Tag: "NBC Sports Radio"

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

| February 19, 2014

cumulus logoCumulus Posts Positive Q4 2013 Revenue News; Dickey Pleased with ‘Core Performance.’  The fourth quarter of 2013 and the year as a whole were seen in a positive light by Cumulus Media CEO Lew Dickey during yesterday’s investor conference call.  Dickey noted at the outset that he was happy that the company was able to meet and, in some aspects, exceed its guidance through “core performance without any impact of” mergers and acquisitions.  He also says the company achieved its goals despite 2012 political comps of over $20 million.  The company reports Q4 net revenue up 4.5% over the same period in 2013.  For the year of 2013, Cumulus net revenue rose 2.4%.  Following up on previous dickeylewconference calls in which he highlighted his expectations for sports and traffic, Dickey said CBS Sports Radio, NBC Sports Radio, NFL and NCAA play-by-play are “hitting their stride as national content brands.  Both sports and traffic are currently exceeding expectations for 2014 and are taking share in their respective markets.  And will again be substantial growth drivers as we expected them to be.  We are very encouraged by the level of interest by both the advertisers and affiliates in these products, which is a testament to the high-quality nature of the content and again the efficacy of broadcast radio advertising on sports and traffic sponsorships respectively.”  Thanks to Seeking Alpha for the transcript.  Members can read the whole call here.

wor logoImus: Scott Shannon Will Get the Job.  The Scott Shannon watch continues as the next radio home of the former, longtime WPLJ, New York morning co-host remains the subject of speculation in New York and across the country.  This morning, WABC-based Don Imus was heard saying, “I’m told Scott Shannon will get the [WOR] job and I’m very happy about that.”  Imus seemed sincere about his statement.  TALKERS reported yesterday that the chatter has Shannon landing at either Clear Channel’s news/talk WOR for morning drive (where the company just ended the Elliot Segal simulcast from “DC101”) or at one of CBS RADIO’s music FMs – either classic hits WCBS-FM or CHR WNOW.

anthonyrobClear Channel Promotes Rob Anthony in New England.  Programmer Rob Anthony is named to the operations manager and program director position at Clear Channel’s Providence cluster that includes rock WHJY, news/talk WHJJ, classic hits WWBB “B101,” and hot AC WSNE “93.3 The Coast.”  Anthony has been serving as regional programming manager for New England based out of the company’s Springfield, Massachusetts cluster.  He will retain that title which has him overseeing programming at the Springfield, Worcester, and Manchester and Portsmouth, New Hampshire station groups.  Anthony says, “I can’t even begin to express my excitement for the opportunity to work with such heritage brands as ‘Coast 93.3,’ ‘B 101,’ ‘NewsRadio 920’ and the mighty ‘94 HJY.’  This is truly an honor, and I can’t wait to get to work.  Thank you to Clear Channel’s programming team and [market president] Rhonda Lapham for all their continued support and guidance.”

fccnewFCC to Rework Internet Regulation Rules; Republican Commissioners Question Move.  FCC Commissioner Tom Wheeler has announced the Commission will revisit the “net neutrality” issue by “proposing rules that will meet the court’s test for preventing improper blocking of and discrimination among internet traffic, ensuring genuine transparency in how internet service providers manage traffic, and enhancing competition.  Preserving the internet as an open platform for innovation and expression while providing certainty and predictability in the marketplace is an important responsibility of this agency.”  Wheeler states that the recent D.C. Circuit Court ruling affirms Section 706 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 giving “the FCC authority to encourage broadband deployment by, among other things, removing barriers to infrastructure deployment, encouraging innovation, and promoting competition.  The court recognized the importance of ensuring that so-called ‘edge providers,’ those that use the network to deliver goods and services, can reach people who use the internet.” Republican Commissioner Mike O’Reilly disagrees, saying, “I am deeply concerned by the announcement that the FCC will begin considering new ways to regulate the internet.  As I have said before, my view is that section 706 does not provide any affirmative regulatory authority.  We should all fear that this provision ultimately may be used not just to regulate broadband providers, but eventually edge providers.”  At the same time, Commissioner Ajit Pai adds, “When Congress told us to encourage broadband deployment by removing barriers to infrastructure investment, it also established the policy of the United States to ‘preserve the vibrant and competitive free market that presently exists for the Internet . . . unfettered by Federal or State regulation.’ Whatever the Commission does as it moves forward, it must take that statutory command to heart.  The internet was free and open before the FCC adopted net neutrality rules.  It remains free and open today.  Net neutrality has always been a solution in search of a problem.”

topicpulse logoLDR Interactive Launches TopicPulse; Partners with TTWN for Sales.  Interactive broadcast technology firm LDR Interactive announces the launch of an upgraded version of its TopicPulse, what it calls “a real-time social media monitoring system for newsrooms and content producers.”  LDR Interactive explains: “TopicPulse scans social media including Twitter and Facebook, local message boards, comment boards, and news sources to track trending topics in a local market.  In addition to tracking local and national topics, producers can also access trending video and images.  The system then produces a user-friendly, real-time report that newsrooms can use to drive local, regional, and national content.”  LDR CEO Daniel Anstandig states, “TopicPulse was inspired by feedback from the world’s leading broadcasters, who said they were in critical need of a better way to track and monitor social media to produce news content.  With those needs in mind, we built and optimized TopicPulse for broadcast and digital newsrooms and released the system on beta to LDR’s media partners in 2012.  Since then, we’ve seen tremendous momentum and positive results from media companies in all market sizes.”  In addition to tracking trends, TopicPulse identifies which primary demo (gender and age group) is most inclined to engage with the topic on social media.  Newsrooms also have access to a “glance” screen with trending topics for the brand’s target audience, which can be utilized as a “heads up display” of the market.  A Tweet Map feature showcases the market’s most popular tweets and hashtags on a local map, enabling producers to create hyper-local content based on up-to-the-minute social trends.  LDR Interactive is partnering with Total Traffic & Weather Network (TTWN) as the TopicPulse national sales partner.  The TTWN sales team will serve as the major force behind local market integration of the platform in newsrooms across the U.S.

larsonlarsLars Larson Show Added to CRN Digital Talk Lineup.  The Portland, Oregon-based Lars Larson program is added to the program schedule at CRN Digital Talk Radio airing at 7:00 pm ET.  Larson hosts a local show on Alpha Broadcasting’s KXL, Portland in addition to a separate nationally syndicated program through Compass Media Networks.  CRN will carry the national program.  CRN president and CEO Michael Horn says, “Lars adds another unique, passionate voice to the CRN schedule.  He’s a newsman, a reporter, and a host – so he brings extra doses of preparation and personality to his show.”

wileyrichardFormer FCC Chair Richard Wiley to Receive BFoA’s Lowry Mays Award.  The Broadcasters Foundation of America announces that Richard E. Wiley, chairman of Wiley Rein LLP and a former chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, will receive the 2014 Lowry Mays Excellence in Broadcasting Award to be presented during The Broadcasters Foundation of America Breakfast on Wednesday, April 9, at the Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas during the NAB Show.  Wiley heads the 80-attorney communications practice.  He served as chairman of the FCC from 1974 to 1977.  Wiley played a pivotal role in the development of HDTV in this country, serving for nine years as chairman of the FCC’s Advisory Committee on Advanced Television Service from 1987 to 1995.  He represents a number of major communications-oriented organizations, including Verizon, AT&T, JP Morgan, Credit Suisse, Motorola, CBS, Belo, Gannett, Sirius/XM, Emmis, Gray Television, and LG.  Wiley has been recognized by Washingtonian magazine as one of Washington’s 30 “Superstar” lawyers for his role as “the unofficial sixth commissioner” of the FCC (2011) and consistently listed as one of Washington’s “Best Lawyers” and “Top Lawyers” in the magazine.  He was named the “most prominent telecommunications lawyer and lobbyist in Washington” by Broadcasting & Cable in 2005, and he was honored with the National Association of Broadcasters’ Distinguished Service Award in 2002.

ostapavlinaTeen Radio Host Wins Student Category Gracie.  The Alliance for Women in Media announces the winners of the 2014 Gracie Awards in the local, online, student and public categories and 16-year-old Florida radio talk host Pavlina Osta wins in the student category Outstanding Anchor – News or News Magazine for her “Pavlina’s Kidz Place Radio Show.”  The Port Orange, Florida resident has been hosting a kids-targeted radio program since she was 11 and boasts an impressive list of celebrity interviews including: Katie Couric, Ed Sheeran, Carly Rae Jepsen, Sick Puppies, A Great Big World, and Steve Forbes, to name just a few.  Now she can add Gracie Award winner to her resume!

Obama Executive Power Controversy, Winter Weather/Global Warming Debate, ObamaCare Criticism, Sochi Olympics, Ukrainian Unrest, and N. Korea Human Rights Abuses Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/18).  GOP response to President Obama’s use of executive power; the onslaught of winter weather in much of the country and the debate over the global warming issue; the continuing scrutiny of the rollout and effects of the Affordable Care Act; the Winter Olympic games in Sochi; the protests and political unrest in the Ukraine; and the global community’s concern over growing evidence of human rights abuses were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, October 14, 2013

| October 14, 2013

trn logoTalk Radio Network Sues Epic Times in U.S. District Court for Tortious Interference and Misuse of Trade Secrets.  EpicTimes.com is the website developed around talk show host Jerry Doyle – who is currently embroiled in legal issues surrounding the recent dramatic changes and financial issues at Talk Radio Networkepictimes logo At the core of this most recent action is a two-pronged complaint by TRN.  It alleges Epic – the company of which Jerry Doyle is president and CEO – is interfering with contracts TRN has with both Doyle himself and talk host Rusty Humphries by using their services for content for the EpicTimes.com site.  The interference claim is based on TRN’s assertion that it has exclusive content creation deals still in effect with Doyle and Humphries.  The complaint also alleges that Epic is misusing trade secrets through Epic’s conversion to its own use of the “confidential and proprietary business information of plaintiffs provided to Doyle in confidence and subject to nondisclosure agreements.”  TRN is seeking an injunction to prevent further use of the proprietary information and $150,000 in damages plus legal fees.

L&L logoL&L Broadcasting Acquires Border Media Trust San Antonio Stations.  What’s been rumored to have been in the works turns out to be true as Larry Wilson’s Portland, Oregon-based L&L Broadcastingktsa announces its buying the San Antonio radio stations from the Border Media Business Trust.  The stations include adult hits KJXK “102.7 Jack FM,” regional Mexican tri-mulcast KLEY “La Ley 95.7,” KSAH-AM/FM, CHR KTFM, news/talk KTSA, sports talk KZDC and Spanish KHHL.  The additions put the L&L station count at 43.  Wilson says, “This is a great cluster of radio stations located in a beautiful market operated by a very talented group of people.  We are excited to add them to our growing company.”  Trustee Larry Patrick adds, “We could not be happier to have found a wonderful home for our San Antonio stations.  Larry Wilson and his L&L Broadcasting represent the best in broadcasting. We wish him continued great success with this cluster.”  Piper Jaffray & Co. assisted L&L Broadcasting in the transaction and Patrick Communications was the broker for the Border Media Business Trust.

TalkersLA2013Talkers Los Angeles 2013 a Success.  More than 250 radio and associated industry professionals gathered and 55 speakers participated in a non-stop day of speeches, special presentations, and panel discussions tackling the major issues facing the talk media industry at Talkers Los Angeles 2013 this past Thursday (10/10).  Among the major issues covered are the growing need for the radio industry to have an accurate cross-platform ratings system; develop new ways to program commercials that generate results for the advertisers without chasing away listeners; explore new spoken-word formats that tap into unfulfilled opportunities; attract younger demos to talk radio; and bring back more live and local programming to the broadcast day.  To read an overview of the event and see photos of its key sessions, speeches and attractions, please click here.

wwwl logoEntercom Debuts Hybrid Talker in New Orleans.  Today is launch day for Entercom’s new hybrid talk station WWWL, New Orleans “3WL.”  Calling it an extension of its “Gulf South POWERhouse” WWL-AM/FM, the company says it “builds on the success of this legendary New Orleans station by offering a branch focused on the passions of New Orleans.”  Vice president and general manager Chris Claus says, “‘3WL 1350’ celebrates the three greatest passions of New Orleanians: sports, food and fun!  Think of ‘3WL’ as a radio station as tasty as gumbo, as fun as Mardi Gras and as passionate as Saints fans on Sundays.  In the three weeks since we announced ‘3WL,’ the response has been overwhelming.  ‘3WL’ is perfectly set up to succeed and deliver real results for our advertisers.”  WWL operations and program director Diane Newman is overseeing the station’s programming.  The lineup is as follows:  “Morning Drive with T-Bob Hebert and Kristian Garic”; NBC Sports Radio’s Erick Kuselias in late mornings; “The Food Show” with Tom Fitzmorris from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm; and “The Lighter Side of The Spud Show” with John Spud McConnell from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm.  NBC Sports Radio rounds out the rest of the day.  Newman says, “Today is the culmination of a lot of hard work and planning.  Our lineup from top to bottom is as good as any in the country.  With sports in the morning, food at lunch, and a larger-than-life personality, Spud McConnell, in the afternoon, ‘3WL’ launches with tremendous strength, proven talent, and unquestioned passion.”

kkoblogoAnother #1 Finish for KKOB.  The Cumulus Media Albuquerque news/talker finished #1 12+ for the 53rd straight Nielsen Audio book in a row.  Program director Pat Frisch tells TALKERS magazine, the station finished #5 in Adults 25-54 and #2 in Men 25-54.  “Our TSL is a high 9:15 minutes a week in Adults 25-54, that’s #1 in the market.”  Frisch also reports that he’s especially proud of afternoon talk show host Scott Stiegler who took over the afternoon program seven months ago and has taken it to #1 Adults 25-54.  Frisch says, “Morning drive personality Bob Clark finished #1 again in mornings.  He’s been #1 for seven straight years in that daypart.”

wgmd logoTalent Shuffle at WGMD, Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.  Resort Broadcasting’s FM news/talk WGMD, Rehoboth Beach, Delaware “The Talk of Delmarva” makes some personality changes as late morning host Mike Bradley becomes part of the morning drive show alongside Judy ManginiBill Colley leaves the morning program and now heads up the PM drive show.  Jim Rash moves from afternoons to the late morning slot.

switzerbryanBryan Switzer to Exit Cumulus Media Networks.  After eight years in the radio business, Bryan Switzer announces he’s leaving his VP of affiliate sales position with Cumulus Media Networks.  Switzer started his career in network radio with ABC Radio Networks in April of 2006.  During his time in the music industry, he served as VP/GM of Atlantic Records and senior VP of national promotion at Universal South.  He says, “Since moving from records to broadcast eight years ago, this is without a doubt the most exciting company I’ve been associated with.  I have a great deal of respect for what Lew and John Dickey have built and are building.  I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s time for me to move on and turn a page.  I can’t thank Dennis Green enough for the opportunity to continue my role through the Cumulus acquisition of Citadel two years ago.  It’s been a privilege to work under his leadership.  As for me, it’s time I get back to serving my creative genes, and though I’ve made no commitments as of yet, I’m extremely excited by the prospects!”  Switzer can be reached at bryanbenjamin1@gmail.com or 615-838-0809.

kiroBonneville’s KIRO, Seattle Turns 78 Tomorrow.  Radio history buffs can learn more about the history of one of the Emerald City’s most famous radio signals at Bonneville’s MyNorthwest.com right here.  The station – now a sports talker – began its life spinning records on October 15, 1935 and would play second fiddle to the Fisher family’s KOMO until getting a power upgrade to 50,000 just prior to Japan’s bombing of Pearl Harbor.  The war kept the FCC from handling any power upgrade requests and KIRO was, for some time, the most powerful signal in the Pacific Northwest.

hennerbaileyMarilu Henner Rocks Sun Broadcast Group Upfront Party.  Nationally syndicated talk show host Marilu Henner (pictured here with SBG CEO Jason Bailey) appeared at the Sun Broadcast Group’s 2014 Upfront Party at the Penthouse Lounge in New York City on October 11.  The day after making an appearance at the Talkers Los Angeles 2013 conference where the TV and film star introduced herself to the talk radio industry, Henner was one of the stars representing her show before the hundreds of media people in NYC including agency reps, programmers, station managers, and network suppliers who attended the party.  Speaking about the now-five-year-old event, Bailey told the attendees, “I am so humbled as I look around at all the people here supporting us.  We’ve been working so hard to be a very different kind of network for all of you over the last five years and tonight you’ve welcomed us into your busy lives with open arms.  I can’t thank you enough for standing by us and believing in our mission as we aim to transform radio.”

bryantdelBroadcasters Foundation of America Names BMI’s Del Bryant ‘Golden Mike’ Recipient.  The Broadcasters Foundation of America announces Broadcast Music Inc. president Del Bryant is its recipient of the 2014 Golden Mike Award.  The award will be presented on Monday, February 24, 2014, at a black-tie fundraising gala at the Plaza Hotel in New York City to benefit the Foundation’s mission of helping broadcasters in need.  BFoA chairman Phil Lombardo says, “Del has been an admirable and inspiring supporter of the mission of the Broadcasters Foundation for many years.  Well-known and respected across the broadcasting and music industries, his contribution as a longtime member of the Foundation’s board of directors is immeasurable.  We are proud to award him the 2014 Golden Mike.”  Bryant comments, “I am honored to be recognized by the Broadcasters Foundation of America with the Golden Mike Award.  I have always felt strongly about giving back to the community, both from a professional and personal standpoint.  It has been a privilege to support the Foundation and to collaborate with them throughout the years.  I commend them for the exceptional work they do for broadcasters and the sweet and understanding attitude with which they do it.”  The son of Boudleaux and Felice Bryant – the legendary songwriters who penned classics such as “Bye, Bye Love,” “Wake Up Little Susie,” All I Have To Do Is Dream,” the Tennessee state song, “Rocky Top,” and more – Bryant’s rich musical heritage inspired his accomplishments and passion for the business.  He joined BMI in 1972, and worked in numerous areas of the company for 32 years, rising to president and chief executive officer in 2004.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

| October 8, 2013

abramsonnancyNancy Abramson Joins Clear Channel as Director of Digital Affiliates.  Radio pro Nancy Abramson becomes part of the Clear Channel family in the newly created role of director, digital affiliates for national media groups.  Abramson spent almost 18 years with The Wall Street Journal Radio Network before exiting last month.  She will be based in New York and report to Julie Talbott, president of content and affiliate services for national media groups.  The company says that in this new position, Abramson will be focused on the company’s digital partnerships with radio ownership groups and stations.  She will provide a dedicated point of contact for communication and conducting business surrounding the company’s digital platforms including iHeartRadio as well as Clear Channel’s Premiere Networks programming, personality websites and audio streams.  Prior to her work with The Wall Street Journal Radio Network, Abramson held the role of manager network programming for ABC Radio Networks.  Talbott says of Abramson, “Nancy’s proven track record of successfully leading affiliate sales and marketing efforts in the news/talk format, as well as her amazing relationships with broadcasters, makes her a tremendous asset for us.  Her passion and expertise are a winning combination, and we are very fortunate to have her join our team.”

hannitySalem’s Hewitt and Prager Appear on FNC’s New Time “Hannity” Program.  As Fox News Channel shuffles its primetime lineup and Sean Hannity’s program moves to the 10:00 pm ET time slot, Salem Radio Network personalities Hugh Hewitt and Dennis Prager joined Hannity on his “Great American” panel last night (10/7).  FNC introduced the new addition to the primetime slate: Megyn Kelly’s “The Kelly File.”  Kelly’s show appears at 9:00 pm ET leading into “Hannity.”  Greta Van Susteren’s “On the Record” kicks off primetime at 7:00 pm with “The O’Reilly Factor” following at 8:00 pm ET.

geronimodonDon Geronimo Exits Sports Talk KHTK, Sacramento.  Although his photo and references to his 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm show are still on the KHTK website, reports are that radio pro Don Geronimo has exited the CBS Radio station.  Geronimo’s presence on the station has been replaced by Jason Ross and Dave “Deuce” Mason.  Geronimo had been with the Sacramento sports talker for several years, both in morning drive and during the afternoons daypart.  Geronimo and former partner Mike O’Meara had a long and successful run at WJFK, Washington when the station was a hot talk outlet in the 1990s.

