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Herman Cain to End Radio Syndication in 2017; Remains on WSB-AM, Atlanta and Four CMG News/Talkers. WSB-AM, Atlanta-based talk show host Herman Cain – currently heard on some 100 additional affiliate stations – will end his national syndication in the New Year and will focus on his work at Cox Media Group’s WSB-AM and four other O&O news/talk outlets (WDBO, Orlando; KRMG-AM/FM, Tulsa; WHIO-AM/FM, Dayton; and WOKV-AM/FM, Jacksonville). WSB-AM program director Pete Spriggs tells the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Rodney Ho, “Syndication isn’t as lucrative as it used to be…Herman is one of the most amazing talents I have ever worked with. It’s not easy to let go of national syndication. Everyone has an ego. But, he understands the business reasons. He immediately started thinking about how this can help his digital assets including hermancain.com.” TALKERS magazine publisher and editor Michael Harrison comments, “In this day and age of podcasts and radio apps, you don’t need to be on 100-some-odd stations to have a national footprint in media. You can be nationally famous on one station because of the way online broadcasting works. People are way more sophisticated in their listening habits than they used to be.” Read the AJC story here.
KCMO, Kansas City Drops Local Rob Carson Morning Show. Talk show host Rob Carson notified his listeners via a Facebook post that his gig with Cumulus Media at Kansas City news/talker KCMO-AM is over as the result of budget cuts at the station. Carson joined the station in January of 2015. Carson says his ratings were excellent and that he’s thankful to management at KCMO for the opportunity. “I’m quite proud of what I did at KCMO. I know this was purely budgetary. I feel bad that I won’t be able to share the message of my local charities including friendsinserviceofheroes.com, CMN, Tamale Kitchen, City Union Mission and others. My mantra: Entertain, inform and motivate people to do good. I won’t be out long.” In April of this year, the station laid off talk host Greg Knapp, also for budgetary reasons. Both Knapp and Carson climbed aboard KCMO in 2015.
Former New York Giant Chris Canty Joins WEPN, New York’s ‘Hahn & Humpty’ Show. The early afternoon “Hahn & Humpty” program – featuring Alan Hahn and Rick DiPietro – is adding former New York Giants star Chris Canty as a personality. The ESPN O&O says that Canty will continue to serve as a host for the Sunday morning “NY’s Game Day” program. Canty says “I couldn’t be more excited to join the ‘98.7 ESPN’ team. After spending my ‘first career’ on the field, I’m looking forward to sharing my experience and perspectives with New York sports fans.”
Nielsen Audio Releases Round Three of November 2016 PPM Data. The third of four rounds of November 2016 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Portland, Charlotte, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, San Antonio, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Kansas City, Orlando, and Columbus. The November 2016 survey period covered October 6 to November 2. You can find the complete 6+ ratings numbers from subscribing stations here. Additionally, TALKERS/RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Twelve Takeaways” from this group on the main page of our sister publication here.
The Death of Fidel Castro, Stein Recount/Trump Voter Fraud Claim, Trump Transition, the Thanksgiving Holiday, Standing Rock Protests, College Football Playoff Scenarios, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The death of Cuban dictator Fidel Castro at age 90; the move by Green Party candidate Jill Stein to challenge the presidential election results in several states with the goal to turn the election victory over to Hillary Clinton, and Donald Trump’s claims that voter fraud cost him the popular vote; the transition of the Trump Administration; the Thanksgiving holiday; the protests over the gas pipeline at Standing Rock; the weekend’s college football games and the possible playoff scenarios; and the weekend’s NFL Action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend.
