Tag: "Michael Harrison"

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

| March 21, 2017

Beasley Broadcast Group’s Q4 Financial Report Reflects November Greater Media Acquisition.  As Beasley Broadcast Group CEO Caroline Beasley explains, the fourth quarter of 2016 was “productive and transitional.”  She says, “…Our revenue, SOI and net income growth reflects two months of operations of the Greater Media stations, solid industry fundamentals, including the benefit of political advertising, strength across our platform of legacy Beasley stations and high levels of operating discipline.  On a stand-alone basis, Beasley legacy station revenue increased approximately 7.6%.  Immediately following the close of the Greater Media transaction we began the integration process including the implementation of sales and cost initiatives, the elimination of redundant overhead and other strategies to derive synergies and value from the expanded scale and diversity of our portfolio.  Partially reflecting, the change of ownership and related transitional concerns, on a stand-alone basis, the Greater Media stations’ revenue decreased 6.1% or approximately $2.3 million in the fourth quarter with about 60% of the decline attributable to Philadelphia.  Overall, we are making continued progress with the integration of the new stations as we implement best practices, processes, and talent from both companies to optimize audience engagement and drive results.  We believe we are on track to complete the integration and realize the synergies expected from this transaction within 12 to 18 months.”  BBG’s net revenue for the fourth quarter of 2016 was $53.7 million.  For the whole of 2016, net revenue was $136.7 million.  Beasley continues, “With the financing of the Greater media acquisition, our total outstanding debt as of December 31, was approximately $268 million.  With our focus on actively and conservatively managing our capital structure to provide the financial flexibility to support our near- and long-term growth, we made voluntary debt repayments of $2.3 million in the fourth quarter.  In January, we closed on the previously announced divestiture of four stations in Charlotte for $24 million and in February, we entered into an agreement to divest our Greenville-New Bern cluster for $11 million.  We applied the net proceeds from the Charlotte transaction to debt reduction in the 2017 first quarter and intend to further reduce debt and leverage with the majority of the net proceeds from the Greenville-New Bern transaction when it closes, which is expected in the second quarter of 2017.”

CBS and Entercom Begin Filing Paperwork for Merger.  The two companies have filed Forms 314 and Forms 315 with the Federal Communications Commission and have also filed a Form 425 with the Securities Exchange Commission, informing it of their intentions.  A couple of things we’re learning from these filings are that, 1) CBS chairman, president and CEO Les Moonves and CBS COO Joseph Ianniello are being proposed to serve as directors for Entercom following the merger, but for just six months.  Since the two would have “attributable interests in the television stations owned by CBS and the radio stations owned by Entercom,” they are seeking a temporary waiver for said purpose; and 2) the stations that will be divested as a result of exceeding the market ownership caps in seven markets will be Entercom stations.  No CBS stations will be divested prior to the closing of the merger.  The 14 stations that will have to be divested are in the following seven markets: Boston, Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle and Wilkes Barre-Scranton.  Any stations not divested as of the closing, will be placed in a divestiture trust.  Entercom CEO David Field has said that he would prefer to swap stations rather than enter into outright sales.

KPOJ, Portland Names New PM Drive Show.  Portland sports talk outlet “Rip City Radio 620” launches its new afternoon drive program “Rip City Drive with Chad and Travis,” featuring Chad Doing and Travis Demers.  The iHeartMedia-owned station says the local afternoon drive program complements the “Rip City Mornings with Dan and Nigel” show.  “‘Rip City Drive with Chad and Travis’ is a sports talk show that will provide listeners with unique insight into the Portland sports market and a strong passion for the Portland Trail Blazers.  This will be Portland’s true sports talk show in the afternoons.”  Chad Doing continues hosting “Blazers Warm-up” and “The 5th Quarter” on Trail Blazers game days.  iHeartMedia Seattle SVP of programming Rich Moore adds, “We’re excited to bring veteran talent Chad Doing back to the Portland in the afternoon drive slot.  Chad and Travis’ show will be a strong outlet for the sports fans in Portland, especially Trail Blazers fans.”

KLBJ, Austin Unveils New Lineup; ‘Kilmeade & Friends’ Now Airs in Mid-Morning.  Yesterday (3/20), Emmis Communications/Sinclair Telecable-owned news/talk KLBJ-AM, Austin announced its new program lineup, including the addition of Fox News Radio’s “Kilmeade & Friends” for the 9:00 am to 11:00 am slot.  The station also moved its “Todd and Don” show into an earlier timeslot – 5:30 am to 9:00 am – in order to accommodate the Kilmeade show.  Pictured above are (from l-r): Sinclair Telecable’s Bob Sinclair, Emmis Austin SVP and market manager Scott Gillmore, FOX News’ Brian Kilmeade; KLBJ program director Mark Caesar.

CBS Sports Radio Tweaks Lineup.  The new lineup at the CBS Sports Radio network takes effect on April 17 with three moves happening:  afternoon drive host Doug Gottlieb will exit the network after his April 14 program; the “Tiki and Tierney” show, featuring Tiki Barber and Brandon Tierney, moves to 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm ET; and “The DA Show,” with host Damon Amendolara, moves to the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon slot.  Barber, Tierney and Amendolara all sign new, multi-year contracts.  The “Tiki and Tierney” show will also be simulcast on television’s CBS Sports Network.  The radio network is seeking a new 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm ET show that will be announced in the near future.

Chip Arledge Named OM for Cumulus Shreveport.  Programming pro Chip Arledge joins Cumulus Media to serve as the operations manager for its five-station cluster in Shreveport, Louisiana and to program country KRMD-FM and sports talk KRMD-AM.  The cluster also includes hip hop KMJJ, CHR KQHN, and urban contemporary KVMA.  Arledge was most recently with Eagle Radio Group/Results Radio Network in Marquette, Michigan.  During his career he’s programmed and overseen operations in Birmingham, Fayetteville and Chillicothe, Ohio and was regional brand manager for adult contemporary Clear Channel Radio.   Cumulus Shreveport VP/market manager Cody Welling states, “Chip is the perfect addition to the Cumulus Shreveport team as our operations manager and program director for the legendary calls of KRMD.  He is a true radio man that cares about the medium, and has an excellent track record in programming and operations in markets both big and small.  Chip’s ability to lead and coach programmers from multiple formats, along with his passion for radio and our listeners, made this an easy decision for Cumulus Shreveport.”

TALKERS News NotesTALKERS magazine hears that Alpha Media news/talk WFTL, West Palm Beach and sister sports talker WMEN have a new program director.  Paul Mason was most recently with iHeartMedia’s WLW, Cincinnati as assistant program director and producer…..Recently retired New York Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira is joining WEPN, New York’s Michael Kay show every Thursday at 5:00 pm during the baseball season to provide opinion and analysis.  Recently, ESPN announced Teixeira is joining the network as a Major League Baseball analyst.  “98.7 ESPN” program director Ryan Hurley comments, “We are excited to add Mark to our broadcast team at ‘98.7 ESPN.’  New York sports fans can look forward to his unique insight, expertise, and some laughs when he joins Michael, Don La Greca and Peter Rosenberg on the show.”

Cooke: Trump Cuts Provide Promotional Opportunities.  Media consultant Holland Cooke says that the federal budget cuts being proposed by President Trump could provide radio stations with the opportunity to create promotions that assist those affected but budget cuts and appear to listeners as the “good guy.”  Read more here.

Comey Testifies on Lack of Obama Wiretapping Evidence, Trump Campaign Russia Investigation, Gorsuch Confirmation Hearings, GOP Health Care Bill, Brady Jerseys Recovered, and March Madness Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/20).  FBI chief James Comey’s testimony that he has no information indicating that former President Barack Obama ordered Trump Tower to be wiretapped; Comey’s admission that the agency is investigating some Trump campaign personnel for possible ties to Russian agents; the first day of confirmation hearings for Supreme Court Justice nominee Neil Gorsuch; the GOP’s plans to replace the Affordable Care Act with its own national health care program; the missing jerseys of Super Bowl MVP Tom Brady are discovered in Mexico; and the aftermath of the first weekend of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Country outlet WQDR, Raleigh names Mimi Wheeler promotions director and music director.  Curtis Media Group VP of programming Lisa McKay states, “Mimi has a fire in her belly to be a part of a winning team.  She has a love for doing great radio and understands how to treat our listeners like family.  Mimi grew up here and knows the local landscape of people and places extremely well.  Her label relationships are rock solid too, which makes Mimi a very welcome and valuable team Q member.”…..Maryland radio personality EJ Foxx joins Adams Radio Group’s WKHI, Salisbury-Ocean City “Your Country K107.7” to host the midday program.  Foxx previously spent 23 years with crosstown WKTT “Cat Country 97.5.”…..Chelsea Corrine is the new midday jock at Townsquare Media’s country WPUR, Atlantic City “Cat Country.”  She takes over the 10:00 am to 3:00 pm shift after previous host Georgia left the station to focus on her family’s business.

 

 

Round One of February PPM Data Released. The first of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio‘s February 2017 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey). Nielsen Audio’s February 2017 survey period covered February 2 – March 1. View all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Takeaways” from these 12 PPM markets below.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

1) New York – Powered by a gain of seven-tenths (5.4 – 6.1, 6+), CBS Radio classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM rises from fourth to second. Within 5.3 – 5.9 range (6+) the past seven sweeps, “101.1 New York’s Greatest Hits” boasts its best 6+-showing since July 2016, when it reached 6.2. One full-share ahead of WCBS-FM is iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW “106.7 Lite FM” (7.2 – 7.1, -.1, 6+), which is #1 for the eighth straight time. “Lite FM” was -6.1 (6+) in January. In addition to “New York’s Greatest Hits,” WLTW classic rock cluster-mate WAXQ “Q-104.3” (steady at #7) notches a +.7 as well, thus recouping the combined seven-tenths it lost since December 2016 (5.0 – 4.4 – 4.3 – 5.0, #7, 6+). In the rhythmic CHR contest, the 1.2-share (6+) advantage iHeartMedia’s WKTU (4.1 – 3.9, -.2, unchanged at #8, 6+) enjoyed in January over Emmis’ WHQT “Hot 97” (2.9 – 3.3, +.4, #12 to #10, 6+) is sliced in half. After being off one-half share in “Holiday” 2016, WKTU was +.6 in January. A January +.3 to 3.5 (6+) by CBS Radio’s WFAN-FM halted three straight downward trends that yielded a one-half share loss (3.7 – 3.4 – 3.3 – 3.2, 6+), but “The Fan” regresses by eight-tenths in February to 2.7, as it exits the top ten (#10 to #14, 6+). After three straight sweeps both in the runner-up slot and posting an uptrend (4.5 – 4.6 – 5.5 – 5.8, 6+), Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish tropical WSKQ “Mega 97.9” is off by seven-tenths to 5.1 (6+) and stumbles to sixth-place. Flat at #19, CBS Radio CHR WBMP “92.3 Amp” is without an increase for the sixth successive sweep for a cumulative -.9 (3.1 – 2.8 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.2, 6+). Conversely, more than three shares ahead of “Amp” is iHeartMedia’s similarly-programmed WHTZ “Z-100,” which is a combined +.9 since “Holiday” 2016 (4.6 – 5.1 – 5.5, 6+), vaulting from sixth to third.

2) Los Angeles – By dialing up a six-tenths improvement (4.3 – 4.9, 6+), CBS Radio classic hits-oldies KRTH not only has its best 6+-performance since November (4.9 as well), “K-Earth 101” jumps from fifth to second. A gain of just one-tenth (5.1 – 5.2, 6+) is sufficient for KBIG “My-FM” to depart the runner-up slot it has held the past three sweeps and take over at #1. It is there that the iHeartMedia hot AC dislodges its adult contemporary sibling KOST (5.2 – 4.6, -.6, 6+), which had been on top in each of the last 16 ratings periods. “Coast 103.5” drops to fifth, as Los Angeles’ top five February 2017 rankers are separated by six-tenths of a share (6+). Before seeing its 6+share skewered in January 2017 by more than half since “Holiday” 2016 (10.7 – 5.2, -5.5, 6+), “Coast” had been up the previous three straight ratings periods for a combined +5.3 (5.4 – 5.5 – 6.4 – 10.7, 6+). Following four straight down moves that produced a -.8 (2.7 – 2.6 – 2.4 – 2.2 – 1.9, 6+), Entercom classic rocker KSWD “The Sound” gained four-tenths to 2.3 in January and is unchanged in February (2.3, steady at #17, 6+). Unlisted in January 2017, Univision Radio regional Mexican KSCA “Zona Mx 101.9” returns by logging a 3.4 (6+) to place ninth; its 3.2 (6+) in “Holiday” 2016 put it in a three-way tie at #7. Slipping from #10 to #11, co-owned Spanish adult hits KRCD “Recuerdo 103.9” has nonetheless been the model of consistency over the last nine ratings periods (3.2 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.2, 6+). Notwithstanding that it holds steady at #7, CBS Radio all-news operation KNX picks up one-tenth to 3.8 (6+) – the highest 6+-stat in its PPM history, shattering the previous best set just last month.

3) Chicago – The market’s two country rivals – CBS Radio-owned WUSN “US-99.5” and iHeartMedia’s WEBG “Big 95.5” – made identical 1.9 – 2.2 (+.3, 6+) moves in January, putting them in a tie at #20. There is some breathing room between the two now though as “US-99.5” picks up one-half share to 2.7 (its best 6+-share since September’s 2.8), leaping to #15, while “Big 95.5” is flat at 2.2, dropping to #21. Following 34 straight monthlies within 2.0 – 2.9 range (6+), Hubbard Broadcasting adult contemporary WSHE adds three-tenths to 3.1 (6+) and returns to the top ten (#12 to #9). The combination of a two-tenths gain by iHeartMedia urban AC WVAZ “V-103 Today’s R&B and Throwbacks” (5.8 – 6.0, second to first, 6+) and a nine-tenths drop by CBS Radio all-news WBBM-AM (6.3 – 5.4, first to second, 6+) results in the two stations trading places. The last time that “V-103” was on top was September 2016 when it shared the lead with WBBM-AM – each with a 6.0 (6+). It proves to be just a one-month stay at #1 for WBBM-AM, which previously occupied the penthouse from January 2016 through May 2016. Not only is its sports cluster-mate WSCR off by one-half share (2.6 – 2.1, 6+), “670 The Score” freefalls from the top 20 (#14 to #22). As recently as November 2016, the Chicago Cubs flagship was in second place with a 6.1 (6+) – just four-tenths off the pace set by WBBM-AM. Checking in at #24, Spanish Broadcasting System regional Mexican WLEY-FM “La Ley 107.9” is up or flat for the sixth consecutive time (1.2 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.5 – 1.6 – 1.8 – 1.9, 6+). This is the second straight month that Window to the World Communications’ WFMT “Chicago’s Classical Experience” (1.8, #22, “Holiday” 2016, 6+) is unlisted. Eight of February 2017’s top 20 are either up or flat, whereas this time last month, the entire top 25 (6+) was up from “Holiday” 2016 with the exception of WVAZ (5.9 – 5.8, -.1, #2); iHeartMedia hot AC WLIT (-10.2, #6); and CBS Radio triple A WXRT (2.3, flat, #19).

4) San Francisco – Owing to a February spike of four-tenths on the heels of January’s +.9 (6.4 – 7.3 – 7.7, 6+), Northern California Public Broadcasting’s KQED repeats at #1. Off by -.7 in “Holiday” 2016, KQED fell from first to second. That loss of seven-tenths halted seven straight positive trends that yielded a cumulative +2.3 (4.8 – 4.9 – 5.3 – 5.7 – 5.9 – 5.9 – 6.9 – 7.1, 6+). The public facility was evicted from the top spot (by CBS Radio all-news KCBS-AM) and moved to the runner-up position in October, but registered a full-share gain in November to recapture the lead. Without an increase the past four sweeps for a combined -.6 (4.2 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 3.7 – 3.6), CBS Radio’s KMVQ “99.7 New Hit Music Now” is up two-tenths to 3.8 (6+) as it climbs from sixth to fifth. After improving by one-half share in January, KALW “Local Public Radio” surrenders seven-tenths (1.4 – 1.9 – 1.2, 6+), as it plummets from #19 to #27. Down two-tenths to 2.3 (6+), Entercom urban AC KBLX “The Bay’s R&B” (#14 to #17) has its consecutive string of up or flat trends that netted a combined +.9 snapped at four (1.6 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.5). Sports sibling KGMZ “95.7 The Game” loses one tenth to (1.7, #22, 6+), curtailing six straight monthlies without a decline that yielded a +.7 (1.1 – 1.3 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 1.8, 6+). On the other hand – and still in that Entercom cluster – KRBQ picks up one-tenth to 2.4 (6+), thus applying the brakes to five consecutive down or flat trends that resulted in a -.7 (3.0 – 2.7 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 2.3 – 2.3, 6+), as “Q-102.1 The Throwback Station” moves from #15 to a three-way tie at #14. Although the net loss is just three-tenths, Cumulus Media classic rock KSAN “107.7 The Bone Rocks” nonetheless is without a gain for the fourth successive sweep (2.4 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.1, 6+) and slips from #17 to #18.

5) Dallas – Down by a collective -1.1 in three straight downtrends since November (4.4 – 4.0 – 3.5 – 3.3, 6+), iHeartMedia hot AC KDMX “Now 102.9 – Music Variety” dials up a +.8 to 4.1, as it elevates from tenth to seventh. It is a strong sweep for the market’s two Cumulus Media-owned country outlets: KPLX “The Wolf,” +1.2 in January to progress from fourth to first, repeats at #1 (5.9 – 6.2, +.3, 6+), while cluster-mate KSCS “New Country 96.3” improves by seven-tenths (3.6 – 4.3, 6+), advancing from eighth to fifth. “New Country” had been within 3.1 – 3.6 range (6+) in each of the last 13 ratings periods. In addition to KSCS, CBS Radio regional Mexican KMVK notches a gain of seven-tenths as well (2.1 – 2.8, 6+) with “La Grande 107.5” cracking the top 20 (#22 to #16). Prior to picking up three-tenths in January, Service Broadcasting urban AC KRNB went five successive sweeps without an increase for a collective -.6 (3.2 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 2.9 – 2.8 – 2.6, 6+). “Smooth R&B 105.7” now adds another one-half share (2.9 – 3.4, 6+) and enters the top ten (#12 to #10). Five consecutive down or flat trends have produced a cumulative -2.3 for CBS Radio sports outlet KRLD-FM “The Fan” (3.7 – 3.2 – 2.9 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 1.4, 6+), which spirals from #19 out of the top 20 to #28. An extremely interesting contemporary Christian situation is developing in the market with Salem Media Group’s KLTY “94.9 Safe for the Whole Family” (3.0 – 2.6, -.4, 6+) freefalling from #11 to #19, while Educational Media Foundation’s KYDA “Air 1 Positive Hits” – which debuted in print at #20 in January – remains there in February (2.3 – 2.1, -.1, 6+). As recently as September 2016, KLTY was seventh with a 3.6 (6+).

