmmaker and Internet Radio Trailblazer Kevin Smith Visits WJR, Detroit.  Filmmaker Kevin Smith — “Clerks,” “Chasing Amy,” “Dogma” – is pictured here with WJR, Detroit program director Kevin Metheny during a visit to the WJR studios.  Metheny states, “My favorite living film director, Kevin Smith.  We had a nice conversation about his movies and those of other directors.”  In addition to his film work, Smith has been a trailblazer in the internet radio and podcast realm with his Smodcast Internet Radio venture.  Smith and many of his Hollywood cohorts do regular internet radio shows via S.I.R.

slashmohrSlash Visits Fox Sports Radio’s Jay Mohr.  Musician Slash is pictured here (left) chatting with Fox Sports Radio’s Jay Mohr (right) in the FSR studios in Los Angeles during a visit to Mohr’s radio show on May 21.  The former Guns N’ Roses lead guitarist talked about his time with GNR, upcoming projects and how Cher – of all people – helped him quit smoking.  Slash is a big horror movie fan and has produced three such films.  He’s behind the new horror flick “Nothing Left to Fear.”

weismanhonorSteven J.J. Weisman Receives High Academic Honor.  TALKERS legal editor and Harrison Strategies senior partner, Steve Weisman received the 2013 Gregory H. Adamian Award for Excellence in Teaching from the Department of Law, Taxation and Financial Planning at Boston-based Bentley University where, in addition to his stellar radio industry career as a trade editor, legal advisor and talent manager, he is an esteemed professor.  Weisman (c) is pictured receiving the honor at the university’s recent commencement ceremony from Mike Page, provost of the University (l) and Greg Adamian, trustee and former president of Bentley (r). Professor Weisman’s many nominations from both graduate and undergraduate students over the years contain descriptions like “intelligent,” “motivating” and “inspiring.”  Several students noted that Professor Weisman not only cares about the course content but also about teaching his students to be good citizens out in the world.  We at TALKERS agree Steve Weisman is a mighty good fellow and are proud that he will be one of the more than 50 speakers appearing at the forthcoming Talkers New York 2013 on Thursday, June 6 discussing key industry issues.  For more information about the conference click here.

cookehollandNew Rules for Email.  Radio consultant and TALKERS columnist Holland Cooke writes that “With enabling technology evolving so rapidly, technique is critical.  With new-tech comes a new etiquette; or, too often, a lack thereof.  You prove it every time you check your email.  I’ll bet you delete without reading more messages than you read.”  Holland advises that to be as effective as possible in business when using email, be sure to consider what you’re typing in the subject line, when to send more than one email and when not to email at all.  Read Holland Cooke’s piece here.

yourhigh coverNationally Syndicated Radio Personality Andy Greenberg Publishes New Book.  Omaha-based talk radio personality Andy Greenberg is heard on stations around the country via his Radio America-distributed vignette “Your Daily High with Andy Greenberg.”  Now, Greenberg and co-author Marian Shalander Kaiser have published a book called Your High (Tate Publishing 2013) based on Greenberg’s broadcasts.  Promotional material for the book states, “The book takes Greenberg’s loveable radio antics and puts them in easy-to-understand vignettes.  Every idea is new and unique, yet familiar.  Each vignette opens with a situation to which everyone can relate. It then transitions to a motivational technique that is easy to understand and implement.  According to the authors, life doesn’t have to be hard; individuals just have to look at it a little differently. Your High uses the popular style of Greenberg’s radio personality to show readers how to be successful in business, life, and everything in between.”

IRS Scandal, DOJ Journalists Investigations, Obama’s Guantanamo Closure Plan, Benghazi Attack Investigation, and Oklahoma Tornado Aftermath Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/22).  The Internal Revenue Service scandal and the status of Lois Lerner’s testimony; the Department of Justice’s investigation into journalists and news organizations; President Obama’s move to close Guantanamo Bay; the Benghazi attack investigation and cover-up allegations; and the aftermath of the Oklahoma tornado were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Can the Radio Station Overcome Smothering Debt and Become
a Viable Business Again?

| May 2, 2013

Mike Kinosian, Managing Editor
RadioInfo and Talkers

LOS ANGELES — Chalk it up to misreading the economic tealeaves or perhaps to good old-fashioned avarice, but several radio groups have fallen victim to the, “(S)he who has the most toys, wins” hypothesis.