PodcastOne and Southern Cross Austereo to Form PodcastOne Australia. This venture between Southern Cross Austereo and PodcastOne will create new platform called PodcastOne Australia. Under the terms of the deal, SCA will operate PodcastOne Australia as the exclusive partner in Australia and New Zealand with select SCA podcasts made available in the U.S. on the PodcastOne platform. In a press release, it’s noted that SCA “reaches 95% of the country with assets in television, radio and digital. PodcastOne is the largest advertiser-supported podcast network in the United States, delivering more than 200 programs, with over 350 hours of original weekly episodes, which were downloaded 1.5 billion times last year.” It’s expected that PodcastOne Australia will be up and running early in 2017. SCA CEO Grant Blackley says, “I am thrilled that SCA has this opportunity to be partnering with PodcastOne. This partnership gives us the ability to tap into the expertise, experience and success of the leading commercial podcast company in the U.S. market, where the podcasting industry is a number of years ahead of audio, on-demand in Australia. We recognize the enormous growth potential of podcasting, both internationally and domestically, and look forward to further building this vast platform with the best international and unique Australian content. SCA is striving to be at the forefront of developing the Australian podcasting industry and its talent.” The companies say “a dedicated, stand-alone PodcastOne Australia team of executives is being structured within the company to nurture new talent, commission new content, adapt existing content, develop existing talent, undertake technical production and monetize the podcasts.” Grant Tothill, currently head of strategic partnerships at SCA, is being appointed to the newly created position of SCA head of podcasting to run the new business. Pictured above are (from l-r): John Kelly, COO, SCA; Jim Berk, CEO, PodcastOne; Grant Blackley; Norm Pattiz, founder and executive chairman, PodcastOne; and Grant Tothill.
Odds & Sods. WIP-FM, Philadelphia will continue to serve as the flagship radio station for Philadelphia Phillies baseball after the club and CBS RADIO agreed to an extension of their broadcast partnership deal. The Phillies and CBS have been partners since 2004. CBS RADIO SVP and market manager David Yadgaroff states, “We’re thrilled that SportsRadio 94WIP is continuing the partnership as the radio home of Phillies baseball. The Phillies have become part of the fabric of WIP and we’re excited for the 2017 season to begin.”…..KFI, Los Angeles, in conjunction with the charitable organization Caterina’s Club, is holding the sixth annual KFI PastaThon. The event is an on-air fundraiser to help feed local children in need. It’ll take place Thursday (12/1) at Bruno Serato’s White House Restaurant in Anaheim with monies raised helping to provide a nightly, balanced meal to more than 1,800 low-income children in over 15 cities in Los Angeles and Orange Counties. KFI personalities Bill Handel, Aron Bender, Jennifer Jones Lee, Gary Hoffman, Shannon Farren, John Kobylt, Ken Chiampou and Tim Conway Jr. will be on site encouraging listeners to donate packaged pasta, jars of pasta sauce and money to help feed underprivileged children that live in motels without access to a kitchen to cook healthy meals.
WOWO, Fort Wayne Legend Bob Chase Dead at 90. Fort Wayne market radio legend Bob Chase died on Thanksgiving (11/24) at the age of 90 – one year after retiring from WOWO. According to the obit on WOWO’s website, Chase joined the station in 1953 and worked there until he retired from his role calling Fort Wayne Komets hockey last season. He served the station as sports director until 2009. The station notes that, during his career at WOWO, Chase “would also interview many artists as part of the original ‘Fabulous Four,’ including a young Elvis Presley. With Westinghouse using WOWO as a test market, Bob became one of the earliest ‘disc jockeys’ in the country as the station broke away from satellite programming in favor of playing their own music.”
Longtime WGNU, St. Louis Personality Richard ‘Onion’ Horton Dead at 80. Former St. Louis radio personality Richard “Onion” Horton died on November 24 at age 80 after a battle with Alzheimer ’s disease. According to an obituary from St. Louis Public Radio, Horton was a polarizing figure in the community who was very popular with his mostly black audience. In the obit, Gloria Ross writes that Horton was not afraid to talk about race. In fact, the battle against racial disparity was one of his most ardent causes. “Mr. Horton railed against ‘the white man’ and ‘the system,’ but he reserved his most scathing critiques for fellow blacks. When low black voter turnout sank a public school bond issue in 1987, he told the Post-Dispatch it was ‘the most sickening thing I have ever seen from the black community.’” Read the story here.
