Tag: "Mike Gallagher"

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, February 3, 2017

| February 3, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

Thursday, January 19, 2017

| January 19, 2017

RTDNA and Journalism Coalition Seek Pow-Wow with Trump and Pence on Transparency.  In an effort to discuss journalistic access to the Trump Administration and the U.S. Government, the RTDNA and 60 other journalism organizations are requesting a meeting with President-elect Donald Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence.  The RTDNA is announcing the coalition sent a letter on Wednesday (1/18) to Trump and Pence, rtdna logoasking for a meeting or conference call.  Among the issues the coalition wished to discuss are: the ability of reporters to directly interact with government employees who are subject matter experts, rather than interacting with Public Information Officers (or having all conversations monitored by Public Information Officers); access to the activities of the president; and ensuring that the Federal Freedom of Information Act remains as strong as possible.  RTDNA executive director Mike Cavender states, “This is an unprecedented time for the American media and, as a consequence, for the American public.  It is imperative that the incoming administration understand the importance of transparency in government and thecavendermike cooperative spirit needed in working with the journalists who cover it.  Only then will Americans be fully and fairly informed about the important decisions being made on their behalf.”  Interestingly, this issue isn’t just about the incoming Trump Administration.  Several similar letters were sent to the Obama Administration, beginning in 2013, regarding concerns about White House restrictions on photographers, transparency and public information officer restrictions.  Three such letters were sent in 2013 and 2014.  The Obama Administration’s reply in August of 2014 was deemed unsatisfactory by the journalism organizations.  RTDNA provides a white paper and other articles on the matter for further background.  Wednesday’s letter also issues the following requests: “We urge you to publicly affirm your commitment to transparency, to issue an executive order prohibiting the restrictive public information policies that have been the status quo, and to engage in a public discussion with us about the Trump Administration’s commitment to the free flow of information from the White House and all federal government, to the American people.”

Mayfield Promoted at Ramsey Media.  Talk radio superstar Dave Ramsey announces some news from hismayfieldbrian organization.  Eight-year staffer Brian Mayfield – most recently vice president of Ramsey Media – is promoted to senior vice president for the company.  Ramsey Media states that Mayfield will “continue to lead the media department while taking on additional company-wide responsibilities as part of the Ramsey Solutions Senior Leadership Team.  He will continue to report to Suzanne Simms, EVP of the business to consumer division.  Ramsey Media includes all aspects of the Dave Ramsey show – currently heard on more than 575 radio stations and a variety of digital outlets – and other broadcast initiatives of Ramsey Solutions.

Trump Inauguration, Last Days of Obama Presidency, Cabinet Nominees Confirmation Hearings, Obama’s Chelsea Manning Commutation, Report of Earth’s Hottest Year, GOP ObamaCare Plans, NFL-Lady Gaga Flap/NFL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/18). Friday’s inauguration of President-Elect Donald Trump, the Democrats planning to skip the event, and the planned protests; President Obama’s final press conference; the confirmation hearings of Trump cabinet nominees Betsy DeVos and Tom Price; controversy over Obama’s commutation of Chelsea Manning for leaking classified documents to Wikileaks; the report that the planet’s mean temperature was the highest it’s been for the third year in a row; the status of the Affordable Care Act as the GOP plans to revamp the health care law; and the flap over whether the NFL is muzzling Lady Gaga’s Super Bowl halftime performance, tied with the NFL playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Odds & Sods.  On this weekend’s edition of “Legends of Success with John Resnick,” one of the topresnickjohn entertainment lawyers in America appears on the program.  John Branca – who’s represented some of the most successful musical acts in history, including: Michael Jackson, The Rolling Stones, The Beach Boys, Carlos Santana, Aerosmith, ZZ Top, John Fogerty, and The Doors – talks about his rocky road to success and the many crazy situations he encountered.  He relates that his success has been, in part, because he has been an authority figure to his clients, choosing not to socialize or party with them.  The interview airs this weekend (1/22-23) and will be posted online on Monday…..Tomorrow’s presidential inauguration will be covered for its radio affiliates by FOX News RadioJared Halpern and Laura Ingle will co-anchor the main event, with correspondents reporting live from multiple locations in Washington DC…..Salem Radio Network News is also covering the inauguration tomorrow, beginning with a stand-alone, two-hour special titled, “SRN Inauguration Day 2017.”  The special will be anchoredelswickdaveARCapitol17 live from the steps of the U.S. Capitol by SRN News White House correspondent Greg Clugston and SRN U.S. Senate correspondent Linda Kenyon.  SRN News U.S. House correspondent Wally Hindes and SRN News Washington bureau chief Ken Lormand will also participate from inside the Capitol building…..AdLarge Media has entered into an exclusive ad sales agreement to represent the podcast “Little Known Facts with Ilana Levine,” a weekly celebrity interview podcast hosted by the stage and screen actress…..KHTE-FM, Little Rock “96.5 FM The Answer” afternoon drive host Dave Elswick (left) is pictured here interviewing Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchison (right) during Elswick’s recent three-day broadcast from the state Capitol.

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Radio Row at SHOT Show in Las Vegas.  This week in Las Vegas, hunters and shooting enthusiasts are converging on the Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trades Show, a.k.a. the SHOT Show, presented by the National Shooting Sports Foundation.  The radio row at the event is hosting such talk radio personalities as Mike Gallagher, Lars Larson, Ben Ferguson and others.  Pictured above is Tim Kennedy (right), host of the History Channel hit “Hunting Hitler” speaking with “The Dana Show” host Dana Loesch.

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RadioInfo Web banner‘Q100’ Atlanta Moves Adam Bomb to Afternoons.  On-air pro Adam Bomb has been holding down the evening show at Cumulus Media’s CHR WWWQ, Atlanta “Q100” in addition to his Westwood One syndicated, eponymous program.  Now, he moves to the livebombadam afternoon drive slot on “Q100,” and that leaves an opening for a hot talent to take over the evening daypart.  Reach out to program director Louie Diaz if you’re interested.  Meanwhile, Diaz says, “Adam’s local involvement with Atlanta schools and his popularity with ‘Q100’ listeners at night made him the perfect choice to drive Atlanta home every afternoon… We have a lot of great stuff in mind for afternoons on ‘Q100,’ so get ready to be entertained!”  He’ll continue to host the syndicated program.

Kramer to Host Mornings on ‘BIG 94.9’ Little Rock.  Little Rock native Doug Kramer comes home to joinkramer iHeartMedia’s classic hits KHKN “BIG 94.9” to host the morning show.  The station says ‘The BIG Fun Morning Show With Kramer’ launches on Monday, January 23.  Kramer says, “It is a dream come true to move home to Little Rock to be a morning personality on ‘BIG 94.9’ and raise my family.  I can’t wait to start working with the iHeartMedia Little Rock team and get involved in my home town’s community efforts.”  Previously, Kramer worked down the road at U.S. Stations-owned CHR KLAZ, Hot Springs.

More Music Radio News and Career Moves.  At Cox Media Group’s classic hits WSRV, Atlanta “97.1 Thegreendebra River,” Debra Green rises from weekend talent to host of the 7:00 pm to 12:00 midnight show.  WSRV director of branding and programming Chris Eagan says, “Deb is a great addition to our weekday lineup.  Her fresh sound and great content make her the perfect fit for ‘The River’ at night.  I’m proud of how hard she worked to get here!”…..In Anchorage, Alaska, Alexx Dupri moves from the afternoon show to AM drive alongside Mike LaJoie to co-host the “Alexx & Mike AM Takeover” at Ohana Media Group’s rhythmic CHR KFAT.

Legendary Sales Consultant Irwin Pollack Passes.  After a battle with cancer, renowned radio sales consultant Irwin Pollack died yesterday (1/18).  His widow posted the following message on Pollack’s Facebook pollackirwinpage.  “Irwin, my amazing husband, incredible father and so much more to so many more has moved on to whatever challenge awaits him after this life.  Thank you all for your kind words and love.  A true gift from God to our family even if just for a short time. Thank you for sharing your stories, memories and feelings.”  Salem Radio Network VP of News & Talk Programming Tom Tradup recalls, “Over the years, I engaged Irwin to bolster our news/talk salespeople at KRLD, Dallas and at WLS, Chicago (his trademark self-confidence was his guarantee that if he didn’t enthusiastically brainstorm at least 24 revenue-generating ideas for our AEs we didn’t have to pay him for his training…we always paid. LOL!) and his 100% confidence in radio as the best-targeted and most efficient advertising medium in America was both hypnotic and contagious.”

Monday, October 31, 2016

| October 31, 2016

Entercom CEO David Field Issues Statement on KDND License Review.  On Friday, TALKERS magazine reported on the FCC’s order for a Hearing for Renewal for Entercom’s KDND, Sacramento as a result of the 2007 death of “Hold your wee for a Wii” contestant Jennifer Strange.  On Friday, Entercom CEO David Field issued thefielddavid following statement: “What happened at KDND in 2007 was a terrible tragedy that pains us deeply.  Throughout our 48-year history, we have had a steadfast commitment to being a caring and entercomresponsible corporate citizen, firmly committed to public service.  We take great pride in all of the work we have done to serve our communities.  Nonetheless, we fully recognize that all of our good work cannot undo that tragic event nine years ago.  We do believe it is important to note that the jury that heard this case concluded that Entercom Communications Corp. was not negligent.  What happened was the result of unauthorized and appalling actions by certain station employees who violated corporate procedures.  None of that diminishes our sadness and we remain committed to continuous improvement in our efforts to serve the public.”

Radio talk Shows to Be Simulcast on C-SPAN2 This Week.  In this week leading up to next Tuesday’shewitthugh pressbillelections, C-SPAN2 will be simulcasting four talk radio programs as they discuss the issues.  C-SPAN will simulcast the Bill Press show on Tuesday from 6:00 am to 9:00 am ET; on Wednesday, Salem Radio Network’s Hugh Hewitt show will air from 6:00 am to 9:00 am ET; on Wednesday, the Thom Hartmann program will be featured from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm ET; and on Friday, SRN’s Mike Gallagher show will be simulcast from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon ET.  Salem Radio Network VP/news & talk programming Tom Tradup notes that Gallagher will be traveling with GOP candidate Donald Trump and Gallagher’s show will emanate from Eau Claire,hartmann gallaghermikeWisconsin and other stops during the week.  Tradup adds, “The stunning FBI discovery of 650,000 new e-mails and their securing of a warrant to review them was the latest – but surely not the last – bizarre turn in Campaign 2016.  We’re honored that C-SPAN is turning to Mike Gallagher and Hugh Hewitt, who have followed every step of this groundbreaking campaign, to share their perspective with C-SPAN’s TV audience nationwide.”

Alpha Media Promotes Milt McConnell to National Sales Role; Lisa Decker Joins Portland Stationmcconnellmilt Group.  This promotion of the company’s Portland, Oregon market manager necessitates new faces in deckerlisathat cluster to assume vacant positions and that’s exactly what’s happened in the market that serves as the company’s corporate base.  Portland SVP and market manager Milt McConnell is upped to the corporate role of VP, national and group sales strategy.  Radio sales and management pro Lisa Decker – who’s served with CBS RADIO and iHeartMedia in addition to her most recent post as director of corporate sponsorships at classical KING-FM, Seattle – joins Alpha Media as SVP and market manager.  Amy Leimbach moves up from her regional director of business development post at the cluster to VP sales, Portland – Live Performanceleimbachamy Lounges.  Company president and CEO Bob Proffitt comments, “This is an exciting time for Alpha Media.  With our major growth in 2016, we have been focused on recognizing key players and evolving to the next level.  Milt has always been a high performer, even back in the Citadel days.  In his new role, he will work closely with our national rep firms as well as our business development team.

Odds & Sods.  Former U.S. Rep Mike Rogers sat in for WJR, Detroit’s Frank Beckman today from 9:00 am torogersmike 12:00 noon ET.  Rogers hosts the “Something to Think About” feature distributed by Westwood One and also serves as CNN national security commentator…..JVC Media’s Long Island news/talk outlet WRCN, Patchogue, New York is covering next Tuesday’s elections with a remote broadcast from Ristegio’s Restaurant & Lounge starting at 7:00 pm.  Station personality Jay Oliver and the “LI News Radio” team will be broadcasting live and presenting local, state and national election bohannonjimresults…..Westwood One News is providing comprehensive election night coverage on Tuesday, November 8 that includes anchored continuous coverage and special reports every 15 minutes from 7:00 pm ET through at least 1:00 am ET Wednesday, November 9.  Live continuous election night coverage will be anchored by Westwood One News correspondent Jim Bohannon, with reporting by correspondents Steve Kastenbaum and Bob Costantini with the Trump and Clinton campaigns, and their other correspondents in the field.  Westwood One News will also provide regular updates on senate and house races and major referendums across the country.

The Presidential Race, New Clinton Emails Case, Acquittal of Oregon Protestors, Dakota Pipeline Protests, Bob Dylan and Nobel Prize, the World Series, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The race for president between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton; FBI Director James Comey’s announcement of potential new emails investigation into Hillary Clinton; chatter about the effects of the recent acquittal of the Oregon national park protestors; the status of the protest by native Americans and others of the Dakota pipeline project; Bob Dylan beaks his silence on winning the Nobel Prize for Literature; the World Series between the Cleveland Indians and the Chicago Cubs; and the weekend’s NFL Action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Monday, October 10, 2016

| October 10, 2016

smart-conferenceRamsey Hosts Smart Conference in Atlanta. Syndicated talk show host Dave Ramsey hosted a daylong “Smart Conference” in Atlanta this past Saturday (10/8) at North Point Community Church. Promoting the event was Ramsey’s Atlanta affiliate, iHeartMedia talker WGST. “These events certainly increase tune-in and listenership as we lean into them,” comments iHeartMedia Atlanta region president Justin Schaflander. “Far more importantly, they truly impact the lives of our listeners as it helps them find inspiration and answers on everything from finances to parenting and just life in general. The events create a deeper relationship between our listeners and Dave’s team, which in turn, create a far more beneficial connection between our sponsors and clients as they interact with Dave’s audience. It is a win on all fronts.” Along with Ramsey were Chris Brown, Rachel Cruze, Chris Hogan, Inky Johnson, Dr. Meg Meeker, Anthony O’Neal, and Dr. Les Parrott. Attendees were provided information on how to win with money; strengthen their marriages; build parenting skills; and excel in their careers.

kinosianmikemlb-logo2PPM Analysis: MLB Flagships. Based on data from Nielsen Audio’s September 2016 PPM survey period, TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of Major League Baseball flagships. In this special feature report, you will find charts listing stations by format and (6+) AHQ share; ratings fluctuations from August 2016 to September 2016; ratings comparisons from September 2015 to September 2016; how MLB key stations ranked in their respective markets; and how they did by league/division. See it all here.

hughes-cathyhoward-logoHughes’ Howard University Honor. In a ceremony that will take place one week from this Sunday (10/23), Howard University‘s School of Communications will be renamed the Cathy Hughes School of Communications, as a tribute to Radio One‘s founder and chairperson. The announcement comes after a multi-million dollar gift to the Washington, DC school from Hughes’ son, Radio One president and chief executive officer Alfred C. Liggins III. Howard University president Dr. Wayne A. I. Frederick comments, “The Howard community is thrilled that Mr. Liggins has chosen to honor his mother in this manner for her pioneering work in the field of communications. The gift will have a transformational impact on the school’s commitment to serve the communications industry and as a high-level producer of diverse media specialists.”

caldwell-meghanCox Media Group Tampa Boosts Caldwell to Digital Sales Manager. Two-year Cox Media Group Tampa digital media strategist Megan Caldwell is promoted to digital sales manager for the company’s six-station cluster. Vice president and market manager Keith Lawless remarks, “Megan knows the digital cox-media-group-tampaspace, knows our marketing partners, and knows what it takes to compete and win in this competitive, fast moving space.” Director of sales Jason Meder comments, “We are so excited to have Megan lead our digital sales efforts in Tampa. With a background in digital content, Megan brings unique experience to this role. Her knowledge – combined with her ability to create solutions for advertisers – is an amazing resource for Cox Media Group Tampa.” Caldwell adds, “I am beyond excited to be leading our team in digital. As the digital sales manager, I will be focused on driving initiatives that help us continue to build long-term relationships with our clients.” The 2012 University of Central Florida graduate previously spent two years as Cox Media Group Tampa’s digital producer and was social media manager for New Age Skincare. With their September 2016 Nielsen Audio PPM 6+ AQH share and market rank in parentheses, CMG Tampa consists of adult contemporary WDUV “Lite Favorites” (9.3, #1); WXGL “Classic Hits 107.3 The Eagle” (6.0, #3); adult contemporary WWRM “Magic 94-9” (5.3, #6); CHR WPOI “Hot 101.5” (4.7, #7); talk WHPT “102.5 The Bone” (2.3, #18); and alternative WSUN “97-X” (2.3, #18).

simon-conwayWHO’s “Puppy Jake Foundation” Raises $22,000. Last Friday’s (10/7) third annual “Puppy Jake Foundation” fundraiser brings in more than twice as much as the combined total of year one ($4,000) and year two ($6,000). WHO, Des Moines afternoon drive talent Simon Conway staged a free sandwich giveaway in the parking lot of the iHeartMedia talker and – in two hours – collected more than $22,000 to benefit the charity, which acquires, raises and professionally trains service dogs for physically and mentally wounded veterans. Conway states he was “speechless for about two seconds. People drove long distances; handed over huge sums of money; and donated enough to acquire, train for two years and ultimately hand over for free a service dog for a wounded veteran.” Thus far this year, the charity has given 11 dogs to veterans; nine more canines will graduate the program next March.

bush-billyNBC-TV Suspends Bush. By now, you know it was a rough weekend for former radio talent Billy Bush, who was believed to be groomed as a possible replacement for Matt Lauer on NBC-TV‘s “Today Show.” The network has suspended the ex-“Access Hollywood” host for his role in a 2005 video with Donald access-hollywoodTrump that surfaced on Friday (10/7). Bush is heard laughing and encouraging the now Republican presidential nominee as they engaged in a vulgar conversation about women. The Washington Post published the tape of Trump, who is heard on a hot microphone boasting to Bush about kissing, groping, and having sex with women, saying that, “When you’re a star, they let you do anything – I don’t even wait.” At first, it seemed Bush was going to appear on “The Today Show” this morning (10/10) to apologize, but by last night, NBC decided he would not go on the show; instead, executive Noah Oppenheim issued the suspension. There is no immediate information about how long it will last. “Let me be clear,” Oppenheim writes in a staff memo, “There is simply no excuse for Billy’s language and behavior on that tape. NBC has decided to suspend Billy, pending further review of this matter.” In a statement he released on Friday, Bush notes he is “embarrassed and ashamed” of his role in the 2005 video. “This happened 11 years ago. I was younger, less mature, and acted foolishly in playing along.” His weeknight (7:00 pm – 11:00 pm) “Billy Bush Show” debuted on April 14, 2008; Westwood One ended production of it in late-December 2014. Prior to that radio project, a mix of music and celebrity banter targeted to CHR and hot AC stations, Bush did wakeup duty on WWZZ “Z-104,” Washington, DC (now Radio One‘s WPRS “Praise 104.1”). In advance of starting his senior year at Maine’s Colby College, Bush scored a summer internship at Bill O’Shaughnessy’s WVOX in Westchester, New York.

Monday, September 26, 2016

| September 26, 2016

Kim Guthrie Named to Replace Retiring Bill Hoffman as President of Cox Media Group.  After 38 years with Cox, Bill Hoffman is retiring from his Cox Media Group president post at the end of the year.  Taking over inguthriekim January will be current executive vice president of national ad platforms and president of Cox Reps, Kim GuthrieCox Enterprises president and CEO John Dyer says, “Kim has been with Cox for nearly 20 years and is an inspirational leader who has helped our media properties transform.  She played a key role in the successful creation of Cox Media Group in 2008 and has been recognized as one of the media industry’s most influential leaders.  She is a natural fit to ensure Cox Media Group continues to deliver innovative products and compelling news content.”

cbsradioReport: CBS RADIO to Take on $1.5 Billion in Debt.  This report from Reuters, says that sources are telling it that CBS RADIO is preparing to take on as much as $1.5 billion in debt ahead of its initial public offering that’s expected to take place but still has no firm time frame.  According the report, the bulk of the proceeds would be paid back to parent CBS Corp. with the rest to be used by CBS RADIO for “general corporate purposes.”  In its report, Reuters notes that “a radio company IPO may be a tough sale as new digital competitors have emerged and depressed advertising sales for the medium for years.”  Read the Reuters story here.

Lew Dickey Pens Book on Changing Media Landscape.  The book is published by Tourbillion International – a subsidiary of the Dickey family-owned Modern Luxury Media – and is titled, The New Modern Media – Remaking Media for a Mobile Culture.  We now know what Lew Dickey has been doing since he was ousted from the Cumulus CEO role last year.  The book is described as “an indispensable guide to the profound dickeylewbook16and disruptive changes rocking the media industry.  It examines the implications of a new, mobile culture and challenges the widely held belief that most media companies’ true source of profits is their content.  It makes the case for the importance of distribution as a key driver of firm value in the legacy mediadickeylew business model, be it a newspaper, magazine, record label, television network, local broadcast television or radio station.”  In the book Dickey makes the case for why traditional “radio broadcasters will be unlikely to benefit from subscription revenue for their core service, leaving them highly exposed to the ad markets.”  iHeartMedia chairman and CEO Bob Pittman is quoted reviewing the book, “I’ve spent my entire professional life in the media business, and today technology is enabling media to evolve at an ever-faster pace to meet consumers’ changing needs. Lew’s book is a timely resource for anyone working or investing in the media industry – shedding an important light on some of the critical challenges and opportunities inherent in today’s vibrant and complex media landscape.”  Pittman’s iHeartRadio just announced a two-tier subscription service last week – clearly another step in the grand plan to transform iHeartMedia from a legacy radio company to a competitor in the digital entertainment industry.  But getting back to Lew’s book, it’s a safe bet this will be the talk of the radio business this week.

Mike Gallagher Broadcasts from Hofstra University.  In advance of tonight’s first presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, Salem Radio Networks syndicated personality Mikegallaghermike Gallagher broadcast his program from Hofstra University on Long Island, the site of tonight’s debate.  Gallagher’s guests included pollster Pat Caddell, Republican National Committee communications director Sean Spicer, Trump campaign co-chair Sam Clovis, and, via telephone, vice presidential candidate Mike Pence.  Gallagher says, “I’ve bird-dogged these candidates through the primaries and caucuses and both national conventions.  So, it is a thrill to bring my audience into the final hours of preparation for this historic debate which is expected to draw 100 million or more via radio and TV.”

ktzriHeartMedia Launches New Tucson Talk Station.  This will be a sister talk station to iHeartMedia’s existing news/talk KNST and consists primarily of syndicated fare.  KTZR flipped from Spanish music to talk this morning (9/26) as “The Talk of Tucson.”  The programming lineup is: Premiere’s Glenn Beck in morning drive, followed by USA Radio’s “Trending Today USA with Rusty Humphries,” Westwood One’s “The Savage Nation,” KTRH, Houston-based, syndicated personality Michael Berry, local personality Rob Hunter, Premiere’s “AMERICA Now with Meghan McCain,” “Ground Zero,” “AMERICA Now Rewind,” and GCN’s Alex Jones.

henryalanbook16Alan Henry Memoir Published.  One of the progenitors of modern day talk radio and the all-news formats has written his memoir.  Alan Henry’s new book is titled, A Man And His Medium: An Indelible Signature on Radio Television Cable.  It was a young Alan Henry – charged with turning around Metromedia’s poorly rated KLAC, Los Angeles – who hired raconteur Joe Pyne to host the evening program.  Pyne had just been fired by crosstown KABC.  Henry and programmer Jim Lightfoot gave Pyne control over his show content and the program took off, eventually being syndicated to more than 250 radio stations.  Henry’s influence continued when, after leaving KLAC, he joined Westinghouse in New York and proposed a new all-news format for WINS.  He was named sales manager of the station and, although it took a while to bring advertisers around, history reveals its eventual success.