Debt #1Monopoly Board“Winners” managing to run the board in today’s all too real game of Radio Monopoly are rewarded by becoming further ensconced in deeper, darker, debt.

Administer sodium pentothal to a cross-section of radio managers and the overwhelming majority will vociferously state that, owing to its cookie-cutter nature and mounting pressure to deliver grossly unrealistic percentages to the bottom line, the business is no longer fun. Countless executives at high-billing, strong ratings performing outlets have been unduly placed in the gut-wrenching position of laying off personnel and making other vital cutbacks – forced to share the load of paying for what could be considered out-of-control acquisition sins at the corporate level.

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Thursday, May 2, 2013

| May 2, 2013

theblaze logoGlenn Beck’s TheBlaze to Be Available in Tri-State Area Via Cablevision’s Optimum TV.  Beginning later this month, Glenn Beck-founded TheBlaze network will be available to New York City and the surrounding area as it will be included in Cablevision’s Optimum Preferred, Silver and Gold Packages.  The channel is available to Optimum TV commercial customers with Optimum Business or Optimum Entertainment.  Cablevision VP of video product management, Bradley Feldman, states, “Optimum TV is the only cable provider in the Tri-State area to bring our customers original programming from Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze, and the independent network will add more diversity to our strong lineup, providing our customers with more choices that our customers appreciate.”  In a statement from Beck’s organization it says TheBlaze “offers a full slate of original news and opinion shows like ‘Real News,’ ‘Wilkow!’ and ‘For the Record,’ late night comedy like ‘The Wonderful World of Stu’ and ‘B.S. of A.,’ family-friendly programming like ‘Liberty Treehouse’ as well as thought-provoking documentaries and original specials. TheBlaze first launched on September 12, 2011 as GBTV and quickly grew into one of the world’s largest online streaming networks with over 300,000 subscribers.  One year later, TheBlaze became a television network.”

cbsradioCBS Q1 2013 Report: Company Up 6%, Radio’s Top 10 Markets Up 2%.  The bulk of the discussion during yesterday’s conference call centered around TV for CBS, as it usually does.  But CEO Les Moonves stated moonveslesup front that the company continues to build “on the terrific debut of the CBS Sports Radio Network.  We’ve added 20 affiliates to our roster since our last call.  In addition, CBS Radio played a major role in this year’s success of the Academy of Country Music Awards.  This is a show that perfectly complements our radio audiences, as evidenced by all the artists who mentioned the power of radio in their acceptance speeches.”  CFO Joseph Ianniello noted that, comparable to the same period a year ago, the top 10 radio markets were performing up about 2%.  Thanks to Seeking Alpha for the conference call transcript.  Read more here.

thomasbillFormer Citadel/Cumulus Birmingham Cluster Manager Bill Thomas Sues Company for Unlawful Termination.  Add discrimination to that under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.  Bill Thomas, a.k.a Michael Thomas Stainback, alleges in the complaint filed in United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama that the company knew he had heart ailments that resulted from a 2009 heart attack yet he still performed his job well and even received bonuses based upon performance.  Thomas alleges that in February of 2012, after telling Cumulus corporate management that he’d been diagnosed with congestive heart failure, he was terminated by the company six days later.  He’s seeking unspecified damages as well as back pay.

freedomfeens‘Freedom Feens’ Show to Join GCN.  The “Freedom Feens” weekend talk show co-hosted by Michael W. Dean and Neema Vedadi will debut on the Genesis Communications Network on Saturday, May 11.  Dean and Vedadi describe their program as a “great-sounding, feisty weekend show about free markets, the police state, the war on drugs, the right to keep and bear arms, computer security, honest money, self-defense, self-employment, marriage, do-it-yourself media production, marketing, music and more.”  Regarding the title of their program, the duo explain, “‘Feen’ means ‘fiend,’ and the ‘Freedom Feens’ support the rights of the smallest minority, the individual.”

raytomTime to Do Some Spring Cleaning Out at the Transmitter Site.  For many of you who broadcast out of the Northwest, Midwest, North, and Northeast, this winter was a bear!  Snow, ice and wind can cause issues for your transmission facilities.  So it’s time to do a thorough inspection of your transmitter sites – both the main transmitter sites and anywhere you may have an STL transmitter or receiver.  In a timely article posted today (5/2) noted engineering consultant and TALKERS technical editor Tom Ray offers up an invaluable “to-do” list to make sure your transmitter remains happy in the coming spring, summer and fall months after enduring a pretty painful and damaging winter.  Get the whole story here.