6) Houston – It has been nearly three months (12/30/2016) since CBS Radio transitioned KKHH from CHR to adult hits “95.7 The Spot.” Over and above being up or flat for the fifth straight time for a net gain of two shares (2.6 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 3.1 – 3.5 – 4.6, 6+), “The Spot” breaks into the top ten (#14 to #6). Its former CHR rival – Cumulus Media’s KRBE – loses three-tenths, ending at three its successive streak of increases for a collective +1.0 (3.3 – 3.5 – 3.7 – 4.3, 6+) as “Houston’s #1 Hit Music Station” departs the top ten (#8 to #13). Effective with the first day of the January 2017 sweep, Radio One flipped KROI from urban-rhythmic oldies to CHR as “Radio Now 92.1.” Frozen on 1.4 (6+) in December and “Holiday” 2016, KROI – ostensibly taking the CHR spot vacated by KKHH – dropped one-half share in January to .9, but gains three-tenths in February to 1.2 (#24 to #23, 6+). Following three straight negative trends that yielded a combined -1.5 (8.0 – 7.4 – 6.7 – 6.5, 6+), Univision Radio regional Mexican KLTN brought back 60% of that deficit in January (+.9), jumping from third to first. It’s a very quick stay in the penthouse though for KLTN, which surrenders -1.3 (7.4 – 6.1, 6+) and falls to third. Taking over at #1 – progressing from the runner-up slot – is Radio One-owned urban AC KMJQ (7.2, +.3, 6+). Since November, “Majic 102.1 The People’s Station” was trending 7.1 – 6.9 – 7.0 – 6.9 (6+). The HD3 channel of iHeartMedia’s KODA picks up one-half share (.2 – .7, #27). Noncommercial contemporary Christian KSBJ “God Listens,” which improved by one full-share in January to 5.9, its strongest 6+-share in more than four years (6.0, November 2012), forfeits half of it (5.4, -.5, 6+), but carries on at #4. Declining by six-tenths each are Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KOVE, down for the third straight time for a combined -1.1 (3.9 – 3.7 – 3.4 – 2.8, #15 to #16, 6+) and CBS Radio’s KILT-AM “Sports Radio 610” (1.4 – .8, #26, 6+).

7) Philadelphia – Replicating its January 2017 +.6, iHeartMedia CHR WIOQ “Q-102” (3.1 – 3.7 – 4.3, 6+) cracks the top ten (#12 to #7) and matches August 2016’s 4.3 (6+). Co-owned WRFF “Radio 104.5 – Philadelphia’s Alternative” (3.8 – 4.3, #11 to #7, 6+) registers a gain of one-half share, as does CBS Radio classic hits-oldies WOGL (6.8 – 7.3, third to second, 6+). In four straight decreases (5.0 – 4.9 – 4.1 – 3.5 – 2.7, 6+), WRFF lost nearly half its 6+-share (-2.3) but dialed up a +1.1 in January; meanwhile, WOGL was +1.3 in January. Flat at 7.9 (6+), Jerry Lee Radio adult contemporary WBEB “Today’s 101 More FM” is nevertheless #1 for the seventh consecutive time, six-tenths ahead of WOGL. “More FM” was +6.8 in “Holiday” 2016 but eroded by ten (10) full-shares in January (17.9 – 7.9, 6+). Following a collective gain of eight-tenths (6.8 – 7.4 – 7.6, August – September – October, 6+), WBEB dropped one-tenth in November, only to post a +3.6 in December. The day after the “Holiday” 2016 ratings period ended (1/5), CBS Radio CHR WZMP “Amp” flipped to adult contemporary as WTDY “Today’s 96.5.” In its first adult contemporary sweep (January 2017) against WBEB, “Today’s 96.5” registered a 2.6 and picks up one-tenth in February (2.7 – #18 to #15, 6+). The rollercoaster ride continues for Beasley Media Group’s WMGK, which sputtered by one-half share in “Holiday” 2016; roared back with a gain four times that amount, +2.0; but now regresses by half that (5.4 – 4.9 – 6.9 – 5.9, -1.0, 6+). The net result after the dust settles is a -.5 and “Classic Rock 102.9 MGK” moves from second to fourth. In December, WMGK was -.6, curtailing three straight progressive trends (5.5 – 5.7 – 5.8 – 6.0, 6+). Sports sibling WPEN-FM added one-half share in January to end three straight negative trends (2.5 – 2.4 – 2.2 – 2.0, 6+), but “97.5 The Fanatic” forfeits six-tenths (2.5 – 1.9, 6+) and dips from #19 to #20. Locked on 2.7 (6+) in October, November, and December, iHeartMedia hot AC WISX “Mix 106.1” trended 2.4 – 2.8 (“Holiday” 2016 – January 2017, 6+) and now falters by one-half share to 2.3 (#16 to #18, 6+). Temple University’s WRTI “Your Classical and Jazz Source” (1.7, “Holiday” 2016, 6+) was unlisted in January 2017, but reappears in February with a 1.2 (#23, 6+).

8) Atlanta – Even though Cox Media Group urban AC WALR remains anchored in third-place, on the strength of a +.8 (5.5 – 6.3, 6+), “Kiss 104.1” records its strongest 6+-stat since June 2016’s 7.1. Improving by one-half each are co-owned adult contemporary WSB-FM “B-98.5” (4.8 – 5.3, unchanged at #4, 6+); classic hits-oldies cluster-mate WSRV “97.1 The River” (4.6 – 5.1, sixth to fifth, 6+); and CBS Radio urban contemporary WVEE “V-103” (6.0 – 6.5, steady at #2, 6+). Consistently within 4.4 – 4.9 territory (6+) the past 12 ratings periods, “B-98.5” has its best 6+-showing in exactly one year (5.5, February 2016, 6+). Up a collective eight-tenths in December 2016 and “Holiday” 2016 (5.9 – 6.3 – 6.7, 6+), “V-103” forfeited seven-tenths in January. Relishing its eighth consecutive monthly without a decrease for a combined +1.8 (2.9 – 3.2 – 3.7 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 4.1 – 4.3 – 4.5 – 4.7, 6+), Radio One urban AC WAMJ “Majic The Real Sound of Atlanta” progresses from eighth to seventh. Despite dropping eight-tenths (10.7 – 9.9, 6+), Cox Media Group talker WSB-AM is #1 for the fourteenth straight ratings period. Its most recent trends are -2.3 (“Holiday” 2016); +2.8 (January 2017); and now -.8 (February 2017). January 2017’s 10.7 represents the station’s best-ever (6+) performance, eclipsing the 10.2 in December 2016. A combined +1.4 in “Holiday” 2016 and January 2017 (3.0 – 3.6 – 4.4, 6+), CBS Radio sports outlet WZGC “92.9 The Game” gives all of it back and one-tenth more (3.1, -1.3, 6+) as the Atlanta Falcons’ flagship spirals out of the top ten (#9 to #14). Unlisted in January 2017, Atlanta Public Schools’ WABE “90.1 Where ATL Meets NPR” (2.9, #15, “Holiday” 2016, 6+) is back at #15 (3.0, February 2017, 6+).

9) Long Island – Progressing from #15 to #13, iHeartMedia classic rock WAXQ “Q-104.3” gains three-tenths to 2.9 (6+0, thus halting at three a successive string of down or flat trends that produced a -1.0 (3.6 – 2.8 – 2.6 – 2.6, 6+). For the fourth straight time, CBS Radio classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM (third to second) posts a Long Island increase (3.8 – 4.6 – 4.8 – 5.0 – 5.3, 6+); “101.1 New York’s Greatest Hits” is+1.5 since November. A pickup of six-tenths (.5 – 1.1, 6+) by WQXR more than doubles its 6+-share and lands “New York’s Classical Music Radio Station” at #26. The six-tenths of a share lead that CBS Radio all-news WINS had over co-owned and similarly-formatted WCBS-AM is down to one-tenth as WINS is 4.4 – 3.9, -.5, seventh to eighth (6+), while WCBS-AM is flat at 3.8 and unchanged at #9 (6+). Without a decrease for seven successive sweeps for a net gain of +1.6 (2.9 – 3.2 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 3.7 – 4.0 – 4.2 – 4.5, 6+), WINS floundered by one full-share in “Holiday” 2016 but recaptured all but one-tenth in January 2017. Having registered 11 successive sweeps at #1 in the Long Island report, iHeartMedia New York City CHR WHTZ “Z-100” spiraled by -1.5 in “Holiday” 2016 (6.6 – 5.1, 6+), sliding to third. It then gained eight-tenths to 5.9 (6+) in January 2017 to reappear at #1 and repeats at #1 in February – albeit flat at 5.9 (6+). Down a combined four-tenths in three straight (minor) downtrends (3.7 – 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.3, 6+), co-owned New York City adult contemporary WLTW “Lite FM” rebounded with a collective +4.5 in December and “Holiday” 2016, before sputtering by -4.6 in January 2017 and another eight-tenths in February (3.2 – 2.4, 6+), plummeting from #12 to #19. In addition to WINS, iHeartMedia talker WOR is also off by one-half share as it returns January’s +.5 (3.1 – 3.6 – 3.1, 6+) but stays at #10. This marks the 27th straight sweep that Emmis rhythmic CHR WQHT “Hot 97” (#20 to #15) is in 2.0 – 2.9 range (2.2 – 2.6, +.4, 6+).

10) Riverside – Off by one-half share in January 2017, LC Media’s urban-rhythmic oldies KQIE “Old School 104.7” recaptures all of it and one-tenth for good measure (2.7 – 2.2 – 2.8, +.6, 6+) but remains at #8. After being up or flat in each of the last five sweeps for a collective +2.2 (7.2 – 7.5 – 7.5 – 8.3 – 8.7 – 9.4, 6+), Entravision Spanish adult hits KLYY “Jose” dips by two-tenths to 9.2 (6+), but is #1 for the sixteenth consecutive ratings period. Following a one-share increase in June 2016, which halted back-to-back downward trends that produced a combined -.4, “Jose” fell by two-tenths in July but bounced back with a +.8 in August. Apparently, Anaheim Broadcasting classic hits-oldies outlet KOLA can only increase or decrease by one-half share, as this represents the fifth consecutive fluctuation by that margin (7.1 – 6.6 – 6.1 – 5.6 – 6.1 – 5.6, 6+) for a collective -1.5. In the runner-up slot six straight times before dropping to third in “Holiday” 2016, KOLA finishes at #2, just as it did in January. Prior to November 2016, KOLA was up or flat the previous six times for a net gain of +2.2 (4.9 – 4.9 – 5.6 – 6.5 – 6.8 – 6.9 – 7.1, 6+). Faltering by one-half share as well is regional Mexican KXSB (1.2 – .7, #11 to #14, 6+); this is the lowest 6+-share for “Radio Lazer” since September 2016 (also .7, 6+). Following 12 successive sweeps with a .1 (6+), CBS Radio country outlet KXFG (#21, January 2017, 6+) disappears.

11) San Jose – On the heels of January’s +.9, Entercom-owned KUFX “98.5 The South Bay’s Classic Rock” does it one better by improving by one full-share in February (2.9 – 3.8 – 4.8, 6+) to zoom from seventh to fourth. In “Holiday” 2016, “The South Bay’s Classic Rock” was -1.0; 4.8 is its best 6+-showing since last July (4.8 as well). On Christmas Day (12/25/2016) at 5:00 pm, Alpha Media’s KBAY ended 20 years as an AC by flipping to classic hits-oldies as “94.5 Bay FM.” Following seven straight sweeps without a loss for a cumulative +4.6 (3.4 – 3.8 – 4.1 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 5.5 – 8.0, 6+), KBAY regressed by -3.6 in January and drops another three-tenths in February (4.4 – 4.1, sixth to seventh, 6+). Seemingly taking advantage of KBAY’s format change, iHeartMedia-owned adult contemporary KISQ “98.1 The Breeze” notches a +.8 (2.4 – 3.2, 6+), rocketing from #19 to #14. It is a different story, however, for Entercom adult contemporary KOIT-FM “Better Music for a Better Workday,” which sputters by eight-tenths after January’s -3.3 (8.4 – 5.1 – 4.3, 6+), moving from fourth to fifth. A nonsubscriber to the San Jose report since posting a 5.1 (6+) in the “Holiday” 2015 report, KQED returned in robust fashion in January by recording a 6.9 (6+) to finish at #1; the Northern California Public Broadcasting facility repeats in the top spot with a +.7 to 7.6 (6+). Enjoying gains of one-half share each are Empire Broadcasting’s KRTY “Hot Country 95.3” (3.6 – 4.1, ninth to seventh, 6+) and Spanish Broadcasting System regional Mexican KRZZ “93.3 La Raza,” up for the third straight time (1.0 – 1.5 – 1.8 – 2.3, 6+); KRZZ enters the top 20 (#23 to #17). Stuck on 2.0 (6+) in October and November and then on 2.2 (6+) in December and “Holiday” 2016, iHeartMedia’s KMEL “#1 For Hip-Hop and R&B” was up one-half share in January but regresses by seven-tenths in February (2.7 – 2.0, 6+) to tumble from #16 to #20. Down by one-half share (1.8 – 1.3, 6+), Entercom-owned KGMZ “95.7 The Game” flounders from #23 to #27. Within 3.0 – 3.9 range (6+) for the nineteenth successive sweep, iHeartMedia CHR KYLD “WiLD 94.9 The Bay’s #1 Hit Music Station” (3.0 – 3.1, +.1, 6+) is flat at #15.

12) Middlesex-Somerset-Union – One of the most intriguing February 2017 nuggets is found here and it involves iHeartMedia New York City adult contemporary WLTW “Lite FM.” As noted above, “Lite FM” was off by one-tenth in its home market and down eight-tenths in Long Island (Nassau-Suffolk). Neither of those moves is especially surprising, given that all-Christmas music programming is gone from the station and it suffered the typical (substantial) January falloff. The curious thing in Middlesex though is that the largest (6+) January 2017 – February 2017 increase by any station in the 12 PPM-markets whose data was released Monday was … WLTW (3.8 – 5.9, +2.1, 6+). The huge spike enables “Lite” – which logged a “Holiday” 2016 – January 2017 decrease of roughly 56% (8.7 – 3.8, -4.9, 6+) – to cruise from seventh back up to second. Before January 2017’s -4.9, “Lite FM” had four straight up or flat trends in the Middlesex report, more than doubling its 6+-share since September (4.3 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 5.2 – 8.7, 6+). In addition to catapulting from #16 into the top ten (#8), Emmis rhythmic CHR WQHT “Hot 97” (2.7 – 3.6, +.9, 6+) posts its best 6+-stat since November 2015 (3.6 as well). Having registered three successive upward trends producing a +.8 (2.3 – 2.4 – 2.7 – 3.1, 6+), Pillar of Fire contemporary Christian WAWZ “Star 99.1” dipped by seven-tenths in January only to rebound in February by six-tenths (2.4 – 3.0, 6+), soaring from #21 to #13. Just as it did in January, iHeartMedia CHR WHTZ “Z-100” registers a one-half share gain (4.9 – 5.4, fifth to fourth, 6+), as does CBS Radio hot AC WNEW-FM “Fresh 102.7” (2.5 – 3.0, 6+), which zooms from #20 to #13. As a result of hanging out a “Holiday” 2016 – January 2017 increase of one-full-share (6.8 – 7.8, 6+), WKXW “New Jersey 101.5” returned to #1 following one turn in the runner-up slot. The Townsquare Media talker adds one-tenth to 7.9 (6+) and continues at #1. Prior to “Holiday” 2016 (where it was -.7, 6+), “New Jersey 101.5” spent 12 consecutive ratings periods on top. Down a combined one-share in October and November (8.2 – 7.6 – 7.2, 6+), WKXW picked up three-tenths in December. Sputtering by one share (5.3 – 4.3, 6+), Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish tropical WSKQ “Mega 97.9” slips from third to sixth. Following three straight gains netting seven-tenths (2.8 – 2.9 – 3.1 – 3.5, 6+), Univision Radio’s similarly-formatted WXNY “X-96.3” relinquished nine-tenths in “Holiday” 2016; erased that with a +1.0 in January 2017; but erodes by six-tenths in February (3.5 – 2.6 – 3.6 – 3.0, 6+), dropping from #10 to a five-way logjam at #13. A loss of seven-tenths (3.2 – 2.5, 6+) sinks CBS Radio all-sports WFAN-FM “The Fan” from #13 to #19. Trending 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.1 – 4.2 (6+) since November, classic hits-oldies cluster-mate WCBS-FM “101.1 New York’s Greatest Hits” regresses by one-half share to 3.7 (6+) and skids from sixth to seventh.

Monday, March 20, 2017

| March 20, 2017

ESPN Moves Craig to Network PD; Ups Hurley to WEPN, New York PD.  Sports programmer Justin Craig is promoted from PD of WEPN, New York to senior director, programming and operations for the ESPN Radio network.  The sports giant says that Craig will be responsible for all aspects of ESPN Radio programming and production, including oversight of “Mike & Mike,” “The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz,” “Russillo & Kanell,” and nighttime and weekend programming.  Craig is now based at ESPN’s headquarters in Bristol and reports to David Roberts, vice president, ESPN Network Content.  With Craig’s move to Bristol, WEPN APD Ryan Hurley is elevated to program director.  Jonathan Winthrop, who has previously served as a producer at WEPN, adds APD duties and continues to produce the Stephen A. Smith show.

TALKERS Personality Profile: KSCO, Santa Cruz Owner, Michael Zwerling. One of the most colorful owner/operators of a local radio broadcasting company, Michael Zwerling, is the subject of an audio personality profile posted today (3/20) on Talkers.com.  Since 1991, Zwerling (known to his friends and colleagues as “MZ”) has owned heritage news/talk 10k flamethrower KSCO-AM 1080.   The station puts out a giant signal covering the Monterey Bay area as well as huge swath of Northern California territory.  KSCO first went on the air in 1947.  Zwerling has subsequently gained a national reputation for his unique ownership and management style that has turned KSCO into a dynamic combination of mostly locally produced content punctuated by carefully selected national programming.  Under Zwerling’s guidance, KSCO is financially fueled by a potent combination of traditional advertising sales and the generation of non-traditional revenue.  In the hour-and-a-half interview conducted by TALKERS founder Michael Harrison, Zwerling discusses what it has been like operating a conservatively oriented station (featuring Rush Limbaugh) in a predominantly liberal market.  He talks about his early, quirky days in broadcasting, the nuts-and-bolts of local radio station ownership in the modern era, the pros and cons of carrying Limbaugh over the years, his late mother and locally beloved broadcaster, Kay Zwerling, and his remarkably lucrative relationship with the multi-level marketing health products company, Youngevity.  To listen to this candid dialogue with the man described by Michael Harrison as one of the most interesting and eccentric owners in radio today, please click here.