The Presidential Race/First Debate, Police Shootings of Blacks, Syrian Civil War/U.S.-Russian Military Tensions, George Bush-Michelle Obama Photo, Growing National Anthem Protests, MLB Playoff Push and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The activities of presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton and the buildup to this evening’s debate; the aftermath of the recent Tulsa and Charlotte shooting deaths of black men by police; the Syrian civil war and Russia’s role in the bombing of Aleppo and air convoys; Saturday’s dedication of the African American History Museum in Washington and chatter about the widely published photo of Michelle Obama hugging George W. Bush; National Anthem protests spread to the college football ranks; the playoff push in Major League Baseball, and Sunday’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Odds & Sods.  There are changes in the air talent lineup at ESPN-owned/Cumulus operated KESN-FM, Dallas.  Matt Mosley leaves the station and his afternoon drive partner Tim Cowlishaw.  Midday personality Mark Friedman also exits the station where he co-hosted with Steve Dennis.  There are rumors in the market that Dennis will join Cowlishaw in afternoons and Jean-Jacques Taylor and Will Chambers will take over the midday show…..Radiohio-owned sports talker WBNS, Columbus “Sports Radio 97.1 The Fan” extends its relationship with the NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets for another three seasons.  WBNS’ partner – Southeastern Ohio Broadcasting System’s alternative WWCD “CD102.5” – will serve as the secondary signals for the team’s games…..GatesAir announces three important wins in Vietnam that signify the over-the-air TV and radio transformation taking shape across the Asia-Pacific region.  Vietnam Television recently placed two orders for transmitter network expansions.   On the radio side, Vietnam is investing in existing FM infrastructure with improvement and expansion projects.  Voice of Vietnam, the national radio broadcaster, recently ordered five Flexiva air-cooled solid-state transmitters — two 5kW and three 10kW models — for VOV4, which serves as the broadcaster’s Ethnic Languages Channel.

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The Yappy Tour Rolls On.  Prolific radio talk show producer turned author Bernadette Duncan recently brought her “Yappy Tour” to the television viewers of Western Massachusetts by appearing as a guest on the WGGB-TV (ABC-40) “Western Mass News” 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 (left) is pictured with newsman/show host Chris Pisano (right) on Channel 40’s “Western Mass News” midday talk show.  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.

Monday, September 19, 2016

| September 19, 2016

J.T. the Brick Hosting Local Show on ‘95.7 The GAME’ in San Francisco.  Nationally syndicated sports talk star J.T. The Brick begins hosting a 10:00 am to 12:00 noon local show on Entercom’s KGMZ, San Francisco “95.7 The GAME” today.  J.T. The Brick, a.k.a. John Tournour, is syndicated by FOX Sports Radio live fromjtthebrick 8:00 pm to 11:00 pm ET with co-host Tomm Looney.  Speaking about his station’s new show, KGMZ kgmzprogram director Don Kollins says, “I am excited to welcome J.T. back to the local market and to the ‘95.7 The GAME’ family.  He’s an accomplished radio and television personality with high energy, strong Bay Area ties and stronger opinions.  I think he brings appointment listening back to the 10:00 am-12:00 noon time slot.”  J.T.’s ties to the Bay Area include six years as host of the Oakland Raiders pre- and post-game radio shows in San Francisco, host of “Behind the Shield” and the “Raiders Report” for Silver and Black Productions on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area as well as numerous guest appearances on FOX, CNBC and MSNBC network television programs.  He will continue his syndicated radio show.

Jon Marks to Exit ‘97.5 The Fanatic’ in Philly.  According to Philly’s Crossing Broad, morning drive personality Jon Marks – who currently co-hosts sports talk WPEN-FM’s “Mornings with Anthony Gargano” – is exiting the station when his contract expires in October.  There’s some speculation in Philadelphia about the future marksjonof WPEN-FM after Beasley assumes ownership from Greater Media.  We know for sure based on Beasley’s recent presentation to lenders that it intends to realize $6.2 million in synergies from the combination of the two companies, but there are no specific plans announced for the sports talk outlet.  Philly.com’s Rob Tornoe reports that Beasley interim CEO Caroline Beasley told the Philadelphia Inquirer’s John Takiff that the company has no plans to change the formats or talent of the Philly stations.  While WPEN-FM scored a 1.5 share (persons 6+) in the August PPM survey against competitor WIP-FM’s 3.8 share, it’s unknown how revenue at WPEN-FM stacks up against expenses.

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Salem’s KRLA, Los Angeles Hosts Town Hall Forum in Pasadena on 2016 Election.  An all-star panel of talk radio talent appeared at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium last night (9/18) as Salem Media Group’s KRLA, Los Angeles “AM 870 The Answer” presented the latest in its TOWNHALL 2016 series titled, “Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump – Who Will Best Lead Our Country over the Next Four Years?”  In the photo above are (from l-r): moderator Hugh Hewitt, KRLA’s Brian Whitman, KRLA’s Elisha Krauss, SRN’s Larry Elder, SRN’s Mike Gallagher, Westwood One’s Mark Levin, SRN’s Michael Medved, SRN’s Dennis Prager, and KRLA’s Ben Shapiro.

Harvey Nagler and Radio Journos Honored by RTDNF.  Pictured here accepting the Barney Oldfield Awardnaglerrtdna16 from the Radio Television Digital News Foundation is CBS RADIO News vice president Harvey Nagler (left).  Nagler is pictured with the RTDNF chair Amy Tardif (right).  The award is named for the founder of the Radio Television Digital News Foundation and presented to individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the success of the Foundation.  Nagler is departing the board after serving two terms as a director at-large.  He was a recipient of the Association’s John F. Hogan Award in 2014.  Also honored this year was KSL-AM/FM, Salt Lake City news director Sheryl Worsley, who received the Bob Priddy Award, named for the Association’s longtime board member and two-time chairman.  Worsley serves as RTDNA’s region 3 director and chairs the Association’s digital committee.

Odds & Sods.  Nationally syndicated talk show host Chad Benson is now airing on Cox Media Group’s KRMG-AM/FM, Tulsa.  The Radio America-syndicated program is airing in the early morning, leading into KRMG’sbensonchad “Morning News with Dan Potter.”  Potter comments, “The next generation of talk radio is here right now, and his name is Chad Benson.  KRMG is enthusiastic about adding the Chad Benson show to a weekday daypart, leading into our NAB Marconi Award winning local programming.”…..A new podcast titled, “The Tackling Life Podcast” with NFL great Ray Lewis and emotional management expert Dr. Christian Conte is launching.  It’s being exclusively repped by AdLarge Media.  The podcast will help “listeners set goals, overcome obstacles, and achieve happier, more successful lives.”…..Greater Media senior vice raphaelheidipresident Heidi Raphael is named among the class of 2016 Women of Influence in Western New York by Buffalo Business First, a leading business publication.  She’s being honored at luncheon on Thursday (9/22) at the Millennium Hotel in Buffalo.  The recipient selection process was based on professional success and community involvement.  Raphael is an avid philanthropist in her hometown of Buffalo.  She’s involved on a number of boards, including the Board of Trustees of Medaille College and serves as president of the board of directors of the Buffalo Broadcasters Association and vice president of the Buffalo History Museum board of managers…..The NAB Education Foundation and the Broadcast Education Association are announcing the winners of the Freedom of Speech Public Service Announcement Contest for college communications students.  The winners are being awarded a $2,500 scholarship for their submissions of 30-second spots that creatively address, “What Freedom of Speech means to me.”  Felicia Tonga of Andrews University won in the television category for “Protect Our Future,” and Melvin Johnson III of American Broadcasting School won in the radio category for “More Than Words.”  Stations are encouraged to run the spots during Free Speech Week, October 17-23…..Houston-based radio pro Doug Harris, founder of the digital broadcast platform Radio Brave, is putting a call out for the next star podcaster.  Not only that, he’s putting his money where his mouth is and offering a $5,000 cash prize plus a one-year development, distribution and promotion contract with Radio Brave.  Harris says, “Radio Brave’s purpose is to bring new content, from new people, to new audiences.  wachsroot16We began with weekly, one-hour shows, but since our studios and crew are perfectly suited to produce and distribute shorter formats, we’re making podcasts, podcasting, and podcasters our focus.”  Radio Brave’s Master ‘Caster Talent Search will begin accepting entries on October 3 Slam@RadioBrave.com.  Official rules are posted at the bottom of the home page at RadioBrave.com…..Fans near and far (from Houston, Dallas and Washington DC) came out for late talk show host Jerry Doyle’s tribute that happened at No Regrets Bar in Las Vegas on Saturday night (9/17).  Radio people in attendance included Wayne Allyn Root, Heidi Harris, Alan Stock, Talk Media Network’s Josh Leng, KDWN GM Tom Humm, and KDWN PD John Shaffer.  GCN-syndicated talk host Dr. Daliah Wachs (pictured above with Root) helped organize the event and tells TALKERS, “We miss our beloved Jerry so much and hope he is at peace, though we made a helluvalotta noise!”

The Presidential Race, Saturday’s Manhattan Bombing/Minnesota Stabbings, Putin Party Wins Russian Elections, Syrian Civil War/U.S.-Russia Tensions, Sunday’s Emmy Awards, NFL Action and MLB Playoffs Push Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The activities of presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton; the Saturday night bombing in NYC, the bombs found at a New Jersey train station, and the ISIS-inspired stabbings in Minnesota; Vladimir Putin’s United Russia party wins a majority in parliamentary elections; the unsteady Syrian cease-fire, the U.S.’ bombing of Syrian troops, and the tensions between the U.S. and Russia; Sunday evening’s politically charged Emmy Awards ceremony; Sunday’s NFL action and the playoff push in Major League Baseball were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Monday, September 12, 2016

| September 12, 2016

KSPN, Los Angeles Revamps Programming; Live and Local Lineup Launches September 21.  Rumors about these changes have been leaking for a week or so but now ESPN reports the official changes for O&O KSPN “ESPNLA 710AM.”  These alterations to the current schedule also line up in more traditional dayparts.  First, the espnla5:00 am to 7:00 am “Kelvin & Travis” show is gone and the all new “Mornings with Keyshawn, Jorge and LZ” airs in the 6:00 am to 9:00 am slot with Keyshawn Johnson, Jorge Sedano and LZ Granderson.  While it appears that Travis Rodgers is off the station, Kelvin Washington moves to afternoons – 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm – with incumbent Marcellus Wiley (Wiley went solo after partner Max Kellerman joined the company’s ESPN2 for the “First Take” show).   The current “Thompson & Trudell” program expands by an hour, airing from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon.  “Mason & Ireland (12:00 noon to 3:00 pm) and “ESPNLA Rewind” (7:00 pm to 9:00 pm) remain in their current positions.  The 9:00 pm to 6:00 am block will feature ESPN Radio Network programming.  Station VP/GM Scott McCarthy comments, “With an extremely powerful all live-and-local lineup, we are ensuring that ESPNLA continues to be the destination station for Los Angeles-area sports fans.  Fans want context and analysis after our L.A. teams play, and our local focus – especially in morning drive – will super-serve them with the best in L.A. sports talk.”

kinosianmikePPM Analysis: MLB Flagships.  TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of stations that serve as flagships for Major League Baseball based on data from Nielsen Audio’s August 2016 PPM survey.  In this report you’ll find charts listing: stations by format and (6+) AHQ share; ratings fluctuations from July 2016 to August 2016; ratings fluctuations from August 2015 to August 2016; and how stations ranked in their respective markets.  See it all here.

cumulus-logoCumulus Media Files with SEC to Ask Shareholders for Reverse Stock Split.  This move is an effort to get Cumulus stock above the $1 threshold on the NASDAQ so it doesn’t get delisted.  If shareholders agree, it would set the company on course to try to get far fewer shares of class A, B, and C stock trading at a higher price.  Under the 1 for 8 split, shareholders would get one share for every eight they own.  If the Reverse Stock Split is effected it would mean the number of authorized shares of Class A Common Stock goes from 750,000,000 to 93,750,000, of Class B Common Stock from 600,000,000 to 75,000,000 and of Class C Common Stock from 644,871 to 80,609.  The shareholders with the most stock in Cumulus include Crestview Radio Investors holding 30.2% of Class A stock; Lew Dickey, Jr. with 11.2%; and Greywolf Event Driven Master Fund with 5.5%.  Lew Dickey owns 100% of the Class C stock.

ktxx-logoGenuine Austin Radio to Buy Sports Duo KTXX-FM/KLGO-AM ‘The Horn.’  The sports talk duo branded “The Horn” – KTXX-FM and KLGO-AM in Austin – is being sold to Bob Cole-led Genuine Austin Radio, LLC for an undisclosed sum.  Genuine has been operating the stations under an LMA and will continue to do so until the sale closes.  The seller is Total Austin Sports Radio, LLC.  The stations are the home of the University of Texas Longhorns sports as well as other local and regional sports franchises.  Broker on the transaction is DEFcom Advisors, LLC which represents the seller.

WYSL, Rochester Personality and New York State Assemblyman Bill Nojay Dead at 59.  The cause of death was an apparent suicide for Republican New York State Assemblyman, attorney, and radio talk show host Bill Nojay.  According to the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, Nojay apparently took his own life at his family’s cemetery plots in the Rochester area on Friday (9/9), the same day he was to appear in federal court to answer to fraud charges related to a trust fund he managed in his capacity as an attorney.  He was also running for re-election for his assembly seat.  Nojay hosted the 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm daily talk program on Radio Livingston-owned WYSL, Rochester/W221CL “Newspower 1040.”

The Presidential Race/Clinton Health Concerns, 9/11 Anniversary, North Korea Nuke Test, Samsung Note 7 Troubles, Friday’s Dow Dip, NFL Season Opens, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The activities of presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, especially Clinton’s abrupt exit from 9/11 ceremonies and news of her pneumonia diagnosis; the anniversary of the terror attacks of September 11, 2001; North Korea’s announcement of a successful nuclear weapon test; Samsung’s recall of the popular Galaxy Note 7 and reports of fires caused by exploding batteries; The Dow drops almost 400 points on Friday over concerns about interest rate hikes; the 2016 NFL season opens and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Odds & Sods.  A deal between CBS Sports Radio and Westwood One has the latter serving as the exclusive ad sales rep for the new “Jim Rome’s Daily Jungle” podcast that launched back in August on the iTunes and Play.It platforms.  WW1 is selling endorsements, live reads, pre-roll, mid-roll, and post-roll advertisements…..Thepagliarulojoe nationally syndicated “Joe Pags Show” announces a number of recently added affiliates to the WOAI, San Antonio-based program.  Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo reports that his roster now numbers 66 stations across the country, including: KUIK, Portland; WAVL, Latrobe, Pennsylvania; WHBY, Appleton, Wisconsin; WAAM, Ann Arbor, Michigan; WJNT, Jackson, Mississippi; WATT, Cadillac, Michigan; WMKT, Charlevoix, Michigan; WHIR, Danville, Kentucky.

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On the Road Again.  With coverage of Campaign 2016 in full gear, the Salem Radio Network talk hosts – including Mike Gallagher, Hugh Hewitt, and Dennis Prager – are hitting the road “to rally conservative voters in battleground states like Colorado, Ohio and Pennsylvania.”  Pictured here on the Great America PAC bus en route to a rally in Orlando, Florida today (9/12) are (from l-r): Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke, Prager, Hewitt, and actor Jon Voight.

wilmCool NewsRadio Morning Drive Opportunity.  Delaware’s NewsRadio 1450 and 1410 (WILM-AM and WDOV-AM) in Wilmington, Delaware is looking for a morning host to take them to the next level on their spoken-word stations.  The right candidate will have a contagious personality with 3 years or more experience doing spoken-word formats.  You’ll live the target listener lifestyle and have a successful track record in growing ratings and revenue as an “ambassador in our community.”  You’ll be known on a first-name basis with their local business owners, politicians and non-profits. You’ll engage listeners on important subjects, on-air, with a sense of responsibility to inform and entertain.  And, you’ll love meeting listeners at station promotions and non-profit or civic events.  If this sounds like you, you will love iHeartMedia in Delaware.  They work hard and play harder, all the while being so close to beaches, bays, big cities and breathtaking getaways.  If you are a sports fanatic, you will love living on the I-95 corridor surrounded by three major markets with easy access to dozens of college and professional sports teams.  They offer a modest salary with exceptional opportunities to supplement your pay, a good health and benefit package, excellent facilities with a support team ready to help you win!  If this sounds like your next step, send your “zipped” package (MP3, resume and cover letter) to: skyphillips@iheartmedia.com.  iHeartMedia is an Equal Opportunity Employer.  NO PHONE CALLS PLEASE!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

| August 16, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, 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 13, 2016

| June 13, 2016

wdbo logoCox Media Group Orlando Holds Live Roundtable Discussion on All Six Stations.  Orlando news and radio personalities today broadcast a two-hour live panel discussion about the weekend massacre at Orlando’s Pulse night club.  The program aired on all Cox Media Group stations in the market and will include the following talent: host and moderator Joe Kelley of news/talk WDBO “News 96.5,” AJ and Ashley from WWKA, the “Obie and Lil Shawn Morning Show” from WPYO “Power 95.3,” Monica May from WCFB “Star 94.5,” Denise Ryan from WMMO and also joining the panel will be Brian Kilmeade, host of “Fox & Friends” on Fox News Channel and host of “Kilmeade & Friends” on Fox News Radio.

Talk and News Radio respond to Orlando Massacre.  The early Sunday morning assault on unsuspectinggallagerOrlando16med club-goers in Orlando is turning out to be the deadliest mass shooting in America, carried out by a suspected militant Islamist.  Most Americans woke up to news of the massacre on Sunday morning and network radio news was on top of the story, updating the details as they became available.  Salem Radio Network nationally syndicated talk host Mike Gallagher is pictured at right at a cbsnewsradioKrasula16vigil for the victims in a park a short distance from the scene of the crime – the Pulse nightclub.  On the scene with national and international media, Gallagher spoke with victims, their families and others in preparation for today’s program live from Orlando…..CBS Radio News correspondent Jim Krasula is pictured at left on Orange Avenue in Orlando – a half block from the Pulse nightclub.  Krasula was joined by colleagues Peter King and Steve Futterman as CBS Radio News provided long and short form coverage of the crime.

Orlando Nightclub Massacre, the Presidential Race, ‘Voice’ Contestant Slain, Stanford Rape Sentencing Aftermath, Muhammad Ali Funeral, and NBA-NHL Finals Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The massacre of 50 and wounding of many others at a gay nightclub in Orlando by a suspected militant Islamist; the activities of the candidates for president; the murder of former “The Voice” contestant Christina Grimmie at a public event in Orlando; ongoing talk about the sentencing of a former Stanford student convicted of rape; the funeral of boxing legend Muhammad Ali; and the NBA and NHL Finals were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend.

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

zeolirichRich Zeoli’s Rendell Interview Sparks Warren VP Qualification Chatter.  Philadelphia talk radio personality Rich Zeoli’s WPHT afternoon drive program started a bit of a media fire after former Democratic Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell told Zeoli that U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) was “in no way ready to be vice president.”  Zeoli tells TALKERS magazine that “Rachel Maddow mentioned it in her interview with Senator Warren last night [Thurs. 6/9].  Politico, Breitbart, BuzzFeed, Mediaite, Realclearpolitics, and several other national sites picked up the story and several even properly credited my show!”

costaadriannaHaute Mom Adrianna Costa Launches PodcastOne Show.  Popular blogger Adrianna Costa – the woman behind the Haute Mom’s Life blog is launching a podcast component to her brand, in partnership with PodcastOne.  Costa’s career includes numerous gigs as an entertainment reporter and a reality show personality.  In her new podcast, she “extends the ‘celebration of the Hottie in every Mommy.’”  Costa says, “I’m truly bursting at the seams with excitement about this latest venture teaming up with PodcastOne!  What a killer opportunity to share new ways to simplify and enhance lives through this unique, no-holds-barred forum where we’ll delve into the vast world of mommyhood.”

edgeradioSeacoast Media Group Launches Internet Radio Station in NH and Coastal Maine Market.  New Hampshire-based Seacoast Media Group – a subsidiary of Pittsford, New York-based GateHouse Media – is launching an internet radio station branded Edge Radio.  Seacoast publishes the Portsmouth Herald, the Rochester Times, the Hampton Union, the Exeter News-Letter, and Fosters Daily Democrat.  The streaming station launched this morning at 6:00 am with former WOKQ, Rochester staffer Megan Brady hosting the morning talk show.

Friday, May 20, 2016

| May 20, 2016

Talkers2016 logoLivestream Video Streaming TALKERS 2016: Bridging the Generations Live on Talkers.com Today.  The 19th annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest running and most important national convention is taking place today and the entire event is being video streamed live on Talkers.com.  The streaming is being provided by Livestream, the leader in providing video streaming services to the broadcasting industry.  Livestream, a sponsor of the event, is also exhibiting its services in the technology display area of the conference.  For more information about Livestream, please click on www.Livestream.com

talkersten logoThe Presidential Race Stays Atop Talkers TenTM.  The activities of the candidates for president – including Donald Trump’s interview with Megyn Kelly and the battle between Bernie Sanders and the DNC – were the most talked about stories on news/talk radio this week.  Coming in at #2 was the downing of EgyptAir flight 804 and early suspicions it was a terror attack.  Following at #3 were the allegations Facebook has employed bias against conservative issues in its trending stories.  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.

gallagherPhilly16Mike Gallagher in the City of Brotherly Love.  Nationally syndicated talk show host Mike Gallagher is pictured here at the posh Union League of Philadelphia where the “The Happy Conservative Warrior” and fellow Salem Radio Network host Hugh Hewitt headlined a forum presented by affiliate station WNTP, Philadelphia titled, “The Future of America.”  Today (5/20), Gallagher, Hewitt, fellow SRN personality Larry Elder, and AM 970 The Answer morning host Joe Piscopo will appear at TALKERS 2016: Bridging the Generations at Hofstra University on Long Island.  They will take part in the talk radio conference’s special luncheon discussion, titled “News/Talk Radio and Conservative Politics,” that will be moderated by Salem Media Group SVP Phil Boyce.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

| May 11, 2016

shoredaveTurnover at ‘Detroit Sports 105.1’ as PD Dave Shore Exits.  According to a report in the Detroit News, program director and air personality Dave Shore has exited Greater Media sports talk station WMGC “Detroit Sports 105.1” after 15 months on the job.  The paper reports that Shore, who joined the station in February of 2015 as PD and became part of the station’s afternoon drive show with former Detroit Piston star Lindsey Hunter two months ago, was let go.  Now, it’s reported that Hunter will remain in afternoons joined by Rob Pascoe and Jake Chapman and the station will be seeking a new programming chief.  See the Detroit News piece here.

solkgregCorporate Realignment at Hubbard Forces SVP of Programming Greg Solk Out.  Programmer Greg Solk was based at Hubbard Radio’s Chicago offices and held the title senior vice president of programming.  Now, he’s out and, according to Chicagoland Radio and Media, the company is not issuing a public statement about his departure.  The site reports that Greg Strassell, who also holds the SVP of programming title and joined the company last June, remains with Hubbard in that capacity.  It also says Hubbard president and COO Drew Horowitz confirmed Solk’s departure saying it was “a senior management decision to initiate a corporate restructure that was the driver of the change.”  Read the CRM report here.