Howie Carr Radio Network Signs Radio Syndication Deal with Curt Schilling. In a major move that signals the roster expansion of the mega-successful Howie Carr Radio Network (HCRN), the Boston-based media firm has signed outspoken sports hero and politically opinionated commentator Curt Schilling (right) to join the radio network as a talk show host. The former Boston Red Sox pitching ace will begin this new phase of his colorful career by doing a three-hour Saturday morning show (9:00 am ET to 12:00 noon ET) available for national syndication to stations across the country. HCRN president (and star performer, weekdays 3:00 pm ET to 7:00 pm ET ) Howie Carr (left) tells TALKERS, “This is a great beginning for what we hope will be a star-studded lineup on the Howie Carr Radio Network. Curt has proven to be a stand-up guy and he is going to be a great radio talk show host.” HCRN operations manager Jared Goodell adds, “Our goal at The Howie Carr Radio Network is to become the premiere provider of talk radio content for the future. We strongly believe that Curt Schilling is the answer to the nagging question of ‘who’s next?’ in the business. Curt brings spirited, educated and level-headed conversations to the table and is passionate about talking with the listeners.” Plans are for the show to cover a wide range of contemporary subjects and issues from sports to politics. The Curt Schilling Show launches this Saturday (9/10). Stations interested in becoming charter affiliates of the program should email Jared Goodell at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sports Illustrated and DGital Media Partner for Podcast Series Starting with MMQB Editor Peter King. Launching today is “The MMQB Podcast with Peter King,” part of a new venture between Time Inc.’s Sports Illustrated Group and DGital Media. The deal is a “multifaceted podcast partnership” that starts with King’s weekly podcast and will include other programs, as well. King’s podcast is available today and, premiering next week, will be two more pro football shows: “The MMQB Podcast with Albert Breer,” and “The 10 Things MMQB Podcast.” The two companies say they will “build on the recent podcast momentum across the SI network, with new premium original series on the horizon.” King states, “Our business is all about storytelling, and there are few better ways to hear the stories of some the greatest influencers of our time than through a podcast. To have the ability to sit down for real conversations with the biggest names in football — Bruce Arians, John Elway, Michael Bennett, to begin with — and not just three-minute sound bite-type interviews is very exciting. We’re proud to partner with DGital Media and believe it will be a great addition to what we have established with The MMQB.” DGital Media chief content officer Chris Corcoran adds, “When it comes to professional football I think Peter King. There are few in sports and media who have a bigger influence around the field than Peter and we’re excited to bring a new experience to his audience as well as the talented Albert Breer and the rest of The MMQB team. To be able to partner with such talented individuals and have the opportunity to work with the venerated Sports Illustrated brand is truly special.”
The Presidential Race/Wednesday Candidate Forum; Chicago Murder Stats; Kaepernick Anthem-Sitting Issue, Iran Navy Harasses U.S. Ship Again, U.S.-Philippines Relations, Fox-Carlson Settlement/Van Susteren Exits, Phyllis Schlafly Dies; and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/6). The activities of presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump and Wednesday evening’s candidate forum; the report detailing Chicago’s near-record year for murders; the ongoing talk about Colin Kaepernick’s protest of treatment of people of color in America by sitting during the National Anthem; the taunting of an American Navy ship in the Persian Gulf by Iranian vessels; Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s foul-mouthed attack on President Obama and concerns over the U.S.’ relationship with the Philippines; Fox News’ settlement with former personality Gretchen Carlson and Greta Van Susteren’s abrupt exit from the news organization; the death of conservative icon Phyllis Schlafly; 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.
Glenn Beck’s Mercury Radio Arts Lets American Dream Labs Go. In a post to his GlennBeck.com website on Friday (9/2), the talk radio star and founder of the multi-media firm Mercury Radio Arts announced that the American Dream Labs – the TV and film arm of his organization – is splitting away from Mercury in order to “spread its wings.” Beck praises ADL’s Ben McPherson, calling him “brilliant” and a “friend,” but also states, “ADL wanted to be in Los Angeles where it could be more than ‘Glenn Beck’s side project.’ It wanted and needed the opportunity to build its own brand and identity. We’ve decided to split up the IP/projects and are hopeful that many, if not all of the projects I’ve told you about, will be brought to life either by MRA or ADL respectively.”
Odds & Sods. New York City news/talk outlet “77 WABC Radio” is debuting its exclusive web series, “Back to the Books Radio with Rita Cosby” today on Cumulus Media’s wabcradio.com. WABC Radio political editor and award-winning journalist Cosby will speak with important voices in New York City and U.S. education about the condition of the education system and the issues that are affecting children this school year…..KSPN, Los Angeles is launching the weekly “Jeff Fisher Show” that will air Tuesdays from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm. The Los Angeles Rams football show will also include J.B. Long (ESPNLA Rams radio network play-by-play) and D’Marco Farr (ESPNLA Rams radio network sideline reporter). The program will take place live from Bogies at the Westlake Village Inn and is open to the public. KSPN is also launching the Thursday evening “All Access Show” featuring Long and Farr that will air from 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm during football season…..SiriusXM’s Michael Smerconish will moderate a forum with the Libertarian presidential and vice presidential candidates, Governors Gary Johnson and William Weld live on Monday, September 12 at 10:00 am ET from the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia before a live studio audience of SiriusXM subscribers…..JVC Broadcasting’s WRCN-FN, Riverhead, New York “LI NEWS Radio 103.9” is working with SUNation Solar Systems to give a solar electric-generating system, including design, permitting, installation and monitoring with a lifetime service plan to a local, Long Island veteran. The station is accepting nominations for a veteran in need of the system.
