Tag: "Mike Francesa"

Friday, July 7, 2017

| July 7, 2017

BREAKING NEWS: Legendary Radio Trade Publication Writer Claude Hall Dies.  Details are sketchy and TALKERS will have more details on Monday morning (7/10), but reports indicate that Claude Hall, the legendary radio trade publication writer who presided over Billboard magazine’s historic “Vox Jox” column during the 1970s and is credited with coining the longtime popular term “Easy Listening” for that particular radio format has died at Sunrise Medical Center in Las Vegas due to injuries suffered from a fall earlier in the week.  He had continued to publish the “Vox Jox” column in partnership with veteran talk show host and radio station owner Rollye James as a weekly online newsletter published Mondays specializing in the activities of older and retired radio broadcasters (www.voxjox.org).  According to James, “His family was with him and loved him dearly. He loved his friends, students, and colleagues. He remained proud of radio and music stemming from his days listening to radio as a kid.”  James reports that she will devote this coming Monday’s column to the life of Claude Hall and post reactions and reflections on his life from many of the broadcasters who knew him.  Hall was a prolific writer who wrote books about radio as well as novels.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison says, “There was once a time when Claude Hall was the major source of all information pertaining to the radio industry.  He is the founding father of the style of radio trade publishing that has set the tone of this business for the past five decades.  I am lucky to have known him and remember what a thrill it was to appear in his columns back when I was a young DJ and PD in my 20s.  His love of radio and contributions to this industry are incalculable.  He is number one with a bullet!”

Townsquare Media to Acquire Six Western Massachusetts Signals. This deal between Townsquare Media and Gamma Broadcasting LLC and Berkshire Broadcasting Co., Inc. will add six stations and two FM translators to Townsquare’s portfolio.  Those stations are: hot AC WBEC-FM, news/talk WBEC-AM, classic hits WUPE-AM/FM (and an FM translator at 94.1 FM), adult contemporary WNAW-AM, adult contemporary WSBS-AM (and translator W277CJ at 103.3 FM).  Townsquare chairman and CEO Steven Price states, “We are very excited to announce this transaction which will strengthen our footprint in the Northeast.  We look forward to partnering with the Pittsfield team to bring our resources, including our digital and live event products, to Berkshire County’s advertisers and audience, and further build upon their success in the market.”  Townsquare expects the acquisition to close in the third quarter of 2017, subject to closing conditions and customary regulatory approvals.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie to Sub at WFAN Next Week.  When out-going New Jersey Governor Chris Christie co-hosts the 2:00 pm to 6:30 pm show at CBS RADIO’s sports talk WFAN, New York with the station’s Evan Roberts on Monday and Tuesday (7/10-11), it won’t be the first time he’s appeared there.  Christie – a big sports fan and unabashed Dallas Cowboys backer – has appeared on the AM drive “Boomer & Carton” show as a guest.  With PM driver Mike Francesa leaving the station at the end of the year, there’s speculation about whether Christie is a candidate for the afternoon show.  A piece in NJ.com references WFAN program director Mark Chernoff’s February 2017 comment that Christie is “among many names being considered” as a replacement for Francesa.

SiriusXM Severs Ties with Gregg “Opie” Hughes. After 13 years with SiriusXM, Gregg “Opie” Hughes is let go by the satcaster.  He posts on Facebook, “Humbled by the love and support. Wish I can write everyone back. There is absolutely no justification for my firing. Thats why their statement is so vague. Won’t be sitting out long. Although may take a few days to fish.”  The chatter on social media among Opie fans hints that a supposed video of a fellow staffer using the bathroom may be the reason for the dismissal.  Regardless, as Hughes indicates above, he plans to continue hosting a show on some platform.  When Opie and then-partner Anthony Cumia joined SiriusXM, they had their own channel.  A couple of years ago, SiriusXM changed that and the “Opie Radio” show had been available on its Faction channel.  Industry watchers remember that Cumia was fired from the satcaster in 2014 after his Times Square altercation with a black woman that devolved into a social media post involving racial epithets.

KTRH, Houston Talk Host Matt Patrick Ends Cancer Treatment. Sad news this week as KTRH, Houston morning drive personality Matt Patrick announces to his audience that he’s ending his treatment for an aggressive case of esophageal cancer.  The station’s Facebook page posted the following: “On ‘Houston’s Morning News’ this morning, Matt revealed he has exhausted all options and has discontinued cancer treatments.  Matt and all of us at NewsRadio 740 KTRH, and the iHeartMedia family, thank you all for your constant love and support during this difficult time.”  Patrick was diagnosed in 2015 and this week’s news comes at the time of Patrick’s six-year anniversary at the station.

Gerry V Returns to Sports Talk Radio in Charlotte. The Charlotte Observer calls Gerry Vaillancourt “one of the first sports talk radio hosts in Charlotte.”  Gerry V left the market when the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets left for New Orleans back in 2002, but he’ll return on Monday, July 17 to host the afternoon drive show on HRN Broadcasting’s WZGV-AM “ESPN 730.”  Current afternoon host Bobby Rosinski is moving to the AM drive daypart for the new “Wake Up Call” show with co-hosts Molly Cotten and Walker Mehl.  Gerry V launched his sports talk career in 1990, working at both WFNZ-AM and WBT-AM prior to leaving the market 12 years later.  Read the Observer piece here.

Chicago Stations to Simulcast Spot Promoting Radio Advertising. On Monday (7/10), more than 40 Chicago market radio stations will simultaneously air a :60-second spot consisting of an interview with Wintrust Financial Corporation founder, president and CEO Ed Wehmer speaking about radio as the most effective medium for advertisers.  Matt Scarano is chairman of the Illinois Broadcasters Association’s Radio Broadcasters of Chicagoland Committee and he states, “The Radio Broadcasters of Chicagoland are proud to unite as a group to highlight Wintrust and their investment in radio.  Wintrust is a valued partner to our industry and a testament to the results that radio delivers for an advertiser.”  The spot will air on a diverse group of radio stations, involving all formats, including music, news, sports, and Spanish language.

CNN-Trump Wrestling Video Top News/Talk Story for Week of July 3-7. The controversy over the CNN-Trump wrestling video, including the blowback the news organization faced after finding the video’s creator, was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 was North Korea’s apparently successful test of an ICBM and President Trump’s warning to the hermit kingdom.  Coming in at #3 was Trump’s trip to Europe for the G20 summit, and following at #4 was the allegations of Russia’s meddling in the U.S. election.  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.

TALKERS News Notes. From Blaine Thompson’s Indiana Radio Watch comes the news that Federated Media’s news/talk WOWO, Fort Wayne promotes news director Kayla Blakeslee to program director, taking over for Ryan Wrecker who left to take a talk host position at KMOX, St. Louis.  Blakeslee continues to serve as news director…..Kevin McCullough’s Saturday evening “Radio Night Live” supercast (radio and TV) adds new affiliate stations KJPW, Lebanon/Waynesville, Missouri; KVBR, Brainerd, Minnesota; WKRO, Cairo, Illinois; and WGNU, St Louis…..The Newsmax TV video simulcast of the nationally syndicated Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo program adds another hour to its carriage of the show.  Pags tells TALKERS that Newsmax TV – which can be seen on DirecTV 349, UVerse 1220 (among other cable systems) and online at Newsmaxtv.com – begins broadcasting hours one and two of the show, effective Monday (7/10)…..The Compass Media Networks-syndicated Lars Larson program is now heard on Entercom’s news/talk KMBZ-AM, Kansas City as program director Alan Furst adds the show to the station’s lineup…..SiriusXM is presenting subscribers comprehensive coverage of Major League Baseball’s 2017 All-Star Week from Miami, featuring coverage of the 88th All-Star Game.  In addition, on Sunday (7/9), it will air the exclusive radio broadcast of the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game, featuring the top minor league prospects from the U.S. facing off against their counterparts from around the world.

KSPN, Los Angeles Transmitter Site Damaged by Driver Under the Influence. The Thursday incident did not cause any damage to the “ESPN LA” transmitter but the man police took into custody after the incident caused damage to the site’s perimeter fence and started a brush fire in the grass that scorched about an acre.  Authorities were on the scene quickly and arrested the man they believe was under the influence.  The suspect’s vehicle was in flames when fire personnel arrived and was consumed by the fire.

TALKERS 2017 Convention Videos Continue Posting Today (7/7) with Karen Hunter, Craig Schwalb and Ethan Bearman.  The entire agenda of the recent Talkers 2017: A New Era national talk media convention has been video recorded and its sessions are being posted to Talkers.com – one event per day.  Already posted are the “Welcoming Remarks” by WMAL, Washington, DC afternoon drive host Larry O’ Connor (including an introduction by TalkersRadio GM David Bernstein); the special presentation “You HAVE Options” by consultant Holland Cooke (including an introduction by Yappy Days author Bernadette Duncan); the “Fireside Chat” between TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison and Premiere Networks/Fox News Channel host Sean Hannity (with introduction by Westwood One host Jim Bohannon); the “Fireside Chat” between TALKERS managing editor  Mike Kinosian and WFAN, New York sports talk show host Mike Francesa (with introduction by Sabo Media CEO Walter Sabo); the special presentation “The Trump Effect: Latest Research of Interest to News/Talk Radio” by Salem Radio Network SVP Phil Boyce (with introduction by Pioneer Valley Radio GM/host Brad Shepard); and the special presentation “Podcasting and Local Radio” by PodcastOne excutive chairman Norm Pattiz (with introduction by Hubbard Radio SVP/programming Greg Strassell).  Today (7/7), the first series of “one-on-one” sessions discussing the topic “Maximizing Talk Radio’s Multi-Platform Potential for Reach and Revenue” begins with a conversation between WABC, New York, PD Craig Schwalb and KGO, San Francisco host Ethan Bearman (facilitated by Sirius/XM Satellite Radio host Karen Hunter).   Within the following days and weeks, every session will be posted and will remain on Talkers.com for the rest of the year.  The Talkers 2017: A New Era video page is sponsored by Backbone NetworksBroadcasters General Store and Comrex Corp.  To view the video page of Talkers 2017: A New Era, please click here.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. More from Blaine Thompson’s Indiana Radio Watch as we’re tipped that Swick Broadcasting’s hot AC WLKI, Angola drops the syndicated Jeremy Robinson-hosted “The Jeremy Show” and will install air personality Tiny in the daypart with news director Sheila McCrea joining him…..IRW also reports that Federated Media’s Fort Wayne promotions director Sally Allgeier is exiting the cluster and will be replaced by Paige Fransen…..Rincon Broadcasting’s rock KTYD, Santa Barbara announces the addition of Bill Pesso to the air staff as morning drive co-host with current station APD Lin Aubuchon for the “Morning Mojo” program.  Pesso was most recently afternoon personality at the company’s sister adult contemporary KSBL “K-Lite.”  Program director Dennis Mitchell comments, “We’re thrilled to have two of the most fun and locally tuned-in people to host the new ‘Morning Mojo.’ It’s been a long time coming and we know our listeners will love it.”…..Beasley Media Group’s classic rock WCSX, Detroit re-brands the Jim O’Brien-led morning program as “Big Jim’s House.”  The station recently added air personality Erin Vermeulen to the program and O’Brien comments, “I am so excited to welcome all our listeners into ‘Big Jim’s House’ with Erin V. and Producer Ryan.  This will be my 15th year at WCSX.  Everyone on the show has a deep-felt love for Detroit and believes in where we’re going.  Our house is full of fun and great classic rock!”

Keeping Up with Every Word

| June 20, 2017

By Richard Neer
WFAN, New York
Talk Show Host

 

NEW YORK — They say any publicity is good publicity, but I’m sure my WFAN, New York colleague Mike Francesa can do without the tabloid coverage he’s received recently. The latest issue is his use of the term “Oriental” while discussing a recent court ruling. Mike was unaware that the term is now deemed offensive in some quarters… and has been replaced by Asian.

Political correctness does serve a purpose and the concept was founded with good intentions. However, it has run amok. It is one thing to be aware that certain words are deemed offensive and to use them anyway, in defiance of accepted norms. That was not the case here. There was no intent to offend. We can’t be expected to be one hundred per cent up-to-date on every nuance of the language, however diligent we may be. It is frustrating when you’ve used a word your entire life without a second thought and with no bad intentions, only to be told it is hurtful and no longer appropriate. Sometimes, it feels that you must dance among raindrops to avoid stepping on anyone’s toes.

Read More

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

| June 20, 2017

WFAN, New York Celebrates 30 Years. On July 1, CBS RADIO is celebrating the 30th anniversary of the birth of sports talk radio outlet WFAN, New York.  In honor of the 1987 launch of the station, WFAN is celebrating with a special day of live broadcasts from Vanderbilt Hall inside the world famous Grand Central Terminal in midtown Manhattan this Thursday (6/22) from 6:00 am to 6:30 pm.  The day begins with a special broadcast of “Boomer & Carton,” (also simulcast on CBS Sports Network) followed by Joe Benigno and Evan Roberts, and Mike Francesa.  WFAN operations manager and CBS RADIO VP of sports programming Mark Chernoff comments, “We are proud to be a part of the fabric of New York sports.  WFAN has wonderful, appreciative and engaged listeners who are the backbone of the station, as well as leading talent, that together allow WFAN to achieve groundbreaking success and have helped the station become an institution in the Big Apple.  It is no coincidence that the station is nicknamed ‘The Fan,’ acting as a mouthpiece for die-hard sports enthusiasts.”

TALKERS News Notes. From his recent Twitter post, sports radio pro Kevin Sherrets announces he’s exiting CBS RADIO’s sports talk KHTK, Sacramento as a result of the station not renewing his contract.  Sherrets has been program director with the station since August of 2015…..CBS Radio News wins three Edward R. Murrow awards from the RTDNA for outstanding radio journalism, taking home the top award for “Overall Excellence” for the 11th time.  “The World News Roundup” was deemed “Best Newscast” for its coverage of the Baton Rouge police shooting and the opening day of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. The broadcast was co-anchored with Peter King in Baton Rouge, Steve Futterman in Cleveland, and Steve Kathan, who anchors the program.  Coverage of the Pulse nightclub massacre in Orlando earned the staff the “Breaking News” honor…..AdLarge Media is repping the 2017 schedule of college football games being covered by Gino Torretta’s Touchdown Radio.  Its first game will be Ohio State at Indiana on August 31.  Torretta handles color analysis with Taylor Zarzour and Roxy Bernstein doing play-by-play…..Sun Broadcast Group signs chief operating officer Julio Aponte to a multi-year extension.  Under the agreement, Aponte continues to head the daily operations of Sun’s New York City and Boca Raton offices as well as oversee the company’s sales department…..Independent sales rep firm Regional Reps Corp. announces the signing of client Impact Radio Group of Boise…..Westwood One News correspondent Steve Kastenbaum is pictured at right accepting two silver awards from the New York Festivals International Award Competition for the World’s Best Radio Programs.  Westwood One was honored for Best Investigative Reporting for Kastenbaum’s “Dead People Voting” story and for Best Coverage of a Breaking News Story for the network’s coverage of the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando.

Keeping Up with Every Word. WFAN, New York sports radio personality Richard Neer writes today about the tricky business of staying in tune with word usage changes and being sensitive to the public’s perception of certain words.  “Political correctness does serve a purpose and the concept was founded with good intentions. However, it has run amok. It is one thing to be aware that certain words are deemed offensive and to use them anyway, in defiance of accepted norms…It is frustrating when you’ve used a word your entire life without a second thought and with no bad intentions, only to be told it is hurtful and no longer appropriate. Sometimes, it feels that you must dance among raindrops to avoid stepping on anyone’s toes.”  Read Neer’s entire piece here.

Hugh Hewitt Keynotes Bold Gold Foundation Event. Nationally syndicated talk show host Hugh Hewitt is serving as the keynote speaker at The Bold Gold Broadcast and Media Foundation’s 3rd Annual Event and Dinner on June 27 at Mohegan Sun Pocono in Wilkes-Barre.  The Salem Radio Network personality will speak about the role NEPA (Northeastern Pennsylvania) played in the 2016 election, the future of media, and the importance of the preservation of freedom of speech.   At the event, Pocono Raceway president and CEO Brandon Igdalsky will be honored with the Bold Gold Foundation’s ‘Atlas Award for Citizenship.’  The non-profit Bold Gold Broadcast & Media Foundation – formed by Bold Gold Media Group president Vince Benedetto – works to help young professionals enter broadcast media fields, with an emphasis on news and talk formats.

Trump-Russia Investigation, Georgia U.S. House Special Election, U.S.-Russia Syria Tensions, Sean Spicer Speculation, Otto Warmbier Dies, London Mosque Attack, Trump-Tech CEOs Meeting, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/19). The special counsel investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents, and whether the president himself is under investigation; the special election between Democrat Jon Ossoff and Republican Karen Handel for Georgia’s sixth congressional district seat; military tensions between the U.S. and Russia over the downing of a Syrian fighter jet by U.S. forces; speculation about White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer stepping down from that position; the death of former North Korean prisoner Otto Warmbier; the attack on Muslim worshippers in London by a man driving a vehicle; Monday’s meeting between President Trump and some of the nation’s tech CEOs; and MLB action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio during the week according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Change has come to morning drive – and at least one other daypart – at Cumulus Media’s country WKHX, Atlanta “Kicks 101.5.”  The station announces that morning show personality Dallas McCade is being promoted to music director.  With this move she departs the “Cadillac Jack and Dallas Mornings” program but will remain on air in another, yet-to-be announced daypart.  At the same time, morning show co-host Cadillac Jack says he’ll be off the air until Thursday morning (6/22), when the station reveals its new morning show lineup…..Erin Vermeulen joins WCSX, Detroit’s “Classic Rock Mornings: with Big Jim O’Brien as the newest member of the show, effective July 10.  Most recently with iHeartMedia on KFI, Los Angeles’ Bill Handel show, Vermeulen began her radio career on the former WYUR, Detroit.  WCSX program director Jerry Tarrants says, “Choosing a native Detroiter with a wealth of global experience was a no-brainer for us.  Erin will be a great on-air complement and partner to Big Jim O’Brien.”…..In New Orleans, Cumulus Media flips frequencies for its country and alternative rock stations.  The alternative format moves from WZRH at 106.1 to its new home as WRKN, branded “ALT 92.3 FM.”  The “NASH” format slides up the dial to the 106.1 position.  Cumulus says the “frequency flip brings alternative tock to two-thirds of Louisiana’s total population and comes in response to the increasing demand for alternative rock in the Gulf South among men and women equally, primarily among those aged 18 to 44.”  The alt rock format was originally launched in the market in 2015 as “106.1 the underground alternative.”…..WMGK, Philadelphia morning personality John DeBella, via his “11th Annual John DeBella Veterans Radiothon,” helps raise more than $154,000 to benefit local veterans through the Veterans Multi-Service Center.  The VMC provides services, programs, opportunities and advancement to veterans…..Last week, Premiere Networks-syndicated personalities John Boy and Billy were honored with the North Carolina Association of Broadcasters’ 2017 Hall of Fame Award for their outstanding contributions to the broadcast industry in North Carolina…..Pandora has let go of its only FM radio station, selling KXMZ, Box Elder, South Dakota (Rapid City market) to Haugo Broadcasting for $300,000.  It bought the station from Connoisseur Media for $600,000 in 2013 in hopes that it could use its status as owner of a terrestrial station to lower its royalty payments.

Monday, June 5, 2017

| June 5, 2017

20th Annual TALKERS Convention Delivers Power Packed Day in NYC.  The 20th annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important national convention took place Friday (6/2) in the Chelsea district of Manhattan and it fulfilled its promise to continue its tradition of being a power-packed, valuable one-day experience for its attendees.  More than 55 industry leaders from the ranks of ownership, management, programming, sales, technology and talent comprised a roster of speakers addressing the most pertinent issues facing talk professionals in 2017.  These included the complexities of news/talk programming in the era of Trump, capitalizing on podcasting at the local level, opportunities for talent in the current environment, selling radio outside the ratings, achieving an effective multi-platform balance, operating a professional broadcasting career in the perplexing age of increased consolidation against a backdrop of looming bankruptcy, engaging millennials, applying the latest technology and much more.  The major annual TALKERS awards were presented at the event.  Premiere Networks/Fox News Channel host Sean Hannity received the Gene Burns Memorial Award for Freedom of Speech. Cumulus Media president/CEO Mary Berner received the Judy Jarvis Memorial Award for Outstanding Contributions to Talk Radio by a Woman.  Emmis Communications president/CEO Jeff Smulyan received the TALKERS Lifetime Achievement Award. Genesis Communications Network host Dr. Daliah Wachs received the Sharon L. Harrison Memorial Award for Outstanding Community Service by a Radio Talk Show Host.  Hofstra University communications student Maria Santana received the new Alan Colmes Memorial Award for Outstanding Achievements by a College Radio Broadcaster.  The entire convention was video recorded and will be featured here on Talkers.com shortly.  Stay tuned for more story and photo coverage in the days ahead. Meanwhile, below are some photos from the event.

Michael Harrison (l) presenting “Woman of the Year” award to Mary Berner (r).  Photo by Don Hurley.

Michael Harrison (l) presenting “Freedom of Speech” award to Sean Hannity (r).  Photo by Don Hurley.

Kevin Casey (r) presenting “Lifetime Achievement” award to Jeff Smulyan (l).  Photo by Don Hurley.

Michael Harrison (l) presenting “Humanitarian of the Year” award to Dr. Daliah Wachs (r).  Photo by Matthew B. Harrison.

Doug Stephan (l) presenting “Student of the Year” award to Maria Santana (r). Photo by Matthew B. Harrison.

Mike Kinosian (l) conducting “Fireside Chat” with Mike Francesa (r).  Photo by Don Hurley.

Harry Hurley (l) presenting $1,000 check for Broadcasters Foundation to Dan Mason (r).  Photo by Don Hurley.

PodcastOne executive chairman, Norm Pattiz addressing the convention about podcasting and local radio.

Salem Media Group, SVP/spoken word format, Phil Boyce discussing the “Trump Effect” on talk radio.

Joe and Sharon Madison of SiriusXM Satellite Radio discussing “Radio that Makes a Difference.”

Holland Cooke discussing the forthcoming merger of CBS Radio and Entercom Communications.

Cumulus Adds Eboni K. Williams to WABC, New York Midday Show.  The WABC, New York midday program becomes “The Curtis and Eboni Show” today (6/5) with the addition of Eboni K. Williams alongside Curtis Sliwa.  Williams is a Fox News Channel personality who co-hosts “The Fox News Specialists” daily at 5:00 pm ET.  She joins Sliwa on the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm show after the recent departure of Ron Kuby from the show.  In addition to co-hosting the program with Sliwa, Williams will also contribute to 77 WABC Radio’s social media channels as well as produce an exclusive weekly podcast that will be published on wabcradio.com.  At the same time, Sliwa will continue hosting “The Drive at Five” weekdays afternoons.  WABC program director Craig Schwalb states, “Eboni breaks the mold for what a talk host can be today.  She is equal parts intelligent, passionate, relatable, and exciting.  Curtis and Eboni will be a must-listen in New York.”

Tom Poleman Promoted to Chief Programming Officer for iHeartMedia. The new long-term agreement between radio pro Tom Poleman and iHeartMedia comes with a promotion to chief programming officer.  Poleman has been the president of iHeartMedia’s national programming group since August of 2011 and he remains in that position, as well.  Poleman will also continue to head up iHeartMedia’s music discovery and emerging artist initiatives, including the Artist Integration Program and the On the Verge program, which have championed artists like Sam Smith, Maren Morris, Fifth Harmony and James Bay, as well as Sam Hunt, Bleachers and Lukas Graham, early in their careers.  iHeartMedia  chairman and CEO Bob Pittman comments, “No one understands the intricate relationship between programming, on-air talent, artist relationships and live music events like Tom Poleman.  He has always been a key part of the team that has shaped iHeartMedia into a multi-platform company.  Tom’s unique vision has turned our National Programing Group into what it is today – an innovative nationwide network of the most talented people working as a team to bring constant innovation to our company and our industry.  I’m thrilled that he will remain a key contributor in our company’s continued evolution and success.”

KXTG, Portland Names Dino Costa Afternoon Drive Host. Sports talk personality Dino Costa is taking over the afternoon drive program on Alpha Media’s KXTG-AM “102.9/750 The Game,” replacing the “Justin and Chop” program, starting today (6/5).   KXTG operations manager Bruce Collins says, “I am thrilled to bring a radio star like Dino Costa to ‘The Game.’  Get ready Portland for an entertaining, informative, fun ride each day on your way home.  Dino has demonstrated the ability to build and sustain an audience wherever he has been and we look forward to him being the dominant sports radio personality in the Rose City.”  Costa’s sports talk career includes a five-year stint at SiriusXM and five years airing his show on the Radio Colorado Network.  Costa comments, “I’m thrilled and humbled by this extraordinary opportunity and look forward to working with everyone at Alpha Media to produce a sports radio show that leaves an indelible mark on Portland.  I look forward to justifying the enormous faith of those who brought me to the Rose City with a radio show that resonates with listeners and marketing partners.”

The Power of Live and Local Talk Radio. WPG, Atlantic City morning drive talk show host Harry Hurley today writes of an experience that he says he can’t believe happened.  A long-time listener to his program sent Hurley the Purple Heart he was given for injuries sustained during the Vietnam War. Hurley writes that a talk radio program’s listenership can become “family-like,” and his interaction with this veteran illustrates this point.  Read Hurley’s story here.

