Tag: "Neil Larrimore"

Friday, August 23, 2013

| August 23, 2013

earlrogerFoghat’s Roger Earl Is a Hit on the Talk Radio Interview Circuit – Knocks it Out of the Park on Doug Stephan’s “Good Day” Show.  Master rock ‘n’ roll drummer, personable schmoozer and 41-year Foghat member Roger Earl has proven to be quite a hit when it comes to being an interview guest, not just on music stations that still play the legendary classic rock band famous for such anthems as “Slow Ride,” “I Just Want to Make Love to You,” and “Fool for the City” (among others), but on traditional news/talk stations looking to spice up their programming, as well.  It seems the glib British-born teller of great road stories and rockstephandoug historical nuggets is just what the doctor ordered for many traditional news/talkers looking to broaden their subject matter to include lifestyle and pop cultural material beyond the day-to-day, left-versus-right, “wonky” issues that some industry observers say can make talk radio a tedious listen when not broken up a bit by other angles of reality.  Yesterday morning, the moon and stars lined up perfectly for such a gab-fest as Roger Earl popped up as a guest on the nationally syndicated morning talk show “Good Day” hosted by Doug Stephan.  Stephan, a perennial member of TALKERS magazine’s prestigious “Heavy Hundred,” works the program as a ringmaster in the context of an ensemble and yesterday’s program was made even more interesting by the presence of his good friend, Radio America stable-mate and nationally syndicated talk star Dr. Joy Browne at the table as “special guest co-host.”  Together they greeted Earl with enthusiasm and a frolicking spirit.  Stephan, a former progressive rock deejay, tells TALKERS that although “Good Day” is by definition (and the lion’s share of its affiliates) a “news/talk” show, he likes to steer it clear for the most part of the “negative, argumentative, confrontational, and narrow topical elements” that he feels holds these programs back from meeting their full potential.  He says, “I love the opportunity to get a guy like Roger Earl on who so many of our demo remember from their salad days and is also very interesting to their kids who are fascinated by bands and arts figures from the past few decades.  In this case, Roger was wonderful.  After only a few minutes — even though I had never before met or even spoke with the guy — it was as if we had been very good friends for years!”  Although the premise of the interview was to discuss Foghat’s current hit single, “The Word of Rock n’ Roll” (#15 RadioInfo Rock Songs Chart) and the fact that after 41 years the ensemble is still out there touring and making new recordings, the conversation went in a number of directions covering Earl’s previous band, Savoy Brown; how Foghat was formed and where its name came from.  The discussion got into Roger Earl’s childhood and personal life with some candid conversation about the long-time friendship/love affair he shares with his wife and manager Linda Arcello-Earl.  Earl told a cool story from earlier days and his being pulled over for driving 140 mph on the Long Island Expressway.  He also expressed his excitement over becoming a United States Citizen this year.  To listen to the entire conversation please click here.  Stephan adds, “Further synergizing the ‘happening’ I made the song ‘The Word of Rock n’ Roll’ the Video of The Day at our website:  www.dougstephan.com and we did a feature segment on it in the 8:00 am hour.”  An equally enthusiastic Earl tells TALKERS, “Yesterday morning’s interview with Doug Stephan was terrific.  I was on my second cup of coffee and Doug was very cool!  He was interesting and knowledgeable about what is going on with the band.  And even though the old ‘Savoy Brown’ album covers frightened him, I won’t hold that against him.  It was great and we all really appreciate that he genuinely likes ‘The Word of Rock n’ Roll’…and played clips!  And, in a short period of time, it seemed like we talked about all sorts of stuff.  He definitely got the conversation going!  Thanks Doug and thanks to his guest co-host Dr. Joy Browne.  I thoroughly enjoyed our chat!”  Next stop for Roger Earl on his tour of talk radio: a live in-studio visit with Rita Cosby on heritage 50k WOR, New York.  Talk hosts (and deejays) interested in booking Roger Earl should contact Chip Ruggieri at chip@chipsterpr.com.

oehlerjodyJody Oehler Takes Over PM Drive at Sports Talk KGME, Phoenix.  Clear Channel Phoenix announces sports talk host Jody Oehler is named afternoon drive sports talk host at KGME, “Fox Sports 910 AM Phoenix, The Voice of Arizona Sports.”  Oehler joins Cardinals Insider Mike Jurecki and Michael “Jak” Bauer as host of the 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm show beginning September 3.  Oehler comes to Phoenix from Journal Broadcast Group’s KFFN-AM/FM “ESPN Tucson” where he currently hosts PM drive.  He also works as sports anchor at KGUN-TV, Tucson.  Program director Neil Larrimore says the University of Arizona grad brings a wealth of knowledge and experience with him.  “Jody is a talented rising star.  He’s an incredible communicator and a true sports fan.  We look forward to Jody helping to move our brand forward on air as well as online.  We are lucky to have him.”  Oehler adds, “I’m very excited to join the most dynamic talk lineup in the Valley.  I look forward to teaming up with Mike Jurecki and Mike Bauer to bring engaging and entertaining sports talk to our listeners every day.  I’m excited to get to know our Phoenix listeners and talk sports.”

medvedmichaelMichael Medved Scores Interview with ‘The Butler’ Director.  Salem Radio Network nationally syndicated talk show host Michael Medved is no stranger to talking about film – he co-hosted “Sneak Previews” for 12 years, was the New York Post’s film critic for five years and has co-written four books about movies – so he’ll be in his element this afternoon (8/23) when he interviews “The Butler” director Lee Daniels.  The surprise box office hit starring Forrest Whitaker and Oprah Winfrey tells the story of Cecil Gaines, a White House butler who served eight U.S. Presidents and was an observer through the Civil Rights movement, Vietnam, and other historic events. (“Gaines” is a fictionalized compilation of a number of actual White House butlers who were originally interviewed for a short story by journalist Wil Haygood.)  SRN vice president/news & talk programming Tom Tradup states, “There’s nothing wrong with talk radio having any on-air discussions about the Trayvon Martin case or the more recent racially tinged killing of baseball star Chris Lane in Oklahoma.  But as the 50th Anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King’s march on Washington, D.C. approaches, ‘The Butler’ has clearly struck a chord with American moviegoers…and we’re honored that director Lee Daniels will share his vision of history with Michael Medved in what promises to be compelling radio.”

TalkersLA2013Norm Pattiz and Michael Harrison to Participate in “Keynote Conversation” at Talkers Los Angeles 2013.  One of the many highlights of the one-day, power-packed agenda being set for the Southern California segment of TALKERS magazine’s annual bi-coastal convention, “Talkers Los Angeles 2013,” will be a “keynote conversation” between industry icon Norm Pattiz, CEO of Courtside Entertainment, LLC and founder of Launchpad Digital Media‘s innovative Podcast One and TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison. Pattiz (the original founder of Westwood One) and Harrison share a long history and friendship that goes back to the late-1970s when Harrison (then of KMET, Los Angeles and Radio & Records) was signed by Pattiz to host the nationally syndicated “Great American Radio Show” – a weekly innovative album track countdown that was one of Westwood One’s earliest pattiznormofferings.  According to Harrison, “Because I worked with Norm so early on at the beginnings of his historic and impactful career in radio as both an insider at his budding company and as an outside observer/associate, I have had the opportunity of really eye-witnessing and digesting a tremendous amount of contemporary radio history as it applies to the man’s contributions to so many of the practices and systems that we today consider standard.  Although, this is being billed as a two-way conversation and I know he’ll be asking me some questions as well, I can’t wait to get him up there and have him address so many issues – past, present and future – that will shed light and clarity on where radio is at and where it is going in this new digital era.  Keep in mind, Norm not only started and grew Westwood One…he also owned Radio & Records, the Mutual Broadcasting System, and NBC Radio Network in addition to being a member of the U.S. Broadcasting Board of Governors.  Now look at him today, not only is he back on the cutting edge of our business, he also chairs the Boards of Governors of Los Alamos National Security, LLC., and Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC which respectively operate the Los Alamos National Laboratory and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.  Amazing!  I intend to dig into this conversation like an informational gold mine.”  For registration and sponsorship information about Talkers Los Angeles 2013, please call 413-565-5413.  The conference is open only to members of the working media and is on the verge of a sellout.  Complete agenda details to be posted here next week.

sammalonestudioshotCelebrating Six Months.  Houston talk show host Sam Malone tells TALKERS magazine his program is celebrating its six-month anniversary in its new format that includes airing on Salem Communications-owned KNTH, Houston “AM 1070 The Answer” from 7:00 am to 11:00 am and simulcast online in a video format via Phonoscope.  Malone is pictured here on the set of his program as online viewers see it.  In celebration of his anniversary in the new format, Malone produced a promotional video montage of the program that you can see here.