The Presidential Race, Iran Negotiations Controversy, Facebook Anti-Conservative Content Allegations, Plight of Syrian Christians, Islamic State Baghdad Bombing, and NBA-NHL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/10).  The activities of the candidates for president and yesterday’s West Virginia primary election; the allegation of press manipulation by the White House during nuclear negotiations with Iran; charges against Facebook that its news editors altered trends against conservative-oriented stories; concerns over Syria’s attacks on Christians during the civil conflict; Islamic State takes credit for a massive bombing in Baghdad; and the NBA and NHL playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

ppmunitNielsen Audio Releases Second Round of April 2016 PPM Data.  The second of four rounds of April 2016 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Washington, Boston, Detroit, Miami, Seattle, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis.  The April 2016 survey period covered March 24 to April 20.  You can find the complete 6+ ratings numbers from subscribing stations here.  Additionally, TALKERS/RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Twelve Takeaways” from this group on the main page of our sister publication here.

lupicamikeCompass Media Networks and Mike Lupica to Produce Podcast.  The collaboration is between Compass Media Networks and Hiltzik Creative (the content production arm of Hiltzik Strategies) and will result in a weekly, one-hour podcast featuring New York Daily News columnistcompass logo15 Mike Lupica.  It debuts on Tuesday (5/17) with “Seinfeld” creator Larry David as the first guest.  Lupica comments, “A podcast is a perfect way for me to talk to people I want to talk to from the world of sports and entertainment and politics in a free-flowing format.  And I’m grateful to Larry David, one of the smartest and funniest people I know — and an extremely opinionated sports fan — to be my first guest.  The essence of sports is conversation.  We’re about to begin a great one.”

westwood one NEWWestwood One Releases ‘Political Radio Format Planner.’ Designed to entice political advertisers to spend money on radio, Westwood One’s Insights team releases a report based on Nielsen’s Voters Ratings research.  The slide presentation indicates where various subcategories of Democrats, Republican and Independents can be reached via radio formats.  The report presents that information in what it calls the “political radio format planner.”  See the slide show here.

trumpsalem16Gallagher Scores Trump Interview.  Presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump spent some time on the air with Salem Radio Network personality Mike Gallagher “on the eve of Thursday’s ‘summit meeting’ between Trump and U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan.  Gallagher and Trump discussed Ryan’s comments about not – so far – being ready to support Trump; Trump’s reaction to Jeb Bush breaking a signed pledge to support the party’s eventual nominee; and the coal industry and Trump’s opposition to Hillary Clinton’s energy policies.  Gallagher comments, “In the wake of his latest primary victories in West Virginia and Nebraska, Mr. Trump is understandably in great demand so I am very grateful he took time today to share his views with my listeners.”

Former WREC, Memphis Talk Host Mike Fleming Dead at 74.  Memphis talk radio personality Mike Fleming died on May 8 after a battle with Alzheimer’s Disease.  Fleming, who began his career covering sports for the Memphis publication The Commercial Appeal, eventually moved into talk radio while also working in television production at WMC-TV, Memphis.  He hosted a talk show on WREC for many years, leaving the business in 2009 after his show was cancelled.  Read his obit in the Appeal here.

harrisonUpCloseFarOutsmallMichael Harrison Talks with British Morning Host Graham Mack About UK Radio.  The PodcastOne international hit “Up Close and Far Out” focuses on British radio this week as host Michael Harrison engages in an extensive chat with Graham Mack, the personable “breakfast show” host and program director of independent music and talk station BOB-FM located in the affluent “Home Counties” adjacent to London.  The conversation covers the changing businessmackgraham model of radio in the UK, the relationship between the BBC and independent commercial outlets, government regulation of broadcast speech, the culture of soccer and the growth of the NFL in England… plus Mack’s story of his personal odyssey of going from blue color maintenance worker to award-winning broadcaster in a journey that took him from Liverpool to New Zealand to Australia and then back to Great Britain.  The conversation is sure to delight media freaks interested in the global perspective of mass communications and popular culture.  To listen to the entire podcast, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com and RadioInfo.com.

Friday, April 15, 2016

| April 15, 2016

Talkers2016 logo lgCBS Radio News Icon Harvey Nagler to Co-Moderate ‘Talk Rumble’ at TALKERS 2016: Bridging the Generations.  In what promises to be one of the most interesting and exciting editions of the “Talk Rumble” in years, CBS Radio News VP and recipient of last year’s TALKERS Lifetime Achievement Award, Harvey Nagler, has agreed to serve as co-moderator with Michael Harrison of this year’s debate – a traditional component of the talk media convention.  The “Talk Rumble” is the ever-popular session at the annual TALKERS conference in which a panel of diverse, highly opinionated talk show hosts engage in a lightning-fast face-off on the hottest issues of the day.  As TALKERSnaglerharvey VP/executive editor Kevin Casey explains, “The Talk Rumble is the only session at the convention in which actual public policy issues are discussed in depth.  It is a talk show, by talk show hosts, for the talk show industry… and it gets wonderfully wild, not to mention extremely fun and entertaining!  Plus it is a marvelous showcase for these fascinating characters to display their talents.”  Casey continues, “This year the Rumble features a heavyweight lineup of hosts representing a spectrum of nuanced differences across the spectrum of ideology and opinion.”  Rumblers include (in alphabetical order): Howie Carr, Howie Carr Radio Network; Thom Hartmann, WYD Media; Brian Kilmeade, Fox News Radio/Fox News Channel; Sid Rosenberg, WABC, New York; Mark Simone, WOR, New York; Doug Stephan, Stephan Multimedia; Larry Young, WOLB, Baltimore; and John Ziegler, Envision Networks.  Michael Harrison states, “This is obviously a tough event to moderate, it moves very quickly, requires meticulous fairness and neutrality, tough questioning, a solid knowledge of the issues — and I am delighted to have a broadcast journalist of Harvey Nagler’s experience and reputation at my side as we navigate what promises to be nothing short of a heart-pounding, verbal thrill ride!  By May 20th, the election conversation will be so hot that it alone guarantees we’ll have a treasure chest of topics to bang around.”  The Talk Rumble is just one of a power-packed day of non-stop events that will take place at TALKERS 2016: Bridging the Generations set for Friday, May 20 on the campus of Hofstra University in Hempstead, NY.  As in years past, the event, the 19th annual installment of the talk media industries’ longest-running and most important national convention (open only to media professionals), is nearing an early sellout.  For registration, hotel and sponsorship information, please click here.

talkersten logoThe Presidential Race Tops Talkers TenTM for Week of April 11-15.  The activities of the candidates for president were the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  Coming in at #2 was the United States’ military policy regarding Islamic State.  At #3 was increased Taliban activity in Afghanistan followed by the U.S. Navy-Russian jets incident 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.

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

gallaghermikeSRN’s Mike Gallagher Reports on Trump Protest at Grand Central Station.  Nationally syndicated talk show host Mike Gallagher found himself in the middle of an unannounced protest against GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump at Grand Central Station in New York City.  He quickly began documenting the event with his phone and posted it to Facebook and Twitter.  Salem Radio Network VP, news & talk programming Tom Tradup says, “In yet another sign that ‘terrestrial’ radio needs to embrace every available platform to maximize its reach to listeners, Mike Gallagher was in the thick of an unruly mob Thursday evening as the streets of midtown Manhattan erupted.  As thousands of anti-Donald Trump protesters rallied across the street from the Grand Hyatt Hotel where Trump, Ted Cruz and John Kasich were attending a black-tie fundraiser, Gallagher brought the breaking-news action to his listeners via video posts on Facebook and Twitter.”  Gallagher adds, “The news happens 24/7, so talk radio needs to break out of self-imposed three-hour, on-air restrictions and plug-in our most loyal listeners while events like tonight’s protests are really news, not just tomorrow’s headlines.”  See Gallagher’s video here.

Odds & Sods.  A new podcast launches today featuring sports media personality Doug Gottlieb.  Titled, “Doug In,” the show is a partnership between CBS Sports Radio and Westwood One and features Gottlieb’s favorite highlights from his daily sports radio show, with “fresh, insightful, and entertaining commentary from the top sports stories of the week.”…..Cumulus Media’s Oklahoma City sports talker WWLS “98.1 The Sports Animal” is presenting the Bob Barry Jr. Inaugural Memorial Golf Classic on August 8 in memory of the WWLS late morning host who passed away last June.

Friday, March 11, 2016

| March 11, 2016

cumulus logoCumulus Reports Q4 and 2015 Full-Year Numbers; Net Revenue Dipped 7.5% in 2015.  The net revenue numbers for Cumulus Media were not pretty but there was no expectation that they would be.  The company’s net revenue for the fourth quarter of 2015 was $308.8 million – down 6.2% from the same period in 2014.  For all of 2015, net revenue was $1.1 billion; that represents a dip of 7.5% compared to all of 2014.  Other fourth quarter numbers reveal big drops in the digital sector (- 42.7%) and in political advertising (- 78.3%).  However, broadcast advertising was relatively flat (- 0.5).  Breaking that down further, local advertising was flat (- 0.6) but national advertising was off 10.5% and network advertising was down 2.8%.  New Cumulus CEO Mary Berner was brutally frank about the state of the company she’s beenbernermary leading for five short months.  She told investors during yesterday’s conference call, “As you can see by the continued underperformance we experienced this quarter versus our peers, we have a lot of work to do to stabilize the business.  We are organizing that work around four foundational issues which I believe are responsible for our underperformance, and I will give you some context for the moves we are making to correct Cumulus’ trajectory.  First, a well-constructed operational plan wasn’t or couldn’t be executed at Cumulus due to a lack of management tools and information, as well as a misalignment of authority and responsibility across many functions. Second, the company had a corporate culture characterized by a lack of focus, accountability, and collaboration and under-investment in human capital which collectively resulted in significant turnover and economic leakage.  Third, revenue was meaningfully impacted by multi-year declines in ratings across the entire platform in part due to a command and control operating strategy that often ignored local market dynamics.  And finally, a substantial amount of leverage on the balance sheet has reduced the company’s capital flexibility while increasing the pressure to execute in operational turnaround quickly.  Our operational turnaround strategies thus are organized around these issues and are as follows; enhanced operational blocking and tackling, institute initiatives to improve the company’s culture and drive ratings growth.”  Thanks to Seeking Alpha for the conference call transcript.  Members can read the whole transcript here.

cookehollandAnalysis: The 2016 Infinite Dial.  Yes, AM/FM radio is still the dominant audio listening device in-car, but, according to the most recent Infinite Dial study from Edison Research and Triton Digital,infinitedial16 listening to podcasts and use of digital devices (especially smartphones) is continuing to rise at a steady rate.  Consultant Holland Cooke attended yesterday’s webinar on the study and files this story for TALKERS magazine.  Among some of the more interesting findings: 93% of persons 12-24 own a smartphone; 21% of those surveyed own no AM-FM device in their home; and 60% own an Internet-connected television.  See more here.

talkersten logoThe Presidential Race Tops Talkers TenTM for Week of March 7-11.  The activities of the candidates for president, the primary elections, and the debates were the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 was the Hillary Clinton private email server matter.  Coming in at #3 was U.S. immigration policy followed by the European migrant issues 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.

meiergarryGarry Meier Enters Podcast World.  According to a tip from Chicago media writer Robert Feder, Windy City radio legend Garry Meier is launching a new podcast on his garrymeier.com platform.  The first show will stream on Saturday night.  Meier is hoping to build a subscriber base, converting the free listeners into paying customers.  Initially, he will produce three one-hour shows per week for free.  His first guest on the program will be Howard Stern, who Feder notes has called podcasting “for losers.”  Meier has been off the radio since Tribune cancelled his show on WGN.fm in November of 2014.  Read Feder’s story here.

gallagherTrump16Gallagher Anchors SRN’s GOP Debate Coverage.  Nationally syndicated talk show host Mike Gallagher was in Miami last night (3/10) anchoring Salem Radio Network’s coverage of the GOP debate at the University of Miami.  The debate was aired on CNN and the audio simulcast was provided by SRN.  Gallagher is pictured here speaking with GOP frontrunner Donald Trump after the conclusion of the debate.  SRN personality Hugh Hewitt served on the CNN panel that questioned the four remaining GOP candidates.

Odds & Sods.  Conservative Review published a short piece about viewers tuning out of last night’s GOP debate and leaving the post-debate coverage on both Fox News Channel and CNN for Mark Levin’s new LevinTV.com.  The story features Twitter messages from people announcing their unhappiness with the Fox and CNN coverage and desire to get analysis from LevinTV…..At the Kevin Adell-owned religious urban-targeted station WFDF, Detroit, Oakland county executive L. Brooks Patterson is being paired up with radio pro Nancy Skinner for a program called “B.S. on 910.”  The weekly show will air from 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm.  Patterson is a staunch conservative and Skinner is a liberal.  Patterson is not being paid for his role on the program…..ABC News is offering a new podcast from staffer Dan Harris, author of the best-selling book 10% Happier.  The book recounts Harris’ reluctant journey into meditation.  The podcast is called “10% Happier with Dan Harris,” and will involve Harris interviewing gurus, scientists, teachers, celebrities, athletes and executives about their meditation practices “as he investigates whether enlightenment is real and whether there is anything beyond just 10%.”

Thursday, January 14, 2016

| January 14, 2016

schultzedEd Schultz Returns to Television Via RT America. Former MSNBC personality – and longtime talk radio host – Ed Schultz is heading back to the little screen via the cable network RT America. He’ll do an 8:00 pm nightly show titled, “News with Ed Schultz.”  Schultz has been podcasting since ending his syndicated radio show more than a year ago.  On joining RT America, Schultz says, “I am very excited to be joining RT.  The network is firmly established outside of US corporate media and is not afraid to give a platform to diverse voices, stories and perspectives to its viewers, even if it ruffles some mainstream feathers.  I can’t think of a better fit than a news broadcaster that bullishly pursues issues that matter to hardworking Americans.”  RT America is financed through the Russian government.

wgtk-fmJoey Hudson Named Salem Greenville GM.  Upstate native Joey Hudson is appointed general manager for Salem Media Group’s Greenville-Spartanburg-Anderson, South Carolina stations news/talk WGTK-FM “Conservative Talk 94.5” and classic hits WRTH, “Earth FM.”  He’s worked with Salem and SRN’s Mike Gallagher for many years.

cashinpaulCashin Picks Up ‘ESPN Palm Springs’ PD Duties.  At the Alpha Media cluster in Palm Springs, California, Paul Cashin is adding programming duties for sports talk “ESPN 103.9” K280CV, Cathedral City to his duties.  He also programs news/talk “K-News 94.3” (simulcast on KNWQ-AM and K232CX, Desert Hot Springs).  Cashin comments, “I am thrilled that we have added ESPN Radio as a great brand here in Palm Springs.  Combined with our already dominant ‘K-News 94.3,’ we are primed to dominate sports and news for the Coachella Valley.”

nbcsportsradio logoNBC Sports Radio Announces New Daily Lineup.  Effective February 8, NBC Sports Radio is launching a new daily program schedule that includes a new Eastern Time afternoon drive program hosted by Chris Mannix.  The other big change is the move of “ProFootballTalk Live with Mike Florio” into the AM drive slot (live on the East Coast from 6:00 am to 9:00 am and delay broadcast on the West Coast).  “Voices of the Game with Newy Scruggs” moves into the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm ET daypart.  “Under Center with Mark Malone” shifts to the 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm ET timeslot followed by “Going Deep with Amani Toomer and Dan Schwartzman” from 10:00 pm to 1:00 am.  The Scott Seidenberg show debuts in the 1:00 am to 3:00 am slot and Jon Stashower moves to the morning show as the network’s lead update anchor from 6:00 am to 11:00 am ET.

Odds & Sods. Tomorrow (1/15), Westwood One begins presenting reports on the 25th anniversary of the PersianWW1gulf16henrypowell Gulf War.  Operation Desert Storm – to free Kuwait from the Iraqi invations – ran through the end of February 1991, when President George H.W. Bush declared an end to combat operations.  Westwood One News is providing affiliates a series of one-minute reports looking back on the fighting and what it meant at the time and in historical context.   Westwood One News national security correspondent Chas Henry (left) – an officer in the U. S. Marine Corps during the operation – conducted interviews with former Secretary of State Colin Powell (right), who was an Army general and chairman of the Joint Chiefs and a senior military adviser to President George H. W. Bush.  The series will also address the health issues many veterans of the conflict complained of suffering, now recognized by the Department of Veterans Affairs, and bundled under the term “Gulf War Syndrome.”…..A new podcast from content producer DGital Media debuts former NFL stars Chad “Ochocinco” Johnson and Jamie Dukes.  A fresh “Ochocinco and Dukes” podcast will jacksonaaronbe published each Tuesday and can be found on iTunes, Stitcher and the TuneIn…..The nationally syndicated program “The Motley Fool Money” with host Chris Hill is added to the program lineup at STARadio’s KINX-FM, Great Falls, Montana…..Sports media pro Aaron Jackson is named to “The Drive” afternoon sports talk show on Townsquare Media’s WEZQ, Bangor, Maine “The Ticket.”  He’ll work with Jim Churchill and Jeff Solari, replacing Wes Hart.  Jackson previously worked in the market as sports anchor on WFVX-TV “FOX 22.”

tradupMovie16lgCovering the Benghazi Movie Premiere.  Pictured here at the enormous AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas is Salem Radio Network VP of news & talk programming Tom Tradup.  He was among the press filing live reports from Tuesday evening’s world premiere of 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi as 30,000-plus turned out.

Obama’s State of the Union Address, Presidential Race, Iran-U.S. Sailors Incident, Sean Penn-El Chapo Interview, Record $1.5 Billion Powerball Jackpot, Sinking Oil Prices/Financial Markets Activity, Al Jazeera America to Shutter, and NFL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/13).  Critique of President Obama’s final State of the Union Address and South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley’s response; the activities of the candidates for president; Iran’s capture and release of U.S. sailors in the Persian Gulf; actor Sean Penn’s Rolling Stone interview with Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman; the record $1.5 billion Powerball jackpot; sinking oil prices and the activity on the world’s financial markets; news agency Al Jazeera’s April closing of its American brand; and this weekend’s NFL playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

miw logoMIW Radio Group’s 2016 Mentoring Program Kicks Off.  This will be the 15th year of the Mentoring & Inspiring Women in Radio (MIW) group’s Mildred Carter Mentoring Program that matches up-and-coming women in the radio industry with female professionals recognized as leaders in all aspects of radio.  A total of four candidates from the radio broadcasting industry within the sales, marketing, programming and digital disciplines – will be selected for this year.  Of those, at least one spot will be designated for a programming candidate, and one spot designated for a digital candidate.  Lindsay Cerajewski is the 2016 MIW Radio Group’s Mentoring Committee and Director, Partnership Marketing & Branded Content for Emmis Digital in Chicago.  She says, “We look forward, each year, to this application process.  Not only do we anticipate hearing from many qualified applicants, we are encouraged by the caliber of radio professionals reaching out to us for this unique opportunity to gain valuable insights, knowledge and access to some of the most influential women in radio.”  For mentee criteria and instructions on how to apply, you can visit: http://tinyurl.com/goqgjlb.  The deadline to apply is Friday, February 5, 2016.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

| December 16, 2015

price howardPrice: Weighing Public Safety vs Risk of Assisting Threatmongers in Reporting to Your Listeners.  The recent terroristic threats against the New York City and Los Angeles public school districts – which turned out not to be true – present a bit of a potential problem for radio stations and news organizations.  ABC Television director, business continuity Howard B. Price writes today in TALKERS, “Critical to the discussion is the hard reality that those who make these threats are banking on a response from both authorities AND the media.  Thankfully, even in these troubled times, most threats are hoaxes made to seize on public fear.  The hoaxers find out about that response the same way the rest of us do – through the media.  SO what to do?  As with most professional challenges, the process begins with an internal conversation, specific to your station and market.  For example, do you have a policy document to guide your decision making in such dynamic breaking news situations?”  Read more here.

grimessuzanneCumulus Media Names Suzanne Grimes to President of the Westwood One Division and EVP of Corporate Marketing Roles.  According to Cumulus Media, this new role of president of the Westwood One Division “creates a unified structure that maximizes opportunities across the division’s national content and sales platform.”  Steve Shaw, president of Westwood One, will continue to lead ad sales, and Charles Steinhauer, COO of Westwood One, will continue to lead operations, both reporting directly to Grimes, who in turn reports to company CEO Mary Berner.  Grimes was most recently president and COO of Clear Channel Outdoor.  Berner states, “When it comes to anything in media, Suzanne’s the full package.  With 30 years of experience building content businesses into high-performing brands, she brings valuable perspectives from leadership roles in outdoor, mobile, social, digital, print and experiential sectors for both public and private companies, so she’s a natural choice for these important roles.  I look forward to her contribution as we build a stronger, more operationally focused organization.”

Newly Re-Organized Corporate Structure at Cumulus Includes Tommy Page and Mike McVay Taking on New Responsibilities.  As part of her memo to Cumulus Media staff of Suzanne Grimes’ new role, CEO Mary Berner also explained some of the other changes atop the corporate structure at the company.  Working forbouvardpierre Grimes will be the company’s chief marketing officer Pierre Bouvard and VP of social media Lori Lewis.  Berner announces Tommy Page’s new title will be SVP of brand partnerships & NASH in which he’ll continue his role as leader of platform events initiatives and brand partnerships, corporate mcvaymikemarketing function, and new duties including the development and execution of the NASH brand strategy.  Berner says the company is creating a new Office of Programming in which SVP of content & programming Mike McVay will operate to “lead our content strategy across the platform, including talent recruitment and development and label relations.”  Tom Schurr, SVP ofschurrtom operations, will work with McVay in a new role overseeing the business aspects of programming, including organization and prioritization, resource allocation, and budget responsibilities.  Berner concludes, “Our belief with regard to ratings is that more local insight and more effective corporate support will result in an improved outcome.  The new Office of Programming will be responsible for executing this strategy to drive ratings growth and will be rolling out more details in the coming weeks.”

bohannonjimJim Bohannon to Exit ‘America in the Morning’; Continues Late Night Show.  Hall of Fame broadcaster Jim Bohannon is cutting back on his duties for Westwood One and is leaving the hosting role for “America in the Morning” after the December 18 broadcast.  He is continuing his work as host of the late night Jim Bohannon show.  He signed a multi-year contract extension with Westwood One in February of this year.  Bohannon has been the sole host of “America in the Morning” since its firsttroutjohn broadcast in 1984.  The morning magazine program airs on more than 250 stations nationwide.  Taking over for Bohannon is the show’s regular guest host John Trout.  He officially begins on Monday, January 18, 2016.  Bohannon comments, “It’s time for me to cut back the daily schedule a bit and focus my attention on the research, interviews, and calls for my weeknight Jim Bohannon show.  But I’ll still be contributing my daily feature, the ‘Offbeat,’ and my newsmaker interviews to ‘America in the Morning.’  Listeners will love John Trout as host.  He’s got a stellar track record and he’s been a terrific fill-in.  The show is in great hands and I wish him much success.”

leykistomTom Leykis’ New Normal Projecting Another Profitable Year.  New Year’s Eve will be the sixth anniversary of The New Normal – the audio content company founded by radio legend Tom Leykis after exiting his CBS RADIO talk show in 2009.  Leykis has long been a vocal proponent of the digital delivery system for taking audio content into the future.  Today, he reports that as 2015 winds down, The New Normal is financially continuing on an upward trend.  Leykis tells TALKERS that revenue is up for the third straight year.  Profits will increase from $23,000 in 2014 to almost $100,000 in 2015.  He adds, “This means that, for the second year in a row, we will be more profitable than the top two radio companies combined.”