Greg Papa Show Renewed on KGMZ, San Francisco. Bay Area sports media pro Greg Papa inks a new deal with Entercom to continue hosting his 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm sports talk program on KGMZ “95.7 The Game.”  Papa is well-known to Oakland Raiders fans as the longtime voice of Raiders football radio play-by-play.  KGMZ program director Don Kollins states, “Greg Papa is an iconic personality in Bay Area sports media and we are thrilled to extend his contract.  Sports fans can look forward to an expanded role for Papa on our airwaves; it’s an exciting time here at ‘95.7 The GAME.’”  Papa has been with KGMZ since 2014.  He’s a three-time California Sportscaster of the Year Award winner.  The station says that in addition to his daily radio show, he’ll make frequent appearances in morning drive with Joe Fortenbaugh, Lorenzo Neal and Dan Dibley.  He is also co-host of “The Happy Hour” on NBC Sports Bay Area, host of Warriors Pregame Live and Warriors Postgame Live.

TALKERS News Notes. Radio programming pro Jimmy Steele joins Cumulus Media in Mobile, Alabama to handle operations manager duties for the company’s five-station cluster.  In addition to overseeing operations for CHR WABD-FM, Gospel WGOK-AM, hip hop WBLX-FM, urban contemporary WDLT-FM, and news/talk WXQW-AM.  Steele will also serve news/talk WXQW-AM as program director…..Ahead of Georgia’s 6th District runoff election, former GOP presidential candidate and WSB, Atlanta talk show host Herman Cain is bringing his radio show to Milton, Georgia next Monday (6/12) where he’ll tape before a live audience at the  Olde Blind Dog Irish Pub from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm…..Longtime Baltimore Orioles play-by-play voice Fred Manfra leaves his post due to health problems.  Manfra called his last game on Sunday evening (6/4).

Weekend London Terror Attacks/Trump Tweets, Trump Travel Ban, Portland Protests, Bill Maher ‘N’-word Flap/Kathy Griffin Blowback, Middle East Countries Break with Qatar, Wonder Woman Tops Weekend Box Office Battle, MLB Action and NBA-NHL Finals Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The weekend terror attacks in London that claimed the lives of seven and injured more than 48 and the related tweets from President Donald Trump; renewed talk of President Trump’s travel ban that has been halted by the courts; the violent pro-Trump and anti-Trump protests that took place in Portland over the weekend; HBO’s Bill Maher under fire for using the “n”-word on his Friday evening program and the blowback against comic Kathy Griffin for her Trump severed head photo; several Middle East countries break diplomatic ties with Qatar for its suspected support of Islamic State; the film Wonder Woman tops the weekend’s box office receipts; and MLB action and the NBA Finals and NHL Stanley Cup Finals were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Dr. Asa Andrew Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. One of the most colorful rising stars in talk media today, Dr. Asa Andrew (known to his audiences simply as Dr. Asa), is this week’s guest on the award-winning, weekly PodcastOne series, “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.” Dr. Asa just celebrated his 10th anniversary on the air with a daily alternative health and fitness radio show that continues to attract news/talk affiliates across North America. Dr. Asa, a dedicated media disciple of Dave Ramsey, discusses a wide variety of subjects with Michael Harrison including the potentially powerful role of credible doctor shows as ratings and revenue generators within the context of news/talk formats. They also talk about reality TV (he’s about to star in a series on the Discovery Channel) and Dr. Asa’s experiences as a student at the WCW school for professional wrestlers. Don’t miss this cool podcast. To listen to the entire program, 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. In Detroit, afternoon drive personality Ian “Slacker” Richards is promoted to program director at CBS RADIO’s CHR WDZH “98.7 AMP Radio.” Richards also serves as music director for the station.  CBS RADIO Detroit VP of programming Tim Roberts says, “Ian has demonstrated over and over an in-depth knowledge of the top 40 format, music and artists.  He is also a natural leader both on and off the air for our staff and the WDZH brand.”…..Radio programming pro Jimmy Steele joins Cumulus Media in Mobile, Alabama to handle operations manager duties for the company’s five-station cluster.  He’ll oversee operations for CHR WABD-FM, Gospel WGOK-AM, hip hop WBLX-FM, urban contemporary WDLT-FM, and news/talk WXQW-AM.  Steele will also serve WXQW-AM as program director.  Steele joins Cumulus Media from iHeartMedia in Reading, Pennsylvania where he programmed adult hits WRFY-FM and tropical WRAW-AM/FM and served as morning show host on WRFY-FM.  Cumulus Media VP of programming operations Doug Hamand says, “We are very excited to bring Jimmy’s amazing track record and high caliber talents to coaching and mentoring our fabulous programming team in Mobile.  Our great radio stations already dominate the ratings here and with Jimmy’s vision, experience and focus, there’s no limit to what we can achieve together!….Alpha Media Savannah-Hilton Head announces WUBB’s “Tim Leary and the Morning Showgram” and WFXH’s Ryan Koch were each awarded Connect Savannah Reader’s Choice Awards.  “Tim Leary and the Morning Showgram” won “Best Morning Radio Show,” while Ryan Koch was awarded “Best Local Personality.”  Winners were chosen by local readers of Connect Savannah.

WRKO, Boston 50th Anniversary Reunion a Huge Success.   The 50th anniversary WRKO reunion (celebrating the now-news/talk outlet’s switch to its legendary top 40 format a half century ago) took place this past weekend (6/2-3).  More than 80 alumni and friends showed up for a dinner on Friday night followed by a special Saturday night broadcast on the heritage 50k station.  Local voice talent Jordan Rich interviewed dozens of attendees at the dinner.  Nearly all of the original cast of DJs from 1967 were on hand for a fascinating re-creation of a truly fun time in radio.  It was organized by the station’s music-era PD Mel Phillips, along with technical expert George Capalbo, Jr. of Backbone Networks (son of WRKO’s late technical architect George Capalbo, Sr.) and a number of broadcast veterans of that historic era.  The Saturday night show was streamed live on Facebook and by the end of the program, approximately 69,000 people were estimated to be listening and watching around the world!  Entercom VP/market manager Phil Zachary was praised by organizers as being instrumental in making the event a reality.  Industry videographer/historian Art Vuolo was on hand to capture the entire event for posterity telling TALKERS  that he hopes to have the video edited and complete before the end of June.  Pictured (l-r): J.J. JeffreyAl Gates, Mel Phillips, Joel Cash, Chuck Knapp and Arthur Katz.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

| February 23, 2017

Q4 2016 Shows Profit for iHeartMedia.  The San Antonio-based radio giant announced its earnings for the fourth quarter of 2016 and the year as a whole and, for the first time in 27 quarters, the debt-laden company turned a profit.  iHeartMedia’s net income for the fourth quarter of 2016 was $106.04 million.  It lost $93.3 million during the same period in 2015.  For 2016 as a whole, its loss dipped to $296.32 million, compared to the posted loss of $754.62 million the previous year.   iHeartMedia chairman and CEO Bob Pittman states, “We continue to take major steps to transform our iHeartMedia and outdoor businesses into a leading multi-platform, 21st-century media and entertainment company.  We are successfully building out new products and services for advertising partners to capitalize on our unique strength with the consumer – such as extending iHeartRadio with new, on-demand services and to in-home connectivity devices, including Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home.  In firsts for both industries, iHeartMedia and outdoor are building out their data-rich analytics capabilities and programmatic ad-buying solutions to do business in the same way that the entire advertising industry is heading.”

Legal Analysis: The Suit Against Howard Stern.  TALKERS magazine legal editor Steven J.J. Weisman takes a look at the lawsuit recently filed against SiriusXM personality Howard Stern and the IRS by a Massachusetts woman.  In his analysis, Weisman considers the liability of Stern, who aired a phone call between the plaintiff and the IRS without the plaintiff’s knowledge.  As many broadcasters are aware, the FCC rules about airing phone calls do not apply to satellite radio.  However, the plaintiff alleges she’s suffered damages and endured pain and suffering as a result of the incident.  Read Weisman’s take on the matter here.

DGital Media Partners with Bill Bennett for Podcast.  Reagan Administration appointee, former Salem Radio Network talk host and current Trump Administration advisor Bill Bennett is partnering with DGital Media to produce a weekly program that “brings together some of the most influential voices in politics, media, education and business for a conversation designed to inform listeners about what is impacting their lives, from the White House to their local communities.”  The weekly podcast launches today (2/23) with Vice President Mike Pence as Bennett’s first guest.  It’s available via iTunes, Google Play, Spotify, Stitcher, TuneIn, and others.

Opinion: SAG-AFTRA – Too Little, Too Late.  WFTL, Fort Lauderdale afternoon drive talk show host Joyce Kaufman challenges the recent statement by union SAG-AFTRA “supporting the rights of a free and unencumbered press.”  Kaufman believes the union is being hypocritical and partisan for choosing this time to support “broadcast and online” journalists covering the Trump Administration, having chosen not to do so in the past.  Read her piece here.

Chris Christie’s Name in the Mix for WFAN, New York Gig.  There are still another 10 months to go until WFAN, New York afternoon sports talk host Mike Francesa leaves the CBS Radio sports talk outlet at the end of his contract, but station PD Mark Chernoff indicates to the media that he’s certainly willing to consider outgoing New Jersey Governor – and avowed Dallas Cowboys fan – Chris Christie for the gig.  Chernoff is quoted in the Bergen Record’s NorthJersey.com saying Christie is among “plenty” of candidates the station is considering.  “I would certainly at least want to consider him.  If he’s interested and we’re interested, it’s worth pursuing.”  Christie has done a number of fill-in gigs on WFAN and he’s made no secret of the fact that he’d like to do something in sports media when he leaves office.  Read the whole story here.

TALKERS magazine News Notes.  The nationally syndicated “Staying Young Show” – with host Judy Gaman announces that its podcast has hit the 1million download mark.  The “Staying Young Show” is syndicated for radio by Talk Media Network.  In June of 2015, Stay Young Media Group, LLC decided to relaunch the show as the podcast “Staying Young Show 2.o” so that it could be heard internationally.  Shortly after launching the podcast, it hit #1 on iTunes N&N Science and Medicine.  Talk Media Network president Josh Leng comments, “The ‘Staying Young Radio Show’ continues to lead the way with impactful broadcast and on-demand listening for those who take an active role in their medical and healthy living decisions.  The ‘Staying Young’ listener is one who cares highly about their well-being and their loved ones.  It is a fun and informative program, with numerous takeaways in each and every weekly episode.”…..KHTK, Sacramento sports talk host Damien Barling is off the air – at least temporarily – for calling Sacramento Kings general manager Vlade Divac a “moron” after trading DeMarcus Cousins to the New Orleans Pelicans.  Barling is not the only Kings critic to rail against the team for getting next to nothing in return for Cousins.  As Deadspin reports, KHTK is the flagship radio station for Kings broadcasts, though the team has denied it had anything to do with Barling’s on-air status.  KHTK program director Kevin Sherrets told Deadspin the station doesn’t tolerate personal attacks…..Bonneville Denver adds a new show to the lineup at sports talk KKFN “Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan.”  The daily 9:00 am to 10:00 am show features station contributors former Denver Bronco Tyler Polumbus and Broncos Insider Cecil Lammey.

Order, Boisterous GOP Town Halls, Retaking Mosul from ISIS, This Week’s CPAC, O’Keefe Threatens CNN Tapes, Kim Jong Nam Assassination Investigation, and NBA and NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/22).  Public debate over what the Trump Administrations’ second travel order means for U.S. immigration policy; the reaction to Donald Trump’s reversal of Barack Obama’s transgender bathroom order; the action taking place at GOP politicians’ town halls and questions about whether attendees are paid activists or actual constituents; the battle to re-take Mosul from Islamic State and the recent removal of the terrorist organization from the city’s airport; conservatives converge on a Maryland resort for the Conservative Political Action Conference; undercover journalist James O’Keefe threatens to “expose” CNN with hidden camera footage of the news organization’s operations; the investigation into the death of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un’s half-brother Kim Jong Nam; and NBA and NHL action were the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Broadcasting Live from CPAC.  Nationally syndicated radio host Mike Gallagher (right) hosts Milwaukee Country Sheriff David Clarke (left) on his Salem Radio Network program.  Gallagher is doing his program from the Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Maryland.  Some of Gallagher’s other guests this week include U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Heritage Foundation president Jim DeMint.

Carruthers:  Now is the Time for Radio Broadcasters to Get Serious About Podcasting.  Veteran syndicated radio broadcaster Mike Carruthers (host and creator of “Something You Should Know”) says most professional radio broadcasters are not yet taking advantage of the benefits and opportunities that can be developed as a natural extension of their already-proven skills and talent in the growing field of podcasting.  In an extremely informative article posted today (2/21) Carruthers – CEO of PerfectYourPodcast.com – concisely explains the state of podcasting and what radio broadcasters need to know to move their careers forward into seriously developing their stake in this dynamic field.  Carruthers will be presenting a free master class webinar (see story above) in association with TALKERS magazine titled “How to Launch and Grow a Successful Podcast” on Wednesday, March 8 at 1:00 pm ET.  To read the Mike Carruthers article, please click here.

 

 

CBS RADIO Promotes Tim Roberts to VP of Country Programming.  Already serving the company as vice president of music programming for CBS RADIO’s Detroit station group, the company announces that it is promoting Tim Roberts to the corporate post of VP of country programming.  CBS notes that Roberts is a veteran country music programmer “having worked in the radio industry for the past 39 years, with 38 of those dedicated to the country format.  By adding this new role to his purview, Roberts will be CBS RADIO’s lead liaison with the country music community, including Nashville’s top artists, labels, and management teams.  He will provide programming guidance and expertise to the division’s 12 country stations nationwide and work closely with the CBS RADIO Music Initiatives team to deliver live marquee events and experiences, such as the widely popular ‘Stars and Strings’ annual charity concert held at the iconic Chicago Theatre.”  Executive vice president of programming Chris Oliviero adds, “Tim is universally respected and admired as one of country radio’s preeminent programmers which makes him the ideal choice to lead our platform of more than 8 million weekly listeners including many of the format’s most recognizable brands.”

Ashley Z Takes Nights at ‘Q100’ in Atlanta.  The replacement for Adam Bomb in the evening shift at Cumulus Media’s CHR WWWQ, Atlanta “Q100” is Ashley Elzinga, a.k.a. Ashley Z.  Elzinga moves to Atlanta from her most recent gig at KDND, Sacramento “107.9 The End.”  During her career she’s also served with Saga’s CHR WNRG, Milwaukee “Energy 106.9” and with Ryan Seacrest Productions as part of the digital media team.  “Q100” program director Louie Diaz states, “After a nationwide search, ‘Q100’ is excited to add Ashley Z to the on-air team.  Ashley is an incredible talent and will keep ‘Q100’ #1 for great local content and hit music at night.”  Cumulus recently moved Adam Bomb to the afternoon daypart on WWWQ.

Andy Grammer to Perform at 2017 Golden Mike Award Ceremony.  On Monday evening, the Broadcasters Foundation of America will hold the 2017 Golden Mike Award ceremony at the Plaza Hotel in New York City.  Performing at the annual black-tie gala will be BMI songwriter and S-Curve Records artist Andy Grammer.  He is well known for his 2015 mega-hit “Honey, I’m Good.”  This year’s Golden Mike honoree is Paul Karpowicz, president of Meredith Corporation’s Local Media Group.  Receiving the 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award will be retired president of Cox Media Group, Bill Hoffman.  The Golden Mike Award dinner attracts a who’s who of broadcast media executives and celebrities.  For information on how to reserve a seat or a table, please contact the Broadcasters Foundation at 212-373-8250, or email info@thebfoa.org.

 

 

Round Two of January PPM Data Released. The second of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio‘s January 2017 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: Washington, Boston, Detroit, Miami, Seattle, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis. Nielsen Audio’s January 2017 survey period covered January 5 – February 1.  View all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here. Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Takeaways” from all of these PPM markets below.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

1) Washington, D.C. – The start of the new year brings excellent news for several Nation’s Capital spoken-word stations, including American University‘s WAMU “The Mind Is Our Medium” (9.2 – 11.0, +1.8, second to first, 6+); Hubbard Broadcasting-owned all-news WTOP (8.7 – 10.4, +1.7, third to second, 6+); and Cumulus Media talker WMAL (3.3 – 4.1, +.8, #12 to #9, 6+). It is quite a turnaround for all three, given that in “Holiday” 2016, WAMU was -2.3; WTOP -.7, halting three straight up or flat trends (8.7 – 9.2 – 9.4 – 9.4, 6+); and WMAL -.9, curtailing five straight sweeps without a decrease for a net +1.3 (2.9 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 4.0 – 4.1 – 4.2, 6+). “The Mind Is Our Medium” was +1.5 in December to 11.5, the most potent 6+-share in its PPM-history. Ousted from #1 is iHeartMedia adult contemporary WASH, which squanders more than half its 6+-share (10.4 – 4.8, – 5.6, 6+) and drifts from first to fifth. Locked on 4.5 (6+) in September and October, WASH picked up four-tenths in November; added one full-share in December; and was +4.5 in “Holiday” 2016. Notching gains of seven-tenths each are CBS Radio hot AC WIAD “94.7 Fresh” (3.4 – 4.1, #11 to #9, tied with WMAL, 6+) and – after a -.6 in “Holiday” 2016 Columbia Union College contemporary Christian WGTS (2.9 – 2.3 – 3.0, #16 to #14, 6+). Advancing from eighth to sixth, iHeartMedia classic rock WBIG “Big 100” picks up six-tenths to 4.5, its best 6+-stat since September 2015 (4.5 as well). Down in five consecutive sweeps resulting in a combined -2.3 (6.1 – 5.9 – 5.4 – 4.7 – 4.3 – 3.8, 6+), Radio One-owned urban AC WMMJ bounces back in consecutive sweeps with a combined +1.1 (3.8 – 4.4 – 4.9, 6+), elevating from seventh to fourth. “Majic 102.3” trails its direct competitor – Howard University‘s WHUR (5.7 – 6.0, +.3, fourth to third) – by 1.1 shares (6+). A loss of one-tenth in “Holiday” 2016 by Radio One gospel WPRS ended five successive improvements that produced a cumulative +2.2 (2.9 – 3.2 – 3.4 – 4.6 – 4.9 – 5.1, 6+). Now, “Praise 104.1” regresses by another eight-tenths (5.0 – 4.2, 6+), skidding from fifth to eighth.

2) Boston – The rollercoaster ride continues for Beasley Media Group-owned WROR, which forfeited all of December’s +1.1 with a -1.4 in “Holiday” 2016, but rebounds in January 2017 with a +1.6 (6.6 – 7.7 – 6.3 – 7.9, 6+), marching from second back to first. “Boston’s Classic Hits” was the market leader for 11 successive monthlies before being dislodged in December by sibling WMJX “Magic 106.7.” In advance of December’s +1.1, WROR had been down by a combined two full-shares over the last four sweeps (8.6 – 8.4 – 8.1 – 7.4 – 6.6, 6+). As for “Magic,” the adult contemporary facility nearly quadrupled the +1.5 it dialed up in December with a +5.6 in “Holiday” 2016, but it spirals by -7.4 in January 2017 (6.3 – 7.8 – 13.4 – 6.0, 6+) and drops to third. Prior to advancing to #1 in December, “Magic” was in the runner-up slot April 2016 through November. When it registered a 6.6 in September, WMJX halted three successive down or flat trends for a combined -1.2 (7.5 – 6.9 – 6.3 – 6.3, 6+). A -.6 in July, meanwhile, stopped a successive string of five increases for a cumulative +1.2 (6.3 – 6.5 – 6.8 – 7.2 – 7.3 – 7.5, 6+). Off a combined six-tenths in December and “Holiday” 2016 (5.6 – 5.2 – 5.0, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WXKS-FM “Kiss 108 Boston’s #1 Hit Music Station” roars back with a +.9 to 5.9 (6+), climbing from fifth to fourth. Several spoken-word outlets in The Hub display significant gains including Boston University-owned WBUR (3.7 – 4.7, +1.0, eighth to seventh, 6+); public WGBH-FM (3.4 – 4.3, +.9, tenth to ninth, 6+); Entercom talker WRKO (2.4 – 3.0, +.6, #15 to #13, 6+) and co-owned sports WEEI-FM (4.8 – 5.4, +.6, steady at #6, 6+). Up by +1.1 in back-to-back monthlies (3.4 – 4.1 – 4.5, October-November-December, 6+), WBUR surrendered eight-tenths in “Holiday” 2016. WGBH-FM had been down or flat the past three sweeps for a combined -.6 (4.0 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.4, 6+). Prior to reaching 3.0 (6+) in January 2017, WRKO had been in 2.0 – 2.9 range (6+) for 23 ratings periods in a row. Meanwhile, Red Sox flagship WEEI-FM cuts in half (eight-tenths to four-tenths) the 6+ margin by which it trails format rival – CBS Radio’s WBZ-FM “The Sports Hub” (5.6 – 5.8, +.2, fourth to fifth, 6+). “The Sports Hub” is the key station of the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots. Albeit that it remains at #11, cluster-mate WZLX “Classic Rock 100.7” gains four-tenths to 3.4 (6+), pulling the plug on four straight negative trends that produced a collective -1.5 (4.5 – 4.1 – 4.0 – 3.7 – 3.0, 6+). Following four straight negative trends that yielded a combined -1.4 since September (5.0 – 4.7 – 4.4 – 4.1 – 3.6, 6+), Beasley Media Group’s WKLB “New Hit Country 102.5” posts a +.7 to 4.3 (6+) and is steady at #9. Debuting at #22 with a .9 (6+) is Entercom’s WKAF “97.7 Boston’s #1 for R&B.”

3) Detroit – Jumping from seventh to third, Beasley Media Group’s WRIF “Rocks Detroit” hangs out a +1.4 to 5.9, the station’s best 6+-stat in nearly a year (5.9, February 2016). Enjoying spikes of eight-tenths each are CBS Radio all-news WWJ (5.8 – 6.6, 6+) and co-owned WYCD “99.5 Detroit’s Country” (4.9, tenth to seventh, 6+). In moving from third to first, WWJ evicts WNIC from the top spot, as the iHeartMedia adult contemporary property erodes by roughly 60% (6+) and skids to sixth. The -8.5 to 5.2 (6+) curtails four straight improvements by WNIC that netted +8.8 since September (4.9 – 5.2 – 5.7 – 6.8 – 13.7, 6+). Meanwhile, “Detroit’s Country” was down or flat the last three sweeps for a combined -.9 (5.0 – 5.0 – 4.6 – 4.1, 6+). Progressing by seven-tenths each are Cumulus Media hot AC WDVD “96.3 Today’s Best Hits” (3.1 – 3.8, #15 to #11, 6+); co-owned WDRQ “93.1 Nash FM” (2.7 – 3.4, unchanged at #16, 6+); and iHeartMedia classic rocker WDTW “106.7 The D Whatever Rocks” (2.3 – 3.0, #18 to 17, 6+). The +.7 by WDVD ends four straight sweeps without an increase that yielded a -1.3 (4.4 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 3.9 – 3.1, 6+). Up by six-tenths and one-half share, respectively, are iHeartMedia CHR WKQI “Channel 95-5 Detroit’s #1 Hit Music Station” (4.3 – 4.9, ninth to seventh, 6+) and Wayne State University’s WDET (1.5, 6+), which had registered 1.0 (6+) in four of the last five sweeps and cracks the top 20 (#20). Frozen on 4.7 (6+) in December on “Holiday” 2016, iHeartMedia urban AC WMXD “Mix 92.3” sputters by one-half share to 4.2 (sixth to tenth, 6+). In six consecutive decreases (7.8 – 7.7 – 7.5 – 6.0 – 4.9 – 4.5 – 4.3, 6+), CBS Radio sports outlet WXYT-FM “97.1 The Ticket” is -3.5 (6+), dipping from seventh to ninth. After a one-month hiatus from the top spot, WXYT-FM returned to #1 in September and repeated there in October; “The Ticket” was #1 in April 2016, May, June, and July.