Sara Lee Kessler On Air at WOR.  New York news pro Sara Lee Kessler is handling news anchor duties for Clear Channel’s news/talk WOR, New York as well as the company’s 24/7 News programming.  Kessler is well known to New Yorkers for her 18-year stint at WOR-TV.  She also worked at Merlin Media’s New York all-news venture WEMP.

pendlchrisThe Radio Broadcaster’s Guide to Getting the Most from Posting Video to YouTube.  It goes without saying you probably have a YouTube Channel for your show or station.  And yes, there’s a lot of talk around what makes a video good – but how can you get the most out of the video you’ve posted on YouTube?  In a new column posted today (10/8), Bonneville Seattle creative director Chris Pendl looks at how to make money from your videos, how to get users who find your video on YouTube to tune-in to your show, and other tips to make the most of your online video efforts.  To read this valuable article in its entirety, please click here.

bausemerharoldMEDIA BROKER SPOTLIGHT: Harold Bausemer – RadioStationsForSale.Net.  In this week’s installment of Media Broker Spotlight, Sandi Bergman of RadioTVDeals.com interviews media broker Harold Bausemer of RadioStationsForSale.Net located in Braintree, Massachusetts.  Bausemer has a background in radio having worked in just about every position in the business including AE, SM, GSM, GM, COO of a small group and as an owner operator.  But he also has a background as a real estate broker and as such he brings a bit of a different background to his media broker strategies.  He says, “Being in real estate, I am a believer in multiple listings and have co-brokered many deals which is not common in media brokering. Most brokers in this business have self-interest to the point of detriment to their listing clients. Usually (not always) I don’t ask who a listing of mine will be presented to by a co-broker. If they have a relationship with or inquiry from someone and can bring in an offer, my client wins and even at half commission, I win.”   He offers up several opportunities he has among his listings that would be of interest to displaced radio station personnel and first-time entrants. To read the entire installment of Media Broker Spotlight, please click here.

kxl logo‘FM News 101’ in Portland Wins Seven OAB Awards.  Alpha Broadcasting news/talk KXL, Portland “FM News 101” takes home seven Oregon Association of Broadcasters Awards, including Station of the Year for the 3rd consecutive year.  Other awards garnered by the station include: Best On Air Personality for Clyde Lewis, host of “Ground Zero with Clyde Lewis”; Best Newscast from Dan Mitchinson and Lacey Evans covering the Clackamas Town Center Shooting; Best Investigative Reporting from Rosemary Reynolds; and Best Single News Story from Dan Mitchinson.  Alpha Broadcasting director of programming Scott Mahalick states, “These awards honor the talent of a truly live and local team that is passionate about what they do.  I’m proud to be working with world class broadcasters.”  News director Rebecca Marshall adds, “I am so thrilled to see FM News 101 KXL receive this award again.  We have such a hard working team both out in the field and inside the station.  They’re real pros.  I feel lucky to be working with them.”

hartmannThom Hartmann Program Joins Lineup at Two Non-Coms.  The Thom Hartmann show is now part of the program schedule at public radio stations WBAI, New York and KBOO, Portland, Oregon.  As TALKERS reported last week, Hartmann’s show will also air on a new FM signal set to debut in Portland, KXRY “X-RAY FM.”  Thom Hartmann’s program has been serving public radio stations for several years now, providing commercial-free feeds of the show.

lipforddannyDanny Lipford Show Reaches 100-Affiliate Mark.  The independently syndicated, weekly two-hour “Today’s Homeowner with Danny Lipford” radio show hits the 100 affiliate milestone.  Mobile, Alabama-based Lipford says, “By using the same successful formula as our Emmy-nominated ‘Today’s Homeowner’ TV show, now in our 16th season on 221 stations, our radio program gives homeowners the most relevant and current home improvement information every week of the year.  Our listeners love the fun, fast-paced style of the show and our ability to make them laugh while giving them the information they crave.”

karelWWRL, New York Adds ‘Karel Show’ to Thursday Lineup.  Long Beach, California-based Karel has his syndicated radio program added to the Thursday evening lineup at WWRL, New York as part of a special block of programming dedicated to LGBT programming.  His program airs at 8:00 pm ET.  He says, “Any time you can clear a market like New York in any way, for 10 minutes, an hour or 15 is a good thing.”  WWRL general manager Adriane Gaines states, “I’m really looking forward to hearing Karel on the radio station.  General sales manager Mike Hill has been a great ‘Karel Show’ champion here, and his support for the show is paying off.”

dibblemovieFox Sports Radio’s Rob Dibble Makes TV Cameo.  Rob Dibble, former MLB pitching star and co-host of Fox Sports Radio’s “Fox Sports Tonight” (alongside Amy Van Dyken), is pictured here in a cameo role for ABC’s new primetime series “Back in the Game” that stars James Caan.  Dibble, who was a two-time National League All-Star and relief pitcher on the 1990 World Series champion Cincinnati Reds, played a prison inmate named “Senseless Paul” who was part of a group recruited to teach a little league team how to bat.

ricebrownBrown and Rice Visit NBC Sports Radio Network.  In New York City to promote their Golf Channel show “Big Break NFL Puerto Rico,” NFL Hall of Famer Jerry Rice (right) and College Football Hall of Famer and Heisman Trophy winner Tim Brown stopped by the NBC Sports Radio studios.  Rice talked golf and football with late morning host Brian Kenny and Brown joined early afternoon host Newy Scruggs.

Government Shutdown, Debt Debate, U.S. Terror Raids, and ObamaCare Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/7).  The ongoing battle on Washington over ending the government shutdown; the debate over the debt ceiling; United States terror raids in North Africa; and the implementation of the Affordable Care Act were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

| July 16, 2013

hubbardbroadcastingHubbard to Buy 10 Sandusky Stations for $85.5 Million.  The deal gives Hubbard Radio five stations in the Phoenix market and five in Seattle.  It includes Phoenix outlets: classic rock KSLX, active rock KUPD, rock KDKB, oldies KAZG-AM, and sports talk KDUS-AM; and Seattle stations: standards, KIXI-AM, CHR KQMV, talk KKNW-AM, AC KRWM, alternative KLCK.  Hubbard board chair Ginny Morris says in a statement, “This is an exciting opportunity to expand Hubbard Radio into two top 20 markets.  We have known and respected the Rau/White family, Sandusky’s owners, for many years.  We admire what they have accomplished and we are honored that they would agree to sell us these established stations.  We are committed to maintaining the dedication to excellence and to community that Sandusky has made such an important part of their radio operations.”  This sale signals the end of the radio business interests for Sandusky as the company turns its total focus to its print and digital operations.  For Hubbard, it bumps the number of stations it will own from 20 to 30.  Hubbard president and CEO Bruce Reese says, “Hubbard is excited about the chance to add these great stations to our existing operations in Chicago, Washington, DC, Minneapolis/St. Paul, St. Louis and Cincinnati.  Sandusky runs very successful radio stations and we plan on continuing that precedent.  We look forward to working with our new colleagues.”

wmgc logoWait Is on to See if Greater Media Flips AC WMGC, Detroit to Sports Talk.  Rumors have been heard in Detroit for a few months now that Greater Media is considering a format flip to sports talk for moribund soft rock “Magic 105.”  Now, those rumors are getting hotter and Crain’s Detroit Business reports in a story by Bill wxyt-fm logoShea that sources say that switch could happen next month.  The publication notes that WMGC’s ratings have been in decline since longtime morning host Jim Harper retired 19 months ago.  But the switch would mean taking on CBS Radio’s highly rated WXYT-FM – no easy feat, even in a market most would consider a “sports town.”  Shea’s report cites insiders saying Greater Media is talking with former employee Drew Lane who – along with partner Mike Clark – were not renewed for the morning show at the company’s rock WRIF two months ago, although they had good ratings and enjoy excellent credibility in the market.  In his piece, Shea states that, “WXYT’s rating dominance is largely because it has the rights to air live all four of Detroit’s professional sports teams’ games.  The radio contracts for the Detroit Lions, Tigers, Red Wings and Pistons don’t expire until 2015, meaning it would be more than a year before a flipped WMGC could theoretically pursue and air pro games.”  Although the value of play-by-play is real, and there’s no doubt the combination of excellent talk show talent and game broadcasts is a winning formula, TALKERS would hesitate to say the station’s success is largely because of play-by-play.  Ultimately it’s all about revenue and rights to those games are very expensive while WXYT’s personalities and the advertising rates they command are extremely valuable to the station.

ramseydaveDave Ramsey Show Jumps to KXLY, Spokane.  Nationally syndicated financial talk star Dave Ramsey’s program moves to Queen B-owned news/talk outlet KXLY, Spokane after years on Clear Channel’s crosstown KQNT.  Dave Ramsey vice president of broadcast Brian Mayfield says, “We are excited to have the Dave Ramsey show as part of the lineup on KXLY in Spokane.  We are equally excited at the opportunity to partner with the team at Queen B Radio in bringing Dave to town with his latest ‘Legacy Journey Live Event’ on October 17.”  Premiere NetworksSean Hannity show is moved from KXLY to crosstown KQNT and KXLY Radio Group VP Brian Paul Lubanski states, “We were one of the early adopters of Sean’s show and thank Sean for 12 great years on KXLY.  I’m very excited to have Dave on our station, he’s kicked our butt in the ratings in the 12:00 noon to 3:00 timeslot the past couple of years!”

wilsonlarryLarry Wilson’s L&L Broadcasting to Acquire YMF Media’s Jackson, Mississippi Cluster.  The six-station Jackson station group Larry Wilson’s L&L Broadcasting is set to buy includes three FMs and three AMs: urban contemporary WKXI “Kixie 107 FM,” hip hop WJMI “99 Jams,” sports talk WRKS “ESPN 105.9 The Zone,” news/talk WJNT, gospel WOAD, and oldies WJQS.  No price has been announced yet but in a statement, Wilson says, “The YMF Media cluster in Jackson will be a great addition to our Mississippi footprint.  As the state capital, Jackson is an energetic and thriving city with endless opportunities for growth.  We’re excited to bring these heritage stations into the L&L family.”

bergmansandiMEDIA BROKER SPOTLIGHT:  George Kimble of Kozacko Media Services.  In this week’s installment of Media Broker Spotlight, Sandi Bergman of RadioTVDeals.com interviews media broker George Kimble of Kozacko Media Services in Tucson, Arizona.  Kimble has been in radio since he was 13, as his father was a station owner.  By the time he was 17 and a senior in high school, he was also the morning man at his local hometown station.  He went on to be a radio and television station owner himself for some 40 years.  Kimble agrees with the editorial philosophy expressed in this trade publication that there are indeed opportunities for displaced, experienced radio management in local ownership if they are willing to roll up their sleeves and personally work all ends of it.  He states, “There are plenty of good opportunities available.  The prices have come down to the lowest in years — so NOW is certainly the time for action.  While there are no national financial sources of money — local banks will still back an on-scene, experienced operator with the help of the SBA.  And, seller financing is available in a number of smaller market opportunities.”  Kimble shares several hot listings in this piece.  To read the entire installment of Media Broker Spotlight, please click here.

hartmannThom Hartmann to Receive Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Goddard College.  Nationally syndicated talk show host Thom Hartmann will receive the honorary degree in September from the Plainfield, Vermont-located school.  Goddard College president Barbara Vacarr writes to Hartmann: “This award is designed to recognize individuals who have made significant contributions to both the worlds of academe and activism and who, through their work and study, help propel the ideals and aspirations of Goddard College: to advance cultures of rigorous inquiry, collaboration, and lifelong learning, where individuals take imaginative and responsible action in the world.  By bestowing you with this honorary doctorate, Goddard College wishes to honor your lifelong work as an author, commentator, entrepreneur, philanthropist, activist, academician, radio talk show host and lifelong learner.  Your impact is deep and far reaching in a wide array of areas.  Your extensive and groundbreaking work and writing on the subject of ADD would by itself qualify you for this doctorate.  Coupled with your lifelong activism and creativity in the fields of broadcast journalism, communications, progressive politics, and humanitarianism, you are truly an outstanding example of an American citizen actively engaged in engendering civil discourse that is provocative and designed to be.”

nbcsportsradio logoNBC Sports Radio Shows to Broadcast from Celebrity Charity Golf Tourney.  The American Century Championship, the “premiere celebrity golf tournament,” is owned and produced by NBC Sports and sponsored by American Century Investments.  The annual tournament (in its 24th year) features some of the sports and entertainment world’s biggest celebrities and raises funds for local and national charities including Expect Miracles Foundation and American Cancer Society‘s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer.  To date, American Century Investments and NBC Sports have raised more than $4 million through the American Century Championship.  Celebrities scheduled to play for the $600,000 purse include: NBC Sports Radio host Rodney Harrison and NBC Sports Radio senior contributor Chipper Jones, as well as Emmitt Smith, Charles Barkley, Aaron Rodgers, Ozzie Smith, Ray Romano, John Elway, Jerry Rice, Marshall Faulk, Goose Gossage, and many more.  Both “Under Center with McNabb & Malone” featuring Donovan McNabb and Mark Malone, and “Amani and Eytan” with Amani Toomer and Eytan Shander will be broadcasting live from the event this Thursday and Friday from the Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course in Lake Tahoe, Nevada.

kileypatrickFormer Talk Host Patrick Kiley Sentenced in Ponzi Scheme.  Seventy-five-year-old Patrick Kiley was the fourth of a group of defendants to be sentenced for his part in a Ponzi scheme that prosecutors say defrauded victims of $194 million.  He was sentenced by a Minnesota judge to 240 months in federal prison.  Kiley hosted a nationally syndicated radio program called “Follow the Money” distributed by the Worldwide Christian Radio Network.  According to WCCO-TV, in Minneapolis, Kiley and co-conspirators “Trevor Cook, Jason Bo-Alan Beckman, Gerald Joseph Durand and Christopher Pettengill – were all solely and jointly ordered to pay $155,359,411 in restitution to their victims.”  Kiley was convicted of 12 counts of wire and mail fraud.

OAzimmermanOpie & Anthony Host Robert Zimmerman, Jr.  In the aftermath of the verdict in the case of George Zimmerman, SiriusXM Satellite Radio hosts Opie & Anthony had Zimmerman’s brother Robert Zimmerman, Jr. in the studio for an extended interview.  During the program, Zimmerman blamed the media for the way the story evolved, saying, “I think when this happened in the beginning, there was just George and Trayvon Martin — for about a day.  And I think that after, in my view, Ms. Fulton and Mr. Martin had grief like any parent would.  I think their grief was exploited — that’s really what I feel in my heart — by Mr. Benjamin Crump and Ms. Natalie Jackson.  And they started a race narrative, a smear campaign that the media was all too happy to…[be a part of].”  Pictured here are (from l-r): Opie Hughes, Zimmerman, Jr., Anthony Cumia, and Jim NortonPhoto: Erik Nagel

funniestreportersNational Media Personalities to Star in Eighth Annual New York’s Funniest Reporter Show Sponsored by TALKERSThe eighth annual New York’s Funniest Reporter Show (www.nyfunniestreporter.com) will take place this Sunday, July 21 at 5:00 pm at Comic Strip Live comedy club on Manhattan’s Upper East Side.  It will feature seven media professionals each doing five minutes of stand-up comedy in order to raise money for the Humane Society of New York.  At the end of the night, a winner will be declared.  Competing in the show this year will be: Peter Schiff of the Peter Schiff Radio Show, Magee Hickey of WPIX Channel 11, Laurie Dhue of Glenn Beck‘s TheBlaze TV, Charles Payne of Fox Business Channel, Janice Dean of Fox News Channel, Bob Bodwon of Choice Media, Chris Serico of Newsday, and Dr. Manny Alvarez of Fox News Channel.  2012’s NYFR Show Champion Clayton Morris of Fox News Channel will be performing but, not competing.  Hosting the show will be comedian Mark Anthony Ramirez.  Show judges will be Jane Velez-Mitchell of HLN, and Mark Goldman and Ryan McCormick of Goldman McCormick PR.  All participants are offered the opportunity to work with a professional comedian and receive a crash course in stand-up comedy.  The Comedy Mentor also helps them to prepare their material and iron out and pre-stage nervous jitters.  The cost of admission is $20.  To make a reservation, please call (212) 861-9386.

millercowgirls KIDO, Boise’s Kevin Miller Cowboys Up.  KIDO morning drive host Kevin Miller is pictured here with the Idaho Rodeo Queens during a recent broadcast live from the Snake River Stampede.

Zimmerman Verdict, Edward Snowden Status, Jenny McCarthy Joins ‘The View,’ ‘Glee’ Star Dies, and SyFy’s ‘Sharknado’ Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/15).  The aftermath of the “not guilty” verdict for George Zimmerman in the death of Trayvon Martin; the uncertain status of former NSA consultant Edward Snowden; Jenny McCarthy replaces Elisabeth Hasselbeck on “The View,” “Glee” star Cory Monteith dies in Vancouver, BC hotel; and the sensation over SyFy channel’s “Sharknado” movie were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

| May 22, 2013

techsurvey9Jacobs Media’s TechSurvey9: News/Talk Breakout.  Consulting firm Jacobs Media held a webinar yesterday in which it broke out data relative to the news/talk format from its all-radio TechSurvey9.  A key point for talk radio programmers comes from the answers to the question, “Why are you listening to less AM/FM radio than in the past?”  The study indicates 49% said it was because they are not enjoying the programming.  The next most common response was because of a lifestyle change.  After that, the responses were: 17%, too many commercials; 10% listening to SiriusXM; and 9% listening to internet radio.  Some of the key points from the study indicating unique attributes of regular users of news/talk radio:

  • They are big users of email – especially for building a relationship with their favorite news/talk station.  They are less likely to connect with the station via Facebook or Twitter.
  • 74% report their primary reason for listening to AM/FM radio is for news, traffic and weather information and 42% cited the need to find out what’s going on locally – much higher than users of other radio formats.
  • News/talk users are #2 in owning a car with a digital dashboard (compared to other format fans) with 13% reporting they own one.
  • Social media use for news/talk fans indicates they are far more likely to be on LinkedIn – likely due to the “professional” status of many listeners.  They are least likely of all format fans to “like” a Facebook page and are not especially frequent users of Twitter compared to other format P1s (although use of Twitter increased 17% over the 2012 survey).
  • 65% of news/talk listeners downloaded digital radio apps and, compared to users of other radio formats, were more likely to download your station’s app and the TuneIn app.
  • Compared to the same study period one year ago, news/talk fans’ use of internet radio rose 15%; saw a 36% increase in the use of tablet devices; and a 19% increase in the use of the digital dashboard.

finebaumpaulPaul Finebaum to Join ESPN August 1.  The formerly Birmingham, Alabama-based sports journalist and talk show host will change his home base to Charlotte for his new gig with ESPN. Paul Finebaum, who had a tumultuous last two years with Cumulus Media at WJOX in Birmingham, will not be moving to SummitMedia’s crosstown WZNN “97.3 The Zone” as many industry watchers had suspected.  Instead, Finebaum will take his radio program to ESPN where it will air on ESPN Audio and the ESPN-owned SEC Network, destined to debut in August of 2014.  According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, Finebaum will also make 100 appearances on ESPN’s cable TV channels.  After entering into a couple of legal battles with former long-time employer Cumulus Media over the course of several years, Finebaum agreed to work out his contract and exit radio in order to sit out his non-compete and start fresh somewhere else.  He left WJOX in January of this year.

clearchannelClear Channel Announces Bid to Push Back Debt with Bond Exchange.  Clear Channel Communications announces it is seeking to push off some debt until 2021 via a $2.1 billion bond exchange.  The company is offering to swap $796.3 million of 10.75% notes due in 2016 and $1.28 billion of 11% payment-in-kind notes due in 2016 for the new debt that would come up in 2021.  The notes will pay 12% in cash and 2% through the issuance of payment-in-kind notes.   Bloomberg’s Mary Childs reports, “Free cash flow at the San Antonio-based broadcaster hasn’t exceeded $340.9 million in any year since its 2008 buyout by Bain Capital Partners LLC and Thomas H. Lee Partners LP.  Credit-default swaps tied to the bonds of the company, which owes about $20.8 billion total, are at about the lowest in two years, a sign investors are open to refinancing, Bloomberg data show.”

coxenterprises logoCox Enterprises Announces $1 Million Donation to Oklahoma Tornado Relief.  The parent company of Cox Media GroupCox Enterprises – announces that in partnership with the James L. Cox Foundation it is donating $1 million in support of relief and recovery efforts.  “Cox Enterprises is committed to supporting the victims of this terrible storm,” says Jim Kennedy, chairman of Cox Enterprises. “As a company that operates multiple businesses in Oklahoma, we are committed to helping our employees and the communities we serve recover from this disaster. In providing this assistance, we also encourage others to support the local relief and recovery efforts.”  Cox Enterprises operates multiple companies in Oklahoma City and Tulsa, including: Cox Communications, Total Resource Auctions – Oklahoma City, Total Resource Auctions – Tulsa, news/talk KRMG, Fox23, My41, country KWEN, Tulsa “K95,” hot AC KRAV, Tulsa “Mix 96” and rock KJSR, Tulsa “Rock 103.”  “In this difficult time of recovery and rebuilding, our hearts go out to the families affected by the tornadoes,” states Percy Kirk, senior vice president and general manager, Cox Communications Oklahoma. “This gift is a symbol of our commitment to our community and it is our hope that it will provide comfort and relief to many.”  In addition to the cash donation and in-kind public service announcements, Cox’s local media properties in Tulsa are hosting a series of community fundraisers.

kdkafmlogoCBS Radio’s KDKA-FM, Pittsburgh Hosts Remote Auditions for Sports Talk Host.  CBS Radio Pittsburgh sports talk outlet “Sports Radio 93.7 The Fan” is hosting open auditions for a weekend sports talk show on the station.  The open auditions rounds begin this weekend and will take place at five different locations over the next four weeks.  The company states, “Participants will be judged by station personnel on their ability to rant on a random sports topic.  Ten entrants from the open auditions will be selected to move on to the semifinal round to be held at the Tilted Kilt in the North Shore on Monday, June 24.  From there, the top four entrants will move on to the Finals at Sidelines Bar and Grill in Sewickley to be judged during a live broadcast with Andrew Fillipponi on KDKA-FM on Thursday, June 27 from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm.  Program director Ryan Maguire says, “We’re looking for the next great Pittsburgh sports talk show host – someone who can grow into a superstar.  We’re eager to see which member of this passionate fan base can take advantage of this very rare opportunity.”

fontlinesoffreedom logo‘Frontlines of Freedom’ Returns to WOOD, Grand Rapids for Flagship Station.  The Talk Media Network-syndicated program dedicated to all things military and hosted by retired U.S. Army Lt. Col. Denny Gillem returns to its original flagship station WOOD, Grand Rapids.  Talk Media Network’s Josh Leng reports that the weekend “Frontlines of Freedom” program will air live from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm on WOOD beginning June 1.  Gillem says of the move, “Six years ago my co-founder and I created ‘Frontlines of Freedom’ on WOOD radio.  June 1 is the show’s six-year anniversary.  It’s a great honor to be returning to our roots at the finest station in West Michigan.”  The program began in 2006 as a special Memorial Day show called, “A Colonel’s Salute to Veterans” that won a Michigan Broadcasters Association award.  One year later the weekly program was founded at WOOD.  Phil Tower, director of news & content programming at Clear Channel’s WOOD, states, “Few persons are held in such high regard as the men and women of our military, so it’s a natural fit to welcome ‘Frontlines of Freedom’ back to our WOOD radio lineup.”