wfan logoNew Jersey Governor Chris Christie to Co-Host on WFAN, New York.  With Boomer Esiason out on vacation, CBS Radio’s WFAN, New York will welcome New Jersey Governor Chris Christie to the studios to co-host the morning drive program with Craig Carton on Monday, August 26.  The station says, “With Christie being such a huge sports fan as well as being voted by The Star Ledger as the most influential person in New Jersey sports, there will be lots of talk about the Giants, Jets, Yankees and Mets.  Governor Christie is not a stranger to the ‘Boomer & Carton Show’ as he has been on numerous times as a guest of the show and has co-hosted with Craig once before.”

hagertimTim Hager Joins Clear Channel Denver as Vice President of Sales.  Most recently serving with CBS Radio as general sales manager at news/talk KMOX, St. Louis, Tim Hager moves west to head up the sales effort at Clear Channel’s eight-station cluster in Denver.  In a statement, Hager says, “I could not be more thrilled to return to the greatest media company in the world with the most extensive portfolio of integrated media solutions for our advertisers.  The landscape of radio continues to change every day and Clear Channel Media and Entertainment leads this charge with unparalleled digital opportunities including iHeartRadio.  I am humbled and honored to lead this great cluster’s sales efforts and rejoin the most talented and passionate media professionals in the business.”  Clear Channel’s Denver stations include: news/talk KOA, talk KHOW, progressive talk KKZN, alternative KTCL “Channel 93.3,” CHR KPTT “95.7 The Party,” triple A KBCO, classic rock KRFX “103.5 The Fox,” and active rock KBPI.

foxsportsradio logoPromotions at Fox Sports Radio Network.  Jeffrey Schwartz is promoted to vice president of sports sales for Fox Sports Radio.  In this capacity he’ll continue to work with the Premiere national account managers to “creatively craft specific programs to drive traffic and awareness for all Fox sponsors.”  Additionally, he will work closely with Annie Zidarevich and Clear Channel SVP of sports operations Bruce Gilbert on all other aspects of programming, promotion and business growth for Fox Sports Radio and Premiere Sports products.  At the same time, Zidarevich is promoted to vice president of network operations.  A day-one employee of FSR, Zidarevich reports to Bruce Gilbert and she’ll  continue to oversee all Fox Sports Radio operations, scheduling, production, programming and remote broadcast coordination.

cowherdcolinOdds & Sods.  Talk show host Mark Wainwright fills in for morning host Chet Walker on Clear Channel’s WHAM, Rochester all next week (8/26-30)…..ESPN Radio personality Colin Cowherd was recently honored with induction into the Nevada Broadcasters Hall of Fame.  The host of “The Herd with Colin Cowherd” began his career as the play-by-play voice for the Pacific Coast League’s Las Vegas Stars.  He also was sports director at KVBC-TV, Las Vegas where he earned multiple Nevada Sportscaster of the Year awards.  He joined ESPN in 2004…..Hubbard Radio’s WXOS, St. Louis “101 ESPN” announces that Rams wide receiver Chris Givens will join the station’s football analysts beginning Tuesday, September 10, when he starts a weekly stint joining “The Fast Lane” PM drive show to discuss the previous week’s game and to provide insight for upcoming match-ups.

backyardbroadcastingPennsylvania Stations Sold to Backyard Broadcasting.  Six Pennsylvania stations and an FM translator are sold by Barry Drake-operated Backyard Broadcasting to Dan Farr-led Backyard Broadcasting PA LLC.  The stations are: country WILQ-FM, Williamsport; hot AC WLMY-FM, Williamsport; news/talk WWPA-AM, Williamsport; oldies WBZD-FM, Muncy; rock WZXR-FM, South Williamsport; rock WCXR-FM, Lewisburg; and translator W267BJ-FM (simulcasting WWPA).  Buyer Dan Farr says, “I look forward to continuing the tradition of delivering great music, local information and community service with a team of dedicated on-air personalities and office staff along with giving our advertisers a marketing vehicle to promote and grow their business into the future.”  The exclusive broker for the deal is Kalil & Co.

Obama Administration’s Syria Policy Top News/Talk Story for Week of August 19-23.  The Obama Administration’s policy concerning Syria in the wake of allegations of chemical weapons use by the Assad regime was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  Following at #2 was the violence in Egypt tied with Middle East tensions.  At number #3 was the NSA surveillance program and the shooting death of Australian ballplayer Christopher Lane came in at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio across America and is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

| August 20, 2013

cohenheatherlgHeather Cohen Named TALKERS “Woman of the Year” – Will Be Presented Award at Talkers Los Angeles 2013 by KFI/KTLK PD Robin Bertolucci.  Hard-working industry super-agent, Heather Cohen, executive vice president of leading radio talent representatives, the Weiss Agency, has been voted by the TALKERS editorial board to be the 2013 recipient of the prestigious “Judy Jarvis Memorial Award for Outstanding Contributions to Talk Radio by a Woman.”  This award is often referred to by the title, “Woman of the Year.”  Cohen has accrued a stellar list of accomplishments in a career that spans more than a decade and a half in the radio industry and includes her current work as an agent at Eric Weiss ‘s Weiss Agency since 2007, based in the firm’s New York office.  Prior to that, Cohen briefly led the programming arm of GreenStone Media, LLC — where she was VP of programming and significantly contributed to that initiative’s being awarded three Gracie Awards.  During the decade prior to GreenStone, Cohen served as executive producer of the legendary, award-winning, Joan Hamburg show on WOR, New York and as the then-Buckley Broadcasting-owned heritage station’s assistant program director.  Cohen is a graduate of Hofstra University and serves on its School of Communication Advisory Board.  On making the announcement of Cohen’s selection for this honor, TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “If anyone deserves this award recognizing an individual woman for not just her personal accomplishments in talk radio – but her contributions to the industry as well – then theTalkersLA2013 selection of Heather Cohen is the quintessential choice.  She is a marvelous broadcaster and her personal career achievements as a producer, APD and corporate programming executive speak for themselves – but as an observer of this scene who has been tracking the career of this extraordinary young woman for years, I must say, she is the Mother Teresa of agents.  She personally shepherds the careers of approximately 10% of TALKERS’ entire ‘Heavy Hundred’ and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.  I have never seen an agent or manager care so deeply with heartfelt dedication to each and every one of the Weiss Agency’s impressive list of clients.  In other words, she GIVES to the business on a level that changes the lives of everyone with whom she is connected and continues to make a real difference on a daily basis.  It is extremely gratifying to see a truly outstanding industry woman of this quality receive the award.”  Harrison goes on to say, “I have often stated that all of us at TALKERS look forward to the day when it is no longer necessary or appropriate for there to be a special ‘woman’ award in talk radio — but unfortunately, as the numbers so starkly indicate, that day is not today.  Thank you, Heather, for your tireless, selfless dedication to both the hard working women AND men of talent out there in the tough trenches of today’s radio trying to keep the spirit of our unique culture alive in the 21st century.”  Heather Cohen will be presented the “Woman of the Year” award in a special ceremony at Talkers Los Angeles 2013 on Thursday, October 10 by last year’s distinguished recipient, KFI and KTLK, Los Angeles program director Robin Bertolucci.   Talkers Los Angeles 2013 is nearing a sellout within about a week.  It is open only to members of the working media.  For registration and sponsorship information call 413-565-5413.

kearneydanCBS Radio Makes Management Moves in Los Angeles and Tampa.  Former Cox Media Group Miami market manager Dan Kearney is named senior vice president and market manager for the company’s Los Angeles cluster that includes all news KNX, CHR KAMP-FM “97.1 AMP Radio,” adult hits KCBS-FM “93.1 Jack FM,” alternative KROQ, classic hits KRTH “K-Earth,” and AC KTWV “94.7 The Wave.”  As explained by CBScarversteve Radio EVP of operations Scott Herman, the change allows current LA market manager Steve Carver to move back East as desired where he’ll head up the Tampa cluster.  Kearney managed the Miami cluster for CMG from 2012-2013 after moving down from news/talk WSB, Atlanta.  He first joined Cox at news/talk KFI, Los Angeles in 1998 as local sales manager when that company owned the station.  CBS Radio president and CEO Dan Mason says of Kearney, “Dan is an accomplished broadcaster and exactly the right executive to shape a new future for our iconic radio stations in Los Angeles.  He has an impressive record of experience managing the operations of a multitude of different radio formats, producing noteworthy growth across all key measures.  Dan’s a fabulous addition to our organization.”  Steve Carver will replace Ben Hill whom the company says agreed more than a year ago to work across the state from his home in the West Palm Beach area.  He will work through the transition until October 11 and be available to the company through the end of the year.  CBS Radio operates six stations in Tampa including: sports talk WHFS-AM “CBS Sports Radio 1010” and WHFS-FM “98.7 The Fan,” rhythmic CHR WLLD “Wild 94.1,” country WQYK, classic hits WRBQ “My Q105,” and Spanish WYUU “92.5 Maxima.”