4) Miami – The third successive improvement by WMXJ “102.7 The Beach” (ninth to sixth) is by one-half share as the Entercom classic hits-oldies outlet is +1.1 since November (3.5 – 3.9 – 4.1 – 4.6, 6+). Notching a one-half share increase as well is public WLRN (2.5, #17 to #16, 6+), which was without an increase in the previous three ratings periods for a cumulative -.9 (2.9 – 2.6 – 2.0 – 2.0, 6+). A gain of two tenths (to 7.0, 6+) is enough to propel Univision Radio’s WAMR from second to first. In three of the previous four ratings periods, “Amor 107.5” posted a 6.8 (6+). Exiting the top spot after three consecutive sweeps there and sliding to second is Cox Media Group adult contemporary WFEZ “Easy 93.1,” which has its third successive decrease (7.2 – 7.1 – 7.0 – 6.6, 6+). “Easy 93.1” was a collective +1.1 (6.1 – 6.7 – 7.2, September – October – November, 6+). It is three tenths ahead of Entercom’s similarly-programmed WLYF “Lite FM,” which is up one-tenth to 6.3, #3, 6+), thus applying the brakes to five straight ratings periods that had resulted in a decrease of more than two full-shares (8.4 – 8.4 – 7.0 – 7.0 – 6.7 – 6.2, 6+). “Lite FM” was #1 from July 2016 through October. When WEDR declined by one-half share in December, its string of consecutive up or flat trends that produced a +.7 ended at five (4.5 – 4.5 – 4.8 – 4.9 – 4.9 – 5.2, 6+). The Cox Media Group urban contemporary rolled out a +1.1 in “Holiday” 2016 but “99 Jamz” now flounders by -1.5 (4.7 – 5.8 – 4.3, 6+) and falls from fifth to seventh. Down or flat for six straight sweeps for a combined -1.9 (8.2 – 8.0 – 7.2 – 7.1 – 6.4 – 6.4 – 6.3, 6+), urban AC sibling WHQT “Hot 105” notched a one-half share gain in “Holiday” 2016 only to stumble by seven-tenths in January 2017 (6.3 – 6.8 – 6.1, 6+) moving from a second-place tie to fourth. CHR rivals WHYI “Y-100 Miami’s #1 Hit Music Station” and WFLC “Hits 97.3” were tied at #12 (3.6, 6+) in “Holiday” 2016, but iHeartMedia’s WHYI picks up one-tenth to 3.7 and moves up to #10, while Cox Media Group’s WFLC is flat at 3.6, yet inches up to #11. After an extended period as a nonsubscriber, Spanish Broadcasting System’s WRMA appeared in the “Holiday” 2016 report at #7 (4.3, 6+), but “Ritmo 95.7” disappears again.

5) Seattle – Faltering by nine-tenths in “Holiday” 2016, University of Washington-owned KUOW answers with a +1.4 (4.4 – 5.8, 6+) to vault from sixth to second. By picking up nine-tenths, CBS Radio’s classic rock KZOK (seventh to sixth) curtails five successive down or flat trends that yielded a cumulative full-share loss (5.1 – 4.8 – 4.6 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 4.1, 6+). Country cluster-mate KMPS recaptures – in its entirety – the full-share it lost in “Holiday” 2016 (4.0 – 3.0 – 4.0, 6+) and is back in the top ten (#13 to #7). Meanwhile, owing to a +.2 to 2.5 (6+), Entercom’s similarly-programmed KKWF “100.7 The Wolf” halts four consecutive slumps that produced a combined -1.8 (4.1 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 2.8 – 2.3, 6+). Down or flat in each of the last four ratings periods for a cumulative -.9 (5.8 – 5.7 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 4.9, 6+), Bonneville talker KIRO-FM recaptures most of it with a +.8 to 5.7, climbing from fourth to third. Completely erasing its “Holiday” 2016 deficit of six-tenths (3.7 – 3.1 – 3.7, 6+), iHeartMedia hot AC KBKS “106.1 Kiss FM More Music, More Variety” returns to the top ten (#9 from #12). It is tied in ninth-place with Sinclair Broadcast Group’s similarly programmed KPLZ “Star 101.5,” which surrenders all but three-tenths of the +2.1 it logged in “Holiday” 2016 (3.4 – 5.5 – 3.7, -1.8, 6+); “Star” joins “Kiss” at #9 from #3. In 4.3 – 4.8 range (6+) the past six sweeps, iHeartMedia’s KJR-FM spikes by one-half share to 5.1 (6+) and carries on at #5. Improving by one-half share as well is Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KLSW “K-LOVE” (.8 – 1.3, #25, 6+). At the same time, Crista Ministries’ similarly-programmed KCMS-FM “Spirit 105.3,” which had been without a decrease in seven consecutive sweeps yielding a +1.3 (2.3 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.6 – 3.0 – 3.1 – 3.6, 6+), registers a -.8 to 2.8 (6+) to plummet from #8 to #17. On top for 12 straight sweeps entering the “Holiday” 2016 ratings period, Hubbard Radio CHR KQMV “MOViN 92.5 All The Hits” gave way to adult contemporary cluster-mate KRWM “Warm 106.9.” It is a short stay at the top though for “Warm” as it drops more than five full-shares and shifts to fourth (10.9 – 5.6, -5.3, 6+), while KQMV (6.8 – 7.1, +.3, 6+) returns to #1. In three successive gains prior to January’s -5.3, “Warm” was a cumulative +6.6 (4.3 – 4.4 – 6.7 – 10.9, 6+).  A combined -1.6 in five successive ratings periods without a gain (4.4 – 3.7 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 2.8 – 2.8), Entercom rhythmic hot AC KHTP “Hot 103.7 100% Throwbacks” gains four-tenths to 3.2 (6+) and moves from #16 to #13.

6) Phoenix – A cumulative -.9 as a result of being without an increase since September (3.9 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.0, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR KZZP “104.7 The #1 Hit Music Station” hangs out a +1.1 to 4.1 and breaks into the top ten (#12 to #7). Up or flat in four monthlies entering the “Holiday” 2016 sweep (3.6 – 3.8 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 4.0, 6+), Bonneville talker KTAR-FM regressed by six-tenths but responds with a full-share increase (4.0 – 3.4 – 4.4, 6+) and rockets from ninth to fourth. Two of the several contemporary Christian properties that are present in Phoenix show strong growth: KFLR “Family Life Radio” adds nine-tenths (1.3 – 2.2 #21, 6+), while Educational Media Foundation’s KLVA “K-LOVE” gains seven-tenths (.6 – 1.3, #28, 6+). In addition to “K-LOVE,” CBS Radio’s KMLE Country @ 107.9 (4.2 – 4.9, steady at #3, 6+); classic hits-oldies sibling KOOL (ninth to seventh, 6+); and iHeartMedia hot AC KMXP “Mix 96.9 Today’s Best Music” (flat at #6, 6+) are also up by seven-tenths. “Mix” recoups the -.7 from “Holiday” 2016. Three straight negative trends prior to January’s +.7 (4.8 – 4.7 – 4.4 – 3.4, 6+) produced a collective -1.4 for KOOL. Progressing from fifth to fourth, Hubbard-owned KUPD “Arizona’s Real Rock” puts up a +.4 to 4.4 (6+), closing out four straight months without a gain that yielded a -1.1 (5.1 – 5.1 – 5.1 – 4.7 – 4.0, 6+). Maricopa County Community College’s KJZZ notches an increase of eight-tenths (2.1 – 2.9, 6+) as it cruises from #19 to #14, while co-owned classical KBAQ “89.5 K-Bach” (#17) extends its string of up or flat trends to five for a cumulative +.9 (1.7 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.6, 6+). Up one-half share each are iHeartMedia adult hits KYOT “95.5 The Mountain” (3.7, flat at #11, 6+) and Farmworker Educational Radio regional Mexican KNAI (2.9 – 3.4, steady at #13, 6+). “The Mountain” had been down or flat the previous six ratings periods (5.0 – 4.5 – 4.2 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 3.9 – 3.2, 6+). Even though iHeartMedia adult contemporary KESZ erodes by nearly 10 full-shares (16.5 – 6.6, -9.9, 6+), it is #1 for the 29th successive ratings period. Its 16.5 in “Holiday” 2016 (6+) matched what KESZ recorded in “Holiday” 2015. Not only is this the fifth straight down or flat trend for KLNZ “La Tricolor 103.5” for a collective -1.4 (3.2 – 3.2 – 2.9 – 2.6 – 2.1 – 1.8, 6+), the Entravision regional Mexican outlet departs the top 20 (#19 to #23, 6+).

7) Minneapolis – The market’s (6+) hot AC share swells by +2.6, with that increase equally divided between Hubbard Broadcasting’s KSTP-FM “KS-95 Today’s Variety” (6.4 – 7.7, +1.3, 6+) and iHeartMedia’s KTCZ “The Cities” (5.3, +1.3, #12 to #8, 6+). The increase not only allows “KS-95” to advance from second to first, it ends a drought in which the hot AC hadn’t had an increase since February 2016 (10.2 – 9.8 – 9.8 – 9.8 – 9.1 – 9.1 – 8.9 – 7.7 – 7.6 – 7.1 – 7.1 – 6.4, 6+). In those 11 straight sweeps of being either down or flat, “KS-95” was a combined -3.8. Meanwhile, “The Cities” rebounds from a combined -1.2 in December and “Holiday” 2016 (5.2 – 4.6 – 4.0, 6+). Eroding in excess of 10 full-shares, its classic hits-oldies sibling KQQL “Kool 108 Minnesota’s Greatest Hits” (15.9 – 5.6, -10.3, 6+) is the station displaced at #1 and drifting to #6. Having faltered in five straight ratings periods for a combined -1.7 (8.0 – 7.5 – 7.2 – 6.8 – 6.5 – 6.3, 6+), “Kool 108” rebounded with a collective +9.6 in December and “Holiday” 2016. Following four straight negative trends that produced a loss of two full-shares (8.1 – 7.5 – 7.3 – 7.0 – 6.1, 6+), CHR sibling KDWB “101.3 The Twin Cities’ #1 Hit Music Station” is up four-tenths to 6.5 (6+), advancing from third to a second-place tie. Unchanged at #4, Cumulus Media-owned KQRS “Minnesota’s Classic Rock” is +.4 to 6.4 (6+), pulling the plug on three successive downward sweeps accounting for a -1.1 (7.1 – 7.0 – 6.9 – 6.0, 6+). Spoken-word facilities do well in absorbing some of those available shares. In particular, Minnesota Public Radio’s KNOW, which concluded three straight positive trends (4.9 – 5.1 – 5.2 – 5.9, 6+) in “Holiday” 2016 with a -1.3, roars back with a +1.4 (4.6 – 6.0, eighth to fifth, 6+); iHeartMedia talker KTLK-AM gains nine-tenths (2.0 – 2.9, 6+), returning to #14 from #16; and CBS Radio’s WCCO adds eight-tenths (4.4 – 5.2, #11 to #9, 6+). Before dropping six-tenths in “Holiday” 2016, KTLK-AM was without a loss the previous six sweeps for a combined +1.2 (1.4 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 2.1 – 2.6, 6+). This marks the first increase for WCCO since July; it was a combined -.9 since then in six straight down or flat trends (5.3 – 4.8 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 4.4, 6+). Also in the non-music genre, iHeartMedia’s KFXN “Sports Radio FM 100.3 K-FAN” posts a +.5 (6.0 – 6.5, 6+) to progress from fourth to second. In December and “Holiday” 2016, “K-FAN” tumbled by a combined -2.5 (6+). With an 8.9 in October, it boasted the best 6+-share in its PPM-history. In addition to KFXN, Cumulus Media rocker KXXR “93-X” (5.0, 6+) and American Public Media Group triple A KCMP (2.0 – 2.5, flat at #16, 6+) also rise by one-half share; “93-X” regains the one-half share it lost in “Holiday” 2016 yet backslides from #10 to #11.

8) San Diego – Off by a full-share since November (5.7 – 4.9 – 4.7, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR KHTS “Channel 93-3 San Diego’s #1 Hit Music Station” captures all of it and storms from fourth to first (4.7 – 5.7, +1.0, 6+). That ends the one sweep stay at the top for CBS Radio adult contemporary-turned hot AC KYXY (9.1 – 4.7, -4.4, 6+), which segues to fourth-place, vacated by “Channel 93-3.” A +4.6 by KYXY in “Holiday” 2016 extended its string of up or flat trends to five (3.7 – 4.0 – 4.3 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 9.1, 6+). After regressing by six-tenths in “Holiday” 2016, Entercom-owned KSON “New Country” bounces back with a +.7 (4.0 – 4.7, 6+) and is tied with KYXY at #4. Spoken-word outlets jumping by six-tenths are San Diego State University’s KPBS (4.6 – 5.2, sixth to third, 6+) and Midwest Television talker KFMB-AM (2.0 – 2.6, #20 to #19, 6+). Following eight consecutive up or flat trends that produced a gain of eight-tenths (1.5 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 2.3, 6+), KFMB-AM dropped three-tenths in “Holiday” 2016. Gaining six-tenths as well are Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KLQV “102.9 Mas Variedad” (4.2, #11 to #9, 6+); Imagen Spanish contemporary XLTN (also 3.6 – 4.2, #11 to #9, 6+); and Entercom-owned KBZT “94.9 San Diego’s Alternative” (2.1 – 2.7, #19 to #17, 6+). “Mas Variedad” had registered three consecutive decreases for a collective -1.7 (5.3 – 4.5 – 4.2 – 3.6, 6+), while “San Diego’s Alternative” is in 2.1 – 2.7 range (6+) for the fifteenth straight monthly.  Improving by one-half share each are Midwest Television rocker KFMB-FM “100.7 KFM-BFM” (2.3 – 2.8, #18 to #16, 6+) and alternative XTRA “91-X” (1.7 – 2.2, #20, 6+). This curtails five straight downward trends for KFMB-FM that resulted in a combined -1.1 (3.4 – 3.3 – 2.9 – 2.6 – 2.4 – 2.3, 6+). Off by six-tenths and one-half share, respectively, are rhythmic CHR XHTZ “Z-90.3 Today’s Hit Music” (5.1 – 4.6, 6+, third to seventh) and classic hits-oldies XPRS-FM “105.7 Max FM” (2.4 – 1.8, #17 to #21, 6+). In four straight increases prior to January 2017, “Max FM” was a combined +.5 (1.9 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 2.4, 6+). This is the fifteenth straight time KGB is within three-share range (3.6 – 3.5, -.1, 6+); “San Diego’s Classic Rock Music” falls from #11 to #13.

9) Tampa – Without an increase in three straight sweeps for a -.7 (3.4 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.7, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WXTB “98 Rock” busts out a +.7 to 3.4 (6+), climbing from #16 to #15. Four Tampa Bay properties gain six tenths, including “98 Rock” cluster-mate WFUS “US-103.5 Tampa Bay’s New Country Leader” (4.1 – 4.7, eighth to fifth, 6+) and a station with the same calls in a different order – University of South Florida’s WUSF (3.6 – 4.2, #12 to #11, 6+). Following four straight gains for a cumulative +1.3 (4.0 – 4.6 – 4.8 – 5.1 – 5.3, 6+), WFUS surrendered -1.2 in “Holiday” 2016. Also in that group gaining six-tenths are Beasley Media Group classic hits-oldies and Spanish contemporary siblings WRBQ “Tampa Bay’s Q-105” (3.9 – 4.5, tenth to sixth, 6+) and WYUU “92.5 Maxima” (#14 to #12, 6+). “Q-105” was off by one-half share in “Holiday” 2016, while “92.5 Maxima” is trending 3.9 – 4.4 – 3.9 – 3.4 – 4.0 (6+). Posting gains of one-half share are Cox Media Group’s WXGL “Classic Hits 107-3 The Eagle” (6.4 – 6.9, steady at #2, 6+) and iHeartMedia talker WFLA (3.0 – 3.5, #15 to #13, 6+). After five consecutive positive trends for a cumulative full-share increase (5.5 – 5.6 – 6.0 – 6.1 – 6.2 – 6.5, 6+), “The Eagle” was down by one-tenth in “Holiday” 2016. Notwithstanding that it is off by -3.1 (12.7 – 9.6, 6+), Cox Media Group adult contemporary WDUV “Lite Favorites” is in the driver’s seat for the 52nd successive ratings period. This time last year, “Lite Favorites” was #1 with a 12.1 (6+). After being up for three straight months netting a +1.3 (3.8 – 4.1 – 4.3 – 5.1), Radio Training Network contemporary Christian WCIE “The JOY FM” falters by seven-tenths to 4.4 (6+) and slips from fourth to seventh. Regressing by one-half share are iHeartMedia urban contemporary WBTP “95.7 The Beat” (third to fourth, 6+) and co-owned WDAE “Tampa Bay’s Sports Radio” (2.7 – 2.2, #16 to #18, 6+). This is the third successive decline for “The Beat” (6.3 – 5.8 – 5.4 – 4.9, 6+) for a collective -1.4.

10) Denver – Locked on 3.3 (6+) in December and “Holiday” 2016, Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KLDV “K-LOVE” erupts with a +1.1 to 4.4 and catapults from #14 to #7. Dusting itself off from a -.5 in “Holiday” 2016, Bonneville’s KKFN “Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan” also improves by +1.1 (2.9 – 4.0, 6+), cruising from #16 to #11. A loss of six-tenths in November by “The Fan” halted four successive up or flat trends which netted two full-shares (2.9 – 2.9 – 3.5 – 3.6 – 4.9, 6+). October 2016’s 4.9 represents its most potent 6+ showing under PPM methodology. As a result of eroding by -1.3 in December, iHeartMedia’s KTCL not only ended four straight up or flat sweeps that produced a +1.3 (5.3 – 6.3 – 6.6 – 6.6 – 6.6, 6+), it concluded four consecutive months at #1. In back-to-back sweeps though, “Modern Rock Channel 93-3” is +1.8 (5.3 – 6.2 – 7.1, 6+) and marches from runner-up to first. Supplanted from the top spot and seguing to #2 is Bonneville adult contemporary KOSI “101 Real-Music-Variety,” which has its 6+-share sliced precisely in half to 5.8. Moreover, the -5.8 curtails three straight gains that netted a combined +6.2 since October (5.4 – 5.6 – 6.5 – 11.6, 6+). In addition to KTCL, Colorado Public Radio’s KCFR dials up a +.9 as well (3.8 – 4.7, 6+), rocketing from #11 to #6. Fluctuations in calendar year 2016 for KCFR included +.7 (January); -.7 (February); +.7 (March); -.7 (April); -.7 (June); +.7 (July); -.8 (October); and +.6 (November); it begins 2017 with a +.9. Improving by seven-tenths are KSE Radio Ventures classic hits-oldies KXKL “KOOL 105 Denver’s Greatest Hits” (4.8 – 5.5, fifth to fourth, 6+), which was -.9 in “Holiday” 2016, and Colorado Public Radio classical KVOD (#20 to #17, 6+), up or flat for the fifth successive time (1.0 – 1.3 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 2.0 – 2.7, 6+) for a collective +1.7. Improving by one-half share (3.6 – 4.1, 6+), iHeartMedia triple A KBCO “World Class Rock” enters the top ten (#12 to #9). Co-owned KBPI “Rocks the Rockies” is in 3.0 – 3.8 range for the fifteenth successive sweep (3.3 – 3.4, +.1, #14 to #15, 6+).

11) Baltimore – It is a #1/#2 finish for Radio One as WWIN-FM “Magic 95.9” trots out a +.7 (8.2 – 8.9, 6+) to progress from third to first. Without an increase in six consecutive sweeps for a cumulative -1.7 since June (9.8 – 8.6 – 8.5 – 8.5 – 8.4 – 8.4 – 8.1, 6+), “Magic” added one-tenth in “Holiday” 2016. As a result of a -1.2 in July, it exited the top spot. Before that, “Magic” put together four straight increases for a combined +3.7 (6.1 – 6.5 – 7.1 – 8.2 – 9.8, 6+). Urban contemporary sibling WERQ “Q-92 Jams” is unchanged in share (8.3, 6+) and rank (#2, 6+). Banished from the top spot and taking over at #3 is CBS Radio adult contemporary WLIF “Today’s 101.9,” which loses approximately 53% of its 6+-share to 7.1 (6+). The five most recent fluctuations for WLIF are +.5 (October 2016); -1.1 (November 2016); +1.1 (December 2016); +7.0 in “Holiday” 2016; and -8.2 in January 2017 (7.8 – 8.3 – 7.2 – 8.3 – 15.3 – 7.1, 6+). After the dust clears, “Today’s 101.9” is down seven-tenths. A -.4 in September 2016 ended its string of successive increases – which netted a +1.1 – at three (7.1 – 7.4 – 7.8 – 8.2, 6+). Among those swooping in for some of those available eight (plus) shares are spoken-word outlets (public) WYPR (2.0 – 2.9, +.9, steady at #14, 6+); Hearst Television’s WBAL (3.5 – 4.2, +.7, tenth to seventh, 6+); and WCBM (+.6, 3.6 – 4.2, eighth to seventh, 6+). Entering the “Holiday” 2016 sweep, iHeartMedia-owned WPOC had been in fourth-place the previous seven ratings periods, but fell to fifth, surrendering a combined -2.5 in three consecutive slides (7.2 – 6.9 – 6.3 – 4.7, 6+), including a -1.6 in “Holiday” 2016. “Baltimore’s #1 for New Country” bounces back though with a +1.2 (4.7 – 5.9, 6+) and returns to #4. Enjoying one-half share spikes are Peter & John Radio Fellowship contemporary Christian WRBS-FM “Shine 95.1” (3.4 – 3.9, steady at #11, 6+) and Baltimore City Community College-owned WBJC “91.5 Maryland’s Classical Music Station” (1.2, #17 to #16, 6+). WBJC was down or flat the past four sweeps (1.2 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.1 – .7, 6+).

12) St. Louis – After five straight increases for a collective +1.9 (2.3 – 2.4 – 2.6 – 3.1 – 3.3 – 4.2, 6+), Emmis talker KFTK stumbled by -1.2 in “Holiday” 2016 only to rebound in January 2017 with a +1.4 (4.2 – 3.0 – 4.4, 6+), sailing from #16 to #11. Among other St. Louis spoken-word outlets notching noteworthy improvements are CBS Radio heritage talker KMOX (5.0, #12 to #8, +.9, 6+); Hubbard Broadcasting’s WXOS “101 Sports” (2.9 – 3.6, +.7, #17 to #14, 6+); and University of Missouri-owned KWMU (+.5, 6+). Prior to January 2017’s +.9, KMOX had been without an increase for six straight ratings periods and was a cumulative -3.1 in that stretch (7.2 – 7.0 – 7.0 – 6.8 – 4.9 – 4.6 – 4.1, 6+). Following December’s +.6 with a -.9 in “Holiday” 2016, KWMU had its string of consecutive upward trends – which produced a +1.2 – snapped at three (4.2 – 4.6 – 4.8 – 5.4, 6+). Registering increases of +1.1 each are CBS Radio hot AC KYKY “Y-98” (5.1 – 6.2, sixth to fourth, 6+) and Hubbard Broadcasting’s WIL “New Country 92.3” (5.8, eighth to sixth, 6+). Stuck on 6.1 (6+) in October and November, “Y-98” notched a +.5 in December but was -1.5 in “Holiday” 2016. The +1.1 curtails four straight down or flat trends by “New Country” for a -1.2 (5.9 – 5.9 – 5.5 – 4.9 – 4.7, 6+). Gaining one-half share are co-owned adult hits WARH “The Arch” (5.9 – 6.4, fifth to third, 6+) and Emmis alternative KPNT “105.7 The Point” (5.0, ninth to eighth, 6+). After improving in three straight ratings periods for a combined +2.2 (5.4 – 6.3 – 6.7 – 7.6, 6+), “The Arch” spiraled by -1.7 in “Holiday” 2016, while “The Point” breaks a string of four straight downward moves that yielded a -1.1 (5.6 – 5.2 – 4.6 – 4.5, 6+). Down or flat the past four sweeps for a -1.3 (5.1 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 4.4 – 3.8, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR KSLZ “Z-107.7 St. Louis’ #1 Hit Music Station” picks up three-tenths to 4.1 (6+), but remains at #13. A change at #1 finds CBS Radio adult contemporary KEZK losing approximately 50% of its 6+-share (11.1 – 5.5, -5.6, 6+) and drifting to seventh, while iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies outlet KLOU (9.9 – 7.1, -2.8, 6+) and Emmis rocker KSHE (6.7 – 7.1, +.4, 6+) become co-leaders. Prior to January’s decline, KEZK put together four consecutive progressive trends that netted a +6.8 (4.3 – 4.6 – 4.9 – 5.8 – 11.1); KLOU and KSHE ranked second and third, respectively, in “Holiday” 2016. Up a combined +1.3 in October and November (6.4 – 6.9 – 7.7, 6+), KLOU relinquished a -1.6 in December, but bounced back with a +3.8 in “Holiday” 2016. Before October’s +.5, KLOU had been down or flat the previous four sweeps (7.4 – 7.4 – 6.7 – 6.5 – 6.4, 6+) for a net loss of one full-share. Off by seven-tenths and one-half share, respectively, are Radio One urban contemporary WHHL “Hot 104.1” (5.1 – 4.4, #6 to #11, 6+) and co-owned urban AC WFUN “95.5 R&B + Old School For The Lou” (6.6 – 6.1, fourth to fifth, 6+).

Friday, September 30, 2016

| September 30, 2016

ramseyboston16wb

Dave Ramsey Smart Money Tour Hits Boston.  Nationally syndicated talk radio superstar Dave Ramsey brought his 2016  Smart Money tour to the sold-out Lowell Memorial Auditorium last night (9/29).  Ramsey and local affiliate WRKO worked to promote the event.  Entercom New England VP and market manager Phil Zachary says, “The timing of Dave’s visit to Greater Boston could not be better.  While many candidates are politicizing the challenges of America’s working middle class, Dave deploys a program of proven techniques and positive motivation that ensures everyone in attendance will come away with an improved outlook on life.  I just can’t think of a more uplifting experience to offer WRKO listeners.”  Pictured here are (from l-r): radio consultant Holland Cooke, Ramsey, and Zachary.