stilestonyTony Stiles to Join The Next News Network.  Talk radio personality Tony Stiles, host of his eponymous program heard Saturdays on NRG Media’s KOIL, Omaha “The Mighty 1290,” announces he’s accepted the news anchor position at Chicago-based internet news network The Next News Network.  Stiles states, “I am honored that after only seven months on the air in Omaha, that my show, ideas and personality has resonated nationally through a loyal audience by word-of-mouth, radio and internet access.  This coming Friday night I will continue my role of frequent anchor until I assume the daily desk in early summer.”  The Next News Network founder Gary Franchi says, “As the founder of Next News Network, I became aware of Tony’s ability to attract an audience as I followed his rapid growth and heard his show.  Tony is a perfect fit for our 24/7 internet newscast which, like Tony, is the first of its kind.”

stigallchrisCBS News Reporter Tells WPHT, Philadelphia’s Chris Stigall Her Work and Personal Computers Compromised.  In a story that has since gone viral after being picked up by numerous consumer news outlets, with the allegations the DOJ has been investigating AP and Fox News reporters as the backdrop, CBS News investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson told WPHT, Philadelphia AM drive host Chris Stigall her work and personal computers are being analyzed as part of an investigation.  Attkisson said she could not point the finger at the DOJ but the speculation is that it’s a possibility.  Attkisson has been reporting on the Benghazi attacks story.

sportsusaSports USA Announces College Football Schedule.  Sports USA unveils its 2013 schedule of college football contests saying it “consists of 18 games featuring the best teams in college football.  Defending national champion Alabama, unbeaten Ohio State, Texas A&M, (with Heisman Trophy winning QB Johnny Manziel) Michigan, Florida, and LSU will be among the teams featured this year.”  Sports USA president Bob Moore says, “We are pleased to provide these incredible matchups to our nearly 400 affiliates nationwide.  Additionally, we are providing a sideline reporter for each game.”  The season kicks off with USC at Hawaii on August 29 and wraps up with the Independence Bowl on December 31.  Other key match-ups include Florida at LSU on October 12, Michigan versus Michigan State on November 2 and Alabama at Auburn on November 30.

delaneykateOdds & Sods.  “America Tonight” nationally syndicated talk show host Kate Delaney is doing some fill-in work this weekend for NBC Sports Radio Network.  Delaney, who earlier in her career worked at WFAN, New York, will sit in from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm ET on May 26 and from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm on May 27…..CBS Radio’s KNX, Los Angelesknx logo continues its “KNX on Your Corner” remote broadcast series on June 7 as it takes a comprehensive look at the Orange County city of Fullerton.  During the live broadcast from 5:00 am to 7:00 pm, community leaders including Mayor Bruce Whitaker, council members, Chief of Police Dan Hughes and other special guests will be interviewed.  Additionally, a special series by KNX investigative reporter Charles Feldman will look at the double-barreled impact on the city of the “Great Recession” and the high-profile fatal beating of a homeless man, Kelly Thomas, by members of the Fullerton Police Department nearly two years ago.

espnESPN to Begin Mega-Layoffs.  At this point the company’s only public statement has been, “We are implementing changes across the company to enhance our continued growth while smartly managing costs.  While difficult, we are confident that it will make us more competitive, innovative and productive.”  It’s unclear how many ESPN Audio staffers will be affected but the company, which employs about 4,000 in the United States and another 3,000 in other parts of the world, could be in the hundreds according to some reports.  ESPN is a huge source of revenue for principle parent Disney (20% is owned by Hearst) but some industry watchers speculate that ESPN’s increasing costs in acquiring precious play-by-play contracts – especially considering new entrants into the field including CBS Sports Network and Fox Sports 1 – is forcing it to be more cost-conscious.

walshprotestIRS Protest Led by WIND, Chicago’s Joe Walsh.  Former Illinois Congressman Joe Walsh is pictured here (with megaphone) on the street outside the Dearborn Street offices of the Internal Revenue Service in Chicago protesting the agency’s targeting of conservative and religious groups.  The rally was organized and led by Walsh, who hosts his own evening talk show on Salem Communications’ WIND, Chicago, “AM 560 The Answer.”  Walsh states, “It’s time to send a message that our First Amendment rights will not be denied by an out-of-control administration.”  Dozens of protesters joined Walsh during the lunchtime gathering.

IRS Targets Conservatives, DOJ Fox News Investigation, Oklahoma Tornado Aftermath, Benghazi Attacks Case, and Anthony Weiner to Run for NYC Mayor Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/21).  The IRS’ targeting of conservative groups; the investigation by the Department of Justice into Fox News Channel reporters; the aftermath of the deadly Oklahoma tornado; the ongoing scrutiny of the Benghazi attack and disgraced former NY Congressman Anthony Weiner’s bid for mayor of New York were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Friday, March 8, 2013

| March 8, 2013

journalbroadcastgroupJournal Broadcast Group 2012 Q4 Revenue Up 53% on Strong Political; Radio Up 15%.  Journal Communications chairman and CEO Steve Smith reports the Broadcast Group’s fourth quarter of 2012 was up an amazing 53% due to a very good quarter of political advertising.  He says that same-station revenue – excluding political – was up 4%.  Journal owns TV stations so when that was broken down, radio was up 15% for the quarter compared to the same period a year ago.  President and CFO Andre Fernandez went a little more in depth about radio during the conference call.  “On radio, revenue increased nearly 15% in Q4, but only 1.5% on a same-station basis excluding political and the extra week.  And that was driven by a 4% gain in local and helped by such categories as auto, up over 20%.  Political revenue was a more modest $700,000 in radio for the quarter and $1.7 million for the full year.  Looking ahead to the first quarter for radio, total revenue is pacing up in the mid-single digits, though in the low single digits on a same-station basis.”

nbcsportsradio logoNBC Sports Radio Moves Erik Kuselias to AM Drive; Jon Stashower to Evenings.  As the NBC Sports-Dial Global co-operative sports radio network project prepares to go full time on April 1, NBCkuseliaserik Sports Radio announces that current evening host Erik Kuselias will be the AM drive host airing from 6:00 am to 9:00 am and weekend sports talk personality Jon Stashower will move to the 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm slot.  Kuselias has been in the evening slot for the network since its soft debut in September of stashowerjonlast year.  Rob “Stats” Guerrera will serve as Kuselias’ producer.  Kuselias states, “I’m thrilled to be in the prime spot for NBC Sports Radio’s first daily lineup. We believe this is the smartest and most fun sports radio program in the nation, and we look forward to the exciting opportunities that lie ahead.  Additionally, NBC Sports and Dial Global Sports allow us to have an unparalleled guest list, which will help us rejuvenate mornings for those looking for a fresh approach.”  As for the evening show, Jon Stashower says, “In sports, so much happens at night.  It’s when the games are played and so many of the stories break.  I’m really looking forward to being on every night to break down all that’s going on.”

2013hh logo 3 inchesHeavy Hundred to be Revealed at 12:00 noon ET on Tuesday, March 12.  The highly anticipated 2013 installment of annual TALKERS magazine feature, “The 100 Most Important Radio Talk Show Hosts in America,” — also known as the “Heavy Hundred” — will be posted at Talkers.com this coming Tuesday at 12:00 noon ET.  This marks the 19th edition of the feature (which launched in April of 1995 as the “Talkers 25″ and was expanded to 100 in 1996).  In announcing the date, TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey states, “It is never an easy task for the TALKERS editorial board to arrive at a final list considering all the many factors taken into consideration, not to mention the pressure and consequences attached to the endeavor.  This year, however, has been especially challenging due to all the changes that have taken place in the composition of the industry during the past year and we needed an extra week to make last minute adjustments.  You wouldn’t believe all the screaming matches that take place in our conference room during this process every year.  It would make an amazing reality TV show.”

spanglertimothyKRLA, Los Angeles Debuts “The Bigger Picture with Timothy Spangler.”  Salem Communications’ KRLA, Los Angeles “AM 870 The Answer” brings a new program to its Sunday evening schedule as “The Bigger Picture” hosted by Timothy Spangler is airing in the 10:00 pm to 12:00 midnight slot.  The station calls it a show with “its focus on the unusual and humorous aspects of international affairs and global events…it brings the attitude and sensitivities of ‘The Daily Show,’ ‘The Colbert Report,’ and ‘Tosh 2.0’ to talk radio for a younger generation of listeners.”  Spangler is an accomplished young man having studied applied mathematics at UCLA and law at Vanderbilt University, he earned his PhD in law at the London School of Economics.  He is admitted to practice as an attorney in California and New York, as well as a solicitor in England and Wales.  He writes an award-winning syndicated foreign affairs column that appears each week in the Orange County Register and the Jerusalem Post, as well as other newspapers across the US.  He is currently an adjunct professor of law at UCLA School of Law.  He also serves as a visiting lecturer at the University College, London’s Faculty of Law and a senior fellow at the University of Melbourne School of Law.

herskovitzal2013 “Hersky” Awards for Achievement in Talk Radio Advertising and Sales Announced Today.  Each year, TALKERS magazine’s resident radio advertising and sales maven, Al Herskovitz, presents the “Hersky Awards” recognizing outstanding achievement in the field of talk radio advertising and sales.  This years presentations are made for the following categories: Best Live Read,  Best Humor, Best Produced,  Best Website Presentation of Sales by a Rep, Best Website Presentation of Sales by a Radio Station, Best Jingle, and Nosey (which means Most Stinky).  To read Al Herskovitz’s presentation of this year’s Herskys, click here.

RamseyVegasKXNTOn the Road with Dave Ramsey.  Nationally syndicated talk radio superstar Dave Ramsey has been on the road recently visiting markets including Kansas City and Las Vegas.  In Las Vegas he presented his intimate “Building Your Legacy” live event before a sold-out crowd.  At this event Ramsey’s daughter, Rachel Cruze, joined him on stage.  Local affiliate KXNT helped promote the event.  Ramsey (center) is pictured here with KXNT program director Andrew Paul (left) and SVP/GM Jerry McKenna (right).  Paul says, “Our listeners were thrilled to have the opportunity to meet and hear Dave.  He is such a dynamic speaker.  He motivated and inspired everyone.  We are so grateful and proud that Las Vegas was a stop on the ‘Building Your Legacy’ tour.”  Ramsey also visited Kansas City recently hosting his “EntreLeadership 1 Day” event there before a packed house at Folley Theater.  Ramsey, along with speaker Jon Acuff, spoke about how to run a business using the same common sense principles that Ramsey practices in his own company of more than 300 employees.  Affiliate KCMO took part in the event.

valentinephilOdds & Sods.  Nashville-based syndicated talk show host Phil Valentine tells TALKERS magazine his program was the top-cuming talk show in the Nashville market during the Fall 2012 Arbitron survey.  Phil says his show had “more listeners than Limbaugh and Hannity combined and almost four times the listeners of Beck!”  The 12-plus DMA weekly cume for his program was 144,800…..CBS Radio Philadelphia announces all-news KYW reporter Mark Abrams will report live from Vatican City as the Cardinals of the Catholic Church prepare to elect Pope Benedict XVI’s successor.  The station reports Abrams has arranged interviews in Rome with a number of Catholic Church officials and clergy from the Delawaregreshamtom Valley.  His reports will begin this weekend on KYW Newsradio, and can be heard hourly throughout the conclave…..“Gun Talk Radio” host Tom Gresham reports that he delivered 16,630 new “Lifetime Members” to the National Rifle Association.  Gresham announced a special $300 Lifetime Membership deal with the NRA on his program during the second week in January with a special direct phone number.  The deal ended the last day of February.  He tells TALKERS, “It’s incredible that we were able to send the NRA almost five million dollars in only seven weeks.”…..Digital audio aggregator TuneIn announces the continuance of its relationship with Performance Racing Network.  With this alliance, TuneIn now carries the excitement of every NASCAR race.  Listeners can hear live coverage of all 36 races of the Sprint Cup Series, including the Coca-Cola 600, the Brickyard 400, and the Bank of America 500.

bfoa logoBroadcasters Foundation of America Announces Ward L. Quaal Recipients.  The Broadcasters Foundation of America announces the recipients of the 2013 Ward L. Quaal Leadership Awards that will be presented at the BFoA’s annual breakfast on April 10 at the Wynn Hotel during the National Association of Broadcasters Show in Las Vegas.  The six honorees this year are: Skip Finley, radio executive, managing partner, Noepe Communications; Alan Frank, president/CEO, Post-Newsweek Stations, retired; David Kennedy, former president/CEO, Susquehanna Media Co.; Mike McKinnon, president/CEO McKinnon Broadcasting; Charles Osgood, TV news anchor, radio and TV personality; and Bob Schmidt, president/CEO Eagle Communications, retired.  The Leadership Awards are given annually in recognition of career contributions to the broadcast industry and the community at large, and are named in honor of iconic broadcaster Ward L. Quaal.  The breakfast, which is complimentary to all, is sponsored by the National Association of Media Brokers, Arbitron, Frank N. Magid Associates, the Television Bureau of Advertising, Marketron and the National Association of Broadcasters.

Sequestration Battle Remains Top News/Talk Story for Week of March 4 – 8.  Even with a number of major international stories breaking during the week, the battle over the sequester stayed atop the Talkers TenTM for the third straight week as the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio.  At #2 this week was North Korea’s nuclear threats.  Coming in at #3 was Iran’s nuclear program followed by the death of Hugo Chavez at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on American news/talk radio during the week and is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Friday, February 22, 2013

| February 22, 2013

pagliarulojoeHow Do You Know It’s a Good Topic and That It Will Work Where You’re Broadcasting?  That’s a great question with an increasing number of radio talk show hosts working “locally” by remote on more than one station or simply being syndicated across a region or the entire nation. So, TALKERS magazine went to a broadcaster who is eminently qualified to answer the question – Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo, a member of the TALKERS Heavy hundred — who hosts mornings on KPRC, Houston; late afternoons on WOAI, San Antonio; weekends locally on KOA, Denver and weekends nationally on “The Weekend” show.  He is also a major “go to” fill-in host for such hosts as Glenn Beck, Todd Schnitt and many others. Pags writes, “Many years ago, I thought it was easy to gauge.  Whatever gets the phone ringing, right?  Not so much.  I take a lot of phone calls.  I’d say more than you might hear on other shows.  But, I insist they be of substance and advance the conversation or be really funny and entertaining.  Making the phones ring, it turns out, is easy.  ‘Abortion, for or against?  Here’s the number.’  That’s sure to melt the lines down and guaranteed to be a horrible show.  Those blinking lights are addictive and the interaction intoxicating, but I once heard a stat that showed 2% of all listeners will ever call into a radio show.  How do you make sure you’re engaging the other 98% as well?”  Read Pags’ entire article here.

grumdahldaraWCCO, Minneapolis Adds Weekend Food Show.  The CBS Radio news/talk station announces Dara Moskowitz Grumdahl brings her food writing talents to the WCCO lineup, hosting a one-hour show called “Off The Menu” beginning March 2.  Grumdahl, is a senior editor at Minneapolis St. Paul Magazine, she’s been the top voice in Twin Cities food since her work as City Pages restaurant critic (1997 to 2008,) launched her to national prominence with a string of James Beard Awards, the highest award of the food world.  WCCO program director Bob Shomper says, “WCCO has a long and rich history of food and nutrition, from the recipe shows and farm reports of the past to the latest dining trends and nutritional information of today.  Dara is the Twin Cities’ premier expert on food.  She will bring WCCO’s tradition of nutritional information to new heights, on all platforms, on-air, online and on mobile devices.  We are thrilled to have her on the WCCO team.”

baileyralphTalk Host Ralph Bailey Exits KNZR, Bakersfield.  Afternoon drive talk host Ralph Bailey resigns suddenly from his position with the Buckley Broadcasting station and although he gives no hint of where he may surface, The Bakersfield Californian speculates he may be headed for American General Media’s crosstown KERN.  Bailey wrote on his Facebook page, in part, “It was with a heavy heart that I tendered my resignation to Buckley Radio today.  However, future opportunities and challenges make it virtually impossible not to seek out new adventures.  I would like to thank Steve Darnell, Kathy Baker and, posthumously, Rick Buckley.  To my colleagues, I hope I was a team player who made the station and the client top priority and someone who grasped the concept of pulling on one side of the rope.  To my sponsors, I hope I played a small role in your success and thank you for your support!”

picarddannyBoston Sports Talk Host Gets Terrestrial Outlet.  Boston native Danny Picard – whose “I’m Just Sayin’” sports talk show appeared on recent editions of TALKERS magazine’s Frontier Fifty feature spotlighting internet-only talk radio hosts – gets his daily program added to the schedule at Blackstrap Broadcasting’s WUFC, Boston “NBC Sports Radio.”  The show is a simulcast of his 9:00 am to 10:00 am internet program but Picard tells TALKERS it is “essentially the same show I do now, only I’ll no longer be broadcasting from my South Boston living room apartment. I’ll be broadcasting from the 1510 NBC Sports Radio Boston studios on Marina Bay.”  Picard says he’s excited about the development.  “I’ve been hosting this show for a while now, and it’s a thrill to finally be heard on an AM signal in Boston every weekday.  I’m extremely passionate about what I do, and I look forward to expressing my passion to an expanding audience.”  Picard began doing his program from his University of Massachusetts-Amherst apartment in 2006.  He’s been covering all the major pro sports teams at Comcast SportsNet New England for the CSNNE.com site since it launched in 2009.  Picard continues his role with Comcast SportsNet.  Photo by Jennifer Bodnar.

whitmanshapiroThe Tom Joyner Syndrome – without the Expensive Planes!  Pictured here are two coast-to-coast broadcasting adventures.  First, at left are KRLA, Los Angeles “Morning Answer” co-hosts Brian Whitman (left) and Ben Shapiro (right) from their studios at Salem Los Angeles (Heidi Harris also co-hosts the morning show on KRLA).  On Thursday, February 21 the two pulled double duty by filling in on Salem’s New York news/talker WNYM “AM 970 The Answer” for Curtis Sliwa’s mcculloughhomestudioand Jeffrey Lichtman’s PM drive show as both were on vacation.  At the same time, New York City-based Kevin McCullough (at right), whose nationally syndicated broadcast airs mornings on his longtime flagship AM 570 WMCA in New York, has been pulling double duty in Los Angeles on Salem’s Christian talk station 99.5 KKLA-FM in afternoon drive (4:00 pm to 7:00 pm PT).  Kevin McCullough began doing the afternoon show in Los Angeles after the tragic Thanksgiving week motorcycle accident that eventually claimed the life of Salem personality Frank Pastore.  McCullough is pictured here Thursday evening doing the KKLA-FM show from the studios of New York-based XtreMEDIA.

larsonlarsTALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  Compass Media NetworksLars Larson is added to the lineup at KQV, Pittsburgh…..Michael Patrick Shiels adds country outlet WQTX, Lansing, Michigan to his affiliate list for his statewide AM drive show.  The add marks Shiels’ return to Lansing after exiting Cumulus Media’s WJIM a year ago and sitting out a non-compete…..Fox Sports Radio Network announces KGGS, Garden City, Kansas adds the network’s entire daily lineup as the station re-brands as “Big Dog Sports 1340”…..Dial Global and NBC’s NBC Sports Radio sign an agreement for Alpha Broadcasting’s KXTG-AM, Portland to carry their content…..Gow Broadcasting-operated Yahoo! Sports Radio adds affiliate KMZQ, Las Vegas for its sports talk programming…..“Right Turn Radio” – a program about addiction and mental health hosted by Woody Geissman and Abby Dean – now airs on WRKO, Boston Sundays at 7:00 pm.  The show is a production of Right Turn, a local non-profit that provides innovative outpatient treatment and supporting housing for addicts…..“Armed American Radio” with Mark Walters adds new affiliate KRDO-AM/FM, Colorado Springs.