‘The Big Talker’ Returns to Wilmington, NC.  Talk show host Chad Adams is reviving “The Big Talker” on WFBT-FM, Wilmington, North Carolina (licensed to Carolina Beach) under an LMA from Carolina Christian Radio.  His Red Wolf Broadcasting will operate the station and his regionally syndicated talk show – also heard in Charlotte and Greensboro – will be heard from 9:00 am to 11:00 am.  It will follow the local “Mornings With Pam and John” program with husband-and-wife team John and Pam Dismukes.  Other shows to air on the station include: Radio America’s Dana Loesch, the Dave Ramsey show, SRN’s Mike Gallagher, and Premiere NetworksSean Hannity and the overnight “Coast to Coast AM” with George Noory.  Originally, “The Big Talker” was heard on WNTB-FM and WUDE-FM.  WFBT-FM’s frequency is 106.7.  It was formerly WMYT and was put on the air by Curtis Wright’s and George Bell’s Talk Media TV in 2013.

TALKERS News Notes. The morning drive show at Cumulus Media’s news/talk WGOW-FM, Chattanooga – hosted by Jeff Styles, Jim Reynolds and Bill Lockhart – expands by an hour to air from 6:00 am to 10:00 am, eliminating the Reynolds-hosted hour, “The Nth Degree.”  At the same time, Styles – who had also been hosting the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon program, “Fred The Show,” gives up that program to new host Brad Giese…..WGN, Chicago launched a new weekend program on Saturday (3/18).  The two-hour show “On the Road with Dane Neal” airs from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm.  WGN says that this program is more than just a car show, “Neal will explore the relationship of people and their cars.  Topics will include motorsports, day trips, cruise nights, technology in the car and more.”  His first guests were Food Network’s Guy Fieri, Expedia’s Sarah Gavin, and NASCAR champion Kevin Harvick.  Neal comments, “I’m excited to be able to take a radio road trip with listeners each week.  We’ll share great stories about racing, innovation in driving and the great car culture of Chicago.”

Rising Country Music Star Pens and Records Inspirational Patriot Song for Both Music and Talk Radio.  Singer/songwriter Dede Wedekind is a rising star in country music circles (Indie Music Channel’s 2016 Best New Female Artist, plus a number of other music industry honors) and she is now attracting the attention of talk radio hosts doing interviews about her new soul-stirring, patriotic release titled “America United.”  The song was originally written by Wedekind and her husband in a flash of inspiration coming from the pulpit while attending church on a Sunday in 2012.  Garnering attention across her fan base for years, the couple then tweaked the song in the wake of the 2016 presidential election, resulting in another IMEA Award for the independent artist.  She tells CCM Magazine, “To me, everyone who hears ‘America United’ seems to like and relate to the overwhelming message of this song—which is the necessity of uniting all Americans once again. This song isn’t about a particular political party, being conservative or liberal, or even being Democrat or Republican—it’s about making America a great nation once again. ‘One nation, under God, with liberty and justice for all.’” Wedekind continues, “In the original version written in 2012, it features President Ronald Reagan‘s message of making America great quoting the line, ‘Once again, make America Great. When President Donald Trump decided to run last year, my husband Larry and I had already decided to update ‘America United’ to make it a better song with a more concise message and better production. We then decided to also incorporate Trump’s slogan, which, again was completely based on Reagan’s original message. We repeated the slogan in the chorus of the 2016 version, since it was already a part of the original song, and more importantly felt strongly that God had given it to President Reagan, and now again to President Trump.”  To listen to and download Dede Wedekind’s “America United” and obtain contact information to book an interview with her, please click here.

Trump’s Obama Wiretapping Accusations, Gorsuch Confirmation Hearings, GOP Health Care Bill, U.S.-Germany Relations, North Korea Missile Program, Rock Legend Chuck Berry Dies, and March Madness Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  President Donald Trump’s accusation that former President Barack Obama ordered wiretaps of Trump Tower during the 2016 campaign; Supreme Court judge nominee Neil Gorsuch’s confirmation hearings begin today; speculation about the fate of the GOP health care bill; President Trump’s belief that Germany owes the U.S. money for its NATO membership and his meeting last week with Angela Merkel; North Korea’s nuclear missile program and its threats to hit American targets; rock ‘n’ roll pioneer Chuck Berry dies at age 90; and the action during the first weekend of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Stephanie Miller Announces ‘Sexy Liberal Resistance Tour’ 2017.  Progressive radio talk show host and comedienne Stephanie Miller is announcing the 2017 version of her Sexy Liberal Comedy Tour – this year titled the “Sexy Liberal Resistance Tour 2017.”  On this tour will be Miller, John Fugelsang and Frangela.  A press statement from Miller reads, “Touring for several years as the Sexy Liberal Comedy Tour, the election forced us to rethink early retirement and return to the stage for a multiple-city tour.  We face Washington and laugh out loud at the tragic comedy of politics, to throw our finest, most scathing satire at the feet of our not-so-elected politicians.  To fight on with comedy…to offer the real fake news…to offer true alternative facts.”  The tour does 10 dates this year beginning in Madison on April 22 and ending in Maui, Hawaii on December 23.  Cities include Phoenix, Albuquerque, Seattle, Denver, Chicago, New York City, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

SRN’s Tradup Promoting Brantley Rescue Documentary.  Next Thursday night (3/30) is the one-night-only Fathom national movie theater screening of the film Facing Darkness.  The film was the result of a trip to the Ebola virus “hot Zone” in Liberia last summer during which Salem Radio Network VP/news & talk programming Tom Tradup (pictured at right) accompanied a film crew from non-profit charity Samaritan’s Purse to chronicle the successful, high-tech rescue of Dr. Kent Brantley during the deadly 2014 outbreak.  Tradup, who is actively promoting the film via social media, says, “The courage of the Samairtan’s Purse team (including Dr. Brantley) who risked their own lives as the Ebola outbreak claimed thousands of lives all around them, is a truly inspirational story that is the centerpiece of a stunning documentary.”

TALKERS magazine Publishes the 2017 Heavy Hundred of Sports Talk. On Monday, March 13, we published the fifth annual TALKERS Heavy Hundred of Sports Talk – formally known as the 100 Most Important Sports Talk Radio Hosts in America. This annual list is compiled and ranked by the editors of TALKERS magazine – with input from industry leaders. As with our publication’s “sister list,” the 100 Most Important Talk Radio Hosts in America, the criteria are a number of hard factors – including ratings and revenue – as well as such soft factors as talent, recognition, impact, service and more. Executive editor Kevin Casey states, “This annual ranking of the most important sports talk radio hosts is one of the most difficult – but enjoyable – projects we undertake at TALKERS. The reason for that is the partially subjective nature of the criteria combined with the enormous number of talented and successful sports talk hosts working in America. Paring that pool of talent down to 100 is no easy task!” Casey also notes that TALKERS will be publishing the 2017 Heavy Hundred of News/Talk Radio in April. See the 2017 Heavy Hundred of Sports Talk here.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Beginning this Friday (3/24), Entercom Austin is shifting its urban adult contemporary contemporary outlet to a new frequency as it changes translator K242CC from the 96.3 frequency to 95.9.  Appropriately, the station’s new brand is “95.9FM RnB.”  Entercom Austin VP/market manager Stephanie Callihan states, “We are looking forward to welcoming all of our loyal listeners at our new home on the dial.  We continue to be committed to providing the unparalleled radio experience that our fans have come to expect from us and will keep delivering for our fans at our new frequency.”…..Bonneville’s country KYGO, Denver welcomes Guy David aboard as the new co-host of the morning drive show with current AM personality Tracy Dixon.  David heads to Denver from his current position at RBH Enterprises-owned country WFON-FM, Fond Du Lac, Wisconsin “107.1 The Bull.”…..Wesley Miller returns to his hometown of Youngstown, Ohio to program adult contemporary WMXY “MIX 98.9” and CHR WAKZ for iHeartMedia.  Miller was most recently with Forever Media’s WGYY, Meadville, Pennsylvania “Froggy 100.3” hosting the morning show and serving as program director…..CBS RADIO country outlet WDSY, Pittsburgh “Y108” is hosting its annual Wine & Boots Bash to benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital on Thursday, April 13 at The Twentieth Century Club in Oakland.  The event will feature Warner Music Nashville country singer and songwriter Michael Ray.  CBS RADIO Pittsburgh VP of programming Mark Anderson says, “Michael Ray was a part of Y108’s ‘Eight Man Jam’ concert two years ago.  Michael’s career is on fire as he just achieved his second #1 hit single and we are thrilled to have him perform at Y108’s Wine and Boots Bash on April 13.”  Ray broke into music as a contestant on The CW’s “The Next: Fame Is At Your Doorstep.”  He co-wrote the 2015 Big & Rich hit “Run Away With You” and made his solo artist debut that same year with the #1 hit “Kiss You In The Morning.”  He scored his second #1 hit just this week with his song, “Think A Little Less.”

Josh Turner Plays Stage 17 LIVE.  The brand-new Cumulus Media New York performance space Stage 17 LIVE hosted country star Josh Turner on March 15.  WNSH “NASH FM 94.7” air personality Jesse Addy spoke with Turner on the air the same day Turner spent his morning hosting the fourth hour of NBC TV’s “Today Show.”  Pictured here are (from l-r): Jesse Addy, Josh Turner; WNSH program director John Foxx, and WNSH APD Mike Alan.

Friday, March 17, 2017

| March 17, 2017

Cumulus Media Reports 2016 Q4 and Full-Year Financials.  The company had not been hiding the fact that the news of its revenue for the fourth quarter of 2016 or the whole year would not be positive, and the results were not surprising.  Cumulus Media reports its Q4 net revenue was $299.5 million – down 3% from the same period in 2015, and the full-year net revenue was $1.14 billion – a dip of 2.3% compared to all of 2015.  Separating the company’s two reportable segments – the radio station group and Westwood One – for the fourth quarter of 2016 the radio station group was up 1.3% on net revenue of $209.7 million.  However, Westwood One was down 12.3% on net revenue of $89.1 million.  For the whole of 2016, the radio station group’s net revenue was $802.3 million, an increase of 0.8%.  Westwood One’s net revenue was $336.6 million, a decrease of 8.8% from 2015.  Cumulus president and CEO Mary Berner comments, “We entered 2016 with a singular objective: to fix the core business problems – poor culture, poor ratings and poor operational execution – which was essential to establishing a foundation on which to build improved financial results.  Throughout the year we made significant progress addressing each of these areas, most visibly in ratings growth where we’ve outperformed the industry for 15 straight months.  In fact, with two back-to-back quarters of revenue share increases on the station side, a trend which continued through January, we have early evidence that, despite a tough industry environment, our foundational work is beginning to translate into improved financial performance.”

Legendary WSB-AM, Atlanta Celebrates 95 Years On Air.  It was on the Ides of March in 1922 that WSB-AM began broadcasting to the citizens of North Georgia.  On Wednesday, Cox Media Group celebrated the anniversary.  WSB manager of program operations and community affairs Condace Pressley states, “In 1922, WSB was licensed to deliver weather reports.  Today, delivery of accurate and dependable news, weather and traffic remains our calling card, but this station and its people are so much more.  Service to the Atlanta community is in WSB’s DNA.”  Station director of branding and programming Pete Spriggs adds, “The WSB brand of local news, weather and traffic has grown from being on AM only to now serving north Georgia on FM, mobile, and digital.  It all boils down to our slogan – Depend On It!”  See a cool presentation of WSB’s 95-year history here.

WVON, Chicago Adds Maze Jackson to the Matt McGill Morning Show.  Local political commentator and strategist Maze Jackson is joining Midway Broadcasting Corporation’s morning program, the “Matt McGill Morning Show,” on WVON, Chicago, effective April 3.  The station says this move is being made to secure WVON’s position as a contributing voice in the upcoming gubernatorial and mayoral elections, in addition to increasing the station’s overall rankings.  McGill has been solo host of the morning show on WVON for the past six years – a role in which he’ll continue.  Jackson joins the show after contributing for the past two years as a weekly commentator and guest host.  WVON says, “Jackson has a diverse array of experience in the worlds of business, politics, and community engagement.  Jackson spent over 20 years lobbying for high profile clients, creating community-based solutions and driving the discussions that shape impactful policies as former executive director of the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus.”

TALKERS Magazine Publisher Michael Harrison Joins WPHT, Philly’s Rich Zeoli for His New Podcast.  At CBS RADIO’s WPHT, Philadelphia, afternoon drive personality Rich Zeoli is launching a new podcast that features content not heard on the WPHT airwaves.  TALKERS magazine publisher Michael Harrison joined Zeoli for his inaugural show.  In addition to addressing such topics as the Trump Administration’s impact on news/talk radio and the influence of politics on talk radio, the two delved into “inside” radio subjects including the evolution of the talk radio format, changing media technology, and the public’s evolving media habits.  Listen to it here.

Desert Broadcasters Brings Palm Springs AMs Back to Life; KGX Branded ‘Real Talk.’  The two Palm Springs signals – KPSI-AM 920 and KWXY-AM 1340 – went dark last August after longtime owners Rozene and Ric Supple decided to exit the radio business.  Enter Garry Wing and Desert Broadcasters who acquired the stations and just put KPSI – now KGX “Real Talk” – and KWXY back on the air.  KWXY is a soft AC.  The Desert Sun reports that Wing wants to create a talk station with less political vitriol (and less “fake outrage”).  Radio America personality Chad Benson’s show is featured on the station.  Wing says the station will air a combination of local and national talk shows.  Both stations occupy the early 1960s-era broadcast facility pictured in the photo here, taken from the Desert Sun’s video report.

iHeartMedia Unveils ‘SmartAudio’ Advertising Product at ‘SoundFront.’  At Wednesday’s client-focused “SoundFront” up front event, iHeartMedia introduced its SmartAudio digital data advertising product, now a part of the programmatic solution SoundPoint.  iHeartMedia says SmartAudio goes farther in leveraging the power of SoundPoint to help advertisers evaluate, plan and buy broadcast radio, enabling them to build innovative campaigns that target key audience segments.  iHeartMedia president of national sales, marketing and partnerships Tim Castelli says, “We’ve been testing SmartAudio with some of the top brands and we’re already seeing additional impact for those using it.  They’re able to leverage the product’s flexibility to decide which specific ad to run based on something as simple as whether the local sports team won or lost last night’s game…Industry response to our SoundPoint platform has been so well received that we’re now unveiling SmartAudio which allows audience segmenting and dynamic creative capabilities all in one planning and buying tool.”

TALKERS News Notes. Public radio outlet WBEZ, Chicago is debuting a new podcast series called, “Written Inside: Stories About Prison Cells.”  The series consists of essays by inmates at Illinois’ Stateville Correctional Center about their prison cells – shedding light on the everyday experience of incarceration.  The series was the idea of award-winning, Chicago-based author and journalist Alex Kotlowitz.  He began working with the inmates through Northwestern University colleague Jennifer Lackey, who invited him to speak to a class she taught at the correctional center.  Kotlowitz asked the 15 male inmates facing long sentences to complete a writing exercise describing their cells.  He recognized the potential each story possessed to reveal the realities of life in prison…..“Motley Fool Money” host Chris Hill (left) is pictured here with CNBC’s Julia Boorstin (right) recording a segment for Hill’s program at SXSW in Austin, Texas earlier this week.  Hill says, “We talked about the scene in Austin, what the major entertainment companies are doing to lure audience, Apple’s foray into original programming, VR in movies and a lot more.”

Trump Travel Ban Top News/Talk Story for Week of March 13-17.  The second travel ban order by President Donald Trump and its block issued by a Hawaii judge was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the Trump Administration budget cuts.  Coming in at #3 was the interest rate hike by the Fed, followed by the GOP health care plan at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Rhode Island Radio Hall of Fame Announces Class of 2017.  The Rhode Island Radio Hall of Fame announces its class of inductees for 2017.  They include: Johnny Dowd/Jaybeau Jones from “JB 105,” Providence; French-language broadcaster and current WNRI partner Roger Laliberte; WHJJ and WPRO personality Myrna Lamb; current WPRO-AM program director Tony Mascaro; former RAB SVP and Rhode Island radio manager Dick Rakovan; and former WICE personality Frank Kingston Smith.  Also the Shepard Award – created to recognize the founders of radio in the Ocean State by John and Robert Shepard, owners of the Shepard Department Stores, and to honor present-day contributors to the industry through leadership, dedication, achievement, innovation and spirit – will go to Mowry Lowe –a pioneering New England newscaster, gifted announcer and premier radio executive.  The Station of the Year Award will be presented to iHeartMedia Providence to commemorate a successful multi-station food drive to feed the hungry in Rhode Island.  The Legacy Station of the Year award recognizes top 40 WICE-AM.  A reunion with some of the station’s legendary Hall of Fame DJs, staff and listeners is planned.

FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai Appears on WJR, Detroit’s Paul W. Smith Show.  This morning’s WJR, Detroit live broadcast of the Paul W. Smith St. Patrick’s Day show was not the first appearance on the station by FCC Chairman Ajit Pai.  He’s been a guest on the show before.  Pai (left) is pictured here with Smith (right) on stage at The Cube Theatre inside the Max M. Fisher Music Center.

PodcastOne Executive Chairman Norm Pattiz Guests on Harrison Podcast. The executive chairman of PodcastOne and noted industry pioneer, Norm Pattiz joins TALKERS founder Michael Harrison for an in-depth conversation about the general state of radio, podcasting and audio media on this week’s installment of the award-winning series, “Up Close and Far Out.” The compelling dialogue was recorded this past Friday, inspired by the Thursday release (3/9) of the annual Edison Research/Triton Digital 2017 Infinite Dial Study. Pattiz sums up his impression of the study as follows, “I was very encouraged relative to the audio medium as a whole by the information that came from the study. There’s good news in it for almost everybody that’s in the audio space.” Pattiz and Harrison cover a lot of ground touching upon advertising trends, the evolution of audience measurement metrics, in-car listening habits and much more in this conversation that is a must-listen for radio and audio media professionals. To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Imaging, voiceover and production firm Benztown announces it has brought Katrina Woolverton, J.D., LL.M, aboard to serve in the newly created position of general counsel…..On Monday (3/20), WBBM-FM, Chicago “B96” is hosting Warner Bros. Records recording artist Bebe Rexha as its guest to host a cooking demonstration at the brand new CBS RADIO Chicago Culinary Kitchen.  Rexha will show off her culinary skills while being interviewed by “B96” morning show hosts J Niice, Showbiz Shelly and Producer Gabe.  The segment will take place in front of a live studio audience made up of about 20 station contest winners who also get tickets to Rexha’s concert that evening at the Metro theater.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

| March 14, 2017

Washington Post Writes About the Evolving Glenn Beck.  Industry watchers and regular TALKERS readers are aware of Premiere Networks syndicated talk radio star Glenn Beck’s long-held distaste for President Donald Trump.  Throughout the election, Beck was a Never Trumper and it was the focus of his radio show during that period.  Now he’s walking a difficult road of staying true to his self-described libertarian principles while expressing regret for how he conducted himself for so many years.  Beck and his efforts to make amends for the things he’s said and done in the past is the focus of a feature piece in the Washington Post by senior editor Marc Fisher.  Not only has Beck changed how he approaches his radio and TV shows, he’s going out on the road with some heretofore very unlikely company.  Read the Post piece here.