AdAge and iHeartRadio Partner for Marketing Podcast.  The new program is titled “Tagline” and will be available via the iHeartRadio digital platform and AdAge.com.  iHeartMedia chairman Bob Pittman announced the collaborative effort at an Advertising Week VIP event.  A press release says, “‘Tagline’ will give listeners an insider’s perspective on what the world that influences pop culture is really all about.  The new podcast series will air iheartradio-newtwice a month on iHeartRadio and Advertising Age and feature a rotating series of the most talented and entertaining people in the business, tackling everything from the most pressing questions to the most annoying trends.  The content and the participants will evolve organically as each episode concludes with this week’s Tagline host tagging the next guests via an unprompted phone call.”  AdAge publisher Josh Golden comments,adage-logo “Every day, people in the marketing community are whispering about what’s happened and what’s next – and now ‘Tagline’ will let people all across the industry listen to those otherwise private conversations.  Our audience wants to hear about the real conversations, frustrations, insights and resolutions that happen in the conference rooms late at night and this partnership with iHeart will expose exactly that.”  The first season will launch in November and include 24 podcasts and special edition episodes corresponding with select industry events.

Mike Francesa Confirms End of WFAN Show at Contract’s End.  Once again, New York sports talk legend Mike Francesa has told his listeners that he will be leaving CBS RADIO’s WFAN after his contract ends on December 15 of 2017.  This is not the first time he’s addressed the matter but, obviously, things can change.francesamike  However, according to the New York Daily News, Francesa reiterated that he’ll leave CBS RADIO but that he also promised the station he won’t spend a lot of time talking about it.  Where will he go?  Sounds like he doesn’t know right now.  The Daily News reports he says, “I’m very open to different things.  In broad strokes I have been contacted by some broadcast entities about what I would do.  I won’t be going to satellite, it’s just not something I want to do.  I have a few things that do interest me, that’s not one of them.  It has nothing to do with Dog [Chris Russo] being there.   I wish Dog well there, I know he signed a new contract, so congratulations on that, but it’s not going to have anything to do with me.”

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

talkersten-logoCop Shootings and Train Crash Among Top Talk Stories Behind the Presidential Race for Week of September 26-30.  Once again, the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week was the presidential race, highlighted by Monday’s debate.  At #2 this week was the police killing of a black man in El Cajon, California and the aftermath of the Charlotte shooting and protests. Coming in at #3 was the New Jersey train crash, followed by the Syria civil war and the related U.S.-Russia tensions 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.

bernadettebo16wb

The Yappy Tour Rolls On.   Former radio talk show producer-turned-author Bernadette Duncan recently brought her “Yappy Tour” to the massive Western Massachusetts audience of classic rocker WAQY-FM, Springfield “Rock 102” by appearing as a guest on the very popular “Bax & O’Brien” morning talk show to discuss her buzz-worthy book, Yappy Days: Behind the Scenes with Newsers, Schmoozers, Boozers and Losers (AuthorHouse/Talkers Books, 2016).  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. Above, Duncan (c) is pictured with hosts John O’Brien (l) and Mike “Bax” Baxendale (r).  Duncan’s national “Yappy Tour” will roll on through the remainder of the year.  She has already appeared on more than 25 local and syndicated programs.  Hosts and shows interested in booking Bernadette Duncan can do so by calling Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

| July 26, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

| June 28, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, June 27, 2016

| June 27, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, June 20, 2016

| June 20, 2016

iHeartMedia Partners with AdsWizz for Programmatic Marketplace for Premium iHeartRadio Inventory.  This programmatic private marketplace provides programmatic buyers access to iHeartMedia’s premium radio inventory across its digital properties on iHeartRadio.  iHM says that “agencies and brands will be kaminskybrianable to programmatically target iHeartRadio’s extensive audience using a combination of first- and third-party data segments.”  Last spring, iHeartMedia unveiled a programmatic and automated ad buying private network for itsadswizz logo broadcast radio stations, powered by Jelli.  This programmatic marketplace for its digital properties uses the AdsWizz platform.  iHM president of programmatic and data operations Brian Kaminsky says, “Audio has a significant and growing role in the lives of today’s consumers and iHeartMedia is committed to evolving the ways marketers can reach and influence their target audience through our audio channels.  Offering a programmatic approach to buying iHeartRadio’s digital listening audiences is a natural extension of our direct sales and broadcast programmatic initiatives and further enables us to capture even more of the $20 billion in ad spending that is projected for 2016.”

The Orlando Massacre Aftermath, The Presidential Race, Battle Against Islamic State, U.S.-Russia Military Tensions, Looming ‘Brexit’ Vote, Southwest Heatwave, and Cavs-Warriors Finals Among Top News/ Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The aftermath of the Orlando massacre including the pending release of Omar Mateen’s cell calls and the push for gun control legislation; the activities of the candidates for president; U.S. policy and strategy in the fight against Islamic State violence; military tensions between the U.S. and Russia in the Syrian civil conflict; This week’s vote by Britons on whether to leave the European Union; the intense heatwave in Arizona, Nevada and parts of California; and the NBA Championship won by the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday night were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

rowlandjohnFormer Connecticut Governor and WTIC, Hartford Host John Rowland Loses Appeal of Corruption Conviction.  Former Connecticut Governor John Rowland was working as afternoon drive personality on CBS RADIO’s WTIC, Hartford when he began to work for congressional candidate Lisa Wilson-Foley via his political consulting firm.  However, prosecutors successfully argued that he attempted to hide his role as a paid consultant and obstructed authorities in their efforts to investigate the matter.  He was sentenced to 30 months in prison in March of 2015 but has been free on bond pending appeal.  Last week a three-judge panel in the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals in New York upheld his conviction.  Now, his options are to ask for the entire judicial panel of the Appeals Court to hear his arguments or ask the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the case.  Rowland was previously convicted of bribery in 2004 for actions committed while serving as governor and served 10 months in federal prison.  Rowland hosted a show on WTIC from 2010 through 2014.

nrhofPublic Voting for NRHoF Begins Today.  Today through June 30 is the public voting for radio personalities to be inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame in November.  Listeners nationwide can vote in two categories.  The nominees for Music Format On-Air Personality are:  Sean “Hollywood” Hamilton, Tom Kent, The Kevin & Bean Show (Kevin Ryder and Gene Baxter), and Bob Kingsley.  For Spoken Word On-Air Personality, the nominees are Sean Hannity, Mike and the Mad Dog (Mike Francesa and Chris Russo), Diane Rehm and Michael Savage.  Chairman of the National Radio Hall of Fame Kraig T. Kitchin comments, “The listener response we received last year since reinstituting the public voting process after a five-year hiatus was overwhelmingly positive.  Fans want to engage and be a part of the process, which is a tribute to the dynamic personalities of each show.”  Winners of the two categories will be announced July 11.  Fans needing more information can visit each host’s Twitter feed, Facebook page, website, or the National Radio Hall of Fame website:  www.radiohof.org.

njba16New Jersey Broadcasters Association Conference (NJBA) Set to Open this Week.  The 69th Annual NJBA Conference and Gala is set for Wednesday (6/23) and Thursday (6/24) at Caesars Atlantic City.  The theme of the event is “The Power of Broadcast” and it will feature a wide array of speakers from Garden State radio as well as industry leaders from across the nation.  Once again, NJBA’s dynamic president Paul Rotella and his team have organized an exciting agenda with solid speakers.  Topics covered will include programming and marketing in the digital era, the changing nature of automobile listenership, the role of women in broadcasting, the importance of mentoring new talent, the sensitive relationship between music radio and pure plays, and the state of the FM chip, plus more.  There will be the traditional awards ceremony, live broadcasts and displays of the latest technology.  The agenda includes a “Radio Reporters Roundtable,” discussing the state of Atlantic City’s economy and future.  Five-time heavyweight boxing champion Evander Holyfield will deliver the conference keynote address.  For complete agenda and registration information please click here.

hurleygolf16WPGG, Atlantic City’s Harry Hurley Raises More Than $55,000 for Charity.  Atlantic City morning personality Harry Hurley’s 9th Annual Hurley in the Morning Charity Golf Open raised more than $55,000 for his Hurley Morning Show Foundation.  The annual golf event has raised more than $600,000 over the past nine years.  DIY television network star Jason Cameron was on hand to help announce and present a new annual grant – The Thomas J. Hurley vocational trades school grant.  Cameron also played in the event and his foursome won the 2016 Hurley Open Championship with a score of 56.  Pictured here are (from l-r): Margie Hurley, Jason Cameron, and Harry Hurley.

wbtwlnk duo logoCool Job Opportunity.  Greater Media Charlotte, a family-owned company, has a rare opening for a director of sales for WBT-AM/FM and WLNK-FM.  The right candidate must possess a strong desire to win, 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; understand the digital space and present a specific plan for its growth.  Minimum requirements: candidate must be creative and possess an ability for generating local direct business; four-year college degree preferred; three to five years’ experience in radio sales management, preferably in a cluster or multi-station group; can demonstrate a proven track record out-performing the market as reflected in the Miller Kaplan Report on a consistent basis.  Please submit your cover letter and resume to hired@gmclt.com, or mail/fax to: Human Resources WBT/WLNK, Greater Media Charlotte, One Julian Price Place, Charlotte, NC 28208. 704-338-3079 (fax). EOE.

Monday, March 14, 2016

| March 14, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, February 15, 2016

| February 15, 2016

francesamikeWFAN Superstar Mike Francesa to Reprise Sports Talk Keynote Role at TALKERS 2016: Bridging the Generations.  In what has become the traditional opening one-two punch of the annual TALKERS conference, WFAN, New York sports talk personality Mike Francesa joins Premiere Networks/Fox News Channel titan Sean Hannity in delivering welcoming addresses at the forthcoming 19th annual TALKERS conference set for Friday, May, 20 on the campus of Hofstra University on Long Island.  Francesa, who has occupied the #1 position on the annual TALKERS “Heavy Hundred” of Sports Talk Radio since its inception in 2012, will follow this up by broadcasting his five-and-a-half hour afternoon drive program live from the state-of-the-art studio at the school’s Marconi Award-winning campus station, WRHU.  Upon making the announcement, TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “Mike Francesa’s candid, ‘tell-it-like-it-is’ contributions to this conference over the years have proven to be of incalculable value to the attendees.  With this year’s event having an enhanced ‘youth’ and ‘future of broadcasting’ orientation, his presence and live broadcast will take it to yet another level.”  Francesa says, “It will be an honor to be part of TALKERS’ program at Hofstra.  I have a lot of good friends at the university and look forward to bringing the program there.  In these quickly changing times, there is a lot to discuss.”  Radio Hofstra University director of operations John T. Mullen comments, “Mike Francesa has inspired countless sports talk broadcasters for decades.  It is truly an honor to have him broadcast from Radio Hofstra University.”  TALKERS 2016: Bridging the Generations is expected to be an early sellout.  To register or obtain sponsorship information, please call TALKERS at 413-565-5413. Information about the special hotel discount at the Long Island Marriott can be found here.

Death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia Dominates Weekend News/Talk Radio.  The unexpected death of 79-year-old Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia quickly became the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio over the weekend.  For stations with local programming and/or live national shows, Scalia’s death spurred immediate talk by conservatives of how the nomination and confirmation of a new Supreme Court Justice can be pushed off until after the new president assumes office in a little less than a year and, for liberals, how President Obama must move forward to present a nominee who can be confirmed this year.  Other topics discussed over the weekend included the activities of the candidates for president; the escalating military strikes in Syria, including Russia’s prominent role there; and President Obama’s proposed cuts to counter-terrorism programs, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

kileykevinWKRK, Cleveland’s Kevin Kiley Resigns from Sports Talker; Complains About Censorship.  Sports talk radio personality Kevin Kiley announced on a guest appearance on WOIO-TV, Cleveland’s evening newscast on February 11 that he had resigned from sports talk outlet WKRK, Cleveland “92.3 The Fan,” back in November, effective at the end of this month.  He stated his resignation was for reasons other than the backlash he received from corporate about his comments regarding the Buffalo Bills hiring the first female coach, but the threats to his job if he continued to talk about the matter further cemented his decision to resign.  Kiley, co-host of the Kiley & Carman morning show on the station, stated last month on air that there is no way Kathryn Smith is more qualified than a man to do her coaching job with Buffalo and the comments brought him both support and condemnation.  On his television appearance, Kiley stated, “I’ve never been censored. In 35 years, I’ve never been censored, and I shouldn’t have been censored for this. And I have no right to accept censorship based on what broadcasting is.  And nor should you accept censorship, ever. You should make sure that the people on the radio are telling you the truth as they see it.  Now, you’re gonna argue with them and you can disagree with them, but don’t let the program director there, don’t let the general manager, don’t let some clown in New York tell them what to say, and then you think it’s their opinion, or what not to say. That’s what happened here, and I’m not accepting it.”  CBS RADIO has not commented on the matter.  View his appearance here.

Odds & Sods.  WEEI, Boston morning personality Kirk Minihane’s podcast “Enough About Me” launched lastminihanekirk Thursday morning and rocketed to the #1 spot on the iTunes Sports & Rec category.  WEEI reports that, “propelled by WEEI’s colossal on-air and on-line promotional engine, ‘Enough About Me’ crashed the top 20 of all audio podcasts on the iTunes chart on its very first day of release.”  Entercom Boston VP/market manager Phil Zachary comments, “The successful launch of ‘Enough About Me’ validates the natural rapport that can flourish when a major on-air talent plies his craft in real-time, then invites listeners to explore a different facet of his personality in an on-demand environment.  We have been deliberately patient in debuting our first, major podcast release, and these encouraging metrics reveal Kirk Minihane to have enormous national appeal across all distribution channels.”…..There’s a special block of programming on SiriusXM’s College Sports Nation channel on Wednesday (2/17) to showcase the Duke-North Carolina men’s basketball rivalry.  This Wednesday’s game marks the 241st meeting of the Duke Blue Devils and North Carolina Tar Heels and SiriusXM will broadcast the game live nationwide starting at 9:00 pm ET.  Prior to that, a special edition of Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski’s weekly SiriusXM show, “Basketball and Beyond” will air at 7:00 pm ET featuring Krzyzewski’s thoughts on the coming matchup.  Then, at 8:00 pm ET, SiriusXM will present a special hour-long radio documentary that will examine the history, intensity and emotions of the Duke-UNC rivalry.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

| January 20, 2016

ramseydaveTime Magazine Recognizes Dave Ramsey Podcast.  Dubbing it one of the top 10 podcasts on iTunes in 2015, Time magazine gives the Dave Ramsey podcast recognition for its popularity.  The Ramsey podcast averages more than 2 million downloads per week.  Numerous publications, including iTunes Charts, Digital Trends and Stitcher, list the Dave Ramsey show among the most frequently downloaded and streamed podcasts.  Ramsey Media vice president Brian Mayfield comments on the news.  “We are excited to see the development of a completely new audience in the digital space.  Our roots are embedded in radio where we began, and our audience continues to grow.  This recent success on the digital side allows us to introduce our show to the next generation of listeners.  Our goal is simple: we want to be there for our listener when, where, and how they want to listen.  Digital distribution allows those constantly on the go the ability to listen to their favorite programs on their time schedule.  We offer a variety of solutions including podcast, a dedicated channel on iHeartRadio, online audio streaming, and an online video channel.”  Mayfield says that these efforts combined with the existing radio audience reaches a total audience of 11 million listeners every week.

francesamikeMike Francesa to Leave WFAN, New York When Contract Expires.  New York sports talk radio icon Mike Francesa tells Fox 1’s Katie Nolan that he will exit CBS RADIO’s sports talk WFAN, New York when his contract ends in December of 2017.  On Nolan’s “Garbage Time” podcast, Francesa also tells Nolan that he has spoken with CBS brass about exiting early but the two sides haven’t found terms for an exit that are mutually agreeable.  He also says it won’t be the end of his sports talk career, just the end to his time with WFAN.  Fox Sports reports the news from the taping of Nolan’s video podcast that will be published tomorrow (1/21).

mccannjakeCumulus Promotes McCann to Market Manager and Cohen to VP of Sales in Washington.  Two are promoted in the executive ranks at Cumulus Media’s Washington station group.  Jakecohenbeth McCann moves up to vice president/market manager from his VP of sales post and Beth Cohen is upped from director of sales to VP of sales for the cluster.  Cumulus SVP Gary Pizzati states, “Jake McCann and Beth Cohen are the leadership team needed to achieve our goals in D.C.  In the past year, they’ve accomplished that and more.  Both promotions are well deserved.  We look forward to their continued contributions as they advance the growth trajectory of Cumulus DC.”  Cumulus owns hot AC WRQX “Mix 107.3” and news/talk WMAL-AM/FM in the market.

mediamonitors logoPresidential Candidates Radio Ads Tracked by Media Monitors; Hillary Clinton Top Spender.  Two of the nation’s earliest primary elections – the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary – are just weeks away and Media Monitors reports it is tracking the radio ads for candidates heard in markets within or near those states during the first 15 days of January.  Media Monitors reports the following: Hillary Clinton numbers from Des Moines and the Quad Cities show a total of 482 spots run with none run in the adjacent Omaha market.  Radio spots for Ted Cruz, whose numbers from Des Moines, the Quad Cities and Omaha totaled 218 that were part of the Cruz For President buy, however, his Super PAC – Keep The Promise ran a total of 26 spots in the three Iowa markets.  Donald Trump radio spots that ran in Des Moines, the Quad Cities and Omaha totaled 187 ads.  Bernie Sanders did not buy Omaha, but ran spots in Des Moines and the Quad Cities totaling 123 spots.  Marco Rubio’s Super PAC – Conservative Solutions – also ran in Des Moines, Omaha and the Quad Cities to the tune of 74 units counted.  And finally, Mike Huckabee’s Super PAC – Pursuing America’s Greatness – aired 50 times in Des Moines, the Quad Cities and Omaha.  Targeting New Hampshire voters, Hillary Clinton ran 1,110 spots in both Boston and Portsmouth-Dover.  Bernie Sanders was next with 899 spots in the two markets.  Marco Rubio’s Super PAC aired 358 ads. Next was Ted Cruz with 109 spots appearing in Boston and Portsmouth-Dover.  Donald Trump played 76 times in the Portsmouth-Dover and 10 times in Boston.  Chris Christie aired 24 spots in Portsmouth-Dover, while his Super PAC – American Leads – ran 21 spots in Portsmouth-Dover and Boston.  Mike Huckabee did not run any spots in Portsmouth-Dover or Boston.

Presidential Race, Hillary Clinton Emails Investigation, Oscars Boycott, Flint Water Scandal, 13 Hours Film,  Sinking Oil Prices/Tumultuous Financial Markets, and Battle Against Islamic State Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/19).  The activities of the candidates for president; the FBI’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of her private email server for sensitive State Department business; the Spike Lee and Jada Pinkett Smith-led boycott of the Academy Awards for the lack of black nominees; the lead water contamination scandal in Flint, Michigan; controversy surrounding the Benghazi film, 13 Hours; the continuing drop in oil prices and the activity in the world’s financial markets; and the battle against Islamic State were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

zampillodanDan Zampillo Exiting WTEM, Washington.  There are more changes coming to the Dan Snyder-owned sports talker WTEM, Washington “ESPN 980.”  Program director Dan Zampillo – on the job since April of 2015 – is leaving the company, according to numerous reports, including one from the Washington Post’s Dan Steinberg.  Citing an internal memo, the Post reports Zampillo will stay on as a search for his replacement commences.  Recently, station manager Rick Carmean exited and the company has eliminated that position.  Zampillo came aboard from SiriusXM’s sports programming division after Chuck Sapienza resigned the PD post during the bizarre “Man Cave” episode.  To refresh your memory, “The Man Cave” show – co-hosted by Chris Paul and Jason Reid – got off to an inauspicious start in March.  The launch of the show was delayed by two weeks during which there were reports Dan Snyder didn’t like the idea because Reid was critical of the Redskins while writing for the Post.  Sapienza quit during this time.  The show was eventually cancelled in October.  Read Steinberg’s Post piece here.

nielsen logoRound One of Holiday PPM Data Released.  The first of four rounds of Holiday 2015 PPM data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey).  The survey period was December 3 – December 30.  TALKERS magazine’s sister publication RadioInfo has all of the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  In addition, managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his “Twelve Takeaways” from this batch of ratings on the main page at RadioInfo.com here.

harrisonUpCloseFarOutsmallMichael Harrison and ‘America’s Digital Goddess’ Discuss the Culture of Technology.  Nationally syndicated radio star and newspaper columnist Kim Komando of WestStar TalkRadio Network joins TALKERS magazine publisher Michael Harrison as a special guest on this week’s installment of PodcastOne’s international hit, “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison” (1/19).  The two conduct an in-depth discussion about the state of the digital era as we are experiencing its unfolding in the early decades of the 21st century fromkomandokim both technological and cultural perspectives.  Highlights include a prognostication of where the technology is headed going forward.  Will humans increasingly merge (physically, mentally, spiritually) with silicon technology as chips are increasingly embedded not only in our clothing and all around us in the “Internet of Things” – but in our bodies as well?  How can parents, who are natives of the 20th century, exercise control and guidance over their digitally precocious children, who are natives of the 21st century?  What is the present state and future of privacy?  Komando, whom Harrison describes as a “remarkable woman,” discusses her early days as a teenage prodigy in New Jersey who graduated high school at 15, headed west on her own, and went on to build a multi-million dollar empire blazing new trails in radio and contributing greatly to the advancement of this amazing new era.  To listen to the entire conversation, click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column of every page on Talkers.com.

jacksonkevinTalk Host Kevin Jackson Named Fox News Contributor.  Independently syndicated talk personality Kevin Jackson joins the Fox News organization as a contributor.  The news was announced to Fox News Channel viewers on last night’s edition of “The Kelly File” with host Megyn Kelly.  Jackson has made numerous appearances on FNC shows over the years, including “Hannity” and “Fox & Friends.”  Jackson comments, “I am grateful and proud that Roger (Ailes) appreciates my talent enough to have added me to the Fox News family.  What a great honor to have Fox News as part of my distribution platform.  My message has been leaking through for some time and this should help me to extend that message a lot further.”

Odds & Sods.  As reported by Blaine Thompson’s Indiana Radio Watch, Emmis Communications’ Indianapolis news/talker WIBC-FM names Chris Davis news director.  Davis, who most recently was news director for the News Mississippi Network, takes over for Mike Wilson who left the radio biz…..Westwood One is providing radio play-by-play for this weekend’s NFL conference championship games on Sunday.  WW1’s doubleheader coverage begins at 2:00 pm ET.

Friday, December 4, 2015

| December 4, 2015

wyay logo newCumulus Media Nabs Rob Stadler for WYAY, Atlanta Mornings.   Market news pro Rob Stadler is joining Cumulus Media’s WYAY-FM, Atlanta “News Radio 106.7” to serve as executive producer and host of “The Morning News.”  Stadler was the voice for morning news and information on crosstown CHR WSTR “Star 94” for almost 30 years.  During that time, he wasstadlerrob named “Atlanta’s Best Newscaster” 10 times by the Achievement in Radio Awards (AIR) while serving as the station’s news director.  He also earned two Edward R. Murrow awards from the RTDNA for broadcast journalism excellence, and was also recognized by the Georgia Associated Press for “Best Newscast.”  He’ll make his inaugural appearance for “News Radio 106.7” as host for the “Making Miracles Marathon” on Friday, December 11, from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm and he’ll begin hosting the morning show on December 16.  WYAY program director Greg Tantum states, “Rob has been a part of the Atlanta morning landscape for nearly three decades – not only on the radio, but with his community involvement.  Rob has the unique ability to blend his deep news background with the understanding of how to keep an audience engaged and entertained while dealing with nightmare commutes in Atlanta.”

price howardPrice: It’s Not IF Anymore…But WHEN.  It may be a reality that no one wants to face, but ABC Television director, business continuity Howard B. Price writes in a column for TALKERS/RadioInfo today (12/4) that radio stations need to prepare for the possibility that an act of destructive violence can happen in their markets.  In reference to Wednesday’s San Bernardino shootings, Price says that local news/talk radio stations he monitored stayed with national programs while the story was breaking.  Yes, those shows were talking about the shootings, but he believes stations in the market should “own” the story in a way out-of-market stations don’t have to.  “Even if we acknowledge the cost constraints that today make it so difficult to sustain a round-the-clock news operation at most stations, in my personal view, operators do a disservice to their communities if they don’t at least have a PLAN for flushing their formats and throwing any and every live body into coverage of catastrophic local events.” Read Price’s column here.

cookehNCC15More from the Nielsen Audio Client Conference.  Radio consultant Holland Cooke (pictured here) reports from the first day of the Nielsen Audio Client Conference (formerly the old “Consultant Fly-In”).  This batch of notes comes from yesterday afternoon’s sessions and covers Dr. Ed Cohen’s presentation of data from his study, “The Class of 2015: Four Years in the Lives of Digital Natives”; podcasting and its relationship with radio; plus more research about the behavior of radio’s P1s.  See Holland Cooke’s notes here.

wiplogoWIP, Philadelphia’s Wing Bowl 24 Scheduled for February 5 at the Wells Fargo Center.  What started as a small promotion 23 years ago has grown into one of sports talk radio’s biggest events that now fills Philadelphia’s Wells Fargo Center each year.  The annual chicken wing eating contest has evolved to present winners in three divisions: the overall winner, the local winner and the collegiate winner.  WIP morning show co-host Al Morganti, co-founded Wing Bowl 23 years ago with host Angelo Cataldi, and he says, “In a year where everything has seemed to go wrong with sports in Philadelphia, it never goes wrong at Wing Bowl!  We win every year so if you’re disappointed with Philadelphia’s sports teams, you won’t be disappointed with this year’s ‘Game of Bones’ – Wing Bowl 24.”  Tickets go on sale on December 8.  This year’s event is presented by title sponsors Steven Singer Jewelers and SugarHouse Casino.  Prizes this year include: For the overall winner, a 2016 Harley-Davidson FLSTF Softail Fat Boy Motorcycle courtesy of Barb’s Harley Davidson, a custom Wing Bowl 24 championship ring and $10,000 in cash courtesy of Steven Singer Jewelers; the local winner receives a 2016 Hyundai Santa Fe courtesy of Colonial Hyundai of Downingtown; and the top collegiate eater will win $5000 in cash.