Sequestration and Deficit Reduction Top Talk Radio Topics for Week of February 18-22.  The battle in Washington over the looming sequestration and the related calls for deficit reduction were the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  Coming in at #2 was immigration reform.  At #3 was soaring gasoline prices followed by the costs of ObamaCare at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio each week based on ongoing research from TALKERS.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  See this week’s entire chart here.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

| January 29, 2013

schnitttoddSchnitt vs. Bubba: Monday Recap.  After the news of Todd Schnitt’s attorney being arrested on DUI charges and allegations that Bubba The Love Sponge’s attorneys set him up for the arrest became the predominant aspect of the case on Friday and both sides asked for mistrials for varying reasons, Hillsborough County Judge James Arnold on Mondaybubba did not grant a mistrial saying the jury had not been compromised and testimony went forward.  But not before Arnold agreed to throw out five of the 16 defamation counts against Bubba (Todd Clem).  One in which Bubba accused Schnitt of possibly engaging in plug-ola, three in which he called him a “fraud,” and another in which he called him a “snitch.”  The other 11 counts remain.  Schnitt’s team rested its case on Monday and Bubba’s lawyers called michaelsrandyformer Clear Channel Radio president Randy Michaels, under whom both Schnitt and Bubba worked at one time, to the stand.  Michaels first complimented both Schnitt and Bubba for being talented radio performers.  He said that the feud between the two had gotten too intense and he asked them to “tone it down.”  He told the jury the language Bubba used when saying he wanted a funeral for MJ Kelli (Schnitt’s CHR morning show moniker) was hyperbole and not to be taken literally.  Also taking the stand was a former producer for Schnitt who now works for Bubba who testified that Schnitt spoke on the air jokingly about his wife’s “tramp stamp” tattoo – an effort by the defense to ask  the jury that if Schnitt could joke about his wife being a “tramp,” how is Bubba’s calling her a “whore” any different?  The defense is expected to continue its arguments today.

ballentinewarrenNationally Syndicated Talk Host Warren Ballentine Charged with Mortgage Fraud.  The Chicago-based attorney and host of the Warren Ballentine show distributed nationally via Syndication One is being indicted on charges related to an alleged mortgage fraud scheme.  The Justice Department reports that a federal grand jury returned indictments for two counts of bank fraud, two counts of making false statements to lenders and one count each of mail fraud and wire fraud.  The UPI reports the indictment is seeking a forfeiture of some $9.7 million in fraud proceeds.  The feds allege Ballentine plotted with others to obtain more than two dozen fraudulent mortgage loans and that he represented buyers at closings knowing that they weren’t qualified for home mortgages in Chicago and its southern suburbs.  Ballentine is expected to be arraigned next week.  Meanwhile TALKERS sources close to Ballentine say he maintains his innocence and that the truth will come out.  His talk show is currently heard on some 37 affiliates across the country including WVON, Chicago.

barreirodanClear Channel’s KFAN Network Re-Signs Dan Barreiro.  Sports talk host Dan Barreiro and Clear Channel Media and Entertainment agree on a multi-year contract extension for the KFXN, Minneapolis-based sports talk host.  Barreiro hosts the afternoon drive program on the company’s KFAN sports talk brand that is distributed to numerous stations across Minnesota.  CC Minneapolis vice president of programming Gregg Swedberg says, “Dan has been the top afternoon drive talk personality in the market for decades and has many loyal listeners all over the country through iHeartRadio.  We are delighted that Dan will be with us for a long time.”

bakerchrisChris Baker Lands at KFAB, Omaha for PM Drive.  Talk radio pro Chris Baker’s next gig is at Clear Channel’s KFAB, Omaha where he’ll host the afternoon drive program.  Baker – a veteran of the Houston, Minneapolis, Miami and Omaha markets – recently exited the Dan Patrick-owned KSEV, Houston talk outlet.  He says, “Since my family and I are in Omaha to visit friends and relatives on a regular basis, it’s only natural that I would want to put down root here.  KFAB is a legendary Midwest radio powerhouse and I’m excited to work with Gary Sadlemyer and the whole crew.”  His new gig begins February 11.

mcnabbdonovanOdds & Sods.  NBC Sports Radio Network brings former NFL star Donovan McNabb aboard to eventually be part of a daily sports talk show to begin on April 1.  Until that time, McNabb will begin as a weekly contributor as the build-up to the Super Bowl takes place.  McNabb will serve as a lead NFL analyst and will call in to affiliate station programs…..Formerbrandotim Yahoo! Sports Radio personality Tim Brando begins a new gig with SiriusXM Satellite Radio where he’ll host his eponymous program on the SiriusXM College Sports Nation channel.  Brando’s program will continue to be simulcast on cable TV’s CBS Sports Network…..WTOP, Washington news anchor Richard Day has retired from the Hubbard Broadcasting all-news brand.  Vice president of news and programming Jim Farley says Day’s retirement was handled with no fanfare at Day’s request…..Chicagoland Radio and Media reports that WFLD-TV sports anchor Lou Canellis is beginning a regular hour-long, daily appearance on WLS-AM, Chicago’s “Roe & Roeper” PM drive program with Roe Conn and Richard Roeper.  Canellis is now part of the 5:00 pm hour every day to talk sports on the Cumulus Media station.  The blog speculates that the move is part of a greater effort to add sports content to the station to improve its ratings…..The “4th Period Live” program returns to SiriusXM’s NHL Network for its second season beginning Saturday, February 2 from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm ET.  The show is hosted by David Pagnotta, 4th Period‘s editor-in-chief from Toronto and Dennis Bernstein, its Los Angeles-based senior writer.  The show is an extension of TFP’s brand of hockey lifestyle content that includes a highly visited website (www.thefourthperiod.com) and quarterly print magazine available on newsstands throughout North America.

huckabeerenoHuckabee Visits Reno.  Cumulus Media Networks nationally syndicated talk host Governor Mike Huckabee is pictured here with KNEZ, Reno news director and afternoon drive host Sean Patrick at the sparkling new studios of the Shamrock Communications news/talk station.  Huckabee’s program is carried by “KNEWS” – a new FM signal and news/talk brand that Shamrock recently put on the air in the market.

calajoeSouthern California Sports Personality Joe Cala Named to Hall of Fame.  KNX, Los Angeles sports anchor Joe Cala was inducted into the Southern California Sports Broadcasters Hall of Fame at the organization’s 22nd annual awards luncheon at the Lakeside Golf Club in Toluca Lake, California.  Cala has been with KNX for the past six years and spent the previous 32 years at crosstown KFWB.  The SCSB has served as a major forum for recognizing and advancing sports broadcasting in Southern California since 1958.  Its Hall of Fame includes Dick Enberg, Tom Harmon, Don Drysdale, Chick Hearn, Gil Stratton, Stu Nahan, Vin Scully and Jim Hill, to name a few.

millerkevingunsTown Hall Meeting in Boise Addresses Second Amendment.  You’re looking over the shoulder of KIDO, Boise morning drive host Kevin Miller as he addresses the more than 300 area residents who attended the Peak Broadcasting station’s Town Hall Meeting to discuss Second Amendment issues in the wake of the Obama Administration’s call for stricter gun legislation.  Miller tells TALKERS that the event was covered locally by two of the market’s television stations.

mcguireseanKOIL, Omaha Adds Weekend Affordable Care Act Program.  The program is called “America’s Healthcare Challenge” and is hosted by Sean McGuire.  The goal of the program is to provide valuable insight into implementation of the Affordable Care Act and prepare decision makers for looming penalties and taxes in the law.  McGuire states, “This is currently the only radio show of its kind in the US.  Business owners are clamoring for credible information and answers to their questions like how employees’ benefits will change next year and what innovative ways exist to curb rising healthcare costs constantly squeezing bottom lines all over the country…I was a part of the research team for the Senate Finance Committee five years ago.  The law originated conceptually in the Senate and I have read the bill multiple times.  It is my desire to bring my listeners information they need to know as if they were Members of Congress.”

morrisonsotomayorJustice Sotomayor Visits SCPR.  United States Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor (right) poses for a photo with Southern California Public Radio special correspondent Patt Morrison (left) during an appearance at KPCC, Pasadena’s Crawford Family Forum.  The venue was packed with local high school and college students, as well KPCC listeners who came to hear Sotomayor speak about her life and promote her new autobiography My Beloved World (Knopf 2013).  Patt Morrison interviewed Sotomayor as part of the appearance.

greenbergbookESPN Radio’s Mike Greenberg Announces New Novel to Benefit the V Foundation.  Nationally syndicated ESPN Radio and ESPN 2 personality Mike Greenberg announces the publication of his first novel titled, All You Could Ask For (William Morrow 2013).  In making the announcement from the Super Bowl radio row in New Orleans, Greenberg stated that all of the author’s proceeds from the sale of the book will benefit The V Foundation for Cancer Research.  Greenberg says, “I wrote this book to honor the memory of a good friend of mine and my wife Stacy’s named Heidi Armitage, who lost her battle with breast cancer in 2009 at the age of 43.  The V Foundation is an obvious organization to work with.  Mike Golic and I have been honored to be a part of many great V Foundation events over the years.  I’m so proud of our connection to the V Foundation.”

wachsdaliahpodiumDr. Daliah Wachs at the Podium.  Practicing family physician and nationally syndicated talk show host Dr. Daliah Wachs is pictured here at the Nevada Academy of Family Physicians at their conference in Lake Tahoe this past weekend.  About 200 were at this lecture where Dr. Wachs spoke about avoiding pitfalls in family medicine, educating them on the liabilities doctors face and what lawsuits have been successful.  Dr. Wachs’ program is syndicated by Genesis Communications Network.

Monday, January 7, 2013

| January 7, 2013

cosbyritaRita Cosby to Host PM Drive at WOR, New York; PD Rumors Abound.  As Clear Channel Media and Entertainment continues crafting its new New York City talk radio station – on Friday, TALKERS told you about Mark Simone’s moving from WABC to WOR to host the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon show – we now know that Rita Cosby is in place to host the 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm program.  The journalist, TV news anchor and current correspondent for CBS’ syndicated “Inside Edition” television program has been subbing on Big Apple talk radio recently.  As for programmers, the speculation is that former hot AC WPLJ, New York program director Tom Cuddy is in place to program WOR.  If that’s the case, it’s interesting that CC has gone outside the realm of talk radio programmers for this signal.  One thing’s for sure, Cuddy certainly knows the New York market.

kleinaaronWABC, New York’s Aaron Klein Gains Big December PPM Audience.  The host of WABC, New York’s Sunday evening “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio” program was the most-listened-to personality on the AM band during the 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm among Men 35-plus.  Klein’s show was #3 in the market in that demo and during that time period behind only classic rock WAXQ and AC WLTW with a 7.0 share.  Klein tells TALKERS magazine, “This clearly demonstrates that there is hunger for live weekend talk radio programming if the content is compelling, exclusive, news-oriented and entertaining.”  Klein’s program beat out sports WFAN as well as the market’s two all-newsers in the Men 35-plus demographic.

ingrahamlauraLaura Ingraham Talks About New Show.  In case you missed it, Courtside Entertainment-syndicated talk host Laura Ingraham spoke with Bloomberg BusinessWeek’s Diane Brady last week about changes in her life and work as she left Talk Radio Network for a new deal with Courtside.  She told Brady, “After 11 years at TRN, it was time to retool how I approached the business.  That meant everything from whom I partnered with and how the show is delivered to the topics I cover.  Pounding on the same people and themes doesn’t expand an audience. Conservatives limit themselves when they just look at the world through a political lens.  Politics is an important part of what I do — my core beliefs haven’t changed — but people are disillusioned with it.”  She also pointed to her personal life as a reason for massaging the direction of her program.  “I’m a single mother to three young kids; I’ve been treated for breast cancer; I’m caring for my aging father.  There’s a lot more that unites us than divides us.  I want the show to be livelier, funnier, newsier, more unpredictable.  The personal connection with listeners is more satisfying than political conversations.”

cbssportsradiologoCBS Sports Radio Network Debuts Weekend Lineup.  Three days after premiering its weekday national sports radio network, CBS Radio brings its weekend lineup to the airwaves.  Kicking off on the first weekend of the NFL playoffs, the network’s schedule was as follows (parentheses indicate talent’s home base): Saturday/Sunday 2:00 am to 6:00 am Amy Lawrence (joins CBS Sports Radio from ESPN Radio); Saturday: 6:00 am to 10:00 am Marc Malusis (WFAN-AM/FM New York); 10:00 am to 2:00 pm Brandon Tierney (CBS Sports Radio); 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm Gregg Giannotti (KDKA-FM Pittsburgh); 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm Jody McDonald (WIP-FM Philadelphia and WFAN); and Saturday/Sunday 10:00 pm to 2:00 am Adam The Bull (WKRK-FM Cleveland).  Sunday: 6:00 am to 10:00 am John Kincade (WCNN-AM Atlanta); 10:00 am to 2:00 pm Vinny Cerrato/Rob Long (WJZ-FM Baltimore); 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm Jody McDonald/Kris Jenkins (former NFL player, and sports analyst); 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm Josh Innes and Ted Johnson (KILT-AM Houston); and Sunday/Monday 10:00 pm to 2:00 am Amy Lawrence.

liebermanrichBay Area Media Blogger Rich Lieberman to Host Afternoons at KOMY, Santa Cruz.  Rich Lieberman – who’s been writing the Rich Lieberman 415 Media blog for more than 10 years – had recently been doing some holiday fill-in work at Michael Zwerling-owned KOMY, Santa Cruz over the holidays.  Now Zwerling announces Lieberman has been hired to be permanent host of the 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm program.  Zwerling states, “Rich has been blogging about media, sports, and entertainment for more than a decade and has built an amazing audience, including MANY famous people who crave mentions and acknowledgement by this new media sensation. This reminds me of how people would die to be mentioned in Herb Caen‘s column in the San Francisco Chronicle for nearly half a century.”

valentinebobbyBobby Valentine Joins NBC Sports Radio as Weekly Contributor.  Baseball’s Bobby Valentine is becoming part of the NBC Sports Radio network as a contributor to its coverage of Major League Baseball beginning this month.  The network says Valentine will call in weekly to affiliated stations and NBC Sports Radio talk hosts with his candid thoughts and observations on baseball.  In addition, Valentine will become a part-time co-host of a soon-to-be-announced daily Monday through Friday talk show that will debut in April as the network expands its programming lineup.  The NBC Sports Radio network is being distributed and supported with ad sales by Dial Global.  Valentine says, “I can’t wait to get started on NBC Sports Radio.  I’m looking forward to talking to our affiliates and network shows, and to being a major contributor to the network.  I always state my honest opinion and I can’t wait to share it with NBC Sports Radio listeners.”

millerchris“I Knew You’d Like This and That No One Else Would Show it to You.”  This is the attitude that digital consultant Chris Miller says delivers higher quality content when using social media such as Facebook.  In this piece for TALKERS, Miller explains how programmers can optimize their gains from Facebook using its EdgeRank algorithm.  Miller says EdgeRank “works to show you what they think will matter most to you.  It’s like a programmer picking songs; they want the good stuff to show up most often, and they don’t want to show you the stuff you don’t care about.”  Miller explains the three elements that make up the algorithm and offers some tips how to capitalize on it.  Read his piece here.

metalsheenaSheena Metal Celebrates Four Years at LA Talk Radio.  Los Angeles radio personality Sheena Metal is celebrating her fourth anniversary at the Sam Hasson-founded LATalkRadio.com.  Metal was a long-time evening personality at CBS Radio’s old hot talk KLSX, Los Angeles before the station underwent a format change.  Sam Hasson says, “Since she launched her daily radio show ‘The Sheena Metal Experience’ in January 2009, Sheena has grown tremendously in every way and built a respectable audience that is loyal and devoted.  We anticipate more great entertainment and intriguing guests in the coming year.  LA Talk Radio is proud to call Sheena Metal one of our own.”  In addition to “The Sheena Metal Experience,” she co-hosts two weekly talk programs: the paranormal hit “Haunted Playground” alongside psychic/medium Danielle Egnew (Tuesdays from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm) and the spicy “Two Chicks Talkin’ Politics” alongside actress Susan Olsen (of “The Brady Bunch” fame) airing Mondays 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm.  For music lovers, Sheena Metal can even be found hosting her weekly “Music Highway” show on Wednesdays from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

| December 18, 2012

wgnlogoWGN, Chicago Revamps Program Schedule; Milt Rosenberg Out After 39 Years.  The 87-year-old host of “Extension 720” will do his last program for Tribune’s WGN, Chicago on Thursday evening.  In announcing its new programming schedule set to take effect on January 2, the station is eliminating Milt Rosenberg’s “Extension 720” program that rosenbergmiltbegan in 1973.  New to the schedule will be a late evening show featuring former WLS-AM night host Turi Ryder who’ll ryderturibroadcast from 10:00 pm to 1:00 am.  Other changes include a later start for Jonathon Brandmeier’s morning show – 6:00 am to 10:00 am – and a split shift for midday personality Mike McConnell who’ll host the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon slot and the 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm slot.  In between, the station adds “The Noon Show” hosted by author Carol Roth.  Roth is a business strategist and former investment banker who frequently contributes to the topics of business and entrepreneurship on Fox News, MSNBC, Fox Business, and WGN TV.  As for Rosenberg, he tells Time Out Chicago’s Robert Feder he has no hard feelings toward the people at WGN, “It’s certainly amicable as far as my relations with the people I deal with.  There’s been no particular bad feeling, no insults, no shouting.”  And Rosenberg indicates he’ll seek other opportunities to continue his radio career, perhaps with other spoken-word stations in the market.

nielsen logoConsolidation Hits the Ratings Industry; Nielsen to Acquire Arbitron.  Consolidation is not for radio stations only.  Today, Nielsen Holdings N.V. announces it will begin the process of buying Arbitron Inc. through the acquisition of the outstanding common stock of Arbitron for $48 per share in cash, representing a premium of approximately 26% to Arbitron’s closing price on December 17, 2012.  Nielsen has a financing commitment for the total transaction amount.  The transaction has been approved by the boards of both companies and is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory review.  Nielsen had tried to compete with Arbitron in the radio ratings business in the United States in the past but shut down that effort after minimal success gaining enough subscribers to make the project profitable.  Clearly, Nielsen sees value in the radio ratings business as Nielsen chief executive officer David Calhoun states, “U.S. consumers spend almost two hours a day with radio.  It is and will continue to be a vibrant and important advertising medium.  Arbitron will help Nielsen better solve for unmeasured areas of media consumption, including streaming audio and out-of-home.  The high level of engagement with radio and TV among rapidly growing multicultural audiences makes this central to Nielsen’s priorities.”  With cross-platform marketing becoming so important Nielsen sees this acquisition as completing a part of that puzzle for marketers in the U.S.  In a statement, Nielsen says – with Arbitron assets – it intends to further expand its “Watch” segment’s audience measurement across screens and forms of listening. “These integrated, innovative capabilities will enable broader measurement of consumer media behavior in more markets around the world,” says Steve Hasker, Nielsen president of Global Media Products and Advertiser Solutions.  “We will also bring local clients greater visibility to empower more precise advertising placement and campaign effectiveness.”

pastorefrankKKLA, Los Angeles Host Frank Pastore Dies After Motorcycle Accident.  The 55-year-old former MLB pitcher and talk host on Salem Communications’ Christian talk outlet KKLA, Los Angeles died after going into cardiac arrest on Monday, December 17.  He had been in a coma for several weeks after being involved in a motorcycle accident on the 210 freeway near Los Angeles.  Salem Communications president David Santrella issued the following statement: “Frank has been an integral part of KKLA for nine years as our afternoon talk host and, in many ways, as a Salem ambassador to the Christian community in Southern California.  Our thoughts and prayers go out to Gina Pastore, their family and the KKLA family at this time.”

rosejoeBeasley’s WQAM, Miami Inks Joe Rose to Contract Extension.  Morning drive sports talk host Joe Rose – The Big Dog – signs a contract extension with Beasley Broadcasting to remain in the AM drive seat on WQAM for the next three years.  The former Miami Dolphins tight end joined WQAM’s morning show in 1992.  He also serves as color commentator for the Dolphins radio broadcasts as well as sports anchor for WTVJ-TV, Miami “NBC 6.”  Beasley Miami VP/GM Joe Bell states, “Joe Rose is the gold standard for athletes who become broadcasters.  He had a seven-year NFL career, but as good as he was, his broadcast career has eclipsed what he accomplished in the NFL.  Joe is an easy listen…he’s the guy next door that you can talk sports with over the backyard fence.  He has become the face of WQAM and we’re proud and excited to have him on board through 2015.”

TALKERS Presents Massive Four Month News/Talk Radio PPM Overview.  As a follow up to yesterday’s (12/17) analysis by Mike Kinosian about how the non-stop, dramatic events of the past six weeks have presented radio, in general, and news/talk radio, kinosianmikespecifically, with the challenge and opportunity to process an enormous amount of compelling material, TALKERS presents a PPM overview of some 140 stations leading up to and including this period.  Reflecting on the format’s extremely dramatic November (2012) survey, where more than seven of 10 stations in our large sample were either up or steady (6+), compared to their October stats.  Stations qualified to appear in this multi-faceted recap by ranking within the top 20 (6+) in any of Arbitron’s 48 PPM-measured markets (November 2012). Talk has the distinction of being the lone format to have at least one station in the top 20 of all 48 PPM markets. To see the survey please click here.

ucchinorickRick Ucchino Named Sports Anchor at Blue Chip’s Soon-to-Be Sports WCFN, Cincinnati.  When Blue Chip Broadcasting’s WCFN, Cincinnati flips to sports on January 2, local sports talk personality Rick Ucchino will serve as the station’s full-time sports anchor.  WCFN will air the CBS Sports Radio Network programming when the new radio network debuts.  Whether the station will carry all of the network programming is unknown at this time.  Ucchino currently serves at Christian Broadcasting System’s crosstown WQRT “Real Talk 1160” hosting the afternoon drive program.  In a Facebook announcement, Ucchino says, “As some of you might know, MOJO 100.3 is flipping to an all new CBS Sports station starting January 2nd.  And I am happy to announce that I have officially accepted an offer to become their full-time morning sports anchor!  I am grateful for the opportunities ‘Real Talk 1160’ has given me over the years but I am excited for the next chapter of my career!”

meehandougDoug Meehan Exits WTKK, Boston for TV Gig.  It’s tempting to read into WTKK, Boston afternoon drive host Doug Meehan’s departure from the station as being related to rumors Greater Media plans to flip the station from talk to a music format in the near future, but there’s no indication that’s the case.  Meehan, who took over the PM drive slot in 2011 and served as a TV traffic reporter and general assignment reporter at Fox 25 in Boston prior to that, is leaving the station to pursue a “major-market television opportunity” that he’ll announce soon.  While Greater Media has been registering domain names that could indicate a flip to any number of music – or even sports – formats, the company has simply stated it is always considering programming options for its stations.

nbcsportsradioNBC/Dial Global Lays Out Weekend Schedule.  The new NBC Sports Radio network announces its weekend programming schedule that affiliate stations will air beginning Saturday, January 5.  The Dial Global-NBC Sports Group initiative is already offering “The Safety Blitz with Rodney Harrison” and now announces the rest of the weekend lineup.  It includes the following talent: Brian Webber of NFL Network’s “NFL AM” morning show, Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated and NBC Sports, and Clay Travis, NBC Sports contributor and owner/contributor of OutKicktheCoverage.com.  Also suiting up for the NBC Sports Radio weekends team is  Newy Scruggs, sports director and on-air personality at NBC-5 Dallas/Ft. Worth and formerly of 105.3 The Fan, Dallas; Jason Page, recently withESPN Radio New York, among other stops, and Anita Marks, part ofthe New York Giants TV/Radio broadcast team and formerly of SportsRadio 105.7 The Fan, Baltimore.  Plus, NBC Sports Radio update anchor Jon Stashower, formerly of ESPN Radio, adds a Sunday morning show and NBC Sports’ Rob Simmelkjaer will also host a weekend show.  Other contributors to the programming will include: Hines Ward, Stan Van Gundy, Michelle Beadle, Amani Toomer, and Doug Flutie.  The network has already launched late night and overnight shows and says it will launch the rest of its weekday 6:00 am to 7:00 pm lineup on Monday, April 1, 2013.

costasbobGow-Yahoo! to Offer Bob Costas Programs.  The Gow Broadcasting-operated Yahoo! Sports Radio network is offering affiliate stations two programs featuring Bob Costas.  The first is a weekly “Costas Coast to Coast” program culled from the archives of the syndicated radio show that aired from 1986 to 1996.  Yahoo! Sports Radio CEO David Gow states, “Bob is universally regarded as one of the top sports journalists.  The ‘Costas Coast-to-Coast’ shows offer timeless content delivered in Bob’s inimitable style.  We are thrilled to offer these very special programs to our growing number of affiliate radio stations.”  The second program is a vignette titled “Stars and Stories” and is best-of content from his interviews over the years.  Gow has secured the licensing of this programming via Olympia Networks.

rosefrancisOdds & Sods.  Content aggregator TuneIn offers the 24 college bowl games being played this season and being broadcast by ESPN Radio…..WFED, Washington, DC morning drive host Francis Rose sits in for WYD Media nationally syndicated talk host Michael Smerconish on his program on December 24 and 31.

kirorondonradiothonKIRO-FM, Seattle Raises $500,000-Plus for Local Foster Kids.  During its 24th Annual Holiday Magic Radiothon, Bonneville’s KIRO-FM helped raise more than $500,000 to assist foster children in the Treehouse program.  The money raised will help provide each child in the program with one significant holiday gift along with support for programs and services throughout the year.  Treehouse serves 6,000 foster kids each year through programs that help them succeed in school, fulfill key material needs, and provide important childhood experiences every child deserves.  Bonneville Seattle VP/market manager Carl Gardner says, “The KIRO Radio community has stepped up once again  We’re so grateful to have listeners and partners who care and stand ready to help wherever there’s a need.”  Pictured here are PM drive hosts Ron and Don manning the radiothon mics on Wednesday, December 12.