Odds & Sods.  Are there wrinkles in the future of the Bob & Tom Show post-Bob KevoianTALKERS sources arebobandtom labeled hearing that negotiations between the syndicated program’s management and staff are hitting snags.  Kevoian announced his retirement at the recent Radio Hall of Fame induction ceremony and although the show is moving forward with Tom Griswold continuing his role, rumors are that negotiations for contract renewals with longtime cast member Kristi Lee and contributor Ron Sexton are facing challenges…..Software platform provider Mediaocean announces it is integrating iHeartMedia within its Spectra platform.  As a result, within one central system, ad agencies are able to seamlessly manage, research, and buy local digital audio inventory across the iHeartMedia digital platform.  Mediaocean says users will be able to compare iHeartMedia’s audience data side-by-side with other digital audio platforms to better plan campaigns and engage the right audiences at the local level.

tradupTrump15Covering the GOP Debate.  Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is seen here gesturing as he makes a point while speaking with Salem Radio Network personalities Mike Gallagher, Dennis Prager and Michael Medved (who are out of the picture to the right) while SRN VP news & talk programming Tom Tradup holds the mic.  The exchange took place during SRN’s exclusive radio distribution of the Republican presidential debate.  SRN talk host Hugh Hewitt appeared on the CNN debate panel asking questions of the GOP hopefuls.

Run-Up to Last Night’s GOP Debate/2016 Presidential Race, Refugee and Immigration Policy, Los Angeles and New York Schools Terror Threats, Battle Against Islamic State, Freddie Gray Trial, Government Shutdown Threat, and New Star Wars Film Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/15). The build-up to last night’s GOP primary debate in Las Vegas and the activities of the candidates for president in 2016; debate over policy regarding refugees from Syria and over immigration in general; terror threats against the New York and Los Angeles public school districts and criticism over LA’s decision to cancel school; the battle against Islamic State; the wait for the verdict in the case against the first of six Baltimore police officers in the death of Freddie Gray; the move in Congress to avert a government shutdown; and the hype over the new Star Wars film were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

| December 15, 2015

siriusxmHoward Stern Renews with SiriusXM in Landmark 12-Year Audio/Video Deal.  The wait is over – Howard Stern and SiriusXM are announcing the two sides have agreed to an extension to keep Stern’s live program on the satellite radio service for another five years.  But the new deal also includes an agreement that will allow SiriusXM to use Stern’s extensive audio and video library –sternhoward drawn from performances, specials, and shows spanning his more-than-30-year broadcasting career – for the next dozen years.  The details of the video plans will be announced at a future date.  This will be SiriusXM’s first venture into the video realm.   Under the new deal, Stern’s show will continue to be broadcast live exclusively from 7:00 am to 11:00 am ET, with replays throughout the day, and on demand online and through the SiriusXM app.  Additionally, Stern will continue to produce his Howard 101 channel, which includes current and classic episodes of the Howard Stern show as well as original special programming throughout the day.  Stern is currently working a three-day week and the press release does not indicate any changes there so we’ll assume that remains the same.  Also, the financial details are not being meyerjimannounced.  Stern says, “As a broadcaster, it does not get better than working at SiriusXM and I’m truly excited for the future with this great company.  I happen to think that its best days are ahead…I am living a dream here on satellite radio and Jim Meyer is my life partner and the baby we are about to have is our new streaming video app.  The joy we are going to bring you in the very near future will make you feel like Christmas is every day.  Ho, Ho, Howard…out.”  SiriusXM president and chief content officer Scott Greenstein comments, “Howard is better than ever.  Howard is a one-of-a-kind interviewer, who always delivers a provocative, engaging and headline-grabbing show.  We look forward to providing fans even more and deeper ways to experience Howard, and his world-class talent and insights.”  Noting that the deal has been worked on for months, Stern agent Don Buchwald adds, “Jim, Scott, and I have been discussing this arrangement for some time.  Obviously, the terms and conditions of a deal of this nature required a lot of give and take, as well as creative thinking on everyone’s part, and I am grateful to them both for the hard work they invested to make this deal a reality.  Howard and I are excited to enter into this cutting-edge and truly unique broadcasting agreement with SiriusXM that I believe will further the legacy of Howard Stern.”

bellart15Art Bell Tells TALKERS He Doesn’t Want to Be Off the Air.  Legendary late night talk host Art Bell abruptly quit his most recent return to a regular program on Friday (12/11), stating that he’s been the victim of attempts on his life that make it impossible for him to do the program.  The sudden end to “Midnight in the Desert,” which was steadily picking up affiliate stations, caused some in the business to think, “Oh no, here we go again.”  But Bell tells TALKERS magazine he wants to be on the radio.  Citing three incidents on October 21, November 23 and December 8, Bell says his wife has said, “Enough.”  Bell says, “If this jerk is caught I will be back, if not I will wait for some time to pass without incident and then do some non-scheduled shows.  I would like my fellow radio people to know this is not what I want.”

wilburkirbyKirby Wilbur to Host Late Morning Show on KVI, Seattle.  Last month, Sinclair-owned KVI-Seattle announced that market conservative talk pro Kirby Wilbur would return to the air and KVI in the New Year. Now, the station announces Wilbur will host the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon slot, effectivekvilogo January 4.  Wilbur will be joined for the first hour by current morning drive host John Carlson, then host the next two hours solo.  The station is dropping Glenn Beck’s Premiere-syndicated show to make room for Wilbur.  KVI program director Rick Van Cise states, “It’s clear our listeners want more local conservative conversation on Seattle radio.  And who better to have back-to-back than two of the original Northwest conservative voices who made KVI great.”  Wilbur has been off the radio for the past six years.  Most recently he’s been the Washington director for Americans for Prosperity heading up the Washington, DC-based National Journalism Center.  Wilbur comments, “I’m glad to be back with a new knowledge of the workings of the other Washington as we address local and national issues affecting all of us here.”

wowo15WOWO, Fort Wayne Switches FM Frequencies.  This is a bit of a downgrade as far as market coverage is concerned since the move of news/talk WOWO, Fort Wayne’s FM simulcast is from class A FM WFWI to 75-watt translator W298BJ at 107.5 FM.  The heritage station has been heard on WFWI’s 92.3 frequency since Federated Media signed it on in March of 2012.  Program director Ryan Reker says, “It’s just a different place to listen to us.  The change from 92.3 FM to 107.5 FM means our listeners will need to update their radios to get the same news, weather and talk coverage they listen to now.”  WOWO-AM is heard very well throughout northeastern Indiana on its 50,000-watt 1190 kHz signal.  No plans have been announced for WFWI-FM’s new format.

delaneykateTalk Host Kate Delaney Talking Pete Rose Across the Country.  Nationally syndicated general issues show host Kate Delaney is guesting on scores of radio shows today (12/15) because of her sports expertise and her knowledge of the Pete Rose decision that came down yesterday from the Major League Baseball commissioner’s office.  The commissioner is continuing the ban on Rose working in baseball because of his cover-up of his gambling on baseball while manager of the Cincinnati Reds.  Prior to her “America Tonight” program, Delaney spent a good part of her career in the sports media world covering 15 Super Bowls, 10 Final Fours, 10 U.S. Opens and numerous other sporting events.  She also served as sports director of KRLD, Dallas and did a stretch at sports talk WFAN, New York.  In addition to her regular show Delaney currently does a weekend shift on the NBC Sports Radio Network.

Odds & Sods.  San Francisco all-newser KCBS-AM is being honored with a special finalist citation by the 2016kcbs-am logo Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Awards for reporter Doug Sovern’s “Unholy Water,” a series of investigative reports that exposed the San Francisco Archdiocese’s installation of an illegal plumbing system at St. Mary’s Cathedral that poured water on homeless people at night to keep them from sleeping in the cathedral doorways, in the middle of the worst drought in California rosefrancishistory.  The CBS RADIO-owned station will be recognized at a ceremony hosted by veteran newsman Tom Brokaw at Columbia’s Low Library on January19, 2016…..Former WFED, Washington afternoon drive personality Francis Rose is handling a lot of fill-in work this week and next.  Rose is sitting in for Larry O’Connor on WMAL-AM/FM, Washington’s “Drive at Five” all this week, and Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday next week.  Rose is also in for Westwood One’s Jim Bohannon tonight and that company’s John Batchelor on Wednesday and Friday of this week…..The 27th annual Holiday Magic Radiothon on Bonneville’s KIRO-FM, Seattle to benefit Treehouse raised more than $512,000.  Treehouse is asalemdebateMedved15 nonprofit organization that addresses the essential education and enrichment needs of kids in foster care…..In advance of tonight’s GOP primary debate, Salem Radio Network talk hosts Michael Medved (left) and Dennis Prager (right) are seen at right broadcasting from the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas.  Salem Radio Network is partnering with CNN to provide the audio to radio stations across the country.  All five SRN daytime syndicated personalities are broadcasting from Las Vegas.  Additionally, SRN is presenting both pre- and post-debate programs co-hosted by Hugh Hewitt and Mike Gallagher.  Hewitt is also serving as one of the media panelists on the debate…..Premiere Networks announces it is broadcasting four college bowl games.  Available to sports stations nationwide, Premiere will distribute the live play-by-play for the Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl, Popeye’s Bahamas Bowl, Zaxby’s Heart of albomRadiothon15Dallas Bowl and Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl, all of which are produced by RedVoice Productions LLC…..Cumulus Media announces that the 2015 Mitch Albom S.A.Y. Detroit Radiothon raised $1,002,748 during last Thursday’s event.  Albom is afternoon drive host on the company’s news/talk WJR, Detroit.  This was the fourth year of the charity broadcast and included special guests Hugh Jackman, Paul Stanley, Billy Bob Thornton, Jane Pauley, JK Simmons, Craig Ferguson, Alice Cooper, Dr. Phil, Tim Allen, Howard Schultz, Dave Barry, John Pizzarelli, Mayor Mike Duggan, Bruce Cornblatt, Kevin Eubanks, Charles Woodson, Kirk Cousins, Matt Stafford, Stan Van Gundy, Brad Ausmus, Dan Gilbert, and Bernie Smilovitz.  Pictured here is Mitch Albom (at center) on the remote set during the radiothon.

2016 Presidential Race/Tonight’s GOP Debate, Government Shutdown Threat, Paris Climate Summit Agreement, Battle Against IS/Islamic Anti-Terror Alliance, Refugee/Immigration Issues, Looming Freddie Gray Verdict, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/14).  The activities of the candidates for president in 2016 and the build-up to tonight’s GOP primary debate in Las Vegas; the temporary spending bill and the threat of a government shutdown; the agreement that came out of the Paris Climate Summit and the larger topic of global warming; the battle against Islamic State and the news of a Saudi-led anti-terror coalition; the status of Syrian refugees and the issue of immigration policy in the United States; the expected verdict in the first phase of the Freddie Gray trials in Baltimore; and the weekend’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, December 14, 2015

| December 14, 2015

bellart15Art Bell Ends Latest Talk Show Effort Citing Attempts on His Life.  Quite suddenly on Friday evening, Art Bell posted on his ArtBell.com website that he would not be going on the air that evening – or ever again, in fact – and explained that he and his family are in danger after recent attempts on his life.  Here’s what Bell posted: “I am sorry to have to announce this but I will not be on Tonight or any other night, yes I am going to hang it up.  Whoever this crazy person is, they are not stopping and it has come to the point that we as a Family do not feel it is worth the risk.  While I think the person or persons are after me, my Wife and now my Daughter are really scared, the other night after the latest incident my Daughter was off in the corner of her bed scared to death as the Police cars came screaming up.  I will not put my Family through this. As you all know I dearly love what I do but not at the expense of never ending Terrorism.  I want to thank those of you who have shown so much support and it has been my joy, short as it has been to have cracked that Mic open for a last time.  This was a Family decision.  The girls stuck with me and still would but if one of them were harmed because of what I love doing my life would be over.”  Bell had returned to AM/FM radio with a late night program called “Midnight in the Desert” via his Dark Matter Radio Network earlier this fall after years away from broadcast radio.  To say this is controversial in the minds of his fans is an understatement.  Chatter on the website DreadCentral vacillates between those who are sympathetic to Bell’s claim and those who simply don’t believe a word of it.  Regardless, Bell is off the air, seemingly for good. The network intends to provide programming to affiliates for the next 30 days with Rowland Communications Network airing either previous Art Bell-hosted shows or Heather Wade hosting the program.

gallaghermikeThree More Years at Salem for Mike Gallagher.  Nationally syndicated talk radio personality Mike Gallagher will remain in his 9:00 am to 12:00 noon ET program on the Salem Radio Network through the end of 2018 after signing a three-year extension.  He’s currently heard on some 300 stations nationwide, including new affiliate WIND, Chicago “AM 560 The Answer.”  Gallagher states, “After 15 years with Salem, I’m still amazed at how fortunate I am to have a radio home at this amazing company.  I’m ecstatic and humbled to be continuing for at least another three years with this world-class organization.”  Salem Media Group SVP Phil Boyce comments, “Mike is one of the most talented, entertaining, and informative hosts in the country.  What a pleasure it has been to be reunited with him at Salem, and be able to have a small part in the next generation of his talk show host career.”

weismanstevenLegal Analysis: What Do Sam Goldwyn and Geraldo Rivera Have in Common?  TALKERS magazine legal editor Steven J.J. Weisman offers his take on the suit against Cumulus Media filed by ousted WABC, New York talk host Geraldo Rivera:

Sam Goldwyn was a legendary movie producer from the early days of Hollywood.  In fact, the G in MGM was for Goldwyn.  Goldwyn died in 1974.  Geraldo Rivera is a legendary and prize winning investigative reporter and media personality who is very much alive.  So what do they have in common?  Sam Goldwyn wasriverageraldo quoted as saying that “An oral contract isn’t worth the paper it’s written on.”  Once you get over trying to figure out the logic of this statement, the essential truth remains that relying on and proving an oral contract is a difficult task indeed.  Geraldo Rivera recently filed a lawsuit in state court in New York alleging that Cumulus Media, Inc., the owner of WABC – 770 AM radio in New York breached an oral, one-year contract with him pursuant to which he was to be paid $600,000 for 2016.  In addition, he alleges that Cumulus locked him out of his studio at WABC where he already was working as a talk show host.  Geraldo alleges that he had negotiated the contract with then vice president of Cumulus, John Dickey during dickeyjohna lunch meeting in July.  However, the contract was never reduced to writing and nothing was signed by the parties.  In the fall, there was a change of management at Cumulus in which its founder and CEO Lew Dickey along with John Dickey no longer were involved in active management of the company.  Although Cumulus has not, as of the writing of this, responded officially to Rivera’s complaint in court, Cumulus has responded with a statement by Davidson Goldin on behalf of the company which states, “We offered Geraldo Rivera a new contract commensurate with the value of his show and our offer was repeatedly rejected.”  As for locking Rivera out of his studio, no contract requires a radio station to give air time to someone under contract.  All the station is required to do is to pay the talent.  In this case, it would appear that Cumulus would have rather eaten the rest of Rivera’s present contract which would terminate under its own terms at the end of December rather than permit Rivera to air his grievances over the air.  As for Rivera, he has stated, “It is not about the money.  Because of their unforgivable disrespect, I will fight them and they will end up costing their battered company far more in damages than they expect to save in salary.”  What are the real facts?  That will be determined in court where Goldwyn’s comment may take on new meaning.

bubbaBubba Lawyers Again Filed Motion to Dismiss Nielsen’s $1 Million Suit.  On Friday (12/11), lawyers for Bubba the Love Sponge filed a motion to dismiss the $1 million fraud suit filed against their client by Nielsen Audio.  Bubba’s attorneys say that Nielsen can’t prove that it has been damaged by their client’s ratings tampering incident, that allegations of additional attempts to tamper with the ratings have not been proven and Bubba’s already been punished for the one case to which he’d admitted.  They also point to Nielsen’s statements after the tampering became public knowledge that the company was able to root out the panelist in question and the rest of the market’s ratings were not adversely affected as proof Nielsen can’t show damages.  This filing comes just days after Beasley Media Group re-branded Bubba’s flagship station WBRN, Tampa from “Bubba 998.7” to “98.7 No Rules Rock,” bringing into question whether the business relationship between Bubba and Beasley in Tampa will continue in the New Year.

nymrad logoNYMRAD Issues Third Quarter State of the Market Report.  The latest edition of this quarterly report from the New York Market Radio Broadcasters Association is a “comprehensive analysis of the New York marketplace designed to help advertisers understand radio’s impact on consumers and its prominent role in the local advertising landscape.”  NYMRAD executive director Deborah Beagan states, “In third quarter, retailers effectively used radio leading up to the holiday shopping season.  Radio has always done a terrific job of reaching people on the go, and is a huge benefit for influencing consumers closest to their point of purchase.”  Regarding radio advertising in the market, the report’s “research on the department store, mass merchandiser, home improvement, and fast food sectors found that exposure to radio ad campaigns increased sales, number of buyers, and dollars spent.  For department stores alone, sales increased by 10%, the number of buyers increased by 3%, and dollars spent per customer increased by 6%.”  See the report here.

Odds & Sods.  The patriotic rock band Madison Rising is beginning its preparation for its 2016 national tourmadisonrisingstill with the release of its “Soldier’s Christmas” song and video.  The presentation honors the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for this nation, along with their families who endure their loss throughout the year and during the holiday season in particular. The band (pictured at right) is on a mission to reignite authentic American culture through great rock music.  Its new album American Hero (RED) is dedicated to the men and women of our armed forces, along with the police, firefighters and other first responders. The band just completed a 70-city tour, and is preparing to launch its next stretch on January 9…..Toledo market sports talkers WLQR-FM, Delta, Ohio, flips affiliations from CBS Sports Radio Network to ESPN and begins airing much of the latter network’s sports talk shows.  The Cumulus-owned station is keeping local personalities Bob Frantz (3:00 pm to 5:00 pm) and Mike Miller (5:00 pm to 7:00 pm) on the program schedule…..There’s end-of-year programming available from ABC News Radio with programs including:  “Playback 2015” with Cheri Preston and Aaron Katersky; a year-end edition of “Perspective”; “World News This Year”; “2015 As it Happened”; “The Economy 2015 Year in Review” with ABC News’ chief business and economic correspondent Rebecca Jarvis and ABC News correspondent Richard Davies…..KEGL, Dallas “The Eagle” afternoon personality Russ Martin is thanking police for their work rescuing him after he was the victim of a home invasion.  A story in the Frisco Enterprise reports that three masked men ambushed him outside his home, bound him and stole items from his house before escaping in Martin’s 2010 Dodge Challenger.  The men have not been apprehended yet.  Martin was not harmed.

herskovitzal‘Tis the Season for Sports Talk Radio.  Radio sales maven Al Herskovitz writes in a column posted today that this time of year represents what can be a boon for sports talk radio.  With the NFL’s season zeroing in on the playoffs and basketball, hockey and college sports also in high gear, the opportunities to get creative from a sales standpoint are numerous.  He notes some of the sponsored segments he’s recently encountered during play-by-play broadcasts.  “‘The collision of the game’ sponsored by a vehicle repair shop; The ‘injury time-out’ sponsored by a medical group; ‘The gem of the game’ (the best play) sponsored by a jewelry store.  I even heard one that was called ‘The catch of the game.’  It was sponsored by a bait and tackle shop!  Laugh if you must, but this special creativity has to be acknowledged.”  Read the entire column here.

marksidSid Mark Signs Contract Extension to Continue Hosting ‘Sound of Sinatra.’  The program has been airing in one form or another in Philadelphia for the past 59 years – the last 16 on CBS RADIO’s WPHT – and radio pro Sid Mark will continue to host the nationally syndicated “Sound of Sinatra” after recently inking a contract extension.  Mark comments, “My thanks to the management of WPHT, our sponsors and, of course, my listeners for making this possible. Look forward to a big bash for the 60th.”  CBS RADIO SVP/market manager for Philadelphia David Yadgaroff adds, “What Frank Sinatra is to music, Sid Mark is to radio.  We are so happy to continue the tradition that Sid started 59 years ago.”  As legend has it, “The Sounds of Sinatra” began with a call from a listener, who suggested that Mark spin one hour of Frank Sinatra songs.  That tradition developed into “Friday with Frank,” as well as “Sunday with Sinatra,” which presently airs on WPHT on Sundays from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm.  It’s still heard on more than 100 radio stations from coast to coast and is the only radio program of its kind to have been personally authorized by Frank Sinatra.

brownejoyXmasSweater15Bringing Joy to the Ugly.  Nationally syndicated (GCN) talk star Dr. Joy Browne invited listeners to enter photos on Facebook for her annual “Ugliest Christmas Sweater” contest.  She came up with two winners – both who work as interns at the York Theatre Company’s current Broadway production of a musical titled “Plaid Tidings.”  Pictured (l-r) Daniel Lees, Dr. Joy Browne, and Lucas Camp.  York Theatre Company’s slogan is “Where musicals come to life.”

Government Shutdown Threat, Paris Climate Summit and Tomorrow’s GOP Debate Top Weekend News/Talk Stories.  The passage of a week-long spending bill and the threat of a government shutdown after this week; the ‘Paris Agreement’ climate deal inked among the U.S. and 185 other countries; and tomorrow night’s GOP primary debate in Las Vegas were some of the top news/talk stories discussed on weekend talk radio programs, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

| December 9, 2015

kinosianmikeHillsdale College Launches Talk Radio Initiative.  The Hillsdale, Michigan conservative liberal arts college is preparing to bring its low-power FM radio station WRFH into the lives of its students.  Operating since this past summer and airing exclusively patriotic music, the station is poised to begin becoming a part of the school’s journalism studies.  Although the school does not offer a JournalismHillsdaleCollegeLogo major – it prefers all students major in traditional liberal arts — Hillsdale’s John Miller (a former 18-year staffer at The National Review) says the radio station will offer a hands-on approach to this form of broadcasting.  “We have a demanding core at the college.  You learn journalism by doing journalism — not by sitting in a classroom listening to a professor rattle on about it.  We do a little bit of classroom instruction, but we try to put students in a position where they can practice journalism at our campus paper or at the radio station.  I teach a class about writing style, but we do not lard up our curriculum with all kinds of courses that justify our jobs.  I am one of the few professors on campus who does not possess a PhD. I got this job because of my work experience.”  How the station came into being and what the school’s plans are for the station is an interesting story.  Read TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian’s piece about “Radio Free Hillsdale” here.

rollinsruss15Russ Rollins Re-Ups with iHeartMedia’s ‘Real Radio 104.1’ in Orlando.  The ringleader of the “Monsters in the Morning” show on iHeartMedia’s hot talker WTKS-FM, Orlando “Real Radio 104.1” announces he’s inked a three-year extension with the station.  Russ Rollins says he’s had offers to go towtks logo other stations in other markets but he’s never entertained them because his heart is with WTKS and he’s proud of what his show has accomplished over the past 24 years.  “We introduced a multi-cast show that is goofy and fun.  With songs, skits, bits, jokes, swerves and live events no radio show has been able to reproduce – a show not meant to change the world, just meant to brighten your day.  I’m proud to say this is what ‘Real Radio 104.1’ has become today…Real Radio has been the gold standard and the anomaly in this industry.  No other market has been able to reproduce what we at ‘Real Radio’ have created.  I’m proud of that.”

fletcherandchopKXTG-AM, Portland Signs New PM Show ‘Fletcher and Chop.’  A new afternoon drive sports talk show begins on Alpha Media’s KXTG-AM, Portland “750/102.9 The Game.”  Current Alpha Media Portland personalities Fletcher Johnson and Pork Chop sign a multi-year deal to host “Afternoons with Fletcher and Chop.”  Johnson has been with Alpha Media since 2009, and Pork Chop since 2011.  Alpha Media EVP of programming, Scott Mahalick says, “It gives me great pleasure to once again be able to promote from within the ranks of Alpha Media and showcase the talents of two of our rising knowledgeable sports experts.  What sets them apart is the humor, entertainment and unique perspective these two Portlanders bring to the audience.”

kdzrSalem Media Group Takes KDZR, Portland Conservative Talk and Business.  The former Radio Disney outlet in Portland, Oregon is now airing a conservative talk and business talk format featuring talk shows from Salem Radio Network.  Salem announced its intent to purchase the station (along with four other former Radio Disney properties) back in September.  The station is airing SRN’s Bill Bennett, Mike Gallagher, Dennis Prager, Hugh Hewitt, Steve Deace, and Eric Metaxas plus business shows hosted by Ray Lucia, Moe Ansari, Del Walmsley and Bill Gunderson.  Station general manager Dennis Hayes says, “We are proud to be launching our new station to serve the Portland community with quality news and business programming.”