Odds & Sods.  After 18 years in morning drive Bob Levy and wife Marianne Levy are shuttering the Bob &bobmarianne Marianne in the Morning show on Townsquare Media’s news/talk WOBM-AM, Lakewood Township, New Jersey.  Marianne Levy will continue her role with the station on the Preferred Home Health Care-sponsored “Preferred Company” show that airs from 9:00 am to 10:00 am on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursdays.  Taking over mornings on WOBM-AM is Jeremy Grunin, effective January 4.  Bob Levy will continue to host the Sunday “Topic A” public affairs program that airs on WOBM-AM and sister AC WOBM-FM…..An FM translator is boosting the signal of Saga Communications’ sports talk simulcast (now trimulcast!) francesamikeWISE/WYSE in the Asheville, North Carolina market.  “ESPN Asheville” is now heard on W247BV at 97.3 FM…..Legendary New York sports talk radio personalities Mike Francesa and Christopher “Madrussochris Dog” Russo are teaming up for a charity reunion show at  Madison Square Garden to benefit MSG’s Garden of Dreams Foundation.  Sports talk fans have been anticipating some sort of reunion of the two after recent reports of friendly chat between them about the possibility.  They haven’t worked together since their split in 2008 when Russo left CBS RADIO’s WFAN, New York for SiriusXM Satellite Radio.  The reunion event takes place on March 30…..NUVObobandtom labeled managing editor (and Indy radio personality) Ed Wenck conducted an interview with Bob Kevoian of the nationally syndicated Bob & Tom show to mark Kevoian’s retirement from the show and the business at the end of the year.  This cool piece touches on everything from how Kevoian and Tom Griswold became radio partners to how their show took off at WFBQ, Indianapolis in the mid-1980s.  Check it out here.

talkersten logoSan Bernardino Shootings/Gun Control Top Talk Radio Stories This Week.  The most-talked-about story on news/talk radio for the week of November 30- December 4 was the deadly San Bernardino shootings tied with the related topic of gun control, tying atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the 2016 presidential race.  Coming in at #3 was the Paris climate summit followed by Russia-Turkey tensions at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Thursday September 10, 2015

| September 10, 2015

francesamikeWFAN’s Mike Francesa Show to End Fox Sports Cable Simulcast.  New York sports talk legend Mike Francesa told his WFAN listeners on Wednesday that his show would cease being simulcast on Fox Sports’ cable channel after this Friday.  As the New York Post reports, Francesa had problems with the relationship almost from the beginning and griped to listeners about being pre-empted by soccer or moved to the FS2 channel.  Francesa said, “First, let me say that the blame is mine.  I tried to do something a little different.  The Fox guys were eager and I’m not going to say money wasn’t an issue, because it was the biggest.  I had some trepidation, but I saw some promise and it just didn’t work.”  The Post reports that Francesa is beginning to look for a new cable simulcast partner and MSG Network is a possible destination.

2015nyc_575

corralangelaCorral Named News Director at KGO, San Francisco.  This is a promotion from assignment editor to news director for Angela Corral.  She’s been with Cumulus Media’s KGO since October of 2013.  She’s worked in news in the Bay Area for the past 17 years, having joined CBS RADIO’s crosstown all-news KCBS in 1998 as a production assistant.  On her new gig, Corral comments, “It’s a true honor to be selected as news director of this legendary station.  I’m looking forward to working with an amazing staff of dedicated journalists as we move KGO forward.”

fairRadio Pro Bob Dane Rises to Executive Director at FAIR.  The Federation for American Immigration Reform announces Bob Dane is promoted to executive director of the organization after approval from the board of directors.  Dane, whose years of experience in network radio, marketing and communications led him to join FAIR in 2006 as director of communications, will be just the fourth executivedanebob director of FAIR since its founding in 1979.  In this new role, Dane will oversee the organization’s Washington, D.C.-based and national operations.  FAIR president Dan Stein comments, “With nearly a decade of experience in FAIR’s media department, Bob has spearheaded valuable and unique initiatives, bringing to light the public’s often-overlooked concerns about immigration.”  Chairman of the Board Donald Collins Jr. adds, “For many years, Bob has continually demonstrated media expertise, innovative ideas and able management.”  During his career, Dane also served in a policy and budgeting position within the Reagan administration.  He received a degree in public administration and management from George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia.

Odds & Sods.  After retiring from full-time work at Chicago all-news outlet WBBM-AM in 2004 after a 35-year career, Sheman Kaplan returned to the station on a freelance basis, according to Chicago media writer Robert Feder.  In a column today, Feder reports that Kaplan is again retiring from the station where he was co-anchoring midday newscasts and “The WBBM Noon Business Hour” alongside Kris Kridel…..Los Angeles-based talkelderlarryNEW1-15 personality Larry Elder will host presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson on his show today (9/10).  Elder’s program airs on CRN Digital Talk Radio at 3:00 pm ET and on Salem-owned KRLA, Los Angeles at 9:00 pm PT…..United Stations Radio Networks is now offering a sports radio prep service called Total Sports Prep.  USRN says it is intended for use by air personalities in sports talk or any krntprogramming that delves into sports content…..Bob Kempf  joins TV and online public media producer WGBH Boston as vice president for digital services.  Kempf was previously VP/general manager of digital services for NPR…..Saga Communications drops adult standards on KRNT, Des Moines and goes sports talk as “ESPN Des Moines.”  In addition to carrying ESPN Radio programming, it will carry Chicago Cubs baseball, Drake University play-by-play, and be an affiliate of the Green Bay Packers Radio Network…..Entercom flips from business talk on KWOD, Kansas City to sports talk using both CBS Sports Radio and Fox Sports Radio.

wipRadiothon15WIP, Philadelphia’s Eagles Radiothon Raises $200,000.  Another Eagles Radiothon is in the books and the event organized by the NFL club and CBS RADIO’s WIP-FM, “SportsRadio 94WIP raised $200,000 for the Eagles Youth Partnership.  As part of the annual radiothon, Eagles fans and 94WIP callers were provided the opportunity to bid on exclusive experiences involving their favorite Eagles players and 94WIP radio personalities.  Eagles Youth Partnership, Eagles Social Responsibility president Christina Weiss Lurie says, “We continue to be amazed each year by the generous contributions and devoted support from our fans during the Eagles Radiothon.  As an organization, we are always looking to deliver one-of-a-kind experiences for our fans.  The annual Radiothon provides us with the opportunity to do that, while also supporting the vital health and education programs of Eagles Youth Partnership.  On behalf of EYP, I would like to express a heartfelt thank you to 94WIP for their steadfast commitment and support of this event.”

tradupBosworth15Salem Radio Network at 90 Minutes in Heaven Premiere.  The new film 90 Minutes in Heaven – based on the New York Times bestselling book by Don Piper – opens this weekend and Salem Radio Network VP/news & talk programming Tom Tradup (left) was in Atlanta this week for the media premiere of the film.  Tradup says that on the heels of the Christian-themed film War Room being tops at the Labor Day weekend box office last week, fans of faith-based movies are also expected to turn out this weekend for the nationwide opening of 90 Minutes in Heaven.  Tradup is seen here speaking with actress Kate Bosworth (right) who plays Piper’s wife Eva Piper.  In a story based on Don Piper’s own experiences, she helps him recover from a car crash after being pronounced legally dead for 90 minutes.  The film also stars Hayden Christensen and Fred Thompson.

ewscrippsConspiracy Theory Gets Two Suspended from Scripps Springfield, MO Stations.  The host and the on-air producer of the Sunday morning “Cracker Barrel” show have been suspended by E.W. Scripps after suggesting the on-air slayings of Roanoke TV crew Alison Parker and Adam Ward were a hoax designed to spur stricter gun control laws.  Host Joe Rios and producer Rick Masters are heard on the both company’s country KTTS and news/talk KSGF-AM/FM.  Station manager Rex Hansen apologized to the station’s listeners for the commentary.  It’s not known how long the two will be suspended from the weekly community forum program.

Hillary Clinton Emails Apology, Trump Candidacy, 2016 Presidential Candidates, European Migrant Crisis, Brandon Marshall’s Brady vs NFL Racism Charge/ESPN Spygate Story, Iran Nuclear Deal, and Russia-Syria Military Connection Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/9).  Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton apologizes for use of private email server for State Department business; the criticism and analysis of the top-polling Trump for President campaign; the activities of the candidates for president in 2016; the migrant crisis affecting European nations; the aftermath of the Tom Brady vs the NFL case and Brandon Marshall’s charge that Tom Brady is treated different because he’s white, plus the related ESPN Spygate story; the controversy over the Iran nuclear deal; and reports of Russia sending military aid to Syria were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

| July 22, 2015

nielsen logoNielsen on Voltair and PPM: The Morning After.  Yesterday’s Nielsen Audio webinar with PPM client stations regarding upcoming changes to its PPM technology and the Voltair audio processor from Telos Alliance has the industry buzzing.  As you know, Nielsen has been testing the Voltair unit and has concluded that it cannot “support” Voltair, saying it found nothing substantial to show the processor positively affects the PPM unit’s ability to pick up the watermark tone that credits listening.  A number of managers and programmers have subsequently commented anonymously that they remain unconvinced by Nielsen’s research and presentation.  One programmer tells TALKERS, “Their research proved without a doubt that Voltair recorded more listening in certain formats when the PPM was in a noisy environment.  However, they did a flip-flop in their presentation, stating that ‘Voltair’s increased recording of listenership was inconclusive.’  Interestingly, at the same time they announced the rollout of an enhanced and more robust watermark which should be in the field by fall.  If there was not a problem, then why the new watermark?”  But broadcasting consultant Randy Kabrich writes in a blog post today in which, in this instance, he defends Nielsen’s response.  He says it’s well known that PPM doesn’t hear all of the codes and because of the 15-minute Quarter Hour ratings method employed in the U.S., it doesn’t need to.  “The Media Rating Council has examined every aspect of the PPM very extensively with their audits…[The] policies for stations to receive credit from the PPM codes were put in place many years ago after years of testing because it is known that the PPM meter misses codes!  And yet, the results are statically valid.  Otherwise no PPM markets would be accredited by the MRC.  And don’t you find it interesting that the MRC has agreed to look at Voltair with stations who have gone to them based on their own observations?  Look at it from the outside.  What do those stations gain?  It is almost as if they have post purchase dissonance and need someone to tell them they made the correct decision.”  Read Kabrich’s interesting blog piece here.

francesamikeWhat Would it Take to Reunite Mike Francesa and Chris Russo?  That’s what New York sports talk fans are probably wondering after a passing question to Chris “Mad Dog” Russo by YES Network (and WEPN-FM, New York) personality Michael Kay about whether he’d considering working withrussochris WFAN, New York afternoon personality Mike Francesa again received the answer, “Yeah, I would.  Definitely.  I miss the camaraderie.”  Francesa was asked the same question by Newsday and told the paper that he would consider it.  Both Russo and Francesa are under contract to their respective employers – Russo through 2016 with SiriusXM and Francesa with CBS RADIO through 2017.  It’s no secret that Francesa is unhappy with his relationship with CBS.  NJ.com reports that Russo told Kay he handled his 2008 exit from WFAN and the Francesa partnership poorly and wishes he’d been more up front about the situation.

vandirkDirk Van to Retire from Westwood One’s ‘First Light.’  For 26 years, Dirk Van has been the only host of Westwood One’s early morning news magazine “First Light,” but he announces that Thursday, July 30 will be his last day.  The company says he “leaves with a legacy of accomplishments and awards.”  Dirk also hosts “The Week in Review” news program and has anchored morning drive newscasts throughout his successful career.   Van says of his 35-year radio career, “Radio is all about people, and I’ve had the great fortune to work with the best in the business, following in the footsteps of my father, Lyle Van – awestwood one NEW radio legend at NBC and WOR — and others greats like Lou Adler, Nick Verbitsky, Tom O’Brien, Ron Nessen, and Bart Tessler.  Hosting our morning magazine, ‘First Light,’ has been an amazing experience and has allowed me to work with talented broadcasters for more than a quarter century.  Talking to listeners on a daily basis has kept me grounded, and hopefully provided a window into what America is thinking.  And to think — we started way back when talk radio was ‘new.’  Helping to create an exciting, new product, Westwood One News, has been especially rewarding, and being a part of its success is a great way to cap a career.  And talk about ‘sailing off into the sunset’— that’s exactly what I plan to do, with my beautiful wife, Paula, who has put up with those agonizing broadcasters’ hours all these years.  To all my friends at Westwood One, thank you!”

valentinephilTalk Host Phil Valentine Wins Screenplay Competition.  Nashville-based talk show host Phil Valentine picked up first place honors at the Colorado Film Festival in the screenplay competition.  The Westwood One-syndicated personality’s “Derek Dickens & The Dream” screenplay is a fictional story of one man’s mid-life crisis that turns him into an international pop sensation when he takes on an imaginary persona through which he lives out his lifelong dream. This 50-year-old fabricates a 20-something British band, with himself at the lead, and it takes the world by storm.  He realizes no one is prepared for this kind of success, at any age.  Noting that the Colorado Film Festival is watched by industry pros, Valentine jokes, “I’ve been sitting by the phone waiting for a call from Hollywood.  I already have Robert Downey, Jr. planned for the lead.”  This is not the first accolade for this screenplay; it was a finalist in nine other film festivals, including the Beverly Hills Film Festival, the American Movie Awards, and the Atlanta Film Festival.  Valentine has been dabbling in film alongside his radio career for several years now.  He recently wrote and produced the award-winning documentary, “An Inconsistent Truth.”

biztalkradioBizTV and BizTalkRadio Enter News Game.  The business news reports that will be available to air from 9:00 am to 5:05 pm daily are being produced by Little Rock-based Independent News Network.  It is a five-minute, top-of-the-hour product that gives stations the option of running the whole cast or choosing from headlines, market reports or business stories.  BizTV and BizTalkRadio EVP Scott Miller says, “We felt there was a void in the marketplace for business news.  There are several great resources for news, but our TV and radio affiliates wanted a news product that follows the stock market and provides business centered news stories.”

Odds & Sods.  Morning show personality Sergeant Sam Cox is retiring from his gig at Emmis-owned news/talkcoxsam KLBJ-AM, Austin.  Cox has been with the station for 28 years.  He served with the Austin Police Department for 31 years and retired from the force in 1995…..WKGN, Knoxville is flipping from regional Mexican to sports talk after Hodges Media purchased the station from Richardo Espinosa for $225,000.  The station is using Fox Sports Radio Network programming in addition to local shows.  The station will work with the Tennessee Volunteers platform GoVols247.comNate Hodges and mcmanusadamexecutive producer Brad Matthews will host the 7:00 am to 10:00 am show and Tom Poisal will host the afternoon drive show…..Talk radio pro Adam McManus sits in for WPGP, Pittsburgh “AM 1250 The Answer” morning personality Rose Tennant August 17-21.  He recently did fill-in work for KMJ, Fresno where PD Blake Taylor says, “Adam did a great job filling in at KMJ – lots of energy and thought-provoking topics.  Generated tons of calls!”…..Three-time Super Bowl Champion and ESPN analyst Mark Schlereth begins producing a new, weekly podcast on PodcastOne called, “The Stinkin’ Truth.”  PodcastOne chairman and CEO Norm Pattiz says, “What a great addition to our network of sports programming.  A great athlete and communicator, Mark joins Shaq, Dan Patrick, Steve Austin, Ross Tucker and so many more on that list.  Mark’s podcast will be a stand out, and we expect it to deliver a significant audience and become a featured attraction in the podcast world.”

2016 Presidential Candidates, Iran Nuclear Deal, Chattanooga Killings Aftermath, New Planned Parenthood Video, Illegal Immigration-Kate Steinle Death, ‘El Chapo’ Escape-Mexican Corruption, and Sandra Bland Case Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/21).  The activities of the candidates for president in 2016; the fragile state of the Iran nuclear deal and the response from nations around the world; the investigation into terrorist ties to Chattanooga shooter Mohammed Abdulazeez and the aftermath of the slayings; the surfacing of a second video showing a Planned Parenthood doctor haggling over the price of fetus body parts; ongoing talk about the state of the U.S.’s immigration policy and the death of Kate Steinle; talk about Mexican corruption in the wake of drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman’s escape from prison; and the arrest and subsequent death in jail of Sandra Bland were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, June 22, 2015

| June 22, 2015

mcmeartymikeWTOP, Washington Names McMearty Program Director.  Three months after former programmer Laurie Cantillo and Hubbard Radio parted ways, the company names 23-year staffer Mike McMearty program director for the multi-platform news operation.  McMearty moves up from his news director post to the new position of director of news and programming.  Hubbard Washington SVP/GM Joel Oxley comments, “Mike has been an integral part of our success for more than two decades.  He has led the newsroom to hundreds of industry awards for excellence in journalism, including 18 National Murrowwtop logo NEW 1-15 Awards and more than two dozen honors already in 2015.  I look forward to him taking the department to new heights.”  The station reports that Jim Battagliese continues his role as director of traffic, transit and weather.  Mitchell Miller is promoted to senior news director managing the newsroom weekday mornings, Darci Marchese moves up to a full-time news director weekday afternoons, and Jamie Forzato now will manage news operations on the weekends as weekend managing editor.  Meera Pal moves to social and digital engagement director reporting to Julia Ziegler, who moves from web and operations manager of FederalNewsRadio.com to become the news director of WTOP.com.  All of the changes will take place over the next several weeks.

2015 NYC 150Talkers New York 2015 Videos Begin Being Posted Today (6/22).  Starting today with WFAN, New York superstar Mike Francesa’s opening “Keynote Greeting,” TALKERS will be posting videos of each of the sessions that made Talkers New York 2015’s agenda one of the most successful in the convention’s 18-year history.  A session will be added each business day for the next nine days in a row, in the order that they took place at the event, until the entire agenda, video-recorded by Art Vuolo, is posted in a special Talkers TV feature sponsored by independent station owner, Michael Zwerling’s KSCO, Santa Cruz.  The entire feature will remain posted for the rest of 2015.  To see the opening session with Mike Francesa, please click here.  Tomorrow:  “The State of Radio Ratings” panel moderated by Premiere Networks/Fox News Channel icon Sean Hannity.

talkersnyc2015FrancesaMike Francesa Opens Talkers New York 2015 on Upbeat Note – See Video Today!  In a video posted today (6/22), legendary WFAN afternoon drive personality Mike Francesa sets the tone for what proved to be a realistic, but highly optimistic and solutions-oriented, agenda at the recent industry mega-conference, Talkers New York 2015 (6/12).  The tell-it-like-it-is broadcaster – who has been ranked at #1 on the TALKERS “Heavy Hundred of Sports Talk Radio” for the past two consecutive years – blasted the pessimism that he says permeates the radio industry and offered his assessment of the tremendous opportunities available to radio in the digital era.  Francesa drew applause form the packed house stating, “It’s amazing the amount of negativity that exists no matter what part of the business you’re in… I’m here to tell you that even though I am a little closer to the finish [of my career] than I am to the start, back [in 1987] when I was pounding on the door at WFAN with Jeff Smulyan – it took me 18 interviews to get hired, folks — I would be as bullish on radio and as gung ho about getting a career and feeding my family on radio NOW… as I was back then.”  Francesa discusses the multi-platform nature of programming content today and the need/opportunity to monetize every element of it.  He praises the spread of smartphones as being equivalent to a theoretical resurgence of the old transistor radio and thus providing radio with universal portability… something it hasn’t enjoyed in decades.  He discusses the importance of branding in today’s media environment and vehemently champions the importance of “live and local” being the key to radio’s survival and purpose in the coming era.  To see Francesa’s entire speech, please click here.

russoronWestwood One Names Ron Russo EVP Northeast Sales.  Radio sales pro Ron Russo is named EVP, Northeast Region for Westwood One’s network sales division.  In this position, Russo will “manage and oversee the New York sales office and be responsible for revenue growth and multi-platform brand integrations across all Westwood One assets, including network sales, spot sales, platform, digital, and events.”  Russo will report to Westwood One president Steve Shaw.  In awestwood one NEW statement from WW1, the company notes that Russo comes to them from iHeartMedia where he was general sales manager for the NYC station group.  “In addition to building and overseeing the sales teams, he was instrumental in managing the transition when iHeart purchased WOR-AM from Buckley Broadcasting.  He also played an important role in securing the station’s radio rights to the NY Mets.”  He worked for CBS RADIO at hot AC WWFS, “Fresh 102.7” before joining iHeartMedia.   Russo says, “I am really looking forward to working with this great team of sellers and collaborating throughout the organization as we look for innovative ways to drive and accelerate results for our clients.”

ellismayesBillboard15Rob Ellis Lands at WPEN, Philadelphia.  Former WIP-FM, Philadelphia personality Rob Ellis debuts on crosstown Greater Media’s WPEN, Philadelphia, partnered up with Harry Mayes.  Ellis exited CBS RADIO’s WIP in March after failing to come to terms on a contract renewal with the station.  Ellis, who also hosts “Breakfast on Broad” on cable’s Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia, takes over as co-host of the midday show for Eytan Shander, who remains with the company.  Former WIP personality Anthony Gargano also joined WPEN late last year as morning drive personality.

Odds & Sods. Both FOX Sports and ESPN are reporting that former San Diego Chargers player and longtimeWW1EmrichGrahamKuglerCWS2015 radio play-by-play analyst Hank Bauer has been let go from the radio broadcast team.  Bauer served a one-game suspension last season – missing the final preseason game – after he used a Jewish slur during the third preseason game.  He later apologized…..Westwood One presents coverage of the NCAA Division I Men’s College World Series Finals beginning this evening from TD Ameritrade Park Omaha in Nebraska.  The best-of-three championship series between Vanderbilt and Virginia is being covered by (pictured here in front of the famous Road to Omaha statue standing from left to right) Ted Emrich, Scott Graham, and Kevin Kugler.

brownejoyIs15Dr. Joy Browne Tours Israel as Guest of Prime Minister – Meets with Victims of Terror.  Nationally-syndicated (GCN) talk show host and clinical psychologist, Dr. Joy Browne returns to New York today (6/22) after an intense week-long tour of Israel on a fact-finding/counseling mission that brought her into one-on-one encounters with Israeli victims of terror.  Browne (right) is pictured meeting with Israeli citizens at the Jerusalem headquarters of the OneFamily organization during what has been her first visit to the Middle East democracy this week.  According to a report in the Jerusalem Post, during the emotionally charged encounter, which was hosted by OneFamily CEO Chantal Belzberg, Browne met with former residents of the US, Canada, and the UK who were physically and emotionally scarred in terrorist attacks across Israel during the past few years.  “I am delighted and honored to be here,” Browne tells the Post. “After experiencing the aftermath of 9/11, we all share a common echo and I am impressed with the resilience of the people here who have worked or who are working to transcend fear and are getting on with their lives.”  The perennially popular radio personality, in addition to interviewing and counselling victims, also interviewed the organization’s various psychologists and therapists for a future segment on her widely heard program.  Browne’s trip to Israel was sponsored by the Office of the Prime Minister and America’s Voices in Israel. (Photo courtesy of the Jerusalem Post and Sarah Levin.)

ratnerPinkerton15FOX News Commentators Ellen Ratner and Jim Pinkerton Honored by Grenada’s St. George’s University. Media personalities Ellen Ratner and Jim Pinkerton were recognized with honorary doctorates from St. George’s University in Grenada for their charitable works.  Pinkerton and Ratner – who work together as conservative and liberal commentators, respectively, on FOX News Channel’s “FOX & Friends Weekend” on the “Long and Short of It” segment – are known for separate charitable efforts.  Pinkerton has been working with the school assisting with its cure strategy for diseases.  Ratner has been working for years to provide some of the basic tools for subsistence farming to people in South Sudan.  Ratner (third from left) and Pinkerton (fourth from left) are seen here receiving their honorary degrees.

morrisonbobDallas Newsman Bob Morrison Dies.  Former KRLD-AM and WBAP-AM, Dallas newsman Bob Morrison died yesterday (6/21) after a long illness. Salem Radio Network VP, News & Talk Programming Tom Tradup tells TALKERS, “When I served its VP/general manager, I hired Bob as news director of the USA Radio Network in 1999, and he brought a professional demeanor to reorganizing USA that was nothing short of amazing.  His planning and execution of the national political conventions in 2000 remains a highlight, and nurturing his strong delivery and solid journalistic skills will always remain a highlight of my career.”