Newtown Massacre, U.S. Gun Laws, ‘Fiscal Cliff’ Battle, Syria/Egypt Instability, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/17).  The aftermath of the Newtown school massacre; debate over gun laws in the United States; the political fight in Washington over solving the “fiscal cliff” problem; continued violence and instability in Syria and Egypt; and the weekend’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio across the country, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, November 5, 2012

| November 5, 2012

KRMG-AM/FM, Tulsa Promotes Dan Potter to AM Drive Show.  There’s been a lot of movement among Cox Media Group staffers between properties lately.  It started with long-time KRMG-AM/FM, Tulsa program director Drew Anderssen moving to the company’s WDBO-AM/FM, Orlando at the end of the summer.  Then it was announced that WDBO morning host Jim Turner would retire and KRMG AM drive personality Joe Kelley would move to Orlando to take over the morning show there.  Now, KRMG announces that it is promoting “Tulsa’s Afternoon News” host Dan Potter and he will slide into the morning drive chair beginning November 19.  Potter says, “Under Joe Kelley’s leadership, the ‘KRMG Morning News’ has become the single most important morning show in Oklahoma, both in terms of content and listenership.  I hope to continue the growth Joe started and to attract new listeners to the show.  I am humbled, honored and very excited for this opportunity.  I anchored newscasts on a similar morning show in Dallas-Fort Worth for over 15 years and am constantly impressed by KRMG’s commitment to covering breaking news better than anyone.  You could take this newsroom and this product and put it in any major market in the country and be competitive.”

ESPN Audio Debuts New PM Drive Show with Jonathan Coachman.  A new sports talk show from ESPN Audio debuts this afternoon hosted by ESPN studio anchor Jonathan Coachman.  The 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm ET show will have Coachman initially joined by a rotating array of ESPN on-air personalities to present three hours of personality-driven opinion, analysis, humor and interviews covering the news of the day, as well as interaction with listeners via e-mails, texts and calls.  The program is available to terrestrial affiliates as well as being heard via the ESPN app, espnradio.com, TuneIn and SiriusXM.  During his time at ESPN, Coachman has hosted “NBA Tonight,” “College Football Live,” “NASCAR Now,” and “ESPN2 Friday Night Fights.”  Coachman says of the new venture, “To say I am excited about ‘Coach’ & Company would be an understatement, but it’s going to be about our entire team – our production team and the team of fans at home – who will all have a hand in hopefully making it a successful show.  I am very serious about sports, but people can expect above all else a show that is fun.  And, with my background in the WWE, I feel I can really bring an entertainment value to the show in a strong way.”

Clear Channel’s Columbia, South Carolina Country Jocks Pull Double Duty; Host PM on News/Talk WVOC.  Jonathon Rush and Kelly Nash – known to their country WCOS, Columbia listeners and Rush & Nash, hosts of the “Morning Rush” program – begin a new chapter in their careers hosting the “Afternoon Rush” on sister news/talk WVOC.  The station parted ways with PM drive host Keven Cohen last week.  Rush and Nash will continue to host their morning program on “My Country 97.5.”  In a statement, Kelly Nash says, “This is an opportunity I’ve dreamed of for years.  We can play the world’s greatest music for the greatest music fans in the morning and talk with the most passionate radio listeners every afternoon.”

WOWO-AM/FM, Ft. Wayne Names Ryan Reker PD.  Federated Media’s heritage WOWO-AM/FM, Ft. Wayne, Indiana announces the hiring of Ryan Reker as program director.  Reker comes to the station after a management shuffle that saw Gregg Henson (now at Clear Channel’s WPGB and WBGG, Pittsburgh) exit the post and Federated’s own Woody Zimmerman oversee the station briefly before being reassigned to oversee the company’s Warsaw, Indiana cluster.  Reker most recently served as program director and morning host at Maverick Media’s classic rock WEGE-FM and as program director of sports talk WWSR-FM, both in Lima, Ohio.  Reker also worked at Clear Channel’s news/talk WOOD-AM in Grand Rapids and Entercom’s sports WSSP, Milwaukee.  He says of his new position, “WOWO is a unique station with very unique listeners.  I love the reputation and passion they’ve built with the community.  I’m honored and excited for the opportunity to work with such a great group of broadcasters.”

How to Write a Professional Radio Facebook Post (Part 2).  Radio digital consultant Chris Miller was so amazed by the high level of interest in his previous TALKERS piece, “Start Doing THIS Right NOW on Facebook,” published here last week, that he decided to share a few more tips to help you get your radio station’s pages and posts right!  Miller writes, “A lot of us radio folks see the value in social media.  Still, many could use some help working it in a way so you’re building your brand, instead of just spinning your wheels.  Many of the mistakes businesses make on Facebook have to do with how your write what you post.  We tend to speak in marketing-ese or like we’re scripting a promo.  That’s a huge error that may have people consistently hiding your content.”  Read Miller’s entire article explaining how to write a post that works for you, here.

President Obama Friendly to African American-Targeted Radio.  President Obama is credited with being the first presidential candidate to seriously use social media to assist his election and re-election efforts but he’s also been a user of radio programs that target the urban audience.    SiriusXM talk radio star Joe Madison (whose program is also heard on terrestrial outlet WOL, Washington, DC) tells TALKERS magazine the president reached out to him early and often.  “His administration nurtured a relationship with black talk radio since he first took office.  I have had access to most members of his cabinet.  They have addressed issues related to the black community and the general population.  Contrast that with Romney’s campaign, we have not received a single news release or response to appear on my show.”  In fact, Madison will host the president on his radio show today.  Madison says he believes the get-out-the-vote effort targeted to black radio by the Obama campaign appears to be working.  “I believe the early voting we’ve seen in our community is due to black talk radio encouraging our audience to vote.  Yesterday in Dade County, Florida, voters were in line until 1:00 am.”

Report:  Actor John Cusack to Produce and Star in Film About Rush Limbaugh.  The Huffington Post reports that actor John Cusack’s company, New Crime Productions, is putting the finishing touches on the script of a movie about Rush Limbaugh tentatively titled “Rush.”  The story quotes actress/director Betty Thomas (who also directed Howard Stern’s “Private Parts”) saying she will direct and that production starts sometime next year.

NBC Sports Radio Names Stan Van Gundy NBA Senior Analyst.  The former head coach of the Orlando Magic joins the NBC Sports Radio network as senior analyst for the NBA.  Stan Van Gundy will call into network shows each week during the NBA season.  He’ll talk exclusively to NBC Sports Radio affiliates and co-host for an hour every Friday during the NBA season, on a show soon to be announced.  NBC Sports Ventures senior vice president Rob Simmelkjaer states, “We are thrilled to add one of the most respected and outspoken coaches in the NBA to the NBC Sports Radio roster.  Our listeners will get to enjoy Stan’s unique insight into events and storylines around the league on a weekly basis.”

 

KABC, Los Angeles’ Doug McIntyre Emcees Bennett Film Opening.  KABC, Los Angeles morning drive host Doug McIntyre had the opportunity to emcee the Los Angeles opening of the new Tony Bennett documentary titled, “The Zen of Bennett” before a sold-out crowd at the Landmark Theater.  McIntyre tells TALKERS, “The distributor of ‘The Zen of Bennett’ is a fan of the documentary I made with my wife, ‘Trying to Get Good: The Jazz Odyssey of Jack Sheldon.’  Since I had a background in music — specifically the Great American Songbook and jazz, and have a ton of experience doing these kind of interviews (Robert Redford, Betty White, etc.,) – he recommended me to Tony’s manager, Danny Bennett.  I had met Tony a number of times before but this was the first chance I had to really spend some time with him, a thrill for me, probably less so for Tony.”  McIntyre says the event was not a KABC promotion but the station did give away tickets to the premiere.

“Free Talk Live” Celebrates 10 Years on the Radio.  “Free Talk Live” – the evening and weekend independently syndicated talk program hosted by Ian Freeman and Mark Edge – celebrates its 10th anniversary.  Freeman writes, in a memo to affiliates and the industry, that the program began in Florida after a format change at the station at which he was working.  “In 2001, rock WYNF, Tampa flipped to hot talk and was using content from Orlando’s successful ‘Real Radio’ WTKS-FM as well as the other ‘Real Radio,’ WZZR-FM in West Palm Beach.  After a year of this, I approached management, Big Jim Davis and Ron White, and pitched the idea of a local show for the weekend.  I said we’d be willing to do it for free.  They gave us the green light and ‘Free Talk Live’ was born, at first on Sunday nights.  The response from the audience was so spectacular that it was within the first few weeks that we were asked to take over weeknights.  Clear Channel ended up flipping the format of the station back to rock in 2003, but FTL continued online, then on another station in town, then another, until I approached the Genesis Communications Network and asked them if they were looking for new programs.  We started in syndication as a weekend show and within a few weeks were offered weeknights.  Since then we have continued doing our live Saturday show (our most popular) and added a live Sunday show as well.   We’ve grown to over 110 AM/FM affiliates and are also heard all week on XM.”

Odds & Sods.  Former New Orleans Saints quarterback and current WWL, New Orleans PM drive co-host Bobby Hebert was ejected from the press box at Saturday’s LSU-Alabama game for ignoring warnings not to create a disturbance by cheering.  The Times-Picayune reports the press box was stuffed with 947 credentialed media people and police escorted Hebert out in the fourth quarter of LSU’s 21-17 loss…..Proving that she CAN hang with Democrats, on Friday night (11/2), KRLA, Los Angeles morning drive host Heidi Harris sang in the Barbra Streisand concert at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.  She was in the choir for “Make Our Garden Grow.”…..Kim Komando, host of the eponymous nationally syndicated weekend computer talk show is appointed to the Phoenix-located Musical Instrument Museum’s President’s Cabinet. The President’s Cabinet is comprised of Valley leaders who provide guidance and support to MIM’s president and director, Dr. Bill DeWalt.  Komando joins the ranks of other notable Phoenix-area business leaders and philanthropists and will assist MIM with furthering its mission.

WNIR, Akron Host Tom Erickson Mourned.  Talk show host Tom Erickson died on Saturday (11/3) after a long battle with peritonitis.  He was 58.  Erickson was the evening host on Media-Com’s WNIR, Akron.  He worked for nearly 30 years in the radio and television news end of the media business and became a talk show host at WNIR in 2001.  He was on medical leave to deal with his health issues and last appeared on the radio in early June.

From WMAL’s Swing State Road Show.  Cumulus Media’s WMAL-AM/FM, Washington, DC has been touring the “swing state” of Virginia broadcasting from diners across the commonwealth as the election approaches.  The tour wrapped up on Friday with the final road show broadcast featuring former House Speaker (and former presidential candidate) Newt Gingrich.  Pictured here are (from l-r): Breitbart columnist and WMAL guest co-host Larry O’Connor, Gingrich, and WMAL’s “Mornings on the Mall” host Brian Wilson.

Friday, October 12, 2012

| October 12, 2012

New Media Seminar Draws 275 in Los Angeles.  It was a packed house sold out two weeks in advance as some 275 talk media broadcasters from across the country, with a distinct emphasis on the Western states, rocked the old Steve Allen Theater in Hollywood yesterday.  Approximately 50 speakers — including the likes of Robin Bertolucci, Phil Boyce, Kevin Casey, Holland Cooke, Jerry Doyle, Skip Essick, Ian Freeman, Bill Handel, Heidi Harris, Michael Harrison, Ron Hartenbaum, Sam Hasson, Michael Horn, Rusty Humphries, Karel, Mike Kinosian, Kraig Kitchin, Lars Larson, Kevin Larue, Garret Lewis, Tom Leykis, Andy Ludlum, Carole Marks, Don Martin, Mike McVay, Stephanie Miller, Bob Moore, Bill Moran, Patt Morrison, Harvey Nagler, Norm Pattiz, Ken Rutkowski, Walter Sabo, Brent Seltzer, Dave Sniff, Eric Stanger, Doug Stephan, Shadoe Stevens, Alan Stock, Chuck Tyler, Jeff Wasserman, Eric Weiss, and Michael Zwerling – tackled a variety of hot industry topics including the economic, technological and cultural challenges facing talk radio broadcasters in 2012.  This full day event was part two of TALKERS magazine’s new 2012 format in which the New Media Seminar was broken into East and West coast segments.  The first was a sellout event held in New York on June 7.

“Those who do not adapt will be swallowed up.”  That was the admonishment of Courtside Entertainment CEO Norm Pattiz in his Thursday morning keynote.  Consistently sounding a no-nonsense tone, Pattiz assured attendees that this is a very serious time.  Along those lines, Pattiz even mentioned that his comments that kicked off the enthusiastically well-received event would not be going for laughs.  Touching on a variety of bullet points, the former Westwood One honcho commented that, despite the fact audience size is unchanged, there is dwindling support for conservative talk radio from national advertisers.  “There were no 400-pound gorillas,” when Pattiz began in the radio syndication business.  Missing good old-fashioned radio wars, he noted that people “banged heads in a good-natured way.”  Importance of the product was heavily stressed by Pattiz, who emphasized that he “did not get in the business because of money – I’m a content guy.”  The idea of giving anything away for nothing “is ridiculous,” he remarked.  Despite cautioning the audience that his keynote would be straightforward, the Los Angeles Lakers‘ #1 fan could not resist lightening the mood on several occasions when, including when he stated, “You should not sleep well knowing that I am the chairman of Lawrence Livermore National Security.”

A star-studded panel looked at the big picture of spoken-word radio, with CBS Radio News vice president Harvey Nagler stating, “We are not in the radio business – we are in the content business.”  Content, however, must be memorable and compelling.  Provided that personalities “do not break their promises to listeners,” it is the opinion of Sound Mind CEO Kraig Kitchin that they will “continue to sell their books.”  Demos are not what Phil Boyce seeks.  “I chase ears,” commented Salem Communications‘ vice president/director, spoken word formats, who added, “People on the left want to kill talk radio.”  One of the key buzzwords, according to Fox Sports Radio vice president/programming Don Martin, is “bundle.”  The operations manager of Los Angeles’ KLAC commented that, from a branding standpoint, it is much wiser to use handles such as “Fox Sports Radio – LA,” or “ESPN Radio 710,” rather than, “The Zone,” or “The Ticket.”

The New Normal president/host Tom Leykis was among the “Modern Day Pioneer” panelists.  The popular talk host isn’t a fan of having television cameras in a radio studio.  The concept of viewing a radio show on television, is – in Leykis’ estimation” very similar to “watching socks dry.” Esteemed programmer and “Mental Radio” host Shadoe Stevens added, “It takes away the theater of the mind.”  Virtually everyone thought Mike Horn “was crazy” when the chief executive officer of CRN Digital Talk set forth the concept of providing audio channels to cable TV providers.  Next year, his company will celebrate its 30th birthday.  “You must have great programming and a way to promote it,” Horn remarked.

Look for extensive coverage of this historic radio gathering in the coming days and weeks in TALKERS and RadioInfo including video coverage and bonus interviews.

Competition in the Network Sports Talk Field Breeding War of Words.  A story in the New York Post illustrates the intense competition the arrival of two new major players (CBS Sports Radio Network and NBC Sports Radio) in the sports talk radio network business is having.  Reporting what the industry has known for some time – that the Cumulus distribution partnership with the new CBS Sports Radio Network will mean 47 new affiliates for CBS and would mean some affiliation cancellations for ESPN Radio – the two sides engaged in a little competitive posturing in the Post story.  Saying it will have about 100 affiliate stations when it debuts in January and positioning itself as the “most-listened-to sports radio network in the top 50 markets,” CBS is playing up its assets – namely O&Os in major and large markets.  CBS Radio CEO Dan Mason tells the Post, “ESPN affiliates are in small markets.  Maybe you find that adds up to a lot of audience.  Don’t forget that CBS Radio owns most of the top 10 sports stations in the US, and with Cumulus that’s formidable.  ESPN has had the market much to themselves, we’re the new entry and we think we put together formidable talent.”  ESPN Radio SVP of production and business Traug Keller responds, “This has no material effect on us.  There’s only three or four [Cumulus] stations in the top 50.”  He also tells the paper ESPN is already finding new affiliates in markets where current agreements are being terminated, including Atlanta and Birmingham, Alabama.

Barclays Capital Analyst Downgrades U.S. Advertising Growth Forecast.  The ad industry as a whole will not grow as much over the next year and a half as previously predicted states Barclays Capital analyst Anthony DiClemente.  In a report issued yesterday, DiClemente stated he believes ad growth across all sectors will be just 4% this year compared to his original prediction of 4.6%.  For 2013, DiClemente says he believes ad revenue will rise just 1.9% compared to his previous 2.3% forecast.  He did not specifically report on projections for radio.  He did, however, give a positive outlook for News Corp. performance.

WSCR, Chicago’s Jason Goff to Take Night Host Position at CBS Radio’s Atlanta FM Sports Talker.  Rounding out the lineup of CBS Radio’s WZGC, Atlanta “SportsRadio 92.9 The Game” is Jason Goff, who will become the host of the evening show when the station debuts on October 24.  The lineup for the new sports talker was announced earlier this week with the exception of the evening slot.  Now, “The Score” fill-in host, writer, producer and reporter will move south for his own nightly talk show.  Goff has been with WSCR for the past 12 years and program director Mitch Rosen is obviously thrilled for Goff telling Chicago Radio and Media, “What a great story Jason Goff is.  From a caller in high school to an intern to a full-time producer/fill-in host, and now to a top market like Atlanta to be a full-time host!  This is a Hollywood story in progress, Jason will excel and I could not be more proud.”

Looking Into the Digital Crystal Ball.  Saga Communications made the news this past Wednesday when they anointed their program directors as “brand managers.”  Saga’s EVP Steve Goldstein, issued a memo that you read here in TALKERS.  It read, in part, “We’ve been thinking about how successful programmers are morphing their skills to become proficient at not just managing the on-air product, but the overall brand.  And conversely, it has exposed the vulnerability of program directors who are not learning and growing as we become more digital.”  In today’s TALKERS, leading digital radio consultant Chris Miller writes about what this move actually will mean to the managers involved.  Looking into his digital crystal ball he predicts that before too long, brand managers will be judged on how much time people are spending with their entire brand.  Not just their broadcasts, but all the platforms that they manage.  He says that we will move into the era of the “new ratings” in which every click is trackable – no estimates – and stations will own the data without having to buy it from a third party (uh, oh Arbitron).  He also points out that this new era will open the door to new competition and an increased concentration on niches.  Fasten your seat belts because this is one fast ride!  To read Chris Miller’s entire piece, click here.

Doug Hess Exits WLTP, Parkersburg, West Virginia.  News director and morning drive co-host Doug Hess is leaving Clear Channel’s news/talk WLTP, Parkersburg, West Virginia after 21 years doing local news in the market.  According to the News-Sentinel, Hess will take a position as communications and outreach coordinator with The ARC of the Mid-Ohio Valley.  Hess tells the paper he’ll miss the news business he’s been a part of for so many years.  “People depend on you to get this information out to them in a timely manner.  It is an important job and it has been a privilege to do it.”

Beasley Broadcasting Adds FM Signals to Southwest Florida’s 770 ESPN Radio.  WWCN, Ft. Myers gets some FM signal boost to help it cover Lee and Collier counties.  Beasley Broadcasting announces the ESPN Radio affiliate can now be heard on 98.1 FM in South Ft. Myers and Estero; 101.5 FM in Bonita Springs and North Naples; and 105.1 FM in Naples and Marco Island.  VP/market manager Brad Beasley states, “This is a big deal for Southwest Florida sports enthusiasts.  For the past 12 years, the only way to hear sports in our community has been on the AM dial.  Now our loyal listeners can also follow their favorite teams and events at multiple locations on the FM dial…and that’s awesome!”