Bye Partnered with Stokley on KKFN, Denver.  Moving from Townsquare Media’s sports talker WTMM, Albany “104.5 The Team” to Bonneville’s sports KKFN, Denver “104.3 The Fan” is Zach Bye.  He partners with Brandon Stokley for the 12:00 nooon to 3:00 pm “Stokley and Zach” show, effective March 31.  In addition to co-hosting the “Big Board Sports” show on WTMM, Bye served for the past seven years as a play-by-play and color analyst for University of Albany sports radio broadcasts.  KKFN program director Armen Williams states, “After a national search, we were thrilled to find the perfect fit for Brandon and ‘104.3 The Fan’ in Zach.

GOP ObamaCare Alternative, Obama Wiretapping Accusations, Trump’s Budget Proposal, North Korea Missile Threats, Tennessee Sues Federal Government, Northeast Snowstorm, and March Madness Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/13).  The Trump Administration/GOP’s alternative to the Affordable Care Act; the ongoing debate over what President Trump meant by his accusation that President Obama wiretapped the Trump Tower during the 2016 campaign; the Trump Administration’s federal budget proposal and its effort to shrink Washington’s administrative power; North Korea’s nuclear missile program and related tensions between China and the U.S.; Tennessee sues the federal government over the latter’s refugee resettlement program; the late-winter blizzard hitting the Northeast today; and the NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Rotella: Local Radio Is on Alert.  Local radio advocate – and president and CEO of the New Jersey Broadcasters AssociationPaul Rotella, is using today’s winter storm affecting the Northeast to point out the positives of local, terrestrial radio – and advocate for the broad activation of the FM chip and the prevention of any Performance Tax.  Read his letter to members of the NJBA and the industry here.

 

 

Alana Lynn Joins KMLE, Phoenix for Afternoons/Music Director Post.  Phoenix country outlet KMLE @ 107.9 announces Alana Lynn takes over the music director and afternoon personality position at the CBS RADIO station.  She assumes the duties from Bryan “B-Dub” Washington, who’s exiting for new position elsewhere.  CBS RADIO Phoenix VP of programming Tim Richards comments, “Alana is an amazing talent and we couldn’t be more excited for her to join the KMLE family.” She was most recently morning personality at Townsquare Media’s classic hits KTRR, Loveland, Colorado “Tri 102.5” and midday host at sister country KUAD “K99.”

Tony Russell Joins ‘McKinzie & Jake’ on ‘98.7 The Bull’ in Portland. Effective Monday (3/20), radio pro Tony Russell becomes part of the KUPL, Portland “98.7 The Bull” morning drive show with current AM show personalities McKinzie Roth and Jake Byron.  KUPL program director MoJoe Roberts comments, “Tony’s passion for super-serving the community line up with the core values of Alpha Media.  He brings a wealth of experience, a great sense of humor and is no stranger to our audience.  We’re thrilled to turn him loose with ‘McKinzie & Jake’ in mornings.”

Demery to Program KINK, Portland.  Radio pro Sean Demery is the new program director at Alpha Media’s triple A KINK, Portland.  Alpha Media VP of programming Scott Mahalick says, “Sean is a world class programmer, digital maverick, and talent coach who gets the vibe of Portland and will be dedicated full-time to the growth of KINK.  We are looking forward to Sean’s impact in taking us to new heights.”  Demery has served with stations across the country including: WNNX, Atlanta; KITS, San Francisco; KMTT, Seattle; KXRK & KLRZ, Salt Lake City; WYMS, Milwaukee; and KGGI, Riverside/San Bernardino.  Demery comments, “101.9 KINK? Are you kidding?  It’s already a great station.  I look forward to working with the crew to make it an indisputable cultural landmark.  I also look forward to exploring and eating at all the cool places that have been taunting me from Sunset magazine.”

KMGA, Albuquerque Names Simmons PD/PM Host; Adds Durocher to AM Show.  Albuquerque adult contemporary KMGA  “99.5 Magic FM” announces the addition of Bryan Simmons to the staff as program director and afternoon drive host and on-air pro Doug Durocher as morning drive co-host.  Durocher pairs up with Meredith Dunkel for the “Meredith & Doug” show.  Cumulus Media Albuquerque FM operations manager Brad Hansen states, “Bryan and Doug both bring an amazing track record of success and are already having a very positive impact on ‘Magic’ and the Albuquerque community.”

iHeartRadio Music Festival Returns to Las Vegas September 22-23.  The main stage acts won’t be announced until a later date but iHeartMedia says its annual iHeartRadio Music Festival is back in Sin City September 22 and 23.  The evening performances will happen at T-Mobile Arena.  The Daytime Village, presented by Capital One, takes place on Saturday (9/23) in the Las Vegas Village across from the Luxor Hotel and Casino.  Featured acts for the Daytime Village include: Flume, French Montana, Noah Cyrus, Judah & The Lion, Kelsea Ballerini, Hey Violet, and All Time Low, with more to be announced.

Monday, March 13, 2017

| March 13, 2017

Townsquare Media Announces Q4 2016 Net Revenue Up 5.8%; Up 3% for 2016 on Pro Forma Basis.  Those numbers are for the company as a whole.  Townsquare Media breaks its quarterly financial reports into two segments: Local Marketing Solutions (including broadcast and digital products) and Entertainment (live event experiences and music and lifestyle content directly to consumers, and promotion, advertising and product activations).  For the fourth quarter of 2016, Townsquare Media reports the Local Marketing Solutions segment’s net revenue was $119.5 million – an increase of 5.1% on an actual basis.  For all of 2016 on a pro forma basis (pro forma for the acquisition of NAME and the divestiture of 43 of its towers on September 1, 2015), the segment’s net revenue was $342.2 million – also up 5.1%.  For the company as a whole, 2016 pro forma net revenue was $516.9 million, an increase of 3% over all of 2015.  Townsquare chairman and CEO Steven Price adds, “In 2016, we delivered net revenue, net income and Adjusted EBITDA growth of 17%, 127% and 9%, respectively.  On a pro forma basis, net revenue growth of 3.0% was driven by the strong performance of our local products and offerings within our Local Marketing Solutions segment, where pro forma net revenue increased 5.1% over the prior year.  This year we focused on strengthening our balance sheet; through EBITDA growth and debt repayment we reduced net leverage from 5.5x at the start of the year, to 4.9x at year end.”

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai to Address 2017 NAB Show.  New FCC Chairman Ajit Pai will address the 2017 NAB Show at a general session on Tuesday, April 25 in Las Vegas.  The address is expected to provide insight into the FCC’s policy and regulatory objectives related to broadcasting, technology and communications law and regulation.  Pai was appointed as an FCC Commissioner by President Obama and confirmed in May of 2012.  President Trump designated him chairman in January.  NAB president and CEO Gordon Smith states, “We know from his tenure as FCC commissioner that Ajit Pai believes deeply in the value of free and local broadcasting.  Chairman Pai’s appearance at NAB Show represents a tremendous opportunity for attendees to hear first-hand about his regulatory philosophy and priorities.”

Phil Valentine Now Airing in Afternoons on KCMO-AM, Kansas City.  Local talk show host Mike Ferguson is leaving the Cumulus Media station to take on the communications director role at the Show Me Institute.  That opens up the 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm slot for Westwood One’s Phil Valentine show to take over.  In announcing the move, WW1 notes that in Valentine’s home market of Nashville, Valentine “is #1 Persons 25-54 in Nashville.  His show draws more listeners in his home market than Limbaugh, Hannity, and Beck combined.”  Commenting on joining KCMO-AM, Valentine says, “If ever there were a perfect market for our show it’s Kansas City.  What a heritage station!  They have big plans to take this station to the top and we’re thrilled to be a part of it.”

Alpha Media Drops Local Morning Show on Sports Talk WMEN, West Palm Beach.  The duo of Joe Raineri and Steve Zemach have exited Alpha Media’s sports talk WMEN, West Palm Beach “FOX Sports 640.”  The station is now running the full lineup of FOX Sports Radio programming.  Replacing Raineri and Zemach is the “Outkick the Coverage with Clay Travis” program.

PodcastOne Executive Chairman Norm Pattiz Guests on Harrison Podcast Tomorrow (3/14).  The executive chairman of PodcastOne and noted industry pioneer, Norm Pattiz joins TALKERS founder Michael Harrison tomorrow (3/14) for an in-depth conversation about the general state of radio and podcasting on the award-winning weekly series, “Up Close and Far Out.”  The compelling dialogue was recorded this past Friday, inspired by the Thursday release (3/9) of the annual Edison Research/Triton Digital 2017 Infinite Dial Study. Don’t miss it, posted bright and early tomorrow morning right here on Talkers.com, PodcastOne and iTunes.

Trump’s Obama Wiretapping Accusations, Trump Fires Preet Bharara, GOP Health Care Plan, the “Deep State” concept, Trump-Russia Connection, North Korea Threats, NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  President Donald Trump’s accusation the Obama Administration ordered the wiretapping of Trump Tower; President Trump fires U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara after Bharara refused to resign in accordance with the administration’s request that he and 45 other U.S. Attorneys do so; questions about what the GOP-engineered replacement of the Affordable Care Act will entail; talk about the existence of a “Deep State” that operates the government behind the scenes; Democrats’ wishes to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the possible connection between Russian agents and the Trump campaign; the growing nuclear missile capabilities of North Korea; and the Sunday afternoon revelation of the teams making the 2017 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS News Notes.  At last week’s annual Great Lakes Broadcasting Conference presented by the Michigan Association of Broadcasters, the MAB presented its 2016 broadcast excellence awards.  Cumulus Media’s WJR reports that it won 22 awards across numerous categories, including: 2016 Commercial Station of the Year; Best Regularly Scheduled Weekday Broadcast – The Mitch Albom Show; Best Morning Show Broadcast Personality – The Paul W. Smith Show; and Best Regularly Scheduled Weekday Broadcast Personality – The Frank Beckmann Show.  WJR program director Mike Wheeler says, “We’re really proud of the way the WJR team serves our audience, advertising partners and community.  It is gratifying to have the MAB validate our efforts.”…..Westwood One will tip off coverage of the 2017 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship on Tuesday (3/14) with play-by-play coverage of all 67 games.  In addition, Westwood One will broadcast the NCAA Men’s Final Four on Saturday, April 1, and the National Championship Game on Monday, April 3, in both English and Spanish, live from University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Charleston, South Carolina, Cumulus Media appoints 20-year radio programming pro Kathy Brown as program director for hip hop WWWZ “93 Jamz” and urban contemporary WMGL “Magic 107.3.”  She comes to Cumulus from her most recent position with iHeartMedia programming hip hop KMJM “100.3 The Beat” and Gospel KATZ-AM “Hallelujah.”  Cumulus Media Charleston operations manager Bill West says, “Kathy is a pro and I’ve already been inspired by hearing her ideas for our brands here in Charleston.”…..Mapleton Communications ups Jamie Patrick to program director for country KDRK, Spokane “93.7 the Mountain.”  Patrick host the morning show, is music director and assistant operations manager – all duties he will continue while ascending to PD…..Entercom names Lindsey Martin director of promotions for its five-station Sacramento cluster…..Cumulus brings Appleton/Oshkosh market radio pro Dan Markus aboard to host the morning drive show on its adult standards WNAM and middays on classic hits WVBO.  Markus spent 17 years programming the company’s Green Bay classic hits outlet WOGB…..iHeartMedia classic rock KZPS, Dallas “Lonestar 92.5” is presenting the return of the “Bo and Jim Bash VI” taking place on August 18 at Starplex Pavilion in Dallas.  This annual event, presented by the station and the morning team of Bo Roberts and Jim White, will this year feature Foreigner, Cheap Trick, Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Experience and Stone Cold Sweat featuring Bo and Jim.  KZPS program director Don Davis says, “Foreigner is coming off a sold-out show last month in Dallas and we have been after Cheap Trick since year one, so to say we are excited about this lineup would be an understatement.  And if Foreigner and Cheap Trick weren’t enough, I couldn’t think of a better way to kick off the night than having Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Experience and Bo and Jim’s Stone Cold Sweat open the show this year.”…..Beasley Media Group’s Fayetteville, North Carolina hip hop WZFX “Foxy 99” adds the Premiere Networks-syndicated morning show “The Breakfast Club” – hosted by Charlamagne Tha God, Angela Yee and DJ Envy – to the station’s program lineup for morning drive…..Entercom launches new urban station “Hot 103.7 FM” on translator K243AV, New Orleans.  Entercom New Orleans VP and market manager Chris Claus says, “We are focused on delivering the content and music that we know listeners in New Orleans are looking for.  The combination of well-known and live local talent and the R&B hits that fans want to hear on 103.7 FM is a magical one that has not been on the dial in New Orleans.”  Tom “Jammer” Naylor – who programs sister CHR WEZB “B97” – will serve as the program director.  Urban radio pro Jay Dixon is consulting the station.  On air is Abraham “Big Abe” Johnson on the “Big Abe in the Morning” program.  Terrence “Terry Bello” Burton is hosting afternoon drive…..JVC Media has partnered with major Long Island retail locations and DNS publications to publish a quarterly country music newspaper called This Is Country.  JVC says the free, full-color magazine will contain exclusive interviews, stories, pictures, news, album and movie reviews, up-coming events around Long Island “and other information a country music lover will not want to miss.”  JVC’s country WJVC-FM, Center Moriches, New York “My Country 96.1” is promoting the publication that launches April 15.

Tuesday, March 8, 2017

| March 7, 2017

Saga Communications Reports Net Revenue Up 4.7% in Q4; Radio Segment Rises 2.6%.  The company operates both radio and television stations and the 4.7% net revenue increase on $37.3 million is for the company as a whole.  The radio segment’s fourth quarter net revenue was $30.3 million – an increase of 2.6%.  For the whole of 2016, the radio segment was up 6.2% on net revenue of $119 million.

Radio One Fourth Quarter Revenue Rises 3.8% on Strength of Television and Political Advertising.  Of the four major categories of revenue that Radio One reports – radio advertising, political advertising, digital advertising, and cable television advertising the latter three saw healthy increases while radio advertising dipped 8.5% in the fourth quarter of 2016.  It’s far and away the biggest category with net revenue of $51.02 million.  Cable television advertising was up 18.1% on net revenue of $22.67 million.  For the year of 2016, Radio One’s radio broadcasting net revenue was down 1.5% on $194.5 million.

DGital Media and Essence Partner for ‘Yes, Girl!’ Podcast.  A new collaboration between audio entertainment firm DGital Media and Essence results on the new podcast “Yes, Girl!”  The weekly podcast – available via iTunes, Google Play, Spotify, Stitcher, TuneIn and more – “allows Essence editors to marry two things that they love: podcasts and buzzworthy interviews with bold, beautiful and brilliant women of color.”  The show is hosted by Essence editors Cori Murray and Yolanda Sangweni — along with relationships editor and resident “love guru” Charli Penn.  “Yes, Girl!” will also feature conversations with celebs and influencers.

TALKERS News Notes.  A group of podcast producers is working together throughout the month of March to promote podcast listening to the public.  Dubbed #trypod, the movement includes the hosts of hundreds of podcasts encouraging listeners to seek out friends who aren’t podcast listeners to get them to try it.  Listeners are encouraged to share their favorite podcasts and why they listen with the hashtag #trypod.  Content creators and platform operators involved include: NPR, WNYC, iHeartRadio, Midroll, ESPN, and others…..United Stations Radio Networks names Neil Barry to its advertising sales department as executive director/brand sponsorships.  Barry has spent the past 25 years in the media industry serving with companies including: CBS RADIO, CBS Local, Cox Digital Solutions and ABC Radio Networks…..Emmis Communications adds another FM signal to its sports talk radio brand “The Fan” originating from WFNI, Indianapolis.  Translator W298BB at 107.5 FM will begin airing the station, effective March 30.  Emmis says that it is working with the FCC to resolve the interference problem from translator W228CX at 93.5, the signal that’s been the format’s FM presence…..Westwood One EVP of News & Talk Bart Tessler announces that Westwood One News renews some of its key top 10 market client stations and adds a couple more.  The company says it renews with CBS RADIO all-newsers WINS, New York; KYW, Philadelphia; WBZ, Boston; and adds WWJ, Detroit.  Now, also carrying Westwood One News are the Bloomberg major market stations WBBR, New York; WDCH, Washington; WXKS-AM, Boston; and KNEW-AM, San Francisco.  Westwood One News is also airing on SiriusXM’s POTUS and Progress channels.