Odds & Sods.  From New York City, talk personality Kevin McCullough reports that his program “After Hoursmcculloughkevin with Kevin McCullough” is doing well in its new time slot on Salem Media Group-owned WNYM “AM 970 The Answer.”  McCullough says his show moved from the 10:00 pm to 12:00 midnight slot to the 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm slot in early November…..There’s a new head of comedy at SiriusXM as the satcaster announces Jack Vaughn is the SVP of comedy programming.  Vaughn comes to SiriusXM from his most recent position with New Wave Entertainment where he was SVP, production and distribution.  There he was the creator of Comedy Central Records, the Grammy Award-winning record label that was home to comedians such as Mitch Hedberg, Amy Schumer, Jim Gaffigan, Dane Cook, Kevin Hart, Lewis Black, Daniel Tosh, and Denis Leary among others…..ABC Radio is presenting a special series titled, “Countdown to Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”  It runs through Friday, December 18 with each feature including “audio from legendary Star Wars cast members, past and present as well as various interviews from celebrities who share their love for the franchise as well as their excitement about the new film.”…..WAMU, Washington public radio talk personality Diane Rehm is retiring after next fall’s presidential elections.  Rehm began hosting the midday show on American University’s WAMU in 1979.  Her show is syndicated to approximately 200 stations across the country.

Trump ‘Muslim Ban’ Proposal, 2016 Presidential Race, San Bernardino Shootings Aftermath, Islamic State Using U.S.-Made Weapons, Paris Summit-Climate Change Controversy, Star Wars: The Force Awakens Hype, and Golden State Undefeated Streak Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/8).  The furor of Donald Trump’s unwillingness to back down on his call to stop all Muslims from being granted entrance into the U.S.; the activities of the rest of the candidates for president in 2016; the ongoing investigation into the background of the two shooters in the deadly San Bernardino slayings; a report that Islamic State is using old, U.S.-made weapons; the negotiations taking place in Paris at the climate summit and the controversy over global warming theories; the intense interest in the new film Star Wars: The Force Awakens; and the NBA’s Golden State Warriors continuing its undefeated season were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

TALKERS Affiliate Roundup.  News from WYM Media states that both the Thom Hartmann show and thehartmann Leslie Marshall show are now being heard in the Phoenix market on KPHX.  Also, effective today (12/9), the Stephanie Miller show is being heard daily in morning drive on KCAA, Loma Linda, California and its translator K293CF, Moreno Valley at 106.5 FM…..“Into Tomorrow” with host Dave Graveline begins airing on WRKO, Boston on Sunday mornings beginning this weekend.

harrisonUpCloseFarOutsmallThe Importance of Musical Soundtracks to Films.  Two of modern cinema’s leading composers, the multi-award-winning brothers Mychael and Jeff Danna, join Michael Harrison in this week’s installment of PodcastOne’s international hit, “Up Close and Fardinoposter2015sm Out.”  The Danna Brothers composed the stunning soundtrack of the new Disney/Pixar animated feature “The Good Dinosaur” and discuss the techniques that went into creating a soundscape for the larger-than-life computer imagery generated in this latest animated epic.  The fascinating conversation also delves into the role movie music plays in manipulating the emotions of the viewer as well as the rise of “World Music” as a genre influencing pop culture in Western society.  To hear the entire conversation please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player boxes in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com and RadioInfo.com.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

| December 8, 2015

williamsarmenWilliams to Program Denver’s KKFN & KEPN. Currently the program director of Townsquare Media Albany (New York) sports outlet WTMM-FM “104.5 ESPN The Team,” Armen Williams will join Bonneville Denver’s KKFN “Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan” and KEPN “1600 The Zone” in a similar capacity the middle of next month. According to Bonneville Denver vice president and market manager Bob Call, “Armen brings a perfect balance of winning sports radio programming, plus an exceptional knowledge of digital media. Armen has worked with a number of high-profile sports personalities through his career, plus he developed some solid NFL play-by-play network experience.” Williams – who co-hosts WTMM’s afternoon drive show in addition to his PD duties – states, “I am excited to be part of one of the best sports radio brands in the country. ‘The Fan’ is a first-class organization and Bonneville is a great company. I am looking forward to working with the extremely talented staff to continue giving Denver sports fans the highest quality of sports talk radio.” Before his tenure at Albany’s “Team,” Williams was a producer for CBS Radio-owned KRLD “The Fan,” Dallas, where he worked with the Dallas Cowboys Radio Network; he previously worked in the promotions department at KESN “ESPN Radio,” Dallas. According to 6+ stats from Denver’s most recent (November 2015) Nielsen Audio PPM results, KKFN ranks #16 (3.6, up one full-share from September‘s 2.6) and KEPN is #33 (.1); Entercom classic rocker KQMT “The Mountain” is #1 with a 6.3 (6+). The only stations listed in Nielsen Audio’s summer 2015 report for Albany are five iHeartMedia outlets.

gallagherCruz15Gallagher Meets Cruz on Campaign Trail; Salem Preparing for December 15 GOP Debate Coverage.  While in South Carolina on the campaign trail, GOP presidential candidate Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) stopped to speak with Salem Radio Network host Mike Gallagher in Greenville.  Gallagher (right) is pictured here conducting the one-on-one with Cruz (left).  (A Monmouth University study has Cruz polling ahead of Donald Trump in Iowa right now with 24%.)  Meanwhile, Salem Radio Network has exclusive radio distribution of the CNN/Facebook Presidential Debate at the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas.  SRN says Bill Bennett, Gallagher, Michael Medved, Dennis Prager and Hugh Hewitt will all originate their programs from the hotel on December 14 and 15.  SRN’s Hewitt will serve on the CNN debate panel as well.  SRN SVP Phil Boyce will serve as live announcer for the network’s radio coverage, and SRN VP/news & talk programming Tom Tradup will be executive producer of all on-site SRN shows and the CNN/Facebook Debate coverage.

wmal logoWMAL-AM/FM, Washington Raises $316,000 for Fisher House Foundation.  Last Friday and Saturday (12/4-5), Cumulus Media news/talk WMAL-AM/FM, Washington held its second annual “Operation Fisher House 2015 Radiothon” and raised $316,000 for the charity that builds and provides group homes for families of America’s wounded servicemen and women as they undergo treatment.   The station reports that over the past 12 years WMAL listeners have donated almost $5 million dollars to the Fisher House Foundation.  Station program director Bill Hess comments, “Our listeners step up year after year.  Their response to our talent and the stories of these heroes and their families is incredibly rewarding.”

woaiElfLouise15More Than $277,000 Raised at Annual WOAI Elf Louise Broadcast.  The Elf Louise Christmas Project charity was founded in 1969 and this year iHeartMedia news/talk WOAI, San Antonio held its 20th annual two-day radiothon on December 4 and 5 to raise funds for the charity that helps buy Christmas presents for more than 19,000 children in the area.  In addition to listeners donating money, several benefactors helped, including local attorney Thomas J. Henry whose family pledged to match 25% of every donation up to $200,000 and ended up donating $50,000.  Pictured here at the broadcast are (from l-r): WOAI personalities Cari Laque, Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo and charity founder Louise Locker.

Odds & Sods.  Programmer Jeff Beck is promoted to operations manager for the Alpha Media Fredericksburg,beckjeff Virginia cluster that includes news/talk/sports simulcast WNTX-AM/W243BS at 96.5 FM…..Bonneville’s KIRO-FM, Seattle is hosting the 27th Annual Foster Child Holiday Magic Radiothon on December 10 to benefit the Treehouse, a non-profit agency that ensures that kids in foster care have access to the essential services required to help them make it to high school graduation and beyond.  The past three rondonyears, KIRO Radio Foster Child Holiday Magic Program has raised more than $500,000 each year through listener donation and sponsor matching funds.  “Ron & Don Show” co-host Don O’Neill says, “Each year at KIRO Radio we strive to give every foster child in Washington State a gift during the holiday season.  A holiday gift is a symbol, a reminder to a young person that they are important, they are part of our village, and they have not been forgotten!  We can’t wait to spread a little Holiday Magic again this year, with the help of all our great listeners throughout the Pacific Northwest!”

Obama’s San Bernardino Address, Trump Anti-Muslim Rhetoric/2016 Presidential Race, Battle Against Islamic State, Turkey-Russian Tensions, Iran Missile Test, NFL Action, and New Star Wars Film Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/7). Reaction to President Obama’s Sunday evening national address on the San Bernardino shootings; GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump’s post-San Bernardino statements about preventing any Muslims from entering the United States and the activities of the other candidates for president in 2016; the military campaign against Islamic State in Iraq, Syria and beyond; the ongoing tensions between Turkey and Russia; allegations Iran has fired a test rocket in violation of the recently signed nuclear deal; the weekend’s NFL action; and anticipation over the new Star Wars: The Force Awakens film were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Pioneering DC Sports Talker Ken Beatrice Dies at 72.  A trailblazing radio sports talk host in Washington passed away at age 72 after a bout with pneumonia.  Ken Beatrice hosted an evening sports talk show on WMAL-AM from 1977 through 1995.  He worked another five years at crosstown WTEM, retiring in 2000.  Beatrice is credited with providing WMAL with thorough and insightful coverage of the NFL’s Washington Redskins during the team’s successful years in the 1980s through early 1990s.  Steve Repsher writes a homage to Beatrice in the Washington Post here.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

| September 17, 2015

kantar media logoKantar Media: Total U.S. Ad Spend Down 3.9%; Radio Up 5%.  The comparison of the total U.S. ad spend – the 3.9% figure – is both from the first quarter of 2015 to the second and the January to June figures from 2014 to 2015.  The positive news for radio is in local ad sales.  Kantar Media reports that from the first quarter of 2015 to the second, local radio ad spend was up 10.6%.  For the same category, the Jan-June 2014 versus 2015 figure was also up, by 7.9%.  the not-so-good news is that Kantar reports the network radio ad category was down 8.4% and 5.4%, respectively.  National spot radio was up a little bit from Q1 to Q2 this year – 1.2% — but comparing the first six months of 2014 to the same period this year, the category is down 1.6%.  See the whole Kantar Media report here.

wbix logoSalem Media Group Debuts Boston Talk Station on WBIX.  The newly acquired Boston AM signal WBIX starts life anew as a news/talker for Salem Media Group.  The station is being branded “AM 1260 The Buzz” and features Salem Radio Network stars Bill Bennett, Mike Gallagher, Dennis Prager, Michael Medved, Hugh Hewitt, and Eric Metaxas.  The calls have been flipped back to WBIX from the WMKI calls that identified the station when it was owned by Disney and aired the company’s “Radio Disney” pop music format.

patrickmattHouston Talk Host Matt Patrick Fighting Esophageal Cancer.  KTRH, Houston-based talk show host Matt Patrick announced his morning drive audience  that he is battling esophageal cancer.  He also went on colleague Michael Berry’s talk show on Wednesday to further discuss his medical situation.  During the segment with Berry, Patrick explained that he’s receiving treatment for the malignant tumor at the world-renowned M.D. Anderson clinic in Houston.  The 30-yar radio pro is a recovering alcoholic and he told the audience this will be the second toughest fight of his life.

globalmediaservices logoNew Production Service ‘Radio Spot Shoppe’ to Launch on September 28.  The new three-part production service is being offered by Global Media Services and includes script writing, commercial production and imaging from “one professional source.”  Global Media Services is partnering with AdLarge Media for barter national ad sales representation.  Global founder Tony Garcia states, “Producing good creative quickly has always been a challenge for radio.  That is especially true as bottom line pressure increases and the head count decreases.garciatony  Radio Spot Shoppe gives stations the ability to outsource services rather than relying on the same voices, the same production staff, and the same AEs to write commercial copy.  Not only does that free-up internal personnel to focus on their core responsibilities, it also brings a dedicated team of production, script-writing, and imaging professionals to your station.”  Garcia says the market-exclusive barter service allows stations to choose the level of service based on their needs.  Check out www.radiospotshoppe.com, call Garcia directly at 303-557-1961 or email him at: tony@globalmediaservices.co.

hurleyharryHarry Hurley Re-Ups with Townsquare’s WPGG, Atlantic City.  With almost 25 years under his belt at WPGG, Atlantic City, morning drive star Harry Hurley can feel safe about easily surpassing the 25-year mark after inking a new, multi-year contract with Townsquare Media.  Hurley says, “To have a broadcasting career with one company that’s measured in decades is a dream come true.  We have the most dynamic founder, chairman and chief executive officer in Steven Price.  Mr. Price’s pedigree is incomparable.  He has served our federal government in the Pentagon as a Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense.  And, Mr. Price is such a visionary in the areas of terrestrial radio, all digital platforms and live events.  He truly understands how government, business and industry intersect, along with working with and serving our various communities at the highest level.”

fccnewBroadcasters Applaud New FCC Contest Rules.  The long awaited revised contest rules for radio and television stations that allow licensees to post contest rules online have been approved by the FCCNAB EVP of communications Dennis Wharton states, “NAB applauds the FCC for updating its contest rules to better reflect today’s media environment.  Providing flexibility about where and how contest rules can be posted online allows broadcasters to best serve our audiences based on the wide variety of contests we run.  NAB looks forward to working collaboratively with the FCC to help radio and TV stations adhere to these revised rules.”

Odds & Sods.  Targeting fans of the science fiction, fantasy and horror genres, the “30 Minutes of Geek” podcast is expanding to a full hour and is now available for radio stations.  Midnight Entertainment, LLC announcesgeekuniverse the Jim Yelton-hosted program, dubbed, “Geek Universe with Jim Yelton,” will discuss “everything related to the science fiction, fantasy, horror genres across movies, television, games, and more.”  The show launched into national radio syndication in July on the brand new GLN Radio Network with guest Carl Gottlieb, the screenwriter of the classic summer blockbuster Jaws.…..Celebrating its fifth anniversary, the nationally syndicated radio show “Café Mocha” has joined forces with Hyundai Motor America gellerBull15to launch the Salute Her presented by Hyundai: New Thinking, New Possibilities campaign.  With a mission to salute and reward women who are demonstrating new ways of thinking and creating new possibilities in their communities, prizes will include one-on-one professional coaching sessions, all-expense paid trips to the 47th NAACP Image Awards and one grand prize, a 2016 Hyundai Sonata 2.0T…..Consultant and author Valerie Geller (left) poses for a photo with LBC London talk show host Clive Bull (right) at the Next Radio 2015 conference at the Royal Institution in London.  The annual conference is billed as the place where “the best new radio ideas are shared.”

wnymcruise15All Aboard!  Salem Entertains Clients on Twilight Yacht Cruise.  The annual Salem Media Group client yacht cruise around lower Manhattan took place last evening (9/16) during which the staff and hosts of WNYM “AM 970 The Answer” and WMCA “AM 560 The Mission” sailed, wined and dined with an invited gathering of advertisers, clients and media friends.  Pictured (l-r): TALKERS GM/broadcast operations, David Bernstein; nationally syndicated GCN talk radio legend Dr. Joy Browne (heard on WNYM); and Salem NYC VP/GM Jerry Crowley.  Not pictured: Hugh Hewitt whose image was on all of the yacht’s television monitors tuned to his outstanding participation as one of three select questioners in the second Republican presidential debate simulcast on CNN and Salem Radio Network.

Trump Candidacy/Wednesday GOP Debate, European Migrant Problems/U.S. Immigration Policy, Iran Nuclear Deal, Russia’s Syrian Military Aid/Obama Administration’s Syria Policy, North Korean Nuke Threat, and Student Home-Made Clock Arrest Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/16).  The presidential candidacy of Donald Trump and the anticipation of Wednesday evening’s GOP primary debate; the migrant problems facing European nations and the debate over the U.S.’s immigration policy; the nuclear deal with Iran; reported military aid to Syria from Russian tied with the Syria military policy of the Obama Administration; the nuclear weapons threats made by North Korea; and the case of the high school student arrested for bringing a home-made clock to school were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

| June 10, 2015

gallaghermikeSalem Radio Network Presents ‘National Town Meeting’ on Police and Race Issues.  This “national town meeting” will be a local and national simulcast with KSKY, Dallas morning personality Mark Davis and Salem Radio Network syndicated personality Mike Gallagher and will air tomorrowdavismark (6/11) from 9:00 am to 12:000 noon ET.  Salem says, “In the wake of recent high-profile incidents including urban riots in Baltimore and last weekend’s suburban ‘pool party’ controversy in McKinney, Texas, Gallagher and Davis…will co-anchor an SRN National Town Meeting on minority/police relations in America.  Gallagher adds, “We hope this SRN National Town Meeting will continue a nationwide dialogue on why so many recent incidents have been magnified by the issue of race, and also produce solid answers on how we can all — Americans of all colors and creeds — move forward together as a society.”

wdbofm logoCox Media Group’s Orlando Stations to Produce ‘Unity in the Community.’  Both news/talk WDBO “News 96.5” and urban contemporary WCFB “Star 94.5” in Orlando will simulcast a special program called “Unity in the Community: A Live Discussion About thewcfb logo Current Role of Both Law Enforcement and Citizens in our Communities” tonight at 7:00 pm.  The program will feature a panel of experts to share what law enforcement is doing in Central Florida, and answer questions from concerned citizens.  They will discuss the roles and responsibilities of both law enforcement and citizens when dealing with each other.  Panelists will include: Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demmings, Orlando Police Chief John Mina, Sanford Police Chief Cecil Smith, former Chief Judge Belvin Perry, and Crimeline executive director Barb Bergen.  The panel discussion will be co-moderated by WDBO’s Joe Kelley and WCFB’s Monica May.

usaRadioNetworksUSA Radio Networks to Syndicate Kevin Jackson Show.  The Kevin Jackson program is being syndicated live from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm ET by USA Radio Networks, beginning July 20.  The young, black conservative contributes to Breitbart, Human Events, and American Thinker and is a frequent guest on Sean Hannity, “The Factor with Bill O’Reilly” and MSNBC. He is the author of Thejacksonkevin Big Black Lie (Black Sphere 2009) and Sexy Brilliance and Other Political Lies (FastPencil Wavecrest 2011).  On his new relationship, Jackson comments, “I’m happier than a tornado in a trailer park to be part of the USA Radio Networks family, and can’t wait to take on Rush Limbaugh.  Conservative talk radio has needed new blood for some time, and I’m just happy to know a vampire.  America will get something different, and I couldn’t be more excited to bring it.”  USA Radio Networks chief content officer Tim Maranville says, “Kevin blurs the lines that have so divided our country yet does it in a way that creates a conversation about solutions.  Plus he’s wicked funny!”

mendtelarryLarry Mendte Named Morning Host at WILM, Wilmington.  Former longtime Philadelphia TV news anchor and radio host Larry Mendte is named morning drive personality at iHeartMedia’s Delaware news/talk stations WILM, Wilmington and WDOV, Dover.  Company regional market president Chris Walus states, “Larry is an extraordinary talent who has the unique ability to engage audiences across all demographics.  He has an impressive record of success in Philadelphia, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and San Diego.  Delaware listeners will be incredibly impressed with his ability to connect, engage and inform.”  In addition to his work in Philadelphia, Mendte has served at 77WABC in New York; “Access Hollywood” in Los Angeles, WBBM-TV and WLS-AM in Chicago.

wgvx logo‘105 The Ticket’ in Minneapolis Drops Local Talk.  Ousted local radio personality Bob Sansevere tells the Pioneer Press that the Cumulus Media-owned trimulcast of WGVX, WRXP, and WGVZ – branded as “105 The Ticket” – wasn’t able to put up a ratings fight against the sports talk competition in the market and that’s probably why his show and “Radioactive Sports” with Mike Morris and Ben Holsen were canceled.  The station is now airing the entire slate of CBS Sports Radio Network programming.

thomasjoeTVscreenshotWCHV, Charlottesville Talk Host Joe Thomas’ Morning Show Simulcast on Television Outlet.  The “Joe Thomas in the Morning” program on WCHV, Charlottesville, Virginia is now being simulcast on Gray Television’s “all-local, all-the-time Newsplex Now” channel.  Thomas, who also serves as program director for Monticello Media-owned WCHV, comments, “I was told back in the Bayside (NY) High School TV studio that I should go into radio because I would never be happy in television since I would never be able to have the irreverent fun I displayed in class.  It took 32 years, but I’m going to prove my teacher wrong!”  Thomas says he’s also on the lookout for short-form video content that could be included in the TV broadcast to create a unique viewer experience.  Reach out to him with suggestions at jthomas@cvillestations.com.

Odds & Sods.  The Los Angeles Lakers and ESPN O&O KSPN, Los Angeles announce they have agreed to an extension of their radio play-by-play deal through the 2021-22 season.  “ESPNLA” will carry all 82 regular-season games as well as the entire preseason and every playoff game.  John Ireland will continue as the play-by-play commentator for the Lakers radio broadcasts, with Laker great Mychal Thompson remaining as the color analyst.sextonbuck  Both are ESPNLA personalities – Ireland co-hosts the “Mason and Ireland” show and Thompson co-hosts the “Thompson and Trudell” program…..TheBlaze Radio Network’s Buck Sexton fills in for Rush Limbaugh on the Premiere Networks syndicated program today (6/10).  TheBlaze says Sexton is the only personality who has guest hosted for Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck.

lindanielleIndia15Syndicated Talk Host Danielle Lin Takes Show to India.  Dynamic health and lifestyle talker Danielle Lin took her syndicated radio talk show, “The Art of Living and the Science of Life,” to Bangalore, India reporting on the new trend of “Medical Tourism.”  She tells TALKERS, “Going global makes perfect sense in a podcast world.  I have discovered first hand that international expansion is not only lucrative…it’s essential in a digital world.  With a strong list of sponsors primed from US relations, linking countries like India was a natural fit for expanding my US brand.  The money flows in both directions as companies create bonds by targeting niche markets.  By producing valuable content on the national platform, we were able to translate the same conversation with the growing middle market in Bangalore. We started early enough in our planning to build a base that would connect us to a worldwide listenership.” Lin adds, “The local and international conversations are relevant to everyone when it comes to improving life.”  Lin (second from left) is pictured here with the leading Ayurvedic physcians at AyurVAID Hospital in Bangalore.