Vice Presidential Debate Top News/Talk Story for Week of October 8-12.  The anticipation of the vice presidential candidate’s debate and the post-debate discussion was the top news/talk story of the week landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  Following at #2 was the questioning of the facts presented by the Obama administration about the attack in Banghazi.  At #3 was the presidential race poll numbers followed by the aftermath of the first presidential debate at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine and is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

| October 2, 2012

TRN Promotes Jerry Doyle to Network Slot Where Savage Aired.  Calling it the show with which “stations will get more light and less heat, a show that they can sell locally with pride, but also a show that will respect its stations, advertisers and audiences with a brilliance that sets great shows apart from good ones,” Talk Radio Network moves Jerry Doyle into the 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm PT time slot formerly held by Michael Savage.  TRN states, “For too long, we’ve had to choose between ratings and salability, but no longer…Jet pilot, Wall Street investment banker for 10 years, Hollywood star for 12 years, former congressional nominee and now radio giant who has earned his right to this spot for close to nine years, Jerry Doyle is the future of talk radio.  He will bring massive audiences through word of mouth because he is brilliant and funny, showing both emotional and intellectual range that is beyond rare.”  As it announces Doyle’s move into the West Coast afternoon drive slot, TRN promises, “He understands the advertising business like few others; Jerry is a triple-rated William Morris Agency voice-over artist who has voiced national ads for AT&T, Chevrolet, TGI Fridays, Anheuser-Busch, Panasonic, The US Armed Forces and many others.  Jerry will work with his stations reading their ads and promos, because he understands radio isn’t about host ego, it’s about high levels of performance, and it’s about business.”  Michael Savage exited TRN last week after winning in arbitration to get out of his contract with the syndicator.  Filling in for Doyle’s program in his previous network time is Dr. Bill Wattenburg until a permanent replacement is named.

CBS Sports Radio Announces Scott Ferrall to Be Late Night Host.  When CBS Radio’s new 24/7 national sports talk network kicks off in January, longtime sports talk pro Scott Ferrall will hold down the 10:00 pm to 2:00 am ET slot with his “Ferrall on the Bench” program.  So far, we know the new CBS Sports Radio network will feature Jim Rome for the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm ET slot followed by Doug Gottlieb from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm ET.  Network director of programming Eric Spitz says, “Scott is widely recognized as having set the standard for what a successful national evening sports radio show should be.  He’s got an amazing knowledge of sports that rivals even the most noted experts, and with his fast-paced style of high-octane sports talk, listeners and our affiliates are guaranteed to get the very best program each and every night.”  Ferrall is currently hosting a sports talk show for SiriusXM.  In the past he has worked for SportsNet New York, several NHL properties, Fox Sports Radio, and Sportsfan Radio Network, as well as major market stations in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Atlanta, Miami and Pittsburgh.

Don Wade Update from Chicago.  Time Out Chicago’s Robert Feder reports that WLS-AM, Chicago morning host Don Wade came through his brain surgery successfully and is resting at home, according to wife and on-air partner Roma.  In case you missed it, the longtime WLS-AM morning personality was diagnosed with a growth in early September for which he underwent surgery last Thursday.  Now, the Wades’ agent, Eliot Ephriam, tells Feder, “The surgery went as expected and Don came out of it really well.  We’re awaiting the results of tests and that will determine what’s next.”  Don Wade is expected to remain at home for several weeks.  Station executives report the duo had good ratings news as the September PPM numbers indicate WLS-AM was #1 with listeners 12+ from 6:00 am to 10:00 am scoring a 7.0 share – the program’s highest ratings in more than four years.

Genesis Communications’ SportsTalkFlorida Aligns with NBC Sports Radio.  Several months ago, Genesis Communications stated it was going to drop the ESPN Radio affiliation for its sports talk stations WHBO, Tampa and WHOO, Orlando.  Now the company reveals its programming plans and its new affiliation with the fledgling NBC Sports Radio network.  The stations have been named “NBC Sports Talk 1040 The Team Tampa Bay” and “NBC Sports Talk 1080 The Team Orlando,” respectively.  The new lineup at the two stations includes: local host David Baumann in AM drive; DirecTV/Fox Sports Radio’s Dan Patrick from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon; local host Whitney Johnson from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm; for PM drive, WHBO airs local host Charlie Bernstein and WHOO broadcasts local duo Mike Tuck and Jerry O’Neill; both stations air NBC’s Erik Kuselias.  Both outlets are carrying sports news updates from NBC Sports Radio.

Clark Howard Returns to Middays at WDBO-AM/FM, Orlando.  The Mel Robbins program, heard from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm at Cox Media’s WDBO-AM/FM, Orlando will exit that time slot and Clark Howard will return to that time slot beginning October 12.  Howard was bumped to the late night 10:00 pm to 1:00 am slot back in March when WDBO brought Robbins aboard for a live midday program.

 

KOZN, Omaha Names Damon Benning Morning Co-Host.  Former Nebraska running back and 1996 Orange Bowl MVP Damon Benning is named co-host of the 7:00 am to 11:00 am show alongside Gary Sharp on NRG Media’s “1620 The Zone.”  Benning has served as an analyst on the Big Ten Network, NET Television, Cox Communications, and made numerous guest appearances on “1620 The ZONE” over the years.  Today he begins on-air duties on “Sharp & Benning in the Morning” with KOZN sports director Gary Sharp.  NRG Media Omaha market manager Andy Ruback says, “For years we have had Benning on the station as he has been a vital part of our broadcast team and our extensive Husker coverage.  Now, we will be able to take advantage of his expertise full time, all year long.”

WISN, Milwaukee Talk Host Mark Belling Faces Backlash for “Thug” Comments.  Community activists in Milwaukee are promising a rally on Thursday to demand an apology from Clear Channel Media and Entertainment talk host Mark Belling who hosts the PM drive show on news/talk WISN.  Activists in the market are upset with comments Belling made about Derek Williams – an African-American man – who died in the back of a Milwaukee Police squad car.  An account from the Milwaukee Journal states Williams pleaded with officers for help saying he could not breathe but they ignored his pleas and he died.  The case was recently reclassified as a homicide.  Critics say Belling’s characterizing Williams as a “dirty, rotten thug” was inappropriate and not relevant to the care he should have received while in police custody.

Odds & Sods.  CBS Radio’s KRLD-AM, Dallas “Newsradio 1080” announces the hiring of award-winning weatherman Bob Goosmann as chief meteorologist for the station.  VP of news/talk/sports Bruce Gilbert states, “Bob lives and breathes North Texas weather and greatly respects KRLD’s commitment to accurate and dependable forecast information every ten minutes.  ‘NewsRadio 1080 KRLD’ listeners can rely on him, not only for accurate forecasts, but also for the information they need to stay safe when severe weather strikes.”  Goosmann most recently served as chief meteorologist for KDAF-TV, Dallas…..Clear Channel’s Quad Cities cluster enters into a deal with New Young Broadcasting Holding Company’s KWQC-TV, Davenport, Iowa that has the TV station producing news and weather content for news/talk WOC and other cluster stations in exchange for CC creating daily entertainment reports for the television station.

Clear Channel’s WTAM Scores Indians Renewal.  According to Northeast Ohio’s Chronicle-Telegram, Clear Channel Media and Entertainment’s news/talk WTAM, Cleveland has won the rights to Indians baseball – for how long, though, is not known.  The report has not been confirmed by Clear Channel.  WTAM – which has been the home of Indians baseball for the past 14 years – was reportedly getting a strong challenge for the play-by-play rights from CBS Radio’s crosstown sports talk WKRK “92.3 The Fan.”

Obama-Romney Debate Preview, Iran Nukes Threat, Potential New ObamaCare Challenge, and Fate of ‘Fast and Furious’ Guns Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/1).  The looming presidential candidate debate; concern over Iran’s nuclear weapons program; a new, potential  Supreme Court challenge to President Obama’s Affordable Care Act; and the charge that guns from the ‘Fast and Furious’ program ended up in Mexican drug cartel’s hands were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Friday, September 14, 2012

| September 14, 2012

Bryan Nehman to Take Over Morning Drive on WBAL, Baltimore.  Anne Arundel County, Maryland native Bryan Nehman is named the successor to the morning drive show at Hearst’s news/talk WBAL, Baltimore after Dave Durian – who’s been with the station for 20 years – steps down from his position this fall.  Nehman has been half of the “Brian and Bryan” show on Cumulus Media’s WMAL, Washington with Brian Wilson but tells the Baltimore Sun’s David Zurawik the WBAL job is too good to pass up.  “Number one, it’s a great station, and I love the fact that they’re local, local, local.  It’s very hard to find that in radio these days.  Almost everywhere you go, it’s syndicated in radio.  The company is fantastic from everything I heard.  And then, there’s the city.  I’m a Maryland boy through and through.”  WBAL program director Dave Hill tells the paper, “Bryan is one of the brightest young men that I’ve met, and he is the guy who’s going to lead WBAL into the next 20 years of broadcasting.”  Durian’s last day hosting the AM drive show is not certain – though mid-October has been suggested.  Durian will remain with the station to do special assignments.

Trip Savery Upped to VP/General Manager at Greater Media Charlotte.  Director of sales Trip Savery is promoted to the vice president and general manager position at Greater Media’s Charlotte cluster that includes news/talk WBT-AM/FM and personality AC WLNK.  Savery joined Greater Media in March of 2010.  He’ll continue to perform director of sales duties and will now serve as acting market manager under senior vice president and general manager Rick Feinblatt who says of Savery, “Trip’s outstanding performance as DOS of Greater Media Charlotte has earned him this well-deserved promotion.”

August Sports Scoreboard.  Sports talk radio is one of radio’s hottest formats right now.  It has the kind of listener engagement that advertisers crave, it brings adult men with disposable income to the table and its content focuses on one of the hottest aspects of American pop culture in the early 21st century – professional sports.  Sports as a radio moneymaker is evidenced by the recent launching of not one but two new players in national sports talk content – CBS Sports Radio Network and NBC Sports RadioTALKERS managing editor/West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian has taken a look at the ratings of 40 of America’s sports talk outlets and compiled them in this “scoreboard-style” feature.  Check out the rankings in Kinosian’s piece here.

Killer Endorsement Spots: Advertisers’ (and your) Best Buds.  Consultant Holland Cooke says the best way radio can fight the competition for ad dollars (Google, Pandora, et al) is for personalities – talk hosts and jocks – to use the credibility and relationships they’ve built up to their advantage.  Cooke says, “Radio is an intimate medium, with decades of cred’ to the two generations which control most retail spending.  So the local DJs and talkers who will survive the ongoing bloodbath do so by being more than just voices.  Properly applied, the trust you have earned with listeners can sell-sell-sell, in a way that makes Arbitron numbers irrelevant.”  How to do that?  Holland has some suggestions.  Read his piece here.

Re-Branding Drives Success for Home Improvement Host Danny Lipford.  Mobile, Alabama-based home improvement talk show host Danny Lipford says his weekend program is gaining new affiliates since he re-branded his program.  Now called “Today’s Homeowner with Danny Lipford,” the former “Homefront” show is garnering renewed interest, according to Lipford.  “SuperTalk Mississippi was the first group to come on board with our name change from ‘Homefront’ to ‘Today’s Homeowner.’  The response to the name change has been tremendous.”  Danny Lipford has made over 150 television appearances on shows such as “Rachael Ray,” “Live with Regis & Kelly,” “CNN’s Your Bottom Line,” and “The Early Show on CBS.”  He also produced a television program of the same name.

Talk Hosts Play Role in Family Research Council “Values Voter Summit.”  This weekend’s Family Research Council “Values Voter Summit” in Washington, DC will feature a number of high-profile talk show hosts.  Salem Radio Network’s Bill Bennett will introduce GOP vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan.  The congressman once worked for Bennett at the think tank Empower America before he entered public service in the Congress.  SRN talk personality Dennis Prager will serve as a keynote speaker with his speech addressing “the need for American values to triumph around the world.”  Other talk personalities appearing this weekend will include Premiere Networks star Glenn Beck, Talk Radio Network’s Laura Ingraham and Cumulus Media Network’s Mike Huckabee.

WGN, Chicago’s John Williams to Attempt New Speed Golf World Record.  WGN midday host John Williams and a group of his listeners will attempt to break the world record for the fastest round of golf on Sunday at Carriage Greens Country Club in Darien, Illinois.  Dubbed “King John & His Royal Court’s Speed Golf World Record Challenge,” this will be the second attempt at a world record by Williams and crew after last year’s inaugural event.  Williams has assembled a team of 200 listeners for this Sunday’s event, which will play out in a speed golf relay format.  Golfers will be assigned locations along the course based upon their best club and will hit the ball to each other in progression. The current world record is 7 minutes, 56 seconds.

Leslie Marshall Represents America Progressive Talkers in Dublin.  Nationally syndicated progressive talk host Leslie Marshall will be in Dublin, Ireland next week where she says she’ll “represent the Left/Democrats at an international debate on the U.S. Presidential race at the U.S. Embassy, in Dublin, Ireland.”  She’ll also appear at Dublin’s Boston College as well as speaking at the Women For Election luncheon about women in the U.S. Election.  Additionally, she’ll be a guest on Dublin’s “The Right Hook” talk radio program on Monday, September 17.

Talk Radio Pro Roger Fredinburg Re-enters Biz with “Homeland Security Radio.”  Roger Fredinburg was nationally syndicated by Talk Radio Network back in the 1990s.  His program was the lead-in to “Coast to Coast AM” back when it was hosted by Art Bell.  Fredinburg exited the business in 2004 after saying he became “frustrated with redundant voices and re-packaged news, each agonizing hour of talk radio parroting the last.”  He got into the national advertising agency business.  Now, Fredinburg tells TALKERS he’s getting back into the talk business due to his concerns over recent developments in the Middle East.  He says that, combined with his recognition of a growing communications gap between the public sector and private citizens as relates to Homeland Security, has awakened his passions and he is determined to make a positive difference using talk radio.  He’ll keep the focus and a watchful eye on Homeland Security and bring HS insiders to the airwaves to connect with average Americans via talk radio.  Genesis Communications Network is syndicating the program on Sundays from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm ET.

Dave Ramsey’s EntreLeaderhip Hits Indy.  Nationally syndicated talk host Dave Ramsey (pictured here third from the left) brought his super-successful EntreLeadership Seminar to Indianapolis on Wednesday in conjunction with the launch of the new AM/FM simulcast of his affiliate station, “Freedom 95.”  Here he poses with the station’s staff.

TALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  XtreMEDIA’s Kevin McCullough adds five new affiliate stations: WLES, Richmond, Virginia; KTIA, Des Moines; KUTR, Salt Lake City;  WCRU, Charlotte; and WBRG, Lynchburg, Virginia…..Also, the XtreMEDIA-produced Dani Johnson show is added to WETR, Knoxville, Tennessee and WHKT, Norfolk, Virginia…..The nationally syndicated talk show “Phil’s Gang,” with host Phil Grande, is added to the program schedule at KFNN, Phoenix and KPSF, Palm Springs, California…..Fox Sports Radio Network adds its daily lineup of sports talk shows to KVNS, Brownsville, Texas…..”The Captain’s America” host Matt Bruce announces a new flagship home — WXJB-FM, Homosassa, Florida (“News-Talk For The Nature Coast of Florida”) — for his program that is syndicated by Phoenix Broadcasting…..The weekly military talk radio program, “Frontlines of Freedom” hosted by Denny Gillem, LTC, US Army (Ret) is added to the weekend schedule at Midwest Communications’ WKZO, Kalamazoo, Michigan and its simulcast WZKO, Portage, Michigan.

Libya Consulate Strike/Obama Foreign Policy Record Top News/Talk Stories for Week of September 10-14.  The violent attack on the U.S. Consulate in Libya that resulted in the death of U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and the assessment of President Obama’s foreign policy record tied for the most-talked-about-stories on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  Following at #2 was the anti-American violence taking place in the Muslim world tied with President Obama’s relationship with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.  At #3 was President Obama’s “convention bounce” in the polls and at #4 was the rise in jobless claims.  The Talkers TenTM is a ranking of the top people and stories discussed on news/talk radio during the week.  It is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine and is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

| September 13, 2012

Les Moonves Tells Investors Network Sports Radio Biz is “Found Money.”  That CBS is bullish on sports is not news – CBS CEO Les Moonves has said that before.  But he reiterated his company’s dedication to the industry and – citing the new CBS Sports Radio Network venture – called it $10 million to $15 million worth of “found money.”  Speaking at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Media, Communications & Entertainment Conference in Beverly Hills yesterday, Moonves told the conference the sports radio network business is a $150 million industry, “With our deal with Cumulus, we have reach.  We’re in nine of the top 10 markets.  We have the capacity to put on a lot of stuff.  We think right away we’re going to get about 10% of the market.  That’s going to be a significant hit right away and that should grow.  It’s a great marketplace; rather easy to do.  As far as we’re concerned it’s 10 or 15 million [dollars] of found money that we think will grow.”  CBS is entering into a fast-growing marketplace already dominated by ESPN and with entrenched radio players Fox Sports Radio Network, Yahoo! Sports Radio and new entrant NBC Sports Radio – a partnership between NBC and Dial Global.  Sure, there’s a ton of money in sports media right now, but how fast this market gets saturated is a question industry watchers are pondering.

Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze Gets Television Profile with DISH Network Deal.  Talk show host and digital media pioneer Glenn Beck is soon to be seen on television after his TheBlaze, Inc. agrees to a deal with DISH Network to have his online 24-hour news, information and entertainment network available on the satellite TV provider.  Under terms of the deal, TheBlaze will be available to DISH viewers on channel 212 as part of DISH’s America’s Top 250 package or a la carte for $5 a month.  The channel launched Wednesday at 5:00 pm ET.  It’ll be available as a free preview for all DISH customers through September 26.  In a statement, Beck says, “TheBlaze has helped revolutionize television over the internet and now we are excited to bring the revolution back to traditional television.  TheBlaze will be home to news, information and entertainment programming with the facts and stories people care about most and we look forward to kicking things off with DISH.”  Mercury Radio Arts president Chris Balfe blogged about the success of Beck’s new venture and how this deal came to pass.  “Prior to our initial launch I was often asked why we didn’t pursue a traditional cable channel.  There were several factors, but the biggest was that we wouldn’t have been able to build the channel we wanted back then without giving up control.  To get on the air we would have had to partner with a large media company that could provide us with the staff, infrastructure and distribution necessary to launch a new network.  That was something that we simply were not willing to do.  The whole point of starting our own network was to be free from outside influences  — giving that independence up right away in exchange for distribution was a non-starter.  And so we found another way.  But now, a year later, everything has changed.  Our subscribers’ enthusiasm and support has allowed us to make the necessary investments in programming and infrastructure, and we’re now in a position to launch a cable and satellite channel without losing control.”

Clear Channel Media and Entertainment Promotes Julie Talbott.  The president of content and affiliations for Premiere Networks is upped to a new post – president of content and affiliations for CC’s National Media Groups.  Talbott retains her oversight of Premiere Networks but adds new duties as she’ll answer to Kevin Dorsey, president of the National Media Groups who, in turn, reports directly to chairman and CEO John Hogan.  A statement from Clear Channel notes Talbott’s “new role will include leading and maintaining key affiliate relationships to sell and service Premiere Networks, Total Traffic Network and iHeartRadio, Clear Channel’s industry-leading digital radio platform.  The new position will provide the company’s affiliates with a simplified and streamlined point of contact for communicating and conducting business across Clear Channel’s diverse group of subsidiaries.”  Talbott says, “I enjoy working with our clients and partners, and this alignment of our affiliate efforts will allow us to better serve and communicate with stations throughout the U.S.  I’m looking forward to working with the amazing teams across the company as we continue to demonstrate the unique relationship CCM+E has with our audience.”

Cox Media’s KRMG-AM/FM, Tulsa Names Levi May Program Director.  The PD post at KRMG-AM/FM, Tulsa opened up when long-time programmer Drew Anderssen moved to Cox Media’s Orlando news/talker WDBO-AM/FM.  Levi May served as WDBO’s assistant PD prior to his new position in Tulsa.

Talk Radio Weekends: Two Sure Shots.  Talk radio consultant Holland Cooke offers advice on weekend programming for talk radio stations that fits in with the P1’s weekend lifestyle and has the opportunity for bringing in revenue.  Sure, it’s lifestyle-oriented stuff but while many of those categories are well-serviced by nationally syndicated programs, Cooke says these two suggestions are tailor-made for local professionals.  Read Holland Cooke’s piece here.

 

WVON, Chicago News Pro Sharon McGhee Loses Battle with Cancer.  Journalist, writer and radio news director Sharon McGhee died in Columbia, Missouri on September 11 at age 54 after a long battle with ovarian cancer.  She joined urban talk WVON, Chicago in 1997 and was promoted to news director the following year.  She left the radio business to focus on her love of the arts and entertainment and in 2007, wrote the critically acclaimed “The Pocketbook Monologues” and subsequently directed multiple staged performances across the United States.  McGhee returned to WVON in 2008 as news director and resigned from that position in 2010 due to health reasons.  WVON president Melody Spann Cooper states, “Sharon McGhee was one of the most creative people I’ve ever known.  Her determination, passion and drive brought her to Chicago where she excelled in everything that was on her professional and personal agenda.  She was a rare breed determined to do it her way, and she did.”

Former Merlin Media News Pros Land with Virtual News Center.  News staffers Veronica Carter and Katherine Kelly were two of the news pros who worked at Merlin Media’s FM news outlet in Chicago and exited the station when it flipped formats.  They join the team at Virtual News Center which describes itself as “the largest independent provider of local news for radio heard on over 175 stations in nearly 80 markets.”  The company works on a cash direct basis or via barter through Envision Radio Networks.  Veronica Carter spent her 25 year radio career in Illinois, Indiana, and California, heavily involved in all facets of news reporting and anchoring.  On her Merlin experience she says, “Working for Merlin Media was short lived, but an adventure to say the least!  Glad to be with Virtual News Center, it’s actually fun doing newscasts all over the country!”  Katherine Kelly worked in Peoria, Illinois and the Quad Cities as well as in Seattle and Chicago.  Kelly anchored news as a part of some of the country’s top morning shows.  She also helped launch the Oprah Radio Network on Sirius XM.  She states, “I am incredibly honored to be joining the team at Virtual News Center.  Now I can cover just as many cities without leaving home!”