babinrobRob Babin to Lead CMG’s Miami Cluster.  Cox Media Group promotes Rob Babin to vice president and market manager for its Miami station group that includes hot AC WFLC “97.3 The Coast,” urban contemporary WHQT “Hot 105 FM,” hip hop WEDR “99 Jamz,” and soft AC WFEZ “Easy 93.1.”  Cox EVP of Radio Kim Guthrie states, “We are delighted to tap into our amazing, internal leadership talent pool and have Rob step into this new executive role, overseeing our Miami operation.  He has been an outstanding leader in his 12 years with CMG, both in our Orlando and Atlanta radio markets.  His strategic vision, incredible performance track record and desire to be the best make him a great fit for this opportunity.”  Babin most recently was vice president of sales for the Atlanta stations, including news/talk WSB, one of the top 10 billing stations in the country.  Babin comments, “I have been blessed with the opportunity to work with so many great people at CMG Atlanta, and I know their tradition of success will continue.  Now I am thrilled to work with the phenomenal group of radio stations and talented team that make up CMG Miami!”

kfyibusinessClear Channel Flips KOY, Phoenix to Business as ‘Business 1230 KFYI.’ Gone are adult standards on KOY-AM and in is business talk format using predominantly Bloomberg Radio content.  The station is airing the “Big Business with Sully” program from 9:00 am to 11:00 am with more local programming on the way according to program director Neil Larrimore.  He states, “The business format fits well into the KFYI brand.  Businesses and individuals are always looking for ways to manage their money better, to do more with less, and to make sure their futures are secure.  This touches everybody – it’s a natural relationship for the established and trusted KFYI information brand to be part of this format.”

bergmansandiMEDIA BROKER SPOTLIGHT: Doyle Hadden of Hadden & Associates Media Brokers.  In this week’s installment of Media Broker Spotlight, Sandi Bergman of RadioTVDeals.com interviews media broker Doyle Hadden of Hadden & Associates Media Brokers located in the Orlando area of Florida.  Hadden went into being a broker after years of being in radio and television sales, management and ownership.  He says he wasn’t “good enough” to be an on-air talent so he found a way to make money “behind the scenes.”  He says, “Based on the past five or six years, things are on the rise in buyers’ interest in getting back into the game, now that the economy has shown signs of improving.  Look at Larry Wilson, who sold Citadel for more than $2 billion and now he is back in the hunt, along with many other great players in the business.”  He adds, “There are some very attractive deals out there but the prices seem to be going up across the board, especially in the larger and top 20 markets.”  Per the custom of this feature, Hadden offers several opportunities for displaced station managers and first-time entrants looking to roll up their sleeves and take on an ownership project.  To read the entire installment of Media Broker Spotlight, please click here.

waddletomOdds & Sods.  WMVP, Chicago “ESPN 1000” talk show host Tom Waddle is joining the mothership’s “Football Sunday on ESPN Radio” beginning this season and starting with the first show September 8 at 1:00 pm ET.  Waddle co-hosts the “Waddle & Silvy” show on WMVP.  Waddle will work from the company’s Bristol, Connecticut studios and will also appear on Sunday editions of ESPN’s “SportsCenter” and on ESPN2’s “Cowherd on Football” – the new hour-long program focusing holttorryon both college and pro football discussion and commentary with host Colin Cowherd that airs from 9:00 am to 10:00 am ET…..St. Louis Rams great Torry Holt signs on with Hubbard Radio’s WXOS, St. Louis “101 ESPN” to serve as the station’s football insider providing exclusive weekly call-ins to the station. He’ll make three weekly appearances on the station: Each Monday morning during “Zach and Rammer,” Wednesdays on “The Turn” with Chris Duncan and Anthony Stalter, and Friday afternoons on “The Fast Lane” with Randy Karraker and D’Marco Farr.

jacksonkevinSalem Communications Sponsoring Kevin Jackson’s “Reparations Comedy Tour.”  Talk show host, speaker and author Kevin Jackson’s “The Reparations Comedy Tour” gains more support as Salem Communications agrees to join Americans for Prosperity and The Daily Caller as sponsors for his new conservative comedy tour featuring Brad Stine, Tim Wilkins, Even Sayet, and Tim Young.  WLSS, Sarasota “News Talk 930 AM” and WGUL, Tampa “Talk Radio 860 AM” are leading the promotional efforts on behalf of the company.  A press release for the tour states that “Jackson and his friends will be taking aim at the politically correct world America has become, especially when it comes to dealing with race relations.  The tour kicks off on Thursday, September 12, with two shows at The Crest Theatre in Delray Beach, Florida, and moves to the Palladium Theatre in St. Petersburg, Florida the next evening with future dates to be announced soon.”

katzallenTwo Katz and a (former) Congressman.  Former Congressman Allen West (l) is pictured here with Boston Herald Radio morning drive host Jeff Katz (r) and Katz’s eldest son Harry (c).  As part of the Hausman Memorial Speakers Series in Stoughton, Massachusetts on August 15, Jeff Katz was featured along with former Congressman West.  According to Jeff Katz, his son Harry’s review of the event was as follows: “Allen was great!  And my Dad was pretty good, too.”  Photo by Eric Kahn.

U.S.-Egypt Relations, Ted Cruz Citizenship Issue, Clinton Foundation Expenses Scrutiny, ObamaCare Implementation, 2016 Presidential Jockeying, and Financial Markets Activity Among Top Stories Yesterday (8/19).  Violence in Egypt and the state of the United States’ relationship with the country; the case of U.S. Senator Ted Cruz’s Canadian citizenship status; controversy over the expenses at the Clinton Foundation; the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, the early jockeying for position in the 2016 presidential race; and financial markets activity were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

| June 12, 2013

smerconishspeechMichael Smerconish Delivers Annual “State of the First Amendment Address” at Talkers New York 2013.  It is considered an honor to be invited to deliver the annual “State of the First Amendment Address” at the annual TALKERS conference – a traditional component of the Freedom of Speech Ceremony that dates back to the early 1990s when the late and legendary talk show host Gene Burns delivered an impromptu speech extolling the importance of free speech in American society and the vital role it plays in the pertinence of talk radio.  Bringing the concept full circle, Burns further articulated how talk radio plays a crucial role in exercising and preserving the First Amendment.  According to TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison, “That was a magic moment when Gene Burns explained how free speech and talk radio are intrinsically unified in preserving the very foundation of liberty upon which everything we consider to be ‘American’ is supported.”  Harrison recalls, “Gene reprised this role for the nextburnsgene couple of years leading up to it becoming an industry tradition carried on by free speech-aware orators.  We began inviting individuals from the broadcasting industry who understood and displayed from their own actions the importance of the First Amendment and comment on the state of its health – based upon the premise ‘use it or lose it.’”  Since then, a diverse roster of industry players, who have in their own way challenged the establishment, have delivered their versions of this important address including Al Franken, Michael Medved, Alan Colmes, Sean Hannity, Lou Dobbs, Jerry Springer, Neal Boortz, Jim Bohannon and many more.  This year, the editorial board invited Michael Smerconish, who recently walked away from his daily on-air job with CBS O&O WPHT, Philadelphia and his own syndicated network of approximately 80 affiliates to take a position as host of a show on the SiriusXM political channel, to deliver the address.  According to Harrison, “Smerconish, a moderate conservative, was quite outspoken in his protest against the extreme left-versus-right polarity presently manifested in the stationality of most AM/FM news/talk stations and opted for the ideological freedom provided by his new satellite platform.  Standing up to the conventional wisdom and practices of one’s own industry can be even more challenging and bold a stance for a talk show host to take than protesting the government.  He was an apt choice to deliver the address this year and he did a great job.”  Smerconish began the speech by recounting a media experience he had while still a teenager.  Pink Floyd’s legendary “The Wall” LP was released when he was a senior in high school.  The band was reluctant to tour in support of the double-album, but as part of its record deal, Pink Floyd was obligated to do a certain number of dates.  “I was able to see them and was the envy of my friends,” commented Smerconish, who at the time, was the editor of The Chatterbox, his high school newspaper. “When I came home from the concert, I decided to write a review of ‘The Wall.’” Speculating what the “wall” was and what it symbolized, Smerconish recounted it could have been a prison wall or a wall around a person seeking isolation.  When his review came out, he was summoned to the principal’s office. “The principal said he was disappointed that I had written the review and requested a retraction, not because of anything in particular that I had written, but because I had addressed the subject at all,” Smerconish explained.  “He wanted me to do a follow up and be critical of the group’s music.”  The then 17-year-old Smerconish (who went on to become an attorney) was “only superficially familiar” with the First Amendment.  “I doubt that I could have defined ‘censorship’ or ‘prior restraint,’ but I knew enough that something he was asking of me just was not right,” he recollected.  “I weighed his request and I did not do it.  More than 30 years later, I spend all of my time talking about such dilemmas, speaking my mind, and rendering judgments about matters of public controversy – only now – I do so with profound appreciation for the source of our freedom.  Establishing a government framework for the weighty subjects of religion, speech, assembly, and petition is exactly what was accomplished in 1791 when the First Amendment and the entire Bill of Rights were adopted.”  Of added significance is the fact that, as Smerconish mentioned, it was done in just 45 words and in a manner that would be relevant for 222 years and counting.  “It is so simple and yet so prescient,” he commented. “This guidepost was written two centuries before the advent of the internet.”  The succinct way in which Smerconish assessed the state of the First Amendment was “resilient.”  To view a video of Michael Smerconish’s entire speech, please click here.