Vuolo Video Chronicles Radio’s Coverage of 9/11. Sunday is the 15th anniversary of 9/11 and radio archivist Art Vuolo’s 13-minute video looks at radio’s (and a bit of TV’s) coverage of the terror attacks complete with commentary by the people in radio who were working that day. View the video here.
Talk Radio Legend Ray Briem Passes Away at 82. Southern California talk radio legend Ray Briem passed away on Wednesday, December 12 at age 82. Briem was a pioneer of talk radio, hosting the overnight program on KABC, Los Angeles from 1967 to 1994. He began his LA radio career at KLAC in 1960. After his retirement from KABC he worked for a short period of time at KIEV. The Los Angeles Times notes that he “consistently drew the highest ratings of any overnight talk host in Southern California, routinely attracting about 15% of the available audience. He was a self-described protégé of Joe Pyne, the legendary in-your-face host of radio talk.” Although recognized for his contributions to the talk radio genre, Briem was a music enthusiast and loved playing records. His career turn to talk was not something he chose willingly. While spinning records at KLAC in the mid-1960s, the station flipped to talk at the behest of Pyne. Briem said he was forced to “love it or leave it.” According to the LA Times, Briem said, “I went into it kicking and screaming. I liked playing the music. I realized what a dumbhead I was. I knew very little about politics or the workings of government, and the first year I was an embarrassment.” Briem adapted and the rest is history. In 2008, Briem was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Current KABC morning host Doug McIntyre was close to Briem and he penned a career tribute to him for TALKERS magazine. Read his tribute here.
It’s Official: Laura Ingraham Joins Norm Pattiz’s Courtside Entertainment Group and Launchpad Digital Media. Yesterday, TALKERS reported that talk media star Laura Ingraham was rumored to be negotiating with Norm Pattiz’s Courtside Entertainment Group to return her nationally syndicated radio program to the air. Now, Courtside confirms the relationship is a go. Here are the details: Ingraham’s program will emanate from flagship WTNT, Washington, DC. Her three-hour talk radio show will return to the air on January 2, presumably in the same 9:00 am to 12:00 noon ET time slot. She will also distribute content digitally via Pattiz’s Launchpad Digital Media, a division of Courtside Entertainment Group. Launchpad will digitally stream the live three-hour program online, make it available as an on-demand podcast, and feature new original content from Ingraham’s own Dream in My Head Productions. The Laura Ingraham show will be produced by Dream in My Head Productions with ad representation managed by Courtside. Ingraham states, “I’m thrilled to partner with Norm Pattiz, who helped guide my show after its initial launch in 2001. I am humbled by the outpouring of affection from my listeners over the past few weeks. Courtside’s commitment to our team, our audience, and stations will broaden the national reach of the Laura Ingraham show to new radio markets. The exciting collaboration with Launchpad gives us the opportunity to establish a powerful digital presence — a place where our audience can always find their ‘Healthy Radio Addiction’ on demand. Via Dream in My Head Productions, my team and I are creating original digital programming and new television and multi-media content. I look forward to resuming the conversation with the greatest audience in radio and those who have never listened before — making news, creating laughs, and talking about the things that really matter. People need more laughter and fewer lectures; more fresh insights and fewer stale talking points.” On the deal with Ingraham, Pattiz says, “The wait is over. The most-listened-to woman in political talk is returning to the national airwaves and is making a major move into the on-demand digital space. Laura Ingraham is one of the most popular and well-known personalities in America today. Recognizing the rapidly growing demand for great on-demand digital content, we are honored that Laura has chosen Launchpad to share her wit and wisdom with the widening online audience. Launchpad is currently delivering over 90 million downloads per month, and we are excited to continue adding powerful radio personas like Laura Ingraham to the expanding roster of Launchpad podcast offerings.”