Texas Pool Party Incident, ISIS Military Progress/U.S. Iraq Policy, Obama Trade Deal, New York Prison Break, News from Apple WWDC, Bilderberg Group/G7 Meetings, Caitlyn Jenner Case, and NBA-NHL Finals Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/9).  The fallout from a police officer’s actions at a Texas pool party; the continuing success of ISIS in Iraq and questions about the U.S. military’s policy in Iraq; the TTP trade deal and concerns over lack of understanding of what the pact contains; the search for two convicted murderers who escaped from a New York prison; news of the new digital music platform from Apple from the company’s Worldwide Developers Conference; questions about future global policies as the Bilderberg Group meets in Austria and the G7 summit takes place; ongoing chatter about the Caitlyn Jenner case and transgender issues; and the NBA and NHL Finals were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio during the week, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

| May 14, 2015

levinmarkCumulus/Westwood One Star Mark Levin Continues to Gain Syndication Steam.  Dubbed “The Great One” by Sean Hannity, Cumulus/Westwood One syndicated host Mark Levin continues to grow in stature as one of the elite stars in the talk radio industry.  Levin, who has written a number of best sellers and is respected as an outstanding constitutional attorney and scholar, has added over a dozen new stations to his affiliate roster of 300-plus in the last quarter alone including KRLA, Los Angeles; WPGP,westwood one NEW Pittsburgh; WREC, Memphis; WRVA, Richmond; KTSM, El Paso; KWSX, Stockton; KFIV, Modesto; WBUV-FM, Biloxi; WPGG, Atlantic City; WTKS-AM, Savannah; KWHN, Ft. Smith; WDAK, Columbus, GA; and WFEA, Manchester, MA.   According to Michael Harrison, “Levin doesn’t always get the credit he deserves as the true heavyweight he is – but the numbers don’t lie.  He has one of the largest audiences of all the political news/talkers in America and is positively adored by the millions of individuals and organizations that make up the heart of the fundamentalist, Constitutionalist core of the conservative movement.”  Levin is ranked by TALKERS as #6 on the Heavy Hundred (the 100 Most Important Radio Talk Show Hosts in America) and tied with Glenn Beck as the fourth most-listened-to radio talk show host in the nation.

nielsen logoNielsen Audio Releases Third Round of April 2015 PPM Data.  The third of four rounds of April 2015 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Portland, Charlotte, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, San Antonio, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Kansas City, Orlando, and Columbus.  The April 2015 survey period covered March 26 through April 22.  You can find the complete ratings from subscribing stations here.  Additionally, TALKERS/RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Ten Takeaways” from this group on the main page of our sister publication here.

2015 NYC 150Talkers New York 2015 Will Be Sold Out Today. Based on the diminishing number of registrations still open and the rate at which they are being filled, Talkers New York 2015 – the 18th annual installment of the talk media’s longest-running and most important national convention — will be declared sold out at the end of business today (5:00 pm EDT), a day earlier than anticipated earlier this week.  According to TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey, “We are gratified by the strong response this event is receiving and we clearly do not like to turn folks away – however, we must abide by New York City’s building codes, not to mention be sensitive to the comfort and safety of our attendees.”  Casey continues, “There will be no general registrations sold after 5:00 pm EDT today Thursday, May 14.”  The event will be located at the historic India House Club dramatically situated at One Hanover Square in the heart of Manhattan’s financial district.  It is an all-day event – 8:45 am to 6:15 pm.  Registrations, priced at $299 per person and only open to professionals currently or recently employed in media-related industries, include all sessions, presentations, exhibits and breakfast/lunch/refreshment/and social networking activities.  The heavyweight, non-stop agenda will include approximately 65 speakers and 500 attendees will be the allowed limit.  Registrations can only be taken over the phone and paid for by credit card.  They are not refundable or transferable.  For registration, sponsorship and hotel information, please call 413-565-5413.  To see the latest agenda, please click here.

vaccanatalieVacca Upped to Executive Producer at WOR, New York.  Promoted from producer to executive producer of the “Len Berman and Todd Schnitt In The Morning” show at iHeartMedia’s news/talk WOR, New York is Natalie Vacca.  Vacca has been on the WOR staff for the past 18 years, producing such personalities as John Gambling, Barry Farber, Joan Hamburg and Alan Colmes.  She says of her new gig, “I have had the honor to work with some of the best talent in talk radio over my career.  To add Len Berman and Todd Schnitt to the list couldn’t be more exciting.”

srnlogoSalem Radio Network to Participate in Conservative DC Conference.  The annual “Road to Majority” conference is organized by the Faith and Freedom Coalition and this year Salem Radio Network will broadcast from the event that takes place in Washington, DC June 18-20.  SRN personalities Bill Bennett, Mike Gallagher and Michael Medved will host a special VIP “preview dinner” on the eve of the conference and will broadcast their talk shows from Washington’s Omni Shoreham Hotel during the conference.  The political event will include appearances from 2016 presidential candidates Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio as well as Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, Texas Governor Rick Perry plus Gary Bauer, Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and FOX News Channel contributor Todd Starnes.  SRN VP news & talk programming Tom Tradup states, “The mission of the Faith and Freedom Coalition – that, in essence, the greatness of America lies not in the federal government but in the character of our people…the simple virtues of faith, hard work, marriage, family, personal responsibility, and helping the least among us – dovetails perfectly with the values we hold at SRN.  We are proud to partner with Ralph Reed and his team.”

Odds & Sods. This evening (5/14), CBS RADIO SVP and market manager Marc Rayfield will be honored by therayfieldmarc Philadelphia Police Athletic League as one of the city’s most distinguished business leaders.  Along with SugarHouse Casino general manager Wendy Hamilton and PECO SVP and COO Michael Innocenzo, Rayfield will be feted at PAL’s awards dinner for his “extraordinary contributions in support of PAL’s mission of ‘Cops Helping Kids.’”…..Westwood One News correspondent Bob Costantini is serving as the radio pool reporter today (5/14) from the Camp David Summit as President Obama convenes with six Gulf state leaders to discuss the nuclear deal with Iran.

galuskijoeWSYR, Syracuse’s Joe Galuski Loses Battle with Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma.  Off the air at iHeartMedia news/talk WSYR, Syracuse since last fall as he battled non-Hodgkin lymphoma, longtime morning host Joe Galuski has died, the station announced this morning.  Galuski, 64, had been with WSYR since 1988 and served as the station’s morning drive host since 1998.

iheartmedia logo smalliHeartMedia Recognized at Festival of Media Global Awards. Two honors are bestowed upon iHeartMedia at the Festival of Media Global Awards 2015 – a media industry event that recognizes innovation and leadership in the global advertising field.  The awards ceremony took place on May 12 at the Rome Cavalieri in Italy.  iHeartMedia was honored with the “Best Media Vendor of the Year” award, which recognizes the creative efforts of a media owner to connect advertiser clients with their audiences, for its work with Diet Coke and Taylor Swift.  The multi-platform campaign simultaneously launched Diet Coke’s “Get a Taste” advertising campaign and Taylor Swift’s 1989 album. The program generated approximately 500 million press impressions and 200 million on-air, digital and social impressions for Diet Coke. Taylor Swift’s album 1989, predicted to sell 800,000 units before the iHeartMedia campaign, sold nearly 1.3 million albums in just the first week, and became the No. 1 best-selling album of 2014.  iHeartMedia was also named the Silver Winner in the “Best Media Owner Sales Team Initiative” category, which honors a media owner’s local or regional sales teams for their innovative and creative sales packages implemented within the market.  In this category iHeartMedia was recognized for its partnership with Bank of America for World AIDS Day.  iHeartMedia’s comprehensive cross-platform program across radio, digital, social and outdoor delivered more than 100 million media impressions in 24 hours for “A (RED) Thank You,” a special World AIDS Day event that took place in New York’s Times Square.  Additionally, iHeartMedia drove on-air and social conversation, helping to generate over 10 million views of the YouTube (RED) concert video, the most views on (RED)’s YouTube channel in its history, ultimately raising $1 million in donations to (RED) on one day.

Obama Georgetown Speech, Philadelphia Amtrak Crash, Baltimore Riots and Protests Aftermath, 2016 Presidential Prospects, Obama Trade Bill, Iran Nukes Program, and ‘Deflategate’ Penalties Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/13).  The scrutiny of President Obama’s speech at Georgetown, including his statements about changing how the media reports; the continuing investigation into the cause of the Philadelphia Amtrak derailment; the ongoing political and legal effects of the Baltimore riots and protests; the potential candidates for president in 2016; the divisiveness in Congress over President Obama’s Pacific Rim trade bill; concern in the Middle East over the Iran nuclear program negotiations; and criticism of the NFL’s sanctions against the Patriots and Tom Brady over the “deflategate” matter were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Friday, May 1, 2015

| May 1, 2015

cumulus logoA Down First Quarter for Cumulus Media.  The numbers here are compared to the same period in 2014.  Cumulus Media reports 2015 Q1 net revenue dipped 7.2% on income of $271,079,000.  Revenue was down across the board at the company in the first quarter and here’s the breakdown: broadcast revenue was $251 million (down 7%) and digital revenue was $8.06 million (down 16.4%).  Political ad revenue was down 67.7% and a portion of the net revenue drop was due to an increase in the license fees and other category which rose 9.1%.  Breaking down the broadcast revenue a bit further, local and national spot sales were down a bit – 3.6% and 2.4% respectively – but network revenue sank 13% on income of $86.7 million.

radioonelogoRadio One Down 4.8% in Q1.  Urban media operator Radio One reports a down first quarter of 2015 on income $105.8 million – a drop of 4.8%.  The company saw positive results in its cable TV advertising sector – up 9.9% — and that helped ease some of the decline in other sectors.  The radio broadcasting segment was down 9.4%.  Radio advertising was down 5.5% and digital advertising dipped 6.1%.  Meanwhile, in the category “event revenue & other” Radio One dropped a dramatic 82.6%, due in part to a timing issue relative to annual events.

jacobsmediaInside the Mind of the Sports Radio Fan.  Using data from its recent Techsurvey 11, Jacobs Media presents this analysis of the media usage of the typical sports radio fan.  Jacobs Media president Fred Jacobs says, “Since our Techsurveys expanded to more than a dozen formats several years back, it has afforded us the opportunity to study how fans of different formats differ when it comes to media and technology use.  No group of radio listeners typifies that more than sports radio partisans.  In their quest to find a good game, up-to-date info, fantasy sports, draft information, gossip and rumors, these savvy fans use a lot of different media options.”  Some of the media habits of sports radio fans that the survey highlights center around the smartphone.  Sports radio P1s are very frequent texters and they stream audio and video on a more frequent basis than P1s of other radio formats.  For more, see the full story here.

cookehollandYES-YOU-CAN Sell Rush Limbaugh.  Media consultant Holland Cooke presents some tested means of selling the “controversial” leading news/talk radio host – Rush Limbaugh.  As Cooke points out, just because there’s been some backlash against Limbaugh’s show and his affiliate stations doesn’t mean stations can’t find sponsors for the show.  After, as Cooke observes, “This guy moves product.”  In this piece he offers some thoughts on whom to prospect, how to write spots that work and how storytelling can work in your favor.  Read it here.

harrisonmichael5-15Michael Harrison to Do 60-Second Daily Feature on Media for Boston Herald Radio. TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison has entered into an agreement with the Boston Herald to write and perform a weekly 60-second feature titled “Michael Harrison on the Media” beginning Monday (5/4) that will be dropped into the pioneering online station’s programming flow several times a day as well as its growing network of terrestrial partners.  In it, Harrison explores the direct connection between media and the human condition – past, present and future – commenting on the impact of changing communicationsbostonheraldradio logo technology on society and culture.  According to Harrison, “I love the idea of being connected with such a forward-thinking organization as the Boston Herald and its ground-breaking media station, Boston Herald Radio.  Creating one of these tight little pieces each week helps sharpen my insights and ability to express them and just like my weekly, longform podcast ‘Up Close and Far Out’ on Podcast One, it gives me the opportunity, at this seasoned stage in my life, to dabble in speculation about the broader scope of media outside the radio industry itself for a worldwide consumer audience of ‘media freaks.’  What fun!”  Boston Herald Radio Network executive producer Tom Shattuck tells TALKERS, “I am thrilled to have these exclusive commentaries by Michael Harrison running on our platform!”  To hear an installment of “Michael Harrison on Media” please click below.

      MH-On-the-Media-1.mp3

2015 NYC 150Spectrum of Talk Radio Programming to Be Addressed on “Variety, the Spice of Life” Panel at Talkers New York 2015.  At the Talkers New York 2015 conference taking place on June 12, talk personalities from a variety of styles of programming will discuss the industry, their roles in it, and the future of talk content when they appear on the “Variety the Spice of Life” panel.  Moderated by TALKERS general manager of radio operations David Bernstein, the panel will feature: Mike “Bax” Baxendale, morning co-host at classic rock-formatted WAQY “Rock 102,” Springfield, MA; Dr. Joy Browne of Genesis Communications Network; Tony Bruno, WIP-FM, Philadelphia; Thom Hartmann of WYD Media; Doug Stephan of Stephan Multimedia; and Larry Young, WOLB, Baltimore.  This panel will present hosts from disparate backgrounds and radio formats, including a rock jock appealing to listeners immersed in rock and pop culture; the industry’s longest-running radio psychologist; a season sports talk pro; a progressive host with a multi-disciplined background; a nationally syndicated morning talk generalist; and an urban personality working mornings and heavily involved in the community on a local station.  Bernstein says, “This will be an exciting panel to moderate – there is so much more to talk radio than one would think having it always described in the media as just a bunch of conservative white men talking politics.”  Talkers New York 2015 takes place on Friday, June 12 at the India House Club in New York City’s financial district.  Space is limited, so register today by calling 413-565-5413.  For the full agenda, please click here.

podcastone logoPodcastOne Platform to Host Bossip Podcast.  Bossip.com is billed as the “premier online destination for African American popular culture and entertainment news.”  Now, it is partnering with PodcastOne to produce the “Bossip Presents: Don’t Be Scared” podcast.  A press release says, “The weekly podcast is a viciously funny conversation between Bossip’s awkward, quirky and at times terrifyingly honest trio, Bossip staffer-hosts David Dennis, Jason “Jah” Lee and Danielle “Danni” Canada.  PodcastOne chairman and CEO Norm Pattiz comments, “Bossip.com has built a great digital platform that hits the right points of humor and news in entertainment gossip.  This new podcast extends their site to the rapidly growing audio-digital platform, and provides a strong content addition to our roster of websites who have turned to podcasting as an impactful way to communicate with their loyal audience.”

alphamedia logoDone Deal: Alpha Closes on Coast Radio and Free Lance-Star Stations.  There are seven more radio stations officially in the Portland-based Alpha Media fold after the closing took place on the deals with Coast Radio Company and Free Lance-Star Radio.  As previously reported when the sales were announced, Alpha gets three California signals from Coast: adult contemporary-formatted trio KUIC, Vacaville, KKIQ, Livermore, and KKDV, Walnut Creek.  And from Free Lance-Star it acquires: country WFLS and talk WNTX in Fredericksburg, Virginia; CHR WVBX, Spotsylvania, Virginia; and classic rock WWUZ, Bowling Green, Virginia.   Alpha chief Larry Wilson says, “We are very fortunate to be able to work with such great employees at all of the stations.  Each cluster is exceptional and brings its own unique attributes to the company, allowing us to build a diverse and dynamic culture.”

Odds & Sods.  Talk radio personality Leslie Marshall joins the iHeartRadio platform as her podcast is nowmarshallleslie being featured there.  Marshall also announces she’s begun writing a blog for Blue Nation Review and has penned her first column titled, “It’s 2015 and Sexism Is Alive and Well in Clinton Coverage.”…..Getting a national presence is WINS, New York weekend news anchor David Weiss who has two features that will be distributed by America’s Talk Radio Network.  The five-minute “News for You” show features Weiss’ take on the world and national news and the two-minute “Slice of Life” is a more offbeat take on daily life…..In Seattle, Ed Ronco is the new local host of “All Things Considered” on KPLU.  He’s been with the station for two years and also hosts a weekly travel segment titled, “Going Places.”

srnCapitolGangSalem’s Capitol Gang.  Posing for a shot at Salem Media Group’s reception at the U.S. Capitol on Thursday evening (4/30) are (from l-r): Salem Radio Network host Dennis Prager, Townhall.com news editor Katie Pavlich, hosts Bill Bennett and Mike Gallagher.  The event was to honor freshmen members of the U.S. Senate and U.S. House.  It was also attended by House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and U. S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX).

TALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  “Free Talk Live” with hosts Ian Freeman and Mark Edge add newfreemanedge affiliates to their roster including: KIXZ, Amarillo, Texas; Chattanooga market trimulcast WSDT, WEPG, and WSDQ; KTUI, Sullivan, Missouri; and KAZZ, Parowan, Utah and its Cedar City, Utah K253BU at 98.5 FM…..The Marilu Henner show is added to the program schedule at: KTUI, Sullivan, Missouri; WGGH, Marion, Illinois; WIMS, Michigan City, Indiana; KHUC-FM, Pine Bluff, Arkansas.

talkersten logoBaltimore Protests and Violence Top Talkers TenTM.  The week of protests, violence and questions about the death of Freddie Gray while in police custody were all facets of the most-talked-about story of the week.  Coming in at #2 on this week’s Talkers TenTM was the 2016 presidential prospects.  At #3 was scrutiny of the operations of the Clinton Foundation followed by the Supreme Court’s hearing of arguments in the case of four states with anti-gay marriage statutes 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.

Monday, April 6, 2015

| April 6, 2015

brady billBrady: The Power of Legacy Media. Sales and management pro Bill Brady writes in a piece published in TALKERS magazine today (4/6), that we’ve been hit with a barrage of non-stop brainwashing about the “power” of digital media for so long now that hardly anyone questions the validity of the narrative.  But he does.  And Brady says there are problems with what we’ve been told all these years.  “This is the product of the PR machine employed by digital start-ups to build and reinforce their investment value through rounds of funding leading to an eventual IPO.  Media consultants who hope to survive as digital experts also contribute mightily to the noise.  So do media companies themselves who are complicit in allowing the misguided narrative to go on and on and on.”  For those impressed with the digital revenue being reported by traditional media companies, be on guard.  Brady says, “Some of the digital revenue reported by traditional media companies is the result of bundling discounts which, in effect, result in broadcast revenue being reported as digital revenue.  If it wasn’t for this phenomenon, some companies might actually be reporting year-to-year increases in core broadcast revenues.  Their digital revenues, small in comparison to core revenue, would thus be less impressive.  But, we would at least be seeing accurate digital revenue figures that are not artificially inflated and the reputation of legacy media would be less tarnished.”  Read more of Brady’s cautionary column here.

loeschdanaRadio America’s Dana Loesch Helps Raise $840,000 for Threatened Indiana Pizzeria.  The owners of a small-town pizza joint in Indiana may be the recipients of more than $840,000 raised via GoFundMe after Radio America-syndicated radio talk show host Dana Loesch came to their aid.  The owners of Memories Pizza were asked by a reporter about their stance on Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act.  After answering honestly that they supported the law, they became victims of death threats.  Loesch heard about the case and started the GoFundMe campaign to help offset the costs of having to shut down the business due to the threats plus the possibility the family may not be able to re-open after the dust settles.

wpenamfmChanges at Greater Media’s Sports Talker WPEN-FM, Philadelphia.  A couple of on-air staffing changes took place recently at Greater Media’s Philadelphia sports talk outlet WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic.”  Sean Brace exits the 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm program he co-hosted with Jon Marks.  Brace says in a Tweet that he’d been with the station for seven years and thanks Greater Media for the opportunity.  Also, Philly.com is reporting that producer Steve Vassalotti also exited the station last week, though that has not been confirmed.  On Friday, evening host Nick Kayal told listeners the show would be his last with WPEN-FM as he’s exiting to join SiriusXM.  This round of attrition is fueling speculation that Philly sports talk pro Anthony Gargano will join the station.  Gargano – a longtime WIP, Philadelphia personality who recently left that station after receiving what he termed a low-ball offer to remain – appeared on WPEN-FM’s Mike Missanelli show on April Fool’s Day.

gallaghermikeTwo Apologize for Criticizing Kelly Clarkson’s Weight.  Nationally syndicated talk show host Mike Gallagher and Fox News Channel personality Chris Wallace apologized after criticizing singer Kelly Clarkson’s weight during a broadcast of the Mike Gallagher show.  Clarkson, who gave birth to her first child nine months ago, recently released a new record and has been performing in public, became thewallacechris subject of discussion when Gallagher stated to Wallace, “Have you seen Kelly Clarkson?…Holy cow, did she blow up.”  Wallace replied, “She could stay off the deep dish pizza for a little while.”  Later, both offered apologies as Wallace said in a statement, “I sincerely apologize to Kelly Clarkson for my offensive comment.  I admire her remarkable talent and that should have been the focus of any discussion about her.”  Gallagher wrote on his website, “I couldn’t possibly feel any worse than I do for making an observation that led to the conclusion that I ‘fat-shamed’ this talented and classy entertainer.  It was a really stupid thing for me to do.”

WW1grayRyanFF15Bringing the Final Four to Radio Listeners.  Pictured here at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis is Westwood One radio personality Jim Gray (left) interviewing Wisconsin Badgers coach Bo Ryan (right) for the network’s coverage of the NCAA Men’s Final Four.  This interview took place prior to Wisconsin’s upset of previously undefeated Kentucky on Saturday evening.

Odds & Sods. For a story on faith-based entertainment, NBC News visited the studios of Salem Media Group’s WMCA, New York “AM 570 The Mission” to shoot some video of the station’s Dr. AR Bernard hosting his show.  Salem SVP/spoken word format for Salem Media Group and Salem Radio Network Phil Boyce tells TALKERS magazine, “The shoot was for a story to air on ‘NBC Nightly News’ on Sunday evening about faith-based entertainment in movies, on TV, and onwmca new the radio.  They are tying it in to NBC’s broadcast of ‘AD, The Bible Continues,’ which started Sunday night.”…..Sports giant ESPN announces new Spanish-language programming to air on WEPN-AM, New York “ESPN Deportes Radio” this season.  DJ George Nenadich talks music and sports on a new show called “Fusion 1050”; Felix DeJesus, the Spanish-language voice of smulyanjeffthe Yankees hosts “El Mundo de las Grandes Ligas”; and all the news and analysis from local teams will be heard on the new show “Resumen Final.”…..For an update on the status of NextRadio, interested parties can hear from Emmis chairman & CEO Jeff Smulyan as he presents news about the free smartphone app that combines local FM radio broadcast with the internet to create a visually engaging, interactive artist and advertising experience.  To register for the webinar that takes place on Tuesday, April 7, from 1:00 pm to 1:30 pm EST, visit the following site: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/2755831702406830082.

futuriAppleWatchFuturi Mobile and Apple Watch to Integrate.  Shortly after the Apple Watch debuts, Futuri Media’s Futuri Mobile Platform will feature integration with the new Apple product.  Futuri says that this will enable TV and radio stations using Futuri’s mobile platform to send alerts to the watch, display information on the broadcasters’ content currently playing on-air, and receive audio from the watch using Futuri’s Open Mic feature.  Futuri CEO Daniel Anstandig says, “The release of Apple Watch is this year’s biggest headline in ‘wearable technology,’ and we’re excited to be the first media app developer to announce integration with this breakthrough device.  Our team is passionate about creating memorable personal experiences for our clients’ brand audiences.  TV and radio users today demand personal, real-time information, and this integration extends our ability to provide live actionable notifications and calls to action for our media partners.”