farbernmsinterviewErica Farber: “There’s Nothing We Can’t Do Anymore!”  Brimming with optimism, Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB) CEO/president Erica Farber tells TalkersTV, “For the first time in the history of radio, we are integrated marketers.”  In an interview conducted at the recent Talkers New York 2013 convention (6/6) by TALKERS managing editor/West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian, Farber explains how radio can not only offer commercials on our broadcast signals but also video, special events and a variety of methods of exposure on our digital platforms as well.  Farber praises what she describes as “great energy” in the radio business and says that those of us who are in radio are here because “we love it” and although we are facing obvious challenges, there are also great opportunities.  When asked to define her role at the RAB as well as the organization’s role she states, “We are advocates of the industry to anyone who will listen – advertisers, agencies, broadcasters, and consumer media.”  She strongly believes that far more people are listening to radio than detractors of the medium would have you believe.  To see a video of the entire interview with Erica Farber, please click here.

mhchineseradioTALKERS Magazine Building Bridge Between American and Chinese Radio.  At the same time President Barack Obama was meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping last week, another diplomatic meeting between the two nations was taking place at United Nations headquarters on Manhattan’s East Side (6/7).  Broadcasters from China Radio International (CRI), the state-owned-and-operated radio station/network of the People’s Republic of China participated in the seventh annual “Talk Radio Day at the United Nations” a cultural initiative presented by TALKERS magazine and Talk Radio News Service in association with the United Nations Foundation.  This was the first time a delegation of Chinese broadcasters participated in this event.  Pictured (above, left) TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison being interviewed by the delegation for broadcast on CRI answering questions about how talk radio in America operates and what differences exist between the culture of broadcasting in both countries.  When asked what he hopes can be achieved by the meeting that was taking place that day between the presidents of the two nations Harrison stated, “I hope good things come from it, but I have learned through years of experience not to put too much stock in the words and actions of ANY politicians, regardless of what country they represent.  I believe, however, in the PEOPLE of different countries as evidenced by the ‘love fest’ taking place right here, right now, between your broadcasters and ours.  Radio is first andchineseradiogroupsm foremost a medium to unite people.  May today be just the beginning in our quest to unite the people of our great countries on the basis of mutual respect and common human interests.  If we do that, perhaps the politicians will have no choice other than to be reasonable.”  According to Harrison, “This was one of the most exciting conversations I have ever had in my 45 year career in broadcasting.  The radio folks from China seemed absolutely fascinated by how different the business is here – especially the American concept of free speech.  However they were clearly quite worldly and educated to many aspects of American business and culture. I will always remember this wonderful meeting.”  Li Ping, director general of CRI North America, told Harrison that she hopes “this will be the beginning of a long and productive relationship between Chinese and American radio broadcasters.”  Pictured above, right (l-r) Xu Leiying, reporter, CRI; Josephine Cheng, president, Chinese Radio Network (CRI’s partner in New York); Harrison; Li Ping, director general, CRI North America; Dong Xiaole, reporter, CRI; and You Yu, reporter/assistant to director general, CRI, North America.

villanuccijimLongtime Albuquerque Personality Jim Villanucci Lands in Portland.  After a not-so-amicable split from his 14-year home at Cumulus Media’s KKOB, Albuquerque, talk show host Jim Villanucci will take over the late morning slot at Alpha Broadcasting’s KXL, Portland “FM News 101” beginning June 24.  Villanucci will fill the slot currently held by Premiere Networks’ Glenn Beck show.  Villanucci was a huge ratings-getter for KKOB over the course of his stay there in afternoon drive and now brings his broad talk host skills to the Pacific Northwest leading into market icon Lars Larson who hosts the early afternoon show.  The move reunites Villanucci with market manager Milt McConnell with whom he worked in Albuquerque.

podcastone logoYahoo! Sports Radio Podcasts to Be Featured on PodcastOne.  The Norm Pattiz-founded PodcastOne and Gow Broadcasting, operator of Yahoo! Sports Radio in partnership with Yahoo! Sports, announce a multi-year deal to make Yahoo! Sports Radio podcasts available to listeners for free onyahoosportsradiologo PodcastOne.com and via the PodcastOne mobile app.  Additionally, Yahoo! Sports Radio Network podcasts will be represented for advertising sales by Pattiz’s Launchpad Digital Media.  PodcastOne/Launchpad Digital Media chief financial officer, Dan Yukelson states, “As ‘radio’ continues to be redefined as ‘audio,’ the sports-talk format has never been more popular.  Yahoo! Sports Radio is a leader in on-demand sports content and we are looking forward to ushering sports talk into the digital age together.  Along with our current PodcastOne lineup of sports/talk programming such as category leaders Steve Austin and Ross Tucker, the addition of Yahoo! Sports Radio will further strengthen our platform and reach.”  Yahoo! Sports Radio podcasts now available on PodcastOne and represented exclusively by Launchpad Digital Media include Bryan Benway, Terry Ford, Dylan Gwinn, Rick Horrow, Travis Rogers, Pat Forde, Dan Wetzel, Geoff Ketchum, Doug Farrar, Steve Czaban, “Calling All Sports with Marty Tirrell and Bob Ryan,” “The War Room with John Harris” and the “Mouthpiece Boxing Podcast.”

kgme logoClear Channel’s KGME, Phoenix Re-Brands as Fox Sports 910 Phoenix; Adds Local Midday Show.  Clear Channel’s Phoenix sports talk outlet KGME announces it has re-branded as “Fox Sports 910 Phoenix,” leaving behind the old “Xtra Sports” brand.  The station also adds a new live and local midday show called “The Freaks with Kenny & Crash,” featuring hosts Kenny Sargent and Crash Gladys that airs from 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm beginning today (6/12).  Program director Neil Larrimore states, “This programming change will create a better experience for sports talk radio listeners in Phoenix.  ‘Fox Sports Radio 910 Phoenix’ and the addition of ‘Kenny & Crash’ will provide listeners with phenomenal sports talk programming with a rock ‘n’ roll attitude and the best conversations in the Valley.”

cclogoKelly Kibler Is Promoted to SVP of Operations for CC’s Dallas, Houston, Austin and San Antonio Markets.  Moving up from her most recent post as the company’s market president in Dallas, Kelly Kibler is named senior vice president of operations, effective immediately.  In her new role with the company, she’ll oversee the Houston, Dallas, Austin and San Antonio markets and will report to Tom Schurr, Clear Channel Media and Entertainment‘s president of operations — major markets.  Kibler has been with CC for more than 16 years, holding a variety of leadership and sales positions in the Dallas, San Diego and Las Vegas markets.  Schurr states, “Kelly’s strong performance and high level of achievement make her the perfect choice to oversee and lead our Houston, Dallas, Austin and San Antonio markets.  Her track record is one of continuous success with the company.”

wachsmithdonAdLarge Promotes Don Wachsmith to Chief Revenue Officer, Radio Sales. AdLarge Media reports that EVP, radio sales Don Wachsmith is promoted to chief revenue officer, radio sales for the company.  AdLarge Media CEO and co-founder Gary Schonfeld states, “Don has done an incredible job of exceeding revenue goals, two years in a row.  His client relationships and ability to develop targeted national radio advertising packages have dramatically increased sales results for AdLarge.”  AdLarge president and co-founder Cathy Csukas adds, “With Don’s leadership, Adlarge has already surpassed 2012 results and achieved exceptional growth in 2013.  This is a well-deserved promotion for Don and recognition for his contribution to our success.”  Wachsmith states, “The past two years at AdLarge have been a wonderfully rewarding experience.  As AdLarge continues to expand partnerships with content providers, I look forward to delivering targeted branding experiences for our national advertising clients.”  Wachsmith joined AdLarge in 2011.  Prior to that, Wachsmith was executive vice president, sales, at Dial Global Media.