ObamaCare Overhaul, North Korean Missile Threat, Trump’s Obama Wiretapping Allegations, Ben Carson Speech Flap, New Travel Ban Signed, Sessions-Russia Case, and NBA-NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/6).  The Trump Administration’s and the GOP’s plans to alter the Affordable Care Act; North Korea’s aggressive development of its missile program and the U.S.’ moving forward with installing an anti-missile defense system in South Korea; The Trump Administration’s continuing charge that President Obama ordered the wiretapping of Trump Tower; the reactions to HUD Secretary Ben Carson’s allusion to slaves as immigrants; President Trump signs the new travel order; Attorney General Jeff Sessions statements that he did not mislead the confirmation committee by not disclosing his meetings with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak; and NBA and NHL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  By splitting KDEY-FM, Ontario, California off the simulcast of Los Angeles urban signal KDAY, Meruelo Media re-launches hip hop KDEY-FM as “The New Wild 93.5” in the Riverside-San Bernardino market.  Meruelo Media president and COO Otto Padron says, “This much-awaited Riverside metro launch comes after a long process of engineering, design and market studies.  It adds a key radio asset to our growing portfolio of highly recognized media brands in one of the fastest-growing markets.  The saving and growing of heritage Los Angeles radio station KDAY has been a thrilling, three-year ride – we owe it to our music fans to keep innovating and expanding – Riverside is key.”  Program director Adrian “AD” Scott adds, “Los Angeles loves KDAY – Riverside will love ‘WILD!’  This is the Inland Empire’s new home for hip hop and R&B, listeners in the ‘I.E.’ will know the difference and love the sound that the new ‘Wild 93.5’ brings.”…..Longtime KNCN, Corpus Christi “C101” rock radio personality Dan Rios returns to the iHeartMedia rock station where he had been half of the “2 Guys in the Morning” show with Rex Gabriel from 1996 through 2006, reuniting with Rex for the new “2 Guys” show.  Rios had been hosting afternoons at Withers Family Texas Holdings’ crosstown alternative KYRK “106.5 The Shark.”…..On the heels of Sean McMasters’ recent exit from its Albany country outlet WGNA, Townsquare Media brings market pros Brian Cody and Chrissy Cavotta aboard to host the “Brian and Chrissy” morning drive show.  The pair was most recently at Pamal’s crosstown CHR WFLY…..Entravision Communications chief strategy officer Esteban Lopez Blanco is named the recipient of Borrell Associates’ 2017 Award of Merit for outstanding leadership and innovation in local media.  The award was presented yesterday (3/6) before the more than 300 media executives at Borrell’s 8th annual Local Online Advertising Conference at the Grand Hyatt in Manhattan.  Borrell Associates CEO Gordon Borrell comments, “Esteban is one of those internal guiding forces that any company would be lucky to have.  His work with Entravision’s TV and radio group has made the company a shining example among not only Hispanic media, but all local media, about how to embrace the future and make it their own.”

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

| February 28, 2017

AP Sues Ingraham’s LifeZette Inc. for Non-Payment.  In a suit filed in the District of Columbia Superior Court, the Associated Press has filed suit against the Laura Ingraham-operated LifeZette Inc. alleging the company defaulted on payments for providing it with its news service.  In its suit, the AP documents that LifeZette agreed to pay $4,200 per month for 12 months for a digital current news license.  After not receiving timely payments, AP suspended the service to LifeZette.  LifeZette did remit a payment of $42,611.71 but the check was returned for insufficient funds.  AP is seeking a total of $49,267.39 plus interest from the date of judgement at 18%, as per the contract.

New Shows Hit Air at KTXX, Austin.  There are a few programming changes at Genuine Austin Radio-owned sports talk KTXX “104.9 The Horn.”  Geoff Ketchum returns to the station – he hosted a show there from 2008 through 2012 – to handle the 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm show.  Additonally, weekend shows are joining the program schedule.  Former Longhorns and NFL players Kasey Studdard and Lyle Sandlein are hosting a Saturday morning show called, “The Big Ugly Outdoors.”  Also on Saturdays, the station adds Texas Motor Speedway’s “Total Access” with hosts Rich Phillips and Katie Tull.

10th Annual Hersky Awards.  Today, TALKERS magazine presents the winners of the 10th Annual Hersky Awards, as determined by talk radio sales maven (and H&H Communications president) Al Herskovitz.  Regular TALKERS readers are aware that each year, Herskovitz gives a nod – no statuette – to those broadcasters and advertisers that stand out among the crowd in the world of talk radio advertising.  To read about this year’s winners, click here.

Longtime ABC News Radio Correspondent Bill Diehl Publishes Memoir.  Radio pros who worked at stations that carried ABC News Radio know the name Bill Diehl.  He was a correspondent for the news organization for almost 50 years, covering the world of entertainment and, during that time, interviewed some of the biggest names in showbiz, including Cher, Tom Hanks and Jane Fonda.  Serving as chief entertainment reporter, he also covered all the major awards shows: The Emmys, Grammys, Oscars, and Tonys.  Now, he’s published his memoir titled, Stay Tuned: My Life Behind the Mic.  Diehl says, “I have a great love for covering the world of entertainment, a passion, really.  And while I still periodically contribute celebrity interviews to the ABC News Radio ‘Perspective’ program, those award-show days are getting smaller and smaller in my rearview mirror.  So, I decided to reminisce ‘out loud,’ if you will, sharing favorite remembrances with others through a book that’s filled with photos and excerpts of some of my most memorable interviews – including those with Oscar nominees or Oscar winners I’ve put my mic in front of on a few red carpets over the years.” Check it out at bdiehl.com.

Trump’s Address to Congress, ObamaCare Overhaul, Trump Budget Plan, Trump vs News Media, White House Leaks Crackdown, North Korea Executions, Oscar Snafu, Tourists to Circle Moon, and NBA/NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/27).  The build-up to this evening’s address to Congress by President Donald Trump; the anticipation of an overhaul of the Affordable Care Act by the GOP and the Trump Administration; Trump’s budget plan that includes ramping up military spending by $53 billion; Trump’s ongoing war against the news media, including last week’s exclusion of several news organizations at a press conference; the Trump Administration’s concerns about leaks, including Press Secretary Sean Spicer’s searching of staffers’ phones; the execution of five national security staffers by North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un; the envelope mix-up at Sunday night’s Academy Awards ceremony; Elon Musk’s announcement a couple will take a trip around the moon and back next year; and NBA and NHL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

Jackson Blue Partners with Hannah Byrom for AMs on WKLB, Boston.  Moving over from his afternoon drive show on Beasley Media Group’s urban contemporary WBQT “HOT 96.9” is Jackson Blue, who is joining Hannah Byrom to host the morning show on WKLB “Country 102.5.”  Beasley Boston director of programming Cadillac Jack comments, “I’ve had the pleasure of having a ‘front row seat’ to watch Jackson’s growth over the past 15 years and feel proud to promote such a talented personality from within our Beasley Boston cluster to this key position.  Here’s to the success that Jackson and ‘Country 102.5’ will undoubtedly enjoy for years to come!”

More Music Radio News and Career Moves. Spanish language broadcaster SBS announces that its New York City outlet WSKQ-FM “Mega 97.9” has achieved an historic milestone, claiming the #1 ranking for two major demos — A 18-34, A 18-49 — in Nielsen‘s January PPM survey among all radio stations serving the Tri-State area, regardless of language or format.  SBS says that the recent ratings rank WSKQ-FM as not only the most-listened-to station in the New York metro but as the #1 ranked Latino station in the nation…..In San Diego, Zach Van Lue assumes the afternoon drive daypart at Local Media San Diego’s alternative XETRA “91X.”  Van Lue comes to San Diego from Seattle where he’s been the evening host for the past three years at Entercom’s alternative KNDD “107.7 The End.”…..Cumulus Media and rock WAQX, Syracuse “95X” afternoon air personality Big Smoothie, a.k.a. Jamie Hantke, part ways after an eight-year relationship.  Hantke tells Syracuse.com that the move was not his choice, but refused to elaborate.   The station is also not commenting…..Morning drive personality Sean McMaster announces his exit from Townsquare Media’s country WGNA, Albany.  He posted on Facebook: “Today was my last day at WGNA.  After more than 20 years of sharing my life with the greatest listeners of all time, this even to me, seems to be unbelievable.  I have taken my role as an advocate of my listeners very seriously through the years and I hope that you will all support me in what was the hardest decision I have ever made.”…..In Bend, Oregon, Horizon Broadcasting adds Danni K., a.k.a. Danielle Keys, to the morning show alongside Kit Mann on its hot AC KWPK “The Peak 104.1.”

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

| February 21, 2017

Mary Walter Joins WMAL-AM/FM, Washington’s ‘Mornings On The Mall.’  Radio pro Mary Walter is named the co-host of the “Mornings On The Mall” program on Cumulus Media’s news/talk WMAL-AM/FM, Washington.  Walter is working with co-host Brian Wilson.  She takes over for Larry O’Connor, who recently moved to the afternoon drive daypart.  Walter was most recently with iHeartMedia’s WHAS, Louisville, hosting the evening program.  She’s been a frequent guest host on WMAL in addition to guest host stints on FOX News Radio and SiriusXM’s The Patriot channel.  WMAL program director Bill Hess comments, “Mary’s experience, energy, and familiarity to our audience made her the perfect addition to our team.”

WTMJ, Milwaukee Announces New Midday Show.  The new midday show at E.W. Scripps’ WTMJ, Milwaukee is being unveiled.  The station moved Jeff Wagner to the late morning slot that opened up with the retirement of Charlie Sykes at the end of last year.  Now, taking over the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm slot is the “Scaffidi & Bilstad” show with Steve Scaffidi (center) and executive producer Erik Bilstad (left).  Scaffidi was most recently mayor of suburban Oak Creek and an account executive at the Leonard & Finco Public Relations firm.  He’s resigned from both posts to join WTMJ.  Station VP/GM Tom Langmyer states, “We’re pleased to welcome Steve to our team. He brings a great depth of knowledge and local connection to add to his take on the news of the day.  Steve is a Wisconsin native, has a deep background and so much life experience, beyond broadcasting.”  News anchor and reporter Colleen Boland (right) will man the newsroom during the program.  The show debuts on February 28.

ABC News Radio Makes Staffing Changes; Gearing Towards Covering Breaking News.  An ABC News Radio spokesperson tells TALKERS magazine that the news organization is making staffing changes that signal a shift from putting its primary resources into newscasts and focusing more intently on the coverage of breaking news, “reflecting immediacy and producing additional program content” for their approximately 1,575 affiliates.  ABC News Radio says it has parted ways with a handful of employees but is in the process of hiring for a number of positions that will exceed those eliminated.  Those include: Affiliate Solutions Manager, Associate Producer, Country Reporter/Producer, Urban Reporter/Producer, and WGA Newswriter/Producer.  An ABC News Radio spokesperson tells TALKERS, “These changes allow ABC News Radio to provide more two-ways, breaking news and anchored coverage which have become more important to stations.  It is never easy when fellow employees leave and we wish the very best to these colleagues.  The media landscape is always evolving and it’s critical we’re meeting stations’ needs every step of the way.”

Erik Kuselias to Host Daily Talk Show on Genesis Communications Florida Talk Stations.  Known primarily for his work in the sports media business, Erik Kuselias is expanding his reach in Florida by hosting a daily, two-hour talk show on Genesis Communications-owned news/talk outlets WWBA, Tampa and WIXC, Titusville (on the Space Coast).  Kuselias – a former ESPN and NBC Sports personality – currently hosts a morning drive sports talk show on the company’s sports talk duo WHBO, Tampa and WHOO, Orlando.  He’s continuing in that role in addition to the new program that airs from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm.  WWBA program manager Tom Paleveda states, “This is a natural progression for EK.  We launched EK on the sports stations in both Tampa and Orlando last year.  He is incredibly talented and will produce one of talk radio’s best programs.  He will also continue to provide his brand of content on the company digital platforms, ‘News Talk Florida’ and ‘Sports Talk Florida.’”

Bubba the Love Sponge Files New Counterclaim Against Nielsen.  The first time Bubba the Love Sponge filed a counterclaim against Nielsen, the court denied the motion ruling that it was difficult to discern the relevant facts due to the heavily redacted documents supplied by plaintiff Nielsen.  That counterclaim included third parties Cox Media Group and CMG employee (and WHPT, Tampa personality) Mike Calta.  But the denial was without prejudice, allowing Bubba’s lawyers to try again.  And he has, this time leaving Cox and Calta out of the counterclaim.  The counterclaim still alleges Nielsen entered into a conspiracy with Cox Media Group to get Bubba off the air in Tampa and interfere with his ability to do business with Beasley Media Group (owner of Tampa affiliate WBRN).  The specific counterclaims are: Tortious Interference with Contractual and Business Relationships, Violation of the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act, and Civil Conspiracy.

KFYO, Lubbock, Texas Names Dave King & Matt Martin Morning Hosts.  Friday (2/17) was the last day for the “First News with Tom Collins and Laura Mac” on Townsquare Media’s news/talk KFYO, Lubbock, Texas.  Assuming the morning show role are Dave King (right) and Matt Martin (left).  The station says, “Both Dave and Matt are easy going, view the world from a conservative viewpoint, and want to interact with KFYO listeners.  King is owner of Dave King Advertising in Lubbock.  Matt Martin is a realtor with The Wyatt Team at Keller Williams.

Neuhoff Ups Byerly to DOS and Associate GM for Decatur Station Group.  Moving up from her general sales manager position at Neuhoff Communications’ Decatur, Illinois cluster is Kathy Byerly.  She’s now director of sales and associate general manager for the group that includes news/talk WSOY, sports talk WDZ, hip hop WCZQ “HOT 105.5,” CHR WSOY-FM “Y103,” and country WDZQ “95Q.”  Neuhoff COO Mike Hulvey states, “Kathy is a wonderful success story.  She has grown a career from the front desk to market leadership.  You can’t get much better than that.  The group of Decatur stations and digital products are not only the market leaders, they also have been recognized among the best in the industry.  Kathy will help support those traditions while driving more business to our advertising partners.”

Hanging Out at the Club.  Nationally syndicated Westwood One talk host Michael Savage and his son, Rockstar energy drink founder Russ Weiner, crossed paths with President Donald Trump at the chief executive’s famous Palm Beach, Florida private club, Mar-a-Lago, this weekend.  They were attending a dinner hosted by Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy when the president stopped by to say hello.  Pictured (l-r): Ruddy, Trump, Savage, and Weiner.

Limbaugh-Touted Book Debuts at #6 on NYT Bestseller List. The latest book by conservative writer David HorowitzBig Agenda: President Trump’s Plan to Save America – debuted on the New York Times Bestseller list at #6 in the hardcover nonfiction books and e-book/hardcover nonfiction categories.  Newsmax reports that the book was released the week of President Trump’s inauguration and is being praised by Rush Limbaugh, among other conservative media figures, for its predictions about Trump’s agenda.  Horowitz is founder of the David Horowitz Freedom Center.

New Trump Travel Order, McMaster Named National Security Advisor, Trump’s Sweden Comment, McCain vs Trump, UK’s Anti-Trump Debate, Uber Sexual Harassment Scandal, Yiannopoulos Controversies, and NBA-NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/20).  The Trump Administration issues new travel order exempting green card holders; President Donald Trump names Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster national security advisor; the controversy over Trump’s allusion to crime in Sweden and filmmaker Ami Horowitz’s allegations that violent crime there has spiked due to immigrants; Republican Senator John McCain’s role as a major critic of Trump’s policies; the British House of Commons debates denying President Trump’s state visit; the allegations of sexual harassment at Uber’s corporate headquarters and the company’s hiring former AG Eric Holder to investigate; the controversies surrounding media figure Milo Yiannopoulos, including his being uninvited to CPAC and Simon and Schuster refusing to release his book; and NBA and NHL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS News Notes.  Phoenix market broadcast legend Pat McMahon is being roasted on March 15 at local comedy club Stand Up Live in an event being organized by Bonneville news/talk outlet KTAR-FM.  The “Tip of the Hat to Pat” roast is being hosted by KNIX personality Tim Hattrick and will feature rock legend Alice Cooper, as well as local celebrities Jude LaCava from Fox 10, John Holmberg from KUPD, authors Jana Bommersbach and Rita Davenport and former ADL director Bill Straus.  McMahon says, “I’m feeling both honored and terrified at the prospect of this event.  But you can be sure that I’ll be able to dish it out, just as well as I can take it.”…..New York Mets flagship station WOR, New York announces it will air play-by-play for 15 spring training games, beginning on February 24 when the Mets take on the Boston Red Sox…..The New York Times recently published a feature story about Premiere Networks host George Noory.  In the piece, the “Coast to Coast AM” host discusses how “Coast to Coast AM” has evolved over the years, his open approach to stories and topics, and his relationship with his audience.  Read the story here.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  At the Atlanta cluster of Cox Media Group, Jaleigh Long is promoted to director of sales.  She moves up from her general sales manager role.  She’ll oversee the sales efforts for news/talk WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, CHR WSB-FM “B98.5,” classic hits WSRV “97.1 The River,” urban contemporary WALR “Kiss 104.1 FM,” and country simulcast WNGC/WTSH “Your Georgia Country.”…..At Mid-West Family Broadcasting’s rock WXRX, Rockford, Illinois “104.9 The X,” Zander – who’s been morning host and PD since joining the station in August of last year – moves to the afternoon drive slot.  At the same time, Lori joins the station from crosstown competitor WKGL “96.7 The Eagle.”…..In the Lexington, Kentucky market, iHeartMedia drops sports talk on the simulcast of WWTF-AM and translator W239DJ at 97.7 FM and flips it to rock as “WTF 97.7 Lexington’s Rock Alternative.”  Air personalities include Aly, Big Rig, Audrey, and Shroom…..Binnie Media says good bye to classic music on its WBQX, Thomaston, Maine and translator W245AA, Portland at 96.9 FM.  WBQX takes on the classic hits format “FRANK FM” while the translator is simulcasting country station WTHT, Auburn “99.9 The Wolf.”

iHeartRadio Music Awards Announces Best New Artist Nominees.  When the 2017 iHeartRadio Music Awards take place on Sunday, March 5 at the Forum in Los Angeles, one of the awards to be given will be the Best New Artist.  The ultimate winner will be chosen by fans from all categories of popular music.  The first step was naming the nominees in each category.  Now, the finalists have been named.  They are: Best New Rock/Alternative Rock Artist: The Strumbellas; Best New Country Artist: Kelsea Ballerini; Best New Hip-Hop Artist: Chance the Rapper; Best New Latin Artist: CNCO; Best New Regional Mexican Artist: Joss Favela; Best New Pop Artist: The Chainsmokers; and Best New R&B Artist: Bryson Tiller. The awards show will be televised live on TBS, TNT and truTV at 8:00 pm ET and simulcast on iHeartMedia radio stations nationwide, as well as on iHeartRadio.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

| February 16, 2017

CBS Reports Q4 2016 and Full-Year Financials; CBS Presented as Discontinued Operation.  The latter is due to the pending merger of CBS Radio with Entercom and it means that CBS did not present any revenue information or operating income metrics for the radio division.  Here’s what the company has to say about the Entercom deal: “In connection with the transaction, which is expected to be tax-free to CBS Corporation and its stockholders, the Company intends to split-off CBS Radio through an exchange offer immediately prior to the merger.  The merger will create a well-capitalized company with a market cap in excess of $2 billion, a strong balance sheet, significant free cash flow, and the ability to pay an attractive dividend.  The combined company is expected to generate meaningful cost synergies within 12-18 months after the merger.  The Company expects to complete the transaction in the second half of 2017, subject to customary closing conditions.”  In a press statement, CBS Corporation chairman and CEO Les Moonves states, “2016 was a phenomenal year for the CBS Corporation, with all-time highs in revenue, operating income, and EPS [earnings per share] that came in above $4 for the first time in our Company’s history; and as we begin 2017, I couldn’t be more excited about our growth prospects in the years ahead.”  During yesterday’s investor conference call, COO Joseph Ianniello addressed the radio deal, saying, “CBS shareholders who participate in this split-off will own 72% of the combined company which will have best-in-class assets and will clearly be the best capitalized radio company in the industry.  The combined radio business will benefit from increased scale, stronger cash flow and real operational synergies which should drive higher profitability.  The new company will also have the ability to pay an attractive dividend.”