Monday, March 30, 2015

| March 30, 2015

garciatonySix Tips for Success in Syndication.  The syndication game in the radio business has gotten so much more competitive over the years that today one must have a well-thought out and almost flawlessly executable plan in order to successfully bring a radio show to a national audience.  That warning doesn’t mean it can’t be done – it’s just gonna be real hard.  But Global Media Services principal Tony Garcia – a veteran of the radio and syndication businesses – writes in TALKERS magazine that a quick rundown of his six-point checklist can let you know whether or not you have a reasonable shot.  Point #1 is Know Your Product.  Sound easy?  Read more here.

ramseyDallas15Dave Ramsey Does Dallas. Nationally syndicated talk radio superstar and New York Times best-selling author, Dave Ramsey is pictured here on stage at the Verizon Theater in Dallas where he hosted his “Smart Conference.”  This day-long event took place on Saturday, March 28 and included Ramsey, along with Chris Hogan, John O’Leary, Dr. Henry Cloud, Dr. Les Parrott, Dr. Meg Meeker and Michael Jr. providing attendees with essential information on how to win with money, strengthen their marriages, build parenting skills and excel in their careers.  Ramsey also hosted his “EntreLeadership 1 Day Event” in Dallas on Friday, March 27 during which Ramsey and Hogan spoke about how to run a business using the same common sense principles that Ramsey practices in his own company of more than 400 employees.  Ramsey partnered with CBS RADIO-owned local affiliate KRLD-AM “Newsradio 1080” to promote the appearances.

gallagherFergusonPlayposterMike Gallagher to Play Roles in Ferguson: The Play.  Nationally syndicated talk radio pro Mike Gallagher – whose program is heard around the nation via Salem Radio Network – will take part in a controversial stage production in Los Angeles based on the shooting death of Michael Brown by Ferguson, Missouri police officer Darren Wilson.  Regular TALKERS magazine readers are aware that Gallagher is, in addition to his radio work, an accomplished stage actor.  Hegallaghermike appeared on Broadway in the musical Memphis and who took home a TONY Award as one of the investors in the 2014 Broadway revival of Pippin.  In this production, based on the Grand Jury witness testimony, Gallagher will play three roles: a lawyer, a forensic toxicologist and a medical examiner.  At the end of the production, the theatre audience will be asked to judge whether or not Darren Wilson should have been indicted.  The play will be presented at the Odyssey Theater in Los Angeles for four nights – April 26-29.  The producers of the Phelim McAleer-written and Nick DeGruccio-directed play hope to bring it to the stage in Ferguson itself.

brandmeierUnhingedlogoJohnny B’s ‘Talk Unhinged’ Debuts on Westwood One Today.  Stating that the program is debuting on 100 affiliate stations across the country, Westwood One announces the new Jonathon Brandmeier show is called “Talk Unhinged,” and the company says it’s “an entertaining, offbeat look at news, pop culture, and sports–from the big trending topics to the stories about to fall through the cracks–combined with celebrity interviews and free-wheeling audience interaction.”  It airs live from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm ET and launches on such Cumulus Media stations as: home base WLS-AM Chicago; KABC-AM, Los Angeles; KLIF-AM Dallas; WWBA-AM, Tampa; KKAT-AM, Salt Lake City; WPRV-AM, Providence; and KTBL-AM, Albuquerque; among others.

pagetommyCumulus Media Recruits Tommy Page for New Executive Role.  Former Pandora, Billboard and Warner Bros. Records exec Tommy Page is now with Cumulus Media as senior vice president of brand partnerships  where he’ll focus live events for that division of the company.  In this position Page will report directly to president and CEO Lew Dickey, who comments, “As an artist and marketer, Tommy is a natural choice to create meaningful connections between artists, brands and their passionate fans through immersive and measurable marketing experiences.  Tommy has a deep understanding of the live experience and helping advertisers bring their brands to life with unique partnerships.”

veatanyaVea Promoted at KSL in Salt Lake City.  The new title for Tanya Vea at Bonneville International’s KSL radio and TV is vice president and general manager of KSL-TV and KSL Newsradio.  She has served as vice president station manager at KSL since April 2014, overseeing news, programming, marketing, operations and engineering.   According to a story in the Deseret News, she now assumes responsibility for all operating departments, including sales.  Bonneville president Darrell Brown comments, “Tanya will be an outstanding general manager. She has been a key contributor to many of the cross-platform initiatives, including the groundbreaking DMC combined newsroom for KSL and the Deseret News.  Her expanded role as general manager of KSL will now allow her to have a greater impact on the entire organization.”

Mike FezzeyEx-WJR Leader Fezzey Passes. Former WJR, Detroit president and general manager Mike Fezzey died of a heart attack on March 27 while on a business trip in Naples, Florida. The 58-year-old native Detroiter had been president/general manager of heritage talker WJR from 1994 to 2011, but for the past four years, was president of Huntington Bank‘s southeastern Michigan region. According to a WJR statement, “Mike Fezzey was a community leader; active in many charities and nonprofit activities in Michigan; and he was a leader in his church. Under [his] leadership, [Cumulus Media-owned] WJR maintained [its] position as Detroit’s preeminent radio station, and it became one of America’s leading news-talk stations.” Cross-town CBS Radio market manager Debbie Kenyon comments, “Mike was a leader in our industry for years. He was an inspiration to many in the way he transcended his career. He will be sorely missed by all of us.” Huntington Bank released a statement, which describes Fezzey as “an extraordinary member of the Huntington family who was highly committed to the Detroit area and making it a growing, vibrant community. Our thoughts and prayers are with Mike’s family.” A former president of the Detroit Advertising Association, Fezzey received a Peabody Award for broadcasting excellence from the University of Georgia and the Neal Shine Award for philanthropy in journalism. In July 1996, Feezey selected Paul W. Smith to succeed the late J.P. McCarthy as WJR’s morning drive talent. On Saturday (3/28), Smith voiced a WJR commentary regarding Fezzey. Prior to being elevated to president/general manager at WJR, Fezzey was an account executive and sales manager there. His wife, Suzy, and their three adult children survive Fezzey.

brentmegCarnivalBrent & Meg Receive the Coveted ‘Poopy’ Award.  Nationally syndicated husband/wife duo Brent & Meg (Brent Seltzer and Meg McDonald) were recognized by the Los Angeles City Council for their role in the “Studio City Beautification” program instituted by the Studio City Resident’s Association and the City of Los Angeles to keep the streets free of unwanted dog droppings.  They are pictured at a special dinner honoring their community-mindedness at Carla’s Café, surrounding LA City Councilmember Paul Kerkorian of the second district (which includes major studios such as Universal and CBS). Meg and Brent are animal lovers and make sure that plastic mitt bags are available to “help dog owners keep our streets clean…not our movies…just our streets.”  The Brent & Meg Show now airs Monday through Friday 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm ET on the Genesis Communications Network (GCN) as well as on its anchor affiliate WWPG 1450, Atlantic City, New Jersey.  Brent & Meg will be serving as Official Masters of Ceremony at the forthcoming Talkers New York 2015 on Friday, June 12.  To register, call 413-565-5413 before it, again, sells out.

The Amazing Career Journey
of Dr. Joy Browne

| February 10, 2015

 By Mike Kinosian
TALKERS
Managing Editor

 

kinosianNEW YORK — Bon mots such as “iconic” and “legendary” are intended to be the highest form of flattery, yet some broadcasters bristle when they are referred to that way.

While most will not admit it, they sense such genuine terms of endearment are really euphemisms that bring their mortality into question and are code for “old.”

In an oftentimes, if not all too customary, flavor-of-the-month industry where the next great star is eaten up and spit out after a 26-week run, it would be disingenuous though not to ascribe “icon/iconic” and “legend/legendary” to a talk host who has been top-of-mind for over three-dozen years.

This particular peerless personality has maintained an impeccable status of excellence while breaking basic (unwritten) talk radio rules.

joy_200Exemplary on-air work that is approaching four decades has been done without political bent and her legend of loyal listeners actually have meaningful life-altering changes owing to the unparalleled expertise of the program’s sage host. In a male-dominated spoken-word personality arena, this show’s headliner is one of only 12 women on TALKERS’ renowned “Heavy Hundred” of 2014, checking in at #44.  (The new list for 2015 will be published within the next few weeks and this writer would not be surprised if she moves up significantly due to recent developments in her dynamic career.)

Added twist to the progressing journey of this generously genial, uncommonly cordial licensed clinical psychologist is that Dr. Joy Browne has taken proprietorship of her daily three-hour program.

Read More

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

| October 22, 2014

limbaughrushPew Research Study of Most- and Least-Trusted News Outlets Demands Definition of ‘News Outlet.’  The results of the recently released Pew Research study of the most- and least-trusted news outlets come from the firm’s ongoing American Trends Panel and were culled from 2,900 responses.  Many ofstewartjon the findings are not surprising – liberals don’t trust Fox News Channel and conservatives don’t trust NPR – but what TALKERS found interesting was the inclusion of radio talk shows such as Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity and TV comedy shows like “The Colbert Report” and “The Daily Show” among news outlets.  Lumping talk and comedy shows with actual news organizations certainly gives the list some color.  For the record, TALKERS does not consider a talk show or television show a “news outlet” in the traditional sense, but perhaps the fact that at least some consumers get their “news” from Jon Stewart or Rush Limbaugh is broadening the definition of “news outlet” whether industry people consider it to be so or not.  See the Pew study here.

galuskijoeWSYR, Syracuse Personality Galuski Battling Cancer.  Morning show personality Joe Galuski has been off iHeartMedia-owned news/talker WSYR, Syracuse for the past five weeks and yesterday the station fixture announced he’s been battling cancer.  Syracuse.com reports Galuski is fighting non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a stronger form of the same disease that he beat after a previous occurrence in 1992.  Galuski assured listeners that he is going to “knock it out.”  iHeartMedia VP/market manager Rick Yacobush tells Syracuse.com, “Our plan right now is for Mark Wainwright and George Kilpatrick to be alternating as morning hosts and keep the seat warm until Joe returns.”  Read the whole story here.

salemtownhall14Successful Event.  This photo was taken from the balcony of the Alex Theatre in Glendale, California at last weekend’s AM 870 The Answer Town Hall.  On the stage are (from left to right): KRLA “The Morning Answer” hosts Elisha Krauss and Brian Whitman, “Morning Answer” host and author Ben Shapiro, SRN-syndicated talk hosts Dennis Prager, Michael Medved, and Hugh Hewitt; and author and media personality Katie Pavlich.  The sell-out crowd of 1,300 was also treated to surprise guest Mike Gallagher leading them in a spirited rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner.”  The hosts heard on the Salem-owned station batted around issues including the mid-term elections, the upcoming leaders of the Republican Party and the Ebola pandemic threat.

westwood one NEWWestwood One and vCreative Extend Partnership.  The rep deal between Westwood One and vCreative continues as the two firms announce a multi-year extension.  vCreative offers cloud-based terrestrial and digital software that allows continuity, traffic, and production departments to work easily together.  Westwood One COO Charles Steinhauer says, “vCreative is a great partner for Cumulus and the radio industry at large as they continue to innovate and improve station work flow.  Westwood One is proud to extend our partnership with vCreative president Jinny Laderer and her team as we continue to represent the best and brightest companies in the marketplace.”

morrisginnyThe Conclave to Honor Ginny Morris with Rockwell Award.  As the 39th Conclave Learning Conference on November 14-15 in Minneapolis approaches, The Conclave announces the 2014 Rockwell Award is being bestowed upon Hubbard Radio chair and CEO Ginny Morris.  Conclave board of directors chairman Mark Bolke says, “The Rockwell Award recognizes those who have contributed to the rich legacy of the radio industry, communicating, inspiring and mentoring.  Ginny has led Hubbard’s radio division from a two-station Minneapolis based group to one of the prominent and most respected radio companies in the country.  We thank Ginny for her support of the Conclave over the years.”

sternAnalysisHoward Stern to Undergo Analysis on Radio Show.  He’s received a lot of attention during his long radio career, but now Howard Stern will undergo “scientific and metaphysical analysis” on “The Outer Limits of Inner Truth Radio Show.”  To be clear, Howard Stern is not appearing on the show (as far as we know), but the program’s hosts will speak with experts from various disciplines as part of the show.  Executive producer Ryan McCormick says, “We’re going to examine Mr. Stern’s life in a way that we feel has never been done before.  We believe that Howard Stern is a very deep intellectual and spiritual person and that his life can offer humanity a lot of valuable lessons.”  The program – set to air on Saturday, October 25 at 10:00 pm CT (on the web, 11:00 pm CT broadcast) – will be divided into five parts and feature 15 separate interviews with people including Regan Arts CEO Judith Regan, former Viacom EVP Tony Fox, a former Stern show intern, plus numerous psychics and psychologists.  McCormick adds, “It is our sincere hope that the research we’ve compiled for this broadcast helps Mr. Stern in some way to have a greater understanding of who he truly is and provide him with some measure of peace and comfort.”  See more about the show at www.outerlimitsradio.com.

Ebola Pandemic Threat, Mid-Term Elections, Monica Lewinsky Speech, the Battle Against ISIS/Denver Teens Plan, Michael Brown Autopsy Report/Ferguson Tensions, Obama Green Cards/Immigration Plan Report, Financial Markets Activity, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/21).  The concerns over an Ebola pandemic and how U.S. authorities are dealing with the matter; the looming mid-term elections and the possibility of a majority change in the Senate; reaction to Monica Lewinsky’s recent speech in which she blamed the media for her treatment after the Bill Clinton affair; the ongoing battle against ISIS and the case of three Denver teen girls trying to fly to Syria to join ISIS; the just-released Michael Brown autopsy and tensions in Ferguson over whether Darren Wilson will be charged; reports of the Obama Administration’s plan to increase the number of green cards issued and its immigration policy; the activity on the world’s financial markets; and the weekend’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

| September 23, 2014

mcmahonbillBill McMahon: Perhaps We Should Focus on What We are Good at and That Which the Public Still Wants and Needs.  In a new opinion piece posted in TALKERS today (9/23) by veteran radio consultant and talent coach Bill McMahon, the following questions are presented to radio broadcasters:  What business are you in?  Does your business have a future?  He says, “These seem like fundamental questions radio broadcasters should be asking themselves right now.”  In it McMahon adds his voice to the chorus of industry opinions supporting the preservation of audio-only media as one of — if not the — major products of “radio” in the emerging unified multi-media platform marketplace.  McMahon sarcastically says, “This vision for the future seems perfect for radio broadcasters who create precious little content of any kind. It makes total sense to go compete with everyone in the entertainment business.  Sure, why not? Go take on Disney and Live Nation.  You have all kinds of talent and experience creating video entertainment.  You’ll be great at creating and promoting massive concert events.  This is the kind of stuff your current customers have come to expect from you.  You have lots of resources ready to commit to these enterprises.  They’ll no doubt drive lots of additional listening to your AM and FM radio stations.  Like Nike says, you should ‘just do it!’”  He concludes on a serious note, “Yikes!  Let’s get real!  What’s wrong with the business you’re in right now?  What’s wrong with the audio entertainment business?  Doesn’t it have a future?  Audio entertainment is unique and powerful.  It involves the consumer in creating the experience it provides.  Sound generates pictures and emotions in minds and hearts.  The effect is deeper and more memorable than anything on a screen.  When you hear someone laughing or crying you don’t need to see them to fully experience their joy or sorrow.  Music can change your mood instantly.  The sound and the lyrics create a vibe.  Music is mind altering, heart penetrating, and memory making. Audio entertainment can be consumed while you’re doing other things like walking, running, driving, or making love.  Audio entertainment will never go out of style.  Americans spend more than four hours per day with audio entertainment according to the “Share of the Ear” study from Edison Research.  Audio entertainment has an enduring future as long as great audio entertainment is created.  Radio broadcasters are in the audio entertainment business.  Why not stay there?  Why not focus your limited resources on creating extraordinary audio entertainment? Why not be really good – even exceptional – at something, rather than average or mediocre at everything.  Your current consumers are predisposed to using and appreciating audio entertainment.  Why not concentrate on creating new audio entertainment content that surprises, amazes, and delights them.  Hire gifted artists who love creating content for the theater of the mind.  Create content in all shapes and sizes and distribute it on the platform that fits it best. That’s a future that makes sense for radio broadcasters.  To read Bill McMahon’s entire piece, please click here.

bloomberglogoiHeartMedia Goes Business Talk with Bloomberg on KNEW, San Francisco.  With the move of Premiere Networks talk shows Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck to Cumulus Media’s crosstown KSFO on Monday, September 29, the fate of the shows’ soon-to-be former affiliate station – KNEW, San Francisco – is now known.  The station will begin carrying Bloomberg Radio programming on Monday.  The station will also be simulcast on KOSF-FM’s HD2 channel.  Bloomberg Radio’s Al Mayers comments, “As part of Bloomberg’s new consumer media strategy, we’re excited about expanding Bloomberg Radio into the San Francisco Bay Area, a vital market for those who create, move global business and shape conversations about the innovations of tomorrow.”  iHeartMedia San Francisco market president Kathryn Wilcox adds, “Teaming up with Bloomberg was a natural fit.  It provides high-quality content and aligns nicely with the local business talk on KKSF 910.”

iheartmedia logoiHeartMedia Takes on More Debt.  The company formerly known as Clear Channel CommunicationsiHeartCommunications (and its radio-centric subsidiary iHeartMedia) – announces it is selling $250 million of 9.0% Priority Guarantee Notes (PGNs) that will come due in 2022.  Rating agency Fitch Ratings reports that the “notes are being issued as part of the same series as the $750 million of PGNs due 2022 that were issued on September 10, 2014, and rated ‘CCC/RR4’.  Proceeds from the offering are expected to be used to prepay $245.9 million in Term Loan B due 2016 and $4.1 million in Term Loan C due 2016 and to pay fees and expenses related to the offering.”  The iHeartCommunications debt stands at approximately $21.1 billion according to Fitch but the rating company reports it believes that the company has “adequate liquidity (including cash on hand, monetization of repurchased and outstanding notes, and asset sales) to meet its debt service obligations,” although it does foresee free cash flow to be negative over the next few years.

lionelLionel to Make Return Appearance at The Cutting Room in New York City.  Multimedia talker Lionel of LionelMedia.com has again been booked to play an evening of what he calls “Outspoken Word” sprinkled with bluegrass music at New York City’s famous nightclub, The Cutting Room.  The iconoclastic radio performer presents his difficult-to-categorize brand of stand-up commentary/observations along with several musical numbers by his Americana roots trio, Lock-n-Load in a program described by TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison as “fascinatingly original and intelligently eclectic to the core.”  The booking is set for Saturday, October 11 at 7:30 pm at the mega-hip showcase venue located at 44 East 32nd Street in the Big Apple.  Tickets are on sale, $30 in advance, $35 day of show, with a $20 food/drink minimum.  To reserve tickets, call 212-691-1900.  To view a video of Lionel discussing the forthcoming performance, please click here.

salemNYChostsyachtCelebrating Success.  Getting together to celebrate a year of success at Salem Communications’ New York properties news/talk WNYM “AM 970 The Answer” and Christian talk WMCA (and to celebrate the latter’s anniversary as a Christian talk station) are four talk hosts heard on the stations (from left to right): talk personality and XtreMedia CEO Kevin McCullough; Salem Radio Network host Mike Gallagher; GCN-syndicated host Dr. Joy Browne; and WNYM morning personality Joe Piscopo.  McCullough comments, “While the style and content of the shows couldn’t be more different nor come from more diverse perspectives, the camaraderie instilled by GM Jerry Crowley and VP Phil Boyce could not be more clear!  Fun people, doing fun radio, and having fun doing it!”

hughespatOdds & Sods.  Houston sports talk personality Barry Warner joins Yahoo! Sports Radio where he’ll serve as a national contributor and host of the “Barry Warner Classic Minute” daily feature heard on KGOW and KFNC-FM in Houston…..WGN, Chicago announces the WGN Radio Walk of Fame Induction Ceremony honoring Chicago Cubs broadcaster Pat Hughes to take place on Wednesday, September 24 from 3:30 pm – 4:00 pm.  The ceremony will include a live broadcast interview with Hughes conducted by host Dave Eanet…..Internet talk radio platform LA Talk Radio announces it is adding live streaming video to its content options.  Founder Sam Hasson says LA Talk Radio “has waited until it could define how to deliver a polished radio broadcast that also appeals to the audience visually, with professional studios and eye-popping graphics.  The results are great-looking as they are streamed smoothly in high-definition to any computer or mobile device.”  The video function debuts October 1.