WRKO, Boston’s Jeff Kuhner Leads Child Sexual Predator Bill. Morning drive host Jeff Kuhner is working with Massachusetts State Representative Shaunna O’Connell to craft a package of legislation that would require a mandatory 25-year sentence for persons convicted of child rape. Dubbed the Child Sexual Predator Prevention Act, the bills would also mandate a 40-year sentence for the second offense and a life sentence for the third conviction. Moreover, all level 2 predators would be required to have their information posted online and would be available so the public has access. Kuhner’s action comes after John Burbine was arrested on more than 100 charges of alleged rape and sexual assault of 13 young children. Kuhner notes that currently there is no mandatory sentence for first offense rape of a child in Massachusetts. Kuhner and WRKO will launch a petition on WRKO.com, where they ask constituents to put pressure on Beacon Hill by signing in support of the Child Predator Prevention Act.
Townsquare Media to Flip Bangor, Maine AC to Sports Talk. WEZQ, Bangor will flip from AC to sports talk on January 1 as “92.9 The Ticket” and two sports talk personalities formerly heard in the market on Stephen King-owned WZON will return to the airwaves. Townsquare Media has hired Dale Duff and Clem LaBree to host the two-hour morning show from 6:00 am to 8:00 am. Duff is being given the title brand manager and LaBree will serve as assistant brand manager. The two will also handle local high school play-by-play. The station will be an ESPN Radio affiliate carrying the final two hours of the “Mike & Mike in the Morning” show, “The Herd with Colin Cowherd,” “SVP and Russillo” and “Hill and Schlereth.” The station will feature a local PM drive show called “Coach and Company” with Jonathan Coachman and Tim Legler from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm. Townsquare Bangor GM Tom Preble tells the Bangor Daily News, “This is based on the emergence of sports radio as a whole across the nation…We also wanted to offer a vehicle for our male demographic since we have done very well satisfying our women’s demographics through Q106.5 and Z107.3. We want to cover all the bases.”
TRN Reports Jerry Doyle Show Adding More Affiliates. TRN Enterprises, the arm of Talk Radio Network that syndicates the Jerry Doyle program, reports the show is adding new affiliates to its base of stations inherited when Doyle moved into the 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm ET slot after the departure of Michael Savage from the network. TRN says Jerry Doyle is currently heard on more than 350 affiliate stations. CEO Mark Masters says, “Jerry Doyle is the future of talk radio. He brings massive audiences through word of mouth because he is brilliant and funny, showing both emotional and intellectual range that is beyond rare. Jerry is the vanguard of talk radio’s next evolutionary step, and he has been setting the standard for talk radio’s profitable, saleable and sustainable future for some time now, with commentary that is entertaining, memorable and responsible.”
Odds & Sods. The FCC grants the transfer of the license of WGN, Chicago from WGN Continental Broadcasting Company, Debtor-in-Possession to WGN Continental Broadcasting Company. The move is part of a formality of Tribune’s exit from bankruptcy protection…..Fresno State Athletics, through its exclusive multi-media rights holder, Bulldog Sports Properties, announces it has reached a six-year radio agreement with One Putt Broadcasting and its stations KFIG, Fresno “940 ESPN” and KFPT, Clovis, California “790 ESPN The Deuce.” Beginning with the 2013-’14 athletic season, KFIG will air all football, men’s basketball and baseball games and one-hour seasonal coaches’ shows. Additionally, select women’s basketball, women’s volleyball and softball games will be heard on KFPT.
Broadcaster Tom Jay Dies. Tom Jay (Tom Jaworski) spent his entire career at WSBS-AM/FM, Great Barrington, Massachusetts – working at the stations for more than 40 years. Jay began working at the stations when he was a teenager and, over the course of his career, served as announcer, news anchor, and engineer. He suffered a heart attack and died several days later in Springfield, Massachusetts.
‘Fiscal Cliff’ Battle, Portland Mall Shootings, North Korea Rocket Launch, Syria Violence and Egypt Instability Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/12). The political struggle in Washington over the looming tax hikes and spending cuts; the deadly mall shootings in Portland, Oregon; North Korea’s test launch of a long-range rocket; continuing violence in Syria and the U.S.’s recognition of the rebel forces; and the instability in Egypt as citizens protest President Mohamed Morsi were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.