Cumulus Extends Early Tender Date for Note Exchange.  This is the third extension of Cumulus Media Inc’s offer for its previously announced private exchange offer for 7.75% Senior Notes due 2019 issued by Cumulus Media Holdings Inc.  Obviously not satisfied with the number of takers, the company is extending the early tender date to March 6 (5:00 pm ET).  The company explains that “Eligible Holders tendering their Outstanding Notes prior to the Early Tender Date, as extended that are accepted for exchange, will receive the ‘Total Exchange Consideration.’”  That exchange includes “revolving loans, the participation interests, the trust certificates and the shares of Class A common stock (or warrants, if applicable), Class D common stock and Class E common stock.”

TALKERS Editorial Board Tackling Freedom of Speech Award Decision.  The TALKERS magazine editorial board has begun the sensitive and often-controversial task of deciding its annual roster of major award recipients in the categories of “Lifetime Achievement,” “Woman of the Year,”  “Humanitarian of the Year,” and “Freedom of Speech” – the latter being the most potentially contentious of all – especially in today’s highly charged, politically polarized news/talk environment.  In his weekly address to the editors, TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison stated, “This award is always a sensitive issue because freedom of speech is one of the most difficult concepts to explain and the award is doubly difficult to defend – especially when a significant percentage of people immediately assume that the organization presenting the honor necessarily endorses the political position of the recipient.”  Harrison continued, “TALKERS has a distinguished history of non-partisanship in its editorial coverage of political news/talk media and this has been reflected in the diversity of positions held by the recipients of this prestigious award over the decades.  The award is not a reward for saying something ‘controversial’ with which we necessarily agree but, rather, for conducting oneself as a broadcaster in a manner that clearly displays the tenets of the First Amendment in action, as well as showing the courage of one’s convictions in facing the negative blowback and consequences of one’s public stance.”  Harrison cited Premiere NetworksSean Hannity, Salem Radio Network’s Michael Medved and former WTMJ, Milwaukee host Charlie Sykes among worthy candidates to be considered for this year’s honor, stating, “Hannity showed amazing courage coming out early and unswervingly for Donald Trump when it was not clear which way his core audience would swing and what the outcome of the primary and general election would be.  Medved, also a conservative, came out early against Trump and then stuck to his guns as an objective observer of the candidate and now-president’s pros and cons as he sees them – even against negative criticism from his listeners and even members of his own syndication company.  Sykes actually let his cool job in Milwaukee slide away rather than back down from his perception of the truth.”  Harrison concluded, “And there are many more examples of news/talk hosts having to take a principled stand with uncertain consequences as a result of this turbulent but exciting chapter of talk radio history in the making.”   The TALKERS awards will be presented on Friday, June 2 at Talkers 2017: A New Era in New York City.  For information about the 20th annual installment of the talk industry’s longest running and most important national convention, please click here.

TALKERS News Notes.  Beginning with this year’s 2017 NFL season, Washington Redskins football play-by-play (including some pre- and post-game programming) will be heard on Cumulus Media’s WMAL-AM/FM, Washington.  The games will continue to air on Red Zebra properties WTEM, Washington “ESPN980”; WWXT, Prince Frederick, Maryland; and WWXX, Buckland, Virginia.  This is a homecoming of sorts for Redskins football; the team’s games have aired on WMAL-AM from time-to-time as far back as 1942.  WMAL-AM/FM vice president and GM Jake McCann comments, “We are excited and honored to be working with the Redskins again.  The Redskins and WMAL were partners during the team’s three glorious Super Bowl-winning seasons.  We look forward to bringing the combined assets of WMAL to this exciting, renewed partnership.”…..NBA All-Star 2017 begins today and SiriusXM is offering coverage with special, live programming from New Orleans on its NBA Radio channel, in addition to the live broadcast of the 66th NBA All-Star Game.  Coverage will be hosted by Milwaukee Bucks guard Jason Terry, former players Eddie Johnson and Tim Legler, as well as Frank Isola, Jason Jackson, Joel Meyers, Justin Termine and Brian Geltzeiler…..The Forbes on PodcastOne network premieres “The Forbes List” today (2/16), featuring an in-depth look at the world’s top billionaires.  The show – hosted by Jordan Harbinger dives into the stories behind Forbes’ most famous lists, including the Forbes 400 list featuring the wealthiest Americans, as well as lists covering celebrities, music, sports, entrepreneurs, companies and the world’s most powerful people.  PodcastOne founder and executive chairman Norm Pattiz comments, “This makes our third launch of a new Forbes podcast and points out the strong relationship between Forbes and PodcastOne.  Jordan Harbinger has hosted “Art of Charm,” which consistently ranks in iTunes’ top 10.  This provides a combination that’s tough to beat.”

Violent Tragedy Strikes Dominican Radio Station.  Two radio journalists were shot dead and a third staffer was seriously wounded in a raid on a radio station in the Dominican Republic on Tuesday.  Numerous news outlets are reporting that news presenter Luis Manuel Medina and station director Leonidas Martinez were killed when unidentified men entered the station and shot Medina while he read a newscast and Martinez as he sat in his office.  Medina was streaming his newscast live on Facebook at the time of the attack.   It took place at radio station 103.5 FM in San Pedro de Macoris, a town near Santo Domingo.  The AFP reports that the organization Reporters without Borders states that journalists that investigate corruption and the drug business are often the victims of violent attacks.

Sports, Music, Politics and Talk Media.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison is joined in a free-wheeling dialogue by his long-time friend, New York City radio broadcaster Richard Neer as his guest on this week’s installment of the award-winning PodcastOne series “Up Close and Far Out.”  The two talk about the public’s and media’s obsession with Donald Trump, with an emphasis on the infiltration of sports and entertainment by political passions.  Richard Neer brings his diverse background as a legendary Big Apple music radio host (WNEW-FM), sports talker (WFAN) and best-selling author of the landmark book FM: The Rise and Fall of Rock Radio (Villard, 2001) to the discussion which focuses on the rapid morphing of the traditional left/right talk media paradigm into a more complex resistance/revolution chess game.  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Trump Campaign Russia Communications/Flynn Exit, Puzder Withdraws From Labor Secretary Nomination, Reince Preibus’ Status, Trump vs Intelligence Community, Fate of ObamaCare, and NBA-NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/15).  The controversy over the resignation of National Security Advisor Michael T. Flynn and questions about the depth of communications between the Donald Trump campaign and Russian agents; Labor Secretary nominee Andrew Puzder withdraws from consideration for the cabinet position; questions about the status of White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus after unconfirmed reports President Trump is unhappy with his work; the contentious relationship between Trump and the intelligence community; the fate of the Affordable Care Act after Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini told the Wall Street Journal the program is in a “death spiral”; and NBA and NHL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  The performer and host lineups have been announced for the March 5 iHeartRadio Music Awards taking place at the Forum in Los Angeles.  The evening will be hosted by Ryan Seacrest and will air live on TBS, TNT and truTV at 8:00 pm ET will be broadcast on iHeartMedia-owned stations nationwide, as well as on the iHeartRadio.  Performers will include: Katy Perry, Ed Sheeran, The Chainsmokers, Shawn Mendes, Thomas Rhett, Noah Cyrus and Big Sean, in addition to the previously announced Bruno Mars…..Entercom San Diego is expanding the platform for its culinary audio feature, “Lick the Plate,” which has been airing on alternative KBZT “FM94/9,” adult contemporary KXSN “Sunny 98.1,” and country KSON.  The David Boylan-hosted program will now be available in podcast format via the stations’ websites.  The radio stations will continue to promote the show via on-air teaser segments.  These changes take effect on February 27…..Radio programming for the 52nd Academy of Country Music Awards from Westwood One is being announced.  Westwood One and Cumulus Media are the official national radio partners for the ACM Awards.  There will be a three-hour ACM Nomination Special, hosted by Thomas Rhett, on March 25 from 9:00 pm to 12:00 midnight as part of “NASH Nights Live.”  The ACM Radio Row will take place on Friday, March 31 from 12:00 noon to 4:00 pm ET and Saturday, April 1 from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm ET.  Then, the five-hour ACM Night Of Event Coverage will happen on Sunday, April 2 from 7:00 pm to 12:00 midnight…..Beasley Media Group’s adult hits WBEN-FM, Philadelphia is announcing a new weekend program featuring Kathy Romano.  The show is titled, “Her Story,” and will air Sundays at 7:30 am.  Romano – who works for sister rock station WMMR as part of the “Preston & Steve” show – says, “I’m thrilled to be the host of ‘Her Story’ on 95.7 BEN FM!  This is giving me the opportunity for some girl talk that just doesn’t make sense on WMMR’s ‘Preston & Steve’ show.  There are so many amazing women with fascinating stories that we just don’t get to hear.  Every Sunday morning I’m going to bring listeners the great stories these dynamic women have to tell!”…..Radio One hip hop outlet WKYS, Washington announces that Danni Starr is joining “The Fam in The Morning” as co-host alongside QuickSilva.  Radio One DC SVP and general manager Jeff Wilson comments, “Danni is the full package.  She’s amazingly smart, well versed in music and community activism.  Danni is authentic and transparent about her struggles and victories.  That kind of energy and wit will serve our listeners well on-air, in social media and on the street.”  Starr has worked in radio for more than a decade and is the face of TLCme on the TLC network.

Midland Pays Valentine’s Day Visit to NASH Campus.  New country act and Big Machine recording group Midland is pictured here with “NASH Nights Live” co-hosts Elaina Smith (second from left) and Shawn Parr (second from right).

PPM Analysis: Country.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his analysis of the ratings performances of country-formatted stations based on Nielsen Audio’s Holiday 2016 PPM survey.  In this report, see charts detailing country stations’ (6+) numbers over the past six PPM surveys, fluctuations from December to the Holiday survey, comparisons to performances in the Holiday 2015 and Holiday 2016 surveys, station market ranks and more.  Click here for more.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

| February 14, 2017

Alpha Media to Buy WFTL and WMEN in Palm Beaches.  This deal brings two spoken-word formatted AMs into Alpha Media’s West Palm Beach station group, joining current holdings adult contemporary WEAT “Sunny 107.9” and hot AC WRMF.  News/talk WFTL, West Palm Beach and sports talk WMEN, Royal Palm Beach are being sold by Mark Jorgenson’s ACM JCE IV B, LLC to Alpha for $ 2 million.  Jorgenson’s firm acquired the stations from James Crystal in a 2015 bankruptcy auction.  Alpha begins operating the two stations under an LMA until closing.

Westwood One and Entercom Partner to Syndicate ‘Beyond Reality Radio.’  Last August, Entercom launched the “Beyond Reality Radio” program across a number of its news/talk stations.  Now, the company is partnering with Westwood One to put the program into national syndication.  “Beyond Reality Radio” airs weeknights live from 12:00 midnight to 2:00 am ET and is co-hosted by Jason Hawes, co-founder of The Atlantic Paranormal Society and the creator and star of Syfy’s hit “Ghost Hunters,” and JV Johnson, a long-time paranormal investigator and former publisher and editor of TAPS’ ParaMagazine.  Entercom stations airing the show include: KJCE, Austin; WRKO, Boston; WBEN, Buffalo; KEZW, Denver; WSKY, Gainesville; WYRD, Greenville; WBZU/WKZN/WILK, Wilkes-Barre; KMBZ, Kansas City; WWL, New Orleans; WBT, Charlotte; and KNSS, Wichita.  Westwood One will roll out syndication to stations nationwide and represent ad sales as it launches on March 6.

TALKERS News Notes. In the Triangle market, Capitol Broadcasting’s sports talk WCMC, Raleigh “99.9 The Fan” and its affiliate digital platform WRALsportsfan.com partners with contributor Lauren Brownlow to present a special, eight-episode podcast investigating the “supernatural history” of North Carolina State University and the legendary “curse” that haunts Wolfpack Nation.  Brownlow says, “Growing up in North Carolina and covering the area teams for over a decade, I’ve long been fascinated with the dedication of NC State fans in spite of a recent string of bad luck, which contrasts sharply with a rich and successful overall athletic history.  When I learned about the recently conceived concept of ‘NC State Stuff – What can go wrong for NC State will go wrong,’ and that it had a name, I knew I had to learn more about it. I’ve never believed in it, but I kept an open mind going into this podcast and wanted to figure out, once and for all, if there’s anything to it.”…..Entertainment consulting firm Paragon Media Strategies names Michelle Conrad as social+mobile+digital consultant.  Paragon CEO Mike Henry said, “It’s great to add a true Millennial to Paragon’s consulting ranks.  Michelle Conrad is a native digital user and lifelong social media explorer.  Michelle brings hands-on experience working with entertainment brands, including ABC, Nickelodeon and GoPro.  She is uniquely suited to ensure that the social, mobile and digital experience is completely in synch with the overall brand experience.”…..Westwood One reports the results of a Nielsen study it commissioned to examine the return on investment for advertisers using WW1’s coverage of NFL football and NCAA basketball play-by-play.  WW1 says some of the key findings of the study include that, 1) radio elevated key brand perceptions.  For example, those exposed to Westwood One’s NCAA basketball audio were 37% more likely to indicate the motorcycle manufacturer was the brand for people like them versus those who were not exposed to the campaign; 2) the radio campaign had significant advertiser recall among key demographics for the brand.  Among those who have ever owned a motorcycle, those exposed to Westwood One’s NCAA basketball audio were 72% more likely to recall the brand’s ads; and 3) radio had a stunning impact on every stage of the purchase funnel, including purchase intent: Compared to those who had not heard the campaign, those exposed to the radio campaign had a 63% increase in plans to purchase the brand.  See more of the results in WW1 chief insights officer Pierre Bouvard’s blog post here…..The Radio Advertising Bureau names 17-year RAB staffer Tiffiney Wyatt to the newly created position, business development & insights associate.  At the same time, joining the membership team at the RAB is Rita Landells.

Trump’s Travel Ban Battle, North Korea Missile Incident/Trump Security Questions, Michael Flynn Under Fire-Resignation, California Dam Concerns, ‘SNL’ Trump Sketches, Tumultuous GOP Town Halls, and Sunday’s Grammy Awards Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/13).  The court battles over his original travel ban and potential new executive travel orders from President Donald Trump and related protests over his perceived anti-immigration stance; North Korea’s weekend test of an ICBM and related questions about presidential and national security after Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe learned of and discussed the matter in the Mar-A-Lago dining room; National Security Advisor Michael T. Flynn resigns after ongoing questions about his improper communications with Russian diplomats; the status of a Northern California dam spillway as it threatens the residences of some 200,000 evacuees; the flap over the series of Trump Administration spoofs aired on “Saturday Night Live”; the raucous town hall receptions some GOP lawmakers are receiving in their districts; and Sunday night’s Grammy Awards were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Music radio pro Zakk Babb stays in the Entercom family in his new position as afternoon drive personality and imaging director for CHR WZPL, Indianapolis.  Babb has been hosting evenings at Entercom’s hot AC WSTR, Atlanta “Star 94.1” – a position he’ll continue to hold as he’ll voice track the show from Indy…..Due to his ongoing cancer treatment, John Thomas is stepping away from his SVP of programming role at iHeartMedia’s Springfield, Massachusetts cluster in which he oversees programming at news/talk WHYN-AM, hot AC WHYN-FM, and country WRNX.  In a Facebook post, Thomas writes, “After a lot of prayer, weighing the pros & cons and deep soul-searching – I’ve decided to resign from my position @ iHeart in order to FOCUS 100% on my HEALTH! Over the course of the next several weeks – I’ll be transitioning in order to put myself in the BEST possible position to benefit from the clinical trial that I started a few weeks back.”…..Cumulus Media announces that the nationally syndicated Kidd Kraddick show – starring Kellie Rasberry, Big Al Mack, J-Si Chavez and Jenna Owens – is the new morning program on its CHR KBIU, Lake Charles “HOT 103.3.”…..In the Lafayette, Louisiana market, programming pro Tyrone Davis exits Delta Media’s urban contemporary KFXZ “Z105.9” where he’d been serving as program director and music director.  His duties will be assumed by operations manager Erik Tobias.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

| February 7, 2017

CBS Radio Signs Jim Rome to Multi-Year Extension.  Sports talk personality Jim Rome and CBS Radio have come to terms on a new, multi-year deal.  Rome jumped from Premiere Networks back in January of 2013 to be one of the lead talents on the then-new CBS Sports Radio network.  CBS Radio EVP of programming Chris Oliviero says Rome was a key ingredient, “The Jim Rome show was the critical building block in the successful launch of CBS Sports Radio four years ago and brought immediate star power and credibility to the network.  We now look forward to writing the next chapter together in the storied history of Jim’s show, which has been and continues to be the standard by which all nationally syndicated sports shows are judged.”  As part of the deal, a one-hour highlight podcast of Rome’s show will continue to be available via CBS’ Play.it network.  He’ll also continue to anchor three editions of the early afternoon broadcast of the network’s flagship feature, the “CBS Sports Minute.”

Philly Sports Talker Signs with WIP-FM.  When Philadelphia sports talk radio personality Jon Marks exited Beasley’s crosstown WPEN-AM/FM after 10 years with the station last fall, there was speculation he would land at CBS Radio’s “SportsRadio 94WIP.”  Now, that’s a reality as Marks assumes the 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm air shift beginning this evening (2/7).  Additionally, Marks will anchor weekday Phillies pre-game and post-game coverage, provide content for CBSPhilly.com and contribute to WIP’s daytime lineup.  WIP-FM program director Spike Eskin comments, “Jon’s talent, relationship to Philadelphia sports fans, and history in the marketplace will be a huge addition to WIP.  We’re thrilled to have him aboard.”  Brian Haddad, who was hosting the evening show, remains with WIP-FM as creative services director.

SRN’s Hugh Hewitt Joins Washington Post as Columnist.  Conservative media figure Hugh Hewitt adds another gig – and media outlet – to his resume.  The Salem Radio Network talk host is signing on with The Washington Post as a regular opinion columnist.  In addition to his daily morning drive show on Salem Radio Network, Hewitt is a regular panelist on “Meet the Press,” is a contributor to NBC News, and teaches constitutional law at Chapman University Law School.  WaPo editorial page editor Fred Hiatt comments, “Hugh is one of the most influential and intelligent conservatives in political media, simultaneously thoughtful and provocative.  It’s essential to us that we offer readers a range of views, and we’re thrilled that Hugh has agreed to join our diverse team.”