GfK MRI logoArbitron Announces ‘Model-Ready’ PPM Data Available in GfK MRI’s Granularity Portal.  Arbitron Inc. reports that Model-Ready Radio data is now available in media and consumer research firm GfK MRI‘s Granularity Portal.  The company states that “the model-ready radio ratings data is linked with Media Monitors commercial airplay data to enable advertisers to get a better read on radio’s contribution to marketing and sales results.  Its presence in the Granularity portal is designed to boost radio’s presence in marketing mix models and make it easier, faster and less error prone to use for advertisers, agencies and modelers.”  The model-ready data is now available in Granularity to all subscribers of the new data set.  It had previously been available in a beta version for a limited number of trial users, which was announced in October 2011.  Arbitron also states, “A series of case studies demonstrated that the model-ready Arbitron PPM Radio Ratings Data can help improve the statistical reliability of marketing mix models and provide advertisers with a better understanding of radio’s ability to drive marketing ROI.  The data is based on PPM radio ratings which is linked to commercial occurrence data from Media Monitors for the specific date, quarter-hour, and station on which each commercial ran.”

sontagfrankKKLA, Los Angeles Names Frank Sontag PM Drive Host.  The untimely death of talk show host Frank Pastore after a motorcycle accident in November of 2012 left Salem Communications’ Christian talk station KKLA, Los Angeles seeking a new afternoon drive host.  Now, the company announces Frank Sontag takes over the program that airs from 4:00 pm to 6:30 pm.  Program director Chuck Tyler says, “We are excited about having Frank Sontag join our lineup in the critical afternoon drive position.  Frank is a true veteran of Los Angeles radio having worked at KLOS-FM for 27 years.”  Sontag served as news director, disc jockey and was part of the popular Mark and Brian program.  During that time he also hosted his own talk radio show – “The Impact Program” – for 21 years.

abcnewsradioABC News Radio Recognized with Three Edward R. Murrow Awards.  The national Edward R. Murrow Awards have been announced by the Radio Television Digital News Association and ABC News Radio is recognized with awards in three categories. ABC won Best Breaking News Coverage for its handling of the Newtown, Connecticut school massacre; Best Continuing Coverage for its work reporting on Hurricane Sandy; and Best News Series for its The 2012 Campaign and Election: Your Choice Your Vote.”  You can hear the winning entries here.

beckslaterSiriusXMGlenn Beck Promotes New Novel on SiriusXM’s‘Author Confidential.’  Talk media superstar Glenn Beck (l) is the featured guest on this weekend’s edition of SiriusXM’s “Author Confidential” as he talks with SiriusXM Patriot Channel host Mike Slater (r) about his new novel The Eye of Moloch (Threshold Editions 2013).  The book is the follow-up to his previous New York Times bestseller The Overton Window and incorporates themes of tyranny, freedom, high-tech surveillance and more.  The program premieres on Saturday, June 15 at 10:00 am on the Patriot Channel.

Gerard Media Purchases Talk WHFB, Benton Harbor-St. Joseph, Michigan.  Gerard Media owns news/talk WIMS, Michigan City, Indiana and will add 5,000-watt class D AM WHFB, Benton Harbor-St. Joseph, Michigan to its portfolio for $175,000.  The seller is WHFB Broadcast Associates.

wrkotownhallWRKO, Boston Holds Live Town Hall Broadcast with Former U.S. Senator Scott Brown.  WRKO, Boston morning drive host Jeff Kuhner will take part in a live broadcast town hall meeting at Bentley University on Thursday, June 20 at 7:00 pm with former U.S. Senator Scott Brown.  The station says Kuhner and Brown will discuss topical political issues, including National Security privacy issue, the IRS scandal, the Benghazi attack and the Senate special election.  The program will end with an open session for audience questions and will be moderated by June Knight.

Alleged State Department Cover-Up, Immigration Legislation, NSA Data Collection Program, Severe Weather ‘Derecho’ Threat, and Plan B Pill Policy Among top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/11).  Allegations of a State Department cover-up of illegal activities including prostitution and drug abuse among staffers abroad; immigration legislation making its way through Congress; the NSA data collection program and the revealing of secrets by Edward Snowden; the threat of a dangerous weather system possibly forming a “derecho” that could affect the eastern half of the country; and the controversy over the Obama Administration’s policy on the Plan B pill were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

| October 30, 2012

Greater Media New Jersey Follows Through on Storm Pledge.  The New Jersey cluster of stations owned by Greater Media promised listeners they would be ready when Hurricane Sandy hit the Garden State.  The company issues a morning-after public statement confirming to the public it was there when the residents of the region needed it and that the stations are still working for the region.  “Greater Media New Jersey stations (1450AM WCTC, MAGIC 98.3, WDHA-FM, WMTR-AM, MAGIC 100.1 and WRAT-FM) were prepared in advance with multiple redundancies to assure the public that there would be uninterrupted content delivery. As a result, there was no down time- if power went down- we were ready. In addition, we did not have any equipment issues- we were prepared.  Our programming remains live and local.  We will continue to provide constant updates to listeners and are partnering with local authorities to provide the latest information. In addition, we are also encouraging listeners to call-in updates from the ground.  Our stations have become the gathering point in our communities for immediate information.  We plan on initiating a huge campaign to help the community recover.  However, right now people are still being rescued. We are in immediate mode.”

East Coast Radio Stations Rise to Cover Hurricane Sandy.  With more than 6.5 million people in the Northeast without power at one time or another and Federal Emergency Management Agency director Craig Fugate saying in an interview that people should listen to the radio for local information, stations across the Northeast – especially in the hard-hit coastal cities – stayed on the air with generator power and kept residents up to speed with the progress of the storm.  Stations with a hard-earned reputation for being the source of local news and information had people on board early as the slow-moving storm approached the coast.  At Hubbard’s WTOP, Washington, vice president of programming Jim Farley says even before Hurricane Sandy came ashore, the station’s website WTOP.com logged more than 2 million pageviews on Sunday with 280,000 unique users.  As the storm hit the coast WTOP simulcast its audio on two additional signals – WFED’s 1500 and WWFD 820 in Frederick, Maryland.  Further up the coast at Cumulus Media’s WPRO & 99.7, Providence program director Craig Schwalb says the station aired wall-to-wall coverage on air and online. The website included live audio and video streaming, Twitter feeds with updates from local townships, and an Instagram feed with photos from the impacted Southern New England area. WPRO’s coverage also included a team of full-time reporters canvassing impacted areas and staffing an auxiliary studio at Providence Emergency Management Agency.  Inland at CBS Radio’s WTIC, Hartford on Monday evening, Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy was on the air talking to residents, answering questions about power outages and generally assuring the public that he was there to listen.  In New York City where Lower Manhattan was under several feet of water, Buckley Broadcasting’s WOR remained on the air and, as you can see in the photo here, morning show co-host Joe Bartlett was on the air into the evening putting callers on the air via a cellphone held up to the mic because the station’s phone system was out.  This is but a small sample of the numerous stations that remained on the air and, even as you read this, are continuing to serve their listeners with much-needed news, information and a friendly voice or two.  (The photo in the headline at the top of this page was sent by New Jersey Broadcasters Association president and CEO Paul Rotella and shows the storm hitting at Jenks Inlet, New Jersey.)

WFAN, New York to Hit the FM Airwaves on Friday.  New York sports radio fans will hear the nation’s first full-time sports talk outlet in crystal-clear FM for the first time on Friday, November 2 as CBS Radio will begin a simulcast on 101.9 WRXP.  CBS Radio is buying the station from Merlin Media for $75 million in order to give WFAN an FM signal and takes over under an LMA on Friday.  The move puts the market’s two major sports talk operators – WFAN and ESPN O&O WEPN – on the FM band together.  WEPN went on FM in April simulcasting on both bands but separated its AM signal in early September which airs the ESPN Deportes Spanish language sports programming.

KFYI, Phoenix Talk Host Mike Broomhead Wins Local Accolades.  Phoenix Magazine’s “Best of the Valley” issue names KFYI afternoon drive talk host Mike Broomhead “Best Right-Wing Talk Radio Ringmaster” in its most recent poll.  KFYI program director Neil Larrimore states, “Phoenix Magazine is telling the Valley what we already know, Mike Broomhead is a voice of the ‘every man’ – listeners like him and they can actually have a conversation with him, no matter their political beliefs.”