carrhowieOdds & Sods.  WRKO, Boston afternoon drive talk show host Howie Carr broadcasts live from La Verdad Mexican restaurant near Fenway Park this afternoon from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm as he promotes his latest book , Rifleman (Frandel, LLC 2013), a true-crime story about infamous Boston mobster Steven Flemmi.  Carr will stay after his program ends to sign copies of the new book…..Hubbard Broadcasting’s WTOP, Washington is conducting its second annual “Communter Idle” contest through Friday, May 3.  The contest asks DC commuters to share their daily travel horror story to win prizes and possibly be the grand-prize winner who’ll receive $1,000 in gas money and a limo ride to work courtesy of Reston Limousine.  Runners-up will receive $150 gas cards…..It may be a sign of the times that one of the most popular shows on CNN is the new “Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown” travel and food program that airs on Sunday evenings on the cable news/talk channel.  But new CNN Worldwide president Jeff Zucker is so thrilled with the its performance that he’s already ordered another season of the show that will debut on September 15.

cinchcaastCinchcast, Inc. Establishes Strategic Advisory Board.  One of radio’s technological innovators and dynamic entrepreneurs of the new digital age, Alan Levy – founder and CEO of BlogTalkRadio and its “white-label” sister firm Cinchcast, Inc. – has announced the appointment of two well-known executives to Cinchcast’s new strategic advisory board: Tom Glocer, former CEO of Thomson Reuters and Steve Bornstein, former head of the NFL‘s digital media operations and ABC Sports/ABC, Inc. president and ESPN chairman.  Levy tells TALKERS, “It’s an honor to be working with Tom and Steve as we continue to build, develop and scale the Cinchcast and BlogTalkRadio businesses.”

humphriesreidKDWNPractically an Exclusive.  Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) doesn’t do a lot of conservative talk radio shows.  But Talk Radio Network star Rusty Humphries – who spent part of his earlier career at KKOH in Reno – was able to secure a no-holds-barred interview with Senator Reid at Humphries’ affiliate station KDWN, Las Vegas.  Reid was in his home state while the Senate is on recess and he spoke with Humphries about the hot issues facing Congress.  Pictured here are (from l-r): Humphries, Reid, and KDWN program director John Shaffer.

Suspects Arrested in Marathon Bombing, ObamaCare Implementation, Benghazi Cover-Up Charges, and Gay Athletes Flap among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/1).  The arrest of more suspects connected with the Boston Marathon bombing case; the cost and implementation of the Affordable Care Act; charges that the Hillary Clinton-run State Department covered up aspects of the Benghazi attack; and the flap in the media over gay athletes were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

2013 NAB Show: “Metamorphosis:
The Changing Face of Media & Entertainment”

| April 9, 2013

By Holland Cooke
Radio Consultant

cookeConnectedMediaWorld 150LAS VEGAS —  Even before 90,000 attendees step into the sprawling Convention Center, they expect change.  The Las Vegas Monorail robo-voice invites them to visit The Cloud Computing Pavilion.

Metamorphosis 200Atop the escalator, more evidence of the “Metamorphosis” that is this year’s NAB Show theme: Publication bins stacked with hard copies are being replaced by a wall-o-magazine covers.  Scan the QR code, and you get the digital version.

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Thursday, March 28, 2013

| March 28, 2013

theblaze logoGlenn Beck’s TheBlaze Added to Blue Ridge Communications Cable System.  The push to get more cable TV carriage for Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze continues and now the company announces it will be carried on Blue Ridge Communications’ system that serves the Poconos and the Central Pennsylvania region.  It is the nation’s 21st largest cable operator.  TheBlaze also entered into agreements with BEK Communications, Sweetwater Cable Television and Atwood Cable.  TheBlaze president, business development, Lynne Costantini, states, “We’re thrilled to welcome these independent operators into TheBlaze family of television affiliates.  These businesses understand the value of bringing TheBlaze’s original programming and unique perspective to their customers and their business.”  TheBlaze says that customers of these cable operators will now be able to watch its full programming lineup including The Glenn Beck Program, news program “Real News from TheBlaze,” opinion show hosted by Andrew Wilkow, current events show “Pat & Stu” featuring radio personalities Pat Gray and Stu Burguiere, kid’s show “Liberty TreeHouse,” comedy news show “The B.S. of A.,” news magazine “For The Record,” and comical news and current events show “The Wonderful World of Stu featuring Stu Burguiere.”  TheBlaze states that it is currently in carriage conversations with all major satellite, cable, telco and independent companies.