KABC, Los Angeles Adds Tweeden to ‘McIntyre in the Morning’ Show.  Radio and television personality Leeann Tweeden was previously heard in the Los Angeles market at iHeartMedia’s sports talk KLAC “AM570 LA Sports” as one half of the “Roggin & Tweeden” show.  Now, she joins Cumulus Media’s news/talk KABC as news anchor for the “McIntyre in the Morning” show.  KABC operations director Drew Hayes states, “We are delighted to have Leeann sign on as the newest addition to the KABC on-air team.  She is not only a bright, high energy, and plugged-in broadcaster, she brings a broad reservoir of life experiences.  Leeann is a perfect fit for ‘McIntyre in the Morning’ and the big-personality lineup of News. Talk. Evolved. 790 KABC.”  Tweeden’s resume includes time spent as co-host of “UFC Tonight on FOX Sports” and FSN’s “The Best Damn Sports Show Period.”  Currently, she makes appearances presenting social and political commentary on FOX News’ “Hannity,” HLN’s “Dr. Drew,” and FOX News’ “Red Eye.”

Comrex to Unveil New Portable Audio IP Codec at NAB 2017.  This new portable audio IP codec is called the ACCESS NX, and it’s the latest version available from audio IP transmission leader Comrex.  This new unit (pictured at right), builds on the 10-year legacy of the ACCESS Portable.  However, this unit adds an audio channel, a larger touch screen, and a digital mixing stage.  The five-inch, capacitive touch screen doesn’t require a stylus, which simplifies set up and operation.  The ACCESS NX includes a dedicated stereo line input, in addition to a pair of XLR switchable audio inputs.  ACCESS NX is compatible with an ACCESS clip-on channel mixer (also pictured at right), a new accessory which adds four mic/line inputs and headphone outputs.  Comrex says that the new unit includes CrossLock, the company’s custom reliability layer that enables both powerful error correction and network bonding.  CrossLock intelligently monitors network connections and adjusts data allotment in real-time.  The features on the ACCESS NX include: Two USB jacks for 3G/4G and Wi-Fi connectivity, Ethernet port, and compatibility with POTS modem (sold separately); two stereo headphone outputs (¼” jacks) with individual controls; digital mixing and headphone busses; digital peak limiting; field-changeable internal lithium battery with built-in charger (5 hours of power); and serial data and four contact closures.   Comrex notes that the ACCESS has enabled broadcasters to transmit live programming from war zones, airplanes, bicycles, protests, and natural disasters – “its uniquely portable design has allowed for truly creative programming.”

TALKERS News Notes.  WRKO, Boston morning drive personality Doug “VB” Goudie has published a new historical book titled, ACK in Ashes: Nantucket’s Great Fire of 1846.  Goudie co-hosts the “Boston.com Morning Show” on the Entercom news/talk outlet with Kim Carrigan.  The book tells the story of the July 13, 1846 fire on the island of Nantucket and the challenges the whaling town faced rebuilding after the devastation…..iHeartMedia and partner Advertising Age launch their “Tagline” podcast with season one presenting sponsor Bulleit Frontier Whiskey on board.  iHM says, “As the presenting sponsor of “Tagline” season one, Bulleit Frontier Whiskey will work with AdAge and iHeartMedia to craft stories and experiences centered around the cultural frontier.  Bulleit and its family of high-rye, award-winning variants will provide inspired cocktails to ‘Tagline’ guests throughout the season and will work with award-winning mixologists to curate cocktails based on each episode’s discussion topic.  The premier episode features Jeff Bell, 2013 World Class American Bartender of the Year…..ABC News Radio is presenting a special series titled, “America’s Fentanyl Crisis,” in which senior justice correspondent Pierre Thomas reports on the crisis from New England, ground zero of the Fentanyl epidemic.  Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic pain killer that has become a popular street drug.  During this five-part investigation, Thomas goes inside a Drug Enforcement Administration drug lab, participates in law enforcement ride-alongs, and meets with survivors struggling to stay clean.

Travel Ban Court Battle, DeVos Education Secretary Nomination, O’Reilly vs Putin, Iran Missile Test, Melissa McCarthy’s Sean Spicer Spoof, and Patriots Win Super Bowl LI Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/6).  The looming court battle over President Donald Trump’s order stopping travel from seven predominantly Muslim nations; the slim margin of support for Michigan billionaire Betsy DeVos for Education Secretary; the Kremlin’s request for an apology from FOX News for Bill O’Reilly’s calling Vladimir Putin a killer; Iran’s bluster over its recent missile tests and the Trump Administration’s putting it “on notice”; the flap over Melissa McCarthy’s “SNL” performance as Press Secretary Sean Spicer; and the New England Patriots’ comeback win over the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  At country WUBL, Atlanta “94.9 The Bull,” iHeartMedia names Jeremy “Otis” Maher afternoon drive personality and music director.  Otis is psyched about his new gig.  He says, “I am so excited to join Brian Michel and the iHeartMedia team on one of the biggest country stations in the nation!  I can’t wait to bring a high-energy, ultra-interactive show to The Bull’s listeners.”  Most recently, Otis worked as the program director and afternoon host at Alpha Media’s CHR WDJX, Louisville “99.7 DJX.”…..In Colorado Springs, Aaron Zytle exits the program director and afternoon drive personality roles at Bahakel Communications’ KRXP “The Alternative RXP @ 103.9.”…..The weekly, San Diego market Bob Marley program “Brunch With Bob and Friends” is now being heard on alternative XETRA “91X.”  The show has been produced in San Diego for the past 13 years and launched on “91X’ on Sunday – what would have been Markey’s 72nd birthday.  The show (airing Sundays from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon) is hosted by “91X” morning personality Tommy Hough, who created the program in 2004…..CBS Radio CHR WBBM-FM, Chicago “B96” is presenting the “Lectric Leprechaun” EDM show on March 15 at the Aragon Ballroom.  The concert will feature Steve Aoki, Krewella, Cash Cash, and Grandtheft…..Beginning Thursday (2/9), Cumulus Media and Westwood One begin presenting an array of special programming, exclusive brand activations, and backstage performances in celebration of the 59th Annual GRAMMY Awards.  The Westwood One Backstage Live at the GRAMMYS weekend will include live performances from Columbia recording artist and multiple GRAMMY Award-winners Train, Republic recording artist Marian Hill, and Hollywood Records recording artist Ocean Park Standoff. The events take place at the Staples Center in Los Angeles Thursday from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm ET and Friday from 3:00 pm to 9:00 pm PT.  More than 25 radio stations and Westwood One’s nationally syndicated Zach Sang and Adam Bomb shows will be backstage to capture the action as it happens…..The annual Super Bowl-related battle between Dick Broadcasting air personalities got even crazier this year.  Each year WKZL, Greensboro personality (and operations manager) Jason Goodman, a.k.a. “The Littlest Patriot” and WKRR, Greensboro personality Chris Kelly (half of the syndicated “2 Guys Named Chris” program)  compete to see whose home will host the biggest and greatest Big Game party.  Both jocks spent a small fortune trying to outdo each other. (Check out the billboard Goodman rented to park outside the WKRR studios!)  Goodman’s party featured door prizes and Oscar-worthy gift bags, while Kelly invested heavily in a state-of-the-art, surround-sound system.  The goal: Win the contest by having more friends and co-workers over than your opponent, thus proving Party Superiority!  Goodman was declared winner by acclamation…..The WNNX, Atlanta morning show “Bailey and Southside” is running the “Sucks for Bucks” promotion all this month.  The contest is simple: When listeners hear a cast member – Jason Bailey, Southside Steve, Brandi Britain or Digi-Dude Nate – on the show sucking (as in performing poorly), they phone in and call them out on it.  If a majority of the cast agrees with the caller, the caller wins $100.  WNNX says it has allocated “thousands of dollars” for this month-long promotion.

‘REAL 92.3’ Los Angeles Promotes DJ Carisma to Music Director.  Los Angeles DJ and mixer DJ Carisma has been with iHeartMedia’s hip hop KRRL “REAL 92.3” since 2015, serving as live DJ/mixer in afternoon drive and as part of the Saturday night “Young California Radio” collaboration with DJ Amen and Dre Sinatra.  Now, she’s been upped to music director and mix show coordinator.  She says, “I feel like I was born to be a part of the radio world, and the ‘REAL 92.3’ brand is the perfect fit for me.  I’m proud of my radio industry track record, and my promotion to music director is mind blowing.  I can’t wait to continue to better serve this station and community by doing what I love.”

PPM Analysis: Hot AC.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of hot AC-formatted stations based on the Holiday 2016 PPM survey from Nielsen Audio.  In this report, you can see the (6+) ratings battles between in-market competitors, how stations compared to their performances in the December PPM survey, as well as how they performed compared to the Holiday 2015 PPM survey.  See it all here.

Friday, February 3, 2017

| February 3, 2017

Profile: FOX Sports’ Colin Cowherd.  Seventeen months into his deal with FOX Sports – one that puts him on television, in national radio syndication and makes him part-owner of his own content – Colin Cowherd speaks with TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian in  a profile published today (2/3).  Cowherd tells Kinosian that the change from ESPN to FOX Sports was moving from “one great company to another.” But he’s happier with the vibe at FOX.  “The reality is that radio should be more dangerous.  It is unedited, ad-libbed, and free-form. There’s a little stand-up, a little ranting, a little painting and you are going to spill a little on the canvas.  I think my personality fits the FOX ecosystem a little better than the current ESPN ecosystem, which has gotten much more politically correct in the last several years.”  Read the whole piece here.

Beasley to Unload Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville, North Carolina Cluster for $11 Million.  The buyer is CMG Coastal Carolina and Beasley Media Group says it will use the cash to pay down debt.  The stations affected are: blues WNCT-AM, Greenville; classic hits WNCT-FM, Greenville; classic rock WSFL-FM, New Bern; hip hop WIKS-FM, New Bern; adult contemporary WMGV-FM, Newport; and rock WXNR-FM, Grifton.  CMG Coastal Carolina, which is affiliated with Curtis Media Group, intends to spin off WNCT-FM to Inner Banks Media, LLC.  Beasley CEO Caroline Beasley comments, “Since the Company’s founding in 1961, Beasley has established a long-term record of successfully optimizing its station portfolio through both strategic acquisitions and divestitures to drive returns for our shareholders.  Last November we completed the accretive acquisition of Greater Media, adding 17 stations (net of divestitures) and four attractive new markets to our operating footprint.  We are making continued progress with the integration of the new stations as we apply our proven strategies that focus on strong core programming and targeted localism to support ratings and market leadership.  We are confident that the stations being divested will continue to offer listeners in Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville great local programming.”

2016 Banner Year for SiriusXM.  The financial figures from the fourth quarter of 2016 and the entire year are being reported and SiriusXM says it beat its guidance “on all metrics.”  The satcaster’s net income for the fourth quarter of 2016 was $205 million – up 52% from the same period in 2015.  For the year, net income was $746 million – up 46% from 2015.  As for its subscriber numbers, SiriusXM reports a net subscriber growth of 1.75 million for the year.  It now reports more than 31 million subscribers with nearly 26 million self-paying subscribers. CEO Jim Meyer comments, “Last year was a phenomenal year for SiriusXM’s business, and we expect continued success in 2017.  We finished ahead of our guidance across the board, with record revenue, adjusted EBITDA and free cash flow.  With more than 31 million subscribers, SiriusXM has never had more paying customers. We’ve issued guidance for continued growth in 2017, and we expect a record adjusted EBITDA of more than $2 billion.”

Michael Harrison Says a New Golden Age of News/Talk Radio is at Hand – IF Broadcasters Rise to the Challenge.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison addressed this month’s meeting of the magazine’s editorial board with optimistic observations about the news/talk format’s future as the world enters the Donald Trump era.  But he also pointed out that the format’s inherent multi-genre potential can only be reached if broadcasters have the vision and courage to significantly alter the current paradigm and “take advantage of the political passions that have engulfed a wide swath of the American population, way beyond the traditional conservative core audience.”  Harrison was clear that he thinks traditional conservative news/talk radio is here to stay although “enthusiasm for Trump has bent some of the tried-and-true guidelines that provided a dependable ideological template for hosts connecting with their audiences way beyond what were once considered to be their breaking points.”  Harrison explains, “Conservative listeners will remain extremely loyal to their brand of talk radio because they fear opposition to Trump will water down the changes he promised to bring America in ‘making it great again,’ adding, “There is indeed room within conservative talk radio for hosts to be critical of Trump on occasions that warrant nuanced alternative perspectives… but then again, that has always been the case.  Conservative news/talk has never been as monolithic as its political critics have implied.”  However, it is the new potential of progressive talk radio or as Harrison puts it, “resistance talk” that is truly exciting in expanding the boundaries of spoken word strategies on the commercial radio dial.  “Intense, passionate and obsessive opposition to Trump has galvanized and ignited a hitherto non-focused target audience for news/talk hosts, programs and stations,” states Harrison.  “The door is open for performers such as Thom Hartmann, Stephanie Miller, Joe Madison, Alan Colmes and countless others of the progressive perspective to tap into a potentially vast audience of listeners who, since the election of Trump, deeply care about their message – as long as these messengers are talented by radio standards.  The Trump era offers the talk radio industry the opportunity to double its reach by providing a platform for both the ‘revolution’ (Trump) and the ‘resistance’ (anti-Trump) passions that are clearly exploding in the American marketplace of ideas.  Both sides feel embattled.”  Harrison adds, “If radio misses this opportunity, it would be the equivalent of missing the British Invasion of the sixties, the disco craze of the late seventies, and the rise of conservatism in the nineties.”

Trump Travel Order/Protests Top Talk Story for Week of Jan. 30-Feb. 3.  The travel order banning people coming into the U.S. from seven predominantly Muslim nations and the protests over the presidential order was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 was the nomination of Neil Gorsuch for the vacant seat on the Supreme Court.  Coming in at #3 was the violent protests at UC-Berkeley over the planned speech by Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos, followed by the U.S. putting Iran “on notice” over its test of a missile at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Rick Thomas to Oversee Operations at CMG Tampa.  Most recently with CBS Radio’s CHR WBMP, New York “92.3 AMP Radio” as program director, Rick Thomas heads south to Tampa to serve as operations manager for Cox Media Group’s six-station cluster there and to program CHR WPOI “HOT 101.5.”   Thomas will oversee operations for adult contemporary WWRM “Magic 94.9,” alternative WSUN-FM “97X,” hot talk WPHT “102.5 The Bone,” adult contemporary WDUV “105.5 The Dove,” and classic hits “107.3 The Eagle,” plus all digital content.    CMG Tampa VP and market manager Keith Lawless says, “CMG is very fortunate to have Rick join our Tampa team.  Rick is a successful and innovative leader in our business with an exceptional track record.  I’m proud to partner with Rick and I have no doubt that his contributions will help Tampa compete and win, even more.”

TALKERS News Notes.  Nationally syndicated talk show host Mike Gallagher (pictured here) poses for a photo with a young Guatemalan girl during his trip to the Central American Nation.  The Salem Radio Network personality is there this week with fellow SRN hosts Larry Elder and Mark Davis in the company of international relief agency Food For The Poor…..New Yorkers won’t have to miss the sound of Mike Francesa’s voice when the WFAN afternoon personality finishes his contract with the CBS Radio sports talk station at the end of this year.  The “Pope” told former partner Chris “Mad Dog” Russo, on the latter’s SiriusXM program, that he’ll be doing something on January 3, 2018.  “I’m not promising it’ll be conventional.  It’s something new,” he said.  Read the New York Post’s take on it here.

Longtime ABC News Radio Staffer Bob Benson Passes.  News radio pro Bob Benson passed away on Sunday (1/29) after a four-decade career in radio.  Benson started in radio while still in high school.  In 1966 he joined ABC as news director at WLS, Chicago, then moved to the company’s KGO, San Francisco.  In 1974, Benson launched AP Radio in Washington.  He returned to ABC as vice president of ABC News, managing the news and sports for the radio networks.

Is It Possible to Teach Media and Politics in Today’s Environment without Expressing (or Being Accused of) Expressing a Significant Degree of Bias?  This is just one of several key questions that are explored in an extremely candid conversation between TALKERS founder Michael Harrison and veteran talk radio programmer David Bernstein posted today (1/31) on this week’s installment of the award-winning PodcastOne series “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.” Bernstein’s stellar career in radio includes stints as program director of such politically diverse powerhouses as WTIC in Hartford, WPRO in Providence, WRKO and WBZ in Boston, and a 10 year run at WOR in New York.  He even served for a brief period as VP/programming at Air America.  Today, he is the general manager of the experimental “workshop” platform TalkersRadio and going into his second full year as an adjunct professor of media studies at Caldwell University in New Jersey.  Harrison and Bernstein explore the characteristics, habits and challenges facing Millennials with a focus on those considering careers in the media. The discussion includes an analysis of the public’s across the board obsession with politics inspired by the rise of Donald Trump permeating all aspects of daily American life.  Don’t miss this one!  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click the “Up Close and Far Out” player box  located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

 

 

Zannie K. Named PM Drive Host at ‘105 The Vibe’ in Twin Cities.  In the Minneapolis market, Cumulus Media announces that on-air pro Zannie K. is the new afternoon personality and assistant program director at classic hip hop outlet WGVX “105 The Vibe.”  He also hosts the weekend “Zannie K’s Throwback Theory” Saturday nights at 10:00 pm.  Additionally, he’s going to host the Sunday midday show for Westwood One’s 24/7 AC, hot AC and CHR affiliates.  Cumulus Media Minneapolis OM (and corporate VP of classic rock) Scott Jameson comments, “We’ve seen consistent growth with ‘The Vibe,’ and adding Zannie to afternoon drive will no doubt sustain the positive momentum for our listeners and advertisers.”