Premiere Networks’ “Coast to Coast AM” Produces Annual “Ghost to Ghost” Show.  On Halloween night tomorrow, “Coast to Coast AM” host George Noory will broadcast his annual special “Ghost to Ghost” edition of the program.  Listeners will be treated to scary guests, ghost stories and a compelling night of open-line callers.  Noory states, “’Ghost to Ghost’ is one of my favorite ‘Coast to Coast AM’ traditions.  I’m excited to talk with our scary guests and share tales of ghostly encounters with our millions of listeners – it’s sure to be a frightening and entertaining Halloween night.”

Anderson Cooper’s Daytime Talk Show Cancelled.  The Warner Brothers-distributed daytime talk show “Anderson Live” will not continue into a third season.  Facing increased competition in the daytime talk show battles, CNN star Anderson Cooper’s program will cease production at the end of this season.  TheWrap.com reports the program will continue to produce episodes through next summer but will not be back in the fall.  Cooper says in a statement, “I am very proud of the work that our terrific staff has put into launching and sustaining our show for two seasons.  I am also grateful to Telepictures for giving me the opportunity, and indebted to viewers, who have responded so positively. I look forward to doing more great shows this season, and though I¹m sorry we won’t be continuing, I have truly enjoyed it.”  Katie Couric, Ricki Lake and Jeff Probst are among hosts doing daytime TV talk shows this season.

Bloomquist Media Inks Non-Profit Client Treehouse.  Treehouse is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of foster children across the state of Washington.  Bloomquist Media is signing on to produce a one-hour holiday program for radio and the internet to highlight the powerful personal stories of young people who – despite having entered foster care through no fault of their own – have overcome incredible obstacles to build rewarding lives with the help of Treehouse and its various programs.  The program will be made available to radio stations across Washington State to air over Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Randall Bloomquist says, “We are honored to partner with such an incredibly important and effective organization.  Treehouse has made a difference in the lives of thousands of kids in foster care by helping them reach their full potential and advance towards important life goals while providing childhood experiences that all kids deserve.  We look forward to helping Treehouse do even more good work in Seattle and across the state by tapping the power to radio to spotlight its vital mission and great success.”

ESPN Deportes Debuts Boxing Show.  ESPN Deportes premiered “A Los Golpes” on Monday, October 29.  The program features David Faitelson and Bernardo Osuna with special guest analyst Julio César Chávez Sr.  It’s a 30-minute series produced in Los Angeles – a place ESPN says is home to some of the nation’s largest boxing communities.  The program is designed to capture all the weekend’s action and serve as a post-fight arena filled with expert opinion, debate, analysis and boxing tips.  Viewers will be able to interact with the program by phone and online.

The Truckers Love Daliah!  Pictured below is nationally syndicated talk show host Dr. Daliah Wachs with the emcee of the recent “Truck Drivers Social Media Convention” in Las Vegas.  Daliah tells TALKERS that her program has a very large trucker fan base via SiriusXM and she was asked to speak about social media at the recent confab.

Monday, September 24, 2012

| September 24, 2012

Phoenix Programmer Neil Larrimore Joins Speaker Roster at LA New Media Seminar.  Sellout Expected by Wednesday.  The lineup of outstanding industry speakers scheduled for the forthcoming West Coast installment of the TALKERS New Media Seminar continues to grow as Phoenix broadcaster Neil Larrimore, PD of NewsTalk 550 KFYI and XTRA Sports 910 KGME joins the roster.  The total number of speakers for the power-packed, one-day event has now surpassed 50.  Seminar organizers state that it will be completely sold out by the end of business on Wednesday – perhaps sooner.  According to TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey, “The venue is intimate and even kind of funky, making for a very relaxed and informal environment – conducive to the kind of communicative and networking environment we hope to achieve.  The problem, however, is that unlike industry events that are held in convention centers and big hotels, we are working with a finite amount of seating and space which we are obligated by city regulations not to exceed.”  TALKERS New Media Seminar LA is scheduled for Thursday, October 11 between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm in association with the Los Angeles Press Club at the Steve Allen Theater in Hollywood.  Because it is open only to working media, there is no online registration — only by telephone.  For registration and sponsorship information call 413-565-5413.  A detailed up-to-the-minute agenda will be posted here tomorrow.

Greater Media to Sell WPEN-AM, Philadelphia to Harold Camping’s Family Stations.  The simulcast of Greater Media’s sports talk WPEN-AM/FM will continue until the deal is complete but Greater Media clearly sees no need to have its “97.5 The Fanatic” heard on both the AM and FM bands.  The sale price for the Philadelphia-licensed outlet has not been made public yet.  In a statement, Greater Media’s Philadelphia vice president and market manager John Fullam says “Greater Media looks forward to focusing on the growth of ‘97.5 The Fanatic,’ the best sports talk station serving the market and the new home to Sixers and Flyers play by play.”

John Gehron to Leave Merlin Media.  As reported by Time Out Chicago’s Robet Feder, radio management and programming pro John Gehron  — who serves as the chairman of the advisory board of Merlin Media – will step down from that role at the end of this month.  Gehron, who also serves as COO of AccuRadio, tells Feder, “It was a fascinating experience.  I worked with some wonderful people.”

WGN, Chicago Moves Dean Richards to Sunday AM Slot.  With Tribune columnist and WGN talk host Rick Kogan leaving his radio show to take the PM drive slot at Chicago Public Radio’s WBEZ, WGN program director Bill White announces the station is moving Dean Richards’ Sunday program into the early morning slot held by Kogan’s “The Sunday Papers” program.  “Dean Richards’ Sunday Morning” will air from 6:30 to 11:00 on Sundays beginning October 7.  White states, “Dean’s show has been a staple on Sunday mornings since 1994, and this new timeslot will give him an earlier start — avoiding sports broadcast pre-emptions — while still airing during part of his longtime timeslot.  As a Chicago native, Dean truly embodies the WGN hometown quality and we’re excited to expand the show.”  Addressing Kogan’s new role on WBEZ, White says, “Rick is a true Chicago legend and has been a mainstay on WGN for the past 13 years. We expect him to have a great experience in his new endeavor, but the door is open for future projects down the road at WGN.”

Three Steps to Digital Power.  Digital media consultant Chris Miller says that part of radio’s beauty is that it is the original targeted medium and radio brands can use their digital components to even further capitalize on the value of radio’s targeted nature.  Miller states, “Having digital inventory to sell on our streams and websites only makes us a stronger business partner for clients who want to hyper-focus their message.”  But Miller believes there are three steps stations should follow to effectively work the digital medium: build for it, commit to it, and train for it.  Read Miller’s entire piece here.

Dave Ramsey’s EntreLeadership 1 Day Event Simulcast to 200-Plus Locations.  Nationally syndicated financial talk radio star Dave Ramsey presented his EntreLeadership 1 Day Event live from the People’s Church in Franklin, Tennessee last week.  The program included author Jon Acuff and speaker Chris LoCurto, speaking about how to run a business using the same common-sense principles that Ramsey practices in his own company of more than 300 employees.  This particular presentation was also simulcast to more than 200 additional locations across the country.  The Dave Ramsey show reports that flagship station WWTN, Nashville “SuperTalk 99.7 WTN” reaped big benefits.  Station GSM Timothy Meagher states, “It’s a win for our clients by providing an excellent business-to-business marketing opportunity at the event; it’s a win for our listeners by providing a great way to learn and be educated on sound financial principals from Dave and his team; and it’s a win for ‘Super Talk 99.7’ by providing a solid branding opportunity in the market for our community of listeners and station brand.”

Alex Cohen Replaces Madeleine Brand on SCPR Talk Show.  Southern California Public Radio announces personality Madeleine Brand exits the 9:00 am to 11:00 am talk shot she co-hosted with A Martinez to pursue other professional endeavors.  Her spot on the show will be filled by Alex Cohen who has been serving as KPCC, Pasadena’s anchor for the afternoon block that includes “All Things Considered” and “Marketplace.”  Vice president of content Russ Stanton says, “We are very fortunate to have in Alex a co-host with the combination of news judgment, experience and a lively, energetic on-air presence.  She has a range of experience in public broadcasting and journalism that few can match; she is smart, tenacious and insightful.”