White House Intruder Case, Hillary Clinton 2016 Prospects, Mid-Term Elections/Congressional Majority, NFL Domestic Violence Troubles, U.S. ISIS Policy, Iran Nukes Talks, Ebola Pandemic Threat, and Lois Lerner Politico Story Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/22).  The man with a criminal past who hopped the White House fence and entered the building before being stopped; the prospects for a presidential bid by Hillary Clinton in 2016; the looming mid-term elections and discussion about the potential for majority changes in Congress; the NFL’s domestic violence issues; the U.S.-led coalition against ISIS, Secretary of State John Kerry’s nuclear talks with Iran; the threat of an Ebola virus pandemic; and the Lois Lerner Politico interview addressing the IRS scandal were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, May 12, 2014

| May 12, 2014

wyay logo newIt’s Official: Cumulus Shifts WYAY, Atlanta to News/Talk.  As you can see, the official brand still employs the word “news,” but the all-news format is gone as Cumulus Media’s WYAY, Atlanta becomes “Newsradio 106.7.”  The change comes with the debut of the Michael Graham show in the 8:30 to 12:00 noon slot today (5/12).  The other shows that are part of the station’s talk lineup include Cumulus Media’s John Batchelor show which airs from 10:00 pm to 1:00 am and “Red Eye Radio” in thegrahammichael overnight slot.  Both morning drive and afternoon drive will remain news programs.  The station is the home of Atlanta Braves baseball and partners with WAGA-TV “Fox Five” and The Atlanta Business Chronicle.  Cumulus EVP and co-COO John Dickey says, “‘Newsradio 106.7’ is Atlanta’s best resource for in-depth news and compelling, entertaining talk about the things that matter most in our lives.  Our five-star news team, in partnership with ‘Fox Five,’ tells listeners what’s happening locally, nationally and around the world.  Our fresh talk personalities, including Michael Graham and Kim Peterson, help the audience understand, respond and sometimes even laugh about those events.”

kkzn logoProgressive Talk to Disappear from KKZN, Denver.  The story from Clear Channel’s Denver station group is that the progressive talk format on KKZN is ready to be dumped, although an official announcement has yet to be made and what will take its place is not yet known.  KCNC-TV personality Gloria Neal had hosted the evening show on KKZN until last week when she was let go.  She posted on her Facebook page that the format would change and all current hosts would be gone from the station.

rutkowskikenSecond of Two-Part Special on “Business Rockstars” – Meet Quintessential “Connected” Host, Ken Rutkowski.  The second of our two-part series on “Business Rockstars” centers on the host of this daily, two-hour program who has a somewhat similar style to Charlie Rose and adroitly produces the same meaty results, although the centerpiece guests he gets to “hang out with” each day are “very cool people” who — in the business world — turn nothing into something.  “That is the angle I like,” comments “Business businessrockstars logoRockstars” host/co-founder (with Steve Lehman)/co-owner/president Ken Rutkowski.  “How many people can say that almost every one of the 1,500 people they have talked with in the last two years is ‘amazing’?  We have three or four ‘amazing’ guests on every day.”  Some have entire chapters of their life they have never shared, yet Rutkowski — named in 2009 as an intelligence analyst at the Oprah Winfrey Network — elicits nuggets from them.  “They have tips to help people,” he remarks. “By listening to the show, it is almost like getting a nice degree in business — but in a fun way.”  To read part-two of the TALKERS special feature on “Business Rockstars with Ken Rutkowski” by managing editor Mike Kinosian posted today (5/12), please click here.

limbaughrushRush Limbaugh Salutes U.S. Military with Tractor Giveaway.  With Memorial Day 2014 as the backdrop, Premiere Networks talk star Rush Limbaugh is teaming up with Mahindra USA to give away one Mahindra Max 22 tractor to an active duty or veteran of the U.S. military.  The winner will be selected in a random drawing on May 26.  Mahindra USA is an active supporter of the military and offers the “Mahindra Pride Military Appreciation Program,” recognizing the commitment of members of the armed forces.  The Military Appreciation Program offers an extra $200 rebate for active and retired U.S. military personnel with the purchase of a new Mahindra tractor and qualifying implement.  It also supports Operation Finally Home with its “Build To Rise” program, which provides custom-built, mortgage-free homes to our heroes and their families.  Limbaugh states, “I’d like to thank Mahindra, the world’s number-one-selling tractor, for their generosity.  And God bless all of you who protect our freedom.  We are pleased to join with Mahindra USA in giving away one of their spectacular tractors to a deserving active duty or veteran of our military.”

gallaghermikeCrowd-sourced Film Hits Goal on Mike Gallagher Show.  The drive to raise funds by a group of independent filmmakers to produce a film about controversial Philadelphia abortionist Dr. Kermit Gosnell hits its goal of $2.1 million – three days before their deadlineduring the Mike Gallagher show on Friday, May 9.  Gallagher says,I am so grateful and proud of our listeners who contributed literally tens of thousands of dollars today to help make this important movie a reality.”  Listeners to Gallagher’s program—as well as audiences of fellow Salem Radio Network hosts Bill Bennett, Hugh Hewitt and others—were asked to contribute start-up funds for the projectIf the $2.1 million had not been raised by midnight on May 12, all donations would have been returned to listeners and the film would not have been produced.

merlonilouWEEI-FM, Boston Tweaks Midday Talent.  A change in the midday lineup at Entercom’s sports talk WEEI-FM, Boston as Mike Mutnansky exits the “Mut & Lou” show and will stay with the company in another capacity to be announced later.  Joining Lou Merloni for the new midday show, dubbed “Middays with MFB,” is former NFL tight end Christian Fauria and New England native, 970 ESPN Pittsburgh sportsbenztim personality and Clear Channel Pittsburgh sports director Tim Benz.  The new lineup takes place later this month.  WEEI program director and brand manager Kevin Graham says, “We are thrilled with the new team we have assembled.  This show will be the only sports radio program in New England that offers listeners insight from a former major leaguer and a former NFL player.  When you add in fauriachristianthe sports radio experience of New England native Tim Benz, listeners will hear a brand new sound in the market.”  Fauria played four seasons with the Patriots earning Super Bowl rings at Super Bowl XXXVIII and XXXIX.  More recently Fauria has worked as a college football analyst for CBS, does color commentary for Patriots preseason games locally on WBZ-TV and hosts a pre-and-post-game show during the NFL regular season.  Benz was born in Boston and is a graduate of Syracuse University.  He served as a radio beat reporter for the Pittsburgh Steelers and also worked at stations in Columbus, Salt Lake City and Syracuse.

mohnjarlMohn Moving to NPR as President/CEO.  Current Southern California Public Radio (SCPR) chairman Jarl Mohn is appointed president and chief executive officer of NPR.  When Mohn begins his NPR term in July, he will be succeeding Paul Haaga Jr., who has been acting president/chief executive officer since last year.  NPR board chair/ideastream Cleveland chief operating officer Kit Jensen remarks, “We are delighted to welcome Jarl.  His background as a successful media executive and innovator makes him ideally suited to lead NPR as it continues to expand its reach and play a unique role in public service journalism and cultural programming. Jarl has a deep commitment to the public radio system, love of radio and passion for quality journalism.  He has demonstrated throughout his career a keen ability to identify media and consumer trends.  He has exhibited a strong track record on diversity and fairness.”  According to Mohn, “This is not a job for me – it is a mission.  I love public radio and NPR.  It is a national treasure and it is more important now than ever.  I want to make sure that the NPR staff, the member stations, and the others who make it happen have everything they need to do their best work.”  Mohn was the founding president and chief executive officer of Liberty Digital; president and chief executive officer of E! Entertainment Television (January 1990 – December 1998); executive vice president and general manager of MTV and VH1 (1986 – 1990); and was a WNBC-AM, New York on-air talent in the 1970s.

harrisheidiOdds & Sods.  Las Vegas talk show host Heidi Harris returns to the airwaves in the market hosting a daily, one-hour show on Silver State Broadcasting’s KBET, Las Vegas.  Harris tells TALKERS magazine the show begins this evening (5/12) at 6:00 pm…..At Kirkman Broadcasting’s news/talk WQSC, Charleston, South Carolina, the Bryan Crabtree show expands, adding the 7:00 am hour.  As of June 2, Crabtree’s program will air from 7:00 am to 10:00 am.  He says, “I have spent the past 15 years informing listeners how to solve our communities’ problems and find solutions to society’s challenges.  The response has been incredible andcrabtreebryan humbling.  We will continue to grow our audience in Charleston by focusing on the stories that matter to citizens of the Lowcountry of South Carolina.”…..Beginning July 1, Compass Media Networks becomes the exclusive advertising sales agent for the on-demand audio programming of CBS Radio News.  The programming includes audio podcasts of “60 MINUTES,” “FACE THE NATION,” “Weekend Roundup,” “CBS EVENING NEWS,” “What’s In The News,” “Tech Talk,” “Not Just Another Story” and “Reporters Notebook.”…..CBS RADIO news/talk outlet WCCO-AM, Minneapolis announces an extension in its partnership with the broomheadmikeUniversity of St. Thomas to broadcast Tommie football through the 2016 season.  WCCO-AM’s Dave Lee will continue to provide play-by-play for the Tommies, along with WCCO-AM’s Eric Nelson doing color commentary…..KFYI, Phoenix afternoon host Mike Broomhead partnered with U.S. Senator John McCain to hold a Town Hall meeting on May 9 at which they welcomed Arizona veterans and their families to discuss the Phoenix VA Health Care System and how it has recently affected them.  Case workers from McCain’s staff were on hand to answer questions and to help get veterans the services they need.

katzparadeBonAirKatz Serves as Grand Marshall.  WRVA, Richmond PM drive talk show host Jeff Katz is pictured here with his ride for the Bon Air Victorian Day Parade.  On Saturday, May 10, Katz served as the Grand Marshall for one of the oldest civic parades in Richmond.  Katz tells TALKERS magazine that although the official Grand Marshall’s hat was rather Victorian…the Grand Marshall’s ride, this cool 2014 Mustang convertible, was anything but.

Cool Job Opportunity.  Midwest Communications seeks news directorBelieve it or not there are still rewarding jobs in radio news. WHBL, Sheboygan, Wisconsin is looking for a news director who will be given the freedom to create and the tools to win.  You’ll spend as much time in the field as you do in the newsroom.  Wewhbl logo need someone who is a triple-threat: strong on-air skills, a good reporter, and a good writer.  We set the news standard in our market.  It’s on-air and on our website before it’s in the newspaper.  We do some enterprise reporting.  We do some investigative work.  If you have a passion for news, whether on the radio or online, we want to talk with you.  We offer a competitive salary and a full benefits package.  Send your resume and mp3 to WHBL brand manager Kelly Meyer at: kelly.meyer@mwcradio.com or snail mail to Kelly’s attention at: 2100 Washington Avenue, Sheboygan, WI 53081. No phone calls, please.  Midwest Communications is an Equal Opportunity Employer by choice.  Women and minorities are encouraged to apply.

scanlandanRadio News Pro Dan Scanlan Dies.  Radio news pro Dan Scanlan died over the weekend after suffering a heart attack on Saturday morning at his northern Virginia home.  He was 74.  Scanlan’s career included stops at such storied radio news franchises as WINS, New York, AP Radio, Mutual/Westwood One (as both anchor and Senate correspondent), as well as freelance work for CBS Radio and WCBS, New York.  Most recently he was weekend anchor on NBC News Radio.  Earlier in his career he worked at WHYN-AM, Springfield, Massachusetts.

conwaysimonWHO, Des Moines’ Simon Conway Grabs Charity Drive Honors.  In a contest among a number of radio talk show hosts to see who could help raise the most cash for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society sponsored by talk host Dr. Daliah Wachs, WHO, Des Moines afternoon drive personality Simon Conway came in first after raising almost $4,500.  Wachs dubbed her talk host challenge FROST (fundraising radio host).  She says hosts wishing to considered for the next round of FROST, write to her at: doctordaliah@hotmail.com.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

| March 20, 2014

gamblingjohnr‘AM 970 The Answer’ Coaxes John Gambling Out of Retirement.  New York radio legend John Gambling will be back on the radio in New York City on April 14 as he’ll begin hosting a daily two-hour show from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm, shaving an hour each off the Mike Gallagher and Dennis Prager shows that surround it.  Gambling  retired from the morning drive show at Clear Channel’s WOR in December.  Salem Communications VP director of wnymlogospoken word format and VP for the New York market Phil Boyce states, “When John Gambling left New York radio last December there was a void created for quality morning radio in this market, and we decided to fill it.  John had worked for me for nine years at WABC.  Before and after that he worked for Jerry Crowley at WOR.  Jerry and I looked at each other and thought this was something we could not pass up.”  WNYM vice president and general manager Jerry Crowley adds, “It is rare when you have a chance to build a lineup like we are building here at ‘The Answer,’ and even rarer still when you have a chance to add somebody of John’s integrity and character.  Every talk radio listener in this market knows and admires John and we are sure he will do well with both listeners and advertisers.  This is huge for us.”

xray fmProgressive Talk Returns to Portland Airwaves on Non-Com KXRY.  According to reports from The Oregonian and BlueOregon.com, non-commercial outlet KXRY, owned by Common Frequency, Inc. and licensed to Portland, is debuting a hybrid progressive talk and music format that will include local talk personalities Carl Wolfson, Adam Klugman and Jefferson Smith (among others) as well as WYD Media nationally syndicated host Thom Hartmann.  KXRY is a class D FM at 91.1 broadcasting at 8 watts.  The programming is also streaming at XRAY.FM.

wrcn logoWRCN, Long Island Announces News/Content Partnerships.  The newly launched Long Island news/talk outlet WRCN, Riverhead “LI News Radio, 103.9 FM” begins a partnership with WABC-TV, New York “Channel 7/Eyewitness News” that involves “Eyewitness News” Long Island correspondent Kristin Thorne calling into the station every afternoon to give listeners a rundown of what Long Island stories the “Channel 7/Eyewitness News” is working on for their evening news broadcast.  The partnership also includes the two media outlets pooling their information in order to provide their audiences with the most up-to-date Long Island news stories.  The JVC Media station has also developed a relationship with St. Joseph’s School of Journalism in which the college’s journalism and new media professors and students will contribute to the station’s developing news stories.  WRCN general manager Matthew Goldapper comments, “We are incredibly excited to welcome St. Joseph’s College and ‘Channel 7/Eyewitness News’ to our station.  Having fresh talent from the college, as well as seasoned talent from ‘Eyewitness News’ participate in our station brings extraordinary resources to ‘LI News Radio’ that we can share with our listeners.”  Future goals include having Thorne visit the “LI News Radio” studios (located at MacArthur Airport in Islip) each month where she can participate in the station’s live morning program to discuss stories and issues in greater detail.

heathertondickRadio Veteran Dick Heatherton Joins TalkersRadio with New Motivational Program.  Longtime major market personality Dick Heatherton is launching a new program – “The Dick Heatherton Show” — on TalkersRadio geared to helping people overcome obstacles in their lives during these tough times so they can achieve, regain or sustain success.  Heatherton has been in the radio business for more than 40 years — most notably as an on-air personality on legendary outlets as well as serving several stints as a PD and GM.  He has been a disc jockey on WCBS-FM, New York and heard on an array of diverse call letters such as KCBS-FM, San Francisco; KFI, Los Angeles; KMPC, Los Angeles; KLIF, Dallas; WFIL, Philadelphia; WPOP, Hartford and more in a career that has spanned more than four decades.  He has acted on ABC-TV’s “General Hospital” and has played different roles over 14 years on the soaps as well as performing on NBC’s “One Life to Live.”  He has produced a series of jazz concerts for Bravo, CBC and Australian television.  He also produced/co-talkersradio logohosted the nationally syndicated TV show, “New Day Dawning” and has been announcer/warm up guy for many TV game shows.  Heatherton was also the American Ambassador of Good Will to the City of Frankfurt, Germany among his extensive list of credits and accomplishments.  As he prepares to debut the first installment of the weekly one-hour program this Sunday (3/23), Heatherton tells TALKERS, “Radio prepares you for everything and anything.  The best part of radio is it teaches you to think on your feet.”  And, these days he’s doing a lot of that as an author/speaker and certified coach, assisting others and giving platform presentations around the country.  His first book, Out of the Fog and Into Focus is the stories of how many celebrities overcame tough times in their lives including the lessons they learned along the way.  His new book, The Upside to Down Times, will be released in May.  Along with his own takes on subjects of personal sensitivity, Heatherton will interview leading motivational speakers as well as today’s headliners, sports figures, actors, talk personalities and money makers who failed on their way to success.  On making the announcement of “The Dick Heatherton Show” joining the TalkersRadio line-up, TALKERS GM of broadcast operations, David Bernstein says, “Dick is not only a smooth and accomplished broadcaster, he is a renaissance man who fearlessly reveals his own life’s ups-and-downs including the pain, disappointments and moments of sheer despair – as well as absolutely uplifting examples of redemption and success.  This is truly compelling radio and another example of the developmental and experimental type of talk programming we are so dedicated to doing on this radio laboratory called TalkersRadio.”  Heatherton’s program will air Sunday evenings between 9:00 pm and 10:00 pm ET with repeat broadcasts streamed several times during the week.  TalkersRadio, a service of TALKERS magazine, powered by Backbone, is situated on the website www.talkers.com as well as available on TuneIn.

ligginsalfredRadio One’s Liggins and Hughes Awarded Bonuses.  The compensation committee of Radio One is awarding CEO Alfred Liggins $1.5 million and founder Cathy Hughes $500,000 in bonuses based on employee performance criteria and “additional considerations for the founder.”  In an 8-Khughescathy filing with the SEC, the company reports how it arrived at the figures.  The short version is that the 2008 Employee Agreement that provided the bonus structure lapsed in 2011 so the compensation committee “exercised discretion to reflect a number of factors and changed circumstances not contemplated by the 2008 Employment Agreements.”  Citing seven specific factors, including that radio and Reach Media revenue was up 5% (ex-political), the committee arrived at the figures cited above.

mikeandmikeOdds & Sods.  ESPN Radio announces its schedule for Major League Baseball’s Opening Week.  “Mike & Mike” and “The Herd with Colin Cowherd” will both be on the road.  Cowherd broadcasts from Chase Field in Phoenix on March 28 in advance of the Arizona Diamondbacks home exhibition game against the Chicago Cubs.  Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic will be in Detroit on Monday, March 31, ahead of the Detroit Tigers home opener against the Kansas City Royals.  Then “The Herd” moves to Boston for the defending World Series Champions Boston Red Sox hosting the Milwaukee Brewers in their home opener on Friday, April 4 and “Mike & Mike” will back in New York City on Monday, April 7, when the New York Yankees host the Baltimore Orioles in Derek Jeter’s final home opener…..Digital audio aggregator TuneIn strikes a deal with WestwoodOne to carry its coverage of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament and more.  TuneIn will deliver all 67 games from the first round through the Final Four in North Texas.  It will also offer WestwoodOne’s coverage of other NCAA championship events, including the Division I Women’s Final Four, the Men’s Frozen Four, the Men’s and Women’s College World Series and the Division I Men’s Lacrosse Semifinals and Championship.

nielsen logoThird Round of February PPM Data Released.  PPM data from the third of four groups of 12 markets for the February 2014 period (January 30 – February 26) has been released by Nielsen Audio.  Those markets include: Portland, Charlotte, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, San Antonio, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Kansas City, Orlando, and Columbus.  TALKERS magazine’s sister publication RadioInfo has all the (subscriber) numbers here.  Managing editor and West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian offers his “Ten Takeaways” from the report at RadioInfo.com here.

Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 Mystery, Obama vs. Putin/Crimea-Ukraine Case, ObamaCare Criticism, Winter Weather/Western Drought, and NSA Spying Scandal Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/19).  The growing number of theories about the missing Malaysian Airlines flight 370; Vladimir Putin’s victory in annexing Crimea and possible plans for taking Ukraine and criticism over President Obama’s response; scrutiny of the rollout and effects of the Affordable Care Act; the winter weather still affecting the Midwest and East and the drought in the West; and renewed concerns about the NSA’s spying tactics were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

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 17, 2014

| January 17, 2014

wbbmlogoChicago Radio Revenue Dips.  Yesterday RadioInfo reported the increases in radio revenue in the New York City market and the Los Angeles/Southern California market.  The news wasn’t as good for the country’s third largest market (as reported by Chicago media writer Robert Feder) as Chicago saw radio revenue for the year 2013 sink 2.5%.  Feder reports market radio revenue dipped to just under $420 million from the almost $431 million billed in 2012.  The Chicago report is based on Miller Kaplan Arase numbers and in a rundown of the top billers in the market for 2013, Feder notes CBS RADIO’s all news WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM simulcast landed in first place billing almost $42 million.  At #2 was Hubbard Radio’s hot AC WTMX with $37.5 million and following at #3 was Tribune news/talk WGN with $29.2 million.  Check out the entire list here.

loeschdanaLoesch to Launch Nationally Later This Month. Conservative talk host Dana Loesch goes national one week from Monday (1/27) via Radio America with “The Dana Show” airing daily from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm ET.  “She isradioamerica feisty and fearless without being abrasive and shrill,” comments Radio America chief operating officer Mike Paradiso.  “She connects with younger listeners, while still appealing to the core talk demo.  We think Dana is everything talk programmers have been looking for, but have not been able to find.  We are excited to be partnering with Emmis on her syndication.”  Loesch is heard on Emmis talk outlet KFTK, St. Louis and co-owned Indianapolis talker WIBC.  KFTK program director Jeff Allen states, “Dana’s unique take on issues, along with her ability to make them entertaining, has made her successful here in a very short time.  She has made a huge impact for us in ratings and revenue.  No other syndicated radio program sounds like ‘The Dana Show.'”  A former newspaper columnist, Loesch is the 2012 winner of Accuracy in Media‘s Grassroots Journalism award and the Breitbart Spirit Award.

szokesandraGreater Media Brings Sandra Szoke Back to Charlotte Duo.  At the Charlotte duo of news/talk WBT-AM/FM and hot AC WLNK, Greater Media announces sales pro Sandra Szoke returns to take on the director of sales role.  Most recently, Szoke served as local sales manager at Time Warner Cable in Charlotte.  Prior to Greater Media’s purchase of the stations from Lincoln Financial Media in 2008, Szoke had worked with them as senior account executive, assistant director of business development /marketing and public affairs director.   Senior vice president and market manager Rick Feinblatt says, “We are thrilled to welcome Sandra back in the role of director of sales to the Greater Media Charlotte family.  Her leadership, knowledge of the market and familiarity of WBT and WLNK made her the perfect choice for the position.”  Szoke comments, “I’m humbled and grateful for the opportunity to lead such an accomplished team of professionals.  I’m equally excited to represent Greater Media, WBT and WLNK in the community.  Charlotte is filled with businesses that have grown and thrived by telling their stories on WBT and WLNK over the years.  It’s an honor to represent these legendary stations alongside this talented staff.”

mancowMancow Issues Statement Announcing Separation from TRN-FM.  Talk show host Erich “Mancow” Muller officially announces his separation from former syndicator Mark Masters-run TRN-FM.  A press statement indicating Mancow is focusing on new projects including TV and the continued syndication of his Chicago-based morning radio program was released.  In it, Mancow says, “I have enjoyed my time with Mark, TRN-FM and the TRN-FM team immensely.  I now move on to exciting projects on TV and radio.  I deeply appreciate everyone that has helped me to get to where I am today.”

rathertbrandonBranden Rathert Re-Ups with WNRP, Pensacola.  Award-winning afternoon host Branden Rathert signs a new contract to remain with ADX Communications-owned news/talk station WNRP, Pensacola “NewsRadio 1620” for another three years.   Rathert – who joined the station in 2009 – has garnered two awards from the Florida Associated Press for his documentaries. The first investigated the plight of the homeless in Escambia County and the second shed light on the Escambia County Sheriff’s Department Tactical Unit.  He has also won two Edward R. Murrow news awards, one for his local coverage of the 2012 Sandy Hook elementary school shooting.  Rathert hosts “Pensacola Right Now” from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm.

wtoplogoWTOP, Washington Adjusts Anchor Lineup.  The anchor lineup at Hubbard Radio all-news WTOP, Washington changes on Monday, January 20 as Joan Jones joins Mike Moss to co-anchor morning drive from 5:00 am to 10:00 am.  WTOP anchor Bruce Alan, formerly co-anchor of morning drive, moves to middays, 10:00 am to 2:00 pm, where he joins current anchors Mark Lewis and Debra Feinstein.  Alan and Lewis will share anchor duties across the entire week, with Lewis picking up Saturdays and Alan adding Sunday anchor duties.  Rounding out the midday team is sports reporter George Wallace and traffic reporter Reada Kessler on weekdays, with traffic reporter Dave Dildine on weekends.  Shawn Anderson and Hillary Howard will continue to co-anchor afternoon drive with Bob Marbourg in the WTOP traffic center and Dave Preston with sports.  Veronica Robinson’s role expands to five nights a week, joining Dimitri Sotis at the anchor desk from 7:00 pm to 12:00 midnight with Bob Immler reporting on traffic and Jonathan Warner on sports.  Anchor Dean Lane will continue to host overnights from 12:00 midnight to 5:00 am.  WTOP program director Laurie Cantillo says, “These moves further WTOP’s commitment to inform and engage our listeners with quality information 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  You won’t find a stronger lineup of dedicated broadcast journalists anywhere in America.”

westcottpaulOdds & Sods. Sports journalist and broadcaster Jason Whitlock debuts his new podcast series via ESPN Audio.  “Real Talk with Jason Whitlock” premiered this week with two podcasts – the first featuring ESPN’s Dan Le Batard and the second a discussion with Isiah Thomas about college athletes, how some are not prepared academically for college and who is responsible.  The podcasts are available via the ESPN app and iTunes…..WTAG, Worcester morning show host Paul Westcott sits in for Andy Dean on Premiere Networks’ nationally syndicated “America Now” show tonight (1/17).