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

| April 28, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, March 6, 2015

| March 6, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

| September 17, 2014

hamburgjoanJoan Hamburg to Host Weekend Show on WABC, New York.  After a long career at crosstown heritage AM news/talker WOR, Cumulus Media announces that New York radio personality Joan Hamburg is joining its news/talker 77 WABC to host a weekly Saturday program to air from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm.  Cumulus says on the show Hamburg “will continue discussing the most important social, economic and political issues that impact listeners’ lives each week.  Hamburg will also interview major celebrities and powerful political figures on the program.”  In addition, the deal calls for Hamburg to produce weekly features and exclusive programs available in digital formats.  Hamburg comments, “How excited I am to join legendary WABC radio and work with Kim Bryant, Craig Schwalb and the rest of the Cumulus family. And what a treat to join their roster of the best talk talent in the country.  New York get ready — the conversation is about to begin.”

villanuccijimTalk Host Jim Villanucci Resigns from KXL, Portland.  There is little known at this time about what has transpired to cause midday talk show host Jim Villanucci to resign from his position with Alpha Media’s KXL, Portland but a Tweet from KXL’s Lars Larson states simply that Villanucci has resigned for “personal reasons” and that Larson wishes him well.  Filling in during the daypart is Victoria Taft.

francesamikeTension Between WFAN’s Mike Francesa and Management Over Fox Sports Simulcast.  According to a story by Neil Best in Newsday, WFAN, New York afternoon drive superstar Mike Francesa has been ordered by CBS RADIO management – under threat of lawsuit – not to gripe publicly about the simulcast of his show being bumped from cable’s Fox Sports 1 and Fox Sports 2 for live sporting events.  Best reports that while Francesa didn’t talk specifically about the Fox Sports simulcast issues, he said on his radio show that in contrast to a corporate statement to the contrary, he has been threatened with legal action if he speaks publicly about anything that costs the company money, with the implication being the Fox Sports arrangement.  In other words, he could be held liable for any income CBS loses if the Fox Sports relationship dissolves.  Read Best’s piece here.

cottociscoCisco Cotto Joins CBS RADIO’s WBBM-AM, Chicago.  Newsman and talk show host Cisco Cotto is becoming part of the staff at CBS RADIO’s all-news WBBM-AM and WCFS-FM, Chicago, according to Chicago media writer Robert Feder.  Cotto has worked in the Chicago market his entire career.  He started at CBS’ former all-news WMAQ and has served as news anchor at Cumulus Media’s crosstown WLS-AM (where he also went on to host a talk show) as well as at Salem’s news/talk WIND, and the Moody Bible Institute’s Christian talker WMBI.  His position at WBBM and WCFS is anchor/reporter.   Read Feder’s entire column here.

krennjimKDKA-AM, Pittsburgh Adds Comic Jim Krenn to Friday Program.  Joining the “KDKA Morning News with Larry Richert and John Shumway” each Friday is Jim Krenn, a popular Pittsburgh radio personality and comedian.  KDKA-AM program director Jim Graci says, “KDKA is delighted to have Jim Krenn on the station each Friday morning.  It’s like adding another big bat to an all-star lineup, and will give KDKA listeners another reason to smile heading into the weekend.”  Krenn is a Pittsburgh native who worked successfully in Steel City radio for 24 years.  He is currently producing a weekly podcast titled, “Jim Krenn: No Restrictions.”

nrglogoDreyer Named Director of Integrated Media for NRG.  Appointed to the newly created position of director of integrated media for NRG Media is Erica Dreyer.  In making the announcement, NRG president and CEO Mary Quass noted that Dreyer recently served in the same post for both Maverick Media of Rockford, Illinois and Mid-West Family Broadcasting of Rockford for the past seven-plus years.  Quass states, “Digital media offers the greatest potential revenue growth for radio today.  Erica Dreyer has earned seven awards for excellence in the digital arena.  Dreyer’s the maverick we need to lead this new department.”  In this position, Dreyer will be responsible for infusing new inventory and pricing techniques into NRG’s interactive portfolio.  Dreyer will also train and educate sales departments in the station group to produce more sophisticated, high-value integrated solutions for clients and help educate advertisers about integrated solutions for their business needs.  Dreyer starts with NRG on September 30.

wpht logoWPHT, Philadelphia Speaker Series Hosts Senator Ted Cruz.  Tonight’s event at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia is the latest in the WPHT Speaker Series and will feature Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) discussing the First and Fourth Amendments.  The program takes place in observance of Constitution Day and WPHT morning drive personality Chris Stigall is moderating the discussion.

espnwomenThe Big Issue of the Day.  Pictured here are ESPN personalities (from left to right) Jemele Hill, Jane McManus and Cari Champion in the studio during the production of the podcast “espnW Presents: The State of the NFL on ESPN Radio.”  The show was a joint effort by espnW and ESPN Radio.  Also appearing on the program were espnW personalities Kate Fagan and Sarah Spain.  ESPN host Keith Olbermann and National Organization for Women president Terry O’Neill joined the conversation as guests.

The NFL and Domestic Violence, U.S.-Led Coalition Against ISIS, Mid-Term Elections, Hillary Clinton’s 2016 Presidential Run, New Benghazi Investigation,  Ebola Virus Pandemic Threat, Scotland Succession Referendum, and Obama Amnesty Issue Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/16).  The ongoing furor over the domestic violence issues plaguing the NFL; debate over the potential effectiveness of the U.S.-led coalition to combat ISIS; the looming mid-term elections and how they may affect majorities in Congress; Hillary Clinton’s weekend appearance in Iowa and her possible run for president in 2016; the new Benghazi investigation; the status of the Ebola outbreak in Africa and the potential for a pandemic; Thursday’s referendum on whether Scotland breaks away from the U.K.; and Senator Ted Cruz’s effort to prevent amnesty action by President Obama were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

| April 30, 2014

beasley logo longBeasley Net Revenue Down 2.4% in Q1.  Stating that the dip in net revenue comes primarily from “lower advertising revenue at the company’s Miami-Fort Lauderdale and Philadelphia market clusters,” Beasley Broadcast Group announces a Q1 figure down 2.4% on revenue of $24.2 million.  But the taxman also bit Beasley as the company reports that a “$0.8 million, or 40.2% year-over-year reduction in first quarter 2014 interest expense related to lower borrowing costs and reduced amounts outstanding, was more than offset by a $1.3 million, or 128.8%, rise in income tax expense primarily due to a change to the company’s federal income tax rate.  In addition, the tax rate in the comparable year ago period benefited from a change to the company’s effective state tax rate.  As a result, net income and net income per diluted share for the 2014 first quarter of $0.7 million and $0.03, respectively, compared with $2.4 million, and $0.11, respectively, in the comparable year ago period.”  Beasley chairman and CEO Geroge Beasley beasleygeorgecomments, “The first quarter decline in net revenue reflects several factors that primarily impacted our three largest markets, including the severe winter weather which had a negative effect on our operations in the Northeast.  Overall, for our five markets that report to Miller Kaplan – which represent approximately 77% of total first quarter revenue – Beasley station cluster revenue declined by 4.3%, while the total revenue for all reporting radio stations in these markets decreased by 0.3% for the quarter.  In Philadelphia, our cluster underperformed the market for the first time since mid-2012 as business was significantly impacted by the severe winter weather that pressured billings, particularly among our local customers, and caused our stations to close for the equivalent of approximately three business weeks during the first quarter. In Miami, the first quarter underperformance largely relates to the revenue decline at our AM sports talk station following the departure of a popular afternoon host (Jorge Sedano).  On April 1, we addressed this situation directly by re-launching our afternoon drive programming with the addition of another highly rated Miami sports talk show host from a direct competitor in the market (Marc Hochman).  Notwithstanding the challenges endured in the first quarter, our ratings and market position in both Philadelphia and Miami remain strong.  A final factor which negatively impacted first quarter revenue results was the completion of comprehensive training for our sales team regarding our new digital and NTR initiatives.  While this training took our sales teams away from customers for several days, we believe it was essential to drive growth in these areas of our business going forward.  Our planned investments in sales and programming and the expansion of our digital offerings, combined with the revenue decline, led to a 12.2% decline in first quarter 2014 SOI compared to year-ago levels.”

journalbroadcastgroupJournal Radio Division Revenue Down 4%.  While the company as a whole sees revenue climb 3.7% on the strength of TV and retrans, the radio division of Journal Communications was down 4% on revenue of $15.2 million.  The company reports that “local advertising revenue, excluding political, decreased 3.2%, primarily due to a decrease in restaurant and financial advertising.  Digital revenue, which is reported in local revenue, was $0.6 million, up 7.8%. National advertising revenue, excluding political, decreased 18.0%, primarily due to a decrease in automotive and financial advertising.  Total revenue, excluding political revenue, was $15.1 million, down 4.2%.  Operating earnings from radio were $2.1 million compared to $2.4 million, a decrease of 11.9%.  Radio operating expenses decreased 2.6%, or 0.8% excluding a $0.2 million non-cash building impairment charge recorded in 2013, primarily due to lower programming rights fees.”

dickeylewLew Dickey Sounds Pleased with Cumulus Media’s Progress.  During yesterday’s investor’s conference call on 2014 first quarter numbers, CEO Lew Dickey explained that Cumulus Media is well-positioned in the broadcast arena but is also heading in the desired direction of broadening its revenue streams and reaching beyond “just the advertiser.”  Dickey said, “We’ve now become a very diverse national audio advertising and content platform.  Our base is fueled by our strong core broadcast advertising category, anchored by our 460 owned-and-operated stations and again, amplified by now more than 10,000 broadcast radio affiliates throughout the U.S.  Moreover, we are developing an emerging growth stream in digital advertising that is gaining real traction to our audio through our Rdio digital audio platform.  Licensing also provides the company with a significant second stream of non-advertising-based revenue and should continue to grow nicely as we develop ‘NASH’ and other original content into multimedia brands with multiple revenue streams.  Additionally, our content initiatives will provide us with new revenue streams originating from monetizing the consumer, as opposed to just the advertiser, through subscription services.”  Thanks to Seeking Alpha for the transcript, members can check out the entire conference call here.

langeartiebigshotDirecTV Cancels Artie Lange Show.  With three months left on his contract with DirecTV, Artie Lange’s radio talk show is canceled.  Lange told listeners to his Monday evening (4/28) show that it would be his last for DirecTV.  The program was initially co-hosted by both Lange and fellow comic Nick DiPaolo but DiPaolo left the show last year.  During his good-bye to listeners and viewers, Lange said DirecTV was very good to him and the parting, though unfortunate, was amicable.  The program was simulcast on DirecTV’s Audience channel in addition to being syndicated on the radio.

farberbarryBarry Farber’s Language Club Celebrates 30 Years.  Talk radio legend Barry Farber’s “Language Club” celebrates its 30-year anniversary with a gathering on Monday, May 28, in New York City.  Farber, who founded the club, will also be honored at the celebration, that begins at 6:00 pm at My Place Restaurant, 242 East 79th Street in Manhattan.  Farber is currently syndicated nationally via CRN Digital Talk Radio.  His program airs weeknights at 8:00 p.m. ET.  A press release from CRN states, “Farber, who has been on the airwaves since the mid-1950s, nearly failed Latin in 9th grade.  Since then, he has studied 28 languages.  He created the Language Club so students and speakers of foreign languages could congregate in a pleasant, social environment and enjoy conversing with each other.”  He is also the author of several books, including How to Learn Any Language – Quickly, Easily, Inexpensively, Enjoyably and On Your Own.  Club members periodically meet for dinner and conversation at ethnic restaurants throughout New York City.  Some members give basic language lessons to each other.  CRN president and CEO Michael Horn says, “All of us have so much to learn from Barry Farber.  Usually, it’s his takes on politics and life.  But I hear he also gives good courses in Dutch, Mandarin, and Hebrew.”

Evans Broadcast Company Stations to Observe D-Day Anniversary Live from Normandy.  This June 6, news/talk KKFT Reno, “99.1 FM Talk’ and sister country simulcast KCMY and K273AF “Cowboy Country 102.5” will broadcast live from Normandy in France to commemorate the 70th anniversary of D-Day.  Evans Broadcast president and CEO Jerry Evans tells TALKERS this year will be the last recognized by the Normandy Veteran’s Association.

francesamikeSix Receive NY Hall Call.  The 2014 New York State Broadcasters Association‘s Hall of Fame class includes capital region/Syracuse broadcaster John Cooper; Syracuse TV reporter Nancy Duffy; WFAN, New York sports talk host Mike Francesa; renowned sportscaster Marty Glickman; Buffalo television manager Chris Musial; and New York City TV journalist Marvin Scott.  Cooper has been with Clear Channel since 2000, and is currently regional program manager for the company’s stations in Albany, Poughkeepsie, and Sussex, New Jersey.  Duffy received the Syracuse Press Club‘s Lifetime Achievement Award; she passed away in 2006.  All-American football player Marty Glickman had brief careers in professional football and basketball.  He was the NBA‘s first TV announcer and the first broadcaster for the New York Nets before the ABA – NBA merger.  In the 1960s, Glickman was the sports director of WCBS-AM, New York; he is a member of the Curt Gowdy wing of the Basketball Hall of Fame.  Glickman – the voice of the NY football Giants for 23 years and the NY Jets for 11 years – was 83 years old when he died in 2001.  While Musial was news director and president/general manager of Buffalo’s WIVB-TV, it was the highest-overall rated television station in the country from sign-on to sign-off.  WPIX-TV, New York senior correspondent Marvin Scott is the recipient of seven Emmy awards.  Before joining WPIX, he held positions as anchor, correspondent, and producer at CNN, Mutual Broadcasting System, and New York City’s WABC-TV.  Regarding his selection to the Hall, Francesa comments, “I am humbled and excited to be recognized by the New York State Broadcasters Association; it is a great honor.  Anything with ‘New York’ attached to it means all the more to me.”  The afternoon drive (1:00 pm – 6:30 pm) talent recently agreed to a long-term contract extension with WFAN.  CBS Radio president and chief executive officer Dan Mason states, “Mike has earned his place in radio history as a great broadcaster.  We are thrilled to continue our relationship with sports radio’s most celebrated host.”  From 1989 to 2008, Francesa co-hosted the “Mike & Mad Dog Show” with Chris “Mad Dog” Russo and has been overseeing “Mike’s On” since 2008.  Francesa occupies the #1 position on TALKERS’ 2013 “Heavy Hundred” of Sports Talk Radio.  The June 13 induction ceremony will take place during the Association’s summer conference in New York City.

Donald Sterling Case, Tepid Economy Data, John Kerry Israel ‘Apartheid’ Comment, Russian Aggression in Ukraine, and Chicago Gun Violence Epidemic Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/29).  The lifetime ban and fine levied against Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling in the wake of his racist comments recorded by a former mistress; weak economic news and the impact on the Obama Administration’s policies; the aftermath of Secretary of State John Kerry’s statement that Israel is in danger of becoming an apartheid state; Vladimir Putin’s continued military aggression in Ukraine; and the huge uptick in gun deaths in Chicago and the call for more gun laws were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, April 28, 2014

| April 28, 2014

wfan logoCBS RADIO Puts Kibosh on WFAN-Francesa YouTube Channel.  According to a piece in the New York Daily News, a fan channel for sports talk WFAN-AM/FM and PM drive host Mike Francesa will no longer present audio or video of the station’s programming after the operator of Twitter’s @WFANAudio agreed to cease and desist putting audio or video on his YouTube channel.  The story says CBS reached out to YouTube to protect its copyright on the content and YouTube let the operator know it would suspend his account if he didn’t cease.  The paper reports it connected with @WFANAudio who said he made no money off the venture.  He says he’s merely a big fan of the station but he understands the copyright issue and will stop putting audio on YouTube.

hitzgesnorm‘The Ticket’ in Dallas Extends Norm Hitzges for Three Years.  The Dallas Morning News has the story and it focuses on Norm Hitzges’ age – he’ll turn 70 this summer.  If Hitzges stays through the end of his new three-year deal at the Cumulus Media station, he’ll be 73 when he signs off for good…if he does.  Hitzges holds down the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon slot on the station that, the paper points out, is populated by younger hosts trying to capture that all-important men 25-54 demographic.  As for Hitzges’ response to his success after 17 years on KTCK, Dallas, he simply says, “I landed in a really good spot.”

odonnellterryO’Donnell Set to Transfer to Clear Channel Springfield as OM/PD.  In two weeks (5/12), Clear Channel Poughkeepsie program director Terry O’Donnell will relocate to Springfield, where he will become operations manager and program director of the company’s cluster in that western Massachusetts market.  Regional programming manager Rob Anthony comments, “I am thrilled to have Terry joining the team in Springfield.  His knowledge of the formats and track record of making great radio speaks for itself.”  O’Donnell states, “I can’t thank my current team in Poughkeepsie enough.  I am looking forward to this new opportunity.”  O’Donnell will oversee news/talk WHYN-AM, hot AC WHYN-FM “Mix 93.1,” and WRNX “Pioneer Valley’s Country.”

nielsen logoNielsen Presents Radio ROI Research to Group Heads in NYC.  The meeting at Clear Channel New York headquarters announced on Friday took place as planned with Nielsen and the Advertising Research Foundation (ARF) hosting an event featuring panel discussions and speakers titled “Nielsen Cracks the Code on Radio ROI.  As noted in TALKERS/RadioInfo on Friday, the event was to focus on Nielsen’s ROI measurement tool for radio.  Radio group heads attending the event were joined by key marketers and advertisers.  Clear Channel chairman and CEO Bob Pittman and CBS RADIO president and CEO Dan Mason welcomed advertiser, agency and industry attendees.  Nielsen EVP of global product leadership Steve Hasker presented the study’s findings.  Two panel discussions followed — the first, moderated by Michael Kassan, chairman and CEO of MediaLink, discussed the power of radio for marketers and how it should best be considered in the marketing mix.  Panelists from across the media landscape included: Gayle Fuguitt, president and CEO, The ARF; Matt MacDonald, BBDO; John Nitti, ZenithOptimedia; Ritu Trivedi, MediaVest and Mary Ellen Johnson Jalenek, American Express.  The second panel was moderated by Bob Pittman and featured the heads of major radio groups, including Lew Dickey, CEO, Cumulus Media; David Field, CEO, Entercom; and Dan Mason.  The group discussed Nielsen’s study and how they believe it will improve the perception of radio within the ad community.

doughertyelizabethGenesis to Syndicate Weekly Elizabeth Dougherty Show.  The weekly “Dougherty Report” program, hosted by culinary expert Elizabeth Dougherty, will air live from 9:00 pm to 12:00 midnight on Saturdays beginning May 10 and will be syndicated by Genesis Communications Network.  The company says Dougherty’s program “sends listeners on an adventure of good food, along with interviews and a unique take on the news of the day, for parents in particular.”  It also says Dougherty has an extensive background in food writing and culinary arts training.  The program is based out of flagship WAMT, Orlando.

biakelseyadchartBIA/Kelsey Delivers U.S. Local Spend Estimate for 2013-2018.  Just what will local radio’s slice of the advertising pie look like in 2018?  According to BIA/Kelsey’s “U.S. Local Media Forecast,” radio advertising accounted for 11.1% of the total $133.2 billion spent in 2013 (direct mail, newspapers, and TV led the category).  The primary sources of revenue for local radio in 2013 were automobile dealers ($1.43 billion), wireless telecommunications ($650.8 million), and full-service restaurants ($647.8 million).  Based on changes in the overall local media marketplace, BIA/Kelsey estimates that the overall local media market will grow faster than previously thought through 2018.  By 2018 the total will be $158.6 billion, of which $16.7 billion – or 10.5% – will go to local radio.  Obviously, the big growth is expected to be in digital.  BIA/Kelsey predicts, “Digital media continues to increase its share of total local media revenues, growing from $31.7 billion (23 percent) in 2014 to $52.7 billion (33.2 percent) in 2018.”  Find out more about the forecast here.

“Armed American Radio” Celebrates Fifth Anniversary.  Last night (4/27) marked the benchmark broadcast for the Salem Radio Network-distributed and Mark Walters-hosted program.  “It was no surprise to me that the time was right for a program of this type,” Walters comments.  “While the mainstream media continues to promote an anti-gun agenda, millions of law-abiding gun owners have found a new home on the radio dial that talks about their decision to carry a firearm.  We provide a hard-hitting, fact based, entertaining discussion about all things related to the pro-gun rights movement.”  The now three-hour syndicated program was launched in April 2009 as a one-hour, Atlanta only-based show.

gallaghersteveOdds & Sods.  Six-year Sun Broadcast Group exec Steve Gallagher departs.  Most recently, Gallagher was SBG’s executive vice president.  He joined the company in February 2008 as vice president of programming.  Gallagher’s prior credits include being director of operations for Citadel Communications Harrisburg (2005 – 2008); operations manager/program director of Nassau Broadcasting stations in Monmouth-Ocean, New Jersey (WOBM-AM, WOBM-FM and WADB) and in Allentown (WWYY “Lite 107”)…..Religious/Christian broadcaster Starboard Media Foundation (also known as Relevant Radio) agrees to acquire Multicultural Broadcasting‘s Spanish-formatted WNSW.  Purchase price for the New York City AM outlet is reportedly $10.1 million.  Michael J. Bergner (Bergner & Co.) was the exclusive broker for the transaction.  Starboard owns stations in Chicago, Austin, and Providence, as well as several Wisconsin outlets in Madison, Green Bay, and Eau Claire…..The Public Radio Program Directors Association announces the association’s president and CEO, Arthur Cohen, has decided to retire effective January 1, 2015 after an orderly leadership transition process of eight months.  The PRPD says Cohen, a veteran public radio programmer and manager will retire after a remarkable career of more than 35 years of service in public media.

risingthroughtheranksAugust Dates Set for Rising Through the Ranks Course.  The Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB), Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI), and the Mentoring and Inspiring Women in Radio Group (MIW) are presenting the seventh annual “Rising Through the Ranks” seminar, August 27-28, at the BMI Nashville headquarters in Tennessee.  The organizations say that, as in years past, BMI will offer 20 scholarships for this year’s program.  These scholarships cover the cost of the professional development course, which is designed to foster and educate emerging female radio sellers and managers within broadcast radio.  This year’s course will focus primarily on women in the radio workplace and sales and management techniques; including problem solving, budget reviews, managing team personalities, and personal brand building.  Scholarship winners will also have the opportunity to hear from leading radio industry executives across various station groups and industry backgrounds. Confirmed speakers include: Lynn Anderson, CEO, Integrated Media Solutions Group; Lindsay Cerajewski, general sales manager, CBS Radio; Tincy Crouse, market manager, Cromwell Radio; Erica Farber, president and CEO, RAB; Katie Gambill, president and general manager, 5-Star Radio; Kim Guthrie, executive vice president, Cox Media Group; Brandeis C. Hall, vice president, professional development, RAB; Emily Hunt, local sales manager, KSL Broadcast Group; Laurie Kahn, president and CEO, Media Staffing Networks; Sue McNamara, senior vice president, sales, CBS Radio; Kay Olin; partner, Olin & Associates; and Dan Spears, vice president, licensing, BMI.  Kay Olin says, “’Rising Through the Ranks’ is the epitome of the Mentoring and Inspiring Women in Radio Group.  With the generous help from BMI and the RAB, this two-day training workshop allows us to continue to develop, and help foster female sales managers to senior positions in the radio industry.”

jiggyjohnsonGettin’ Jiggy with Gary Johnson.  At the Kansas Libertarian Convention held over the weekend, internet radio personality Jiggy Jaguar a.k.a. James Lowe (right) sat down with the Libertarian Party’s former presidential nominee Gary Johnson (left) to discuss issues near and dear to the libertarians.  Lowe’s program is heard via his own KJAGRadio.com and the Transmedia World Wide network.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

| March 13, 2014

francesamikeWFAN, New York’s Mike Francesa Gets Video Deal with Fox 1.  After exiting the YES Network for the TV simulcast of his radio show in early February when his contract ran out, New York sports talk icon Mike Francesa’s WFAN show will land on Fox Sports 1 and Fox Sports 2 in a deal just announced.  The companies say they’ve reached foxsports1a “multi-year, multi-media agreement.”  Fox Sports 1 and 2 general manager and COO David Nathanson says, “We are thrilled to add Mike Francesa to our Fox Sports family of channels.  Mike is without question one of the most popular sports personalities in New York and has maintained a significant national reputation through his syndicated NFL show and his WFAN program…He’s knowledgeable and opinionated with an ability to attract top-name guests who appeal to sports fans everywhere.  This is a fantastic addition to FOX Sports 1 and FOX Sports 2.”  The simulcast begins on March 24 when it will air from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm on Fox Sports 1 and then from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm on Fox Sports 2.  It will also be streamed live via Fox Sports GO through participating video providers.  Francesa will deliver the Sports Keynote Address at the Talkers New York 2014 conference on Friday, June 20, 2014.

weei logoSalk Exits WEEI-FM, Boston After a Year.  The homecoming for Boston-bred sports talk personality Mike Salk lasted just about a year.  Salk has left the station for a new gig elsewhere (reportedly back to KIRO-AM, Seattle where he was co-hosting with Brock Huard).  The changes at WEEI-FM since former afternoonsalkmike drive personality Glenn Ordway was forced out have been numerous: program director Jason Wolfe exited and the general manager who brought Salk to WEEI – Jeff Brown – abruptly left in September of 2013.  Boston Globe writer Chad Finn analyzes the situation and states that although Salk was raised in the area and worked at other Boston AM signals for a time, “his homogenized style, honed during his time at ESPN radio, made him seem like an outsider.”  Finn reports the station will begin pairing up a rotating cast of co-hosts for Michael Holley in the PM drive slot as is works to find a permanent replacement for Salk.