New Jersey 101.5 Reporter Honored for Series on Teen Drug Abuse.  The New Jersey Governor’s Council on Alcoholism & Drug Abuse honors New Jersey 101.5 reporter Stacy Proesbtle with its Community Service Award.  Proesbtle is pictured here (from l-r) with NJ 101.5 brand manager Eric Johnson, NJ 101.5 news director Eric Scott, Proesbtle, and Council executive director John Hulick at the Council’s 21st annual Summit at the Hyatt Regency New Brunswick, New Jersey.  Proebstle’s five-part series about the abuse of heroin and other opiates among New Jersey’s youth focused on prescription drug abuse, accidental overdoses, how abuse often begins at home and  the fact that prescription drug abuse can happen to anyone.  Proebstle talked to recovering addicts, parents, prevention specialists, substance abuse professionals and law enforcement officers to address current trends and issues along with possible solutions.  On receiving the honor, Proesbtle says, “I’m absolutely delighted to receive this honor on behalf of the station and most genuinely grateful.  It validates the importance of community service and giving back to one’s community.”

Cumulus San Francisco Inks 49ers for 12-Year Extension.  Appearing on sports talk KNBR, San Francisco’s Murph & Mac morning show, Cumulus CEO Lew Dickey joined 49ers CEO Jed York to announce the stations and the NFL clubs have agreed to a 12-year contract extension to keep the team’s games on KNBR, news/talk KGO and rock KSAN in the market.  During that appearance on the program, Dickey said, “While the trend in radio has been for shorter deals with sports teams, this 12-year partnership demonstrates the commitment of KNBR and Cumulus to the 49ers, and further cements KNBR as the ‘Sports Leader in Northern California’ for almost 25 years.”

WEEI, Boston Helps Celebrate Red Sox Broadcaster Joe Castiglione’s 30th Anniversary.  Prior to last night’s Boston Red Sox game, Entercom sports talker WEEI celebrated the 30th anniversary of play-by-play announcer Joe Castiglione with an appearance at the WEEI studios by Castiglione on the afternoon drive “Big Show” with Glenn Ordway and Michael Holley.  The evening also featured a half-hour pre-game tribute show that included a video at Fenway Park and on-field recognition from the team.

Conservative Chuck Morse and Liberal Dr. Patrick O’Heffernan Split.  Veteran Boston-based conservative talk host Chuck Morse and California-based liberal Dr. Patrick O’Heffernan have ended their left-right internet talk radio program, “Fairness Radio with Chuck Morse & Dr. Patrick O’Heffernan,” after it became impossible to work together, according to Morse.  The two will host separate programs on the internet and affiliated radio stations.

 

Long-Running Speaker Series Continues with Author of ‘Fast and Furious’ Book.  WNDB, Daytona Beach talk host Marc Bernier (at left) conducted his 80th “Town Hall” interview and live broadcast in The Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University “President Speaker Series,” with Townhall.com investigative reporter Katie Pavlich (at right) before a live audience on Wednesday, September 12.  Pavlich is author of Fast and Furious: Barack Obama’s Bloodiest Scandal and the Shameless Cover-Up (Regnery 2012).  Photo: Arthur J. Byrnes.

U.S. Ambassador Killed in Libya Strike, Cairo Unrest, Obama-Netanyahu Relations, and Chicago Teachers Strike Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/12).  The death of U.S. Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens after a violent assault on the U.S. consulate; violent anti-American protests in Cairo; reports of President Obama’s snubbing of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Obama Administration’s Iran policy; and the continuing Chicago teachers strike were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Friday, August 31, 2012

| August 31, 2012

Talk Radio Wraps Up Major Week of High-Profile Broadcasting and News Gathering. The Republican National Convention week was a busy one for the country’s news/talk stations as well as more than 100 outlets that chose to broadcast live from radio row in Tampa and many more than that sent hosts, staffers and news people to the city to cover the convention and report back to their markets.  According to a report issued to TALKERS by the Republican National Committee, this year’s radio row generated some 1,551 radio interviews smashing 2008′s record of 1,263.  The convention radio row is not only fertile ground upon which to produce a live broadcast with a huge pool of political experts, candidates and surrogates available as guests in one compact location, but it is also an opportunity to get some national attention as Compass Media NetworksTodd Schnitt did on Fox News Channel (upper left photo).  Talk hosts in major markets and nationally syndicated stars certainly have the ability to book big-name guests via phone but the chance to actually rub elbows with big political stars, speak with them face-to-face and chat in a “live” situation is unique to this political season.  It also provides members of the talk radio community with a place and reason to meet and network in a working situation conducive to enhancing existing relationships and forging new ones. The Ernest Istook program, hosted by the former congressman and produced by WYD Media, also emanated from the convention site this week and gave Istook the opportunity to chat with U.S. Rep. and former presidential candidate Michele Bachmann (here at right).

Yankees Baseball Stays on WCBS, New York for at Least One More Season.  The New York Post’s Phil Mushnick reported it earlier yesterday and CBS Radio confirms it in a release.  Apparently the Yankees have rejected overtures from ESPN to join the company’s new FM-enhanced sports talk outlet WEPN for they will stay with WCBS for the 2013 season.  Numerous industry watchers had expected to see a big bidding war for Yankees baseball and perhaps we’ll see that next season but if this report is correct, it’ll be another year before CBS Radio and Disney/ESPN battle it out for Yankees rights.

Bill Rehkopf Returns to KDKA, Pittsburgh.  The former morning news man at CBS Radio’s KDKA-AM, Pittsburgh returns to the Steel City after being involved in the start-up of the company’s Washington, DC all-newser WNEW-FM.   Rehkopf was the featured morning drive anchor at the station.  Now, he’ll anchor KDKA-AM’s “KDKA Afternoon News” from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm.  Current anchor Rose Ryan-Douglas remains with the station to work on the PM drive show.  In a statement, Rehkopf says, “Working in the nation’s capital was extremely exciting and rewarding.  However, my family and I have deep roots in Pittsburgh and this is a terrific opportunity at KDKA.  It’s a perfect professional fit for me and works well for my family.  I look forward to providing Pittsburgh with a quality program of essential news, information and entertainment to wrap up their work day.”

Reports of Mel Selling Sirius XM Shares Raises Eyebrows.  In a release issued after yesterday’s closing bell, news from Sirius XM Satellite Radio that CEO Mel Karmazin will be selling an additional 30 million shares of the publicly traded company (Sirius XM SIRI) this fall has both Wall Street and radio industry observers speculating as to what it means. Considering the timing involved – Mel’s contract is up this year and major investor Liberty Media (LMCA) is closing in seeking control – there is evidence to support the educated guess that the company’s chief is heading for the door.  Other possibilities include that Mel is simply cashing in his chips for a job clearly well done or that it is a maneuver to throw an obstacle in the way of Liberty taking control.  The price to exercise the 30 million options shares is $0.43. This means the shares will cost Karmazin $12,900,000. If he were to sell them all at $2.50 the price would be a cool $75,000,000, delivering a profit of $62,100,000.  Analyst Spencer Osbourne writes in the Seeking Alpha newsletter, “I can imagine that the news relating to an insider at Sirius XM selling 30,000,000 shares will not be well received by the market. Be prepared, because this news is going to cause some wild speculation and debate. I would not be surprised to see the stock price move down on this news. Between the Liberty cloud and now the Karmazin cloud, the uncertainty is building for Sirius XM.”

NBC Sports Radio Announces Affiliates for Next Week’s Launch.  As NBC Sports Radio and partner Dial Global prepare to debut their late night and overnight sports talk radio shows and hourly sports news reports on Tuesday, September 4, the list of affiliates for the programming is being made public.   The build-up to a national affiliate base with a big rollout is always a challenge and NBC is gearing up with a lot of medium and small market stations for its sports talk shows and has some major market clears on small or outlying signals.  For example, The Amani & Eytan 10:00 pm to 1:00 am show will air in markets including Huntsville, Santa Barbara, Evansville and Roanoke.  But it will also clear secondary signals in the Washington, DC, Denver and Charlotte markets.  Both Amani & Eytan and the 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm Erik Kusilias show will be heard on WPOP, Hartford.  To see where the shows will debut, click here.

Emmis Delivers Good News to Staff in the Form of Bonuses.  Emmis Communications CEO Jeff Smulyan issued an e-mail memo to staffers informing them that they would be receiving cash bonuses to reward their loyalty and dedication to the company during these tough economic times.  Full-time employees will be getting a $1,000 bonus while part-time staffers will each get $250.

Salem Communications to Pay Q3 Dividend.  The board of directors of Salem Communications declares a dividend for the third quarter of 2012 that will pay shareholders of Class A and Class B common stock 3 and ½ cents per share.  The dividend will be paid to all shareholders of record as of September 14 and will be paid on September 28.

Katie Couric’s TV Talk Show to Debut on September 10.  The show, titled simply, “Katie,” will be broadcast in syndication beginning on Monday, September 10 and all media eyes will be on the television legend as she begins a new chapter in her career.  She was once the most popular personality in morning talk television but Katie Couric left to take the helm of the “CBS Evening News,” a job that even her harshest critics would admit is probably beyond anyone’s ability to succeed in this day and age.  But as Howard Kurtz examines in his excellent piece in the Daily Beast, the question is whether Couric’s newsy approach to issues and distant personality will grab daytime TV viewers.  Couric clearly appears to be bucking the trend in what makes successful daytime talk TV but she appears determined.  Read Kurtz’s piece here.

Attention Radio Sales Staffers! Your Job Was Born 90 Years Ago This Week.  This week marks the 90th anniversary of the first sale of radio time.  It was back in 1922 when New York radio station WEAF – owned by Bell Telephone Company – sold a 10-minute commercial to the Hawthorne Court Apartments in Jackson Heights, New York for $50.  At about 5:00 pm on August 28, 1922 a pitch for the apartment complex was made to anyone who happened to be listening and the business of commercial radio was born.  It didn’t take off like a rocket, as radio historians will tell you, but it certainly was the beginning of an industry.  NPR produced a fantastic segment commemorating this event.  Listen to the segment or read the transcript at NPR’s site here.  (Photo: MTM Enterprises)

The Economy, Health Care and Foreign Policy Issues Topped the Talkers TenTM for the Week of August 27 – 31.  These issues, as related to the presidential campaign and set against the backdrop of the Republican National Convention in Tampa, were the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio this week, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  Coming in at #2 on this week’s chart was the RNC speeches.  At #3 was the mainstream media’s coverage of the RNC and the firing of Yahoo! News bureau chief David Chalain and at #4 was Tropical Storm Isaac.  The Talkers TenTM is a chart of the top talk topics as discussed on news/talk radio during the week.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s chart here.

TALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  Dial Global’s Jim Bohannon and “Jill on Money” join the program lineup at WZKT, Salisbury-Ocean City, Maryland…..Benztown Radio Network morning show “The Todd N Tyler Radio Empire” hosted by Mike Tyler and Todd Brandt replaces the syndicated version of Mark & Brian at KXFM, Santa Maria/San Luis Obispo…..“Malcolm Out Loud” is added to the programming at KKYT, Ridgecrest, California.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

| August 29, 2012

Other Defendants Named in Mark Masters’ TRN Lawsuit Against Dial Global Claiming Monopoly Practices.  As reported yesterday (8/28) by TALKERS, these companies, referred to generally in the industry as Talk Radio Network (TRN), include The Original Talk Radio Network, Inc., Talk Radio Network Enterprises, LLC and Talk Radio Network-FM, Inc.   They have initiated the filing of a Federal action against Dial Global, Inc. and multiple other parties, asserting antitrust, anti-monopoly and other claims. The complaint, which demands a jury trial, is titled “Complaint for Violations of the Sherman Act and the Cartwright Act, and for Fraudulent Inducement, Interference with Contract and Interference with Prospective advantage.”  In addition to Dial Global, it specifically names: Excelsior Radio Networks, Triton Radio Networks, Triton Media Group, Oaktree Capital Management, Verge Media Companies, Courstide, LLC, Compass Media Networks, Compass Media Marketing, and WYD Media Management.  Individuals named include Spencer Brown, David Landau, and  Ken Williams of  Dial Global, Ron Hartenbaum of WYD, Peter Kosann of Compass, and Norm Pattiz of Courtside.  To see the entire complaint click here.

Big Staffing Changes at Federated Media in Fort Wayne.  Last week TALKERS reported the departure of WOWO, Fort Wayne program director Gregg Henson and his replacement by Woody Zimmerman.  Now, after almost 18 years with Federated Media, chief operating officer Mark DePrez announces his departure from the company.  Brad Williams, who had been overseeing the Indiana markets of South Bend, Elkhart and Warsaw, will also be in charge of the company’s Fort Wayne and Auburn, Indiana markets as he becomes COO.  But that’s not all, as Indiana Radio Watch reports national sales manager Mary DePrez, production director Steve Starbrelz (this November would mark his 35th year there), classic hits WMEE, Fort Wayne middayer Zack Skyler, country WQHK, Fort Wayne GSM Suzee Leavell and several sales staffers have also left the building.  IRW also reports Clint Marsh becomes GM of the South Bend properties.  On his tenure with Federated Media, DePrez states, “After almost 18 years I’m leaving Federated Media.  We accomplished great things in Fort Wayne but all good things must come to an end.  I am grateful to the Dille family for the four promotions over those 18 years including my recent tenure as COO.  For a decade it has been my distinct honor to be the custodian of such iconic brands as WOWO, WQHK (K-105) WMEE and more recently WBYR (98.9 The Bear).  I am immensely proud of the talented team we assembled and know they will continue to do great things.”  DePrez is available for his next challenge.  He says, “For employers looking for an executive obsessed with top line performance and profit optimization they can contact me at markdeprez2@gmail.com or 260-385-2574.”

ESPN and Major League Baseball Agree to $5.6 Billion Deal.  The new contract between ESPN and MLB goes through 2021 and runs an average of $700 million per year for TV, digital, radio and other rights.  ESPN is currently paying about $305 million per year for TV and about $50 million for radio rights.  The new contract would almost double that but gives ESPN more flexibility, some playoff game rights as well as international rights.  For radio it means increased ESPN Radio rights, including the additional right to co-exist during two Saturday windows per team, per year.

Patt Morrison’s Southern California Public Radio Show Cancelled.  The popular Southern California public radio figure will remain with the organization but Patt Morrison’s six-year-old afternoon program will end on September 10.  The move is part of a series of programming changes at KPCC, Pasadena that include the expansion of the Brand & Martinez program and the addition of the “BBC News Hour” and “The World.”  KPCC VP for content Russ Stanton is quoted telling the Los Angeles Daily News, “While the show may be leaving, Patt isn’t.  What we’re trying to do is take a lot of the segments that she’s produced – which are very popular with a large part of our listening audience – and spread those a little more throughout the programming day when there are a lot more listeners than there are in the 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm slot.”  SCPR notes Morrison will still cover the Democratic National Convention for the organization.

NBC Sports Radio and Dial Global Announce More Sports Talk Hires.  As NBC Sports Radio continues to prepare for the September 4 launch of the new network, more hosts and sports anchors are being hired.  Former NFL star Amani Toomer will team with Eytan Shander (most recently with SiriusXM’s Mad Dog Radio) for a 10:00 am to 1:00 pm ET sports talk show.  Dan Schwartzman  – who’s worked for WPEN, Philadelphia and ESPN in New York – will host an overnight show from 1:00 am to 5:00 am ET Tuesdays through Saturdays and Kay Adams joins the network as sports anchor working the 5:00 pm to 10:00 pm shift Monday through Friday.  Dial Global is NBC’s partner in ad and affiliation sales and distribution.

Forbes Releases New Highest Paid Celebrities List.  Four radio stars landed on the Forbes list of the most recent Highest Paid Celebrities.  Of the 21 celebs noted this time around, Howard Stern is the highest at #7 (although he makes a ton of cash from his SiriusXM gig, the NBC TV job helps!); Glenn Beck comes in at #11; Rush Limbaugh lands at #15 and Ryan Seacrest follows at #19.

Larry King to Host Coverage of the RNC on YouTube’s Elections Hub Channel; Premiere Networks’ Andy Dean Joins King on Panel.  Longtime CNN star and broadcasting icon Larry King is now working with Ora TV – the digital on-demand TV network funded by Mexican media magnate Carlos Slim Helu – and Ora TV is partnering with YouTube to produce the Elections Hub channel.  Tonight, King will host coverage of the Republican National Convention live from Los Angeles featuring a roundtable of well-known celebrities and guests on the special series “Ora 2012 with Larry King” from 11:00 pm to 12:00 midnight ET.  Premiere Networks nationally syndicated talk host Andy Dean will take part on the panel.

Entercom and University of Florida Enter into Sales Agreement.  The college and Entercom Communications have struck a deal which will have Entercom provide sales for the school’s two radio stations – country WRUF-FM and sports talk WRUF-AM.  It’s a seven-year deal that begins in September.  The university notes that the deal “will provide the College with a guaranteed monthly revenue.  Additionally, the stations will participate in a revenue share agreement with Entercom that allows for additional revenue to flow to the stations based on monthly sales performances.  In addition to the joint sales agreement, Entercom is launching an academic enhancement initiative to create internships and student opportunities for the College’s students at the company’s stations in Gainesville and around the country.  These student involvement opportunities, subject to faculty approval, will include sales, digital marketing programming, news, sports, public relations, strategic communications and promotions.”  The stations’ operations director, Jerry Butler, will stay on and co-ordinate the relationship between the stations and Entercom.

Hundreds of Talk Show Hosts from Across Country Broadcasting from RNC.  The invention of the “radio row” – largely developed in the modern talk radio era by Washington, DC-based Talk Radio News Service – has really come into its own at the Republican National Convention in Tampa.  Numerous networks and syndicators have set up shop in elaborate clusters of tables, microphones, remote equipment, banners and, of course, big talking personalities on both sides of the mic.  One of the biggest of these assemblages is again hosted by Talk Radio News Service for its affiliates which include the likes of Rusty Humphries, Phil Valentine, Roger Hedgecock and many more.  TRNS bureau chief Ellen Ratner tells TALKERS, “We have more stations than ever – about 40 stations and programs.  The RNC gave us a prime spot, right next to their booking office.  We are not in the arena but in the building next to it that houses all the press.  Other than press conferences, some longer television interviews and hall confrontations between the news media, radio row is the only place to have an in-depth conversation.  Radio might have lost some of its audience to the internet, but you would never know it from radio row.  Big time politicians want to be there and obviously feel they will get a chance to say what they want. It is still the spot to be and the place to be heard.”

WMAL Morning Hosts on the Scene in Tampa.  The final day of the Republican National Convention is today and talk radio and the national press have been busy bringing the political talk home to their constituents.  Pictured here are WMAL-AM/FM, Washington morning drive team Brian Wilson (c) and Bryan Nehman (r) interviewing former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton (l).

Republican National Convention, Tropical Storm Isaac, and Iran-Syria Connection Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/28).  The progress of tropical storm Isaac and the activity from the Republican National Convention in Tampa Bay were two of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio.  The growing connection between Iran’s military and the violence in Syria was also a major topic.

Friday, August 24, 2012

| August 24, 2012

Cincinnati Talk Host and Attorney Eric Deters Resigns from WQRT.  According to Cincinnati.com’s John Kiesewetter, Cincinnati talk show host Eric Deters quit his program at Christian Broadcasting System’s “Real Talk 1160” on Wednesday saying, “I do not have any respect for Rob Williams’ programming ability at all.  I’m not going to put myself in a stressful situation… I’m going to tell the truth.  There’s not a phony bone in my body.”  Williams is the operations manager/program director for the station and Deters didn’t want to answer to him.  Previously he had been answering to station manager Bob Herrion and Herrion requested the change.  Deters says he did not like Williams’ suggestion for his back-up – former “Warm 98″ jock Dean Miuccio – and suggested others to Williams.  Deters is quoted by Kiesewetter saying, “I don’t mind taking direction.  I talk to Willie  (Bill Cunningham, his mentor at WLW in 2010-2011) almost every single day.  I listen to Willie.  I know what I’m doing, and I’m not going to let someone dictate to me…I resigned.  I was willing to pull the resignation this morning if they changed their mind, but they wouldn’t.  I think they’re making a huge mistake.”  WQRT has since made Miuccio the permanent morning host.  Deters, a practicing attorney in the area, had served as Cunningham’s back-up at crosstown WLW and hosted a weekend program there until May of 2011 when he was let go for posting a video blog that included a racial joke.

NBC Gives Rodney Harrison Weekend Sports Talk Radio Show.  Rodney Harrison is part of NBC TV’s “Football Night in America” but he’ll cut his sports talk radio teeth on the new NBC Sports/Dial Global venture beginning September 8 with his weekly two-hour “Safety Blitz with Rodney Harrison” show.  NBC Sports Radio debuts soon and Dial Global says it has about 100 affiliates on board for the sports radio network’s launch.  NBC Sports Ventures and International SVP Rob Simmelkjaer says, “With the launch of NBC Sports Radio just 12 days away, we are thrilled to add Rodney Harrison to our growing list of talented sports radio personalities. We anticipate Rodney’s transition to radio to be as seamless as his transition was from the football field to television, where he went from being one of the fiercest competitors in the game to one of the most respected voices in the space. He is the latest in what we expect to be many NBC Sports television personalities who will join our radio team.”

Powerful News/Talk Programming Panel Set for New Media Seminar in Los Angeles.  A dynamic panel discussion featuring a strong lineup of Western states-based programmers has been set for the forthcoming New Media Seminar 2012 in Los Angeles on Thursday, October 11 at the Steve Allen Theater in Hollywood being presented by TALKERS in association with the Los Angeles Press Club.  Titled  “The State of Local News/Talk Radio,” the panel includes Robin Bertolucci, PD of KFI/KTLK, Los Angeles; Skip Essick, PD of KMJ-AM/FM, Fresno; Andy Ludlum, PD of KNX, Los Angeles; Garret Lewis, PD/morning host of KNST, Tucson; John McMullen, OM/PD Desert Radio Group, Palm Springs; David Sniff, PD of KFMB, San Diego; and Chuck Tyler, PD of KRLA/KKLA, Los Angeles.  It will be moderated by TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey. The New Media Seminar agenda is being set with a total of 60 speakers planned to examine the key issues facing the talk radio/media industries.  Its agenda will continue to be posted and updated on Talkers.com.  It is expected to be an early sellout.  To assure registration, attendees are advised to sign up now. Registration is a recession-era low $99 which includes everything.  Because it is open only to working media there will be no online registration – only by telephone.  For registration and sponsorship information call 413-565-5413.