wtoplogoWTOP, Washington Stays #1 on List of Top Billing Stations.  The annual list of top billing stations according to BIA/ Kelsey has been released and Hubbard Radio’s WTOP, Washington is at the front of the pack once again with $64.6 million in revenue in 2012 – that’s up a fraction from the $64 million it grossed in 2011.  The rest of the top 10 – split by CBS and Clear Channel – are as follows (in millions):  Clear Channel’s KIIS, Los Angeles ($56.8); Clear Channel’s WHTZ, New York ($48.2); CBS Radio’s WCBS, New York ($47.2); Clear Channel’s KFI, Los Angeles ($46); CBS Radio’s WBBM, Chicago ($45.7); Clear Channel’s WLTW, New York ($43); CBS Radio’s WINS, New York ($41.5); CBS Radio’s WFAN-AM/FM ($41); and CBS Radio’s KROQ, Los Angeles ($39.3).

costadinoSiriusXM Sports Talker Dino Costa Subject of New Film.  Sports talk radio personality Dino Costa will be the subject of a feature-length film to begin production in April in Wyoming.  Chesapeake Films announces that it has started pre-production for a documentary to be completed in 2013 about the life of “controversial SiriusXM Radio personality, Dino Costa.”  The documentary film will be directed by Joel Franco, cinematography by Darko Nikolich, edited by Anthony Bernard, sound design by Karol Urban, and original music by Marianthe Bezzerides.  The film will begin shooting in Wyoming, where Dino Costa resides and produces his daily radio sports talk show.  The crew will then follow Costa to New York, to continue filming Costa’s hometown, friends, fans, and family.  Franco says he wanted to do the film because, “Dino is a breath of fresh air in the world of cookie-cutter sports talk radio.  He is fiercely independent, and connects with his audience like few can.  I just knew that under that big personality was a story waiting to be told.  I am so excited to begin.”  Costa comments, “When I embarked on my career as a talk show host, I wanted to achieve many objectives; I never thought about the possibility of someone wanting to do a film about my career and my life.  In speaking with Joel about his vision for this film, I’m confident that collaborating with the crew at Chesapeake Films will culminate in a documentary about my life that people will find interesting and compelling.”

billyfatbackVillanucci Producer Billy “Fatback” Cornelius Debuts Evening Show on KKOB.  The departure of longtime afternoon drive host Jim Villanucci from Cumulus Media’s KKOB, Albuquerque, resulted in evening host Scott Stiegler moving into the PM drive slot.  That created an opening in the evenings and Jim Villanucci’s former on-air producer, Billy “Fatback” Cornelius, is now host of his own show airing in the 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm time slot.  He’ll still produce Stiegler’s program but “Fatback” tells TALKERS magazine, “When asked about the new opportunity, I simply replied, ‘The Fatback Nation will rise.’”  His program debuts this evening.

gearhartjimNew Jersey 101.5’s Jim Gearhart to Be Inducted into the New Jersey Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame.  Jim Gearhart has been the morning host on Townsquare Media’s WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5” for the past 23 years and now he’s being honored by the New Jersey Broadcasters Association with induction into its Hall of Fame.  Gearhart will be inducted at the Annual Awards Luncheon, which will be held during the NJBA’s 66th Annual Conference in Atlantic City this June 18-19.  NJ 101.5 program director Eric Johnson says, “Jim will be acknowledged for providing quality content, news, public affairs and diverse entertainment to New Jersey.  Jim’s contributions to the longevity and success of our industry in New Jersey will be recognized.”

miklaszbernieWXOS, St. Louis Host Bernie Miklasz to Leave Radio Gig.  Popular St. Louis sports media personality Bernie Miklasz will exit Hubbard Radio’s WXOS “101 Sports” when his contract wraps up next month.  In a piece in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Miklasz says he’s leaving the radio show (weekdays 11:00 am to 2:00 pm) to focus on his work with the Post-Dispatch and its STLtoday.com where he’s been a sports columnist since 1989.  He states, “I’ve always loved writing more (than radio), it’s my calling.  Whatever good things I have in my life professionally have been because of the Post-Dispatch. It has led to other opportunities.”  Miklasz says the stress of two jobs is wearing on him.  WXOS program director Chris “Hoss” Neupert says, “He’s such a dynamic personality, but at the end of the day how can you be mad at a guy who’s going b