Pasta Promotion.  The 29th Newsradio 1020 KDKA Spaghetti Breakfast was held on Friday, September 21 in downtown Pittsburgh.  Thousands of Pittsburghers stopped by the annual hosted by the CBS Radio station event to feast on spaghetti before continuing on to work.  Pictured here at the serving line are (from l-r): KDKA personality Vinnie Richichi, County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, Ernie Ricci and KDKA talk show host Mike Pintek.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

| April 25, 2012

Feature Series – Part 2:  Walter Sabo on Finding and Nurturing FM Talk Talent.  In the second of a four-part series for TALKERS on building a successful FM talk station, Sabo Media president Walter Sabo writes that the best FM talk hosts come from the ranks of successful music jocks.  “I look for talent who have invested their time doing excellent radio taking advantage of a strong format.  A great CHR jock has remarkable broadcasting skills.  He/she is taught the importance and necessity of getting to the next event.”  Sabo says talent must be willing to prep two hours for every hour they are on the air and that matching this type of host with a skilled radio programmer presents the best opportunity for great success with targeted talk on the FM band.  Read part 2 of this series here.

KMBZ, Kansas City Names Jonathan Weir Late Morning Host.  The search for a new late morning talk host at Entercom’s KMBZ, Kansas City began when Chris Merrill took a talk host position at Clear Channel’s KOGO, San Diego earlier this year.  Merrill’s been doing double duty while the search was on.  Now, KMBZ program director Jack Landreth announces Jonathan Weir comes aboard to host the 9:00 am to 11:00 am show.  “Jon’s enthusiasm and unique approach to his audience instantly drew me in as a listener first.  His ability to weave his life experiences into the fabric of the show is a real quality that endears him to his listeners.”  Weir comes from Entercom’s WSKY, Gainesville, Florida where he was producer and co-host of “The Drive Time Happy Hour” program.  Weir, a St. Louis native, states, “I couldn’t be happier to be joining such a landmark station in the Midwest.  I’m inspired and so thankful to everyone at KMBZ for giving me this incredible opportunity.  I look forward to the challenge of living up to the incredible standards set by KMBZ, and the chance to be close to my family again is a great bonus.”  Weir begins his new gig on April 30.

Talk Legend Barry Farber to Receive TALKERS Lifetime Achievement Award.  Talk show host Barry Farber, still heard regularly on both Talk Radio Network and CRN Digital Talk, has been named the 2012 recipient of TALKERS magazine’s annual “Lifetime Achievement Award.”  The venerable host, named in 2002 and 2010 by TALKERS as one of the most important radio talk show hosts of all time, has been performing regularly scheduled talk shows on radio since 1960 when he started a groundbreaking program on WINS, New York.  He is credited by historians as being one of the seminal pioneers and architects of today’s talk radio.  Farber, also a prolific and accomplished author, has a new book coming out this summer titled Cocktails with Molotov: An Odyssey of Unlikely Detours (WND Books).  The award will be presented to Barry Farber by Michael Harrison at the forthcoming New Media Seminar in New York City on Thursday, June 7.  This event, nearing a sellout, is open to members of the working media only.  For registration information call 413-565-5413.

Merlin Media LMAs Third Chicago FM Signal.  Merlin Media is agreeing to lease the signal of Venture Technologies Group-owned WLFM-LP, Chicago at 87.7 on the dial to program and sell advertising on it.  Of course there’s a ton of speculation about what Merlin will do with the low-power smooth jazz outlet.  According to the Chicago Tribune, the station has been faring well with the smooth jazz format – garnering a 1.6 share in the March PPM.  Since the deal was announced, news from Merlin’s FM News 101.1 has begun airing on the station.  Though the Tribune notes Randy MichaelsRadioactive LLC has applied for the WKQX-FM call letters of the former alternative rock station (now FM News 101.1) and that’s leading to rumors the station will flip to alternative rock.  Program director and midday host Rick O’Dell confirms via the station website that a format change will take place Monday (4/30) but doesn’t say to what.

Rodney King Visits Rev. Al Sharpton.  The 20th anniversary of the verdict in the case of the Los Angeles police officers accused of beating motorist Rodney King is Sunday, April 29.  The acquittal of the four officers sparked the riots that consumed part of the city for days.  King (pictured here at left) visited Syndication One talk show host Rev. Al Sharpton to discuss the historic event and his new book, The Riot Within: My Journey from Rebellion to Redemption (HarperOne 2012).

Steve Dahl Reduces Staff at Podcast Venture.  New-tech broadcasting models are subject to the same economic forces that affect terrestrial radio and Chicago’s Steve Dahl is making changes to keep his podcast initiative going.  Time Out Chicago’s Robert Feder reports the Chicago radio legend let three staffers go recently — technical producer Pete Zimmerman, assistant technical producer Jim Ruffatto and assistant Stephanie Fallara – in order to continue operating in a way that works for him.  Dahl wrote on his blog, “It was not a decision I came to easily, but I think that it was the right move for the show.  I know when I am not growing as an entertainer and I know what I need to do to keep that process moving forward.  It’s ‘The Steve Dahl Show, and that at some point is the brand that I need to protect, not only for my own creative integrity, but in order to support my family.”  Dahl recently added two staffers – Dag Juhlin, director of creative services and Eric Drogoszewski, marketing/operations director – to his subscription-supported venture.

Backstage in Phoenix.  Premiere Networks nationally syndicated talk star Glenn Beck (third from right) poses for a photo with KFYI, Phoenix hosts and staffers backstage at the Phoenix stop on his “Unelectable Tour II” on Friday, April 20.  Beck is hitting the road this spring bringing his standup comedy routine to audiences in Southern and Southwestern cities.  Pictured here with Beck are (from l-r): KFYI GSM Jim Wilson, KFYI early morning host Jim Sharpe, KFYI PM drive host Mike Broomhead, Beck, KFYI program director Neil Larrimore, and Mike Broomhead show executive producer Andrew Fountaine.

2012 Presidential Race, North Korea Nukes Test, Euro Zone Jitters, Secret Service Scandal and SCOTUS Hears AZ Illegal Immigration Case Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/24).  The presidential campaign and Mitt Romney’s Northeastern states primary sweep; North Korea’s threat to test nuclear weapons very soon; economic sluggishness in the euro zone; more dismissals in the Secret Service hooker scandal; and the Supreme Court’s hearing of the Arizona illegal immigration legislation were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, January 9, 2012

| January 9, 2012

Talk Radio Hosts Invade New Hampshire.  The New Hampshire Primary election is tomorrow (1/10) and in what has become a talk radio tradition – the New Hampshire Primary Radio Row – is putting the candidates and the issues on the air for local listeners and national audiences alike.  The radio row event is organized by TALKERS magazine and the Talk Radio News Service and includes more than 45 programs broadcasting live from the Manchester Radisson.  National programs include: Dial Global’s Neal Boortz, Thom Hartmann and Michael Smerconish; Radio America’s Roger Hedgecock; Genesis Communications Network’s Kate Delaney; Syndication One’s Al Sharpton and Warren Ballentine; Main Street Radio Network’s Alan Nathan; “A Touch of Grey” with Carole Marks; Michael Skoda; Dr. Gina Loudon; and Ed Morrissey.  Local talk hosts include: WOR, New York’s John Gambling; WTKK-FM, Boston’s Jim Braude and Margery Eagan; WTKK’s Michael Graham; Stephen K. Bannon of KABC, Los Angeles; Marc Bernier of WNDB, Daytona Beach; Michael Berry of KTRH, Houston; Lee Davis of WYDE-FM, Birmingham; Scott Hennen of KNOX, Grand Forks, North Dakota; Mark Skoda of WMPS, Memphis; Lisa Wexler of WFAS, Westchester, New York; Ken Pittman and Phil Paleologos of WBSM, New Bedford; Richard Girard of WGAM, Manchester; Paul Westcott of WGIR, Manchester; Dan Mitchell of WKBK, Keene; George Russell of WSMN, Nashua; Mark Johnson of WDEV, Waterbury, Vermont; Steve West of WKVT, Brattleboro, Vermont; John Harper of WUVR, Dartmouth, New Hampshire; Tony Lopes of WVBF, Taunton, Massachusetts; and Jeff Santos of WWZN, Boston.

SCOTUS Hears Indecency Arguments Tomorrow.  This day seems like a long time coming but tomorrow the United States Supreme Court will hear arguments about the FCC’s handling of broadcast indecency.  The case comes to the Court with regard to television violations but the rules are the same for radio.  Recent fines against ABC and Fox were overturned by the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals after the court ruled the regulations are vague and unevenly applied – especially concerning the difference between how the rules are applied to over-the-air broadcast versus cable and satellite.  That’s what ABC and Fox will argue tomorrow.  The FCC will argue that even in the current era, most Americans expect broadcast TV (and radio by extension) to be “relatively safe” media for family consumption.  Many legal observers believe that the likely ruling from the Supreme Court will be the request that the FCC make the indecency rules very clear and that its method of enforcement be just as clear.  Interestingly, former FCC chairman Michael Powell – who now works for the National Cable & Telecommunications Association – is quoted by Bloomberg saying if he were voting on the cases in question again, he would dissent this time.  “I’ve always been deeply troubled by the way the First Amendment changes when you change channels.”