CBS Sports Radio Unveils Talent for Hourly Features.  As CBS Sports Radio gradually brings sports talk radio content to the air in advance of its round-the-clock format debut in January, it will begin airing hourly CBS Sports Minutes on September 4 near the top of the hour.  Talent include: WFAN, New York morning host Boomer Esiason; sports writer and author John Feinstein; network talk host and analyst Doug Gottlieb; and KNBR, San Francisco talk host Tom Tolbert.  CBS Radio says the features will air 90 affiliates including stations in the top 10 markets – all of which are CBS O&Os except Cumulus Media’s KNBR.

Clear Channel Media and Entertainment Names Bob Morgan VP and Market Manager for Rochester.  Bob Morgan is very familiar with the Rochester market having managed the CBS Radio cluster there from 1994-1999.  Most recently he’s served as SVP of broadcast for American Tower Corporation in Boston.  Clear Channel SVP of operations Kevin LeGrett says of Morgan, “Bob is an experienced broadcaster who knows the Rochester market.  He is well respected throughout the area, both within our industry and by our clients. Bob will bring superb leadership skills, passion and expertise to our team. We are excited to have him on board.”  Clear Channel operates seven radio stations in Rochester including news/talk WHAM; Sports 1280 WHTK, 95.1 The Brew, 106-7 KISS FM, 100.5 The DRIVE, Oldies 107.3 and 102.3 Sunny FM.

Talk Host Alan Colmes Publishes New Book.  Fox News Radio and television personality Alan Colmes has written a new book coming out next week (just in time for the election) titled Thank the Liberals…for Saving America (and Why You Should) (Hay House 2012) and will be hitting the radio trail doing interviews.  In the book Colmes claims, “America was born liberal — the Declaration of Independence puts forth a liberal mission statement, and the Constitution lays out a liberal framework for how the business of our nation is to be conducted. At the time, America was, in fact, beyond liberal … and America has become progressively more liberal.”  He declares that you are a liberal, even though you may not know it, and further, you should be thankful for it.  We’re so immersed in the concept, we might not recognize it, but “try telling someone who escaped from Saddam Hussein’s Iraq that America isn’t a very liberal place to be.” Although most people only know Alan Colmes (syndicated nightly by Fox News Radio) as a serious political talker who gained national prominence during a dozen-year run as co-host of Fox News Channel’s recently ended “Hannity and Colmes” program – his early broadcasting background was as a hilarious morning and late night music DJ.  To arrange an interview call David Kass at 212-725-7707.

WEEI/NESN Radio Telethon Raises More Than $3.3 Million for Cancer Charity.  The 11th Annual WEEI/NESN Jimmy Fund Radio Telethon took place over two days this week and helped top last year’s total of $3.3 million raised for cancer care and research at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston.  The event is heavily centered around Entercom’s WEEI, Boston and its network stations in New England but donations came in from all 50 states.  WEEI VP of programming Jason Wolfe says, “Each year the Radio-Telethon brings us stories of incredible courage and ground-breaking research that continue to show us why the Jimmy Fund and Dana-Farber are so special and this year was no exception.  These two days were as emotional as any we’ve experienced and we are so proud to have been a part of another huge success that will provide the necessary funds to bring new and better treatments to so many who need it.”

Odds & Sods.  CBS Radio’s KNX, Los Angeles presents Social Media Summit for Small Business at the Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center on September 14 from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm.  The full-day conference will feature more than a dozen speakers who will outline best practices and present case studies to help business owners and entrepreneurs strategize and monetize using popular and up-and-coming social media platforms.  It will include pros from Google/YouTube, Facebook, foursquare and Citrix Online…..WSOY, Decatur, Illinois prepares for 11th Annual WSOY Community Food Drive.  You can see WSOY morning host Brian Byers (second from right) at this press conference at a local Kroger store as they announced the coming food drive to take place at the store on October 5.  Last year the station collected more than 640,000 lbs. of food and is shooting to exceed 650,000 this year.  Food and cash donations go to Catholic Charities and the Salvation Army.  But last year, because of the wonderful generosity of the community, donations were also given to the Good Samaritan Inn, Oasis Day Center, Northeast Community Fund and the Judy Mason Thanksgiving Basket Project.  Amazing accomplishment for a station in market 268!

Radio Row at RNC in Tampa.  Sure the halls are empty now but this area of the Tampa Times Convention Center will be teeming with talk hosts, reporters, guests, politicians and more on Monday as the Republican National Convention gets underway (weather permitting).  RNC radio director Andy Polesovsky tells TALKERS magazine, “With a fantastic view of Tampa Bay, floor-to-ceiling windows providing abundant natural light, and located in the middle of a high-traffic area, the 2012 Radio Row could not be better situated.  The freedom of guests, surrogates, hosts, and producers to traverse the convention center will allow more spontaneous interviews with top guests and Republican officials than ever before.  Working closely with the Romney Campaign, the Surrogate Operations Department of the Convention is fully prepared and will be ready to respond to requests on the fly.  Providing briefed, knowledgeable guests on time is the Radio Convention Team’s #1 goal. To help with this task, all the volunteers working on Radio Row – which will be staffed nearly 24 hours a day – have experience booking guests and, more importantly, many have worked on Radio Row in past conventions.

It’s a Gas, Gas, Gas!  WLAC, Nashville-based syndicated talk host Steve Gill recently visited the Wilson County Fair in Lebanon, Tennessee with his friend Gas Can Man who is getting ready to travel the country providing people with gas at $1.84 per gallon – the price it was on January 20, 2009, the day before Barack Obama took office.  Gill is pictured here with fair worker Holly who provided him with fried green tomatoes and sweet tea.

Coming Republican and Democratic Conventions and the Tropical Storm Threat Land Atop the Talkers TenTM for the Week of August 20 – 24.  The approaching political conventions and the threat that Tropical Storm Isaac will postpone the Republican National Convention were the most talked about stories on news/talk radio this week.  Following close behind at #2 was the debate over the Medicare cuts in the 2010 Affordable Care Act.  At #3 was the Todd Akins controversy and Israel-Iran tensions followed at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a chart of the most-talked-about stories and people on news/talk radio across America during the week and is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  To view this week’s entire chart, click here.

Fisher House Christmas Show “The Gift” Available for Holiday Programming.  The three-hour spoken-word special “The Gift,” produced by the Fisher House Foundation, is available for stations to carry around the holiday season.  The program is hosted by veteran newsman and war correspondent Greg Jarrett.  The program tells the powerful and uplifting stories of wounded warriors and veterans who, with the help of their loved ones, have overcome tremendous obstacles to reclaim their lives.  The show helps raise awareness and funds for the non-profit Fisher House, which provides no-cost housing and other support to the families of wounded warriors while their loved ones recover at military and VA hospitals.  For more information or to sign up for “The Gift,” contact Randall Bloomquist at Bloomquist Media or Ron Rivlin at Cumulus Media Networks.

TALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  Radio America’s Peter Schiff program show is added to WESR-AM, Norfolk; WWPR-AM, Bradenton, Florida; KEUN-AM, Lafayette, Louisiana; WARK, Hagerstown, Maryland; and KLCN, Blytheville, Arkansas…..The Wall Street Journal Radio Network’s “The Daily Wrap from The Wall Street Journal” with Michael Castner is picked up by KRDO, AM/FM, Colorado Spring; WLTT, Wilmington, North Carolina; and WGMD in Salisbury, Maryland.…..Kate Delaney’s “America Tonight” adds WEGP, Presque Isle, Maine to its affiliate roster…..Dave Ferguson’s “Beyond the Cheers” feature is added to the program schedule at KFIV, Modesto; KKRN, Bella Vista, California; and non-commercial WFSK, Nashville…..Shannon Rose’s “Mr. Hollywood” feature joins the programming at KRMS, Osage Beach, Missouri.

 

Friday, July 27, 2012

| July 27, 2012

Programmer Jack Silver Lands at New NBC Sports Radio.  Programmer Jack Silver is named the program director for the sports talk radio network set to launch this fall.  Silver most recently programmed Cumulus Media’s news/talk KABC and classic rock KLOS in Los Angeles and, prior to that, spent many years at the helm of CBS Radio’s hot talk KLSX, Los Angeles.  NBC Sports Radio EVP and general manager Chris Corcoran says, “It’s a pleasure to announce that Jack will be joining our NBC Sports Radio team.  Everyone in radio is familiar with his success in programming and his many accomplishments in the industry.  We’re looking forward to bringing his talents to Culver City.”  On his new position, Silver states, “I have a world of experience in programming to the daily consumer of sports radio.  This is an exciting launch for the sports radio consumer and we’ll add PPM winning strategies and best practices to ensure a huge success.”  Silver takes the helm of the programming department at the NBC Sports Group and Dial Global initiative as the sports talk radio universe gets a little more crowded.  Four months after the NBC Sports Radio network debuts, CBS Radio launches its national sports radio platform, CBS Sports Radio.

Journal Communications Reports Boffo Second Quarter.  The parent company of Journal Broadcast Group announces second quarter operating earnings up 17% compared to the same quarter one year ago.  Revenue from the broadcast group was up 16.5% when excluding the recently acquired Tulsa stations – 18.4% with their revenue.  The company is reporting revenue of $95.5 million for the quarter, an increase of 6% over the same period a year ago.  When it comes to Journal’s radio properties, the company posted revenue of $19.4 million, an increase of 11.5%, largely from a boost in automotive and political.

ABC News’ Aurora-Tea Party Goof Addressed at Television Critics Association Press Tour.  The speculation by ABC NewsBrian Ross – very early on last Friday morning’s coverage of the Aurora, Colorado shooting – that there’s a Jim Holmes in Aurora on the local Tea Party site who may be the same Jim Holmes taken into custody, reared its head at the Television Critics Association press tour on Thursday, July 26.  The Washington Post reports ABC News chief Ben Sherwood was asked about the error that happened on the network’s “Good Morning America.”  The Post reports Sherwood said, “We put something on the air that we did not know to be true and the part that we needed to be true was not germane to the story we were covering…It was a mistake; we recognized it immediately and owned it immediately…we corrected it immediately, and we apologized.”  Sherwood said Ross contacted the Jim Holmes in question and apologized to him.  Sherwood also stated the reporting did not live up to ABC’s standards and he takes responsibility for it.

Boston Public Media Company WGBH Merges with Public Radio International.  The Minneapolis-based Public Radio International will continue to operate independently as a tax-exempt non-profit from its Minneapolis base but PRI is now an affiliated company of WGBH.  The two companies have been working together for years, in one instance producing PRI-distributed “The World” out of WGBH studios in Boston for the past 16 years.  The company is not being specific about how this will affect employees but it admits, now that the deal has closed, it will be looking for some “efficiencies” and some staffers could be affected.  PRI CEO Alisa Miller states, “As with all transactions like this, we will be looking for places that WGBH might have capacity we could take advantage of.  While we haven’t made any final decisions, we do think that there might be a few positions that could be affected.”

Odds ‘n’ Sods.  Nationally syndicated morning drive host Tom Joyner will be the keynote speaker at the NAB- and RAB-sponsored Radio Show Luncheon in Dallas on Friday, September 21…..A couple of sports-related notes from satcaster SiriusXM today: former Philadelphia Eagles running back Brian Westbrook becomes part of the NFL Radio channel where he’ll host the Sunday evening “NFL Rewind” show and be part of other shows throughout the NFL season, including the 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm “Movin’ the Chains” program.  Also, SiriusXM will broadcast from all 32 NFL training camps for its preview of the coming season…..Pamplin’s KPAM, Portland becomes the flagship for the Western Hockey League’s Portland Winterhawks.  The deal includes the broadcast of a weekly coach’s show, all 72 regular season games plus promotional opportunities and charity partnerships.

Red Thread Named Winner of KYW, Philadelphia’s Small Business Challenge.  CBS Radio’s KYW, Philadelphia announces Red Thread – a company that designs and creates the best clothing and solutions to improve the quality of life for all breast cancer survivors – is the winner of the inaugural 2012 Small Business Challenge and wins a $25,000 advertising campaign on KYW Newsradio, and a one year lease of professional private furnished office space located at one of the seven American Executive Centers in the Delaware Valley.  Company president, physician and cancer survivor Debra Kimless-Garber says, “I’m a physician, I’m a survivor.  I know what survivors are going through.  I created these products to make myself feel whole again.  I want to share that with all the other 2.6 million survivors that live in the United States.”  CBS Radio Philadelphia SVP and market manager Marc Rayfield  states, “KYW Newsradio is proud to use the power of its voice and expertise in the Philadelphia market to showcase a small business that is beginning to find its way in the market place.  We hope our campaign will help Red Thread become the business that it rightfully deserves and aspires to be.”

Aurora Theater Massacre Top News/Talk Story for Week of July 23-27.  Discussion about the tragic shooting at the premiere of “Dark Knight Rises” in Aurora, Colorado late last week was the most-talked-about story on news/talk stations across America this week.  Rounding out the top four on the weekly Talkers TenTM chart were: at #2, the gun laws issue; at #3 the presidential campaign; and at #4, the backlash against President Obama by conservatives for his speech about small business.  The Talkers TenTM – a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio – is the result of ongoing research from Talkers and is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View the entire chart here.

Friday, June 22, 2012

| June 22, 2012

Victory, But No Clarity at the Supreme Court.  The United States Supreme Court ruled in favor of Fox TV and ABC and against the FCC in a decision announced yesterday.  The high-profile cases involving fleeting occurrences of nudity and four-letter words on the two TV networks came to an end with the Court ruling as many, including TALKERS legal editor Steven J.J. Weisman, thought it would: in favor of the broadcasters.  But as Weisman writes, the decision was based on a violation of the Due Process clause and ignored the larger question of the FCC’s definition of indecency.  “As for the overriding question of the unconstitutionality of the rules themselves, the Court ruled that it did not even have to answer that question because the application of the FCC’s indecency rule was improperly done in a manner that violated the Due Process clause of the 14th Amendment.”  Read Weisman’s analysis of the Supreme Court’s decision here.

Sports Talk Radio Gets Another National Network as CBS Radio Teams with Cumulus Media Networks to Offer Talk Shows, News and More.  The skyrocketing popularity of sports talk radio is bringing another major network player into the business.  CBS announces it will put the resources of CBS Radio and CBS Sports together to build a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week lineup of national programming called CBS Sports Radio.  The company is partnering with Cumulus Media Networks which will provide affiliate sales and ad sales for the network and the content will air on 67 of Cumulus Media’s stations.  The long-form talk aspect of this network will debut on January 3, 2013 but hourly CBS Sports news updates will begin on September 4 of this year.  This entry of CBS into the sports radio game creates a much more crowded field of players once dominated by just a few.  Soon ESPN Radio, Fox Sports Radio Network, and Yahoo! Sports Radio will be joined by the recently announced collaboration between NBC and Dial GlobalNBC Sports Radio – and CBS Sports Radio.  CBS Radio president and CEO Dan Mason states, “For more than two decades we have owned local sports radio and appreciate great talent and programming that resonates with listeners and elicits passionate dialogue and debate.  We are bullish our expertise and prior achievements will allow us to successfully complement our existing businesses while expanding into what until now has been a largely unchallenged sector of the radio business.”  Exactly how CBS will staff the new national sports talk radio network is something we’ll see develop over the next six months.  It certainly has a trough of excellent talent at its local sports talk O&Os and the company indicates affiliate stations will have the opportunity to “regionalize their lineup by choosing from select programs currently featured on CBS Radio or Cumulus sports stations.”  That means an affiliate station in the Mid-Atlantic, for example, could elect to carry a program that emanates from WIP, Philadelphia or WJFK-FM, Washington.  Regardless of how this new enterprise develops, suffice it to say the sports talk radio business is getting much more competitive.

Genesis Communications Announces End of ESPN Relationship in Tampa and Orlando.  ESPN Radio has been a part of Genesis Communications’ WHBO, Tampa and WHOO, Orlando for the past 10 years but president Bruce Maduri says in a statement that they believe it’s time to develop more local – and exclusive – talent.  Maduri states, “ESPN Radio makes its once-exclusive programming readily available to the public on multiple audio and video channels and platforms, such as web radio, satellite radio, mobile devices, broadcast television, cable TV and more.”  And Maduri cites the cost of the programming as a factor.  He says they’ve enjoyed their 10-year relationship with ESPN but will end their relationship with ESPN by October 1.

Meet One of Talk Media’s Hardest-Working Talents: Larry O’Connor.  And today is a very busy day for Larry O’Connor.  First, he’s filling in for WPHT, Philadelphia’s Chris Stigall in AM drive; after an hour break he fills in for Dial Global’s nationally syndicated Dennis Miller; then he joins Salem Radio Network’s Hugh Hewitt as a guest on Hewitt’s annual live broadcast from Disneyland in Anaheim.  Who is Larry O’Connor?  The former manager and producer in the Broadway theater industry joined the Breitbart empire writing for Big Hollywood and became Andrew Breitbart’s choice to run the multi-media arm where he came to be in charge of Breitbart TV and he’s now editor of the video and multi-media arm of the Breitbart News Network.  Given his position, O’Connor has an interesting view of the talk media landscape and he tells TALKERS magazine, “I have been fortunate to launch my career in this new age where I could broadcast on the internet for relatively low costs and within months build a loyal and vibrant audience with no more promotion than Facebook and Twitter alerts.  Streaming my show at Breitbart News has allowed me to cater to the passionate center-right political news junkie that makes up our audience and it perfectly mirrors the hard-core talk radio audience.  I am also fortunate to be the multi-media editor and curator for the Breitbart sites which puts me in the position of seeking out the choicest sound bytes which I hope will end up on playlists for talk radio shows from coast to coast.  By having that task all day long, it puts me in the news cycle that is in the wheelhouse of talkers up and down the aisle.”  The untimely death of Andrew Breitbart certainly affected the late conservative icon’s business but O’Connor tells TALKERS things there continue to move at a lightning pace.  “The radical re-design of our site, which was Andrew’s final project, has been a resounding success.  But the new design also has put enormous pressure and demands on our dedicated editorial staff because unlike our old blog format, the new design requires us to be on top of the news cycle and constantly posting fresh, relevant content on a constant basis.  The loss of Andrew is a void that, frankly, will never be filled.  But it is comforting to know that his business partner and long-time best friend Larry Solov is there every day over-seeing us and keeping Andrew’s vision alive and thriving.”  Meanwhile, O’Connor continues to be heard at local stations across the nation.  He’s recently filled in at such historic signals as WOR, New York; WLS, Chicago; WABC, New York and more.

Odds ‘n’ Sods.  Nationally syndicated progressive talk star Randi Rhodes hosted an iconic entertainment figure on her Premiere Networks program as Cher called the show on Wednesday to talk about being vilified for speaking out as an entertainer.  Cher told Rhodes, “I…try to do my part, try to do more than my part for helping people with my money and with my speaking…They just can only vilify you by just saying the most heinous things.  They don’t talk about your ideas, or what you think.  They talk about what kind of a person you are and then they vilify what kind of a person you are.”…..CBS Radio’s KNX, Los Angeles spotlights the city of Santa Monica in its next “KNX on Your Corner” event.  News anchors will broadcast live from the café Back on the Beach throughout the day and “KNX Business Hour” host Frank Mottek will lead a private networking luncheon for local business leaders, titled, “Your Money, the Markets & the Economy,” with special guest, James Hausberg, managing director and partner of HighTower Advisors at Santa Monica Ford Lincoln…..Tribune Company’s WGN, Chicago is named Chicago Market Station of the Year by the Illinois Broadcasters Association for the fifth straight year.  At the recent awards ceremony WGN picked up six other first place honors including Best Local Radio Newscast, Best Sports Story, and Best Website…..SiriusXM – in association with ESPN Radio – offers subscribers complete coverage of Wimbledon beginning Monday, June 25 through Saturday, July 7.

CRN Digital Talk Radio Adds Three Telecom Systems to Its Affiliate Roster.  Sunland, California-based CRN Digital Talk Radio announces the addition of three new telecommunications systems to its affiliate roster which will carry CRN’s more than 100 shows and talk radio programs on their audio-only video channels for subscribers.  Home Net of Kutztown, Pennsylvania; CML Telephone Cooperative Association of Meridien, Iowa; and LISCO (Local Internet Service Company) of Fairfield, Iowa will carry all seven of CRN’s broadcast networks on dedicated audio channels.  CRN CEO Mike Horn states, “We are excited to join with Home Net, CML and LISCO and provide their customers with our top-rated and highly entertaining programming for the at-home listening experience.”

‘Fast and Furious’ Case/Executive Privilege Top News/Talk Story for Week of June 18-22.  The case of Congressional Republicans’ attempt to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt for not delivering documents in connection with the ‘Fast and Furious’ program and President Obama’s invoking executive privilege in the case was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing in the #1 spot on the Talkers TenTM.  Following at #2 this week was the 2012 presidential race.  At #3 was the G20 Summit and the Russia-Syria connection followed by the Euro Zone debt crisis and the global financial markets activities at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week according to ongoing research from TALKERS.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View the entire chart here.

TALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  The Dave Ramsey show is added to the program schedule at CBS Radio’s KRLD, Dallas…..KFNX, Phoenix picks up Cumulus Media NetworksMike Huckabee…..Compass Media NetworksFree Beer and Hot Wings morning drive show is added to the program schedule at WZGM, Asheville, North Carolina; KBAZ-FM, Missoula, Montana; and WQCK-FM, State College, Pennsylvania…..The Money Pit Home Improvement Show joins the lineup at WMCD-FM, Statesboro, Georgia; WTHQ, Paducah, Kentucky; and KQWC-FM, Webster City, Iowa.