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  On Monday (2/6), married morning show personalities “Chadd & Kristi” (at right) debut their program on Beasley Media Group’s newly launched adult contemporary WBRN “B98.7.”  The station was formerly a rock outlet and the Tampa affiliate of the Bubba the Love Sponge show, but Beasley flipped it to AC on January 5…..Country superstar Luke Bryan chatted with Westwood One Sports NFL host Scott Graham on Thursday (2/2).  Bryan appeared as part of Westwood One’s nightly “The Road to Super Bowl LI” broadcast that aired live.  On Sunday, Bryan will sing the national anthem before the Super Bowl LI broadcast…..Townsquare Media launches the new KAMM, Missoula, Montana as an alternative rock outlet branded “ALT 101.5.”  The brand manager for the new station is Angel Hughes, who will also serve as the station’s morning personality…..Rock radio jock Spam joins Sun Broadcasting’s alternative WXNX, Fort Myers “93X” as host of the morning show.  Spam comes to Sun from his most recent gig at Entercom’s cross-state alternative rocker WSFS, Miami “104.3 The Shark.”  Spam was a longtime personality at CBS Radio’s WHFS, Baltimore/Washington…..In Reading, Pennsylvania, Jimmy Steele exits iHeartMedia’s hot AC WRFY and Spanish AC WRAW after a restructuring of the cluster’s staff.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

| January 31, 2017

WGN, Chicago Brings John Williams Back for Weekday Show.  The Joliet, Illinois native has been hosting a weekend show – Saturdays from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm – since he left weekdays at WGN back in 2015 to focus on his WCCO, Minneapolis PM drive program.  Now, with the WCCO contract coming to an end, John Williams returns to Chicago to host the daily 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm program, plus a Saturday show at the new 10:00 am to 12:00 noon time, effective March 13.  To make room for Williams, WGN trims the daily Bill Leff and Wendy Snyder show to 10:00 am to 12:00 noon.  WGN VP of programming Todd Manley states, “When we learned there was an opportunity to bring John back to Chicago full time we had to jump on it.  There has never been a better time to have more of his inventive and intelligent talk on the station.”  The station also makes a change to Saturdays with the cancellation of the Kathy O’Malley and Judy Markey program.  Manley says, “We’re excited about the Saturday changes and want to express how incredibly grateful we are to Kathy and Judy for their contributions to the WGN family.  We will look for every opportunity to continue their legacy.”  The change at WCCO wraps a seven-year stint in afternoons for Williams.  CBS RADIO has not announced its plans for filling the afternoon slot on WCCO.

Dave Ramsey Brings Smart Money Tour to Orange County.  On Monday (1/30), nationally syndicated radio star Dave Ramsey presented his Smart Money event at Mariners Church in Irvine, California, speaking about how to win with money, get out of debt and invest for the future.  Ramsey’s daughter, best-selling author and speaker Rachel Cruze, joined him on stage.  Ramsey and Southern California affiliate KEIB, Los Angeles “The Patriot” promoted the event.  KEIB program director Robin Bertolucci states, “It’s no secret Dave Ramsey has an extremely successful show but when you see him interact and connect with his listeners in person it adds another layer of understanding as to why he is so successful.  Dave’s listeners and sponsors love and trust him and we here at KEIB are always thrilled when he brings his show to town.”  In addition to yesterday’s event, Ramsey will join nationally recognized speaker Christy Wright for the Business Boutique 1 Day event in Irvine today (1/31).  Business Boutique 1-Day is a brand-new event designed to equip attendees with what they need to successfully start and run their own business.  Pictured above are (from l-r): Bill Denton, vice president of sales for iHeartMedia Los Angeles; Robin Bertolucci; Dave Ramsey; and Darren McMillan, vice president of sales for iHeartMedia.

Trump Travel Ban, National Security Council Controversy, Trump Supreme Court Nominee, Quebec City Mosque Attack, Iran Missile Test, SAG Awards Speeches, Pac Man Company Chief Dies, and Super Bowl Build-Up Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/30).  President Donald Trump’s ban on travel from seven predominantly Muslim countries, the related protests, and the firing of acting Attorney General Sally Yates; the controversy over Trump’s inclusion of White House adviser Stephen K. Bannon on the National Security Council’s principals committee; Trump’s announcement he’ll name his nominee for the Supreme Court at 8:00 this evening; the deaths of six after a shooting at a mosque in Quebec City; the reaction to Iran’s Sunday missile test and the expected UN hearing on the matter today; the flap over political speeches at Sunday’s Screen Actors Guild awards; the man whose company created Pac Man dies at 91; and the build-up to Super Bowl LI were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS News Notes.  Current KFI, Los Angeles weekend host Wayne Resnick is ending his weekend program there but is becoming a part of the daily Bill Handel morning show.  He posted the news on his Facebook page saying, in part, “On March 13, I will join the Bill Handel show.  I’ll be giving the sports reports, helping produce the show, and joining the rest of the crew on air.  This can happen now because I am retiring from my career in federal law enforcement after 27 years.  The management at KFI, especially [PD] Robin [Bertolucci], have basically created a unique position for me that will allow me to do all the different things I have loved doing at KFI over the years, and to do them while watching Bill eat his daily ham and cheese Hot Pocket noisily.  Everyone seems very excited about this (me too!) and Robin told me to ‘go crazy.’  Trust me when I say I have no intention of being insubordinate by not following directions.”…..The nationally syndicated weekend program “What’s Cooking in the Mr. Food Test Kitchen” is now being heard on NRG Media’s KXEL, Cedar Rapids…..This Sunday’s Super Bowl LI will be broadcast in Spanish by Entravision Communications Corporation.  This is part of Entravision’s three-year deal with the NFL that allows the company to broadcast in Spanish via its NFL network.  Coverage will air in 13 markets and 13 affiliate radio properties.

 

 

Chris Monk to Lead Cumulus’ Flint and Saginaw Stations.  Broadcasting executive Chris Monk returns to the Flint and Saginaw, Michigan markets for Cumulus Media to lead the company’s nine stations as regional vice president.  He’ll also be market manager for the four-station Saginaw cluster.  Monk led the markets under previous owner Citadel from 2007 through 2012.  Most recently, he was serving with Adams Radio Group in Fort Wayne as VP and market manager.  In Flint, Cumulus operates CHR WWCK “CK105.5,” country WFBE “NASH FM 95.1,” classic hip hop and R&B WDZZ “Z92.7,” news/talk WWCK-AM “Supertalk 1570,” and sports WTRX-AM.  In Saginaw, the company operates rock WKQZ “Z93,” classic rock WILZ “Wheelz 104.5,” CHR WIOG, and adult contemporary WHNN “My 96.1.”

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  At Riviera Broadcasting’s hot AC KMVA, Phoenix, the station debuts the “Smasher & Dee in the Morning” program.  Smasher was most recently with CBS RADIO’s crosstown classic hits KOOL and Dee Garcia has been with KMVA hosting the midday program…..Atlanta classic hits outlet WSRV “97.1 The River” is celebrating its 11th anniversary with a Steve Miller Band and Peter Frampton concert at Verizon Amphitheatre in Alpharetta on July 16.  Cox Media Group programmer Chris Eagan says, “‘The River’ has been rocking Atlanta for 11 years and we can’t wait to blow the candles out on our cake with thousands of our closest friends on July 16.”…..In Philadelphia, iHeartMedia’s alternative WRFF “Radio 104.5” is celebrating its 10th birthday with two concerts at the BB&T Pavilion.  The May 13 lineup will feature: Kings of Leon, Bastille, Empire of the Sun, The 1975, Fitz and the Tantrums, and Rag‘n’Bone Man while the June 11 lineup will feature: The Killers, Bleachers, Foster The People, Kaleo and Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness…..Rock WJRR, Cocoa Beach, Florida announces the “Earthday Birthday 24” show taking place on Saturday, April 22 at the Central Florida Fairgrounds.  The station says the “Earthday Birthday” is one of the largest locally produced annual rock festivals in the state and draws upwards of 15,000 music lovers from around the globe!  The three stages will feature such artists as: Sublime with Rome, Sevendust, Alter Bridge, Thrice, Candlebox, Sick Puppies, Nonpoint, and more…..Alpha Media Portland proudly announces that triple A KINK “Morning Music Run” co-host Sheila Hamilton is receiving the prestigious Judy Cushing Celebrating Life Award on February 24.  Hamilton, a five-time Emmy Award-winning journalist and author, shared her first-hand experience with losing her husband to suicide in her book, All the Things We Never Knew.  She’s been an outspoken advocate for change in mental health care.  Hamilton says, “I’m grateful to be honored by Lines for Life, whose trained volunteers de-escalate 98% of the over 17,000 suicide line calls received annually.  That’s important, lifesaving work.”

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

| January 24, 2017

It’s Official: Trump Names Pai FCC Chairman.  On the heels of news reports suggesting that President Donald Trump would name Republican Federal Communications Commissioner Ajit Pai the new chairman, he’s done just that.  Pai will lead the three-member commission consisting of Pai’s fellow Republican Michael O’Rielly fccnewand Democrat Mignon Clyburn until two more commissioners are named to the body by Trump.  Pai’s statement was simple: “I am deeply grateful to the President of the United States forpaiajit designating me the 34th Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission.  I look forward to working with the new Administration, my colleagues at the Commission, members of Congress, and the American public to bring the benefits of the digital age to all Americans.”  While Pai has been a friend to the radio industry, serving as a commissioner who is sensitive to efforts such as AM revitalization, the speculation is that this FCC will reverse Tom Wheeler-era policies on net neutrality, broadband subscriber data privacy and others.

Rhode Island Talk Host John DePetro Returns to Radio on WADK, Newport.  A little more than a month after exiting Cumulus Media’s WPRO-AM, Providence, longtime Rhode Island talk radio personality John DePetro returns to the airwaves via 3G Broadcasting’s WADK, Newport, Rhode Island for a show that launchesdeptrojohn tomorrow (1/25) from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm.  In announcing the news, DePetro states, “I am now the exclusive owner of the ‘John DePetro Show,’ which gives me full ownership of the content of the show and the freedom in the future to syndicate my popular, highly rated, entertaining program.  My listeners should get ready for the most entertaining radio I have ever done, and I will continue to tell it like it is.”  DePetro’s deal with the station includes a two-hour Saturday “John DePetro Show Week in Review.” Station owner Bonnie Gomes comments, “John DePetro and I have known each other since the late 80s when we worked together at a Providence radio group.  John has a well-known, entertaining program and it matches with our goal of making 1540 AM WADK completely live and local.  We are excited to welcome John to our broadcasting family and know that he will bring a new, exciting, entertaining twist to our current programming lineup.”

DGital Media and The Players’ Tribune Partner for Podcast Network.   Sports-themed media platform The Players’ Tribune partners with DGital Media to release its first podcast.  The Derek Jeter-founded podcast network will feature “oral histories, athlete-hosted podcasts, a flagship show and other topical series.”  The theplayerstribunefirst show is “Giant Steps,” an oral history podcast that chronicles the rise of the New York Giants’ first Super Bowl championship in 1986.  The 60-minute episode, narrated by Michael Strahan, features first-person accounts from Carl Banks, Harry Carson, Pepper Johnson, Leonard Marshall, George Martin, Elvis Patterson, Lawrence Taylor and Bill Parcells.  The Players’ Tribune president Jaymee Messler comments, “‘The Players’ Tribune’ has become a destination for thoughtful, insightful storytelling related to topics both on and off the field.  We’re excited to introduce another medium for athletes to share stories and discuss important issues through a unique and intimate listening experience.  DGital Media is a terrific partner on the launch of this newest extension of our premium content offerings.”

Trump Withdraws US from TPP, Women’s Marches Aftermath, Trump Federal Hiring Freeze, Deadly Southeastern Tornadoes, ‘SNL’ Writer Suspended, Parliament to Vote on Brexit, and Super Bowl LI Matchup Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/23).  President Donald Trump signs executive order withdrawing the U.S. from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal; the aftermath of the Women’s March in DC and in cities across the world; Trump enacts federal government hiring freeze; the deadly tornadoes that tore through the Southeast U.S.; a “Saturday Night Live” writer Katie Rich is suspended for her tweet targeting Barron Trump; Britain’s Parliament prepares to vote on the country’s exit from the European Union; and the Super Bowl matchup between New England and Atlanta were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Odds & Sods. WABC, New York late morning hosts Sid Rosenberg (left) and Bernard McGuirk (right) are both re-signingbernieandsid17 with the Cumulus station for new, three-year deals.  McGuirk and Rosenberg both still have their roles on the “Imus in the Morning” program.  The new deals pertain to their “Bernie & Sid” 9:00 am to 12:00 noon program.  Rosenberg tells TALKERS magazine, “I’m excited to spend the next few years at WABC!  [Market manager] Chad Lopez and [program director] Craig Schwalb have been a joy to work for and I’m blessed with the best, funniest and most talented partner in the business!”…..Philadelphia sports talker WIP-FM announces the schedule for its Phillies program “The Hot Stove” with Phillies play-by-play team Scott Franzke and Larry Andersen.  The hour-long show will air four consecutive Wednesdays at 6:00 pm beginning February 1.

McintyreMartin17Doug McIntyre and Steve Martin Sell Out Four Nights in Southern California.  Pictured above are film and comedy legend Steve Martin (left) and KABC, Los Angeles morning personality Doug McIntyre (right) on stage during one of four performances that took place January 8-11.  McIntyre hosts the Distinguished Speakers Series and Martin recently joined him at the Saban Theater in Beverly Hills, the Redondo Beach Center for the Performing Art in Redondo Beach, the Thousand Oaks Civic Art Plaza in Thousand Oaks, and the Ambassador Auditorium in Pasadena.  Previous guests in the series have included John Cleese, Betty White, Ron Howard and Robert Redford among others.  Photo: Sue Swan.

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RadioInfo Web bannerWestwood One Names Switzer VP/GM of Music & Entertainment – Country.  This is a return to the Westwood One fold for Bryan Switzer.  He served with then-ABC Radio Networks,switzerbryan Citadel Media and Cumulus Media Networks from 2006 through 2014 overseeing Nashville marketing, promotion, and affiliate sales for “American Country Countdown,” the 24-hour formats and more.  He returns to the media biz from his most recent executive post with JennsCo Chemical Solutions.  As vice president/general manager, music & entertainment-country for Westwood One, he’ll be in charge of the marketing and operations of all owned and represented country shows.

Renda Broadcasting Appoints Steve Granato PD for Fort Myers-Naples Cluster.  Taking over for Randy Savage, who left the program director position with Renda Southwest Florida to join Cumulus’ Wilkes-Barre cluster, is Steve Granato.  He’ll program the company’s four-station cluster including country WWGR “Gator Country 1019,” adult hits WJGO “1029BOBfm,” hot AC WSGL “Mix 104.7,” and news/talk WGUF “98.9 Naples FM Talk.”  Granato previously served with Renda Broadcasting programming the company’s Pittsburgh properties in the early 1990s.

WMMR, Philly Names Brent Porche Overnight Jock.  Philadelphia heritage rock outlet WMMR announces Brent Porche is named the station’s new overnight personality.  The Beasley Media Group-owned station notes porchebrentthat “it’s rare a radio station that goes eight years between full-time hires. It’s rarer still that the position is for a full-time, overnight air talent.”  Porche takes over for Jacky Bam Bam who recently was promoted to the 7:00 pm to 12:00 midnight show.  Porche says of his new gig, “It’s like a lifelong fan rooting for the Eagles and getting hired to play on the team – with all his favorite players!  I’m honored to join Preston & Steve, Pierre Robert, Jaxon, Jacky and all the DJs on such a legendary station.”

Jenkins to Lead Alpha Media’s Moberly-Macon, Missouri Station Group.  Thirty-year radio pro Mikejenkinsmike Jenkins is named market manager for Alpha Media’s Moberly-Macon, Missouri station group that includes, country KRES-FM, oldies KIRK-FM, Christian contemporary KTCM-FM, and news/talk KWIX-AM/FM.  Alpha Midwest Region EVP George Pelletier says, “We are pleased to welcome Mike Jenkins to our Alpha operations in Moberly.  Mike has a terrific track record of success everywhere he has worked.  His reputation of being a great leader, inspired broadcaster and client-oriented sales champion convinced us that he was the right kind of person to lead the Alpha team in Moberly, Missouri.”

More Music Radio News and Career Moves.  San Diego CHR KHTS-FM “Channel 93.3 FM” names Ethan Cole evening personality.  Cole stays with iHeartMedia having spent that past two years producing the “Matty in the Morning” show for WXKS-FM, Boston “Kiss 108 FM.”.…..Saga Communications names Mark the Shark afternoon drive personality at classic rock WKLH, Milwaukee WKLH-FM “Rock 96-5.”  It’s a return to Brew City for The Shark.  He served with former rock outlet WQFM (now AC WLDB) during the 1980s and 1990s…..The Cantore + Woods morning show with Chris Cantore and Steve Woods exits Entercom’s alternative KBZT, San Diego “FM 949” after 15 months in the daypart.  No word on the new morning drive show yet…..WNKS, Charlotte “KISS 95.1”wnksAMshow intern Whitney Thore and the “Maney, Roy and LauRen Show” are back on television for tonight’s (1/24) season premiere of the TLC Network show, “My Big Fat Fabulous Life,” starring Thore.  The show follows Thore, a passionate dancer on her way to maintaining a healthy life style through dance and a “No Body Shaming” policy…..iHeartMedia’s Fresno country outlet KHGE “102.7 The Wolf” is hosting the 2017 Acoustic Kick-Off Concert featuring live performances by country music recording artists Hunter Hayes, Casey Donahew and Lucas Hoge tomorrow night (1/25) at the Tower Theater in Fresno.  The Wolf program director Nick Cash says, “We love to connect our ‘102.7 The Wolf’ listeners with the hottest new country artists in a live and intimate setting.  Hunter has a big, young following in the Central Valley and we can’t wait to sing along with them in the crowd at Acoustic Kick-Off Concert!”

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

| January 17, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, January 12, 2016

| January 12, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

| January 11, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, January 9, 2017

| January 9, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

| January 4, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

| January 3, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

| December 20, 2016

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

nielsen-logoNielsen Audio Releases Round One of December 2016 PPM Data.  The first of four rounds of December 2016 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey).  The December 2016 survey period covered November 3-30.  You can find the complete 6+ ratings numbers from subscribing stations here.  Additionally, TALKERS/RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Twelve Takeaways” from this group on the main page of our sister publication here.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

| December 13, 2016

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

| December 7, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

| December 6, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Message from Michael Harrison – BFoA

| December 1, 2016

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

| November 29, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

| November 22, 2016

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

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

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

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

nielsen-logoNielsen Audio Releases Round One of November 2016 PPM Data.  The first of four rounds of November 2016 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey).  The November 2016 survey period covered October 6 to November 2.  You can find the complete 6+ ratings numbers from subscribing stations here.  Additionally, TALKERS/RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Twelve Takeaways” from this group on the main page of our sister publication here.

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

| November 16, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

| November 15, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, November 14, 2016

| November 14, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, November 10, 2016

| November 10, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

| November 8, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

| November 1, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

| October 25, 2016

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

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

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

nielsen-logoNielsen Audio Releases Round One of October 2016 PPM Data.  The first of four rounds of October  2016 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey).  The October 2016 survey period covered September 8 (the first game of the NFL season) – October 5.  You can find the complete 6+ ratings numbers from subscribing stations here.  Additionally, TALKERS/RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Twelve Takeaways” from this group on the main page of our sister publication here.

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

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

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

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

| October 18, 2016

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

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

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

WPRO-AM, Providence’s John DePetro Hosts Red Sox Great Curt Schilling; Former Pitcher Intends to Challenge Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren.  Duri