Programmer Neil Larrimore Lands KFYI/KGME, Phoenix PD Position.  Clear Channel Phoenix names former KMBZ, Kansas City program director Neil Larrimore PD for news/talk KFYI and sports talker Xtra Sports 910 (KGME).  CC Phoenix director of operations and programming Smokey Rivers states, “Neil is the perfect complement to our Phoenix programming team.   He is totally immersed in the flow of news and sports.  In this ‘that’s so thirty seconds ago’ age, having a quality programmer focused solely on the output of our information products is essential to maintaining our quality edge.”  Larrimore, who recently exited Entercom’s Kansas City news/talk outlet, says, “Information is the lifeblood of all media, now more than ever.  The opportunity to work with these powerful brands and continue to evolve them on-air, on-site and online, is extraordinary!  I can’t wait to get started!”

Rick Barber Retires from KOA, Denver.  After 30 years on the air in Denver, Rick Barber retires from his late-night talk show on Clear Channel’s KOA, Denver.  The Clear Channel station is filling the time with Premiere Networks’ “Coast to Coast AM.”

Drew Steele Takes Over AM Drive on WFSX-FM, Fort Myers; Trey Radel Exits to Run for Congress.  Trey Radel announces his candidacy for Florida’s 14th Congressional District seat and exits the morning drive show at Meridian’s “92.5 Fox News” (WFSX-FM) in the Ft. Myers/Naples market.  Meridian hands the reins of the morning drive show over to Drew Steele.  Radel is a longtime media figure in the market serving as anchor on WINK-TV for years before joining “92.5 Fox News.”  Radel is running as a Republican for the seat being vacated by Connie Mack who’s running for the U.S. Senate.

ESPN Radio Celebrates 20 Years in Operation.  Once just a small part of the ESPN cable television-focused broadcasting company, ESPN Audio is now a major component of the ESPN brand.  In January of 1992, ESPN Radio consisted of weekday drive-time commentaries on about 100 affiliates.  The network now has 300 full-time affiliates and ESPN owns four stations in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Dallas.  SVP of ESPN Audio Mo Davenport states, “In 20 years, we’ve gone from airing only weekday, drive-time commentaries on 104 radio stations, to the amazing success of “Mike & Mike,” “The Herd with Colin Cowherd,” Scott Van Pelt, Doug Gottlieb, and having ESPN Radio become the most-listened-to sports stream on the planet.  Additionally, our local markets give fans the local angle on air and online. It is a tribute to our listeners and our team, which pushes us forward to greater success in serving the sports fan.”

Jim Rome Takes TV Show to CBS Sports Network.  There’s no official confirmation from ESPN or Jim Rome’s camp but Big Lead Sports is reporting that Jim Rome’s “Rome is Burning” show will soon disappear from ESPN2 and Rome will begin a TV presence on the new CBS Sports Network.  The site reports that Rome was offered a multi-year deal to remain with ESPN but he’s choosing to begin TV life anew with CBS’ new cable initiative.  There would appear to be no affect on Rome’s radio program with Premiere Networks as a result of this.

KNX, Los Angeles Business Series Offers “The Business of Going Green.”  The next event in all-news KNX, Los Angeles’ Business Breakfast Series is titled, “The Business of Going Green” and takes place Friday, January 20 at 8:00 am at the Los Angeles Convention Center.  CBS Radio Los Angeles says “KNX Business Hour” host Frank Mottek will moderate a discussion that will explore how a sustainability strategy can be good for generating revenue and why being socially responsible doesn’t have to mean being fiscally irresponsible.  The free event will include a resource expo, continental breakfast and expert panelists H. David Nahai and Paul Polizzotto.  Nahai was senior advisor to the Clinton Climate Initiative and is president of David Nahai Consulting Services which advises and assists public and private entities involved in the environmental sector.  Polizzotto is president of EcoMedia, a division of CBS Corporation, whose mission is to raise public awareness about environmental issues.

KIRO-FM, Seattle Debuts New Local Food Show.  Hosted by local restaurateurs Tom Douglas and Thierry Rautureau and produced by Tina Cole, “Seattle Kitchen” airs Saturday mornings at 8:00 and Sundays at 10:00 am.  As you’d expect, the program will feature restaurant reviews of Puget Sound eateries as well as recipes and, of course, fielding listeners’ questions.  Program director Larry Gifford says, “Tom and Thierry are a natural fit and great addition.  For the weekend chef, who better to learn from, laugh with and relax to than these guys?”

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

| November 16, 2011

It’s a Jungle Out There.  Tight money, a stressed-out population and aging listeners are creating burgeoning sales opportunities for talk media in financial services, crime control, medical and health services industries.  Even as traditionally strong radio advertising categories such as restaurants, retailers and auto dealers are becoming a tougher sell than they used to be, smart and aggressive sales departments are re-evaluating their sales targets.  Although the mantra in talk is “lower the demos” – the truth is the older folks have a significant percentage of the money and they are the ones listening to talk radio.  Rather than apologize for this handy little fact, perhaps talk account executives should be trumpeting it loudly.  Read more here.

Phil Boyce Out at TRN.  After a three-year stint as president of programming at Talk Radio Network, Phil Boyce has announced his departure effective immediately.  Boyce released the following statement to TRN employees:  “I want to wish every member of the TRN family best wishes. I have enjoyed my three years getting to know and work with all of you.  This is a great team and I know more success is forthcoming.  Wherever I go you will always be in my heart and I am sure we will stay in touch.”  Boyce joined TRN in November of 2008 after a 14-year run programming WABC in New York where he also served as VP of newstalk programming for Citadel and ABC Radio.  In that capacity he established himself as a major national news/talk radio programming force playing a significant role in the careers of a number of top talents including Sean Hannity and Mark Levin.   Prior to that Boyce programmed WJR in Detroit.  Boyce tells TALKERS, “I hope to announce my future adventure shortly.  In the meantime I want to spend a little time on that ‘secret island’ Jack Swanson recommended to me.”  The island to which Boyce refers is the geographical euphemism to which the former KGO, San Francisco operations manager joked he was headed upon recently departing his long-held position at that heritage station.  Boyce can be reached at philboyce1022@gmail.com.

Jake Russell to Head Up Davis Media’s Wilmington, North Carolina Cluster.  Tom DavisDavis Media, LLC is the buyer for Sea-Comm Media’s Wilmington, North Carolina cluster of four stations: news/talk simulcast WNTB-FM/WLTT-FM plus three music FM outlets.  Davis brings aboard former Take on the Day, LLC exec Jake Russell to become what he calls “our local owner-operator” for the cluster.  Davis also owns two music FMs in Williamsburg, Virginia and has built a strong internet presence he cross-promotes with the radio stations combining for a media company philosophy that he calls “Hometown Driver.”  Davis says the Williamsburg operation has been very successful and he believes the Wilmington stations will be the perfect radio cluster to drive his local media company model.  The FM news/talk simulcast features local morning drive host Chad Adams plus syndicated Dial Global hosts Neal Boortz and Clark Howard, Premiere NetworksSean Hannity, Cumulus Media’s Mark Levin, and Talk Radio Network’s Rusty Humphries.  Davis Media begins operating the stations under an LMA prior to closing.

Neil Larrimore Exits KMBZ, Kansas City.  Program director Neil Larrimore leaves his position at Entercom’s news/talk KMBZ, Kansas City – a job he’s held for the past eight years.  Prior to joining KMBZ, Larrimore served as APD at Cox Media’s WHIO, Dayton.

Las Vegas Talk Host Alan Stock to Debut TV Show.  KDWN, Las Vegas mid-morning talk host Alan Stock tells TALKERS he’ll begin a daily interview program on local cable channel Vegas TV (channel 14) beginning January 17.  More details to come as the program gets closer to launch but Stock compliments employer Beasley Broadcasting for allowing him to work in another medium that will help him to build on and promote his daily radio program at KDWN.

2012 Presidential Race, ‘OWS’ Eviction, Obama Australian Trip, Iran Nukes Among Top News/Talk Stories Yestereday (11/15).  The GOP candidates for president in 2012, the case of the eviction of the ‘Occupy Wall Street’ protestors, President Obama’s trip to Australia and his plan to expand the U.S. military presence there, and Iran’s nuclear weapon ambitions were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.