ktth logoKTTH, Seattle Produces ‘Panel Series’ to Debate Policy Issues.  Seattle news/talker KTTH is beginning a panel series aimed at “encouraging robust discussion of important issues in Western Washington,” and it will start with an April 9 debate over the proposed $15 minimum wage.  Afternoon talk host Ben Shapiro will take part in the debate and morning drive personality David Boze will moderate.  Also taking part in the debate will be Seattle City Councilwoman Kshama Sawant, National Employment Law Project deputy director Rebecca Smith, and Washington Policy Center vice president for research Paul Guppy.  The debate is open to the public.

catsimatidisWNYM, New York to Air ‘The Cats Roundtable.’ New York business mogul and former mayoral candidate John Catsimatidis begins hosting an hour-long Sunday morning program on Salem Communications’ WNYM, New York “AM 970 The Answer” this weekend.  The station says the show will feature interviews, listener call-ins and John’s unique take on the news affecting New York.  Catsimatidis is CEO of The Red Apple Group and Gristedes Foods.  His first guests on the 3/16 program will include former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani and former New York Governor George Pataki.  Catsimatidis comments, “I’m incredibly excited about this.  After the mayor’s race, I was struck by how many New Yorkers from all walks of life were anxious to continue the conversation about how to improve our city.  As a lifelong fan of local radio, I’m convinced that this is the best way to do that.”

smithrandySmith to Named to GSM Post at Cox Tulsa.  Moving over from the television side of Cox Media Group’s Tulsa operations is Randy Smith who is named general sales manager for the group that includes classic rock KJSR, AC KRAV, news/talk KRMG-AM/FM, and country KWEN.  Cox Tulsa general manager Gene Vidler says, “I am excited to have Randy join our radio cluster.  I have known Randy for many years, first as a competitor and more recently as a colleague with our sister TV stations.  Randy’s knowledge of the market and his relationships in Tulsa will be a great fit to help our radio cluster continue to grow.  Randy is very well respected and well known in the media community.”

knxgridlockKNX, Los Angeles to Air Daylong Programming on Region’s Traffic Problems.  Southern California’s traffic problems are legendary and CBS RADIO’s all-news KNX “1070 NEWSRADIO” is presenting what it calls a “comprehensive and unprecedented examination of Southern California’s infamous traffic congestion that often turns the region’s freeways and streets into a continuum of parking lots.”  It’s a day-long series titled, “Driven to Gridlock: L.A.’s Never-Ending Sig Alert,” airing on Thursday, March 27 from 5:00 am to 7:00 pm.  The station says, “Producers Charles Feldman and Laraine Herman, along with KNX 1070’s award-winning news staff, will explore the past, present and future of SoCal’s traffic situation with help from urban planners, civic leaders, technology experts, law enforcement and commuters.  Among the topics to be covered in 26 special reports will be the evolution of our region’s car culture; why traffic congestion will likely worsen before it improves; the future of mass transit; the financial impact of traffic jams on business; coping with an aging infrastructure and growing population; the impact of past ‘solutions’ such as signal synchronization, car pool lanes, ridesharing, and toll lanes; and more-recent ideas like congestion pricing popular in Europe and flexible work schedules.”

conwaysimonOdds & Sods.  Hard-working talk radio personality Simon Conway – afternoon drive host at Clear Channel’s WHO, Des Moines – is continuing his fill-in work subbing for Premiere Networks nationally syndicated host Andy Dean.  Iron-man Conway is used to double-duty having hosted the morning show at WFLF, Orlando for six days earlier this month…..Public radio WNYC, New York welcomes Sean Bowditch to the organization as executive editor.  Bowditch has served in the past as senior producer for “Marketplace Morning Report,” and producer at NPR and WBUR, Boston…..ESPN Radio is expanding its “SportsCenter All Night” program to seven nights a week.  Joining veteran ESPN Radio “SportsCenter” host Jay Reynolds, who will continue to host SportsCenter All Night Sunday into Monday through Thursday into Friday, will be John Brickley, who will serve as host of the late Friday and Saturday shows.

mhruddygroupPosh Palm Beach Pow Wow!  Noticing that more than a handful of his talk radio pals were in Florida’s Palm Beach County at the same time, Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy invited them all to dinner and conversation last evening (3/12) at Donald Trump’s palatial Palm Beach Island estate, Mar-A-Lago.  The result was a real yak-fest.  Among the many topics of conversation — which ran the gamut from industry gossip to the future of radio in the digital age – was inside-information about Newsmax’s forthcoming plunge into the news/talk television wars.  Pictured (l-r): Rush Limbaugh show producer James Golden; WRKO, Boston personality Howie Carr; WFTL, Fort Lauderdale VP/GM Steve Lapa; former U.S. Rep. (R-AZ), talk show host and Newsmax TV contributor J.D. Hayworth; TALKERS magazine publisher Michael Harrison; and Ruddy.

katz mg logoKatz Media Group Helps Raise $170,000 for Broadcasters Foundation of America.  After its 5th annual membership drive to support the Broadcasters Foundation of America, Katz Media Group announces this year’s contributions bring Katz’s total support to more than $170,000.  The BFoA provides financial assistance to those in the radio and television profession who find themselves in acute need.  Katz Radio Group president Mark Gray states, “The Broadcasters Foundation does incredible work for those in need.  Every year, our company looks forward to the opportunity to come together and make a difference.  I’m enormously proud of our employees continued dedication, which to date has raised more than $170,000 over the past five years.  The contributions have even more meaning for Katz as it supports the Stu Olds Memorial Fund, in honor and memory of our former president and CEO.”

ObamaCare Criticism, Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 Mystery, Obama vs. Putin/Crimea-Ukraine Crisis, 2016 Presidential Race, Winter Weather/Global Warming, and Overtime Pay Hike Proposal Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/12).  Scrutiny of the rollout and effects of the Affordable Care Act; the search for the missing Malaysia Airlines plane and the theories of its disappearance; President Obama’s standoff with Vladimir Putin over the Crimea-Ukraine crisis; speculation about possible candidates in the 2016 presidential election; the latest bout of winter weather hitting the East and debate over global warming; and President Obama’s proposal to enact mandatory hikes in overtime pay were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, February 10, 2014

| February 10, 2014

francesamikeWFAN, New York’s Mike Francesa Show to Air on Cable’s Fox Sports 1.  According to a report by Neil Best in Newsday, sources indicate the cable TV simulcast of New York sports talk icon Mike Francesa’s afternoon drive sports talk program will be Fox’s fledgling Fox Sports 1 cable channel.  The deal that had Francesa’s program simulcast on the Fox-owned and Yankees-operated YES Network for the past 12 years ended last week and though the MSG Network was anticipated being the eventual destination for Francesa’s show, the official news of the Fox Sports 1 deal could come sometime this week.  Best writes that Fox presumably wants Francesa’s show to help raise its visibility even though it’s a New York-centric show.  Interestingly, WEPN-FM’s afternoon host Michael Kay is now seen in Francesa’s old slot on YES and if Francesa does land on Fox Sports 1, the two shows will appear on side-by-side channels 69 and 70 on New York’s Cablevision system.

compasslogoWall Street Journal and MarketWatch Radio Networks Outsource Affiliate Relations and Marketing to Compass Media Networks.  Executive editor for the Wall Street Journal and MarketWatch Radio Networks John Wordock says in a memo to affiliate stations, “We are deeply committed to our audio business and appreciate our partnership with your station…The Wall Street Journal and MarketWatch Radio Networks will continue to provide the best money news coverage in the business, from Wall Street to Main Street to your street.  Together, Dow Jones and Compass look forward to working with you and your station and we’re both dedicated to providing top-notch customer service.”  This move to take the affiliate relations and marketing department out of house is not entirely unexpected after the cuts the company made in the fall eliminating executive positions within that department.

levinmarkMark Levin to Keynote Tea Party Anniversary Celebration.  Nationally syndicated talk show host Mark Levin will serve as the keynote speaker at the five-year anniversary celebration of the Tea Party Patriots taking place in Washington, DC on February 27.  Levin, whose program is syndicated by Cumulus Media Networks, says, “The Tea Party, which consists of millions of hard-working taxpayers, is to be celebrated not condemned.  The ruling class must be trounced and its media cheerleaders must be exposed if the republic is to survive.  The Tea Party is our only hope.  It’s a great honor to be asked to speak to such outstanding and courageous patriots.”  Other high-profile participants include: Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), and Jenny Beth Martin, co-founder of Tea Party Patriots.

schnitttoddTodd Schnitt: Not the Same-Old, Same-Old.  Nationally syndicated talk show host Todd Schnitt credits his background in CHR radio and his passion for finding the topics that intrigue him that he believes will also intrigue his listeners for making his show a different-sounding sort of conservative talk radio show.  TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian’s profile of the man who worked for years as the successful “MJ Kelli” at Clear Channel’s WFLZ, Tampa before branching into drive time talk radio at sister station WFLA delves into the mind of a personality working to grow his national program in the post-Sandra Fluke era.  Schnitt says, “My feelings have been bolstered by many experts and consultants in the field regarding the burn on conservative talk radio…You hear the same pounding on Democrats and liberals every single day.  It is to the point with a bunch of hosts in my space where you can pull one of their shows from last month and it would sound the same as what they are saying today.  I have always approached a talk radio show so that it fits on any conservative radio station, but with more of an intrinsic entertainment value.”  Read Mike Kinosian’s story here.

mckayjeffTALKERS Launches Three-Part Special Today, Tomorrow and Wednesday (2/10-12) Spotlighting Danno Wolkoff and Envision Networks.  Like many people who go to college with a plan for what they want to do when they graduate, Danno Wolkoff went to Syracuse University with a goal of winding up in television production.  Fate, and the prodding from senior management at MJI Broadcasting instead sent him in the direction of sales and affiliate relations.  Wolkoff discovered he had a gift for sales, and doubled his income in one year.  It was through sales and affiliate relations work that he climbed the corporate ladder at MJI, expanding and growing their sales offices nationwide.  When Clear Channel acquired MJI and merged it into Premiere Radio Networks (now simply “Premiereenvisionnetworks new Networks”), he became VP of affiliate relations.  However, it wasn’t long before he began to realize that the hands-on and creative approach he had at MJI wasn’t translating to the growth concepts and business model of Premiere and Clear Channel.  Wolkoff faced a career crossroads and would make a decision that would change his life and become an important source of programming and services for radio.  His vision was “Envision Radio Networks,” (now simply “Envision Networks”) — a highly successful and forward-thinking company that creates over four wolkoffdannodozen content products and services for radio stations and media outlets nationwide, customizing solutions for clients, producers and affiliates.  It was a company literally founded after another syndication and programming company decided they had a good product that despite making money, didn’t make enough money for their bottom line.  What Wolkoff has accomplished in the span of just 10 years is inspiring and a textbook example of creating a force for productivity and jobs in an industry.  He took the biggest gamble of his life, grabbing a program and three people laid off by an established firm that would become his largest competitor, and growing an independent syndication empire serving over 1,500 radio stations with everything from prep services to music shows, local news and information to weekend talk shows.  His staff has grown over 20-fold in a decade to include an array of producers, salespeople and contract staffers researching, producing, creating and selling more than four-dozen products to radio stations in both the largest and smallest markets.  Now known simply as Envision Networks (they dropped the word “Radio” this past week – more on that later) continues to not only grow, embracing new technology and catering to those needs, but in the process has become an independent force in syndication.  In the words of Michael Harrison, “The emergence of special individuals like Danno Wolkoff is the force that propels an industry such as ours forward.  I’ve seen this movie many times before.  Danno is the kind of guy who has the makings of being a true giant 10 years down the pike, taking his place among the biggest of the big.”  To read part one of TALKERS special features correspondent Jeff McKay’s extensive profile “The Vision of Envision: The Rise of Radio Syndication Entrepreneur Danno Wolkoff and an Emerging Independent Powerhouse” please click here.

cbslocalmediaCBS Reports Record Digital Traffic Month.  It’s a new record for a single month as CBS Local Digital Media reports its websites and mobile applications attracted 56.8 million unique users during January topping the previous all-time high of 50.6 million in April 2013.  The January 2014 number was up 37% compared to a year ago.  CBS Local is happy with its performance in this arena last year reporting year-to-year growth of 21% in average unique users per month.  CBS Local Media COO Anton Guitano says, “Our continued integration of digital into all parts of our local business is yielding dividends.  The great mobile presence our stations have via mobile websites, Radio.com and CBS Local apps creates a presence that gives the consumer a great user experience.”

larsonlarsLars Larson’s Busy Week: Subbing for KVI’s John Carlson; Keynoting Nevada Republican Dinner.  There are few in the talk radio business who work harder than talk show host Lars Larson.  Lars tells TALKERS that in addition to his regular radio programs – middays on Alpha Broadcasting’s KXL, Portland and nationally syndicated from 3:00 pm to 9:00 pm ET via Compass Media Networks – he’s filling in on morning drive today and tomorrow (2/10-11) on KVI, Seattle for John Carlson.  This evening he’ll be hosting a station event for KXL and then heads to Reno on Thursday to do both regular shows from affiliate KKFT-FM before keynoting the Washoe County Republicans’ annual Lincoln Dinner on Friday.  Lars reports he’ll be able to fly home in time on Friday to spend Valentine’s weekend with his “very patient wife,” Tina.

smerconishmichaelMichael Smerconish Jumps to CNN.  The SiriusXM talk show host is leaving MSNBC and will join up with CNN for a role that includes regular appearances during the week providing analysis and commentary plus a weekly Saturday morning program, reports the Washington Posts’s Eric Wemple.  In a release, CNN Worldwide president Jeff Zucker says, “We are thrilled to have Michael join CNN.  At a time when the cable news landscape has become increasingly polarized, his independence and passion for reasoned dialogue makes him the perfect fit for CNN.”  Smerconish joins CNN at a time of flux.  Zucker has been making programming changes to reverse the cable news/talk channel’s floundering ratings.  CNN announced recently it is cancelling Anderson Cooper’s “AC 360 Later.”

comptonawardHonoring Ann.  ABC News Radio White House correspondent Ann Compton (left) is pictured here at the Washington Press Club Foundation’s 70th Annual Congressional Dinner on February 5 at which she was honored with the 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award.  The award recognizes an individual whose outstanding accomplishments promote the journalistic profession and enhance the role of women journalists.

richertlarryOdds & Sods.  The Akron Beacon Journal reports that weekend and fill-in host Bob Early resigned from his position with WNIR-FM, Akron after a disagreement over a guest for his weekend talk show.  Early hosted the Saturday and Sunday evening show on the station and he tells the paper he and management were not in agreement about Early booking the owner of an erotic goods chain on his program.  Read the whole story here…..Patrick Ryan joins Magnum Broadcasting to serve as general manager for talk WEEO-FM,ryanpatrick Chambersburg, Pennsylvania/ Hagerstown, Maryland and corporate brands strategist.  Ryan was most recently local sales manager at Albany Broadcasting.  He says, “I’m thrilled to put my talk radio expertise back to work and look forward to buying-building new brands with Michael Stapleford and his incredible team.”…..KDKA-AM, Pittsburgh morning host Larry Richert announced that Pittsburgh Pirates president Frank Coonelly will serve as the keynote speaker at his “Larry Richert Honors Our Hometown Heroes” event at the Lexus Club at PNC Park on Thursday, March 6.  The annual even created by Richert honors five ordinary individuals in the community who have done extraordinary things and it benefits the Wounded Warrior Project.

Monday, February 3, 2014

| February 3, 2014

sileodanSports Talker Dan Sileo New AM Host at ‘The Mighty 1090’ in San Diego.  Sports talk personality Dan Sileo – who’s been working at stations in Florida for the past several years – joins Broadcasting Corporation of the Americas-operated XEPRS, San Diego “The Mighty 1090” where he’s the new morning drive host beginning today (2/3).  Sileo most recently was hosting a show at James Crystal Radio’s WMEN, West Palm Beach but was fired from that station in early November of 2013 after shooting off a controversial tweet.  Sileo has also worked at Beasley’s WQAM, Miami and Clear Channel’s WDAE, Tampa.  He takes over the morning show at “The Mighty 1090” from market pro Lee “Hacksaw” Hamilton who will remain with the station in another capacity.  Program director Mike Shepard says, “I am thrilled to welcome Dan to ‘San Diego’s Sports Leader, The Mighty 1090.’  Dan is a passionate, outspoken, engaging and incredibly knowledgeable sports radio personality.  His track record of major market success is remarkable and Dan is a perfect addition to the Mighty 1090’s top-rated, all-star lineup.”

wilc logoNew Talk Station to Air in DC Market.  The Laurel, Maryland-licensed WILC flips from Spanish music to a hybrid of talk and oldies.  The ZGS-owned signal is being operated by Wallis Communications under an LMA and the new format debuts today (2/3).  In a statement, the company says the program schedule is not complete but the station will be “libertarian and conservative talk radio.”  Chief operating officer and general manager Bryan Berner says, “All of us at WILC and Wallis Communications look forward to serving the people of the region and bringing a common sense, fresh perspective to talk radio in the Washington, DC market.”  Programming will include Premiere NetworksGlenn Beck, Wallis Communications’ “The Dr. K Show,” “The Capitol Hill Show with Tim Constantine” and WestwoodOne’s Dennis Miller.  Overnights will showcase vintage radio as the digitally remastered Wolfman Jack will air.

gallaghermikeMike Gallagher Causes Stir with Hoffman Death Observations.  Nationally syndicated talk show host Mike Gallagher’s observations in the aftermath of the untimely death of actor Phillip Seymour Hoffman caused such reaction that his post to his MikeOnline.com site logged more than 50,000 views and drew threats to him, his family and even his dog.  Speaking about the suspected heroin overdose that took Hoffman’s life, Gallagher stated, “Another senseless death. This time, one of the greatest actors of our time.  I wonder if he started with marijuana…If you want to get pot lovers mad, dare to even ask the question if an Oscar-winning movie star who is found dead in his bathroom with a needle stuck in his arm started with marijuana.”  Gallagher has stood firm in his stance against the legalization of marijuana as some states move to legalize and decriminalize the drug.

millerchrisTo Get Listeners to Your Website, Don’t Threaten to Bore Them!  Digital media consultant and TALKERS columnist Chris Miller wonders why we tend to turn the marketing part of our brains off when we go “online.”  We can write good, tempting ad copy for radio but all we’ve learned goes out the window when it comes to our websites.  Miller says that one of the worst ways to get someone to your website is to offer them “all of the details” when they get there.  Not very tempting is it?  More details.  Instead, put your marketing skills to work in the same way you would with a spot.  “A good commercial will do a better job getting business through a client’s front door than a bad commercial will.  It’s the exact same thing getting people to go from your broadcast to one of your digital platforms…or move from one digital platform to another.  Opportunity is knocking.”  Read Miller’s entire piece here.

hannityseanClear Channel Tweaks Lineup at WVOC, Columbia.  The South Carolina news/talk station drops the early evening “Sports Talk” show syndicated by Learfield Sports that aired in afternoon drive and adds Premiere NetworksSean Hannity for the 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm slot.  The “Sports Talk” program is hosted by Phil Kornblut, Kevin McCrarey and Tom Hayes.  According to The State, Learfield’s “Sports Talk First Edition” – which aired on CC’s sister sports talk station WXBT “560 The Team” from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm – is also being replaced.  A local sports talk show featuring former South Carolina footballer Rick Sanford will air in the time slot instead.  Learfield tells the paper it is working to place the shows on new affiliates in the market.

francesamikeMike Francesa Fans (and a Few Critics) Gather for FrancesaCon in NYC.  Sports talk pioneer Mike Francesa – afternoon drive host on CBS RADIO’s WFAN-AM/FM, New York – said after learning of the weekend event that the participants would probably be half fans, half critics.  How the numbers came down is unclear but the fact that an estimated 400 gathered at an Upper East Side bar on Saturday (2/1) to celebrate, imitate and even mock Francesa, shows how big he is in New York.  A piece by Jim Baumbach in Newsday tells the story but the short version is as follows: 23-year-old friends Michael Leboff and Ron Haraka came up with the idea of FrancesaCon as a gathering of Mike Francesa fans.  Little did they know that not only would people show up in droves, but they came dressed as Francesa, carried the appropriate props (Diet Coke cans), and did some very good imitations of the man himself.  Some even came dressed as Francesa’s longtime former partner Chris “Mad Dog” Russo and classic Francesa-Russo back-and-forths took place in the bar.  Check out Baumbach’s story in Newsday here.

fccnewFCC Grants Tribune Cross-Ownership Waivers.  The license renewals for several Tribune-owned television stations were being challenged by the United Church of Christ, the Media Alliance and the Teamsters.  The commission handed down rulings on Friday that granted renewals for the licenses though it also granted the petition for reconsideration to the UCC and Media Alliance.  The FCC also reaffirmed the permanent waiver for Tribune in the Chicago market where it owns the Chicago Tribune newspaper, WGN-TV, and WGN-AM.  In making the decision, the commission ruled that “Given the ‘uniquely long-term symbiotic relationship between [Tribune’s] broadcast stations’ and the Chicago Tribune that provides a special benefit of continued cross-ownership, coupled with the slight cost to diversity in Chicago’s massive media market of continued cross-ownership, Tribune has in fact shown sufficiently ‘unique or special circumstances’ to justify the granting of a permanent waiver of the NBCO (newspaper/broadcast cross-ownership) Rule to its Chicago licensees.”

L&L logoL&L Closes on Border Media Trust Stations.  Seven Texas radio stations that were in the Border Media Trust are now owned by Larry Wilson’s L&L Broadcasting.  The stations include San Antonio-licensed outlets news/talk KTSA, sports talk KZDC, adult hits KJXK “Jack 102.7 FM,” regional Mexican KLEY-FM, Jourdanton, regional Mexican KJAH-AM/FM, Pearsall, and CHR KTSM, Floresville.  The station group cost L&L $31 million and puts the company into market #28.

Friday, January 24, 2014

| January 24, 2014

kaymichael‘ESPN New York 98.7’ Host Michael Kay to Simulcast on the YES Network.  That’s the afternoon drive slot on the New York cable channel owned by the New York Yankees that’s been home to WFAN, New York’s Mike Francesa for the past 12 years ( a portion of that with former co-host Chris “Mad Dog” Russo).  This was not unexpected as the YES Network announces the multi-year deal that begins on February 3.  This is a good fit for YES as Michael Kay has been the play-by-play man for YES’ New York Yankees telecasts, and the host of the network’s “CenterStageyes logo with Michael Kay” interview show, since the network launched in March 2002.  He also hosts various programming specials on YES.  Network president of production and programming John J. Filippelli says, “Michael Kay is a New York sports institution, having covered the New York sports scene for more than 30 years.  Michael personifies the New York sports scene.  He boasts a constant stream of A-list guests, and gives passionate New York sports fans a platform to exchange their views.  Michael fits in perfectly with our programming lineup.  We also thank Mike Francesa for his 12-year partnership with YES.  Mike – along with Chris Russo when they co-hosted our simulcast for the first six years – played an important role in the launch and growth of YES.  We wish him all the best.”  Kay comments, “I’m really happy Don LaGreca and I are going to be simulcast on YES.  We have a great time doing the ESPN Radio show and that will come through even more with the visual aspect.  While it is still predominantly a radio show, I don’t think you should ignore the camera in the room and we are going to have fun with that.  The national reach of YES is going to allow even more people access.  And the people at YES, where I have worked since the onset, do everything first class so I’m sure the show is going to be presented in a great manner.  I can’t wait.”

nielsen logoNielsen’s ‘Connected Life Report’ Indicates Connected Car Becoming More Important.  The results of a new study by Nielsen dubbed the “Connected Life Report” shows consumers buying new vehicles are increasingly aware of the connected car and for many it is an important feature in buying a new car.  Nielsen says its study reveals “63% of connected car drivers said they looked for built-in features during the car-buying process.  Among those who purchased connected cars, the features drivers said were important included internet-enabled navigation (79%), safety alerts (76%), vehicle diagnostics (74%), and entertainment connectivity such as voice controls for communications and streaming audio (80%).”  When it comes to which connected car features were important to consumers, 42% stated that entertainment connectivity was “very important.”  (Fifty-one percent said emergency connectivity was “very important” and 49% stated internet-enabled navigation was “very important.”)

wherearetheynowEnvision’s ‘Where Are They Now?’ Comes to Madison.  At Mid-West Family Broadcasting’s sports talk WOZN, Madison, Envision Radio Networks’ “Where Are They Now?” with Ahmad Rashad joins the programming.  The company says the daily, 60-second vignette “tracks down all of the big names in sports and gives you their whereabouts since leaving the game.”  With “The Zone 1670 AM” now carrying the program, “Where Are They Now? with Ahmad Rashad” joins over 100 affiliates on the Envision Sports Network.

ricardorickieCBS RADIO’s WIP, Philadelphia to Broadcast ‘Wing Bowl 22’ in Spanish.  In keeping with this year’s theme of “doubles” due to this being the 22nd “Wing Bowl,” the action taking place at the Wells Fargo Center on Friday, January 31 will also be broadcast in Spanish on WIP’s HD3 channel.  WIP host Rickie Ricardo will be the Spanish play-by-play announcer for the world-famous chicken wing eating contest produced by the sports talk station.  Ricardo comments, “It’s an honor for me to be the first Spanish-language voice of this grand event known as ‘Wing Bowl 22!'”  Neither the World Series in baseball nor the postseason action of the NFL has the worldwide impact of the battle between Man vs Chicken Wing.  This will be a monumental moment in my career as well as for the huge Hispanic fan base.  I pledge to add the spice and heat of our culture to each mouthful.”  Ricardo is a radio veteran of 33 years and one of the country’s most high-profile bilingual air personalities.  Ricardo has been the play-by-play announcer for the Philadelphia Phillies Spanish broadcasts for the past seven years.  He is also the Spanish-language voice of the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles and programming consultant for cable’s Music Choice Television Networks.

americanpublicmediaPublic Radio Chiefs Support FM Chip Push.  The chief executive officers of both NPR and American Public Media co-authored an opinion piece in the public media trade mag Current.org in which they express support for the move to activate FM chips in smartphones.  NPR acting president and CEO Paul Haaga and American Public Media CEO Jonnpr McTaggart write that because of the public’s need to have access to information during emergencies, the need is critical.  “Because of public radio’s role as a trusted media and information resource and an essential public-safety asset, we hope all stations will join us in calling upon the mobile phone industry to install and activate FM chips in all cellphones and smartphones.”  The two ask public stations to do two things: sign their stations up for NextRadio so listeners already using the app can identify and listen to said stations; and encourage listeners to contact their cell carriers and request they install and activate FM chips in smartphones.  Read the entire piece here.

Chris Christie Scandals Top Talkers TenTM.  The most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week of January 20-24 was the Chris Christie scandals.  Coming in at #2 was the scrutiny and criticism of the rollout of the Affordable Care Act.  At #3 was New York Governor Andrew Cuomo‘s and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio’s attacks on conservatives and following at #4 was the Eastern freeze and Western drought tied with global warming.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  To view this week’s entire chart, click here.

levinmarkTALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  Cumulus Media Networks announces the Mark Levin show is added to the schedule at KNTF, Chico, California and the “Red Eye Radio” show joins the programming at KKAT, Salt Lake City and KBHS, Hot Springs, Arkansas…..Radio America’s Peter Schiff show joins the following stations: KFNN, Phoenix; WCKG-AM, Chicago; KLPW, St. Louis; WRSB, Rochester; WBNR, Poughkeepsie; KRAC, Marysville, California; KWBG, Boone, Iowa; and WLNA, Beacon, New York…..The XtreMedia-syndicated Kevin McCullough show is now airing in PM drive at WSHO-AM New Orleans.

wtmj logoCool Job Opportunity.  The Journal Broadcast Group is seeking an executive producer, news/web for news/talk WTMJ Radio/WTMJ.com in Milwaukee.  This full time job requires a bachelor’s degree in journalism, communication, media or related field.  Skills required include: Strong news judgment; ability to work and make vital decisions under pressure; must have sound knowledge of journalistic standards and libel laws; excellent written and verbal communication skills necessary; strong interpersonal, organizational and leadership skills essential; digital/web skills; on-air abilities commensurate with market.  Must have a minimum of 3 years as a reporter/anchor.  Assistant news director, news director or similar background preferred.  Duties will include: lead news staff and day-to-day operations of the news department.  Ensure that news vision, disciplines and standards are effectively implemented and monitored.  Schedule employees to ensure optimum staffing of the 24-hour news operation.  Oversee story assignments.  Report and anchor daily newscasts.  Supervise and participate in severe weather coverage.  Personnel management, maintain budgets and respond to other duties as assigned by the director of programming and news.  Send cover letter, links and resume to: Tom Langmyer, 720 E. Capitol Drive, Milwaukee, WI 53212 or tlangmyer@jrn.com.  Journal Broadcast Group is an equal opportunity employer.

Monday, December 16, 2013

| December 16, 2013

wwrllogoNew York Losing Progressive Talk Outlet WWRL.  Progressive talk host Karel – whose Long Beach, California-based talk show is heard on Access.1’s WWRL, New York – reports the station says it will flip to Spanish-language programming on December 27.  The station airs progressive talk programming including Ed Schultz, Thom Hartmann, Premiere’s Randi Rhodes, and Leslie Marshall as well as non-political shows including Radio America’s Dr. Joy Browne, WYD Media’s Phil Hendrie plus various health and wellness shows.  New York’s Amsterdam News reports the station is telling employees “low advertising revenue” is the reason for the format flip.

browndarrellBrown Boosted to Bonneville International President.  KSL Broadcast Group president Darrell Brown is promoted to president of parent company Bonneville International.  Brown will oversee Bonneville’s 12 radio properties in Los Angeles, Seattle, Phoenix, and Salt Lake City, as well as Salt Lake City television outlet KSL-TV.  “Bonneville International is known across the industry for its integrity and quality,” he comments. “As a group, these stations are committed to serving and building-up their local communities.  I am honored to be part of Bonneville’s legacy.”  Brown joined KSL last August, after having previously spent 28 years at McGraw-Hill Broadcasting.

boomercartonchilisSports Talker WFAN, New York Sponsors Red Hot Chili Peppers-Headlines Show at Barclay Center.  With the Super Bowl just across the river the next day, CBS Radio sports talk giant WFAN, New York is sponsoring a big event across the other river at the Barclays Center titled, “WFAN’s Big Hello to Brooklyn.”  The announcement was made this morning as WFAN morning team Boomer Esiason (left) and Craig Carton (right) welcomed Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith (center) into the studio and announced his band will be headlining the show on Saturday, February 1, 2014.  The concert will also include: New Politics, MS MR, J. Roddy Walston & The Business, and Basic Vacation.  CBS calls it “the biggest weekend in sports and entertainment, and is the exciting conclusion to Barclays Center’s “Kickoff In Brooklyn” series which also includes championship boxing (1/30/2014) and a match-up between the Brooklyn Nets and the Oklahoma City Thunder (1/31/2014).  CBS Radio SVP, strategic events and partnerships Amy Stevens says, “The intersection of sports and music is never bigger than during the weekend of the Super Bowl.  Red Hot Chili Peppers are an American institution and rock ‘n’roll icons, and what better way to celebrate football’s championship than with this incredible lineup of artists for local fans and the thousands in New York from around the world.”

francesamikeWFAN’s Mike Francesa to Exit YES Network.  The New York TV simulcast of WFAN, New York’s Mike Francesa will end on January 31 after the current contract expires and WEPN-FM afternoon drive host Michael Kay’s program will take over the time slot on the Yankees-owned cable channel.  The New York Daily News reports that the change was a financial matter and that CBS Radio was asking more for the rights to the program than YES wanted to pay.  The Daily News piece speculates that cable’s Madison Square Garden Network may have the “inside track” with Francesa as he’s considered close to Garden management.  The story also notes that fledgling cable channel CBS Sports Network, which is airing WFAN’s Boomer & Carton morning show, is not enticing to Francesa because he fears he’d have to change his content to appeal to the national audience.

shapirosteakSteak Added to WCNN Menu.  In addition to existing members Sandra Golden and Brian Finneran, “The Front Row” on Dickey Broadcasting, Atlanta’s WCNN “Sports Radio 680 The Fan” will be comprised of Stephen “Steak” Shapiro as well.  Formerly the 17-year host of “Mayhem in the AM” on Lincoln Financial Media’s crosstown WQXI “790 The Zone,” Shapiro has won numerous Georgia broadcasting awards and starts his daily 9:00 am – 12:00 noon assignment on Januarywcnn logo 2.  WCNN president/general manager David Dickey comments, “I am excited to have ‘Steak’ back on ‘The Fan.’  He is one of the best-known and most-talented sports personalities in the country.  ‘Steak’ will become an important part of what is already the region’s biggest and most-experienced sports-talk line-up.  His homecoming is yet another example of Dickey Broadcasting’s ongoing commitment to invest in the best talent, the best content and the biggest partnerships.”  Shapiro, who replaces Ray Mariner, adds, “‘The Fan’ gave me my start and is the reason I moved to Atlanta [from Boston] almost 20 years ago.  I am ecstatic to be back doing what I love.  ‘The Fan’ has been the number one sports talk station in the south for so many years.  To be able to be a part of such a winning team with so many folks I have worked alongside in the past and consider friends is really thrilling.”  Shapiro founded Big League Broadcasting in 1997 and was its president for roughly 14 years.

millerchrisDare to be Crap-Free.  When it comes to online content, it’s easy to think you have a staffing problem or a time management problem or a resources problem, when what you really have is a crap problem.  In a new column posted today (12/16) by noted digital radio consultant and TALKERS columnist Chris Miller, he writes, “There’s stuff on your site that is irrelevant to your station and is keeping people from finding what they DO want to find there.  Your social media is probably influenced more by what everyone else is doing in social media, rather than what will cause your biggest fans to love you all the more.”  To read how Chris Miller can help you get crap-free and focused on results for 2014, please click here.

jonesmaryOdds & Sods.  Connecticut talk show host Mary Jones announces she’ll retire from Buckley Broadcasting-owned news/talk station WDRC-AM, Hartford as of December 23 in order to spend more time with her husband and enjoy winters in Florida.  Jones tells TALKERS it was a big decision but she is excited about the change…..  WMAL-AM/FM, Washington “Mornings on the Mall” co-host Larry O’Connor is doing some double duty during the holiday season.  O’Connor will sub for WABC, New York-based Geraldo Rivera beginning December 20 through the end of the year (and the end of hisoconnorlarry national syndication run) and will also sit in for WestwoodOne-syndicated personality Dennis Miller on January 2 and 3 – the last two days of his 10:00 am to 1:00 pm airing (the show begins airing from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm on 1/6)…..“Libertarian-conservative” media personality Wayne Allyn Root will be guest host on Cumulus Media Networks’ “Savage Nation” with Michael Savage from December 23 – 30.  Root is author of The Ultimate Obama Survival Guide (Regnery 2013) and serves as a commentator on Fox News Channel and TheBlaze.

bearmanKIONliveshotKSCO, Santa Cruz Personality Ethan Bearman’s Profile Rising.  Talk radio personality and writer Ethan Bearman is getting more recognition in the Santa Cruz market as his locally focused talk show on Zwerling-owned KSCO, Santa Cruz grows in popularity.  Recently, Bearman was a go-to media voice for a KION-TV news piece (captured here) on the anniversary of the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.  View that video here.  Also, Bearman, who has intensely covered the hot issue of dirty needles, trash and other refuse in the town’s parks that’s making it unsafe for people to use, was part of a clean-up crew that made the news for its work.  Read about that issue in a piece in the Santa Cruz Patch here.  Bearman is a visible example of a growing trend in news/talk radio in which talk hosts are eschewing monolithic political party doctrine and instead are approaching their programs on an issue-by-issue basis.

hawkinstommyHawkins Scores With CRN Special. Over the weekend (Saturday, 12/14), former NBA player Tommy Hawkins premiered his CRN Digital Talk Radio holiday special “We Wish You a Jazzy Christmas.”  According to CRN chief executive officer Michael Horn, “‘We Wish You a Jazzy Christmas’ is filled with holiday-themed jazz music, along with Tommy’s infectious, warm personality.  His love of jazz and the holidays combine for such a treat.  It is the perfectcrn logo accompaniment for an evening by a Christmas tree.”  Following a standout collegiate career at Notre Dame (where he was a two-year All-American), Hawkins went on to play in the NBA for the Los Angeles Lakers and Cincinnati Royals (now the Sacramento Kings).  He later became vice president of communications for the Los Angeles Dodgers organization.  For approximately 15 years beginning in 1970, “Hawk” was a staple on Los Angeles siblings KABC and KLOS.  As part of his basketball-to-broadcasting transition Hawkins not only became KABC’s sports director, he also did “Sports Snorts” weekday mornings with remarkably talented Frazer Smith on KLOS.  In addition to doing weekends on KKJZ “K-Jazz,” Los Angeles, Hawkins has written “Life’s Reflections: Poetry for the People.”  His CRN special will play throughout the holiday season.

kfxx eventOver $120,000 Raised in KFXX Special Olympics Radio-thon.  Entercom-owned sports outlet KFXX “1080 The Fan” afternoon drive (3:00 pm – 7:00 pm) hosts Isaac Ropp (pictured here at left with some female fans) and Jason Scukanec (second from right) anchored the third annual 28-hour Special Olympics Oregon radio-thon, which brought in more than $120,000.  Program director Jeff Austin comments, “We are proud to partner with Special Olympics Oregon.  The overwhelming support of our station’s staff, our listeners, and advertisers was a testament to the bond Isaac and Suke have with their audience.”  Scukanec (“Suke”) states, “We cannot thank our listeners enough – Portland is a special community and this is a very special cause.  We talk about sports and high-powered athletes every day, but these Olympians are the real athletes.  They are the real champions and we are privileged to honor their spirit and dedication.”  Special Olympics Oregon chief development officer Kim Bergstrom adds, “We are honored to partner with [KFXX]. Isaac and Suke’s radio-thon helps raise funds to support year-round sports training and competition opportunities for thousands of individuals with intellectual disability.  In addition, they generate immeasurable awareness of the importance of Special Olympics Oregon programs for athletes and their families.”  This year’s $120,000 radio-thon total surpassed last year’s mark by more than $45,000.

broadcast electronics logoBroadcast Electronics Bumps Up Bealor To President.  Effective immediately, Broadcast Electronics executive vice president of product development Tim Bealor is upped to president of the Quincy, Illinois-based company.  “I am honored to be asked to lead BE into its 55th year and the next phase of the company’s growth,” he comments.  “Next year is going to be an exciting time for Broadcast Electronics and its customers.”  Bealor began his Broadcast Electronics career as a technician in 1975.  Over the past 38 years, he has held a variety of technical, support, product management, sales leadership, and marketing positions with the company.

Friday, July 19, 2103

| July 19, 2013

wrightcurtis show logoCurtis Wright and George Bell to Launch Wilmington, NC Talk Station Monday.  After splitting from Cumulus Media in late 2012 and partnering with area businessman and local Republican activist George Bell, Curtis Wright began producing his “On the Beat” internet talk program from the duo’s Talk Media TV studios in February of this year.  Now, Wright and Bell are launching news/talk outlet “My Talker” on class A FM WMYT, Wilmington, North Carolina at 106.7 on Monday July 22.  The station will feature Wright’s program in morning drive followed by Premiere NetworksGlenn Beck, Courtside Entertainment’s Laura Ingraham, and Premiere’s Sean Hannity.  Other network shows to be carried include: TRN’s Andrea Tantaros, Premiere’s “Coast to Coast AM,” “Handel on the Law,” Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo, Gary Sullivan, Leo Laporte and more.

wnymlogoFormer Governor David Paterson Officially Joins ‘AM 970 The Answer’ in New York.  The former governor of New York has been co-hosting the 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm show alongside Curtis Sliwa – dubbed “Curtis and the Gov” – for about a month now but Salem Communications announces David Paterson officially joins the WNYM in a permanent capacity.  Sliwa, who’s been pulling double duty at the station forpatersondavid some time, will continue to host the morning show solo from 6:00 am to 9:00 am.  After leaving the governor’s office, Paterson joined WOR, New York but exited that station when Clear Channel bought it from Buckley Broadcasting.  He says of returning to the air, “I am ecstatic at the prospect of returning to talk radio at ‘AM 970 The Answer’ and co-hosting with one of the living legends in the business, Curtis Sliwa.  Working with Curtis, as opposed to being a solo host, gives me a wider berth to air my opinions and strike up an interesting back-and-forth with an outspoken and articulate critic on everything.”  WNYM VP/GM Jerry Crowley, who hired Paterson while working at WOR, states, “There was no more beloved or recognizable figure in talk radio than the Gov.  It’s amazing how fast he became skilled behind the microphone.  He created quite a buzz when he first started reading commercials and our clients simply loved it.  He was a big part of our success.”

wfanfantasy4WFAN, New York Prepares to Launch 4th Annual Fantasy Phenom Challenge.  CBS Radio sports talk WFAN, New York is kicking off its 4th annual Fantasy Phenom Challenge next week at Modell’s Sporting Goods on Columbus Avenue in New York City.  This promotion is a contest for local listeners to show the station their sports talk chops and win a chance to host a program on WFAN.  The contest begins Thursday at 12:00 noon at the Columbus Ave. Modell’s location, then moves to the Edgewater, New Jersey location on Saturday, July 27 and to the Plainview, New York location on Tuesday, July 30.  At each location the station will audition up to 100 contestants who must deliver a 2-minute rant in front of the judges. Winners move on with the final five competing for the ultimate prize at Mike Francesa’s “End of Summer” bash and radio show broadcast live on-air and online at www.wfan.com from Bar A in Lake Como, New Jersey on Friday, August 23.  WFAN operations manager and CBS Radio New York VP of programming Mark Chernoff says, “Once again it’s ‘Fantasy Phenom’ time on ‘The Fan.’  This year we’re partnering with Modell’s Sporting Goods to hold first round auditions at three of their area stores as we look for another grand prize winner who will receive a weekly air shift for a year on WFAN and this year as an added bonus, the winner will receive a two year lease of a brand new Lester Glenn Hyundai.  Let the fun begin!”

saboconclaveWalter Sabo Interviewed by Bob Shannon at The Conclave.  In a riveting one-on-one presentation, Sabo Media CEO Walter Sabo was interviewed by The Conclave executive director Bob Shannon yesterday (7/18) during the conclusion of the second day of the three-day industry gathering in Minneapolis.  Sabo discussed a number of the highlights of his colorful career in radio and explained his view of the evolving relationship between popular culture and video on the internet.  The consultant also discussed radio’s need to take more chances on new concepts and stop the practice of playing follow the leader.  The Conclave concludes today (7/19) with “Game Day” sessions geared to sports radio and a trip this evening to a Minnesota Twins baseball game.

bahenickNRG Media’s ‘1620 The Zone’ in Omaha to Launch Nick Bahe Show.  Sports talker KOZN, Omaha “1620 The Zone” announces former Creighton University hoops star Nick Bahe becomes part of the lineup with a daily 11:00 am to 2:00 pm eponymous program.  The station says Bahe’s program joins the “entirely live and local” lineup.  Bahe’s show follows lead-in “Sharp & Benning” and is followed by “Unsportsmanlike Conduct” with hosts John Bishop and Mike’l Severe in afternoon drive.

katzpresspartyJeff Katz Takes Part in Boston Herald Online Program.  Boston-based talk media personality Jeff Katz (most recently with Clear Channel’s former news/talk WXKS-AM, Boston) is pictured here on the set of the Boston Herald’s “Press Party” program that is part of the paper’s online initiative.  Seen here (from l-r) are: Joe Battenfeld (formerly of FOX 25/Boston), Jaclyn Cashman (formerly of WWLP-TV/Springfield), Tito Jackson (Boston City Councilor), Katz, and Dr. Bob Rosenthal (Chairman of Suffolk University Communications Department).

Odds & Sods.  ESPN Radio – which will broadcast 17 NFL games this season – announces it’ll kick off the season with Tennessee at Pittsburgh on Sunday, September 8…..Cumulus Media’s WWLS, Oklahoma City renews its deal with the NBA’s Thunder to continue serving as flagship station for the team.  The two sides recently signed a multi-year agreement that provides for Spanish-language play-by-play on sister WKY.

TALKERS Weekly Affiliate Update.  Pilot Media’s WRPW, Bloomington, Illinois adds “America Tonight” with host Kate Delaney to the program schedule….. WestStar MultiMedia Entertainment’s Kim Komando program adds new affiliates: WWIQ, Philadelphia; KSRO, Santa Rosa, California; KYKN, Kaiser, Oregon and KXLY, Spokane…..Sports talk show “From the Press Box to Press Row” with Donal Ware adds new affiliates KKNO, New Orleans and WVWI, St. Thomas, Virgin Islands.

Zimmerman Verdict Aftermath Top News/Talk Story for Week of July 15-19.  The aftermath of the George Zimmerman verdict landed atop the Talkers TenTM as the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week.  Coming in at #2 was the implementation of the Affordable Care Act – ObamaCare.  At #3 was the IRS’ scrutiny of conservative groups and individuals and following at #4 was immigration reform and amnesty.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

| April 3, 2013

infinitedial logoArbitron/Edison Research’s Infinite Dial 2013 Indicates Radio Still Dominates In-Car Listening; the Smartphone Is the Hot Delivery Tool.  Tuesday’s webinar from Arbitron and Edison Research provided a treasure trove of data for radio execs and sales personnel wishing to prove that radio is still a relevant medium in today’s world.  But much of the data also showed that over the course of the past 15 years, it’s been easy to see the leaps and bounds by which digital media is gaining on the traditionals – AM/FM and broadcast television.  Some of the key takeaways for talk stations:

  • Of those surveyed (18+) who’ve ridden/driven a car in the past month, 84% used AM/FM radio; 63% used the CD player; 29% an iPod or mp3 player; and 12% used online radio.

Obviously, the online radio usage (defined as AM/FM stations over the internet as well as pure plays) will continue to rise as that technology becomes more available and easier to use.

  • 58% of those surveyed report AM/FM radio as the medium used “almost all of the time” or “most of the time.”
  • 72% of respondents do not have a Bluetooth connection in their car.  A technology that would aid online usage in the vehicle.  That will change quickly as manufacturers make them standard in new cars.

The Smartphone.  Reaching potential listeners via smartphone technology is crucial to the future of content providers.  Fifty-three percent of Americans (estimated to be 139 million) own a smartphone – up from 44% just last year.

  • About 75% of persons 18-34 own smartphones
  • Of all people (12+) who own smartphones, 44% have ever listened to online radio.  Expect that number to grow rapidly.
  • Although just 18% of smartphone owners listen to online radio daily, that’s still a big number – more than 25 million Americans (12+) – and that is also likely to grow exponentially.

Podcasting.  Although podcasting listening has leveled out over the past two or three years – about 12% or 32 million Americans have listened to an audio podcast in the last month – more than 25% of weekly podcast users have listened to six or more during that period.  The takeaway for stations/talk hosts/content providers producing podcasts is that loyal podcast users consume a lot of them.  That’s good for sales to know.  Also, the goal of converting P1s into podcast users is a worthwhile one since it appears they often become hooked on the format.

Some of the key observations by Arbitron’s Bill Rose and Edison’s Tom Webster from this year’s Infinite Dial research project include:

  • Over the population, digital platforms do not appear to replace traditional media usage, they tend to enhance them;
  • The smartphone is the most important device media businesses are dealing with and the smartphone is functioning as a “two-way” radio today;
  • Online radio reaches 86 million people per week for an average of 12 hours, with so many choices it is imperative to have a strategy that cuts through the clutter;
  • 66% of those surveyed who wake up to a smartphone use the alarm sound, not music to talk content, convince them to do otherwise!

hunnicuttclayClay Hunnicutt to Receive 2013 “Humanitarian of the Year” Award at Talkers New York 2013.  The 2013 recipient of the Sharon L. Harrison Memorial Award for Outstanding Community Service by a Radio Broadcaster (also referred to as “Humanitarian of the Year”) has been selected by the TALKERS editorial board.  This year’s recipient is Clear Channel Media & Entertainment EVP of programming, Clay Hunnicutt.  The 25-year veteran of radio broadcasting has been selected for this important honor in recognition of the key role he has played in paving the way for the Fisher House Foundation to become one of the radio industry’s most actively spotlighted charities, thus providing invaluable support in the form of free housing to the families of service men and women injured in combat during their visits to them at the hospital.  To learn more about Fisher House Foundation visit www.fisherhouse.org.  While serving as CC’s SCP/Community Engagement he arranged for a company-wide 2010 Veterans Day initiative in support of Fisher House.  Every CC station spotlighted Fisher House on that day and urged listeners to donate online or via text.  That event was repeated in 2011.  These campaigns alone (2010 and 2011) raised a total of $1.2 million for Fisher House.  In addition, the company donated $3 million in PSA airtime around Veterans Day 2012.  Fisher House representatives inform TALKERS that Hunnicutt has also helped them make vital connections at the local level.  Hunnicutt tells TALKERS, “If you’ve never been to a Fisher House – you must go!  Just one visit will change your life because they are making the lives of so many soldiers and sailors better.  They took the challenge of helping the men and women that put their lives on the line for our freedom every day to a whole new level.  It is a world class organization that delivers on everything they say they will do, and that always puts the needs of other first.  This is something we should all aspire to do, and make a priority with our individual time and our stations.”  Hunnicutt will be presented the award on Thursday, June 6 at Talkers New York 2013 during the afternoon “Freedom of Speech Award Ceremony.”  The event, which is nearing a sellout, is open to members of the working media.  Registrations can only be booked over the phone at 413-565-5413.

millerdennisDennis Miller Celebrates 6th Radio Anniversary.  It’s been six years since comedian and Saturday Night Live alum Dennis Miller began a daily radio talk show on the old Westwood One radio network.  On Friday, March 29, Miller celebrated his 6th anniversary on the Dial Global network hosting some friends from the old days.  Fellow SNL cast members Dana Carvey and Kevin Nealon, along with Seth Meyers appeared on the program as did fellow television star Tim Allen.

duemigsteveWDAE, Tampa’s Steve Duemig Returns to Air with New Deal.  Tampa sports talk host Steve Duemig was taken off the air at Clear Channel’s WDAE, Tampa last week after the two sides hit some sort of snag in their contract negotiations.  According to the Tampa Bay TimesEric Deggans, Duemig said he was asked to sign a new contract before the window that would allow him to speak with other companies opened.  When he refused, he was taken off the air.  Now, Duemig says he’s back with a three-year deal that, according to the paper, includes no new money.  He tells th